Gemini Lessons - Listening and the Inner Observer

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #134 - June 5, 2007
Planetary Alignments
New Series - The Lessons of the Zodiac Archetypes

This issue initiates a new series. Each month we will discuss lessons to be learned from the archetype of the current Sun sign, and how to use Kundalini Yoga/Meditation to facilitate our developmental process.

For both new and seasoned readers and students, the goal of our study of Astrology and Kundalini Yoga/Meditation is to help us understand universal energies, and how to best work with them. Each of the twelve astrological archetypes represents a unique combination of universal energies. Although we each have our own special blueprint, we all work with the same archetypal energies. Each sign of the Zodiac embodies a set of lessons that we must ALL learn to optimally operate in physical reality, and to leave this Earth having evolved to a higher state of consciousness.

So no matter what your Sun sign, the current Sun sign shines on all of us for approximately 28 days, giving us an extra boost of energy to tune into the power, potential and radiance of its frequency. At this time, our issues relative to integrating and optimizing this particular energy become more apparent. We can take advantage of the inflow of cosmic energies:

  1. to look at ourselves, others and the world in new ways,
  2. to acquire deeper insights about ourselves and the Universe,
  3. to propel ourselves to more a profound state of awareness and self-realization.
Our Gemini Stage of Development - The Mind

In our Gemini stage of development, curiosity is our motivating drive. We are eager to explore our environment, and to investigate what is happening around us. We want to acquire and exchange information. To communicate we need language, speaking and writing skills. Gemini energy is expressed through talking, conversation, story telling, writing, problem solving, interactions with friends and siblings, short distance travel, and all kinds of life activities and adventures.

Gemini is the first air sign, introducing us to the workings of the mind - how we think and speak. The mental developmental skills in the Gemini arena include observation, collection, analysis and rational classification of information, and effective learning, cognitive, verbal, and communication skills.

As we move from naïve and unconscious states of being to more conscious and mature expressions of our power, our inner Gemini realizes that we need:

  1. to learn how to focus our mind,
  2. to concentrate,
  3. to clear our mind,
  4. to observe and monitor the flow of our thoughts (mindfulness), and
  5. to deal with duality.

Silent vipassana meditation, meditation on the breath, affirmations, positive thinking and chanting mantras are all techniques to activate, focus, elevate and properly use the power of the mind.

The Gemini Evolutionary Journey
Immature (needs to learn)Mature
Chatter box, too talkativeAble to listen as well as communicate clearly
DistractedCan concentrate
SarcasticCosmic Humor
Tricks selfAware of consequences of own thoughts
GullibleAlert to ruse, able to discriminate
IrresponsibleResponsible in the context of freedom
Perpetual adolescentYoung at heart, childlike spontaneity
GlibPlayful, cheerful
Too many activitiesVersatile lifestyle, explores many paths
Fluctuates Flexible
Cold, aloofUnattached, detached, objective
Ungrounded, fanciful ideasExperimental and innovative
Lost in thoughtFound in purposeful action
Suppresses feelingsListens to intuition
Future, perfection orientedInventive and imaginative
Nervous system can burn outTakes care of body with exercise
Routines create boredom and depressionNew experiences keep life interesting and fun
Where is My Gemini?

Like all the signs, not everyone has planets in Gemini, but the Twins' archetype, and the instinct to express polarities, is part of everyone's make-up and birth chart. There are three ways to identify where and how Gemini energy plays out in our lives:

  1. The third house is the territory ruled by Mercury and associated with Gemini. Any planets in our 3rd house are conditioned by Gemini energy.
  2. Locating the house or houses that contain planets in Gemini, or have Gemini on the cusp, helps us identify the arenas in life where we confront our Gemini issues, and display our Gemini traits.
  3. The house location of our natal Mercury (ruler of Gemini) is a partial indicator of how and where we play out our quest for self-expression, and where we focus our mental energy. However, Mercury traverses all worlds. It communicates with and expresses for all our planets. Even the sign of our Mercury is not an inclusive explanation of how we express ourselves. Mercury speaks a different voice depending upon who (which planets) it is communicating for.

The above ways all help us understand how and where our inner Mercury gives voice to the different aspects of ourselves.

Mercury/Hermes Archetype

To understand Gemini, and indeed our own mind, we need to explore Gemini's ruling planet Mercury. Hermes was the name given by the Greeks to this youthful, agile and magical god, which was the link between the three worlds; Olympus, Earth and Hades. Hermes is the only Greek god without a home on Olympus. He was always in transit - connecting, communicating, guiding and bringing messages between the Spirit world, the Earth, and the lower realms. Hermes is known as the Guide and the Messenger.(1)

Hermes was always involved in some kind of activity. His versatility gave him many roles, including patron of the diverse worlds of merchants, thieves, magic, sorcery and alchemy. Hermes was known as the ruler of good fortune at the crossroads. He made mischief in the lives of those who lacked discrimination, and he helped heroes, and people in search of a quick solution.(2)

Mercury/Gemini Traits, Nature

The Gemini archetype embodies the nature and traits of Mercury/Hermes. Forever young and a perpetual adolescent, both are cheerful, playful, and sometimes glib. Their flexible attitude toward life and change, ability to analyze mistakes, willingness to adapt their behavior, and sense of humor, create the formula for not taking life, themselves or their mistakes too seriously.

Their mercurial nature seeks variety, sports a dilettante spirit, and seeks to explore many paths and ways of doing things. Their quicksilver mind possesses an insatiable curiosity. Their quest to develop the intellect requires freedom to explore many avenues and a lively, mobile and versatile life style.

While the Fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius) have a tendency to see only one way, and to hang on to the same pattern of thought or behavior, the Mutable signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo and Pisces) are fluid, mobile, and flexible.

The Gemini/Mercury mind is dual and amoral. It can lead us in either direction - pain or pleasure, heaven or hell. Rational objectivity is thus a required skill. Gemini needs the power of discernment. The medieval alchemists prayed for the power to discern between good and evil, and to purge the darkness from our minds.(3) Mature Gemini's mental virtues include objectivity, discrimination and open-mindedness.

The Gemini Temperament

We can further understand Gemini by remembering that this sign rules the nervous system, which functions as a network, carrying messages from our sensory system to the brain. Gemini always needs to move around and use its restless mental and physical energy. Gemini's sensitive nervous system can, however, burn out, if Gemini constantly pushes its body to engage in endless movement, and mental activities, without appropriate relaxation. Gemini needs to make sure that it takes care of its body, and doesn't just use it simply as a vehicle to take its mind from one activity to another.

As the messenger between worlds, Hermes was always on the move. Gemini is also uncomfortable staying too long in one place. Gemini resists becoming rooted, avoids incurring bonds and obligations, and does not allow itself to be limited by routines and structures. If Gemini has a distaste for anything, it is the dull and boring. Gemini needs new experiences to keep life exciting, interesting and fun.

Gemini focuses on future dreams and a perfect ideal. What could be worse that to get stuck in an imperfect reality? Maybe creating a false reality? The inventive and imaginative Gemini mind is capable of living in a world of ungrounded ideas. Gemini can also collect facts and information and put them together in new, experimental, innovative and fanciful ways.

On the naïve side, Gemini expresses the Peter Pan, eternal youth, puer and puella archetypes, which avoid commitments and refuse to grow up, take responsibility, and settle down. They seek freedom from mundane affairs and routine work, and have a distain for boring reality. Their positive, endearing side is a delightful sense of humor, and child-like spontaneity.

All Thoughts, No Feelings?

Dominated by the head, air signs can think and analyze too much. Living in their minds, they can become disconnected from their bodies. They can spend too much time mulling ideas, dreaming and fantasizing, and forget about DOING. They can miss the moment by being more interested in the future than the present. Unlike feeling water, earth and fire signs, they avoid investing themselves emotionally.

Being a mental sign, Gemini lacks emotional involvement and attachment. Lost in thought, mental signs can be detached and aloof from situations and people. Gemini does not have the desire energy of the Earth signs, or the emotional energy of the water signs. Gemini is motivated by ideas, which are valued for their mental stimulation.

Mentally preoccupied, Gemini can be too rational about its emotions. It can reject, suppress, and intellectually talk itself out of irrational emotional reactions in the moment. Gemini thinks about its emotions almost before it even has time to feel them. It suppresses its instinctual reactions, and starts thinking or talking about what just happened.

Air signs do not want to appear irrational. The fire signs, on the other hand, risk appearing irrational, because they instinctively respond in a direct, immediate and spontaneous way. Each air sign is complemented with a fire sign. Sagittarius, the polarity of Gemini, can be impulsive, blunt and passionate.

Gemini and the Sagittarius Polarity

Gemini constantly collects and stores data, which it classifies as useful or not. Gemini can identify thoughts as logical or illogical. Gemini has the ability to remain objective, to not identify with and to not personalize information. It learns that coherency and meaning is not obtained by adding up the points on each side. Gemini instinctively looks for the bigger picture or larger context, within which all its information will make sense.

In the mythical stories, Hermes was generous to those in need of help. He gave quick short-term advice freely, but skirted the ethical, long-term implications of the issue. Reflecting the character of his mentor, Gemini can put together quick, but not necessarily wise, solutions.

When trying to make decisions, Gemini finds out that a list of pros and cons does not add up to a well-reflected analysis of the situation, or to appropriate choices. The facts do not include the bigger picture or the unknown elements. The facts do not provide the inspiration that points us in the right direction, and leads us to the next level of our journey. This is where the wisdom of Sagittarius can be most useful.

Gemini needs the help of its polarity, Sagittarius, to see the whole picture. Sagittarius helps Gemini to understand the overall significance of scattered information, and to comprehend deeper meanings. Sagittarius is the wise arbitrator or a guide at the crossroads. Sagittarius' wisdom and Pisces' compassion is required to make major decisions.

Of course, Gemini can add needed objectivity and detachment. when fiery Sagittarius gets too dogmatic in its perception of the truth, or too attached to its moral and ethical imperatives. Polarities serve each other better when they are acting in their more mature modes.

Gemini New Moon - June 14th

Integrating the Gemini/Sagittarius polarity is the theme, of both the Full Moon in Sagittarius May 31st and the Gemini New Moon June 14th. Polarities bring to our attention both the functional and dysfunctional aspects of the signs. Sagittarius sees the bigger picture and unveils hidden wisdom. In its less favorable expressions it can be dogmatic, judgmental and opinionated. Gemini can introduce us to new ideas, entertain us and keep us from getting too serious. On the annoying side, Gemini can be a know-it-all and a chatter box. Gemini must learn to listen in order to hear its intuitive wisdom.

Pluto in Sagittarius is opposite the Sun and the Moon at the Gemini New Moon. Pluto exposes what is in the unconscious, so that we can identify our rigid beliefs, and religious and cultural programming, that keep us imprisoned in critical duality, illusion, and separation. Pluto unmasks our shadow, with the goal of setting us free from the chains of our internal saboteurs.

Mercury and Uranus Go Retrograde

Planets in retrograde facilitate introspection. By the last week in June, five planets will be retrograde.

Mercury goes retrograde June 15th at 12° Cancer, giving us another opportunity to face our shadow from the perspective of the heart. Our attention is directed inward. This is a time to LISTEN carefully to our thoughts and intuition, and to feel our feelings. Mercury (and our mind!) is so active, that it needs this retrograde period 3 times a year to switch gears. This three week period gives us a chance to slow down, develop our capacity to listen, clear our mental burdens and unwind. Mercury retrograde is our time to relax and let go, not a time to complain about slow energy. We can actually get more done when we are more at peace within ourselves. This is our chance. Don't miss it. We have until July 9th at 7:18pm PDT.

Uranus goes retrograde on June 23rd at 19° Pisces, and stays in apparent backward movement through November 24th. If we stay tuned, the radical awakener makes us more aware of openings and opportunities that might have not gotten our attention earlier. Uranus is actively alert, advising us:

  1. to humbly ask,
  2. to quietly listen,
  3. to be grateful, and
  4. then to take action.

Neptune in Aquarius and Saturn in Leo oppose each other for the last of 3 times June 25th. (The first opposition was August 31st, 2006 and the second February 28th, 2007.) When matter (Saturn) and Spirit (Neptune) synergize, the duality between matter and Spirit is dissolved. Their message to us now is to ground our ideas and get busy bringing our dreams into reality.

Gemini Offers the Gift of Detachment and Observation

Each time the Sun changes signs, it is both fascinating and educational to watch how our moods, and mental and physical states change. Noticing the impact of the very different energies of the four elements - air, water, fire and earth -motivates us to learn to how to use and benefit from these energies.

Many people noticed that, the night the Sun moved to Gemini, they couldn't sleep. Some people have needed less sleep and less coffee since then. Many of us have also been having more vivid dreams. Many have also been enjoying the detached mental energy. Things that might normally trigger us seem to just wash on by. Some of my students have moved into the observer mode, where they feel very peaceful and connected to a higher level of mind.

Here is an account of how Gemini energy has affected a normally emotional water sign. "I have seen a change in myself lately where I am totally detached from events that take place in my life. Even though they may be potentially major emotional traumas, I get over the initial shock in seconds, and then look at things from another place. It is like I am observing everything that is happening. I don't get emotionally involved at all. It seems like I am in a different place than the others, and see things differently. I feel like everything 'just is'". She also says she feels like nothing matters. Then perplexed she asks, "Why do I feel this way?"

People with an abundance of water (and earth and fire) energy, are so used to getting emotionally involved in situations, that they think something is the matter if they stand back and watch the fray from the shore. For them, the absence of emotional involvement can be interpreted as not caring or self-absorbed. Like a fish out of water, they don't know what to do when they can breathe fresh air. Human fish, though, can benefit from being able to extricate themselves from the drama of murky emotional waters. An out-of-the-emotional-waters experience should be a relief to enjoy. To be able to observe what is happening around us from a clear, detached mind is definitely a good thing.

Furthermore, my response to the query is to not waste this precious moment asking why? While the Sun shines on us with the objective perspective of an air sign, enjoy this state of detachment. The down side of the mental signs is that they want to explain everything. Sooner or later, we all find out that attempts to explain and analyze pull us out of our higher states of awareness. We try to explain an experience and oops, it is gone. The more we can simply be with our awakening states, the more we can integrate them into our psyche.

When the Sun moves into Cancer June 21st, we will be influenced by an entirely different energy. We will be very grateful if we are able to take Gemini objectivity with us when we enter the ocean of emotions.

The Silent Twin

Did you ever wonder the identity of the Gemini Twins? There are many expressions of the two polarities that the Gemini Twins represent. One set is the active/outer twin and the silent/inner twin. We all recognize the active twin, who darts about and is in constant motion, thought and communication. We usually don't pay much attention to the inner silent twin, who observes and listens. It is the silent twin:

  1. who holds the neutral sacred space,
  2. who is non-judgmentally present while others talk, and
  3. who listens so that others feel accepted and heard.

Real connection and communication does not happen without these essential functions of the internal polarity of Gemini.

While the Sun is in Gemini, and when Mercury goes retrograde, we want to get to know our silent/observer twin. The silent one sits at the third eye - stable, detached, observing and listening. Did you ever wonder how the ballerinas stabilize themselves while they are doing those fast turns? They focus at the third eye. The third eye (seat of the sixth chakra) and the base of the spine, legs and feet (home of the first chakra), are our built in mechanisms for focus and stability.

Opening the third eye enables us to cultivate mental faculties that must be activated through training. In the case of the Pisces women above, she didn't know how to deal with the faculty of observation and detachment, because it was not previously available to her. Being able to disengage from emotional traumas does not make us selfish or uncaring. Detachment is a necessary survival skill. It is an essential tool, to operate in this world and to maintain our sanity. We must learn how to distance ourselves, and withdraw energetically from situations that attempt to draw us in, to use or manipulate our energy.

The gift of the air signs is their ability not only to see what is happening, but to jump out of the quicksand when necessary. To acquire these skills, we must learn to LISTEN and to be ALERT and AWARE. Awareness training is required.

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Grounding, Observing and Listening with Kundalini Yoga

Gemini is very active, agitated mental energy. While the Sun is in Gemini, we need to take care of our body in ways that relieve the stress caused by too much mental activity. Air energy needs earth energy:

  1. to calm it down,
  2. to stay grounded,
  3. to maintain a connection with reality, and
  4. to not get lost in ideas and mental chatter.

To integrate air and earth energies, do standing poses for grounding - frog pose, chair pose, punching and running in place, archer pose, sun salutations, etc. Move the vital air energy through your body with the breath and movement.

The practice of Kundalini Yoga kriyas gives us a chance to observe the relationship, between our mind and body and our mind and our breath. The Exercise Set for Relaxation and Releasing Fear on Pages 82-83 in Relax and Renew 2nd Edition, is a powerful set to both ground and create a neutral space for inner listening.

Slowing down the breath, to 4 or less breaths per minute, moves the mind into a meditative state. After each exercise, practice watching your breath as it adjusts to a slower rate. Once your breath is stabilized, slow it down even further. Also between exercises, notice what is happening in your mind. It will become less agitated and you will feel more centered. If you really pay attention at the third eye, you can also shift into an observer mode, where you are watching yourself and your thoughts. (Practice the above between the exercises of any set you choose to practice.)

The Immunity Set, on page 92 of Transitions to a Heart-Centered World 2nd Edition, is also an excellent set for grounding and calming the mind. I taught this set while the Sun was both in Taurus and in Gemini. The class experienced very different results each time. They felt more grounded while the Sun was in Taurus. When the Sun was in Gemini, they felt grounded but also connected inside. In Gemini they noticed more mental results. Some had a harder time turning off their minds. Others went into the observer mode, and enjoyed watching their mind become less attached to what was happening.

We have until the summer solstice, June 21st, to benefit from, appreciate and learn from Gemini energy. Be attentive so you can monitor how your mental, physical and emotional energies shift when the Sun moves into Cancer.(4)

References and Footnotes

"Mercury", Gerhardt, Dana, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #130, Dec/Jan 2007, pp. 9-13.

"Sagittarius Full Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #132, April/May 2007, p. 107.

"Gemini New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #133, June/July 2007, p. 101.

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", Bogart, Gregory C., Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"Archetypes of the Zodiac", Burt, Kathleen, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2002.

1. Burt, p. 73
2. Burt, p. 73
3. Burt, p. 74.
4. The Mind by Yogi Bhajan is also a fascinating book!


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