In the 116 days of Mercury’s synodic cycle, Donald and Bernie share the very same day when Mercury first makes its evening rising appearance, while Hillary and Ted both were born when Mercury made its heliacal set disappearance. What did the ancient astrologers have to say about the unique qualities of planets appearances and disappearances relative to their phase? And what does this suggest about each of the candidate’s ability to sell their message to the American people?
Mercury, the fleet-footed messenger of the gods, was the patron of travelers and merchants who frequented the roads and byways buying and selling their wares. He was also the patron of liars and thieves ever on the alert to con and swindle the gullible. The fast-talking salesman is one essential component of the Mercury archetype. The synodic cycle of Mercury, also known as its solar phase cycle, contains four critical moments when Mercury shifts from one phase to another as it alternately appears after having been hidden and disappears after having been visible. These are the heliacal morning rise and the morning set in the eastern sky, and the evening rise and heliacal evening set in the western sky.
The Babylonian origins of Western astrology held that the phase appearance of a planetary god in the sky signaled that it had some message to communicate to humanity. This thinking is reflected in the Greek word for phase that is derived from the verb phaino which means to appear and the verb phemi which means to speak.
Of these four phases, the ancient astrologers (especially the Arabic and Medieval) preferred the evening rising rather than the morning rising of Mercury. Evening rising Mercury was extremely swift in its speed at direct in motion at this point in the cycle; recently having been submerged under the Sun’s rays, but now “like a victor emerging from battle or a sick person totally recovered and strong.” Both Trump and Sanders were born within a day of Mercury’s evening rising phase.
In Trump’s chart, Mercury is located in the 12th house (whole sign houses) of hidden matters and confrontations with enemies. Mercury rules his second house of money and the 11th house of hopes for future prosperity. When Trump boasts about his superb capacity to negotiate, make the best deal, and get the better of his enemies, this is his evening rising Mercury speaking.
We do not have a birth time for Sanders, so cannot look at the house significations of Mercury. Nevertheless what is apparent in Sanders’ evening rising Mercury phase is the forcefulness of his message concerning economic inequality that has catalyzed the public and augmented the masses showing up at his rallies.
By contrast, when Mercury makes its heliacal set, this is near the time of its retrograde station. Extremely slow in speed, it disappears, sinking under the western horizon and lying hidden for several weeks. This can be seen as Mercury in his psychopomp form, traveling from the upper world to the underworld as guide of the souls of dead. However, in the practical assessment of a planet’s condition, ancient astrologers considered it to be a weakening as Mercury was falling into the burning rays of the Sun. Medieval authors wrote that it was like being impeded by an illness where a person cannot help him or herself without the aids of another.
This is the state of both Clinton’s and Cruz’s Mercury. They are not as effective in selling their message and will need the help of others in their quest. Hillary’s stationary retrograde Mercury is located in the 1st house reflecting how uncomfortable she is with public speaking. When frustrated, she often resorts to shouting which comes off as shrill rather than forceful and effective. Mercury rules her 8th and 11th house suggesting her business dealings with corporations and super pacts.
There is no reliable birth time for Cruz, so again house determinations cannot be made. But as of this writing 3/25/16, Cruz is leaning on the endorsements of all the other losers who are reluctantly trying to strengthen his position as the (in their opinion) lesser-of-two evils relative to Trump.
Of course there are many other factors that influence these candidates’ potential to win the election, but in the interim, watch and listen to the Mercurial trickster’s appearance that speaks through each of the candidates.