Moon Wisdom: Twin Faces of Spring and Summer

The new moon on Thursday, May 25, unofficially welcomes summer. The last lunation of spring begins on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. The earliest sunrises of the year occur close to the full moon on June 9. Day length slows through mid-June. Sunlight maxes out with the summer solstice on June 21. This lunar month is high solar time for the Northern Hemisphere.

The new moon is the closest supermoon of 2017. Since it’s a dark moon this week, there isn’t much to see except for Venus as the “morning star.” Areas prone to flooding may experience higher tides. Women who are hormonally sensitive to the lunar phases may feel the super, stronger new moon.

Over the holiday weekend, the moon waxes as a crescent. Look for the skinny, young moon low on the western horizon – perfect for a relaxing, scenic location with sunset views. The moon passes below Castor and Pollux, the Gemini stars on Sunday, May 28. Except in urban locations, the bright, twinned northernmost zodiacal stars are visible under clear night skies.

The thickening moon rises in the southeast by late afternoon next week. During the first weekend of June, the just-past-first-quarter moon passes near bright Jupiter and Spica. The moon closely conjuncts, almost grazing Jupiter on Saturday, June 3.  Jupiter slips into view during twilight, followed by Spica in Virgo at dusk. Then the beautiful trio travels together overhead until nearly daybreak.

Have you marked the coming American solar eclipse on August 21 on your calendar? The U.S. postal service releases commemorative forever stamps in late June. As the big solar eclipse day approaches, the media coverage will increase. Remember that protective eyewear is necessary, if you plan to look directly at the sun. Only three months away, the August solar eclipse is an opportunity that likely comes once in a lifetime.

Astrological Influences + Considerations

The new moon is in twinned Gemini. Gemini is one of the zodiac’s three dual and mutable signs. The other two are Sagittarius, the centaur, which is half-horse and half-human, and Pisces, two fish swimming in opposite directions.

The dual signs represent different forms of heterogeneity. Airy Gemini is about twinning, mirroring, and complements, dualism as two halves of a whole (1 divides into 2). Fiery Sagittarius is about synthesis of opposites, instinctual and divine nature, dualism as completing a circle, the eternal return (2 combine as 1). And watery Pisces is about incongruences, past and future, yin and yang, dualism as ambiguous separation (1 shifting set of 2).

Gemini is depicted as human, as are Virgo, the maiden, and Aquarius, the water bearer. Like Gemini, Virgo is mutable and ruled by intellectual Mercury. Airy Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, which is considered to be a higher octave of Mercury. Therefore, Gemini’s essential qualities are: a human pairing, airy and cerebral, plus mutable or changeable. Twins just wanna have clever fun.

It’s easy to relate to Gemini. The sign makes for an accommodating chameleon and chatty, witty friend. Gemini mirrors back what you hope to see, and doesn’t hold you or especially itself accountable. High-strung Gemini constantly seeks novelty. The multitasking sign stays in perpetual motion, full of adolescent energy.

Gemini often is “in its head.” But don’t expect deep penetration. Although eager to talk, Gemini may show boredom by mid-sentence. That’s so last paragraph. Gemini may seem indifferent to truth over fiction. Attention to detail strains the attention span. Insincere? Unreliable? Gemini often seems that way. Enjoy the quicksilver companionship while overlooking the inconsistencies.

The sign of late spring, early summer brims with sunny promise. The sun entered Gemini last Saturday. The new moon follows in a few days. The Gemini lunation favors studying something different, or beginning a hobby or activity. Perhaps you’ll flirt with other new possibilities. It’s fitting that a holiday weekend greets cheerful Gemini (its opposite sign, jovial Sagittarius, corresponds with the year-end holidays).

Make progress toward accomplishing goals. Gemini’s shadow side is irresponsibility. Don’t let its influence encourage you to spin wheels with nothing to show for the time and energy. Diversion is fine. But then it’s time to get back to (oh, so mundane!) work and routine, to people who rely on you. Mars, which affects how we expend energy, transits Gemini until June 4. Mercury enters its sign of Gemini on June 6. Afterward, it’s especially important to focus and still the mind.

Beneath the high spirits, this is a critical time. We reach the summer solstice a few days before the lunation ends. Then half of the solar year (solstice to solstice) has passed. Are you where you intended to be by mid-2017? Perhaps you’ll need to resist distractions and return to January intentions. But don’t deny yourself easy smiles under the Gemini moon and fun under its sun.

Lastly, during the first weekend of June, Venus conjuncts Uranus in Aries. Their pairing is highly unpredictable and possibly explosive, particularly regarding the emotions. If this affects you, your love life could be in for some unexpected excitement. However, the moon conjuncts Jupiter in Libra that Saturday (see above). Their pairing offers reciprocity and romance that softens potential aggression or upheaval from Venus and Uranus. If these dual aspects encourage ambivalence, well, that’s Gemini too.

On Wonderful Moon

For a longer, more detailed version of this post, see last week’s Moonday. The full moon in Sagittarius will be discussed in the next Wonderful Moon, Moon Wisdom, in approximately two weeks. Because it’s berry season, the last full moon of spring is called the “strawberry moon.” Yum!

Yoga Wellness posts in a few days. The complementary Wonderful Moon section draws on Gemini to discuss dualism in yoga practice. Broadly applicable to life, it’s not only for yogis!

Wonderful Moon currently is published in two parts before the new and full moons. The focus is on viewing and experiencing the moon with lore, advice, and yoga-oriented body awareness that meshes with the phase, season, and astrological influences. The bimonthly posts are separated into Moon Wise and Yoga Wellness.

Photography: Sunrise at Waterfront Park” (May 20, 2017) is by noted lunar and landscape photographer Greg Diesel Walck, from his gdieselphoto album on Instagram. The sun rises over Charleston Harbor, SC, with dawn reflections, water mirroring sky. Looking left in the distance, beyond the cruise ship, can you see the Ravenel Bridge? Diesel Walck took the photo shortly before the Memorial Day weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of summer.

Sphinx Yoga
Written by Sphinx Yoga
A longtime yogi and night sky gazer, Wendy Sphinx has published Moonday and Sphinx Yoga for two years. She lives in NC and finishes 200-hour yoga teacher training this spring. Although she’s been exposed to many flavors of yoga, her current practice is Dharma-focused, which is where she began her journey many years and moons ago. She earned a doctorate in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, master’s and graduate women’s studies certificate at Duke, and undergraduate degree in writing and literature from NYU, with a summer session in science at Oxford University in the UK. A communications professor for 20 years, she has worked professionally in journalism, marketing and public relations since the 1980s. Her grandmother was an astrologer, and she grew up reading horoscopes and looking at the moon, planets, and stars through a backyard telescope. The Sphinx’s bimonthly column, Wonderful Moon, draws on this background to share lore, advice, and timely yoga tips for the new and full moon phases. Information on observing the moon is combined with astrological insights, consideration of nature and seasonal change, and the cycles of our lives. Beautiful lunar photography is provided by award-winning photographer and author Greg Diesel Walck.