Young woman listening to music as Mercury and Pluto retrograde in May 2023.

What Planets Are Retrograde May 2023? Mercury's Got Some Company

Oh, good.

Originally Published: 

Time to thank the cosmic gods, because you’ve (almost) made it through the second Mercury retrograde of the year. Over the last few weeks, relaying important information and expressing what’s on your mind has probably been a challenge, and it’s all due to the planet of communication sitting idly in the sky above. Fortunately, the mishaps that come along with Mercury retrograde will gradually start to subside this month, as the planet gears up to finally station direct. However, the cosmos won’t entirely be done with the drama, as an outer planet prepares to retrace its steps through the stratosphere. So, while there technically will be two planets retrograde in May 2023, only one will give you noticeable delays and difficulties for at least half the month.

What Is A Retrograde?

Retrogrades happen when a planet appears to be standing still in the sky from your perspective here on Earth. When a planet stations retrograde, it tends to bring forth delays, misunderstandings, and turnarounds pertaining to the topics that the planet in questions rules over. It can also bring mishaps to the zodiac sign that the planet is retrograding through. In astrology, every planet experiences a retrograde aside from the two luminaries (the sun and moon). The inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) retrograde for shorter periods of time, while the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) retrograde for longer periods of time, due to their already slow direct movement.

Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What Planets Will Be Retrograde May 2023?

In May, there will be two planets retrograding through the cosmos: Mercury and Pluto. The fortunate thing is that Mercury will only be retrograde for half of the month, but Pluto, on the other hand, will be retrograde the entire month of May (and beyond). However, since Pluto is the farthest planet from Earth, its retrogrades don’t tend to have as much of an effect as inner planet retrogrades (like Mercury). That being said, this is Pluto’s first retrograde in the fixed air sign of Aquarius in centuries, so it’s bound to be a bit more noticeable than usual.

What To Expect From May 2023’s Retrograde Planets

Mercury Retrograde (April 21-May 15)

Since Mercury has been retrograding through the fixed earth sign of Taurus, you’ve probably already begun to notice some delays, mishaps, and misunderstandings start to arise — specifically in the Taurus-ruled house of your birth chart. The nature of a retrograde is inherently slow and Taurus is a very patient and deliberate sign, things may almost feel as though they’re at a complete standstill right now. However, this moment of silence is giving you an opportunity to hear your thoughts clearly, particularly regarding the ways you seek to establish security and comfort in your life.

The nature of Taurus is all about ensuring longevity, and now is the time to adjust your strategies on how to get there. Then, by the time Mercury stations direct in this sign on May 15, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to provide yourself with the contentment you’ve been plotting on. It’s also worth mentioning that even when Mercury stations direct, things may still be moving at a slow pace, but they won’t be accompanied by so many setbacks.

Pluto Retrograde (May 1-Oct. 10)

For the first time in generations, Pluto will be stationing retrograde in Aquarius, eventually making its way back into the steady, conservative sign of Capricorn. As the planet of extreme change and reawakening, Pluto brings monumental shifts to the zodiac sign and house in your birth chart it transits through. However, since Pluto is the slowest moving planet in the sky, its changes can feel gradual and almost entirely unnoticeable, especially as you’re in the midst of them. As Pluto stations retrograde in the trailblazing, experimental sign of Aquarius, it marks a final revisit back to the changes Pluto was occupied with in the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn over the last several years.

Since Pluto will be stationing retrograde at 0 degrees of Aquarius, you’re unlikely to notice any major revelations, since its only been in the sign of the water-bearer since March 23. Instead, you’ll notice Pluto’s brief revisit to the Capricorn-ruled house of your birth chart much more as it shifts back into this sign on June 11. There have been gradual transformations unfolding in the sign of structure, tradition, and outdated systems since 2008. Over the last several years, nations have experienced extreme highs and extreme lows — and Pluto’s brief shift back into this sign sets out to finish what was started. As for your personal birth chart, the metamorphosis that has been in progress in this sign will also begin to wrap up, officially as Pluto leaves Capricorn for good sometime in 2024.

This article was originally published on