Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than 10 years. 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.
Virgo Solar Eclipse:
Annular Solar Eclipse in Virgo[part two]
The Goddess Energy
Malvin Artley concludes his discussion of the Annular Solar Eclipse on Sep 22, 2006, with analysis of the nature of eclipses and the Goddess Energy.
With all the preceding in mind, let us have a look at the eclipse that is about to take place on Friday at 9:40 PM AEST (11:40 AM GMT). As stated, this eclipse is a Solar South Node (SN) type, and it is annular, meaning that one will still be able to see the ring of the Sun outlining the moon even though the eclipse is total. It belongs to the 8 South Saros series, bringing endings, separations and completions. This series of eclipses is said to have a fair amount of sadness associated with it. Whether it actually will or not remains to be seen. The central features of the figure are a Sun-Moon/Venus/Mars conjunction with the Sun/Moon conjunction at the midpoint of Venus and Mars. As we saw in the last eclipse, this would ordinarily bring unions and marriages. Alas, that is not to be with this eclipse either, because we find the entire stellium in a square aspect to Pluto – the planet of major endings and separations. Again, we have a curious sort of dynamic with this eclipse. What we will see is that people will be drawn together under the energies of this eclipse, but they will do so in order to finish off business rather than commence it. Major decisions about life-path, resources, legal matters and relationships will be made in the coming weeks and through the season as a result of this eclipse – especially if one's angles or planets are involved. Although this event actually takes place in the sign of Virgo on the last degree, it ushers in the sign that governs choices of all sorts – Libra.
Libra is ruled by Venus in the orthodox, and it is generally a sign that confers grace, charm, good manners, magnetism and beauty, which are all helpful when it comes to relationships. As stated before, under normal circumstances a midpoint with Sun-Moon/Venus/Mars usually indicates love unions and marriages, but there are three main reasons why that is not to be so in this in this figure and over the next couple of weeks. The first reason is the nature of the eclipse itself, for reasons that have just been outlined. The second reason is that Venus is in an applying square to Pluto, which can bring on love unions in its own way, but such unions usually play havoc in the lives of the people thus touched by them and bring separations from others outside the union, if not eventually of the union itself. Venus/Pluto in hard aspect is well-known in astrological circles for bringing 'spice' into relationships, if you know what I mean. Such unions are usually quite compulsive and driven, full of subconscious patterns and destined to change the lives of the people involved for a very long time after the commencement, for good or ill. Such unions also bring endings with them, too-and conflict-both within and without the relationship. The last reason this figure is not conducive to relations is due to a factor about which I have not written prior to now. As it turns out, Venus finds itself at the midpoint between two asteroids in this eclipse, and conjunct to them both. Those asteroids are Juno and Vesta.
Some time ago I wrote that I was going to do a letter about the goddess energy in the zodiac at some point. Those energies are represented in the main by the Moon, Venus and the 'standard' asteroids – Ceres, Pallas Athene (Minerva), Vesta and Juno. Hygeia and Astraea are also sometimes used in the asteroid mix, too. As some readers may be aware, Ceres has just been elevated by astronomers to the status of a small planet. The vagaries of science notwithstanding, the astrological meanings for Ceres remain unchanged and it will probably always remain an 'asteroid energy' to astrologers. As it turns out, Ceres is also going to be quite important to us over the next couple of months because it is now tracking Neptune and has been since mid-August. What of Juno and Vesta, however, and how will all that feminine energy clumped there together (including the Moon and Venus as well) manifest for us?
How can I put this? Symbolically and from the energy and symbolism of this figure, there comes a time when a child must be weaned from its mother's breast, a time later when it must emotionally separate from her and claim his/her individuality and a time eventually when that child must leave home. A well-adjusted mother copes with this in a healthy manner and willingly releases her progeny, joyfully expectant that they will be successful in the world eventually and also bring her grandchildren at some point. I jest in part here, but the message is hopefully clear enough. This eclipse will wean us from our past in some way.
In terms of asteroid energy, Juno is said to be the special protector of women and marriage. She was seen as a warrior goddess, and she is known for her jealous wrath, suspicious nature and probing questions when it comes to protecting her marital status. As with all planetary bodies, there is an end result, which is always beneficial, and then there is a path to getting to that end result. The path to getting there is most often what we call the down-side of planetary energies. Asteroids are no different from planets in that regard. With Juno, the end result is a sustained marriage and the protection of a woman's place in the home and in society. The path to that place often involves jealousy, insecurity, making a stand, both against the intrusion of other women and in pulling her partner into line from time to time. Sometimes the warrior goddess has to come out to protect what is hers. It is this jealous and wrathful side of Juno that has lead many astrologers to associate her with the sexual practice of S&M. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” Juno in a horoscope is thus both a protective and a wrathful position.
Vesta, on the other hand, gave up the idea of marriage altogether and preferred, instead, the 'marriage of Christ'-dedication to the life of Spirit rather than the concerns of the flesh. Vesta is an expression of virginal purity. As such, she is closely affiliated with the asteroid Astraea, who became the constellation of Virgo in the myths. Vesta is said to be essential to the Soul, and she tends the sacred inner Fire of Spirit. She is the goddess of home and hearth. Looking at this figure, it is almost as if Venus comes accompanied by two guardians or minders, through whom one has to pass in order to commune with what Venus represents-love, affection, union, harmony, etc. In other words, unless one is prepared to be true, both to one's self and to one's heart's desire-renouncing all others – Venus stays locked securely away. Love will have to wait until one has proven oneself worthy, or suffer the consequences from the goddesses. The symbol for the degree of Venus in this figure even reflects the feminine energy represented in this chart:
“A girl's basketball team.” – 21 Virgo
This is a symbol denoting the need for group work, for physical training and for focus upon objectives to achieve the needed results. It requires that the individual (the ego) must give way to the needs of the group, whatever that group may be, and that all effort must be directed toward some greater and common goal. There is also an emphasis here upon the attainment of something 'higher' in life, as represented by the basketball hoop high overhead. The symbol degree for the actual eclipse shows the basic impetus for the month and reads thus:
“Totally intent upon completing an immediate task, a man is deaf to any allurement.” – 30 Virgo
This symbol is not conducive toward the formation of intimate relationships, either, and points more toward the dynamic of Vesta, as just outlined. It places the onus upon us to knuckle down, get on with the tasks at hand and to put our total concentration into the attainment of our most immediate spiritual goal, whatever that may be. This eclipse will be good for that, however, because the symbol also carries implicit within it the notion that we have to forego any illusions about our lives that we might have and get on with the real business of life – “going about our Father's business.”
This shattering of illusion is always implied with a solar South Node eclipse and there has been plenty of illusion around for some time with the Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune dance in the heavens that has been with us since early December of last year. We now have a chance to lay a lot of that to rest and to make those decisions that will lead us into a more stable and goal-fitting future.
I mentioned the small planet Ceres before. As it turns out, Ceres and Neptune both have a role to play in the lifting of illusion in people's lives. What may not be common knowledge, however, is that Ceres also figures prominently in the charts of natural disasters. Let us have a look at Ceres, then.
Ceres is said to be the goddess of the plow and agriculture. She is therefore a sort of fertility goddess – at least, that is the end result, as we were looking at before. There is thus a special connection between Ceres and the earth. She was said to be the daughter of Saturn and Rhea. Any time there is a connection with Saturn we can expect karmic scenarios with respect to the planetary body involved. In the myth, her daughter Proserpine (this is also the myth of Demeter and Persephone) was abducted by Pluto in a fit of lust and taken into the underworld, there to reign with him as queen. Ceres had no idea what had happened to her daughter and panicked, fearing the worst, thus starting a long search for her. (I will have to keep this very brief, so forgive me if I leave a lot out of the story.) She eventually found the place where Pluto had parted the earth and gained entry into the underworld. Thinking the land had cooperated with Pluto in the abduction of her daughter, she blamed the land and withdrew her favors from it, laying it to waste. The people and the land suffered grievously as a result. After a time a nature spirit, seeing the suffering of the land and the people, intervened and told Ceres what had happened, upon which she went to Jupiter and asked for her daughter to be restored to her. Pluto had tricked Proserpine, though, and she had eaten a pomegranate (she was supposed to have fasted if she wanted to escape Hades), which ordinarily would have bound her to Hades forever. A compromise was struck, however. Proserpine was allowed to the surface for half of the year to be with her mother and the other half was to be spent at Pluto's side as queen. Ceres bore the compromise, restored her favors to the land and instructed men in the use of the plow as grace and favor, and as atonement for her misplaced punishment of the land and its people. The story may not be the same as what is told in every version, but we get the idea of what is going on.
The story of Ceres is thus an allegory for a psychological process. People experience a loss of something/someone dear to them due to inattention or lack of awareness to subconscious (Pluto) causes. There ensues a quest for restoration of that which is desired, during which time there is a lot of misplaced blame, suffering imposed upon the otherwise blameless parties (this is a classic psychological projection scenario) and a general feeling of rage and depression because that which we desire has been taken from us, or so we feel, until we find out the true reasons for our loss. During this time we live in the world, always searching, yet never realizing that which we desire is right under our very noses. The implication from the story is that we must make application to higher forces (our higher Self) in order for our heart's desires to be restored to us. We find that we must make compromises in life, recant our misplaced blame and hostility and restore favor upon those whom we have wronged if we are to regain what we desire. Thus we find our fertility of mind again and become teachers as a result of our suffering. Ceres is thus initially a 'disaster point' in people's charts until we resolve the issue(s) there. As stated, there are many astrologers who recognize that Ceres is often prominent in the charts of natural disasters. Once resolved, however, Ceres becomes a wonderful point of sharing and teaching, of personal fertility at all levels and of inner searching and questing.
So, with Ceres we have:
- Loss due to unresolved subconscious causes ('issues', if you will)
- Panic and depression from the perceived loss. The loss feels overwhelming.
- Psychological projection and misplaced blame as we seek to resolve the issue
- Emotional devastation inflicted upon others as a result of our own blindness to the issues in our own subconscious
- Eventual restoration of the joy in our lives as we go through the process of restoration
- There is also the implication here of a need to 'get back to nature' and to employ its helps if we are to rightly resolve things
- Forgiveness, sharing and fertility (creativity) once the experience has been properly integrated.
Ceres can thus be seen as a combination of Saturnian/Plutonian influences.
Getting back to the chart for the eclipse, then, we have seen that Ceres and Neptune are tracking each other at the moment. Jupiter is also square both of them, and Saturn has also opposed them at times. No wonder many of us have felt for some time that something disastrous was about to happen! (For many people personal disaster has already struck.) Ceres conjunct Neptune says to us that the causes of misfortune in our lives will remain hidden from us until we apply correctly to our higher Selves. Neptune rules the intuition, or the voice of the higher Self. Both bodies are retrograde at the moment, so the search for what we want in life is definitely an inner quest at the moment. There is much that will remain hidden until both bodies turn direct (Ceres on 4th Oct, Neptune on 30th Oct). They will both be exactly conjunct on Nov 12th at 17 Aquarius. The symbol for the degree of the Sun in this figure thus assumes even more importance in light of the Neptune/Ceres conjunction. We must shut out distractions and focus clearly and intently upon the inner life if we are to regain that which we feel we have lost in life, referring specifically to the placement of the transiting Ceres/Neptune conjunction in our own charts.
As for the remainder of the dynamics in this figure, there is not much left to say. The primary dynamics have been covered. Jupiter is still squarely (forgive the astrological pun) at the apex of the t-square with the Saturn/Neptune opposition. The effects of that t-square have been covered in other letters. Saturn is in an applying trine with Pluto. Interestingly, that will culminate at the end of a special month, best described by the following, and aptly describing the influence of the Saturn/Pluto trine:
“From beyond the wall of the present,
On the stage of days to come –
I saw Beauty as the groom and the Spirit his bride
And Life, in its all, the Night of Power.” *
– From A Tear and a Smile, by Kahlil Gibran
This trine confers the ability to enable one to see deeply into one's self and to do a lot of hard work which would not otherwise be possible. It is an aspect conducive to deep psychological work. The trine itself is within a degree and a half of being exact on the Night of Power, so it is very much a night wherein penetration into one's Mysteries is possible (in other words, contact with the higher Self, which is one's own personal 'God and the Prophet'). The Night of Power is thus on the 21st of October this year. This is very auspicious, and a little fasting and Soul-searching around this time probably would be beneficial for people of all faiths.
Lastly, the Sun is in an applying trine to Chiron, which makes it retrograde station from the 9th to the 17th of October. This will bring wonderful mechanisms for people to affect healing of old wounds and for moving beyond the past. In all, this eclipse figure affords us with a fantastic opportunity to stand uniquely free of things that have been binding our feet in terms of our spiritual progress. The same is true of the entire season, because the figure for the equinox is virtually the same as the one for the eclipse.
Like so many Australians, I sat and watched the funeral service for Steve Irwin yesterday. It was a very moving ceremony and uniquely Australian. The emotions of the nation poured out and I felt the collective grief, but also the national pride. My own grief over past losses, recent and removed, was brought to the surface, as funerals are apt to facilitate. Then, however, I realized how much I have to be grateful for and I gave thanks for the people still in my life and realized, too, the legacy that those who pass before us enrich the lives of those left behind immeasurably. Steve Irwin definitely left a powerful legacy and one that will endure far into the future, hopefully. So much is changing in the world these days we are prone to forget those things which never change-the inner Voice, the true love we feel for those closest to us and the enduring presence of the Souls with whom we are connected on the inner planes – our group Brothers and Sisters. In the days and weeks to come we might always remember that change is simply the attention of the Gardener as he tends to his task, and that any 'loss' is simply a pruning that will allow for greater growth in the future. As well, any gain is a blessing that has been made possible by pruning in the past and through our own hard work. We often know not what we have done to deserve the blessings in life that we are given – but, deserve them we do, and for all that we should be gracious and share in the bounty that nature and our own Souls bestow upon us. May your path into the future become clarified and your steps along the Way be resolute, sound and full of purpose. May your revelations be many as well. Happy Spring, everyone!
Crikey, that was a long letter!
21 Sep 2006
*The 27th night of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, which begins on Sep 24th this year. This eclipse ushers in Ramadan this year. The Night of Power is said to be when the first revelation came to Mohammad. On this night the gates of Paradise are open so that any demand made on God or the Prophet goes directly to them.
This is the end of the article.
Return to the start of The Virgo Annular Solar Eclipse, 2006. 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.
He sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. These letters are sent out as a gift and a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list please let me know. If you feel inspired to pass them on please do so, but do so without alteration or charge. They are sent to people of many persuasions, not just astrologers. Blessings. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.