Forget Retrogrades, We're Focusing On Retroshades

If you're even somewhat interested in astrology, you've probably heard of retrograde before. The actual term refers to the phenomena in which it looks like a planet is spinning backward. One of the most popular examples refers to Mercury being in retrograde, which can often result in, well, pretty much everything going wrong. Of course, though, it's all an optical illusion. In reality, Mercury keeps on spinning normally, but because it takes the planet 88 days to orbit the sun instead of Earth's (rough) 365 days, it looks to us like it's reversed directions. But Mercury isn't the only planet in our solar system getting in on the retrograde action, and it seems like each planet can have different impacts on our lives. During their respective retroshades, Neptune had us staying grounded, while Saturn had us chasing our dreams.


But we're actually moving away from the idea of retrograde for a minute. Yep, say bye-bye to the backward phenomenon. Because now, it's all about retroshade. And no, when we say retroshade, we don't mean a sassy comeback from back in the 1970s. Just like retrograde, retroshade can have an effect on your day-to-day life, but things are a little different on the shady side of the street.

What the heck is retroshade?

Allow us to explain. Retroshade, in a nutshell, refers to the period after a planet is in retrograde when the illusion of it spinning backward starts slowing down. This is also sometimes known as retrograde shadow. Mercury is the most common planet to talk about when it comes to retroshade, as it actually has two shady periods. One happens before retrograde and is called pre-retrograde, and the other happens after and is called post-retrograde, with both lasting around two weeks. Think of pre-retrograde as being the time in which retrograde is preparing to rear its head once again, making plans for what's to come.


As for the post-retrograde phase, that's often thought of as a time to look back at what happened during retrograde. Here, people are able to look back with a clearer mind, some making sensible changes to their lives based on situations that reared their heads during retrograde. "The post-shadow period helps you become clear about what all of those encounters and experiences can mean for your life moving forward. It is also a chance to resolve any issues that arose during the retrograde cycle," intuitive astrologer and healer Rachel Lang explained to Well + Good.

What to do in retroshade to help yourself during retrograde

Just because retrograde is over doesn't necessarily mean we're safe from its often raucous wrath. All too often in retroshade, past situations can come back to bite us. That includes people we thought were long gone coming back into our lives, or opportunities we thought had alluded us popping back up. With that, the best thing you can do in retroshade is take stock and prepare yourself. That may include mentally prepping to potentially revisit an old situation, or start thinking about what you need to change about your life to make yourself happier. "My advice for people during and after Mercury in retrograde, however you choose to perceive the phenomenon, is to stay calm, create routines that are fun for you, learn something new about the planets," Astrophysicist Kirsten Banks suggested to Elle Australia


Rachel Lang also offered a little advice for those unsure of how to handle this downtime while speaking to Well + Good. "Often, this can be a time when you change your mind. You could also notice tiny errors you missed, typos in contracts, or mistakes you might have made in communication with others," she shared. "It's a time to refine some of what you worked on during Mercury retrograde. Or to face some consequences for errors you may have made."