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Mercury and the Bubble

Nobody sees the bubble until it pops

Mercury Retrograde in November

Mercury in Libra went into its shadow Oct 29, which coincided with a $4 trillion dollar meltdown of the world's stock markets. Mercury will go retrograde at 5 degrees Ophiuchus on November 16. It will drag back through Scorpio November 25-29 and Libra December 1-6, before it starts going direct again. The post shadow will last until December 24.

At its most advanced point it will be in 5 degrees Ophiuchus, then pull back through Scorpio and Libra, before it returns to Ophiuchus on December 21.

What does all this mean? Let's use Apple stock as a barometer of Mercury's movements. Apple is the world's richest company, with a cap of over a trillion dollars, but between October 24-19, its stock plunged over 10 points, taking the NASDAQ index and the markets in general completely by surprise, causing a massive downturn in global markets, and pulling the other tech stocks, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Netflicks down with it. Apple had been leading the charge to new highs, mostly due to share buybacks, since July. All of the gains since then were wiped out in a few hours of trading.

On November 1, in spite of some major manipulation to bring the price of Apple back to its October highs, it fell again to new lows, losing over 20 points.

This painful collapse and retrenchment can illustrate the a more universal experience, as we are being dragged back through every sordid and violent recreation of the past, from another vitriolic Trump political campaign, more sickening serial murders, a worsening of the trade war with China, and naked military aggression as US imperialism makes a bid to crush all opposition to its dollar-domination.

On the personal level, the Uranus-Venus opposition, both of them in retrograde and part of a t-square, active since September, has instigated new extremes of polarity, division, divorce, hatred and sudden endings to our complacency and comfort levels. The alacrity with which we are decending into barbarism, genocide, corruption, dictatorship, and overall cruelty is shocking and beyond belief.

Mercury's journey in this retrograde period will involve Libra, Scorpio and Ophiuchus. Things will start to unravel as Mercury in Libra becomes unbalanced, then plunges into daedly conflict in Scorpio, when our worst secrets are exposed, and finally Ophiuchus, when the persecution of the weak and outliers will reach a fever pitch.

The Three Phases of Mercury Retrograde

Oct 29-Nov 15
Nov 16-Dec 5
Dec 6-24

The Pre-Shadow
Oct 29-Nov 15

US troops preparing for the "invasion" of refugees.
Image: NBC news

It's so easy to be cruel

Donald Trump ignited a media-frenzy and drove his supporters into apoplexy at the idea of thousands of starving, homeless refugees crossing the Mexican border. This may get his candidates elected in the mid-term, but the long term effect is a dangerous descent into savagry and brutality. This signals other governments that they, too can terrorize civilians at will. The doors to the US border may be closed, but the portal to cruelty will be flung open, reminiscent of a biblical slaughter of the innocents. It signals a return to the rule of the patriarchy, the violence men perpetrate against women, and the mindless greed of the least evolved among us. It's their ability to scatter us in fear that will mark the beginning of the end of any peaceful resolution to our problems.

In the pre-shadow, things sneak up on us, and beforer we can react, it's already too late. This can be the most perilous time, because we can think that things are normal, when they are actually spiralling out of control.

Nov 16-Dec 6

Recounting the ballots. Image by Andy Manis

By the time Mercury actually goes retrograde, it may be already too late to avoid blunders. Disputes over the mid-term election, and rigged voting, voter suppression, and lost ballots will be a likely consequence. Legal challanges to the results are almost a foregone conclusion, especially in states like Georgia, where a victory by the Secretary of State Kemp, who is also the Republican candidate, will be called into question due to his chicanery. In the event that Stacey Abrams wins, the Republicans will try to block her from assuming office.

In general, the retrograde phase will impede forward movement, and individuals should not try to force the issue, instead working backwards to check for any errors in judgment or wishful thinking.

* Don't enter into any new contracts, engagements, or binding situation. Don't sign anything. Don't start a new job (unless it's temporary) Everything can wait until Dec. 24.

* There's no way to move forward. You'll have to go back and build yourself up again. As we are pulled back into Scorpio and Libra, we will have to find the strength to resist, and regain our humanity to find others willing to join us.

* Repair personal relations. Square things with family and friends. Keep the channels of communication open. We all need each other, so reach out to others.

* Forgive yourself. It's not your fault. This is the worst in human nature, you're just in shock, but the bottom will be reached if you can keep your head above water. Don't isolate yourself.

* Help and share. Embrace those in worse shape than you.

In the larger social realm, a lot of people will be stretched to the breaking point, tensions will be high and this retrograde will be littered with victims, before justice can be meted out to the madmen who are attacking the social fabric of our lives. It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and feel depressed and alienated. We are our only protection from the cannibalistic mania that's sucking the life out of the economy, and our humanity.

Dec 6-24

The fox jumps over the icy stream

The time it takes Mercury to get back to speed and back at its original starting position is called the Post-Shadow, and this period can be as shaky as the retrograde period itself. Even worse if you believe that all obstacles have been cleared, or that the what you see is what you are getting. In this phase of retrograde, rather than plunge ahead, see if you can stall an important decision. Spend the Post Shadow period looking into the details, considering what you have done, and take smaller steps forward. Keep your eyes and ears open; things can knock you out just as you are crossing the finish line. It's a good time to study your failures and learn from your enemies. Look for what can still break down; it could still happen now. Don’t go looking for the grand slam or a big breakthrough, be satisfied with fixing what has been broken or throwing out what is spoiled; be humble. Nothing is perfect, but improvements are possible.

* Don't jump at desperate solutions. Accept the possibility that any decision may be flawed in some way, at least in the short run, and not get trapped into an untenable position. Expect wrinkles in the plans and commitments you have made. Hold on to your basic principles but do not act on them until you are in a stronger position.

* Don't forget the forest for the trees. Don't loose sight of the bigger picture, even though you'll be centered on your own emotional struggle. No one is an island, and stay focused on events which though out of your control, directly effect you.

The Post Shadow warns us to stay cautious, don't take the bait even though it seems like you MUST make a decision. Rushing into things now would be like the Zen parable of the fox jumping over the stream--he gets his tail wet and is humiliated. The rules of the Shadow are: if you aren't all in, or are not willing and able to confront whatever problems you encounter down the line--then don't sign up to something you might regret later. It's always more complicated than you imagine at the end of the line. You're not home free--yet.

Although things will gradually improve during this period, it's still not 100%. This is a time for reflection, regeneration and regrouping. Your ego may have already taken a beating, let it heal and don't lead with your chin again for a while! Learn from previous broken dreams and schemes. Mercury is going direct, but hasn't yet reached where it was before it began, 19 degrees Libra, which will occur Dec. 24.

It's Over!
Dec. 24

You made it.

Why worry about Mercury Retrograde?

The Mercury Conundrum
The Backstory

The idea that a Mercurial illusion can drop the bomb on our day-to-day activities is controversial. It's always hard to assign a cause to our troubles, and this seems like a longshot. However, something as old, revered and feared is still part of our human consciousness and can't be ignored.

Of course, Mercury doesn't really move backward; it just appears that way from Earth. This occurs two or three times a year, according to the differences in the orbital speed of the planets. This optical trick fooled our ancestors for eons, until the first astrologers, who would become our astronomers, figured out that our own eyes could lie to us! The meaning of this anomaly has been debated for thousands of years of astrological lore and human observation.

Mercury Retrograde isn't really a thing. Nothing is really happening in the real world, the planets go about their business as usual. This is strictly an earth-bound mind-fuck. The Mercury Retrograde problem is literally only going on in our own heads.

Then why is such a non-event so difficult to get through? Only us humans are accountable to these mental hiccups, it seems. The retrograde dance of Mercury is a trick where the eye deceives the brain. Mercury is advancing normally, systematically, but what we view in the sky is Mercury slowing to a crawl, stopping, moving backward, and stopping again to restart a forward motion. Ancient humans were by turns terrified and confused by this, and passed the feelings down through the generations.

The sense of confusion seems to still exist in spite of the fact we know that it's because Earth's orbit is moving us faster than Mercury, at least for a few weeks, 3 or 4 times a year. It's as simple as the famous example of two trains side by side going at different speeds, causing the slower one to appear to move backwards.

The apparent motion of Mercury disoriented our ancestors. We still retain that sting of vulnerability. The visceral reaction to Mercury retrograde carries over to modern generations the same way any long-held belief does, as a collectively held suspicion, some might say superstition, around unexplained phenomena.

The Mercury Retrograde experience teaches us caution and fear of the unknown. When we have blind faith in success, the less prepared we are for any delays or other obstacles which could prevent it.

The long-held notion that Mercury is already the ruler of tricks and quick transactions makes its retrograde a time when we would notice our weaknesses to overconfidence the most. Such as when we try something that we haven't fully vetted, trust in someone we don't really know, or fall for a slick sales pitch or Ponzi scheme. Mercury retrograde isn't as much about Mercury as it is about us and out assumptions. The skies are merely a backdrop for all the drama we cause for ourselves on our Earthy stage.

Music by Ophiuchus

The Works of Zearle (Double Ophiuchus)




Comparison of the Zodiac systems





Aries Mar 21 - April 20 April 15 - May 15 April 19 - May 13
Taurus April 21 - May 20 May 16 - June 15 May 14 - June 19
Gemini May 21 - June 20 June 16 - July 15 June 20 - July 20
Cancer June 21 - July 21 July 16 - Aug 15 July 21 - Aug 9
Leo July 22 Aug 22 Aug 16 - Sep 15 Aug 10 – Sep 15
Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22 Sep 16 - Oct 15 Sept 16 – Oct 30
Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22 Oct 16 - Nov 15 Oct 31– Nov 22
Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Nov 16 - Dec 15 Nov 23 – Nov 29
Ophiuchus NA NA Nov 30 – Dec 17
Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 Dec 16 - Jan 14 Dec 18– Jan 18
Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 20 Jan 15 - Feb 14 Jan 19 – Feb 15
Aquarius Jan 21 - Feb 19 Feb 15 - Mar 14 Feb 16– Mar 11
Pisces Feb 20 - Mar 20 Mar 15 - April 14 Mar 12 – April 18


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These books are for 12-sign astrology; However, aspect and transiting angles are the same in all systems.

Go to our Ophiuchus Rising page for the meanings of the angles, planets and asteroids in Ophiuchus

Key Words for Astrology -- Paperback
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Sextrology: The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes -- Paperback By Stella Starsky, Quinn Cox
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Transits Simplified -- Paperback
by Sakoian & Acker
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Astrology of Human Relationships -- Paperback
by Frances Sakoian
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