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Mercury is still in retrograde in Aries and will go direct on April 15, but won’t be at full speed until May 4th.  How is the retrograde treating you?

Here’s the deal with planetary retrogrades.

What does it mean when a planet is “slowing down” since it is in its proper orbit going around the sun and doesn’t move backwards? In astrology, a planet that is considered to be in retrograde is an illusion from our viewpoint here on earth. None of the planets move backwards, they only move forward.

If you are on earth with your telescope looking at a planet it LOOKS LIKE is moving backwards because the speeds of earth and in this case, Mercury, are different. A popular way to explain this is the following. You are in a car or a train and another car pulls up along side of you. The car may look like it’s moving backwards from your viewpoint but in fact it isn’t, it is just moving a different speed, but still moving forward. Does this make sense? If not, please let me know because retrograde planets in astrology have powerful energy focused inward so it’s important to understand this concept.

Every planet that goes retrograde follows the same pattern as we view it from earth. First, the speed of the planet starts to slow and continually gets slower. This the shadow period or PRE-SHADOW period. Then it looks like the planet has stopped moving forward. That is what astrologers call “stationing”. After a planet has finished stationing then it looks like it is moving backwards, or retrograde. Then, at the point that it looks like it is no longer moving backward, the planet stations again, and moves forward. It doesn’t immediately move forward at the same speed. Rather it is in POST-SHADOW period as it picks up speed. Once the planet is a full speed again it fully direct.


In astrology we say that the planet is DIRECT again when it begins to move forward even though the planet is not at full speed,

The phases are — 1. Pre-Shadow Period, 2. Stationing, 3. Retrograde, 4. Direct, 5. Post-Shadow Period (RETROSHADE), 5. Direct and at Full Speed!


Once a planet turns direct, things do lighten up, but until it has passed its RETROSHADE period you’re not completely out of the woods.

-Amy Domres
Evolutionary Astrologer
Astrological Healing to Achieve your Soul’s Mission