This period when Mercury appears to be moving backward can throw you for a loop (and then some!), and you have to be extra careful with managing the energy so you can make it through without a retrograde horror story.
What is Mercury Retrograde Shadow?
Let’s get technical for a sec. Mercury starts and ends its retrograde period at specific points in the zodiac. There are 12 signs in the zodiac, and
Mercury shadow begins BEFORE Mercury retrograde starts when Mercury first comes to the position it will end the retrograde at. Mercury shadow ends AFTER Mercury retrograde ends when Mercury comes again to the position it began the retrograde at.
Will I Feel Mercury Shadow?
Not everyone feels Mercury shadow. This is essentially when the retrograde is first casting its rays, but this isn’t on everyone. There are a few instances where you’ll be impacted by Mercury shadow. Let’s go through them:
1. You have a prominent natal Mercury or strong Gemini or Virgo energy in the natal chart.
When a planet is strong in your birth chart, this makes you sensitive to whatever that planet is doing, so if you have a strong natal Mercury, you can feel any and every Mercury shadow period (sorry!). Mercury is the natural ruling planet for Gemini and Virgo, so if you have many planets (like 3 or more, or the Sun and/or Moon and one or more planets), you can also be extra sensitive to what Mercury is doing.
2. The retrograde occurs in your 1st house, Rising sign, or Sun sign.
The 1st house, Rising sign, and Sun all rule you, so they are very personal positions in your birth chart, and if Mercury retrogrades in your Sun or Rising sign or in the 1st house, this makes the retrograde energy super strong for you, so you can feel it during the entire shadow period.
It often feels like a million little things require your attention, and you can be extra stressed out and in need of lots of breaks. Yet it’s also one of the best periods of all for second chances and do-overs!
3. The retrograde makes lots of hard aspects to your natal chart, or starts or ends making hard aspects.
An aspect is when two points are at certain distances to one another and can be classified as easy (positive) or hard (challenging). The conjunction, square, and opposition are considered hard aspects by Mercury retrograde.
If the retrograde will make 3 or more hard aspects to your birth chart, or starts or ends making a hard aspect, this can be felt throughout Mercury shadow. If the retrograde only makes easy aspects (sextiles and trines), then you may actually have a positive period!
How to Manage Mercury Retroshade:
Managing the Mercury shadow period basically falls in line with how to manage Mercury retrograde. It just lasts for a longer period of time! The first step is to get prepared. It always helps with Mercury retrograde to be prepared! Know the dates to look out for (when the shadow period is starting and ending, and when Mercury is making aspects for you) and try to plan your schedule accordingly.
Mercury retrograde can drain energy, so the entire shadow period is excellent for taking time to slow down, reflect, and get in tune with your deeper self. Retrogrades in Water signs like Scorpio – for example – can be great for strengthening intuition, and paying attention to dreams can be helpful for interpreting messages from the Universe. Keep a dream journal and make use of the Dream Dictionary!
With Scorpio, emotions can run high, and they may run on the darker side. Scorpio is an emotional Water sign and governs that which lurks beneath the surface, so Mercury retrograde in this sign can be pessimistic and gloomy. Try to bring some levity into your life, and make time for enjoyment. Try using a high-vibe crystal-like Selenite to help keep you on a positive wavelength.
Mercury is a ruler of communication and technology, so those gadgets you love may be prone to not working properly or breaking down entirely, and miscommunications can run rampant. Think before you speak and listen to others carefully and if you have to replace a gadget, make sure you understand the return policy and opt for the protection plan!
The re-’s are excellent for retrograde periods: redo, revise, revisit, revamp. Make the most of the shadow period and check out this article on how to use the re-’s during a Scorpio Mercury retrograde to increase wealth!
One Last Note for Mercury Retrograde Natives:
If you were born while Mercury was retrograde, you have Mercury retrograde in your natal chart.
What does that mean for you during Mercury retrograde? Since you were born under this energy, it’s the most natural energy to you, so while everyone else is scrambling to try and manage as best as they can, you’re likely the one zipping through like a champ! You may find you can accomplish a lot more while Mercury is retrograde than you normally can, and you can feel this throughout the shadow period.
For everyone else, get prepared, follow the re-’s, and breathe!
Related Article: 5 Things That Are Easier to Do During Mercury Retrograde