Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stairway to Heaven

This Sunday at 7:50pm local time (12:50am Monday British Summer Time) Venus will enter Virgo for just long enough to reverse course Saturday July 25 and head back into Leo.  He, Venus, will look like a lover returning to his great muse Jupiter for one last long drink of pleasure before entering school Oct 9.  The funny thing is the greater benific will enter school Aug 12, less than 2 weeks after Venus comes back for their second meeting.

These are the kinds of movements that would have generated some really good stories back in the days when people talked about the planets like they were revered founding members of our living family.  Plato walked a line, honoring the stories but trying to bring the public closer to the spherical geometry of Earth turning on its tilted axis that informed them.  He was the last writer I know of who described celestial motions with the reverence of a poetic scientist as opposed to Delphic mystics or engineers promising results of a certain nature.

That’s a little secret about the history of astrology and philosophy.  It’s not a secret because anyone tried to hide it, it’s just that few people who practice astrology read Plato and few people who read Plato are familiar with the language that was taught in all academies back in his day.  That to me is a form of social-schizophrenia.   We see this phenomenon take many forms throughout the ages.  I see it every day in the struggle among my Mexican friends for immigration rights.  They come to see the American government as their oppressor, forgetting the wrongs done to them by the country they fled.  It is natural for humans to think this way.  I suspect we tend to fight the battle that is closest to us at the moment and ignore other complicating factors which might weaken our sense of conviction about the drastic actions we feel forced to take.

Now I will share a little secret about my personal past.  It used to really bother me that I had Venus and Mars in Pisces.  I wasn’t too crazy about having my Sun in a sign passively ruled by Venus (Taurus) either.  I wanted to think of myself as a strong, masculine woman of action.  For a few years I was attached to the idea of being a macho slut.  Being around lesbians and strong older women for many years helped me understand the nuances of what it means to be a strong woman.  The change did not happen overnight or in one victorious moment as I wished it would, knowing better, but still, always hoping for that miraculous transformation.

That burning desire for transformation is natural too, especially in Pisces, because the next place we see anything in this solar system after Pisces is Aries.  Without knowing anything about celestial mechanics, most people know Aries is explosive as a rutting ram.  Aries is a prolonged developmental passage for most humans born when Venus, Mars or Sun was in Pisces.  In the case of the Sun in Pisces, every Piscean Sun can count on 30 years of Arian development, like the unwinding spring of a clock.  It’s just part of the Piscean package.

We are not just an incarnation of our first moment, but of our first cycles.  We take our first breath in motion.  It is a bit confusing for beginners to see experienced astrologers talking about progressions after being trained with a moment frozen in time.  I imagine it is like seeing an engine come to life after taking it apart and putting it back together without ever witnessing what happens when volatile gas enters the cylinders and a hidden spark is set to it.  Without progressions a human life is seen as something static, buffeted by the moments encountered throughout life’s journey.

There must be others, but Dane Rudyer and Plato are the only two I can think of who always discuss the signs as steps in repeating, yet with each repetition, varying cycles.  Though recipes for predictions have been handed down based on these cycles, the philosophy of why we follow them has been buried.  Most astrologers have passed it over in the race to satisfy the public’s craving to outwit nature.  They have to compete after all with engineers who can bring down or raise whole nations with ingenious devices.

K   E   D    K   E   D   K   E   D   K   E   D   K   E   D   K

Last night I celebrated Mars opposing Pluto by taking down and throwing away all the charts on my walls.  I began in the kitchen with the charts for the end of WWII and establishment of Israel, the one for the beginning of the Berlin Airlift; I took down the ones for St. John of the Cross and the establishment of a monastery devoted to poverty and charity, scandalous at the time, resulting in persecution that ruined his health; the charts for the early Huguenot battles, the day of the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in, the first operatic performance of Orpheus and the one for Faye Weldon.  I took down the charts for the early campaign to get pedestrians off the streets and make way for cars in the 1920’s, the annual mass rallies of Nazi’s in post WWI Germany, the chart for Italy invading and occupying Ethiopia.  Bored yet?  Maybe that’s why I took them all down.

I took the ones in the hallway down of the Pope being named and presenting himself to the public, Lincoln, Carl Jung, Thoreau going to jail for not paying taxes in protest of government sanctioned slavery…

To be honest, there were a lot of bitter thoughts going through my mind.  It felt liberating to let the burden go, but the bitterness was there that so few people seemed to care.  Then I moved into my bedroom, stripped the walls completely of all the charts and notes I taped up over the last few years to have these ideas where I could readily see them.  Charts, quotes, alphabets in Greek and Hebrew.   Then I went through my files and threw away all but maybe 15 of the hundreds of charts I’ve saved from over 30 years of studying charts of friends and customers.  I filled more than 10 bags with charts from walls and files.

To a non astrologer this is just one of those moments, but to me it is a manifestation of the power of Mars.  I had to keep releasing the bitter thoughts- aside from that, the action felt good, though rash because it was completely unanticipated.  It had never occurred to me to throw away all that had been so important to me.

But among the bitter thoughts there was an affirmation from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali that any spiritual path is just a ladder to liberation.  Once we get to heaven we kick the ladder away because we no longer need it.  In Jack and the Beanstalk the impoverished farmer steals the magic goose, returns to Earth and chops down the stalk.  

I’m getting threatening letters from the IRS and will have to clean a few extra houses to appease them.  I have credit card debt that I cannot pay with my current income.  As I removed all those white pages from the dark paneling in my bedroom I surfed back through the years of study with a feeling of having found the magic goose against all odds.  It was almost a stumbling, or at least it felt that way.  I sifted through mountains of other peoples’ knowledge before the mystery that had driven me forward finally took hold of me and gave me a smile from across the centuries like any archeologist dreams of.

Now I can go back to cleaning houses.  It is what my community wants from me.  It is what my community is willing to pay me to do.  While it may sting, it doesn’t matter if just a few people care for just a few minutes about what I have learned.  As one friend said of her husband’s loss of memory, “he has a very limited attention span.”  The same can be said of people struggling against all odds to survive or improve the lives of others.  It doesn’t matter that I cannot make my message more entertaining or hold the attention of my community.  I have received a quieter gift, that for now fills me with enough hope to carry on with the existence I have been given.  The golden eggs of knowledge about what the constellation myths actually refer to are my inner peace.  There is no need to bring the goose down to Earth.  The giant roars and says frightening things, but I don’t believe he will eat me.