Tuesday 24 May 2011

Gemini, the Temple twins

The sun is in this sign from 22nd May to 22nd June. An air sign.
Key words: letters, books, stories, reports, radio, telephone, roads, railways, twins, dexterity, handicrafts.
Light or planet: Mercury.
Body parts: lungs, arms.

According to legend, Castor was mortal while Pollux was immortal. When Castor died, Pollux did not want to live with the gods alone, so both brothers now travel alternately between Olympus and Hades, between the Holy Mountain and the Otherworld.

Named stars in the Gemini constellation are Althena, Castor A, Castor B, Mebsuta, Pollux, Mekbuda, Wasat, Tejat Posterior and Tejat Prior. The brightest star is not Alpha Geminorum, but Beta Geminorum, also known as Pollux. It is a 1.2 Magnitude orange giant of spectral class KO and is 34 light years away from earth. Alpha Geminorum also known as Castor is fainter at 1.6 Magnitude and is 52 light years away. Castor is a multiple star. Gemini is a complex sextuple system: the visible stars A, B and C are spectroscopic binaries, betrayed by double lines in their spectra. Within a 0.5 circle of the 5.5 Magnitude open star cluster M35 – NGC 2168 it is possible to see some 200 stars, the brightest being 8.0 Magnitude. The cluster is about 2800 light years away. NGC 2392 is known as the Eskimo Nebula or Clown Face. It is a 8.9 Magnitude bright planetary nebula and its distance is estimated at 14000 to 3600 light years away.

In the Bodmin Moor Terrestrial Zodiac, the sign of Gemini lies over the area known as Temple and Cardinham Moor. Parts of the sign are marked on the Ordnance Survey map as a Danger Area. We were at first wary of exploring this area, was it a fenced off military zone that we would be unable to explore? Would we have to walk the perimeter of the Danger Area? The image of the twins is a triumph of imaginative omission, for it is the minds eye that completes the design. The landscape lines that define them curve and melt into the greens and browns of fields, quarries and clay tips. The outline is close to something half-glimpsed or apprehended in the dark of a dream. Do the twins share one body, but two heads? Are they Siamese twins?

In our enhanced visualisation the twins wear red and blue loin-cloths respectively. Both brothers are seated. The twin in the blue has an outstretched hand in which he hold a gold coloured bow and arrow. One leans slightly on his brother and carries a golden harp with four strings. This twin’s head partly obscures the first twin’s head from view. One of his arms embraces his brother and we see his fingers on the other twin’s bare waist. In his other hand he carries a wooden club, the club extends the length of the twin’s hip to shoulder, it is approximately the same shape and covers part of the Danger Area on the Ordnance Survey map though it is smaller and is set at a slightly different angle. The constellation of Gemini is roughly rectangular in shape, however the rectangle is slightly twisted being formed by the conjunction of eight stars. The twins are seated on a red line which runs diagonally beneath them. The red line represents both the Milky Way and the A30. The bow and arrows lie over the hamlet of Temple, the club lies over the Danger Area, its tip is marked by Great Care Hill. The twins’ feet lie on Trehudreh Downs and their heads lie on Hardhead Downs.