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Mercurio18.jpgThe ancients had only seven planets available and twelve zodiac signs, so it was not easy to divide them out. The problem was resolved by establishing that the Sun and the Moon would both only rule one sign each, while Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn ruled two each. For this Mercury was assigned rulership of Gemini and Virgo. The famous messenger of Olympus, Hermes-Mercury was born to Maia after a 10 month gestation. He was therefore more mature and immediately began to walk, after having declared to his mother that he intended to become the 'prince of thieves'. Shortly after he stole Apollo's cattle, and to deceive him he turned the hooves of the animals around so Apollo would think they had gone off in the opposite direction. To get them back Apollo conferred the gift of prophesy on him and taught him the art of music. It is also said that he stole the strings that the Titans, the famous giants, used to make the first rudimentary lyre, using the empty shell of a tortoise.