This is a straightforward post regarding interpretations for Mercury lines using an Astro Map. You can go back into my archives as I’ve done lines for both Sun and Moon (so far). To recap, I like to say that the things you learn in your Astro Map are roughly half of what a relocation reading is supposed to teach you. The other half is the birth chart wheel — what houses the planets are in and what aspects they make to the Ascendant or Midheaven, and all the midpoints that involve the Ascendant and Midheaven.
I use both the Astro Maps that Time Passages (an astrological software program) offers (which does only the ascending, descending, midheaven and IC lines) as well as Astro Maps through Sirius (which does a whole bunch of other stuff including aspects to the four lines, including the really cool Treasure Maps in ten different categories including love and romance, vocation and career, etc.)
For this, however, we’re only focused on interpreations on planets which fall on or very near the four lines, which also are the cusps of the angular houses — 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th. (Rising = 1st, IC = 4th, Descending = 7th, Midheaven = 10th). Since I covered Mercury in the signs and houses a week ago, I’ll be focusing on Mercury. It’s not as important as Sun lines (covered on May 16th) but Mercury, being one of the inner planets, is usually a very favorable planet, so you should get some mileage out of this.
This is a map of the entire earth, but it’s a little hard to follow unless you know what the symbols mean. For one thing, we can see the Mercury symbol on the very far left and far right in yellow, pertaining to the yellow curved line, but it’s only saying that it’s Mercury on the descendant. That’s because the Mercury ascendant is the part of the map that’s in the left-middle. A close-up illustrates this better.
NOW you can see the Mercury rising line going through South America — Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. It doesn’t go particularly close to the biggest cities.
The Mercury line keeps going up diagonally, as follows:
You can see the Mercury ascending line hitting central England, and going right through Stockholm.
Mercury rising is defined by Time Passages as follows:
With Mercury on the Ascendant, this location activates your intellect and your communication skills. You may find that this place turns you on mentally, enhancing your wit, your rhyme and your reason. You could also become extraordinarily interactive with your surroundings, since here you possess an unusual attention to detail, as well as the capacity to figure things out with lightning speed. You are likely to be curious to understand more about the people, places and things that you encounter. You may also find that when challenged you have an inclination here toward sarcasm and bite. When the energy of this locale is functioning at its best, you will find that this part of the world provides an ideal environment for learning, reading, writing and all forms of communicating.
Dan Furst notes that a Mercury line can be colored by another planet if the position is near that planetary line — whether Jupiter (law and government), Uranus (digital technologies and telecommunications.
I should stop here and address the question you have — why are the lines diagonal? And you can see, some lines are very diagonal, some are close to vertical.
That has to do with the tilt of our earth. The earth is tilted 23.45 degrees in the same direction all year, but because it revolves around the Sun, the North Pole is pointing directly toward the Sun on the summer solstice, and pointing away from the Sun on the winter solstice. On the winter solstice the Sun may be setting in Seattle, WA at the same time as it sets in New Mexico! — and conversely, on the summer solstice the Sun may be rising in Seattle, WA at the same time it is rising in New Mexico.
What this ends up meaning is that, in most cases, the closer the planet is to the Gemini/Cancer cusp or Sagittarius/Capricorn cusp, the more diagonal it is, whereas the closer the planet is to the Pisces/Aries or Virgo/Libra cusps, the more vertical it is. This can be seen with Uranus, which is at 8 degrees Libra:
Getting back to Mercury, let’s look at the Mercury Midheaven on a map:
Mercury Midheaven in this case goes through Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Time Passages has it as follows:
With Mercury on the Midheaven, this place supports you in being able to think your way into a sense of authority in the world. This lends itself perfectly to scouting out a new position, giving a public presentation or studying for an exam. If you have career goals that require reading, writing and other forms of communication, this place is an ideal environment to for their expression. In general you find that you think better and can express yourself more clearly and concisely. Audiences here tend to receive you well. You also may find this place helpful when planning or organizing long-term projects. Keep in mind that here, emotions and romance may take a back seat to practical goals. If challenged, you could also find you have a propensity to argue more or play the trickster in this locale, especially in public arenas. At its best, this location will aid you in making intelligent contributions to the world and further you in your leadership potential.
Dan Furst discusses the Mercury Midheaven line as follows:
This is why the Mercury lines in our astrocartography maps favor good progress and success in verbal activities like writing, teaching, sales, publishing, advertising, community projects and politics. Professional ambition and success are especially highlighted when the Mercury line goes up to the Midheaven, at the top center of the birth chart, and all that this implies about our efforts to inform and direct the consciousness of others, even many others in an intentional community that may be global in scope.
The Mercury Descending line looks like this:
You can see the Mercury Desending line, running Northwest to Southeast, going through parts of China (rather close to Beijing and Shanghai), through Indonesia, and then touching the northwest corner of Australia, very close to Brisbane. Time Passages has Mercury on the Descendant as follows:
With Mercury on the Descendent, you will find that there exists an intellectual and playful factor in relationship for you here. You may find that in this place, you spend a lot of time thinking, writing, or communicating about relationships and their workings. You may bring a detached objectivity to consideration of a particular relationship or to relationships in general. You could also draw people to you in this region that embody Mercurial qualities, such as wit, youthfulness or chattiness, or who come across as scattered and overly mental or Trickster-like. As you creatively engage with your own intellectual self as well as with like-minded others, you may find that you come into balance, and thus create relationships where together you think clearly, speak freely and enjoy the lighter side of life.
Mercury on the IC, or Nadir, looks like this on the map:
Mercury on the IC, or Nadir, which is Mercury’s lowest point underneath the earth for that location, goes through the Pacific Ocean and only appears to hit land around Juneau, Alaska. Time Passages has it as follows:
With Mercury on the Nadir, your thoughts and communication in this location tend to revolve around safety, security, and the home. You may find that you have a strong desire to concentrate your mental energy on your private life in this locale, letting the outer world fade away as you focus within. You may also experience an enhanced connection between your intellect and your inner emotional awareness, which can make this a great place to start therapy or to write your memoirs. On a more practical level, real estate opportunities may arise here and your cleverness will be an asset in attaining them. You may also find that a stay in this location brings out a desire to explore your immediate surroundings and get to know your neighbors. Whether you become interested in mapping your family tree, reconnecting with old friends, buying property or exploring the roots of your emotional life, it benefits you while you are here to give time and space to your private life.
Dan Furst has it as follows:
The emphasis goes the other way when a Mercury line points down to the Nadir, as here we will tend to fit in to prevailing ideas and customs, rather than seek to change them, and this is why people living on Mercury-on-the-Nadir lines often feel they’re more progressive-minded and aware than the others around them, whose patriotic and relgious values may seem stolid and denial-bound to the mercurial observer. Or, as can happen within a Nadir line’s grounded stability and familiarity, a Mercury line aimed at the bottom of the map can feel reassuring, as cozy and welcoming as a small town where we all know everyone else, and we’re happy to talk about the same things we talk about every day, as long as we keep talking.
You can see that, especially for the Nadir, Time Passages and Dan Furst give VERY different interpretations! It’s a good idea in general to get several perspectives about a particular thing that you want interpreted — whether it be a Mercury line, two planets aspecting each other or the Ascendant or Midheaven, a planet in a given house, and so forth. Knowledge is power, and you should be able to sit with all of it.