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Gemini Full Moon: Happy Whatever

grumpy-holidayNo sooner had the Thanksgiving leftovers been stowed away than my Facebook feed erupted in verbal fistfights about the language of the holiday season. Evidently, “Happy Holidays” is no longer a gently inclusive expression of good will, but the opening salvo in a new Crusades. And forget about “Xmas” as well, warned an indignant friend who demanded we “keep Christ in Christmas!” (I refrained from pointing out that the “X” in Xmas actually stands for Christ, because when someone is perched atop that high of a horse, facts might unbalance them and cause a nasty spill.)

Personally, I use Xmas prodigiously—not out of disrespect for others’ beliefs (I don’t celebrate Christmas but have no beef with those who do), but because it’s short and snappy. But since someone brought it up, I’ll state for the record that I don’t enjoy Christmas or Xmas. The vapid Christmas music and insipid holiday-themed movies, the unbridled spending, the hysteria of Black Friday and small business Saturday and cyber-Monday, and especially, turning what should be a season of kindness and joy into a philosophical battleground…whatever you wish to call our December holiday season, I call it exhausting.

I bring all this up, I suppose, because Saturn is getting ready to move in to Sagittarius (December 23). When a big, slow-moving planet lumbers into a new sign, it awakens new territory—in this case, the land of beliefs. Petty arguments about holiday greetings are examples of Sagittarius’ shadow side, the calcification of personal convictions into something ungenerous and exclusionary. Society still carries the scars of Pluto moving through Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008, when religious bickering and political bludgeoning took an ugly turn from which civility has never quite recovered. It would be a shame if Saturn moving through this sign reignited ancient grudges, encouraging the transfer of old opinions to new stone tablets.

At the risk of sounding like a scold, I find it troubling that everyone is so certain of everything these days. One tedious vestige of the Pluto in Sagittarius years is that so many pretend to be experts on every last topic of the day, even (or perhaps particularly) the ones about which they are wholly uninformed. When everyone has made up his mind, there’s no room left for interesting conversation.

Which brings us to this Full Moon in Sagittarius’ opposite sign, Gemini. Gemini doesn’t much care which holidays you choose to observe or what you call them; he can abide any heresy except boring conversation. He is an unbelieving secularist hovering near the holiday buffet table, munching potato chips and making acerbic remarks. His standard holiday greeting is, “Happy Whatever.” His job description, to paraphrase Caroline Casey, is “to believe nothing and entertain possibilities.”

The Full Moon in Gemini is our final reminder, before the Saturn in Sagittarius surge, that it’s (1) okay to ask questions, (2) okay not to know everything, and (3) okay not to have every last belief immutably nailed to the floor by the time you enter high school. It’s even (4) okay – healthy, even! – to occasionally change your mind about things, to be persuaded by facts and experience into seeing the world another way.

Simply carving your unexamined beliefs in stone is a waste of Saturn (or the Sun, or anything else) in Sagittarius. Entering this important transit with a curious, irreverent, Full Moon in Gemini spirit seems a much better approach. Sagittarius is the sign of the explorer, the traveler who encounters foreign lands and customs, decodes their meaning, and allows them to inform his own philosophy. Before we can discover the answers, though, we need to ask questions. The ultimate reward of Saturn in Sagittarius is a set of ethical and moral guidelines for your decisions and choices. But it’s unworthy to simply dig in our heels, pick fights, and attempt to force our opinions onto others. Saturn in Sagittarius will insist that we earn our beliefs, through considered research, humble introspection, and inquiry.

My hope for you is that this Full Moon in Gemini prelude to the holiday season is filled with curious questioning, humility, and sparkling conversation. If the Sun in Sagittarius season has been any indication, the Saturn in Sagittarius years will be interesting indeed. But as the Full Moon in Gemini reminds us, they needn’t be boring.

© 2014 April Elliott Kent

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25 comments to " Gemini Full Moon: Happy Whatever "

  • dar

    Sukie Baxter, wrote in a similar vein in her Thanksgiving post:
    ‘Does this whole gratitude practice thing make anyone else want to kind of throw up in their mouths a little?’

  • Willow

    Great article April, though I’m sorry you don’t enjoy the nicer parts of Christmas, i.e., “The vapid Christmas music and insipid holiday-themed movies”. Well, I can’t think of 2 signs that love a good time more than Sagittarius & Gemini 🙂 ~ Please don’t let Saturn sour you.
    I really do enjoy your wit and you are a wonderful writer. I am looking forward to reading and learning more from you, I’ve been interested in astrology my whole life, and have very basic knowledge about it. I don’t know why I never studied/researched it more – I believe 100% that everyone of us are connected to the stars/planets – it fascinates me.
    I like that you have a different perspective from those who profess expertise. From what I have read and researched (at my level) – the year/years ahead do look “tense” for sure – But, my mind is open and my heart is always hopeful! Thanks! Merry Xmas! LOL

    • You’re very kind, Willow, and never fear, there are parts of the winter holiday season that I enjoy! I like pine trees in the house, greeting cards, cookies, and twinkly lights, none of which have anything to do with religion. I don’t give gifts and hate shopping, but I love wrapping presents and would enjoy it if all my friends just dumped their gifts here to be wrapped. I’ve even squirreled away about three Christmas albums I love because I listened to them as a kid and the singing is beautiful. What I don’t like is being bombarded by Frosty the Goddamn Snowman and the bell-ringer for the Salvation Army every time I go to the supermarket, and self-righteous bloviating about the “reason for the season” (which is actually the tilt of the earth’s axis, if I remember my freshman astronomy class correctly). Merry Xmas to you as well, Willow, and enjoy your holiday season! 🙂

  • Sandra Williams

    Wonderful, as always, April! Love your spicy spin of phresh phraseology and tipping classics on their heads with a real live point to be made. But best of all, you nail to the wall exactly what I have been thinking and observing. Well done!

  • Luana

    April, you nailed it again. Always enjoy your refreshing views.

  • This is one of my most favorite current quotes: “When everyone has made up his mind, there’s no room left for interesting conversation.” I believe that’s why I am interested less and less with those who think and believe this way. I love your simplicity describing what to me, prior to, was an ‘inconjunct.’ 🙂

  • Can I first just say I absolutely LOVE that you used the word “scold”? 🙂 Anyway, my hatred of Christmas is legendary. It’s mellowed from hated to strong annoyance over the years, but I can relate. I also hate all the certainty, as well, and I’m one of the most opinionated people on the planet. In Shinkendo, we’re encouraged to admit when we don’t know something. It’s vital for instructor training that we be able to admit that so that we can then go get correct answers. My training might be affecting me.

    The other thing about the December 23rd transition is that means it my Sun/Mercury conjunction in Leo is going to be challenged by Saturn mid-December. Oy.

    • I know, isn’t “scold” the best word? And yeah, I can’t truly say I hate Christmas, but it is very, very annoying, more so as the years go by and I grow older and more dyspeptic. I’m opinionated as well (Leos unite!), and not always as tolerant as I should be, but I like to think that at least I’m not ignorant and completely closed-minded. Most days. ;D Saturn/Sun/Mercury = not the happiest combo, but the first pass is the hardest; by the time the subsequent Rx-dir squares come along, you’ll be tough as nails! Must get to L.A. to see you, my dear… xoxo

      • I’m coming back to San Diego sometime this month! I don’t know when yet. I’ll let you know so that we can visit, if possible. 🙂

      • Also, I think I’m already feeling the Saturn/Sun/Mercury. I’ve had a powerful need to speak my mind online but I’ve been holding back. Instead, I find myself withdrawing considerably and sticking to my personal projects. Mostly I just worry people won’t like what I have to say. It’s extremely uncomfortable, but it seems like the right thing to do.

        Jesus, if that’s not Saturn in Scorpio squaring Sun/Mercury in Leo, I don’t know what is.

  • Charlotte Dahl

    Love your grouchy cat picture. Expresses my feelings about Christmas over-do exactly.

  • Maybe if you had to deal with the dreary gray-brown darkness of November-December in the Northeast you’d have more appreciation of the sparkle and light of Xmas! The spending part is certainly overblown, though I had fun in a little shop yesterday picking out gifts for my gal pals, which they’ll probably re-gift but hey, the Leo part of me enjoyed the opportunity to be generous (the more dominant miserly parts of me temporarily mollified). The uncivil self-certain nastiness you mentioned has indeed been awful to experience, first-hand and in the larger sphere, so I hope your wishes for the Gemini Full Moon do pan out. Happy whatever!

    • Oh, I love the sparkle and light! But that’s solstice stuff, the opposite of exhausting, and less likely to ignite holy wars. Stay warm, Leslee!

  • Steve

    In the UK, nobody minds if you say “Christmas” and there’s no escaping it either, but it’s rarely got anything to do with Christianity, just commercialism, and I’m not a fan.

    Maybe I’m jumping ahead here, but as for Saturn in Sag, I’m not sure I like the sound of it. When I think of natives I’ve encountered from two generations, they’ve been almost disappointingly traditional when you scratch the surface, despite trying to look open-minded. They want people’s lives to run on rails, love to typecast, and are fond of spouting “received wisdom” as if there could be such a thing. Sagittarius may be preachy, but wouldn’t normally suffer such narrow thinking.

    I’ve actually become a fan of Saturn in Scorpio in some ways, because unlike the horror story of the 80s, this time it’s brought a lot of progress for things like marriage equality, tackling stuff like transphobia (a word you’d have been surprised to read in the national news just a few years ago), gender stereotypes, and a new wave of feminism that’s taking hold of the mainstream. Sure, it’s also brought a lot of nasty sex crimes into public view and tainted a few fond memories, but we’re unarguably better off for that. It is as though the groups above have put in the hard work and are reaping the rewards, and those who behaved badly have been called to justice.

    I know life has been very tough for many people too. I’ve been one of those people! But the last thing I’d like to see is any of that progress undone.

    • I completely agree, Steve! Saturn in Scorpio has been very constructive and life-changing for so many. I’m confident Saturn in Sag can be, too, in all the ways Pluto in Sag was not. There’s a good reason Saturn is known as the karmic planet, and Saturn in Sag will be bad years for hypocrites and the narrow-minded. The sad realization that prompted this rather dour essay was about just how many of those sorts of people surround me. Before Facebook, it was much easier to live in denial about others’ hearts and minds. It’s instructive, what people say when they forget other people are reading or assume everyone shares their nasty views.

      • Steve

        Ah that’s good news (and I realised after not everyone I know with that placement was like that, just the worst offenders). And oh yes, I understand what the things you see on Facebook (in particular!) can do to one’s opinion of the human race! 🙂

  • Carolina

    As I started to read your essay, I immediately ask myself why I celebrate Xmas, the answer is, nothing to do with religion whatsoever, all to do with my kids really enjoying it and me making a point to change painful childhood memories linked to Xmas. The interesting thing is, my thoughts were interrupted by a lady from California coming into my shop (I work in Glastonbury UK) to ask me whether I believed in Christ and the devil!! Don’t get me wrong, this is normal in Glastonbury, I just thought the mention of Christ and beliefs while I’m reading your article was an extraordinary show of synchronicity and being in tune with the full moon energy. Amazing!

    • That is so cool, Carolina! 🙂
      Interestingly, I have only happy memories of Christmas growing up. My mother adored it. I applaud you for making a conscious effort to overcome the painful past and give your kids such a happy gift. Truly, to each her own. I don’t mean to say anything against other people celebrating the holidays as they wish. For me, it was the Pluto in Sag years, when the “War on Christmas” martyrdom machinery revved up, that ruined the party. It is probably different in the UK, which seems much less stridently religious; but here in the States, that stuff gets truly obnoxious. I’ve got a lot of planets in the 9th house, including Uranus and Pluto, and when religion is pushed at me, I tend to push back. I miss the days when discussing religion and politics was considered bad manners. :

  • mary

    To paraphrase Rumi: Out in the field beyond “right” and “wrong” there is an evergreen tree with sparkly lights. I’ll meet You there!

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