If you’re still reeling from the shock of starting 2022 during a Venus retrograde, you’ll be hard-pressed to find out that Mercury, the ruler of communication and technology, has followed suit. Mercury retrograde will be causing a disturbance between Jan. 14 to Feb. 3 as it backpedals in rebellious Aquarius and pragmatic Capricorn. Retrograde periods are naturally chaotic and confusing, but this time around, mayhem is headed straight for your inner circle, community, and the most public parts of your life. That’s why knowing how Mercury retrograde winter 2022 will affect your zodiac sign’s friendships is a must.
Associated with things like travel, technology, and communication, Mercury helps these everyday essentials to flow effectively when it’s stationed direct. When Mercury enters retrograde, these basic parts of life become a miasma of confusion and cosmic tomfoolery. Since this retrograde is entering friendship-oriented Aquarius on Jan. 14, you can expect there to be lots of cloudiness surrounding your social circle — especially when it comes to social media. Aquarius rules all things tech-related, so be mindful of texting murkiness and that you’re sending the right things to the right people. Starting Jan. 25, Mercury will retreat back into Capricorn, giving the collective lots to think about in terms of legacy, reputation, and how people show up for themselves.
With the theme of this retrograde being about friendships and public image, it’s safe to say friendship drama is inevitable. Continue reading to find out how Mercury retrograde winter 2022 will affect your zodiac sign’s friendships, plus how to get through the confusion.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Things are getting tense in your house of friendship and society during Mercury retrograde, Aries, so be prepared for misunderstandings by standing back rather than reacting impulsively. Hold yourself accountable for your own miscommunication and own up to your shortcomings in your friendships and in your community — even if you think you’re in the right.
“You may feel disconnected from your larger group of friends this retrograde, Aries,” astrologer Sofia Adler tells Bustle. “Group text chains about upcoming plans may get weird, and the synergy may feel off. Remember that community doesn't have to look a certain way — one person is all you need! Lean into your intimate relationships this retrograde and trust that the friends who are still around when it's all over are those who are meant to be.”
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Taurus, Mercury retrograde is hitting up your work sector, so your professional network may feel more tense than usual. If you’re worried about getting public approval, try to assess rather than impress during this time.
“Friendships at work will likely take the hit this retrograde, Taurus. Sidebar Gchats and private Zoom messages may not hit home during this phase, leading to more misunderstandings (or mistake reply alls!) than you'd like. Stick to your work and keep your head down until Mercury is back on track,” Adler explains.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Gemini, it’s time for a vibe check in terms of friendship. Do you feel like the relationships you keep are in the place to grow and flourish? If things feel like they’re flatlining with your besties, it’s best to be honest with yourself — but remember that even positive friendships can feel stagnant at times.
“Your friendships may feel stale these days, Gemini, suddenly lacking the zest for adventure and ‘laissez-faire’ vibes you loved about your partners in crime. Now is the time to slow down and take your time... think of it as a period of slowing down so you can speed up in the future. You'll be back in sync with your adrenaline-junkie BFFs in no time,” explains Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Cancer, this Mercury retrograde is happening in your eighth house of transformation. Feelings you had for your friends may be changing, or the dynamic might be taking a turn. It’s best not to get caught up in what’s next, but reflect on how you show up in your friendships.
“You love to bond with others, Cancer, and go deep with those you love. It may feel harder to connect with your BF's this retrograde as if you're stuck on the surface, unable to connect on the intimate level you crave. Allow for space during this retrograde until coming together feels natural and easy again,” says Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Do you feel caught in the middle of your friends, Leo? It’s likely because Mercury retrograde found its way in your house of intimate partnerships, straining your confidence in your relationship.
“It may be hard to keep the peace during this retrograde season, Leo. Friends that usually give as much as they receive may not return the favor during Mercury retrograde and leave you feeling a bit resentful and drained. Watch your boundaries and only give if you want to,” explains Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
You may feel vulnerable under the spell of Mercury retrograde, Virgo, but it’s best not to act on your need to voice your concerns before taking a look at how you play into the dissatisfaction in your friendships. You may feel frustrated with how your routine has been shifted, but make peace with your frustration.
“This Mercury retrograde may leave you feeling extra nit-picky, Virgo, suddenly noticing all the things about your friends and friendships that rub you the wrong way. Remember that not everyone can see what you see, and give your friends the benefit of the doubt that they're trying their best. Focus on yourself and how you can be a better friend this retrograde season instead of informing your crew about how they can improve,” Adler explains.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Do you feel out of step with your magic charm, Libra? Mercury retrograde is making your creative flow a little hazy so you may feel uninspired or unlike yourself when it comes to your friendships.
“You may find it difficult to express yourself amongst your friends during Mercury retrograde, Libra, filled with feelings of doubt and self-conscious beliefs. It's OK to be a bit quiet right now and go inwards, as long as you remember that true friends love you no matter what and can hold space for your vulnerability,” says Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Scorpio, Mercury retrograde is disrupting the relationship you have with your chosen family. Be mindful of how you voice your concerns (or don’t) and how you internalize and process the feelings of your closest best friends.
“There may be bumps in the road with friends who feel like family this Mercury retrograde, Scorpio. The connection and bond that makes you so close may feel frayed over these next few weeks, filled with misunderstandings and missed connections. If you're having all the feels about being disconnected from those you love most, remember that it will pass and recognize that your emotions are an indication of how special these people are in your life,” explains Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Beware the wretched foot-in-your-mouth blunders during Mercury retrograde, Sagittarius, because it’s moving into your areas of communication. Double-check your tech, think before reacting, and save the new jokes you’ve been brewing in your pocket until retrograde is over.
“Mercury retrograde is likely to have the most typical effect on your friendships, dear Sag. Texts not going through, misunderstandings, brain fog, and communication mix-ups are all possible over the next few weeks. Be compassionate towards yourself and your BFF's — how can you use this as ammunition for some major laughs in the future?” Adler says.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Capricorn, how comfortable do you feel in your friend group? Mercury retrograde is helping you peek through your deepest and foundational needs in a friendship — and as you reflect, don’t hold yourself back from the truth.
“You may find yourself questioning how secure you feel in your friendships, Capricorn, and doubting what you bring to the table. Use this time to reflect on what matters most to you in a friend, and how you want to show up as a friend to others. When Mercury retrograde wraps, apply these reflections to your friendships moving forward,” explains Adler.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
The Aquarian conflict of feeling detached from others while longing for a sense of community is all too real during Mercury retrograde, Aquarius. You’re reflecting on your sense of belonging, how you fit in your social circle, in society, and the world and the pressure can feel overwhelming so practice self-compassion — it’s OK to focus on your needs before others right now.
“The most important relationship you have is with yourself, Aquarius, and yours will feel the heat of Mercury retrograde this month. You may find yourself feeling disconnected from your identity, questioning what you bring to the table and what's worth celebrating. Repeat after me — this is just a phase! Talk to yourself in the mirror as you look yourself in the eyes, put your feet in the grass to make you feel more grounded, and remember that this shall pass,” Adler says.
If Your Zodiac Sign Is Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Take Mercury retrograde to remind yourself that you’re human, Pisces, and when earthly matters like work, relationships, and cursed DMV lines beckon, you follow it. You may feel disconnected from your spiritual self sometimes, but be patient and keep your head held high.
“Pisces, your metaphysical connections and friendships (read: bond with spirit) will be tested this retrograde cycle. Messages may not feel as clear and you may misread the signs. Lean into your natural creative side — what would you do if you didn't take spirituality so seriously these next few weeks? Allow yourself to feel your frustration or confusion freely, but don't let yourself get lost in it. You'll be reconnected with the other side in no time,” says Adler.