Exploring Gemini – Twins, Apotheosis, and Binary Stars


GEMINI – The Twins

May 21 – June 21
3rd Sign of the Zodiac
Mutable Air Sign
Ruled by Mercury
Opposing Sign – Sagittarius
Tarot card: VI The Lovers
Anatomy: The Lungs & Pullmonary system, the Arms and Hands
Animals:  Birds – especially Finches, Magpie, Parrot & Mockingbird
Deities: Castor & Pollux, Apollo & Heracles, Janus, Frey & Freya, Hermes, Bast & Sekhmet

Gemini Traits

Gemini Traits – Intelligent, Thoughtful, Rational, Logical, Talkative, Expressive, Willing to learn, Thirst for Knowledge, Witty, Clever, Persuasive, Charming, Quick, Flexible, Adaptable, Energetic, Athletic, Trickster or Class-Clown, Impulsive, Changeable, Dual-natured, Indecisive, Anxious, Always On-The-Go, Easily Bored

The Dioscuri

Gemini constellation – Johannes Hevelius, Prodromus Astronomia, volume III: Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive Uranographia, table DD: Gemini, 1690.

The twins of the Gemini constellation are named for the Greco-Roman stories of Castor and Pollux*, also known as The Dioscuri.  These brothers were twins – sons of the Spartan queen Leda.  However, they had different fathers.  Leda’s husband, the Spartan King Tyndareus was the father of Castor (Kastor), while Zeus was the father of Pollux (Polydeukes).  The twins also had a sister – Helen – daughter of Leda and Zeus.  (Yes, that famous Helen!) The brothers were said to have the greatest affection for eachother, always displaying support to the other and never getting into spiteful battles of sibling rivalry. (Though a friendly competitveness between the two is implied)  Castor was a renowned Horse Trainer and Pollux was known as a Boxer, a champion fighter.  Both became military generals and took part in the Voyage of The Argonauts.

Dioskouri – “Il Defonso Gruppo”. Roman copy of Greek statue, by Praxiteles C4th B.C.

The twins had one day attempted to steal some cattle and they were caught in the act.  When a fight broke out, Castor was killed.  His brother Pollux cried out to Zeus, for he did not want to live life as an immortal without his brother by his side.  He asked Zeus to make Castor an immortal so they may always be together.  Zeus agreed to allow Castor to live as an immortal, but only if his brother Pollux was willing to give up half of his time as immortal and give it to his brother.  Pollux agreed, and the twins alternate every other day between living among the Gods in Olympus, and dead in the Underworld.  Thus Castor was granted Apotheosis – a mortal man becoming a god, yet he and his twin spend half their time as gods and the other half dead.  For Pollux’s selfless gift of dedication to his brother, Zeus also granted the twins a place in the heavens as the Constellation Gemini.

As Gods, Castor and Pollux rule over Safe and Swift Travels, Protection of Guests, Travelers and sailors, and patron Gods of Horses, races, and the Olympic Games.
(( Read More at theoi.com ))  
* Some Greek and Roman authors attributed the constellation of Gemini to Apollo and Heracles – sons of Zeus with different mothers.

Astronomy of the Gemini Constellation –

The constellation Gemini has several interesting features, including a few binary stars (not suprising for the constellation of The Twins!) and some beautiful nebulas!  I have only included here a few of my favorites.

Gemini constellation

Pollux – β Geminorum (Beta Geminorum)

Pollux is the brightest star in Gemini and the 17th brightest star in the night sky. It is an evolved orange giant and is 33 light years distant from our solar system.  Beta Geminorum has about nine times the solar radius of our Sun, and is confirmed to have one planet in it’s orbit.  The planet, Pollux B, is at least 2 times the size of Jupiter and has an orbital period of 590 days.

Castor – α Geminorum (Alpha Geminorum)

Castor is the second brightest star in Gemini and the 44th brightest star in the sky. It is a visual binary star system, and each component is in itself a spectroscopic binary star, which makes Castor more technically a four-star system. Both components of the system are red dwarfs, and are about 51 light years from our sun.

U Geminorum

U Geminorum is a dwarf nova in Gemini constellation. It is a binary star composed of a white dwarf that closely orbits a red dwarf star. About every 100 days, the star has an outburst that causes a dramatic increase in brightness and luminosity. The two dwarfs have an orbital period of just 4 hours and 11 minutes, very rapid for a binary system!

Eskimo Nebula
Eskimo Nebula – photo from NASA’s Hubble Telescope, 1999

Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392, Caldwell 39)

The Eskimo Nebula is a bipolar double-shell planetary nebula in Gemini.  (To be honest I’m not sure what a bipolar double shell planetary nebula IS, but it sounds very Gemini and I love the beauty of it!) The nebula is surrounded by a layer of gas that used to form the outer layers of a star similar to our Sun.

NGC 2371-2 

NGC 2371, image: Friendlystar at wikipedia.org

NGC 2371-2 is a planetary nebula in Gemini. It is a dual lobed nebula, one that looks like it could be two different, separate objects – which is why it was originaly recorded as two seperate listings in the New General Catalogue, NGC 2371 and NGC 2372.  The nebula is located to the southwest of the bright star Castor.

(read more about the stars and nebulas of Gemini at Constellation Guide)


Gemini’s lessons – Duality and Change

I find it fascinating that within these heavenly bodies we can see traits of Gemini; dualistic, changeable, expressive systems in which two are one.  Gemini can teach us about the dualistic nature of all the universe and how partnerships can be so fruitful and beautiful with the right blend of compatability and devotion!  Yet the existence of Nebulas such as the ones seen above remind us that nothing is permanent – not even the stars.  All is fleeting, ever changing and shifting to play different roles in the cosmos at different times – just like Gemini.

I’ll be back later to talk about Gemini and the Tarot Card VI The Lovers!



Pluto Transits of 2018

Pluto. Hades. The Lord of Death & The Underworld. Wherever Pluto goes, change & transformation will occur.

pluto in capricorn
Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and will stay there until January 20, 2024.  He’s a slow moving planet, taking time to fully deconstruct whatever sign he visits. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn we had The American Revolution and Thomas Jefferson was writing the early drafts of the American Constitution.  The individual person’s right to a “Pursuit of Happyness” supported by a government was certainly a radical idea born of Pluto transitting Capricorn.   Capricorn is the Cardinal Earth sign of the zodiac – Pragmatic, Diplomatic, Focused.  Capricorn energy moves slowly and patiently, waiting for just the right moment to elevate and shine.  This sign rules over a lot of structures in life, like politics, finances, and economy.  On a personal level Capricorn rules over Career and Public Standing – or how you are seen by the world and the impact you make on the world around you.

Hades isn’t really in a big hurry to do his work, just as the transformation that occurs in a pile of compost takes a long time.  It’s not usually a quick flash of death and rebirth, but a slow process of decomposition and decay.  Pluto not only rules over death, but over all that is mysterious, hidden or secret.  The dark part of our souls – the drive to understand and see beyond what is just right in front of us in the physical realm.  Pluto dredges up the unseen for all to see – all the murky stuff decomposing at the bottom of the pond gets brought to the surface.  It’s no wonder we have the president we now have, and all the hate and racism that was somewhat hidden before is now glaringly visible.  Pluto in Capricorn says, “Hey, how’s that pursuit of happiness going?  Not so good for some of you, eh?  Let’s look at that and see how we can change it.”  He’s forcing us to look at the rotting foundation of whatever structures are holding us up.  Either we’ll have to do some major renovations, or evacuate the building before it falls down around us completley.

Pluto transitting through the signs can have major impact in your personal life depending on your natal chart.  When Pluto crosses over a planet in your natal chart, this is called a Pluto transit. It will also make aspects (squares and trines) to other planets in your natal chart and instigate changes in those areas. If you have any planets in Capricorn, you’ll experience a personal Pluto transit sometime between 2008 and 2024.  This year as Pluto stations and retrogrades, he’s spending a lot of time between 18 and 21 degrees of Capricorn. If you have any planets there, you’ve probably already felt a lot of deep ( and sometimes painful) transformations in your life. Pluto will Trine with planets in Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo) so transformations may also be happening if you have planets between 18 – 21 degrees in those signs, though Trines are usually more harmonious in nature so those changes might be a bit easier to handle.  December of 2017 through February of 2019 will be particularly hard-hitting for anyone with planets in 18 to 21 degrees Capricorn as you can see in this graph below:

pluto stations retrograde 2018

Read More: https://www.pandoraastrology.com/transits-this-year/planetary-retrogrades-stations/pluto-station-retrograde/

Pluto will square (challenging aspect) any planets in other fixed signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra) so if you have any planets between 18 and 21 degrees of those signs, this may also be a crucial year for you in terms of transformation and change.  Don’t worry, there are profound lessons for you here.  I think of a caterpillar in a cocoon transforming into a butterly.  During that metamorphosis, the DNA of the caterpillar breaks down into a living goo, which then rearranges itself into a new form.  A pluto transit can feel like a stagnant stasis at times, you just KNOW there is something better around the corner but you can’t quite get there.  Hang in there and be willing to really let go of that which no longer serves you.  Clinging to the past is not the way to get through this.  My motto for the year has been, “The only way out is through.”  (I’m having a MAJOR Pluto transit as my Natal Sun is at 21 degrees Capricorn and my Natal Pluto is 21 degrees Libra. Oh, hey Hades, whats up?)  The only constant in life is change, and Pluto is here to remind us of that.  So, let’s go!  VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

((( If you want any help looking at your Natal Chart and interpreting how (or if ) the Pluto Transits are going to hit you this year, I’d be happy to help!  I’m doing astrology readings on a sliding scale rate of $25 to $50.  Email me at hestiasmuse@gmail.com to set up an appointment.  )))

Sky, Earth & Fire – Memories of New Moon 5/15/18

The New Moon in Taurus happened on May 15th, early in the morning.  Shortly after the New Moon, Uranus entered Taurus for the first time since the 1940’s.  Later that afternoon, the moon moved into Gemini, and after sunset Mars entered the sign of Aquarius.  It was a powerful day for setting intentions, especially dealing with any type of revolution.

My partner and I gathered some friends over for an evening of food, fireside chats, and ritual.  I shared with some friends my thoughts on the power behind the Uranus/Taurus and Mars/Aquarius transition.  New Moons are generally always a good time for setting intentions and planting seeds of ideas or desires that you want to manifest.  Uranus is the planet best described as the Revolutionary.  He’s the ultimate non conformist, anarchist, and humanitarian; the driving force behind the awakening to higher consciousness.  Wherever Uranus goes, there is bound to be some sort of revolution against structures or ideas that hold us back from our awakening.  Taurus is the earth sign that best embodies Mother Earth in her most fertile time; also potentially powerful for manifesting desires into the physical plane, like a New Moon.  Uranus here will break down or shake up any structures, beliefs or ideas that are holding us back from physically manifesting our desires… as long as those desires are for the greater good of mankind.  Mars, the God of War, planet of drive, passion, courage, and fight – just entered the sign of Aquarius (ruled by Uranus) – sign of friendship, brotherhood, invention, and revolution.  This is adding some fire to the Aquarian quest for Brotherhood and Ascension.  I described these Planetary transits with the Tarot: The Fool & The Hierophant for Uranus in Taurus, and The Tower & The Star for Mars in Aquarius.  As you can see, I felt it was a perfect and powerful time for gathering some friends and setting intentions with magick!

Before ritual, my partner was digging around in the earth to clear the area around the fire pit.  As he dug by hand, he found this beautiful quartz crystal:

The Hierophant & The Fool cards on the altar:

Tarot and Astrology, The Hierophant and Taurus, Uranus and The Fool
Uranus enter Taurus

Friends gathered around the small fire pit in the back yard:

I love the Rey of sunlight beaming through the smoke in this picture!

After sunset, more friends arrived and we worked together to build the fire a bit bigger, and each added a piece of the wood to the fire to represent something we wished to release or burn away to make room for our own personal growth or revolution.  I was very honored to hold space and cast a sacred circle for those who gathered with us, and we called upon Uranus (God of the Sky) to celebrate his reunion with Gaia (Mother Earth, Taurus).  We each spoke our intentions up to the sky and then “planted” them into the earth to be nourished, gestate, and then born or fulfilled when the time is right.  We ended the ritual with some singing and chanting around the fire.

It was a lovely ritual and gathering and I wanted to write it down somewhere to keep it preserved (yeah, the sun is still in Taurus and I want to hold or keep that which I find beautiful).  After the ritual we had some fun times all gathered in the living room.  We looked at a couple astrology charts, danced to an old Jazzercize video from the 80’s, shared some food and talked about life.  I’m beyond grateful for the friends that I have made over the past year; the community that has embraced me and uplifted me through hard times.  Taurus season has asked us to examine beyond the “I AM” of Aries, into the “I HAVE” mode of The Bull.  I’ve discovered that the greatest things I HAVE are friendship and community.

A very blurry picture or me and some great friends!


Taurus New Moon – Preserving Beauty


Taurus astrology new moon
art credit: John Blumen johnblumenillustration.com
How has Taurus season been treating you?  I’ve had a few adventures!  Parties and social gatherings, a beautiful Beltane ritual, explorations in relationship dynamics, and a lot of personal healing.  I’m excited for the New Moon coming up on Tuesday and thought I would share some thoughts with you!

Most of us (in the Northern Hemisphere) are beginning to enjoy true spring weather these days!  The grass is green, flowers are in bloom, trees are bursting with pollen.  The birds sing loudly in the early morning and the frogs chirp in the evening.  It’s easy to feel in love with nature and beauty at this time – a key trait of Taurus season.  Taurus is ruled by Venus – the planet of love & beauty.  I see this planet as Aphrodite, and wherever she is transitting in the astrological chart will show you where she is spreading love, fascination, and beauty.  Understanding the two signs she rules (Taurus and Libra) will also help you connect with this Goddess and the planet Venus.

Have you taken time latley to just admire something beautiful?  To relax in the warm sun with your toes in the grass?  Eaten some fresh fruit and really just existed fully in the moment when the sweet flavor bursts in your mouth?  Have you savored a kiss with someone you love?  Perhaps you’ve started a new relationship or found yourself falling in love, or some sexy encounters have left you feeling young and free?  If you’ve felt any of these, you’ve found yourself touched by Taurus & Venus  energy!

In the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, we emerge as new beings and begin our journey of self identification through the phrase “I AM”.  With the next zodiac sign, Taurus, we begin to expand our sense of self through our senses.  What makes us feel good?  What makes us feel bad?  The Taurus experience lets us explore what we value here in our physical existence, and then begin to shape our life around what we enjoy.  We seek out that which is beautiful, comforting, and nourishing to us, try to find ways to maintain and manage or preserve that which we enjoy. Our “I AM” shifts to include “I HAVE”.

Even if you havent particularly experienced romantic feelings, the Taurus sun can have you thinking more about what you have, what you love, and what you want more of in your life.  Perhaps you have noticed your focus this past month being more incined towards thinking about what you desire, and even indulging your senses a bit with your favorite foods and comforting activities (or non-activity!) The Taurus sun has had influence over all of us, no matter what your sun sign or the location of Venus in your natal chart.  As the New Moon approaches, it is the perfet time to reflect on how you have been searching for beauty, comfort, and stability over the past month.  What can you learn about yourself from your behavior in the past 28 days?  The New Moon in Taurus takes place on May 15!  The last New Moon was in Aries and we set intentions around our individuality and self-expression.  Before the New Moon is the dark moon and we can release those old intentions and begin to integrate the lessons of Taurus into our lives.  Ask yourself, what do I have?  Do I value this?  If you do, you may ask yourself how you can preserve it, make it last longer or work better for you.  If not, ask yourself what you would like to have instead.  This can apply to everything we have on the physical plane – our jobs, money, possessions, relationships, etc.  You may choose to begin thinking about this during the dark moon phase, and work to release or let go of those things in your life which you just don’t value any more.  Then with the New Moon, affirm the things you DO want in your life!  Both by admiring and enjoying the things you already have that you value – and by setting intentions to manifest the things you value that you don’t yet have.

Check below for some more stories about Taurus to reflect on what lessons you may have been learning during the sun’s transit through the sign of “I HAVE”.  These other posts might help you clarify your intention setting for the New Moon.

I truly hope you have a beautiful New Moon!  I hope Taurus season has treated you well, and I look forward to connecting with you during Gemini season!

On a personal note, I am trying to save money to buy a car.  I am currently without a vehicle and need one so I can get to work, the grocery store, doctors appointments, and community events with greater ease.  If you enjoy my blog, newsletters, facebook & instagram posts, etc…. please consider donating to my fundraiser!

Love & Blessings
Wendy @ Hestia’s Muse


Taurus and The Hierophant; Preserving our Values

I’ve been thinking a lot about Taurus and the tarot card The Hierophant.  It’s always been an odd correspondence for me, since I tended to think of Taurus in a more Venusian light as a sign of sensuality, pleasure, and desire.  While the tarot card The Empress ceratinly fits with it’s correspondence to the planet Venus, I was always a little unsure about how The Hierophant could represent the sign of Taurus.  Perhaps I was so focused on the Feminine, receptive, sensual side of Taurus that I was just missing this whole other side to Taurus energy!  Meditating with The Hierophant over the past week, I’ve begun to see this other side of Taurus (see my earlier post Taurus & The Hierophant (plus Minotaurs and Judges)

Hierophant, Tarot, keywords

The Hierophant represents Institutions such as monetary systems (banks), Religious Organizations (churches), Educational Systems (Schools), and Group Institutions (Clubs, Communities, Governments, Political Bodies, and even Secret Societies)  All of these institutions were at one point created for the purpose of maintaining order.  Why do we find the need to maintain order surrounding anything in life?  Well, simply put, if we VALUE something, we try to preserve it.  We found value in a system of currency exchange to streamline and simplify our need to trade and barter.  We found value in the preservation and passing on of knowledge (both practical and esoterical) so we created schools, colleges, and religious orders.  We found value in a structured family unit, so we created the institution of marriage.  (I am using “we” to describe a collective consciousness, though I will add that not all cultures have developed these values in the same ways, and some cultures have totally different sets of values altogether.)

These structured institutions and status-quo parts of life seemed so opposite of the sensual Venus-ruled Taurus to me.  But I began to realize that within all of these structures lie one simple driving force: desire.  Somewhere along the line, all these conventions were created as a way to collect and preserve something that was good or beautiful (at the time).

Within these structured institutions there is the potential for greatness, but also the risk of great corruption.  Just like the story of Minos and the Minotaur, (previous post) greed and desire can have dire consequences, especially when the greed is perpertated by a person in a position of power and influence.  I don’t think that The Hierophant will always represent corruption in a reading, there will be other factors and intuition to help you determine whether these institutions are positive or negative in a reading.  For example, The Hierophant might represent:

  • persuing a higher education
  • seeking great knowledge
  • finding a spiritual leader or wise teacher
  • sharing a cultural heritage
  • having loyalty to a group or community
  • honoring ritual and ceremony
  • getting married, graduating, or becoming a community leader
  • working as part of a team
  • Fitting in

Taurus, astrology, traits of Taurus

Reflecting back on Taurus energy and personality traits, I began to see how their stubborn, immovable nature combined with determination and a strong desire for stability could create exactly the type of personalities who dvelop and maintain the institutions of The Hierophant.  When I am learning more about an astrological sign, I like to look up some famous people who have this sign.  What I found in searching for famous Taurus people was a whole bunch of Hierophant archetypes!  (This was the “OH! DUH!” moment for me with connecting the dots between Taurus and the Hierophant)  There was wide range of Politicians, religious leaders, scientists and writers (preservers of knowledge) – both who operated as creators or shifters of sytems, or as conservative preservers of systems.  Here is a list of a few here that stood out to me as strong Hierophant personalities. (Including four United States Presidents, two popes, an Emperor, a Queen, and a couple Tyrants)

  • Roger Ailes (creator of Fox News Network)
  • Tony Blair (Former British Prime Minister)
  • Antoinette Brown (First female Clergy woman in the United States)
  • James Buchanan (15th U.S. President)
  • Prescott Bush (Father of George Bush & Grandfather of George W. Bush)
  • George Carlin (political comedian)
  • Tucker Carlson (conservative talk show host)
  • Stephen Colbert (political comedian)
  • Oliver Cromwell (Lord Protector of England, 1653-58)
  • James Dobson (Founder and host of Focus on The Family)
  • Sigmund Freud (founder of Psychoanalysis)
  • Ulysses Grant (18th U.S. President)
  • Stephen Harper (former Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Jim Jones (Preacher who led 908 followers in mass suicide)
  • Karl Marx (founder of modern communism)
  • Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City Bomber)
  • James Monroe (Founding Father and 5th U.S. President)
  • Michael Moore (Political film maker who created “Bowling for Columbine”)
  • Nicholas II of Russia (Last emperor of Russia)
  • John Oliver (political reporter)
  • Pope Pius IX (the longest reigning Pope in history)
  • Pope John Paul II (the first Polish Pope)
  • Queen Elizabeth II (the Queen of Great Britain)
  • Maximilien Robespierre (French Revolutionary leader)
  • Rick Santorum (U.S. Senator 1995 -2007)
  • Harry S. Truman (33rd U.S. President)
  • Melania Trump (First Lady of the United States)
  • Malcolm X (leader of Black Power movement in the 1960’s)

Taurus Positive Keywords

Taurus Negative Keywords

As we can see in these lists of Positive and Negative traits of Taurus, there are the traits of the Hierophant as well – both when fuctioning at it’s best and at it’s most dysfunctional.   Taurus energy activates within everyone the simple desire to maintain what we have that is beneficial or feels good and right to us.  It asks, “What do I have?  Is this worth having?  If so, is it worth preserving and sharing?”  Taurus energy inspires a very deep devotion to whatever it is that we value . . . and perhaps this devotion can sometimes lead us to try and force our values upon others.  When we find something that makes us feel good and safe, of course we want to share that with others!  Sometimes, sharing what we value with others can have great and positive impact on the world around us!  Yet it is important to remember that not all of us value the same things, and pushing our personal values or beliefs on others often leads to conflict.  Taurus energy can teach us this balance – both by helping us define our values, and by strongly resisting anything or anyone that may be pushing values on us that don’t align with our own.   In a couple weeks Uranus, the planet of Rebellion and Revolution will enter the sign of Taurus and really begin to challenge some of the structured institutions that are currently imposed upon us.  The last time Uranus transited the sign of  Taurus was in 1934 to 1942.

Note that not all famous Taurus people are religious leaders or politicians – there are quite a few actors, musicians, scientists, and writers.  Here is a great list of many more famous Taurus people.  I only shared the ones listed above as I found they really embody the energy of The Hierophant that is relevant to this post.