Lunar Eclipse in Gemini
Mystery and shadow envelope our experiences during the time of eclipses, making it predictable to encounter unpredictable change and an influx of fertile chaos. The Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on November 30 will initiate us into a liminal portal that leads to the Total Solar Eclipse that will occur on December 14 at 23°08′ Sagittarius. While sequences of eclipses always unleash a series of events that bring important endings and beginnings in our storylines, the eclipse season that arrives at the end of 2020 will bring more than the usual amount of accelerated change due to its synchronous alignment with the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21. The dragon of this eclipse season is ushering us into a new era.
Indeed, the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction at the end of 2020 demarcates not only the ending and beginning of the typical twenty year cycle between the superior planets, in this case it also transitions us from a two hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn aligning in earth signs into a two century era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Thus the typical dissolution we would normally expect due to being at the threshold of a new astrological era will be exacerbated by the vortex of volatility opened up by eclipses. Since the light of the glowing Full Moon becomes obscured by shadow during lunar eclipses, we similarly must pass through a dissolving phase of darkness that will reshape matters in fundamental ways. Fittingly, both Gemini and Sagittarius are mutable signs that assist in adapting to monumental transitions.
The Gemini Lunar Eclipse on November 30 is classified as penumbral, meaning that although the light of the Moon will be darkened by shadow it will not turn blood red in color as it does during a total lunar eclipse. Lunar Eclipses occur when a Full Moon lines up with the degrees of the transiting North Node and South Node of the Moon, and the closer they align corresponds with a more dramatic shadowing during the eclipse. Since the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will be eleven to twelve degrees away from the transiting lunar nodes, the shadowing will be fainter and less noticeable to the naked eye. However, the eclipse symbolism of a great dragon consuming the light of the Moon is still in effect, and so we will need to let go of certain elements of our life passing away while welcoming the emergence of new twists and turns within our story.
The Gemini Lunar Eclipse is most of all significant for being the first eclipse in a series to occur in Gemini, as well as setting in motion our first experience of back to back eclipses occurring along the axis of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini and the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. The true node calculation of the lunar nodes entered Gemini and Sagittarius on May 5, 2020 and a month later we experienced a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5. Though we have been orienting to the presence of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini during the past six months, its full implications will be more deeply felt by the Moon becoming eclipsed while heading toward a conjunction with its North Node in Gemini. With the Sun simultaneously heading toward a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, the ways in which you are letting go of old beliefs that no longer resonate with your experience will be fueling an influx of new perspectives to reconcile with your worldview.
Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness. Since the Gemini Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon while the Sun is illuminating the side of the South Node of the Moon, growth will come from the resolution and release of old issues and cultural conditioning that have shaped our beliefs and vision of life in the past. By shedding and emptying old beliefs there will be new questions that need to be asked and new lines of thought to follow with our curiosity.
Gemini tends to be a misunderstood zodiacal sign in popular astrology, oftentimes devalued despite the depth of thought it applies toward holding and contemplating a multiplicity of perspectives. Its double-bodied and digressive nature means that events linked with the eclipse in Gemini will require multi-tasking and present choices to pursue rather than a clear focus on only one option forward. While we will ultimately be able to weave together insight and find our way into the authentic path to follow, the events stirred up by the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will require a nuanced capacity for questioning, listening, and holding the tension of divergent perspectives until greater clarity is gained. Gemini is not known for stability, yet its airy and humane nature will invigorate and open up experiences and relationships rather than keep things stuck in stagnation.
As the Lunar Eclipse will occur at 8°37′ Gemini, it will be close in zodiacal degree to the legendary fixed star Aldebaran that is known as one of the four royal stars connected with worldly power and acclaim. In fact, the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will also be visually close to Aldebaran in the sky creating a visible celestial omen to decipher. Aldebaran is the bright rosy eye of the Bull whose reddish hue connects it with the planet Mars, as Aldebaran kindles the vitality needed to achieve the ambitious desires stoked by Mars. It’s therefore notable that the Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying toward a sextile with Mars in Aries. The interpretation Bernadette Brady gave to Aldebaran seems fitting in connection with the eclipse, as she wrote that ethical integrity needs to be followed to achieve success in connection with the red star (1). It will be an opportune period for questioning your aspirations and anyway that you could come out of alignment with your integrity by trying to achieve them.
The next eclipses that will occur in Gemini and Sagittarius will be a total lunar eclipse at 5°26′ Sagittarius on May 26, 2021 and a solar eclipse at 19°47′ Gemini on June 10, 2021, followed by a solar eclipse on December 3, 2021 at 12°22′ Sagittarius. You can begin preparing for the larger arc of storylines that will be changing during the next year of these eclipses by reflecting upon the life topics associated with the houses the degrees of the eclipses impact in your natal chart. Oftentimes the new narratives emerging with one pair of eclipses will go through major developments when the subsequent pair of eclipses strike six months later.
The Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying toward an invigorating sextile aspect with Mars in Aries, while Mercury in Scorpio as the ruler of the eclipse is likewise applying to a sextile aspect with Saturn in Capricorn. From August through October 2020, the astrological landscape was dominated by a harsh square aspect between Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Aries that intensified as Mars stationed retrograde. While they are still occupying zodiacal signs that form a square with one another, they have now put some distance between them. Saturn is now at the end of Capricorn and moving direct through the final degrees of the Sea Goat en route to entering Aquarius on December 16. Although Mars and Saturn will form one more square aspect in this series in January 2021 once Mars has entered Taurus, we now have an opportunity to reset and reconfigure to how we have already been reshaped by their tension.
Mars stationed direct two and a half weeks ago on November 13, but has moved less than two degrees forward since then. The sextile between the Gemini Lunar Eclipse with Mars in Aries will attune awareness with Mars finally beginning to build some forward momentum during the waning half of the current lunar cycle. In combination with the volatility of eclipse season, those who have felt stuck in situations they have wished to change may finally make a needed separation or push forward toward new growth opportunities. As the Gemini eclipse may coincide with numerous potential paths to choose between, the influence from Mars in Aries can help in cutting through to the authentic choice that needs to be made.
In contrast, the harmonizing sextile aspect between Mercury in Scorpio with Saturn in Capricorn is less about fiery action and more about deepening and grounding into the depth of one’s circumstances to discern the most effective ways to navigate through the epochal transition arriving at the end of the year. There is immense capacity for thorough research and penetrating contemplation within the sextile between Mercury and Saturn that can be applied to any area of life in need of attention and discernment. In addition to looking forward, the sextile between Mercury and Saturn may also be utilized in reflecting back upon the many experiences and lessons that have coincided with the transit of Saturn in Capricorn that began on December 19, 2017. We are close to the end of Saturn’s momentous journey through Capricorn and it will be worth the time it takes to ponder what you have learned from the experience before it enters Aquarius for good on December 16.
While the Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Aries, its next aspect will be a catalyzing square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is a major influence over the lunar eclipse due to the fact that it stationed direct on November 28 while also forming a confounding square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes. When Neptune stations direct it saturates the astrological landscape with its influence so that instead of being in the background or out of consciousness it becomes more viscerally felt. Among other things Neptune signifies the multitudinous meaning found in images, and so it will be worthwhile to explore the meaning of any images that grab your attention whether through dreams or your waking life. The stationing of Neptune may bring images that inspire with the ineffable quality of soul, unveiling aspects of inner psyche through contemplation.
The impact of Neptune forming a square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes is difficult to fully capture in words but clearly seen in current events full of numerous conspiracy theories and fraudulent attempts to manipulate public opinion by those in power. Issues surrounding social media, the Internet, and the alternating realities they can create that make bridging political divides seem impossible are major issues that the coming era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs will exacerbate and that the stationing of Neptune while at the bending of the lunar nodes has been making obvious. Neptune can dissolve structures of thought into a process of disillusionment, confusion, and disorientation that can be difficult to traverse with clarity when in the middle of it. Yet with the eclipses activating the South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini, crucial lessons will be found through reorienting to our reality with the sense of truth we gain from experiences of disillusionment.
The questions of Neptune do not have easy answers, and as the Moon will be eclipsed on the side of its North Node in Gemini we can further surmise that the larger answers to our questions will also not come from the “spirit of the times” as C.G. Jung would say. No matter if the information is coming from what is perceived as a mainstream or alternative source, ultimately we will each need to descend to our inner depths to discern our way through the maze of cultural influences to find our authentic path forward. While the shadow of Gemini in square with Neptune in Pisces can involve distraction and deception, its more positive potential involves an open mind willing to listen, committed to questioning everything, and actively witnessing the reality of the multitudinous and those on the margins overlooked by others.
Gemini 1 Decan
The Moon will be eclipsed in the first decan 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 past year of pandemics and political turmoil. The image of the bound woman has been interpreted as the paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or triggered 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 that will come in the next month of eclipses and the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn.
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 the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self (2).
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 inhabiting the first decan of Gemini. 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.” In keeping with the double-bodied nature of the sign of the Twins, we can imagine how the image of a woman gracefully prodigious in arts and crafts is another side of the first face of Gemini to remember in contrast to the Eight of Swords image.
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 (3).
Lunar Eclipses can be more emotional than the usual Full Moon, bringing events that cause waves of change that continue to reverberate in their rippling effect. While there may be a need for grief and the release of tearful emotions like rain from clouds in response to events that will come from the eclipse, allow exploration of your watery internal landscape to bring you into contact with the enlivening water that resides there. Be curious about whatever you can feel emerging from within to be born into your life, as these feelings will likely intensify as we approach the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse on December 14.
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(1) Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.
(2) Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
(3) Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html