If you haven’t backed up your computer files, there’s still time. If you’ve shared a thought or opinion and regretted it later, there’s also still time to become more aware and support yourself through Mercury retrograde, the messenger planet’s backward baile!
This astrological event will be occurring four times this year, the first being Friday, January 14th. It concludes its first tour of miscommunication, possible travel mishaps, and tech stresses on February 3rd.
Mercury is represented by the wing-footed God Hermes/Mercury, the messenger, and represents swift movement, communication, and technology. When this planet goes backward, this swift forward movement slows in ways that can infuriate and frustrate, and it’s best to be patient, take precautions and hold back from starting new projects or signing new contracts.
During this time, be prepared for more traffic jams than usual, lost emails/digital documents, tech breakdowns, and general difficulties when getting things done.
This Mercury retrograde began during a Venus retrograde that started on December 19.
Venus rules abundance, beauty, love, and our values, and when it’s retrograde, it brings relationship issues and values to the table that need to be assessed, healed, and integrated.
Venus will go direct on January 29, and, combined with Mercury going direct on February 3, it will be a great time to discuss all the issues that have been bubbling up. During Venus retrograde, it is the perfect time to uncover love patterns and expectations as well as update any values that no longer serve what you care about and what kind of love you truly want to have in your life.
Asking for a promotion, pay increase, or any money or sex conversations are best held after Venus (the lover) and Mercury go direct.
How does Mercury in retrograde function?
Beyond affecting travel and technology, Mercury as the messenger assists us in communicating messages and impacts how we say what we say and how we process our thoughts, ideas, and interpersonal communication. We each have a natal chart that informs our own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual processes on the personal level and a personal Mercury sign as well. Mercury retrogrades also have energetic relationships with your personal mercury sign but affect everyone in general.
Mercury traveling through the signs affects the collective and trickles down to our everyday experience. Every year we can expect Mercury to retrograde three or four times. During this time, it appears as if Mercury is going backward in the sky. When Mercury goes retrograde, it’s almost as if this energy wants to rest because it is not moving forward and slowing down processes of movement in general.
Evolutionary astrology is concerned with our innate potential for transformation. Mercury retrograde is a profound invitation for us to do all things “re,” meaning, review, recharge, reassess and let’s add, rest. Look ahead at the calendar, highlight the retrograde, and when planning, make sure to allow for this retrograde energy to minimize frustration. Handling our expectations is vital when making the most of this retrograde!
During a Mercury retrograde, it’s crucial to reread texts, emails and be highly conscious of what we are saying and how to minimize miscommunication. Consider new projects research them but don’t move forward with them until we are in post-retrograde shadow. You’ll read about that below!
What is a pre-retrograde or post-retrograde Shadow?
There is a shadow period about two to three weeks before retrogrades and after that heralds the retrograde and then closes the cycles. Mercury holds influence for almost two months. Pre-retrograde happens when Mercury begins its retrograde cycle and crosses a degree in the sky. The pre-retrograde shadow is a great time to review plans and allow for more time and back up files and get yourself retrograde ready!
Post-retrograde occurs when Mercury is already retrograde and crosses back over this degree, creating the post shadow period. This time is when we can review and course correct for anything that happened during the actual retrograde. We will get our bearings for the next two weeks and begin to feel more in flow with anything tech or communication-related!
What are the dates for Mercury retrograde in 2022
There are four Mercury retrograde events in 2022:
January 14-February 3: The pre-retrograde shadow starts December 29, 2021, post-retrograde shadow ends February 23.
May 10-June 3: The pre-retrograde shadow starts April 25, the post-retrograde shadow ends June 18.
September 9-October 2: The pre-retrograde shadow starts August 22, post-retrograde shadow ends October 16.
December 29-January 18, 2023: The pre-retrograde shadows start December 12, post-retrograde shadow end February 23, 2023.
Some suggestions to navigate these retrogrades better!
January 14-February 3: This retrograde begins in Aquarius, symbolized by the water bearer and focused on community and humanitarian service. Pay attention to family, friends, and close acquaintances and how you communicate with them- even if you haven’t, and it’s time to pick up a phone and text or call. While we start in the Uranus (rebel/visionary) ruled sign of Aquarius that adds a more mental flair to your retrograde frustrations before this retrograde ends, Mercury goes into Capricorn (boss energy). A retrograde in Capricorn asks that we hold to our due diligence at work and in our careers. Remember not to talk about promotion or deep romantic commitments until Venus and Mercury go direct on February 3.
May 10-June 3: Mercury retrogrades in its home sign, Gemini (communication/technology), so anyone with Gemini placements beware of mental confusion or sending the wrong text to the wrong person. Be mindful of your humor and make sure that others are on board with their non-verbal communication before flirting, especially at work or in your friend circle! Mercury in Gemini, when direct, is versatile, adaptable, and a gifted communicator, but when it’s retrograde and occurring during Gemini season — cuidado! Gemini energy is flirtatious, and you don’t want to create troubles with your partners or friendships. On May 22nd, retrograde Mercury goes into Taurus, and if you focus on self-care and relaxation, you come out winning- just don’t keep the phone near the tub!
September 9-October 2: Mercury does its backward moonwalk during Libra season into the sign of Libra (balance/partnerships/art.) Exes may reappear just like in Venus retrograde season, and it’s essential to tie up loose ends and just block, block and block. Picking up where you left off may cause more harm than good—a great time to review wardrobe. Go back to a hobby or explore makeovers! Mercury continues its retrograde cycle in earthy Virgo (health/work), and studying health patterns and reassessing boundaries at work are highlighted. When Mercury goes direct on the 2nd, it’s a great time to take action on what you’ve discovered, begin a new health or fitness plan, and get your work/balance in check!
December 29-January 18, 2023: The final retrograde of 2022 occurs in the sign of hard-working Capricorn. Work plans and time off may be affected as well as last-minute work reviews that keep you from doing more of the fun activities you have planned during the holidays. It pays off to get through the work and help out in a pinch, as when Mercury goes direct, your bosses/clients will remember your loyalty and dedication!
Remember that while these are warnings and ways to cope with breakdowns in tech and communication, it may not affect you intensely every time and that building in some rest, review, and recharging during these times can allow you to ride the waves of the stars’ influence to your advantage! Retrogrades remind us that nothing in nature is at a standstill and that we are also cyclical beings that must rest and slow down, or we’ll be forced to by the stars!