Fall's Mercury Retrograde Is Here and It Could Actually Help You Get Your Life In Balance

The messenger planet wants you to slow down and focus on self-care.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra and Virgo Will Help You Get in Balance
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Whether you've been dealing with ridiculously slow traffic, confusing emails, misunderstandings with loved ones, or blasts from the past, chances are you're already feeling the third Mercury retrograde of 2022.

From September 9 to October 2, Mercury — fittingly known as the trickster planet — will move backward. But even leading into and out of this period of time, the pre- and post-retrograde shadow or storm phase, you'll feel the astrological transit's effects on communication, transportation, and technology. And from September 9 to 23, Mercury backs up through the early degrees of cardinal air sign Libra, and from the 23rd to October 2, it'll be back in mutable earth sign Virgo.

In case you'd like a refresher on what Mercury retrograde 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. This slowdown phase tends to require putting the brakes on anything related to the areas of life that the messenger planet oversees — from travel to getting the ball rolling on a tech-driven or communication-heavy project. But it's also a moment in which we're urged to rest, reflect, revise, and turn inward in order to gain more clarity and wisdom that'll serve us well once we can hit the gas post-retrograde.

With this retrograde kicking off just as anticipation around the transition to autumn is reaching a fever pitch, it can definitely feel a bit frustrating to hear that you'll need to look back before you can move forward. But there's merit to reframing it as an opportunity versus hindrance. It's a moment to recharge and recommit or redesign your dreams before spending the rest of the year taking action that supports what's in your heart.

Mercury retrograde — especially in balance-seeking Libra and service-oriented Virgo — will allow you to reassess your relationships, including the one you have with yourself. 

Mercury retrograde — especially in balance-seeking Libra and service-oriented Virgo — will allow you to reassess your relationships, including the one you have with yourself. It's a chance to reprioritize self-care and get centered, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And it could set the stage for you to find magic in the details of everyday life you may have previously glossed over.

There are a bevy of ways to transform Mercury chaos into a catalyst for growth, vitality, and, ultimately, positive change. 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.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Thanks to Mercury retrograde affecting your partnership zone and daily routine sector, you'll need to slow down and reflect on intentionality in your relationships. Are you just hanging out with people out of a sense of obligation or because your friendship is decades-long? Or are your VIPs actually showing up for you and vice-versa? The second half of the retrograde is also a perfect chance to ensure you're on top of regular exams and other day-to-day self-care practices that support your vitality.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Because Mercury kicks off its retrograde in your health zone, this period presents a chance to reevaluate your everyday schedule and consider how you might step up your efforts to find more balance between work and life and caring for yourself inside and out. Then, when the planet of communication backs up into your romance sector, you'll be one of the signs most likely to find yourself faced with texts from an ex or run-ins with former friends or flames. Just don't forget that it's the trickster planet, so it might not be a sign to reignite an affair that's already outlived its welcome.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Mercury's your ruling planet, so no matter which zone it's retrograding through, you (and Virgos) are bound to feel its effects more than most. But this time, it's rolling back through your romance and self-expression zone to start, which could inspire you to revisit a creative project that's been on the back-burner. Or a previous relationship or past era in your current relationship is on your mind. Either way, consider what lessons, if any, from this you can carry with you into the future. And as your ruler backs up into your home zone, you'll want to refocus on inner work. Bolstering self-awareness now can strengthen your sense of security and roots.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

The planet of communication's backwards spin affects your home zone initially, urging you to address any loose ends related to healing discord among family members, addressing old emotional wounds, or nurturing your inner world. Though that sounds like a lot, remember that this sector is the one your sign is associated with, so it's territory you're familiar with and are innately empowered to contend with. And then as Mercury moves back through your communication zone, technology, short-distance travel, and relating to siblings or neighbors could go a bit haywire, so make sure you have a centering practice to get you through.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

This retrograde lights up your communication zone and then money zone, so you'll be focused on reconnecting with others intellectually, perhaps revisiting brainstorms that were put on hold, and making sure all your financial ducks are in a row. While this might all sound productive on one hand, you do tend to get super-frustrated when you have to wait to get the ball rolling on your fiery, passion-fueled plans. For that reason, it can help to reframe this slowdown phase as a chance to get more intentional with how you're exerting your energy, making for an even more rewarding big picture result.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

The messenger planet, which also happens to be your ruler, moves backward through your money zone and sign this time around, which means you'll feel this retrograde the most in terms of your income, values, and self-image. If that sounds like an uphill battle you're simply not interested in climbing, think of it as a moment in which you can further perfect your moneymaking game plan and long-term passion projects. You have the energy and focus now to reflect, revise, and edit anything that's not in line with and supportive of your sense of self-worth and identity. That way, you can more confidently move ahead into your next chapter come October.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Harmony in your relationships — especially partnerships — are of the utmost importance to you, Libra, and this Mercury retrograde can be incredibly supportive of your efforts to reconnect with people you adore and reassess bonds that aren't in line with your current energy. Mercury will be retrograde in your sign to start, which encourages you to reflect on your needs and how you want to be showing up in the world. And then it'll back up through your spirituality and dreams sector. Although this might not be the most social moment of the year for you, you'll have the ability to meditate on how you're getting after your aspirations and potentially rework any strategy that's not delivering your vision.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

With Mercury retrograde at play in your spirituality zone to start, you'll be feeling more reclusive, dreamy, even broody while your unconscious is more active, making for more visceral dreams. Now's the time to explore emotions that you might've previously swept under the rug. Thankfully, you have a unique ability to sit with this heavy moment and work through it. And as Mercury backs up through your networking zone, you may feel as though you can't make much headway on a collaborative effort or in terms of creating momentum alongside colleagues, but tending to old business can get you further than you think.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

As messenger Mercury's retrograde gets going, it'll be in your networking zone, which could make it tougher than usual to see forward movement on team efforts. Use this time to rethink your approach and bring all your positivity and optimism to the table. Your natural leadership abilities can also help your colleagues or friends to feel like they've been heard. Mercury then moves backward through your career zone, setting you up for productive self-examination and reflection on how you're getting after your long-term goals and building your public image.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Being recognized at work is a priority for you, and you'll do best to consider the first half of this Mercury retrograde a bit of a review period, as it's happening in your career sector. You can prove yourself by keeping your cool and tending to all the little firestorms that could be popping up. Mercury will be moving back through your higher learning and adventure zone through the latter half of the transit, providing you with a chance to hone your skill set and reimagine a game plan for broadening your horizons — either of which could set you up for bolstered success down the road.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

While Mercury moves backward through your adventure and learning zone for the first half of the transit, research ideas for getting out of your comfort zone, whether that's pursuing a higher level of education or traveling somewhere faraway. It might be wise to hold off on making any bold moves until you have all the details. Then, as the planet of communication moves backward through your emotional bonds and transformation sector, you'll be compelled to get super-intentional when sharing what you need in your most intimate relationships. Detail what makes you comfy and cozy and, on the flip side, what's at odds with your sense of security.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Mercury kicks off its retrograde in your intimacy sector, urging you to reflect on the amount of energy you're putting into your nearest and dearest relationships. If something feels off-balance — or even toxic — you could be empowered to stand up for your emotional well-being in a powerful way. And as the communication planet backs up into your partnership sector, you can reflect on how you — and others — are showing up within your one-on-one bonds. This can also be a productive time to get back to work on a joint aspiration that's been on pause.

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