The Wesak Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Scorpio 2006
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator examines the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Scorpio for 2006, the Wesak Festival, honouring the liberation of the Buddha. This is Taurus's Full Moon, as the Moon is Full in the sign opposing the Sun. The full moon of Taurus (full moon in Scorpio) takes place on the 13th of May at 6:52 AM GMT.
Greetings, my Friends!
In the heart of every person lies a space where the highest aims of life are known, where one's destiny is made clear, where one's most beloved Ones are kept in close rapport and where the wisdom of the ageless experience of Spirit is remembered and contacted. Those most beloved Ones are not simply the great Spirits and Masters Who guide the human race, either. They are the members of the spiritual group to which one belongs and with whom one's spiritual destiny in life is shared.
I have been given pause to contemplate many aspects of the heart recently, and to where my own true destiny proceeds. Recent months have seen a great 'clearing of the karmic decks' for so many people, including myself, and now those same people stand poised for the start of many things anew. My recent trip to the US gave me a gift in that regard (many gifts, actually), and I realized while I was there that I had indeed left my past behind. There was no nostalgia, no desire for the things of the past-except for a plate of fried chicken and veggies at Stavro's Grill in Burlington.
Of course I will always treasure the time spent with family and friends and the entire shared heritage there. Nothing would ever take that away. As for the land and the place, though, the connection has served its time and I feel moved on from a large part of a life that was. For me, these days, 'connection' is about the heart and the members of my Soul and Spiritual group with whom I commune regularly there.
There is always a platitude that people like to banter about when a major historical milestone is reached in one's life: “With every ending there is also a beginning”. With the Wesak Festival we celebrate such an ending and also beginnings, though on a scale far grander than the human lives we lead. The Wesak Festival is the Festival of the Buddha – a celebration of the liberation of the Buddha Himself and the promise of liberation from suffering and the need for earthly form that His example holds for all of us. In a real sense, the Wesak Festival is a celebration of the fact that the Buddha is gone from this world, that He has left the realms of samsara. However, it is also a blessing in that He returns each year at this festival to show us the way across the great river of suffering (samsara) through helping us to realize our dharma, which is always the way to liberation, and which is always realized through our travels with our group members in the Path of Life. Always with the Wesak Festival, there is a fresh impulse to get on with our spiritual lives, to leave behind the things of the past that no longer suit our path in life and to commune more fully with the hearts of all who walk with us on that path. Thus, this could be said to be the greatest of the spiritual festivals in the year, for it puts us most in tune with the very purpose of our being, more so than any of the other solar festivals.
Catalyst for Growth
The time has come for many of us to step up to the spiritual mark and present the highest gifts of our natures to the world at large. The major gift to and from any Taurean type is one of what is truly valued in one's life. Taurus is the sign most associated with personal values, with what one really owns and with the proper use of one's resources. It is one of the signs most associated with custodianship. It is also the sign where self-esteem is most prominently learned and challenged. Every Taurean type goes through an identity crisis at some point in their lives, whether recognized consciously or not. Being of the nature of a catalyst, Taurus provokes and invokes those lessons that stir the very Soul of the native and the people around them into action and growth, no matter at what level Taurus is active in the individual.* It is a sign of great trial and testing, as exemplified by the life of Guatama, the Buddha, Himself. It is also one of the most illuminating of the signs, giving profound insight in the advanced Taurean type, and very often a powerfully active third eye. It is a sign that gives penetration into the subtle realms. It bestows 'The Penetrating Light of the Path', and for the Taurean type who has moved into a measure of grace and is no longer bound by the past and the pull of a large measure of their karma, there is always an unerring sense of where they need to move and what they need to be doing. Such a Taurean type (no matter at what level) is a person to be highly valued and sought out within one's circle of sangha.**
This idea of what is most valued in life and what our highest gifts are to the world is a theme that is to be very much highlighted in this Wesak period. The degree of the Wesak solar position is the 23rd degree of Taurus by the Sabian symbols, the symbol for which reads thus:
“A jewelry shop filled with valuable gems.”
This symbol implies two aspects – that of the development of the gem itself and that of the artistry of the craftsman who produces the finished, scintillating jewel from the raw product. Both of these ideas are integral to one's understanding of Taurus and how it works in the lives of people, and we need to flesh out our understanding of those to get a fuller idea of what this Wesak period actually means to us. On the surface, the figure for this full moon does not appear to be that potent. However, we need to remember that we are talking about the Wesak Festival. There is much more than meets the eye with this chart and period, as we shall see. In addition and integral to that, there is a Uranus station that is about to occur, and that will bring major change and/or upheaval for many people who have planets or angles at the 14-15th degree of a sign. Uranus has just moved within orb of the stationing degree of 14 Pisces 44, so the next four months are going to be ones of major change and rearranging-and also times of magic for some. We will look at what the Uranus station means for people later on in this letter.
The Diamond Soul
The symbol for the solar degree will call up immediate associations for all people familiar with Buddhist literature. In Tibetan Buddhism, the celestial Buddha (the liberated Buddha) is called 'Dorjesempa' – Diamond Soul. All gemstones are formed by the tremendous internal pressure and heat within the bowels of the earth. The esoteric ruler of Taurus is the etheric planet Vulcan, the God of the Forge. This planet governs the shaping and pounding of the persona into usable material through the ages and through the hardships of life. Vulcan drives a person forward and shapes the personal life to the needs of the Soul – the two lives of which are constantly at odds until a late stage upon the spiritual path. Yet, through all the trials of life, the Soul as the God of the Forge shapes our lives, sometimes through grace and often through adversity. Eventually we become as the raw gem formed through the crucible of experience, and then we are ready to be fashioned into the glorious jewel that is the perfect receiver and transmitter of the spiritual Light in the world. It is the Spirit, our highest essence or monad, that is the ultimate Lapidarist over this raw living stone the soul has produced through the ages. Thus, in the finished gem that is the human soul-body, the fire of Spirit can blaze forth into the world and the perfection that is Spirit itself can be beheld by all. The action of crucible and lapidarist are both to be found in the story of Taurus. As any Taurean type can tell you, life is hardly happiness and sunshine all the time. You cannot help but break a few dishes as you move through the china shop of life-whether your own or those of others.
Every Taurean thus has a choice in life – either to exemplify all that is finest and most precious in one's heart of hearts, or to stay stuck in the material world and slog one's way through the treacle of life's experience. And, more often than not, the Taurean type has to do both at the same time. For the Taurean, the choice presented is between the material world and the life of spirit, and the test is always how to reconcile the two. Taurus is about value-adding to what one is given. It is about the product of one's work as a Soul in this world. It is about finding the very finest in all that life has to offer. And, after all that, it is about shining a Light on the Path for those who follow in the footsteps of this one who has very often had to learn through the school of hard knocks, which is another name for our little world – paraphrased, of course.
Taurus brings a wealth of experience and a fullness of heart when that heart is opened. This represents the higher aspect of Venus, the orthodox ruler of Taurus. That heart is opened for the Taurean type when stubbornness is transmuted to spiritual determination, when blind rushing into experience in the pursuit of desire is transmuted into the clear Light of sensed spiritual direction and when desire for material goods is transmuted into a realization and real spiritual hunger for all that is best and true in human experience. All of the preceding qualities are what we are reminded of each year at the Wesak period, and that is why it is so often seen as a difficult time of year for most people. The persona wants to be comfortable and ensconced in the material world. The Soul drives us forward to spiritual excellence – to shape the material body/world into a temple worthy of the Dorjesempa. The spiritual path is not one of personal comfort, but it can be one of great joy in shared experience. Sharing is the very thing that every Taurean type must ultimately learn. Only then is the heart of the Bull finally and fully opened. All this being said, let us see what this Wesak period has on offer – and it is a very rich field of experience, indeed.
In part two of this article, Malvin looks more deeply at the astrological patterns of this Wesak period. He advises that this will be a time of sudden self-transmutation and the directing of our inner power.
Read part two of The Wesak Festival.