Maressa Brown is a writer, editor, astrologer, and author of Centennial Presents’ 2018 Astrology Guide. Her work has appeared on/in various publications such as Cosmopolitan.com, The Washington Post, Parents.com, and Women’s Health. Find more of her celestial insights and lifestyle features on Facebook @MaressaSBrown and on Twitter @MaressaSylvie. — Horoscope.com editors
If you look back on a particularly aggravating time during which you ran late, had car trouble, or felt like you were speaking a different language than your friends or partner, chances are Mercury was heading into, going through, or coming out of a retrograde period.
Sure, it may very well feel like Mercury is always retrograde. The planet that rules communication, technology, and transportation, does move backward three or four times a year, messing with mercurial aspects of everyday life. In 2018, Mercury was retrograde March 22-April 15, and will go through the transit again July 26-August 19 (Eastern)/July 25-August 18 (Pacific) and November 16-December 6.
Here, six horror—or just plain eyebrow-raising—stories that illustrate just how real Mercury retrograde madness can be.
“It was the middle of winter, and I headed out in my Jeep to do some errands around down. I was blasting the radio, per usual, but about three minutes outside of my neighborhood, I heard a rather loud thumping noise coming from my car. It’s an older Jeep, so not exactly the quietest driving car, so I just shrugged it off as no biggie. I drove three miles before I was at a stoplight, and someone walking their dog waved and yelled, ‘You have a flat tire!!!’ There was nowhere to pull over on the one-lane road, but thankfully, just beyond the light was a car repair shop. I made it there, pulled in, figured it was the perfect place to get help. But no, it was closed. Thankfully, I have AAA, but when I called, I kept getting disconnected, thanks to poor reception. But eventually, I was able to put in my claim, and then, it took them at least an hour to get there, and, oh, did I mention the heat in my car had broken down, as well? So, I sat in a car that was probably about 40 degrees waiting for them to come tow me. Talk about a retrograde nightmare.” — Mary L., 34
“There are just some days when you wake up and feel Mercury retrograde happening all around you. Your train is delayed, you can’t explain yourself properly when you arrive, someone misunderstands your intention or body language, and it all snowballs into one wild and confused frenzy. I commute to a different state for work, and I can feel it with Mercury retrograde happens. One day, on a bus ride stuck in intense traffic, my actual voicemails were coming through with the sound of white noise. I had never had white noise voicemails before! Calling the numbers back, I couldn’t get through. I sent an email. It got stuck in my outbox. But it was more than that. I became resistant too. My intuition was off. I was tired. I was not thinking clearly. I remember that day because it was one thing after the other. Sometimes the best thing to do is to accept it, and to ask the universe for a little extra light.” — Lisa B., 32
“For weeks, I had been looking forward to a much-needed mini-vacation to Florida. It was to be nothing but beach, booze, and holistic medicines, and herbal tonics. I’d been talking to my coworkers about it endlessly, and then finally the big day came. Bags were packed, Uber was called and waiting, and off I went from my apartment straight to JFK for the early morning flight. All was going fine, until I got to airport security. It was when I was face to face with TSA that, to my horror, I discovered that I didn’t bring my ID with me. Mind you, I had my wallet, my credit cards, my insurance card… it was only my ID that was missing. I missed the flight. The next earliest option was 7 that night. I was defeated. So, before heading back to my apartment, I stopped off at the airport Cinnabon, and ate my disappointment in the form of an extra frosted butter soaked baked good. Needless to say, this was not the sunlit, detox power ginger/apple cider vinegar power shot with tequila chaser I had been hoping for. Mercury was in retrograde.” — Cameron L., 28
“I work for a spa and during the last time Mercury was in retrograde, all hell broke loose. Our computer system crashed. It was completely, irreparably down from 7 a.m. to, like, 6 p.m. As was every other studio that uses the same system. Nationwide. I had no idea who was coming in all day. Fortunately, I remembered one or two, but otherwise, I stood at the desk all day waiting to see who was coming in, if they remembered—without our computer-generated reminders—they had an appointment. Couldn’t sell product, because it’s our POS system too, so missed money. Couldn’t rebook anyone. It was just a complete nightmare, but I’m so glad that at least I could blame it on Mercury. That night, I more than enjoyed my usual post-work glass of wine and bubble bath.” — Shannon J., 39
Read This Now: How to Stop Mercury Retrograde From Ruining Your Holidays
“It was a snow day so there was a delayed opening at the school where I work. I dropped my daughter at daycare on my way and stopped at Starbucks. I actually had time, so I ran to the bathroom, and when I got out, I saw a cute guy I had dated a few years back waiting at the pickup bar for his drink. I noticed him right away, as I nervously paid for my drink. When I approached the coffee bar, he greeted me with a hug and a kiss. It was easy, a little awkward. But easy. He was always a good guy. I guess the timing for us just wasn’t right. And yet, despite living in the same area, we hadn’t run into one another in a couple years. But of course it took a Mercury retrograde to bring him back! If you’re wondering whether we went out again after that, the answer is, unfortunately, no. Ugh.” — Helene C., 43
“I was running late to catch the bus to school and ended up standing in the bike lane trying to hop on. Totally my fault, I know. But when the bus driver saw me, she glared and scolded me through the closed door, angrily mouthing ‘NO NO NO!’ and making these exaggerated furious faces and flailing arm motions. Finally, she let me on, and it was like one thing after the next. Some teenager was screaming to the whole bus about her problems, and then singing, ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera. I ended up getting to class well after it started, and later, I texted my sister asking if Mercury was retrograde. Oh, yep, it was. Plus a full moon!” — Emmie B., 29 —By Maressa Brown
Photo: @shanti via Twenty20