When you're in the midst of Mercury retrograde, it can pretty much seem like the worst thing ever. Your brain feels scrambled, everyone seems more accident prone than usual, and everything around you just feels, well, off. It's a handy excuse for things that go wrong, but I think I speak for all of us when I say the excuse just doesn't make up for the misery that Mercury retrograde brings. So, I'm happy to report that the Mercury's last retrograde of 2017 ended on Dec. 22 — but slightly less happy to report that the planet is in the beginning of a new phase that can wreak its own kind of havoc: The "shadow period," or Mercury retroshade, which is the extension of Mercury retrograde's effects for about two weeks as the planet turns direct again. In order to minimize drama and consequences, there are a few things you shouldn't do during Mercury retroshade, since it's going to mirror Mercury retrograde in a lot of ways.
Retroshade is definitely an upgrade from its predecessor, but it's still pretty dicey. The mental fogginess you've likely been experiencing since this retrograde began on Dec. 3 should lift quickly, but the vibes are still going to be pretty negative. If anything, it will just be easier than ever to fully understand the magnitude of those negative vibes as more things come to light. Generally speaking, I wouldn't react to any sudden revelations you have during retroshade (which should be finished around Jan. 10, 2018). As great as it feels to have clarity, the consequences of the decisions you make now will live on well past retroshade, so let's not go too crazy.
1. Don't Initiate Major Conversations
I guess there's something to be said for the fact that retroshade offers the right cosmic circumstances for you to gain clarity on the major life issues that you've been wrestling with throughout the retrograde period, but I don't think you should be actively pursuing confrontations or other tough talks until Mercury retroshade is over. Don't initiate gratuitous conversations. They might results in revelations that you're not ready for.
2. Don't Stalk An S.O. Or Friend On Social Media
If you're looking for problems, you very likely might find them during retroshade. Don't scroll through old photos or posts unless you're totally ready to address potential issues with someone you care about.
3. Don't Make Assumptions
After weeks of retrograde-induced mental cloudiness, it will be tempting to suddenly start making quick judgments... because you feel like you can! Just because you're feeling clearer, though, doesn't mean that assumptions are a great idea.
4. Don't Be Dismissive
You're suddenly trying to get clarity on things, and so is everyone else. The people around you might be a little extra sensitive as they bounce back from retrograde, so practice the golden rule and don't dismiss their feelings.
5. Don't Take Sides
Maybe you have newfound clarity about an ongoing conflict that's happening in your friend group or at the office, but you might want to take a beat before you officially declare your stance. Wait until retroshade is over in January to draw a line you won't be able to erase.
6. Don't Make A Big Style Change
Be sure you can actually commit to a major haircut or new tattoo before you go for it. Sleep on the idea for a few days first — and consider waiting until late January if you can.
7. Don't Date Someone You're Iffy About
Has something been nagging you about the person you started dating while Mercury was still in retrograde? If you still can't put your finger on what's off now that retrograde is over, it's safe to say it's time to walk away. I fully support definitive action during retroshade assuming the relationship is new and the stakes are low.
8. Don't Gossip
Retroshade is a time when it's extra difficult to let things go, so it's quite possibly the worst moment to talk you-know-what. Gossiping in this post-retrograde period is only going to build resentment and make it harder for you to set things right with people when all of this cosmic nonsense is over.
9. Don't Hold A Grudge
In the name of minimizing that aforementioned resentment, see if you can make any progress on those grudges you've been carrying around. Journal, meditate, or talk it out with a third party. It's a new year, anyway, so you might as well kick those bad vibes to the curb.
10. Don't Decide To Quit Your Job
You might suddenly find yourself feeling like saying "I'm out!" is the only way to deal with your frustrations at work, but I would wait it out. Quitting or applying to new jobs would be a bold move, so give yourself a little more time to make sure you're making the right call.
11. Don't Give Someone A Piece Of Your Mind
Just because you have fresh clarity about someone in your circle who's been driving you crazy doesn't mean that you won't regret giving them a verbal shakedown.
12. Don't Go On A Shopping Spree
Being decisive is great — until it makes you so confident on a shopping trip that you've suddenly bought everything. If you can, table shopping until after retroshade so you can protect your bank account.
13. Don't Redecorate
I wouldn't support you making any major changes to your style in the two weeks after Mercury comes out of retrograde — and the same goes for your home.
14. Don't Ask For A Raise Or Promotion
We all need the full retroshade period to regain the mental clarity we lost during retrograde. Give your boss the full two weeks to recover before you ask them for a well-deserved raise or promotion. This will ensure that they've had as much time as possible to realize how fantastic you are so they can make the right decision.