Full Moon in Gemini 11˚40’, December 3, 7:47 am PST.
Neptune in Pisces 11˚30’, Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚37’,
Mercury Retrograde 29˚18’ Sagittarius, Saturn in Sagittarius 28˚4’.
Mars in Libra 26˚ 24’, Uranus Retrograde in Aries 24˚ 57'.
When I was kid, my parents knew a gentleman who worked in the United Nations building in Manhattan. His little daughter enrolled in the school that served the international families of those working for the U.N. The school’s language program was very rigorous. Part of the curriculum included learning French, a language the daughter picked up very quickly. She became so fluent in the language that, when the family went to France, the little girl went into a drug store with her father and the shop owner took her aside and said, “Why are you with this strange American man? Do you need help?” The little girl’s French was so perfect and polished, the shop owner mistook her to be Parisian! Oui, c’est vrai! How difficult it can be to truly learn a language and to enter another’s cultural realm. I wonder sometimes what it feels like to be a member of the General assembly of the United Nations, sitting in a room of incredibly accomplished individuals, most with sharp intellects and a passion and dedication to their home country and, we hope, to planet Earth. Think about the secretary general working with various translators and what it must sound like to hear so many languages at once. Then, of course, there is the cultural perspectives each member brings to the table. It must take a great deal of patience and acceptance, along with intelligence and hard work, to negotiate with so many souls from so many places and with so many diverse concerns. One must need an open mind and an open heart to get anything accomplished! The Full Moon this weekend, at 11˚ Gemini, forms a square to Neptune at 11˚ Pisces and a quincunx to Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚. She asks us to open our minds, embrace new perceptions in a spirit of compassion. Listen to what truths others bring to the surface, even if they expose pain, suffering or a past we don’t want to face. Be willing to see the world from a different point of view, hear a language not quite your own. If not supportive of others’ beliefs or perspectives, try to understand and negotiate in ways that are at least tolerant. Simple though it may sound, there is so much we can learn from one another.
Astrology is a language of both the mind and of the heart. But it is a language not well understood by most in the general public. Gemini, a mutable air sign, carries a potential for multiplicity: many views, many perceptions, many voices. In this post, I hope to honor this aspect of Gemini by creating a short writing that will reach folks not familiar with the complex language of astrology. So often I read wonderful blogs and posts on social media that have a lot to say and a lot to give to the general public. But somehow I can imagine they get mostly lost on the average reader. We have a Full Moon in Gemini this weekend. It is a complex moment; there is a lot going on at same time in the sky. The Full Moon in Gemini takes on a different feel, a different mood when we look at the larger picture in the night sky. I hope to work with this and try to explain why astrologers might see this lunar time as “not your typical Gemini Moon.” I’d like to ask my friends and readers, those with the astrological language under their belt, to be patient as this will be a rather simple explanation. Gemini, which is so involved with communication, perception, data in and data out, lends itself to a teaching mindset. And so I’d like to try to tap into this Full Moon in a Gemini way. I was born under a Gemini Moon myself, at the same degree, 11˚, but She was in a waxing gibbous phase that particular late December, back in 1963 (sounds like a old song, I know). Every moment and every chart is unique and, as always, it is best and most meaningful for you to look and see where what I describe below is located in your own birth chart. What new modes of perception are available to you? Where does a path to higher consciousness await?
In astrology, we look at the sign that the Moon is in at any particular moment in time. Then we look to see if the Moon forms an aspect to another planet or important point (a degree). Every year around this time (when the Sun is in Sagittarius), we have a Gemini Full Moon, but every year the Moon’s energy is filtered through and affected by other planetary placements in the sky. For example, the planet Neptune has been making a slow passage (called a “transit”) through Pisces, a time often marked by delusion and escapism in its low manifestation, a spiritual time of awakening in its higher form. All around us is the evidence of those seeking to flee, escaping pain, through perhaps the worst avenue of chronic Opioid addiction, to mild escape routes of “binge TV” and the fantasy worlds of gaming. Recently, Neptune was retrograde (this is a period when a planet appears to move backwards - in actuality, it is an illusion of backward movement caused by the relative position of the planet to Earth as they orbit the Sun). Neptune’s passage through Pisces affects all of us individually, depending upon the house(s) Pisces is located in our birth charts. Those with planets (or key degrees such as the angles of their chart) in mutable signs - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - near or at 11˚ - will be most influenced by the fast moving phase of this Full Moon and, more critically, the slow moving presence of Neptune. The Moon and Neptune both rule water signs, Cancer and Pisces, lending an emotional, intuitive dimension to this Full Moon time. A Gemini Moon asks us to flow, to adapt, to change, in essence to be mercurial, while the 90-degree square to Neptune makes this adaptability and openness to new perceptions critical to a higher response to Neptune in Pisces, one of aspiring to a higher consciousness and compassion so needed in the world at this critical time. A square aspect creates friction, tension and urgency to address. We are entering a time where we must recognize multiple paths to the Divine and accept the paths others’ choose. An example in recent news events has been the visit of Pope Francis to Myanmar (and the earlier commentary by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama), seeking a compassionate solution to the hateful treatment of Muslims, the Rohingya, by Buddhists in recent months. Fall to a lower response to the Moon in a square to Neptune, and we have emotional miscommunication, fantasy, and delusion.
The Full Moon also forms a quincunx, 150-degree aspect, to Jupiter in Scorpio. Jupiter entered Scorpio in October, beginning His passage through the sign for roughly a year. Scorpio, co-ruled by Mars and Pluto, is another water sign, one that can bring dark truths to the surface of our consciousness and ask us to process our shadows, the deeper psychological issues we often bury and hide. Scorpio is associated with death and rebirth, the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Jupiter in Scorpio offers us a chance to face the bittersweet notion that “this too will pass.” My favorite verbal description of this is the Japanese expression, mono no aware; all in life is ephemeral, nothing lasts. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity, brings encounters with life’s deepest truths and pain. Nothing stays the same; death is always at our doorstep. Jupiter in Scorpio also allows past traumas hidden within our subconscious to surface, including misuse of personal and sexual power. It is no wonder we witness now the current slew of sexual allegations revealed in the news, the hard truths and pain women experienced by sexual abuse and actions of politicians and public figures many of us admired. Accepting the facts make us uncomfortable and angry and yet the need for them to arise is obvious, for personal healing for those abused, but also for a collective healing and awareness to fight such systemic poison against women. Jupiter was forming a trine, 120-degree aspect, to Neptune in recent weeks, allowing these women to speak out, be heard and for most of the public to express concern, feel sensitized to their cries, to listen and to act for change. The trine aspect allows for a flow of energy; Jupiter is expansive and opens opportunity to Neptune, a spiritual avenue and awakening to compassion and suffering of others. Our Full Moon in Gemini now forms a quincunx to Jupiter and a square to Neptune. The quincunx brings out an uncomfortable shift, 150- degree being a bit of an awkward angle, where now we need to come to terms with the reality of how widespread sexual misconduct and abuse has been and how can we take a more proactive, preventative stance in the future.
The Full Moon occurs just a few days after the planet, Mercury, finishes a station (appears to not move from a degree; in this case, 28˚ Sagittarius, marking part of the Galactic Center, a super Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way). When stationed, Mercury was conjunct (same degree) as Saturn, also at 28˚. Then we encounter Mercury retrograde. Saturn asks us to take a hard look at the facts and question what and where are our values, our beliefs. Mercury begins its retrograde period, the fourth one this year. “Mercury retrograde” has become common knowledge for many, in part because of social media, which has caused a resurgence of interest in astrology in recent years. Some of you may have seen quick references to this phenomenon, advising you to cross every ‘T” and dot every “i.” Be careful of signing documents and making commitments without proper care and reflection. Wear a full-body knitted sweater to wrap yourself in protection from the dreaded “Mercury retro.” At times, this will be true because our minds are moving through and processing thought in ways counter to the usual pace. Things can be overlooked and details missed. Mercury retrograde, however, can be a productive time to reconsider and reimagine our plans and dreams. Rethink, “refeel,” reevaluate ourselves, our relationships, everything we perceive around us. Be cautious, slow down, reflect, but let it be a productive time. Mercury retrograde is aligning perfectly for those who turn inward through the Christian practice of Advent, beginning this weekend, or through ceremony in preparation of Solstice, when, here in the Northern hemisphere, light returns.
Most of all, be patient. In the context of the Gemini Full Moon, square to Neptune, we can choose to be open to alternative modes of communication, to omens, to the sights and sounds around us. They have more to say than we think. Miscommunication that occurs under Mercury Retrograde can be used in instructive ways. My favorite story to illustrate this is a Yoruba tale from Nigeria. The story involves Eshu Elegba, an Orisha, a Yoruba God of communication with the Divine, not unlike Mercury. Eshu, a trickster, is often found at crossroads or at the marketplace, wearing a hat of two colors, one side red, the other blue. One day, two friends are walking along the road in opposite directions and each spy Eshu. One exclaims, “There is Eshu! His hat is red!” while his friend says, “I see Eshu too! He wears his blue hat.” An argument follows, the tension mounts and the two friends storm away, their friendship torn. When do we judge one another on surface appearance alone? When are we quick to say “no” to a point of view, to a language we don’t know, to a faith we don’t understand? It is easier to judge a hat by its color, whether it is red, or whether it is blue, than to recognize the multiplicity of expressions evident in any world language, culture or faith.
I want to close in a more “typical” Gemini fashion, against the grain of this post, by shifting into a positive ending. I know this has been a writing somewhat serious in tone. But we live in times of painful revelations. Gemini Moon can be a curious, light hearted Full Moon as well. Let this weekend help us find joy in conversation with friends and family. A Gemini Moon gives us a chance to enjoy talk, “the gift of gab,” at that Holiday party. An air sign and mental in feel, Gemini allows us a chance to unwind with inquisitive, witty banter to lighten our weekend. Just be wary of miscommunication and the potential for Neptune’s delusion and possible deception to creep in. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The waning opposition (180˚) between Mars and Uranus is also still in play, so sudden fits of anger or surprises may be in store. These transits I mention (like planetary moments in time) move fast. Neptune, on the other hand, moves gradually through Pisces and it is here where I can again encourage your own consideration of your birth chart and the slower, gradual evolutionary changes in consciousness possible for you. I started by mentioning my own birth chart has the Moon at 11˚ Gemini. So I have been living through the slow movement of Neptune in a square to my natal Moon by transit throughout this past year. Last winter, I lost my home, my place to nurture myself and retreat, due to a storm and fire damage (Moon, in part, is our emotional comfort, our “home” - this was just one of a number of transits triggering my natal chart at the time - each transit must be looked at in the context of the whole chart). I literally felt my home dissolve under me. I spent almost a year in temporary spaces, as I again tried to rebuild what would be my new abode. As I write, I sit near the fireplace of a new house, a new space, a new beginning. This is where evolutionary astrology can offer guidance and support. Awareness of the longer cycles of change as our lives and souls evolve, make the short, sweet moments of a Full Moon in Gemini unfold with the joy of life.
Wishing everyone a great Full Moon in Gemini!