Mythology Hymns Lilly GKoS Agrippa


Mercury is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System. Its orbital period (about 88 Earth days) is less than any other planet in the Solar System. Seen from Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days. It has no known natural satellites. It is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger to the gods.


Mercury represents the Intellect, and it may be a good or evil planet according to the conditions under which it acts. If ☿ is under the influence of ♄; that is to say, if the intellect is subservient to selfish and material things, it becomes a source of evil; if combined with ♃ it will produce pride; if united with love ?[1] it will become wise, and in this manner “crude mercury” may be transformed into the gold of wisdom.

Mercury without love is said to rule especially those who live by their wits scrientific speculators, sophists, merchants, thieves, intellectual but not necessarily moral persons, men of letters, students, etc. In the mineral kingdom it is represented by quicksilver, in the spiritual realm by the god of trade.


Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is possibly related to the Latin word merx (“merchandise”; compare merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for “boundary, border” (cf. Old English “mearc”, Old Norse “mark” and Latin “margō”) and Greek οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the “keeper of boundaries,” referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds. In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms; both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand.

Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest).

Hermes is considered a god of transitions and boundaries. He is described as quick and cunning, moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine. He is also portrayed as an emissary and messenger of the gods; an intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He has been viewed as the protector and patron of herdsmen, thieves, oratory and wit, literature and poetry, athletics and sports, invention and trade, roads, boundaries and travelers.

In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, winged sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.

In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.




HERMES, draw near, and to my prayer incline,
Angel of Jove, and Maia’s son divine;
Studious of contests, ruler of mankind,
With heart almighty, and a prudent mind.
Celestial messenger, of various skill,
Whose powerful arts could watchful Argus kill:[2]
With winged feet, ’tis thine through air to course,
O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:
Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine,
In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:
With power endued all language to explain,
Of care the loosener, and the source of gain.
Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,
Corucian, blessed, profitable God;
Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,
And in necessities to mortals kind:
Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,
Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;
Assist my works, conclude my life with peace,
Give graceful speech, and me memory’s increase.



HERMES I call, whom Fate decrees to dwell
In the dire path which leads to deepest hell
O Bacchic Hermes, progeny divine
Of Dionysius, parent of the vine,
And of celestial Venus Paphian queen,
Dark eye-lashed Goddess of a lovely mien:
Who constant wanderest through the sacred feats
Where hell’s dread empress, Proserpine, retreats;
To wretched souls the leader of the way
When Fate decrees, to regions void of day:
Thine is the wand which causes sleep to fly,
Or lulls to slumberous rest the weary eye;
For Proserpine through Tartarus dark and wide
Gave thee forever flowing souls to guide.
Come, blessed power the sacrifice attend,
And grant our mystic works a happy end.


CHAPTER XIII Of MERCURY, his generall and particular Significations.

TERMS. He hath these degrees in every Sign for his Terms.
In ARIES, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.
In TAURUS, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
In GEMINI, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
In CANCER, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In LEO, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
In VIRGO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
In LIBRA, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
In SCORPIO, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27.
In SAGITTARIUS, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In CAPRICORN, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
In AQUARIUS, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
In PISCES, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

FACE. These subsequent degrees are his Faces or Decanate:
In TAURUS, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
In CANCER, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
In VIRGO, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
In SAGITTARIUS, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
In AQUARIUS, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.



These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours.
Saturn ruleth over lead;
Jupiter over tin;
Mars over iron;
the Sun over gold;
Venus over copper;
Mercury over the mixture of metals;
and the Moon over silver.

They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy.
Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated;
Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue;
Mars over red;
the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron;
Venus over green;
Mercury over mixed colours;
the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.


Bk. I Ch. XXIX What things are under the power of Mercury, and are called Mercuriall.

Things under Mercury are these;

Bk. I Ch. XXXI How Provinces, and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets.

Mercury with Gemini rules Hircania, Armenia, Mantiana, Cyrenaica, Marmarica, and the Lower Egypt; but with Virgo, Greece, Achaia, Creta, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Ela, whence they of that place are in Scripture called Elamites.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV The Composition of Some Fumes Appropriated to the Planets.

For Mercury take mastic, frankincense, cloves and the herb cinquefoil, and the stone achates, and incorporate them all with the brain of a fox or a weasel and the blood of a pie
To Mercury, all the peels of wood and fruit, as cinnamon, lignum-cassia, mace, citron peel, and bayberries, and whatever seeds are odoriferous

Bk. I Ch. XLVII What Places are Suitable to Every Star

To Mercury, shops, schools, warehouses, an exchange for merchants and the like.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed

But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.

Bk. II Ch. XLIII Of the Images of Mercury.

From the operations of Mercury,

Bk. 2 Ch LVIII Of the names of the Celestials, and their rule over this inferiour world, viz. Man.

The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.

in the sphere of Mercury, Silenus, and Euterpe

Bk 2 Ch LIX Of the seven governers of the world, the Planets, and of their various names serving to Magicall speeches.

Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;

Mercury is called the son of Jupiter, the cryer of the gods, the interpreter of gods, Stilbon, the Serpent-bearer, the rod-bearer, winged on his feet, eloquent, bringer of gain, wise, rationall robust, stout, powerfull in good and evil, the notary of the Sun, the messenger of Jupiter, the messenger betwixt the supernall and infernall gods, male with males, female with females, most fruitfull in both sexes; and Lucan cals him the Arbitrator of the gods. He is also called Hermes i.e. interpreter, bringing to light all obscurity, and opening those things which are most secret.

Bk. 4 The familiar forms of the Spirits of Mercury.

The Spirits of Mercury will appear for the most part in a body of middle stature, cold, liquid and moist, fair, and with an affable speech; in a humane shape and form, like unto a Knight armed; of colour clear and bright. The motion of them is as it were silver-colored clouds. For their signe, they cause and bring horror and fear into him that calls them. But their particular shapes are,

Additional Reading

  1. A symbol which looks like Mercury’s (☿) but with a circle beneath; almost certainly intended rather to be that of Venus (♀).  ↩

  2. That is, Argus Panoptes doing the dying. To free Io, Zeus had Argus slain by Hermes who, disguised as a shepherd, first put all of Argus’ eyes to sleep with spoken charms, then slew him by hitting him with a stone. Hermes was tried, exonerated, and earned the epithet Argeiphontes, “killer of Argos”.  ↩

  3. Hermes Khthonios, his role as psychopomp.  ↩

  4. “or in an earthy sign, as hath been before said”, Add. MSS. 10862 & Aub. 24
    Later chapter 8 (concerning pentacles, and the manner of constructing them) has The pentacles should then be made in the days and hours of Mercury, when the Moon is in an aerial or terrestrial sign; she should also be in her increase, and in equal number of days with the Sun. This holds true for most of the Solomonic ritual implements.  ↩

  5. A brittle variety of iron pyrite; before ~1845 it usually referred to iron pyrite itself, especially in the context of jewlery. It’s hard to say which is intended as either may have a silver luster.  ↩

  6. The grimoiric wand material of choice, almost always harvested in the day and hour of Mercury (Wednesday at dawn).  ↩