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Black Chancery text

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Gemini, by Johfra Bosschart

Gemini by Johfra, pg. 110 in your personalized book You and the Universe




         Bosschart pulls out all the stops symbolizing duality in his Gemini poster. In the center we have human male and female, possibly Adam and Eve, the mental man pointing heavenward and the woman pointing down to earth, which she certainly symbolizes. Between them they complete the Tarot Magician's "As above, So below" gesture depicted in Johfra's Aries poster. This gesture is most appropriate in Gemini for Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-great"), the purported author of that statement, was a syncretic combination of the Greek Mercury/Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth (although for many Greeks Hermes and Hermes Trismegistus remained two distinct gods).  Between them Adam and Eve hold the caduceus staff of Mercury, ruler of Gemini and Virgo. In Gemini Mercury was rational, analytical and associative, whereas in Virgo he was critical, discriminating and concerned with health.

         The caduceus is entwined by a pair of serpents. One legend has it that Mercury saw two serpents twined about each other in a mortal contest. When he separated them with his wand and brought them peace, his wand with two serpents around it came to be seen as a sign of peace. Another myth has it that as a new-born infant Mercury stole Apollo’s sacred cattle. When caught he offered his lyre made from a tortoise shell in compensation to his half-brother Apollo. So as a gesture of good will Apollo gave Mercury his caduceus. The caduceus is also associated with commerce (from “co” + Mercury” = with Mercury), with Asclepius, an ancient Greek god of medicine and Apollo’s son, and with messengers, as Mercury was the messenger between the god and mortals. Mercury, guide of the dead also represented and protected gamblers, thieves, liars, merchants and shepherds. As a medical symbol the rod of Asclepius had only one snake and no wings; nevertheless in North America the caduceus is often incorrectly used to represent medical or health-care professionals, primarily due to its erroneous adoption as the US Army Medical Corps’ insignia in 1902.

         At the bottom of the painting we see the Lion lying down with the unicorn, symbols of the United Kingdom and heraldic supporters in its coat of arms. As the Lion represents England and the Unicorn Scotland, their combination symbolizes the 1603 accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne where he was crowned James I of England, another great symbol of two in one. Whether or not this was what Johfra was symbolizing I do mot know. Between them the Monkey measuring the earth is an oriental reference to Gemini as "the monkey sign" where like the monkey it mimics, copies and collects "the ten thousand things" of life. On the right above the Lion is the fool representing wisdom gained through innocent experience (or through ignorance) of those very” ten thousand things” of life. On the left above the Unicorn is Temperance, the 14th trump or Major Arcana in the Waite Tarot deck. Female or androgynous, she is depicted as pouring water into wine, again symbolizing the blending or synthesis of opposites. The Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn associated Temperance with the sign Sagittarius, the polar opposite to Gemini. At the top of the two columns on each side are the primary symbols of the yin and yang duality: the Moon and the Sun, rising respectively out of silver and gold chalices. The dragons and the eagles between them could represent China and the United States, but I doubt it. I could find nothing relevant on red and green dragons.


Links to all 12 of Johfra Bosschart's Zodiac Series posters:







small Scorpio glyph in the Johfra Bosschart sign-links table










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Pages 2-3 from your astrology reading in a fine art, personalized astrology book: You and the Universe





deluxe and standard covers for all book versions

Deluxe cover for all of the personalized, fine art astrology books









© Carl Woebcke: Gemini, by Johfra Bosschart, 1991-2016. All rights reserved.