What Your Mercury Sign Means & How Its Placement Affects You

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celestial mercury

When we think of Mercury, we not only associate it with Mercury retrogrades, but we also might think of the smallest planet in our solar system.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and its orbit around the Sun is the fastest one we know of. This is why Mercury is associated with speed, communication, and efficiency. This planet gets the job done. It orbits fast and delivers effectively.

Mercury is one of the planets that affects our lives, and it is also present in the Zodiac, as well as in our birth charts. Generally, Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, but it is not restricted to affecting these two zodiac signs only.

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Mercury can pop up in one of our astrological houses, or it might be in the sky during our birth month — and that is one of the strongest ways Mercury affects us.

When Mercury transits during our astrological month, we feel it. Mercury rules over transportation, messages of import, travel, electricity, documents, books, plans, and speech.

What does your Mercury sign mean?

Each planet in astrology represents a different part of our personality. Our Mercury sign determines our communication style, the way in which we think, how we express ourselves and our interest in learning, and how we process and absorb information. Mercury is the planet of the mind!

Our Mercury sign influences us most when we are talking with others, going through our thought processes as we consider what action to take, and this planet even rules over our logistical thinking, like time management.

Mercury also controls technology and devices, which might explain why things go a bit haywire during Mercury retrograde! This is the dreaded time when Mercury lags in its orbit, thus bringing down the communications and travel on Earth.

Mercury retrograde is the perfect way to understand that we are indeed affected by the planets that surround us.

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How important is your Mercury sign?

Mercury is the main planetary influence for things like thought, communication, the transfer of information. It rules data, science, and decision-making. (This is an interesting idea considering Mercury rules over Gemini, and Gemini is notorious for not being able to make a decision!)

While it may conflict, what's really coming up here is the idea that if Mercury is off, so might one's ability to decide. In a way, one could say that Mercury is the planet that influences synapses — we think and create because we are in sync with the planetary force of Mercury.

So, while other aspects of your birth chart are important — like your Sun sign, Moon sign and Rising sign — Mercury ultimately rules over your voice and the way you express yourself.

But what's important to know about Mercury as a sign in your own life is that it's inescapable. As long as this planet is in the sky, it's hovering over you, part and parcel of the very solar system we live in.

How to Calculate Your Mercury Sign

Unlike the Sun, which spends roughly one month in each zodiac sign, Mercury spends about three weeks in each astrological sign; however, it may spend a longer amount of time in a sign depending on its retrograde cycle.

In order to determine your Mercury sign, you need to know your birth date and year. The best way to do this is by using a birth chart calculator, or by consulting a Mercury transit table, which breaks down Mercury's location at the time of your birth.

Keep in mind that Mercury is never more than one sign away from the Sun, and travels very closely to it. This means that your Mercury sign is in a zodiac sign close to your Sun sign. For example, if you are a Gemini Sun, your Mercury sign would most likely be in Taurus, Cancer, or even Gemini.

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Mercury Sign Meanings

Mercury in Aries

Because Aries zodiac signs are not known for their patience, the presence of Mercury in this part of the natal chart makes their patience even shorter. There is virtually no attention span here, and mistakes are easily made due to Aries' need for instant gratification.

Mercury in Aries brings out the child in the adult, almost to the point of brattiness. In terms of communication, people with their Mercury in Aries can keep their cool and truly get their point across due to the Mercury influence.

Mercury in Aries can stir up tremendous enthusiasm and vigor; many who experience this transit get a rush of inspiration. New ideas are thrilling and easily attainable... so long as retrograde is not in effect.

Mercury in Taurus

This interplanetary event creates deep thinkers. Taureans are naturally thoughtful people, and the presence of Mercury in Taurus makes a person less lazy and more resourceful.

Mercury in the sign of Taurus does a person good; it gets them out of the bed and into the workplace, on time. Another Mercury in Taurus quality is the ability to listen, as a real friend might do. Mercury amps up that tendency — that's the communication part going to work.

Friendships blossom and bloom for the Mercury in Taurus. They are trustworthy and reliable; these folks are the ones to turn to for advice.

Mercury in Gemini

If you're looking for snappy banter, Mercury in Gemini will bring the goods right to your door. What you might notice, however, is that it's strictly superficial.

Sure, zodiac signs with Mercury in Gemini can hold a decent conversation, but the Mercury influence doesn't allow them to spend enough time with anyone to let it get too deep. Gemini zodiac signs can be snobby, and this trait is pumped up by Mercury in Gemini, which can make the person a bit arrogant.

They may mean well, but they have a tendency to come off as not caring and less compassionate than they intend to be. They think fast, but they also speak without thinking, and this tends to get them in trouble.

Mercury in Cancer

This is an interesting mixture. Here we have the quick, irrational nature of Mercury, in all of its speed and mania, mixed with the cool rationale of a Cancer zodiac sign. How this manifests is through anxiety. The Cancer person will take things too seriously, get offended, misconstrue actions and take them to heart.

Mercury affects the memory and Cancer already has a great memory, which means that a Mercury in Cancer might spend a little too much time in the past, going over old bones to pick, not letting go.

In communication, however, this heightens the experience of talking for them, allowing them to be very analytical and helpful to those in need. They make very good spiritual advisors.

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Mercury in Leo

Here's where we just have to stand back and watch Leo do their thing.

If communication is the kicker here, then what we're looking at is the ultimate show-off, the King of communication... so much so that if you dare to look away from them as they're orating, they will roar so loudly in your direction that you will be forced to endure their wrath and speech.

There is no winning with this mix, and it's OK because what they have to offer is very good advice. The person with Mercury in Leo is one who is confident and persuasive, and they can and will convince you of anything.

Their capability will have you believing in yourself, and they will support all of your ideas. If Mercury rules communication in Leo, then you are there to listen to what they have to say, as it will indeed help you.

Mercury in Virgo

When this event occurs, Mercury in Virgo, you will know it because you'll be in the company of someone who really thinks they're right, smart, and always better than you.

Virgo isn't usually a show-off, but Mercury brings out their nitpicky side, and if you thought Virgo was a perfectionist judge before, then you're in for a real treat when Mercury sinks its teeth in.

The upside to this mix is that Mercury really affects Virgo in a positive way because it's where it rules. Mercury in Virgo people have a natural desire to do things on time, and they go full speed ahead. Bills get paid, mail gets tended to, documents are signed. And heaven forbid you to stand in the way of their progress. Just... don't.

Mercury in Libra

It's always been an easy thing for Libra to communicate, and with the help of Mercury in this part of the chart, these zodiac signs tend to come across as experts, which is welcome.

Mercury in Libra never overstays their welcome, but Mercury's influence makes it known that if they're going to be of any help, they'd better get it done promptly and within a set time frame. They are, however, painfully aware that they are not always the number one brain in the room, and that hurts them.

They crave the title of "world's smartest..." and they tend to go overboard trying to prove themselves with their opinions and ideas, which, in turn, frustrates them and makes them feel humiliated. Mercury in Libra makes Virgo look like a carefree, nonchalant bystander when it comes to perfectionism.

Mercury in Scorpio

Don't even bother trying to get over on someone who has Mercury in Scorpio. Scorpio folks are keen and intelligent, and that rush of Mercury only amplifies their need to get to the truth.

There is no lying around a Mercury in Scorpio person — they'll know. In fact, their heightened sense of intuition allows them to sense falsehoods in a hot second. Don't go there unless you are aching to be called out.

This mix can make the person a real loudmouth. Expect all conversations with them to be lectures and performances. Mercury makes them even more critical, so expect a few insults along the way, even though they, themselves, don't intend to be hurtful. It's just their way.

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Mercury in Sagittarius

Optimistic, freedom-loving Sagittarius finds a snag when met by Mercury. This plays out as an argumentative nature; not satisfied, always looking for the next thing of interest.

The speed of Mercury agitates a person who has it in the sign of Sagittarius to the point where they come off as crazy dreamers — think "mad scientist" and you'll have the typical Sagittarius with Mercury influence.

Because Mercury rules speech, expect to be bowled over by big, beautiful, long words, and ridiculously inappropriate meanderings. They simply have no filter and say whatever is on their mind.

They do not like to be the butt of a joke, but they always end up as one, because it's hard to take these folks seriously. First, they impress you, then they embarrass themselves, like clockwork.

Mercury in Capricorn

Not a bad mix, this. Mercury works very well in the world of Capricorn and adds to their work ethic.

We all know about Capricorn and how they like to make money and work hard for it; well, the Mercury influence allows them to do this at a brisker pace, with much attention to detail.

They may come across as "the ultimate authority on everything," which can grow stale after a while, but the truth is they are pretty much the expert on whatever topic they decide to talk about.

You can learn from the Mercury in Capricorn person, and you will find that they are surprisingly lucid and clear in their communications.

Mercury in Aquarius

These folks are the shy rebels. You won't get a fight out of them, and you won't know what they're thinking. But they are on to you, and if you so much as trespass over an idea they find valuable, you'll be dashed to the ground in seconds.

They may be silent, but they are deadly. They do not like being argued with or even disagreed with. And they are vicious when crossed. This mix comes with an air of resignation.

They know the world isn't perfect and so they expect, and manifest, imperfect scenarios. They do not mind playing pranks on people and feel everyone just needs to "get over it." It's hard to play with Mercury in Aquarius unless, of course, you are one.

Mercury in Pisces

Here's where the mix works. Pisces is generally a kind, peaceful, easy-going sign, and when mixed with Mercury, these people become even easier going.

The sad, weepy Pisces who feel sorry for themselves tend to lighten up a bit on the self-pity when they are under the influence of Mercury. You may fall under the spell of one such person, as they can be quite charming and seductive.

On one hand, you won't believe a thing they say, as they are almost too fantastical in their approach to life, but you'll stick around to hear them out simply because they are able to paint such a pretty picture.

You'll think they're nuts, but you'll be glued to their every last word because, in some way, this Mercury in Pisces mix makes them irresistibly cute.

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Ruby Miranda is a New Yorker who learned astrology, I Ching, and all types of cartomancy and numerology from her crazy, gypsy mother. She currently writes for a wide range of esoteric publications.