Decan Walk: Gemini 1…2…3

The first decan of Gemini, infused with Jupiter’s expansive energy, crackles with a thirst for knowledge. It’s a tapestry of enthusiastic exploration, brimming with ideas and a yearning to connect, as described by Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces. This decan emphasizes duality, weaving the power of language and logic, and potentially feeling overwhelmed by information and inner complexities. Ibn Ezra depicts the figure of this decan as “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew.” This image encapsulates the essence of the decan as a mind constantly stitching together ideas and perspectives.

Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s groundbreaking work on the philosophy of language, particularly in Philosophical Investigations, resonates deeply with the intellectual pursuit of meaning inherent in this Jupiterian decan of Gemini. Imagine a vibrant marketplace of thoughts, buzzing with the potential for discovery and lively communication. Here, seemingly simple words become multifaceted gems, reflecting the decan’s fascination with duality. Wittgenstein highlights the context-dependence of language. A single word, like “tool,” can be a sturdy hammer, a delicate screwdriver, or even a metaphor for the mind itself, depending on the fabric of the conversation. This aligns perfectly with the decan’s desire to explore different threads of meaning and uncover hidden depths within language.

Traditionally, Gemini, ruled by Mercury, focuses on the practicalities of language use. We learn grammar, vocabulary, and how to stitch words together to form sentences. Philosophical Investigations goes deeper, unraveling the notion of language as a static collection of definitions, and instead focusing on the “how” of meaning-making. Wittgenstein examines how context shapes communication, highlighting the shared practices and social conventions that weave words with meaning. This perfectly aligns with Jupiter’s association with the expansion of universal truths and principles. Here, the text isn’t simply about what words mean; it’s about understanding the fundamental rules that govern how we sew them together to create meaning.

One of Wittgenstein’s central ideas, “language games,” exemplifies the influence of Jupiter in the first decan. He proposes that language functions similarly to a weaver’s toolkit. The tools themselves (words) have inherent value, but their meaning and purpose are determined by the specific project (context) at hand. A skilled weaver might use the same needle and thread to create a delicate tapestry or a sturdy rug. Similarly, Wittgenstein suggests words have meaning based on the “pattern” we’re following – a conversation, a technical manual, a poem.

This pursuit reflects the multifaceted nature of Jupiter’s influence. On one hand, it aligns with Jupiter’s expansive desire for a unified theory, seeking a grand explanation for how communication works across different scenarios. On the other hand, the act of encompassing diverse contexts requires adaptability. Just as a skilled weaver utilizes the same tools to create tapestries of varying styles and functions, Wittgenstein’s “language games” acknowledge that words can hold multiple meanings depending on the communicative “pattern” at play. This adaptability bridges the gap between the vastness of human experience and the tools we use to express it.

The first decan thrives on duality, the idea that one concept can hold multiple truths. Wittgenstein demonstrates this by highlighting how context and shared practices shape interpretation. For instance, the word “tool” can represent a hammer, a software program, or even a metaphor for the mind itself, depending on the situation. This fascination with the multifaceted nature of language is a hallmark of Gemini, and Philosophical Investigations become a playground for exploring these complexities.

Ultimately, Philosophical Investigations stands as a testament to the unique blend of the first decan of Gemini. It embodies Gemini’s insatiable curiosity about language, constantly exploring its complexities and multifaceted nature. At the same time, it reflects Jupiter’s expansive influence, yearning to understand the underlying structures that govern communication across cultures and contexts. By dissecting the “how” of language and seeking universal principles, Philosophical Investigations transcends a mere exploration of words. It becomes a journey that reflects the intellectual fervor and thirst for knowledge characteristic of the first decan of Gemini, fueled by Jupiter’s expansive energy.

The first decan of Gemini, fueled by Jupiter’s expansive energy, thrives on exploration and a multitude of ideas. But this abundance of threads can turn into a tangled mess. The Eight of Swords tarot card, associated with this decan, serves as a cautionary tale. Here, a blindfolded figure stands amidst eight swords, unable to move forward. This card reflects Jupiter’s placement in its detriment within Gemini. Jupiter’s boundless expansion and possibility, when paired with Gemini’s natural inclination to weave intricate tapestries of thought, can lead to a dangerous situation. The figure in the Eight of Swords embodies this perfectly – paralyzed by the multitude of “what if” scenarios playing out in their mind, they become hopelessly entangled in the webs spun by their own thoughts.

This “analysis paralysis” perfectly captures the state of being caught in the loom of the mind. The blindfold represents the inability to see a clear path due to the intricate mental tapestry obscuring vision. The Eight of Swords’ core message resonates with this: the need to break free from these self-made mental knots and take action. Even a small snip of the metaphorical thread, a decisive choice to move forward, can be enough to break the cycle of indecision.

The Eight of Swords, however, doesn’t negate this decan’s core strengths. The very act of having numerous options, though overwhelming at times, reflects Gemini’s inherent duality. It’s a double-edged sword: the potential for exploration and discovery exists alongside the risk of paralysis. The challenge, as the Eight of Swords suggests, lies in acknowledging this duality and learning to navigate it.

The wisdom of the Eight of Swords involves embracing curiosity and exploring a multitude of ideas, which is valuable, but discernment is key. Recognizing when analysis becomes paralysis and taking a step forward, even if uncertain, allows those caught up in this energy to move beyond the mental prison and continue their vibrant exploration of the world.


Spider in the Labyrinth – Eight of Swords

Pregnant with possibility

I notice my mind, a labyrinth’s maze.

Enter, the minotaur, whose face is always off in the


Whose eyes we never see


In those moments that we hear the scraping of his cloven hooves, 

I find myself searching for something to keep my hands busy


With needle and thread, I stitch 

the hole in my chest back 

together, line by line, section by section, 

each color packed with it’s own parts


A sacrifice to the thick 

air, heavy breathing, 

spit that stung and sticks to your eyelid, 

spit that slurps up into your nasal cavities, spit spluttered through teeth 


too large to fit a mouth.

Call it an offering,


name it as fission, 

in which the parent of hope dies, 

so that two identical ghosts may prosper


I am strung up, Ariadne, by the neck 

and instead of raising fists towards liberation, 

I find myself suspended in the membrane of this moment

McCalla Ann (she/they) is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist, diviner, ritualist, poet-philosopher, and witch residing in Houston, Texas, by way of New Orleans. McCalla’s current witchcraft studies focus on the extra-sensuous nature of ritual performance and expression as it intersects with meta-linguistics, poetics, and mystic embodiment. As an MA student of the GEM program developed for Religious Studies students at Rice University, McCalla puts particular attention to the study of mysticism, eroticism, and the monstrous body. McCalla supports her community by acting as host to the conversational and art-focused occult podcast SaturnVox, and her infamously affective and notoriously accurate tarot readings. In her spare time McCalla devotes loving attention to tending her garden, reveling in fashion and design, and has had a career in performance art and fire dancing for over a decade. She also has a deep appreciation for film and narratology, and can often be found consuming a story alongside her cat on the couch.


art: Jesse Treece

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