The Heart of the World
A powerful undertow of transformation and healing is pulsing into the realm of ‘ego’ at the Leo New Moon, pulling the energies of Pluto, Chiron and Neptune into our collective and individual psyches. The feeling is of time collapsing in upon itself while complexity proliferates in the world around us……big questions will be asked of our egocentricity through this lunation, and continue breaking down its hold upon how we experience the world. It is akin to the ‘little death’ of the ego, which is the natural process through initiatic and integrative experiences that pull us into the creative matrix, so, do not be fearful if it seems as if the world is falling apart – commit to the path marked out by your own truth, your ‘knowing’, and follow the thread of intuition – it will lead you home. There are always ways and means of help and healing at hand, signs and messages that can show us the way…..these are the gifts of the divine – be on the look-out for them, carry your crane-bag of magical cunning to keep them safely stored in, for those uncanny moments when you need them and their true purpose is revealed – and need them you will!
With all the transpersonal planets in retrograde motion, the veils between the worlds continue to be held open by an inexorable influx of increasingly present archetypal forces now, and holding to our personal path itself takes on new dimensions. Uranus squaring Pluto brings both the shock of the unexpected and the lightningbolt of high magic into the place of deepest transformation, and we may encounter critical junctures and crossroads just when we least expected them. But, the mythical dimensions of Life are here to help us find the purposefulness and core meaning of our own lives. It is true that we are at a time when, under the increasing onslaught of random and chaotic events in the world, paradoxically, meaning itself appears to be fading. However, the paradox is that this is itself a signature of the immanence of the archetypal, which the ego can experience as threatening – so, embrace the paradox and face those fears, they too can be your guide and show you the way. In fact, the more we flee in the face of fear, the more we go astray and lose our thread – that thread is our personal story, the one we came here to tell. It is from the meaning that our own path carries, our own story, that meaning will be rewoven into the world. But, the storyteller Mercury will tell us more of this later….
For now, Mercury is undergoing retrograde phasing throughout this Moon so giving voice to our inner story is the way to bring that meaningfulness into the world. As facing our fears suggests, once the ego sublimates itself to this journey life takes on the dimensions of an heroic quest…..and in this world, everything holds portents, all things have a voice, a song, and the way to the Heart of the World becomes revealed through following their messages. This is the time of the ‘seer’ with a fearless heart.
I was struck, while meditating on this Moon, by Jupiter’s continuing trine to Pluto in Capricorn while forming a tight square to the New Moon – amplifying the earth energies, Jupiter direct in Taurus is colluding with Pluto to manifest them in a deeper cthonic form, one that inhabits the underworld – such power has a supercharged signature and the image of the Minotaur came to mind and, with the square, the challenge is manifest through the creative Leonine power of the ego. While, in confronting and overcoming the Minotaur Theseus saves Ariadne, almost incidentally he released the Athenian youths, seven young men, seven young women, from their fate and certain death as sacrifices to the Minotaur. They are symbols of the essential balance of masculine and feminine in their uninitiated state. Seven is a very dynamic number and holds a magical formula for transformative work that precedes the higher octave, bringing spirit  and matter  together. Here we have the masculine hero working on behalf of the greater good, but, he does so by following his own inimitable egoistic path – the problem with Theseus is that his own divine origins do not give him a sense of mortality or earthly morality, and so, while his story provides a model for the symbolic journey, he fails to overcome his own hubristic tendencies and, as his story shows, does not relate directly with the power of the seven.
Theseus is a notorius womaniser, prey to his own divinity which in many ways is represented in shadow form by the Minotaur and, although the Minotaur is decapitated after their tremendous struggle, Theseus continues to follow the Olympian paternal ethic. He gains Ariadne, but, later abandons her – and, further down the road we find him immobilised in the underworld, but, that is another story…..strangely, asteroid Zeus is conjunct Saturn at this Moon, so the Olympians are colluding with the Gatekeeper, and Saturn is in waxing sextile to this New Moon. The old battle continues, and the labyrinth is about more than fear waiting to be defeated at its center…..there is a much older and deeper story playing out beneath this one.
The Minotaur is half man half bull, befitting the cthonic Taurean symbolism perhaps, but, there are powerful forces at work in the world in our times that he too symbolises through the hidden terror he instills – Theseus later journey to Pluto’s realms brought him face to face with them, the Furies. He lost his courage in that encounter and it was only through Hercules intervention, while fulfilling his twelth task, that he was saved. This is a powerful reflection of the magnitude of our task…..
Some are touting this time as apocalyptic, tieing fear onto 2012 and all that…….so lets not forget that all the negative connotations this word carries are the product of doctrinal fear and that ‘apocalypse’ has become a much misunderstood word for all that fear mongering – it actually means ‘pulling aside the veils’, ‘revelation’. The last Moon showed us something of this, revealed our connections with the deeper layers of life through the ancestors, a call to clear and resolve unfinished business, so that we may take up our spirit dance anew. Much of that unfinished business is itself the product of fear, its distorting effects upon our sense of self, the cause of many a regretable decision. But, we also have the unbridled rage of terrorism in our midst :
“The lumbering trinity of beaurocracy, technology and information is powerful enough to mask the Furies’ archaic-spirit. And so, from out of the shadows comes the weird and terrifying appearance of errant and furious individuals, terrorists, whose archaic and ‘spiritual’ identifications allows them to be the very agents of vengeful justice. The Furies’ archaic spirit seems to have entered the cracked vessel of terrorism, and a fearsome ‘God’ may be found on everyone’s side, behind both the terrorists acts and the wars we conduct in response.” (1) – and terrorism flies many flags, not least of all the flag of hypocrisy……
“….the current leader on the ‘War on Terror’ is the only State in the world that’s been condemned by the World Court for ‘international terrorism’ and that has vetoed a resolution calling on all States to observe International Law….” (2) – and we all know which ‘State’ is being refered to here…..but, we have wisdom in our midst…..
“If those chosen to act as commanders and chiefs cannot remember the paths of peace, if they are too enthralled with the haze of war and the thrill of ‘shock and awe’ to find the pipes of peace, then the common people must recreate the paths of peace within themselves and become like many feathers in the headdress of a peace chief.
This may be the only way to avoid the increasing domination of the war path which always has the short-coming of being short-sighted and reactionary. The paths of the peace chiefs call on something deeper inside people and aim at something further down the line. The paths of peace are not only the upper paths, they are the only paths that provide genuine refuge from the dangers of the world including the seductions of power that come to all who become leaders in times of great threat and trouble.” (3)
The ‘revelation’ times make great souls of us all….we all resonate with the myths that tell of the soul’s quest, through which it finds self realisation, the path towards inner peace; we all have a unique story to tell. For some the journey takes us beyond the horizons of our homeland, searching for the treasure that will make us whole and bring great wealth to the homeland. For others the journey takes us beyond the boundaries of the outer world, the pathway magnetically charged with magical and otherworldly power, powers that transform us and embue us with the power to transform. One thing is certain about this Moon….the whole field, like a labyrinth of crossing pathways and entangled threads, is very complex and full of potential wrong turns. Be on the lookout too for the trickster at the crossroads, and don’t be fooled into trading your gifts for an easy way out……on such journeys there are none such…..
Our choices may become polarised, but, all routes lead to the heart of the matter, one way or another….and in Mercury opposing Neptune and Chiron we find a miraculous symbol of healing that will lead us there. Mercury is on an inner journey, seeking out the heart of everything – a seemingly impossible task, unless you know where to look. But, the canny trickster has a whisper from the divine feminine calling him…..spending a part of the retrograde period in Virgo, Mercury then returns to Leo to work the fiery creative energy within until going direct again just before the August New Moon. All these ingredients have given Mercury a story to tell. The Virgin points the way towards the Great Mother, She Who Weaves the World…..
Lets listen to Mercury’s story……
“……everyone is looking for something and there are as many trails in the world as there are people – well, the world is a wonderous place for all that, but, that wonder comes from somewhere behind this world, a hidden inner place, and we all have the road to that place somewhere within ourselves, so maybe thats what we are looking for uh? Well, if you should find that trail, follow it, no matter what!, for it leads to a hidden cave – oh, but, caves can be scary places, so how many of us, even when we find it, want to go in there – this one is different though, you’ll know it when you get there, for this is a sacred place, filled with a song of its own and it will call you in – that song is sung by an old woman as she weaves a beautiful blanket, right there in the heart of the world – she’s been weaving away in there for a long long time, making ever more beautiful patterns of all the colours imaginable – but, thats not her only task, for right at the back of the cave is a fire and above the fire she has a huge cauldron – in it she has a stew slowly cooking – now, this is a no ordinary stew for it has in it all the seeds and grains of the flowering plants and trees of the world, and so every now and then she has to put down her weaving work and go stir the stew, as its the very stew of creation – well, she doesn’t mind this at all as she is old and sometimes gets to feel tired from her weaving – now, it so happens that in that cave there also lives a black dog, a tricky one this, as he’s looking out for those times when the old lady gets tired……and as the old woman is heading to the back of the cave to stir the stew of creation, that wiley black dog slinks up to her beautiful blanket and, seeing a lose thread at the edge of the blanket, he bites on it and pulls! There he is, unravelling all the beauty that the old woman has been weaving for such a long time, and he keeps on pulling until the whole thing is nothing but a chaotic mess of threads on the cave floor…..well, having stirred the cauldron with the stew of creation to her satisfaction, the old lady turns and heads back to her weaving and at that moment off slinks the wiley old black dog again. You can imagine it….the old woman just stops and stares at the remnants of her beautiful work lying there……well, she thinks for a while and dreams for a while into that amazing chaos of colour until, she sees something amidst the chaos – and, with this new imagining, she sits down and takes up her threads and begins weaving the beautiful blanket once more….lost in the dreaming she never gives a thought to how it might have happened, because the beauty she has within her, her dreaming and imagining, is a power that heals all things…..and as she weaves she sings in the darkness, lit by the beauty she is weaving and the fire that heats the stew of creation……”
We’ll come back to the old Grandmother in the next post, and take a look at her beautiful blanket, the weaving of our ways, and, those mysterious seeds she’s been stirring into creation….. if you find something wondrous and beautiful on your journey, make a gift of it to her – she may weave it into her blanket again…..or, perhaps she’ll give you a taste of the magical stew of creation….
(1) from ‘Blood Payments’ : Sherry Salman in ‘Terror, Violence and the Impulse to Destroy’, Daimon Verlag, 2003
(2) Noam Chomsky : ‘Power and Terror’, Pluto Press, 2003
(3) Michael Meade : from the essay ‘Going on the Path of Peace’, at mosaicvoices.org