Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than a decade. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. |
Malvin is the author of Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System. He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalayan tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others.
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 are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
Festival of Salvation [part two]
subtle meanings of the Full Moon in Virgo 2005
Malvin Artley continues his discussion of the Pisces Full Moon Festival.
We know that Pluto governs “the burning ground” and thus the destruction or ending of those situations that prove an impediment to human progress. Pluto is also said to work primarily in the realm of kama-manas (desire-mind), and from that point alone we can see a connection with Neptune because Neptune rules over the entirety of the astral plane (desire world). Pluto brings clarity to the desire nature and to the lower mind through the destruction of thought-forms (which are the cause of habitual thought and emotions), whether individual or national. Pluto thus brings clarity to the lower nature. Its primary sphere of influence, if you want to call it that, is the solar plexus area. Now, it is of more than passing interest to note in this regard that the solar plexus is the animal brain and instinctive nature. It also rules the nervous system as well as digestion.
A Great Psychic Eye
The solar plexus is a great psychic eye and it presides over lunar (astral) psychism. All animals have this eye open and functioning. For this reason it is said that lunar psychism is no indication of spiritual attainment. Governing the instinctive nature as it does, the solar plexus also rules over the subconscious-the personal “underworld”—and it is the center which is the clearing house for the other lower centers. All aspects of the persona are influenced by or are ruled over by the solar plexus at some point. The solar plexus is also most active during the hours of sleep, at which time a person is released onto the astral plane temporarily.
There is a lot of argument about what planets rule the centers (chakras). I have always taken the view that all planets can work through all the centers in some manner and it is entirely a matter of perspective, but each planet has a special “resonance” with one or more centers. Various sources have given their respective rulers of the solar plexus to be the Sun, the Moon, Jupiter, Pluto, Mars and Neptune. Take your pick, but Pluto and Neptune are both strongly active there in some manner.
In its role as a psychic eye, the solar plexus puts one in touch with the lower kingdoms in nature, as well as developing clairsentiency—the ability to feel all things clearly, which is the basis of psychometry as a psychic ability. It is the seat of the astral elemental essence, it governs the fear reflexes, it is the recording station for the persona, it sees all in the lower worlds and it governs the integration of the lower self (persona) to a large degree. It has a resonance with the ajna (brow) center, which rules the integration of the persona at a later stage of evolution. When the two function together one is opened to the highest of the extended senses and the higher worlds are then an open book. A clear solar plexus gives one freedom in earth and through space, and it is the most receptive of the centers.
When the persona is fully dedicated to the life of the Soul and the psychic debris has finally been cleared out of the astral body, then and only then does the solar plexus give one freedom in and power over the lower worlds. Until then, one is still at least somewhat ruled buy the lower desires and thus glamours can be a problem to the striving one. One still “sees through the glass, but darkly”. Pluto's true role here is to cleanse the lower nature and prepare it for the receipt of higher guidance-intuition or pure reason. For those who think the solar plexus works only with baser desires, we should take into account that there is a solar plexus center at every level of our being and that desire, whether base or of the Highest, is the raison d' ętre of human rebirth.
Pluto rules Pisces esoterically. What is it about Pisces that earmarks it as the sign of the World Savior, though? In short, all the great saviors of the human race have overturned the existing order in some way. They have identified illusions and glamours and they have shown people the way to resolve and dispel them. They have shown the way to clarify human thought and emotion because they have done so in their own natures. They are the exemplification of the adage “Physician, heal thyself.” Pluto has done its work on them and they stand freed from the lower worlds. They have given humanity vision for the future and have shown the way toward extended senses and greater alignment with one's essential being. They light their torch in the higher Realms and they bring the Light down into the darkness-into the realms of the murky underworld that is the field of experience for the human persona.
Neptune thus works through them unimpeded. Their way seems hard at first, and painful, but when their teaching is realized, one's eyes are opened and there is no going back to the old ways. The whole of one's being is then lifted up, and the lower vibration that was can no longer find hold in the life of the one thus saved. Salvation, if we really examine it, is the release from the hold of the lives that make up the lower self and their alignment with a higher order. In the scheme of things, we begin first with the release of the things (thoughts and emotions) that keep us from the higher Life, and then our entire being is flooded with Light. Pluto is instrumental in this process, and it is for this reason that Pluto is called the great Healer of the zodiac—the guardian of hidden (buried) treasures. And, what of Neptune?
The Light of Intuition
Neptune gives the highest and most sublime insight when it is allowed to fully function in the human system. It is the Light of Intuition. But it is also much more than that, for the intuition is but a reflection of Light that comes to us from beyond the 7 worlds (planes) that we can know on this Earth. Neptune rules Cancer esoterically and Cancer rules the great Creative Hierarchy that stands as the gateway between our Earth existence and the worlds and Lives beyond our solar system. Cancer is the fount of divine Desire and the birthing ground for all that we see around us. When we are told that humanity took Souls under the influence of Cancer and that we then began our long cycle of reincarnation, it is often not realized that the call for this came from levels outside of the planes we can know. It was the result of a far greater and higher Desire-the desire by the Lord of our world to fully manifest and undergo the great Initiation that He is set to take in this, His life. Neptune, through Cancer, is the gateway for the great cosmic Pathways that await all of us at the end of our terms here on Earth. It rules the eventual gateway of escape from this world; hence Neptune has always been associated with escapism, which is a corruption of this higher meaning. It rules over a type of desire incomprehensible to us, but it is desire nonetheless.
It is said that Neptune is the God of the Waters. Most people take this to mean the human astral realms. Actually, the “Waters” referred to here is the very life-force of all that we see and know and it emanates from cosmic levels. Those waters are the cause of generation, both human and planetary, and it is the force of Desire that overlays the entirety of the cosmic physical plane. Neptune is really beyond the persona and the conception of the lower mind. It is said that when Neptune is strongly placed in a person's chart, buddhi (intuition or pure reason) is strongly enhanced because the buddhic vehicle is undergoing coordination during that particular life. This buddhic vehicle, as it is called, is what makes us uniquely human, because it is the essence of the Soul and the seat of the love-nature in humanity. So, we are plainly told that Neptune governs the coordination of that part of us-the essential part of us-the part that marks us as expressions of God's love on Earth. We became that quality when we became human, we manifest it outwardly more and more with each passing year, and it will persist with us as long as we have to keep being reborn here. Neptune is with us always, and it brings us to the fullest understanding of what it is to be human and to express love. But, we have digressed a bit from the connection with Pluto.
In orthodox, modern astrology we are taught that it is Neptune that governs Pisces. In esoteric astrology we are taught that Neptune focuses the influence of Pisces as it concerns humanity, and as a whole, but does not rule it. In that one sentence lies the key to the connection between Neptune, Pisces and Pluto. But, what is the difference between ruling a sign and focusing the influence of a sign? It is desire that shapes the human realms, not will. How often have we heard the phrase “You have to give up something to get what you want.”, or something like it? Neptune, representing the higher desires in humanity (the urge toward a spiritual life), points to that which is desired, and Pluto represents what we must give up to attain the goal. In astronomical terms, Pluto has been captured by the gravitational pull of Neptune and is controlled within Neptune's orbit, being in resonance with it. If we said the same thing in terms of orthodox astrology, it would seem a ludicrous statement because the actions of the two planets seem so totally different. Neptune is seen in the main as a soft influence—confusing, dissolving, deluding and ethereal. On the other hand, Pluto is seen as hard, cathartic, disruptive and unstoppable. Both planets work with aspects of the nether regions, though. They are both very powerful in their own ways, but it is water that governs life on this planet and, in that connection, Neptune is the greater of the two.
Neptune Controls Pluto
The fact remains that Neptune controls and directs Pluto, especially when one aspires to a spiritual life and comes under spiritual disciplines. To ignore the astronomical tidbit about orbital resonance is to close one's mind off to some amazing possibilities for the future of astrology—and to deny the true power, potency and action of Neptune. Yes, Neptune does indeed focus the influence of Pisces, and it does so through Pluto. In fact, Neptune really has rulership in some manner over all the water signs. It rules Cancer esoterically and it focuses and controls the lower aspects of Scorpio and esoteric Pisces through Pluto. It also controls a lot of other planetary bodies through its orbital resonance. Its influence has been hidden very well for a very long time. I don't expect anyone to accept what I have just said, but there is certainly a lot to ponder upon there.
How would all this show in a chart, though? For people focused upon a high ethic for life and who are governed by a strong sense of brotherhood and goodwill, Neptune and Pluto are of more than passing importance. All transits and progressions either by those planets or by other planets over their places in the natal chart indicate times of great spiritual opportunity. I know quite a few Aquarians, for instance, (since Neptune is in Aquarius at the moment) who have been complaining of confusion, scattered thinking and all things normally associated with Neptune because of Neptune's transit over their natal Sun. To all of them I would ask: Is what you are experiencing confusion or a call to set the reasoning mind aside? Is it unclarity of thought or is it simply a dynamic or current of thought with which you are unfamiliar? Are you simply scattered or are you being opened to greater possibilities? Do you really feel a loss of direction and a sense of waywardness, or do you feel that there are new possibilities and/or things you have been missing? And, after the transit has passed, what is your state of mind now compared with the time before the transit? Do you sense things more deeply than before? Are your hunches about things and people stronger? Most importantly, do you feel renewed? I have always found that Neptune brings the highest insight when one is attuned to the possibilities. It may bring a bit of initial dishevelment, but the psyche is always much clearer after the fact, and the intuition is usually stronger as well.
The Magi Society has an interesting take on Neptune. They say it grants longevity, durability and staying power. They have the hard empirical data that shows this to be true. There are esoteric reasons for this effect as well, though. The fact of the matter is that so long as a person has desire for a thing they will persist at attaining it. Once the desire (passion) for it goes things tend to fall to pieces and the objective is lost. In terms of motivating people, the best way to get people to do things is to make them want it. One can spout all the specious reasons and mental arguments about a thing until blue in the face, but unless the listener wants what is being described, all those words may as well fall on deaf ears. That is just simple human nature. The other thing the Magi point out is that Neptune seems to act like a sort of fountain of youth. When we remember that Neptune represents the fount of the life force itself that calls us all into being, then their statement is not so far-fetched. When we couple with this as well that Pluto, being the healer, is directed by Neptune that adds further weight to their argument, because under the influence of Neptune/Pluto a person is potentially constantly renewed. There is a lot more that could be said about this, too, but that is for another time. Lastly, Pluto is called a “power planet”, and it is an expression of the 1st Ray, which gives the power to persist and endure, as well as the capacity to destroy. It is love that must direct the will in our solar system. In fact, we could say that the Will of God is Love, at least for humanity.
One final point I will make about this fascinating relationship between these two planets that seem so diametrically opposed at time relates to the higher octave of Pluto, which is Mars in the esoteric literature. Basically, it would seem to me that both Pluto and Mars have to eventually “answer” to Neptune. Mars and Neptune both express the 6th Ray. Esoterically, Mars is eventually transmuted into Neptune. There is more truth in that statement than seems immediately apparent. Mars “is objective and full of blood (passion)” whereas Neptune “is subjective and full of life”. Mars governs desire in the lower self, whereas Neptune transmits divine Desire (Love) and draws the heated desire and passions of the lower nature “upwards” into communion with the Soul. Both planets rule over the birth and development of humanity, Mars from the standpoint of the struggling and achieving persona and Neptune from the perspective of the Soul itself-our very essence and that principle that guides us from “beyond the veil”. There is a lot to chew over here, but I will have to leave it at that and get on with a discussion of this Pisces festival.
The Pisces full moon of 2005 occurred on the 24th of February at 3:55 PM AEDT. The keynote for this Festival of the World Savior comes from the solar degree, which reads thus: “A parade of army officers in full dress.”
Given the present tensions in the world and the prevailing view of foreign policy, especially in the US, one could perhaps be forgiven for jumping to conclusions about the meaning behind this symbol. The main theme of this symbol is not the army officers and militarism, but is rather the parade and the rituals that surround that. These are people in full dress. The event is not staged for battle, but rather for show. I have little doubt that there will be many such displays this year, especially being a Rooster Year, but the main point of such a ritual as a military parade goes more to the core of human existence than it does toward external symbols. We have all struggled and trained through many lifetimes. We have achieved, and we have risen through the ranks. We have been hardened and tested through the fires of life's battles, yet we retain our humanity, our dignity and our bearing. The Soul has shone through us as a result, and that commands respect from those who have yet to attain. The parade represents a service, a ritual and a celebration of our achievements. We have earned the right to wear our “colors”, and we must demonstrate our abilities to the fullest. This is a year for putting our abilities and gifts on display, but this symbol is also an indicator that we would do so much better in formation and in united effort than alone. This is a symbol representing group effort if there ever was one and we will need to be united in the months and years to come if there is to be peace and stability in the world.
The Sun is conjoined tightly with Uranus and loosely with Venus and in this little stellium we can see that there will be a few surprises this year in our service work, as well as some things that will cause us to reconsider our directions at times. We are called upon to be highly individual, yet united in effort; independent, yet tolerant and accepting of others; inventive, yet connected with our fellow inventors; pioneers, yet always remembering our roots and where our hearts lay. It is a year that will present certain necessary challenges, represented by the sesquisquare with Saturn, but these will be easily overcome. The parade must march on.
We still find Jupiter in the trine with Neptune. Given what we have just perused about Neptune, this will perhaps show that whatever we undertake under the auspices of this festival stands a good chance of working all the way through and with a high enthusiasm and idealism. This is further indicated by the aspects Mars makes to the Moon (trine) and Mercury (sextile). It is also square to Jupiter-all these aspects indicating that energy will be abundant, adaptability to circumstances is very well enhanced and that we will be readily able to communicate what we need and that our approach will be vigorous. It is not a time to shrink from display, so let the show begin!
As I have marched along in the parade of life it has been difficult for me to find my place at times. There have been times I have been asked to stand outside of the crowd and display my uniqueness and my “training”. Those have been anxious times. Other times I have kept to my part fairly well and things have flowed smoothly. But, in all, it has been increasingly the case through the years that I am called upon more and more to display the essence of who I am, and often without my even knowing it. Those times have been confusing, because I often have had no concept of what was expected of me. The things I have learned on my own I knew how to do quite well and I can perform those tasks to good effect through each day. But, the times when I am called upon to be “more” than I have been leave me with precious little upon which to base my actions. I have to give myself over to the experience and see where it leads me, all the while still taking with me everything that I know and can do already. The rituals done each day are familiar, potent and expected. The ones yet to learn are the ones where we learn most about ourselves, though, and they are often presaged with confusion, anxiety and not a little consternation as we once again have to un-learn what we have learned.
All-too-often we overcomplicate our lives, and we do so unnecessarily. In our rushing around we are forgetful of the Soul's grace and the beauty of the simplest things in life. We think ourselves to be so productive in our busy-ness. Very often, we are productive. Yet, in the clarity of an uncluttered and still mind lies the potency and the guarantee that the work of the higher Self goes forward unfettered or, at least, greatly aided.
It's a gift to be simple.
In these words from that old Amish hymn lies the cure for many of modern society's mental aberrations and emotional straits. Life does have a way of making our own lives very simple for us, though, for in times of crisis and upheaval our circumstances become very simplified and focused, little as we may realize it at the time. Our minds are then forced to focus upon singular issues, and all other things fall away unless they are connected with the issue at hand. And, funnily enough, those times seem to come around when we are busiest with mundane affairs and oblivious to the Soul's timing. God does seem to enjoy playing tricks on us that way.
On my last trip back to the home of my birth I made a pilgrimage to the old familiar and much-loved mountains. Things are different now, yet much is still the same. I saw some old friends there and—yes—I saw my first love again. Old times have long-since passed, but love never passes. And, though circumstances change, the Soul changes not. The entire trip back for me was a true Neptune/Pluto time and I have been called upon many times since my return to show more and more of myself, to let my Soul shine through and to be uncomfortable at times, all the while knowing why full well and being glad for the chance to take another step forward on my path. I have gotten quite use to the tangents of life over the years, and they always bring clarity, insight and hidden wonders. But, most importantly, they open me more each time to the wonder that is Love itself.
When we find ourselves in those times of life between night and day, when the fogs roll through and the mists of our own misunderstanding caress our faces, let us look for the Sun, yet remember where we have been. Let nature speak to us and enfold us in its ritual, sustenance and process. The coolness of the morning air is but the refreshment of the Soul as it offers us another drink from the cup of experience to come. And as we move forward into each new day of experience, let us realize that we do have much upon which we can draw and much to commend us. We are never given more than we can handle and the fact that we are being presented with an opportunity to stand apart from the crowd—no matter how uncomfortable—is a testament to the fact that we are indeed capable. Otherwise, we would never be given the chance. Show your colors proudly this year and know that we all walk together. And be happy in your confusion. Life is all really quite simple in the potency of a moment.
Much love to you all,
28 Feb 2005
Return to the start of The Festival of Salvation
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