Mercury – The Trickster God of Commerce & Tarot

Foot-feather’d Mercury appear’d sublime 
  Beyond the tall tree-tops; and in less time 
  Than shoots the slanted hail-storm, down he dropt 
  Towards the ground; but rested not, nor stopt 
  One moment from his home; only the sward 
  He with his wand light touch’d, and heavenward 
  Swifter than sight was gone.


Mercury is known as the trickster and thief god of commerce and business. He is the swift messenger of the gods who rules over communication. With this in mind, he’s a handy deity to have on your side if you’re a professional tarot reader or business person in general. 
Other professions and areas that Mercury rules over include:

Alchemy and Science
Writing and Books
Tarot and Runes
Knowledge and Learning
Codes and secrets
Foreign exchange and politics
Athletics including foot races and boxing
Inventor of weights and balances
Protector of messengers, especially at war
Fertility and masturbation
Sacrifices and Priesthood
Sleep, deep dreams and Astral Projection

Mercury’s connection with the tarot is through his being the keeper of divine secrets (usually Zeus’s promiscuity) and his association to the invention of writing. This connection is more strongly seen in his Egyptian aspect of Thoth.

If Mercury Were a Tarot Reader…

I picture him as a tall, lanky fellow with long black hair tied back away from his face, a goatee, thick eyebrows and piercing blue eyes. He’d have an earring in one ear, not just a tiny hoop but something dangly and flashy. He prides himself in how he dresses though some would say he looks tacky with his leather, silk, bright colors, and too much bling. He’s also that type that won’t let the 60’s go, loves wide collars unbuttoned to show his chest, wears his symbol on a thick chain around his neck, and will seem fresh when he asks what your sign is – but he’s far too clever to use it just as a pick up line.  Mercury flirts with men and women alike and will flit through relationships like people slide through revolving doors (and is far too charming to leave anyone in tears; every ex-lover believes it was their decision to move on). He loves the modern age with its freedom of sexuality and open, mass communication. He’s known to have all the new technological gadgets and every app for tarot and astrology, even if he can calculate what house he’s with ease. Even though he is very lucky at buying new toys and tarot decks, he is also a bit flippant with them and will toss them aside as soon as the next thing shows up.

Mercury is known to cut the deck as he sees fit – stacking the cards so that he can control the story about to be told to the client. This doesn’t mean he can’t read the tarot traditionally, of course. He knows the cards intimately; the layouts, the numbers, the astrology, and the people. He could read the cards in his sleep and may have done so from time to time while resting from a night of debauchery with his friends Bacchus and Apollo. 
He’s as slippery as the snakes on his Cadeceus but one would be a fool to not head the snakes words at the tarot table.

At the tarot table, he makes his clients question whether they sat down to have their cards read or to watch card tricks. He knows every way to shuffle and is one of the best card mechanics in the biz. He talks fast as he moved the deck from one hand to the other so that the cards look like their flying. By the time the deck is cut, the clients are mesmerized by the movement of the shuffle and the glint of his cuff links.

Mercury’s Metaphysical Correspondence Chart

  • Other Deity Associations: Hermes, Thoth, Wodin
  • Epithets: Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great Hermes), Diaktoros (the courier), Angelos (messenger), Logios (writer and knower of intelligent design), Agoraios (Of the Market Place), Dolios (crafty one), Eriounios (Luck-Bringer), Hermeneutes (Interpreter), Takhus (Swift), Poneomenos (Busy One).
  • Archangel: Raphael aka Israfil
  • Planetary Name in Hebrew: KVKB
  • Celestial Title: Messenger of the Gods
  • Symbols: Caduceus aka Kerykion, 8-pointed star, and the planetary/alchemical symbol of mercury
  • Tarot Card: The Magician (1)
  • Metal: Quicksilver and Aluminum
  • Day: Wednesday, the 4th of the month (as that was the only date given for when he was born) and the 25th of May
  • Hours of the Day Ruled: 1st and 8th hours of the day, 3rd and 10th hours of the night
  • Zodiac Signs: Gemini and Virgo
  • Numbers: 1, 4, 8, and 13
  • Gemstones: Agate, Opal, Yellow Topaz, Serpentine
  • Colors: Yellow and Orange
  • Hermetic Colors: Sky Blue and Gold
  • Musical Note: E
  • Trees: Almond, Ash, Aspen, Bottle Brush, Hazel, Larch, Mulberry, Rowan, Silver Birch and Juniper. 
  • Herbs: Carrot, Celery, Caraway, Cinquefoil, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Fern, Lavender, Marjoram, Mandrake, Maidenhair Fern, Lilly of the Valley, and Vervain. Krokos (Crocus) – An Arkadian boy who was loved by Hermes. When the god accidentally killed him playing discus, he transformed the boy into a crocus flower.
  • Incense: Frankincense, camphor, malabathrumcock, and myrrh 
  • Animals: Ibis, Dove, Tortoise, Hare, Rams, and Monkeys
  • Anatomy Governed: Brain, Nervous System, Left Arm, and Respiratory System
  • Votives and Offerings: currency, especially foreign currency.

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