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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November 12th, 2008

November 12 Full Moon Watch: Dreams and Shadows

The ongoing Saturn Uranus opposition is a cosmic reminder that the biosphere still remains wickedly dichotomized, despite Barack Obama‘s triumph on election night.

I’ve been calling this recent post-election phase Civil War Reconstruction v2.0. Meaning, once again the South has ‘fallen’ — has lost favor as a participating unit within our democracy. The New York Times recently reported: “What may have ended on Election Day … is the centrality of the South to national politics. By voting so emphatically for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama — supporting him in some areas in even greater numbers than they did President Bush — voters from Texas to South Carolina and Kentucky may have marginalized their region for some time to come…”

So, how will we meet the fallout? Follow Gandhi‘s advice: “We must always seek to ally ourselves with that part of the enemy that knows what is right.”

On a personal note, tonight’s full moon deserves careful consideration, given the exact square from Neptune that is setting off a fixed sign arabesque. By signs, the full moon activates the Taurus and Scorpio polarity and foments roiling emotional intensity. No two signs of the zodiac are more aligned with the deeper passions of the body and the heart. With Neptune involved we might be putting too much emphasis on fantasy and not enough on the pragmatic. We’re calling the airline to book a trip to Bali but can barely make the mortgage next month. Reality checks are in order.

Not that fantasy is to be shunned. With Neptune, if the rational mind attempts to deny his otherworldly spells and callings, he’ll come through a back door upsetting your sleep with epic dreams or, worse, set you off on a drinking binge. Rituals are in order to honor this burgeoning autumnal passion-fest. Bring it all down a level without dishonoring the impulse. Write a wildly erotic love poem. Take a sick day from work and daydream throughout the afternoon, watching the full moon later in the evening from your back porch. Give Neptune his due. Here’s a wonderful poem by the Norwegian writer Olav H. Hauge to help ease our mind into the different possibilities Neptune communicates:

It’s that dream we carry with us
That something wonderful will happen,
That it has to happen,
That time will open,
That doors will open,
That the mountains will open,
That wells will leap up,
That the dream will open,
That one morning we’ll slip in
To a harbor that we’ve never known.

During this lunation we want the sensual security that Taurus’ garden of delights connotes, that feeling that we’ve found a safe, earthy haven for ourselves — but we are tempted to also engage with the serpent, and enter a more visceral, less “domestic” world of consummation with the mysterious Other. We want the comfort of romance, but also long to experience that which is forbidden, to take a romp in the wild world of taboo. Loyalty vs. licentiousness. How will it all play out?

This is a full moon that opens the floodgates. Passions feel almost irrepressible, off the scale actually, so any mood, be it light or dark, will be amplified and inch towards melodrama. The Taurus Scorpio polarity moves us back and forth between feelings of possession and attachment, to envy, jealousy and sometimes paranoia. The issue is emotional control. Holding the power, or surrendering to it. Try to find a middle path and set the pace slow but sure.

Venus’ out-of-sign conjunction to Pluto telegraphs relationship difficulties. Or at least a challenge to our notions about what makes for a successful relationship. If we have a conventional idea about romance, say from the latest issue of Bride’s magazine, this Venus Pluto co-mingling will show us the darker face of love. For the uninitiated, what appears to be simple on the surface is actually seething and twirling with intrigues and possible betrayals. Planets passing through Pluto’s realm are always taken down, like Persephone’s abduction into Hades, and put through the endurance tests. Trials by fire.

Remind yourself of the following axiom: That which is hidden is often more powerful than that which is visible. We have ideas about how things should be, operate, unfold in our intimate relationships. But Venus married to Pluto says we must learn the following: Beauty is much more than an idyl, pleasing lines, shapes and contours. And love involves a kind of vulnerability that can be devastating should it be double-crossed. And yet that is always the challenge of fully opening to love, that we’ll be taken down, forced to encounter our more regressed emotions: jealousy and rage. Venus with Pluto says: Love and beauty are beguiling and fierce. Not for sissies or the faint-of-heart.

Opening photograph by Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961)


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October 14th, 2008

October 14 Full Moon Watch: Buy Something

These spiritual windowshoppers,
who idly ask, How much is that? Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing much.”

Even if you don’t know what you want, buy something,
to be part of the general exchange.

Start a huge, foolish, project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

– Rumi



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September 14th, 2008

September 15 Full Moon Watch: Tune in and Blow Out

Pisces offers two modes of expression: victim or redeemer.

As the last sign of the zodiac Pisces has all the residue, all the trials and tribulations of the other eleven signs pressing down upon it. This can make natives of this sign feel beleaguered, spent and used. A victim.

Those aligned with the redemptive qualities of the sign, Pisces’ role as saviour, have found a way to skip the drama and catch glints of the new that are inherent within the sign. Pisces is the threshold for an entirely new cycle about to unfurl around the zodiac, being the sign that proceeds Aries — the sign initiating spring.

So there’s a seeming choice, although with the fish — with their tails forever tied together — there’s always a little bit of the victimizing victim about the archetype — a kind of spiritual S&M, the way Pisceans learn to appreciate power and how to wield it, that’s hard to escape. Healthy Pisceans learn to live with this dichotomy and shift the victim role into a victorious countervailing beam of light. Pointing the way for the befuddled masses who seem to think that life is anything but the poetic mixture that it is; neither all good or all bad, but always a mixture. Pisces is about learning to live and be complete with the mixture. They do this with art, music, poetry, beauty and their biggest gift: compassion. Or by completely rearranging our view of the universe, ala Albert Einstein, a famous Piscean.

Today’s full moon in Pisces is almost Shakespearean on the drama meter. The lunation is conjunct Uranus and square Pluto. I read it like this: the shock of the new illuminates everything that is stagnant, stuck or resistant within our psychic field — light the pyre. It’s the sort of amalgam of forces that wrought Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein. There’s no way towards the light but in through the dark. One must fully animate and see all the aspects, the entire mixture of qualities that compose what is dead and spent; acknowledge it, honor it — and then…well we’ll see. That’s the Pluto angle. There is the opportunity, via the Uranian conjunction, to explode out the entire life form — allowing it to die completely. Pisces is about end days. We need to get with that program during this full moon.

So, best advice: Scan. Tune in. Where’s the self-deception (a big Piscean theme), the avoidance, the defense that plays out via helplessness. Where’s the jam-up? Where are we cheating? In other words, how are we lying to ourselves and what are those lies attempting to shore up? That’s what Uranus will zero in on during this lunation and what Pluto will kill off. We can flip this, too, and say: where is the hidden talent, the missed opportunity that needs a second chance, the unfulfilled promise? Gifts waiting to be galvanized.

Self-deluded victim or self-illuminated redeemer?

The emotional intensity of the full moon (high Piscean pathos — be that epiphanies or betrayals) aligned with Uranian acceleration and agitation means we’ve got to clean the channels and prepare to open up to the finer, higher, spiritualized Piscean frequencies. What are those? Namely acknowledging that we are not only of this world but of higher worlds as well. This world is a stage; and what animates the players, that hidden spirit is what Pisces can reveal. Ask yourself if you feel like your life is evolving or devolving. Remember one fish is moving upward toward the Apollonian heights, the other downward, to the Dionysian depths. But be honest. No wishy-washy maybes will do with Uranus and Pluto pressing in on the lunation. Their tails are tied: the rational mind must meet the chaotic, unredeemed ghosts of the past and undertake an active process of discharging. This will allow for a new creature/vision to be born. A new thought-form to take shape. A new, springtime fresh impetus to be revealed.

Hinderances might be: being two-faced, martyrdom, unrealistic hopes and futile machinations — any deluded psychic spinning that is acting as a form of resistance to truth will be challenged, checked and chucked. Opposition to this cosmic clean-out can manifest in defensive grandiosity, agitated paranoia or psychosomatic maladies. The body never lies and if the gods can’t find a way in through our consciousness they wreck havoc with the body.

It’s fascinating to consider the Sabian symbol for this degree of Pisces, it reads: A materializing medium giving a séance, with the keyword being substantiation. One must verify, prove their alegance to truth, making them worthy of channeling this high octane quality of inspiration — a kind of inspiration that will act as a support and ally for the new cycle ahead. A medium is someone who makes herself available to currents, impressions, powers that are not of this ‘ordinary’ world. But the channel must be cleared of impediments. This full moon will do that.

Tune in — blow out.



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August 16th, 2008

August 16 Full Moon Watch: Emotional Self-Reliance

Initiation is the energetic keynote associated with the four fixed signs of the zodiac –Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These four signs are the gateways through which the galvanizing dynamism of the universe flow. This is depicted in the Tarot’s World card, where each of the four fixed signs occupy a corner of the field, overseeing and coloring a certain expression and quality of power — its entry, consolidation (thus the word: fixed) and movement through our world.

Conversely, the release of power, the movement of power towards a new aim, tends to be where the fixed signs jam-up. Think of if for yourself: the difficulty of letting go of something that you have invested time and attention to — the challenge of accepting the need for transformation — to allow for a new experience and new order to prevail. This is essentially what initiation is about. Going from one grade to another. Though, as Gurdjieff taught, without some form of shock, at the right moment in the process, the descending or regressive movement predominates.

Initiation involves moving from experience, or knowledge, towards understanding. And this is the challenge with each of the four fixed signs. The need to expand but also the need to preserve. How to do both? It’s a mystery. One must evolve towards disseminating or devolve into entropy. This is why full moons in the fixed signs are generally fraught with drama and anguish. The sense is: “I’m stuck but don’t know the way out.” With the fixed signs there is always a price. Literally and figuratively. The fixed signs are the money signs of the zodiac — money being a symbol for consolidated power; so always payment of some kind is involved. You relinquish or pay — with ‘this’ to get ‘that.’

When force stalls in the fixed signs you can think of the condition as a kind of constipation. And you know how that goes: The more we think about wanting to shit the more difficult it becomes to do so. A rather crude analogy, but it’s fitting and reveals one of the core mysteries of the fixed signs, namely the direct comprehension that: “Nothing in the universe changes until God decrees it.” Thine will, not mine.

And that’s the whole secret about working with the force of the fixed signs, we fall in line with our proper place in The Great Scheme of Things. We are here as a witnessing presence, channeling the creative dynamism within the universe (which we are simply another expression of as well.) Who is really in control, given the magnitude of this realization and alignment? Read more



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