Mercury: Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and we can often observe it with a naked eye before sunrise or after sunset. Mercury, the planet nearest to the Sun, holds a unique and significant connection to it. As the messenger of the gods, it serves as a deity carrying information between different realms and individuals, adept at incorporating knowledge into everyday decisions. Despite its small size, Mercury plays a vital role and is often viewed as a mischievous trickster, representing our inner duality and varying personalities. In astrology, Mercury symbolizes our thought processes and communication style. Its placement in the elements and houses of our birth chart reveals our reasoning patterns and the thoughts that occupy our minds. Governed by both Gemini and Virgo, Mercury acts as a bridge between the realm of ideas and the practical aspects of our human nature, encompassing physiology, work habits, and daily routines.

Mercury: The Planet of Communication

Mercury, akin to the winged messenger of the gods, embodies communication, intellect, and awareness. This planet influences our logic, reasoning, and thought processes, shaping how we express and create our ideas. For those born on a Wednesday, the day associated with Mercury, its influence may be particularly strong. Individuals born on this day might possess sharp intellect, effective communication skills, and adaptability. The colors linked to Mercury, yellow and grey, perfectly embody its attributes. Yellow signifies mental clarity, communication, and brightness of thought, while grey represents neutrality and adaptability, both reflecting Mercury’s qualities.

A mercurial nature is marked by restlessness and constant motion. Things happen swiftly under Mercury’s influence, reflecting quick wit, rapid thinking, and the ability to rationalize and form opinions. Its energy can be both invigorating and unpredictable, urging us to move from one task to another and seek answers on various levels—physical and psychological. Mercury’s energy is agile and perceptive, allowing us to adapt easily and perceive details others might overlook.

Mercury governs short trips, such as visits to neighbors or friends, daily commutes, or weekend getaways. Additionally, it influences relationships with siblings and matters of transportation.

Speaking, writing, books, online communication, and learning all fall within Mercury’s domain. It encourages us to express ourselves frequently and effectively. However, when Mercury goes retrograde (appearing to travel backward), communication challenges may arise.

In its orbit, Mercury is never more than 28 degrees away from the Sun and completes its journey around the Sun in approximately 88 days. Neither masculine nor feminine, it assumes the gender of the zodiac sign it occupies. Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo, as well as the Third and Sixth Houses in the astrological chart. Its influence on these signs and houses amplifies the themes of communication, intellect, and adaptability, shaping the way individuals with strong Mercury energy approach life and interact with the world around them.

Mercury is the governor of logic and reason, thought, and opinion. He is the vital planetary influence that made humankind evolve to a conscious being, while also is responsible for transportation. The planet has very quick and hasty characteristics, which when used appropriately can create a bright mind.

Mercury, the smallest planet in the Solar system, holds the closest orbit to the Sun. Despite this proximity, it is not the warmest planet; that title goes to Venus with its thick atmosphere. Mercury swiftly orbits around the Sun, completing a full circle three times for every one revolution of the Earth. Consequently, three Earth years fit into one Mercury year, leading to its frequent retrograde motion in the geocentric system we observe. From our perspective on Earth, Mercury appears to move forward, then suddenly reverse its course in a hasty and erratic manner, leading to the perception of going forward only to backtrack occasionally. This movement has often been associated with human errors and missteps along the way.

Ancient civilizations, observing Mercury’s swift and unpredictable motions, believed it to be two distinct stars—one appearing in the morning and the other in the evening. The speed and variability of its movement contributed to this belief, leading to its association with dual aspects and contrasting traits. Mercury’s motion is a fascinating phenomenon that has intrigued humans for centuries, inspiring curiosity and wonder about the complexities of the cosmos.

Mercury In Astrology

In astrology, Mercury holds great significance as it represents our way of thinking and communication. It is considered a planet of information and plays a central role in our mental processes throughout our lifetime.

Mercury, the planet governing our communication, thoughts, and movements, possesses a dual nature that we must always consider. Regardless of our natal position, Mercury’s greatest strength and weakness lie in its ability to show us different perspectives and prompt us to seek answers from various angles. For instance, if Mercury is placed in the seventh house, it may lead us to search for love in multiple partners simultaneously. Multifunctional and guided by its sharp mental prowess, Mercury represents all that we are meant to express and do on Earth, reflecting our humanity, awareness, and the constant need for progress.

As the master of movement, Mercury oversees driving, transportation, and walking. It embodies the essence of a wanderer, never truly at rest except when a situation demands its rational attention and problem-solving skills. Mercury stands for reason and the words we choose, revealing the speed and quality of our thoughts, as well as our intellectual brilliance or preoccupation with matters that might seem irrational. Objectively, Mercury symbolizes our hands and our dexterity in using them. It also signifies the interplay between our darker and brighter thoughts, shaped by the words we hear from others.

However, Mercury’s most significant challenge lies in the element of Water and the sign of Pisces. Here, Mercury is in detriment, struggling with the lack of clarity and the elusive nature of faith that Pisces embodies. As a skeptical and rational analyst, Mercury’s main task is to learn to accept and relate to emotions, putting our ego-driven tendencies in check. If we distance ourselves from our heart, Mercury may become superficial, leading to a difficulty in connecting with others on a deeper level and hindering our ability to absorb new, inspiring knowledge. To keep our energy flowing, we must embrace movement, communicate openly without fear of judgment, and stay connected to our loving core. In essence, Mercury’s influence on our thoughts, expressions, and movements is complex, revealing the dualities within us and encouraging us to embrace both reason and emotion to find balance and growth in our lives.

When emphasized in an individual’s birth chart, Mercury often indicates a special connection to a sibling, particularly a brother, as Gemini, its ruling sign, highlights the complexities and challenges of brotherly love. Mercury is a key factor in our verbal comprehension and self-expression, enabling us to articulate our inner truth to the outside world. It enhances our ability to communicate effectively and express ourselves with clarity. As a planet of full awareness, Mercury has a close and frequent view of the Sun, symbolizing our capacity to make rational decisions. We analyze situations carefully and use our brains to make well-considered choices, taking into account the knowledge and insights we have gained. Mercury’s influence allows us to synthesize information, form logical conclusions, and present our ideas coherently. It plays a vital role in our learning process, as well as in sharing our thoughts and ideas with others. Mercury’s positioning in the birth chart gives insight into how we process information, how we convey our thoughts, and how we approach problem-solving.


On the other hand, his powers can also be of a destructive nature, especially when the human body cannot absorb a possible overflow of data. We should, therefore, notice that an afflicted Mercury can be the source of mental and neurologic problems. Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo. Diurnal Mercury is considered the ruler of Gemini, while nocturnal of Virgo. In addition, Mercury is responsible for the 3rd and 6th houses and makes a full circle around the zodiac in approximately 1 year (it always depends on when it has its retrograde motion). We always observe him somewhere very near the Sun, as his orbit is way closer to the Sun than the Earth’s.

In fact, most of the time we cannot observe him in the sky due to its closeness to the Sun. Mercury spends less than one month in every sign, preceding or following the Sun’s movement. Once per 4 months, the planet turns retrograde for about 3 weeks. He is exalted in the sign of Virgo, in fall and weak in Pisces, while operates rather toughly in Sagittarius where it is in detriment. The passage of the planet through any house brings mental focus on the house’s matters, speeds up decisions and generally makes us invest our intellect towards the direction the house indicates.

Of course, the planet’s transits do not last long; yet their influences can trigger quite a lot of events. After all, it is our conscious thought and dedication towards a subject that always brings change. The more we think about something, the more we act towards that direction; thus a Mercurial transit usually becomes the predecessor of actions. On the other hand, transits of slow-moving planets to natal Mercury can signify long-lasting changes concerning the way we perceive reality and think; therefore it always depending on the aspect and the transiting planet to see what kind of permanent or temporary changes will come to our mind.

Mercury rules contracts, negotiations and even mischief through them. He is responsible for short trips, and transportation in general. The planet is the governor of all messages and the whole procedure of their transfer from the source to the receiver. He rules all short types of communications, your neighbors that may be gossiping behind your back, your daily mail -including even the spam you receive. In addition, the planet is responsible for books and written text, friendly meetings and the news.

Basic education is also a part of Mercury’s realm, as is also teaching on a basic level. A strong Mercury by placement or aspects can make someone a brilliant mind, being able to absorb a lot of information. Frequently, this ability comes paired with the exact opposite one, to excel in transmitting information towards others. The planet can make someone a programmer, a writer, or direct to other professions that are connected with data filing and information process.

Mercury is the inner power that will make you strive to develop your ideas, the force that will drive you to explore the world around you. It feeds your natural curiosity to discover and understand so that you later use your obtained knowledge consciously. Of course, he can also be responsible for misunderstandings, lies and corrupt information. Difficult aspects to Mercury may show over-thinking or mental challenges, obsessions considering specific types of information and misuse of the Mercurial gifts in general. We should not forget that Mercury as a god is also the protector of thieves and swindlers.

Indeed, non-violent crimes that are used with the aid of speech, contracts, and misinformation is a dark side of the planet’s influence. Due to his connection with the 3rd house, the planet governs our siblings, while also a lot of other things connected with our childhood. The progress of developing our intellect through school and even playing in the neighborhood is a Mercurial activity. In addition, the fact that it rules the 6th house makes Mercury responsible for our job as an employee, or for our employees and servants if we are the owners of a business.

As a planetary force, Mercury requires from us to become processors of the inflowing information in order to put it in a logical inner system and use it. Whoever is more receptive to the planet’s energy will eventually have larger benefits from it, and will develop stronger intellectual skills. Those who tune in with its frequencies will have more accurate results through their logical thinking and will be able to develop their wisdom quicker.

Every individual should research his natal Mercury placement in order to understand better its functions. We should be extra careful to not misuse its gifts. The house where Mercury is natally located should be examined better, so that we see what kind of gifts he can grant us and which life areas can be empowered.

Find in which house your Mercury is located in your natal chart, and read the respective article to uncover more about its functions:

Mercury 1st house | Mercury 2nd house | Mercury 3rd house | Mercury 4th house | Mercury 5th house | Mercury 6th house | Mercury 7th house | Mercury 8th house | Mercury 9th house | Mercury 10th house | Mercury 11th house | Mercury 12th house |

Each planets have a different effect on you, depending on which house and sign they reside in. In order to find out where they are located in your natal chart, you can use our free birth chart generator. Also, examine the aspects that they form with other planets in your chart. You will understand a lot more about the detailed role that they have in your horoscope.

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