Full Moon in Gemini
“Fair Hermes, crown’d with feathers, fluttering light / I had a splendid dream of thee last night: / I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold, / Among the Gods, upon Olympus old, / The only sad one; for thou didst not hear / The soft lute-finger’d Muses chanting clear, / Nor even Apollo when he sang alone, / Deaf to his throbbing throat’s long, long melodious moan. / I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes, / Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks, / And swiftly as a bright Phoebean dart / Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou art!”
— from Lamia by John Keats
The Full Moon in Gemini on December 11 pours down its light of silvery synthesis into places where rigidity has taken root in fearful or judgmental beliefs. The crater patterning of its reflective glow transmits the wink of sly Hermes, a reminder that we don’t know the whole story or the pattern being weaved from the warping and wefting of our thread. Multiplicities and multitudinous musings unravel in the Gemini Moon, inviting new questions, curious investigations, and willingness for a new narrative voice to shift the storyline we have been telling ourselves.
The Gemini Full Moon is ruled by swift Mercury riding a speedy Sagittarius stallion into the beams of the Sun. As the Full Moon peaks, Mercury will be making its final appearance as a Morning Star before entering its invisible phase in which it moves at its fastest speed on the other side of the Sun from us in orbit. Before disappearing from view, Mercury turns to deliver a message we need to hear, a riddle to ponder and contemplate during the darkness approaching over the horizon. There is a bigger picture we need to see and connections we need to make, with a willingness to look in places overlooked by most, to listen to voices who many do not listen to.
Although the Full Moon is separating from a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, the enchantments and imaginal inspirations of Neptune will be washing over our sensations as the Moon waxes toward peak fullness. For those who have been working hard with focused seriousness recently, it can be an ideal time for respite within regenerative fantasy. For those who have been neglecting duties or details, there may be a sudden awakening to what needs to change and what needs to be taken care of. For those who have been deceiving themselves, the fog of illusion may part to reveal personal truth and self realization.
With Mercury, the Sun, and Neptune all under rulership of Jupiter in Capricorn, it’s vital that Jupiter is separating from a catalyzing square with Chiron and applying toward a flowing and innovative trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Furthermore, it’s significant that Chiron in Aries is stationing in stillness at 1º26′ Aries, with Mercury in Sagittarius also separating from a trine with Chiron. Altogether, these aspects will be most effective when questioning any dominant paradigms and cultural influences that have made you feel disappointed in not living up to whatever you feel you “should” be achieving, or has led you away from whatever brings you real happiness. Being willing to experiment with an adventurous spirit may not manifest your idealized results right away, but the shake-up to your status quo will dislodge essential insights that will bring rewards by choosing a dynamic direction rather than sustaining whatever has become stagnant or unfulfilling.
Whether you want things to change or stay the same, deep shifts and changes are on the horizon as we come to the end of a decade with a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn as the final lunation of the year on December 25 or 26, depending on your time zone. The Gemini Full Moon demarcates the threshold of entering “eclipse season,” in which the Sun moves within range of nineteen degrees away from the transiting South Node of the Moon. This means that eclipse related events will begin occurring during the waning half of this lunar cycle, events which can sometimes have a strange and unexpected quality along with a far reaching impact. Eclipses release the unmanifest into manifestation, with new relationships and storylines entering our life at the same time that old ones pass away. Since the eclipse is aligned with the South Node of the Moon, there is a stronger focus on release, purification, and harvesting of the past more so than a surge of new growth. The impact of changes will be most apparent for those with natal chart placements close to 4°06′ Capricorn where the darkening of the Sun’s light will occur.
“Are then regalities all gilded masks? / No, there are throned seats unscalable / But by a patient wing, a constant spell, / Or by ethereal things that, unconfined, / Can make a ladder of the eternal wind, / And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents / To watch the abysm-birth of elements. / Ay, ‘love the withering of old-lipp’d Fate / A thousand Powers keep religious state, / In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne; / And, silent, as a consecrated urn, / Hold sphery sessions for a season due. / Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few! / Have bared their operations to this globe — / Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe / Our piece of heaven– whose benevolence / Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense / Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude, / As bees gorge full their cells. And by the feud / ‘Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear, / Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair / Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest. / When thy gold breath is misting in the west, / She unobserved steals unto her throne, / And there she sits most meek and most alone; / As if she had not pomp subservient; / As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent / Towards her with the Muses in thine heart; / as if the ministering stars kept not apart, / Waiting for silver-footed messages. / O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din / The while they feel thine airy fellowship. / Thou dost bless everywhere, with silver lip / Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine, / Couch’d in thy brightness, dream of fields divine: / Innumerable mountains rise, and rise, / Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes, / And yet they benediction passeth not / One obscure hiding-place, one little spot / Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren / Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken, / And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf / Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief, / To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps, / Within its pearly house; — The mighty deeps, / The monstrous sea is thine– the myriad sea! / O Moon! far spooning Ocean bows to thee, / And Tellus feels his forehead’s cumbrous load.”
— from Endymion, Book III by John Keats
Venus in Capricorn is in a quincunx aspect with the Full Moon, but most vittally is separating from a conjunction with Saturn and applying toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn. There has been incredible intensification during the past year in whatever areas of your life are connected with Capricorn, as Saturn, Pluto, the South Node of the Moon, and eclipses have shaken and reshaped matters. Now that Venus and Jupiter have joined the Sea Goat’s procession, we can feel revivifying winds blowing through the rocky terrain of Capricorn that bring awareness of how to mend and tend to whatever has been been triggered or fractured as Saturn and Pluto have moved within close proximity during 2019. Visions of essential growth can arise through the stillness of surveying the many sides of your circumstances, sparked by the stones of Necessity. Yet dreams of new creative endeavors will require the time it takes to construct a secure and stable foundation before they can take form and successfully put down roots in your community. The astrology of upcoming months supports long-range goals that will require incubation and adjustment, but can ultimately manifest into enduring forms of shelter and support.
When Venus is uniting with Pluto during a Full Moon, there is a greater intensity of depth within relationships, with volcanic and volatilizing feelings breaking through awareness. The potency of Pluto’s influence on Venus penetrates under the surface of relational dynamics, bringing the potential for honest communication and the cultivation of greater intimacy or mutual empowerment if both sides are able to listen and share. However, Venus is coming to Pluto soon after meeting with Saturn, and so the manner in which we addressed whatever issues arose as Venus united with Saturn in the week before the Full Moon is pivotal. If the austereness of Saturn’s influence on Venus led to strained conversations, harsh criticism, or feelings of not being heard, it will be especially important to resolve any lingering issues before they fester and foment a larger implosion. Since Pluto dramatically amplifies compulsive and obsessive feelings, it will help to sift through the feelings being stirred up to contemplate what truly needs to be communicated versus what does not.
Venus weaving in between Saturn and Pluto during the Full Moon is perfect for attuning to the larger changes taking shape in correspondence with the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto that will happen on January 12, 2020. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche used extensive research to show that periods of Saturn and Pluto aligning involve uncompromising, polarized conflicts that lead to fears of being overwhelmed by disruptive forces out of our control. This leads some to feel a need to restrain instinctive desires that feel threatening to established orders, others to project their own shadowy material onto others who serve as scapegoats. The reflective light of the Gemini Full Moon can illuminate inner depths and the complex, contradictory multiplicities we all have within us.
With Mars in Scorpio applying toward a harmonizing sextile aspect with Saturn in Capricorn and a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces, allow yourself to face the lessons you’ve learned from failure, acknowledge the unsavory aspects of yourself you prefer to keep hidden from others, while resurrecting a more essential image of your creative potential to strive toward in the year ahead. It’s often the case that our frustrations with current relationships and scenarios mirror issues within our inner darkness, but during the time period ahead dominated by Saturn and Pluto it will be especially important to take responsibility for one’s own issues and to relate with the actual presence of others instead of the unconscious material we are projecting onto them. By descending within our own darkness we can not only connect with desires that will truly activate our creativity and presence, we can also take advantage of the transit of Mars in Scorpio harmoniously interacting with Saturn and Neptune to generate new forms and growth from imaginal sources.
Gemini 2 Decan
The Full Moon peaks at 19º51′ Gemini, the very end of the second decan of the Twins. Associated with the Nine of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith, the image of nightmarish worry and anguish under a cover of astrological symbols 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 9 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, and numerous ancient texts have ascribed 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.
There has been a palpable sense of fear in many who follow astrology concerning the transits of 2020 such as the alignment of Saturn and Pluto that begins the year. While it is true that the astrology transits of 2020 portend a period of major endings and beginnings, remember that within the same fear over what could happen you will discover the vivifying excitement of creative potential you want to make happen. In The Myth of Analysis, James Hillman 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 . . .” As we draw to the end of the year, the end of the decade, and the liminal time of two-faced Janus, allow any fear concerning the unknown future to help clarify what you want to devote yourself toward bringing into being.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Hillman, James. The Myth of Analysis.