Many Greek and Roman myths tell of the twin brothers Castor and Pollux. They are known as the Dioscuri in Greek and as Gemini or Castores in Latin. The brothers shared Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece in the Argonautica and they’re the familial heroes when Theseus and Pirithous abducted their sister Helen.

Though their mother was Leda, Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, King of Sparta, and Pollux was the divine son of Zeus who had seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. They are sometimes said to have been born from an egg or eggs, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

Castor was killed in a family feud after he and Pollux fell in love with and abducted Phoebe and Hilaeira, consorts of their cousins Lynceus and Idas.  Pollux asked his father Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. 

Sharing also meant they had to spend equal time in the underworld.  This division between Heaven and Hades is probably an explanation of the night sky of the Greco-Roman world where the constellation known as Gemini is visible for only six months of the year
The Gemini are regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire in ship masts during storms.  They are often associated with horsemanship and because they were known for their fellowship and adventures, they were are also the protectors of guests and travelers.

Please check out my monotype “Gemini” December 2-3 & 9-10 (Saturdays and Sundays) 10am to 4pm, stop # 5 on the Holiday 2017 Vashon Art Studio Tour.


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