New Moon in Gemini
The New Moon in Gemini on May 22, 2020 heralds a lunar cycle that will require the cunning skills of Mercury, the ability to consider many perspectives while navigating twists and turns in events and keeping an open mind regarding necessary changes in direction. Gemini delights in the discovery of new connections, new perspectives that weave deeper meaning between nodes of intersecting strands that appear dissimilar on the surface. The sublime flexibility of consciousness cultivated by those with potent Gemini signatures is often mischaracterized as superficiality within popular astrology, when in fact the Gemini capacity for holding the tension of opposing viewpoints is a strength sorely needed within the many conflicts between dogmatic ideologies raging across current events. The present quality of time demands a release of the way things have been, an emptying of ideals attached to the societal structures in process of collapse under the pressure brought by the pandemic. The New Moon in Gemini calls for awareness to be brought to the tools, resources, and networks of connection we can each utilize to question, research, and analyze how to realign and adjust to the new societal systems beginning to take shape.
Since the Gemini New Moon is separating from a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and applying to a square aspect with Mars in Pisces, the discord and debate over next steps to take in response to the myriad societal issues stemming from the pandemic will continue to intensify. Mars in Pisces is also applying toward a sextile with Uranus in Taurus, amplifying the restlessness, impatience, and anger of those desiring to break free from the societal restrictions on movement and activity designed to protect public health. There is also an illusory shadow cast over the lunation by Neptune in Pisces, as the Gemini New Moon is applying toward a square aspect with Neptune and both Mercury and Venus in Gemini are engaged in a square aspect with Neptune. While the flood of conspiracy theories around the pandemic has distorted the perspective of many, the Gemini New Moon invites curiosity toward the coronavirus and devising how to responsibly follow the guidelines established by scientists and medical experts while reordering and reestablishing one’s relationship with commerce and means of making money.
The Gemini New Moon is in the home of Mercury and the bounds of Mercury, while Mercury is reinvigorated due to recently reemerging into its own light in its home of Gemini. While Mercury is moving fast and increasing in light as an Evening Star, Venus is moving slowly and preparing to descend from its Evening Star phase into the darkness of the underworld due to shifting into its retrograde phase last week. Mercury and Venus are crossing paths in the night, with both visible together following sunset due to being out of bounds in northern declination. The out of bounds nature of Mercury combined with Venus retrograde can incite leaps of imagination that remain rooted in the necessity of pandemic precautions. However, in order to receive the wisdom that Venus and Mercury out of bounds have to offer we must take a divergent path from the way things have been and sustain a curious interest in how to rearrange personal structures around the new possibilities and options emerging from all of the immense change sweeping across societal structures.
The New Moon in Gemini will initiate a lunar cycle that will take us through the darkest depths of Venus retrograde in Gemini, a chthonic time of shedding and emptying that will bring about a reseeding of desires as the lunar cycle culminates with a catalytic Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5. Within a couple of days of the lunation on May 23 and 24, as the waxing Gemini Moon makes its first appearance in crescent light it will also form a conjunction with Venus and Mercury while simultaneously forming a square aspect with Neptune. Venus has been forming a square aspect with Neptune since the beginning of May, gathering imaginative impressions she has been able to share with Mercury during their union within the darkness of the New Moon. Many of the longings and yearnings stoked by the friction of Venus stationing in tension with Neptune may begin to dissolve and burn off during the forthcoming lunar cycle, yet the simultaneous contact from the Moon and Mercury can help gather the essential insights from the stirring of feelings that will shine light on the desires we will need to release versus the desires ready to be deepened and reanimated.
Venus will disappear into her invisible, underworld phase at the end of May, descending into darkness at the same time the Moon and Mercury are increasing in light. Mercury will leave its home of Gemini on May 28 to enter the lunar waters of Cancer; since this occurs around the same time that Venus is disappearing into darkness it will demarcate a notable shift in our experience of Venus retrograde. As a result, take advantage of the co-presence between Mercury and Venus in the sign of Gemini during the week following the New Moon to gain greater clarity for what will need to be purged and stripped away from Venus as she descends into the underworld. What old relationships or relational patterns have been reemerging in awareness that are ready to be burned up by the union of Venus with the Sun on June 3?
During the week following the New Moon there can also be potent creative experimentation and exploration while Mercury remains in Gemini and Venus continues to deepen into her retrograde depths. The powerful influence of Neptune upon Venus and Mercury during the Gemini New Moon is capable of causing distraction and becoming immersed in experiences and emotions that pull us away from the path we had determinedly set out to follow. Yet while many people complain about the illusory impact of Neptune, it nonetheless can bring about a surrendering to a vaster reality and awareness of the living realities denied by overly rational and materialistic world-views. It’s likely that there are vital resources and insights to be found within the dreams and imaginative flights of fantasy you have been experiencing recently that Mercury in Gemini can now craft into a magical tool that will prove to be essential in the next chapter of your story.
The impact of Mercury ruling the Gemini New Moon is further increased due to Mercury also applying toward a conjunction with the transiting North Node of the Moon. There are two calculation for the lunar nodes used in astrology, one being the “true” calculation based upon scientific tracking of the exact nodal positions, the other more traditional one being the “mean” calculation based upon the average mean motion of the lunar nodes across time. The true calculation of the North Node of the Moon entered Gemini on May 5, while the mean calculation of the North Node will not enter Gemini until June 4. Mercury will form a conjunction with the true calculation of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini on May 27, while Mercury will form a conjunction with the mean calculation of the North Node in Cancer on May 28. It’s safe to say in either case that the Gemini New Moon is initiating us fully into the transition from the lunar nodes being in the cardinal signs of Cancer and Capricorn into inhabiting the mutable signs of Gemini and Sagittarius.
Our initiation into the North Node of the Moon transiting through Gemini will be further felt at the end of May once the Gemini Sun crosses the threshold of “eclipse season” in which it moves within nineteen degrees of the transiting lunar nodes. As a result, we will experience our first eclipse in Gemini and Sagittarius on June 5 when the Sagittarius Moon will wax into fullness and be partially eclipsed. It will be helpful to make space to reflect upon the houses in your natal chart occupied by the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius to begin to get a sense of the life topics that will be altered by their shadowy effects. The house where you have Gemini will be experiencing an increase of growth and ambitious desires that will need to be tempered at times to not become overly excessive, while the house where you have Sagittarius will be experiencing a process of release, drainage, purification, detoxification, harvesting, and reseeding.
Ever since Mars formed a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn on February 25, all of the planets and the Sun have been transiting in between the space demarcated between the transiting South Node and North Node of the Moon. This same period of time has also coincided with governments around the world needing to shutdown economies and institute social distancing measures to protect public health from the pandemic. Mercury finally moving across the North Node and ending the nodal containment of the planets does not signify the end of needing to take precaution against the pandemic, but it is not surprising that as the planet of commerce is the first one to break free that governments would begin implementing strategies for how to safely begin opening economies in phases.
Due to moving fast and increasing in light as it encounters the North Node of the Moon, Mercury is primed to deliver key insight and realization toward whatever processes of growth and development we are engaged with. As the vivification of Mercury will be occurring at the same time that Venus is descending into the darkness of the underworld, however, the chthonic influence of Venus will necessitate that growth will involve processes of release, emptying, and shedding to make space for whatever new sources of desire are ready to enter into our life. Fortunately, Mercury is the planet most attuned to mediating the polarities of light and darkness, spirit and matter, and the internal with the external. There may be paradoxical feelings of needing to bury and release the past at the same time new inspirations begin calling to us from beyond the horizon.
Mars in Pisces is not only making an intense impact on the Gemini New Moon, it will continue to become an increasingly important influence over events during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle. As the Moon waxes toward fullness, Mars will move closer and closer toward forming a square aspect with Venus retrograde which it will complete on June 2, one day before Venus is regenerated in the heart of the Sun on June 3. With Mars applying heat in the exaltation of Venus, there will be an accumulation of tension forged between Mars and Venus that will incite potent passions and will culminate at the same time that Venus is experiencing a death and rebirth process with the Sun. There may be conflict to mediate, but if we can hold the tension of the friction between Venus and Mars it will bring greater clarity toward the authentic desires that will help guide our path forward during the second half of the Venus retrograde period in June.
At the same time that Mars is forming catalyzing aspects with the Sun and Venus retrograde, it will also be approaching a conjunction with Neptune that it will not complete until June 13 during the waning half of the lunar cycle. Mars in Pisces is in the home of Jupiter transiting in its fall of Capricorn, while Jupiter is retrograde and applying toward its second conjunction with Pluto retrograde. While many feel desperate to resume economic activity and institutional powers likewise have an invested interest in manipulating public opinion toward returning to economic activity, it will be important to make wise and cautious decisions over what levels of risk we are exposing and exacerbating by a lessening of social distancing in favor of increased economic activity. The great cycles of astrology dictate there will be a continued need to take protective measures against the pandemic and so it will be essential to balance the reactivation of economic activity with being accountable to measures for protecting public health at the same time.
While Mars in Pisces heading towards Neptune can be carried off by the illusion of dogmatic ideals, its imaginal power combined with the underworld depths of Venus retrograde can also expose the ideals we need to burn off in the fiery Sun. The ideals of culture can have an unconscious effect, as the ideals of the time we live in often surround us with hypnotic effect due to their constant presence in all forms of media we interact with on a daily basis. The Gemini New Moon is an opportune time to notice how you have been conditioned by the ideals of others, and allow yourself to open yourself to the illumination that can be received by stripping away your ideals to discover what will survive the underworld journey of Venus at the end of May and beginning of June.
Gemini 1 Decan
The New Moon falls in the first face of Gemini associated with the Eight of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is apt for the fears and grief that have been overwhelming to many during the pandemic. Many have interpreted the image of the frozen and tightly bound woman as the kind of paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or from the triggering of past trauma in present circumstances. While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on. As Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, the image also reveals how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into. As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change opening up at the beginning of this lunar cycle.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Apple of Eden” to the first face of Gemini, linking Eve’s bite into the apple with emerging awareness of “the duality within all things” including the yin and yang of the self. Coppock described that the discovery of the binary and “the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” unlocks “the capacity to code all things” and display clever skills in all of the arts and sciences. Yet in keeping with the image of the Eight of Swords card, Coppock also declared that this opening to abundant flow also “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.” Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this decan not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self.
In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the Eight of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity. Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses.” Indeed, the Picatrix declares it to be “a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.”
Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Tethus, also known as Tethys, to the first face of Gemini. Since Tethys is the Titan goddess of fresh water which interconnects and nourishes our earth, we can note her appearance in the Eight of Swords image as the water at the foundation of the figure. Tethys was also the wife of Okeanos, the primal sea divinity of the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset, and the mother of river, cloud, spring, stream, and fountain spirits. Daughter of Gaia, Tethys fed her children through the subterranean waters of Okeanos as her name is derived from the Greek word têthê meaning “nurse” or “grandmother.” Moreover, she was often depicted in art with a pair of wings on her brow signifying her role as mother of rain clouds (2). While there may be a need for grief and the release of tearful emotions like rain from clouds in the forthcoming lunar cycle, allow exploration of your watery internal landscape to be a nurse and fount of enlivening water for what wants to be born through your life and engagement in giving and receiving.
(1) Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
(2) Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html