The Mercury Business Archetype | Expressing and Communicating Unmet Needs and Emotions

“For someone who claims to be ruled by the intellect, Mercury’s emotional outbursts are more irrational than any other Celestial Being’s. The ancients believed that Mercury is debilitated in Pisces. The truth is, it’s not a bad placement to be. It forces Mercury to deal with the black box of his emotions.”

The Little Light by Dipa Sanatani

In Dipa Sanatani’s The Little Light, Mercury is depicted and portrayed as a businessman. You’d have to read the wonderful book to understand his character a little more. In a way, he’s the protagonist of the story. Not because he’s the star of the show, but because of everything he sets into motion. 

What can we learn about our business acumen from our Mercury placement? For the past year, I’ve been curious about astrology. It’s not something I understood intellectually, much like Mercury in Sanatani’s book. Very often, we make decisions and we don’t know why we’ve made them. No rational person would do such a thing and yet we’ve chosen to do it—in opposition to all that we think we know and understand to be true. 

How habitually do we dismiss ideas simply because they do not fit into our worldview? We do it all the time.

In classical interpretations of astrology, there are ‘good’ placements and ‘bad’ placements. In Sanatani’s interpretation of astrology, there is no such worldview. There is only energy. We are all born with a Cosmic Birthright. And how does Mercury factor into all of this? 

In Sanatani’s book, he is almost always overshadowed by the Sun, his father. He longs to chart his own path, but he is unable to do so. Is this what leads to the black box of emotions that he is unable to open, yet alone deal with?

Let’s apply this to the real world. Think of occupations where one is not permitted to reveal what they feel and are expected to stick to the facts. A few occupations come to my mind: science, sales and law. In these professions, people tend to ignore or detach from their emotions for a more objective process. They are distant, stoic and aloof. It’s impossible to feel a sense of a closeness to people in these professions. They are there to say the right thing at the right time to effectively get the response that they want. The whole truth is carefully crafted and manufactured. Even when they are trustworthy, they often withhold the truth–from themselves as well as from others.

There is a duplicity and duality about the nature of Mercury. No one would ever accuse him of being a ‘jerk’ exactly, but no one would consider him loyal. Why? Because he is not. The ability to see the other side of the coin is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, on one hand, you know how to say what needs to be said to keep the peace, close the deal and even remedy the situation. But on the other hand, even those close to you will feel that they can never know you, be close to you, or actually know what is occurring inside you. You could even conclude that Mercury himself does not know what is transpiring inside him.

If you are anything like Mercury, you would think that you were doing a good job and being the good guy. No one had any right to be upset or angry at you. But for some reason, the people around you are not as impressed with you as you thought they would be.

What does this mean for the individual in question? What does it say about own their emotional well-being as well as the emotional well-being of those around them? I’d say that deep down, they’re far more bonkers and far more crazy than what can be seen with the naked eye. There’s a lot going on inside this person that they are not aware of. And having an honest and heartfelt conversation with them is impossible. Not because you don’t open up, but because they don’t.

Gemini is symbolised by the twins. There is an aspect of the Self that is being shown and an aspect of the Self that is hidden. Virgo is symbolised by the Virgin. I don’t interpret this literally. Rather, it symbolises a loner–a lonesome individual who doesn’t have a true friend. This is someone who is hardworking, gets the job done, is efficient and good at their job, but they are loners. In tarot, Virgo is symbolised by The Hermit—someone who retreats into themselves and into the cave. 

I don’t believe we have to explore every emotion that comes our way, but if we never have an outlet for it and if we never express it—then what happens to us? We’re probably emotionally crazy even if we seem to have it all figured out on the outside. This happens more often than not. 

We don’t feel right about something. Do we follow this feeling or do we ignore it? If there is no purpose for human emotions, we would not have them. But instead, we do. Our emotional landscape can end up being littered with feelings, unexpressed desires and even deep dark repressions. That is the black box that Mercury must deal with. What does this mean for the business owner?

I have a chat with the author of The Little Light, Dipa Sanatani. This is what she said:

(The following is a transcription of a spoken text.)

Businesses begin because there is a need. This need could be either a need that has been expressed by the marketplace, a need that has been expressed by the owner or a need that has been expressed by a universal energy. 

I think like humans, businesses are born because of an impulse. So usually, someone must have an impulse to start a business. I think, for me personally, it was born of this impulse that there was a need to do something more. Beyond just having the great idea or having a fantastic business plan, there must be a need or an impulse to do something more.

Without that, there is no capitalism. 

It could be a need to create a really unique product that isn’t out there. It could be a need to do something in a more cost efficient way. Or it could be a need to meet a need that has not been expressed in the market. I think that if you want to have a great business, you have to meet needs that have not been expressed.  

One of the first things I learned in sales, which is Mercury’s domain, is that customers don’t really know what they want till you show it to them. I’d say that if they haven’t seen something like it, they don’t and won’t know that they want it or need it. But once they’ve seen and experienced something like it, then they’ll know that they either want it or need it.

Businesses go through ups and downs. A successful business is not the one with happy customers, it’s not the one with happy owners, it’s the one that creates something that outlasts its owners. The business should, or a business should, ideally endeavour to create something that will outlast them. 

I think that the easiest way, I suppose, is to create products, software, a character, an artistic product, or anything that will appreciate over time. It’s not uncommon for businesses to not be worth much in the early days. That usually changes as time goes on. 

If I were to start a new business, I would start something that is innovative and at the same time, somewhat traditional. Beyond the American and Japanese business models that we learn about in school, there are other business models out there. Businesses that have become the bedrock of a community and of a society. What they represent to that community and that society needs to be taken into account as well.

We should think of a business as functioning within a marketplace. We don’t have to focus only on the corporate model. However, information on corporations is more easily available and assessable because they are listed companies. In truth, we’re not all that familiar with less studied or less famous business models, but they are out there. 

I’d say that you’d have to put yourself out there in an environment where entrepreneurship is perhaps is less formal. If you go down the corporate route, it’s very institutionalised and formalised; especially in terms of its processes and procedures. Not that that wouldn’t be the case if you were in a more traditional business even with a smaller setup.

I just think that in privately owned enterprises, there’s a lot more privacy, innovation, quick movement, fast movement and so on. Also, you can choose the ownership structure. Many smaller businesses are partnerships. You can start one with a spouse or a future spouse. You can pass it down to your kids later on if they’d like to be involved. But if they don’t, I’d understand. 

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