In Aquarius we again find the influence of Saturn decidedly beneficial to Mercury. It is an even better position for the planet than Capricorn, since Aquarius is also air, and does not fix the mind in such stubborness as the previous sign. We must also reflect upon the good influence of the sign itself. The mind of the native having this position of Mercury tends naturally to science and humanitarianism. Its interests are not so earth-bound and selfish. There is not quite the same faculty of steady application for this very reason. One must not expect any sign to combine all the virtues and exclude all the vices. But the faculty of concentration is admirable, and the mind is ingenious, resourceful, and logical, and that in a much better sense than we found with Capricorn. The logic of Capricorn is too rigid for application to practical affairs. It reigns supreme only in the exact sciences. The native loves truth for its own sake, but more in truth as a quality than in a mere collocation of facts. He understands Newman’s outburst against Huxley, “As if evidence were the test of truth!” It may be said here that there are two general types of minds among men, and this remark of Newman’s is a very touchstone by which to recognize them. To one class, Newman’s remark appears a triumphant refutation of academic precision and scholastic dullness. The other is absolutely bewildered by such a remark. He cannot conceive of any other test of truth than evidence. To him the sentence appears meaningless. And yet he may be subconsciously distressed by the mere existence of any man who can say such a thing. Now, we should not like to say definitely that Mercury in Aquarius would be violently partisan on either side. On the contrary, it is just these people who understand both positions and lean strongly to neither. The antithesis on this point would be Capricorn and Pisces the former understanding nothing that could not be proved in Barbary, the other contemptuous of all such conventional sources of knowledge. This rule will be found practically invaluable. The native with Mercury in Aquarius is a clever reasoner, but does not altogether disdain sophistry. He consequently makes a dangerous opponent in any argument, but he is amenable to reason and he often pronounces, for the sake of exercising his wits, propositions in which he does not seriously believe. He is usually a good judge of human nature, deriving his conclusions both from intuition and from experience. Where these conflict he is sometimes found at a loss. The weak point of this sign is the absence of artistic impulse. Even where the power of visualization is great, its expression tends to be commonplace. Compare Swedenborg, who had this position, with Blake, whose Mercury was in Scorpio, the writings of both dealing with visions of a character decidedly similar. This sign gives a very pronounced tendency to investigations into the occult, but on lines much less mystical than we found in Scorpio. Besides Swedenborg, we have Proclus, Picus de Mirandola, and Swami Vivekananda. All these possessed immense learning, a strong power of vision, and were accurate observers and devoted students, but not one of them possessed the power of imagination in its highest sense. As common as the capacity for research into these subtler matters of the soul is that for practical invention. In this connection one need only mention the name of Edison.
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