September 18th, 2009

New Moon Watch: Saturn Holds the Nexus

“The world hangs on a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man.”
— C.G. Jung

Saturn. Lead. Gravity. And gravitas. With Saturn comes a quality of substance, a depth of being. Within the planetary pantheon, Saturn equates with the visceral experience of ‘now.’ Time as ‘is.’ What you are grappling with — now, what you are attempting to learn and master — now, to comprehend and stick it out — there’s Saturn.

Uranus. Can language even describe its particular electricity and type of fire? Think about electricity for a moment. What in the hell is it exactly — other than some mysterious force born of friction? Dane Rudhyar once called Uranus an ambassador from another galaxy. Wow.

Uranus touches another planet by aspect and we’ve a promise of the very best, the most unique and inspired expression of that other planet’s impulse and means. And so, as of earlier this week, the two titans, Saturn and Uranus were at it again, making the third of their five closing-decade oppositions. We’re at the middle-point. The marriage point. And all planetary oppositions, ultimately, are the greatest of cosmic marriages. Of Saturn merged with Uranus? And Saturn’s best offering? Think of Michelangelo‘s declaration: “Genius is eternal patience.”

This is Saturn’s moment, as today’s New Moon in Virgo blends with the planet’s current position, to the degree, touching off and illuminating the zone Saturn is cultivating — inching his way towards Libra. This is a divine spot, within Virgo, this particular degree. Rudhyar defines its manifestation as: “…practice in the presence of god.” And this is exactly what a Saturn Uranus nexus connotes. Uranus brings the Promethean fire, and Saturn as container, as structure, receives the offering and helps forge it into matter. Making it real.

Saturn in Virgo exercises the art of specificity, economical analysis (get to the point!) and impeccable craftsmanship. It’s slow going, but there’s the opportunity for using sharp discrimination to properly channel the Uranian urge to buck, throw-over and liberate without examination. And as Uranus transits Pisces, it’s everything plus the kitchen sink that’s thrown into the psychic atmosphere. This Uranus transit is akin to the asylum’s doors being left open, allowing the unhinged and the irrepressibly deluded (but often inspired) denizens to rush the town square (turn on Fox news for a literal study of this condition).

Any transit through Pisces, especially by the transpersonal planets, denotes dissolving, melting and evaporation — think Noah being given instructions to build an ark. Today’s Virgo lunation illuminates the discipline and maturity needed to shore ourselves for the final two Saturn Uranus showdowns, when, at conclusion, in 2010, both planets have moved into the Libra/Aries polarity. Then, with the flood abated, the period for subtle and cautious study will have come and gone. Then we’re on to experiencing the galvanizing, perhaps violent, expression of the final opposition. What will we have integrated, via our understanding during the current phase of the opposition? And how will that wisdom help facilitate the thrust and shock of the new?

While prepping for this entry this afternoon, I eventually set aside my coffee and notes and charts and picked up a book of Mary Oliver‘s poems. There, amidst her meticulously simple, yet sinewy syntax I found a poem that, for me at least, matched perfectly the spirit of today’s New Moon. That Virgo gift of keen, grounded-in-nature analysis. Where the body and the mind work together to interpret impressions — feeling the grass beneath our feet and the humming radiance of the distant stars. I think it’s a good way to close this entry.

And I hope you find it inspiring too.


Here in my head, language
Keeps making its tiny noises.

How can I hope to be friends
with the hard white stars

whose flaring and hissing are not speech
but a pure radiance?

How can I hope to be friends
with the yawning spaces between them

where nothing, ever, is spoken?
Tonight, at the edge of the field,

I stood very still, and looked up,
and tried to be empty of words.

What joy was it, that almost found me?
What amiable peace?

Then it was over, the wind
roused up in the oak trees behind me

and I fell back, easily.
Earth has a hundred thousand pure contraltos —

even the distant night bird
as it talks threat, as it talks love

over the cold, black fields.
Once, deep in the woods,

I found the white skull of a bear
and it was utterly silent —

and once a river otter, in a steel trap,
and it too was utterly silent.

What can we do
but keep on breathing in and out,

modest and willing, and in our places?
Listen, listen, I’m forever saying,

Listen to the river, to the hawk, to the hoof,
to the mockingbird, to the jack-in-the-pulpit —

then I come up with a few words, like a gift.
Even as now.

Even as the darkness has remained the pure, deep darkness.
Even as the stars have twirled a little, while I stood here,

looking up,
one hot sentence after another.

–Mary Oliver

Opening photograph Glass Labyrinths by Josef Sudek, 1968. Prague.

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