by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, May 17, 2012

0 Gemini Solar Eclipse of May 20, 2012

A (recolorized) photo of the Sun with giant 'tsunamis'
of solar turbulence surging across its face
(photo credit: NASA-JPL, August 1 2010 )

Since every sign of the zodiac has thirty degrees (numbered as 0 through 29), any anything astrological positioned at 0 degrees says you’re just starting out. It’s new.

In the case of the solar eclipse taking place at 11:46 p.m. (UT/+0 time) on May 20th, that zero degree event is a solar eclipse, and it's taking place at 0 Gemini.

Since Gemini is a sign about our mentality and the thought we do (or don't) put into communicating or keeping organized or making our choices - or even prioritization (which is choosing which idea comes first), this is a time when new thoughts, ideas and paths come about - especially in areas of life where what (or how) we've been living has been...well...‘eclipsed.’

Think about it...the Moon moves across the face of the Sun, blocking out a vital, rather 'central' point in our life.

Sun equals life, right? Sun light is where all the energy to grow things on this planet and therefore have a life comes from?

Then we have the Gemini part of this equation. Gemini – the twins – are individually named Castor and Pollux (with Pollux sometimes called Polydeuces) for the stars of the same name. There are several variations on their story, but probably the most famous version involves mom (Leda) conceiving one of the twins (Castor) with her mortal husband with immortal Zeus fathering the other - Pollux.

Talk about your sibling rivalry, right?

Myth-wise, that difference makes Pollux an immortal and Castor mortal, which isn't the only difference between them. Castor excels in strength and physical feats where Pollux is the 'mindful' one. Pollux is studious, analytical and thinks things through. So Castor aims for what he wants and simply goes after them while Pollux makes a plan, builds alliances which will benefit and support his plan, then starts in on achieving his aims.

 'Leda' by Gustave Moreau
 (c 1865-1875, oil on canvas)

Then we come to the plot twist: Castor's death. And (surprise!) so great is Pollux’ grief, so steadfast is his love for his brother Castor that Pollux goes to Zeus and asks if there is any way he can share his immortality with his brother.

Zeus (a trouble-maker but a softie) grants that gift. And what does he do? He makes Castor and Pollux into the joint constellation we now know as Gemini.

  Constellation Gemini

Thus Gemini the zodiac sign embodies 'the idea of the thing' and the dichotomies which pit our mortal wants (sort of the 'mortals just want to have fun' thing) against our ability to choose, plan and then go for the goal.

Depending on our nature (read: where Gemini is in our chart, where Mercury as ruler is in our chart and what sorts of planets, asteroids and such reside in Gemini in our chart)...we have a better or harder time sorting through this Castor-Pollux question. Basically it comes down to whether we tend to be more earthly or more intellectual. Is it better to go for what we want? Or better to gather up all the resources we might need.

This Castor / Pollux difference is exactly why so many Gemini people think they’re ‘supposed’ to be into everything. That's not Gemini - that's Castor. What they're saying is that they revel in experiencing, that they don't want to have to make a choice and think it through first.

Does that work? For some - or maybe better put, in some things. Ultimately the bigger the 'thing' (and the more important to us in the long run) the more important it is to think it through. Ideally we hone our ability with our Castor 'toughing it through' Gemini factor and we refine how we do it with the Pollux part.

It's that 'balance' thing. In Gemini choosing to figure out what part of your native attribute you should apply first is half the battle. Keeping both in balance is the process which from there produces results or gets you all screwed up, distracted and otherwise stalled in your tracks.

Oh other Castor-Pollux note: the mythic twins are also often thought of as ‘looking to the past’ versus ‘building for the future.’

And thus we come to why this Gemini solar eclipse is challenging many of us precisely in areas where things have been as they have been.

As said, where the sign of Gemini falls in your natal chart (by house) counts. But if you really want to know what the 'subject' is, get hold of your current solar chart and combine the house meanings.

(If your birthday is in June or July, get the 2011 and 2012 solar charts.)

No matter what that says,Gemini always carries with it a mental or thought-oriented mental cast. Castor is about the native ability (aptitude, maybe)...but we're not talking brawn here. We're talking mental it determination. Thus a Gemini solar eclipse is going to affect old ways of thinking and require new ways of thinking. Some old choice may get 'eclipsed' and require that you make a new choice.

Because Gemini is about thought, communication and the mental state, a lot of us tend to think we can ignore Gemini eclipses. To this I'd say ‘think again.’

It doesn't work. And you can only make your life worse by not acknowledging that the old won't work any more. 

As for 0 Gemini, this is a degree which has a reputation for recklessness and negativity which grows into useful and positive form. Similarly, there’s a vanity and concern with ‘social appearances’ (which may or may not be the same thing as reputation) associated with this degree. Will the solar eclipse ‘wipe out’ your having been/thought of at this level? Or is your thinking in such a manner threatening to wipe out something you want to build?

With the Sabian Symbol for 0 Gemini being about a ‘glass-bottomed boat,’ we should probably toss in two other ideas, too. One would involve the possibility of the solar eclipse ‘capsizing’ you and exposing you to an ‘ocean of water.’ Considering that water is the element of emotions, don’t be surprised if this is an emotional time. You may have been wanting to ‘stay dry’ and not experience your emotions (or emotional situations) and now something comes along and you find yourself immersed.

But remember – this is about ideas and emotionality. (The emotion part comes courtesy of the Moon.) So how does that work? Generally the eclipse symbolizes life immersing us in some 'theme' which provokes internal emotionalism - and probably a swirl of conflicted thoughts. Willing to change or not willing to change, we're being forced to realize something.

Particularly if the idea of emotionality is something you have problems with, expect it to surface now. If this eclipse (at 0 Gemini) aspects your chart with any acuity, this surfacing could be like having the Loch Ness Monster rise up before you. Then again, it may just be a whale – an implicit threat, but not a malicious one.

Yet it’s all you. This isn’t anything anyone is ‘doing’ to you, this is life wanting you to feel. If you’re someone prone to emotional avoidance, this solar eclipse at 0 Gemini may be the trigger which breaks through that wall and gets you out of denial.

Currently, the fixed stars named after the Gemini twins are positioned at 20 Cancer (Castor) and 23 Cancer (Pollux). Considering the myth, it’s interesting that Castor has a reputation for ‘success coming easily’ while Pollux is ‘the struggle to understand or achieve clarity.’ And yet…if something goes wrong now, you may be asking yourself how everything which was going so well went bad. Both of these stars are associated with worldly occupations which require communication, and like all solar eclipses, much is likely to depend on how you come into this period.

There’s a definite ‘change of focus’ associated with solar eclipses which we tend to experience as some ‘ordinary’ (accepted, status quo) thing in life ('life' being the Sun) being ‘blacked out’ by an emotional or emotion-provoking circumstance or situation (the Moon).

With eclipses, usually this leaves us looking at an awe-inspiring sight: the Sun’s corona.

  The Sun's Corona as photographed
 by Rogibert (September 2006)

Those filaments represent our most 'brilliant' thoughts, those ‘burning’ ideas which in being unique to us, are also very essentially part of who we are. Solar eclipses aren’t about ‘destruction’ though they have long been associated with the rise and fall of kings and civilizations! But no, they're not about destruction.

So what are they? They're more like...distillation. When eclipses 'hit' our life, we get brought back to basics. We're forced to recognize who we are (not who we might want to be, who someone else says we should be or what society or cultural heritages says we should be).

All that other stuff is nice. But when we go astray from who we're really born to be...along comes a solar eclipse (no, not a spider) and we get a course correction.

Solar eclipses do away (or cause us to do away with) things which are ‘good enough’ (maybe), but not really representative of who we actually are. It's that Purpose thing...and if we remember correctly, Purpose is the astrological province of fixed star Alhena, and Alhena is the 'foot' of one of the Gemini twins.

Thus Gemini is all about the mentality (it is an air sign!) which is or builds the foundation upon which we stand. As a star of Purpose, Alhena describes the purpose for which we stand...and why we stand (rise above crawling upon the face of this Earth) to begin with.

Alhena being the foot of Pollux (the eternal Gemini twin) this is about who we eternally are...our Self. And when we truly live in that Self, then we are able to 'put our best foot forward' and get somewhere.

So! If you’re someone who keeps temporizing and compromising yourself, you’ll find that solar eclipses tend to be times when all your excuses get peeled away (ouch!). Yes, you'll have an opportunity to do what you really need to do in order to fulfill your karmic (or spiritual, if you prefer) purpose...but if you don't do it willingly, then the process might (might?) hurt a bit.

(Okay, more than a bit.)

Yet this eclipse is different than the 'usual eclipse' we tend to think of when the word 'eclipse' floats across our brain. How so, you ask? Well, this May’s eclipse isn’t a total eclipse (above). It’s an annular eclipse.

The mechanics here are all about where the Moon is (with regards to Earth). If the Moon is close to Earth at the time of the eclipse, it’s ‘big enough’ (in the sky, from our perspective) to cover the disc of the Sun. That’s when we get a total eclipse. When as part of its natural orbit the Moon is farther from Earth at the time of an eclipse, it doesn’t (from our perspective) quite cover the face of the Sun.

And when this happens, we get an annular eclipse.

 Annular Eclipse by Sancho Panza (October 2005)

So this isn’t something being totally eliminated from life, this 0 Gemini eclipse is about having the ‘heart of it’ eliminated, leaving you to focus on that which is workable.

This makes May’s solar eclipse about choosing to focus on the options and what does work as a basis for moving forward.

In other words, it’s signaling a shift of focus and a need to turn away from (or let go of) certain ideas or methods you’ve had. It’s about getting past the recklessness or vanity or whatever it is you’ve been substituting for what is…evidently…truer to you and truer to your purpose. 

Remember…Castor and Pollux are both you. They’re the different ‘sides’ of your mentality. With Mercury – ruler of Gemini – pictured in the eclipse chart at 22 Taurus and exactly conjunct Sedna, the emphasis is on development of your skills, on doing the job right because that is it’s own reward – a decidedly Pollux quality.

This conjunction, as a matter of fact, has a decidedly Castor/Pollux tug-of-war.

On the Mercury side there’s 22 Taurus as doing the job well done as its own reward which in keeping with Pollux earns respect and the support of others and (eventually), all the South Node goodies you could want. (Eclipses always involve the lunar nodes – can’t have an eclipse without them!) But in keeping with Pollux, there will probably have to be some short term sacrifices made.

And that’s not going to hit your happy spot. Sedna often describes the idea of ‘deferred gratification.’ Are you being confronted with the need to be less comfortable, either in what you have or for what you do – even in going outside your ‘comfort zone’ in what you need to do to move forward? Certainly many societal factors speak of this – tough economies, a lot of personal and national debt (economic problems).

With Jupiter at 24 Taurus, the issue of growth or ‘the ability to expand’ is certainly on the table, however that applies in your personal life. Fixed star Algol conjunct Charybdis at 26 Taurus with Tantalus at 28 Taurus tells us that those who respond to situations which have risen of late with a willingness to keep trying (while making intelligent adjustments) will eventually win.


  Planet Jupiter as photographed by NASA's 
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

Yet let’s be real: Sedna can represent immaturity and being downright spoiled (physically, financially or emotionally). Algol has a well deserved snarky reputation for reactive vitriol - the taking out on others  things they aren't responsible for.

And Tantalus? Tantalus is one of the great Greek images of “sin.” Tantalus is all about a carnivorous sort of jealousy which drives us to do things we know we shouldn't do - which makes (unfortunate) sense when applied to the idea of a solar eclipse which focuses on our mentality, ideas and communications. This is just the kind of eclipse which can signal your losing sight of the bounds of propriety.

The plus side of Algol/Charybdis asks that we keep trying and NOT create more havoc. Add in Jupiter and we're asked to respond with consideration and after considering what's at hand. Are we willing to learn differently? Or are we going to pigheadedly cling to what we want simply because we (Sedna) want it, even though we really should "grow up" and let go of expectations which in light of reality simply don't work.

Solar eclipses can obviously be about something in the present. But generally they are linked - at some level - to something we've already done. Or committed to. Whatever it is, we're well dug in with regards to doing it. But then along something comes...

How about an interesting example of how solar eclipses work? Here's one...U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (born September 4, 1964 - Brooklyn, New York). Congressman Weiner was accused of infidelity. He resisted and denied...then gave up protesting. Yes, he had been involved in an affair.

He left office.

This whole fracas took place within a couple of days of a solar eclipse atop fixed star Aldebaran. Aldebaran stands for integrity...and the Congressman's compromised integrity was exactly what was shown up by the eclipse.

How did it aspect his chart? Congressman Weiner's Sun is at 11 Virgo. Pluto, Uranus and Mercury are also involved, but the basic structure here is the Sun, which is natally in opposition to "sacred service" Vesta (our oaths and promises) with the solar eclipse half way between them.

This points out something else very essential. The solar eclipse which occurs in square to some planet or point in your chart comes sort of our of 'left field' and blatantly challenges you. The eclipse which is in conjunction or opposition is about your life, your health, your profession. In other words, the squares are likely to involve others, the conjunction and/or opposition are more likely to center on basic questions like 'now what am I going to do with my life?'

The squares to Gemini are Pisces and Virgo. Gemini's opposition sign is Sagittarius. But since this eclipse occurs at 0 Gemini, there's some lapse-over. So here's a list of points you should look for in your natal chart:

  • 25 Taurus to 5 Gemini (conjunction)
  • 25 Scorpio to 5 Sagittarius (opposition)
  • 25 Aquarius to 5 Pisces (approaching square)
  • 25 Leo to 5 Virgo (departing square)

The difference between the squares is exactly as they sound - the approaching square is something new or someone 'coming at you' and the departing square is something which is 'over' or impossible to continue.

And yes, you may have points in any or all of these positions. The effect would be read by the nature of the symbol...but truly? If your chart is being 'hit' by a solar eclipse with any acuity, by the time you're reading this blog you're already up to your whatsis in the swamp with alligators eying you while mumbling something about lunch.

Just to be thorough here, a few more degrees to check out in your natal chart:

  • 28 Libra to 2 Scorpio (departing inconjunct)
  • 28 Sagittarius to 2 Capricorn (approaching inconjunct)

Either way, points in these zodiacal zones denote changes which you are needing to deal with (willingly or unwillingly). The departing inconjunct speaks to responsibilities being left with you or being heaped on you by someone or because someone has left. The approaching inconjunct is pressure being applied to you - which probably brings out whatever lies beneath the surface.

 Solar eclipse of May 20, 2012
(Aries Wheel - Locaiton not Specific)

The Nodes of the Moon here are at 5 Gemini and Sagittarius. Since an eclipse occurs when a New or Full Moon occurs within fifteen degrees of either Node, to have this eclipse occur within five degrees means the ‘nodal factor’ – our relationship to others and our society or place in the world – is very close to the ‘cause’ of the problem. It will be easy to blame, less easy to see within and sort through our thoughts.

And yet, to do what we need to do, that’s where we need to go. The North Node (the ‘need to do/should do’ end of the nodal axis) is pictured in this chart at 5 Sagittarius, conjunct Juno at 29 Scorpio.

 Detail of eclipse chart showing the North Node
at 5 Sagittarius and Juno at 29 Scorpio

Twenty-nine degrees of any sign is known as the ‘critical degree.’ There’s an intensity to this degree which, considering we’re talking about Scorpio, can be desirous, vindictive or determined. Scorpio’s ‘high side’ is finding a solution which works all around and which is ethical (though not always pleasant) and Scorpio’s low side is the classic ‘screw them, I want what I want’ sort of thing.

Juno is self determination – often self discipline. So this combination of North Node and Juno can either be what you should just go for the ‘screw them’ answer (which only leaves the question of who the ‘them’ is that you’re so willing to screw) or a self discipline which – as seen with other parts of this eclipse configuration, will earn us ‘Pollux points’ and respect and support.

This all amounts to a very a classic question. The times are changing. Do we know how to build (or rebuild) for the future?

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