July 30th, 2008

New Moon Watch: The Eclipse that Brings Relief

The new moon on August 1, 2008 is a solar eclipse. Eclipses have a bad reputation. This is related 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 catch hell in some way.

The fact that an eclipse involves an astronomical exactitude can, for humans, translate into a feeling of pressure or force that impacts our ascending or descending alignment, the toggle between sleep and consciousness.

In astrology, how things appear is just as important as how things actually are situated in the sky. So the appearance of the moon moving across the sun’s face, darkening him in the process, has a particular effect on us, especially for those able to physically witness the eclipse.

The eclipse event is anachronistic. It tweaks our cellular memory — the reptilian/mammalian part of the brain which has sensed the darkening from eclipses for eons. Imagine animals experiencing an eclipse. The oddness about the light waning. The eerie stillness. Things slow down externally, and a kind of wary watchfulness predominates. Think of the Moon card in the Tarot. Dreams confound, longings and desires feel jammed. Visions, imaginings intensify. It’s all about amplification and then movement — either backwards or forwards; decay or growth. Read more

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Filed Under: Astrology and New Moon Watch
July 24th, 2008

A Moment’s Pause with Ms. Dillard

“Why does death catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking. We should amass half dressed in long lines like tribesmen and shake gourds at each other, to wake up: instead we watch television and miss the show.”
— Annie Dillard

Art work from The Life of the Dead, a collaboration between American poet Laura Riding Jackson and British painter John Aldridge (1905-1983).

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Filed Under: Prose and Time
July 17th, 2008

July 08 Full Moon Watch: Beauty in the Ordinary

“Abandoned stones which I become interested in invite me to enter into their life’s purpose. It is my task to define and make visible the intent of their being.”
–Isamu Noguchi, The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum

The new moon is a conjunction between the sun and moon, a marriage and co-mergence of the masculine solar principle and the feminine lunar principle. A conjunction corresponds to the alchemical phase of coniunctio — the end result of the alchemical procedure when the opposites are successfully united. This blending releases a third force or condition — something unique, not experienced before. This nexus between the solar and lunar function sets the vibrational tenor for the entire 28 days that follow the new moon phase.

At full moon the secret of the sun moon marriage is revealed. The July 2008 new moon took place on July 3 at 12 degrees of Cancer. The July full moon is Friday, July 18. Tonight marks the first facet of the full moon’s dissemination. What are you sensing?

A Cancer new moon shifts our attention to issues of nourishment and sustainment. How and where our soul finds solace and harbor. Generally we think of Cancerian nourishment as it relates to food and being mothered (or mothering) — a quality of emotional support that allows us to relax and feel a quality of love that is abiding. Read more

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Filed Under: Astrology and Full Moon Watch
July 15th, 2008

Birthday Koan: Ego — The Gift That Keeps On Taking

“That is why in the Kabbalah it is said that a seraph is a devil burnt out completely and turned into light.”

“The core of ego is a feeling of deficiency, of poverty, of emptiness, of saying: “I am no good, I am worthless, I am empty. Give me, give me, more, more, more, more.” In this state of deficiency I don’t love myself, I don’t accept myself. I reject myself. I want to run away, distract myself; maybe go to a movie, see a friend, have sex, eat, fill myself with knowledge, or pretend I am O.K. I am always wanting to fill this emptiness, always rejecting it, always afraid of it. In fact, we are all terrified by it. Most of the time people don’t know that this emptiness, this deficiency is what is driving most of their actions. It’s such a desperation, such a race to fill this bottomless pit.

But how sweet it is to say “yes” to this emptiness. How courageous it is to say: “I feel empty, I feel deficient, and I won’t attempt to fill it. I want to see the truth. I want to experience the reality of me. I refuse to manipulate. I want to wake up regardless of how painful it is.” Only the hero will take this attitude, for it is a heroic act to see your deficiency, your neediness, your emptiness, and yet not try to manipulate your life to fill it. We are so compulsive, so driven to manipulate, to avoid feeling this basic deficiency of our personal ego. But believe me, my friend, there’s no other way towards fullness. God will not pour His grace if you don’t accept your deficiency and stop manipulating. Manipulation, striving to fill this emptiness, is only the devil doing its efficient work. It is constantly working to hide its weakness.”

From The Devil and the Seraph © 1973 A-Hameed Ali

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Filed Under: Diamond Approach and Qabalah and Sleep
July 11th, 2008

The Woof and the Warp of the Now

“…we live in the world of becoming where nothing ever is…Nothing ever is in passing-time. That is what we do not see. The perception may bring us to now.” — Maurice Nicoll

I’m back on Vashon after visiting the island of Kauai for a ten day Diamond Approach retreat. Having lived in Hawaii for twenty years, I feel slightly immune to the tropical wonders most folks find so beguiling. I do appreciate Hawaii’s beauty, but the rigors, schedule and excitement of ‘retreating’ leans my attention to the material we’re working with — not the beach. And holds it there.

Of the archipelago, Kauai is the oldest, the wettest and the furthest removed, the most northern. In a word its geography is eerie. Approaching the craggy coastline and tremendous, towering sea cliffs, from air, I’m always hit with a distinct sense of the otherworldly, or you could say the other-timely. Landing in Lihue I almost expect to see dinosaurs roaming around the airport’s parking lot, gnawing the tops off of palm trees.

The teaching centered around time, change and the now. This was the first time a retreat coincided with A. H. Almaas‘ (the school’s founder) latest publishing project The Unfolding Now. A book that outlines an understanding very different from Eckhart Tolle‘s teaching in The Power of Now.

Tolle’s view, based more on the shock of revelation rather than an empirical experience of a specific process, as is Almaas’, resurrects erstwhile New Thought concepts regarding the nature of the mind, an incomplete understanding that pits the ego against the desired experience of ‘living in the now’. The equation is simplistic. Ego/mind/emotions not good. Being in the now very good.

I’m not doubting Tolle’s personal experience, I’m just saying it’s extraordinary and not the norm. Given that his awakening was discontinuous — following a condition of near-suicidal hopelessness, I consider it a freak happening, akin to winning the lottery. Read more

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Filed Under: Diamond Approach and Time