The Planet

Mercury is the ruling planet of Virgo.

Mercury has a cycle of 88 days and spends approximately 3 weeks in each sign. Three times a year, it moves into Retrograde motion, brining chaos and misunderstandings.

As the planet closest to the Sun it has the shortest orbit of all the planets. Mercury has always been visible to the naked eye and has been known and recorded since at least the time of the Sumerians (3,000 BC). In ancient Greece it was given two names, as like Venus it rose in both the morning and the evening. In the morning it was named Apollo and in the evening, Hermes.

The ancients knew that they were the same planet, just as they did with Venus. Like Venus, Mercury governs two signs, Gemini and Virgo.

In ancient times Heraclitus even believed that Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun, not the Earth. This is truly Geminian thinking and intellect, for it was many thousands of years before it was realised that the world was round not flat.

Mercury is an erratic and eccentric planet, with an orbit that would produce very strange effects if you were able to stand on its surface. At some longitudes the Sun would appear to rise, stop, reverse up and stop again before resuming its original path towards the horizon, decreasing in size as it went. At the same time the stars would appear to be moving three times as fast across the sky. If you were standing at other points of the surface of Mercury, you would witness different, but equally bizarre and erratic motions.

As Mercury travels very close to the Sun it is often hard to see, although it can be seen with the naked eye.


The God

Hermes, Messenger of the Gods, was given ruler ship of Virgo as well as Gemini.

To the ancients though, this wasn t how they saw it. They saw not a planet, but Hermes himself. With a planet so erratic, no wonder Hermes was such a fickle and unpredictable god.

Mercurial would be the word that would best describe this god. He was impossible to pin down.

Born from mother night and Zeus, king of the Gods, he is the child of spiritual light and primordial dark. In fact, one of his tasks was to guide souls on their journey to the underworld. His mother, Maia, was a mysterious nymph who gifted her son the arts of magic and divination. Zeus assigned his son the task of Messenger. But you could never trust whether or not the messages he brought were right or wrong, as he loved to play practical jokes and was known as the trickster .

He is also, however, patron of thieves and liars and was known for his practical tricks. He was not a god to trust completely.
When he was just a baby he left his crib and stole the cattle from his brother Apollo, the Sun God. In order to trick Apollo he wore sandals, which faced backwards so that Apollo would look in the wrong direction for the culprit.

When Apollo finally confronted Hermes, he immediately gave Apollo a gift of a tortoise shell lyre and flattered him to such an extent over his singing gifts, that his brother forgot all about the stolen cattle. Thus, Hermes rules the gift of communication and in perfect dual fashion, both communication you can trust and that which you can t. They re often very smooth talkers.

In the ancient world there would often be statues of Hermes at crossroads, as he was the patron of travellers, wanderers and the homeless.

Virgo is the hardest working sign of the zodiac.

It is here in Virgo that we meet the feminine energy of the great Earth Mother. It is her that oversees the harvest.

The Constellation of Virgo depicts a maiden, the only female form in the zodiac, holding a sheath of wheat. There are many themes to the Demeter myth throughout the world, but they all tell the same story. It is one of the earth itself preparing to go into a period of mourning. It is not winter yet, but it is time to prepare. Virgo is said to be a serious sign, one of worry, but it needs to be. Carelessness or lack of foresight could mean the difference between surviving or not.

I have often said that if you want a job done, give it to a Virgo to do. Virgo energy is organised and likes to stick to plans and have all details covered. These attributes were needed. It is also a sign of hard physical work.

Virgo rules the sixth house. This is the sector of hard work and also of health. Demeter herself was the Goddess of Health. She had knowledge of all the plants, knowledge she gave to Triptolemus, along with the rest of the mysteries and knowledge she had of nature.

Zodiac Signs with Planetary Rulers


When the Sun moves into the sign of Virgo in mid September the long, lazy fun filled days of Leo must come to an end. In fact, that is what makes the sense of urgency when it comes to fun and laughter, so strong in Leo, for the Ancients knew that a time of hard work was just weeks away.

Images of Demeter can be found dating as far back as the thirteenth century BC, yet star maps far older exist that portray Astrea, Goddess of Justice. Astrea used her scales to weigh good against evil, life against death. While the Sun is in Virgo, careful culling of the land must take place. What is to be kept? What is to be destroyed? What is to be feed for the animals, which for the people? These are all aspects we ll meet next in Libra, but it is a process that is begun in Virgo.

Virgo is ruled by Mercury, planet of communication, ruled by Hermes messenger to the Gods. But it is not intellectual energy that we met in Gemini, here we meet Mercury in its earth form. It is practical thought that is important here and Virgo is a sign of great common sense and practical know how.

When any planet moves through Virgo it is filtered down to us through this Virgo energy. Virgo, being the sixth sign on the zodiac wheel, rules the sixth house. Any planet moving through your sixth house is filled with rich Virgo vibes.

Each particular zodiac sign has it's own characteristics. If you click on the sign you can read about some of the traits of that sign. Or order one of our reports and use the power of the planets to your advantage and tap into what should come naturally to you.