Mercury Retrograde: astrology's most dreaded time of the year. After all, what's life without chaos and blasts from the past? Predictable, stable, and boring. In all seriousness though, many of us really struggle during Mercury Retrograde. It's like Mercury Retrograde is just a difficult period of time to get through and survive.
But what if we could do more than just survive? What if we knew how to harness the unique energies of Mercury Retrograde and thrive?
To thrive during Mercury Retrograde, we first have to understand the nature of the beast: Mercury himself.
Meet Mercury: The planet of communication, thought, technology, and movement. It's ruled by the air element and is typically quick-moving. You know those days when you feel like you're in flow? You're productive, organized, having lots of fun conversations, and focused on goals? That's Mercury's beneficial influence!
Meet Mercury Retrograde: When all those nice things about Mercury suddenly start malfunctioning.
In astrology, Mercury moves quickly to create changes, for better or worse. And what better way to bring change than to disrupt the comfort of predictability?
Introducing the astrological bad-boy that is Mercury Retrograde...
What is Mercury Retrograde?
A few times a year, the planet Mercury appears to start moving in reverse through the sky. However, it's not actually moving in reverse. It's an optical illusion. This is Mercury Retrograde.
What happens during Mercury Retrograde?
Some common astrological events happen during Mercury Retrograde.
- Elements from the past return to your life. Relationships, situations, people...
- Communication errors and misunderstandings. Expect to be misunderstood and misunderstand what others are saying yourself.
- Technical issues. Power outages, devices breaking, apps malfunctioning, etc.
- Movement issues. Traffic jams, car problems, and setbacks with forward momentum in general.
How to Thrive During Mercury Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde can be easier to navigate by planning accordingly. Mercury will laugh in the face of your plans, but that won't stop you from taking advantage of unique opportunities that only Mercury Retrograde can bring.
Here's how to thrive during Mercury Retrograde and minimize the negative effects.
1) Remember the lessons you learned in the past.
Mercury Retrograde will return people and situations to your life, especially if there are unfinished lessons there.
Sometimes we think we've learned a lesson, but then repeat the same mistake again later. This is classic Mercury Retrograde. We haven't really learned if we repeat the same patterns, right?
So, generally speaking, if it's Mercury Retrograde...think twice before texting your ex. Hold strong to your boundaries. You will be tested.
If you hold strong and apply the lessons you've already learned, you'll ascend to the next phase in the game. New opportunities will come your way. The same situation will stop presenting itself to test you, because you've graduated! Congrats!
2) Know that setbacks will happen.
Expect things not to work out as you'd planned. There will be delays, frustration, and mistakes. That's life, but it's also classic Mercury Retrograde.
Every setback is a chance to learn how to flow.
We don't have control over everything and we never will. Controlling circumstances is futile, but flowing with them creates opportunities and eliminates frustrations.
If you can learn more about flowing, you'll thrive during Mercury Retrograde.
3) Use your intuition and don't commit.
Commitment is usually a good thing, unless it's Mercury Retrograde.
Be especially mindful of making written commitments. Almost every astrologer would agree that signing contracts during Mercury Retrograde is playing with fire.
Mercury Retrograde causes communication errors, both in delivering and interpreting that communication. A contract cannot be unsigned. So either be very sure about what you're doing, or wait until the post-shadow phase of Mercury Retrograde is over.
When it comes to commitments during Mercury Retrograde, use your intuition. If something feels off, it probably is.
Mercury Retrograde offers us the chance to rely on and trust our intuition more. Adversity is the best time to strengthen a skill.
4) Laugh it off.
If something bad happens, blame it on Mercury Retrograde! You only have a few times a year to do this, so take advantage. Whether it's Mercury's shenanigans or not, blaming everything on Mercury Retrograde can keep the mood lighter. Make jokes and laugh the frustration away! Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
I know, this is a loaded suggestion. Who can chill during Mercury Retrograde, honestly? Well, potentially we all can.
What calms you down when you're angry? Tea, bubble baths, meditation, video games? These are your chill-time friends during Mercury Retrograde.
The setbacks, lack of forward momentum, and the past returning are all serving a purpose. It may seem like mindless chaos now, but there's wisdom to be gleaned from every situation. Chill...and allow wisdom to unfold.
Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2023
Below is a list of the dates for all the Mercury Retrogrades of 2023. Included are the pre-shadow and post-shadow phases of Mercury Retrograde.
- The pre-shadow phase is like a Mercury Retrograde appetizer. An astrological egg-roll, if you will. The pre-shadow phase gives a taste of the events to come during full-blown Mercury Retrograde.
- The post-shadow phase is like a Mercury Retrograde dessert. You won't be hungry for Mercury's tomfoolery anymore, but post-shadow Mercury Retrograde is a dessert that no one has the option to skip. Did I mention that it's less like dessert and more like a spoonful of cough medicine?
1) Mercury Retrograde in Taurus, April to May 2023
- Pre-shadow phase April 7th - April 21st
- Mercury Retrograde April 21st - May 14th
- Post-shadow phase May 14th - May 31st
2) Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, August to September 2023
- Pre-shadow phase August 3rd - August 23rd
- Mercury Retrograde August 23rd - September 15th
- Post-shadow phase September 15th - September 30th
3) Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, December 2023 to January 2024
- Pre-shadow phase November 25th - December 13th
- Mercury Retrograde December 13th - January 1st, 2024
- Post-shadow phase January 1st - January 20th, 2024
I know, a lot of dates. On the bright side, there are only three Mercury Retrogrades this year. Whereas in 2022, we had four.
The Blessings of Mercury Retrograde
Hot take: Mercury Retrograde isn't that bad.
As someone past my Saturn's Return, as well as a survivor of Pluto and Algol alliances transiting my chart...I have a different perspective on Mercury Retrograde.
But Mercury Retrograde affects everyone differently.
As with everything, there's some good and some bad.
While Mercury Retrograde is dreaded by a lot of people, it can also bring many gifts. Lessons from the past return so we can choose to make new choices. Our plans get destroyed so we can learn how to flow. And we have the chance to reflect and see the past in a new light. Which is wisdom that keeps blessing us for years to come.
Wishing you all many blessings for Mercury Retrograde!