2022 closes out and 2023 begins with not only Mars retrograde, but also Mercury retrograde! This one comes fully in earth sign Capricorn, and the 2023 Mercury retrogrades will be in the earth signs. What will this retrograde do for us?
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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 Capricorn 2022-23 Key Dates:
Mercury Retrograde Effects:
The Mercury retrograde in Capricorn first and foremost tackles our goals. We may question our goals, feel insecure about what we want or how we'll get there, and this can cause delays and unexpected issues.
Others may cause this, voicing concern about what we want, and this leads us to doubt ourselves. We need to be honest about our motivations, whether this is really good for us or not, and whether or not the person has an ulterior motive.
Capricorn rules our direction, so Mercury retrograde in Capricorn can make us uncertain of the direction we're going in as well. We may feel like the path we're on isn't right, but this may just be insecurity.
We need to work on being grounded with our focus, and not make any quick, sharp changes. Do your homework before actually changing your track.
Capricorn is the Zenith of the Zodiac, the highest sign, so Mercury retrograde in Capricorn can bring some downfalls from a high place (sometimes literally lol). We may see some prominent figures engulfed in scandal, and our elders can have more issues (there's likely going to be a prominent older person who passes).
Capricorn is also the sign of responsibility, and is ruled by restrictive Saturn, so Mercury retrograde in Capricorn can make us feel the weight of our responsibilities more, and we may have to work within the limitations we have. Find some small amounts of space to get a break where you can.
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is excellent for picking back up old goals and giving them a second chance. This could be a great time for success with those old goals you didn't think you'd get again.
This retrograde ia also great for reconnecting with mentors, parents, or bosses, basically any authority figures, and you can glean more from them or from your relationship with them.
Mars is also retrograde for most of this Mercury retrograde, and in the sign of Gemini, which Mercury naturally rules. This unfortunately makes communication much worse since Mercury and Gemini rule communication, and it can be a very challenging time for anything ruled by Mercury/Gemini (young people, short travel, electricity, tech, education, etc.)
There can be some unexpected news with Mars and Mercury retrograde overlapping. Bad news? Hard to say!
The retrograde begins with Mercury conjunct (aligned with) Pluto in Capricorn, though it doesn't go exact. Pluto is powerful, unrelenting, and transformative, so we can go into the Mercury retrograde in Capricorn with dominating energy, wanting to take control and exert power and authority.
This may not work out so well though, and there can be some consequences as a result of that with Capricorn. But it may seem like something gets torn down, Pluto-style, and built back up again.
The retrograde ends at 8 degrees Capricorn, and a few days before on January 12th, Mars retrograde also ends at 8 degrees, but in Gemini, and 8 degrees has been a hot spot (Jupiter retrograde started in July at 8 degrees Aries and Mercury retrograde last started in September at 8 degrees Libra).
This means if you have anything at 8 degrees in your natal chart, the planet or body is getting enormous focus, and has been since July. It may seem to ramp up in January with the retrogrades ending at that position, so focus on how you can use the energy of that planet or body in a positive, healthy, productive way.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn 2022-23 Aspects:
During the retrograde, Mercury will make 4 major aspects to the other transit (moving) planets. They are:
The Moons of Mercury Retrograde:
The Moon travels through both signs Mercury naturally rules during this retrograde. The Moon is in Gemini (ruled by Mercury) January 2nd 2023 (9:44PM ET/6:44PM PT) to 5th (9:15AM ET/6:15AM PT), which can increase scattered, unfocused energy and a need for a mental outlet.
The Moon is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury) January 10th 2023 (10:16AM ET/7:16AM PT) to 12th (9:57PM ET/6:57PM PT), and this increases anxiety and stress.
The Moon doesn't tour Capricorn while Mercury is retrograde in Capricorn (thankfully!), but does enter Capricorn the day after the retrograde ends, which can keep our attention focused on whatever passed during the retrograde.
This retrograde will be at the anaretic degree when it goes back to Virgo, September 23rd to 24th. The anaretic degree is crisis energy in transit, so this may trigger some important events and developments, and energy may run high. With Virgo, we're extra overwhelmed, axious, and need to give ourselves a break. There may also be health issues.
The retrograde starts at 24 degrees Capricorn, so those of you Capricorns born January 12th - 17th may feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 8 degrees Capricorn, so those of you Capricorns born December 27th - January 2nd 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