Don't worry, Mercury retrograde 2023 won't be as horrible as you thought

Don't let the notorious planet get the best of you—Mercury retrograde 2023 is relatively simple and manageable

Mercury retrograde 2023 feature image; a woman's silhouette holding a planet on a starry sunset background
(Image credit: Future)

Lovely news, astro enthusiasts: Mercury retrograde 2023 is not going to be the torturous event you envisioned. 

We typically anticipate trouble at the mere mention of "retrogrades," especially when the planet of communication comes into play. Given the notorious Mercury retrograde effects—difficult commutes, broken devices, fights with our S.O. and the cliché fear of breaking up during Mercury retrograde—we'd rather curl up with our crystals and block out the transit entirely.

But as astrologer Liz Simmons (opens in new tab) has told us many times before, this particular cosmic happening is a great learning tool, as we can take an opportunity to review and revise. What's more is that the planet is fairly cooperative during our next trip around the sun, so there's no need to fear what's ahead.

Mercury retrograde 2023: everything astrologers want you to know

Mercury retrograde 2023 dates

Typically, Mercury goes retrograde three to four times per year, and the transit usually averages about three weeks or so. Here are the dates to note for late 2022, all of 2023 and the very beginning of 2024:

  • December 29, 2022 to January 18, 2023
  • April 21 to May 14, 2023
  • August 23 to September 15, 2023
  • December 13, 2023 to January 1, 2024

Do note that the Mercury shadow period takes place two weeks before and after the event itself. We'd like to think of it as a cosmic appetizer and dessert, with the main course sandwiched in between. 

During the "appetizer" we'll get a brief taste of what to expect during the event itself, and when our "dessert" course hits the table, we'll wrap up any loose ends from the planet's backwards motion—and find a resolution to any woes. Phew!

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What to expect from Mercury retrograde 2023

Like Mercury retrograde 2022, the new year will also experience four helpings instead of the usual three. However, the fact that the first three are in one sign instead of two—unlike 2022—makes matters a lot simpler.

"These first three might be somewhat easier to go through since earth energy is stable, determined and rational," Simmons says. "So, it might be easier to work through the logistics of the craziness that Mercury retrograde could bring."

Do note that she believes the first three transits in earth signs have the capability of emphasizing our values and finances, so do make sure you are feeling confident in secure in your beliefs as well as your money management. (Should you need, we spoke to experts to uncover the best financial wellness tips to help you stay on track.)

Things might be a little trickier come the end of the year, as Mercury goes retrograde in two signs, but let's be honest: you're a pro and can take it on with ease.

"Given that this last one switches from earthy Capricorn to fiery Sagittarius, it might be more jarring since the fiery Archer energy may spark anger, aggression, assertion, and poorly timed action," Simmons says. 

headshot of astrologer liz simmons
Meet the expert: Liz Simmons

Liz Simmons is a freelance writer, astrologer, and tarot reader based in Salem, MA. She views astrology and tarot as another tool in our arsenal to understand the cosmic interplay in our lives. Currently, Liz contributes astrological articles and horoscopes to StyleCaster, POPSUGAR and Astrology.com. She is also the resident astrologer at ASCEND Get Lifted. Check out Liz’s Instagram @the__crone (opens in new tab) and her website, the-crone.com. (opens in new tab) 

As usual, we can expect miscommunication, be it white lies or little patience. Now's the time to think about the ways in which you want to be treated and exude that mindset when interacting with others. 

Even though it can be a little difficult in the socializing department when Mercury goes retrograde, on the plus side, our own intuition is at its prime, according to Nebula's astrologer Patrick Price. 

"Many think that Mercury retrograde is all doom and gloom, but this is not the case at all," he says. "One of the positives it can bring into our lives is that it acts as an amplifier to our intuition, meaning that even if we can’t articulate or intellectualize our emotions, our gut feelings about things will actually be very accurate."

astrologer patrick price
Meet the expert: Patrick Price

Patrick is Nebula: Horoscope and Astrology App’s (opens in new tab) expert specializing in tarot, angel readings and Western astrology. Patrick is a queer man who comes from a gypsy family. Tarot is deeply rooted in his family’s culture. He’s been doing tarot for the past eight years and astrological readings for the last three years. Patrick specializes in coaching through starts and finding purpose in life.

Additionally, Mercury retrograde helps us get in tune with ourselves, Price insists. 

"[It] offers us is the ability to really see ourselves," he says. "It can lead to great self-awareness allowing you to make positive changes where they may need to happen." 

Mercury retrograde 2023 tips

While of course it's important to be mindful of the way we treat people and the way in which we handle important matters during Mercury retrograde, Price suggests that there's one tactic that makes the transit a lot smoother: practicing gratefulness, something that might be overlooked with the fear of a broken laptop or a huge fight looms over us. 

"Focusing on gratitude will keep you grounded at this time and also keep you aligned with the positivity in your own life," he says. Also, it is vital to remember that nothing is 'good' or 'bad'. It is all about our perspective and the energy and importance we choose to give things."

mercury planet, dark skies, meant to denote mercury retroshade

(Image credit: Getty Images/parameter)

On a whole, use Mercury retrograde as a time to be kind to others—and yourself. Are you communicating effectively? Are you allowing time to decompress? Think of it as an excuse to right things that feel wrong so that you're operating more authentically moving forward. 

As far as fearing the astrology event, don't sweat it—you're going to be fine. Be sure to check out our 2023 guide to what planet is in retrograde so you can prepare accordingly!

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)