Even if you're astrology-obsessed, you probably only think of Mercury when it goes retrograde (fair, because yikes). But Mercury doesn't just determine whether or not you're going to have a bad day.
"In the birth chart, Mercury represents the way you recognise patterns, absorb and process information, and exchange ideas and information with others," says Narayana Montúfar, a certified astrologer and the senior astrologer for Horoscope.com and Astrocenter.com. So, yeah, Mercury's a pretty big deal, which is why knowing your Mercury sign might be even more important (gasp!) than knowing your Sun sign.
"Mercury dictates how you think, how you write, and talk to yourself and others," she adds. That means the first time you meet someone—whether it's IRL or online—you're actually meeting their Mercury sign, not their Sun sign. And, since your Mercury sign determines your communication style and represents your thought process, "it impacts every single aspect of your life," Montúfar says. From your work life to your love life to your stream of consciousness narrating it all, Mercury reigns supreme.
And, just like with any astrological sign, you can find your Mercury sign by looking up your date of birth in a birth chart online or using a Mercury sign calculator. Because Mercury is closest to the sun, your Mercury sign will always be in the same sign as your Sun sign, or the sign before or after, according to Montúfar. (For example, if you're an Aries, your Mercury sign will either be in Aries, Taurus, or Pisces.)
Once you know your sign, Montúfar says "the most important thing is familiarizing yourself with the pros and cons of that planet-sign combination, which takes a good amount of self-awareness." That combination, she explains, has always influenced how you think and communicate, so if you want to improve on that (not that you need to), Montúfar recommends deeply observing your interactions with others and consciously observing your thought processes. The more you understand your Mercury sign, the better your relationships with others—and yourself—will be. Here's everything you need to know about your Mercury sign:
MERCURY SIGN IN ARIES
If your Mercury is in Aries, you're always on the lookout for new adventures, says Montúfar. "Your passionate mind can be sparked into action at a moment’s notice," she explains. Think: spontaneous road trips, mountain climbing, always choosing "Dare."
MERCURY SIGN IN TAURUS
Got your Mercury sign in Taurus? That means "you're sensual and possessive in the way you think and move," explains Montúfar. "What you lack in originality or spontaneity, you make up for with persistence and endurance."
Some might call your thinking "predictable" (they're not wrong), but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Your methodical nature makes you solid and loyal—someone others can trust and confide in.
MERCURY SIGN IN GEMINI
If your Mercury sign is in Gemini, you carry youthful energy and perpetual curiosity with you wherever you go, says Montúfar. This means you're basically a chameleon—able to adapt, change, and flow with whatever life throws at you.
Others don't know how you do it, and they don't always trust what you say in the moment. After all, your intellectual talents border on shape-shifting, so who knows when you'll change?
MERCURY SIGN IN CANCER
With your Mercury sign in Cancer, you have an active emotional outlook on life. You're a born leader and nurturer, always looking out for opportunities to feed and take care of the important people in your life, says Montúfar.
And that vigilance pays off—whatever you need always finds its way to your doorstep (and not just because you ordered it on Amazon Prime).
MERCURY SIGN IN LEO
If your Mercury sign's in Leo, buckle up, because "this gives you a fiery, creative disposition," says Montúfar. You want to rule your own kingdom, made in your own image.
To achieve those big dreams, you don't let yourself get caught up in small slights and pettiness. You're too focused on taking the worthwhile risks and cultivating a refined perspective, anyway.
MERCURY SIGN IN VIRGO
Have your Mercury sign in Virgo? Good news: You've been gifted a practical, detail-oriented, and business-like mindset, according to Montúfar. "You understand the value of natural purity, and you have an innate ability to return things to a more basic organic state," she adds.
You're all about making something more efficient, simply by making it truer to itself.
MERCURY SIGN IN LIBRA
If your Mercury is in Libra, you're a social butterfly. But you're not just a textbook extrovert, says Montúfar: "You are a great listener and enjoy bringing beauty and harmony into people's lives."
All your besties would call you the fairy godmother of the group, using your natural social graces and charm to magically smooth over any problems. These traits also help you make friends easily, and you rarely do anything to upset the balance.
MERCURY SIGN IN SCORPIO
Found out your Mercury sign is in Scorpio? You're drawn to self-reflection and deep thinking, says Montúfar. Of course, you can small talk with the best of 'em when you need to, but it's only a means to an end.
Instead, "it’s the hidden realms that fascinate you, and you’re willing to stir the pot a little," she says. (Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into, first.)
MERCURY SIGN IN SAGITTARIUS
If your Mercury sign is in Sagittarius, you have "extremely adaptable and far-reaching mental powers," says Montúfar. That, combined with your fiery enthusiasm, helps you easily overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable to others. (Mount Everest? Sign you up.)
Plus, she adds, you always find a way to acclimate and shape yourself to fit in wherever your life journey takes you.
MERCURY SIGN IN CAPRICORN
With your Mercury sign in Capricorn, you have a business-like mindset, says Montúfar. So don't be surprised if you use a lot of mental energy setting goals, organizing resources, and systematically making steps to reach them.
But you're not all talk—you’re willing to make sacrifices to achieve your ambitions. "It might not make for party conversation," she adds. "But it gets the job done."
MERCURY SIGN IN AQUARIUS
If your Mercury is in Aquarius, you take an open-minded and philosophical approach to life, says Montúfar. Still, you're not open to everything. Sometimes, "you may use your natural intelligence as a shield," she explains, because you prefer the safety of ideas to the messiness of feelings.
But, when you feel unified with another person or group, you can finally let that guard down and have incredible depth.
MERCURY SIGN IN PISCES
Got your Mercury in Pisces? This means you have a deeply emotional and social nature, says Montúfar. You're all about connecting with people on a deep level, which can make small, superficial conversations hard for you.
But, just because you crave deep connections doesn't mean you rush into them. You're happy to take your time getting to know someone new.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.