Full Moon in Gemini
Gemini possesses extraordinary mental deftness. It’s the sign of the Twins and the back and forth. Gemini is paradoxically a place of the binary and duality as well as the perspicacious perception that discovers non-dualities within the conflicts of duality we suffer. Gemini is prone to fragmentation yet also discovers unity within the multiplicity of fragments its questioning breaks open. Just like the Twins symbolize symbiosis in the womb that becomes differentiated into separate paths emanating from a shared source, Mercury’s rulership of Gemini reveals its capacity for mediating polarities and considering the nuances in between opposing perspectives. Gemini delights in languages and sounds of the sacred, finding pleasure in transmitting their complex meaning through handiwork such as writing, weaving, and sculpting material forms. While Full Moons in Gemini tend to be an especially active time for mental pursuits and social engagement, the mental wattage of the Gemini Full Moon on December 7 will be excessively amplified due to the Moon closely applying to Mars retrograde in Gemini.
The darkness of the night will be set against the glowing orb of the Moon and the brilliant redness of Mars, as Mars will be in its brightest phase and as close to us in orbit as it is possible for Mars to be. As the Sun sets in the west, the Moon and Mars will rise together in the east. Yet just as we will be able to witness Mars in its peak redness within the blackness of night, there will be a lunar occultation of Mars (in some locations) that will temporarily consume our visual sight of the red planet. The Moon’s disappearing act with Mars is a potent sky omen that speaks to the deeper meaning of Mars reaching its solar opposition phase. I find resonance with the perspective of astrologer Adam Gainsburg who has described the solar opposition phase of Mars as initiating us into a radical commitment to our authentic vision, as well as reframing the meaningful motivation of Mars from being all about one’s own needs into serving societal needs. The Full Moon in Gemini will spotlight how to direct the fiery impulses of Mars into forms and expressions that can serve the needs of your community or audience.
Gemini like its ruler Mercury has affinity for the crossroads where one path separates into a choice of options. As we come to the end of 2022 and the season of increasing darkness in the northern hemisphere, the illumination of the Full Moon in Gemini will provide penetrating insight into the changing nature of storylines from the past year and the choices which need to be made on the direction to follow in the year ahead. Though Gemini is known for becoming scattered and becoming burdened by too many interests and potential paths to pursue, the close application between the Full Moon with Mars will provide a burning intensity that can cut to the heart of the matter and the core values and desires that need to be honored in any decision. There may be a need for meditative and other calming practices to mediate an increase in mental anxieties provoked by Moon and Mars adhering to one another, yet when channeled into work, art, and creativity the amalgamation of Moon and Mars can bring an immense activation of drive and resilient tenacity in making forward strides and significant development despite whatever obstacles we may be facing.
Though the Gemini Full Moon is an incredible alignment of both the Moon and Mars cycles coming together at the same time, it’s not unusual – for comparison, you can reflect upon past times this has occurred such as the Full Moon in Sagittarius conjoining Mars retrograde in Sagittarius on 21 May 2016, and the Lunar Eclipse conjoining Mars retrograde in Aquarius on 27 July 2018. Some of what sets the present alignment apart is it occurring in Gemini with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces in the tenth place from Mars, giving Jupiter a superior influence over Mars. Furthermore, Venus in Sagittarius is separating from Neptune and applying closely toward a catalyzing square aspect with Jupiter that involves mutual reception, due to Venus occupying the fiery home of Jupiter and Jupiter occupying the exaltation of Venus. James Hillman in The Myth of Analysis captured some of this meaning when he wrote that “Those twins, compulsion and inhibition, are familiar enough in all creative efforts where one is both driven and blocked, enthusiastic and critical, on fire and fearful . . . Demon and daimon are one; if we suppress the compulsion, we lose touch with the guiding voice of the daimon . . . At the deepest level of fear an eros appears . . .” The synergy between the Moon and Mars may not be pleasant, and could bring distressing fears to the surface. Uncovering the daimonic eros emerging out of your recent trials and tribulations will provide the lodestar needed for navigating out of the storm.
Saturn in Aquarius is in position to provide stabilizing support, as the Gemini Full Moon is applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn that can help with centering upon one’s core purpose and walling off the distracting noise of the nonessential. Moreover, Mercury in Capricorn as the ruler of the Gemini Full Moon is also in a place of pragmatism due to occupying the nocturnal and earthy home of Saturn. Mercury excels in holding the tension of paradox, probing the meaning that weaves together differences, and questioning the certainty of righteousness in order to tease out the insight necessary for a deeper engagement. In Capricorn, Mercury is particularly adept at devising plans of action that can adjust to changing conditions, making decisions in a grounded manner that recognizes the reality of what will work while staying aligned with the required integrity. As the Full Moon peaks in light, Mercury in Capricorn will be on its own without any immediately applying aspects, giving the star of Hermes space to contemplate the recent messages it received from its fiery conversation with Jupiter in Pisces on 5 December. In contrast to Venus becoming enflamed by the Moon, Mars, Neptune, and Jupiter, Mercury in Capricorn is in a cool, solitary place of contemplation that will facilitate separating the wheat from the chaff.
Mars has spent the first half of its retrograde phase locked into a battle with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces that has ranged between chaotic confusion and creative inspiration. As Mars reaches the alchemizing midpoint of its retrograde movement during the Gemini Full Moon, Mars is beginning to gain significant separation from its last square aspect it completed with Neptune on 19 November. With Neptune stationing direct on 3 December in the week before the lunation, Mars and Neptune will now be moving in different directions away from one another until they much later come back into one final square aspect on 14 March 2023. Though the combined presence of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces is still holding an influence over Mars during the Gemini Full Moon, the flowing trine aspect between the Gemini Full Moon with Saturn in Aquarius can facilitate discernment regarding whatever deep wells of imaginal material have been stirred up by Mars clashing with Jupiter and Neptune. The cutting intellectual blade of Mars retrograde in Gemini can be utilized to slice through beliefs, ideologies and illusions you have been adhering to without question. Whether you have disillusionment or inspired idealism to sort through, allow the presence of Jupiter and Neptune together to bring the underlying truth of your experience to the surface.
While the Gemini Full Moon is applying toward a trine aspect with Saturn, Mars is gaining further separation from the exact trine aspect it formed with Saturn on 28 November while applying toward a resonant sextile aspect with Chiron in Aries. Mars separating from a trine with Saturn and applying toward a sextile with Chiron while in the heart of its retrograde phase signifies initiation. Mars will form an exact sextile aspect with Chiron on 19 December 2022 at the same time that Chiron will be stationing direct on 23 December. The sextile between Mars and Chiron that will be slowly building from now until the Capricorn solstice is potent due to the activation of Chiron’s presence through stationing while Chiron is also being received by Mars into its fiery home of Aries. The reception between Mars with Chiron brings a critical test and training that has the ultimate expression of Mars for the greater good in mind. The interplay between Saturn, Mars, and Chiron may bring up painful wounds and difficult patterns to awareness, yet the harmonious reception between Chiron and Mars indicates there is something important about your relationship with Mars that is being sharpened, honed, and developed.
Reflecting upon the previous sextile aspect between Mars in Gemini with Chiron on 17 September 2022 may give insight into the process underway for you with Mars and Chiron, as well as issues that came up around the Full Moon in Aries that was conjoining Chiron on 9 October. For example, you may have gained increased awareness of patterns stemming from past wounding and alienation that have been creating important matters to work through in relational dynamics. Or issues involving the intersection between societal systems of oppression with one’s identity and core purpose, and whether you feel you have the agency to pursue what you want to create in life. Do you feel disempowered due to a sense of futility in the face of obstacles, or are you acting as an agent of societal institutions rather than following your genuine desires? Let Chiron coax a more empowered expression of Mars in your life.
Chiron ultimately functions as a mentor archetype, shown through both his mythology and astronomy. In myth, Chiron was a wise centaur who fostered and trained heroes. In astrology, Chiron’s eccentric orbit that weaves in between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus symbolizes how it facilitates a deeper connection with our nonconformist side that does not fit easily into conventional society. Chiron in Aries combined with Mars retrograde in Gemini will bring opportunities to recover whatever you have felt you needed to abandon about your essential purpose to fit in with cultural expectations. What have you been sacrificing about yourself in order to meet the material demands of society? Who are you serving with your power?
The application of the sextile between Mars and Chiron will extend through the rest of the time period that Jupiter will be occupying its watery, nocturnal home of Pisces. Jupiter will exit Pisces to enter Aries on 20 December, a day before the Capricorn solstice. Jupiter will not be in another one of its domiciles until entering Sagittarius in 2030 and will not be in its exalted sign of Cancer until 9 June 2025. Utilize the final days of Jupiter directly expressing its procreative life force through Pisces to envision the life you most dearly wish to create, allowing your imagination to run wild. The activation of the Aries point by Jupiter at the same time as the Capricorn solstice will make it a powerful time for dreaming on the darkest day of the year, conceiving the plans and projects you can take direct action on in the year ahead.
During the waning half of the lunar cycle, in the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere, Venus and Mercury will be adorning the evening twilight with their light. The return of Venus to visibility as an Evening Star is especially powerful, as it marks the end of her long underworld journey of invisibility that lasted from September through November. The renewal of Venus into visible light will ignite a revived embodiment of desires that can guide decision making. Whatever was emptied and purified during the past three months of Venus traversing the celestial underworld can now be transmuted into dynamic creativity and renewed values. By December 10, both Mercury and Venus will be traveling together in Capricorn for the rest of December, creating a supportive astrological atmosphere for generating creative possibilities as well as refining options into focused goals you can develop strategies to achieve.
The waning Moon during the solstice on 21 December will add to the potency of the fertile darkness that will contain all five visible planets in the sky following sunset. Mercury will be at its maximum elongation as an Evening Star during the solstice while separating from a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus it will complete on 17 December. Meanwhile, Venus will be applying closely to a liberating trine aspect with Uranus that will become exact on 22 December. With both Mercury and Venus carrying a torch of Promethean fire, we can experience an emboldened pursuit of innovative creative directions. Combined with Jupiter occupying the first degree of Aries, it will be a powerful time for reflecting upon the changes and growth you have experienced during the past year while turning toward the new year to envision what you wish to create.
Gemini 2 Decan
The Gemini Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Gemini associated with the Nine of Swords arcanum illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The Nine of Swords involves an image of nightmarish worry and anguish under a cover of astrological symbols. The image for the Nine of Swords takes on new meaning when considering that Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hermaphrodite” to this face. Coppock described the second face of Gemini as being a place of mediating “continuing duality” in which “we must learn to reconcile angels and demons within a single soul.” The obsessive, negative thought cycles shown in the Nine of Swords through this lens reveals an “inability to reconcile dualities within oneself, within the world,” to Coppock, “the moments of despair” which can occur within the “irreconcilable places” found within this decan. Yet to Coppock there is a great gift to cultivate in the second face of Gemini in terms of recognizing how each side of dualities like love and war perpetually turn back into one another through the “arts of union and separation.” Coppock concluded that whoever “accepts these oscillations comes to understand the whole of interaction- they are unbothered by either, knowing the other waits in turn.”
Fittingly for a hermaphroditic decan, the second face of Gemini is ruled by both Mars and Venus with numerous ancient texts ascribing images of dualistic forms. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs attributed the ancient goddess Cybele to this face, whose creation story involves an original hermaphroditic form. The Liber Hermetis described a double faced man holding a bow and arrows, treading on rabbits with both feet. Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described another man holding a bow and arrow, but one whose head is bound in lead with an iron helmet featuring a silk crown, who is enjoying “ridicule and mockery” while walking around a garden playing music and picking flowers. While the Picatrix described an eagle-faced man also with bow and arrows, iron helmet, and silk crown, the Yavanajataka described a graceful black woman in bright garments who delights in the arts, singing and storytelling and who is pleased to be holding a lyre.
The storytelling and songs contained in the image from the Yavanajataka are mediums through which the complexity of the second face of Gemini can be expressed, as the artistic artifice of storytelling can create space for the tension between dualities to reveal insight and revelations. In Henrich Cornelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, the capacity of the second face of Gemini for mediating dualities is shown through the form of a trickster figure: “In the second face [of Gemini] rises a man who holds in one hand a [shepherd’s] pipe and has the other curved and digging into the earth. [This image] signifies infamous and dishonest actives, such as jesters and tricksters, and signifies labors and laborious searches.”
The Gemini Full Moon conjoining Mars in its own face of Gemini will amplify the symbolism of the second face of Gemini. While this can be an extremely cunning, strategic, and cruel placement for Mars, Agrippa’s image of a trickster digging one hand into the earth reveals a higher calling for Mars that can also be found here. In the Orphic hymn to Ares, Ares is petitioned to turn his fury and weapons into the procreative production of Demeter that discovers abundant riches within the earth. With the star of Ares in his peak light aligning with the peak light of the Moon, consider how you can transmute the tenacious frenzy and passion of Mars into useful creativity and brilliant insight that is grounded in practical application.
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Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Hillman, James. (1978). The Myth of Analysis. Harper Colophon.