April 21st, 2014

Gurdjieff’s Solar/Lunar Dychotomy

moon_model

To simply consider the Full Moon invites Luna directly into your head.

The evolutionary process has burrowed her image deep into our cerebral cortex. We can’t escape her colossal, fat roundness — pushing out the boundaries of our inner vision.

The Sun radiates and sustains whereas the Moon reflects and craves, as Martha Heyneman writes, always the Moon “…is tugging at everything on her side of the surface of the earth. She sucks on the very rocks. As she passes overhead the earth’s crust rises a few inches beneath her and is elsewhere compressed, kneaded as a cat kneads your stomach.”

Astrologically we associate the Moon with Mother, but is that correspondence correct? According to the Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff the Earth and the Moon are in a kind of symbiotic relationship with one another. As he explained to P.D. Ouspensky, as recounted in the book In Search of the Miraculous: “The moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on earth. The moon could not not exist without organic life on earth, any more than organic life on earth could exist without the moon.” Gurdjieff describes the Moon as a planet-in-the-making that depends on vital forces generated by life on Earth to continue her process of ‘warming’. The Moon’s evolution. This is a very different understanding from what Western astrology teaches us.

Why do we often feel anxious during the Full Moon? And why is the Full Moon phase considered one of heightened spiritual activity? Consider the phases in life when you’ve changed homes, ended a longterm relationship, lost your job, or experienced the death of a loved one. Psychologists consider those four ‘life events’ as some of the toughest emotional adjustments we ever make. Within the realm of planetary and luminary aspects, the moment of the Full Moon corresponds to a similar set of shocks. Read more



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April 19th, 2014

Why Astrologers Need to Study Wittgenstein

Paul Horwich, in a long NY Times essay wrote:

“The singular achievement of the controversial early 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was to have discerned the true nature of Western philosophy — what is special about its problems, where they come from, how they should and should not be addressed, and what can and cannot be accomplished by grappling with them. The uniquely insightful answers provided to these meta-questions are what give his treatments of specific issues within the subject — concerning language, experience, knowledge, mathematics, art and religion among them — a power of illumination that cannot be found in the work of others.”

Wittgenstein isn’t an easy immersion, but he’s worth your effort because the more you study his philosophy — which was actually, in spots, more akin to mysticism — the more freedom you might gain as an astrologer.

Like the closet mystic Carl Jung, Wittgenstein knew how to couch his propositions to pass the scrutiny of his peers (well, except for his mentor Bertrand Russell who he drove to fury by disregarding traditional formulations of logic.)

And because of this sketchy dance, between chilly logic and the nimbus of mysticism, I find Wittgenstein to be the most satisfying of linguistic rebels. His mix of the effable with the ineffable mirrors in a direct way how human beings toil with making sense (or a muddle) of astrology. Read more



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April 18th, 2014

Square Up! The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014

grand_cross

“At the moment of supreme tension, there will leap into flight an unswerving arrow, a shaft that is inflexible and free.” – Albert Camus

“A perfect square configuration…represents a tight linking of two kinds of consciousness-building processes…which produce four 90 degree aspects…and leads to a very thorough and exhaustive type of clearing-up activity.” –Dane Rudhyar

*

Plato said the soul is a circle. But how do squares and circles come together? Imagine the difficulty of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Right?

The notion is annoying, but if you talk to most anyone (yourself included) I think you’ll agree that the concept — the blending of a circle and a square — is apt, especially now. Everyone is registering the twists and turns, the psychic torsion of the decade’s most significant astrological happening: The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014.

But what is it? What does it portend? How long does it ‘last’? And how can you ride this particular tiger?

We’ll get into all of that in this essay.

I’ve loved the anticipatory build-up to the Grand Cardinal Cross (GCC) and how the term has actually entered the Zeitgeist. Everyone is talking about it, even the incredulous.

Essentially, this is an astronomical event that astrologers have claimed for themselves because it is a significant pivot point that resolves in 2015, with the final square between Uranus and Pluto.

Too, the term is elegant and beautiful. It’s also charged with an air of mystery and, for those so inclined, an Armageddon-taint (a misguided notion, but then consider the applicants.) Read more



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April 17th, 2014

My Favorite Photograph of the Recent Eclipse

nick_blood_moon

I must have looked at 2 million photographs of the recent “Blood Moon” eclipse that took place during the Libra Full Moon the other night. I forget which night, but it was recently. I think two days ago, maybe three. (What year is this?)

Vashon had been clear all day, before the eclipse, and then the goddesses got moody and cloud cover slowly moved in from the east. By 10pm there was nothing but complete overcast; mist and a slow spitting drizzle.

But I was still rewarded because today I discovered this gorgeous time-lapse of the Blood Moon taken by photographer Nick Franchi.

He has made prints available from his website and I would recommend that you pick one up. Think how wonderful it will look in your home, a constant homage to lunar light (the reflected light from Sun) intermixed with a color we associate with being alive, vital and human.

(And no, I wasn’t going to say Mars — though of course guess where Mars was on the night of the Blood Moon? In Libra).

Enjoy.



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April 10th, 2014

Observing Life Beyond the Screen

bird_mirror

Human beings don’t observe each other enough. When you observe other people you’re observing directly the precise mystery of what life is.

It’s human nature to be both attracted to people and also shy and unsettled by people. We consider someone psychologically healthy who can navigate between the two poles.

It’s true that there are other ways to access a sense of wonder in life, say, through nature, art, spiritual devotion or simply staring at the night sky (if you live in a place where you can actually observe a night sky).

But there’s nothing like another human being to amplify the questions that should be primary in each of our lives: Who am I? Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going?

If these questions are not a priority in your life I can guarantee that you’re living a half life. And that’s a shame.

The wonder and awe and beauty and majesty of the human being, the very mystery of how we have a self-reflecting consciousness and our own unique window into reality — a window that phenomenologists call first-person givenness — is why in places like India when people meet each other they put their hands together and bow to the person across from them. That gesture acknowledges the indefinable mystery that is the other individual’s being, his or her divinity. Read more



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