What it means and how it can affect your sign
Mercury is officially retrograde. You may have heard people lament the astrological phenomenon and attribute their various afflictions to the movement of the planet. But what does it mean that Mercury is “retrograde,” and how does this particular planet disrupt our everyday lives?
“If we didn’t have Mercury retrograde, who would blame people for their disorganization,” jokes astrologer Wade Caves.
Here’s what else Caves shared about the mystical properties of Mercury retrograde and which areas of your life could have the biggest impact.
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Retrograde Mercury data for 2023
Mercury recedes more frequently than other planets, typically two to three times a year, Caves says.
For 2023, Mercury will be retrograde:
- From April 21st to May 14th
- From August 23rd to September 14th
- From December 13 to January 1, 2024
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When does Mercury retrograde end?
The current Mercury retrograde ends on May 14th.
What is retrograde mercury?
For planets in our orbit like Mercury and Venus – although they appear to be flying in the same direction as the other planets most of the time – they sometimes create an optical illusion.
As they orbit again and get between the Earth and the Sun, part of the time it appears as if they’re traveling backwards, Caves explains. This is when they are “retrograde”.
Of course, if you zoomed out, you would never see a planet move backwards, Caves says. But at the point where we’re closest to Mercury (since it’s moving faster than Earth), the planet appears to be moving backwards.
Although an illusion, Mercury retrograde carries a lot of weight in astrology.
“It’s a metaphysical principle that the way things appear convey meaning,” explains Caves, “it’s a subjective reality.”
More on Mercury retrograde:Mercury isn’t the only planet in retrograde. Each planetary “step back” and what it means.
What does declining mercury mean?
In astrology, Mercury retrograde symbolizes movement against the current, says Caves. “On a global, everyday level, when everything is sort of evenly distributed, you’re going to feel a little bit more institutional chaos than normal,” he explains.
People might experience delays, hesitations, failures, or exhaustion of energy, he adds.
Because retrograde is when Earth is closest to another planet, it also represents a time when we can’t think or plan big, Caves claims. Instead, you might sometimes be dragged down to harsh practical realities.
How is Mercury retrograde affecting you?
Mercury retrograde has a direct impact on information transmission, says Caves. “It has a direct connection to networks, communication networks, mail,” he checks off.
It can be difficult to get things done during this time. “Because things are moving backwards, very often there is also a symbolism for things coming back to us,” explains Caves. He uses the metaphor of trying to swallow something and feeling it immediately go back down your throat.
“Mercury retrograde isn’t the one that caused it,” he warns — if you find something in your life has ramped back up, it’s probably because it wasn’t sorted in the first place and the universe was always meant to be. that you pay the bill.
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What is Mercury retrograde good for?
By revisiting problems from the past, Mercury retrograde could force you to slow down and be more intentional, says Caves.
What not to do during Mercury retrograde?
Don’t make big changes, Caves warns — retrograde is the meditation period, not the action period.
“Avoid making new deals or closing deals,” he warns, “it’s good for revision, it’s not good for execution.”
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What signs are affected by declining mercury?
“Not every step backwards affects everyone,” explains Caves. It depends on the retrograde and your natal chart. In every bearish mercury, there are some unrelated signs, he says.
However, the Mercury signs Virgo and Gemini will always be affected. And that particular Mercury retrograde running April 21st through May 14th, Taurus will be particularly affected, as will the other fixed signs: Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius.
How was the eclipse connected?
The eclipse, which took place between April 19 and 20, is not associated with Mercury retrograde, despite its proximity.
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What is the retrograde shadow period of mercury?
The retrograde illusion shows the planet moving forward, then moving backward, then moving forward again. Anything within this zigzag period is called the “Mercury retrograde shadow period,” Caves says. Some believe that you will experience retrograde ripple effects during the shadow period.