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Mercury Meaning in Astrology

Rachel Clare
By Rachel Clare
July 02, 2022
Mercury Meaning in Astrology
Mercury Meaning in Astrology
TL;DR Mercury is the planet of communication, knowledge and travel. Knowing this, we can explore what Mercury’s retrograde spiritual meaning is, what’s your Mercury sign, what Mercury Numerology is and how we can understand how Mercury impacts our daily life. Learn all about Mercury in the natal chart, how the planet impacts our behavior and what the significance of its placement is.

Mercury History

Mercury Meaning in Astrology

The planet Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun. Mercury’s orbit around the Sun takes only 88 Earth days, the quickest orbit of all other planets in the Solar System. The planet takes its name from the Roman god Mercurius (Mercury), both the god of commerce and messaging, and a mediator between other gods and earthly mortals. Mercury is one of five planets that can be seen in the night sky without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. Since ancient times, Mercury has been recognized in the night’s sky and observed by people from various different cultures, communities and lands. The planet was also first documented by the Sumerians around 3,000 BC. As Mercury never travels far from the sun, it is harder to spot and was therefore likely discovered later than the larger, brighter planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Galileo Galilei and Thomas Harriot first observed the planet through telescopes in the 17th century, but it is unclear exactly when it was discovered.

Mercury Planet Meaning

Mercury Meaning in Astrology

Mercury is one of the smallest planets in the solar system, renowned for its ingenuity, whimsicality, and changeable nature. Often referred to as the "evergreen planet," it is youthful in nature and energy. In spite of its apparent youth, this planet fosters reason and ingenuity in the subjects it governs. Mercury is also linked to the body’s respiratory and nervous systems, communicative abilities, and the workings of the mind. It is also interesting to note that Mercury has no gendered energy associated with it (unlike the masculine Mars and the feminine Venus). As Mercury is associated with trade, the planet is likened to that of a Merchant; a person who, by nature, takes great risks and gambles. That being said, Mercury is the planet of extremes. So, on the one hand, people ruled by Mercury love home comforts and are highly money oriented, yet on the other hand, they seek to break free from their safe zones and strive for adventure. It is never cut and dry for these individuals. Mercury has a reputation for being blissful and virtuous, but bears traits of suspicion, seriousness, calculation, and even deception at times.

Which Zodiac Signs are Ruled by Mercury?

The signs ruled by Mercury are Gemini and Virgo. As such, these two Air signs are thought to possess many of the traits and characteristics exuded by planet Mercury. With this in mind, we can deduce that Geminis and Virgos bear a thirst for knowledge, are strong communicators and are incredibly fluid people. However, they are also prone to anxiety and indecisiveness. Just like the quick orbit of Mercury, these two mutable signs tend to be rather changeable in their temperament. Many people find fault in this trait, but for Gemini and Virgo, they appreciate this quirk to be a sign of adaptability and transparency. Their personalities keep people on their toes and there is never a dull moment to be had with these two airy forces. 

Mercury Symbolism

In Astrology, Mercury is incredibly influential, largely due to the planet’s rapid orbit and regular retrograde. This means that the energy of Mercury, and therefore every area of life it governs, changes quite drastically and fairly frequently. As Mercury rules over all things communicative and intellectual, we know that our relationships and educational pursuits are likely to be impacted by the extreme ebbs and flows of Mercury's energy. That being said, when Mercury is behaving itself, the planet points you toward what interests you, what types of puzzles you want to solve and where you may want to focus your energy. 

What Does Mercury Retrograde Mean?

Mercury Meaning in Astrology

By now, we have probably all heard of the widely feared ‘Mercury retrograde’, but what does this mean? Why has this retrograding planet acquired such a bad reputation? Well, firstly, Mercury’s retrograde is an optical illusion that makes it appear as if the planet is moving backward from Earth's perspective. Our Solar System is thought to be ruled by different planets, which govern different aspects of life on Earth. Hence, the Moon, stars, and planets all affect our daily lives on Earth. Due to this, many astrologers believe a planetary retrograde sparks a cycle of misfortune and imbalance, and because Mercury retrogrades more often than the others, the perceived chaos is far more frequent. In the belief that Mercury retrograde is a malign influence, everything from arguments to misplaced mail to automobile accidents is blamed on the movement, and as such, people are advised to hold off on important decisions during that time. Not only this, but as Mercury is also the planet of communication, our misfortunes are likely centered around issues with friends, family and coworkers. So, during retrograde, we can expect crossed lines of communication, verbal misunderstandings or moments when we wished we would have bitten our tongues. 

Mercury Numerology

Mercury governs those born on the 5th, 14th and 23rd of any month, or whose life path number is five. As such, the qualities of Mercury are most clearly manifested in number five people. Five itself is an interesting number in the field of Numerology, as it is the standard structure of the world’s macro and microcosm; for instance, there are five earthly elements (including space), five common classes of earthly creatures, five organs in the human body and five senses used to experience the world around us.

Mercury in the Natal Chart

Mercury Meaning in Astrology

You probably already know your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs, and possibly even your Mercury sign. However, we all have a sign for every planet in the solar system, and today, we’re looking at Mercury. When we talk about our ‘Mercury sign’, we are referring to the position of Mercury at the time we were born. Mercury is a very quick moving planet, zooming around the Sun every 88 Earth days and spending approximately 14 days transiting through each sign of the Zodiac. 

Mercury Sign Meaning

If you have ever wondered, ‘what is my mercury sign?’, listen up. Whatever Zodiac sign Mercury was situated in at the time of your birth is significant in painting a picture of how you deal with the aspects of life governed by the planet - namely, communication, knowledge and transportation. From this, we can view these aspects through the lens of each sign to truly understand Mercury’s influence in our day-to-day activity.

Mercury in Aries

Mercury-in-Aries individuals won't say what they don't mean and won't refrain from saying what they are thinking. You can expect to receive unfiltered and honest feedback from a Mercury-in-Aries woman in particular, whether it's in the form of a single, cutting sentence or reams of witty remarks. However, for these people, lying is like pulling teeth. This is why they’re the friend who gives the most hard-hitting yet honest advice. 

Mercury in Taurus

As Taurus is famously slow-paced and stubborn and Mercury is the most whimsical of all the planets, a person with Mercury in Taurus may find it hard to consolidate these two polar forces. They are likely to experience bursts of drive and motivation one week, only to be disappointed a week later when their energy levels dip. They also may have spent time crafting grand plans but fall short of completing them depending on Mercury’s position at the time. This is especially true of the Mercury-in-Taurus man.

Mercury in Gemini

Mercury feels right at home when situated in Gemini. As Gemini’s governing planet, both forces make for individuals with charisma, razor-sharp wit and impeccable conversational skills. These people also have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, often pursuing education far later in life and for much longer than most. However, sometimes Mercury-in-Gemini people need reigning in a little as they can lose sight of their intentions.

Mercury in Cancer

Mercury-in-Cancer individuals have a hard time regulating their emotions. As Mercury itself is so changeable, these people can find that they wake up on certain days with a feeling they cannot shake. That being said, they are very sensitive to the emotions of others and as such, can absorb their energy like a sponge. This extreme empathy is great for forming tight bonds with loved ones, however it can also feel draining for them after a while.

Mercury in Leo

Those with Mercury in Leo cannot be tamed when it comes to travel plans and other life adventures. They are quick-thinking, fast on their feet and incredibly reactive individuals. Their goals are likely to change on a whim, yet you can be sure that they are always aiming for the stars. Mercury-in-Leo also make fun friends, but they are prone to bailing on people in favor of a more exciting invitation. 

Mercury in Virgo

As the ruling planet of Virgo, Mercury-in-Virgo individuals feel very settled with the daily pace of their life. While Mercury is not known as the planet of structure and organization, qualities adored by Virgo, the combination of impulsivity and order for this placement is a delight; Mercury-in-Virgo individuals can change up their plans at the drop of the hat, but will make sure to carry them out meticulously when they do.

Mercury in Libra

Mercury-in-Libra folk know exactly which questions to ask and when to ask them. They have a strong sense of emotional intelligence and can read a room better than anyone else. With fantastic people skills, Mercury-in-Libra individuals are the reigning champions of using their communicative abilities for good.

Mercury in Scorpio

Those with Mercury in Scorpio have a sharp tongue and know exactly what to say to get what they want out of people. The sign is known for its vengeful streak and impenetrable emotions, so when combined with Mercury’s intelligence and communicative prowess, these people are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Mercury in Sagittarius

Bold, fun and adventurous, Mercury-in-Sagittarius individuals love the journey rather than the destination. They thrive off spontaneity and much prefer the unknown compared to set plans or routines. While communication is not necessarily this placement’s winning feature, this is purely because Mercury-in-Sagittarius is far more of a doer than a talker.

Mercury in Capricorn

Mercury does not sit comfortably in Capricorn. As Capricorn is the sign of order, stability and obsessiveness, Mercury’s erratic orbit and regular retrograde causes mayhem for this individual. On the one hand, they have the passion to achieve major life goals and know exactly how they want to get there, but on the other hand, they find that they are constantly battling the ‘little things’ that spring up and get in the way of routine. Nonetheless, Mercury-in-Capricorn women in particular have an unmatched work ethic which is inspiring to many.

Mercury in Aquarius

Mercury-in-Aquarius folk sure know how to put their logical skills to work. With both celestial forces bringing the power of intellect, people with this placement are smart. And scarily so. They can rationalize situations and produce incredible conclusions, to the amazement of most. That being said, this placement can struggle to focus their thoughts on one thing at a time; they are famously absentminded and need a friendly reminder to stay on track once in a while.

Mercury in Pisces

Those with Mercury in Pisces are big thinkers, but not always in the most positive sense. As Pisces is a highly emotional and sensitive sign, it is common for this placement to get lost in their thoughts, imagining hypothetical scenarios and getting themselves down. They find it hard to find that mental ‘off switch’ that we all need to silence the chatter. However, Mercury-in-Pisces people are incredibly empathetic and don’t need to be told when you’re in a bit of a funk - they can already see it themselves.

Do you still want to know more about Mercury in astrology? There are many resources at Mysticsense that can guide you with your learning and provide insight for any other questions you may have. Get started learning more about your Mercury sign at Mysticsense today!

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