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.

Gemini matures by synthesizing contradictory patterns of thought; the toggle between the superfluous and the meaningful. Virgo — as both virgin and hustler — supports bodily health by careful refinement of the coarse and the scattered. Sagittarius marries the animal nature’s instincts (the horse half) with the divine (the human half). And Pisces, with each fish swimming in an opposite direction, practices dissolution: what the mind designates as separate and distinct is returned back to the universal — the oceanic field that unites all of us.

The challenge for all of the mutable signs is their tendency to psychologically split — the result of not incorporating or unraveling the paradox of opposites. Splitting as a defense mechanism is employed to repress or divert unconscious material from reaching consciousness.

We’re in a sort of mental quagmire right now, a jam-up that allows for Chaos Theory to touch each of us, enlivening and liberating what remains censored or buried within the unconscious. Endure the anxiety, find a one-pointed center, and you can initiate a revolutionary new direction for yourself. Viewed holistically anxiety can be seen as a prelude to powerful insights and revelations. A. H. Almaas notes in his Work on the Superego:

When the defenses start actually breaking down, a person will experience increased anxiety, followed by the repressed impulses and feelings. So under normal circumstances, the presence of unusual anxiety indicates that some defenses are dissolving and that some piece of the unconscious is pushing towards consciousness. The anxiety, therefore, can be seen as a preview to self-knowledge.

Today’s exact square from Saturn to the sun and moon intensifies depression, a sluggish ennui that builds but in the end only offers up melancholy. But then the opposition from Uranus in Pisces (faith in chaos) to Saturn in Virgo (safety in cautiousness) mirrors irritation and impatience, a sort of mental torsion that feels unrelenting. One minute we sense in our gut that we can overcome current obstacles with vigor and dedication — but then hours later our digestion stops for fear of broaching the unfamiliar and untried. We’re crestfallen because we can’t move as quickly as we’d like, but we’re unwilling to look at the exacting work that is involved with the type of overhaul we’re dreaming about.

With Uranus in Pisces as the wild card element in the angular crossroads, it’s certain that the only way out is through the unseen or unconsidered. The sort of crack that Chaos Theory precipitates. Our exhaustion might be the perfect condition to allow the unconscious to offer up the gold. And the next few evening’s dream field should be heightened and wild — keep a notebook by your bed and write it all out. Your way through comes by working with your nocturnal poetry or prose. It’s the best way to go.

Work the mutable chain: The process of gathering knowledge (Gemini), organizing it into a system (Virgo), elevating it into a philosophy (Sagittarius) and then transforming the philosophy into an artistic or healing expression that benefits humankind (Pisces). This sequence is an outline you can employ to move through your anxiety. Remember that your plans for improvement must ultimately involve assisting others.

We’re all in this together, preparing step by step for the solstice on December 21 when the Sun’s ingress into winter lands exactly on Pluto’s zero degree position in Capricorn. As a prelude, tonight’s lunation finds Mercury sitting exactly in this spot, conjunct Pluto, making the link and flashing glimpses, to the prescient, of what’s to come. Truth will out is the message. Mercury tethered to Pluto is the no bullshit prosecutor, the indefatigable detective, the shaman that knows how to use wisdom as a scalpel.

The Mercury Pluto conjunction also involves painful truths and disclosures. Set aside time for yourself today to meditate on what you need to confront, edit, trim and remove. It’s time for the truth-telling to begin.

Opening etching: Untitled by Max Ernst. Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne

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