Mercury Retrograde: What is it and Dates for 2022 – 2023

What is Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury Retrograde happens three times a year for roughly two weeks each period. The apparent backward motion of the planets occurs because of the differences between orbital speeds of the Earth and Mercury around the Sun. Mercury orbits the Sun in approximately 88 days compared to the Earth’s 365 days. We experience Mercury slowing down, stationing, and changing direction in the sky due to this reason.

Mercury governs communication, perception, information, short trips, and technology. It governs how our day operates and how we transition between all of life’s hustle and bustle. Therefore, when Mercury retrogrades, it can interfere with any of these processes, internally and externally. We can feel more introspective, need time to think things over, and generally more uncertain. There can be miscommunications between friends, missed texts and emails lost in cyberspace. Technological and mechanical issues can also arise and what was once clear can suddenly not make any sense.

Should we limit planning during Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury retrograde happens three times a year. I never recommend that a client should limit oneself from plans for the sole reason of Mercury Retrograde. I consider many factors with any advice I give astrologically. What I do recommend is to be extra cautious, thoughtful, and thorough during retrograde seasons and if issues arise during them, to not force or push.

5 Phases of Mercury Retrograde:


For two weeks or so prior to Mercury Retrograde, Mercury will slow down and cross the degree that Mercury will later retrograde back to. Take note of any projects, writing, and agreements made during this time as Mercury will be travelling back over the same degrees when it retrogrades. 

Station Retrograde

This represents when Mercury will appear to stop moving before turning around and moving backwards. It is considered a heightened time as Mercury stations. We can feel a lack of forward momentum in current projects and interference in daily life.

Retrograde Motion

Between Station Retrograde to Station Direct, Mercury will appear to be travelling backwards in the sky. It will cover ground it has already travelled through, revisiting themes recently encountered. The impact is thought to be more intense closer to the station retrograde and station direct.

Post Shadow

For two weeks approximately post station direct, Mercury gains speed and travels over the retrograded degrees. This can be a time to gain clarity and momentum on what you learned during the retrograde.

Here are some questions I look at before I advise a client.

Does this retrograde touch the client’s planets personally?

Mercury tends to cover a substantial amount of ground during its retrograde period so it will usually connect with a chart by aspect in some way. Its influence will vary however based on what phase Mercury resides in while it traverses the natal planet, the condition of the natal planet Mercury is transiting, what other planetary influences are currently at play and by what aspect it is making. Is the aspect supportive, constructive, or destructive?

Faster moving planets like Mercury, Venus, the moon and Mars moves through the zodiac quite quickly. They can ignite other larger transits within your chart that need the accelerants of the faster moving planet to make the theme apparent.

Mercury Retrograde Dates 2022

From Station Retrograde to Station Direct

  • January 14th – February 3rd, 2022 in Aquarius and Capricorn
  • May 10th – June 3rd, 2022 in Gemini and Taurus
  • Sept 9th – Oct 2nd, 2022 in Libra and Virgo
  • Dec 29th – Jan 18th, 2023 in Capricorn
  • April 21st – May 14th, 2023 in Taurus
  • August 23rd – September 15th in Virgo
  • December 13th – January 1st, 2024 in Sagittarius
Lady Samantha

Lady Samantha

Lady Samantha is an astrologer, author, entrepreneur, and teacher. The visionary mind behind Moons of Avalon Astrology School and Membership Community and The Rock Store Crystal Store and Healing Centre, she has been studying spirituality, ritual, astrology, and mythology for many years.