How the God of Liars Feeds the Soul
|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.”
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.