How the God of Liars Feeds the Soul

Tuesday June 7th 2011
Pippi Longstockings, teller of tall tales, eternal child
and a favourite of Mercury. This is a still from
the Swedish TV series

For the Romans Mercury was the protector of thieves and liars. He is that trickster god whom we find tiptoeing through the backdoor of so many cultures: he is Loki, Anansi, Odysseus, Brer Rabbit.

With his silver speech, he makes us to believe the unbelievable; do the risible; see what is not there. This is also the gift of those ruled by Mercury.

At it’s lowest level I’m talking about the saleswoman who persuaded you that the silver-spangled thong and granny glasses was a good look.

But here is what that exemplary Gemini, the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (June 6), had to say about lying: “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.”

And that, of course, is poetry.

Now you don’t have to be born with the Sun in Gemini to be a poet (obviously) but it does help. Here are some liars whose birthdays are around now: Dante, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy, WB Yeats, Federico Garcia Lorca,  Djuna Barnes, Kathleen Raine and our very own contemporary Joyce Carol Oates.

The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it. – Omar Khayyám (Gemini – depending on whose birthdate you believe!)

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  1. P says:

    Mercury really does mark you with flair, no? I have Merc and Venus in Gemini: while I may not come up with witticisms left, right and centre (I have staircase wit, while the Sag bro has a *very* quick wit), I appreciate witty humour best.

    Here’s a Gemini blogger’s tagline (B’day June 7):

    ‘A beauty generalist, flexicographer and pop culture scientist with a knack for vernac. Beauty blogs should be just as entertaining as they are informative.’

    ‘Knack for vernac’ – classic Mercury!

  2. Christina says:

    Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee – Muhammad Ali Moon-Merc in the 6th trine Jupiter in Gemini in the 10th.

  3. Isy Aweigh says:

    Mercury sits right in a messy stellium in my 12th house, not just adding to the confusion but helping to define it!

    Pippi appeals to me strongly as a self-created person. It’s so hard to do that as a female, where dealing with the needs and expectations of others is typically so important to survival. She made her own expectations, and somehow everyone else’s got rewritten to accommodate that!

  4. Jess says:

    Pippi Longstocking was my role model – fierce, free and generous. I’d never connected her with the trickster archetype before though – and now that you’ve pointed it out, it makes perfect sense.