The Art Of Astrology

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Gemini, the third sign of the zodiac, is a mutable air sign. It is a positive, masculine sign ruled by the planet Mercury. Its symbol is the twins, its glyph is said to represent twins, and it takes its name from the Latin word for twins. Gemini is associated with the shoulders, arms, hands, and lungs. Individuals with a Gemini sun sign are prone to lung problems and to accidents involving the arms. The key phrase for Gemini is "I think."

While Gemini has been associated with different pairs of people, the primary association is with Castor and Pollux (the Roman version of the Greek Castor and Polydeuces). Castor and Pollux were the sons of Leda, who coupled with the god Zeus and then, in some accounts, lay with her husband, King Tyndareus. The resulting offspring were Pollux, the son of Zeus, and Castor, the son of Tyndareus. They were warriors and members of the Argonauts' crew (the band of mythological adventurers who sailed with Jason in quest of the Golden Fleece) and came to be regarded as patron deities of sailors and navigators. During a cattle-stealing adventure, Castor was slain. Pollux, the immortal brother, asked Zeus that either he might die also or his dead brother might share his immortality. In deference to his son's wish, Zeus allowed the brothers to alternate so that one spent a day in the underworld while the other was among the gods; on successive days they traded places.

The primary Gemini trait reflected in this tale is the sign's well-known dual nature. People who do not understand Geminis frequently regard them as "two-faced," but people born under this sign are, more often than not, sincerely schizophrenic—they sincerely identify with both their personalities. Positively, this dual nature manifests as an ability to see both sides of every disagreement; a typical Gemini remark is, "There are two sides to everything." Like Castor and Pollux, Geminis are highly social beings with greatly developed communication skills. Also like the twins of mythology, they are associated with travel and trade (and sometimes "cattle rustling") and enjoy travel. Like all air signs, they are at home in the mental realm; many academics and teachers are Geminis.

The sign that the Sun was in at birth is usually the single most important influence on a native's personality. Thus, when people say they are a certain sign, they are almost always referring to their sun sign. There is a wealth of information available on the characteristics of the zodiacal signs—so much that one book would not be able to contain it all. Sun-sign astrology, which is the kind of astrology found in newspaper columns and popular magazines, has the advantage of simplicity. But this simplicity is purchased at the price of ignoring other astrological influences, such as one's Moon sign, rising sign, etc. These other influences can substantially modify a person's basic sun sign traits. As a consequence, it is the rare individual who is completely typical of her or his sign. The reader should bear this caveat in mind when perusing the following series of sun-sign interpretations.

An image of the constellation Gemini from the late fifteenth century. Reproduced by permission of Fortean Picture Library.

One traditional way in which astrologers condense information is by summarizing sign and planet traits in lists of words and short phrases called keywords or key phrases. The following Gemini keywords are drawn from Manly P. Hall's Astrological Keywords:

Emotional keywords: "Lack concentration, sensitive, eloquent, humane, travel, not domestic, changeable, unsympathetic but genial, quicktempered."

Mental keywords: "Dextrous in manual expression, inventive, literary, versatile, adaptable, self-expressive, democratic, curious, analytical if highly evolved, sometimes scatterbrained, tricky."

At present, there are various astrology report programs that contain interpretations of each of the 12 sun signs. A selection of these for Sun in Gemini has been excerpted below:

You have a quick, bright and agile mind, but an extremely short attention span. You love the external, kaleidoscopic aspects of life, but you tend to avoid (and even fear) deep, close emotional involvements. As such, you seem to enjoy travel and sightseeing and generally being "on-the-go." You get quite listless when things around you become static and dull, but your excitement returns whenever you are stimulated by a new idea. Chatty, inquisitive and quite playful, you enjoy practical jokes and games in general. Your moods change quickly and often— you are very restless and constantly in motion. You are known for your versatility and adaptability. Your vivaciousness enlivens any social gathering. (From "Professional Natal Report." Courtesy of Astrolabe [].)

You are, in many ways, an eternal child. Your mind is bright, alert, curious, flexible, playful, and always eager for new experiences—and your attention span is often quite brief. You grasp ideas quickly and once your initial curiosity has been satisfied, you want to go on to something else. You crave frequent change, variety, meeting new situations and people.

It may be hard for you to decide just where your talents and true vocation lie, for you have a multitude of interests and are loathe to limit yourself by concentrating on just one. You are easily distracted by all of the other fascinating possibilities. Your curiosity and restlessness propel you into many different experiences in life, and you are willing to taste or try anything once. Doing the same thing over and over again, even if it is something you do well, is real drudgery for you.

You live in your head a great deal—reading, observing, thinking, spinning ideas around—and you need mental stimulation every bit as much as you need food and drink. In fact, if you had to choose between a good book or movie and a good lunch, you would very likely choose the former. You have a creative mind and often live by your wits.

You are also a very social creature, with a strong need to communicate and to interact with people. You enjoy using and playing with words and have a real flair for getting your ideas across in a clever, interesting, articulate manner. Writing or speaking are areas you have talent for.

You also have a rather light and mischievous sense of humor, and often do not take anything too seriously. Though you crave emotional involvement, it is hard for you to achieve it, for you are frequently unwilling to commit yourself to anything, to take responsibility, or to limit your personal freedom and mobility.

Your happiness lies in using your creativity and your language skills to communicate something meaningful, to teach, inspire, or bring people together. You have an unbiased mind and can usually offer a fresh, clear, uncluttered perspective. Your faults are your lack of constancy and persistence, and your tendency to overlook or ignore deep emotional issues and other people's feelings. (From "Merlin," by Gina Ronco and Agnes Nightingale. Courtesy of Cosmic Patterns [].)

Wonder, amazement, astonishment, a sense of the miraculous—those states of consciousness are the best of what Gemini symbolizes. Although this is an Air sign and therefore rather mental in its orientation, the Twins represent something more primal than thinking. They represent perception itself: all the raw, undigested stuff that pours in through our senses. Thinking too much about that material removes us from its immediate, moment-to-moment reality. We start to inhabit theories instead of the actual world of perception. "Authority" creeps in. So does "rightness." And "mental clarity." And the Twins wither. Nourish your Geminian energies with an endless diet of newness and change. They're hungry for anything they've not seen or felt before. Feed them! Give them conversation, books, travel, education ... anything but boredom.

With your Sun in Gemini, you're blessed with high levels of physical and mental energy. Use them! There's a quickness about you, an alive-ness to the moment. People probably imagine you to be younger than you really are. Your deepest nature is driven by one force above all others: curiosity. You're happiest when faced with surprises. You thrive on the unexpected. And you wither in the face of rigid predictability.

Spiritually, you're learning to keep your mind wide open, to view life as a crash course in amazement. Feed your vitality with new relation-ships—or old relationships with people who themselves are always new. Stimulate yourself with books and travel. When in doubt, look through a telescope! Take a course in Etruscan history! Do anything you've never done before. (From "The Sky Within," by Steven Forrest. Courtesy of Matrix Software [] and Steven Forrest [].)

Among its several natal programs, Matrix Astrological Software created a unique report based on the published works of the early-twentieth-century astrologer Grant Lewi (1901-1952). Lewi's highly original delineations were recognized as creative and insightful by his contemporaries. One measure of the appeal of his work is that his books Astrology for the Millions and Heaven Knows What are still in print. The following is excerpted from the report program "Heaven Knows What":

"I celebrate myself and sing myself." (Walt Whitman, born in Gemini, May 31, 1819.)

"Whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist." (Ralph Waldo Emerson, born in Gemini, May 25, 1803.)

"Democracy wishes to elevate mankind, to teach it to think, to set it free." (Thomas Mann, born in Gemini, June 6, 1875.)

Into strange paths leads the Gemini's desire to be himself, to think for himself, to do for himself, and, ultimately and in its highest form, to become his best self. It takes him a long time to learn that he can't possibly be anything except himself. The self he wants to be is at first not well defined, except that it has to be different from what his father, or his mother, or his brother, is. If the urge remains ... Gemini stays a bad child all his life, breaking rules, rebelling against authority, dashing hither and yon over the geographical, social and emotional world in order to make sure that he doesn't yield his individuality to one place or one wife (or husband). Education or other discipline must come to Gemini through his own volition, and when it does is his salvation; for then the passion to be different turns into creative originality in business or the arts, and Gemini forges ahead. He will generally be found in the camp of liberalism, because it is against the status quo if for no other reason.

Sometimes Gemini rebels against the status quo of his own life.. But if his life gives him sufficient scope to be himself, Gemini stays settled. The more his concept of what it means to be himself diverges from the early, rebellious, sensational, adventurous urges toward intellectual excellence and a sense of social responsibility, the higher Gemini gets in the world, for his sense of what constitutes his best self is not limited. It often starts with free love, breaking school rules and talking back to cops. But here, with any luck at all, the Gemini versatility breaks in; also the Gemini practical good sense. He discovers that his self might just as well be something more stable, sets his self development along another line, and gratifies his desire to be himself in progress rather than in destruction. Everything depends on his subjective reaction to himself; and it therefore becomes his moral obligation to develop to the point where he is inwardly satisfied by what is constructive. He will never do anything because someone, or a convention, tells him to; but he may, and often does, grow up to the point where his behavior satisfies himself best when it is going somewhere in a straight line, instead of nowhere in a circle. (Courtesy of Matrix Software [http://thenew].)

Curious, versatile, clever, and able to jump quickly from one area to another are well known traits of Gemini. I have not found anything to add or subtract to the widely held ideas of Gemini. (Courtesy of Cosmic Patterns [] and David Cochrane [[email protected]].)

A number of specialized report programs has been developed that offer useful supplements to the generic delineations of general reports. The following sun-sign interpretation has been drawn from a program written by Gloria Star (originally part of her book, Astrology: Woman to Woman) that generates a specialized report for women:

With your Sun in Gemini your inquisitive manner and quick wit may be your trademarks. You need variety, and whether in relationships, career opportunities or creative endeavors will prefer to create a life which gives you plenty of options. You may radiate an air of intelligence, and most enjoy people and situations which stimulate your mind. The old truth, "you are what you think," is especially clear to you, and you have the ability to shift your consciousness and create a whole new realm of life experience by first altering your mental focus.

Your expression of your masculine sensibilities through your Gemini Sun is filtered through your intellect. Your admiration for others who are knowledgeable and communicative is a direct result of your own desire to know as much as possible. If your early impulse was to think that a man had more knowledgeable authority than a woman, that has probably changed radically as you have matured. In fact, you may even challenge that assumption through your choices in career. However, you may not think in terms of man versus woman: you're more into dealing with people for who they are, and may assume that others will also take that stance. You may even have a knack for communicating quite effectively with both men and women, and may make strides in bridging the gender gap. You can waffle a bit in situations which require you to take control, and may sit on the fence a bit too long some of the time, it just takes a little objectivity to get this under control, especially in new circumstances. But once you know how things work, you can be the maven of juggling your priorities.

To experience a real feeling of success, you may feel that you have to learn something from the experience. You are multitalented with your Sun in Gemini, and may even change your career direction in order to experience a new range of possibilities. Sometimes, it may seem that you're living at least two lifetimes at once. Or you may find that you're living a dual life, juggling a mixed list of priorities in your many roles. Although this may keep things interesting, you've probably found that you are happier when the juggling act involves keeping fewer things in the air at once. (From "Woman to Woman," by Gloria Star. Courtesy of Matrix Software [] and Gloria Star [[email protected]].)

Responding to the revival of interest in pre-twentieth-century astrology, J. Lee Lehman developed a report program embodying the interpretive approach of traditional astrology. The following is excerpted from her book Classical Astrology for Modern Living and her computer program "Classical Report":

You are a lover of arts and sciences, curiosities, and learning. You are judicious in worldly affairs, witty, affable, courteous, with excellent understanding, but telling the truth is not your strongest suit, because embellishing can be such fun. Because you have a strong imagination, you can be quite creative. You are skilled at the sciences, or areas of knowledge.

You are an Air Sign, which means that you are "hot" and "wet." The "wet" component means, among other things, that you blur distinctions, and that you are more swayed by passion than by intellectual argument. At your worst, you see too many connections, becoming lost in conspiracies. At your best, you spot the connection that everyone else missed. Being "hot," you react to things quickly: by expressing your anger strongly and immediately, you don't tend to harbor a grudge. This is the temperament type that is considered the most ideal, because you are the most comfortable within a social situation. You appear warm and friendly to others, and don't seem too eager to hold them to an impossible standard.

You are mutable, which means that you adapt easily to change. However, you adapt so easily compared to others that they may wonder if you are capable of maintaining a permanent stance about anything. (Courtesy of J. Lee Lehman, Ph.D. (copyright 1998) [].)

Readers interested in examining interpretations for their Chinese astrological sign should refer to the relevant entry. A guide for determining one's sign in the Chinese system is provided in the entry on the Chinese zodiac.


Cochrane, David. Astrology for the 21st Century. Gainesville, FL: Cosmic Patterns, 2002. Forrest, Steven. The Inner Sky: How to Make Wiser Choices for a More Fulfilling Life. 4th ed. San

Diego, CA: ACS Publications, 1989. Green, Landis Knight. The Astrologer's Manual: Modern Insights into an Ancient Art. Sebastopol,

CA: CRCS Publications, 1975. Lehman, J. Lee. Classical Astrology for Modern Living: From Ptolemy to Psychology & Back Again.

Atglen, PA: Whitford Press, 1996. Lewi, Grant. Astrology for the Millions. 5th rev. ed. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1978.

-. Heaven Knows What. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1969.

Star, Gloria. Astrology: Woman to Woman. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1999.

-. Astrology & Your Child: A Handbook for Parents. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 2001.

Hall, Manly P. Astrological Keywords. New York: Philosophical Library, 1958. Reprint, Savage, MD: Littlefield Adams Quality Paperbacks, 1975.

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