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Mercury Retrograde Cycle


Mercury Retrograde: Detials of the five distinct Mercury retorograde phases and the 4 sensitive points during Merucury's path Copyright 2012 Roman Oleh Yaworsky

This diagram illustrates the 5 distinct periods that are related to the Mercury retrograde phenomena, as well as 4 sensitive points along its path. These are shown with the same color scheme as the calendar.

Details for Mercury Retrograde Calendar, 2015


Mercury during the tail end of a retrograde phase

The Planet Mercury approaching the end of its retrograde phase. Image credit: Wikipedia and NASA. Public domain.


At the Core of the Mercury Retrograde Phenomena

There are two core phenomena to Mercury Retrograde:
One is the tendency for glitches in communication, transportation, details, and errors to come to a head during this cycle. For that reason, it is wise to check and re-check your assumptions and the oversights of others at these times as well as the unexpected.

The other is even more important. It is the degree to which you act from your core, heart, and spirit on the one hand or whether your actions come from your buttons being pushed,  from unresolved, emotions, false judgments and expectations. Often when we act from here, we become less conscious or aware. It creates 'blind spots', and this invites the Mercury Retrograde experiences.

This is when the Retrograde cycle reveals the consequences of your actions that occurred when you ignored your heart, aliveness, and spirit.

I wrote a book that clarifies the path to returning back to alignment. It addresses the key issue to regain the fuller promise of your natal chart and your life. I heartily recommend it. A detailed explanation of the cored of the Mercury Retrograde at Astrology Miami Being Centered

More details about Mercury Retrograde are found on our sister site: A detailed explanation of Mercury Retrograde at Astrology Miami


Pre-Shadow Phase

Preceding the actual retrograde, Mercury starts to slow down, passing through the same place in the sky where it will later begin to go direct again. We refer to this phase as the Pre Shadow. It typically lasts about two weeks.

Although there tends to be a focus on the retrograde period itself, the pre-shadow phase often sets up much of the difficulties that we later encounter or become aware of during the retrograde proper. The Mercury Retrograde pre-shadow is indicated in blue in the calendar and in violet as it intensifies.

First Sensitive Point 1: The Beginning of the Pre-Shadow

The Mercury Pre-Shadow begins as Mercury passes over the same location in the sky (by longitude of the ecliptic), that it will later pass over again as it stations at the end of its retrograde motion.

This is the first sensitive point, and it initializes the Mercury Retrograde Pre Shadow phase. People sometimes experience the time around this point as having similar effects to the Mercury Retrograde Station.

Sensitive Point 2: Mercury Retrograde Station

During the Pre-Shadow, as Mercury slows down before it finally stops during the Retrograde Station, the effects of the Pre-Shadow strengthen. The moment that Mercury's progress through the sky momentarily stops before beginning to reverse its direction is referred to as the Mercury Retrograde Station. This is often when the Mercury Retrograde is most felt.

Often this coincides with peaking in the Mercury retrograde phenomena and is indicated in red.

Mercury Retrograde Phase

After the Retrograde Station, Mercury appears to go backward in the sky. Those experiences in life we often associate with Mercury, such as sharing information, emails, schedules, communication, short travel, learning, distribution of information, computers and computer programs, details and accuracy tend to become more challenging or reveal more errors. The Mercury retrograde phase is shown in a pink color, with the more intense times, when Mercury is moving more slowly indicated in a darker color.

Sensitive Point 3: Mercury Direct Station

Mercury’s backward motion slows down until it appears to hang in the sky again, and this second station also tends to coincide with a second peaking of the retrograde phenomena.

Mercury Retrograde Post-Shadow Phase

As Mercury moves forward, it passes over the path in the sky in which it earlier went backward. The Post-Shadow Phase can sometimes show the consequences of choices made during the retrograde proper. While Mercury is still moving slowly, right after the retrograde, the effects are more intense, indicated with the darker color of brown.

Sensitive Point 4: The End of the Post-Shadow

The last point in the Mercury Retrograde process occurs as Mercury passes over the same longitude in the sky as it occupied earlier during its Retrograde Station. Some people experience this point as an echo effect similar to the Retrograde Station.

Mercury Goes Direct

After the Mercury Retrograde Process, Mercury continues in the sky following a direct motion for about two months until the retrograde process begins all over again.

The Calendar for Mercury Retrograde

The three phases for Mercury Retrograde are shown as different colors. The darker color represents more intense days when the retrograde effect is stronger. Note that because of time zones, the actual dates may vary by a day as indicated.

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