Mercury represents the intellect, speech, communication, tactics and orientation abilities. He is responsible for our analytical and logical thinking, and for the way we reach judgements and decisions. As the mediator between our conscious and subconscious, Mercury helps us to understand our dreams.
Mercury was a Roman god, identified with the Greek god Hermes and the Norse god Wodan. His first temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome was built in 495 BC. He was often represented as a messenger of the gods with winged shoes, to show his planet’s speedy passage through the heavens. On clear nights, Mercury is visible to the naked eye. He is the god of orientation and travel, the mediator between heaven and earth, and was especially important for merchants, craftsmen, herdsmen, thieves and highwaymen. In addition, he is the god of languages and the guide of souls in the underworld.
Mercury’s leading principles are communication and the balance of opposites. In the horoscope he represents siblings. His physical attributes are the nerve fibers and the organs of speech and hearing. His day is Wednesday (compare the French “mercredi”). Precious stone: agate. Colour: yellow. Metal: quicksilver. Archetypes: merchant, pilot, scout. Dark side: criminal, liar. Bearers of the Mercury principle: Teachers, students, poets, merchants, analysts, doctors, critics, scientists, researchers and journalists.
Mercury’s passage through the entire zodiac lasts about 87 days, with an average of seven days in each Sun Sign. Mercury has a stronger effect than any other planet on the nature of the sign, aspects, and planets that he influences. In the Fire Signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius for example, Mercury makes the intellect sharp and composed; in the Air Signs Libra and Aquarius idealistic; in Gemini a penetrating intellect; in Scorpio caustic and prone to mood swings. People with strong Mercury in their horoscope generally have an easy time with schooling and studies. Mercury is especially strong in his native signs Aquarius and Virgo, when other planets do not block him. His effects are strongly mediated by his position among the other planets. One mustn’t forget that while Mercury is a god, he is nevertheless a servant of other gods and not a ruler. All of the other planets in the solar have higher ranking.