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Mercury glyph
Astrology for Today by Joanna Watters

Mercury rules the throat, lungs, and respiratory system. Its illnesses include speech impediments or problems with the mouth, tongue or breathing. It also rules the arms, hands, shoulders, and nervous system, and illnesses related to them.
Introducing Mercury

The Sun's closest traveling companion, Mercury is never found further than 27 degrees away from the Sun. For this reason, Mercury is rarely visible and the best time to see it is during a total eclipse. Like the Sun, Mercury takes approximately a year to travel through the zodiac so, in the horoscope, Mercury is always either in the same sign as the Sun or in the preceding or following sign.


In Greek mythology Mercury is Hermes, the winged messenger of the gods. Thus Mercury symbolizes everything to do with communication, as reflected in its better known masculine rulership of Gemini, the talker of the zodiac. Mercury also rules the exacting and perfection-seeking feminine sign of Virgo, as the other function of the mind is to analyze, define, and discriminate.


As the planet of the mind Mercury is curious but, as it is also the planet of youth, its attention span is short. It speaks of breadth rather than depth and therefore rules early education rather than serious study. It is also our voice and everything to do with the written or spoken word-letters, telephones, conversation, ideas, books, the media, and so on.

Language reveals but can also conceal so Mercury also rules that which is not verbalized, such as private thoughts, fantasies or opinions. Depending upon its position in the horoscope, Mercury is lies or truth, open or secretive, provocative or non-confrontational. Mercury is also humour and the significator of magic. It rules the hands - and the quickness of the hand deceives the eye - so Mercury can be a thief as well as a magician.

The Mercurial type is mostly characterized by dexterity, cleverness, or quickness. This can manifest physically through manual labour and skills, or mentally, through intelligence. A common characteristic is expressiveness. Not surprisingly Mercury is often a strong feature in the horoscopes of singers and musicians, as well as the mercurial professions of writing, presenting, reporting, or research. Mercury also rules the realm of local travel or short journeys, and the means of transport - such as cars, buses, and bicycles.

© Joanna Watters.
Extracted from Astrology For Today, published by Carroll & Brown Publishers Ltd., London, 2003

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