The Mythology Behind The Gemini Constellation Explained

According to Mind Body Green, Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac. Those who fall under this star sign are sociable, knowledgeable, and naturally quite curious; it's no wonder that Cafe Astrology reports that their duality is symbolized by twins. In addition, the word Gemini actually translates into " the twins" from Latin (via Constellation Guide). But who exactly are these twins? Space reports they are identified differently in various cultures. In Egyptian astrology, they were goats, and in Arabian astrology, they were peacocks. However, EarthSky states that in the Western world, the two stars in the Gemini constellation are referred to as Castor and Pollux.

In Greek mythology, the twins were the result of two different fathers — Zeus and King Tyndareus (per Ian Ridpath). Their mother, Queen Leda, slept with both on the same night and became pregnant with four children. Pollux and Helen, as they were the children of Zeus, were immortal. On the other hand, Castor and Clytemnestra, who were fathered by the king, were mortal. Despite having different fathers, Castor and Pollux were said to look identical, never argue, and be as close as brothers can be.

The Gemini twins were inseparable

Per StarDate, the twins lived a life full of adventure. According to Constellation Guide, Castor was a famed horseman and Pollux a boxer. The two joined Jason and the Argonauts on their search for the golden fleece and helped them throughout the voyage. Pollux was said to have won a boxing match against Amycus — the son of Poseidon, who ruled Asia Minor — who refused to let them leave unless one of them fought and beat him. Moreover, Ian Ridpath writes that the twins are the "patron saints of sailors" because they rescued the crew several times. However, Castor and Pollux later had a rivalry with another set of twins, Idas and Lynceus, former Argonauts.

Idas and Lynceus were engaged to two women, Phoebe and Hilaera. Castor and Pollux pursued the women, and a match ensued. In the end, Castor lost his life. In his grief, the immortal Pollux asked his father to let him die so that he could join Castor. He agreed, and now the brothers are eternally together in the sky as the Gemini constellation. Though they are called twins, the two stars are a tad different — Pollux is said to be shiny and golden, while Castor is pale and faded (via EarthSky). Located in the northern celestial hemisphere, the Gemini constellation is said to be relatively easy to view in the sky, especially in the month of February.