Witness to Eternity: On Gemini

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys. 🙂 Today we are looking at a part of the zodiac, the Reactive Air that is Gemini. If you enjoy this post and you have not done so already, please consider encouraging further posts by becoming my patron. 


Unravelling the Mysteries of Gemini

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Gemini midheaven)

In modern astrology Gemini is often described as a bit of a vagabond, a drifter or a flake – the common perception that Sun sign astrology has popularised of its nature is that these people are chatty, easy to make friends with, always on the go, always curious about new ideas and prone to being sucked in by all kinds of fads before moving on to the next. Another quality often ascribed to the sign is a kind of vanity, a need to stay forever youthful in either body or spirit, or both. A less social and more intellectual stereotype also exists, that of the teacher or instructor, the student or bookworm, the smart kind of geek. It is depicted almost universally as being chronically indecisive and problematically bipartisan, like Libra, and we also find the sign being the subject of many jokes (with the wittiest ones often being made by itself) as well as displaying a colourful kookiness and ‘off the beaten path’ nature that may remind us of Aquarius. This adaptation of traits shared with the other Air signs is interesting and curious, given that Gemini is a realm filled with chameleons and mimics, things able to change their colouring by borrowing them from the surroundings.


All of these qualities have deeper and more meaningful sides to them which I hope to bring to your awareness in this writing. It isn’t that the perception of Gemini is not flattering (which is the case with Scorpio), it’s that it is superficial and lacks depth and an awareness of an end point. I would now like to contribute something to correcting this, as the sign has shown me profound things in its immortal heart.

As eons of time pass, the meanings we attribute to things shift under the weight of acquired significance. We perceive, and in perceiving we are not only changed ourselves, but we exert a change upon our surroundings. Some phenomena have fallen observably farther away from their original meanings than others, meanings which were often connected to ‘magical’ laws (later, to superstition), rather than more ‘scientific’ principles (like those of psychology for example). Indeed, magic and science can themselves be traced back to times during which their seemingly separate threads of meaning are indistinguishable, with epic accomplishments in ancient architecture displaying both a highly advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics as well as a mastery of occult geomancy and alchemy, for example. Thoth, the ancient Egyptian deity of language, magic, and science whose temple was at Khnum (Hermopolis), is a shining example of this fusion of two things that later separated.

Eskimo Nebula NGC 2392 (Gemini)

The Eskimo Nebula, Gemini

In noting this ancient fusion between the magical and the scientific ways of evaluating phenomena (one which seems suspiciously entwined with changes in the languages we use) we draw close to the veil that has been placed over our original perception of Gemini, a sign that has perhaps become more confused and obfuscated than others. The examination of Gemini which follows is a convoluted journey and it may very well ramble as the nature of Gemini is prone to do, but in the end I hope I will at least provoke some deeper thought and perhaps be able to provide a glimpse of the overall pattern that it all follows, thereby revealing something of its connection to Aries (which it sextiles, and thus is in a mutually stimulating relationship with). It shares a similar but different relationship with another Fire sign, Leo, and has an Elemental connection with Libra and Aquarius I have already touched upon, as well as a more volatile resonance with Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, but I will not discuss these in this writing. Here, the focus will remain fixed upon Gemini, both its tropical zodiac sign and its constellation.

To begin with, lets look at a typical modern list of the traits and qualities of zodiacal Gemini, which appropriately enough I will split into two columns, one showing typical ‘White Mirror’ soul qualities (or if you prefer, a selection of its ‘virtues’), and the other one their corresponding ‘Black Mirror’ counterparts (a selection of ‘vices’). It should not need emphasizing that these are examples, but just in case, these are examples!

White Mirror

Font of information
Keen to learn
Eloquent, persuasive
Seeing both sides

Black Mirror

Changes like the wind
Shameless flirt
Jittery, Nerve-wracked
Naively gullible
Social parasite
Vacuous gasbag
Know-it-all, or snitch
Cannot be trusted with a secret
Information glutton or ‘infobesity’
Pointy headed intellectual
Evasive, dodging the question
Hypocritical, ‘two-faced’
Endlessly speculative

As these two columns hopefully show, there is a clear relationship between corresponding qualities – ‘clever’ people can be godsends to have around when there is a brain melting problem, but they can also be too cold and intellectual (‘pointy-headed’) and not much use when someone has just tragically died. As another example, people keen to share lots of information can be full of fascinating anecdotes, or they can be energy draining bores. If you think it through you will find that there is a very fine and elusive line between all such pairs of opposites, and it is in this territory that Gemini lives and breathes, not trying to balance them like Libra but simply witnessing and investigating both sides, acknowledging their strange and inseparable entanglement. It is therefore a sign of restless movement, kicking against concepts like bondage and being pinned down, circumstances which are perceived as impediments to freedom of movement. It is the butterfly wings of the zodiac, each wing of its soul a mirror image of its sibling.

butterflyThe mystery being hinted at here is that these qualities exist at different ends of the same pole, that they are actually a single quality which bi-locates itself as two different and distinctly separate forms of behaviour which nonetheless share an existence, like two sides of a coin (and the predicament is that Gemini identifies with neither and both at the same time). In other words, it suggests that ones greatest strength is also ones greatest weakness (at least potentially), and vice versa. The factors that determine which part of the pole you find yourself on include your choices (past and present), the circumstances of the situation at hand (which are always changing) and the perspective of ourselves and other people who witness our behaviour (a person who is always impressed with intellectual cleverness might actually be impressed by the way the death situation is handled cleverly, for example). Astrologically, how objects placed in Gemini handle these things is the essence of the dilemma facing them. Some will respond by keeping all three of these things up in the air for perpetuity, hoping to evade the need to settle them. They struggle with a feeling of being pinned down by them when they are settled, contributing to a chronic lack of stability in life. Others will respond by seeking concrete answers and find there are none that can be held onto for long – truly profound knowledge defies form and is as elusive as a whispering sylph.

Yet this is what we find a thirst for once we scratch the popularised surface of the sign – a relentless quest for meaning that is as persistent and profound as it is varied. The profundity may rarely probe deeply, but it extends itself broadly and hungrily. Those with stelliums or some other heavy emphasis in this sign are frequently compelled by such forces, which they experience buffeting them from every direction like the colours of the winds, and they cannot ignore them. Unrelenting hunger for new experience is just a way to satisfy this quest for meaning, as is the search for knowledge and the donning of wings to pollinate ideas like a social butterfly.

“The principle of the endless melody is the perpetual becoming of a music that never had any reason for starting, any more than it has any reason for ending”.

– Igor Stravinsky (Sun conjunct midheaven, with Jupiter in Gemini), once described by musician Olivier Messiaen as “the chameleon-musician, the man of a thousand-and-one styles”.

In my book The 26 Keys I tag Gemini as an informative sign (along with Sagittarius), and an Electric expression of Mercury, and also as internalising, Force emanating, as part of the Air Element and as a Reactive sign of the Eterna-Mental plane. The attribution as an informative sign is my own, which I gleaned from being with Gemini and Sagittarius. The attribution as an Air sign, as a Reactive sign and as a Positive pole (Electric is just the term I use as a magician) expression of Mercury is all ancient and astrological, while the attribution as an internalising, Force emanating component of the Eterna-Mental plane is likely even more ancient, and kabbalistic.

Informative signs (Gemini and Sagittarius) not only provide information and lore, but are also involved in the way the Light of the Self manifests. They are informative not just in terms of imparting knowledge but also in terms of how the forces within us shape and inform what we are and what we need to learn. As an Air sign Gemini busies itself with information that is related to the mind and society, to our thoughts and ideas, whereas as a Reactive sign it is about the responsiveness and adaptability of these things, the ability to change the shape of being around them. It is more concerned with meaning than Sagittarius, which is more aroused by significance. It wants to know what things are more than what they imply.


Image by Rawn Clark

In the Gra Tree, as an Air sign Gemini also communicates the Pillar of Force (the right hand side of the Tree) to the Pillar of Self (the middle pillar), conveying the Light or Force of Creation to the seats of awareness as all Air signs do. In this case Gemini communicates this Force to the temporal mental body, the seat of the mental awareness, from the supernal realm. Gemini is that which encapsulates and codifies the transmission of pure, undifferentiated essential meaning (‘Wisdom’) into pure, differentiated essential meaning (‘Beauty’). It is that music which causes the vast endless sea of meaning to swell, rise up, swirl, to dance and so coalesce into individual sparks, all interwoven with one another. It assigns a label, an identity and a presence in time and the realm of sequence to each of its expressions. The information involved here is thus about what we are as much as about what we can know. It is about who the hell we are and how we as an individual fit into the tapestry we are woven into, how our individual part of the Pattern fits into The Pattern. It is therefore a sign which describes the capacity of sentient beings to not only be cognizant of themselves and their surroundings, to recognise patterns, but also to magically evoke meaning into existence, to encode patterns, their power to shape The Pattern with their connection to meaning and their choices, which are fundamentally binary – to do, or not to do. Language, for example, is a globally recognised method by which this occurs. Words are sounds which symbolise clusters of essential meaning, they can assign meaning to sounds and scrawls and evoke it into existence, whether they are written, uttered, or simply thought. The word genie is doing it right now. From this we can easily see the ancient connection to magic and science that Gemini embodies, properties which are fueled by Mercury, who before the discovery of Uranus was their principle ‘go to’ planet. Gestures, dances, songs and number all share this same magic. They are vessels through which essential meaning clearly expresses itself.

photo-1440610049442-a5101a2204baThe Eterna-Mental plane is conceptually and metaphorically the ‘upper’ mental plane, the non-existent shoreline between it and the vast eternal ocean of the Akasha, which continually deposits its treasures upon those starry beaches. Everything that comes into existence crosses this shoreline on its way to incarnation, because it all emerges from the Akasha and manifests in mundane awareness first as an idea, which (in our world at least) something then thinks into significance and hence into reality. Gemini inhabits this numinous space, a spiritual crucible wherein the meanings of things are continually bubbling away, as new ideas and thoughts lead to new connections and new questions in an endless but never repeating dance. Like a woodland crone peering into a cauldron, Gemini seeks to extract something from the world of nature, something with a magical power.

The story of the fruit of forbidden knowledge, the apple of Eden which Eve harvests and gives to Adam, is worth reflecting on here, for it is Eve’s curiosity that permits the serpent to entice her. Immediately upon eating the fruit, the first couple become aware of their own nakedness and cover themselves. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge has given them individual self consciousness, something that was not necessary to life before. The nakedness of their own essential meaning has been ‘covered’. It is not embarrassment or modesty which causes them to do this, at least in my view, but instead it is more a symbolic act of ‘dressing’ the Self. They now perceive their distinctiveness, their individuality, rather than just their existence, and so they ‘fall’ and are ejected from the Garden, because existence is shared with all that is but individual distinctiveness is not (except as a broad notion equally applied to everything, since every individual thing is unique in its own specific way).

This is perhaps why we see an Eden like scene in the tarot image The Lovers, which can be attributed to this kabbalistic path and this sign. In a divinatory sense the appearance of this card often signifies a choice or a dilemma – core Gemini notions. This ‘choosing’ is ultimately a choosing of who we are and what we show of it – each major life decision enables a new facet of our essential meaning to manifest, and it is with this that the magic of The Lovers concerns itself. This is the magic of Light – the magic of causing Light (essential meaning or the inner nature of a things being) to be transmitted, changed in quality or quantity, condensed into being and manifested or integrated into things. Hence there is a solar symbol on most depictions of the  Arcana. It is therefore also connected with the magic of communicating occult philosophy and of becoming an individual vessel for The Pattern. This magic brings a spark of life to the mental plane – it literally awakens life in individual forms and scatters seeds upon the mental realm which explode into an infinitely changing tapestry of individual Light.

In this way, Gemini embodies the principle that the ‘I’ in you is connected to the ‘I’ in me and to the ‘I’ of everything else. Gem – In – I. It is the infinite connections, the ever-changing connections, that fascinate the Gemini within us. The task of perceiving The Pattern in the connections is the life force that propels the wings of this butterfly. She dances and hovers from one flower to another, never resting for long and even then perhaps only to recuperate her energies. There are clues everywhere, and no meadow shall be shunned in the search, for there is a strange whisper in the soul that says that if you follow the wind, you may actually find your true and genuine, unchanging self…

mandala-6-1154264Yet the wings eventually tire of this ceaseless movement and may even fall into despair of ever finding their place in the elusive Pattern. Where lies the centre of the self that can be pointed to and pinned down, when the self is like a spiralling circle and the centre is infinitely deep and gapes like a bottomless well of stars?

Every part of the creation is unique but every part is also the same – it is all one, and the Pattern expresses this eternal Unity as an infinite number of different faces or facets of its Self. Every individual thing is a splendour waiting to be investigated, uncovered with literally endless questions about its nature. This is the focus of Gemini, to ponder questions freely enough that no possible answer is ever excluded. This interrogation of reality by Gemini is literally ceaseless and nakedly reveals its own character in the process, for as I have said the true purpose of the questioning is to unmask the genuine self, the Eternal Self that is witnessing all this changing phenomena from an infinitely changing individual perspective. This is a human way the Electric Fluid of Mercury engages experience, by posing questions designed to reveal the naked core of meaning within things, which always pose more questions in a widening web of meaning.

Ultimately, the goal is to reveal the entire tapestry, and then…what? Gemini does not know, and frequently doubts that it will ever be possible, given the complications and complexities in acquiring true knowledge of even the simplest things. It seems to be the forbidden fruit, hanging too high to be harvested, but this is forgetting one important fact – that it is all connected, and it is not so much what the connections are that matter so much as the fact that they are connected, every time. They are connected by the indwelling Pattern that threads through the core of everything and every time, manifesting itself as Light – conscious self awareness – within the existence of life itself. From organic to inorganic, human to star, from that specific grain of sand on that beach to that specific idea, everything is not only part of The Pattern, it is The Pattern, and it is alive with this knowing – it exists and it is through this knowing.


“What is THAT?!? and THAT?!?”

An individual being not only expresses The Pattern within their life and awareness, they also act as transceivers of it, they act as a medium through which The Pattern emerges in time (and possibly also space, depending on the being). The Gemini quest, then, is to integrate ones own individual Pattern with the eternal Pattern, and this is achieved by witnessing the whole of the Pattern in each part. The Pattern replicates itself perfectly in each and every thing, creating unique twins of itself throughout time and space, for eternity. It is always The Pattern, but its endless creativity is also always new. In adapting to the experience of being part of a Pattern from within the Pattern, we need to be open to change and to move with the flow of that Pattern, hence the need for Gemini to continually move along and bear witness to, well, everything that happens that it can bear witness to.

The spatial awareness of this sign is extremely potent. It knows where it is, it just does not really know what it is doing there – that is why it is there, usually, to find out why it is there. But it knows where it is. Its grasp of the nature of perspective is also extremely potent. It understands very well that two different witnesses can report five different versions of the same event, depending on the circumstances and the questions being posed. All of these answers hold validity for Gemini, because it understands that meaning is filtered through perspective, and thus different perspectives merely permit different facets of meaning to emerge and be communicated. No single individual perspective can perceive all the meaning there is in an experience, and so no single perspective is more or less valid than any other.

This matter of perspective is critical to understanding Gemini. From the perspective of an individual, The Pattern is unknowably complex. It seems impossible for us to perceive all the meaning in existence in all its infinite array of variety throughout all of time and space, and thus perceive The Pattern. Yet, from the perspective of The Pattern, all individual things are expressions of its entirety, not just a part. Within each individual is an entire iteration of the whole of The Pattern, but the individual only reveals a part of that connection in its journey through a single incarnation. However, the whole is accessible from any individual facet of it, and thus it is perceivable. Yet it is not fully accessible in the infinite external realm, but instead within the infinite internal realm. It is, in short, within each and every thing. The human intellect, however, seeks for it outwardly, where it is almost impossible to uncover without first having witnessed it inside of oneself.


Gemini, with Castor and Pollux to the right, Pollux above.

So in the symbolism for Gemini there is always a mirroring, a feature that communicates a dual nature wherein one thing reflects another and vice versa – a binary symbolism which is aptly represented in the constellation Gemini. This area of the sky is well known for the consistent and brightening meteor showers that originate from here every mid-December, the Geminids (which can be seen throughout the sky, its just that their source is in this zone). From within this area of the heavens, two bright stars light up the heads of two figures who stand with joined hands and often look in opposite directions. A third prominent star, Alhena, rests at the feet of one of these twins.

Gemini stars

Castor is a visual binary star [1] with two stars taking over 450 of our years to circle one another. This has been known for a number of centuries but with our current technology we discovered that each of these two visible stars is itself a binary star, making for a complex interweaving of four stars. As we continued to look we discovered even more stars involved in the light of what we call Castor – the current tally is of six stars, all gravitationally connected. This network of light is located at about an average of 52 light years away from us and has been a feature of human observation of the heavens since before records began.

The essence of the magical influence of this ‘star’ is that it transmits into the humanoid realm of the Earth the awareness of how the tapestry of creation and life dynamically emerges and expands upon itself, for eternity. In nature we see the designs of life continually re-emerging in patterns of self similarity – the spots on the leopard being passed down for generation to generation, the petals on a rose and the branches of the trees – all things possess a pattern which continually re-emerges and yet manages to express itself differently every time. This is the Electric Fluid animating and driving the pattern of creation ever onward and outward, reproducing it differently each time. It works always in perfect tandem with the Magnetic Fluid which enables patterns to be contained and transmitted within things, whereas the Electric Fluid expresses and transmits them outwardly.

In the hermetic philosophy these two Fluids, which emerge from the Akasha, are the base building blocks of the 4 Elements, which arise out of the combinations of the 2 Fluids in different quantities. The Electric Fluid lends itself more to the Fire and Air Elements and its outwards and upwards movement is thus depicted as an upward pointing triangle:








Here, the two upward pointing triangles symbolise the Electric Fluid, the horizontal line dividing the triangle for Air shows that there is a smaller Magnetic ‘tip’ to the Air Element, whereas the Fire Element, with no line, is a pure Elemental expression of the Electric Fluid. The same pattern is repeated with the Magnetic Fluid and the Water and Earth Elements:





Castor, then, is indirectly resonant with the Fire and Air Elements, but more directly with the Electric Fluid as a creative pattern-maker. It has to do with the transmission of patterns of information and its gifts are related to this transmission – storytelling, pattern recognition, design, creation, learning, communications, writing, symbol reading and symbol generation – and also with seeing the light side when there is a dark and light side to be seen.

Its companion, Pollux, is a giant star about 9 times the radius of our Sun with a yellow-orange colouring, is located relatively nearby at about 34 light years away, and is actually the brightest star in the formation, despite Castor being designated the Alpha of the group (this is interesting because it resonates with the mythology, where Pollux has a divine father and Castor a human one). It emits X-rays and astronomy is beginning to understand that the emissions from this star infer that it once had a huge magnetic field, but it has burned up all the hydrogen in its core and is now fusing the lighter element of helium into the heavier ones of carbon and oxygen. Here, too, a large exoplanet has been found orbiting the star about once every 600 days. It was confirmed in 2006 and is thought to be at least twice the mass of Jupiter. It is not very well known, but this planet has actually been named – it is called Thestias. [2]

Astrologically Pollux represents the expression of the Magnetic Fluid by humanoid beings – the ability of humanoid beings to adapt to the patterns formed in their environment, their capacity for internal reflection and the need to integrate traumas and shadow aspects, among other things. It can be thought of as analogous to the Water and Earth Elements through the quantity of Magnetic Fluid within these Elements.[3]

Alhena is yet another binary system positioned in the stars of Gemini at the feet of Pollux.  Its main component is a white hued star about 3 times the radius of our Sun and over 100 times more luminous, situated much farther away at about 109 light years from the Earth. Its name means ‘the proudly marching one’, so it signifies the urge to march for a cause or the promotion of an idea. It sets things on a path, a road, it instigates a movement, it promotes ideas and organises mobs or lynchings and is also connected with artistic expression (especially those which are progressive or constitute ‘movements’). It is also resonant with  stories like that of the heel of Achilles, myths which involve a divine being rendered weak or vulnerable by their foot. The proudly marching ones are inspired by a heavenly ideal which they attempt to realise through an Earthly journey, an inspired ideal which they must somehow remain loyal to and not betray or wander away from, nor must they lose touch with reality through being associated with it. 

But it is to Castor and Pollux that we must return if we wish to probe the mysteries of the sign further. These lights are the twins for many reasons, and they appear as twins across global mythologies for these reasons. The twins represent the polarity of Positive and Negative forces interweaving to produce a pattern, especially in the mental and social sphere. This does not mean ‘good’ and ‘evil’ but more the +/- of the Fluids, akin to the Yin and Yang of oriental cultures, however in the mythology we attached to Gemini this original and essential meaning was lost and replaced with a moral judgment. Caine and Abel are perhaps the most influential of these moralised versions, but there are many others, such as Romulus and Remus.


The Pyramid Texts

A rich and early example of this mythic duality comes to us from ancient Egypt with the tale of Osiris and Set, who are brothers (later, the tale involves Set and Horus). The earliest mention of their story is in the Pyramid Texts, the oldest known Egyptian funerary texts, which (as far as we know) appeared on the walls of burial chambers in pyramids at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, during the 24th century BCE. They are actually a compendium of much older lore, spells and magical rituals presented as very ancient tales. In this tale, dark Set claws his way out of the womb first and usurps his brothers’ power by cutting him into pieces, but the pieces are reassembled and resurrected through the magic of Isis, who is sister to both brothers and also husband to Osiris – a typically confusing Gemini situation. So begins a long and possibly eternal struggle between the forces of light and dark.

Later traditions and cultures would take this even further – Castor and Pollux (a king and a rapist), Romulus and Remus (Romulus kills Remus in order to found Rome) – and so the gradual significance that emerged was that of siblings where one twin – the Magnetic one – was not to be trusted or had to be opposed.

This is a telling development and it feeds into the nature of Gemini as a zodiac sign where some thoughts cannot be trusted, but which ones? This root morphs into the philosophical problem of good and evil. Since the significance of zodiac signs comes in part from the meanings and myths imbued in constellations of stars, when the perception of meaning becomes contaminated by our cultural perception in this way it is like poisoning the well because then the significance of that essential meaning will be similarly misunderstood. So when mythologies are attached to star patterns by human cultures they are able to warp the way they perceive the expression of that constellations meaning and thus to change the way the zodiac signs function and what they signify.

This might become clearer if I explain what these mythologies may have covered up of the original meaning of the stars of Gemini. If Gemini did not originally represent good vs. bad, or right and wrong, the good twin and the evil one, the saviour and the adversary, what did it really represent, and why was it covered over with a moral tale? Well, we have virtually no historical evidence so what I am about to suggest must be taken on trust alone, just as my opinion and nothing more, but as I hope this message makes clear the suggestion from Gemini itself is that these two figures are the Magnetic and Electric Fluids, or rather they are the interplay of these Fluids in human societies and have come to embody the balance and dynamic interplay between order and chaos.

This attribution of chaos and order would be more accurate if it were not for the fact that the definitions of chaos and order have themselves been misunderstood in modern society, where order has become the dominant and desirable paradigm and chaos has been demonised into something undesirable. In fact, as recent discoveries in Chaos theory have suggested, ‘chaos’ is more than just disorder or anarchy, it is a vital and integral part of nature as it is through chaos that new patterns emerge.[4] An ecosystem or the weather for example is not a thing of order, not as we understand it anyway, it is a wild and ‘lawless’ place, but when we look again is it not organised, are there not new patterns, a new order emerging from this ‘chaos’ in a natural way? And conversely, if we look at our so called ‘ordered society’ with its rules and regulations, does it not seem a thing of terrible chaos at times?

sky and meadowSo where exactly does the truth lie? I speculate that it is in this – that when human groups began to organise themselves under what were essentially kings and queens who ruled city states, the rule of law and order began to be perceived and embraced as a divine counter to the dangerous wildness of pure nomadic freedom, the kind of freedom represented by Set who ‘wanders in the desert’, the freedom to gather information from ones own sources, the senses, and to be ones own authority and judge on the nature of what is experienced. Instead, knowledge was codified and rationed from a teacher or a ruler through prohibitions and laws which told people what to do and when to do it, and this was the beginning of the slide of the ‘dark’ twin from its lofty place as a symbol of the freedom to think outside of the box to a symbol for the dark side of society. The word ‘heretic’ comes originally from the Greek for ‘able to choose’. Gemini comes to represent then the need for society to be both orderly and free and for there to be a balance between the control and guidance of order and the value of freedom of expression and liberty. These are twin pillars, they are meant to be balanced as equals. Its form as two connected human beings aptly mirrors the fulcrum of this balancing process, the march of feet which signal that the collective has had enough despotism and that things are on the move. We call the breath that comes from the stars and sign of Gemini ‘the winds of change’ but sometimes they are titanic tempests.

The Babylonians (who give us some of our oldest surviving mythologies) also referred to the stars of Gemini as the Great Twins, Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is a king and Enkidu is his twin brother. These twin brothers are designed by nature to balance one another, Gilgamesh being representative of order and obedience and Enkidu of wildness and free will. If Gilgamesh is not given this counterpart, the people will become oppressed. Here again is a tale which connects Gemini to the footfalls of soldiers and the march of protestors. It is indicative of a delicate balance in both society and the self that must be found and continually maintained in a dynamic and equal exchange.

However, according to the tales, after completing 12 adventures together – which are later to likely form the basis of the 12 labours of Hercules – Enkidu is killed by the gods they have opposed, and Gilgamesh, aggrieved, turns to seeking the secret of immortality. He fails to find this secret, being told that ultimately it belongs only to the gods. Thus, in these stars we can see both a pattern of co-operation and a seeking for immortality, liberation from the endless interplay between vitality and decay.

The quest for immortality is connected to these stars in virtually every mythological tale associated with them and can be regarded as one of the main themes behind Gemini itself. This would, however, greatly surprise many astrologers today – until they are reminded of the signs reputation for eternal youthfulness.

One twin, the Roman Castor who stands on the viewers’ right and has a more open posture, is generally connected with the arts and negotiation, wisdom, philosophy and prophecy, while the other, the Roman Pollux, has a more conspiratorial posture and in the myths is more primal, reactionary and powerful – in the Roman telling, Pollux is immortal, being fathered by Jupiter, while Castor is mortal, the son of a Spartan king. The basic concept here – that where there is light there must be dark – is the essence of what Gemini brings, often as a gauntlet of choices and alternatives that must be split apart, divided but connected at the same time as two sides of a coin. For Gemini, this process too often seems random and arbitrary, superficial because they do not perceive a pattern in their own behaviour except one of the need for constant stimulation and choice. Yet the pattern is there; indeed it is the very essence of The Pattern which is behind every act of Gemini, the fundamental truth that even light and dark are inseparably connected, and that one does not exist without the other – this is the very essence of The Pattern. It is binary, which means black and white, which is why we end up with good and evil. Having this innate awareness Gemini must always posit the existence of one thing from another and is fascinated when more elaborate pieces of The Pattern reveal themselves through its questioning.

We might say that what Gemini attempts to do, in human experience, is define precisely where the shadowy line between one thing and another is located, and why. Like a youthful butterfly seeking its first flower, playfully and lightly, Gemini seeks to define the cutting edge of the rainbow or the exact point where the night begins and the day ends. Of course, it can never definitively point to the line between night and day, and (unlike its sister, Libra) it is too restless to seek a middle ground anyway, so it flits from one side to the next and finds agreement as well as contention in equal parts wherever it goes.

We might also say that these stars and their associated sign now also symbolise the modern concept of neuropsychology which divides the brain into two hemispheres, a left and a right, but there are often gross generalisations made about these hemispheres – such as that the left is logical and the right intuitive – and these are spurious. Nevertheless, the analogy with Gemini is very appropriate as it is the brains task to make sense of the world and translate it into recognisable patterns.

These stars and their sign also represent the importance of trade both in goods and in information; they embody the concept of a message being passed from one mind to another, and of meetings between people with overlapping agendas. Aside from this, the stars of Gemini have long been a boon to ocean voyagers – their appearance at sea was interpreted as a sign of protection from ‘St Elmo’s Fire’, the eerie and mysterious glow of aerial plasma discharged during storms or volcanic eruptions. This ghostly but beautiful plasma was sometimes seen to actually appear on ships at sea and wreak havoc with navigation instruments like compasses, so it was regarded as ill fortune. It has an eerie life which makes it seem spectral. Figureheads of Gemini personifications like Castor and Pollux were attached to many ships for this reason. But there are more complicated and cryptic connotations in the stars of Gemini whose meanings are only discernible in the human mythology surrounding twin deities and their eternal struggles for power and dominance over one another. Gemini is often given to the experience of being at war with itself and unable to break the deadlock.

So what we have in Gemini is a puzzling nest of ideas that looks like this:

• The Electric and Magnetic Fluids
• The Pattern which emerges from their interplay
• The quest for immortality or eternal youth
• The concept of order as a balancing factor working indivisibly with chaos
• Good and evil, right and wrong, falsehood and truth
• Choice and dilemma
• The balance between social rule and social liberty
• Gossip, innuendo and rumour; intrigue at court, the media
• Buying and selling, news and speculation, arts and sciences
• Protection while traveling
• The perceptive and cognitive functions of the brain

These seem to me to be the current central themes of the stars of Gemini and thus the basis for our astrological understanding of the zodiac sign. They are the underlying stories which give us all the Gemini keywords and qualities such as talkative, communication, alert intelligence, curious and keen to learn, intellectual, loving to travel around and puzzle things out. The fundamental essence of these qualities is the objective to witness everything, to gather the clues through the power of perception and to assemble them into a tapestry. Gemini is the sign that wants to perceive everything there is to perceive, purely and simply because it is there to be perceived, it aspires to never ‘die’ or grow old and stale by losing interest and curiosity in the world but to remain ever youthful in the search for knowledge and fresh experience. There is ultimately no agenda other than to extend this perception as far and as wide as possible, connecting the dots. Forever.


But now questions arise: far and wide is fine, but what about depth? What of information that is not perceived, or worse, remains unknown by any human mind? What if that information is vital? What about the problem of sorting perceptions into something that resembles a shape we can make use of? What of the puzzle pieces that do not seem to fit anywhere at all? And what does it – whatever it is – all really mean, what does it add up to? Such questions and more sometimes seem to endlessly plague Gemini, but in reality they are the fuel which keeps the thrust of perception into experience going on, and on and on.

If the secret of the world could be unravelled this way it would have been written down long, long ago in words plain enough for everyone to understand. Those who say it has are failing to understand the Mystery. The fact is that the Great Pattern is an infinitely splendid bird that will never be caged and that Gemini is therefore on a journey that has no ultimate end, no conclusion to reach, and how you sit with that is how well you and Gemini can get along. You will not receive definitive answers, only temporary ones, so it all depends on how much you insist on a definitive answer, because you will never get one since a definitive answer is static and this is anathema to Gemini. Nothing ever rests in The Pattern; the universe is constantly in motion and Gemini, of all signs, is the one equipped to individually respond to this as it happens. However, once that moment is passed, the solution that was found swiftly sails past its ‘use by’ date. Therefore, the focusing of the mental awareness on the continually shifting now moment is the solution to all the curious and fascinating problems that can plague Gemini.


[1] Meaning that from Earth, two stars can be seen with the naked eye or a telescope. Almost always the two stars actually look like a single star until we look closer.

[2] See this list of named exo-planets

[3] It should be noted here that Gemini is not the only place in the heavens where the Electric and Magnetic Fluids are represented – astrology is a complex layering of meanings.

[4] See Astrology: a Place in Chaos by Bernadette Brady for an excellent introduction to this matter.

2 comments on “Witness to Eternity: On Gemini

  1. Finished to read it a second time. My Libra nature is very close to what you wrote. Most of what I red encapsulate perfectly my way of expressing here and now. Thank you for this beautiful Gift. You know how much I appreciated!

    • You are most welcome! Yes Libra is very similar in many ways. I think your Gemini Moon gets mixed up with your Libra Sun sometimes. They naturally harmonise and blend and can be difficult to tell apart. When I come to write up Libra, that will hopefully help.

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