mercuryMercury turns Retrograde today (3:04 pm Pacific), a planetary event associated with technical malfunctions, miscommunication and confusion – and, for the first time in U.S. history, coinciding with a presidential election. Already, due to Hurricane Sandy and various shenanigans, there is Mercury-Retro-esque disruption in the voting realm, and we should not be surprised if (at the very least) results are delayed.

Although this is the first time that Mercury has turned Retrograde on Election Day, it’s the second time that Mercury has stationed – appeared to change directions. At the 2000 election, Mercury also stationed, turning from Retrograde to Direct (forward), and although Gore was elected by popular vote, Bush was installed into office. Eric Francis of Planet Waves has covered the Mercury Retrograde Election Day topic in detail and his analysis is worth reading.

Fear and Power – Pluto in Capricorn

Before delving more deeply into Mercury Retro, I want to touch base with the larger story of our time – Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024), signaling the death and rebirth of world leadership, systems of power and social structures. The Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-2015 catalyzes and accelerates this process of transformation, and now that Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn) is in Scorpio (the sign associated with Pluto) for the next few years, the pressure is even more intensified.

saturnWithin the context of massive societal change, on an individual level, our Pluto in Capricorn/Saturn in Scorpio work is to reclaim our power. Saturn and Capricorn rule both authority and fear, and I love how Caroline Casey spells out the relationship between the two:  “Fear is a symptom of loss of authority; when we give away our authority, we should be afraid.” (Making the Gods Work for You)

US politics, like the rest of the culture, runs on fear. As I wrote in a previous post: In a culture of fear, we’re more likely to give away our power. If I’m operating from fear, then I will buy the product that promises to make me more attractive, or vote for the candidate who promises to keep me safe, or take the vaccine that promises to keep me healthy, or keep my mouth shut when an election is stolen or water is turned into private property or civilian populations are bombarded with missiles. (Transforming Fear)

To access our power, we need to do the emotional work of processing our fear, and this Election Day – when the frequency of fear is especially available – presents a powerful opportunity. On a personal level, we have precious little control over what the outcome will be. Our “choices” are narrowed down to two corrupt, corporate-owned candidates, and, in this era of electronic voting machines, our votes may be worthless anyway (see Black Box Voting).

scorpioThe shadow expression of Pluto in Capricorn/Saturn in Scorpio would be to see the truth of how corrupt the system has become, and sink into despair, cynicism, and powerlessness. The higher expression is to recognize that there’s a reason why systemic corruption is so unignorably in our faces right now – because the old ways are dying and something new is ready to be born. And, to identify how you may be contributing to the old system by feeding it with your fear, and to heal that fear so you feel empowered to create the new.

Just because we cannot control the outcome does not mean we’re powerless. Our power is in our response to events that are beyond our control, and we are “voting” with our frequency – our emotional and energetic state – in every single moment. What are you voting for?

And now, back to Mercury Retrograde…

When a planet is Retrograde, all the RE- words apply – renew, redo, review, regenerate, etc. Mercury stations in Sagittarius, setting the theme of reconnecting with our own truth, which we accomplish by slowing down outer activity and turning our attention inward. This theme is reinforced by Mercury’s “mutual reception” with Jupiter in Gemini, also Retrograde. Mutual reception is when two planets are in each other’s sign – i.e., Mercury rules Gemini, and Jupiter rules Sagittarius.

neptuneAs Mercury reverses, he forms a challenging square (90-degree angle) to Neptune in Pisces, an influence that characterizes this Retrograde and will be exact (strongest) three times – October 29, November 13 and December 11. While Mercury rules perception, communication and the media, Neptune is the planet of confusion, deception and delusion. When we look outside ourselves for the truth, when we surrender our authority to define the truth, we are easily deceived.

The higher potential of the Mercury-Neptune square is to expand our perception to access higher states of consciousness and to increase connection and communication with our invisible allies of the spirit realm. This takes quieting our minds and dropping into deeper levels of awareness. Access to the invisible is especially available right now as today is Samhain, the “cross-quarter” holy day that has devolved into our modern Halloween. Astrologically, the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio, marking the exact midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.

Mercury will reverse back into Scorpio as of November 13, and then start moving forward again on November 26. In Scorpio and Sagittarius, this Mercury Retro wants us to revisit and heal old emotional complexes, places where we’ve become stuck in old patterns of thinking and feeling, so that we can more easily access our inner truth and higher vision.

For more insight into what this Mercury Retro is about for YOU, find the house or houses that contain 18 degrees Scorpio to 4 degrees Sagittarius. The areas of life signified by that house or those houses are where you are invited to: revisit and process pain from the past; uncover a deeper level of truth and authenticity; rewrite your vision for the future; and renew your faith and inspiration.

– Emily Trinkaus