"Dear gods, be just - win back our rights." - Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers
On December 3rd we greet a bright night sky with a super Gemini full moon. Gemini is a sign that often finds itself being treated simply, but the archetype is as complex as any of the other animals. Known as the twins, and ruled by Mercury, Gemini has the ability to play with concepts and ideas. Mercury is never far in it's orbit from the Sun, so, applying the astronomy to our psychology, how we perceive our environment (our Mercury communication function goes beyond speech and thought to contain perception itself) is never far from the Sun (our ego).
In Roman mythology, Hermes was known for his speed, thievery, cunning, and skills as a mage. The psychopomp, Mercury is granted the ability to travel between two worlds. In his wonderful series, Astrology by Hand, Robert Hand discusses this Mercurial "sleight of hand" with an example of astrological polymorphism, a client who escapes what traditional astrology would call "her fate," wherein she replays the wounding trauma of her youth by becoming addicted to drugs. Instead of falling victim to that scenario, she plays a role in a television series, and addresses the life challenges of a person ravaged by substance abuse through her art. This fascinating phenomenon demonstrates how the cauldron of the subconscious is constantly receiving and processing signals on our behalf, transmuting our symbolic reality into the world we perceive it to be.
In a less shining example, think of the bigot who believes a young black man in a convenience store is up to no good. There may be a million examples of young black men behaving perfectly within the boundaries of the law, but the one example that belies this letter will be the one the bigot clings to. Our perception (Mercury) orbits our ego (Sun). We can choose to be as defensive and consistent with our beliefs as we would like. Mercury is impartial, it is always on both sides, serving as a guardian of the gates.
As with everything in astrology, this duality can be used towards evolution or stagnation. When words are your playthings, how many people can fall victim to verbal traps that only sink deeper into justifications, shifting realities, and different interpretations of "the facts?" In a world where scientific research is subject to corporate interests, our Mercury function can only attempt to see everything, to gather all information - to decide is not within the boundaries of Mercury's rule.
With the full moon in Gemini on December 3rd, we get an amplification of this energy. This lunation invites us to consider what perceptions of our reality we are ready to shift beyond, and a square to Neptune in Pisces makes its even more imperative to sit with the fog while we attempt to regain clarity. With Mercury stationing in Sagittarius, and retrograding over Saturn, we will be forced to make a choice about where we stand, perhaps inner work will lead us to interactions and strengthening of our own sense of authority.
It's important to note that Sagittarius is not as impartial as Gemini - Sagittarius rules philosophy, belief systems, and dogma. Having this opposition occur reminds us that this is an opportunity to align ourselves with what we believe. Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is in a helpful trine to Neptune, providing us with the courage to create our own realities, and expand our consciousness beyond the limited scope provided to us by our social conditioning.
The US is grappling with the effects of word-play (and really, reality-play) from our Gemini-in-Chief; as well as the continued emphasis on the voices and experiences of women and marginalized people. I am excited to make note of Emily Wilson's translation of the Odyssey - how beautiful to be able to question the canon of history. Having women's voices transcribe the classical world, complete with the discomforts of slavery and abuse is an amazing testament to the time we live in. With this full moon falling on 12 degrees Gemini, we get the Sabian; "A Slave-Girl Demands Her Rights of Her Mistress." Rather than use the energy unleashed at this time to increase our defensive patterns of consciousness, lets develop new habits of discernment. We are being given the opportunity to create a world with fewer victims, let's not pass on the opportunity.