“What style of communication do we use? How do we make decisions? How do we pick up, process, absorb, and exchange information? These questions are answered, in part, by Mercury’s placement by sign of the zodiac. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, and is the messenger in Astrology as it is in Mythology. Mercury is a receiver of impulses of both the nervous system and the mind; these are the “messages” that guide the spirit and soul (Sun-Moon). It helps to define how we take in–and give out–information from the world around us.
In modern times, we tend to “meet” people’s Mercury first. Many people make a connection for the first time through e-mails, for example. Mercury rules whether we are flowery in our speech and/or written words, concise in our choice of words, or business-like even in our personal communications. Mercury not only rules communication, it represents coordination. Thought processes, ideas, and sensory information from both conscious and unconscious sources all need to be coordinated and understood. Mercury analyzes, sorts, groups, and makes sense of things.”
“Mercury for each person, is the guide to how you know what you know. The messenger has many forms of expression and ways of knowing, which is why life looks so different to each person. Your eye is drawn to something that others miss. Some are more logical, detached, and others have an impressionistic, artistic view. It’s why we either have a good rapport, or are on totally different wavelengths.
Mercury aids the Sun so that the essential radiating vitality of the Self, can be expressed. The alchemists saw that Mercury could bind itself to gold. In the same way, the mind (Mercury) lifts out the gold of the Self, by inspiring the quest for meaning. Mercury is both the channel and tool, so that after a show, you can share thoughts and impressions that have been brought to the surface of awareness, from your whole Self. When you hear the mercurial reaction of a friend to a particular movie, work of art, news event, you can then begin to “see through their eyes”.
We understand others by sending messages via Mercury; its harmony to the main planets in a birth chart, and your sign and house position, influences the mysterious way you put it all together up there, and will determine how, when or even if, those messages are delivered. Your speech patterns, communication style, sense of humor, quickness of thought – all these are flavored by the position of your Mercury. The effect of transiting Mercury through the Zodiac signs can bring clarity or confusion; it inspires miracle breakthroughs, or swampy elusive fog.
Which element your Mercury is in is a good starting point for understanding your particular type of intelligence. Mercury’s mind is playing with different mediums, depending on the element, modality, and also the house in which it falls. The fixed signs flesh things out with a sustained focus, while mutable Mercury is about sampling. You may be a catalyst for new ideas, as cardinal Mercury, while a fixed and mutable sign Mercury has gifts of refining what’s already underway. Mercury is at home in the air signs, which lean toward rational and logical thinking. In fire signs, Mercury is quick, instinctive and inspirational, water signs give the mind an intuitive and emotional filter, while Mercury in the earth signs tends to be pragmatic and concrete.
Knowing your Mercury sign can help you understand and maximize your imaginative potential. It may reveal why you aren’t always on the same wavelength with others, and offer clues to sharing your unique gifts of expression. The aspects your Mercury mixed with other planets in your chart may explain quirks in your manner of speaking, such as being defensive, chatty, eloquent, emotional, etc. Since the mind can be its own house of mirrors, this also can show a mind drawn to illusions or to playing games with others. The velocity at the time of your birth hints at whether you’re direct, or more “show, don’t tell,” when it comes to self-expression.
Mercury’s pace quickens, or as during retrograde, is turned inward onto itself, in a more reflective state. A few times per year, Mercury slows down in its orbit around the Sun, creating an illusion of backward movement. When Mercury is in retrograde, communication can seem to slow down, misfire or go haywire with missed calls and technological snafus. We’ve each got an altered perception of what’s going on and what’s being said. “That’s Not What I Meant!” is often said during these cycles, as the usual channels of information go zigzaggy on us. Someone may listen to what you’re saying, but hear it in a scrambled way. Or, you build up resentment that someone is not answering your email – the one that they never got! That’s the kind of trick played on the mind; it’s Mercury’s way of reminding us that things are not always as they seem.
The classic “blame it on Mercury retrograde” moment is losing what you’ve worked on through some sudden computer crash. Also getting stuck in traffic, or lost down some side street. The schedule we have for the day is disrupted, and we’ve got to “go with the flow.” It challenges us to be patient, and avoid aggravating the situation with the anguish over it. Mercury is the planet that shows new perspectives, and in retrograde, we see from unusual angles. During that trip down a side street, you may run into an old friend. Or you may fall in love with the location, and discover a new favorite place. During the delay, like with a layover, you may meet a soul mate or friend. Or have a breakthrough in our thinking. It’s hard to say whether these things happen more during Mercury retro, or if it just seems that way. But the wrong turn or time in traffic may have its own gifts, if we can get past the frustration they cause.”
Find your Mercury sign: