Tag Archives: Ursula Le Guin

Failing Magnificently

nine samuri

“The creative adult is the child who has survived”
Ursula Le Guin

Growing Pains

The August lunation opens with the new Moon at 10°58′ of Leo in the tropical zodiac. The Sabians tell us that this degree augers “spontaneous activity of the innocent mind”, a creative energy that loves to explore the possibilities of life, is open to the future, but whose outlook is still ‘green around the ears’ and easily swung by emotional energy. This childlike energy belongs amongst the people as awareness of something of great significance emerging into our world; but we do not know at this point what it is, the shape it will take, more that it is immanent and happening, an upsurge of ‘spirit’. It is a playfull energy that can inspire, wants to run free and yet, at this stage, is also vulnerable, needs to be ‘protected’, and the aspects to this new Moon bring out the tension generated between these qualities.

In traditional ways the elders, in their wisdom, will let the children play freely, but, will always keep an eye out for them and be there when reassurance, compassion and the wisdom of experience is needed. Its a community approach that values uniqueness, young and old alike. The Sabians clarify this, telling us that the role of tradition and grounded knowledge which the elders signify offers valuable protective space for the as yet ‘young’ to flower in. But at new Moon the Sun and Moon are in aspect to Neptune and Saturn whose own antagonistic square is actively breaking down the old to make way for the new. ‘Tradition’ and ‘the orthodoxy’ too is being tested out in the world, the tried and tested is giving way to the ‘unknown third thing’.


We are looking at a handover of power, from the old to the new, from the established formalised ways of the older generations to the innovative ways of another, younger age group under the stars. Walt Whitman captured something of the underlying sentiment at work here when he said,

“When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in
columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams,
to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomerwhere he lectured
with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wandered off by myself,
In the mystical moist night air,
and from time to time,
Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.”

The mutable square between retrograde Neptune and Saturn carries this flavour at its most philosophical level and this square has been at work since late 2015. It will continue through this year to revision our knowing and understanding, to challenge our beliefs as well as our capacity to mature, to step into the “mystical moist night air”. Neptune’s pervasive creative resource can be very otherworldly and Saturn’s knowing conservatism very down to earth ~ they are not in easy relationship. Goethe also captured something of the dynamic in their ambivalent relationship when he said “talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of life”. For our dreams to grow beyond the known we must be prepared to take risks and accept the ‘breakdown’ as a part of the ‘breakthrough’, before we can build new edifices for our mores and ethics, our invention and learning. And, as Sarah Ban Breathnach tells us, “playing it safe is the riskiest choice we ever make”.

Walt’s tiredness with the old mechanical view of things was enough to inspire him to follow the call to a far less jaded and self-congratulatory place and commune in more innocent rapture with life. There is a deceptively naive beauty present at this Moon, both raw, knowing by instinct, and clarified in its knowing, the more clearly to see and experience Life. It is the soul nourishing innocence of one who has survived and taken their inner child with them for the journey. We too must trust that knowing and enjoy its mature transparency.

But, as Mark Twain said, “loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul”, and while the energy of the lunation may have a fresh and forward looking quality to it, the emergent awareness is also telling us that we are no longer able to rest in innocence and are waking up to those aspects of living in which we must find a new freedom, one that feeds rather than defines or delimits the creative expression of our souls.

In trining the new Moon retrograde Saturn also gives us the benefit of a more positive protective quality. There is a co-creative element at work here too, in that the creative energy is crucial and must be allowed to develop through its own experience and wisdom, given the space within which it can feel safe enough to take risks. Here Saturn’s more maternal archetypal qualities are revealed, those belonging to the all embracing mother goddess as Crone, ‘She who knows’ and within whose compass all arises and resides.

The Moon and Sun quincunx both retrograde Neptune and the Moon’s south node, and here culture and tradition is being pushed to re-envision itself from within. Antoinne de Saint-Exupéry captured the essense of this aspect well when he said, “if you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t asign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”. If the ocean of imaginal creativity is to be explored we must have more than simply the means to do it; we need the passion, a sense of calling, and the willingness to set sail from the safe harbour of the known, the Moon’s south node. This node can provide us with vitals, essential supplies, talents for finding our way by skillful means and charting new territory, but, they do not represent the end in themselves – to some large extent that ‘end’ belongs in the ‘lap of the gods’ and the fair winds they may or not assist us with!

Pattern Recognition

In astrology this threefold aspect complex is called a ‘pythagorean triangle’, and this one (involving planets; the Moon has been triggering this aspect many times through this period) is the last of nine that have been peppering the planetary matrix over the last three months. The ‘uncertainty’ it embodies comes from the quincunx, an aspect in which an incongruity arises, a lack of relationship that calls for a new level or quality of consciousness to prevail; the ‘necessity’ is expressed in the square, where dynamic interaction between two different but clearly defined ways of approaching a problem is at its most difficult, in which the process itself needs to be raised to a higher level, regardless the outcome; the willingness to go forward together is expressed in the trine, where a continuous interchange of energy underpins the process and lends its qualities to the outcome.

Together this configuration of aspects brings a sense of uncertainty, necessity and willingness to ‘taking the leap’ together and the lunation will carry this forward in a positive way, if we give expression to its creative energy, allow its process to unfold while holding the tension embedded within its dynamic. In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, “when the string of the violin was being tuned it felt the pain of being stretched, but once it was tuned then it knew why it was being stretched”.

At a time when the entire gamut of worldly life is feeling the tension of this unavoidable process at work this lunation can be seen as a potential watershed, a place beyond which, if its positive side is nurtured, the emergent ‘new thing’ will begin to come more fully into view. To do so we will need to keep our eyes on the trends and currents that are emergent, to look for the patterns they are expressing, and build this ‘pattern recognition’ into our knowledge base, the better to navigate and work our passage. We will not see the pythagorian triangle again for a few months so the field is changing now and both ‘the inspired’ and ‘the experienced’ must work together, to keep an eye on the ‘weather’, and how it is changing. And that includes the emotional energies we are experiencing, together and in our own lives. We must not allow ourselves to fear, either failure or its consequences, but, the creative persistance that will prevail if we trust ourselves enough to make the leap, is the best quality we can bring to working through this time with the energies of this lunation.

Ice Cave Aurora

Falling Awake

As I write this the Moon is forming a pythagorean triangle with Neptune and Saturn from tropical Cancer, close to the degree of the last new Moon, and the sense of culmination is growing. It is a sense being enhanced through its quintile with Jupiter, 72° away in Virgo.

Jupiter is now opposing Chiron in Pisces and quincunxing Uranus in Aries. This is an aspect pattern that pulls us into a healing space that needs us to center ourselves in the unencumbered present, the kairotic moment represented by Uranus, for its fruits to be delivered. To do so these aspects too calls us to bring a new level of consciousness to bear, to pay attention to our wounded nature, to mature beyond the past and its grave errors and allow the moment to reveal the inner meaning of our history. Much of this revelation centers on invoking the creative energy of the lunation through practical means, and, Venus in late Leo at new Moon aids this release very creatively through trining Uranus and quincunxing Chiron.

This is about letting go of past hurts, while being able to accept our wounds, errors and limitations, so that we can not only mature as people but enjoy the collective freedom our hearts know we desire by embodying it creatively. It is a complex of aspects that supports the lunation’s matrix for growth, while bringing it into a more personal space. Go with your hearts desire but, as the Chinese proverb has it,  ‘be aware of your mistakes in the beginning!’

Buckminster Fuller once said, “Nature is trying hard to make us succeed, but, Nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment”, and with Pluto trining the Moon’s north node at new Moon the reality of Bucky’s statement is very much present with us as we navigate the transformational qualities of the times. Pluto is in a waxing quincunx with the new Moon and Sun but is otherwise unaspected as the lunation begins, and this pervasive sense of scale within the bigger picture, while it is a part of our growing process as a species, is not only hard to accept, but is humbling once it has been.

This lunation will close with a trine, from the north node, Sun and Moon to Pluto and pressure to take this perspective in will increase as we approach that time. In fact, the solar eclipse we will see as the September lunation opens will bring the sense of culmination to a head.

If we are to work with the larger perspective that the times require of us, and bring this lunation alive within our lives, allow its creative energy expression, the luminosity we each carry within will be our most valuable asset. As Elizabeth Kübler-Ross said, “People are like stained glass windows; They sparkle and shine when the Sun is out, but, when darkness sets in their beauty is revealed only if there is a light within”.

Failing Magnificently

The final piece of this puzzling time is provided by Mars who enters Sagittarius once more just as the Moon is renewing its cycle. Falling out of aspect with the other planets as the lunation opens, Mars is bringing a strong sense of purpose to the entire matrix, a sense that this is the time and the time is now! His journey through Sagittarius will see him meet with Saturn and re-ignite the burning issue of how we use our power to create the reality we are now experiencing in the world. War will be top of the agenda for scrutiny, not least of all as they re-unite on the fixed star Antares. As Thomas Jefferson observed, “War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrongs; and multiplies instead of indemnifying losses”. As the pressure for confrontation is tangibly increasing so is the anti-war voice at large in the world.

We can transform the world, we know, simply by choosing more peaceful means for expressing this energy, but our journey will be all the more magnificent if we can do so by transforming our wounds, and the understanding we have of ourselves and the world in the process. In fact, the one rests upon the other. Mars will accelerate through Sagittarius and spend a mere six weeks in Capricorn, where a conjunction with Pluto looks like a catalyst for significant upheaval. This might give us cause for real concern, but, as Hellen Keller advised, “we could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” 

It is hard for us to continue to witness the pain and suffering being brought upon us by so much blatant misuse of power, and this is a time for mobilising the creative energy in the face of the destructive. It is a time when we might feel anxious, wrought by fears and doubts as much as by horror and a feeling of deep uncertainty about our future, but, there is some wisdom to be had even as we do so; as the Chinese alchemist Wei Boyang said two thousand years ago, “worrying is preposterous; we don’t know enough to worry”.

As the August lunation opens Venus is pulling out of a square with Mars and will be working her way through the Virgoan fields of healing and nurturing as the lunation progresses – she brings the dedication necessary for our time and our acts within it to really count. It is a concept that is at the heart of the most traditional of healing ways, that the world is in constant need of repair and maintenance; this is the basis upon which our healing must take place. When we understand that our true power lies in being magnificent in the face of this unremitting demand for care and creative giving, the world becomes transformed, a constant source of inventiveness and response-ability, a place in which love is the means and the end in itself. In that place we have the power to fail, regardless, and to do so magnificently.

As Venus approaches Virgo and activates the feminine wisdom of healing and nurturing through this lunation, and as Mercury very much at home in Virgo crosses the Moon’s north node and comes to meet with Jupiter opposing Chiron at full Moon, it seems fitting to close as we opened with the strong and down to earth voice of feminine wisdom that can help us traverse these difficult times while capturing something of the essense of the moment :

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
Pema Chödrön


Images :

Still from the film ‘The Nine Samurai’

Nest sculpture ~ Nils Udo

Cave Aurora ~ Sebastian Saarloos

Gobekli Tepe, Turkey

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Interdependence Day

“From opaque rock
springs clear water.
The skull’s hard cup
holds clarity.
Drink, traveller.
Be mindful. Drink.”

The new Moon on July 4th opens the lunation at 12°54′ of tropical Cancer and brings a much needed sense of caution and caring to the ongoing momentum of the times. The events generated through the previous lunation have shown us much, about the power of consequence and responsibility towards aforethought, as well as the need to hold the highest of aspirations before us, shared as a collective, and this lunation brings these qualites home amidst a time of turbulence and radical restructuring.

If the turbulence of the times is proving too much for you, this lunation says step off the gas a while and regroup – nurture and care for what is close to hand; even though there may be a battle raging outside, tending home and hearth and keeping the sacred fire burning is equally vital, giving to all our doings in the world their core meaning.

If on the other hand you are feeling fired up and ready to go, have donned your sacred war paint and can feel the adrenalin pumping, the lunation says, first check that your personal house is in order before rejoining the battle – that means knowing where you stand and what you are fighting for, ie. the true value of what you are leaving behind, as well as what you are taking beyond the threshold.

It is going to be a tender month, highly sensitive around current boundary issues, protective of vulnerabilities and prone to further bruising where the punches have already landed. But, embedded within the Cancerian field are sensitive points that indicate a much more far-reaching necessity for our times. Their triggering casts a much needed longer term view on where our current conflicts of interest could lead us. It comes down to remembering what the most important things in life are, before everything else.

With both Venus and Mercury in Cancer at new Moon this is perhaps a reminder that it is the women and children, the feminine and our future, who must come first in all our considerations. But, it is also a sign of the times that communications and money, awareness and values, are colouring the bigger picture.


gold_goosefeathers

As Michael Meade said in a recent video, we are experiencing ‘a world gone wrong’, and this is no time for narrow mindedness. That could well be the defining issue that not only decided the UK’s vote to leave the EU, but, puts the quality of this lunation into its sharpest, if not global perspective. Perhaps nowhere has the sucker punch been more fully felt during the last lunation than in the world of politics, economics and personal freedoms, as personified for example by the UK’s referendum on June 23rd 2016.

The foxes have been in the hen house – and, not just for the Brits, it is time to count our chickens. With the Moon in Cancer we should be under no illusions about the more far reaching relevance of this outcome either, regardless our nationality, but especially in view of our own domicile status, where-ever we are.

With the election of new European ‘Heads’ pending, stalling and shuddering in the aftermath of Brexit, and the US elections poised on a knife edge of legal investigations, also reflecting tensions between political tribalism, economic truths and social conscience, the Cancer Moon puts us in mind of why we are facing such tough choices at home. It also illustrates why the globalist economic agenda is falling apart.

Boundary issues and the domestic value of foreign currency are bound to be highlighted with this new Moon, and this builds upon tensions within the international flow of trade and commerce that have been defining the new partnerships now being formed between East and West. The NM quincunxes Saturn in Sagittarius and trines Neptune in Pisces putting international relations into the front-line, an influence that favours restructuring agreements and the dissolution of obstacles to ‘free trade’, where they exist. There is in this a movement away from not only the old hegemonies of ideological power, but, from old politics itself as the defining characteristic of their realisation, a point further indicated in Venus strong aspects to Uranus, Mars, Pluto and Jupiter at new Moon.

The British referendum delivered what may be the coup-de-gras in globalist ideologies around foreign investment, at least amongst European States, but the ripples of the vote reach much further – the TTIP was already all but over for Europe, with a unanimous vote ‘in favour’ necessary within the EU for its ratification, and five European nations now showing significant dissent. The dollar and the TPP will be coming under more pressure over the coming months as the USA’s 7th, 8th and 9th house planets, Uranus, Venus, Jupiter, the Sun,  Mercury and Neptune are activated. The USA’s north node in Leo is also going to be directly triggered by the next new Moon on August 2nd.

Pluto already opposes the Independence Day Sun that this new Moon falls upon, and, in the Brexit day chart Uranus, Eris and Ceres in Aries squared the USA’s 8th house Mercury in Cancer, exactly where Venus is now applying pressure. The talk will all be about following the money as the old ‘western alliance’ picks up the pieces.

The shift in power at the heart of the financial markets that was already underway is now being stimulated to firm up new alliances. Watch this space, especially in respect of new trading agreements between Europe and the East; there’s a new Silk Road being built and much of the turmoil in the Middle East is around trying to disrupt the flow of traffic along it. Who is funding who and to what ends, we may ask. But, that EU vote has an astrological signature that illustrates all to clearly where the real power lies.


In the last post, without directly referencing Brexit, I tried to indicate that the astrology favoured an ‘out’ vote win, but, with a certain inevitability, the planets have now pushed the issue of sovereignty even further to the front, and in so doing reveal something of the longer term focus that this historic vote brings to us all.

Of all the days that David Cameron could have chosen to hold the referendum on he chose this one! On June 23rd at midday GMT Ceres and Uranus met at 23° Aries and gave us the signature aspect of the moment – as mentioned Eris, an indicator of discord and disruption, was involved in their meeting, but, just hours later the deed was done and the UK voted to leave the European Union by a majority of just 4%. The tar-brushing that has followed has been a revelation to us all, and it ain’t over yet.

Uranus meeting with Ceres,  or Demeter as the ancient Greeks called her, only happens once in every 89 years – the parallels between 2016 and 1927 give much food for thought. Catastrophic floods and earthquakes took hundreds of thousands of lives during 1927, typhoons and hurricanes wrought havoc in the USA; both US and British troops were involved in conflicts on foreign soil, the Chinese regime became formally militarised and Stalin took control of the Soviet Union, the Irish Free State gained independence; diplomatic relations, not least of all between the West and the communist block, were stretched to breaking point, many civilians in both Europe and the USA were shot by police while protesting their social rights; this was also the year that saw international radio, television and flights become established, Heisenberg formulated his famous ‘uncertainty principle’ and Fritz Lang’s iconic film Metropolis premiered. The list goes on…..

The conflicts of the time seem all too familiar; we have not moved on so much as come back around to the same old story with the same old players vying for the same old ‘power’, and the future we might have perceived through the smoke and first flickering images of new technologies has turned out to be dangerously unacknowledged for its warnings and prescience. In some ways our technology, like our symptomatic hypocritical obsession with political correctness, has made us both more sensitive to and less resilient around the threats we share with that time. Interestingly a wave of influenza swept the UK in 1927 killing up to a thousand people a week as Uranus quincunxed Neptune, then on the Leo Virgo cusp; Uranus hovered over the Aries Pisces border, was transited by Jupiter in the process and, just as they are in this time, both Saturn and Mars were transiting the first two decans of Sagittarius in 1927.

But, here’s a curious thing – as the UK’s 1801 national chart reveals, Ceres was discovered in the same year and on the same day as the United Kingdom ratified the Acts of Union. The two are intimately tied together. Pluto’s transformative influence is still in orb of the UK’s Sun and will oppose the UK’s 10th house Cancer Moon in 2018-19. Ultimately, Pluto will trine the UK’s natal Ceres in 23° Taurus, by which time Jupiter’s exact quincunx to natal Ceres and the Moon, and semi-sextile to transiting Pluto will almost certainly see all former ties severed between the UK and EU. The intervening time is all about negotiating a viable path to the future, a path that must be forward looking enough to carry the wishes of the people, as the Moons North node will cross the UK’s natal Moon at the exact moment when Mars opposes Jupiter from Gemini, semi-sextile Ceres. Its all about the timing, not so much ‘whether’ as ‘when’. This was a result already written in the stars – Cameron should have consulted an astrologer! Maybe he did…..too many condemning fingerprints have been left on what transpired.

In fact, as the myth shows, Ceres knows how to drive a hard bargain, but, she does also has something to say about power sharing – while she gives the best of the plutocrats a run for their money, she ultimately makes them an offer they can’t refuse and, in the process, brings a new template to the table that rewrites the rules of power. She does so in accordance with natural law. Equal distribution of power through a balance between Pluto’s (Hades) entropic and her own negentropic forces was the bargain Ceres drove in the myth.

In this is a multi-layered reflection of the times, on the face of it a recognition of the natural wisdom of the goddess as embodied in the seasonal cycle on the one hand and of the power of the Mother, Demeter, on the other as fierce and fearless protector of children, her own somewhat wayward and impressionable daughter Persephone not withstanding. But, more than anything else this conjunction between Uranus, Ceres and Eris gave us an indication that a radical new direction must be undertaken, both in respect of power, the environment, the politics of choice, as outlined in Eris own story, and the fundamental balance between destructive and creative forces, all of which are being played out globally on a very human scale.

Interestingly, Pluto ties the new Moon chart into the natal chart of the UK’s queen as well, although this in no way intends to draw any parallels between Ceres and ER2! If anything it points up her own plutocratic role in the world. The July new Moon falls exactly on Elizabeth Regina’s natal 6th house Pluto, and Venus is exactly conjunct the royal north node and DC. But, foreign money was always the means to an end in filling the coffers of the so called House of Windsor. Perhaps the plug will be pulled once Uranus introduces a whole new set of values and rules into international trading when he enters Taurus in 2018 and makes three transits over her maj’s Sun at 0° Taurus – will she survive until her nodal return on his third pass, three years from now? Given the signs I somehow doubt it, and her passing, whether from power or life, will be another global history making event. The world will undoubtedly have already undergone many changes by then, as it is, but the Uranium industry will never be the same….


Its an odd Moon to begin a lunation with as sovereignty is very much at the heart of it all and Cancer harkens back to a time of tribal affiliations in which the Mother ruled the traditions that carried the common wealth of the people forward. This image and its focus is not arbitrary here either. Conjunct with Mercury in the July NM chart is the asteroid Kronos.

Many astrologers associate Kronos with the highest station of things, their own sovereignty, as well as their highest and most meaningful values, and it is through the search for those values in both our words, thoughts and children that Kronos gives Mercury his role in Cancer now. We are becoming aware of their future as the question in our own hands perhaps more now than ever. However, these are innate values, all too well known to our ancestors that are given a new reminder through this lunation.

In Cancer, Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn all have their own north nodes. This shows us a future, a commonality to all people alive now, and a key indicator of how our future could take shape in our own lives, and must in those that follow us. The power of life is nurtured in Cancer, our own ability to care for the Earth, for our human family and the protection of Earth’s children. The nodes indicate a way in which we can limit the use of our power according to a more deeply rooted, far-sighted and wise understanding, giving it a quality more at home on this planet than our current anthropocentric hedonism allows. There is a shared Cancerian quality of service as well as instinctive and empathic protection inherent in these planetary nodes, a promise that could be fulfilled, of new life under the Sun and Moon. But, we must honour our commitment to see it through and not succumb to the Capricornian temptations of the past, or suffer their wounds again.

The Sun and Moon meet at  NM with the asteroid Eurydike, the inter-planetary body astrology associates with ‘dependence’. In leading Eurydice back from Hades, Orpheus, for all his magic and boundary crossing skills, was unable to resist the temptation to look back and, consequently, the ‘plutocratic’ rule he had been asked to observe was broken.

It is a poigniant reminder that even while, in the form of Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn’s south nodes, Capricorn holds our ancestral memories of a past that saw the destruction of the Mother goddess civilisations, our focus must remain on the present and how this relates to where we are headed. This is how it is with the nodal axis. We cannot go back, not without great or even unthinkable risk, but, can however carry the gifts as well as the most important lessons of the past forward with us, in creating our path towards a future built upon common ground. In fact, our future and the Earth it is built upon depend upon it.

“From their houses, from their town
rainbow people come walking
the dark paths between the stars,
the bright tracks on water
of the moon, of the sun.
Tall and long legged,
lithe and long armed,
they follow the fog pumas
beside the wind coyotes,
passing the rain bears
under the still air hawks
on the paths of sunlight,
on the tracks of moonlight,
on the ways of starlight,
on the dark roads.
They climb the ladders of the wind,
the stairways of cloud.
They descend the ladders of air,
the steps of rain falling.
The closed eye sees them.
The deaf ear hears them.
The still mouth speaks to them.
The still hand touches them.
Going to sleep we awaken to them,
walking the ways of their town.
Dying we live them,
entering their beautiful houses.”


Poems by Ursula Le Guin from ‘Always Coming Home’ :
~ Bone Poem VI
~ The Madrone Lodge Song of Mica of Sinshan

Images, with thanks to the artists :
Stone Arch ~ artist unknown
Goose Feathers ~ Andy Goldsworthy
Inuksuk ~ traditional Inuit
Nest ~ Nils Udo
Balancing ~ Adrian Gray

Conflict Resolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amphitrite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the horse panel at Chauvet copy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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