Watch out! Stepped in a puddle this week? Confused about the days and deadlines? Saying the wrong things at the worst possible times? It’s not your fault, the stars are at odds with you. It’s that time of the year when everything may seem a bit off, things you desire may be beyond your reach, and all of this is because Mercury is cruising backwards right now.
What is Mercury retrograde? It is a cosmic event when Mercury is believed to move backwards for a period of time. While other planets do that too, Mercury has a special significance. In astrology, this planet rules all communication, thoughts and interactions. So, when it starts going backwards, odds are that you’ll be confused and absent-minded, your transactions will be affected and relationships may experience some miscommunications.
Usually, Mercury retrograde occurs thrice a year, but 2022 has a mind of its own and it’s bringing this retrograde four times, this year! The first one is already in action and Mercury will stay in retrograde till February 2nd. So, hold off on new contracts, try keeping yourself calm and clear your head as much as you can. To make it easier, we spoke to a tarot and horoscope expert, Zohra Shakti (@woodstock_witch) to help you power through this intense, cosmic event.
Beauty Book: What is Mercury retrograde and why does it really affect us?
Zohra: First of all, let’s talk about why Mercury retrogrades are so feared. Mercury is the closest planet to the Earth, which is why, when its movement changes, it affects us so much— similar to wonky signals. Mercury rules day to day things relating to communications and travel, which makes the impact it has on us very evident. These are necessary triggers that come up at this retrograde period that become a catalyst to work on our inner self, shift our perspective on certain things or communicate differently with people in our lives. So, always know, that this chaos is also serving a purpose because it’s helping us realign and reassess, wherever necessary.
Beauty Book: What is the significance of 2022’s first Mercury retrograde? Who will be most affected during this first retrograde of the year?
Zohra: Every zodiac is going to be affected by this retrograde. I have read the cards for each and here’s an idea of how 2022’s first Mercury retrograde will occur for everyone, with some advice.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Try and cherish moments that are happening to you currently, rather than missing out and regretting the small but significant moments later on. Be present for everyday things. If your career choices seem a little off, please think of this period as a time for you to adjust your place within your chosen field of career, instead of making a whole new start.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
This period might help you to reassess your work-life balance. Your retrograde exercise must involve being more assertive when needed, and to understand how you can do it properly with the right words. Think back and understand how you would’ve stood up for yourself before but you didn’t.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
For Gemini, this Mercury retrograde is going to be better than for most. Your cards are very good and I have a feeling that you will sail through this period. You should be a little careful about any heated conversations that might come your way. You need to turn around and not have any foot-in-the-mouth moments right now, otherwise, you’re good to go.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
You are one of the most sensitive signs and while a lot is going on in the cosmos right now, you will feel the changes in the universe a lot more than others. You may feel that there’s some confusion and uncertainty, but don’t let this mess with your productivity. There is a possibility of a shining golden door in your future, so don’t let this get in your own way by letting this confusion take over you. Try to balance your moods and emotions.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Your cards give a sense of communication gaps coming your way. Take note of how you interact with your partners, both in your private or professional relationships. You might notice some trouble in paradise that usually pops up for you (only) during mercury retrogrades. If you’re feeling low mentally, please have a feel-good checklist at hand always to pull yourself out of it.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Mercury retrograde may be the time when you need to chase someone after for your money. I really hope your finances are not deeply affected, but your cards say that you are owed and your payments are stuck. Please do not let anyone use you for money. You should focus and put a lot of your energy into self-love around this time as well.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
This retrograde is the time for you to put on your headphones, keep the world at bay and just have fun. Yes, there will be struggle and testing moments that don’t feel perfect, but your strength stays in your laughter and sense of humour. I can see you laughing through this time and moving on to the other side of retrograde. This time will make you expand your circle with love and support.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Scorpions, it’s a good time for you because a lot of opportunities that may have passed you by are about to come back. If you feel you weren't prepared before for chances that came your way, trust in the signs that they’re making their way back during the retrograde. You’re powerful right now. Definitely see old friends coming back, even if for shorter durations.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
You need to be careful around your phones, you’re probably very close to having foot-in-the-mouth moments virtually. All kinds of text accidents, butt dials and wrong numbers may happen with embarrassing and funny results. Interestingly, I also see a bit of a creative renaissance for you. On the emotional front, you’ll feel like people around you may be going through their own trials and struggles and may not be available to you the way you want them to, but just know that no one is trying to hurt you intentionally.
Capricorn (December 21 – January 20)
From all the readings that we’ve gone through, Capricorns probably have it the worst during this retrograde. You might have conflict, chaos and a family drama situation coming your way. Ask yourself in these conflicts if you’re the negative one in the room. It’s easy to ignore your own feelings and emotions, you may tend to blame others in such a situation. Realign your emotions so that you don’t add to the drama around you.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
There’s good stuff and there’s bad stuff. Duality will meet you during this period. Everything you do and things around you will have two sides of the coin and you must see both before taking action. You can always choose the positive side.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Pisceans, at this retrograde you might feel that your emotions are all over the place. You’re holding the fort and trying to help everyone around you. Contain your energy, hold space for yourself before extending your time and attention to others. You might be overdoing it. You will have opportunities, but don’t let other people’s opinions and comments steer you away from your goals.
Beauty Book: Can you suggest a few tips and tricks to calm the confusion and chaos during this time? Should we focus on our mental health?
Zohra: The trick is to know that you are going to get triggered around this time. You can try to be aware of your triggers beforehand, and not go into a reactive space. You can learn to respond and analyse instead. Ask yourself as to why you’re behaving a certain way. Are you operating from a space of wounds? Have you been affected in this manner when you were growing up? Was your inner child hurting because of which you’re acting out in a certain manner? Avoid the ‘why is this happening to me?’ approach , and instead really sit down with yourself and understand yourself better.
A big part of Mercury retrograde is the feeling that you are not completely in alignment with your plans. Maybe you’ve diverted from your original path or taken a bypass, but you're no longer on the main road anymore, and this retrograde makes you confront that. This is when you realign and adjust your route.
Beauty Book: How can we use this period in our favour?
Zohra: While a lot of people from your past can show up, including exes and people you’ve chosen to separate from— retrograde brings people together. Friends from your past, your soul circle and relationships that have fizzled out can come back to you during this period. Make the most of it. Rekindling and rethinking the good relationships from your past can happen now. You can also think about people that were in your past. It may not have been the right time for you to begin that relationship or friendship at the time, and — this is the right time to reconsider again.