………..’the truth hurts but the lies are killing us’…….
These words from the Danish scientist Niels Harrit carry much weight and gravity in our times. In a recent interview on RedIce Radio Niels revealed how the collapse of building 7 next to the twin towers of the WTC on 9/11 is a clear and in-plain-sight demonstration of a building in free-fall…..without even taking into account the fact that there were no physical impacts to this building, as a physical structure this should not have happened. Even if it was a deliberate demolition carried out through conventional use of explosives the material substance of the building would not have behaved this way; the steel skeleton of the building, the tensile strength and material resistance of its superstructure, were eliminated, its mass integrity ‘atomised’ and rendered resistance free as it collapsed. Free-fall. And remember, this was the building that housed offices occupied by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the Immigration & Naturalisation Services, the Department of Defence, several major Banks, and the CIA, amongst others. With extreme irony, as an image of the collapse of a power structure under the direct influence of a greater intrinsic power, it is a provocative metaphor. There are so many ways it can be read as such, that reflect the dynamic of change we are engaged with in the world right now……
……we don’t like to look at the truth when it is painful, when it incurs a cost on our well-being and happiness, but, there comes a point where avoiding the truth no longer becomes an option, where the threat of doing so supercedes the pain, where the cost of remaining passive in the face of a painful truth excedes the suffering of living under the lie. This is a truth that the people of Turkey are demonstrating to the world as I write. In the coming weeks the cost of this newest uprising of collective protest and defiance in the face of oppression and fear will ripple out and will register amongst the people worldwide – and, while the consequences of that ripple effect are largely unforesee-able, at least in their exact form at this point, we can sense the possibilities; those have already been given precedence in Egypt, Libya, Syria and many other countries where the people have risen up in protest……but, the chances of those consequences being realised signal truths that register with extreme clarity within the corridors of power. Little wonder the mainstream media news-channels so often choose to act as if nothing of this nature were happening. It is broadcasting denial.
Such denial itself is a top-down strategy, imposed from the upper-echelons of the incumbent power structures, that also harbours a blatant lie – there is absolutely no doubt about this. The diplomatic hotlines will be on fire, heads of State will be checking and establishing where each other stands, while ‘the usual forces’ will be applied in suppressing the uprisings. The main instrument of that suppression is use of force, but, its effectiveness is not simply physical – it relies on fear for full impact and denial for justification. The metaphor of building 7 finds its purpose here – the power that can deliver collapse is immanent, and widespread. No amount of media blackouts can hide this truth, even if the powers that be would like to subvert its reality under the banner of ‘Terrorism’. Terror or no, suppression feeds its own demise. And, although it can take generations for that demise to materialise, it can also arrive with devastating speed and impact.
The equations of terror applied as a calculated instrument of suppression are couched in the langauge of cryptic lies deliberately designed to spread fear. However, there is a powerful force waiting to be activated and realised if the spirit of revolt is allowed to spread amongst the people. It is the will and spirit of the People. That spirit has a history as long as that of the oppressors, and the source of its power is not only truth, but, fearlessness. When I started writing this article, some weeks ago, it began as an astrological meditation on that spirit, with a focus on the present and the potential energy for its emergence writ large in the stars. The propensity for that spirit to emerge within the world in our coming times needs to be looked at. We also need to glance over our shoulders. There is a point in time at which that spirit began to take on its most recent manifestation, that can be identified astrologically, and which is living through the generations alive in our times. We are approaching the time of the fourth generation from that initiating moment. The astrology is useful as it helps us to register how the effectiveness of that spirit and its nature has morphed through time under the influence of cultural, political, scientific, economic, philosophical and spiritual developments. It also brings the nature of revolution’s own innate spiritual force into a clear perspective. For the most part, what follows here is a severely edited down version of some of the notes, drafts and interpretations of that reading, that have accumulated in the meantime; it has to be edited so, as the material that could be drawn on is so extensive, but, the voice of the historical moment has dictated it so. I was due to publish the full article on May 31st, but, then Mars hit the cusp of Gemini and the voice of the people in Turkey began to ring out with a powerful cry……
……there are many astrological factors feeding into this moment for Turkey, not least of all the current transit of retrograde Saturn in Scorpio presently closing to within a degree of the Sun in Turkey’s October 29th 1923 natal chart – a clear indicator, given the events unfolding, of attempts at internal clampdown on the will and spirit of the Turkish people that are now coming to a head. Theirs is a spirit of much depth and a will of much strength. Chiron, representing wounds and innate truths, is closely transiting Turkey’s natal Uranus – a cathartic catalystic influence of increasing potential within the collective. We share that depth, that strength, those wounds – in solidarity. These are slow moving influences, exerting pressure over time….but, the Mars transit, very closely followed by Mercury crossing into Cancer, hits home with detonating clarity that effects us all. And it is hard to avoid the fact that we are globally under the direct influence of Uranus square Pluto……the metaphysics and potential energy of revolution are seeded within that square, its spirit an unstoppable reality for us all. It only takes for the personal planets to trigger senstive points within an existing natal template for that potential to become fully present and realised through the lives of individuals and nations. So, what can we expect in the coming times? What does the astrology tell us of the bigger picture for our world.
I will be exploring this longer term view in the next part of this post, looking into the upcoming quarter between solstice and equinox, from the perspective of revolution and global transformation. That perspective will stand independantly, carry a more spiritual emphasis and focus on the long term view from the point of view of healing, and activism as a potential medium for this. But, we watch the world stage with baited breath; the bigger picture is crying out to be acknowledged and held…….and, in case you were wondering, in respect of this, the image at the head of this article carries a message that I would invite you to meditate on…..
……Monarch Butterflys migrate en-masse over thousands of miles each year, following a pathway that is innately imprinted in their ancestral memory. Within a single year four generations are birthed, the first three following the primary instinct to find food and reproduce, increasing their numbers to a profound and significant level; the fourth generation is different – this generation follows the impulse to migrate on its journey home. By the time the fourth generation emerges their numbers are so great that even the ravages of the journey cannot reduce their numbers sufficiently to prevent its collective destiny being realised and the journey being completed. Such are their numbers that their future generations can be ensured and the ancestral link to their innate nature kept alive. This in itself is a powerful metaphor, but, we need to go a little deeper to get its full import…….
Within the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly the process of cellular and molecular deconstruction, breakdown and reconstitution within the chrysalis is facilitated and ‘managed’ by certain cells that hold the genetic codes of this process intact throughout – these cells are called the ‘Imaginals’.
The Imaginal cells within each generation of the Monarch butterfly assure the transformation from caterpillar into butterfly, but, it is the generational cycle that this in turn ensures that allows the Monarch Butterfly to achieve critical mass……..
…….what feeds the Imaginal is its connection with the bigger inter-generational picture, its crowning glory being its journey beyond the chrysalis, beyond the generation that it gives rise to, an ancestral journey that belongs to its spirit and is foreseen in a time to come.
As we stand, the long reach of the human journey encapsulates much of the Monarch butterfly’s, and, like them, our generational homeland calls to us with innate power. Perhaps for us in this time it is most clearly evident in the rising spirit of revolution, a force of nature that is both historical and of the moment. The wide scope of our future is narrowing and the time is fast approaching for our own migration – that migration is so intimately bound up with the release from the cocoon of oppression, lies and suffering, that we cannot help but know this is a journey into truth. It is the role of the Imaginals that is crucial for us now. The very word has power…..and it is here that we have our mandate. We are on the cusp of the fourth generation, witnessing its emergence, and its spirit lives through us.
……..when silence speaks to us, why break silence……
……..its voice is more eloquant than a thousand poets, and, more filled with meaning, heart and the presence of soul….than all the words we cast about it…..
…..our bodies too speak, have their language, and their silence, forged in the greater silence of being…..what greater poetry is there than the body of Life!? Yet, it, like the voice of silence, is oft drowned out by the cacophony of worldly life…..
‘We have fallen into the place where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes rise into the atmosphere, and if the whole world’s harp should burn up,
there will still be hidden instruments playing, playing
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge of driftwood along the beach wanting, wanting
They derive from a slow and powerful root that we cannot see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out!’ (1)
It has been said that we arrive here forgetful, of our path, the one we have come to find and make, its destination and meaning, and the one we have trod in coming here. Yet, forgetting, we forget again. And, the world is filled with noise…..
You would think, we must be in shock, as, we learned, long ago, if the voice of our heart be true to the origin of memories we carry, that we are children, that we are at play, forever at the onset of our road, finding the voice of its story, and forgetting…….in that moment the story of our life is the gift we have come to deliver, and, how close to our true voice we are as children……cast around, and listen….do you hear that voice, present in the world, amidst the hubbub…..it is there….if the heart is open to hearing it, once again……
Yet, we have shod our hearts in ill-fitting shoes of lives forgotten, poorly remembered, as yet unlived…..shoes that we would have the soles of our souls protected by, out of the hope that we might in wearing them walk the extra mile, and in doing so, recollect and remember our soul roads……
Our shoes filled with earth, with the legacy of stars, with blood and ancestry, our hearts filled with long memories walking the soul road, this body is more than ourselves, borrowed from the wind, the fire, the ocean, the bodies of those who have gone before us, all birthed from the one womb we call Life, and her daughter, Earth…….
…..it were better we cast off our shoes and let the silent beauty of the breathing Earth speak once more the magic every child knows in their heart to be our guide, as we travel the remembering pathways of our own soul road……
Let there be silence and let its fullness flow from the heart of all things into our hearts, if only for the blessed moment in which the voice of the Beloved is heard, and we are held, in the ecstacy, the delicious perfume of Its song….
and find the Soul Road, the path we came to here to travel…….once more.
(1) ‘Where Everything is Music’ – Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Jalalu’ddin Rumi, Maulana), 13th century Persian poet, founder of Mevlevi order / Whirling Dervishes of Sufi tradition - tanslation by Coleman Barks.
In unmasking Uranus the numinous power of Fire is released, once more. It is a central motif in a drama that is already unfolding in our time, the duel process of the unbinding of Prometheus and the consequent holding to account of his first profound act of endowing humanity with fire – in following ‘due course’ we too will be and are being held to account. It is also an act that invokes the revelation of the subtle strategies at work in the cosmos, that correspond to the coersive impulse of the archetypal, the realm of the ‘gods’, as well as the hidden agendas of the human realm. It also reveals our understanding of who we are and what we have become. We are ‘in’ the revelation zone. Yet, in Uranus as archetype the impulse is a force which follows, or at least appears to follow, the course of an unfound logic, an elemental power, like lightning, that is unexpected, instantaneous and has equally unanticipated consequences, or at least we might like to excuse ourselves in thinking so. While these qualities are in themselves anathematic to the ‘seemingly’ monumental conservatism that binds the archetypes to their motives and motivating influence there is a growing and predominant feeling in the world that we have reached the zenith of our own culpability, the nadir of our responsibility, as a reflection of our misuse of the archetypal fire. And this itself lays open Uranus workings on and in the archetypal realms. We do well to heed Hermetic wisdom. The revolution in the heavens is upon us.
And so it was with the birth into consciousness of the planet Uranus, the first to be ‘discovered’ (in 1781 by the astronomer Herschel) beyond the orbit of Saturn, and thus the upsetter of the hitherto self contained vision of a planetary cosmos, the ‘solar’ system, circumscribed by Saturn’s orbit. Beyond this was the unknown, or as yet unapprehended, and Uranus advent was an augery, a signal of that doorway into the unconscious being opened, a pathological warning that went largely unheeded, at least until the planet Neptune came into the frame. This oversight is significant in what came after, for, even though the existance of both the planets Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) was unknown to us at the time of Uranus naming, the unconscious influence of their archetypes had a deep bearing on how we reacted to possession of the Promethian fire that Uranus discovery delivered into our hands. This factor is also key in unfolding an understanding, from an astrological perspective, of the unconscious element in Uranus presence amongst us. But, at this point, the prologue is incomplete – the drama cannot be entered into without bringing more props and scenery onto the stage.
Uranus opened the way between the inner and the outer planets, and between the solar system and the starry cosmos, the celestial fundament of stellar space. That realm is symbolised in Uranus association with the Greek god Ouranos, representing the heavens. But, this is where the symbological association ends….Ouranus was an arch conservative within the pantheon of Greek creation myths, and Uranus, in astrological practice and experience, is the antithesis of that archetypal characteristic. So, how is it that the archetype persists in name but not in function and effect? It is time to unmask Uranus and in doing so once more ignite the Promethian Fire……as a torch and illuminator of our way ahead, an act of redemption. But will it be Uranus or ourselves who will be redeemed? We shall see…..
….ahh, Prometheus! The stealer of divine power in the form of Fire. Promethian cunning is kin to astrological Uranus, and with it he thwarted the gods, and we all know the consequences he suffered…..how much does this reflect the error of our own ways, their consequences in our times, at least those belonging to the western paradigm. In unmasking Uranus we also unmask those errors, and, in all their destructive elements, the stigma attached to playing with fire, the impact upon our world of a zealous and unbounded desire to wield the power of the gods, in the world. We expose our own naivety, our childish lack of fore-thought and understanding. Uranus, and Prometheus both, invited us to step beyond the Saturnian threshold, and we did so blindly, inflated with the incendiary power of the archetype, and through this, so, in standing trial, we too become unmasked, are held to account and, in the process, expose the innate dangers of assuming archetypal forces to be our own to play with. In light of this notion, it is perhaps no coincidence that Uranus discovery came amidst the rise of the ‘science paradigm’, of scientific materialism and heralded the advent of its adjunct, the industrial revolution. There are many obvious reasons why we should seek to expose ourselves to what lies behind that mask at this time, and, not least of all as Uranus is so prominently figured in the current astrology.
We are in the midst of the Uranus Pluto square, the aspect that almost certainly carries the signature of our times. Uranus in initiatic Aries and Pluto in power-house Capricorn. Seven times the square is formed and, over a period of…..years, presents us with the opportunity to experience first hand the archetypes at work through these two planets and their presence, both as influences upon and mirrors of what lies behind our own subtle, and not so subtle, strategems in the world. No two planets could be more suited to the task of upsetting the paradigmatic applecart than Uranus and Pluto, especially when in the square aspect where their combination is one of provocation and striving for relationship, rather than the harmonious co-operation we might expect of the softer aspects, the trine and sextile. So, the stage is set for the first part of the hearing, and while it may be the gods that are called to account, it is hubris that is the charge and crime – in this it is humanity that is the culpable and, possibly, only prime suspect. But, are we really culpable, or have we been duped to the highest degree? In unmasking Uranus, we will find, we must enter the realms of the arch-trickster, King Jester…..Look Out!
If there is a powerful current of revolutionary energy at work with electrifying impact in the world in our times it is, in one aspect, manifest in the exposure of Rulers, tyrants, power mongers and dictators, hidden and overt. We are seeing mass protest manifest against the usury and manipulation that they have visited and are visiting upon us, and this is building – we instinctively know that this is the case, but, the evidence is becoming rife. The material fabric of western culture is shot through with the symptoms of this usury and the world is being destroyed. Science has become infiltrated to an immense degree by the machinations of the power crazy and the self-serving. And yet, as individuals we are held to be accountable, through our lifestyles, our mindless consumerism and apparent powerlessness in the face of that great god of the scientific materialists, Progress. ‘Apparent’ though – the cracks in the armour of scientific ‘necessity’ and its saturating permeation of our lives are letting in the light of realisation and this too is motivating the uprising. This is the Uranian fire at work and Pluto, also allied in this, is breaking down the barriers, the structures that support and conceal the powers within. This too is reflected in our current scientific revolution, its fierce pace no less a threat to our world than its benefits are an astonishingly mesmerising gift. We can detect the veiled but pervasive work of Neptune’s dark side in that hypnotic influence. Yet, many are calling it an awakening, and rightly so – Uranus is also the awakener – but, many are also becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of Promethius gift to humanity.
In that awakening, in the light of the fire that was handed to us on Uranus discovery, is reflected our ability to change the world, radically. Following the Promethian hand-over, this has taken on monumental proportions. Archetypes inflate when they are taken in, when we attempt to hold them in our grasp. They carry the twin charge of inescapable necessity and compulsive force, Ananke and Bia in the divine cosmology. They grow in our psyche through their active presence and, as a result, we begin to lose sight of ourselves under such powerful numinous influences. Our pathological reaction is instinctive and motivates correspondingly innate and primarily archetypal valencies within ourselves. We act out and in the process unleash the archetypal power through ourselves into the world, or….we act-in, and become narcissistically involved with their in-dwelling and psychic charge. Much that we enact as a result is infused with unconscious qualities – the archetype, where it is confined to the instinctive, remains unintegrated, its function and effect undisclosed, its influence neurotic. This could be a description of the effects of the Uranian explosion that accompanied its discovery, that set scientific innovation on fire. We knew not what we did.
As a brief aside that was both shocking and illuminating to hear, I remember an indigenous elder describing how his grandparents world was ripped assunder by the influx of iron goods and electricity, of how these were both seen to be what they are, the products of a power base, and basis, alien to the indigenous world, and yet, it promised benefits, was also desirable! They wanted the electric light and iron cooking pot, he confessed. More recently a comment was made to me that if the ancestors had had Dremels (electrically powered crafting tools) they too would have used them to craft their talismans and everyday utensils. But, and this is a big ‘but’ and key point at this stage in the trial, they did not have the power to drive the Dremel. Although there is growing evidence to show that the ancients were well conversant with the power of the electric universe, in this court it must be noted that it is western scientific industrialism that sought to harness that power, that is carrying the burden of responsibility. And our reaction was no different to those indigenous great grandparents……but, how much of a choice did we have? Was it the hubris of the common woman and man that was at work in harnessing that power? Were we innocently led, like lambs to the slaughter, into the abattoir of technological progress?
Much power is a dangerous thing….in the wrong hands. Another indigenous elder recounted how, on being shown photographs of sky-scrapers (think about that word), his elders instant reaction was that whoever was responsible for them had a serious problem with ‘power’. Too true….as the elders revealed the indigenous world is not naive in the face of power, especially those powers that are what we in the West call ‘super-natural’. Such powers, if accessible to the individual, are integrated into the indigenous world while remaining hidden, and that hiddeness is the responsibility of the person who has access to them to maintain. There is deep wisdom in this. We have done the opposite in the West. And the Promethian fire is not simply an incendiary, it too is supernatural, originates with the gods.
Yet science will not have it. The ‘supernatural’ is fantasy. This is changing – innovative scientists, such as Rupert Sheldrake for example, are challenging the ‘scienctific paradigm of the establishment’, revealing the fantasies upon which it has built its fortress….and, there are many others hard at work on this deconstruction process while embracing the, in fact, through embracing the ‘paranormal’, supernatural and spiritual weave of the scientific fabric. Our understanding of the world we live in is changing with it. Monsanto has fulfilled Mary Shelly’s prophetic vision of Frankestein’s monster – but, this is where we are beginning to differentiate between those responsible and the rest. Pluto’s alchemy cuts both ways…..and it too has archetypal relentlessness.
But, Pluto’s is the archetype that takes us to the very depths and changes everything from the bottom up – Uranus does the opposite, bringing divine interventions and revolutionary inspiration to bear from the top down. Where they meet is in their revolutionary impact. We are caught in their midst, polarised and struggling to maintain balance – we have no choice. Yet, we have some…..
If there be a preliminary summing up to be had at this stage in the courts proceedings we need to weigh our choices. Our souls may very well be in that balance.
In doing so, lets remind ourselves of that indigenous wisdom, that brings consciousness and resposibility to the ‘possession’ of power, both in being possessed by such and having access to it. If Pluto is the alchemist, Uranus is the magician. If Pluto has the earthly power structures in the crucible, Uranus is throwing light upon the process. They both wield fire. And, we are compelled, in our current circumstances, to use this power wisely. Uranian insights are essential. We are culpable now to the extent that we make use of them, or, more correctly, in how we make use of them, for the former will, if the latter is heeded, become balanced – this much instinct tells us. We have a wise animal knowing within each of us that is not only our ally in this, but, is a primal gift of the ancestors. That knowing connects us to our roots, passing through both Uranus and Pluto’s realms to meet us, and offering us a root of knowledge that has been all but erased from our human world, but persists. That we have such within reach is crucial – this isn’t to say that instinct will save the day – we need far more conscious articulation of our knowledge and wisdom. And we can find it.
In Uranus we also find the higher levels of consciousness, you could say, which to us in a sense, are also the instincts of the divine, of the gods. And it is this that is the missing element, the unapprehended attribute of the sacred fire that we bypassed on our way to the fire-pit and furnace. It is also Pluto’s gift that we are able to put this higher knowing to use now, not only in bringing down Frankenstein’s castle, and this can be a metaphor for all the hiding places of monstrous misuse of power, but, coming to understand the cthonic powers and what they are in relation to us. Pluto is also the dark aspect of the Great Mother, her crone wisdom, an unusually compelling image when we consider the changes that are at work now in the world. In their combination Pluto and Uranus bring the volcanic and the electric together, Magma and Lightning….the scalar union of power in the plasmic universe. On the ground we are standing on the rim of the culdera, the firey precipice. We do not need to get any closer to read the signs.
We must awaken from our reveries and realise that we are in the court of the Jester King. The hearing is underway and if, while daydreaming in the fire, we have missed the vital evidence….well, we will surely subvert the choices we have in the process of a just verdict being reached…..but, for this to happen we must ask ‘how did we get here’,and, who is this Jester King? The answer to both is in unmasking ourselves, for it is we who have been wearing Uranus mask. We have invoked the spirit uninitiated. If we can do so we may well find that the mask changes, that this is our initiation, and that it becomes the shamans mask, that helps us in dancing with the spirits, that is their gift, and that connects us with the power to heal, the powers that heal. What in us unites the lower worlds and the upper is the question……and here the elders, the indigenous people of wisdom and the shamans are our best guides – our very nature is at stake in finding the answer.
Next up in the dock at Owlmirror, in the second part of this ‘Trial in the Court of the Jester King’, will be Neptune…….!
I want to apologise to readers here for the adverts that may appear below this and other articles at Owlmirror….this will be rectified soon…….
“They used to say in days of old, the Magpie was a sacred bird,
beloved of the goddess, heeded by all travellers-oh…..
one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy……
…..five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told
the Sun was jealous of her love, and stole Her children from Her nest,
She searches for them to this day, the seeds of star-light from her heart
one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a boy and four for a boy….
five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told
and, to all but those who honour Her, who wear her colours and and follow her call,
her mysteries will hidden be…………Magpie, keeper of the Magic-Fire.
one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy……
…..five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told
The old woman had turned up unexpectedly, out of the blue, as if she had materialised from the boundaries of day and night itself, and had walked across the edge of dusk unseen to sit at our fire…….she was travel weary, you could tell, but, there was a certain vigour about her, an energy with a strong quiet presence – little did we suspect its source or the gifts she was carrying as she was offered a place and settled herself, gathering her long cape and robes about her…….we all looked to her expectantly, and she, as if gathering us in slowly round the circle, her face a map of weathered journeys, and stories waiting to unfold……
Her eyes - I will not forget those eyes, mysterious pools of tender wisdom, fathomless worlds, thresholds of sky and ocean, and the strange sensation that, as she beheld us we were each being touched by an invisible force, a mystery enfolding itself around us.
“Let me rest here a while and in return I will tell you a story…….”, she had said, brushing the dust of the road from her robes and folding them about her. There was a promise in this, and a balm that eased our surprise at her appearance in our midst, and, instantly you knew – here was the voice of experience, of an elder. She knew how to play this situation, was an old hand with this opening gambit. We are all hungry for the warmth and companionship provided by the sweet medicine of the fire, but, it is also ever the way with humans that we are reluctant to invite the unknown into our midst. So, an exchange of gifts is often the sweetener that encourages us to drop our boundaries, when the fire is ours to give and the unknown comes knocking….but, stories, they are things of power.
If we had known the nature of the story about to be given would we still have opened our circle to its medicines? As the old woman went on to say of the gift she had to offer, once she had found her spot and began unfolding the story-tellers bundle in her lap, “……..it will bring flavour to some and be as salt to the wounds of others, for, on this night will open a portal, a rift in time, a threshold into deeper wisdom, the Ocean Mother’s wisdom….”
…and here she paused, pulling us further in…..the portentious scent of fate and destiny twisting about her as she whispered to the night….
“…….yes, womb-wisdom, crone wisdom; listen, then…..listen with your bones…..from here, within the temple of your heart,” she said, placing the flats of her hands upon her chest and spreading them outwards in a wide all-embracing gesture.
That night, as the calendar makers and star watchers had foretold, the Moon fell into darkening, and, as Her light bled into the night, the ocean hushed as the story-teller invoked the spirit of the moment….beneath the canopy of stars above the southern ocean…….
“Listen to an old woman’s news – it comes from far distant lands, but, heed this message well, for its edge is close at hand………when earthen shadow falls, and the lunar mother removes her mask……we remember her true face once more; her face, so sanguine, as if lit by embers from within….yes, we remember - we remember…….when the moon-light becomes the womb-light…..how it was, before we put up our masks, after our masks fall,”
….her words spun strange and familiar worlds behind our eyes, and her face, like the night, steeped in thought, radiated with the light of another world…..
“It comes around and goes around, this merry dance. It beats its slow steady heart beat to a rhythm ancient with memory, opening the shell of time, the second wound, the wound that receives the golden seed, bleeding fire into the night. Herstory is the history of wounds – She pulses, enchants with luminous dust, and pulls, and pulls, and pulls…She feels, and She heals.” She stooped to scoop a handfull of sand and we watched the grains fall slowly through her fingers, leaving a small shell, a spiral wonder of sacred energy nestling in her hand.
The elders and day-keepers had caught her meaning and sent the whisper around the circle – she was a Moon Mother, an Aluna, holy woman of the Moon, midwife of the mysteries - she had come to give warning of the eclipse, we should listen carefully to her teaching, there may be an initiation afoot, something unforeseen in the darkening of the Moon…….
The Moon Mother let the hum of words that were rippling round the circle settle and, holding the shell between thumb and fore-finger, raised it towards the center of the circle. “There is one present here who carries the mark of this day…..”. She paused and cast her shining eyes around the circle……no-one stirred. “All in good time, all in good time…..you will know who you are before the nights out, and, then……” she offered the shell in outstretched hand…..”this mystery, and all contained within it, shall be yours to hold for this village……this night, She will come amongst us”. A murmur, touched with nervousness, excitement and fore-boding, swept through the circle.
“But, do not be in any hurry to fix meaning to my words…….I give them to you by way of protection, of which I pray you shall need none, but, there is more than one shadow loosed in the world this night…..may the power of the Great Mother be with us……” – her voice dropped off as she delivered the warning, a loud crack and stream of sparks exploding from the fire as she slowly got to her feet.
The old woman stepped into the firelight, her voice returning stronger now…..”Remember her and remember her well. She who wears the three-fold masks, the fertile-scented Flower of Dawn, the swollen-bellied Fruit of Night, the wise-horned Eye of Dusk, shedding and renewing, as skins and veils, as spiralling patterns in the serpentine dance…..She moves, and She moves us.” At that moment, as if summoned, the wind blows the shell from her hand, and a far distant bird calls, cackling laughter carried on the billowing air……..she raised her chin to the horizon and sniffed at the wind as it swirled away, carrying the smells and textures of the forest. We all smelt it, that fresh breath of life and its undertone, the rich hummus of life-giving death, the balance giver. “Pine and Birch,” she said, ”the grandmothers and maiden warriors of the deep lands of memory - those forests remember you, you know……..and they have their own memories, ancestors of your own, waiting for you to return, to meet with you once more in your journeys and dreams…..earthen shadows, spectral lights, irridescing, dancing in the dark, tricky, and…..” her voice now filled with a ripple of dark humour…..”ripe for the picking……”
I notice a few nervous glances passing around the circle – what is this, does anyone understand the meaning of her words? She bows down as if looking directly into the earth and half whispers….
“Remember, She moves us, not onwards, but, inwards and……with every turning, reveals the gateways, thresholds of wonders, guarding the grove of mysteries, woven into concealment……you will meet her first within the serpentine folds of Wysteria, the flower of the ‘womens’ mysteries’….glancing up and casting her gaze around the circle of fire-lit faces, her gaze comes to rest on a young boy, himself at the threshold of adulthood……”of this, men’s knowing shall know nothing……..save his own luminous shadow, dancing in search of himself, his beloved.” A murmur of wry laughter runs amongst the elders present and sets heads wagging and nodding. She has us in the palm of her hand…….
“…how many of you know,” she continues, her gaze still circling on the gathering, “what lies across the threshold of her inner sanctuary……”. It is a direct challenge, no doubt, but, the wiley old crone knows that for those who do know that this is and can only be a rhetorical question – this wise old bird is fishing for a different kind of response……”She initiates all who would be re-united within themselves…….from within Her hidden recess, holiest of holies, with every darkening Moon she beats Her signal and calls - ’have you the mettle’, she asks…….
I had not suspected this night would bring to my own life such a question, such a calling, yet there it was…..and the bone-wise midwife in our midst caught my eye as she said……”wearing her true face, She opens Her oracular eye and sees into the deepest realms of our hearts…..”. She winks at me and then, closing her eyes spreads wide her arms, holding a white skinned frame drum before her, beating a steady heartbeat…..
Suddenly the night feels chill with expectation and a loud crack explodes from the fire - ”How would we know her, but, to join the dance…..come to her and remember…….remember, at her bidding, why we came here……and dance…..who we were before we came…..” – the drumbeat has an enticing quality, her voice riding its beats, becoming a chant…..
“…….She is the chanting storyteller of our lives before we lived them…..she rides the Spirit Horse of our Earth’s dreaming back to the beginning……..spiralling around itself upon the axis of the stars…….rising on the swollen tide we journey with Her through the crack in time.” Her chants create waves upon waves…..cross-patterns out of which our very soul stuff rises at the beats. “She weaves the pulse into this world as we are born forgetful of her song……She weaves her song into our soul that we may remember why we came here…….until…….” and she whorls around, sending the tassels from her long cloak and skirts flying in a wave around her…….it is as a signal, and now we are all on our feet….
“…Her call is heeded…..spirit walkers, kith and kindred, Sons and Daughters of Silver and Gold, red-white-black words, songs of memory and possibility, threading soul paths through these worlds…..follow her, follow her…” and now our feet have become infected with her rhythm, our backs twitching and hips swaying, hands rising in gestures on her delicious beat….
“….in another time, another time……once upon a time that is no-time…..time before time….” something is happening, the light of the fire is growing, its flames are expanding and I see figures in their midst, wearing robes of flashing feathers, blue and black and white and green, irridescent with night’s magic…….”She comes, She of many faces, with Her dark green cackling laughter and flashing wings….falling and rising above the churning ocean.” At this point I do not remember if she spoke these words or if it was the voice of the one she had called into our midst, who spoke of the time before time, the beginning, of memory and possibility, who spoke of Aluna…..
…….how long we danced I cannot say, only to say that we found ourselves close in on the fire, or the fire seemed to have grown…..we had entered another space and time and, in that place, the voice pulled me further in…..
“…..She weaves her pathway across the southern seas this night – her flashing wings, her irridescent tail, her coat of tricks….hear this and remember”…..the flames part and the old woman steps into the embers, gesturing me to follow…….as I step upon the radiant bed of dancing liquid light the sparks fly up around me and suddenly I am spinning amongst stars…….her voice leads me on……
I remember one other thing from that journey – I returned momentarily to hear a great roar of thunder issue from her drum, and tailing slowly away, bringing the circle back, ecstatic and breathing hard, slowly to a standstill…….and as the drum wound down I heard her say these words……”know this,” she whispered between her teeth, hoarse and urgent, “Silent Thunder is coming but Her heart beats yet and with the one who follows me will reverberate still…..look for her coming, from beyond the clashing rocks…….when Sun rises and she returns in those stars the world will see its fruit on solstice eve…..on solstice eve, another world will remember this one…..but, in this one she has her gaurdians still, who sing her praises still……” - little did I know that night, that I would be the one to return……
I awoke amongst spiralling branches bedecked with lilac coloured blossoms, the old woman tending a small fire in a stone hearth nearby – a star specked sky was visible through the bower and a feint streak of irridescent green and turquoise light was bleeding into the horizon beyond the medicine woman. Long whisps of her hair hung loose from its braids and, without turning, she spoke to me…….
“All the eclipses in the world would not unravel the knots we have become entangled in, knots in time, that breed forgetting……….were it not for the persistance of Her memories…….even when we recognise them not for what they are, even when they hide the truth in plain sight…..but, welcome my daughter, for we have them still, right now, where you are……” and she turned to greet me with a smile of total love that put a feeling in me as if the Sun had just arisen and kissed the full Moon in my heart……that was the beginning of my apprenticeship with Aluna, Magpie Woman as she told me she was known, medicine woman of the Earth and Stars, keeper of the sacred flame of Sweet Medicine………
When I returned and as people asked me what happened on that night, “where did you go, what happened on your journey, did the old woman take you,” and countless other questions, I tell them this – on that night, when we came together around our village fire to listen to the ocean breathing, to soak ourselves in the starlight and let the beauty and wonder of it all wash us clean, I had a dream…..I heard Her voice, Her cackling laughter, singing on the wind, carrying the scent of Pine and Birch, rich earth and mossy leaf-mold, and felt the presence of……magic……once more……
……lest you wish upon Her return, lest you meet her with a kiss
lest you pass through her tenfold gates, her secrets she will show you
…….eights a wish, nines a kiss, ten is the bird you must not miss
sacred keeper of star-lore on Earth,
Sweet Medicine Fire of Wisdom….
one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy,
five for silver six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told….
…eights a wish and nines a kiss, ten is the bird you cannot miss
she dances in the dark and lights the way,
Sweet Medicine Fire of Wisdom
I am pleased to announce that Owlmirror now has a sister site ’Root Medicine of the Stars – astrology on earth’. You may have already noticed the image link below in the side bar, but, please checkout the site as there is much there that will augment the ethos, practice and regular articles at Owlmirror, something I have wanted to do for a long time now.
Root Medicine is dedicated entirely to astrology and is intended to compliment Owlmirror’s broader sweep with regular updates on changes as they occur in the matrix. Focusing on shorter articles and videos, the new site highlights developments within the field and explores these primarily through archetypal and holistic astrology, and, as the core of Owlmirror’s approach has a strong slant for spirit medicine and works with astrology as a medicine path, the focus both at Root Medicine and here at Owlmirror has a particular eye for how these translate into healing and creative practices – this will be of particular interest to anyone working within alternative healing, creative work with symbols and archetypes, and those of us seeking to explore and expand into new areas of astrology. There are already videos featuring Rick Levine on Quantum Astrology, Tom Lescher on Neptune and Uranus, and Richard Tarnas giving his keynote address to the NCGR conference. Articles up already include explorations of planetary symbolism and relationships by aspect, as they become highlighted in the evolving cosmological field and relate to our changing world in this exciting time of planetary transformation and paradigm shifts.
Owlmirror will continue with longer articles that explore our favourite themes of Creative Pathfinding and the Indigenous Cosmos and these will appear bi-monthly as usual in line with the trends and qualities of our momentous times…..
I hope you like the new site - sign up for regular updates, its already attracted a healthy and rapidly growing following and is a real pleasure to produce and write for…..
….looking forward to seeing you there,
in peace, Rob
“When priests are more in word than matter;
When brewers mar their malt with water;
When nobles are their tailors’ tutors,
No heretics burn’d, but wenches’ suitors;
When every case in law is right,
No squire in debt nor no poor knight;
When slanders do not live in tongues,
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
When usurers tell their gold i’ th’ field,
And bawds and whores do churches build:
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.
Then comes the time, who lives to see’t,
That going shall be us’d with feet.
This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.”
….and with this line King Lear’s Fool makes of himself Merlin’s prophet, one foot in and one outside of Time, as he and Lear cower amidst the storm battered heath. A curious thing to begin with here perhaps, but, a fools wisdom were ever the more curious for its anomolous madness……..
This Taurus Moon just before Samhain is a curious one, no mistaking - and yet, this full moon dynamic, the madness thing…well, there is something here we are all familiar with, no matter our mental state, predilictions or upbringing. It is a dynamic that draws deeply on inherited memories and on a folkloric quality associated with a kind of infectious madness and heightened sensitivity, an energy that pushes our buttons and drives us towards extreme behaviour and emotional outbursts.
Folklore it may have become, but, experience bears out the truth of this – full moons are well documented as the time at which more people check in at A&E than any other, policing is on alert as crime is at an hightened level, particularly that involving ‘disturbance of the peace’ and intoxication – such is the manifestation of this energy at an unconscious level, even, and perhaps especially, within an ostensibly a-spiritual culture.
Yet, even now there are people, in circles and small off-grid communities, arranging regular celebrations and gatherings on the full moon simply to throw off the shackles of everyday concerns, to let their hair down and let loose. Here, if allowed to follow its natural course without hindrance or cencorship, embracing the full moon can inculcate the ecstatic almost orgiastic quality of its energy, an energy with a transformational edge that speaks of an ancient power of anarchic and tribal origins. I came across such a gathering on the cycladic island of Naxos where one of its crescents of sand was home and host to celebrations under the full moon of its bamboo hut dwelling inhabitants – Naxos itself is largely mountainous and much of its interior and eastern coast accessible only by foot and donkey, or all terrain vehicles, where the earthen rough tracks allow. The island retains a memory, the hidden aura of Dionysus, secluded in vestiges of sylvan valleys and groves, and in a root of ‘knowing’ amongst people…..
…..the Moons power has never sat easily with the clergy or the Church, for obvious reasons, but, the ‘religion’ of Dionysus has been compared to that of Jesus, most often through the ‘wine’ connection – if spiritual ecstacy has become castrated within the western tradition of organised religion, religion itself nevertheless is not immune to its Dionysian shadow……there are traditions yet alive capable of holding the energies of this antagonistic meeting in balance…..
……these too are archaic and ancestral in their origins, carrying a pagan charge of meaningfulness and benefiting an artistic expression drawn on a long continuous thread through time. One of the most memorable of these that I have witnessed was a community ritualistic parade through the streets of a mountain village in the Basque in northern Spain. It was a celebration of Easter that brought the whole village out and coincided with the Full Moon; the night was torchlit, the air shimmering with cold and the smell of woodsmoke, the people conspiring with tradition to weave together a wry and virile mix of pagan and christian symbolism. The Moon’s spirit was represented by the Maiden, enthroned in an open egg, carried in a boat mounted on a cart, the boat being the vessel of the Moon herself – she was birthed on this night, initiated into womanhood and the fulling power of the womens mysteries, her essence infusing the whole community and raising a spirit of earthy independance and archaic anarchy. The clergy were lambasted, their role played by villagers dressed in the black robes of the priest whose poius pomposity became the target of virulant egg, rotten fruit and cake throwing, and, meanwhile, little angels, cherubim, devils and magical folk intermingled with the people, goading them on, sanctioning and inviting them to cross the usual boundaries of propriety and break with the religious dictates of the social mores. These rooted traditions hold, balance and awaken the moon’s power within an informed cultural structure of ritual, both healing, celebratory of lifes fecundity, enabling the integration of the lunar energy. The Moons energy becomes liberating, transformative, giving the festivities a numinous quality that connects the people with their deep roots. In these rites the pregnant moon lives through the essence of living memory, alive with a powerful bonding agent of creativity, and this energy carries an intensity that has truly magical qualities.
And the birth death cycle of the moon is in so deep a harmonic with the cycles of ovulation, of fertility and blood wisdom, of Maiden, Mother, Crone, it is no surprise that the dogmatic Church patriarchy appears so fearful, making of the mother lode of tradition the object of its own shadow projections. With this lunation and the Full Moon’s proximity to Samhain that shadow is, equal with its luminousity, deeply manifest and, equally, open to redressing – perhaps we should take the opportunity…..we might not be able to resist….
I’ve written before at Owlmirror about the Moon Mother, the ancient spirit who cares for and mentors incoming souls, whose vessel is the pre-time antichamber to incarnation – this was in relation to eclipses, of which two will be coming up within the next lunation. The soul Moon connection has a special significance at such times, but, this is not the time to go into the nodal aspects of the Moon, this post being more in train with the spirit of the fulling moon than an analysis of its chart through the ecliptic. We will revisit this at next new moon with an exploration of its own story, the tone it is setting for the upcoming times.
For the astrologer working the craft as a medicine path and practice within the spirit traditions, the full moon can reveal a spirit of its own, the energy mixed and manifest within a dionysian cauldron of psycho-active planetary elixir that has the power to bring great healing and re-membering, bringing back together. There is a dynamic at play that affects the magnetic fields of our emotional spectrum, a swelling energy within the ocean of archetypes, a tidal force that arcs between the poles of the Moon/Sun opposition with numinous luminousity – one feels connected with the cosmos through the symbolic valencies of its energetic matrix at full moon perhaps more than at any other time. It is no accident that astrological readings of the Moon’s phases are so prevelant and popular. While pagan and magical traditions have found a rich vein via this marraige of paths and practices, through this revival we have also begun to tangibly re-integrate our knowledge of the extent to which we are naturally endowed with an innate sense of these energies and their values. At root everyone is pagan, of the Earth.
This sense has a resonance in which the full moon’s effects are a medicine, a power that opens gateways to spirit. To the esoterically minded, this is also where the Full Moon’s etheric catalyst induces shape-shifting metamorphosis. Equally a stimulous to the skin walker’s and shape-shifter’s medicine, that can drive us beyond the bounds of conscious volition and containment and also liberate us from the yoke of logic and rationality, if we trace the folkloric root from this perspective we come to familiar territory……..the wilde forest and moon bleached moor. The full moon is no less the druid’s than the witches celestial heartbeat and field generator in magical workings.
These are also the environs of the ancient traditions of hunting which are deeply connected into the fulling moon, as are the poachers wiley pathways, both of which have their roots in the same magical realms. And, in the fairy realms the fulling Moon is also the nocturnal celebrants steed and the lunar light a talismanic key that opens doorways to other worlds, into enchantment, across the thinly veiled boundaries of other times and orders of time, truly magical…..and, with a Taurean Moon, luminous with earth magic, perhaps this is how it should be, the perfect expression of the energies of Samhain…….
……which brings us back to the moment and its astrological values and qualities, for, as with all Full Moons, its lunar light has its source and complimentary aspect rooted in its opposite sign, also known as the shadow sign – to the Taurus moon this sign is Scorpio. Every sign has its shadow, but, if ever there was a sign worthy of association with the ‘shadow’…….
….when the sign occupied by the Sun at Full Moon is Scorpio it is possible that we can become tossed about on some very stormy waters and feel the need for having our feet on solid ground with more intensity – there is a felt need here to stop the motion of the ocean of our emotions, to yearn the solid ground and safe harbour, to be still, be supported, cared for and embraced by love. And, Love, as we know, has many faces, and wears a tragi-comic mask that symbolises the polarity of this drama very well.
Scorpio is enigmatic in this……..a point of opposition in which the light source is submerged within a symbolic field which itself carries deep valencies of numinousity. We might think that a Taurus Full Moon was very earth oriented, but, this year its gifts are in the seed carried by its shadow. It is always so when the Sun is in Scorpio, that the qualities of the sign are given an injection of virile life force, but, this time the source of light has been given a gravitas and depth charge from the presence in Scorpio of Saturn, close to the Sun and still reverberating with the Saturn/Sun conjunction of the 25th. With this conjunction Scorpio became the deep well whose waters are rich with truth and memory. With this alignment at work, in this sector, whatever emerges from within its submersive environs speaks in the tongue of the Grandmother lode, becomes cut and crafted with primal symbolism into a mirror of our innermost soul secrets – as a precursor to Samhain, Saturn’s meeting with the Sun has called forth ‘presence’ and germinated the Scorpionic shadow, congealing it in seed form, a living germ of penetrating intensity carried within the womb of the Moon’s belly as it journeys towards full-ness. We can expect a powerful presence of the otherworlds this coming All Hallows.
That journey sees the Moon transit Uranus, thunderbolts at the ready, before reaching fullness. We should be careful with our own fire and not let it inflame our hearts into lightning strikes of rage – Mars also opposes Jupiter, just as Venus is coming into opposition with Uranus – the T square with Pluto looming. This heady cocktail of incendiary luminaries conjures a hair-trigger sensitivity in a matrix already loaded with tensions.
I stepped outside on the night of the 25th to taste the air and see if I could find an answer on the wind to working with this energy. I heard drums on the turbulent air, very deep and pulsed with subterranean power, and voices in the rising wind. I asked how to proceed….’with awareness’ was all the answer that I heard, or rather felt, somewhere in the solar plexus and at the back of the skull. This may well be the only answer…..why would we expect otherwise on such a full moon. There may be an astrological answer to this too…..
…..as with all magical workings, astrology carries the potential to change our perceptions, and, consequently, our drives and the course we plot for them. I am of the opinion that every astrologer has a responsibility to consider around this. Words carry power. And, when these words are sourced in the archetypal, that power has the numinous edge that allows them, or a the transformative potential they embody, to slip beneath the rational radar and past the eye of discernment. Astrology too can cast an enchantment upon us. Perhaps this is why there is a preponderance of certificating and authorising facilities, training establishments and professional bodies within the craft. Orthodoxy can serve to contain the magic – the Church has given example enough of this. But, it does not kill it off….it never will, which makes of that imperative to respond wisely to the council of the planets and the stars a necessity. Here, the diviners ability to respond becomes a point of regular appraisal and discernement. There is an uncanny echo in this of the Saturn Sun conjunction in Scorpio – and with the zodiac primed to deliver its potential energy through a network of hard aspects at Full Moon, if I were to relay any council of value in relation to this it too would be to ‘be aware’…..the rest is largely down to the individual.
If the shadow is emergent, the same phonemes might re-organise themselves to become ‘beware’, which also means ‘get real’, and which could well be the positive upside of the same potential energies. Taurus assists us in getting real, lending its natural appreciation for beauty and value to us in the measure of reality, its weighing in the balance; the Moon at its height of luminousity pulls this into the human perspective, the shadow side becomes a guide to where the emotive power behind our experiences is most in need of integration and the Suns presence in Scorpio tells us that we have the quality of deeply penetrative awareness at our service to sharpen our senses and flex our discerning muscles. We need the Basque example to bring out Venusian creativity and healing of relationships, to raise the spirits and cleanse us of the stigmas that hold us back from recieving Uranus unconventionality – we need to break the social mores and allow the subversive humour of the moment to carry the charge, and trust – trust in the ancestral inherited wealth of our deeper selves and in the irrepressible creativity innate to human nature. And Chiron is the bridge-maker between Saturn and Uranus’ realms.
Chiron trines the Sun from Pisces this full Moon. Extending that trust into the trauma of seperation from spirit itself, funding the Moon in sextile with the energy of the mentor who says ‘this is why you came here’, and this is very healing. As a mentor once said of healing, ‘the juice is in the tragedy’…..all healing that is lasting comes from getting real, from being prepared to enter the arena, as well as the drama, knowing the part we are playing. We have to get to the truth of it. Uranus forms a quincunx with the Sun on full Moon – the truth may out at any moment, liberation is at hand, never more than an eye blink away, ‘be aware’….but, also be ready to play the fool - its all a game of comedy and tragedy….
….and then theres Mercury, ready to play the fool as he stands in the wings of Sagittarius stage, sextiling Venus, squaring Neptune and closing to trine Uranus - if ever that gave the lad a cloak of mysterious beauty speckled with spectral light, looking for all the world the weird-master of the lunatic fringe - his absurd wand in hand, made of human funny bone crowned with an inflated pigs bladder, bells and owl feathers, ready to sneak up on us and do Uranus bidding with a healthy bash over the head…….
‘lunacy, lunacy, the worlds on fire, dance and dance for all your worth,
the kings a fool, the fools a king, the priest is drunk and the people laugh,
the Moon is full and the buns in the oven, lunacy, lunacy, come to the coven,
‘break a leg’ and throw of the yolk, for we are all stars in this Cosmic Joke’…..