Mercury Retrograde shadow period 2021 is on the horizon so if you feel 'stuck in a rut' this could be why

Before Mercury Retrograde upends our lives, get to know the shadow period that occurs beforehand

The great North American total eclipse 2017, This is the moment when totality comes to an end and the famous diamond ring is visible, the sun's corona is also still visible with the star Regulus, this is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo and one of the brightest stars in the night sky, lying approximately 79 light years from the Sun (just to the left of the eclipse)—mercury retrograde shadow period 2021
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Yet another Mercury Retrograde is on the way but before the planet enters this dreaded stage, we must first go through the mysterious Mercury Retrograde shadow period.

Those who have been keeping up with their weekly horoscope may have noticed an inescapable retrograde is upon us, again. Though not scheduled to occur until the end of September, it's the weeks leading up to it that may have a chaotic impact on our lives.

Virgo season has helped provide most of us with a sense of groundedness and organization yet as the sun begins to exit the routine-oriented sign and enters chatty Libra, we could be thrown into chaos once more. Here's how to prepare for Mercury Retrograde shadow period 2021 and everything you need to know about it.


What is Mercury Retrograde shadow period 2021?

The shadow period is the time span before and after Mercury Retrograde. If you've ever felt as though your luck was running dry, yet a retrograde had not begun, it may be because of the shadow period.

In more technical terms, it's the specific degree the planet is in before and after a retrograde, which Stephanie Campos-Powell of Leona Moon Astrology explained to woman&home. Mercury Retrograde shadow period, "details when Mercury first enters the zodiacal degrees of the retrograde period," said Stephanie. 

"While Mercury is in retrograde, it will move backward between 25-10 degrees of Libra until October 19th. The pre-shadow period refers to Mercury's journey from 10 degrees until it hits 25 degrees and begins its retrograde journey. The post-shadow period refers to once Mercury retrograde ends, but is still at 10 degrees in the sky and needs to re-trace over 10-25 degrees of Libra, where it journeyed while in retrograde" she explained.

MERCURY - stock photo

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How long does Mercury Retrograde shadow period 2021 last?

The two weeks before a retrograde happens is considered the shadow period. Stephanie warns that it can even last for up to three weeks though depending on the speed of the retrograde. 

This time around, it will happen September 13th—a couple of weeks prior to when the final 2021 Mercury Retrograde occurs. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there—the shadow period will remain for two weeks after Mercury exits retrograde starting October 19th until November 1st, 2021.

This isn't exclusive to just this retrograde either. The Mercury Retrograde shadow period happens before and after every retrograde. This may explain why some of us may feel stuck or in a rut before a retrograde even occurs. You might even feel the lingering effects of the retrograde during the two weeks after.

Zodiac signs inside of horoscope circle. Astrology in the sky with many stars and moons astrology and horoscopes concept - stock photo

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How to prepare for Mercury Retrograde shadow period 2021

Stephanie advises treating this shadow period as a "mini-retrograde." If you notice any reoccurring themes in your life during this time, they can give you a clue as to what to expect from the full Mercury Retrograde.

"The pre-shadow period highlights themes, conversations, and topics that will come up for us during our personal retrograde journey. It's not full-blown Mercury Retrograde chaos, but it's when we can start to pick up on clues," she said. 

"The post-shadow period offers us a chance to finish up and act on our retrograde story. After revisiting and revising, what do you now need to implement? What are the final pieces of your retrograde story?"

You should still exercise caution during the shadow period as it's still easy to misconstrue conversations or struggle with planning. Stephanie advises the best way to prepare for the shadow period is to just start your retrograde protocol earlier.

"Be mindful with communication and planning," she warns. "Don't jump to conclusions—miscommunication can occur. Re-read the text before sending, and mostly, just begin your retrograde protocol a bit earlier!"

You've been warned...

Rylee Johnston
Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life who primarily covers lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. At times, she also reports on beauty, royals, entertainment, health, and travel. The latest fashion and beauty trends, along with any quirky travel destinations are her favorite topics to write about. 


Before coming to woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee originally studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.


When she’s not writing articles, you can find her testing out one of the many restaurants New York City has to offer and planning her next travel destination. Her other hobbies also include hiking, ballet, yoga, and reading practically any book TikTok recommends.