Whether you're known for asking for a person's exact time and place of birth within five minutes of meeting them or you've been asked those questions and had absolutely no idea why a stranger at the bar would need that information, you've most likely heard of the astronomical phenomenon known as Mercury retrograde, along with the mayhem that is said to accompany it.
This strange event, often dreaded by astrologers, refers to an optical illusion in which Mercury appears to move backward in its orbit in relation to Earth. That's right: Mercury isn't actually moving backward when it's retrograde, it just appears to do so from our viewpoint on Earth. Astronomers call it "apparent retrograde motion," and it's not exclusive to the planet Mercury. (Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto all have retrograde periods, too, just to name a few.) However, to astrologers, Mercury's retrograde periods tend to cause inexplicable mishaps and tribulations, particularly in regard to communication, travel, and technology — all of the things the planet Mercury rules, according to astrology.
If you're fiercely determined to avoid as many obstacles sent down by the universe as possible, you'll want to know exactly when you should be on the lookout for the times when Mercury is retrograde in 2022.
When Is Mercury Retrograde in 2022?
According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, Mercury moved into apparent retrograde three times in 2021, which is one period of retrograde fewer than what's expected in 2022. In 2022, Mercury will be retrograde during these four periods, according to Astrology Zone:
- Jan. 14-Feb. 3
- May 10-June 2
- Sept. 9-Oct. 2
- Dec. 29-Jan. 18, 2023
Each 2022 Mercury retrograde will happen in different astrological signs — meaning, those are the signs Mercury will be moving through during its retrograde period. The first Mercury retrograde of 2022 will happen in air sign Aquarius and end in earth sign Capricorn; the second Mercury retrograde will start in air sign Gemini and end in earth sign Taurus; the third starts in air sign Libra and ends in earth sign Virgo; and the final Mercury retrograde of 2022 (which continues into 2023) will happen entirely in Capricorn. Depending on which sign it's transiting through, Mercury retrograde can affect people of various zodiac signs in different ways, according to astrologists.
Based on all the Mercury retrograde periods in 2022, it seems like the year will be a year full of unexpected events — so what exactly should you do to avoid trouble during these times when Mercury appears to be doing the moonwalk?
What Does Mercury Retrograde Mean in Astrology?
In astrology, retrograde periods essentially mean a time of slow movement, or when a planet is not moving forward at its fullest potential (and thus, neither are you). You may experience setbacks during all types of retrogrades, depending on the area of life a planet is said to govern. Since Mercury is known by astrologers as the planet that rules all types of communication, it is important to be doubly aware of what you are saying and writing during these times, as your thoughts, words, and feelings may get lost in translation. Whenever Mercury is in retrograde, make sure to double- or triple-check all forms of written communication, from emails to projects to text messages. The Old Farmer's Almanac also warns that it might be wise to avoid signing any contracts during this time. Overall, being extra patient and flexible with timing and communication during these periods of retrograde will make any inconvenience feel a little less troubling, whether or not the planets have anything to do with it.