December 2023 Mercury Retrograde: Advice and Horoscopes for Every Sign

Written by August Croft
Published: December 7, 2023
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This December 2023 Mercury retrograde may have you feeling particularly out of sorts, regardless of your zodiac sign. Even newcomers to astrology know that Mercury retrogrades are marked by frustrations, technological issues, and, more than anything else, miscommunication. But what should you know about this particular Mercury transit? How might it affect you and just how long is this retrograde supposed to last?

Today, we’ll discuss the significance of Mercury as a planet, both in and out of retrograde. Not only will we go over what traits might accompany this specific retrograde, but we’ll also give each and every sign of the zodiac a horoscope to help navigate these tumultuous waters. Let’s dive in and learn all about this infamous transit now!

Mercury Retrograde Occurs on December 12th-13th, 2023

december 2023 mercury retrograde

The December 2023 Mercury retrograde may affect our ability to communicate pragmatically.


On December 13th at approximately 2 am EST, Mercury will station retrograde in the restrictive, ambitious sign of Capricorn. Mercury will remain in retrograde until the new year, going direct at approximately 10 pm EST on January 1st, 2024.

Mercury retrogrades are significant for many reasons. The timing of this December 2023 Mercury retrograde will likely make it feel more impactful, corresponding with the bustling holiday season. Not only is Mercury a planet ruling our travel plans and communication skills, but it will also be passing through the methodical, mature sign of Capricorn.

Mercury just entered this cardinal earth sign on December 1st. Capricorn’s influence on Mercury likely has all of us communicating with more force and pragmatism. Careers and statuses, both professional and social, are at the forefront of this transit. Capricorn is all about ambition and measured, goal-oriented steps, after all!

But why are Mercury retrogrades so significant (and perhaps feared) to begin with? How will this retrograde feel compared to retrogrades occurring in other signs of the zodiac?

The Significance of Mercury Retrograde

december 2023 mercury retrograde

Ruling our travel plans and communication skills, Mercury retrograde may disrupt holiday plans.

©NASA images/

When any planet retrogrades, it appears as if it is moving backward through the night sky. As Mercury retreats through the constellation of Capricorn and into Sagittarius once more, it brings with it a sense of reflection, of recharging. Retrogrades are all about looking back into the recent past and identifying important themes that may still need addressing in our lives.

This will be especially true of December’s Mercury retrograde. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of lessons and maturity. As Mercury retrogrades and reenters the sign of Sagittarius on December 23rd, we may all feel a bit more fickle, impulsive, and wayward– particularly after spending time in Capricorn’s sober shadow!

But this Mercury retrograde is all about reflecting upon the sober truths we need to tell ourselves to grow as individuals. While Capricorn’s influence upon Mercury may have us communicating in clipped, stoic ways, this responsible zodiac sign will earn a dash of optimism from Sagittarius. 

This retrograde is all about maintaining a balance between our best-laid plans and our impulsive instincts. While traffic, dropped calls, and canceled flights are certainly possible during Mercury retrograde, this upcoming transit is all about identifying how we can expand, both personally and professionally, leading with optimism first and foremost!

December 2023 Mercury Retrograde: Horoscopes for the Zodiac

december 2023 mercury retrograde

Each and every zodiac sign will be affected differently by this December 2023 Mercury retrograde.

©Peach_iStock/iStock via Getty Images

How will this Mercury retrograde affect you? What should you keep in mind as the planets shift this month? Here are horoscopes and a dash of pragmatic advice for every Sun sign!

Aries (March 21st – April 19th)

Competition isn’t the answer this month, Aries. You may feel wound up during this retrograde, particularly at work. Your ideas are valid and powerful, but the right people may not hear them. Practice patience and return to the drawing board. Use this time to get specific and take things one step at a time. Your hard work and dedication now will certainly pay off in the new year!

Taurus (April 20th – May 20th)

As the most patient and stable earth sign, Taurus, this retrograde may hit you with plenty of unexpected happenings. Your ability to keep your cool is commendable– but this transit through strict Capricorn won’t offer you any pats on the back. Don’t resist turning inward to face your spiritual foundations. This retrograde will ask you to question your beliefs for the better! 

Gemini (May 21st – June 20th)

You’ve been feeling this retrograde coming, Gemini, particularly in your closest relationships. As a Mercury-ruled sign, you understand the trickster side of Mercury quite well. But have you been honest in your partnerships and with yourself? This retrograde will ask you to communicate difficult things, even when the words don’t come out right. Persevere and grow from this!

Cancer (June 21st – July 22nd)

Every little thing has the potential to distract you this transit, Cancer. Mercury will have you second-guessing your hard work and home life, particularly in terms of your daily habits and routines. Focus on crafting realistic expectations and self-forgiveness during this retrograde. Even if things don’t go according to plan, you still deserve to recuperate during this busy time!

Leo (July 23rd – August 22nd)

This retrograde will have you feeling uninspired, Leo– at least at first. Your day-to-day may feel equal parts predictable and chaotic, both in the home and at work. Focus on creativity and hobbies during this transit. What brings you inspiration, even in the face of so much noise? Pay close attention to these creative impulses and take action to prioritize them in the new year!

Virgo (August 23rd – September 22nd)

Communicate with heart during this retrograde, Virgo. You’re ruled by Mercury, which is why this transit may have you feeling especially scattered. But know this retrograde is all about how you can fill your daily life with love and compassion. Cultivate some restorative time at home, either alone or with someone you hold dear. Work and expectations can and will wait for you!

Libra (September 23rd – October 22nd)

Your words aren’t going to feel fair this retrograde, Libra. While this may be devastating news, spend this time listening more than speaking. Mindful, patient conversations will be easier to have at home than at work. Focus on your self-talk and inner peace during this time. The new year will bring you more balance, especially if you’ve practiced plenty of self-care in the interim!

Scorpio (October 23rd – November 21st)

This may feel like a classic Mercury retrograde for you, Scorpio. Your professional voice may sound rash and stern during this time, something that doesn’t pair well with the stress of this season. How can you practice patience and intentional speech, even when you feel unheard? Be sure to treat yourself to something special during this potentially deflating transit!  

Sagittarius (November 22nd – December 21st)

Mercury retrograde will ask you to watch your mouth and your wallet, Sagittarius. Professional opportunities may not be as abundant as you’d like this transit. The new year will have you feeling like your optimistic self once more. But spend this time contemplating your genuine needs rather than your impulsive wants. Big-picture goals will become clearer soon!

Capricorn (December 22nd – January 19th)

Aligning with the regenerative feelings of the new year, Capricorn, this transit will have you seeing yourself differently. This is a time for deep, contemplative dives into what you want, believe in, and hope to manifest in your life. Honesty is everything during this retrograde– but particularly honesty with yourself. Self-love and intention are everything this month!

Aquarius (January 20th – February 18th)

Your desire to retreat will be strong this transit, Aquarius. This won’t feel natural, as the holiday season may have you busy and sociable. But embrace an inwardness during this retrograde. Spend ample time in self-reflection, particularly concerning your status and what you can offer the world. Then rejoin your friends and loved ones in the new year with positive enlightenment!

Pisces (February 19th – March 20th)

Your empathy always guides you, Pisces. But this retrograde will have you questioning this very concept. People or situations may resurface during this transit, things and relationships you don’t want to address. Address them, but ensure that your empathy is utilized on yourself. Now is the time to communicate what you believe in and deserve as the zodiac’s ultimate healer!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © pixelparticle/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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