Introducing The Zodiac Dispatch

illustration of someone riding a bull and a winged woman standing nearby.

To kick off her new bimonthly column, astrologer and Berlin member Clarisse Monahan explains what the planets have in store for the upcoming US election

By Clarisse Monahan   Illustrations by Daiana Ruiz    Monday 14 September, 2020   Short read

If there is an agenda to this column in general, it is to go beyond simple sun-sign understandings: I’m a Virgo, he’s Taurus. Such understandings, while essential, are not the most searching ones – they’re kind of like the astrological equivalent of going to Burning Man and not doing acid, or being into Dave Matthews Band, when you could be listening to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.

With all this in mind, let’s inaugurate The Zodiac Dispatch by turning to the upcoming, anxiety-producing US presidential election, which will occur on 3 November, right in the middle of an astrological storm. There will be two major retrogrades happening around this date that involve Mars (war) and Mercury (communication). Gulp. 

A retrograde is an important astrological event, during which a given planet appears to be moving backward in the sky in relation to us on Earth. Retrogrades are like glitches in the Matrix and they lead to cosmic quirks. So, for example, when Mercury – known as the Messenger Planet, Planet of Speech – goes into retrograde, communication tends to become muddled, slowed down and confusing. 

On election day, Mercury retrograde will reach its peak in Libra (justice). The implication of this placement will be the possibility of legal wrangling over the voice/ vote/ speech of the American people. We can expect intensified communication breakdowns online, in the media, and between local officials. Also, expect delays in voting results, precipitated in part by tardy mail-in ballots – Mercury after all governs mail, deliveries and conveyances.
an illustration of two moons.
If these predictions seem a bit alarmist, consider a previous election when Mercury was in retrograde: Bush vs Gore (2000). We will recall it was an election settled not by the people’s voice but by the Supreme Court after a month of weirdness. While those days of hanging chads feel almost quaint and poetic now, they point (at least in an astrological sense) to the kinds of difficulties we might be encountering this time around with Biden challenging Trump for power.

While this is going on with Mercury, we also have the Mars retrograde. Mars is the warlord planet of energy and fire. It will be going retrograde through the sign it rules, Aries, from 9 September to 13 November (a super-rare transit which won’t happen again until 2067). When a planet is in the sign it rules, it’s like the planet is supercharged. Mars retrograde is a placement that can manifest as internal social pressure, reckless aggression, and violence. People can feel pent up, stymied and on edge. Basically, if people fight, they fight dirty. Mars retrograde denotes a period of no gentleman’s honour. We are outside proper and civilised bounds. The boxing gloves are now off. 

Think of these two retrogrades, therefore, as gasoline and match. Unclear speech and election results, delays, uncertainty, and legal wrangling will exacerbate pent-up Mars retrograde energy and its tendency toward unrest. Expect jostling, altercations, federal agents, militias and vigilantes – all in the name of democracy and other such chimeras. 

Back in 2016, when Trump began his march to power, he talked about draining the swamp in Washington, D.C. He should have checked some astrology, though. If he had, he would have seen that four years later, we would literally be in one of the most heavy-duty astro-political moments in forever. Far from a drained swamp, we are quite possibly about to sink into an even thicker morass.
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