Get ready for the first Mercury retrograde of 2023. Scattered energies will be in play from April 22nd to May 14th as Mercury goes backwards in the usually rock-steady sign of Taurus.

Prepare for chaos, scrambled thoughts, and maybe some plans going up in smoke. 

Adding more fuel to the fire, a new moon total solar eclipse in Aries on April 20th – kicking off the 2023 eclipse season in the signs of Aries and Libra. I’ll give you my take on what this spells for relationships in a future blog.

Eclipses are signposts to change.

The technical bit: what does Mercury retrograde mean?

Mercury retrograde is the name for what’s called an astrology transit, where Mercury moves slower than the Earth around the sun.

As the planet closest to the sun, Mercury normally moves faster than ours – it takes Mercury 88 days to make its way around the sun compared to the Earth’s 365 days .

When it goes slower it creates a sort of optical illusion that it’s moving backwards.

What Mercury retrograde means for you…

Where did I put those keys? Why did I come into this room? Why is nothing flowing or making any sense? Where’s this brain fog descending from? 

Mercury is the trickster planet, but a retrograde phase is never as bad as all that, if you’re prepared for it and can therefore navigate it as deftly as possible. 

Expect more chaos with transport and appointment systems – it likes to throw spanners in lots of works. 

Your flights might get delayed or your luggage might end up in Brisbane instead of Boston.

We’re all about to switch to a spin-cycle of chaos because this is the Zodiac’s communication planet.

And don’t be fooled by his dainty-winged feet. He means business. This planet might be dwarfed by its solar system buddies but he can still cause bumps in the road and turns molehills into mountains when he goes backwards.

Mercury turns retrograde three times in 2023

Mercury turns retrograde three times in 2023: April 21 to May 14 in Taurus; from 23 August to 15 September in Virgo; and from 13 December to 1 January 2024 in Sagittarius through Capricorn.

During any of these phases is not a good time to sign contracts, launch a new business, move house, buy anything new, or make any big life-changing decisions.

 One of the good things is that however unravelled things get, you might get a snap chance to fix them once he gets his skates on and faces the right way again.

Speaking of which…

What happens when Mercury turns direct?

Mercury turning direct, or stationing direct as it’s called because it appears to stand still for a spell, doesn’t mean that we’re completely out of the woods. It’s then that we then enter what’s called the shadow period, (the same as we do as we prepare for it to turn retrograde, and some astrologers believe these to be the most chaotic parts of the retrograde phase).

You should, therefore, try to give it about a week before fully trusting that normal service has resumed.

You should always look at what else is going on in your horoscope before you resign yourself to everything going belly up when Mercury’s up to his tricks.

Mercury retrograde is also a great opportunity to stop and smell the roses and take stock of all the stuff that didn’t quite work or hit the mark before he went back the way, or that you, as it might turn out, will wisely put off, perhaps because your inner voice might persuade you to tackle it at a later date.