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How to thrive during Mercury Retrograde 2023: Tips and insights for a smoother journey

You would think we’d had enough retrogrades by now, considering we’re just a few weeks shy of 2024, but it ain’t over ‘til it’s over! On December 13, the swift messenger planet begins its final retrograde cycle of the year at 2:09 a.m. ET.

Starting at 8 degrees of Capricorn, Mercury retrograde will eventually re-enter spontaneous Sagittarius on December 23rd, where it will remain until it stations direct on January 1, 2023. 

Truth be told, there’s no such thing as a Mercury retrograde cycle that is… well, “smooth sailing.” On the contrary, Mercury is considered a personal planet in astrology—as it is not only the closest to the sun but also the fastest moving planet in the solar system— which is why we experience its retrograde effects more prominently than others. It also governs everything from communication and thought processes to transportation and other miscellanies in your immediate environment.

Mercury is everywhere you look, so when the planet of information isn’t working at its full potential, it’s only natural that we experience delays and misunderstandings. Did it really have to retrograde at the peak of the holiday season? Of all moments, the planet of postage, texting, technology, and you name it goes retrograde and ruins Christmas. OK, I’m just kidding, but I hope you got your holiday shopping done already!

The last Mercury retrograde of 2023: December 13 - January 1, 2024

Is it the end of the world? No. Is it a nuisance? Always, but have no fear! This isn’t your first retrograde (considering the messenger planet backspins three to four times each year), so keep the usual do’s and don’ts in mind. For instance, the word retrograde refers to the planet's slow-moving pace but you can also use the “re” as a reminder that it’s a time to review, reflect, rework, re-assess, and re-evaluate things.

Mercury retrograde in Capricorn: December 13 - 23, 2023

As you know, Mercury governs our communication style and exchanges, but this is where we have to integrate the essence of hardworking Capricorn, namely its traditions,  strict structures, and sense of authority. With all of that being said, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn could bring light to either extreme of this cardinal earth sign. For instance, if you’re cold-cutting and overly rigid, then you may have an opportunity to confront this mindset or communication style. Others of you, however, may need to reassess your pre and post-holiday workload and make sure you’re practicing accountability.

Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius: December 23, 2023 - January 1, 2024

Upon Mercury retrograde’s debut in Sagittarius, you could consciously or unconsciously revisit conversations and/or exchanges that took place at the beginning of this Mercury transit. (For reference, think back to November 10 through December 13.) Sagittarius has everything to do with our personal philosophy, belief systems, and desire for expansion. It also symbolizes growth and spiritual wisdom, whether in personal or professional lives.

Warning: Mercury in Sagittarius is somewhat of an optimist, but despite the archer pointing its arrow towards the infinite possibilities, it doesn’t always follow through with its over-arching commitments. That being said, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re committing to at this time (especially during the holiday festivities), as you could accidentally overbook yourself and fail to keep your word in the process. 

Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius is probably the most challenging part of this cycle (given holiday chaos, so you’ll want to double and triple-check your travel itinerary, but try not to stress the little things. Remember what the holidays are all about, and do what feels right for you and at your own pace.

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