Natal Mercury is often glossed over in the astrology of love and relating. The planet of communication and information gets bypassed in the rush to focus on juicier planets, like Venus or Mars. Mercury may not be sexy, but it has a lot to say about how you approach partnerships. If natal Mercury rules/sits in one of your relationship houses (5th or 7th) or conjuncts Venus or Mars, its influence on your love life will be obvious. I’m not going to address those scenarios here, but I am going to look at examples where natal Mercury is not obviously connected to a relationship planet or house.
When Mercury Dominates
Your Mercury is not only responsible for communication with partners (and potential partners) — it dictates how you view love, sex and relating. It can provide the key to relationship behaviors that don’t seem to fit with the profile of your Sun, Moon, Venus or Mars. When natal Mercury forms a hard aspect to one of the slower moving natal planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) your mental processes and style of communication may dominate your approach to romance (especially if the characteristics of that planet are amplified by Mercury’s sign and/or house position).
For example, your Sun (ego) and Moon (needs) are in light and flirty Libra. Your Venus (how you relate) and Mars (sexual energy and how you take action) are in adventurous Sagittarius. Conventional astrological wisdom suggests that you should have a light touch in relationships; you’re happy to float on the surface. And while it’s true that you like to keep things moving, you fixate on the people you’re attracted to. This isn’t the usual infatuation that most experience. You become obsessed, spending weeks scouring the internet for information on your latest crush, and getting background checks performed on them (all before your first date). Once you’re in a relationship, you develop suspicions that your partner may be cheating. You ask them odd questions that are designed to trip them up, so they admit the “truth” about what they’ve really been doing. If we look at your Mercury, we see it’s in Scorpio, conjunct Pluto (ruler of Scorpio). Your thinking is locked into a pattern of suspicion and survival, driven by Pluto’s compulsive need for control. Everything that happens is put through the mental, Scorpio filter of psychological probing.
Or, maybe most of your planets are in the rational, grounded Earth signs. And yet, you consistently run into scenarios where you want one thing from your partners, but end up getting another. Secrets and deception color all your relationships. Your Mercury is in your hidden 12th House, opposite natal Neptune. Mercury in the 12th can make it difficult to get your point across, because it is in your blind spot; your ideas are unclear to everyone, including yourself. You may end up holding back information from partners, not because you are being consciously deceptive, but because you’re not clear on what you want to say. The opposition to Neptune adds another layer of difficulty, as your statements shift like smoke, so you can avoid being pinned down in an argument. And, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. You do this without being fully conscious of it.
The above examples are just that … examples. The great thing about any challenging Mercury issue is that you can think your way through it. Mercury responds to focused awareness and conscious efforts to bring out an influencing planet or sign’s higher energy. Pluto/Scorpio Mercury can turn that penetrating analysis on itself, while giving a partner the gift of profound conversation and focused (but healthy) attention. 12th House Mercury/Neptune can work on clarifying ideas and communication, while the partner benefits from its sensitivity and gentle, forgiving approach.
Conflicting or Harmonious Styles of Communication
In synastry, Mercury is usually the last thing someone wants to look at during the initial rush of love (or lust). But difficult aspects can add significant challenges, and harmonious aspects can add effortless glide to a relationship. Hard aspects from partner A’s Saturn to partner B’s Mercury will give the Mercury person the impression that they aren’t free to express themselves. Saturn may be dismissive of Mercury’s contributions. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can become corrosive. One person’s Mercury conjunct the other’s Moon gives Mercury an uncanny ability to “just know” what the Moon is feeling (like a window into their heart). Meanwhile, Moon will instinctively know how to respond to Mercury. These two barely have to speak to each other; there’s an almost psychic link.
If Mr. Aries has natal Mercury conjunct Mars (action) and Uranus (sudden change) in Aries (ruled by Mars) his thinking/speaking is going to be impulsive and blunt. Each time he opens his mouth, he lowers the hammer without thinking about who’s being crushed. The synastry with his partner (Ms. Libra) is firing on all cylinders: harmonious aspects between their Sun and Moon, Mars conjunct Venus, some nice Saturn contacts (for stability). But Ms. Libra has a natal square between her Mercury (in Libra) and Saturn (in Cancer). Mercury in Libra is polite, and Saturn’s limits clamp down, resulting in a communication style and thought processes that are achingly correct and careful. Even if Aries and Libra’s Mercurys don’t aspect each other, communication will still be an issue. Over time, Aries may become impatient with Libra’s hesitancy to speak her mind. Libra will find Aries’ sudden outbursts to be rude and embarrassing. How big an issue this becomes depends on how important communication and intellectual rapport is for each of them.
It’s true that you cannot look at one planet in a chart and draw conclusions about someone’s approach to relationships. That’s not what this article is attempting to do. Rather, it’s illustrating how a planet that’s not usually associated with sex or romance can play just as significant a role as Venus or Mars. When it comes to love, what goes on in your head is as important as what unfolds in your heart.
If you like this post, please upvote it on Reddit.