Mercury Retrograde, it's that time again!

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2023

BY Jennifer Angel

Is it Magic or Mayhem? 

Here’s how to use the energy to your best advantage.

Communication planet Mercury, known as the thinking planet of intellect, can affect the way you think, communicate, and relate. It’s known as the celestial messenger of the gods and is, as a rule, retrograde three times a year for around three weeks each time and can cause all sorts of magic and mayhem! During the retrograde transit, Mercury appears to move backward through the zodiac. It's a visual illusion -- Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun, creating a deceptive rather than actual effect.

During a retrograde period, all sorts of confusion and uncertainty can take place. It is wise to double-check the fine print of any file you submit, especially if it has your name attached to it. And don’t be in too much of a hurry to push things through. If possible, delay signing official documents until after Mercury comes out of retrograde. For anything important, you are best to have a second pair of eyes look over. Regularly back up your electronic files. Be mindful of checking your travel arrangements, or for that matter, any other arrangements. But be careful of the way you reach out and communicate with others, and pay extra attention to ensure you are all on the same page. Mistakes and errors can be made with electronic communications. Being mindful of a Mercury retrograde transit can help you prepare for interruptions that cross your path and work them to your best advantage.

Mercury retrograde is not all bad news though, there are certain ways you can use this planetary transit to your advantage. Mercury is the planet of communication and commerce. It has a strong influence on all forms of travel, communication, creativity, education, and business, as well as technical correspondence and equipment.

We live in a hyper-connected, Mercurial world. The ‘Information Age’ has brought the phenomenon of Mercury retrograde into mainstream awareness while our fast-paced, techno-dependent culture makes the retrograde cycle stand out more dramatically than in the past, with the need for a ‘time out’ even more pressing.

This month, the messenger and trickster of the gods appear to move backward in the sky in the sign of Virgo, one of the signs it rules, from August 23rd to September 15th. The usual precautions apply: double-check fine print, postpone major purchases or signing important documents, regularly back up your electronic files, and double-check travel arrangements (or for that matter, any other arrangements.) Mercury’s primary domain is the realm of thought, so above all pay attention to your mental clarity – or lack of it. 

This Mercury retrograde in Virgo, a mutable sign that is detailed-oriented who delves deep into information or accuracy and clarity is great for a Mercury placement, as mentioned, Mercury rules Virgo (and also rules Gemini) so it works with the energy nicely to get organized and create processes in your life. However, it does lend itself to overthinking, and not easily letting go of things or situations that don’t make sense, and therefore a desire to delve deeper, which can cause a spin of worrying. So, be careful of falling into this trap as for sure, it can trigger a great deal of frustration, which can be accompanied by scattered focus or confusion. Use this time to explore, research, hone plans, and cut yourself some slack if your concentration wanders. Mercury’s trickster quality can manifest big-time now; be mindful to communicate clearly and honestly. It is a time to repair and restore. The cosmos gives you a ‘time out’ to organized, and you can return to your normal routine refreshed. If you take advantage of it, and is especially valuable for creative projects.

The Mercury Retrograde Transits:

The Shadow:

Even though the main retrograde is from August 23rd to September 15th, there’s what is called the Shadow part of the retrograde, of which there are two. The first part of the ‘Shadow’ phase of this cycle, with Mercury in the sign of Virgo, (marked by the final degree Mercury backtracks to) began August 4th, and the second ‘Shadow’ period (when Mercury returns to where the retrograde period began) extends to Sept 29th. The ‘Shadow’ is like Mercury Retrograde Lite, with some of the disrupted retrograde energy slowed-down.

The Storm – The Mayhem: 

 The most disruptive transit stage.

This is the period just on either side of the Mercury retrograde, the three or so days when Mercury is stationary retrograde, entering the transit. And again, the days on either side when Mercury is stationary direct, coming out of the retrograde transit.

The Storm part of Mercury retrograde is the most problematic time when the planet appears to change direction (Aug 20th to 27th, and Sept 12th to 18th.) These are days to especially strive for a Zen-like attitude toward transport delays, dropped calls, computer or phone glitches, and communication mix-ups. 

The Station Days:

 The station days, short for Stationary Retrograde or Stationary Direct, which are the days marked for the start and finish of the actual retrograde period and are right in the middle of the storm days, are often the most disruptive of the entire transit. These days are August 23rd and Sept. 15th.

The Transit Itself – The Magic:

 Things settle down.

 Once Mercury settles into the retrograde transit, this can be a positive time to get things completed, and for planning and research. This is a productive time to get organized, plan, research, and finalize anything that is important. Get that pile of work completed that continually falls to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s a great time to review and reset your goals, close off anything that’s been on your mind for a while and get ready to be open to what comes next. You can rearrange your goals to head in the direction of your soul's purpose. People and situations can reappear from your past during Mercury retrograde, too. You have a chance to either reconnect or gain closure on issues. It is a perfect time to consolidate your business, rather than start a new association or project. And you can reassess and fine-tune your personal and professional business dealings during this time.

What to look for when Mercury Retrograde affects your Sun-Sign:
Here’s a guide of how your Sun sign can best use work with Mercury Retrogrades challenges.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign: When inspiration strikes make sure you are ready to record your thoughts. Be careful of only looking at the large picture and overlooking details. Aries are known to make rash decisions, and in a Mercury retrograde time it can lead to making irreversible errors. It is best to keep your strong opinions to yourself over this time and do more listening than talking. 

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Over working and taking on way too much can end up with you having to take a forced rest to recuperate. Play it safe and make sure there you have a good doze of life balance; otherwise, long hours at the office as well as partying to dawn can take its toll. Don’t get yourself all wound up worry about things that are probably not even within your control – let it go.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign: As a Taurus, you’re known to have a good level of common sense, but with the energy of Mercury retrograde this can suddenly disappear.  Prepare to double check your communications; it’s possible to miss important data over this time.  Also, your innate stubborn traits can take on a whole new dimension, so be flexible.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Be careful of taking people for granted during this time. Just when you think you have life all worked out and have a strategy to get anyone to do just about anything, your plans can change in a moment. Don’t gamble with life, this is a time to be sensible and serious as well as upfront with the people you are closest to.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  You can solve complex problems where others are still trying to figure out first base, and as Mercury is your ruling planet, this puts you in a better position than most other signs. However, you can become distracted and go off on tangents, so there’s a need to stay focused on what’s important.  Beware of being a know-it-all and be prepared and open to learn from others.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Anything to do with your family, home, children, or the domestic area of your life can come unstuck during this time. Don’t assume anything; if you are unsure of someone’s movements then take the time to get the facts. Be mindful to make sure your house is locked and secure. This is a good time to have a spare set of keys with a neighbor or friend.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  Over this period, Cancerians already compassionate nature is intensified. You can understand other people’s position and help them gain a level of understanding.  Be careful of expecting too much from people and becoming resentful when they don’t meet your expectations.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Keep your day-planner flexible, as plans can change in an instant. When there is chaos and confusion around you, there is no point digging your heels in and insist that it is business as usual. You may as well go with the energy and go into fix-it management mode to find solutions, even if it is a bandaid fix. If you are confronted with a situation where someone needs to take control, then step up, as you’re the person to do it!


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  You are a natural conversationalist and can be entertaining and humorous with an ability to be an inspiring public speaker.  Be careful over this period not to be too dogmatic and insisting that others agree with your opinions. After all, you are known to be just a tad bossy, and this side of you can turn ugly if you’re not careful.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Anything to do with finances, possession or property is affected during this period.  You can expect delays, and mix-ups, some small and some grand. You can do what you can to avoid disruption to your life by having your business matters under control, but then there are the things other people do that are out of your control and this is when all mayhem can set loose.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  As an analytical and organized person you have an eye for detail. You take pride in your work and can discuss just about any topic with just about anyone. Mercury is your ruling planet, so in many ways you are more aligned with the energies than other people, but it can still feel like your world has been tipped upside down during this period and it’s important not to assume anything.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

With Mercury retrograde in your sign for the whole out of retrograde period, don’t be surprised if you feel just a little out of sorts and at times uncomfortable in your own skin. You will need to do everything you can to keep your energies balanced, and that means not working around the clock like a mad person. Do use your skill of getting processes in place and get organized. And finally, do something nice for yourself, every single day!


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  As a Libra, you have a heart of gold, and you are there for friends no matter what. You have a good listening ear, and you like to fix things for other people. However, when Mercury is retrograde, there is a need to be careful that you don’t overstep your mark as it could be seen as interfering instead of helpful.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Beware of being in too much of a hurry to check the facts and figures, particularly of anything that is written like an article, letter, email and especially if it pertains to an official type of document. Even if you must check the fine print three times it will be worth the effort. Also, be careful of passing on important jobs and errands to others who may not share your level of urgency or professionalism. And if you really don’t have time to triple check everything, and you can’t assume someone else has picked up the slack, then trust your instincts.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  You are a good investigator, Scorpio. However, when you really want to get to the bottom of something you can in fact end up being your own worst enemy not knowing when to give up and let go.  Beware of becoming nasty when you have differences with those you love. Be mindful that not everyone sees life through your eyes.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Don’t even think about keeping a secret from your nearest and dearest or close friends. Even if it’s something he or she doesn’t need to know, if you leave out a few pertinent details it could be seen as if you are hiding something. Also, keep in mind that having your say and putting across your viewpoint strongly during this period could alienate people. Be open minded enough to listen to other people’s opinions even if you don’t agree with them.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  You are a freedom loving sign and need to have the flexibility to move when you have the desire to do so. When you are hold back and feel boxed in, over a Mercury retrograde period you can become withdrawn with feelings of being trapped. Instead, look to strategically work your way out of a tricky situation.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Anything to do with business will be under the microscope. If you are in meetings or finalizing discussions, make sure you double-check the arrangement, so everyone is on the same page. It’s important over this period to take extra care with backing up your work electronically and being organized so nothing and nobody falls through the cracks.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  As a business-minded person, you are extremely efficient and talented at what you do. Generally organized and productive, when Mercury goes retrograde you can go off on tangents and lose control of your day planner. This is a time when you need to beware of other people wanting to take control. When you are not balanced within yourself, you can become grumpy and serious. 

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

If you are travelling, then be sure to check and double-check the arrangements. Make sure you have everything you need packed in your suitcase, label your luggage, and allow for delays. Whether it’s planes, trains, automobiles or subways, anything to do with travel can be altered. Look out for opportunities to learn something new, there are valuable lessons that lead to personal growth over this period.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  You are a highly intellectual sign, and often cannot understand why other people are not able to keep up with your thinking speed.  Be careful of being intolerant of anyone who is not on the same page as you. When you get irritable you can cut someone down with a look and a few acid words, which can cause damage that may not be easily repaired. 

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

Be careful that you don’t take someone’s throw away comments personally, it probably has nothing to do with you, and you just happen to be in the firing line. Money matters can be confusing, and something you’ve been promised could also be delayed. Try to go with the flow and take life in your stride and see what happens. What’s delayed over this period can right itself without any, or much, effort from you or anyone else.


Mercury retrograde information for your Sun sign:  As a Pisces, your imagination is awesome! You like to be positive and gravitate to like-minded people who have an optimistic outlook on life.  At the best of times, you do not take criticism well. Over this period, you are particularly vulnerable to other people’s opinions of yourself and what you do, and this in turn can lead you to cutting ties with people who have the potential to deeply hurt you on an inner emotional level.

How this Mercury retrograde will affect your sign:

You could be in for a roller coaster love ride when it concerns communication between you and another, which can get totally out of hand during this period. This is one of those times where no matter what you say it only gets worse. Sometimes, it’s best to say nothing, or very little – there is power in silence. Let’s just say, this is not the best time to tackle a long-standing sensitive issue.

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