Friday, January 09, 2009

Office of the Bean Counter: Retrograde Mercury and the Obama Inauguration

If there is a symbol of retrograde Mercury’s influence on the Obama presidency, it is his appointment of Nancy Killefer as Whitehouse Chief Performance Officer. Yep, the federal office of the Bean Counter. Mind you, if ever the Whitehouse was in need of such a position, it is now!!

Retrograde Mercury’s signature is “attention to detail” and, being a few arc-minutes form the Sun, the president’s focus for this term, like it or not, will be attention to every detail of government.

The reason retrograde Mercury gets such a bad rap is that we are often inclined to leave details to chance. Retrograde Mercury makes certain that lack of forethought and lack of attention come home to roost. The other function that Mercury performs in retrograde is bringing an abrupt end to falsehood. President-elect Obama has said he will take on the culture of corruption in Washington, this chart suggests he will honor his word in that regard.

Before I go any further, the personality of the President is very important here. For any candidate for whom attention to detail is “someone else’s problem”, retrograde Mercury this close to the Sun would portend a catastrophic presidential term. However, for a president for whom attention to detail is already important, this chart plays to that strength.

In the US natal chart used for ancient astrology purposes, (March 19, 1789. Aries ingress), Mercury is retrograde in Pisces and tightly conjunct three other planets. US systems operate under Mercury’s retrograde influence where Mercury is in its detriment and fall.

Of particular note in the US natal chart is the principle that the people, and thus the country as a whole, can only do well when the interests of the wealthy are also served. Any Obama solution in this economic crisis has to include some stimulation for one sector or another of private industry.

The USA has one of the most inordinately complex, unwieldy, cumbersome bureaucratic systems in the world…. yet it functions in spite of itself. This complex system is dominated by the interests of the wealthy, though the interests of the wealthy (Jupiter) are in the sign of the common people (Cancer) in the inception chart. The tension between the interests of the wealthy and the interests of the common people is the on-going dynamo that drives American progress. Those who pay close attention to detail do well in American bureaucracy, those who don’t are blind-sided by details from left-of-field. It is really easy for the average person to be baffled by the bologna.

America’s dysfunctional bureaucracy will demand most of the President’s attention for this term. The interests of the wealthy will be sidelined for a while, however the president needs to be aware that those interests are also organic to America’s long-term prosperity.

Where the economy has been driven by banking and manufacturing over the last 100 years, there is nothing to say that this has to continue, however one sector or another of private wealth has to do well for the country to prosper. President-elect Obama is in a unique position wherein he gets to nominate which industries will do well going forward.

He is in a position where he could nationalize US currency and take it out of the hands of the banks for a while, cutting off the power of the international banks at the knees (the mathematical incongruity of the current monetary system is what has caused this mess… changing the way that US currency is issued could remove the necessity for eternal growth from the financial system, which in turn would place far less strain on environmental and social systems… however I digress).

Mercury retrograde in the inauguration chart, then, means that the President must be on top of the details of all of the nation’s systems for his entire term.

I am concerned about a major communications infrastructure failure, which would be catastrophic in this country. Should this occur (and a 3rd house solar eclipse in January makes that very possible) the country could be literally brought to a stand-still overnight. Communications companies are vulnerable, and were it my job to apportion the federal stimulus, a large portion would go to communications infrastructure, along with roads and bridges… all of which are retrograde Mercury concerns.

For what its worth, the President-elect appears to be up to the daunting challenge that faces him. He has been attending to the details of his new government since he won the election.

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