Mercury (mythology)(/ˈmɜrkjʉri/; Latin: Mercurius listen (help•info)) is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld.
- My Seal-Ring
Mercury has cast aside
The signs of intellectual pride,
Freely offers thee the soul:
Art thou noble to receive?
Canst thou give or take the whole,
Nobly promise and believe?
Then thou wholly human art,
A spotless, radiant, ruby heart,
And the golden chain of love
Has bound thee to the realm above
- Know this: I, Mercurius, have here set down a full, true and infallible account of the Great Work. But I give you fair warning that unless you seek the true philosophical gold and not the gold of the vulgar, unless you heart is fixed with unbending intent on the true Stone of the Philosophers, unless you are steadfast in your quest, abiding by God’s laws in all faith and humility and eschewing all vanity, conceit, falsehood, intemperance, pride, lust and faint-heartedness, read no farther lest I prove fatal to you. For I am the watery venomous serpent who lies buried at the earth’s centre; I am the fiery dragon who flies through the air. I am the one thing necessary for the whole Opus. I am the spirit of metals, the fire which does not burn, the water which does not wet the hands. If you find the way to slay me you will find the philosophical mercury of the wise, even the White Stone beloved of the Philosophers. If you find the way to raise me up again, you will find the philosophical sulphur, that is, the Red Stone and Elixir of Life. Obey me and I will be your servant; free me and I will be your friend. Enslave me and I am a dangerous enemy; command me and I will make you mad; give me life and you will die.
- Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all.
- Paret Atlantiades dictis genitoris et inde
summa pedum propere plantaribus inligat alis
obnubitque comas et temperat astra galero.
tum dextrae uirgam inseruit, qua pellere dulces
aut suadere iterum somnos, qua nigra subire
Tartara et exangues animare adsueuerat umbras.
desiluit, tenuique exceptus inhorruit aura.
nec mora, sublimes raptim per inane volatus
carpit et ingenti designat nubila gyro.
- Atlas' grandson obeys his sire's words and hastily thereupon binds the winged sandals on to his ankles and with his wide hat covers his locks and tempers the stars. Then he thrusts the wand in his right hand; with this he was wont to banish sweet slumber or recall it, with this to enter black Tartarus and give life to bloodless phantoms. Down he leapt and shivered as the thin air received him. No pause; he takes swift and lofty flight through the void and traces a vast arc across the clouds.
- Statius, Thebaid, Book I, line 303 (tr. D. R. Shackleton Bailey)