If you want to gain the full astro-trading advantage as you engage with the markets, it’s vital that you look not only at the role that Mercury plays in the markets you are trading, but also at the way that Mercury functions in your own individual horoscope. If you’re a reasonably accomplished astrologer yourself, you probably have the necessary skills and experience to look at Mercury’s role in your natal chart as a source of insight into the financial attitudes and trading strategies are most appropriate for you. If that’s the case, you can use the information in this chapter to provide you with some guidelines for a Mercury-based analysis of the trading potentials revealed by your natal horoscope.
If you’re not an astrologer, however, or if you simply want to focus on Mercury’s role in the external trading environment, you may want to skip reading this chapter altogether. But if you make that choice, please don’t ignore the importance of understanding your natal horoscope in refining your personal abilities as a trader. You certainly don’t have to become an astrologer yourself to gain the benefits that astrology has to offer, just as you don’t have to be an automobile mechanic in order to enjoy the benefits of driving a car.
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If you’re not already well-versed in horoscope analysis, your best course of action is to schedule a consultation with a competent professional astrologer. When you do so, be sure you’re working with someone who not only has proven astrological expertise, but who also has personal experience in the markets as well. Come prepared with specific questions about your trading experience and your failures and successes in the markets. An intelligent interaction with a skilled astrologer will help you get in touch with the role that your natal Mercury can play in helping you identify opportunities and potential pitfalls in your trading.
Two Key Mercury Considerations
Mercury, because it is the planet closest to the Sun in the solar system, is never far away from the Sun in the natal horoscope. It is thus impossible for a geocentric natal horoscope to have a Sun/Mercury opposition. It’s far more likely that we will find Mercury in the same zodiac sign that the Sun occupies in the natal chart, although it may be in the sign of the zodiac immediately preceding or following that of the Sun.
In understanding the role of Mercury in the natal horoscope, there are two main considerations that can color our individual approach to the markets, and if we fail to take them into account we risk greater liabilities in our trading, simply because we may be blind-sided by our own inability to identify why we do what we do in the markets. The first is the question of natal Mercury’s position relative to that of the Sun, and the second is a consideration of the direction of Mercury’s motion at the time of birth.
Mercury Prometheus and Epimetheus
When we find Mercury at an earlier degree of the zodiac than that of the natal Sun, no matter where the two bodies happen to fall in the natal horoscope, we can say that Mercury rises before the Sun, or is Mercury Prometheus. If it follows the Sun in zodiacal sequence, it is Mercury Epimetheus. This terminology comes from the mythological story of two brothers, Prometheus, who always faced forward and looked into the future, and Epimetheus, who always looked backwards, observing and codifying events in the past.
In the natal horoscope Mercury Prometheus, rising before the Sun, is the morning star, visible just before dawn as long as it is not so close to the Sun that its glow is obliterated by the solar light. Mercury Epimetheus is an evening star, appearing in the western sky in the dusky twilight after the setting of the Sun.
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Because we associate Mercury with mental traits and capacities, this position of Mercury relative to the Sun can give us some valuable insights into the kind of thinking and decision-making that we are most likely to exhibit in our trading activities. If we are oblivious to this dynamic through our ignorance of the workings of the natal chart, we can find ourselves repeatedly making mistakes in our market behavior because our unexamined patterns of thought create the kind of booby-traps that can sabotage effective market analysis and accurate execution of our trades. But once we become conscious of these natal Mercury dynamics, we are more likely to be more tuned in to our thought processes as we approach the market environment, and we at least have an opportunity to temper or modify our thinking enough to perform more effectively as astro-traders.
With Mercury Prometheus in the natal chart, an astro-trader is likely to approach the markets from an intuitive, and sometimes impulsive, standpoint. More often than not, there will be a highly refined capacity for pattern recognition, which can be a valuable tool in spotting trading opportunities.
The kind of skill at rapid insight bestowed by Mercury Prometheus offers a distinct advantage to day-traders and to others who rely on quick and accurate assessments of possibilities in the market, allowing for speedy decision-making and the ability to enter trades at just the right time when suitable trading setups and confirming indicators appear. Mercury Prometheus focuses on transforming abstract thought into concrete reality, and this can often be a real benefit to traders who rely on quick and assertive action. But at times it can also be a liability, especially when it leads to precipitous action that ignores hidden risks and inconsistent indicators.
The trader with Mercury Epimetheus in the the natal horoscope, however, is typically much more deliberative in the trading process. This position of Mercury in the natal horoscope promotes the ability to gather and assimilate massive amounts of data, and the Mercury Epimetheus trader thus typically requires some time to digest and absorb the full implications of market complexities before committing to a trading position. Rigorous back-testing can be a salient strong point for any Mercury Epimetheus astro-trader, who in most cases will be highly focused on price history and traditional methods of market analysis.
But having Mercury Epimetheus can also promote “analysis paralysis,” with the astrotrader becoming so absorbed in the intricacies of assessing opportunities accurately that the opportunities themselves get passed by without being taken advantage of. Without actually putting money on the line, the Mercury Epimetheus astro-trader isn’t really a trader at all, but rather but a passive observer of the markets.