Gemini & Virgo Ruling Planet Mercury

Gemini & Virgo Ruling Planet Mercury

“Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in ‘one take.’”

In Astrology, Mercury is the Planet of Communication and Ruler of the Star Signs Gemini and Virgo. But to understand the effects it has on these natives, let’s first discuss the planet astronomically. As we wrote in our post, Gemini Sun Sign, it’s the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System and, as a result, it has the fastest path around the luminary, with what is called an eccentric orbit. Apparently, the swiftness of the planet moving across the night sky that was observed by ancient Roman astronomers, leading them to name the planet after the Roman winged-footed messenger god, Mercury (hence, the Planet of Communication). This swiftness and eccentricity have made Mercury an elusive capture for astronomers, allowing only one side or part to be viewed at a time. Apparently, because of these characteristics, it’s the least studied planet in our Solar System. Until recently, that is. NASA’s aptly named space probe, the MESSENGER, has dutifully provided a complete map of the planet — and not in one take, mind you, but many! Completely mapped for the first time this year, the images reveal a planet that’s more complex and dynamic than first thought (from its dense geology to its varying daily surface temperatures and difficulty to access, requiring a number of complex orbits by the probe).  Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in “one take.”

Mercury in Gemini vs. Virgo
Unlike most of the other Planetary Rulers that have dominion over one Astrological Sign, however, Mercury divides its attention between two: Gemini and Virgo. (Venus is the only other Planetary Ruler of two signs, with reign over Taurus and Libra.) However, while there are basic similarities in Mercury’s style of rule over both, there are nuanced differences, mainly in how the two Astrological Sign communicate and channel their exceptional intelligence.

In Gemini, Mercury tends to want the natives to be, well, mercurial, leaving The Twins wanting variety and the ability to flit freely about to the next curiosity, all in a sort of stream-of-consciousness kind of way. In Virgo, it prefers natives to be precise and clear in communication, leaving The Virgin wont for organization to life’s approach. When it comes to their Brain Trusts, both Signs an unusual mentally acuity. But, you’re likely to see that intelligence channeled in different ways. For example, a Gemini can usually talk about multiple topics and convince you he/she is a pro on all things (excellent salespeople).  A Virgo excels at targeting his/her audience with information about a particular subject in a precise, organized, educable fashion (excellent teachers).

Despite these “differences,” you might pick up on the fact that both these natives can be flexible and changing. Don’t confuse these similarities as Mercury’s doing. These likenesses are due to both having a Mutable Quality. But you can imagine how to very different communication styles could hamper what otherwise are compatible traits!

Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

“The confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel typically associated with Mercury Retrograde is best viewed as an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking.”


Did you know that Mercury retrogrades several times a year?
So what does that mean for you? First, let’s clarify what “retrograde” really means. As we wrote in our post, Transiting Pluto Retrograde & You, in as near scientific terms as we can understand and conjure (so please speak up if we get it wrong!), when a planet is retrograde, it’s not actually going backwards as the term implies, but only seems as if it is to those of us who happen to be inhabiting the planets that are passing each other at certain times of their orbits. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and, thus, on the most inner lane of the orbital racetrack, so to speak, while Earth is on an outside lane of the track. As the faster planet’s (Mercury) pulls parallel to the slower planet (Earth), the planets appear stationary to each other for a “moment’, until Mercury passes Earth. It’s at this point, it appears that one or the other is going backward, depending on which planet you’re living on. “Appears” is the operative word here. Or, if you prefer more “Earth bound” analogies, consider when a fast car approaches a slower car…for a moment two cars seem simpatico, but not for long. As the fast car pulls ahead, the slow car appears to move backward or vice versa. That’s not really the case, as we know. Something called physics is happening!

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth's 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth’s 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

In the case of Mercury, its latest retrograde at the time of this writing began June 26, 2013, in Cancer and will continue through July 20.  Unless you were born with Mercury Retrograde, when the fastest orbiting planet in our solar system “goes retrograde,” confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel might occur for many. However, it’s actually an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking. For example, when it’s in Cancer, as it is now, generally speaking you might find yourself feeling more sentimental than usual about the past or your family and you have an nagging urge to express these sentiments. Or maybe you are considering a real estate transaction. Or signing a contract to have work done on your house. Depending on the House it’s transiting in your birth chart and if it’s forming an aspect to any of your CBs, the three or so weeks it’s retrograding might be best used to mull things over before taking any action. And if you can wait until it goes direct around July 20, all the better.  If Mercury is the Ruling Planet of your Sun, Moon or Ascendant Sign (Gemini or Virgo), read our blog, Gemini Sun Sign.

Interestingly, if your natal Mercury is retrograde at the time of your birth, these periods are can be productive for you and you’ll rarely experience its confusion (To learn more about the difference between natal planets and transiting planets, read Natal Planets vs. Transiting Planets). However, when in doubt, the best modes of action to take during any Transiting Mercury Retrograde period: slow down, take stock, reorganize, review, be patient.

Mercury Rx 2013
Feb. 23 – March 17
June 26 – July 20
October 21 –  Nov. 10

A Few Mercury Fast Facts

  • Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System
  • Its orbit around the sun is about 88 Earth Days
  • Named after the fleet footed messenger of the Roman Gods
  • Its atmosphere is nearly nil, so has widest temperature fluctuations of any other planet in our Solar System
  • Because of its speed and eccentric orbit it has been the least understood of the Solar System’s planets
  • NASA’s Messenger space probe launched in 2004 reached Mercury’s orbit in 2011, when it captured the first-ever complete picture of Mercury
Gemini Sun Sign

Gemini Sun Sign

“You’ve heard the adjective Mercurial. These folk are adept, quick thinkers, and eccentric and diverse…you never know which one of the Twins will appear… .”

Gemini (May 21-June 21), the sign of the Twins, is the third of the Zodiac Signs. Generally, Gemini Star Signs suit their Planetary Ruler Mercury quite well. The planet is the closest one to the Sun in our Solar System and, as a result, it has the fastest path around the luminary, with what is called an eccentric orbit. Apparently, it’s the swiftness of the planet moving across the night sky that was observed by ancient Roman astronomers, thus, leading them to name the planet after the Roman winged-footed messenger god, Mercury. This swiftness and eccentricity have made Mercury an elusive capture for astronomers, allowing only one side or part to be viewed at a time. Apparently, because of this, it’s the least studied planet in our Solar System. Until recently, that is. NASA’s aptly named probe, the MESSENGER, has dutifully provided a complete map of the planet — and not in one take, mind you, but many! Completely mapped for the first time this year, the images reveal a planet that’s more complex and dynamic than first thought (from its dense geology to its varying daily surface temperatures and difficulty to access, requiring a number of complex orbits by the probe).  Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in “one take.”

Astrological Sun Sign Gemini
Planetary Ruler:  Mercury
Element: Air
Quality: Mutable

Light, versatile, quick witted, scattered, fickle, changeable, ageless, curious, mercurial

You’ve heard the adjective Mercurial. These folk are adept, quick thinkers, and eccentric and diverse in their own right (you never know which one of the Twins will appear…the chatty or shy one, the involved or aloof one, the funny or serious one, etc.). It’s no accident that Geminis can be hard to grasp and hold on to! This is made only more so with the sign’s Element of Air. Think of trying to grasp a wisp of fog or smoke and to hold onto it…It’s light, ever-changing — and impossible to do. The best thing to do is let these folks form to the moment, as is wont of Mutable Signs anyway: They usually have no trouble adapting to new situations and people — in fact, variety is really their spice for life. If a situation (or the people) doesn’t change up, they will flit off like a butterfly in search of some new curiosity. This can make them fun companions who are always game to try something different. The Element and Quality of Gemini also allows them to leave one “scene” for another, whether it’s a relationship, job or home, with ease and without much emotional ado (unlike that a Fixed or Water Sign might exhibit). This ability to move on easily is admired by some and loathed by others. That said, most who really know a Gemini soul can’t deny their generally lighthearted and sweet natures. However, Geminis would do well to keep their addiction to variety in check, for it can place them in danger of becoming scattered and unable to focus as they flit about life. This addiction can also manifest as fickleness. A plan made is a plan that can change with these folks. While their need to keep their minds agile with diverse interests remains with them for a lifetime, their fickleness does tend to abate as they mature — and as the people in their lives mature and finally accept to enjoy the spice they can add to life. Fun or frustration? That’s up to you!

The House of Gemini
Gemini’s natural home in the Zodiac Wheel is in the Third House, the House of Communication and Travel (short trips), among other things. So, if a person’s Third House is ruled by Gemini and/or if he/she has a Celestial Body residing there, they are likely noted for their communication style and as someone who needs a lot of action and diversity, which can often be satisfied through socializing and travel. What that means is when they are wearing their “Talkative Twin” face, don’t be surprised to find them out and about in the ‘hood or at a party chatting it up with the person nearest to them (anyone will do!).  Or if they have on their “I’m Bored Twin” face, be ready to take off on an adventure for the day or weekend, or be left behind — they’ll go without you and find someone else to join in on the fun.

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