Mercury is the Roman name for the Greek god Hermes. He is know as the "god of Communication", "Commerce", as well as that of "Thieves". He was, and remains, quote popular today, and even has a day of the week named after him in the Latin, "Miercoles", from the Roman name "Murcurii Dies". He has lent his name to the English word "Mercantilism" or "merchant", among others.
It is said of Hermes in the Corpus Hermeticum, III, Isis to Horus,
'And I', said Hermes, 'will make mankind intelligent; I will confer wisdom on them, and make known to them the truth. I will never cease to benefit thereby the life of mortal men; and then above all will I benefit each one of them, when the force of nature working in him is in accord with the movement of the stars above.'Because of the planet Mercury's rapid movement around the Sun, it transits through the signs of the Zodiac in rapid fashion and equally enters into many conjunctions with the other planets. It is in this context that Mercury earns its esoteric qualities as "Messenger of the Gods".
(Corpus Hermetica, EXC. XXIII. Isis to Horus
This knowledge is transmitted through its planetary cycles and celestial geometry.
The Celestial Geometry of Mercury
The planet Mercury demonstrates a precise and unique pattern as it speeds around the Sun. For 4-6 weeks, it appears as a bright luminary in the West where it is known as "the Evening Star". It enters into an inferior conjunction with the Sun and disappears for about 1 week, where it reappears as a bright luminary in East. In this position, it is known as "the Morning Star", for its appearance heralds the coming sunrise. Mercury then enters into a superior conjunction with the Sun and disappears for 35 days.
This time frame is highly accurate. The entire cycle takes a period of 116 days (115.9), and so Mercury completes 3.14 cycles (Pi) in an Earth calendar year (365/116). The Ancients observed Mercury in 7 year increments wherein Mercury completes 22 conjunctions during the 7 years, returning back to its original start point as seen against the backdrop of the Zodiacal wheel.
This creates the effective observation of 22 isosceles triangles, with each triangle starting clockwise every third conjunction.
The 22/7 Mercury to Sun ratio is very precise, completing the 22/7 cycle within a 1 hour tolerance.
Hence we observe that Mercury's (Hermes/Thoth) transit through the heavens around the Sun as observed from Earth has a value of 3.14 cycles per solar year, and in a 7 year period, will complete 22 cycles and return to its original position. This 22/7 Sun:Mercury ratio creates another co-relational Pi observation in that 22/7 is a recipricol 7 Pi representation, while Mercury's return to its start point creates another co-relational Pi representation through the creation of a circular wheel as it traverses through the Zodiac.
Mercury/Hermes/Thoth, the "god of Communications", is integrally linked to Pi in all form and manner.
Mercury/Hermes in Pythagorean Gematria
In what was formerly a "secret of the Craft", Crowley released a small bit of insight into how words are formed in a work called "Gematria",
The methods of discovering Dogma from sacred Words are also numerous and important: I may mention:—
(a) The Doctrine of Sympathies: drawn from the total Numeration of a Word, when identical with, or a Multiple of Submultiple of, or a Metathesis of, that of another Word.
(b) The Method of finding the Least Number of a Word, by adding (and re- adding) the Digits of its total Number, and taking the corresponding Key of the Taro as a Key to the Meaning of the Word.
(c) The Method of Analogies drawn from the Shape of the Letters.
(d) The Method of Deductions drawn from the Meanings and Correspondences of the letters.
(e) The Method of Acrostics drawn from the Letters. This Mode is only valid for Adepts of the highest Grades, and then under quite exceptional and rare Conditions.
(f) The Method of Transpositions and Transmutations of the Letters, which suggest Analogies, even when they fail to explain in direct Fashion.
All these and their Varieties and Combinations, with some other more abstruse or less important Methods, may be used to unlock the Secret of a Word.
He went on to explain,
This formula, on which one may meditate for Years without exhausting its wonderful Harmonies, gives an excellent Idea of the Way in which Qabalistic Analysis is conducted.
First, the Letters have been written in Hebrew Characters.
Then the Attributions of them to the Zodiac an to Planets are substituted, and the Names of Egyptian Gods belonging to these are invoked.
In this case, what Crowley was divulging was that within the Qaballistic Arts there are rational and logical transpositions. A Letter, written in Hebrew, is then equated to a sign of the Zodiac, and in turn, the Egyptian "god" assigned to the particular Zodiacal sign is invoked. The Qaballist stores in his/her Mind the vast interlinking co-relations between the various races and cultures, recognizing that the whole of the Construct is, by design, Universal in scope and comprehension.
Hence if we invoke the name Magos for "Magician" or "Wise Man", we are inferring that the Magos is Mercury/Hermes/Thoth at its exalted level, seeing how Mercury/Hermes/Thoth is the progenitor of these archetypes.
We know further that Mercury/Hermes/Thoth will "speak the Truth" and "benefit mankind" in such a manner as "the force of Nature is working within him in accord with the movement of the stars above."
This "nature", linked directly to the movement of Mercury/Hermes/Thoth is in accord to Pi, and in this manner, this accordance and return of "Truth" is akin to other traditions as say, "the recovery of the Lost Word" in Masonry, which, when acquired, benefits mankind and "lifts up the spirit."
Now, we return to Pi, Pi being of course a representation of Mercury/Hermes/Thoth.
The first 9 digits of Pi are as follows:
When these are set into 3 digit "pairs", the revealed numbers are as follows:
When we utilize Pythagorean gematria (Greek), we find that the digits 314, 159, and 265 equate to the following words as recorded in Greek.
314 = Magos (Wise Man or Magician)
159 = Megas (Great)
265 = Kleis (Key)
314 = (Wise Man or Magician) = attributes of Mercury/Hermes/Thoth = Mercury/Hermes/Thoth
159 = Great
265 = Key
Returning this concept back to popular literature, it could be said that "Mercury/Hermes/Thoth" is the "Great Key".
"Mercury/Hermes/Thoth, Geometry, and "Squaring the Circle"
Now lets review, again, the "Philosopher's Stone". It consists of a circle. Within the circle is found an isosceles triangle and within the isosceles triangle is a square. Within the square, we have another circle, and a wizard pointing the point where the circle touches the upper portion of the square.
As we have shown, Mercury traces 22 isosceles triangles within a 7 year period, completing itself a full co-relational circle through the Zodiac at the completion of this seven year period.
This 22:7 Sun:Mercury ratio reveals a reciprocal 7 representation of Pi. 22/7 = 3.1428571.
The isosceles triangle within the larger circle may be equated to the tracing of Mercury/Hermes/Thoth as it transits through the Zodiac as it circles the Sun. The larger circle, therefore, is the Zodiac belt, while the isosceles triangle is the tracing of the points in the Zodiac as set against an astronomic ephemeris.
The inner square and circle, therefore, is the viewing of this phenomena as seen from a stationary point, namely the Earth observation point.
In order to decipher the Philosopher's Stone, you need to make an inversion. The Square needs to be placed INSIDE the Circle, and here is why:
When we take the 22/7 Sun to Mercury ratio, this reveals Pi in all manner.
Mercury completes 3.14 cycles per Earth solar year, which, when measured over a 7 year period, creates 22 full transits. The 22/7 ratio reveals a reciprocal 7 Pi representation (3.1428571). In addition, these 22 cycles returns Mercury to its start point as observed from Earth, creation an additional co-relational circle as measured against the backdrop of the Zodiacal belt.
When we invert the 22/7 Sun:Mercury ratio (place the square within the circle), we create the fraction 7/22, which is .353, or Pi to the power of -1.
7/22 yields a digit of .318. .318, when used co-relationally, produces 318, 3.18, and .318 equally. The integer 318 is Greek word for HELIOS, or SUN. A circle with a diameter of .318, 3.18, or 318 will always reveal Unity, or 1, 10, or 1000.
Further, a circle drawn around a square with a perimeter of HELIOS (318), or Sun, will have a circumference of 353, or the numerical value in gematria of HERMES.
This number, .318, was used co-relationally. 318 was encoded as HELIOS, or the SUN.
The circumference derived from a circle with a diameter of .318 is 1, or Pythagorean Unity.
A circle with a diameter of HELIOS, or 318, reveals 1000.
When a square has a perimeter of HELIOS, the circle derived from this square will have a value of 353, or the number for the Greek god HERMES.
The square, therefore, represents the Sun, while the circle represents Mercury's orbit around the Sun as viewed against the Zodiac belt as viewed from Earth.
In this way, the "Great Key" of the Magi is revealed, which again, returns us to Pi.