May 29, 2020
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geminiIn astrology the zodiacal attribution for the seventeenth path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the sign of Gemini, the Twins. Gemini (♊) is the third astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the Zodiac between the 60th and 89th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between May 21 to June 20 each year (sometimes the dates vary slightly). Individuals born during these dates, whilst the Sun is within this sign are called Geminians. Because the Sun’s transit through the sign of Gemini concludes at the moment of the summer solstice, the sign is seasonally associated with the transition from spring to summer. Because its period indicates a change of season, it is known as a ‘mutable sign‘,[8]describing an impulse towards change and versatility, and an easy ability to adapt to the demands of the environment. The sign is governed by Mercury, a planet noted for swift movement and symbolically associated with the interchange of ideas and fluid responses to circumstances. Gemini is also linked with the ‘element of air‘ which represents the mental and social realms, the ability to formulate abstract ideas and to effectively interpret symbols, imagined concepts and communicative signals.[9] As the mutable air sign, governed by a planet which is astrologically given to the principle of transmutation and communication, the symbolic focus of the sign falls upon movement, quick-thinking, free-flowing expression, gesticulation, and spontaneous reaction. The sign is symbolised by ‘the twins’, which also presents duality: the ability to relate to opposing visions simultaneously, to possess dexterity and a talent for multi-tasking.[10]

gemini-symbolCorrespondingly, Geminians are said to be curious and to enjoy mental exploration, to be almost always at ease in social situations, it is considered by some astrologers as the most flirtatious in the zodiac and to have a talent for writing and reporting, and to enjoy all forms of ‘talk’, from gossip to political debate. On the negative, they are reputed to have “butterfly minds” which become easily bored, and to shift their allegiances in a way that lacks commitment or loyalty.[11] They are also said to experience discomfort with the expression of deep emotion.[12] For this reason, though praised for being quick and clever, Geminians are also criticised for being elusive, fickle and ill-at-ease with emotional commitment. The ancient Babylonians referred to the constellation as Mastabba Galgal, the ‘Great Twins’, and commemorated within it the mythical friendship of the demi-god Gilgamesh and his mortal friend Enkidu, who fought against the gods in twelve adventures.[13] Stricken by grief at Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh pursued a quest to ensure his own immortality. The ancient Greek tale of the egg-born brothers Castor and Pollux, born to their mother Leda after she was seduced by Zeus in the guise of a swan. Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband, Sparta’s King Tyndareus resulted in the birth of immortal Pollux, who possessed great physical strength, and mortal Castor who possessed great ingenuity. Upon Castor’s death Pollux begged Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together and they were transformed into the Gemini constellation. The classical myth is said to demonstrate the mutual reliance of conscious reasoning and unconscious belief to indicate “acute polarisation of the spiritual and material, alternation between the extremes of rational logic and instinctive belief, and the quest to reconcile all contradictions in a central threshold where reason and belief, intellect and emotion, masculinity and femininity, merge into one.”[14] Juan Eduardo Cirlotalso reports that the Gemini motif is essentially a symbol of opposites, inversions and alternating contradictions between life and death and positives and negatives. Cirlot points out that a study of the Gemini-myth in megalithic culture shows that it has two tendencies: “one white and the other black; one creates, the other destroys; both these characteristics are indicated by the arms of each of the Twins, which in landscape symbolism are identical with the river of youth and the river of death”.[15]


[8] See William Lilly, (1647) Christian Astrology. Republished as facsimile, London: Regulus, 1985. p.88
[9]Kevin Burk, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart: a Comprehensive Guide to Classical Interpretation. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2001. p. 48.
[10]Joanna Watters, Astrology for Today. London: Carroll & Brown, 2003. p.18.
[11]Joanna Watters, Astrology for Today. London: Carroll & Brown, 2003. p.18.
[12]Kevin Burk, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart: a Comprehensive Guide to Classical Interpretation. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2001. p. 55.
[13]Deborah Houlding, ‘Star Lore of the Constellations: Gemini the Twins‘. The Mountain Astrologer, issue #139, June 2008
[14]Deborah Houlding, ‘Gemini the Twins‘. The Mountain Astrologer, issue #139, June 2008.
[15]Juan Eduardo CirlotA Dictionary of Symbols, p.116. Routledge Kegan & Paul, 1962.


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