Personal planets move reasonably quickly and mark the difference between days and weeks rather than years. When they combine with the slower moving planets they weave the symbolism of changes in society together with that of the individual.
Neutral, takes nature from its contacts
Neither diurnal or nocturnal, nor masculine or feminine, Cold & Dry
Rules: Gemini and Virgo
Joy: first house
Retrograde period: Mercury is retrograde three times a year for about three weeks. For a particular calendar year, these periods will be in the same element.
Links to Data and Sources
Communication, exchange, observation, information, thoughts, the mind (rational), reason, commerce & trade, games, languages, slight of hand and tongue, short or everyday journeys, the carrier of information, movement across boundaries.
Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions.
Mercury takes us from within what we know, through the boundary to what ever is outside. Mercury, or Hermes in the Greek tradition, was the protector of travellers and Herms were the rocks placed as markers on the boundaries of homes. Cross roads, where travellers would meet became markets and trade fairs. There are suggestions that language developed to help facilitate trade. Trade also involves travel. Mercury journeys are routine. There is much speculation about how short a short journey is. In these days of the global village, I would say that a short journey is one which doesn’t expand your experience. It’s possible to fly to New York three times a month as part of your commute but to have your mind put into a completely different gear within sight of home.
Mercury has no moral component hence the amount of myths who portray him as a trickster figure or thief. To determine whether you should do something or say something you need to consult Jupiter or Saturn.
Mercury was the only god granted access to Hades or the Underworld so allowing us to verbalise our deepest, darkest urges and work productively with them.
Mercury joys in the 1st house in keeping with its association with the head and speach.
In Mundane Astrology:
Communication; internal and domestic travel; postal and telecommunications services, press, bulletins and communication within national boundaries; attitude to trade, indicates which commodities would be fortuitous.
Feminine, Diurnal, Cold & Moist
Rules: Taurus and Libra
Joy: fifth house
Retrograde period: Venus is retrograde five times in every eight years. Each retrograde period will be very close (1 – 2 degrees) to the retrograde period eight years before. This draws out a five pointed star around the zodiac. In 2004 Venus passed in front of the Sun during its retrograde period and will do again in 2012.
Data and Sources
Values, relationships, beauty, art, grace, desire, pleasure, attraction, possessions, money (these as a store measure of value rather than means of exchange or trade for which see Mercury), co-operation, sharing, compromise, diplomacy, how we seek to make ourselves and others happy, what pulls us towards other, the great attractor.
If every pebble became a priceless ruby, then pebble and ruby would become equal in value.
Venus symbolises the force which keeps people together. It is what we value; money may seem out of place in the above list, but how better to find out what you really value when faced with handing over cold cash?
Bronze is made of Copper (Venus) and Tin (Jupiter), both soft metals used to create beautiful works of art. Effective weapons could not be made until it was possible to work iron, the metal of Mars, a bronze doesn’t hold a sharp edge effectively.
Venus also symbolises all things which are aesthetically pleasing – the arts, fashion, music and so on.
Don’t be fooled into thinking she’s a push over. Venus is also known as the general. Strategy and gamesmanship come under her rule. In many cultures she is a battle goddess and, in keeping with her association with diplomacy, is not afraid to draw a line in the sand. Venus anger says “I care about this enough that I will fight you for it.” Just as force must back diplomacy for it to have any power, Venus can be an iron hand in a velvet glove. Venus is often found in a prominent position in charts for the outbreak of hostilities and in the charts of military professionals.
Venus joys in the fifth house of pleasure and the associations are obvious.
In Mundane Astrology:
The Arts and social pleasures; fashion; art and artists, Peace making capabilities and international relations (with Jupiter); money, financial institutions; general wealth.
Force which keeps a society together. This can also be a conservative factor. Societies need balance between that which drives them forward and that which keeps them together.
Nocturnal, Masculine, Hot & Dry
Rules: Aries and Scorpio
Joy: sixth house
Retrograde period: Mars is retrograde once every two years. Like all superior planets it is retrograde while in opposition to the Sun but, unlike the others, it is travelling direct when it trines the Sun. Its retrograde period starts soon after it makes the trine aspect.
Traverses the zodiac in 2 – 2 1/2 years.
Data and Sources
Survival, courage, self-determination, competition, action, penetration, defence, how we defend ourselves, blood, iron, red, muscles, cutting and blades, sharp things, focus, fire, that which separates one thing from another.
Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater are our vital resources than we supposed.
Mars is the tool of the Sun. In order for the Sun to express itself fully it may be necessary for Mars to express its separateness. Mars is the urge to become more than you are or to move beyond what you know. It is quintessentially male, symbolising the explorer, the pioneer and the risk taker.
Like Mercury, Mars has no moral component and Jupiter or Saturn must bring a sense of value to control his temper.
The ability to work iron allowed man to make more effective weapons and tools. We are still considered by some historians to be in the iron age. I think it is significant that mythical creatures such as fairies cannot bear the present of iron.
Mars energy is immediate, clear and straightforward. It is the necessity for survival, for action. To stand up and be counted.
Surgery is a mars activity: dealing with cutting, blood and the consequences of other sharp objects such as swords or bullets.
Mars joys in the sixth where its intensity can be absorbed and focused into service and routine.
In Mundane Astrology:
Energy and aggression; strongly placed it may indicate a war mongering country, negatively placed it could show a criminal element; aspects to the Sun could indicate military government; easy energy flow could indicate brisk trade, and , with Mercury, ability to take the initiative in trading and other deals.
The forces which drive a society forward may also drive it apart. Balance is needed between centrifugal and centripetal forces – Mars and Venus, Sun and Moon – to maintain a stable society.