Given the simultaneous fire and intensity of Mars and Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, today's new moon has the feeling of an important genesis moment amidst an ongoing wild fire of destruction. For example, think of the new foundations being established by thousands of people who are fleeing the fires in Canada right now. Or think of the flood victims in the deep south. These collective images are also metaphors. Something is being refined. Impurities are being burnt away, but differences and divisions are also being amplified as refinement inevitably leads to essential and basic differences that are more resistant than ever to being unified. The feeling of a holy war or a growing spiritual malignancy is in the air right now, and yet today's new moon offers an olive branch. Set a new foundation. Start fresh. There is support available right now, and it's as simple as making small changes and sticking with them, starting today.
In my morning meditation I meditated on the agitating presence of Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius. These two planets act like a goad...a hot spike that can either propel us into the rapid refinement of our spiritual work, offering focus, purification, and discipline, or injure us due to overzealousness and anger or idleness and apathy.
As I meditated on these two planets amidst this Venusian themed new moon, I was also led to study several passages in the Bible. First I revisited a story about Saul from the 1st book of Samuel. As the story goes, Saul is being tormented by an evil spirit. The evil spirit is said to have been ordained by God to torture Saul, or it is implied that the spirit is under the command of God. Saul then sends for a young man named David to come into his court and play his harp for him so that the spirit might be soothed into submission.
The story is a foreshadowing of the fact that Saul is unfit to be King and will soon be losing his throne to David. The angry spirit is a reflection of Saul's inability to lead wisely, and David's harp playing is a symbol of the way in which the power of peace subdues the power of anger. The role of the "King" is undergoing a transformation in this important passage, from angry monarchical control hungry tyrant, who rules from fear and jealous power, to one whose power flows from peace, wisdom, and gentleness. In fact, this is really the first passage that foreshadows the coming of Jesus, a prophesied King (from the line of David), who was actually called a "prince of peace" rather than a King at all. Why this distinction? Because the only real King is God, from whom all blessings, goodness, and peace flow eternally. This is a big deal because it turns the notion of monarchical power on its head.
After this, I turned to the book of Ezra and re-read an important passage where the Jewish people are rebuilding the temple after the Babylonian exile. When the foundation of the temple is laid there is an enormous riot of both weeping, praising, and laughter that is described as one voice.
Finally I turned to the last chapter of 2nd Thessalonians, to a warning against idleness. In one particular line the apostle Paul writes, "We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busy bodies." He goes on to urge people to work for their own food, so as not to be lazy or reliant upon the corruption of the world or the market place.
As usual, keep in mind that I am studying the bible from an ecumenical and universalist's mindset. From this perspective, I see within these passages several archetypal themes that pertain to our new moon today.
* Real power comes from peace
* Even the most destructive things we are faced with, whether they be inner demons, wild fires, floods, or the evil in the world, can be seen or understood as operating within the jurisdiction of divinity
* The best way to subdue the intensity or the "rulership" of destructive forces is to stay firmly but flexibly rooted in peace, love, and compassion
* Music helps to calm malefic spirits
* Rebuilding something or setting an important new foundation often involves both laughter and weeping, both joy and deep sorrow
* When faced with so much destruction, chaos, and overwhelm, it's easy to become idle, lazy, or apathetic, but our liberation is likened to growing our own food. Our will is best applied to the work of receiving what is always being freely given. This work also naturally feeds others.
Prayer: Comfort our spirits with the music of your love. Help us to establish powerful new foundations, rooted in your peace. Teach us how to receive what you give freely, so that we might give freely to others.