Saturn in Virgo

There is no doubt that Saturn and Mercury are great friends – just as in life one often sees attraction between an old philosopher and a clever child. So Virgo is found even more sympathetic to Saturn than Gemini. The heights may not be so high as the best dignities in Gemini, but there is never danger of any real trouble. Virgo being an earthy sign is more of the nature of Saturn, and the agricultural implication is also present to link them. This kinship tends greatly to stability of moral character, and to the confirmation of practical wisdom. It gives and orderly, critical and analytical mind, usually of a serious cast if Saturn is well dignified. The intellect should be capable and original. 

The affliction of the Lord of Virgo would, or course, detract from these elements, and perhaps wring reason dry. So, too, would any serious damage wrought on Saturn himself. In fact, we shall find not only some of the wisest but some of the most foolish of mankind with this position; and it will be our duty to make it clear why it should act rather as Caliban supposed Setebos to act. One may add, before proceeding to examples, that, Virgo being the Hermit in the Tarot, the solitariness of Saturn is brought out and emphasized by this sign. Every one of our examples will be found a person of solitary habit and disposition. This must be taken as modifying and illustrating everything that may be said of them in other ways. Three great Theosophists, H. P. Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner and Colonel Olcott have all this position of Saturn, H. P. Blavatsky is enormously strong, being in exact conjunction with Mars, and very close conjunction with Mercury. These indicate the extraordinary strength of will and persistence which she possessed, so far as the mental plane was concerned. 

Mr. Steiner's Saturn is not so unique or so dominant. He has the opposition of Sol, but luckily the square of Uranus lends illumination, and the trine of Mars practical power. However, the main point is abundantly confirmed. The forces which concentrate and resist disintegration are supreme; the opposition of Sol only indicates that this is accomplished somewhat at the expense of the vitality. 

Colonel Olcott's Saturn received no assistance from any quarter {419} beyond a trine of Mars and semi-sextile of the Sun and Venus. Here, then, is a case of a moral character strong enough, but not more than enough. He made consequently an admirable Chief of Staff, but lacked great originality. He was a modern St. Paul to theosophy. 

Rather like him in character are three British Generals, best known of any in their day; Roberts, Wolseley and Gordon. The first of these has Jupiter rising, in exact opposition, and Mercury in exact conjunction, and trine to Neptune. The latter gave him the insight to foresee the Great War. The former shows that his warning would fall upon deaf ears. The whole configuration caused him to become a prominent figure in that war. 

Gordon, on the other hand, a much less fortunate soldier, was of tremendous moral force, influencing the whole trend of English thought, even from the distance of China. His Saturn, too, is opposed by Jupiter, but the trine of Mars, Mercury and Neptune more than atones for this. 

Lord Wolseley, least of the three, has a very flabby Saturn. Venus is trine, and Neptune and Mercury nearly trine, and this is all the help that he gets. We have, therefore, an able soldier, whose moral force is weak, and in the end he was shelved, as might be expected with the Sun squared by Saturn. 

Another soldier is seen in Garfield, and again there is only the aid of a trine of the Moon, a sextile of Mars and a semi-sextile of Venus. There is, however, no affliction and we may take it that Saturn in a sympathetic sign like this is strong enough for all the ordinary purposes of life. It is only in serious crises that additional help is required; and doubtless Saturn's position in the twelfth (the house of treachery) was responsible for his assassination. 

Maximilian of Mexico was also unfortunate. Here Saturn has only the sextile of Mercury, the Sun and Venus. He stands at the Nadir, isolated and unprotected. 

A king of a very different sort was Nero, although his early promise was so bright. But though Saturn was sextile to Jupiter, it was square to the Sun, and the effect seems to have been to loosen the moral sinews. This is further accentuated by Mars being in Taurus, in opposition to Jupiter and conjunction with Venus, which explains the terrible part he played as dictator of Rome. {420} 

We may now consider the case of the anarchist Vaillant, who has the conjunction of Jupiter and the opposition of Neptune, as well as the square of Uranus and Mercury. Jupiter conteracts the firmness of Saturn and Neptune attacks the weakened planet with the full force of his eccentricity. The result we known. Note, however, in particular how the disturbance takes place in the mind on its practical side: Saturn in Taurus (for instance) with similar aspects, would have furnished a totally different picture. 

Another example is Marie Bashkirtseff. Here Saturn, in the Mid-heaven, is square to Uranus and Mercury. Her Venus in Libra, trine to Uranus, was incapable of diverting her abnormal mentality into normal channels. 

It will be instructive to contrast the dreamy melancholy mind and temper of Coleridge with the bright, positive, firm yet whimsical mind and temper of Lewis Carroll. The poet has Saturn in conjunction with Venus and Neptune. The will to resist is altogether eaten up, and opium naturally had no trouble in enslaving him. 

The author of “Alice in Wonderland” on the contrary had the trine of Mercury, and Saturn rides gaily in the ninth house, like that of Coleridge, but uninterfered with by any weakening forces. Yet the brighter planets helped Coleridge far more; in all that really counts he was the greater man. It is only on the plane of life, in the bonds of time and space, that he failed. “His giant wings interfered with his walking.” 

Half way between these two stands Bulwer-Lytton. Saturn is in the third house, and neither very strong nor very weak. But there is nothing to interfere with his free action, and so the native was able to manage his affairs remarkably well, and with prudence and cunning. He never obtruded his moral strength, but it never relaxed; and this is one of the principal keys to a successful career. 

In the case of George Sand there is a trine of Mars, and a sextile of Neptune, making the character vivacious, kaleidoscopic, and full of genius. There is no hindrance, but great help to the self-control and in addition there is the inestimable quality of variety. 

The character of Maurice Maeterlinck now claims our attention. Here Saturn has the square of Herschel, good for mystic insight but rather tending to disturb the concentration. But Mercury is not far from conjunction, so we see the self-interested qualities reinforced by {421} shrewdness and cleverness. Saturn, incidentally, is in the tenth house; from this it appears that the ego occupies itself intensely with the fruits of fame. 

Victor Hugo has the conjunction of Jupiter, the semi-sextile of Herschel, and the opposition of Sol and Venus. This complex is difficult to disentangle; one need, however, only remark that the absence of help from Mars diminished the possibilities of his becoming the hammer; he had to take the part of the anvil. Saturn, however, is strong enough, and on the mental plane he was able to do great work, culminating from his exile with very great effect against the tyrant who had put him there. 

The following well known persons were born with Saturn in the sign Virgo: 

Lord Roberts 



Victor Hugo 

James A. Garfield 

Charles E. Hughes 

Jane Addams 

Bliss Carman 


Alan Dale 

Walter Damrosch 

Josephus Daniels 

Reginald de Koven 

Alexander Dumas 

Dean Cornwell 

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 Saturn is in the sign Virgo are as follows: 

From August 26th 1860 through October 22nd 1862 

April 23rd “ July 9th 1863 

October 7th 1889 ” February 24th 1890 {422} 

From June 28th 1890 through December 26th 1891 

January 23rd “ August 29th 1892 

August 12th 1919 ” October 7th 1921

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