by Andrew Carter
This may seem to be counter-intuitive, even somewhat fanciful. It does not seem to be supported by the tradition, or at least by our current grasp of the tradition. But there is a principle in biblical exegesis which might well apply in this case: the more difficult the reading, the less obvious its sense, the more likely it is to prove both original and correct, more often than not. And so it usually has. It is only in the modern era that we, on the one hand, are dismissive of any attempt to perceive a pattern where we presume than none applies, and on the other hand, insist that the most sensible explanation must invariably be the correct one. The ancients held a completely different set of assumptions; the less sensible something seemed, and the more complex the pattern, the more likely it was to represent Truth, even if only as an approximation of it.
There is, however, a particular theological reason as to why Mercury was the first to fall. Dr. Ali A. Jafarey of the Zarathushtrian Assembly writes: “Evil in Mazdayasna is placed inside mortal minds . . . The Gathic dualism of good and evil emanates from the human mind and is translated into words and deeds. The human mind thinks good, speaks good, and does good to the human society and environment, or on the contrary, thinks evil and the consequences of its words and deeds are harmful.”
In the words of Charles Carter, “To take a deeper symbolism, Mercury is Mind, and the mind is, or should be, impartial and unwedded to particulars.” The implications of this are that, in the words of the Bene Gesserit litany against fear, “Fear is the mind-killer.”
In the primeval Gathic doctrine of Zarathushtra; the mind, gifted by God to man, is the one unique metaphysical entity that has the ability to recognize and choose between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong. Doctrinally speaking, humans are endowed with that most important divine attribute of the Creator, Vohu Mano, the mind that is capable of comprehending Asha, the overseer of the realm of Truth. It is precisely the convertible nature of Mercury in its exalted state, the state to which we must aspire, that caused it to first attract the wrath of the dragon, the adversary of Mind.