Finally: Mercury turns direct on November 20! *pause for party sounds of airhorns, fireworks, people crying tears of joy* Reality check: we are still experiencing the funkiest time of retrograde. That’s right, people! The insanity are still in play during an astrological phenomenon known as “retroshade”—which is obvs shadier and more drama inducing than Mercury retrograde.
Retroshade occurs in the two weeks leading up to and after the actual retrograde. Keep the tissues close by because most people experience a Mercurial meltdown during the retroshade phases because we are revisiting circumstances, relationships, and situations from the beginning of the transit. During this time, we all experience zombie-ing from exes, communication breakdowns, foggy brains, travel issues, and technological problems—but with a twist. We feel taunted and worn out by their presence and issues, instead of greeting them with open arms.
Retroshade is considered by astrologers (such as myself) to be the worst part of Mercury Retrograde. The pre-Retrograde starts slowing down the communicative planet and begins to make us all see situations with unclear thoughts. Imagine feeling half awake 24/7 or tipsy after a martini—that is the effect the pre-Retrograde has on our brains.
The post-Retrograde zone gives us a third pass at the drama that occurred during the Retrograde. We can address matters, heal relationships, or use this opportunity as a chance to tell people to eff off. Sounds fun, eh? The caveat is that because it’s Mercury’s third time orbiting the same degrees (aka it went forward, then back, then forward again; this acts as trigger points for similar dialogues and tales), we can expect others to get more aggressive or heated when arguing.
Or exes can become extra persistent in meeting up. Because Mercury is speeding up—but not at full capacity—it can cause extreme anxiety and confusion. At least during the Retrograde, we can step a step back. It’s impossible during the Retroshade.
This season’s Retrograde in Scorpio officially kicked off on Halloween. The pre-Retrograde phase started on October 11th. From the 11th to the 31st, the narrative about what events would go down during Mercury’s backstroke was crafted. From November 20th to December 7th, we will complete the story for the last time. There’s no looking back after December 7th. It’s a final ending. Or at least for now. We will start to see reversals of fortune and sentiments after December 7th—when it’s too late to make a change or augment situations and relationships.
Words of advice: Keep all receipts when shopping (because we may need to return a few presents), allow room for travel issues during the holidays and keep the political chatter at a minimum to avoid arguments with the fam.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.