The cosmos granted us a mere two weeks of peace upon entering 2022 before unleashing their most infamous form of mayhem. That’s right: Mercury’s retrograde again. The year’s first Mercurial backspin kicks off on Jan. 14 and lasts through Feb. 3. This pesky transit is known for causing tech troubles, travel snags, brain fog, and communication clashes galore — which isn’t exactly something to look forward to. That said, it can also be a helpful time to slow down and review your current trajectory so you can course-correct and make necessary adjustments. Understanding how Mercury retrograde winter 2022 will affect your zodiac sign can help you outsmart the drama.
Mercury is the planet that rules all matters of logistics, and this includes things like thinking, texting, number-crunching, scheduling, or communicating in general. When the planet enters a retrograde period — as Mercury will four times throughout 2022 — it can cause mix-ups and slow-downs in all of these areas. This makes it an inauspicious time to begin new projects or sign contracts, as you’re more likely to run into misunderstandings or roadblocks when trying to do so. It’s also important to be diligent about double-checking deadlines and leave extra time to get around, since timing can get tricky when Mercury’s moonwalking.
Mercury entered futuristic and community-oriented air sign Aquarius on Jan. 1, which is where it’ll begin its upcoming backspin. This could put an added strain on tech communication, group projects, or friendship dynamics during the first half of the retrograde, so make sure you back up your files and double-check that your texts and emails are going to the right place. On Jan. 25, Mercury will rewind into practical-minded Capricorn for the remainder of the retrograde, which could bring confusion to money matters or throw wrenches into our most well-laid plans. If possible, avoid making any big purchases and hold off on starting any major projects until Mercury has stationed direct, which happens on Feb. 3.
Read on for the deets on how the year’s first Mercury retrograde will affect each zodiac sign — then prepare accordingly.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Fights within your friend group or disagreements amongst colleagues could cause frustrations over the coming weeks, Aries, so do your best to be a team player and stay flexible when it comes to compromising with others. If you get too caught up in gossip or petty arguments, it could make things difficult at work or in your social life — so take the high road and stay out of the drama.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Career- or school-related endeavors might hit some snags and slow downs now, Taurus — so instead of starting a new program or pursuing a new gig, this time will be better spent tying up loose ends on older projects at a current gig. Taking care of unfinished business at work or catching up on things you’ve fallen behind on will help you feel ready to take action once the retrograde ends.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Mercury is your ruling planet, Gemini, so you might feel like this retrograde’s mix-ups are hitting you especially hard. You’re usually a pro at processing new information, but learning new things may not come as easily right now, and you might feel like you’re confused about what you want to pursue. Use this time to go deep with yourself and work through any beneath-the-surface fears that may be holding you back from aiming for the stars.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
It may be time to settle up some of your debts now, Cancer — of both the financial and emotional sort. Past promises or overdue payments could come back into focus, forcing you to make good on your word. You may also find that the Mercury retrograde drama spills into your relationships, bringing unspoken resentments into the open. Deal with the skeletons in your closet so you can move forward with a clean conscience.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
It’s time to put some extra focus into your relationships, Leo, as this retrograde could make it hard to see things eye-to-eye. Misunderstandings or schedule clashes could cause friction between you and a partner, so make sure not to commit to spending more time together than your current calendar actually allows for. Remember, quality time is more important than quantity.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
This retrograde is totally shaking up your calendar, Virgo, so brace yourself for a messy few weeks. Nailing down an agreeable date, time, or place for any meeting — whether it’s personal or professional — will be much harder than usual, so you’ll want to leave yourself as much flexibility as possible when making plans. This could also throw a wrench in romance, as scheduling mishaps could cause dates to be postponed.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
You might not be feeling very inspired during this retrograde, Libra, as clashes with family, issues with roommates, or snags in your dating life could put a damper on your social-butterfly tendencies and take the fun out of your usual groove. Instead of trying to push forward, use this time to go inward and spend some time journaling or practicing self-care. You’ll feel more creatively and emotionally refreshed once the retrograde ends.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Dynamics in your private life might feel messy under this retrograde, Scorpio, so it’s time to do some personal house cleaning. If there are issues at home that haven’t been dealt with — whether it’s drama with a family member or a necessary house repair that was never properly handled — you might find that you have no choice but to take charge. Communication can also be tricky now, so you’ll want to be extra conscientious about how you express yourself in everyday conversations.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
It’ll be easy to get caught up in a swirl of drama if you’re not careful about what you say and who you say it to, Sag. Sending a text to the wrong person or saying something thoughtless could result in all sorts of messes and misunderstandings, so it’s best to plead the fifth and keep your lips sealed. Try to avoid numbing the stress with retail therapy, as it’ll be easy to overspend and lose track of your budget during this retrograde, too.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Mercury will be dipping into your sign during the latter half of this retrograde, Capricorn, so expect to feel its effects in a tangible way. Money issues could get messy if you’re not careful, so put a limit to your spending and set some cash aside for any unforeseen expenses. Taking things day by day is the best way to handle this backspin, so instead of trying to launch into new endeavors, use this time to refine your current goals.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This retrograde kicks off in your sign’s territory, Aquarius, which makes its effects feel extra personal. You might find that it’s harder to access your intuition or see yourself clearly, which makes going after your goals particularly difficult. It’s best to put any new ideas on the back burner until the retrograde ends, and instead use this time to reflect on your current path and make adjustments.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
You might not feel quite like yourself during this retrograde, Pisces, as your naturally-strong sense of intuition won’t be as crystal-clear as it usually is. This could also make you feel out of touch with your friends, like you’re lacking a sense of community. Do your best not to take things personally when it comes to social snags amongst your squad — everyone else is dealing with retrograde drama, too! You’ll feel way more in tune with things once Mercury goes direct.