Moon and Gemini

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Moon and Gemini

Ancient skylore is pretty tawdry. Everywhere you look, you find stories of betrayal, seduction, vanity, and even murder. Yet some skylore is a bit more uplifting — tales of love, devotion, and sacrifice.

One of those tales is told in the story of Castor and Pollux — the twins of Gemini — who are dropping down the western sky on these late spring nights.

According to one version of the story, the queen of Sparta gave birth to two sets of twins — one boy and one girl in each pair. One set was fathered by her husband. But the other set was sired by Zeus, the king of the gods.

The four children were raised together, and the two boys — one mortal, the other immortal — were inseparable. They had many adventures — they joined Jason and the other Argonauts in the search for the golden fleece, for example.

But during a fight, the mortal Castor was killed. Pollux was inconsolable. He begged Zeus to allow him to die so he could join Castor. Moved by Pollux’s love for his brother, Zeus agreed to keep them together for all eternity. They spend their time in the heavens — where they’re represented by the stars of Gemini.

The constellation is in the western sky at nightfall. Its brightest stars represent the twins themselves. They line up to the right of the Moon. Brighter Pollux is closer to the Moon, with Castor to its right.


Script by Damond Benningfield

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