Last week was an exercise in finding your European gene.  As we are confronted with Mercury retrograde today, we struggle to make sense of the Polish plane crash which was in the news at the start of the week and the grounding of planes in Europe by the end of the week due to the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.  Has she spoken for Gaia (yes), and is there any connection with the financial relations between Iceland and the UK, given the wound sustained to Iceland’s banking system? (maybe).  Starting with Poland’s  tragedy,  Uranus was opposing the natal Mercury in Poland’s 1989 chart, an indication of an air accident.  The poignancy of the event for the nation could not be ignored, and even Russia rallied to the cause.  In the UK on Thursday as we struggle to find our political identity Nick Clegg surprised the political pundits by forging ahead in the polls after his performance.  The North Node was transiting his Sun, bringing a moment of destiny but we do not have a birth time and do not know in which house of his chart this is placed.  Katherine Whitehorn states in the Observer this morning: “I want a hung parliament.  Then laws will actually have to be passed because parliament has so decided, not because they seemed a good idea on the sofa in 10 Downing Street.” And as for the Icelandic saga, both charts I looked at for Iceland have significant Saturn transits.  Throughout all these difficult events this week, Saturn has been sitting on the Ascendant for the chart of the European Union.  So the question to put to Mercury if you were interviewing him this week, would be: “Is there  any way things can get better while you are retrograde?”  How much of the phenomena we ascribe to Mercury retrograde is due to the fact that we now have Mercury Retrogradophobia, now that it is almost a colloquial term?  Mercury represents communications and weather, and we need to own our personal contributions to unclear communications and global warming, starting with the things we can change.  Also today the Sun sextiles Neptune, and we can acknowledge the fog in our collective psyche, as we look at its current symbol in the form of the volcanic ash cloud.  Looking at your own illusions can be a near-impossible task, but like the cloud we know it is there even though we can’t actually see it.  So give a nod to the inner illusion and/or the volcanic ash, and keep asking “Why are you here?”  On Tuesday the Sun enters Taurus, the sign of determination, and is sextile Chiron, so more of the same questions, but problem-solving and healing could become closer, for instance on the restoration of air flight in Europe.  Thinking outside the box may produce answers, and according to some ephemerides Chiron enters Pisces that day so the waters contain the answer for some.  The collective psyche becomes an answer for many questions, where people had looked to their own lives and localities as the be all and end all.  There will be much more of a feeling that we are all in this together during the era of Chiron in Pisces.  Venus squares Neptune on Friday 23rd, and the waters are muddied by financial scores to be settled.  In our personal lives we take another look at romantic illusions, on the way to seeing the real value of relationship and friendship.  Efficient handling of this square could reap rewards for Saturday 24th, when Venus restores good relations with two of her heavenly compatriots: Saturn and Uranus.  She first sextiles Uranus, which allows an intuitively led turnaround in relationship and finance, and seeing these in a higher way.  Then she trines Saturn, bringing about a balance which includes reality, but may exclude romanticism.  At the end of the week, loyalty wins the day.  Despite this, can Nick Clegg hold on to his lead after the second televised debate on Sky on Thursday?  A Hung Parliament and Vince Cable for Chancellor are still on my wish list.