November 18th, 2012

Post-Election Cogitation by Jonathan Tenney

My friend Anne Hoff alerted me to this dispatch early this morning.

I haven’t been able to find any corroborating website, but thought I’d share with you nonetheless (Note: Austin Coppock tells me he first read it on the Facebook.)

It’s from astrologer Jonathan Tenney on this year’s Mercury retrograde election predictions and it’s the best post-election commentary I’ve read yet.

Bonus points for: Conflating ‘dementors’ and Caroline Casey (that had me busting out laughing) and evoking Jung‘s principle of ‘enantiodromia‘ to finesse his point.

It is titled Mercury Pivots and it’s a beautiful thing:

It’s been 48 hours since the election and I’m still in a state of shock. Seems like something unusual happened, although I’m not sure I can exactly put a name to it. Feels a little bit like some kind of time-warp. Two days ago the dementors of doom (ala Carolyn Casey [sic]) were riding high…It looked like Karl Rove commanding the 1/2 billion dollars dedicated to the lie and buy strategy of corporcratic control was closing in for the kill. It was, by most accounts going to be at least nail-bitingly close. Then there was Mercury Rx which we all remember so well from the 2000 elections and the anticipation of all sorts of possible delays…vote stealing, and subterfuge.

Then all of a sudden…swoosh!…no contest, no recount…Florida’s shenanigans are beside the point…Romney concedes…two states have voted to legalize same sex marriage…the first out-lesbian is elected to the Congress…two states have voted to legalize the “recreational” use of marijuana…democrats have made gains in the Congress and states all over the country have made pro-union and pro-labor choices in their initiatives. Seven states have passed legislation which directly challenges the Supreme court “corporations are people” decision.

Women, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians have definitively made their voice heard and count…and just to make sure the fundamentalist Christian-Right got the message… everybody knows that “God” in the form of a female dakini by the name of Hurricane Sandy came early to the polls and cast her vote…softening the heart of Governor Christie and perhaps countless others who when staring into the wrathful face of the divine remember their humility, humanity and need for one another.

I feel like we’ve just gone through the eye of a hurricane. One minute we are on the verge of being sucked back into the dark ages and the next we are catapulted into the realization that progress, an actual future, is unfolding and there will be no going back. It seems as though in the flash of a moment the tables have turned…a true enantiodromia… the powerful are looking discombobulated and scattered…the disenfranchised are looking strong…speaking with one collective life-affirming voice.

Being an astrologer, I couldn’t help notice the near total absence of the much worried over Mercury Rx. So I fired up the ephemeris generator in my Astrolabe software and put the settings on Seconds of Arc and minutes of time. This is what I found: Mercury made its “station” at 4 degrees, 18 minutes, and 3 seconds of Sagittarius. Mercury arrived at this exact point on November 6th at 5:50 PM EST…and then at 6:04 PM it turned Retrograde. At 6:19 PM it stepped back into 4 degrees, 18 minutes, 2 seconds of Sagittarius. So for a period of roughly 29 minutes Mercury was standing perfectly still at the degree of it’s turning. I think we can safely say that Mercury was neither retrograde or direct for the 2012 election…it was as we astrologer’s say…on it’s station to a very high degree of exactitude. I can only imagine this to be, statistically, a very unusual occurrence. In terms of backward or forward movement Mercury was standing still…going nowhere. In terms of motion Mercury was definitely not standing still but rather spinning…instantly “turning” or pivoting in place. It’s analogous to what the Sun does at the moment of the Summer and Winter Solstices.

I never really thought of Mercury’s apparent pivotal motion in this way…until it occurred to me that what I experienced in this election was some kind of pivotal moment…a true turning point. When we think about it, this is a very interesting moment. In quantum physics this is at the heart of what’s called “in-determinacy”. Simply stated when we know for certain the speed of something we have no way of determining exactly where it is. Conversely, when we know for sure the location we have no way of determining the rate of motion. This may sound a bit abstract, but it is the basis of some very interesting observations about the nature of experience, the most well known of which is called the non-local effect. Non-local effect is not as esoteric as it sounds…it’s what you observe when a hive of bees swarm or a whole flock of birds all turn and swoop simultaneously as a group. This isn’t follow the leader, it’s something else…a kind of group mind or instantaneous action occurring “across” time and space without having to travel “through” any kind of sequential or cause and effect action in time and space.

So, at 6:04 PM (and some unknown seconds) on Nov. 6th 2012 EST Mercury stood perfectly still, allowing us to know its exact apparent rate of motion which was “0”. At this moment Mercury’s location or place is unknowable. If we could visually observe such a moment we would experience Mercury instantly flashing out of existence. It would then be in a state of pure potential….nowhere and everywhere simultaneously…exercising its non-local right, as speedy winged-footed Mercury is wont to do, to travel instantly and freely wherever it so chooses. Then in the same instant, a blink of the eye, Mercury would flash back into existence but radically altered…facing the opposite direction…just in case we failed to notice something unusual had just occurred….a pivotal moment.

Mercury is now retrograde and many people are doing some serious reflecting on what in the world just happened… stunned, shocked incredulous, outraged, confused, elated…all scrambling to explain or make sense of it. In my own astrological reflections I am noticing something brand new…a Mercury pivot…at the exact moment of the 2012 national elections when the grand Magus or Magician, Mercury’s image in the Tarot, at a moment of greatest power, absolute stillness, waved that magic wand. Time stopped…heaven and earth embraced…the door opened…and Mercury/Hermes turned and guided us like a flock of wild geese through that door and back onto a path that is actually going somewhere. Welcome to 2012, magic is afoot…and the times they have changed.

Post script: There is some great footage of what is perhaps the signature Mercury pivot event of this election when Karl Rove on Fox News is having an moment of utter breakdown as it dawns on him that the impossible is happening. He is beside himself in a state of shock, disbelief, and denial as he is informed that the election is being called for Obama. He shows perhaps better than anyone could what it’s like to have just had your pocket picked by the master thief…to the tune of 400 million dollars and, just when you thought YOU were master manipulator, to realize you’ve just been out tricked by the great Trickster himself. Karl Rove may not know what really happened, but he, perhaps more than anybody, found out in this election what it’s like when Mercury pivots and reality blinks off for a second and blinks back on in a completely different state….huh?

This image of Karl Rove will fade with time, Hurricane Sandy will remain…and everybody agrees she had something important to do with all of this. Perhaps she was in some way Mercury/Hermes, who in his shape-shifting ways slipped into his cosmic evening gown and, like a whirling dervish spinning around the still center in the eye of the storm showed us how magic is done.

Opening painting: Mercury, by Hendrick Goltzius, 1611 (Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem).

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