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Mercury goes retrograde December 13. What it means for you

The last Mercury retrograde of the year is here.

The final Mercury retrograde of the year will start on Dec. 13 and last through the end of the year.

As for surviving the tumultuous astrological transit? Long walks are your friend this month. When you feel like you need to take a break, take a step outside. Exhale frustration. Light a candle. Say a little prayer. Remember, the holidays can be a stressful time of year ... and you have cosmic drama to deal with!

This is what to know about Mercury retrograde, including why it's so dreaded.

What are the dates of Mercury retrograde?

The last retrograde of the year will span from Dec. 13, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024. During this time, Mercury will move from Capricorn to Sagittarius.

This retrograde has a planetary square with Neptune, which may result in confusion, ambiguous emotions and internalized frustrations emerging. Finances might be affected and you may feel the urge to overspend.

What is Mercury retrograde?

Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion that occurs when the planet Mercury appears to move backwards in the night sky. In reality, the Earth briefly overtakes Mercury in its orbit.

Astrologically speaking, retrogrades are thought to interfere with the realms that a planet covers. Since Mercury rules communication, information and travel, the retrograde period is said to affect these areas.

Communication and travel snafus abound. Mercury retrograde may add stress to travel plans and festivities with the family. Keep a cool mind.

Finally, Mercury retrograde is known for sending exes hurtling back into your life. Don’t be surprised if you get a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” text from someone you thought was gone for good.

Here’s how the retrograde will affect your Sun sign: 


Even if you're taking a few days off this holiday season, try to stay connected. There may be people who need you. It's not easy to be a leader, Aries, but you are a good one!


It takes maturity to admit when you're wrong. Take responsibility for your actions and your outbursts, Taurus. It’s important to show others that you’re actively working on self-improvement and personal growth.


Prepare yourself for a run-in with the past this month — and by the past, we mean an ex. Take this opportunity to make the most out of the encounter and create a new relationship. 


Welcome in change — we dare you. Things are going to feel different for a while as you adjust. But the changes are ones you've been needing to make for a while. Commit to the new bit.


Sometimes, unexpected issues can disrupt everyday routines and make things challenging. These disruptions could be minor, like traffic that you can’t predict, or bigger, like changes to your holiday plans. But it’s important not to let them get in the way of having a good time. Go with the flow, Leo!


If you find it difficult to tap into your creativity, it’ll be helpful to give your mind some rest. You can seek inspiration from sources like nature or meditation. This will give you an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and find a new perspective before attempting to achieve your goals.


This is a perfect opportunity to declutter and spruce up your living space. Instead of jumping straight to painting the walls new colors, consider adding small details such as throw pillows or a new welcome mat. This will allow you to refresh your home without committing to a drastic change.


You aren't feeling yourself lately. Don't make any major decisions while you're in this frame of mind. Double check your texts and emails before sending them — you want your words to be aligned with your truth.


Keep the receipts for any purchases made during the holiday season, as some of them may be ... regrettable. This will be helpful in case you decide to return or exchange any items. You may receive duplicate gifts and need to make a change for something other than what you received. 


Reflecting on the past and feeling nostalgic often happens when spending time with family and friends. Embrace these moments as they can help you understand where you are in the present and want to be in the future. Engage in meaningful conversations to create new memories.


Try out activities that stimulate your mind and body. Spend a few moments in silence. Take a long walk. Have a conversation with your inner self. Do whatever it takes to know what your inner voice sounds like.


Work on expanding and rebuilding your network. These connections could provide valuable insights and leads that could help you find the right opportunity. It doesn’t hurt to ask for insight or an introduction.