What is a Mutable Dilemma?
It is indicated in a horoscope by stress aspects between mutable planets (Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune) and/or stress aspects between any planets in mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) and/or houses (3, 6, 9, 12). Stress aspects can include the square, opposition, octile (semi-square), and tri-octile (sesqui-square), quincunx, and sometimes a conjunction. Placements of mutable planets in each others’ signs or houses are less intense in quality but similar in kind to a conjunction between the respective planets. For example, Mercury in Sagittarius or in the 9th house and Jupiter in Gemini or in the 3rd house are similar to a Mercury-Jupiter conjunction, although not as strong as the actual planetary combination.
What does a mutable dilemma mean in a horoscope? It indicates some sort of conflict in the mind between: 1) a generalized and often superficial interest in everything; 2) a drive to do something productive with the conscious mind which implies a more limited focus to permit being thorough and realistic; 3) a search for ultimate principles or premises which involve a leap of faith, whether we call the result science, philosophy, or religion; 4) a need to unite with a greater whole through identification with infinite love or beauty—an emotional absolute in some form.
As in all the dilemmas conceptualized in astrology, integration occurs when we make a place for each of the different parts of life so they are no longer in conflict. People who fail to integrate may simply be unclear about final beliefs and values so they stay scattered, trying a little of everything but rarely staying with anything for long. In extreme cases, they may get lost physically, lacking a sense of direction in life.
An alternative form of the mutable dilemma involves a clear conception of what is desired but a tendency to set the goals beyond reach so that no matter what the person has done, it should have been more or different. An alternative expression of this conflict of ideal vision vs. possible reality is a commitment to ultimate principles which are incomprehensible or unacceptable to the society around the visionary. The society may react with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or with reverence. Some people love to be mystified if the words are melodious and delivered with authority.
Still another form of the mutable dilemma is a lack of faith, which produces varying degrees of insecurity and anxiety. Misplaced faith is also a frequent variation, and may result in the loss of the idealized thing or person to let us find out it is not “God”. Everyone has some sort of faith on the basis of which choices are made, goals selected, values ranked. People with charts which emphasize the mutable dilemma are often exceptionally bright with many talents, and the mild form of the conflict is usually an overextended life but one that can be effective and pleasurable. Remember that the solution lies in being clear about beliefs and values; being realistic about aspirations and expectations; taking regular steps to move toward the goals and not just dreaming about them.
Astrology has solved the mutable dilemma for many people. It satisfies the mutable urge to constantly seek more knowledge, offering knowledge which is concerned with ultimates but also highly practical and useful. We wanted a title for our journal which would let us look at any kind of knowledge that might be relevant to life and helpful to human beings. We hope to present many theories and little dogma. To the mutables, a new idea is the most exciting thing in the world. We hope to offer you a lot of that excitement in every issue, including your new ideas in future issues. Welcome on board!