The planet Mercury is about the same size as the moon. Its orbit is closest to the sun and it rotates round the sun four times, while the earth only makes one revolution. Mercury is so close to the sun that it is never seen more than 28 degrees from it. It can only be seen at certain times after the sun has set, or immediately before sunrise. In Greece, Mercury was associated with Hermes, “the quick messenger of the gods”. Hermes was symbolized with wings at his ankles, holding a caduceus, the staff of the two snakes. Hermes was male and female, a hermaphrodite, which can be associated with the sign Gemini, which Mercury rules. Mercury has been associated with being double sexed and this meaning is used in both biology and botany. The alchemist believed that all that could be sublimated or distilled was mercury, since one of the most important substances to sublimate was mercuric chloride. Alchemists knew mercury could dissolve other metals and combine itself with them into amalgams. The symbol for Mercury can be found in cultures 3,000 years ago and is found on the Babylonian clay cylinder.
In our astrology natal chart, Mercury represents the intellect and the process of communication. The position of Mercury in the natal chart, shows the energy of ones communication and verbal expression, inventiveness and intellectual ability. Those who have a well placed Mercury at birth are considered to have good linguistic ability, fast thinkers, have a good memory and ability to communicate with others. The Mercury that is not well placed can cause restlessness, indecision, and inconsistent behavior. According to astrologer Bob Mulligan,” Mercury is the planet of your mental life. It shows how you receive, process and disseminate information. The sign placement of Mercury shows your basic attitude and mental habits. The aspects to Mercury show your scope of vision and your methods for accomplishing tasks.”
The more I learn about astrology, the more I believe that the placement of Mercury in our chart is crucial for compatibility in our intimate relationships. I have found that individuals with compatible Mercury’s can click with each other instantly and be able to read eachother’s minds. There is a deep understanding when two individuals share this placement. A friend of mine and I both share Mercury in Virgo and when he first walked into the room their was an energetic, comfortable feeling and the communication flowed easily. We can understand each other on a deeper, unconscious level and talk about anything with each other.
Mercury rules the signs Virgo and Gemini. Virgo is an earth sign and Gemini is an air sign. The expression of Mercury on the basic level is the same. Virgos express in a more practical, down to earth, and careful ways whereas Gemini’s are more versatile, free thinking and social. The mercury influence makes Virgo and Gemini excellent communicators, intelligent, mentally restless, logical and expressive with words. Both Virgo and Gemini can excel in areas related to writing or teaching. Both Virgo and Gemini vary significantly as far as overall personality traits, but the Mercury influence is present in both signs.
The house that Mercury is placed in our chart will show where we will express ourselves, communicate and focus on tasks. Mercury placed in the fourth house it will incline a person to communicate within the home, where they feel comfortable and safe. The sign placement is an important indicator on how and what type of energies the communication represents. For instance, a person with Aries in Mercury will be very straightforward, blunt, and passionate and have a strong voice. The important thing about Mercury is that wherever it is located, it increases communication and shows what type of communication the person uses and how. I always have clients ask me about Mercury Retrograde and what affect this has on each of us. It is an interesting aspect and I find that the energy is sporadic and unstable. Many times individuals can not think clearly, forget things, miss appointments, and have communications misinterpreted and overall unexpected changes in routine during retrograde Mercury.