While Fantasy Lures, Reality Beckons

“The Union of Twin Lights” by Lanvi Nguyen.

INTELLIGENCE for Gemini by Eric Francis

“The potential to realize the spirit becomes the possibility to share that spirit with others. The role of the individual is incomplete without social skills.”
— Ra, Human Design

When Jupiter and Saturn meet in Aquarius in late 2020, the conjunction of a generation occurs in your 9th solar house (or 9th by whole signs for Gemini rising). I call that the “wide world” angle of the chart, where one’s mind opens up to new ideas, where one’s social world expands into an international context, and where we meet that entity called God or the higher self, who is really the inner self.

Jupiter and Saturn are vast beyond comprehension. Nobody can really imagine a planet 1,300 times the size of the Earth, with 79 known satellites, rising over the horizon. The photo above is how that would look, at one Earth-Moon distance. That both Jupiter and Saturn will meet in your 9th house describes your world expanding exponentially.

With Aquarius involved, the first angle to consider is social. It’s as if you step into a worldwide collective of some kind: not a “social network” — but the real thing, on which the fraudulent and increasingly toxic AI concept is based (by which I mean “social” media, a synthetic substitute for sincere relating). Technology will have a role, but it will be the means rather than the end.

When looking for words to describe the real thing, the thing that we’re all immersed in a substitute of, think: cosmic family, the family of humanity. Folks. People. Your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues — only a more embracing new category that can expand across oceans and continents.

A conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the 9th house is about your world opening up. It’s about new ideas; new dimensions of philosophy, spirituality, mathematics or physics: whatever turns you on. Whatever is your point of contact to the greater whole. This conjunction in your 9th house is the stuff of which science fiction scenarios are made, describing new worlds into existence, but it’s actually about you, in your place and time.

On one level the effect of this conjunction is purely personal: the cultivation of intellectual and spiritual maturity. On another level, the effect is worldly: you suddenly will have access to a community of peers, of teachers and (if you’re interested) students. The 9th is of supreme significance for those people who wish to be cultured humans, who wish to live in a wider and deeper world than the one usually inhabited by most humans.

This is astrology that can describe events like developing an international presence, beginning grad school, or earning or completing an advanced degree. If you are an attorney, you may get to practice in the federal appellate courts or work on a Supreme Court case. If you are involved in publishing in any way, shape or form, this is a conjunction that will serve you well, and which indicates a period of unusual new achievement.

The thing is, to get to the 9th house, one must get through the 8th house. The 8th addresses the bottom-line facts of life that we hardly ever dare to deem “spiritual” — a theme reserved for the topics of the 9th house. And that is why so few people make it into the 9th in one of its more genuine forms, as opposed to attiring oneself in piety, religiosity, or purely academic knowledge.

And that is an area where some caution is appropriate: one possible pitfall of your 9th astrology is arrogance: thinking that you know more than you know, or holding yourself out as an expert without the direct experience to earn that description.

Let’s set that aside for now; there is plenty of ground-level work happening in your 8th house, Capricorn, that you really cannot escape, and which will have a tempering and softening effect on you.

The Sum Total of Your Planets

You are involved in a process that will get you to that 9th house conjunction. It’s a bit of where fantasy meets reality. You might, for example, find yourself working at a job you don’t like that much, dreaming of what is possible. You know you can do great things. You are creative and you have energy, and you understand intuitively that the material world is, on some level, subject to your desires and your vision.

However, you might not like what you’re doing now, and be distracted by dreams and visions of what is possible. And then reality seems to beckon: urgent situations, the needs of relationships, the fact that you’re getting older, the world crisis, and the sense we all have on some level that time is running out. It is; for an incarnated creature, time is finite. Yet we’re now all connected to a global network that is constantly reminding us how close to the edge we are, how unstable our political systems are, how weird the economy is.

The lunar nodes moving through your 2nd/8th houses are placing an emotional emphasis on root-chakra-level material, also amping/ramping up the impending conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. So you have here something of the ultimate creative tension: the desire to do something brilliant, and being no stranger to the realities and necessities of life. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century was written in a garage between bombing runs over England.

To work this equation, you will need to gain some mastery over the necessity level, and then churn up some manifesting power over your dreams and visions of doing beautiful things. The best way to manifest is to get out of idle fantasy mode (a distinct possibility with Neptune floating slowly through Pisces). Idle fantasy is a BIG problem in the Western world, as stoked by advertising, films, TV, the internet and a general desire to evade responsibility.

Fantasizing in that idle sense of the idea expends energy that does not come back. Harnessing the imagination is something different. Dreaming up possibilities and then actually exploring them is something different. It’s essential that you work with this distinction, because it’s the difference between wasting energy, time and creativity, and using those things wisely.

A Brief History of Gemini

This section contains a number of astrological points that may be a bit technical, though I trust you will find them informative. I will do my best to be thematic.

It helps to have planets in one’s sign. They provide guidance and a sense of tangible, material reality. Yet in our epoch, there has not been much major planet activity involving Gemini, with one notable exception: the Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001-2002. Saturn was in Gemini from late 2000 into mid-2003, which in itself is significant, as it’s Saturn, and because it’s the only transit of a well-known generational planet moving through your sign any time recently. There is important (ongoing) minor planet activity, which I’ll cover in a little while.

The Saturn-Pluto opposition was famously the scene of the astrology that brought us the Sept. 11, 2001, incident, and all that followed: a complete rethinking of many facets of life, based on nothing but fear and a sense of threat. All of the exuberance of the 21st century being a place of possibility seemed to evaporate for everyone except warlords. And in some unusual ways, this had a direct impact on you, whether it was related to political events or not. The same astrology has personal and collective manifestations.

The presence of Saturn in your sign is likely to have come with a sense of mission, and of substance. Saturn is usually very well placed in Gemini, bringing stability and discipline to what is otherwise mercurial.

At the time, Pluto was making a long transit through Sagittarius, your 7th house of relationships, presenting you with a series of events involving forces outside of your control. Then Saturn came onto the scene, and you began to confront those forces — and you got some results. I think it would be an excellent idea to go back to that time in history and consider what was going on in your life. Recall where you lived, whom you lived with, what your relationships were about, what was developing; and assess which way events actually went.

In that same era, Chiron was in your 8th house, Capricorn (as Saturn and Pluto are today), and was in many ways presaging the circumstances and events of the current time in your life. We could not do this in a therapy process, because in that modality, the data is all supposed to come from the client. But in astrology, we can read the passage of time, and see when and where there were events, and what impact they may have had on you.

Much of your journey the next year involves Capricorn, your 8th house or solar house, and its ruler, Saturn. I can give you a few clues from the scene that the astrology sketches out. The core issue would seem to be trust, on every level. That includes trusting individuals on the most intimate level, out to trusting existence itself. In between the two, there are many layers of trust involved, including of your family, and of whether the society you live in has any interest in supporting the purpose of your life. This is deep existential stuff — the kind of thing that most people are terrified to even consider, much less to contemplate actively. However, to some extent you had to at that time in your life, though I suspect there was a good amount of setting things aside and moving on.

In the same era, two interesting things happened regarding minor planets, which is where the real action is in your chart. By minor planets, I don’t mean asteroids: I mean new discoveries of distant, slow-moving bodies that orbit our Sun. There are tons of asteroids and they tell interesting stories, though the slow-movers trace the story-arc of our lives in distinct ways.

Asbolus, the Survivor

There were two important discoveries in the late 20th century that have made their way into Gemini. The first was a centaur called Asbolus, the fourth planet discovered in this class (the first three were Chiron, Pholus and Nessus). The name Asbolus means “carbon dust” and that is the first clue as to its meaning: what all life on Earth has in common: being based in carbon. (The second minor planet was a point named Chaos, which I may come back to if space and time permit.)

A centaur is half-human, half-horse: a hybrid, like you. While Gemini is frequently described by the metaphor of twins, the idea of a blend also works well, and Asbolus finds an excellent placement in Gemini.

To understand Asbolus, we could make a list of what else all life has in common, which is first and foremost the need and the desire to survive. As J. R. R. Tolkien said, all living creatures want to keep living (we know there are exceptions, which is primarily a human problem). There is a survival quality about Asbolus that I’ve seen come up with clients who have this object placed prominently in their charts. The classic story is the kids hiding behind the couch while their parents throw things at one another. This is more than a gritty quality; it’s about faith in existence, and in yourself to coexist with your world and the people around you.

Asbolus arrived in Gemini in 2013 for an approximately 10-year run that lasts through late 2024. It’s now at a new peak of its passage through Gemini, making a square to Neptune in Pisces.

Having an outer planet transit through your sign creates a strong identity factor with whatever themes it carries. Centaurs veer right into the human realm, describing conditions of ordinary people on Earth. They are not “the gods.” They are relatable. They are mortal. They have issues. Even “the gods” act out human dramas (that is their purpose, as fictional human creations), though the centaurs are particularly down-to-Earth in the kinds of conditions they describe.

Centaurs also come with a distinct intensity that you can almost smell, and that people respond to. This is an edgy quality, much more than we might imagine you possess from being born under a sign ruled by Mercury.

In mythology, Asbolus had the gift of prophecy: the ability to see into the future. In particular, he could practice augury off of the flight of birds (that is the concept behind inauguration). It is fair, therefore, to look to the sky for ideas. The whole world around us is alive, creative and interwoven.

Remember that Asbolus was a bit of a Cassandra figure in that he would say things that were true, but which nobody believed, or would take heed of. This to me describes a boundary issue, in terms of a relationship to the future, and also a relationship to those who are the subjects of “predictions.”

We now know more about the nature of reality than was known in the time of the classical myths, and spiritual concepts have evolved as well. For example, there is not necessarily one outcome, as if time were a train riding on tracks. We are constantly dancing between multiple probability fields (particularly with Asbolus in Gemini). What is a “prediction” along one thread or dimension of reality might be a mere possibility in another; it might be a certain outcome in another; and entirely impossible in another.

This is why prediction is either pointless or should be seen as either exploring the possibilities — or envisioning them.

Should you ever feel you have some power to see the future, be aware that at this time in your life, your perspective may be distorted, and need to be verified or to be corrected. The real question is not about predictions or visions; it’s about what you create and why. This is always the question on Earth, wherever you may find yourself, and whatever you may be doing.

Top-Shelf Gemini Survival Skill: Your Sense of Humor

Speaking as a writer, editor and frequent collaborator, I’ve noticed something: people with strong Gemini in their charts tend to be hilarious, or at minimum to have a great sense of humor. No, you’re not the only ones. Yet the presence of Asbolus is highlighting survival skills, and for you, on this planet right now, your sense of humor is one of them: your ability to find something funny in just about anything, or anyone.

I rarely see this described as one of the most important coping skills that a person can have, which it is — but it’s a lot more. There is creative genius in this thing we call “humor.” We see this working in our age when the most accurate news reporting comes from people like Trevor Noah, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert. It’s like the ability to see irony and to laugh at something opens up a crack between the dimensions, where a new kind of light shines in.

This is not as simple as ridiculing something, though there is a bit of that included. When you think something is ridiculous in a way that makes it funny, you take away the power that it seems to have over you, and you affirm your sense of your own safety. In other words, if you can laugh, you are probably safe. And usually, you are.

One way to test that theory is to find something funny about your situation or the people in your life. Remember that the things you joke about might have a “true” quality — where there is laughter, the truth has a way of slipping in, as do many sly and creative ideas. But you have to be listening for them. Don’t just dismiss something because it’s funny. It might contain the very answer you are looking for.

Asbolus Square Neptune in Pisces

The essence of this transit is that you need to separate your survival needs from your professional vision. These are too often perceived as the same thing, and as we know, there are many unlikely successes in life: the things that seemed the most impractical (such as to one’s parents or guidance counselor) prove to be substantially workable and profitable.

Neptune is in Pisces, which is your 10th house: reputation, responsibility, leadership, achievement and your connection to the public. The 10th is the house of aspiration, and with Pisces there, for you it’s your house of dreams: of what is possible and of what you might accomplish with your time here.

Any 10th house will help a person describe their vision for their life, though with Pisces there, you tend to be a dreamer of big dreams. You also know how challenging they can be to pull into focus, and actually manifest. Pisces is good at the visioning and not as good at the initiation and follow-through. You have to take care of that yourself.

Chiron recently spent eight years transiting your 10th house, which had the effect of pulling some issues into focus for you. Chiron in Pisces is a “see what you’ve been missing” kind of thing, as Chiron illuminates the fog in a way that it’s possible to see through.

You may have encountered health issues relating to the work that you do, and made some decisions as a result. Pisces is challenging to work with in that it’s difficult to describe or pin down. It is visionary but can struggle for focus. The 10th wants to accomplish things, though in the style of Pisces, your cravings will be spiritual and artistic; the world tends to reward advertising, and sends a few heroes up the pop charts while doing little to support creative people who want to be creative.

Chiron has helped you focus your vision, and you will need to remember what you’ve learned in its absence from this sign. You have learned plenty, though in the spirit of Pisces, it’s easy to forget — particularly with Neptune (lord of inspiration and invisibility) now in Pisces.

Asbolus and Neptune are now in a square aspect. While Asbolus moves much more quickly on average than does Neptune, centaurs have elongated orbits and when they are far from the Sun they can take many years to pass through a sign. Usually aspects between outer planets last a few years. I just learned something interesting: Asbolus and Neptune have been in a square since 1997, and will continue to be in one through 2036. This is known as a transiting square — when two outer planets transit in a square pattern over a period of decades.

[Footnote: Astrology students who have been around for a while might recognize the reference to the “transiting yod” of Neptune and Pluto traveling in a sextile for several decades from the 1950s or so until fairly recently. What happens, using this example, is that whenever a planet is aspected by Neptune, it’s also aspected by Pluto. If a natal planet takes a 150-degree aspect from both at the same time, that’s a yod; hence the term “transiting yod.” This translated to a lot of intense pressure on any planet taking the transit, coming from two directions simultaneously, and lasting for years. Write to me if you’re not following along.]

Saturn-Pluto in the 8th: Facts of Life

A bit earlier, I mentioned that the way into the 9th house (which covers spiritual matters, your ‘higher’ self, and your vision of the world) is through the 8th. This is the trajectory of your life: from the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of the 8th to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of the 9th, during the course of 2020.

Let’s go back one house. The 7th is the house of openly conducted relationships, partnerships and conflicts. The 8th is where those are solidified by contractual arrangements. The 8th opens the way into the wider world. The sequence is logical; on a sequence of growth toward adulthood, we must learn to collaborate and cooperate with people directly, and learn how to keep our promises, and then begin to experience the growth potential of being part of the wider world of the 9th house.

The 8th is much closer to home than the 9th: it’s more personal and intimate, and it involves direct dealings with others. These come through transactions such as marriage, sexual exchange, inheritance and investment.

The 8th is where one’s integrity is both tested and built. It’s where you must stand on your own, as your own person, in the face of forces that would have you merge with others, or surrender your interests to them in some way. Where money changes hands, there is always the potential for self-serving tendencies to rule, and dishonesty can enter the scenario. In this way, the 8th confers power, which is usually contractual, financial and interpersonal.

The 8th is often associated with the power that others have over us, which is how most people experience it — this, as the usually direct result of giving away that power. So if we are to take the single most important lesson of the 8th house, it’s to see how you tend to give your power away, and stop doing it. One of the power elements of the 8th is the secrets that people keep: the ones they keep from you, and that you keep from them. One of the ways to gain power in the 8th is to be direct, honest and have nothing to hide. The more you have to hide, the more power you lose in the 8th. The less you have to hide, the more you gain in the 8th.

With a conjunction of the rarity and power of Saturn-Pluto in the 8th house, you’re likely to be confronting forces that seem way beyond your control. This is the very place you must awaken to your ability to influence the flow of events. You may do this in a diversity of ways, which will all come back to being honest with yourself; dishonesty with oneself is a way that people latch onto another person’s weaknesses or debilities, temporary though they may be.

Saturn through the 8th represents a clearing out of some kind. This can involve dissolving bonds that no longer serve, eliminating commitments that hold you back or that are not mutually profitable, and generally lightening your load in life. There may be a cost to this. If you’re invested in something or someone that is not working for you, but from which you gain some benefits, you might not want to divest. Usually, in my experience as an astrologer, this happens through marriage. The shared wealth or property holdings in marriage lead many people to be trapped in relationships that don’t work for them emotionally. This is one of those things that it’s essential to be honest with yourself about.

One of the keys to being free in the 8th is financial transparency. You need to know the bottom-line numbers that are involved. You need to know where the bank accounts are, and how much is in them. The 8th contains marital property. There must be a fair and equitable — and honest — assessment of what that property is.

It is inevitable that you will need to dissolve some bonds under the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, yet while this is happening, you can do whatever is in your power to get a fair deal for yourself. And you can, at the same time, be as fair to others as you you’re able to, without short-dealing yourself.

It’s clear that events of the 8th present a kind of test that will, if you move through it successfully, convey you into the more spacious and liberated 9th. What typically happens here on Earth among privileged people is that they want the benefits of the 9th — the wisdom, the freedom, the self-knowledge, the connection to the greater whole — without addressing the attachments of the 8th house. The result is often what one teacher called “spiritual materialism.”

I suggest you avoid this. I suggest you address whatever the 8th house is bringing up, and do so directly, and honestly. It will be worth it. You want to arrive on the shores of the 9th with yourself intact, whole and collected, rather than having left parts of yourself behind. This way when you get there — when the two largest planets arrive in Aquarius in late 2020 — you are fully entitled to, and able to collect, the new adventures they are guiding you toward, and all but promising.

I have previously mentioned the 10th house, which is about responsibility, profession and ambition. The truth is this: you don’t need to focus on the 10th, only draw from it like a cistern. Focus on what must be done. If you don’t drive yourself with ambition, Neptune in the 10th will work for you on the level of inspiration.

Chiron in the 11th House: Social Pioneer

One of the most adventurous and exciting transits in the sky is Chiron in Aries. I have covered this in detail in the Aries reference reading. There, you will be able to fill in many of the personal and collective details of this transit, which influences everyone. In this section, my intent is to make it personally applicable for you, as it occurs in one of the most beneficial houses — the 11th.

The 11th works especially well for you because you’re a gregarious person. Geminis need other people; this is true of most humans but it’s particularly vital to you, as you have Aries here. Where you have Aries, you will want to find yourself. In the 11th house, this means community, the real thing, not a Facebook group or email list. Aries wants action, it wants in-person, it wants a little confrontation and a lot of real engagement.

The gift that Chiron confers is the ability, the inclination and the inevitability to express your differences and your distinctions. Many people, as you know, try to hide their light under a bushel. The drive to conform is way too strong in our society and in most others as well. And now that society is in full-on tribal mode, the new definition of being “authentic” means using the exact same mustache wax as everyone else, and claiming to believe what they believe, and all of that.

To the extent that this ever worked for you, you may now count on it not working, though fortunately, there is something you can do that will get a result: be brazenly yourself. To do this, you need a little touch of not giving a toss what people think of you. The problem is you actually do care, so this is something of a life hack. There is a core principle involved, and that is your sexuality.

This would seem to be the very most challenging, difficult or impossible thing to actually be real about, though when you cook off the water and get rid of the fluff and the rhetoric, it’s the only thing that matters.

By this, I don’t mean how you identify. I mean who and what you are. Tribalism and the internet are all about identity. Identity is about as soulful as the brand printed on a tee shirt. It’s usually about camouflage, or worse, being entirely phony. Chiron in Aries in your 11th will have no part of that. It’s true that being real means you have to often brave a kind of headwind, and some controversy, though that is how you will learn. That is how you will find out who you are, and grow into a whole person. Be aware that the goal of tribalism is contrary to individuality.

Your sexual individuality is your unique, deeply personal orientation: who you’re drawn to, what you have to say, what you like to share, who is drawn to you, and your special freak flag that you can fly at full-mast. Of course, this is what nearly everyone is afraid of, though it’s time to ask why. It’s time to confront the cover-up of true sexuality by the sham of tribal sexual “identity” and jargon that is just dripping from every discussion, article, video or whatever is perceived as progressive. The whole point is that this makes people uncomfortable. It will make you uncomfortable, which you will be thrilled about when you discover that you have no need for comfort zones and safe spaces.

Within tribes, individuality is prohibited, or some meek expression of it is tolerated up to a point. So the chances are very high that you’re going to buck the current trend, and in the process, experience a double confrontation with both yourself and the people around you. Do not be afraid of this! It’s where the true healing in your life will come from. This kind of direct engagement, on the level of reality, will assist you with every other process I have described in this reading. The essence of growth is being who you are.

In the process, you will become a kind of social pioneer, and this will, after a time, draw people to you who are more courageous than the rest of the crowd. The current hyper-conformity and social tyranny movements will eventually collapse on themselves. Gradually, before that happens, people will emerge who are not interested in pretending to be who they are not. You get to be on the vanguard.

Flashes in the Dark: Uranus in the 12th House

As we move through the houses, we end with the 12th — the delta of the zodiac. For you this is Taurus. I consider the 12th house to be one’s “secret sign.” My take on how Taurus and Gemini work together is demonstrated in the person of Bob Dylan. He is mercurial, with a mind that blends a feather and a switchblade. His words are vividly, unmistakably his own, which to me comes across as the very essence of Gemini. Yet the solid power behind them, the values, the solidity, the momentum, is the essence of Taurus.

This aspect of your being, described by the 12th house, is not always easy to enter. The 12th is like a veiled dimension that has to be accessed by some unusual means. A metaphor from science fiction might be the antique telephone booth at the back of a diner on Route 22 in New Jersey that transports you into a parallel dimension (when you deposit a dime, and dial the right number).

Yet this parallel dimension is inside of yourself. You now have help getting there:¬†Uranus has entered this dusky and mysterious house (read definition here), and this will provide flashes of light in the dark. These could manifest as insight, as brilliant ideas, as the desire to liberate yourself, as restlessness — or as anxiety.

The anxiety piece comes with all of the rest: where there is bright light, there are shadows. But neither anxiety nor doubt needs to dominate. They need their place, their opportunity to speak and to be heard, and recognized as essential to the process of self-discovery and connecting with your creativity. Think of the 12th as your invisible self, which you are discovering. Anxiety is your friend and your guide. Do not medicate it out of existence. Learn its dynamics. Be present! Listen, feel and integrate it back into yourself.

Postscript: Leo is Writing Power

No discussion of Gemini would be complete without some reference to writing. You are a natural writer. It takes one to know one. Natural still means you have to work at it. There’s no getting around that. No really good writer depends only on talent. Good writers become great writers through practice and training. I am encouraging you to do that — and assuring you that you will have the motivation and the energy to do this.

One astrological picture of your writing ability comes through the fact of having Leo on the 3rd house — on the 3rd house (Gemini is counted as the 1st). That’s where the mine of writing power is, and yours is a goldmine (Leo is the sign of gold, as in gold standard). As long as you can keep your pride out of the way (the downfall of Leo), and make a sincere effort to refine your ideas and find your voice, you have a most effective tool on your hands in the form of putting words together.

If you take this seriously — as a vocation, not merely as a profession or skill — that will only work in your favor. Learn to self-edit. Most of writing is rewriting. Do not fall in love with your words. Craft them thoughtfully, and let them do their work. Focus on veracity above all else. Leo is also about being heart-centered; that almost always works for writing, even if you’re explaining how to assemble a bicycle. If you’re going to be funny, which is inevitable, just keep it heart-centered and you will do fine.

I mention this because you have some truly extraordinary longterm transits through the 3rd, which are like tapping into an underground source of limitless heat and energy. So it’s likely that you will be feeling some energy here, without my even having said anything. However, it’s up to you to contain, direct and groom that strength, and to do the one thing that it’s essential you do at this time in your life: be real, and nothing but real, at all times, with yourself and with others.

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