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.

KEATS.


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:

Astronomy/Astrology
Alchemy and Science
Speech
Writing and Books
Tarot and Runes
Knowledge and Learning
Codes and secrets
Travel
Foreign exchange and politics
Athletics including foot races and boxing
Mechanics
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.

Committing to the Divine

“Commitment handfasts us to the object of that commitment, and like a marriage it requires regular attendance and attention. For example, we cannot claim to be committed to a lover unless he or she can depend on us when we’re needed. Similarly, one cannot claim devotion to a spiritual practice or path honored only on solstices, Sundays, or Sabbats…spiritually speaking, commitment is the full consignment of the magickal self – with no provision for default, no requirement for success, and no room for regret.”
Commitment by Jesse Wolf Hardin in Cakes & Ale for the Pagan Soul

Church is Full on Holidays

​I read this editorial in Cakes & Ale the other day and it struck home, hard. Recently I’ve made a strong connection with Frigga and her presence in my life has been one that does not allow conditional devotion. This queen is an all-or-nothing kind of gal and my experiences with her have led me to think on my past experiences as a pagan and how I and other spiritually minded people of all faiths that I have met treat the divine, devotion, and our path. 
Most pagans I know consider themselves more spiritually minded than most Christians they know. I have heard many disdainful remarks towards Christians who seem to only live their faith on Sundays or, worse, on Christmas and Easter. To be fair, I’ve heard similar remarks from Christians themselves and, actually, there is some truth in it. What I feel should also be pointed out is that many pagans also fall into this category – mouthing and dancing along to known practices only on the Sabbats or only on the full moon. I see a lot of witches talking about spells and the craft but very few really living it beyond the pagan chat rooms or monthly/bi-monthly meetups. 

​Apprehension & Service

​I will say that not all witches are religious or spiritual – some only practice the craft and have no divine ties to their work. Good for them. This post is about those who follow a religion, especially those with a Matron/Patron deity that they honor, worship, and/or serve. 
Some pagans absolutely HATE it when I mention servitude in regards to deity and witchcraft. This brings about ideas of submission, Christian ideals, and entrapment. Some pagans go so far as to say that the gods have no interest at all in servants and to suggest so or even go so far as discuss god-slaves is blasphemy. Others argue that the gods have no need of servants, that they can easily do whatever it is that they want doing on this plane without aid of humans.  ​You might be asking, what the hell does commitment, Frigga, and devotion have to do with servitude and wondering why I am getting off on a tangent. 

Disclaimer

​Before I go further, I do want to say that whatever way you practice your craft and faith is your own business and no one, including me, has a right to tell you how to do it. I only want to point out a few things that I observe and my opinions and feelings on them. 

​Divine Demands

​While no deity has any interest in forcing a human to do something for them, I have learned in my experiences and in reading and talking to other pagans that have experienced divine presences, that they do have tasks they desire humans to perform for them on this earthly plane. I won’t attempt to speculate much on whether or not the divine could do this themselves – I don’t think one should risk the divine proving them wrong – but it does seem that there are some duties and tasks they would prefer we do instead. 
In Christianity, God charges His followers to perform duties that include telling others of Him, charitable works, healing, and more. Perhaps it is the similarity to the Christian faith that many pagans are trying to avoid when they say that their gods have no need of servants or tasks performed here. 

​Experiences

​In my experience and reading, the Christian God doesn’t seem to hold the corner market on asking/telling humans what they need to do. In fact, its not just the divine that does this but also our guardians and guides. 
A few years ago, i was led by spirit and a couple of my guides to learn Reiki and Sekhmet Sekhem in order to heal some people I know as well as myself. I didn’t have an interest in Reiki or energy healing before but I did was I was inspired to do and ended up needed this hands-on healing many times sense even though I don’t advertise my ability to do it.  ​Recently, this divine urging has come from Frigga. I won’t go into detail as to what all has happened with her but I will say that part of it was a quick request from me for her to look over a woman and her baby who was in NICU. She said I would have to do some work in order to get that aid. 
Part of the committment to the divine is doing things we aren’t gung ho for and another part is understanding that there is a give and take. Some consider this keeping the universe in balance, others believe that the gods, like humans, simply aren’t always interested in doing something for nothing. 
So I had to add my own work into her blessing by creating a physical item for her to work through in the life of this woman and child. I later came to understand that, because the woman was not a follower or believer in Frigga, she needed something to connect her with them when the circumstances would otherwise involve prayer, belief, and intention on the part of someone else. 

​Hands of Gods

​Just a random question to pagans who think that the divine has no need for us to perform tasks – why in the world would they 1) help us at all and 2) would we leave offerings to them when we ask for aid? Just curious, what’s your thoughts? 
What I think: Sometimes the divine needs its followers and god-servants to do the work for them on this plane because so many people do not believe. Without belief, the work cannot be done. So the divine needs those few the believe for them. 

What does this have to do with Commitment?

​Well, how can we do the work of and for the divine if we only acknowledge them maybe once a week, once a month, once a blue moon? How can we expect to work with them or them to work through us if we do not attend to that relationship regularly? How can we ask for their aid and guidance if we do not also give back by doing what they ask of us here?  Not long after I did what Frigga asked me, I was considering going to a pagan event and honoring her there. That night I had a dream that I was at said event and someone called for a toast to the Mother Goddess. We all drank and I drained my cup as I mentally honored Frigga. She then spoke to me, admonishing me for being among a group of people that said they honor the gods but do not mean it. She said they are like children, pretending at play, except that even children have reverence. 
My lesson from this dream is it is better to speak to your gods and commit to them in true and dedicated devotion alone – even if your words are jumbled, don’t rhyme, or, heaven forbid, you don’t even have a ceremonial circle or altar or anything than it is to join together and have a party with all the right words and costumes and dance but have no love or dedication in your hearts. ​