Mercury is the closest planet in our Solar System to the Sun. It is about twice the size of Pluto, but for now, it's the smallest official planet since scientists decided to mess around and demote Pluto down to "dwarf planet" status ... for a while. We'll see what the future brings.
Mercury is also classified as a "terrestrial planet," meaning it's made of solid rock and dust, etc. In structure, it is the most similar planet to Earth.
Since it can be seen with the naked eye -- no need for a telescope -- the existence of Mercury has been known since ancient times. It is often the closest planet to Earth ... paradoxically, since Venus spends most of its time away from Earth.
It is also, surprisingly, not the hottest planet. Venus has him beat there. Because of his speed, Mercury was named for the Roman messenger of the gods. He orbits the Sun every 88 days.
Mercury in mythology was the swift-footed messenger of the Gods. In Astrology, Mercury likewise deals with information, data-collection and communication. He rules two extremely cerebral signs, Gemini and Virgo ... and is considered the symbol of the conscious, rational mind. Mercury gives information about your intellect, your interests and the way you think and express your ideas.
He is the symbol of day-to-day contact and communication, which covers everything from casual conversations, to documents drawn up in writing, to the everyday knowledge you use to navigate life -- your "street smarts" and the way you use your talents in applied skills -- otherwise known as "work."
He also rules short journeys -- usually local travel, your relationships with siblings, neighbors and peers ... and the things you offer in service to others ... to "earn your keep" as it were, to improve life for yourself and others. No one rides for free.
Mercury was a major god in the Roman religion. He is known primarily as the courier who carried messages from heaven to earth and between the various gods themselves, but he also had other duties and dominions. He was the ruler of finance, commerce, messages, travelers and boundaries.
In his shadow expression, he was the god of luck, trickery and thieves -- an energy echoed in the shadow / reversed interpretation of The Magician in the Tarot -- the card associated with Gemini, which Mercury rules. This reveals the dual nature of communication. It can be honest, factual, above-board and direct. Or it can be subtle, underhanded, dissembling, deceitful and full of lies and misunderstandings.
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Mercury in Astrology
Light Reading & Open Articles
Basic Stuff About Mercury in Astrology ---> About Mercury ---> * Mercury occupies the innermost orbit of any other planet in our Solar System. Relative to Earth it is located on the other side of Venus. Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. * Mercury moves completely through the Zodiac in about a year, but his progression through the signs is very irregular. He goes into retrograde three to four times a year. When he's traveling direct, he stays in a sign about two weeks.
Quick Notes on Mercury -- It gives you the basics -- and saves a lot of time ---> Mercury ... and duality ---> * Mercury is the closest known planet to the Sun in our Solar System. It is never more than about 28° away from the Sun, which means it is always very close to the Sun in your horoscope and is often found in the same sign as the Sun. * Mercury rules two Zodiac signs -- Gemini and Virgo.
Mercury in General -- What Mercury in Astrology Means -- Your Inner Selves of Learning and Work ---> Learning stuff, using your mind and putting it to work ---> Like Venus, your Mercury energy describes two inner selves. One manages your mind and all its talents; the other is in charge of the work you do ... the ways you use your skills and abilities to help others and build the kind of life your want for yourself.
Other Articles in the
Physics, Metaphysical and Myth Series
The Sun -- Physics, Metaphysics and Myth -- Part 1 ---> Physics ---> Scientists consider our Sun a pretty "ordinary star." There's nothing particularly unique, strange, bizarre or even interesting about it. It's a star. It shines. And there are more than 100 BILLION more of them in our Milky Way galaxy alone.
The Moon -- Physics, Metaphysics and Myth -- Part 1 ---> Physics ---> Luna, the Earth's Moon, is also the Earth's only natural satellite. Neither Mercury nor Venus have any moons at all. The rest of the planets in our Solar System have anywhere from 2 moons (Mars) to dozens of moons. Jupiter has 67. Even Pluto has five.
Venus -- Physics, Metaphysics and Myth -- Part 1 ---> Physics ---> Venus is the second planet outward from the Sun. It orbits between Mercury and Earth. Like Mercury, Venus lacks any moon. These are the only two planets in our Solar System of which this is true. The Earth, of course, has one Moon. All the other planets have multiples. Even Pluto has five.
Uranus -- Physics, Metaphysics and Myth -- Part 1 ---> Physics ---> Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun and the 3rd largest planet in the Solar System. It orbits the Sun between Saturn and Neptune. In fact, the discovery of Uranus led to the discovery of Neptune. Both those planets are classified as "ice giants."
Mercury in Astrology -- Articles Index
Mercury Retrograde Articles Index