Welp, we've done it again: survived a Mercury retrograde. The Planet of Communication's backwards dance officially ends on May 14, ridding us of all the misunderstandings, travel chaos, and relationship woes (at least... it's supposed to.) When Mercury turns direct, we're in for quite the treat — but it's still a period of time we must be prepared for.
This particular retrograde transit was a tough one: in fact, this was the hardest Mercury retrograde of 2023, according to Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power, because it overlapped with the first eclipse season of the year. "There were drastic endings and moments of crisis, but the lessons, however, were incredibly valuable in the sense that we now know what to put our energy on," she says.
The fact that Mercury was retrograde in Taurus is significant, as it is "a sign of value," Montúfar says. "Having Mercury retrograde here helped us realize what we should be focusing on," she continues. "It helped us course-correct our actions in money, budgets, and financial situations, setting us up for a better future." While Mercury retrograde may have been tough on our finances, we learned a lot and may be better prepared to prioritise saving (or better spending) in the future.
Although Mercury may be direct, it's still in its post-retrograde shadow, or retroshade, according to Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck, until May 31. "This time around, the retroshade will have us dreaming of exes and dealing with money matters. We will be reevaluating our work goals," she says. "The effects of the retroshade will hit us most during Gemini season, since Mercury rules the air sign. More miscommunications and Mercurial mishaps will occur then."
Look out for May 27, when "Mercury passes over the point in the sky where it was on May 1 when it met with the sun at 11 degrees of Taurus," according to Stephanie Campos, astrologer and author of Seasons of the Zodiac: Love, Magick, and Manifestation Throughout the Astrological Year. "This planetary meetup is known as a cazimi in astrology, when a planet sits in the heart of the sun." Once Mercury retraces those steps, Campos says we will be brought back to this pivotal moment. "We may finally be ready to have an important conversation, learn significant news, or take action on an idea that came to us during this time," she says. Take yourself back to where you were at on May 1 and ask yourself: What do you wish you had done differently? Then, do it.
Another date to be aware of during Mercury's direct motion is June 4, when the Planet of Communication meets up with Uranus, the Planet of Revolution. "This is significant not only because it has the potential to bring breakthroughs and innovative ideas and insight, but because when Mercury stationed retrograde, it was just a few degrees shy of completing the conjunction with Uranus," Campos says. "It was as if we felt the tremblings of something new and possibly life changing, but once Mercury began its backward spin, our focus and priorities shifted."
But now, once the two planets form their conjunction, we'll be able to experience clarity — finally! — and "invite in a wave of new ideas and out-of-the-box solutions that felt so close, but unattainable during the retrograde period," Campos says.
If there was anything we've learned during this past retrograde, it's to take chances rather than let opportunities slide. "This retrograde was all about gathering the courage to leave your comfort zone and try some new things," says Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app. "I hope you have learned to live life more boldly and with the curiosity Mercury has."