In Scorpio, Mercury is quick and powerful, sharper than a twoedged sword. No other position so thoroughly accentuates the fierce acuteness of the mind. People with Mercury in this sign are far-seeing and clear-sighted; it is almost impossible to deceive them, but on the contrary they are often over-critical and sometimes incurably suspicious. The thought is bitter and eager, often vitriolic, and the word follows suit. They have an uncanny faculty of knowing exactly where to wound. They make admirable vivisectors on every plane, and they are usually quite unscrupulous in their methods and careless of what pain they may inflict. Furthermore, they are intensely secretive ; they hate to commit themselves to any positive statement, but their capacity for insinuation and innuendo may well be described as infernal. They make the most dangerous enemies, and in some cases (though, fortunately, this is rare) there is something of the snake in their temperament, and they may turn suddenly and treacherously upon their antagonists. They make excellent secret-service men. They are capable of long continued dissimulation and, the imagination being exceedingly vivid, they are well fitted to deceive others. With all these qualities, goes an intense skepticism, an intolerance of the opinions of others whom they regard as inferior, and a supreme contempt for those who disagree with them. On the other hand, the secretive side of the sign may sometimes develop as mysticism or some profound interest in secret societies (particularly, of course, when Mercury is in the twelfth house) or in hidden and obscure matters of one sort or another. They have tremendous capacity for investigation and are quite ruthless in their methods. These qualities often cooperate to bring about success, and some of the most profound seekers into the mysteries of life have this position of Mercury. This is exemplified in its highest and best form by William Blake, probably the most profound mystic that the English race has produced. The activity of mind and the love for secret subjects of thought are shown in the horoscope of Robert Louis Stevenson. The particular determinants of this matter are discussed more fully in another place. Martin Luther exemplifies very clearly the critical, militant, destructive tone of the mind, conferred by this position. Truth, as he saw it, was his God, and he could see Europe plunged into every kind of horror, sooner than abandon a theological thesis which a mind of broader humanity might have considered trivial. An example of the vigorous eloquence and keen critical instincts of this position manifesting in matters of less universal importance is given by John Bright, and of these same qualities in more intense form by Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. W. S. Gilbert, the greatest of the social satirists of the Victorian Age, has Mercury in this sign. Something of the brilliancy and secretiveness, with a most unfortunate turn, not only for repartee, which made him enemies, but for obscure thoughts, which gave them their weapon against him, is shown in the nativity of Oscar Wilde.
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