September 19, 2013 Full Moon in Pisces: Harvest Moon

The Sabian Symbol for this lunation is Pisces 27: “A Harvest Moon”

The full moon takes place at 4:13A (PDT) and 7:13A (EDT)

The theme is about the collective and social dynamics of working together. What does that mean? Pisces/Virgo is the harmonizing axis for intuition, compassion, practicality, and being of service (not to be confused with servitude!).

Noticing at this lunation that we have some other challenging or “creativity-making” astrological aspects (cardinal cross, transiting Saturn conjunct Venus transiting the north node) let us be mindful of what we have worked for and created, envisioned, and have some gratitude for that process, and recognize our ability to make a difference. To BE a difference in the health and well-being of us all.

Virgo/Pisces

This is where we make God (with a capital ‘G’) come to earth through our own actions of service and of love. Recognizing the need for more patience in the world (be more patient), lending a hand (hold the door for someone), lending your ear, or your shoulder- without the brownie points – because no one saw you, because you love someone 🙂

With Virgo/Pisces in balance, a person just doesn’t go out looking for a cause, or looking for someone else to have a problem they can solve, a person sees that it’s the tiny little assistance that makes all the difference in the experience for most of us. It’s the connecting. You can even hold courage for someone, hold faith, and hold confidence in them. The best way of helping sometimes is to let someone do something by themselves and let them find the courage within. So compassion and service expresses in many ways.

Employed or not, physically capable or not (sick or healthy), everyone is contributing to the vision (Pisces) of humanity. That means that everyone is working!! If you don’t realize the impact you already making, then you can’t make an impact! It is our collective efforts that bring health, healing, vision, and purpose to the planet.

Look around, a lot of people are really trying their best. Both Virgo and Pisces make the difference on earth, molding and envisioning, like the mutable water and clay they represent being earth and water signs. High intuition, vision, and the culmination of things made real. It’s so necessary for us to look outside with compassion – and hold it within, too. There’s but a hair of a difference between us all…

Saturn conjunct Venus in Scorpio: Serious

This aspect makes relationships less demonstrative, and more serious. Saturn brings business wherever he goes. He’s the teacher, Chronos, father-time. Saturn restricts us so that we learn things like discipline and determination, even self-determination. Venus is money, values, relationships. Saturn can stifle or be too rigid, authoritative, or overly critical about anything he touches. Saturn can also *stabilize* and bring security to anything he touches. Saturn appears when someone’s in it for the “long-haul” or the long term picture.

A conjunction is about the energies of both Venus and Saturn being infused with one another ~as with all conjunctions, the energy acts in unison but not always on the same note, if yah know what I mean 😉 ~ Sometimes these energies don’t blend well in our lives, but when they do blend well, effort (and sometimes struggle) materializes into form or reward (Venus, money, Bravo!, positive-feelings). The last time that Venus was conjunct Saturn was at the end of November, last year, 2012, in the sign of Scorpio. The next time that Venus will be in conjunction with Saturn will be the end of November 2014 in Scorpio. After that, Saturn enters Sagittarius, in December, 2014. Saturn will not transit Scorpio again for another 28-30 years. If you’ve heard of Saturn’s return, you’ll know that a Saturn cycle is roughly that time frame. Following the Venus/Saturn cycle in Scorpio, is a Venus/Saturn cycle in Sagittarius. Since Saturn is the “slower moving” (further away from Earth) planet, it occupies the sign for a longer period of time. Therefore, its effects are longer lasting.

New Moon in Virgo

 

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Photo by Ka Malana

New Moon in Virgo

Time to set goals, and make some plans!

We’ve got this wonderful new moon on September 5th, 2013 at 13° 4′ 21″ Virgo.

7:36 am EDT

6:36 am CDT

5:36 am MDT

4:36 am PDT

 

There’s nothing like nice, clean, earthy energy to help us get going on our tasks, releasing the heat of the summer (ever so slowly) and preparing for autumn. If you are looking to change your diet, improve your nutrition habits, start a new exercise regime, or just develop better habits, this new moon will support you. Get out some paper and a pen and write a list of your goals. Use this moon cycle to initiate whatever your chosen endeavor to be more healthy and whole. Be as detailed as necessary – just enough to make your vision tangible and real. Watch for any tendencies to overwork or be overly critical about your plans or outcomes during this moon cycle, and then just return your focus to your breath.

 

If you did your due diligence, you already wrote down your goals, so let go of your grasp on the outcome. Definitely utilize this time to start shaping your ambitions – 2 1/2 days before and after the new moon. Virgo is the sign of discretion. Target what is productive and release what is unproductive.

 

The Sabian Symbol for this new moon is “A Family Tree.”

 

Beneath the tree, its trunk and its branches, is a system of organization—the tree’s roots. These roots draw up nutrients from the water and soil and provide nourishment. At the base of it is connectedness, rootedness. This allows for the tree to move and sway in the wind without breaking or leaving the ground. Virgo is a mutable sign – flexible and changeable.

 

Be settled and moveable at the same time, just like a tree.

 

Trees have families, too! Up in the Northern California, where I used to live, the Redwoods all networked together underground, finding their rootedness – their stability—with each other.

 

Take a lesson from the tree, and see how you organize your roots underground. What supports you? All families run deep into the past and are legacies of achievement and success otherwise we wouldn’t be standing here today at all. I encourage you, this new moon, to really use active meditation for driving your roots deep down into the earth and connecting with the center of this planet.

Conceptualizing Astrology, the Universe, and YOU

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The ancient Hindu and Buddhist scholars taught us that the external world is an illusion, Maya. Taken on an intellectual level, the concept is barely acceptable to anyone’s mind! We aren’t used to the notion that there’s no separation between ‘you’ and ‘me.’ In fact, the stability of our psychology rests on believing that this separation exists!  In other words, the experience of reality as ‘oneness,’ can be really destabilizing. At its worst, it can take you off the deep end. So let’s be kind to ourselves, and allow ourselves to be comfortable with this as merely a concept, for just a little while in order to examine it here as it relates to astrology. (A short story about Maya: http://www.eeedesign.com/stories/Maya.html ).

The Nature of Reality: Advaita

‘Oneness’ as the nature of reality is described really well by Advaita. Advaita is a sub-school of Vedanta, a Hindu school of philosophy.  Advaita says that there isn’t really a ‘you’ and a ‘me.’ There’s just one. All of consciousness, life, the totality of all things, is one. It is this understanding that is the essence of Advaita, nothing can be attained. The mere wish or desire for attainment or enlightenment shows a belief that there is a self that is separate from enlightenment, and this belief is incorrect according to Advaita.

Advaita, or Non-duality, is best explained at the following website named Endless Satang.  http://endless-satsang.com/advaita-nonduality-oneness.htm.   I strongly recommend you check it out before reading further. At this site, you will be walked through an experience of your hand that will help you get a better handle on what Advaita says about the nature of reality.

Perception and the Mind of Duality

Egoic consciousness means more than ‘I think that I am awesome.’ Ego is the way your brain/mind understands experience. It organizes reality into discrete parts with names or labels such as “me,” “you,” “this tree,” “my house,” etc. Ego is the perceiver that perceives these forms as discrete, separate, and distinct. There is also a cultural collective or cultural ego – the perceptions, beliefs, and notions of a society that are conscious and ‘acceptable’ including rules for behavior, reward…etc.

Duality itself is a construction of the small mind, or local mind– the limited mind (as opposed to the universal mind). Don’t write off the local mind too quickly though — it’s necessary. Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury, the planet associated with the local mind, or immediate environment. In a person’s chart, the planet Mercury represents a person’s mental filter – the filter through which they perceive the world. It’s a neat thing 🙂 and a helpful thing – in its rightful place. (Stayed tuned, I’ll be writing more about Virgo and the upcoming new moon in Virgo on September 5th.)

Q & A

Question:  Could there be more than one way of looking at the universe? I mean, if Advaita is the true nature of reality and Maya is the false nature of reality, does that mean that I should just forget one of two contradicting ideas and pick the true nature in order to find happiness or enlightenment?

Yes, we all look at the universe differently; and we are, indeed, extensions of it as well. Which means, we don’t need to deny our subjective realities.

If the egoic mind or the local mind of consciousness is the only difference between you, me, the planets, and everything under and beyond the sun, then it must be pretty important in some way – and in what way is that?

Would you be surprised if I told you many?  In astrological terms, the planet Mercury represents the scribe, the text itself or message (not necessarily its meaning), short-distance travel, and data. In astrology, the planet Mercury describes the local mind, perception toward neighbors, siblings, and the person’s mental filter. The planet Uranus is its transcendent aspect, the Higher mind – and will not be discussed here directly.

The Bigger Picture

But for now, let’s get back to conceptualizing astrology, in terms of a bigger picture.  If all is ONE, then wouldn’t it be the same for the planets and the stars, the Earth underneath our feet, and everything all around us?  Oneness.  No separation. No distinction between you, me, the moon, Mars, the Sun, or even a far away galaxy. Nevertheless, we perceive these discrete forms as separate in order to learn about the true source – in order to have recognition. Now, does that make any sense? What is a mirror other than glass with a silver backing along with some other treatments for adhesion? What is re-cognition but another cognition? So, in the bigger picture what we see as things that appear different really are just a reflection of the source of all things – and you are it. Everything is a symbol of You. The true Self. See Alan Watt’s, “You are IT”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6S2zzAIBFA

Let’s scale it back down again, while simultaneously opening it back up again, for a moment, so that we can “travel” to other, multiple dimensions of this one reality…forget astrology… it’s just a metaphor – or is it?

Multi-dimensionality

I highly suggest you check out this link from Nova because it really helps to get a look at what some scientists are theorizing right now, especially the mathematical concept of string theory.  There have been some updates, as CERN is starting up again very soon – this spring 2015. It also helps you to understand where all this is going, and from whence it came. What science points to is a new way to view the universe http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/imagining-other-dimensions.html. In fact, science isn’t really pointing out anything in particular, or conclusive; it’s really a just a method.

Is the difference between ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ really a matter of perspective, or are these just two of many dimensions? How much does scale or size matter in witnessing the tiny dimensions that string theory theorizes? http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20600-quantum-magic-trick-shows-reality-is-what-you-make-it.html#.UiTouNIqiSo  This is a proverbial rabbit hole (or portal) and you will likely have fun! This is the stuff that scientists really can’t be certain about quite yet… but it’s hot, and researchers like Brian Greene are hot on the trail. There’s more to IT ALL!  And, it hasn’t been disproved.

Archetypes as symbolic language

Beyond the symbolism of mathematics– what other symbolic way do we have to describe the many dimensions of the universe? What might they look like? Do these dimensions have unique perspectives?

An archetype is a construct, which means it is created (not real), and it is created not just by a local mind but by a cultural mind. Archetypes transcend time and space, and minds! You find archetypes in stories, mythology – among other places, like astrology. They are ancient, universal patterns that are sourced in the collective unconscious. The archetype communicates across cultural lines: the trickster, the hero, the maiden…etc. In fact, archetypes can even function all by themselves. Jung got some of his ideas from Kant, Plato, and other philosophers. He pulled a tremendous amount of archetypal data from mythology, from dreams, across cultures, and from his own experiences. These archetypal identities of old exist in every tradition – oral or written. Check out archetypal cosmology (http://www.archaijournal.org/) it’s a field of study that researches the correlations between “discernable archetypal patterns in human experience and the structural order within the solar system.”

We can all thank Carl Gustav Jung for the breath of his resources, in order to develop his own work around archetypes. He influenced so many different ‘alternative’ disciplines because – quite frankly, I believe he delved into all sort of disciplines to get his information. Even if much of what he observed and reconfigured fell upon deaf ears, similar ideas sure show up in other disciplines, from anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, ‘unconscious infrastructures,’ to linguist Noam Chomsky’s ‘deep structure’, to even biologist Edward Osborne “E. O.” Wilson’s observation of epigenetic rules – or behavioral constructs evolving over time.  See the following link from a Guardian Commenter who noted these parallels in his article. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/jun/20/jung-archetypes-structuring-principles

The planets are archetypes

So how do archetypes fit into all this, and what do they have to do with astrology?

Check your experience. Honestly, check it out. The planets are archetypes. I don’t know the physics of how, nor can I pretend to. I can make other stories, though == planetary stories. Each planet has its own sort of energy or personality – Mars is passionate and fiery, while Saturn involves patience and discipline. One is fast and the other is slow. When I look at a chart – I can see a story as the planets (or energies or archetypes) interact.  The story can go a lot of different ways, but there is something that’s the same – that is the archetypes. A hero is a hero is a hero.  He sets out on a quest. We are all heroes in our own stories/journeys—just like we are all at the center of the wheel in our perception of the universe, and in an astrological chart. The central axis of the traditional astrological wheel is the earth – or “you.” Contemplate the center, which is your access point to all things. What I am pointing to in this article here is that your subjective experience is something to get to know as well as you can. People claim that Self-inquiry called Atma-vichara in Sanskrit, is the most important meditation practice in the Vedantic tradition. I’m not sure if I agree with that – as there are so many beautiful and fruitful practices. However, I do agree with the following statement from source below, and as many have been asking since their early years. “WHO AM I?”

The teaching of Self-inquiry is direct and simple, its literature is not as extensive as that of other yogic practices. In addition, the path of Self-inquiry demands a certain ripeness or readiness of mind that may require other practices to develop.

The process of Self-inquiry is so simple that it can be explained in a few words. To practice it you need only trace the root of your thoughts back to the I-thought, from which all other thoughts arise. This is initiated by the question “Who am I?”. By asking, “Who am I?” our thought current naturally gets focused on the search for the true Self and we forget about all other concerns and worries of the mind.

Mandala, an astrological chart

            What is the practical application of the knowledge of archetypal symbology?

A mandala is a circle or circle-like structure. This symbol is used by just about every tradition under the sun — Navajo Indians, South Asian Indians, Tibetan monks, etc.  It is used to represent an integrated view of the universe, and reminds us of our relationship with the totality of existence. An astrological chart functions like a mandala – it is a circular symbol, that when contemplated, helps our local minds “sit” more undisturbed in the universe. It unifies our experience of the archetypes, demonstrates the ease and tension in our psyche, gives us a viewpoint, and yields insight into the way we perceive ourselves in the universe. It can be a wondrous tool for your own evolution of consciousness –like a huge clock tracking repeating cycles of experience—and it helps us tie everything together in one beautifully integrated visual image, mandala.  I’m so grateful for astrology! See this page for more on mandalas and for free mandalas that you can print out and color 🙂  http://www.unh.edu/health-services/ohep/spiritual-wellness/mandalas-spiritual-practice

Have fun with this stuff!

(Photo is Mandala plate of Buddha Amitayus (TIbet; 19 century. Pigments on cloth, mounted on wood. copyright Rubin Museum of Art))