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Mercury the Magician

Before something can be created, there is the idea of its existence. Before the idea of its existence, there is the receipt of information, and before the receipt of this information there is a pure and open mind.

The Apprentice

Mercury is a truly fascinating planet. We may refer to him as of male form, but in fact Mercury is neither masculine nor feminine but takes on the gender of whatever planet it is joined to. Combined with this fact and its proximity to the Sun, Mercury is known as the prince or apprentice of the solar system. It is ready and waiting for something new to learn and just like Hermes, it is responsible for carrying out the orders and passing on the messages of the Sun god.

Mercury is the second swiftest celestial body, passing quickly in and out of contact from one planet to the next. The condition of Mercury in the birth chart shows how one takes in and shares information and the capacity to acquire new skills. Mercury is an analytical and scientific planet that asks objective questions, whilst Jupiter is subjective and asks “why?”.

Mercury and the Moon

If Mercury is more dominant in the natal chart, the person’s intellect rules over their emotions in decision making. If Mercury is stronger than the Moon, the person is generally more rational.

Buddha - Avatar of Mercury

In Jyotisha, each planet (or Graha as they are called) is associated with an Avatar. The Avatar of Mercury is called Buddha. It’s worth mentioning that the term Buddha today is often linked to Siddhartha Gautama of whom originated Buddhism as we know it today. However the title has been given to several others who reached enlightenment before Siddhartha. Buddha simply means “awakened” and so Mercury represents the ability within us all to obtain enlightenment in some capacity.


Mercury has two signs of domicile, just like the rest of the planets aside from the luminaries who have just one. The first sign of domicile is Gemini, the twins. Gemini is hot and moist in nature, and is therefore a sanguine sign. The characteristics of a sanguine temperament are friendly, responsive, optimistic, impulsive, talkative and is someone who seeks inclusion and a variety of stimulation, which can sometimes lead to distraction. The mutable quality of Gemini makes it changeable and adaptive whilst the airy nature makes it quite sociable and easily influenced. Therefore, Gemini has an incredible quality to change quickly from one state to the next. As a human sign, Gemini’s nature is to connect to the fellow species. I have personally noticed that those born with a strong Gemini are very good at copying and enjoy exchanging ideas with others. As a common or double bodied sign, it encompasses the concept of duality and can signify things that come in two parts. Gemini signifies the shoulders, arms and hands which results in Gemini relating to manual skills that involve the arms and hands. Places attributed to Gemini are high or lofty places such as the upper rooms in houses or even hills (due to its airy nature), chests, cabinets and containers, games rooms, gyms and libraries but also barns and storehouses for corn.


The other sign of Mercury’s domicile is Virgo. Virgo is symbolised by a bright young girl holding grain who dwells in the mountains. Like the fresh mountain air, Virgo energy is pure and clear. It rules the small intestines which are responsible for identifying and retaining what is nutritious to the body. It is a melancholic sign which makes Virgo discerning, critical, focused, careful, deliberate and hardworking. Again, this sign of Mercury is of the mutable modality which gives Virgo an adaptive and changeable quality, but Virgo is and Earth sign which makes its more grounded and stable. Places linked to Virgo are studies, closets, cornfields and granaries. The season of Virgo runs from the end of August to the end of September, which is typically when wheat is harvested.

The unique fact about Mercury is that Virgo is not only its sign of domicile but it is also its sign of exaltation, which gives Mercury an incredible strength when it is in this sign.

So, Gemini signifies the accumulation of information, whilst Virgo is the discernment of that information.

The gut-brain relationship

In traditional medical astrology, Mercury is assigned rulership to the condition of the mind and the brain, and as I just mentioned Virgo is associated with the small intestine. This astrological connection reflects what physicians know as an important gut-brain relationship. So much so that the gut is known as the second brain and contains millions of neurons that are connected to the brain. We are often told to listen to our gut instinct, which would be the application of Virgo’s acts of astuteness. Plus, it is often advised that if we eat better we think more clearly.


Mercury also has a history of being associated with the magician. As Gemini is of air and Virgo is of Earth, it is connected to the ethereal and the material. Through its reception of information and its ability to mutate due to its genderless state, it transforms the information of the mind into matter before your very eyes.


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