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By Witchipedia, Deities

Roman God Mercury: a Messenger God

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

The Roman God Mercury, or Mercurius, is a messenger God concerned with trade and profit. His name derives from the Latin word merx which means ”merchandise”.

Family and Life

He is the son of Maia Maiestes and Jupiter.

His earliest form was more similar to the Etruscan deity Turms, but he was later identified with the Greek God Hermes.

Mercury was not largely worshiped until after this association, before then, most Romans or Latins worshiped the many local Dei Lucrii.

Little is known about Mercury before he was syncretized with Hermes about the 4th century BCE and most representations and stories about Him are identical to those of Hermes.

The Romans also equated Mercury with the Celtic God Lugus and partnered with Him the Goddess Rosmerta in the Celtic areas they conquered.

The first century CE Roman writer Tacitus equates Mercury with Wotan. Indeed, they share the same day of the week. Note- Wednesday: Old English Wēdnes dæg (Wodensday), Old Norse, Oðinsdagr (Odinsday) French Mercredi from the Latin deis Mercurii.

Mercury’s temple stood in the Circus Maximus of Rome, a major center of commerce and a race track. He did not have a priest, but his festival, the Mercuralia, was celebrated on May 15th during which merchants sought His blessings by anointing themselves with water from His sacred well.

Through his association with Woden (and perhaps also through association with Hermes who became associated with Thoth in Egypt) Mercury also became the God of magick.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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