Mercury Retrograde and Strife

All right, friends, it is Mercury retrograde!

The Trickster God stationed on Saturday morning at 26 degrees, 29 minutes Aquarius, at 10:51 AM Eastern US Time.

Back on January 15, he entered his pre-retrograde shadow: that was the day that Mercury crossed 11 degrees, 1 minute Aquarius for the first time this year. He’s headed back in that direction now, retracing recent steps. Once he reaches 11 degrees, 1 minute Aquarius (for the second time) on February 20, he will station there and turn again.

After that it’s forward-we-go, with Mercury crossing that patch of sky in central Aquarius, for a third and final time, till he passes the degree of his first station (which is, AGAIN, 26 degrees, 29 minutes Aquarius) on March 13, and so ends the cycle.

Each of these three periods — the pre-retrograde shadow from January 15 to January 30, the retrograde itself from January 30 to February 20, and the post-retrograde shadow from February 20 to March 13 — offers us a chance to look differently at the same story. What did you hear, learn, program, communicate, or write within these last two weeks? Expect to keep gathering data, thinking up improvements, and making revisions, till the spring.

Today’s chart, moreover, has some interesting resonance on the US political front. The degree of Mercury’s station is tightly conjunct both the Moon and Pallas Athena in the US natal chart (scroll all the way down!), which are located at 27 degrees, 31 minutes Aquarius and 27 degrees, 10 minutes Aquarius, respectively. The stationing Mercury also forms a tight OPPOSITION to Donald Trump’s natal Mars in Leo, at 26 degrees, 46 minutes of that sign. And because the Donald is a Gemini, like all Gemini- and Virgo-Sun people, he is especially sensitive to Mercury’s whims.

In looking over these charts, I was reminded of another “trial of the century,” the 1995 prosecution of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Both Simpson and Trump have planets that stimulate the US natal Mars, which is located at 21 degrees Gemini: O.J.S. has his natal Uranus at nearby 23 degrees Gemini, while D.J.T. (nearly the same age) has his Uranus, North Node, and Sun clustered at 17, 22, and 23 degrees Gemini respectively. (Donald also has his natal Moon at 21 degrees Sagittarius, directly opposite the US Mars, which points to his emotional power over some Americans.)

O.J. Simpson, of course, has the dubious distinction of being (it’s alleged) the first celebrity defendant to get away with murder despite being a Black man — in a criminal justice system that is, statistically, profoundly biased against that demographic. Donald Trump, our first celebrity president, and the one whom Ta-Nehisi Coates has dubbed “the first white president,” has now earned the dubious distinction of being the first US president twice-impeached — this time around, for his role in inciting a riot that brought about the deaths of six people (including three police officers) and featured numerous attempts at mass murder. (They recently started to release the body-cam footage, and it’s deeply scary.)

These two 1980’s-era movie stars, through their relationships to the system and to the public, have stirred up the nation’s Mars-in-Gemini energy (Trump more so, with his Gemini stellium) making the world acutely aware of disparities (a Gemini keyword) in how we understand and punish violence (a Mars keyword) in America.

O.J. Simpson was born with Mercury retrograde, and the verdict in his criminal trial — surprising to many — was given on a Mercury retrograde. (The verdict in the 1997 civil case, when he was found liable for battery and wrongful death, was given with Mercury direct.) Donald Trump’s natal Mercury is direct, and his upcoming trial will begin on a Mercury retrograde. We don’t yet know when the Senate trial will END . . . I’ll be interested to see whether it’s before or after February 20.

The signatories of the Declaration of Independence placed Mars in a weak position in the chart (an accidental detriment by placement), answering to a retrograde Mercury. They probably interpreted this placement as “weak enemies,” but if we’ve learned one thing from the last few years, it’s that even weak people can very, very dangerous.

I don’t know what the outcome of this trial will be, but as a professional astrologer, I’m comfortable saying that about half the country will be deeply upset. How’s that for an accurate prediction?

Big hugs,


P.S. I just updated my website with some of the lectures, workshops, and intensives that I have lined up in 2021. I’ll be speaking to WSAA (the Washington State Astrological Association) in March, for OPA (the Organization of Professional Astrologers) in April, at NORWAC (the Northwest Astrological Conference) in May, and at GLAC (the Great Lakes Astrology Conference) in June. Because of the pandemic, ALL of these events will be online, and are open to participants from anywhere in the world.