Tag Archives: myth

Medussa’s Answer

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In answering the question What Price Planet Earth we must turn the tables on an many things, not least of all the degrading supression of women and it is in the myth associated with the degree of the May new Moon that we find one of the most virulent examples of the mysogynist’s dirty work, the myth of Medussa. The balance of power must be reconfigured.

Astrologicaly, the May through June lunation carries a broad and unboundaried field quality, so its influence is globalising. The lunation opening at the midpoint between Jupiter and Neptune brings an archetypal balance of masculine and feminine values into the global arena that expands upon the dynamic balance of male and female energy which was a feature of the last Moon. There we saw the feminine aspect taking the most dynamic role, redressing the balance through a self confident and athletic Venus. Now we see this energy collectivised, unfolding throughout this lunation, emergent particularly at each quarter of the Moon’s phases.

In the skies the Sun and Moon began this lunation where Venus began the last, at the flanks of the Bull, and will complete it just as they pass beyond the tip of Taurus horns on 16 June. Venus, by then will be passing through the stars that form the ancient gateway at the heart of the constellation of Cancer. She is giving us the heads up, as she slows down towards her own turning point, to look ahead and take a status check ~ be prepared, have a plan, be ready to change direction.

As this lunation opened Venus was passing through the midst of the Geminian stars, giving us a strong hint, not only of the left/right brain balance that her dynamic can help restore, but, of the necessity of listening, communication and keeping your antennae up, especially those that feed your gut feelings. She suggests that it pays now to bring the intuitive side of physical consciousness to bear on mental processes, those ‘knowings’ we experience at a gut level. This highlights the point and value of peace within adaptation. As the primary practical grounding for all our actions this is an essential part of our survival kit ~ it is also the very grounded foundation upon which the spiritual aspect of this lunation is built.

At the personal level opening to intuitive intelligence is essential as it has the capacity to guide us independantly of the powerful emotive influences of dramas unfolding around us ~ often it is heard and felt more as the quiet but clear voice that appears to contradict the concensus, the voice of the herd mentality. It allows us to avoid becoming distracted from sensing what is real. As an art, encouraging the wisdom of our gut feeling also increases integration with that aspect of our selves which is outside of conditioning, aids our deconditioning. It deepens the connection with our ‘higher self’, which is integral to the ‘pleroma’ rather than the individual energy cluster which we recognise as ‘our-selves’. In this sense it unites ‘above’ with ‘below’ and allows us to make better choices and adjust our lives accordingly.

Here, the ‘peaceful adaptation’ of the Sabian symbol for 27 Taurus may find meaning, but, how does this interface with the ‘collective’? The intuitive nature of Uranus is now building through a trine to Jupiter and works with Mercury, turned retrograde just hours after the new Moon, to receive more intuitively. Mercury’s retrograde pulls the immediate past into the present. Changes and experiences that have been brought into our personal and world field over the last few weeks are now being integrated, so,  the first days of this lunation provide a good time to take stock and reflect on what has transpired most recently.

But, the new Moon also saw Mars opposite Saturn and Venus opposite Pluto; this may not only be a period of hard choices that we are now entering, radical by nature and effect, but, of decisions that are tough to impliment. While patience might be necessary it is much easier to find when peace is present. ‘Easier said than done’, we might hear ourselves saying…..but, we do have the means to do it; the astrology of this Moon is first and foremost a tool for accessing and identifying those means appropriately. In fact there is a prophetic quality about this Moon, one connected with Medussa, a great seer who has become totally distorted into a terrifying gorgon…..the fear factor she has been foisted with is our biggest challenge. It too must be cut through unflinchingly, seen for the deception that it is.

Many traditions of seership emphasise the importance of being able to hold a high degree of clarity and focus in the midst of distraction and have built excercises into the training that help develop this faculty. It is almost as if we are now entering that training.

Not only do those two oppositions stamp their signature on the lunation at the beginning, at first quarter the Sun opposes Saturn, and the aftermath of the Uranus Pluto square is once again stressed as Venus squares Uranus. At full Moon Mars applies the heat to Pluto at the apex of the yod from Mercury and Jupiter. The complexity of this matrix is matched by its volatility. That yod definitely gives the game away ~ at the outset an ebulliant, demonstrative Jupiter in Leo sextiles self regarding Mercury retrograde and their combined energy emerges through the Pluto point, backfiring where self obsession, mindgames and narcissism are at work fueling a thirst for power, and discharging through Venus in Cancer. You will know it when you feel it, as if we are not already! The Uranus square exaccerbates and Mars amplifies this effect vociferously while the Sun gives penetrative intent to the collective voice. Many world leaders need look out and wise up! The seer’s eye is opening…..and, I hate to say it, but, heads will roll.

Pluto is now also retrograde so we can truly expect the radical games of the power-elite to be seen for what they are – a massive scam to keep our attention and energies fixated, managed and farmed.

But, the reality of the threats we may percieve are not limited to the human sphere. Geocentric oppositions involving the inner planets, such as those between Mars, the Sun and Saturn, are extremely sensitive times for tectonic movement and upticks and, as geomantic stress events, these also affect how we are feeling as well as how we react. Hard aspects, especially oppositions, between Earth, Sun and the outer planets bring this sensitivity deeper into the collective realms, Venus opposite Pluto not withstanding. Venus begins this lunation squaring the lunar nodes and it is the feminine power that holds the keys to our future as well as to unlocking the past.

Then there is the matter of the superstition surrounding the degree on which this lunation opened. With the new Moon falling on the same longitude as the fixed star Caput Algol we might well find ourselves facing long held fears and come to the sudden realisation that these must now finally be overcome, a kind of ‘now or never’ moment. In so many senses the primary quality of this lunation is a startling immediacy and compelling intensity about the nature of experience itself ~ we must not allow their intensity and our fears to petrify us into inaction, in fact, we simply cannot afford it, quite literally.

Olazu_Mola

With the Sabian symbol for the 27th degree of Taurus indicating ‘individual adaptation to collective needs’ and Venus transitting Cancer those fears and our sensitivity to them are almost certainly going to be ancestral and inherited in nature and relate to values closest to home. There is deep and long term programming at work here. You may get a sense of karmic payback at work in the world. On a personal level, if you do experience this ‘feeling tone’ arising in ‘events’, take it as a sign that something has come up in order to be changed, this time around. Collectively, Algol has given us the ‘heads up’ (pun intended).

Algol, as said, is associated with the much misunderstood figure of Medussa, the priestess raped by Poseidon/Neptune in Minerva’s temple, and yet held responsible by Athena – for her ‘crime’ she was given her serpent hair and deadly reputation, all in return for a violation of the sacred precincts in which she was not the perpetrator, but, its victim. Sound familiar?! In fact Medussa was an initiatrix in the spiritual path of the cthonic earth Goddess, a divine mortal possessed of extreme Beauty, Power and Grace……Venus has been preparing us for this encounter.

We must take up her cause now and use seers eyes, as well as listen to our gut wisdom. Looking further ahead, globally we are now entering ‘salvage’ mode, this being the point at which the need to find the route to survival becomes manifestly real and the decisive action we might once have taken to avert danger is redirected into adapting to circumstances. It all begins to come together. The need for prioritising values, deciding what is essential, and focusing on preservation and damage limitation come to the fore. The demands of the past and future are becoming more immediate in the present.

Conversely, the Sabian symbol also talks of our indigenous nature and cultural heritage giving us the peaceful means to integrate a healthy flow of energy into our social setting, our community ~ the artifacts we offer out of our heritage carry the patterns of enduring wisdom and embody a certain deep joy that can be experienced directly in them. We are meant to pay the ancestral gift they represent forward. There is a strong nod here towards the reparative effects of the ‘gift culture’, to creating a genuine flow of energy that both feeds and honours, in which reciprocation and recognition are the currency and carry the true value, rather than exchange and possession of the thing itself. Wealth is meant to be shared, in fact it can only flourish if it is. In such flourishing we all receive nourishment. A highly pertinent fact waiting to be re-embodied within our world.

Without a doubt the strongest fears we have collectively suffered around this issue are connected with the idea of ‘scarcity’. This has been the psychological crowbar that has been deployed to force open the collective psyche and allow our most vulnerable instinctive fears to surface into the world. While our rightful heritage is destroyed and life blood syphoned off We are mercilessly manipulated through its use. The inner dynamic of this is so clearly demonstrated in the imbalance between the wealth of the ‘top one percent’ and the struggle to survive being visited upon the vast majority of the rest of us, a ‘reality’ which we clearly see being aggresively ‘deployed’ globally. It is symbolised through the money laundering schemes of government that feed the military-industrial complex and the bank owning elite who profit from it, rather than the people. This too is one of the inner dynamics of the Jupiter and Neptune mid-point, its emergent shadow side, now in full view.

The highly developed material aesthetic of the final degrees of Taurus carry a heavy burden if not shared. But, if anything, this Moon highlights this imbalance at its most potent level and, through the planetary positions, shows that we must apply strong energy to the task of rectifying it.

The last decan of Taurus is ruled by Saturn emphasising the life and death nature of this level of engagement, a radicalising game in which choices are made to appear very extreme, polarised, dualistically antagonistic. But, Saturn’s door, while it is seemingly one way, signed ‘exit’, is not ‘the end’……

ChaudronDeGundestrup

……the Sabian symbol gives us an image of an indigenous woman bringing the traditional crafts and artifacts of her culture into the marketplace of the contemporary world. There are several layers to this symbol, beyond her finding a means to survive in the modern world. The idea of ‘paying it forward’ is central to the work we all face now and the feminine apsect of our times is emergent within this role. Through her journey over the current lunations Venus is highlighting the immense beauty of an empowered woman, not in competition with the men, or the Bull, but, in full flow, expressing her accomplished abilities.

The snake maned priestess decapitated by Perseus has been demonised to the point of dissociation from her roots. In our time this is the political purpose served by the myth, a suitable repository for the ‘unacceptable’ face of initiated and empowered woman, a mirror. The curse of petrification she carries is rather a testament to the immense power her eyes radiate. She has incredibly potent vision, yes, but, it is the snakes that signify her source of power. It is the very power of creation that flows within the earth realms, the lightingbolt that condenses light into plasma, that illuminates the neural pathways of the unconditioned pleroma. Snakes are its living symbol and medicine animal. Petrification is the opposite of its effect rather than its corrollary. In the human frame this power can be sourced at the deeper centres, but, its voice is most clearly heard through our intuitive insight and its wisdom equally accessed through gut feeling. Some call this primal, but, while it is certainly intense, it could just as easily be called sublime, transcendant even.

In slaying the Medussa Perseus was obeying the rational dictates of his goddess Athena, the myth overlaying symbolism onto the historical transference of primary feminine power and wisdom to the more secular and masculinised figure of the goddess born fully armed from Zeus forehead. Athena kept Medussa’s head as the protective boss of her shield, ironically signifying that her sacred law was to be regarded as beyond question; however, the antidote to this weapon of fear can be found exactly facing the constellation of Perseus in the constellation of Ophiuchus, rising in the eastern night sky as Venus sets in the west.

Ophiuchus the serpent bearer holds the snake in both hands and applies its primary healing powers to the mortal world. Indeed, it is said Ophiuchus, or Asclepius as he is also identified, was the greatest of healers, so much so that he angered the gods with his ability to restore life to the dead and, ultimately, paid for his abilities with exile to the star realms. Ironically, in the end it was Athena who made the crucial difference here as she bestowed two phials of the Medussa’s blood into Asclepius possession, one from Medussa’s left side which gave the power to mete out death, the other from her right side which gave the power of to overcome death. The healer chose to use the latter and in so doing tipped the balance.

But, it is in this balance across the opposing sides of the ecliptic that we find the goddess and the primal creative wisdom represented in our times. Indicative of healing the Geminian division between the right and left brain it is Venus message to us that our encounter with the Medussa can allow this balance to be restored. Medussa’s head is the embodied consiousness of that primal wisdom which has been initiated into a deep understanding of all that creates, heals and destroys within the natural flow of life, the Earth Goddess wisdom – we must restore it to the body of our world and, trusting her guidance, follow the pathways it opens to us. Both these constellations point to the balance of extremes, not in duality, but as a living power to be grasped in both hands.

the Chauvet goddess and bulls headThe Medussa’s head and its primary state of fully awakened unconditioned consciousness is not to be feared, but, re-united with our own creative energy – in doing so the restorative healing it can unleash in our world is unlimited.

While our question might well be ‘What Price, Planet Earth’, undoubtedly, Medussa now challenges Us to find the answer. Only fear and conditioning stand in the way of doing so.


Top Image : Underwater Sculpture, Jason DeCaire ~ modified image

Second Image : Mola textile, Kuna

Third Image : Gundestrap Cauldron

Bottom Image : Goddess and BullMan, Chauvet Cave

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An Ecology of Power

sphinx

It is no secret that the the world is governed by the interests of a very small minority, a priviliged few who we might call the ‘plutocracy’. The power base is at the top, so to speak, and maintains its position through imposing structure and limitation on the majority beneath. If you are not endowed with membership of this  exclusive ‘elite’ you are designated ‘canon fodder’, the ‘useless eaters’, pawns to the ‘master’s’ game. In astrological terms there are two planets that have become commonly associated with this particular manifestation of power, its deeply subversive controlling nature and top-down heirarchy of ‘authority’ – Pluto and Saturn.

Pluto in Capricorn is bringing the very nature of this monstrous misuse of power up from the depths in our times for all to see, but, Saturn…..well, Saturn has been playing the wily game of hide and seek in Scorpio, playing both sides off against each other, first through a prolonged and quite creative trine with Neptune, ‘enjoyed’ by both sides, then through a  quincunx with Uranus and simultaneous sextile with Pluto in which reflex reaction and counter-reaction of one side against the other pulled the authoritarian stand-off into brief if visceral view. Now we are about to catch a glimpse of the mysterious side of Saturn, his fundamental and challenging nature, and, that glimpse will arrive with Samhain.

Many astrologers appear to be playing up the Samhain chart, making it bouyant and optimistic, forward looking and energised above all else. The last two certainly apply, but, the bouyancy and optimism, while certainly present in the chart, are not going to arrive without first factoring in some hard truths and, if these are avoided the positive will loose its perspective and lasting meaning. In fact the dominant aspects in the chart for Samhain, cast for the world at zero hours UTC on November 1st, see the Moon opposing Jupiter from 20° tropical Aquarius and squaring Saturn at 23° of Scorpio. The Moon’s swift course through Aquarius will see the face-off with bombastic Jupiter give way to Saturns deep questioning.

By itself this T square carries the challenge, but, Mercury also feeds into the Moon and Jupiter by trine and sextile respectively, and this is where we can find reasons to be positive. It is also where our pro-active attention must be focused. Lets just start off here by saying that if you are planning to work with Samhain as a gateway, regardless your leanings in the interp, foresight and preparation will pay off bigtime ~ be mindful of what is motivating you.

Its not all bad in other areas of the zodiac either. With Mars and Neptune in sextile from Capricorn and Pisces respectively this is looking like a golden opportunity for spiritual activism to carry the full support of the ancestors and otherworlds and, through this, we’re looking to actualise really effective action in the world. Samhain is the opportunity to make ready for this pro-active and visionary fueled firing up, and, Mars meeting with Pluto over the 10th to 12th of November will be the optimum time for applying it. Fire, Air and Water are the elements highlighted in the T square, but, it is in cardinal Earth that we will be able to capitalise upon the empowering experience that can come with ‘the thinning of the veils’.

The heart of the matter is quietly brought home through Venus and the Sun, within two degrees of each other in Scorpio. Venus is emerging from behind the solar disc, is sextiling Pluto in Capricorn and is approaching quincunx with Uranus, now bringing the fruits of her own journey into the unseen to bear upon the bigger picture unfolding in these times. Venus is also coming into trine with Chiron, pointing out that the shaman’s path lends a particular  poigniancy to her qualities of courage and beauty. She tells us that these qualities are at the core of our healing work and asks us what we value most in our quest to find a new balance between established power and individual freedom. The ecology of power rests upon it……

If the People are represented by the Moon, from our earthly perspective we must also take the Moon’s position in the sky into account. At Samhain the Moon is aligned with the stars in the tail of the sea-goat, in the stellar constellation of Capricorn. Here the forces of nature are wound up in the potential energy of creative and motivating natural power. For sure, this is the power to go forward and to bring a beneficial outcome closer. The twist in the tail is that at Samhain the Moon’s degree is also occupied by the asteroid Damocles. The sword of Damocles reminds us that when our ambitions deliver us into a position of authority, we should be mindful of the unforeseen pitfalls and dangers that go with that station…..be careful to look ahead is the message! Our motivations are brought into question and we cannot afford to blindly surge forward on egotistical and reactive impulses or unconscious drives. And, at Samhain, the otherworlds will, no doubt, have much to say on this matter.

This is central to how ‘making our circle stronger’ will work in the world, not least of all because we are effectively moving deeper into the process of breaking down old circles of power that centre around individuals who rule through positions of authority and working towards a more organic power structure in which networks between individuals who are ‘in their power’  is the basis. This is an incredibly important distinction to make and being in a position to embody it is vital to our future. ‘Making your circle strong‘ serves the greater purpose. Here it is centred on investing personal power in an ecology based upon Aquarian and Libran qualities of mutual co-operation and connection, as well as mutual respect. The strength of the network is based not upon the individual alone, but, upon the power that flows through it. And, each individual contributes to that power.

This not to advocate a species of globalism or communist ideology, far from it, as the anarchic nature of the process will reveal.

Mercury is conjunct the Moon’s north node in the 20th degree of Libra throughout and, being in direct motion now, Mercury’s influence is about focusing attention on where we are all heading. The trine Mercury forms with the Moon here tells us that we should trust our intuition about how this focus applies to us personally, and, the sextile to Jupiter expands the scope of our communications and activites. Trust is clearly flagged up in relation to the messages received from the otherworlds. The spirits are here to guide us and the ancestors can help us see clearly, by example, how crucial it is to take the consequences of our own actions into account. This is not a time for agendas to be initiated that do not serve those who come after us ~ there is a far greater purpose at work.

Having said that, Mercury also brings our attention to a challenge that is very much a part of realising that purpose ~ not only is Mercury in strong aspect to the Moon, the North Node and Jupiter here, but, the ‘messenger between the worlds’ is precisely conjunct asteroid Typhon! There is no artifice in this on my part as, although the previous post, ‘The Samhain Stars‘, focused on the mythology surrounding Typhon and the birthing of Capricorn, I did not discover Mercury’s alignment with asteroid Typhon at Samhain until after that article had been published ~ it came as a real surprise, if not a strong confirmation. So, how does this affect things?

Typhon’s symbolism in the myths is heavily centred on the power of natural forces to challenge the status quo, the regime of order whose power base in the myth is present in the form of Zeus and the Olympian management team. Through Typhon the innate balance of things is disturbed, the apex of power falls to earth, and a restructuring of the relationship between the cosmological forces of Life and the human realm ensues. As an archetype Typhon brings chaotic effect and, in some measure, his is the anarchistic side of Nature.  The myth also clearly shows that Typhon’s effect is not an end in itself. It is anarchistic by nature alone. His power still manifests natural law, albeit in an unfettered and extreme state. Typhon is nature let loose.

The Moon’s opposition with Jupiter, doubling for Zeus in ostentatious Leo, speaks volumes here. The question is can We affect the outcome?! In our time it is the minority of humans in positions of authority, as well as our progenitors who have taken on the mantel of the gods and the danger is in assuming those in positions of power can continue asserting hubristic control over nature without suffering the consequences. Obviously this cannot continue. And while our ancestors will be very instructive in this, Typhon brings the truth of the matter home!

So, where does Saturn fit into all this, being square the Moon and Jupiter. Saturn’s square with Jupiter is waning, while the square with the Moon is waxing. There is a subtle shift in authority at work here but subtlety is further highlighted, enigmatically, in the asteroid named after the Sphinx. Saturn is in the scales belonging to the constellation of Libra, but is also conjunct this asteroid at Samhain and frames the Sphinx’s riddle in terms of authority, and mortality. This is the cutting edge of the moment, the balance in which the Moon Jupiter opposition is weighed. While Samhain is shrouded in mystery the bottom line of that mystery is very down to earth.

The myth associated with the Sphinx brings this out and sees Oedipus meeting with the daughter of Typhon, the Sphinx, through the agencies of fate. Oedipus, who was unaware of his true heritage, gave answer to the Sphinx to save his own life, but, this in itself was no less fateful. Although his own journey had been motivated in an attempt to avoid a fate foreseen through the Delphic Oracle, through it he had been brought to the feet of the Sphinx and the consequences invoked the very fate that he, like his true father before him, had sought to avoid.

The lesson of the Sphinx is that we cannot cheat fate, or the consequences of our own actions, even when our mortality is on the line. The Why of this story is crucial. Oedipus, while succeeding where all others had failed in answering the Sphinx, succumbed to fate through ignorance of his own origins. In following his own blind impulses he missed the opportunity to fulfill a greater destiny. He would have done well to ask again of the Delphic oracle, to seek guidance in how that destiny might be won, instead of assuming that his own choices would be sufficient.

Through being open to Mercury’s intervention, to guidance from the otherworlds centred on our own future, we might avoid suffering a similar fate and instead manifest a Capricornian restructuring of our relationship with earthly manifestations of power. If this appears over-dramatic one need only reflect upon the reality of human intervention within and disrespect for the laws of nature, as if we have the divine power to determine fate through our own choices. Through GMOs and transhumanism, weather modification and weaponisation, through continued destruction, exploitation and pollution of Nature we act out Oedipus story. As is implicit in the myth of Oedipus and the Sphinx riddle, remembering who we are and understanding why we came here is central to the question, but, we too would do well to ask for further guidance from the otherworlds before we answer. They may well help us remember what the ruling elite have tried to suppress over the millenia ~ we have been here six times before. Now is the time to put things to rights.

Samhain is a powerful time. It can serve us well to use it wisely. The augeries tell us this might mean more than we realise…….if we remain severed from our own roots, we will witness that it is humans acting as gods, catastrophically constellating hubris and reckless lack of responsibility, who have unleashed Typhon in the world. Only, here, the monster is not only manifest in the natural forces at work through nature, it is acted out through the ecology of power that has dominated the world over millenia. We can change this, but, not through our own means alone. Nature is our ally and, unlike Oedipus, for us, if we seek the further council of the otherworlds while embodying our own wiser selves, it may not be too late to change our fate and claim a greater destiny in realising a new ecology of power……in this, as has been said before, each one of us has a significant part to play.

10690185_10154558545075063_4294752327196118995_nThe gateway opens offering us an opportunity to listen once more to the voices of the otherworlds ~ have fruitful journies and be strong in following their council. We’ll meet again on the other side……


Main image : Sphinx ~ Owlmirror

Note : Typhon is designated a Trans Neptunian Object (TNO), having an orbit that reaches from just inside Uranus to well beyond Pluto, and while this gives greater depth to the astrological interp, linking this heavenly body with the far reaching, deeper archetypal and ‘trans-personal’ realms, in this article it remains within the overall emphasis of Typhon’s reach as a signifier affecting life on a ‘cosmological’ scale within the reading given.

The Samhain Stars ~ Castra, the Moon and the Origins of Capricorn

Shaman

The turning of the Great Wheel through precession ushers in the new astrological ages and, with their advent, the stars show us how the change in human culture and experience also manifests a shift of focus. We are transiting now from the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius.

As is so often the way of things with major transitions, and as the world around us shows clearly, ‘the light is darkest before the dawn’. But, the new is born from the husk of the old and, already present in our world, the seeds of the Aquarian age are being sown and have begun to germinate. In the first stages of growth there must be a breaching of old boundaries and, for the seed to grow, the husk must be broken open ~ here and in the following posts we’ll reflect on the stellar signs of how this process is now playing out. Through the positions of the planets and luminaries in the present, as reflected through the lens of Samhain 2014 and some of the myths that have come down to us which tell of Capricorn’s origins, we can see the macrocosm and microcosm working together.

Samhain sees the Sun align in the heavens with the constellation of Virgo, travelling from the legs and feet of the goddess towards meeting at full Moon with the fixed star Zuben Elgenubi, the ‘southern claw of the Scorpion’ in the constellation of Libra. In our times, this star has become integrated into the scales of ‘the balance’ now associated with the sign of Libra and Zuben Elgenubi indicates ‘the southern scale of the balance’.  The qualities brought  by the star remain unchanged – it is the socio-cultural setting that has changed and influenced how we interpret those qualities.

Within the ongoing process the Sun’s transition from the benevolent stars in the feet of the goddess to the claw of the Scorpion covers the time of the second quarter in the Moon’s 11th lunation 2014 and the full Moon gives a clear indication of the most developed nature of the change at work here. At the height of the lunation the Moon will oppose the Sun on the 6th November, in alignment with the star Menkar in the constellation Cetus, the whale or sea monster. However, the change in character of these celestial influences behind the Sun and Moon becomes clearer when we look to the stars involved with the Moon at Samhain. At zero hour of Samhain on November 1st the Moon is in the 21st degree of Aquarius in the tropical zodiac, aligned with the tail of the sea-goat in the constellation of Capricorn. The star associated with this degree is Castra. To get into the significance of Castra we need first to explore the origin myths surrounding Capricorn.

The birth of Capricorn

We can learn some interesting things about Capricorn, from both contemporary and ancient star lore, concerning how this celestial figure became established and what it signifies at this time. In our time, George Noonan tells us, “the constellation Capricorn has a great influence over human affairs portending major changes in such areas as climate and political customs. Along with the sign, the constellation is also noted as the “Mansion of Kings.” (1). The imperative need ‘for transformative action to become embodied’ is reflected by Robson’s reading of the myths when he states  that…..

…..”During their war with the giants, the Gods were driven into Egypt and pursued by Typhon. In order to escape, each was forced to change his shape, and Pan, leaping into the Nile, turned the upper part of his body into a goat and the lower part into a fish, a shape considered by Jupiter worthy of commemoration in the heavens.” (2)

Capricorn is here recognised through Jupiter’s mythical intervention.

Typhon is also associated with Set in Egypt, the nemesis of Osiris, and the shift from one age into another is very much a part of the egyptian story as well as the emergence of a new religious order, a shift of power base.

Their are many myths and stories from around the world that tell of these events, too many to recall in this article, however, I’m focusing on the greco-roman myths here as they so strongly underpin the psychological dynamics of the dominant culture in our times ~ this is where the destructive psychoses we now see playing out globaly have their root, and it is their shadow, hardened into the husk of the old world and all its attendant pitfalls, that we must break through if new growth is to flourish.

The intervention of Jupiter in giving Capricorn a home in the skies reveals how the politico-religious rewriting of the myths suited the dominant powers of the time. The gods are very much the instrument of change here, but, they are invariably given the spin that suits the victors…..Typhon warred with Zeus, and Zeus, after becoming re-instated, was superceded by Jupiter reflecting the insurgence of roman culture. Hermes helped restored Zeus to the heavens after Typhon had ripped out Zeus sinews and cast him into the earth during their battle. The figure of goat-Pan links with Dionysus and, through the assistance of Hermes/Mercury, the figure of Capricorn was born. We could get something here from remembering Ariadne’s story from the preceding post ~ after Theseus had successfully overcome the Minotaur and navigated the labyrinth with Ariadne’s help, the lovers eloped. The greek sources originally tell us that Theseus left Ariadne, having first sired a child in her. Theseus abandoned her on the island of Naxos, Dionysus sacred ground. In seeking to absolve the hero of such betrayal the later interpreters changed the story making Theseus the victim of a storm while at sea ~ we will soon see an echo of this in Capricorn’s story.

There are strong intimations in this drama of cosmological changes at work which radically affected the terrestrial plane, indications that powerful forces were wielded between celestial bodies and the earth which initated major shifts in both the environment and the collective of mind of the people. Hermes intervention tells us of a change of mentality, a new way of thinking and of an accompanying shift in relationship with the deities. When we look more closely into Typhon’s background the resonances become stronger.

typhon usagiTyphon was the most fearsome of monsters, associated, as his name suggests, with destruction and upheaval through powerful winds and a fire that flashed from his eyes – our word ‘typhoon’ may well have its origins in Typhon. His partner was the cthonic Echidna, the ‘mother of all monsters’ who had the body of a dragon and the torso and head of a woman. She was the daughter of Ceto, linking us with the constellation Cetus in our story. Their off-spring included the Sphinx, the Chimera, Cerberus and the Caucasian Eagle summoned by Zeus to daily eat the liver of Prometheus, who is commonly associate with Uranian powers. The birth of such a brood is indicative of archetypal changes within collective psyche, has an echo in it of suppression of innate psychic energies and earth energies, and, what seeded this is revealed through Typhon’s appearance.

Typhon’s lower half was also serpentine. His head was 100 serpents, his body being covered with wings, and red scales and spikes covered his back. He sounds very demonic, and the later projection of a ‘satanic’ shadow upon such a figure is clear. However, the underlying theme comes not only from how his powers were experienced, but, from how they were metabolised in the process. Typhon’s was a power of cosmological dimensions that affected earth through cthonic forces and my speculation is that we are seeing in the battle with Zeus/Jupiter an event involving telluric and electric forces which, in their earthly symbolism, the serpent represents.

The many headed serpent, amongst other similar symbols, can realistically indicate telluric pathways and electrical discharge between two charged celestial bodies….are we seeing a representation of a global catastrophe initiated in the heavens here, that affected the land and brought flooding and upheaval? Is Typhon representing the catastrophic nature of this upheaval as it was experienced? Typhon’s defeat saw him banished by Zeus to the volcanic regions and, while there is some correlation in this with Plutonic symbolism, the story makes sense when we consider what role such dramatic environmental change would have forced upon the people. The gods themselves were forced to change shape….

The aftermath of such terrestrial change would undoubtedly be profound and order would have been sought out of chaos. In the writings of Manilius, we find a description of what this may have installed in the wake of the shape shifting that brought Capricorn into existance.

“In her shrine Vesta tends your fires, Capricorn: and from her you derive your skills and callings. For whatever needs fire to function and demands a renewal of flame for its work must be counted as of your domain. To pry for hidden metals, to smelt out riches deposited in the veins of the earth, to fold sure-handed the malleable mass—these skills will come from you, as will aught which is fashioned of silver or gold. That hot furnaces melt iron and bronze, and ovens give to the wheat its final form, will come as gifts from you. You also give a fondness for clothes and wares which dispel the cold, since your lot falls for all time in winter’s season, wherein you shorten the nights you have brought to their greatest length and give birth to a new year by enlarging the daylight hours. Hence comes a restless quality in their lives and a mind which is often changed and floats this way and that; the first half of the sign is the slave of Venus, and that with guilt involved, but a more virtuous old age is promised by the conjoined fish below.” (3)

The “restless quality in their lives and a mind which is often changed” is especialy noteworthy and the strength of the leader would have been crucial. Vesta played a key role in the regulation of rulership, her priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, keeping the eternal flame alive within the holy of holies, and it was they that reminded the ruler of the sacred duty, afforded him by his position (and this is during the rise of the patriarchy), of serving the people. The political head was still religiously governed and this was a significant power afforded the Vestals, giving them a political as well as a sacred edge that could not be ignored. The Priestesses of Vesta had precidence in renewing the solar power of the ruler, and Capricorn is the cardinal cusp upon which the Sun, from whom the ruler assumed the divine power of his station, is reborn at solstice. In Manilius quote is a clear indication of Vesta’s importance on the mundane level as well, and, in it we find intimations of the advent of metalurgy as a sacred technology, as well as the relation to agrarian states that were born of climatic change. Behind all this is a carefully encoded allusion to a preceding global shift.

But, why would Venus enslave?! Venus too has been represented as a celestial body with fiery serpentine hair streaming from her head, the great comet that swept by earth in ancient times, bringing great change. The time we are looking to here is unclear in chronologically formatted western histories, but, Kronos establishment as Saturn who rules our mechanistic interpretation of time is also indicted here ~ Saturn, electric universe cosmology tells us, was transformed from a Brown Dwarf star to its present state through the intervention of a second Sun, our present one, and Venus advent came after the interaction, just as Aphrodite was born from the spume of Uranus who Saturn/Kronos castrated. Again, here is a shift from the era of the eternal presence of cyclical time, the ‘Golden Age’, to the linear chronological time with which Saturn is now associated. The planet Saturn’s present state, as represented in this cosmology of myth, is the outcome of immense upheaval  and comes at the tail end of the story that Capricorn unfolds.

The memories of that time were passed down to us in the myths and the stars can aid us in recalling them ~ and, at Samhain it is one star in particular that is highlighted by the Moon’s degree.

The stars in the tail of Capricorn have a much more benevolent nature than those in the head and belly, the lore tells us, and, as the connection is with the diluvian half of the sea-goat’s story the intimation is that it is here that we will find the Samhain Moon’s relevance to the present.

And so we come to Castra in the tail of the sea-goat.

Castra – 21 Aquarius

Robson tells us that Castra is “Of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter. It gives malevolence, destructiveness, an uncontrollable temper” (4), but, Noonan corrects this saying “the star Castra is of beneficial influence, although some modern astrologers such as Robson mistake this star as being in the belly (of the goat) and thereby gave it a malevolent nature [this star, epsilon, ε, is positioned in the fish-tail of the goat; Robson has incorrectly said it is on the belly]” (5).

The Moon’s alignment with Castra at the turning point of Samhain brings beneficial influences into play in connection with the origin myth of Capricorn. The forces that resulted in the change of the ages initiated a shape-shift that brought about a new way of living, relating to the celestial as well the cthonic powers as they were perceived. The age in question may well be connected with the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, whose cusp marks the solstice opposite Capricorn. In my own journey I have heard the story relating to the advent of Venus from within the oral traditions passed down amongst indigenous mentors, the timeline they have related corresponding to the cusp of Cancer. But the present calls us to be mindful of the meaning over the timing and, being in the tail of the sea-goat, Castra brings the post-diluvial aftermath of these events to bear, a matter of no small import when we look to the changes now underway in our times.

When in tropical Aquarius the Moon brings the collective fields of communication and Uranian qualities of electric potential and invention together with the psycho-somatic sensitivites of the People. In the 21st degree of Aquarius these initiate the theme associated with third decan of Aquarius. While the lore behind the decans shows that the Moon rules the third decan of Aquarius, this decan carries the most revolutionary impulses of Aquarius, where science and transcendance meet, and the spiral in the tail of the sea-goat is the dynamic representation of the forces at work. Some have named this section of Aquarius the ‘Gateway of the Gods’, an epithet fitting to the mythical story-line given above. There are creative cosmological energies at work here, the spiral energies of creation that push the seed to germinate, and, if the transition into the Aquarian Age is mirrored in this it presages great advancements in how we relate to the use of technologies. We are looking to working in co-operation, as a people, with the innate powers of Nature, rather than exploiting them.

This ecological movement, as much spiritual as it is material, has to find expression that can both harmonise our ways of living with each other and with Nature, and expose the errors that have denied us this right. The imperative is to transcend from an age in which the misuse of power through force and technology has underpinned terrestrial life through their negative impact upon the environment, our freedoms and our health. The revolution envisioned is akin to a shape shift that addresses the networking and co-operative nature of Aquarius and, in the of growth of globalism, the corporate rulership of the body politic, as well as its accompanying  hegemony of suppression, we find the nemesis of Aquarian individualism and the freedom to initiate change. Make no mistake, this is a call to actualise a shift in consciousness, an embodied awareness, as the continued blinkering of this awareness will bring out the Aquarian shadow. That way lies a monocultural globalism, a form of collectivism that is ruled over more in the name of Leonine forms of rulership, into which the power of the shadow is projected, than owned, shared and recognised in empowered individuals. And, we should not forget that while Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, Saturn was the tradtional ruler of both Aquarius and Capricorn.

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While Samhain 2014 is but an eyeblink in the change of ages, there is in this immediate time an urgency about actualising the initiation of a collective change that will see the transformations necessary to the revolution realised. If this requires movement en-masse it also requires that this be realised through individuality, the right to be ones-self. The Moon, the signs and the stars highlight this interweaving. From the individual’s perspective the scale of this task is immense, a fact reflected back  to us by the fact that on the precise entry point of Samhain the Moon will exactly oppose Jupiter in tropical Leo, and both will form a T square with Saturn in late Scorpio, all within the last decans of the respective signs.

The tensions being played out here are infused within the global dramas of this time and take on monumental proportions. However, it is through the individual, you and I, that the change will come and the future will be seeded with Aquarian potential. In this, the Samhain alignments become sign-posts, encouraging us to be open to the messages left by our ancestors. Through the myths being activated in our psycho-somatic nature we are called to shape-shift spiritually as well as materially, to take advantage of the qualities of the moment at the thinning of the veils. This means bringing a closer level of co-operation into our relationships with the otherworlds. The thinning of the veils and the ‘gateway of the gods’ coincide ~ for the spiritual activist this is the prime opportunity to activate the gateway with powerful intent and seek assistance from the ancestral and divine powers, the spirits. They will not fail us, but, we must each play our part.


In the next post we will look at how the T square between the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn further illuminates our course of action.


(1)(5) Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990

(2)(4) The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Robson 1923

(3) Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD

Images

Shaman : Susan Seddon Boulet

Typhoon Uriga

Under the Moontree