Late last week, Mercury went into retrograde. This could be bad, if you believe in that kind of stuff.

I always blame Mercury being in retrograde for my misfortunes. I say it even when I don't always believe it as being the reason behind a bad day. The phrase seems to be gaining popularity, especially over the past few years. The proof is in Google, who has seen a huge surge in users asking about the phenomenon.

Examples of such misfortunes vary from a flat tire to getting the wrong drink at Starbucks to accidentally wiping out on a patch of ice. So what does the phrase actually mean?

A few times a year, planet Mercury enters 'retrograde motion' which usually marks the start of a three-week reign of terror. This phenomenon happens when Mercury appears to be moving across the sky in the opposite direction. The key word here is 'appear' as it isn't actually doing anything different.

According to astrologists, the planet is one of 'communication' so when it is a bit off-kilter, they believe it throws things off down here as well.

If you're not sure whether Mercury is in retrograde or not, fear not. There is a website that let's you know with a simple yes or no. (Hint: we will see the phenomenon again in July and November.)

In order to beat the bad days, it is suggested you allow extra time for travel and don't make any serious business decisions until it is over.

Are you still unsure what the hype is all about? Watch the video above for an even simpler explanation.

If you feel like you're out of it, don't worry. Mercury is only in retrograde until April 15th but who is counting?