“Oh, Mercury is in retrograde again.” Sound familiar? If we live within or have any friends within the neo-spiritual space, we’ve heard this expression many, many times!
The quick response to questioning the frustrated statement usually goes something like, “Mercury Retrograde is a time when communication and travel don’t seem to work well. Be sure you protect your electronics and cars! Leave the house early, and over-prepare for meetings and presentations!”
This advice is always helpful, but many of us still face the question of, “What is Mercury Retrograde?” Even if we know the answer, the rabbit hole of astrology seems to get deeper, and we find ourselves then asking, “Well, what is this new pre-shadow and post-shadow period?” Don’t worry; we’ll help you out.
Next time you find yourself needing to explain Mercury Retrograde, we have your back. Just share this article!
Mercury Retrograde Explained, All Phases
What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury Retrograde is the astrological and astronomical term for when:
- The planet Mercury appears to slow down (pre-shadow period)
- The planet Mercury appears to stop moving (retrograde station)
- The planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky (retrograde period)
- The planet Mercury appears to stop again (direct station)
- The planet Mercury appears to speed up. (post-shadow period)
- The planet Mercury appears to go the right way in the sky again, and everything is back to normal.
What do we mean when we say “Mercury appears” to go backwards during a retrograde?
During the Mercury Retrograde, Mercury doesn’t actually travel backwards in space. Instead, from where we live on Earth, our two differing orbits create the illusion that Mercury is going backwards. Our point of view plus the speed of Earth’s orbit around the sun versus the speed of Mercury’s orbit creates the appearance of Mercury slowing down, stopping, going backwards, stopping, turning around, and speeding back up.Wow! That’s a brainful. Here are a few quick GIFs of a Mercury retrograde to help our visual friends out there:
What is the Pre-Shadow Period of a Mercury Retrograde?
The pre-shadow period of a Mercury Retrograde is the time when the planet appears to be slowing down. This is the very beginning of the retrograde phase. This time is usually the most difficult time for everyone because the energy that normally keeps everything running smoothly is slowing down and flowing differently.Mercury’s pre-shadow period usually lasts 2 weeks.
What is the Retrograde Station of Mercury Retrograde?
The retrograde station of a Mercury Retrograde is the time when Mercury appears to be not moving at all. This is the period between the planet moving in its normal direction and its backwards direction. When this happens, little to no energy seems to flow from Mercury. Mercury’s station usually lasts just 1 day.
What is the Retrograde Period of a Mercury Retrograde?
The retrograde period of a Mercury Retrograde is a time when Mercury appears to be moving backwards across the sky. This is what most of us commonly know as The Mercury Retrograde. During this time, things that Mercury rules seem to function, but they function all wrong. Mercury’s retrograde period usually lasts 3 weeks.
What is the Direct Station of a Mercury Retrograde?
Similar to the retrograde station, the direct station of a Mercury Retrograde is the time when the planet appears to not be moving at the end of a retrograde period. This is the period between the planet moving in its backwards direction and its normal direction.Mercury’s direction station usually lasts just 1 day.
What is the Post-Shadow Period of a Mercury Retrograde?
Just like the pre-shadow period, the post-shadow period of a Mercury Retrograde is the time when the planet appears to be speeding back up. This is the very end of the retrograde phase. This time is usually the most difficult time for everyone because the energy that normally keeps everything running smoothly is slowing down and flowing differently.
Mercury’s pre-shadow period usually lasts 2 weeks.
All of these pieces combined make up the entire retrograde. This is why it often feels like we “just finished the last retrograde”.
When are the next Mercury Retrograde Dates?
Check out our Mercury Retrograde Calendar!
Copyright 2020 Plentiful Earth, LLC. / All Rights Reserved.