Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autumnal Equinox, Mercury Retrograde

Autumnal Equinox 9/22/08
The Autumnal Equinox occurs on Monday, September 22nd. It marks the brief astronomical moment when light and dark are in balance. After the autumnal equinox the power of the sun begins to wane. Nights begin to grow longer than days until the Winter Solstice in December. Ancient people like the Mayans, Egyptians and Druids used architectural markers to observe these seasonal shifts and set their calendars. The autumnal equinox signaled the fall harvest, which, if you think about it, is the harvest of sunlight that was collected and stored by the plants all summer long to be used during the fall and winter when the sunlight is weak. It is a symbolic time to assess what you have collected and what needs to be released. Like a tree releases its leaves that become compost for the next year, we too must let go of what no longer serves us and return to our core, our roots.

Mercury Retrograde 9/24/08 - 10/15/08
This week Mercury makes its last retrograde pattern of the year in its own sign, or moolatrikona, as well as its sign of exaltation. It stations at 12:17 am at 28 degrees of Virgo. The first planet from the sun rules thinking and perception, as well as communication, commerce, education and transportation. Astrologers often describe its three-week retrograde period as a challenging time for these activities. The effects of this retrograde period may be amplified because an exalted planet is going retrograde. In Vedic astrology a retrograde planet is interpreted at being more powerful, especially on the days that it stations. Even a debilitated planet may becomes so much stronger that the negative effects are reversed in what's called a neecha banga raja yoga. However, an exalted planet, like this one, is believed to lose power to the point of debilitation. Mercury will be at its exaltation point of 15 degrees on Friday, October 10, 2008. This is a date to hold your highest intentions and not allow fear or propaganda distract your heart from the truth.

This reversal is not good news for the recent global economic disaster. As Mercury rules commerce, it may indicate that consumer confidence declines or that trade becomes debilitated. In addition Mercury rules communication and the media, so the truth may be hard to discern at this time as well. Any deal that is signed under its influence is bound to be reversed once Mercury goes direct. Moreover this retrograde occurs in the 8th house of the US Scorpionic America chart. The 8th house represents taxes, debt, death, conspiracies and hidden matters. Yikes! More grim debt details may be revealed, or even worse kept from the public. Even now conspiracy websites are full of speculation on a war with Iran, delayed elections, and financial collapse. The occupation of Iraq was started on another equinox, March 20, 2003 during which time Mercury was also debilitated thus allowing disinformation to be presented by the media. Ironically Mercury also rules tricksters and thieves. So perhaps during this debilitating Mercury retrograde, it is the liars who will be revealed.

Although I'm not a political astrologer, I couldn't help but look at the charts of the two presidential candidates. This Mercury retrograde falls on the 24 degree Virgo ascendant of John McCain's natal chart. His chart ruler thus debilitated will not serve him at all during the first two presidential debates on 9/26/08 and 10/7/08; but it may give him a boost on 10/15/08 as it stations and regains its exaltation strength. However, I am more concerned about his health during this period -- especially lung (ie skin cancer as the lungs rules the skin in Chinese medicine) and nervous system related illnesses. This retrograde may not be so difficult for Barack Obama as Mercury retrogrades in his 9th house which rules philosophy, law, spirituality, father, higher education and good fortune. Mercury also rules his 6th house of enemies, so opponents may become debilitated (again not good news for John McCain). My biggest concern is what happens if John McCain becomes too sick to complete his campaign? Who then heads the GOP ticket? Mercury goes stationary direct on October 15, 2008 at 13 degrees Virgo. It was last at this point during the Republican National Convention when Sarah Palin was revealed as the Vice Presidential nominee. I wonder how Mercury's return to this point in time and space will bring new information forward that was not knowable at that time -- like the woman is not qualified to be next in line for the presidency of the United States.

And one last note, as Mercury rules the lungs and nervous system it is important not to get too run down as the possibility of an early flu season is high -- especially with all the national and global stresses going on in the business/political arenas right now. There have been predictions of a virulent flu or pandemic, so it might be wise stock up on immune boosting supplements like elderberry extract, zinc, echinacea, yin qiao and gan mao ling. You can boost both the immune and nervous system by regular meditation practice. This practice is perhaps the best remedy for Mercury retrograde, a time when our mental energies are directed internally.