You have probably heard it said so many times that it becomes a cliché… “Communication is the key to successful relationships.” But it is also a truism. And it is Mercury that is the celestial ruler of communication. When Mercury is retrograde we get an opportunity to pause the output and examine how we communicate with others as well as observe our self-talk. Mercury is the most agile and flexible of all the planets. However, Mercury’s ability to move and express itself is modulated by the Element it is in.
In the Major Arcana, Mercury corresponds with The Magician. It is worth bearing this in mind. The Magician as the Logos archetype can create anything out of thin air. That is the power of the Word, my friends. However, he also has a trickster quality that comes through more strongly in some of the Elements.
The Planetary Ruler of Mercury is Archangel Raphael.
For each of the four Minor Arcana Tarot suit Elements, we will look first at how the Element modulates Mercury in general. Then we will look specifically at the Minor Arcana cards corresponding with Mercury regarding modes of expression, blockages, advice and self-talk tips.
Mercury in the Element of Fire – Suit of Wands
How they communicate: Mercury in the Element of Fire lends itself to a frank communication style which can, at times, come across as brash. Mercury in Fire can also be extremely entertaining but not in the sense of dry wit. Think goofball sense of humour and speaking out loud what everyone else is just thinking.
Blocked/overactive: Fear of self-expression or drawing attention to oneself is a typical blockage. Acting out in anger instead of reasoning signifies overactive energy in this Element.
Advice: In the advice position, always seek to be direct in your communication. Stand your ground. Don’t make yourself smaller than you are. This is not a time for conflict avoidance.
Self-talk tip: Use affirmations that boost your confidence and encourage willpower/mental focus.
8 of Wands, Mercury in Sagittarius
The 8 of Wands is a card of speed and can signify someone who speaks before thinking it through. Sagittarius is a funny sign. If correctly aligned, great wisdom can come out of their mouths but there is a clown/goof element to this sign as well. Surrounding cards will give more clues. A couple who share this communication style might be spotted arguing passionately while not giving a toss about who is watching.
Mercury in the Element of Water – Suit of Cups
How they communicate: Mercury in the Element of Water signifies an empathetic communication style. They usually make wonderful listeners as they are receptive and naturally caring.
Blocked/overactive: Emotional manipulation and passive aggression are typical for blocked communication in the Water Element. A distinct lack of objectivity and a tendency to fawn are signs of overactive energy in Water.
Advice: Listen more than you speak. Open your heart to the needs of the other person and truly seek to understand where they are coming from. Trust your intuitive guidance (not the same as reading between the lines or second-guessing the other person!).
Self-talk tip: Use affirmations that encourage friendliness, compassion and self-love.
3 of Cups, Mercury in Cancer
The 3 of Cups is the friend who is not afraid to communicate that they are there for you. This communication style lends it well to great intimacy if not emotional stability. A relationship under the influence of the communication style expressed by this card usually appears lovey-dovey to onlookers.
Mercury in the Element of Air – Suit of Swords
How they communicate: Mercury in the Air signs gives us people who have great mental acuity and are able to detach emotionally when evaluating what is happening in the relationship. On the downside, they can be aloof and come across as quite cold. Their tongue or pen is their weapon of choice and they tend to put more emphasis on what is being/has been said than any of the other signs and are excellent problem solvers.
Blocked/overactive: Blocked Air energy creates a reluctance to put words on what is going on. When overactive, you can expect scathing sarcasm. When overactive they also tend to get so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they make things worse for themselves rather than being able to come up with a solution.
Advice: Seek objectivity when Air Element Mercury is in the advice position. If you find it difficult to say what you want/need from your partner (usually true for people born with Mercury Rx except when Mercury is Rx), try writing it down instead.
Self-talk tip: Use affirmations that help with objectivity and detachment.
6 of Swords, Mercury in Aquarius
The 6 of Swords is a card that seeks an objective resolution that is centred on truth. Personal opinions and feelings really don’t have much bearing on what is happening. Friendships/partnerships under the auspice of this card are focused more on common interests or goals than emotional affinity or sexual attraction. That is not to say the latter is missing, just that it is not the point of the relationship.
Mercury in the Element of Earth – Suit of Pentacles
How they communicate: Mercury in the Element of Earth usually signifies a communication style that is pragmatic and centred on the mundane. They are not known for their great sense of humour but Mercury in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth) lends itself to a kind of dry wit that can be hilarious. Mercury in Earth natives can be slow on the uptake and may need time to process information before they deliver a reply but when they do it is usually well thought-through and delivers a practical solution.
Blocked/overactive: An inability to come up with practical solutions; psychosomatic issues. Being extremely rigid, dull and unyielding can be a sign of overactive Earth Element communication energy. A mental obsession with the accumulation of material goods is also a sign of an overactive Mercury in Earth.
Advice: You need to find a practical solution to your problem and also consider the health/financial aspects that may be playing a role. Give your partner some time so that you can come up with a solution you are both happy with.
Self-talk tip: Use affirmations that help you stay grounded and that boost your abundance/wellness mindset.
5 of Pentacles, Mercury in Taurus
The speed of Mercury is severely hampered by the heavy energy of Taurean Fixed Earth in the 5 of Pentacles. Think Ents in Lord of the Rings in terms of how quickly things progress. There can be a tendency to dwell on topics of lack and disease.
10 of Pentacles, Mercury in Virgo
The 10 of Pentacles is Mercury in Mutable Earth so not quite as slow as the 5 of Pentacles communication-wise. However, an obsession with getting the details right can slow things down. Mercury is the ruler of Virgo so it is in its domicile here. Virgo natives like to be of service and care about details in order to ensure good long-term results for everyone and the Summum Bonum. Watch out for a tendency to be a pick-fault.
Check out the guest blog Flower Essences to Support Astrological Mercury by Astrologer Helen Tremeer!