What does it take for the Zodiac to display intellect? In this installment, we take a closer looks the different combinations of planetary aspects which make up an intelligent individual.
In astrology, there are many ways to skin a cat. If I want to show a person with a particular set of behaviors, there is more than one array of archetypal forces which would manifest the description. For example, Moon trine to Venus in the natal chart is a classic beauty marker, especially for women. But I could also say that Venus Rising is, too. Are they different? Of course. But, your average, everyday Joe will not question the exact quality of a person’s beauty, they simply know they are beautiful.
The same goes for intelligence. However, we do tend to start off with one main building block: Mercury. He is the logical thinker, communcator, and problem solver in the Zodiac. But, just as Venus is the bedrock of attractiveness, there are other things which can cause it or change the flavor of it. Pluto, in fact, can cause attraction. Hence, Venus is not the only planet which produces such effects.
Uranus is also a planet closely associated with intelligence. But, for a very different reason. He is the mad scientist of the group. He is more “intuitive” than Mercury. He brings sudden “eureka” moments. He is alive and electric, and makes long logical leaps to get where he’s going. In fact, some would say it isn’t logical at all.
So, now that we’ve gotten the gist of the fact that there’s more than one path up the mountain, let’s take a look at a few aspects which indicate intelligence:
Mercury in contact to Saturn is the first placement that comes to mind. And while the angle of the aspect often matters or changes what a person will go through, mentally, it is not very important if it is a “square” or a “trine,” it only matters that it is there at all. Saturn is the disciplinarian of the heavens. Hence, here, he is telling Mercury to bring order to his logic. This creates a person with a great memory, and brings with it structure to spare. With the 120 degree trine, it will be natural. WIth the square, it will be challenging. Sometimes this aspect causes depression as well.
Next is Mercury and Uranus. This is the classic original thinker. They come up with the most off-the-wall ideas that it often makes other people wonder where it comes from at all. But, we need these sort of folk because when the rest of us are stuck, they are the ones who come up with an idea no one else musters. The trine is, again, a more natural ability and usually less intensely nervous. The opposition causes projection, often having the ideas come from outside of themselves. The square causes erratic thinking, but also has some of the most stunning rewards and is commonly associated with “genius.”
Mercury and Pluto make a very bright individual, all other things considered. Pluto is a depth-charge. He seeks that which is hidden and comes with the inborn ability to read things immediately, seeing beneath the surface. This placement is present in investgators of many types, the kind of people who “dig” for the truth. People who are manipulative and who work in espionage also tend to have this. Writers commonly have it, too. With the square, people can become intrusive with their need to know. The trine gives abilities without trying. Sometimes Mercury-Pluto represents obsessive traits.
But I don’t want to leave out some of the lesser known aspects which indicate intelligence. Mind you, these are often different kinds of intelligence that might not fit into the popular mold of what inteligence means, but it is intelligence nonetheless:
Mercury and Jupiter work well together. This is “big thinking,” as Jupiter is luck and expansion. This kind of person wants to plan a grand vision and see it through. However, they are not detail oriented poeple and are not very good with “crunching the numbers.” This often leads to missing important details. However, they can take the long-view, and what another person sees as only vague outlines, the Mercury-Jupiter person perceives as everything at once. The trine incorporates this effortlessly, while the square needs to have someone proof-read their ideas, because they are often too inflated to be realistic. Having another aspect with Saturn can calm this down, though.
Mercury and Neptune are strange bedfellows, but it does offer a special kind of intelligence; that of artistic creativity. These are the dreamers, literally. They may have inherent lucid dreaming abilities, or even astrally project. Some might consider these people “psychic,” because they tap into something pervasive and without boundaries across reality. They may be very spriritual, too. However, the square is often detrimental as Neptune may distort reality. These people may see life like an MC Escher painting.
Lastly, I’d like to cover an example of non-Mercury related intelligence such as the Moon in contact to Neptune. Again, Neptune is “psychic,” if you will. He is the nebulous mist that cannot be contained. The Moon is our emotions, and if you have ever not listened to your “gut” and regretted it, you will know that the emotions are their own kind of intelligence. Science has even proven that we have a “gut brain.” Millions of years of evolution have given us other ways to navigate our world, and the instinct we’ve been imbued is vitally important.
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. There are many brilliant people with any number of combinations of astrological aspects. So, if you don’t have any of these, don’t despair. We are always meant to make the best of what we’ve got. And what we were given was what we were meant to be given.