Mercury, the planetary energy relating to communication and movement, will be moving stationary retrograde on September 24 until October 15, 2008. Mercury will not really move backward, but appear to from Earth’s vantage point. For about three weeks three times a year, Mercury’s appearance of being retrograde serves as a time to remember to put the “re” prefix in front of everything you do: rethink, reconfirm, review, renegotiate, repair, revise, redo, reconnect, reinvent, retry, etc.
Mercury is retrograde in Libra, the sign symbolized by the scales of balance and justice. Libra represents our relationships with other people, particularly marriage and other committed partnerships. Mercury retrograde in Libra can create communication difficulties in relationships but it can also be a time to reconnect with past relationships and, if there had been difficulties, offers the opportunity to repair them.
Mercury has been in Libra since the August 30 Virgo New Moon and will remain here until November 4. Mercury in Libra emphasizes the importance of taking into account and respecting the other person’s point of view, regardless of whether or not you agree with their position. According to researchers at UCLA, a fair offer sparks the same brain pathways that get ignited when a person wins money or eats their favorite sweet treat – not surprising since Libra is ruled by Venus.
Venus also rules Taurus, the sign of banking and finance. The Libra side of Venus represents parties coming together to consummate financial arrangements. A bank (Taurus) cannot exist without having relationships (Libra) with depositors and borrowers. It’s interesting that “relationship banking” has become the banking industry’s marketing mantra of the last few years. The more accounts and services a customer has (relationships) with the bank, the more benefits the customer receives.
Since Mercury has been in Libra, we have witnessed an acceleration of financial agreements and arrangements that have collapsed. From counterparties refusing to trade with one another, banks refusing to lend to one another, to the government taking majority control of companies and making financial arrangements that tip Libra’s scales in favor of one group of financial interests over another.
On September 23, Mercury will conjoin Mars in Libra. As I wrote in that post, “There’s a tendency to act too fast. Agreements could come together quickly, but are not likely to last.” Let me add that if they do last, there’s a strong probability they will require revision. With his Sun conjoining Mercury in Mars-ruled Aries, Treasury Secretary Paulson (aka “Hurricane Hank”), works fast to begin with. His natal Venus in Aries challenges his Mars and Saturn in Cancer and challenges his Jupiter in Libra (where Mercury will retrograde). He operates by selling fear (Saturn) that without swift action (Mars), the financial system (Venus) and home prices (Cancer) will collapse big-time (Jupiter). When people are rushed and pushed to act quickly, they can’t fully absorb all the details. They also don’t listen as carefully as they should to what the other person is saying. Mercury retrograde periods exist so that movement slows down and we can better evaluate what’s happening. Mercury retrograde in Libra offers the opportunity to fully consider arrangements and contractual agreements. If these agreements are truly going to make a difference, they must be fair and mutually beneficial to all parties.
Whether or not the politicians and the media consciously realize it, the “mother of all bailouts” (the name for Treasury Secretary Paulson’s proposal for the government to buy Wall Street’s toxic waste in order to “minimize the cost to the taxpayers”), aptly describes Mercury in Libra going retrograde in the house of the USA chart representing the government/Executive Branch, challenging the USA’s natal Mercury in Cancer. Cancer rules mothers and real estate, and Mercury in Cancer is in the house of the USA chart representing debt and distressed assets. As described in a previous post, the USA Mercury in Cancer opposes natal Pluto in Capricorn in the house representing banking and the financial system. This means that financial arrangements tend to favor the most influential and powerful people and companies – the plutocrats. And Paulson’s bailout plan gives him (and whoever succeeds him), greater powers than the President has. Mercury retrograde conjoins the Treasury Department’s natal Neptune, reflecting the enormous immunity Treasury would receive from Congressional and legal oversight. Several Republicans are upset over the proposal’s potential power to dissolve contracts. With the Sun approaching a square to Jupiter in Capricorn, and Jupiter about to exactly oppose the USA and President Bush’s Sun in Cancer, it's likely Congress will pass a plan of Jupiter-sized proportions. And it will likely be a plan that the nation later regrets.
Mercury retrograde also conjoins SEC Chairman Cox’s Neptune and Sun in Libra. Now that he’s in hyperdrive against short sellers, Cox was eager to please other companies by issuing an order this morning including 30 more “financial” stocks that temporarily cannot be shorted, including General Electric (GE) and General Motors (GM).
Mercury retrogrades on natal Jupiter in Libra for the founding of the New York Stock Exchange, raising the potential that the market will trade in big moves in either direction and be largely driven by news events involving financial arrangements/deals. One deal that might not take place is the government’s $85 billion loan and 79.9% equity stake in American International Group (AIG). Mercury retrograde conjoins Venus in Libra in the deal announced by the Federal Reserve on September 16. The deal must be approved by the shareholders; the largest shareholders are already using the interim time to devise a plan to sell assets to raise the money AIG needs to avoid full government intervention.
Keep in mind that during Mercury retrograde the markets tend to diverge from their previous trading pattern; actually it can be difficult to discern any pattern. With Libra’s ruler Venus in Scorpio during the retrograde, watch for previously secret information to surface regarding these financial arrangements.
One chart I had mistakenly neglected was the chart for the incorporation of New York City. Mercury will retrograde in the house representing its identity and the residents’ outlook, challenging its natal Mercury in Capricorn located in the house representing real estate. The planetary energies prominent during the September 15 Harvest Moon affected many planets in the city’s chart. Now through at least the first half of 2009, look to be especially challenging for the city.
Mercury retrograde can be a good time to contact people/companies you were unable to establish a business relationship with in the past. It’s also a good time to houseclean; you never know what valuable items you might find! Here are some suggestions that are good to follow anytime, but tend to become more important during Mercury retrograde:
- Reconfirm all appointments (even the most casual get togethers) and travel arrangements. Allow extra time to reach your destination as Mercury retrograde can create weird weather that increases travel delays.
- Frequently backup computer files, run full security scans, and change passwords.
- Make sure all electronic devices are adequately charged.
- Thoroughly review and understand all documents before signing them.
- Check financial statements as soon as you receive them, ditto for bills.
Mercury Retrograde in 2009:
January 11 – February 1 (Mercury in Aquarius moves back into Capricorn)
May 07 – May 30 (Mercury in Gemini moves back into Taurus)
September 07 – September 29 (Mercury in Libra moves back into Virgo)
December 26 – January 15, 2010 (Mercury in Capricorn)
Check out the Weekly Forecast for information on each day’s planetary energies.