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Mercury in Astrology: Meaning and Characteristics

Mercury in astrology

In recent years, astrology has experienced a resurgence in popularity. From new mobile astrology apps to a flood of astrological books, it’s clear that we all want to know a little more about ourselves. If you want to learn about Mercury in astrology, read on!

While reading horoscopes and checking compatibility between signs is certainly entertaining, the core of astrology is based around planetary and celestial movements. Essentially, astrology is not just concerned with your sun sign (the main astrological sign with which you identify). It also takes into account all the plants and the ways they impact the houses of your birth chart.

If this all sounds a little confusing, don’t worry. Start by using a birth chart generator based on the time and date of your birth to determine which sign the planets manifest for you. Read on to discover how Mercury in astrology could impact your sign and personality.

Characteristics of Mercury

Mercury in astrology

Located closest to the Sun, in both astrological and astronomical terms, Mercury moves fast. This quick planet orbits the Sun in just 88 days, meaning it typically only spends about 3 weeks in each sign. Occasionally it will pass the Earth in its orbit. This creates what is known as a retrograde (more on that below), in which Mercury can spend up to 9 weeks in one sign.

While Mercury is a small, hot planet, it’s location closest to the Sun grants it a special position and symbolism.

Symbolism of Mercury in Astrology

Mercury’s name comes from Roman mythology, based on the messenger of the gods. The Roman god Mercury did more than deliver messages, however. He was also the god of tricksters and travelers, and of course, communication.

This symbolism can still be found in Mercury today. Since Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, it receives the most solar energy and helps us translate it into the world around us. Mercury rules communication, technology, language, scheduling, and transportation. In other words, aspects of life that help us connect with one another. In more esoteric terms, Mercury also rules the hands. Tapping into Mercury’s energy may help reveal a new talent or ability in handicrafts. Try this on a Wednesday, as that is Mercury’s day of the week.

Mercury in astrology rules the signs Gemini and Virgo, as well as the Third and Sixth Houses. In Gemini, Mercury is manifested through quick wit, chattiness, and general charm. It is the outward expression of Mercury’s energy. Mercury in Virgo tends to look inward. Mercury is also a planet of logic and organization, something that becomes apparent in analytical Virgo.

Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in astrology

“Mercury in retrograde” may be some of the most infamous words in astrology. It strikes fear in some, and derision in others. But the truth is, Mercury in retrograde is nothing to be afraid of, and it happens more often than you might think.

Every time Mercury passes the Earth in its orbit, an optical illusion occurs in which it appears the planet is moving backward across the sky (hence the “retro”). This can occur 3 to 4 times a year, affecting different signs each time. While the planet hasn’t literally changed direction, its energy tends to reverse during these periods.

Because Mercury in astrology rules communication, technology, and transportation, things can certainly go a little haywire if the energy suddenly shifts. To deal with this, when Mercury goes retrograde, be sure to choose your words carefully, as things may be misinterpreted more often. Allow extra time for your commute, and make sure you bring an extra phone charger when you leave the house. Above all, Mercury in retrograde allows us the time to look inward and practice patience. These retrogrades teach us that sometimes, it’s better not to say anything and process your emotions on your own before making a big decision.

Mercury in the Signs

Like all the Sun signs, Mercury in astrology affects each sign differently. It should be noted that your sign in Mercury may not be your Sun sign, and you will need to consult your birth chart to determine which sign is ruled by Mercury in your chart.

Mercury in Aries

Since Aries is a confident, zealous fire sign, it makes sense that Mercury in this sign gets straight to the point. Mercury in Aries tends to be brutally honest and doesn’t mince words—few topics are off the table in this sign.

Mercury in Taurus

Loyal earth sign Taurus doesn’t like to rush things. Mercury in Taurus is a patient thinker, preferring to listen more and mull over big ideas. When Taurus does speak up, it tends to be in favor of concrete plans and concepts, rather than abstract debates.

Mercury in Gemini

Known as the chatterbox of the zodiac, Mercury in Gemini can be loquacious to a fault. Easily breaking the ice with small talk on nearly any subject, Gemini never lets the pace of the conversation lag, and may leave others in the dust as they jump between topics.

Mercury in Cancer

The Crab is famous for its hard outer shell that guards a tender heart, and Mercury in this sign is no different. Mercury in Cancer lets others lead the conversation, preferring to absorb everything going on around them. These listening skills are valuable, but Cancer may take things too personally when their ideas are up for debate.

Mercury in Leo

Firey, flamboyant Leo is never one to pass up the spotlight. Mercury naturally amplifies Leo’s storytelling tendencies, amping up the drama and appealing to their audience’s emotions to keep all eyes on them. While entertaining, Leo must remember to let others speak too.

Mercury in Virgo

Since Mercury rules this sign, Virgo is driven by a need to interview, analyze, and process information. Mercury in Virgo knows exactly how to get the information they’re looking for, but may come across as too probing or needling to others.

Mercury in Libra

Charming Libra never wants to offend, and its for this reason that Mercury in this sign comes across as likeable, if non-committal. Libra excels at small talk and putting people at ease, but may not take a hard stance for fear of offending others.

Mercury in Scorpio

The probing mind of Scorpio is only enhanced with Mercury’s energy. Scorpio wants to know everything, and has a knack for asking the right questions to uncover all your secrets. While this may sound intimidating, Scorpio is also a good listener, and may offer unexpectedly candid advice.

Mercury in Sagittarius

Expansive Sagittarius is the explorer of the zodiac. Mercury in this sign takes the form of academic and philosophical exploration. Sagittarius loves to share their knowledge with others, while Mercury ensures the communication is always entertaining and well-received.

Mercury in Capricorn

Mercury in Capricorn plays to this sign’s strengths and ambitions in the professional world. Capricorn is clear and concise in conversations at work, and can typically hold their own in social situations. However, when put on the spot, Capricorn may ramble as they figure out exactly what they’re trying to say.

Mercury in Aquarius

Ever-curious Aquarius loves to dive deep into every conversation. In this sign, Mercury probes for more information, tracing the source of everyone’s philosophies and beliefs. While this may lead to some strange conversations, it will certainly never be boring.

Mercury in Pisces

A true dreamer, Mercury in Pisces doesn’t tend to project outward. Pisces is always processing, dreaming, and philosophizing—and that can be hard to verbalize sometimes. In this sign, Mercury is muted, waiting for the right moment to share its thoughts with the world.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our overview of Mercury in astrology! If you want to learn more about spiritual and metaphysical topics, check out our chart of aura colors and their meanings!