Twin stories. Saturn in Gemini

 What is most noticeable about twins is that they are the same. 


I am stating the obvious, however this is essential.


Have you read The Purloined Letter, by Edgar Alan Poe? In this story, detectives are searching a room for a letter that is hidden in plain sight… and they don’t find it! Similarly, the occult meanings of symbols are often too obvious to be noticed. 


So look! The twins are two and they are the same. They can talk. They can understand very well what they mean. Twins sometimes develop a language that only them can understand. This is called cryptophasia. 


There are jokes brothers and sisters can tell and be the only one to understand. There are jokes that make French people laugh, but not English, and vice versa. Fortunately we have enough in common to be able to appreciate a good deal of humour.  


We could draw a Venn diagram: two overlapping circles. In the shared space, jokes both French and English find funny. In that area, we are like twins. Chinese people may not understand our complicity. As for the rest of the diagram, we are strangers; mutual understanding, if possible at all, will require some learning (which is another of the themes associated with Gemini)


The symbol shows twins. It’s an archetypal image. It’s about being similar, like twins, or in a less perfect way, like brothers and sisters, or in an even less perfect way, like compatriots among foreigners. 


We are on a spectrum. The extreme opposite of Gemini could be a human and a weird creature from another planet. Now, if a movie starts with extraterrestrials crossing the intersidereal space on a flying saucer to meet us, what follows is either complete war, or a touching story about finding similarities. The most moving moment will be when the alien makes a joke and laughs with humans. When we laugh together, we understand each other so well we are like twins!


The symbol of the twins is a good example of how the language of symbols work: the picture shows perfect similarity, it means similarity, which is a necessary condition for contact, communication, mutual understanding, exchanges, and whatever derives from these main roads of meaning. 


Now, to be more or less similar, we also need to be two, and two is not just two, it is the beginning of many. With Gemini there are others. Others are inevitably different. Even true twins are not the same person. Gemini shows being the same and being different in one picture. With otherness comes variety, multiplicity, and with this comes curiosity and desire to learn more 


So you see, it’s possible to start exploring a zodiac sign and understand a few important things without talking about mythology. We can learn more by meditating on the story of Castor and Pollux, or do some research about Babylonian mythology, where the zodiac signs are from, and learn that there were twin gods guarding the entry of the underworld… 


As soon as we are two, there is a distance between the two. Taking it from there appears another spectrum: we can be close or distant. The greatest distance between two beings is being separated by death. Is this distance real or is it an illusion the twins invite us to dissipate? At soul level, can we ever be separated? Can we still communicate? Ask a medium… 


With Gemini comes breathing, a bodily function that underlies talking. Breathing also demonstrates duality: we breathe in, out, in, out and again. The breath connects inside and outside. The twins are twin worlds. 


Let’s now throw the spanner of Saturn into the Gemini works. 


The Aquarius side of Saturn is Air like Gemini, but Fixed. 


The twins are having a chat but what they are talking about is a complex mental structure. Big Ideas take more time to communicate than bits of information. Plato used the dialogue form in his writings. Meeting Socrates was always somehow heavier than a little chat about the weather with your neighbour. 


Socrates kept challenging his interlocutors, asking them questions about the meaning of their words, until they became utterly confused by their own contradictions. You would be wise to know that you don’t know, but what can you do but shut up after that? Annoying others maybe… 


If you have Saturn in Gemini, you have an inner Socrates. You may wish he drank the hemlock and left you free to enjoy easy going conversations, but you can’t help it, there are always motives for headaches. Philosophical semantics (the study or science of meaning in language) tends to focus on the principle of compositionality in order to explain the relationship between meaningful parts and whole sentences, you see what I mean. Saturn in Gemini gives you a lot of homework. 


You may be thinking: “Wait! I’ve always heard that philosophy belongs to Jupiter!” and you’re right. Philosophy, broadening our horizons, looking at the bigger picture is typically what Jupiter does. Plato’s myth of the cavern is typical of Jupiter: we look at our human condition from a higher or broader point of view, we realise there is more to it that meets the ordinary eye, we get an intuition of a superior order…

But look at what Socrates  does: he keeps asking “Yes, but…” questions. He referred to himself as a gadfly and to his philosophical investigations as annoying but necessary. This is more like Saturn. 


Jupiter and Saturn are like Yes and No, they mean opposite things but they are inseparable. 


Socrates’ ways have a definite Saturnian style, they apply to the way we use words and think, that is Gemini. 


Saturn in Gemini may also manifest as a speech impediment or a learning disability. With Saturn, Gemini forgets how to be mutable. 

This is just a thread of interpretation, there must be many others.


Saturn in Gemini may prefer repeating well known interpretations given by experienced authors in reference books, and fear the leap of faith towards personal understanding that Jupiter would take. However, with time and study, Saturn, one day, decides it can do it as well. 


The Capricorn side of Saturn wants achievements, not pure intellectual stuff. I have a friend who has a dominant Saturn in Gemini, conjuncting her MC from the 9th house side. When I met her, she was leading an English as a second language for adults school. She studied linguistics. She had various professional activities over the years.  


I’ll leave you wondering. Can the twins become old? Can you think of other threads to follow? Symbols are inexhaustible. I’m sure it would be possible to write a whole treatise about Saturn in Gemini, and there would still remain a lot to say… 



Joy and Houses throughout ages

 Reading her book “The Houses Temples of the sky” – and excellent book, by Deborah Houlding, I learn that Manilius, a Roman astrologer who lived in the first century wrote a poem as big as five books, the Astronomica, or Astronomicon, which is one of the most ancient sources that talks about the houses extensively. 


And well, Manilius, bless him, said that Venus is in joy in the 10th house, and Saturn in the 4th. 


Joy is one of those traditional concepts. Traditional astrologers will tell you that Venus rejoices in the 5th house, and Saturn in the 12th. Jupiter rejoices in the 11th house, the Sun in the 9th, the house of God, the Moon in the 3rd, the house of the Goddess, Mars in the 6th and Mercury, at the helm, rejoices in the 1st house. 


Deborah Houlding doesn’t think, like some other historians do, that poor Manilius was just mistaken. Other ancient astrologers, including Ptolemy (the Most Famous), attributed marriage to the 10th house. It makes sense for Venus to rejoice in it.


As for Saturn, it suits its dark, cold and heavy nature to rejoice in the 4th house, the lowest of the chart. Manilius wasn’t designing his own system, he was taking pride in handing over ancient knowledge to his contemporaries.


How come Venus ended up rejoicing in the 5th and Saturn in the 12th then? According to Deborah Houlding, and I am happy to believe her, I quote:


“Philosophers of the classical period were concerned with neat, balanced and philosophically pleasing schemes, particularly in the case of aligning planets to sects, an issue with sets the astrology in Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos apart from the more ancient texts of star lore” 


Basically the problem was that the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn were considered diurnal planets, and the Moon, Venus and Mars nocturnal. How could Venus, a nocturnal planet, rejoice in the 10th house, above the horizon, in broad daylight? And how could Saturn, a diurnal planet, rejoice in the 4th, in the middle of the night? 


As a modern astrologer, I have been having a chronic existential crisis due to the return to fashion of traditional astrology. How could we be so naive, they say, and so lazy, with our oversimplified system of correspondences between houses and signs?

Mars, Aries, First House, Venus, Taurus, Second House and so on. Pure betrayal of the ancient beauty! 


Reading about Venus and Saturn being displaced and told to rejoice somewhere else makes me feel better about modern notions like that of natural rulership. 


Systems and cultures evolve. That’s my point. 


If we believe there was, once upon a time, a pure original system of absolute astrology made of unchangeable rules expressing the eternal will of God, that’s just a belief. We don’t know of such a system. 

Listening to Chris Brennan’s Astrology Podcast, I learned that the concept of houses originated in texts belonging to the Hermetica – Texts attributed to the legendary sage Hermes Trismegistus. 


In the Renaissance, they believed Hermes Trismegistus was a very ancient guy who lived at the time of Moses or even before. The idea was that the more ancient something was, the closer to the original and undiluted Truth. Hermes Trismegistus was thought to be the three times Great one who had understood it all and passed sacred knowledge of magic, astrology and alchemy to his disciples. It’s not clear whether he had been a man or was the God Hermes or Thoth himself. 

Later on, historians demonstrated that texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were actually written in Hellenistic times. Historians can argue about the extent to which the ideas contained in the Hermetica are influenced by Greek thought or by Egyptian tradition. The zodiac comes from Babylon, the Egyptians had their own system, with more emphasis on the daily cycle. In Hellenistic times, the Egyptians were not their own masters anymore. The mixture, aka syncretism that happened as a result of Greek domination would nowadays be called “cultural appropriation” by a certain brand of activism. 


As you see, the astrology of the Ancients is not as clear-cut as we may have wished. 


Systems, cultures and traditions evolve. 


If we use cards for divination, we can decide on a system. We can say: The First card I’ll draw will describe the present, the second will be about the future and the third the past. Or we may say: the first will be the past, the second the present and the third the future. 


We make the rules, and then we draw the cards according to our conventions. I believe cultures do the same thing, collectively. 


Once upon a time, Venus was rejoicing in the 10th house and Saturn in the 4th. Later on, it was established that Venus rejoiced in the 5th and Saturn in the 12th. And now the moderns see Venus as the natural ruler of the 7th house, and also of the 2nd. There is some truth in all views…


Actually I prefer to think of “natural association” than “natural rulership”. There are common threads of meaning, that’s all it means. 


If I was looking at a horary chart with a precise question about a partner, I would take the ruler of the sign on the cusp of the 7th house as significator or this partner, and not Venus (unless Libra or Taurus are on the 7th house cusp indeed). 


But if I am looking at a natal chart for someone wondering why their marriage has been such a mess throughout the years, I would look at the 7th house indeed, and also at Venus, and at a few other indicators in the context of the whole, looking for indications of conflicts between psychological drives. 


Traditional astrologers attribute death to the 8th house, and also issues that bring, according to William Lilly , “Fear and anguish of mind”. Then they blame modern astrologers for connecting sexuality and the 8th house. Sure all of us would prefer our sexuality to be exclusively a 5th house affair, as the way not only to bring about children, but also to have fun and enjoy, to love and be loved. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy… 


In her critique of this modern connection of the 8th house with sexuality, Deborah Houlding gives the example – that could be funny weren’t the potential suffering involved – of using astrology to choose the best possible time to have sex and electing a time with 8th house emphasis. But modern astrologers focus more, as far as I understood Liz Greene, Howard Sasportas or Stephen Arroyo, in understanding people to help them come to terms with their issues. 


Life is multilayered enough to be looked at through various lenses. 

The moderns have been inspired in their own style.


The symbols of astrology, the zodiac signs, the planets and the stars, the rising sun, the phases of the moon… are there for us to contemplate with our own living eyes and hearts, when the time is now. 

Jean-Marc Pierson 

Planetary news this week: Transformation continues and then a new beginning

Astrological update for the week of March 13-20, 2023

artist unknown?

The Jupiter/Chiron conjunction. The transformational alignment between Jupiter and Chiron which I wrote about last week has just culminated, but the effect will linger throughout the remainder of the month. quoting from last week’s post: The alignment of Jupiter’s optimism and expansive qualities with Chiron’s inspiration to heal and explore the body’s awareness is a powerful crucible for physical, emotional and mental healing. The type of healing which Chiron presides over is not the fairy godmother type of healing in which a magic wand produces an immediate result. Chiron urges us to release the toxic energy of old wounded feelings and resentments so that we can be freed and this toxicity can be replaced with a higher form of body mind spirit wisdom.

The combination of these two planets for accelerating healing and personal transformation occurs in the sign of Aries, sign of self-initiation and activation. This will become more important later in the week as we approach the Aries New Moon, since there is likely to be a sudden realization of our own needs and drives that may be somewhat surprising because of the Neptunian fog. The sign of Aries is itself the beginning of manifestation in the world – the point of initiation and assertive dynamic experiences that push us into the world itself.  Any New Moon marks a new beginning – the beginning of a new lunar cycle that wipes the slate clean and provides an opportunity to create something new in our lives.  Any Aries New Moon adds another layer of excitement and Marsy energy to stoke the fires and energize that creation.

Neptunian fog. This occurs at a very Neptunian time (astrologese for periods of fairy dust, excessive imagination and portals of spiritual wonder): the Sun conjoins Neptune this week and Mercury is not far behind, all in the sign of Pisces. Since Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces, Neptune is the dominant force for this triple conjunction, these are highly creative days but less well suited for anything requiring discipline and focus. This is especially true since Saturn, the planet that teaches discipline and focus, just entered the misty sign of Pisces, and complicating matters further is the fact that Mars, STILL in Gemini where it tends to inspire scattered minds, is locked in a challenging aspect to the Pisces planets.

The fog will clear a bit on Sunday when Mercury moves into Aries, but by then the Moon will be in Pisces so all bets are off!

art by Mangami Lingerfelt

Aries New Moon next Monday. A New Moon at the first degree of the first sign of Aries has the ring of an exciting new adventure. Occurring just after the March equinox, the point of equal day and night, we are balanced momentarily at the perfect point of stasis before moving into the time of

This is a welcome charge of energy after a week of planetary mists and lack of clarity as we are propelled from the watery Pisces influence into a sudden infusion of Aries fire and drive.  The Aries New Moon facilitates the wiping of the slate clean and creation of a new story, but also Mercury (mind) is newly in Aries along with Jupiter and Chiron.

Here’s what else you need to know this week (Dates and times are for the Eastern time zone, here is a time zone converter to adjust for your locality.)

Monday March 13. The week begins with the Moon having just entered Sagittarius in the wee hours of the morning before you read this article. That pesky Gemini Mars is about to square Neptune on Tuesday and the haze has begun to gather. We can use the long-range vision of the Sagittarius Moon to help us to see our way through the mists, but it will also be important to turn within to the subtle voice which guides us. In this way we learn to sharpen our inner senses, the optimum means to penetrate any confusion. (Moon enters Sagittarius 3:20 am, square Saturn 4:33 am, sextile Ceres 7:19 am.)

Tuesday March 14. We will likely all feel a bit unsettled today as the fog continues to penetrate our experience. Meanwhile, the Sagittarius Moon is facing off against virtually every planet on Tuesday. It’s a good day to be gentle with ourselves, take a walk or a nap, and breathe through the changes of mood which are likely to occur every few minutes. 😃 (Moon trine Chiron 5:16 am, trine Jupiter 5:56 am, square Neptune 5:38 pm, Mars square Neptune 7:38 pm, Moon square Sun 10:08 pm, square Neptune 11:37 pm, opposite Mars 11:45 pm.)

Wednesday March 15. The next few days continue to be potentially problematic and are good days to step back and try to get some perspective if there is a difficult situation that needs to be managed. Sometimes waiting IS the best action. The Moon enters Capricorn Wednesday morning (EDT) which helps us to be more focused despite the planetary influences of confusion and illusion, but the possibility of conflict over the next couple of days is pretty strong if there are any power imbalances in play. (Moon trine Venus 4:50 am, Moon enters Capricorn 8:05 am, sextile Saturn 9:41 am, square Ceres 11:03 am, Sun conjunct Neptune 7:39 pm.)

Thursday March 16. Good news first: The Capricorn Moon can inspire us to focus on that which needs to be done, and to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal. The less good news: Three strong but fast moving planetary aspects culminate today which will maximize the potential for trouble if there is any brewing. (Planets don’t CAUSE problems, but if there are problems in the wind they will make themselves obvious under certain planetary conditions.)

(Moon square Chiron 8:59 am, square Jupiter 10:16 am, trine Uranus 11:21 am, Mercury conjunct Neptune 1:12 pm, Sun square Mars 2:09 pm, Venus square Pluto 3:58 pm.)

Venus will leave fiery Aries for placid Taurus at 6:34 pm EDT which will help to reduce the temperature and inspire peace talks.

Friday March 17. ☘️ Friday is another very active day astrologically. Two aspects involving Mercury suggest that the mental realm and our thoughts and ideas are highlighted today. This can be very positive for writers and anyone who communicates which is pretty much everyone. The lunar aspects are generally harmonious which will provide support, and then the Moon enters Aquarius in the late morning to help provide greater perspective and detachment.

(Mercury square Mars 12:48 am, Moon sextile Neptune 2:26 am, sextile Mercury 4:27 am, sextile Sun 4:37 am, Sun conjunct Mercury 6:44 am, Moon conjunct Pluto 10:13 am, Moon enters Aquarius 10:24 am, Moon square Venus 11:50 am, trine Ceres 12:29 pm, Sun sextile Saturn 6:25 pm.)

Saturday March 18. Planetary influences are generally mild today, offering a sharp mental focus and a gift for planning and strategy. (Moon sextile Chiron 10:35 am, sextile Jupiter 12:26 pm, square Uranus 12:50 pm, Mercury sextile Pluto 11:23 pm.)

Sunday March 19. Mercury enters Aries just after midnight on Sunday and helps to clear a bit of the Neptunian mists with that Arian glow of confidence and courage. However, we’re not done with the transcendent quality of Neptune since the Moon enters Pisces at 11:11 am and pulls us momentarily back into magical thinking and intuitive thought. This combination of Aries Mercury and Pisces Moon can feel a bit schizophrenic – on the one hand we’re ready to think of new ways of venturing through life (Mercury in Aries), but on the other hand the Pisces Moon says “wait and listen.”

Once the Sun enters Aries on Monday March 20th, we’ll be ready for the Aries New Moon and a new beginning. (Mercury into Aries 12:23 am, Moon trine Mars 6:33 am, Mercury opposite Ceres 10:20 am, Moon enters Pisces 11:11 am, conjunct Saturn 1:27 pm, sextile Venus 4:54 pm.) 

The post Planetary news this week: Transformation continues and then a new beginning appeared first on Astrology readings and writings by Lynn Hayes.

Why is there Water in Aquarius and Capricorn?

Saturn rules over Capricorn, which is an Earth sign, and over Aquarius, associated with the element Air. However these two signs have Water as part of their symbolism. How come?

The symbol for Capricorn is a Sea-Goat. The front is goat, the back is fishtail. This suggests a transition from fish to goat, from sea to mountain, from Water to Earth. It’s a story of becoming dry.

Everything is relative. The story may not be about becoming absolutely dry, but moving towards the dry end of the wet-dry spectrum.

Psychologically, this dryness is the dryness of the child growing up. In the beginning, in Cancer, the world is all emotional dependency, mother-child bond, the protection of the family. In the womb we were completely immersed in Water. When we were a baby, we were still swimming in very emotional waters… Growing up is somehow drying up! Like the goat we learn to climb our own mountain without being carried by mother and the flow. We learn to be self contained and pursue our own goals, in spite of the contrary moods…

Now, the rulership of Saturn over Aquarius, the Water Bearer, often representing Water pouring down, seems to contradict the idea of Saturn being dry, or drying. Aquarius is an Air sign.

Even without knowing Greek mythology it’s easy to connect the Air of Aquarius with the sky. In the air, the water bearers are the clouds. The ruler of the opposite sign, Leo, is the Sun – which, during daytime, can only be obscured by clouds. Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius, happens to be named after the God of the Sky.

Water in Air and pouring down is rain. Here, the action of Saturn is condensation. Saturn always increases density: with this energy, Water comes out of Air and Earth out of Water.

This is not modern physics! This is a language of symbols. Replace Air by “gaseous”, Water by “liquid” and Earth by “solid”, and think of Saturn as cold and pressure.

Rain is cold. Air is considered hot according to the traditional elemental qualities, this shows how relative these notions are: Air is definitely hotter than Water. Air has insulating properties. At the same temperature, we feel Water colder than Air. Air can be felt as cold, especially in Winter when it rains and winds, but by contrast with Earth and Water, Air is hot.

Air is a symbol of mental space. Fleeting thoughts and ideas are weightless and invisible like the wind. With Saturn, our mental life becomes consistent and coherent. Our ideas may become fixed or at least organised into systems – theories, plans or ideologies.


Saturn gives form, Saturn shapes: In Air, it is the wind blowing on the water, making waves, as the glyph of Aquarius represents. Waves are visible manifestations of the invisible wind’s action. Our ideas shape our realities.

The wave is a symbol of individuality. We are waves, and we are the ocean. We are made by the wind, and we are the wind (but we have forgotten).

Now you may wonder. Is Aquarius, the water bearer, a symbol of the clouds, or is it the wind that makes waves? The answer is: both.

Symbols do not obey the “either…or” demands of rational definitions of concepts. Symbols don’t separate, they unite. The wind carries clouds, clouds carry water, the context is the sky, the symbol is the whole picture.


I hope you enjoyed this Watery ballad through the lands of Saturn! 
In October 2023, I’ll be leading an astrology retreat in Egypt, organised by Evy Leno. There will be guided tours in Luxor’s temples, a boat trip on the Nile, a Hot Balloon trip above… Check my website, find the menu, follow the link!..