The first Mercury retrograde (RG) of 2022 comes to a close on February 3rd. But don’t let your guard down just yet. This celestial event not only wreaks chaos; it is chaos.
Mercury RG refers to a period when the small planet appears to move backward across the sky. Physically, it’s an illusion caused by our planet’s orbit and wobbly axis. Emotionally, it’s the time when Mercury’s communicative influence breaks down.
While Mercury is “moving backward,” we’re more prone to accidents, mishaps, and tech and travel errors. But there’s more to a retrograde than this reverse-motion period. There is also a Mercury pre- and post-shadow and storm. This week, we’re diving headfirst into the latter.
What Is Pre- And Post-Shadow?
Understanding the pre- and post-shadow requires a bit of visualization. Remember, Mercury moves backward along its path during RG. When the planet reaches where its RG ends, the pre-shadow period begins.
Mercury treks through the pre-shadow until it stations (or goes) retrograde. Then, it begins to reverse its course. Eventually, it reaches the point where pre-shadow began.
At this point, Mercury stations direct. As it traces its path the “right” way, we enter post-shadow. Post-shadow ends when Mercury reaches the point where it stationed RG. From there, its orbit continues like normal until the next RG several months later.
Mercury stations direct on February 3rd. This means we’ll be in Mercury’s post-shadow storm until around the 17th. (Yep, Mercury’s still going to mess with Valentine’s Day).
We also feel the planet’s effects more acutely when it first changes direction. Station days bring about Mercury storms that we feel on and around Mercury’s transitions.
That’s the technical thick of it. So, what do these shadows and storms mean for you?
How Do Retroshades Affect Us?
The effects of pre- and post-shadows, or retroshades (RS), are similar to those of the retrograde. Pre-shadows act as previews of the mayhem Mercury plans to ensue. We might notice minor communication errors or brain slips.
However, post-shadows are for reflection. During this time, we have the chance to slow down and look at what we learned over the RG period. Mercurian struggles are still at the forefront of our minds, but we’re slowly slipping from their tricky grasp.
What did that verbal stand-off reveal about your relationship? How did that technical error save you in the long run? What internal conflict keeps you from trusting others?
These answers usually reveal themselves within Mercury storms. Until February 6th or so, we’ll be feeling the chaotic effects of a post-RG storm. Then, Mercury not-so-lovingly pushes us into post-shadow.
It’s unsurprising, then, that post-shadow periods are raw and emotional. We’re emotionally and mentally spent from Mercury’s RG chaos. Now, we have to just… deal with it? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the stars are asking you to do.
Navigating The Storms Smoothly
Mercury RGs have a bad reputation. However, these astrological events are largely what we make them. If you enter RG expecting conflict and tension, then you’ll find it.
But you could also approach RGs and RSs with open-minded curiosity. Rather than bracing for conflict, you could consider what you might learn from it. Mercury isn’t malicious, nor does it guarantee disaster.
Mercury RGs and RSs are excellent times to practice mindfulness. Avoid going on autopilot, and immerse yourself in your existence. Take a couple of seconds before speaking to consider your answer. Interact with people deliberately, not half-heartedly.
These are beneficial practices any time of year, but they grow even more helpful while Mercury reigns supreme. If you follow these practices, other Mercury RG no-nos like signing contracts and making big decisions will be less risky.
Post-shadows offer clarity in their own finicky ways. The roadblocks Mercury sets up can serve as lessons if only we let them.