I stumbled across this wonderful picture of a Tortoise and a butterfly and it reminded me of the stark differences between Taurus and Gemini. Adjacent signs are often markedly different from one another. Take Taurus she is slow, steady and persistent, and we can rely on her to be strong, dependable and enduring. Taurus tends to plod along and refuses to be rushed, but she can sometimes easily fall into a rut. Gemini is light and airy and possesses glittering charm; there is a youthfulness and quickness of energy.
Gemini is ruled by Mercury and in Greek mythology relates to the god Hermes. Jungian analysts labelled him the eternal puer, and he tends to float through life without any definable purpose. Frequently adjacent signs differ widely in their characteristics, and there are almost opposite personality traits.
Both signs consist of a completely different element and mode. Taurus is fixed earth and Gemini is mutable air. Fixed energy is pretty much unchanging and earth is as fixed to the floor as we could possibly get. Meanwhile, mutable energy is changeable and flexible and air is everywhere, free floating, moving with the wind.
We can compare adjacent signs to two contrasting energies. Gemini avoids anything that weighs him down, and Taurus stays with whatever provides solid security. However, being so overly attached to something can lead to stagnation and immobility. Gemini tends to get bored quickly, while Taurus has stamina and sticks with her intended course.
In mythology Hermes (Gemini) fashioned a musical instrument out of the tortoise’s shell and transformed her. The ingenuity and inventiveness of Gemini works well when making something of practical use (Taurus). I believe this is the natural progression of the zodiac wheel, and the first four signs of the horoscope represent the elements at their simplest expression. In Gemini we are first introduced to the INTELLECT, and Taurus is usually rooted in REALITY.
Still, both signs are rational and prefer focusing on facts and they don’t enjoy majestic drama, and both have an eye for beauty. Taurus’ energy is possessive, but Gemini needs to make lots of new contacts, and it can look like flirting to insecure Taurus.
Taurus can be called a “stuck in the mud” type, and Gemini is usually to be found with the latest gadgets and inventions. Taurus can have a calming effect on the nervous energy of Gemini, but air can be too fickle for the earthy, loyal Taurean. However, Taurus really does give shape to directionless Gemini, and the Taurean benfits from some freedom of movement.
Hermes addresses a number of double entendres to the tortoise, all seeming to indicate that Hermes acts in the Tortoise’s best interest, but really describing the death he intends to inflict on it. The poet in his own voice advances this deception, saying Hermes “made the tortoise a singer”.