By Amelia Quint
It’s a new year, but with the Mercury and Mars retrogrades at the moment, it might not feel like it just yet. Retrogrades are the universe’s way of helping us to pause and refresh, even if we’d rather rush ahead. In astrology, every planet has a retrograde phase, where it appears to move backward in the sky (even though that’s just an optical illusion). These periods can help you be more creative, heal, and actually rest when you need to.
Ahead, we break down every retrograde in 2023 so you don’t have to. Read on to find out what this year’s retrogrades mean for you, and remember: progress isn’t always a straight line. It’s okay to wait—both Bumble and the cosmos are supporting you all the way.
December 29, 2022 to January 18, 2023 | in Capricorn
April 21 to May 14 | in Taurus
August 23 to September 16 | in Virgo
December 13, 2023 to January 1, 2024 | in Capricorn and Sagittarius
Mercury is retrograde for about a third of each year, but don’t freak out! It’s simply a reminder that progress isn’t always linear. These inward-focused, reflective periods are great for creativity, but usually carry their fair share of schedule chaos and missed signals.
This year, Mercury retrograde happens in earth signs Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, then splits its time between Capricorn and fire sign Sagittarius for the holiday season. These phases are perfect for refreshing routines that have become mundane—think your budget, skincare regime, or nutrition. If your daily habits are holding you back, use this time to upgrade them so they support you to be your best self.
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn kicks off 2023, slowing down your plans so you can edit and refine them before the new year begins. And the year ends in the same way starting December 13. It’ll move through Sagittarius from December 23, 2023 to January 1, 2024, which could lead to some hectic holiday travels but crystal clear new year’s intentions once it’s direct again.
This year’s other two Mercury retrogrades—in Taurus from April 21 to May 14 and Virgo from August 23 to September 16—fall at the end of one school year and beginning of another. Don’t be surprised if these phases see you hitting the books in different areas of your life.
July 22 to September 3 | in Leo
If you’ve been hoping for a romantic or aesthetic refresh, Venus retrograde this summer delivers. Venus is the planet of love and beauty, and when it’s retrograde, your love life and style come up for review. It happens every other year and can be rough on relationships, but it’s also an opportunity to heal from past heartbreak. Whatever you do, don’t get bangs or text your ex—we promise it’ll be worth the wait.
Leo is the sign of entertainment and fun, so with Venus retrograde in Leo from July through September, you might experience a bit of summertime sadness. If you do, turn your feelings into something creative, like a moodboard or playlist. It might just inspire your new personal era!
September 4 to December 30 | in Taurus
Friendly Jupiter is the planet of growth and exploration, and when it’s retrograde, you expand your beliefs about what’s possible in the area it’s moving through. Jupiter is retrograde for four months at a time, so just over a season. This season of your life might be more introverted or quiet, especially in comparison to the previous few months of sparkly achievements.
This year, the Jupiter retrograde in Taurus reminds you to slow down, exercise self-care, and savor the moment. It’ll be close to visionary Uranus, so expect your idea of what material success means to you in the future to shift for the better.
June 17 to November 4 | in Pisces
Saturn has a tough reputation, but it can actually be a support system if you know how to work with it. It’s the planet of responsibility, and if you’re willing to step up and take it, you can accomplish some impressive feats in that area of your life. Just make sure to do a reality check beforehand on how you’re going to achieve them. Saturn is retrograde for five months each year, and when it starts, that’s usually when the “I have so much work to do” moment kicks in.
This year, we’ll have Saturn retrograde in Pisces, the sign of inspiration, art, and healing. With the sign’s ruler, Neptune, in the same sign, it’s super cathartic. The bottom line? You’ll give unruly emotions a healthy structure, whether through a daily meditation practice or just remembering to go outside for fresh air between meetings or video calls.
August 28, 2023 to January 27, 2024 | in Taurus
Looking for a change? That’s probably Uranus you’re feeling. Uranus is the planet of invention, and when it’s retrograde, you turn that desire to overhaul the area of your life it’s moving through inward. You might feel a little restless, but that’s how genius ideas are born! It lasts for about five months out of the year, giving you ample time to update your vision board accordingly.
This year, Uranus retrograde in Taurus gives you a check-in on how you’ve reinvented yourself since it entered that sign in 2018. You’ve come a long way, and with Jupiter in Taurus now, you can go even further than you imagined.
March 9 to December 6 | in Pisces
You know those moments in life that feel like magic—when you fall in love, dance all night, or make a wish that actually comes true? That’s Neptune’s energy. It’s retrograde for around six months every year, and during that period, you might get swept up by waves of deep emotions or romanticize your life in that area of your chart, so make sure you keep one foot on solid ground.
This year, Neptune retrograde in Pisces reflects just how much you’ve healed since it moved into that sign in 2011. You’ve processed a lot of feelings, and with Saturn there now, you’ll be even stronger.
May 1 to October 10 | in Aquarius and Capricorn
If you’ve been hoping for a dramatic makeover, look no further than Pluto. Pluto is the planet of transformation and power, and wherever it goes, massive changes are sure to follow. Luckily, Pluto moves slowly, so you’ll have lots of time to work through these huge shifts in whatever area of your horoscope it’s activating.
Pluto retrograde lasts six months each year, and Pluto takes anywhere from 14 to 20 years to move from one sign to another. That’s why Pluto signs are roughly correlated to the generations: for example, Pluto in Scorpio for millennials and Pluto in Sagittarius for Gen Z.
This year, Pluto moves into Aquarius, where it’ll spend 20 years overhauling our relationship to technology and our communities. Pluto will start its retrograde there on May 1 and head back into Capricorn on June 11 for the rest of 2023. What does that mean for you? It’s a phoenix moment, and you’ll get to see the full transformation soon. But for now, embrace that becoming your best self is a process, not a destination.