How To Survive Every Mercury Retrograde In 2023

By now, you've probably heard of all the ways Mercury retrograde can wreak havoc on your life. Mercury retrograde has been observed for as long as people have been tracking the stars, though it wasn't until recently that social media turned Mercury retrograde into a cosmic punching bag to blame when things go wrong. And while it's true that life can get messy during Mercury retrograde, it becomes less worrisome when you know what you're dealing with. In fact, it's the most common planetary retrograde in astrology, experiencing retrograde motion between three and four times a year, per Horoscope. And yet, despite its regularity, Mercury retrograde still remains one of astrology's most nerve-wracking events.

When Mercury goes retrograde, it's a good time to watch what you say, double-check any important documentation, and approach the situations in your daily life with greater care and mindfulness. And it's not just the retrograde period you need to be worried about. According to astrologer Lisa Stardust, retrogrades in astrology also consist of a pre- and post-retrograde shadow, meaning the energetic shift brought on by this celestial backspin actually starts two to three weeks before and lasts for two to three weeks after Mercury retrograde ends. And while that might seem all too daunting to deal with, Mercury retrograde can also bring some blessings in disguise as well. So, grab your calendar and mark down these dates -– because this year, 2023, brings a total of four Mercury retrogrades that look to revise and refresh your life.

January 2023 – Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

The first Mercury retrograde of the year will be a blast from the past, and that's because it actually starts on December 13, 2022, when Mercury enters its pre–shadow period. Mercury will then station retrograde on December 29, 2022, and remain in retrograde motion for the first half of the month before stationing direct on January 18, 2023. However, just like there was a lead–up into things with the pre-shadow, there's a post-shadow period that will remain in effect until February 8, 2023 (via Astrology Zone).

When Mercury retrogrades in Capricorn, you can expect confusion and setbacks around the areas of life that Capricorn traditionally rules: like your career, ambitions, and public status, per Tarot. You might also experience setbacks or clashes with authority figures in your life, so be mindful of any behavior or sharp words that could damage others' perceptions of you. Capricorns are among the hardest workers of the zodiac and always strive for protection. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn could cause some serious hurdles for you as the universe challenges you to act with more maturity in the face of frustration. Astrologers say this is a good time to review and assess your professional ambitions and see where changes are needed. If you're not happy with how things are currently going, it might be time to switch things up when Mercury goes direct.

April 2023 – Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

There will be a few months of quiet and calm ahead of the second Mercury retrograde of the year. However, you can expect things to heat up again when Mercury makes another dramatic detour -– this time in the sign of Taurus. The pre-shadow period kicks off on April 7, 2023 -– before stationing retrograde from April 21 to May 14, 2023. And while it might look like you're in the clear just ahead of the summer, things aren't quite finished until the post-shadow period ends on June 1, 2023 (via Cafe Astrology).

When Mercury retrogrades in Taurus, there's a focus on all things related to your personal values, financial resources, and all areas of life that Taurus traditionally governs (via Chatelaine). It's common to find yourself faced with unexpected expenses or unforeseen financial issues to arise during this time. If you've been thinking about asking about the money you're owed or even considering asking for a raise, experts recommend waiting until after the post-shadow period has ended to ensure favorable results. You can also expect this event to create some low-stakes misunderstandings in your relationships, romantic or otherwise, so be careful with the words you choose during your disagreements during this time. It's not all bad news, of course, Mercury retrograde in Taurus will also give you time to rethink your hard boundaries and learn to be more flexible in uncertain situations. Astrologers say this is a good time to revisit your savings strategy and investments and even create a budget if you haven't already.

August 2023 – Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

If you were hoping to catch a break before the third Mercury retrograde of 2023, prepare yourself instead for more mayhem. On August 23, 2023 –- Mercury will station retrograde in the sign of Virgo and stay there until September 15, 2023. And although Mercury retrograde only lasts a few weeks, you should prepare to feel the effects of the pre-shadow period starting on August 4, 2023, as well as the lingering energy that comes with the post-shadow period, ending on September 30, 2023 (via Moon Tracks Astrology Calendars).

When Mercury retrogrades in Virgo, you can expect all the classic symptoms that come with Mercury retrograde, particularly problems with miscommunication, missed deadlines, unexpected delays, and general crankiness from everyone around you. And this will likely be the toughest Mercury retrograde of the year, thanks in part to the fact that Mercury is the planetary ruler of Virgo, which makes things messy. Not to mention this month, Mercury will form a conjunction with Mars -– the planet of sex, passion, and sensuality -– as well as an opposition to Neptune, the planet of dreams and disillusionment, adding an extra chaotic twist on top of the Venus retrograde in Leo happening at the same time (via Astro Seek). With all these planets facing off in a celestial showdown, it might be time to admit you have someone in your life that's taking advantage of you. Astrologers say this is a great time to ask yourself if you feel good about your close relationships and focus on building your self-confidence as an individual.

December 2023 – Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius

The last Mercury Retrograde of the year is sure to end things with a bang. Mercury will begin the pre–shadow period in Sagittarius on November 25, 2023, before stationing retrograde in the sign of Capricorn on December 13, 2023. Mercury will spend the rest of the holiday season causing a bit of trouble before stationing retrograde on January 1, 2024, in Sagittarius, per celebrity astrologer Kyle Thomas. And as always, you can expect the post-shadow period to drag things out until closer to the end of the month.

When Mercury retrogrades in Sagittarius and Capricorn together, you may find yourself turning down invites to go out, fighting about random drama with friends, issues with bookings and travel plans, as well as generally feeling less energetic and spontaneous than you usually do. Astrologers also say it's common for this transit to bring back some bad habits and indulgent behaviors to help you cope with the stress of real-world problems, per Sage Goddess. On the positive side, this Mercury retrograde is a good time to get back to the basics. With the New Year on the horizon and 2023 finally in the rear-view mirror, now is a good time to test the foundation of where you are right now, what you're feeling, and look ahead to where you want to go. So, if you're looking for permission to hide away from the world and figure out your next move, this would be the time to do it.