Posted by: Zane Maser | May 25, 2011


Brothers come in all sizes, shapes, and temperaments. Some are cunning. Others caring. Benign ones blend into the woodwork. The number of brothers emasculated by overly dominant, frightened mothers who inappropriately cross psychological and physical boundaries is greater than we’d care to estimate. Some brothers are like the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. You could not get an emotional drop of nourishment out of them, for love nor money, because they are simply emotionally incapable. Others are downright dishonest, greedy, ruthless, or corrupt. The ones we all hope for are the kind, generous beings who radiate a warmth of steadfast love.

No matter which type of brother we have in this lifetime, it is a “holy relationship,” as the Course in Miracles terms it. There are spiritual lessons to be learned on each side, and when we take into account birth order and role in the family, additional nuances are incorporated into the familial pot. There is, however, the potential to attain the Holy Grail of Siblinghood—at its most exalted level within the brother-sister relationship as we ripen with age.

Siblings are witnesses to our lives, the custodians of our earliest memories and the touchstones of our childhood
experiences. Brothers and sisters are powerful figures in
our lives, whose influences contribute to the emotional foundation upon which intimate relationships are built.
Brian Clark

Since Saturday, May 21, the Sun is currently traversing the mutable air sign of Gemini, known as those lively heavenly twins. Its fleet-of-foot god of messages, Mercury, travels between worlds on his errands—to carry and bring back communications—as he both discloses and keeps sacred secrets. These worlds include Heaven, Earth, and Hades (the Underworld, where Mercury journeys with departed souls).

The transcendental nature of this cerebrally oriented, agile god is to bestow the ability of “true communion” (enhancing the link between our outer and higher selves, between matter and spirit) on those souls with Mercury strongly figured in their natal birth chart. Keep in mind that we all have the mythical Hermes somewhere in our chart, as we do both Gemini and Virgo as well—the two signs that are ruled by curious and restless Mercury. For some, however, the agency of Mercury is the keystone to their evolutionary development.

Gemini is a dual sign, with the symbol of two great, side-by-side pillars reminding us that to approach and gain entrance into the Temple of Wisdom—what the Greeks called the Gates of Hercules—we must become equally adept at harmonizing the dark and light aspects of life. This is akin to steadying the mind enough to achieve a perfect balance and unity, in a world of opposites and opposing forces, between the negative and positive life streams that flow through all of Creation. Thus, Mercury governs the mind, the power of thought, and the developing human consciousness, as we interface with our immediate, everyday environment.

One of the primary components or major areas of life within Gemini’s and Mercury’s purview governs our relationships with our brothers and sisters—the bond of siblinghood. Gemini’s and Mercury’s specific house is the 3rd house in an astrological chart, within the complete circle of 12 houses. These blood relationships are the significant familial milieu of our early childhood environment, also coming under the rulership of the 3rd house. Our siblings are a vital part of the reflecting mirror that tell us early on who we are.

In the case of those most famous Roman twins, Castor and Pollux, the tale goes that they were even unwilling to be separated by death. When Castor is slain by another set of twins, becoming the immortal one, Zeus grants the grieving, earthly Pollux his desire to remain linked with his brother. The twins get to alternate living between heaven and earth, able to meet once a day to tell each another what they had learned. This myth amplifies the Gemini/Mercury theme of the eternal balancing act between shadow and light, spirituality and materiality, and the rational and intuitive minds until all are reconciled into a seamless whole—when the poles of experience merge in the center.

I grew up with a Moon in Gemini brother. My brother, dad, and I had all three of the Air-sign Moons among us—Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. But within the family dynamics, dad and I were most on the “outs” with my brother. We were never close during our growing-up years or beyond them. We seemed to be on different wavelengths. He and our sister were close, a fortunate and supportive bond for them. I confess there were times when I felt left out. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why did he not see the same value in me?

Sibs, in ascending birth order

Much later, I came to realize that my brother had his own valiant, inner struggles and disabling, emotional demons, something that a Gemini Moon person confronts in those depressing depths of their own personal underworld. Who would have known? His was a persona of independent non-readability, revealing little if any cracks in his tenuously constructed dam, which held at bay emotional tidal waves that could at any precipitous moment capsize his own tender, fragile, egoic boat.

Today, I finally understand, in some small measure, how difficult a task the role of a brother, son, father, or husband can be. When the early masculine seed bed of life is fraught with such high expectations and repressions of a naturally flowing emotional life—you’re a sissy if you cry—no wonder it’s not always easy to be a brother who shows up in a way that a sister may need in the moment. They often cannot even show up for themselves! It seems the son-mother relationship is every bit as all-encompassing and deeply problematic as the more, highly publicized mother-daughter dyad.

In their most strenuous moments of testing, such as the battlefield of war or moments before dying, many a man’s consciousness harkens back to their mother. To the little child who once again has the full attention of their mother and her comforting arms—if they were fortunate enough to have them in the first place.

Harry Patch (the last surviving British soldier of WWI, age 109) made this revelatory comment, when he was interviewed by Andrew Motion (a British poet laureate): “…some nights I dream—of that first battle. I can’t forget it. I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last sixty seconds of his life. He only said one word: ‘Mother.’ I didn’t see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God’s presence. I’ve never got over it. You never forget it. Never.”1

At times, it comes across to me that some women seem not to have a compassionate enough understanding of what it truly must be like to be born into a male body and male psyche with so many pre-determined expectations, demands of performance, and programmed agendas. Essentially, the emotional faucet is deemed “inappropriate” and summarily shut down at a very early age for too many boys. Who wants to be labeled a wimp or mommy’s boy? If you don’t stop those tears right now, I’ll give you something to cry about was a refrain my husband heard his father yell.

But as the mileage of life accrues year after year, the lessons of heart include gaining a greater understanding and allowance for our fragile humanness. I finally see my brother in a clearer light and with much greater compassion than heretofore when my own tenuous ego got in the way. I pray I am a better sister mirror today for the genuinely wonderful and tender person my brother is in both his very human and divine sides.

Gemini is a tricky sign to navigate, with its many curiosities, scatterings in a multiplicity of tantalizing interests, dashing here and there. It’s no surprise that Mercury rules the nervous system, lungs, and the breath. Often, those with Gemini, Virgo, and Mercury accentuated in their charts have highly active and busy nervous systems, along with “too many minds” all going at once and in different directions. This points to the spiritual goal depicted in the Gemini glyph of the two strong pillars wherein the overly activated outer mind rests in perfect balance with the Higher Mind within the Heart Center.

This symbol of the entryway into the Temple of Universal Wisdom also suggests the harmonious give-and-take of brother to sister, sister to brother, hand in hand, as we enter the Temple with greater awareness. Our hearts are brimming with forgiveness, acceptance, and love not only for siblings of blood but also for all our human siblings. We are all of the same Divine cloth. At the beginning and in the end, contained within the Circle of Humanity, we are truly one another’s sister and brother.



Similar Offerings:

• Getting My Bearings (in part a description of the purpose and value of      the retrograde cycle of Mercury)

• The Cup Called Mother

• Sacred Ashes

• For the Love of Dad

• Memory Garden

• The Hunchback in Each of Us

• Shrouded in “A Dark Night”

• Circulation


1. I read this interview in the Sunday Parade magazine, but, unfortunately, I did not record the date. It was 2-3 years ago.


Text and Photos © by Zane Maser, 2011. All rights of Zane Maser and SunnyCat Astrology reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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