March 15th, 2010

New Moon Watch: Tuning Back Into Reality


Today’s New Moon makes for a stellium — a sort of cosmic bloc that takes place within one small section of the sky. The locale? Pisces. The theme? Well, with Pisces you always get two completely different scenarios to choose from: Inspired dreaming, otherworldly inspiration and unshakeable faith — on one side. But that’s just one facet of the the fishes’ tale. The dark twin fish connotes Shakespearean tragedies like manipulative martyrdom, deluded flights and fuzzy self-deception.

Regardless the approach, and which of those orientations manifest within the psyche, our present dream cycle is winding to a close. Today’s New Moon highlights the buildup prior to the real new year that begins with the Spring Equinox. Any Piscean pileup will impart a sense of closure, or perhaps, as we’re experiencing life on the world stage, a feeling that the thread that suspends Damocles’ sword is beginning to fray, preparing to snap. The damage to be revealed two weeks from now during the Aries Full Moon.

This particular planetary mashup (the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus — half of the solar system’s denizens in Pisces) heightens our susceptibility to psychological disassociation and splitting, due to the line in the sky drawn by the vector of the Moon’s nodes, and how Pluto, Saturn and Mars — sometimes a brutish planetary trio — are corralled into their own hemisphere of the zodiac.

This division of the circle can be difficult to maneuver. Treacherous actually — always the case when normal, healthy functions within the psyche are sequestered into the shadow realm. You’ll need to decipher the symbols for yourself. And you can do this by trying to picture the enclosed trio via the lens of dream. Let’s say you have three ruffians locked away in a closet. What do you discover once you’ve rallied your courage to open the door? Or you could see this in a less alarming light, and imagine, say, a solider, a lawmaker and a plutocrat being forced to collaborate on a well-lit stage. What sort of play would unfold? What would their relationship set in motion, what is the dream trying to convey by conjuring these three symbols?

Well, in the first instance — related to the thugs — it’s all about the brute force of the instincts and the particular demands the instincts make upon the environment. Mars being the sexual side of our nature, can be rapacious. Saturn being the social side of the self-preservation urge, often appears disallowing and stifling. And Pluto, well Pluto is always about the raw, primordial power of survival. The “get the fuck out of my way I’m going to eat that” sort of subsistence. Survival that must destroy in order to thrive. And this isn’t as unsavory as it sounds. If the cells in your body weren’t constantly being destroyed so new cells could run the course of their function, you’d become a toxic monster. And this is a perfect image to conjure when considering the body politic at this time.

Doesn’t it all feel a bit Frankensteinian? Congress, during the last year, has been in a state of chronic constipation. A kind of protracted bloat. The economy, too, mirrors this condition in an opposite, enervated way. Sure, there are touted accounts of the numbers getting better, but because the media is driven by spin, propaganda set in motion to promote the urge to consume, shop and accrue debt (the only way our country knows how to function anymore), who knows what to believe? As individuals most of us collude with this sort of happy denial. We talk about improvement and high hopes but don’t really feel the optimism in our bones. We’re turning away from the subtle knowing of our instincts. This is the dark side of that Piscean pileup — delusion and escapism — while the floorboards continue to rot beneath our feet.

Conversely, it’s important to remember that what we’re experiencing is natural within any system or body that’s outlived its alloted time. This is simply how nature works. Unlike animals though, with their ability to, say, sense an earthquake before its arrival, we’ve tuned out and turned away from the very elements of our nature — our instincts — that can save our ass. We need to give attention and creative expression to our inner Mars, Saturn and Pluto. And we should attempt to do this in our everyday lives and relationships; make a conscious effort to bring that trio back online by stopping our tendency to project their shadow components onto the government, the Republicans, the Christers, the Teabagers, Wallstreet, Citibank, et al. “Conscious passion, work and transformation.” Make that your mantra now.

The wild card within the Pisces stellium is Uranus, presently poised for his Aries ingress. The planet that heralds the shock of the new preparing to enter the very sign that loves shocking the world with everything that is original and innovative bodes well. If we’re sensitive to the upcoming shift, and position our instinctual antenna in the right direction, we can take refuge (find inspiration) in this Promethian force (Uranus) married to the courageous spirit (Aries) that both burns and recharges with runaway zeal. A specialized kind of fire that is necessary to break up entrenched stalemates, filibusters and expose hidden rot.

Pisces always ‘works’ via paradox. It is through our most intimate sense of solitude that we connect with the universal. And within the oceanic realm of undifferentiated images, is where the spark that illuminates all that is distinct and unique — typified by the impulse of Aries — begins to glow. Pisces is that mysterious bardo or netherland between worlds, between what is most diffuse and most specific. Imagined and actualized. How do we orient and become comfortable with the passage — both the dreaming and the not knowing? T.S. Eliot explored this question in East Coker from his masterpiece Four Quartets:

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

The Sabian symbol associated with today’s New Moon in Pisces is both pensive and romantic. As translated by Dane Rudhyar it reads: “Watching the very thin moon crescent appearing at sunset, different people realize that the time has come to go ahead with their different projects.”

Waiting for the world around us to improve before taking action, before activating our creative vision, is a lopsided and unrealistic ultimatum. It is a deluded approach and can never come to pass because, truly, no man is an island. We each contribute to and at the same time comprise the very fabric of reality that we experience — what is within is without, as the Zen folks say. We are each responsible for our alignment with the creative and restorative, and as we step forward to give expression to our ‘projects’ we find ourselves participating in the process of renewal in a most personal and satisfying way.

Opening photograph by Blake Gordon from his Reality TV series. © Blake Gordon

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Filed Under: Astrology and New Moon Watch