Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

It’s that time again! Mercury Retrograde 
by Sasha Boyle

Mercury retrograde season is almost upon us and it is time to brush up on ‘re’ words: review, revisit, reconsider, reread, reimagine, re-envision, redo, to name a few. The 3 week retrograde known for disrupting travel, communication and technology’s cycle can actually be viewed as a 7 week experience if you include the retroshade period. 

What is this retroshade, you say? 

The Mercury shadow period (retroshade) takes place two weeks before and two weeks after the actual retrograde, so if you’re feeling tech glitches and communication barriers leading up to, and after Mercury retrograde, this is totally normal. Whatever complicates life August 21-September 10 is a heads up for what you should be focusing on correcting during the retrograde period (September 10 – October 2). And then, you’ll have a chance to revise your revisions October 2- 17. You can read more about retroshades

Stepping back to gain a panoramic view of the current astrological landscape, the grand conjunction of December 21, 2020 began ‘The Great Mutation Cycle’ that expanded us into AIR territory and began a transformational story in human knowledge and consciousness. Quoting Tiffany in her December 2020 WS forecast “For sure this will be a December to remember. This is one of the most astrologically potent months of the year because of the shift from the Earth Kingdom to the Air Kingdom for a new 200-year cycle on Solstice.”


And it is true, we are in a new era whose very core is completely, elementally different from what we have known; but one that makes space for individuals to fully express their unique gifts, talents and abilities with fierce authenticity. This sometimes happens through a happy serendipitous upleveling, and sometimes through hard lessons of doors closing to what is NOT the right choice for you.


Every planet is helping us transition as best it can through this major turning point. For example, in this new air triplicity, legit teachers with real knowledge will eventually step into their roles [Jupiter]. Businesses transform to selectively look for personnel who specifically fit their job descriptions while greater volumes of people are connecting with meaningful work aligned to their mastery [Saturn]. And when we zoom into the cycle of mutable MERCURY, the planet that mythically is the messenger of the gods, carrying information back and forth between the worlds, perhaps we can harness an ability to collect, process and distribute experiences that will play a key role for us in this new land through the Mercury Retrograde cycle.

Working with the problem solver Mercury in its retrograde cycle can help you assimilate these fantastic elemental changes, even if just a little.  

The Mercury retrogrades of 2021, after the 2020 shift to air triplicity, were all in air signs (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra). Then, the first three Mercury rx of 2022 begin what almost seems as a beautiful transition dance by beginning in the idea-stimulation air and ending in the material reality earth (Aquarius/Capricorn, Gemini/Taurus, Libra/Virgo). 2022 ends with Mercury fully retrograding in the earth sign Capricorn and will continue the pattern of fortifying in that very order of earth signs (Taurus, Virgo) through most of 2023 before moving onto lessons in fire. 


Because of the zodiacal placement of the next two Mercury retrogrades, we will have an opportunity to reorganize our communication in relationships and revise, revisit, and reconsider what feels out of integrity with our work/life balance. Who is wanting more for you? Who is wanting more from you? 

Come with me, for just a moment, to a space of metaphor. As if I stand before you palm extend blowing mercurial dust into your face so that you may see the magic of the unseen.

 When Mercury, the messenger of the planets, enters the shadowzone as illustrated in this article, it is worthwhile to chart in your own nativity where this is happening in your life and what symbolic archetypes are called forth. What is your timelord this year? Where is Virgo, Libra and Capricorn in your natal chart? 

When stationing retrograde, Mercury crosses the threshold from your conscious reality to your subconscious underworld, a bit like an altered state that is a liminal and ethereal experience. If forgein to you, the space of not knowing that comes with a retrograde, may cause confusion and anxiety. If Mercury retrograde is your happy place because you feel at home in the ethers however, new perspectives and possibilities abound. We slow down now to become more conscious in our movements and hopefully experience a new form of self-awareness. 

Halfway through every Mercury retrograde is the Cazimi! 

When the royal court messenger (Mercury) is embraced by the King (Sun) and is gifted with a sunburst of clarity and knowing specific to this journey, otherwise known as the exact moment of Mercury conjunct the Sun.  A time of auspiciousness and immense power, Mercury may be given a message on how you can better activate your Sun and shine your light in this world.  Your inner Mercury will need time and space by way of the second half of the retrograde to process the information gained. Then hopefully pour that golden understanding into your own knowing through intuition and symbols.

If you are having a particularly frustrating retrograrade, consider asking Mercury to show you gently where your resistance is.

Fortify your nervous system as best you can this time by reducing the ‘doing’ in your life and rest in the ‘being’, just for a moment. Perhaps encourage the somewhat mischievous Mercury to play and be willing to laugh at yourself in your dreams. Patiently waiting for the lessons of a Mercury retrograde to become conscious is the work now, and a cherry on top will be showering this underworld return with gratitude. 

What are our remaining Mercury Retrogrades opportunities of 2022?


Mercury Retrograde in Libra + Virgo 2022 

Mercury rx in Libra then Virgo – September 9, 2022 – October 2, 2022

August 20 Mercury enters shadowzone at 24° Virgo

August 25 Mercury enters Libra

September 9 Mercury stations retrograde at 8° Libra 

September 23 Cazimi! Mercury conjoins the Sun at 0° Libra  and then regresses into Virgo

October 2 Mercury stations direct at 24° Virgo 

October 10 Mercury reenters Libra, but is still in shadowzone

October 17 Mercury leaves shadowzone at 8° Libra 

Normal Mercury retrograde issues apply at this time so go slow and double check all paperwork. It is natural at this time for things to feel disorienting with technology and travel. Trickery in delays and setbacks could be Mercurial blessings in disguise. Best proticol would be to schedule buffers in your calendar, pockets of down time for the unexpected. After all, magic may need a place to appear.

Mercury in Libra brings a beautiful instinct for negotiation and because you may be feeling unsure, it is good medicine to see both sides of an issue.

A subtle detachment from emotional biases that come through a Libra air mastery allows energies that support curiosity and ultimately locates existing balance. What do you need to re-envision, re-read or re-connect with while Mercury is retrograde in the sign of relationships? 

Mercury regressees into its favorite earth sign Virgo September 23 and will be there until October 10. This brings extra precision in the application of interpersonal insights. Remember: you have all the time in the world to create more efficiency in your lifestyle, and you are the perfect person to do it. 

The Challenges of this Cycle

– Unforeseen technology issues, get tech upgrades before August 21 (or after October 17).

– September 16: I hesitate using the word clusterf*, but on this date it seems prudent. Libra’s ruler Venus is in Virgo applying a hard aspect (square) to Mars in Gemini and because Mercury rules Gemini, Houston we may have a problem. Response times are slower as with all Mercury retrogrades but Mars is not handling it well and insists on being busy for the sake of being busy. Added to this days mix, the Moon is out of bounds and emotions running high. 

– Security issues and obstacles in resources, health, work, and finances will continue to inflamate anxiety. * Wise Skies is here for you! and our membership themes of September 2022 tackle potent astro-work for career resets, magnetizing money, and clarity of purpose.

The Advantages of this Retrograde Cycle

– September 22: This retrograde cycle coincides with the Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere, a primo time to watch your thoughts and speech to harness greater clarity of mind.

– September 23: Mercury Cazimi (inferior conjunction with the Sun) at 0º Libra. This is  an auspicious time to receive messages from the cosmos on your unique core essence and integrate this into your meaning making.

– Creative projects for fun are successful acting as the soothing ointment to your frazzled psyche, clear time to sit with your mighty inner Libra and allow the spacial intuition anoint you with splendor. 

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn 

Mercury rx in Capricorn – December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023

December 12 Mercury enters shadowzone at 8° Capricorn

December 29 Mercury stations retrograde at 24° Capricorn

January 7 2023 Cazimi! Mercury conjoins the Sun at 16° Capricorn

January 18 Mercury stations direct at 8° Capricorn

February 7 Mercury leaves shadowzone at 24° Capricorn

Mercury in the cardinal earth sign Capricorn is an opportunity to rethink your level of tenacity and hard work as it relates to your physical reality. Revisiting issues pertaining to job, and finances, as well as issues around feelings of self-worth. Tolerance of others is key, in Mercury retrograde in Capricorn.

The added aspects with Venus and Pluto in this cycle is sure to bring to top of mind and body a new understanding of the function of grieving. Acknowledging and processing disappointment is healing, be a buddy and let your loves freely share this reality. Forgiveness routinely practiced, particularly towards ourselves and our ancestors, is a forward moving building block.  

The Challenges of this Cycle

– Unforeseen technology issues, get tech upgrades before December 12 (or after February 7).

– Travel delays are a given, plan accordingly. 

– Mercury is co-present with Pluto in Capricorn for the entire retrograde, conjunct Pluto for a large majority of the cycle. This brings extreme intensity and darkness to the experience. This, too shall pass.

The Advantages of this Retrograde Cycle

December 21: Sun ingresses into Capricorn / Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. Note what illumination appears in this shadowzone period. 

– December 29: Mercury Conjunct Venus: Art! Dance! Song! Make art or make a craft it doesn’t matter – this is a beautiful space to be making, and there are no adverse side effects 🙂

Jan 7 2023:  Mercury Cazimi (inferior conjunction with the Sun) at 16º Capricorn. This is  an auspicious time for communicating and writing. Assert yourself with clarity.

Sasha Boyle

Astrologer Sasha Boyle facilitates creativity focusing retreats using the power and momentum of Mercury retrogrades in her annual Creativity eShrams. She is a contributing Author to The Creativity Workbook for Coaches and Creatives and Transformational Journaling for Coaches, Therapists, and Clients. You can join Sasha’s mailing list and read her work at here.

Tiffany Harelik