Today (Sunday), the Full Moon occurs at 11 degrees Gemini, opposite the Sun in Sagittarius.
With the Full Moon’s ruler, Mercury, Stationing Retrograde at the 29th crisis-oriented degree of Sag, while the Sun and Moon tightly square Neptune… which is trining Jupiter… this one is a weird one for sure, which I described further in my weekly forecast. Don’t jump to any conclusions or make hasty decisions. Exercise patience with your possible lack of focus, energy and motivation this weekend.
In this post, I want to talk about the twin symbolism of Gemini and how that speaks to the multiple sub-personalities we all have.
Mental health and psychology is a huge passion of mine, for both personal and professional reasons. If you have followed me for a while, you’ll know that I am always incorporating different psychological theories and tools into my astro forecasts.
Recently I have been exploring an approach called “Internal Family Systems” (IFS). It is a relatively new approach that has been achieving a lot of interest and success. I think it brings a unique and beautiful, compassionate lens to human nature and behavior.
It also is SO compatible with Astrology! It speaks to the Gemini within us all.
It’s foundational perspective is quite unique:
“IFS sees consciousness as composed of various “parts” or subpersonalities, each with its own perspective, interests, memories, and viewpoint.” (~Wikipedia)
IFS therapeutic intervention involves working with these parts, or subpersonalities, as if they were actually separate individuals.
No, this is not an approach designed specifically for people with multiple (or dissociative or borderline) personality disorder. It can be used to treat many different types of mental and emotional distress, as well as self-destructive behavior.
We ALL have multiple subpersonalities.
We can see this in our astrological natal charts. For example, I have a Leo rising, which speaks to the part of me that loves to be on stage, to be seen, to be performing, to be dramatic, to be sharing my creative expression with others in a public way.
But I also have a Pisces Sun in the 8th House, which speaks to the part of me that feels anxious and awkward in a group of people, or when I am the centre of attention.
Most natal charts have a certain amount of contradiction and tension, which reflects the interesting and diverse nature of our unique personalities.
However, contradiction and tension in a chart, or planets (i.e. subpersonalities/ parts of us) “afflicted” with difficult aspects, can become challenging for us to express when they get out of balance. When they cease to harmonize with our Whole Self. When they fracture off into extreme roles that cause us grief.
Gemini is a sign that really exemplifies both the dangers of when we don’t integrate our many parts, as well as the enormous potential when we can accept the different sides of our personality and act with both integrity and flexibility as a self-aware person.
Gemini’s most detrimental shadow expressions include: compulsive lying, manipulation, deception and “flexible ethics”. This is reflected in the twin symbolism of Gemini that often earns it the negative stereotype of being “two-faced”.
As demonstrated in the behavior of the current US president who has a Gemini Sun, this is a lower expression of Gemini, where there is a rupture among subpersonalities. The different parts are no longer acting in alignment.
There is internal division, internal imbalance, rather than integrated, multifaceted, multidimensional Wholeness. There is a lack of inner acceptance, honesty, and complementary harmony with one’s Core.
With insight, Gemini’s open-minded acceptance of multiplicity, paradox, and internal/external diversity, becomes an incredibly valuable gift that brings a deeper understanding of humanity.
The resourceful strengths of this sign can skillfully navigate us through the rocky terrain of the future that tends to become polarized along extreme borders of belief.
We refer to the twins as one unit in astrology – as “Gemini”. However, Gemini’s origin myth refers to the twins as Pollux and Castor. Pollux was born immortal, while Castor was born mortal.
The Castor twin reflects our human nature, while the Pollux twin reflects our inherent divinity. We are both immortal souls accessing the wisdom of the universe… and fleshy, vulnerable, beautiful animal creatures often driven by our survival and attachment needs.
Can we unite them without negating either one? There are different versions of the Pollux and Castor myth, but the various conclusions reflect the desire of the two twins to bridge the separation between them in order to be together, to be undivided; to be “Whole”.
As Jupiter continues its yearlong scavenging through the darkness of Scorpio and forms an enlightening trine with Neptune this weekend, can we gain a deeper understanding of our shadow parts and integrate them into our Wholeness?
We often talk of Scorpio when we talk of shadow work (i.e. facing and healing the parts of yourself that you do not like), but I think Gemini’s symbolism has a lot to contribute to that conversation.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” (~ Carl Jung)
When we refuse to “see” or address a certain part of our self, this “part” or subpersonality, gains greater power and control over us, and can influence our lives to an disconcerting extent.
The deeper I go into psychology, the more I am aware of how much of what we do in life is done without full conscious control. When we integrate all our “parts” into a healthy Whole, we are liberated to live out our authentic selves in the world. And honestly, what could be more amazing than that!
In a similar way to how our astro natal chart can indicate what parts of ourselves need more focused integration, IFS works to help people gently negotiate with their “different parts” – literally as if these subpersonalities were members of an “internal family” (hence the name).
One of the features that sets IFS apart is that, unlike many other therapeutic interventions, it does not try to “force” change by treating some mental/ emotional state or behavior as inherently bad and as something to be condemned and purged from the individual.
This is where its compassionate therapeutic power lies:
“A core tenet of IFS is that every part has a positive intent for the person, even if its actions or effects are counterproductive or cause dysfunction. This means that there is never any reason to fight with, coerce, or try to eliminate a part; the IFS method promotes internal connection and harmony.” ~ Wikipedia
For example, many of our parts that we dislike may have begun expressing themselves in an extreme way in an effort to protect us, as is the case with many self-destructive behaviors (or behaviors that do harm to others). It may make little sense on the surface, but there is always some sort of understandable rationale and logic behind even the most detrimental of behaviors, despite how misguided or counterproductive these actions or internal responses and narratives may first appear in respect to the original aim.
I have quoted Palmer Parker several times before, but here again, his writing is relevant:
“”Don’t come to [people with depression] with cheap encouragement of the sort some people tried on me: ‘But, Parker, you’re such a good guy! You’ve helped so many people, you’ve written such good books, you’ve given such good talks. Can’t you fall back on all of that and pull yourself out of this hole?’”
“When you hear something like that at a time in your life when you’re feeling like a worm, when you’ve totally lost your sense of self, what you say to yourself is something like this: “I guess I’ve defrauded one more person. If they ever understood that I’m really not a good guy, and that all that stuff I’ve written and said is meaningless, of absolutely no utility now, they would reject me and cast me into the outer darkness.”
“…After my first depression, which was in my mid-forties, it took me ten years to feel that it was well integrated enough that I could begin to write and speak about it. Only then did I have the ability to say, “Yes, I am all of the above. I am my darkness and I am my light. I am a guy who spent months cowering in a corner with the shades pulled down, as well as a guy who can get on stage in front of several thousand physicians and deliver some challenging messages. I am all of that, and I don’t need to hide any of it.” (~Palmer Parker)
I think this is such an important message. He speaks of that feeling when someone expresses admiration, or love and affection, or attraction, and inwardly we recoil thinking: “Oh, but if you only knew the true me with all its imperfections… you’d reject me.”
We all have many parts, many selves. Sometimes when the parts that we dislike are dominating our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, it is easy to devalue the expression of parts that we DO like and resonate with, as being somehow fake, invalid – fraud selves.
Accept it ALL.
It isn’t easy. Most of us would rather hide or ignore parts of ourselves. Remember that everyone in the world is in the same boat.
Even with the parts of ourselves that create distress in our life, Carl Rogers has some timeless words of wisdom:
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change.”
As this strange, confusing, Mercury-Retrograde-ruled, Neptunian-influenced, Gemini Full Moon peaks, bring gentle love and curiosity to those parts of you that appear to undermine fulfillment in your life.
Why do these parts act the way they do? Proceed on the assumption that there is a legit positive intent at the root.
Get to know your many selves.
When we face our shadows, when we uncover truths about ourselves, we can move toward integration and wholeness by elevating the Core Self. And as Parker pointed out in his own life, through entering into this process of integration, acceptance, and healing, we are better positioned to support others in the same process.
I often marvel at how many people have gone through horrible things and yet seem to completely lack empathy for people dealing with similar issues. For example, I overheard a neighbor recently ripping into his young (distraught) teenage son for being a wimp because he was embarrassed to go to school with a bad haircut. Regardless of whether or not this is a legit excuse for not going to school or not, the father’s reaction was very harsh and shaming.
I was surprised, but not surprised, to learn that the father had a history of being brutally bullied throughout his school history.
I believe this lack of empathy usually reflects a lack of self-awareness, integration and healing. If someone has not come to terms with a struggle, a period of life where they felt vulnerable, weak, and ashamed, they will have little compassion for others in the same situation. They will simply project their dislike of that part of themselves that they are denying, onto the other person.
Seriously. If we all accepted our Gemini multiplicity, harnessed the transformative courage of Scorpio to face our shadow selves, and moved toward the integration and expression of authentic wholeness, the world would be a much kinder place.
By providing additional tools and language to facilitate internal integration, IFS has a lot to offer Astrology.
By making our inner workings and the map of our psyche visible and tangible through the placements of planets in our natal charts, Astrology has a lot to offer IFS. You can begin learning how to interpret your birth chart here.
Singer-songwriter, Alanis Morrisette, recently interviewed the creator of IFS (Richard Schwartz) on a recent podcast (episode 9). It’s an engaging discussion about IFS that is perfect if you are just learning more about it.
For a very insightful and thought-provoking article by Dr. Schwartz, check out “Facing Our Dark Side: Some Forms of Self-Compassion Are Harder than Others“.
To work through this approach on your own, you can check out the “Self-Therapy Workbook: An Exercise Book For The IFS Process”, by Bonnie J. Weiss.
You can also watch an interview with Dr. Schwartz here (the animated explanation in the first 5 minutes is very helpful).
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