The Gemini Myth: The most famous twins in our mythological heritage are Castor and Pollux, the sons of Zeus who were hatched from an egg laid by Leda after she mated with Zeus disguised as a Swan. That tells you something right away: Gemini is half-bird. From the soaring seabird to the mimicking parrot, Gemini has a lot in common with our feathered friends.
Castor and Pollux are a most peculiar pair of twins in myth. This is largely because, although both are brave and clever warriors, one of them is human and one is divine. When one of them dies, the pair is so close that their pleas finally reach the ears of Zeus, and he makes a deal with them. (Geminis, by the way, have a real talent for making deals.) They’re allowed to alternate their immortality. While one is spending a little holiday on Olympus with the gods, the other gets a turn being a mortal man on earth. Then they change places. It’s sort of like foreign exchange students at university. And each time they change they get to spend a little more time together, to exchange notes.
This myth, playful as it sounds, gives us a lot of insight into the deeper meaning of Gemini. There’s often an awareness of a highly spiritual and ethereal kind in Gemini. I mean spiritual here not in the ordinary religious sense - which is often anything but spiritual - but a kind of delicate tuning to a transpersonal or different realm of consciousness. Many Geminis show this in a very finely developed intuition, which registers all sorts of things at a nonrational level which can be deeply distressing to the more intellectual and rational side of the person. Also, I don’t mean spiritual in the sense of séance parlours and spiritualism. It’s a feeling of another, higher world. Gemini has a sense of the eternal, at the secret currents at work in the fabric of life. It’s part of the reason why he often doesn’t take life or life’s responsibilities that seriously. Something deep within him knows that isn’t all there is to it.
The trouble is, those perceptions aren’t consistent, and they also aren’t welcome. As the myth tells us, one twin dwells in the heavenly realms while one stays on earth. They aren’t both in one place at the same time. Often Gemini’s intuitions clash violently with his more carefully structured, analytical mind. Often he’s a stranger to himself, not knowing whether he’s a scientist or a mystic, an artist or an intellectual. Sometimes he tries to forcibly block one of these twin sides of himself from expressing - and it may be either one - and causes himself a lot of anguish in the process. Gemini’s alternations, his periods of light and dark moods, of extroversion and introversion, of vision and analysis, are curious to him as well as to others. Which one is he? Both, of course. And somehow, during the course of his life, he needs to learn to translate what goes on in one realm to the language of the other. They’re both reality for him. It’s like an alternating battery current. Sometimes he’s really in touched with his own inner Self, and then he shines and it’s like the sun coming out on a spring morning. He’s the beautiful butterfly, the eternal child, the sparkling one who brushes gold dust on each thing he passes. Then suddenly, he’s alienated. He’s no longer on Olympus, but stuck on earth, in a mortal body. Life is a little bit bitter and sometimes dark and mocking, and he’s liable to get cynical.