Well, it's here folks. On January 14, Mercury will station retrograde for the first time this year — starting its backward dance in Aquarius, ending on February 3 in Capricorn. I'm a big believer in pushing forth the narrative that, while Mercury retrograde is often seen as the end-all-be-all of chaotic transits, it's really not as bad as it seems. But even I have to admit, with Venus also retrograding at the same time, we'll be facing a double dose of turmoil this month.
"It’s not a common thing to have two natal planets in retrograde motion at the same time, which is bound to shift our perspective of reality," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Luminary Power. "Together, Venus and Mercury retrograde will ask us to rethink, reshape, and transform the way we communicate within relationships. They will for sure bring blasts from the past to help us reshape some of our negative emotional and communicative patterns." Montúfar says we will also be challenged to approach things from a different perspective during this transit. To make it through the next month happily, prioritise having an open mind and going with the flow.
Mercury starts off in Aquarius and ends up in Capricorn; these two signs bring vastly different energies, meaning that this retrograde will have us experiencing some whiplash in our communications. While Mercury is in Aquarius, "we may all be a little more open-minded and receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things," says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com. This will happen collectively — as society reconsiders what benefits it as a whole — and individually — as you rethink your relationships at work and with friends and family.
One way you can prepare yourselves for the Planet of Communication's backwards dance, is to look back to January 30 to February 19, 2021, which was when we had our first Mercury retrograde in 2021, also in Aquarius. "Whatever themes, mixups, or confusion happened then may resurface, but this time you have a little cosmic heads up to have extra awareness and preparedness," says Madi Murphy, co-founder of The Cosmic RX and The Cosmic Revolution. Once you jog your memory, ask yourself if there are better ways to handle some of those hardships, should they pop back up. Is there anyone you can reach out to that can lend a supportive hand?
When Mercury dips into Capricorn on January 25, Hale warns us that the energy can become more grave, and we may become overly critical or nit-picky. "Capricorn is a serious sign and this is a time for careful considerations of life especially as it pertains to work," she says, adding, "But it is important to stop and smell the roses from time to time and remember there is more to life than work." Use this point during the retrograde to relax. Take that mental health day already — you deserve it.
There are a few extra celestial happenings to be on the lookout for during Mercury retrograde. "The retrograde begins squaring off with Uranus, who’s also moonwalking in Taurus," says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. "Therefore, we can assess that things are gonna get weird and intense — shakeups and change will occur out of the blue, causing us to evolve and shift our mindsets."
Because of this square, Montúfar says that "we can expect our phones, computer, and social media to go haywire." That's something that often happens during Mercury Rx. But the square "will also be sitting next to Saturn, the Planet of Authority, which will most likely bring intense conversations about career or with authority figures like bosses or even the government," Montúfar adds.
We do get a reprieve during the transit. "January 23 is the best day of the retrograde, as the Sun and Mercury will connect in the sky, giving the planet of communication power through Cazimi, which translates to 'the heart of the sun,'" Stardust says. This day will also bring "aha moments and a slight break from Mercury’s madness as the Sun shines its light on the truth," Montúfar says. "Today, we will be able to think clearly and get things done."
To make the most of this retrograde, Murphy has a few suggestions: Spend time in nature, declutter your spaces, check recipients on all texts, emails, and DMs, and leave yourself plenty of time and space in your schedule to account for delayed travel or slip-ups. "This is a great time to go back and look at your 're' words: review, reassess, reconfigure, redo," she says. Remember: Often to move forward, we must first move back — and that's something that Mercury Rx gives us a chance to do.