Ever since we first started naming stars we knew that we'd always have a special connection to all the constellations, from Aquarius to Capricorn. And seeing as we're in the astrological cycle of Gemini lets take a look at the science and myths of the constellation that have informed our modern understanding.
What Myth inspired the Gemini?
Located in the northern hemisphere of the sky the name Gemini translates loosely to “the twins”. Historically, the constellation represents the twins Castor and Pollux, whom the ancient Greeks would have referred to as the Dioscuri. Dioscuri roughly translates to “Sons of Zeus.” Throughout Greek Mythology they have a lot of wacky adventure together, not unlike most of the other constellations !
Most versions of the Gemini myths have only Pollux as Zeus’ son and Castor as the Son of a Mortal - but either way that doesn't affect their actions in the legends. And whether they were actual biological brothers or not matters little as both were said to grow up together, so they were certainly brothers in a general sense. As per most Greek myths they both displayed amazing feats of physical prowess. Castor was both famed as a horseman and for his swordplay. In some tales, he is said to have taught Heracles himself! (or Hercules if you want his Roman name) Pollux was considered the Mohammed Ali of his day, as his boxing skills were said to be unmatched by anyone in Greece. Such was the pairs' physicality they were both members of the Argonauts’ expedition to get the Golden Fleece.
What adventures did the Gemini have?
Good thing that Gemini decided to venure on the epic voyage, Pollux's boxing skills came in handy when Amycus, a son of Poseidon, refused to let the Argonauts leave until one of them fought him in a boxing match. Thankfully Pollux accepted the challenge and defeated him very easily. As a result of their bravery on the Argon and the many times, they saved the crew, they have been known as the patron saints of sailors.
However, their adventures came to a bloody end. During a fight, Castor was fatally stabbed. At the end of the fight Pollux, overcome with grief asked Zeus to share his immortality with his dead brother. Zeus obliged and the god placed them both in the sky, where they remain inseparable as the constellation Gemini.
What's the meaning behind the Gemini Star Sign?
The bravery and adventuring of these ancient Greek heroes have gone on to inform much of the positive traits we associate with Gemini in modern astrology. Positive Qualities of Gemini are commonly thought to be Good Communication Skills, Gregariousness, Diplomacy, and enthusiasm.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, it's always fun to play around with these different supposed traits that a Gemini seeing how accurate or inaccurate they are!
What do scientists say about Gemini Constellation?
There isn’t much that is particularly from the scientific point of view. Though it’s likely that the two brightest stars in the constellation, Alpha and Beta Geminorum, are what was likely interpreted by the ancient people as the heads of Pollox and Castor.
Amateur stargazers should have an easy time of spotting Gemini in the night sky. As usual, keep your eyes peeled for Orion, and cast your eyes northeast. Those two bright stars we mentioned earlier, those will be the twins that show you you’re looking in the right place!