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Open out, thou sun existence!
Cultural Epoch: Ancient Persia
Here in the northern hemisphere, the sun is fast approaching the highest point of its trajectory. In springtime, the chariot of Apollo rushed forth from the gates of the east, and it ascends to the heights at midsummer, cresting in front of the twin stars of Gemini, who mark the zenith point of the heavens.
The Sign of Polarities
Every extreme invokes its complement, its opposite. So, too, does bright Gemini call forth the awareness not only of the heights, but also of the depths of darkness that reign at midwinter, under the rulership of Sagittarius. Castor and Pollux, the twins of Gemini, speak of the power of dualism, of a world unity ripped asunder and a cosmic schism made manifest.
The First Division
The story of creation begins as the Source of All, the TAO, the Godhead (under the signature of Aries) was a unified field, self-contained yet pregnant with future. Then the Word of Creation (Taurus) is prepared, and the play begins.
With Gemini, the fundamental cosmic dualities appear:
— The Word creates the first dialog, even as the Speaker creates the Listener.
— No longer singular, inner and outer are created.
—Light ascends and darkness descends.
—Pure spirit hovers in the heights, even as the world of matter coagulates as a counter-pole.
How can these dualities be reconciled? The true power of Gemini lies in being able to endure the schism, and become active in the tension between the two. This is made manifest in the eurythmy gesture for Gemini.
The Ancient Persian Epoch
Each of the 2160 years of a cultural epoch lies under the rulership of a different sign of the zodiac. Even as the coming age will be the “Age of Aquarius,” and the present age is (still) the “Age of Pisces,” so the “Age of Gemini” was the age when the Spring Equinox stood in Gemini (5067-2907 BCE).
In this age, the dominant mythology taught of the great duality between the Spirit of the Sun (Ahura Mazdao) and his great adversary, the spirit of darkness. The great spiritual teacher, Zarathustra, taught that the human soul will be the actual battleground where the battle between light and darkness will ultimately occur.
It was also the people of ancient Persia who practiced agriculture with almost ritualistic reverence. They pierced the virgin soil of mother Earth with a sickle, allowing the forces of the sun to penetrate into the darkness below. The primal gesture of agriculture works with light and darkness. Thus the mother-forces of the soil could be coaxed to bring forth crops. This enabled culture to take a tremendous step forward.
Gemini in the Body: Symmetry
As we have seen in previous essays, the human body bears the imprint of the 12 signs of the zodiac in its different parts. Thus, Aries forces have shaped the head, and Taurus forces have been concentrated at the neck to create the forces of speech.
We look for Gemini forces one step lower. There, below the throat, the two arms show us a new principle: bilateral symmetry. There, where we clearly have two limbs freed into right and left sides, we are empowered to move in the field of dualism. (Obviously, the principle of Gemini is also present in the power of two eyes, two ears, etc. but the dualism is nowhere as clear as in the image of two arms and two legs.) We are invited to explore the complementary nature of right and left, dominant and receptive, masculine and feminine, etc.
And this, of course, leads us directly into the exploration of the personality type commonly attributed to those whose Sun sign was in Gemini at birth. These are considered to be the archetypal sanguine personality types. They are light as air, mercurial, changeable. They are interested in so many things that they may appear to flutter through life as veritable butterflies, who stop at each flower only long enough to savor its juices before moving on! They seem to rejoice in polarities: they want to explore every phenomenon they can, and no one can pin them down.
Gemini and Eurythmy
To create the gesture for Gemini, you must learn to embody the tension of the dualities and the power to unite them. You can imagine yourself standing on the deck of a ship in a storm-tossed sea, and place your feet apart, showing the power of Gemini, two-sides, in the wide stance of your legs. Curl your hands into fists, raise your arms to shoulder height, and bend them at the elbows, crossing your right hand over your left. With your arms you have overcome the schism by bringing right and left into balance. In this gesture, deepen yourself into the feeling of separation and unity.
The sound of gesture is “H,” which, to anyone familiar with the gesture, seems obvious. “H” is created by simply opening the muscles at the back of the throat and exhaling a “puff” of breath. In this spirit, we can understand that in some languages, such as Sanskrit, “H” is considered the first of all sounds, the first opening, the first utterance. The exhaled air flies forth into the lightness, there to dissolve even as cloud vapor does. Alternately, “H” can also be strengthened by pushing against the air with more force and then controlling its speed and distance: in this case, “H” can come to an abrupt stop, as if the lightness of air has collided with rock.
The gesture for “H,” correspondingly, begins by focusing attention on the root of the arms, the shoulder blades, which are similarly the equivalent of the larynx. The shoulder blades are pulled together with a small tension, which allows the arms to be flung open, right and left, even as the exhaled air is flung out. The eurythmist allows the freeing movement to continue from the shoulders, through the arms, to the fingers and beyond. The doorways are opened: creation can begin.
Alternately, the “H” can be done with an inward-going movement, bringing movement from the wide periphery back towards the body. This movement emphasizes the consolidating aspect of creation.
In this spirit, the meaning of the Eurythmy gesture for Gemini and the corresponding sound that it has gifted us are clear.
A final imagination for H, articulated by Dr. Hedwig Erasmy, is that “H” is best characterized by Hercules, the demigod who swings his mighty club upwards and downwards, freeing and consolidating forces as he strides through the heavenly circle of the zodiac.