As we claw our way to the end of the year, the planets are laughing, probably, as they place one more hurdle in our way: Mercury Retrograde. Thankfully, it's the final one of 2023. On the other hand, we enter the New Year in Mercury Retrograde, so maybe hold off on any resolutions (at least keep them off social media).
So what's in store for us this time around? Kicking off on December 13, 2023 and lasting until January 1, 2024, the last Mercury Retrograde of 2023 and the first of 2024 is unique in that it will pass through two signs; freewheeling Sagittarius and the ambitious and cutthroat Capricorn. More on this, below.
Wait, what's a Retrograde again?
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here's a little refresher on what exactly a Retrograde is for anyone who has suppressed all memories of the last Mercury back spin – although, in a rare occurrence it wasn't all that bad. A Retrograde is the phenomenon that a planet moves more slowly than Earth. This creates an optical illusion where it looks as if the planet is moving backwards. All planets will go into retrograde at some point, but Mercury Retrogrades are some of the more common transits, occurring three to four times a year.
Naturally, there's a lot of meaning that can be pulled from this visual. This is why, as a rule of thumb, Retrogrades are a time of upheaval. Throw Mercury into the mix, a planet so notorious for its swift orbits that it was named after the Roman god responsible for wealth, commerce, travel and communication, and you have plenty of room for error.
When can we expect the last Mercury Retrograde for 2023?
The final Mercury Retrograde of 2023 will begin on December 13, 2023 and run through to January 1, 2024. Mark these dates down in your calendar, and wield them as an explanation (excuse) for any mishaps that may occur. Only kidding.
However, if you want to go deeper, the pre-Retrograde shadow starts on November 25, while post-Retrograde shadow will linger well into the new year as it’s set to end on January 20, 2024. In the event this has gone over your head, the Retrograde shadows mentioned, also known as a 'Retroshade', marks the two week period before and after a Retrograde begins. Think of it like a foreshadowing of the challenges you'll soon encounter – and your first chance to anticipate and mitigate their impact. It's like they say, "bad things come in threes", although we like to think about them as a trifecta of opportunities. We pray you rise to meet them.
Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius
As we mentioned, Mercury Retrograde begins in Sagittarius, the sign known for its fun-loving, spontaneous, and adventure-seeking spirit. The impact this sign will have on Mercury Retrograde is twofold. First of all, you may find yourself growing giddy and reckless as your resolve disintegrates in the final weeks of the year. You're more open to taking risks, and perhaps this is what you need to finally be bold and apply for that job or book that holiday. Your confidence will feel great – at first, but be wary of undoing hardwon progress for the sake of cheap thrills. As Mercury Retrograde eventually passes through Capricorn, you'll find yourself with a hangover – the equivalent of the celestial Sunday scaries.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn is a poetic note to finish the New Year on. Capricorns are notoriously ambitious and expert manifesters. Lean into this as you turn your gaze towards the possibilities of a New Year and take stock of the all that 2023 delivered – especially as far as your career is concerned. Now's the time to tie up loose ends and set your intentions. Are you coasting or operating at your full capacity? Do you feel valued by your boss, or is it time to cut ties? With Mercury's tendency to unearth things from our path, you might find yourself acknowledging a truth about your desire, and finally ready to act on it. 2024, here we come. Godspeed.