The mind that perceives the limitation IS the limitation. –Buddha
The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings. As the shadow follows the body, As we think, so we become. — Buddha Dhammapada
Mercury is a shape-shifter, and never more so than when he’s in his own sign of Gemini. Shape-shifting is the basic medicine of gods and shamans. It’s a key part of Gemini’s medicine too. This is the Sign of the Twins. The One and the Two are the same. They can change back and forth before your eyes.
In Gemini, there’s always another side to the story. The theme of two runs like a river straight through the lives of the Gemini tribe. Surprisingly often, they’ll literally be twins. Or they’ll have one sibling, two children, two homes, or two jobs. Almost always they have two extremely pronounced sides of their personalities. Whatever you think you know about the Geminis in your life (including yourself), there’s always another side.
That gives Gemini an inside track on a very basic fact about the cosmos: in this world, reality has two sides. Polarity is woven into the fabric of life. Sun and Moon, Venus and Mars, Jupiter and Saturn–each of these core energies within us exists in relationship with its complementary opposite. There’s only one exception is Mercury, Gemini’s ruler. He doesn’t need a complementary opposite. He carries the energy of duality within him.
In the modern world, we’ve come to think of polarities as opposites. Because so much of our reality is defined by dominance, we see the polarities as antagonistic. One must be right, the other wrong. That’s the program that’s been running since … well, since the Masculine threw over the Feminine and said, “Things are going to be different from now on. From here on out, this is right, and that is wrong.”
This is exactly the thinking that’s gotten us into the world-class pickle in which we find ourselves now. True to his nature, Mercury knows the way out: polarities are complementary, not antagonistic, opposites. Like us, he contains them both. When he’s in a pickle, he shape-shifts to his other side.
The Shamanic Side of the Brain
Just as our bodies include two sides, our brain contains two halves. One is the linear, analytical left brain who’s become something of a petty tyrant in our modern world. The other is the intuitive, creative, nonverbal right brain. The left brain is a brilliant engineer, a manager, and a bean-counter. The right brain is a genius too–a visionary, an artist, a shaman, a mystic. Part of this shamanic right brain is actually in our body. As neuroscientists like Candace Pert and others have discovered, our digestive tract, sometimes called “the second brain,” contains more neuro-receptors for emotion than our brains.
Functioning separately, these are talented but fatally flawed perspectives. Disconnected, they lose track of their interdependence. Working together, they can change reality. Disconnected from the right brain’s holistic insight, our brilliant left brains create drugs that cure one disease while causing another. These are the minds who design fossil fuel-powered cars, trains, and planes that poison the atmosphere. This is the brain-power behind synthetic foods that throw the body’s metabolisms completely out of whack.
A whole-brain approach collaborates with nature’s systems. Using both halves of our mind, we discover the healing properties of herbs and other plants, tap the natural energies of sun and wind for power, and develop sustainable systems of high-quality organic foods that promote health.
Mercury is a trickster—wily, deceptive, and full of mischief and creativity. Ancient and archetypal, the trickster is found in every cultre in the world. Synchronicity and shape-shifting are his powers—the ability to hear the Universe singing in every moment and allow its energy to transform the world of form. It’s when we’re in transition that we’re most open to them.
As a rule-breaker, the trickster mediates both sides of the borders he crosses–reason and intuition, feeling and reason, human and divine. This loosens the grip of authoritarian, hierarchical energies and makes the world a more interesting place. Trickster helps to create culture, which can’t exist without the bridges he builds. He’s often called a fool–but his gift is wisdom.
To release the shape-shifting power of Gemini into your life, try these:
- Gossip and network. Tap the power of your birth chart’s 3rd House of the Everyday. This realm of the day-to-day thoughts and communications is Mercury’s playground.
- Nourish your nervous system with acupuncture, yoga, and tai chi.
- Listen to your right brain. Keep a dream journal. Drum. Read tarot cards. Get your chart read. Listen to music. Learn about the work of anthropologist Robinette Kennedy and others who are introducing both ancient and contemporary techniques that foster whole-brain functioning.
- Feed the house of your birth chart with Gemini on the cusp. Because no information is regarded as useless to Gemini, the part of your chart with this sign on the cusp is where you can see things freshly and make unlikely juxtapositions. This will be where we multitask, have two things going simultaneously.
- Play with your Gemini planets. Thriving on variety and stimulation, and story-telling, these are your inner discoverer and connection-makers.