Apropos of Gemini

Castor and Pollux photographed by Rogello Bernai Andreo, Deep Sky Colors.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Thursday at 3:37 pm EDT, the Sun enters the mutable air sign Gemini. The mutable signs are distinguished by being the ones that precede an equinox or solstice, so we are one month away from a change of season: summer soon begins in the Northern Hemisphere and winter begins down under. However, the last time I checked Australia has fewer snow plows.

Gemini is one of the more distinct signs of the zodiac. Once I attended a birthday party for a whole bunch of them. It was an evening of easygoing conversation; everyone had something to say. There were no wallflowers, and true to the official rules of cocktail parties, the people and the conversations kept moving.

Judy Holliday portrayed the Gemini owner of the answering service described by Linda Goodman. In fact Holliday was born about two hours after the Sun left Gemini and entered Cancer. She also has Mars in Gemini. Official publicity pic.

What exactly is it about this sign that makes it distinct? Let’s take a trek through the territory, beginning with the greatest pop astrologer of all time, the eminent Linda Goodman. In her 1968 book Sun Signs, she describes a friend famous for running a New York answering service (who was the subject of the 1956 play Bells are Ringing).

“Like most Gemini females, she has an extremely pretty, interesting face, with intelligence stamped on every feature, and her quick Mercury hands flutter in the air like lively birds. Using more charm and wit than the law allows, she cheerfully solves everyone’s problems in the twinkling of one of her clear, blue eyes.

“I’ve watched this woman find a babysitter and a pair of gerbils for a customer, make out the grocery list, write thirty two checks (one of her favorite occupations), phone a Broadway producer on a yacht in the Caribbean, send nine telegrams, fold the family laundry, figure the week’s working schedule for her operators, find her husband’s blue tie, write down the directions for the shop where he could pick up some tropical fish for their son, snap four Polaroid photos of the dog, (open and read her monthly bills, then absently file them in the waste basket), help a casting office locate an actress who speaks six languages, and give twelve clients a wake up call — all in the space of little over an hour without leaving her swivel chair. Go top that.”

Well, to be honest, some days, I actually do. That is Pisces Power!

My favorite topic in this general category is idioglossia, or the autonomous languages that twins sometimes develop. It is like a mutually shared, sophisticated baby talk which makes sense to them.

Cathleen and Colleen in Diane Arbus’ 1967 photo “Identical Twins.” This was the inspiration for several scenes in The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick. (In the Stephen King original, there is one child in those scenes, not twins.)

The Theme of Dualism: Opposites, Alternatives, Twins

Gemini is the first human sign, meaning the first sign of the zodiac (which is made mostly of critters) to depict a person. When it arrives — fully 60 days into the year, following behind a ram and a bull — we get not one person but two. This is not a coincidence but a commentary about human nature, or a little joke.

Twins fascinate nearly everyone. They show up in many forms as symbols, including in the tarot card The Lovers, which used to be called The Brothers, and which represents Gemini.

My favorite topic in this general category is idioglossia, or the autonomous languages that twins sometimes develop. It is like a mutually shared, sophisticated baby talk which makes sense to them. If nobody else can understand the language, that is called a cryptophasia (this fortunately does not seem to have a listing in the DSM). We might think of these things also as metaphors for how we communicate within ourselves, in our private or unfathomable inner languages.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito from the 1988 film Twins.

This all works well with the concept of Gemini itself being about language, and the related 3rd house being about ideas, communication and siblings. The 3rd also represents one’s internal thought dynamics.

Gemini’s particular characters are the twins Castor and Pollux: one was mortal, one was (and presumably still is) immortal. This comments on the two perspectives that humanity takes on its existence, and might relate to the mortal personality and the immortal soul. They are part of a cycle of myths that shows up other places (for example, in the legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien, the brothers Elrond, the immortal, and Elros, the mortal).

In her classic 1975 work Astrology: A Cosmic Science, Isabel Hickey writes, “Gemini is the most dual of all the signs and people born in this sign are split personalities, until they understand the function of the mind and learn to control it. For all of us, getting the mind under control is a very difficult task, but for Gemini it is a must.”

Those born under the sign Gemini Sun, Moon or rising need to carefully track who they are presenting themselves as at any given time. This is good advice for everyone, particularly in the digital age, where we each have multiple identities.

I know from querying her daughter that Hickey was a “voracious” reader of Alice A. Bailey, who had much to say about Gemini. Bailey in her 1951 book Esoteric Astrology, explains that the resolution of opposites and of dualism is the theme not just of Gemini but of astrology.

All the signs present their version of dualism (the horns of the ram or the bull in Aries and Taurus, for example, or the two fishes of Pisces). In Bailey’s philosophy, “the twelve become the six,” meaning that the six pairs of opposing signs each function as one entity. As Patric Walker once wrote, “scratch a Pisces and you’ll find a Virgo under their skin.”

Bailey says that Gemini is the “constellation of the resolution of duality in to a fluid synthesis,” adding. “Gemini is therefore one of the most important of the twelve signs and its influence lies behind every one of them — a fact but little realized as yet by astrologers.”

Sculpture of Castor and Pollux in the Park of Versaille, France. Nobody can ever tell who is who; I guess you have to ask them. Photo by Yair Haklai.

The Resolution of Opposites and the Unification of the Mind

People tend to be a bit mentally fragmented and can have many voices speaking within their awareness. This is less dangerous with careful self-observation, and getting a feeling for who these different entities are. Without self-knowledge, this can cause problems. Much of spiritual and psychological growth involves integrating one’s personality — which is the very work of Gemini.

Quoting an older source, Bailey says that Gemini is the “constellation of the resolution of duality in to a fluid synthesis,” adding. “Gemini is therefore one of the most important of the twelve signs and its influence lies behind every one of them — a fact but little realized as yet by astrologers.”

Here she states a little differently: “It should be remembered that — from the angle of the final development of the twelve zodiacal potencies — the twelve opposites must become the blended six, and this is brought about by the fusion in consciousness of the polar opposites.”

“Fluidity, recognition of duality, soul control! Those are the keynotes of this sign. And should be the keynotes of your life, for whether you are in this sign of life, it has at some time and many times conditioned your experience, and the results are marked in the life of the advanced disciple.”

She is advocating for all spiritual students to be students of Gemini as one of the core concepts of personal development.

Venus and Mercury side by side.

A Little About Mercury and Venus

We all know that Mercury is the classical ruling planet of Gemini. That’s the planet that shuttles back and forth across the sky, going retrograde three times a year. Quoting an older work, Bailey says Mercury is “the divine intermediary” which “carries messages between the poles with speed and light.” By poles she means the polar opposites represented in this sign.

“The mutable cross brings about those conditions which will produce great periods of change in the life of the planet, of a kingdom of nature or of a human being. Mercury plays a part in this.”

We know that many Geminis are mercurial, meaning of the nature of both the planet and the element. And in their distinct way, they are agents of change.

The “rays” are the manifestations of deity on Earth and in human consciousness. Each ray has many roles and many names. Gemini and Libra are part of the Third Ray, which is about active intelligence and adaptation.

Bailey offers a second ruler to Gemini, which is Venus. This takes intelligence to the depth of the emotions. It is about an intuitive kind of body knowledge that can be articulated. When someone seems unusually mentally gifted in a way you can feel, that is the effect of both Mercury and Venus.

Gemini shares a special relationship with the sign Libra, which is ruled by Venus. This introduces a topic I have never discussed directly in Planet Waves though which has got my attention now, and that is the Seven Rays.

The book Esoteric Astrology, which I quote often in my discussions of the signs, is volume three of a much larger work, A Treaties on the Seven Rays. So we have got a lot of it by osmosis over the years.

The “rays” are the manifestations of deity on Earth and in human consciousness. Each ray has many roles and many names. Gemini and Libra are part of the Third Ray, which is about active intelligence and adaptation. That is the perfect description of what these two signs have in common. They also have Venus in common: it’s the classical ruler of Libra and the esoteric ruler of Gemini.

Bailey in her book Esoteric Psychology describes the Third Ray as, “The force that will produce the shining living stone that fits into the temple’s plan with right exactitude.”

And quoting a much older work, she says it comes with a message: “Let the Keeper of the sparks breathe with the breath divine upon the points of fire and let him kindle to a blaze that which is hidden. That which is not seen and so illumine all the spheres whereon God works.”

Sculpture by Rock Fooro illustrating the problem or condition of projection. See video here.

The Issue of Projection

Finally, a practical matter. The issue that projection presents is one of the more serious problems we face on Earth, and it relates to Gemini. Projection is seeing in another person what you contain in your mind.

This works many ways. The philosopher and esoteric author Carl Jung suggested that what is projected is always shadow. That is often the case.

People often project sex and gender as well: for example, men who project their inner feminine on to women and vice versa. Projection is about not seeing that you contain your opposite. Here, we get a clue about the resolution of opposite signs being the real work of astrology.

A Course in Miracles takes the idea a step further, saying that all perception is the result of projection. We can only see what is within us. Borrowing from Anais Nin, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

This of course presents certain spiritual challenges, as witnessing ugliness that we don’t identify with is part of life. At least it would serve us to question what part of whatever we might witness we are willing to own.

This includes beauty, and it also includes anything that might inspire guilt, anger or outrage. There is no easy answer to any of this, though it’s worth pausing whenever you have very strong feelings about someone or something. It’s enough to ask: what am I seeing here, and why am I seeing it?

It may be difficult to admit what you perceive, but the world exists as you perceive it because it’s you doing the perceiving. And, though it may take some practice and self-reflection to observe this, Gemini is the field of study where we may observe many things related to the other, the brothers, the lovers and the twins. It helps to remember it’s all going on inside of you.

Faithfully,

Eric signature