MERCURY IN THE 6TH HOUSE, OR VIRGO
… part of a chapter of an upcoming book ..
Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects an individual who has desired or needed to create an intense mental focus of an analytical nature. The mental function of the individual with Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo is focused in that which needs to become better or to be repaired, within inner or external reality. Thus, the thought function will be highly critical, and will be oriented to point at and asses that which is not perfect or good enough, in him or herself, in other people, or in whatever aspect of reality in which the individual is focused. At the same time, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects the desire or need to become better in intellectual terms, to think and communicate in more clear, correct or accurate ways. Many times this desire or need is based on past errors, mistakes or indiscretions, or situations in which the individual has not correctly determined relevant priorities, or has failed to discriminate between what is real and what is not real, and this has had different types of consequences. These types of consequences have been the source of desires to think and communicate in better ways. Many times, feelings of guilt and desires to atone have also resulted from these consequences.
In some cases, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects an individual who has been conditioned in his or her ways of thinking by opinions or by beliefs of religious nature which emphasize the idea of an imperfect or fallen nature, or that promote a psychology of atonement as a necessary means to become better and ‘purge’ the imperfection.
Because of these types of reasons, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo is constantly creating thoughts of imperfection or inadequacy, of not being good enough, or of not being prepared to do what he feels or knows that he or she needs to do. Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo tends to override instinct and to override intuition, choosing to be lead by deductive and analytic reasoning. This implies that the natural desire to know the truth about anything can be subjected to logical procedures and methodologies, which is based on the desire to be correct and to avoid error.
The inner vibration of doubt, insecurity, and incorrectness that the critical nature of these thought patterns creates can be projected to external situations and people. In turn, this vibration will serve to attract other people who are also critical with the individual with Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo, and who reflect and reinforce his or her inner criticism. This can translate into an individual who feels persecuted, or who is actually persecuted, by other people who mirror his own inner criticism.
The intense criticism of this mental orientation, unceasingly demanding correction and accuracy, can be highly undermining. In some cases, this can lead to a relative state of paralysis in which the individual feels unable to do what he inwardly feels he or she needs to do, because he or she can always doubt whether his or her understanding or thoughts are right or wrong, or relevant or irrelevant, or whether the individual is good enough to do what it desires or needs to do. Many times, though, an archetypical intention exists for Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo, to create doubt about the validity or accuracy of intellectual constructions, in order for the individual to embrace other dynamics and orientations, including other orientations and approaches to knowledge, and other dimensions of Soul reality. While this is part of the inherent nature of the Mercury archetype itself, which can manifest when Mercury is within any House or Sign, this dimension of the archetype is emphasized when Mercury is in the 6th House or in Virgo. As an example, Carl Jung had Mercury is in the 6th House in Cancer, squaring the nodal axis, with the South Node in the 8th House in Libra, ruled by Venus which is in the 6th House in Cancer conjunct Mercury, and the North Node in the 2nd House in Aries, ruled by Mars in the 11th House in Sagittarius. Pluto is in the 3rd House in Taurus, ruled by the 6th House Venus which conjuncts Mercury, and Pluto is conjunct the Moon, which rules Mercury and Venus in Cancer.
The 8th House, Scorpio and Pluto, correlates with symbols. Thus, with Mercury in the 6th House square the South Node in the 8th House, Jung embarked since he was child in an analysis of religious symbols in which he contrasted the knowledge of religion existing in his family and early social environment, and the deeper meanings he felt were associated with these symbols as revealed to him in his dreams. He felt alienated from the understanding of God existing in consensus and his own family -his father was a rural pastor- and needed to separate himself and to adopt some degree of criticism in relation with consensus religion.
The 6th House Mercury being square the North Node in Aries in the 2nd House, the necessary criticism and discrimination, and the feelings of not fitting in the prevailing Christian religious understanding in his society, promoted a need to think for himself, serving as a vehicle for individuation-the North Node ruler being Mars in the 11th House, that in the end, allowed for a deep understanding of natural laws of the psyche-Mars in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter in the 9th House, and the polarity point of Pluto being in the 9th House in Scorpio-a bottom line evolutionary intention of Jung’s Soul. Because Mercury in the 6th House is square to the South Node, with Pluto being in the 3rd House-a Mercury House-and further, with Mercury being square to the 9th House Jupiter within the Disseminating phase which correlates with social forms, Jung inwardly knew that there was still something relevant and meaningful within the knowledge and symbolic forms existing in consensus religions, despite the fact their deeper meaning was not really being grasped or perceived by modern common people in Jung´s point of view. The 6th House Mercury in Cancer reflects the analysis of knowledge forms and symbols- Mercury is the ruler of the 8th House cusp-existing in his own home and the roots of his culture, such as fairy tales, and religion. Thus, his desire was not to totally dismiss the symbolic knowledge contained in existing traditions and pursue knowledge by some other means, but rather to extract the knowledge contained in these traditions by means of understanding the language of the symbols in religion, tales, myths, and dreams, etc. Along this process, within Jung’s Soul intellectual enquiry, his Soul was motivated by bottom line desires to embrace a larger truth (the polarity point of Pluto being in the 9th House cusp in Scorpio, and Pluto is in the 3rd House in Taurus). Because Pluto is in Taurus in the 3rd House, and the Moon’s nodes are in the 8th House/2nd House axis, from Libra to Aries, it is obvious that the bottom line evolutionary intentions of the Pluto polarity point in the 9th House in Scorpio imply embracing a natural understanding of sexuality and gender. The Venus/Mercury conjunction in the 6th House in Cancer being square the nodes, with Venus being the planetary ruler of the South Node in Libra, demonstrate that prior understanding has been conditioned by patriarchal ideas and beliefs which devaluate and humiliate the role of women, and the feminine. Jung relates in his memories the fear he experienced during his childhood toward his mother, which represented a source of deep mystery, of something he felt unable to understand. Later in his life he gravitated to ever deeper religious symbols from his own and other cultures that related to the ancient cults of the Goddess, and postulated the principle of “quaternity”, which he thought about as a missing piece within psychic totality, of a feminine nature. He further proposed, at the point of his intellectual separation from Sigmund Freud, the need to embrace the natural incestuous desires for the mother in order for integration of the personality to occur. Jung used analysis and criticism in order to separate from prevailing understanding of culture and the psyche, and as a means to give meaning and order to the inner experience, which allowed him, and his clients, to connect with deeper sources of inner knowledge, thus using analysis as a means for healing.
In some cases, the focus on imperfection or incorrectness of Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo can create such proliferation of thoughts that the individual is unable to access his or her own core of feelings and emotions, or which prevent the individual from perceiving the larger patterns of any situation or experience in ways which would allow for understanding or resolution. Mercury in this House or Sign position tends to override intuition, and even when the individual has a direct intuition, he or she will normally prefer to follow a linear or deductive procedure to check the rationally defined possibilities. Most of the times, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo is focused in the parts or details, rather than the whole, and can create all types of intellectualizations that block the perception of that which is in the base of any situation or problem. Again, there will always be reasons why the individual has needed to create this analytic and deductive orientation. Of course individual factors in the birthchart can result in a different approach. In general terms, the archetype of Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects an evolution that ranges from a pre-existing need to become analytic and accurate, to a need to purge an excessive orientation of intellectual, self-critical nature.
Many times, the individual with Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo has created crises, and can continue to create crises, because of being disconnected or not giving enough attention to its immediate circumstances. From Mercury’s point of view, the intention of these crises has been to induce an adjustment of how the individual linear understands and relates to the immediate circumstances of his or her life, in ways that promote a betterment of these circumstances, versus being caught and paralyzed by the thoughts of imperfection or futility. From the point of view of the archetype, this demands learning to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, versus procrastinating or evading the work at hand because of not feeling prepared to do it. Some times, these types of crises will be induced by episodes of mental exhaustion of breakdown, in which the individual simply cannot go on thinking, and that are created because of the enormous investment that has existed in thoughts of incorrectness or inadequacy, translating in an impossibility of the thought function to work properly because of operating against itself, and fueled by self-doubt. This dynamic only perpetuates the disconnection of the individual from its circumstances and life.
In some cases, the inner and outer disconection of the individual can manifest through the body, in ‘psychosomatic’ ways, implying that is the body itself that ‘speaks’ in order to reflect the inner reality the individual is alienated from or has been reluctant to address.
Thus, many times, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects the individual need to linearly understand-to talk about-why he or she has needed to create crises as a means for self-knowledge to occur, in order that this dynamic can be resolved and healed. Also many times the individual needs to understand and relate to his feelings of futility, guilt, shame, or inadequacy, and the existing desires to become better, and the reasons for these feelings and desires. It is quite common that this themes need to be talked about with client. While this type of information is needed by the individual, it can also have an emotional impact that creates some level of crisis or which reinforces the very same feelings of futility or guilt. The birthchart needs to be accurately analyzed in order to determine in the most exact possible way, what information needs to be delivered to the client, and how, and what information should not be delivered, when answering the client’s questions. Many times it is necessary to give the client, in the same session, other types of information that reinforce other aspects in which the individual can feel to be ‘good’ enough or well oriented, which counteract the reasons for guilt or inadequacy. When the feelings of guilt or inadequacy are based on religious or cultural conditioning from this or other lifetimes, ie. induced guilt, the information needs to be delivered in ways which allow to understand the impact of this conditioning on the individual way of thinking.
In some cases, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflect that an evolutionary need has existed to ‘humilate’ the intellect, and to purge prior security associations that were based on an overly intellectual orientation, or in manmade opinions. The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein had Mercury in the 6th House in Taurus and his writings reflect an ongoing need to limit the power of intellectual certainty. In his birthchart, Pluto is in the 7th House in Gemini, with the South Node in the 2nd House Capricorn conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn in the 2nd House, ruled by Saturn in the 9th House in Leo.
Thus, his Soul came into the current life with a feeling of intellectual and philosophical superiority, which were based on consensus ways of thinking, creating a limitation in his patterns of relatedness with other people, and integration with society in general-Uranus Rx in the 11th House in Libra squaring the nodes. He was born through a consensus family, his father being one of the wealthiest men in Europe at that time, and was educated catholic and according to exacting consensus standards.
In order to evolve, his Soul needed to create inner confrontations-North Node in the 8th House-that would trigger insecurity-the ruler of the North Node, the Moon, in the 4th House in Pisces, as needed to allow a progressive discovery of his personal truth beyond intellectual associations-Pluto polarity point in the 1st House in Sagittarius. In turn, embracing the own personal truth demanded a progressive integration of the emotional body-North Node in the 8th House in Cancer, the Moon in the 4th House in Pisces. This intention was triggered trough the authoritarian early education and family environment in which natural emotional needs he had as a child were not met-South Node in Capricorn, and also specifically, through the impact of such emotional orientation in his siblings, which lead three of his five brothers to commit suicide-Pluto conjunct Neptune in the 7th House in Gemini, North Node in the 8th House Cancer, Moon in Pisces in the 4th House, Uranus in Libra square the Nodes. Because his Soul has been overly defined by consensus philosophical perspectives and dogmatic ways of looking at life, intellectual crises were needed in order to allow new value associations beyond socially constructed ‘truth’ and opinions-Mercury in the 6th House, relative to Pluto in Gemini, Jupiter conjunct the South Node in Capricorn in the 2nd House, ruled by Saturn in the 9th House. The intensity of the crises with consensus and family values is reflected in first place in Pluto being square the 10th and 4th House cusps, Pluto being ruled by Mercury in the 6th House, within a stellium of planets in the 6th House Taurus. He in fact at some point renounced to the family inheritance, because of this alienation from the values of his family, and the intensity of the conflict with his father. The need for these crises was also based on a conflict, based on consensus, patriarchal conditioning, with the life of the senses, and sexuality-Mercury in the 6th House in Taurus-also because of his Soul bisexual desires. In order to advance in the intention to liberate from prior intellectual security associations, Wittgenstein turned the intellect against itself, using the linear reasoning to demonstrate that the logical basis of language forms that serve to construe veritable propositions are based on assumptions which are not verified from a logical point of view, but rather, are part of the context in which the language propositions are used which determine or explain the meaning of words and propositions. Thus, he could write “when one writes that such and such a proposition can’t be proved, of course that does not mean it can’t be derived from other ones. But they may be no more certain than it is itself” or “from its seeming to me –or to everyone-to be so, it doesn´t follow that it is so. What we can ask is whether it can make sense to doubt it”.
In some cases, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo reflects the evolutionary intention to understand the nature of the inner void or emptiness. Some individuals with this natal Mercury position can experience deep feelings of emptiness, which though, can trigger a desire to fill the emptiness though an unceasing creation of thoughts or search for information, or by means of keeping itself always busy, or always ‘working’, so to speak. Through this dynamic, the individual avoids being in contact with the inner feelings of emptiness. In these cases the intention is for the individual to create a type of order in its life allowing to be in contact with the inner experience on a regular basis.
In general terms, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo needs to understand that whatever it desires to improve, can only become better in a progressive way, step by step.
In order to promote its evolution, Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo needs to embrace its polarity: the 12th House or Pisces. This means creating a counterpoint for the intellectual function which is focused in the total reality, instead of being always focused on parts or details. It implies a need to discriminate between that which the individual can progressively improve, and that which needs to be simply accepted by the individual because he or she cannot change it. It implies an expansion of the focus of awareness in order to include other factors and acting forces that exist in any situation beyond the limits of the individual. The Pisces polarity further allows the individual to contact the inner emptiness, by means of being receptive to what can manifest from within, through this inner emptiness, beneath the layers of intellectualization or thinking. For this to occur, the individual needs to create an order in the reality of its life in which there is time for work, and time for not work, ie. time in which the individual is not busy in which the inner experience can be expanded. This orientation will allow for a progressive or at least momentary dissolution of the feelings of futility, imperfection or inadequacy, and will promote inspiration, which in turn will allow to think in ways which are focused on solutions, and in ways in which advancement is possible, versus being paralyzed because each prospective way to follow seems paved with difficulties.
In general terms, the Pisces polarity will allow the individual, on a progressive basis, to guide its intellectual function by the continuum of experience, instead of constructing a fragmentary and shortcut experience which is guided by the linear reasoning. Further, many times the Pisces polarity demands to understand that the idea of perfection is a manmade idea, that reality is in itself imperfect, as the Source from which everything emanates is in Itself imperfect: an energy/consciousness in its own evolutionary quest. Thus, the individual with Mercury in the 6th House or Virgo will be able or willing to accept imperfection in him or herself.
Famous people with Mercury in the 6th House
Jane of Arc
Augustine of Hippo