Mercury Retrograde in 2022: Astrology, Meaning & Effects and BEWARE the Retroshade (cue loud scream)

In 2022, Mercury will be retrograde four times: From January 14 to February 3, from May 10 to June 3, from September 9 to October 2, and from December 29 to January 18, 2023.

First one: Mercury will be in retrograde from January 14 through February 3. This means you can expect your year to start with some unexpected challenges, particularly relating to things like communication, travel, and technology. As the astrology of 2022 portends a deepening into the systemic structural changes and personal transmutations that rippled across 2021, the three time periods of Mercury being retrograde will bring important opportunities for adjustment and adaptation. To work well with the quality of Mercury retrograde, it’s vital to embrace being in between states of mind and accept the fluidity of formlessness rather than resisting change. Open your intuition to receive whatever messages Mercury will provide regarding shifts in storylines and ways to stoke movement out of places you have felt stagnated. Mercury involves how we perceive, interpret, and communicate information, yet the quality of its symbolic meaning varies depending on its path in the heavens above. Instead of moving fast and direct like usual, Mercury shifts into a slower speed and backwards motion through the zodiac when retrograde. The departure Mercury takes from its normal course when retrograde corresponds with a heightened ability to guide us away from our usual patterns, enabling the discovery of new avenues of inquiry and perception. Mercury also comes closest to earth in orbit when retrograde, intensifying its impact in daily matters.

However: The shadow period is the time span before and after Mercury Retrograde. If you’ve ever felt as though your luck was running dry, yet a retrograde had not begun, it may be because of the shadow period. Often it is during the Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow that incorrect assumptions, unfortunate short-cuts or lack of attention to details occur that are later revealed as Mercury goes retrograde.

As Mercury appears to slow down in its motion, before it appears to go backward in the sky, the effect of the Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow is intensified. Mercury Goes Into Pre-Shadow Retrograde On December 29th, 2021. Mercury will go into Pre-Shadow Retrograde in Capricorn and Aquarius causing us to look at a multitude of situations with our friendships, and how we take responsibility.

January 14-February 3 in Aquarius & Capricorn

The first Mercury retrograde of 2022 will be particularly sticky for people with natal Sun or Mercury in Taurus, Scorpio, Aries, or Libra (which all square Aquarius or Capricorn). Mercury retrograde normally makes people extra-frustrated, but this will be a particularly snippy period.

Now more than ever, we’re relying on our devices and a strong Wifi connection to do just about everything. So, when Mercury retrograde — which tends to throw a wrench in all things technology, communication, and transportation — strikes, we’re even more inclined to lose our minds.

Both Aquarius and Capricorn have zero tolerance for bullshit, so when you accidentally show up to a job interview at the wrong address, or text something to the very wrong person, own up with confidence and move on. It’s the only way to get through it!

This transit occurs in “totally different signs” that are both ruled by Saturn, the planet of maturity, responsibility, discipline, and stewardship. For that reason, she anticipates this will be the most impactful retrograde of the year.

Consider that Aquarius is the visionary of the zodiac and Capricorn is the paragon of a go-getter. Aquarius is all about tearing down and replacing non-working structures, while Capricorn wants to protect the old, working structures that have been in place. “It’s almost like they have similar objectives, but they get there by different means. So, the first Mercury retrograde of 2022 will have you examining what is and isn’t working in your own life.

What should you not do during Mercury retrograde?

  • Hold off on signing any contracts. Making a big purchase? …
  • Be prepared for traffic and other travel mishaps. …
  • Avoid situations primed for misunderstandings. …
  • Don’t rely on technology. …
  • Delete that “U Up?” text from a toxic ex. …
  • Refrain from starting anything new.

You’ll notice traffic, technology, people and social media are all having meltdowns. In the coming weeks, one of your old friends could emerge to discuss some drama or rehash your connection.

How Does Mercury Retrograde Behave in Air and Earth Signs?

Mercury often has three retrograde periods each year that take place entirely within the same astrological element. However, in 2022 the four Mercury retrograde phases will straddle two elements, with each one beginning in an air sign and ending in an earth sign. This is due to 2022 being a bridge year between the Mercury elemental years of air and earth signs. In 2021, Mercury was retrograde wholly in air signs, while in 2023 Mercury will be retrograde fully in earth signs. Thus, the first period of Mercury retrograde will link Aquarius with Capricorn, the second will move between Taurus and Gemini, and the third will connect Libra with Virgo.

The air and earth elements are completely dissimilar in quality, and so we will need to draw upon the magic Mercury possesses for synthesizing meaning when mediating differences. Mercury will spend the majority of each retrograde in air signs, including forming each one of its regenerative conjunctions with the Sun in each of the three air signs.

Therefore, the flexible and restless nature of the air element will be emphasized, accentuating the capacity of Mercury for bringing different perspectives together relationally to gather information and discover insight into how to change stagnant thought patterns. In contrast, the constructive and pragmatic nature of the earth element will result in each retrograde period ending with Mercury facilitating important distinctions that can help organize the airy revelations received by Mercury into more solid forms, helping us adapt our personal boundaries to the ways in which societal structures are shifting.

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