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Home > Astrology > Mercurius

Mercurius - Hermes
(with affinities to Gemini and Virgo)

“Tricksters preside over moments of passage, rupture and transformation.”
Dr. R. S. Tannen

To medieval alchemists Mercury was the metal symbolizing duality. Metallic yet liquid, matter yet spirit, cold yet fiery...

Mercury was the metal uniting all the opposites…. Trickster, Journeyer, Guide of Souls… known to the Greeks as Hermes, the messenger god…

Mercury was known to the Greeks as Hermes, the messenger god… the Greek god Hermes was the protector of athletes, thieves, journeyers, and merchants...

In her book, The Gods in Everyman, archetypal author Jean Bolen points out that the physical substance of Mercury only adheres to precious metals... Metaphorically speaking - Mercury (Hermes) is the god that can (in the long run) lead us to spiritual gold...

From the Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language:

"Mercuriales: merchants and learned men. As under the protection of (Mercurii) Mercury.

Mercurius, Mercury: From merx, mercis for Mercury presides over traffic.*

*Jamieson: 'Rudbeck thinks that the different attributes of Mercury, as the father of letters, the god of money, the inventor of geometry, of astronomy, of numbers, of weights and measures, and of merchandise, may all be traced to Goth. merkia which signifies to cut on wood, to enumerate, to strike metals, to affix limits, and to distinguish the heavenly signs.'"

from the Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language p 259 by Francis Edward Jackson Valpy (It should be noted that Olaus Rudbeck {1630-1702} - Swedish scientist, writer, physician, linguist, and astrologer - also thought that Sweden was the true Atlantis.)

As for "distinguish(ing) the heavenly signs" - prior to the new kid on the block, Uranus, being discovered in 1781 - the planet Mercury was the traditional ruler of astrology and astrologers.

Mercury/Hermes and Synchronicity
Short Quote by Arianna Stassinopoulos, The Gods of Greece:

"Hermes is the god of the unexpected, of luck, of coincidence, of 'synchronicity.' The ancient Greeks would say: 'Hermes has entered our midst,' whenever a sudden silence had entered the room, descended on conversation and introduced into the meeting another dimension.

Whenever things seem fixed, rigid, 'stuck,' Hermes introduces fluidity, motion, new beginnings - as well as the confusion which inevitably precedes new beginnings."

Mercury/Hermes related to the Pillar and the Hearth
According to archetypal author Jean Bolen, in ancient Greece there were two standard fixtures every home was virtually guaranteed to have.
Standing at the front door was a "herm," a pillar consecrated to the god Hermes - and in the center of each home was a cooking/heating hearth dedicated to the Virgin goddess Hestia.

Is there perchance a deeper archetypal connection between these two seemingly very different, contrasting Olympian gods Hermes and Hestia - with Hermes  (Gemini) forever the traveler on the move and the virgin goddess, Hestia (Virgo) being the "stay at home", center of warmth and wholeness?

Are they perhaps flip sides of the same proverbial coin? Is this one of the reasons why the planet Mercury is traditionally considered to be the ruler of the two very different, contrasting zodiac signs, Gemini and Virgo?
Both considered to be "mental, analytical" signs, yet -
  • Gemini - curiosity, airy, and constantly moving...
  • Virgo - discriminating, down-to-earth, and practical...

"I am friend to whoever is lonely." Hermes Trismegistus

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