Writing late Saturday night now… there are no further news items on whether the election should be postponed or not and I just read an article on how displaced New Jersey residents will be able to vote by e-mail. But what’s going on in Ohio? A friend of mine on Facebook posted this news story on his timeline. If you’ve been on Facebook at all these last 2 1/2 months… well, you know what that’s been like, unless you have some very mellow, apolitical friends.
Social Media and Mercury Rx – A few observations:
This has been the most contentious election season I can ever remember, even more so than the Bush-Gore election in 2000. Social media as a relatively recent phenomenon since the 2008 election – ruled by Mercury as well since it is communication – has added a new level of rancor to this, especially on Facebook. In general, Twitter has been a much more civil place to hang out (at least for me), probably because of the 140 character limit. No matter who people are for, I think for the overwhelming majority of us, we’ll be glad when this is all over and the political posts come to an end. Another manifestation of Mercury retrograde (and remember, we’re not even there yet – it starts Tuesday) is that civility usually gets tossed with the bathwater as emotionality is heightened, so if this election process goes on for days or weeks, which it very well could, let’s all ease up on each other… shall we? Or should we just go back to bumper stickers and ripping off the ones we disagree with?
Part 2: The Present… Onward thru the Fog
Almost everyone has been saying how important this particular election is – well, it is, but they all are, and I would say that based on where we are now in the U.S. and with what has happened since the 2000 election and the way that election played out, the last time transiting Mercury was retrograde on Election Day, that may well turn out to be the most important election we’ve seen in this country. Does the 2012 election give us a chance to start to rectify the problems we saw most dramatically in 2000 or are the results and process itself going to be increasingly called into question with each successive election?
Specifically what I’m referring to is the situation where a candidate loses the popular vote yet wins the election through the electoral college. Might this year be the 5th time in U.S. History that this happens (the 3rd with Mercury retrograde on Election Day and the 2nd time in only 12 years)? Some pundits have already suggested that this might be the case again in 2012. [And think of poor Samuel J. Tilden who won both the electoral vote and the popular vote and still lost the Presidential election to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 – how did THAT happen? Mercury was not retrograde then but was at 0 degrees Scorpio, same degree and sign as in the 2000 election.]
In astrology, Mercury is often known as the “cosmic trickster,” particularly when it goes retrograde (three times a year, every year). Could it be that when it is retrograde during a general election, one of its functions is to point out any inherent flaws in our election system and process? Might it also mean that there are more “shenanigans” behind the scenes from those who would try to manipulate the system?
That it goes retrograde that often each year and yet there are only 9 instances (since 1848) of it happening during a general election – doing the math, 9 times out of 492 times Mercury has been retrograde since then, and 9 times out of 42 elections – indicates a special set of circumstances. In other words, not the norm and not “business as usual” in the life of the United States. The meaning of that would seem to be that these periods indicate when significant events are about to happen or a significant change in direction takes place in this country, particularly in a very close race.
Go back to yesterday’s post (Part I of this little ‘cosmic’ treatise), and the table…
Taking a look at the last 4 elections where Mercury was retrograde, here’s very briefly what happened:
2000 – Bush elected amid controversy, 9/11 attack the following year, Patriot Act passed, invasion of Iraq in 2003
1980 – Reagan elected handily, an end to the hostage crisis in Iran, changes in policy direction across the board, the country ‘swings to the right’
1960 – Kennedy elected in close election with the results not known until the following day, the ‘new frontier,’ manned space exploration begins, Cuban missile crisis, JFK assassinated in 1963
1940 – Roosevelt elected for unprecedented 3rd term, Pearl Harbor attack the following year, U.S. enters World War II, end of the Great Depression
What will the election of 2012 bring over the next few years?
A Second Observable Pattern with Mercury During Elections
During my research I came across another repeating pattern which applies not only to Mercury retrograde but Mercury in general in successive elections. Since Mercury is never more than 28 degrees apart from the Sun from our vantage point here on Earth, it can only be placed in a chart in the same sign as the Sun or the sign immediately before or immediately after. Since elections are always held in early November here, the Sun is always in Scorpio, so Mercury can only be in 3 signs – Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. Most of the time it’s in Scorpio (23 out of the 42 elections since 1848).
In general, elections that take place when Mercury is in Scorpio suggest a certain stability in leadership and direction (e.g. – both Roosevelts, FDR and Teddy, Eisenhower, Reagan), Scorpio being a fixed sign which means exactly what ‘fixed’ implies.
When Mercury does fall in Libra in one general election year, the following election year, 4 years later, you will find it in the mutable sign of Sagittarius. Mutable as in change based on information and perception. This pattern repeats itself without fail since 1848, so you can take those two election years as a pair – 1856 and 1860; 1896 and 1900; 1908 and 1912; 1928 and 1932; 1948 and 1952; 1968 and 1972, and most recently, 2008 and 2012. 7 pairs of election years in which during 5 of those paired years, there was a change in President; all of those Presidents served only one term. The only exceptions were in 1896 – William McKinley won the 1900 election as well – and in 1968 when Richard Nixon won both the ’68 and ’72 elections. Both were Republicans. This little phenomenon of the incumbent winning a 2nd term hasn’t occurred on the Democratic side.
Well, you can see where I’m going with this as a possible predictive tool, but there’s really not enough of a data set here to draw any conclusions and of course Mercury is going retrograde this year. The one instance of the Libra-Sagittarius sequence that involved a Mercury retrograde was the 1908-1912 pair, when Woodrow Wilson (D) replaced William Howard Taft (R). It would seem to suggest a change in office… We’ll see.
The symbol for a planet retrograde in astrology is Rx, actually the same symbol you’ll find for pharmacies. Is a prescription involving a change this year going to be good for what ails us or do we all just need more cowbell?
Before I get into any predictions… first, I’ve only looked at one specific thing here: the occurrence of Mercury Rx in general elections on the U.S. natal chart. That’s a very small data set from which to draw conclusions from – I didn’t even look at the aspects between Mercury and other transiting or natal planets on the chart or this blog would be twice as long (and there’s a doozy of an aspect – Mercury square Neptune which only contributes to the confusion and lack of resolution). For a full analysis, you’d look at the U.S. chart, the natal charts of Obama (the Leo showman who shines in the spotlight), Romney (Pisces, the traditionalist), and Gary Johnson (Capricorn, the pragmatic achiever… I include Johnson because he will probably garner 3-5% of the popular vote, thus he is a factor) and I have, and again this blog would be considerably longer.
Second, I never really like making ‘predictions’ for the simple reason that it reinforces the stereotype of astrology as “fortune-telling,” which it is not. Describing some of the things and issues that come up and what possible outcomes might be is just one part of it. Astrology is the interpretive art of a symbolic language used as a tool to gain better understanding of self, others, and the world we live in. It is more of an ART than anything else, which means its meanings are somewhat subjective, even based on observed phenomena and tendencies, and based on the skill-level and relative consciousness of the person who is doing the interpretation. Now, having said that…
1. I do not expect things – specifically, the counting of votes – to run smoothly.
2. Results will be scrutinized, questioned, and challenged… heavily.
3. I expect at least a few disputes of vote totals.
4. I expect President Obama to be re-elected, with the following caveats…
IF the election results are finalized quickly, within 5 days to a week. Remember, there’s the Solar Eclipse coming up as well on November 13-14th in Scorpio in the 12th House. If we’re still sifting through the returns at that time or there are challenges to the results, it could mean more delays, including some (or all) of the following…
We may see full investigative activities begin after the 13th if election results are still in question, including civil lawsuits and possibly even a couple of criminal ones. Already we’ve seen a couple of incidents of alleged voting fraud and charges filed against at least one person for voting fraud. Is this the tip of the iceberg?
One thing with Mercury in Sagittarius this year is that Sagittarius tends to bring things like this out in the open, rather than remaining hidden when Mercury is in secretive Scorpio.
Finally, IF this becomes a repeat of the 2000 election and drags on unresolved into late November (beyond the 25th) or December, the longer this continues, it begins to favor Mitt Romney and if we hit mid-December without a clear winner, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up being declared the winner, especially if it ends up in the courts.
Personally, I don’t think this election process will go beyond Nov. 25th… but it could (imagine how ugly things could get on FB by then).
5. I expect there will be a considerable concerted effort and push to eliminate the electoral college following this election. Since it is written into the Constitution, that can only be done by amendment, but look for some kind of proposed full-scale election reform here.
So we’re into the final stretch, the last couple of days, and we’ll probably find ourselves moving further into unknown territory. If you haven’t already voted early… go vote on Tuesday! Then, in the words of Bette Davis, “fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night…”
Craig Thomas has studied astrology since 1976 and has practiced professionally for 29 years.
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