Even those who are not particularly interested in astrology have occasionally heard the expression “Mercury is in Retrograde.” Because of its widespread popularity, it has even given rise to a few honorary prank names among internet users who are not familiar with astrology, like “Mercury is in Gatorade” and “Mercury is in the Microwave.”
Mercury retrograde periods last for around three weeks each and happen three to four times a year. Every time, though, there are also a few weeks of pre-shadow and post-shadow, so everything can feel a little crazy for more than a month.
Mercury Retrograde 2024 Dates
December 13, 2023 – January 1, 2024
During the final Mercury Retrograde of 2023, which runs from December 13, 2023, to January 1, 2024, we will truly be ringing in the New Year. After beginning the retrograde in Capricorn, it reverses course and enters Sagittarius. Everyone may get restless during this period, but individuals with strong Capricorn and Sagitarrius placements may be particularly agitated.
You might experience a few weeks of detesting the way that work and business are structured, regardless of your personal placements. You might start to yearn for adventure and perhaps begin to plan a trip. This is a sensible time to do this. During the Christmas and New Year’s time, a lot of people take at least a few days off from work. Plan for unplanned delays in your holiday travel schedule.
April 1 – April 24, 2024
In 2024, the first complete Mercury retrograde occurs in the sign of Aries. This offers many people a quick tongue that could cause some misunderstandings, especially those with large Fire Sign placements. Be careful what you say during this time. Consider your words carefully, particularly when discussing a sensitive topic. When working with anything delicate, exercise caution.
You may be more likely to make rash judgments that you will come to regret during this Mercury Retrograde. It’s wise to consider your options and wait to act until you’re certain of what you want. Most astrologers would generally advise not making any significant decisions until after this time, particularly if your Fire Sign placements are notable.
August 4 – August 27, 2024
Disagreements are inevitable as Mercury retrogrades from critical and detail-oriented Virgo to attention-seeking Leo. Leo detests criticism in the extreme. Disagreements during this Mercury Retrograde will probably result from criticism that has been perceived. Even if what you say seems impartial to the other person, they will interpret it as criticism. Make an effort to comprehend and show empathy for how other people interpret what you say. Recall that impact counts more than purpose.
November 25 – December 15, 2024
In 2024, the final Mercury Retrograde period falls in the daring sign of Sagittarius. It occurs during the time when a lot of people are scheduling their vacation trip. Travel will be greatly impacted by this time. Be flexible when booking your trip schedule to account for unforeseen circumstances and delays. If your holiday plans need to be completely rearranged or the gift you purchased for someone turns out to be the wrong size, don’t be shocked. Making the best of whatever happens, even if it can be frustrating, is the goal. Fortunately, this specific Mercury Retrograde period will be excellent for brainstorming with former coworkers and relatives, making for lively discussion at Christmas get-togethers.
|Sign(s) of the Retrograde
|Who Will Be Most Affected
|How it May Show Up
|December 13, 2023 – January 1, 2024
|November 25 – December 13, 2023
|January 1 – January 20, 2024
|Capricorn & Sagittarius
|Capricorn & Sagittarius placements, people with holiday travel plans
|Job changes, feeling antsy (especially about work), disrupted holiday travel
|April 1 – April 24, 2024
|March 18 – April 1, 2024
|April 24 – May 13, 2024
|All strong Fire Sign placements who are prone to impulsiveness
|Impulsive decisions, disagreements stemming from speaking without thinking
|August 4 – August 27, 2024
|July 16 – August 4, 2024
|August 27 – September 11, 2024
|Virgo & Leo
|Virgo and Leo placements, anyone who has a hard time with receiving criticism
|Misunderstandings due to perceived criticism
|November 25 – December 15, 2024
|November 7 – November 25, 2024
|December 15, 2024 – January 2, 2025
|Strong Sagittarian placements, people trying to plan large events or complicated trips
|Disruption to travel plans
Why Do Retrogrades Happen in Astrology?
Astronomers and astrologers alike witness retrogrades. All of the planets in the zodiac can go into retrograde, though Mercury is the one that is discussed the most because it occurs so regularly. The North and South Nodes are actually virtually always in reverse.
A planet is said to appear to move backward when it is in retrograde. The planets and other celestial bodies in our solar system normally orbit the Sun counter-clockwise. They look to be moving in the sky from West to East as a result. A planet appears to travel from East to West when it is in retrograde. It isn’t really going backward, though.
In the case of Mercury, it appears to move in this manner either because the other planet is traveling faster and passes the Earth, or because the Earth is moving faster and passes the planet. Mercury therefore looks to be traveling backward for a little while whenever it “laps” the Earth. Because Mercury’s year lasts only 88 days, or slightly more than 1/4 of an Earth year, there are a lot more Mercury retrogrades than there are on other planets.
What Do Retrogrades Mean in Astrology?
Generally speaking, a planet going into retrograde indicates that its characteristics and function are lower than usual, revealing weaknesses in that area of life. Generally speaking, a retrograde is not the best moment to launch a new project centered around that planet’s attributes. But now is a good moment to take stock of how that planet manifests in your life, analyze the past, and make a game plan for the future. Retrogrades are generally seen negatively, yet as with all astrological natural processes and phases, there is always something to learn from them.
What Is Meant by Mercury Retrograde?
In astrology, Mercury is primarily associated with intellect and communication. It also governs adjacent fields including technology, language, transportation, and some facets of daily business. Learning may be interrupted and communications get muddled as it goes into retrograde. Particularly when it comes to communication, technology has a tendency to malfunction, which exacerbates the turmoil.
Mercury is retrograde, thus the lesson is to follow the current. It’s possible that your travel schedule may change suddenly, that you and a friend will disagree, or that your phone will break and prevent you from communicating. But if you become angry, all you’ll end up with is unnecessary frustration. You only need to solve your difficulties and go on with your day because you have no control over the outside world.
There are benefits to Mercury Retrograde. Have you ever had three ex-partners reach out to you at random in the same week? Most likely, Mercury was in retrograde. You might make new connections with folks from your past during this period. They may intentionally reach out to you or they may appear at random. It’s possible that you’ll locate misplaced items with ease. Reimagining things is also a terrific idea, whether they are tangible objects or time-tested concepts. The best time to assess your life and determine where you want to go and where you are now is during Mercury retrograde.
What Is the Meaning of Mercury Retrograde Shadow?
Many astrological occurrences have a shadow phase either before or after. Some contemporary astrologers refer to Mercury Retrograde periods as “Mercury Retroshade.” The shadow of Mercury Retrograde occurs two weeks prior to and two weeks subsequent to the real retrograde phase.
You might have noticed that things start to go crazy during the pre-shadow. At this point, chaos may break out. Since this is the point at when things start to change, some people experience the shadow more intensely than the event itself. The pre-shadow frequently sets the tone for the major themes that will be covered throughout the Mercury Retrograde phase. The threads that began during the pre-shadow and developed during the retrograde are frequently resolved and laid to rest during the post-shadow.
What to Avoid During Mercury Retrograde
Astrologers advise staying away from the following during a Mercury Retrograde period:
Signing new contracts
Buying new electronics
Purchasing a Home
Buying new things
Starting a new job
Having big emotional talks with friends, co-workers, and partners
But the truth is that because of the way the planets move, we can’t always control when these things happen in our life and it’s not always desirable or possible to prevent them. Being ready and adapting to the situation is the more practical and honest approach while conducting any of these activities during a Mercury Retrograde period. If you’re traveling, for instance, be sure to factor in extra wiggle room in your plan to accommodate for disruptions and delays. When making a purchase, carefully review the return policy. Purchasing anything during Mercury Retrograde frequently proves to be a mistake. Be especially compassionate and sympathetic if you and a loved one are at odds.
Who Does Mercury Retrograde Affect?
Gemini and Virgo are the two signs of the zodiac that Mercury rules. Therefore, you may be more affected by Mercury Retrograde if you have a strong Gemini or Virgo placement. Mercury retrograde, however, always occurs in a different sign. Mercury Retrograde in that particular sign may be felt more keenly by those with strong placements of it.
Depending on which house in your natal chart Mercury is in and the aspects it forms to your own natal planets, Mercury’s retrograde affects each person differently. For instance, you can experience a misunderstanding at work or a social media mistake if Mercury Retrograde is in your 10th House of profession and public image. In the event that Mercury Retrograde squares your natal Venus, a misunderstanding in a friendship or connection could arise.