Sign Rulerships: Mercury is a multi-tasker. The planet rules two signs: quick-thinking Gemini and analytical Virgo. They're both signs of airy intellectualism. Gemini is curious and wide-ranging, while Virgo is discriminating and precise.
House Rulerships: Mercury rules Gemini's third house of communication and Virgo's sixth house of work and service to others.
Dignity: Mercury, with its lightning-fast orbit around the Sun, rules short trips. That means it's debilitated in Sagittarius, the sign of long-distance travel. The intellectual Mercury is equally uncomfortable when it's forced to wallow in the depths of Pisces' watery emotions. Mercury is exalted in Virgo—one of the signs it rules—and Aquarius, the airy, thoughtful sign that's also associated with the technology of modern communication.
Physical Associations: Mercury rules the parts of the body we use to gather and convey information: the shoulders, arms, and hands that belong to Gemini. Mercury rules the parts of the body we use to analyze data, too—the brain and the central nervous system, which belong to Virgo.
Geographical Associations: Mercury is associated with cold, dry locations.
Element: Mercury corresponds to the element of air, like a thought, a whisper on the breeze, or a message broadcast across an open sky.
Masculine/Feminine: Mercury, like the trickster he is, embodies qualities that are both masculine and feminine.
Metal: This planet is associated with mercury, of course, which is also referred to as quicksilver. Mercurial matters are fast-moving and free-flowing. They seem solid, but they're almost impossible to grasp. They slip into liquid at a touch. Mercury, like the words and thoughts he communicates, is fleeting.
Mercury's Strengths and Weaknesses
Sometimes Mercury is too clever by half. He's not just cunning—he's also crafty and confusing. He lies. He cheats. He gossips and he steals. When Mercury goes bad, he turns misdirection into an art form. He's so bad, he's good.
Mercury was a psychopomp, a conductor of souls. Writers are psychopomps in their own right. They lead readers down the path of adventure and excitement. They live vicariously through the experiences of others. They're willing to venture into an underworld under the safeguard and protection of a guide, knowing that they'll be safely delivered and ultimately returned to their own world—changed and made better by the experience.
Just as Mercury could cross between the land of the living and the land of the dead, he can move between the worlds of conscious awareness and unconscious revelations. His magic wand gave him mantic powers over sleep and dreams. If you want Mercury to visit you during the night, keep a notebook by your bed so you can record the messages he leaves for you in the early morning hours.
Mercury's Goals and Motivations
Excerpt from Astrology for Writers, by Corrine Kenner
Corrine Kenner specializes in bringing metaphysical subjects down to earth. Her work on the tarot is widely published, and her classes and workshops are perennial favorites among students in the Midwest. Corrine is a ...