Donna says: A few days ago, the topic of Mercury retrograde shadow periods came up in the discussions of Mercury Retrograde among Skywriter’s readers. Though familiar with the idea, I haven’t paid a lot of attention to it, since I’m usually writing my heart out in the days around Mercury’s turning from direct to retrograde and vice versa. Born during one of those turnings, I find them to be my most productive writing periods.
So, I went looking for information on the subject and came upon this gem by Dr. Z, who allowed me to reprint it here. He’s just as much a skeptic about the Mercury Retrograde hysteria as I am, but he’s even more irreverent. (Always a plus!)
Mercury’s Pre-retrograde Shadow and Post-retrograde Shadow Periods
©2012 by Guest Blogger, Dr. Z
It would appear that a large number of astrologers out there buy into (and want to make sure that you buy into) the “pre-retrograde Shadow” and “post-retrograde Shadow” periods of Mercury. Sorry to disappoint you, amigos, but I just can’t bring myself to swallow the whole enchilada.
If you’ve read my article on Mercury Retro, then you already know I’m not a typical astrologer that enjoys handing out restrictive orders involving what you absolutely must not do during Mercury Retrograde, itself. So you shouldn’t be too surprised that I can’t (and don’t) buy into these extended shadow periods.
The Evolution of the Shadow Periods
A long, l-o-n-g time ago, all you ever occasionally heard of were the alleged post-retrograde shadow periods, and that you should continue to be wary of Mercury until he once again reached the spot in the sky where he’d originally gone retrograde.
It all seemed to make a fair amount of sense… but then somewhere along the line the dreaded pre-retrograde shadow periods were added into the mix…
Do the Math For Yourself
Mercury experiences a retrograde cycle approximately once every 4 months, and during any given retrograde cycle Mercury remains retrograde for approximately 3 weeks. The pre-retrograde Shadow Mercury periods last 2 to 3 weeks. The post-retrograde Shadow Mercury periods last 2 to 3 more weeks.
So add them all up – the pre-retrograde Shadow Mercury periods that last 2 to 3 weeks, the Mercury retrogrades that last 3 weeks, and then the post-retrograde Shadow Mercury periods that last 2 to 3 more weeks.
Yep! According to these jokers, you should then refrain from significant communications, signing contracts, and the like for an average of 40% of the time during any given 365 day period.
In unique calendar years where Mercury goes retro 4 times (rather than the more normal 3 times), such as in the year 2009, sticking strictly to the 2009 calendar year, it’s slightly over 50% of the days in 2009 that you should be concerned with Mercury.
Doesn’t that sound like pure, unadulterated ________ to you? Modern astrologers with our sophisticated, cutting edge, astrological calculation software have way too much time on our hands.
Don’t get me wrong… some of my best and most talented astrologer friends believe in one or both of the shadow periods of Mercury retrograde. (And they’re probably wagging a scolding finger at me as they read this.)
Besides… being a Jungian/archetypal astrologer I almost always like a good “shadow,” but this is ridiculous! Nowadays, I’m sitting back and waiting with bated breath for the pre-pre-retrograde Shadow and the post-post-retrograde Shadow periods.
Sometimes… less is more…
About DR. Z: Sporting degrees in Theology and Jurisprudence, Dr Z (aka Anthony L Peña, JD) was one of a handful of local astrologers that, during the Internet’s infancy, recognized the potential of the World Wide Web. He opened his first astrology web site, The Zodiac Master, in September 1996. For 7 years, from 1999 to 2006, Dr Z also served as the astrology guide at About.com (owned by the NY Times). His site provides a wide variety of astrology tutorials, articles, and resources for visitors of all differing levels of astrological interest and knowledge. Here’s how to reach him on the web: http://thezodiac.com,
http://astrologywithdrz.com, http://www.facebook.com/zodiacmaster, http://twitter.com/zodiacmaster
More Articles about Mercury Retrograde on Skywriter:
- Enough with the Mercury Retrograde Hysteria!
- Why Mercury Retrograde is a Good Thing–Its Helpful Uses
- Readers’ Comments and Questions on Mercury Retrograde
- Obama’s Flubbed Oath–Perfect Mercury Retrograde Story?