Updated: May 31
Gemini is often portrayed as an intellectual sign. With Gemini, it’s all about the head, right? But in astrology, each sign is connected to the one before and the one after, in their order on the wheel of the zodiac. The lessons gleaned from working with one sign make us ready for the lessons of the next. Gemini is followed by Cancer, a sign of empathy, sensitivity, and emotional connection.
I’ve found throughout my time of tracking the planets that events occur in our lives that synchronistically reflect what is going on in the sky. These events operate much like dream symbols, offering us a deeper understanding of ourselves. And this week, I was shown the powerful connection between Gemini and Cancer. On the Dark Moon in Gemini, I had a Gemini experience that opened up my Cancerian heart.
On the eve of the New Moon, my brother called. He’s a Gemini. He also happens to be on the autism spectrum. Sometimes, it has been challenging for me to talk to him--strike that--to listen to him. He talks a blue streak, and he often repeats stories. He also has trouble listening and will wait to the very end of the conversation to ask how I’m doing. I’ve come to expect and accept all this as part of who he is. As Amy Schumer says about her husband, who is also on the spectrum: his mind just works differently.
Maybe “accept” is the wrong word. What I have done is that I’ve shut down some of my emotional expectations in the relationship. It has been a one way street, in many ways: I have seen myself in a Big Sister role with him, The Helper, playing out my Cancer Sun in exemplary fashion.
When we get on the phone, I assume I already know what he’s going to say. And so I sometimes check out, emotionally and mentally, while listening.
This is not fun to admit.
But that day, my awareness of it being the dark Moon in Gemini must have been guiding me. Something was guiding me. I felt prompted to listen to him in a way that I haven’t done before.
I opened my mind to him as if I was hearing the stories for the first time. They were stories about our childhood. No, his childhood. There were things that he endured, after I left home. His relationship with our mom was challenging when he was a teenager, and she had put him in a mental hospital for a few months when he was 16. Then, she sent him to live with our father. Long story short, he went through some awful things while in care, and he is still deeply angry toward my mother for putting him there.
I’ve heard this story before, many times--from my mom’s perspective, from dad’s perspective, and of course from my brother’s, over and over. But for the first time, I truly listened. Which is to say, I let it in, without judgement. I let it in, without defending my parents. I let it in, without attacking them, either.
I realized that I had been going into defensive mode by creating an alternate narrative in my head, or trying to fit his narrative into my own.
But what was I really defending against? Sadness.
When I listened to my brother’s story as if he were telling it to me for the first time, I felt it. And it was painful.
This is why I had been avoiding listening. The story made me so, so sad. And once I let that story in, it opened up a whole new level of sadness for my brother. About the loneliness he’s experienced. About the trials he’s had in life, being misunderstood. About the lack of companionship in his life. All of these things he expressed to me yesterday, and I heard it, as if for the first time.
I was able to say, from my heart: “I am so sorry this happened to you.” And not have to fix, judge, or explain. In other words, I was able to be fully in my Cancerian self: to experience the sadness. Then to hold the space for him emotionally, to empathize, and to be gentle.
But this Cancerian state was only arrived at through being present to the higher lesson of Gemini:
Listen without judgement.
Be willing to learn.
Hold the beginner’s mind.
As our conversation went on, there were new stories as well. He told me of a dream he’d had recently, about our mother who passed many years ago, and our brother, Nate, who abandoned the family, also several years back. I was in the dream, too. He dreamed of us living in the place we had lived as a family in the 1980’s, a place in the forest near the Russian River. Ala synchronicity, I’d also been dreaming of our family the past few weeks--in just that era of our lives, and in that place.
The fact that we had been dreaming of each other, our family, and the same time and place, made me feel deeply my connection to him. He and I are the only two left, survivors of that time.
So by going deep into Gemini--listening with the beginner’s mind--I found my Cancerian heart cracked open. I feel, now, the possibility of a new relationship with my brother, outside of our previous roles. I no longer need to defend against sadness. I came to see that I can listen, and feel, and learn...repeat.
Mars and Mercury dance in Cancer right now, with the Sun to move there in a couple weeks’ time, then a Solar Eclipse in the sign in early July. This feels like a portal, between now and the eclipse, in which to explore the bridge between Gemini and Cancer.
In your life, how can you open your mind and your heart at the same time? Whose stories do you need to listen to anew? And what feelings do the stories bring up in you?