Mercury is up to its tricks again. After the New Moon at 5° Libra, which took place September 27th, Mercury slips into Scorpio, where it will be from September 28th to December 3rd – over two months in this secretive and powerful sign. It’s been there before of course, every year Mercury will transit each of the 12 signs, locked in as it is to its tight orbit around the Sun. Seen from the Earth, which has a much wider orbit, Mercury and the Sun always seem close together, and in the geocentric horoscope, it is never more than 27° from the Sun. Just occasionally, when it is furthest away from the Sun, it can be seen with the naked eye from Earth, just after sunrise, or just before dawn. As it circles the Sun, once every 88 days, seen from the Earth Mercury appears to move backwards approximately three times during the course of the year, against the backdrop of the fixed stars, for a period of about 22 days.Vote on the Euro

See chart for the Danish referendum

The significance of Mercury and the September new moon is that only hours afterwards the people of Denmark vote on whether to accept the Euro as their unit of currency, and abandon their own independent currency – the kroner. The reader may be curious to know that I am writing this article on the morning of the 28th of September, only hours after the polls opened in Denmark, and I expect to be finished with the article as the polls close. This is a “live” article. This referendum is crucial for the whole of Europe, and particularly for the United Kingdom, which is fighting its own battle of doubt concerning the Euro, which in recent months has become weaker and weaker in relation to the dollar.

The Mercury Cycle

When the polls open, Mercury is at 29.37 Libra, when they close it is in Scorpio… something changes, but what? Is the Euro cast into a fresh crisis with a Danish NO, or will a Danish YES confirm the inexorable rise of the state of Europe? Opinion polls are completely undecided, with a slight majority in favour of those who say no. To understand precisely what is happening it pays to examine the amazing and fascinating cycle of Mercury. When Mercury goes retrograde, it will invariably meet the Sun in a short-lived conjunction, with each going their separate ways. Mercury will then turn and during the course of the next two months it will catch up with the Sun and conjoin again for a longer period, with Mercury travelling at its maximum speed of 2° a day, whilst the Sun moves along at its standard 1° a day.

Loopy Mercury

Of course all this “means” something astrologically – both in real time and in progressed time (a day for a year) – and an astrologer can spend years trying to work out quite what. There are several significant phases. When Mercury reaches the degree at which it will later go direct, this is the start signal. Whatever happens from now on is fated to go through a repeat process. In other words transiting Mercury will pass over any horoscope for any event in this period three times. Whatever process that event was supposed to set in motion can simply not be accomplished in one stroke. A process of reconstruction and change has to take place. In the progressed horoscope around up to 38 years of the life will elapse whilst the individual goes over crucial issues.

Denmark Must Vote NO

The crucial significance of the Danish single currency referendum is that not only does Mercury change sign at this time, it enters the degree at which it will later go stationary direct at 29.56 Libra on November 7th, which just happens to be the day of the USA presidential election. So, with the Danish referendum Mercury enters a loop, and will “restart” from the same position 42 days later. So here is the conclusion: just follow the loop. If there is a referendum as Mercury enters the loop, something will happen in the “42 day” period of time which is quite isolated, then it will restart at the end of this period, once again at 29° Libra. If Denmark says yes, then that’s it… they’re in, full stop. They are not going to hold another referendum then go out. Therefore they MUST say no. Then there will be a period of time, which the 42 days will symbolise, during which the Danes will wander in Scorpio, greatly confused, then they will return and vote again. The Danes will say No, but later they will say Yes. Because the Mercury in Scorpio loop is dominated by the square to Neptune it will be an unhappy saga.

…and Vote YES later

When will they go in again? Obviously not 42 days later, but 42 months is a possibility, which would be at the end of March 2004. In April 2004 Mercury goes retrograde at 1.53 Taurus, so perhaps there is a move to enter the Euro at the end of the loop which is 21 Aries. That’s a bit of a long shot, but it is a sure thing Denmark will vote to enter the Euro at some not too distant point.

Detective Mercury

When Mercury goes retrograde, then it simply cannot cover any more new territory for a long while. Just before going retrograde, there is a sensation of nothing happening, it grinds to a halt. People tell extraordinary stories about this period. In the progressive horoscope, it is often a period of weeks, months and even a year or two, where they suddenly find they can make no progress at all, even having to abandon projects. One programmer I hired at a time when his progressed Mercury went retrograde, conjoining Neptune and sextiling Pluto in his birth chart, just managed to finish a Japanese language version of my software products (that was the conjunction to Neptune… picture language), but abandoned the next project just before completion. One of the main functions of Mercury retrograde is to uncover lost material. When this takes place in Water signs, there are often secrets, spies, silences which must find a voice. There is this sense of someone saying “Hey, wait a minute!”… then going back to uncover what is really going on behind the scenes. One of the best things to do in this phase is to stop what you are doing and review it. It’s the best time to go into old archives, or redo something, or sort out what you need and what you don’t. It’s a brilliant time to clear up databases for example.

Mercury stations and meets the Sun

Transiting Mercury will go retrograde on October 18th at 15.47 Scorpio. This is really a tough station, partly because it is close to the eclipse degrees of Mars (16.51 Scorpio on August 11th 1999), and also because it is just before the square to Uranus at 16.55 Aquarius. It is as if Mercury is terrified of meeting Uranus and backs off. In real life this could show someone backing off from an extremely dangerous confrontation (… but it will come again on November 25th). Mercury retrograde then meets the Sun about 12 days later. What is happening here is that some information is integrated into the consciousness, but as they are going in opposite directions, there is an element of unwelcome news. But the Sun has now harvested necessary information, and armed with this information is likely to take executive action. It is also possible that the Sun will now be compromised by the knowledge Mercury brings.


In February 2000 when Mercury retrograde in Pisces (squaring Pluto) conjoined the Sun, there was a curious mixture of symbolical meanings: – A Danish artist made an installation with goldfish in blenders, encouraging visitors to make fish soup
– In Rumania, flooding from goldmines polluted the Danube with arsenic killing vast numbers of fish.
In October this year, the conjunction takes place on the 30th at 7° Scorpio, squaring Neptune at 3.50 Aquarius. It’s possible there are some severely compromised presidents and royalty at this time. The retrograde Mercury cycle here is characterised by the square to Neptune which takes place three times. Mercury in Scorpio is all about secrets, and the tendency is for them to come up to the surface.

Danger for Chirac

When Mercury squares Neptune, then secrets on film become most significant, and this brings to mind the fate of Jacques Chirac. He will have transiting Pluto on his MC during this period, whilst Neptune is square his own Venus at 3.04 Scorpio. Recently a video turned up exposing his role in corruption several years ago, and claiming that he received a large sum of money as a direct kick-back. He may desperately try to bury the threatening scandal now, but the coming two-month transit through Scorpio almost guarantees the most damaging revelations.

Mercury and Karma

Mercury goes stationary direct Mercury has gathered all the material which it was fated to do. It must now move forward. At last true progress can be made. It will now traverse territory which it has already been over twice, but this time armed with deep experience and knowledge. In the progressed horoscope there is generally a positive feeling when direct motion finally comes. They can move forward again, and with great strength and power. There is a sense of fullness and completeness. However, in the progressed horoscope Mercury retrograde often shows individuals picking up past karma. What this karma is depends on the nature of the sign Mercury is in, and especially on any aspects Mercury makes. One client with natal Mercury in the 5th house retrograding into the 4th, had a handicapped child when Mercury stationed, but in square to Pluto in the 8th. The harshness of the aspect dictated the nature of the karmic burden. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, and in this case it launched a career in psychology for the person in question. In real time, when Mercury turns direct, whatever there was to uncover has now been uncovered. Nothing more can be uncovered.

Whoops…. prediction confirmed!

In the present retrograde cycle, Mercury will go stationary direct just dipping back from Scorpio into the last degree of Libra. Not only does the loop close here, but it happens on the border of two signs. As I write now, the first results from the Danish referendum have come through. Exit polls show 47% Yes, and 53% No. It might not look much, but in Danish terms it’s a big margin.

So here comes the next one…

See chart for the US election

Emboldened by this little predictive success, I will now make the next prediction. On the exact moment of the start of the US presidential election, Mercury retrogrades out of Scorpio and during the day stations at 29.56 Libra, closing the loop. Whatever happens now will be a continuation of what happened when Mercury entered the loop “42 days” ago. Whatever went on before this election moment will now be sealed in the loop. What happened in this loop of time was 8 years of Democratic rule. What happened before the loop was that the Republicans had been in power. Before the time loop was George Bush. After the time loop… George (W.) Bush. In terms of the time loop, it does not make sense for Gore to simply continue the work of Clinton. He is consigned to oblivion in the loop. Just as Denmark will continue with its commitment to Europe and the single currency after their period of isolation in the loop, the US will continue with the Republicans, where they left off 8 years ago. America is simply at a later stage of the loop.

Mercury breaks free

The final stage in the Mercury retrograde period is when Mercury reaches the degree at which it went retrograde. Whatever was prevented from happening when Mercury went retrograde, is now free to happen. Whatever was being put off can now take place, in the secure knowledge that all the necessary information is now at hand. Fresh fields beckon… it’s an exhilarating new prospect. In the progressed chart it is the end of landscapes which have been so familiar they are almost boring… it’s like going to a new school. There are completely new things to learn and new experiences to be had.
– In the present case however Mercury must now meet the square to Uranus which it so hoped to avoid. It is unfortunate thing, but squares between Scorpio and Aquarius are the most difficult to handle, probably because the two rulers are Pluto and Uranus, which in difficult combinations have always been historically associated with terror. Now Mercury meets Uranus, but it is bolstered by its difficult wanderings. Truths have been uncompromisingly unearthed, and though this has been a traumatic process, Mercury is not scared any longer. So when it squares Uranus just at the new moon in Sagittarius, we can expect a new start. As the new moon falls at 3° Sagittarius, activating one of the most sensitive areas of France’s many national horoscopes, it would seem that this is the time which earlier revelations will damage Chirac, despite efforts to cover up whilst Mercury was retrograde.


These are my personal conclusions about the current Mercury cycle. Being in Scorpio, we will enter a two month period where the deepest secrets will be exposed creating scandals in different areas of the world. Because Mercury squares Neptune, there will be lies and cover-ups. (Not that that is the best course of action with a Mercury/Neptune aspect. Quite the opposite, it is all about expressing difficult truths with honesty and clarity.) The video tape episode with Chirac will explode, as Mercury oscillates between squaring Neptune and squaring Uranus, with the finale on November 25th. George Bush will be resurrected in the figure of his younger clone, er… George (W.) Bush, after a last month of election campaign which sees secrets and lies being uncovered. Denmark will say NO (I’m cheating here, I’ve just heard the final result!), but will without a shadow of a doubt vote in to the Euro within 8 years and perhaps in the Spring of 2004.


Astrologer Arlette Gurtler made me aware of the fact that as Mercury entered Scorpio, it meant there could be an immediate reception to Mars in Virgo. The Danish people, (ruled by Mercury) saw the chance to regain their dignity through voting for their home country … Mercury returning to the sign it rules, Virgo. This could certainly create a much for favourable outcome for the Danish No, but will not prevent them coming in to the single currency later on.

Adrian Ross Duncan