On Retrogrades and Shadow Periods
I was reminded of something very important about planetary retrogrades today. Retrogrades occur regularly, and we may often find ourselves recognizing a pattern in our life struggles that correlate with the retrogrades. In this article I want to break down the meaning of each planetary RX, their shadow and what patterns you would be addressing during these periods. First, I want to clarify a few things.
Retrograde is when a planet looks like they are moving backward in degree from the POV on earth. No, they do not actually move backward, the backward motion is technically an optical illusion due to the nature of the orbit being and oval or ecliptic (higher and lower on different sides) and therefore being on a different track than earth. The retrograde ends when the earth and the planet are now on different sides of the track where the planet is no longer looking like it is moving backwards.
You can think of it like two trains on separate tracks, one train is on a fast track the other experiences hills or mountains where that train moves slower. as the first train remains on the fast track and the other slows down it looks like it is moving backward.
Shadow Periods are being discussed a lot more this year, this is because a lot more people are looking to astrology for their personal healing! The Shadow period of retrograde helps us acknowledge the shift and time of change and integration rather than assuming "Hey, retrogrades done lets go back to normal now!" And being faced with even more obstacles because we are resisting change. The Shadow begins when a planet reaches a degree that will eventually be the last degree the planet retrogrades to, and it ends when the planet reaches the last degree it reached before its retrograde. For example. Mercury moves through Gemini and begins its retrograde at 5 degrees, in 3 weeks it retrogrades into 19 degrees in Taurus before stationing Direct. This would mean that the shadow period began at 19 degrees Taurus and ends when it reaches 5 degrees Gemini again.
New Moon Flu
"New Moon Flu" was a term I heard floating around when I was getting my Moonlogist Certification. I was reluctant to believe it was real - the moon having such an affect on my body. But boy have themes last 6 months proved me wrong.
I want to share my particular experience with the most recent New Moon in Libra October 2021. I was on an upward trajectory - finally getting into routines and actively practicing mindsets that were healthy and keeping me from an anxiety spiral. I felt like nothing could stop me I was finally stepping into an energy I have been trying so hard to get to.
In comes the New Moon. October 6th hit me like a bag of bricks with migraines, allergies and yes, an anxiety spiral. I was actually shocked. Normally, I only get migraines due to hormones and I had just finished a successfully pain free period cycle. What was going on?
And then I remembered about the New Moon Flu, was this what that was? The physical affects that the moon brings are said to be reminders for people to turn inward. Was this a sign to step away from my virtual work world and relax? What do I need to turn inward about? I looked at my astrology and the New Moon in Libra was Activating my 12th house from my Moon Sign, my 8th house from my Rising Sign and my 3rd House from my Sun Sign. This is a nasty combination of house activations that calls upon some inner reflection - and yes, I was ignoring it.
These symptoms of the New Moon Flu did not stop after the 6th, I got so frustrated, what was i doing wrong and why was the New Moon, a astrological time for manifesting pulling me out of this perfect rhythm and routine I had going to be on track for my dream life? This is when I remembered another thing about astrology - like in life, nothing is permanent and the ever shifting energies of the skies remind us of that. This was a perfect example.
I participate in other spiritual practices so, I consulted my guides, meditated di some tarot cards and the messages I received reminded me that this New Moon Flu experience was not a set back but a reminder of what I do not want, offering me space to be shown an evaluate the importance of the habits I couldn't give 100% to while feeling low. ( I also think Saturn had something to do with it since she is so close to station direct that this was one last curve ball thrown at me to make sure I committed to specific structures in my life).
My new assumption is that the New Moon Flu hits you when you need it most. Sometimes it is to step away physically and mentally, other times it is a reminder of what a regression in progress means to you or both! My tip for you is to recognize what life areas you struggle the most with (look up the Astrological Houses) and prepare for the Moon Cycle that activates those houses, allow yourself the time to be slow, fail or falter. Accept the process.
Astrologer, Past Life Regression Therapist and Intuitive. Sarah writes articles on current astro happenings, historical astro interpretations and spiritual topics.