Mercury is mind – thoughts, words, exchange of information, Venus is love, beauty, along with what we want and desire. A conjunction of Mercury and Venus bestows brightness, charisma and elegance, along with enthusiasm for anything pleasurable and indulgent – It can also conjure up magical words and give rise to captivating voices.
The signs and planets all have rich and varied mythological stories spun around them. Exploring mythology, using the tales as tools, helps enhance understanding and insight into the astrology.
In Greek Mythology Mercury was known as Hermes, his father was Zeus (Jupiter) and his mother was Maia, a daughter of Atlas and the eldest of the seven Pleiades. Within hours of birth Mercury, precocious and clever, invented the lyre, a musical instrument created from the shell of a tortoise. The music he made delighted everyone who heard it. On the same day Mercury stole his half-brother the sun god Apollo’s prized cattle, demonstrating his skills for enterprising mischief – as a trickster and thief.
Jupiter, whilst impressed and entertained by Mercury’s intelligence, ordered Mercury to return the cattle to Apollo. Mercury also gives the lyre to Apollo, which became a symbol of Apollo as god of music – peace is made and a friendship begins between the brothers. In return for the lyre Apollo gave Mercury the caduceus – a staff with two snakes entwined around it topped with wings – and the role of psychopomp, the guide of souls between this world and the next. Mercury could move freely between the earth, the underworld, and Mt Olympus.
Apollo and Mercury resolve everything and share skills and expertise, they add to each other. This relates astrologically to the fact that Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, they are never far apart. In a natal chart if the Sun (self-identity and will) and Mercury (mind, intellect and self-expression) are in harmony, goals and ambitions find support and are more easily attained.
Mercury was mentally and verbally gifted, extroverted and incredibly swift in all ways – in his mind and motion from place to place. All of this occurred whilst he was still a baby!
In Babylonian Mythology Mercury was Nabo, divine scribe and god of wisdom. The Egyptian “scribe of the gods” was Thoth – a god of magic as well as writing. After Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and founded the city of Alexanderia, the Library of Alexandria became a hugely significant centre of knowledge, where Greek, Babylonian and Egyptian astral lore merged and united.
During this time Hermes and Thoth were combined and worshipped as one –Hermes Trismegistus – who was also attributed as the author of works (e.g Corpus Hermeticum) that shared knowledge and wisdom of philosophy, alchemy, magic and astrology (there are conflicting ideas as to whether Hermes Trismegistus was a god or a man). In the tarot, Mercury is the Magician with the ability to blend and unite the four elements into what he desires – depicting his connection to magic and alchemy, and the hermetic principle of “As above, So below.”
In Greek Mythology Aphrodite (Venus) was born when Kronos (Saturn) castrated his father Ouranos (Uranus) just as he was about to have sex with Gaia. Uranus’s testicles fell in the sea, where his creative seed gives birth to Venus, who emerges fully grown riding on a seashell – famously depicted by Botticelli in “The Birth of Venus.” Uranus was full of love and desire for Gaia when he met his fate, Venus birthed at this moment is suffused with love, creativity and inspiration, and capable of igniting this within all she touches.
But Saturn also had a role in the birth of Venus, his hate and violence towards his father being the cause of Uranus’s testicles landing in the sea. Whilst Venus could be jealous and seek revenge, generally the focus is on her sweeter side – but in Babylonian Mythology Venus is associated with Ishtar, who displayed both male and female characteristics. Venus can be either the morning star – Lucifer the “light bringer” or the evening star – Hesperus. According to the Babylonians, as the morning star Ishtar was the warrior, a goddess of war and as the evening star she was a goddess of love and peace.
Mercury like many others fell in love with Venus – but she turned him down. Mercury was left downcast and depressed by this, so Jupiter decided to help Mercury by sending an eagle to steal one of Venus’s sandals. Whilst Venus was looking for it she (of course!) came across Mercury, who seduced her in exchange for her sandal.
From this union, Hermaphroditus an exquisite looking boy was born, his name a combination of both of his parents names. When Hermaphroditus met the nymph Salmacis, she desired him entirely – and regardless of the fact he had rejected her, asked the gods to forever be united with him, the gods granted her wish and merged them into one androgynous form, the hermaphrodite – The Hermaphrodite is a symbol of the alchemical or sacred marriage, the union of male and female to form a spiritually perfected whole.
Mercury is the god of alchemy, and essential to the whole process. Alchemy is complex, and is practiced on two different levels, the outer and the inner – trying to literally turn lead into gold or seeking inner gold. It’s essence and true purpose, founded on the understanding that everything is connected and united – As Above, So below – is to reflect spiritual truth, to reveal spirit in the physical.
Alchemy on the inner level is the art of separating, purifying and recombining aspects of ourselves, to align in harmony and reflect our spiritual purpose. To become more than just the part of our identity we consider our “self.” The spiritual truth that wholeness contains absolutely everything in balance, harmony and unity. We use our mind – Mercury to do this, to examine and seek understanding of ourselves and by doing so spiritual awareness and growth can occur, leading to inner gold.
In the tarot the sign of Gemini ruled by Mercury relates to, The Lovers card, and also depicts the union of duality. The need to unite two halves of a whole, this can be two people – but also conflicting desires and beliefs within ourselves. To feel complete we must balance ourselves, integrate both aspects represented, the female – heart, emotion and intuition and the male – mind, rationality and conscious understanding. The Lovers is about choice and decisions, who we want to be and how we wish to connect with others. To make good decisions we first have to be clear about what we truly value and believe in.
In Mythology Mercury is obviously male, but mind by itself is neither male or female, good or bad – mind is free to be whatever it wishes and go wherever it chooses. Highlighting this, by astrological tradition Mercury is androgynous, neutral, and in a natal chart the direction mind takes is to an extent, coloured by aspects to other planets.
Mercury conjunct Venus
A conjunction merges and unites the planetary energies, they will function as a single force accentuating the essence and meanings involved. A conjunction can bring powerful character traits, produce inner confidence and will power, and indicate a pursuit of personal goals. Additionally, as the planetary energies are bound up with each other, amalgamated, a clear sense of self and how the self is seen by the outside world, can be elusive.
Mercury and Venus are both personal planets and rule two signs each, Mercury – Gemini and Virgo, Venus – Taurus and Libra. Mercury signifies the rational mind, our ability to think sensibly and logically and express our personal messages to others through words. Venus is what we love and value, which includes our relationships – what we wish to receive from them and how we behave within them.
Mercury and Venus find it easy to work together, a conjunction between them merges thoughts and talk with seductiveness and irresistibility. Natives are likely clever, charming, eloquent and fascinating, possibly mingled with a susceptibility towards being slightly sensitive and delicate in nature.
Both Mercury and Venus are creative, and love to display and share this with others, talent for writing, speaking or singing is promising. Natives will certainly appreciate music, art and the finer things in life – luxuries and comfort in all areas is likely a priority. Mercury/Venus will likely prefer and choose to avoid wherever possible, difficult people, stressful situations or any circumstances where they may have to “rough it.”
Natives can have insight and understanding into how persuasive and influential their choice of words are, what effect they have on others. This can possibly lead to artful, subtle guiding to attain the results they wish for.
MERCURY CONJUCT VENUS NATIVES
Eric Burdon 0 02′ Alan Wicker 0 03′ Natalie Portman 0 03′ Ian Brady 0 04′ Heidi Klum 0 06′ Caroline Flack 0 06′ Joan Rivers 0 19′ Osama bin Laden 0 24′ Camila Cabello 0 32′ Celine Dion 0 39′ Will Smith 0 42′ Johnny Depp 0 48′ Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge 0 59′ Maya Angelou 1 18′ Rudyard Kipling 1 20′ George Michael 1 22′ Johann Sebastian Bach 1 28′ Serge Gainsbourg 1 47′ Nicki Minaj 1 51′ Jerry Hall 2 08′ Paulo Coelho 2 13′ Anna Kournikova 2 25′ Liam Neeson 3 08′ Carl Yung 3 43′ Ted Bundy 3 50′ Edgar Cayce 4 00′ Janis Joplin 4 33′ Jimi Hendrix 4 39′
MERCURY ~ The Magician
VENUS ~ The Empress