From ancient Roman literature to Western and Vedic astrology, Mercury has been depicted as the planet of communication across centuries. The planet denotes intellect and the desire to travel, and such are its characteristics and influences that it becomes pertinent to know when Mercury retrogrades in 2023 and how it affects the zodiacs.
One of the Mercury retrogrades, which began in December 2022, ended on 18 January. Hence, it is not included in the list of planets retrograding in 2023. Besides this, the planet will go into retrograde thrice this year.
Having said that, it will be helpful if we are mentally prepared for opportunities as well as setbacks that might come our way. However, before delving into how the astronomical event affects the zodiac signs, let us first understand what exactly happens when the planet retrogrades.
What is a Mercury retrograde?
When Mercury, or any planet, retrogrades, it means that it is moving in a backward motion. However, planets never move away from their paths or stir from their orbits. A planet retrograding is an optical illusion perceived from Earth’s vantage point.
Depending on the rotational speed of Earth and its distance from the other planets in the solar system, it appears as though a certain planet is in retrograde motion. However, while revolving along its orbit around the sun, our planet is sometimes closer to another. So, it appears as though our planet is speeding, leaving the other planet behind.
Mercury takes 88 days to complete one circle around the Sun as opposed to Earth, which takes 365 days to finish its round. This comparatively speedy planet, when appearing to be slowing down, can send zodiacs into a tizzy. However, this is not entirely true because astrology is all about perception, and it depends on us if we want to take up these recommendations positively.
Mercury retrogrades of 2023 and their effects on the zodiac signs
Interestingly, all three Mercury retrogrades are predominantly in earth signs of the zodiac. Check out what this means.
21 April to 14 May in Taurus
The earth sign denoted by a bull is rooted in the materialistic world. Mercury retrograding in Taurus means that the finances of all zodiacs will be affected. The focus will be on business and career rather than love life. It is a particularly challenging period for signs like Taurus and Gemini, as their minds will oscillate between gaining control over their finances and fighting the urge to splurge on an expensive vacation or luxury items.
Overall, zodiacs will explore options to improve their financial condition and broaden their horizons in their work field. When it comes to relationships, all signs are advised to maintain boundaries with people to avoid triggering experiences and go into self-reflective mode.
23 August to 15 September in Virgo
Another earth sign, Virgo is known to be fastidious, detail-oriented and practical. They love to play by the rules and are focused towards their position in the materialistic world. They are influenced by Mercury and hence, the same planet retrograding means that this is a time of transformation.
The Mercury retrograde is supposed to motivate all zodiacs to learn a new skill or capitalise on the old one. The focus again will be on their areas of work.
It is important not to feel burdened by a sense of responsibility and get overwhelmed by this. Besides Virgos, Pisces will be the most affected during this period.
13 December to 1 January 2024 in Capricorn and Sagittarius
The last retrograde of this year is in the earth sign of Capricorn along with the fire sign of Sagittarius. Experts advise all zodiac signs to brace themselves because this is the time of dual energies at work. The goal-oriented earth sign of Capricorn will propel all signs to work harder at their job, and there will be trepidation about the future.
As this period shifts in the constellation of Sagittarius towards the latter half, all zodiacs would want to take risks, seek adventure and try things that are new to them. This will reflect in their job choices, as they would embark on a journey on uncharted territories.
Needless to say, Capricorn and Sagittarius will be affected the most by this astrophysical event.
The earth signs — Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn — will be most affected by all the Mercury retrogrades in 2023. However, even the fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) and water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) need to be mindful of some turbulence in their work lives in particular.
It could also be a period of transformation, creating opportunities to improve finances and usher in good fortune. Devoting some time to self-reflection can help as well. So, make the best use of this phenomenon without getting bogged down to minimise the unfavourable effects of Mercury retrograde 2023.
(Hero and Featured image: Courtesy of Bryan Gold /Unsplash)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Mercury seems to move backwards when in retrograde motion. It is actually an optical illusion when witnessed from Earth’s vantage point. The phenomenon has a lot of spiritual and astrological significance in astrology.
Answer: Since Mercury is the planet of communication, there could be a lot of confusion in the areas of work, relationships and travel plans during this period.
Answer: Every Mercury retrograde lasts for three weeks and the dates for the 2023 Mercury retrograde are 21 April to 14 May, 23 August to 15 September and 13 December to 1 January 2024.
Answer: All earth signs — Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn — will be most affected by the 2023 Mercury retrograde. Other signs need to be careful but also be open to taking chances and using this period for transformation and self-reflection.