The spirit of Gemini is the part of me who was born to be a storyteller.
The spirit of Gemini is the part of me who came out of the womb with something important to say. Who, in that moment, dedicated her life to finding the right words to say it.
The spirit of Gemini is the part of me who came out of the womb gabbing about nothing important at all. The chatterbox who came equipped with fables, riddles, trick questions and unexpected answers for all occasions; from the most mundane circumstances, to the most dire, and everything in between.
Gemini has words for moments when words are impossible.
Funerals, suicide crises, mental health break-downs. Gemini has the power to talk themselves or their loved ones out of extreme situations of physical, emotional, interpersonal or state-sanctioned violence, when their survival depends on it. Gemini is better than a Hallmark card, ready and waiting to offer you the exact right phrase you didn’t know you desperately needed to hear on your birthday, anniversary, or when you’re having a bad day. Gemini brings a different silly anecdote, or juicy piece of gossip home everyday, no matter how uneventful their day was. So even if you are their partner for 20+ years, you know they’ll never bring you boring. They might forget to pick up the apple juice from the store you wanted – but at least they’ll have an entertaining story about why they forgot!
Gemini has words to get you through a break-up, to validate your greatest unseen accomplishments, to make you laugh when you can’t stop crying, and to piss you off when you think you’ve got them all figured out.
Gemini is the part of me who as a kid would never let my Dad watch his action movies in peace. Who’s that? What are they doing? Why? Okay. But why? Where are they going? Until his Capricorn-Moon patience would finally snap and he’d burst in Bengali: Aré!! Dheko Na! In other words: Just watch and find out, already!
The spirit of Gemini is the part of me who as a teenager could fool my friends to believe that the boring Friday night I spent at home because I wasn’t allowed to go out (#brownteenagegirlproblems) was actually fabulous, mystical, awe-inspiring, and holy shit wacky – just because I could make anything sound interesting.
Gemini is the part of me who as a kid dealt with racist and misogynist bullying at school by telling stories to my family about how I was sooo popular, with several boyfriends. I lied about what happened to me, because the real truth was that I was fabulous to the core. Gemini is the part of me who pretended to understand the rich, white kids’ cultural references that went way over my head. Who instinctively knew how to code switch and tell tall-tales to mask my disabilities. The alternative story of me being stupid or weak was not on the table.
Gemini is the part of me that’s a playwright and poet and performer and producer and choreographer and creative coach and astrologer and activist and educator and healer and crazy-cat-mama-lady. Who is currently writing a play that’s a mix of theatre and dance and poetry and biography and mythology and video and song and astrology and burlesque and spell-casting.
Psst, wanna support said play about this true Gemini soul?? Come to this astronomical dance party fundraiser for my play in progress, Letters to the Universe!
Thanks to Max Lander for brilliant photography and Jenny Chan for beautiful graphic design!!
Gemini is also the part of me who kind of wants to switch careers and become a figure skating commentator. (Because I have tons to say about Patrick Chan.) Or maybe a coder/html programmer/professional nerd. But first, this summer I want to finally get around to that sewing 101 series (and get started on my dreams to one day launch my super sweet astrology themed fashion lined!), and also take defensive driving lessons, and also learn more about quantum physics from a feminist perspective, and also beef up my handy-femme skills so I can build my own shit.
Is your head spinning yet? Welcome to my Gemini-World!
Gemini is the third zodiac sign after Aries and Taurus. In a social justice/movements context, Aries is the front line warrior. Taurus is steadfast and stubborn, digging their hooves into the ground for what they value. Gemini is the journalist, the poet or novelist. The one who is gathering the kids for a fun afternoon of popular education and silly role-play theatre activities on serious issues.
Like journalists, filmmakers, writers and teachers, Gemini has the gift of gathering facts and stories, arranging them in rhythms and shapes that make us feel, love, desire. To communicate something significant about where we are, and where we want to go.
Gemini is one of the four mutable signs, along with Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
Mutable signs deeply feel the awe, the overwhelm, the enormity, and the infinite endlessness of their respective elements (air, earth, fire, water). Each of them have a different default emotion they resort to when experiencing this.
Virgo resorts to anxiety and worry: Fuck, the work is never done! The to-do list never ends! Sagittarius is prone to (sometimes impractical) optimism and overextension: ALL THESE NEW THINGS I WANT TO DO ARE SO GREAT AND I CAN DO IT ALL!!! Pisces falls into helplessness, fantasy, and escape: sooo many feeelingss…need to check-the-fuck-out…
Gemini embodies the enormity of the element of air: the infinity of knowledge, language and thought. Like, there are an infinite number of ways to communicate an idea. An infinite number of fields of knowledge, and sub-fields of knowledge, that influence and shape the world. An infinite number of realities, truths and perspectives that exist in the universe, and probably even in ourselves. There are so many youtube rabbit holes you could disappear into at 3am on a Wednesday night. Gemini’s default emotion is like this never ending ferris wheel fluctuating between super hyper boundless enthusiasm for any-one-thing, and an incredible restless depressed boredom for getting stuck for too long in any-one-thing.
Alright, I’ll say it. Don’t think I haven’t noticed all the Gemini hate out there! So many rumours and stereotypes about us Geminians! Like we’re flaky, inconsistent, two-faced and un-trustworthy because we’d rather charm the pants off of you than tell the truth.
I don’t believe it’s useful to speak about any zodiac sign with these kinds of surface stereotypes. Every sign, every person, has something inside of them that can hurt other people. That same quality can be used for good.
The characteristics of zodiac signs are harmless and benign in and of themselves. It all depends on how you are channeling the energy. And of course, as is the purpose of this blog series, I believe in finding ways to understand, love, and positively harness all the energies of the zodiac, because we each carry every sign’s energy somewhere in ourselves, even if in stronger or weaker proportion.
So let’s talk about being inconsistent, flaky and two-faced.
How many television shows did you watch this year? How many television episodes did you watch this week? How many books have you read in your lifetime? Movies? How many Ted-Talks have you watched? How many interviews would you listen to with your favourite celebrity/writer/activist/singer? How many songs do you love? How many song lyrics speak your life?
Most of us don’t read just one book and then say: Welp, now I know what a book is like. Why would I ever read another one?
As writers and storytellers, there are maybe seven (give or take) general kinds of stories we could tell. Stories of love and loss. Redemption and betrayal. The search for family and identity. You get the picture.
But there are endless ways to tell a love story. The details within a story – that’s where the magic happens. That’s how we realize something we didn’t know about ourselves or other human beings. That’s how we build the capacity to hold compassion for ourselves and others.
And it’s not like, once we read one book about loss, we know everything about the topic. We need many, many stories about loss — stories we listen to and stories we tell — to even begin to understand its impact on the world and in ourselves.
The truth is, we need thousands upon thousands of stories to live, to feel alive, to support us as we change and grow. We crave stories, whether those are communicated through music, live theatre, the screen, lectures, printed words, in public or private conversation. We hunger for stories to help us feel connected, moved, to open ourselves to possibilities. To learn something different and be changed from who we were a minute ago.
This is the spirit of Gemini. It’s not that Gemini is incapable of being committed or honest (as many of us are quite capable…*ahem*). Gemini isn’t dishonest as much as they are always feeling and fluttering between simultaneous, contradictory, multiple truths. They are highly aware of the necessity of engaging with an infinite number of stories and perspectives throughout their lifetime – to feel connected, moved, to open themselves to possibilities, learn and be changed from who they were a minute ago.
Some of the most rewarding work I’ve done over the last several years is in curating arts series’ and projects’ mainly for fellow QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Colour) to have a space to tell our own stories, express our voices, and create our own languages.
One of the (many) ways that the WSCCAP (the white supremacist colonial capitalist ableist patriarchy) has been so terrifying is because it has stolen our stories. Our languages. It targets our means of communicating with each other because that also targets our ability to come together and resist.
There are so many ways today that our languages are lost, scared and hiding somewhere in our bodies and cellular memory. In so many ways are our tongues silenced, gas-lit, bound, and not believed when we use them. There are so many wounds we hold in our voices, collective and individual. In return, the WSCCAP has given us bullshit violent stories that we learned and internalized about ourselves, our families, our communities, our right to be here. They clog our freedom like garbage in our throats.
Sometimes the most empowering thing we can do, is reclaim our voices for ourselves. In this way, Gemini is endlessly devoted to language. Its wounds and its triumphs. Dedicated to deconstructing, re-imagining, learning and un-learning language. Fluttering between the simultaneous contradictory truth of this thing within ourselves that has all at once been so destroyed, and never truly broken.
A postcard I made dedicated to my Thakuma (Grandma)…she spoke Bengali, I speak English, but we always found a way to communicate.
In Greek mythology, the symbol of Castor and Pollux is associated with Gemini. I’ll tell you a story about these twins in true Gemini fashion – partly from what I’ve read, partly from what I’ve been told, and partly from what I can’t remember and made up myself.
Castor and Pollux were shit disturbers and tricksters. Goofy, annoying, adorable, hell-raiser little siblings. They were always bouncing around, causing mischief, switching identities, attempting to one-up each other with word games and riddles, playing pranks on the other gods and goddesses. (And let me tell you, I’ve gotten in deep trouble for some of the pranks I’ve pulled over the years…)
Libra, like I wrote in my earlier column, is about the energy of searching for a life-partner, an equal to collaborate with and build a life with. Gemini is more about the search for a partner in crime. Someone to wreak havoc with. Make mayhem and magic with. Be ridiculous with. Be dangerous with.
So one day Castor and Pollux pranked the wrong deity and Zeus got hella mad. They crossed a line and he decided they needed to be separated. So while Pollux was allowed to stay in the heavens, Castor was banished to the underworld.
Of course, this is the most devastating and cruel thing you can do to a Gemini spirit: separate them from their twin. Because they were such magicians with words, Castor and Pollux found a loophole within this arrangement. Pollux convinced Zeus to allow him to give up half is immortality and share it with Pollux, so they could spend half a year together in between the two realms, on earth.
This is what it’s like to be a Gemini. An internal ferris wheel that never stops moving, traveling between heaven, hell and earth. A dance between the worst thing that has ever happened to you, that you can never recover from, and the part of yourself that has never known what it’s like to be broken.
A dizzying pendulum, perpetually swinging from the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. And earth, in between: that sweet spot where contradictions are reconciled, the absurd is integrated into the mundane, and devastation is a funny story we lived through. Where magic happens and impossible things are true. A place that is fleeting and transitory, that zooms by so quickly you think maybe you’re crazy or imagined it all, but it’s just as fleeting and transitory as heaven or hell.
As my own Gemini birthday approaches, I find myself caught in the epicentre of this relentless cycle. I have never been someone who is humble about my birthday. I go all out, celebrate hard, I show-off who I am, and I happily receive an abundance of praises and gifts. In my heart I carry a deep respect for birthdays, and life itself. It’s probably why I’m an astrologer – it’s my purpose to help myself and everyone fall in love with who we are, and with the adventure we were brave enough to embark on, the moment we took our first breath.
At the same time I have struggled, like I know many of us have/do, with not wanting to be here. Feeling like I wasn’t meant for this plane of existence. Like it was a mistake to come here. My birthday reminds me of the grief I have for kind of not wanting something, that I WANT to want, so fucking bad. My birthday reminds me of the insane and insane-making multiplicity that can exist in any one solitary thing. Like a body struggling with cancer: the same body is both sustaining a life and attacking it from the inside. Like celebrating the fact that I was born and made it to 32 years on the same weekend that suicide threats from people close to me were hovering over my head; the same weekend that 49 precious lives were devastatingly murdered in Orlando.
So what can you do, and where can you go, with all this inconsolable madness?
Gemini answers with just one question. What did you learn?
This question has saved me every time I’ve experienced abuse, violence, shame, caused harm; every time I’ve been lost in a riptide of depression, crisis, break-down. What did I learn from this experience? I can’t stop that it happened or that it’s happening. But I do have the opportunity to learn about who I am because of it. In spite of it.
It doesn’t mean that it’s okay. It’s not some simple cliché, like everything happens for a reason.
Rather, by asking ourselves what we learned and are learning from any situation, this is what keeps us from being powerless. It reminds us that we have agency in our choices even when we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. What is there for me to learn from this particular impossible moment? There is always something. There is never nothing.
Gemini gives us the gift of curiosity. What if we leaned into curiosity every time we were hurt, call-out, experienced conflict, were triggered or harmed? The spirit of Gemini doesn’t hold blame, resentment, or judgement for any of it; it doesn’t want to fix anything, it just wants to learn about it. Gemini is enthralled, in love, with the fact that we can learn something from any awful, amazing or unremarkable situation.
Whatever is on your heart, dear readers, this Gemini season I urge you to be curious about what you learned and are learning.
Are you learning about setting boundaries? Are you learning about taking risks? Are you learning about trusting yourself? Are you learning about your breaking point? Are you learning about what you desire? Are you learning to believe?
Are you learning to let your heart expand with every surprising word you discover about love, loss, celebration and devastation? Are you learning to fill yourself, be bigger and deeper, with every part of who you are, crazy contradictory truths and all?
The spirit of Gemini builds a playful, awe-inspiring bridge in between heaven and hell, and always returns us back to earth. Where life is an adventure – sacred, but not that serious. Where we get to be both heroes and villains. Our shadow self and our higher self. The best and worst thing we ever did. Gods, goddesses, hell-raisers and humans. Forever in search of our other half, our twin soul, that sweet spot: where magic happens and impossible things are true. Where we are dangerous beyond measure.