Gemini is one of the brighter constellations of the Zodiac. In the Northern Hemisphere, it lights up the early evening sky from January until May.
The constellation is said to represent the twins of Greek myth Castor and Polydeuces. These brothers are also known as the Dioskouroi or Dioscuri, meaning “sons of Zeus.” In Latin they are called the Gemini.
Myths differ but in the best known story of their parentage and birth, their mother Leda, a Queen of Sparta, was seduced by a swan that turned out to be Zeus. Amorous Leda soon thereafter also conceived by her husband Tyndareus and gave birth to an egg or eggs that contained the male twins Castor and Polydeuces and female twins Helen and Clytemnestra. These siblings play significant roles in the many myths that describe the Trojan War, Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece and even the Theseus myth.
Castor and Polydeuces are sometimes both mortal, sometimes both divine and sometimes one divine and the other mortal. However the myth is told, they are devoted to each other and when Castor was slain in battle, his grieving twin begged their father Zeus to reunite them.
He placed them in the night sky where to this day Castor and Polydeuces shine as the constellation Gemini and as testament to the constancy of brotherly love.