Mercury is out of retrograde, but the ‘retroshade’ lingers—here’s what that means


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The only push notifications I allow on my phone are from Apple news, and the three astrology apps I have downloaded. Last night, I got a glorious notification from The Pattern, alerting me that Mercury retrograde was finally—finally!—over. Not to be dramatic (but definitely to be dramatic), this past Mercury retrograde felt like it went on forever. But turns out there’s this two week period post-retrograde, called Mercury retroshade, that can have quite the astrological impact. To quote the woman responsible for the majority of my IG captions, Taylor Swift, are we out of the woods?

“The shadow period is about a two-week period after Mercury stations direct, when it travels along the path it was moving before it went retrograde,” explains intuitive astrologer and healer Rachel Lang. “It’s a time to clean up anything that happened during Mercury retrograde or to integrate any lessons you learned along the way. Often during Mercury retrograde, so much awareness about the past comes to the surface.” Other hallmarks of a Mercury retrograde: communication is off, technology is on the fritz, there’s general pandemonium, and everyone on social is blaming their bad choices on the planet (it me).

Mercury retroshade is an opportunity to review big decisions in your life, reflect on the past, and reconnect with distant friends or exes.

Lang says Mercury retroshade is an opportunity to review big decisions in your life, reflect on the past, and reconnect with distant friends or exes. (Speaking as someone who resisted the urge to contact her ex until after the retrograde, I feel comforted by this.) “The post-shadow period helps you become clear about what all of those encounters and experiences can mean for your life moving forward. It is also a chance to resolve any issues that arose during the retrograde cycle,” says Lang. You also may have realizations about the decisions you made during the retrograde. Time to get back on my journaling practice.

“Often, this can be a time when you change your mind. You could also notice tiny errors you missed, typos in contracts, or mistakes you might have made in communication with others,” says Lang. “It’s a time to refine some of what you worked on during Mercury retrograde. Or to face some consequences for errors you may have made. That said, it can be gentle, too, as it gives you a second chance.”

We’ll probably only feel the effects strongly for a couple of days because Mercury is moving slower than usual. “As it speeds up, we feel back online, mentally and physically,” she says. “When Mercury makes its way back to the degree at which it stationed retrograde—in this case, 4˚ 28’ of Leo—it will be back on track, and you will, too!”

Astrology has made me more introspective in my relationships—here’s how. And if you’re wondering why astrology is such a thing now, we have a few ideas.

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