MERCURY Part 2: In Virgo – feedback and discernment

Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo. In Gemini, it was all about absorbing information, thinking and processing, and then communicating with those around us. In Virgo, the energy is focused on feedback, discernment, improvement and service.

People often use the terms “big” ego and “strong” ego, sometimes confusing the two meanings. It’s important to understand the difference. A big ego implies that a person is filled with self-love, is able to express her thoughts and feelings in big ways that demand or invite other’s attention. This can be warm, entertaining and delightful or brash, self-serving and boorish. Think Robin Williams versus Donald Trump. By contrast to them, the proverbial quiet, introverted librarian has a “small” ego.

A strong ego, on the other hand, is about a person’s ability to withstand criticism or rejection. The capacity for one to maintain self-love, self-worth, and belief in oneself is the measure of an ego’s strength. The quiet librarian might not command people’s attention with a bright personality, but might radiate warmth and not emotionally collapse in the face of harsh feedback from friends, colleagues or failures. Think of Rosa Parks, who humbly and lovingly refused to go to the back of the bus, fueling a wave of civil rights activities.

Williams and Trump both have large, but weak egos. The librarian and Parks have smaller, but stronger ego.

In any particular incarnation, we may choose a big ego or small, whichever serves our soul’s goal for that lifetime.

The strength of our ego varies less and is a reflection of the ongoing work we’ve done over many lifetimes of soul evolvement.

All this talk of egos is important to understanding the role of your Mercury as it rules the sign of Virgo. It is through the Virgo qualities of your human experience that you take in, through your Mercurial rational mind, the observations and details of how your ego actually affects other people. This sometimes comes directly through feedback and criticism from others. More often, you begin to discern unspoken and repeating patterns of rejection or acceptance, failure or success, needs and desires met or not. If you are learning from this feedback and applying lessons to future choices of how you express your ego, then you build successful connections to others, relationships that satisfy your needs and validate your self-worth. If not, relationships tend to be difficult and you feel alone.

The key here is learning to embrace the feedback from people and the world, to value the information as clues to self-fulfillment. As you focus your attention on what others have to say about how they experience you, you can begin to relax your ego’s drive for self-assertion, incorporate other people’s feelings, thoughts and desires into your own values and thereby make choices that serve those to whom you wish to relate and love. Mercury’s role in ruling Gemini was to sharpen mental awareness for connection to environment. Now in Virgo, Mercury uses those same attributes of logic and communication to create a practical approach toward connection to other beings. Success in this endeavor improves the ability of our Venus (the relationship planet), in the next sign of Libra, to create fulfilling one-to-one relationships with friends, lovers and even business partners.

Barry Kerr, a certified soul-based astrologer, has over 40 years of experience with an international clientele, including many medical professionals and alternative healers. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, are owners/practitioners Choose Conscious Living in Sedona, AZ. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology, energy healing and transformational coaching by phone, Zoom, or in person in Sedona. Inquiries are welcome. Visit for more information or email Barry at

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