Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #061

In This Issue:

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] further thoughts on Mercury

Exegesis Digest Tue, 11 Jun 2002

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] further thoughts on Mercury
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 21:06:57 +1200

I've often wondered why astrologers managed to generate a substantial consensus during the 20th century on the effects of Mercury retrograde, whilst not doing so with regard to Venus or Mars retrograde, not to mention Jupiter, Saturn or the outer planets. Why might Mercury have more of an influence on affairs and processes than the other planets?

A few years back it finally occurred to me that Mercury is distinguished from the other planets in such a way that could (indirectly) explain this. It is the only planet to display relativistic effects in its orbital motion. When these were measured by a British scientific expedition (I seem to recall it was 1919, to observe a transit of Mercury across the Sun) the result was confirmation that Einstein's theory of relativity was correct. Gravity in the vicinity of large masses has the effect of warping space-time in the immediate neighbourhood, and the orbit of Mercury is thus affected due to the close proximity to the Sun.

We can therefore draw the conclusion that the orbit of Mercury is physically different from the orbits of the other planets in a respect that is fundamentally qualitative. If the `influence' of the planets on people is due to the orbit rather than the planet (as several of us have suggested in Exegesis), this gives us a plausible basis for seeing Mercury as a special case.

Recently I here conducted an exegetical analysis of the hermetic tradition, designed to distill facets of the Mercury archetype (Ex 7/60). As usual, I use the term archetype not in a Jungian sense, as commonly understood by astrologers, but in the traditional sense. This means archetypes are recognisable in natural forms and processes, not merely in the human psyche. However, the further speculations that follow are indeed based on the popular tacit assumption of astrologers (in English-speaking countries) that the planets seem to operate as psychological drives within both the individual and the collective.

The primary social manifestation of Mercury was identified as the messenger, herald, spokesman. I called this a `divine function' because in the classical civilisations Mercury played these roles for the gods. Using our popular theory, that the gods are/were experienced both internally and collectively as psychological drives, we can more explicitly identify Mercury as the information channel or conduit via which the gods communicate with us. I think it unwise to simplify to that extent: it implies Mercury lacks its own unique message, and there is no good reason to exclude that possibility. Perhaps a both/and approach will serve us better.

Just to illustrate this point, take a look at the main chart for the Sept 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. At the moment of first impact, Mercury was exactly on the Ascendant, and exactly trine Saturn. A message from the gods both precise and heavily effective, as indicated by the archetypal configuration. That the horizon was the exact midpoints of Libra and Aries emphasises the peace/war context, and Saturn at the exact midpoint of Gemini symbolises the structure of the twin towers in classic fashion. When we note that the WTC towers were built 30 years ago, the destruction on their Saturn return seems even more of archetypal import.

A survey of website comments on this event and chart reveals that some astrologers did seem struck by this remarkable configuration, but nobody ventured to explain its meaning. This seems, to me, a suitable illustration of the intellectual malaise in contemporary astrology. The gods sent the government of the USA and the mandarins of global capitalism an emphatic authoritative message, but neither mass media nor astromedia has provided any evidence that anyone has figured it out. An abysmal situation that is typical of the current state of western civilisation, but look on the bright side. The astrological correlation between configuration and event is undeniably spot on, and will provide a classic case study for future astrohistorians!

Dennis Frank


End of exegesis Digest V7 #61

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