Tethys, goddess of the sea, was the ancient ruler of Gemini I — which the Sun enters on May 20, 2022 at 9:23 pm EDT. Called “The Apple of Eden” by Austin Coppock, it was associated in the days of the magician Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa with the liberal arts and sciences — The seven Liberal Arts are well known of course: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Yet the seven Liberal Sciences are less commonly cited: warfare, clothes-making, architecture, agriculture, trade, cookery, and metallurgy. By and large these were not the province of the medieval university culture, but the realm of professionals raised in the guild system — the ecclesiastically dominated ivory tower maintaining an uneasy relationship with guild and lodge.
Knowledge is a curious thing. Disconnected and unrelated facts make for a hobbyist learner more suited to parlor games or a Trivia Night at the local pub; but the expert swims in a deep ocean of wisdom, surrounded by a web of knowing in which connected facts lead onward to new information like an endless tidal flow.
Something of that second form of knowing is expressed in the first decan of Gemini, ruled by clever Mercury but administered by generous and big-picture Jupiter (who attaches to Mercury by sextile here). With the Sun’s presence overshadowing the retrograde herald-planet of thieves and merchants, while preparing for his own sextile with Jupiter, we’re seeing a generous and general revelation of data that might be otherwise hidden. It isn’t only data, though: It’s also the methodology of turning that data into real-world results. A geometer can lay out a beautiful progression of squares, triangles, rectangles and circles. However, it takes an architect’s real-world knowledge of materials, and the structural and dynamic forces which will work their will upon those materials, to turn a diagram into a building. An astronomer can tell you where a planet is in the sky; only a poet (with the right training and eye, perhaps?) can tell you what that planet means. Anyone can prepare food… but it takes an artist to transform edible matter into a feast for all the senses.
The ancient Greeks of Roman-era Alexandria celebrated the goddess Tethys during the period of ten days when the Sun was in Gemini I. She’s exactly this sort of goddess who knows both the abstract and the practical — the wife of Okeanos, she was the mother of Earth’s 10,000 river-gods: presumably she knew well the duties and responsibilities of motherhood. Yet she’s also credited with being Hera’s foster-mother, and in some cosmogenies as the originator of all life on earth. Some scholars credit her with being a thinly-veiled reference to Tiamat, the dragon-goddess of Babylonian myth whose conflicts with Marduk brought the universe into being. In that form, she is the primal chaos from which all other things are created: the raw prima materia from which all knowledge and skill arise.
It may be useful to think of Tethys through a different lens, though — one created by a decidedly less mythological character, an American president with the only actual degree in political science. He wrote,
…. government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.Woodrow Wilson, 1908
Tethys is that sort of organic force — water that sloshes here and there, pulled by tidal forces… and as it does so, creates and sustains the essential conditions of life. Yet even then, Tethys is changed by her environment just as she changes it: coastlines erode, new life forms arise, and new transformations take place under the pressure of the waters… or their absence. We do well to remember that the liberal arts and sciences are themselves a kind of study of change in process, rather than prescriptive models of an idealized perfection.
The Sun and all the planets are below the horizon, so we’re looking at a night chart in which no planet is especially dignified. The private realm winds up being more important than the public realm — additionally, the midheaven in the eleventh house (in Libra I, Blindfold and Sword) reminds us that “we get by with a little help from our friends”, and that fairness and good order are sometimes more important than family ties.
The Ascendant is in Sagittarius II The Bridle, indicating that we must all demonstrate greater skill at navigating between our feral or animal sides, and our humane natures, in the next ten days. Remember to bathe, to feed yourself, and to take care of your body; but at the same time feed your brain with good information, your soul with prayer, and your heart with hope and love.
Pluto in the second house, retrograde in Capricorn III The Throne, suggests ongoing market turbulence, with declines in the stock market and cryptocurrency likely to continue. Although the chart shows a trine to the Sun/Mercury placement, this is unlikely to provide a favorable influence. Stay conscious of expenses and income, and make adjustments accordingly.
The Moon and Saturn are in Aquarius, activating Aquarius I The Mark of Exile and Aquarius III The Knot — and illumining the Twenty-Fourth Mansion, a lucky place of multiplied opportunities for good fortune (though not so good for talismans of those energies). The three activations remind us that it’s a good time to maintain a certain outsider status in the neighborhood, and hold off on big get-togethers. Instead, it’s a good time for standing a bit aloof, and for untying some of your social obligations in favor of heightened one-on-one encounters. Good fortune is largely a side effect of network effects, though — being able to bounce from one chance meeting to the next, like an active billiard ball after a wild and overly strong shot. Saturn reminds us to slow down; the Moon reminds us to move quickly — contradictory advice that is at the essence of pandemic logic
Neptune and Mars together activate the last decan of Pisces The Cup of Blood, and reach back by sextile to Pluto in a forceful reminder that many of us live in houses divided — on political and social issues, on medical and public health issues, and on “going out” vs. “staying home”. It may not be the case that you and your significant other are at odds about this; but you and your parents; you and your children; you and housemates… whatever this looks like for you, know that the divergence is likely to be particularly strong in the next ten days, and that your understanding what precautions are and are not being taken will be as obvious and clear as the muddy bottom of a swamp.
Aries as the fifth house brings Jupiter and Venus, as well as the Imum Coeli and Lot of Fortune into activity. We’re promised sex and jollity, graciousness and creativity, in the next ten days… but with a certain solitary suspicion and paranoia underlying our merry-making. Your head and your gut are going to be in conflict with one another about what the right course of action is, when it comes to having fun. If you have children, expect some positive news about the state of their world and attitude, too.
The Nodal Axis chews up the scenery from pleasant Taurus’s grassy fields to the steam tunnels of Scorpio, while Uranus continues to bring turbulence to Taurus II The Yoni Lingam. An ongoing asceticism-as-aesthetics benefits us, while over attachment to things (even sparkly ones) brings double-trouble. Some undulations in health matters continue to bring difficulty: you have a growing personal autonomy in the realm of personal health, but it doesn’t mean your health will actually be safe. Take the precautions you feel are necessary; and expect some surprises, both pleasant and un-, to affect your daily routines.
Mercury and the Sun occupy the first decan of Gemini The Apple of Eden, in the seventh house. Below the Horizon, they suggest that the most important issues and concerns, are best addressed privately or with trusted others: a business partner, a spouse, your closest intimates. Even your foes and you may benefit from a quiet conversation on the sidelines toward reconciliation, with the herald and the prince both available as advisors.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Sagittarius: Jupiter is trine, a triplicity ruler, and in his own term, but succedent. Expect a certain financial tightness that can be relieved with more attention to your bank statements and business plans. Social arrangements are upset and limited by personal family matters at first, but household issues are temporarily addressed in favor of some healthy and healing entertainment. Daily schedules continue to be upended — but a focus on what you can do for others is likely to bring new success.
Capricorn: Saturn is inconjunct but domiciled; Pluto is present. Financial matters trouble you, but you and your partner can resolve any outstanding issues with ease; bringing any larger than life problems to an older or more serious uncle or cousin may bring further relief — but leave the hippie or the hothead (and especially the soldier or veteran) out of the discussion. A host of company may show up on your doorstep for fun times, but be prepared to make your hopes and dreams clear — and don’t promise to mend any broken hearts (especially your own). Stick close to your most significant other(s) for the next ten days.
Aquarius: Domiciled Saturn is present but cadent with the Moon. Old regrets about money wasted or ill-spent (or ill-gotten, in a few rare cases) may be souring your weekend plans. Try not to think about what was never really yours to spend, at least not too much. Focus instead on who your most intimate circle of friends are, and who are the family members you can lean on to re-scaffold your life. The at-home fires can be put out with sufficient love; you can bring joy and happiness into your life again. Concentrate on making a few small daily pleasures for a partner last a long while.
Pisces: Jupiter is inconjunct and succedent, dignified by triplicity. Your gut instincts and your sense of caution both tell you to plan more carefully than usual; to hold friends at Howard Hughes’ distances, to focus on making the horse to drink the water you led him to. Not going to work — instead, focus on cultivating the home you and your family need; cut the work-life balance-beam in a way that favors home. Financial opportunities abound for giving in to your creative habits, and those of any kids that live with you — be prepared to entertain and educate yourselves through another round of potential disruptions.
Aries: Mars is inconjunct but angular, dignified by term and decan. Defining your household and your family brings some rewards, but it’ll be hard to hold on to this definition for long. Enjoyments and entertainments are enriched after Wednesday, but expect certain structural difficulties to manifest with friends; a boss may be furious at your planned but inconvenient absence.
Taurus: Venus is succedent and dignified by decan but inconjunct. You’re exercising a great deal and putting forth much energy on a project that you expect will bring you happiness — but may bring an unexpected heartache and division of your attention across too many mental difficulties. Your partner’s financial issues will be your own for some portion of the time of the next ten days; you will benefit from bringing your boss’s abstract vision into concrete reality… but make sure you get the credit.
Gemini: Mercury is domiciled but retrograde, under the beams and combust. Your partner’s issues are likely to be your own in the next ten days, but it’s your own public reputation that’s likely to be on the line. Some of this is solved by trying to spend down-time on your own; you’re likely to be surrounded by important friends and social acquaintances with whom you have deep connections; but you still have to please the boss, and put out their fires for them. If you must curtail a journey, make sure you communicate your intentions clearly. Some of your obligations may metastasize, so keep a clean financial record and hold on to the receipts for making returns of unused goods.
Cancer: Moon is inconjunct, out of sect, and cadent, but in the 24th Mansion. Duty calls, and in ways that feel like you’re personally responsible. Your partner is making money but you may feel like your’e not pulling your own weight — take stock and notice all the ways in which you make house, into home. You can be fair and honest with yourself here, and accept a clear vision of who you are and how you use your head to make a space for your friends’ hearts to become well — now settle into that same ease for yourself, and take joy in your own healing.
Leo: Sun is sextile and angular but peregrine and below the horizon. You have some grand journeys planned and some glorious campaigns attend to, but the reality is that you may need to be a caretaker for others closer to home. Not AT home, though: you may find that your plans to stick to your own apartment or yard are thwarted, and your real daily routines carry you way on important if unexpected business. Keep a daily tally of expenses, hold your receipts, and help your spouse or significant other turn concrete but complex plans into an abstract set of policies— Help them put out the fires that are troubling them. Make space for friends over the (US Memorial Day weekend… but keep it in the open air, and prefer the outdoor heat to the air conditioned indoors.
Libra: Venus is in detriment, dignified by decan, succedent and yet in opposition. You’re speaking up for justice and fairness these days, but take care about your own blindspots; a lot of your friends may get taken down this week by the beams they haven’t pulled from their pupils. You don’t want to be lumped in with them if you can help it. A house issue needs to be resolved, and money is the best way to do it — double-check the basement for the usual suspects like radon, flooding, and vermin. Some recognition may come in the form of a snarky side comment at a wedding you think is unlikely to succeed — but focus on having fun at the reception and toast the happy couple in good and honest hope alone, whatever your private thoughts. A trip for knowledge or insight may be useful, but the traffic may be more complicated than usual.
Virgo: Mercury is domiciled and angular, but retrograde, under the beams, combust, and square. Career opportunities are in the front of your mind — whether inventing new ones, or seeking ways to get recognized in the old: but the profit motive should not go unrecognized. Don’t be modest if what you genuinely need is a raise. Family plans dissolve, leaving you with a potentially free and open weekend to work on your house and yard; but don’t neglect the value of rest and relaxation. Not every event your friends throw, obligates you to show up (thought at least some of them will be a good time. Structure your daily routine with a mix of caution and trusting your gut instincts — and whatever travel plans you have… surprise. There will be adjustments to the plan at the last minute
Scorpio: Mars is dignified by triplicity, term and decan, angular, and trine. A sudden change in your partner’s plans may open up a blank spot in your calendar… or it may obligate you to a journey of significance and opportunity. Fill the time with something shiny and interesting to you— that might be an encounter with the old man of the family, or a visit to your house by an enterprising outsider. It may be one of those all-night drinking sessions where you solve the problems of the world; or it may be a work party at the house of your partner’s family followed by a rollicking barbecue. There’s something of responsibility in all of this, but you’re in a great position to take advantage of the next ten day for fun and for work: make the most of it.
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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.