Mercury is the planet of intellect, communication, perception, and reason. Expressed in its positive form, Mercury endows a person with cleverness, articulate speech, a good memory, public speaking ability, and perhaps even a talent for acting or singing. Mercury's influence manifests itself through good debate, shrewd negotiation, efficient communication and transportation systems, and higher education.

If Mercury is afflicted (at odds with another planet in your horoscope), Mercury's influence results in sarcasm, deception, fraud, demagoguery, and argumentativeness.

Since Mercury is so close to the Sun, it always lies in either your Sun sign or in the sign immediately before or after your Sun sign.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, orbiting at a distance of approximately 36 million miles. Its diameter is 3030 miles and its mass and volume are roughly one tenth that of earth. Orbiting the Sun once every 88 days, Mercury rotates on its axis once every 59 days. Possessing only a very thin atmosphere of potassium and sodium, Mercury has a very hot surface on the side facing the Sun (about 430 degrees Celsius) and a very cold surface on the side facing away from the Sun (-180 degrees Celsius).

The American Mariner 10 spacecraft passed by Mercury in 1974 and 1975, revealing a heavily cratered surface (like the Moon). In 1991, earthbound radio telescopes discovered signs of enormous sheets of ice covering Mercury's polar regions.

In Roman mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods and the son of Jupiter and Maia. He was similar to the Greek god Hermes and was the god of merchants and trading. Mercury was worshipped by the Romans as early as 495 BC when a temple was dedicated to him near the Circus Maximus (the arena of ancient Rome

Spiritual Significance
The symbol of this fast moving planet which is the closest to the Sun is composed of three different sigils.  They are a half circle, representing the human mind, surmounted on a circle, symbolizing spiritual consciousness, which in turn stands on a cross, representing the material plane.

This Mercurian symbol is a concise glyph of the mind, body and spirit.  It is the fusion of these which is the ultimate goal of the higher types of magical training.

As Mercury moves quickly around the Sun it is not surprising that in classical mythology the planetary energy or god form associated with it was identified as the divine messenger.  In Roman and Greek myths the gods Mercuri and Hermes were messengers of the gods.

The earliest magicians, the prehistoric shamans, were regarded by the tribal peoples whom consulted them as special emissaries who had the ability to communicate with the spirit world.  This  communication was a two~way system for the shaman could bring back messages from the realm of the gods and pass their wisdom on to his human colleagues. 

The planetary influence of Mercury teaches the aspiring magician that even though he may take his first tentative steps on the magical path for self~centered reasons, this emphasis will be short~lived.  The magician soon learns that he has a wider responsibility.  Service to the rest of humanity is a very important aspect of the true magical path.

Mercury is the great communicator passing on ideas, news and information.  In the occult perspective the magician is the person who, like the ancient shaman, acts as a go~between bridging the artifical barrier humanity has created between the spiritual and material worlds.  This planetary energy signifies spiritual understanding and, because the Mercurial keynote is communication, the responsibility of the magician is to pass on this understanding to others.

Rules Communications, intelligence, cleverness, creativity, science, memory, business transactions, theivery, trickiness
Mercury's Day Wednesday
Body Parts Lungs, Nervous System
Element Air, Water
Color Violet, mixtures of color, orange, Slate Grey
Signs of the Zodiac Gemini, Virgo
Tone Mi, B
Letter C
Number 1, 4, or 8
Metal Quicksilver, alloys, Mercury
Herbs All Bitter Herbs
Food Wheat
Jewel Opal, agate, amber, aventurine, jasper, mottled, mica, pumice
Cabalistic Sphere 8 Chod~Glory
Angel Michael
Incense Storax, mace, narcissus
Plants Caraway, carrots, cascara sagrada, dill, elecampane, fennel, fenugreek, horehound, lavender, licorice, mandrake, marjorum, myrtle, parsley, pomegranate, valerian, vervain, cinquefoil
Tree Hazel, ash, or almond
Animal Hermaphordite, jackal, or twin serpents
Goddesses Athena, Maat, Metis, Pombagira
Gods Anubis, Coeus, Coyote, Elegba, Hermes, Lug, Nabu, Mercury, Thoth, Woden
Represents in Your Chart All Young People
Occupation Writer, Merchant