a woman embraces her image in the mirror

I was just turned away at the airport, from a much awaited trip to a handful of my favorite places: Vienna, Paris and Versailles.

The ticket agent was unusually spry, warm and caring, a person you just feel good around. A good person for breaking bad news. As my husband prattled on about bag weight, she hesitated. I could tell she had something to say to me that she didn’t want to say. “What is it?”, I asked. It turns out, for France, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date. Mine was only valid for one. As I stood there shocked, I thought she might cry over the tragedy of it. It was tragic. A girl denied a European trip.

I cried big fat crocodile tears. All over SFO airport. And on the way back home, driving. And when I arrived home to my dog- who wagged his tail and jumped on my lap, clearly happy to see me again- I cried then, too, because as much as I love my dog, I thought I’d be on my way to eating chocolate almond croissant, visiting the Louvre, shopping in the Marais, and seeing the Paris lights at Christmas. So many plans made, now dashed.

I couldn’t bear to unpack, or do anything. As the tears gushed on, I realized these tears were much bigger than just this trip. It was an existential sense of disappointment and grief, that crestfallen feeling of being so close, yet denied; I was crying for the times in my life I’d anticipated, worked for something and had fallen apart and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Sadness moved into an existential fear, that I was just this small dot, that my own efforts against external forces were too easily undermined, terrified me.

Then I practiced what I’ve been doing lately: I began breathing light into the fear. I moved my consciousness back and forth, between breathing into the fear without trying to change or resist it, to imagining my being flooded with pure, white light. Like Paris snow softly falling, covering me. I reminded myself: There’s no fear bigger than light. If I can see a fear, that means there’s just a place to bring light to it within my own being. Slowly, I began to feel the fear ease up. It became less heavy, less oppressive, lighter. When I laid down on the sofa and rested my head against my dog, Magnus, I peacefully, blessedly, slept.

Love or fear. Disappointment or fulfillment. Shadow or light. The human ego tends to resist one experience and want the other, but we don’t get to choose- we are given all of it. With Gemini, we can move betwixt and between, allowing everything to exist all at once. I’ve never met a Gemini who can’t swiftly glide, practically carefree, over topics, people and ideas that tie others in knots. This has often annoyed my Saturn in Gemini, forever seeking substance, clear logic, facts. But this has fascinated me, too. Gemini gives equal weight to every possibility. Gemini can regard a disappointment… as an interesting new development. Maddening? Yes. Especially when you’re attached to a point of view.

But this skill is extremely helpful for healing the spirit, where becoming whole and integrated relies on the surefooted ability of the Magician to relinquish our attachments, to sew our humpty-dumpty self-parts back together again. The Magician can entertain contradictory feelings, thoughts and impulses in our self, without having an attachment to or opinion about those same things. There’s an inherent neutrality to Gemini. When we feel confused or torn by conflicting inner states, the Magician deftly shelters our contradictions, holding all until it merges into one.

To play with this tool, start with lighter, easier fears, then move on to the bigger ones. Maybe start with the fear that I’m not going to get a good night’s sleep ever again, or a fear for a family member’s well being. Ground yourself, through your feet, your sitz bone. Lean back into your pelvis and get comfortable with the fear. You’re not trying to get rid of it. Now just bring in the light. Imagine one in each hand: fear in one hand and light in the other. Move back and forth, spending a few seconds with each. Notice how this slightly eases the fear. The more comfortable you get with this, the deeper you are able to go into the layers, until you get down to the ultimate fear which is: I’m not really here. I am not real. At this point you may be surprised to find you’re not scared at all. You actually feel good because this is the true reality, that you are light, and that’s a huge relief.

Saturn is the planet of fear and separation; Saturn figures strongly at this Full Moon. Saturn in Sagittarius is square Chiron in Pisces- symbolic of old emotional patterns of fear/control, separation from source, light and love, that we’re ready to release. If we want to heal the divisions in our Spirit, the wounds to our optimism and faith, we can work with our fears-not by trying to control (Saturn) what we’re afraid of, but by becoming willing to meet it.

Life is a study in meeting all our experiences and disappointments without bias, and for this, the Gemini Full Moon is marvelously equipped. Fact and fiction. Disappointment and victory. Dark and light. Loss and gain. Fear and love. We can hold it all. Until telling one thing from the other is beside the point. Until it’s all pure light.