Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month we explore the winding trails of the planet Mercury. Follow me as we track him ceaselessly relaying messages between humanity and the gods…
We are all familiar with the phases of the Moon, the dance of light upon the face of our closest celestial neighbour as she circles around the Earth reflecting the solar radiance. The Moon aptly displays her astrological nature in this cycle, for she is the principle of rhythm and periodicity, the tidal forces that stir life on Earth. We can say that she is the principle of phase itself, the main displayer of the cyclical nature of life that we have. Every month she begins cloaked, positioned between us and the Sun so that all of its light is on the side of her facing away from us, then she pierces the veil and gradually appears like a sickle of light that blooms and grows over a period of a fortnight into a pregnant Full Moon, at which point she is positioned on the far side of Earth from the Sun so that its full light beams upon her face. She then begins to decrease in light before cloaking again during the New Moon two weeks later. Her proximity to us makes this the most striking and obvious feature of the sky, day or night, especially during an eclipse when she magically obscures the Suns disk or has her brightest face shadowed by Earths umbra.
However other planets have phases too but because they are so far away they are less visible to us unless we know what to look for. They don’t change their physical shape like she does, swelling and ebbing with sunlight, instead they mimic her trick of appearing and disappearing and their cycles are defined by changes in their time of appearance in the day and their movement. This more subtle manifestation of phase means that they are often ignored in astrological interpretation and very little has been written about the topic in modern times as far as I’m aware.
Both Venus and Mercury are especially complicated by the fact that they lie closer to the Sun in their orbits then we do and so our view of their movement around the Sun is affected by our own orbit – the positioning of Earth relative to the Sun becomes an added factor in what we see of their orbital movements. This is why they go retrograde more frequently than the other planets. The phase cycle of Mercury is the most complicated of these – it took Einsteins theory of relativity to finally account for its orbital eccentricities because its proximity to the gravity of the Sun distorts the fabric of space around it.
Popular astrology is currently doing a good job promoting awareness of the influence of Mercury retrograde, with many people today being aware of it (when I began in astrology 30 years ago this was definitely not the case). It is now so well known that many comedians make jokes about it. The internet (which is itself considerably Mercurial) has clearly played a large part in spreading this awareness. However the retrograde phase of Mercury is just one part of its cycle, a cycle which is composed of interlocking conditions, which we can pose as questions:
- Morning star (visible before sunrise) or Evening star (visible after sunset)?
- Physically visible or invisible?
- Increasing/fast speed or decreasing/slow speed?
- Direct or retrograde motion, or stationary?
- Bright or dim/flickering?
- Increasing in light or decreasing in light?
These questions add conditions that supply more nuance to the interpretation of Mercury in signs, houses and aspect relationships. This month we will explore this in detail with example charts.
First, before interpreting the phases, we need to understand how they unfold in a sequence to form a complete cycle. The cycle of phases begins at what is called the inferior conjunction of the Sun and Mercury, when Mercury is in-between the Earth and Sun. At this stage it cannot be seen at all because it’s pinprick of light is utterly blitzed by the blinding radiance of the Sun that is directly behind it. Sometimes (but not always) it is occulting the surface of the Sun like the Moon is during an eclipse, but at other times it is above or below the Sun during its conjunction. Either way its invisible to us at these times, just like the New Moon is. The deepest point of this part of its phase is when it is cazimi (either exactly at the same degree as the Sun or within 17’ of it). This is the equivalent of the New Moon in the Mercury cycle, meaning it is also the start of the waxing half of the cycle. This half of its cycle is called Matutine. In its Matutine guise, once it is far enough away from the Sun, Mercury will be visible in the morning rising before sunrise. Following the inferior conjunction it begins increasing in light, gradually becoming visible again.
Here is a chart showing Mercury in the beginning of this phase. This is the upcoming inferior conjunction of October 9th 2021:
Note the super close proximity of the Sun and Mercury in Libra – 00° 00′ apart – but also note that there is no way to infer from the chart whether Mercury is in front of the Sun (inferior conjunction or New Moon) or behind it (superior conjunction or Full Moon). This information only becomes knowable when we note in the table (circled in red) that Mercury is traveling at a high negative speed (-118% of its average speed), and is retrograde – this means it is an inferior conjunction, the start of its matutine phase.
The first real change in this part of the phase after the exact inferior conjunction is when Mercury gets far enough away from the Sun to be visible as a morning star for the first time. He will slowly begins to re-emerge from the conjunction with the Sun separating from the aspect in a retrograde direction (backwards through the zodiac), and eventually appears – is ‘born’- in the morning, growing brighter and appearing earlier as he separates further from the Sun. He needs to gain at least 12° distance in the zodiac for that to be possible but it often happens when he gets about 15-18° from the Sun. Here is that moment for the previous chart, which is about 10 days later, October 18th 2021:
You can clearly see that Mercury is rising before the Sun and is going to be visible as a star in the predawn sky. Throughout this period Mercury will get brighter and brighter and farther away from the Sun in the zodiac but also its retrograde motion will steadily slow down and approach a stationary position before turning to direct motion. This stationary position will happen in the example on October 19th. Following this station and a reverse in direction Mercury will be in slow direct motion and still very bright and increasingly so, but as its direct motion picks up speed it will begin to decrease in light. He starts to fade in visibility – washed out by the dawn corona – just as he is getting faster than the Sun, about half way through his morning star/Matutine existence. In this period he will start to rise later and later in the morning and grow dimmer in visibility until he finally disappears into the cloak of the solar corona at dawn and is no longer visible. He then reaches his top forward speed and dashes unseen to catch up with the Sun for another conjunction, this time the superior conjunction on the far side of our star, with Sun between Earth and Mercury, applying to the conjunction in super fast direct motion, invisibly. The chart below shows the moment of the superior conjunction on November 29th 2021:
Notice on the table (circled red) that Mercury is direct, not retrograde, and is also traveling in high positive speed – this along with the chart is what tells us it is a superior conjunction, the start of its waning phase, which is called the Vespertine phase. At the exact superior conjunction Mercury is always direct and moving at high speed. He has reached the far side of the Sun and begins to circle around from the other side like a rocket aiming itself at Earth. ‘He’ is transformed by a second cazimi and becomes more of a ‘She’ in this phase. She begins increasing in light again. This time she brightens as she separates from the conjunction moving in direct motion rather than retrograde. At this point, though, there is nothing to see as Mercury is still too close to the Sun – it needs to once more clear around 12° from the Sun before it uncloaks again. Here is that moment – December 21st – in the coming cycle:
A number of days after reappearing in the west among the dusky, colourful skies of sunset as an evening star, Mercury will set later and later after the Sun and appear higher up from the horizon shining at brighter and brighter levels, increasing in light at first but ever slowing down in forward speed through the zodiac. Half way between conjunctions Mercury will begin to decelerate. As she decelerates further she will begin decreasing in light as well and then come to a standstill at a second station before dimly turning to retrograde motion and folding back into the heart of the Sun, disappearing from the sky as evening star and closing the cycle with another inferior conjunction. At this stage Mercurry is increasing in reverse speed until she attains her fastest retrograde speed. She is hitting the gas hard in reverse gear. Eventually, Mercury will fuse with the heart of the Sun in another inferior conjunction, delivering the message she gathered from behind it to those of us on the Earth, and the cycle will renew as Earth responds. This is that moment for the example used here – January 23rd 2022:
Note the table and compare it to the one in the first chart, the other inferior conjunction – see that in both cases Mercury has a very high negative speed and is retrograde. That is a feature of the inferior conjunction. The entire cycle, which began in early October, has taken just over three months to play out. The exact length of time will vary somewhat, but stays in that region.
Here is an outline of the above cycle:
Phases of Mercury
- Inferior Conjunction (start of Matutine or waxing phase, maximum retrograde speed)
- Increasing in light as a morning star
i.Retrograde motion slows down to stationary and becomes direct motion
ii.Slow direct motion
- Decreasing in light as a morning star
i.Fast direct motion
- Superior Conjunction (start of Vespertine or waning phase, maximum direct motion speed)
- Increasing in light as an evening star
i.Direct motion decelerating
- Decreasing in light as an evening star
i.Slow direct motion moving to stationary
ii.Retrograde motion, increasing to top reverse speed
With this understood, let us lay out some principles for interpreting this cycle.
MATUTINE & VESPERTINE
These two halves of the cycle, separated by the two conjunctions, are the equivalent of waxing (Matutine) and waning (Vespertine), but unlike the Moon the waxing and waning is not displayed obviously and has no correlation with how bright Mercury is. Instead they relate to its overall voyage around the Sun and the journey between the two forms of conjunction relative to the Earth. This journey begins at the inferior conjunction (with Mercury between our planet and the Sun), reaches its destination at the superior conjunction (with Mercury on the other side of the Sun) and then makes a return journey towards the next inferior conjunction. The first part of this cycle, the Matutine guise of Mercury, is therefore fleet-footed messenger Mercury taking a message/request or journey on behalf of humanity, while the second part of this cycle, the Vespertine guise, is Mercury returning from the realm of Light with messages/responses for us. He will always cloak himself with invisibility before, during and after delivering either of these messages, both to us and the gods, meaning the messages are actually deposited in the astra-mental realm (in the mind) and not the physical realm. While invisible he travels not just from one side of the Sun to the other, but also from one side of the sky to the other, as well as to the other side of the day, since he moves from being visible in the east in the morning to being visible in the west at evening. It’s a darn neat magic trick that deeply impressed our ancestors. Venus has this magic too.
We could say that the first half of the cycle is the time for offering prayers and sacrifices while the latter half is for receiving inspiration and guidance, but another way of looking at it is that the Matutine half of the cycle brings foresight, seeking and keenly progressive mental attitudes while the Vespertine half brings hindsight and a more deliberate and reflective, conservative consideration of reality and facts. This is the view of Dane Rudhyar, who draws parallels between the twin brothers Prometheus (Matutine) and Epimethius (Vespertine). This division between foresight and hindsight is the most accurate way of describing the two halves of the cycle, in my opinion, but I also find the difference between progressive, eager (Matutine) and conservative, analytical (Vespertine) thinking to be practical.
There is a further way of looking at these two parts of the cycle and the cycle as a whole which divides it into four, allowing us to assign the Elements. Ptolemy’s method is to split the two halves of the cycle at the stations. He says that during the Matutine half, from the conjunction to the station Mercury is productive of moisture (Air) and from the station until the superior conjunction he produces heat (Fire); similarly, during the Vespertine sequence, from the superior conjunction until the station Mercury produces dryness (Earth) and from the station until the inferior conjunction cold (Water). However, this means that the periods assigned to the Air and Earth Element are much shorter than the periods assigned to Fire and Water. This makes sense as Fire and Water are the primary Elements in hermetic philosophy, however we can use a different scheme if we want to assign the Elements equal time and space in the cycle. Instead of dividing the two halves of the cycle at the stations we can divide them at the point where changes occur in luminosity (see Luminosity, below). Halfway through the Matutine phase Mercury switches from increasing in light to decreasing in light, eventually vanishing into the corona of the Sun. In the same way but halfway through the Vespertine phase, Mercury makes an identical switch from increasing to decreasing luminosity. In this scheme I would use the order Fire (Matutine and increasing luminosity), Air (Matutine, decreasing luminosity), Water (Vespertine, increasing luminosity), Earth (Vespertine, decreasing luminosity). Although these attributions may differ from the zodiacal Elements (derived from the sign that Mercury is in) and do not replace them, if they happen to agree they can strengthen the significance of that Element in terms of how our Mercury operates. In most cases they will not agree and instead add something like an Elemental subtone to Mercury similar to the one that our rising sign gains from the placement of its ruling planet in a different sign. These observations also have alchemical applications.
Visibility relates to manifestation, to expressions of Mercury which others can interact with, while invisible planets tend to express themselves either internally or behind concealment from the public eye. It is also about whether or not we are fundamentally concerned with either material or what we can call spiritual matters but which also include matters of society and abstract intellectual studies. An invisible Mercury lends itself to research, for example, while a visible one might be inclined to following clues and catching criminals. In another example, a visible Mercury interested in numbers might draw us towards accounting while an invisible one towards number theory, equations or even numerology. For a novelist an invisible Mercury helps with the creative imagination while a visible one lends help in the technical and toolbox departments. In an occult sense, visible Mercury lends itself to things like spells to aid the passing of tests or exams, while an invisible Mercury to things like communing with or conjuring spirits – visibility is tangible, concrete and material, while invisibility is astral, abstract and ethereal. Visible Mercury has an easier time getting attention for its ideas while invisible Mercury has an easier time knowing its own mind and the minds of others. Sometimes, because of atmospheric effects, Mercury will faintly appear and disappear like a willow the wisp, a particularly enchanting effect which implies crossing between worlds, something ghostly or spectral, abstract or elusive.
The maximum distance that Mercury can attain from the Sun is about 28°. At this distance he appears extremely bright and he lingers, shining brilliantly like a diamond for a long time during the predawn and twilight/early evening hours. He also needs to be at least 12° away from the Sun to be visible – any closer than that and he is vanishing in the solar corona. So the easy way to figure out if your Mercury is cloaked or not is to measure his distance from the Sun in zodiac degrees. If its 12° or more, class him as visible. Around 12° it could be either, or faintly flickering. In this case, you have to make a judgment call unless you have actual footage of the sky when you were born or there was an observer who could see Mercury. Its probably wisest to err on the side of invisibility in these cases, which is almost certain to be the case if the distance between Sun and Mercury is less than 12°.
One final note – what matters here is potential visibility more than actual visibility. In the modern day many people live in crowded cities with skylines that block out huge portions of the sky, and pollution from light, industry and cloud cover as well as natural terrain like mountains can also block out visibility of objects in the sky. This doesn’t really matter, at least in natal astrology. It matters a lot in other cases like mundane astrology and magical ritual, though, at least according to the ancients.
Mercury has two gears (forward and reverse, see ‘Direction’ below) and can be stepping on the gas or holding off on it in either gear. He can also be ‘parked’ – stationary, not moving at all from our point of view. Obviously the stations are the slowest part of his cycle because there is no apparent movement at all, but there will be a steep slowing down going into the station and only very slow movement coming out of it. This actually gives us two ways to measure its speed:
1) As direct or forward progress through the zodiac. This is the simplest method. We would say retrograde Mercury is always slow because it is going backwards through the zodiac. If it is going backwards very fast, we would say it is very slow instead. We don’t care about how fast he is going in reverse gear, its reverse gear and thus slow. This ties slow speed to the stations when he is motionless and the periods before and after them. As a rough measure, using this method take the two halves of the cycle, Matutine and Vespertine, and split each exactly in half. Mercury is classed as slow for the first half of Matutine, then fast for its second half, and the reverse is true for Vespertine – fast during the first half, slow during the second. This is the most commonly used method.
2) As measurable motion. This is the more nuanced method. Essentially, it is regardless of direct or retrograde motion. Sometimes Mercury is traveling in direct motion (forward gear) only very slowly compared to his average, and sometimes very fast. In the same way sometimes Mercury is traveling in retrograde (reverse gear) motion very slowly and sometimes very fast. This method is based around the average daily motion of Mercury being about 1°. If it moves less than this it is slow, if more then fast. Most software has a column in a table that shows you whether Mercury is slow or fast but you can tell from an ephemeris by checking his daily motion – if it is greater than 1° then he is fast, if not then he is slow, and if exactly or near to 1° of daily motion, he is at average speed. If your ephemeris does not list the planets daily motion, then just work it out by looking at his position in the zodiac for the next day. This is the method I use and the one used in the example charts above.
Whichever method we prefer, speed is symbolic of the alacrity at which thought processes occur. When Mercury is slow ideas arrive with less frequency, are chewed over more deliberately and tend to stick around longer due to increased concentration. With a fast Mercury ideas will stream in with much greater frequency, will want to be communicated a lot, and will tend to be more transient but interesting and fresh. A faster Mercury can also be expressed as a greater love of travel while a slower one of serious study.
There is a separate component to the speed of Mercury, however, which is whether or not he is accelerating or decelerating. He can be doing either regardless of whether he is in direct or retrograde motion – what we are talking about here is whether or not Mercury is gaining speed or losing it in terms of the direction it is traveling at the time. Mercury is always moving through more degrees quicker at the superior or inferior conjunctions and around those dates and is always slowest (of course) at the stations when he is relatively motionless in the sky for a few days. Yet in between these extremes he accelerates and decelerates and this is what we are discussing here.
He will begin decelerating after both conjunctions and continue to decelerate up until his next station, at which point he will accelerate until the next conjunction. So the simple way to answer this question of whether Mercury is accelerating or decelerating in a natal chart is to figure out whether he is next going to station or reach a conjunction with the Sun. If he is going to station before he conjuncts the Sun, then he is decelerating. If instead he makes a conjunction with the Sun before having a station, then he is accelerating. Either way he can still be going fast or slow.
Acceleration and deceleration will express themselves through the progressions of Mercury where they will tend to either speed up or slow down our interest in things as life goes by, but additionally this factor of a natal Mercury can indicate whether we easily make connections between notions (accelerating) or have greater skill at drawing conclusions (decelerating).
This leaves the question of the stations themselves – what do they represent in terms of speed, since at these times he is neither fast nor slow and neither decelerating nor accelerating. Instead he is relatively frozen in the sky does not appear to move for a few days. I would propose that these people are more fixed in their thinking, perhaps more stubborn but also potentially gifted with greater mental focus since all of the energy of motion is gathered into a tight ball. These people may be more inclined to develop specialist skills and talents. No speed is still slow in practical terms, and so I think these charts also lean towards people who are slower in their thought processing, more careful and less tempted by spontaneous ideas.
This brings us neatly to the question of direct and retrograde motion, which I have commented on previously in this journal. With Mercury I find that one obvious difference between those who have a direct motion Mercury and those who have a retrograde motion Mercury is that the retrograde folks tend to keep to themselves and listen more, while the direct folks are more talkative and form social bonds more easily. Retrograde Mercury people tend to be concerned with what others are thinking (often about them) while direct Mercury people have a more general habit of giving other people their opinions or even telling them what to think.
Another fairly literal manifestation is that retrograde Mercury charts tend to second-guess themselves more often and are more open to changing their minds, whilst direct Mercury charts stick to their guns more frequently and are less willing to change course once they set out. Overall, the difference between retrograde and direct motion is a difference between projected energy intended to have an effect (direct motion) and gathered energy intended to reverse things or undo their consequences (retrograde). In this way, retrograde Mercury is a good Mercury for people involved in therapy or counseling (because it is concerned with undoing something that has already been done to the mind) while a direct Mercury is more applicable for something like a sports coach or instructor. The difference is subtle but if it is emphasised by other chart factors it grows strong.
Most charts record whether or not Mercury is direct or retrograde both on the chart wheel itself (next to the Mercury glyph) and in any information box that comes with it. If Mercury is denoted anywhere with an ‘R’ or something like it, it probably means retrograde. If no such notation is given, then Mercury is direct. An ‘S’, ‘SR’ or ‘SD’ indicates that Mercury is stationary (the second letters stand for the direction Mercury is turning towards). In terms of direction, a stationary planet is balanced, being neither retrograde nor direct, but it is switching from one gear to another and this does have an effect. They may be good at stalling or defusing things. Whichever direction it is moving towards is the direction it is also accelerating towards. The progressions of this kind of Mercury have a significant role in life developments which lead these people to become more direct or retrograde in the way they express Mercury, but since after a station the speed of Mercury is always slow this progress will only be very gradual and may hardly be noticeable.
The last category is about how bright Mercury is, and while this may seem difficult to ascertain from a chart it is not as hard as it sounds. Mercury increases in luminosity for the first half of both the Matutine and Vespertine cycles and decreases in luminosity for the second half. At some point while he is decreasing in luminosity he will vanish, and at some point while he is increasing in luminosity he will reappear, but on the other side of the Sun, as if teleported there, and at the same time he will show up on the opposite horizon line, east or west, and appear at a different time, sunrise or sunset. So he is most bright half way between conjunctions and gets less visible the closer he is to being in conjunction. Essentially we can use the 12° rule here again, since this is the distance from the Sun at which he can vanish or reappear, and we know that he will be brightest of all half way through one conjunction to the next. To find the day at which he is brightest we have to find the half way point between conjunctions with the Sun, which will be about 1.5 months.
Luminosity is related to visibility but also introduces the quantity of light. A very bright Mercury is often a very bright minded person and this is quite similar to a cazimi Mercury – even though a cazimi Mercury is completely invisible it is supercharged by the nuclear light of a star, but this potential is non-manifest, it is a bright quality of consciousness that will remain largely cloaked from others because it is going on inside of our heads. With a visible, stationary Mercury on the other hand the light on his face will be very bright and manifest itself easily in the world. These are indicators of people who have ideas that other people recognise as good ideas.
In addition to the quantity of light we can also interpret whether or not luminosity is increasing or decreasing in much the same way as we did for speed. A Mercury increasing in brightness is on a trajectory in life which will gradually bring more recognition for their thoughts and ideas while one that is decreasing in brightness is on a trajectory of withdrawing from thinking about things less. There is some trickery here though, as is often the way with Mercury, as less thinking about things is actually a pathway towards greater presence of mind since thinking about things moves us out of simply experiencing the present moment awareness where all spiritual realisation occurs. More light on Mercury’s face does not necessarily mean that we are smarter or more intelligent, it simply means that we more easily gain more attention and recognition from others, for good or ill, while less light on Mercury’s face does not mean that we are ignored, it means that we are less invested in analysing life and do not burn with so many questions and it may help to free our mind to dwell on spiritual matters.
Let’s apply all this to some well known personalities.
Freddie Mercury (below) is born with Mercury in Virgo on the ascendant as a direct, fast (both methods), invisible morning star (Matutine) that is decreasing in luminosity (i.e. growing less visible) and accelerating in speed towards a superior conjunction in Virgo. Ptolemy would say this Mercury produces heat (Fire) while the method for assigning an Element that relates to luminosity decreasing or increasing would say it produces moisture (Air).
Here we see a natally strong and very powerful Mercury dominating the chart and so our interest to learn more should be piqued. Indeed, we would say that this Mercury is already interested in learning things and has something of a perfectionist streak as well as being fussy and continually bent on improvement. It tends to worry and mental anxiety but also to being helpful towards others. Its direct motion favours being talkative and communicating (singing his mind) and supports being able to form social connections as well as decreasing the likelihood of second-guessing himself or changing his mind. The fast speed increases the need to communicate and the rate at which ideas and opinions come to him while the invisible Matutine Mercury increases his foresight and eagerness while also giving him insight into his own mind and the minds of others. He is shown like Prometheus on the cusp of stealing fire from the gods but the decreasing luminosity causes him to seek greater privacy.
Gertrude Stein (below) is an Aquarius Mercury Vespertine (an evening star), cazimi at the superior conjunction, invisible, increasing in luminosity, direct, fast (both methods), and accelerating in speed towards the station where it turns retrograde. Stein was an avant-garde American writer, an expatriate, and an eccentric. She moved from the USA to Paris in 1902, where from 1909 she lived with her companion Alice B. Toklas. Between the World Wars their home was a salon for leading artists and writers, including Picasso, Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Braque, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound.
The superior conjunction cazimi in Aquarius strikingly describes the significance of the gatherings and social networks she was the centre of, like a radiant star. Like Freddie she is engaged in wresting fire from the gods, but she is being really zapped by it as she reaches into the burning heart of the Sun. She gains a quick mind (fast) gifted with hindsight (Vespertine) as well as insight into her own mind and those of others (invisible), eagerness and forthrightness (direct), a strong sense of her own opinions (direct again) and a trajectory that brings her into view (increasing luminosity). By Ptolemy’s reckoning (the station method) this Mercury is producing dryness (Earth) while the method related to luminosity produces cold (Water).
Albert Einstein (see below) is born with Mercury in Aries Vespertine (evening star), invisible (9°), increasing in luminosity, direct, fast (both methods) but decelerating towards the station where it turns retrograde.
Here we see an Aries Mercury which implies a bold, direct, creative mind drawn to tackling difficult problems as an evening star, thus given an inclination toward hindsight, but too close to the Sun to be visible in the sky and so concerned with things beyond or behind the physical world. The increasing light puts him on a trajectory where he will easily gain interest from others for his ideas or opinions and the fast speed doubles up on the Aries need to keep moving, bringing ideas at an accelerated rate but also elevating the scale at which he has the desire to think and the overall drive of ideas in his consciousness. While Stein and Mercury are Prometheans in the process of stealing fire from the gods (both are born just before or during the superior conjunction), Einstein is bringing information and messages from the gods to humanity (born after the superior conjunction). Ptolemy would say this Mercury is producing dryness (Earth) while the method related to luminosity produces cold (Water).
By studying Mercury in more detail and posing more questions of him in a chart we can glean interesting details about the mind and the way that thought processes occur as well as the way in which we interact with others on a social level, at least intellectually if not emotionally. In typical Mercury fashion it can be a bit tricky and fiddly to figure out the details, but the answers to these questions are worth pursuing in many cases, in particular when Mercury is powerfully placed. I hope that this short exploration of this fascinating subject has whet your appetite for finding out the answers to these questions from your own Mercury and those of your loved ones, and thank you for your patience in coming along this confusing path with me, I hope it serves you well. If you would like to support the creation of more articles like ths one please consider becoming a patron.