Mercury is a very interesting planet and the powers thereof are just as intriguing.
The Mystical Implications
Like the rest of the planets, Mercury was also one of the ancient gods. He carried a caduceus, wore winged shoes and a winged helm, and was often seen shirtless – at least in most depictions I’ve seen. Mercury (equated with the Greek Hermes) was considered messenger to the gods, never had a wife, and was on the promiscuous side. He is said to be a god of eloquence and, by extension, poetry, as well as finance, all forms of communication, trade, wages and possibly even boundaries or borders. The border-thing would make sense, since Mercury was also considered to be a psycho-pomp, a ferryman and escort of the dead to the Otherworld as they crossed over.
The fact that the man-slut version of Mercury had sex with everything that had two legs (and maybe some things with four) means that Mercury had sex with a lot of folks. One of them was Penelope who became the mother of Pan. In another tale, Mercury (as Hermes) and Venus (as Aphrodite) did the dirty and produced the offspring Peitho, who was the personification of lusty seduction and persuasion.
Mercury, because of his speed, is sometimes considered god of the wind. My deity is often called “Witchfather,” or “Witchmaster,” and is the same as Bucca Gwidder and Bucca Dhu combined, whom I call “Bucca Grand.” It is he who is the Dweller Within the Winds for me. These two are also thought to be Venus – morning and evening stars- in an indirect way, which you can read more about here. Mercury was often equated with Woden, whose name is the inspiration for Wednesday (Woden’s Day). Woden or Odin is considered to be the All-Father, whom I call Cosmic All-Father, and associated with my main deity, who is Bel, or Belbucca, and equated with the Dhu & Gwidder goats.
The Practical Implications
A lot of folks seem to have issues with the whole “Mercury Retrograde,” thing. It’s like they’ve gotten into their brains that, the minute it suddenly becomes “Merc-retro,” all of the world’s communications suddenly become muddled and messy. Things like: misunderstandings via text and email happen more frequently; arguments in Facebook groups ensue with frenzy; chaos corrupts the attitudes of even the most friendly of individuals during this time.
I’m not of that ilk.
I believe in astrological influence, but not astrological control. The planets and stars aligned in certain houses at certain angles can absolutely affect you. The planets have always had an influence on our lives and they always will – it’s only natural. What I won’t buy into is that you suddenly lack a sense of self-control and start placing blame on Mercury because you can’t manage to get a phrase together without sounding like an asshat. Text-based communications always lend themselves well to shitty misunderstandings – “Merc-Retro” doesn’t make a damn bit of difference in that, unless you let it. You are a human being with self-control. Use it. Stop blaming Merc-Retro for getting you into trouble when it’s really just because you can’t keep your fucking mouth closed and your nose out of everyone else’s affairs.
Mercury is of the element of air and Wednesday (as noted earlier) is his day. He’s associated with the signs of Gemini and Virgo. Mercury gives aide, of course, to workings and spells that are geared towards increase or improvement in communication, thought, wisdom, travel, study, making things faster, ending long silences resulting from arguments especially. Transactions (the mercantile aspect), discovering folks who stole your identity, contact with and moving between worlds (remember the boundary comment above? Mercury’s a hedge-rider) are also his areas of expertise. Mending distance issues in relationships and finding and maintaining balance within oneself and one’s life is also on Mercury’s list of domains. Mercury’s colors are orange, violet and opalescent. His number is 8.
On a Wednesday in the hour of Mercury sew an orange bag. Take a piece of parchment or brown paper bag and draw upon one side of it the Mercury Square, seen left. Then on the other side, write Whomsoever bears this bag shall e’er be bestowed with the favor, guidance and empowerment of the virtues, powers and potencies of the magnanimous Mercury, giver of eloquence in speech and blessings in all guises of poetry, mastery, persuasion and magnetism. Place the paper inside the bag with 8 herbs related to Mercury and carry the bag with you always. Please do not add actual Mercury to this bag, though you may use a “Mercury Dime” if you are able to obtain one.