Mouthpiece of the Gods: Mercury in Astrology
For the last little while, DMM has been keeping you up to date on what the stars (and your inner life) are up to with our astrology playlist series. Last October marked one full year of DMM giving you the knowledge and music you need to cope with a year of planetary influence! Happy anniversary, congratulations to both of us! Now that we’ve given you the rundown of sign archetypes and the artists that power each season, we’d like to change things up by giving you some more hands-on-help surviving the seasons. This will include updates on planetary goings on, more in-depth information on the Planets and the Houses, as well as Planetary Rulers, Nativity, and all the other astro-facets you have always been too intimidated to ask your hot friend who’s into that sort of thing about. Have no fear, DMM is here!
If you see Mercury come up in Astrology or music or pop culture, odds are high in 2018 that it will lead you to an ever-more extracted culturally appealing response to the meme of people not believing in Mercury retrograde. We’re not complaining. We would fuck with a Mercury retrograde survival bath-bomb as hard as the next bitch. And given that Mercury remains in retrograde until December 6th, we just might need it. With enough hype around the hijinks that tend to occur during Mercury retrograde, how important is Mercury's whole shit the rest of the time?
The short answer is pretty god damn.
The planet Mercury is the master of communication, human relations, messages, information and the sharing of information. In your life in 2018, that also means Mercury is ruler of the business email, the tinder bio, the Instagram caption, the subtweet, the product description, the product review and the three different versions of your resume. Mercury owns and operates it all. If that wasn’t enough of your life to have a stranglehold on, Mercury also rules travel and technology. What a treat.
In Greek mythology Mercury was the messenger of the gods. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, and therefore has the fastest orbit time. Mercury is the master of the quick flip, and his signature winged heels gave life to the Roman Pantheons interpersonal quibblings, and provided inspiration for all those really great 2013 Jeremy Scott Adidas.
Mercury in the Birth Chart
As the Moon controls how you feel, Mercury governs all forms of communication, writing, speaking, thinking, as well as opinions, siblings, education, learning styles and connections. Thought is one thing, but when the thought crystalizes into words, and those words are shared, that’s Mercury's wheelhouse. Mercury gives name to things. You may have something in mind that you want for breakfast, but until you use Mercury to summon the words “Coffee with a shot of Jack Daniels and some hash browns with eggs, ketchup and Tabasco” you cannot actualize that craving. Mercury serves as an instigator, it allows for other things, and other planets and aspects of yourself to be properly loosed.
Another aspect of Mercury’s rule over communication is Mercury's status as amoral. The food order I just referred to, is it good or bad for you? It’s not determined. Is it because you are hungover, or because you are carbo-loading for a busy day? It’s not determined. Mercury does not rule morality or goodness (that’s Jupiter’s job), or feeling or honesty, it merely has to do with statements. Mercury was delivering a message from one god to another, and then from that god to another with a very conflicting viewpoint, it was certainly not Mercury's job to be the peacemaker, he was just the messenger. That’s where Mercury’s rule of learning and schooling comes in. Mercury gives us perspective, it can isolate information packets that can be put together into point of view, and therefore personality. The word “reason” used to be thrown around, but given that that word has been weaponized (thanks there, patriarchy) Mercury has less to do with consensus and more to do with dealing with the flavors of perspectives. That’s the oftentimes brilliant, oftentimes terrible reputation of the specific signs Mercury rules over.
Mercury as Ruler of the Signs
The word Mercurial is used to describe something or someone who is prone to unpredictability and frequent change in mind or temperament. Who just jumped into your mind? Was it your Gemini older sister? How about that Virgo you spent so much time with last Summer? Maybe even your own Virgo Moon? These two signs logically follow, for the root of the word Mercurial is of course, Mercury, the planet that rules these two signs. These are two signs that deal very directly with communication. Sometimes the way these two signs communicate can be a little odd, multi-faceted (not going to say two faced but…) it can be disconcerting, especially to those close to them.
The relationship from Mercury ruled signs to communication is a lot like the relationship between professional cooks and cooking. It might be odd to see a Gemini or Virgo talking five types of shit about the people they care about most, the same way as you can see a seasoned line cook screaming and throwing pans. We don’t see a line cook acting like your mom in the kitchen because they are in the kitchen more than your mother is, and have a different style that can be oftentimes more caustic. If you spend your life tied inextricably to the one thing, like a ships captain lashed to the wheel, that thing might make you hyper focused, hypersensitive, aggressive, ego driven and a little whacked out. You have to zone out to see how brilliant and specific they are with their communicative discipline: because Gemini and Virgo are geniuses of communication. There’s a reason all the best rappers alive were Geminis, and the Soundcloud wave is stuffed full of Virgos.
Everyone and their Auntie knows about and has something to say about the legitimacy of Mercury in retrograde. Does it really mess op communication, is that why my partner keeps being sulky, I’m just set to close on this house and I have absolute conviction it’s a good idea why won’t my wife let me, ETC. WELL, as we learned a while ago in my piece on Venus in retrograde, retrograde causes the normal areas ruled by a planet to be thrown into a standstill of confusion. What happens when such fate befalls everything to do with communication, insight and perspective? The whole world falls to pieces. Let that remind you of the importance of communication and connection, whether it’s yelling at your dog to poop faster or lying about what you want to eat to get along with a partner.
As always, may the moon see you safely home.