Pandora's Jar and the Path to Enlightenment
Aries Solar Festival 2010
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, presents the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Libra for 2009. This is known as the Festival of the Risen Christ, being Aries's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. Aries is the sign of moving forward into the light, a Power Sign. The Full Moon of Aries (the Full Moon at Libra 09º 17') takes place on the 30th of March 2010 at around 02:25 UT (GMT).
Greetings, my Friends!
It has been a busy time here in Adelaide, with the Fringe Arts Festival and the Clipsal 500 race just finished and with state elections just decided. It has been quite busy with work from my end as well, as you may have noticed from the lack of the Sagittarius and Pisces letters. I had an interesting experience at work the other day, one which set me thinking about how we perceive things and how easily we give ourselves over to thinking along certain lines. I had placed an order for a part for an installation I was doing on a machine and it had duly arrived at the transport depot, where I had to go pick it up. When I arrived there the guy at the counter took the slip of paper with the reference number on it, disappearing into the labyrinth of boxes on the shelves behind the counter. When he reappeared some time later he was carrying what I thought to be rather a large box, considering what I had ordered. As I walked out of the depot back to my ute I was pondering on what in the world I was doing with such a large package. Perhaps the supplier had made a mistake and screwed up my order (Hey, it is known to happen.) Perhaps I had forgotten what I had ordered and what arrived really did require such a big box. I was curious.
As I approached my ute I began to tear into the box. What in the world was in there, I thought? I got the box open and started pulling out large portions of plastic and bubble wrap. There was nothing in there except for bubble wrap and empty plastic bags. It was quite puzzling. By all appearances I had received a generous shipment of bubble wrap. Thank you, supplier! Bubble wrap always comes in handy when I have to ship Christmas presents to my family in the States. Then, I started sifting through the apparently empty plastic bags, eventually to find my quarry—the legend plate I had ordered for the switch I had to install on the machine. I was expecting something considerably larger. What I got instead was a tiny little strip of plastic, roughly 1”x 1/4” (25 x 6 mm). I just sat there and laughed to myself. “What a waste!” I thought. All that packaging for such a tiny item. Well, they certainly ensured that it would not be damaged. Thank you, supplier, once again! In the end it was a case of—to paraphrase an old saying—you can't judge the contents by the packaging. To be serious about it, I reckon whoever packed that legend plate had a pretty good sense of humor. However, the 'episode of the deceptive box' set me thinking about how we so often give ourselves over to deceptive appearances. In the end, as we will all eventually realize, nothing in the outer world is as it seems.
Aries is a Power Sign
Strange as it may seem, Aries has much to teach us about overcoming ordinary appearances. As we have now entered the Aries interlude and thus the beginning of the peak spiritual impulse for the year, our musings and meditations become quite important as the days process through the next few months. Aries is one of the 'power signs', one which is equated with great power in a spiritual sense—one closely associated with the first Ray, the expression of Will or Power in our local universe. Aries commences or starts things. It is known as the sign denoting beginnings and any Aries type (Sun or Ascendant in that sign) is known as a person who is great at getting things moving or of always being in on anything that is new. It is the sign par excellence of initiation or of the initiating impulse with all that the term 'initiation' implies. Thus, in spiritual parlance, it is a great saving force and the herald of better conditions. In everyday terms, Aries brings change. The trouble is that in our personal lives change is not always seen as a move toward better conditions: in fact it is often seen to be quite the opposite.
The three rulers of Aries—orthodox, esoteric and hierarchical—are all planets that are equated with change in some manner. Mars (the orthodox ruler) is the agent of destruction of old outworn orders and of the conflicts that engender that destruction. Mars brings to Aries the energy of 'entering into battle for the Lord'—the fighting instinct and the energy devoted to seeing through any change that is needed, either in the world or in one's personal life. Mercury (the esoteric ruler) is mutability 'personified'—ever-changing, ever-relating, ever-moving—the 'agent of adjustment', and brings to Aries the ability to arrive at 'unity through effort'. Uranus (the hierarchical ruler) is known as the agent of sudden change and the unexpected. This latter ruler is the true 'engine of Aries', if you will, the planet that is the real force behind the workings of the sign in our world. It brings to Aries the 'will to be and to do' and 'unfolds the power to manifest'. Uranus brings the 'urge to better conditions', and it is this planet that we need to investigate to get at the true meaning of Aries for the festival of Easter this year.
Birthplace of Divine Ideas
Aries, in esoteric astrology, is known as the 'birthplace of divine ideas'. On the face of it one might think that a 'divine idea' is some great overarching principle, a profound Law in action, a stream of mind which we can only hope to glimpse some day, but which is so far beyond our present mental capacity as to seem impossible of comprehension. Well, a divine idea is indeed all these things and more, but we are mistaken if we believe that it is anything akin to what we conceive of as a human 'idea'. In fact, the vast majority of human thoughts are of a worldly nature—temporal, fleeting, mistaken with regard to the truth and full of habitual patterns. It is only when the mind becomes transfigured by a direct realization of one of the aforementioned 'divine ideas' that we gain any true insight into the real workings of divine mind. In Buddhist terms, it is not until one enters or attains the first ground and has a direct realization of emptiness, however fleeting, that one attains any true realization of our existence on this earth (or should I say, lack thereof?). In Christian terms this is the Transfiguration, and in Theosophical terms this would be the third initiation from a human standpoint, or the first from a larger perspective. Such an experience is the mark that one is incontrovertibly and from thenceforth unwaveringly on the road to final liberation and full realization as a divine being—an Initiate, or Arya being. How does Uranus fit in with the process just described, though?
In orthodox astrology Uranus is called one of the transpersonal planets, or 'one of the outers' (which has some interesting connotations as a turn of phrase). The transpersonal planets are those outside the orbit of Saturn—Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, as well as all the 'new' trans-Neptunian bodies, many asteroids and plutinos. Actually, for the sake of esoteric debate, Pluto is not a transpersonal planet. However, it does lead one to the feet of Neptune, in a manner of speaking. As an aside, Pluto rids us of the personal obstacles to spiritual life and readies us for the experience of the true transpersonals, Uranus and Neptune. Uranus is a 'reaping planet' in our solar system, along with Saturn and Neptune and as such can be seen to be a way-station for those who do reach full enlightenment (full initiatory status) and who are set to pass beyond the bounds of our solar systemic life and onwards to ever-greater work and realization. The work of Uranus is to manifest the divine in the outer worlds, the worlds of form, and all beings who gravitate toward that type of work eventually pass on to Uranus, in a manner of speaking, once they have attained the requisite realizations.
A New Light
With the preceding points in mind, it is time to get to the main points about Uranus and how it works in the individual—if it does at all. From a personal perspective the activity of Uranus is primarily disruptive. It does indeed bring sudden change and unexpected occurrences and it is perhaps this latter point which gives the clue as to what Uranus is primarily about in an individual sense: Uranus presents us with the opportunity to see things in a new light—to see things aside from their ordinary appearances. As such, Uranus is a great manifesting force and the changes it brings to an individual are often permanent in terms of one's life direction. Uranus conveys the spiritual force, which is a collective or unifying force, and one of the big keys to dealing with Uranian transits, progressions and the like is not to take things personally, but rather, to see how to become more responsive to collective needs and realities. The same is true for Neptunian transits. As an aside, for Pluto transits and the like, the emphasis is most always personal, even though Pluto does have a connection with the masses. The onus with Pluto is always to look at our own projections in a given circumstance. With Uranus, however, one cannot project. There is never anything to 'hook to' in a personal sense with Uranian experiences. In other words, one is not dealing with the personal or the subconscious with Uranus (or Neptune either, for that matter).
When one starts to respond directly to Uranian impulses and begins to work consciously with them, one's world is never the same thereafter with regard to how one lives, the ethics of living, how one sees the world, how one relates to others, and so forth. Uranus brings an end to worldly life. Nothing fits neatly in the box any more—in other words, one has to change one's mental outlook or the mental models into which one tries to fit everything. The problem with Uranian energies, however, is that the models are ever-changing, and often in quite unexpected directions. The whole experience of Uranus can be rather maddening at the start, until one realizes what is actually taking place.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric meanings of the Full Moon in Libra, the myth of Uranus and Gaia, human relationships within time, and the other cosmic influences under this important festivity. He also examines the symbols for the degrees and the meanings of the aspects that affect us.
Read part two of The Aries Solar Festival
Malvin Artley is an accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests in those fields are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism.
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