Re-aligning Your Health & Work Habits With Your Highest Good During Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023

virgo Aug 22, 2023
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Three times a year, Mercury retrogrades as an opportunity to help us review how we are thinking, communicating, and living day to day. Does our mindset serve us? Are we communicating in ways that support us and others? Are we spending time on a day-to-day basis in a way that aligns with our higher purpose?

Our third Mercury retrograde of the year begins on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 (or August 24 if you live in Australia), and it will be in the sign of Virgo. Virgo rules daily habits, work tasks, productivity, coping with stress, health and wellness, service to others, and house pets so you might feel called to review and reconsider one (or more) of these areas of your life, particularly in regard to your mindset, communications, and daily living.

Mercury retrograde in Virgo, the idealistic, health-seeking, workhorse of the zodiac provides an opportunity for you to:

  1. Refocus on your health
  2. Check in with your work habits and their results
  3. Notice where you can calm your stress and enjoy life more by releasing judgement and high standards

I go where I’m naturally called during a retrograde, rather than trying to force anything. As you move through this Mercury retrograde (August 23/24, 2023 to September 15/16, 2023), notice which area calls to you for reflection and revision.

I’ve been feeling a call to refocus on my health and found myself quitting chocolate and wine recently as I just wasn’t feeling physically good as of late and I was pretty sure these were the culprits in my diet. I also got back to the pool to swim laps after a summer hiatus.

Your call toward health and wellness may look different. Perhaps you notice a craving for making healthy smoothies, start researching the best fitness or nutrition apps, or contemplate renewing a gym membership that has lapsed. Maybe you are thinking about booking a session with your favorite acupuncturist or healer.

If health and wellness are calling your names this Mercury retrograde in Virgo, give yourself time to contemplate, research, and try things out. Once Mercury goes direct again on September 15 (September 16 if you live in Australia), you will likely have more clarity on where you want to consistently spend your time and energy going forward.

Another area that Mercury retrograde in Virgo might be calling you to review over the next few weeks is how you spend your time getting work done every day, whether that’s paid labor or tasks of your own choosing around the house or in service to others. Virgo rules the day-to-day tasks we complete each day and inspires us to be efficient and productive at getting the results we desire.

Are you spending time doing the things that matter most to you? Are you completing tasks in the most efficient fashion? And are you getting the results you desire?

If not, use this Mercury retrograde as a time to notice where you want to make adjustments to your daily work habits so they yield the results you desire in the most efficient way.  High-vibe Virgo energy invites you to trade the frustrating hamster-wheel approach for actual steps across the bridge to your desired results.

Lastly, this Mercury retrograde in Virgo may invite you to make an attitude adjustment from perfectionistic ideals to realistic standards. One of Virgo’s gifts is to be able to imagine how things look and run when they are operating at their best. The benefit is efficiency and excellence.

Yet, when Virgo gets too extreme, it demands perfection of itself and others. Unfortunately, that's counterproductive to sustainable results. This Mercury retrograde in Virgo is a reminder to aim for “excellent” rather than perfect. As the old saying goes, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Have a divine image you are aspiring to, but trust that here on earth, good is good enough!

Mercury is the most well-known of the planets that retrograde, but the other planets do too. The purpose? To help us reflect and review some aspect of our lives, with the option to redo it when the retrograde ends.

If astrology teaches us one thing, it’s that life goes in cycles. Just like farmers need to leave a plot of land empty to re-fertilize for a few years before planting there again, we human souls also need moments of rest to check in with ourselves before we begin again. This allows for rejuvenation, course correction, and fresh starts. Hooray for that!

Bonus Journal Prompts

  • How do you want to refocus on your health in a holistic way that makes you feel good while releasing self-criticism and the need for perfection?
  • How are your habits and daily routines working for you? What habits and routines do you want to reinstate? Which ones do you want to edit? Which ones do you want to drop?
  • What are your ideals and standards and how can you aim for them in a more kind and flexible way?

If you would like a place to write and reflect about this Mercury retrograde and all other major astrology transits for the next 6 months, pick up a copy of the Soul Mission Planner, which has journal pages, as well as an astrology key and decoder questions to help you unlock the meaning of astrological transits, including Mercury retrogrades, in your life.

Want to learn how to harness the power of a Mercury retrograde in your life? Listen to Podcast Episode 37: Trading Fear for Clarity During a Mercury Retrograde here.


Suzanne Bellavista, M.S., is a life purpose astrologer and inner peace meditation teacher who offers do-it-yourself tools to help you discover your life purpose using astrology and enjoy more inner peace using meditation.

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