Drowning Man, by -the-psycrothic
Libra/Scorpio Solar Festivals [part 3]
4th October & 2nd November 2009
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator examines the subtle meaning of the Full Moons in Aries and Taurus for 2009. These are Libra's Full Moon and Scorpio's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The full moon of Libra (the full moon at Aries 11º10') occurs on the 4th of October 2009 at 06:11 UT and 1:11 AM EST in the US. This is 5:11 PM AEST, (Sydney time). The full moon of Scorpio (the full moon at Taurus 10º30') occurs on the 2nd of November 2009 at 19:16 UT and 2:16 PM EST in the US. This is 6:16 AM AEST, (Sydney time) on Nov.3.
Since the Libra full moon there have been significant events in the world that have coincided with the activation of the two eclipses that were mentioned in previous articles, those of 22 Jul 09 and 22 Sep 06. The Mars activation of the July eclipse took place on the 15th of October just passed. I stated at the time of writing about that eclipse that it was not a happy one and would bring upset and possible violence with it. On the 17th, two days after the Mars conjunction with the eclipse point, Pakistan began the South Wazaristan Offensive, sending 30,000 troops into that region of their country in an effort to rout the Taliban, who had taken stronghold there. That conflict is still ongoing.
When Mars came within orb of that eclipse point around 8 Oct 09 an asteroid or comet fragment exploded high in the atmosphere above Indonesia. It was roughly 10 meters in diameter and had been undetected by telescopes. Had it been larger it would have done major damage in the region with huge losses of life, similar to what happened with the Tunguska Event early in the last century. The Indonesian asteroid exploded with the force of 50 kilotons of TNT, about four times the size of the Hiroshima bomb. The asteroid blast was registered at monitoring stations as far away as 16,000 km, although it caused no loss of life, largely due to the fact that it exploded approximately 15-20 kilometers high in the atmosphere. Shortly after Mars moved off the eclipse point, about a week later, two large bombs were set off in Baghdad, the largest since 2007, with a loss of 155 people and 500 wounded. Some sixty members of Iraq's security forces have been taken into custody over the matter.
Saturn, Lord of Karma
On the 23rd of last month Saturn came within a 1º orb of the 22 Sep 06 eclipse point, but its influence has probably been in effect since before then. On the last days of September there were two large earthquakes in the South Pacific, one in Samoa on the 29th, causing a tsunami and loss of 189 lives and the next in Sumatra, Indonesia on the 30th, causing the loss of at least 1,100 lives. Indonesia's ascendant is the first degree of Libra, so the quake there was likely the activation of the 22 Sep 06 eclipse by Saturn. Saturn will pass over that eclipse degree two more times once in mid-April of 2010 and again in mid-July of that year. Both times it will be accompanied by an opposition to Uranus to the same point. Uranus will be activating the eclipse point from April through September of next year. I would expect to see significant seismic activity and changes in power structures throughout next year, but especially when Saturn is involved. So, we have some things to be mindful of in the coming year.
On the 23rd of October the Sun moved into Scorpio, commencing the Scorpio interval for the year. Scorpio brings in the energy of 'beneficent conflict'. On the lower turn of the spiral (in other words, when one is worldly-focused) the key phrase for Scorpio is “Let Maya flourish and let deception rule.” The deception referred to is that of self-deception and as seeing 'this unbearable prison of cyclic existence as a pleasure grove', as Buddhism puts it. On the higher turn of the spiral, when the Scorpio is spiritually focused, the key phrase is “Warrior I am, and from the battle I emerge triumphant.” The victory referred to is the victory over one's lower nature and the warrior is one's own higher nature. The choices made in Libra, figuratively speaking, set the stage for the battle in Scorpio, and without fail that battle comes.
The Human Hierarchy
So, we have made choices, set a path for ourselves that will see us doing well in the next and future lives and hopefully have not created enemies in the process. What happens next? Scorpio rules a class of lives called 'The Human Hierarchy'. The term is misleading, however. What is actually represented by this class of lives is the 'cream' of humanity the great Teachers and Initiates of the world, most of which are not incarnate but work rather beyond the veil of matter. The Human Hierarchy is the Solar Angels of Theosophical writings the true Soul or Ego. Any true spiritual Teacher is one who has subsumed his/her personal life completely into the spiritual. There is no separation between the two. They function through the personal life rather than having the personal life as the main or sole focus. The body to them is simply an instrument of service and an anchor in this world. The emotions are aroused only in order to effect change in or to inspire their students. The mind is in a perpetual state of meditative equipoise. We are talking about rare personages here, great compassionate and wise beings. That is the true nature of the Soul, the combined functioning of atma-buddhi-manas.
The members of the Human Hierarchy are the end result of the struggles that Scorpio brings. Look at the Scorpio types you know. How many of them have lives where there is no struggle of some sort? Scorpio is a sign that engenders conflict. Its old ruler, Mars, is the planet of conflict and self-empowerment. Its modern ruler, Pluto, is the lower octave of Mars (yes, lower octave, esoterically considered) and rules over all major endings and separations. Scorpio rules 'the parting of the ways'. It is a priori the sign in which the dissolution of the personal life and the ending of personality control over one's spiritual development takes place. Now, we are not saying here that all Scorpio types face their own personal Armageddon, although that can happen. What will happen in the lives of all Scorpio types is that a point in life will come where there is some intense inner struggle wherein something is trying to find the light of day in a spiritual sense. In fact, the Light that Scorpio confers is indeed 'The Light of Day', the united functioning of the light of the form, the light of the soul and the light of life itself.
Scorpios cop a bad rap in astrological circles and they are constantly looked at askance for their brooding nature and supposed 'antics', to use a polite term. In fact, most of the Scorpios I know are down-to-earth and fun-loving, but there is the sting in the tail if you cross them. Actually, the happiest Scorpio types I know are those who do a fair amount of volunteer work. It is intrinsic in the nature of the higher Scorpio types to be of service and to be selfless. The 'death of the personality' that is commonly associated with Scorpio in esoteric astrology refers exactly to that subsuming the personal life into a life of service and generosity exactly what one gets from a true spiritual Teacher. What actually takes place with the Scorpio type is the conflict between the Soul and persona and the mastery over one or several of the bodies or aggregates. There will be some aspect of the Scorpio type's nature that will be undergoing subjugation to the higher impulses within their nature, and that inevitably involves inner turmoil and struggle.
It is the nature of any aggregate or body to want to maintain its sense of comfort, its habits and its continuance in other words, the status quo. It is the nature of the higher Self to run counter to those instincts. Hence, there is inevitable struggle between spirit and persona. If you do not think that is true, then earnestly take on a new spiritual practice and see what happens. Every reason under the sun for not doing that practice will come to the surface and will seem perfectly valid and logical at the time, although the whole point in the early stages of any spiritual practice is to become consistent and regular in it, acclimated to the practice and in learning to be joyful in it. So what if one's old social activities or favorite TV shows have to take a back seat? So, spiritual practice is uncomfortable to start with? You hear it is not supposed to be uncomfortable? Well, we have all heard the old saying, “No pain, no gain.” Getting the physical body into shape involves effort and discomfort. Why would it be any different at any other level when one tries to bring, say, the mind and emotions under control? The spiritual path is the road less traveled and it is hard at times. Every Scorpio type knows this somewhere in their nature. A true Scorpio will relish a good inner battle and emerge victorious. It is not in the nature of the sign to fail or to give up.
With the Scorpio interval every year, then, we have a situation before us: Where do we feel struggle in our lives and why? If there is struggle, are we on the right path with it? If there is no inner struggle, why have we not created the conditions that will precipitate it? From what do we shrink away or not wish to see? Where is the 'dead wood' in our circumstance? What do we need to do to clear it away? Maybe in the Scorpio interval a good bonfire made from all that dead wood is the order of the day. If you have one, invite your friends around and enjoy the inferno. Or, maybe sit around with huge pots of tea and have long discussions about Dante's Inferno and how you find reflections of it in your own life.
Kidding aside, always with the Scorpio interval there is something trying to come to Light within us, and always there is something trying to keep that Light hidden, that 'something' being an aspect of our own nature that simply does not wish to change. The long and the short of the preceding are: What do we want to bring forth as a higher quality in our lives this year and how do we go about it? With that, let us have a look at tomorrow morning's full moon.
The full moon for the Scorpio solar festival this year takes place on 3 Nov 09 at 5:14 AM AEDT (6:14 PM UT, 2 Oct 09). The symbol for the solar degree in the full moon in the Scorpio figure reads:
“A drowning man is being rescued” – 11° Scorpio
This symbol is indicative of the humanitarian instinct. The 'drowning man' is anyone floundering in the morass of their own emotional storms or misconceptions. It is all of us at one point or another throughout life. What or who saves us from drowning? Ultimately, it is our own higher Self. Initially, however, it is the spiritual friend, one who has been on the Path a bit longer than us and who can show us the ropes, as it were. This term 'spiritual friend' is not well understood in the West. In the East the spiritual friend is the guru, the exemplar of the path to enlightenment and great and utter devotion is given to that person. We are not so inclined to guru devotion in the West and are more given over to self-effort along those lines, shunning most things that smack of guru devotion. Yet, the guru, if we have one, has 'been there' with regard to drowning and has crossed the seas of boundless existence onto the far shores of enlightenment. They are the Victorious Ones, the ones who have prevailed over the lower nature and stand as Dragons of Wisdom, omniscient and omnipotent over the lower forces. Their story is ultimately our story. They show us how to save ourselves.
In a sense, the world is drowning in a sea of distraction and materialism. We have marvelous technology, but we get lost in it more often than not instead of turning it to use and having it help to give our lives meaning instead of amusement. We want everything in sound bites now, quickly, easily, no fuss or bother. The thing to ask ourselves in this interval is what will matter to us in five months, five years or five decades? The latest and greatest is no substitute for the tried and the true. There is a good reason why certain things last and others do not. If we live in a throw-away world, what we eventually end up with is a huge pile of junk. I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day about food, speaking of the tried and the true, and how people had not nearly the same levels of disease four decades ago. Why? People had to cook for themselves. There was little in the way of fast food or additives. Food was simple, was prepared with care and was eaten at a leisurely pace, usually around the family dining table. Remember the dining table? Not a television in sight, just good conversation and food with loved ones. We were healthier then. Now at dinner time we have inane TV shows or violent news to ingest with our meals not all of us, mind you, but I see that in most houses I go to, especially with kids in the house. If we want to save ourselves, maybe a good place to start is in the kitchen. Our bodies become what we ingest.
Watering the Garden, by Daniel Ridgway Knight
The symbol for the lunar degree in the figure reads:
“A woman watering flowers in her garden.” – 11° Taurus
This symbol speaks of care and nurturing. What do we want to see flower in our lives? What brings us beauty and connects us with our environment? There is water in both of these symbols. In the first one a man is drowning in it. In the second it is giving life to the woman's garden. The Moon reflects what is needed. The Moon in any horoscope highlights what the needs are. What sustains us? When we think of a garden we get a sense of peace. We reconnect ourselves with nature. We cannot do better than nature for beauty. Getting back to food, a lot of people cook straight from their gardens, too. A garden is many things to people. It is a place of rest and enjoyment, a respite from the day's cares, a place of reflection and a place of recharging. Gardens are full of nature spirits, too, especially old gardens and ones with a lot of verdure. They tend the plants and they respond to us. When we 'commune with nature' we come into contact with those lives. The ones in large trees are particularly amazing supreme silence and peace.
We thus have two scenarios before us with this solar festival: Where do we struggle to breathe, figuratively speaking, and how do we nurture ourselves instead? In the figure for the full moon we see the 'drowning man' straight away in the t-square pattern involving the full moon axis and the Mars apex. This is a fixed t-square, indicating challenges around possessiveness, fixed desires and willful emotions. The apex Mars highlights the need to be a bit more yielding and adaptable than usual in one's dealing with others. It also indicates headstrong individuals who are sent to test us, and it will show us where we are resistant to change, largely because we will be challenged to change in some area of our nature. If this t-square impacts on one's own chart, then the lessons will surely come.
The 'woman watering flowers' from the lunar symbol is indicated beautifully in the chart by the trine of Venus to the Chiron/Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. This is a highly idealistic and romantic aspect. What sustains us in times of difficulty if not our ideals and the power of love? We need to find that which is of lasting and sustaining beauty in our lives in this interval and in the year following. Venus is at the bending of the Nodes, indicating a change toward more open communication and shared ideals. The Sun and Moon are both quintile to the nodal axis, which was apparent in the last full moon figure, showing that certain gifts or higher qualities can be unlocked if we are willing to go through the fires to get to them. We also have a septile triangle formed by the Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Pluto, a very transformative aspect pattern and one that can open one to higher possibilities. Pluto is the focus of the triangle, which is about removing the obstacles to our wider view of things. It is squared by Saturn, showing that people in authority and old ingrained patterns are the things that will challenge and try to block us from seeing things anew and revealing the Light of Day to us for this year.
In short, then, there is a fair amount of conflict indicated for the Scorpio lessons this year, but much of beauty can be discovered and nurtured as a result of any conflicts. Scorpio does, after all, render the energy of Harmony-through-Conflict most effectively. We will be asked or forced to let go of old entrenched desires and feelings of possessiveness in other words, our own self-grasping. People in power and powerful people will be the catalysts that provoke conflicts, but the key in any conflict in this period is to stick to one's highest ideals and prevail upon whatever is of beauty in our lives as a solace and point of retreat, meant in the sense of contemplative retreat. There is no need for us to succumb to the trials of life. Help is always there. All we need do is to prevail upon it, or even simply recognize it.
There is an indomitable spirit within each of us. It is always there and always seeking to be expressed somehow. If we feel conflicted, then we can be sure that something of real and lasting strength is behind it. All we need do is first to identify what is actually seeking to arise, embrace it, and then to follow through with it. If we make a change for the better then there will always be the naysayer and loved ones who do not wish for us to change. There will be forces within us and outside who would wish to see us fail in our quests and efforts, but they are usually silenced easily enough if we persist. Once a new order is established, it usually quickly becomes the status quo and people will generally come to accept things. The thing is there is always room for improvement. There is never any sitting on the sidelines or the fence where affairs of spirit are involved. Nature never does things in a half-hearted manner. I found that out when I went back to the States in 1999. If the proper conditions are put in place and nurtured, then nature will rebound, and sometimes with a vengeance. It is the same in human terms, too.
Back in the 90s the government saw fit to introduce measures that would ensure the wildlife returned. It was an urge to better conditions. People balked at the time and grizzled, but they adapted and now think little of it, except for the geese muddying up the ponds and leaving their droppings everywhere and the deer eating away the gardens. Frankly, so long as the animal life is in balance, I prefer to have the geese and the deer around. It tells me the environment is in a pretty good place. And when it comes to personal matters, frankly, in terms of friends and family taking on things that better their lives and those of their loved ones, I say more power to them. I can adapt and do and they have been pretty accepting of me. So, if you see something that needs to change in order for the betterment of all concerned, by all means do it if it is feasible and causes no real or lasting harm. You never know what it might open up for you or for those close to you.
I hope you enjoyed your trick-or-treat candy.
2 Nov 2009
Return to the start of Libra/Scorpio Solar Festivals.
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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