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As we transition into the new year, we might not feel the surge of a new beginning just yet. This Thursday, December 29, marks the start of the our final Mercury retrograde of 2022. Although a retrograde may seem counterintuitive to the spark of a new year, there remains deep medicine, invitations, insights, and support within the seemingly backward motion which will escort us into 2023.
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn
Despite appearances, when a planet is in retrograde, it isn’t actually moving backward. Because Mercury is closer to the Sun than Earth, and therefore has a shorter orbit, it overtakes us on our longer orbit. When it does so, it appears from our vantage to be moving backward. In truth, it is passing us.
Ancient astrologers considered retrogrades to be the time when a planet was moving through the underworld on a quest for new perspectives, greater wisdom, and deeper insights. While the known path can be nourishing, supportive, and safe, a different direction with different scenery is sometimes where we find our greatest growth.
Perhaps as Mercury passes Earth, it is venturing out on its own journey precisely for the sake of our eventual growth, happiness, and lives being fully experienced. Once it returns to its known path of forward movement, we can receive all that it gained along its quest.
As we can see from our vantage point, Mercury retraces steps it’s already taken during retrograde. While the path may be familiar, the perspective this time around is entirely different. This is why Mercury retrograde often manifests in our lives as old projects, relationships, and ways of being revisited. We, too, retrace our own steps to experience our journey from a new perspective. The seemingly backward motion of Mercury pulls our attention toward the past, inviting us to explore what we may have missed, inviting us to receive the insights and awareness that we previously did not.
In astrology, the Mercury archetype rules over our thinking, communication, intellect, learning, transportation, and technology. It is the day-to-day steps considered and taken as well as the logistics of all the moving parts. Its influence is obvious, clear, and deeply integrated into the way we move about the world. Perhaps this is why Mercury’s retrograde is felt so much more palpably than that of other planets.
Mercury retrogrades from the earthly sign of Capricorn, which guides you into who you want to be in the world, what you want to contribute, and what path you want to master. In Capricorn, Mercury retrograde takes on the lens of structure, practicality, organization, and boundaries. It becomes concerned with our goals, life plans, career, and reputation—the kinds of things we often contemplate as we step into the new year with our new intentions. Here you have the opportunity to reconsider all that you have been taught, and all that you have believed, about who you are in the world and what you should do with your life.
The gift within the reconsidering and the slower pace that Mercury retrograde brings is the time, space, and permission to land on a vision that you can realistically work toward. Capricorn is a sign of commitment. It is the goat scaling seemingly impossible mountains, dedicated to reaching the peak no matter the cost. During a time when your thoughts are fixated on the future, and where new year intentions are the norm, perhaps this retrograde is exactly what you need before you box yourself into goals and plans prior to considering or arriving at what is truly meant for you. Mercury will remain in retrograde until January 18, 2023.
As you step across the threshold of 2023, Mercury asks you to take your time arriving in the new year. It invites you to consider, reconsider, and openly explore your visions, goals, and intentions for this new chapter of your life before you set them in place.
This retrograde can be seen as a cosmic permission slip to allow some time to align your goals with your values. It is the permission to ponder on your path ahead without concretizing it too quickly, which often only leads to guilt or feelings of inadequacy when you fall short or realize something was never for you. And it is also your permission slip to clear away the noise of the world around you around what new year intentions should look like or, in greater truth, what your life should look like. As a new year begins, you get to consider all that in a way that serves you, just in time for your new chapter.
Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.
About our contributor
Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.