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Steal away with the fairies for the next few months while Venus dances in Gemini

At the beginning of each summer, when the milk-white hawthorn is in bloom, anointing the air with its sweet odour, and miles and miles of golden whin adorn the glens and hill-slopes, the fairies come forth in grand procession, headed by the Fairy Queen. They are mounted on little white horses, and when on a night of clear soft moonlight the people hear the clatter of many hoofs, the jingling of bridles, and the sound of laughter and sweet music coming sweetly down the wind, they whisper one to another: “’Tis the Fairy Folks’ Raid”, or “Here come the Riders of the Shee”.
The Fairy Queen, who rides in front, is gowned in grass-green silk, and wears over her shoulders a mantle of green velvet adorned with silver spangles. She is of great beauty. Her eyes are like wood violets, her teeth like pearls, her brow and neck are swan-white, and her cheeks bloom like ripe apples. Her long clustering hair of rich auburn gold which falls over her shoulders and down her back, is bound round about with a snood that glints with star-like gems, and there is one great flashing jewel above her brow. On each lock of her horse’s mane hang sweet-toned silver bells that tinkle merrily as she rides on…” From Wonder Tales From Scottish Myth 

It’s not quite the beginning of summer here in the Northern hemisphere, of course. We are in the midst of spring – primroses, violets, daffodils, early bluebells; catkins and the first dusting of bright green on the dark winter trees. But the planet Venus has sailed way ahead this year; she has already danced into the sign of early summer, Gemini.

Because she has moved so far ahead of the Sun, Venus is about to go into her biennial retrograde motion (May 15 – Jun 27). That means she will be in the sign of the trickster from now (April 4) until August 8th.

What happens when Venus meets clever, quicksilver, airy Gemini?

When the goddess of love moves from one sign to the next, she changes her costume, changes her demeanour. She shows us different ways to approach love and art each time, and she appears in different guises in works of art.

Gemini, the first air sign, is all about lightness – lightness of touch, fleetness of foot, quickness of tongue.

In Gemini, we find Venus as, among other characters, Queen of the Fairies, who seduces humans with her ethereal beauty, her quick rhymes, above all her music and laughter. Down into her fairy realm under the hill, she takes us. At first all is fun and games, dancing and feasting, but one false move and, faster than blinking, the fairies turn. Flowers turn to coals, gold to mud, beauty to ugliness – nothing is what it seemed to be.

Richard Branson: Venus in Gemini

How Gemini are the quick switch and the dancing fairy feet?

Gemini is about exchange, too, of course. It’s the sign associated with commerce, the banter of the marketplace. Bargaining, bluffing, negotiating. You need to be very careful when you’re involved in transactions with fairies. The coins they give you may turn to dust, the fruit they feed you may entrap you forever in elf land.

(The tycoon Richard Branson exemplifies some  Venus in Gemini qualities rather well – commerce (Venus = money after all), humour and being Peter Pan.)

Queen Mab loves human babies, and she is inclined to steal them. Gemini rules little children (and thieving). The great 20th century dancer Isadora Duncan had Venus in Gemini. Here is something she wrote: “So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.

Frida Kahlo (Venus in Gemini): Double Self-Portrait

As an air sign, Gemini is inclined to think about things, to analyse and categorise. Gemini is the journalist, the collector of information. Venus in Gemini is able to cast a cool eye over love, to describe what she sees and even what she feels, reporting on both the agony and the ecstasy with a clinical exactness. 

Bob Dylan (Venus in Gemini) on love: 
I’m going out of my mind,
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart.”

Ouch. And so precise.

Gemini’s are famously chameleons and Venus in Gemini turns that into art. Listen to how Cat Stevens inhabits both parts of this song.

And how poignant to see him as an elder, singing the same song.

The last time Venus went retrograde she was in Scorpio in autumn/winter 2010. I wrote a piece called Death and the Maiden about the themes. To read it click here.

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