Monday, August 27, 2007

Mercury's People

I have among my collection of secondhand books a slim volume, "An Astrology Primer for the Millions", by American astrologer of the 20th century, Carl Payne Tobey. It really looks like a primer, too. I wonder if the look was intentional, tongue-in cheek ? The print is larger than normal, easy line spacing, and the bookcover is plasticised - wipeable for sticky fingers ? The contents are hardly kindergarten level though!

Mr. Tobey grouped the zodiac signs in pairs in order to explain their meanings: "Two signs will represent opposite phases of the same principle". The signs are paired thus: Cancer/Leo. Gemini/Virgo. Taurus/Libra. Aries/Scorpio. Pisces/Sagittarius. Aquarius/Capricorn.

Apart from Cancer/Leo ruled by Moon and Sun , the other pairs are traditionally ruled by the same planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, respectively.

To seasoned astrologers this is basic knowledge, of course. Even a novice like myself knows the principle of planetary rulership - yet I'd never really compared each pair in the way Carl Payne Tobey does. He does point out, by the way, that in this context, we are to understand "rule" as in measure, rather than "rule" as in king.

As the Sun has just recently moved into the zodiac sign of Virgo, I'll mention a few of Mr Tobey's remarks about Virgo and its partner, Gemini, as examples. Bearing in mind, always, that these remarks hold good for any Virgo or Gemini emphasis in a chart - not simply the Sun in Virgo or Gemini. For instance, a person with three planets in Virgo, but Sun in, say Libra, could come over as more Virgoan than a person with only Virgo Sun, especially if the Virgo planets fall near to one of the angles (ascendant, midheaven and points opposite).

An extract from the chapter on Virgo/Gemini:

As a sign, Virgo can do the worrying, but Virgo lives on a material rather than on an abstract plane.......they know the rules of etiquette and abide by them. They can be hard workers and they will keep the work well organised. They are good observers of all the details, how a word is spelled, where the knife and fork should be, the date and time of day when Joe and Mary were married. If you want a good secretary, get a Virgo girl. (Note from me - let's not be sexist - make that "or boy"!) Sticking to rules and routine doesn't bother Virgo much, but can drive Gemini crazy. Virgo can make a great proofreader. The sign won't miss a mistake. Virgo wants things to work on the material plane. Gemini does too, but not enought to stay with it and frustrate himself. Virgo is more money conscious, it likes bargains, and could often become a sucker for one. Virgo can tolerate routine, while Gemini can dislike it. Virgo is much more concerned with what other people think. Gemini will listen to what others think but won't be concerned about it.
Virgo sees cause in matter. Gemini sees cause in ideas. As a rule Gemini will see the humorous or ridiculous side of things, while Virgo will see the more serious side. These are both mental signs, but a different kind of mentality.

Among...the two signs, we do not particularly find the executive type. Gemini isn't particularly interested in ruling over others...Virgo needs somebody behind to make some of the decisions and back them up."

(I've omitted or amended some masculine references only to satisfy my own Aquarian need for equality. In the era this book was written, equality of the sexes was barely in its infancy.)

"These two signs are closely related to the nervous system. They are the signs of communication, but the mind of Virgo is built to deal with material things, while the mind of Gemini deals with ideas, principles and abstractions. They can both be restless, but Gemini is a very restless sign. It is difficult for these people to sit still. They have to be moving around. Virgo is a disciplined sign. The Virgo lives in accord with the rules, even when not understanding what they are all about. Gemini is more likely to change the rules for each occasion, or for each day. Gemini wants to know why, while Virgo is more often satisfied with the authorities, more inclined to go along with the authorities."

"You may find writers born under Gemini, but they are usually writers of short material. They don't like to stay with any one subject for too long. For this reason they are never monotonous. You usually find quite a number of these people around a newspaper office. They are not dogmatists. .......One of their great weaknesses is that they can't make up their minds, or having made up their minds, they change them. The sign is said to represent a double personality......there can be a bit of the hobo in Gemini. Travel can be good for the Gemini soul. The Gemini mind thinks fast and it can go around in many circles. "

I have no planets in Gemini and only Neptune in Virgo, so I cannot vouch personally for any of the above, except to say that my grandfather, and a couple of my friends all have/had Gemini strongly featured in their charts, and the above appears to be quite accurate for them. I worked with a Sun Virgo for many years, who seems, looking back, very Gemini-like, whilst another, Sun Gemini, friend in the UK is distinctly Virgo-like. Now that's puzzling!

No comments: