How to survive Mercury retrograde

by | May 10, 2022 | Astrology | 0 comments

Uh oh, it’s that time again: Mercury is going retrograde! Now,  before you cancel all of your appointments and let your inner Hermes  become a hermit, it’s worth knowing that Mercury retrograde isn’t always  that big of a deal. Mercury retrograde often gets a lot of hype in  popular media, and not always rightly so. It’s referred to as a time of  miscommunication, delays and technological breakdown – which are all  true. But where Mercury retrograde is often seen as a massively  disruptive event, it’s not always as troublesome as you may think. So  it’s about time to quit the fear mongering and learn what to actually  expect when Mercury is retrograde.

What is Mercury retrograde?

Mercury retrograde is an astrological phenomenom that happens when  the planet Mercury appears to reverse its orbit and move backwards. The  word “appears” is crucial here, because Mercury isn’t actually moving  backwards. The retrograde motion of the planet is in fact an optical  illusion caused when Mercury briefly overtakes Earth in its orbit around  the Sun. Instead of moving from East to West, it looks as if Mercury  slows down and starts moving from West to East. You can compare this to  the experience of driving a fast car and passing a slower one. The  slower car appears to stop and reverse in motion, even though it’s still  going in the same direction at a relatively high speed. The same thing  happens when a planet goes retrograde. After the Earth passes Mercury in  its orbit, the planet’s motion appears to resume its normal motion  again, which we call “direct motion” (as opposed to retrograde). This  whole cycle from start to finish lasts about 21 days, so we typically  get Mercury retrograde for three weeks at a time. This retrograde  motion is part of all planetary cycles (except for the Sun and Moon), so  it isn’t necessarily a life changing event. In fact, out of all the  planetary retrogrades, the retrograde of Mercury is the most common as  it happens about three times a year. ⁣Chances are, you’ve started  ventures and relationships, bought electronics and signed important  documents during a Mercury retrograde cycle at some point in your life,  and you’ve lived to tell the tale. That being said, Mercury is only  retrograde 19% of the time. This means it’s more common to have Mercury  moving forward than retrograde, and it’s still something worth noting.  Especially around the days of the station retrograde and direct, you can  feel some distraction and challenges with communication. This is  because Mercury is at its slowest around those days, making Mercurial  things such as thinking, speaking, and writing more frustrating and  inconsistent. ⁣

What to expect from a Mercury retrograde transit

So what can we expect from a Mercury retrograde period and when  should we really be more careful doing Mercurial things? While the  actual retrograde period of Mercury lasts only three weeks or so, there  are also two or three weeks before and after the retrograde that are  worth paying attention to. During these two “shadow” periods, Mercury is  passing the same zodiacal degrees of the retrograde period, but in  direct motion. The shadow period before a Mercury retrograde can  therefore often clue you into what to expect and where to focus during  the retrograde. Conversely, the post-retrograde shadow period can help  you review and resolve some of the things that came up during the  retrograde time.

Some of the things that might happen during a Mercury retrograde are:

  • Misunderstanding and miscommunications
  • Traffic delays or cancellations
  • Delivery issues
  • Sending texts or e-mails to the wrong person
  • Technological devices breaking down or malfunctioning (on the day that I wrote this, my hand blender just stopped working!)
  • Old friends or lovers showing up in your DMs

During a Mercury retrograde period, it’s wise to proceed with some  caution in the areas that Mercury rules, both generally and in your  chart (look to the Gemini and Virgo houses in your birth chart!). At the  same time, a Mercury retrograde transit can also be a perfect time to  revisit somthing you’ve been neglecting, or to check in with something  to see if it’s still worth your time. It’s often a good time to say  goodbye to things or people that no longer fit in your life.

In every Mercury retrograde cycle, there is also an auspicious moment  where the Sun and Mercury form an exact conjunction. This exact  conjunction is called Cazimi and comes from the Arabic term for “in the  heart of the Sun”. This condition is considered to be highly favourable  for Mercury (or any other visible planet that forms this exact  conjunction with the Sun) and usually gives the planet great power,  strength and dignity. It’s worth keeping an eye on the dates of the  cazimi as they provide a lot of opportunities to share or announce  something important.

When is a Mercury retrograde cycle going to be more impactful?

Not every Mercury retrograde is going to have a major impact on your  life – luckily! We wouldn’t get anything done otherwise! So how do you  figure out whether a current or upcoming Mercury retrograde cycle is a  big deal for you personally?

In general, Mercury retrograde is going to impact the people with  Gemini or Virgo rising the most, given that Mercury is their ruling  planet. If your ruling planet is retrograde, you might experience a more  internal or introspective manifestation of Mercurial things. You may  feel a stronger need to retreat, rethink and relax, not exert too much  physical energy and spend more time meditating or journalling on your  thoughts and feelings. Virgo risings might also notice some changes in  their career or public life, wanting to step away from the spotlight and  review whether they’re still on the right track. Gemini risings may  find that family and the home life needs revisiting and require extra  focus.

If Mercury is your annual timelord too, it might be worth paying  special attention to the Mercury retrograde cycles that occur between  one birthday and the next. These transits will likely be very notable  and stand out throughout your profected year.

Lastly, if you have any important placements in the signs and degrees  that Mercury retrogrades in, you’re probably going to feel the impact  as well. The stations retrograde and direct are particularly sensitive  points, also by hard aspect to other placements in your chart. For  example, the May 2022 retrograde stations direct in early June right on  my descendant, so that’s definitely something worth noting for me.

Upcoming Mercury retrograde dates and degrees

If you want to look ahead to see when and where the next Mercury  retrograde cycles are taking place, here are the days to look out for in  2022, 2023 and 2024:


  • Retrograde on January 14 at 10° Aquarius, direct on February 4 at 24° Capricorn, cazimi on January 23 at 3° Aquarius
  • Retrograde on May 10 at 4° Gemini, direct on June 2 at 26° Taurus, cazimi on May 21 at 0° Gemini
  • Retrograde on September 10 at 8° Libra, direct on October 2 at 24° Virgo, cazimi on September 22 at 0° Libra
  • Retrograde on December 29, 2022 at 24° Capricorn, direct on January 18, 2023 at 8° Capricorn, cazimi on January 7 at 16° Capricorn


  • Retrograde on April 21 at 15° Taurus, direct on May 15 at 5° Taurus, cazimi on May 2 at 11° Taurus
  • Retrograde on August 23 at 21° Virgo, direct on September 15 at 8° Virgo, cazimi on September 6 at 13° Virgo
  • Retrograde on December 13 at 8° Capricorn, direct on January 2, 2024 at 22° Sagittarius, cazimi on December 23 at 0° Capricorn


  • Retrograde on April 2 at 27° Aries, direct on April 25 at 15° Aries, cazimi on April 12 at 22° Aries
  • Retrograde on August 5 at 4° Virgo, direct on August 28 at 21° Leo, cazimi on August 19 at 26° Leo
  • Retrograde on November 26 at 22° Sagittarius, direct on December 15 at 6° Sagittarius, cazimi on December 6 at 14° Sagittarius

Want to know how Mercury retrograde is going to impact you? Book a consultation with me!

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Hi, I´m Britt!

I am a down-to-earth astrologer and embodiment coach, here to offer you guidance on your path of self discovery and healing. My work blends traditional astrology  techniques with insights from modern psychology, mindfulness, and parts work to help you cultivate grounding, self-compassion, and a sense of belonging to this earth.



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