We are rounding out dragon season with a New Moon and annular solar eclipse on Thursday, in Gemini, the sign of the Twins. To those who can see the event, the passing Moon in silhouette will occlude our star, except for a golden ring of fire—a halo of immortality or a celestial wedding band; a token of promise, though to what or to whom we here below are being betrothed we may not yet know. Retrograde Mercury, the overseer of this transit, is temporarily lost in the rays of Sun. And Neptune’s influence creates mirages and ethereal visions from afar. There are quirks and aberrations in the skies at present: planetary bodies moving backwards, disappearing, losing their light. And as for us humans observing them from our earthly perspective—what do we do when confronted with strange space phenomena? We tell stories. It’s the Gemini way.
Try this one, from Greek myth: in the land beyond the North Wind, Leto gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Artemis, the infant Moon goddess, emerges first and delivers her own brother, the Sun god Apollo. Then they go their separate ways—she to the wild, untamed woods as Princess of the Night, and he to the Olympian sky, a Prince with a fiery crown. Meanwhile, Mercury’s movements bring to mind winged Icarus, who flew too close to the Sun and plummeted into Poseidon’s waters. But he could just as easily be the horned god Pan or the elfin Puck, leading the nymphs to an all-night moondance.
Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, we all fall into a midsummer night’s dream. Folklore and literature are full of magical rings, especially of the mushroom variety. Those mysterious, perfect circles that spring up overnight have been said to be made by the feet of dancing pixies. Superstition warns about entering the fairy ring, as all sorts of strange things may befall you there. Messages from the Beyond, or invitations to join it, may come through at this time. Intuition, imagination and dreamworlds come alive. Time warps and weaves. And so, when in the eclipse portal, be careful around the nymphs and imps and genies that cross your path, and don’t linger too long in the land of the fae.
Or how about an esoteric take? The Rosary of the Philosophers, a 16th century text re-envisioned by Carl Jung, describes the King and Queen conjoining in the bath of the unconscious, or the Mercurial fountain of the psyche. In the union of opposites—the alchemical marriage—two become one. We, like they, are part of an eternal cycle of merging and dividing. We are born, we separate, and we find our way back to oneness. Mercury-Hermes is the dual-natured mage, the quickener, and the breath of life. The Moon and the Sun, Body and Spirit, connected by Soul, Mercury. “Anima est sol et luna.”
And so we look to the sky with questions and end up finding the stories contained within ourselves. Myths, as it turns out, are not a way to make sense of the external world, so much as the internal one. Or perhaps even more accurately: they teach us that such a division does not really exist. As Joseph Campbell said, “Myths are public dreams, and dreams are private myths.” Through them we come to know ourselves as part of the macrocosm, in accordance with the old Hermetic dictum: as above, so below; as within, so without.
The Sun in Gemini shows us that there are many kinds and versions of truth. The New Moon in Gemini reminds us to stay curious. The north node in Gemini tells us to consider all that we DON’T know. And an eclipse on all three brings out in the collective what Campbell called those mythic “penultimate truths…penultimate, because the ultimate cannot be put into words.” And so you might ask yourself: What fairy tale are you living in? What is your private myth? And as Mercury merges into the heart of the Sun: what animates your Soul?
June 2 - June 26, 2021
Today Venus moves into Cancer, and we all float on, down the Moon River, on a sentimental journey. Close your eyes and hear the crooners as they serenade us with old standards: “Love is now the stardust of yesterday, the music of the years gone by…”
The lunar, watery nature of Cancer brings out the sensitive side of our goddess, as well as bringing to bear the sense and sensibilities of a thousand grandmothers, mothers, aunties and sisters upon our relationships. This ingress bathes us in a wash of oxytocin, triggering a let-down reflex of our bonding instincts and desire for closeness. As last month’s airy friendship of Gemini deepens into a new dimension of connection, we move from sympathy to empathy. Before, we wrote love letters and passed notes; whispered in secrecy and giggled in affection. Now, we share broken heart-lockets and curated playlists; we slow dance cheek to chest until the record skips. A whiff of perfume, or an old photo sends us reminiscing. We dress in vintage, wear our heirloom pearls, peruse the flea markets for housewares, collect seashells and hate goodbyes.
Aleister Crowley called this placement the Lord of Love. Equally she is the Queen of Hearts. Venus in Cancer is a romantic through and through, a sweet child o’ mine who reminds us of a warm, safe place. She is private, protective, powerful and creative. As Mars makes his way out of the Cancer house in our charts, the scarab goddess enters behind, making the house a home, and soothing, smoothing and softening the energy of the space. For the next three weeks, iridescent is the day and tender is the night, and we are spinning our cocoons out of the finest silken threads.
It starts off on a golden summer afternoon, pleasant but unremarkable. One minute you’re a little girl fighting off boredom, and the next, you’re an interloper in a topsy-turvy world of double talk and animal speak. Our messenger Mercury, like our Alice, starts off the day arm in arm with Venus, moving through Gemini, but then suddenly veers off track, falling backwards down a long rabbit hole. Through Mercury’s eyes, we encounter everything from the hilarious, to the absurd, to the confounding, to the maniacal (consider the cause of the hatter’s madness, after all!). And under Neptune’s influence, we go off with our heads, our view becoming the meandering, episodic, extemporaneous sequence of a lucid dream. Growing and shrinking, changing from minute to minute, it is disorienting at first, but we adapt quickly to our nonlinear nature. Nonsensical is now the norm, circumlocution is the standard, and we communicate with parody and puzzles, soundbites and punchlines. Interruptions, lost threads, non-sequiturs, are all part of the lingua franca. We play in the land of double entendre, where live the jokers and knaves, the tarts and the tricks. It is a fantasy simulacrum, with hookah-smoking caterpillars, pig babies, mock turtles and chaos croquet, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.
Although this transit is in his home sign, it’s not the usual breeze-through our fleet-footed friend would expect. A retrograde with the Twins brings out the liminality of Mercury best; that is, his ability to move between worlds, or states of being. The terrain of Gemini is familiar but different this time; our traveler is busy but not fast. It’s the same dance but different steps, like Ginger Rogers, doing it all backwards, and in high heels. We may receive our information indirectly, or arrive at our destinations via roundabout routes, but receive and arrive we eventually will. We must try to find patience where we can, because it will not be in abundance at this time., Holden Caulfield or Marty McFly, Miss Havisham or Miss Marple—to name a few of a motley crew. One of them just might have a message for you. This next few weeks sound like reverb and feel like reverie, as well as the usual retro keywords: rethinking, retelling, reassessing and renovating. Watch for themes of youth, siblings, teachers and students, strays, and doubles to constellate in your life. We are bees doing the dance of the figure eight to the flower patch: there is nectar to be found and shared. Embrace the weirdness and wonder, and expect this transit to feed your head.