The periods between the retrograde and direct stations are a time that the energy is held back, so it is a time to re-do, re-vise, and re-think. For example, with Mercury Rx, it’s a time to be internal, to do more inner thinking or revising. It’s time to think about yourself and the manner in which you think about the issues life and how you talk about them. It’s easy to blame others for what is going on in your life, that is called being external.
Now it’s time to see what these things say about you, that is called being internal. What we see in life is a mirror for who we are. Mercury Rx is also a time to rewrite, revise, and re-communicate with others. With a Mars Rx, you may notice that your energy is low, that it takes more effort to do new things, and effort and activity becomes a struggle.
Once the retrograde is over, you’ll notice that these matters are easier and you have the desire to pursue new things, but you may not be quite up to par. This has to do with the shadow phase. Once the shadow phase has completed you’ll be eager to go, and you’ll find you want to do things in a slightly new way.
The best retro advice I can give you is, don’t go out and start any new ventures involved with the planet until it’s over and the energy begins moving again, which is a few days after the retrograde, but some people may have to wait until the shadow phase is over. It depends on your chart.
However, life goes on and we can’t always avoid buying things, traveling, or making deals in a retrograde. It is possible that you are supposed to go through problems that are created in a retrograde to learn something. If you are open and willing to learn, the problems will be resolved. If the retrograde is not affecting your chart, a problem is not caused by the retrograde.
The shadow phenomena is the reason many people feel a retrograde way before it starts, and this is why those who are affected by shadows still have problems after the retrograde. Some people are affected even more by a retrograde if the planet is retrograde in their natal chart, but some have an easier time.
To determine how each retrograde will affect you consider what the planet symbolizes, where it’s located in your chart and the aspects it makes both by transit, progression and in the natal chart. If the planet is making good aspects in your chart, you should have an easy time. If the aspects are difficult, be prepared and watch what you do.
What it all boils down to is that some people sail through a retrograde and others have a heck of a time; to figure it out get your chart done.