Another way to look at the Full Moon in Gemini is through the Labours of Hercules.
The Full moon in Gemini marks the third Labour of Hercules.
In this labour Hercules has to go to the garden of Hesperides and pick the golden apples. Three maidens and a 100 headed serpent called Antaeus protect the golden apples.
Hercules also has to complete 5 minor tests during this Labour, he has to:
Recognise and register in the brain consciousness the wisdom of Nereus the Higher Self (many times Hercules fails to hear the wisdom of the higher self, but finally he passes this stage)
Fight the 100 headed serpent, Antaeus
Recognise the false teacher Busiris (son of the waters, a close kin to Poseidon - representing emotionalism). Busiris says to Hercules – my truth is the only truth, all other truth is wrong. But Hercules remembers Nereus (the Higher Self) saying, ‘The truth lies within, there is higher power and strength within yourself.’ Hercules then frees himself from the false teacher after being trapped for a year.
Free Prometheus who was chained to a rock and had vultures plucking at his liver, slowly killing him. His teacher said to him the rule which fast tracks your progress on the spiritual path is to ‘Learn to Serve’ your fellow men.
Help Atlas who was carrying the world – it was a heavy and painful burden.
Power, Will and Purpose
This labour is about ACTIVITY – where are we directing our POWER, WILL and PURPOSE? In the other labours, Hercules is working on the emotional plane but in this one it is on the physical plane, the plane of experience and active work. What is his active work? It is unifying the different aspects of himself, Soul and personality – all of our traumatised / shameful / ostracised parts of self – this is what we are unifying. When we live from the Higher Self or the Soul the overwhelming quality of our life changes from feeling at odds with our families, communities or the world to a sense of BELONGING.
This labour is about our action on the physical plane – we start with the vision of training our minds through meditation, of living a healthy, well-balanced life, and contributing to society. First our attempts at meditation and our efforts to serve others are sporadic but then comes a time when we are disciplined and diligent and our effort continues in earnest.
The physical plane is where experience is gained – it is where we manifest the ideas we develop on the mental plane. In this Labour Hercules is working to blend the two poles of his being, soul and body so that duality gives way to unity and the pairs of opposites are blended.
The duality in Gemini is mirrored in much of mythology. In this myth Hercules comes under the instruction of two teachers Nereus who represents the higher teacher and Busiris who represents the lower or psychic teacher. When people start their spiritual journey, often they are taken in by lower psychic phenomena or false teachers who lead them to believe there is only one truth and focus the teachings around blind obedience to the teacher – ‘this is the blind leading the blind’. Later the Realisation comes that the true teacher or guru is the inner teacher - the Soul or Higher Self, but just as with Hercules we have to be quiet enough to hear its wisdom.
How do we unite the polarities within us?
There is a relationship between Venus and Gemini – Venus has throughout mythology been connected to love. It is the Venus/Love energy that helps unite the dual energies or the polar opposites within us and in all streams of life through the law of attraction. It is all of these unifications that create the new world, the new age of better human relations.
New Ideas and the Intellect
This month in Gemini we focus on communication, language, commerce, and intellect. It is a time when new ideas flood into the world. Gemini has a stimulating effect on the intellect of the current race of people. We train the intellect so that when we receive the higher revelation from our Souls or Higher Self we are able to interpret it.
The Third Labour of Hercules Symbolism
In this labour Hercules receives his education through the five stages of his search for the golden apples and then he receives the higher revelation. These are the 5 stages we go through when we awaken to spiritual realities.
In this Labour Hercules is in search of the Soul. He has to retrieve the apples which represent knowledge, as they do in the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. The apples represent the knowledge of good versus evil. The good is the Soul or higher self and the body is evil if it imprisons the Soul so that the wisdom of the Soul or Higher self can’t be expressed.
It’s worth noting that in the Garden of Eden there was only one apple – this represents separation and isolation. Hercules had to hunt for apples in another garden, the garden of Hespirides – there were multiple apples which symbolises plurality, synthesis, the many, nourished by the One Tree of Life. We see here the symbol of unity in diversity.
Stage 1 Nereus
In the first stage we meet Nereus – the symbol of the higher self and later in our spiritual development he represents our teaching master. In the early experience of our contact, the higher self appears as a flash of illumination, a sudden realisation of truth, like an epiphany, an ‘a ha!’ moment, but then it is gone. These flashes can only happen when the emotions and the chitter chatter of the mind are controlled – this is why these flashes are short lived early on, this is why in the previous Labour Hercules had to control desire and emotions because the strong emotions and an uncontrolled mind stop us from hearing the messages of the Soul.
Hercules spends a short amount of time with Nereus (the Soul) but he doesn’t know how to stay in contact with Nereus so he turns south (opposite pole to spirit). This means that he goes back into the world instead of staying seated in the higher self – he had a high moment where he moved into a superconscious state but it did not last and he dropped back into brain consciousness and had another experience in the world.
Stage 2 Antaeus
Next he wrestles with Antaeus who is a 100 headed serpent - it is not the serpent of desire as in the Garden of Eden, it is the serpent of glamour and illusion. For a long time Hercules wrestles with Antaeus and he only wins the battle when he lifts the snake into the air. This is symbolic of lifting up out of the fog of our emotionalism onto the plane of the Intuition, the Soul. Interestingly, the astral or emotional plane is a distorted reflection of the intuitional plane and when we raise our emotionalism up to the clear light of the Soul we see truth as it is and become invincible.
Stage 3 Busiris
In the next stage, Hercules fell into the clutches of Busiris who claimed to be a great teacher. Busiris kept Hercules in bondage for quite a long time. He was a false teacher who made claims about himself. A real teacher is busy serving humanity and makes no claims about themselves. They are too busy helping others to create interest in themselves. Ultimately our real Master or teacher is the higher self or Soul – when we can make connection there long enough then the wisdom flows through to us.
Stage 4 Prometheus
Hercules then met Prometheus who he freed from the vultures pecking at his liver. The liver, solar plexus and stomach are externalisations of the desire nature and Hercules freed himself from the vultures of desire that had tortured him for so long.
Stage 5 Atlas
At the close of his search he met Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Hercules was so impressed with Atlas and his burden that he forgot about his own spiritual ambition, searching for the apples, that he helped Atlas, relieving him of his burden. The lesson here is to practice selflessness and self-forgetfulness.
After Hercules’ sacrifice of taking the burden of the world form Atlas and helping Prometheus, Hercules was rewarded. Atlas went for him to the garden and brought him the golden apples and brought him in touch with the three beautiful maidens, the three aspects of the soul – LIGHT, LOVE and PURPOSE. Like Hercules, those three beautiful energies are within us waiting for us to contact them and bring them into balance and expression in our lives!