Baskets of Nourishment
The Aquarius Solar Festival 2011 [part 2]
Nourishment & Metamorphosis
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, presents the Aquarius Solar Festival, 2011, at the Full Moon in Leo. This is Aquarius's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The Full Moon of Aquarius (the Full Moon at Leo 29º 20') takes place on the 18th of February 2011 at around 08:37 UT (GMT).
More than anything, though, the experience of Aquarius brings one to a point where one has to ask: What matters more—self-serving or service to a greater good? Aquarius rules a great group of lives called 'the Baskets of Nourishment', the spiritually blind countless unconscious lives that make up the forms of everything we experience, the countless elemental lives that have 'all been our mothers' in a manner of speaking. If anyone has listened to Buddhist teachings, this theme of 'all sentient beings who have been our mothers countless times again and again in kindness' is a theme that is constantly echoed. The 'Baskets of Nourishment' can be seen as a manifestation of that train of thought, for it is the bodies we live in that nurture and care for our tenure in life as we go about what we need to do in life. Without them there is no opportunity—no opportunity to do our work, to work off our karma, to learn to better serve, to evolve to a point where we can take the major initiatory steps forward, for it has been decreed that one must take those major steps while physically incarnate. The Baskets of Nourishment provide a home for us in the worlds of incarnation, and even eventually the temple of the soul, and they do all this with blind obedience, completely unconscious of what they do or why. So, we build better and better homes for ourselves life after life, yet we must leave home eventually.
Spark of Consciousness
Once we realize it, it is our charge and responsibility to evolve and aid in the liberation of these lives, to foster the spark of consciousness within them and eventually to help enable them to experience life as human beings in some far-off age. Until we come to the realization of what these lives are to us, however, they are the veil of maya, samsara, and we struggle to dis-identify ourselves with them as our long series of worldly lives progresses. We are not our bodies. We are the life within them and we animate them, but we are not them. They are a karmic effect, the result of our actions in whatever realm we have existed, and they arise in dependence upon our thoughts and actions in past lives. A 'body' (and this applies to one's environment as well) can be seen as a sort of record of our past actions, a checklist, if you will, of what we have done right and what we could do better. To put it another way, the 'Baskets of Nourishment' vibrate and respond in exact accord with the impulse that gives rise to them. They provide us with forms and bodies because that is their nature. Nature acts in perfect accord with its laws. There is nothing lost or wasted, nothing left to chance, no exceptions to the rules. Yet, if we choose to act in accordance with those rules and know what they are and how to work within the system, then we can change things for the better. We can evolve, we can add quality to our lives and to those around us and even prolong life to a degree if need be. We might be 'living stones' as we have been called in esoteric literature, but we are not set in stone.
Service is the primary means to evolve and better one's life, and this leads to one very simple but profound truth: In our local universe the primary means of attainment is to work tirelessly for the welfare of others while yet maintaining one's own welfare. Love is the guiding law of our local universe. Plants grow and give food for myriad beings with no thought of what they do, just simply by virtue of what they are, for example. The Sun shines and gives life, warmth and provides the engine of the solar system, just by its very nature. We, as humans, suffer at times, though. Why?—because we have forgotten or have not learned that to give of our very essence while yet maintaining our own existence is the very key to our own evolution and prosperity. By giving of ourselves and thus relieving the suffering of others our own suffering is thus relieved. Service is progress. Service is the way of nature. Service is life itself. Selfishness outside of our own need is ultimately suffering and death. Every Aquarian type carries this intrinsic message somewhere within their psyche. Any Aquarian type who thus does not serve the greater good in some capacity fails in their life purpose. Knowing this, we have the aphorism of Aquarius: “Water of life am I, poured forth for the thirsty of this world”, to paraphrase the saying. With that, what did the full moon of Aquarius convey to us this year, and what will be its legacy for the year?
The Full Moon
The full moon of Aquarius took place on 18 Feb 2011 at 7:37 PM AEDT (8:37 AM UT). The figure itself is quite simple. There is a stellium clustered around the Sun including Mercury, Mars, Chiron and Neptune, all opposing the Moon. The remaining planets are all solitary. Venus is in a very tight square to Saturn, adding a sober note to the figure (indeed, those days were pretty tense throughout the Middle East), and Jupiter was square to Pluto, adding a note of high, but unrealistic optimism—fuel to the fires of rebellion. The Moon is linked by quincunx to Uranus in the figure, striking the note of independence and humanitarian impulse. The stellium is quite a fiery one—extremely magnetic, giving people cause to feel very inspired and empowered, convinced of their principles, fearless of outcome and drawing all around them into their milieu. I am not speaking just of the Middle East here, but of the world as a whole. You may have seen these very dynamics at work in your own life.
At the same time, the realities of emotional relationships were highlighted. Many people's hearts were heavy or troubled through that period. Old wounds were opened and examined, existing conditions were reassessed and moves toward a more realistic approach to relations were instigated. On the other side, certain other events were inspiring and people found great motivation though group activities, again as witnessed in the Middle East. All group efforts throughout that full moon period were favoured, inspired and strongly directed. Doors opened, people were swayed to the greater causes and there was quite a sense of motivation with that solar festival. The symbol for the degree of the Sun reads as follows:
An unsealed letter
This symbol is a representation of the sharing of thought, especially of transmitted thought. In the old days of snail mail (Does anyone send letters any more?) letters used to be a big event, waited for, longed for, dreaded or otherwise. Still, they were shared information, and more private, plus the fact that they were not on file for perpetuity as an electronic mail is (You don't think every little bit of electronic information—every email you send—is on file somewhere?). The emphasis of this symbol is very Aquarian, though. Information, like life, is meant to be shared, within reason of course. Wikileaks has highlighted the less desirable aspect of this shared information for us, the fact that we have no real privacy in the electronic world. An 'unsealed letter' can also represent an intuitive insight, or a piece of information we happen upon.
So, there are two aspects to this symbol. One pertains to privacy and the other to revelation of thought. If the letter is opened in the presence of someone unintended the effects can be disastrous or embarrassing at least. If the intended recipient views the letter then the news can be either good or bad, but the conveyed thoughts of the writer reach their intended destination. On the whole, I think the Aquarian interval this year has set the scene for a fair amount of revelation to come to humanity and individuals. The stellium outlined previously is a very intuitive one, but one also prone to misinterpretation, so we had better read the messages we get carefully and not give ourselves over to any hint of sensationalism or blind adherence to causes. The symbol for the degree of the Moon reads:
Deeply rooted in the past of a very ancient culture, a spiritual brotherhood in which many individual minds are merged into the glowing light of unanimous consciousness is revealed to one who has emerged successfully from his metamorphosis.
This symbol speaks directly to the processes of initiation. In a sense we are initiated alone, in that we do not realize what has happened to us much of the time until after the fact when we undergo some sort of initiatory experience—that is, until our consciousness merges with those who have been standing by watching and urging us forward. This symbol also speaks of the Baskets of Nourishment. The spiritual initiations are indeed processes of metamorphosis—a process of purification of the respective bodies/vehicles until the light of the next level of attainment can stand revealed. In order for one to attain higher states of consciousness the body must be quickened and purified. In short, its level of vibration must be raised in order to suit or be able to perceive the next level of consciousness. That is what is happening at a world scale now, and has been for a number of years, which is why the world seems so surreal and/or tense at times. Our bodies are being subjected to these purifying process—these fires. Hence, the temperature of the world rises in kind.
What Are We Moving Toward?
If we think the preceding points fanciful, look at what has happened to human awareness over the past 100 years especially. First there was the telegraph, then radio, then there was air travel, then television, the growth of the film industry through all that time, then radar, computers and finally the internet—all in a very short space of history. Look at what else has happened along with it—two World Wars, the Cold War, the birth of the Nuclear Age, the lighting of the world and the amazing revelations of science, etc., etc. Then we have global warming. Things are heating up. They have been for a while now, both literally and figuratively. Is it really any big surprise that is happening, but also, is it purely due to our own mismanagement of nature and resources, or is it something more profound? What are we moving toward? These things bear meditating upon, not knee-jerk reactions and Chicken-Little-sky-is-falling hysterics. Most of all, we need to look inside and see how much our own consciousness has changed, if we have lived long enough, over say the past 30-40 years.
In all, then, we have two distinct themes represented by the Aquarius interval this year: purification/transformation/spiritual metamorphosis, and then revelation. Revelation is ever the outcome of purificatory practices, as well as a greater sense of inclusiveness and a greater ability to shine one's light into the world. Purification, revelation and service, the main themes and activities of Aquarius, are amply represented in these symbols, as well as in the full moon figure. May our own transformation proceed apace.
I have one final note to you and then I will sign off until the next letter, due in just over a week. A few of you have written and asked me if I was even going to write this letter and why it was late. What follows is the last bit of advertising I will do via these letters. If you want to know where I have been, log on to: www.malvinartley.com . It has taken me a while, but I am finally on line. From this point on all astrological news from me will be displayed on the site, so please check the site every so often. It will probably be updated once a month. I will still be posting these letters to you, but not all of them will be displayed—in fact, maybe not so many—so if you want to continue to read them please update any of your email details to stay on the list. The site is very basic at the moment, but it will be fleshed out over the next months. Once you have entered the site, go to the 'Contact' bar to get an overview of what I intend for it. Hopefully, from now on all email issues are sorted. If you still cannot access or open these emails to you, please let me know.
I hope you all have a safe and happy Losar, and may the Iron Rabbit year bestow you with bounteous blessings and prosperity! I think this will be a year of great, beneficent change!
Happy New Year, everyone (again)
5 Mar 2011
This is the end of the article.
Return to the start of The 2011 Aquarius Solar Festival at the Full Moon in Leo.