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Mercury, The Trickster

By Ellen Zucker | July 24, 2011

Mercury is the most underestimated of planets.

After all, he moves so quickly that when he greets a planet or sensitive point in your chart, you may just notice an uptick of activity that seems part of the normal ebb and flow of ordinary life.

But then, he’ll go retrograde and then even folks that know little more about astrology than their sun sign will rant about him.

Mercury rules functions of the mind–how you take in and process information, how you learn, how you think, how you strategize, how you communicate, talk and write. Your view of the world and your place in it is formed in large part by the way Mercury functions in your chart.

In Greek mythology, Mercury was known as Hermes–it was the Romans who gave him his name ‘Mercury.’ Hermes was known as the messenger. He did not act on his own, but at the behest of the Gods.

He was son of Jupiter, king of the Gods, and Maia, Goddess of clouds. There are many stories of Mercury acting as guide for people traveling through dangerous domains. He is best known as the guide of dead souls to Hades and so is known as the patron of travelers.

But he is also known for his tricks and his reputation as trickster made him a patron of thieves.

In Tarot, Mercury is associated with The Magician. When poorly placed in a spread, the card can indicate someone too glib for his own good or not to be trusted.

Certainly it seems that Mercury is particularly prone to trickster behavior when he is moving retrograde.

The Rider Waite Smith Magician card shows The Magician arm raised in the air, other arm pointing down, using his focus to manifest all four suits: cups, swords, wands and pentacles.


A lesson can be learned. When you take what is envisioned in your mind’s eye, bring it down to earth through focus (and appropriate action), you can manifest your dreams.

Mercury in trickster mode warns us that the tools of communication can be used for deception. Perhaps, as Mercury is wont to act up, as it often does in its retrograde phase, the lesson is to pay attention.

Mercury will turn retrograde form August 2nd through August 26th. It is now slowing so you may already begin to feel its effects. I will be speaking about Mercury retrograde in my astrological overview of August 2011.

Join me on Wednesday evening, August 3rd at 8:30 pm Eastern and get a heads up on August and learn more about Mercury the trickster.

Topics: 2011, astrology, Mercury, Mercury Retrograde, The Fool, The Magician | No Comments »

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