The story about Gemini begins in Sparta and it’s not only about two brothers, but also their two sisters born at the same moment. Tireless seducer Zeus fell in love with Leda, the wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus. One day he turned himself into a swan and seduced her by the river. That same night Leda slept with her husband, and from those two intercourse there were two eggs from which brothers Castor and Pollux and their sisters Helen and Clytemnestra were born. Pollux and Helena were Zeus’ children and therefore immortal semi gods, whereas Castor and Clytemnestra were mortal descents of the king Tyndareus.
From this it’s clear that the myth about Gemini is not only about the duality between the divine and earthly, but also the duality male – female. Castor and Pollux were inseparable and in the mythology they never appear separated. Castor was a skillful horseman and Pollux was well known for his boxing skills. They are mentioned in many heroic adventures among which the most famous are Argonauts. Spartans even held games in their honor.
There are more versions of their “departure among stars”. One says they kidnapped Feba and Hileria, fiancees of the other two twins – Ida and Linkej that led to conflict in which the mortal brother Castor was killed. Immortal brother Pollux was sad because of the brother’s death and he asked Zeus not to outlive Castor. Zeus answered his prayer and put both of them in the sky as the constellation of Gemini, but because of the mortality of one of them they had to spend half year in the underworld (the period when the constellation is not visible in the night) and half year in the sky. The cult on divine Gemini appears in many Indo-European civilizations, also in India by the name Ashvines (“horsemen”) whose history goes back a lot further, to the period of Vedic ritual of sacrificing the horse in their honor – ashvamedha.
Female aspect of this myth connects divine, but passive Helen, the wife of Spartan king Menelaus who fell in love with Paris and therefore provoked ten years war and destruction of Troy; and Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon whose actions were motivated by far more down to earth human needs for the power and passion.
Since the astrology connects the meaning of Gemini with the emergence of first cities – construction, it’s interesting that castor is also a Greek word for beaver, a small rodent known for skillful dam construction. They are described as masters of construction and in some indirect way, symbolically related to masonry and freemasonry. The Latin name castrum denoting fortress on a high place tells about the respect for its construction skills.
Throughout the history, rodent’s testis were considered a special elixir which led almost to their complete extinction in some parts of the Europe and blusters that rodents castrate themselves (the origin of the word is again “castor”) to become uninteresting to hunters. With this story there is also the connection of Castor and chestnut (in Greek castanea, in English chestnut) because of the form of fruit.
The origin of the word polis – city is found in the name of the other twin Pollux.
Constellation of Gemini lies between 29°54′ of Gemini and 28°31′ of Cancer and some of its brightest stars are:
Alhena – left heel of Pollux on 9°6′ of Cancer Mekbuda – right leg of Pollux on 14°59′ of Cancer Castor – head of West twin on 20°14′ of Cancer Pollux – head of East twin on 23°13′ of Cancer
Photo of Gemini constellation taken from
THE AGE OF GEMINI It started about 6450 and ended about 4300 B.C. This is the era without written data, a lot was forgotten in the past, but the archeology provides some information. It’s the period of formation of new cities, first urban units that were connected by first roads and first mutual contacts were made through trade. The main cult of this era was related to the snake that we remember well from Hermes and Asclepius stick from more recent period. The cult of the feathered snake Quetzalcotal in Central America out of which all nations derive originates from the age of Gemini. Queztzalcotal was considered the god of the morning star – Mercury, and his twin brother Xolotl the god of the night star – Venus. In China the cult of Dragon emerges, in India kundalini concept – symbolically presented as the snake that lies coiled at the bottom of spine, whereas the ancient Egyptians relate the snake with the sign of Osiris’ initiation who was also born as twins with his sister Isis.
The remains of this age have survived today only in some messy fragments of connecting snakes with healing and irrational fear of them.