The fourth and final Mercury retrograde of last year — the one that has carried us over and into 2023 — finally comes to an end on January 18. Now that the Planet of Communication is direct, we can really start 2023 with a bang. For those who have given up on resolutions already or felt like the first half of January was a little off, now's your chance for astrological redemption.
Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck, says that although Mercury may be direct, the planet is now in its post-retrograde shadow until February 7. "The retroshade phase gives us a tendency to experience situations for a third time, allowing us a moment of reflection," she tells Refinery29, adding that we'll begin to understand and process everything that has been going on since the pre-retrograde phase. "Exes, drama, travel issues, and miscommunications can still come to fruition now, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re being heard clearly and listen to what other people say with open ears," Stardust says. Meaning, while we may have found the right path, we're not quite out of the woods yet.
This new astrological moment will have us taking back control and focusing on our priorities. "You will feel driven and motivated to clear the air between you and your loved ones, friends, colleagues, or bosses," says Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app. "Gaining clarity and direction is now easier, and your goals and objectives are more tangible. On top of that, this transition inspires you to start fresh and let go of what was holding you back so you can become the best version of yourself in the new year." Although this "new year, new me" energy is behind schedule, that doesn't mean we can't harness it and move forward with ease into the remaining year. Think of this as a powerful, albeit late, start to 2023.
Because this past retrograde happened in ambitious Capricorn, Mercury's backwards dance had us asking questions about our profession and ambitions, including, Is our career aligned with our true path? Are we working just to survive without any real direction? Do we truly believe in what we do?, according to says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. "While Capricorn energy is about vocation, it’s also about our life’s purpose," she explains. "It's a sign that doesn’t mess around, and having Mercury retrograde here always generates big questions as well as big lessons."
Mercury getting back to normal isn't the only great news in the sky — four days after Mercury goes direct Uranus follows, meaning that zero planets will be retrograde planets until April 20. "This is an occurrence that only happens once a year, when we tend to see fewer obstacles and delays along our path," Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app, explains. "From this moment on, we can pull all of our learnings not only from Mercury retrograde but also from Mars retrograde. This will see many of us make considerable changes in the realm of career."
She points out that the sun will also have its annual conjunction with Pluto, the Planet of Power and Transformation, in the last degrees of Capricorn. "We can now see the path towards the manifestation of our goals, and by all means, we should push forward, as nothing can stop us now!" says Naskova. "This is a time to leave the past behind and make brave, bold moves that will have a long-term effect."
We can use Mercury's direct movement to look ahead at an upcoming retrograde in 2023. "It serves as a bridge between our last Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, which took place in December 2021, and our next, which will take place this December," says astrologer Stephanie Campos. "In December 2023, Mercury will station retrograde at the same exact degree that it is turning direct on January 18. We will be teleported back to finish up any tasks, themes, or conversations that took place around this time."
Knowing what we know, Campos says that we can use this insight to take some of the pressure off of ourselves to have all the answers now. "Do your best, and bookmark the rest — it will come back up later this year for refining," she says.
Although this advice is geared more towards the end of 2023, it holds relevancy all year round and can be followed regardless of what astrological happenings are going on in the sky. Do your best — as long as you try, how can you fail?