Get ready: There are three Mercury retrogrades in 2022. Mercury completes three full cycles and a fourth begins before we say Happy New Year to 2023!
Ah, Mercury retrograde. The times when the cosmic trickster planet has surprises up its sleeve. Three-week cycles when the truth inevitably comes boiling to the surface, mysteries get revealed and skeletons tumble out of the closets. Or you’re more inclined to miss a flight, a deadline, or spill coffee on your keyboard.
So what do the Mercury retrogrades in 2022 have in store for us?
Mercury has three full retrograde cycles in 2022:
- January 14 to February 3 in Aquarius and Capricorn
- May 10 to June 3 in Gemini and Taurus
- September 9 to October 2 in Libra and Virgo
And one that begins at the very end of the year, ending in 2023:
- December 29 to January 20, 2023 in Capricorn
Additionally, the two weeks leading up to each Mercury retrograde cycle, and the two weeks following one, are known as the “shadow” period. Or, as we long-ago coined, “retroshade.”
During these weeks before and after a Mercury retrograde cycle, you may still feel and experience Mercury’s effects. See also our post on How to Survive Mercury Retrograde for tips on how to manage a cycle.
The 2022 Mercury retrogrades begin in air signs and back into earth signs
What does it mean that each of 2022’s Mercury retrogrades begins in an air sign and backs into an earth sign?
Our social interactions and collaborative ventures may hit a sudden roadblock in these moments, sending us back to the drawing board to review plans. Try not to be deterred by these forced pauses. When Mercury flips into reverse, it blesses us with an important timeout to review, revise, revamp (and all the other “re” words).
While reversing through air signs, Mercury retrograde tightens up regulations around people and messaging. Is everyone pulling their weight? Are you all on the same page and using up-to-date technology? Have you properly stored and protected your data?
When Mercury backs up into earth signs for the second half of each retrograde, put on a project manager’s hat. Review budgets, timelines and environmental impact. Create guidelines so everyone knows where their limits lie.
Looking back to 2021, all the Mercury retrogrades took place in air signs. Air signs rule the travel of ideas, information and cultural conversations. We’re pointing to this signal-scrambling signature for the disinformation that continues to swirl around everything from vaccine facts to election results and beyond!
What the Mercury Retrogrades in 2022 mean for all of us
The first Mercury retrograde of 2022
January 14-25 in Aquarius, then Capricorn till February 3
Even the best-laid plans require more time at the drawing board over the coming three weeks. As strategic Mercury pivots into its first retrograde of the year, it reverses through innovative Aquarius (until January 25), then mission-oriented Capricorn.
Back up all electronic data and devices, which are susceptible to damage from Mercury’s mayhem. Group interactions require more democracy and well-defined agreements. Is everyone clear on their marching orders? Are there unspoken resentments to air? Pause to inspect and correct.
Since this retrograde can muddle your message, proof all emails and presentations before hitting send—and don’t go rogue on social media! If a project hits a speed bump, use this “forced timeout” to perfect your plans. Then unveil them after the retrograde.
When Mercury backs into Capricorn for the rest of its retreat, until February 3, it could muddle messages in the professional realm. At work, take every extra precaution to follow protocol. Get clear on the chain of command, if only to navigate power dynamics like a pro. On the hunt for opportunity? Connect to colleagues you worked with in the past.
The second Mercury retrograde of 2022
May 10-22 in Gemini, then Taurus until June 3
Signals scramble and systems go sideways as Mercury flips into its second retrograde of the year. Once again, the communication planet backs up through a pair of zodiac signs, bringing two distinct waves to its dramatic effects.
Until May 22, we may feel a double dose of communication chaos, as Mercury retreats through its home sign of Gemini. Expect friction in peer partnerships and do your best to avoid getting roped into taking sides. Triple-check your words before posting, sending or signing anything.
Since Gemini rules transportation, try to hold off on purchasing anything with wheels until early June. Got an unfinished manuscript, podcast or workshop idea? Blow off the dust: This is an excellent time to take a deeper look and make revisions.
On May 22, the buzzy planet backs into reality-checker Taurus, throwing everyone’s sense of security into a bit of a tailspin. Budgets, schedules and relationship rules will demand keenness and clarity. Assume nothing and try to stay nimble—even while everyone around you is stubbornly digging in their heels!
For the rest of its retreat—until June 3—we’ll feel the plodding, stubborn slowdown of the Bull at play. Pro tip: If a string of green lights suddenly turns red, don’t charge ahead like a tempestuous toro. Instead, see this forced timeout as a hidden blessing. Go back to the drawing board and review all your plans, from budgets to timelines. And don’t make any sudden money moves! With Mercury scrambling signals, it’s hard to tell a lemon from a luxury steal.
The third Mercury retrograde of 2022
September 9-23 in Libra, then Virgo until October 2
With communication planet Mercury backing through discerning, fair-minded Libra and persnickety, critical Virgo (starting September 23), the margin for error will be slim.
Since Libra is associated with legal matters, review contracts to make sure you’re in compliance. This deep dive could save you future legal issues or set a healthier tone for your work environment. Knowledge is power—and on an emotional level, the path to feeling safe and secure. Even the best relationships could drift into choppy waters between now and October 2. Patience will be required to keep things on an even keel. Exes will be especially prone to reminiscing—consider yourself warned!
The devil is in the microscopic details as retrograde Mercury slips back from even-keeled Libra into keen-eyed Virgo on September 23. Review everything on the finest setting possible during the backspin, which lasts until October 2.
Be an unapologetic purist when you go on any research or sourcing missions. Can you find a greener solution that not only saves you cash but is also socially and environmentally responsible? Constructive feedback is hard to suppress while Mercury’s in its home sign of analytical Virgo— but check the judgmental attitude. Buffer your pro tips with a “praise sandwich,” starting and ending with the positives so people feel empowered by your input. Focus on wellness, too. With the mindful planet in this healthy sign, you can successfully start (and sustain) new habits by writing things down and planning ahead. Keep it simple!
The fourth Mercury retrograde of 2022
December 29 to January 20, 2023, in Capricorn
As Mercury spins into a signal-jamming retrograde right before New Year’s celebrations, the year ends on a muddled note. Good luck getting aligned around NYE plans, 2023 goals, or whose traditions you’re going to honor.
If you’re traveling, leave early for your destination and reconfirm bookings. Think very carefully about your New Year’s guest list. Interactions could become heated and divisive, upsetting the general mood of your festivities. If end-of-year plans have grown overly complex, don’t force it. Even if you do pull them off “perfectly,” you could be too resentful (and exhausted!) to enjoy the fun.
To use this three-week cycle to maximum effectiveness, start reviewing career goals right after the New Year. Scour LinkedIn and social media. Is a former colleague crushing it? And do you see an opening for a collaboration? Send a hello note or catch up over a cup of cheer. If nothing else, you’ll leave inspired, with ideas you can apply to your own ambitious plans.
Feature image by Rosie Dienhart