Essentials of Vedic Astrology Block 1: Static Horoscope
Lesson 3A: Planetary portfolios

Murti [statue] of Lord Budha [Mercury] at Thiruvenkadu in Tamil Nadu, Sth India

Planetary portfolios

SPEECH, Intellect, Logic, Discrimination, Left Brain Friends
Maternal Uncles

Writing, Commerce, Mediating, Diplomacy (Prince) neuter or female
benefic but malefic when together with malefic planet
rules Gemini & Virgo

Mercury rules speech and the faculty of discrimination – the intellect, the rational brain, pure reason and ability to think logically. According to the Samkya philosophy [3/6 systems of Indian philosophy], the intellect resides deep within the mind; it is more fundamental than mind. Whereas the mind is more passive receptacle or repository for the information gathered through the senses, in contrast the intellect discriminates, sorts and classifies; it accepts & rejects.. Anatomically he is represented by the cerebrum, the larger part of the brain which may be termed as superior brain.

It is important to note here that morality or values of right/wrong, good/evil are not relevant in this context of Mercury’s functioning. It does not judge. This falls under the auspice of Sun who tends to be king, law maker and judge or Jupiter who is a councilor and represents morality. Mercury primarily wants to know, to perceive, to understand, to sort & classify and layout the relevant information as distinct from that which is irrelevant. Mercury is the lawyer who presents the information for others to will make the final judgment. Like a lawyer, mercury can argue equally well for both sides.
Mercury partakes the nature of the planet with whom he is conjoined, meaning if together with a malefic planet, Mercury becomes malefic. From this we can see Mercury's neutrality or versatility or mutability.

Analysis, logic, linear thinking, lexicon, language along with its inherent meaning; subtleties or nuances of meaning, word play, writing, teaching, reading and all forms of communication, education. He endows a person with knowledge which may be used for the highest order of discrimination; he denotes the conscious mind and will. Mercury rules power of speech, memory, wisdom, intelligence, accountancy, accountant, to copy, to commit to memory, or cramming, orator, public speaker, shrewdness, cunning, dexterity, commerce, publishers, advertisement, childishness, printing, printers, go-between, ambassador, beauty, elegance, wit, humor, psychological development, refined taste.

If we think about the act of communication, it is essentially an act of transference of ideas or exchange of ideas. The ideas themselves are not so important as the exchange: the dynamic of passing from one person to another. This is the essence of Mercury; he is the mediator, moderator, go between, translator – just as the winged god of Roman mythology whose roles was to bring messages from the divine to the earthly realm – Mercury doesn't necessarily involve itself with what is being communicated, it’s role is to deliver the message: to ensure both parties understand one another. In this role of Mercury, there is an idea of neutrality or versatility or mutability [Gemini & Virgo both mutable signs are ruled by mercury]. As such, Mercury is fleet, quick, quick witted, witty. In verbal intercourse, what is most desirable is speedy unhindered communication. Moral judgment, questions of ultimate right and wrong belong more to Jupiter & Sun.

Another more precipitated aspect of Mercury’s portfolio is commerce and business. The words 'merchant' & ‘mercantile’ are derived from Mercury: anything to do with business or trade or buying and selling – exchange. Business like its ruler Mercury does not enter into questions of morality or right and wrong; its role is to facilitate exchange through comparing, evaluating and translating. And of course, like communication, the ideal circumstances for a business interaction is a quick return. Merchandising, partnership, broker, mathematics, versatility, lawyer, hawker, journalism, astrologer, export and import, industries.

Other significations of Mercury include rajo guna, betal leaves, nuts and limestone. He signifies teeth, esophagus, physical apparatus of breathing, hand and mouth, sour taste, temperate disposition, His gender is neuter, and a boy eunuch, convertible.
Disease : head in whirl, epilepsy, loss of memory and power of speech, disease of the tongue or mouth, dyspepsia. The planet represents carbon and soda.
Color : Green like grass blade.
Vocation : Lawyer, barrister, attorney, astrologer, writer, clerk, journalist, businessman, painter, magician, accountant, auditor, publisher, bookseller, broker, commercial agent.
Birth star : Sravana and Dhanista.
Digit: 4,20,54.
Strength: When the full moon is associated with Rohini, Hasta, Sravana or Dhanista, Budha becomes strong. Favorable relation between Budha and benefic Chandra makes the native highly meritorious, intelligent and educated. Again beneficial relation among the Sun, the Moon and Budha enables the native to enjoy unstained peace of mind and he (the native) can raise himself beyond the material surroundings by practicing 'Japa and Tapas', Also favorable disposition between these two planets (Budha and Chandra) endows, the native with sharp memory. A man becomes a poet of extraordinary caliber if strong Budha, Sukra (Venus) and Ravi (The Sun) or the Moon are conjoined together (see Rabindranath's birth chart). Favorable relation among Budha, Vrhaspati (Jupiter) and Sani (Saturn) makes a native a successful astrologer. The native also becomes a successful astrologer when Budha is in a favorable house from lagna (ascendant) and Sukra occupying the 2nd place in the birth chart is exalted in Navamsa Chakra. The native is an engineer when in his birth chart Budha having been associated with 'hasta' Nakshatra (Star No. 13) is placed in a Kendra position from lagna.
Temperamentally—beneficial Budha indicates activity, agility, energy, intellect, talent, wit, adaptability. When he is unfavorable the native indulges in illegal practices, he becomes a forger, thief, burglar, swindler and racketeer.

contents table
planetary overview

Essentials of Vedic Astrology - Lesson 3A Planetary portfolios ©2006 Astrosalon p/l