May 08th, 2009

Full Moon Watch: The Secret Ceremonies of Existence

Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire, and the secret one slowly growing a body.

The above poem by Kabir signals the sacred mystery of tonight’s full moon. An awesome theme to comprehend. Where is the beginning point for presence? And where its end? And if there is no distinct demarcation, where do we begin and end?

Kabir says, “Never mind, enjoy the movement, the coming and the going of appearances, the awe of it all.” He also tells us that our corporeality is not separate from the divine. In fact the body holds the secret.

Walt Whitman asks us: “And if the body does not do as much as the Soul? And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?”

The stirring of fluids and inner fires. Cells perturbating. The liquidness of being in a body. And with tonight’s lunation, the uncomfortable, squeezed-upon feeling that something’s gotta give. The Scorpio full moon is like a poultice, syphoning off the bad juju from any working system. Secret fears, repressed passions, blocked longings? Time to do some psychic surgery.

Within the Master Clock’s cycle, Scorpio is associated with that which restores vitality by removing what is superfluous or exhausted. And because Taurus is involved — where the Sun currently resides, the body tends to take the brunt of resistance. Sore throats, swollen glands or trouble with our eliminative system is common. Why the complications? Well, hell — it’s hard to let go sometimes.

As a species we split-off and distance ourselves from decay and death. Our animal instinctively retreats from whatever curtails life, signals our demise. But, distanced from death, the human in us becomes distanced from life. We’re cut off from our sexuality and passion, the powerful emotions that drive creative endeavors, make us feel juicy, full-bodied, desirable and desirous.

Taurus and Scorpio, as a working polarity, mirror the secret ceremonies of existence — the toggling between endings and beginnings — how one begets the other. What incarnates into a body (Taurus) will expire and be born again, via transformation (Scorpio). The Taurus/Scorpio polarity — once we understand its mysteries — demonstrates how death and destruction become portals into vitality and creativity — and vice versa. As we embody the doctrine of impermanence our creativity and lust for life increases. We’ve learned how to curb our animal and reap the rewards of having a conscious relationship with death. This is the Taurus/Scorpio initiation.

This reads well, but to live the process consciously requires psychological maturity. As children we rarely witnessed a natural regard for death and sexuality. Grandma was shuffled away to the assisted living place in Florida and, well, I’ve yet to work with anyone who had an easy time coming to terms with the hormonal explosion that accompanies puberty. Sex becomes associated with disturbing attractions and repulsions, too much for an adolescent’s psyche to process. So down, down it all goes.

This is the dilemma of the Scorpio child; being intrinsically sensitive to the mysteries of death and sex puts him in a precarious developmental position. Without a healthy outlet for expressing what’s considered taboo in the culture, a cynical negation begins to take root. Wherever he turns, people are shuttered against the very subjects that fascinate him most.

Liz Greene, in The Astrology of Fate, explains how this attitude often lies “beneath a more optimistic surface, and the individual does not know his own destructive negativity except in its inadvertent effects in life. It is a kind of depression or apathy, a conviction that nothing will ultimately work…” This is all related to the peculiar sensitivity to the “dark side of the psyche which the Scorpio individual possesses.”

The way through for Scorpio is something we all need to consider during the next two weeks. What fear will we confront? Do we embody our intrinsic courage, strength and faith? Is it the real deal or all bluff? Dennis Elwell talks about some remedies for the Scorpio conundrum. Get real, get bold and cut the bullshit — as he puts it: “The collective injection this sign makes into the stream of collective consciousness corrects tendencies towards superficiality and lukewarmness.” He explains how Scorpio “cannot fulfill itself unless there is a passionate involvement in something, a singleness of purpose.”

The catch is that Scorpio gets bored if things are too easy. They need to experience “life in the raw,” as Elwell puts it. This helps develop the “unflinching inner strength in which this sign specialises. Scorpios thrive best when confronting the harsh realities of existence in the power of their own resources — their insight, endurance, and above all their courage”

Don’t cover your eyes. You’ll want to turn over the big boulders in your backyard and probe and observe all of the critters that scatter once exposed to the sunlight. Fascinating stuff. Elwell contends that Scorpio “has to look into the depths, to penetrate secrets, and having seen it all, hopefully to emerge, not embittered, but with a wise if sceptical compassion.”

That’s the (skeleton) key.

Considering this lunation through a more mundane lens, Scorpio and Taurus represent our fixations with security and money. Because we’re steeped in an atmosphere of fear regarding bank bailouts, foreclosures and the death of the American Dream, balance is required. It’s probably a good idea to limit our exposure to the media, which tends to ramp-up the hysteria because, well, ad sales are down across the board for newspapers, magazines and television too. Focus instead on the mismanagement of your own accounting. That’s something you can control and work with creatively.

Mercury moves backward throughout most of May, so this can be a productive period to organize everything that is scattershot and messy in your bookeeping and budgets. Organize, deal with delayed correspondence, call your mother. I’ve found that Mercury enjoys his retrograde period in Taurus as he’s not so stimulated and ADD-riddled, as when moving direct in the sign. He gets to read more poetry, settle on a particular interest and really concentrate on it.

In tandem with tonight’s full moon there is a nascent conjunction between Neptune, Jupiter and the planetoid Chiron — in the sign Aquarius. This is an outrageously encouraging symbol, pointing the way to a psychospiritual seachange within the culture. Both Jupiter and Neptune are associated with the desire to move beyond confines. I like how Stephen Arroryo describes the pairing: Jupiter and Neptune “can inspire an individual with a transcendent meaning to his or her life. ” Helping to “merge his or her purpose and dreams with a larger power, force, or truth.” This is a curative of the highest and finest order. And required now to move forward through what appear to be some dark times ahead.

Add Chiron to the mix — the solar system’s equivalent of chutzpah* — and you’ve got some high-octaine spirit-fuel brewing. Decode the message: No matter how fucked-up everything seems right now it’s perfect, necessary. The remedy might be unsavory, but the journey will be invigorating, engaging, inspiring.

Aquarius fosters engagement. Reminds us that on the soul level we’re all one interwoven pulsation. The positive fallout from the economic debacle is that people are beginning to make contact with each other again. Instead of zombies slouching through malls, buying shit that they don’t really need, folks are holding salons in their homes, helping out in soup kitchens, growing and sharing gardens together, turning off the television, shutting down the porn and the computers. It’s like a dull haze is beginning to lift. Real dialogue is making a comeback, replacing the shrill, polarized haranguing we’d become accustomed to during the last eight years.

With this conjunction landing right on Obama’s Aquarian ascendent we have a statesman who might actually embody the qualities necessary to facilitate the catharsis necessary to help the United States realign with the promise of its birth chart (the conjunction lands right on the USA’s natal Aquarian moon). Franklin D. Roosevelt channeled a natal Jupiter Neptune conjunction throughout his life. His ability to instill real faith, courage and altruism within a seriously ill country was unprecedented. We can do that too, for ourselves and each other. It’s time.

(*) My experience with Chiron is very different from the ‘wounded healer’ association that was embraced so quickly by astrologers upon the asteroid’s discovery. Having Chiron on my descendant has given me a very ‘in the flesh’ experience of its essence. I tend to become attracted to Chiron-like qualities in my mates. I’m drawn to rebels, highly creative individuals who live a bit off the beaten path. Often times these will be artists, writers or musicians that don’t identify as being gay (or heterosexual); which is what I mean by rebels. In Cosmic Loom Dennis Elwell writes: “Chiron is inculcating in humanity the belief that nothing is impossible. His specific gift is the audacity to attempt what might at first seem beyond our scope. The nerve to dare — without which all our talents and opportunities would be wasted.”

Opening painting The Seer, Adolph Gottlieb. 1950. The Phillips Collection, DC

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