Mercury in Virgo

On August 11, 2021, Mercury will enter Virgo. Of all the signs of the zodiac, Mercury is strongest here: not only does he rule Virgo, it is also the sign of his exaltation.

When a planet is in its sign of rulership, it feels very much at home. This is a place where it can really let its cosmic hair down and do as it will; it knows where to find the coffee (and Mercury is all about coffee!) and where the bathroom is.

In its sign of exaltation, a planet is like an honored guest – for Virgo, think a star writer at a conference everyone is fawning over. They might not know where the bathroom is, but they’ll have plenty of fan boys and girls to show the way. In short, the sign of exaltation gives a planet room to do what as is pleases, and it is celebrated for what it does.

Mercury is the only planet that has a sign (Virgo) which is its rulership and exaltation as well as the opposite, i.e. a sign of detriment and fall (Pisces), but we’ll cover that later.

Photo by Jon Butterworth on Unsplash

So what is it about Virgo that suits Mercury so well?

Mercury is the planet of communication, which is something Gemini, the other sign that it rules, excels at – I know a lot of people with Gemini placements in their chart, and the one thing they have in common is that they can talk. However, it is also the planet of logic, analyzing, categorizing and details, and no sign excels better at such things than fastidious Virgo!

Whereas Gemini is a masculine, outward-oriented air sign, Virgo is a feminine earth sign – think the brilliant numbers cruncher in the backroom, seeing mathematical patterns us mere humans are blind to. That’s Mercury in Virgo, wizard of fine details, words, business and numbers.

But things are different this time around

Although what I’ve been describing applies to Mercury in Virgo in general, they’ll be a bit of a bee in Mercury’s bonnet this time around. Mars, the planet of action, conflict and aggression, is also in Virgo right now, and Mercury will be hanging out pretty close to the cantankerous hothead most of the month.

On the plus side, this will put Mercury in Virgo in a bit of an overdrive. If ever there was a time to burn the midnight oil on a research project, get your business going or work like mad on your novel, this is it. Mars will be heating things up, giving us quick thoughts and mental stimulation galore.

On the negative side, Mars might lead to impatience and irritation. Mars-Mercury combinations can lead to “sharp words”where we blurt out things in anger in ways we might later regret. This tendency will especially come to a head around August 19-20, when Mercury and Mars in Virgo form an exact conjunction. My advice: around this time, try to think before you speak. And whatever you do, stay off Twitter. Heated fights with strangers over the Internet, no thanks!

As always, to understand this dynamic and how it might manifest in your life, take a look at the house Virgo rules in your own birth chart.

Mercury will speed through Virgo this time around. It moves into Libra on August 29/30.

Mercury for magic

Besides everything I’ve already mentioned above, Mercury also rules that which is dear to my heart: astrology, magic and divination. Because of this, it’s very useful to make Mercury talismans to enhance magical abilities.

Although Mercury’s close proximity to Mars this month means it mostly can’t be used to make talismans, there is one election at the end of the month that looks pretty good. I plan to write something about it in a week or two, so stay tuned!