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The Legend of the Dioscuri - the Twins of Gemini

Posted by Aleksandra Ceho on June 9, 2015 at 1:00 AM

Zeus in the form of a swan and the birth of Leda's children: Castor, Pollux, Clytemnestra and Helen.

Hi everyone!

I hope that all is well! It is Gemini season and as perhaps one of the most stereotyped signs, I wanted to take a moment to share the legend of the Dioscuri – the twins who were honoured by the creation of the Gemini constellation.

The Dioscuri were the twin sons of the King and Queen of Sparta; Tyndareus and Leda. Well, they were the children of this royal couple, but their lineage had a surprise little twist. Zeus, the King of the Gods was quite taken with the beautiful Queen of Sparta and so he appeared to her as a swan. In this form of the swan he managed to seduce the beautiful Leda not knowing that she was already pregnant with twins, children of her husband King Tyndareus.

Leda eventually gave birth to two sets of twins; two were the children of King Tyndareus and two were the children of Zeus. Leda gave birth to them in the form of swan eggs; one egg revealing Castor and Clytemnestra, the son and daughter of King Tyndareus and the other egg revealing Pollux and Helen, the son and daughter of Zeus.

Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers grew up as the inseparable brothers of the royal couple. Castor excelled at horsemanship and was said to be able to communicate with any animal. Pollux was the best boxer in all of Greece, the undefeated champion. They were later honoured as Gods for their legendary skills in horsemanship, athletics and were also known as the guardians of ships and sailors. St. Elmo’s fire, an electrical phenomenon that often occurs during storms was believed to be an omen of their protection.

An ancient vase painting of Castor and Pollux

Castor and Pollux accompanied Jason and the Argonauts on their journey to obtain the legendary Golden Fleece. Pollux proved his mettle as a boxer by defeating the savage King of Bebryces and on the journey home, when the ship was being rocked by a storm, the Argonaut Orpheus prayed to the Gods for safe passage. As he prayed and played his harp, lights began to shine over the heads of Castor and Pollux. It was for this reason that they came to be the patrons of travelers and sailors.

They were also present for the rescue of their sister who came to be known as Helen of Troy. They accompanied Odysseus in the infamous Trojan Horse and participated in the sacking of the city. Their adventures came to an end when they attempted to steal or raid the cattle of their cousins Idas and Lynceus who were often believed to be related to or the sons of the god of war Ares. Idas and Lynceus caught Castor and Pollux in the act and a fight ensued. Castor was killed by Idas and in rage, Pollux killed Lynceus. Zeus happened to be looking upon the ensuing fight and hurled a thunderbolt at Idas, ending his life as well.

Pollux was distraught and heartbroken at the idea of being separated from his brother. He pleaded with Zeus to spare his brother from the horrible fate of going to Hades. In despair, he even offered to share his immortality with Castor. Zeus was so impressed by the brothers’ dedication to each other that he accepted Pollux’s offer. From then on, the brothers shared their fate, alternating days in Hades and on Mount Olympus together. To honour their love for one another, Zeus created the constellation of Gemini and to this day, its brightest stars are known as Castor and Pollux.

The spirit of adventure (and mischief), the gifts of communication and travel, as well as brotherly love are the main qualities of those who fall under the guidance of this constellation. Castor and Pollux are the archetypes of service and sacrifice that underlie the true meaning of Gemini on an esoteric level. This is the sign of mischief and communication, but those who fall in line with this energy also have a deep love for humanity at heart.

Their legend represents the way in which all of humanity grows. It is only in reaching down from above that we raise others up and it is for this reason that Gemini is the sign that is uniquely linked to the progression of humanity.

In that spirit, take a moment and reach your hand out to pull someone up today. Let the brotherly spirit of Gemini inspire you to service…and maybe a touch of mischief as well!

Until next time!



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