Many Moons | You contain multitudes: Solstice & new moon in Gemini

When Sarah Gottesdiener reached out to me with an invitation to contribute to her modern classic, the Many Moons Workbook, I was beyond excited – not least because this Gemini moon and the build up to solstice is such a potent – and perhaps overwhelming – time of year. Below is my contribution.

The New Moon in Gemini takes place tomorrow, on June 13th. The Sun is also in Gemini at this time. The summer solstice is on the horizon, promising a powerful shift in energy.

It is possible to hold multiple realities at once.

It is possible to be both an insatiable wanderer, and at the same time to know a deep need to ground and be rooted. It is possible to be intuitive and also rational. It is possible to be both butch and femme. It is possible to be afraid of heights…and still want to climb as high as you can go.

An unapologetic dualist, Gemini teaches us that we can be both one thing and another – even when those things seem to be in direct contradiction to each other. Gemini embraces opposites, welcoming all of our disparities to the table. Gemini understands that you might say one thing, then do another, and that this is a valid expression of the multitudes within you. If the world insists on putting each of us in one box or another, Gemini stands with a foot in each.

One especially challenging dualism many of us hold is that we feel at once both a deep despair at the state of our world (our leaders, their policies, their impact on our communities and environment…) and at the same time, a powerful and resolute sense of hope. Despair, and also hope. It is an essential survival skill to experience both of these things at once. Resistance without hope is a purposeless state. True acts of resistance, the kind that can truly change the world, must also be acts of creation, carrying within themselves the seeds of hope for something better. Like the Tower and the Star Tarot card sequence, we tear down what is harmful and corrupt, and then we rebuild something new. The new Moon in Gemini supports this process in both of its parts: the destruction and the creation together.

If you are ready to declare what is wrong in the world around, you, be prepared to also declare a solution. A world-view, an approach, a perspective that brings positive change. It is not enough only to complain. We must also find alternatives. This applies to our lives within society and our hopes and dreams for revolution, but also to the minutiae of our day-to-day lives, to the very personal. Only when we can accept all of our dualities (and here, ‘dual’ becomes shorthand for ‘more than one’) can we really get a hold of our potential.

Suggested affirmation for the new moon in Gemini: 

I contain multitudes. I need not define myself with borders or boxes but am free to become myself in every moment. I embrace my beautiful contradictions and communicate my truth without apology.


Summer solstice and plant magic

Summer solstice is next week, on the 21st June. As this annual turning point approaches we are preparing to round off one cycle in our lives, and begin a new one. We are moving from the warm, upward-and-opening energy of winter-spring-summer to the cooler, downward-and-inwards energy of summer-autumn-winter. These cycles repeat themselves each year. It feels good to honour their endings and beginnings.

You are the person who plants seeds and puts energy out into the world, and you are also the person who harvests your fruit and brings its nourishment inside yourself. The solstice is a liminal moment between these modes of existence where we are able to pause and celebrate both ways. We look at the recent past and the present and give thanks to the sunlight that energises us and brings us out of ourselves. And we turn towards the slowly-encroaching darkness that will draw us inwards to examine what has also been growing there through these warmer months. Solstice energy is strongest on the 21st, but extends all the way back to this new moon in Gemini. Use this time to prepare for summer’s peak and the harvest days that will come after.

Now is a wonderful time to gather herbs.

It feels like everything is blooming or coming into flower right now and many plants are at the peak of their power. Perhaps there are certain plants or trees you have been working with this year. Or perhaps you would like to take this moment to reach out and find a new plant ally. Make time to get out into nature and see what is blossoming near you – life-force is unstoppable at midsummer and even the most urban landscape is blooming in full colour.

Notice the plants and trees around you. What do you see? What does it remind you of? What might its magic be? Be playful! This is folk magic. This belongs to you as much as to anyone else. In summer the world offers itself to you, dressed in its brightest colours. It says ‘love me! Make me yours.’

Gather a bunch of wildflowers for your table to bring their colour, beauty and wisdom into your home. Sketch them, commune with them, learn about them, learn their folk names, their lore, their medicine. Hang them up to dry so you can make bundles to burn as offerings on a midsummer fire, or store them for your medicine cabinet. Make flower essences, tinctures, or brew a fresh infusion by popping leaves or flowers directly into your cup*.

*Do not underestimate the potency of plant medicine! Be sure to research plants thoroughly before ingesting anything, particularly if you are taking any medication.

Your energy does not have to ‘match’ the season

When I first began to follow and celebrate the cyclical festivals of the wheel of the year, it was partly because I felt that I had found a system for expressing externally what was happening within myself over the course of a year. I observed myself be more ‘out there’ in summer, more withdrawn in winter. The airy energy of spring, all planning and thinking. The water-energy of autumn as I turned inwards and began to reflect on my year.

But over the years, I began to notice that my energy did not always follow this neat system. On the contrary, summer is very often my quietest time (and is historically the season I have suffered bouts of depression) whereas I find myself awakening in autumn, so much so that I privately refer to the autumnal equinox as my own new year.

At first, I was upset by the discrepancy. I wanted so badly to fit into the system. I felt less-than because I was not ‘truly in tune’ with the seasons (perhaps as some menstruating folks might feel when told we should bleed during certain lunar phases.)

Over the years I have come to accept that I do not have to ‘match’ the season (or the Moon’s phase.) These energies are present in nature and offered freely for us to work with. These energies – Gemini’s communication and integration of dualities, summer’s fiery abundance – are suggestions, themes we can adopt or meditate upon. The moon, the season, the whole of nature, meets you where you are. There is no pressure to be what you are not.


Your manifesto

The New Moon in Gemini brings an opportunity to define yourself anew, as an integrated whole, made up of distinct and different parts. Gemini asks you to embrace all that you are, to love the multitudes that you contain. Under Gemini’s new moon, you can speak that truth. It will probably look and sound different to the last time you did this. That’s okay. You are allowed to change. You are allowed to contradict the person you were last week, last month, last year. You are growing and changing with every cycle of the moon, bringing in new energies, letting others go. Ruled by communicative Mercury, this Gemini moon encourages you to be all that you are right now – and to find your way to express this.

Under this Gemini new moon, create a quiet space in your mind. Let the tumbling thoughts fall away, so you can go deeper, uncovering the kernels of truth that sit beneath all of that chatter. Let this quiet space be a container for that wisdom you hold, for those multiple truths, those contradictions, those new discoveries and dearly-held principles.

A manifesto is a statement of intention or being. It is a clear declaration of who you are and/or what you want tobring into your life, to invoke, to manifest. It is a way to communicate what you love, what you believe. Write your manifesto under Gemini’s new moon. Allow your ever-changing self to commit, out loud, in this moment, to such a statement. Stick your manifesto on the wall or place on your altar, burn it in a ritual fire, swap it with a loved-one, or save it for next month when it will be interesting to see what has changed, grown, or fallen away.


Gemini tarot practice

We often feel that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’. Gemini asks us to remove the fence entirely, to be in both/all spaces. To spend the day reading fiction in one field, then do some evening gardening in the other. Hold a barbecue on the border. Remove the fences and walls that separate your life into compartments. Find ways to express yourself as a complex, multidimensional, multi-passionate creature, beautiful and messy and never tied to being only one thing.

Place tarot or oracle cards on your altar/desk/fridge/phone homescreen, meditate with them, journal them or sketch your own versions. Choose cards that symbolise opposites that you recognise in your life right now. In tarot, this might be the crumbling Tower and the soothing Star. Perhaps the rigid structures of the Emperor and the luscious freedom of the Empress. Or the dynamic, passionate Knight of Wands and the dreamy, passive Knight of Cups. Many individual cards contain dualities, too: Temperance, the Lovers, the Chariot, and others.

Wherever you find dualities in your life, pull cards to represent these and spend time with their messages. Give yourself permission to be more than one thing at once – you do not have to define yourself, to place yourself in any boxes and say ‘this is me’. Under the New Moon we experiment, we test out new ideas, new approaches.

A tarot spread for the new moon in Gemini

This spread may lead you towards making a choice between two things you are struggling between, or it may help you to integrate both things into yourself.

  1. Element of your Self. A theme, trajectory or undercurrent in your life just now.
  2. Element of your Self. A second theme, trajectory or undercurrent. This may feel as though it contradicts the first, or the two may feel complimentary. Notice how this feels.
  3. Unifying energy or force. What unifies these two elements, helping you to embrace both together? How might they become ‘more than the sum of their parts’? Alternatively, how does this card help you to make a positive choice between these elements, and thus make an active commitment to one?
  4. Your message. How might you express this integration or choice? How can it be projected externally?

This is an extract from the Many Moons workbook 2018 vol 1.
Vol 2 covers July-December 2018. Buy here!

5 comments

  1. I just finished reading this in Many Moons. I wanted to reach out and say how it spoke to me. All of it. Thank you for your gift. Thr affirmation you crafted is like a personal mantra. I’ve written it down in my journal and will be using dry erase marker to note it on my mirror? Now for the tarot spread.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Thank you for sharing this Cristina – I’m so glad these words resonated for you. I wrote this piece almost a year ago – it’s interesting to come back to it now and see how much I’ve grown… and yet at the same time, how much I still need that mantra!

      I’m so glad it’s useful to you. Enjoy your tarot time! <3

  2. Angharad says:

    I really needed to read this today :)
    A lot of things are shifting inwardly for me right now, and I’ve been exploring my Gemini North Node & Mercury, which rules my ascendant as well, as a way to get unstuck. I seem to have got away with ignoring a lot of the lessons of Gemini energy up until now – but as I was flicking through my journal the other night, I saw something I had scribbled in the margins on the last new moon:

    “tired of the awkwardness of being neither one thing
    nor another,
    I’m growing roots in the spaces in-between”

    The mantra you crafted is a powerful reminder & I will include it on this new moon’s altar. And I’m looking forward to trying out the spread! Thank you for these gifts.

  3. Jane says:

    Beth,

    Thank you and yes I feel more alert in the. Autumn too. And last night I was looking outside at the evening thinking aren’t you ever going to get dark!
    NM usually I’m way off key this time particularly so. No planets in Gemini . I was born on a new moon.
    Thanks for blogging.

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