Mercury goes retrograde on November 21, 1998 at 6:40 AM EST at 17 degrees 32 minutes of Sagittarius. It goes direct on December 11, 1998 at 1:24 AM EST at 1 degree 18 minutes of Sagittarius.
Falling right at the early part of the Christmas shopping period this Mercury retrograde could wreck havoc on all who have not carefully planned and organized their purchases. Those who shop unprepared might find the recipients of their gifts at the return counter after Christmas. Astrologically, since Mercury rules wires, connections and communications, itís an easy call to exclude buying any mechanical or electrical objects---or just about anything that has moveable parts.
Leonid Meteor Shower Effects
This Mercury retrograde overlaps with the tail end of the Leonid Meteor shower. The Leonid Meteor shower occurs each year during mid-November. About every 30 years it reaches a period of greatest intensity where the shower can turn into a downpour. The storm in 1998 will be the strongest one since 1966 before the boom in satellite technology. In 1966 there were just about 100 satellites orbiting the earth -- now there are approximately 500.
As they enter the Earthís atmosphere the minute particles from the meteor shower will burn up, not striking the surface of the planet. However the speed of the particles is so accelerated that they could be highly destructive if they hit a satellite. The force on impact can create significant damage if not completely demolish it.
So much of society now depends on this technology from television and banking down to your personal pager. Scientists have expressed varied opinions from non-existent damage to the possibility of particles poking holes in solar panels, pitting lenses, blasting reflective coating off mirrors, shorting out electrical circuits with a burst of electromagnetic energy or even reprogramming computers. Because they are planned to weather nuclear attacks military satellites are less likely to be damaged. To protect it the Hubble Telescope will be pointed away from the meteor shower.
Sagittarius rules the links between nations and Mercury rules connections. The contacts between nations, international connections and communications could be out during much of the retrograde. It will probably take at least until Mercury goes direct to straighten these problems out.
If youíre planning to take a loan, pay or take out a mortgage try and do it in early November. Installation of satellite dependent equipment should be made much before or just after the retrograde. In this instance "better safe than sorry" can readily apply.
In November 1999 the Leonid Meteor shower returns again. though it wonít be as intense as the one in 1998. Mercury will be retrograde from November 4, 1999 through November 24, 1999 during the height (usually November 17) of the shower. With the year 2000 computer glitch on the horizon it could also be an interesting period. The 1998 period could be a coming attraction of what to expect in 1999.
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