Mercury Retrogrades 2023
In 2023, we’re met with a cosmic treat—as we welcome the New Year, we’ll be in the midst of a Mercury retrograde! While it may not sound like an ideal way to start the year, Mercury retrograde is actually nothing to be feared. Mercury stations retrograde 3-4 times every year and, in 2023, Mercury will move backward four times through four different zodiac signs!
And spoiler alert for all of the cardinal placements out there (we’re looking at your Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), we’ll be experiencing Mercury retrograde in Capricorn twice this year! Starting the year this way will offer us a unique opportunity to pause and reflect on what our goals are for the coming year. If you decide to set your New Year’s resolutions on January 1, don’t be surprised if you find yourself having a change of heart or priorities. Adopting a reflective approach and being open to change will serve you well.
This year, we have the advantage of experiencing some of the same retrograde cycles that we went through last year. This will offer us clues into what topics, conversations and patterns may be coming up for revision and refining. Think back to last year’s retrogrades in Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn—what was going on during those time periods? The majority of this year’s retrograde cycles are taking place in the earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. The retrograde grand finale this year will feature Mercury retrograde moving through fire sign Sagittarius, which will spark a new cycle of fire sign retrogrades in 2024.
So, what can you expect from this year’s Mercury retrogrades? The cliché and favorite exes sliding into your DMs, technological snafus, running late, misunderstandings, and accidentally sending a text to the wrong person are all on the menu. While Mercury retrograde can deliver some inconveniences to our lives, it’s not here to devastate us or ruin our lives. In a world that’s so fast-paced and obsessed with instant gratification, Mercury retrograde reminds us of the power of turning inward and slowing down. The process of reflection inspires self-awareness. When we spend time thinking about what hasn’t been working, we can tweak accordingly so we’re able to move forward in a more sustainable way. Mercury retrograde actually allows us to evolve and transform—and what’s more magical than that?
Let’s take a look at what Mercury retrograde in 2023 has in store for you!
December 29, 2022 - January 18 - 2023
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn
Keywords: rethinking your goals + legacy, logically minded, future-oriented, work-life balance
When Mercury moves through the zodiac sign of Capricorn we might feel called to rethink our legacy—what are we building in this world? What are we hoping to leave behind? Is what we’re working toward still aligned with our values? Topics around career, vocation and our public reputation can also become more of a focus. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. Saturn is the planet of boundaries, restriction, limitation, challenge and karma. Saturn is the Lord of Time. The concept of time—is it passing us by? Do we have enough of it? Are we taking advantage of it?—all of these questions can come up for revision and rethinking. What is our relationship with time?
Capricorn is also associated with the past and history. How have the systems and structures in place outstayed their welcome? What is work rethinking and reimaging? During its time through Capricorn, Mercury will station retrograde at 24 degrees and move backward until it reaches 8 degrees, where it will finally station direct on January 19. If you are a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) will planets between those degrees, this retrograde will impact your birth chart more personally.
Mercury will also make a few noteworthy connections with other planets during its journey through Capricorn. On January 7, the sun and Mercury will meet at the same point in the sky, forming what’s known in astrology as a cazimi. When Mercury sits in the heart of the sun, it strengthens Mercury’s communication abilities. Messages, downloads, and innovative information may arrive.
This is a turning point in everyone’s Mercury retrograde story. Paying attention to topics, conversations and people you come in contact with today can lead to breakthroughs. The following day, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will form a gentle connection with Uranus in Taurus. This will encourage us to try a new approach and think out of the box. Whatever realization took place the day before, today, we’re feeling excited about new opportunities and approaches. It’s time to take a risk and try something new.
April 21 - May 14
Mercury Retrograde in Taurus
Keywords: delays in money matters, revision of values, relationship dynamics, material possessions, the natural world
Our Spring-time Mercury retrograde takes place in the sign of stable and reliable Taurus. As a fixed sign, Taurus prefers predictability and Mercury retrograde loves to throw a wrench in plans! Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, values and finances. As Mercury moves backward through Taurus, we may be rethinking these areas of our lives. As the second zodiac sign, Taurus is when the seed planted during Aries season begins to surface. We must nurture and tend to it. This is a wonderful time check in on your goals—are you still putting in the necessary and sustained effort to reach them over time?
Taurus is also a sign that’s very in tune with its senses and the tangible world. Globally, themes related to the environment, our financial systems in place and relationship with consumption can all be topics under the microscope. What is your carbon footprint? How can you help care for Earth the way it so generously provides for us? On a more personal level, this can also kick up our desire to consume. It’s an important time to be budget conscious. Unexpected bills or expenses might come up. If we’re overspending, we may end up returning a lot of what we’re buying and there’s a higher chance of packages getting lost in the mail.
Mercury will station retrograde at 15 degrees of Taurus until it reaches 5 degrees where it will turn direct on May 14. If you have fixed sign placements (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius) between these degrees, you’ll feel Mercury’s travels on a more personal level. Mercury retrograde in Taurus will also make a few interesting connections during its journey. On April 23, Mercury retrograde in Taurus will mingle with Mars in Cancer.
This planetary combination can inspire us to take action on some of our rethinking and reprocessing. We have the courage to reimagine a new way forward and are bold enough to take action. On May 1, Mercury and the sun meet at the same point in the sky, forming a cazimi. Breakthroughs and periods of mental clarity pepper the day. Stay open and curious to signs and messages from beyond. Mercury retrograde will connect with Saturn in Pisces on May 12, and we’re perhaps feeling more solid with our plans and new ideas. Saturn’s influence lends dedication, determination and the ability to manifest our desires in the physical realm.
August 23 - September 15
Mercury Retrograde in Virgo
Keywords: miscommunication, disruption of daily routine, work-life balance, setting boundaries, criticism
What is summer without a little drama? Mercury retrograde will take a tour through detail-oriented and thoughtful Virgo this summer. Virgo is a grounded earth sign that’s ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. Mercury typically enjoys moving through Virgo’s sign because it gains strength and is “at home,” where it is better able to achieve Mercurial tasks like writing, expressing, communicating and distilling information.
When Mercury retrograde takes place in a place where Mercury generally tends to shine, it can have some wonky effects. Classic miscommunication can occur, as well as misunderstandings. People will be more prone to take things personally. When we deliver information and our opinions, there might also be a tendency to have a sharper tongue. Virgo is a sign known for its criticism of others—their intention isn’t to be rude but to help others improve by being honest. Our words can lose their tact under this transit and it’s very easy to take things personally.
Virgo is a sign that is concerned with our daily routine, habits, and health. This retrograde period could bring a revision in those areas of your life. This is an aligned time to release any bad habits and replace them with more constructive habits that will support you in achieving your goals. Virgo is also a very selfless sign that can veer into self-sacrificing, martyr territory.
This retrograde period might test your boundaries. Are you honoring your own and respecting your needs? By the end of this retrograde period you will be! Mercury will station retrograde at 21 degrees of Virgo until September 15 when it reaches 8 degrees and stations direct. If you have mutable planets (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) between those degrees, this is your Mercury retrograde to play attention to—it will affect you more personally.
During Mercury retrograde’s escapades in Virgo it will make two notable contacts. On September 4, Mercury retrograde in Virgo will form a gentle trine with Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter is the planet of luck, abundance, spirituality and growth. We may receive help seemingly out-of-the-blue, as this is very supportive energy.
One of our ideas can start to gain momentum, others of notable importance are taking note of our ideas and are eager to help. Jupiter does amplify any planet it touches and it does have the ability to make things bigger, including problems. If you’ve been avoiding a serious conversation or dodging a Mercury retrograde lesson, today could lead to a big chat. The energy in the air is healing and constructive as long as you don’t avoid your need to grow and expand.
December 12 - January 1, 2024
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn and Sagittarius
Keywords: rethinking your goals + legacy, logically minded, work-life balance, shifting perspectives, travel delays
And because three Mercury retrograde periods just isn’t enough for one year, the stars have blessed us with a final and fourth Mercury retrograde! This time, Mercury will backpedal through both Capricorn and Sagittarius. Mercury retrograde’s dance in Sagittarius serves as a precursor to our retrograde periods in 2024, which will be taking place in the fire signs. You’re no stranger to Mercury retrograde in Capricorn—think back to the end of 2022 and the start of this year. Where was your mental focus? What types of conversations were you having? What was your Mercury retrograde story? That retrograde story picks up where you left off earlier this year.
Mercury retrograde enters Sagittarius on December 22, we’re venturing into uncharted territory. In traditional astrology, Mercury is said to be in detriment in Sagittarius, meaning it struggles to assert its Mercurial abilities. Sagittarius is a big-picture sign that aims its bow high into the sky and isn’t afraid to dream big. It can lose out on some of the details and precision that Mercury actually prefers. As Mercury retrograde travels through Sagittarius we may be called to reflect and rethink our belief systems and perspectives. When was the last time you considered someone else’s perspective? Is it time you put yourself in someone else’s shoes? How limited is your current view of the world? Are you only considering things that affect you personally? It could be time to broaden your mind. It’s also easy to skim over the details during this retrograde period, so do your best when making plans and appointments.
Mercury will station retrograde in Capricorn at 8 degrees until it turns direct on January 1, 2024 at 22 degrees of Sagittarius. If you have any cardinal planets (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) between 0-8 degrees or any mutable placements (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) between 22-29 degrees, this retrograde period will impact you on a more personal level. Mercury retrograde will be making a few connections during its travels through both signs.
On December 18, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will meet with Jupiter in Taurus. This planetary duo offers us expansive thoughts and ideas. We’re excited to explore the unknown. A few days later on December 21, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will gently connect with Saturn in Pisces, allowing us to feel more grounded and like we’re making sound decisions. On December 22, Mercury and the sun will form a cazimi, you guessed it, a turning point! We’ve had a notable realization and a missing piece of the puzzle has arrived.
Verbal tensions may flare on December 26 when Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius squares off against Neptune in Pisces. Confusion is in the air and our senses are heightened which can trigger some anxiety and lead us into paranoid thinking. Neptune is associated with fog—we aren’t able to see the full picture.
The following day, Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius meets Mars in Sagittarius at the same exact point in the sky. Mars is the planet of war, anger, action and pursuit. We have the opportunity to use our words as weapons today—wield your power carefully. This can also signal a time of verbal courage and honesty. Perhaps we’re sharing a piece of our soul or life experience with someone for the first time. Mercury and Mars together combine skill and strategy, we are able to form a game plan that will carry us where we need to go.