Mercury retrograde December 2022: The star signs that need to block their exes and cancel all plans

When is next Mercury retrograde? Your star sign's forecast as the planet known to bring chaos turns backward - just in time for the holidays

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Mercury retrograde December 2022 and January 2023 will make it harder for you to complete well-placed plans. Here's what to expect, depending on your star sign.

The final Mercury retrograde of 2022, and the first of 2023, is poised to keep you humble for the New Year. This Mercury retrograde hits in Capricorn season 2022, which takes place from the end of December 2022 to the middle of January 2023, and touches each sign in a slightly different way. 

We’ve reached a stage, as a society, that anything from a typo to a misplaced paperclip is blamed on Mercury retrograde. Previously a mysterious astrological phenomenon, it's become the astrological celebrity du jour, frequently referenced in casual conversation.

We know that Mercury retrograde wreaks havoc, but even so, we don’t really know how to prepare for it, because its effect can touch so many different parts of our lives. It really is the astrological gift that keeps on giving

In terms of love, the retrograde can drag back exes and admirers from long ago. They don’t really want you back, they just want attention. When it comes to work, this is when the retrograde really gets busy, messing up files and folders, unsending important messages, and forgetting crucial meetings. Accommodation-wise, Mercury retrograde can mix up viewing times and dates when searching for a property, and get the wrong name on a contract.

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When is Mercury retrograde December 2022?

Mercury goes into Capricorn on December 6, 2022, and stays there until February 10, 2023. So the entire Mercury retrograde is in Capricorn.

Mercury is a planet of communication and contracts, and Capricorn is a very organized, law-abiding sign. The influence of Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will break down contracts and legal agreements, including marriages and business partnerships.

Important dates for Mercury retrograde December 2022

  • December 12 – This is the start of the pre-retrograde shadow period. The uneasy feeling is about to begin, gentle misunderstandings and the odd text from the ex.
  • December 29 – Brace yourself. Mercury is now retrograde, this is not a drill. Stay vigilant and turn auto-save on.
  • January 18 – We’re doing great! The Mercury retrograde itself is over, so the most obvious effects of the retrograde period – emails bouncing, people we ghosted coming back, and software updates taking forever – should be left in the past. However, we’ve still got to get through the shadow period, while Mercury makes its way to the same position it was, before the whole retrograde even started. During this period, we could still experience some hangover from the Mercury issues which already hit us. This is a time for tying up of loose ends, Mercury-wise.
  • February 8 – The post-Retrograde shadow period is over and done with. Whatever was due to go wrong, has already gone wrong, no new surprises ahead. Take a deep breath and enjoy Mercury going direct until the next retrograde, starting 21 April.

Mercury retrograde December 2022 horoscope


Mercury isn’t a planet that impacts your life in a very serious way because you’re a plain-speaking, honest, and quick-thinking sign. So when everything goes weird in the world of communication, you don’t really notice, because you’re not into secrets and lies in the first place. During Mercury retrograde December 2022, however, your own ruling planet, Mars, is also in retrograde, so you will feel the effects more than usual. This Mars retrograde, which touches on your ability to act fast and be instantly liked by all, is actually in Gemini. And this is the link! Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which – guess what! – is retrograde. So even though you don’t see yourself as one of the crowd, someone who’s at the mercy of this basic phenomenon of the Mercury retrograde, this one is a lot different. Take care well in advance to make sure that you don’t lie about anything, not even about innocent, unimportant plans. Make sure you put every date in the diary. Send yourself voice notes to remain on top of things. You don’t have to do all that for the entire Mercury retrograde, you get some time off for good behavior. Keep your planning on until the 12, when Mars stations direct.


This retrograde is a little bit stressful for you because it’s in Capricorn, which is an Earth sign, like you. Your quiet and mature personality will be challenged, as the Mercury retrograde is in Capricorn, which is similarly grown up and serious. Your sincere, somber approach to life will come face to face with the retrograde just forcing you to think on your feet. Travel tickets booked weeks in advance will be canceled at short notice, gifts ordered for a specific date won’t turn up, and you’ll have no choice but to move much faster than you care to, and take action without planning ahead. During the entirety of the Mercury retrograde, there’s a little added twist for you. Uranus, planet of chaos and surprises is in your sign, and is itself going retrograde. So, much as you dislike change, and actually despise unexpected change, this is what you’ll have for this period, so you might as well be prepared. Mentally, work on accepting any changes and surprises, and affirm to yourself, three times a day, ‘every change is working in my favor’.


As one of the signs ruled by Mercury, you feel it in your bones every time it goes retrograde. Between you and Virgo, the two Mercury signs, your world can turn upside down a bit, with every retrograde, and seeing as we have 3 - 4 of those every year, it’s a lot. On the one hand, unlike Virgo, you quite like chaos and change, so you can handle it well. Every accidental message sent to the wrong person is an extra joke for your stand-up routine, and you don’t feel the cringe so much. On the other hand, this retrograde is in Capricon, which is an Earth sign like Virgo. Earth is an element very alien to you, less entertaining, less comical, and so the outcome of each accidental retrograde-ish disaster will be more serious and much less hilarious. You have many exes, so be prepared for all of them to be seeking you out, wishing to get serious with you. Thankfully, as Mercury stations direct, they’ll all go scuttling back.


This retrograde might be a little harder than usual, Cancer, but it’s not really Mercury’s fault. You’re a sensitive sign, perhaps the most sensitive there is, and you take things to heart, whether they’re intentional or not. You believe there’s truth behind every joke, so if a relative makes a comment about your new hairdo, and it’s meant to be comical, you’ll still take it as criticism because why did they notice it in the first place? You’re also incredibly careful with everyone else’s emotions, making sure nothing you say can be taken out of context, and speaking with care and heart at all times. You will gladly inconvenience yourself to ensure that your friends and loved ones are having a good time. The retrograde can wreak havoc with these good intentions, making those jokes much less palatable and causing travel confusion which will send you on a train to the wrong side of the country when you try to visit someone to cheer them up. But the real disruptor with this retrograde is the Full Moon in Cancer on January 6, 2023. Emotions come to the fore and good intentions are all forgotten. 


You’re a few steps ahead of this retrograde, Leo, it can’t trip you up. You’re ruled by the Sun, which is bright and all-knowing. In the Ancient Greek Myths, the Sun sees everything and knows everything. If anyone thinks of you as a know-it-all, this is literally why, because you know so much, even stuff you can’t possibly know. This Mercury retrograde takes place in Capricorn, and the Sun is in Capricorn too, for the entire time. So your intuition will guide you and you won’t fail. If you get the feeling that the parcel you sent won’t get to its destination, your intuition will tell you to take out insurance. If you sense that your bank balance is not what it should be, you’ll know that it’s time to check what’s gone wrong. And if you’re sensing a cheat in your relationship, you’ll know where to find the evidence. You’ll have inside knowledge of the Mercury shenanigans, but no one can figure out quite why you know so much.


Your understanding of the world can be very binary, and very inflexible. You know who your friends are and who your enemies would be – if you had them. You know which days are for play and which are for work. You separate your laundry easily. When misunderstandings happen, they’re funny to you, because you can resolve them with ease, and explain things to the confused party, but during the retrograde, you come face to face with your own inner confusion. When you struggle to accept others, and it’s due to your own bias, you try to hide behind long-held beliefs, and it’s not always easy. You know what, Virgo? You can make this retrograde work in your favor. You can let it challenge you, and get you to question your own beliefs. Use it as an opportunity for growth. After all, Mercury is your ruling planet, and flexibility is part of the deal. I believe in you, Virgo. You can learn and expand. You can be the best.

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The entire Mercury retrograde is in Capricorn, which means that matters of work and investments are primarily affected. At the start of the Mercury retrograde, your ruling planet Venus is also in Capricorn, so during the dates of 29 December 2022 – 2 January 2023, you feel as if work opportunities are missed, and investment chances are lost. It’s a short period but as it’s the very start of the year, this feels a bit personal. Thankfully, Venus moves into Aquarius and away from Capricorn, so the rest of the Mercury retrograde can cause mix-ups around your social life and charitable causes, but you don’t feel as called out by the planets, as you did before.


This is a very busy Mercury retrograde for you, Scorpio, astrologically speaking. You’re quite a mysterious sign, and so the bubbly, sociable Mercury isn’t really your top influencer. This retrograde is different, however. You know that you have two ruling planets, Mars and Pluto, and both are quite embroiled in the story on this occasion. Pluto is in Capricorn for the entire period, and Mercury is also in Capricorn, so there’s a connection there and it will therefore influence you and make the normally-sensible Capricorn a little unstable. Mars is retrograde for all but the final six days of the Mercury retrograde, creating a sort of jumble-fest of disorientation for you. Once the Mercury retrograde has passed, you’ll be back to your vamp, glam self, so it’s just a matter of thinking happy thoughts and letting the silly season pass. 


Always ready for adventure, you’re not going to let this Mercury retrograde cramp your style, Sagittarius. The unexpected nature of the retrograde isn’t the issue here – you’re an unexpected quality yourself and love unexpected turns. The issue is the disruption that the retrograde brings. You don’t appreciate being disrupted by the Mercury retrograde. You’re a very ‘live and let live’ personality and don’t enjoy having to explain yourself again and again when your words are taken out of context. Towards the very end of the Mercury retrograde period, the Moon goes into Sagittarius, and this gives a final couple of days quite a dreamy quality so that you have a chance to accept and forgive anything that’s been said or done out of turn.


This entire Mercury Retrograde takes place in your sign, Capricorn, so you’ll do well to be prepared in advance. Make sure that you’ve got two-factor authentication on all your tech, and don’t be tempted to take out a new contract for your phone or internet connection. You love learning, so use this period as a learning curve – teach yourself to play an instrument or to create the perfect smokey eye. When things go wrong, your natural tendency is to take personal responsibility, you don’t pass blame, but during this unwelcome Retrograde, most mistakes will not be your fault. Blame it on the planets.


Since you’re a unique and quirky sign, with a dry sense of humor and an original way of looking at things, the Mercury retrograde can’t upset you. An astrological phenomenon that causes misunderstandings can’t confuse with a sign that scoffs at being misunderstood. For a big part of this retrograde, however, and a bit beyond it, from January 2 to January 26, Venus is in your sign, and this can make a difference. Someone lovely is entering your life, and so all of a sudden, the stakes are higher! You don’t want this new partner to misunderstand you. Your famous poker face that no one can crack suddenly softens, and you do your best to express yourself clearly to the new arrival. Put the jokes on the back burner until the Mercury retrograde is done, and use your sincerity and charm to show this admirer what you’re all about. Check in often with them, and make sure you’re true to yourself.


As a loving water sign, you enjoy communicating with others and creating communities with lots of interaction between individuals. Maybe you’re in charge of the family WhatsApp group, or you run an online community for recovering sunbed users; wherever there’s a cause, there’s a community. Human connections are important to you and you work hard to invest in the friendships and relationships you have. And three or four times a year, Mercury turns retrograde and messes it all up! One blessing during Mercury retrograde December 2022, is that it starts just at the end of the December Pisces Moon, and it ends before the January Pisces Moon, so you’ve only got the Mercury retrograde mixing up your family WhatsApp group, and at no point does the moon go into your sign and make you take everything too personally. This is one retrograde that you’ll survive with your head held high, and won’t take personal responsibility for technical errors and misunderstandings.

Inbaal Honigman
Celebrity psychic and astrologer

Inbaal is an Israeli-born Piscean Tarot reader and witch living in the UK.

Since the year 2000, Inbaal has been a prolific media psychic and astrology writer. She's given predictions on TV's Big Brother's Little Brother, and talkSPORT radio, has written the stars pages for Elle magazine UK, and Elle girl in Japan, along with a full chequered history of career highs.

She lives in England, on the Pennine mountain range, with her Pisces husband and their four noisy kids, three of whom are Pisces.