Who is the God Mercury?
The Roman God Mercury (often associated with his Greek counterpart Hermes) soars across mythology on his winged sandals. In Roman myth, he is honored as the God of shopkeepers, those who travel, fertility, good fortune, merchants, those who transport goods, and thieves and tricksters. A trickster character himself, Mercury is known for stirring up a bit of trouble among mortals and the Roman Pantheon.
According to myth, Mercury is the son of Maia and Jupiter. And both Maia and Mercury were honored as a part of the Mercuralia Festival on May 15th, the day when his temple was dedicated in 495 BCE.
Mercury is often depicted as delivering messages between the Gods and mortals, escorting souls off to the underworld, and playing mediator during conflicts.
In depictions of Mercury, you may see him holding a purse, wearing winged sandals or a winged cap, or carrying a staff to honor his responsibilities as an intermediary, traveler, God who transcends the binary, and moves between worlds.
Wednesday is a potent time to honor Mercury and all mercurial aspirations as this God’s name is the origin point of the name Wednesday, which comes from the Latin Mercurii dies or Mercury’s Day.
Mercury in Astrology
The astrological Mercury is much like the God for which it was named. Astrological Mercury is the messenger, weaving the birth chart together, crafting the style of communication. Jungian astrologer Alice O. Howell describes Mercury's role another way: "If you contemplate one of your sneakers, the eyelet holes would be the planets, and Mercury would be the shoelace criss-crossing and binding the shoe together."
Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo, and when Mercury stations retrograde, communication chaos can often ensue.
Mercury invites everyone to connect to their inner trickster, and to put their ear to the wind. Mercury just might have a message for you…
How to Honor the God Mercury
Dedicate your Wednesday or Mercury Day to a bit of planetary magic in honor of the God Mercury. This can look like building an altar, working on Mercury tasks (writing, communication, speaking, etc.), or making an offering in his name.
Study Your Birth Chart
Examine where Mercury falls on your birth chart and explore what might this teach you about your communication style. Honor your unique constellation of planets as the God Mercury might, tell a story, laugh, and strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Mercury moves between the realm of the Gods and the realm of mortals, he escorts souls to the underworld. He knows no bounds. In what ways are your labels and boxes holding you back? How can you move from one moment to the next on a pair of winged sandals? It’s time to free yourself, Mercury says so.
Celebrate The Trickster
Trickster characters can get a bad name, but really, they point to humanity’s truths, both shadowy and otherwise. How can you embrace your inner trickster? What lessons might the trickster be beckoning you toward? It’s time to find out.
When Mercury stations retrograde it’s easy to panic. But, instead of panicking, Mercury invites you to reflect, reassess, rest, and recalibrate. Sometimes the scary lessons are the most important ones. Give yourself grace to release what is no longer yours.
Written by Kate Belew, @k8belew