Mercury Retrograde in Libra and Virgo: September-October 2022


Mercury Retrograde can bring annoying technology glitches, delayed or cancelled travel plans and appointments, and frustrating miscommunication.  And….it also has a huge silver lining. It’s the best time of the year for all things “re”: re-do, re-plan, re-write (or edit), re-connect, repair, reflect.  

This retrograde will straddle Libra and Virgo, so we can expect relationships to come into sharper focus. If you feel that your and your partner’s needs are imbalanced, this could get magnified now.  You may find yourself focusing intensely on your partner’s flaws.

But you know what, this particular Mercury Retrograde brings a number of surprising upsides!

When Mercury slows down, about to turn retrograde or direct, sometimes it makes an aspect with another planet that lasts for much longer than it normally would. And this time, Mercury will be opposing Jupiter for an unusually long time, which is helpful for negotiations and working on relationships!  And once Mercury moves into Virgo, it will stay in a positive contact (a trine) with Pluto for an unusually long time too.  This is very helpful for research or something like cognitive therapy or working on your self-limiting beliefs.

Deep breakthroughs are possible. Read more about these lovely features of the upcoming retrograde under "Key Dates".

But, there is more! 

Upsides of This Mercury Retrograde:

Despite its bad rap, Mercury Retrograde has some definite upsides:

When Mercury is retrograde in Libra, it’s actually an ideal time to:

  • Reconnect with your partner (pre-schedule some fun date nights if you can!). Re-read your old love letters, texts or email. Dig out old photos, from when the relationship was just starting. With time, many relationships become more about practical matters than romance, so it’s a great chance to revisit what brought you together in the first place.
  • Review and repair any relationship issues – you’re likely to find some practical solutions when the retrograde ends and Mercury will start moving forward in practical, solution-oriented Virgo.
  • Resolve old disagreements.
  • Reflect on your negotiation skills, which is a useful and often necessary skill in our professional and personal lives.
  • Re-balance your own needs and the needs of those around you.
  • Reflect on your view of fairness (surprisingly, taken the same situation, “fair treatment” doesn’t mean the same to each person!)

And once Mercury retrogrades into Virgo, it will be an EXCELLENT period to:

  • Review and edit your work, for all of you writers out there!
  • Project managers, it’s a good time to review your project plans and revise them as needed.
  • For everyone else, clean up your electronic files. Delete old email messages, documents/files, and voicemail. They are cluttering your energetic space, and that can create anxiety.
  • When Mercury retrogrades through Virgo, it’s a very helpful energy for “mental decluttering” as well, and for working on anxiety and negative thought patterns.
  • Unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel “down” or uninspired.
  • Unsubscribe from the email lists and promotions you never read.
  • Re-write unhelpful scripts and stories running through your mind. So yes, maybe you went through two bad relationships in a row….but, does it really make you a failure in the love department? Or, were these relationships an opportunity to refine what you really need in a romantic partner?

Mercury will retrace its steps between 8 degrees Libra to 24 degrees Virgo during the retrograde.

It will be moving backward in Libra (well, as its orbit appears to us from Earth!) between Sept. 9-23, and in Virgo between Sept. 23 – Oct. 2.

Check your natal chart for the House (=area of your life) that these degrees of the Zodiac fall into. Something might come up for a review in that area, and you will also have an opportunity to clean up some loose ends and repair relationships. Someone from your past might pop back into your life.

How Long Do Mercury Retrograde Effects Last?

Each Mercury Retrograde lasts approx. 3 weeks. But in practice, I find that most Mercury Retrograde related mishaps happen when Mercury slows down to a crawl and then stations – prepares to change direction – which is only 4-5 days on each end of the retrograde period.

Don’t feel like you have to be on high alert during the entire Mercury Retrograde – that would consume 9-12 weeks of your life every year!

But for this retrograde, be particularly careful around Sept. 7-14 and then again Sept. 29-Oct. 6 (Mercury will go direct on Oct. 2). 

The "re" activities - review, replan, reconnect - are great during the entire Mercury Retrograde.

What is Mercury Retrograde Shadow Period?

You may have heard of the Mercury Retrograde “shadow”.  These are the Zodiac degrees that Mercury passes through directly at first, than retrogrades over when it u-turns, than passes through again once it resumes a direct course, making a zig-zag.  The shadow period can start two weeks prior to Mercury Retrograde, and end two weeks after Mercury turns direct.

I view the pre-retrograde shadow period as the time to prepare for the retrograde, and the post-retrograde shadow as the time to reflect on any new learnings.

And now onto my tips for making the best of Mercury Retrograde:

Be Prepared for Possible Technology, Communication, or Transportation Problems:

First of all, slow down! Pace of life has been accelerating. Do you skim your email and occasionally miss important details? I know I do!  A big part of me thinks that many Mercury Retrograde related issues are due to our own rushing.

But, just in case:

  • Check fluids in the car and air in the tires
  • Double-check your travel plans; give yourself some extra time to get to your destination
  • Back up data on your phone and computer
  • Remember to charge your phone
  • Review important e-mails, including the distribution list, before you click “Send”! Sending sensitive info to the wrong recipient can easily happen during Mercury Retrograde ☹
  • If you must sign any important documents, read the fine print
  • If buying electronic devices or gadgets, save your warranty. Better yet, comparison-shop for big ticket items (electronics or vehicles) during Mercury Retrograde, and purchase after Mercury goes direct
  • And (borrowed from the art of feng shui), clean all windows and mirrors for clarity of thought and communication.

Key Dates (for Pacific to Eastern Time)

Sept. 7-14:  Mercury is repositioning in the skies. This is a particularly sensitive timeframe, when Mercury-related mishaps can happen.  Read the fine print, and avoid any major decisions if you can.  New information can come to light when Mercury goes direct again, that can change your decision.

August 30 – Sept. 21:  Mercury makes an unusually long opposition to Jupiter. This is because it’s just about to turn retrograde and so it’s moving very slowly. The opposition will become exact (at it’s strongest) twice during Mercury Retrograde: on Sept. 2 and Sept. 18.  And then Mercury and Jupiter will oppose each other again on October 12.

It’s a fantastic feature of this Mercury Retrograde, and unusual, too!  First of all, if you enter into any negotiations on or before August 30, they might drag on, but they will be well positioned for a successful resolution in mid-October.

If negotiating anything, try to schedule your key negotiation moments around Sept. 2, Sept. 18, or Oct. 12. But, be careful with the Sept. 18 date: we may be prone to major excess (after all, Jupiter is about expansion). It may be difficult to moderate and stay balanced. Stay practical.  If your negotiations go sideways, don’t give up –as mentioned, there will be a chance for a successful resolution in mid-October.

Writers, this is also a very supportive energy for you to re-work and re-edit your manuscripts.

Sept. 9: Mercury turns retrograde at 8 degrees Libra.

Sept. 18: Mercury opposite Jupiter. If you must start a Mercury-related endeavour during Mercury Retrograde, this is a relatively decent day.  Just proofread your documents and check the fine print.

Sept. 22: The Sun conjunct Mercury at 0 degrees Libra.. This is another day during this Mercury Retrograde when it’s actually good to START something related to communication, contracts, vehicles, electronics, or e-commerce.

If you know where 0 degrees Libra falls in your chart, that House (area of your life) is prime for starting something that can be a focus for the next 6-8 weeks, especially if it’s communication related.  For example, it falls into my 11th House of Friendships, so I may in fact be communicating with my friends more, when my daughter starts kindergarten in September!

Sept. 23: Mercury retrogrades into Virgo.

Sept. 26: Mercury conjunct Venus at 26 degrees Virgo.  This is a beneficial energy, especially in relationships.  If you’re working on repairing a relationship, it could be a good day to have that important conversation. There are many beneficial planetary alignments on that day.  It’s also a good day to resurrect an old topic (for example, a promotion or a raise) in a conversation with your boss at work.  Or to re-connect with someone from your past.

Sept. 27: Mercury trine Pluto at 26 degrees Taurus/Capricorn. This is another very useful energy that will be in effect until Oct. 7.  It’s particularly helpful for cognitive or talk therapy, because deep breakthroughs are likely. It’s also a very good energy for coaching.

Coaches and psychologists, take note!

Sept. 29-Oct. 6: Mercury is repositioning in the skies, turning direct on Oct. 2. This is a particularly sensitive timeframe, when Mercury-related mishaps can happen. If you must sign a legal document during this timeframe, be particularly diligent and read the fine print. 

Leave a comment