In Gemini, the Moon finds comfort in language – in the reassuring hum of parents’ voices down the hall as their children fall asleep; in the soothing mantra, the dog’s welcoming bark, delighted laughter, a favorite poem. Even, when the time comes, in the sensitive eulogy for a loved one, delivered by someone with keen powers of observation and a lyrical tongue.
Eclipses of the Moon reveal unconscious processes that we take for granted. Most of us can happily assume that when we open our mouths to speak, intelligible sounds will emerge. That if we want to write something, our brain and fingers will help us translate concepts into symbols and record them. We take for granted the ability to reach just about anyone at just about any time, something that would have seemed like a magical power only a couple of generations ago. Through technology, we can live far from our loved ones and still see them and talk to them at a moment’s notice.
This Full Moon in Gemini is a lunar eclipse, when the Moon slips into the earth’s shadow and is hidden from view. It reminds us that even in the age of constant information, constant contact, there are moments when the Gemini gifts we take for granted can be taken away, when the world’s comforting voices diminish into unsettling silence. When, having quarreled, the parents lie in chilly silence; the normally voluble relative’s stroke leaves him quiet and withdrawn at the Thanksgiving dinner table; the beloved pet slips away, mutely, with labored breaths. The phone forgets to ring. The heartfelt email receives no reply.
Sometimes, we have to do without language in order to recognize what is still left to be said. Doing this intentionally becomes more and more of a challenge. Anyone who has practiced meditation quickly realizes just how difficult it can be to disengage from Gemini, to still the mind’s chatter and locate what lies in the heart and the solar plexus, in the parts of us beyond words. For some of us, even losing our cell phone and being out of contact for a couple of hours can practically cause an anxiety attack. And just try spending an evening among people who don’t speak your language. Words are not the only way to communicate, but they certainly make things easier.
Estrangement from Gemini’s world is sometimes unintentional, and occasionally permanent. Imagine the disorientation, the frustration of suffering an injury or illness that takes away speech. Or the sadness of being unable to talk to a loved one who has gone for good, when it’s not longer an option to ask the important questions or to say the thing that so desperately needed saying. (I remember talking about this with my sister, after our mother died; it felt something like claustrophobia, we agreed. The inability to speak with her felt like walls closing in around us, like we couldn’t breathe.)
For most of us, though, the eclipsing of Gemini will be temporary. The lost cell phone will be returned. The parents will mend their quarrel. The relative will recover most of his speech. A new pet will join the family. We’ll be reconciled with friends. The meditation class will end.
And in the initial, heady return to words, we’ll eagerly spill out all the contents of our heads and hearts. We’ll find that there is so much more to say and that it’s all richer, more substantial than the words that used to fill the vacuum of our days. While the Gemini Moon rested in the shadows, we may find, we went to the place beyond words. We filled the well. We found our voices.
© 2011 April Elliott Kent | All rights reserved
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