May 20/21 - June 20/21
Mutable Air: Mental Lucidity
Objectively: Year's longest lengthening days. Sun's northern movement slows, then stops at the summer solstice. The daylight of ego-consciousness achieves maximum illumination of external realities but withdraws energy from inner contemplation (night). Personality grows through recognition of its environment.
Subjectively: Morning brightness. Awareness fully engaged with objective activities. A sharp clarity of perspective and broad range of interests, not focused on any one quality but distributed across many.
Gemini: Mind. Perception. Communication. Duality: I and Thou, sacred and profane, eternal and mortal.
During Gemini's longest days mind stretches to incorporate the greatest diversity of experience. It integrates the widest spectrum of information into the clearest expression of its meaning. As thought reaches its farthest expansion from an initial premise (Aries) Gemini changes focus. Emphasis shifts from inner drive to outer variety. External stimuli outshine deep motives. Attention turns from self to surroundings.
This mutation shuffles the deck. Like a cell that has reached its limit of growth one's mental data genes recombine, then separate into two sister cells, or states of consciousness. In Gemini a singularity of will (Aries) or of desire (Taurus) bifurcates into duality of mind. The knower and the known. In here and out there. Subjective and objective. Right and left-brain hemispheres. Right and wrong ethical decisions. Their new relationship initiates a more complex awareness. Thus consciousness becomes self-conscious, through the distinction between its now autonomous parts.
Gemini divides our animal and angelic, human and divine natures. Distinguishes between the light and dark sides. And referees their mutual interplay. This results in the knowledge of good and evil. Gemini's mind-bridge allows these pairs to communicate with and fertilize each other. That generates creativity and conflict, thesis and antithesis, leading to a more inclusive synthesis.
Here intelligence reaches out beyond the reality of self, its will and wants, to a larger frame of reference. Reason recognizes psyche not as a world unto itself but as a single actor among many. It develops criteria of comparison that honors other forms of worth than its own. To do so requires a certain detachment. This can blossom into objective observation. Or wither into amputation from roots, a desiccated cerebral echo of real life.
The twins personify a dichotomy inherent in our being. One side is the empirical personality: the known, conscious, socially adapted character. The other its more intangible qualities: the light aura of a higher spirit, the better angel of our nature - and its counterpart, a dark alienated shadow of suppression and frustration. Will they learn to cooperate? Or blindly fight? Ego can express soul, or eclipse it in the service of petty appetites and ambitions. Intelligence can elevate identity, or enable its sins and justify its flaws.
Gemini's double nature is both vertical and horizontal. The vertical dimension portrays a Christ soul or Buddha nature inspiring the monkey mind. And a perverse inner adversary of self-loathing and projected hate. The horizontal emphasizes interaction with peers in an encounter with others on the same general level of evolution. This can range from brotherly love to deadly rivalry (think Cain and Abel).
Subjectively, Gemini connects known realms of thought with transcendent planes of inspiration and unconscious depths of instinct: superego and id, guardian angel and devouring fiend, soul and shadow. These mark polarities of an unconscious continuum. Consciousness is poised in-between: pushed, pulled, animated by their interplay.
Gemini experiences sharp internal dilemmas: the Jekyll and Hyde within. It describes how they inform and learn from each other. Or compartmentalize the total self to its great loss. As conscious personality responds to its hidden inner dimensions so it relates to its outer surroundings. Those in touch with, who can acknowledge, the contrasting/complementary aspects of self can also deal with challenging aspects of their environment. Those who refuse to hear their own sometimes discordant inner voices cannot perform competently in an often disordered world. As within, so without.
Contrast induces rhythm, oscillation, a pulse. The heart both expands and contracts, lungs breathe in and out, the brain wakes and sleeps. And without sexual interplay we would have no life at all, both in the emotional sense and because it creates the genetic variety driving evolution.
Vibration = vitality. Its back and forth movement implies complementarity. North is defined by south; + is matched by −. Every entity has a positive and negative polarity, contains male and female qualities. Gemini mediates their dialog. Is it a fruitful conversation? Or a contrived game? A shared rapport? Or a monologue, with one side talking, the other silenced, turned off and acting out in retaliation?
Clashing wills, opposing values, competing concepts exercise the power of discernment. Educates it to a superior sensibility. Or trains it in the arts of deception. Gemini's divisions force one to take a stand: 'The line between good and evil runs through every human heart.'1 Gemini draws that line. It poses alternatives. And reveals their consequences.
Most options are not so stark. They involve mundane matters and reflect personal foibles. Gemini makes, and is made by, life's continual process of decision. This requires and stimulates a calculating intellect. The criteria it selects, priority it assigns and protocol it employs constitute the Gemini function.
Other signs commit to a certain path. Gemini always stands at a crossroads. It must constantly choose and justify its choice. Yes/no, do/don't, on/off. Does this reduce it to schizophrenic paralysis, identifying with this, then that, in a babbling mass of contradictions? Or train it in analytical agility? To what end: as an impartial observer or an opportunistic player?
Among air signs of the mental plane Libra judges. Gemini makes the arguments, sets out pros and cons, examines the evidence, justifies a position. Aquarius seeks to transcend them in revelatory breakthrough to a universal theory or great Idea. Libra balances, weighs, relates in terms of known principles. Gemini discovers those principles, extracts them from the world's chaotic phenomena. Aquarius fits them into an explanatory paradigm. Libra seeks to harmonize various energies. Aquarius seeks to unify them. Gemini differentiates and compares them. This sharpens awareness, descriptive ability and wit. All of them express aspects of air's essential nature: a fundamental truth quest (v fire's exertion of will, earth's demonstration of achievement or water's experience of feeling).
Gemini explores. It must learn to proceed in a consistent direction, each new version of truth logically emerging from the previous. Otherwise it wanders a maze, distracted by irrelevancies. The bewildering variety of phenomena can be experienced as a discontinuous kaleidoscope. Understanding then nimbly hops between temporary reflections, experiencing small blips of truth devoid of any common thread of meaning. Or it can elucidate a coherent explanation that systematically incorporates each info-byte into a larger context.
Gemini encounters a flood of facts. Its characteristic error is to embrace each passing phenomenon just because it seems valid at the moment. Or because it serves a short-term purpose. It needs to separate from the blinding immediacy of its impressions in order to put them in proper perspective. It must develop rational guidelines, a method by which to mange this influx and bring it to a higher synthesis.
Gemini functions through the adversarial process seen in Anglo-American law. Confrontation can illuminate truth. Or obscure it by partisanship. The resolution lies in due process: an insistence upon open procedure and clear rules that guide evidence towards justice. Gemini can learn to direct its adroit tactical movements by strategic commitment to a greater goal. Or, like a glib lawyer, it can exploit technicalities to win every battle and yet still subvert the law.
Gemini polarizes. Opposite poles generate an electric current or magnetic force field uniting them in a shared energy. Or splits them into fragments. It can fuse elemental components into more complex and sophisticated compounds. Thus hydrogen and oxygen merge into water, mother and father mate into one flesh as a child, isolated quantities fuse and enlarge into emergent qualities. Or it can divide and subtract. To achieve salvation or enlightenment means to reject a conventional worldview, shed an old identity, renounce a hard earned wealth of attributes, opinions and relationships:
'Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.'2
Gemini translates intangible states of consciousness into specific and communicable ideas. It grounds external signals and subjective insights into the brain's bioelectric networks. It embodies intelligence in a unique configuration of neurological connections: a literal body of truth.3 These experientially conditioned nerve pathways channel perceptual inputs and intentional outputs. They self-organize to filter out some stimuli and admit others, to suppress or activate certain lines of development. A fractal of universal Mind materializes as an organic wiring plan. That generates an aura of comprehension, weak or strong, bright or dim.
The third house, Gemini's subjective correlate, and any planets in it, portrays the nature of one's verbal, data processing mind. Education, formal or informal. Learning style and ability to articulate knowledge. How one thinks. What one thinks about.
The house cusp that the sign Gemini occupies indicates the area of life conflicted by divergent principles. It evolves through their mutual stimulation. The position and aspects of Gemini's ruling planet, Mercury negotiates between those differences and defines their resolution, good or bad.
Gemini thinks inductively. It relates specific elements to build a unified theory from the bottom up. A hundred schools of thought contend. From their disputations truth emerges.
This produces a cerebral form of sensibility: sharp, clear, bright and objective. Whether inclusive or superficial, Gemini describes an intellectual agility manifesting as acute observation, advanced reasoning and aptness of expression. Its challenge is to find an organizing principle combining its many fast moving dots into a Big Picture (exemplified by Sagittarius, Gemini's polarity).
Gemini sees all the angles, factors in every option. The question becomes what do they mean? How do they add up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts? In answering Gemini develops a consistent method of truth verification that underlies all rational thinking. The other air signs use that logic: Libra to render judgment, Aquarius to explain inspiration. Gemini creates it out of direct examination of facts. Its dynamic alertness interprets raw evidence to comprehend specific situations. Or to encompass the general enlightenment giving our species its name: homo sapiens, 'wise man.'
Gemini describes a process, not a product. It does not project a given energy outwards (Aries) or center the universal into the particular (Taurus). It is not about emotion (Cancer) or creativity (Leo). Rather it makes all of these qualities intelligible to each other through a cause and effect dialectic. It reconciles contradictions by illuminating each stage of their evolution and resolving its developmental sequence of thesis/antithesis into a more advanced composite.
These catalysts propagate new brain waves that challenge and enrich consciousness. They create abstract representations of the world and play with them. That allows intellect to manipulate the terms of thought experiments, run scenarios, consider other approaches. Reason is freed from the slowness and heaviness of materiality. Perceptual information, mathematical equations, verbal formulations, rational axioms and procedures constitute the sensations of a mental plane of being. A map of reality. The map is not the territory. But it can guide movement through, and find location in, the complexities of our surroundings.
It can also usurp existential reality. A theoretical construct can displace common sense and basic decency. An ideological obsession can split good us (or me) from bad them. Gemini's lucidity easily twists into amoral sophistry. Its challenge is to maintain a remembrance of the vertical dimension, from emotion to spirit, to balance an otherwise arid rationality.
The universe has been described as a 'play of mind.' At best Gemini discovers the rules, fundamental principles that distill truth from facts, and condense it into eloquent expression. At worst it celebrates cleverness over wisdom, abusing its mental dexterity and verbal skill to spin convenient justifications for self interest and prejudice.
Gemini's sense of relativity easily crumbles into lies as alternative narratives displace actual perceptions. Indeed, Gemini's greatest struggle is to distinguish truth, open possibility disciplined by fact, from lies, partial (closed) slivers of reality masquerading as the whole.
Gemini demonstrates the potency of word magic. Verbal concepts create their own reality. They distance from emotional immediacy, giving perspective or alienation. They break general intuition down into specific ideas, split wholes into their component parts. Those can then be analyzed, manipulated and restructured, for better or worse.
Symbolic language makes us human. It enables disinterested contemplation of objective truth and poetic expression of subtle feeling. Its power is such that immortal phrases resonate through the centuries, moving hearts as power or money never can.
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'4
In the original Greek of the New Testament the 'Word' is 'Logos': reason. The universe is essentially a great Thought, with dreamlike qualities. Its various planes of being resonate in a communion of meaning made known through many idioms ranging from the DNA sequences of biology to the spoken tongues of human societies to the planetary patterns of the solar system. Gemini's embrace of diversity generates a conceptual grammar translating these parallel realities into shared understanding.
Gemini marks the northernmost apparent motion of Sun. The farthest advance of mind into new states of consciousness and permutations of identity. It demonstrates the power of thought to create the world anew.
Gemini also points away from the galactic center (with its innermost black hole), towards intergalactic space. The outer limits. Gemini goes to the very edge of our conscious ability to distinguish and differentiate phenomena. Its polarity, Sagittarius, integrates this knowledge into an overall worldview or social construct.
Gemini opens the door of perception into a wider world than self. The universe is full of doors. The Gemini function reveals how and why one chooses which to enter.
1. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008, Russian writer imprisoned for long years in the Soviet Gulag. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. He also asked: 'How can a man who is warm understand one who is cold?'
2. Luke 12:51 and Matthew 10:34
3. At least ⅓ of our 20,000 genes express primarily or exclusively in the brain. Yet the three-pound brain comprises only 2% of our (average) body mass. Source: National Institutes of Health, which conducted the Human Genome Project.
4. John 1:1
The specification that the Word was both God and with God points to the dual nature of creation, in which spirit and matter, soul and flesh, life and death, form distinct phases of a unity.