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Kim Davis and the Perils of an Overactive Mercury

Tiny little Mercury is often overlooked by astrologers. Its proximity to the Sun and it speedy orbit make it seem an astrological lightweight. However, when Mercury is severely challenged in a horoscope, the results can be disastrous. The little brouhaha that’s been going on in Morehead, KY during the past few weeks is an example of this.

Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowan Co., has become the focus of the national news because of her refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Her refusal is in direct disobedience of a Supreme Court ruling, but Davis claims that granting such license would be a breach of her own Christian beliefs. Her intransigence has sparked a court case and a national debate. After losing in court, Davis was locked up for contempt of court.

Kim Davis was born on Sept. 17, 1965 in Morehead. I do not have a time of birth, however a partial horoscope (click on Kim Davis to see the chart) reveals a very troubled Mercury. Davis has Mercury in Virgo conjunct both Uranus and Pluto, and it is opposed to Saturn. Mercury gets a couple of beneficial sextiles from Neptune and Mars, but is likely also square her Moon in Gemini.

Mercury’s function in the horoscope is to solve the day-to-day problems that get us through life. Through Mercury we organize the information that is constantly flowing around us and contribute to that flow. Davis has Mercury in Virgo, one of the signs it rules. With Mercury in Virgo I would guess that she was very good at handling the routine tasks that came with her job as clerk. In fact, there could be no better placement for a person with that title than Mercury in Virgo.

With Mercury the problems often come when the mind get stuck on ideas that reach beyond the routine and immediate, that seem to have bigger and more universal implications. With Mercury conjunct Uranus and Pluto, Davis in naturally draws to such big ideas and the power they seem to promise. Add to this the opposition to authoritarian Saturn and you get someone willing to sacrifice herself for an idea that she feels coming from a “higher” authority.

During her face-off with the media, Davis claimed that she was acting “under the authority of god.” It’s amazing how often people do really stupid things under the authority of a deity. But this is what happens when we approach issues like religion from the immediate, literal point of view of Mercury. These matters need to be seen though the higher functions of Jupiter, where there is always room for another opinion and greater charity, or Neptune, where it is spirituality, not dogma, that is important, or even Saturn, which is about sacrifice and humility in its highest functions.

As I said, Davis has some “good” aspects to Mercury from Mars and Neptune, but I don’t think these are going to help her much.  Mars and Neptune are in a conjunction and one of the attributes of this aspect is a sense of martyrdom. Obviously, being put in jail feeds this emotion.

Interestingly, Davis recently came up with a solution to her problem. If the legislature changed the law requiring that the county clerk put his or her name on the marriage license, then she could issue these licenses without contradicting her beliefs. This is the kind of simple yet practical solution we might expect from Mercury in Virgo. Unfortunately, it comes way too late.

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