Mercury retrograde normally only occurs three times per calendar year. However, for 2022, this year will see four retrogrades.
The first three periods -- January 14 to February 3, May 10 to June 3 and from September 9 to October 2 -- carry the energy of the changeover of the retrograde cycle from the signs belonging to the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) to the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn). All three retrograde periods will start in an Air sign and end in an Earth sign. "There is a recurrent theme of taking the thoughts, ideas and intentions brought to you by the Air signs and turning them into something real, solid and substantial, which is what the Earth signs are focused on," Yana Yanovich, Nebula‘s Western astrologer, tells us.
The fourth Mercury retrograde will take place from December 28, 2022 to January 18th, 2023. This particular event marks the full transition of the retrograde cycle into the grounded, practical and realistic approach the signs of this element display.
Below, Yanovich shares how the cosmic event will affect your zodiac sign and how you can prepare for it.
While you're here, read our beginner's guide to astrology.
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First Mercury Retrograde (January 14 to February 3 – Aquarius)
On January 14, Mercury began moving forward in Aquarius and will turn back into direct motion in Capricorn on February 3. During the first period, the ideas are big, innovative and socially oriented in accordance with the Aquarius energy. Turning them into something real requires careful calculation, strategic thinking and self-discipline.
The first period of Mercury retrograde will happen between 10 degrees of Aquarius and 24 degrees of Capricorn. The change of signs during the retrograde motion means that twice the amount of signs will be affected. However, it is extremely important to pay attention to the degrees here because one and the same sign will be affected differently, depending on whether it is the beginning or the end of the sign. This is the tricky part of the three retrograde periods this coming year.
Be really careful reading the following recommendations, as it is important to pay attention to whether the beginning of the end of each sign is mentioned. Mercury changes signs during its movement, so it is important to follow this division.
Born at the end of Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo, and at the beginning of Aquarius, Libra and Gemini
The influence on your chart will be the strongest as Mercury will be in direct contact with your chart. The big ideas and making them into reality on a larger social scale are applicable to you, provided you’re careful in your communication.
Born at the end of Cancer, Aries, Libra and at the beginning of Taurus, Leo and Scorpio
This first retrograde period brings more challenges than positive things, and it is better to steer clear of large and important projects for the risk of having unnecessary mishaps and delays.
Born at the end of Scorpio and Pisces, and at the beginning of Aries and Sagittarius
You will feel the urge to get involved in some social activities. However, it will require effort to actually make something happen the way you want it to happen. As a result, there is a chance of being disappointed and, thus, it is a good idea to curb your expectations.
The rest of the signs will not be affected during the first period. Always remember to look at your entire chart because there might be important personal planets placed in those sections of the zodiac and not just your Natal sun.
Second Mercury Retrograde (May 10 to June 3 – Gemini)
During the second period on May 10, Mercury retrograde will also start in an Air sign, Gemini, and end in Taurus, an Earth sign, on June 3. The ideas and thoughts are more personal this time -- something on a smaller scale and from your immediate environment could use your attention. This can be something done for the sake of or with help of close family and friends, maybe even your neighbors. The second retrograde period will happen 26 degrees of Taurus and four degrees of Gemini.
Third Mercury Retrograde (September 9 to October 2 – Libra)
The third retrograde period is happening from September 9 to October 2. Again, it crosses into a neighboring sign, going from Libra back to Virgo and connecting the elements of Air and Earth. Thus, the energy of this period is to implement the ideas of cooperation and a fair-minded approach (Libra) in order to get tangible, practical results (Virgo). Remember, Virgo is operating on a small scale and is focused on something really practical and useful -- something that helps your daily life, personal or professional, to function smoothly. This especially concerns communication, which is always tricky when Mercury is moving backward. The third retrograde period will happen 24 degrees of Virgo and eight degrees of Libra.
Fourth Mercury Retrograde (December 28, 2022 to January 18, 2023 – Capricorn)
The last Mercury retrograde period starts on December 29 of this year and will most likely carry over to 2023. Unlike the previous three retrograde periods of the year, this one is entirely in the Earth sign of Capricorn. This marks the full transition of the retrograde cycle into the grounded, practical and realistic approach the signs of this element display.
The focus is going to be on mastery and achievement, as well as discipline and organization, which are all of Capricorn's main traits. It will be a good time to carefully reflect on your life to see if there are actions or people who prevent you from achieving greater results or heights. If you don’t do it yourself, the circumstances or events of this current retrograde period might force you to face the necessity to do it.
Yana Yanovich is the top Western astrologer of Nebula: Horoscope & Astrology -- a global multifunctional platform for astrology lovers created to inspire people to find their way to happiness -- with more than 20 years of astrological practice.