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Mercury Retrograde August 2023: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Long time no see, Mercury retrograde! It’s that time again but fear not, stargazers—the messenger planet stations retrograde three to four times each year, which means this isn't our first rodeo. Granted, one retrograde barely scratches the surface when considering what's actually happening in the cosmos—there will be a total of seven planets retrograde simultaneously this summer, including Venus retrograde—but I digress. Savvy Mercury will begin its retrograde journey via 21 degrees of Virgo on August 23, where it will remain until it goes direct on September 15. Hint: Check which astrological house(s) belong to 8 degrees through 21 degrees of this mutable earth sign, because this is the area of life where you are prone to experiencing the “retrograde effects.” If you’re familiar with astrology and your zodiac sign, then chances are you’ve heard of the notorious effects of Mercury retrograde, but have you ever wondered what all the fuss is actually about?


First and Foremost, Who is Mercury?

Mercury was the only deity able to travel in and out of the underworld, as per Roman mythology. It’s actually because of this that he was often seen as a go-to advisor amongst the gods and mortals. A clever trickster and wise communicator, Mercury was an interpreter, translator and transporter of goods and messages. In astrology, however, Mercury is known as the planet of communication, transportation, cognitive functions, and day-to-day affairs. Mercury is also the closest planet to the sun, and the fastest in our solar system.


Swift and cerebral, it’s no wonder this resourceful planet also happens to rule both Gemini and Virgo. Nevertheless, their “mercurial” nature expresses itself differently. Where Mercury in Gemini prioritises collecting data and relaying the message back to those around them, Mercury in Virgo wants to simplify and streamline processes. Be it with regards to your daily routine, or the need to improvise with little to no options, Mercury in Virgo’s overall meticulousness is partly why it's such a brilliant energy for problem-solving.


What Happens during Mercury Retrograde?

Despite being infamous for instilling fear into our horoscopes, the “retrograde” term is a representation of the way a planet appears to slow down because… believe it or not, planets do *not* actually move backwards in the sky. The illusion of it moving backwards stems from the planet’s position to Earth whilst orbiting around the sun. In simpler terms, to retrograde means slowing down, but this actually encourages us to do the same.


As previously mentioned, Mercury retrogrades three to four times each year. But since it’s the planet of communication (i.e. conversations, technology, e-mail, etc.) we are collectively prone to general misunderstandings and/or technical difficulties at this time. That being said, without letting the dreaded effects influence your decisions, it’s best to hold off on important messages and contracts until it goes direct.


On a brighter note, retrograde transits are an excellent time to (re)visit, (re)assess, and (re)view things in our personal lives. So, while it may not be a good time for commitment and contractual agreements, it’s a wonderful opportunity to check in with yourself or better yet, pick a passion project back up for a second look. Past conversations, and/or situations that lacked closure once upon a time, are also likely to resurface, but this allows us to approach things with a clear mind.


Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023: What Can We Expect?

Mercury rules Virgo, so if your guess is that this retrograde cycle will be more potent than others, you’re not wrong. It’s Mercury in Virgo’s job to purify, simplify and clarify things, so this retrograde could zoom in on what lacks practicality, productivity and accountability in our world. For instance, where are you working harder as opposed to smarter? What needs to be reworked and/or polished, in order to see the results you seek? This retrograde is presenting us with an opportunity to right-click and undo, figuratively. It’s also time to cross our t’s and dot our i’s, and hopefully make the necessary adjustments to our plans moving forward.


Virgo rules everything from our day-to-day affairs to our general well-being, so it’s important to also reflect on the value of your current routine, personally and/or professionally speaking. The same goes for logistics and tedious to-do lists, as there’s nothing Mercury in Virgo loves more, but not so much while it's retrograde. That being said, it’s important to be mindful of your schedule and calendar invites, as they are more likely to slip under the rug at this time.

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