How to Survive the First Mercury Retrograde of 2022, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

It's headed our way this week — but it doesn't have to be a total bummer.

How to Survive the First Mercury Retrograde of 2022, Based on Your Sign
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If packages are getting lost in transit, banter with your BFF or S.O. is suddenly confusing and frustrating, a business deal you were psyched about has stalled, or your car is making funky sounds you're positive are going to land you a hot date with your mechanic, you're likely feeling the glitchiness of the upcoming Mercury retrograde, the first of 2022.

From January 14 to February 3, trickster Mercury will be retrograde, but even in its pre-retrograde shadow or storm phase, it can throw a wrench in communication, transportation, and technology. From January 14 to 25, it moves back through the early degrees of fixed air sign Aquarius, and from the 25th to February 3, it'll be back in cardinal earth sign Capricorn.

Quick refresher on what a Mercury retrograde even means: Three or four times a year, the planet that oversees communication, transportation, and technology appears to move backward from our vantage point on Earth for three weeks. The slowdown and backup tend to delay or curtail progress on all of the aspects of life that fall under Mercury's purview. But it's also about taking all of that mental energy we often expend out in the world and turning inward, spending time reflecting, revising, and rethinking whatever it is we've been training our brains on for the past several months.

Obviously, mid-wintertime, during a dragging pandemic, already lends itself to going inward — or at least, indoors — but the self-reflection and downtime required by Mercury retrograde periods don't have to be a total bummer. You can actually reframe it as an opportunity to handle anything that's been sitting on the back burner and requires a second look, a refresh, or an edit, so that you can more confidently move forward as we move further into the year.

Mercury retrograde — especially in humanitarian Aquarius and industrious Capricorn — can be a productive time to bolster platonic bonds, brush up and tackle a group project you previously hit pause on, or reconsider big picture professional goals and your game plan for hitting them. It's about putting your foot on the brake and backing up — in an effort to smooth out your ride ahead.

With the backward turn occurring in the sign of the Water Bearer, ruled by change-maker Uranus and the sign of the Sea Goat, ruled by traditionalist Saturn, this Mercury retrograde could highlight the ongoing theme of 2021, which was brought to you by a square between these two transpersonal planets: In what ways are you holding tight to the status quo versus opening yourself up to a whole new ballgame?

Ultimately, there are ways to benefit from this frequently feared transit. Here, how this particular Mercury retrograde will affect you, based on your sign. (Pro-tip: Be sure to read both your sun and your rising sign, if you know it. If you don't, you can find it on your natal chart or via this CafeAstrology calculator.)

Your 2022 Tarot Card Reading, By Zodiac Sign

Aries (March 21-April 19)

From January 14 to 25, messenger Mercury will retrograde through your eleventh house of networking, turning your attention to team projects that require revision and possibly also spurring out-of-the-blue emails from old friends, colleagues, neighbors, classmates, friends with benefits — really anyone with whom you've had a platonic or professional relationship. And once Mercury backs up into your tenth house of career, from the 25th to February 3, you'll be taking a second look at your professional path and how you've been aiming for public recognition. Reviewing your goals and your action plan for achieving them might sound like a snoozefest, because you're so action-oriented, but the work you put in now could offer the clarity you need to make your vision a reality even faster.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The planet of communication moves backward through your tenth house of career from January 14 to 25, requiring zhushing of your professional aspirations. Maybe progress on an opportunity you had your eye on has stalled or you've been thinking of taking on more responsibilities so you can move into a more senior role. Now's your chance to consider what you specifically want to achieve in the months ahead — and what steps will get you there. And from the 25th to February 3, messenger Mercury will be retrograde in your ninth house of adventure and higher learning, nudging you to research any horizon-broadening, skill-boosting experiences you want to have in the future to satiate your craving for change and excitement.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

From January 14 to 25, this retrograde will be in your ninth house of adventure, which could have you feeling pretty darn stuck. You wish you could be traveling more and buzzing from one social event to the next, but if that's just not happening at the moment, you'll be presented with a chance to reframe and redefine what you find thrilling and satisfying. Taking an online seminar to boost your skills or trying a new workout routine might not be the same as an impromptu flight to Japan, but it could still be satisfying. And from the 25th to February 3, Mercury moves back into your eighth house of emotional bonds, sex, and joint resources, requiring you to get real about a relationship in which there has been a lack of reciprocity or comfort. It's time to put your emotional well-being first.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Thanks to messenger Mercury moving backward initially — from January 14 to 25 — in your eighth house of emotional bonds, sexual intimacy, and joint resources, you'll be deep in the weeds of your most heartfelt emotions. Now's your chance to heal any old wounds you've been carrying around with you that could be holding you back from fully opening your heart to your S.O. or someone special. And from the 25th to February 3, the communication planet moves back into your seventh house of partnership, spurring reflection around your one-on-one relationships — romantic, platonic, or professional. Who do you want to partner with, what does that look like, and what compromises might you need to make so that you meet halfway on your shared goals?

Leo (July 23-August 22)

With the retrograde happening in your seventh house of partnership from January 14 to 25, your focus will very much be on who you align yourself with in love, business, and friendship. Not only do you have an opportunity to get back to the drawing board on one-on-one projects that might've been backburnered, but you'll be gaining clarity around the bonds you feel are most conducive to your own personal goals and wrapping your head around issues on which you're willing to make a compromise in order to get on the same page. And while Mercury moves back into your sixth house of daily routine and wellness from the 25th to February 3, streamlining your current — potentially out of control — schedule will be a must. You'll find that the more you say "no" to commitments that aren't in line with your big picture goals, the more successful, centered, and focused you'll be.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

The messenger planet, your ruler, moves backward through your sixth house of daily routine and wellness from January 14 to 25, spurring you to take a microscope to how you've been tackling not only your fitness and self-care regimen but your everyday schedule. If you've been hoping to be more efficient and focused, now can be a really wonderful opportunity to reflect on and recommit to the schedule and tasks that truly sustain you and are in line with your vision for the future. And from the 25th to February 3, Mercury slips back into your fifth house of romance and self-expression, potentially bringing out the texts from exes but also encouraging you to take a second look at any creative projects you want to get past the finish line once and for all.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

As though you haven't already been nudged to reflect on your love life, thanks to your ruler, Venus, retrograde since December 19! Now, Mercury will move backward through your fifth house of romance and self-expression from January 14 to 25, spurring even more meditation on what you want out of your sweetest relationships — current or ideal — and artistic projects. And this period can be more fun than you might realize, because, as the curious trickster planet, Mercury loves spontaneity. So as long as you're open to going with the flow — which you do tend to be, as an air sign — this could be a memorable and satisfying moment for your love life and creative pursuits. And from the 25th to February 3, Mercury will back up through your fourth house of home life, requiring self-work around your sense of security — and what you may be able to do differently to nurture it.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

The planet of communication's latest backward turn is happening initially — from January 14 to 25 — in your fourth house of home life, bringing up old emotional issues that you might've brushed aside. While it's totally normal to feel a little intimidated by this, giving them your full attention and tending to them now can be truly liberating, ultimately serving to bolster your sense of emotional well-being and security. And as the messenger planet backs up into your third house of communication from the 25th to February 3, you'll be realizing just how much you've been juggling socially and professionally, and now, you're ready to overhaul anything that's no longer serving you. It's time to move on from casual relationships, everyday responsibilities, and other alliances that have been taking more energy than they give.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

As the messenger planet moves backward through your third house of communication from January 14 to 25, you might be frustrated if it feels like projects hit a stopping point out of the blue, meetings lack substance, and the people you work and socialize with are either far too present or totally MIA. The bottom line: The vibe is frenetic, and it's not really up to you to control it. Instead, do your best to see where the wave takes you, which could be to a super-creatively fulfilling breakthrough. And from the 25th to February 3, Mercury retrogrades through your second house of income, requiring you to re-envision how you're bringing your skills to the table. It could be time to make a change that would help you feel more valued.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

The planet of communication moves backward through your second house of income from January 14 to 25, requiring you to revisit a bevy of money matters. Whether it's time to overhaul your investment game plan, go to bat for a raise, research that side hustle, et. al, you'll have the energy and motivation to make it real — or at least start hitting the books and researching your next move. Then, from the 25th to February 3, Mercury moves back through your sign and first self, where it last spent time between December 13 to January 2. Anything that came up for you during that time will be your focus once more, whether that's zhushing your big picture goals, prioritizing self-care and self-love by setting new boundaries, or speaking your truth with a partner or colleague so you feel more seen for everything you bring to the table.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

From January 14 to 25, messenger Mercury will be retrograde in your sign — and first house of self — urging you to revise how you're presenting yourself out in the world. Even if you don't have a huge social media following to tend to and worry about, this moment's all about reflecting on how you and your big picture ideas are perceived by others. If your resume, business plan, or simply the list of dreams you want to manifest could use some brushing up, now is a golden moment to make that happen. And from the 25th to February 3, Mercury moves back through your twelfth house of spirituality, which could be an especially sleepy, quiet time that lends itself to more meditation, journaling, and spiritual pursuits, all of which could lead to insights that help you hit the ground running when your season hits next month.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

From January 14 to 25, Mercury's backward turn is happening, initially, in your twelfth house of spirituality, which can have you really swimming in your dreams, intuition, and unconscious. You may be compelled to revisit a difficult subject you and your therapist benched a while back or you could be journaling about intense, vivid dreams that are pointing to an unhealed wound. Either way, prioritizing your self-work and healing can be a wonderful way to make the most of this transit. And once it moves back into your eleventh house of networking, your focus could shift to team projects that need reworking, gaining clarity around long-term wishes, and reconnecting with friends and colleagues from the past who are showing up for you now in ways you might have never guessed.

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