This week we examine the third of the three Spring time energies, Gemini. This is the sign of duality, identified by the Roman numeral II, indicating the twins or siblings of heaven. This sign is ruled by Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, who flies as fleet as thought to do their bidding. It represents travelors, trips and journeys. Together, both planet and sign rule communication, of words, promises, plans, the mind, one's wits, the voice, arguments, speeches, shouting, cleverness and trickery. The story of Mercury's birth describes how, when he was yet a day old, he invented the lyre, stole Apollo's cattle, hid them by driving them backwards, and then protested that he couldn't have committed the crime, because he was, after all, only a one day old infant! His Roman equivalent, Mercury, was said to be the Lord of Thieves. Gemini is a mutable air sign, which means its quality changes. It rules the creatures of the air, our breath, lungs and sky above. In the body, it is said to rule the hands.
All of these images and more come to the fore as we examine Chapter 15 of Homer's Iliad. Having equated the seasonal order of the signs to the first 12 chapters, Homer repeats the cycle, with Chapter 13 representing Aries (again), Chapter 14 Taurus, and Chapter 15 Gemini, etc. In this chapter, Zeus realizes that he has been duped by Hera, as he awakes and sees that the battle has been turned while he slept. Here four of our Mercurial images combine, that of the the mind, hand, trickster, and air (wind and cloud).
"Fine underhanded work, eternal bitch!"
And following this encounter, Hera moves with Mercurial (mental) quickness,
"...from Ida's crests she flashed to high Olympos
And indeed, Iris, the messenger of Zeus, moves with the wind (air) in this chapter:
"Then running on the wind
And in another air image, we are shown how in this chapter, air is preceived as the essence of life. Hektor recovers, having been knocked unconsciousness by a powerful blow.
"In fact I thought this day I'd see the dead
The mutable (changeable) side of Gemini emerges as Iris, after hearing a dour response from Poseidon to the ultimatum of Zeus, asks if that is his final answer:
"Wind-swift Iris answered:
(Notice the sibling theme being slipped in here.)
"Poseidon made reply:
The images continue to flow; with the air sign representatives of birds this time. Notice it is Zeus's hand that gives Hektor strength,
"Like an eagle
Hands are mentioned in this chapter at least twenty times. Zeus's hand, the builder's hands, grief's at hand, laying hands on everyone, etc. Here are a few examples:
"In a flash he'll turn from Trojans and Akhaians
"But if you disobey or disregard him,
"But it is better far for both
"Backed up on the ships, they waited
"But as a chalkline in a builder's hands-
"...as the torch fell from his hand."
"Teukros took it all in, and on the run
"...the bow dropped from his hands..."
"Easy to see how men get strength from Zeus:
"Friends, Danaan soldiers, hand of Ares,
Is it a coincidence that this image should be used, over and over, in the chapter that would astrologically deal with hands? Or is this a literary device, as we have seen in both Iliad and Bible, where certain images will appear in their respective chapters, and then be used repeatedly like a refrain in a song. Notice that Teukros came to join his brother (sibling- Gemini) in the battle. What is listed here are a few, but not all, of the examples of hands from this chapter.
Gemini is the sign of the mind, thinking, speaking, and logic. On the up side, one uses good logic. Here is what happens on the flip side. Athena chastizes Ares, who wants to rush back into battle when he learns that his son has been killed, but would do so against the will of Zeus...
"She removed the helm
These images and others are all there. The end of the chapter is a shouting match, between Hektor, attempting to urge on the Trojans, and Aias, attempting to do the same for the Greeks. First Hektor:
"Hektor had seen that weaponry undone,
And in response:
"But from the opposing line Aias called out
The Iliad was designed to be a beginner's astrological primer, not simply a laundry list of what items, actions and personalities are demonstrated by each of the signs of the zodiac (as so many texts today do), but by showing how these energies play out on the stage of life, each chapter illustrating both their good and bad qualities, their high and low sides. It is the will of heaven which weaves all of these attributes together, in this case a Geminian example, by divine design.
"At this he smiled, the father of gods and men,