I posted some brief thoughts to Facebook about Mercury’s ingress into Gemini on Monday. Today I’ve written about the Gemini New Moon. In honor of this season of the twins, it feels fitting to give them both space in one post here.


Not-quite-twins: a glass and its translucent shadow, cast on my journal. Photo by Amanda Painter.

More Than the Sum of Two Parts

In what areas of your life do you find it easier to hold a “both/and” mindset rather than just sliding right into “either/or” polarized thinking?

Mercury entered Gemini this morning: the first sign it rules, and the first sign of the zodiac to introduce both the theme of duality and a human symbol (the twins).

You’d never ask a parent, “Which of your twins do you love more,” would you? Surely the parent loves both equally, even though the two kids may be very different in temperament, preferences, even in physical appearance. The parent may appreciate each twin’s strengths and empathize with their difficulties in different ways, but there is no question about the “both/and” quality of love for them.

I expect to revisit some of these ideas as we arrive at the Gemini New Moon on Thursday, which is conjunct Venus (the planet of love, relationships, and receiving).

For now, I am genuinely curious: when do you find it easy to hold more than one thing to be true? When do you find it impossible or extremely difficult to do so?

Do you find it easier or harder to apply “both/and” thinking to yourself and your desires and actions? What about others’ desires and actions?

Three’s Company: The Gemini New Moon

About that “both/and” mentality, and how it can open up space for a “third option”: it looks like Thursday’s New Moon in Gemini  is bringing this theme into palpable focus. The New Moon is exact at 8:38 am EDT on June 6.

What we have is the Sun and Moon exactly conjunct Venus in Gemini. Just the Sun or Moon on its own conjunct Venus describes a positive, social vibe: enjoying those around you, and enjoying their appreciation of you in turn. Putting this triple conjunction in the generally communicative, quick, breezy sign of Gemini underscores these themes.

And yet…

The Sun, Moon, and Venus are all making contact with Saturn in a way that often suggests a dampening effect. Saturn is in Pisces, making a square aspect to the New Moon trio. Squares generally indicate a sense of inner tension and the need to resolve it by taking constructive action.

However, planets squaring Saturn can describe feeling restricted, pessimistic, or at the very least introspective. Depending on the real-life context of your responsibilities and relationships, you might find the “action” that best helps you to deal with feelings like this is some solo contemplation as you head into the weekend. It certainly would fit with the typically gentler energy of a New Moon.

And yet…

Who says you have to choose either extraversion or introversion this New Moon? What would it look like to do a little of both — maybe even simultaneously?

This could mean contentedly standing alone while at a packed outdoor music festival. Or making a string of phone calls to dear friends while on a long solo walk. Maybe it’s holding open the possibility that doing the uncomfortable thing might actually end up feeling really right somehow; or that refusing to choose between two options could allow space for a third possibility to emerge.

Mystery bud trio behind my apartment. Although two buds are in focus (so Gemini!), there’s that third one in the space between… Photo by Amanda Painter.

I also want to note that Saturn is conjunct a centaur planet named Nessus. Nessus relates to boundary transgressions — often those from the past, or patterns of such handed down through generations. Crucially, Nessus also points to an ability to “stop the buck” on patterns of transgression, and to enter into a healing process.

With Saturn being the planet of boundaries and authority, I am curious about a specific type of boundary transgression as it merges with Nessus and puts the squeeze on the Sun, Moon, and Venus. Saturn-Nessus has an internal relationship to this New Moon.

It calls to mind those moments when we allow an internalized voice of authority to tell us what we “should” do, want, need, or say — at the expense of what actually feels true for us. (Usually this is someone else’s voice, though we can mistake it for our own.)

I did a Soul Work session for a client on Tuesday in which this very dynamic came up. Although we were unpacking some precipitating events from almost 25 years ago in her session, these astrological themes were there (I didn’t register the astro association until I was writing this piece).

More importantly, we were able to uncover how the effects of those events were underpinning a present situation in her life that had felt inscrutable. She was able to come into self-forgiveness and peace where there had previously been deep shame — shame that was blocking her from doing what she needed and wanted to do now.

My client found a way to stop the buck — and feeling her way into a “both/and” mindset was part of the process: “I made a choice that went against my heart; and I made the choice that I needed to make at that time.”

You might not be wrestling with such significant or long-standing issues during this New Moon.

In fact, the rest of your week may well feel friendlier and more agile, quick in pace without being too stressful. (Though I swear Mercury’s encounter with Jupiter early in the week manifested in some magnified Trickster hijinks with technology and thoughts.) This New Moon could be an ideal time for planting some mutually beneficial seeds of social contact and open communication.

Perhaps, in the space between weightiness and levity, between deep reflection and buoyant expression, between “want” and “should,” the dynamic tension will reveal what has been true all along: You are always the point of reconciliation for your experiences.

And yet…

Sometimes we all need a reminder of what that “third” space — the space in between — looks like, and how it feels.   

With love,


Simplified chart section for the Gemini New Moon conjunct Venus. I’ve included Mercury and Jupiter in early Gemini. They’re not in direct contact with the New Moon, but they are close to each other in Gemini, magnifying its themes of quick thoughts and communication. I also included Pluto in Aquarius, on the lower right, because Mercury and Jupiter have been in contact with it this week. It’s a harmonious contact, but likely describes the need to get under the surface of any distractions and hiccups have been coming up. You can see that the Sun, Moon, and Venus all have a bold “16” next to them, on the left; that 16 shows the conjunction (in what is properly called the 17th degree of Gemini). Saturn and Nessus are in Pisces on the upper right.

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