Mercury in astrology
Mercury represents the part of ourselves that exchanges and assimilates information. In the natal chart, it represents our thinking patterns, communications, and social interactions. By understanding more about our Mercury we can gain a greater understanding of our practical and rational selves.
What does Mercury represent?
The Planet Mercury in astrology represents synergy, assimilation, and exchange of information. If you look up at the sky, you'll notice a couple of things about Mercury. He's moving very fast from the Earth's perspective. He is the fastest-moving of the planets. He goes retrograde three or more times a year and is always bouncing around the Sun, sending a message. He's also sometimes hidden behind the Sun, which mythologically is interpreted as him going into the underworld. He was depicted as delivering messages to the Gods and returning them to our world. He is continuously exchanging information. This is what Mercury represents in the natal chart - synergy, assimilation, and exchange.
Now, this can be assimilation within the self, which would be things like thinking. Thinking is part of the brain, firing the synapses and conveying messages within itself. It can also be social, such as two individuals interacting and exchanging. That's why Mercury is often associated with communication and correspondence. For Mercury, the focus is on the interaction between things, particularly between individuals.
Since Mercury also has to do with assimilation, he is about our natural survival. He represents what we do to take care of our daily activities, to take care of our basic needs, and our daily survival of putting things together. This becomes apparent when you consider Mercury as the ruler of Virgo.
One way to look at Mercury is that it is a neutral planet that is the glue that holds everything together. Because a lot of the other planets have some sort of polarity, like the Sun and Moon for instance, Mercury does not. Mercury is the glue that holds all the polarities in the universe together.
Mercury represents thought, the thought that is very scientific and very practical. This is because it has to be real-world and applicable to Mercury. It is our left-brain type of intelligence. We all have different kinds of left-brain intelligence and you can see that in the natal chart where Mercury is placed.
Birth Chart Example
For example, Mercury in the fourth house thinks quite a bit about home and family, the past, and roots. These individuals have an emotional understanding of life because the fourth house represents the emotional and personal life. They would naturally think about these personal things quite a bit and you would expect that they have this kind of intelligence.
The sign placement is also equally important. As an example, Mercury in Sagittarius thinks a lot about philosophy, travel, or expansive things. It's how they do it. So if this person had this combination, they would think about the area of life, which is the fourth house - past and roots. But the way they do it is expansive, philosophical, and idealistic. In other words, the big picture of home, family, and things of that nature.
Mercury is a neutral energy that shows our rational intelligence. It shows our rational viewpoint of life and where and how we socialize, interact, communicate, and exchange information.