Listen For Echoes

Posted by Len Wallick


As we prepare to enter Mercury echo/shadow phase, Len Wallick offers insights on how you can listen consciously for themes on the coming retrograde next month. Pay attention to your senses, and take time to inhabit spaces full of life and voices.

Prick up your ears. Listen to the world as well as your own heart. Feel the wind in addition to your own intuitions. Look up and out as well as within. You are approaching a time to gather in with all your senses. Not to judge. Judgement can wait. Not necessarily to draw conclusions either. Rather, you approach a time to listen for echoes, but not from the past.


As this week draws to a close, begin to listen for echoes from the future. You have the ability to discern them. It’s not absurd to do so. It just takes a bit of conscious practice.

First, it’s a matter of timing – knowing the best time to listen. Astrology helps with that. Then it’s a matter of knowing what not to listen to (or rather what to consciously tune out).

The best time begins nearly three weeks before every time Mercury stations retrograde. Many astrologers call it a shadow phase. Years ago, Eric proposed the more positive and empowering alternative term ‘echo phase.’ Either way, it is a both a period of time and a slice of the zodiac.

The first echo/shadow phase takes place when Mercury in direct motion enters the part of the zodiac where it will retrace its path in apparent reversal only weeks later. The second echo phase comes after the retrograde is over, when Mercury moves through the same area a third time. Think of a windshield wiper moving in its confined arc three times – once towards the left (direct), then towards the right (retrograde), then left again (direct again) to get the idea.

Just as the first swipe of a windshield wiper gives you some idea of what to expect from the second (and even third) swipes, Mercury’s first echo phase implicitly contains information. The important thing to grasp, however, is that the information is not fully formed and organized, like data from the past. Rather it is like a scent on the breeze. Echoes from the future consist of hints which repeat and add up. Your place in the process is to actively listen for patterns, and do the adding up.

That first swipe begins less than 24 hours after Mercury enters Libra shortly after 11:44 am EDT (15:44:25 UTC) on Thursday, and will continue until Mercury retrograde commences on September 17. Now is a good time to make plans to start your active listening, because you will probably have to change your personal routine a bit in order to do so.

One of the best ways to pick up echoes from the future is to turn off the television and otherwise turn away from the pasteurized process product called news. That’s because most of what is called news is anything but new.

Instead, presuming you are blessed with ambulatory ability, walk the streets in your neighborhood. As you walk, pay attention to all you meet. Listen to everybody you either meet and engage with or overhear. Listen for patterns in words, phrases, attitudes and viewpoints. Ride a bus and do the same. Or sit in a coffee shop. Or go to a park and watch people play softball, soccer, or basketball. The possibilities are nearly unlimited.

As this week draws to a close, leave the manufactured world for spaces where people gather as much as possible. Not just people either. Assuming you are patient enough to get into their groove, listen to birds singing, dogs barking, babies crying, children playing, and any form of voice that comes your way.

Additionally, watch the skies, whether cloudy or clear. Indeed, let every form of sensory input which is not processed through electronic media tell you something. Pay special attention for what you are told over and over. If you give your effort enough time for a sufficient number of times, you will catch on.

The future really does echo, especially in the weeks before a Mercury retrograde. You really can bring meaning to those echoes as well. All it takes is a bit of intent, some planning, and your ability to follow through by getting out into the other world (besides the world of electronic media) where Mercury manifests in a wholly different way.

For of all the ways Mercury manifests, the most important is how it does so through you. You have the ability to do more than just listen. Within your power is the ability to be the mythical messenger you would want others to be for you.

Yes, you can for all practical purpose deliver the sort of messages you want to hear from the world. But you must hear the world first. Now would be a good time to get started making plans for how to do that, and change your life just enough to listen for echoes from the future.

Offered In Service

Posted in Columnist, Welcome on | 22 comments
Len Wallick

About Len Wallick

Besides endeavoring to be of service to all of you here at Planet Waves, Len strives to live in Seattle while working as a professional astrologer. To contact him for an astrology reading you can send an e-mail to: His telephone number is 206-356-5467. In addition to his profession, Len contributes to the Seattle community without monetary compensation by serving as a Reiki practitioner and teacher through classes and outreach offered by the Seattle Reiki Mastery Series modality.

22 thoughts on “Listen For Echoes

  1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan

    Thanks Len, for the timely reminder!!

    As always this year more than most, my inner ear has been hyperactive during echo phase. I think I also amplify it by making a conscious choice to make one of my daily walks by a body of water, which seems to really help keep channels clear.

    The head can be like a radio with its dial on a space between FM stations — you hear one blip from one station’s music on top of another station’s news. Being by the water clears up the distortion.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Fe: Thank you for sharing how this year’s Mercury in retrogrades (entirely in air signs) have been resonating for you, as well as what proximity to water does to help. Perhaps the distribution of planets, points and angles among the air and water signs in your personal astrology has something to do with it. At the very least, your testimony does appear to vindicate how the elements used in western tropical astrology (fire, earth, air and water) do translate through with a correlation to actual experience.

  2. Cowboyiam

    Wow, we are taking a trip to Arkansas crystal country in the last week of the eco phase just before the retrograde begins. My routine will be new and novel – my focus will be on feeling the subtle energy – so your additional information here seems to verify my alignment. Thanks Len, as always you get right to the heart of our energetic experience and always offer timely advice on how to leverage every moment for our highest purpose. .

  3. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Cowboyiam: It is for me to thank you. All the best for your journey. Hope you acquire some great crystals. Since you will be traveling through the echo phase (and perhaps back during the retrograde), be sure to exercise the usual protocols: Be clear on your itinerary. Plan and make arrangements as much as possible in advance. When you pack, have a check list and double-check it. Have contingency plans at the ready if your “plan A” does not come off as planned. Exercise patience. Allow yourself extra time for arrival and return as a “cushion” in the event of delays (for example, leave early to make sure you arrive on time if arriving on time is important – if it’s not important, relax – the main thing is not to feel rushed). What you refer to as your “new routine” sounds like just the ticket – let it happen and let it strengthen your faith in yourself.

    1. Cowboyiam

      Len, We will be home by the 15 or 16th so I hope to avoid any hang-ups. But I had never given any special notice to the echo phase until this last few cycles as a result of PWs article’s this past year. Your reading here today sounds so in alignment with what my purpose in going to that region is, which is already receptive and willing, but until now I being unaware of the Mercury phase and any role astrology might play. So it feels like synchronicity. Although, as I learn to trust my intuitive guidance system more and more – it is little surprise to me, anymore, when these astrologically timed events show up.

      I have noticed it is better if I allow that after fact validation rather than trying to produce good results by making plans because of certain aspects. For instance sometimes doing something during a retrograde, which would feel rather risky if I had thought about the retrograde, turns out to have been the perfect timing anyway, so intuition is always my best guide. But astrology provides some depth understanding which helps me interpret sometimes confusing feelings. Astrology as validation of intuitive efforts. Also as a heads-up source when intuition feels questionable. Thanks for your advice.

  4. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Thank you Len for the heads up.  The ‘echo’ message I am receiving today, through the all senses and releasing in action symotaniously is making itself know astrologically, through the planets and the degrees they are touching and aspecting today. Reading the Sabian Symbols and their intrepretation to the current cosmic message of today as well as amazing to our Mercury’s foreshowdowing.

    Today our Sun at Virgo 2, A LARGE WHITE CROSS DOMINATES THE LANDSCAPE.  Speaks, for our ability to reach a Liberating Ordeal (of self compassion and understanding) we must see objectiveity with discernment, discrimination, it must be learned with detachment. Literally ‘the mind itself has to be left behind’.

    The Sun is opposite Nessus (the buck stops here) at Pisces 2 degrees. A SQUIRREL HIDING FROM HUNTERS. This degree speaks of self protection and inner nourishment. With its caution of negative aspects, competition, social aggressivity and greed.

    The Sun is also semi sextile our North Node…very Karmic indeed at Sabian, Libra 2 degrees. THE TRANSMUTATION OF THE FRUITS OF PAST EXPERIENCES INTO THE SEED-REALIZATIONS OF THE FOREVER CREATIVE SPIRIT. With Dane Rhyder’s interpretation here: A repolarization of inner energies leading to a creative centralization of consciousness.

    You better believe old Mental Crosses are being burned today. Redemption is on the way!!.. Within hours, over the next days, our Sun is on the Sabian degree of Virgo 3. TWO GUARDIAN ANGELS. Again help and protection. ‘Though the consciousness may not yet be able to realize this as a fact, man is as surrounded by spirit as fish by water.’.

    I absolutely love the interpretation and this degree.  As even though we may not be able as yet, to com-pre-hend. Our personal ego-centered feelings may be quartered and destroyed. Through letting go, and being open to the forces yet unknown. We may then realize  the STRENGTH WITHIN.

    For me, i am already begining to see, in my thought patters, actions and voice, this Mercury echo and retrograde will be a time of new understanding. Leaving behind the parts of me that no longer work. A new frame of mind.  It’ an invitation to a new sense of myself. New energies, new beginnings taking over.
    Personally, Trans Mercury will traverse back and forth, three times over my Natal Ascendant.  I guess I really need to get this message deeply, if not maybe more than most!

    Thanks again Len :)

  5. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Oh and….with Jupiter already on the Virgo 3 degree, the Sun (identity) conjunct Jupiter (expansion) tomorrow, were already there with the faith along with effort, to grow and expand our circumstances and consciousness.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      P. Sophia: Thank you for integrating the pertinent Sabian symbols and the corresponding interpretations from the great Dane Rudhyar (as well as your own sense of the situation at hand). As for retrograde Mercury transiting your natal ascendant three times as it “swipes” back and forth, consider that to be a process rather than an event. A process of not only cleansing the “doors of perception” but also the windows of your creative expression so you can (by active listening and reflective expression) step up to a new level of practical, demonstrable creative achievement.

  6. chief niwot's sonchief niwot's son

    Thank you for the Mercurial musings, Len. Retro in Air is more comforting for me personally, lot’s of great ideas abound, and lot’s of information flying. But notes from the future- how juicy!

  7. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    chief niwot’s son: Thank you – it’s good to know my service remains palatable for you! May the notes from the future be harmonious for and with you.

  8. Penelope

    Thank you Len for another beautiful piece of writing that empowers me to do what I do. Your words have resonated powerfully over the last few months in particular. I love the advice to tune in to the environment to get our information rather than the sharp, foul tasting dish that commercial news serves us.

    With best wishes Penny

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Thank you, Penny. May the empowerment you acquire serve (as least in part) to empower others in turn to engage and move with the Universe.

  9. Barbara Koehler

    I like that idea Len. . notes from the future. Not being used to observing the OWHO phase (my blend of shad-ow, ec-ho) of transiting Mercury, what with all the distractions – mostly from the electronic media, it will take some planning on my part. I will try it though. Sounds like a lovely vacation, away from all the manufactured sounds.

    Something I’m observing now regarding the future is how the maple trees are already in fall mode; red and gold leaves; what used to be the color of late September is now the color of late August. It happened last year too. . . .early fall and bare maple trees by October. Definitely there is change in the air.

    Astrology too does help us tune in to real time events foretelling future events doesn’t it? A woman from Portland Oregon told me about her city’s natal chart that had 1 Aquarius rising. I told her to compare the New Moon of January 20th (at 0+ Aquarius) to the Portland chart. That was when Mars and Neptune were conjunct in Pisces (in Portland’s 2nd house of possessions) and to me that sounded like an attempted alarm (Mars) which was being smothered (Neptune, Pisces). That Mars-Neptune conjunction was trine the U.S Sibly chart Jupiter in Cancer. Now, 8 months later, there is wide-spread grief throughout the U.S. for Portland and all the rest of the northwest that suffers from the immense threat of wildfires.

    It was also when transiting Neptune was in an exact septile with transiting Pluto, which is a time when there seems to be no logical reason for things to happen that do happen. Septiles can provide options; Robert Wilkinson ( calls those options “forks in the road of destiny”. Perhaps if we had been listening to the right things then (Mercury stationed retrograde the day after the New Moon) it could have made a difference. I hope it’s not too late to learn now.

  10. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Barbara (be): i really love your OWHO invention. Not quite acronym. Yet evocative of what more than one word can say. Also, please accept my gratitude for sharing your demonstration of astrological discernment and proficiency as regards to the City of Portland (Oregon, i presume), appropriate transits and context to be found in both current and historical events. Finally, thank you for passing on what your local maple trees have to say – in the context of last year, it’s a significant message,

  11. Barbara

    Len………..thanks for this pc………..I will take it to heart……just had a chatty spell….all I can say is WOW……I am aware of Mercury’s energy in these story lines…………Paying attention…..thanks for the heads up……great way to learn……….take care…………..

  12. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    For me, mercury is back to its shenanigans, and its been awhile, I had a slow period of not blowing up computers, that has ended, looks like a hard drive. I wonder if it has to do with it being in an air sign or in echo. love the OWHO be, thanks for sharing.
    Great post Len, I will be certain to focus on living in the moment and taking everything in as an observer and senser.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Pisces Sun: You have my sincere empathy regarding your computer and what you call Mercury’s “shenanigans” – i do hope the data from your hard drive will be recovered without loss. The air sign component does indeed correlate with such a synchronicity. If the correlation is also to the inception of the echo phase, it’s a clear situation of what you should do – back up all data as you are best able to do. Thank you and, yes, live in the moment as best you can. Every moment is too precious to be lost.

  13. Geoff Marsh

    A word to the wise: you may not like all you hear out there. Be prepared for some very unsympathetic people out there.

    I can’t believe we’re in echo phase of another Mercury retrograde tomorrow. I haven’t finished processing the last one yet. Yikes!

  14. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Geoff: Wise words indeed. Thank you. i have had a bit of that sort of experience myself as of late. i believe it was Dr Seuss who wrote “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Don’t let the unsympathetic people get you down! We love you here at Planet Waves, Geoff!

    1. Geoff Marsh

      Gee, shucks, Len! Thank you, that’s exactly what I needed to read. Sun square natal Uranus for me on Friday, so I am a bit on tenterhooks what with the Full Moon (she was looking good tonight, I thought) and all the other shenanigans about to get underway. I’ve locked the drinks cupboard and hopefully won’t be able to find the key until the weekend is over.

      A comprehensive and very useful review of upcoming trends in your piece today, I thought. Thank you.

      Echoes. Another Pink Floyd reference?

      Take care of yourself.

      1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

        Geoff: The term “echo phase” is Eric’s original idea (just one of many which Eric has contributed to the field of astrology). Hence, you will have to ask Eric if there is a reference to Pink Floyd beneath the surface.

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