The Aquarius Solar Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Leo 2007
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator examines the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Leo for 2007. 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 12°48') takes place on the 2nd of February at 10:10 hrs GMT.
Life does indeed offer up some strange twists of fate at times. For several years now I have kept a certain format to these solar festival (full moon) letters and they have been a source of adventure and joy for me. Perhaps it is because the Sun has entered Uranus-ruled Aquarius – or maybe it is due to the spectacular view of the McNaught comet we have had here in the Southern Hemisphere – but I feel like a bit of a change with this letter (which is not to say it will be anything permanent). Reports are that life has felt a bit surreal of late. I would have to agree. Let's begin with a little story and see what unfolds. (Trust me. In a bizarre way this story ties in with both Aquarius and the dynamics of the full moon.)
The Weaving Maiden and the Ox-Boy *
A time long ago in a land free of care there lived a maiden with her father, who was a great King. The maiden was quite beautiful (naturally) and she was very skilled at weaving. Her cloths and tapestries were much admired and sought after and they were known for their daring and bold designs. They were known as well as for their entrancing qualities, for her designs had the ability to captivate the hearts of people who beheld them and to transport them to spiritual realms. To the people of the land, she was known as the Weaving Maiden, and whenever she made a new bolt of cloth the kingdom clamored to view it, for it always brought transcendent delight to the people. The cloths were always put on display at the palace and the people were invited in to view them. The line of viewers would stretch around the palace several times because, you see, entranced people do not move very quickly. The Sun God [the King] (for kings were gods in those days) was very proud of her ability. So, it came to pass that when she came of age for marriage and to reward her for her skill at weaving, he gave her in marriage to Keng Niu, the Ox-boy, whose herds drank from the River Han.
It was a lavish wedding with royalty and dignitaries attending from many lands. No one could really understand why a Sun God would marry his daughter to an ox herder – a commoner – but the people of the land surrounding the palace knew the Ox Boy and saw that he was a good stick, so they were happy for the union to take place. It was like a fairy tale. Marriage can change people, though, and the Weaving Maiden seemed to have no further interest in her weaving after the nuptials and instead eventually gave herself over to a life of idleness. Keng Niu was beside himself. Though he loved his wife dearly, he was most distressed by this change in her and he, desperate to have back the woman he knew before marriage, left his herds as a result to wander aimlessly through the land with his beloved wherever fancy took her (as you do). The King and his advisors, upon seeing this, were very angry at the dissolute behavior of the two young people – for their union was supposed to bring prosperity and a unique gift to the land and the people – so it was decided to part them for ever. Despite the warnings by the elders, the couple saw their error only too late and their fate was sealed. To this day the Ox-boy and the Weaving Maiden long for each other, forever separated by the River Han. He minds his herds on one side and she tends her loom on the other. However, once a year thousands of magpies flock together on the seventh day of the seventh moon [Month of the Horse] to form a bridge over the River Han in order that they might be together, if only for a brief time.
Amour. What is it that nourishes us, that makes us whole, that gives us a reason to live and to thrive? How do we define our raison d'ętre? Little as we might realize it, when the Sun enters Aquarius, these sorts of questions enter the human psyche at a subtle level and give us cause to assess our aspirations in life, as well as a great many of our outer associations. Aquarius is the natural ruler of the house of friends and aspirations but – more to the point – it rules how we serve others, especially in union with others. Aquarius is the sign that rules group work and it rules a Hierarchy of lives that is called 'The Baskets of Nourishment' or 'The Blinded Lives'. This group of lives are what is called elementals in esoteric circles – those little lives that form the lower aspects of our nature – the 'automatic' parts of our being. I covered this group of lives in detail in the 2004 Aquarius letter, and that is available if you would like it and do not have it. For the purpose of this letter, however, there is one point to be made about this group of tiny lives that really puts the whole idea of Aquarius into perspective. The elementals, though acting 'blindly' and automatically do so, nonetheless, in a united and cooperative manner. Let us briefly take a look at how this works, for it gives us the true meaning of Aquarius.
Every cell in our body is a type of elemental life. A cell has its birth, its life cycle and demise. It evolves, can mutate and change, can reproduce itself, has its own 'individuality' if we can call it that, and forms part of a larger community of like cells – organs. Every cell is interdependent with its surrounding cells, exchanges energies with its neighbors, 'does its job' without questioning (serves) and contributes to the overall function and health of the organism in which it is found. And behind it all is this concept called purpose. Every cell has a purpose, both at its own individual level and in contribution to the purposes and evolution of the greater organism. Aquarius rules the blood stream and circulation, and every cell is part of a great circulatory flow within the system in which it is found. So, we see that even the most elemental forces within our being are constantly involved in service to a greater purpose, of which they have no concept or care.
And what happens if a cell ceases to do its job? It is killed and absorbed by the immune system of the organism. Even in Nature and at every level, the law is the same – serve or die. To exist without fulfilling purpose is anathema to Nature. All that lives exists to fulfill a specific plan, and to do so in cooperation with other like units. The elementals serve us, nourish us and allow us to perform our work and fulfill our destiny in the outer world – hence the name 'Baskets of Nourishment'. These are the lunar forces, as they are called esoterically, hence the rulership of the Moon over Aquarius at the highest level.
Reconnected to Purpose
In human terms, we all know or sense that we have some purpose and work to do in life. When Aquarius rolls around every year we are reconnected to that. We may not, and often do not, know what higher purpose or Being we are serving, but that is actually of little consequence. If we could realize it, the great Being in whose body we are but cells has a purpose as well, and we have no inkling as to what that might be. We call this the great Plan. Even the highest adepts do not know, or only know the smallest details. So, in our own way, we are just as blind to the greater Purpose as our cells are to our individual one. On the whole we are born, grow up, play our roles within the greater community and fulfill the plan of our lives, most often with no real idea of what that plan is. We call it karma, for we are all bound to and by it, and it forms the 'script' of our lives for the vast majority of people.
There are times in life, however, when we hear 'The Call' and we are rallied to contribute something more than the simple karmic necessity that confronts us every day. The Call is actually an opportunity to take our evolution up a notch – to mutate, in human terms and in a positive sense. Mutation can be a very positive thing. This 'Call' comes from the higher Self, and it comes when there is a need by the greater community for more than the normal output from its constituent members. In fulfillment of that higher calling we have the opportunity to be initiated into a greater awareness in some way. That increased awareness puts us in touch with the greater Plan with which we are involved. This expansion marks the action of Jupiter as the esoteric ruler of this sign.
Human beings are social creatures and we all have a need to interact with others at some level. If we can do so in a positive way, society progresses. The social organism evolves and can fulfill its work. The whole notion of giving and receiving, and being able to do both equally, is intimately tied in with Aquarius, for its symbol is the Water Bearer. The true server gathers up all that he or she has and holds it in trust to be dispensed to those in need at the appropriate time. The 'water' of which we speak is the Light of the higher Self, but it is as well the consecration of our lower nature toward fulfillment of the needs of others, and with self-forgetfulness at that. It is said that Aquarius is a sign where the energy is ever outgoing, with no central point of reference. In other words, the personal ego is dedicated to something other than meeting its own needs. Herein lies the first clue to the relation between the story at the start of this letter and the Aquarian ideal. Just as each individual has a destiny and plan to unfold so, too, does every relationship – every personal union. In our story, the young couple was meant to be productive in their individual works and in their union and to contribute their unique gifts to and within the society in which they lived. This idea of uniqueness marks the orthodox rulership of Uranus over Aquarius. When they failed in that task their union was dissolved. We see this all the time in relationships. There is an immutable higher Law that oversees the workings of all relationships which says that purpose must work out, and if that Law is transgressed there are inevitable problems that appear in the relationships and which can prove to be disastrous to them. We are eventually moved on if the Law is ignored for long enough, as was the case with our young couple.
Love is the Force
For human beings love is the one force that drives us to fulfill our destinies and to want to work together. Without it our lives are empty and aimless and we somehow feel separated from life itself. Love is the force that guides the world server, of which Aquarius is the symbol. The love of which we speak here is not the sentimental love portrayed in the media and romance novels. It is a love that causes us to make sacrifices for others, often at great cost and personal pain to ourselves. It is a love without personal conditions or expectations, like a mother would give to her child or a soldier would give for his country. It ignores our comforts and calls us forth to grow and to serve a higher cause. It takes us out of our ego and our petty concerns. It calls us to serve. That is always the test of true love – how willing are we to make the needed adjustments to our lives to ensure that our highest purpose is fulfilled? Our purpose is our truth – our reason for being. Without that feeling or knowledge we simply drift through life and feel unfulfilled as people. There is nothing quite like the feeling we get when we know that we have made a contribution to something or someone. We call it joy, and of all the signs Aquarius is the greatest exponent of that. With that, let us have a look at the dynamics of the full moon.
In Part Two of this article, Malvin discusses the astrological features of this Aquarius Solar Festival, noting the way the planetary aspects interact. He also examines the meanings of the degrees.
Click to go to Part Two of the Aquarius Solar Festival.