Gemini is the first human constellation in the zodiac. The three human signs in the zodiac (gemini, virgo, aquarius) are unique in that they represent qualities of the soul which can only be embodied by humans. Some of the qualities which will be discussed in this myth are the ability of self reflection, sacrifice and unconditional love.
Let’s Get into the Story…
Per usual behavior for the Greek god Zeus, he had a desire for a mortal woman. This time it was Leda, the queen of Sparta. In order to seduce Leda, he turned himself into a glorious swan and shared the evening with her. That same night, Leda and her husband King Tyndareus also shared the evening. This resulted in her giving birth to two eggs, each of which hatched two children.
Each egg had one boy and one girl inside. The first egg held Pullox and the famous Helen of Troy. Allegedly these children belonged to Zeus. The second egg held Castor and Clyemnestra. These children are believed to belong to Tyndareus. The story of Gemini involves the two sons born of different fathers.
All four children were raised together; Castor and Pullox, being brothers, became incredibly close. They both enjoyed sports and naturally became very skilled. Specifically, Castor was drawn to horseback riding and taming horses while Pullox became an excellent boxer. This brings us to our first motif of virtue in the story.
In Greek culture, agapē is used to describe a love that is void of lustful desire. Modern day people understand this as platonic love or unconditional love. It is acting from a place of love for someone without the desire for any sexual/reproductive gain.
This is far different than how most people practice showing affection. The lesson here is to cultivate altruism without the expectation that someone will pay it back. Most of the time, we do things from a transactional standpoint. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. However, by doing this we actually prevent ourselves from experiencing real intimacy. We close ourselves off to what gifts the universe could possibly provide us.
Now Back to Gemini…
Castor and Pullox joined a crew of argonauts (sea fairing people) led by a man named Jason. The goal of the crew was to find the golden fleece (read the Aries myth for more on this). While at sea, the twins showed an incredible ability to navigate, especially during storms. So much in fact, the god of the sea Poseidon gave them the ability to create better weather during storms! This is the reason why Gemini is said to rule over traveling.
While aboard the ship Castor and Pullox got into a fight with other men, over two women who were aboard the ship. During this fight, Castor was killed. Pullox was heartbroken about this and went to his father Zeus. He begged his father to bring Castor back to life so he would not have to suffer in the Underworld. Castor even offered his own life in exchange for his brothers!
Zeus is a powerful god, but there are some things even he can not do. The Underworld is ruled by his brother Hades who is arguably just as powerful as Zeus. In order to help his son, Zeus worked out a deal were Pullox and Castor would spend one day in Olympus and one day in the Underworld and repeat this cycle so they would never have to be apart. Which leads us to the next motif!
Duality of Humans
Gemini are often known as being “two-faced” or having split personalities. This is characteristic of the duality within man. In the story Castor and Pullox alternate between living in hell and living in heaven. With this, there are all sorts of implications we can infer about the nature of man. Sometimes we are virtuous, sometimes people let their vices get the better of them. The world isn’t a black and white place, however most of us learn to operate from that way of thinking.
It is only through duality that we are able to have an experience. How would you know what sweet tastes like if you never tasted bitter? How could you enjoy a clear, summer sky if you hadn’t experienced a cloudy, winter fog? It is the polarity of experience that allows energy to flow between different states of consciousness. Without it, things would become boring very quickly. Imagine doing your favorite thing forever and ever. Eventually, even that will begin to seem dull.
To Finish the Myth of Gemini…
The story ends with Pullox agreeing to this new way of living. One day in heaven. One day in hell, ad infinitum. In addition to this, Zeus decides to make a constellation of the two boys in the night sky. Because they were blessed by Poseidon, this constellation became an omen for sailors throughout the centuries. The constellation contains two very bright stars that stand out from those around it. If sailors saw both of the stars in the sky at night, it meant they would have safe travels. However, if they saw only one star it meant their journey would be filled with trouble. With that, we have the myth of Gemini!
A Few things to Add…
In this story we see the powerful connection that humans share with one another. In many ways, humans are the only creatures capable of understanding our connection. Sure we can look at other mammals and see how they demonstrate the capacity to do it, however, humans are the only ones who have a choice in doing so. At the biological level, our animal bodies release hormones and neurotransmitters which make us act a certain way. Testosterone makes lust after the opposite sex. Oxytocin makes us bond with one another. Humans are the only creature on earth who is able to choose how it behaves under the effects of these chemicals.
With that, we also see how Castor is able to make the choice of self sacrifice. Self sacrifice goes against everything in our animal nature. The spiritual purpose of astrology is understanding our energetic bodies so we have the ability to make a choice about our life. It teaches us to be self aware so we are not bound by our traumas or subject to our environment.
In closing, I challenge you to be more reflective this week. Look at where you are making a conscious decision in your life and where you are acting without awareness. You should not be critical of yourself in any area where this comes up, but it is an opportunity to explore yourself. Get to know who you are better. Ultimately, get to a point where you are acting authentically with who you know your higher self to be and not who your parents, your traumas or your society has made you out to be.
To my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!