As if the holiday season weren’t chaotic enough, it’s time for another Mercury retrograde. This one will occur between December 29th, 2022, and January 18th, 2023. Mercury retrogrades always bring their signature tricks and delays — but not every retrograde period is created equal. While we can expect the planet of communication to get up to its usual hijinks between late December and mid-January, this retrograde opens on a gentle note. Read on to learn more.
This Mercury retrograde begins next to Venus
Mercury stations retrograde at 1:32 am PT on December 29th. A few hours later, at 5:58 am PT, Mercury will conjoin Venus, the planet of love, connection, and beauty. While the usual disarray will be present, this transit is supported by a sense of generosity and goodwill. When Mercury and Venus join forces, it’s a love letter. It’s pillow talk. It’s a compliment you really mean that makes someone else’s day. With Mercury retrograde, the words may get blundered, or you may arrive late to that date or New Year’s party, but this vulnerable display of your humanness is actually kind of endearing.
The other piece of this retrograde: It’s occurring in the earth sign Capricorn, which is known for stability and steadfastness. It’s not that things can’t go awry in this sign, but there remains a semblance of order. A will to problem-solve. A map for putting the pieces back together.
Start the year slow
Now, this Mercury retrograde isn’t occurring in isolation. Mars has been retrograde in Gemini (a Mercury-ruled sign) since October 30th, 2022. So far, this has coincided with utter discord on certain social media platforms, as one of the major ones was taken over and stripped for parts just as Mars stationed retrograde. Since then, we’ve witnessed users cleverly subverting the system (setting up impersonator accounts to take down major companies), as well as an exodus of employees — due to hefty layoffs and resignations.
Mars’ retrograde ends on January 12th, about a week before Mercury’s retrograde ends on January 18th. It will take months for Mars to regain its speed and at least a few weeks for Mercury to recover its momentum. If possible, we would do well to follow this model. Don’t rush into the New Year with a daunting list of resolutions to pursue — your goals may be harder to sustain if you take on too much, too soon. With two planets retrograde at the start of the year, you can expect delays. You can expect mistakes. Do yourself the favor of greeting these slowdowns with compassion for yourself. That means: setting realistic goals with realistic timelines, which include room for rest, and despite your best efforts, redos. Mercury and Mars retrogrades remind us that we’re not robots. Our divine programming includes margins of error. And so it should.
Reflect on last year
You may or may not recall that 2022 also began with a Mercury retrograde: between January 14th and February 3rd, 2022. Part of this retrograde also took place in Capricorn, so you could notice echoes back to that time. Comb over old journals, calendars, emails, or text threads, and remind yourself what was on your mind then. Notice what’s coming back around for more understanding or healing, and affirm yourself for all that you’ve learned or resolved.
Even if you don’t notice throwbacks to the beginning of last year, this period at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 will be ripe for you to reflect on all the ways you’ve grown and matured over the past 12 months. That’s the best way to use Mercury retrogrades, especially ones that bridge two years, like this one. Acknowledging your lessons and accomplishments will set you up to feel satisfied, grateful, and resourced as you enter 2023.
Our Mercury retrograde survival guide
- Be extra thoughtful and patient when friction occurs. Is something worth saying out loud, or would scribbling it into your diary suffice?
- Remember to focus on long-term solutions as much as possible. Actions taken in the heat of the moment rarely support your future well-being.
- Pause, rest, and take deep breaths when in doubt (or frustration).
- Expect delays and schedule extra time for everything. When things do go smoothly, you’ll have extra wiggle room to relax and enjoy.
- Laugh at yourself when you make obvious mistakes. The point of this transit is to remember that you aren’t above learning its lessons.
- Embrace this time as a way to streamline your life and update your systems (both internal and external).
- Reflect, edit, organize, review, rethink, and notice what you naturally return to or remember during this time.
- Go to the “This Week” tab on the CHANI app homepage to find weekly resources on how to work with the lessons that Mercury retrograde is bringing you.
- Check out the “Transits” tab of the app to discover if Mercury will be impacting one of your natal chart placements. You can also read your free Current Sky horoscope for Mercury in Capricorn to learn how your specific sign will be impacted.
- Fear Mercury retrograde. It may be a pain, but remember that worrying is simply focusing on what you don’t want.
- Buy tickets or plan events during this time, if you can avoid it. If you can’t, plan on the fact that some changes will need to be made after the retrograde period is over. And maybe during it.
- Plan for big launches or major changes to the way you do things during this time, if you can help it — unless you plan to do them when Mercury is cazimi. (The cazimi will be potent from around 7 pm PT on January 6th to 3 pm PT on January 7th, but you may want to work with an astrologer to get the best possible moment.)
- Put your life on hold. There are some things you should put off if you can, but otherwise, just leave a little wiggle room for hiccups. Again, you shouldn’t fear this moment — instead, be wise to it.
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