Mercury Retrograde in Virgo: August-September 2023


MERCURY RETROGRADE VIRGO, August 23 - Sept. 15 2023

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 is in Virgo, which is actually quite helpful for re-planning, re-writing, or cleaning out what no longer serves you - and this can be physical OR emotional clutter! 

Mercury will retrace its steps between 21° and 8°  Virgo during this retrograde. 

Let's Start with the Upsides:

Despite its bad rap, every Mercury Retrograde has some unique upsides:

When Mercury retrogrades in Virgo, it's 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.
  • It's also a very helpful energy for “mental decluttering”, 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?

Impacts on You, Personally: 

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. Someone - or something - from your past might pop back into your life.

My natal Mercury is in Virgo.   Surprisingly, the toughest Mercury Retrogrades for me, personally, are the ones in Earth signs! You'd think they would be easier.  After all, retrograding Mercury makes a trine (a positive aspect) to my natal Mercury.  But no.... that's when I experience a lot of miscommunication and issues with paperwork.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces (opposite my natal Mercury) is another big one for me.  That's when I tend to make bad decisions. 

Keep track of how Mercury Retrogrades connect with your natal chart for a couple of years, and see if you can find a pattern! 

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).

This year, it's: 

  • August 19-26 2023
  • September 12-19 2023

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

Usual Cautions:  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.

And Some Cautions Specifically for This Mercury Retrograde

Considering this retrograde is happening in Virgo, here are a few more things to pay attention to:

  • You may feel more anxious or stressed as usual.  Practice grounding.
  • Work - or chores and tasks to do - may feel hectic, with little progress being made.

If you start experiencing these impacts, do something that grounds your senses. Meditate. Do yoga. Take a bath with lavender before bed.  Turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before your bedtime. 

Key Dates (for Pacific to Eastern Time)

August 15-31:  Mercury is in its Storm, moving very slowly now, repositioning in the skies, getting ready to turn retrograde on August 23.

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.

Sept. 4: Mercury trine Jupiter 

Mercury made a supportive trine to Jupiter on August 9.  The same energy now returns. If you started working on a contract, negotiation or an important proposal around August 9, you will now have a chance to review or revise it - and ultimately improve it.

The final outcome of what you started on or around August 9 might not come together until September 25 - that's when  Mercury and Jupiter make one final trine to one another.

Sept. 6: The Sun conjunct Mercury at 13 degrees Virgo. 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 13 degrees Virgo 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 10th House of Career, and that totally makes sense - the summer will be over, my daughter will be back in school. and work will be high on the agenda again.

September 11-20 2023Mercury is repositioning in the skies, turning direct on Sept. 15. 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.

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