“Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.” – Heraclitus
On September 27th-28th, 2015 (depending on where you live in the world) there will be a total lunar eclipse in the fire sign of Aries! The visual phenomenon of an eclipse occurs when the Earth hangs in the middle of the radiance and reflection between the Sun and the Moon, casting its own shadow. This specific lunar eclipse will be upon a Super Moon, meaning that this Moon will be closer to the Earth than any other we have seen this year! Make an effort to see it because you will definitely feel it! This event will furiously burn away something which has been impeding you and will usher in a new era of self-awareness. Aries is a fire sign that represents the ignition of consciousness experienced at birth so this is a “rebirth” eclipse in a BIG way!
This event completes this month’s cycle begun on September 13th when a partial solar eclipse occurred in Virgo. It also is the culmination of a much larger cycle, for this Sunday night’s eclipse will be the last in a “tetrad” — referring to four total lunar eclipses that have been occurring in six-month intervals for the last 18 months. Think back over the last year and a half and reflect upon what has been in dynamic flux. Now, consider what can be released from your life with great gusto and intention!
From an astrological point of view, something significant that you have been working on, healing, or bringing into manifestation is about to transform! There will be an end that ushers in new conditions in ‘concord’ with your current evolutionary needs. Look at where 4 degrees Aries is on your natal chart to determine what areas of your life are most likely to be opening up to experiencing a great departure that will lead you to a new era in your life.
In the case of this “Harvest Moon-Blood Moon-Super Moon-Culmination of the Tetrad-TotalEclipse”, suffice it to say that it will be a miraculous moment to sacrifice something to the transmutational energies. This will be a spectacular demonstration of your ability to release an unnecessary condition in your life, making the soil fertile once more for the growth of emotional fulfillment, opportunity, romance, friendship, creativity, finances etc… etc…
This great flourishing will be in an area where you most desire it if you gently allow your own will to mingle with the transformational cycles of nature!
Sunday’s total lunar eclipse in Aries beautifully exemplifies ancient wisdom of the transformational cycles, for a lunar eclipse represents the power of catalyzing change through opposing energies. “Opposition brings concord…” Moreover, this eclipse will be in Aries, the first sign in the Zodiac, characterized by the element of cardinal fire associated with the light of consciousness received upon birth and which rejuvenates all life every spring. In the Zodiac, everything begins in fire!
Heraclitus of Ephesus was the most influential of the Pre-Socratic philosophers and he based his wisdom upon understanding the nature of transformation and dynamic flux. Heraclitus defined the underlying governance of nature as an “ever-living fire”, whose incessant transformations are the essence of the cycle of life and death.
In his view, fire constitutes and symbolizes the omnipresent processes of nature and the light of intelligence (the “logos”). Therefore, as the source of all life and all thought, fire is what lends us the illumination of self-discovery and transformation!
So, in the heat of this total eclipse feel yourself burning bright! Ignite that inner spark and courageously blaze a new trail for yourself! You will be on fire!
This week, the Mercury retrograde in Libra is in full swing, while Jupiter in Virgo continues to oppose Neptune in Pisces. This is also the week of the fall equinox, which is when the Sun in Virgo transitions into Libra. Finally, on Sunday night in the Western hemisphere, there will be a blood moon lunar eclipse in the sign of Aries.
The Chariot indicates that the beginning of this week is poised upon a precipice of positive change, but perhaps you feel lost in thought and paralyzed by inertia. Deep meditation upon the new direction you are taking should be an important part of this transition. With all the transitional planetary influences that favor chaos and creativity, you must become your own oracle. Your job is to create the space inside your heart for the Muses to enter and guide your forward motion into the unknown and uncertain future: hear them, feel them, commune with them. With the Muses on your side, joyful success is certain for they are the spirits of divine inspiration. No great artist or scholar in ancient times ever failed to invoke the Muses before beginning a great work. You may do the same in your endeavors to create new conditions, new narratives, and new feelings in your life. Let the Muses speak to you of your future, like it is a familiar story you are just remembering.
Excerpt from Homer’s The Odyssey:
“Tell me, Muse, of the man of many ways, who was driven
far journeys, after he had sacked Troy’s sacred citadel.
many were they whose cities he saw, whose minds he learned of,
many the pains he suffered in his spirit on the wide sea,
struggling for his own life and the homecoming of his companions…
From some point here, goddess, daughter of Zeus, speak, and begin our story.”
The fall equinox on Wednesday, September 23rd brings the transition into Libra, the scales that balance the light and the dark. In Greek mythology, the fall was associated with the goddess Persephone’s melancholic return to the underworld to sit on the throne as Hades’ Queen. The King of Cups here signifies the tension between the masculine and feminine aspects of our spirits; between compassionate reception and aggressive action; between feeling Persephone’s resignation to fate and feeling the smoldering loneliness of Hades.
There is an initial resistance to the balance which Libran energy seeks to calibrate. We tend to mourn for a moment at the loss of Persephone’s earthly light, but such is the cycle of life. As the great poet Sappho once said, “There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse.”
Spend these days releasing a habit which prevents you from fully embodying your emerging personality. Swim in whatever feelings arise, for the Muses can use any emotions for good purpose. This is a week to allow deep feelings to express themselves, for any agitation and sadness can be offered to the lunar eclipse as fuel for a powerful catharsis.
Carpe Diem! The 8 of Wands indicates that at some point over the weekend you will be given the opportunity to know your own intentions clearly. Recall what you were feeling during the solar eclipse on September 13th and assess how your desires have grown or shifted. The bitter sadness from earlier in the week will mix with the sweetness of joy: a powerful elixir for your progress!Watch the road open up as you embody confidence and honesty. The song that the Muses are singing will reveal itself through synchronicities and bright ideas. Everything builds to the climax of the lunar eclipse, which is when the full moon is cast in the shadow of the earth. So too will you be cast in your own shadow. This is the potent celestial moment to release all that is weighing you down and holding you back. You can use the lunar eclipse to transform your shame into honor, your listlessness into excitement, and your fear into courage. Let misunderstandings yield to clarity as you move forward into next week.
September 18th, 2015. Saturn has finally made the long-anticipated shift from Scorpio (dark waters of transformation) into Sagittarius (fire of evolution).
Since October 2012, the emotional turbulence of Saturn in Scorpio has left a mark upon you, as you were drowned many times over in a maelstrom of agony and ecstasy.You were uplifted only to be brought down, glorified only to be mocked. (Shame, fear, addiction, and betrayal all got lots of callbacks for this performance) In the grand finale, you were left with the taunting phrase, “you were born to die” ringing in your ears.
“Birth is but the beginning of a trajectory to death; for all their love, parents cannot halt it and in a sense have “given us to death” merely by giving us birth.”
The truth is that the Saturn in Scorpio transit was meant to distress and disorient you so that you would become wiser. These conditions finally forced you to transmute your repression and pain into some inspired action and self-confidence. Think about what has transpired between the end of 2012 and the present. Now acknowledge how much fear has been transmuted into courage and how much pain into motivation since then!
Now that Saturn has shifted into Sagittarius, many aspects of life should feel brighter and fresher, like a beautiful morning after the rain! As the sun rises, there will be a mass evocation of Sagittarian spirit, including newly inspired explorations of inner and outer space. Expect the unexpected. Ingenious creative works will influence you to embrace the fluidity of belief and allow you to remain receptive. Philosophical, theological, and mystical perspectives that effectively syncretize the vast array of human spiritual knowledge will afford you much growth.
The key word here is effectively. Though the ceaseless aggregation of information may create infinite possibilities for stimulating the evolution of minds, the results do not necessarily include the essential characteristics of flexibility, strength, and symmetry. Poor nutrition is bad for development, even when it is just food for thought. For instance, just where are the thousands of Sirian/Arcturian/Pleiadian channelings on Youtube supposed to be leading in terms of cosmological advancement? And what about all the endless disputes on message boards over comic book character costumes?
Though these sources of information are voluminous, without flexibility, strength, and symmetry, the superfluous amount of “genetic drift” in this information has very little chance of making a significant evolutionary impact. Therefore, to take an ecological perspective, Saturn in Sagittarius will bring intelligent mutation to the wildly amplified expansion of the Information Age. This will be a powerful dynamic, for as Sagittarius excitedly explores the world seeking holy grails and panaceas, Saturn will mercilessly cut down fruitless babbling and pointless lies.
Like outer space, information itself is exponentially expanding, billowing out into the abyss at an ever increasing rate of speed. Over the next two years, the gravity of Saturn will begin to pull some of this matter back into solid form, giving humanity the gift of some new philosophical ground on which to stand. (hopefully full of remarkable wit and humor)
There will be tension between the energy of Saturn and Sagittarius, but this will create a flux of power that will enable you to make lasting and desirable changes in your life. Time is Saturn’s essence and it is only within the medium of time that development and expansion have any significance. It is the force of opposition, between the beginning and the end, that Saturn uses to crystallize everything into form.
“The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe.
The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.”
― The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal
How will this transit affect you?
You will be driven to dive deeply into subjects that stir you, for you will naturally find more momentum behind your desire to learn. Any disciplined study will be beautifully supported. During Saturn in Sagittarius, you will be stirred by questions of consciousness, as you are confronted by your desire for new regimens of self-improvement. (Make it easier on yourself by starting healthier routines )
You will likely become more interested in spiritual quests that imply ascension or salvation or transcendence. While this is not inherently dangerous, the dark side of this mentality could include things like law of attraction cults, apocalypse cults, or pyramid schemes. These are all expressions of Sagittarius’ overwrought theological side reacting to some of the unnerving pressure from Saturn, which results in a craving for escapism and dogma.
Saturn’s purpose in Sagittarius is to help you to learn to follow your own heart, will and desire rather than getting sucked into cults. This transit, therefore, is a perfect time to establish your own sense of authority and to insist upon asking questions and seeking answers. You probably did not actually learn this technique in school, but you will master it quickly once you’ve begun asking How? and Why? all the time. No matter what answers you receive, your simple resolve should be to: “Think for yourself. Question Authority.”
“Think for yourself. Question Authority.”
– Tim Leary
In conclusion, in 2015, no religious myth or scientific model from the past is immense enough to encompass what humans have learned about reality. During Saturn in Sagittarius, new syncretic systems of thought, such as ecological philosophy, can spur the evolution of consciousness rather than impeding it. Many ontological limitations of the past will dissolve during this transit, making way for a grander vision of the expanding multiverse with vast stretches of stars and galaxies multiplied ad infinitum. ~As above, So Below~
Mercury will be retrograde from September 17th, 2015 to October 9th, 2015 in the sign of Libra. During these weeks, you will experience a powerful shift in your consciousness pertaining to harmony, balance, and diplomatic relations (Libra). These themes will have more context depending on what house Libra is in on your natal chart. Even without these details, suffice it to say that this time will pull you into a dimension where you will be required to bring your consciousness up to a new level, lest you find yourself bound up in entanglements.
Have NO fear! Rise to the occasion, remain receptive and prioritize peace of mind. For any survival tips you may feel you need, read up on Wu Wei.
The Mercury retrograde is the most commonly recognized astrological concept outside of sun signs. However, recognition does not indicate a depth of understanding, for most popular astrology resorts to advising people to stop all activity and assume that all technology, transportation, and communication are perilous games to be avoided. Let’s move away from that, shall we? Archetypally speaking, Mercury is a psychopomp, meaning he enables communication between the overworld and underworld (conscious/subconscious) while dancing in between the sharp edges of logic and the frayed ends of ancient wisdom. It is this dance that allows him so much freedom from morality, for he delights in deception and thievery, laughing joyously at other’s expense, while somehow being of irreplaceable and undying service to all. Mercury’s game seems complex, but his intention is simple. He wants you to know more than language and commerce.
He wants you to remember your origins in the Protogenoi, and so he whispers in your ear to evoke the haunting vision of the Chaos that preceded all form. He does so out of genuine love, for “…one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star…” (more on how harmony can be found in the surrender to chaos)
“I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.” – Freidrich Nietzsche (Thus spoke Zarathustra)
As Mercury retrogrades, which happens three or four times a year, it is not a sabotage of all you are trying to accomplish. Rather, this is Mercury’s time to modulate the key of his hypnogogic song so that you will become more receptive to your primal creative power and your own poetic genius which channels the essence of dancing stars! In Libra, Mercury’s retrograde will allow you to carefully sort through your thoughts, for they are the shadows of deeper feelings. In other words, this retrograde encourages subconscious material to rise to the surface of your conscious mind, which smooths your path and softens your resistance to change. Meditate on metamorphosis, finding that you are both the light and darkness; the emptiness and the form.
Please, enjoy the Mercury Retrograde for what it is: a passionate dance with the primal forces of creation!
In the Romantic era, William Blake created an entirely original mythopoeic cosmology, which was the inspiration for both his poetry and his visual artworks. His poetry blended with his sumptuous watercolors and engravings to create an artistic effect that was cinematic before cinema was even conceivable. Blake’s vision of the world was fiercely independent of any dogmatism from the rational or spiritual conditions of the Enlightenment era and his astounding collection of illuminated poetry gives the modern reader a visceral experience of the ‘‘Poetic Genius’’, which Blake believed was the essence of creation itself.
What makes William Blake such an important archetype for the Romantic era itself was his zealous pursuit of freedom, his passion for revolution against tyranny and how he prioritized creativity above all other pursuits in life. Regarding his motivation to live as an embodiment of creative imagination Blake said, ‘‘I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare. My business is to create!” (These were direct references to the Enlightenment era methods of Sir Isaac Newton and the philosophies of John Locke)
William Blake was not a gentleman artist, but was in fact a tradesman in his craft who worked as an engraver. He was commissioned to bring many textbooks and classic works of literature to life with small, yet meticulous illustrations. Therefore, Blake depicted as many familiar scenes and characters as he depicted radical new ones. For example, Blake was commissioned to illustrate John Milton’s, Paradise Lost, and so we can examine Blake’s version of Adam, Eve, and Satan in the Garden of Eden, which is unlike any other depiction in the whole of Christian art.
His religious art contains esoteric symbols that allude to Blake’s mystical revelations. A prominent example is found in Blake’s use of spiral imagery. Blake’s depictions of these scenes remain unique.
(To the left) Blake paints Adam and Eve under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with Adam’s back turned as Eve is enveloped in the serpent’s body, which spirals around her nudity and delicately feeds her the forbidden fruit in an open mouth kiss of original sin. The effect is extremely sexual, yet Eve is not the typical Western nude made object of desire. Rather, this image feels biological.
Again we see a spiral used by Blake to depict the stairway to heaven, that Jacob dreams of in the Book of Genesis. This story has been widely explored in Christian art as well, yet the staircase has always been a straight ladder stretching up to heaven. Blake, in his striking originality, shows us a spiral stair winding up to heaven in a diffusion of starlight and celestial splendor. Blake, as the Poetic Genius was expressing more in his imagery than a simple retelling of Bible stories.
Blake’s Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden tells a story far removed from the traditional one. In Blake’s cosmology, God was an androgynous primeval entity named Albion, which became sexual when it split into four disparate parts or “zoas”. These four zoas catalyzed a life form between them, which was a man named Adam, who had a spectre or shadow named Satan and was joined by an emanation of his consciousness named Eve. (William Blake and the Myths of Britain, 1999)
According to Blake, life began as source energy (Albion) which emanated a holy trinity of life: Adam emanates a female aspect, Eve, and then sends his specter, Satan, to seduce her into a permanent division from Albion.
Blake’s version of the Garden of Eden story sounds like a poetic depiction of the process of cell division, now known to molecular biology. The story is about sex, but there is none of the Christian shame in Blake’s version, for all are the progeny of Albion. Blake’s version can be read as a deeply shamanic vision that depicts the elegant process of DNA twisting genes together through the union of chromosomes to create physical form imbued with life force. In this cosmological view, all mankind is woven together with a unifying consciousness that was purposely individuated from Albion in order to experience the subjective Self. Original sin is absent from Blake’s view, for differentiation from the original essence appears to be the cosmic order of things which is to be accepted and experienced, not resisted.
Blake’s visual depiction of spirals (snakes, stairs, flames) must have been inspired by his visionary experiences of transcendent truth, which binds imagination to expression in the physical world. The spiral is at the very core of being, just as DNA is the language that we are translated into the physical world through. William Blake was a revolutionary explorer of inner space and sacred experience came naturally to him. His observations compelled him to share his wisdom within beautiful poetry that embodied the profound insights he had into the cosmos. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,/ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.”
The spiral is a common symbol found in art from the majority of cultures around the world and it is the primary shape found in environmental structures of the universe. Blake, like other mystics, intuited that the spiral was an essential aspect of consciousness and physical form.
By the 20th century, science found through its instruments of study that both galaxies and DNA are expressed in a spiral formation, and particles follow fractal waves of motion rather than straight lines. The spiral rules the micro and macrocosmic, the internal and the external worlds. The 20th century anthropologist, Jeremy Narby studied the phenomena of the spiral in Western and indigenous consciousness claiming, “Both shamans and molecular biologists agree that there is a hidden unity under the surface of life’s diversity; both associate this unity with the double helix shape (or two entwined serpents, a twisted ladder, a spiral staircase, two vines wrapped around each other); both consider that one must deal with this level of reality in order to heal.” (The Cosmic Serpent, 1998)
In addition, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung said that spirals represent “cosmic force” and that the upward spiraling of Kundalini serpent imagery symbolized “the urge of realization (which) naturally pushes man on to be himself”. (The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, 1932) Jungian analysis would interpret the intuition of Blake as a communion with the collective unconscious. Interestingly enough, William Blake’s concept of the Poetic Genius is not too dissimilar from Jung’s collective unconscious and so it is fitting that Blake was so in tune with deep cosmic imagery and that he infused the Bible with this consciousness. One of William Blake’s most famous revelations about the cosmos is summarized in this quote from his poem, TheMarriage of Heaven and Hell,“…If the Doors of Perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
September is our time to transmute glory and grief into comfort and joy. There is something inside us all that longs for ‘an eternal summer that shall not fade’*. At least in memory, golden summer days and balmy summer nights are the pinnacle of vivacious experience. September is then the time when the grandiose optimism of summer must fade into its amber evening. Virgo season gives us the motivation to begin to organize our life and prepare for the darkening of the light. During longer evenings, we can begin to better articulate our memories and to properly assess our progress this year. All this introspection comes quickly, and it often carries with it the grief that long good-byes always do. We must release that which can no longer can thrive within us.
Monday, September 7th is Labor Day, which is astrologically highlighted by a brief but illuminating opposition between the Moon in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn. This is a grand opportunity to move easily through an emotional obstacle that has been impeding you. Let the shadow come out and lose its power to control you. The eight of wands for the beginning of the week indicates that there is plenty of will and passion to aid you in making a breakthrough. It will happen so naturally that you won’t even realize the strength of the momentum behind you until you’ve been running for quite awhile.
Wednesday and Thursday, September 9th and 10th, are represented by the Moon. In tarot, the Moon has manifold meanings, but they all point to transformation of subconscious materials. Therefore, the middle of the week will support your ability to transmute fear into courage, reticence into confidence. Your dreams will tell you the story of this process in detail if you care to pay extra attention to them. Astrologically speaking, the Moon will be in Leo on both of these days, going conjunct Venus on the 9th and Mars on the 10th. This will lend your subconscious more support in seizing your creative spark and embodying your own ideal of courage. Liberate whatever artistic abilities you usually hide, for there will be something rarefied and poignant to draw from these days. Be receptive, be gentle, and most of all, be cool.
Finally, the 11th-13th shows the Last Judgement card which coincides with the partial solar eclipse which will be at its maximum potency in Los Angeles a little before midnight on the 12th, spilling over into the early morning hours of the 13th! How do the Last Judgement card and the eclipse correlate? In my mind, this is saying that as the New Moon traverses the Sun, swallowing solar energy in lunar light, the emotional, spiritual, and artistic work that you have done this week will finally bring down the walls inside you that have constrained the free movement of your spirit. This is a moment for setting resounding intentions! During an eclipse, your thoughts and feelings are greatly amplified, so allow them to move you towards positive change and inspiring situations. (do some magic) The energy will be so palpable that you may have a vision or a lucid dream! Or you may have an epiphany which reveals to you how the walls once meant to protect have instead divided you, the towers from which you sought a higher vantage point have now isolated you. These reflections will come in the flurry of dissolution that will liberate you from your former limitations. Beliefs will become a more fluid medium of consciousness. Love will be revealed to be all that you are and you will finally delight in letting summer recede into its blazing finale!