Ray Grasse, the author of one of my favorite books on symbolism, The Waking Dream: Unlocking the Symbolic Language of Our Lives, posted this on Facebook awhile back. He noted:
“Hard to describe the impact this piece had on me as a 19-year old, listening to it on a small tape recorder during a camping trip in Wisconsin under an impossibly starry night sky. Especially good for late-night listening. For those who don’t already know, Holst boned up on the astrological meaning of each planet when composing each of his pieces for The Planets suite.”
Zombie survival guides. Alien interventions. Super bugs. Reality show raptures. Economic cliffs. Anti-Christ-Palooza. Terrorists and Tiaras. Bit coin. Gold coins. Gluten. NSA. GMOs. Homo-trimony. The new Arcade Fire album.
Signs, symbols and Zeitgeist stingers. Time traveling omens from Armageddon are the stock and trade of our modern day narrative. The stories and anxieties we lay down and fret about until the Ambien kicks in. But why such a narrow bandwidth? Where’s the bigger, wider picture? The range of other frequencies?
Scenarios of doom monopolize our inner landscape because speeding up to the end means a new beginning is just around the corner. That’s one theory. The catch of course is the way we resist other narratives. It’s critical now to think beyond the parameters of being a garden-variety human being. This is the nut of the ‘message’ from the ongoing, exact as of today, again, for the fourth (out of seven swipes) Uranus Pluto square.
When food, money, energy and optimism are scarce we become attached to whatever sort of hoard (be it our meager amount in savings or the way Plutocrats hog all the wealth and investments in their seemingly exempt world) we’ve come to associate with as a means to see us through to the new phase. The catch? You can’t cross the river in a boat and then take that boat with you as you explore the new world. It’s too cumbersome and defeats the purpose of surrender.
So we’re looping right now. Sort of like animals do before being eaten by a predator. You’ve probably seen shots like this on those nature shows you watched as a kid. The prey runs around and around in a circle, hysterical, before the killing bite is administered by the predator. Right?
Our inner animal is a bit freaked. So, like your pet, you need to assure it all will be well. You’ll take care of things and keep the wolves away from the door. Do that for your inner critter, you’ll gain a lot of traction in the process.
The weirdness happens when we observe ourselves observing others and the world we coexist in. If we’re not dwelling on our own crisis of faith, then we want to read about it in the news or watch it in a sci-fi or horror film; a tacit way of confirming that everyone’s sort of fucked up at the same time.
Fact or fiction doesn’t matter — just that we’re seeing clearly that everything is caving in — that’s the essential ‘meaning’ behind the obsessive imagery we circulate and share and post and tweet about it — over and over and over. It’s the Hologram of the Season. The reality bite that keeps on biting.
As I’ve already mentioned, I associate this End of Days meme with the fourth swipe between Uranus and Pluto. The number four makes things sharply concrete; there’s less of a feeling for a creative outlet with four, like there is with the number three. Four is two plus two which feels like two sides against two other sides — the nature of two being opposition and discord. A doubling up of angst.
My field notes show that Uranus is associated with time warping. A hybrid process of time speeding up, which means our subjective experience of time is altered and tweaked out — it kind of forces us to feel and peer into the future, despite our best efforts to avoid perception. This quickening happens via Aries. So the sense of urgency, to remove constraints, shackles, anything that limits freedom, imparts that time bomb feeling. Tick tock. Uranus becomes the hair shirt we’re wearing. It’s exciting to think about it except for one small impediment:
Pluto is akin to a black hole generator. When our awareness is touched by Pluto, nuclear fission occurs; meaning, we phase between one reality and another reality in such a way that forces us to leave the former reality and pop into the later reality which, to our animal nature — our survival drive — is associated with annihilation of the former, and so, well, we balk and freeze and hover. And yet the worm hole beckons.
Today while I was shopping in West Seattle I decided to take a break and grab a coffee before heading back to the ferry. I was frazzled. Not irritated exactly, just eager to ditch the compression of Seattle’s traffic, get home and throw some salts into a hot tub and soak and drink some wine.
After I decided on where to stop for the Americano, I moved into a cross walk to cross the street and then instantly, as if materializing out of the ethers behind me, a twenty-something hipster — dressed in black and wearing a black cap and sporting multiple spider-themed tattoos and pulling a black suitcase on wheels behind him — was behind me.
As we moved in tandem across the street, with the suitcase’s wheels clattering and grinding on the asphalt behind him, the guy kept inching closer into my personal space. It was like his presence was crawling up my back as I moved towards the coffee place and I felt flummoxed and startled by how quickly someone could get in your face without ever inviting or eliciting such a meeting. Something was afoot.
Speeding my pace, I aimed for the establishment, lost him and entered with the door of the biz closing behind me just as he popped/kicked the door back open — dragging the suitcase behind him like a ball and chain.
I got in line to order. And then he was in line to order, next to me, but, again, with his presence pushing into the field around me so he might have been sitting on my shoulder fidgeting with his phone, lost in its screen, while I was making a conscious effort to ignore him and focus on the cupcakes in the display case (one of which was flavor-named “Kate” — god knows why. I decided to take a picture of it and send the shot to my friend Kate). But even my cake distraction couldn’t dislodge the guy’s omnipresent vibe. It was something akin to a rash.
I ordered, got my coffee and no cupcake and moved as far away as I could into the jungle of chairs and tables, to find a bench and table out of sight of the dark guy.
Two minutes later, with a coffee and the fucking suitcase behind him, he was sliding in beside me on the bench that served the row of tables in front of us; where he proceeded to methodically, like a scientist unpacking a warhead, free the contents of the mystery suitcase on wheels.
As the gear was excavated, each item, to my irritation, was placed on the same bench we were sharing until so many items were piled atop one another they were edging into my thigh.
At this point I could no longer focus on the newspaper I was reading. Something in me had finally surrendered at the event horizon of his black hole and I was pulled into the guy’s buzzing mandala of Look At Me. And so I was all eyes. Read more
Eclipses have a bad reputation. This relates to the days when only kings and queens had their horoscopes prepared — and what might befall a ruler meant the entire village was going to suffer or succeed as well.
The fact that an eclipse involves an astronomical exactitude can, for individuals, translate into a sense of pressure that triggers our sense of increased or diminished awareness. In other words, a lunar eclipse illuminates what is sending you to sleep– distancing you from the awakened state.
Eclipses are anachronistic. Dimmed lunar light tweaks cellular memory — that reptilian/mammalian part of the brain which winds through our DNA like a spiraled tendril. Dreams unhinge, longings feel jammed-to-bursting. Again, it’s about the amplification of awareness — how it ascends or descends.
Kind of creepy. But the point here, if we move away from the moralistic tone, is that eclipses shift or tilt the balance between solar and lunar properties, and how we as humans align with those impressions.
Eclipses are easier to comprehend, in a practical way, if viewed through the lens of Gurdjieff‘s cosmology. Where the moon is associated with emotional habits that support somnambulism, a kind of devolution. And the sun is linked to awareness, presence, a quality of one-pointedness that is ‘now’-oriented; not retro-pulled towards womb memories.
If momentum in one’s life is towards the moon — a calcification of the psyche — the influence of the lunar eclipse will heighten awareness of this dilemma. A solar eclipse does the opposite — assists the ascending solar arc towards the awakened state.
But what of the sign in which the sun abides tonight? Libra is a peculiar symbol. Neither human or animal. Within a menagerie of critters Libra marks the virtues that transcend the passions personified by our animal nature.
Ignited by a full moon in Aries, the Libra sun leans towards warfare in the name of truth and beauty: Noetic forms that inspire a marriage of the human and divine. As this is a lunar eclipse the tendency is to avoid clarity for comfort’s sake. Too bad. We might miss the potential to make and attend our wedding. To actualize the steps that mark progress — from animal to the divine. A struggle is afoot. Bring your best weapons.
The good news? Lunar eclipses syphon into consciousness many of the alchemical forces associated with the final stages of the Work. That place where alpha and omega blend, igniting an inner illumination.
Here is the Alchemist’s Prayer. You might need it tonight:
“Oh, most singular and unspeakable Presence, first and last in the universe, heighten the fury of my fire and burn away the dross of my being. Cleanse my soiled soul; bathe me in your awesome light. Set me free from my history and cut me loose from my boundaries. Unite me with the One Thing hidden in my life, wherein is my only strength. Fill me with your Presence, allow me to see through your Eye, grant me entry to your Mind, let me resonate with your Will. Make me transparent to your flame, and fashion me into a lens for your light only. Transmute me into an incorruptible Stone in your eternal service, like the golden light that surrounds you.”
Illustration: Wilfried Podriech Satty
Rémi Gaillard is a guy who lost his job as a shoe salesman and then decided to transform the big question mark in his life (as in “What to do next?”) by spreading that question mark all over the world as a culture jammer, (as in people scratching their heads while watching him and asking “What the fuck?)
Think of Rémi like another Banksy but only much more juvenile, a graduate of the Jackass school of agitprop.
Gaillard is a good example of someone taking a scary life event (unemployment) and flipping it into a cue to start doing exactly what he loved most, namely comedy and furries and disturbing the status quo. (Furries? Well, just Google it).
Gaillard’s motto is “C’est en faisant n’importe quoi qu’on devient n’importe qui.”
Translated: “It’s by doing whatever that one becomes whoever.”
I’m needlepointing that into my bedspread right after this post goes live.
As a man interested in comely men, I will vouch, too, for P.E.T.A’s designation of Rémi being one of the sexiest vegetarians on the planet. I’d like to share a tofu burger with him at his earliest convenience.
His natal chart (February 7, 1975 in Montpellier, France — no birth time) shows a not-surprising water trine between Venus and Uranus. Venus (and Mars) in Pisces folks have a strong affinity with animals. Perhaps this is related to the traditional association of the signs Virgo and Pisces (with little and large animals, respectively.) You can think of this signature as someone who loves (Venus) to create chaos (Uranus) by wearing animal (Pisces) costumes. Feel free to add that description to your collection of key phrases for astrological aspects.
Amplifying his comedic nature is Aquarius and Saturn. It might be that Gaillard’s moon resides in Capricorn, too, depending on time of birth, but he’s definitely an Aquarian. And as I remind folks with a strong Saturn or the sign Aquarius exaggerated in their chart: Some of the funniest people in life are Saturnine (dark, sarcastic, often gallows humor-inspired souls) or Aquarian — just loopy peculiar folks, like extraterrestrial walk-ins.