Mercury Retrograde 1/14/2022; Risky Business

Mercury retrograde 2022 begins on January 14 at 10° Aquarius and ends on February 3 at 24° Capricorn.

Mercury retrograde is generally associated with communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items. Mercury retrograde January 2022 is an even risker time for communications, travel, and business dealings because it is conjunct Saturn and square Uranus.

More detail about this retrograde phase follows some general information on retrograde Mercury in transit. Information about Mercury retrograde in the natal chart can be found at the end of this article.


Mercury in retrograde motion is a regular cycle occurring three or four times a year for about 24 days. While this is more frequent than any other planet, Mercury is still only retrograde 19% of the time. This is far less than Jupiter outwards, but more than Venus and Mars.

The retrograde phase is just one part of the retrograde cycle. The whole cycle includes Mercury going direct, retrograde, and direct again over the same degrees, or the retrograde zone. The two direct phases are called the shadow periods. The illustration below shows the apparent retrograde motion of Mercury as seen from Earth.

Mercury Retrograde May 29, 2021 – Lies and Deception

Retrograding Mercury brings communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items. There is a feel of a difficult Mercury–Saturn aspect to Mercury in retrograde. You can also expect to dwell on things, reminisce about the past, or unexpectedly meet up with people from your past. While the retrograde period might be good for flicking through old photo albums, it is generally considered more of a nuisance than a benefit.

Mercury in retrograde motion can play havoc with your thoughts, communications, travels, and electronics. Take extra care with your words and try not to react too quickly in any arguments or if provoked. Take some time out if you start to feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace. Double-check all of your emails and posts on Facebook before hitting the send button.

Business negotiations will be in a state of flux so avoid signing contracts. Some important details will not yet be available, and others may be unreliable or dishonest. If going on a road trip then make sure you get your car serviced beforehand. The riskiest times for decision-making, negotiations, communication, and transport are the few days on either side of the exact retrograde and direct stations. However, care should still be taken during the retrograde period.


As mentioned earlier, Mercury travels direct, retrograde, and direct again over the same degrees, or the retrograde zone (24° Capricorn to 10° Aquarius) from December 29, 2021, to February 24, 2022. The three phases of Mercury retrograde January 2022 are:

December 29 to January 14 – The first shadow phase from Mercury entering the retrograde zone until Mercury stationary retrograde (24° Capricorn to 10° Aquarius).
January 14 to February 3 – The Retrograde phase lasts from Mercury stationary retrograde until the Mercury stationary direct (10° Aquarius to 24° Capricorn).
February 3 to 24 – The second shadow phase lasts from Mercury stationary direct until Mercury leaves the retrograde zone (24° Capricorn to 10° Aquarius).

Mercury enters the retrograde zone on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 24°22′ Capricorn [see chart]. During the first shadow period, you will get an idea of the thinking, communication, or transport issues that will arise during the retrograde phase.


Mercury stations retrograde on Friday, January 14, 2022 at 10°20′ Aquarius. Mercury is conjunct Saturn and square Uranus. The strongest influence is Mercury square Uranus which stays within a two-degree orb from January 10 to 18. Saturn square Uranus is separating (getting weaker) but still important in this case. There are no major fixed stars conjunct Mercury but there is a most interesting, and very relavent asteroid.

Mercury Retrograde January 2022
Mercury Retrograde January 2022

The Aspects

Mercury conjunct Saturn on its own brings critical thinking, concentration, patience, and sound judgment. But conjunct Mercury retrograde and square Uranus, it is more likely to have a restrictive and depressing influence on your thinking and communication. This is very similar to Mercury retrograde in fact, with negative thinking, pessimism, narrow-mindedness, difficulty commuinicating, and travel delays.

There is the potential for getting into arguments, especially with authority figures. Harsh or critical words can lead to relationship problems such as coldness, isolation or rejection. Take extra care with important decisions and business dealings.

Mercury square Uranus brings excitement, unexpected change and unpredictability to your daily routine and interactions . You could get upsetting news or be forced to change plans. The normal tempo of life increases and you may have an unsettling feeling of always having to catch up. All this can lead to anxiety, stress, and nervousness.

Poor concentration and impulsiveness can have an adverse effect on your thinking and communication. So you are more likely to blurt out something offensive, become distracted, have an accident, not listen properly, miss important details, rush decisions and change your mind.

Don’t always count on what others say because you could be let down. People, in general, will be less reliable and more irresponsible. Business dealings will be especially risky. Slow down and be patient, adaptable, flexible, and open-minded. Think twice before making bold statements, double-check and travel plans, and avoid making spontaneous decisions or agreeing to things on the spur of the moment.

Saturn square Uranus brings unexpected setbacks and difficult change. It can bring change that you don’t want. It also makes it harder to make the kind of changes you do want. Your personal freedoms and rights may be restricted. This can be a very frustrating and tense time that makes you rebellious under restraint.

The Asteroid

Asteroid Icarus (10°10′ Aquarius) is conjunct Mercury retrograde (10°20′ Aquarius). Icarus is a character from Greek mythology. His dad made wings from beeswax and feathers so they could escape the Labyrinth they were imprisoned in. His dad warned him to “take the middle way, travel between the extremes, and take the course I show you!” But a mixture of adrenalin and curiosity drove Icarus toward the Sun, melting the beeswax. The wings fell off, he fell into the sea and drowned.

Asteroid Icarus gives an impulsive urge for freedom and to escape intolerable situations, low tolerance to restrictions, and a lack of self-control once free of the restriction. It also gives a tendency to ignore both your own better judgment and the advice of others. The lesson is that risk-taking can lead to your downfall.

I said earlier that this asteroid was very relevant to Mercury retrograde 2022. You can see now that its influence is remarkably similar to the combination of Mercury conjunct Saturn, Mercury square Uranus, and Saturn square Uranus. It reinforces the need to be patient and safe, and to avoid the urge to break free from necessary restrictions, especially during the latest outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Find Asteroid Icarus in your Chart

Create your chart HERE.
Choose “Extended Chart Selection”.
In “Additional object > Manual entry”, add 1566.

Mercury stations direct on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at 24°22′ Capricorn. The chart below shows Mercury and Pluto sextile the Moon and Neptune. Again, there are no major fixed stars to mention.

Moon sextile Mercury is the strongest aspect affecting Mercury direct. It is like the polar opposite of Mercury retrograde square Uranus because it has such a calming and relaxing influence. You won’t have to think about what to say because your mind is in tune with your feelings. You can quickly form emotional connections because of your enhanced social skills and intuitive understanding. This is a particularly good time for socializing, meeting new people, and dating.

Mercury Direct February 2022Mercury Direct February 2022
Mercury leaves the retrograde on Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 10°20′ Aquarius [see chart].
For more detail on how Mercury retrograde 2022 affects you, see your Monthly Horoscope. If you are familiar with your chart, see Mercury Transits.
Mercury Retrograde 2022 Dates

September 27 to October 18, 2021 – 25° to 10° Libra
January 14 to February 3, 2022 – 10° Aquarius to 24° Capricorn
May 10 to June 3, 2022 – 4° Gemini to 26° Taurus

Natal Mercury retrograde suggests there may have been a problem with how you thought and communicated in an earlier life. Perhaps you gave someone bad advice that had critical repercussions. Perhaps you were prone to making costly mistakes. Maybe you wrote slanderous material about someone in a book or newspaper, or verbally teased and abused people.

Whatever the circumstances of the previous significant incarnation, you come into this life with those bad memories etched in your soul. You probably don’t recognize them as memories but as déjà vu or unexplained guilt. A repeating theme of challenging events related to your past is likely, especially when young. The aim is to perfect those areas of thought and communication which once let you down. As your communication skills improve with experience, your karmic debt will be repaid and you can get off the roundabout.

You may experience learning difficulties, especially when young, with reading, writing, and comprehension. You could be a shy, quiet person whose thoughts have turned in. Hesitant to speak up for yourself, you may miss out on many opportunities in life. This difficulty in expressing yourself can make you feel awkward in company, and lead to low self-esteem. You may experience teasing or verbal abuse, be nagged and criticized, or fall victim to slander and lies. Contracts may also cause problems and like so many things, lead to complications further down the track.

Mercury only stays retrograde for about three weeks. So it is going to turn direct at some stage in your progressed chart (where one day equals one year). Within a year or two of progressed Mercury stationing direct, you will notice that your communication style improves and you can express yourself more freely. However, the opposite can also occur and someone with Mercury direct in their natal chart may experience progressed Mercury in retrograde motion later in life. I experienced this from age 13 to 37 and it was very profound. I even stopped reading books.

If Mercury is retrograde in your natal or progressed chart then you can expect to make more rapid progress during transits of Mercury in retrograde motion. Use this ephemeris to see if Mercury changes direction in your progressed chart.

**By Jamie Partridge