What Is Retroshade? How Mercury Retrograde Lingers Even When It's Over

You can breathe a sigh of relief, because Mercury retrograde winter 2020 is officially over. For many of you, the last three weeks were probably hell for your relationships and/or technology. Fortunately, things should finally start getting back on track soon... but not immediately. There's still a phenomenon called "retroshade" that could affect your day-to-day routine.

For approximately two weeks after Mercury retrograde ends, you enter a shadow period or, as we dubbed it years ago, "retroshade." When Mercury makes its triannual U-turn, the effect is a lot like a car driving backward through the zodiac wheel. Once the retrograde ends, the planet has to pivot around and make up the distance of its reverse commute.

On a technical level, Mercury began its winter retrograde at 12 degrees, 53 minutes Pisces on Feb. 16. Two weeks later, on March 4, the planet backed all the way up to 0 degrees Pisces, then retreated into Aquarius before wrapping up the retrograde at 28 degrees, 13 minutes Aquarius on March 9. As Mercury U-turned back into direct motion, it had to make up lost ground, getting back to its starting point of 12 degrees, 53 minutes Pisces. That takes an additional two weeks, until March 30, marking the retroshade period of this backspin.

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In some ways, the retroshade period can be even more irksome than the retrograde itself. It's kind of like those moments when you dashed out of the house without your phone and didn't realize it until you were well along the way to your destination. The drive back home was frustrating enough on its own, but having to pass all the same landmarks for the third time? Not exactly a dream — yet, you have two options: You can lose your cool in retrograde "road rage," or surrender to the journey and reframe it as an opportunity to integrate all the lessons of the prior few weeks. While you're at it, catch up on phone calls, listen to podcasts, and maybe stop off at an exit you never explored before because you were hyper-focused on getting to your destination. This is the time for exploration.

Were You Born During A Mercury Retrograde?

While no one's immune to the signal-jamming effects of this cosmic event, there are some "lucky" souls who have it a little easier. Those who were born during the thrice yearly, three-week Mercury retrograde phases might feel surprisingly in their element when the winged messenger flips into reverse. These introspective souls appreciate a little time out from all the manic information overload. We should know — we happened to be born during a Mercury rx ourselves. While we might take a little longer than most people to compose our words, figuring out the right way to say things has led us to thriving careers as writers and editors.

Wondering if you have Mercury retrograde in your chart? We made a handy little cosmic calculator to help you figure that out.

If you were born during a backspin, like we were, you may have to overcome some issues around shyness; you may struggle to articulate and absorb information the traditional way; or maybe you constantly question yourself, editing your thoughts and wondering, "Ugh, should I have said that aloud?"

Over time, having hypervigilant Mercury retrograde in your birth chart can bless you with a keen connection to words. You may become a writer, speaker, editor, researcher, or broadcaster. It’s true that retrograde planets in the chart can serve up extra lessons, and not necessarily the easy kind. The retrograde symbol looks like an Rx — and this "prescription" is its own form of medicine. Get the dosage right and your messages can be impactful AF. You might even teach others how to heal their own issues around confidence and speaking up.

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are professional astrologers who reach millions worldwide. Through their website, Astrostyle, they bring the stars down to earth with their lifestyle and coaching-based approach to horoscopes.