Mercury rules Gemini, mutable air, and Virgo, mutable earth, and
is said to be exalted in its own sign, Virgo. By some it is considered
exalted in Aquarius, where it becomes steadied and humanised.
basic conception of Mercury is intercommunication. Hence its
rule over thought and speech and writing, especially the writing
of letters; for the same reason it rules short journeys and all
that ministers to them, such as roads, bicycles and buses. It
rules trade, which is the exchange of commodities, and is one
of the planets most valuable in business. When prominent, it gives
a quick, inquiring mind and ready expression with tongue and pen.
There is a strong sense of logic, and a rapid comprehension of
facts, often with a taste for detail rather than generalities.
It may be a brilliant talker, and often possesses encyclopaedic
knowledge. Note that it is not imaginative. Imagination is rather
Lunar and Neptunian. It is exact, matter-of-fact, and critical.
affliction, the mental powers are seldom lessened, but their
may be a tendency to untruthfulness, exaggeration, sarcasm, or
ill-temper, according to the nature of the affliction. There
may be a liking for hair-splitting or quibbling, too great immersion
in detail, or even a criminal misapplication of the mental powers,
as in slander, libel or theft. Mercury can never be found in pure
form; it is always coloured by sign, house and other factors.
As Robert Hand points out, in its pure form it would describe
the completely rational and objective mind. A mind free of any
distortion or bias, but also free of any kind of moral reasoning
too. For Mercury is not concerned with the rights or wrongs of
a given situation. The realm of principles, ethic, meaning and
morals comes under the umbrella of Jupiter, the planet that rules
the signs opposite to those ruled by Mercury.
You cannot always
derive the level of intelligence from an astrological chart, but
the condition of Mercury will reveal a great deal about the type
of intelligence a person has. This is why aspects to Mercury are
so important. Mercury in Aries or Gemini gesticulates a great
deal; and the planet, unless it is unusually subdued which it
sometimes is with Saturn, is naturally very volatile, restless
and even merry. Mercury has no emotion, except that it finds great
amusement in teasing, in being sceptical or flippant, it is anti-pompous.
Mercury is curious, clever, lucid and fluent, and it becomes frustrated
if its fluency is inhibited.
While Mercury is shrewd, it is not
of itself profound. Writers, though they do not have Mercury in
Gemini more then anywhere else, almost always have very active
Mercuries. Intelligence is like physical dexterity, which is also
In synastry, the comparison of two charts, Mercury is a vital
factor because it helps us judge how two people will think together,
or fail to do so.
Mercury is often underplayed in astrological
writings yet it is a symbol of immense importance. Mercury represents
the power of symbol making. It is connected to the mind, especially
the logical and reasoning capabilities, and to all forms of communication.
Likewise Mercury (along with Uranus) signifies the nervous system,
because the nerves enable the organs to communicate among themselves.
The sign, house and aspect relationships of natal Mercury will
contribute to what we think, talk and generally communicate about,
our mental wavelength and have a lot to say about how we learn
and what might impede, obstruct, support or accelerate this leaning
As Sue Tompkins points out hard aspects to an individuals
Mercury may suggest that their opinions are likely to get tested
and challenged by others, or that they expect them to be challenged,
whereas soft aspects suggest the reverse. The person with soft
aspects is less likely to feel threatened if disagreed with and
so can often express themselves more easily. The challenge may
come from within oneself or from outside, for therein lies the
possibility of the mind and our ideas being stretched and broadened.
As always the soft aspects, especially the trine can give rise
to complacency, whereas the hard aspects offer the potential for
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Astrology - The Planets