Mercury Symbol and its Meanings

Mercury Symbol Meanings



The Mercury Symbol and its Meanings

The Mercury symbol (shown above) can be a catalyst for our broader, symbolic view of this wholly engaging planet.

I love the look of this symbol, and how it offers us a tell-tale story of Mercury's personality.

To wit, we see the crescent opening upward, a gesture of receptivity. This physical attribute of the Mercury symbol certainly falls in-line with the symbolic personality of this planet, as Mercury is the planet of open-mindedness, new ideas and intelligence.

In astrological terms, Mercury rules the sign of Gemini who are prodigious thinkers and expert idea factories - punching out ever increasing concepts to the delight of everyone around them. And, that this crescent moon motif sits at the tippy top of the symbol marks the utmost importance of free thinking in the Mercurial realm.

This free-minded thinking passes out of the crescent and down into the belly of the Mercury symbol where we see a perfect circle. Here ideas are gestated in a womb of contemplation.

Indeed, the circle is a common symbol for Earth (as well as a symbol of the sun). It speaks to us of formulating whole concepts, making ideas real and substantial. This line of thought plays into the Mercurial influences on the Virgo signs, who, are also aligned with the element of Earth. The presence of the earthy Virgo lends substance to otherwise mere whispers of the mind.

The visual journey of the Mercury symbol ends at an equal-armed cross. This is the final stage of solidification of thought. This indicates our thoughts have become manifest in the material world. We could say Mercury is a midwife to thoughts conceived in the ephemeral world, and moving through the birth canal into physical form.

How is the planet Mercury expressed in personality terms? As mentioned, it is the planet of the Mind, and we'll discover attributes like these when philosophizing about Mercury:

Quick-List of Mercury Symbol Meanings

  • Agility
  • Versatile
  • Dexterity
  • Swiftness
  • Friendship
  • Commerce
  • Movement
  • Intelligence
  • Elusiveness
  • Inconstancy
  • Androgynous
  • Perceptiveness
  • Loquaciousness
  • Communication

We can apply further personality to Mercury and its influences by looking to classic Roman mythology for clarity (Hermes in Greek). Wielding archetypal symbols such as the caduceus, a winged helmet (or sandals), we find themes of balance, wisdom, movement (travel) and creative flexibility. His name is derived from the Latin root merx which indicates merchant, as Mercury was known for efficient commerce.

Indeed, his quick delivery of silver-tongued negotiations and messages, as well as his fleet-footed nature caused him to be identified with the planet because Mercury is the swiftest of planets, never ceasing its high energy spinning.

Adding intrigue to the Mercury symbol, I've provided a list of energetic correlations to the planet (and god as they are essentially inseperable). By doing this we gain broader awareness and become more balanced in the macro/micro scheme of being.

As you browse through these symbolic correspondences, think upon this mighty planet and its potential influence on your thoughts, behavior and life.

Animal Symbolism in Association with Mercury

Animal associations with the planet/god Mercury:
When we encounter these animals, we can enhance our "big picture" understanding by incorporating Mercurial attributes. For example, finding feathers on my path means something specific to my symbolic thinking. Adding planetary personality gives that symbolic meaning a Mercurial quality. Give these associations a try the next time these creatures come into your awareness:

  • Serpent (in the form of the caduceus): An emblem of balance betwixt polarities

  • Cock (rooster): Symbolic of messaging the break of a new day

  • Turtle (tortoise): From which Mercury's invention, the lyre was crafted

  • Bull: Also used (stretched intestines) in creating the lyre, the horns of the bull are also symbolic of (feminine/reproductive) receptivity

  • Ram: A Mercury symbol of energy, drive as well as fertility (of ideas)

  • Wings: An icon of thought taking flight as well as messaging good news

  • Dragon: In Chinese alchemy, chui-yin is liquid silver and corresponds to the Chinese dragon who speaks of movement, fluidity, the yin principle and travel

Stone Symbolism Corresponding with Mercury

Rocks are holographs. They carry energetic reverberations of a whole and much larger advantage. They are ancient carriers of subtle messages - vessels of a primitive language. Consider carrying one of these stones in your pocket with a goal to coax Mercurial qualities of self-improvement, enhanced metal focus, and safe travel.

  • Agate = Augments balance + good judgment
  • Amber = Enhances flow thought + memory
  • Jasper = Encourages safe travel + protection
  • Aventurine = Promotes leadership + skills of commerce

Plants Associated with Mercury

Consider growing a bit of one of these plants in your kitchen windowsill to solidify the Mercurial concepts within each resonates. You could also keep a bit of root or dried leaves of an affiliated plant with you in a locket or a sachet. Practices like these merely root and concretize our intentions and strengthen our connection with Mercury symbol ism.
  • Almond = A remnant of "home" and safe returns from travel
  • Daffodil = High-minded communication, cheerful leadership
  • Dandelion = Bright ideas
  • Lily = Equanimity of gender, purity of wisdom

Miscellaneous Symbolic Associations to Mercury

  • Yellow:
    You might have noticed the prevalence of the color yellow in stones and plants. Yellow is a color of intellect and clarity. Wear yellow when you're having a fuzzy-minded spell. Mercury's attention is attracted to yellow, and offers clarity in response to it. See also symbolic meaning of colors.

  • Tarot Magician:
    I use the Tarot to draw connections in meaning. Appropriately, Mercury partners with the Magician archetype of the major arcana. This figurehead possesses all the elements to facilitate self-development, communication and forging ethereal into material.

  • Ones, Fours and Fives:
    Within the realm of symbolism there are thousands of languages. Some languages speak more clearly to some people than others. Sometimes numbers speak volumes to an analytical mind. If this is the case with you, consider the symbolic meaning of the number one (initation, drive), number four (balance) and number five (travel/adventure) in conjunction with Mercury symbol meanings.

  • Alchemical: In the symbolic language of alchemy, our minds can retrieve simple qualities represented by Mercury which are the passivity, resolution, and surreptitious movement. We also see themes of balance as the conjugation of Mercury (feminine) and Sulphur (male) brings about the manifestation of metallic strength - unifying forces to a slick, effective, metaphysical balance (a Western alchemical concept).

I hope you have enjoyed these observations on the Mercury symbol. I hope this page inspires you to incorporate the personality of this oft elusive, yet powerfully beneficial planet.

In the spirit of mental travel, continue your journey by browsing through these other pages of interest:




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