(from a chapter of an upcoming book on Mercury)
Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius correlates with and individual who has desired to expand its conscious awareness and its understanding of reality, beyond the immediacy of his or her circumstances, and to embrace a larger framework or view about the nature of reality in general, of which the immediate circumstances are only a particular manifestation. In order to understand this larger context, the individual has desired to understand the general or abstract patterns defining the perceived totality of phenomena. In most cases, the individual has desired to embrace, as a means to understand the nature of the larger context, systems of thought of philosophical, cosmological, metaphysical or spiritual nature. The width of scope of the larger context, and the totality defining the frame of reference the individual has desired to embrace in an experiential way, will be relative in each case to the evolutionary state of the individual. In all cases, the individual has desired to expand the existing frame of reference defining his or her prior understanding. The desire which lies on the root of this impulse is a desire to know and understand the totality of the Manifested Creation. This naturally requires a long process, in which the Soul progressively embraces an ever larger and more encompassing understanding. In itself, the nature of Manifested Creation is not linear or sequential, but phenomenal: lights and shadows, diffuse appearances which are always changing. It is the form or structure of human consciousness, operating within time-space conditioned reality, which causes the sequential, linear order in which phenomena are presented to consciousness, and thought based on immediate connections, translating into a constructed world which appears to have a relative solidity and stability. This relative solidity and stability creates a sense of security, because within some parameters is supposed to guarantee the permanence and regularity of the known reality. However, even within the constructed world, we also experience that which we are not capable to understand linearly, which naturally triggers desires to know more than we already know. It is the desire to understand the larger context or the larger connections of anything which sets in motion the dynamic within consciousness called intuition, by which the consciousness can directly grasp larger patterns or underlying natural laws which define whatever situation of phenomenon. In turn, human consciousness has the capacity, when not directly knowing based on self-experience, to have ‘beliefs’, ie. to believe things to be some way without having actual knowledge. And the beliefs themselves can be true in some cases, and false in other cases. In any case, most individuals will take their beliefs to be the actual truth, and these beliefs will condition or filter what they consider to be real, or not real, and even, some will desire to convince or convert others to their own beliefs. Thus, there can exist different reasons and intentions for which an individual is born with Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius, and different manifestations of this archetype depending on the evolutionary condition of the individual and the main evolutionary axis and chart configuration. Some individuals with Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius have desired to expand their awareness beyond the immediacy of their environment, and such expansion of awareness has actually occurred to a relative degree, either through learning from direct, personal experience, through learning by contemplation of Nature, through travelling to distant places in search of knowledge, or through a gravitation to teachings or philosophical ideas. Some will desire to read tales or stories about the travels or experiences of others. Some have been exposed in different ways to opinions and types of thought -Mercury-of religious, philosophical, cosmologic, metaphysical or spiritual nature in past lifetimes, and these opinions and types of thought have had an impact on the intellectual dynamics of the Soul.
Because of the desires to perceive and understand the general patterns and the larger context of their experience or observed reality, some of these individuals operate at an intellectual level in ways which are more or less disconnected or alienated from their immediate circumstances. Gravitation to knowledge of transcultural nature, or belonging to other types of cultures which are totally different than the society of birth, can create further alienation because these individuals naturally communicate in ways that are difficult to understand to others, because they are not based on the consensus ways of thinking of the society, and thus, perceive other types of connections between phenomena. Because the operation of the right brain is intensified, some of these individuals can be highly intuitive, and have a capacity to perceive relations and patterns which are not apparent for most people. Some of these individuals can experience difficulties in communicating with others, because of the need to translate the holistic, intuitive understanding or vision, into a linear language structure that can be understood by other people. An example of the visionary nature of Mercury in the 9th House could be the famous sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who had Mercury in the 9th House in Sagittarius, conjunct the Sun and Saturn, Mercury being the planetary ruler of the North Node in Gemini which is on the 2nd House.
At age 23 Dick sold his first story, and from that moment became a full-time writer for the rest of his life, writing 44 published novels and 121 short stories. In his prolific writing, Dick explored sociological and political themes, combining the abusive power of monopolistic corporations and authoritarian governments-Mercury in the 9th House relative to the Moon’s South Node in the 8th House in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter in the 1st House which inconjuncts the South Node and squares Venus in the 11th House in Aquarius, with Uranus being in the 1st House in Aries trine to the South Node and squaring Mars Rx in the 4th House-reflecting prior lifetimes of his Soul involving intense confrontations of minority groups against larger powers of social nature, with resulting trauma thereof. In combination, Dick wrote in his novels and stories about themes related to drug abuse, schizophrenia and paranoia, parallel realities and alternate universes, the nature of reality itself, altered states of consciousness and mystical experiences, metaphysics and theology-Mercury in the 9th House is the ruler of Neptune, which is Rx in Virgo, squaring the nodal axis. Venus is conjunct Pallas and the Moon in the 11th House in Aquarius, ruled by Uranus in the 1st House in Aries, and the Moon rules Pluto Rx in the 4th House in Cancer which forms a sesquicuadrate aspect to the South Node in the 8th House within the Disseminating phase.
Neptune in Virgo squaring the Nodes is trine to Jupiter in the 1st House, inconjunct Uranus in the 1st House, and tri-septile to Venus in Aquarius in the 11th House within the Gibbous phase. Relative to the observed evolutionary state, these symbols reflect, beyond trauma based on persecution of minority groups and confrontation with larger powers, the karma or a martyr in Jeff Green’s terminology. This implies a Soul that within the context of natural communities was given a mission in some prior lifetime or lifetimes, which in this case was based on dissemination of teachings within a social context- also, the Mercury/Saturn conjunction being within the New phase, with Saturn being the ruler of the 10th House- which in turn undermined and eroded the existing social order and threatened the powers that be, because of the nature of the teachings themselves and the types of relationships it promoted between people-Jupiter in the 1st House ruling Mercury/Saturn New phase conjunct in the 9th House, correlating with a ‘new religion’ -Jupiter ruled by and being squared by Venus in Aquarius- new and natural ways of relating between people. In the words of Jeff Green, “anytime you have the karma of a martyr, you are dealing with, from a psychological point of view, an abnormal life that became larger than life itself, and assumed almost supernatural dimensions”. Such phenomenon is demonstrated in this birthchart in the 9th House Sagittarius stellium, with Neptune Rx in the 5th House trine to Jupiter in the 1st House which also trines the 9th House planets. With the 5th House Neptune being at the early degrees of Virgo, an obvious correlation would be the dissemination of Christian teachings, leading to the persecution and martyrdom by the romans. When Dick was 45, while recovering from the effects of sodium pentothal after having an impacted wisdom tooth removed, he began having a series of visions which lasted for several months, and about which he continued to elaborate along the rest of his life-he would write a diary about these experiences which ended having more than ten thousand pages, many times writing various hundreds of pages each night. The series of visions began when a woman showed up at his home to deliver some painkillers, a woman who wore a necklace with a pendant having the symbol of the Vesica Piscis. The woman told him this was a symbol used by early Christians. Dick was absorbed in contemplation of the symbol and a ‘pink beam’ he began perceiving and feeling. At that point, he began to ‘remember’ complete images which related to early Christianity and to Gnosticism, and he ‘recalled’ the woman and him having been persecuted by the romans. That day, transiting Pluto was opposed to the natal Uranus, and there was a stellium of transiting planets within the natal 11th House (Juno, Ceres, the Moon, Jupiter and the Sun)-as we know, Uranus, the 11th House and Aquarius correlate with long-term memories including memories from prior lifetimes which are stored in the individuated unconscious. The transiting North Node was conjunct the natal Mercury in the 9th House Sagittarius, and the transiting South Node was in Gemini, ruled by the natal Mercury, and by the transiting Mercury which was Rx in Pisces, in the natal 12th House, and squaring transiting Neptune which was in the natal 9th House in Sagittarius. Within the elaborations that followed, Philip K. Dick wrote about what he called VALIS-an acronym for ‘Vast Active Living Intelligence System’-which he considered to be an aspect of God within the Manifest Creation, and which he described as an artificial satellite network originating from the star Sirius in the Canis Major constellation which would use pink laser beams to project holograms on Earth in order to facilitate communication between an extraterrestrial species and humanity, by means of “disinhibiting stimuli” based on symbols that would trigger the recollection of ‘intrinsic knowledge’ through ‘loss of amnesia’, thus achieving ‘Gnosis’. In his current lifetime, Dick continued through his fictional writing-Mercury-to question the social and political existing order, thus providing new ways of looking at things from the point of view natural laws which are violated by such order, and further he continued to disseminate, based on his own questioning, speculation, and vision, Christian and Gnostic teachings and insights about the nature of reality, consciousness, and the eternal, and means to realize actual knowledge –Mercury conjuct the Sun in Sagittarius in the 9th House.
Some individuals with Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius have gravitated to belief-systems, and have developed ways of thinking which are aligned with those beliefs. Because of the emotional security these beliefs represent, some of these individuals can have difficulties in accepting the points of views and beliefs of others when they challenge their own beliefs and constructions, and some will try to convince or convert others to their own views. These individuals will need to create intellectual confrontations or discussions with others in order to expose themselves to other ways of arranging reality, and have their assumptions and opinions, and knowledge, challenged by others, including key others who have more knowledge or intellectual sophistication.
Some individuals with Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius can have an expanded or evolved capacity to communicate and because they can believe what they communicate, they can be very persuasive. Some can manifest intellectual dynamics of compensating by means of how they interpret or arrange their perceived reality, this translating into expanding, accommodating, exaggerating or distorting aspects of reality to fit their views, or to creating overt or covert lies- in some cases, depending on the overall signature of the birthchart, even believing these lies themselves. In some cases, Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius correlates with an individual who at some relative degree has been inwardly defined by beliefs which have not been experientially realized, verified or tested, or by beliefs that later have been experienced as not being actually true. Because of the identification with beliefs, some of these individuals have desired to convince others, or to teach others based on knowledge which has not been experientially tested or realized. In these cases, Mercury in the 9th House reflects the need to learn to discriminate between what the Soul knows, and what it does not know. Many times these individuals will also create the necessary confrontations or experiential crises in order to induce lessons of inner discrimination between knowledge and opinion, between what they know and what they do not know. The Sagittarius archetype and the 9th House correlates with what is called honesty, ie. the desires to embrace and discover the personal truth. These individuals need to be fundamentally honest with themselves for this necessary discrimination to occur, versus being prey of their own intellectual compensation. The English occultist Edward Kelly had Mercury in the 9th House in Virgo, ruling the North Node in Gemini in the 7th House, forming a square to the Nodal axis, and being opposed to Pluto Rx in Pisces in the 2nd House.
Because of his delusional desires to make money, to be reckoned as special for his supposed ‘knowledge’ and to be considered and authority from a consensus point of view-Pluto in the 2nd House in Pisces, South Node in the 1st House Sagittarius, its ruler, Jupiter, being in the 10th House- he declared he was able of turning metals into gold in large quantities, and was hired by people in positions of power who wanted to sustain Kelly’s investigations in the occult and magic. Kelly also persuaded John Dee (see John Dee’s birthchart and his 7th House Mercury, also in this chapter) that he could help him to communicate with spirits and angels in order to obtain ‘secret knowledge’, and further, he got to the point of convincing Dee to share his wife with him…
In some cases, Mercury in the 9th House reflects an individual who has embraced types of knowledge or thought that can be valid in themselves, but which are not consistent or reflective of the individual circumstantial reality, or its demands. Different degrees of intellectual alienation are implied in this dynamic. Some individuals can try to live isolated within their own philosophical contemplations. Some individuals have chosen to intellectually arrange their intellectual understanding or philosophy of life in ways which do not give account or are ‘parallel’ so to speak to the existing reality of circumstances in their lives, because of a compensation or alienation response to prior crises. Sometimes the crises themselves have been created by the non-attention to immediate environment, or by absentmindedness, or by lack of discernment or discrimination about existing assumptions as contrasted with immediate reality, or an overall orientation to focus only on the general, but not in any of the ‘details’. In turn, some of these crises, in some cases, have further induced the individual desires to understand the larger context or meaning of their experienced reality. Because the dynamic of intuition is intensified, some individuals with Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius can have intuitive insights, and visions about the intrinsic or innermost nature of whatever circumstances or topic they are directed to, having a comprehensive and holistic point of view in which the total meaning of something is revealed, having many inner implications and coordinates, in which each of these dimensions can be later displayed by analysis and deduction, but which have all been revealed as a whole in first place, already ‘known’ and assimilated-9th House- and not through linear reasoning. Sometimes this can include visions of places that are distant, or the future or the past. These visions can actually address the innermost nature of the circumstances or topic. Many times, though, while these visions reveal some essential knowledge or ‘truth’, they are not necessarily applicable to actual reality in total-sometimes they refer to something that will be accomplished or made real in the future. As Jeff Green used to say, ‘one problem with the visions is that rarely they are time-specific’. In these cases, Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius reflects the ongoing combined intentions to expand understanding and vision; to apply discrimination between the actual vision and interpretations, assumptions and intellectual ponderings and opinions that can follow; to further analyze the vision or intuition, ie. the perception of a larger or essential context, in how it connects with actual reality, and to find out if they are meant to be accomplished or fulfilled in the current existing circumstances, or not. The dynamic of honesty leads these individuals to ask themselves questions about the nature of their own lives and experience, and their personal truth is progressively discovered, expanded and made real because of these desires. When having to decide whether the nature of the vision or knowledge is applicable, and how it can be applied, it needs to be remembered that the choices the individual makes in relation with the vision are dependent on the total desire nature of the individual and its evolutionary orientation, ie. the main evolutionary axis of the birthchart-and not solely on intellectual or philosophical basis. The individual desire nature will condition the orientation to knowledge and truth, and the emotional dynamics by which a philosophical or intellectual orientation can or has become a source of relative security for the individual, including potential defenses such as intellectualizations, rationalizations, alienation, or a need to convert others to the individual point of view, or to have the own beliefs or knowledge confirmed. Some individuals with Mercury in the 9th House have needed to create crises about their ‘visions’ or beliefs, or in their overall orientation to truth, which have the intention of promoting knowledge of a larger truth by a combined use of intuition and discrimination or discernment. We can see an example of some of these dynamics in the birthchart of Mother Teresa, who had Mercury is in the 9th House in Virgo.
In Mother Teresa’s natal signature, Mercury forms a First Quarter square to Pluto in the 7th House, in Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury. The South Node is in Scorpio, in the 11th House, ruled by Pluto. Briefly, these symbols demonstrate an ongoing crisis in the philosophical and intellectual orientation of the Soul, originating in limitations implied in its orientation to beliefs and knowledge coming from prior lifetimes. Her Soul has been inwardly defined along a series of lifetimes by desires to give to others at a social level, in ways which have been based on knowledge forms that would serve to liberate others, or to help them evolve–Pluto in the 7th House, in Gemini, South Node in the 11th House Scorpio. These forms have included wanting to liberate others from evil –Scorpio-by means of knowledge of the Word, or Gospel, and by means of teaching or education, or by delivering teachings and education to people living in distant places or different cultural contexts as a missionary, and wanting to convert these people to the own beliefs and intellectual orientation–Pluto Gemini ruled by Mercury in the 9th House, in Virgo (Christian teachings correlate with Pisces and Virgo).
Identification with the knowledge or beliefs supporting this orientation has created a fixity and a limitation in the relatedness patterns of the Soul with itself and others-Pluto in the 7th House, South Node in Scorpio in the 11th House-and the rationalizations and intellectualizations have served to alienate from and deny inward emotional and psychological dynamics and states-the Scorpio South Node being in the 11th House, Pluto being in Gemini, ruled by Mercury in the 9th House Virgo. In other words, identification with beliefs and intellectual systems, and resulting orientation to attending the needs of other people, and people in need, resulting thereof, have prevented further integration of the emotional body, this creating a limitation in patterns of relationships with self and others and an overall feeling of inner emptiness and lack of satisfaction or anhedonia which in turn has been interpreted-9th House-from the point of view of these types of belief systems as a necessary sacrifice. These themes are further confirmed by the 3rd House ruler being Neptune in the 7th House, opposing the 2nd House ruler Uranus which is Rx in the 1st House in Capricorn, forming a t-square with Jupiter in Libra in the 9th House. The fact that these symbols reveal an underlying crisis in faith is proved by her diary and letters, in which she wrote about the barrenness of her inner life. In September 1979 she would write: “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak.” At that time, there was a stellium of planets transiting her natal 9th House in Virgo, and transiting Uranus was conjunct her South Node in Scorpio. She also wrote in a letter: “Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.” This was interpreted by some as a ‘dark night of the Soul’, in the sense in which Saint John of the Cross used this words, however, we can see in her birthchart that the real issue was rather a matter of unresolved emotional states conditioned by the philosophical and intellectual orientation, and a deep crisis I belief combined with intense inner criticism. That these have conditioned the existing patterns of relatedness and ways of giving to others as reflected in the symbols quoted is also confirmed in Mother Teresa’s own words, as when she spoke of the privilege of poor people of sharing the suffering of Christ, and her resistance to provide painkillers to the sick, or when she would say that she cared for the suffering people because it was a means of bringing these Souls closer to God, ie. a derived interest in other people versus actual love based on realization or perception of the inherent Godhead in all Souls. We can also see in her 9th House Mercury that along a series of lifetimes her Soul has desired to gravitate to other, more experiential orientations to truth and knowledge-the 9th House Mercury relative to the Pluto polarity point in the 1st House in Sagittarius, and the North Node in the 5th House ruled by Venus in the 8th House Leo, ie. belief systems and types of practices which intend to bring realization and inner discovery rather than ‘belief’, in ways which are independent of other people but are instead focused on the self and the inner life-perhaps getting in touch with such types of teachings in her traveling. Here, Mercury in the 9th House reflects an intention to discriminate between beliefs and her Soul’s direct experience, as demanded in order to embrace a larger and more natural understanding, leading to realization of truth, and ‘Truth’. Because of these intentions, the Soul of Mother Teresa desired and was given a mission to devote herself to the care of those suffering most, a role in which her efforts needed to be focused in attending most basic needs at a material and emotional and spiritual level, rather than catechism. Let’s remember that early in her life she chose to become a nun, and her initial choice took her to enter to an order of nuns which were dedicated to education of children at schools. Only several years later Mother Teresa heard what she referred to as ‘a call within a call’ which lead her to dedicate herself to the poorest among the poor. At that time the transiting nodes were squaring her natal Mercury, and Pluto was transiting her natal 8th House and forming a semisquare to the natal Mercury, while the transiting Sun and Mercury were in Virgo in her 9th House.
In some cases, Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius reflects an underlying conflict between competing desires to expand consciousness in order to perceive, observe or understand phenomenal reality, and desires to have a reality ordered by means of an intellectual, linear logic. This can translate into alternating cycles between right and left brain hemispheres, equaling shifting points of views. This can create emotional insecurity for the Soul, because intellectual doubts can be intensified or expanded, translating into an ongoing inner pondering that then triggers a compelling need to verify the reality of the inner vision of belief, or to contrast the vision or inner truth with opinions or beliefs. An intention exists in these cases to balance and integrate both brain hemispheres, and both types of thought-intuitive and linear-by promoting collaboration between intuition and reasoning, induction (from particular to the general) and deduction and analysis. This serves to promote a progressive expansion of understanding in ways which allow for the necessary discrimination, thus applying the need for analysis and reality check in less compulsive ways, so that the individual can tap into and connect with the dynamic of intuition. In other words, this individuals need to know that there is an underlying intention to integrate the cycles and brain hemisphere, instead of polarization or competition.
GIven that Sagittarius is a yang, fire, mutable archetype, its energy is inherently expansive, and restless. The intellectual dynamics are expanded with Mercury in this Sign or House. This individual is naturally restless in intellectual terms, and is motivated by wanting to know ever larger parts of the ‘truth’ or the Truth. This dynamic of course will be different in each case depending on the evolutionary stage of each individual, and the natal signature and main evolutionary axis. In some cases, Mercury being in Sagittarius or the 9th House reflects the ongoing intention to communicate knowledge the Soul already has at birth. In some individuals Mercury in this position can reflect a Soul that has the capacity to communicate with animals, and Nature spirits, and to attune their consciousness with Nature and Gaia. As an example, we can see the birthchart of the apnea diver Jacques Mayol who had Mercury in the 9th House in Pisces.
In Mayol’s birthchart, the 9th House Mercury is trine to Pluto in the 12th House in Cancer, Mercury being part of a stellium of planets in the 9th House. When working as a commercial diver at an aquarium, he formed a close bond with a female dolphin and learned from her how to behave underwater and how to hold his breath longer. He called his philosophy of life ‘homo-Delphinus’ and wrote a book in which he exposed his ideas about the relation of man with the sea.
Given that Sagittarius and the 9th House follow Scorpio and the 8th House, some individuals with Mercury in Sagittarius or the 9th House manifest a need or intention to focus of ‘lighter’ ways of thinking, and to situate themselves beyond or above the difficulties and conflicts of life through the dynamic of humor. These individuals can also be very direct and frank, in ways that sometimes can seem blunt or shocking to other people, and they can be good at unmasking other people or exposing other people’s lies. They can have teaching capacities, and they can help other people to see their own circumstances from new perspectives. They can think in optimistic ways even when facing difficult circumstances, and they can help other people to understand and embrace their own truth.
In order to promote its evolution, Mercury in the 9th House or Sagittarius needs to embrace its opposite: the 3rd House or Gemini. This polarity demands an orientation to find the thought and language forms that allow the individual to communicate his own visions, intuitions, and beliefs, to other people, and to use the dynamics of communication as a vehicle for thought processing, versus being alienated and isolated within their own minds. This implies learning to adapt to the communication forms of other people, versus needing to use only their own concepts and language. At the same time, the 3rd House Gemini polarity represents the need to acknowledge the essential relativity of all points of view, and of all truths. This implies an acknowledgement that what they already know is only a part of a larger truth. This can then lead to wanting to communicate with others in order to understand the truth and knowledge of others, versus needing to convince or convert others to the own point of view. This then allows these individuals to learn from the points of view of other people, as parts of a larger truth.
Famous people with Mercury in the 9th House
Gertrud Zelle (Matta Hari)