Tag Archives: poetry

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

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Mysterious Traveller – Mercury in Pisces

starmaidenMercury in Pisces……bringing messages from the far distant shores of the dreamworlds, of spirit, seeing the scintillating light of eternity in the ordinary, its inner world both here and not here, more than here, communicating through the archetypes, words carried on the winds of imagination, speaking the language of the clouds and ocean currents, a traveller with no destination, in the world but mysteriously not of it…..

The great poet and itinerant zen monk Basho had something of this….

“The rough sea – stretching out towards Sado – the Milky Way”

…but, when Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, as he is for the moment, the journey is turned inwards, an invertion that pulls us into moods and feelings of longing, a search for our own meaning and the solid ground of knowing…..

At best of times Mercury can put us in touch with the Gods, deliver the kiss from the Goddess….and not telling us of the consequences, leave us laughing  on the edge of the pool, until we twig and, leaping in, follow him…..

“an ancient pond – a frog jumps in – the splash of water”

…but, which comes first?

The predominant astrological interpretation of Mercury retrograde is a story of disruptive interventions and flat tyres on our urgent and important journeys…..miscommunications rather than insights. But, in Pisces we are more likely to end up questioning our motives for setting out in the first place and finding they were never written in stone, were the work of other powers greater than ourselves, and, with this, vapourising our perspectives……talking to ourselves and hearing an echo in the fog…..

“falling sick on a journey – my dream goes wandering – over a field of dried grass”

Depth psychology and spiritual healing, ennui and melancholy, the old memory carried by the youthful soul, the Orphic search for the beloved, Psyche’s dream of the embrace in the dark…….all carry the signature of a compassion that floods the heart with longing for restoration, and here, Mercury can take us there, but, blindfolded and, not yet….

….trust must be found to undertake the great endeavour, a release from illusions that do not serve our soul, an apprehension of spirit, and a self depricating sense of humour – before we can fly we must retrace our steps and remember, long and deep into our past, until we find the doorway to the future…..and we will, if we trust ourselves to the mysterious traveller……

Haiku poems by Matsuo Basho