This drawing illustrates the path of Mercury in the sky and the different stages of the Mercury Retrograde Cycle. Each stage is color coded, and the corresponding dates are shown in the Mercury Retrograde Calendar, below.
The 5 Significant phases and Stations of Mercury Retrograde.
Please note that this calendar begins on a Monday.
The Direct Station occurs in Capricorn (8º 8') on Jan 18 at 1:12 pm Universal Time, 8:12 am EST and 5:12 am PST.
Mercury ends the Post-Shadow on February 8 Capricorn at approx. 6:22 pm Unversal Time, 1:22 pm EST and 10:22 am PST.
The First Mercury Retrograde of 2023 begins with the Pre-Shadow in Taurus on April 7 at approx. 12:02 pm Universal Time*, 8:02 am EDT, and 5:02 am PDT.
Mercury goes Retrograde in Taurus (15º 37') on April 21, 8:35 am Universal Time, 4:35 am EDT, and 1:35 am PDT.
The Direct Station occurs in Taurus (5º 51') on May 15, at 3:16 am Universal Time, and on May 14, 11:16 pm EDT, and 8:16 pm PDT.
Mercury ends the Post-Shadow in Taurus on June 1, at approx 7:41 pm Universal Time, 3:41 pm EDT and 12:41 pm PDT.
The previous Retrograde in Taurus occurred in August of 2017 and 2016.
The Second Mercury Retrograde of 2023 begins the Pre-Shadow in Virgo on August 4 at approx. 3:00 am Universal Time*, and on August 3 at 11:00 pm EDT, and 8:00 am PDT.
Mercury goes Retrograde in Virgo (21º 51') on August 23 at 7:59 pm Universal Time, 3:59 pm EDT, and 12:59 pm PDT.
The Direct Station occurs in Virgo (8º 0') on September 15 at 8:21 pm Universal Time, 4:21 pm EDT, and 1:21 pm PDT.
Mercury ends the Post-Shadow in Virgo on September 30 at approx. 5:15 am Universal Time, 1:15 am EDT, and on September 29 at 10:15 pm PDT.
The previous Retrograde in Virgo occurred in August of 2017 and 2016.
The last Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio occurred in October of 2014. This year it introduces the US elections in November.
The Third Mercury Retrograde of 2023 begins the Pre-Shadow in Sagittarius on November 25 at approx. 12:40 pm Universal Time*, 8:40 pm EDT, and 5:40 pm PDT.
Mercury goes Retrograde in Capricorn (8º 29') on December 13 at 7:09 am Universal Time, 3:09 am EST, and 12:09 am PST.
The Direct Station occurs in Sagittarius (22º 11') on January 2, 2024 at 3:37 am Universal Time, and on Jan 1, 2024 at 11:37 pm EDT, and 8:37 pm PDT.
The previous Retrograde in Capricorn occurred in December 2016.
Please note that all times are approximate. The actual times are defined by the observer's location and vary due to parallax.
* Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) replaced Greenwich Mean Time in 1961. They are often used interchangeably.
If you seek to take advantage of this time, I heartfully recommend these two books.
Being Centered: How to Live from Your Authentic Self is the must-have book to optimize your life journey. It will clarify the practical steps you can take to reclaim your integrity with your heart and core. Our personal experiences with Mercury Retrograde reflect that integrity.
The Signs : The Ancient Knowledgeis a revelation of the essence of the Signs and what they mean at the deep transformational level of the Soul. The Signs reveal the deep meaning of your Sun Sign, not only where you tend to get caught, but more importantly, what frees you and takes you forward.
The Signs takes astrology back to its spiritual roots, its relationship to the chakras, and the hidden knowledge passed down from ancient times. Each Sign holds its share of that knowledge.
How to Live from Your Authentic Self
The Signs: The Ancient Knowledge
This calendar indicates the main phases of Mercury Retrograde using a color code.
The Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow phase is indicated in blue and corresponds to the time during which Mercury traces the path in the sky that it will later return to as it moves backward, during the Mercury Retrograde Phase. Often it is during this time that the conditions are set up for the Retrograde phase that follows. As Mercury slows down, just prior its retrograde motion, the contributing factors and the experiences of the cycle are strengthened, and this is indicated in the calendar by a violet color.
The Mercury Retrograde Phase is in light red. The actual Mercury Retrograde Station, as Mercury appears to have stopped and is about to go backward is shown in red. Near the beginning and the end of the retrograde phase, Mercury seems to slow down in the sky, and its effect tends to stronger. This is shown with a darker color.
The retrograde phase is famous for revealing the consequences of inattention to detail, wrong assumptions as well as errors in communication and transportation. Many of these are often set up in the pre-shadow phase.
The actual moment when Mercury appears to be stationary and is about to move forwards is the Mercury Direct Station. This is shown in dark brown. As Mercury is still moving slowly before it speeds up the effect tends to be stronger, indicated with a darker shade of brown.
The Mercury Retrograde Post-Shadow phase is indicated in brown. Mercury is now moving forward, and this phase refers to the time during which Mercury is retracing the path in the sky where it had formerly moved backward during the retrograde period.
Often, the Mercury Retrograde Post-Shadow can reveal the errors in communication and travel that may have occurred during the pre-shadow and retrograde phases.
One way of looking at Mercury Retrograde is that it reveals the shadow or disowned component in our awareness, communication, and interaction with others and with the world around us.
Mercury rules the signs Gemini and Virgo. With Gemini, Mercury expresses the way that we reach out into our neighborhood, interact and discriminate. The shadow of Gemini is Sagittarius.
When Mercury is retrograde, it often expresses the negative or disowned nature of Sagittarius. When this happens, the tendency is to generalize, anticipate, gloss over, judge or assume, without reality checking.
The other expression of Mercury Retrograde is through the shadow of the sign Virgo. With Virgo, Mercury expresses the way that we integrate what we experience and how we make sense of the world around us through our mind. The shadow of Virgo is Pisces.
When Mercury is retrograde, often the negative or disowned nature of Pisces is expressed. We may think that someone else will do it, or we may imagine that things will turn out for ‘the best’ or we may imagine or hope instead of doing something for ourselves. Often the disowned nature of Pisces is revealed in our disconnection to our core and in seeking that connection outside of ourselves instead.
You may want to look at each Mercury Retrograde cycle as a small wake up call and an opportunity to notice when you are caught up in the patterns of your shadow. It is then that we tend to be less conscious, and not as aware as we could be. Moreover, when we act from this place, we set ourselves up.
The Mercury Retrograde cycle is a good time for introspection and to become more aware of your own patterns. If you wish to take advantage of this time, you may find this book is very helpful in revealing the ways we become unconscious in our actions, and it gives clear practical steps to regain our integrity with our core. It comes highly recommended:
► Being Centered.
Each sun sign expresses the path of spirit and reveals our contribution to the way we interact with the Mercury Retrograde Cycle. That contribution is at the bottom of each Sun Sign description. You can click the glyph of your Sun Sign in the menu below or choose it from the pull-down menu at the top of the page.
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