The horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to everyone, but Decans II and III are available to supporters of my Patreon account at the $3 or greater tiers. Scott R’s generosity in mid-May (a tip for a story about winning the lottery) will open Gemini II to everyone. Your generosity opens the column to any potential readers. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation. My Almanac is also available! It’s for sale through my Etsy website as a PDF.
The Sun enters Gemini at 3:37 pm EDT on 20 May 2021 — joining ruling Mercury and slightly-dignified Venus (who is in her own term) in the home of the Twins. Austin Coppock called the First Decan of Gemini The Apple of Eden, with its Biblical and gnostic indications of eating the forbidden fruit and gaining knowledge of both good and evil — whether by accident, temptation, or willfulness is a product of the reader’s imagination, and the knowledge of the larger histories and context of such stories in a Mediterranean and Mesopotamian context.
The Greeks living in Egyptian Alexandria in the centuries of Roman rule apparently celebrated Tethys as the ruler or deity of this decan. She was a sea-goddess married to Oceanus and the Titan-daughter of Uranus and Gaia the primeval parents. On the shores of the Mediterranean, Tethys’s worshippers were probably aware that the sailing season of the year opened in late April each year and continued through September. Thus, rites to propitiate and calm Mother Ocean at this time was a suitable way to bless the fleet — for the ships of Alexandria brought wheat and other food to Rome and a host of other northern cities in the Roman Empire; and brought tourists from the north to the climate of Egypt for sun and tourism (Yes, the Egyptians had tourism in the Roman era). Her husband Okeanos or Oceanus also had a festival or decan assigned to him in Pisces, probably as apotropaic rites against storms and tidal waves.
Tethys doesn’t really seem to have had temples or cult worship; there seem to be a lot of mosaics and frescoes of her face, usually in company with her husband — and sometimes they’re shown as the primeval parents in the eastern Mediterranean littoral, rather than Uranus and Gaia — but no one seems to have gone door to door with pamphlets or papyri saying, “have you heard the good news about our queen and goddess Mother Tethys?” She just was, a fact of life as obvious and real as desert sand or the River Nile: the bounded and enclosed waters of the Mediterranean itself, and all its attendant waters from the Adriatic to the Aegean to the Black Sea, were somehow, some way, her. This was in contrast to Oceanus, whose dominion was the unbounded and encircling waters beyond the Pillars of Hercules (or the straits of Gibraltar) — and whose marriage was understood to be harmonious and easy, in a way that Zeus and Hera’s marriage was not. Did she need regular worship? Apparently not.
It’s somehow appropriate for this decan to be associated with the Eight of Swords, then, in Tarot: a woman bound and blindfolded and without helpers in a landscape that’s part water and part earth, surrounded by eight swords — Tethys, mother Ocean, surrounded by the great powers of the ancient world: Egypt, the Hellenic city-states, Rome, Carthage, Gaul, Nova Carthago in Spain, the Galatians of Asia Minor or the Persians, the Seleucids, and the Macedonians. Eight lands touching Ocean, alternating between cooperation and coordination, between toleration and imperialism, surrounding the great lady who must be controlled and tamed by each power in turn — yet woe to the country who holds sway when she is roused to anger, casts off her bonds and blinders, and wrecks cities! Even today, the Mediterranean is a place of strategic importance: Americans, Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, Russians, French, Algerians, Libyans, Israelis, Palestinians, and Turks all have strong opinions of how the Mediterranean should be used and managed — both as a tool of trade, and as a strategic field of potential combat. And yet, Tethys remains unmoving, blind to the potential violence all around her, and bound to the attention of her own interior and unknowable goals. She answers to a higher authority than these mere swords in the mud.
The dodecatemoria of Gemini I speak to this truth, too. These 2.5° slices of the sky are analogues or recapitulations of the signs of Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo — changeable air giving way to cardinal water, fixed fire, and mutable earth. In storytelling terms, this is the rising wind rustling the face of the sea, bringing forth both sustainable energy and changes in the world. In geomantic terms, this is the character of Albus changing into Cauda Draconis, and bringing forth Fortuna Minor from their combination — the airy daydreaming turning into what John Lewis might have called ‘good trouble’ and opening a window in space and time for lucky breaks to occur. Gemini excels at this kind of thinking, the brainstorming or divergent-idea-creation that activates the inner emotional life; and this becomes the party or the event or happening that permits a physical change to occur.
The Ascendant is in Libra, with its ruling planet Venus in Gemini, keeping company with the Sun above the horizon in the Ninth House. The next ten days are likely to be a time of rebalancing and revaluation, with travel, higher education, tourism, and religion under the microscope. Hybrid or compromise opinions may begin to emerge or at least be considered or thought of. The daytime nature of the chart makes Mars much weaker despite being conjunct the Midheaven; but strengthens Saturn in the Fifth House where he puts limits on fun and restrains children from easy entertainment. Most planets are occidental or westering, making us either reactive or receptive to change, rather than initiating or actively resisting shifts in our surrounding experience.
The South Node – North Node axis affects the Sagittarius-Gemini line, with thoughts turning toward the desires for more travel, more educational opportunities, and more learning experiences. Our home neighborhoods and intimate circles hold less appeal, and we’re likely letting our guard down — but this is exactly where the sh*t comes out. The South Node’s presence in the decan called The Bridle urges us to adopt a restrained and controlled attitude toward any rush to normalcy.
In the fourth house of ‘house and home’, the Imum Coeli, The Lot of Fortune, and the planet Pluto each energize one of Capricorn’s three decans: The Headless Body, The Pyramid, and the Throne. The dream may be that we get a chance to party — but there’s something to be said for recognizing a place in the overall pecking order of our home life, and accepting the fortunes that come with it. Any difficulties are relatively small annoyances that build toward a crescendo of challenges: don’t worry about one big blow-up over a single problem. Rather concern yourself with the straws slowly accumulating toward a broken camel-back.
Saturn rules the fifth house in this chart, from his current place at the almost-midpoint of Aquarius and the decan of Heaven and Earth. Before the decan ends, the old man will turn retrograde, retracing his steps back to 6° Aquarius into Aquarius I The Mark of Exile. During the time that Saturn has been in the Aquarius middle decan, we’ve seen the gradual lifting of COVID-restrictions around the US; but Saturn’s time in the first decan was marked by some of the tightest restrictions even as vaccination stations opened up around the country. I expect to see an re-emergence of COVID cause problems during this retrograde… and I’ll be happily surprised if it doesn’t.
Jupiter rules the sixth house in his own sign at 0° Pisces — Jupiter’s most favorable placement in nearly two years. Co-present with Neptune, the lord of mercy and expansion seeks to restore and reinvigorate the economy and your own personal work-habits. However, Neptune is fond of both illusions and delusions; both will be in high availability in the next ten days, and we should expect more than a little confusion as you open or re-open to parts of your life that may have been shut down for several months.
Uranus reflects that problem, causing upheaval in Venus’s sign of Taurus in the eighth house, where the themes of death, duty, and responsibility are strong. Venus is in aversion to her own sign, robbing us of the cohering and connecting energy that she would ordinarily project onto these matters — and leaving the disruptive trickster, the canny inventor, the pompous expert and the mendacious fraud in charge of formerly staid and stable affairs. Sexual matters are likely to be in a state of some upheaval in particular, and some May-December scandals may come to light.
The Sun, North Node, Venus and Mercury occupy Gemini in the ninth house, making creative writing and networked learning easier than ever before, but also bifurcating the travel and educational experiences — one standard for one group of people, and another standard for everyone else. Venus and the North Node hold the middle decan, The Hermaphrodite, putting gender matters at the forefront of discussions and philosophical discussions; but Mercury prepares to sit on the shoulders of the constellation Orion, expounding at length on various matters in their purview, and attempting to execute legal limits on others’ dreams of acceptance.
Mars holds the middle decan of Cancer in the tenth house, promising or threatening violence behind closed doors. For now, the secret is hidden and out of sight, but threats are certainly being planned to force people from their home and back into the work environment.
The Moon is the twelfth house, promising a fair bit of alienation and loneliness as we all analyze and revisit our decisions to meet (or not) in person again. Here in the thirteenth mansion, she offers access to an almost sensual union with our selves and a reflection on who we wish to become. Her connection to ruling Mercury is square, though, promising a fair bit of conflict between the desires of the heart and body, and the intuitive knowing of the gut.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Libra: Ruling Venus is in Gemini, trine to this sign. There’s a favorable opportunity for travel, for redesigning or rethinking your self-presentation to the world, or to take on a new learning project of some kind. Having fun is difficult at the moment, but new projects may manifest in your workplace — along with a conflict with your boss. “I’d like to continue to work from home” is a potential bargaining chip for more money, more benefits, or both.
Scorpio: Ruling Mars is in Cancer, trine to this sign. Seek out the learning opportunities that come your way, particularly the ones that you’ve been longing to have. But tempting as it is, don’t post your learning experiences to Instagram or Tiktok; some of this should be secret until you’re ready to unveil full competence. Financial trouble brings an economic challenge unless you learn how to focus on your responsibility to clients and employers more effectively. Your social calendar is about to expand in some pleasant ways — but follow the rules when it comes to maintaining home’s official boundaries.
Sagittarius: ruling planet Jupiter is square to this sign in Pisces. If anything favorable happens in your life right now, it’s going to happen to your whole household, and you may feel some resentment because it’s not your gift alone. A financial challenge may arise that threatens your career or reputation, but new options for compensation may also appear. Health issues in your family cause sorrow but also provide favorable insight. There’s a lot of focus on your partner right now; use your head to be sure they have a good time.
Capricorn: A windfall comes your way that promises some fixes to household challenges — but carries with it a duty or obligation that may weigh you down for a time. Appropriate budgeting between ‘practical needs’ and ‘castles in the air’ is necessary: don’t weigh yourself down too much, but take care of the basics. Your most intimate circle should be expanding, for at least a time, but don’t drink too often from the cup of crazy. You’re valued in the workplace for your insight, your creativity, and your gift of gab — but is that value backed up with cash or benefits? Or is your reward just a gentle pat on the back? A very public argument with a spouse, close ally or even open foe will not serve you well right now: take it behind closed doors.
Aquarius: If health issues manifest, see a doctor. Take care of yourself, and accept restrictions that otherwise might feel limiting. You’re likely better off with some downtime for the moment, and it will ease your financial situation in positive ways too — though a surprise expense or windfall should be dealt with graciously. An upset at home may shock your system, but there’s favorable conditions for either a party for you or an experience for your kids.
Pisces: Ruling planet Jupiter is at home, providing expansion of work opportunities, but also causing confusion about your responsibilities and obligations. A thoughtful focus on home and family life is necessary at this time, but your experience in your career is perhaps not serving you well; crap may happen at work because you’re not there. Seek some practical chances to get money by providing your services your friends and acquaintances.
Aries: Ruling Mars is trine to this sign, providing favorable alliance. If you’re partnered, it’s wise to turn your attention toward them daily during the next ten days; if you’re unpartnered, you may find it useful to reflect on the how and why of that. Unexpected financial issues may turn your attention toward family in a way that you’re not used to; there may be upheaval in your home because of these challenges; try to keep any argument private, or your public reputation may suffer. Expand your solo time to work the matters of daily life; you may have to cancel a meeting with a friend to get the time and energy to finish an important project for yourself.
Taurus: Ruling planet Venus is in aversion, next door in Gemini — making revolutionary Uranus the controlling power. Your days are likely to be busy and varied in the next ten days, with little under your own control. Even your alone time will be interrupted by others. Financial issues will arise, and you’ll find that you want or need more cash than you have. However, your likely source of reserve funds may be suffering from an unexpected shortage, too. An argument is brewing with a family member over their career decisions, or yours, but there’s no value in going public with the complaint. Be helpful to your friends in the next ten days, and know that your current challenges only enhance your reputation for expertise and skill.
Gemini: ruling planet Mercury is at home, reigning over Sun and Venus. It’s an excellent time to get stuff done, and you probably have an effective to-do list and managerial strategies for everything. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, though — there’s a supervisor or some alleged superior in your career-oriented environment looking to get a piece of your action. What parts of your work-life do you genuinely enjoy doing? What is tedious or difficult? See if you can offload the dull parts onto someone else’s plate, but fight for the parts of the work you love. Even if you have to accept restrictions, keep learning what you can about the relevant topics; your expertise and your skill at seeing the big picture will always matter.
Cancer: Ruling Moon is in the thirteenth Mansion in Virgo, sextile to Mars in the middle decan the walled garden. Issues of sex and sensuality may arise in conversations with family members or your closest friends about super-private matters. You may find you have gift for this kind of educational discussion — or that it invariably leads to arguments about propriety and dignity. Before you dive into the debate, take the time to educate yourself: sources will matter here, and your own life experience will be best supplemented by expert opinion. Your partner may also argue with you, but some of this is about stressful matters in the workplace and unexpected restrictions. Any arguments specifically about home-life can be easily, and favorably, resolved.
Leo: Ruling Sun is in Gemini, sextile to this sign. Some great events are going to occur soon that will allow you to hang out with friends, and be both creative and gregarious with them — the stuff you’ve wanted for fourteen months. However, you’re likely to find that a partner or significant other wants to impose limits or boundaries around these kinds of activities which you will find annoying, chafing, or overly controlling. Approaching such restrictions in a spirit of mutual kindness and obligation, rather than cheating or compromise, is the better tack to take for the moment. It’s not that your partner is right, is that caution is likely to prove more useful than you think. If you have a home office, a bit of reorganization is likely to do you some good and reveal some new options for a better work-process.
Virgo: ruling Mercury is in Gemini, square to this sign, and controlling the present Moon. You’re likely to encounter conflicts between what you want to do, and the expectations of job or career, where your creativity, intelligence, and communicative gifts are all welcomed — particularly since the latter is under some sort of stress or constraint that threatens to crush it. An argument with a friend is probably looming about the ‘right’ way to handle this, but know that the problem is relatively well-balanced at the moment; you can do what you want to do, with the result that you will recognizably have inconvenienced or damaged the common good; or you can bow to the collective will, knowing that you’ll be dissatisfied with the result. It may be useful to remember that you cannot win all battles, but you must fight the ones that you care about — and avoiding or losing the ones that don’t matter to you, is a perfectly valid strategic goal, too.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. I hope you’l join us. I use Patreon funds (as well as my own funds) to support artists and artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. if you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.