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MERCURY . The nearest known planet to the Sun. It is considered by the ancients as one of the seven sacred planets. Helena P. Blavatsky states that, as a planet, Mercury belongs to a different CHAIN of globes from that of the earth and is much older than the earth. In the early years of the Theosophical Society (TS), the book Esoteric Buddhism stated that Mercury is one of the three physical globes of the earth chain, the other being Mars. This was subsequently disputed by Blavatsky (see also MARS). Mercury is, according to The Secret Doctrine, just coming out of OBSCURATION, that is, it is just emerging from an inactive period during which there were no life activities in the planet except for the remnants, called SHISTAS, that will be the seeds of future life activity in the planet. It is considered one of the seven sacred planets. Blavatsky wrote that: “Man derives his Spiritual Soul (Buddhi) from the essence of the Mânasaputras, the Sons of Wisdom, who are the Divine Beings (or Angels) ruling and presiding over the planet Mercury” (CW XII:545).

Intra-Mercurial Planets. The Mahatma Letters state that there are planets inside the orbit of Mercury. “We know that such exist and where they exist; and that there are innumerable planets “burnt out” they say, — in obscuration, we say; — planets in formation and not yet luminous, etc” (ML, p. 325).

Mythology. In Roman mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the gods, equivalent of Hermes in Greek mythology. He is depicted as a god with winged hat and winged feet, and carrying the Caduceus. He is the son of Jupiter and Maia. Mercury corresponds to Budha (son of Soma in Hindu mythology), whose mother was also Maya, as well as to Thoth of the Egyptians, Astaphai of the Gnostics, Hermod of Norse mythology and Mithra of the Mazdeans.

Esoterically, Mercury is one of the three planets representing the initiators, together with Venus, and the Moon. This is said to be the origin of the three Magis or wise men associated with the birth of Jesus. Mercury is also one of the three important substances in alchemy, the other two being sulphur and salt. They represent the soul, spirit and body. In astrological symbolism, Mercury represents the mind or intellect, and is the planet that governs Gemini and Virgo.