The Moon is in Libra today, and quickly applying to pass over the eclipse points from last month. It's a big day of momentum building and transition as we approach the full moon this weekend. Mercury is about to enter its home sign of Gemini where it will quickly enter the shadow phase of its upcoming retrograde.
What to watch for:
* Suddenly the mind feels ready to get moving again (Mercury entering Gemini)
* The slow mind begins multi-tasking (Mercury entering Gemini)
* A sudden curiosity or fascination with new subjects, people, or ideas (Mercury entering Gemini with Venus in Gemini)
* The attraction to words and language (Venus in Gemini)
* Building bonds of affection (Moon in Libra/Venus in Gemini)
* An attraction to wealth/class/status/sophistication/image (Moon in Libra)
* Intelligence is sexy (Moon in Libra/Mercury and Venus in Gemini)
* Moving aggressively still isn't working quite right but we've learned a lot by having to slow down (Mars in Taurus)
* Committing ourselves to a spiritual, academic, or philosophical path of study (Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Returning to something we've learned or believed in the past (Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius)
* The slow and steady building back up of confidence, trust, faith, and hope for the future and love of ourselves (Jupiter finally picking up speed direct again in Leo)
* The way words can hurt and the way words can heal (Venus in Gemini square to Chiron in Pisces)
* Gossip..a poison (Venus in Gemini square Chiron in Pisces)
* Reaping what we've sown (Moon in Libra)
* An aura of productivity (Sun entering the second decan of Taurus)
* Forced to consider something at a much deeper level than we anticipated, quicker than we anticipated (Pluto retrograde and heavy/slow/not moving much)
* Pride/ego/productivity/luck/desire/success/cravings/status/stature (Sun in Taurus squaring Jupiter in Leo)
As the Moon is covering the eclipse points from last month, the ramifications of the last cycle might be coming into clear view for the first time. Steps of clarity are part of the process of transition. As we approach Mercury retrograde again the transition will go through a good 3-5 more weeks of clarifying itself. In the meantime much is still falling out and shifting from the last Pluto/Uranus square and last months eclipses. It's hard to be precise about what's happening right now because we're still seeing after shocks from the big astrology of the past month or two, but we're also in the midst of a very bustling time of multiple transitions where nothing is moving super quickly or directly.
For example, Pluto is retrograde, Neptune is slowing down to station, Uranus is still moving along, but Saturn is retrograde, and Jupiter is still slow (but finally picking up speed). Meanwhile three inner planets are plodding along through Taurus and otherwise Venus is in Gemini. All of this, and YET we're coming off two eclipse cycles that engaged the last exact square of the Pluto/Uranus square.
Aftershocks and otherwise slow/steady or transitional types of energy.
Prayer: Transitions take time, and aftershocks are a normal part of the process
The Moon is in Virgo today, applying to a mutable t-square with Chiron in Pisces and Venus in Gemini.
A good day to consider the use of language and its ability to heal wounds, as well as the way words can be twisted or used unconsciously to deepen or worsen wounds.
For example...the use of the word "thug," used by our president and also the mayor of Baltimore to refer to what could also arguably be called a natural uprising of angry youth. Does the use of words like "criminal" or "thug" adequately or sensitively address the complexities at play in events like the ones we've seen in Baltimore? On one level, we can all agree that some of the rioting and looting reflects a kind of mob-mentality that should probably be criticized. At the same time, doesn't nature express rioting in so many different ways all the time? Isn't it natural for a system to heat up to the point of exploding? And isn't chaos part of that process?
Let's explore the wounding and wounded nature of the word "thug," as well as its mythic depth and vitality.
The word "thug" comes from an Indian/Hindi word "thag/thak," which means to cheat or swindle. Going deeper into the sanskrit the root means something like "he covers" or "he conceals." The word has a long history of being associated with groups of religious fanatics who roamed the countryside of India in the guise of peddlers, gaining the confidence of other travelers, whom they would strangle. One source I found says, "The motive of the thugs was not so much lust of plunder as a certain religious fanaticism. The bodies of their victims were hidden in graves dug with a consecrated pickax, and of their spoil one third was devoted to the goddess Kali, whom they worshiped."
Could it be that even though we're using the word "thug" negatively, that its roots bear an unconscious connection to the goddess Kali, whose demands for blood and sacrifice are "concealed" by the very history and roots of the word?
I'm not trying to glorify vandalism or destruction of neighborhoods. But at what point do we not recognize the hypocrisy or poetic irony of the very words we use to describe some of the events unfolding before us? At what point do we stop ourselves and do the inner work of seeing the gods in our midst?
Thugs, as many leaders are commenting today in response to our president and other leaders, is perhaps just the new "N word." And even the "n word," means something like "black." How afraid are we of the archetypal significance of what black is and what black does. Not just as a race, but as an expression of divine forces. How long will it take us to realize that the words we fear are the same words we use most insensitively or aggressively? Isn't it the hardest thing to admit Kali into our midst? Isn't it the hardest thing to acknowledge and honor the real depth and power of what's just happened around the world? Isn't it so hard to do so because to do so would be to truly allow ourselves into the black...into the depths...into something other than the continued polarization of "black and white," always toward the ennobling white.
Words can help and words can heal; when we study words their history resounds with divine power. Can we blame our black male president for wanting to separate one kind of black male image from another? No, of course on one level we all understand it. But on another level we have to seriously consider the ironies of the use of a word like "thug" from our political leader, and the way the word tends to 'whiten' the black rather than truly allowing ourselves to be penetrated by its archetypal autonomy.
Kali rages until she's heard...though, like the history of the "thugs" from India, the practices of Kali are also partially hidden or concealed, otherwise how could the black night guard the invisible landscapes from the trespassers of the day world? Words like "thug," seem to be more like the evidence of the day world's frustration with the contradictions or complexities of the black night.
Subtly of language and sensitivity of language blackens the black and offers dark roses of gratitude at the altar of Kali's temple. May we find the courage to remember the gods in our words and ideas...rather than using words too quickly or ignorantly or condemning words as just empty "words."
Prayer: Help us to feel the gods in our words and thoughts, and may our words and thoughts be healing, patient, sensitive, and wise.
The Moon is in Cancer today, applying to trine Neptune as it squares the nodal axis later this afternoon. Then it will move into the Pluto/Uranus square by opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus. A busy day of aspects.
What to watch for:
* Contentious discussions about values, plans, resources, goals, finances, and the future (Mars/Mercury conj in Taurus)
* Inflamed or aggressive communication dynamics (Mars/Mercury conj in Taurus)
* Financial hardship (Mars in Taurus)
* Hard work pays off (Mars in Taurus)
* Slow/dense pace makes ambitions feel frustrated (Mars/Mercury in Taurus)
* Flirtacious communication (Venus in Gemini)
* Teasing, options, vacillating, two options or choices, information as sexual stimulation (Venus in Gemini)
* The attraction to talking, chatting, visiting, researching, reading, and writing (Venus in Gemini)
* The gift of words (Venus in Gemini)
* Youthful, sensual, flighty, hard to pin down (Venus in Gemini)
* Lush, sensual, slow, secure, relaxed, trusting (Sun in Taurus)
* Springtime desires, fertility, and abudnance (Sun in Taurus)
* Controlling, hoarding, greedy, lustful, selfish (Sun in Taurus)
* Living beyond our means, or comfortably within? (Sun in Taurus)
* Revisiting, revising, or reflecting upon our beliefs, philosophical assumptions, or the meaning of our lives and our purpose (Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Returning confidence, faith, optimism, excitement, pride, dignity, and loyalty (Jupiter finally picking up speed in Leo, direct)
* Forging ahead in new directions, dynamic new intentions and creative plans, but also plans that require major growth, maturity, and structural transformation (Uranus in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn)
* Looking at home, family, what nourishes us, and choices related to the establishment of these values in more regular/everyday ways (Moon in Cancer today, square the nodes of the Moon)
* Compassion, empathy, sweetness, imagination, daydreams, and emotional neediness (Moon in Cancer trine Neptune in Pisces today)
* Facing something from the past, growing up, family/home/domestic/inner/private/ancestral karma, eruptions from the unconscious, and dynamic moments of change and transformation related to all of the above, especially through relationships (Moon opposite Pluto and square to Uranus)
Over the next few days not only will the Uranus/Pluto square and the eclipse points from last month all be triggered, but then we'll be moving into our first quarter square of the moon cycle. Simply put: whatever came up last month, whatever the "big stuff" is for you right now, an important "next step" or next crisis of action and response is going to come through over the weekend. Things should be clarifying themselves, but the big work is still structural overhauls and the long/slow transformation from one era to another. It's challenging because the transformation or the future toward which we are moving is more or less clear, and yet the pace of Taurus season demands that we relax and ease through each and every step. This moon cycle is offering us rest and stabilization...a bit like the first hour of the morning..when the animal inside of us is stretching, waking, and loosening up into the new day. But even beyond this phase of recovery, we're also gathering resources and stabilizing ourselves for a concerted effort that will take place over the summer months. This strange push and pull can make critical moments like the ones we're looking at over the next 3 days feel anticlimactic. As the IChing says "Little things: good fortune."
Prayer: Help us to take stock, gather, and focus on the small things we can do to aid in the larger changes that are as of yet still beyond our control.
image courtesy of creative commons:
The Moon is in Gemini today, void of course, and meanwhile Venus and Jupiter are sextile to each other today and Mercury and Mars are conjunct.
What to watch for:
* Poor planning or trying to do too much too quickly when the pace and energy demands slower and more methodical steps (Mercury/Mars in Taurus)
* Overstimulation, too much on the plate, scatter brained, all over the place (Venus in Gemini)
* Lack of appropriate communication or dialogue, misdirection, secrets, deception, illusions or delusions, crazy people (Venus in Gemini square Neptune in Pisces)
* Sacred or holy scriptures or texts, reading or writing projects, competitive communication (Venus in Gemini square Neptune in Pisces and Mercury conj Mars in Taurus)
* Effective use of time and organizing energy and resources, difficulty or contention in doing so, needing to take the lead, laziness or ineffective thinking/planning (Mercury/Mars in Taurus)
* Lucky/breakthroughs/favorable rolls of the dice (Venus sextile Jupiter)
* Faith, hope, optimism returning (Venus sextile Jupiter finally picking up speed direct)
* Charm, wit, sex appeal, attraction, magnetism, persona, flirtation (Venus in Gemini sextile Jupiter in Leo)
* An unexpected/positive communication or piece of news or information or idea (Venus in Gemini sextile Jupiter in Leo)
* Denial, avoidance, or stubborn resistance to the truth (Mercury/Mars in Taurus)
* Sexual curiosity (Venus in Gemini)
* Communicative, busy minded, bustling errands that accomplish less than hoped for (Moon void of course in Gemini)
* Simplification of time/energy (Mars/Mercury in Taurus)
* Revising or revisiting old beliefs (Saturn picking up speed retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Delving more deeply into patterns that have come up in the past six months for healing...getting real/responsible about things (Pluto just turned retrograde in Capricorn)
* Mature/adult challenges/responsibilities/transformations underway...time to "pull up the pants, buckle the belt, and do what needs to be done" (Pluto retrograde in Capricorn)
* Easy, slow, laid back, luscious, spring vibes in the air (Sun in Taurus)
An interesting mix of energies. How can we attempt to summarize what's going on this moon cycle? Let's look at the evidence first. 1. We had a new moon in the culminating degrees of Aries, 2. We're just coming off an intense eclipse cycle and the last Pluto/Uranus square, 3. We've got almost all the planets from Jupiter out to Neptune moving very slowly right now, and almost all of them (save Jupiter) will be retrograde together this summer, 4. All of our moon cycles until September will open in the last ten culminating degrees of each season's sign (next is late Taurus, then late Gemini, Cancer, and Leo).
Summary: As we've been saying for a while now, an old era is ending and a new one is beginning. However, major transitions take long periods of time. Though much of the big waves have already come through last month's eclipse cycle, each successive moon cycle now, along with the coming bulk of outer planets in retrograde, imply that we are revising major psychic and physical structures in our lives right now in order to accommodate the new era that's "slowly but surely" establishing itself.
This month the question has to do with the hard work of managing, planning, and reorganizing our time, energy, and resources. It's a bit of a nuts and bolts kind of month, though the temptation to be lazy or take the foot off the gas is huge. Part of the reason it might be easy to be lazy or indulgent right now is because many of us need some recovery from last month's eclipse intensity. So the question of managing time and energy is all the more pertinent. How do we shift the psychic structures of our lives rather than just lick our wounds and then persist in the same negative patterns all over again? There is no rest for the weary whose patterns make themselves weary. The work must be done, now, so that the need for rest that we're craving can be realized as an overall way of life. Putting it off only sinks our heels deeper into our own muddy denial.
Meanwhile, there is a real air of curiosity and openness reflected in the planets at this time. If we can tap into the free flow of information and insights available, the work we need to do for the sake of this long term transformation (really the work of this entire spring and summer) will happen much easier than we think. In fact it's our stubbornness of thought right now that will keep us mired down and pleading for an easy pacification of the spiritual labor pains we're experiencing.
Image/story to work with: a kid hates his acne and wants to clean up his face. He knows that in order to do this he needs to clean his bedroom, practice better hygiene, wash his clothes, order that special advanced face cream, and stop picking at his face in the mirror all the time. However, when he thinks of all the work involved to clean up his act a little, he feels so heavy that he gets anxious and goes to the mirror to pick at his face. This cycle repeats throughout an entire winter, until Spring comes. Finally the call of the open air, the sunshine, and the promise of a new day are too great to deny. He's going to do it because he wants to get out there and enjoy himself. It's slow going at first, and in some ways it gets worse before it gets better...but he knows he has to stick with it.
Prayer: Help us to accept ourselves as we are, but also help us to participate in the changes happening right now. Help us do our work so that the changes might involve fewer scars, if possible!
Image courtesy of creative commons: Dystopos
The dark moon is in Pisces today. Meanwhile, Mars is almost exactly square to Jupiter, while Venus continues its t-square transit with Saturn and Neptune.
What to watch for:
* The return of faith hope and optimism (Jupiter moving direct again)
* Hard fought victories and toughing it out (Mars/Jupiter)
* Financial obligations, responsibilities, and control over finances (Mars/Jupiter)
* Planning for the future (Mars/Jupiter)
* War, machismo, masculinity, adrenaline, courage, assertiveness (Mars/Jupiter)
* Ego competitions (Mars/Jupiter)
* Selfish/gluttonous levels of desire/ego (Mars/Jupiter)
* Slowly slogging through to the finish line (Mars/Jupiter)
* Victims, prisoner, martyrs, sinners, saints, sacrifices (Moon in Pisces)
* Emotional turbulence, sensitivity, psychosomatic (Moon in Pisces)
* The big picture, the end of a cycle (dark Moon in Pisces)
* Addiction, escapism, emotional eating, drugs (Moon in Pisces)
* Feeling inbetween worlds (Moon in Pisces)
* Immunity, sickness that's more than just a virus or infection (Moon in Pisces)
* Sexual infidelity versus commitment (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Differences of belief or value in relationships (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The attraction of the young to the old or vice versa (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Curiosity and mutliplicity versus commitment and monogamy (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The sacrifices of love, belief, and faith within relationships (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Divine discontent, confusion, faith and doubt, longing (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Creative vision, belief, and dialogue (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Maturity versus youthfulness and the blurry lines between (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Imaginative formulations..ideas taking shape, inspirations finding form (Venus/Neptune/Saturn)
* Deception, trickery, dishonesty, illusion, delusion, and self-deceit (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
As we move through the dark moon, a powerful eclipse cycle is coming to its conclusion.
Prayer: May we see now the lessons of this cycle. Help us to receive rest and healing as we prepare to move beyond this gateway and into the next chapter.
image courtesy of creative commons: halfrain
The Moon is in Aquarius this morning and heading into its balsamic, "dark moon" phase. Meanwhile the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square is intensifying, as is the Mars/Jupiter square.
More on the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square.
The word "epistemology" comes from the Greek "episteme" which means a "knowledge or acquaintance with something." It also means, "skill or experience." Add the "ology" and you get something like, "the study of knowledge, skill, and experience." Unfortunately most people speak of epistemology in purely philosophical terms, as "the study of knowledge," and even worse the "episteme" part of the word gets reduced to its most analytical sounding component, "knowledge."
But even with the science or study of "knowledge," we're generally not ACknowledging the deeper and more mysterious resonance of the word that is the subject/object of study. The word knowledge has a variety of root associations, including "honoring something superior or worship," and even more interesting, "to have sexual intercourse with."
So, using these deeper meanings as our guide for the moment, what can we say about our "theories of knowledge," or put more simply, our "beliefs?" We might say that each set of beliefs, each piece of knowledge we carry, is to some extent the distilled or rarefied expression of our experiences. Stranger: whatever knowledge we carry is also sexual experience. Our knowledge and beliefs reflect the kind of "intercourse" we've been having with the world: environments, people, culture, geography, race, religion, gender, etc.
Our curiosity to learn more about other people, other parts of the world, other beliefs, other ways of seeing, doing, or believing, is also a sexual curiosity. To know anything involves an intimacy that we can't help but experience as sexual, even if only on a psychic level.
Right now, many of our relationships are reflecting back to us the nature of our beliefs or knowledge...the accumulated experiences, their differences or similarities, which in turn are reflecting different sexual orientations, styles, aesthetic values, or curiosities.
We're so hooked on the OLOGY part of epistemology, that we forget that experience, deep sexually intimate experiences with the world around us, are inseparable from the logical or intellectual comparisons between "systems of knowledge or belief." In fact, we're so hooked on the OLOGY piece of it that many people throw it right out the window. "What do you believe?" we ask someone. And they say, "Well, I'm spiritual not religious," which is a way of saying, "My mind and body is sexually intimate with a lot of ideas and experiences, and putting them into one particular system would close the door to more of those experiences, so I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious."
Even when people choose things like "universalism" or "oneness," but then embrace hugely contradictory metaphysical ideas or ways of seeing or thinking, most people sort of nod and smile because we each "acknowledge" that these all inclusive notions are just more ways of honoring the experiential nature of the soul...the love or the making loveness of life.
The problem with all of this (not that it's always a problem) comes when reflecting on the fact that so many of these all inclusive faith or knowledge statements originate from an overly dichotomized view of dichotomies themselves. Because we don't want to shut ourselves down to the ongoing love making of experience (which is how we feel real knowledge is made), we react too strongly to the idea of systems or theories of knowledge all together. Granted that this is usually because so many of the theories or systems of knowledge DENY the ongoing experiential nature of truth, but nonetheless we tend to react to these rigid systems by closing down our imaginations to the value or beauty of such systems across the board.
It's sort of like saying, "Just because monogamy can be a really shitty institutional form of relating, doesn't mean it's useless or bad. Just because systems of knowledge or truth are often repressive, doesn't mean they are ONLY repressive."
Staying "open," therefore is sometimes more like "the dogma of non-commitment," which can be another way of saying "selfishness" or "defensiveness." Staying "all inclusive," is sometimes more like, "the dogma of indifference or apathy."
Isn't it true that Picasso committed to the color "Blue" for a brilliant moment of his painting career? Hemingway the simple sentence? Bowie to Ziggy Stardust? Prince to Jehovah's witnesses? Dickinson to her attic view? Or Madonna to the virgin and the whore?
Isn't it possible to commit very deeply to someone, something, some way of seeing or knowing, without denying the ongoing and radically open nature of experience? Don't we see the paradox all around us, and isn't there something refreshing about epistemological commitment? Don't we also admire statements of belief, commitments to schools of thought or traditions, doctrines, dogmas, lineages, apprenticeships, specialties, styles and subjects?
Don't we eventually clarify our tastes, needs, and abilities in between the sheets of life?
The distaste that people often have for polyamory (not trying to pick on polyamory now) is the same distaste that people have for universalism or oneness. While it works for some people, there is also strange dogma or insistence upon the "radically open and without monogmaous commitment of any kind," that rubs people the wrong way, like the person you sleep with who makes you feel like you're just another person on a long list of lays that are mostly impersonal.
Our intellectual and spiritual commitments are begging to be made from the place of natural selection...from the most organic and soulful places convalescing into shapes and colors and styles...just as much an aesthetic as a "belief." Like Picasso's blue or Madonna's cone stabbing bras in the 80's. Universalism isn't always the answer because Universalism is like an intellectual (rather than aesthetic) rejection of a non-aesthetic way of being.
The truth is that we like laying in bed with some gods more than others. Some ideas penetrate us more than others. Some seduce and take our mental pants off more than others. Some hold and nurture us more than others. We can't avoid this process of differentiation if we want to grow in truth. Because truth is like the development of the thousand wings and colors of a single peacock's tail. Truth grows and changes all the time, and commitments to particular truths, especially the kind that naturally exclude others, are just as important to the soul's individuation as any all inclusive faith statement.
Right now we're looking eye to eye with each other, and any of these questions or concerns might be present:
* Do you know the same things I know and is that make or break?
* Are we capable of creating a compatible reality?
* Are we sexually compatible on the deepest level?
* Is this environment stimulating enough for my soul?
* Do I have enough faith, do I need more, or is my ambivalence just fine?
* Does he/she/this group really see me or experience me as I am?
* Am I desired or desirable exactly as I am?
* In what ways are my beliefs changing based on new experiences I'm having?
* What compromises am I willing to make in my relationships based on what I believe or what my experiences have led me to value?
* What am I missing or longing for in terms of the conversations or relationships happening in my life right now?
Prayer: Commitment isn't something that can stop new experiences. Commitment is a kind of experience itself. Help us to understand this, and lead us toward our soul's deepest commitments in this moment.
image courtesy of creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkcotton/
The Moon is in late Capricorn, about to enter Aquarius. Meanwhile, Venus has just entered Gemini and is applying to create a t-square with Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces. Meanwhile, Mars in Taurus is moving into a square with Jupiter in Leo.
A list of what to watch for given these two transits, and then a brief meditation on the subject of truth and belief.
What to watch for:
* The subjects of finances, financial goals, hardship, and long term planning or building
* Masculinity, machismo, pride, bread winning males, using finances as a weapon or tool of domination
* The need to be self-reliant financially, materially
* Investing and extravagant purchases or penny pinching
* Windfalls and unexpected expenses
* Eyes bigger than wallet
* Attraction to wealth, disillusionment with wealth
* A slow, hard fought victory
* Muscle, strength, force, combat, warriors, and adrenaline
* Big, tough, over the top styles and fashion
* Curiosity leads to a crisis of faith
* Dabbling and toying
* Wandering eyes, wandering heart, wandering mind
* A religious debate
* Revisioning beliefs, dogmas, and doctrines
* Questions about truth, comparisons of experience
* Polytheism versus monotheism
* Integral wisdom versus laws/pre-existing systems
* Morality versus amorality
* Vacillating between options
* Scriptural versus experiential knowledge or wisdom
* Core beliefs..do we need them?
* The equally obnoxious dogma of non-religious people
* Philosophical ambivalence
* Sexual deviance and play...the "apple in the garden"
* Epistemological commitment
Let's take a moment to look at the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square in greater depth. As Saturn is very slow and retrograde in Sagittarius right now, many of us are getting the opportunity to revise or reflect upon the nature of our faith or beliefs. The complexities of the centaur image are sometimes hard to understand in light of the subjects of faith and belief, but it's a good moment to look at them in depth.
First let's recall that the greatest teacher in Greek myth was a centaur (Chiron). Then let's also remember that Centaurs in Greek myth were the most unruly, wild, and disruptive mythical creatures. This dichotomy is present in the image of the centaur itself: half man, half horse. Right there we have maybe one of the simplest descriptions of all religious traditions: the struggle between the 'lower' animal nature and the 'upper' rational nature. For the most part religions have been built upon the idea that the lower animal nature is problematic: sinful, fallen, ugly, irrational, destructive, unreliable, self-destructive, lustful, overly aggressive, self-centered, etc. From this basic problem (let's call it the original sin or the fundamental flaw theory), there comes a huge variety of techniques and wisdom that are applied to address this problem so that humans can evolve upward toward any number of goals or ideals (the centaur's fiery arrow pointing outward and upward): nirvana, enlightenment, the SELF, the higher self, god, redemption, salvation, heaven, etc.
From these techniques and wisdom (really simplifying things here), we can see the development of doctrines, scriptures, dogmas, and religions, as well as a huge amount of cultural/social structures all over the world.
Before we say anything else, the first task is to simply recognize, "This is one incredibly beautiful dimension of the Sagittarian archetype." Because how many of us can deny the reality of these themes and experiences? We are often torn up by what can rightly be called a lower nature, and we often need to seek a higher calling in order to move beyond the painful snares of our lower nature.
However, we can't stop here or we won't have an appreciation for the fullness and diversity of the Centaur/Sag archetype.
The other thing about the centaur is that the rational man grows out of the animal image. Recall that a huge portion of our zodiac is dedicated to animal images! Let's say that the horse part of the centaur represents the unbound presence, freedom, and naturalness of experience. Experience is non-stop. We are always experiencing. Something new, something different. And as we experience we reflect upon our experiences. Our reflections congeal to create wisdom and knowledge. And yet, experience doesn't stop. So why should wisdom and knowledge stop? Here we see the unruly Centaur's first hoof stampings. Because whenever wisdom tries to arrest motion, tries to stop the flow of new experiences, the horse feels as though it is being dominated or controlled by "the man." And what animal enjoys being in a cage? What animal won't gnaw it's own paw off to get out of a trap? We should consider the idea that the freedom and experience seeking horse isn't just a function of our unruly animal nature, but also the truth of the spirit that will always precede or exist simultaneous to wisdom.
A simple statement from the horse half's point of view: wisdom is integral (not outside of) experience. And experience does not stop. Experience is eternal, it has always been happening and it will always be happening. It has no ultimate beginning or end. Therefore our spiritual goals are not reachable in any ultimate sense..not in any sense that stops us from the continual experience of being (which is wild and free, unbound, neither right or wrong, moral or immoral).
When we realize this, the rebellions of the horse against the man (the preacher caught with gay porn, the guru who sleeps with her student, the heretic, the rebel, the wanderer, the gypsy and nomadic hippy who won't get a job) are really just images of the insistence that real wisdom never be separate from ongoing experiences. We rebel against doctrines and dogmas and all forms of "law" when they become barriers to the ongoing process of discovery...to the ongoing process of revelation and truth...which is tantamount to experience itself.
From this point of view can we not better understand our greatest teachers and prophets? So many of them were reformers and radicals. And yet the same temptation overwhelms us when we try to take the teachings of these free-spirited sages and lock them down into the prison of historical doctrines and dogmas. Why are we so afraid of transcending the insights of old prophets and visionaries, religions and traditions? Not "transcend" meaning "one up" but transcend meaning "continue the experience." To have more experiences, and to have new or different insights and wisdom? Can we not imagine a universe where insight, truth, and discovery are as endless and originless as life itself?
This view is the upside down view of the horse half.
Is it necessary to marry the man and horse together? The Greeks didn't think so. Instead they simply presented the "isness" of both archetypal tendencies, as well as their struggles, in one single image. Centaurs are wise and controlled sages (like Chiron), and they're also unruly experience seekers. They are rebels and misfits who break into parties and smash the glassware of doctrines and dogmas, and they are the sages who write scriptures and teach astrology and yoga and meditation and prayer...offering institutions of wisdom for generations to come.
The hardest part of doing archetypal astrology is to resist the temptation to try to "solve" the problems of archetypal dichotomies. We want to "marry the horse and human" into perfect harmony...most of the time we don't realize that this is simply a horse whispering hypnotism being performed by the tricky man on top. A missionary position pretending its diplomatic.
As long as Centaurs are part of our imagination, so are these struggles. The man half will always be more likely to think they need to be solved. The horse half more comfortable with the struggle.
A simple take away: your experiences keep going, and so does your wisdom. Your problems keep persisting, and so do your solutions.
Prayer: may we learn to harness the horse, and may the horse continue to buck and gallop and surprise us along.
The Moon in Capricorn is applying to conjoin Pluto and square Uranus today, before making its last quarter late tonight. As usual this hard turning point of our eclipse cycle is engaging the Pluto/Uranus square and therefore packs a cosmic punch!
Here's a list of what to watch for, along with planetary matches:
* Family/ancestral karma or patterns rumbling beneath the surface, or even erupting into plain view (Moon/Conj Pluto in Capricorn)
* The topic of elders, grandparents, and lineage or inheritance (Moon/Pluto in Capricorn)
* Work that's exhausting but also necessary (Moon in Capricorn)
* The subjects of necessity, coldness, achievement, and determination (Moon in Capricorn)
* The culmination of wisdom around a subject from the past (Moon in Capricorn/Saturn its ruler very slow and retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Inflammatory debates/topics/discussions (Pluto/Uranus activated by the Moon and the Sun conjunct Mercury in Aries)
* Renewing our faith (Jupiter direct)
* Remembering our faith (Jupiter direct)
* The love of discussion, conversation, information, and nervous stimulation (Venus entering Gemini)
* Falling in love over coffee/tea/chatting/email/online dating (Venus entering Gemini)
* Two sides to everything, the trickster (Venus entering Gemini)
* Disillusionment or questioning of a particular kind of faith/belief (Saturn slow/retrograde in Sagittarius and square to Neptune in Pisces)
* Fascination with money, power, greed, machismo, masculinity, muscle, and performance (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Leo)
* Unexpected breakthroughs, rebelliousness, resistance, individuation
* Windfalls, super highs and lows, financial crisis and breakthroughs (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Leo, now direct)
* Curiosity and sexual deviancy (Venus in Gemini)
* Polyamory, polygamy, the goddess in all her guises (Venus in Gemini)
* Feeling like you're out of the woods but that it's also going to take a longer time to be clear of something (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter direct in Leo)
The feeling that we're regaining faith, vision for the future, and confidence is on the rise, but there's also the distinct sense that it will take a lot of work and that the going might be slower than we wish.
Asking ourselves this question might help: "Would you really learn the deeper lessons of all of this if the turnaround was too quick or too easy?"
We can't learn how to preserve the good things in our life, the good values, the desired future, etc, unless we learn how to hold those desire lightly, free from too much expectation, control, or selfishness. This idea is one written in the stars right now...
Prayer: Let the good things come in time, let our attachment to their fruits live outside of time. May we savor rather than savior. May we taste our desires rather than be swallowed whole by them.
Image courtesy of creative commons: Elaine
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.