Down the spiral rabbit hole with Mutual Reception
Mutual Reception (often abbreviated as MR) is when two planets are in reciprocity, for the two planets are in each other’s essential dignity like the Moon in Aries, the Sun in Cancer or as in Havelock Ellis’s chart the Sun in Aquarius and Saturn in Leo. In his case, they are in the same house as well and in opposition. It does not outweigh other aspects, like the opposition or grand trine, but adds a nuance to the chart.
In Ellis’s chart it shows how he picked a field with children where he would be the only and unchallenged authority in his field. Lewis Carroll’s MR is the relationship between Saturn in Virgo in the 9th and Mercury in Capricorn. Here we see that Lewis Dodgson, Carroll’s real name, wanted a hobby to challenge himself (Saturn in Virgo) creatively (Mercury in Capricorn) while shaking up the other’s perception of things (Saturn semi-sextile the North Node in Leo, rule of gambling and children).
This was not something available to him in his day job as a mathematics professor. But as daguerreotypes — the early photograph — were becoming the rage, Dodgson became interested in that — he was a scientist. Pictures led to the concept of optics, how something was viewed and how realistic that could be. Thus, taking pictures was a good venue to complete that dream. Alas, some people, not the families with whom he was working btw, found his pictures of children disturbing and howled pornography, so that idea failed.
Carroll’s Second Sailing
With photography a dead end, Dodgson had to come up with another method that would fulfill his creative goals. To get his ideas across and step out of his own humdrum life, he thought upon another avenue, — a literary endeavor would work.
Mercury is right in the middle of his semi-sextile of Mars in the first, and Neptune, just discovered in 1846 was the ticket. Writing a children’s tale would be safe, playful but very different as he was not planning on a run-of-the-mill Mother Goose story, but instead of a real child entering the world of make believe and interacting with it. To mix realities was differently different, as it had never been done. The more he thought of it, the more Dodgson became convinced that was thing especially as Mercury was quindecile Venus in the first house and then sextile Jupiter in the third of communications.
While Pluto did not yet exist, at the time its existence was speculated in scientific circles, of which Carrol was part of, , and was then dubbed Planet X. He decided he could make a name for himself of just what X would be , and how someone could inadvertently find it, down the rabbit-hole, which incredibly resembles a worm-hole and was this something he created, or something that was speculated upon?
Most believe while Planet X’s existence was philosophical speculation, the wormhole theory was unique to Dodgson-Lewis..
Coming full circle.
Mutual Reception occurs when the two planets are in each other’s domicile (ruling house), exaltation, fall or detriment. Traditionalists have it applied to Faces and Terms as well, but the MR must always be in the same type: you cannot mix and match faces and domiciles, falls and terms. What that means you cannot have a mutual reception of Sun in Aquarius (its detriment) while Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius, is in the “face” position in the sign of Leo. Both planets must be of the same type.
A last thing about a Mutual Reception in a chart is that in those chart you will not find a FINAL dispositor because MR — an agreement between the two planets — creates a circular relationship or should we say a “wormhole” effect that never ends?
Alice and MR
In the chart of Lewis Carroll (Jones #175) Mercury is at 13 Capricorn, Keyword Determination (first house) and Saturn is at 15 Virgo, Keyword Gracefulness (ninth house). Carroll is a bundle bucket with a Saturn handle, much like Ellis but the difference, while minor, was that Ellis did it for his profession, while Carroll did it for writing. Both, interestingly enough, dealt with little girls.
Dr. Ellis also married, while Dodgson-Lewis did not, but that was common for academics not to marry as they were considered “odd balls” whom had few of the social graces. And that is true, for Carroll’s Saturn is in Virgo in the ninth the house of academics and publishing and square his Venus in the first, thus perhaps his tendency to little girls was because they were kinder and more understanding of the “odd” old man, than adults and sextile Jupiter in the third, accepted him as a kind and enjoyable friend.