We Can’t Have it All: A Gemini Primer

Diane Arbus Identical Twins

The Gemini of Greek myth were the horsemen-healer-brothers Castor and Pollux. Pollux, who was immortal, was so brokenhearted when his mortal twin was killed in battle that he begged Zeus for his own death, to be stripped of his divinity, so that he could be with Castor. Zeus granted his wish but with a caveat: he bifurcated Pollux’s immortality so that now the twins traverse the heavens together as a constellation for one half of the year before they sink below the horizon into the underworld of death for the other half.

Gemini is the first “air” sign of the zodiac and the first represented by humans (following Aries the ram and Taurus the bull). It is here in Gemini that we discover we’re thinking animals full of ideas, opinions and beliefs. It’s here that we become aware of life’s apparent dualities: the good/bad, the right/wrong, the boy/girl, the left/right, the mortal/immortal. The more we grow, of course, the more we acquiesce to life’s rich and complex continuum, but we’re not there yet. Gemini energy instead has us trying to “think” our way out of the binary, which never works.

So as we approach the new moon (and solar eclipse) in the sign of the twins this Thursday, we might be feeling a bit scattered. It might be hard to stay present to the beauty and banality of this moment right here. We might instead be hungry to know more, do more, make it all work somehow. We might have ideas/opinions/beliefs pulling us this way and that. The devastating-but-ultimately-freeing lesson of Gemini, however, is that we cannot have it all, we cannot do it all, we cannot be everything for everybody, not even for ourselves. What we’re learning is that it’s only when we surrender to the heartbreaking limits of our mortality will we awaken to the limitless immortality of the now – this blessed, singular, everything-is-here-and-nothing-else-matters moment that we get to live right now… and now… and now… and now… ∞

“Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967” by Diane Arbus. More twins in art here.

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