Mercury retrograde comes in several stages. Each one is important, as we can better understand the journey we will undergo.
The first thing to note when assessing a Mercury retrograde phase is to understand which zodiac sign it falls within during the complete phase. Sometimes this can even be two zodiac signs! The themes and what that zodiac sign rules will be reviewed on a collective level — but primarily from an intellectual point of view. Also, if you have your natal chart, you can check which house it falls within, as those particular correspondences will also be reviewed.
From the moment that Mercury crosses the degree where it will eventually station later on at the end of the official retrograde cycle, it begins the first period called pre-shadow or “retroshade” (for people looking for a more modern term). It will slow down little by little until it is barely moving a degree a day.
When Mercury officially freezes within the sky, like a lantern frozen above us, this is called “the storm.” This takes place twice — the day it turns retrograde and the day it turns direct. The day before, the day of and the day after are all a part of this storm energy, and it’s when things are extremely chaotic and confusing. It’s as if tons of cosmic dust has been thrown into the air and we can’t process anything that is happening.
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