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
When I saw the clumsy crow
Flap from a wasted tree,
A shape in the mind rose up:
Over the gulfs of dream
Flew a tremendous bird
Further and further away
Into a moonless black,
Deep in the brain, far back.
“Between the remembered and the actual there is a basic difference which can be observed from moment to moment. At no point of time is the actual the remembered. Between the two there is a difference in kind, not merely in intensity. The actual is unmistakably so. By no effort of will or imagination can you interchange the two. Now, what is it that gives this unique quality to the actual? A moment back, the remembered was actual, in a moment the actual will be the remembered. What makes the actual unique?”
–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Midsummer is the sexiest time of year. The word itself conjures images of luscious fruit, eternal twilight, warm nights dotted with the firefly’s peridot lights and feverish days punctuated by bursts of thunder and warm rain. It is a time when romance wanders freely in the mind, and when the bounties of earth are so plentiful, they are intoxicating. Life seems to spring eternal.”
“The green of the trees begins to take on a darker, more exhausted verdancy, animals go about the business of rearing their growing young, instead of birthing them and the nights and hottest days are filled with the gnawing presence of insects. Lammas, or Lughnasadh (pronounced: loo-NAH-sah), the sabbath which celebrates the beginning of the harvest year, is a time of maturity and of age. It is also a surreal moment in the year when death and life coexist in physical manifestation.”