Avoid looking like this for the next 3 weeks.You know the expression "ignorance is bliss"? Sometimes I feel like I should have abided by that advice before I took to studying astrology. Because now, I'm aware every time Mercury retrograde is going to strike for three weeks, three or four times a year. The planet's backward movement -- which began yesterday and will continue to do so until April 4 -- is notorious for screwing up anything involving technology, communication, transportation, and legal matters and drudging up problems (or people) from the past you thought were gone for good.
And while any Mercury retrograde is sure to wreak havoc in these areas in some way -- big or small -- for everyone, it also affects each of us a bit differently, depending on our sun sign. A little confused? I know, blame the retrograde! But you can also bear with me, and I'll (attempt to) fill you in on how Mercury might mess with your life ...
Aries (Born Mar. 21–Apr. 19) - This Mercury retrograde starts in your sign, then moves into your spiritual zone on March 23. You might feel like you're having an identity crisis. Your retrograde Rx: Turn off your smartphone, get a babysitter if necessary, and go for a walk alone. You'll be one step closer -- literally and figuratively! -- to avoiding a nervous breakdown.
Taurus (Born Apr. 20-May 20) - Mercury is moving backward in your spiritual zone until March 23, when it revisits your friendship sector. So basically, you won't be able to figure out if you'd rather be a hermit or spend time catching up with old pals. My advice: Going with the flow will prevent you from seeming completely off your rocker.
Gemini (Born May 21-June 20) - Mercury starts out its retrograde in your house of friendships. Facebook might flare up with random messages from people who are blasts from the past. Then, on the 23rd, it moves into your professional sector, and a work project could get totally screwed up. It's not your forte, I know, but patience is key!
Cancer (Born June 21-July 22) - Mercury starts out by bungling your work life (awesome!) and creating setbacks with new responsibilities on your plate. Then, after the 23rd, it's in your area of long-distance travel and education, so just make sure you have a backup GPS for your car ... and your life.
More from The Stir: What Does Your Zodiac Sign Say About Your Love Life?
Leo (Born July 23-Aug. 22) - Up until the 23rd, Mercury could be throwing off plans you've had for distant travel or to pursue an ambitious hobby like yoga or learning French. Then you'll have to face deep emotional issues you thought had been laid to rest. But chin up, you're one tough cookie!
Virgo (Born Aug. 23-Sept. 22) - Oh dear, here we go -- not only is Mars retrograde in your sign until April 14, now Mercury retrograde may seem like it's out to screw up communication with your honey. As a Virgo, I sure can sympathize. Here's what to do: Check yourself when you're being oversensitive, don't take it personally if your lover starts acting looney, and if all else fails, there's always Xanax.
Libra (Born Sept. 23-Oct. 23) - Wires could cross with your sweetiepie while Mercury transits through your partnership sector, and then after the 23rd, you could face a health setback. I know, total sucksville. Try to avoid being passive-aggressive (your specialty), and all will be just fine (your motto).
Scorpio (Born Oct. 24-Nov. 22) - You might have to re-examine your diet or workout regimen and try something new now with Mercury creating bumps in the road in your health sector. Then, after the 23rd, you'll probably come down with a case of spring fever and want nothing more than to hit up a carnival and eat funnel cakes with the fam. Meh. Give yourself a pass, and just get back on the horse tomorrow ... or after April 4.
Sagittarius (Born Nov. 23-Dec. 20) - When Mercury starts out retrograding through your romance zone, you'll want to play hooky and go get ice cream or ride your bicycle. Hey, why not?! Just watch out after the 23rd when it moves into your home zone, and family could get on your case about your quirky behavior.
Capricorn (Born Dec. 21-Jan. 19) - Mercury retrograde is now hitting you on your home sector, then on the 23rd, in your communication zone. Terrrrific. If you're requesting something of your kids or your husband, and you feel like you're speaking a completely different language, take a deep breath, try again, or just say, "To hell with this, I'm going for a pedicure!"
Aquarius (Born Jan. 20-Feb. 18) - I know you, Aquarius, you don't believe any of this "hippie crap" (so why you still reading, eh?), but I gotta tell you: Your communication zone is currently getting fouled up by Mercury, and after the 23rd, your cash sector will be affected. You might be itching to get a new gig goin', but think before signing on any dotted lines. Or don't. But don't say I didn't warn you!
Pisces (Born Feb. 19-Mar. 20) - I would be very cautious with spending now or committing to any new investment or job I were you, since Mercury is in your cash zone. After the 23rd, you'll probably feel even wonkier than usual, like everything is "off." Reeeelax (as only you know how), and take a load off. This too shall pass.
Do you feel like you're affected by Mercury retrogrades? How so?