The Key to the Mind
Mercury's position indicates the individual's degree of intelligence, mental attitudes, and ability to think and communicate.
Mercury, the messenger of the gods, symbolises mentality: our intellect and mental outlook, the way we think and communicate. Mercury, as Hermes, is the emblem for the magus, the wise counsellor, divine messenger—and prince of thieves!
Planetary lord of Gemini and Virgo, this fast-moving planet stands for ideas, methods and information, especially as expressed through communication and media. Mercury rules writers, travellers, analysts, magicians, salespeople, astrologers and all types of consultants. Through his rulership of our hands, Mercury also reveals our manual dexterity and mechanical skills.
Mercury, god of the crossroads, also governs transportation: how we get where we're going, both physically and mentally. Are you a hare, or a tortoise? Mercury's position in your chart will tell all!
Astronomically, Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest planet in the solar system—if we don't count Pluto, which has recently been demoted by astronomers to the status of "Dwarf Planet"... Mercury is relatively bright, but hard to see (except at a Solar Eclipse) because he never strays more than a little over 28° from the Sun. Taking just under 88 days to complete his journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac, the speedy Messenger spends less than three weeks on average in each of them, except when retrograde. Mercury turns retrograde three times a year as a rule, for around 24 days, remaining stationary for three days.
Mercury is the traditional planetary ruler of Gemini (communication; intellect), his Day Sign, and Virgo (analysis; critical ability), his Night Sign. Mercury is also exalted in Virgo, due to the ancient sacred geometry of the zodiac. People with these signs prominent in their charts are said to be ruled by Mercury. True to his busy character, Mercury is said to enjoy mixed colours, along with blue and purple; his metal is quicksilver, and his gem is the emerald.