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Mercury Rx and the Shadow Period

Is it just me, or are things already feeling kind of Mercury retrograde-ish, even though the next Mercury Rx period doesn’t begin until the 30th?

I’ve been noticing it for the past few days – everything takes at least one extra step that I didn’t anticipate. Well, maybe not everything, but lots of things. Especially computer things. Also, after an outbreak of ants late last month – our first serious one in this house, thanks for monthly ministrations by a pest control company – was seemingly subdued, the little bastards have started showing up again, in true retrograde fashion.

This can all be explained by the “shadow period” theory about retrograde cycles. It works like this. Mercury will turn retrograde on November 30, at 27 degrees Sagittarius. It will retrograde back to 10 degrees Sagittarius before turning direct again on December 19. So according to the shadow theory, we began to enter the pre-retrograde shadow period when Mercury hit 10 degrees of Sagittarius on November 11 – a degree sensitized by a foreshadowing of Mercury’s station there.

A similar shadow period is in effect on the other side of the retrograde. So after Mercury turns direct on December 19, it is said to be in another shadow period until it reaches 27 degrees – the degree where it turned retrograde. Which takes us into the early part of January 2005.

My MoonCircles colleague Pythia Peay, in her book Mercury Retrograde, Its Myth and Meaning writes,

The shadow periods preceding and following the twenty-one days of Mercury retrograde could be said to be like a wave that gradually rises, crests, then falls, melting back into the ocean.

That’s right, friends: surf’s up.