New Moon in Gemini: Winds of Change

Sun-god Shamesh (1792 – 1750 BC) The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

New Moon in Gemini

The New Moon in Gemini on June 13 opens us to a season of immense change in which having faith in the unknown will be necessary. We often talk in astrology of being open to the mystery, and this will certainly be apt advice in the coming months. During the forthcoming waxing phase of the Moon the fiery red planet Mars will station retrograde on June 26 just as the Capricorn Full Moon (that will be conjoining Saturn) culminates on June 27. The following three lunations after this will be eclipses, and so the coming lunar cycle prepares us for the crossing of the threshold into eclipse season. Its not a normal eclipse season as it will be aligned with the Mars retrograde transit exactly, and so promises an intensified version of the eclipse pattern in which dynamic new forms come into our life as others pass away. Mars in Aquarius will be making three pivotal unions with the transiting South Node of the Moon in Aquarius (June 7, July 20, September 25) as well as three decisive square aspects with Uranus in Taurus (May 16, August 1, September 18) which illuminate dynamics that will take at least the next three months to fully take shape. The curious, explorative, and synthesizing nature of the Gemini New Moon is ideal for making the necessary connections and beginning to discern the patterns taking shape in our life in correspondence. Yet there is an unpredictable quality to the coming months we will ultimately have to surrender to.

The New Moon in Gemini is applying to a sextile with Ceres in Leo, having recently separated from a quincunx with Pluto in Capricorn. These aspects highlight the psychopomp nature of Gemini, the penetratingly deep soulful Twin you don’t always hear about in pop astrology. This aspect of Gemini brings its ability to mediate polarities and weave wisdom from interconnections to the depths of subject matter. There are innumerable crises taking shape on the global stage that have frightening potential given the upcoming astrological transits, and indeed are provoking fear in many. The Gemini New Moon with Leo Ceres brings the space to process, grieve, and release hard feelings as well as the vitality needed to step into the unknown with bravery and open eyes. The New Moon in Gemini calls us to be a witness to both the oppression as well as the inspiration rising and falling around us. The New Moon in Gemini wants documentation, nuanced interpretation, direct communication, and a willingness to not only listen but to reach out to those in need of sharing their story.

Lammasu (721 – 705 BC) The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Mercury in Cancer rules the New Moon while applying to an opposition with Saturn in Capricorn. Mercury is on the threshold of reappearing as an Evening Star, which will happen two days after the New Moon on June 15 just as Mercury perfects its tense aspect with Saturn. The opposition between Mercury and Saturn brings decisiveness and the need to make clear choices of what to focus on with available time and space. As Mercury reappears in visibility as the Moon also grows in light greater clarity will be gained regarding events of recent weeks. Mercury in Cancer is more about the processing of emotions and feelings than external verbosity, and so the influence of Saturn brings strong capacity for deep inner contemplation rather than the chattering side of Gemini. This will be the first opposition between Mercury and Saturn since their drawn out union involving Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius at the end of 2017 (November 27, December 6, and January 12 were the dates of their three conjunctions), and so reflecting back on what has been brought to fruition since that time can help formulate new plans to develop in the season ahead.

Mercury is separating from a sextile with Uranus in Taurus and applying to a square with Chiron in Aries as it enters its face off with Saturn. This brings an unorthodox vibration for Mercury to transmit in relationship with Saturn, insights and messages that open us to meaning and visions outside our normal frame of reference. Yet the opposition from Saturn brings a cutting reality check to whatever exciting ideas come to mind. Innovative, pioneering ideas are called for that also have a practical, grounded impact. We may also feel the excitement over something new pull us toward taking action despite warning signs of becoming restricted or blocked from full manifestation. It will be best to utilize the limitations and tempering of Saturn to fine tune and hone plans under development rather than rushing forward impulsively. This is a time to commit yet our devotion to whatever we want to create requires patience and capacity to shift with flexibility as needed with the unforeseen changes on the horizon.

Imagination will also need to be integrated into upcoming decision making, since Neptune stations retrograde about five days after the New Moon on June 18, saturating the lunation with its dreamy, oceanic influence. The influence of Neptune brings powerful inner feelings and sensations that can override our ability at times to make clearcut decisions. Yet the otherworldly nature of Neptune holds important insights we need to open awareness to, allowing the boundaries of Saturn to harbor the poetry of graffiti and willingness for synchronous signs to guide choice.  There is growth and expansion to be found in the domain of Neptune since Jupiter in Scorpio will be engaging in a drawn out trine aspect over the upcoming months, remaining within a three degree orb into September. Jupiter in Scorpio calls us to pierce through material illusions to discover the deeper reality, wielding the courageous determination to face the reality of both surface and shadow, embracing change with full presence rather than attempting to manipulate situations out of possessiveness or fear of loss.

An image bringing all these ideas of Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, and Neptune together is the iris tenax flower that now graces the banner of this website. A tenacious flower of flexibility whose leaves have an ancient tradition of being fashioned into ropes and containers for resources, the magical, colorful bloom of the Iris flower  inspires illuminated vision according to author Julia Brayshaw:

Habitual exposure to artificial environments erodes our awareness of the patterns of nature- patterns of harmony, connection, and wholeness. When we lose sight of the unity of creation and perceive ourselves as separate pieces in a disjointed world, responses such as fear, depression, and mistrust are understandable. These states of constriction attempt to block pain. Even our eye muscles become constricted; therefore, under the influence of a negative emotional state, the amount of light that enters our eyes is reduced . . .

Radiant colors are nourishment for the iris of the eye. They feed our souls as well, breaking through the dark cloud layers that confine our vision. Iris, whether in the form of a rainbow, the messenger of a goddess, or a flower, is the archetype of the beauty and color that successfully penetrates our dreary, constricted states. Iris, in her multi-colored guises, pierces the illusions of a disconnected, senseless world and floods us with inspiration. Her divine messages are elusive and fleeting, often just a momentary shimmer that melts with the rainbow. Yet they reorient us to the eternal truth of our souls, of a coherent world infused with meaning and color. Through restoring clear vision, Iris awakens the artist, whose expression helps others to glimpse the beauty of creation.

— Julia M. Brayshaw, Medicine of Place: Patterns of Nature and Psyche in the Wildflowers of Cascadia

Processional Way Lion of Ishtar; The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Venus is at the very end of Cancer at the time of the Gemini New Moon, shining brightly as an Evening Star. Only a couple of hours after the lunation, however, Venus leaves the sensitizing waters of Cancer for the fierce fires of Leo where she immediately sets her gaze upon the North Node of the Moon, striding her way boldly toward a tense opposition with Mars in Aquarius. However, the first aspect Venus makes upon entering the sign of the Lion is a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Since Uranus is in Taurus, it means that Venus is receiving Uranus with her emboldened sense of courageous passion she can find in Leo like nowhere else. Venus receiving Uranus demands the freedom to connect with relationships resonant with our inner essentiality. Space may need to be created in relationships that are not fulfilling certain needs for connection with those that do. The brave and vital heart of Venus in Leo that is willing to resist and fight to protect essential values can be utilized in collaboration with others as well as infused into collective movements.

Gary Caton recently made a social media post breaking down the coming opposition between Venus in Leo with Mars stationing retrograde in Aquarius as a collective tipping point in values. Caton astutely noted that once Venus perfects its opposition with Mars on June 21 it will enter into a superior position relative to Mars based upon diurnal rotation. The point being, the brightly shining Venus will gain astrological leverage over the brightly shining Mars, and though there will be fierce tension stoked between them, in the end the harmonizing significations of Venus can win out. The night sky will be a beauty to behold as Venus will shine brightly as an Evening Star after sunset, and after Venus sets on the western horizon we will experience Mars ascending into visibility over the eastern horizon. Though likely ripe with conflict, this can also be an incredibly fertile time for creativity and dynamic breakthroughs. Venus will be near the North Node of the Moon, while Mars will be near the South Node of the Moon; its as if the purification of the Mars archetype can feed into an expansion of the Venus archetype.

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10 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 3 Decan

The New Moon in Gemini falls in the third face of Gemini associated with the Ten of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Pixie’s illustration of the Ten of Swords took on new meaning for me when I read Austin Coppock’s book on the decans, 36 Faces, and realized that since ancient Egyptian culture made the Cancer solstice the beginning of the year, and Egyptian culture is the source of the decans in astrology, it means that the third decan of Gemini would be the end of the cycle, the final of the thirty-six faces of the zodiac. Coppock ascribed the image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to the third decan of Gemini, writing that though “the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed” (p. 99). This symbolism aligns perfectly with the opposition formed between Mercury in Cancer with Saturn in Capricorn.

Thus the image of a dead man with ten swords plunged into his back resonates with surrendering to the end or death of a cycle. While the card’s image contains dark skies and death, there is also brilliant light present in the sky revealing the new beginning of a cycle to come.  The Sun is the ruler of the third face of Gemini, and since the Sun is moving through this zodiacal terrain en route to its glorious appearance at the Solstice on June 21, we likewise will be experiencing the death of one season of light for the birth of another. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs names Praxidike to this face, goddess of judgment and exactor of vengeance, signifying the complex karma encountered here in decisions made, actions undertaken. Fascinatingly, the Orphic hymn to Persephone connects Praxidike to the subterranean queen, signifying the psychopomp side of Gemini previously mentioned and holding space between worlds, between cycles.

The coming lunar cycle will take us across the threshold of Summer in the northern hemisphere, Winter in the southern hemisphere, as well as into the initiation of Mars stationing retrograde in Aquarius. We can surmise from the transits of coming months that more than the usual amount of change is on the way. With an open heart and focused mind we may not feel carefree within the tumult of these times, yet can still muster the confidence required to meet the strange times ahead with strength and creative resolve. As Rainer Maria Rilke once mused:

This is not to say that one ought to weaken the impact of what is difficult or take it less to heart so that it can be properly assimilated. On the contrary, the more fully we experience what is difficult, the more it pulls and drives us with its weight toward the center of life . . .

In life one cannot awaken often enough the sense of a beginning within oneself. There is so little external change needed for that since we actually transform the world from within our hearts. If the heart longs for nothing but to be new and unlimited, the world is instantly the same as on the day of its creation and infinite.

Letters on Life translated by Ulrich Baer

References

Brayshaw, Julia. (2007). Medicine of Place: Patterns of Nature and Psyche in the Wildflowers of Cascadia. Alchemia Publishing.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

Rilke, Rainer Maria Rilke. (2006). Letters on Life. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. The Modern Library.

 

Full Moon in Gemini

varo_remedios_roulotto

Remedios Varo (1956) Roulotte

Gemini Full Moon

The Full Moon in Gemini on December 13 illuminates not only experiences since the Sagittarius New Moon on November 29, but catalyzes insight into events across 2016 due to being square to the eclipses that occurred in Pisces this past year.  The Gemini Full Moon is in square to both the degrees of the Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces that happened on 8 March 2016 and the Annular Lunar Eclipse in Pisces that occurred on 16 September 2016, suggesting a deeper layer of meaning can now be received regarding related personal and collective experiences.  Gemini compels us to loosen dogmatic viewpoints, release our attachment to the philosophies and beliefs we derive our sense of security from, and explore how we can reconnect and weave meaning from the multiplicity of life occurring in the moment.  Gemini facilitates not only witnessing and communicating about life, but distilling underlying meaning that unifies elements that appear disparate on the surface.  Gemini is not only about expansive curiosity in our outer environment, but also involves deep exploration of our psyche and inner life.  The Full Moon in Gemini holds powerful aspects for going within our emotional bodies and exploring the way our subconscious is projecting into our outer relationships and viewpoints, taking responsibility to be aware of how the shadow elements we tend to deny about ourselves are at play.

The Gemini Full Moon is in square to Chiron in Pisces, with Saturn in Sagittarius conjoining the Sun.  Saturn in Sagittarius is close to forming a last quarter square to Chiron, a cycle that goes back to the mid 1960s when Chiron and Saturn last came together in Pisces.  The square forming between Saturn and Chiron is occurring at the same time that the opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries is tightening, with Saturn in Sagittarius forming a trine with Uranus and a sextile with Jupiter.  Identity is vital to consider within these aspects, and Chiron is a figure from myth who had to overcome abandonment issues over his identity as a centaur.  To reach the transpersonal realm of Uranus beyond Jupiter and Saturn that Chiron bridges, we must face our identity issues and open our presence beyond the ego conditioning of how our identity fits within society and the myriad projections others are constantly making from their own unconscious they do not claim any responsibility for.  Focusing within on what we truly value and want to create will help guide us in the choices to make and actions to take at this Full Moon, as there are extremely supportive aspects for liberating breakthroughs that are simultaneously grounded and capable of being manifested in the material realm.

Mercury in Capricorn rules the Gemini Full Moon and is approaching a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn.  Mercury is an Evening Star that has now reached its maximum elongation and is preparing to station retrograde, and in fact will station retrograde before it forms a conjunction with Pluto.  On the threshold of beginning its descent into the underworld, Mercury in Capricorn with Pluto can open perception beyond the consensus definitions of linear time and space and the type of logic fixated on causation.  Synchronicity is always at play, yet this Full Moon ruled by Mercury holds aspects suggesting the importance of paying attention to the full scope of messages in your surroundings.  Mercury in Capricorn supports being accountable and responsible for your perceptions and the manner in which you convey the meaning generated to others, honoring your own boundaries while being respectful of the boundaries of others.

deborahturbeville_silhouette-on-banister_300

Deborah Turbeville November 24, 1980

The Sun in Sagittarius is conjoining Saturn and at the beginning of a new cycle with Saturn the week of the Full Moon.  You can look to the aspects made in your chart by twenty degrees of Sagittarius to analyze how the new cycle between Saturn and the Sun is impacting you, but in general it brings a more serious and determined quality of Saturn into the normally lighthearted and flowing energy of a lunation involving the polarity of Gemini and Sagittarius.  Saturn is bringing solidity and grounding to the visionary quality of Sagittarius, a willingness to put in the work, discipline, and commitment necessary to manifest goals.    There can also be a heaviness and depressive sense of limitation surrounding anything that is currently not working effectively, but with Saturn also in sextile to Jupiter and trine to Uranus there is support for making dramatic changes and modifications focused on improvement and problem solving.   The Sun separating from Saturn in Sagittarius calls us to claim our inner authority to act from our core values with the integrity to patiently work in accord with our highest standards rather than try to cut corners, take shortcuts, or manipulate information to make things look better than they actually are.

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Roberto Matta (1951) La Mela

The Full Moon in Gemini is a gateway into the first exact opposition between Jupiter and Uranus in their current cycle, as in the dark Moon of the forthcoming waning lunar cycle Jupiter will form an exact opposition with Uranus on 26 December 2016.  The opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, with Saturn in Sagittarius forming a trine to Uranus and a sextile with Jupiter, is one of the dominant aspects of astrology in the year ahead.  We are only at the beginning of getting a sense of what these transits will mean for us in our lives, and although there are already signs of potential meaning there is  such an unexpected, shocking quality to Uranus that becomes strikingly catalyzed through an opposition with Jupiter, that its impossible to know fully what to expect given that experience can rapidly shift and change with sudden developments that come seemingly out of nowhere.  In the tension between the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus, it will be fruitful to make space away from relationships in order to attune within to everything being activated from external sources.  There is dynamic inventiveness found within these aspects to express into all manner of creativity that needs channels of release that will support its flow, rather than projecting it at walls of resistance that will only block and repress it.

As Jupiter begins to form its exact opposition with Uranus, the dwarf planet Ceres is also present with Uranus.  In tandem with the supportive aspects with Saturn, the path to accessing the full creative potential of the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus involves nurturing and taking care of our own needs so that we do not need to become overly attached in codependent relations in which we expect others to fulfill us.  The more we can resist projecting expectations and instead be present in the moment with all that we feel within, the more we can access the liberating dynamic of Jupiter and Uranus that is capable of taking us beyond previous limitations and barriers we had imposed upon ourselves.  It is possible to maintain commitment in relationship while also giving oneself the freedom and space to make breakthroughs from within a secure sense of self stabilized from nurturing one’s own needs.

erte-marriage-of-love-and-reason

Mariage d’Amour…Mariage de Raison (1927) Erte

Venus in Aquarius has the dignity of decan at the Full Moon, for she rules the first face of Aquarius. This gives Venus greater strength and an ability to decondition from external circumstances in order to enjoy one’s unique sources of pleasure and harmony.  Venus in Aquarius has now entered supportive sign-based aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus,  and as the aspects between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus become exact later in December, Venus in Aquarius will also form harmonious degree-based aspects with all three.  Venus in Aquarius holds a mirror that clarifies and objectifies our relationship dynamics, shedding light on our shadow and the way we project unconscious dynamics into our relationships.  Whether you view Saturn or Uranus as the ruler of Venus in Aquarius, Venus will be making a sextile to both in December.  Venus being in the home of Saturn is compelling in terms of making a commitment to embody one’s authentic inner values, being responsible to maintain personal integrity in all relationships.

Venus and Mars are both in the sign of Aquarius at the time of the Full Moon, in their balsamic phase.  As a result, the Gemini Full Moon that forms a trine to Mars in Aquarius illuminates a distillation of the past Venus and Mars cycle that goes back to 2015 in which there were three conjunctions of Mars and Venus in February, September, and November.  Inner reflection can reveal insight into the most significant relationships that have come in and out of our life since the beginning of 2015, as well as how the new relationships being developed now integrate our newly arising needs and values.  In the upcoming time period,  Venus will station retrograde in Aries in March 2017 before she reachers her conjunction with Mars (though Venus will get very close to Mars in Aries in February 2017), and then Mars and Venus will begin to separate and leave the balsamic phase (meaning moving more that 45 degrees apart) over the course of the Venus retrograde.  Eventually, Mars and Venus will unite and begin a new cycle in Virgo in October 2017, around the same time we will experience the final exact opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries.  While the Jupiter and Uranus opposition will correlate with extraordinary changes and inventions in collective events, in our personal lives theses same transits will also support breaking free from old relationship patterns we have outgrown.

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10 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 3 Decan

The Full Moon falls in the third face of Gemini, associated with the Ten of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  Her illustration of the Ten of Swords took on new meaning for me when I read Austin Coppock’s book on the decans, 36 Faces, and realized that since ancient Egyptian culture is the source of the decans in astrology, it is significant that Egyptian as well as the Hellenistic astrological tradition viewed Cancer as the first sign of the zodiac in astrological arrangements. For example in the Thema Mundi, the chart said to represent the birth of the universe, it is Cancer that occupies the first house and Gemini that occupies the twelfth house. Therefore, if we conceive the zodiac as beginning with the Cancer Solstice, or the first decan of Cancer, it means that the third decan of Gemini would be the end of the cycle, the final of the 36 faces of the zodiac.

Thus the image of a dead man with ten swords plunged into his back resonates with surrendering to the end or death of a cycle. While the card’s image contains dark skies and death, there is also brilliant light present in the sky revealing the new beginning of a cycle to come.  Austin Coppock linked the death found in this image with the necessary death or sacrifice of one of the twins of Gemini:

It is important to understand the precise nature of the death which occurs here properly, for it is not the self-sacrifice of Jesus, nor the cognate immolation and rebirth of the Phoenix. The third decan of Gemini sees Castor fall, Cain slay Abel and Set slay Horus. It is the climax of a story of polarity. The death which occurs here reduces a warring pair back to a stable unity . . .

For by the third decan of Gemini, dualities have permutated far beyond the shades of grey previously explored. The ultimate extremities are present here, taken to the point that they cannot truly coexist. Day and night must split time- they cannot take place simultaneously. Good and evil must do the same. In the end, the conflicting wills of the body and spirit cannot be wholly equilibrated. While the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed. Though such burnt offerings are a necessary inevitability, it does not spare those who walk this face difficult decisions (p. 98-99).

As the Sun rules the third decan of Gemini, it is fitting that the Sun in Sagittarius at the time of the Gemini Full Moon has passed from ending an old cycle with Saturn into beginning a new cycle.  In the brilliant light of the Full Moon in the sign of the Twins, we may let go of old self constructs, releasing old identities in order to open to the truth we discover in the moment.   The Sun with Saturn in Sagittarius supports facing current adversity with determined consistency, honesty, and principled resolve to lead by example.   Leading by example also includes supporting the work of others and helping to protect and shelter whatever we find valuable yet vulnerable in an early stage of development.  As Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote in a letter:

We have to be committed not to miss or neglect any opportunity to suffer, to have an experience, or to be happy; our soul arises refreshed from all of that.  It has a resting place at those heights that are difficult to reach, and it is at home where one can advance no further:  up there we have to carry it.  But as soon as we put it down for dead at those extreme spots it awakens and takes flight into skies and celestial depths that from now on belong to us.

I confess that I consider life to be a thing of the most untouchable deliciousness, and that even the confluence of so many disasters and deprivations, the exposure of countless fates, everything that insurmountable increased for us over the past few years to become a still rising terror cannot distract me from the fullness and goodness of existence that is inclined toward us.  There would be little sense in approaching you with good wishes if each wish were not preceded by this conviction that the goods of life arise pure, undamaged, and, at their very bottom, desirable out of upheaval and ruin.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Ulrich Baer

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2005). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer.