January's Mercury Retrograde Is Hitting Each Zodiac Sign Pretty Hard — Here's How

Anyone else feel like 2022 is already off to a silly, goofy start? I sure do. With what will soon be three planets retrograde simultaneously, it is more than understandable if the first two weeks of January have felt damn near impossible to get through. But just like all good things come to an end, so do bad things. While January 2022's Mercury retrograde period — the first of 2022 — is occurring on top of Uranus retrograde and Venus retrograde for a bit, it won't last forever. Rather, January's Mercury retrograde starts on Jan. 14 and ends Feb. 3, lasting for three weeks. Knowing how Mercury retrograde will affect your zodiac sign is the first step in making it through this tricky period as best you can.

Out of all the planets' retrogrades, Mercury retrograde is arguably the most well-known, likely because it governs the areas of our lives we rely on the most: communication and information processing. While it's certainly not the end of the world or the huge, disastrous event some have made it out to be, it's not a walk in the park either. It is, however, a good time to cut yourself and those around you some slack, reflect on the areas of your life where communication isn't great as it could be, engage in a little self-care, and slow down. Ahead, get a better idea of the meaning of Mercury retrograde and how it'll affect your zodiac sign.

What Do Retrogrades Mean in Astrology?

To understand what planets' retrogrades mean in astrology, it's helpful to make sense of retrogrades IRL. Retrogrades are so named because, when planets slow down enough in their orbit, they create an optical illusion and appear to be moving backward. This understanding carries over into the astrological meaning of retrogrades, too. In astrology, retrogrades are regarded as periods that tend to bring the past — past thoughts, relationships, life themes, and feelings — back around for us to reconsider for the future. It's during these periods that planets are not moving forward at their regular speeds, so certain areas of life slow down, too, potentially resulting in miscommunications, setbacks, and other difficulties, depending on the planet retrograding.

What Is Mercury Retrograde's Spiritual Meaning in Astrology?

Looking back to Mercury's mythological roots, the Roman god "Mercury" is often linked to Hermes in Greek mythology, otherwise known as a divine messenger to the gods, according to Britannica. Now, in astrology, Mercury is said to govern communication, our immediate surroundings, some travel, and thoughts and information processing — some pretty important areas. While orbiting at full speed, Mercury tends to help these areas move forward without a hitch, but when the planet slows nearly to a halt during Mercury retrograde, so can these themes. This can result in a number of things, like a small miscommunication spiraling into something bigger or a person from your past coming back around for a chat.

This Mercury retrograde period occurs in two zodiac signs: Aquarius and Capricorn. In innovative and community-focused Aquarius, we can expect Mercury retrograde to introduce some thought-provoking, potentially unnerving feelings surrounding your connections, with your words and theirs carrying more weight than usual. When Mercury retrogrades briefly through structured, ambitious Capricorn on Jan. 25, you may notice a greater emphasis on how you're working toward your goals, as well as the obstacles getting in your way. Of course, for a deeper understanding of how Mercury retrograde affects you personally, it's also helpful to know in which zodiac sign and astrological house Mercury falls in your birth chart, as well as the house Aquarius rules for your zodiac sign.

How Will the January 2022 Mercury Retrograde Affect My Zodiac Sign?

Aries (March 21-April 19)

January 2022's Mercury retrograde has you thinking about your crew now more than ever, Aries — how you interact with your friends, and they with you. Are you surrounded by people who excite and motivate you? And do you feel you can be honest with them? If not, you may want to use Mercury retrograde to reflect on what you want most out of your friendships and how you can achieve that.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Have you been asking for what you want — nay, need — in your professional life, Taurus? Sometimes, you can't do it all on your own, and during Mercury retrograde, you may have an epiphany about the importance of your network when it comes to your career. Take some time to reflect on all you've worked so hard to accomplish and fill yourself with the confidence to brag about yourself a little bit.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

With Mercury as your ruling planet and Aquarius ruling your adventurous ninth house, you're probably thinking about all about your 2022 visions, Gemini, including waffling on the meaningful beliefs you've typically held close or the bigger picture of where your life is headed. Don't be afraid to use this tricky time to sit in stillness and just think. Think about what you've wanted out of life in the past and whether or not that truly aligns with how you're feeling now.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

People already know you're emotional, Cancer, but what they don't know is that there's much more going on beneath your exterior than you let on — and you may find yourself struggling with vulnerability during Mercury retrograde. You hold space for your loved ones' emotions so faithfully, but January's Mercury retrograde is challenging you to reconsider how you can let yourself experience the other side of that intimacy and trust.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Mercury retrograde is putting a spotlight on your close relationships, Leo, including those you might think you left in the past. If Mercury retrograde brings some older connections back around for a chat, tread carefully and honestly. Mercury retrograde also isn't the best time to start something fresh, so if you've been thinking about solidifying a certain relationship, it might be best to hold that thought for a beat.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Is your day-to-day working for you, Virgo? With Mercury retrograde shining a spotlight on your routines, habits, and daily tasks, you might begin to wonder where you're going wrong in these areas. This isn't a sign to flip your whole day upside down, but it is a time to reflect on some small, immediate changes you can make with regard to your habits that make you feel coordinated, inspired, and energized.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Affecting your fifth house of creativity, romance, and passions, Mercury retrograde is calling on you to rethink these areas, perhaps with regard to how you express your creative visions or affection. This is a good time to dedicate a little more time to whatever allows your creativity to truly thrive — and the same goes for your love life.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You're probably getting a little emo during Mercury retrograde, Scorpio, as this transit emphasizes your home, family, and your emotional foundations. This period may bring about some difficult conversations or feelings surrounding your loved ones, so do your best to hold space for them and you at this time. If you're feeling overwhelmed, allow yourself to communicate that and lean into the people and activities that make you feel better.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

With the communication-focused planet retrograding through your third house of communication, you're prone to some — wait for it — communication struggles at this time, Sagittarius. Don't recoil from any and all interactions, though. Rather, approach conversations with your immediate community carefully. Don't be afraid to ask for clarity if you need it, and try not to jump to premature conclusions.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Mercury retrograde is prompting you to review your sense of security, Capricorn, particularly when it comes to your finances. You may be one of the most responsible signs, but are you making the most responsible financial choices? Use your penchant for structure and discipline to approach any money mishaps with a clear head and rejigger your finances in support of the areas of life you value most.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This Mercury retrograde is a big one for you, Aquarius. Because it occurs in your sign, you're probably feeling this transit on a personal level, thinking about who you were compared to who you are now. If you're feeling a little unsure of yourself, take some time to slow down, think about what you've learned about yourself over the last year, and think about how you can practice authenticity.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

You might be feeling a little reclusive during Mercury retrograde, Pisces, as this period shines a light on and envelopes you in your subconscious mind, dreams, secrets, and themes of closure. It's important to remember that the deep, deep feelings that come up for you during this time may be strong, but they aren't necessarily the full picture — and they might just be holding you back.