Here is what you need to know before the infamous astrology transit.
But First, Meet Mercury!
Mercury known as the planet of communication, its rules how we speak, learn, think, and is often how we introduce ourselves to others. Mercury rules whether we are free-spirited in our speech or diplomatic in our choice of words, Mercury in our chart tells us how we exchange ideas and process information.
Mercury is the messenger in the mirror – reflecting back to us the information we need. This couldn't be more true than during the infamous Mercury Retrograde! More often than not, mercury retrograde is about giving you the chance to see things from another point of view so you can make more informed choices.
What Really Happens During Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury is the fastest moving planet orbiting the sun, it takes just 88 days for Mercury to complete a full orbit. When it enters retrograde we all feel it. Retrograde motion is when a planet appears, when observed from Earth, to reverse direction. The planet isn't reversing its orbit its more of a optical illusion of the planet appearing to be moving backward.
During retrograde periods, Mercury slows down and so does everything it rules, this is often why we see areas like technology, communication, travel, logic, and information all disrupted. While this may seem inconvenient, every retrograde is an incredible opportunity to reflect, revision, and resolve old drama. By understanding the dates and themes when Mercury is in retrograde, we can use them to help us grow instead of resisting the lessons the universe wants us to learn.
Here's your full guide to understanding the basics of Mercury retrograde and making the most of this often challenging, but beneficial time.
How Often Is Mercury Retrograde?
Because Mercury completes its orbit around the Sun in only 88 days, the Swift Planet becomes retrograde three or four times in a calendar year, for about three weeks at a time. Outer planets have less frequent, but longer-lasting, periods of retrograde motion.
Mercury Retrograde Dates 2023
- Mercury In Taurus - April 21 to May 14. The pre-retrograde shadow (which is the time before the retrograde officially kicks off, when we may already start feeling the effects of the movement) will begin on April 7 and the post-retrograde shadow ends on May 31.
- Mercury In Virgo - August 23 to September 15. The pre-retrograde shadow will begin on August 3 and the post-retrograde shadow ends on September 30.
- Mercury In Capricorn - December 13 to January 1, 2024. The last Mercury retrograde of 2023 is a little different than the previous two, due to the fact that Mercury moves from Capricorn to Sagittarius during its backwards dance. The pre-retrograde shadow will begin on November 25 and the post-retrograde shadow ends on January 20, 2024.
Work with Mercury, Not Against it
Mercury has a gift to show you lessons whether you want to see them or not, but being open to the lessons of mercury retrograde can actually make this transition a-lot easier. Mercury will make you feel uncomfortable, but it is through this awkward phase that will help you grow and move forward to a different position in life that suits you more harmoniously.
Mercury retrograde asks you to focus on reorganizing, relearning, releasing, and reconnecting.
Try Not to Take Things Personally Mercury's retrograde makes us all feel a little more delicate and sensitive. You may find your friend or lover saying something that seemed to cut you to the core, it's crucial to keep in mind that they are also going through a difficult time.
- Focus on past projects and unfinished business. If possible, wait until after the retrograde phase to begin any new projects, business alliances, contracts, or positions. Use this time to finish things you have started, getting it over and done with will not only help you relax it will also give you the feeling of accomplishment.
- Unplug From Technology. At the very least, avoid using it as your primary means of communication. Communication is at its most unstable state when mercury is in retrograde, and your message can be misunderstood in a thousand different ways. When you can, try to have discussions in person. Be prepared for your calls to be missed, emails to disappear into thin air, and misunderstood messages.
- Give Yourself Time to Reflect. Mercury wants you to see things from a new point of view, while the days may be full of stress its key not to miss the opportunity to reflect or else the lessons may keep returning. Draw yourself a nice hot bath for you to escape too, light some candles and add in our Mercury Retrograde Bath Bomb - perfectly designed to help with this retrograde. Use this time to relax your body and clear your mind so you can begin to sort through the chaos of your thoughts.
You have already taken a big step to making your way through Mercury Retrograde successful. With all of this information, you are ready for whatever Mercury brings you. You will be OK if you can approach these retrograde phases with a sense of humor. They are inescapable, just like other aspects of life. Use them to your advantage. You can do this!