©6-10-2010, revised 1/2012 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Today I’ll honor Mercury by publishing the first of a new series of tests to measure the strength of the inner planets–Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Like the outer planet series of tests that have been so popular with Skywriter’s readers, these tests will assign point values to various chart features.
In each category used, add the total score of all the factors that apply to that item, and write the total on the blank. (In order to find them, you’ll need to be at least an intermediate student or know one who can do it for you.) Then add up all the items up to find out how your Mercury ranks.
Would you be considered a Mercurial type? You would if Mercury, the signs Gemini or Virgo, and the 3rd house are strong in your birth chart. Below is a test to give these chart features a score and then a description of what a strong Mercury says about you.
As far as whether Mercury rules Virgo as well as Gemini, I reserve judgment on that, but most Virgos I know can top Gemini in terms of their collection of verbal and manual skills, love to dish the dirt as much as any Gemini, AND they can talk a Gemini’s ear off, so let’s include them here. Oh, yeah, and the two worst punsters I know are both Virgos. I curse the day I introduced them.
(Someday, maybe even tomorrow, I’ll write about why I’m not convinced that either Mercury or Chiron rules Virgo or Venus rules Taurus so I don’t have to keep justifying my reasoning in the comment section.)
Similar to a strong Mercury, if the 3rd house is emphasized, the following matters can be an important focus of energy: communication; thinking and learning style; siblings and near relatives; neighbors; and basic coursework. But the 6th house–the house of work and health–isn’t particularly related to Mercury, so I haven’t included it in the scores.
NOTES ABOUT SCORING: Here are the orbs I use for aspects and that I use in these tests: 8° for a conjunction or opposition, up to 6° for a square or trine, 3° for the minor aspects. The only exception would be a conjunction or opposition to the Midheaven or Ascendant, and, using the Gauquelin research, that is 10°. These are pretty standard orbs among modern American astrologers. If you’re using a chart done by AstroDienst, please note that the orbs they use are wider than this, and I find wider orbs not very effective in these measurements.
This test isn’t a perfect scientific measurement—that’s impossible—it’s just meant as a simple and fun way to find out the strongest influences in your birth chart. So here’s the test:
____ Mercury conjunct, square, trine, or opposite the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Midheaven, 10 points each.
____ Mercury conjunct, square, trine, or opposite other planets, 5 points each.
____ Mercury in minor aspect to the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, or other planets, 2 points each.
____ Sun, Moon, or Midheaven in Gemini or Virgo, 5 points each. Ascendant (chart ruler) 10.
____ BONUS: Mercury in Gemini or Virgo, 10 points.
____ Other planets in Gemini or Virgo, 3 points each.
____ Sun or Moon in the 3rd house, 5 points each.
____ Other 3rd house planets, 3 points each.
____BONUS: Part of a major configuration like a stellium, T-square, or Grand Trine, 5.
____ Add 2-5 points for each other factor you consider important, such as Mercury aspects to the nodes or having a Node or Part of Fortune in Gemini, Virgo, or the 3rd. Specify.
____Total. 0-15 low, 16-25 moderate. 26-40 strong! Has anyone ever suggested you might have ADD-HD? Over 40, Off the charts—how did you sit still long enough to take the test?
Interpreting your Scores—ARE you Mercurial?
The sign Mercury is placed in very important and can affect the results strongly because an air or fire sign can be very communicative, but a water sign may not. A person with a high score but Mercury in Pisces would express it in a very different way than one with the same score in Aries. No written interpretation can fully explore your individual chart, but briefly, here are some qualities you might find in someone who has a strong Mercury vs. one with few supporting chart features.
Issues for Mercury: how we communicate, our manner of speaking, clarity of thought and expression, perception, learning skills, the way we learn best, our thinking processes, concentration, information gathering, writing, manual dexterity, powers of persuasion, ability to transfer skills.
Traits associated with a strong Mercury: “mercurial,” curious, talkative, glib, overly cerebral, restless, changeable, the grasshopper mind, and the perpetual student.
If you had a high score, you’re an over-achiever in the matters of Mercury: However, here are some of the traits you may share: verbal, bright, funny, quick-witted, restless, distractible, with an ever-shifting focus, a natural mimic, good with either words or hands (seldom both), a quick learner, curious, an avid reader, love to talk, many skills, and able to form connections between ideas or people.
What a low score says about you: If your score is down in the single digits, you may not be very verbal—the terse style of Tweeting may suit you better. It’s probably hard to get you to talk about yourself or things you’re thinking. On the other hand, you probably don’t have any of the less desirable patterns listed above, either.
Gemini Poster Child: The most Mercurial person I ever met was an old friend who had 5 planets in Gemini—Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn, and Uranus. She usually had a crowd of people around her, laughing at her stories and edgy jests. I urged her to write, as she had way more Gemini in her chart than I did, but writing is silent, lonely work that requires sitting still for long periods. We’ve lost touch, but when I looked her up on the internet, there were no publications listed for her.
I no longer have her chart, either, and don’t recall her rising sign, so I can’t do her scores, but she had to be one of the Super-Gemini group of May-June, 1942. With her New Moon in Gemini, it had to be June 13-14, 1942. Happy birthday, Pat, wherever you are!
So, folks, how did you do? Were the test results accurate about you and your loved ones? This is a new and simplified version of some of my older tests, so you’re my beta testers. Tell me how it went in the comments section by scrolling down past this article.
Did you score high on the Mercury test, but don’t identify with the description of a Mercurial type? Don’t consider yourself a major brain? Read this: Four Kinds of Smart–Which One Are You?
More Posts related to Mercury and the 3rd House on this Blog:
- 22 Posts about Mercury and the 3rd House on Skywriter
- Readers Ask: Q & A about Mercury, Gemini, and the 3rd House
- Things You May Not Know about the 3rd and 12th Houses
- Understanding Mercury Aspects to the Moon
- Cosmic Piñata #5—Mercurial Morsels
- Enough with the Mercury Retrograde Hysteria!
- Why Mercury Retrograde is a Good Thing–Its Helpful Uses
In case you missed them, here are the tests for the 4 outermost planets:
- How Strong is your Saturn? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Uranus? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Neptune? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Pluto? Here’s the Score!
If this post was helpful, DON’T MISS THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THIS SERIES. Sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers!
If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at email@example.com. To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.” Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.