(Nov. 9, 2000)A member of the media phoned me today to ask if I thought that the phenomena of Mercury Retrograde on Election Day 2000 contributed to the ballot confusion, the premature media announcements and retractions, and all the recounts that ensued. He was working on a news story that examined that question.
Well, it all couldn't sound more like Mercury Retrograde. Here's why.
The planet Mercury moves in apparent retrograde (or backward) motion for a period of several weeks about three times each year. During these periods, Mercury, known as the "messenger of the gods" in classical mythology, often delivers mixed-up messages.
Because Mercury is temporarily moving backward in its orbit (seen from the Earth's perspective), its retrograde influence often spells confusion and the necessity for repeating things a second time. Glitches seem to develop in all types of communication and transportation. Many people don't start a project under Mercury Retrograde, not if they want it to run smoothly.
Well, Mercury turned retrograde on October 18, 2000, at 15 degrees of Scorpio. It slowed way down (making its influence even stronger) to turn direct at 29 degrees of Libra on Nov. 7, 2000--Election Day-- U.S.A.
The actual shift occurred at 9:20 p.m. EST, 6:20 p.m. PST. The events of that day and those that ensued were typical of retrograde Mercury at its worst. People made mistakes. Both the media and the candidates announced and retracted, announced and retracted. Ballots were said to be confusing. The vote from the state of Florida had to be recounted. Citizens from Palm Beach County encountered confusing ballots, many of which were punched twice and had to be rejected.
Anyone with planets at the sensitive points in the zodiac where Mercury made its station retrograde--15 degrees of Scorpio--and the degree where it made its station direct--29 degrees of Libra--would have been particularly affected. But countries, states and cities also have horoscopes, as I pointed out in my book, Moving to Success: The Astrology of Location, (Llewellyn, 1999). Their charts are usually based on their incorporation or founding dates.
Well, guess what! When I looked up the horoscope of West Palm Beach, Florida, I discovered why all eyes were on that city that day. No wonder they were demanding a recount because of a confusing ballot and numerous other problems. Mercury made its backward trip right over almost half of their planets. It went retrograde on the planet Uranus in their chart at 15 Scorpio, promising many reversals and surprises ahead. It continued back over the community's Sun and Venus, and ended up directly on West Palm Beach's Saturn. Saturn in its chart, symbolic of restrictions and hardships, is at 29 Libra-- the very degree of the very sign where Mercury sat on Election Day--2000.
How long will all this last before we know who our new President will be? Well, the Mercury retrograde period is not really over until Mercury goes forward to 15 degrees Scorpio, where it went retrograde. That will be around November 23/24, 2000, on the Thanksgiving Holidays. Hopefully, the confusion, recounts, and inclusion of absentee ballots may begin to be finalized by then, and we'll all have something to be thankful for.