Mercury, the planet of communication and intelligence, turns retrograde several times a year, typically for about three weeks at a time. Often but not always, Mercury will move backward from one zodiac sign into the previous one during the retrograde period - from Aquarius backward into Capricorn, for example.
Read on to learn more about Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and how this will affect your zodiac sign.
What is Mercury Retrograde?
During a retrograde period (Mercury is not the only planet to do this!), a planet looks from Earth as though it is moving backward. This is an optical illusion - the planet maintains its forward orbit at all times - but the symbolism of this reverse motion is very significant in astrology.
The astrological Mercury rules our communication and thinking styles, as well as messages, errands, busy days and ideas. When Mercury appears to move backward, these things can be thrown into chaos with mistakes, misunderstandings and miscommunications all too common.
However, not all zodiac signs will feel every Mercury retrograde keenly; it depends on the sign the retrograde is taking place in as well as the position of Mercury and other planets in your own natal birth chart.
What is the Astrological Significance of Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn?
During a Mercury retrograde period, the planet’s energy is turned inwards instead of being thrust out into the world.
With Mercury retrograde in Capricorn from December 13th, 2023 until January 18th, 2024, this means that the urge to build and to structure our lives is temporarily thwarted - but the restructuring can go on internally, in our heads, and in our subtle efforts to bring about change.
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is a very good time for reassessing your routines, your structure and everything that gives your day-to-day life measurement, security and rhythm. Think about whether your daily schedule works for you. Think long term too, about whether your career path or your goals are still in tune with your values and your higher purpose. If they’re not, plan now to do something about it once Mercury turns direct once more.
How Does Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn Affect Each Zodiac Sign?
Each zodiac sign will experience Mercury retrograde in Capricorn differently, and not all signs will feel it strongly. However, in general, all of us can use this time to map out a life rhythm that works for us, having spent some time contemplating how to improve on our current plans.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for an Aries (Aries dates: March 20 – April 19)
Be patient with people at work, particularly your boss or superior. You may find it frustrating that people aren’t communicating well, but are you sure that you are? This isn’t an ideal period in itself to seek a new job or to undertake a career path change, but if you feel that you’re not in the right place, you can start to consider how you might change this once Mercury turns direct.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Taurus (Taurus dates: April 20 – May 20)
Mercury retrograde in your travel and education zone indicates a need to be very careful with travel plans - double- and triple-check the details before you leave home. This is a good time to retrain or to brush up on basic skills you feel you might be lacking from your education. Think carefully about the philosophies and beliefs you have - do they still match who you are?
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Gemini (Gemini dates: May 21 – June 20)
Secrets will come out during this Mercury retrograde period, so it’s advisable to spill the beans yourself in a controlled manner before you are forced to. This can be quite a psychologically tricky time and it’s easy to blame yourself or to be harsh with yourself for past mistakes, but it’s important to understand that you’re a work in progress - just like the rest of us.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Cancer (Cancer dates: June 21 – July 21)
With Mercury retrograde in your love zone, misunderstandings in love or in your closest relationships are highly likely. Keep talking and keep trying to make yourself understood. Closing down communication is not a good idea and will only make matters worse. If you speak from the heart, you’ll get there eventually - and remember to make allowances for your partner too, who may be having similar problems.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Leo (Leo dates: July 22 – August 21)
This Mercury retrograde period increases misunderstandings at work and encourages chaos when there’s a lack of attention to detail. You’ll need to focus and to check and re-check anything important. It’s mentally exhausting, but you will get a sense of satisfaction from keeping life running smoothly during this disruptive influence. Hold your head up high.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Virgo (Virgo dates: August 22 – September 21)
You may find that you have a creative block during this Mercury retrograde period. Instead of trying to force ideas and imagination, resort to play instead. This is a very good time to indulge your inner child and to simply relax and do more of the things you enjoy. You’ll find that your inspiration quickly returns once you stop trying to make it appear.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Libra (Libra dates: September 22 – October 22)
With Mercury retrograde in your family zone, tense communications at home are highly likely. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and allow people to let off steam - bottling up anger or resentment is common during this influence, but ultimately it just makes matters worse. Try to avoid making major decisions on domestic issues, including home moves, major home expenditure or legal issues.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Scorpio (Scorpio dates: October 23 – November 21)
Don’t be surprised if you find your thought processes going haywire during this Mercury retrograde period. Calm your mind and help it to focus with brain games, a good book or meditation. There are likely to be some mistakes made as you’re so busy and juggling many different plates - factor this into your expectations and avoid seeking perfection.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Sagittarius (Sagittarius dates: November 22 – December 20)
With Mercury retrograde in your money zone, it’s best to avoid major financial decisions during this period if possible. If you must make them anyway, try to seek expert advice and input. Do not rely on your own assessment, as your judgment is flawed, and you do not have access to all the information you need. This can also be a time when you feel your values being severely challenged.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Capricorn (Capricorn dates: December 21 – January 18)
You may struggle to express yourself clearly when Mercury is retrograde in your own sign; don’t worry, this will pass! This is a very good time for a psychological clear-out. Think back over your past and forgive yourself for mistakes made. Forgive others too, for what they have done to you. Although your confidence may take a wobble during this period, you can build inner resilience.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for an Aquarius (Aquarius dates: January 19 – February 17)
Weird dreams are likely when Mercury retrogrades in your spiritual zone - pay attention and start a dream diary! This is also a great time to experience synchronicity as your conscious mind is less active, allowing your subconscious to come to the fore. It can be a very forgetful or vague feeling period, however, so if you have important details to attend to you will need to be careful. Make lots of lists!
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn for a Pisces (Pisces dates: February 18 – March 19)
Communication with friends is likely to be hampered during this Mercury retrograde period, so it’s important to be very clear in what you’re saying. Avoid misunderstandings if you can or correct them immediately where they do occur - otherwise, people will quickly take offense. This isn’t a great time for making new friends, but you will benefit from some solitude, peace and quiet.