Mercury Retrograde in 2024

Mercury Retrograde in 2024

In 2024, we kick off the year with a welcome green light—New Year’s Day is also the day Mercury goes direct after being retrograde in cardinal earth sign Capricorn and mutable fire sign Sagittarius for the final three weeks of 2023. It’s the perfect opportunity to begin to move the ball forward on New Year’s resolutions, intentions, and goals that might’ve been tough to even wrap your head around—let alone start to set in motion—during the tail end of the year. You can also now apply any lessons you’ve learned while slowing down and reflecting over the course of the retrograde.

Throughout 2024, you’ll have three chances to slow down, go inward, and tie up loose ends before moving forward once more. That’s because the planet of communication will station retrograde three times through four different signs. And heads up, fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), because we’ll be experiencing Mercury retrograde through each of your signs this year. With the fire bunch leading the charge, each of 2024’s retrograde cycles has the potential to fuel self-reflection and meditation around passion projects, aggression, competition, and energy. In turn, you could easily come away from 2024’s retrogrades with heightened self-awareness and a better understanding of what sparks your inner fire and drive.

A couple of the retrograde cycles of 2024 will also feel like familiar territory, as Mercury will move through a couple of the same signs it moved through last year, reviving plotlines you lived through in the recent past. For example, in late summer, the messenger planet will retrace its steps back through mutable earth sign Virgo, which could feel a bit like a deja vu of the end of summer 2023. Think back to that time, and try to remember what you were grappling with, revisiting, or reimagining. The delays, setbacks, slowdowns, and opportunities for growth you encountered may be similar this time around. And at the end of the year, Mercury will back up through Sagittarius once more, highlighting themes you were likely stirred to explore in December 2023 as well.  

So, what can you expect from this year’s Mercury retrogrades? For starters, Mercury retrogrades are far from deserving of all the fearmongering chatter they tend to inspire. While these periods can present technical glitches, transportation headaches, miscommunications, and other minor aggravations, they are also phases meant for allowing us to rest, recharge, review, and rejuvenate ourselves. That way, we’re even more prepared to hit the gas when the planet of communication, technology, and transportation is finally moving full speed ahead.  

Let’s take a look at what Mercury retrograde in 2024 has in store for you!

April 1 - April 25, 2024

Mercury Retrograde in Aries

Keywords: impulsivity, playfulness, independence, and rethinking how you approach competition and what lights your fire

When Mercury moves through cardinal fire sign Aries, we may be more likely to struggle to slow down, given that the sign of the Ram prefers to take action at all costs—and the faster, the better! At the same time, Mercury moving backward through the very first sign of the zodiac could inspire us to reflect on how we’re going to bat for ourselves and against others. How are we showing up for our dreams, passions, desires? How are we taking risks? How quickly can we realistically move toward what we want, and how healthy is our relationship to competition, aggression, anger? What ignites our sex drives? 

Other themes to anticipate exploring include how we take action, how we drum up and use our energy, and the need to win or be declared the winner. Aries is ruled by Mars, the red planet that oversees action, energy, debate, sex, anger, courage, and competition. It’s the planet that fires up our ability to fight, pursue, one-up, and move forward. But given the self-reflective tone of any Mercury retrograde cycle, we’ll do best not to actually act, as Aries would prefer to do, but to think about how we’ve been applying our inner fire, and then, perhaps consider whether we might get even further if we were to change course somehow. 

Aries is also associated with the First House of Self and childlike playfulness, innocence, impulsivity, and naivety. It’s possible that during this Mercury retrograde, we might be inspired to meditate on ways we can revise our game plans in such a way that we can better pursue the vision we’ve been holding in mind for ourselves and perhaps capable of seeing the world from a wide-eyed, fun-loving Aries perspective. 

During its time in Aries, Mercury will station retrograde at 27 degrees and move backward until it reaches 15 degrees, where it will finally station direct on April 25. If you are a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn) with placements between those degrees, you’ll feel the impact of this retrograde even more acutely.

Mercury will also connect with Venus on April 19, setting the stage for more introspective, heartfelt, passionate communication in relationships. Anticipate potentially intense lightbulb moments, as the following day marks one of the biggest planetary meetups of the year: Jupiter, the planet of fortune and abundance, will pair up with game-changer Uranus in fixed earth sign Taurus.

August 4 - August 28, 2024

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo and Leo

Keywords: wellness and health, perfectionism, self-image, self-empowerment, and reimagining daily routine

Summer will feature a moment made for slowing down and getting clear on Virgoan and Leonine themes, thanks to Mercury’s retrograde through the detail-oriented mutable earth sign and the confident fixed fire sign. From August 4 to 14, Mercury will move backward through Virgo. Given that the mutable earth sign is ruled by Mercury, the messenger planet is typically considered to be at full strength while it moves through the sign. When the planet of communication spends time in the sign of the Maiden, we’re all more adept at Mercurial to-dos such as writing, interacting with others, and processing information. That said, when Mercury goes retrograde in a sign it rules, the transit can bring about even more apparent classic side effects from miscommunication to transportation issues and technology meltdowns. 

Virgo is also highly detail-oriented and has the unique power of weaving magical results from day-to-day minutiae, but it’s for this very reason that seemingly minor aspects of everyday life could go off the rails while the trickster planet moves backward through the earth sign. And because Virgo is also quite sensitive to language, misunderstandings and conflicts could arise from someone using the wrong word or overthinking a particular interpersonal situation. Still, this period is an opportunity to reflect on and revise ways you’re connecting with others—and yourself, being that Virgo can be self-critical (and, when feeling insecure, potentially project this trait onto others).

On August 14, Mercury will re-enter dynamic, optimistic, spotlight-loving Leo, remaining in the fixed fire sign until the end of its retrograde cycle. In turn, you can expect to be spurred to go inward to think about how you’re leading the charge in your own life. Where could you stand to foster greater self-assurance? What are some ways in which you could nurture an even greater, stronger, bolder sense of self? At the same time, Leo energy is fixed, stubborn, and, at times, overly self-centered, so this period could lay the groundwork for you or others to lean into black-and-white thinking that’s either stemming from miscommunication and/or at risk of causing it. That said, we’d all do well to take a step back and ensure we’re allowing for nuance and collaboration.

And because Leo is associated with the Fifth House of Romance, Fun, and Self-Expression, this period can be a lovely chance to retrace your footsteps with a significant other, dear friend, loved ones, et al. With the retrograde falling in the heart of steamy, beachy summertime weather, you could be inspired to recreate a memorable date night or enjoy a reunion with a group of college friends or family members.  

Mercury will station at 4 degrees of Virgo on August 5 until it reaches 21 degrees Leo on August 28. If your placements fall in the early degrees of a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) or the later degrees of a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius), you’ll feel this transit on a more personal level. On August 7, Mercury retrograde will meet up with Venus in Virgo, allowing for low-key, sweet harmony in relationships, especially when you’re revisiting the past together. On August 18, Mercury retrograde, at that point in Leo, squares off against rebellious Uranus, potentially spurring out-of-the-blue tension and wonky incidents—potentially involving electricity, given that Uranus rules that territory. And before stationing direct, Mercury will sextile Mars in Gemini, amplifying your drive and determination to tie up loose ends—ideally related to communication—so that you’ll be better able to move the ball forward on your dreams down the road.

November 25 - December 15, 2024

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius

Keywords: long-distance delays, philosophizing, fostering sensitivity, evolving perspectives, meditating on wanderlust, and making your own luck

You’re more than well-versed with this particular Mercury retrograde phase, given that the planet of communication backpedaled through the mutable fire sign at the end of 2023, as well. Think back to that time, and ask yourself questions like: What were you zeroing in on mentally? What roadblocks were you encountering and navigating your way around? Who were you interacting with, and where did you want to go? This retrograde story picks up once more through the 2024 holiday season.

When Mercury is in Sagittarius, the jovial, adventurous, wanderlust-filled fire sign ruled by Jupiter, the planet of abundance and expansion, we’re more apt to communicate in a “go-big-or-go-home” amplified way. But as the messenger planet moves backward through the mutable fire sign, this big-picture focus could actually set the stage for misunderstandings that stem from glossing over key details. Also, Sagittarian energy prefers to think and express itself in a gregarious, boisterous, unfiltered way—but certain moments, conversations, debates, and problem-solving sessions call for a more serious, rational, grounded tone. So striking a balance between excitability and logic could be the best way to preempt confusion and head-butting. 

Associated with the Ninth House of Higher Learning, the Archer is also invested in belief systems, so that’s a theme that could feature greatly in conversations with others and opportunities for self-reflection. You might do well to consider the world from another person’s point of view and reframe an opinion based on a greater global perspective. Being open to re-learning and re-soaking up information—perhaps skills or ideas that you previously encountered but put on the back burner—also serves you well now.

Mercury will station at 22 degrees of Sagittarius on November 25 until it reaches 6 degrees of Sagittarius on December 15. If you have personal placements that fall within these degrees of a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), you’ll feel this transit more acutely. Along the way, the messenger planet will meet up with other celestial bodies to add new plot twists to this retrograde tale. 

For example, on December 4, Mercury retrograde will oppose Jupiter, the planet of fortune, in Gemini, cranking up the volume on big ideas, enthusiastic interactions, and travel plans. Just know that this aspect makes it possible to get way ahead of yourself, possibly biting off more than you can chew, so being prepared to opt for a more measured approach may be in your best interest. On December 6, Mercury squares off against Saturn, the planet of restriction, limitations, and commitment, in empathic Pisces—and negativity, obstacles, and general gloominess could make everyday communication and work feel like you’re attempting to run through mud. In turn, it might be most productive to hit pause until the Saturnian cloud lifts and the situation lightens up. On December 13, Mercury will sextile Venus in people-oriented Aquarius, presenting you with a chance to reflect on and nurture your most heartfelt, perhaps platonic bonds.