New Moon in Gemini
In the darkness of the New Moon on June 4, 2016 there is a pulsating syzygy of creative force, breaking open new vistas amid the falling apart of forms that had previously felt secure. From the dark womb of the Gemini New Moon, the twins who have been communing in watery nourishment are separated with shock into their distinct existence. Instead of oneness the awareness of duality emerges, along with a sense of the contrast between the wants and needs of the Self in comparison to the Other found in relationship. The constellation of Gemini holds the binary stars Castor and Pollux, the immortal twin and the mortal twin. Gemini twins can also be found in the twins of darkness and light, twins of good and evil, twins of materialism and spiritualism, and our own twin nature of having a conscious personality that senses its own deeper essence. The astrology surrounding the Gemini New Moon is a whirling dervish within which we must find a center of balance as the illusions we have been carrying about our reality spin off, and the swirling intensity pulls us in disparate directions.
The yearning of Gemini for its twin is the aching desire for a soul mate to merge and unite with, yet what is called for in the lunar darkness is a descent into the wetness of one’s own Soul to rediscover the primordial purity underlying motivation and decision. Mercury in Taurus rules the Gemini New Moon as it is applying to an opposition with Mars retrograde in Scorpio. Mercury in Taurus is also separating from, but still in range of, a Grand Earth Trine with Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon in Virgo. As a result there is a dense, earthy quality to be found within the New Moon’s stormy tides opening access to the full range of feelings we have regarding the current state of our desires. Perception through Mercury can penetrate into the deepest recesses of our sensual nature and its interplay with the fresh desires emerging into awareness as well as the older desires in need of release. The enlivening snake within is shedding its skin to reveal a consciousness both solid and flexible, capable of slivering through the sweeping currents and ranging over the rocky divides of these times.
In the dark of the Gemini New Moon, the Queen of Heaven is close, ever so close to reuniting with her solar consort as Venus is within a degree of a conjunction with our Sun. This is the Superior Conjunction of Venus in which Venus is on the other side of the Sun from Earth in orbit, and so the Gemini New Moon embodies the finale of the previous Venusian solar cycle. The last time Venus was conjoining the Sun was during the Venus retrograde on August 15, 2015 when Venus was in between the orbit of Earth and the Sun at 22º51′ Leo, as close to Earth as possible in her orbit. When Venus goes into the heart of the Sun by exact zodiac degree, all things Venusian are purified in the fiery heat and regenerated. As a result, in recent weeks Venus has been undergoing a molten metamorphosis in which the old has been burned off while the Venusian values, needs, and relationships which will bloom in the forthcoming cycle have been reseeded. This regenerative process could feel disorienting and frustrating for those not already in desired Venusian circumstances, as the fruits that will eventually ripen are not yet visible. The last time there was a Superior Conjunction of Venus was on October 25, 2014 in Scorpio at 1º49′ and so this is the close of the cycle that began then. Within the dark of the Gemini New Moon we feel both the fear and elation of standing on the precipice of a new cycle of Venus in our lives.
Venus uniting with the Sun on the other side of our Solar Light brings a quality of far off yearning, a sense of becoming reacquainted with transcendent Venusian desires that inexorably magnetize us toward the horizon where Venus will eventually emerge again as an Evening Star. An allegory can be found in the ancient Persian epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, in which the noble outcast Zal is consumed with otherworldly love for the glimmering Rudaba, a woman whose circumstances brought barriers obstructing their union similar to the obstacles placed upon later lovers of literature such as Romeo and Juliet. The mesmerizing Rudaba’s name has etymological roots in both the “shining child” as well as “she of the river water,” a meaning apt for the Venusian atmosphere of reconnecting with our inner radiance within currents of dramatic change. At one point in the drama, similar to the later echo of Rapunzel, Rudaba lowers strands of her dark hair so that Zal may climb and cross the threshold between them:
About her silvern shoulders two musky black tresses curl, encircling them with their ends as though they were links in a chain.
Her mouth resembles a pomegranate blossom, her lips are cherries and her silver bosom curves out into breasts like pomegranates.
Her eyes are like the narcissus in the garden and her lashes draw their blackness from the raven’s wing.
Her eyebrows are modelled on the bows of Teraz powdered with fine bark and elegantly musk tinted.
If you seek a brilliant moon, it is her face; if you long for the perfume of musk, it lingers in her tresses.
From top to toe she is Paradise gilded; all radiance, harmony and delectation.
(Shahnameh 1:21-3 courtesy of Wikipedia)
The release of old longings within arising passions will not necessarily be focused upon a lover, but rather in any manner in which Venus is operating in your life. The Venusian correspondence will have to do in some way with recreating livelihood and a revivification of the seeking and reception of pleasure. Venus will enter her Superior Conjunction on 6 June 2016 at 16º36′ of Gemini, a day that may be seized for fertile intention setting. As Venus in her synodic cycle possesses exquisitely ordered timing, you may gain further insight through reflection upon the recent years that Venus united with the Sun in Gemini: 6 June 2012 with Venus retrograde at 16 degrees, 9 June 2008 with Venus direct at 19 degrees, 8 June 2004 with Venus retrograde at 18 degrees, and 11 June 2000 with Venus direct at 21 degrees.
Mutable Grand Cross
The New Moon in Gemini forms a Mutable Grand Square with Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Virgo, Neptune in Pisces, and the transiting lunar nodes in Pisces and Virgo. Sudden emotional swings could overtake us as we question why we are pursuing this over that, as it is likely that numerous potential paths can be seen in misty focus. Saturn opposing the New Moon brings concrete realization of the limitations of time and space, and a need to prioritize what we can actually achieve and manifest within the time and space currently available to us. With so much unraveling, fear is liable to become an unwanted influence on our dreams and desires if we allow ourselves to spin out in the spiraling currents. There is a strong element of simply not being able to know what will happen and a need to have faith in the unknown while centering our decision making within intuitive resonance. Creating a blueprint to follow or a list of objectives to achieve will bring clarity as long as you remain open to the necessity of modifying the blueprint when demanded by the needs of the changing moment.
Similar to the “hopes and fears” space in a Celtic Cross tarot spread, the twin nature of the Gemini Moon contains the duality of hopes and fears ebbing and flowing. While there can be great confusion and disorientation felt within these aspects, they simultaneously hold extraordinary power to completely reshape your path and surrounding structures. If you have managed to get yourself into the right place at the right time, these aspects hold incredible inspiration that can be applied into any endeavor. Take the time to reflect on the house and aspects made by each corner of the Grand Square, as each of these areas of your life will be pulling you in different directions based upon the planetary influence. The more you can draw upon the frantic, radical energy of the Grand Cross in order to purge emotional hangups that have been limiting your ability to declare and go after what you truly want, the more you can realize the potential being opened by the Gemini New Moon coinciding with a rebirth of Venus within incredibly catalytic Mutable aspects.
The asteroid Asclepius is opposite the New Moon and conjoining Saturn in Sagittarius at the time of the lunation. Asclepius has been moving retrograde and now joins the Mutable Grand Cross, being in square to Jupiter in Virgo, Neptune in Pisces, and the transiting lunar nodes (Asclepius stationed retrograde at 7 degrees Capricorn on April 22 and will station direct at 25 degrees Scorpio on July 22, 2016). Asclepius is an intriguing archetype to include in the mix, as he embodies a centered focus which integrates all four axes of the Mutable Grand Cross. Rooted in Earth, Asclepius is a healer who emerges in times of crisis and cathartic change, reverent of Mother Nature, in balance with masculinity and femininity, and reliant upon ritualistic incubation to find healing cures. Asclepius is associated with healing through dreams, an incubatory process that reveals the connection between external symptoms and the underlying unconscious. With his hermetic staff planted in the ground, Asclepius weaves together meaning from celestial and chthonic realms through discernment centered in his sensual nature, applied to his work through disciplined spiritual practice.
In addition, Chiron in Pisces is forming aspects at the Gemini New Moon that further enhance an appearance of the Asclepius archetype, as Chiron is in sextile to Mercury in Taurus and in trine to Mars retrograde in Scorpio. Chiron was a mentor and foster parent of Asclepius, and in astrology holds similar meaning of being able to bridge connections between mind, body, and spirit to find whatever is out of harmony for healing. Asclepius and Chiron as part of the Gemini New Moon call us to stand resolutely and face whatever is occurring without denial and escapist distractions that are more of an illusion than medicine. The fertile, regenerative snakes of Asclepius are activated and by opening to what wants to emerge from within, while acting with nurturing integrity with yourself and those in your surroundings, the changes necessarily manifesting may be handled in a way that facilitates eventual healing of the associated ruptures.
Gemini 2 Decan
The second decan of Gemini is associated with the 9 of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of nightmarish worry and anguish, the 9 of Swords reveals the danger of the mind running in negative circles of repetitive thought, a fitting image of the difficulties found in the Gemini New Moon being surrounded by a Mutable Grand Square. Tarot writer Kelsey Lynore stated that when one pulls the 9 of Swords, “you are suffering from obsessive thoughts, unable to let go of myriad abstractions over which you ceaselessly fixate . . . a victim of your own mind’s relentless machinations and meanings.” If you find yourself entering this state of mind, use whatever resources are available to nurture yourself back to center, calming and relaxing your anxiety. The astrology of this time is overly stimulating with unknowable change, and unless you are fortunate to be in ideal circumstances, you will not be alone in facing a dark night of the soul. Again, the archetypal figure of Asclepius is fitting here in terms of opening awareness to what meaning and guidance can be found within the psyche, rather than fearing it.
Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hermaphrodite” to the second face of Gemini, as it is a decan of “continuing duality” in which “we must learn to reconcile angels and demons within a single soul” (p. 92). Coppock wrote that the 9 of Swords image connects to this decan through its revelation of an “inability to reconcile dualities within oneself, within the world . . . the moments of despair which occur within this face, the irreconcilable places” (p. 93). Coppock concluded that both the “arts of union and separation, love and war” are found within this talented, complex decan:
Within this decan are two- and these two in turn relate to each other in a pair of ways- love and war, solve et coagula. The mind which accepts these oscillations comes to understand the whole of interaction- they are unbothered by either, knowing the other waits in turn.
— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p.94
Mars is the ruler of the second decan of Gemini, adding to the emphasis of Mercury in Taurus, the ruler of the New Moon, applying to an opposition with Mars retrograde in Scorpio. Mars rejoices in Scorpio and has its full arsenal at its disposal, and so will simultaneously be seen in great creative works as well as horrific conflicts in the external world. The mission of the second face of Gemini to reconcile dualities is important to consider, as the polarity between Mercury and Mars retrograde holds the danger of creating conflict out of opposing forces and viewpoints. If you can instead use the tension of opposites between Mercury and Mars retrograde to make the deepest recesses of your feelings fully conscious, no matter how painful, Mars retrograde is in position to midwife a vital regenerative process reconnecting you with the desires that bring you most alive. In the end, the pain and difficulty felt today will be part of the creation of a personal matrix from which the extraordinary gifts and talents you possess to share with the world will emerge.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.