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Nice of you to take the time to accept a personal Welcome! to this site in cyberspace, and meet the author/editor/publisher/janitor and general maintenance man responsible for keeping this place up and punning.

Rest your weary wrist and sit a spell while I tell of things those hyper cyber surfers shall not share by jumping so soon and missing this link.

I am Michael, known as starman down in the e-mailroom, and I am going to write in the first person, the I-way, so we can get a little more personal here. I've got some confessions to make... but we'll get to that later.

Well, okay, just a little one for now: I really like to play with words. Must be that mercurial mind of mine. You see, I have the fast-moving planet Mercury in the Sign of Gemini in my birth horoscope, and Mercury is what they call the natural ruler of Gemini. I guess you could say Mercury acts like a little King when he's in his own Element, which is Air, and in his own Sign, which is Gemini. At least he thinks he owns the place when it comes to writing and talking and using the thinking machine we call the intellect.

Funny how they call that silvery liquid metal mercury "quicksilver" ...maybe it's because it moves so quickly when you try to catch it. It just fragments into little elusive beads and slips away in a dozen directions at once, just when you think you have it pinned down. And when you look right at it, you really can't comprehend its true character, because it mirrors and mimics you with that shifting shiny surface. When I was a kid and we weren't so aware how poisonous mercury can be, we used to break an old thermometer and rub the bit of mercury on a penny. The silvery stuff would make a copper one-cent coin look like a nickel five-cent coin. Talk about making things appear as they are not!

I guess that's why the Romans called the god Mercurius a trickster. He even had a fake I.D. - he was previously the Greek god Hermes, a.k.a. "the patron saint of thieves", whose mother was Maia (which means illusion). Not that Hermes was a thief - those poor souls who were so poverty-stricken they stole to survive and got imprisoned when caught would pray in supplication to Hermes for deliverence from their perilous fate.

Mercury was the chosen Messenger of the gods, one who could travel between the two realms and communicate with both gods and men. In the limited perception of earthlings (who like to believe in Illusions), Hermes was seen as a legendary trickster, and the mythology books still tell of the time he scarfed some stuff from Apollo and then talked himself out of trouble by inventing an instrument called the lyre (funny how that sounds like liar) and giving it to Apollo to apologize. There's also some titillating trivia about Hermes and the curious stones the early Greeks erected in his honour at crossroads... but we can't get into that here (you might want to dig up some dirt on "herms" by a key word search on the Web, though).

But I digress. Dare I declare my mind is like Mercury ...full of facts, covering tracks, diverting attention by wordy invention, with subtle intention? My little confession has turned into a tiny trick, a little con, for which I confess once more: I like to teach (as did Mercury/Hermes, who taught astronomy and divination). I have told the truth, but there were other truths behind the obvious truths. You may have perceived what was going on while you read this welcome message - or like many people who think literally and not laterally, you may have been reading the words but not "reading between the lines", as the saying goes.

Words are definitions which try to limit a larger and perhaps undefinable concept to something smaller which everyone can agree on. But when we focus on the words and forget their limitations, we forget to be aware of the larger truths they were designed to designate, but not deny.

If you have read this rambling play on words which was labelled as a Welcome to the web site (whose purpose is to entertain and enlighten), you have been informed of many facts (perceived truths) you may not have known or noticed before. You have read of qualities and key words characteristic of mercury the metal, Mercury the myth, and Mercury the planet - and how they all connect by having qualities in common. Connecting and relating things (or people) is how the mercurial mind learns and teaches.

By perceiving the similarities in dissimilar things, it understands them both better. By connecting one set of ideas to a different set of ideas, it comes up with new ideas that contain qualities of both.

Hopefully, you have been led to perceive some new truths while watching the words of welcome that were more subtle than just superficial small-talk. You may see it as a trick, or you may see it as a telling of the truth. You may see it as a reflection of what you see in yourself, for what we see "out there" is usually a reflection (or projection) of what we see "in here" in our own psyche. Some philosophers and seers say that what we see in others is also in ourselves (judge not, lest ye be judged), and that they are only acting as a mirror for us - like the shiny surface of the metal mercury.

A mirror acts to let us see ourselves - both the positive and the negative - from a perspective outside of ourselves, from the opposite viewpoint. Our right hand looks like our left hand in the mirror, and it is interesting to note that in Latin the word for "left" is "sinister". Do we see that mirror-image of ourselves as something sinister, or as something SIMILAR to an aspect of ourselves which we have judged as "not nice", and therefore not to be seen or shown? If we are too concerned with judging the mirror-image as "bad" we may not notice the truths it is revealing to us so that we can see both sides and make a conscious choice to accept the reality of both - but to choose the best.

Yin and Yang - opposite parts of the same Whole. By saying or seeing or being one thing, and then its opposite, Mercury's dualistic approach lets him perceive the polarities, discern the differences, and then conceive the central sameness. He'll argue both sides of an issue to convince himself he has seen the whole truth and settled on what he sees as the central truth. He'll study seven separate philosophies to see the similarities and conclude a common thread can lead to a central truth. Maybe it is Mercury who can best see some truths even in the words of "liars".

Though often accused of obfuscation, fickleness, flightiness, fence-sitting or phoneyness, mercurial minds are merely on a mission to seek understanding, or teach truths, by seeing or showing the point between two opposites. Comfort is between cold and hot. All light or no light produces no sight... we only see by the contrast between the extremes. X marks the spot where two separate lines connect. Truth may lie between two lies, if we can see the differences! That's what Mercury looks for... the happy medium between the two extremes. But he has to try the two, or imagine both boundaries, before he finds his middle ground.

The contradictory (dual) quality of Mercury is the strategy which supports his strength - to tell what's true, then tell the truth to others who cannot connect the contradictions to their common cause. Up and down are two sides of the same coin. Day and night are two sides of the same Earth. Intellect and imagination are two sides of the same mind. Good and evil are two sides of the same person. Justice and mercy are two sides of the same sentencing. Right and wrong are two sides of the same judgment. True and false are two sides of the same perception.

The qualities in us which we share with Mercury are what let us perceive what our senses show us and give it meaning. Suppose we perceive with our eyes something we have never seen before. We don't know what it is, but we do know what it is not. Discerning the differences has already helped us understand it better. It is not likely to be just like anything we know. But if we see similarities, it may be a little like something we know. Perceiving the opposites, not-like and alike, leads us closer to the truth about it. That's how Mercury, and our own mercurial mind, works.

We all have minds that work like this, and we all have Mercury somewhere in our horoscope chart. Is there a connection here? It appears so. Yet we are all different, and do not think exactly alike. But we all think. Sometimes we think in similar ways, but to different degrees. The differences depend on the different Signs where Mercury may be positioned in our horoscope charts (and the different Houses it may be in).

Gemini the Twins. Mercury in the Sign of Gemini works extremely close to the natural way Mercury works: perceptive, quick, connecting, contradictory, changing, curious, abstract, agile, logical. This is why Mercury is said to be the natural ruler of Gemini: he is naturally at his best there, for the style and strategies of the Sign are so similar to, and supportive of, the way the natural energy of the Planet is expressed and extended.

Virgo the Virgin. Mercury in the Sign of Virgo also works extremely close to some of the other ways Mercury naturally works: discerning, discriminating, detailed, analytical, accurate, adaptable, ordered, organized. This is why Mercury is also said to be the natural ruler of Virgo: he can work at his best there, where the styles and strategies are so similar to, and supportive of, the expression of the energy of this Planet.

The main difference between Mercury in Gemini and Virgo is that Gemini is best at perceiving connections and relationships while Virgo is best at perceiving dissimilarities and differences. Mercury in Gemini spots the connections between things better than other Signs, which makes him a good writer or marketer. In Virgo he is best at seeing the differences, which makes him a good critic or quality-control inspector.

So, if you're still with me... you're either clever and curious, or you have persistance beyond resistance. That was just a bit of wit, a mercurial mind-game. Okay, it only had a bit of wit, but it did have that mercurial contradictory quality, and it rhymed.

So feel free to skip and jump around here to your heart's content, and let your fingers do the talking if you want to e-mail me some comments or criticisms about what you see around here. This was my first attempt at HTML coding, website design, e-zine publishing, and getting Net-wet on my new cyber surfboard. It's been a chore, but not a bore, and it's going where no starman has gone before. If you have the typing time and the inclination to advise, I'm open to any suggestions except the ones that involve personal discomfort. Hey, I'm not looking for email for the sake of email, but some constructive feedback could be a big help. I'll try to answer anyone who takes the time to write, and if you say something suitable for the "What They Say" section (and give permission by putting FEEDBACK in your Topic header) I might post a piece of your commentary on a page and give you some gratuitous glory. Just be sure to mention if you would want your last name or email address or URL posted along with your comments, or not. Either way, that's okay. I'll just use your initials and your domain, not your full name or email address.

Enjoy your visit, take something home with you, and come back sometime soon and stay longer!

- Michael Star

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Author and Address

Published on www July 27 1996. Updated April 21 2008 06:00

(c)1996-2009 Michael Star, (All rights reserved.)

Michael Star Co.
81 Lakeshore East #51, Mississauga ON, Canada L5G 4S7

Email Michael at...

Internet Web Site: STAR SIGNS Astrology Zine

Michael Star has posted frequently on the Usenet newsgroup: alt.astrology

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