Understanding the Gemini-Sagittarius Axis: Balancing the Brain

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In order for us to most effectively utilize Astrology as a vehicle for a greater depth of self-understanding and appreciation for others, it’s important for us to consider the holistic view: that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Choosing a reductive, isolationist approach when it comes to Astrology one can easily arrive at results which are both fragmented and unfruitful. In our attempts to explore a certain zodiac sign archetype, it’s essential that we recognize it’s relationship to every other sign and overall function in the entire “wheel of life.”

This line of thinking is especially relevant when considering the interplay between what we normally characterize as “opposite” signs, which when constructively integrated serve as complimentary forces and catalysts for a deeper level of psychological awareness and a higher level of functioning.

Astrologer Glenn Perry states:

“Especially important is the dialectic between opposing signs, for each is the complement of the other. When opposing signs are integrated and in balance, certain traits emerge that transcend either sign individually and allow for the heightened functioning of both.”

In this article, my specific focus will be the Gemini-Sagittarius axis and the potential combinations which can expand ones existence, as well as the potential challenges which can produce a state of disintegration. The latter state suggests that the energy may quite possibly function with a “rogue” or “lone wolf” orientation within the psyche.

We all have Gemini and Sagittarius energy somewhere in our birth chart, so this article is for everyone interested in how we can use that energy most effectively in service of working toward being a complete human being. This article may also be of specific interest to those who have many planetary placements in Gemini and or Sagittarius, or possibly a Gemini-Sagittarius nodal axis, which suggests a lifetime of experiences directly related to balancing this dynamic.

For the purposes of establishing context and communicating the information as clearly as possible, we’ll look at Gemini and Sagittarius independently for a moment….

The Gemini Archetype :  The Student. The Journalist. The Scribe. The Messenger. The Quiz-show contestant. The Crossword Junkie. The Talk Radio fan. The Dilettante. The Intellectual Acrobat. The Curious one. The Youth. “Chatty Chantel ” The Trivia addict. The Social Butterfly. The Jill/Jack of all trades.

In our birth charts, wherever we find Gemini energy, we’re confronted with the need to gather raw data. To collect facts and information from our immediate environment and communicate our observations based on how we’ve named, classified, grouped or categorized. There’s a youthful and mercurial curiosity which permeates the orientation of the Twins which prompts us to ask of myriad  of questions (who, what, when , where, why?) about that which is most readily within our grasp. The Gemini archetype carries the signature of the “hood”, or the block reporter that gives everyone the 411, which could be useful information, or just plain gossip or small talk. In the realm of Castor and Pollux, the left brain,  linear (straight-line)function is highlighted, which emphasizes all that’s analytical, objective and logical.

When functioning effectively in the Gemini realm, our perceptions can be strikingly quick and astute. We’re able to gain a clarity as to the basic significance of how things work as a separate entity. By employing our critical faculties, there’s a knack for to ferret important facts, and through associative thinking, we can build an intellectual skeleton which helps us navigate everyday life.

When over-functioning in the Gemini sphere, we become obsessed with minutia and the micro version of things. We feel an incessant need to make everything to “fit” “logically” even if it’s obviously a square peg in a round hole. Also, we unceasingly collect random information with no clear focus or direction. What could have been building blocks to a rich-hued rainbow of meaning is relegated to insignificant tabloid fodder through our mismanagement of this function.

The Sagittarius Archetype:  The Professor. The Wild Stallion. The Guru. The Philosopher. The “Reverend Do Good”. The Know it All. The Dogmatist. The Loud Mouth. The Synthesizer. The Promoter.The Moralist. The Bigot. The Encyclopedia. Ms./Mr. Opinionated. The Teacher. The Guide. The Proselytizer.

Wherever we find Sagittarius in our birth chart, we confront the need to find meaning.

What’s really being sought is a comprehensive view or philosophy which speaks to the order of the universe.

The intention is to teach, guide and amass the largest possible conception of truth through mental and physical travels while pondering large, existential questions which advance and enlarge the scope of discussion, thereby activating higher faculties of thought.

In the Sagittarius zone, we’re asked to use the right brain, intuitive and holistic faculties which give rise to inspired insights. While Gemini symbolizes the dictionary, which defines, Sagittarius represents the encyclopedia, which expands on the definition and provides a larger framework in which it can operate. In Gemini, we question from a localized perspective. In Sagittarius the adventure now takes off to parts unknown as to test, theorize or speculate about the facts ascertained.

When functioning constructively, Sagittarius becomes what Astrologer Caroline Casey refers to as an “Intellectual Collage Artist”, taking what are seemingly disparate parts of information and synthesizing them with the purpose of helping others to see the bigger picture more clearly and honestly.

Over-functioning or in a disintegrated state, Sagittarius energy becomes an exercise in intellectual self-righteousness. While preaching and espousing tolerance, Sagittarius’ actions, when disintegrated, suggest a “missionary” who feels that he/she comes with “good will” to browbeat and win you over to their way of thinking. Also, there’s a tendency to loudly (and annoyingly) proclaim pure opinions which aren’t supported by any particular factual basis. only an overheated evangelical zeal.

Synthesis

So, what does a constructive navigation of the Gemini-Sagittarius Axis look like?

An honest appreciation of logic, while making room for intuitive insights which come by way of inspiration. Well reasoned and comprehensive arguments which are developed as a result of fact-checking and objective analysis. A realization that to have all of the answers isn’t the marker of wisdom as much as keeping one’s mind open to a vast array of possibilities, and also understanding that truth can be conveyed through many perspectives and languages, and the best teachers are the most receptive students. To navigate the Gemini-Sagittarius axis successfully, we must realize that when we arrive at an ultimate or unyielding conclusion, the conversation is most likely over or close to being so.

We may ALL do very well to take a page out of the book of  Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) as to how he handled Nina Mosley’s (Nia Long) question in the film “Love Jones” when she asked : “You have all the answers, don’t you?”

To which he replied: Mmm   mmm….”Just the questions”.

Notes: “Essays On Psychological Astrology: Theory & Practice” by Glenn Perry

Oppositions in the Natal Chart: Aspects of Awareness

Whether you’re fluent in the language of Astrology or someone who is just starting on your journey, you may be familiar with Astrological aspects, which are relationships between planets.

It may get your wheels turning to view the dynamics of these relationships similar to the ones we share with other human beings: some are free-flowing, while others may be tense or challenging. Depending on where we choose to place our focus, certain relationships can also be growth inducing or stagnating, but virtually all of them have the potential of bringing something into our field of vision that wasn’t present before.

Claudius Ptolemy, who was a Greco-Roman Astronomer, Astrologer and Mathematician, presented five “major” aspects in his highly influential work “Tetrabiblos”, which went on to be known as the “major” aspects : the conjunction, opposition, square, trine and sextile. It needs to be said that there are more aspects, but these are the ones that are most commonly discussed at large.

When we look at oppositions in our birth chart there can be a “tug of war” or “seesaw” vibe because opposing parts of our psyche are seeking integration and reconciliation. Keep in mind that manifestation of this aspect can occur (and usually does) on both an internal and external level.

Often, there is some type of “shift” brewing and a compromise needs to take place in order to balance ourselves. I like what Astrologer Sue Tompkins (Aspects in Astrology) said about oppositions in comparing them to the doorbells of the front and back doors ringing simultaneously. In the moment, we feel as if we have to make a choice on which facet of our nature to honor at that particular time.

When looking at oppositions in a growth oriented manner, we approach the idea of making room for parts of ourselves that we may not readily see until we’re involved with another person, and in turn- that person serves as a mirror for qualities that are latent and underdeveloped within ourselves. As a matter of fact, they may be so malnourished that we go through a process of denying that they belong to us at all.

However, if we embrace oppositions in our chart as an opportunity to become more of what we already are, it opens up the potential of broadening our range of self-expression and living a more meaningful life. On an inner level, navigating oppositions successfully is like reuniting with an old friend that we haven’t seen for a long, long time.

Oppositions are noticeable in the birth chart because they are usually between signs that are “opposite”, although I deem them as more complimentary: Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio,  Gemini-Sagittarius, Cancer-Capricorn, Leo-Aquarius, and Virgo-Pisces.

There can also be out of sign oppositions depending on how the degrees fall in the various signs.

Take a look at the oppositions in your birth chart if you have any.

If you feel  like you’re struggling with them, ask yourself what the universe is seeking to illuminate or bring into your awareness. Is there something that you refuse to accept? Are you receiving repeated and similar observations from those outside of you which merit consideration?

The magic of Astrology is often not in the clear-cut, definite answers that it provides, but in the insightful and meaningful questions that it produces.

Astrological Aspects: The Tension of Squares in the Natal Chart

Squares

Amongst the sea of Astrological writing in books and on the internet, there seems to be a continuation of the view that when it comes to Astrological aspects: conjunctions are “neutral”, trines and sextiles are “good”, while oppositions and squares are “bad”.

I even notice when the “hard” aspects are written about in Astro cookbooks, the author seems to always head in the direction which doesn’t outline the developmental potential between the meetings of planets, but rather reels into a bleak and dismal fate to which we must resign ourselves regarding our relationships, communication skills or our identities.

I would like to offer another view on squares and put forth the theory that very little gets accomplished without the tension which the aspect suggests. When the word “tension” is used, this somehow triggers an anxiety filled image in people where they think something will be hoisted on them that they won’t be able to handle.

Let’s close our eyes for a minute and picture a trip to the gym for an exhilarating exercising of our muscles. Think about what your body feels like when you murmur to yourself:

“That was a damn good workout.”

We feel invigorated and empowered through the challenges we were able to face in the gym because we summoned the intestinal fortitude necessary to confront the obstacles that the workout provided.

In our natal charts, squares are there to test our capabilities. What we need to understand is: if we face up to what’s being presented to us concerning the principles that the planets in question represent, we can become a much more skillful navigator through the terrains of those energies. Another thing we need to realize it that this takes WORK. No one is saying that this is an easy ride, or there won’t be periods of time where we may feel defeated or stuck.

However, this doesn’t have to be the final outcome and there are several people, who have achieved to great heights in which squares are prominent in their birth charts, to illustrate this point.

Tension allows our “muscles” to become stronger and enhances their capacity to recover more quickly. These muscles can be those of the body, mind, heart or spirit.

Mind you, if you’re the type of person who seeks to take the path of least resistance or avoid anything which demands MORE than a minimal effort from you, there may be a problem.

If we’re truly looking to develop our capacities, as illustrated in our natal charts, to their fullest, it’s advisable that we re-examine the idea of an “easy” life. If what we desire is meaning and fulfillment, it’s important to consider that some of us may have to go “to hell and back” to discover it, but those excursions may provide a much richer existence than accepting a fabricated fate that “things are just going to be how they are.”

Please consider that the squares contained in your birth chart can be a tremendous asset to keep you motivated. You may have a bundle of energy that just needs to be released in an appropriate direction in order to assist you in providing the life that you deserve.

Photo: dbusted.com.au

Do You Have Planets Aspecting the Midheaven?

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Just to review briefly, a conjunction is an aspect which suggests unity. Whatever planets are involved in the configuration work together as a unit and the energies are blended. I like what Astrologer Sue Tompkins (Aspects In Astrology) had to say about this aspect:

“When (a conjunction is) exact, it’s rather like having two bells struck simultaneously, it’s difficult to differentiate the sound of either one.”

In this particular birth chart above, we’re looking at a relatively tight conjunction between the planet Uranus and the Midheaven (MC). The MC symbolizes what your ultimate aims are out in the world and is connected to one’s vocation or calling. Anytime you have a planet making contact with this point,  there is the suggestion that the archetype which the planet represents somehow needs to be incorporated in public aspirations or one’s career path.

So, the next step would be to examine the planetary symbolism of Uranus: breaking free from cultural boundaries, operating independently, inciting change, innovation, unconventionality, and deviation from the “norm” in ideas.

Blend these energies with the MC and we have someone whose career path may be unconventional in some way. Someone who may serve in a freelance or consulting capacity or work with technology in some form. Also, we’re looking at a portrait of a person who must infuse their  uniqueness and individuality into their profession. It must be an extension of who they feel they are.

If you have a planet conjunct (or making other aspects) to the Midheaven (MC), take some time to investigate the symbolism of that planet and think about the need to be a “public representative” for the energies of that planet. You may derive an entirely different picture of your life’s calling.

Meditate on how you may “breathe” the life of the planet in question into your work.

Do You Have Planets Aspecting The North Node?

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Through research and experience, I’ve found the Nodal axis (South Node/North Node) to be one of the most interesting and telling points in the birth chart when it comes to our overall life themes and direction.

For those of you who may be new to Astrology, the nodes aren’t planets or physical bodies, but rather astronomical or mathematical points which represent points on the Moon’s orbit around the Earth.

Typically, the North Node (which looks similar to a set of headphones) is described as one’s ultimate life direction or a suggestion of new energy to be digested in order to fully actualize one’s potential. While, the South Node (which looks like the same headphones, but just upside down) suggests a point of strength, but also one of potential overindulgence or dependence, which needs to be balanced and re-oriented to serve the needs of the North Node.

When interpreting birth charts, it’s important to view the nodes as an axis. In some Astrological literature, you may read that the South Node is “bad” and needs to be avoided, while the North Node is “good” and should be pursued exclusively without thought to it’s operational base.

I like what Astrologer Kevin Burk has to say about balancing the nodal axis:

“The true process of the North Node is not about turning our back on the past. The North Node is about taking stock of the past, honoring it, working with it, building on it and learning how to use it in a new way.”

One potential meaning of having a planet or planets conjunct (this could also be applicable to other aspects) the North Node is that the planetary energies in question hold clues to how we’re able to ultimately express the combined energy of our nodal axis in a way which allows us to maintain the riches stored in the South Node and stretch and develop North Node faculties as a means of personal growth.

JupiterNN

Using the chart above as an example, you can see that Jupiter is tightly conjoined to the North Node. This suggests that the “tapping into” Jupiterian energies is essential for this individual to actualize their ultimate potential.

Astrologer Elizabeth Spring :

” A planet conjunct the North Node is a piece of North Node medicine. There’s something about what this planet embodies that you need to bring into your life more.”

If you have planets making aspects to your North Node, think about the myriad of ways that you may be able to consciously include their archetypical meaning and expression into your life in order to become what you were meant to be.

References:

The Complete Node Book: Understanding Your Life’s Purpose by Kevin Burk

North Node Astrology: Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose by Elizabeth Spring

Leo and Self-Esteem

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(photo credit : blacknews.com)
Leo energy suggests an inclination toward gaining notice from others and being appreciated for being irreplaceable. 
The validation of one’s identity for being  unique is a central theme.
Planets placed in Leo suggest fulfillment through finding a creative channel as to express distinctly creative gifts to the world at large. Often, the word ‘validation’ gets distorted.  A dangerously inaccurate picture of a person seeking approval from anyone they can find can be developed if we’re not careful. On some level, we all need affirmation that who we are is okay. No woman or man is an island.
To a greater or lesser degree,  we all depend on others to provide this “feedback” to us .The importance of maximizing Leo placements comes with knowing how much weight to assign to the praise or criticism of other people.
There are potentially two extremes here : denying our needs to be affirmed, cherished, recognized and appreciated altogether- or living for the limelight and the lavish praise at the exception of almost everything else. It’s important to find a balance here.Neither of these extremes are healthy in order to produce the type of self-esteem that we need to be a human being that functions at optimum level.
  In his book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”, Nathaniel Branden  refers to Self-Esteem as the “immune system of consciousness” and goes on to say that it’s one of the realities that we can’t avoid. WE NEED IT. We can’t be indifferent to our self-evaluation
Branden goes on to give a more elaborate definition:

Self-esteem, fully realized, is the experience that we are appropriate to life and the requirements of life. More specifically, self-esteem is:

1. Confidence in our ability to think, confidence in our ability to cope with the basic challenges of life.

2. Confidence in our right to be successful and happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants, achieve our values and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

One of the grand themes for Leo is being able to make the make the distinction between authentic and pseudo self-esteem.

The Leo archetype is bold and fiery. It WANTS to be NOTICED. We must remove the notions from our minds that there’s  something inherently “wrong” with this.

I would say that it’s more about what you want to be noticed FOR. In this society, we somehow place more value on the sentiment of wanting to be meek and humble and wait for our rewards some distant day in the future. Thinking that the world will be kind enough to notice us. This may or may NOT happen.

The honorable Marcus Garvey,(Sun in Leo) said it so eloquently:

“We, because of our peculiar understanding in life, have accepted the strange, and often dangerous idea that to be meek and humble is to merit God’s blessing. To the contrary, to be meek and humble is to merit God’s curse.”

The food for thought here is that  possessing GENUINE confidence doesn’t require refusal to acknowledge the abundance that life has bestowed on us. It’s more of an inner recognition of the certainty of our ability to carve out our place in the world.

What’s our measuring stick or navigating tool for deciphering how close we are to possessing authentic self-esteem?

Nathaniel Branden lays down some markers well worth considering in his acclaimed book “The Psychology of Self Esteem”

“But a healthy self esteem gives a man an inestimable weapon in dealing with errors: since his own value and the efficacy of his mind are not in doubt, since he does not feel that reality is his enemy, he is free to bring the full of his intellectual powers and knowledge to the task of identifying facts and dealing with problems. The foundation of his consciousness is secure, so to speak.”

“An individual who develops healthily derives intense pleasure from the work of his mind, from the achievements which that work makes possible. Feeling confident of his ability to deal with the facts of reality , he will want a challenging, effortful, creative existence. Creativeness will be his highest love, whatever his level of intelligence.

“Feeling confident in his own value, he/she will be drawn to self-esteem in others; what he will desire most in human relationships is the opportunity to feel admiration; he will want to find men/women and achievements he can respect , that will give him the pleasure which his own character and achievements can offer others.”

“In the psychology of a man  or woman of authentic self-value, there is no clash between the recognition of the facts of reality and the preservation of his/her self-esteem- since (s)he bases his/her self-esteem on his/her determination to know and act in accordance with the facts of reality as (s)he understands them.”

On the flip side, we have the counterfeit version of self-esteem:

“Pseudo self-esteem, an irrational pretense at self-value, is a non rational, self-protective device to diminish anxiety and to provide a spurious sense of security- to assuage a need for authentic self-esteem while allowing the real causes of its lack to be evaded.”

” A man’s pseudo- self esteem is maintained by two means, essentially: by evading, repressing, rationalizing and otherwise denying ideas and feelings that could affect his self-appraisal adversely; and by seeking to derive his sense of efficacy and worth from something other than rationality, some alternative value or virtue which he experiences as less demanding or more easily attainable such as “doing ones duty”, or being stoical or altruistic or financially successful or sexually attractive.”

“To the man of pseudo self-esteem, reality appears as a threat, as an enemy; he feels, in effect, that it’s reality OR his self-esteem-since his pretense at self-esteem is purchased at the price of evasion, of entrenched areas of blindness, of cognitive self-censorship.”

The choice is essentially ours on how we use any particular sign and planetary energies.

Planetary placements in Leo are ripe for examining issues within which propel us toward, or inhibit us from becoming more of our authentic selves.

Gemini Sun, Leo Moon, Aquarius Rising

naturalbelle:
“ I Want Her Hair!
”

Photo Credit :  thewigwitch

The freedom to circulate like air fuels your vitality. The sooner you recognize your many facets and realize that it’s impossible for you to be trapped in any type of box- the better.

Your emotional needs center around issues of self-confidence and honest acceptance of your uniqueness. You must feel validated from the inside in order to be fulfilled. Much of your life’s journey is about exercising youthful curiosity and asking the right questions, which will yield useful information and expanded understanding.

The primary lens through which you process your experience is one which challenges what some would refer to as “customary” or “normal”.

For you, the status quo is something to be questioned at all costs. You seek to serve and uplift humanity on a large scale and will find that exercising your ability for objective detachment will allow you to see people and issues from a much wider view, which automatically increases everything you’re able to take into your storehouse.

For your being to illuminate, it’s important that you feel literate in the most authentic sense. To be engaged in that which stimulates you energizes your life force . Even if you come across ideas which may be “conflicting” , you somehow have a knack for understanding and navigating life’s dualities.

For you, the key component which needs to be incorporated is genuine self-esteem.  That is, the ability to develop your personal identity and subsequently attach a value to it. Do you like what you see? How do you feel about what you’re becoming?

Because the work of the Gemini Sun is done through the Leo Moon, your specialness must be solidified and enjoyed before you can do the work of exploring all of your dimensions. It’s also important to recognize that rejection of certain parts of yourself can limit your capacity to connect with others and this will debilitate that Aquarius rising “common touch” that you would regularly display under more healthy circumstances.

Enjoy being yourself with all of your quirks, never stop asking relevant questions and use differences in people as a vehicle to gain more understanding of yourself and others.