Saturday, September 12, 2015

Carpe Diem #817 Gemini (twins)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe this episode is also a little bit of CD Time Machine or a trip along memory lane, because in our rich history we have had a series about the Zodiac and one of the prompts was Gemini (twins), but I hope to get another angle for this constellation. Today we are visiting Gemini (twins) on our space odyssey in which we will discover the mythology behind the constellations (as part of the 88 known (and described) constellations).
First I will look at Gemini as part of the Zodiac and it's meaning,it's a brief abstract of our Zodiac episode back in April 2013.

Gemini (May 22th - June 21st)
The people who were born in this period are widely known for their dual personalities and ability to change mood from moment to moment. Although they hate to be tied down, they make lively, entertaining and romantic partners, even if they can be rather fickle if bored or unhappy. The twin sides of their nature are perpetually pulling in opposite directions. Their brains are subtle and brilliant but they usually "lack continuity of purpose".
Either type make hosts of friends and are kind-hearted and generous to the person who fills their thoughts at the moment, but "out of sight, out of mind" explains their fits of "forgetfulness" as nothing else can.
In all matters of affection they are human puzzles. They can love passionately and yet be inconstant at the same moment, and it is only their shield of diplomacy and exquisite tact that keeps them from often making a mess of their lives.

And now let us look at the mythology of this constellation.

Gemini is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It was one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. Its name is Latin for "twins," and it is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology.
In the Hebrew Zodiac Gemini corresponds to the month of Sivan where the Torah, a twin was given Moses. Oral Torah (Mishnah, Talmud, Kabbalah etc.) and Written Torah was given to the Jewish people. In the blessing of Jacob the Tribes of Shimon and Levi are chided by Jacob: Shimon and Levi are brothers (Genesis 49:28). The two brothers destroyed the city of Shechem to avenge Dinah, their sister. "And at their will they uprooted the ox." Each night as Gemini sets it pushes Taurus out of sight.

Credits: Gemini (Castor and Pollux)

In Babylonian astronomy, the stars Castor and Pollux were known as the Great Twins.The Twins were regarded as minor gods and were called Meshlamtaea and Lugalirra, meaning respectively 'The One who has arisen from the Underworld' and the 'Mighty King'. Both names can be understood as titles of Nergal, the major Babylonian god of plague and pestilence, who was king of the Underworld.

In Greek mythology, Gemini was associated with the myth of Castor and Pollux, the children of Leda and Argonauts both. Pollux was the son of Zeus, who seduced Leda, while Castor was the son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta and Leda's husband. Castor and Pollux were also mythologically associated with St. Elmo's fire in their role as the protectors of sailors. When Castor died, because he was mortal, Pollux begged his father Zeus to give Castor immortality, and he did, by uniting them together in the heavens.

What a story. I am starting to look in a different way to the stars at night as I am getting to know more about them and this story I didn't know. I always thought that Gemini was called after the twins who created Rome, Romulus and Remus, a twin raised by a she wolf, as is the legend as we all know, but it turns out that Gemini got it's name from the Greeks.

Credits: Romulus and Remus fed by a she wolf

Well ... I must say it's not a disappointment to read the other story from which the name Gemini comes.

It was another nice trip among the stars I think and I hope it will inspire you to write all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form. Be inspired and have fun!

I wasn't inspired enough, so I decided to "re-produce" my haiku which I shared in the above mentioned Zodiac episode back in 2013.

magpie peeps
through the curtains at the twins -
glistening crystals

glistening crystals -
necklace bounds them together
my twin nieces

my twin nieces
always together, sharing their friends
and their lovers

© Chèvrefeuille (April 2013)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 15th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Grus (Crane), later on. For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Those prompts don't get any easier! Nice personal touch to your series there.