Tag Archives: Samhain

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.

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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.

tree-66465_640-1-352x198

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

The Red Thread

spiralgrndmthr

Into the Journey

The 11th lunation of 2014 opens on October 23/24th with a partial solar eclipse. With the lunation beginning at 0° Scorpio this means that the mid-point between Equinox and Solstice, Samhain, arrives just one week later under the swelling quarter Moon.

There is a significant difference between the eclipse and Samhain charts, even though they are only a week apart. This has to do with the emphasis applied by their differing dynamics. To fully bring out the differences we’ll look directly into the chart for Samhain in the next post. But, the intervening period tells us much, and its defining qualities come from the opening of the lunation, which is the focus here………first, lets get a sense of the ‘dynamics’ at work at the eclipse.

The Sun, Moon and Venus are exactly conjunct with no strong aspects connecting directly to them at the eclipse. This is a defining moment which suggests that we are in a qualitative field based influence, rather than under a dynamic based on aspects directly connecting across the matrix. Venus and Mars are fast moving at the moment, with Mercury slowing down to station direct, but, it is the eclipse conjunction marking entry into Scorpio that brings the key qualities out.

The themic backdrop to this scene comes from the ongoing and tightening square between Uranus and Pluto suggesting that what we see in the eclipse conjunction signals a change to how the U/P square is playing out in the world. We are looking  at a shift in focus as an entry point and this is puts us all at the heart of participation intransition’.

Eclipses bring the opportunity for a glimpse beyond the usual constraints of time and space, and the major influences here connect us with other dimensions of our reality. With Samhain embedded in this Moon cycle we need to pay close attention to these now.

The first week after the new Moon and solar eclipse will provide us with an opportunity to make personal adjustments in advance of Samhain and the ‘thinning of the veils’. In many senses this looks like a strong period for spiritual activists to step up a gear, but, the underlying theme is addressing some very old and fundamental wounds that affect us all. This signals entry into a new phase in how we engage with Earth’s story – the seasons are changing and so is the centre of gravity within the story’s telling. Lets set the scene.

The opening of the lunation of the 11th Moon brings a deepening of sacred space and, in the north, the lights of the inner worlds begin to brighten as the nights of the Long Dark close about us. Stories, long held as sacred, are emerging from their root born troves and the face of Nature reveals first glimmerings of the mysteries that wait beyond the veil. These are teaching stories that hold gems of wisdom and advice in their telling. The southern hemisphere is seeing that storied connection play out through verdant swelling of the inner life force and, where Nature has a strong voice, she clothes the world in creative manifestation of this vibrant energy. Within the fruits seeds are being formed.

These are magical times, the outer and inner worlds casting a spell of glamours that perfectly befit the crafting and the weaving of human life within the Earth’s story. Both without and within ‘truth’ takes on form and reminds us of the journey we undertook in coming here. And, the planet of ‘truth’, Saturn, is at work throughout the field.

Saturn in the final decan of tropical Scorpio is also largley unaspected at the eclipse, his square with Jupiter in Leo moving out of phase, but, the ringed planet brings a sense of reality to the more mythic undercurrents of the chart. His mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn has been instrumental in emphasising the serious nature of our collective story, but, while Saturn tests our mettle as we are challenged to cross the boundaries of the world he can also deliver immensely meaningful and lasting effects as an outcome of this journey. Being a guardian of the threshold between life and death Saturn at his best is highly creative, magical even. He applies the ‘reality principle’ and there can, equally, be a Midas touch to this, as much as an ability to bring out the ring of truth in what he touches. How we rise to the challenge of the transition is perhaps reflected in the Midas myth and is summed up in one of his key words, response-ability. Readiness to respond means being prepared, but, with Saturn, that also means knowing what is essential to the undertaking. This is not a time for making impulsive or ego-driven choices.

Time is also a key aspect of Saturn’s emphasis, and timing helps us to focus our activities effectively. But, Life also spins the warp and weft of longer periods of time into the patterns of the natural cycles of Earth’s story. Saturn is a ‘key holder’ to the chronology of earth-life ~ when he lends us the key, the tumblers fall and the lock opens. But he is not alone in initiating this movement.

Closer to home, the celestial matrix also sees this lunation open with the planet Mercury travelling at its closest point to the Earth – being retrograde he is the undercover ‘intelligence agent’ and activates our inner intelligence as he delivers messages from beyond ~ we will be able to work more effectively with Mercury here if we can find sacred space free from the noise of the world and care to listen. Mercury, being close on the lunar north node, tells us to be mindful in playing out our affairs in this world as these, and the messages he can bring now, concern where we are all headed.

Venus will pass behind the Sun immediately after the solar eclipse. Here we have another indication of the nature of our undertaking. She is entering the unseen, the initiation ground.

There is also a connection between the lunar and solar eclipses. If the lunar eclipse of October 8th pitched questions, particularly around what is motivating us and how personal truths match up to collective realities, the solar eclipse asks us to dive further in, to apply intuition and inner knowing, and above all else courage, not just in the search for answers through our own stories, but, in the sacred task of giving them flesh to live through, of bringing them into reality.

For people of ‘medicine’, healers and devotees of ‘the creative’ the role of our personal stories is now infused with a greater poigniancy. If our world is in need of healing, so is humanity and the evolution of our Mythos is central to the healing process…..we all have a role to play.  And then theres Samhain.

Samhian is the threshold through which the worlds become interfused, and the key here is in setting an intent to engage with the spiral dynamic of creation to take us on our journey. In getting to the heart of this we find the story of the Grandmother Spider from the last lunation reaching into this one, and She, who works with the principle powers of ‘creation’ and ‘destruction’, is taking us to the heart of her web.

This is where ‘truth’ resides, representing the beginning and essence of everything. To arrive there is to return to the centre, the nexus point, and the task ahead is to return to the world ‘the fruits’ of our journey. She now asks us us to walk in truth as we follow a red trail winding labyrinth-like within the weavings of natural law. As law keeper she introduces us to the fundamental principles that put flesh on the bones of the world. The key word in this task is Reconstitution. At Samhain we can ask for guidance in this task.

Samhain is a powerful time for initiation. The shamanic pathway of initiation pivots around the meeting of the worlds, begins and ends with this integration, and, in reflection of this, in some northern traditions Samhain signals the starting point of the new year. The star world offers another perspective that can guides us in this. In the skies the solar eclipse occurs within the stars forming the constellation of Virgo. Looking to pathways honouring the innate power of the sacred feminine we can also see that the eclipse aligns with the belly of Virgo, her womb. Virgo is the seed carrier. The goddess is also present in the nexus point through Venus, conjunct the Sun and Moon, and the higher wisdom of the heart can be called upon for guidance on this journey. At Samhain the Sun is aligned with the stars in the legs of Virgo – the journey, by then, is underway. And, to highlight the quality of the times and flavour of experience available here, the eclipse degree of 0° Scorpion is itself a powerful springboard within the tropical zodiac for integration into the Mysteries.

In earlier times the degrees of late Libra and early Scorpio were known by the epithet ‘Via Combusta’ ~ the Fiery Road. This pathway has ancient roots which had more to do with initiation into the mysteries of birth-death-rebirth than with debilitating downfall that the later mythos imposed upon it. With the new Moon and solar eclipse at its mid-point, the Via Combusta is also supporting the theme unfolding here, and, contrary to the propoganda which changed its meaning, it leads us not to debilitation, but, back to the goddess in her Great Mother aspect…..

If there is a time for honouring the feminine in her divine and life bearing aspects, this is it, but, it is her elder role as Earth Mother that brings us to the core of the moment. Our source point is in her ancient nature and ‘grandmother’ has much to offer us here, if we honour Her.

It must be acknowledged that, when the ground beneath our feet is shaking, the magma flowing, when winds are roaring and the waters rising, it is hard to level the need for otherworldly mysteries against the hard-core reality of a world in which human intervention is achieving meltdown of rather than integration with Nature. Even so, the rage of Demeter, the Mother, at the abduction of her daughter, the seed bearer, by the ruler of the underworld is reflected in this meltdown. The Great Mother, we are now being reminded, never left us and the usurpers of Her powers, the Plutocrats, are being exposed for what they are ~ mask wearing pedlars of hidden agendas and fear. All the signs are there! But, the story goes deeper still…..

Pluto, being the relative late comer and invention of those who applied the patriarchal pantheon, has assumed a masculinised form of just one aspect of the much more archaic and inclusive Great Mother, and there is perhaps no sign in which Pluto shows this side of Her more clearly than in tropical Capricorn. Here, as ruler of the Underworld, more than in Scorpio to which his modern rulership has become attached, S/he taps into the otherworldly root of worldly power to bring about complete renewal. In fact, to give a clearer picture of what has happened here, the Great Mother is the archaic source of that power. Hers is the knowledge carried in the essential matter of being, the ability to reconstitute Life, Phoenix wise, from the ashes of the bones of the Earth. And the Phoenix is one of the esoteric symbols of Scorpio.

In Hades/Pluto, for the greco-roman dieties are virtually interchangable, the subterranian forces have become a ‘technology’ of seperation and trial by fire, and, subsequently, this has been made an instrument of suppression through an esoteric masking and occultation of Her all embracing power…..such that, by the time the myth of Ceres and Proserpina became translated out of Demeter and Persephone, She had become fragmented, extracted out of the multiplicity of her own root identity, her manifold nature still enshrined in the ‘triple goddess’, but, translated into the agrarian cults of the early patriarchy. Division of labour took root within these socio-spiritual constructs.

If the fires have been consigned to an underworld role, their divine nature has also been split and projected beyond the earthly realms. Uranus holds the key to this mystery, a memory of divine fire that precedes our chronological Saturnian lock down into temporality. But, Uranus carries the divine fire, in essense and effect, as instantaneous, lightning struck power for change and divine intervention. When Uranus becomes involved through aspect and resonance with Pluto, the initiatic memory of the deeper roots surfaces and underpins the skin of reality with a knowing that stirs the powers at large in the world. Such is the effect of these times. We cannot deny the effects of such powers, but, rather, would do well in allowing the deep roots of our own memories to stir our own powers within the world of our individual lives. These are ancient memories belonging to a time before recorded his-tory. Spiritual activism does not mean disengaging from the world ~ on the contrary, it means becoming more real. This promises the freedom that is our birth right and true inheritance.

This is the ongoing task of turning the story around and re-defining our mythos. It means working with sacred technology to re-sacralise the world. Material technology itself can become transformed through this, making it an instrument of personal empowerment, not simply as a material end in itself, literalised, commodified and weaponised, but, as a means to practice an ecology that re-ignites the spark of new life from within the ashes of the old.

Mercury’s retrograde at the opening of this lunation also tells us we need to be diligent in this. Just as the sacred grounding of the initiate in new awareness requires, so for the activist ~ how we communicate and with whom will need special attention, emphasising the importance of what we say and do. The reality of the wound of seperation is reflected through the projection of their own shadow by the tightening grip of plutocratic authorities upon freedom of speech and action.

This degree of diligence applies in the outer world in other ways as well, not only in how we affect others, but, in how we affect and programme ourselves, being alert to the machinations of the automatic pilot in our midst. The reality of this is no secret. Rhetoric is being seen-through and actions are speaking louder than words, especially where they are rooted in unconscious behaviour that is driving suppressive intents. As Mercury suggests, the activist can learn much from keeping a wiley eye open for patterns that reveal hidden agendas. And, with a highly divisive political edge at large in the world, this certainly applies more than most to leaders and the use of power. The violations of people and of nature we are witness to tell us clearly that there is a vested interest at work in the world that is hell bent upon retaining power……..and while the road to ‘hell’ is paved with good intentions, it is also built upon the bones of usury and soaked with the blood of violence.

Goddess knows, abuse of power and power-over is at the root of the hubris responsible for global destruction and suppression, but, with the help of our friends and allies we can turn this around. Suppression of the feminine is failing now and the Goddess is hard on the heals of its perpetrators.

Pluto and Uranus will work for us and with us through this if we undertake to return the Earth to balance and participate in the journey. As a journey to the core this means both applying truth and being prepared to work beyond the mundane, outside of the norm – this is a powerful time to call upon the sacred powers for assitance.

It was Ariadne, whose name means the ‘Most Holy’, who gave Theseus the help he needed, the red thread with which he found his way home, out of the labyrinth. If we pick up the thread, the patterns we create through making that journey describe the spiralling path of creation within the circle of Life.

Rocky_Valley_labyrinth_Tintagel

Returning Home

It is nye on 50 years since the 11th lunation began at 0° Scorpio, in 1965, when Uranus and Pluto joined in mid Virgo, beginning their current cycle. We are midway through the waxing phase of this cycle and the first square is now reaching its sixth alignment, the penultimate one.

The previous Uranus Pluto cycle began in 1850-1 when they joined in the last degree of Aries and first degree of Taurus, exactly opposite the October 2014 solar eclipse point. This was the era in which the foundations of contemporary orthodox science was birthed, but, it also saw the birth of one Nikola Tesla who built upon and developed those foundations with pure Uranian genius – a truely Promethian figure in his work with source energies, unorthodox and inspired. He spoke of receiving knowledge from otherworlds, of being in communication with beings in the Sun, and he too became the victim of ‘powers’ that opposed the revolutionary freedom his technologies offered. It is no coincidence that his legacy is resurgent now. There is an exquisite beauty in Tesla’s technologies that is not lost on us.

There is a linking thread through Tesla which unveils another layer of magic woven into the story unfolding now. It is revealed through the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1850 on the cusp of Taurus. Taurus is associated with the Bull, and, in more ancient times with the Minotaur which Theseus overcame at the centre of the labyrinth. Theseus love, Ariadne, had the knowledge of mazes and labyrinths, which means she was an initiate into the mysteries. Her father, King Minos of Crete, gave her the task of overseeing the sacrifices made in its inner sanctum, so she knew full well what Theseus needed to make the journey. The more ancient cretan greek form of her name has the root hagne meaning ‘sacred’, an echo of the word ‘hag’ which became subverted from its original meaning of ‘wise woman’, and, in the same way, the hellenistic ‘Most Holy’ is simply an epithet applied in the re-writing of the story – her true name was ‘Mistress of the Labyrinth’.

Her astrological embodiment in our times is in the asteroid Ariadne, #43 if you want to find her in your charts, but, her asteroid was also discovered during the opening stages of the 1850 U/P cycle on April 15th 1857, less than one year after Tesla was born, when Pluto and Uranus were both still in Taurus. However, in astrology lore we find her story is associated with the houses belonging to the water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, and, the lore also tells us, it is in the eight house, the house of Scorpio, that the meaning of the process embodied in her story is revealed. Scorpio is associated with the labyrinth in Ariadne’s story, its mid-point. With the eclipse activating Scorpio, the sign of hidden meanings, we can now see why her story is so important to us.

So, we come back to the eclipse, and the occultation of solar energy. Venus is entering that zone showing us that we too must enter the journey with heart and appreciation for the beauty and poigniancy of our undertakings. She will emerge having become transformed, as the ‘evening star’, re-entering the world as the Sun sets, signalling the coming light of the stars. And, all this while she will be working with Mars, in sextile, who stands at the gateway to the Solstice point, close on the Galactic centre, the heart of our spiral galaxy. For now Mars reminds us of our fealty to the role of ‘guardian of the nexus point’. He is the consort of the Goddess. As preparation for entry into Capricorn this gives pause for thought. Mars is fast moving now and has no fear in approaching Pluto….neither must we.

The Sun is a mystery to us still, and, the Moon tells us that if the darkening of the Sun’s light indicates a gateway, it is as an opportunity to enter into the inner sanctum where much deeper truths may be found and known, and the hidden presence of a life-force yet to be encountered integrated within our time. There are wise beings tending that place, guardians of our own human flame of knowledge and potential…….if we take up the challenge they will reveal themselves to us.

Make your circle strong!


Images

‘Spiderwoman’ ~ Susan Seddon Boulet;
……this image has been combined with the spiral pattern of a 200 million year old Nautilus shell.

‘Rocky Valley Labyrinth, Tintagel’ ~ this is an ancient carving, millenia old, that follows the traditional pattern of what has become known as the ‘cretan labyrinth’ although its form is found globally and has long association with the goddess.