Astrology and Horoscopes

Mythology Of Mercury

Mythology Of Mercury

Mythology Of Mercury


In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce. (Wiki)


Hermes, as represented in the Mantegna tarot

Son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes was no sooner born than he was making mischief. He stole and hid Apollo’s prize herd of cattle. Then, finding a turtle, he took its shell and strung it to create a lyre. When Apollo discovered who had stolen his cattle, Hermes charmed the enraged god then gave him the lyre to make up for the trick.

Not long afterward Apollo came across Hermes with a herder’s pipe he had fashioned Apollo was so delighted with the instrument that he gave Hermes the caduceus which was to be his symbol — a wand entwined with two serpents. Hermes bargained hard and won from Apollo knowledge of the art of divination.

Renowned for quickness and dexterity, and for talking his way out of trouble, he became Zeus’ messenger and so was depicted with a winged cap and shoes. Hermes was a sportsman, a wrestler, an athlete, as well as a trader, dealer and thief.

Often depicted as swift and youthful, Hermes was believed to be responsible for guiding departed souls to the underworld. The name ‘Hermes’ literally means ‘boundary marker’. In fact, in ancient Athens, many boundary markers (usually just stone piles) were decorated by a bust of Hermes. (Source)


Mercury with winged heels and caduceus

Yet his role as messenger was a sensitive and responsible one, as was his other job of taking the souls of the dead to Hades in the underworld, for which task he received the title Psychopompus. In this task he echoes the Egyptian god Thoth, the record-keeper of the universe, the master watchmaker. The contradiction between the show-off and the diplomat who dealt with the dead creates a dualism in Hermes that is evident in his children.

Hermes greatest passion was for the love goddess Aphrodite. They had two sons, both sexually unusual. Hermaphroditus was the first female boy, while the dwarf-like Priapus was renowned for his huge phallus. Hermes had many other children, including Pan, by Penelope, wife of Odysseus.

Mercury In Astrology

Astrologically, Mercury represents the mind, clever and quick. The dual nature of his attributes is reflected in his rulership of the signs Gemini and Virgo.

In Gemini he is the trader and quick thinker, always moving, never standing still. He is good at sport and activities requiring physical and mental dexterity. He is a persuasive and convincing talker and teacher.

In Virgo he displays the same cleverness, but in a more detailed and responsible fashion. Here he sifts and dissects, looking for flaws to be corrected. He is the administrator and critic, the analyst and researcher, who can turn his hand to any painstaking task.