Mercury Retrograde and the Debt Crisis

by Dena DeCastro

Dena DeCastro Astrologer

The current shenanigans on Capitol Hill would almost be amusing to watch if the potential repercussions were not so serious. (OK, I did laugh quite a lot at McCain going off on his own party calling their plan “bizarro.”) But throughout most of the current Debt Ceiling Crisis, I have been watching in mounting disbelief as the government plays an extended game of “chicken” with our economy. I noted with apprehension that the deadline for the Debt Ceiling to be raised is August 2nd – the very same day Mercury Stations retrograde. I looked to the Mercury Station Chart, and its transits to the U.S. Chart in order to get a sense of what kind of situation we might be looking at in August. I also considered the overall transits for the U.S. in the upcoming month.

Mercury stations retrograde at 1 degree Virgo, and will be retrograde through August 26th. At the onset of its retrograde, Mercury opposes the U.S. Natal Moon in late Aquarius. The Natal Moon resides in the 3rd house of communication, while transiting Mercury opposes it from the 9th house of ideology, religion, and law. Mercury will be applying (gaining strength) in its opposition to the U.S. Moon as it moves backward, hitting the exact opposition degree on August 12th. It recently passed that exact point in its forward movement last weekend, when things began to look even more hopeless in terms of finding a plan, and the frustration and anger became more palpable. The ability of our government to come up with an ingenious, inventive solution (3rd House-Aquarius) is severely limited by backward thinking and dogmatism (Mercury Retrograde opposing from the 9th House). Transiting Mercury Retrograde in the 9th also does not bode well for the successful passing of laws and bills.

Transiting Mercury Retrograde will oppose transiting Neptune, in range for about the first half of August. Neptune moves back into Aquarius on August 4th and moves closer again to its conjunction to the Natal Moon. The U.S. Moon is under great stress during the time of the retrograde, as the Mercury-Neptune opposition is triggering the U.S. Moon during that time. There is potential trickery and even downright deceit involved as these proceedings move forward. The Neptune-Moon influence can bring (further) disillusionment and a feeling of overwhelm to the U.S. mood.

The Neptune transit has been going on for about two years, as our rebellious, revolutionary spirit (Moon in Aquarius) has been eroded and depleted (Neptune) by the ongoing economic crisis. But now, these themes come to a climax as Neptune reaches its last few months of being in range of the Moon, and retrograde Mercury triggers this sensitive point.

The U.S. Saturn Return also comes to a peak at the end of the month, on August 28th. Even though it does not become exact until after Mercury goes direct, the Saturn Return is applying and within one degree through most of the month, making it even stronger. The U.S. natal Saturn (and thus the return) is in the natal 10th house of reputation, destiny, and public persona. And at the same time, Saturn squares the U.S. Sun in the 7th house of partnerships. This is certainly a time wherein alliances (7th House) both internally and externally are beyond strained, and a feeling of restriction (Saturn) is pervasive. Mercury stationing retrograde on the date of the deadline may present another problem: even if the two sides do manage to cobble together some kind of a plan by Tuesday, it could well be riddled with unforeseen problems (Mercury Retrograde opposed Neptune).

The hope lies with the U.S. making an optimal response to the Saturn Return: to take responsibility, and to act with maturity and wisdom. President Obama embodied the Saturn spirit when he spoke to congress saying it was time to “Pull off the band-aid [and] eat our peas.” Unfortunately, that was three weeks ago, and nobody appears to be eating any peas.

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