The Sun has moved into Gemini, the sign of mutable air, and I find myself looking up all the time. I’m a bit obsessed, as I am every year, with watching the swifts. The air is their realm, their arena, where they play and spiral and twist with the air currents. Gemini energy is just like that, light and curious and all-embracing. Air is as much an absence as it is a presence. We are utterly immersed in it, unable to live without it. And yet it is invisible, ineffable, impossible to hold on to.
Over the years, I’ve worked with the elements a lot in my pagan practice. Air is one of the most important to me, probably because my natal chart is full of it (so it’s a bit of a comfort zone!). But also because air is what connects us, bringing together all our ideas, people, and practices. For example – fire needs air to burn, water needs oxygen to support life. I used to think that earth didn’t have so much connection with air, until I began to read about mycelia and the myriad ways that a forest, for example, is a set of deeply interconnected organisms. And I realized that earth is relational, just like the air is.
David Abram writes in “The Spell of the Sensuous” about air as holy, recognized by indigenous cultures as ‘a singularly sacred power’. Because for an oral culture, speech is power. Speech is how individual knowledge becomes collective, shared knowledge. As pagans we share a little of this awareness, we know that words have power. The chant, the song, the rhyme. We choose words with care as we speak our spells, learning when to speak and when to keep silent.
The realm of the trickster
Because Gemini energy, for all its airy communication and abstraction, can be tricky. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the trickster god – and we all know the risks of taking on the trickster! I’ve heard several Gemini tales lately, from astrology students and clients, of the shadow side of Gemini energy. Duplicity and twisted words, false information, knowledge withheld or over-shared. Gemini season recalls us to the power of our speech and our thoughts, to heal and to harm.
The magic of Gemini is to bring us back to mindfulness. Mind-full-ness. The indigenous cultures quoted by David Abram see mind not as something within us but as something we are within. Gemini is connection – the web, the network. Its the myriad, the in-between, the threshold place where we are connected with everything and everything is connected with us. We are in the realm of both/and, honoring duality only as a way to see the other. Understanding comes when we step back from ourselves. When we articulate our ideas, we understand them better. The air carries our words and spirals them back to us. Gemini is always about interaction, about exchange, about reciprocity.
A practice for Gemini season
Maybe you come into stillness. This might be a moving meditation, to honor our Gemini restlessness. Or maybe you simply watch your breath, in and out, your body exchanging molecules with what you perceive as outside of yourself. Do whatever you need to do to settle your mind, to go deeper into yourself. As you sink below your everyday mind, become aware of the spark of energy that is your individual consciousness. Let it hover there, part of your awareness but not the whole of it.
Then let yourself sink deeper still and become aware of all the other sparks of consciousness around you and of your connection with them. There might be fellow humans, those you are close to, and others beyond. Perhaps there are animal companions, birds outside the window, or birds in the trees above you. Embodied beings and less embodied beings. See the silver threads of interdependence and mutual understanding which connect us. Spend some time with these connections – which are strong and which are more tenuous? Are any unexpected? Where do you find yourself in the web? How does the web feel?
As always, return from your journey mindfully. Eat food and drink water. Since this is Gemini, maybe write about your experiences.