Introduction to Planetary Influence – 3:
Mercury in Astrology

– written by Philip Graves, 5 Jan 2004
– reformatted for WordPress, June 8th, 2016


Mercury in Astrology

The glyph for Mercury shows the crescent of Matter above the Circle of Spirit, which in turn is above the cross of the Soul. This represents the influence of Matter upon Spirit or consciousness, in the astrological character of Mercury. The personal will of Spirit is exposed to reflections through the plane of Matter, and the relation of its own subjectivity to the objectivity of material reality, in the conscious processing house of the mind; and it is to these mental processes that Mercury relates. Mercury provides the connection between active Spirit and reactive Matter that is of the essence of conscious human existence. It evokes communication and intelligence, which when positively expressed manifest as discernment; when negatively, as variability.

By Martin Schulman’s model, the glyph for Mercury features the crescent of Soul, as originator of all self-aware knowledge based on inner perception, pouring its energies downward into the Circle of Spirit, the creative will, which then seeks to manifest this input in Matter. Mercury thus shows the mind functioning as a seat of perception and feeding that perception back into will for renewed application to matter.

Mercury governs the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake without regard to practical application or morality; analysis and synthesis; argument and debate; the concrete perceptual faculties of mind, including the perception of colour, form, motion, order, position and weight; the registering and classification of all that strikes the senses; the gathering and quoting of evidence in support of views; intellectual capacity; reason; speech, oratory and intonation; study; technical skill; thought; and understanding. It is active, brilliant, crafty, cunning, dextrous, discriminating, eloquent, excitable, facile, gossipy, hesitant, impressionable, industrious, literary, nervous, proficient, subtle, superficial, vacillating, wayward, witty, and worrisome..

Mercury governs acquaintances, bargaining, business matters, clothing, colleges, food, journeys by land, letters, memory, the mind, mother’s relatives, neighbours and their gossip, printing works, publishing offices, schools, scientific and literary organisations, servants, sickness, trading, and writings. It also signifies anxieties, commercial connections, family relating, industries, messages, mental activity, and multiple occupations. It confers a busy, restless, subtle, talkative, wary nature, inclining to oratory, scientific study and writing.

People signified by Mercury include accountants, actors, ambassadors, artisans, astrologers, booksellers, carriers, civil engineers, clerks, commissioners, diviners, footmen, fortune-tellers, grammarians, interpreters, inventors, journlists, lawyers, mathematicians, merchants, messengers, junior ministers, money exchangers, notaries, orators, philosophers, poets, postal workers, printers, researchers, registrars, schoolmasters, scientists, scribes, sculptors, secretaries, solicitors, stationers, tailors, telecommunications workers, thieves, usurers and writers.

Places described include bowling alleys, commons, fairs, public halls, markets, schools, tennis courts, and tradespeople’s shops. Minerals include agates, amber, coral, coxcomb, emeralds, flint, haematite, mercury, tin, topaz, turquoise, vitriol, and all stones of varied colours. Colours are mixed and new. Flavours are mixed; subtle; those penetrating without conscious awareness; ones that quicken the mind.

Herbs are mostly those of mixed color; loving sandy soil; bearing seeds in husks; connected in uses with the tongue, brain, memory or lungs, or with divination and the muses. They include acacia, adder’s tongue, anise, beans, bittersweet, blackberry, bracken, cabbage, calamint, caraway, carrot, wild celery (smallage), cinquefoil, coriander, cotton lavender, cow parsnip (Heracleum), cubeb, dill, elecampane, endive, fennel, fenugreek, ferns, flax, fleawort, fumitory, garlic mustard, germander (wall), good King Henry, ground pine, hog’s fennel, black horehound, white horehound, hound’s tongue, houseleek, knotgrass, lavender, lentil, lily-of-the-valley, liquorice, love-in-the-mist (Nigella), lungwort, maidenhair fern, mallow, mandrake, marjoram, melilot, mercury (dog’s), moneywort, myrtle, oat, parsley, pea, pellitory, pimpernel, restharrow, rock samphire, rose, saffron, savory (winter, summer), scabious, senna, southernwood, spleenwort (wall rue), trefoil, valerian, and vervain. Trees include alder, cypress, elder, hazel, honeysuckle, mulberry, palm, quince, sumac, and walnut.

Animals include adders, ants, apes, aquatic birds, bees, blackbirds, camels, civet cats, cockatoos, cranes, crickets, donkeys, ermines, falcons, foxes, greyhounds, hares, hyenas, jackdaws, larks, locusts, linnets, mules, mullet, nightingales, parrots, pigeons, pyes, serpents, spiders, squirrels, starlings, swallows, and weasels.

Physically, Mercury rules the brain; bronchial tubes; ears; excitation; feet; gall; hair; ileum; intellect; larynx; limbs; lungs; memory; mind; mouth; nervous system; perception; senses; shoulders; thyroid gland; and tongue.

When prominent, it describes a high stature; thin, straight body; olive or chestnut complexion; fair eyes between grey and black; long, narrow face; high forehead; plenty of head hair between dull brown and black; little chin hair; thin lips; long, thin nose. If Mercury rises before the Sun, the stature is shorter but well-jointed; omplexion honey-coloured to swarthy-brown; eyes small; and hair sparse. If after the Sun, the body is lank and dry; eyes hollow, sparkling and red or fiery; face tawny; and limbs small and slender.

Illnesses signified are anxiety, brain disease, congestion, dumbness, dry coughs, fantasising, giddiness, goitre, gout, hoarseness, insanity, lethargy, memory defects, nervous disorders, respiratory impairments, excess saliva, stammering, stress, tongue problems, tuberculosis, and vertigo.

Unto character, when well placed, Mercury confers cogitation, intellect, sharpness, subtlety and genius to the mind; argumentative, logical and political ability; tireless imagination; inclination to learning, usually without need for a teacher; occult curiosity, and an interest in divination; ambition for scientific excellence; resourcefulness as a tradesperson; desire for travel, including abroad; and wit. When poorly placed, it produces a frenetic nature; trouble brought by antagonistic speech and writing; easy and foolish credulity; tendency to boast, feign knowledge, gossip, lie, cheat, thieve, or interfere; inconstancy of location or opinion; trifling mind; excess of words unmatched by action; or attraction to necromancy and dark occultism.

In ancient astrology, Mercury signifies the intellectual mind; custom; fidelity; law; debating skill; inventiveness; prudence; and thoughtfulness; but when poorly placed a foolish, inconsiderate, inconstant, precipitate, untruthful nature. As a vocational significator, it produces academics, architects, astrologers, bankers, businesspeople, diviners, merchants, mimes, orators and writers. It has a potentiating effect on the benefic or malefic nature of other planets in a configuration.


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