Too much emphasis has been laid by astrologers on the fact that Mercury is in his fall and detriment in Pisces. It is true that there is very little which can be called scientific about the mind of any native with this position. The sharp edge of the reason is usually wanting, and there is a disposition to a curious kind of mental idleness, which, however, is not really a defect. It merely means that the mind plunges itself into a bath of reflection, only to emerge purified and strengthened. However, this type of mental operation is not at all understandable by the devotees of reason, pure and simple. Those people who boast that their brains are always clear and active and who measure their achievements by the amount of visible work which they put into them cannot understand such individuals as we are now discussing. One might go further and say that they do not understand the laws under which the creative instinct works, or even the ordinary laws of generation and growth, either in the vegetable or animal kingdom. As a matter of fact, the minds of those born with Mercury in Pisces possess one very contradictory pair of qualities. They are intensely practical in matters of thought, and tend to accept the pragmatic philosophy ; they may even be utilitarians or hedonists. At the same time, they set a high value upon the conclusions of theoretical reasoning ; but it does not follow from this that they will act on these conclusions. There is a fund of strong common sense in their nature and, when it comes to the test, they will follow instinct in preference to reason. In its manifestation, the mental power is far from stable. There may be periods when the mind seems almost dormant. In reality, what is happening is that the subconsciousness has taken hold and wishes to operate without interference from the more active portions of the mind. The memory is extremely retentive and the power of reflection enormous. But there is always this psychic quality in their mental processes. They make statements, ex cathedra, for which they cannot give chapter and verse. They know, but they do not know how they know. To people of different types of mind this often gives the idea that their knowledge is unreliable, but experience proves that this is not the case. Their conversation, as a general rule, is fluent and subtle, but they are decidedly dependent on their environment, and, if their society is uncongenial, they keep silent. Sometimes this trait is very exaggerated ; acute dislike founded upon no tangible reason throws them into a sullen mood, from which it is almost impossible to extricate them. Whenever they find themselves in harmonious surroundings, the fault will be in the other direction. They will talk too much, and, if undeveloped, are rather inclined to be talebearers and revealers of secrets. This is not because of any malice in the disposition, but because they are incapable of appreciating the amount of mischief that an unguarded word may cause. The psychic character of Pisces causes this sign to react upon the mind when Mercury is placed therein, not only by making it sensitive to subtle influences, but also by exposing it to all the disorders which they are apt to cause unless carefully balanced by strong common sense. The mind is not robust and vigorous in the way that we find when Mercury is in a more positive and virile sign. The forces which stir it have a different kind of strength. It is the rapier, not the broadsword. The result is that heavy and longcontinued strain upon the mind brings about nervous -break-downs in a way which could never happen with a person whose Mercury was in Aries or Virgo. Pisces being ruled by Neptune, and Venus being exalted therein, and there being much sympathy both with Neptune and the Moon, it is natural that the artistic temperament should find a very full development in the mind. The tendency is to be romantic, perhaps, but this is not incompatible with extraordinary achievement. Naturally, in many cases, perhaps in most, the Sun will also be in Pisces, accentuating and steadying this disposition. One of the greatest romantic artists that ever lived, Victor Hugo, has this position of Mercury. Charles Baudelaire -brings out more fully the intenser, more psychic, and less flamboyant qualities. Where Mercury refers to voice rather than thought, we have Adelina Patti. Here the quality of Mercury is adapted to the physical organs of speech. The romantic, subtle, and rather shy and retiring temperament of mind is shown by Dr. Rudolph Steiner, who, engaged as he was, in a work of world-wide importance, yet managed to remain quietly and modestly in retirement, neither seeking fame nor troubling himself about advertisement.
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