The Zodiacal Microscope

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! This week I am sharing with you about one of the more useful tools in my practice, a simple but very insightful tool which reveals your personal connection to each zodiac sign in greater detail. If you have Solar Fires software you can generate this information in a report for yourself, while Patrons of this blog can write to me and request one to be sent to them for free. With some time and some work, you can also create this report for yourself. 

blood-1813410_1920

 

Every person or thing has a unique and individual relationship to each of the 12 zodiac signs and all of the planets including the Lights. The work of an astrologer, that is someone who makes a study of astrology whether it is casual or professional, is to understand what that relationship is and where possible how to transform it to empower and uplift the life. The beginning of this work is about becoming familiar with the symbols which astrology uses as its alphabet and vocabulary, the four primary categories of which are usually planets/Lights, signs, houses and aspects. This can take some time and it is often further complicated by some ambiguities in astrology which have been built-in, such as the overlap between the qualities of certain signs and certain planets or houses, or the way in which certain aspects can emphasise the qualities usually attributed to certain signs, houses or planets. This is necessary because as a symbolic language astrology must be able to express meaning through various levels of significance at the same time, and while confusing for a beginner it deepens the richness of the power invested in astrological techniques.

Signs of the zodiac can be particularly difficult to pin down in terms of what kind of qualities they express in our lives. Overall, signs clearly depict general energy patterns or paths which the planets must walk in order to communicate and express themselves to us upon the Earth. The qualities of each sign are very diverse. Taurus can be both patient and stubborn, and Aries can be both angry and bold, for example. Astrologers, often at the initial stages of learning the craft, will focus on the presence of planets in signs as modifiers to the way this plays out, for example a person with a Sun in Aries that has square aspects from Mars and Saturn will definitely tend towards the angry and frustrated side of the Aries Sun sign, while one which has trine’s or sextiles from those planets will tend towards Aries Sun sign courage and determination. Sometimes astrologers will also make a judgement about a sign and its qualities by looking at the dignity of a planet in that sign or the rulership of that sign.

However, there is a different way of using aspects to examine the tendencies within a particular sign of the zodiac and even within a particular house. This method is called the sensitive points listing. To calculate it you find all the major aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition) to all of the planets and the Lights in your chart, And then you merge the entire haul of data and arrange it into zodiacal order for each sign. For example, if your Sun is at Taurus 15°, then it has:

  • two squares at Leo 15° and Aquarius 15°
  • two sextiles at Pisces 15° and Cancer 15°
  • two trines at Virgo 15° and Capricorn 15°, and
  • an opposition at Scorpio 15° as well as a conjunction at Taurus 15°

If the Moon in your chart is then also at Cancer 10°, then it will have:

  • two squares at Aries 10° and Libra 10°
  • two sextiles at Taurus 10° and Virgo 10°
  • two trines at Scorpio 10° and Pisces 10° and
  • an opposition at Capricorn 10° and a conjunction at Cancer 10°

If you repeat this process with every planet including the ascendant and midheaven in your chart and then combine all of that information together and put it in the right order in terms of the order of the zodiac, then you have your sensitive points listing. If you wish, you can add the cusps of the houses according to the house system you use to this final listing. In this way you can see the content of the sign or other house in your chart according to the nature of the aspects that are formed whenever something moves through it. To gemerate this quickly in Solar Fire open up the chart you want to work from and select Reports – Sensitive Points from the menus and drop down boxes on the right of the screen:

sf sensitive points report instructon

 

The Solar Fire report genertaed does not include house cusps.

Here is an example from real-life using the chart of the United States which I have previously discussed and which also provided some example of sensitive point listings in practical use (there are no houses cusps added in this example, just the ascendant and midheaven, and I added the Part of Fortune at Cancer 24°).

usa-sensitive-points

So here you can clearly see the structure of each of the zodiac signs according to the aspects which are triggered at various degree places in each of the signs. Each sign becomes more like a musical progression of some kind with squares and oppositions indicating an increase in tempo and energy (perhaps the drums are playing or the music is more like a battlefield between the instruments – see Capricorn in the USA chart) while sextiles and trines generally indicate a softer and quieter tempo (perhaps these are flutes or violins, or the instruments are talking to one another in a way which is harmonic rather than discordant – Scorpio is a good example of this for the USA, with the exception of Scorpio 27°, but it’s masked by what’s surrounding it). Some signs are filled with squares and oppositions and conjunctions which increase drama, while other signs are filled with trine’s and sextiles and conjunctions which increase reconciliation and unity. The same can be said of the three decanates which divide each of the signs into three distinct parts like the Acts of a play, or of the houses which then illustrates the tempo involved in a particular kind of life experience (relating for the 7th house, for example, or income for the 2nd). The planets which are involved in a particular aspect also obviously influence the quality of that part of the sign. An aspect with Saturn usually indicates the time to pause and not to rush ahead, while one with Mars usually indicates exactly that.

Because aspects have orbs of influence – a range of degrees around them which are also able to transmit the power of the aspect – it’s not just the degrees where the exact aspect occurs which matters but a handful of degrees around them. For practical purposes it’s best to focus on the 3-4 degrees which are before the exact aspect occurs because it’s in this window we often have an opportunity to influence how it will manifest itself in our lives. After the exact aspect occurs is often time to learn from it, because its already happened.

With a sensitive points listing you can basically do away with any need to read your horoscope in a periodical column except for entertainment or education purposes because the sensitive point listing provides you with your completely personal repeating annual horoscope (just use the current zodiac position of the Sun and check it against the sensitive points listing for the aspect, assuming two or three days before the exact day when the Sun forms the aspect as a window of opportunity to influence its manifestation), your completely personal monthly horoscope (just do the same with the zodiac position of the Moon but assume only a few hours before the exact time when the moon forms the aspect as a window of opportunity to influence its manifestation) and even a completely personal hourly horoscope if you wish to, since you can now obtain simple apps that show the position of the ascendant at your location throughout the course of the day. You can also use the sensitive point listing for the slower moving planets like Jupiter and Saturn or Pluto so that you can see the rhythm of the kind of experience you have when those activators are moving through a particular sign, and this can be especially useful in the work of The 26 Keys because you can see what kind of other aspects are surrounding the conjunctions of the keys in your chart and this gives you further information about the nature of the experience that you encounter when there is an activation of that key. For example at the time of writing Pluto is at 18° of Capricorn which means that it is currently approaching a square with the United States natal Chiron position at 20° of Capricorn. This is the next event in the chain of events that Pluto is bringing to the United States at this time and it becomes exact in December. Later, when Pluto reaches its own natal position of Capricorn 27°, which will happen in 2022, it will also be experiencing the effects of Pluto trine the midheaven which occurs at 28° of Capricorn and this shows a quality of looking forward hopefully and expectantly during a time of tribulations and upheavals.

Like the tools provided in The 26 Keys, your sensitive points listing is a tool that grows more effective and powerful the more you observe its operative nature in your life. The more you understand the patterns that the sensitive point listing is describing and how they manifest in your cycles, the more understanding you will gain of those cycles and this understanding translates into the reward of being able to transform your life experiences. 

On a deeper, more meditative and reflective level, the existence and nature of the sensitive point listing prompts us to contemplate the nature of the circle itself, the circle of life and of dynamic cycles of time bound within an eternal loop. In nature, a circle has no beginning nor any end and each point upon its circumference is connected to each other point with minimal energy being invested in a correction of course (there are no sudden corners or angles). Contemplative astrologers will realise that the holistic nature of a circle means that every planet in the chart is in aspect to the entire chart and that the aspects we use in astrology are simply the ones which strongly emerge from amongst all of that unified interaction. The soul of a human being or the soul of a nation is the container or vessel in which infinite variations of the One Self manifest as consciousness. 

supermoon-995170_1280

 

Advertisements

Neptune in the Libation

Greetings, and welcome to the first weekly post from Journeys! These weekly posts will look at current topics and miscellaneous things of interest that are on my mind at the time. The first of these is on what is currently going on in the stars of Aquarius and its significance for magic, music and all kinds of inspirational seeking, and some ways to  make use of it in practical life. 

Neptune in the Libation

The image above shows the constellation of Aquarius on Monday September 24th 2018. You can see the large form of Aquarius (The Great One) with Neptune positioned in the areas where the water is conceptually pouring in a stream from the urn. The Moon has just passed through the same stream of water, just as it will do each month. 

Neptune is a very slow moving planet and so it will remain in this area of the sky for many years, and has already been there for some time already. It will remain in this area of the sky until about 2022, when it reaches the early to mid 20° of zodiacal Pisces. 

What this imagery with Neptune communicates is a powerful flow of inspirational energy that can be tapped into to bring a refreshing or awakening force to things. The flow of water from the urn symbolizes the vitalizing and enlivening power of the astral realm as it pours into the physical universe, and Neptune’s presence here causes the flow to increase and to fountain, perhaps to the point where it becomes a kind of madness. It’s said that there is a fine line between genius and madness and this imagery conjures that line as an ever shifting shoreline which we must carefully keep an eye on if we are to play in its waters. Both delusion and dreams come true can be found in the flow.

For works of art the distinction between these two outcomes is somewhat irrelevant as the inspiration that flows from Neptune towards fantasy and Dreamtime is a benefit rather than a snare, but for other situations the ability to discern reality from illusion becomes paramount. This theme is also supported by the zodiacal position of Neptune in the middle of Pisces, a sign renowned for such confusions. However there truly is a potential for dreams to become realities with this omen, in an almost faery tale like manner. 

In magic and in astral transformation the support from Neptune at this time can be captured in acts which connect artists with muses and deep spiritual wellsprings of inspiration and vision, especially within music, visual arts, poetry and mysticism. Fantasy and science fiction dreams are in the air and being poured down so that receptive vessels can receive them. Psychic abilities and dreams open up wider as conduits for insight and talismans can be created to harness the power of Water, Air and all the analogies of Neptune. Given the imagery, this influence is especially useful in the creation of libations, oils, potions and other liquid condensers as well as in encouraging success in alchemical tinctures. This influence also supports connection to the ocean and rivers and waterfalls and all aquatic life and can be directed to clean and heal our physical water.

A reliable and commonly accessible way to access this energy is via the Moon, which acts as a messenger to the Earth from the rest of the solar system. Simply put our Moon is a satellite that transmits cosmic sms messages to the Earth. When She crosses the flow of the urn She collects the libation from Neptune and delivers it to our receptacles.

These receptacles can be the forms we choose to create for them to inhabit – our talismans, works of art, mystical meditations, etc – or the ‘antennae’ we all possess that naturally pick up on astrological influences, the planets in our natal chart. In this case, any planet at about Pisces 14° is in prime position to pick up the transmission, but other places in the zodiac have some ability to collect and transmit the inspiration, in particular Cancer and Scorpio 14°

Waxing Moons are better for magic which builds and which accumulates or brightens. Recently the Sun moved into Virgo which means that as far as this area of the sky is concerned the waning appearance of the Moon concluded and the waxing form of its appearance began. The Moon will meet here with Neptune each month from now and be in a waxing phase but it will be steadily decreasing in light. The flow starts off strongest  with a Full Moon and diminishes gradually before ending with a New Moon. This means the next months are a good time to capture the essence of Neptune.

Look for times when the Moon enters Pisces and is free of the sextile with Saturn in Capricorn, and be wary of after November when Jupiter enters Sagittarius and introduces a square to Pisces. In essence use October and November wisely, as things get less promising after because of this trouble with Jupiter. Try to find a chart where the Moon rises or is on the midheaven. The midheaven is slightly better for magic here because the Sun will also have set. Focus on that time.

You can experiment with your own ways of tuning into this flow of awakening but dreamlike energy from Neptune simply by trying to connect with it when the Moon is around Pisces 14-16° and passes Neptune. These dates (in GMT) are given below.

October 21 2018

November 17 2018

December 14 2018

January 11th 2019

February 7th 2019

Because Neptune will remain here for some years, and because the cycles of the Sun and Moon are regular, the same opportunity of waxing phase Moons appearing in this area of the sky between the time of Sun in Virgo and the time of Sun in Pisces each year remains available. To find good times for tapping into it, look for times where Jupiter or Venus aspect the Moon by a trine or sextile, and put the Moon on the ascendant or midheaven of the moment. Avoid the Moon in square, opposition or conjunction with Mars or Saturn. 

purple-3102305_1920

Burning Truth, Flaming Arrow: On Sagittarius

Greetings, and welcome to another in depth monthly post, this time we look at Sagittarius!

fantasy-2770468_1920

For Ben and Tina

The Centaurs
by James Stephens

Playing upon the hill three centaurs were!
They lifted each a hoof! They stared at me
And stamped the dust!

They stamped the dust! They snuffed upon the air!
And all their movements had the fierce glee
Of power, and pride, and lust!

Of power and pride and lust! Then, with a shout,
They tossed their heads, and wheeled, and galloped round,
In furious brotherhood!

In furious brotherhood! Around, about,
They charged, they swerved, they leaped! Then, bound on bound,
They raced into the wood!

 

Sagittarius is the sign of the teacher and the teaching, of the aspirant and the mentor, the roaming comet and the quest and the adventurous arrow loosed upon the far seen target over the philosophical horizon, but it was not always so. It is more anciently the sign of the feared warrior on horseback and the sign of a lethal weapon, usually from range. This part has been forgotten in the more romantic take on Sagittarius of the present day, but it is an ancient one and it still stands. Indeed, the focus of the entire constellation and its sign is not really on the centaur, but on the arrow. This weapon adds to the thrusting, creative power of life an awareness that its existence must mean something but does not reveal what it is, only that its location is somewhere over the next horizon, out there in the vast reaches of experience.

It is, in essence, an aspiring energy, a wandering, wayfaring, somewhere over the rainbow and horizon kind of force. Sagittarius is all about faith in winning the lottery, faith in principles, in family and in the innate moral and ethical ways of being that the soul instinctively knows are right. It believes in higher forces, and benevolent ones, either as God, Karma, Laws of the Land, or simply as integrity and conscience, to put things right. The archers bullseye is the meaning of life. When in despair, it is its meaninglessness. In short, Sagittarius is a spiritual warrior that looks up for truth and guidance and is crushed by a crippling sense of meaninglessness if it fails to find its target.

Below are some examples of common Sagittarius qualities for you to meditate upon:

 

WHITE MIRROR

Zealous
Devout
Philosophical
Exotic
Charmer
Truth-seeking
Multi-cultural
Educated
Optimistic
Universalistic
Honest
Broad Minded
Questing Spirit
Direct
Spontaneous
Motivational
Forthright
Swift
Adventurous
Free roaming

 

BLACK MIRROR

Crusading
Dogmatic
Impractical
Extremist
Rogue
Invader of Privacy
Xenophobic
Brainwashed
Hopelessly Idealistic
Lack of Particulars
Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome
Gullible
Restlessness
Rudely Blunt
Destructive Wildfire
Warlike
Forcefully Pushy
Unprepared
Bored
Rootless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20180926-164640

LORE

The stars of Sagittarius show a man with the lower half of a horse, rearing up and pulling back a bow and arrow while a starry cloak billows behind him. Sometimes a crown or laurel rests on his knee or beneath his hoof. It is a figure of cosmic action and power being gathered into a tense focus that is then unleashed with a swiftness the eye cannot follow. The above digital image was taken recently and shows the presence of Mars, Saturn and Pluto in this region of the sky. The constellation itself resembles a teapot with the Sagittarius form extending to surrounding stars. 

Babylonian cuneiform tablets in the Euphrates are among our earliest depictions of these stars, and they unambiguously label it ‘The Giant King of War’ and ‘The Strong One’. Here it was depicted as the fearsome deity Nergal, god of war and death (also associated with Mars), a being having two heads, one human which faced forwards and one animal (perhaps a panther) which faced backwards (and which later, together with the concept of wings, morphed into a billowing cloak), and even earlier on it is shown as a man with a scorpions tail drawing a bow. To the Sumerians these lights are named Pabilsag, a word which is composed of Pabil (meaning ‘elder paternal kinsman’) and Sag (meaning ‘chief, head’). Pabilsag then represents the eldest forefather, the one with the greatest knowledge and instruction from life, the eldest sage and an honoured figurehead. Visually Pabilsag resembles a centaur armed with a bow but with wings and a scorpions tail, placing even more emphasis on the deadly nature of the creature, since it can not only attack from afar but also from above, as well as being a terrifying threat in close quarters. This imagery may be the source of the legends of the manticore and other chimera. These early manifestations of the Sagittarius spirit underscore its warlike intimidation factor and show the nature of the beast as one not to be trifled with.

Dendera

The Egyptians saw it in the more focused and reductionist form of a hand holding an arrow, but later depictions (such as in the Dendera zodiac in the Temple of Hathor) give it the centaur form as well, but with the face of a lion. In the Dendera zodiac he is called ‘Pi-maere’, which means to come forth with graciousness or beauty (like a horse) and the symbols under his hind foot read ‘Knem’, which means something like ‘He conquers’, harking back to the warlike focus again. The Persians, Turks and Syrians also had names for it meaning The Bow or Bow and Arrow.

There are competing traditions in Greek myth. In one, these stars were placed there by Chiron (along with Centaurus, another centaur constellation not to be confused with Sagittarius). He creates them both to guide Jason on his quest to find the Golden Fleece, signifying their power to guide heroic epics and long journeys to strange places. In another view they are Chiron himself, although other traditions assign Chiron to Centaurus instead, which is a much gentler centaur. The Greeks also explain that the stars of Sagittarius are Crotus, a great hunter and musician as well as an inventor who contrived the hunting bow and the rhythmic beats used to accompany music, and so was exalted to the heavens by the Muses. It was also known as the Satyr, a wild centaur, and the centaur attribution may have permanently established itself when the addition of horseback riding made archers the most lethal and feared of military assets. Yet this was just a new phase in the expression and form of a constellation that had always been an untamed, rowdy, wild, fierce and martial zone of the sky.

As history and time passed and the bow was gradually replaced by other, more fearsome long-range weapons, such as cannon, guns and missiles (and perhaps as they confused the gentler Chiron/Centaurus with Sagittarius), people stopped seeing the constellations arrows as a threat or weapon and more as a focusing of power. In consequence, the lethality with which this figure was viewed softened and almost entirely disappeared from interpretation. The emphasis of thinking shifted onto the hybrid form of the centaur instead of the weaponry he wields, but the fierce nature of this creature is not so easily expunged from the psyche. It is, in truth, a powerful natural urge within us all, an urge to express the wilder parts of ourselves and to target and arrive at the truth. The centaur is a hedonistic being enchanted by drunken revelry and the glory of war, a spirit that seeks to gallop freely across the land, roaming as it will, following only the path that leads to the farthest horizon. Its instinct for wild freedoms makes raucous, humorous, broadly generalized statements and rises to every challenge, every slight and every setback with a burning heart aimed at victory. It thunders into action and refuses to be tamed because it reasons that this is slavery.

The arrow of Sagittarius is aimed directly at the star Antares, the heart star of Scorpius. This may be to protect nearby Hercules from its sting or to avenge the slaying of Orion by the scorpion. Whatever the case may be, the modern day presence of the stars of Scorpius in the Sagittarius zodiac sign reminds us again of the sharpness and lethality of Sagittarius, the tip of the arrow resonant with the tip of the tail, both potentially dripping with poisons. Thus these stars underscore the martial and Mars like nature of the sign, its warlike spirit which tackles things head on and is not intimidated by threats.

 

horse-running-1269621_1920.jpg

SUBSTANCE

As the lore illustrates there are three core powers or qualities to the constellation, all of which inform our understanding of its sign. The first is its combat readiness and its lethal weaponry given to long range attack, the second is its hybrid animal/human form, and the third is its swiftness and noble grace, symbolised by the billowing cloak, angelic wings and the dynamic pose of the cloven feet, which seem to have some kind of fiery power beneath them. These are the core qualities of the zodiac sign, but there are as ever deeper layers beyond these significations which reveal its immanent and inherent magical power.

Sagittarius is a Mutable (Reactive) Fire sign, the Electric manifestation of Jupiter as an external force seeking instruction in the significance of being and life, and among the keywords of this are inspiring optimism, broad vision, enthusiastic seeking, martial athleticism, rowdiness, frankness, goal questing, intuitive reasoning, gypsy charm, truth seeking, truthful honesty, a lack of discretion and adventurous restlessness.

Fire distributes the raw energy of creation onward as the expansive movement of the Light of conscious being, the life force, and is a dancing flame of positive potentials and possibilities, of foresight and prophecy. In its mundane expression Fire is both the Will and the awareness that we are alive, as well as our awareness of life around us. Reactive or Mutable Fire is the mobility of this life force, its capacity to pass from one place to another, like the way plants photosynthesize light. The speed of light and the swiftness with which physical fire can spread as well as its insatiable hunger for new resources to consume – its very survival depends on this – is lent to the zodiac sign of Sagittarius.

Astrologically, Sagittarius is a sign whose qualities are shaped by its star lore being combined with the zodiacal tincture that is the Electric Fluid of Jupiter, the signs ruler. This means that the positive (i.e. Electric) expression of Jupiter is found in the core nature of the sign and this imbues it with gregariousness, great optimism, bluster and a roaming, romantic gypsy heart. Yet deeper than this, the essence of Sagittarius is in the awareness of what is right for the individual person, a strong sense of what resonates within us personally as being essentially true in nature. It does not comprehend why a resonance with a particular truth exists, but it does sense its general presence and is able to discern what it is, what it signifies. So for example you will often hear a Sun sign Sagittarius say they just have a hunch that something is right for them but they can’t explain it, and this is the signs affinity with resonance to personal truth. It is often communicated intuitively, as a hunch or an urge that we feel compelled to follow even if we do not know why. This is the essence of the Electric Fluid of Jupiter, made animate and alive in the sign Sagittarius. It leads us forwards to discover what lies beyond the boundaries, which often requires faith or trust. It is a Fire that lights the way through the dark orb of night like a comet or a torch.

robin-hood-2717675_1920This Electric Fluid of Jupiter brings not only a resonance with truthfulness and a ‘rough and ready’ attitude that treats life as an adventure, but in addition an unquenchable knowing that it all means something, a knowing that is the fuel for the truth seeking. The sign is therefore known as one of faith and belief not just because it is attuned to the big picture and the general vision of life, but also because it has this innate knowing that it truly does all mean something and there is always more to discover. In some people these inclinations take form around religious or spiritual beliefs, sometimes those of alien cultures and faraway lands but more generally these beliefs are those which humans have ‘crusaded’ for. When the innate faith and sense of meaning that Sagittarius possesses becomes enclosed by dogma it loses its ability to target the truth and its actions become as linear and predictable as those of an arrow flying through the air. The mind needs to be kept open to learning, especially when this learning comes from unfamiliar sources, and it must construct a moral philosophical framework that places meaning in context with life.

Sagittarius is also the developer of inspiration and has as its essential meaning the use of a temperate or balanced force (the blending of instinct and reason symbolised by the beast-man form of the Centaur) to consciously shape the personality through the seeking of truth (the arrow being loosed to the heavens). It inspires and so enlivens the archetypes of the planets and sets them in motion. Its dominant idea is ‘I See’ and this is in a truly prophetic and visionary sense where what we see is an inspiration.

Therefore it is not a sign of details and precision but one of far reaching aspirations and ideals. The sign has an ongoing, wide, future oriented approach that aims for the broader picture. It cannot be trusted on the crunchy facts but it can be trusted on the broader truth. Trusting in this intuitive sense of truth is what begets a buoyancy of spirit which attracts luck and good fortune, an exuberance which draws positive results, but we have to acknowledge our weaknesses in getting specific judgments right. The mutability of the sign also allows it to cope well with changes, seeing them as opportunities to grow and expand, and unfortunate blows tend not to deflate enthusiasm but to re-orient it – it points at a new target – but this adaptability also inclines it to more manipulation (and to being manipulative) than any other Fire sign. The truth can be a slippery customer.

When this sign is strong there is an arrow sharp (yet often unconscious) intuition formed by the marriage of a human intellect (the centaurs upper half) with the sheer power and wild instincts of the four-legged beast (the lower animal-half). The Centaur, upper half man, lower half beast, is a symbol of restrained and redirected raw power and instinct, a blend of natural power with mental contemplation. The philosophical and visionary nature of Sagittarius arises from this blend of natural animal instinct being led by the human quality that leads us to be seeking, aspiring and questing.

Young_Centaur_Musei_Capitolini_MC656The Centaur is not only a philosophical wanderer, athlete and seeker of broader truth – he is also an Archer, with a sharp eye and a strong arm, and a reveler. It is perhaps more the arrow of the Centaur that holds astrological significance than the Archer itself, as the glyph suggests. There is more than a dash of warrior Mars to the Jupiter ruled Sagittarius nature; just consult the legends and mythology associated with centaurs – Chiron was the gentler exception to a basically tempestuous, passionate herd of drunken revel makers whose passion for wild outdoor sex is hinted at not only in the bestial lower form but in the phallic arrow thrusting upwards at the open sky. This is a hot blooded Fire sign, one given to seek freedom of movement and far flung experience of all kinds.

This is known as one of the ‘lucky’ signs (along with Aries and Leo) because Fire is attuned directly to the universal life force energy and this makes these people feel more alive than most, more enthusiastic, and thus more inclined to adopt a positive attitude, which is what ultimately lies at the root of all luck. In short, Fire types identify themselves directly with the vital creative power of life itself, which makes them expect life to treat them with a certain favour, and by the law of attraction this is often made manifest. Furthermore Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the greater fortune, which means that the sign has the habit of really pushing its luck and yet coming out on top more often than not.

Such energy and optimism then! This sign literally carries both the power of the stallion and the positive (life affirming) philosophy of the human intellect within it, given thrust in the arrow, and many with this sign strong make great natural athletes – if they use the power of willful, positive thinking to enhance performance – something the sign has have a natural gift with – they may even become champions. ‘Great Uncle’ Jupiter, the signs ruler, sees that its nephews and nieces are given a great deal of what they ask for, and more, if they learn the secrets of wise wishing, generously and graciously giving, and properly visualizing their ideals.

The sign gives planets an almost unquenchable inner fire, a conviction in their power that arises from an awareness that life means something and this sets it on a voyage of discovery. For Sagittarius life is being driven by a blend of creative and instructive processes which keep expanding one another’s potential. All this creative potential and power within the sign must also mean something, which leads it to seek, to engage in expression and to learn. But it can also become so driven by its own life forces and the sense that they mean something that it leads us to bypass life itself on some level entirely, as we keep moving on looking for the next adventure over the horizon. Its always happening far off and over the horizon. At some stage, vision must come to a rest and be content with what it has already explored. So the youth of the sign is essentially much more restless and bombastic than the elder of the sign, who is more philosophical. Timely experience matures Sagittarian instinct to explore into a need to share sagely wisdom…or crushes the life out of its wanderlust. As Sagittarius matures it generally ceases to explore in the outer world and instead turns to the adventures of far reaching inner horizons. This is why many become teachers or mentors, so that they have a forum for passing on the wisdom they acquired from their youthful exploits.

The healthy philosophy of this sign is a generous one of ‘live and let live’ that allows people to determine their own direction in life and prides itself on its tolerance, seeing restriction of freedom as negative. Most Sagittarian minds also adopt a general attitude of ‘I am what I am, take me as you find me’ that asks for the same generosity of spirit from others. In order for this philosophy to work the Sagittarius must be sincere with others about who they are and what they think and feel. They therefore tend to assume thats how everyone works and take people on their word and want to believe in their better natures, especially in younger years, before their trust is taken advantage of or they walk across a metaphorical highway, often several times over. This is a very typical experience which reshapes the philosophy of Sagittarius to reflect greater caution, sometimes even extreme bitterness so that the warlike version appears, but it makes them feel a little depressed inside as they still feel that life should treat them differently. Here we see the influence of Capricorn, the sign following Sagittarius, along with the influence of Scorpio, the sign preceding it – Sagittarius starts out with all this intense emotional enthusiasm for life which goes through a transition as it encounters reality and the need for restraint and limitation. Reactive signs are Elements in transitional states, they are in motion and are acted upon alchemically with ease.

centaur-2027194_1280The sign is brimming with a respect for sincerity and honesty. These are two of the virtues of Sagittarius, and they are so fundamental to its makeup that they even operate unconsciously, allowing Sagittarian influences to tell when they are being lied to. The unconscious drive to point at the truth is also the source of the knack this sign has with comedy, and its drive to discover and wonder – “the truth is out there”. These qualities of truthfulness and honesty are so much at the root of Sagittarius that many of its qualities stem from them. This is a sign of integrity that does not deceive well and bears a heavier weight on its conscience and in its heart from misdeeds and misadventures. Intrinsically it wants to believe in the very best in other people and in itself and its spirit is somewhat broken when it encounters otherwise in this less than ideal world. However it is not a sign that holds grudges – life is simply too full of new discoveries awaiting that it is not worth it to dwell on the past. Moreover it is the future that attracts this sign, the prospect for new horizons to bring untold of wonders. It senses that the universe is just waiting for it, ready to reward just for exploring it.

Sagittarius is a warrior at heart, but humour and good natured joviality are also very strong characteristics of the sign. The archer deals with difficulties by confronting them head on, often before they are actually valid problems through the gift of foresight and vision, and tackles despair and despondency with laughter, greater thirst for freedom from oppression and the motivation to escape from any lack of mobility (this sign is even more averse to being enclosed than Aquarius). In other words, the Sagittarius entity is an optimist, a believer that things will turn out right in the end, so long as the spirit is free to keep moving beyond the barriers. It is an adventurer and discoverer, and for this reason is often drawn to other lands and to philosophy and the realms of truth encoded in religions and the study of wisdom. It is drawn to the exotic and the foreign and is inherently restless and wild because it instinctively senses that to come to rest and settle down is to wither and die. It will wander a long way before it comes to a stop and begins to share its experience as teaching.

In love, Sagittarius is just as idealistic as it is in other areas and is thus flirtatious and extremely romantic, the Casanova of the zodiac. The tendency to have an inner ideal of a partner and to then project this unrealistic image onto real people is very strong with Sagittarius, and so there is often disappointment in love, or a string of conquests as affairs lose their appeal once the initial adventure is over. However, once the sign learns not to expect others to live up to its ideals but to live them itself any relationship can become a continual exploration of joy, with no loss in the sense of freedom.

Sagittarius combines powerfully and smoothly with the other Fire signs (Aries and Leo) and two of the Air signs (Libra and Aquarius) while clashing and polarising with the three other Reactive signs (Gemini, Virgo and Pisces). The relationship with Aries emphasises the martial potential both of these signs as they will encourage one another to strike in a direct and forceful way according to what they want. This combination therefore strengthens the willpower and the directness of the spirit in expressing itself but it also emphasises the integrity of the Fire Element signs. With Leo, Sagittarius finds a creative partner who is willing to perform any central leadership roles leaving the Sagittarius spirit to roam freely and explore without the baggage of watching over others. This combination of Fire signs emphasises the charisma and charm of the Element. The sextile that Sagittarius has looking backwards in the zodiac towards Libra stimulates the desire for truth which both of them possess and arouses them not just to seek it but to enact it as justice or fairness. The sextile from Sagittarius looking forwards towards Aquarius is simply concerned with the opening up of all boundaries, the flight of the arrow through the space of the air and the inspiration which flows through both of these signs is aroused by the other.

In both Virgo and Pisces the sign finds conflict and tension. With Virgo there is too much nitpicking and fault finding for Sagittarius while the Virgo alternatively finds the Sagittarius frustratingly vague and idealistic. Virgo is driven towards specifics and particulars and methods and Sagittarius is drawn towards broad generalizations and universalism, so their focus is fundamentally different. With Pisces, the clash is usually ideological and there is a great deal of confusion generated in the interaction, involving frequent cross purposes and lack of stability. The polar opposite sign, Gemini, can match well with Sagittarius if they overcome their problems which include disagreements and arguments over what things mean and what facts are important, along with different ways of modeling information and ideas. They make up what I have labelled the informative polarity of the zodiac. Informative signs (Gemini and Sagittarius) not only provide information and lore, but are also involved in the way the Light of the Self manifests. They are informative not just in terms of imparting knowledge but also in terms of how the forces within us shape and inform what we are and what we need to learn. Toward this end Sagittarius hones in on truthful significance instead of factual meaning, it is concerned with divergent problems and questions which have personal answers, but not answers we can all agree on as right for everybody all the time. Gemini wants to witness and document the blueprint to the Mystery, while Sagittarius wants to get in there to discover and explore it.

horse-2629042_1920.jpg

ANALOGIES

In the northern hemisphere where western astrology developed Sagittarius is the season from late autumn to the beginning of winter, a cold, dark time in which the leaves have all fallen and the far horizon is more visible, but Sagittarius is a hot and dry sign because it is a Fire sign. It is hard for many people to perceive the Fire Element at work in the depths of autumn approaching the onset of winter, but that is mostly because they are looking for heat and light, which are just one effect of the Fire Element. In its activity the Fire Element propels things away from one another, it creates a space between things, it pares things down by unbinding them, and when we look at what happens at this time of year with this in mind the association becomes obvious. Leaves fly away from their branches which become like gnarled arrows spiraling into the sky and we can see much further to the horizon when out in the open. In less technological times, great fires were built to light the way through the darkness.

Sagittarius is analogous to horses, ponies, centaurs, all wild creatures that use tools to hunt for food, swift moving, darting creatures (mosquito, dragonfly, cheetahs), animals with projectile attacks (cobra, porcupine, even dolphins who use sonar to stun prey), campfire spirits, altars and places of faith, lucky charms (especially horseshoes), torches, meteor rocks, comets, plains, brushfires, volcanoes, lava flow, deserts, arrows, bows, missile and weapon silos, guns, piercing weapons, chariots, race-cars, race courses, sports cars, athletics tracks, gyms, telescopes, heat rays, laser shows, the process of instruction on the personal significance of life experiences, the seeking of contact with a teacher who has broader experience, the spleen meridian, the 3rd and 6th chakras (solar plexus as motivating centre and third eye as far seeing vision), the pelvis and buttocks, hips and thighs, the femur, the liver, the muscular system, the nervous system, the arterial system (especially the Iliac arteries), the direction south east, G# on the musical scale, the Hebrew letter Samekh (‘Prop’), the magical arcana of Temperance (the integration of emotion with astral awareness, the magic of astral animation and astral mastery of the Fluids), the 27th Path of Wisdom called the Exciting consciousness, the operation of alchemical incineration, with vivid and bright colours and the colour brick/purple red and adornments or jewelery from exotic cultures. Its scents are sweet or expansive and include pear, melon, sandalwood, nutmeg, bergamot, clove, olive, rosemary and hyssop and by indirect analogy through Jupiter its stones are sapphires, lapis lazuli, amethysts, topaz, marble, quartz and tin. In mundane astrology it is the Sun sign for the current charts of Colombia (1819), Barbados (1966), Finland (1917), Kenya (1963), Dominican Republic (1821), Sweden (1865) and the United Arab Emirates (1971) and is generally associated in horary astrology with all open, high places where vision can fly into the distance and also with stables or places where large free roaming and hoofed animals live, remote shrines, universities, wild rolling hills, as well as with upper floors with a wide feeling of open space and near sources of heat inside homes.

Sagittarius Sun sign figures include John Milton, William Blake, Ludwig Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Keith Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Humphrey Davy, Benjamin Disraeli, Woody Allen, Bette Midler, Walt Disney, Bruce Lee, Bob Hawke, Chris Evert, Dionne Warwick, Edith Piaf, Emily Dickinson, Frank Sinatra, Franz Bardon and Doctor Who. Moon in Sagittarius figures include Wolfgang Mozart, Edward IV of England, Mary Shelley, Hugo Grotius, Victor Hugo, Honore de Balzac, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Lewis Carroll, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Al Pacino, Stephen King, Judy Garland and Joan Sutherland. Sagittarius rises on the ascendant in the astrology of Michelangelo, Princess Diana the Princess of Wales, Tom Waits, Ted Turner, Leonardo De Vinci, Samuel Adams, Hans Christian Anderson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Cheiro (William John Warner), Coco Chanel, Eleanor Roosevelt, Don Ameche, Marlon Brando, Shirley Temple Black, James Dean, Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Danny DeVito, Jodie Foster and Nicholas Cage.

archer-2345211_1920.jpg

DARKNESS

Der Panther

Sein Blick ist vom Vorübergehn der Stäbe
so müd geworden, dass er nichts mehr hält.
Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe
und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt.

Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte,
der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht,
ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht.

Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf -. Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille –
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Far from being a gentle, wise philosopher-gypsy, Sagittarius has a darkness to it that can as destructive as any other sign. A warlike nature has already been suggested in its lore and its constellation, but unlike the soldier that is Aries or the General or commander that is Leo, Sagittarius represents weaponry and military tactics, the righteousness of the cause and the morale of the troops. Feral nature is only held in check by human reason in Sagittarius, so if reason is abandoned the beast emerges and its wildness causes it to attack people who are even far remote and removed from the battlefield. The natural philosophy inherent in Sagittarius depends upon the balance between its instinct and its reason so if this balance is lost then the attitude of “live and let live” is incinerated in the heat of flaming eyes. If the reasonable side is abandoned the feral nature of the beast within Sagittarius overrules its ideology and it becomes ruthless and easily provoked into reckless action with no forethought, and the insistence on being who we are becomes stubborn refusal to budge on our principles. Yet if the feral side is lost, so too are all the instincts and the mind is lost in its quest for truth, its connection with nature having atrophied, and the centaur is like Rilkes poem “Der Panther”, a once majestic beast now caged and broken in spirit.

Sagittarius wants to explore the universe and is often a traveler through foreign lands, continually aiming for the horizon. However, this can often mean that they are forever dreaming of things in the future when happiness is right under their noses, in the present moment. The sign senses that the universe is just waiting for it, ready to reward it just for exploring it. While this keeps its awareness looking forwards with optimism it can become too idealistic and lead to disillusionment and it can deprive us of contentment by keeping us forever searching for something better than what we presently experience. Fear of missing out is huge in this sign. Idealism can cloud clear judgment as the archer becomes fixated on the target and loses sight of the arrow, the journey of the expanding spirit.

The thrill of taking a risk, of having an adventure that potentially promises romanticized and life changing events, can easily become an addiction that leads to many kinds of personal disaster. Sagittarius must learn to evaluate personal feelings without being bound to follow them because it tends to have the habit of “if it feels right to me, it must be right”. This is not the truth. What feels right to Sagittarius may first of all not be right for someone else. The Sagittarius influence wants to generalize, to find the broadest possible meaning – ‘The Truth’ – and this can result in broad generalizations which do not always apply in specific situations. Secondly, what feels right for Sagittarius at the personal level may not actually be what is truly right for it – it may be influenced by a ‘feel good’ factor which inclines Sagittarius to do whatever implies the most excitement and adventure or that which reinforces its own need for life to take care of it. None of these things may be what is actually right for us in the specifics of the moment and situation.

In seeking the big picture and looking for the next great adventure the sign can end up firing off arrows in every direction, hoping to hit a target that will show it which way to charge next, restlessly moving from one zone to the next. The focus on the big picture reveals many general truths but leaves the sign blinded to details and continually moving on, questing for something unnameable. This focus also leaves it open to naïve idealism and moral dogma, as the perception of a broad truth that applies generally overlooks the personal details which make all the difference. The quest for what life means in all its forms can become an all-consuming larvae that never leaves the soul satisfied with its internal answers. 

archer-3574294_1280Dark paths open when Sagittarius is overly trusting in its ideals and does not acknowledge how fragile life is or how quickly it can be extinguished. Many a Sagittarius has wrecked itself in tragedy this way, galloping into dooms it will not acknowledge. This problem is compounded by the fact that the over-optimism of this creature can lead it to suffer through its dismissal of critical analysis as someone else’s negative outlook. Often the Sagittarius in us needs to work on a tendency to focus too much on the future and to rush toward it, a habit of making broad and meaningless generalizations and taking risks with potentially big payoffs as well as blowouts, and a need for life to always be an adventure. It can expect too much at a personal level and become disillusioned when situations and people do not show the promise that was expected. The sign is crushingly disappointed when bloated expectations fall flat. Naiveté, exaggeration, overconfidence and a lack of prudence and caution can lead Sagittarius to many catastrophes. The sign has such trust in life being essentially meaningful and rewarding that it can walk blindly into great danger.

Generalities and exaggerations are the Sagittarius way, as this sign expresses the expansive and inclusive nature of Jupiter through broad philosophical perspectives which seek to include as much as possible in their viewpoint. There is no better promoter than Sagittarius – it is a sign able to exaggerate the importance of anything and enthuse over the smallest matter, often to its own advantage. Honest to a fault at times, those with strong Sagittarius speak their minds, and while they never truly intend to offend or harm another’s self esteem, they often have an uncanny knack of saying just the ‘wrong’ thing to the ‘wrong’ person at the ‘wrong’ time; this is because they are unconsciously psychically connecting with others and giving a voice to what is not being said. In other words, it is an unconscious form of honesty and truthfulness. The Sagittarius entity is the kind of person who says aloud to a friend while looking through a magazine or the web, “Oh, I’d hate to be in a wheelchair, life would be so miserable, I don’t think it would be worth living” as the person next to them has just been told their child is going to be confined to one. This is the unconscious truthfulness of Sagittarius giving voice to what others are thinking but are not coming out with, an arrow loosed upon the target no-one is acknowledging. This trait often horrifies the Sagittarius person, because they do not understand the mechanisms involved, and generally they really don’t want to cause offense or be rude, but they keep on bluntly putting their foot in it. They can think all kinds of things about themselves which are simply not true as a result of this weird twist of character. The lesson is often to think before opening the mouth to speak.

In its more sinister guise Sagittarius is fully capable of twisting the mutable Fire of truth to suit whatever moral position it wishes to take over others, justifying its behaviour by elastically stretching the definition of things and intentionally making its statements broad enough to cover any lie. It can dismiss real and pressing darkness with platitudes. The ‘high-horse’ moral attitude and martial spitfiring of Sagittarius can become unbearable for others to be around, but it always hides deep insecurities. Its stampede is akin to that of Taurus, a trampling attack that grinds bones into the earth, but unlike the docile Taurus the temper of Sagittarius ignites like wildfire after a drought so that it is far more often rushing to conclusions and acting before giving any reasonable thought to the circumstances. Hedonism can also consume Sagittarius, especially when combined with a strong streak of daredevilry and a love of gambling and risk-taking.

Powerful transformative influences have recently been active in this sign. Sagittarius opened to Pluto in 1995. This energy initiated sweeping and forced transformations in the lives of those resonating strongly with Sagittarius (and also Gemini, Virgo and Pisces). Such changes may not be easy for the individual to cope with or accept, since they will often involve a powerful confrontation with forces which seem obsessive, intense, oppressive or disturbing; Pluto uproots all that is hidden below the surface and brings it up for transformation. The effects and nature of this transformation depend in large part on the points that are found in Sagittarius in your chart. It is a time of rebirth, of being consumed in Phoenix Fire, in order to strip away the outer flesh, expose the inner core being, and experience self renewal. Even though Pluto left Sagittarius in 2009 and is now in Capricorn it will take many years (possibly an entire life or longer) before an individual can even integrate let alone fully understand the changes they go through under Pluto.

mare-2663379_1920.jpg

MAGIC

The star lore of Sagittarius lends the zodiac sign the powers of swiftness, spontaneous intuition guided by reason, protection and guidance during long journeys, martial prowess, success in hunting, influence over universities and the broadening of the mind through philosophy and the acquisition of knowledge. It could easily have been a Sagittarius who first wrote “Know Thyself”. To a centaur knowing the Self is the key to understanding the nature of the Universe, and this is why they are so eager to explore and learn more, to keep their eyes on the horizon. They believe that whatever ideal they seek is out there and because they believe it is so, but whether the arrow will stay the course to hit the bullseye is another matter. The will needs to be properly focused and the right amount of force applied to a concentrated effort.

From the karmic perspective of a soul, Sagittarius can denote a time or times spent living during the great ages of exploration when people spread across the surface of the world and the internal landscape of the mind, expanding and exploring on the physical and intellectual levels. A need for adventure and outdoor pursuits may come from such lifetimes in which the soul traveled widely, perhaps on one of the many missions of discovery or evangelism, or were involved in the explosion of philosophy and education and the exchange of cultures which occur at such times.

The hybrid nature of this spirit often brings a close psychic link to the animal kingdom. Sagittarius has a primal link in the awareness to animals and the realms of astral force they express, and a powerful psychic instinct within which is also the source of positivity and optimism about life in general – life does indeed ultimately lead to our own greater good, but that doesn’t mean this does not include pain, failure and loss. Relationships with animals may be strong but their loss will be felt deeply by this sign, for it is like the magical bond between a magician and a familiar or a shaman and a totem animal.

Sagittarius can not only experience closer psychic connections within the animal kingdom, it can also contact the realms of astral force (the realm of pure emotions), through which many other kinds of psychic perception and the intuition can be developed, such as those which nature spirits operate within. This sign also confers a more natural aptitude for astral wandering, prophecy, divination, clairvoyance and work with the astral Fire Element, but as always these must be guided by an awareness that is liberated of the subjective influence of the unconscious and can only be relied upon when this is the case. Before then, the visions are subject to the imagined ideal of what they are.

Throughout the long history of occult philosophy and theory Sagittarius has been attributed with many magical powers, like any sign has. The medieval compilation called ‘Picatrix’ describes various operations connected to the sign which include the magic of besieging cities and villages or entering and taking them, expelling men from particular places or destroying their wealth, improving the lot of those traveling by wagons through the countryside, causing captives to escape or to be unable to, breaking and destroying ships, taming wild and disobedient beasts, strengthening or destroying buildings, increasing harvests, for love and benevolence, to bring affliction and illness, to acquire the love and grace of superiors, for the infirmities of the right-hand and for curing forgetfulness, for bringing on menses in women and for finding buried treasure. In ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ Franz Bardon attributes the 30 spirits of the Earth Zone given to Sagittarius with the following powers: (1°) the hardening of metals, (2°) steam, (3°) fruits, (4°) peace, (5°) good luck, (6°) morality, (7°) the art of making imagery, (8°) rhythm and periodicity (secrets of the 28 Moon stations), (9°) protection of the mentally ill, (10°) guardianship of travelers (especially by sea), (11°) secrets of evocation, (12°) high sphere magic, (13°) realization of high ideals, (14°) trade and coins, (15°) educational methods, (16°) cultural customs and rites (especially those connected with love), (17°) orphans and their protection, (18°) hunters, (19°) astronomy and astrology, (20°) curing of severe or hidden diseases, (21°) bliss, (22°) justice, (23°) the science of colour, (24°) introspection and the mysteries of the magical equilibrium, (25°) the deep secrets of silence, (26°) human conscience, (27°) magical apparatus, (28°) human fate, (29°) charging of talismans and amulets by accumulated Light or Elements, and (30°) subterranean water.

Gra01.pdf-72

Image by R. Clark

In the Gra Tree of Life, Sagittarius is the path connecting the seat of the astral realm (Yesod, the Moon sphere) with the realm of astral force (Netzach, the Venus sphere). It is therefore inherently an astral entity and like all of the paths attributed to the Fire signs it extends from the central Pillar downward towards the Pillar of Force. The Fire signs project Light from the central Pillar (which contains the seats of awareness and are the hearts of the eternal, mental, astral and material realms) ever deeper into the realm from which they originate, with Sagittarius being the astral projection of Light deeper into the astral realm. Along this path the soul senses its resonance with other souls and within the astral realm generally and so senses its purpose as an astral being, its personal truth, through personal interaction. The soul or astral entity is lured by the many mysteries of Netzach (referred to as “the secrets of all spiritual sciences”) and so shoots forth like an arrow into an exploration of them. The repulsion or attraction that the astral awareness feels with other astral entities on this path has a swiftness to it and leads to a quest for temperance and so for the integration of emotion with astral awareness. This becomes a critical part of the magical equilibrium and for attaining an astral mastery over the Fluids. Additionally, the emanation of Light from the seat of the astral plane into the Venus sphere brings about the swift enlivening or excitation of that astral awareness as it comes into contact with the infinite archetypes of astral force, so that this path confers to the magician the power to animate astral life. This is also the source of the signs connection and empathy with animals in the animal kingdom in general.

Sagittarius responds to the withdrawn darkness of the previous sign, Scorpio, with an exuberant and irrepressibly optimistic outlook on life, and by forever seeking and searching it seeks to avoid having to confront any darkness or loss through a lack of enclosures and bonds which hold it in place. Yet as it races forward like a wild stallion it races towards Capricorn and the realization that reality matters, and so to a disillusionment in its own idealism and optimism. The big, colourful magic of youth loses its momentum and the arrow begins to descend to Earth, looking for a significant and meaningful place to land. It never loses its hope that the initial magic will return and is continuously seeking in the sea of astral archetypes for the next big something that will make it feel alive and excited, yet it often overlooks the truth that introspection will reveal all of those archetypes within it. For a magician, the sign frequently becomes one of the quest for a clear expression of the moral truths communicated by the Greater Self, a process which involves deep inner reflection and contemplation of occult philosophy as it applies to an ever changing sea of personal circumstances. Through Sagittarius, human beings understand how to treat other human beings as human beings and furthermore how to treat all life as an expression of the spark that brings life itself. The greatest mysteries and the most powerful magic of the sign emerge when we are in a temperate balance with the emotional realm as we embark on an endless journey in search of the meaning of personal experience.

The nearly global aspect: Chiron opposition Uranus

I do not usually make posts on specific aspects, but this month I am making an exception and sharing with you some important information about Chiron in opposition with Uranus. The time has come for me to share with you all something that I have been researching and pondering since around 2010.

family-333064_1920

The sharing of these thoughts (which took some time for me to piece together, like bits of a broken vase) at this point seems particularly appropriate, as we are seeing it play out more obviously on a global scale in this period. There is a fraying and polarisation of societies, a division of individuals into camps, both literal and figurative, at a time when we need to be really coming together. Every country in the world is experiencing a rapid fragmentation and polarisation which threatens to rend the fabric of society and the battles are spilling over into social media and other places on the world wide web as well as in the streets. These are all modern manifestations of this extremely challenging aspect. This article will examine these challenges and what I think they mean for our collectuive future. For more about Chiron (a relatively recent discovery) and Uranus you can check out the various articles in this journal by searching for these objects or by clicking the hyperlinks in this sentence which will take you to the main articles on these objects. 

Before we get to look into the meaning of this opposition, let’s look at the past pattern of the aspect in history, primarily to see how often it occurs and in which signs it has occurred, and let’s peek a bit into its future too. These are always important considerations to examine at the beginning of aspect research. 

600 years of Chiron opposite Uranus (1500 – 2100)

  • 1507 – 1508: Uranus in Pisces/Aries and Chiron in Virgo/Libra
  • 1607 – 1608: Uranus in Taurus/Gemini and Chiron in Scorpio/Sagittarius 
  • 1743 – 1745: Uranus in Capricorn/Aquarius and Chiron in Cancer/Leo 
  • 1845 – 1847: Uranus in Aries and Chiron in Libra
  • 1951 – 1990: Uranus in 7 signs from Cancer through to Capricorn and Chiron in the opposition to all of these signs.
  • 2095 – 2097: Uranus in Aries and Chiron in Libra

The first shock: I did not use any orbs for the opposition in the above. The above are the dates of exact opposition aspects, from first to last instance. Focus for a moment on the time span of the current opposition, 1951-1990. Now check the time span of the others.

It’s lasting just a couple of years under normal conditions!

This in itself is a massively revealing detail of the pattern – virtually every working person alive today carries some imprint of this aspect in their charts, to some degree. Only those now over or near 70 and our youngest under the age of about 27 are not natal owners of this aspect in a significant way (but their parents and children are – and the young have bigger fish to fry). Also, these numbers are expandable depending on the orbs you use for the aspect. This is about as ‘wow!’ as it gets for an astrologer as even the slowest moving planetoid, Pluto, takes less time to go through a single sign. The length of time and thus the scale of this aspect in modern times alone must be appreciated – it is a characteristic of virtually all adult human beings on the Earth at this time and is therefore very powerfully active among us in a way that is highly strange and unusual. Experienced astrologers will also draw breath when it is pointed out that (second shock) during its long presence in our skies the opposition passed through all 6 pairs of signs, Uranus traveling half of the way around the zodiac and keeping pace with a slowed Chiron for the entire 40-45 years. I will come back to this.

Third shock: at least as far back as 6,000 BCE – the limits of most modern ephemeredes – there are no other instances of this opposition remaining in effect for so long. Therefore it has extraordinary and even unique significance and at the same time a vastly general one too – since it is not a unique feature of this or of most other charts belonging to living people, it is arguable that more than any other this aspect is the aspect that describes ‘us’ – our struggle, our common cause for being here now, our mission if you prefer, even our era. It is an aspect suggesting an unavoidable face to face confrontation wherein the extreme struggle and pain of the birthing of a new society, a new paradigm for a new awareness, ultimately a collective awareness of unique individuals inseparably connected to Earth and nature and sharing a common fate with all that lives alongside us, is born; or of collectively being catastrophically sundered from this awareness and acting as the agent which causes a global reset. It is basically some kind of critical turning point in the relationship of humanity to nature ​and itself​​. At this stage if we do not make this collective transition we will tear ourselves apart and do great damage to the entire planet. We are the ones who grapple with this opposition at an apex of history wherein we must either achieve this goal or destroy ourselves through the manifold schisms that exist between us. I believe all previous instances of this aspect in history have been leading up to this one, and that the next (2095-2097) will reveal the outcome as humanity takes stock and looks back on its story at the end of a powerfully transformative 21st century. The key to creating a positive outcome is to build a new and more human society that can positively respond to the crises facing all of us and restore the natural world that we have sacrificed for our progress, focusing the knowledge and technology that sacrifice has brought onto that purpose. Like Aquarius, we must pour a refreshing libation upon the Earth, and a major part of that is in the human spirit – the way we see ourselves in relation to one another and nature must be healed first, in order for us to understand what our responsibilities are.

I will leave others to research the past instances of this opposition for themselves as what I want to focus on in this writing is the recent one. If we look at this most recent opposition we can see that there are peak times in which its effect is very strong (the opposition becomes exact by zodiacal degrees of longitude) and that these peaks are splayed across all the signs, delineating subsections of this opposition through the signs as shown below:

Chiron opposite Uranus (1950- 1995)

  • 1950: Opposition begins to take shape.
  • 1951 -1955: Uranus in Cancer, Chiron in Capricorn (Peaks in Feb. & May 1952, Jan. & Jul. 1953 and Jan., Aug. & Dec. 1954)
  • 1956 – 1960: Uranus in Leo, Chiron in Aquarius (Peaks in Sep. & Dec. 1955 and Oct. & Nov. 1956)
  • 1961 -1968: Uranus in Virgo, Chiron in Pisces (Peaks in Nov. & Dec. 1964, Nov. 1965, Jan. & Oct, 1966, Feb. & Oct. 1967 and Feb. 1968)
  • 1968 – 1975: Uranus in Libra, Chiron in Aries (Peaks in Oct. 1968, Mar. & Sep. 1969, Apr. & Sep. 1970, Apr. & Sep. 1971, May & Sep. 1972, May & Aug. 1973 and Jun. & Aug. 1974)
  • 1975 – 1981: Uranus in Scorpio, Chiron in Taurus (Peaks in Jul. 1976, Jul. 1977, Aug. 1978, Aug. 1979, Aug. 1980 and Aug. 1981 although these peaks are not as high as those in other signs are)
  • 1981 – 1988: Uranus in Sagittarius, Chiron in Gemini (Peaks in Aug. & Oct. 1985, Jul. & Nov. 1986, Jul. & Dec. 1987 and Jun. 1988)
  • 1988 – 1990+: Uranus in Capricorn, Chiron in Cancer (Peaks in Jan. & May 1989 after which opposition begins fading away)
  • 1991+: Opposition now phasing out fast.

This shows that there are ‘alternating currents’, a positive or Electric current (Fire and Air signs) and a negative or Magnetic current (Water and Earth signs) and also that (as I have explained in The 26 Keys and elsehwere in this journal) there are different processes involved in the different currents:

  • 1951 – 1955 (4 years): Magnetic current, Constructive processes – to build up something
  • 1956 – 1960 (4 years): Electric current, Emanatory processes – to enliven something
  • 1961 – 1968 (7 years): Magnetic current, Refining processes – to improve something
  • 1968 – 1975 (7 years): Electric current, Creative processes – to create something
  • 1975 – 1981 (6 years): Magnetic current, Binding processes – to control something
  • 1981 – 1988 (7 years): Electric current, Informative processes – to comprehend something ​​
  • 1988 – 1990/1 (2-3 years): Magnetic current, Constructive processes again

So we can now see a structure emerging and we can see which periods of time give birth to individuals involved in specific processes involved in this effort. Some people will be born in years when Chiron and Uranus change signs, and then some of those people will have Chiron opposition Uranus in an ‘out of sign’ relationship, which does not fit the archetypes above. These people act to stitch the different processes together, people who ‘cross the streams’ and bring one current into contact with another, in effect acting as ElectroMagnetic processors of the aspects meaning. For example, they might be bringing together ideas and information from the informative crowd (Chiron or Uranus in Gemini or Sagittarius) with the control mechanisms and stabilizing of the binding crowd (Chiron or Uranus in Taurus or Scorpio).

crowd-2152653_1920

Before I talk about what I have unearthed in my practice about the different sub-groups of this opposition I have just outlined I need to say something about the general nature of this aspect, especially psychologically and socially. How does it affect a person in real life?

It seems essentially to be about living in an entire world of people with a need to heal and be healed, together. The collective human spirit is in desperate need of integration of its parts and so we​ must achieve a healing of​ our major splits or experience rapid and shocking social breakdowns as it fails. The common experience of these people is that they know the human endeavour is in urgent need of rapid, painful change and that there is a need to unite in order to face the multitude of threats not just to ourselves but to nature itself. However, in the face of this there is a feeling of chaos as things fall apart under multiplying pressures.

Characteristic of this aspect are willful desires for freedom from pain and suffering, social division and inequality, ideological schisms that split society into opposing camps, cutting ties and making sudden changes if circumstances or people stand in your way, acting from desperation or a sense of urgency, a strong desire to express freedom which may be a result of an inability to face deep wounds which are projected onto others, sudden breakdowns in civil order and obedience, collapsed institutions, opportunities to heal or rend asunder, the experience of communities and nations grouping together or splintering apart, painful controversy, man made natural disasters and upheavals, massive rises in unemployment which leave the masses feeling used and useless, the masses being confronted with their own pain and the suffering they inflict and a wild, hedonistic, wounded society which in its overemphasis on being unique and standing out reduces people to commodities that can be bought and sold, squeezed dry, tossed aside and forgotten. In its death throes such a society could tear everything around it apart. 

The task is to face the collective wound head on and find a healing outlet for individual suffering which we can share with the rest of humanity. Collectively, but by working as individuals, this generation has to fix societal imbalances; they have to work together to raise funds for starving children, shelter the homeless, save the planet even. They have to respond to sudden emergencies. Many of these things look like lost causes, and some are, because the root cause of the wounds in our society are nothing new, they stretch back thousands of years, and its manifestations are now multiplied six billion fold and rising. Yet even in the face of this we must try to heal things collectively – we will have no choice as ultimately it will be forced on us (this is an oppositions nature – there can be no avoidance), and while we may not succeed there is definitely a point in trying so long as we do not fall into projecting this aspect onto convenient figureheads of blame or fall into multiple antagonistically related camps. We must accept first and foremost that the schism between humanity and nature begins at home. We must learn that there are consequences for every single one of our actions and this means that some of the things we have done will not be reversible and will affect the lives of future generations and life on Earth dramatically. The opposition is about facing this reality and not flinching from the devastation we witness so that we can learn these terrible lessons and never repeat them. They are too great for any single one of us to bear; we all share in the responsibility (the ability to respond) and thus we all share in the insight and wisdom which needs to be applied to alleviate and heal the Earth. I think we must learn to work in initially fractured communities and build a collective awareness among those in our immediate neighbourhood and when enough people do this these smaller collectives will find one another and begin forming more stable and complex forms. We must do this whether or not the parent society we live in collapses – if it collapses it will partly serve to physically force this action upon us for physical survival.

human-1602495_1920

This aspect also very clearly relates to finding an individuality you can be proud of in a room full of people. We are all born split inside because we do not accept ourselves for who we are, fundamentally we feel we must make adjustments and changes in order to be liked and accepted (often in response to Uranian media gods and icons), or we have self inflicted wounds upon our own individuality. You and I and all others born in these changing times must dig deep into ourselves and find a way to accept that you and I and all we know are not separate parts but an integrated whole, observing and experiencing itself through infinite points of contact, a human collective. It is the task of each person born with this aspect to play a part in healing and mending the human spirit by witnessing its crippled state face to face. This involves looking not only at our own inhumane treatment of one another, but also our more reckless choices made in the name of freedom which damage the environment and inflict pain on other living species. It’s about the healing that comes from facing pain en-masse and embracing our vast array of differences as an empowerment which can alleviate this pain, about realising our need and our wish to heal with one another and using ALL of our varied resources in tandem to make it so. 

The aspect therefore indicates a shocking number of varied contacts who will share some form of social wound (remember the arrival of social media has occurred for us), an increasingly visible wound inflicted on individuals by their wounded society, and from each of these encounters we gain sometimes painful insight into our own individual being, an awareness that offers healing to all involved. By learning to share our individual pain and work through it as fellow humans we grow stronger, not weaker, just as a person who gathers followers of like mind increases the power of the message they come to give.

The message here is thus one of collective healing. In joining humanity together in a collective we will not obliterate individuality, we will gain greater freedom and healing acceptance for all individuals, but only if we heal our world and our society first by reconnecting with nature not as a resource but as a living thing we must care for and respect, not sponge off of like idle teenagers, otherwise we will get an oppressive and paranoid world order seeking to deny, control or contain the collapse in any way possible and an eventual calamity which shatters our world. Our own collective identity only ultimately becomes clearer through coming face to face with something utterly different, through relating self to self, and perceiving the whole in the face of different parts, even when they are sharply contrasted and seem painfully irreconcilable.

This aspect brings many of these lessons into sharp focus and can produce many surprises when it is being activated. Since this aspect is in virtually all modern charts, is an opposition, and involves all 12 signs, there is no period in our lives today when a living generation is not experiencing activation of this aspect and often there are multiple activations of this aspect occurring across different generations at the same time. It is literally a living thing, happening and taking form every day right now. It’s time to recognize this and consciously engage with its significance.

The 6 basic subgroups of this opposition seem to carry with them the following qualities with which to accomplish the above, and each seems to have a focus or area for the development of a new human paradigm. Here are some of my thoughts about these sub-groups and their roles. 

1951 – 1955 (4 years): Magnetic current, Constructive processes – to build up something.
1988 – 1990 (2 years): Magnetic current, Constructive processes again.

These groups are the only two groups who cross significant generation gaps because they are born at the beginning and end of the oppositions life span in the sky. Their eldest are now in their 60s and their youngest are only about 27-30. This means the young have to look harder to find others in their generation with the same dynamic, as there is only 2 years to work with.

In terms of this opposition both of these groups are most sensitive to Lights or planets moving through either Cancer or Capricorn, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Earth or Water sign. These signs are times when they should act as a collective force. Their focus is in constructing and crystallizing what the new human paradigm should be. They can be effective in the areas of any overall structural reforms and reform of the concept of family and home, i.e. in re-establishing our awareness of the Earth as a mutual nest (Cancer) and discipling ourselves and leaders to be responsible for it (Capricorn).

1956 – 1960 (4 years): Electric current, Emanatory processes – to enliven something.

This group are probably the largest adult group alive today, ranging in age from 58 to 62 at the time of writing. In terms of this opposition they are most sensitive to the Lights or planets moving through Leo or Aquarius, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Air or Fire sign. This stimulates them to bring the new paradigm to life, often with a sudden and colourful approach that brings drama. They have a focus on the artistic and scientific/technological areas of the new paradigm. Notice that they are of an older generation who have had to adapt to the arrival of social media and other tech, they are not naturally born into it. This has been part of their ‘healing crisis’ and was triggered around their Uranus half returns and Chiron returns (which happen for all of us in our early 40s and early 50s and seem to be major turning points in our awareness of what this opposition means). These people are also concerned with both leadership and a healthy and enlivening circulation of energies. They can help us to take command of situations and assign designated roles to individuals in cells or groups. They energise the new paradigm and our efforts at collectve healing. 

1961 – 1968 (7 years): Magnetic current, Refining processes – to improve something.

This group are large and active in modern life, ranging from about 50 to 57 years old at the time of this writing. In terms of this opposition they are most sensitive to the Lights or planets moving through Virgo or Pisces, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Earth or Water sign. This stimulates them to weed out flaws and identify weakness as well as to devise practical methods towards ideal solutions.  They are idealists, planners and dreamers who can both feel what the new paradigm needs and how to practically get there. Often they play support roles in the group mind, finding ways to be helpful of other efforts, but they can also focus on the cleansing and healing ahead of us. Essentially they open us to the power of compassion and service to one another and thus provide a spiritual attitude of kindness and benevolence to our spirit, but they are very vulnerable to the chaos of the processes we must go through.

1968 – 1975 (7 years): Electric current, Creative processes – to create something.

This younger group are the ones currently in charge of most of the world, being aged about 43 to 50. In terms of this opposition they are most sensitive to the Lights or planets moving through Aries or Libra, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Air or Fire sign. Their focus is on creating the new paradigm, which means initiating it and sustaining its creative juices. Their focus is also on social equilibrium and social conflicts and divisions, injustices, inequalities and the use of diplomacy to avert war. They try to bring about an end to our antagonistic or unfair relationships to nature and one another. Often they are straddled between working alone and co-operating with a partner. This is part of the creative process. The current dialogue on the internet (A: “You are just a Libtard SJW!!” B: “And you are a Nazi!”) is a manifestation of the tensions and divisions within this subgroup.

1975 – 1981 (6 years): Magnetic current, Binding processes – to control something.

Aged now about 37 to 43, this group are all having or are on the cusp of the Uranus half return. In terms of this opposition they are most sensitive to the Lights or planets moving through Taurus or Scorpio, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Earth or Water sign. These people stabilize and concrete the new paradigm, they make it stick. Their focus is upon resources and the distribution of riches (not just wealth) and power and also upon the persistence that will be needed to transform our paradigm. They can also act as a stubborn resistance to unwanted changes. Frequently they are called upon to take the strain of certain changes, and thus are a source of collective endurance.

1981 – 1988 (7 years): Electric current, Informative processes – to comprehend something.

Now aged an adult but youthful​ 30-37, these people have experienced their first Saturn return and are also very active in modern life. In terms of this opposition they are most sensitive to the Lights or planets moving through Gemini or Sagittarius, though they can also become effective with any movement through any Air or Fire sign. These people are the researchers, information nodes, archivists and reporters for the new paradigm. They identify, label and assign information to where it is needed. They are often travelers, teachers or data miners. They are often restless and nervous socially and so help us understand why we are so edgy around one another. They help to keep the human mind curious and involved in discovery.

As mentioned above the Uranus half return and Chiron returns seems to be significant turning points in terms of what this opposiiton means to any given individual or subgroup, but any time a major activation of the Chiron or Uranus keys is happening there is some kind of activity related to this aspect. Some of the subgroups have Pluto activation of Uranus keys, and some have Pluto activation of Chiron keys, and the same situation applies to Neptune activations as well. Thus, at some point in our lives some of us have Neptune or Pluto affecting the Chiron side of this oppostion and some the Uranus side. Jupiter and Saturn activations to this opposition also play important roles in its life. Additionally, more research is needed into other newly discovered bodies,  particularly Eris, to uncover what roles they might play in this important aspect.

One final note: if you are one of the (ever-growing) minority of people alive who do not have this aspect, it does not mean that you are not involved in the overall process of moving the human race forwards into this new paradigm. The process is underway in every single life. It just means you are not directly involved in the parts that this opposition is concerned with – there are many other astrological factors involved in this transition, such as the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn in the early 1990s, for example. 

I hope this article has given you something to think about, if you have any constructive comments or thoughts you would like to share about any of the issues raised here, please leave them in the comments below.

Astrology and the works of Franz Bardon

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month I am sharing some thoughts on the benefits of astrology for all the practitioners of the books on magic by Franz Bardon.

Franz_Bardon

This post was prompted by a recent visit to my home in Berlin by Tanya Robinson, the publisher of Falcon Books. She and I have been planning a course in astrology for practitioners of ‘Initiation into Hermetics’ (hereafter, IIH) over the internet for about a year, and we have reached a point where we are inviting people to offer their suggestions about what they would like it to contain. In this article I will explain some of my thinking and lay out some of the major but general ways in which astrology could apply itself to IIH, and I hope that this will be useful to people in offering us both feedback on the course material as well as to people interested in astrological magic. For further posts directly related to this topic you can check out here, here, and here. This article on a magical approach to the natal chart may also be of interest.

The main problem with creating an astrological course to apply itself to IIH is the sheer scale of astrology itself – it is literally impossible to account for every thought that has arisen from astrology, to include every technique, method and doctrine. Nor is it easy to draw from the grimoires on astrological magic (see Picatrix, Agrippa etc.) since they are frequently focused on evocation and the creation of talismans, and there has traditionally been no magical system of initiation that is based on natal astrology, the birth chart. In my book ‘The 26 Keys’ I have created a magical system that fills this gap, and the techniques and methods in that system are made to be flexible enough to easily adapt to most astrological techniques and approaches as well as any magical doctrine that has a place for astrology. The course I am currently working on developing applies this system to the 10 steps of IIH and its companions ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ (PME) and ‘The Key to the True Quabbalah’ (KTQ), while also offering suggestions on how astrology in general can be applied to them. It is focused on practical ways to gain benefits from astrology while initiating as an adept in the system set out by Bardon, whether you are at Step 1 of IIH or working through KTQ.

Another big problem in designing such a course is that of personalization – in astrology, planets in particular have both a universal meaning and personal significance to their nature and while it is a relatively simple if nuanced matter to apply the universal meaning of things to the steps, it is literally impossible to design a system that accounts for every single personal significance our astrology can have. For example, we can say that the Moon is very much connected with all of the astral steps for everyone, because the astral awareness is a universal meaning of the Moon, but the Moon can take on personal significance related to the feeling of anger, or the experience of being trustworthy to others, all of which arise from the overall position of the Moon in the context of a unique chart. I overcame this problem in ‘The 26 Keys’ by outlining the main ways in which these personal connections arise and giving some guidance on the universal meaning of the parts that are involved, allowing people to adapt the system to their own personal astrology. For the last 5 years this journal has been adding to the material people can draw upon to explore these more personal dimensions of their astrology, with information on the signs, temples, planets and aspects that greatly expands on my published material. This will continue in the future for as long as I am able to add to it and will serve as reference material for the course being designed today.

The challenge now is to find a way to solve the problem of applying both the system I have created and astrology in general to each of the tasks IIH and its two companion volumes require the adept to master. What this boils down to is the problem of mapping the universal meaning of different astrological influences to these tasks, and letting the initiate figure out the relevance of their personal significance during their own practice, just as they do in ‘The 26 Keys’.

In giving consideration to this, I quickly realized that the content of this new creation would have to grow beyond natal astrology and into at least two of the other three main branches, electional and horary. This is because electional astrology has primary importance to the second volume, ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’, while horary is a divinatory school of astrology and therefore an important magical tool in general (and one which can greatly complement work with all astral and Akashic magic). The last main branch of astrology, mundane astrology, does not apply itself directly to IIH or any of its companions, since it concerns itself with the astrology of nations, states and other environmental effects such as the weather. Unless a magician is specifically interested in these things mundane astrology has no direct application to the steps of initiation. Some of you of course may be very interested in these areas. Ironically, this branch of astrology was extremely important in the magic of ancient times (i.e. before the popularity of natal astrology), which were inhabited by far more collectively focused societies than our individually focused ones. This alone may be reason to consider its application to IIH and its companion books.

Here, then, are some of my current thoughts on what might be included in a framework that applies to IIH in terms of each of these 4 branches of astrology, and why. I invite your thoughts on each.

the-birth-of-a-tree-1380150

NATAL ASTROLOGY

This is the big one in terms of its benefits to the course of IIH and beyond. The benefits are truly incalculable. In fact I can state confidently that there is no better tool than natal astrology when it comes to passing through the steps of IIH. When a student is starting out but intending to work practically with KTQ in the future they can give themselves a huge advantage by studying the Tree of Life and the Hebrew language beforehand, and it strikes me that just as the Hebrew language is the way to equip yourself for KTQ but is not necessary, the language of natal astrology is the way to equip yourself for IIH while not being necessary. The initiate who has a background in astrology has a massive advantage over the one who does not. Here are just some of the ways that advantage plays out:

– Creation of Black and White Mirrors is easier and more intricately detailed
– Transformation of astral qualities is easier
– Insight into Elemental complexes is more detailed
– Successes overall are aided by fortuitous timing
– Workings of karma are clarified
– Personal karma is clarified
– Potential blocks are identified before they become significant
– Solutions to blockages are clearer and have more options
– Relationships to others are more objective
– Divination skills are more developed
– Awareness of the law of analogy is awakened
– The magic of symbolism is clearer
– Individual magic and life purpose is more apparent
– Life structure and pattern is revealed
– Connection to the astral realm is safely initiated

Again, these are just a few of the advantages that a student of astrology has when starting IIH, and these advantages can be gained very quickly as basic astrology is not hard to learn – they can be gained in just a few months of study, and even less in some cases, according to my experience with students. A single good quality session with a professional astrologer can also provide the basics of many of them. The more experience with astrology the initiate has, the greater and more developed these advantages become. The impact of these advantages is far greater and more helpful at the beginning of initiation, but they can be beneficial to introduce at any stage, and they deepen and grow the further into astrology the magician ventures. Additionally the interesting thing about astrology applied to magic is that the application and depth of its use scales upwards as an initiate progresses through the steps – the maturity of the magician ‘unlocks’ more mature expressions of their astrology. Astrology and magical initiation freely and naturally enter into a feedback loop whereby they elevate one another as they elevate the maturity of the magician.

That’s a brief look at the question of “Why use natal astrology as far as IIH is concerned?”. For anyone with any real working knowledge of professional astrology it’s pretty much a no-brainer. As for the course itself we envision that it will teach the basics of astrology and provide a framework for interpreting charts as well as guidance on how to apply that knowledge to the tasks of initiation. These instructions will be written with a magicians perspective in mind and assume there is no prior knowledge of the subject of astrology (I am unsure at the moment whether or not they will include instructions for hand crafting a birth chart – what do you think?). This will in itself be a large part of the material. Here are some of the things this part of the course will teach:

– The history of astrology and magic
– Building blocks of the chart (stars, Lights, planets, signs, aspects, houses) and their reflection of the Tetrapolar Magnet.
– Mechanics of how these building blocks interact and move through time.
– How to make a quick identification of the major challenges we encounter in IIH from looking at a chart.
– How to make a quick identification of the major strengths we bring to IIH from looking at a chart.
– How to interpret the chart to illuminate the quantity of the Elements we are born with, and how this ‘factory setting’ changes during life and Initiation.
– How to use the chart as an aid to create and balance the Soul Mirrors.
– How to read the imprint of past lives and karma from the chart.
– Plotting the chart onto the globe to identify various loci of power for tapping into in magic.
– Zodiacal divisions (degrees, decans, terms, lunar mansions) and their meaning and use in magic.
– House systems and their philosophical assumptions; choosing a house system.
– Miscellaneous conditions (retrograde, combust, lunar phases) and their application to IIH and its companions.
– Exploring and revealing deeper levels using conduction of the chart during Initiation.
– Examples, questions and tests will be provided throughout so that the application is properly understood.

I mentioned earlier that I would lay out some universal meanings as they are relevant to IIH, and this is really the second huge part of the natal chart material. Essentially each of the building blocks outlined above and some of the other parts of astrology will have their own section outlining their universal meanings. It’s easier to understand what I mean with an example, so to close this section here is a section of the very first draft on the universal meaning of the Sun as applied to IIH:

astrologia-1422734

“Universally all mental steps, all visualization and all vital energy and Fire (and to a lesser degree Air) Element exercises; later, Electric Fluid mastery and mental equilibrium. Can be a tool for any exercises, where it supplies energy, command and illumination. Can have a combustive effect (see Combustion). More specifically the exercises listed below (M=Mental, A=Astral, P=Physical) and in addition other steps depending upon the Suns aspects, its sign and its temple placing (see aspects of the Sun in Initiation into Hermetics, below, and the various sections on the universal significance of signs and temples).

Step 1
One pointed Meditation (M)
Present Moment Focus (M)
Daily Routine (P)

Step 2
Single Sense Concentration (M)
Character Transformation (A)
Pore Breathing (P)

Step 3
Multi Sense Concentration (M)
Inhaling the Elements (A)
Accumulation of Vital Energy (P)
Impregnation of Space with Vital Energy (P)

Step 4
Transference of Consciousness (M)
Accumulation of Elements (A)
Elemental Harmony in Body Regions (A)
Magical Rituals (P)

Step 5
Depth Point (M)
Projection of Elements (A)

Step 6
Meditation on the Mental Body (M)
Tri-Polar awareness (M)
Creation of Elementals (P)

Step 7
Mental Equilibrium of the Elements (M)
Development of the Astral Senses (A)
Creation of Elementaries (P)

Step 8
Mental Wandering (M)
Present Moment Awareness (A)
Mastering the Fluids (A)
Influence Through the Elements (P)
Fluid Condensers (P)

Step 9
Four Divine Qualities (A)
Influence Through the Fluids (P)

Step 10
Wandering the Higher Spheres (M)
Various Magical Practices (P)

Aspects of the Sun in Initiation into Hermetics

Sun/Moon: Equilibrium (astral and mental); mental matrix; all magic which gives life, light, animation, power or command.
Sun/Mercury: All mental exercises and all magic related to the mental body or the mind, especially the brain; animation of mental beings; mental wandering, hand rituals, Air Element.
Sun/Venus: All astral exercises and all magic related to the astral body or the emotions, especially sympathy/antipathy; animation of astral beings; Water Element.
Sun/Mars: Willpower; directed and magical will; True Will; power of command; mastery of the desires; awareness of individual uniqueness; Fire Element.
Sun/Jupiter: Power of faith or belief and trust in magic itself; all exercises related to expanding or accumulating energies; Air Element; meditation on Divine Virtues.
Sun/Saturn: Concentration; discipline; persistence and dedication; Earth Element; fate and karma; magic of time and space; focusing of energy; binding; magical oaths; communion with the Greater Self.
Sun/Chiron: Healing magic; nature spirits (especially Fire beings and mental manifestations of nature spirits); core lessons of initiation (whatever they are for us); astral and mental wandering.
Sun/Uranus: Energy raising; magic of liberation and freedom; shattering of old habits; Kabbalah; mental magic (especially wandering and telepathy); invention and breakthrough or genius.-
Sun/Neptune: Evocation; all astral magic (especially involving spirits and disembodied beings); clairvoyance; divination; the Akasha principle; psychic development.
Sun/Pluto: Transformative magic of all kinds; necromancy (which is not just dark sorcery, but any magic directed at the dead); demonology (again including defenses and wards against such things); sex magic; healing of the spirits of the dead; all magic of the afterlife; creation/destruction and the inseparable nature of both; the Akasha principle as Depth Point.
Sun/Dragon: Fate and karma; consequences of who we have been upon what we can become; awareness of past life identity and past life events; awareness of life purpose.”

The natal section will probably go through numerous revisions, but this is the current idea in a nutshell. 

astrology_divination_chart_horoscope_zodiac_libra_aquarius_virgo-682841

 

ELECTIONAL ASTROLOGY

The section on electional astrology presents a formula for use in ceremonial magic, ritual, alchemy and evocation. Electional astrology is concerned with identifying a powerful moment to begin something or perform something and it constitutes the main bond still connecting magic with astrology in the modern day, thanks to the works of Renaissance magicians and before them the magicians of the Medieval era and the Arabic tradition. This section will look at some of the methods and ideas of these astrological magicians and show how they can be applied to some of the tasks of IIH, PME and KTQ, such as in the construction of a magic mirror or the enactment of an evocation. It will teach the basic rules of electional astrology and the quickest way to identify an auspicious moment for a specific act of magic. It will also explain the nature of the influence of astrology over a magical operation and why it is not necessary but still wise and beneficial to have a working knowledge of astrology as a practicing magician. Examples, questions and tests will be provided so that the application is properly understood.

person-space-time-1164757

HORARY ASTROLOGY

Horary astrology is a branch which is concerned with answering questions. It seems to do best when the question has a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (and potential ‘maybe’) answer, but it can also apply itself to more open ended questions like “Where is my passport?”. The chart for the question, when legal, will answer the question and also what it implies (for example, implied in the passport question is the question of whether or not we will get it back). There are rules for determining the legality of a chart, and in some cases horary astrology and thus the astrologer must decline to answer. Implicit in horary astrology itself is the hermetic principle that the answer to a question is contained within the nature of the question itself, its emergence in the Akasha of the astral. This is partly why the rules of horary clearly state that the question needs to have urgency and significance to the querant, and cannot have been asked of horary astrology before.

This section of the course will teach the basic rules of this branch, the way to judge a charts legality and draw an answer from it, and the potential uses of such in IIH, PME and KTQ, in particular as an oracle or divinatory method. Primarily this will help magicians to understand the full consequences of their magic once it has been set in motion before they do so, and in some cases to divine whether they should proceed in the first place. It therefore helps to train the magical awareness of the Akasha and its will, as well as how the astral dynamics of astrology reflect it. Examples from my own files will be provided to show the method in practical use and questions will be asked to help memorise the main points, but tests in this section will come from the students real life questions.

circles-of-light

MUNDANE ASTROLOGY

This is a branch of astrology concerned with politics, nations, leadership, and other mundane events like the weather. It is not focused on individuals but on much larger, macro-scale patterns. It essentially uses the same rules as natal astrology with some adjustments in interpretation for the macro scale. Here I will simply explain the basics as I did with horary and the potential for its application in magic and the steps of Bardons books. In some cases, for example in weather magic, this branch of astrology can be very useful.

A continually updated integration with the articles in this journal will be added to a suggested reading section at the end of the material. 

That is all I have to share at this time, there is more material but it is not yet ready to share with you. I hope you have found this as exciting as I do and please contact either myself or Tanya Roberts with your suggestions. We want this course to be as responsive to your needs as possible. If you would like to contribute financially to the development of this course, please do so by providing patronage of this site

Next month this journal is on summer vacation, but I will be back sharing with you in August, have a great summer! 

 

Song of the Wave: On Cancer

Greetings, and welcome back to another month of JourneysToday I’m sharing with you an article on the constellation and zodiac sign of Cancer. Another article in this journal connected to Saturn in Cancer is also currently available. 

Large_breaking_wave (1)

Song of the Wave

The strong shore is my beloved
And I am his sweetheart.
We are at last united by love, and
Then the moon draws me from him.
I go to him in haste and depart
Reluctantly, with many
Little farewells.

I steal swiftly from behind the
Blue horizon to cast the silver of
My foam upon the gold of his sand, and
We blend in melted brilliance.

I quench his thirst and submerge his
Heart; he softens my voice and subdues
My temper.
At dawn I recite the rules of love upon
His ears, and he embraces me longingly.

At eventide I sing to him the song of
Hope, and then print smooth kisses upon
His face; I am swift and fearful, but he
Is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. His
Broad bosom soothes my restlessness.

As the tide comes we caress each other,
When it withdraws, I drop to his feet in
prayer.

Many times have I danced around mermaids
As they rose from the depths and rested
Upon my crest to watch the stars;
Many times have I heard lovers complain
Of their smallness, and I helped them to sigh.

Many times have I teased the great rocks
And fondled them with a smile, but never
Have I received laughter from them;
Many times have I lifted drowning souls
And carried them tenderly to my beloved
Shore. He gives them strength as he
Takes mine.

Many times have I stolen gems from the
Depths and presented them to my beloved
Shore. He takes them in silence, but still
I give for he welcomes me ever.

In the heaviness of night, when all
Creatures seek the ghost of Slumber, I
Sit up, singing at one time and sighing
At another. I am awake always.

Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me!
But I am a lover, and the truth of love
Is strong.
I may be weary, but I shall never die.

Kahlil Gibran

The magic of the shoreline is something almost all people can relate to. There is something deeply primal and satisfying for the soul in standing before the vast ocean and watching, listening and feeling it wash up against the skin of the land and body, something akin to coming home. Perhaps it is an evolutionary memory, deeply embedded in every living soul that dwells upon the land, or perhaps it is the spirit of the ocean itself playing with our senses. Whatever it is, we feel something vast and comforting, even nurturing from contact with the ocean, and the shoreline is the place where this magic lives.

Cancer is the supreme master of this domain, the only creature in the zodiacal pantheon truly equipped to navigate between both the realm of the ocean and dry land. It’s counterpart sign Capricorn also has a form which enables it to move between both of these realms but it is far less practical being a hybridised form while the form of the crab is naturally suited to both without needing modification of a base form. Additionally the crab is able to sink below the waves while the sea-goat can only navigate their surfaces.

In modern astrology which lacks an emphasis on the magical that astrology once had the sign of Cancer is largely concerned with family matters and parental instincts as well as experiences connected with establishing a home or a base of safety and retreat. As with all zodiac signs today, however, once we stop paddling and begin wading into the sea, the wonderland is found hidden away beneath the surface, not just a memory but a living thing. 

WHITE MIRROR

Tenacious
Sensitive
Mothering
Nurturing
Imaginative
Protective
Sweet
Sentimental
Familial
Tribal
Nostalgic
Well Armoured
Tactical
Instinctive
Lateral
Astute
Cunning
Shrewd
Cautious
Sagacious
Acquisitive
Childlike

BLACK MIRROR

Cantankerous
Brooding
Smothering
Stifling
Worrisome
Defensive
Fainthearted
Cloying
Homesick
Cliquish
Regretful
Entombed
Cowardly
Irrational
Timid
Wily
Evasive
Machiavellian
Risk Averse
Self Satisfied
Grasping
Childish

loggerhead-turtle-123402_1920

LORE

Perhaps surprisingly for a Water sign the history of the constellation Cancer is connected with the northern hemisphere summer solstice, the heart of summer. About 6,000 years ago the stars which were seen to rise just before the dawn at the (northern hemisphere) summer solstice were the stars of the constellations Hydra and Leo, as they had been for centuries, but it became gradually apparent to observers that a new set of stars were appearing, and by 2,000 BCE the faint and somewhat dim stars of Cancer had replaced those of Hydra and Leo as the solstice heliacal rising stars. As far as we can tell the constellation was officially linked to the shape of a crab by the Chaldeans, who had noted the sideways movement of the Sun as it enters this constellation. In other words, surviving records show that the stars were given to the form of a crab at least 4,000 years ago by the way the solstice Sun moved into them as it rose. About this time texts appear in Egyptian culture connecting these stars with the sacred Scarab Beetle and the deity Khepri, signifying it as a place where Ra the solar deity was reborn – the solstice occurs as the Sun enters Cancer – a Scarab to the Egyptians – upon which the Nile flooded and the land was made fertile. Thus early connotations relate to both the power of light and the Sun and a flooding of water that brings life. Without this water, ancient Egyptian culture could not have existed at all.

Egypte_Karnak_KhepriKhepri literally means ‘He Who is Coming into Being’ and the deity is known as one that miraculously gives birth to itself. The hatching of the young dung beetle was akin to this self creation. Several telling connections emerge when we look into the significance and meaning of this name and the hieroglyph for ‘scarab’ in ancient Egyptian. It has the phonetic value of (k)hpr (the adopted pronunciation with vowels being Kheper) and it acts as an ideogram for the dung beetle insect itself but also stands as a verb which expresses the notion of finding ones home or role within the cyclical nature of life. Phonetically (i.e. by the sound of the word) it not only lends itself to Khepri, deity of the risen or dawn Sun, but also to the noun for the ball of dung the scarab beetle rolls and a verb which describes the shaping or molding of something on a potters wheel. These important and fascinating details touch upon much of the core magic and mystery of Cancer, today very much shrouded deeply in forgotten ancient history.

Elsewhere in the ancient world the traditions and stories of a Mother Turtle and a World Turtle – present in North and South America and throughout Asia but particularly in India and China, among others – are also connecting with these same notions. In Cheyenne tradition, the great creator spirit Maheo kneads some mud he takes from a birds beak until it expands so much that only Old Grandmother Turtle can support it on her back. In Mohawk tradition, earthquakes and tremors are thought of as a sign that the World Turtle is stretching beneath the great weight that she carries. Similar beliefs appear all over the ancient world.

Centuries after Khepri the Greeks tell a tale of Hercules fighting the Hydra and being attacked by a crab, who had been sent by jealous Hera to distract him in battle. Hercules either kicks crab into the heavens or Hera sets crab there as a reward for its loyalty and bravery after it tenaciously pinches his toe. It seems likely that the figure of crab was inserted into the tale of the 12 labors of Hercules much later to make them coincide with the zodiac, and it also seems likely that the tale of the Hydra and Hercules, with the Hydra being slain and the crab then set in the heavens, is a reference to the precession drama mentioned earlier, with Cancer displacing Hydra as the heliacal stars of the dawn at summer solstice. If so, this would roughly date the Hercules story to about 2,000 BC. However, there is an earlier Mesopotamian myth concerning Ninurta in which Ninurta battles with a giant turtle, concerning which we do not know the complete story because the tablets are broken, but this may well form an earlier version of the Hercules story which was simply reinvented later by the ancient Greeks.

The Greeks also tell another story related to Cancer, a tale involving Dionysus that is probably far older than the Hercules story. Dionysus places two donkeys in this constellation (two stars) for the favour of carrying him through marshland. Later, the tale of Dionysus and the donkeys is reiterated by Christian theology as the constellation of Cancer is identified as a manger and two donkeys. Another Greek legend carries a significant resonance with Cancer and provides an alternative creation myth. According to this myth an immortal and immensely strong giant crab named Crios was set to guard the sea nymphs by Poseidon, considered by him to be his daughters. During the assault by Typhon (the god of monsters) on the gods of Olympus, Poseidon flees into hiding and Crios sets to zealously defending the nymphs, whom he will not let out of his grasp. The nymphs become restless and convince themselves that they are in no danger, and some escape into the ocean. Crios is trapped by a dilemma, since he cannot leave the other nymphs but must pursue his duty, so he calls on the help of an ally, a giant squid named Vamari. But Vamari, whose name means ‘vampire squid’, can only betray Crios. After devouring them Vamari tells Crios he could not find them, but Crios is too astute and sees the truth in the beak, as it were. Crios attacks Vamari and an epic undersea battle ensues in which Vamari is killed and Crios is horrifically crippled. As with Chiron, immortality becomes a curse of unending pain, a curse which Poseidon frees him from by placing him in the night sky.

As the history of human cultures developed the concept of life-giving waters popular in Egyptian times seems to have flowed into later medieval and middle age notions connected with Cancer. As a walker between the worlds, a creature inhabiting the shoreline between the ocean and the land, Chaldean and Platonist philosophy labeled Cancer as the “Gates of Men”, an esoteric portal in the sky through which souls were delivered to be born upon the world. Its opposite sign, Capricorn, was similarly labeled the “Gate of Gods” and supposed to be the place where souls were delivered to heaven after their death. This concept linking Cancer to divine birthplaces may have been influenced by the notion of the constellation being a baby born in a manger. It is additionally worth noting in this respect that when the Sun entered Cancer at the solstice it was at its highest point in the sky while at the winter solstice of Capricorn it was at the lowest point in the sky. Additionally, although it may be purely coincidental, it is also interesting to note how this resonates with the hermetic philosophy of the spheres, wherein the sphere neighboring our earthly plane is that of the Moon (the ruler of Cancer), a sphere which acts as the final destination of souls preparing to incarnate upon the Earth, while the sphere furthest from our earthly plane and thus the final sphere which the soul passes through after death is that of Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn).

So the stars of Cancer are anciently connected with the Egyptian deity Khepri and the principle of rebirth and immortality, especially of the solar principle at the summer solstice. By the time of the Greeks they are connected to the concepts of tenacity, stubbornness and determination, as the legend of the crab attacking the toe of Hercules while it combats the Hydra demonstrate, and the Chaldeans and Platonic thinkers begin describing it as the ‘Gates of Man’ through which souls are incarnated. From these mythic associations modern day zodiacal Cancer draws its significance with mothers, birthing, nurturing and caring for life. The myths and lore make clear that Cancer therefore represents the emergence of being from the primordial ocean, not just physically in terms of biological evolution but also esoterically in terms of life itself. In many mystery schools the magic of Cancer was concerned with understanding the mysteries of birth, midwifery, the umbilical cord, and everything connected with motherhood, not just from a physical point of view but from a spiritual one as well, and it’s inner sanctum mysteries touch upon immortality and the eternal nature of life cycles. In modern times we have learned that Cancer contains at least 10 star systems with planets, and so it may yet nurture extraterrestrial life waiting to be discovered.

siri-684881_1920

SUBTANCE

Cancer is ruled by the Moon and as such is the nurturing light of nature which plays a role in the earliest family bonds (the zodiacal sign resembles a mothers arms and breasts, and a fathers sperm), it represents a parental instinct that incubates and protects all vulnerable living things while they are young, a state of peace and comfort that many later aspire to return to or simulate. It is the memory of nest and womb. Watery realms of caring, sympathy, devotion, protectiveness, cautious empathy and the family of humanity which connects us to our ancient and wise ancestors are its domain.

The powerful but subtle Magnetic forces of the Moon connect it to all rhythms and tides, such as those of the sea and those of moods. Cancer is also Active or Cardinal Water, which has the qualities of being strongly focused on newly emerging and youthful (childlike) feelings. It is by nature among the most naive and vulnerable of signs, like a child splashing around barefoot near a pretty coral. Early traumas stimulate the hardening of the external carapace and are thus a necessary growth stage. As a Cardinal or Active expression of Water it carries and expresses the essential qualities of Water gushing forwards and then pulling back – it is fluctuating, rhythmic, magnetic, fluidic, tidal and reflective. Cancer is by nature also conservative, cautious and a general master of defensive tactics. When forced into direct confrontation its attitude is to grip and squeeze its prey with all its considerable might until the threat retreats, but this is generally a last resort in desperate circumstances where the only other option is death. Cancer is also an acquisitive and retentive sign being very shrewd and often careful about paying or incurring debt (of all kinds).

Hard shells or external skeletons have always been associated with this creature, whatever form it has taken – scarab to the Egyptians, crab to the Chaldeans, tortoise to the Babylonians and Chinese, lobsters, crayfish and other shore dwellers elsewhere in the world. So one of its essential qualities is armour and protective defensive tactics, which leads to the concept of being a home-loving person, since homes are where we feel most safe and protected, and thus also we are led to the concepts of family and parenthood – a form of continual or everlasting life. So where these stars were once symbols for immortality acquired through alchemical rebirth as an eternal being (Khepri) their concepts have now been watered down to represent the immortality of having children.

Cancer is the sign of the nurturing spirit, the parent and the child within embracing one another, the natural feeling of wanting to protect and shield the vulnerable. It radiates its spirit with intuitive nurturing and protective empathy and is essentially passive, feeling, reserved, prone to changing moods, sensitive and gentle, instinctively backing away from confrontation. This sign is the zodiacal master of defence for a reason – like the crab, it will surround its part of the chart in a bony shell-like exterior but within it is a softer, wet white heart that can be easily and mercilessly squished by others. So it instinctively avoids quarrels and prefers to scuttle sideways to confuse predators (being a Jedi master of evasive tactics) or buries itself in the sand (hides away) if truly threatened.

This brings up the important theme of the nature of this creature’s movement – the sideways motion of crab as well as its instinct to bury itself and hide away in crevices is often interpreted to mean that Cancer is evasive and indirect, too timid to approach things head on. This is only a partial truth and not the real quality being described by the movement. The real quality being signified here is that of lateral tactical thinking, the ability to come up with completely new approaches by coming at things from a strange and unanticipated direction. Cancer is a Cardinal sign, born to lead, but its leadership is via Water and Luna which means it is based on gut instincts and feelings – hunches – thus the Cancerian leadership is not in knowing why it must go in a certain direction, only in knowing that it must. It cannot explain why it wants to lead its devoted and beloved clutch this way, along this current, it only knows that the mysterious Moon pulls it there and its soul trusts in Her nurturing light, always. For She is Mother, and She is provider, protector and nurturer. She is Cancer. The Cancerian way can therefore be very difficult and alienating for anything but other Water signs to understand because it requires sensitivity to the most subtle and mysterious shifts within the vast and invisible astral sea that surrounds us. Like fish in an ocean we see it not but we depend on it for life, and Cancer knows this by instinct and seeks to care for those close to it as a way of protecting them from that which they cannot fathom. More than any other sign, Cancer is cognizant of predators – that is why it is so defensively equipped. Even the eyes are retractable into the shell, but the design is also made extendable and rotates so that they can survey a greater area. The slightest whiff of a bad smelling current sends them scurrying off on preprogrammed defense routines. Hesitation here can mean death, so the safest course is to assume the worst, at least in the crabs world. That giant Megalodon hunter from a bygone age may be bygone and that may just be a pacifistic whale over there, but best not wait around to find out.

We must also note the crabs ability to exist in contrasting environments, being able to exist on land or on the ocean floor, and its behaviour in both which involves finding a cave or a rock pool to hide away in, much like another shell. The crab that survives for long is also inevitably forced to shed and migrate its shell for an upgrade when it outgrows it, a moment of supreme but absolutely necessary vulnerability. This raises two important points, one being the ability to walk between disparate worlds and another being about what is adequate protection for that navigation. This really goes to a core dilemma of the sign – how to explore the depths of the astral world while remaining safe and protected from its pressures and denizens, but without sacrificing too much of the ability to sense the environment.

Most important of all, however, is the signs ability to empathise and sympathise through the medium of Active or Cardinal Water, which is supremely developed, along with its incredible connection to the imagination and roaming through the faerie lands in wistful reverie – the creature is deeply connected to the Dreamtime. Think on the way the crab presses its belly to the ground like a reptile, feeling all the vibrations through sand as well as sea. Only a serpent has greater connection to the pulse of the worlds heart. This is the source of the signs widely reputed psychic gifts, its uncanny sense of unseen currents which are in a continuous flux, yet somehow Cancer remains in step with them. The waxing and waning magic of the Moon provides many benefits for them, even when the soul is largely unconscious of its nature. The more mundanely focused Cancerian entity is usually renowned for a cunning and inexplicably canny business sense.

The_Web

This Dreamtime connection influences all of the crabs habits. For example, as explained in the section on lore, when the Sun enters zodiacal (tropical) Cancer on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere it marks the beginning of the high point of the solar year, the time of fertilization, a time when the powers of light and life are at a peak of strength. In Egypt this was the time when the heliacal rising of Sirius heralded the flooding of the Nile delta, without which civilization would perish. Similar ceremonies have been conducted at this time of year in all countries across the world, and so this is a magically charged sign with an ancient and ritualized history. This suits its zodiacal nature which is focused on all the riches and treasures of the past, including traditions, forgotten history and imaginings of what it was like to live through certain times. This gives them an impressive emotional memory, lacking in granular details but able to evoke the feelings of the past with supreme ease. This evocation is fueled by the Dreamtime connection the sign has. The outer world pales in comparison to the inner world the crab truly dwells within, but as a consummate walker between worlds Cancer knows that it must live in both. The worries of mundane things pull it out of the fantasy realm and back to the feathering of the nest and the maintenance of the perimeter defenses.

Given a love of comfort and introspection Cancer likes to stay at home. It is a private sign and loves its own space because it is not only safest but also most comfortable. Comfort is almost an aphrodisiac for Cancer – warm slippers, a cosy fire, perhaps some mulled whiskey and a box of chocolates or something like it will always melt their hearts, but they more often tend to be the ones offering such things to those in their nest and so make devoted and caring lovers. However, they develop a vice like grip over these things that can crush the life out of them and generate anxiety over losing them – the sign is very much aware of the cyclical nature of life and thus worries about losing the things it is devoted to protecting.

The vice like grip of this creature also extends to material matters, although this is not for material purposes but rather it is driven by the need to safe guard what is treasured, loved and cared about. The motivation is to accrue a legacy which will serve as a nest egg or insurance for the family or closest associates. To this end, Cancerians are amazingly shrewd and cautious investors and will not let go of what they feel is rightfully theirs. So there is a pinching, grasping nature and a willingness to fight for profits not for personal material gain but for personal astral gain and the hesitancy with which things are considered lends a resistance to scams and superficial agreements. Cancer is not at all hasty – it has Treebeard syndrome – and so not an easy sign to persuade into big risks, it prefers to absorb, reflect and cogitate, blowing bubbles up to see where they lead before making a move. And yet who can love without taking extreme risk? Thus the Cancerian in us must learn to trust in order to find the fulfillment it seeks.

While generally lacking or disliking discipline having no interior skeleton and thus tending to ignore problems until they are unavoidable Cancer does display great emotional self control at times. As already noted, Cancer is also not a sign that is easily provoked – the restraint towards taking hasty actions is near perfect and great consideration is given to personal matters before moving ahead, and even then the course will be somewhat convoluted and indirect; the crab moves sideways and does not face into its course head on. In addition, it finds great strength in intuitive reasoning, sensing the currents and movements in both the water and the air with an impressive sensory array. This affords it a unique and somewhat strange perspective, a capacity to see courses of action that others cannot fathom at all and the ability to ken things from a more intuitive and lateral perspective that can make the reasoning involved in their eventual course of action mystifying to others. Yet the vacillation and hesitancy can be crippling under extreme pressures of time when decisions have to be made quickly, especially when they affect the people it cares about. Under these circumstances there is a real potential for some kind of paralysis followed by a breakdown. When such decisions are made they are always felt to be unhappy ones because it is the consideration of the course that makes it feel safe. An unplanned and uncharted journey into strange and mysterious lands is the antithesis of the Cancerian idea of a good time – it is a hobbit, and it really has no business with wizards and strange rings. Life of course, may have other ideas, as other factors in astrology may indicate a more adventurous streak or shake things up.

hermit-crab-2059152_1920This could arise from the square Cancer makes with Aries, the clash between making a direct punch to your enemies face and coming up underneath them through the sand, the problem of having to make a snap decision under adrenaline charged events when every instinct of the crab calls it to retreat, to hide, to dodge the bullet. The square with Libra is more concerned with the inability to come to agreements and decisions, as well as different ways of showing care and affection. The problems there also often have to do with a problematic child/parent dynamic in relationships. Capricorn, the opposite sign, is simply opposed to Cancer in its methods, wherein the Cancerian method is to nurture and protect through emotional bonding (building a nest), the Capricorn tactic is instead material and practical (to build a castle). As I have mentioned the sea-goat is, however, a hybrid with the ability to traverse the ocean and land, its just not able to do so below the surface level. It does not know the ocean floor, or what is below it. Conversely, a crab on a mountain top is in dire straights. The moisture of the ocean is vital to its life.

With Scorpio, Cancer finds an ally who not only knows the deeps without being subjected to their fluctuating rhythms but is also ready to face the darkness and the predators on its behalf. Scorpio, in turn, finds an entity it can trust and instinctively wants to protect, something the crab deeply appreciates. With Pisces the alliance is different – the fish and the crab share the same evasive instincts and vulnerabilities, but the crab is much better equipped to deal with threats and lends Pisces some of its armour in terms of forewarning and caution, while Cancer gains initiation into its mystical side and opens itself to perceive more of the vast ocean of feelings. Taurus and Virgo both stimulate Cancer with the awareness that its defenses rest on collecting and maintaining its resources and also reinforce and stimulate the prudent, passive and cautious qualities of the sign. Cancer keeps both of these Earth signs from drying up by becoming too detached from the world of feelings.

Along with Capricorn, its external counterpart, Cancer is what I call a constructive sign meaning that it is involved in constructing forms out of its Element, in this case Water. Yet unlike Saturnine, Earthy Capricorn, which is focused on constructing an external order of form (rules) for its reality to often stubbornly adhere to, Cancer is ruled by the Moon and represents an internal, supremely Magnetic expression which draws the soul inwards, into itself, constructing a capsule, a shell, a rhythmic shield or cloak of moods and feelings (habits) and adhering often stubbornly to them. Cancer is therefore exceptionally introspective and self reflecting.

Cancer is classified in traditional astrological writings as being ‘cold and moist’, attributes which lend it to the phlegmatic or melancholic humour. The coldness has nothing to do with being remote and aloof, it is instead about not making any hasty moves and being very slow to rouse to anger. Its heavy armour keeps most people (i.e. gulls looking to get at its soft parts) at a safe distance, and a somewhat gelid inner nature which makes it resistant to change. Fundamental to this sign is the awareness that the forming of close bonds depends upon sharing emotions and feelings and so Cancer encourages others to form communities based on a shared emotional experience. It is the architect of shared emotional experience because it understands that when we remember something together the feelings we have from those memories bond us closer together. It is therefore a sign fond of asking if people remember this or that – a person, a place, an encounter, a song – anything that evokes a shared emotional reaction, especially a sentimental one. This focus on forming and maintaining emotional bonds is why I refer to Cancer as a sign of constructive processes. It is forever building and caring for its family, its clan, its tribe, whoever they may be, not primarily on a physical level but on an astral one, frequently by reinforcing or invoking the significance of the past. The clan frequently becomes the very centre of existence, the life nucleus that must be ritually nursed and protected at all costs, the treasured heart of the story. So Cancer/Capricorn is the pair of signs which I call the constructive processes, signs which are concerned with ways to protect, preserve and sustain things in time and space.

crab-1555584_1920

ANALOGIES

Cancer hearkens to the past and has a vivid memory whilst also being attached to the objects of the past, particularly those with an antique or sentimental value such as an old but comfortable pair of slippers, a family heirloom, a valuable antique, or an old photograph collection. It is not the material value of old objects that appeals to Cancer but the link they have to the past which makes such things treasures. The primal and supremely formative significance of the past is the special forte of Cancer, giving rise to a rich, deep and often sentimental devotion to history and nostalgia and inviting the dangers of historical inertia, resistance to moving forwards in motion through time. Likewise, family ties are a valued link to the past and Cancer is often interested in the ancestry of things. Planets in Cancer are nostalgic and often have powerful roots in the experiences of childhood and early family situations; many modern astrologers see a link with Cancer and the principles of genetics, wherein selected characteristics are passed down through time and family lineage. Those with Cancer strong may be the inheritors of potent genetic strands, codes which link their lives with those of distant historical relatives, which may also explain their love of their family and of the past, at least biologically. However a single sign like Cancer will never be the only indicator of such a thing.

The many sympathies and analogies of Cancer in nature (some of which are borrowed from the Moon) include the pearl and the moonstone, the creatures of the shoreline, opals, dung beetles, oysters, silver, quartz, shells which have been inhabited, mother of pearl, lobsters, shellfish, snails, turtles, tortoises, nest builders, mammals, merfolk, sea nymphs, water lilies, fossils, watermelon, barnacles, kelp, algae and creatures which keep their young close, especially if this is throughout life. It is analogous to moonlight, rock pools, nests and animal lairs, hermitages and cottages, the sea and rivers, grottos, fresh water, to places where caring and nurturing take place (hospitals, nurseries, schools, family estates), and inside a home to the kitchen, cellar, and places near water like the pond, bathroom and faucets. In the bodies of people it relates to the sensations of wet and cold, the stomach meridian, externally in the body to the breasts and chest and elbows, internally it connects to the stomach, digestive organs and womb (Cancer is a fruitful sign giving potential for easy pregnancy), and structurally to the ribcage, to emotional security of the soul and so thereby to the Svadhistana chakra (sacral wheel, as receptivity to oceans of feeling and fertility). Its colouring is discrete or pale shades of milky, sea green and creamy white or silver, it is analogous to the direction due north, all foods from the sea and the culinary art of cooking in general. Its alchemical process is dissolution (dissolving or transforming of a substance into a liquid) and its astrological processes are constructive, internalizing and form building. In the Gra Kabbalistic Tree it is the Path from Binah to Tiphareth and thus the 9th Path of Wisdom (‘Pure Consciousness, which ‘purifies the essence of the Sephirot. It provides and adapts the design of their patterns and establishes their unity. They remain united, without diminution or division’. Its magic is represented in the Tarot by the Chariot, by the Hebrew letter Cheth (‘Corral, Fence’) and the musical tone D#, and includes the integration of form and consciousness, magic of the translocation of consciousness from one form or vessel to another, the magic of time, magical enlightenment and the mysteries of initiation. In mundane astrology there is a Cancer Sun in the charts for Thailand (1932), Mozambique (1975), Croatia (1991), Slovenia (1991), Madagascar (1960), Seychelles (1976), Somalia (1960), Djibouti (1977), Canada (1867), Vietnam (1976), Zaire (1960), USA (1776), Philippines (1946), Cape Verde Islands (1975), Solomon Islands (1978), Bahamas (1973), Iraq (1958) and Afghanistan (1973). Well known faces with Cancer in emphasis include Ross Perot (Sun, Moon and ascendant), Harrison Ford (Sun and Moon), Cecil Rhodes (Sun and Moon), Giorgio Armani (Sun and Moon), Camilla Parker Bowles (Sun and Moon), Louis XII of France (“Father of the People”, Sun and Moon), George Michael (Sun and ascendant), Ingmar Bergman (Sun and ascendant), John Inman (Sun and ascendant), Merv Griffin (Sun and ascendant), Jeffrey Archer (Moon and ascendant), Farrah Fawcett (Moon and ascendant), William Blake (Moon and ascendant), Rembrandt (Sun), Nikola Tesla (Sun), Rubens (Sun), Willem Dafoe (Sun), Louis Armstrong (Sun), John Dee (Sun), James I of England (Sun), Louis XI of France (Sun), Sylvester Stallone (Sun), Richard Branson (Sun), Robin Williams (Sun), Earnest Hemingway (Sun), Robert Hooke (Sun), Diana Princess of Wales (Sun), 14th Dalai Lama (Sun), Barbara Cartland (Sun), Bill Haley (Sun), Ernest Hemingway (Sun), Frida Kahlo (Sun), Julian Assange (Sun), George W. Bush (Sun), Kathy Bates (Sun), Meryl Streep (Sun) and Ringo Starr (Sun).

sea-3203731_1920

DARKNESS

Crabs are influenced by the phases of the Moon and the tides which are generated by the rhythmic waxing and waning, pulling and pushing of the Moon. Their behaviour – and their sensory array – is extremely subtle (or obtuse) and finely calibrated (or oversensitive). They are flawed as highly habitual creatures – one habit crabs have which I witnessed as a young child with my parents and sister (when we used to catch them and then let them go for a race back to the ocean) is when they are put in a container and one tries to escape the others will pull him back down, giving rise to the term “crabs in a barrel”, which relates to those who envy another’s success and go out of their way to do things to hold them back and drag them down. The expression is generally applied to those who are from the same clan or background (such as class, race or job) that do not like to see others of their kind achieve more than they have. I have found this behaviour in the Cancerians I have known, generally fueled by fear of missing out or being left behind, along with a tenacious grip on things that they should let go of for their own good – if you know how to be gentle crabs are extremely easy to catch, since so long as you draw the line up slowly so that they do not fall off they have an innate instinct not to let go of the bait.

Cancer displays a degree of sensitivity overall and a sentimental attachment to the past, our parents or family, a dependence on them or our own need to care or be taken care of. Frequently a powerful emotional bond with one or both parents will lie at the root of what Cancer is doing in our lives and the influence will be nuanced and murky. Deep down inside we all have an instinctive fear of letting go of their protection, and even if they have long died some form of bondage to their influence persists and it falls to us to transform it into something less compulsive and deeply felt.

Cancer can be suffocatingly protective, ridiculously defensive, infuriatingly difficult to pin down, fatally and irrationally tenacious, horribly moody, utterly unwilling to let go, completely timid, stubborn, evasive, shy and as reclusive as a hermit crab. The sign can be too evasive, smothering, stubborn, paranoid and anxious and in romantic and sexual encounters it has to drop its shields and make itself vulnerable to rejection and loss so that it can experience love at all. To avoid this entirely Cancer can end up sealing itself into a suit of armour that limits its mobility and imprisons its soul, all because it is so sensitive to the currents that ripple through the astral sea. It sinks to the ocean floor and crawls into a cave, never to be seen again, hidden away behind ruses and sand. On the other hand, not enough protection will cause the shells to rupture under the pressures or turn crab into a tasty meal for someone else. So the dilemma is in finding the right balance between feeling our sensitivity, allowing it to direct our actions, and on the other claw pinching it off so that is not threatened or leads to harm. This innate sensitivity brings out the sometimes severe vulnerability to the feelings of other people and things, particularly those which are defenseless, like children. It can also contribute to the worrisome and fretful nature of the sign, because sensitivity to tiny ripples in the current of the environment can hint at larger things moving in the murkier depths.

Indecisiveness is not really a part of Active sign behaviour – they are the initiators of action – but in Cancer it finds a curious expression in all matters other than those in which it has a strong instinct – in other words, when the matter is one for the head and not the heart or when there is a threat it does not understand Cancer is indecisive because of its sensitivity. It does not want to choose an unsafe direction, and without the guidance of its inner Moon (which typically is not entirely punctual and does not present until it is absolutely necessary) it cannot fathom which way to turn, especially when there is a time pressure involved (Cancer lies opposite to Capricorn, which knows just how to handle such time pressures but has no clue about the world of feelings). It will vacillate and circle the decision, ramping up its anxiety with all the fretting about it. On top of this Cancer is also at times paralyzed by too many ripples in the ocean happening at once, a situation it interprets as pure chaos and will often attempt to retreat from. So much of this creature’s behaviour is instinctual and also devoted, not least to its own safety.

crab-1934088_1920Cancer emphasizes passive defenses but is far from defenseless when it comes to a tussle – those claws have powerful muscles and can really squeeze hard. Jagged, powerful pincers are primarily a food utensil and serve as a deterrent more than an actual weapon, though they can be used to draw blood and crush bones in an attack if necessary, and once they have a hold of someone’s toe they can be a devil to shake off. This kind of possessiveness is often an instinctive response when Cancer grows sentimentally attached to someone or thing, because like a child relies upon its parents for emotional support it has come to rely on loved ones and loved things, or they upon it, or both. It goes both ways, with parents finding it naturally hard to watch their children grow up and leave them. This ignites the signs yearning for a rosier, dreamlike past. There is usually an unreasonable fear of what will happen if it does let go of the people or things that make it feel safe, or of what might go wrong if it stops fussing so much over everything its loved ones do.

Devotion and tenacity, then, are a significant characteristic of the Cancerian spirit which can be put to good use or useless use – if the Active Water in us allows fear and anxiety to take too great a role in our life then we will ultimately tenaciously cling too tightly to things we love and squeeze them painfully, perhaps causing them to shake us loose, hopefully before we crush them. Mothering easily becomes smothering. But if fear and anxiety over the future are faced head on they can be transformed into a more sensible approach to shielding and insuring our life and the lives of those we care about and the Cancerian tenacity can find a more productive outlet, especially when times do actually become unsettled. If the fear of the future is transformed so too is the tendency to smother with our care. Worry and anxiety can become stubborn habits that we must break so that our powerful intuitive nature can manifest its true potential. The resolve to take care of others must be kept swept free of the fear of failing them, a fear which is entwined with the sentimental affection we feel for them – the deeper our feelings, the more likely we are to worry about someone.

The root of these complex anxieties must be dealt with if we are to properly care for the people we love – including and especially ourselves. We must work with obstinate determination towards a state where our desire to nurture another does not cause us to feel distress and anxiety, as these feelings prevent us from seeing ourselves clearly on many basic levels and when you cannot see yourself you lose your way and cannot protect anyone. Cancer must understand, probably the hard way, that sometimes we need to just watch people we really care about make awful mistakes and just prepare ourselves to be there for them later rather than getting directly involved at the time. This is far easier said than done, and sometimes there is real danger involved, sometimes your baby brother thinks he can fly away from the nest just after he emerges from the egg. These are true trials for the astrological Cancerian within us, because often the line between where we should intervene and where we should not is unclear. Sometimes it’s even worse – sometimes you wake up to find your baby brother turned into a serial killer, and now you have to live with deeply conflicted feelings that could tear your life apart. The entanglements and dark emotional complications of blood and kin are classic shadows of this sign. So too are fascistic regimes, xenophobia, isolationism and racism born of a clannish and tribal national identity. As an example this dark side of Cancer is very much a part of what the United States, born on July 4th, is currently wrestling with – its external ‘mothering’ of the world seems long to have become the meddlesome smothering of free nations and at the same time internal issues of racism and bigotry left over from the colonial era, the slave trade and even further back than this in history with the genocide of the tribes – all these dark manifestations of zodiacal Cancer are graphically emerging as Pluto in Capricorn approaches the place it was in when the US was formed (Pluto return), aspecting its Cancer Sun by opposition along the way.

1024px-Johngarthia_lagostoma_yellow_crop

Cancer may also need to learn that the best way to care for the people we love is to nurture ourself first so that there is something of quality to give. The empathy and sympathy of the sign can lay traps – by being so understanding, so easygoing and nurturing towards others we can very quickly lose sight of our own inner needs, and when they become invisible to the Cancerian in us we often then expect others to notice and nurture us back, which they invariably fail to do since our inner needs are invisible to them too. This can be particularly true if there is a void where our parents unconditional love should be. In this respect during times of great pressure or uncertainty Cancer is a sign of supreme self neglect, and in such situations can throw itself frantically and desperately into a Herculean task of tackling everyones problems, too many foes or an adversary far beyond its power to budge, taking on too many worries in the process and potentially bringing about catastrophic health consequences. In fact many of the Cancerian health problems can be traced back to this kind of reactionary behaviour or to two other root causes.

The first is vitality: Cancer may be a fertile sign but it is a sluggish creature that lacks a consistent and rich connection to vital life force making it slow, prone to laziness and tidal – the vital life animating its existence ebbs and flows and is swished and swayed by the astral wind so that it is always in flux and always either coming in or going out, rising or sinking, welling or draining. The cycle of temporal life is in continuous flux – this is one of the inner mysteries of the sign – and so the cycle of our temporally bound vitality must be investigated so that we can start to put a picture together of the influences which cause it to wax and wane. Once we understand the tidal rhythm of our own life energy our vitality will synchronise more harmoniously and smoothly with events and circumstances, our overall health will improve (fewer colds, quicker recovery etc.) and we will have more energy. Pay close attention to how your moods are tied in with the temple the Moon is in as well as the temple key Cancer controls and learn how to navigate your own oceans.

The tendency to laziness leads into the third major cause of health problems that arise from a Cancer Sun – a potentially fatal fondness for coziness and comfort, coupled with a fantasy prone imagination that tends to both daydream through life and fret about things it cannot control or which do not really call for alarm. Continuously. They can be an incredible drain on everyone around them with this behaviour. Cancer is a sign that fusses to make everything snug and homely, and will form sentimental attachments to many things and people in the course of its life. The attachment to living a comfortable and cozy life may not seem all that threatening to health, but here we have to broaden our minds to encompass a broader definition of health and what it is. Living in comfort zones all the time inevitably leads to an unhealthy situation because it imprisons the circumstances of life and prevents new patterns from emerging. This has serious health consequences! Additionally the love of comfort and lethargy can lead to habits which cause the belly to round out, sometimes with alarming eagerness, and to the complications of weight and retention of liquids (beer and/or cake belly).

Cancer is such an easygoing, kindly and concerned sign but it is private and reserves invitations into its inner sanctum for only the most trusted of its inner circle and so can become edgy and suspicious when strangers arrive on its doorstep. There is a tendency to prepare for the worst because it is better to be prepared for that than it is to expect the best and be crushed. Vulnerable sensitivity and an uncertain trust in the wider world tend to keep Cancerian zones somewhat islanded, orbited by the same people and situations (stores, brands etc.) because there is greater reliability in what you know. In this way Cancerian situations (like Capricorn ones) become bogged down and static and need some kind of injection of chaos and change before they will move on, which often results in unnecessary pain when they stubbornly cling to driftwood, things that are long spent in terms of shelf life. The need to have a stable and comfortable base of operations is paramount as without it there is felt to be no security in life, but this need must not equate to being adversarial to change or dormant, stuck in place like a barnacle on a rock. As frightening as it may be at some point or another the bird must flee the nest for life in order to give meaning to the gift of life, and so at times we must cast our lot in with the great ocean and see where the tidal change leads.

As noted above Cancerians have oceanic memories – vast but more than a little murky and unclear on the details – and are often highly nostalgic, especially with regard to the era of childhood. This is partly because the past and especially childhood offers a form of security that, through Cancerian eyes, is distinctly lacking in the future. Thus, Cancerians must learn to have trust in the future, and worry less about the unknown possibilities which lurk there. The wistful fondness for a more innocent and sentimentalized past is only one manifestation of one of the biggest demons facing the sign of Cancer, that of total subjectivity. Lost in a world of responses and reactions the crab is cast adrift in the dream ocean, left to conjure its realities through thought and feeling and forever unsure of objective realities. They must often do battle with their own subjectivity as it clouds the facts and leads them to utterly erroneous paranoid conclusions, conclusions they will often cling to with an insane degree of insistence against all reason and common sense, so the work often involves clearing the past, clearing the subjective bias it has imprinted upon the astral awareness, as well as building an emotional sanctuary of true inner peace for protective purposes.

scarab-2147495_1920

MAGIC & MYSTERIES

The magic and mysteries of Cancer are those of childbirth, nature and nurture, the cycle of life, protection, time and immortality. These are not minor mysteries, they are very complex matters indeed. The crab is also a symbol of powerful gripping and holding power and its magical essence yields a potent shield or defence against any attack. That is why you see so many talismanic scarabs

In ancient times objects like forceps, scissors, weighing scales and other items used during childbirth were considered highly mysterious and sacred magical tools only understood by the women priests who used them, and this comprises a large part of the most ancient mysteries of the sign. This early magic is, like much of the inner magic of Cancer, aptly represented on the Tree of Life as the life giving Waters of the Great Mother, Binah, pouring into Tiphareth and thus giving birth to the mental plane of existence, to individual being. 

Gra01.pdf-8

Image by R. Clark

The magic here is that of the holistic reflection of the Understanding of the Greater Self realm as the Beauty of the infinite individual spirits in the Mental realm. It is thus the sign of the primal Mother in the act of giving birth to life and children, a sign of fecundity, nurturing and protection. In this placement we can easily see explanations for many of the signs qualities, including its natural psychic abilities, its concern with time and the past, its focus on family and nurture, its focus on providing an enclosure or fence within which it can nest safely, its innate sense of hidden currents within the Akasha and its empathy and caring nature.

Whereas Taurus gives rise to the realm of Form the sign of Cancer gives rise to the realm of individual spirits through the birth channel from Binah into Tiphareth. At the conceptual point halfway between these two Sephira time comes into existence, as individual spirits (Tiphareth entities) are beings with a temporal lifespan (no matter how long or short it may be), they exist in a cyclical sequence of existence. The Greater Self exists beyond this sequence of existence, transcending time and space entirely by existing in an eternal state of awareness. So when the Greater Self gives birth to a specific individual incarnation of itself as a temporal spirit, it inserts itself into the ocean of time and space by manifesting its unified essence into an individual strand or pulse, a wave that flows towards the shore of material life. Every individual incarnation of a given Greater Self manifests itself in this way and just as the entire ocean is present within each wave each Greater Self is fully present with each of its individual expressions in every moment at all times, simultaneously. It provides for their needs and nurtures these spirits in exactly the way they need and it can do so precisely because its perspective transcends time and space. It’s individual expressions may not even be aware of their Greater Self parent protecting and nurturing them throughout every moment of existence in every way they need, but the Greater Self is never absent because it is always fully and completely aware of its individual expressions. Since this connection involves bridging the seeming abyss between time and sequence and the realm of the eternal and unending and unbeginning, but is in reality a mere shift in awareness, time and individual consciousness arise together and are intimately connected. The “fencing” or “corralling” of the Greater awareness within an individual enclosure does not diminish or divide them, for in the way of fractals the individual part contains the whole and becomes an expression of it. In the same way, the dipping of the Greater awareness into the ocean of time as individuals does not separate the individual spirit from the Greater but instead provides a vehicle for it to emerge sequentially.

The imagery of the tarot card The Chariot communicates this in the form of a vehicle (pulled by two beasts) being driven by an individual. A canopy of stars is often depicted on top of the Chariot (Binah) which is being driven forwards towards the viewer along a path. If we imagine this scene three dimensionally and animate it, the scenery in the background and the path that the charioteer has already traversed becomes the past, while the position the viewer is standing in is sometime in the future. The chariot itself is the enclosure or bubble of now-time in which the individual is always located, no matter how fast they are moving. Reflection upon this moment of now–time quickly reveals that like the memory of the past and the unknown of the future, the now moment also cannot be located and pinpointed because it is in a continuous state of flux. The wave of the individual self moving through and across sequential time is how the great ocean of the Self is made manifest. This illusory nature of all time in a continuous state of infinite flux is the product of the eternal awareness of the Greater realm impressing itself into temporal sequence. It is simply a more complicated and perhaps less easy to decode symbolism for what the Egyptians described as a dung beetle pushing the dung from which its children will hatch and be nourished.

Given these association it is easier to understand why this signs magic is connected not only with childbirth but also with immortality and (for example in Mesopotamia), the mysteries of the afterlife. The cyclical nature of life, its rhythms, ebbs and flows, and many other qualities attributed to Cancer also gain clarity when placed in this context. Magical union with the Greater Self permits focusing of awareness into any time period the Greater Self incarnates into – any past or future now relative to Earths eternal now moment which we have experienced is opened to awareness. Thus Cancer is a sign whose magic is connected not only with the remembrance of past incarnations but also glimpses of future ones and the magicians ability to project their awareness through time by translocating it from one stream of incarnation to another simply by communing with the Greater Self. In this way a trained magician can gain knowledge of multiple timelines and the paths which lead to them as well as a multifaceted perspective on their own experiences.

In terms of initiation then Cancerian planets can lead to a rebirth or an encounter with immortality, and given that its forte is the significance of the past Cancer is also often gifted with an awareness and understanding of the workings of karma and the Akasha. Ultimately, Cancerian entities are instinctively driven to give birth to something and then to nurture it and will do so using the other astrological factors at their disposal, but the ultimate point of this process is to make choices and take actions that individually express the Greater Self within, effectively giving birth to that which has forever birthed us.

giant-tortoises-3353315_1920

The Emerald Hummingbird: On Taurus

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month we return to examining the signs of the zodiac with a look at Taurus. Before we get started, you may want to know that as of the time of writing I have a post on Chiron in Taurus and one on Uranus in Taurus to study alongside this one. 

journey deeper…

Business as Unusual: Uranus in Taurus

Greetings, and welcome back to journeys! This month, we look at the return of the planet Uranus to the sign Taurus which begins this year.

journey deeper…

Looms of Time: Saturn in Capricorn

Hello, and welcome back to Journeys! After my short vacation last month I’m back to share with you some thoughts about Saturn in Capricorn, which recently dawned upon us again, and so this message is not just relevant for people born with this placement but for life in general for all of us until the end of 2020.

journey deeper…