Mercury in Capricornus

IN Capricornus the admirable influence of Saturn upon Mercury is emphasized by the influence of Saturn’s sign. Capricornus lends to Mercury the utmost gravity, dignity, steadfastness, earnestness, comprehensiveness, and power. The memory is usually splendid and the power of concentration is no less good than that of attention to detail. Sometimes these qualities may be over-emphasized. There is now and again a tendency to the lack of a sense of humor, and sometimes this operates as a serious defect. This is particularly true when the environment of the mind is unsuited to this disposition. People with Mercury in Capricornus may sometimes be a little like the skeleton at the feast. They are apt to be bores – they are incapable of frivolity, even at a picnic, and they are likely to be annoyed without cause at what they may think the shallowness of other people, though sometimes those people may merely be laughing at their misplaced seriousness. In youth, this position of Mercury gives what is called an “old head on young shoulders.” There is some disposition to sullenness or sulking. The child seems to be rapt in its own thought; very likely it prefers solitude and does not care for play.

The mind is careful to examine closely any facts which may be presented to it, and it is inclined to suspicion, especially to the suspicion that other people are laughing at it. There is a very strong sense of causality and the reasoning powers generally are admirable. There is no tendency for the mind to waver, but it sometimes shifts violently from one idea to another or from one mood to another. There is very little real joyousness in the mind and the native is often the subject of quite unreasonable fear and liable to fits of depression which may end by endangering the reason. There being so much already of Saturn in the character of the sign itself, aspects of Saturn are sometimes to be feared, as likely to overwhelm altogether the natural elasticity. The unfriendly influence of Neptune and Uranus and even of Mars is equally dangerous. Conjunctions of the Sun may, however, be relied upon largely to counteract any such tendency.

It is very necessary for people with this position of Mercury to cultivate optimism. Good aspects of Venus are decidedly useful in {230} making this possible. If they fail to conceal the general gravity of their disposition, they may find themselves unpopular with the majority of people. They should also be careful to avoid the expression of the often sardonic thought which is one of their characteristics, and they should not give utterance to the rebuke which is very ready on their tongue. These people are very censorious, stern and intolerant. Unless Mercury is well-aspected, they do not make sufficient allowance for the idiosyncracies of other people.

This type of mind is to be distinguished carefully from the critical type, such as we saw in Scorpio. Mercury in Capricornus is not at all critical – its aggressiveness is of a totally different character. The native always knows that he is right and nothing can persuade him of the contrary or even make him listen to arguments. Very often this temperament is associated with extremely narrow views of religion, and the fixity of the mind may not infrequently seem grossly tyrannical to those associated with the native. The attitude is very much that of the schoolmaster. Whenever such people are “dressed in a little brief authority,” they are likely to become even more tyrannical than before. The position also develops an extreme degree of diplomacy which in many cases renders the native very clever in gaining his ends.

In the best cases, those in which the general horoscope indicates the possibilities of real greatness, the bad side of these qualities does not develop in such petty manner, and we have plenty of examples of really admirable characters with this position. In such cases, one must read only the nobler characteristics hitherto mentioned, and even these must be emphasized and expanded.

The founders of Christianity and of Mormonism were both born with this position of Mercury. It seems an admirable position for statesmen. The great protagonists of Victorian politics, Disraeli, and Gladstone, both had it. In Science we find this position in the nativities of Pasteur, Davy, Alfred Russell Wallace, and Havelock Ellis; while literature is represented by Lord Byron, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Sante Beuve, and Ruskin. It will be particularly noticed how excellently capable of laborious, steady constructiveness were all these minds. Even in the case of Lewis Carroll, it must not be forgotten that his real life was that of a mathematician of a very high order. {231}

These people should all be compared and contrasted with the list given under Mercury in Sagittarius. Note the entire difference in the capacity for continuous construction. The more scholarly type of soldier, the organizing general is also represented in this position by General Gordon. Special attention should be paid to the integrity of this man’s mind. Wilhelm II may also be mentioned as an example of a patient, laborious thinker, and in the less exalted, yet truly noble field, we have Sir Isaac Pitman. The task that he set himself recalls that of Dr. Zamenhof previously mentioned under Sagittarius, and here again the contrast between the effect of the two signs is salient. Pitman was no visionary. Common sense was his long suit, and the results have been the practically universal adoption of his system of shorthand. By so far does patience exceed enthusiasm.

As examples of the depressing and constricting effects of this sign, we have Henry VI of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Here there was evidently much incapacity to modify the mind to the exigencies of the situation. In comparing these two monarchs with the statesmen mentioned in previous paragraphs, one must consider the effect of the environment. There are situations in politics where it is decidedly better to be rigid and aggressive; in others, the only policy is to appear to yield.

The following well known persons were born with Mercury in the sign Capricorn:

Benjamin Disraeli

Lord Byron

William Gladstone

General Gordon

Charles Dickens

Lewis Carroll

Alfred Wallace

Sir Isaac Pitman

Louis Pasteur

John Ruskin

Havelock Ellis

Roy Howard

Arthur Brisbane {232}

Stanley Hall

Horatio Dresser

Admiral Dewey

Will Levington Comfort

Edith Cavell

Augustus Thomas

Gelett Burgess

Hudson Maxim

Richard Le Gallienne

Woodrow Wilson

For the benefit of those who are not in possession of Raphael’s Ephemeris, or who are not able to interpret the symbols contained therein, the years when Mercury is in the sign Capricorn are as follows:

From January 14th through February 3d 1840

January 7th “ January 26th 1841

January 1st ” January 18th 1842

December 24th “ December 31st 1842

January 1st ” January 11th 1843

December 17th “ December 31st 1843

January 1st ” January 4th 1844

February 9th “ February 12th 1844

December 9th ” December 31st 1844

January 1st “ February 12th 1845

December 3d ” December 31st 1845

January 1st “ 1846

January 14th ” February 6th 1846

January 11th “ January 31st 1847

January 5th ” January 23d 1848

December 28th “ December 31st 1848

January 1st ” January 15th 1849

December 21st “ December 31st 1849

January 1st ” January 7th 1850

December 14th “ December 31st 1850

January 1st ” 1851

January 24th “ February 15th 1851

December 7th ” December 31st 1851 {233}

From January 1st through February 11th 1852

December 1st “ December 19th 1852

January 14th ” February 3d 1853

January 9th “ January 27th 1854

January 2d ” January 20th 1855

December 26th “ December 31st 1855

January 1st ” January 12th 1856

December 18th “ December 31st 1856

January 1st ” January 4th 1857

December 10th “ December 31st 1857

January 11th ” February 13th 1858

December 4th “ December 31st 1858

January 1st ” January 8th 1859

January 12th “ February 8th 1859

December 3d ” December 6th 1859

January 12th “ February 1st 1860

January 5th ” January 24th 1861

December 30th “ December 31st 1861

January 1st ” January 16th 1862

December 22d “ December 31st 1862

January 1st ” January 9th 1863

December 15th “ December 31st 1863

January 1st ” January 2d 1864

January 29th “ February 15th 1864

December 7th ” December 31st 1864

January 1st “ February 11th 1865

December 2d ” December 24th 1865

January 14th “ February 5th 1866

January 10th ” January 28th 1867

January 3d “ January 21st 1868

December 26th ” December 31st 1868

January 1st “ January 13th 1869

December 19th ” December 31st 1869

January 1st “ January 5th 1870

December 12th ” December 31st 1870

January 16th “ February 14th 1871

December 5th ” December 31st 1871

January 1st “ February 9th 1872 {234}

From December 1st through December 11th 1872

January 12th ” February 1st 1873

January 7th “ January 25th 1874

December 31st ” 1874

January 1st “ January 17th 1875

December 24th ” December 31st 1875

January 1st “ January 10th 1876

December 15th ” December 31st 1876

January 1st “ January 2d 1877

February 3d ” February 13th 1877

December 8th “ December 31st 1877

January 1st ” February 12th 1878

December 3d “ December 29th 1878

January 14th ” February 6th 1879

January 11th “ January 30th 1880

January 4th ” January 21st 1881

December 27th “ December 31st 1881

January 1st ” January 14th 1882

December 20th “ December 31st 1882

January 1st ” January 7th 1883

December 13th “ December 31st 1883

January 1st ” 1884

January 21st “ February 14th 1884

December 5th ” December 31st 1884

January 1st “ February 9th 1885

December 1st ” December 16th 1885

January 13th “ February 3d 1886

January 8th ” January 26th 1887

January 1st “ January 19th 1888

December 24th ” December 31st 1888

January 1st “ January 10th 1889

December 17th ” December 31st 1889

January 1st “ January 4th 1890

December 10th ” December 31st 1890

January 1st “ 1891

January 7th ” February 13th 1891

December 4th “ December 31st 1891

January 1st ” January 3d 1892 {235}

From January 14th through February 7th 1892

January 11th “ January 30th 1893

January 5th ” January 23d 1894

December 29th “ December 31st 1894

January 1st ” January 15th 1895

December 22d “ December 31st 1895

January 1st ” January 8th 1896

December 13th “ December 31st 1896

January 1st ” 1897

January 25th “ February 14th 1897

December 7th ” December 31st 1897

January 1st “ February 10th 1898

December 1st ” December 21st 1898

January 14th “ February 4th 1899

January 9th ” January 28th 1900

January 3d “ January 20th 1901

December 26th ” December 31st 1901

January 1st “ January 13th 1902

December 19th ” December 31st 1902

January 1st “ January 6th 1903

December 12th ” December 31st 1903

January 1st “ 1904

January 14th ” February 14th 1904

December 5th “ December 31st 1904

January 1st ” February 8th 1905

December 2d “ December 9th 1905

January 13th ” February 1st 1906

January 7th “ January 25th 1907

December 31st ” 1907

January 1st “ January 18th 1908

December 23d ” December 31st 1908

January 1st “ January 9th 1909

December 16th ” December 31st 1909

January 1st “ January 3d 1910

January 31st ” February 15th 1910

December 9th “ December 31st 1910

January 1st ” February 12th 1911

December 3d “ December 27th 1911 {236}

From January 15th through February 6th 1912

January 10th ” January 29th 1913

January 4th “ January 22d 1914

December 28th ” December 31st 1914

January 1st “ January 14th 1915

December 20th ” December 31st 1915

January 1st “ January 7th 1916

December 12th ” December 31st 1916

January 1st “ 1917

January 18th ” February 14th 1917

December 6th “ December 31st 1917

January 1st ” February 9th 1918

December 2d “ December 15th 1918

January 14th ” February 3d 1919

January 8th “ January 27th 1920

December 31st ” 1920

January 1st “ January 18th 1921

December 24th ” December 31st 1921

January 1st “ January 11th 1922

December 17th ” December 31st 1922

January 1st “ January 4th 1923

February 7th ” February 13th 1923

December 10th “ December 31st 1923

January 1st ” February 13th 1924

December 3d “ December 31st 1924

January 14th ” February 6th 1925

January 11th “ January 30th 1926

January 5th ” January 23d 1927

December 29th “ December 31st 1927

January 1st ” January 16th 1928

December 21st “ December 31st 1928

January 1st ” January 7th 1929

December 14th “ December 31st 1929


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