When: April 21st – May 14th, 2023
What: Mercury retrograde in Taurus
Takeaway: This Mercury retrograde packs a few curveballs. Discover all there is to learn when you leave your expectations (and the need to control outcomes) at the door.
Mercury will be retrograde from April 21st to May 14th
It’s that time of year again: Mercury is stationing retrograde. If you’re thinking, Again? Is Mercury always retrograde? — the answer is, not quite. But it does happen three to four times per year. When you factor in the hijinks that kick up as soon as Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow (for this retrograde, that was April 7th), and the weeks it takes for the dust to settle afterward (this post-retrograde shadow will continue until May 31st), it’s roughly six months in total. That’s half the year. And by extension, half our lives.
So, on the one hand — who cares? No big deal. Mercury is retrograde again. On the other, Mercury retrogrades ring the alarm bells of the zeitgeist for a reason. These are the weeks when our trickster planet plays the most pranks. Think: a cosmic five-year-old slipping whoopee cushions on the sofa or wrapping cling film over the toilet bowl. Now, Mercury is also the planet of communication and travel, so its tricks look more like missed trains, tech snafus, and the feeling that your texts to others are permanently left on read. But the result is the same: We are effectively clowned.
This retrograde could be especially frenetic
This retrograde season could feel more chaotic than usual for two reasons. First: Mercury will station retrograde on April 21st right next to Uranus, the planet of surprise and disruption. Second: This retrograde coincides with eclipse season, which stretches from the Aries solar eclipse on April 19th to the Scorpio lunar eclipse on May 5th.
While Taurus — the sign where this Mercury retrograde unfolds — is typically known for its stability and steadfastness, Uranus has been disrupting the domains that this fixed earth sign presides over since 2018, including food production, the economy, and the natural world. With Mercury stationing so close to this unpredictable planet, these themes could be emphasized. Eclipses tend to switch the script as well, so the entire period from mid-April through mid-May could feel turbulent, reminding us that nothing is immune to change. Coming at a time when we’re questioning the security of our finances — and the institutions charged with keeping our money safe — this Mercury retrograde may sow more confusion than resolution. At least at first. But there’s important wisdom to unearth from the mayhem.
Like all astrological wake-up calls, this retrograde will point out where your habits, expectations, or worldviews have become too rigid. Where you might need to practice more adaptability and exercise the muscles tasked with problem-solving. It’s in these moments — as we juice the proverbial lemons for their lemonade — that we discover doorways previously hidden to us.
To minimize the chaos and make this Mercury retrograde more easeful for you, consult these key dos and don’ts.
Our Mercury retrograde survival guide
- Expect delays and schedule extra time for everything. When things do go smoothly, you’ll have wiggle room to relax and enjoy.
- Remember to focus on long-term solutions as much as possible. Actions taken in the heat of the moment rarely support your future wellbeing.
- Pause, rest, and take deep breaths when in doubt (or frustration).
- Laugh at yourself when you make obvious mistakes. The point of this transit is to remember that you aren’t above learning its lessons.
- Embrace this time as a way to streamline your life and update your systems (both internal and external).
- Reflect, edit, organize, review, rethink, and notice what you naturally return to or remember during this time.
- Listen to the Astrology of the Week Ahead podcast, as well as Your Reading in the “This Week” section of the CHANI app. There, you’ll also find Journal Prompts and other resources that will help you work with the lessons Mercury is bringing you this retrograde season.
- Check out the Transits tab of the app to discover if Mercury will be impacting one of your natal chart placements. You can also read your free Current Sky horoscope for Mercury in Taurus to learn how your sign will be affected.
- Fear Mercury retrograde. It may be a pain, but remember that worrying is simply focusing on what you don’t want.
- Buy tickets or plan events during this time, if you can avoid it. If you can’t, plan on the fact that some changes will need to be made after the retrograde period is over. And maybe during it.
- Plan for big launches or major changes to the way you do things during this time, if you can help it — unless you plan to do them when Mercury is cazimi, on May 1st. (This cazimi will be potent from around 2 am PT on May 1st to 7 am PT on May 2nd, but you may want to work with an astrologer to get the best possible moment for you.)
- Put your life on hold. There are some things you should put off if you can, but otherwise, just leave a little wiggle room for hiccups. Again, you shouldn’t fear this moment — instead, be wise to it.
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