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Illuminated drawing of Mercurius from German manuscript.

Mercurius is a chimeric alchemical figure with dragon-like heads featuring the sun, moon, and a third with bull horns representing the passage into the "House of Venus," or the unity of Mercury/ Hermes and Venus/Aphrodite: the hermaphrodite.

Together as one body, the three become a fourth; symbolized by the god Mercury and his winged boots and representing the liquid metal element of the same name. However, this "fourth" form is said to remark on the unity of the three dragon heads' disparate heavenly elements, as quoted from a German alchemy manual from circa 1600 that refers to the picture above:

The spiritus mercurialis and his transformations represented as a monstrous dragon. It is a quaternity, in which the fourth is at the same time the unity of the three, the unity being symbolized by the mystagogue Hermes. The three (above) are (left to right); Luna, Sol, and coniunctio Solis et Lunae in Taurus, the House of Venus. Together they form ☿= Mercurius.

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