Curious Mercury

June 4, 2001

While watching children playing at a playground if a child appears physically weak and yet he (or she) dominates the group with his (or her) smartness (witty nature, persuasive talker, or with good communication skills) it’s the mercurial power at work!  Mercury always finds a way to counterbalance the physical (or any other) force by sheer smartness and it usually succeeds!  Mercury means a power of thinking at a very basic level, an acute presence of mind, and a master of logical reasoning.  

Mercury is the fastest moving planet of our solar system.  It completes its orbit around the Sun approximately once every 88 days. Probably that’s why one of the unique characteristics of Mercury is fast learning via quick thinking. A natural and relentless curiosity is the basic element of the mercurial nature.

Mercury rarely deals with emotions. It deals with knowledge.  Mercury is very knowledge-hungry.  Mercury quickly learns using his basic senses (seeing, hearing, listening, touching, smelling, tasting) as he goes through daily experiences of life. For example, after the first fire-burn a child staying away from fire is a mercurial learning. Because of his curious nature Mercury frequently plunges in unknown, and as a result, learns much more than others.  Perhaps that’s why detectives, spies usually have a dominating and well placed Mercury in their birth charts.

Mercury deals with all types of learning and acquiring of knowledge.  The basic first step of learning anything requires curiosity and interest, and Mercury meets that requirement.  However, when it comes to learning at a deeper level, such as scientific research or invention, Mercury alone cannot handle it.  Planets like Saturn (stamina and patience), Jupiter (authority on knowledge), and Uranus (brilliant mind) provide the desired energy for deeper learning. Nevertheless Mercury is essential for any type of learning.  The basic quality of observation, followed by logical interpretation of the observation, sharp analytical mind, general commonsense, and a keen sense of presence of mind are the attributes of Mercury. 

Mercury controls speech and power of speech. Mercury loves to be a communicator, business sales person, or a spokesperson for a dignitary.  With mastery on language and persuasiveness Mercury plays a tremendous role in influencing the public opinion.  Mercury rarely leads, but is best suited to be an advisor to a leader.  With his pragmatic, emotionless attitude combined with logical (methodical) and practical thinking Mercury provides the much needed expertise in political counseling to a leader.  Another great quality of Mercury is his wittiness.  He is talkative, very humorous, and has a knack of keeping his audience glued to his talk (or speech).  Comedians, story- tellers, and magicians usually have properly placed powerful Mercury in their birth charts either in Gemini or Virgo.

Because of its dual nature Mercury tries to see both sides of an issue with equal vigor. As a result, Mercury is very adaptive and has unique quality of appreciating his opponent’s views, and therefore, often succeeds in getting what he wants using diplomacy. Mercury is best suited for business dealings and negotiations.  However, when it comes to fairness Jupiter quality is desirable.  Mercury represents lawyers or attorneys while Jupiter or Saturn represents judges. Mercury certainly has a knack of solving a problem.  

Among the twelve zodiac signs Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.  Mercury becomes exalted in Virgo, and becomes extremely weak in Pisces. While the earth and air signs are most suitable for Mercury to reside, a fire or water sign is generally not good for Mercury to reside. Among the planets, in general, his friends are Saturn, Venus, and Moon if alone with Mercury.  The incompatible planets for Mercury are Sun, Mars, and Jupiter. Among the modern planets depending on the placing of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto they can be either complementary or opposites. Green is Mercury’s color, and it rules Wednesdays.  For those who have dominant and positive Mercury in their birth chart are likely to experience more positive things happenings in their lives on Wednesdays, and green is their lucky color.

Following is a list of adjectives and nouns that describe the mercurial characteristics.

Pragmatic, practical, political, shrewd, witty, clever, street smart, talkative, smiling, unsure, vacillating, neutral, student, mischievous, humorous, boastful, liar, adaptive, loves brain teasers, appears younger than his (or her) age

Mind, brain, knowledge, basic education, memory, presence of mind, voice, speech, observation, curiosity, deductive reasoning, analytical mind, short term plans, basic intelligence, good grasping power and capacity

A large circle of friends, younger kin, fond of children, relations, particularly uncles, books, printing press, journalism, and literature

Salespersons, accountants, arithmeticians, business men, economists, insurance agents, speechwriters, publishers, newspaper editors, reporter, writer, orator, narrator, linguists, typists, comedians, lawyers, undercover detectives, and jack of all trades

When poorly placed either due to association with unfavorable planets or disposition in an adverse zodiac sign or in an detrimental house in the birth chart the darker side of Mercury may get displayed with the following qualities: Extremely selfish, cunning, liar, cheater, swindler, perverted, eccentric, immoral, boastful, inconsistent. 

Influence of Mercury due to House Disposition    

By occupying a certain house in his natal chart, the influence of Mercury on an individual is summarized below.  However, it must be remembered that a specific inference and subsequent astrological interpretation will depend on several other factors such as disposition of other planets with respect to Mercury, and their relationship among each other through house ownership and aspects.

First House:     Mercury in the first house alone makes one very talkative, social, witty, and a street smart. The person usually appears to be younger than his age.  Ever smiling face makes him a successful salesperson.  Usually he shows a keen sense of presence of mind.  He is always curious about things around him, has a good analytical mind, and a good expressive power.  Other characteristics are: studious, sharp, political, diplomatic, clever, cunning.  With a proper support from Mars (with a trine or sextile angle), he could do well in the field of engineering.  With Uranus he may achieve a high level of success in scientific research.  Venus will enhance his conversational skills.

Second House: With Mercury alone in the second house, the person is likely to be very talkative, and probably a good debater.  He has a potential of becoming a successful person in the field of finance, such as a broker, an equity manager, a banker, a merger and acquisition lawyer or a dealer.  He may have an uncanny ability to express his imagination, and thus, he could become a successful writer. With Venus in the second house he may pursue a career in singing.  He is typically very creative, pragmatic, down to earth, and loves to read.

Third House:    The general characteristics of Mercury in the third house are: extreme curiosity, fast learner, excellent analytical and sharp mind. Such a person has a good potential of becoming a successful detective or a mystery solver. His dominant reading and writing skills, and a powerful research mind may make him a mystery writer.  He has a strong affinity to his younger kin. He enjoys short travel.  He may be good in accounting with his sharp arithmetic skills, or he could excel as a newspaper publisher, editor, or like.  With Venus in the third house he could pursue a career in music, with Neptune in the third house he could develop interest in astrology or occult; while with Uranus he could            become a moody scientist.  With the third house cusp falling in a dual sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) he may have various interests and hobbies. 

Fourth House:  In the absence of effects due to unfavorable planets, Mercury makes the person loving, talkative and happy.  He probably has a lot of good friends and relations.  He often tends to get homesick and probably remains very attached to his mother.

Fifth House:     Mercury in the fifth house propels the person towards higher educational pursuits. With a good support from Mars or Uranus he could become a successful scientist, a science or engineering professor.  With Neptune in the fifth house, Mercury tends to expand his interest in the psychic and mysterious areas. 

Sixth House:    In this house Mercury doesn’t get motivated.  Unless it receives beneficial influence from Jupiter, the person is likely to pick up fights.  The circumstances will probably encourage him to lie.  He may not be perceived as a trustworthy.  He is likely to end up spending his time in quarreling with his enemies.

Seventh House: With Mercury alone in the seventh house, person is likely to have a happy situation with his spouse.  But with Mars or Uranus in the seventh, Mercury becomes helpless bringing out the worst in his marriage.

Eighth House:   In general, this Mercury is not positive.  With unfavorable planets like Uranus, Mars, or Saturn in this house with Mercury the person is likely to suffer through a series of financial setbacks and perhaps mental disorder.

Ninth  House:   Mercury in the ninth house gives wisdom, knowledge, fame, luck, manners, and makes one a respected person in society.  He is likely to pursue a career as a writer or a talk show host with a great deal of success.  Usually he is shrewd, curious, and perhaps good at detective work.  He enjoys visiting places and leisure readings. With auspicious planets like Jupiter or Neptune in the ninth house he is likely to get involved in religious activities.

Tenth House:    Mercury alone in the tenth house means an entrepreneur, a true business person, or an excellent salesman.  Due to his humorous nature he may become a successful comedian or a witty talk show host. In general, he is creative, smart, and an excellent planner.  He is a good judge of people. 

Eleventh House: The eleventh house Mercury means the person has a big friend circle that includes mostly youngsters.  He is very fond of his friends.  He is very social, a true extrovert. He is talkative, and does well in his business.

Twelfth House: Twelfth house Mercury alone or with Mars or Uranus, is likely to make one a liar, and a crook .  He is likely to get involved in matters that will get him in trouble.  However, with Jupiter or Saturn in the twelfth house he may travel far away places and would develop interest in mysterious things.

Influence of zodiac signs on Mercury

While Mercury enjoys being in the earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) or the air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) sign it certainly becomes uncomfortable in the Fiery (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) or the Water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces).  As mentioned earlier, it rules Gemini (air) and Virgo (earth), and it becomes exalted in Virgo.  The following is a brief description, which includes how a person’s unique quality of presenting to others and being understood by others can be influenced by Mercury’s zodiac sign in his birth chart.  Note that the influence of the relative position of other planets in the birth chart with respect to Mercury will affect the final analysis of the chart, and therefore, it’s dangerous to conclude astrological analysis solely based on Mercury’s position in the birth chart.


Mercury in Aries means overly aggressive, bashful, bad mouth personality.  Although quick in thinking, such person usually easily offends others due to their overly inflated ego.  It’s very difficult to convince such people.  They usually have the set views for a given situation or a thing.  They are likely to be strongly opinionated.  Unless Mars is favorable in the birth chart providing positive force to Mercury, Mercury in Aries is a difficult personality to deal with.


Mercury in Taurus means the person is likely to be highly opportunistic, has a very strong ambition to accumulate wealth and motivation for hard work. Such people are very adaptive, and are skillful in dealing with others. They make good partners. They are generally very amiable, social, more artistic than scientific, and their general goal in life is to enjoy, materially.


Mercury in Gemini makes the person naturally curious. It’s very positive and suitable sign for Mercury to have since Mercury rules this sign.  The mercurial qualities usually get fully developed in this sign. As a result, the person is very likely to realize his goal in his life.  The person is usually very intelligent, smart, witty, fluent in more than one language, and the one who loves to mesmerize his audience. 


Mercury in Cancer is like a person who tries hard to learn but never gets passed a basic level of learning since he has absolutely no interest in area of intellectual dealings, and has almost no potential of developing the intellectual capacity.  Such people tend to become more emotional, usually far less logical.  If Moon is powerful (well placed in the birth chart) such person usually does well in being a social leader, or in entertainment field, or as just being a nice person.


Mercury in Leo means overly inflated ego with false pride and highly egoistic with one-sided view personality.  Such people care a lot about how they are perceived by others.  Their way of thinking is driven by others or what others might think about them. They go to any extreme in their behavior for being accepted by others.  They usually do not tend to deviate from the normal set of views, and are perceived very rigid in their thinking.  They are very difficult to be convinced about anything that deviates from the norm. They are usually strongly opinionated.  Unless Sun is favorable in the birth chart providing positive force to Mercury, Mercury in Leo is a not an easy personality to deal with.


Mercury gets exalted in Virgo, and therefore, the most suitable sign for Mercury to have.  Under such sign Mercury produces the best diplomats, smart detectives, bold entrepreneurs, savvy money managers, superb journalist, and the top quality advisors.  Such people can also be best marketers, sales persons, negotiators, brokers, and in general problem solvers.  Their attitude towards life is positive. They are usually witty, very social and amiable, and have a big friend circle.  The networking ability of such people is amazing, and that’s why they are usually very successful in delegating and getting job done.


Mercury in Libra means the energy of mercury is channeled towards developing artistic abilities.  The people in entertainment industry usually have Mercury in Libra in their birth charts. Comedians, singers, musicians, and magicians are very likely to have Libra Mercury.  Libra Mercury person usually has artistic hobbies, and through such hobbies Mercury allows the person to express himself and to effectively communicate with the outside world.


Scorpio is fixed, water, and a mystic as well as a very secretive sign ruled by Mars.  It’s not surprising therefore to see Mercury with its natural curiosity very likely to get suffocated in such sign unless the planet Mars makes a favorable aspect with Mercury.  The person is likely to be very shy, very difficult to open up to others, and very likely to be misunderstood.


Sagittarius being a fire sign makes the person with Mercury in this sign stubborn and difficult to deal with.  They have fixed ideas about lot of things and it’s very difficult for them to deviate from those ideas.  Of course with Jupiter’s auspicious aspect or angle the Mercury’s energy can be directed in a positive direction.  Usually such people have natural inclination towards academic profession. 


The moving and the earth sign Capricorn is a favorable sign for Mercury to have in the birth chart. Saturn rules the zodiac sign Capricorn, and Saturn is a friend of Mercury.  Such people are usually successful businessmen: industrialist, venture capitalists, bankers, managers, chief operating officers of corporations, etc.


Aquarius is the most intelligent (air) sign of all the air signs, and therefore very suitable for Mercury.  Such people start out as very impatient, but as they grow older they develop patience required to gain the capability to understand the life.  In general, the religious leaders, philosophers, advisors, scientists, researchers usually have their Mercury in Aquarius.  This Mercury is the least selfish, and most of its energy is channeled to provide the intellectual support to Saturn (the ruler of Aquarius) to realize the goal in life.


Being water sign, Pisces is not favorable sign for Mercury’s development. Mercury becomes very weak in the sign.  Unless the planet Jupiter is strong in the birth chart, the person is usually very insecure and has difficulty in expressing himself, and therefore, communicating with others.