January’s Mercury Retrograde Is All About Rebuilding From Within, But Are We Moving Backwards?

Mercury, the planet of communication and intelligence, turns retrograde several times a year, typically for about three weeks at a time. Often but not always, Mercury will move backward from one zodiac sign into the previous one during the retrograde period – from Aquarius backward into Capricorn, for example.

Read on to learn more about Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and how this will affect your zodiac sign.

What is Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury Planet

FlashMyPixel / Getty Images Pro

FlashMyPixel / Getty Images Pro

During a retrograde period (Mercury is not the only planet to do this!), a planet looks from Earth as though it is moving backward. This is an optical illusion – the planet maintains its forward orbit at all times – but the symbolism of this reverse motion is very significant in astrology.

The astrological Mercury rules our communication and thinking styles, as well as messages, errands, busy days and ideas. When Mercury appears to move backward, these things can be thrown into chaos with mistakes, misunderstandings and miscommunications all too common.

However, not all zodiac signs will feel every Mercury retrograde keenly; it depends on the sign the retrograde is taking place in as well as the position of Mercury and other planets in your own natal birth chart.