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All About Mercury

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Mercury is the planet of communication. Being able to communicate is a skill that balances on the effective transmittal of information--not just talking but also listening. Not just speaking but writing. Not just teaching but learning. Mercury is how we gather and collect data about our world, and how we pass it on to others. Your method of communicating and the most effective ways for you to learn things, even what you like to talk about as well as subjects you are interested in listening to are all governed by Mercury.


Mercury also governs our imagination. Perhaps our heart can tell us what we might long for and want to dream about, but it's Mercury that conjures up these visions of imagination that play like a movie behind our eyes.


When Mercury malfunctions, we see evidence of our own data being corrupted. We take facts and turn them upside down, rationalizing the data as proof of whatever we want. It's not just because we see things different than someone else, but also because we've turned things around in our own head, forcing truths to line up in a skewed way to justify weak arguments.


Mercury is not necessarily about how intelligent we are, but how we perceive and communicate our intelligence. The sign, house, and aspecting planets of Mercury in our charts can tell us about our intellectual and communicative strengths and weaknesses.


Here's a small and imperfect Mercury 'cookbook'. Find your Mercury sign and house for a snippet about your natal chart. If you don't know where your Mercury is, you can create a free chart here and find out! Remember, anything taken out of context of the entire blend of your natal chart is like an ingredient in a dish without the other ingredients to add nuance and complexity. Digest these ingredients with a grain of salt, so to speak!


Mercury in Aries

You tend to think fast and speak even faster, sometimes before you actually get that thought formed, it’s already out of your mouth!  Beware that you don’t have to eat your own foot too often.  Your strengths are being able to speak with your force and will behind what you say.  You may also be able to learn rather quickly, at least the broad strokes of what is being taught (you can fill in the holes later, right?).  Effective conversation for you has to happen quickly to keep you interested and engaged.   


Mercury in Taurus

You tend to think in a very methodical way, grounded common sense.  You tend to have an excellent memory as a result of your thoroughness.  Unless you have something in your chart that strongly modifies this, you are not one to fill the air with empty chatter; you speak when it’s relevant and when you really have something to say.  Beware of inflexibility – a stubborn resistance to resist any new ideas can be your weakness.  Effective conversation for you contains elements of concrete, well thought out ideas, as well as a conversational partner who understands when silence is golden.  


Mercury in Gemini

You can be a great communicator and teacher, able to see your way around problems easily and quickly. You learn quickly, it’s probably not uncommon for you to already find yourself mentally several steps ahead of your conversational partner – or, if you are doing the talking, you might pick up on a thought that has jumped ahead too far and lose your audience!  Beware of jumping to far ahead and right into false conclusions.  You are great at seeing the ways around any fact and it can lead you in circles, letting your imagination run wild.  Effective conversation for you is one where you are intellectually stimulated (almost!) beyond capacity – something that really challenges your mind, like a great debate.  


Mercury in Cancer

Lots of imagination here; your inner world is rich and you can invent fabulous stories.  You don’t tend to be really verbally revealing.  You are less concerned with facts and more concerned with how the ‘facts’ make you and your loved ones feel.  You might find it difficult to talk with people sometimes who are too concerned with the logical and scientific capabilities of communication and have no love or understanding for the poetic beauty with which you can express yourself.  Sometimes your ideas may not come out the way you want them to – words are sometimes just too limited.  Beware of getting carried away with your feelings and assigning, subjectively, ulterior motives to your conversational partner.   Effective conversations for you are when you have a patient and emotionally engaged partner who can give you time to express yourself and what you really mean, time to unfold your ideas and thoughts.  


Mercury in Leo

You tend to express yourself in speech dramatically.  Conversation is not just a means of getting information from one person to the other, there has to be a story, energy, something to draw you in.  You may entertain with your voice somehow, either literally as in writing something like poetry or screenplays, or perhaps you just know how to weave a good tale.  You can be very charismatic with your voice, and very convincing.  Beware of a potential pompous reaction to learning from others – sometimes humility doesn’t come easily to you and therefore you might find it difficult to value another’s opinion when it might be valid.  Effective conversation for you contains elements of passion and drama, where you can have room to share your opinion theatrically (and how!).  


Mercury in Virgo

Your mind works in an orderly fashion, rarely missing a detail, focused on efficient mental processes.  Your mind is finely tuned to the skill of determining the flaw in something because you have a tremendous critical eye – mental precision is the key word here.  Editors typically have some strong element of Virgo in their chart because of this quality.  Mercury is also the ruler of this sign because of Virgo’s incredible ability for analysis.  You are able to take complex ideas and analyze them down to their core, pulling them apart and seeing how they are put together.  Beware of that critical eye turning too far inward or unleashed on others too strongly – perfection is a good goal as long as we are humble enough to accept that it’s unattainable.  Effective conversation for you is where you can express your ideas in a practical way, engaged with a conversational partner that appreciates logic over subjectivity.  


Mercury in Libra

You take great care in how you express yourself – likely it is tactfully and gracefully.  You have the mind and voice of a diplomat, able to create peace by giving justice and validation to each enemy, and enabling them to see the whole picture.  You are naturally able to get your mind to see two sides of a problem, being able to tolerate mental paradox more easily than some, and appreciate the complimentary qualities of each seemingly opposing side. Beware of hedging too much what you say – sometimes you can be so concerned about not offending that you don’t say quite what you mean with the intensity or clarity you need to. Effective conversation for you contains elements of finesse and courtesy, no crude statements or unnecessary harshness.  


Mercury in Scorpio

Your mind is built for penetrating secrets.  You may find you have a knack for research of any kind – something where you have to get to the bottom of something.  You can follow a thought, an idea, down to the end, turning over any stone to find out the answer.  You usually express yourself to the point – cut to the chase and tell me the bottom line, the real stuff, is your preference.  Beware of biting responses – sometimes, even if you are just intending to be forthright, it can be invasive and perceived as an attack, and that’s not even when your temper gets away with you!  Effective conversation for you contains elements of truth and directness, where you can talk about some subjects that break taboo openly.  


Mercury in Sagittarius

You have a head for philosophical debate.  Your mind is well suited to seeing the larger patterns of ideas and finding the common meaning in them – in the underlying themes of all the truths that people subscribe to.  You express yourself exuberantly, possibly rarely pausing for breath!  You are generally pretty open minded – it is your mercurial task to find meaning in the information you gather, but not to zealously defend and proselytize to others, so beware of getting on that occasional moral high horse.  Effective conversation for you contains elements of willingness to explore new ideas and question the meaning of moral statements that supposedly ‘everyone’ agrees with.  


Mercury in Capricorn

Your mind also works in an orderly fashion, focusing on the pragmatic ideas that will take you to your goal. You can plan ahead because you are usually thinking of how what you say will lead to what you say next, etc.  It is likely that you have great powers of concentration and can stay mentally focused, on task, with clear thoughts.  You think carefully before you speak, almost as if you are strategically planning the conversation.  Beware of taking this ‘realistic’ view too far and crossing the line into pessimism and a gloomy attitude.  Effective conversation for you is about grounded and useful topics, and sometimes actually just give you a little room to blow off some steam and complain!  


Mercury in Aquarius

Your mind is like a constant lightning storm, with new ideas forming at the speed of light – bursts of insight.  You are often jumping quickly from one idea to the next before anyone knows where you are going, which is indicative of the creative ways that you can link ideas together.  This is the mind of a genius – someone who can put ideas together in unusual ways, basically we connect to genius any time we think in ways we were not taught to think, and that’s you!  Beware of intellectual snobbery and a desire to push people’s buttons with your ideas simply out of the need to see them squirm.  Effective conversation for you contains elements of unusual topics and a willingness to follow an idea into absurd and territory that maybe the cultural norm considers unacceptable.  


Mercury in Pisces

Your mind is connected strongly to a spiritual plane, somewhere that is not grounded in 3 dimensional reality but able to see more potential, more universal connection – you are a dreamer, dreaming your days and seeing magic like regular people do only when they are asleep.  Like Cancer, you may find it difficult to express what you want to say clearly when communication of the more practical and mundane subjects is necessary.  Giving directions may not be your strongest talent (wink).  Your words are generally kind and you may be somewhat soft spoken.  Mercury is the planet of perception and with your mind focused on seeing outside of the mundane world, your intuition is probably fairly strong, because the ‘data’ you are taking in isn’t concerning facts and figures.  Beware of overdosing on innocence and naiveté – you may find it sometimes difficult to deal with harsh subjects and tend to avoid sometimes saying things that need to be said.  Effective conversation for you contains elements of poetry, beauty, and gentility. 



Mercury in 1st house

You are invited to give voice to the visible expression of your true self, to take up space, to show what you really think to the world.  Not to be afraid to speak up and be noticed for that opinion.  You may get noticed the most for how you express yourself and may be a talkative person who can benefit from sharing your ideas with others often, especially if Mercury is conjunct your ascendant.  


Mercury in 2nd house

You are invited to give voice to expressions of your feelings of self worth.  You must learn to be willing to extend your opinion out and take that risk that it may be rejected.  You must use your voice as a resource – believe that it is valuable, either in what you say or even as a talent (such as singing or public speaking).  


Mercury in 3rd house

You are invited to give voice to your perceptions. This house is pure seeing, taking in information from all sources, never deciding you are done learning.  The point here is to develop your thoughts to share and compare with others – lively discussions and debates really get things hopping for you.  You must keep an open mind and serve to open the minds of those you talk with.  


Mercury in 4th house

You are invited to give voice to your inner heart.  You must project your thoughts onto the inner plain, learning about yourself and then when you do speak outward, to have it reflect your deepest happiness and sorrows, that come from a true knowledge of your foundation, your childhood, what’s in your bones. Thoughts aren’t meant to be expressed without feelings here.  The subjects you talk about most are ones that are close to your heart, and maybe difficult to express.  


Mercury in 5th house

You are invited to give voice to your creative process.  Your voice is your tool to give birth to something that is of you and manifest it outside of you as your art.  How you express your creativity, has to contain some element of what you have to say.  This is a common placement for writers, poets, even singers, where somehow what you have to say and how you say it IS your creation.  


Mercury in 6th house

You are invited to give your voice as a student when appropriate, and then later as a teacher.  Your mental gifts can be given as a gift to those who would learn from you, even if it’s something as simple as tutoring.  The 6th house is about receiving mentoring as well as giving it – where the torch is passed.  Perhaps you even had a favorite English teacher or something, someone who you felt specifically guided you along a path of learning, someone you felt you could look up to.  


Mercury in 7th house

You are invited to learn the art of communicating effectively in partnerships, your skill and verbal destiny lies in building bridges of understanding.  Any planet here is learning to dance the line between self and the other, as are you learning a balance between expressing and believing in your own opinions and being open enough to learn from your partner and hear what they have to say.  Share equal voice with your partners, no more, no less.  


Mercury in 8th house

You are invited to give voice to the truths that lie beneath your consciousness.  Penetrating your own subconscious and psychological processes, to turn your mind inward as in the fourth house, but here to see your dark side; to understand the dimensions of yourself that are ruled by wounded emotion, to bring those fears to the surface and deal with them.  You may also have this transformative effect on others.  


Mercury in 9th house

You are invited to give voice to your questions.  You are driven to educate yourself, be it formally or on your own terms.  You are invited to shock yourself mentally, to expose yourself to foreign ways of thinking – travel being an excellent way to do so.  You are someone who is on a quest for meaning, and if you do it right, you’ll never settle on anything, for there is far too much to be seen and explored to ever decide on the Truth.  


Mercury in 10th house

You are invited to offer your voice to the community. You may find that your intellectual and communication skills become inherent to your career.  Your voice may be something you may be known for, even if it’s not your actual job.  In the 10th, what you say is highly regarded and you may need to choose your words carefully for their impact to your many listeners, as your very reputation may be staked on what you say at times.  


Mercury in 11th house

You are invited to give voice to your dreams and goals.  You may spend a lot of time thinking about the things you want to achieve in your life.  Your voice may play an important part in your social life – not only bringing you together with many friends, but also, you may find you are good at networking, bringing people together with common interests and aims.  


Mercury in 12th house

You are invited to give voice to your spirit.  There is a similar element here as with Mercury in the 4th house and 8th house, with a feeling that somehow what you have to say is reflective of an inner emotional state, but the gift is to extend your voice in service somehow, outward, to those who are in need.  You have a need and a gift to achieve mental peace, to quiet your mind and open it to a higher vision.  You may also be highly psychic, able to just pick up on clues that don’t come in the form of tangible facts. 

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