Mercury & Magic

In traditional astrology, Mercury is said to have his detriment in Sagittarius and his detriment + fall in Pisces, the two signs ruled by Jupiter. Mercury has been in Pisces for most of the past two months. During that time, we’ve seen the uncertainty around the veracity of information and distrust around public messaging. We can expect further misinformation and feelings of overwhelm as Mercury joins Neptune on the 3rd.

Yet when planets are debilitated, their strengths can show up in other ways. Consider Maya Angelou and Björk for example with Mercury in Pisces (MA) & Sag (B). Mercury in Jupiter ruled signs tend to flex a powerfully creative and imaginative muscle. There might be another way Mercury in detriment functions: magical instinct.

Recently, Gray Crawford wrote a brilliant piece about Mercury retrograde in Pisces & Aquarius. In it he quotes 17th century English astrologer William Lilly: Mercury in Pisces “makes [wo]men given to Magic, either in hope or dissemblingly.” Later, I thumbed through Lilly’s Christian Astrology, and found the quote in Book III Chapter CXLIX. Mercury in Pisces or Sagittarius makes [wo]men given to magic…”.

Then yesterday, I was listening to The Astrology Podcast tribute to Robert Zoller. Zoller was a scholar and proponent of Medieval Astrology. At 1:27:47, Zoller says: “The astrology that we’re always arguing about and practicing occasionally is a mathematical astrology heavily influenced by the Greeks. And that’s not a criticism of the Greeks. Not by far. But it does say that it is potentially a left brain activity for them. And for us. There must be a corresponding right brain activity in astrology. And I think that that is met with in the magical field. But exactly how I’m not ready to say other than . . . ” and he cuts off there.

Could Mercury in Sag/Pisces be the right brained equivalent to Gemini/Virgo’s left? Sagittarius—the sign of wisdom whose bow & arrow point to the heavens. Pisces—gateway to the collective consciousness where primordial images and archetypes are accessed through dreams, holotropic journeys and psychic vision.  Mercury—the dexterous numbers guy yet also the psychopomp who travels between the worlds. I cast my vote as YES.

Image credit: Flemish engraver Theodoor Galle