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How To Communicate In Your Relationships During Mercury Retrograde's Shadow Period

Last updated on September 20, 2022

Once Mercury retrograde ends, it can feel like a big exhale (whew!). But alas, we're not out of the woods right away. Each Mercury retrograde comes with a "shadow" period in the weeks before and after the planet's backspin, so it's in your best interest to keep your wits about you in the coming weeks.

Here's a refresher on what you can expect from a retrograde shadow period, plus some tips for navigating your relationships—romantic and otherwise—until its really over:

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What is Mercury retrograde's shadow period?

As the AstroTwins previously explained to mbg, Mercury retrograde has a shadow phase that starts before the actual retrograde and ends after it. "It's like the lingering fumes of a bus or car after it's driven away," they explain, noting that this phase is called "stationing," and it describes the time Mercury needs to recover the distance that it retreated while in retrograde.

"It's a bit like retracing steps," the twins say, and it can last for weeks and even months. We see this "shadow" with the moon phases as well. You might feel the full moon's heightened energy in the days leading up to it and after it, for example.

How to avoid communication mishaps during the shadow period:


Reflect on this Mercury retrograde:

Retrogrades are an excellent time to review, reassess, and revise—and in this case, their shadow period offers us the chance to get clear on our most important connections. So one of the best things you can do during Mercury retrograde's shadow period is reflect on all that you've learned or realized about your relationships since the retrograde began in early May.

As astrologer Jennifer Racioppi tells mbg, your reflections can guide you toward future action—and then it's up to you to "score the touchdown" so to speak.

From exes coming back around to communication mishaps, what did you experience this retrograde? What can this teach you about your relationships, what's working in them, and what isn't?

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Slowly integrate its lessons:

Much of the confusion Mercury retrograde causes will still be felt during the shadow period, so rather than diving into making big changes, take time to slowly but surely integrate your reflections and lessons. Racioppi recommends taking the next few weeks to mull over any big relationship moves.

By all means, put together a plan of action based on your reflections—but don't feel like you need to do anything drastic just yet. This brings us to our next point...


Proceed with caution:

Again, we're very much not out of the woods yet, so many of the rules of thumb for Mercury retrograde still apply during its shadow period, like thinking before you speak, being wary of blasts from the past, and double-checking everything before you hit send.

If you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively, know that it's fine to hold off on any major conversations for the next couple of weeks if you can. And if you do have to tackle a big discussion with a partner, friend, or family member, consider having a script of talking points to avoid getting lost in translation.


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The takeaway.

Mercury retrograde may be over, but its looming shadow period can still cause communication issues. By reflecting and integrating the things you've learned in recent weeks and treading lightly with important conversations, you (and your relationships) can make it through the shadow period unscathed.

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