Mercury in the Signs

MERCURY is the most truly sensitive of all the planets. Venus and the Moon are more easily affected, it is true, but for them a better term is “impressionable.” Mercury is the adolescent; he responds to every impression like the weather-vane, which is a very different thing from the reception and reflection of every impression. In slightly different language, Mercury is not modified by the signs as are the more passive planets; rather each excites him to give a special expression of opinion. Mercury is, as we know, the mind; and while the contents of the mind are determined by the food of the mind, yet {185} different minds deal quite differently with identical foods. It has been said (by Browning, was it not?) that thousands of people before Newton saw apples fall from trees, but their only impulse was to eat them.

The proper and best influence upon Mercury is Saturn, and without his steadying hand to hold him in tutorship to a profounder wisdom, Mercury may be frivolous and vain. It is only when Mercury is overpowered by Venus that the mental qualities become subservient and slavish, so that one may say of the native “he has no mind of his own.” There is, however, always the safeguard of the proximity of the Sun, especially when the conjunction is not too close.

We must urge upon the student to regard carefully the aspects to this planet, but not to accept them as operative unless very close. At the same time whatever aspects may exist will not alter the essential character of Mercury, as determined by the sign in which he is placed. It is further to be observed that the close juxtaposition of the Sun and Mercury makes the quality of the latter, as a rule, practically that of the Sun himself. This is, of course, only natural since there is a closer connection between the man and his mind than there is (for example) between him and his will. The exceptions will be, of course, when Mercury is at his farthest from the sun and in a sign of opposite nature. But the main point to remember is the delicate sensitiveness of the mental ruler, and the fact that such impressions as are made on him are not like seals upon wax, but like the rise and fall of the column of quicksilver at every change in the atmosphere.

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