When things run amuck, one of the first things astrology lovers do is Google, "Is Mercury in retrograde?" While the answer has been a stern no since May 14, that's all changing now. We're sorry to tell you that Mercury will be retrograde in Virgo from August 23 to September 15 this year, causing travel delays, communication mishaps, and exes to resurface for those few weeks. While it's nice to have something to blame our hardships on, remember that we've survived this time and time again — and we'll definitely be surviving it once more.
Out of all the Mercury retrogrades of 2023, this one will be the most useful (and hopefully least stressful) for us thanks to the planet's backwards dance happening in its favorite sign: Virgo. "Since Mercury rules Virgo it is happy here, which could, at times, soften the effects of the retrograde," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. This is great news because things are about to get, er — bumpier than usual. "The toughest part of this retrograde is that it will overlap with Venus retrograde from August 23 to September 3," Montúfar says. "This means that the very beginning of the retrograde will be trippy and challenging. However, if we are open to making changes, we can come out of it successfully!"
Trippy and challenging aren't exactly the words we want to hear, but have any of us ever really accomplished anything without a few bumps in the road? These transits, however annoying, give us the space and time to really figure our shit out. "Retrogrades allow us to slow down and remind us that rest is restorative and can lead to amazing breakthroughs," says Stephanie Campos, astrologer and author of Seasons of the Zodiac: Love, Magick, and Manifestation Throughout the Astrological Year. "Don't get discouraged if plans seem to be stalled or delayed. This is an opportunity to take your time, adjust, and pivot on your own timeline."
To do this, you should prioritize being flexible, practicing patience, and double-checking details to navigate any potential challenges, says Hillary Coke, astrologer and tarot expert at Nebula Platform. "While not everyone feels the effects strongly, it's a good idea to avoid making major decisions or signing important contracts if possible," she adds. "Instead, focus on reviewing, revising, and completing tasks that were already in progress." If you want to really make the most of this retrograde, play catch up — on work, on making time to spend with friends and family, and yes, even on self-care.
Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck, says the next few weeks will be a time of reflection — we're going to be assessing our hopes and goals for the rest of the year during these last weeks of summer, and there’s one day we should especially be doing that. "September 6 is the best day of the retrograde, as the sun and Mercury create an astrological aspect called 'cazimi' (translates to “heart of the sun”)," she says. "It’s the perfect time to make plans, sign documents, and commit to future projects."
Another date to look out for during this retrograde is September 4, when Mercury retrograde in Virgo will connect with Jupiter in Taurus. This will "teleport us back to August 9, the first time these two planets met up in the sky this year," according to Campos. "It's possible that conversations that started around August 9 pick up steam again on this day. Conversations that take place today feel welcoming and full of potential. Others are more understanding and receptive of our ideas and willing to lend a helping hand to bring our dreams to life."
While Mercury retrograde often plunges fear into our hearts, Jupiter is the Planet of Support, Abundance, and Growth, so Campos points out that it's very possible fortunate or lucky news can arrive on September 4. "You'll want to pay attention to what takes place on this day for you because once Mercury goes direct and picks up speed once again, it will meet with Juptier one final time on September 9, bringing a climax to this three-part story," Campos says.We understand that Mercury retrograde can often be a stressful time, but hear us out — this one won't be so bad. If you can take that positivity and stretch it out to last you until Mercury goes direct on September 14, then we think you'll do just fine.