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?