The innermost planet in the solar system zips around the Sun in just 88 days, and can never appear more than 28 degrees away from the Sun. It can only be seen at sunrise or sunset, and then only as a faint yellowish-tan star twinkling in the twilight.
As the closest planet to the Sun, it's also the fastest-moving planet across our sky, with the most variable speed and most frequent to retrograde. No wonder the earliest sky watchers considered Mercury the divine messenger, trickster, and psychopomp.
The Meaning of Mercury in Astrology
Given Mercury's movement, it’s no wonder it excels at adaptability; Mercury switches between ideas and opportunities in the blink of an eye.
Mercury’s the planet most at home in the information age. As the Winged Messenger of the gods, he’s a master of all forms of communication, including learning, teaching, transcribing, recording, and translating.
With its statue still overlooking the central marketplace in Rome, Mercury oversees all transactions – it negotiates, exchanges, barters, advertises, and commercializes.
Mercury applauds curiosity in all forms, including seeking knowledge, assimilating new ideas, and analyzing. It's also quick to amuse, satirize, banter, and joke – including inventing practical jokes.
But, like all the other planets, Mercury also has his dark side. The less-savory uses of Mercury include lying, cheating, wheeling, and dealing with con artistry.
Mercury in a Horoscope Chart
Mercury loves fast-paced, exchanges. And so, you can see that, in an astrology chart, he might symbolize things such as:
- Non-judgmental communication
- Thoughts, rationality, reason, logic, analysis
- Curiosity, questioning, and learning
- Study, writing, speaking
- Meditation and contemplation
- Negotiation, exchange, barter, trade
- Humor, mimicry, trickery
- Anxiety, nervous system issues, and deception
This is just the beginning, of course. You can also use your own imagination to come up with variations on the theme – Mercury would surely approve!
Astrology Glyph for Mercury
Alone among the planets, Mercury’s glyph contains all three cosmic symbols: a circle of divinity, a crescent of soul, and a cross of matter. The cross sits below the circle and the crescent on top.
Mercury's glyph is suggestive of its place in-between and connecting the cosmic spheres; as the divine messenger, it's the only planetary god who can travel across all realms.
Some argue it’s also a stylized Caduceus, which is also known as Mercury’s staff.