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2022 was a rough year for many, so when we hear that this new year begins with a Mercury retrograde, it can feel a bit daunting. However, it does not have to be, because Mercury retrograde, and this one specifically, is not a bad thing.

Mercury is the planet that governs communication, thinking, expression and technology. When the planet goes retrograde, it begins to appear as moving backward. This time is known for miscommunications and technological glitches, which gives the retrograde a bad name. The retrograde began on December 29 and will continue until January 18. The retrograde will cause Mercury to spin backward through Capricorn.

While most think of the glitches and downfalls of the retrograde, we often overlook the opportunity it provides. When direct, the planet allows us to take action, but when it moves retrograde we are pushed inward to re-examine certain aspects of our lives. In Capricorn, the pragmatic goat, we are allowed to reexamine our priorities, goals, and values.

Not only is Mercury in retrograde, but Mars is also. The two retrogrades together will give us a major opportunity to look at our lives. Together, these planets’ retrograde will have us feeling a burst of energy, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. You may feel a major push to be clear about boundaries, and you will likely feel the urge to put your foot down. Just make sure you don’t snap at the wrong person or miscommunicate under feelings of pressure.

This is a great time to reassess what is working for you and what is not. A good way to make sure that you are getting the most out of this time and to protect yourself against the downfalls along the way is to make sure you are practicing plenty of self-care.