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The Labors of Hercules - Labor III - Part 2

Gathering the Golden Apples of the Hesperides - Part 2
(Gemini, May 21st - June 20th)

The Field of the Labor

Gemini has in it two stars, called by the Greeks, Castor and Pollux, or the Twins. These personify two major groups of stars, the Seven Pleiades, and the Seven Stars of the Great Bear, which are the two constellations, in the north, around which our universe seems to revolve. One star represents each constellation. From the standpoint of esotericism, the great mystery of God incarnate in matter, and the crucifixion of the cosmic Christ upon the cross of matter, is tied up with the relationship (presumed from most ancient times to exist) between the stars of the Pleiades and those of the Great Bear.
These two groups of stars represent God, the macrocosm, whilst in Gemini, Castor and Pollux were regarded as symbols of man, the microcosm. They were also called Apollo and Hercules: Apollo, meaning the Ruler, the Sun God; and Hercules, "the one who comes to labor". They represent, therefore, the two aspects of man's nature, the soul and the personality, the spiritual man and the human being through which that spiritual entity is functioning: Christ incarnate in matter, God working through form.

Castor was regarded as mortal and Pollux as immortal. It is an interesting astronomical fact that the star, Castor, is waning in brilliancy and has not the light that it had several hundred years ago; whilst Pollux, the immortal brother, is waxing in brightness and eclipsing his brother, so reminding one of the words of John the Baptist, spoken as he looked at the Christ, "He must increase, but i must decrease". (St. John, III, 30) Thus [65] we have a most significant constellation, because it holds before the eyes of man the thought of the increasing potency of the spiritual life and the decreasing power of the personal self. The story of man's growth to maturity and the history of the soul's gradually increasing control are told for us in the constellation Gemini.

In the ancient zodiac of Denderah, this sign is called "the place of Him who cometh", and the thought of an emerging spiritual Being is held before us. It is represented by two figures, the one male, the other female; one, the positive, spirit aspect, and the other, the negative, matter aspect. The Coptic and the Hebrew names signify "united", and this is the status of Hercules, the aspirant. He is soul and body unified. This was the problem to be wrestled with in the sign Gemini. The at-one-ment of the lower with the higher self, of the mortal and the immortal aspects, is the objective. It was this problem that created the devious and prolonged search that Hercules undertook, for he was at length attentive to the voice of Nereus, the higher self, but sometimes under the illusion and glamor of the lower self.

The duality which is emphasized in Gemini rims through a large number of the mythological stories. We meet the same brothers again in Romulus and Remus, for instance, and in Cain and Abel, one brother dying and the other living. We meet the astrological symbol for Gemini in the two pillars of Masonry, and many believe that the Masonic tradition could, if we had the power to do so, be traced back to that period, antedating the Taurian age, when the sun was in Gemini, and to that great cycle in which the Lemurian race, the first strictly human race, came into being; where the mind aspect began to emerge, and the duality of mankind became a fact in nature.
The Lemurian race was the third race; and this labor that Hercules symbolically, undertook, is the third labor. The search upon which he was engaged was for the soul, and this has ever been the unrecognized search of the human being [66] until the time comes when he knows himself to be Hercules and starts to concentrate upon the search for the golden apples of instruction and wisdom. So we have in the Masonic tradition the search of the human family typified, the search for light, the search for unity, the search for divinity. And so the two pillars, Boaz and Jachin, stand as the emblems of that duality.

In China, Castor and Pollux are spoken of as the two "gods of the door," showing the tremendous power that the god of matter can assume, and also the potency of divinity.

Gemini is predominantly the sign of the intellect and it has a peculiarly vital effect in our Aryan race. In this race the mind faculty and the intellect have been steadily developed. Gemini, therefore, has influence in three departments, which concern themselves with human relations. First, it governs all education. It deals with knowledge, with the sciences, and lays the foundation for wisdom. One educator has said that "the ultimate purpose of education is the acquiring of knowledge in order to receive the higher revelation. The unintelligent may receive it, but they cannot interpret it". In this labor, Hercules receives an outstanding revelation and in the five stages of his search his education is steadily carried forward.

The exoteric ruler of Gemini and of the first decanate is Mercury for, as Alan Leo tells us:

"Mercury in the outer world signifies schools, colleges, and all places where teaching and learning go on, scientific and literary institutions ... In consciousness, it signifies thought, understanding, reason, intelligence, intellect; the abstract kinds rather than the concrete, knowledge for its own sake ... Its highest application seems to be what is called 'pure reason' . In body, it governs the brain and nervous system, the tongue and organs of speech, the hands as instruments of intelligence."
(Alan Leo, Complete Dictionary of Astrology, p. 163)

Gemini stands, secondly, for the relation between. It governs, therefore, language, intercourse or inter-communication 'and commerce. It is interesting to note that the United States [67] and London are both governed by Gemini; that the English language is becoming predominantly the world tongue; that the greatest lines of ocean communication start from New York or London, and that both these cities have been world markets and world centers of distribution. Mercury, the ruling planet of the sign, is the interpreter, the messenger of the gods. It is worth noticing also in this connection how Hercules comes under the influence of two teachers: Nereus, the higher teacher, and Busiris, the lower or psychic teacher; and thus we again have emphasized both the duality of Gemini and its mental quality.

When this sign is in evidence as it is now, being a powerful mutable sign, it inaugurates many changes; new ideas flood the world; new impulses make their presence felt; new and undeveloped lines of approach to spiritual truth emerge, and many teachers will arise everywhere to help lead the race into a new state of spiritual awareness. Being an air sign, we find that the conquest of the air proceeds with speed, and also a constant effort is made to unify and coordinate the many and varied aspects of human endeavor.

Venus is the esoteric ruler of Gemini and governs the second decanate; for Venus makes at-one, and through its influence the law of attraction and the bringing together of the polar opposites takes place. But all these changes and unifications naturally inaugurate a new state of awareness, a new state of being, and bring in a new age and a new world. Consequently, new difficulties and problems arise and we find Saturn governing the last decanate, for Saturn is the planet of discipleship; the planet that brings about the difficulties, problems and tests that offer to the disciple immediate opportunity. It is Saturn that opens the door into incarnation, and Saturn that opens the door on to the path of initiation. Mercury, the interpreter, and the illuminating intellect; Venus, the principle of attraction and of at-one-ment; and Saturn, the generator of opportunity: these three play their parts in the life of the aspirant as [68] he unifies higher and lower, passes through the five stages in this test, and visions the goal which ultimately he must achieve.

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