The bummer effects of Mercury's retrograde are now so well-known that the recurring astronomical event seems to explain away almost any evil. Having trouble sleeping? Mercury must be in retrograde. At odds with a friend? Mercury must be in retrograde. Can't seem to catch a break at work? Mercury must be in retrograde. A lesser-known, but equally impactful phenomenon, Mercury's retroshade — which will begin on Dec. 22 with the end of our current retrograde — can also mess with your life. Everyone won't experience this two-week period the same way, though, and there is one sign that is most likely to be affected by Mercury retroshade. It seems to me that this just adds insult to injury, because if the cosmos are going to make everything feel totally screwed up, we might as well all be on equal footing. No such luck.
Let's first get clear on what this retroshade business even means. Retroshade is what happens when Mercury's retrograde — the period during which Mercury appears to move backward — ends. Our most recent retrograde started on Dec. 3 and will finish up on Dec. 22, kicking off a shadow period (a "retroshade," if you will) lasting until roughly Jan. 10. And if you were preparing a victory dance to celebrate retrograde being over, I'd suggest you put a pin in it. We're not exactly in the clear yet.
According to astrologer Lisa Stardust speaking with Bustle, retroshade is in many ways just an extension of retrograde — at least, in the way it affects our experiences. Retrograde is marked by feelings of confusion and uncertainty. While that cloudiness typically clears when retrograde is over, the negative feelings and internal struggles continue for a few more weeks. If anything, retroshade just makes all the bad vibes clearer and easier to understand. Scorpios, sadly, will bear the brunt of the ongoing effects of these phenomena.
Throughout retroshade, Stardust tells Bustle that Jupiter will be traveling through Scorpio. Jupiter is known for shining a light on issues of ethics and morality, so Scorpios, in particular, will find themselves diving deep into some pretty heavy emotional ground. Retrograde is often a time for confusion and uncertainty, but informational gaps tend to be filled in when it's over. Until Jan. 10, Scorpios may find themselves faced with the truth about extremely challenging issues that have recently felt more confusing. Harsh realities will be exposed and tough decisions will likely need to be made as a result.
While Scorpios will be hit the hardest by the retroshade phase, Virgos and Geminis will also have an especially rough time. These signs are ruled by Mercury, which, of course, (we are all so painfully aware) has been in a recent retrograde. Jaye of Gifted Astrology seconds Stardust's prediction for Virgos and Geminis. "These signs are all about communication and the mind because of Mercury's influence," Jaye tells Bustle. "My advice to these signs [during this time] is to practice the art of letting go. Release the past and don't judge yourself for not knowing. Be kind to yourself and start fresh with the new information you've received."
It's a lot easier to say that you'll let go of something than it is to actually do it, of course, but Jaye's advice is well-taken. Scorpios, Geminis, and Virgos (and I'm right there with ya, fellow Virgos) will likely find that the best way to manage the potentially upsetting revelations that come with retroshade is to simply try not to get too wrapped up in them. On Jan. 10, this next horrendous period should be behind us, and we can move into 2018 clearer and free of anger.