What Mercury’s Retrograde Shadow in Scorpio May Mean for the First Presidential Debate

Photos: Getty Images/Joe Raedle, Chip Somodevilla
What is the difference between belief and fact? What is truth? Are feelings facts? These questions will be themes explored during the first presidential debate between president Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden, given that messenger Mercury enters truth-seeking Scorpio 48 hours before it takes place.

This first of three presidential debates, airing September 29th at 9 p.m., ET, will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each: the Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in our cities, the integrity of the elections. With Mercury in focused Scorpio, we can astrologically expect Trump and Biden to stick to the six topics in order to encourage deep and focused discussion on these issues for voters.

Mercury—which rules the ways we perceive data, find connections and patterns, articulate our observations, and actively listen to the perspectives of others—is in his pre-retrograde shadow (or retroshade) period in Scorpio on the night of the debate. This is notable since a pre-retrograde shadow period is when we begin to see context and warning signs of what will ask for our attention during the retrograde, which will occur from October 13 through Election Day, November 3rd.

Viewers should pay attention to how the pre-retrograde shadow of Mercury in Scorpio highlights ways Trump and Biden speak to the emotional underpinnings of the six topics they debate.

In light of this, debate viewers should pay attention to how the pre-retrograde shadow of Mercury in Scorpio highlights ways in which Trump and Biden speak to the emotional underpinnings of those six segments. Each of the six segments could be understood comprehensively by seeing each candidate's connection to shame, anger, anticipatory grief, and guilt. Mercury in Scorpio is a proposal for the entire zodiac to discover the multidimensional truth(s) of these complex and nuanced topics by accessing the range of emotional causes and consequences of what’s at stake.

This is a big ask from the astrological transits, and one method that could be helpful in our political pursuit of truth as we dialogue with ourselves and others is breaking from the binary of “right versus wrong,” “us versus them,” “good versus bad,” etc. Those who are adept at critical thinking are more skilled at processing tension among competing ideas and able to consider a “both/and” approach. This principle is enshrined in our country's “E Pluribus Unum” motto, which means "out of many, one." Now, out of many feelings, histories, conspiracies, mythologies, data, and facts, we are asked to find the one.

Again, this is not an easy ask: I do believe, though, that astrology never gives us transits we can’t handle. So, work to see this Mercury in Scorpio transit—and even its corresponding retrograde—as a medicine. As an alchemy.

Mercury in Scorpio may also be an empowering transit for Trump and Biden’s communication strategies during the debate, but in different ways. Mercury in Scorpio will form a supportive trine to Trump’s Mercury in Cancer; which could motivate his answers and language to speak to a love or protection of country to the voters who look for patriotism in their president. Whether or not Trump is telling the truth related to his love of country, nationalism, or something we don’t know is something we’ll have to discover for ourselves.

Biden was born with a Mercury in Scorpio, so this transit is his natal Mercury Return. Now, since Mercury will be in a pre-retrograde shadow period, Biden may fumble on his words a bit and/or they’ll flow like honey since Mercury will transit his natal position. Given the transit and the natal connection, Biden’s debate performance could appeal to voters who want to know the nuances of truths on the six segments—especially on problem identification and strategies to regulate them—accompanied by his vision of how we can hear each other together to find the healing.

While sitting with what each candidate says and controlling any impulses to manifest inner stories and find evidence to support what we believe is already true will be tough, remember the truth is available. Fact-check and cross reference to history. Sometimes there's power in knowing we do not know yet, and Mercury in Scorpio wants us to sit with the uncertainty. Ask deeper questions on how critically thought out our analysis is on the tension of oppositions and let your inner-knowing guide you to the resources, support, and people who can help facilitate the truth as you understand it. Take those values and convictions to the polls.

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