Sound the alarms! Mercury, the planet of communication, turns retrograde in the sign of Capricorn beginning December 10, and remains so through December 29. At a time of year already known for heaping on the stress, this could be considered a huge planetary inconvenience. But while mixups are inevitable, there's a way to survive -- and even thrive -- in a Mercury retrograde period.
When the messenger planet goes retrograde, things tend to get pretty screwy here on Earth and we are advised to act accordingly. Still, if you know the energy you're working with and are willing to be patient, adaptable and employ some right-brained thinking, you'll survive this period, and even emerge on December 29 with some valuable discoveries.
Since Mercury is in Capricorn during this retrograde period, the key to survival lies in paying extra attention to material reality, as well as being particularly attentive to career details. This means not taking anything for granted when it comes to being clear about contracts and compensation at work. While it's not advised to sign any important documents during this period -- this is best delayed until the second week of 2011 -- this is a valuable time to review how recent business endeavors have worked for you on a material level. It's also a good time to acknowledge any skipped steps that may have impeded your financial success.
Read on to see how Mercury is attempting to wreak havoc on your Sun sign ... and how to turn The Challenge into a resolution!
The Challenge: Work is pressuring you to be candid about your preferences before year's end, while at the same time being unclear with how they are going to compensate you. You're getting information from higher-ups that seems to sidestep the issue.
The Resolution: Be your own boss. Take the initiative to share an idea that doesn't necessarily require immediate action. By resolving not to wrap things up before the holiday break, you leave room for the good ideas to grow and develop. When the time is right, the right ones will stick!
The Challenge: The farther you plan to travel, it seems the more the stars conspire to thwart your plans and test your patience.
The Resolution: Mercury is reminding you that the best-laid plans are the simplest. While you can double-check documents and airport information, take advantage of apparent travel setbacks to make interesting contacts and cultivate inner harmony amid chaos.
The Challenge: Going in on gifts may be a sore point for you this year with Mercury retrograde in your house of shared resources. You may feel like you're being taken advantage of financially (or the other way around), and it could adverse affect your relationships.
The Resolution: Resolve to pay off personal debts to loved ones, and ask for the same courtesy in return. Being direct and sticking to the facts may be difficult, but this is the perfect time to settle any scores and start fresh.
The Challenge: You just can't seem to get a straight answer from your lover ... and pinning them down seems even less likely!
The Resolution: Instead of going crazy over why things are foggy in your closest relationships, focus on relationships you may have neglected. The holidays are presenting an opportunity for you to reconnect with people you may have lost touch with. In due time, communication lines with your loved one will clear.
The Challenge: Getting in tune with a fitness regimen feels like rolling a boulder uphill -- and you know it's not just the holidays that are making you feel more out of breath than usual!
The Resolution: Record all the reasons why you think you may be resisting certain tasks, then take a fresh look. The universe is giving you a clue that a new way of taking care of yourself is in order.
The Challenge: What you thought would be easy fun for the holidays seems less appealing to you now. The children in your life are also acting up and being indecisive about what they want for Christmas.
The Resolution: Without changing travel plans, you're in a mindset to come up with a creative solution to having fun in a new way -- no matter where you're headed. Revisiting an old holiday tradition or coming up with a new one, such as going to a play or a live music performance, can easily fulfill a new longing.
The Challenge: You realize that the air needs to be cleared with a parental figure -- likely a father.
The Resolution: Learn the limits of always being the diplomat, especially when it means taking the easy way out. By resolving to meet halfway on a conflict, you'll learn that a lot of what you feared was merely projection. If you can do this, you'll be able to clear the air much quicker than you imagined.
The Challenge: Nothing you say seems to be hitting its mark, whether it's expressing what you want for Christmas or choosing the rental car after you land at the airport.
The Resolution: Be as clear as possible, but realize there is only so much control you have after that. Express any thoughts and feelings that may have been bottled up. What better time than the holidays to take advantage of a captive and loving audience?
The Challenge: Financial accounts and other services you depend on for the holidays may sting you with hidden fees, and the only thing worse is not being privy to the information.
The Resolution: Learn to ask lots of questions ... even if they seem dumb! Not only will you avoid feeling taken advantage of or billed unfairly, chances are you'll discover a way to actually save money.
The Challenge: You may think you're coming across one way, but people seem to be reading you all wrong -- especially during the touchy holiday season. First impressions can be alternately haywire and fascinating, with a bunch of communication misfires at the tip of your tongue.
The Resolution: Upon first meetings, don't give away too much information since you'll likely have to backtrack later. Be willing to see what happens when you take a step back from controlling the way you come across. You may learn something valuable about yourself in the process.
The Challenge: Although friends and family are used to your aloofness, you feel compelled to share your vulnerability with others.
The Resolution: Build up the courage to share what's on your mind -- and in your heart -- by visiting locations that invoke nostalgia and deep feelings. By connecting with these powerful places, you'll be able to communicate that much more effectively from your intuition rather than your analytical mind.
The Challenge: You feel like you're becoming the scapegoat for others' lack of planning, or situations that are beyond your control.
The Resolution: Be proactive in a relationship where you feel there is mutual respect. While many things may feel like they're going "wrong" this month, you'll remember this time for the rapport you build with a trustworthy someone.