Tag Archives: Full Moon

The Mirror and The Stars

Embedded high up in immense cliffs a beautiful convex mirror is held within the rock matrix. Appearing as an artifact from another world, its pitted surface belies the magic it holds within. Covered in the dust of ages, unrecognisable but for the circular shape of its rim, it is a living archetype. Concretised and held fast, it conceals memories,  stories and knowledge, fossilised yet reaching far back in time….and yet, its lensing face pointing towards the stars, it holds the promise of a greater vision brought to earth.

Far below, on the shores of a deep and winding river a vast cavern echoes with ancient voices.  Each word a luminous spark ascending from a hidden fire, their rhythmic chant rises through the old forests lining the deep valley to become myriad stars wheeling high above the towering cliffs.

Between these realms a great tree connects heaven and earth. Older than all the forests, its roots reaching into the deepest subterranian realms, its branches touching unseen worlds between the stars, it is wise in its silent presence, intelligent beyond all earthly knowing.


The Power Of Persuasion

Deep in the heart of Saturn’s realm the July full Moon illuminates a world of extremes. At 28° Capricorn it speaks of ‘high station’, a place of elevation where the bedrock of law and power oversee the stability of the material realm. Its role is to balance the ineluctable interior forces of the imaginal world, here illuminated and activated through the Sun’s position at 28° Cancer, against the exteriorising power of the intellect, the reasoning and formalising potential of Nous. It is a balance between the felt and the abstracted.

In Capricorn this is the degree of the ‘Statesperson’, the lawful arbiter upon whose speech the nation’s well-being rests, through which it is negotiated. In Plato’s ‘Statesman’ this wordweaving is the handwork of Athene, upon whose paradigm he posits the craft of ‘politics’. It augers the power of words to arbitrate the anomalous, to find a place within the ‘sanctified whole’ for what James Hillman, in referencing the dilema of Orestes, translates as the ‘resident alien'(1). Orestes is a victim of necessity, caught between the worlds having transgressed sacred boundaries at the command of higher powers. He is torn between archai. The paradox is manifest in Ananke.

A symbolic representation of Necessity’s fundamental archetypal power, Plato described Ananke as ‘narrowing’, both of circumstance and scope, like ‘walking through a ravine which is impassable, rugged and overgrown, and impedes motion’. As an archetypal power Ananke carries something of Saturn’s signature, but it also embodies the irrepressible forces constellated at the emotional centre of the psyche. If released, which they must be for integration to be achieved, these fierce forces can manifest as anomalous outbursts, and their latency is made clear through their etymological links with angst and anxiety.

And yet, in its very narrowness, if redeemed of its alien otherness, Ananke intimates a ‘close bond’, a fundamental kinship, and natural and moral ties between persons. The balance sought through this Moon’s process of ‘negotiation towards integration’ seeks not to obliterate the anomalous identity and its latent power but to ‘normalise’ it, by finding a place for it within the ‘divine order’. The quality of this Moon, for all its paradoxical stresses, carries potential for reconciliation and healing. The key lies in the power of words.

In the ‘Oresteia of Aeschylus’ (2) it is indeed Athena who arbitrates the fate of Orestes, and she does so through the power of Peitho, Persuasion. This is the core active element working through this full Moon, but, it also carries magical overtones, through association with incantation and ‘spell-work’ that are equally persuasive.  These are of a more  hidden nature than Athene’s applied framework of reason and rhetoric. In fact rhetoric can be as magically persuasive as the esoteric power of words suggest, but, at root their power is here sourced in Ananke, rather than Nous.

At the Sun’s degree in Cancer we find both interwoven.


The Inner Radiance

The Moon’s influence finds its counter balance and resolution in the Cancer Sun, a point of contrast carrying the emotive language of a deeply innate source. At 28° Cancer the protective shell of the dwelling place has taken on the symbolism of ‘the cave of the ancestors’, the womblike opening in the earth, where we find our greater family itself embedded within the matrix of the fertile valley of Life. Its inhabitants, existing ourside of time and Saturn’s realm, subsume the full Moon’s high position. Arising from common roots within the matrix of life, the achievements of high culture are enriched by the deeper meaning they can deliver. Reconciling the tension between these polarity points is an act of healing, which Athene achieves through persuasive influence and inclusivity. But, her presence here originates with the Sun, the force behind original identity, through the asteroid Athene. One degree from the solar disc at full Moon, Athene is also found conjunct the TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Varuna.

In Varuna we find the pervasive presence of the divine that is ‘behind everything’. Varuna, representing the fundamental spiritual power beyond perception, was one of the pre-Vedic creation deities and the first ‘named’ TNO to be discovered beyond Pluto’s orbit (3). In fact Varuna, like Athene, is also associated with the application of law, to those who do not keep their word. But, unlike Athene’s application through human law, Varuna’s are natural laws, an expression of the incomprehensible cosmic order, as opposed to the order of society. In essense, Varuna is akin to the background radiation that infuses all in the material world, out of sight, but here, and distinctly not ‘out of mind’.

The corollaries of Athene, Pallas and Minerva, also hold the balance of the earth and water signs at full Moon – Pallas is at 5° Pisces and Minerva opposes at 3° Virgo. The triumvirate goddess is coherent by element, Minerva and the Moon in earth, Pallas, Athene and the Sun in water. The triplicated water element holds sway – a reflection of the healing potential needing to be brought to the people, represented by the Moon, a restorative to the soul.

The third decan of Capricorn in which we find the full Moon is sub-ruled by Venus, now quincunxing Pallas and Neptune from early Leo. Along with Mercury, Venus also trines Saturn in Sagittarius and the message is clear. The feminine energy now emphasises the need to integrate Athene’s qualities of holding and receptivity into the greater whole.

This is a Moon that encourages the healing power of Capricorn to prevail, its higher order concieved through feeling connections rather than applying the fruits of ambition. The metaphysical nature of language can overcome the physical attributes of the Moon’s degree. In doing so the people are called upon to remind the statespeople of their essential role, not as aggressively defensive representatives of nationalistic indentity, but, as people whose words and rhetoric embody the most noble and reconciliatory responsibilities of their high office – the resolution of the apparently irreconcilable, the disfunctional seperation between the power of the State and the voice of the People.

In Plato’s conception of the State the balance between Nous and Ananke is vital, and Athene’s role in maintaining it paramount, but, there is a deeper and more cosmological meaning at work here as Plato also considered creation to arise not out of the elements, but out of the interweaving (an Athenian word) of Nous and Ananke. It is in Athene’s power of rhetoric to carry ‘change’ to its next level that her creative side is revealed. She brokers the deal by incorporating necessity, giving it a rightful place. In our pathological world this is tantamount to taking back antagonistic elements of our shadow from projection, of integrating its presence and subsuming its forces into a higher, that is to say more holistic, order of consciousness.

As political as we might expect a Capricorn Moon to be, in its deeply founded instincts, impersonal yet natural, Ananke embodies ‘driving necessities’, and their prevelance cannot be denied amongst the body politic. Ananke is fundamental ‘being’ whose powers cannot be subsumed in themselves, but, which can be given their appropriate place, honoured and recognised, without compromise to either their integrity or the integrity of the whole.

This pathological quality is also a political necessity that infuses this full Moon with a need to recognise the driving forces behind our current circumstances, as well as the wounds they may inflict through eruption, both indicated by sextiles from the Moon to Mars in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces. Along with the Sun, this kite configuration can fly aloft and achieve great heights, but it is in the Sun’s anchoring position that its healing capacity is most fully illuminated. Without the root, the thread of generative power rising from within its womb like cavern, the past and the future become dangerously cut adrift from reality – and, without the ancestral thread, the people lose identity.

In this full Moon is a poigniant reflection of the current political upheavals through which we are seeing diplomacy being heavily orchestrated by the tension between both globalised political realignments and restructuring, much of which remains hidden and out of the hands of the people, and terrorist outbreaks of violence which release powerful irrational forces within the populace and the force of necessity within the body politic.

The cracked and tarnished mirror must be retrieved, moistened and worked upon to restore its soul reflecting potential, and the highest offices of power restored with a transparency and integrity that is capable of reflecting the soul of the collective. As it is, the mirror, as the People, occupies the moral and ethical vantage point, but, it is encrusted with centuries if not millenia of calcified political and social wounds, held fast and obscured.

It is a vantage point from which the Moon reflects the dangers of a world in which even the highest levels of consciousness are prone to wrong use, where its aspirations have become entrapped in false ideologies and hubristic illusion. If over-indulgent of its own level of importance, its position’s highest value can become clouded by irrelevance, forgotten amidst a jaded sense of self justifying meaning. Cut lose from the necessities of the mundane and secular through misuse of force and power, as much as from the People themselves, it posits its own truth in the face of the apparent opposite. This is the degree of Capricorn where leadership can manifest its own shadow, perhaps as clear an indication of the flavour of the times as we can expect.

However, the complimentary gift of this degree is its capacity for taking the Saturnian qualities of focus and realisation to the next level, and for those who can aspire towards and work with that potential, as well as for the dreamer who would set the mirror of their own soul free from the binding constraints of worldly power and necessity, a more transcendant role is also offered here.


The Divine Gift

Etymologically Athene is connected with both ‘attainment’ and ‘holding’. In maritime lore hers is the place at the top of the mast, the ‘Tau’, where the lookout is stationed. At the base of the mast is the holding box, the ‘Kau’, which corresponds to the centre of balance for the vessel. The dynamic between the two is itself extreme, the one pitching with every wave, exaggerating the energy of the swelling ocean, the other pivotal and steady, keeping the vessel bouyant, balanced around a common centre. Her role is to weave together, to foster the crafting of life through navigating a sure course, in all events, reconciling its vicarious nature between these polarities.

She can be seen as the Mother figure of the State, even though in her mythology she remained childless and in ‘virgin’ state herself. She is the fierce protector, fully armoured and ready for combat, but, in her capacity for finding healing words and containment she brings the feminine and the masculine into balance. She represents the middle way, the center ground which is capable of embracing the ‘abnormal’ through inclusivity based upon steadfast intelligence.

Like Saturn her emphasis on discipline is dispassionate, however, her persuasive reasoning can bring both energy and direction, and inspire while formulating goals of a higher order. In this full Moon she offers the means for releasing the light of reason, as a vehicle for life affirming forces to become re-integrated into the world, at a time when the mirror is defiled and its reflection cracked.

These are primal innate forces that can neither be named or objectified, but, which give rise to all that has become incarnate. Their highest expression transcends boundaries, as symbolised in the Tree of Life, but, just as the lunar disc is dependant upon the solar disc’s radiance for its glory at full Moon, the people are dependant upon the endless stream of ancestral voices singing us into being. As Hillman says, “in the mouth of Athene speech becomes a curative hymn, a word which etymologically means ‘spun’ or ‘woven words'”(4). There is great power for the good to be found in this, an enchantment. The ancestors voices give us our root identity and their light lives on in Nature, both on Earth and amongst the stars. In retrieving the mirror of the soul from its bondage in the material, our work at its restoration and re-enchantment will bring their reflection back to Earth and illuminate our souls.


(1) & (4) Facing The Gods ~ James Hillman, Spring Publications 1980

(2) The Oresteia of Aeschylus ~ trans. G. Thompson, Cambridge University Press, 1938

(3) Varuna was discovered in the year 2,000; not the first minor planet to be observed beyond Pluto’s orbit, it was the first to be given a name. It has been designated the number 20000.

Asteroid Athene’s number is 881; Pallas is 2; Minerva is 93

The imagery at the head of this article came from a dream many years ago which arrived under a Capricorn full Moon and was fleshed out, its inner significance to this time confirmed, through meditations on the degrees for the Sun and Moon sourced in the Sabian symbols and the divinatory meaning given to these degrees through the Chandra symbols.

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Redeeming Prometheus

“In the world unknown
sleeps a voice unspoken;
By thy step alone
can its rest be broken” (1)

So long as we are held within the grip of a compulsion to externalise it, the inner illumination of the divine fire that enters through the imaginal realms may hold more importance than we realise – it was not always so, but, neither need it always be so. Questions arise around the relationship between the unseen and the tangible realms under the light of the June full Moon, and Uranus asks whether we can survive without remembering what instigated the crisis caused through their seperation. The answer, like the seen and unseen worlds, lies sleeping in a ‘world unknown’ and integrating its lessons into our world view is the step we must now take.

We began to radically transform that world view when Uranus south node first entered Sagittarius, 2700 years ago. Where formerly we had been immersed in the oceanic undercurrents of a more archae-emotional realm, it signalled a rise in inspired thinking that penetrated the manifest world with profound insight. But, it was a torch held aloft in a realm that had formerly been perceived fluorescent with spirit and soul, a world fast becoming a shadow land, of increasing contrasts, dividing as between night and day. We had arrived in a place that for millenia had already been moving steadily away from a more deeply rooted experience of the promethean fire.

As the divine spark present within all life receeded from our grasp we began to look for it within the tangible realms. In fact, our journey into the Sagittarian fields of philosophy and knowledge could well have been the natural human response to this process, a shift from the all enfolding ineffable towards the personalised individuated experience of the divine. It was the beginning of our pathological experience of the world and, with the ensuing rise of religion, as a formal extension of this experience in relation to the divine, the power of rational thinking correspondingly became its wilful executor within this world. As ironic as it may seem, the advent of religious experience seeded the rise of logic, rational discourse and phenomenal objectivity and in the process laid the foundations from which secular science would eventually emerge. This was the beginning of our hubris.

Two millenia later the Enlightenment brought this process to its logical conclusion. Saturn and Jupiter, who had once ruled the worldly affairs of heaven as a counter against the human will, had become dethroned, relegated and co-opted into the inner pantheon of humanity, Saturn ruling our world view with the pragmatic logic of cause and effect, and Jupiter, our ever thirsting quest for knowledge. These roles still apply, but, the astrology we practice is changing – it too has stepped up to that threshold. Saturn has turned upon Uranus memory.

LIFE   DEATH   LIFE  –  TRUTH (Ω)

Saturn shows us now that we have reached a place of standstill, stationing on Uranus south node in Sagittarius, a place in which paying our karmic debt is crucial to releasing the promethian impulse from its secularised straightjacket of rationality and scientific progress. This is the age of transition in which we are tasked with responsibility for redeeming our relationship with the divine fire, and use of it, as a positive power within the world. We have applied this vital energy outwardly, filling our world with a material manifestation of its power and, as the Ages shift have come to the point where the accretion of the consequences to our actions, having effectively uncoupled us from its inner source, are now drawing us back into its field of influence, towards the source of that sacred illumination.

Not only our science, but, our minds have led us here, our path poised at the threshold of that ‘world unknown’ – for some, the next step is inconceivable, for others it has already been taken. It is inconceivable to the wholly enslaved mind that its rational master could ever be found deficient, but, we must claim our freedom from knowing and reclaim the sanity of our liberty from reason’s irrational hegemony. Too much of the opiate of rationality and reason can unhinge our minds. To enter the ‘world unknown’ is not to collapse the wave of probability into the particle of the known, but, to ride it, become submersed in it, become it, in all its luminous darkness.

This moment, the heart of this lunation, with Sun and Moon, spirit and soul illuminating the solstice axis, asks for us to let the voice of the sacred fire be our navigator, the unspoken voice that would in-form us and self propagate the inner flame, raising it and us from our own sleep. To burn off the calque that obscures its native tongue, the spirit and soul must unite in transfiguring the body nature and free the material body from its exile. In exile it has become a shell, a husk of accretions that have calcified our imaginal nature – in the spiritual lucidity of the solar disc, and the lunar luminousity of the soul, the light of our inner eye is released from the limitations they impose.

“Throw away the lights, the definitions,
And say of what you see in the dark

That it is this or that it is that,
But do not use the rotted names.

How should you walk in that space and know
Nothing of the madness of space,

Nothing of its jocular procreations?
Throw the lights away. Nothing must stand

Between you and the shapes you take
When the crust of shape has been destroyed.” (2)

 

Nocturne in Silver ~ Richard Cartwright
Nocturne in Silver ~ Richard Cartwright

 


(1) Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ from Prometheus Unbound

(Ω) The words ‘life death life truth’ were scratched on bone sacrificial tokens found on the northern coast of the Black Sea at Olbia. They were accompanied by Orpheus name and offered in complete faith of the Orphic mysteries as a deliverance from the shores of uncertainty that surrounded the lands of the dead. They have been dated to at least 500bce, having been cast into the waters some 2,700 years ago…..

(2) Wallace Stevens ~ from The Man With The Blue Guitar

Conflict Resolution

The May full Moon is conjunct Mars, retrograde in Sagittarius. This is a Moon that draws attention to qualities of mind, their power in shaping reality and the conditioning influences they bring to life. The will is turned inward, the search for meaning is amplified, the need to get under the skin of our most burning issues is emphasised. This can stir up emotional stress and requires a presence of mind that is able to penetrate beyond appearances without losing its lucidity.

The nature of conflict, its inner purpose and causes, is under the spotlight of the Gemini Sun as the May lunation reaches its height.  How we claim a positive application of the inflamed Moon’s energies is an open question and rests upon our own inner state of lucidity. The lunar impulse will give way to a more positive dynamic if, in its midst, mindful equilibrium is sought and its energy focused in diligent awareness. Its usefulness can overcome its potential volatility.

Knowledge is the ‘weapon of choice’ here but the aim is to use it to a higher purpose, one that avoids misuse of its power, that rests upon a respectful understanding of its purpose.

Interpretations of that purpose can be as individual as the person making them, and it is advisable to reflect upon your own use of the power available to you, as well as the areas of conflict it highlights in your own life. But, collectively there is something to be gained from looking into the nature of Mars own journey at this time.

Mars journey through the Sagittarian fields took a turn on April 17th when he reached the star Antares in the heart of the Scorpion’s constellation and stationed retrograde. At that time Mercury in Taurus was in exact trine with Pluto in Capricorn and the waxing Moon was passing through mid Virgo, joining with Jupiter and the north node. The grand earth trine they formed has contributed a sense of immanence and build up, a pulsing of the earth field that deepens the sense of expectancy. Its image is of thunder within the earth. In the full Moon we see this image developed, activating its potential energy within and releasing it amongst the people.

The qualities of the star Antares, whose name can be read as ‘against Aries’, have a distinctly martial nature, bring a deeper meaning to Mars station – a will to pull back from the brink of war, is an obvious interpretation. But, this star is also one of the four guardians of the heavens, associated with the ‘Watcher of the West’, an epithet suggesting the need to be vigilant of the path the ‘red road’ is leading us on, towards the ancestral realms, beyond the borders of life.

Amphitrite

At full Moon on the 21st of May Mars meets with the Moon in the second degree of tropical Sagittarius. They appear in the skies as two bright travellers passing through the great library of Nature amongst the stars. They will reflect the solar life force at work in nature through the intelligence and awareness of the Geminian field as the Sun opposes them across the zodiac. The energy of the intelligent design at work in nature, reflected in the purposefulness and psychosomatic unity they signify, lends to Mars meeting with the Moon a deepening desire to recalibrate our personal power in line with our soul. The need to gain a deeper understanding of who we are and why we have come here.

In a sense, in retracing his steps Mars shows a willingness to dig deeper into the substrates of accumulated knowledge held within the Sagittarian bedrock of its first degrees. The pathway he is following leads to the underworld and, beyond the Scorpio cusp, breaks through to the subterranean ocean that lies beneath. Pluto and Mars combine their powers in this realm.

This a place of primaeval intensity, its instinctive drives an expression of an archetypal desire for life that underpins the incarnate world. The life forms that inhabit the oceanic underworld of Scorpio correspond to essential manifestations of the life force, to the fundamental dynamics and beings of the unconscious – the codes of natural law are given shape here and their primal coding of the intelligent design within nature reveal its raw building blocks; Scorpio is also associated with DNA.

The journey Mars has undertaken and his lunar rendevous suggests their meeting across from the Sun is intended to draw attention to where our own journey is taking us in relation to those codes of Life. Their highest expression is present ‘in potentia’, an unimaginally vast store-house of ancestral knowledge lies behind its patterning, but, science has failed to understand that the message is not in the code itself; decoding its pattern does not give us access to its highest purpose. It requires the quality of virtue to access its meaning.

The I Ching says ‘virtue is what is commanded by the divine, and is the root of human life‘ ~ natural law and intelligent design, if respected and honoured, bring our actions into a harmonious relationship with the divine. When the honouring is lacking and the virtue missing, it is like making empty prayers and false offerings, seeking to aquire without giving.

When science plays god we can see this dynamic at work; knowledge is aquired without giving respect to and honouring the root of life. Genetic modification is the obvious mirror of this. Our attention is drawn to the dangerous naivety of such inherent ignorance, its aggressive nature exposed while the ancestral codes for living are subverted; warring against and competing with nature manifests Mars negative impulse, reflecting the more pernicious devolutionary characteristics our times. We are fighting for our survival as a result.

Turning back from such foolishness is the option Mars will deliver at full Moon, lending energy and purpose to the search for deeper meaning as a path of resolution; it is of necessity the only viable option, but, the Sun illuminates our minds with spiritual awareness, sublimating the aggressive ‘competition’ traditionally associated with the evolutionary struggle for survival to a higher order of awareness and understanding.

The Moon in Sagittarius sees the people actively embodying culture and Mars represents the energy of competition in its most aggressive form within the dominant culture of our times, but, in its original form com-petition meant co-petitioning, and was enshrined in the act of petitioning ‘the gods’ together. This was the prayer offered by the warrior asking for their martial skills to be infused with the divine blessing, made sacred. The sacred warrior commited themselves to Life by offering their own in service to the divine and the community. It is their ‘purpose’ that is offered, for the welbeing and preservation of life. This makes a virtue of action that honours the roots of life.

There is a feeling of release associated with this image, of personal mastery becoming the instrument of a higher purpose – it expresses the surrender of will to the partnership between this life and the worlds beyond. It also expresses an artistry, a creative edge and dynamic that the warrior has attained in their own life; the warrior, as has been said, must first learn to dance before they wield the sword….the sacred dance of life and the aquisition of virtue are intimately bound to each other.

These reflections on the full Moon give us a feeling for its sacred dimensions. They remind us of the qualities of soul intrinsic to the path we are on, of following the impulse seeded through the Spring eclipses, and the degree of commitment necessary to seeing it through. Inner work, like our work in the world, needs to be done for the long haul, sustained. The energetic recalibration we are put in mind of at this full Moon needs us to bring out the usefulness of anger…..to learn how to transform it, become fluent in its language, enough to use it as a high octane catalyst for positive change and to develop our artfulness in using it; as revolutions build it is as conspicuous in its expression as it is in its absence.

The partner in competition has been made our own shadow, an adversary in this journey that has been externalised for too long, the blessings of the challenge forgotten, desacralised and making of life a journey in adversity. The secular use of power is exposed here, its faults themselves becoming our adversary, as much within as without. The mandate is clear, we must first make peace with ourselves and life and apply the lessons and understanding we receive in the process to the world around us. There are ways and means available to us……to find them we must first dedicate ourselves to conflict resolution.

We will almost certainly find ourselves working hard to contain the energies of this full Moon. If you feel your buttons being pushed don’t let your anger get the better of you and don’t dwell on it. Mars igniting the lunar passions indicates a need to regulate the inner fires, whatever the outer events that accompany its heat. Our thoughts affect our emotions and visa versa – let them pass. Better, bring a mindful quality to applying this powerful creative energy to more evolved purposes.

In closing there is an opportunity here for bringing out the joyful side of this full Moon.

the horse panel at Chauvet copy

The inner meaning of this full Moon is the expression of Joy. In sublimating its energies joy becomes its natural expression. Being fired up with joy is its emotional expression, but, the presence and celebration of virtue are necessary for this to be realised. In the words of the I Ching, if practiced  and honoured ‘such virtue is a joy to cultivate’. The potential for such cultivation is inherent within the ancestral codes of life, but, it requires an honouring of Life and an appreciation of its deeper meaning to be realised. The long journey our species has undertaken carries this potential at every step of the way, even in the midst of adversity.

In following this evolutionary impulse our forebears went through extraordinary pains to bring the fires of their own inner light into manifestation. Survival in times and amongst events that were also harrowingly difficult did not prevent them from developing technologies that embodied its potential. The orthodox histories exclude this fact. Traces of the level of technology they reached are difficult for us to find, not least of all because it was at heart a spiritual technology. Their understanding of the non-physical is perhaps the least understood of human gifts that are available to us when we subscribe to the orthodox view, not least of all as the dominant use of science has gravitated so heavily around its fixation on the physical in our times.

As Tesla is attributed with saying, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” We can develop a spiritual technology here with the aid of the unseen. While many are already engaged in this work, the momentum building now and the network growing, this full Moon can bring meaningful power to all inner workings and help us in celebrating its insights. If you run a circle or have a community that works within the architecture of spiritual energy consider coming together to celebrate the circle itself. Make of this Moon’s energies a joyful offering.

This is the penultimate full Moon before solstice, which also falls on a full Moon, and solar energies are vitalising the Earth to receive gifts of spiritual power into the deep earth realms.

The Sabian symbol for the Moon’s degree on 21st May confirms this – “the mobilization of unconscious energies under the pressure of super-personal motives.” There is an echo here of Mercury’s solar transit and the Sabian symbols that have been activated recently ~ above and below, the inner and outer worlds, are working in unison, and we are their bridge.

The symbol speaks of ‘the wind rushing over the ocean stirring the waters into white capped waves’ – it advises ‘stabilisation through rhythmic intensity’ as its most creative expression. Another Tesla quote comes to mind, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

If you only get to drum with one full Moon this year, make it this one!

But, be mindful of the rhythm at its heart….ultimately, it leads us into the sanctity of our own, a place where the subtle power of original nature is enshrined.

Original nature reflects its own innocence. Work with the energies of this full Moon to engender that subtle quality. After full Moon the energy subsides and crystalises as the Moon connects with Saturn and we come back to the apex of the T square that Saturn is forming with Jupiter and Neptune in anticipation of the new Moon. Grounding after an ecstatic dance with the cosmos, this is the ‘after the ecstacy, the laundry‘ moment. Closing down the ceremony, cleaning the sacred space that has housed it, the mood is quietly practical and calls for rest. An emergent sense of belonging will help counterbalance the slump in energy we may be feeling. We have a lot to process and should seek gentler interactions with others, be kind to them and to ourselves.

First, make peace with yourself….then vibrate the roots of life into action….

Walk carefully, well loved one
walk mindfully, well loved one
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us
be always coming home


Images, from the top :
Sacred Anger ~ Rob Purday
Amphitrite ~ Susan Seddon-Boulet
Chauvet Cave ~ 35K bpe

Quotations from the I Ching are from the Thomas Cleary translation, ‘The Taoist I Ching’, Shambala Publications, 1986

The poem is by Ursula Le Guin, from
Initiation Poem Of The Finders Lodge

In At The Deep End – Saturn in Scorpio

between

“….not knowing is some kind of empowerment
for overcoming the unknown
….” ~ Malidoma Some

Just as the midyear lunation began Saturn slipped back into Scorpio and we entered a three month period in which the very real undercurrents and consequences of living in transitionary times return. With both Saturn, Pluto and Neptune unaspected and retrograde the needful feeling for real change will increasingly be reflected back now wherever we look. But we need to be sure of what we are witnessing, its true nature. This is an underpinning globalised influence and, consequently, will be difficult to shake off or avoid, even at the individual level. It may be uncomfortable but it is its emotional value that conceals its meaning here.

Saturn was in the last degrees of Scorpio around the last solstice and this period offers a chance to review the experiences of that time ~  what came up and how well have those lessons been learnt? Did a certain Sagittarian idealism, a relief at having finally upped anchor and escaped the undertow, lead you into forgetfulness? If you encountered hard lessons at that time it will be possible now to learn more fully from them, to examine them for what they taught you, what you missed and the emotional mark they left, and it will be worth it!

Scorpio’s dynamics represent the presence of deeper and more resilient truths, as indicated by the fixed nature of this water sign. They endure, but, the deal is that endurance is won at the cost of immersion in Scorpio’s deep waters. There is a certain detachment associated with Scorpio, however, there is also an emotional charge at work behind this ~ the intensity associated with Scorpio indicates as much. This part of the zodiac has the strong air of initiation attached to it.

Initiation in this sense means immersion in the unknown, beyond the certainties of present life. But, Scorpio also connects with ancestry through death and inheritence, a desire to both purify and consolidate the connection. Saturn presides over both these functions and that connection is given body here, renewed.

Scorpio also renews at deep inner levels, through encounters with the shadow. Entering into immersion precludes re-emergence with the chance of an improved relationship to those shunned and rejected aspects of our psyche. The ancient symbol of the Phoenix, which belongs to Scorpio and applies particularly to the late degrees, carries this sense of re-emergence, one in which immersion in the fires of experience is symbolically seen to be the vital path by which the truth ‘may become’ truly embodied within our selves. This is also the necessary precursor to entering and capitalising on Sagittarius gifts.

The paths of initiation belonging to indigenous culture, honed and established through endless generations are symbolised here. The youth who has not had the formalised benefit of this experience risks embodying a Peter Pan relationship with their shadow, as well as with the shadow aspects of their culture. It is a relationship in which the ego remains demonstrably immature. Many a fool who thought themselves wise has set off into the world and been led astray by this petty tyrant and swallowed up by the manifold presence of the unacknowledged shadow through experiences that expose the naivety at work.

Saturns time in Sagittarius may carry this valence, but, there can be great beauty in the creative power belonging to the ninth sign of the zodiac. Beauty in the form of cultural expression, its arts, music and dance is the necessary corrollary to the sheer force of Scorpio’s modern ruler Mars. If the soul is tempered enough to learn to dance with the weapon, rather than simply wielding its power through force, its edge can be used in service to the higher good, in defense of the community, of beauty and the sacred soul of life.

As the Phoenix teaches We return to our essense in order that it may be reborn, reconstituted and revitalised. In this sense, as fundamentally radical as its process and lessons may be, the Phoenix is a powerfully positive symbol. It is no small wonder that Pluto and Mars are Scorpio’s designated rulers, their symbolic values, both positive and negative, are in no short measure united in the Phoenix. For all its mythological nature the Phoenix coincides with a compelling re-establishment of reality through its own fierce and compelling process; with Saturn present this promises a doubly intense dose of experiences that facilitate it.

Traditionally, Saturn presides over the threshold between this life and the next and, as Cronos, Saturn is life’s timekeeper, symbolically holding the scythe that determines the length of life’s mortal coil. However, Saturn’s three month return to the late degrees of Scorpio is also a spiritual matter ~ with re-emergence in mind we might think of the OOB experience gained by those who return from death. The religious nature of that experience is gained first hand and reveals its truths to the individual. As Kabir once said, in a very Saturnian manner, ” if you have not lived through something, it is not true“.

Cultural mores surrounding spirituality are intensified here, their more fundamental disfunctions exposed and the rigidity of their traditions seen through. Spirit and emotion, their relationship and how they feed each other, must be owned and put under the x-ray of our own deeper knowing, in fact Saturn makes these issues so real as to be unavoidable. Fundamentalist zealousness can be blind to its own effects, but, at its most sublime spiritual passion can be a transcendental experience. However, Saturn closes the loop on transcendance as an escape route. This is more about the deconstructive side of a re-constitutional process. Alchemical Saturn is entropic and Pluto is the archetypal alchemist. Their retrograde state internalises this influence and hightens its emotional charge.

In Scorpio emotional connections with subsconscious drives are crystalised and constellated through Saturn’s presence. The ‘control’ and ‘limitation’ Saturn is traditionally associated with may not be as mundane and objective as we are given to understand here. The water signs all have a spiritual core and, beyond any polarised evaluation of Saturn as a malefic, in the realms of human experience Saturn’s unconditional dynamic is to manifest opportunity in concrete terms; as the radical gift giver it is our own controls and limitations that are brought into question in the process of accepting these gifts. And this applies both spiritually and ethically.

At a personal level we might have to overcome our fears, dissolve emotional blocks or disregard the inner programming of cultural and social mores in order to receive those gifts. To do so is to become more fully our ‘true’ selves, to more fully ground our spirit. Saturn is disciplinarian in this, both as enforcer and as empowerer of a more developed sense of self and self-discipline. We gain perspective.

Emotional intelligence is fostered through this experience, but, this is distinct from a mental, brain centered form of intelligence ~ it belongs to the lower energy centres, those below the heart. Although the balance that the heart brings to the brain is thought of as intrinsic to healing and becoming whole, the heart is also the threshold over which, or rather through which, the mental faculties must cross in order to access the full import and gain the benefit of the body’s intelligence. This the ‘body mind’, where emotional intelligence is most deeply rooted. There is a certain converse relationship between emotional intelligence and ego drives and the heart, in this sense, regulates and empowers their integration. Wholeness and inner balance is its gift. Regular grounding, feet on the earth, can help clear the heart’s EM field and the subtle body to facilitate this.

Ego drives belong to the mental faculties which would otherwise rule the roost and, until subjugated, the ego acts as a dictatorial ‘little self’. Scorpio says we have to descend in order to rise up, again. The ego has received a lot of bad press through this, which may well be an indicator of cultural maturity as much as individual, or lack of it. Culture that lacks the thread of knowledge and practice provided by formalised initiation tend to ignore the consequences, collapsing the experience in upon the individual within a non-supportive environment. Communities lose a great deal of their co-herence as a result. Most parents are afforded the opportunity to witness the emergence of this inner power within the child and know full well what kind of struggles come with it. But, as suggested above, that ‘rulership’ must be transformed, the effect of being initiated into the deeper truths. This is the stuff of rights of passage, transitions through puberty, and becoming a person of ‘value’ to the community.

A youthful culture that has not learned this lesson will also manifest this as a disconnect from its own primary parent, the Earth. ‘We’ are at that point of initiation where the connection is critical, the voice of Nature needing to be heard over and above that of the petty tyrant. The gut feelings and powerful intuitions we experience around the multivalent global issues enroaching upon our well-being reflect this back to us and need to be listened to, are one of its voices within us. Learning how to follow them means that the attitude of ‘thinking it knows better’ belonging to this ‘little self’ must encounter death, in the shape not only of the unknown but of the ‘unknowable’ ~ the price paid for not doing so is a compensatory externalisation of death. Psychopathy amongst leaders is a real issue here but it is a matured, empowered and realistic People that will overcome these petty tyrants. We have the enhanced opportunity to work on that empowerment during this time.

For each of us this experience is different and one thing that the Saturn archetype can supply us with is the encounter with what it really means to be ourselves, incarnate. This planet and its own archetype are considered the ‘hard task master’, the manifester of truthful realities through the crystalisation of the conditions necessary to their existance, so that they may be encountered. How we meet them reveals our own truth. It is a point that cannot be overtaxed.

The overall tone of this shift in planetary influence is an intensification of experience itself, so that it becomes unavoidable, and the dynamics of the ‘solstice’ lunation bring this home.

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Between this solstice and equinox this globalised quality is going to be ever present as an underlying feeling tone. There are no hard aspects present in the mid-year new Moon chart so the foregoing may understandably read as hyberbolic. At the outset of the initial lunation within this period, which began with Sun and Moon meeting in the 26th degree of tropical Gemini on June 16th, this aspect of our times may appear subtle yet increasingly present; there is a lot of noise being made and yet the world keeps spinning. However, the image of the boiling frog points up the dangers.

The otherwise undisclosed workings of those involved in globalised power games are manifestly present now and that subtlety will almost certainly fall away towards the end of this lunation. The heat will be turned up. The acceleration of this energy will become increasingly palpable so that by the midpoint of the lunation its signature has emerged fully enough for it to be tangible, and by the end of the lunation it is visible in the outer worlds, concretised.

As we approach the July new Moon Venus will be squaring Saturn while both Mars and Mercury will synchronously oppose Pluto. The pressure effect this produces will pop at some point and most likely  it will be loud, vociferous and demonstrative, and focused on forces that undermine our personal freedoms directly.

The lunation also opened with Mars within one degree of the Sun and Moon, and given the strong and willfull nature of this energy pulsing through the people the desire to make ourselves heard will be a strong signature throughout. It may be unfocused and disorganised to begin with, but, its focus will sharpen.

Full Moon raises the stakes. Whether you find your creative voice and want to broadcast it worldwide, aided and abetted through Venus meeting with Jupiter in Leo at full Moon, or feel the pressure cooker of global politics forcing the issues across the airwaves, the challenge will be to sort out the signal from the noise. Remember to also listen, find your still point, a place of calmness, check in with your gut feelings and engage both your brain and your heart before opening your mouth!

Jupiter’s fire trine with Uranus is also embedded within this lunation, becoming exact around full Moon. This can feed a fiery maverick sense of all or nothing into the mix. At worst there is a certain disjointed sense of reality at work behind this, a cognitive dissonance in which the world we most desire in our hearts to see become reality increasingly jars against our experience of the world we live in. We may well find insights arriving unexpectedly through this that fuel our optimism, but, the real and present danger is that we are caught dreaming, following blind faith into our future.

Everything has its day, but, as far as surfing the blisswaves is concerned, while any respite is a welcome breather at the beginning, these days ain’t amongst them. The new age funk out, believing in divine providence rather than sustained hands-on creative effort to reconfigure the human world and our global footprint, is sure to be present when the Moon Jupiter and Venus join hands in Leo around solstice – but, it will be short lived and surfing the blisswaves won’t save the day. That Jupiter Uranus trine, for all its potential revelations, is a part and parcel of the growing and unpredictable undercurrent through this lunation.

As far as unpredictability goes, it is not only a feeling as there are very real and potentially challenging events on the near horizon which this Moon is preparing us for. No-one should be under any illusion about this, as the genocide of the Pacific testifies, the problem being that even if we can see them coming how these challenges will unfold won’t be revealed until we get there. In the case of Fukushima and the nuclear threat they don’t even get that far, but, this too will change. Necessarily, we might feel that we face forces that appear to leave us little choice. It will pay however to keep an open mind, alert for new solutions to old problems.

Another of those events, which Saturn and Pluto’s emphasis on mastery and control lends an ominous edge to, is of course Jade Helm. I’ll be posting a special reading on this and its related global rollouts after full Moon.

The Sun, Mars and Mercury also square the lunar nodes in that order within the mid-year lunation. So, what we will and intend, the energy we bring to it and the awareness we bring to the feedback it produces matter greatly beyond this present time. The ancestral connection is needed to bring this focus to mistakes of the past that continue to shape our collective future. Have we got what it takes to change our collective human ways? No-one knows, except that the lessons and memories bequeathed to us from those who have been here before must be reconciled with the message we are leaving for future generations in our attempt to find out. There is big healing involved in cleaning up the past as it lives through the present.

Shortly after solstice Chiron stations retrograde further internalising the healing available to us through this time. Only the Moon forms hard aspects with Chiron now, an opposition from Virgo and square from Sagittarius, so this is a signal to attend to our personal healing through trusting the higher wisdom of the body and soul. Collectively this indicates a shared feeling of having reached the point where the world’s wounds and our own are intrinsically bound up in each other. Perhaps this is what it will take for us to say ‘enough is enough’ and collectively act upon it. Signs are we will meet that point anyway, if we have’nt already.

The Sun opposes Pluto and the Moon squares Mars, Pluto and the Sun through 6th to 8th July and, one day later, the Moon meets Uranus and Mars trines retrograde Neptune. These are strong aspects when seen together, a sign that the turbulence at large in the world will be surfacing through an array of offensives and tactical maneuvers. This is false flag territory. As precursor to the opening of the next lunation this sets the scene ~ Saturns influence will show its most challenging side as Venus approaches the cusp of Virgo, squaring Saturn at that time. Venus will conjunct the fixed star Regulus. On the cusp of Virgo, Regulus itself is associated with both military leadership and healing, and winning the hearts of the military may be the key element in turning the tide on those who would control us through fear and force.

It also signals the importance of installing our own heart in the command centre. When Moon, Mercury and Mars oppose Pluto from tropical Cancer on the 15th July the game will be up. It promises to be a very unpredictable time ~ Sun square Uranus two days before may provide the pre-emptive strike that makes all the difference, but, who cares to predict what that may mean…..

….we may be at the brink, but, there is only one way to go ~ the right way. Utilising the energies and experiences of this time to decide what that truly means to you is the name of the game.

Beauty Power & Grace

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Between the new Moons of 18th April and 18th May a lunation of oppositions, squares and inconjunct aspects unfolds. On the face of it this looks like a lunation of forced issues and tense face-offs and disagreement, but, at its heart is a liberating freedom expressing great beauty that matches such challenges. Of the inner planets Venus leads the way, travelling now between the stars at the shoulder of the Taurean Bull and those in the midst of the Constellation of Gemini. She begins this lunation poised to vault between the Bull’s horns!

This gives us a very apt symbol to work with and a clear indication of the emotional qualities that will serve us best through this time. At their foundation are realism, courage and commitment, describing the essential grounding for our speech and actions in the world. But, more than this, Venus energy here is brilliant, dynamic and purposefully creative, a fitting response and reminder that we humans possess gifts well beyond those we have begun to explore within the Piscean Age. Venus is in tropical Gemini squaring Neptune and trining the north node ~ she is the frontrunner, leading us into the future!

At the outset Venus shines like a diamond in the western skies just after darkness falls. You will find her at new Moon drawing apart the veil of daylight between the Pleiades and Aldebaran, the stars marking the creative heart and headstrong brow of the Taurean Bull.

Ultimately, Venus is flying with speed towards her meeting with Jupiter early this August, at which time she will swing back into retrograde motion within the skies. She will turn just beyond Asellus Borialis and Asellus Australis at the heart of the constellation of Cancer. In the process she will bring the ineluctable force of womens wisdom to bear on the patriarch of the gods, a sign of the times. These stars formed an ancient solstice gateway associated with the millenia that saw the foundations of contemporary western civilisation being formed. We are all now engaged in this monumental healing process, conscious or not of our part in it.

However, as this lunation unfolds towards full Moon Venus will rise from the flank of the Bull and leap between the tips of its horns, echoing the ancient rites of youth depicted at Knossos during the Age of Aries. These were rites undertaken by women and men alike, reflecting a balance of power not only between genders but between the human and animal realms. But, these rites were depicted on the famous frieze at Knossos amidst a time of transition within this relationship.

Venus is asking us to reach beyond the Piscean and remember innate human attributes much closer to our Earth. As it was for the Cretan youths our qualities of courage, adept skills and timing are tested against the powerful instincts and physical strength of the great Earth animal. And, in keeping with Venus symbolic qualities, it is the dynamic wisdom centred in the powerhouse of  the heart that will lead us with confidence in overcoming the hegemony of the head and rebalancing its analytical dictates. We must become whole within ourselves in this respect, for, in this realm Venus is at home, sovereign amongst the stars whose constellation corresponds with her own sign of rulership. In their ecstatic risk taking saavy it was the power of the Bull itself that the Cretan youths sought relationship  with, and for us the Bull is our Earth. It is our home…..but our healing must reach back further still.

We too can experience an exuberant joy in making such bold and athletic moves, but, much depends upon removing blockages to our leap, sources of fear and oppression. We can see something of this indicated at full Moon through the Moon’s aspect with Pluto. But, we also require aquisition of a certain sure-footedness that can only be developed through experience of working in harmony with that bullish power. Opportunities for gaining such experience are writ large through this lunation and their impulse reaches back to times in which the root wisdom of matriarchal lineages were becoming superceded by the forces of much more martial affiliations and an accompanying spirituality based upon very different heirarchies. The entire relationship between human, nature and divinity shifted, and in that shift we became divided, within and without.

The ancestral legacy resulting from that shift is playing out now, and while we have learned how to extend our minds into the world to compensate, the wounding fears we have suffered as a consequence of our own inner rift need to be fully healed for our leap to be successful. Symbolically, we must join with the ancient Grandmother, whose story came through in the previous lunation, in reweaving the sacred Buffalo robe of Life with this vigorous creative energy. It is no exaggeration to say that our very sanity and future depend upon it.

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The Sun and Moon meet, unaspected, in the 29th and penultimate degree of tropical Aries on April 18th. The Sabian symbol for that degree speaks of finding the song that sings through us, harmonisation of our own voice within the music of the spheres, in its indivisible state. This is an image of healing the divided self, split consciousness by another name. Finding it we will all the more confidently experience the ‘dramatic moment of release’ that enables us to fly. But, while the leap through the bull’s horns can end in celebration and an empowering sense of achievement, it hinges around grabbing the bull by the horns, a ‘now-or-never’ moment’. We have but one chance, that is to say, we have but  one chance left.

Mercury’s sextile from Taurus to Neptune in Pisces at new Moon forms a yod to the Moon’s north node in tropical Libra. There is no time to dream about our future any more ~ the ‘Dream’, if it is to be pursued, must be made reality and this means going beyond the known in a leap that can restore balance and right relationship with Earth. Neither can this simply be a leap of faith ~ time for that, as the previous new Moon and lunation reminded us, has come and gone. ‘What are our innate skills and how well can we lend them to spirit to speak through‘ is the question a newly unfettered Uranus asks of us in response.

Many things appear to be driving us forward here. Now that the Uranus Pluto square is unravelling we are called upon to own our adepthood, especially as we are now faced with the serious consequences of unfinished business that surrounds us, and especially that which arises from the last four years of Uranus and Pluto’s face-off. If there is a symbol of this unravelling it is in Fukushima…..

As the previous lunation contained two eclipses we can expect the whole period between the equinoxes to present clear examples of how those consequences are now playing out in the world. It may seem as though our choices are being determined by forces that are beyond our control, but, perhaps Uranus would have us believe otherwise as the divine maverick is slowly building an empowering trine with Jupiter, direct in tropical Leo, to bring a sense of unpredictable largess to our issues of self-trust. These are global issues and these too are in a rapid process of change.

At new Moon a bullish energy prevails adding to this trine through Mars square from Taurus with Jupiter. The impetus gathering here is pushing us further into concrete action while amplifying that ‘now or never’ feeling.

Jupiter’s developing trine with Uranus is a background feeling, edgy and compelling beneath it all, and will begin to gain momentum, sensed rather than seen at full Moon. Here we can also look out for an encouraging fore-taste of what we might never have imagined we are capable of. At full Moon a T square is formed between Sun, Moon and Jupiter, exact to within minutes of arc. This Scorpio full Moon on May 4th opens our emotional body to deeply grounded creative energy, deepening trust in our connection with Earth, and Jupiter’s place at the fulcrum in connection with Uranus doubles the effect. Such depth in our emotional field is absolutely necessary for healing and restoring connection.

At this time Mercury, newly envigorated after transiting the Sun and coming home to Gemini, will be exactly opposite retrograde Saturn in Jupiter’s home sign, Sagittarius. Don’t let the buggers get you down! However, both Venus and Mars will be out of aspect and there is great opportunity here for bringing natural balance to bear on both our minds and bodies, our genders and our relationships. This is a Moon for each of us to relish in our own unique way, with freedom in speech and act giving voice to the spirit of the moment – a passionately rebellious will to express natural self determination.

Now we see the expressive power of the leap at work, an impulse manifesting a moment in which calling the shots is our own prerogative and our sovereignty is expressed most naturally through our own innate creativity – to be creative in this sense is to be free. More than this it is an expression of truth, choice and personal power, all of which oppose subjugation, control and, ultimately, enslavement ~ can you make the connections here between this impulse and the TPP or TTIP? Globally this impulse is made all the more powerful as the full Moon sextiles retrograde Pluto telling us that, in doing so, significant ground can be gained back from and against the stultifying oppression of the Plutocracy. The high point of this lunation, like the athlete’s somersault over the Bull’s horns, releases much untapped creative energy in answer and has grace, beauty, power and sheer audacity written all over it. If we are to restore a harmonious connection with our Earth we will surely need to be so audacious and do so in the spirit of that leap.

BULLIn the next post we’ll follow Venus path of liberation towards the May new Moon, and an encounter with the divine twins, representatives of the divided mind.

The Great Unravelling

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There is a Lakota story that tells of an ancient Grandmother sitting within a hidden cave weaving a panel of Porcupine quills into a great Buffalo Blanket. She has been working on this robe for thousands of years and, at her side, licking his paws and watching her all the time, is Shunka Sapa, the black dog who is her companion. The cave is lit and they are warmed by a great fire above which a cauldron hangs in which wojapi, sweet berry soup, has been slowly cooking since the fire was first lit.

Every now and then Grandmother rises from her work to stir the soup and feed the fire, but, as she does so Shunka Sapa  grabs the end of a quill in his teeth and sets about undoing her precious work…..you know how dogs can be! On returning to her blanket the ancient Grandmother comes to a stop infront of her unravelled work, sighs and, after pondering a moment, sits down once more to begin again her sacred work with the great medicine blanket.

There is an understanding amongst the people that, while the sacred work is made never-ending by the mischevious hound, should the Grandmother ever complete the robe, the moment she weaves the last Porcupine quill into the blanket, the world as we know it will come to an end……


When the tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi at 3.36pm local time on March 11th 2011 Uranus was just three minutes of arc from crossing the Aries equinox point in the tropical zodiac. Jupiter was in the 11th degree of Aries and Saturn, retrograde in the 16th degree of Libra, was conjunct the fixed star Merga in the constellation of Bootes, the Bear-warden. Slow moving Neptune too was on a cusp and would enter Pisces twenty three days later, just as the Sun and Moon met at new Moon in 14 Aries.

In the myth Bootes, having been given a flask of wine by Dionysus, was murdered by a group of shepherds after they had become insanely drunk on the potent sacred wine he had shared with them. In consideration for the grief of Bootes daughter Erigone and their faithful companion, the hound Maera, the Bear-warden was immortalised by Jupiter as a constellation in the skies.

Some say that Erigone, whose name means ‘She Who Knows’, became the constellation Virgo and that Maera was placed in the constellation Canis Major where the great dog star Sirius resides, but, the name Merga is derived from Marra, meaning a hoe or rake. In starlore the fixed star Merga marks the reaping hook held in the reaper’s left hand, Merga also having been known for millenia as Marrha. Saturn’s sickle bites likes the dogs teeth…..

When the new Moon eclipses the Sun on 20th March 2015 they too will be occupying the ultimate degree of tropical Pisces their orb covering the exact place of Uranus in the Fukushima tsunami chart. As the ultimate point of transition in the zodiac this degree is a place symbolic of unravelling as the necessary precursor to the sacred task of a re-weaving of the blanket of Life, begun with entry into Aries. In the Lakota story that moment is also marked by the Grandmother’s pause as she stops and ponders Shunka Sapa’s crucial if destructive intervention and, understanding what must be done, opens herself to re-envisioning of the sacred robe.

At eclipse Uranus will be exactly opposite Saturn’s place in the Fukushima chart, squaring Pluto for the seventh and last time in this part of their current cycle. Many things come to a head in this immediate time and culminate in an unresolved state, such is the of nature the waxing square belonging to this part of the cycle. This square marks the point at which Uranus finally begins to break free of the Plutonic undertow and sets out to sow new seeds of divine intiatic power within the matrix beyond the midpoint of Aries. If we look to the degree of the eclipse and the Sabian symbols associated with the last degree of Pisces for insight we find this aspect of the moment deepened through their gnostic wisdom.

They speak of the “power of clearly visualized ideals to mold the life of the visualizer” . They tell us this is a “most fitting symbol for the last phase of the cyclic process. Within the end of the cycle the seed of a new beginning exists in potency — unless the entire cycle has proven to be a failure.

The last phrase is highlighted, not to invoke such a sense of failure, but to emphasise the crucial significance of recognising where failure is present. It is hugely important to us now to not only look for the re-envisioning which will renew our world, but, to realise that the unravelling, while it may seem contrary to our vision for the future and may not have been our own intended or conscious doing, is itself both a catalyst for the work in hand and a reminder of a greater cycle of change. Three decades will pass before we begin to see Uranus oppose Pluto from Virgo.

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Many indigenous traditions carry stories that speak across great time of this crucial necessity, the relationship between our unconscious motivations and our highest wisdom, as well as between our ancestors and ourselves. They also tell us of the ‘worlds’ that have gone before ours, our cyclical re-emergence into the world following catastrophe, each time of unravelling different from the one before, but, all carrying the underlying thread of renewal, their seed potential. They show us how the way we live in our world, the pattern woven into the blanket of Life carrying the vision of our sacred relationship with our Earth, differs from those preceding and help us to understand how what comes of this is up to the ‘people’.

Grandmother’s vision for the future is writ in the stars and given the most powerful poigiancy through this solar eclipse and the beginning of a new cycle. Like Shunka Sapa’s disruptive work, undertaken behind her back, the ultimate fate of our planet stares us in the face. The destruction of the blanket of Life we are witnessing began while our backs were turned, many years before we were born, but, the Grandmother shows us our task. The full import of this is emphasised at the following full Moon.

At the full Moon on April 4th 2015 the Sun will be close on Uranus and Mercury will be close on the lunar south node, now on the same degree that Jupiter occupied in the Fukushima chart. The message here is clear ~ we cannot risk repeating the errors of the past without increasing consequence, and opening to the reality around us, as well as the power of the vision it demands of us, requires presence of mind and powerful intent. The ancestral fire must be tended beneath the cauldron of sweet medicine, but, as the story of the Bear-warden also reminds us, the gifts of the gods can easily be over-estimated in their strength and we are required to be wise to the consequences of their misuse. As wise as Saturn? The poigniancy of this is brought home as the April full Moon will transit Saturn’s degree in the Fukushima chart in mid Libra. Libra reminds us of the importance of right relationship, so central to all that is sacred, and the foundation of meaning this brings to all sustainable work we undertake.

At the April full Moon the Sun will be at the same degree as the new Moon that followed Fukushima, just as Neptune was then entering tropical Pisces. Neptune has been highlighting the dangers of intoxication under the inflationary influence of the ‘archetypal’ since entering Pisces, itself a powerful reminder of how an excess of the Dionysian wine has gone to our ‘heads’ inducing the global consequences of a destructive stupour that infects the world. Pluto and Uranus too have engaged us very tangibly in the field of their archetypal struggle since Fukushima, one equally wrought with the Neptunian signature. The Fukushima disaster is shot through with hubris, deception and dissemination of falsehood masking the thirst for power and control. Hubris as much as fundamentalism are human failings, but, who can deny where the ultimate responsibility lies in correcting this.

These connections between the Fukushima chart and the March solar eclipse are deepened further as the eclipse precedes equinox by just hours. Perhaps Venus presence in her home sign of Taurus will bring us down to earth and help our hearts to balance our heads as she is exactly quincunx Saturn, retrograde in Sagittarius at equinox. Saturn can also be the redeemer, if we have the ability to listen, accept the truth and, stepping across the threshold he keeps the keys to, undertake the work.

The stories from the past which address such archetypal themes have been passed down to us with good reason. They are ancestral reminders of times in which we have faced the need to undertake the ‘great work’. And, as in many medicine stories such as that of the Grandmother and Shunka Sapa, the understanding of its deeper message rests not upon explanation, but, on our own ability to allow the spirit of the story to speak to us within, so that we might see our own place within it and how each part of it sits within us.

colequillwork2May the opportunity brought for renewal by the eclipse open us to hearing them, allowing their medicine to work within, and may the blessings of the equinox enable us to grow in our understanding so that we may yet continue the sacred work with an ever more powerful intent…..

The Subtle Fire

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The February full Moon follows Imbolc, the festival sacred to the keeper of the eternal flame, and, in the northern traditions, marries with the subtle but strong re-emergence of the life force from the heart and hearth of the dreaming winter world. In the north this sacred time focuses on the fire that brings alive the light present in the root of things and encourages respect for the fruitful darkness out of which it is born, and to which it returns – the hearth is swept, the ancestral flame, the first fire, is rekindled and the earth is fed with offerings to seed the year ahead. In the south this seeding is mirrored under the fierce fire of the summer sun in the swelling of the fruits, their maturation turning the fire inwards and bringing the land to a place of fullness as the light begins to re-enter the Earth.

With a full Moon carrying this energy of renewal forward, from the heart of Leo in the tropical zodiac and from the constellation of Cancer within the skies, we can use this as a time to invoke a creative energy within our lives and homes. What are the fruits of our gifts and talents that we can give to the world and enrich the heart with in so doing, and what is emerging from our own dreaming that carries and excites us with creative energy, promising fulfillment in its undertaking? The cosmos and our actions are most deeply aligned when we activate and enrich this creative energy within ourselves. It is a subtle fire, but, possessing great potential.

The heart of this lunation is embedded within a complex planetary matrix and also comes midway between the final two exact squares between Uranus and Pluto, a series of seven which, in reality, is one repeating aspect with a seven beat pulse drawn out over four years or more. It may feel as though we are enjoying a short respite from the drama of the world in this time, but, watchfullness is essential. The drama continues, if not overtly, then covertly, for sure.

The full Moon itself is at the head of a yod, fed by Mars and Chiron sextile Pluto. With the Sun at the reaction point in mid tropical Aquarius there is a sensitivity about the moment that requires balance, self awareness and care. Words can carry a strong effect at this time ~ we should be aware that we can both harm and transform with them. Think before you speak, but, speak with a well understood and clear purpose and belief and great good, and healing, can come from such speech. A good place to begin is at the sacred fire within the inner sanctum.

To the naked eye the Sun’s transit through the stars in the constellation of Capricorn at this time is invisible to us in the full light of day, but, the full Moon reveals its corresponding place by opposition. As the Sun sets on February 3rd the Moon rises above the eastern horizon amidst the stars in the constellation of Cancer, conjunct the fixed star Abucens. Jupiter, in retrograde motion in the sky, is close by, quite literally, as the largest planet in our solar system is now at its closest to the Earth in its cycle. If you have a clear night sky this will be a rewarding sight to see.

Abucens, next the Moon, will be somewhat overpowered by the lunar light, but, its influence is noteworthy. It is said to have the qualities of Saturn and Mercury, indicating a firm ‘drive, or directive, from behind’ and this can be both the indicator of sharp intelligence at work and a will to keep ‘intents’ hidden in the process. It can also indicate coercion.

If the positive side of this connection is worked with it very much aligns with and enhances the qualities of the Imbolc impulse. Abucens is known as ‘sheltering of hiding place’ and with the full Moon indicates strong psychic and emotional energy fueled by hidden, that is to say, protected motives, perhaps more ‘covert’ than sourced in the ‘unseen’. This can be as much the territory of the criminal mind as of the esoteric adept. Far seeing and even remote viewing is enhanced here but, equally, even though ‘covert operations’ can be undertaken, the planetary matrix favours these becoming exposed through the same means. In other words, while this is not an invitation to spy, whatever your undertakings, if it does not feel right, don’t do it!

In the public realm, with Sun in Aquarius at the reaction point of the yod, exposure of covert ops, underhand dealings and outright lies is likely to bring strong, vociferous and reactive backlash. We must all be vigilant in these times. Political leadership must be very carefully watched now for signs of hidden agendas, already very much a feature of our current world, but, with Jupiter retrograde and tied into the lunar influence Leadership is here under the spotlight ~ we could see heads of state being forced into the open through public pressure on matters of dis-information, grotesque waste and extortion, and issues of national security. Saturn’s role in this time is also to assert boundaries and keep control on just how much knowledge is allowed to come into the light of day and this augers tensions over places where international boundaries and diplomacy are already manifesting hot spots, as well as hot ethical issues featuring politicians and leaders. For all of us it also augers responsible use of time and energy.

From the personal point of view, the flip-side is that, if you are working within the esoteric this is a time to avoid outward displays; better to simply do the work while keeping your power and sources under wraps, well protected. In keeping with the afore-thought and self awareness augered above, a need for vigilance and careful observation of the ethics and the natural laws of your craft arises. Better still, this is a good time to engage in study, to build your craft,  a time to be creative within it, to nurture your sources, and to preserve their esoteric nature ~ around full Moon be careful to not let inner growth and knowledge go to your head, stay earthed and give yourself time to fully understand, integrate and consolidate your gains.

The creative work you undertake now will benefit from a sense of poise. Think about how it can be the vehicle for positive change in the world, as well as its inner purpose and timing in your own life ~ its time will come, naturally, and soon enough! This is the subtle end of the shift thats underway, both on a cosmological, global and personal level; the first signs are showing.

Uranus, close on the lunar south node through this lunation, supports this shift collectively and will trine this full Moon, pushing us from behind to break the innate patterns that have fed old ideas of leadership, the egotistical and destructive agendas in the past. We must trust to our own inner knowing and earth our higher nature, let it be the leader, a point that Saturn’s sextile with Mercury further emphasises at full Moon.

Chiron and Pluto maintain their yod, with Jupiter at the action point, until next full Moon on March 6th so expect the pattern breaking theme around leadership and authority to continue, if not come to a height at that time, especially as Mars will by then be gunning the lunar south node….but, more on this nearer the time.

It is well to remember that all this is taking place during a Mercury retrograde, the signature of a time to focus on inner work, to be more forgiving and attentive. Mercury will go direct at third quarter on the 11th February signalling the point in the current lunation at which we can more confidently begin to turn more of our personal attention and energies outwards, to share and build meaningful dialogue. The following new Moon on the cusp of tropical Pisces builds upon this, as Mercury’s sextile with Saturn returns, exact, and this will subsequently support action that accompanies and compliments truthful talk. In all of this, with Venus and Mars running side by side through tropical Pisces, the collective mood can work towards bringing truthfulness and compassion to centre stage with a courage and determination, surely the key to all meaningful change in a suffering world.

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In other ways we may have reached too far as a species ~ as the Tao Te Ching says, “to let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.” To push home the point, the dangerous consequences of hubris are already rife within the world, and fighting fire with fire will only create burnout. The ‘lathe of heaven’ is already with us.

In many ways compassion and hubris are polarities within a spiritual spectrum of function and disfunction. As evident in their a-spiritual means as it is in their absolutism, the controlling hegemonies of politics, money and science continually court the dangers of hubris. However, in Taoist terms, “hubristic desire for control is evidence of lack of spiritual attainment” and this is the challenge, perhaps most clearly delivered through dealing with the damage that has already been done ~ we must continue to regenerate, re-group around and nurture a collective humanism that is aligned to the inner fire, the spirit of creativity and knowledge, and be vigilant with how we use our time and energy. The subtle fire of this time is strong medicine.