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Mercury in Retrograde and the Mercury Pre-retrograde Shadow September 2021

Throwing Some Retro Shade on the Retrograde!

The planet Mercury goes into retrograde on September 27, 2021, however it’s entered its pre-retrograde shadow on September 6, 2021.

Mercury from the Hubble Deep Field Telescope.

What is a Retrograde?

The word retrograde is from the Latin word “retrogrades”. The root, retro means ‘backwards’ and gradus means ‘step’ from RETROGRADE English Definition and Meaning |

The meaning of the word is to “go back in position or time.”

All planets retrograde, although they are not actually moving backwards. The planets appear to be moving backwards in the sky from their normal orbit.

This illusion is caused by two factors: 1) The elliptical orbit of the planets. 2) Each planet orbits the sun at a different speed.

What is a Pre-retrograde, AKA Retro-shadow?

When a planet goes retrograde, it moves over the same part of the sky three times.

A pre-retrograde shadow is when the planet first moves over the part of the sky (or degrees as it’s referred to in astrology) that it will back track over when it goes retrograde.

Then it appears to stop, which is called “stationing”. In this case, it’s stationing for retrograde.

The actual retrograde period is when the planet appears to switch directions and travel backwards from its regular orbit. It moves backward over the part of the sky that it first moved through during its pre-retrograde shadow.

The process is repeated as the planet nears the end of its retrograde journey.

It stops or “stations” again before it appears to return to its normal orbit. This is called “stationing direct”.

Then the planet appears to switch directions and slowly goes back into its normal forward movement.

For the third and final time it moves over the same part of the sky that it did in the pre-retrograde shadow and the retrograde. This period is called the post-retrograde shadow.

Mercury’s Pre-Retrograde Shadow September 6, 2021 – What Does This Mean for Me?

If you’ve been feeling retrograde like effects these last few days, you may be wondering “How is that possible if the retro-grade’s not until the September 27th?”

Mercury’s pre-retrograde shadow or retro-shadow began on September 6, 2021. To use a shadow metaphor, you can think of this shadow period as foreshadowing for things that you may experience more intensely during the retrograde.

The Mercury retrograde is known to cause issues with technology, travel, and communication. It’s prudent to backup your computers. Double check details. Give yourself and others some extra time and grace. Understand things happen that are often out of your control. They just may feel more intense and seem to happen more frequently during the retrograde stages.

This is the time to notice where there’s tension or miscommunication. The phases of a retrograde are ripe with opportunities for introspection. Are you being clear in your communication? In what ways are you contributing to the situation? What is your ideal outcome?

We all have free will. You can choose, with conscious awareness, how you interact with that person or in that situation.

Mercury’s Retrograde Phases and Your Natal Chart – Why You May Be Feeling It More Intensely

One of the things that I love about astrology is that while there are generalizations about the energy that’s happening at any given time, everyone experiences it differently.

In order to really understand how this retrograde may be impacting you, look at your natal chart and see how the current position of Mercury is interacting with it. This is what’s called a Transit chart. It overlays the current configuration of planets in comparison to the configuration of planets that are in your natal chart.

Astrologers, like me, will see if Mercury forms any angles or aspects to your natal planets. You may have heard terms such as “conjunction” “opposition”, ““trine” and “square”. These all refer to specific angles (360 degrees, 180 degrees, 120 degrees and 90 degrees, respectively) that planets make to each other in the chart.

If Mercury forms any major aspects to your natal planets, you could be feeling things more acutely than those around you.

How Can I Work with This Energy in a Beneficial Way?

If what’s coming up for you during this time is related to an issue or situation that’s been on-going, you may feel tension or lack of alignment during the pre-retrograde shadow. The retrograde itself may be a culmination of the situation. The post-retrograde shadow is when events related to that situation will play out afterwards. How they play out will depend on the action (or non-action) you took in the first two phases.

Perhaps you feel that it's related to a single event rather than an on-going issue.

As Robert Hand states in his book Planets in Transit, “If you handle the issue properly, the other transits (phases of the retrograde) may go by without any notice. If you do not, another issue will arise that attacks the same problem from a different angle, and this will continue to happen until the problem is taken care of.”

Moving Forward – The Choice is up to You!

Mercury is beginning to move through its retrograde phases whether you like it or not. The beauty of it is that you get to choose how you experience it!

  • You can begin to notice what’s coming up for you in your life.

  • You can make a conscious choice to make time for introspection.

  • You can use this opportunity to take a deep look at how you interact with the world.

Astrology presents such a wonderful opportunity to understand and harness the energy of the cosmos for personal enlightenment and growth.

More To Come – Stay Tuned!!

There is a lot happenin