All the Mercury Retrograde 2023 Dates and What to Expect, According to an Astrologer
Mercury goes retrograde four times—here's how to handle it and which signs will be most affected.
Wondering when the next Mercury retrograde is? Well, ready or not, one of the most feared astrological events is gearing up once again to flip your world on its head. And when Mercury goes retrograde, things are bound to get lost in translation. You might send a text to the wrong person, have typos in your emails, or even get into a verbal disagreement over something insignificant. However, these periods also give you a chance to slow down and align with the universe instead of fighting with it.
But getting in touch with your zen side during Mercury retrograde can be tricky, which is why we tapped professional evolutionary astrologer Aylah Cadwell to give us the complete look at every Mercury retrograde of 2023, as well as tips on how to thrive amidst the chaos. Keep reading to see if yours is one of the zodiac signs that will be most affected this year.
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Every Mercury Retrograde Happening in 2023
What is Mercury Retrograde?
Each year, the planet of communication and planning Mercury appears to move backward across the sky. These periods are known as retrogrades, and they mark a time when a planet in the sky isn't moving forward with its fullest momentum. You can expect to experience setbacks and frustrations of all types during this time, depending on the themes related to the planet that's experiencing the retrograde. This year, Mercury will retrograde four times, and as Cadwell explains, these retrogrades are set to shake the foundation.
"Mercury retrogrades will mostly be in earth signs in 2023. This year will be an opportunity for everyone, especially earth signs, to slow down and re-evaluate their structures, systems, habits, and projects. Sometimes you can take on more responsibility than you are able to, which can leave you feeling drained. By the end of 2023, you'll be letting go of expectations, projects, people, and systems that are no longer serving you to be able to prioritize what really matters."
January 2023 Mercury Retrograde
The first Mercury retrograde of the year will give you a sense of déjà vu, and that's because it actually starts on December 29, 2022.
For the first few weeks of the year, Mercury will go retrograde in the sign of Capricorn, lasting until January 18, 2023. When Mercury goes retrograde in this sign, you can expect major revisions, rethinking, and re-evaluating regarding goals and expectations for the new year, as well as where you're spending most of your time and attention.
"While we kick off the year with a Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, you may feel strained and burned out," Cadwell says. "Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which represents structure, authority, and the institutions that rule over us. [We] may find ourselves questioning what change is within our power as a collective."
"This transit will also be laying down the foundation for themes that will be important to us with Saturn's transit into Pisces and Pluto's transit into Aquarius later in 2023," adds Cadwell. "So, this is a good time to be realistic about what expectations you have for yourself and others."
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April 2023 Mercury Retrograde
The second Mercury retrograde of the year is expected to shake things up once Spring comes around. From April 21 to May 14, 2023, Mercury will retrograde in the sign of Taurus, shining a spotlight on all things related to personal values, financial resources, and boundaries.
"Your sense of stability may be tested, which can possibly manifest through your finances, possessions, or in your intimate relationships," explains Cadwell. "Values may clash with others, or our boundaries may be challenged. This friction will allow us to evaluate what is important to us and how [we] communicate these values."
The good news is that this retrograde also brings the opportunity to have some important discussions. Although the topic of money and personal boundaries may be uncomfortable, it's a chance to review your current situation and decide what isn't working. It's also a great time to focus on saving money for a rainy day.
"To prepare for this retrograde, it would be wise to save up a small emergency fund if it is within your means to do so. Be cautious of impulse purchases because you may regret them in the future," Cadwell advises.
August 2023 Mercury Retrograde
If you were hoping to have a fun and flirty summer, think again. There will be some major communication breakdowns and petty drama during August when Mercury retrogrades for the third time.
On August 23, 2023, Mercury will mix things up in the sign of Virgo and stay there until September 15, 2023. This Mercury retrograde will be the most challenging of the year. You can expect all the classic symptoms that come with Mercury retrograde during this time, especially issues with miscommunication, missed deadlines, unexpected delays, and general short tempers.
"During this Retrograde, you may feel disorganized, scattered, and disconnected to some degree. However, you may be given a chance to revisit obstacles to be able to discover practical solutions. Virgo is the earthly expression of Mercury and is a practical sign; they see problems and logically come up with solutions. This will give us an opportunity to find ways to navigate the chaos," Cadwell explains.
However, this is also the ideal time to go into hermit mode and rethink your approach to problems that have lingered for too long.
"This Retrograde will be an excellent time to revisit your routines. Mercury will be conjunct with Mars at this time, which will kick things up a notch. It will be particularly beneficial to be mindful of whether our words and delivery match our intent," Cadwell advises. "Grounding and practicing awareness of our health, body, and nerves will be extremely useful during this time."
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December 2023 Mercury Retrograde
And finally, just in time for the end-of-year festivities, the last Mercury retrograde of the year begins in Capricorn on December 13, 2023, and ends on January 1, 2024, in Sagittarius. When Mercury retrograde crops up around the holiday season, you can expect some trouble with travel plans and communication around coordinating your celebrations.
"Sagittarius rules expansion and travel, therefore Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius will not be forgiving towards travel plans. It would be wise to establish a 'Plan B', or maybe even a 'Plan C' in case things go awry," Cadwell warns. That means printing physical copies of your tickets and reservations, double-checking your dates before booking flights, and thinking twice before you make last-minute changes to established plans.
This Mercury retrograde will also harken back to the themes from the first Mercury retrograde of the year, giving you a chance to reflect on how far you've come and where you're headed next. So, you may be feeling more introspective.
"Just in time for the new year, this retrograde will be a good time to retreat deeply into our thoughts to ensure that our philosophies, ideals, and dreams are aligned with us before we kick off 2024 with a bang," Cadwell says.
You can expect some challenges to arise during a retrograde period, but ultimately, these cycles will give you a new perspective to rethink responsibilities and redirect your goals.