Messy Mercury Elections


Here’s to Mercury Direct!

Ah, Mercury Retrograde. The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (pictured with Barack Obama) was elected on a Mercury station and had to wait weeks until she knew the job belonged to her.  Will the same election mess affect the American president as he takes on Mitt Romney in 2012?

One of the most chaotic Australian elections in years took place on  Saturday, 21 August 2010 between Labor’s Julia Gillard and the Coalition leader Tony Abbott. Labor and the Coalition each won 72 seats –  four short of the number required for a majority government. Thus Australia headed for a hung parliament. Mercury’s shadow, station and retrograde periods always leave us hanging, so hung parliaments and hanging chads (which characterised the Bush-Gore Mercury Retrograde election) are typical.

Mercury was stationary on Australian election day  in 2010 at 19 Virgo and turned fully retrograde on Sunday 22nd August . It was not until 14 September that Julia Gillard became the Prime Minister – sworn in on the same day that Mercury turned direct. 

The Australian Moon is at 13 Virgo, so Mercury Retrograde was conjunct that very sensitive spot during this peculiar time, when the fate of Australian politics hung in the air, along with Mercury himself, hanging in Virgo like the Hanged Man in the Tarot deck.


The United Kingdom election of 2010 was held on Thursday 6th May and it was another Mercury Retrograde mess. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. The Conservative Party led by David Cameron won the largest number of votes and seats but still fell twenty seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament and the current strange blend of left-right leaders in charge of Britain. Who really won and who is actually in charge? There are still times when even the UK media does not know.


Astrologers know, of course, that Mercury Retrograde doesn’t automatically result in a hung parliament or hanging chads.  The notorious Mercury Retrograde  transit has to be put in context with other transits – and then judged in the light of the national horoscope, as well as the charts of the contenders for the top job.

Mercury was at 4 Taurus, retrograde, on election day in Britain on May 6th 2010. The UK Union chart set for 1 January 1801 (00.00 LMT, Westminster) shows Chiron at 4 Sagittarius. That’s a very difficult quincunx. In context, it’s possible to see why that particular Mercury Retrograde was such an issue for Britain, and also its economic impact as Mercury was in Taurus, the economy sign.

This was only the second general election since World War II to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 28th 1974 election. Mercury was retrograde then, too, at 2 Pisces. The UK chart shows Jupiter at 1 Leo and Uranus at 1 Libra, so again, it’s about context. Back in 1974  the particular position of Mercury in Britain’s chart delivered a sizeable problem.


Leslie Hale is a Nashville-based astrologer/writer who began studying  the celestial arts in the late seventies.  After a career in media, she began practicing astrology full-time in 2003, and has since been a consultant. She currently writes for The Examiner in the U.S.

She’s a brilliant astrologer who  knows that successful prediction depends on the  art of reading the whole cycle – not just the days that Mercury shows up as R and then magically reverts to D. Stations matter. Shadows matter. There are still some astrologers who are under the impression that a station is okay – but as  Leslie writes, “Mercury goes stationary retrograde at 4 degrees of Sagittarius on November 6, at 6:04 p.m. EST. The stationary retrograde period is considered the most significant part of the retrograde, along with the stationary direct period that occurs at the end of the three week cycle during the retrograde. ”


Barack Obama (Click to enlarge)

How does the context look for the 2012 election? It’s dramatic.  Mercury will hover at 4 Sagittarius then bolt back to 3 Sagittarius at the early stages of the election count in America in 2012. This 3-4 degree position picks up the charts of Romney, Obama and America.

Astrology is a constantly updated form of divination. Asteroids are a key part of its updating. They have big stories to tell.

Minerva is at 3 Taurus in the American chart (set for July 2nd 1776 at 12.00LMT Philadelphia, for independence). You can use the 4th July chart if you like, and Minerva  still goes to 4 Taurus. Both those degree positions are very tricky in the 2012 election.

Minerva is Jupiter’s daughter and describes wisdom and intelligence. So this is America’s financial (Taurus) knowledge and her economic (Taurus) savvy. All of which is being seriously affected by this stuck, hanging, swinging Mercury.

President Barack Obama’s Moon is at 3 Gemini. Mercury opposes his Moon as it dances at 3-4 Sagittarius. Now that’s an issue. It goes to the heart of Obama’s family, his patriotism and on the most basic level, his plans for redecorating or alternatively moving in early 2013. In his solar chart (Leo) Mercury’s retrograde in Scorpio goes through his Fourth House of property. So is this the White House, Chicago or Hawaii? In both charts there’s a big line of question marks ending in dot, dot, dot, to be continued – in December.

Rival Mitt Romney’s chart shows even more asteroid action in November, as Mercury sways in the breeze.

Mitt Romney (Click to enlarge)

Mitt Romney’s Fortuna is at 4 Capricorn, Minerva is at 4 Cancer and Hygeia is at 4 Taurus. So once Mercury goes to 4 Sagittarius there’s a line-dance in his horoscope. If you’ve never used asteroids before, just watch what happens this November.

Minerva as you’ve seen in the American chart is crucial – she is asteroid 93. Fortuna is asteroid 19 and she is Jupiter’s first-born daughter, linked to the Wheel of Fortune. Hygeia is asteroid 10 and she is Jupiter’s great-granddaughter, linked to protection. Look them up at if you wish.

One of the keys to November 2012 is Romney’s Fortuna, which describes blind fate and fortune, spinning her wheel in all directions. If you add Mercury running backwards, one sign along from her, you get a picture of a messy Mercury election which will be right up there with recent experiences in Britain and Australia. And curiously fated for Mr Romney.

Images Wikimedia Commons. Chart Source Solar Fire. The Book of World Horoscopes, Nicholas Campion, The Wessex Astrologer, Bournemouth 2004.




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