Tuesday, 11 May 2010

About Mercury

Now that Mercury is turning direct, I think it would be a good idea to have a look at this sometimes misunderstood planet. The tendency of a part of modern astrology to treat planets as if they are comfortable in every sign and just functioning differently, has brought some confusion. Besides the fact that Mercury is the planet of communication and of the gathering and exchange of information, the key, I think, to understanding Mercury is to remember that, traditionally, it is considered a cold and dry planet.
Which means that Mercury is not a passionate or an emotional planet. Passion and emotion may be two wonderful things to have, but you'd better keep your Mercury away from them. You could have a strong Sun or Jupiter for passion or a strong Moon or Venus for emotion. But NOT Mercury. Mercury is the planet of reason and it is best placed in air or earth signs. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and is also exalted in Virgo. The other air and earth signs may not be the absolutely best signs for Mercury, but at least in those signs Mercury is functioning reasonably well. Not so in fire and water signs.
This has nothing to do about being clever. But when you have a fiery Mercury, you get passionate about ideas and theories and you rarely deign to test them. You know they are true, because you feel deep inside that they are true. But that's not enough. Whenever someone questions your beliefs, you become defensive. You don't want to test them, because they mean so much to you, so how could you survive without them, once they are proven wrong? This is very often the case with astrologers as well. We become so convinced that some astrological concepts are perfect that no matter how many times they fail to give the anticipated results, we never question them, because they feel perfect to us, they work for us. But the sad fact is that if a technique fails to provide us with any accuracy, we must throw it away and not find excuses. That's the reason that I've always supported scientific research in astrology and hated phrases like: "I use the equal house system because it works" or " Use the Regiomantanus system in horary and the Placidus system in natal astrology, because they work". What kind of an argument is that, especially when everybody uses it to support their preferred house system?
Mercury in water cannot think clearly and objectively because emotion steps in and clouds the thinking process. A Mercury in Pisces employer, for example, may offer a promotion to someone because they are nice people or fun to hang around with, despite the obvious fact that they lack the necessary skills. Emotion prevents Mercury from exhibiting its true nature. These people may be very intuitive but very often they can't put two and two together and this can be dangerous in situations that demand clarity of thought.
Mercury is in detriment in the two Jupiter-ruled signs, Sagittarius and Pisces. Jupiter represents the kind of knowledge that comes from within, that demands a leap of faith, despite the fact that there is no external proof available. That's why it is considered the planet of religion and philosophy. That is of course extremely valuable, but equally valuable is COMMON SENSE.