Planets for Beginners: Mercury

As I am learning more and more about astrology, I am learning what all the planets mean, so I thought that I would start a series for the planets and their meaning for Astrology beginners.  We are starting off with one of the more elusive planets to see – Mercury!

Mercury the Planet

Mercury is the smallest planet the closest to the sun, so it has a short orbit of 88 days that whips around the sun. If you are looking to see Mercury in the night sky your best chance is to look close to the horizon about 40 to 90 minutes after sunset or before sunrise. Because it is so close to the sun, it is not far behind to rise or set with it.

Mercury and the Gods

When the Romans adapted the Greek Gods, they renamed Hermes to Mercury. This god is known for being a trickster and shooting around the planes messing with both mortals and other gods. Because he is the messenger of Gods he is able to move between the Heavens, Earth, and the Underworld.  

Astrological Meaning

Unsurprisingly, this planet that is named after a messenger god is the ruler of communication and short travel. Mercury also rules over self-expression and the way that we come up with and express ideas. The two signs that are ruled by Mercury are Virgo and Gemini, although this strength of communication and ideas comes out in a very different way. While Gemini tend to be quick witted and agile, Virgos tend to take a deeper dive and have a more analytical view of things.

In Retrograde

Retrograde – or when a planet appears to be moving backwards through out its normal orbit usually has a negative effect on whatever that planet rules over. So the three times a year that Mercury goes retrograde it is important to watch for miscommunications. In modern times this also means that their may be technology issues as we use a ton of technology to communicate in our day to day lives.

Upcoming Mercury Retrogrades in 2021:

  • January 30– March 20
  • May 29 – June 22
  • September 27 – October 18

Mercury and Tarot

When you are reading tarot there are some cards that you can look out for. Within the major arcana you want to look out for the Magician. The Magician in tarot is The Fool who has more knowledge and has now started to come into their own and are able to express themselves. Within the Minor Arcana you want to look out for the following that relate to Mercury:

  • Three of Cups: Communication and Relationships
  • Five of Pentacles: Learning Difficulties
  • Six of Swords: Travel and New Directions
  • Eight of Wands: Movement and Opportunity
  • Ten of Pentacles: Support and Organization

If you would like a more in-depth look at tarot and mercury, I got this information from Cosmic Tarot, and I encourage you to go check out their article because it is full of great information with the relationship between these cards and Mercury. Or if you would like to know more about Astrology and Tarot in general you can visit this link to one of my older posts!


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