Gemini Solar Festival
Festival of Humanity at the Full Moon in Sagittarius 2008
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator examines the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Sagittarius for 2008. This is Gemini's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The full moon of Gemini (the full moon at Sagittarius 27º50') takes place on the 18th of June at 17:32 UT (12:32 PM EST in the US; 3:32 AM AEST on June 19 in Australia).
I was recently sitting at the edge of a balcony in the middle of Hong Kong International Airport having a late-night meal of fried rice, watching the steady stream of people flow by on the way to their various destinations. It had been a long flight from North Carolina and fatigue, along with the tone of the trip, had me in a kind of surreal head-space. I had been back on family business and had not had time to adjust to the time changes. Events had conspired to bring me to this juncture, though, and I always did enjoy seeing new places and people.
The airport at Hong Kong is an interesting place. There are 100 shops right there with just about anything a traveler could want in the way of material goods or food – even the ubiquitous Starbuck's. And, there are so many people, even at 11 PM. If you like to sit and watch humanity, it's a good place to be. As I sat there eating I could hear the strains of jazz music in the background. Maybe it was the long flights and lack of sleep, but I thought the music was turned up a bit loud for an airport setting. It must be fatigue, I thought. It was a little unnerving. However, being my first time anywhere near China and a music-lover at that, I had to go exploring to find the origin of the tunes. Wherever it was coming from, it was pretty good stuff, you know?
So, off I went with a happier stomach and something to fill the next three hours with, hopefully. I wandered around for the next little bit, looking at all the shops on the way as I kept my radar tuned toward the elusive music. I just could not seem to find it. I did see some rather interesting things in the shops, but we don't have the space to talk about all that here. Finally, after a little more searching, I found it – or them, I should say. Tucked away in a little pavilion next to a large lounge area and on a small stage at the end were three middle-aged Chinese dudes playing their hearts out. It was a bit disconcerting in a way. You can tell I have not seen enough of the world yet, but somehow I just not get my head around hearing all this good jazz coming from such a setting. There you go, though – music really is the universal language. It was pretty cool, and I enjoyed the remainder of my short sojourn in Hong Kong, even if it was the middle of the night.
Many of you have written in past weeks to enquire about my whereabouts and if I had stopped writing letters again. As you can see, I got waylaid. I really appreciate your care and interest, however, so I will tell you a bit about what has happened over the past three months through the course of this letter. Basically, I have been caught up in the same types of things that many of you have related to me – big changes in personal life, the state of the world, a deepening of spiritual commitment (which is being called upon with all of us) and a little bit of drama to make it all interesting. I have missed the last three letters in terms of the spiritual festivals because of all that has been happening around me – Aries and two Taurus full moons – but now that things have settled a bit I can get on with the regular program of letters. Thank you for your patience.
How I might best describe what I sense happening in the world right now is that there is what might be termed a large 'karmic ripening' for very many people. True to form, Pluto hovering around 0º Capricorn and stimulating the 22 Sept 2006 eclipse point (29 Virgo 20) has brought its share of calamity and momentous events with it – the Myanmar cyclone, the quake in China, the Tibetan 'situation', riots by truckers all over the world, food riots as well, the Maoist takeover in Nepal, a huge oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria, the Phoenix spacecraft landing on Mars, the Universal Studios fire, the Sudan Airways crash, America looking set to have its first black presidential candidate and Ireland rejecting the Treaty of Lisbon, to name but a few. Being the planet of major separations and endings, Pluto is bringing about that kind of result in the world, and it has been doing so since the first of the year. In July that will fade into the background a bit as Pluto retrogrades back into Sagittarius, but it will come back and grace us again with its presence in late October for a few more months, continuing its dance with us off and on until August of 2009. There is a lot of Plutonian energy in the world now, with quite a list of old issues being brought to the surface for reconciling, and no one seems to be immune. It is, shall we say, an unsettling state of affairs.
It is said that, for the individual, the action of Pluto is centered upon the lower mental levels of the solar plexus chakra – on what is termed 'desire-mind' – and that such an influence is most beneficial in spiritual terms, allowing us to rid ourselves of the creeping vine of attachments and preconceptions with which the lesser mind so dutifully binds us. In short, Pluto helps us to shed any sort of idea or feeling that is 'set in stone', in a manner of speaking, and which holds us back from embracing a larger and more universal view of things.
For instance, how many of us had any idea a year ago that we would be paying so much more now to drive our cars, or that there would be riots over food and diesel prices? Did our world seem so stable then as to think that we would never have to worry about our steady supply of food or material goods, or even how we would be getting or kids to school – or if the lights would even be on at the school? I wonder if we really realize just how unstable the world is at the moment. Is it not funny how our circumstances can change so dramatically in the space of even a few weeks? In the last few months I have had good cause to sit down and think about the relative impermanence of things – especially my own preconceptions about how life should be or proceed – and about how quickly and unexpectedly circumstances (and people) can change their course. Damn! Just when I thought I had it all figured out!
Indulging in our pride we keep chasing
after every fleeting image.
How strange that, being nothing,
we cultivate such grand illusions!*
What we are now experiencing in terms of changes in the outer world is but the first kisses awakening grander passions to come. Prices for fuel will steadily rise-sometimes dramatically rise. Everything will be affected, and in a big way. I was reading today, for instance, that airline officials are forecasting that, within a few months, people will have to pay 20% more for their airfares. The one official who was speaking said that, initially, people will kick and fuss. You reckon? If you think passions are flaring now, wait for another six months. The same official went on to say that over a couple of years no one would think anything of it. It would all fade into memory and be accepted.
Well, that makes me feel better. I just shake my head in disbelief at the folly of it all at times. Are we that disconnected from what goes on around us that we that we just accept what comes? People are always griping about prices, yet they usually succumb and just pay whatever if they want or need something badly enough and eventually just accept it as a matter of course.
Here is the thing, though. People do not generally change the way they think or live if they are comfortable. We so often need drastic change to shake us from our complacency or somnolence. Materialism is a terrible spiritual opiate most of the time – over-materialism, I should say. And, sadly, even if gas went to $10/gallon in the US (It is already there in England, folks.), you would still see people filling up the SUVs, complaining about it and then going about their daily affairs, oblivious to the fact that, even while they suffer for their comfort, someone is getting rich at their expense. It's a big con job. Many of us are guilty of this very sort of thinking in some way or another, and I put myself there, too. What is a soul to do?
Detachment and Impermanence
Although we may not realize it at the moment, we are all about to get big lessons about detachment and impermanence. Only then will we see what really matters. The period from now until 2012 is bringing that to us. It was recently pointed out to me by a teacher that '[the pain of] samsara (being bound to the cycle of rebirths) most often brings us back to our spiritual home'. I knew what he meant at the time and I have had a lot of time in planes and otherwise to dwell on what he said. I was also told to simplify my life. That has had to happen, too. The spirit needs time and an unfettered mind to unfold.
Simplification has been forced upon me in some ways and I have had to divest myself of certain concerns, emotional and material. I saw it coming. I did not know it would happen the way it did. It caused me to radically rethink certain ways of doing things and what certain things and people meant to me. I am glad for the experience now, but it sure made me sit up and take notice at the time – probably added a wrinkle or two as well. In terms of the human condition it was all fairly ordinary stuff, but it is different when it happens to us, isn't it? Right. The beauty of this sort of occurrence when it happens to us, however, is that it 'hits us where we live' and gets us to think about what is really important. Moms are important people, for instance. Sometimes one has to hop a plane when you don't know where the money is coming from, for example. Sometimes other people have to wait and it costs them while we sort these things out. Sometimes one has to scatter their plans to the winds for a time and see where things land later. A whole train of events gets set in motion that leads us to a different place than we expected. We have to let go of certain expectations.
We think, for example, we will live a certain length of time, or that those close to us will be around 'forever'. We make plans and chase after those plans, expecting certain things to come of them – but somehow things always seem to happen. Life rains on our parade. “Oh well, I didn't think of that tornado going through the center of town/the washing machine blowing up/the dog running off/getting pregnant/not being able to get that loan/winning the lottery/that certain someone coming into my life.” What is important to us? Do those things of importance change when events conspire to take us from our comfort zone or even change our circumstances entirely? The question just asked, my friends, is what takes us 'home'. When we can identify the things and people of importance that never change due to our circumstances, then we are beginning to get a handle on just what it is we are supposed to do with our lives. It is about distilling the essence of our lives until we are left with a purer expression of who we are. That is what is being presented to us in the midst of all this change, thanks to Pluto and a few other factors.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric meanings of the Full Moon in Sagittarius for 2008.
Read part two of The Gemini Solar Festival