Mercury Retrograde Meaning In Each Zodiac Sign

Mercury retrograde affects different areas of life depending on the zodiac sign it's in during each retrograde period.

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The planet Mercury in astrology represents all things intellectual. It affects how we communicate, represents our personal brand of intelligence and wit and is also a marker of our personal genius. But all of this gets turned on its head when Mercury goes retrograde.

Mercury retrograde occurs at least three times every year. And when it does, a lot of havoc breaks loose. Communication lines are interrupted, exes seem to suspiciously zombie back into our lives and ideas take a lot longer to cultivate and develop.


These effects of Mercury Retrograde are the same whether it's a transiting Mercury Retrograde in one of the zodiac signs or a natal Mercury Retrograde. The only difference is that transiting retrogrades only last for the duration they are in transit, while the effects of a natal retrograde can be felt throughout one's life if you were born during a Mercury Retrograde.


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Here's how Mercury Retrograde shows up in all 12 zodiac signs.

Mercury Retrograde in Aries

When Mercury is retrograde in Aries, impulsive actions slow down to a crawl. Sometimes inspiration is hard to come by, other times the desire for adventure wanes. Plans are easily made but harder to adhere to. It's almost like the extremely extroverted energy of Aries suddenly becomes moody, introverted, and reclusive. People who have natal Mercury Retrograde in Aries tend to be very cautious about their actions and decisions.

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

When Mercury is retrograde in Taurus, your good fortune and luck in the world are affected significantly. You may feel lost or unsure of what to do next, whether it's in a boardroom meeting, the decision to get married to someone, or how much to pay for renovations in your house. Interestingly, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus often improves our self-care practices and can have a positive impact on our self-esteem if the energy is honored by turning inward.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

When Mercury is retrograde in Gemini, it can wreak havoc on your mind. Those who are known and loved for their zinging one-liners and brilliant wit may suddenly feel as dense as a loaf of hard bread. It can bring insecurities on its heels as you suddenly start questioning your intelligence and wonder why you have suddenly become so slow. Mercury Retrograde in Gemini is not an easy energy to deal with as Gemini is ruled by Mercury and the retrograde energy makes it feel uncomfortable in its own home.


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Mercury Retrograde in Cancer

When Mercury is retrograde in Cancer, your intuition can fruit and flower brilliantly... as long as you choose to be a listener over a speaker and lean into silence. The less you speak or ask the opinions of others, including those in your inner circle, the faster your intuition will speak to you. It can feel like magic in a lot of cases. Mercury Retrograde in Cancer can bring blessings to all your loving relationships through you by creating space for your compassionate side to take over.

Mercury Retrograde in Leo

When Mercury is retrograde in Leo, you can either find yourself or lose yourself. There's no in-between. Some people become incredibly morose during this period and start blaming everyone and the world but themselves for all their hardships and inadequacies. It can lead to seething rage and the feeling of being impotent and unimportant. On the other hand, Mercury Retrograde in Leo can allow shy and insecure folks to find magic within themselves and strengthen their self-esteem. The experience — whether good or challenging — completely depends on the temperament of the individual.

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

When Mercury is retrograde in Virgo, your life can feel like a frustrating mess where nothing gets done on time, no one can be relied on to do a good job and everyone starts getting on your nerves with their irritating habits or incompetencies. Since Mercury rules Virgo (along with Gemini), Mercury Retrograde in Virgo does not typically lead to good experiences, especially for earth signs who rely on steady and level-headed decisions to stay secure in life. They often feel as if even their good decisions are getting mucked up by the fickleness of life.


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Mercury Retrograde in Libra

When Mercury is retrograde in Libra, social interactions, excursions, and commitments can either dry up severely or bring absolutely zero pleasure. If you rail against this and try to live it up as usual, the chances of things going awry increase dramatically. It's almost like this energy forces us to take a hard look at ourselves and understand why we do certain things, including why we engage and involve ourselves with certain people. Once you understand yourself better, Mercury Retrograde in Libra stops holding your social calendar hostage.

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

When Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio, you may suddenly become drawn into the mysteries and intrigues of the world. This can manifest as an intense desire to read detective stories or watch murder mysteries, join a secret society or club or even dig deeper into occult studies or cultures of the world. Your personal inclinations and attitude will determine in which direction this energy leads you (or you allow yourself to be led). Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio is a bad time for spell-casting and working with magic and manifestations though.

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius

When Mercury is retrograde in Sagittarius, the desire to explore your own backyard suddenly becomes an enticing idea. This can be literal for some people, but for most, this energy makes them curious about things, people, and cultures they are familiar with... only to realize just how much they did not know. It also makes an individual reticent to socializing with people or making new friends. Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius can often bring out brilliant ideas, but unfortunately also bring distractions on its heels, which leads to an inability to focus on said ideas.


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Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

When Mercury is retrograde in Capricorn, the desire to strategize takes hold of us. This can be the desire to plan for our future, for our children, or when we are old. But it can also be the desire to strategize before we take action to achieve our short-term goals. It's important to be wary of who you invite into your confidence at this time though. Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn often brings mercenary people into our lives who can play the part of a friend or concerned acquaintance only to turn out to be picking your mind for ideas and information.

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

When Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius, technology and revolutionary changes take a solid hit. Glitches, broken communication lines, delays in product launches, failed networking events, and more happen very commonly. On a grander scale, this can be devastating. For example, a promising drug that was supposed to heal a debilitating condition may fail its last stage of clinical trials, thus causing an uproar in society at large. Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius can also bring out the narrow-minded tendencies of people and societies and make them bullish in nature.


Mercury Retrograde in Pisces

When Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, you may lose your voice, but you will gain a deeper connection with the universe and the collective. It can be a blessing or a curse, depending on one's perspective. This energy can even bring up triggers and experiences that stir up PTSD or dreg things up from the subconscious that need to be healed. Mercury Retrograde in Pisces can often bring one's life to a standstill where the only thing that “feels” right is to remain still and let the world run past you. Interestingly, once the retrograde is over, the spell breaks and you immediately know what to do about yourself and your life, even if you cannot explain your actions or decisions to anyone else.

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Valeria Black is a Tarot Card Reader, astrologer and YouTuber with expertise in charm-casting, runes, and all things magic. She writes about astrology, tarot and spirituality.