One of the reasons a New Moon packs so much punch is that the luminaries of both the day and night are in the same sign. We get a big burst of whatever themes and possibilities that archetype includes. This month, it’s Gemini, and we have more than the usual abundance of what this sign brings.
If you know anyone with a strong Gemini signature in their chart (Sun, Moon, Ascendant) you’ll recognize commonly associated traits of insatiable curiosity, love of learning and information, playfulness, wit. A Geminian person may be a flirt or a raconteur, a collector of data. There’s a rap that a Geminian may be way too chatty, indecisive, superficial, maybe telling so many stories that he or she shades the truth, just a little bit, maybe. As with any of the archetypes, there are many healthy and unhealthy possibilities.
Currently, we have Mercury in its home air sign of Gemini, moving direct (and not moving retrograde until June 18, when it will be in the sign of Cancer.)
We also have Venus, the planetary force of love, harmony, and beauty, in Gemini for an extended stay. Five times every eight years, Venus has a retrograde period of about 40 days. All of the planets have retrograde periods of differing frequencies and lengths, during which time a planet is the closest it gets to Earth. We currently have the unusual event of Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Venus all appearing to move retrograde.
A planet moving backward, from Earth’s point of view, is not weak. It is introspective. While Venus is in retrograde motion from May 13 to June 25, we are asked to reconsider, remembe—and in airy Gemini, re-think and even re-write—our stories about all things Venusian. Relationships come first to mind. But Venus also has to do with our values, our money, and our stuff. We have favorite people and favorite things because Venus is discriminating. We love this, not that. While Venus is in retrograde motion, it’s good to contemplate what we value and who and what we want around us.
Each transit brings both personal and collective manifestations. We look to the house where Gemini falls in our chart to see how we might be most affected by this transit. (Personally, I have Venus in Gemini natally in the Tenth House of career. During this transit, I landed a new office at a location where I’ve been on a waiting list for ten months.)
Perhaps the most mysterious of astrological phenomena has to do with the shifting nodal axis of the Moon. What’s that? I will try to explain.
The Earth’s path around the Sun is called the ecliptic. The Moon, in its orbit around Earth, crosses that ecliptic, intersecting it at a point called the south lunar node when crossing downwards and at an opposite point called the north lunar node when crossing the ecliptic moving northward. These two points move backwards through each degree of the zodiac, changing pairs of signs about every 18 months.
Astrologers of various stripes ascribe different symbolic meanings to these invisible points. The south node references the past or what we are letting go of. The north node is where we’re headed, what we aspire to. My favorite interpreter of the lunar nodes is astrologer Mark Jones, who explains the south and north nodes not so much in opposition but as an oscillating axis of “destiny.” Even when we think we’re moving on, the past is never really over, and we can’t exactly know what the future will bring. The nodes hint at pairs of themes that have to do with personal and collective change.
The lunar nodes had been paired in Capricorn/Cancer for about the last 18 months when they shifted into Sagittarius/Gemini on or about May 5. There they will stay until January 2022, giving us a long time to contemplate the letting go of some Sagittarian concerns and the welcoming in of Geminian themes.
Whereas Gemini is about data, information, one story after another, Sagittarius is about a grand quest for freedom and meaning. Sagittarius is the forest. Gemini is the trees. We’ve heard it said that some people “can’t see the forest for the trees,” but without trees, there’s no forest. With all of the pairs of zodiacal signs, one really can’t do without the other. Or we’ll get lost.
Each pair of signs forming the dichotomous axis of the lunar nodes captures something about our personal and collective destinies, and brings us both trouble and opportunity.
Did anyone notice the proliferation of online story-making, in the form of viral and even dangerous conspiracy theories, about the pandemic, in early May? That’s the Gemini/Sagittarius axis: lots of data and theories, and who are you going to believe? Sagittarius, at it best, is a quest for wisdom, rooted in faith. The dark side of faith is dogmatism. To put a check on dogma, we need the Geminian open mind. Too open a mind, though, and we can’t think or see straight.
This reminds me of the Zen master Suzuki Roshi, who famously said that “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”
That sounds good. But is it always true?
When danger is afoot, we need curiosity and inquiry. That’s Gemini. We also need expert knowledge and wisdom, the big picture of values, beliefs, and tested knowledge, to ground the incoming data points. That’s Sagittarius.
Mercury, the winged messenger, is the planetary guide of our New Moon in this season of Gemini, and Mercury is particularly happy right now in its airy home sign of Gemini.
Mercury asks us to gather information, to think it, and tell it. With Gemini, the newness of beginner’s mind is key. Newness includes being willing to un-learn what we think we know. And to do that, we must invoke one of Mercury’s greatest super powers, which is to dive down deep, and, before speaking or even thinking, to first listen.
Blessings for the Gemini New Moon,