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When Does Mercury Retrograde Start and How Long Will it Last? Astrologist Susan Miller Shares Tips for a Positive March Retrograde

It’s that time of the year again when everything just seems to be off. Perhaps you’re more forgetful than usual or you’re struggling to keep track of your day-to-day schedule? Maybe you keep losing your car keys only to randomly find them hours later in the refrigerator? Does communication seem to be on the fritz and you simply cannot get your point across as effectively? There may be a reason for the confusion and frustration that suddenly came from nowhere, and it may be in the stars.

Mercury retrograde is set to begin on Tuesday, causing the planet of communication—as it’s revered in astrology—to have an effect on just about everything involving your sense of communication. It’s a cosmic phenomenon that occurs a few times a year, with March retrograde being the first of 2019.

With Mercury being the planet closest to the sun, it experiences an orbit around our solar system’s biggest star that is much shorter than the 365-day journey Earth makes. This causes Mercury to fly past the planet three to four times within one of Earth’s orbit cycle, causing Mercury to almost seem as if it’s moving backward, thus resulting in the marvel of retrograde.

Although Mercury only appears to move backward during retrograde (it’s actually just moving forward in its short 88-day orbit), the life aspects ruled by the planet in astrology seem to take a backward effect on humans, sometimes resulting in a bit of strife or unusual difficulty in areas pertaining to communication like listening, speaking, negotiating, selling, buying, editing, and so forth.

Due to this, Mercury retrograde has gotten somewhat of a bad rap accompanied by astrology followers’ groans and complaints about the cosmic occurrence. According to master astrologist and best-selling author Susan Miller of the renowned Astrology Zone website and app, Mercury retrograde doesn’t have to be viewed as a negative.

In a recent interview with Newsweek, Miller said Mercury retrograde was a great time for observing the “re,” as in reflecting, reassessing, reanalyzing and recharging. Essentially Mercury retrograde is a time where people should be combing over their lives with a fine tooth comb and recognizing the areas of improvement, most of which usually stem from some aspect of communicating.

“As humans we want to always hear that it’s time to go forward, but you want to polish your work. You want to think about it. You want to root out assumptions that are wrong. That’s an element of success you have to have as part of the process. So it’s not just good enough to start new things without thinking about them,” Miller said. “That’s why I like Mercury retrograde. If you’re in sales you go back to clients that always liked you and people that always believed in you. It’s a time for remembering who stood behind you when you needed them. It’s time to take that person to lunch, things like that.”

Mercury retrograde can also be viewed as a good time to slow down and give situations the deeper attention they may deserve. “We have to be careful not to jump to conclusions. Just because a person uses the wrong word or something, don’t be too quick to have a reaction. Ask the question: ‘Did you mean this? Or did you mean that?’” Miller said.

She added: “Give people slack. Don’t be too quick to accuse. Let’s say you’re sister hurt your feelings, it’s a good time to go back and ask, ‘What did you mean on that day? Did you mean that? Talk to me. Tell me what you meant.’ Something like that helps a lot during retrograde.”

Of course, there are some things people should avoid during retrograde, like scheduling a big test, signing new agreements and contracts or launching new endeavors—especially ones related to communications industries like media, advertising or campaigning—as decision-making of others and ourselves may not be as cut-and-dry compared to after a retrograde cycle.

“It does have annoying parts to it,” Miller said. “It’s easy to lose things or miss certain cues. We get forgetful. We rush a lot, and we have to deliberately slow ourselves down during these periods.”

Despite the tension retrograde can bring, Miller assured folks Mercury retrograde was nothing to fear. She also noted some people could possibly experience increased productivity and less frustration if they planned properly for the moment and gave into deep thinking and being thorough while retrograde is in effect.

“It’s the one thing that affects everybody and it’s pretty noticeable,” she said. “You have to prepare for it, and that helps. I think some astrological sites, the people are new or young and they’re saying things like, ‘How to survive Mercury retrograde.’ They’re scaring people. I don’t think we have to scare anybody.”

Mercury retrograde in March will last from Tuesday through the 28th.

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