Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, the planet closest to the Sun, and the speediest of all the planets. Mercury's symbol ( ☿ ) represents the head and winged cap of Hermes, the Greek god of commerce and communication. The ancient Greeks associated Mercury with Hermes, the swift messenger of the gods and many of Hermes' myths give greater definition to astrological Mercury. However, at its most basic, Mercury is the distribution of information.
Astrological Mercury represents the transmission and reception of information. It rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo as well as the 3rd and 6th houses. It's the planet of talking, teaching, writing, listening, learning, reading, and observing. Mercury is also your thought processes, the intake of sensory information from both conscious and unconscious sources, analyzing, sorting, and making sense of everything.
Mercury in the Astrological Signs
Are you flowery when you speak or do you carefully choose words? Are you pleasant and friendly when you talk to everyone or are you businesslike even in personal communications? Are your ideas well thought out or do you jump the gun and make mistakes? Are you a quick or slow learner? These are the kind of things that your Mercury's sign placement reveals.
Mercury in Aries
If your Mercury is in Aries you are outspoken, enthusiastic, and direct when you speak. Your thoughts are original, you're filled with ideas, and you strategize with your mind. Your mind is restless, your thoughts are on the run, and your words are quick and impulsive. At times you suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. You often act and speak without thinking things through completely and won't listen to anyone. When you're excited and angry, you express your anger by way of shouting.
Mercury in Taurus
If you have Mercury in Taurus, you think and speak slowly and deliberately. You're not quick to change your mind. Instead, you're determined, methodical, and use common sense to evaluate the practicalities of any situation. You assimilate information at a slower pace than others, but once you learn something you never forget. You can concentrate and see things through to the end and once you make up your mind that's it.
Mercury in Gemini
If your Mercury is in Gemini, your mind is adaptable, active, alert, curious, and versatile. Debate and argument appeal to you, and you're clever, witty, and always have a comeback. You're a mental multi-tasker, who is quick to grasp new ideas, but you're just a quick to lose interest. You tend to scratch the surface of the many things that interest you without learning anything in depth. Concentration and disciplined thinking are not your strong suit.
Mercury in Cancer
With Mercury in Cancer, emotional memories play a big part in how you think. You're thinking is based more on feelings, institution, personal experiences, and prejudices rather than logic. You are a sensitive listener and have a deep interest in the feelings and inner life of others. You're reticent to speak in public and can be quite open with intimate friends and family. Your mind absorbs and retains knowledge, but lacks focus.
Mercury in Leo
If your Mercury is in Leo, you express your thoughts energetically, dramatically, and with authority. You can have the ability to be a warm, convincing, entertaining speaker and an effective storyteller who wants to be admired for your mind. You have creative and colorful ideas and want to have a voice in decision making, but you can be stubborn, intolerant, and so impressed with your abilities that you come across as a know-it-all.
Mercury in Virgo
With Mercury in Virgo, you're a perfectionist with a clear, logical, and analytical thought process. You pay attention to details, are systematic and organized. You possess common sense and are not usually interested in things that are not useful in some practical way. You mentally analyze, measure, and dissect everything. Your strengths are in precise thinking, careful craftsmanship, and technical skills. However, you tend to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture.
Mercury in Libra
If your Mercury in Libra your style of thinking and speaking is objective and you process information in a fair and reasonable manner. You're diplomatic and tactful when speaking, and you have a persuasive, rational, well-balanced mind with aesthetic sensibilities. Your thinking process works by comparing things and finding analogies, and you tend to listen to all sides of an issue, which can lead to indecision because you can't make up your mind.
Mercury in Scorpio
With Mercury in Scorpio, you have a mind that's like a steel trap. You can concentrate, immerse yourself mysteries, and ferret things out. You seem to know things on an instinctive level and prefer learning through direct experience. You have the ability to penetrate beneath the surface and understand people and situations, but you seldom disclose anything about yourself. You have no difficulty saying what's on your mind, and can also be headstrong, skeptical, and quarrelsome.
Mercury in Sagittarius
If your Mercury is in Sagittarius, you have a wandering mind and possess idealism, vision, and foresight. Your mind is occupied with big ideas, plans, and goals for the future, and you're more concerned with theories, abstractions, and concepts than with specific applications. Your mind is keen, impulsive, and versatile. You're blunt, direct, and quick to say what's on your mind. But you also find it difficult to concentrate long enough to carry your ideas to completion.
Mercury in Capricorn
Mercury in Capricorn gives you a clear mind that's disciplined, rational, objective, and realistic. You're a bit of a skeptic and want to know the facts behind any statement or idea you hear. You organize your thoughts, strategize, and patiently follow through. You a level-headed and are capable of focused concentration and attention on whatever interests you, and you have a good memory. You have a serious mindset and seldom indulge in pleasantries or silly chatter.
Mercury in Aquarius
With an Aquarian mindset, your thoughts and ideas are often unique, unusual, scientific, or ahead of their time. Eureka moments and creative intelligence are your forte. You're a non-traditional thinker who's open to new technologies and discoveries. You have radical thoughts and ideas of your own and the ability to express them clearly so that others understand them. You also have the ability to hold firm to your ideas, regardless of what others might think.
Mercury in Pisces
If your Mercury is in Pisces, you have a mystical and open mindset. Your thoughts are imaginative, idealistic, and visionary. On the other hand, you can be impractical, day-dreamy, and absent-minded. Your imagination is highly developed and translating your thoughts and impressions into everyday language is difficult for you. At times, you may appear to be less verbal than others. Due to your psychic sensitivities, your mental health requires that you take some time alone to regroup.
Mercury retrograde (Rx) is a term that's familiar to almost everyone. The planet Mercury in the sky appears to reverse directions for three+ weeks, three or four times each year. This phenomenon is one that affects everyone's day-to-day activities.
Mercury Retrograde in a Birth Chart
When Mercury is Rx in a chart, the mind turns inward. This inner processing of information is anything but superficial. Mercury Rx in your chart, regardless of it sign placement, frees you to think independently, imaginatively, and innovatively. However, it also reveals some difficulty in self-expression; words do not form and the person feels inarticulate and struggles to make themselves understood.
A Different Kind of Mercurial Make-Up
If your Mercury is retrograde, knowing how it can affect you will help you accept that there's nothing wrong with you, you simply have a different kind of mercurial make-up than others. That understanding can lessen the frustrations you feel when you're unable to get the words out or make yourself understood. About 25 percent of the people on earth have Mercury Rx in their birth chart. To find out if your Mercury is retrograde, you'll need to have your birth chart (see above) and look for the Mercury's glyph (☿). If it has an Rx next to it, you were born when Mercury was retrograde.
Meeting Mercury First
If you meet someone for the first time in person, the first thing you "meet" is their rising sign and when you start talking to them your Mercurys "meet." However, in today's world, you often connect with people the first time by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and more and more individuals are searching for a significant other online. This means a lot of people "meet" your Mercury first. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your Mercury placement and the aspects it makes to everything else in your horoscope can help you make friends and influence people. Which means that understanding the complexities of your Mercury is definitely worth a consultation with a professional astrologer.