Tuesday Toolbox

Tuesday Toolbox 2.3: Mercury


Mercury represents messages- the sending of them, the receiving of them, the deciphering of them, the understanding of them. It’s all about perception and communication.

It’s how you think; your sense of humour; the sound of your voice; the speed of your learning; the way in which you connect facts and data- and the interest you have in doing so; the stories you tell; the words that you use; and the way in which you deliver them.

Mercury is by nature fast- if left to his own devices he’d flit around the Sun in less than 90 days. Given that his orbit is tied quite closely to the Sun, he’s always no more than one sign away from the Sun. To be a tad more technical, he’s never more than 28° away from the Sun. To keep within this orbit, Mercury goes retrograde for a few weeks a few times a year.

The Symbol…

The symbol for Mercury is below.



  • By nature, it is dry, changeable and excitable.
  • Mercury is neither masculine nor feminine. Instead, Mercury takes on the energy of the closest planets to it
  • Mercury rules reasoning, logic, rationality
  • Mercury is involved with all the methods by which we perceive and communicate: speech, hearing, hands, ears, eyes, nose.
  • Mercury is strongest in Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius, and weaker in Sagittarius, Pisces and Leo- again relatively, not absolutely speaking.

Sign Placement…

The sign that your Mercury is in will tell you how you react, think, learn and communicate.

My Mercury is in Pisces. I learn by osmosis, I’m motivated by compassion and imagination, and often I feel as though I communicate almost telepathically. I can have entire conversations where not much is said, but plenty is understood.

Doing it for yourself…

  1. What sign is your Mercury in?
  2. What element is your Mercury in? What do you think this might say about how you organize your thoughts?
  3. What does this say about how you learn, think, communicate? Any strengths or challenges?
  4. Is there something that your Mercury wants that it’s not getting?

House Placement…

Wherever Mercury is in your chart is that area of life where you react with the most curiosity. It’s this part of life that stimulates your thoughts.

Eg my Mercury is in the 12th house. I need space and alone time in order to organize my thoughts and prepare rational plans. My imagination has no boundaries, and mysteries stimulate my brain. I subconsciously use my intuition, and despite appearing to share my thoughts, keep much that is emotionally important to me secret.

Doing it for yourself…

  • What house is your Mercury in?
  • What does this say about where you look for mental stimulation or occupation?

Who does Mercury talk to?

Aspects to other planets can help and hinder Mercury in expressing itself to its fullest potential. Difficult aspects can mean that you have difficulty in arranging your thoughts, communicating, or delays in learning that need to be dealt with. Relatively speaking.

Happy Mercury

Able to receive and transmit information.

Not so happy Mercury

Worried, nervous, flighty, inconsistent, overly intellectual (for its’ own ends)


If you have Mercury retrograde natally*, you tend to go within in order to organize your thoughts. You’re probably very imaginative, tend to be an independent and innovative thinker, yet might have some difficulty in expressing yourself.

I had an astrologer tell me once that because my Mercury was RX, I was a slow learner- yet, as a child I always did well at school, and later at Uni. The thing is, I’m not slow- but the way in which I learn is different. I need to study alone, and learn better when I have time by myself to process and organize my thoughts- otherwise I tend to pick up everyone else’s voice…and that just gives me too much noise in my head- to the extent that I can’t hear myself think. It’s why when I’m actively writing a novel, I read in a completely different genre- so my voice doesn’t get muddled.

*Don’t know if Mercury is retrograde in your chart? If you’ve cast your chart using, there’ll be a little r beside the symbol. If you’ve cast your chart using astrogold, the degrees will be in red.


We’ll talk more about rulerships as we go along, but for now:

  • Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo, so is influential over that part of life that has these signs on the house cusp.
  • Mercury is in its’ detriment in Pisces and Sagittarius- both Jupiter ruled signs. This makes sense: Jupiter is about expansiveness and Jupiter ruled signs tend to focus on the horizon. Mercury ruled signs tend to be more detail oriented.

For now? Hold this thought too…I promise we’ll get back to it.

Next time….Venus.