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.
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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.
When is Mercury Retrograde in 2024?
December 13 2023 to January 1 2024 ~ 8º Capricorn to 23º Sagittarius
April 1 to 24 ~ from 27º to 16º Taurus.
August 4 to 27 ~ from 4º Virgo to 21º Leo
November 25 to December 15 ~ from 22º to 6º Sagittarius
Susan Miller has a list of all the Mercury Retrogrades up until 2030
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. 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?”.
Mercury Retrograde meaning for all the signs
So what will this December 13 2023 to January 1 2024 Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn/Sagittarius 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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Sagittarius Dec 23 to Jan 2
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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Scorpio Dec 23 to Jan 2
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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Libra Dec 23 to Jan 2
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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Virgo Dec 23 to Jan 2
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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Leo Dec 23 to Jan 2
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 Dec 13 to 22 ~ Cancer Dec 23 to Jan 2
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!