11.11.2004

Is Our Children Learning?

It has been very easy to make fun of Bush’s mental acuity. But I’ll get to that later.

Intellect is a funny thing. There are as many ways to describe intelligence, because it comes in so many forms. In natal astrology, the voice-in-your-head thinking process is denoted by Mercury. It illustrates the way a person relates to their environment through mental activity. The root of it is simply this: you are not anything in your environment, but your thoughts are your way of relating yourself to what is not you.

Learning, by extension, is Mercury-based, taking into account that we continually build mental relationships between what we already know and anything new that we experience. The planet’s influence is not limited to learning, though, because it is more a measure of how a person thinks. In that respect, it could govern something like “how to travel from Point A to Point B,” a task that can often be done by any number of methods, but involves some bit of thinking.

Because active mentality has so much to do with coordinating relationships in the mind, Air sign qualities are naturally capable in this regard. Logic in particular involves relating one concept to the next, and Air signs are heavyweights when it comes to logic. In terms of “classical” intelligence, the kind measured by intelligence quotients instead of artistic genius or cunning or experience, Air signs tend to do better. Nevertheless, there are many ways to be brilliant.

Earth also tends to do well with schooling also because our school systems rely a great deal on defining the world and refining thought in specific and practical ways. Earth is sympathetic to such means, especially when given tangibles to work with, such as visuals, hard data, and facts. For most courses, this remains the standard method.

Fire and Water signs in Mercury are not so sympathetic to schooling in that regard, but for different reasons. How we use our minds is not always compatible with the way we are taught. For Fire, the mind takes tracks that interest the individual, and so being given learning material does not help them; if they are not interested they will not absorb it well. On the other hand, find a subject that they are excited about and they can be surprisingly adept and passionate thinkers.

Water signs in Mercury, on the other hand, find more interest in what is interpretive instead of concrete. While they may shy away from anything that drowns them in facts and definitions, creative and imagination-based studies such as music, art, or writing tend to capture their attention. Unfortunately, such things are not considered as seriously intellectual as basic reading and math.

Ultimately, though, Mercury learning revolves around teaching the mind by using pathways that fit the Element. If the teaching fits that, then the subject being taught becomes a largely incidental factor. For example, an Earth Mercury could learn music just fine but if they could look at it in a well-defined and tangible way it would be particularly easy.

In terms of Mode (and keep the Elements in mind), Mutable signs tend to find complexities and detail a good thing, and tend to process things swiftly. They also grow bored if they have to wait once they’ve figured it out. But that fades, especially as advanced learning comes along and greater complexity gets involved. Cardinal signs tend to be more interested in the active, larger picture – the goals and the answers – rather than any process by which one gets there. For example, they tend to learn more from competitive behavior and learn better under deadlines and pressure, and succeed more with projects than testing. Fixed signs in Mercury may seem slower to learn than the others, if given time and a reliable method they end up knowing it – and using it – better than most anyone else, having built the relationships solidly and capably. Because of that strength, they have an easier time using the full force of mental potential once they’ve garnered the knowledge. They also do well in structured formats such as teams and learn well in environments where teaching is kept simply efficient.

Bush has a Leo Mercury (Fixed Fire), and standard schooling tends to be somewhat cruel to a Leo Mercury. But I’ll go into that in another post.

3 Comments:

Blogger LisaPal said...

Love the post's title! (A Bushism, I believe...)

Okay, I've finally figured out how to articulate a question I have. (OK-I really didn't try brfore.) I am reading about how the signs relate to intelligence as they relate to their mode and element. Mercury rules this domain. So, if I have Mercury in Libra, which a Cardinal Air position, I can relate it to what you've written here.

Now, my sun sign is exiting Virgo (but it's still there) and I know Virgo is ruled by Mercury. The sun is outward personality, if I remember correctly. Does this figure in to the intellect equation, too? (I expect it would.) And Mercury (for me) is in the 8th House, one that I really don't quite understand (loss and common property), but I guess this figures in somehow too.

Am I getting too ahead of things here?

The thing that made me consider all of this was your statement about mutable signs, "Mutable signs tend to find complexities and detail a good thing, and tend to process things swiftly. They also grow bored if they have to wait once they’ve figured it out." Though I'm not sure the degree to which I think complexities and details are good things, (though as I write this, I suspect it's more than I think), I believe the rest definitely fits me and I know Virgo is a mutable sign, so I thought Virgo might explain that part of me.

Bush's mind is definitely interesting, (and please keep your analysis of him going) but, as you said, we continually build mental relationships between what we already know and anything new that we experience. Since I know me better than anything else, I'm trying to find the hitching posts in my head for this new information.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Sorry, Lisa, it has been a rather frantic weekend. I will have a more helpful response shortly.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Okay, I finally have some time here. My apologies for the delay.

Just to clarify, the First House deals with personality projected outwards, but the Sun deals with core strengths. You’re right, the Sun would come into play. Your Mercury sign operates on Libran principles. However, those Libran qualities are fueled by the power inherent in a Virgo Sun, which excels at complexities and details.

And yes, Mercury has Virgo and Gemini as dual rulers, which means a Virgo or Gemini Sun can help make Mercury-related mental work easier. The logic there is that the mental capability that the Mercury sign covers for everyone is much like the way Gemini and Virgo deal with things to begin with. So having either one as the Sun sign provides a talent for the utilizing the Mercury mental approach.

The 8th House is a complicated and powerful matter because it deals with deep transformations, which can include loss. And I suppose it can include common property but…really…that’s, umm...well, I suppose I shouldn’t call it a trivial description. That term is just better for a horary (predictive) use than natal ones. Mercury in the 8th House means that your mental skills focus better when you’re making powerful/emotional/deep changes. In a sense, the power of your mind is at its greatest when you are able to use it to cause transformations (in the case of a Libran Mercury, it is probably transformations of thought more often than not).

4:16 PM  

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