Mercury Retrograde Is Over — But Retroshade Is Here

Photographed by Jessica Garcia.
The second Mercury retrograde of 2020 comes to a close on July 12 — phew. And the next one doesn't start until October 13. While having a break from the miscommunications and travel mishaps, and other mayhem a Mercury retrograde can bring is surely a relief, astrologers are warning that it's not time to totally relax just yet.
This past Mercury retrograde was in the emotional sign of Cancer, and it may feel like you've been put through a rollercoaster of feelings. "During this transit, our intuition and feelings have been amplified, driving us to act first and think later," explains Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at and "Once Mercury ends its retrograde transit in Cancer, this overall feeling of nostalgia will begin to mellow out a bit as interactions become more fluid."
But we're not totally free and clear until July 26. "The phase after retrograde is called retroshade," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29. "During this time communications and information starts to move forward again. But it’s still a bit wonky because Mercury isn't moving around the same speed as usual."
What can we expect during retroshade? "We'll have one more pass at arguments, making up, miscommunications, and visits from exes," Stardust explains. "More often than not, former loves, crushes, and friends come back to haunt us." It might be a smart move to confront these issues head on during this shadow period. Let your feelings be known, and remain open to reconciling the past. (That doesn't mean necessarily getting back with a former lover — but forgiveness may be in the cards.)
Even as the messenger planet begins to move direct in earnest, Mercury will remain in sensitive Cancer until August 3. "During this time, thoughts and feelings will still be aligned due to this sign’s sensitive and emotional nature," Montúfar says. "We will still think, speak, and communicate in a deeper way, but we won’t need to worry so much about our delivery being misunderstood by the recipient."
While it's less likely that our words will be taken out of context, we might be feeling a little sensitive or passionate. "Mercury in Cancer is actually in the sign favored by the Moon which rules our emotions," Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at, tells Refinery29. "Thinking and decision-making will remain more emotional than logical."
That can be a good thing. Now's the time to be open, honest, and upfront with your feelings. Mercury isn't here to hinder your communication skills anymore or dilute the meaning of your words. Take this time to say aloud anything you were holding back during the retrograde.
It's also a good time to turn inward. "Mercury direct in Cancer is an absolute opportunity to turn our energy inward to communicate with ourselves and figure out what is really happening inside of us," Montúfar says. "A day that is primed for this practice is August 1, when Mercury in Cancer will form an opposition to psychological Pluto in Capricorn, helping us get to the heart of the matter."
Mark August 1 on your calendar as a day to meditate, ramp up your self care routine, and really just soak in some "me time." The worst of Mercury retrograde is finally over.

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