Welcome, Gemini, to the Art of Becoming, your 2018 annual reading.
Here are the contents:
- Your 2018 annual reading | A4 PDF | US Letter PDF
- Charts for your reading
- In the Shadow of the Moon — our 2017 midyear video for your sign
- Your latest birthday reading
- Book of Your Life for Gemini
- Links to previous annual editions
The Art of Becoming for Gemini
“I call that mind free, which sets no bounds to its love, which is not imprisoned in itself or in a sect, which recognises in all human beings the image of God and the rights of his children.”
— William Ellery Channing
We live in tough times where our experience of power is concerned. It seems that wherever there’s any form of authority or influence, it’s immediately abused. In astrology, the house that addresses one’s relationship to power also describes one’s professional goals, one’s reputation, certain matters of parenting and, in general, the desire to succeed. The 10th house is about one’s personal mission, which touches on all of these subjects in many different ways.
The influences you now have in this area of your solar chart are testing your trust in all of the forms of authority I’ve just described. The prevailing atmosphere is one of profound distrust and even disgust, particularly with men, and men who seem to have power; though this soaks through nearly all psychology involved with one’s profession and one’s relationship to society.
In addition to the current crisis of trust, the world is changing faster than most people can see or are willing to accept. Professional goals used to mean success within an institution of some kind. For example, not so long ago, if one was a musician, success meant getting a recording contract and keeping it, by selling records. There was always an organization involved, typically a single large and powerful one.
In every profession there’s some model that parallels this, whether it meant making your way up through the ranks of IBM if you were interested in computers (or had a gift for them), or working your way from U.S. representative to senator to president if you were in politics. Now all of these models are dissolving and even disappearing. We’re watching it happen, rather quickly, though still it seems like watching a cactus plant grow. It’s always the same plant, but when you see a picture of it from years ago, you realize it was once six inches tall.
Gemini has an unusual relationship to these matters, with Pisces on the 10th house. Aspiration and success can have a nebulous quality. It’s possible to have dreams that don’t quite have definition or form. You might crave to succeed in a way that you cannot define. Often you take success as it comes; your career choices can seem to make themselves for you; one thing leads to another in a mysterious way.
One question might pull some focus on the matter: when you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Most kids go through phases of career desires, though usually by junior high school or high school, you’ve been considering something for a while. Did you ever get to do that thing? Are you doing it now? If not, how did you get sidetracked or dissuaded? If so, how did you find your way to what you wanted? And if you made compromises, can you account for them?
Since 2010, Chiron has been transiting your 10th house. This transit predates the two planets that will be left in Pisces once Chiron makes its transition into Aries over the next year or so, and it’s been a time of discovery for you. You may have had an actual glimpse of what you want to do, or become; you may have reached a point of arrival.
With Chiron, however, there’s always the possibility of manifesting it as a sense of failure; though despite this feeling, there’s usually another side of the story. Often Chiron precipitates a healing crisis of some kind. You can think of that as a struggle that’s necessary along the way to solving a problem. This healing crisis may have involved identifying family influences that were difficult to spot without Chiron’s help.
You may have come close to something and nearly lost it, only to finally get where you were planning to go; or you may have given up. You may have endured a struggle or test of endurance of some kind.
Whatever the case, one property of Chiron — especially in Pisces — is the revelation of something that was previously invisible. Where Pisces is concerned, it’s possible to have your discoveries dissolve back into the cosmic ocean. So one project I suggest passionately is taking an inventory of all that you’ve done going back to April 20, 2010, complete with getting a clear sense of all that you’ve learned, particularly in your professional affairs. Do this now, while Chiron is still in Pisces, because you’re going to need this information.
You might think of this as a CV that really includes the curriculum of what you’ve learned, because you’ve worked hard for that knowledge, you’ve paid for it, you’ve struggled to gain it and — more than anything — you’re going to need it. One important element of this project is learning to trust yourself when you have power in your own hands, even if it’s the power of wanting to succeed.
Another critical element of this project will be tracking your relationship to authority figures — parents, the government, bosses, marriage or business partners and so on. If you’ve been working with this transit, you’ve made some progress in the past eight years, and you deserve the benefits of that progress.
When Chiron leaves your 10th house (a process that will unfold between April 17 and Feb. 18 of next year), you will be left with two main influences, the centaur Nessus and the planet Neptune. Neither of these are famous for granting clarity, though you can use them well if you bring a lot of awareness. Neptune will challenge you to manifest your vision, which starts with keeping that vision in focus. Nessus will challenge you to claim the results of your actions, and to address any consequences that call for healing or resolution.
Nessus is still a centaur, regardless of what kind. If you have used Chiron well — and your review exercise will increase that probability, by showing you the ways you have indeed done so — Nessus is a reasonable stand-in for Chiron. Yet it’s entirely more volatile, erratic and less predictable, and you must consciously claim the healing gift of Nessus in a way that tends to happen more easily and naturally with Chiron. You are on notice to use your power wisely, because the Threefold Law is working in full action where Nessus is concerned, with the added risk of a high likelihood of forgetting that fact. The Threefold Law means that the harm you do to others comes back to you three times; in law, this is called treble damages. Nessus stands as a reminder to remember the problem of unintended consequences. This is tricky because there’s an ambiguity to Nessus, a kind of ambivalence, that’s not a problem with Chiron. So you will need to put extra focus on decisions.
Neptune, for its part, has a way of disappearing. Since Neptune is a potent spiritual influence, and also a granter of dreams and visions, you will want to learn how to see what you’re looking at. You need tangible goals that you evaluate carefully for all their potential impacts. One of the most important things you can do is decide consciously whether something is realistic; and just as vitally, whether it’s something you really want. Sometimes the only way you can investigate this is by testing it out in real life.
I recognize this doesn’t sound like a formula for instant success. Nothing involving Chiron is. It’s always a slow, steady climb, a healing journey, a continuing discovery, a rainbow bridge that may seem like an illusion — though it’s not.
Chiron is about to leave one house and enter another, and change the theme of your life. This is as much about a change of signs (Pisces to Aries) as it is about a change of houses (10th to 11th). Before we go there, let’s check on your relationship and partnership experiences, which are arguably much more significant. They have one important thing in common: your income is involved.
Grounding your Partnerships: From Sagittarius to Capricorn
For many years, and I mean nearly as long as I’ve been an astrologer, there’s been a stampede of planets in your opposite sign Sagittarius. By planets, I mean mostly minor planets — those high-potency, relatively recent discoveries, which take forever to pass through one sign.
These are added to two deep-space points that are permanent fixtures in Sagittarius, the Galactic Core and the Great Attractor. You live in a world of very large potentials. When you face into your relationship zone, you’re looking right at the core of our galaxy and also the core of our galactic supercluster, this thing called Laniakea. It’s very difficult for the world to live up to the potential that you see, because for the most part nearly everyone is oblivious to it.
Not only that, planets seem to be drawn to these points like iron shavings are drawn to a big magnet. Currently or in recent years, those planets have included (very) slow movers Pholus, Ixion, Huya, Quaoar, Varda and many faster-moving ones. From the mid-1990s to the late 2000s, Pluto was there (perhaps the most palpable influence of all); and finally, for the past three years, Saturn was there. Recently, this was all capped-off by Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, which as of this writing was still working itself out.
With Saturn’s exit in December, several other points followed along: Quaoar, which is about personal and tribal creation myth, and family constellations, has entered Capricorn after many years in Sagg; and Pholus is now in Capricorn after many years in Sagg. So that’s three major elements (to me, Pholus and Quaoar count as such) transiting from your solar 7th to your solar 8th.
Here’s where most of the “solid ground” theme comes from. Unless you are a Sagittarius, and maybe even if you are one, Sagittarius is a difficult energy to process in concentrated form. And this, you have been doing. Have you ever gone up in a small airplane? You really feel like you’re in the sky flying around; and after a while, many people really want to come back down to Earth, even if they like flying (pilots are probably an exception to this).
Notice that as Saturn has entered Capricorn, the almost unbearably hot energy of 2016 and 2017 has cooled off somewhat. The march of evil in the political world has been derailed, if only a little. There is some accountability starting to manifest.
The 7th is a distinctly personal house, as well as giving clues to the wider environment. You may have felt like your relationships were out of reach, out of control or in some way ungrounded.
Three important elements moving into your Capricorn 8th will come as a relief. You now have something more tangible to work with; Saturn is essential for any kind of stability, and it’s in a much more stable energy field than Sagittarius. If you ease back into this new, cooler, slower and more stable energy, you might notice that people are more negotiable. Saturn will provide some balm to Pluto in the 8th, which has been present since 2008.
One crucial element of Saturn in the 8th is solidifying commitment. This may be daunting at first, until you figure out that this is a source of the stability that you seek. One thing Saturn will help with is providing a sense of your own strength and presence in relationships. Pluto, which has been in your 8th for about nine years, has given you a sense of the power that others seem to have over you. Saturn will balance this out, and smooth out some of the politics of your relationships.
Yet another element of this is consciously choosing to keep your power rather than give it away. This is a boundary issue. In a sense, it’s contractual. I am aware that the modern definition of relationships includes such features as, “Go on one date, sign up for having three children,” but that, too, is a boundary issue. Having your boundaries set up like a fortress does not work. It just backfires. You need doors that open and close; you need contracts that include an exit clause, which you must write yourself.
The most important element of Capricorn is that what happens there must be built to last. We live in a world of transience. Computers that cost the same as custom-made guitars (built to last generations) are designed to be disposable. Recently, a telephone was intended to be a permanent installation in a home, and 50-year-old telephones still connect to the network. How many cell phones have you owned?
Relationships, too, are often designed to be disposable. The age of the internet ushered in the ability to delete people from your inbox, which became the ability to block them from your social media account. Now people sometimes show up and push things as far as they can to see how far you’ll let them go. Using Grindr and Tinder, you can swipe people out of your life, or swipe them in for the night, then dispose of them.
Saturn transiting Capricorn in your 8th house is calling for a measure of stability. I recognize that this is in a world where everything is transient. Stable is different from permanent, but why does our society build stadiums that they tear down in 50 years, when ancient Roman stadiums and bridges are still standing today? We have next to no sense of what we’re going to leave for future generations, except toxic waste and debt. Even the records of our intellectual history are mostly stored on magnetic drives, which are extremely vulnerable.
The message here is to think longer term. The message is to safeguard the future in some form or fashion. And in your relationships, the idea is to think longer range, though without the need to bond people into lifelong commitments that they cannot keep. There must be some workable middle ground that’s based on resilience, durability and finishing projects that take long-range planning. This is both a necessity of life on Earth, and a necessity of the times in which we’re living.
Those with a strong Gemini chart signature are often preoccupied with what is transient, so this may be a change of pace for you. And after being exposed to so many years of ungrounded Sagittarius energy coming in through your relationship/environment angle, that was a useful skill, though it needs considerable revision now.
I recognize that one feature of our moment is two world leaders with mental issues threatening to nuke one another, which would probably lead to nuclear holocaust. Consider that the Doomsday Clock currently stands at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, the closest it’s been since 1953 at the height of the H-Bomb scare (the advent of the “Thermonuclear Age”).
This has a profound subconscious effect on society, which means on all of us, soaked as we are in an environment where we know that disturbed, individual egos seeking immediate gratification, or revenge — or by making a mistake — can destroy human civilization and contaminate the entire planet.
Minor Planets Enter Capricorn — and the Sexual 8th House
Let’s bring up one more aspect to the 8th, which is the sexual dimension. It’s worth reading about this more carefully. I have an excellent guide to the houses in my recent article in The Mountain Astrologer. I also offer a class on the subject. For a cohesive, exciting tour of the minor planets, check out this article from TMA.
Before I get into the planets, first a quick discussion of the sexual themes of the 8th. The core concept of this house is “other people’s resources,” associated with dowry and inheritance. There are, therefore, reproductive themes of this house, and the theme of death and surrender; and through a long series of successions, we end up with a house that describes the sex you really want, the sex you attract, and the psychology of orgasm. There’s also the power relationship of sex described here; having Capricorn in this house emphasizes that particular point, since Cap is so often associated with corporate, government and family authority.
The essence of Capricorn on the 8th has a few probable themes. One is a conflation of sex and power. Another is a repressive values system having been imposed on you by your family. It also describes a “suitability for marriage” issue, where you must maintain appearances in order to be considered sufficiently virginal or inexperienced enough, or conservative enough, to be acceptable marriage material.
Yet Capricorn has a wild streak, so this describes significant psychological and emotional tension. Planets transiting in this house describe how you will work with that tension. Saturn is encouraging you to be real, and to hold your own against the expectations of others. It’s encouraging you to negotiate on your own terms, and to hold others to their commitments, and their claims of integrity.
A minor planet is anything with a Minor Planet Catalog number (including Pluto, today properly referred to as (134340) Pluto, now technically a dwarf planet). It happens that Pluto has been in Capricorn starting in 2008, which has had the influence of shifting around the power dynamics in your relationships, including the sexual dynamics. As I suggested above, Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn will help stabilize that and level the playing field somewhat. Still, it’s up to you not to give your power away, whether sexual, financial, contractual or otherwise.
Capricorn’s presence in your 8th house has a priggish feeling. It’s difficult for a person to see or admit their own moralistic tendencies, since they are so deeply emotionally enmeshed in the psyche. Double standards abound. You must be cautious of these — for example, of judging in others any activity, experience or behavior you happen to like yourself; or any idea that what I like is OK, but what you like is weird and a little disgusting. Either sex is a moral issue or it’s not.
Currently, two more important minor planets are entering Capricorn. “Important” is relative, particularly now that there are 750,000 known bodies orbiting our Sun; though with careful study and knowledge of history, it’s possible to discern the relative significance and influence of newly discovered bodies. The two that I’m talking about are (5145) Pholus (the second centaur) and (50000) Quaoar (located in the Kuiper Belt, where Pluto resides), which were both major discoveries for their time in history.
Both of these points involve family legacy. Pholus takes you back three generations or so. Quaoar takes you back to the beginning, meaning to your tribe’s or family’s creation mythology, and the place where you intersect that mythology.
The theme here is about you defining your own sexual reality. You must set the terms of your sexuality as a “medium of exchange” or commodity in your relationships. People tend to resist this, because these days, even thinking coherently about sex makes most individuals nervous. However, if you don’t set your own terms, someone will do it for you. If someone sets your terms for you, you’ll be a lot less happy with the outcome than you would be otherwise.
However, it’s worth considering what this business of “setting the terms” means: it’s a setup, generally by your family. How many people get married because it’s what their family wants? And if it’s what their family wants, there’s usually a kind of deadline involved, which will tend to facilitate inappropriate choices. So, too, will the mere pressure to marry.
Over the months and years I’ll have a lot more to say about Pholus and Quaoar in Capricorn, as they will be in that sign for a generation. However, the upshot is: study your family pattern and family influences. Really get an understanding of how you were shaped into the person you are, vis-a-vis the expectations about relationships you were conditioned to have. Pholus and Quaoar will provide the tools and the guidance to investigate these matters, and you will be AMAZED how far back it goes.
If you are seeking your freedom, or personal liberation — which includes the ability to exchange with other people on your terms, and on mutual terms agreeable to you and your partners — you must know your history and your background; you must understand your patterning, so that you can unravel it. This is about more than “ego dynamics.” It’s about a karmic pattern, a genetic pattern, and an environmental pattern passed to you through many long generations. And it has everything to do with sex, marriage and reproduction.
Chiron and Salacia in Aries — Oh, and Eris Too
So, sticking with minor planets (which are always the most interesting), let’s consider what’s going on in your 11th solar house — the space where you commune with your community. The 11th is one of the friendliest and most helpful houses — it’s where we find friendship and help. It’s where we reap the benefits of our professional activities. It’s one place where we envision our lives (houses 5 and 9 also get high marks for that project).
The Gemini mandala features Aries on the 11th, so that makes it an important place you seek your identity. You are naturally a public person, because being so facilitates your self-knowledge. It’s seeking self-knowledge that makes you a social person. If you remember this, you’ll have a lot more fun. You will also be better at both socializing and at seeking self-knowledge.
Aries, your 11th solar house, has seen a lot of action for the past seven years. The fun really began in March 2011, when Uranus made its final ingress into Aries, sending shockwaves through existence. That was the year of Occupy Wall Street and the Wisconsin union protests and Arab Spring and Fukushima. A lot of energy was released. It was also in range of when the iPhone was picking up momentum as the thing that would take over reality. When we talk about the “age of social media,” we’re really talking about Uranus in Aries, which included Uranus square Pluto in Capricorn (sparking up all of the Cap themes above) and Uranus conjunct Eris.
It was during this era that ‘social’ became social media, and that represented a massive shift in consciousness and a society-wide sense of self-concept. These devices have had far more impact than most people give them credit for, even their detractors. They have created a social environment where individuality has close to totally collapsed. This has led not just to enhanced tribal mentality but also herd mentality. Pushed to an extreme, the effects of a medium or environment tend to reverse themselves. When social media started, it was social; then it rapidly evolved into antisocial; and now it’s being pushed to another extreme and is in a position to flip yet again, in a very big way.
You are in a position to explore this personally, and start to push the matter of ‘social’ being actually, genuinely social in person.
One of the most prominent changes of this year and of the coming years is Chiron making its way through your 11th house. This is a way of saying that your personal healing process will take up residence in an open, public and social space. You will get to experience the process of setting yourself free as a being within society, not merely in the privacy of your thoughts, or within the bounds of your most intimate partnerships.
This setting-free involves being who you are whenever you’re in a public setting — by which I mean giving yourself permission to hang loose and be absolutely real, even to the point of making mistakes and “making” people feel uncomfortable. One important theme of Chiron is standing out, of being distinct. So what I’m proposing here may not be the fastest way to win friends and influence people, though it’s a way to explore, test, define and stretch your boundaries.
Chiron is showing up just at the end of the Uranus-conjunct-Eris show, which has wrought havoc on our social reality. It is the very antithesis of this conjunction; Chiron in Aries seems likely to have a focusing effect, and will provide a tool for integrating our currently fragmented reality — and our sense of self. In experiencing this transit, you will be on the forward-edge of reconstructing a new social reality out of the tatters that remain now that the Internet has come through town.
This new social reality will be created in parallel to a new kind of self-presence, within ourselves and within the world around us; for you, they are especially closely related.
The financial element of Chiron in Aries is taking the initiative to make your income commensurate with the contribution you make to society. There’s also the reminder that a measure of celebrity or even fame would suit you well, though this must be earned. Start with figuring out what you’ve already accomplished in this regard. Consolidate the gains of Chiron in Pisces; that, you will do with your CV-making process. Once you really understand what you’ve built for yourself, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve accomplished, you will have the confidence to do more.
One last. There’s a slow-mover called Salacia hanging out right on the Aries Point at the moment, and one of the first things Chiron does upon entering Aries is make a near-miss conjunction to it — close to the Aries Point (see note below). While a relatively new discovery — found in 2004, named in 2011 — the minor planet (120347) Salacia is living up to its reputation as the root of the world salacious. The events of late 2017 were indeed wildly salacious, with the namesake of that word sitting on the high-powered transmitter known as the Aries Point, about to take a series of squares from powerful planets and a conjunction from Chiron — which will serve to extend the story.
Named for the mythical wife of Neptune, Salacia is related to salt (which is as far as the etymology seems to go; I am researching this now). One association here is: to be salty, not sweet. Salty means real and earthy. Salt is found in the sea, and is dug from the crust of the Earth. Sweetness is usually manufactured or concentrated through complex processes of refinement (fruit would be an exception, and that’s your best form of sweet).
Notably, Salacia/salacious implies a form of eroticism other than starry-eyed romance. This is not sex for the sake of marriage or prospective marriage; nor is it sex for its own sake. Rather, this is about sex in the context of friendship, of community, and as a means of connecting to self-awareness and to existence. There is a healing here, where the personal aspects of eroticism meet the most public aspects of eroticism, something our society has demonstrated it’s in rather desperate need of.
Chiron conjunct Salacia happens in Aries, your 11th house of friends and community; it’s also conjunct the Aries Point, the first degree of Aries that represents the meeting of the public and the individual. Part of this phase of your social debut involves some kind of sexual coming-out process. This is not necessarily at all about being some form of LGBTQ. Heterosexuals and bisexuals have most of the coming out to do these days. Most are closet cases — though not for long. Just like it took the scourge of AIDS to make the LGBTQ movement acceptable to society (which, by the way, includes bisexuals in name only, since bisexuality is mostly closeted these days, supplanted by trans), it’s taken the exposure of abuse and violence to begin to usher heterosexual sexuality out of the closet.
One footnote to this section. I’ve spent part of the evening researching the etymology of salacious, with the help of Doug Harper, author of Etymology Online Dictionary, and Planet Waves editor Amy Elliott. It seems that the known etymology of salacious does not trace back to the nymph and wife of Neptune Salacia. It does turn up concepts of leaping, flying, saltiness and moaning. I could say a lot here, though these images and sensory descriptions are sexual enough — and Salacia’s current sojourn on the Aries Point certainly has been salacious in a way that we’ve never really witnessed before in public life. I think we will have a lot better proving of these ideas as Chiron makes its series of conjunctions to Salacia in Aries — which actually happen on April 20, 2019; Sept. 23, 2019; and Feb. 22, 2020. Still, they will be in a close conjunction between now and then, but it’s not exact for more than another year.
Uranus in Taurus and the 12th House
Speaking of salacious — this transit counts as well, though in the most positive sense of that word. Uranus, the awakener, is about to enter Taurus, which is your 12th solar house. You have a combination of the most physical sign located in the most ethereal house. This will soon be joined by a planet that is famous for liberation, for toppling regimes, and for many stunning events.
This transit will call you to awaken to the reality of your body.
The 12th is one of the most interesting houses, and one of the most complex and difficult to discern. That’s because it represents everything that is kept out of sight, or below the level of normal consciousness. If the 8th is secretive (all of its affairs are taboo, but at least spoken of in whispers), the 12th is so veiled that it contains what many people will not even admit to themselves.
Among its inventory of themes are deep ancestral issues, the dream world, dreams, parallel realities of any kind, lost people, lost ideas, and the kinds of things you might experience when you’re very high or on an acid trip. It’s like living in a small apartment inside of a huge barn, with no easy way to enter the space around you, and you hear and feel these vague sensations of what’s going on in that nearby but inaccessible dimension. A perfect visual for the 12th is one of those dreams where you experience your home as having extra rooms — that’s where the rooms are.
For most, the 12th is a kind of haunted house, populated by ancestral ghosts and spirits that seem invisible most of the time, and by regrets and unfinished business, and by weird symbols that seep into dreams and leak into normal waking consciousness — often to be casually tossed back into the psychic ocean from which they emerged. It’s not a very popular place, though for those who are explorers of consciousness, there’s no better house.
Vedic astrologers consider the 12th to be the house of “the pleasures of the bed.” Now, this is interesting for two reasons, or let’s say three. One is that “the bed” is a haunted house for most people. The whole realm of sexuality is haunted and frightening and, for most, preferable to avoid, particularly the psychic realm. Second, the best sexual experiences always feel like they’re taking place in a parallel reality.
Last, if you want to be free, it’s a good idea to do the work of this house, which for you is about experiencing the morph of the physical with the nonphysical. This goes counter to our usual approach to reality here in the digital world, which is to lure ourselves out of our bodies and stroll around the world in a kind of dream.
Uranus in Taurus, which lasts from 2018 until Uranus enters your sign in 2025-26, is about waking up from the disembodied dream, into the dream of full embodiment. This will influence all aspects of your life, and deserves as much discussion as I can give it the next few years as it begins, though these thoughts are a starting place. The more you learn about the 12th house, the more you can embark on this as self-study. Though to put it succinctly, the theme is about awakening to anything you’ve denied, anything you’ve disowned, and making contact with much that has gone missing in your life. To whatever degree that involves the physical body, you will gain a real measure of liberation from the head-trip that is contemporary life.
Even within your own being, you will be seeking, and finding, the solid ground of existence. Right now you are embarking on the trailhead of that journey. You are not at a destination. You are at a point of origin.
Gemini 2017 Midyear Reading
Gemini 2017-18 Birthday Reading
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