If you've already read the first three parts in this series on inconjuncts (quincunxes) then you can continue reading otherwise you can click here for a general introduction to inconjuncts.
Scorpio and Gemini: Key Concepts
The most illuminating quote I found that could help decipher the Gemini-Scorpio inconjunct is:
“The Diabolical is the Underside of the Divine.”
However, if you would like more to sink your teeth into then read on…
Darkness and light. Light twin/dark twin. Seeds need darkness to grow. Seeds also need light to grow. Joy/despair. Dark Mother. Dark Twin. Death by Ego (Scorpio). Death of Troublesome Twin (Gemini). Tight rope walking between heaven and hell, joy and despair, sensuality and spirituality, love and hate. Selling your soul to the Devil (Faust/Scorpio). Invulnerability and vulnerability. Pluto/Hades (traditional ruler of Scorpio) lives in the Underworld and is invisible while Hermes aka Mercury (traditional ruler of Gemini) is the only god allowed to venture into Hades’ realm. He can fly between Mount Olympus where the gods live and down to the Underworld where the secrets of death and darkness lie. Gemini = knowledge, conceptualizing and compartmentalizing data while Scorpio is beyond the grasp of knowledge/conceptualization/compartmentalization.
Gemini = unconscious mind playing tricks on us. Scorpio = failure (or success?) at relinquishing control and how our ties to a past more ancient than ourselves can sabotage the soul’s efforts to move forward. The power of the reptilian brain to keep us tied to old worn-out ways (Scorpio/Root Chakra).
Demons/enemies in the world “out there” = Dark Twin/Dark Mother. Since ego doesn’t like ambivalence it refuses to see its own part in setting up scenarios with Dark Mothers and Dark Twins. Must accept these shadows as part of the fabric of our own being. Both deeply ambiguous signs that need to learn how to straddle darkness and light without precluding one or the other. Subtlety, psychology, mining, navel gazing, depth. Nuances, hints, inferences. Detectives. Sleuths (human nature detectives).
Scorpio is a feminine, yin sign ruled by the water element and related to Ida nadi in yogic physiology (one of the body’s three main energy channels). Gemini is a masculine, yang sign ruled by the air element and related to Pingala nadi in yogic physiology.
The idea is that Kundalini, the spiritual-sexual life force travels up the central channel, Shushumna nadi, in the awakened being. Ida and pingala nadi wrap around Shushumna nadi like two coiled serpents, likened to Hermes’ Caduceus in Western symbolic thought.
Feminine signs are related to Nature and Nature’s laws and the mystery of creation while masculine signs are related to the intellect, the spirit and the advance of civilisation (the civilizing face of the mind and spirit).
Quincunxes are a way in which these two opposing principles can be worked through in the individual’s life.
On the surface Gemini and Scorpio may seem like they have nothing in common. Gemini is usually pegged as being witty, light-hearted, superficial and flighty while Scorpio is associated with death, darkness and the mysterious depths of the unconscious.
By highlighting these “obvious” differences, however, we can already see the secret links that these two signs share.
This is because darkness cannot be understood (or exist) without light.
Shadow vs. light, darkness vs. brightness, good vs. evil, wrong vs. right –all these binary oppositions infer that there is an inbuilt duality in our earthbound experience of “reality,” which explains why themes of light vs. dark and good vs. evil have kept mankind in thrall since the dawn of time.
By experiencing a world of opposites we move away from harmonious alignment, which only brings us back into connection with the Divine Source. Part of our experience here on earth is to learn about ourselves via our own contrariness and oppositeness and, with Gemini-Scorpio quincunxes, harmonising the light and the dark within becomes crucial.
The Significance of “Good” and “Evil” in the Scorpio-Gemini Quincunx
The constellation of Gemini, sign of the twins, is often thought to be the celestial representation of twins Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux) who were the sons of Leda and Zeus and Leda and her husband King Tyndareus of Sparta.
Leda became pregnant by both men and lays two eggs, one containing Castor and Klytaemnestra (both mortal) and the other egg containing Pollux and Helen (both divine).
One day Castor and Pollux were quarrelling with another set of twins and Castor was slain. Pollux appealed to Zeus to restore his brother’s life or to die and join him in the Underworld. As a compromise, Zeus granted them access to the underworld (Hades realm) on one day and Mount Olympus on the other.
The constellation is also associated with another set of twins, Zethus and Amphion, who were constantly at odds with one another. While x preferred sparring, hunting and sports (aka “masculine” activities), Amphion preferred poetry, dance and art (aka “feminine” activities) and was consequently teased by his brother for being “girly.”
In Gemini, there is often a battle between two disparate sides of oneself: masculine/feminine, spiritual/corporeal, negative/positive, emotional/ intellectual and although the tension between these two opposites may never go away, it is Gemini’s task to try and handle them more gracefully.
In his book The Dark Twin Ivor Morrish stated:
Whilst we have used the term “twins” in relation to the opposition of Good and Evil, it should be noted at the outset that many of the “doubles” in mythology relate simply to siblings, usually brothers, one of whom is “good” or does acceptable things and the other of whom is “bad” or a performer of actions regarded as “evil” or unacceptable in his society. Twins, however, have always been regarded as something special and, if not related directly to divinity, yet as possessing some unusual power or mana which works in opposition, rather like the positive or negative forces of electricity or the north and south poles of a magnet. There is, thus, in the concept of the twin a certain balance or equilibrium implied, a closeness and similarity without a complete identity; and ultimately, at least in mythology, a certain opposition is indicated which may lead through increasing hostility to an attempt by one twin to destroy the other.”
The constellation of Scorpio is imaged as a giant scorpion, believed to be the scorpion that Artemis (the virgin huntress) sent from the depths of the underworld to destroy the hunter Orion because he had offended her.
Besides Artemis, there is a whole host of offended female deities associated with the fixed water sign of Scorpio.
In one version of the myth, Medusa offends the goddess Athene and is turned into a hideous winged monster with gnashing teeth and serpent hair. Her gaze could turn men into stone.
Perseus is given the task of slaying the Medusa if he is to rescue his mother from marrying King Polydectes and so he sets off on a quest to slay the Medusa.
“Perseus is redeeming one feminine figure by conquering another darker one but both, in essence, are Mother and the personal mother can only be redeemed if the archetypal one is confronted.”
Scorpio is about freeing oneself from the darker face of Nature, or, “the reptilian face of instinctual life and feminine anger and hatred.”
Perseus is helped on his quest by several other deities. He is given a shield by Athene (which reflects the capacity for detached/symbolic thinking and how this is an integral part in learning to cope with rage). This also ties in nicely to Gemini (an air sign) and Gemini’s capacity for logical, analytical thinking in learning how to cope with the “poison” of Scorpio.
Besides Athene’s shield he is also given a sickle, winged sandals and a wallet to put in the severed head of the Medusa. Hades even gives him a helmet of invisibility.
When the Medusa is slain, the winged horse Pegasus springs forth from the Medusa’s slain body. She was unable to give birth to him because of her seething bitterness and hatred and so in killing the Medusa, Perseus frees her and, in doing so, he frees himself.
Gemini + Scorpio: Unleashing the Power of Horses and Swords: Civilisation vs. Nature
The sword is an ancient symbol for the power of the mind and the intellect (Gemini) and points to the mind’s ability to alleviate the poison of festering negative emotions. Emotions mustn’t seethe but rather, channeled outwards and used against injustice and “the monsters in society.”
The mental faculties of air give the Scorpio-Gemini quincunx individual the opportunity to witness events and process powerful emotions with more understanding and objectivity. The danger, however, is that instead of seizing the opportunity inherent in this quincunx, they try and stifle it. It is important that they do not suppress these emotions out of fear or, on the other end of the spectrum, allow their emotions to control them.
Horses and swords both share similar symbolic traits: they are objects/creatures that represent will and energy but, in the story of Perseus and the Medusa, the horse was trapped in the darkness of the unconscious and needed to be released by the power of consciousness (the sword).
Horses, though firmly rooted in nature, have aided in the progress of civilisation like no other creature. When man learned to tame horses, society advanced in leaps and bounds, which shows that when we can marry yang Gemini energy (civilisation, logic, reason) and yin Scorpio energy (Nature, unconsciousness) we can take enormous leaps forward, helping both society and ourselves.
After Perseus has slain the Medusa he is able to use her head against his enemies,
“for having conquered the creature himself, he was in a position to utilise its powerful properties on behalf of more consciousness-directed goals.”
“The light of insight and consciousness are needed to fight the monster as she cannot be conquered by brute force alone. The Medusa cannot be completely destroyed because She is divine but she can be transformed and thus drives Scorpio out into the world and drives him into collision with all that is terrifying, dark and destructive in life.”
Calamity, Charisma and Complexity
Scorpio’s associations with sensuality, sex appeal and feminine mystique spring from its kinship with Pluto and its rulership over the attraction-repulsion phenomenon, taboos and what lies beyond the rational, physical world.
In my astrological work I have found that Gemini (particularly those with Venus in Gemini) are bestowed with the same scintillating sex appeal thanks to what Ivor Morrish calls the twins’ gift of “mana.” This “mana” is “something special and, if not related directly to divinity […] possessing some unusual power […] which works in opposition, rather like the positive or negative forces of electricity or the north and south poles of a magnet […] thus, in the concept of the twin a certain balance or equilibrium implied, a closeness and similarity without a complete identity.”
Twins form such an integral part of our patterning of the world that they have been deified by every culture on the planet. They have held our fascination since the dawn of time and this is probably because it can be downright creepy-fascinating looking at two separate people who look exactly the same. The novelty and uncommonness of twins makes Geminis particularly alluring and bestows them with the kind of seductive pull (“like the north and south poles of a magnet”) that very few people posses naturally.
The inability and reluctance of most people to face their own shadows and darkness makes Scorpios a mirror in which many people see their own unconscious depths reflected back to them. Even if you don’t like what you see, even if you find it downright disturbing, there’s some sort of moreish intrigue in the secrecy and complexity of it all… and so you can’t bring yourself to look away.
The dark calamity that hints at a complex inner life is the natural by-product of the Gemini-Scorpio quincunx and bestows its natives with the sort of charisma that most people would give up their first born for.
Where there is mystery, there is no mastery and knowing that we are unable to possess something makes it all the more irresistible (“what you can’t have you can’t resist”) as well as being a fundamental ingredient in attraction and seduction.
The Gift of Psychological Insight: Hermes-Mercury and Hades-Pluto
The archetypal themes surrounding twins are not dissimilar to the mythic inheritance of Mercury (Hermes), the traditional ruler of Gemini. He was the only god in Zeus’ pantheon who was able to travel between Mount Olympus and Hades’ (Pluto’s) Underworld because he had no fixed abode. His role as psychopomp and messenger to the gods made him privy to the riddles of both mortal and immortal life.
Scorpio’s modern ruler is Pluto (Hades), which gives us another secret link between these two signs because, as mentioned above, it is only Mercury who can enter into Hades’ realm. Mercury, though seemingly inimical with Pluto, is therefore the only god who can glean firsthand accounts of the mysteries of death and the decay of the mortal body.
This makes both signs astute people-readers and naturally adept psychologists. The fears and secrets that people keep hidden from themselves cannot escape the natives of these two signs.
This is why Gemini is traditionally associated with journalism, speech, writing, radio announcers and newsreaders while Scorpio is associated with the police force, spy agencies, espionage, detectives (FBI, CIA, MI5 etc) and the criminal underworld. Paparazzi reporters unite the energies of the two signs with curiosity and underhanded/insider reportage being at the heart of the profession.
The aforementioned professions are all about “getting to the bottom” of something (bottom= underworld) and typical Gemini professions are about airing grievances, opinions and facts to the world at large.
When we sit down in a psychologist’s chair we are in a secret, private space where we are able to explore the conflicts that are tearing us apart. The confidentiality and sensitive nature of what is discussed with a psychologist takes us to hidden places within and a good psychologist will know what to say and what buttons to press to get us talking.
Scorpio is known as a secretive sign and, when viewing Gemini from this perspective, we can see that Gemini is also a sign that deals with making sense of the secret stirrings of the unconscious. In the same way, the Underworld is “private” and “off limits” and these are the only two signs, along with Pisces (which is esoterically ruled by Pluto), that can gain access to it, which makes Gemini-Scorpio privy to other worlds –to people’s thoughts, secrets and unconscious motivations.
The intrigue and scandal that is the natural outcome of exposing secrets makes both signs particularly attuned to drama as well as giving us a richer, deeper and more subtle appreciation of life and its endless ambiguity. A quincunx formed by planets in Gemini-Scorpio shows us an area of life where we are being asked to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of life.
“O heavy lightness, serious vanity/ Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,/ Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health…”
In myth, Mercury’s mother is Maia, a nymph whose name translates to “night,” which means that he is conceived by Zeus, a bright, life-affirming father-god and a mother who is the fertile darkness of the night itself.
The archetypal make-up of Gemini’s exoteric ruler therefore points to an inheritance of extremes: extreme highs, extreme lows, blackest night, brightest day, elation, despair etc.
All these archetypal images give us a good idea about the dualistic nature of Gemini –high on the summit of Mount Olympus on one day and then down into the cold, dark caverns of the underworld the next. This cyclical experience of opposites is Gemini’s karmic liability and from this we can glean that Gemini must experience the world through the extremes of this binary lens as this is what will ultimately help bring them closer to the truth of who they are.
In myth, Hades is the brother of Zeus and his name means “unseen one.” According to mythological sources, Poseidon, Zeus and Hades drew lots to see what kingdom they would inherit. Zeus inherited the sky, Poseidon inherited the oceans and Hades inherited the Underworld. Although some sources suggest that he was unpleased with his lot, he had no choice but to take up residence there and descended underground.
Though he is associated with death and evil, Hades was more passive than truly wicked or vengeful and all his subjects were held equally accountable to his laws. This means that in the Underworld, everything that makes us unique, special or different is wiped clean. The Underworld is not a place where we can experience duality and yet, the very fact that anyone gains entrance to the Underworld at all is due to the fact that they were once mortal (and thus experienced duality).
This can be where some of the deepest tensions of the quincunx lie. Scorpio’s propensity to fester in darkness vs. Gemini’s restlessness and need for constant stimulation and excitement can make awkward bedfellows indeed.
The balance lies in learning that periods of stillness are vital to growth and that everything needs darkness to grow (although too much darkness is like anathema to the soul) and our more playful and creative sides should be allowed to break through a “negative spell” when we are in danger of falling too far down the rabbit hole.
Flitting from one thing to the other and we fail to integrate the lessons... but festering in one place for too long means we miss out on opportunities to implement the lessons. So it can be said that Gemini = implementation and Scorpio = integration.
Here's a cartoon I found that better explains this:
If you superficially dabble in many things you have essentially done "nothing" -that is nothing you do or have done has any "heart and soul." On the other end of the spectrum, if you are too depressed and apathetic to do anything and choose to ruminate on all your complicated feelings and emotions instead then you also do "nothing."
This means that if you don't unite your experiences and your feelings in a way that allows your soul to integrate them properly, you are missing the point of the Gemini-Scorpio quincunx.
Black Swan/White Swan/Black Sheep/White Sheep: Confronting our Shadow Sides
Our shadows include all those aspects of ourselves, positive and negative, which we do not acknowledge as our own.
Confronting our own shadows and demons takes courage, hard work and honesty, which is probably why the Gemini of pop astrology is depicted as superficial and flighty. They are too afraid to put in the work required of them to become more “whole” and authentic, preferring to skim the surface of life with parties and worldly distractions all the while projecting their disowned half onto something external (think Natalie Portman in Black Swan, who, interestingly enough is a Gemini with a Scorpio Rising... It seems her Oscar-winning performance wasn’t just down to good acting –she was likely drawing on a wellspring of personal experience as well!)
The “Good/White” Swan is a technically excellent ballerina while the “Black/Dark” Swan lacks some of the technical expertise of her rival but dances with the kind of gusto and passion that cannot be “learned.”
Sterility/fertility are another set of opposites bought into question in the Gemini-Scorpio quincunx with fertility encompassing the feminine qualities of moistness, darkness, earth and water and sterility encompassing the masculine qualities of heat, dryness, fire and air.
Each Swan can learn valuable lessons form her “rival.”
Shadows and demons are thus related to Scorpio and Gemini astrologically with all that is dark, repulsive and shadowy as key factors uniting the two signs.
While Gemini disowns one aspect of itself at the expense of the other (good twin vs. evil twin), Scorpio does this by getting caught up in a battle between the spiritual and the sensual and a repudiation of life vs. intense materialism and eroticism. Such an uncomfortable contradiction means that Scorpios may also find it easier to side with one and project the other.
This game of smoke and mirrors takes on new layers of meaning when the two signs are united by a quincunx. Unchartered emotional/intellectual territory is thus projected onto something in the world out there since it is “all too complicated” for a single individual to bear alone.
All these warring aspects are, in fact, the property of the individual and the split is really a representation of the war going on within.
Esoteric Astrology and Paths to Integration
Exoteric astrological rulers govern the personality while esoteric astrological rulers govern the soul needs of the sign.
Esoterically, Venus is the ruler of Gemini and in ancient alchemical texts Venus was often referred to as the Evil Twin of the Earth (the evil twin theme again).
Even modern scientists refer to Venus as the Earth’s twin sister since both planets are roughly the same size (the Earth is only slightly larger), they are both relatively young (geologically speaking) and both closely orbit the Sun.
Astrological Venus represents the experience of making something whole and binding the integrated personality together through the creative fusion of opposites.
Or, as Howard Sasportas said:
“Venus takes the conflicts of duality and transforms them into a higher octave of expression through the creative expression of the mind.”
Mars, as esoteric ruler of Scorpio, shows us that when anger is used in a conscious way it can actually trigger compassion and give us the energy to fight for what is right.
The balanced Scorpio energy allows a person to feel anger and then intuitively know what the next appropriate action should be and, used in this way, any emotion can be taken to “the next level” instead of being repressed until finally compassion is attained.
After overcoming collisions with darkness, disappointments in love etc, Scorpio can unleash the transpersonal powers of Pluto and thus release the powers of the root chakra, which is linked to our physical survival (Mars). This chakra easily becomes toxic and, unless it is purified, the corresponding part of the brain becomes tamasic (i.e. pessimistic, negative, foul, lazy etc).
Gemini, which is a sign of the mind and intellect, can help balance the raw animalism of Scorpio with the light, hope and promise of civilisation. Mars and Venus were lovers in myth, with Mars’ bestial and brutish emotionality being seduced and subdued by Venus’ ideal beauty and eroticism thus helping unlock the key to successfully handling the Scorpio-Gemini quincunx.
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