Should I just mention the WNY Blizzard of 2022 with the resultant chaos and delays? Disruptions in technology and communication, as well as general chaos, always precede and follow the three-week astrological event.
Shortly after this New Moon, Mercury will station retrograde, joining Mars, which has been in retrograde since the end of October. Both these planets in retrograde together are signaling us to take our time, revisit the past, (yeah blizzard of 1977) and consider the wisdom our past has shown us.
Mercury enters retrograde motion starting on December 28, 2022, and lasting into the new year! According to the age-old practice of astrology, we are all influenced by the effect of Mercury in retrograde. What exactly does it mean for each of us, though? Read on to find out.
Retroshade may sound like the title of a pop music album, but it’s so much more than a planetary buzzword! “Retroshade” is what happens after having a few weeks of revising and reimagining our lives while Mercury is retrograde. Think of it like the epilogue of your Mercury retrograde experience; it’s when you can look back on these conflicts and dilemmas with a clearer perspective. Now, you have the opportunity to make changes that matter. Therefore, it’s very common for people to break-up, move on and start embarking down a new path.
The pre-retrograde transit—which usually occurs two weeks before Mercury turns retrograde—sets the tone for the planetary moonwalk. At this time, you start seeing what lacks stability and consistency in your life. It’s very common for one’s Mercury retrograde story to begin at this time, as the pre-retrograde transit reveals the themes of the upcoming retrograde. Think of it like the prologue of your Mercury retrograde experience.
For example, if you were having problems with your significant other and arguing right before Mercury goes retrograde, it means that you’ll probably spend the next three weeks rebuilding and restructuring the relationship. However, after Mercury turns direct, you may come to the decision that you don’t want to dedicate your time and energy to the relationship any longer. You gave the relationship another chance during Mercury retrograde, and during the post-retrograde shadow, you’re second guessing the decision and wanting out of the partnership. See what I mean about this experience being challenging?
How Do You Survive The Retrograde Shadow Period?
The best way to survive the retroshade is to focus on yourself! Stop wondering what your ex is doing and whatever you do, do *not* stalk their social media. If someone ghosts you, let them remain a ghost. Confronting people during this time can bring a lot of ambiguity and extra confusion to the surface (and you certainly don’t need that). It’s also common for people to say things they don’t necessarily mean, so take things with a grain of salt. If people are insulting toward you, remember—their intent is to hurt, because they’re probably frustrated with their own retroshade drama.
In lighter news, the retroshade period is a beautiful time for self-care. Catch up on your beauty sleep as much as you can. Get a massage, take a hot bath and do things that make you feel good about yourself. Whatever you do, it’s important to remember that you aren’t being rushed by the universe. If you’re feeling guilt over some of the frivolous purchases you made during Mercury retrograde, feel free to return it (that is, if you haven’t already lost the receipt).
Don’t feel obligated to stick with reckless decisions you’ve made since the pre-retrograde phase bega. Remember—Mercury is running slower than usual and retracing it steps for a *third time* during this transit. Feeling dizzy, yet? Clear your head by using this time to your advantage. Make amends with people you’ve had issues with over the past several weeks. But most importantly, make amends with yourself.
If your car’s dashboard is flashing eyebrow-raising symbols, you feel like you’re constantly getting wires crossed with everyone from your S.O. to your bestie and boss, and blasts from the past have you wondering if the universe is sending you meaningful messages or just messing with you, take heart — it’s not just you. What you’re experiencing is the effect of the fourth and final (whew!) Mercury retrograde of 2022.
Now more than ever, we rely on our devices and a strong Wifi connection to do just about everything. So, when Mercury retrograde — which tends to throw a wrench in all things technology, communication, and transportation — strikes, we’re even more inclined to lose our minds.
Not only does Mercury go retrograde often — three or four times a year for three weeks at a time — but, to make matters worse, there’s this: You can feel the effects both before and after. That’s because there are two phases — Mercury retroshade and Mercury storm — leading in and out of the official Mercury retrograde period when the messenger planet could spur slowdowns, miscommunication, and glitches galore.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Mercury retroshade period and the Mercury storm — and why they don’t have to mean feeling defeated at every turn.
A key thing to know about the planet of communication: It’s the fastest moving planet in our solar system — moving around the sun every 88 Earth days, traveling at nearly 112,000 mph — which is why its slowdowns and standstills are felt so acutely. And before it can go retrograde or appear to move backward from our vantage point on Earth, it needs to reduce its speed and pause for a bit. Think of active recovery and rest periods during an interval workout.
Two weeks before a Mercury retrograde officially begins, it slows down, and for two weeks following Mercury direct, it needs to regain its full speed. These periods are referred to as the pre-and post-shadow periods (or retroshade). During the pre-shadow, Mercury will move directly through a certain point in the sky referred to as degrees (e.g., it could be something like 2º Scorpio). During its retrograde, it’ll move back through those degrees and then back through that spot once it’s on its road to full-speed recovery after the retrograde ends. In short, the pre-shadow begins when Mercury, moving direct, hits the point at which it’ll be when its retrograde ends. And the post-shadow ends when Mercury, again moving direct, returns to the point at which it’ll be when its retrograde began. It’s basically like an astrological zig-zag.
This means that there are three weeks of slowdown (pre-shadow), three weeks of actual backward motion (retrograde), and three weeks of revving back up to full speed (post-shadow), so nine weeks total of Mercury mishigas.
What to Know About the Post-Shadow
Mercury going direct (or ending its retrograde phase) doesn’t necessarily translate to fewer headaches. That’s because after we celebrate Mercury going direct, the retroshade period lingers for another two-ish weeks. Typical retrograde communication breakdowns and device mishaps are still likely, as Mercury is still working its way up to its full speed. This can also function as a post-retrograde cleanup phase, during which you can reflect on whatever came up for you during the official transit and continue to tie up loose ends.
It’s entirely possible you won’t feel the Mercury retroshades but you will feel another pre- and post-phase, referred to as the Mercury retrograde storm. The storm is the result of the fastest-moving planet slowing down significantly, almost to a standstill, right around the time it turns retrograde and then when it turns direct. During these periods, slowdowns, delays, and miscommunications start to rear their ugly head a bit more apparent.
Want to know how it will affect you? Read the next post.