Talking Land Spirits……

Gordon White has the most fascinating of guests and holds one of the most eclectic of spaces to be found in the realms of podcasting, and this show is no exception – as he says in the preamble and show notes :

“This week we welcome back to the show one of the most popular returning guests, Jenx. As you might expect, he’s back in your ears talking us through Thai Occultism, to coincide with his recently released tour de force, The Thai Occult. Along the way, we cover land spirits, uses for specific ghosts, the universality of candle magic and the many nuances of love charms.”

Riddles Within Riddles

Sapha

For three days Aké had seen nothing but a sea of dunes, featureless and seemingly endless under the searing sun. He was becoming weary and very low on water, but, on this morning something had caught his attention. He was standing atop a high crest and through eyes half closed against the light and distance was watching an area of turbulence on the horizon, far off to the north and east. He was seeing something moving, rippling in and out of vision. Around it the desert was a blur, the boundary between sky and land become smudged and flattened into a single darkening tone. But, as curious as it appeared to him,  Aké felt this mystery to be the least of his troubles. Having no choice but to find the oasis that he and his mentor Pemba had set out for, his initiation had thrown him into a struggle for survival.

He had taken to walking between first and last light for only as long as he dared, stopping to rest and sheltering as best he could at the height of the day.  He knew to use the sun and stars to navigate, and he knew how to move silently and quickly at night, Pemba had instructed him in these things, but, to Aké it was impossible to tell if he was nearer his goal or not. He might as well have been going round in circles. In fact Aké had come face to face with the true nature of his challenge – only through fully opening up and using the connection between his personal medicine and the beings of the otherworlds would he survive. This is how it was with initiation, and with good reason.

Just how close Aké was to his goal only the hawk hovering far above him could see. But, the desert can be full of deceptions and, at any moment, even an experienced traveller can be led astray by the forces at large in that vast wilderness……


……Pemba heared soft footsteps approaching. Pulling his mind’s eye from the burning sky he looked up in time to see Tuq stepping into the shade of the ancient palms. He squatted beside Pemba, an expectant look on his travel worn face.

“Well….?”

“He’s coming….”

“Ahhh, I knew you would not disappoint Pemba….you never do…”, said Tuq turning to survey the oasis with a satisfied smile.

It was not enough to fool Pemba – he could sense the tension in the tall northerner. “You make me sound like a horse trader Tuq”, he said, needling his old friend.

Tuq made a sour face and gestured over his shoulder. “Did he see you?”

Pemba considered a moment.

“My shadow crossed his path, briefly, but….”

“……ahahhh! So, you are losing your touch old man!”, said Tuq slapping the sand with a laugh.

“Then again, he might be exceptional…”, Pemba continued. The laughter fell from from Tuq’s face and he gave Pemba a sharp look. His piercing blue eyes cut like a laser, but, Pemba smiled and placed his hand on Tuq’s shoulder.

“I promise, he is….”, he added.

Tuq unconsciously stroked the long straggley hair of his sunbleached beard.

“Then we had better make ready for the young master…..he’ll have to be exceptional if he’s going to fulfill your promise”, he said, fixing Pemba with his stare again, “we are all relying on it”. He was right to be nervous. Much would be determined with Aké’s arrival and the moment he and Tuq finally confronted each other. But, the north-man smiled ruefully and with a shrug rose to his feet, seemingly putting his concerns to one side.

“Come on, old man, you’ll ferment under this sun if you sit here much longer”, and, offering him his hand, he pulled Pemba to his feet.

For all his abrupt manners and hidden thinking Pemba liked Tuq. It was true, he could be as hard to read as the sea of mysterious symbols that covered his body.  As they walked back towards the circle of tents Pemba remembered how they had met. It had been further north, up by the Plateau of the Painted Rocks, the people’s old meeting place. Arune the Far-Seer, Pemba’s own teacher, had brought him there to learn of their deep past……on their arrival they had found Tuq, tending mint tea over a fire, as if he had been waiting for them. Arune saw it as a sign that the spirits were intervening, but, to what ends neither the old seer nor his ward were able to foretell. However, in the course of time Tuq’s appearance had taken on a deeper significance.

Having come into our midst out of nowhere, so many seasons ago, the mystery surrounding old Tuq was more than skin deep. He was both familiar and alien, recognised now as one of the far-seers, but, one whose skills and gifts were rooted in a very different soil. And, in the course of time, it was this crucial fact that helped us understand how lucky we were to have such a shrewd ally amongst us, for Tuq brought one factor into our midst that mattered above all others now – he knew the ways of the People of the Dead.

Now, the future and the past were pulling together on all our paths and this place, the hidden oasis, was the crossroads at which they would finally converge. It would be Aké’s task to remember not only his own path to the oasis, but, that of Tuq as well, for their fates had long been tied unto each other.


Aké felt the soft sand beneath him shift as he came to the crest of yet another dune. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow and stung his eyes. The horizon shimmered with seductive visions rippling at the edge of sight. He strained to see through the illusion, unsure of what was real. The eastern horizon looked for all the world as if it were moving towards him. And, were those trees, or some whim of the light and heat, a trick of the Djinn?

He had heard the elders talk of those powerful spirit beings who inhabited the wild places. In their knowledge the Djinn were older than the Earth and had come to this place with the Ancients, the life-bringers and first colonisers of this planet. But, the Djinn were also known as demanding teachers, impartial to the ways of humans, giving favour according to laws known only to themselves. The elders had sung of such things.

As he gazed into the distance a memory arose in Aké’s mind of a song he had once heard his mother singing, an origins song. It was through the gift of the Djinn, the song related, that the people learned to travel beyond the known. Since the beginning it had been the challenge of initiates to follow the ghost paths laid by the Djinn through the mirages that haunted this endlessly shifting and trackless land. As the words of the song came back to him they also reminded Aké of their darker side, of how the Djinn spoke in riddles and that, in this place, the sun’s fingers would try to find their way into the traveller’s mind and ply it away from the body and its senses. He began to understand why this song was associated with initiation – it was itself a riddle, filled with riddles.

However, as Aké remembered the voice of his mother he began to feel as though the memory held an important message, a vital piece of information, a key. He wondered if it was something that would help him find his way to the oasis.

In that moment Aké was rocked by a sharp jolt beneath his feet, followed by another and another, and a sound, so deep it was more felt than heard. It felt like a movement in the belly of the great earth spirit. A violent kick took Aké’s feet from beneath him and he fell, tumbling down the face of the dune.

He slid slowly to a halt and lay clutching at the fragile stillness, waiting…..and then he tasted it, a faint vibration at back of his throat. It was an unmistakable earthy taste that seemed to register in his very bones as its subtle musky scent played with his senses. Water.


Pemba stopped midstep, a look of puzzlement on his face.

“What is it old man, spirits got your back again….” Tuq teased his friend, giving Pemba a knowing smile.

But, Tuq quickly put his joking aside when he saw that Pemba’s face was a study of concentration.

“Did you feel it” Pemba said meeting Tuq’s eyes. He turned again to survey the sky beyond the palms. “I could have sworn…..”

Tuq’s eyes narrowed as he followed Pemba’s gaze. At that moment Demuz, the chief seer of the Blue Desert Tribe came out of the low entrance to her tent and called Pemba’s name. She strode purposefully towards them, her long indigo robe swirling behind her. She was quickly followed by a much younger woman, Demuz’ protégé Sapha. She joined her mentor just in time to hear the old woman begin speaking to the two men.

“Well, it appears your apprentice has company Pemba”, the old woman said, raising an eyebrow. Pemba looked from Demuz to Tuq and turned once again to look beyond the palm trees.

“Earth spirit….by the feel of it” he said under his breath.

“Mmmm…perhaps”, said Demuz, giving her apprentice a conspiratorial smile, “and then again….”

Pemba dropped his gaze. “Strange, the sky shows no signs and the trees remain still” he said, voicing his thoughts.

“Sapha, show our brothers what you saw in your dreaming just now”, the old woman said, giving her protégé a nod of encouragement.

Tuq and Pemba turned to look at the young woman. Sapha returned their gaze and then, squatting to smooth out an area of sand, drew a series of signs with her finger, finishing it off by enclosing the design within a circle. She looked up briefly and then began adding a second set of heiroglyphs, this time enclosing the pattern in a tent shape. Dividing the two designs she drew a deep line. She paused and, satisfied with her work, raised her eyes to look at Tuq…..by his expression he obviously knew what some of the signs meant.

Slowly squatting down to examine the patterns more closely, Tuq glanced at Sapha then pulled back his sleeve to reveal his right arm. One of the signs in the circle was identical to marks tattooed just below his elbow. Sapha nodded and pointed with her chin to the marks on his arm and then to the desert beyond the palm trees.

The young mute seer suddenly swept her hand across the design enclosed by the circle, scooped up a handful of the sand and threw it skywards with a look of alarm. Tuq’s face became grave with concern.

“We must send him warning”, he said, “he’s walking into a trap”.

“But, we cannot interfere Tuq”, Pemba said as he dropped to one knee, looking intently at the remaining design. “The spirits will either help Aké, or…..”

“…or our fate will be decided for us,” broke in the old woman, her face inscrutible and stern, “along with his!”

She had spoken the truth, and the two men knew it. Pemba, however, touched one of the designs in the tent shape and looked to Sapha.

“This is the sign of the water spirit, is it not, according to the language of the Blue tribes, and this….” he pointed at the design next to it, “….what is this?”

“It is the sign of the unkown Pemba…that which can neither be seen nor be foreseen. Your ward has company….but, we cannot tell if it is benevolent or not. It seems to be leading him both to the safety of the oasis and directly into the heart of danger. An unexpected challenge has been set for him…..” Demuz said, driving home the point.

Pemba stood and took a few steps towards the palms. His eyes half closed he scanned the sky and reached out with his mind. Far off beyond the trees the plaintive cry of a hawk was barely audible, but, it was enough for Pemba to relax his shoulders slightly and let out a sigh. Silently he returned the call to his spirit ally and waited.


Aké was sure that he was being watched. He looked around, quickly surveying the valley and the crests of the dunes above. There was no-one in sight, but, the feeling would not go away. He rose from his haunches and, dusting himself off from the fall, suddenly felt the bulge of the water gourd beneath Pembas blanket. A strange thought entered his mind and he quickly took out the gourd. It did not make any sense, as he would be literally pouring away the precious liquid, but, he had the strongest urge to make an offering of water to the spirit in this place. He took the stopper from the gourd and hesitated, searching for words to accompany the offering.

He poured a little water from the gourd into his cupped hand and, with eyes closed, spoke his thoughts into the clear cool liquid. Then, after offering the water his breath, he let it trickle between his fingers. A nebula of small craters appeared at Aké’s feet as the water seeped quickly into the soft sand. Gazing at the pattern as he returned the stopper to the gourd he began to realise – there was something in that pattern.

He reached behind his back for the divining bag and unwound the thong that bound its neck. Reaching in, Aké’s fingers touched upon something hard and spherical. He carefully eased it out of the bag. It was a seed pod, of the kind used by the dancers in his village as a rattle. With a swift flick of his wrist it released a crisp sigh. The sound brought an indistinct image briefly into Aké’s mind. He gave the pod another shake, and another, and as he listened each shake of the rattle began to merge into one flowing sound. In his mind he saw a dancing ribbon of dark energy, sparkling like water as it moved, but, through it he could see the pattern made by the water he had offered. The sound of the rattle swirled about him and the image began to shimmer, just like the mirages at the desert’s far edge. Aké increased the rhythm and within the vision a turquoise pool emerged, surrounded by swaying trees. He could see low dark tents and something indistinct that was moving towards him very quickly. Before he knew it a strange looking face thrust itself before him in the vision. He fell backwards, dropping the rattle and divining bag, and lay on his back gasping.

The face had not just startled him, there was something about it that was unusual, alien, but more than that…..he felt he knew it. No, that was not it – it knew him. A knot of fear pulled at his stomach and, with it, the feeling of being watched returned. He knew that he was not alone.


A shout rang out from the far edge of the oasis quickly followed by a gust of warm wind that set the palms swaying. Another gust sent them dancing, their long leaves hissing, as if shaken by an invisible hand.

“Habūb!” came the cry again.

“By the spirits”, said Tuq under his breath. He glanced at Pemba, but, the old diviner was still and silent, looking to the west in the direction of Aké.

“Your ward will have his mettle tested”, said Demuz, coming to his side.

But, Pemba said nothing, his gaze focused on something far above the horizon.

After a moment he turned to Demuz, a resigned look cast upon his face. He breathed in, his lips pursed, and gave a slow nod. He knew full well what this would mean for Aké.

“We shall see”, was all he said, “we shall see…”


The shadows began to soften and melt into the sand as Aké picked himself up and quickly gathered the diviner’s bag and rattle. The air began to shift, a fine veil of dust washing over the water marks at his feet. But, Aké’s attention was now fixed on the eastern horizon. Beyond the dunes the air was becoming dull and heavy, an opaque blanket obscuring the skies. He had never seen its like, but, it told him enough – he must find shelter. A strong gust of wind stung his face as the desert around him began to shift and scurry.

Then he saw it. A great wall of billowing sand was rushing towards him, rising up into the sky beyond the dunes. He turned to run, searching for a place to hide. Just as he came to a bend in the dunes he heard the roar of the wind at his back. Aké’s instincts took over and he sprinted as he had never done before. Then something snagged his foot and he went flying, tumbling over a hard and unforgiving shape buried in the sand. He had dropped the diviner’s bag and, turning to look over his shoulder, a sharp pain shot through his ribs. The wall of sand was nearly upon him, but, it was then that he saw what had tripped him up. A thin sinuous tendril covered in barbs snaked up out of the sand, like one of the forest vines on which the seed pod rattles grew, and beneath it was an unatural shadow. The divining bag sat at its edge. He scrambled back towards it and, just as his hands reached the bag, he felt the sand beneath him give way. The sky disappeared and a chaotic maelstrom of howling wind and dust swallowed the desert and Aké whole.


Tuq

Demuz’ tent had become a dark cave, its eastern walls bulging inwards with the force of the wind. The sound was deafening and no-one spoke. Pemba sat with his eyes closed close to the entrance as Demuz and Sapha checked the tent’s inner supports. Tuq had gone to check on the animals and other tents. Pemba was waiting to secure the entrance flap when he returned.

Time stretched out in a seemingly endless moment and in the chaos beyond the walls of the tent everything lost its form. Within, the diviners waited for Tuq, but, he did not come.

Pemba looked to the two women and had to shout to make himself heard. “I am going to look for him”.

“Tuq will be safe, in another tent….” Demuz reassured Pemba, ” he is no stranger to the desert”.

But, Pemba was uncertain. A gut feeling told him that all was not well. Tuq should have returned long before now. He knew that what Sapha had shown them had revealed more to Tuq than he had had time to say. He closed his eyes again and reached out with his mind to his spirit ally.

The desert below the hawk had become a churning mass of clouds, engulfing the oasis and the dunes beyond. Pemba bid the hawk look to the west but his vision revealed no break in the turmoil. Amidst the desert storm there was nothing to be done but to sit it out. But, there was something strange at work here. Within the roar of the wind Pemba thought he could hear voices. The old diviner listened intently, trying to make out what was being said. After a moment he opened his eyes and moved from the entrance to sit with the two women. He leaned in close to Demuz to make his voice heard.

“This is no ordinary storm”, he said, “there is something in its midst, I can hear it”.

Demuz closed her eyes and concentrated her mind on the sounds that surrounded the tent.

“It is how it is sometimes Pemba”, she said, her eyes still closed, “you are right though, I feel it too.” She opened her eyes and looked to her apprentice. “Sapha, was this what you saw in your dreaming?”

Sapha put her hand to her ear and nodded in confirmation. She leant over to retrieve her divining bag and drew a small tablet of stone from it. Reaching into her robe she produced small pouch and pulling a finger of charcoal from it drew two symbols on the stone. They were identical to the symbols that Tuq had recognised, one of which he had tattooed on his arm. This one was shaped like a thin triangular pinnacle with a wavey line emerging vertically from its point, a second horizontal one snaking across the middle of the symbol. She looked intently at the two old diviners.

Both Demuz and Pemba knew what this symbol signified, but, the other was unknown to Pemba. He pointed at it with his chin, an enquiring look on his face.

“That is a symbol that belongs to the People of the Dead, Pemba”, Demuz said with a grave look. “It is old, but not of the age of our own language which we have carried from the beginning. We know that its origins are tied up with the desert, but, its meaning is elusive….save the fact that it has destruction at its heart. There are few that can say more”. The symbol took the form of a central disc with three wide rays radiating from it.


Aké had pulled Pemba’s blanket around him and lay curled up beneath it in a shallow hollow, the storm raging over him. The wind swirled violently around him tugging at the blanket. He was breathing hard, the air above him thick with dust and noise, and the pain in his ribs was beginning to gnaw at his mind. For a brief moment he thought that he could hear someone calling through the storm, but, he reassured himself that it must be another of the desert’s illusions.

For a young boy on his way to becoming a man, being brought up in the savannah and forests, there were no memories to draw upon that would tell him what to do in this situation. It was entirely alien to him. He tried to think but the chaos that surrounded him made it impossible – he could only wait it out and hope. But, as he lay there holding on to the blanket with all his might, another sense within him began to emerge. His mind began to still and a curious calmness enfolded him. Aké listened more deeply and this time he was certain of it – from the heart of the wind a voice was calling him.

He heard his name, as if coming from a great distance, and then it was swallowed up in a multitude of voices that spoke in a tongue he did not recognise. The voices rose and fell, coming in waves, increasing with each pulse until a continuous chant seemed to almost drown out the wind itself. The strange face he had seen in his vision of the oasis appeared briefly in his mind again and immediately the chanting ceased. He could not tell if it was his mind playing a trick but a powerful deep voice suddenly said a single word. “Moqsula!”

And then, as if the word had cast a spell upon the storm the wind began to calm. Within a few minutes all was deathly still and silent.

Aké lay there, motionless, not knowing  if he had fallen into a vision or not. He felt Pemba’s blanket resting on his body and slowly released his grip on it. Lifting a corner her peered tentatively from beneath it, his eyes widening at what he saw. Where there had been nothing but soft sand he now saw red earthy ground dappled with patches of gravel and rock streaked with dust. He listened carefully before throwing off the blanket and looking around. The valley was unrecognisable. The dunes around him had now closed off the valley forming an ampitheatre in the shape of a teardrop but at its centre was a flat area of open ground. Then he looked again at what had tripped him up.

A long post was bent over towards him, almost touching the ground. It terminated in a curious flat triangular form, looking for all the world like a totem with a tent shaped head. He could not tell what the post and its head piece were made of, but, it was smooth and shiny at its edges. He noticed that the corners of the head were twisted reminding Aké of a tent flap caught by the wind, as if frozen in time. Around the pole a length of the barbed vine snaked in a loose spiral and reached up over the triangle ending in the snag that had caught his foot. The post was embedded in a hard edged lump of smooth rock, only it was unlike any rock Aké had ever seen before. Whatever it was it had given him crucial protection and where he had huddled the sand still lay. It formed a nest in the shape of his body stretched into a long thin rippling dune by the wind.

He gingerly rose to his feet and found that his ribs had stopped aching, not even a twinge. If that was not curious enough, when Aké saw the other side of the triangle he caught his breath. A very peculiar symbol covered its surface and the sight of it made him feel suddenly anxious…..a central disc in black, three wide rays fanning out from it amidst a bright yellow field, with a black border following the edge of the triangle.


Pemba and Demuz were staring at each other, unsure of what they were hearing. The storm had subsided, but, with a suddenness that defied their senses. Sapha was already rising to open the tent flap before either of the elders spoke. It had become unnaturally quiet.

“Take care now Sapha”, said Demuz slowly rising to her feet, “whatever that was it was not like any habūb I have ever known….”

“I must find Tuq” said Pemba as he came to the tent flap. Sapha lifted it for him and he stepped slowly out. He was greeted by a brilliant light under clear deep blue skies, and the oasis was surprisingly unchanged to his eyes. People were emerging from their tents, the animals were shaking off the dust, and going from tent to tent Pemba asked if Tuq had been with them during the storm. No-one had seen him. Pemba strode to the western edge of the oasis and surveyed the desert, but, there was no sign of Tuq.


Aké ran his hand over the surface of the pole and found it smooth, hard and surpisingly cool under his fingers – and, it shone in the sunlight. He gently touched one of the barbs on the vine, but, this was like no living plant, or, he felt, ever had been living. It was as hard as the pole and wickedly sharp.

At that moment a noise behind him made Aké jump and he spun on his heal to see a tall man dressed in the dark robe of a desert dweller standing at the crest of the dune. The stranger raised his hand and called out.

“Aké?”

Aké felt a wave of relief course through him at the sound of his name, but, when the stranger began descending the face of the dune he quickly gathered up his belongings and turned to put the post between himself and the stranger. When he turned back the man was no longer in sight.

Aké blinked and shook his head, but, the valley was deserted.

“I must be dreaming”, he muttered to himself and waited a moment, half expecting the stranger to suddenly rematerialise. But, he was alone again, and, checking to see that he had all his belongings, he began to climb the dune towards the place he had seen the stranger. When he reached the crest his confusion deepened as he could find no tracks in the sand. He glanced around and then looked briefly back at the curious totem. There was no-one to be seen, but, it was then that he saw something that made his heart leap. A green line rippled just beyond the dunes in the middle distance. “Those are treetops….” he exclaimed with sudden surprise. He rubbed his eyes, but, it was no illusion. “The oasis!”

The young initiate now had no doubt about his direction and broke into an urgent stride in the direction of the green streak amidst the dunes. As he walked he began to notice how everything seemed unusually clear, as if radiating with its own light. He stopped momentarily to look down at his feet and saw the sand sliding away, looking for all the world like gold dust. He knelt down and ran his fingers over its surface. It felt like sand, but, he could see every particle with astonishing clarity and for a moment became mesmerised by its beauty.

Something had happened to him and he realised that he was not only seeing things differently but was hearing and feeling all around him in an unusually sensitive way. He could hear the golden grains of sand as he shifted his feet, whispering softly as it fell away. Everything had become so immediate, as if it were all a part of him, intimately connected with him through his feelings. But, when he connected with his feelings they too began to shift, like the golden sand, reforming themselves into a sense of fullness and solidity he had never experienced before. He felt bigger, much bigger than before, as though he had grown beyond his skin and was being touched by all that surrounded him. He almost had a sense of seeing through someone elses eyes….or something elses.

As he moved the world moved with him and flooded his senses with an ecstatic feeling of belonging. Whatever it was that had happened to Aké he found a great joy accompanying each new sensation. Then it occured to him – this joy was not his alone. He felt held, supported by a great energy field that surged through his body and, at the heart of that energy an even stronger sense was beginning to emerge. The sense of belonging was deepening into a sense of knowing. It was almost as if he understood the sand, the clear radiant sky, the rippling shapes within the desert – the world was speaking to him.

Aké picked up his pace and felt a rush of elation as he crested the next dune and saw once again the green ripple of treetops, much closer now. He felt weightless as he rushed down the dune and effortlessly crested the next, and the next. He was sure he must be very close now, that this must be the last ridge of sand before the oasis revealed itself, but, as he was nearing the top he heard a voice, coming from far above….the cry of a hawk.

Aké looked up in time to see a small speck high above the desert moving swiftly away beyond the crest. He scrambled up the steep slope, but, was stopped in his tracks when someone called out. Standing on the crest a short way off to his left was the stranger.


‘Riddles Within Riddles’ forms Chapter 4 of the story ‘Chenge and the Spider’ – the preceeding three chapters in the story of Aké’s initiation can be found here, Chapters 1 & 2 and here, Chapter 3

‘Chenge and the Spider’ & ‘Riddles Within Riddles’ © Rob Purday 2013-16

The Spirit of Revolt

Just as Mars comes into direct opposition with Uranus in the tropical zodiac the Thunderbolts Project fittingly release the second part of their documentary on the red planet. You will find Episode 2 Symbols Of An Alien Sky : The Lightning Scarred Planet embedded below, but, what is the significance of this timely release for us now?

….astrologically the timing could not be more appropriate, highlighted through Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries; a release-seeking tension manifest through opposition of ‘powers’ in interconnected relationship.

Uranus, along with Jupiter, is associated with lightning, natural  life-force, and Mars with the ability to make energy manifest forcefully. High input and direction create significantly enhanced levels of action, and all three planets, as well as the Moon, are strongly figured at this time. In fact, great energy is the common denominator here.  We can use that energy now to powerful effect, in fact we must, to break the dictatorship of old patterning that has plagued our planet for millenia. The relationship between the power of Nature and human determinism have written the history books, but, now is the time in which the anachronistic power of breakthrough to be used with full consciousness and intent to make that break.

The effects of dictatorship and patterning are everywhere, hidden in plain sight, but, perhaps nowhere with more pernicious effect than in Science, at lleast that science taught and upheld within the mainstream. For example, in the orthodox views of astrophysics the electrical factor is somewhat disassociated from the physical evidence. The emphasis is firmly planted in the gravitational and the nuclear, and this is how it has been for a little over a century. Now, though, a radical change is taking place, largely through the evidence coming from  Electric Universe theory, observation and practice – natural philosophy is returning to science the grounding that its overspecialisation and theoretical fantasising has undermined. I shall provide evidence of this shift in subsequent posts when we peel back the surface illusion of the orthodoxy and explore in more detail what has been hidden in plain sight for so long. The regrounding process will have deep repercussions within both astronomy, astrophysics and astrology, as well as our everyday world, and, naturally, this will generate a resistant reaction. But, change is inevitable – our business is to manage our part in it wisely. Our planet is engaged in an energy revolution and the onus is on us all to facilitate it. The question is can we do so without destroying ourselves in the process……..this is as much about control by force in opposition to inspired radical action as anything else, but, there comes a point where the forces unleashed also step beyond the known and control becomes exponential cascading of consequences. We are already seeing this threshold being crossed in the world of transhumanism and genetics. The correlate of this is the emergent force that counters the exponential effect – the balance between the two at this time could be seen as an accurate description of the Mars Uranus opposition, especially with both squaring Pluto in Capricorn.

Inspired radical action here can be seen as anarchistic, but, strip the political ramifications from the term and natural energy reveals itself in a raw state. This is the energy of both Change, the signature of the Uranus Pluto square we are still in the midst of, and of ‘re-vitalisation’, the Mars opposition to Uranus. Pluto square Uranus will remain within orb for two more years, but, what happens within this time will directly affect our world for many years to come. ‘Politics’ here equates with control, very much the focus of Pluto in Capricorn in the mundane. As  much as anarchy stands diametrically opposed to the power of State, and appears to be the simple answer, experience, however, also tells us it is an error to believe that change can only come if it is engaged with through direct action on the part of the People; it can be forced upon us too.

The feedback loop between the dipoles is complex. The struggle to maintain ‘Peace’ is testimony to that fact, if we have ever really had any peace. This is more a question of sovereignty as a manifestation of power and contract of mutual benefit between those dipoles. While Uranus with Mars in opposition signals the critical release of energy that denies control and reinstates self determination, in fact, the opposition of these ‘powers’ asks us to find a third way, the bottom up radical transformation of both planets square with Pluto. This is a path that, if not embodying an unforseen synthesis, or new ‘politic’, will arise naturally out of necessity. Venus in Taurus quincunx the north node tells us this a natural necessity, one upon which our global future, or at least its nature, depends. If nothing else and without any doubt, at all scales this means a new and radically different working relationship with Power itself………as  the Russian philosopher and anarchist Peter Kropotkin said in ‘The Spirit of Revolt’ in 1880,

“There are periods in the life of human society when revolution becomes an imperative necessity, when it proclaims itself as inevitable. New ideas germinate everywhere, seeking to force their way into the light, to find an application in life; everywhere they are opposed by the inertia of those whose interest it is to maintain the old order; they suffocate in the stifling atmosphere of prejudice and traditions. The accepted ideas of the constitution of the State, of the laws of social equilibrium, of the political and economic interrelations of citizens, can hold out no longer against the implacable criticism which is daily undermining them whenever occasion arises…….”

…….this declaration too came out of a time in which Pluto and Uranus were square to each other, in Taurus and Leo respectively and in the same phase as they are now, as well as the same elemental relationship according to sign – unless we pay heed to the ‘awakening events’ surrounding us now history is sure to repeat itself.

Think back over the last 135 years, the approximate average length of a Pluto Uranus cycle, and consider the world changing events that have taken place.

Within the intervening time, a complete Uranus Pluto cycle later, much of the history of our solar system has systematically become obscured from our contemporary collective consciousness. Through a heavily biased orthodox interpretation of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics we have arrived at a science that is largely built upon rules and laws derived from mathematical abstraction and theoretical invention rather than natural observation. That same science has become, in this time, the servant of a plutocracy, a ruling minority invested in material power for whom the primary instruments are war, technology, personal financial and corporate power, and secrecy. Since the late 19th century the ‘military industrial complex’ has replaced the State in governance and brought all of these instruments in tow. Nature has become its ultimate victim, but, so has personal sovereignty.

The revolution is, however, underway that will rewrite the backstory, both of our Universe across all scales, and of human history. The Electric Universe is very much at the centre of this, and, although the scientific establishment and their investors are putting up strong and openly propagandist opposition to the emergent view, the evidence is becoming impossible to ignore – we have been deeply, heavily and persistently lied to. Nature is the battle ground of the revolution! Monsanto know this……so do the eugenicists and transhumanists who claim to offer the way out. The truth, however, cannot be ignored.

Nature will prevail, but, if the surface of Mars also gives stark reminder of the possible reality in this, it is our relationship with the forces that have shaped it that is crucial.

The Thunderbolts film reveals a story that is literally etched into the Martian surface. It tells of a significant part of our solar system’s most recent radically formative events. The surface of Mars is testimony to the radical effects of interacting physical and electrical forces, but, it takes an eye that can see to recognise the truth embodied in its rills, valleys and craters. The northern hemisphere of Mars has lost millions of cubic miles of its surface rock. Conventional science resorts to meteoric and cometary impact, water erosion and vulcanism to explain such facts. In fact, ‘theory’ is very much giving way to ‘the evidence of on the ground reality’ in this respect, as the documentary shows with startling clarity. The electric forces at work are everywhere and in everything……consider then, even Einstein admitted to leaving the electrical force out of his equations…….

The evidence on the ground on Earth is undeniable.

Since the Pluto Uranus square first came into close orb back in 2010, marked by the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill, we have seen environmental disasters build. With Uranus entry into Aries in March 2011, and the Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster, the scale and intensity of these have increased, putting steady and inexorable pressure upon our natural world. Our individual and planetary health are inextricably interwoven – realising the extent of this truth and embedding that realisation within concensus reality, could save us, but, recognition of our culpability within this relationship is essential. “The truth hurts, but, the lies are killing us”. At least five thousand years of human history culminate around this point…….

…….the events that led to Mars surface scars may well have been contemporanious within that time frame. The indigenous myths and traditions hold this as true. Certainly a feature of this period is the prolonged use of martial force, the epitomised Martian signature, although, as a symbol of energy embodied, Mars is not confined to warriors and armies. In our times however this comes up time and again as the predominant interpretation, as much a reflection of our own reality as that of the red planets energetic symbolism. Globally, militant provocation is blatantly self evident, as are humanitarian crimes in general that carry a violent signature – but, as counter to their destructive elements, they also penetrate our awareness and call us to action, to be creative and pro-active, just as Uranus and Mars also do symbolically. This can also be a powerfully protective energy.

Jupiter, who shares an association as ‘thunderer’ with Pluto, is no less affecting our relationship with the past and our trajectory towards the future as the giant planet is square to the Moon’s nodes at this time. From Cancer Jupiter brings an enhanced sense of purpose to the whole issue of our collective trajectory. We must deliberate, be vocal, share amongst those we know and find our kindred spirits. This aspect will be in effect simultaneously with the Mars Uranus opposition until Jupiter enters Leo in mid-July. It is perhaps also fitting that the Thunderbirds Project have released this film at the moment when the Moon is joining Uranus in Aries, making its radical insights and energy available to the people. They have done so, as they say, ‘after much deliberation’. We are all traversing thought provoking times, and we have surely had enough time for deliberation…….

As much as these are tough times, asking, if not demanding of us to raise our energies to a new level with awareness and determination to meet them, they also hold great promise. The insights that a sharpened and focused consciousness brings shape the view we have of both our present, where we have come from and the path ahead. At the time of writing, with the Sun at the turning point in its annual path, now is the time for a turning point in our worldly affairs to be made manifest as well. In daily life we are all now dealing directly with the potential for dramatic change through which our future will become manifest; it exists in the smallest detail as much as the global event…..perhaps, however, it is within the ongoing revolution in awareness through which that potential can be most clearly seen. The transfiguration of humanity beyond planetary conflict and destruction almost certainly arises from it and can  be invoked with epoch turning effect through the Spirit of Revolt, if it is embodied wisely. Conversely, the increasing prevelance of change itself can render us immune, anaesthetised to its imperative energy – we cannot afford to go blindly forward, in shock, or under the misguided apprehension that peace equals pacivity. Every reminder and stimulous that maintains an awakened state and builds upon its effective presence matters immensely. In this film that potential is embodied with an exciting and grounded sense of reality that suggests we are indeed alive in a time of extra-ordinary revolution……

Welcoming 2014 – Year of the Yang Wood Horse

 

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Hey Dear friends and readers @ Owlmirror, thank you for your patience and for keeping the embers glowing here – its good to be back after taking a longer than anticipated sabbatical from the www and to pick up the beat by welcoming the new date on the calendar, 2014. This is a year that promises much energy and empowerment to all freedom loving spirits! With this being the year of the Yang Wood Horse we can look forward to a time of powerful initiatives, of those freedom loving souls who are here to defend nature and make a real difference coming to the fore and making a bigger impact upon the world stage. And, with strong spirits in mind, this will also be a year of opportunity to bring four square solid devotion to the Earth loving wild nature that pulses through all life and into the central hearth of all our lives – the image of the wild horse is a powerful talisman for our journey ahead! S0, thank you to all friends of Owlmirror for visiting, for following here, and for all your comments and ‘likes’ – its your presence and involvement that really makes it, and, we have much to look forward to………

Owlmirror is happy to announce that we now have a facebook page too – the link will be going in the side bar and header but you can go directly to the page here (you will need to sign in to fb first off course) – the fb page gives greater freedom to post more regular links and articles, including one-off items, special opportunities and offers, especially for artwork, readings and medicine work. You will find links there to every new article posted here and at our sister site Living Astrology, all of which have the particular Owlmirror focus and flavour, and, its a community page, so, if you would like to join the conversation and get more of Owlmirror please drop in, ‘follow’ and ‘like’ us – it’ll be great to see you there and help the community grow!

The Living Astrology site has been renamed and revamped with a new format – previously the site ran under the title ‘Root Medicine of the Stars’, but, continuing the theme of Earth based spirituality within astrological practice the new name reflects more clearly the practical heart that this divination path infuses into life. Posts at Living Astrology include astro-divinations of the current and significant upcoming celestial alignments and events, as well as bringing key videos and news of developments within the astrology world to regular readers and followers…….the recent article ‘Stargate to a Revolution’ broke all previous viewing records and more people are now following Living Astrology since its re-launch. The latest article ‘A Most Mysterious Time’ looks into the first lunation of 2014 – so, thanks to everyone who has visited,  ‘liked’ and commented on articles there and is following the new site!

Keeping up Owlmirror’s tradition of a more left field and in-depth exploration of path-making themes in our times the next article up here will be focusing on the current Venus retrograde period, its significance in the flow of current events as well as the unique opportunity it brings to connect with a deeper indigenous perspective. There is a pulse at work through this retrograde period that belongs to Venus’ 251 year cycle. This is a truly rare moment that embodies complete synchronicity with the solar seasonal cycle and with it opens a gateway for engaging with the bigger picture, an event that will not happen again for many generations. Venus stationed and went retrograde at the December solstice, and soon, her station and following direct motion in the heavens at Imbolc will signify a turning point we should not and, in reality, cannot afford to miss! The veils are falling from the Goddess as She journeys to the deepest levels of the underworld. Just as the ancients knew Venus’ significance to the earthbound inauguration of and most auspicious synchrony between ceremonies, the celestial realms and sacred sites, we too can gain the benefit of the message She delivers through the exquisite timing, symbolism and grace of Venus’ celestial dance. We look forward to a time of powerful harmony, all the more auspicious as Her dance augers a brilliant start to the Chinese New Year – Venus goes direct exactly as the year of the Yang Wood Horse opens!

So…….Much Gratitude, the Peace of a strong loving heart and the creative unrest and beauty of the wild natural spirit be with you through this year!

Blessed BeCastlerigg_stone_circle[1]

Root Medicine of the Stars

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

First, Chill – New Moon in Libra

The Libra New Moon on 15th October 2012 brings an opportunity to review significant relationships and connections in our lives. There are no planetary aspects to the solar + lunar conjunction so this is also an opportunity for working on any area of our lives that is calling for our attention and needs relating to in a new way – from here we can creatively rebuild these connections and relationships in ways that honour and bring out the finest qualities within them.

The Sun and Moon are aligned with the fixed star Spica.  This star emphasises ‘the creative’ with a more evolved and pragmatic energy that ensures that thoughts and actions set in motion now will ‘seed the future’ in resourceful and well grounded ways. When we pay attention to reviewing what feeds us, ‘what grows corn’ and what ‘sits well in our belly’ we will know what to discard and which relationships and connections to vitalise – the how of this will become clearer as the lunation progresses.

The Moon’s south node is on the fixed star Algol so look out for ‘ghosts from the past’ and personal ‘skeletons in the closet’ as you do so; they will be carrying the dead weight that has been holding us back, that we may have been unable to face before now – but, with an exact trine between Mars in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, the cosmos will support us, help us find the courage to bust those ghosts and to clear our minds and imagination.

Mars and Uranus create a ‘need fire’ that will burn off the illegitimate residues accumulated from having followed others, from false trails and agendas that were never ours in the first place – all part and parcel of the huge changes that are kicking in now. This will enable us all the better to prepare ‘the earth of our life’ to be sown with strengthened and renewed alliences that resonate with our personal truths and the visions that are released from beneath the detritus now, as Mars and Uranus work their magic.

A significant underlying part of that change is the ongoing Uranus Pluto square and, at this moon, this has developed another layer, of which the Mars Uranus trine is a part. Chiron has been in a slowly evolving sextile with Pluto for some time now and this is heightening the capacity we have to heal our most fundamental wounds, especially around issues of authority and personal power. Inevitably, a part of this process is also churning up some of the most fundamental and deeply embedded wounds we have all suffered; cultural, political, economic, religious, humanitarian – Pluto ensures that no stone is left unturn. Here, however, Chiron is also square Mars, so, Pluto, Uranus, Mars and Chiron are bound into creating a sparking cross-fire of regenerative and innovative insights into these wounds – we are likely to feel pretty angry at what is revealed, especially through the first half of this lunation – the Promethian ‘need fire’ will build to a blaze whenever one of these issues surface, so ‘anger managment’ will be an issue – collectively this could be a time of renewed public confrontations with authority. As painful as it may be, and although we do ‘need’ to go through this healing process to clear the way for a better future…..the time to realise the more creative manifestation of that pent up energy will come soon enough.

….on the positive side, in seeming contrast, there is actually a chilled out opportunity on the personal level to relax and get our feet on the ground in more enjoyable ways with this moon too, even if it is best done by special invitation and behind closed doors – Saturn’s trine with Neptune is select, clandestinely escapist and indulgently cinematic, but, with both these planets trining Ceres the way to get the most out of this Moon socially will be to chillax with a few carefully chosen friends, to share the fruits of the harvest, dream together and speculate on a future we could all resonate with.

Venus and Mercury in sextile energise the conversation making heart to hearts possible. Nevertheless, the underlying theme of the Moon is to treat all this time as preparation for better times. Now it were better to converse, observe and make private choices, but, not to make hard and fast commitments based on these, not yet anyway – all in good time. This is emphasised with Eris opposite the Sun and Moon at NM, which brings a cautionary reminder and emphasises the point of not buying into other people’s dramas, or taking hurtfull off-the-cuff remarks to heart – as said, if socialising, be selective and chillax.

With this in mind, in esoteric work undertaken now do make sure to pay attention to grounding and clear boundaries. The energies thrown up from the astral realms will be testing us to remain centered and balanced through the first half of the lunation in particular. Making our connections with the spirits and the otherworlds clearer and stronger is the ideal focus for our esoteric work and, this will not only help us through the coming year when we need it most, but, for the coming Samhain this work is absolutely essential…..this time of year is significant for clearing in preparation for the Samhain period, but, this lunation is especially primed for Ancestral work. It goes without saying that this work is of huge importance……

There are many undercurrents and pervasive elements influencing events from behind the facade of everyday life at the moment, so, trust in the guidance we recieve from the otherworlds depends upon the clarification, strength and truthfulness of our connections with them now. Don’t take my word for it, check it with your guides and inner knowing – our truth is our own, so, be especially vigilant for those who would seem to have an agenda to ‘peruade’ you, those who make offers that might seem to benefit you but which do not truly resonate within your innermost being, or those who would have you believe otherwise, that theirs is the right way – we’re leaving all that behind. As the lunation unfolds and approaches Samhain any turbulence this all throws up nearer that time can be safely fielded if we have payed special attention to this preparatory work, and the time and means for action and commitment will become all the clearer as a result. Its a tricky world we live in…….

We’ll look at the Full Moon in more detail before we arrive there; its chart is going to carry two yods and a potent opposition! The latter, involving Mars and Jupiter, will be priming the planet for the solstice in a very significant way, which we will explore in a special upcoming post on Saturn and Pluto. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the fire festivals over the next couple of years all carry hard aspects and ‘earth changes’ are being flagged up big-time. There are also some very powerful and positive aspects unfolding now as well though, and this Saturn sextile with Pluto aspect is one of them, one that will help us put all the dramatic qualities of our time into a real and inspiringly usable context. At this time Earth herself is gathering and building potential energy and, strange as this may sound, if divination and gut-feelings are to be trusted, we have not really seen this fully manifest at the surface yet. We Humans are showing the signs, however!

We tend to forget that we are animals, that we too can sense the subtle ripples of energy and time that precede events in the manifest world and, one day, we will look back upon this time as one in which we woke up to this rememberance within ourselves. When we come alive to this reality and discover its immensity and magic we also begin to understand and make sense of what has happened in the millenia since we began to forget. We all know, Earth’s children must grow up – the idea of the Mayan Calendar as a marker of finality has served a purpose, one that may not be everything its architects intended, but……if 2012-12-21 is the end of anything, it will be the end of forgetting….we are on the edge of discovery…..

Creating with Gravity Waves – Saturn trine Neptune

…..what would you do if your computer started printing out your innermost thoughts and feelings……

If images sometimes say what cannot be said in words then the sculpture pictured below is perfect for the reflections and intimations that it brings up at this time. It is both ancient and contemporary, has a philosophical edge and embodies an harmonious marraige between technology and poetry, between rigorous process and unremitting humour – qualities that may well be our saving grace as things progress in the coming times. It has an edge that allows the frisson of paradox to energise rather than confound our sensibilities, and it oozes beauty and charisma…..this is the sign of a living symbolism at work and, for me at least, Joshua Harker’s ‘Crania Anatomica Filigre’ (1) achieves all of this and is a powerful, poigniant and provocative symbol well and truly belonging to our times…..

When I first became aware of this image it had an immediate impact, instantly spoke to these qualities and, serendipitously, captures the essence of a very intriguing astrological alignment that has been building for some weeks now, and which is exact as this article is published – Saturn trine Neptune. It is an alignment that, like the sculpture, I feel, brings an underlying flavour of our current paradoxical nature into much needed focus.

The link above will take you to Joshua’s website where you can find out more about his work and how this piece in particular came into being – it has been made through computer generated 3D printing and this makes it reproducable. Infact, the process itself, could also be the perfect exemplar for the alliance between Saturn and Neptune. In this article we’ll look more at the personal aspects of these planets and their current influence………but, first, lets put this in context.

The current planetary climate tells us there will be plenty of time and opportunities to dive down the particularly interesting rabbit hole that is opening up in our patch of the universe…..watch this space. And, we’ll come to that part soon enough!…..all in good time, all in good time……

…..which is very much the positive spin on the message from Saturn and Neptune right now. The planet Saturn has been slowly turning the amplitude up on the trine with Neptune over the last couple months.

They are now both in the first degree of Scorpio and Pisces respectively…..and they will be revisiting this aspect in six months time, so, not only does this meeting effectively frame the upcoming eclipses, the cross-quarter fire festival of Samhain as well as the December solstice, but, whatever is set in motion now will revisit us around Beltain, by way of these two great planets influence. All the more reason to get real about whats happening now…..

….the question is, ‘who’s to say whats real?’. If it seems like this is a time when ‘the reality principle’ itself in the dock and, no matter how much we agree or disagree, no matter how emotional our testimonies are likely to become, and by all acounts, they will, every individual’s testimony counts. But, how to speak of such things?!

Where Neptune dissolves and diffuses Saturn concretises and defines. Poetic licence rules with an iron fist when they unite their energies. ‘Holding it all together’ and ‘going with the flow’ are no longer hippy mantras but mutualy bound neccessities that must find a synthesis. For us the computer screen world has become a worm-hole into the universes of the imagination and these in turn become real by virtue of the underlying force of their emotional impact – every IT savvy advertising executive knows how this one works.

In their current relationship and positions within the tropical zodiac these two great planets are holding court behind the scenes as the world becomes synthesised within liquid crystal manifestations of constant change awash with emotionally charged gravity waves emanating from deep within the ocean of primal consciousness…..Neptune is, at time of writing, stationed in the first degree of tropical Pisces and is about to go direct just as the ringed planet has entered Scorpio. Saturn will be residing in Scorpio for a little over two years, so we are sure to be hearing more about his presence in the eighth sign as time progresses, especially in the coming months. The trine may well have already shown signs of its influence – its something hard to pin down, not least for the polarised nature of the two planetary influences, and I have been wondering just how the trine would become manifest.

The relationship between these two powerful planets is often flagged up as difficult and fraught with an underlying emotional intensity, but, it can also be incredibly creative,  with the necessary awareness, intuition and resources to hand in negotiating the undercurrents – and there are plenty of those around at the moment.

The meeting of their seemingly polarised energies  has complexity, in a psychological as well as an intrinsic sense, and, while its qualities may well evolve slowly enough to become tangible in the mundane world, Saturn and Neptune’s collaboration is often one that ‘defies the definitive’ and operates through psychological and emotional dynamics. It can, if not registered consciously invoke a kind of archetypal torque that manifests as a feeling of creeping inner overwhelm, but, there is a positive spin to this as it is also a feeling that benefits by expressive release, as it is essentially a root force of creative energy. The predominance of one planet over the other will determine how this manifests, so how they fall in your charts is key to how you will experience this phase of planetary evolution. Either way, it is bound to be an emotional experience, especially with both planets in water signs now.

Whether focusing on inner work, world work, letting off steam or channeling the archetypal into creative work, care must be taken in how we respond to the pull of the emotional charge and how we translate it into our thoughts and actions. Neptune can stimulate the former and induce powerful sea-changes in our lives, Saturn can provide the latter by contextualising and bringing these changes into focus. Collectively, the combined energy could see concrete expression of powerful emotions en-masse, and this would benefit most from the discipline and focus that Saturn can bring – but, thats often a hard call and requires strong leadership.

The symbols thrown up from the deeper areas of consciousness throw an arc of numinous life force between the personal and the transpersonal realms, and these carry the charge safely, providing a live container that shields and translates where otherwise we might become swamped, over-identify or become contaminated with the archetypal force and its numinous influence. Many artists work naturally with this connectivity, especially where their work is both deeply expressive and symbolic by nature, but, being connected with the transpersonal realms and how they shape up in the personal, a true test of our boundaries and psychological integrity, with Saturn and Neptune at work in unison the simple answer is to lighten up and play – as the old saying has it, ‘kiss the Devil on the mouth and he turns into the Sun’.

The strangest of bed-fellows at the best of times, there is always that uneasy tension between Saturn and Neptune – their’s is a fertile paradox of a relationship. Astrologers, I have noticed, tend to come down on the negative side when describing the qualities and effects at work here. But, the positive side, if emphasised with the trine, is one that embues reality with a transmutational  numinousity and requires direct encounter with symbolic power to become graspable – in other words its perfect for engaging in some in-depth therapeutic artwork! The effects can be both powerfully and beautifully creative, not to mention a little surreal…..but, lets see if we can further flesh out Saturn first, without breaking into too disrespectful a smirk……

……no, Seriously! Saturn is serious business. He is a kind of hardened patriarchal chief exec. amongst the planets, not necessarily top of the heap, even if he’d like you to think otherwise, but, to extract the goodness of a smile from his dour demeanour requires work, hard work, of the kind that delivers never to be forgotten experience; there are no free lunches at Saturn’s boardroom table and we should never expect there to be – no matter where you sit at that table, no matter whether you are faced with questions of your own mortality, the residue of your own past actions or the challenge of building something of consequence in this lifetime, you are there to learn……..Saturn holds the key that winds up this mortal coil and, as guardian and arbiter of the incarnate branch of its sacred laws, is the disaffected mentor of soul making experience. Standing at the threshold, between the personal and transpersonal realms, the incarnate and dis-incarnate, Saturn does not suffer fools gladly, which is a challenge here because……

……Neptune, by contrast appears the complete anathema of Saturn – defying containment and holding court at the  edge of our solar system to galactic energies and interstellar space, Neptune is really ‘out there’, almost recklessly affected to the point of being without substance. This planet, attributed the heart of the mystic and the eye of the dreamer whose reach knows no boundaries, is wayout beyond the personal homelands of the inner planets – this is a planet of the greater community of spirit, by effect on earth ‘the holy ghost of the Great Mother’, which may surprise some – Neptune is, not in effect alone, but, by all accounts and without a doubt, predominantly a feminine planet, and we’ll expand more on this symbolism another time as it is such a commonly held misconception.

There are, of course, masculine and feminine attributes to all the planets, however, astrologically, its the effects that matter. Where Saturn concretises, Neptune pervades and, as such, Neptune’s power resides in the numinous realms out of which the power within symbolism itself has its roots…..oceanic, atmospheric, archetypal, relating to the sub or unconsciousness, Neptunian influences, being transpersonal by nature, bring us into contact with qualities, values and experiences that wash away boundaries and allow a flow of both undercurrents and rip-tides to pull and push on our emotional bodies, operating beyond the physical realms that are Saturn’s domain of manifest power. Where Neptune and Saturn meet though is in their fundamental nature. Where power wells up, connecting us with the primal matrix of creative energy and processes, both of their attributes apply……and, within the individual, both planets offer the keys to individual freedom, delivering through their own dissimilar archetypal qualities and the manner in which these give access to greater wisdom through experience and self reflection. And theres something of the universal and the personal melded in the symbolic valency of the skull.

The skull, in true Saturnian manner, delineates our physical frame in a manner afforded by no other bone in the body. While our brain, the immensely powerful processor it houses, impresses its shape and volume from within the matrix of bone, the mind that percieves and thinks by virtue of its ‘in-house’ processes is by no means either defined or de-limited by the skull’s physical boundaries, far from it – and, likewise, the fluid imaginative patterning of the skull in this sculpture is true to Neptune’s qualities. Our personality too may well have its physical countenance molded and present to the world for all to see by virtue of the underlying bone structure of our face, yet, it is the flesh that ages and changes with the vissisitudes of life, is the expressive map of our life journey – Neptune reveals the illusiory nature of appearances through the metaphysics of Saturnian time. Yet, even with the most vivid imagination, stripped back to the bleached and stark ‘death’s head’ reality of the skull, we are hard put to ‘envisage’ the countenance it might have supported. That is nominally a physiological skill reserved for the pathologist sculptor (an astonishing example of which you will also find on Joshua’s website) – a typically Saturnian application of Neptunian attributes.

……look more closely at this image and you will notice an inner level at work, suggesting the embodyment of this skill at another level – within the skull is yet another smaller one, suggesting an in-dweller, one who observes the observer, who ‘sees with other eyes’ and this is also a skill afforded the shaman and seer, whose inner eye is alive to the world beyond the world…..but, well be taking that particular route next time…….this is a great time for otherworldy art to be birthed, and given that it is also a time in which life may well be seen to be imitating art, also gives us much food for thought…..what would you do if your computer started printing out your innermost thoughts and feelings……

For now, dwell on this image – it has much to say that cannot be said by words alone……

(1) Many thanks to the artist Joshua Harker for the photo of Crania Anatomica Filigre which was supplied by him and is reproduced here with his kind permission.

10 Billion Beats 2012

The 10 Billion Beats global drumming event of 2012 is this year taking place plumb on the September Equinox – as we move deeper into this time of great transition there could not be a more opportune moment for bringing a powerful wave of peace and goodwill to our home planet. As 2012 comes to completion through the last quarter of the year the calling is in ‘bringing the highest and finest qualities of these momentous times into manifestation’, and this years 10 Billion Beats is an energetic gateway to the harmonious and timely realisation of this call.

We should be under no illusions about the potential of this global drumming event. For a start the timing of this year’s event ties it into the solar cycle aligning the wave with the annular creative cycle of Earth. This gives our drumming an extended reach and potential in time that will accompany us all the way through to the much anticipated 2012 December solstice, and beyond. How far beyond depends on how we work with the energy raised, the quality of consciousness brought to it now, and this includes any intent we bring to the drumming. The timing also brings out 10 Billion Beats syncretic qualities, unifying our diversity and placing the event within the ‘bigger picture’, connecting our drumming with the archetypal qualities of our times…….as the drums call around our Earth, Sun culminates in Virgo and enters Libra, and we celebrate the ripened harvest in the north and the flowering earth in the south. The energies of this time are rich in possibilities.

The Virgo/Libra cusp perfectly expresses a significant station in the human life cycle as well – the transition made by the individual ripened through experience into the sharing of the fruits of wisdom within community. There is a correspondence here between the energies within the earth cycle and the calling that is being asked of us collectively to manifest. This is very much about our transit into maturity as a species and it is in essence perfectly in keeping with the ‘elder’ time, the time of year in which our connections with the cosmos deepen. Within the bigger picture ‘community’ here means both those collectives formed through harmonic resonance and the larger community that extends across time, space and dimensions.

Through alignment with the solar cycle 10 Billion Beats 2012 gives us an opportunity to collectively entrain our inner vibrations with those of the planet, the solar system and the Sun in harmony with the greater cosmic processes at work now. This is about working with energy that generates momentum…….

And, talking of momentum…..last years event attracted approaching a quarter of a million participants and, with numbers increasing year on year, in 10 Billion Beats we could well be seeing the beginnings of an important global healing practice emerging. It has been said that it takes only 8,000 people working together energetically with a shared intent of this nature to manifest the most significant change in the world, change that affects the entire planet, that can have lasting effect for the greater good – last years event saw 25 times that number taking part, with over 200,000 people drumming globally. We should expect this number to increase again this year, and, with this the unity and continuity of the wave increases as well.  It may well be too early to say, however, what is emerging in a new form is already a part of a tradition with roots as deep as humanity. We are seeing the emergence, in Martin Prechtel’s words, of ‘new sap in the old tree’. And here, intent is everything…..

IMHO I feel that Carlisle Bergquist and the organisers of 10BB have pitched it just right; there is a global invitation to drum made in the spirit of ‘peace and goodwill’ and the invitation is left open – we bring to it what we each choose……take some time to think on this and the message in the poster. The event offers an opportunity to go far beyond this……

When a group of drummers get together the pulse they create carries a dialogue that speaks the language of the soul. In drumming together we recall an innate gift, as old as humanity, that allows our souls to speak freely with each other within the energetic matrix of Life. Drumming is, in this sense, re-membering. Music motivates at this level, but, when allied with ‘sacred intent’ or when held within the spacial contours of ceremony rhythm and pulse also provides an energetic drive that activates meaning and carries us beyond the physical boundaries we normally experience – when we remember in this context our connectivity carries a restorative as well as a generative ‘soul-making’ dynamic. This itself is a dynamic intrinsic to the Virgo/Libra cusp. At its highest level it is an energy point, like the descendant in the natal chart, of activation within communion.

In the transit from Virgo into Libra we find the culmination of the inner path of individuation transiting into the outer, the initiates path entering into the adepts and our highest levels of achievement becoming shared. These can become naturally nucleated within the collective and this finds symbolic representation in the ‘harvest’. One of the keys to understanding this transition is provided by the Sabian symbols for the degrees that form the cusp, the thirtieth degree of Virgo and the first degree of Libra.

The Sabian for 30 Virgo speaks of the quality of complete focus and it is this that brings about this ‘culmination’, which is akin to the decisive step taken by the initiate at the entrance to the holy ground. Decision of this kind, once made, becomes the backbone of intent. We face these moments of decision at all the major crossroads of our lives, but, if we are to live consciously and with intent, as does the adept, these moments fill our lives. Humanity is at that crucial point and we are being called upon to make the decisive step into adept-hood and maturity. Can we once more recognise our home planet as holy ground……

The Sabian for 1 Libra speaks of the quality of ‘making’ sacred – when living with intent the divine is not simply a given, it is a collaboration and partnership, or better, an affiliation and friendship. How would it be if we rcognised our ‘beloved’ in Nature….perhaps a rhetorical question for this event? The heart is the natural center within our physical frame that regulates the manifestation of this dynamic of connectivity. And, every heart beat echoes this dynamic, literally embodies it – the mutual symbolism of drum and heart beat is a potent reminder to us. Even more so through the evolved part of our beings that we express – there is a richness in the rhythmic cadence of our stride as we ‘walk our talk’ and in the steps of our personal ‘dance of power’ as we mature and let go into the greater rhythms of Life. It is a dance and dialogue built upon experience that can be perfected through pure mindfullness and love, and its realisation is every individual souls gift back to life. If the coming solstice marks a point of transformation it will be realised through our ability to give of this gift, personally within the collective – but, it is also crucial to us building a community capable of transcending and evolving beyond our own limitations.

The planetary affiliations of sign and ruling planet are revealing here too. We normally associate Venus with earth and Mercury with air, yet Mercury is the traditional ruler of Virgo and Venus ruler of Libra – the mutual receptivity of their rulership within the elements mirrors and is expressive of this energy of affiliation and is unique to this particular cusp.

……..as we approach the solstice, following the Sun’s journey from Virgo through Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, the energy raised now follows a path of awareness, piercing the veil of the physical, deepening as it creates new connections –  permeating the intelligence of the emotional body awareness becomes a power, bringing the opportunity to mature beyond the physical, before entering the spiritual realms of pure intellect and re-birthing from ‘the heart of the world’, the center of all manifestation, into the generative physical realms of Capricorn. The next 13 weeks give us the opportunity to align fully with this process and through the drums affirm an intent that will help us to do so. But, there are yet deeper levels available to work with here.

With the opening of the drumming we find the Moon, corresponding to ‘the People’, conjunct the Great Attractor in mid-Sagittarius. The GA’s influence gives us the view beyond the horizon, the future we dream of in our innermost selves. The seed dreams embedded in the energy of every participant are connected down the line over the 24 hours of the drumming. At close of drumming the Moon conjuncts the Galactic Center and grounds this influx of dreaming through the energies of the cosmic womb. This may be very subtle and esoteric by nature and appeal only to a few, but, even a small percentage of all those drumming can make the difference and it is the power of the essence carried within the dreaming, its qualities rather than quantity that matter most.

Before drumming this year, since it is ‘this’ year, take some time to consider an intent that arises naturally from the cornucopia of your own innate gifts, that arises most strongly in your heart, and that you can give through your drumming, as a gift to the world…..and give it your all…..

here is the link to the 10BB website

see you there!

In Peace, R

Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon of 2012 casts a clear blue light into the inner sanctuary of our thoughts and dreams. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the areas of our lives where the dreams we have for our future are at odds with the patterns and habits we have developed from the experiences of the past. All the outer planets are retrograde so the channels that connect us with the larger cosmos are open within and we can ask for guidance from the higher planes as we bathe in the light of this moon. The power we have to undertake changes as a result of our reflections is amplified and where our minds may wander in the process the visceral reality of the actions necessary to bring those changes about will become increasingly grounded and manifest as the lunation unfolds towards New Moon – so, this time of inner communication should be capitalised upon as there is much creative potential at work here too.

This will be a great Moon for creative work…..get artistic and let the inner processing have its way through art, music and, if you are so inclined, making celebration befitting the harvest. For those more inclined to working things out in the mind this may be a challenge, but, it is a challenge worth taking as the matrix of energies here also provide a powerful river of inspiration.

This is a very good moon for allowing the energies of Life to flow through us, for letting spirit speak – the qualites of togetherness and fruitful kindness will prevail if allowed and the means are here to remove obstacles to this happening. It is an important time and one that can bring great rewards! Blockages and old mental habits can be released if the river is allowed to flow – logical thinking may take on a left field quality and the parameters of our limitations become permeable enough to change our minds. An open minded attitude will work well for people so long as the energies that surround are positive and the company good.

Behind all this the struggle to break free of our collective restrictions, our birthing of a new way of living on our home planet is working underground and will continue to be present with us in the world. This movement and process will be focused, if that is the appropriate word, on the inner workings of power in collective bodies and organisations – we could see the sleeze behind the rot and the depth of deceptions that the powers that be continue to spin further exposed, and with two yods tieing into to both Sun and Moon, there could be some shocks and scandals – the media will have a field day, but, we expect this now, so don’t be distracted. The place to be is where your intuition tells you to be – follow the energies that excite you and if possible get out in the land; Nature will heal and inspire in equal measure. And this is perhaps the core message of this Harvest Moon – our Earth gives us beauty and good health beyond measure if we approach her with a good heart and an open mind. All we need is right here and our creativity, fueled by her inspiration, can take us well beyond the horizons of our knowing.

In closing this brief reflection on the Harvest Moon let us remember that exactly one year ago the world was seeing massive movements of the people, a collective voice ringing out the call for truth and an end to usury. Wall St. and Occupy took flight, riding upon this emergent energy for change and, a year on, this has become more widely, and perhaps more deeply, disseminated within our thinking. This moon brings the perfect opportunity to re-assess where this energy and the year has taken us – if the energy of that time were to express itself through us now, what powerful changes would it bring into manifestation……what powerful and wonderous things could we achieve……