Book of Your Life for Gemini | By Eric Francis Coppolino
This must be one of the most interesting and productive times of your life. If it’s not already, you can make it so. The two most significant aspects of life — love, and work — are coming in at full strength at the moment. You’re in a moment unlike any other you’ve lived through, at least speaking from the viewpoint of your astrology. It’s all so much that you might not be so thrilled; you may not see the opportunities in the wild mash-up of factors that are influencing your life.
To begin with, I am here to remind you that you’re larger than it all: you are larger than anything you might do, or encounter. Your perception embraces and contains all of your life, all its circumstances and all of its people. Yet it may be a challenge to feel that, to know it, or to actually experience it consciously. To do so, you will need to adjust your sense of scale. You need to experience yourself as larger than you currently do. You don’t necessarily do this with your body. You do it with expanding your mind and your feelings.
With your astrology being the way it is — potent concentrations of planets in two of your angular houses, the 7th (Sagittarius, relationships) and the 10th (Pisces, mission, career and reputation) — you might feel that everything is happening outside you. You might feel that your circumstances are beyond your control, or like cosmic forces are blowing you around at whim.
And yes, depending on your level of experience and knowledge, you may be riding high on this astrology, experiencing opportunities you had never imagined, and claiming each one as your own. You may be thriving on the challenges of our era, and the chaos and commotion, and the sense of uncertainty that pervades our times. Depending on how well you access your resources, you have an abundance of material to work with.
For the purposes of this reading, I’m going to work from the viewpoint that the astrology you’re experiencing is coming on a little too strong for you to handle comfortably at the moment, and I’ll offer some ideas about how to negotiate it. All of these ideas will be applicable if you’re surfing the wave brilliantly; you probably are, in some facets of your life. And while it may seem like a lot to want everything to go swimmingly, there is an approach that will take you above your astrology, so that you can get some perspective and see your options — and perhaps get ideas for what is possible beyond them.
Before I get into the transits, let’s take a brief look at the background energy field that your sign resonates with, particularly as it’s coming in through Sagittarius and Pisces.
The Wide World, the Great Ocean and the Vast Cosmos
Your sign is part of the mutable cross, which also consists of Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. All four of the mutable signs can and usually do function as one entity. Conveniently, in classical astrology, all four are ruled by just two planets: Gemini and Virgo by Mercury (the smallest classical planet in our solar system), and Sagittarius and Pisces by Jupiter (the largest known planet).
You are most likely to experience events in Sagittarius and Pisces as outside yourself, and events in Gemini and Virgo as being contained within yourself. That alone tells you something: all that seems external is much bigger than all that seems internal.
It’s a similar feeling with the signs involved. Sagittarius contains two deep-space points that function as the center of the universe on different orders of magnitude: the Galactic Core and the Great Attractor. Since that’s your relationship sign, you’re likely to experience the ‘other’ as something vast and external to you, not necessarily seeing your part in the whole.
Even on the smallest scale possible, Sagittarius represents the Earth and all experiences here (the Earth is the esoteric ruling planet of Sagittarius, and this sign represents all that is exotic or foreign). The way this can work with you is that when you enter a relationship with a person, or with an environment, you can engage with something or someone who is truly profound.
Similarly, having Pisces as one’s sign associated with career can feel like a first-time author walking into the International Book Show, wondering where she might fit in. Pisces is the great delta of the zodiac that flows out to the vast cosmic ocean. It’s difficult to gain perspective with Pisces, or to notice where you might fit the scenario at hand. In this way, you may experience your highest aspirations as being far from your reach, or beyond your abilities. You might experience your moments of success as something lacking context or significance in the wider scheme of things.
Alternately, you may see your own potential as being limitless and containing all possibilities. And then you would need to find access points into that limitless reality. You’re the one who has to negotiate between your potential and what you do with it. This is an active, everyday challenge being a Gemini. The world can seem so much bigger than you are, and in one way it is — but your mind is the thing that encompasses the world, all the world’s people and all your experiences there. That means that your primary growth task is expanding and deepening your consciousness.
What you have going for you are several key talents. One is your flexibility, your ability to adapt. You are a master of language, and communicate with nearly anyone. You could get a laugh out of a riot-police officer in full regalia. You have a gleam and charm to your personality that makes you nearly irresistible for others to relate to. This is your passport to all that seems beyond you: converse with it and see where that leads.
As a Gemini, you have this thing going called mutability, which means the ability to change and adapt. You can see things from many viewpoints and shift your perspective instantly. Your ruling planet is an interesting critter, going retrograde three or four times a year. Your point of view is in a state of constant flux. Geminis often possess a distinct kind of intellectual agility, which is related to your ability to see life from several points of view at once, and to your acuity with language.
As I was writing this, my friend Maggie (Jonah the dachshund’s mom) replied to my query about what she wants to see in this reading. She’s the quintessence of Gemini so I thought she would be a good person to ask. This came in about a minute ago:
“I want to know more about how I can achieve massive visions, share huge information on many levels, and stay grounded. I’m being pulled in many different directions and only through my own meditation and self-care practices do I stay somewhat grounded, but it’s still so easy for me to get 100% sucked into what I’m doing and miss the other moving parts. I know my mutability is a gift but at times like these it can feel like a curse!”
She touches on all of the real issues in the Gemini solar chart this year, and these are coming to a peak in the next five seasons or so. Let’s talk about an important point she brings up: that of grounding.
Virgo on the 4th, and Mercury
One way to seek grounding is your 4th house (4th solar house, or 4th by whole-sign houses), your home base and foundation of security and trust. You have Virgo on this house, which thankfully is an earthy sign. I say thankfully because the Earth is the very definition of ground. But Virgo is an interesting kind of earthy sign: its primary orientation is mental. This reaffirms that the comfort of home is found in your mind. You feel safe when you are contained within an idea, or are working with ideas.
It also gives Mercury, your ruling planet, a powerful double signification: your sense of security and your sense of self are moving in the same places at the same times. This can really take you for a ride; you can get very little shelter from your own thoughts. Said another way, your state of mind is the single most important factor in your life.
Your mind is your grounding and your environment. Yes, that’s true of everyone to some extent, though it’s particularly true for you. You will benefit from studying this carefully: your relationship between your mind, your surroundings and how you feel about life.
One thing you can do for yourself is to maintain a sense of order in your physical space. It would help not to get obsessed, and to go with the flow somewhat, but you might maintain a habit of cleaning your desk after every major project, and generally keeping things tidy. Your state of mind is influenced by your space.
That works the other way, too: the condition of your space will tell you something about your state of mind. As you notice the correspondences, you will make some interesting connections that will help guide you through your inner and outer environments.
If you have some persistent struggle with keeping on top of your space, one thing you might do is make sure you have cleaning and organizing help. It’s worth asking for, and worth paying for, because you will make a profit on it, emotionally and financially. You will feel better, which is especially important in a ridiculously busy time like now. Cleaning and organizing, even with help, is a form of therapy for you, which will teach you more than you might believe, and will provide an orientation point for your happiness, stability and productivity.
Here is the thing to remember: chaos and order work together, and the creative process stirs up some disorder. You must leave yourself some room for this. Actual creativity relies as much upon random chance as it does any kind of planning — many successful artists, producers and authors would say the chance factor is far more important. In a similar way you need to make space in your psyche for what I think of as fertile chaos. You need to be able to make a mess, and see what happens.
Likewise, it’s not healthy to keep too tight a grip on who you are. It’s true that with your primary planet Mercury changing directions six or more times a year, you know this; but you may also revolt against it, trying to cling to a pattern that is what it is because it changes so dependably.
Laurie Anderson, one of the most prolific, creative and diversely talented Geminis of our era, ended a master class a few years back by encouraging her students to allow themselves the space to be a different person every day. How do you do that and still get anything done? Your consistency will come from ongoing contact with your underlying values, which themselves have a kind of tidal pattern. Like an aviator or a sailor or both at once, you must study the weather, within you and around you, and have many skills and tools for coexisting with it. You harness your energy from change itself. Knowing yourself is not a matter of having a fixed concept, but rather an honest and ongoing relationship with who you are over time, and from moment to moment.
Fire in the Mind: Mercury Retrogrades in 2017
One of the indicators of your astrology for any stretch of time is the Mercury retrograde pattern. Mercury represents the mental environment generally; it’s an identify factor for you; and it represents an element of your emotional body and your environment (as the ruler of your 4th house and Virgo). If you want to get a line in on your astrology, focus on your natal Mercury, and on what Mercury is doing in the current sky.
This year has an interesting pattern of Mercury retrogrades. The one that’s ending as I write (Mercury is still in its second shadow phase as I draft this reading) set the pattern of bridging earthy signs and fiery signs. For all of 2016, Mercury retrograde happened in earthy signs. This is practical; though going into 2017, the next two retrogrades touch fire signs and earthy signs, which adds the motivation factor.
The Mercury retrograde spanning from April 9 through May 3 bridges Aries and Taurus, and concludes with a long conjunction between Mercury and the Uranus-Eris pairing, which lasts for weeks. This is all about ideas and breakthroughs in your thinking. It looks like an invention process, and the motivation factor is ramped up by both the fire-sign contact and Mars in your sign (that happens from April 21 though June 4, and I’ll touch on that in a moment).
What the spring Mercury retrograde does is to key you in to the Uranus-Eris conjunction that’s been shaking the globe. This is a significant point of connection to you, where your life intersects with some much wider process going on in the world around us. The Uranus-Eris conjunction (peaking in 2016 and 2017, but in truth spanning from about 2010 through 2020 or longer, as a historical process) has a few distinct sides. One, of course, is the disorientation and chaos factor that we’re living with. It’s closely associated with internet consciousness and a kind of breakdown of reason and rationality. When you hear phrases like “alternative facts,” you can be sure that many people have been transported into Twitter like it’s the Matrix.
At the heart of this process is an identity crisis on an intercontinental scale. Most prior reference points for identity have been rearranged, dissolved or shattered by the ubiquitous presence of the internet. You might not think so; though if you want to delve into this topic, check out this group of articles that establishes the shape and size of the problem.
Part of the issue involves an obsession with appearances. Then there is the glamour of technology that’s sucking many people in: it’s so sexy, and so chilly, and it’s chilling people down. Then there’s the bit about robotics: the internet is a network of robots. Not like R2D2 or the kind in Lost in Space, but rather the mental-pattern kind; scripts, apps and various other programs that teach us to think robotically: exactly the way that you don’t want to think, but could be easily sucked into.
The bright side to this astrology is that the crisis of identity and sensation of disorientation will be profoundly influential for many people, provoking them to raise their consciousness to a new dimension. You are a prime candidate, and you may discover that a lot comes together during this particular Mercury retrograde. It’s a kind of moment of seeing what you were missing; of figuring out something about where you mesh into the much wider movements of society. If you are in business, this may be a genius phase of development for you.
You might also notice that you’re feeling somewhat scattered and agitated. This is where grounding comes in, and this looks like you’ll benefit from grounding in purpose. By that I mean invest your energy in staying on task. If you need help doing that, get help. However, purpose is about knowing why you’re doing something, and then doing it. This can take discipline, and cultivating that as a core-level skill will help you.
Gemini needs to come to a consensus with itself. You really can feel like you have a committee inside your mind. Consensus is not about settling an argument. It’s best built from the ground up, first by agreeing on core principles. Therefore, that’s the place to start. Understand what is motivating you. Then translate that into priorities, which in turn you can translate into goals. Once you’ve done this work, it will be clear what to do in any situation. Prioritizing is essential, which means knowing what comes first. This takes commitment. For that, refer back to your core values.
Now, the Mercury station-direct phase in late April and early May will have the influence of seeming either to awaken you or change your mind. When you encounter a discovery that relates to who you are, that’s the time to pause and re-evaluate your priorities.
The essence of mental discipline is the constant focus on your values and your priorities. Know why you’re doing what you do at all times. Check back and make sure something is actually meaningful in the context of what you have determined that you want.
One theme influencing your sign this year is that of depth. The thing to dig down into, and to draw into your conscious life, is your motives.
The summer Mercury retrograde begins on Aug. 12 in Virgo, and ends Sept. 5 in late Leo. When this retrograde ends, Mars enters Virgo, redoubling the theme of security and how you feel about your home. During this retrograde and during Mars in Virgo (which lasts until Oct. 22), it will help immensely if you find a vent for that abundant energy. It would be wise if this were a physical vent, which will help keep your mind in equilibrium. Given that we’re talking about Virgo, you need an intelligent form of physical activity — something along the yoga spectrum, something that engages your mind as well as your body.
This will challenge your sense of belonging and presence on the planet, and provide the energy and opportunity to make certain changes; which, at that time, you will figure out were long overdue.
The third Mercury retrograde of the year takes place between Dec. 3 and Dec. 22, exclusively in Sagittarius, your sign of relationships. Given how much else is happening in this house and sign for you, let’s take it all up at once, factoring in the retrograde as part of the whole scenario. That retrograde functions as a review for much that will happen this year and which occurred in 2016.
Let’s go to the 7th house and see what we find.
Saturn in Sagittarius: Your Relationship To Everything
In a section above, I described how Sagittarius as your opposite sign (your solar 7th house, or 7th house if you’re Gemini rising) puts you in relationship to a wide world and a wide universe. This can be daunting. But the beautiful thing is that once you rise to the occasion, and adjust your scale, you can tap into your potential in amazing ways.
At the moment, Sagittarius is back in the spotlight with some of the planetary activity most relevant to all the signs. With Sagittarius as your personal opposite sign, you’re part of it and it is part of you. Sign polarities work as energy systems. And right now that energy system is pumping lightning. A collection of minor planets are once again gathered around the Galactic Core; they are about to be joined by Saturn, which is another way of saying it’s time to get real and resolve not to be afraid of your life circumstances, or the possibilities you contain.
With Saturn transiting Sagittarius, however, you might feel like you’re working under your potential, or are blocked in by situations outside your control. Saturn in Sagittarius might seem like a contradiction. The optimistic, broad-minded and inherently liberated quality of Sagittarius can get stressed out under the influence of Saturn (see that Sagg reading for more information).
Yet the “two hands of God” metaphor is at work: Jupiter, which rules and is similar to Sagittarius, is the principle of expansion; Saturn is the principle of containment. Imagine a pottery wheel with some clay spinning around. One of God’s hands pushes the clay outward; that’s Jupiter. The other contains the outside of the pot, and that is Saturn. Working together, we get a result.
Operating with seeming limits to potential is a vital way to activate potential. What we think of as limits frame any discussion, and ensure that you work with goals. There is plenty of space within the bounds that Saturn is defining to make your life happen.
This transit, which goes back to 2015 and lasts until late 2017, is about getting control of your life — in particular, your relationships. Sagittarius needs Saturn to find its true expression; and relationships need Saturn to have definitions and boundaries, in order to be happy and functional experiences. The key to Saturn is to internalize it. Saturn in your relationship house is saying take responsibility for your relationships. Take the adult role, and set the example for others to do the same.
One way to focus your life, and to establish and meet your goals, is to work relationship by relationship. Consider each relationship an agreement with existence: to be who you are, and to do what you came here to do. That is the common foundation on which your life and your relationships can stand.
For many years — since 2006 — there has been a minor planet called Pholus moving through Sagittarius. Pholus might be the planet most opposite in nature to Saturn, in that it’s the principle of release. It can describe out-of-control situations, and a volatile state in your relationships. The ingress of Saturn into your relationship house through 2015 represents the time when getting a grip became, and remains, the thing to do.
Yet you cannot address Pholus with Saturn alone. Saturn helps; but in a strange way, the penetrating power of Pholus, and its influence as a catalyst, is a kind of antidote to Saturn. It also describes what you might need to get under control, though this calls for a careful approach. To give an illustration, working in a laboratory, you need to know what chemicals you can place in which containers. Pholus is the chemical agent and Saturn is the container. At the end of the year, Saturn and Pholus make a truly rare conjunction, which last happened in 1963 in Aquarius; and prior to that, in 1929 in Capricorn.
This is an opportunity to help you resolve certain relationship issues that have arrived in your life the past 10 years. These are most likely to have shown up as alcohol or substance issues. If this is true, it’s time to focus on understanding the true nature, meaning and impact of alcohol in your life. This is a vast, complex and deep issue that profoundly influences all of society. It runs through families for generations, and it infiltrates relationships through partners. Your role appears as slightly less likely to be the imbiber of the substance and more as the partner of someone who is.
There is less difference than it may seem, and often being the partner of an alcoholic is more insidious than the alcohol itself. Since I don’t know whether this situation exists for you and, if it does, the extent to which it does, you must scan your life carefully. Place under scrutiny any situation where there is alcohol present: whether going out, at home, in transit, inadvertent, or whatever. Remember what Carl Jung told Bill W.: spirit is a substitute for spirit; by which he meant that spiritual growth is the only way to address alcoholism. (This is why A.A. is an inherently religious organization, even though it seems to deny this fact.)
The most frustrating thing about people who are infused with alcohol is their primary addiction, which is control. You will never, ever get control over an alcoholic. You can, however, get control of yourself: and you must. Pholus can represent the point where there is infiltration into your life through another person, who might be in any partnership capacity at all: business or pleasure, friend, lover or enemy.
One last thought and I’ll move on. Denial. This is the most serious toxin where substance abuse is concerned. Denial is a conscious act. It is a choice, and that makes it an option. Normally the thing that happens in situations like I’m describing is a “moment of awakening” or “hitting rock bottom.” You want to make sure that you awaken on your own terms, and that you don’t get taken for a ride to anyone else’s lowest floor at a high velocity.
You might face the issue of someone deciding that their situation cannot be healed. I would suggest you be cautious of people who have given up; which means not trying to save anyone from themselves. You have better things to do: more creative, more important, more fun, more productive. And you’re at the stage where your life simply must be your life, regardless of your commitments. You might consider your commitments valid as long as they don’t hurt you in any way.
The 8th House: Pluto and then Saturn
There is another less obvious, and less understood, relationship house: the 8th. The 8th house seems to vex astrologers, many of whom do not grasp its dynamics. When we list out all the seemingly individual themes of the 8th house, which for you is Capricorn, we simmer the whole thing down to one theme: power exchange.
Sometimes this is friendly; sometimes it’s under threat or duress. Sometimes the theme is sexual, sometimes financial, sometimes involving death; often these factors are mingled. The 8th is where we both blend our power with others, and where we’re confronted by the power of others.
It’s the single most important house to take full ownership: to call in your projections, to own yourself — which means to take responsibility for yourself — and to fully possess your freedom of choice. Every time you limit yourself due to someone else’s opinion or presumed power, pause and reflect on that experience. This may be particularly challenging if you’re a woman: the 8th is the house where you and all your creative power are literally sold into the marriage transaction.
In many ways, the 7th is child’s play compared to the 8th; and based on the maturity level of our society, it’s often treated that way. The casual and undisciplined nature of many 7th house relationships is answered by the rather serious nature of the 8th house, and the contrast is particularly striking between Sagittarius and Capricorn.
You have Pluto transiting through your 8th house, and you will for a while. At the end of the year, Saturn will join Pluto in Capricorn, and pull the 8th and all its business into focus. Pluto’s power will only increase over the next five to six years, and Saturn is on the way to the Earth-changing Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2021.
Saturn moving through your 7th house (Sagittarius) is the time to clean up the loose ends, and set firm limits, in preparation for these events. Saturn in the 8th will give you two choices. If you’re prepared, you will consolidate your own influence over your life, and live your relationships more closely on your own terms. If you’re not prepared, you’re in a position for others to take some kind of control over you. In either event, there is the image of you investing yourself in someone, or in their enterprise. This is not the time to do this when you have misgivings or unresolved business.
You must proceed from a place of clarity, on your own terms first, and mutual terms second. Pluto transiting your 8th house for the past eight years has familiarized you with the power that others can wield over you. There are moments during any Pluto 8th transit when this is simply daunting. The message is to rise to that occasion: no revolt is possible other than to be in possession of your resources.
With Pluto in the 8th, you might say that it’s ill-advised to sign any contract that you or your lawyer did not write. Therefore, every agreement must be carefully reviewed before you commit, because under this astrology you will be subject to it, and you will need to address the consequences. This is why you must know your limits, and your boundaries. This is why you must know the difference between yes and no. Having a clear yes and a clear no requires spiritual, emotional and psychological work — and that will provide you with the single most important tool you need to guide your life. Yes and no are your brakes, your gas and your steering. Without the ability to render a clear yes and a clear no, you have no control over your life. With a clear yes and a clear no, you get to live your life much closer to your own terms.
Pisces Power: Neptune, Chiron and Friends in the 10th
One of the most distinctive features of your solar chart involves having Pisces as your 10th place (or house). The 10th house covers matters of career and reputation. It’s where you express yourself to the world the most boldly. The work you’re doing in the 7th and 8th houses is preparing you for this; the work of your 9th house, Aquarius, is essentially spiritual, and part of the preparation for the 10th is focusing your life on some relevant, consistent spiritual path. This will pay you back far more than you invest.
There’s an inherent paradox having Pisces on the 10th, and that can be addressed. The 10th is inherently practical. Its work involves the brass, silver or gold tacks of success. To work the 10th, you must build solid, trusting relationships. You must be in possession of your talents. And you must focus a vision.
Pisces is an ethereal sign to have on the 10th. It may be the most difficult, because to work a Pisces 10th house you have to draw most of your power from creativity, which takes discipline. Pisces is inherently self-effacing and somewhat insecure. The 10th demands confidence. Therefore, to do this, you’re combining your most intimate resources with something that you’re building and sharing with the world. The building part is made complicated by the dissolving nature of Pisces.
There are now planets in Pisces — slow movers, which have been gathering over the past few years (most notably, going back to 2010 with the ingress of Chiron). There are many planets in your Pisces 10th right now; let’s address the most salient of them, gathering the main points. First, for the past 18 months, there have been solar and lunar eclipses in Pisces. This has shaken up your plans a number of times, with the strange and seemingly sideways effect of pushing, pulling or thumping your intentions into place.
With eclipses moving into Leo and Aquarius, you’ll feel a shift here: it’ll be easier to keep your focus, and there are likely to be fewer incidents and events, giving you more space to work. Let’s focus on Chiron and Neptune. In the background, remember that Nessus is there as well. Nessus is saying that you must claim any power that you don’t want to be subject to. Nessus is saying: you must take full responsibility for how you use your creativity.
Chiron entered Pisces in 2010. This is an exalted sign for Chiron, and it has the distinct benefit of focusing the creativity of this sign. This comes with a spiritual crisis. There is no option other than what some call “right livelihood” when Chiron, Pisces and the 10th house combine. Doing what is not in your dharma is not an option; or if it is, there will be consequences you should consider unacceptable. Your mission is your spiritual mission. This is not a matter of wishful thinking, though to get there takes work, and focus, and confidence — and that’s what the 10th is about.
The past seven years have been a time of learning how to focus your mission, with that as the bottom line — and this phase is not over. We have one more full year of Chiron in Pisces and then a transition year as Chiron works its way into Aries. This is a vital and precious time. When you cooperate with it, which means doing what you know is right for you, Chiron focuses whatever it touches. Sometimes that means focusing creative or healing power; sometimes it means focusing a crisis. Usually there is some blend, though the scales will usually tip one way and keep tipping that way as Chiron is either embraced or ignored.
What you experienced and what you learned during these years of Chiron in Pisces must be consolidated. Everything you learned dealing with authority and people in authority, with the nature of corporations and governments, and your own authority in any structured situation (from the PTA to running your own company). The final full year and the transition year are the time to do this work of consolidation.
Part of this involves what it means for something to actually be true, for you and for the people who are influenced by you. The dualism of Gemini is well known; you can live in a world of relative truth, which might work for you — though consider how it works for those you influence. Pisces is the place in the zodiac where opposites are integrated and resolved, and for you this happens through your most meaningful work.
Chiron demands discipline, honesty and focus, or its seemingly more risky or dangerous qualities emerge. With Chiron in your 10th it may seem like you must stay on mission, though in two years you will either wish you had its guidance doing so, or will be grateful for having learned so much. This is why I suggest you gather what you’ve learned, and find out how it’s possible to turn many small lessons into a lot.
With Chiron, documentation is paramount. Keep notes; work meticulously, like a scientist. This is the way to harness the creativity and flow of Chiron. This is especially important given that Neptune is, shall we say, enhancing the influence of Pisces.
Neptune is not an easy planet to have transiting the 10th, for reasons similar to having Pisces there: a challenge focusing. Yet Chiron has taught you how to do that. And Neptune is granting nearly limitless creative gifts, if you know how to tap that energy — and if you don’t know, you can learn. Yet remember that the key to Neptune is acting on your inspiration, rather than merely being inspired. It’s one thing to walk around all day saying, “That would be a beautiful photo.” It’s another thing to actually create the photo, and put it where people can see it. And that is the story of your life.