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Bergdahl: The Perfect Study in Mercury Retrograde

(c) Jim Larsen

(c) Jim Larsen

There’s no need to fear Mercury retrograde. It serves an important function and if you learn how to move with it, to get into the flow, you’ll find that it can actually help you adjust course when needed.

The best way to learn about it is to observe how you function with it. If you have a retrograde Mercury in your own chart, you’re going to have a different experience than someone with a direct Mercury. If Mercury is making an actual contact with your chart while it’s retrograde, you’ll have as stronger experience than when it makes no contacts for you.

Another great way to study it is in the news. As luck would have it, this Mercury retrograde gives us the perfect Mercury retrograde case study. The story of Bowe Bergdahl.

Bergdahl was born on March 28, 1986 in Sun Valley. Mercury was retrograde in Pisces when he was born. Not an ideal place for Mercury anyway. Mercury is about logic and reason and Pisces is about dream states. Astrologers say that Mercury is in detriment there. Even without any more information about him, we know that he is highly susceptible to subtle vibrations, and logic is not his strong suit.

The month before he disappeared, Mercury was retrograde. It went retrograde on his Black Moon which is in Gemini. This is not an actual physical body but an interesting sensitive point that many astrologers use that is associated with loss, isolation, and power struggles.

Bergdahl’s release was announced just as Mercury is about to go retrograde. Up to that point, Republicans like Ayotte and McCain and Graham were calling for Obama to do anything to secure his release. We don’t know what motivated Obama to do it when he did, but we do know that he had just announced that the war was coming to a close. At the close of the war, he was going to have to release prisoners. So we have a convergence of those two streams.

As soon as Obama gets him back, those who were demanding he be brought home changed their tune and now are criticizing his release. Can’t get much more retrograde than that!

So here we are, ready for Mercury to go retrograde in Cancer, and backing up into Gemini (remember this is the sign where it went retrograde just before he went missing), and the media is overflowing with controversy.

As astrologers there is one thing that we can know for certain—we don’t have all the information and it will play out over the coming weeks as Mercury retrogrades, turns direct, and eventually returns to the degree where it went retrograde.

For those of you who are more knowledgeable about astrology, let me point out that by progression, Bergdahl’s progressed Black moon is at the tip of a YOD, with Pluto and Neptune forming the sextile. It’s been set up that way since about 2003, not long after we went into Afghanistan. Very interesting, indeed. If you don’t understand what that means, just know that it means that since the war started, his Black Moon has been highly stimulated and it was triggered by the retrograde Mercury, clouding his already not very linear thinking, just before he went missing.

Here are some key dates to watch, +/- three days on either side:

  • June 19th. That’s the day that Mercury and the Sun conjoin. It is the best window for clarity. Watch for new information around this date.
  • June 26th. This date has some interesting potential because the moon, which represents the public in mundane astrology, is going to conjoin the retrograde Mercury. There’s potential for a lot of emotion from the public or from Bergdahl himself.
  • July 2nd. Mercury turns direct. It will do that opposite Bergdahl’s Uranus. Uranus is about rebelliousness and erratic-ness. It will be important for the people around him to keep a close eye on him during this period. Expect more information in the days surrounding this date.
  • July 15th. Mercury returns to the degree where it went retrograde. Pay attention again. There may be a final release of information, something that ties it all together.

If you are being affected by this Mercury retrograde, these dates will be important for you as well.

If you are just learning about Mercury retrograde, study yourself, absolutely. You are the best source of information for your own response to this. It was a key lesson for me early on. It taught me how helpful astrology is in day-to-day life.

But you can also learn a lot from watching the news and this story is made to order. Pull up a chair and get out your notebook because this story is the perfect case study.


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