Don't Panic, but Mercury Retrograde Ends on Election Day

The astrology of 2020 has been, to put it lightly, a nightmare. So it should come as no surprise that Election Day coincides with a notable astrological happening: Mercury Retrograde. In fact, Mercury Retrograde literally ends on Election Day—at 12:49PM Eastern time on November 3, 2020, precisely.

So what does that mean?

Interestingly, the significance of Mercury moving direct on Election Day varies between different schools of thought. For some, Mercury’s about-face is a good sign, because the retrograde will end quite a few hours before the polls close—and no can deny that Mercury Retrograde (which, ICYMI, causes technology breakdowns, interpersonal misunderstandings, and transportation delays) ending is a step in the right direction! After all, after three long weeks of mishaps, meltdowns, and miscommunications, a little less chaos would certainly be welcome.

But other astrologers don’t see it that way. See, on either side of Mercury Retrograde are “shadow phases,” which correspond with the specific area of the sky where Mercury slides forward, backwards, and then forward again. When Mercury is in its “pre-shadow” period, it’s revealing what is going to be compromised during the retrograde, and when it’s in its “post-shadow” phase, it’s reconciling any retrograde-riddled calamities. This time around, Mercury entered its “pre-shadow” phase back on September 23, and it won’t leave its “post-shadow” phase until November 19. So on Election Day, we’ll be very much in the thick of it.

And there’s something else to take into account: Believe it or not, this Mercury Retrograde takes place in a pretty intense area of the zodiac (because of course it does, it’s 2020!). Ancient astrologers referred to the section of the sky from 15º Libra to 15º Scorpio as “Via Combusta” or “The Fiery Road.” Ye olde traditions believed that this section of the sky was particularly nasty, and when certain planets moved through this domain, they exhibited their worst behavior (eek).

Although this concept is only practiced in more esoteric traditions (namely horary astrology), its presence cannot be overlooked. Mercury went retrograde on October 13 at 11º Scorpio (a point within Via Combusta), which just so happens to be the exact degree the Sun will occupy on Election Day. Excuse me while I scream.

I’m sorry to say, but Mercury won’t leave this area of the sky until November 23, after the post-retrograde shadow is over. That means we can expect the retrograde chaos to continue for weeks after Election Day. We’re already seeing major issues with misaddressed or delayed absentee ballots, long waits for early voting, and glitches with online voter registration…I’m just saying, don’t expect those headlines to end anytime soon.

In fact, this year, it’s best to think of Election Day as Election Month. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, an extremely volatile socio-political climate, an unprecedented number of absentee voters, as well as two heavy hitting retrogrades (Mars is currently moving backwards, in addition to Mercury), don’t be surprised if it takes weeks before the results are finalized.

But fear not, cosmic warriors, we’ll get through this! In fact, anticipating the inevitable upset is all the more reason to make sure you’re participating in the democratic process. Don’t let Mercury boss you around—get out there and vote!

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