Our first Mercury retrograde in 2022 comes to us quickly in January, and travels through both Aquarius and Capricorn. What can we expect?
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The Basics - What is Mercury retrograde?
A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Mercury turns retrograde most often, about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
With Mercury retrograde, we experience a shadow and a storm. The shadow period starts when Mercury first hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn direct at, and ends when it last hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn retrograde at.
Most people don't feel the effects of Mercury retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, less than 40 minutes per day. Mercury is a fast-moving planet and hates it when it's moving slowly. There's usually two storm periods, one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one around when it turns direct
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius & Capricorn 2022 Key Dates:
Mercury Retrograde Effects:
The first Mercury retrograde for 2022 hits us fast, and it starts in air sign Aquarius. This is the last for a few years in Aquarius, so we may be wrapping up some of the challenges with Aquarius we've had in the last few years. Issues and blocks related to your dreams for your future, your ability to be true to yourself, your ability to connect with like-minded people, or to step outside of your comfort zone can get one last push now.
We can feel more rebellious, restless, impatient, and impulsive, and this can lead to rash, hasty decisions and actions that get us in trouble, so we do need to be smarter and think things through. Must have a plan!
Aquarius does like us to do things differently, so it can be a good time to think about the different ways you can go about the routine and mundane. It may be helpful to try the small stuff first.
This can also be good for reconnecting with friends, old groups you used to belong to, or pick back up old causes you used to be passionate about in healthy, positive ways.
Mercury goes back into Capricorn on January 25th, and we may have extra responsibilities to manage, more restrictions and limitations to work through, and we may question our goals and direction. Aquarius might have us questioning our future, and Capricorn makes us question the path we're on. So this likely isn't a great time for confidence in where we're going in life!
But we usually have to avoid making any major changes now with that, unless it's something we've already been planning for a while. Jumping at changing what we're working on may prove problematic later.
This can be a good time to reconnect with old bosses, mentors, and authority figures, though it may bring out issues with existing bosses, mentors, and authority figures. We may have less patience for everything weighing on us and all of the pressure by others, and need to find some space without being irresponsible.
Uranus Direct + Mercury Retrograde:
Uranus ends its retrograde 4 days after the Mercury retrograde begins. It may feel like we're being pulled in different directions, some things are going forward while others are moving back, and this can be a bit difficult to deal with. Much may just feel like it's on hold, we're at a standstill, and we just don't know what to do.
They also both square one another with both happening at 10 degrees (Aquarius for Mercury, Taurus for Uranus), so our focus may be scattered, difficult to control, and we likely crave change and want things to be different, but it may not be the best time for hasty actions.
It could potentially be good for getting out of a rut you've been stuck in for a while, but maybe only if you've already given a lot of thought as to how to get out of it! You're more likely to feel this personally if you have any planets or bodies at 8-12 degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius & Capricorn 2022 Aspects:
During the retrograde, Mercury will only make 2 major aspects to the other transit (moving) planets. They are:
- Conjunct the Sun on January 23rd 2022 @ 3 degrees Aquarius: This is the Inferior Conjunction, a positive point in the retrograde for starting something that can be a focus for the next 6-8 weeks; find where it falls in your chart, and that may be where you can start something.
- Conjunct Pluto on January 28th 2022 @ 26 degrees Capricorn: This kicks up the passionate, intense energy of Pluto, and the retrograde ends conjunct Pluto; Venus retrograde also started December 19th 2021 conjunct Pluto, so it's interesting how this ties in; we may potentially see related developments in mid-December and late-January/early February because of this; it's great energy for research and getting to the heart of matters and transforming, but it's intense so it definitely needs a healthy positive outlet.
The Moons of Mercury Retrograde:
The Moon travels through both signs Mercury naturally rules as well as Capricorn during this retrograde (not Aquarius while Mercury is in Aquarius though). The retrograde starts with the Moon already in Gemini (ruled by Mercury) as of January 12th (10:08PM ET/7:08PM PT) until January 15th (11:11AM ET/8:11AM PT), which can increase scattered, unfocused energy and a need for a mental outlet.
The Moon is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury) January 20th (9:03AM ET/6:03AM PT) to January 22nd (5:03PM ET/2:03PM PT), which can increase anxiousness and stress, and we need to take better care of ourselves.
The Moon is in the same sign as the retrograde in Capricorn on January 29th (4:09AM ET/1:09AM PT) to January 31st :4:42AM ET/1:42AM PT). This can bring a lot more emotional focus to the retrograde, and may especially amplify the conjunction to Pluto
This retrograde will be at the anaretic degree when it goes back to Capricorn, January 25th - 26th, so it's short but can be strong. The anaretic degree is crisis energy in transit, so this may trigger some important events and developments, and energy may run high. With Capricorn, this may focus on your goals, governments, or corporations, involve responsibilities or authority figures, and we may feel generally more overwhelmed and restricted. Likely need some space!
The retrograde starts at 10 degrees Aquarius, so those of you Aquarius born January 27th to February 1st may feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 24 degrees Capricorn, so those of you Capricorn born January 12th to 17th may feel the end of the retrograde most.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mercury will be retrograding in your own natal chart, and any aspects Mercury will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others. If it's in your natal chart, check out this article about Mercury retrograde in the natal chart.
Suggested Reading: The Mercury, Venus, & Mars Retrogrades page for interpretations