December 28th, 2008

New Moon Watch: That Saturnian Feeling

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“Depression opens the door to beauty of some kind.” –James Hillman

There’s one word to summarize the heaven’s predominate theme right now: Saturnine. The dictionary defines Saturnine as “sardonic or sullen.” We’re undoubtably feeling, and perhaps trying to avoid, this demand for sobriety right now. How could we not?

We’ve made it past a momentous election, and probably felt a tinge of postpartum depression after Obama‘s victory in November. And now the December holidays are winding to a close. So our last bit of respite, that tradition of putting things on ‘hold’ towards the close of a year, is about to fold up shop. And where are we positioned? Yesterday’s new moon in Saturn-ruled Capricorn was joined by Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto also in the sign of the Sea-Goat. Venus and Neptune are in Aquarius (which Saturn co-rules) and this planetary pairing echoes the same Saturnian theme. There’s no where to turn or run. Simply put: Heaviness abounds. Read more



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December 19th, 2008

A Pre-Solstice Gift of Nothingness

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Buddhism anticipated the reluctant conclusions of modern psychology: guilt and anxiety are not adventitious but intrinsic to the ego. According to my interpretation of Buddhism, our dissatisfaction with life derives from a depression even more immediate than death-terror: the suspicion that “I” am not real.

The sense-of-self is not self-existing but a mental construction which experiences its own groundlessnes as a lack. This sense-of-lack is consistent with what psychotherapy has discovered about ontological guilt and basic anxiety. We usually cope with this lack by objectifying it in various ways and try to resolve it through projects which cannot succeed because they do not address the fundamental issue.

So our most problematic dualism is not life fearing death but a fragile sense-of-self dreading its own groundlessness. By accepting and yielding to that groundlessness, I can discover that I have always been grounded, not as a self-contained being but as one manifestation of a web of relationships which encompass everything. This solves the problem of desire by transforming it. As long as we are driven by lack, every desire becomes a sticky attachment that tries to fill up a bottomless pit. Without lack, the serenity of our no-thing-ness, i.e., the absence of any fixed nature, grants the freedom to become anything.

– David Loy Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 92 Vol. 24

Opening photograph:Untitled by Brassaï. 1932


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December 12th, 2008

Full Moon Watch: Chaos Theory as Alchemy

Today’s full moon — the largest lunation in fifteen years — sets off a Grand Cross within the mutable quadrant of the zodiac: Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo and Pisces. These are the high-strung and flighty signs of the zodiac. A gathering of squares and oppositions between a group like this is likely to find us short-fused and antsy. We want this and that at the same time. We feel like retreating but don’t want to miss any social engagements. We want the excitement of change but aren’t willing to persevere through the dull spots. Each of the mutable signs highlight a particular aspect of duality and each live with and must reconcile a double natured approach to reality. This can make things complicated, should the right hand not know what the left hand is doing. Read more



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December 01st, 2008

Pluto in Capricorn (In Case You Were Wondering)


The irony of this spoof video from The Onion wasn’t lost on me when I came across it the other day, just weeks before Pluto made entry into Capricorn.

Take it apart for yourself and you can revel in the loopy literalism of what we’re actually living through as a country right now. Let’s see, a big gaping hole in the earth — that’s easily one of Pluto’s most literal motifs. I always wonder about the horoscopes of those folks you read about in the news where, during harsh weather, giant sinkholes suddenly open up beneath their car (or house) and swallow the thing down completely. You just know they’ve got a heavy Pluto transit going on somewhere in their chart.

And then the Capricorn part of our equation, actually it’s more like Capricorn on Viagra: The government’s absurd notion of a 400 billion dollar “stimulus package” to salvage the US’s economy. This is Capricorn at its most deranged and disassociated from the sign’s ruler — pragmatic Saturn. “Let’s print up a bunch of new money and then we’ll just, well, throw it into a giant hole.” And, as one woman notes in the Onion video, “set it on fire.” Very Pluto. Very nuts. Very now.



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