Malvin Artley, astrologer and leading occultist, is a regular contributor to this site. He also publishes a regular astrological newsletter, to which you can subscribe by clicking the link at the end of this article. The Full Moon in Capricorn is the Full Moon period for Cancer, because the Full Moon is always in the opposite sign to where the Sun is placed on that day.
This full moon marks what I have termed "The Festival of the Ashram"-- the full moon period of Cancer. As I sat down to begin delineating the chart for this full moon there arose a great cry from out of a place now familiar to me. No, it was not the collective anxiety of humanity or my own subconscious. It was actually one very unhappy little child. You see, I was sitting down as my laundry was in the dryer (it is the wet season in Adelaide) and I was trying to make the most of my mundane chores. There was a young family consisting of the two parents and a toddler, who would not have been more than about a year-and-a-half old, across the room from me. This child could not be consoled. Nothing the parents did could placate the misery of the little one. Needless to say, the more I tried to concentrate on my task at hand, the louder and more irritable the wailing became.
I am a great believer in the synchronicity of events and the potency of omens, so I took this as a sign and began to tune in to the child in between looking at aspects in the chart. There was nothing else to be done. The parents had the situation well in hand. I could have left, but I decided it would benefit me to stay and see how it all played out. The poor little girl was miserable. The more I tried to tune into the chart the louder she would cry. When I stopped to look at her she settled down a bit, but only for a few moments. The more irritable she got the more amused I became with the situation and the symbolism it represented to me in the astrological aspects. She had seen enough of laundries and simply wanted to go. Then, no sooner had the parents folded their last sheet and announced to the child they were all leaving, silence reigned. And then--happiness--the child was all smiles, and so were the adults.
What in the world would the preceding possibly have to do with one of the great monthly spiritual Festivals, you may be asking? Simply this: The sign Cancer is very much associated with pregnancy, birth, women, motherhood, emergence into form and egress from it, families, home and houses, domestic life and the home of one's parents--and also with laundries (although I was not thinking about it at the time). It is also the natural 4th house of the Zodiac and, as such, rules one's spiritual Home, the Ashram or Soul Group. And, as we shall see, there is a little bit of stress around these things for people at the moment. This sort of stress always brings its requisite learning with it, though.
We should speak of Ashrams here, to give a bit of background. Cancer and the 4th house, of which that sign is the natural ruler, also rules over hidden treasures. Where else would one normally squirrel away one's most private wealth than in one's home? There have been countless instances of hidden treasures being uncovered by people's relatives after a loved one has passed on--stashed away in cupboards, cans, jars, in mattresses, attics, basements, under floorboards and in hidden safes. People's inventiveness in that regard can be extraordinary. Most often one of the relatives will know about these things, but sometimes the discovery can come as a complete surprise. Where else, too, does one store away, safeguard and learn of one's spiritual treasures than in the Ashram?
The public at large can get some strange ideas about what an Ashram actually is. "Ashram" derives from the Sanskrit term "sram", which means "effort", or "to strive". Usually, the conventional public connotation is that an Ashram is a physical location, which it can be, and that it is headed by some holy-tofu version of a guru, surrounded by his compliant, doe-eyed devotees. In actual fact, an Ashram defines more a mental or spiritual group on the inner planes, dedicated to certain tasks, work and learning, both on the inner and outer planes of our world. The head of such a group is, at the very least, what is termed an Adept--one Who has transcended all personal concerns and works entirely and ceaselessly toward the spiritual Liberation of humanity along certain prescribed lines of thought and force, which I will not go into here.
This Adept, or Master (who can be either male or female in their expression) is anything but the Hollywood version of the Eastern contemplative or Indian fakir. The head of an Ashram is, essentially, what we might term a "spiritual Executive", busily going about God's business, delegating tasks to the members of the group (which is where the disciple gains the learning and experience), doing His or Her own tasks and taking instruction as well from even greater Teachers, for we are all disciples of the One Truth. In this way the Hierarchy, which is how God manifests, guarantees the safe and natural progression and liberation of human and sub-human consciousness. In human terms, an Ashram deals only with Souls and thus groups, and never with personalities, except in-so-much as they are used as tools of the Soul.
An Ashram is thus, at one and the same time, a haven, a group doing certain work, a place of learning, a place where spiritual powers and abilities are realized, a place of communion and united effort, a place where it is truly recognized that all Souls are One. The Master is only the figurehead, representing and exemplifying the Work to be done and the method of attainment for that group. It is the group that is important--and the people that group serves--which matter, not the Master. Corporate and governmental structures in the world today give some dim and vague approximation of the sort of structure we call an Ashram, or spiritual Home.
Read part 2 of The Festival of the Ashram
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes