It's official: The very first Mercury retrograde of 2019 is over — congratulations, everyone! As of around 11 a.m. ET on March 28, Mercury stationed direct, meaning we survived what will forever be known as the Mercury retrograde that was so intense, it crashed Instagram, Facebook, and What'sApp for like, an entire day. Remember that? Anyway, I personally feel as though I'm covered in soot and ash, emerging from a giant trash can fire comprised of every aspect my life. I'm just really glad it's spring so I can call upon all the spring cleaning/Marie Kondo vibes while trying to get my post-retrograde act together.
But, I'm sorry, we're not out of the woods yet: The Mercury retrograde post-shadow period is now in full effect until the evening of April 16 — and while that isn't going to send our lives spinning the way the full-blown retrograde did, it's still going to influence us when it comes to all things ruled by Mercury, including communication, technology, traveling, scheduling, and more.
Both before and after any planetary retrograde period, we experience what's known as a "shadow period," and these usually last for about two weeks before and after the actual retrograde. During the pre-shadow period, we begin to feel the retrograde-esque effects of the planet's journey, and it's a good time to carefully tie up loose ends and prepare for the retrograde to come. During a planet's post-shadow period, which we're experiencing right now with Mercury, it is traveling along the same path that it appeared to move backwards on during its retrograde — in other words, the planet is retracing its steps. Because of this, we're still in retrograde-y territory, but we are on a forward-moving path, and we should expect for revelations and clarity regarding the recent retrograde to come to us during this time. We can start smoothing things over and processing the reviews that we did as the planet completed its backspin.
Bustle spoke with astrologer Lisa Stardust about what this retroshade has in store for us. "The post shadow period is the most potent time during the retrograde, as we begin to decide what we want to keep or get rid of," she tells Bustle. "Communications and emotions can get extra sensitive during this time, requiring a lot of TLC and attention."
We made it through the retrograde, and that's what matters here — but we still have work to do during this post-shadow period if we want to integrate Mercury Rx's lessons into our lives. If we can summon up a little patience and a willingness to reflect on what's happening in our lives, we can do it gracefully. Bustle chatted with Stardust as well as astrologers Kesaine Walker and Caitlin McGarry about what to expect and how to deal during this shadow period, so you won't be in the dark. Here's all you need to know about Mercury retrograde shadow period, based on your zodiac sign,
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Those anxiety-ridden Mercury retrograde nights were loooong, but now you can finally enjoy your solar season, fire queen! "Those restless nights and wildly intense dreams will calm down for [you,] Aries," says McGarry. " You will get back to your deep sleep and feel more energized during the day." Catch up on your beauty rest and clear your mind — the clouds are parting for your sunshine.
Words of advice: "Make sure you get enough sleep," advises Stardust. "Don’t skip self-care!"
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
On the chopping block this retrograde? Any and every frenemy you no longer have time to entertain. Prioritize symbiotic relationships, and leave energy-sucking ones behind. "Be sure to set aside some time for face to face interactions with those who you hold near and dear to your heart as the ones with ill intentions will start to wean themselves out of your life," advises Walker.
Words of advice: It's simple, according to Stardust: "Let go of false friends!"
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
You're never short on ideas, Gemini, but communication was absolute trash for you these past week. Let's turn things around. "During the retrograde period, [your] usual sparkly communication skills were rather dicey causing squabbles in the workplace," explains McGarry. "[B]ut now that we are sailing more smoothly you will be on point and your ideas will be met with a positive response."
Words of advice: "Try to manage a better work/life balance," shares Stardust.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Clear the clutter of Mercury Rx over the coming weeks — this shadow period is asking you to clean house spiritually. Your third eye vibes are strong, so think into reality all the things that you're ready to bring forth on this clean, new slate. "You’ll be asked to connect to higher-minded pursuits and use your vision to manifest new assignments that’ll leave you feeling fulfilled," shares Walker.
Words of advice: "Don’t let your emotions consume you," says Stardust. "Stay grounded."
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Waking up from the retro-haze during this shadow period is a gnarly reality check, for sure, but it's nothing your charming self can't come back from. "You'll be recovering from binge shopping that you may have given into during the retrograde and make peace with the debt you have collected," explains McGarry. "I mean, your life and wardrobe is a canvas and you are the masterpiece, no? It's not cheap to look that good." Ain't it the truth.
Words of advice: "Consider a money manager to help manage your books," advises Stardust.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
What surfaced for you during the retrograde, Virgo? You can finally confront these feelings and situations with ease, as the communication-related confusion has finally cleared up. "During the shadow period, the universe wants you to to face unsettled issues and openly discuss all that you’ve been holding back with friends and enemies," advises Walker. Don't be afraid to say what's true to the people you care about. If they care about you, then they'll want your honesty.
Words of advice: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer," warns Stardust.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Communication breakdowns usually result in Libra breakdowns, and because of that (plus some missed meetings and tech malfunctions), work was maniacally stressful for you these past weeks — but now you can clean up the mess. "You will hold the peace pipe in the workplace again, any drama that may have started in the last month will fade away," explains McGarry. Puff, puff, pass — order is restored!
Words of advice: "Try to hang out more with colleagues," says Stardust. "Don’t shy away from happy hour after work."
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
So yes, exes were !!off limits!! during the retrograde, and you did a great job leaving those DMs on read (or did you?). In any case, now that we're under the cool reprieve of the retroshade, you may proceed on ex-y territory with caution. "An old fling may reenter your life who could possibly help you take your mind off the mundane and bring some fun and excitement for the time being," shares Walker.
Words of advice: "Keep boundaries with exes as you decide if you want them in your life or not," shares Stardust.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Even the craftiest wordsmiths among us lose their edge during Mercury Rx, so don't be too hard on yourself while reviewing your communication drama from the past weeks. "You may have stepped on a few family members toes, but this will be short lived and all will be forgiven this week," explains McGarry. "Your positive attitude will be appreciated once again within your relationships."
Words of advice: "Reconnect with your family and apologize for Mercury RX blunders," advises Stardust.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Ugh, leave it to you, Cap, to have to clean up other people's sloppy messes post-retrograde. "You may find yourself barreling with false gossip that has resurfaced from the past," explains Walker. It's not fun to have to defend yourself or someone else from slander, but now that communication channels have cleared, you'll find it easier to do so.
Words of advice: "Deciphering if the rumor is true or not will take extra effort," says Stardust. "You may just want to let the drama go because it’s not worth your energy."
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This retrograde dumped everything upside down, including your coin purse. That's OK, girl, wipe the tears and start picking up those lil' coins. This shadow period is planting some ideas in your head. "You're finding a better relationship with the ebb and flow in your bank account," explains McGarry. "Things will feel more abundant soon."
Words of advice: "Replan your budget and watch your bank account," warns Stardust. "Watch out for overspending."
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Mercury retrograded in your sign, Pisces baby, so it was a heavy load on you indeed. It's time to loosen up and allow yourself to breath again, cause bottling everything up will only result in an explosion. "You may be feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders," explains Walker. "Try breath-work and meditation to help you calm your anxieties and release stagnant energy."
Words of advice: "Take a moment to feel yourself and relax," advises Stardust. "Try centering yourself."