A Philosopher's Head, by Giovanni Tiepolo
The Libra Solar Festival
Libra Blue Moon 2010
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator and a Libran himself, presents the Libra Solar Festival, 2010, at the Blue Moon, the rare second Full Moon of the year in Aries. This is Libra's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The Full Moon of Libra (the Full Moon at Aries 29º 33') takes place on the 23rd of October 2010 at around 01:38 UT (GMT).
Well, this recent interim has been a bit of a journey for me, as you may have noticed from a lack of letters the last two full moons. The Mercury retro period this time was a hard one and saw me with a lot of computer trouble, to the point where I eventually had to give up and get a new machine. It had been seven years anyway since the last computer purchase and it was just simply time to get an upgrade. So, for those of you who have emailed me over the past month or so, the preceding is why I have not answered. So, now that I have been able to get back on track with things, I think a little catching up is in order. Before that, however, we need to get into the tone of this letter and get some background for what to expect with this second full moon of Libra this year, the blue moon of Libra 2010.
I recently gave a talk about my journey with spirituality and science, and in my preparations for that talk I was given over to a lot of reflection on my adult life and how I came to my present beliefs about science, religion and what has real meaning to me. I came to realize that my background in physics has put me particularly on par with Buddhist philosophy, especially with regard to the Buddhist view of emptiness. Now, far from being a nihilistic view of life and phenomena, the Buddhist view of emptiness does not deny or negate life—it simply puts it into proper context. Let me explain. In my talk as an example and as a visualization I set an orange on the table in front of me (a nice, large navel orange, not some wimpy little pasty thing from a supermarket shelf) and told the group that it was to represent the nucleus of a hydrogen atom. All of us remember the 'planetary model' of the atom from our school days—a central nucleus which is orbited by one or more electrons, depending upon the nature of the atom. I then asked the group to take a guess at the scale of the orbit of the lone electron, given that the nucleus of the atom in this case was about 4” (100 mm). The answers ranged from a few feet to several kilometres. The proper answer was that the electron (which would still be microscopic, even at that scale) would lie at a distance of about 7.5 km (just over 4.5 miles). The look on the faces of some of the participants was one of utter astonishment.
I then went on to explain that even the proton (represented by the orange) was composed of still more subatomic particles (quarks) and that their relative distances from each other was on par with that of the electron and the proton. I remember clearly the moment I realized the scale of these distances way back when in my university days. All the hairs went up on my arms and a shiver ran down my spine, for I realized that our universe that we so fondly like to think of as having a solid basis is actually void of any inherent substantiality, though there is a profound essence, which we call 'energy' for lack of a better term. I went on to explain to the group that I concluded from my own meditations on these matters that matter is essentially a concept, and that our perception of matter as being solid is one of the greatest illusions we can foist on ourselves. As it turns out, all matter is subject to a mathematical basis, which is about as pure conceptually as one can get, and that if one can 'do the math' then all powers in the world and throughout space are at one's disposal. All yogis and yoginis eventually arrive at that same conclusion, though couched in different terms. So, here is the thing, the question before us in this Libra interval for 2010: How and why do we limit ourselves and what wisdom do we bring to bear to extricate ourselves from said limitation? In other words, what do we buy into that keeps us stuck in situations where we ought not to be and how do we move past those limiting processes of thought?
A Spiritual Perspective
Normally when people think of Libra the words 'relationship' and 'indecision' spring automatically to mind. Most Librans are renowned for their focus on partnerships of all sorts and for their sometimes agonizing process at arriving at decisions, and for their annoying tendency to sit on the fence when forced to make decisions. There is a kernel of truth in these statements, but the real truth at the heart of Libra is actually about neither word (relationship nor decision). The true basis of Libra at a human level—the driving force from a spiritual perspective—is about resetting the karmic ledger, as it were. The ultimate ruler of Libra (the ruler of the great body of lives the sign represents) is Saturn, which is the principle of mental limitation and/or focus in our solar system and that of form-building. Libra rules over a class of lives called 'The Triple Flowers', most intimately connected with the principle of atma (the plane of nirvana), and its force is said to be jnanashakti, or the force of mind. Now, that would be 'mind/consciousness' in terms of a more Buddhist view.
The type of consciousness represented by Libra in its higher rulership is one that hovers on a sort of borderland, if you will. Nirvana (the plane of atma) can be seen as a sort of way-station from a human perspective. From the standpoint of forming structure (incarnation) it is the first place where a sense of “I-ness” is known, but this is so subtle and sublime at that level as to not be recognizable as such to our minds. To be clear, we still have a body, an aggregate, at that level, though extremely subtle, and so long as we dwell there we are still bound to the laws of karma and thus have to be reborn in some way or form. It is only when we transcend even nirvana itself (attain a state of non-abiding nirvana) that we are fully liberated from this world and fully enlightened. This preceding statement leads us to the other side of nirvana: it is the doorway out of incarnation, or the need for rebirth. In the highest levels of nirvana we have the final obstacles to achieving the long-sought end of all sense of separated self and fully become divine beings.
All delusions are finally dispelled once we 'go beyond' (transcend nirvana) and then what is called 'dharma' is fully realized. Dharma is simply that which dispels delusions. The point here, though, is that even at this level there is a final fundamental choice to be made by the yogi/yogini: “Should I stay or should I go? Do I stay (note the sense of “I”) in the bliss of this state or go beyond so that I can come back and bring all others to that state?” In the end, there is no sitting on the fence, for to sit on the fence in nirvana is to guarantee that one has to be reborn, that one is still bound to life and death. Indeed, to sit on the fence with any decision in any realm is to decide to stay bound to the past, and this is one of the biggest lessons for all Librans – to sit on the fence with a decision is to die to higher possibilities. Decisive action is a must for all Libran types.
The Triple Flowers
What are these mysterious Triple Flowers that were mentioned previously? They are actually what most people might call the higher Self, or what the Theosophist would term the united functioning of atma/buddhi/manas (consciousness/karmic volition/discernment, or human intellect), or Ego. It is said in Esoteric Astrology that Libra is most connected with atma, however, and thus with consciousness. The term 'jnanashakti' refers not to knowledge in general, but to spiritual wisdom. Jnana is ultimate wisdom from a human perspective, that wisdom which opens wide the door to full enlightenment, full enlightenment being beyond even the ultimate wisdom found in nirvana. In summation then, and to try to make these points coherent, Libra is connected with those lives which make up our higher nature and which will lead us eventually to a state of ultimate happiness and unalloyed bliss. There is a catch here, though, and most people, when they think of Librans, will quite naturally fail to see how the carryings-on of the average Libran in any way convey some aspect of ultimate truth and profound wisdom.
In all of these letters up to this point we have sought to come to some understanding of the higher meanings of each of the twelve astrological signs and how that might work out in everyday life. After all, each of the solar festival periods is an opportunity in some way to touch some of these higher energies, each in their turn, and to apply them somehow in our personal lives in an effort to give more meaning to our lives and to 'anchor' somewhat the greater energies of those signs into the material world. It is no easy task. However, in the human being we see a reflection of the higher aspects of the signs, especially through the ascending degree and to a lesser extent through the sun-sign, and the degree more or less to which a person is able to respond to those energies is more often seen in the struggles one has more so than in the inherent expression of any given sign. Libra is a good case in point.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric implications of the Blue Moon in Aries, the Libra Solar Festival for 2010. He examines the aspects and the degrees with a view to their political, personal and spiritual significance.
Read part two of The 2010 Libra Solar Festival at the Full Moon in Aries.