And they called Barnabas, Jupiter, and Paul they called Mercury, because he was the spokesman.
In June, we discussed Mercury, for it rules both Gemini and Virgo. The Mercury of Gemini is interested in gathering facts, information, and data. It is encyclopedic, creating a compendium of knowledge. Virgo’s Mercury is involved with applying the knowledge in practical ways that are useful and serviceable. Thus, it is identified not only with the myth of Hermes, the Magician, but also with Hephaestus, the lame smith-god whose skills and technical expertise in metallurgy made him the divine craftsman, creating magical vehicles and weapons for the other gods.
In esoteric physiology, there are seven main energy centers of consciousness (called chakras in Sanskrit) in the subtle or astral/mental bodies. Mercury’s primary emblem, the Caduceus, is a stylized representative of this energy system.
These centers correlate with specific pairs of signs and have an affinity with the planetary rulers of those signs. The center associated with Mercury, Gemini and Virgo is related to the element of space, ether, akasha, and is commonly thought of as the throat center or cervical center. It has to do with the breath and the spoken word, and by extension, mental creativity.
As we inhale, we draw cosmic energy (alternately called prana, orgone, life force, and chi in different traditions) into our bodies along with oxygen, nitrogen and other air gases.
The life force is charged with the electro-magnetic balance of the moment, which is created by the angular relationships of the Sun and its planets relative to the earth. The prana, or life-force charge, associated with the incoming breath activates the centers of consciousness. When we exhale the air and the prana expelled is charged with our own magnetism and colored by our latent desires, which are stored in the centers.
By that process we then begin automatically to attract situations, circumstances, relationships to ourselves whereby we are provided opportunities to act out, or live out, those now germinated seeds of desire. Through the association with breath, prana and the word both thought and spoken, Mercury truly is the messenger of the gods, both within and without.
To see how this works, we can look at the transit of a slow-moving (outer) planet or a planet on station as it sets up a magnetic influence. This is most easily observable in mass consciousness, and newspaper headlines that reveal the correlating events. For example, during the years 1989 to 2004, Uranus and Neptune are activating the center related to earth energy, the physical plane or rather our mass perception and consensually validated ideas of reality. The earth center is related to Capricorn and Aquarius, Saturn and Uranus. The psychological issues connected to the earth center concern security, survival, sexuality, territoriality, aggression, anger, and fear. The masses of people on the planet are tending to feel insecure, making wars for ethnic cleansing, expressing “fundamentalism” in their religious preferences. People are experiencing fear and harking back to an imaginary past as a model for security. There is talk of frightful earth-changes and invasion, or salvation by, alien ET’s. Uranus and Aquarius represent the harbingers of a paradigm shift in our perception of what is real. People (the mass) who live on the unconscious level sense the impending changes and react with fear. Those few who are conscious, work on the “cutting edge” and act to bring the new changes into manifestation.
An individual has some freedom in how he responds to transits, depending on the type of ingrained habit patterns he has stored in his energy centers and how conscious he is. The true Magician, a student of the occult, and the yogi become aware through specific training and practices that they can manipulate and control, as well as purify and clarify the centers of consciousness. Much of this is done through the Mercury-ruled breath as pranayama and the power of the word, or science of mantra. Working with breath and mantra, they accelerate the pace of individual evolution by actively, consciously magnetizing their energy centers through focused attention and will. They do not just wait for transits and time to generate the conditions and circumstances needed to work out individual destiny. Experienced magicians and yogis consciously create and cause to manifest circumstances and opportunities, both for themselves and others, from the inner levels and centers of their being. The ability to heal is an example.
As the Messenger of the Gods, Mercury can take us to the Sun (highest consciousness) Solar Deity, the Heavenly Father, or to Pluto/Hades’ cold, dark realm. Through Mercury’s magic and alchemy, we can transcend our charts and live free from the dictates of transits by learning to negotiate directly and intelligently with Saturn, Lord of Time, and to communicate sensibly and sensitively with Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the Lords of Karma. Mercury gives us the key to act less and accomplish more from within our own being. Ultimately, do nothing and accomplish everything.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.