Published in The Scribe
So you’re skimming through an article by your fave astrologer (in other words, me) and you’re loving everything she’s saying (thank you, I try) because her descriptions are as witty as they are wise, and satirical yet sincere (stop, you’re making me blush). But this witty, wise, satirical yet sincere astrology expert keeps talking about Mercury and it’s confusing.
You want to understand more about this planet– especially that Mercury Retrograde stuff. Well, don’t you worry ‘bout a thang, boo. Cosmic Cannibal is here to tell you everything you need to know about astrological Mercury.
The mind planet– Wait. Wait. Wait. Did I just call Mercury a “mind planet”? How can Mercury be a mind planet? Does it have telekinesis or a super-high IQ like Megamind? Um, no, but that would be cool. I use that descriptor for Mercury because the planet rules the mind. And not in some sci-fi thought-control way.
Mercury gets its name from the Roman messenger god who was known for his cleverness and talents, most of which have to do with language, thought, and message giving. His role in many myths was to use words to connect people and ideas.
Astrological Mercury does the same thing. The mind planet influences that area of our lives related to thinking, speaking, learning, writing, and the intellect. Any time you’re outlining a paper, reasoning out an argument, studying for an exam, or even plotting revenge, Mercury is at work because you’re using your noggin.
Mercury also governs all forms of verbal and technological communication. Texts, emails, letters, phone calls, DMs– these are but some of the ways in which the planet assists us in exchanging information and connecting our ideas with those of others. The planet also governs message-sending vehicles such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and all electronics. Pretty cool, right?
In addition to being the master of communication, Mercury rules two zodiac signs and two astrological houses. These zodiac signs are Gemini and Virgo, which rule the 3rd and 6th houses, respectively.
Gemini, the OG communication sign, exemplifies the active and speedy nature of Mercury. Whereas Virgo expresses Mercury’s practical and organizational side. Gemini is quick-witted, curious and responsive, but superficial. Virgo is analytical, exacting and a natural researcher, but can hyper-focus on tiny details and lose sight of the bigger picture. Since Mercury is the astrological “parent” of Gemini and Virgo, both zodiac signs are especially sensitive to its transits, particularly its retrograde cycles.
You’re probably familiar with the term Mercury Retrograde, since it occurs three times every year and I often belabor its importance. But this is because Mercury Retrograde affects a lot.
When Mercury stations retrograde, it appears to be moving backwards in the sky (don’t worry, it’s not really moving backwards– that would be weird). Symbolically, this represents the planet’s inability to function the way it should; everything gets fragmented and out of sorts. That means all those things that Mercury rules– thinking, learning, speaking, writing, texting, technology, electronics, etc. –get disrupted.
The disruptions created by Mercury Retrograde include, but are not limited to: texting/DMing your ex (or receiving a text/DM from an ex); an email intended for your friends that you accidentally send to your professor; phone apps not working; Zoom or MS Teams crashing; inability to accurately articulate your ideas; breaking your phone/laptop; car or appliances breaking down. Since Mercury also governs travel and schedules, most travel plans and/or scheduled dates/appointments get cancelled or rescheduled.
So there you have it: Everything you need to know about astrological Mercury. Now, when you hear about Mercury or one of its transits, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.