Malvin Artley looks at the meanings inherent in the current Full Moon in Taurus, which is the Scorpion Moon for the year, since the Sun is in Scorpio. In this the second part of his article, Malvin addresses the influence of the degrees, the eclipse, Neptune and Pluto. Malvin also publishes a regular astrological newsletter, to which you can subscribe by clicking the link at the end of this article.
A Grand Trine needs squares or oppositions to release its potential effectively. The fact that we find three oppositions in this particular chart does not help in that regard, though. The reason for that is because those oppositions are tied up in the Star of David configuration and, though, while they definitely generate the needed points of tension, the tendency is for that tension to circulate around the sextiling planets instead of being dynamically released.
Releasing the Gifts
Not to fear--Neptune comes to the rescue in that capacity. Neptune occupies a unique position in this figure. Since it squares the Sun and Moon, but lies outside the main Star configuration, it has the capacity to aid in releasing the gifts associated with the main dynamics. Many astrologers would shudder at the prospect of Neptune as the apex of a T-square being the main release point for such an otherwise beautiful alignment of energies, thinking that it would only tend to muddy the waters, to obscure motives, to heighten all sorts of sensitivities in a negative manner, as well as giving a generally astral overtone to the whole thing.
But Neptune is a planet unparalleled in its ability to clarify vision and to confer the highest sensitivities and psychic capacities to the person who comes under its influence. Yes, it does tend to make people hypersensitive when it is adversely aspected, but that in itself produces a tremendous drive toward resolution of perceived disharmonies, toward clarification of energies, toward wanting to perceive the Vision truly (whatever that may be), and toward stillness and quietude in everyday living, for an astral body in the throes of aroused desires is anathema to the true work of Neptune. Any astrologer who knows a person with Sun squared to Neptune natally, for example, will no doubt have seen this very thing in action. Neptune, in many ways, represents the most refined essence in our bodies and is the modus operandi whereby our astral nature--which is the most strident of the human bodies--is finally rendered into the proverbial still forest pool wherein the visions from the Highest are most faithfully reflected to us. It is the window to the Soul in the persona and it is where our every thought and deed is recorded in their highest essence. It is the planet which confers intuition, par excellence. So, we are told not to fear emotional devastation. It does have a way of "clearing the decks".
The degree which Neptune occupies in this chart will be most revealing with regard to its being the release point of the figure. It is at the 11th degree of Aquarius and reads thus:
"During a silent hour, a man receives a new inspiration which may change his life."
This little symbol has Neptune written all over it. One of the prerequisites for any positive Neptunian work of a higher order is stillness in mind, emotions and body. Neptune rules the mystical path. The inspirations to be garnered are only fully realized in the stillness of one's communion with the higher Self. Like the gently falling rain, they fall from the raincloud of knowable things when we are receptive to them and not only confer the vision of what is to be done, but also renews, refreshes and re-animates us toward the work to be done that the vision precipitates. All of the greatest scientific discoveries, for example, were realized as a result of this sort of thing. But, they also came about as a result of a preceding dynamic point of tension, which puts us in mind of the sort of electric atmosphere and change in pressure experienced just before a good rain. Will this eclipse give us inspirations which will be life changing? Possibly, if we can maintain the necessary stillness. Will there be tension in the lead-up to such visions? Count on it.
Expansions of Consciousness
This leads us to a major consideration regarding eclipses, Scorpio and major expansions of consciousness (initiations). We have all heard the saying "You don't get something for nothing." This is as true for gains in inner faculty as it is for material gains. There is a basic occult tenet which states that the only way to change ones consciousness is to changes one's vehicles (bodies). This only makes sense, from an esoteric perspective. It is precisely our very bodies which limit our consciousness, not our thoughts. To be able to see on the inner planes, for instance, our bodies have to vibrate to a certain measure. There are ways to obtain the requisite vibratory rate. The safest way is through serving in the world selflessly with a loving heart along with a steady and stable connection with one's higher Self, however that method manifests. There are also other ways in which higher faculties can be opened, but those methods always wreck the bodies and eventually render the person unfit as a receiver of higher wisdom. For that reason I will not enumerate them.
So, attainment of higher consciousness is always produced through changes in a person's bodies. The process can be either slow or quick. Slowness is preferred, because the effects thus produced tend to "stick" better and it is not nearly so hard on a person. We are given the admonition that "Plodding is ever desirable." in the attainment of wisdom. But--and we need to be very clear here--changes in a person's bodies come at a cost. There is always discomfort in the process. Refinement of the bodies means that grosser elements of them are stripped away. Some of these elements are deeply embedded in the psyche and either take a long time to dislodge or take a major shock to one's system. People who say we are to undergo major shifts in consciousness and who think it will be a glorious, wonderful, warm and fuzzy experience do not understand what is really entailed in the process of unfolding consciousness. Yes, eclipses on initiatory degrees can bring that sort of energy, but at what cost? Usually it means disasters--rends in the veil of the fabric of the planetary bodies, which allow other higher energies in, but which have an analogous effect upon our own psyches. The Will of God can be a terrible, swift sword. But the torch of Wisdom always glows more brightly afterward once the dust has settled and our wounds have healed.
Gateways of Initiation
Scorpio is one of the major initiatory gateways. Pluto rules Scorpio in the orthodox rulership and thus this very process of purification and stripping away of that which is not needed and that which hinders the way to higher attainment. Pluto is like the little fire in the forest which burns away the detritus and undergrowth that prevents the renewal of the forest and which slowly chokes off the life of the creatures and plants that rely on a certain type of flora to survive. Balance and transmutation is thus maintained and facilitated. It only becomes a dangerous conflagration when the dross has been permitted to become unmanageable and a danger to the life of the larger forest. We see such situations in California and Australia at this very time. The position of Pluto in this chart is revealing of the very scenario just outlined. It reads thus:
"Pelicans menaced by the behavior and refuse of men seek safer areas for bringing up their young."
There is much psychic refuse and menacing behavior in the world that needs to be cleared away before we can bring in the coming Age in the manner we would like to see. "Golden" is hardly a synonym we would use for the current Age.
Pluto can also be likened to a stream of water--or even the River Styx--that flows through the depths of our subconscious, carrying away the silt and waste of our misled lives and erroneous thinking, descending to our deepest level--for water always descends--there creating the reservoir which will water and give life to the seeds of our new consciousness. Pluto is, after all, largely a big chunk of ice floating around in the far reaches of our solar system. And we know what happens if a river gets obstructed. The obstruction eventually has to give way under the weight of the water behind it and thus we get a disastrous flood, which still carries away the refuse, but lays everything else to waste in the process. The key with any Pluto aspect is to do daily waste removal so that things are not allowed to collect and thus create potentials for dangerous situations.
Therein lies the task before all Scorpios regarding the outer aspect of their lives--to keep their "house" tidy and to ensure that whatever is not needed is removed in a timely and judicious manner, otherwise the scene is set for the very thing for which Scorpios are notoriously known--catharsis and major trials by fire. If they can do so, then the tests of initiation before them, whether major or minor, can be passed with grace and without too much drama or pain. Then renewal and transfiguration can take place upon a well-maintained foundation instead of a wasteland. But, some Scorpios like the wasteland look. What good is life without a good drama every now and then, right?
The oppositions that contribute the main points of tension and precursors to enhanced awareness in this chart are of interest. The Sun/Moon opposition is the key one in the chart and points to the actual Scorpio emphasis of tension--trial--transmutation, which all experience through Scorpio brings with it. The Mars/Jupiter opposition tends toward excess and risk-taking--and in no small measure, either. It inclines toward excess heat (fires and fevers) and immoderation. It also tends toward misdirection of energies. The Saturn/Chiron opposition can be a real heartbreaker, bringing up karmic issues around wounds in the present life (past-life causes for present-life trauma), of deeply held hurts and misunderstandings that have persisted long past their use-by date, of the great need for healing around patriarchal issues and the timing of releasing pain or perceived bondage to the past. Each of these oppositions carries the potential both for polarizations around the issues represented and for exquisite release and consequent greater wisdom regarding the same.
Sextiles are an aspect that is best qualified by the word "production". Sextiles bring about results, generally seen to be positive in nature. The fact that all the planets in sextile around the Star are deeply personal suggests that the resultant energies to come about from this eclipse do have the potential for a beneficent reorganization of personal life and for the in-building of increased capacity and faculty--if we are willing to wear the cost and do the work. Otherwise, what will possibly be produced is increased entrenchment, scattering of energies and devastated lives.
In general, this particular series of eclipses (for they all come in sets) is classed as a "happy" eclipse, in that it generally does not portend any great disasters. So, for those who expect great changes in consciousness to come from this, you can have hopes, but expectations are best left at the door. There are no outer planets due to transit over the critical "disaster" degrees any time soon, so that would also tend to rule out disastrous events. But, there will be tensions, flare-ups of many kinds and much to occupy the healers of the world, especially the psychologically-based ones.
The Kingdom of Souls
Finally, the degrees occupied by the Sun and Moon cannot go by without a mention. The degree of the Sun speaks volumes about the tone of this chart, as the Sun does in any chart. It reads thus:
"A woman, fecundated by her own spirit, is great with child."
This symbol also speaks volumes about the experience of Scorpio. As humans, we stand juxtaposed between all the kingdoms that we have passed through in our long evolution from the beginnings of time and that which we stand poised to enter before too very long in the Earth's history--the Kingdom of Souls. As humans, we live in a constant state of dynamic tension between that which we were and which aspires to be like us and that which we are to become--in other words, between the material and animalistic spheres and the Islands of Light. We are in a continual state of flux and readjustment of consciousness as a result as we master the situations that life continually presents to us. Scorpio rules the higher Self, and we are great with expectation of the birth of that Son of God (to use the esoteric terminology) within each of us out into the world of form, thus bringing the Light and Love of God to a waiting and needy world. That is the essential purpose behind each of the great Initiations.
The degree of the Moon represents that which is being reflected back to us and which is to be obscured, temporarily, by the eclipse. It reads thus:
"A symbolical battle between 'swords' and 'torches'."
The battle ever rages for the person on the Path. The sword that frees us from the bondage of the material spheres and the lighted torch of Wisdom that we carry as a result each play their part in our struggles and in our triumphs. Yet, the two often seem at odds. The price of wisdom can seem too high and we often feel cut adrift from and by the very thing toward which we aspire. Sometimes in our darkest hours we feel as Jesus did and cry "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" Yet, God's absence from our lives is only illusory and the higher Life that we love so dearly lies just beyond the veil. The sword that mortally wounds us (or so it feels) in our final travails in our rite of passage is the very thing that allows us to at last become one with our Maker Who breathed us into being.
May your labors, tests and visions give birth to that toward which you so earnestly aspire.
My most heart-felt blessings to you all,
Return to the start of The Festival of the Quickening
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