Culture

Total Solar Eclipse, Mercury Retrograde: What If Astrology Determined Our Political Future? It Looks Pretty Worrisome

Astrologists explain how Mercury retrograde and a total solar eclipse could impact our politics.

Photo Credit: Maryna Stamatova / Shutterstock

If you’ve noticed strange and frustrating occurrences happening since August 12, the astrologically inclined will inform you of the cause: Mercury is in retrograde. (If you’ve noticed strange and frustrating occurrences happening since November 8 or January 20, you can blame a certain someone with an inferiority complex over some similarities he bears to the first planet in our solar system: relatively smaller in scale, limited in range/orbit, close in color to the sun, and capable of going backwards and ruining things in the process.) 

Whether or not you believe in astrology, Mercury retrograde has arrived—and until September 5, believers are prepared for the havoc it will cause. The phenomenon refers to the orbit of Mercury in which the planet appears to be moving backward. With the retrograde, astrologists believe, comes a slew of unexplained meddling in all types of communication, from technology and transportation to contracts, agreements and interpersonal relationships.  

Adding to the astrological meltdown, a total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. on August 21. The moon will cross between Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on us, and the effect is a darkening of the skies with only a bright ring of the sun’s rays visible. (Check out NASA’s tips on how to view the eclipse safely.)

Some believe that what comes with the overlap of Mercury retrograde and the total solar eclipse is not merely a change in orbit or the moon covering the sun, but astrological effects that in some ways work against and with one another. As Mercury wreaks havoc on communication, the eclipse will “usually open a door to something new,” as astrologer Susan Miller told AlterNet.

At astrology’s core, an individual’s personality, behavior, character and qualities are determined by the date, time and place in which they were born. Of the celestial bodies that affect human behavior, our sun is the most important in astrology. It defines “the core of a person, the inner-self… describing a general tone of being which colors everything else,” says astrology help-guide Astrodienst. In conjunction with one’s sun sign is their ascendant, the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon at their time of birth. This defines how a person is perceived by others. Then comes the moon, which represents our inner feelings and emotions. Finally, the planets in our solar system outline how we deal with characteristics such as drive, reason or pleasure.

If the position of the sun, stars, moon and planets affects the ways we deal with different aspects of life, could the cosmos be to blame for certain aspects of politics as well? Miller believes so.

We can begin our tour through the astrological rabbit hole by considering how the zodiac birth chart will affect each and every individual in Washington, from President Trump to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to special prosecutor Robert Mueller, in the coming months.

Born in mid-June, Donald Trump is a Gemini. Geminis are typically clever and fast-talking with a tendency to talk “too much,” which often “works against them,” says Miller. Sound familiar? Trump’s rising sign is in Leo. As has been exemplified throughout the entirety of Trump’s campaign, Leo-risings crave and attract attention, are acutely aware of how they are perceived, and at their core, are often self-indulgent. We see that in Trump’s lavish, eponymous NYC skyscraper. “You just feel the Leo in him, right?” Miller goads. “You can tell.” She would recommend that Trump see a doctor ASAP, as the solar eclipse, which will be in Leo, can be difficult for one’s health if Leo is in their rising sign. 

In Trump’s array of Cabinet members and closest advisers—both old and new—we find a stable of Capricorns: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Mike Flynn, Anthony Scaramucci, Betsy DeVos, and Steven Mnuchin. In the days to come, Saturn will move into the Capricorn region, and with that comes some kind of realization, Miller cautions.

“Saturn is the lessons we learn in life. It will only give you what you need. If we’ve fallen off the track, Saturn will force you back,” Miller says. “Saturn is a hard teacher. He uses tough love, but he gets the best out of you. But if you’ve done anything wrong, well, Saturn lets you know that too.”

But it’s the birth chart of Robert Mueller that stands out most prominently for Miller. Mueller’s birthday was just two weeks back (making him a Leo), when there was a full moon eclipse—which to Miller, means “everything you’re doing reaches a culmination within that year.” (This would stand in opposition to political analysts’ claims that the Russia investigation could go on for years.) With a moon in Aries, it’s clear that Mueller “leads things. He’s afraid of nothing, the warrior who goes onto the field of battle.” His moon also signifies his dedication to the truth, that he “puts every fact through six spins,” Miller says.

She continues, “Mueller is the kind of person…[who leaves] absolutely no stone unturned. He has Uranus in Gemini, and I would think…he’s a brilliant writer. Everything here says when he forms a report, it's thorough, it's clear, it's lucid, it's easy to understand. He takes everything to heart.”

Going back to August’s Mercury retrograde and total solar eclipse: What will they bring?

It’s impossible to predict where Mercury will take Washington, but looking at the news of this past week, it’s obvious Mercury in retrograde is having some fun at our expense. Trump just announced the end to his Manufacturing Council and Strategic & Policy Forum after four CEOs dropped out in a matter of days. Exhibiting his poor communication skills, Trump also went back on his statement condemning white supremacy and neo-Nazism by identifying adherents of the “alt-left” as a source of the violence.

Solar eclipses, on the other hand, “usually open a door to something new,” says Miller: “With an eclipse, something going on in another part of the world comes to your doorstep, and you have to deal with it. [North Korea, perhaps?] It also brings a tremendous amount of light and information and truth, that suddenly makes you understand a situation so much better.”

Astrologer Chani Nicholas, who says the retrograde and eclipse periods are a time to “remove what has no right to take up space,” saw her advice come into fruition when on early Wednesday morning, the city of Baltimore removed all four of its Confederate statues.

With the eclipse, which may be felt most by the U.S.—much of the country will be directly beneath its path—Miller says, “they say ‘a king leaves his position.’ It could be for any reason. It could be, I don’t feel like being a royal anymore. Or, I don’t feel like being a president anymore. Or illness, like the Pope: I don’t think I can do this.” For any reason, there may be a vacant space in authority this coming Monday. 

Conveniently, Trump just fired his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who, according to Nicholas, was born in the 28th degree of Leo, as is Monday's eclipse and as is the Commander in Chief's moon, "hence the strong pull to eachother and the ultimate bromance breakup."

Most of all, what America may take from this phenomenon is “something from the past coming back to be readdressed,” Miller says. “I think we’re already starting to feel it.”

Whether or not you take astrology with a grain of salt, this much feels not destined to be fake news.

Jennie Neufeld is a junior writing fellow at AlterNet. She has previously worked for the Observer, the Wild and Nylon Magazine. Follow her on twitter @jennieneufeld

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