We’re not even three weeks into 2022, and we’re already staring down a Mercury retrograde. This celestial event is infamous for its less-than-stellar effects on our lives, specifically when it comes to communication and technology.
Even those unfamiliar with astrology have likely heard this term before. But retrogrades aren’t exclusive to Mercury. Every planet in our solar system has “direct” and “retrograde” periods.
So, what, exactly, is a Mercury retrograde, and why does it affect us so deeply? Moreover, how will it affect your sign specifically?
What Makes Mercury Retrograde So Infamous?
When direct, planets move west to east across the sky. In retrograde, these planets appear to be moving backward–east to west. However, the keyword here is “appear.”
Planets don’t physically reverse orbits. Rather, it’s an illusion. This occurs when a faster-moving planet catches up and passes another planet’s orbit.
Every planet influences different elements of our lives. When that planet goes retrograde, those aspects can go haywire. Inner planets, like Mercury, control personal aspects of our lives. Namely, Mercury rules communication, expression, intellect, and travel.
Mercury is our innermost planet. So, we feel its retrograde effects the most. Mishaps, accidents, mistakes, and miscommunications are more likely to occur when Mercury is in retrograde.
This retrograde will affect each sign differently. Generally, it all depends on where your sign is in relation to Mercury. So, how will your sign fare?
March 20 – April 19
Eris and Chiron remain under your sign during the first Mercury retrograde of 2022. Chiron is making you feel extra vulnerable. Meanwhile, Eris is encouraging you to rebel. Bucking against emotional vulnerability—sound familiar to you, Aries?
During this period, try not to let your emotions color your reality. Past wounds make you more susceptible to misreading others’ intentions. You might feel inclined to push people away based on these assumptions. But you know what happens when you assume.
April 19 – May 20
Your ruling planet, Venus, has been in retrograde since mid-December. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exempt you from Mercury’s effects. In fact, you’ll be feeling both retrogrades tenfold because of their proximity to each other.
The Venus retrograde affects our relationships, self-esteem, and money. Mercury affects our communication and travel. See how these two can relate? Avoid making any major changes to your relationship, physical appearance, or finances until Mercury goes direct.
May 20 – June 21
Mercury is your ruling planet, so you’ll likely feel its effects more intensely. This month’s retrograde occurs under Aquarius, a fellow air sign. However, Aquarius is fixed. You’re mutable. Thus, you might face feelings of stagnancy or alienation.
You might be feeling the urge to connect to a new friend or partner. Or, maybe you’re anxious to move forward in your career. But be careful not to let your desires cloud your judgment, Gemini. Just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s better.
June 21 – July 22
An almost-full Moon opposes Mercury a few days after it goes retrograde. The Moon is your ruling body. It also controls our inner, emotional selves. When two bodies are in opposition, it can signify struggle. Conversely, it can be an opportunity for you to find balance.
In addition to our emotions, the Moon controls our intuition. At the Moon’s fullest, our intuition is the strongest. Use this to your advantage. By trusting your inner voice, you can better sidestep the mishaps that Mercury retrograde brings.
July 22 – August 22
Buckle up, Leo. This month’s retrograde takes place in your ruling fifth House of Pleasure. The fifth House controls romance, sex, energy, and creativity. Under the influence of a Mercury retrograde, you might find trouble in these “fun” aspects of your life.
It will be difficult to separate these struggles from your ego. Nearby Saturn will only add to the burden, reminding you that all the best things in life require some challenge. The retrograde might tempt you to lose hope, but keep pushing forward. This won’t last forever.
August 22 – September 22
Like Gemini, you’re ruled by Mercury. So, when this small planet goes retrograde, you feel its effects more acutely. On top of that, this retrograde occurs under a fixed air sign. Since Virgo is a mutable earth sign, this is a recipe for inner turmoil.
Aquarius’s esoteric influence directly challenges your practical, detail-oriented self. As uncomfortable as it might seem at first, try to entertain new ideas, routines, or experiences. If you close yourself off during Mercury’s retrograde, you risk staying shut for the rest of the year.
September 22 – October 23
Venus has been rocking your boat since mid-December. You’ve been feeling an urge to wander and rebel–whether in love, work, or self. Meanwhile, the dwarf planet Makemake is under your sign, pushing you toward activism and progress.
Once Mercury goes retrograde, watching your step will be crucial. There’s nothing wrong with satisfying inner restlessness. But make sure that you aren’t hurting yourself in the process. Try to avoid making any major personal, appearance-related, or financial commitments.
October 23 – November 22
Mercury’s path makes a direct beeline for your ruling planet, Pluto. Your faraway planet is also riding the line between the fourth House of Family and fifth House of Pleasure. So, you’ll likely feel Mercury’s effects in these aspects of your life.
The potential for misunderstandings among loved ones is high during this time. To avoid this, make sure you speak clearly and directly. Now’s not the time for passive aggression or sulking, Scorpio.
November 22 – December 21
Lucky for you, Sag, you’ll miss the worst of Mercury’s wrath. Your ruling planet, Jupiter, flies just outside of the action this month. But don’t get too cocky just yet. No one is ever truly immune from a Mercury retrograde.
Therefore, it’s best to approach this period in the generic sense. Remember that these events can cause communication breakdowns and issues with travel and technology. Hunker down as best you can until early February when Mercury returns direct.
December 21 – January 20
There’s a lot going on in your celestial neck of the woods. Venus has been retrograde since December, and Mercury is about to go retrograde right next door in your fifth House of Pleasure. Oh, yeah—and it’s in conjunction with your ruling planet, Saturn.
Consequently, you might face problems in your love life, family, or self-esteem. Rest assured that Saturn, the planet of challenge and discipline, isn’t here to torture you. Instead, it’s here to teach you. Consider these hardships as lessons, not bad luck.
January 20 – February 18
Mercury goes retrograde under your sign this month. The tiny planet rules mutable signs, but you’re fixed. So, this period will likely challenge your idea of “normal.” Of course, your normal is decidedly abnormal—going against the grain is your go-to.
You have a natural inclination to explore, challenge, and revolutionize. Still, that progress requires stability and challenge. During this retrograde especially, avoid bucking against routine out of boredom. You’ll be glad you stayed on course in the end.
February 18 – March 20
Just like Sag, you’ve managed to escape the worst of this Mercury retrograde. Rather than focus on Mercury, concentrate on Neptune and Jupiter, both under your sign. Jupiter rules optimism, good luck, and expansion. Neptune rules spiritual healing and intuition.
But be warned, Pisces. Neptune can also pull the wool over our eyes, making us prone to escapism and fantasy. Add a Mercury retrograde to the mix, and it’ll be more important than ever to keep your reality and imagination separate.