Keeping track of all the retrogrades this month has felt like trying to herd cats — Venus, Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto were all retrograde at some point. Luckily, the end is near. We saw Venus turn direct on April 15, and this coming Wednesday, the perpetually-bemoaned Mercury retrograde will draw to a close, too.
First, let's just say: Yay! You survived yet another Mercury retrograde, widely known as an astrological assault on your texts, emails, best-laid plans, and anything involving communication. Now, we have some bad news: You're not totally out of the woods yet.
The two weeks before and after a planet turns retrograde are known as "shadow periods," and they're essentially transitional phases. In other words, we don't just snap back to normal after a retrograde. We have to ease out of it.
According to the Astrotwins, you should spend these two weeks reflecting on the events of the retrograde. This may sound painful (especially if you really felt Mercury's signal-scrambling effects this time around), but it's actually a learning opportunity.
Rehash those cringe-worthy moments where you, say, were too harsh with your S.O. or got caught in a white lie. Even the biggest communication breakdowns can bring unseen issues to light. Now's the time to think up solutions to those problems.
But, whatever you do, do it slowly. Reassess what went down in the last few weeks and consider how it could have gone better, but don't rush into making amends. The post-retrograde shadow period is a great time to make long-term plans, according to astrologer Annie Heese.
If you and your partner got into it during the retrograde, it may be time for a Talk. If your email got hacked or you lost all your work emails, overhaul your security settings and make an appointment at the Genius Bar. Spend these two weeks setting up fail-safes against Mercury's favorite targets. Your future self will thank you.
By May 20, the shadow period will end, and you'll be in the clear — that is, until August 12, when Mercury will enter its third of four retrogrades this year.