Just when you think that the harmful effects of Mercury's retrograde are over — the most recent ended on Sept. 5 — you have to worry about another grim period due to planetary positioning: retroshade. According to astrologers, "retroshade" — or, the shadow period of a retrograding planet as it turns direct again — starts two weeks before the retrograde and again two weeks after the retrograde. It's basically a time of preliminary and lingering effects, acting as a buffer between you and the freedom that lies on the other end of the retrograde. And especially after this long holiday weekend, you're going to need some serious tips and tricks in order to survive Mercury's current retroshade — especially if you were crawling towards today's retrograde end like your life depended on it.
Yes, technically Sept. 5, 2017 marks the end of Mercury in retrograde, but what you may have noticed (if you're anything like me) is that it feels like the retrograde is still with us. The unfortunate news is that it will continue to feel like that until at least Sept. 19, 2017, due to retroshade: The retrograde shadow creates similar effects when following Mercury's movements. You'll still have communication issues, you'll still encounter nonsensical technical issues and unforeseen travel complications, and you'll probably still get into an argument with a loved one because you're both having issues expressing yourselves or making your intentions clear. Even worse is the fact that after a retrograde, we're so used to having pointless arguments based on miscommunications that we're likely to have our defenses up — causing even more arguments.
So to protect yourself from having two weeks of unanticipated frustrations, here are a few things you can do to fight against the effects of retroshade:
Prepare For The Worst
Just assume that your phone is going to die before the battery hits one percent and bring your charger with you wherever you go. Just assume that it's going to rain even though the forecast said sun. Just assume the trains are down and leave early. In other words: Be prepared.
Even if you think you're really open and explicit, step it up. People have a hard time understanding each other during a retograde and retroshade — they're too busy worrying about a million things going wrong in their lives. Make sure you hammer out details, double check plans and express yourself clearly, especially to your loved ones.
Put Off Travel Planning
If you're about to plan a big trip, consider putting it off for two weeks. Give your mind a chance to balance back out and you might find that it's a lot easier to make complicated plans.
Consider Your Position
Maybe you feel like everyone around you has been acting a certain way, and maybe they have. But consider the idea that you might be contributing to their behavior. Are you being your best, most mature self? Can you be more patient or understanding or flexible?
Back It Up
Back up your phone and your computer, just in case. If there's ever a time that you'll have some kind of technological crash that makes no sense and wipes out all of your precious information, it's probably during retroshade.
Be extra cautious about your safety during this time, you don't want to let your guard down just yet. Lock your door as soon as you get home, make sure that your windows are locked when you leave the house. Update your digital passwords and make sure they're very different from each other. Drive extra carefully.
Triple Check It
Whether it's a casual text message, or an important work email, triple check it. There are probably grammar and spelling errors that you don't usually make. It's not your fault, you're just distracted and foggy. Don't make a mistake because of it, just take the time to go over your work with a fine tooth comb.
Even if you hate working out, try to find the energy to do it. The endorphins will be good for you and will help you overcome some of the stress associated with these trying times. Also, working out will help you clear your head and refocus — a great resource for when you're feeling super overwhelmed by everything.
Assume You Left The Stove On
You know that feeling you get when you leave the house where you're sure you left your straightener on and the stove on and the water running? You probably did. This is the time that you should be going back to check. Just to be safe!
Suck Up At Work
I know, you probably already feel like you're working your ass off and getting zero recognition, but remember, everyone in your office is having the same retrograde effects that you are. So be understanding, go above and beyond and try extra hard to please your boss. You'll be glad you put in that extra effort and might even get that pat on the back you've been hoping for.
Make The Effort
Even if it feels unnecessary or redundant, go out of your way to be kind. If you're in a relationship, bring your partner flowers just because. If you have a friend you haven't heard from in a while, be the bigger person and reach out. Help make someone feel better or have a better day.
Take some time to think about all of the things that have gone wrong or been made complicated by the retrograde. Then spend some time thinking about what it's taught you and how you can better prepare yourself for when thing don't go your way or when relationships in your life become strained.
Take your reflections and put them into good use. Maybe you need a portable cell phone charger to make your life easier. Maybe you need to check in with your loved ones more regularly to avoid conflict. Maybe you need to leave for work earlier to reduce the stress of rushing. Try to take the trying times of this last Mercury retrograde and use it to make your future life easier.