12 Shades of Lying

We all lie — we just do it differently, under different circumstances and for different reasons.

Long ago when being lied to by a friend, I looked through my available charts for “liars” and discovered that for me, Mercury in a water sign or Mercury in hard aspect to Neptune creates what I consider a liar.

I put “liar” in quotes because one person’s reality is another’s lie.

The earth signs in the room will heartily disagree. I’ve got a lot of earth, I get it. There’s a desk right here in front of me, I can touch it. I can say I am at my desk writing and that is no “lie.”

It’s when I ask for reaction to the desk that reality takes on 12 shades of Mercury, the planet of communication.

Is my desk big or small? To you it’s small because you have a big oak desk at work in your large, senior executive office. To a student sharing a crowded dorm room, my desk may be a large amount of personal space in which to do work.

Is my desk big or small?

And what color is it? We are familiar with color being processed differently by different people. Is the desk black or steel gray or gray?

Like color, we process reality differently.

Then we move onto the value judgments. This is the point in reality where we know we’re different and use this difference to form identity.

Do you like the desk?

I like the desk because it was easy to assemble. I don’t like the desk because it’s too wobbly. A blue desk would work much better with this carpet. I would never have such a cheap desk in my study. If the desk were cleaned off, it would look better.

And so on.

Perception

Mercury, then, is not simply about communication but about perception. We know that we perceive color differently and I suspect we process all of our other senses differently as well – sound, smell, taste and touch.

For the Buddhists, “object of thought” is also a sense, which is quite fascinating.

It’s been interesting to me that we have more audio and video data than ever before yet we can still see the same moving, live picture and come to different conclusions. It creates a plethora of interesting television shows but the underlying concept – we perceive and interpret differently – is fascinating.

If we look at the same object and see differently, imagine the intricacies of a complex situation.

What is real then?

Tell me Lies

This American Life has an interesting broadcast on liars. One of the conclusions drawn from the several stories is that what are called “pathological liars” are intuiting what you want to hear and providing it. So the listeners are hearing stories that please them from “I love you” to “I know this famous person” to “You will get the money.”

Who doesn’t want to know someone who knows George Clooney? Or have George Clooney say “I love you?” Or have George Clooney lend you money?

What I find interesting about that is that it ties to my own perception of lying which involves Mercury in a water sign or in hard aspect to Neptune. In those aspects, Mercury is perceiving and communication through the emotions. When I ask about the desk, I get an emotional response.

Crafting a story about how I know Clooney takes imagination, but “selling” the story takes some guts so next in line for my own liar’s club are fire signs.

But fire signs don’t “lie” as much as exaggerate. Sure, you went on a date last night. But was it really with George Clooney or a guy named Clive Gorney?

Storytelling, a wonderful but moribund vocation, is best done by a mixture of water and fire. Water and fire can make you feel the ghost in the room, laugh at situations that otherwise make you cry and make you see life in bright colors and those around you as living, breathing bursts of energy.

Air signs are also lively communicators as they constantly are scoping out the environment for something on which to rest their bored eyes. I personally don’t find air signs to be liars although some, like Gemini, might have this reputation. I simply see air as filled with information of a varied and often conflicting nature which they communicate as the impulse arises.

Often in the same sentence, air contradicts itself. But I don’t find air spinning information as much as conveying it. Air signs are not lying as much as communicating their confused thoughts.

Earth can be dull, literal communicators which I don’t associate with lying. However, in my search of earth sign liars, earth sign lying is through earth sign concerns – money and property. Earth lies, I believe, by omission and promises of financial gain. Earth signs may put forth empirically-oriented truth, but just not all the parts you need in order to make an informed decision.

12 Shades of Lying

Let’s look at the 12 shades of lying from those in the news. Many subjects are political because this is where lies are exposed most frequently. In looking for liars, I had to search on liars, forgers, imposters and conmen (where are the conwomen?).

I looked at sun sign exclusively since it takes a long time and many unpaid hours to look through Mercury signs and Neptune aspects.

Also, in my search I had to find those who were caught in lies. Many may be considered liars but not tried and hung in public for that offense. Disagreeing with others doesn’t make them a liar and cheating on a lover or spouse is simply too common.

In the sun sign realm, I found a lot of fire and earth. I’m guessing the reason is that earth and fire are more likely to make it to public office and thereby more frequently available for lie-catching. In other words, if I had the total number of Leos in public office I could then divide the Leo liars against the Leo politicians to get a percent and do that for the other signs as well. That would even things out, but, alas, I do not possess that data.

I was also quite surprised by the number of sun sign Virgos (which like Gemini is ruled by Mercury) in the news for lying including James Frey, Stephen Glass, Robert Packwood and Jonathan Aitken.

The two sun signs I had the most difficulty finding were Scorpio and Aquarius, the two signs that made it into my list of most intelligent. Are these two signs also the most honest? Or are they simply too smart to be caught in lies while in the spotlight?

FIRE SIGN LYING (exaggeration to protect image or something previously stated)

Aries (cardinal) – Al Gore

Leo (fixed) – William Bennett / Bill Clinton

Sagittarius (mutable) – Ferdinand Waldo Demara

WATER SIGN LYING (emotional response and desire to connect based on your needs)

Cancer (cardinal) – Christophe Rocancourt

Scorpio (fixed) – still looking for good example

Pisces (mutable) – Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter / Michael Romanoff

AIR SIGN LYING (too many conflicting ideas and bored with mono-anything)

Libra (cardinal) – Han van Meegeren

Aquarius (fixed) – still looking for good example

Gemini (mutable) – John Edwards

EARTH SIGN LYING (leave out the relevant facts, especially in regards to money or control)

Capricorn (cardinal) – Richard Nixon

Taurus – (fixed) – Bernard Madoff / Frank Abagnale / Mark Whitacre / David Hampton

Virgo (mutable) – Lance Armstrong

Charles Ponzi

In looking for liars, I happened upon Charles Ponzi whose behavior coined the concept “Ponzi Scheme.”

Charles Ponzi was a sun sign Pisces but had four planets in Taurus and moon in Leo. Ponzi became a wealthy man, albeit temporarily, through lying that contained water, fire and earth elements.

Water created the connection to others. Fire created the enthusiasm. Earth created the physical desire for wealth.

In the Wikipedia entry, Ponzi’s early background is described as difficult to construct “owing to his propensity to fabricate and embellish facts.”

The Amazon.com review of “Ponzi’s Scheme” goes like this:

You’ve heard of the scheme. Now comes the man behind it. In Mitchell Zuckoff’s exhilarating book, the first nonfiction account of Charles Ponzi, we meet the charismatic rogue who launched the most famous and extraordinary scam in the annals of American finance.

It was a time when anything seemed possible–instant wealth, glittering fame, fabulous luxury–and for a run of magical weeks in the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi made it all come true. Promising to double investors’ money in three months, the dapper, charming Ponzi raised the “rob Peter to pay Paul” scam to an art form and raked in millions at his office in downtown Boston. Ponzi’s Scheme is the amazing true story of the irresistible scoundrel who launched the most successful scheme of financial alchemy in modern history–and uttered the first roar of the Roaring Twenties.

Ponzi may have been a charlatan, but he was also a wonderfully likable man. His intentions were noble, his manners impeccable, his sales pitch enchanting. Born to a genteel Italian family, he immigrated to the United States with big dreams but no money. Only after he became hopelessly enamored of a stenographer named Rose Gnecco and persuaded her to marry him did Ponzi light on the means to make his dreams come true. His true motive was not greed but love.

With rich narrative skill, Mitchell Zuckoff conjures up the feverish atmosphere of Boston during the weeks when Ponzi’s bubble grew bigger and bigger. At the peak of his success, Ponzi was taking in more than $2 million a week. And then his house of cards came crashing down–thanks in large part to the relentless investigative reporting of Richard Grozier’s Boston Post.

In Zuckoff’s hands, Ponzi is no mere swindler; instead he is appealing and magnetic, a colorful and poignant figure, someone who struggled his whole life to attain great wealth and who sincerely believed–to the very end–that he could have made good on his investment promises if only he’d had enough time. Ponzi is a classic American tale of immigrant life and the dream of success, and the unexpectedly moving story of a man who–for a fleeting, illusory moment–attained it all.

Let’s analyze astrologically some of the words in the review:

  • Charismatic rogue – Pisces sun with Venus conjunct / Leo moon square Neptune in Taurus. Possibly this conjunction or Neptune was on the ascendant, but we can’t know without time of birth.
  • Irresistible scoundrel – Venus conjunct sun in Pisces – who can resist either Venus or Pisces? Venus is exalted in Pisces.
  • Charlatan – Uranus opposite sun/Venus in Pisces creates extreme unpredictability.
  • Wonderfully likeable man – Pisces and Leo – who doesn’t like to have fun with someone who won’t judge you, regardless of what you do? Anything goes with these two in combination.
  • Big dreams but no money – Leo moon is the big dreams – Saturn in Taurus is the no money.
  • Launched the most successful scheme of financial alchemy – moon in Leo square four planets in Taurus – the urge to finance his Leo moon fantasies was strong.
  • Noble intentions – moon in Leo, Neptune/Jupiter conjunction.
  • Manners impeccable – Venus conjunct sun.
  • Hopelessly enamored – Leo (enamored) and Pisces (hopeless).

Back to Ponzi’s Saturn in Taurus – I find a “poverty mentality” with this placement. Ponzi was clearly poor but with this placement I suspect that his family and surroundings were intimidated by wealth around them. Others in the area or family may have flaunted their wealth. Wealth was most likely held up to Ponzi as the highest goal in life.

Ponzi’s Mars in Cancer is a bit of a lone wolf by aspect but indicates that ultimately Ponzi wanted to belong. If Ponzi’s Italian family and village had embraced him, he may never have involved himself in other countries and other people’s money.

Ponzi served several jail sentences suggesting his Taurus or Pisces energy may have been placed in the 12th house of the horoscope, the house that rules involuntary confinement. He died in Brazil in the financial state into which he was born.

Ponzi, unfortunately, never transcended his Saturn in Taurus sense of lack. It’s quite sad, really, because he clearly was capable of doing so. Pisces, unfortunately, can be its own worst enemy and so is known as the sign of self-undoing. Had Ponzi built a more stable and realistic “scheme,” he might have pulled it off both for himself and his investors.

A Reality of Lies

Leo sun Napoleon Bonaparte purportedly said, “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

I like this quote. It not only says that history is not necessarily factually correct, but it also states that what we “believe” to be history is what is agreed upon.

Reality, then, might be described as shared agreement. In that case, there are no lies.

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About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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