What is the Mercury Retrograde meaning in astrology? The traditional advice with Mercury retrograde is “Don’t travel, Don’t sign contracts. Don’t marry. Don’t touch electrics!” However, the whole Mercury retrograde cycle actually lasts eight weeks and happens three times, sometimes even four times in a year! That’s a long time to hide under the duvet and a real waste of a truly magical time.
Mercury generally zips between two worlds, or rather, the two hemispheres of our brain. During the Mercury retrograde period, it feels like Mercury has gone down into the underworld. In this realm, closer to spirit, we become more right-brain orientated. It is dark, so other senses are heightened.
Mercury Retrograde Mayhem?
We will feel extra sensitive here, psychic even. Everything will seem hyper-real… you will notice things you had overlooked before. This will prompt you to re-evaluate, renovate, re-form, and re-invent. It’s true you might have to redo things because Mercury will hit the same degree three times, but this transit won’t let you go into autopilot.
There are danger spots though. When Mercury retrograde is stationing (Changing directions) we are at a wobbly stage where we are likely to slip-up, make mistakes, and misread another’s communications.
Once we are over the threshold and into the Underworld, we can safely go about our business, knowing that we are in another realm. The same goes for when Mercury is stationing direct, just make sure you give your brain a few days to adjust back to solar thinking.
When is Mercury Retrograde in 2023?
December 29 2022 to January 18 2023 ~ from 24º to 8º Capricorn
April 21 to May 15 ~ from 15º to 5º Taurus.
August 23 to September 16 ~ from 21º to 8º Virgo
December 13 to January 1 2024 ~ 8º Capricorn to 23º Sagittarius
Susan Miller has a list of all the Mercury Retrogrades up until 2030
The house in your natal chart that the Mercury retrograde falls in will be your Underworld zone. There you will question everything. It will make you jittery about signing contracts because you will be constantly thinking, “Is this what I really want?”.
Before the retrograde is a good time to finish off those Solar left-brain projects and gather information to bring down with you into your retrograde cave. Then you can slow things down, let yourself be taken into other dimensions, try on different filters, experiment, shine a light on your demons, then recharge and reboot.
Mercury Retrograde meaning for all the signs
So what will this December 2022/January 2023 Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn mean for your zodiac sign? The meanings that follow are for your rising sign but also work to a lesser extent for your sun sign also. If you don’t know your rising sign use this horoscope maker.
Mercury Retrograde in 1st House ~ Capricorn
This is an important time for getting your thoughts clear before you express yourself. What you say will be paid very close attention to, so that each and every nuanced word will be amplified. Mercury Retrograde has the effect of echoing messages, tweets or letters over time so that it is not easy to forget the words that are said.
That is why it is of utmost importance that you mean what you say, and say what you mean. Any communications you make will stick around as if they were en-graven on clay tablets and will last just as long. You will be closely identified with anything you write, so if you need to express your personal truth for posterity, now is the time to prepare for that.
Yes, it is a retrograde, so it might be wise to wait until after Mercury is direct (in this house) to officially publish anything. But any throw-away comments that raise an eyebrow and witticisms that raise a laugh make great fodder that can be stored away for future use. It is a great time to examine how certain words affect your body. Books you read at this time will be felt viscerally.
Mercury Retrograde in 2nd House ~ sagittarius
Prepare to get your merchant head on for the next few weeks, while you have a natural feeling for buying and selling. This will not be the perfect time to sign a contract for a large purchase such as a car or house, but you can do quite well testing ideas out and dealing in actual ‘Retro’ items.
You might pick up some bargains in an auction also if you have a particularly strong natal Mercury. Even if it is Mercury Retrograde, it will be that way for everyone, but at least you have it in your cash zone.
This might be a time when you do more personal shopping than usual, but find you are returning a lot of it! Sometimes though, a Mercury Retrograde is good for specifically buying online so you can try clothes on at home with other outfits. You might do well writing for money at this time or about subjects to do with self-worth and ways to boost self-esteem.
Mercury Retrograde in 3rd House ~ Scorpio
This is a great time for in-depth researching. You will be feeling much more inclined to spend time looking into many topics and getting your teeth into some really juicy subject matter. Those studying for exams will find they can easily get their head down and ignore pressure from others to come out and play.
On the other hand, those writing a thesis will find it hard to actually stop digging for information and finally start putting it all down on paper. It might be easier to start composing important writings when Mercury is direct in this hose, so don’t get too annoyed with yourself for maxing out on Kindle downloads.
Otherwise, this is also a time when you can slow down and takes things easy in your neighbourhood. Instead of rushing through your high street because you are always on your way somewhere, you might actually take the time and stop at a coffee shop for a change. This may cause you to strike up pleasant conversations with local people that usually pass you by.
Mercury Retrograde in 4th House ~ Libra
You will feel like withdrawing from discussions with those in the outside world at this time. You are really not in the mood for heated debates on current affairs. Instead, it seems that your thoughts are looking into the distant past and maybe old memories are coming back to haunt you. Try to think of what could be sparking off this nostalgia.
The information you are receiving could be firing up those neural pathways through music you listened to as a teen or maybe someone at work is wearing a fragrance that a past lover used to wear. Sometimes these seemingly insignificant sensory triggers can transport us through time just as well as any Tardis could.
For days afterwards you could have dreams, intuitions and weird synchronicity that open-up unfinished business in your life. This is an opportune time to have a good heart-to-heart with a parent if there have been misunderstandings in the past that need reviewing. You should be able to have a good clean memory of any unresolved past events so that you can ask the right questions to get truthful answers.
Mercury Retrograde in 5th House ~ Virgo
Mercury is the arch-trickster in this house and it’s most playful. During this time you are most likely to have the urge to play pranks on people, the problem is there is a high chance they will backfire, so just don’t! However, you should take advantage of the silliness that is pervading the air and go see some comedy shows or such like. It will be rip-roaring fun as laughter is infectious.
This is a time where you could get the giggles over nothing at all, so probably not the best time to take on board anything serious. You will find it very hard to be tactful because your trickster tongue will have a mind of its own. No earnest speeches at funerals. This is a very childlike period for you where you will regress to the mentality of an 8-year-old.
Having fun with the little people then would probably be the best way to ride this Mercury retrograde out you can make all the fart noises you want then. This is a fabulous time for playing games too, so getting together with a bunch of mates to play drunken twister would also be fun. Making babies might also be well starred just because this is the zone of children and recreational sex. You might even end up with twins!
Mercury Retrograde in 6th House ~ Leo
Nervous energy is high during this period and you could turn into quite the worry wart. Retrogrades can slow things down, but in this sector what Mercury tends to do is to replay things, like an old vinyl record stuck in a groove. This can mean that anxieties spiral out of control as you become obsessed by the minutiae of life. This is also the health house too so you could also become quite a hypochondriac.
But there is a positive way to deal with all this nit-picking, and that is to go 120% per cent into researching whatever is concerning you. Instead of just worrying in ignorance, become an expert! As you study all the facts, your brain cells will be jumping for joy with all those lists you are making. You might spend a lot of time doing “Have I got Aspergers?” or ” What Diet suits my type” tests online. Testing yourself is quite a good thing to do at this point, again and again…) This is quite a verbally critical position for Mercury, so try not to be too judgmental of your peers.
You are not really able to see the bigger picture, so reserve stating your opinion until you can disengage your eyeball from the microscope. (In other words when Mercury is direct in this house again.) Another good way to use this energy is to rework some old project or conduct a review of how your business is doing. Look at the year so far in bar chart form, graphs and analytics. Bliss!
Mercury Retrograde in 7th House ~ Cancer
“We need to talk”, the dreaded sentence that comes out during Mercury Retrograde in the house of relationships. This doesn’t mean that you are being fired for being the “other half”, but it does mean that you cannot avoid revealing what is behind your glazed eyes, yes even Scorpios.. It will be very obvious that you do have something on your mind, so best to just be honest and get it all out. It’s all good health.
At least Mercury Retrograde here can be quite objective about things and avoid triggering sensitive childhood wounds. You will be pleasantly surprised that you are able to discuss intimate matters quite cooly and dispassionately, like a doctor. This period brings up a medical for your love life. Not in the gynaecological sense! (Unless you like stirrups, metal doodahs and white coats..). You will also find that you need the help of your partner to problem solve, two heads are better than one as they say.
As this is the house of contracts, avoid entering one for now because you could easily change your mind. If you really have to though, do not sign anything until you have read and re-read every last word of the deed. It is so easy to overlook things at this time. Sometimes you get communications from an ex-spouse when Mercury Retrograde through this zone. If this happens it usually does the trick of making you see why they were an Ex in the first place, just in case time has rose-tinted your memories of them.
Mercury Retrograde in 8th House ~ Gemini
Mercury steals Pluto’s invisible helmet and goes deep into the underworld during this time. This might mean that you probe into the deepest recesses of your own mind or want to penetrate the psyche of a loved one. Be careful that you respect the boundaries of this other person because the questions could easily become an unhealthy invasion of their privacy.
This transit can feel to others around you that they are being interrogated by the Gestapo. Avoid this tendency by investigating the human psyche in general, rather than experimenting with actual human brains. You could feel unusually psychic at this time also since the ability to effortlessly pass through different dimensions is enhanced.
Everything you feel is deep, DEEEP and you are unable to take anything at face value. Sometimes things really are that simple, but not for you at this time! All communications are suspect, and there is a conspiracy at every corner. You are left feeling quite paranoid! A fascination with the occult and life-after-death will be very marked this time.
Conversations with anyone will turn quite heavy to the point that it will be impossible to talk about the weather (unless a killer hurricane is on its way.) The world is a melodrama at this time, so you can either lock yourself in a dark cellar or join up with other folk who want to talk about taboo or apocalyptic subject matter.
Mercury Retrograde in 9th House ~ Taurus
Start to learn a foreign language, yes go on! This is utterly the best time for it. Mainly because even your mother tongue will sound like Swahili to you, so you might as well go the whole hog. I would love to advise you to travel too, but every other astrologer on the planet will be screaming “NO!!!” Well dammit, I’m still going to advise travel, but we have to be a bit clever and out-trick the trickster.
So, first check if during this period Mercury Rx is making a hard aspect to the ruler of your 3rd house (local journeys) or the ruler of this house. If not, then you are good to go. As always, take normal Mercury Retrograde precautions like; read the holiday description thoroughly before you book, double checking your itinerary, flight times etc etc. Then do things that Mercury Rx loves, like visit somewhere you have been before (So a re-visit.) or somewhere you want to re-turn to.
Going somewhere with a past life connection is another option. Researching into ancient cultures would be fabulous, and if that includes visits to sacred sites so much the better. Reunions with old friends with whom you share the same philosophy in life would be a lovely way to use this energy. You will enjoy recounting past events that you have shared.
Mercury Retrograde in 10th House ~ Aries
During this time you might find that the publicity side of your business becomes important, especially your online presence. It’s actually quite a good time for a rebrand but wait until Mercury Direct before you actually unveil the new look. How you communicate yourself to the wider world is under review.
You might have to hold back while you re-think your presentation strategy. There could be an incident when there is some kind of miscommunication which makes you realise that you’ll have to work on making yourself clearer. One of the good things to do at this time would be to learn a new skill that can help take your business to the next level.
If you take time out to upgrade your abilities then you can avoid the usual Mercury Retrograde office niggles and computer malfunctions. The most annoying things about this transit are that sales could go quite slowly and you might have to make a few refunds. It’s just the nature of the cycle and nothing to worry about once you realise it’s just the retrograde.
Mercury Retrograde in 11th House ~ Pisces
Mercury Retrograde swoops backwards in your hopes and dreams sector, which will force you into facing whether these hopes are realistic or not. It may be time now to revise your goals. Are they too high or not high enough? Have you even had the time to sit down and envision some kind of dream future scenario? If not then this is that very moment, so daydream as much as you can.
It’s not time- wasting at all because what you are doing is manifestation! Yes, it is corny, but you really have to have a wish to make a wish come true. In some cases, it’s even about being careful what you wish for. For you might think you want to live in a certain high-status neighbourhood, but think about the vibe of the people there also will you always be putting on a front?
This is a time for doing a lot of plain thinking and for making sure that the ultimate prize that you have put on your future mantelpiece isn’t just to impress your parents or peers. Ask yourself why you really want this. Would this prize really make your soul happy if there was no audience?
Sometimes we can make very pretentious decisions, just because we are afraid our friends won’t like us if we revealed our true selves. Other possibilities at this time, is that you make friends with a much younger crowd than usual who help give you a fresh, new perspective on life.
Mercury Retrograde in 12th House ~ Aquarius
Until Mercury is direct again you will feel rather hermit-like and want to retreat from communicating with the world. It might be because you fear that what you say will be misconstrued or every word that tumbles out of your mouthpiece will cause chaos like a runaway train.
Something is triggering you big time to the point you feel like you are suffering from a kind of abusive Tourette’s syndrome.. If this is the case then yes, it would be sensible to ban yourself from any internet forums. Mercury is clowning around in your zone of self-undoing, so self-censorship might be wise in the outside world also.
On the other hand, you may be distrusted just because you have gone all quiet. Annoyingly some people will just fill in your silence with fanciful stuff they just made up. So really, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The way to handle this is not to totally gag yourself, but just hold back before you respond to any criticism or accusations.
Maybe just communicate in writing so that you can re-read what you have written and modify any knee-jerk comments. This Mercury Retrograde gives you the opportunity to think of unusual and inventive styles of communication, that also give you time to filter out any expletives!
Retrograde Planets Meaning
Retrograde planets are a popular topic in astrology and there is some controversy about the general meaning. For example, Vedic astrologers see retrograde motion as a beneficial influence, while Western astrologers focus on the negatives, such as lost baggage or missing mail when Mercury is retrograde. ‘Retrograde’ literally means opposite or reverse, so a planet in retrograde motion appears to be moving in reverse.
Planets do not, of course, move backward, and the apparent reverse motion is due to the elliptical orbits of the earth and planets. Regardless of the astronomy, the main point is that from where we stand, planets DO appear to move backward from time to time so we should expect this to have some astrological effect on our lives.
Generally, we feel the energy of retrograde planets in a more introspective or reserved manner than usual, and there may be a karmic theme or feeling of deja vu depending on the nature of the planet.
The feeling of deja vu may also be because the retrograde planet will go over a certain degree three times over. People who experience this feeling strongest will be those who have a key planet or angle at this spot. For example; Ones IC is hit three times and you are looking to move home.
Hit 1 you may see the house you want to buy.
Hit 2 (Retrograde) you have to go through surveys and making sure everything is fine to buy it, this will mean re-evaluating finances, whatever you have to do you are always double checking.
Hit 3 you finally get the go-ahead to move and the issue is resolved. Retrogrades give us the chance to really get our teeth onto a matter because we are forced to go over old ground again and again. This may get frustrating and tedious. However ultimately, retrogrades are useful for tackling something karmic that we may have been avoiding and that we have to address once and for all.