Mercury Enters Shadow Phase (But You Knew That)

The antidote to Mercury RxMars in Leo definitely didn’t come in with a roar. Just about everyone I encountered over the weekend was exhausted and irritable.

I did get a boost Sunday from the Sun-Uranus sextile, and my bathroom is now free of hairballs. Thank goddess for small blessings. It’s Monday already in the Eastern Hemisphere, so you all get to start the week out on a positive note (at last count, Real Astrologers had readers in 37 countries on six continents!). The Sun trines Jupiter a few hours later, but the Big Guy just went retrograde, and the trine peaks while the Moon is void of course, so we probably won’t get much more from this aspect than a few hours of good feelings.

Then, that would be a blessing, too, given the way things have been going lately.

Mercury entered the retrograde shadow period at 1:42 p.m. Sunday on the West Coast of the United States, but many of you reported seeing the effects as much as a week earlier. Another blog author I know has been in communications hell. The pre-retrograde shadow phase, which lasts about two weeks, starts at the moment Mercury crosses the degree at which he’ll return direct and lasts until he turns retrograde. There’s also a post-retrograde shadow period. We’ll keep you posted in our Mercury Retrograde Watch feature, a Real Astrologers exclusive!

I’ve also had several reports of bureaucratic delays similar to my own. This no doubt was a reflection of Mercury’s square with Saturn last week, but with the Messenger now in shadow, it hardly matters what “caused” it. Delays are going to be the rule rather than the exception from now until the end of June.

I definitely have been seeing some powerful effects of creeping Mercury retrograde. I’ve had trouble getting through to the right people and missed the delivery of an important piece of mail. On Friday, I found out that I’ll be starting a new job on May 26 – the day Mercury turns retrograde! I tried to talk my way into starting a few days earlier, but no luck. The last job I started on the day Mercury turned retrograde was a total fiasco and ended disastrously.

On Wednesday, the Sun squares Neptune. This is another low-energy aspect and, depending on which houses in your chart these bodies are transiting, you could feel discouraged about a particular area of your life. It’s worth mentioning that the North Node recently crossed over Neptune and Chiron, and the three are still relatively close together. This is not a comfortable configuration, and it may be creating a certain amount of existential angst for many of you. I’ve been more focused on the subject of spiritual enlightenment than usual, and I’ve been questioning myself heavily about how I measure up.

The Libra Moon on Thursday and Friday should help us regain some balance. But then we get thrown off again on Saturday, when Venus squares Chiron. The angst may extend to your sexuality and body image.

She’ll more than make up for it on Sunday, though, with a sextile to Uranus and then a trine to Jupiter. Don’t be surprised if you react to unexpected good news by diving into a vat of caramel turtle ice cream. Some people eat when they’re unhappy, but many of us are just as likely to overindulge in a moment of pure joy. I haven’t quite figured that one out. Maybe it’s because we’re afraid the good feelings will go away, and we want to prolong the pleasure as long as possible. Entirely understandable these days.

So if you go for that triple hot fudge sundae, promise me you’ll enjoy the hell out of it, with no regrets on Monday morning!

Love and blessings with a cherry on top,
Sign of the FuturePat

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22 thoughts on “Mercury Enters Shadow Phase (But You Knew That)

  1. emekah

    Arrgh. Extremely irritating weekend in which my guy and I were on edge and both ended up cutting our fingers in the same exact manner, in the same exact place (he tried to slice a loaf of bread and got cut and then I attempted it and got cut). Then it all culminated this morning with me inadvertently stealing his breakfast and taking it to work. Kinda funny but not so funny, given the discussion and miscommunication we had this weekend around food. (And as a Cancer rising, this was very frustrating for me, believe me!)

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  2. Neith

    LOL! Yes, emekah, know the feeling well. I’m inclined to point the finger [hee, hee] at Mars moving into Leo. We’ve been living with Mars in Cancer so long, it’s like we’ve forgotten what it feels like to a Fire sign Mars in the sky [as well as Moon in Leo]!

    I was stomping around feeling pissy all week end too and it dawned on me this is what hot anger feels like instead of the rather flabby feel of Mars in Cancer . . .
    :-D

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  3. inishglora

    Tell me about it. Stalled cars galore all over the city this morning, and lo and behold, my car joined the ranks. Apparently the timing belt wore out. Luckily I was off the freeway by that time. I wasted most of my morning getting to my mechanic, then renting a car for work, then missing a client due to *drumroll* miscommunication. My employer initiated a new computer system for billing and documentation of services, not during a Mercury rx luckily, but on April 1st, and it’s been playing the management for fools ever since.

    Oh and Neith, I think I will put off that surgery after all, if things are shaping up this badly this early.

    Pat, you said about Neptune and Chiron “This is not a comfortable configuration, and it may be creating a certain amount of existential angst for many of you.” That’s been my experience ever since Neptune passed over my MC. I thought it would have faded as Neptune edged off my MC but at least now I know why it’s lingering.

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  4. Pat Post author

    Joe, you are our Mercury retrograde poster child! Guess it must be the Rising Gemini.

    I was on the bus downtown yesterday, and the driver was complaining about how he had never seen the traffic so bad. He was nine minutes late, which for an express bus is really bad. One of the riders commented that the city just changed the timing of the traffic lights on the bus route, so all the buses are backed up at the lights and getting in each other’s way. What a perfect image of Mercury Rx!

    Personally, I seem to have come out the other side of the bureaucratic paperwork hell I’ve been in. I finished the process this morning — at least, I hope it’s done. The results are going to come back right about the time Mercury goes retrograde, so I’m nervous. The paperwork was to start a new day job, and that’s going to happen the day after Mercury goes Rx. An astrologer’s nightmare. The good news is that this new arrangement will allow me to spend more time every day doing private consultations and responding to your questions and comments.

    As for the “existential angst,” it was only uncomfortable for me as long as I wasn’t getting the message. I’ve got it now, and although I have some lingering questions, the emotional discomfort has mostly gone. A few pangs now and then, but nothing major. In general, this is what I’ve found happens when I’ve processed/resolved an issue internally.

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  5. Neith

    Hi Joe!
    Oh and Neith, I think I will put off that surgery after all, if things are shaping up this badly this early.

    I admit I’m relieved . . . because as you know too, attitude plays a major role in how quickly we heal. Late July or perhaps September are not bad. :-)

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  6. max

    Mercury entered the retrograde shadow period at 1:42 p.m. Sunday on the West Coast of the United States, but many of you reported seeing the effects as much as a week earlier.

    Two weeks, and my head hurts. On the other hand, I am redoing everything in computerland so there’s that.

    max
    [‘Merc xR is so confusing, it can’t even show up on time.’]

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  7. emekah

    I bought a new computer last week, after seeing on this very website that Merc was going Rx on the 26th.

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  8. Pat Post author

    Merc xR is so confusing, it can’t even show up on time.

    Ha, ha! That’s funny, Max! In his defense, he squared Saturn recently, just as Saturn was going direct (i.e., very slow) in Mercury-ruled Virgo. Then, if I had my way, Virgo would be ruled by Ceres. God yes, it gets confusing.

    Emekah, buying a computer while Mercury is direct is critically important. I was forced by a third party to buy this laptop last year while Mercury was retrograde, and protests of “but Mercury’s retrograde!” fell on deaf ears. I was in tears for the first two weeks due to all the problems with it, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t curse something about it.

    Considering that Mercury is going Rx in Gemini and that this shadow period is difficult already, I would advise everyone not to buy any electronics equipment between now and the first of July. If you have to, make sure you understand the warranty, and keep all the receipts (some stores charge a restocking fee for returning computers, so read all the fine print!

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  9. mm

    Interesting, this Mercury shadow phase. Today I received a long anticipated official letter – nearly 2 months wait – from overseas (France, where I lived for many years) concerning a small pension I need to apply for. Pleased though I was to receive it the amount of work involved in answering all the questions and supplying copies of documents (hopefully I still have most of them) far exceeds what I had imagined.

    So I know what I’ll be doing through the retrograde – filling in forms, double checking but not mailing the reply till Merc turns direct again. Fortunately there isn’t a deadline.

    Re: Neptune/Chiron/NN. Neptune rules my 7th and recently old wounds re partnerships have been reactivated. It’s all about letting go, surrender, for me …. Not easy, but there isn’t really an alternative.

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  10. Neith

    Hi mm!

    So I know what I’ll be doing through the retrograde – filling in forms, double checking but not mailing the reply till Merc turns direct again. Fortunately there isn’t a deadline.

    This is classic Mercury Rx and just the right approach to handling it. Of course, all your Gemini helps.

    It’s all about letting go, surrender, for me …. Not easy, but there isn’t really an alternative.

    This statement speaks of wisdom gained from living through two Saturn Returns [most likely painfully gained]. It surprises me how long it takes us to understand surrender is the best course to follow in many situations. I know didn’t come easy for me . . .

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  11. mm

    Thanks Neith. Re surrender. Didn’t mean to imply that I actually DO it every time: :-). But, you know, it’s so clear: when I try and control someone or a situation to get the outcome I want it (as I’ve tried to recently) it ALWAYS bites me in the backside. Always.

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  12. Neith

    Hey emekah!

    You were very, very wise to get your computer purchased well ahead of this Mercury Rx! Hope it is a good one. Check it over carefully and be sure to hang on to the sales slip . . . :-D

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  13. leslee

    An interesting thing I noticed this morning looking at my astro.com daily report is that transiting Mercury will be trine my natal Chiron conj Descendant (18/17 Aqu, plus sextile Moon at 18 Leo) for a long time as it retrogrades and then comes back. I don’t usually think much about Mercury transits since they’re so fast. But it’s interesting, given that it will be adding to the existing energy of my Chiron return plus the transiting nodes coming along over the summer. I don’t know if it’ll add clarity, but certainly some mental energy!

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  14. Neith

    Hi leslee,

    But it’s interesting, given that it will be adding to the existing energy of my Chiron return plus the transiting nodes coming along over the summer. I don’t know if it’ll add clarity, but certainly some mental energy!

    This will be a great aspect pattern to follow because the Chiron return is often when we finally put some pieces into place about old wounds. Usually this is fairly subtle process but with the extra attention from the Nodes, you may be able to identify these patterns more easily.

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  15. leslee

    Thanks, Neith. I’ll let you know how it goes! (Currently too pooped with Saturn sitting on my Venus/Pluto in the 1st to even contemplate relationships. Should be off my stellium at least by summer!)

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  16. Neith

    Hi leslee . . . know what you mean about Saturn. I’m feeling rather squashed myself. Because we’re both having transits to first house planets, i suspect that’s the reason behind the overwhelmed feeling. And I always experience Saturn transits as weight.

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  17. Pat Post author

    Leslee, I’ve had Saturn on Pluto for the past few months, so I know what you mean! It’s just now starting to let up.

    I’ve been getting up at 7 every morning, going directly to my computer to answer e-mail and address as many comments as I can before dashing off to a day job with a 3-4 hour commute into the city. I get home after 9 p.m., spend another couple of hours at the computer and then fall into bed, usually not early enough to get the full eight hours of sleep I need. I’ve spent all of my days off for the past two months developing Real Astrologers with Neith and writing posts for this site and PiChron.

    A couple of days after Saturn turned direct, a new job opportunity came my way that will allow me to increase my presence here. I’ll be able to start taking new clients again, too, and I’ll get at least one day a week off!

    This is one transit that requires hanging in there. If you can cut back on non-essentials, it will help (and that may require a new definition of “essential”).

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  18. mm

    Pat. That’s good news. :-)

    Just chipping in to add my voice as another pooped person thanks to transiting Saturn sq natal Sun. There’s a limit to the attraction of hard work! The current Merc sq Uranus is tensing me and giving some physical problems with my upper back and shoulder muscles and I’m actually looking forward to the retrograde as at least the square will ease off. Went to yoga this evening and that helped a lot ….

    It’s my birthday this coming Saturday and I’m looking at all those retrogrades happening around the same time. A lot of Neptune and Chiron stuff this coming year methinks, as well as Mercury.

    I’m really enjoying this website, Pat and Neith. Thanks for the interest and information.

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  19. Jessica_

    I generally feel like Mercury is my friend, backwards or forwards. This could be because it rules my Moon, and also because one of my favorite Peter-Pan Gemini people tends to pop up and make contact during Merc Rx. BUT…

    My iPod died this weekend, potentially victim of water from a sippy cup. I’m going to stick the Scorpio moon with the murder weapon (water) and blame Mercury that it killed my iPod and didn’t harm any of the receipts, bills, or notebooks in my purse.

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  20. leslee

    Pat – a 3-4 hour commute into the city? Yikes! Is that both directions? Congratulations on the new job opportunity (done deal?).

    Saturn’s been in my 1st for almost 2 years, but its hanging out on my stellium has been the strongest (it hit my Uranus/Asc/Moon on the way in, but that just calmed my energy!). Now it really has me feeling old and tired (probably a lot of the effect of sitting on my Venus – she doesn’t like looking old. at. all.). Sigh. Off my stellium next month, out of the 1st in September. Woo hoo! (Okay, so he hits my 18 Virgo Sun…)

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  21. Pat Post author

    Leslee, that’s roundtrip. No way I’d survive twice that a day!

    The new job is mostly a done deal. I have a start date and a schedule for the first three weeks. But Mercury goes retrograde the day before I’m due to start, and there are a couple of things that could go wrong, so I’m on pins and needles. Even worse, the job is on a boat, and Neptune turns retrograde within half an hour of Mercury. “Yikes” is right!

    I agree, your Saturn “schedule” is pretty heavy, but at least you get a lot of it over with in a relatively short period. I can definitely relate. I’ve had Saturn in my seventh house since mid-2005, and he’s got another several months to go. In that time, he squared natal Mars and Neptune, conjoined natal Uranus, opposed my Sun, and conjoined Pluto. Just as he’s about to leave, he’ll square my Moon and Saturn.

    Reality bites.

    :-)

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  22. leslee

    Pat: Wow! Good luck, and let us know how it goes with the new job. Hope it all goes, well, smooth sailing. :-D

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