Mercury in Capricorn

In Capricorn the admirable influence of Saturn upon Mercury is emphasized by the influence of Saturn’s sign. Capricorn 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 Capricorn 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 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 Capricorn 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,’ 5 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 postion in the nativities of Pasteur, Davy, Alfred Russell Wallace, and Havelock Ellis ; while literature is represented by Lord Byron, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Sainte 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. 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. Zarnenhof 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.

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