Mercury Retrograde and the Shadow Period

Mercury Retrograde and the Shadow Period

A Mercury Retrograde Tell-All

In April, we’re nearing the end of the first of three Mercury retrogrades of 2018, and this year all of them occur in fire signs:

  • March 22 – April 15: Aries, ending in Aries
  • July 2 – August 18: Leo, ending in Leo
  • November 16 – December 6: Sagittarius, ending in Scorpio

What does Mercury retrograde mean for you? Read with an astrology psychic and find out!

What makes each Mercury retrograde unique is the sign it’s in. It acts differently in each sign and its actions depend on which house it lands in.

Mercury Retrograde Warnings

Mercury retrogrades are one of those common terms among astrology fans, yet still so mysterious. Generally speaking, most people understand that a Mercury retrograde tends to have common warnings to it. Some of the warnings include miscommunications or that it’s not advisable to buy a big-ticket item too.

Also, it’s not advisable during a retrograde to sign contracts as they may need to be redone late. Travel plans may also get delayed. It’s certainly no wonder that the mere mention of a Mercury retrograde is enough to cause a collective sigh throughout the masses. However, what’s almost never discussed is the Mercury retrograde shadow periods. They occur both before and after the retrograde. This applies to all planets and all retrogrades.

Cycles of a Mercury Retrograde

First, let’s look at the cycle of a Mercury retrograde:

  1. The pre-retrograde shadow period
  2. The planet stations (stands still for a minute) retrograde
  3. The retrograde period
  4. The planets stations (stands still, changes directions again) direct
  5. The direct motion
  6. The post-retrograde shadow period

Generally speaking, a shadow period lasts about two weeks before and after the actual event. The pre-retrograde shadow period helps you get ready for possible events to come. And, the post-retrograde shadow period helps you understand how the retrograde affected you. You have a lesson to learn, depending on what area/house the retrograde landed in.

There is an exact way to determine the shadow periods, and that’s by using an ephemeris. This is a chart of transits by planet. This chart shows each planet when it moves from sign to sign. And, it also shows what degree the planet is in the sign. You can easily Google the term “ephemeris” to find one. Note that each of the 12 zodiac signs contains 30 degrees. If you multiply 30 degrees by 12 signs, you come up with a full 360-degree turn of the zodiac.

Finding the Shadow Periods

Example: March 22: Mercury retrogrades (begins) in Aries at 17 degrees

April 15: Mercury goes direct (ends) in Aries at 5 degrees

First, we look at the end date/degree. This retrograde end in Aries at 5 degrees. Now you would look at the ephemeris and see when Mercury was previously in Aries at 5 degrees. That will give you the beginning of the shadow period. Next, find the degree and sign that Mercury retrograde begins. In this case, it’s Aries at 17 degrees. Then look at the ephemeris to see when Mercury will again be in Aries at 17 degrees. That will tell you when the shadow period ends.

It’s important to note that the ephemeris you use will likely be formed under UT or Universal Time. Therefore, you’ll have to convert the hours to match your time zone and allow for daylight savings time—if that occurs where you live.

Retrogrades in General

“Retrograde” infers that the planet itself is moving backward. Well, no planet moves backward. It’s merely an illusion as it appears from Earth. All planets revolve around the Sun, but they move at different speeds. All planets retrograde. And all planets have a shadow period.

Now you know how to find that shadow period for yourself. And, you know that the post-shadow period is a tool that helps you develop your humanity. Just pay attention to what you went through and what you learned from each retrograde.


The planets are responsible for your moods, experiences, and more, which is why you should get a psychic astrology reading. Our astrology psychics can tell you about the important dates in your life (past, present, and future) that will impact you.

Find an astrology psychic or learn more about astrology readings.


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