Mercury Retrograde August 2023 – Bright Ideas

Mercury Retrograde August 2023

Mercury retrograde 2023 lasts from August 23 to September 15 within the Sign of Virgo.

In general, Mercury retrograde is associated with communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items. Mercury retrograde August 2023 is way more positive and brings brilliant ideas and exciting possibilities.

More detail about this retrograde phase follows the general meaning of Mercury retrograde. If Mercury is retrograde in your birth chart, see Natal Mercury Retrograde.

Mercury Retrograde Meaning

Mercury appears to move backward in the sky (retrograde motion) 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.

Retrograde Mercury is generally a problematic influence. It can bring challenging news, confusion, communication problems and travel disruptions. Nervous anxiety, disagreement, arguments, technology breakdowns, and lost items are possible. Business negotiations may be in a state of flux. Some crucial details may not yet be available, and others may be unreliable or dishonest.

The riskiest times for decision-making, negotiations, communication, and transport are the few days on either side of the exact retrograde and direct stations. But there are positives, such as recalling fond memories or unexpectedly meeting up with people from your past.

The retrograde phase is just one part of the retrograde cycle. Mercury travels 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.

Retrograde Motion GIF

Retrograde Motion

Mercury Retrograde August 2023

The three phases of Mercury retrograde in Virgo 2023 last from August 3 to September 30:

1st shadow phaseAugust 3 to 2308° to 21° Virgo
Retrograde phaseAug 23 to Sept 1521° to 08° Virgo
2nd shadow phaseSeptember 15 to 3008° to 21° Virgo

Mercury entered the retrograde zone on August 3 at 08°00′ Virgo [see chart]. During the first shadow period, you can get some idea of the thinking, communication, or transport issues that may arise during the retrograde phase.

Mercury Stationary Retrograde

Mercury stations retrograde on August 23 at 21°51′ Virgo. The most significant aspect affecting Mercury retrograde is Moon opposite Uranus. With an orb of 0°21′, it is the tightest aspect in the chart below. Mercury conjunct Mars has little effect because the orb is wide and about to get wider.

Mercury Retrograde 2023 Virgo

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023 [Solar Fire]

Mixed Feelings

Moon opposite Uranus causes emotional instability that can make you feel nervous, anxious and unsettled. Contradictory or mixed feelings can make you feel insecure and uncertain. Sudden flashes of insight, gut feelings or visions may be extremely vivid or upsetting.

You may feel a sense of urgency and a need for spontaneous change. But your feelings about something or someone are likely to change abruptly. If you react impulsively to subconscious impressions, erratic behavior, relationship turmoil and unexpected consequences are possible. This is a time for waiting and preparing for a new cycle. So patience, flexibility and adaptability are essential.

The Moon, Mercury and Uranus form a Single Ambivalence aspect pattern. It gives an ambivalent attitude, a dualistic world outlook, and a tendency to think in black-and-white terms. [1] At the blue apex of the triangle, Mercury enables a freer view of things. It acts as a switch point in the correct management of ambivalent energies.


Single Ambivalence Pattern

Using Mercury proactively enables you to solve problems as soon as they arise. It diffuses the opposition tension along the blue aspects to give a sense of balance and direction. This aspect pattern’s skills and determination can lead to outstanding achievements.


Moon sextile Mercury calms your nerves and stabilizes your emotions, making you more relaxed and less impulsive. It helps you understand your feelings and share them openly. Enhanced senses and communication skills mean you can intuitively understand others and form emotional connections.

This aspect also makes you more sensitive, caring and friendly. It has a unifying influence and encourages cooperation. It is good for intimate discussions, socializing, teamwork, counseling, learning, solving problems, resolving conflict, reminiscing and telling stories.

Bright Ideas

Mercury trine Uranus brings curiosity, open-mindedness, ingenuity, creativity, intuition and psychic awareness. Original and brilliant ideas open up exciting new opportunities you can make the most of with quick thinking and decision-making. Flexibility allows you to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

New information and the ability to see things from a different perspective help you learn, discover, solve problems and change outdated beliefs. Chance encounters, stimulating conversations and interesting new friendships are possible.

The Constellations

Mercury stations retrograde in the Sign of Virgo. But as the image below shows, it is in the Constellation of Leo. The Signs and the Constellations do not match up. Over the last 2000 years, the Constellations have moved nearly 30° out of alignment with the Signs because of the precession of the equinoxes.

Mercury Retrograde August 23, 2023

Mercury Retrograde August 2023 [Stellarium]

The Tail of the Lion

Mercury stations retrograde just 0°05′ shy of fixed star Denebola (21°56′ Virgo.) This star in the tail of the Lion makes people noble, daring, self-controlled, generous and busy with other people’s affairs. But it can also cause swift judgment, despair, regrets, public disgrace, misfortune from the elements of nature, and happiness turned to anger. [2] In mundane horoscopes, major catastrophes are triggered off by it. [3]

Denebola with Mercury gives tenacity, single-mindedness, a sharp mentality and the ability to make quick decisions. An interest in ‘other people’s affairs’ may surface by becoming involved with less fortunate people or those you believe are wrongly abused or accused.

However, because Mercury is stationary retrograde, those quick decisions may be open to question or create problems or controversies of a lasting nature, even if they are correct. Acquaintances and friends may create problems that could prove temporarily embarrassing. [4]

Mercury Retrograde August 2023 Summary

Moon opposite Uranus at the same time as Mercury stations retrograde may cause some uncertainty and conflicting feelings. But the positive aspects to Mercury bring bright ideas to solve any problems.

However, Mercury trine Uranus is not exact until after Mercury leaves the retrograde zone on September 30. So Mercury retrograde represents the germination of an idea. Learning, sharing and new information will evolve the idea through the retrograde phase:

  • August 25 – Mercury stationary retrograde at 21°51′ Virgo brings the bright idea.
  • September 9 – Mercury retrograde trine Jupiter helps you grow your idea and make plans for its implementation.
  • September 14 – The New Moon at 21°59′ Virgo signals a time for new starts. On the same degree, at Mercury stationary retrograde, it reinforces the idea and helps it manifest as a plan.
  • September 15 – Mercury stationary direct at 08°00′ Virgo [see chart]. Now you can put the plan into action.
  • September 25 – Mercury direct trine Jupiter brings the full implementation of the plan and reveals the benefits. 
  • September 30, 01:15 am – Mercury leaves the retrograde zone at 21°51′ Virgo [see chart].
  • September 30, 12:55 pm – Mercury trine Uranus brings exciting new opportunities resulting from your bright idea.

For more detail on how Mercury retrograde August 2023 aspects your birth chart, see Mercury Transits.

Mercury Stationary Retrograde Times

  • Los Angeles – August 23, 12:59 pm
  • New York – August 23, 3:59 pm
  • London – August 23, 8:59 pm
  • Delhi – August 24, 1:29 am
  • Sydney – August 24, 5:59 am

Mercury Retrograde 2023 Dates

  1. Aspect Pattern Astrology, Bruno and Louise Huber, 2005, p. 155.
  2. Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923, p.160.
  3. Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.70.
  4. The Power of the Fixed Stars, Joseph E. Rigor, 1979, p.129.

9 thoughts on “Mercury Retrograde August 2023 – Bright Ideas

  1. Hi Jamie. I have natal Uranus at 8°Scorpio and started a new project with New Moon in Leo. This Mercury retrograde and Cazimi squares my Neptune at 14°Sagittarius that’s why I did it before.

  2. Boo… This will be going over my Virgo Stellium in my 4th house. 8’28 is my North Node, 10’24 is my Mercury (chart ruler/Gemini ASC), 15degrees is my Sun, 17 degrees is my Saturn and 19 is my Venus. What can you say about this, please. Thank you!

  3. Any reading material/video suggestions on how I can learn to read my chart better? I understand about a third of all this and I have been following you for years- taking the leap !

  4. Do you put any stock in solar return charts? I don’t seem able to parse years, more of a span person. Mercury is rx on my solar return backing over Jupiter and parking staionery on my sun. All I know is that when mercury was rx in my progressed chart for many years, well it has provided me with a lot of great adventure stories.

  5. This is right on my natal Saturn, and square Neptune. The depression seems to be really ramping up nicely.

  6. Had to re-read this as too much is coming at me and I am not able to parse it all out. It brings some comedy to my situations as I am getting a nature attack from chipmunks on my abode. Also, the busy with other people’s affairs, as I seem to be the other people’s and need to say backoff, I am overwelmed at the moment. I don’t know why I find the correlations amusing, but it brings comic relief somehow during this unusual fraught time.

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