In this edition of the Tarot Blog Hop our wrangler, Joanne, asked us to write about “your take on the influence of the Sun and/or Mercury in the Tarot or your favorite oracle deck”. Before I tackle this topic, here is the usual public service announcement to enable you to navigate this Hop:
As you’ve probably gathered from the title, I’ve opted for Mercury, otherwise known as Quicksilver in its chemical form, a rather fascinating and poisonous liquid metal, and more broadly defined as “moving or changing rapidly or unpredictably”.
Rapid movement and change* is a feature of the planet Mercury, which hurtles around the Sun completing its orbit in just 88 of our days, so Christmas comes round four times more often. Mind you, if you thought your day at work dragged on, be thankful you aren’t on Mercury, as its day is a mind-numbing 4223 hours long, that’s the equivalent of 176 of our days, or two Mercurian years, so Mercury’s day is twice as long as its year. Based on an 8-hour working day, that’s roughly 58 days before you can knock off and go to the pub (or have one of your daily Christmas’)!
*certainly in temperature, ranging from -173 °C at night to 427 °C during the day. Scorchio!
Mercury was also the Roman deity responsible for all kinds of things from communication*, including divination, financial gain, including commerce, also trickery, luck and thieves. He’s also the god of eloquence (yet more silver-tongues trickery here, I suspect) and poetry, and the patron of travellers (presumably especially those doing a runner with their ill-gotten gains).
**the Greek equivalent, Hermes, was the winged messenger of the gods
Ok! OK! I’m coming to the Tarot part. Sheesh! Joanne said “Do a little research, consult your intuition, and teach us.”
Anyway, I was about to segue neatly from Roman deity for “… Divination” to the divination itself and the Astrological correspondences for Mercury in Tarot. The obvious one for me is The Magician, with his transformational energy and quicksilver sleight of hand, not to mention his…well…tricksiness. He’s nothing if not a trickster. What else would a Magician be? As it happens, I have a genuine stage Magician lined up for my Meniscus Tarot card. Unfortunately, my own unpredicatbly quicksilver Geminian personality means that I got sidetracked with the myriad of other projects I have on and didn’t organised the shoot in time for this edition of the Hop 🙁 I’m relieved to report that it’s all in hand now and I should have the card shot, if not completed, by the end of next week. Although, I’m off to the Artemis Gathering, where I will be giving a workshop on the Minor Arcana, next weekend, so you may not see it until the following week.
But I digress, so with Mercurial swiftness, I will haul myself back on topic and get back to on topic. Mercury, yes, where was I? Ah yes, Mercury in Tarot! Our Mercury gets about a bit, as you might reasonably expect. As the ruling planet of both Virgo and Gemini, it also has a link to The Lovers and The Hermit, not to mention a more direct link to several Minor Arcana cards*.
*You can read more about these in my Meniscus Tarot post for this Hop
Let’s look at these cards in terms of the people, rather than their interpretations. At first glance, it would seem that these three cards Major Arcana characters, Magician, Lovers and Hermit, have very little in common.
The Magician is very much out there in the public eye, performing his feats of prestigitation and transformation and generally making life interesting (sometimes in the Loki or Chinese curse kind of way).
The Hermit, on the other hand, is very much out of the public eye in his cave, contemplating his navel or whatever it is he does in there on his own all day. As for the Lovers, they’re far too absorbed in one another to care about anyone else. So, the Magician, which is ruled directly by Mercury is sorted, but where does Mercury come in with these two?
We’ll have to scratch below the surface of these two a little more, since they are primarily ruled by Virgo and Gemini, respectively.
It’s easy to see Mercury’s inflence in Gemini (if you know any Geminis, and you are bound to as there are lots of us), you’ll know what I mean. Geminis can change their minds on a sixpence, tend to have many and varied interests, (often fleeting) and once they do make a decision (this can take time, being in two minds), they act swiftly. They’re also good communicators. Ok, so that nails Mercury firmly in place for the Lovers, which has always been more about making decisions for me than about hearts and flowers anyway.
I can’t really think of Virgos as being at all Mercurial in this way. They tend to be steady, instrospective and caring, none of this flighty, unpredictable stuff. That said, we can look to the Roman God here, as Virgos are cautious and analytical, so adept in financial matters. As communication goes, they are popular and can be very sociable but don’t necessarily seek company as they can be insecure, so the Hermit is apt here. Performers are also often quite insecure when they are not performing, so there is a connection to our Magician too in this regard.
I’m not really expert in Astrology so this is just a whistlestop attempt to make connections. If you are familiar with astrology, perhaps you’d like to comment on other aspects where these cards might be connected by Mercury, before continuing your Blog Hop journey: