As usual, we need to remember the classic warnings that accompany the dreaded Mercury retrograde. "It is crucial to carefully choose our words and double-check essential information," says Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app. "Surviving retrograde Mercury is easy if we remember to proofread our emails, texts, and any documentation we might work on."
Now that those disclaimers are out of the way, let's get into the specifics. During the first half of its retrograde in Libra, Mercury will have us examining the gives and takes in our relationships. "While the classic miscommunications, tech meltdowns, and missed flights will still be the norm, this Mercury retrograde will be about taking a hard, cold look at our most important bonds," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power.
"If any type of connection has been off-kilter, Mercury will expose that imbalance so we can begin aligning with people who honor our time and energy." Expect a greater amount of breakups, both in friendships and in love. There are always going to be hardships to get through with your loved ones, and sometimes giving each other space to breathe for a while can be the best thing for the both of you. And breakups aren't necessarily forever — they're often needed to get a clearer picture of what's ahead.
Take it from us: You'll be needing to tread extra lightly with how you handle these relationship woes. "Because Mercury will be forming an opposition with retrograde Jupiter in Aries at this time, we must be careful that the relationship drama doesn’t get out of proportion," says Montúfar. "The good news is that the effort we put into getting our relationships straight will bring growth later on." If you're looking for a peek at what's to come, Montúfar says that the first part of the Mercury retrograde mimics the one Mercury performed back in 2021 from September 27 to October 18. "At a personal level, it could be helpful to look back at the themes that came up for us at that time," she says.
When Mercury moves into Virgo — the sign it rules — the effects of this astrological happening may be easier to handle, since the planet actually enjoys being in the sign of the virgin. "Virgo is one of the worker bees of the zodiac, concerned with optimizing our life’s processes," Montúfar says. "These days will be an amazing time to pull out the magnifying glass and see how we can better our mind, body, and spirit connection." Like we've said many times before, retrogrades are all about the "re" words: reassessing, reconfiguring, reviewing, reflecting etc. Although we'll have to put in the work, this will give us a chance to really look at our lives and see what's bringing us joy and what needs to be left behind.
On September 23, both the sun and Mercury will connect in Libra. "This aspect is called cazimi," says Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck. "It is a time of wisdom, clarity, and understanding, making it the best time of Mercury retrograde to make decisions and to move forward with projects or relationships." If you were to mark down any day during this retrograde to get things done, let it be this one.
While we said relationships will be the focus of the first half of this retrograde, that doesn't mean they won't have a supporting role in the second half. "On September 26, Mercury will meet with Venus in Virgo, bringing our focus back to relationship topics, our values and needs," says astrologer Stephanie Campos. For the rest of Mercury's backwards dance, our relationship dynamic could most likely benefit from honest discussions. "Venus' connection with Mercury retrograde lightens whatever news or information Mercury retrograde wants to deliver with some tact and grace," Campos says. "Harmony can be reached through dialogue."
Mercury retrogrades are often associated with the resurgence of people from the past — toxic exes, estranged friends, etc. — but that doesn't mean we need to make amends with them. Instead, focus on "reconnecting with those who have been tried and true," says psychic astrologer Leslie Hale. "Go back to the things from the past that have served you well and reconnect. You could hear from relatives, old friends, and on occasion, old loves. You could experience pleasant trips down memory lane." Don't be afraid to call up your friend from elementary school or reach out to an old flame that fizzled out — as long as you weren't the toxic one — to catch up. Sometimes, looking back can help us move forward.
We've survived plenty of Mercury retrogrades before, and we'll survive many more to come. As long as you're prepared, this astrological transit could be a piece of cake — and if you're not, well, that's up to you.