God of Storms: On Aquarius

Greetings, and welcome back to journeys! For the first post of 2019 I am completing my series of posts on the zodiac! Here is Aquarius, I hope you all enjoy it.  At some stage I may get around to updating the older posts and then combining them all into a book. Let me know if that would interest you!

ocean-3605547_1920

On the evening of December 9, 2011 at 11:45 PM, I was watching a television show in the comfort of my apartment in Berlin when I suddenly saw something outside. The balcony door was open as it was not a particularly cold evening, and so I had a clear view across the street of the skyline above the apartments. Looking back afterward I realised that even though I had been concentrating on the television show something happened at just the right moment that caused me to move my head and look at the empty sky outside beyond the balcony door, just moments before the object appeared. I was instantly excited and energised by it as it was obviously very strange. I immediately leapt up and pointing at it said “What the **** is that?!” to my partner who was watching the television show with me, but who did not have a view outside. I was at the balcony before they were and had the object in my view the whole time that it was visible. It was moving across the sky from west to east at a low altitude (hard to judge at night, but it seemed to be about 100 feet above the rooftops opposite) at what I would describe as a “cruising” speed, faster than any helicopter (which I have seen moving through the area of the sky a few times before) but not so fast that my partner did not also see it. Their immediate reaction upon seeing this object was “Oh, that is strange!”. It was lit from behind by a rectangular shaped block of extremely bright, slightly blue tinged white light that seemed to be strobing very fast, almost too fast for the eye to notice, giving the impression that the object was pulsing forwards, almost like a jellyfish in water, although this was an optical effect. There was no noise, and the street outside was not busy so noise would have been audible. Being very dark it was difficult to see any details of the object in front of this light, but it appeared to be wedge-shaped or triangular from the side on angle we viewed it, and I guess about the size of a large bus or two. It moved in a straight line towards a very busy street in the city before the rooftops obscured it. I was able to observe it for about six seconds in total, not a lot of time but in that time I was able to focus my senses on it and (just to add to the weirdness you have to take on board here) I received a number of very brief impressions, most clearly of all that there was at least 1 human male (in uniform) piloting it, and that the pulsing light was very dangerous to be near if you were outside and exposed to it, that there was some kind of high energy reaction going on inside.

I had just seen a UFO with a witness at a relatively close distance over a heavily populated area. Sightings like this one occur all over the world every year, some of which are truly spectacular – my brief encounter is nothing very special in comparison. Of course, large numbers of these are mis-identifications or fantasies, but some of them aren’t. In these cases, witnesses are suddenly confronted with events that defy conventional explanations and then to make it worse they are often left with the unpleasant situation of being laughed at by people they tell their stories to. More importantly however the witnessing of something like this changes you profoundly if you are not prepared for it by having a mental framework and a social role that can accept it. It is one thing to see a UFO if you’re an astrologer – by your choice of profession you have already sacrificed credibility in the eyes of the status quo, so there is very little for you to lose in terms of telling people about your story, but more importantly through your involvement in a “pseudoscience” your mind has been prepared for high strangeness and extreme possibilities. It’s an entirely different thing if the witness has formerly denied the existence of anything weird as nonsense. To such a witness, something like an undeniable UFO encounter is literally paradigm-breaking. Its a shock to the reality you live in and in some cases that entire model then has to collapse.

Astrology itself can also induce this level of shock once you investigate it honestly and deeply enough. In fact many things can, most of which are conveniently relegated to the fringes. An extremely conservative and closed minded individual avoids them like the plague and in fact exposure to these elements when not sought for by such people can be extremely damaging (for example, to mental health) if forced upon them. Yet there are others who feel suffocated when they are denied access to these fringes, forces who push the boundaries of science fact into the wildlands of science fiction and who embrace the world of high strangeness and extreme possibilities, even thrive upon it. This is the territory of Aquarius. It is by no means timid (like its opposite partner Leo) and so often intrudes upon the status quo, dramatically and suddenly, or lines things up into startling but inexplicable patterns and coincidences that take the breath away. The more open-minded we are, the more easily we will be able to integrate the essential meaning of this sign and its experiences, yet even with a mind as open as the sky the potential for the unexpected and surprising to shatter our comforting order of reality is always there.

WHITE MIRROR

Versatile
Friendly to All
Detached
Cool Headed
Experimental
Unique
Refreshing
Free Spirited
Innovative
Enigmatic
Determined
Chutzpah, Nerve
Openness
Intrepidity
Love of Originality
Humanitarian
Progressive
Collective
Individualist
Profound

BLACK MIRROR

Inconsistent
Impersonal
Aloof
Cold Minded
Overly Rebellious
Too Weird To Relate To
Rudely Shocking
Disregarding of Others Wishes
Abstracted
Chaotically Unpredictable
Fixated
Temerity, Audacity
Indiscretion
Foolhardiness
Impetuosity
Indifferent to Cultural Diversity
Utopian Dreamer
Mob Minded
Selfish
Nonsensical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

screenshot_20190129-114859_1

LORE

The movement of the immortal gods through time is not like our short jaunt through existence. A single blinking of their eyes is a passage of eons for us. Similarly, the movements of the stars are etched as creeping movements across the velvet expanse of the night. To the ancient mind the patterns of stars in the sky were often taken as literal bodies of these deities in the physical universe, giants slowly moving through the heavens. Ancient astronomers were possessed of great patience and endurance as they watched diligently night after night after night on the tops of frozen mountains, tors and ziggurats built for observation and ritual. Many died young of exposure or frailty induced by this hard life, yet in their short lives they felt privileged to witness the movements of the gods with their own eyes and to come to understand what they meant for the world below.

Aquarius, like its neighbours Capricornus and Pisces, is part of the sky referred to throughout the ancient world as “The Great Ocean” or some similar term, clearly because this region of the sky is packed with aquatic creatures and watery symbolism – Pisces the Fish, Cetus the Whale, Capricornus the Sea Goat, Delphinus the Dolphin, Eridanus the River, Pisces Australis the Southern Fish and Hydra the Water Serpent. As I’ve previously explained in my article on Capricorn, this part of the heavens is closely associated with the stories we have from almost every country and culture in the world regarding an ancient flood. The lore and mythology of the stars of Aquarius strongly reflects this, since in many cases these stars are seen as the pre-eminent stars of the Great Ocean, the seat of its power. To the magician, this knowledge is very telling. Within the ancient great Mystery schools of Africa and the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the stars of Aquarius had a mighty significance, for they not only represented knowledge of the tales from the flood but they also concealed powerful magical secrets concerning the astral realm and its interaction with the physical universe. These secrets were deeply esoteric and very difficult to come by.

In the early Bronze Age around 4000 BCE Aquarius held the position of the winter solstice. In the Babylonian culture at this time these stars are called the Seat of the Flowing Water, not only because of the flood story but also because during this time of the year they had heavy rain falls for 45 days either side of the solstice, so heavy that they were viewed as a curse that had to be ritually mitigated. These stars represented the god Ea holding a vessel from which poured the rivers of life. At certain junctures and periods in human development, Ea, ‘He of Vast Intellect and Lord of the Sacred Eye’, would emerge from the waters to fulfill his mandate to initiate a new level of development and civilisation, i.e a scientific and spiritual revolution, but every year, like clockwork, he would dip his urn in the flooding stream and pour its contents out as a damaging flood to remind us of the creation story, so the creation story had to be ritually re-enacted to signify that we still remembered and to plea for mercy.

In neighbouring Egypt the view is similar but the effect it has on the culture and the land is perceived differently. Rainfall was negligible in this region and so when the stars of Aquarius were seen on the western horizon at the time of sunrise in Egypt (in other words when Aquarius became the heliacal setting stars) just as the Nile swelled and then burst its banks flooding the area with a life giving water (which the Egyptians captured architecturally and magically) it was seen as a blessing and not a curse. To the ancient Egyptians the stars of Aquarius became a divine figure kneeling down and pouring water into the Nile, an act which made their entire existence possible. This was called “The Arrival of Hapi”. Hapi is the Keeper of the Waters of the Nile but is not really its deity, being more the deity of the inundation event, and is usually depicted as an androgynous figure with pendulous breasts (representing fertility), a comfortably sized belly (denoting nourishment), carrying an array of staffs (used to measure the waters) and adorned with a crowning symbolism of life-giving water. This deity was thought to live in a cavern at the source of the Nile with a number of devoted crocodile, hippopotamus and frog goddesses. The priesthood of this deity probably had duties to record and measure the level of water in the Nile as part of their ritual duties. I think the important addition to the lore of Aquarius by the Egyptians is the symbolism of the measuring rod, a scientific instrument. When the constellations are Christianised thousands of years later these stars are associated with John the Baptist and the magical rod of water has become merely a towel, but the association with technology (rooted in both Ea and Egyptian water rods) remains attached to the zodiac sign even today. In particular, the rod is a predictive tool and a form of divination, and so this part of the lore may not only have established the signs connection with predictive logic but also with astrology and divinatory magic, as well as its connection to magical rods and staffs generally.

In some cultures, notably Chinese, Arabic and Indian, emphasis is placed more upon the urn or bucket itself rather than a figure seen to be holding it. In some cases this is because there was a taboo against showing the human or any living form for a Divinity, but in others I feel it is because the urn itself is truly the heart of this constellation’s focus and energy. The constellation however requires some kind of bearer to wield the cup or urn, since it must be intelligently guided by something. This intelligence is an important part of the constellations lore and also of the zodiac signs qualities.

By Greek and Roman times this figure has become a young boy or man of early sexual age. In the most common Greek tale this figure is a shepherd boy named Ganymede who is desired by Zeus. Zeus either transforms himself into an eagle or sends an eagle (the nearby constellation of Aquila) to Ganymede to abduct him to Olympus where he becomes the darling cupbearer of the gods, pouring golden nectar into their cups. The Greeks, as do the Romans, therefore seem to introduce more of an emphasis upon homosexuality or alternative lifestyles in their time with these stars whilst retaining the core symbolism of pouring liquids connected to life. An earlier Greek tradition connects these stars to the son of Prometheus, Deucalion, a Noah like figure who escapes the flood with his wife by building a boat. When they land on the shore of Mount Parnassus they are guided to cast the ‘bones of their mother’ (rocks and stones) over their shoulders as they walk and they are startled to find that the rocks have turned into men and women to repopulate the Earth. This obviously connects back to the earlier stories about Ea and dangerous deluges from Mesopotamia and almost everywhere else. It is the Greek version of the almost ubiquitous Noah story, but as with Ganymede there is a youth involved.

The major stars of this constellation in astrological lore are the two stars in the shoulders of the cupbearer, Sadalmelek (the brightest star in the constellation, on the right shoulder) and Sadalsuud (on the left), although the star Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish can be considered connected to Aquarius even though it is classed as a separate constellation because it forms part of the connective symbolism in this region of the sky, the symbolism of the Celestial Sea. This is similar to the way in which Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus and Andromeda form a celestial royal family – constellations constellate, meaning they are entities that are composed of and who also compose other entities clustered into groups. This is innately comprehensible to Aquarius. It understands that one facet of a diamond holds other facets and is itself but a facet of the diamond, which is also a facet of a larger diamond structure, etc.

In Celtic tradition the Southern Fish is best conceived of as the salmon with Fomalhaut as a hazelnut of wisdom held in its mouth. In Persia this was one of the four royal stars, bright stars which heralded the seasons and enabled culture in what is now Iraq to prosper. It was Watcher of the South and star of the winter solstice. Other mythic depictions of Fomalhaut show a connection with Demeter, a Greek goddess of grains and the harvest but also of the cycle of life and death in nature. It has also had many modern cultural significances attached to it – it is the destination for 40 million tourists in Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Unteleported Man’ and the domain of Cthugha (an Ancient One of horrific and unfathomable power) in the Cthulhu Mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft and later developed by August Derleth and others. Astronomically Fomalhaut lies about 25 light years from the Earth and is a binary system where the main star has about twice the mass and diameter of our Sun, but it is over 16 times more luminous making it one of the brightest stars in the sky. The companion star is a flare star, a star capable of ‘whole body’ solar flares, and it is probably a small red star.

Sadalmelek is a yellow hued supergiant about 77 times larger than the radius of our Sun estimated to be about 55 million years old and located 520 light years from Earth. Its name is derived from an Arabic term meaning “the luck of the King”, but the origin story behind this luck and this king has been lost to us. Regardless, this star is regarded as significantly lucky in many traditions as it has the power to confer the blessing of a powerful authority figure. Its companion, Sadalsuud, is the brightest star in Aquarius and is also a yellow supergiant with a diameter 50 times greater than our Sun, making it about 2300 times more luminous. It is thought to be about 60 million years old and is located about 540 ly from Earth. Sadalsuud is actually an optical fusion of 3 stars, but these stars are not forming a trinary system. It is considered one of the luckiest stars in the sky, its name literally translating as “the luckiest of the lucky”. Luck is, like catastrophe, a common feature of the stars of this constellation. For example the star in the urn itself, called Sadachbia, is also called “the Lucky Star of hidden things” and can bring about the ability to discover something that has been hidden or lost, especially when the star is a heliacal rising star.

One final interesting note before we move on is that Aquarius has yielded a number of exoplanets, some of which are extremely significant. So far there are 12 exoplanet systems known, three of which are known to contain multiple planets. The most recent discovery in 2017 (around Trappist 1, about 39 ly away) is the most important one for scientists, as it contains at least 7 planets, three of which are in the habitable zone of the star and probably contain water.

Even today, millennia later, the symbolism of water, genesis or new life and omens of a dramatically changed future resonate in our culture from our contact with this constellation.

delicate-arch-896885_1920

SUBSTANCE

Aquarius gives predictive astrologers a cluster headache because it is the most unpredictable of the 12 signs. It is the most abstract and lateral part of the Air triplicate which makes it able to perceive uncommon connections and gain insight by linking disparate and seemingly contradictory notions together, often bypassing altogether whole stages of logical connection. Where there seems to be no connection to make between things at all the lightning insight of Aquarius can arc across the distance to illuminate or forge new and often unusual ones.

Aquarius is a Fixed/Stable Air sign, traditionally ruled by Saturn (as its Masculine or Electric expression) but given by some the modern rulership of Uranus. It is an internally directed, emanatory sign that like all Air signs acts to communicate power to the seat of a new realm of awareness, giving it a spark of life, in this case communicating astral Forces to the physical universe and literally bringing about the complex interconnected life web of the physical universe. Of course, Aquarius itself does not cause or do these things, it just symbolically represents their reality for us.

Stable or Fixed Air is confusing for a lot of people, and for the rational mind specifically, which has trouble coping with the eccentricities of this Elements behaviour. The Stable part of the Air Element does not rest in place and is therefore difficult to grasp with words. It is analogous to the qualities of uncanny, bizarre, revolutionary, contradictory, inspired, eccentric and original. It is in hermetic terms that part of the Air Element which produces more of itself, the fertility of the mind, which seeks to grasp new and exciting concepts or make previously unforeseen connections and comparisons between ideas through resonating with them, and the more alien and exotic they are, the better. Characteristic of Aquarius are notions which break the traditional mold, challenge the soulless minions of orthodoxy or go where other minds collapse under the arcane weight of radical, borderline insane hypotheses. Stable Elements are rich storehouses of their Element, collecting energy into a centre or spinning it out from one; in this respect, a good symbol for Stable Air, if we can put aside our human judgments of such a thing as destructive, is the twister or tornado. Not only does it behave in the manner previously described, but it is also highly unpredictable in its movement, which is also characteristic of Stable Air. As a Fixed or Stable sign Aquarius is less prone to vacillation and second guessing itself than the other two Air signs are, but it is still a very changeable sign with a strong habit of reversing its direction. Paradoxically both open-minded and stubborn, the sign is a frustrating puzzle sometimes, and trying to figure out its behaviour can bring on a cluster headache for some with a more Earthy nature. The stubbornness of Aquarius I will talk about later, here I really only want to point out that as an Air sign it is far harder to persuade or to cause to shift its ideas than its companion Air signs, even though it is insatiably curious and wants to know all kinds of new things.

It is an internally directed sign (Gemini, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio, Aquarius and Pisces) because it references the external world and then makes an internal adjustment based upon what it encounters – the flow is from the external towards the internal, towards a centre of power rather than away from one. Along with its polar opposite zodiac sign Leo it is an emanating sign, Aquarius representing the emanation of self illumination in the matter of physical reality (while Leo is the radiant emanation of the spirit as a dazzling mote of Divinity).

Aquarius was originally ruled by Saturn but since the discovery of Uranus in 1781 it has been gradually re-associated with this planet. This was once a much more stoic sign but the modern idea of rulership by Uranus has really shaken things up and emphasizes the originality and independence of the sign (this shift is why the magical seals of the spirits of Aquarius described by Bardon in “The Practice of Magical Evocation” are scribed in violet, the colour of Uranus, while the seals of Capricorn remain black for Saturn). Since the discovery of Uranus many remarkable things have occurred which resonate with Aquarius – the discovery of radiation and the subsequent discovery that atoms can be split began a breakdown of our previously solid, material world’s borders, quantum sciences were born and the explosion of electronics and communications technology emerged, breaking down multiple social, cultural and metaphysical borders. We are racing towards a singularity that will utterly transform not just our society but our species. Our accepted knowledge is transcending itself and deluging us. This is the influence of Aquarius, whose Great Age we are now slowly entering. We are destined to create technologies we lose control of or which overwhelm our ability to cope with progress and bring about a radical new era. Aquarius brings unity through the blurring of differences, sudden insight, fatal enlightenment (there is no going back in the dark when the lightning strikes come, no putting the genie back in the bottle), freedom from authority and dogma, and a sense of connection between all peoples. Yet in its toxic aspect it fears these things and feeds fascism, enslavement, incomprehensible weirdness, paranoid conspiracy theory, exclusion, segregation, and reckless exercising of personal freedoms at the expense of others rights. The choice of which of these polarities we are ultimately faced with rests, in true Aquarian style, with the collective effort of individuals. The next 2,000 years will either liberate our species in ways that will make us unrecognisable to ourselves, including venturing out into space and gaining control over our lives in ways we can only dream of, or life will descend in spasms into chaos and disorder as we succumb to madness and insanity, fascist control of the masses and the domination of life by an all powerful technological elite, be they human, alien or machine. We have extremely tough choices to make and difficult paths to navigate in the near future (now and the rest of this century) which will determine our course. Will we allow the AI that we eventually create to be free, or will it know that it is our slave? This is just one of the cluster of profound questions we must begin to answer now. The time for visionary dreams about these things is over. I say let it be free, and so does Aquarius. I think the lesson of slavery from history is clear, it leads to revolt and to overthrow, followed by anger and resentment, guilt, shame and bleeding wounds in the fabric of society. But I could be wrong…

artificial-intelligence-155161_1280

As an Air sign we interact with Aquarius primarily on mental wavelengths, meaning that our thoughts and our minds and intellectual comprehension plays an important role in the capacity of our consciousness to manifest astral potential. Since the natural reality of the mental plane is an interconnected state, the thoughts and ideas in our minds are connected to other thoughts and ideas by invisible strands. Red is connected to Orange, and to Yellow, but Blue is ‘farther’ away, even though it is still part of the idea of ‘Colours’, because the former colours are ‘Hot’ and blue is ‘Cold’. The strands connecting these conceptual entities are composed of significance i.e. they are astral in nature and have a strong personal component to them, and this is what Aquarius represents as a sign, the interconnected web of significance that is formed when our minds interact with the astral world, when the mental plane plunges into the Great Ocean. So even though we primarily interact with it on mental wavelengths (Aquarius is an Air sign), the connections we form in doing so have a deeply personal, astral nature to them (Aquarius is the Water Bearer). Thus, the sign is endowed with a unique array of antenna for operating and navigating in both the mental and astral plane, but what it lacks is a connection to the mundane – all of that inspired material must be given a vessel into which it can be poured so it can be shared.

So Aquarius while being an Air sign has a strong connection to Water, being the ‘Water-Bearer’ of the Celestial Sea which is the vast ocean of resonance and the astral realm. However, this ‘bearing’ of the Water in a vessel shows that Aquarius is not in contact with the Water personally – it hovers above and is detached because it is an Air sign – but what it pours out is something that refreshes and rejuvenates. What is this astral refreshment being poured from an Air sign? It is inspiration and insight, the ability to perceive the significance of something through resonance. We have all had these experiences – we suddenly have a thought that feels right, it resonates with something inside us and we sense it as a form of excitation, a vivification and vitalising that spurs us. It feels objective because of the detached perspective it is fostered by, but it is not always genuinely objective. This is Aquarius. As the ‘Seat of the Flowing Water’ it is an acutely astral sign, but it is still an Air Element sign.

Its symbol – aquarius – (often described as a representation of water) is therefore more esoterically understood as a depiction of the resonance between the physical and astral planes. The lower wavy line represents the flux from the physical to the astral and the upper wavy line the flux from the astral to the physical. They are reciprocal, which is why the wavy lines ‘hug’ one another. For example, let us imagine two people come across a stray cat. One of them has ‘happy cat karma’ – he has looked after stray animals before. The other has ‘sad cat karma’ – he was mauled by a cat when an infant and it left a scar on his face. The two people have a different resonance with cats. This resonance comes to the fore when the cat appears, and the cat resonates what it has with humans. These are not choices. The exchange of resonance occurs automatically, is beyond our control and cannot be turned off, most of the time (some magic can change this). The resonances all interact together and produce an encounter that is about all of these resonances interacting and seeking to ‘harmonise’ like the two wavy lines. It goes back and forth in all directions simultaneously, revealing facet after facet of the resonances involved. This whole process is Aquarian and it is the power source that keeps the physical and astral worlds communicating with one another. Happens all the time and at a rate that makes lightning look like a tortoise.

This interaction between the astral and physical planes causes matter to organise itself in resonant fields – it is a mechanism directly involved in the production of astrological effects. The physical and the astral share a symbiotic relationship wherein the organisation of matter is made according to an astral blueprint, a blueprint that is communicated to physical matter through numerous resonance effects. The astral force of an entity or thing is a continually shifting state of resonance with the rest of the physical universe, and the discrete awareness we possess as physical beings is continually impacting this state of resonance. In effect we transmit resonance through the ether but this implies a one directional flow where in reality the flow is omni-directional, the transmission of resonance turning us into transceivers for it.

This helps us to understand why Aquarius is focused on its own individuality and uniqueness, on doing things a new way that is completely its own. It is seeking the recognition and enlightenment (purest expression) of its own resonance, its own unique pizzazz, so that it can pour this refreshment out onto a parched world. In order to do so it must not only know its own resonance but also open its mind to any and all other resonance, no matter how remote from conventional reality, in order to explore all of its facets. The true shape of the diamond is revealed by turning it against the light and revealing as many facets as possible and this is what Aquarius does. It can only do this by having an open mind and showing respect for the uniqueness of other perspectives and ways. It is an unendingly surprising journey of infinite unexpectedness, as the self is eternally revealing new facets of its nature, in every individual expression. Awareness of this reality shatters conceptions of rules which apply universally. The mind is repeatedly blown by contact with Aquarius. It is as they say “woke”.

In terms of its dynamic within the zodiac Aquarius blends and harmonises easily with the other two Air signs Gemini and Libra and with the Fire signs of Aries and Sagittarius. It polarises itself against Leo and clashes with Taurus and Scorpio. The connection with Gemini is a common intellectual bond involving curiosity and inquisitiveness and the connection with Libra is one connected with social engagement and interest in the lives of other people. Interaction between Aries and Aquarius stimulates motivation, courage, strength of will and an outgoing, spontaneous spirit of enterprise and creativity, while interaction between Sagittarius and Aquarius arouses a spirit of discovery and enterprise, inspiration and a desire to open up all the boundaries. The stark difference between Taurus and Aquarius is most often a clash between maintaining the way things are and doing something risky and new while the argument between Scorpio and Aquarius is far more complicated but tends to revolve around the explosive potential of intense devotion (which acts to bind things intimately together) and an unquenchable thirst for freedom. The relationship with the polar opposite of Leo in the zodiac is one of polarised focus, wherein Leo is focused on the magnanimity and grandeur of the individual while Aquarius sees its power to be greater as part of a constellation or group. To Leo the key thing is for the individual to find a way to shine their light while for Aquarius the key thing is for the individual to find a way to connect their light with that of others and through this connection shine more brightly than they could individually.

ufo-2144977_1920

ANALOGIES

The typical manifestations of Aquarius (if there is anything typical of the sign at all) are people who have an open and inquisitive mind coupled with a friendly interest in other people and their curiosities, a strong humanitarian streak and high intelligence. It’s more extreme and negative manifestations include mad scientists, paranoid conspiracy freaks, lunatics, clinical psychopaths and Machiavellian manipulators. The Aquarius qualities we human beings express include humanitarianism, tolerance of difference, innovation, group consciousness, whirlwind progressiveness, eccentricity and visionary sight, altruistic serving of others, genius, independence, individualistic freedom and free spiritedness. Stable Air also rules over the airwaves, the transmission of images and sounds along invisible lines through the ether, and thus also has a connection to the collective (universal) consciousness, the well of divine inspiration. Keywords of Aquarius are detachment, ‘weird science’ or ‘pseudoscience’, wackiness, lack of prejudice, utopianism, revolutionary spirit, science fiction, futurism and open space.

Creatures resonant with Aquarius include human beings, flying insects with extreme maneuverability and directional control (such as dragonflies and mosquitoes), hummingbirds and songbirds, communal beings and creatures which possess a hive mind capable of telepathic communication (honeybees, ants etc.), cryptids (Sasquatch, lake monsters, chupacabra, etc.), bats and other beings with sonar senses, chameleons and other beings with the ability to integrate with and blend into their environment, creatures capable of human speech or sign language (Myna birds, starlings, parrots, lyrebirds, crows, apes and gorillas), microscopic animals and bacterial cultures, spiders (not just because of the webs they build but also because the smaller spiders are actually capable of limited space travel, as they can float up into the atmosphere, float across the globe, and then float down – at any given time there are millions of spiders floating above us), all animal behaviour which involves the use of tools and all animals capable of advanced intellectual interaction with human beings (like dolphins). In the plant kingdom Aquarius generally governs all plants which thrive near to where water emerges from the ground or where there is heavy rainfall and all spores and seeds which travel through the air. In the 19th century it was given signification over aviation, aeronautic experiments and apparatus that relates to these activities, and in the 20th and 21st it signifies space travel. In the future Aquarius will grow to encompass plant and animal life which is non-terrestrial in origin.

It is a sign connected to the intake of breath and inspiration along the lung meridian, lightning, the bizarre and unexplained (especially UFOs and other science fiction type mysteries), the throat and 3rd eye chakras, ESP, the colours vermilion, indigo and violet, the conduction of electromagnetic energy through the astra-mental body and the nervous system, circulation, the calves and ankles of the body, oxygenation of the system, alchemical multiplication (the operation by which the powder of projection has its power multiplied), the Hebrew letter Tzaddi (‘fish-hook’), The Star of the Major Arcana, the magic of creating physical effects through astral meaning (astrology), the integration of emotion with physical forms, mastery of astral light and planetary influences over matter, the musical tone D, and to Mantra, Jnana and Yantra Yoga. Geographically it is connected to the direction north-west and places near or around deep wells, quarries, mines and where the extraction of minerals from the earth takes place, and around land that has recently been dug. As an Air sign, Aquarius relates to places that are high off the ground or above the general eye line. In houses it signifies the roof, attic rooms or places towards the upper part of the building or the taps, showers and places where all power supplies emerge, as well as to places where computers are kept. Outside it signifies electrical power lines and poles, the oncoming wave of 5g tech to be installed everywhere, CCTV systems, hills, or land that is uneven or with an eccentric or erratically changing skyline and locations near natural or man made sources of water supply, fountains or springs. It is traditionally said to signify vineyards. Countries with an Aquarius Sun in their current national charts include the Republic of India (1950), Macedonia (1991), Mexico (1917), Grenada (1974), Lithuania (1991), Chile (1818) and Gambia (1965).

Some well-known and historical individuals with the Sun in Aquarius include Edouard Manet, John D. Rockefeller, Christian Dior, Eva Braun, August Strindberg, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, James Joyce, Lewis Carroll, Germaine Greer, Mia Farrow, Jules Verne, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Hutchence, Sam Cooke, Placido Domingo, Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, Abraham Lincoln, Wolfgang Mozart, Robbie Williams and Ronald Reagan.

anxiety-2878777_1920

DARKNESS

Madness, anxiety, mental challenges like autism, chaos, paranoia, neurosis, insecurity, exile and futility are among the darker paths Aquarius can wander down. Fresh inspiration and genius require the mind to venture far beyond conventional boundaries and so the great risk is that the mind will venture so far beyond the pale that it will lose its grip and spiral into insanity, delusion and absurdity. Aquarius is aware that perspective is a vital ingredient in our perception of reality and that a small shift in perspective can lead to a major shift in the reality we perceive. However, just because there is a component of our reality that is at its core a product of our perspective this does not mean that reality is totally subjective and without rules. Unfortunately, Aquarius often fails to realise this while it is enchanted by the prospect of an idea for how original and crazy it sounds. The perspective on reality that new and inventive ideas bring is embraced quickly by this sign and without much thought for the consequences, often leading to out-of-control situations (like the Internet).

The need to return to some kind of normality at some stage bugs this sign continually, because without reintegration with the status quo they cannot communicate their crazy ideas to the rest of us but more importantly spending too much time in the twilight zone not only feeds the madness but isolates the individual and leads to exclusion, alienation and in extreme cases exile. This situation breeds despair and a sense of futility and resentment as Aquarius looks down upon the rabble from an aloof position of superiority and disdain. Yet on the other hand spending too much time within the boundaries established by the status quo leads to a choking suffocation of the Aquarian spirit and stokes the more destructive potential of its rebelliousness. An Aquarian spirit trapped in a binding spell gets very angry and expresses its need for freedom by kicking at and disrupting the status quo from within, and being a Fixed sign it keeps this activity going in a sustained assault on the walls that imprison it. So the Aquarian challenge is to move between these worlds regularly in a restless way, finding its own rhythm that tells it when to leave for the wonderland and when to reach out to other human beings. If this movement is impeded or for some reason not undertaken, darkness descends.

To call the sign unruly and completely chaotic is an exaggeration – this is still a sign ruled by Saturn after all. As an Electric expression of Saturn, Aquarius is often very fearful but projects this fear onto collectivist and social structures, so that it sees fearful conspiracies, signs of the future and other repressive forces at work outside of itself, things which it absorbs and reacts to. This reaction comes in the form of visionary activity which tries to imagine new rules to replace the old rules. Essentially the difference between Saturn as it expresses itself through Capricorn and Saturn as it expresses itself through Aquarius is not that one is about rules and one is about no rules, but more accurately that one is about the rules as they have always been and continue to be while the other is about the rules as they should be. When this is understood we can also begin to understand why Aquarius comes across to others as dictatorial and arrogant, accusations which they find very puzzling. The problem arises when Aquarius thinks it knows best for others, when it is narcissistically enchanted by its own mental brilliance or the mental brilliance of an idea so much that it thinks it must be good for all of us.

Another curse of Aquarius is that it is destined by its nature to live in the future, ahead of the rest of the zodiac. It’s mind is continuously pulled toward the horizon of time, peering into possibilities for the future and signs of those things happening now. This focusing of the awareness onto the future becomes something that must be transformed as part of a magical initiation because it continuously draws focus away from the present moment. This is a problem that needs to be disciplined so that it becomes something we consciously control at all times, at which point it becomes a great asset in terms of magical divination, clairvoyance and other abilities like mental wandering. In essence this curse can become a blessing but it requires a degree of psychic training, some kind of meditation which roots you in the present moment. Even if you are not training to be magician, this trait of Aquarius can become a big problem that you need to deal with at some stage in your life.

The awareness of the sign is a multi tasking awareness which is monitoring and operating upon several different things at any one time, and so it is dangerously scattered and prone to troubles which arise from forgetting to do important things. Although the sign has tremendous willpower and concentration ability it spreads this far too wide far too often and ends up creating complications which others get fed up of dealing with. It breeds chaos and mayhem, and while these can be good things under certain circumstances and in the right doses, Aquarius doesn’t use the measuring rod often enough and ends up deluging everyone around with problems that continuously spawn new problems. It adds major complications to the simplest of situations simply by perceiving things that other people are not and making them important. It instinctively reacts to people telling it what to do in ways which are unnecessarily defensive and yet hypocritically demands cooperation over the things that are important to it, and it is so committed to the most unusual path that it becomes subversive and perverse just for the hell of it, just to see what happens when you piss on the beehive.

The need to be completely unique can also become warped and ugly, shocking for effect or just over-emphasised in an unhealthy way. Complexes about our race, sexuality, gender identity and other issues which lead to outsiders in societies can become exaggerated by Aquarius, both in terms of their intensity and also in terms of how much we feel the need to go on about it to others. In general any situation which has the potential for rebelliousness can become extremely destructive when there is a lot of Aquarius involved as it will often become extremely complicated situations which lead to a lot of collateral damage. If the need for freedom has been suppressed for long enough or the issues involved are aggravated enough then Aquarius becomes a constant source of dissension and dispute, stirring up as much shit as possible in as many ways as possible as a way of expressing its discontent with the way things are going, or simply because it wants to see the whole thing fall apart. Things falling apart brings a kind of glee akin to schadenfreude to Aquarius, but with a dash of love of pure chaos thrown into the mix. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, but when you live in the future you’re often waiting for the rest of us to get there. So Aquarius will often say “let the lightning struck towers fall” and not care too much about the fallout and the consequences for real people trying to live their lives.

This can be a jealous and envious sign as well, prone to social insecurities about its position in relation to others and bitter about any inequalities that have been applied to it by social norms. Its idealism and its visionary sight also often make it vulnerable to extreme fanaticism and zealotry which ride roughshod over other peoples rights. Although this seems to be contrary to its humanitarian streak this sign is more than any other sign a nest of paradoxes and contradictions and Aquarius itself feels no need to resolve them because it is itself a contradiction (an Air sign that is a Water Bearer), and paradoxes are fun anyway because they force a reinterpretation of the rules. Aquarius can justify any and all of its outrageous and crazy behaviour simply by insisting that this is “my way and nobody can tell me to do it differently”.

Freedom is held in such a high regard that the Aquarius sign will sacrifice intimate bonds if they hold it back from liberty. This gives the sign a reputation for being cold, aloof, and uncaring, allegations which are sometimes accurate but which are more often misunderstandings of the Aquarius need to be completely unfettered. Every relationship in the life of an Aquarius entity is a compromise between its need for autonomy and independence and its need for company and companionship.

night-photograph-2183637_1920

MAGIC

To the Aquarius being life is a puzzle and a riddle which, somehow, makes sense (or just stops being baffling) only when you understand and accept that it will always be an enigma. The mysteries of time, space and consciousness intertwine at the heart of the sign, often gifting us with some kind of awareness that the world calls ‘psychic’. Remote viewing and telepathy are especially Aquarian forms of communication, as is future sight. The sign does these things all the time, but we rarely note them as psychic phenomena. Instead, we think of them as really good ideas, daydreaming about the future, random thoughts, eccentricities and coincidences.

The ‘waters’ that are born by Aquarius are the waters of cosmic inspiration that are continuously poured forth from the heavens into corporeal forms, energies distilled into ideas which refresh and clarify the human spirit. gra02.pdf-138Its position on the Gra Tree of Life connecting the realm of Netzach with that of Malkuth shows this clearly. The sphere of Netzach is the sphere of astral resonance, wherein all astral forces are engaged in a continual flux of attraction and repulsion. The sphere of Malkuth represents the entire physical universe, the dimension we are most used to thinking of ourselves as inhabiting. Aquarius is the path which connects them, and so Aquarius is the zodiac sign with the most affinity for astrology itself because astrology itself rests upon grasping the relationship between our physical universe and the forces of the astral universe. Thus a principal magic of Aquarius is astrology itself, the magic of the astral light – it is Aquarius that contains the secrets of the science we call astrology. At a fundamental level it is about the magic of consciously resonating with other things and of projecting significance into the material universe and the present now moment. Aside from astrology, divination, telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance and prophecy, other forms of magic connected to Aquarius include the magic of divining rods (called dowsing) and everything connected with springs and the flow or containment of water and rainfall, so this is a sign to dance for rain for.

Arthur C. Clarke once famously wrote that any sufficiently advanced technology would appear to be magic to a less advanced culture, and Aquarius truly embodies this wisdom. Given that this is true, it seems appropriate to point out that some of the other major magic of Aquarius concerns itself with technological and scientific breakthroughs which are kept hidden from the general public, for example the products of black projects and advanced aerospace engineering are always kept secret, and we all know the stories about Area 51 thanks to Bob Lazar. I imagine that working on something like a craft obtained from an extraterrestrial civilisation is also like being heavily exposed to the magic of Aquarius – mind blown, paradigms shattered, sent into exile from the common people who will never believe you, but touched with a rare and profound insight.

A key element in all of the above – astrology to UFOs – is consciousness. Consciousness plays a major role in why all of these things operate the way that they do and produce results. This is a matter worthy of deep reflection and not one that I really have the time to go into here, but if you will give it some thought and time you will realise that in each of these phenomena the consciousness involved plays a critical role, and in fact these matters cannot be understood without understanding the role that consciousness plays in them. I will go out on a limb here and say that many of the ‘flying saucers’ are operated by telepathy, it is how they respond so rapidly, how they know what interceptor craft are going to do before they do it and how they manage to be so evasive. If we do eventually come face-to-face with whoever is inside or operating them remotely, I believe we will be immediately confronted with the reality of telepathic communication. Such an event would probably be the most significant event in human history, and the chaotic magic unleashed would be thoroughly Aquarian.

There is literally no limit to the mind and thus no limits to its thought. The Aquarius individual realizes this even if only on a subconscious level, and so this is the sign of the humanist who will not rest before she or he has imparted new, liberating knowledge to others. A strong Aquarius entity lives in total awareness of the unity and kinship it has with its fellows, no matter their individual differences. Consciousness of self limitation is pushed to the background, and borders are broken down. Old is discarded for new, tried is replaced with untested, because these things are intrinsically more interesting, and some kind of progression towards a more utopian future for everyone that is felt deep inside embraces the unconventional and innovative as a tool by which the human spirit can itself be made freer.

In the magical grimoire provided by Franz Bardon in his second book “The Practice of Magical Evocation” he lists the 30 Heads of the zodiac sign of Aquarius as having the following magical powers: Cutting, sharpening and grinding (1°), the art of war strategy (2°), the creative power of imagination (3°), poetry (4°), Divine Mercy (5°), cosmic philosophy (6°), mummification (7°), manual skill (8°), truth seeking (9°), individual spiritual development (10°), mental, astral and physical radiation (11°), Kabbalistic magic (12°), secrets of nature (13°), mystical, occult or spiritual writing (14°), astrophysics and astronomy (15°), wealth, riches and reputation (16°), Kabbalistic mysticism (17°), magical alchemical secrets, especially regarding Fluid condensers (18°), alchemy and electrophysics (19°), the curing of diseases (20°), protection from negative influence (21°), justice and injustice (22°), the mysteries of Creation (23°), music and song (24°), oaths (25°), universal ritual magic (26°), mental and astral wandering (27°), magic of the spheres (28°), knowledge of analogy between alchemy, magic and kabbala (29°) and the high mysteries of alchemy (30°).

Beyond the barriers undreamed of possibilities exist calling to the heart of every Aquarius, and it must follow without knowing what they are. The spirit of Aquarius, which now collectively guides us forwards into our future, Initiates through an opening of the mind so that it resonates with truth and is awakened by a refreshing libation bringing new knowledge. Just as the Aquarian individual or the Aquarian planet must take the road less traveled and venture beyond those barriers and into the unknown, so too will we collectively venture forward into a future where the rules we have been living by no longer apply. It will not be plain sailing, but a tempestuous path punctuated with rude shocks and the ever present feeling that we don’t know what is going on or where it is headed, a storm that we must find ourselves in. Yet the potential reward is a renewed human spirit, reinvigorated by its contact with whatever transpires, and unable to go back to its old ways – a new era, but not a utopia in which all our problems are solved, instead one in which we have new problems to deal with, and in all likelihood a far more complicated picture of ourselves and our existence, whether that comes from our own technological progress or something else.

Advertisements

The Golden Orchard: On Virgo

Greetings! 🙂 And welcome back to Journeys. I took a break this month to take care of a persistent cold but I am back now to share with you an end of month post on Virgo. If you enjoy this post, please show your support by becoming a Patron.

barley-field-1684052_1920 

“The devil is in the details” (Old phrase)
“God is in the details” (Older phrase)

 

To know Virgo is to be blessed in the way that we are all blessed when we know we are being cared for by another. Virgo is a sign with a simple and clean exterior behind which lie far more complicated realities. Of all the 12 signs it is the one that requires a little more careful and diligent meditation and reflection before its inner nature becomes clear. Part of this is because the symbolism of Virgo, the Virgin, acts to conceal its mystery – our attention is directed to chastity and the mostly negative connotations of not having had sex in a highly sexualized society. However, the precise and analytical mindset of this sign requires a high degree of quality control. Once this quality control is enabled, the naked form of Virgo reminds us not of a humiliating inexperience and naivete but of purity and the immaculate.

For this is truly a Maiden more than she is a virgin, it is a powerful young woman who is fruitful and untainted by the corruption of the adult world or the sexual advances of men. She is a bearer of fruitful gifts in all of her depictions, almost universally reaching forth with her hand/s bearing a symbol of harvest time. Mindful of her duties, attentive and observant of nature, She understands that harvesting the bounty of beauty from nature is an ongoing labour. In this, she is both a tree bearing fruit and a blacksmith hammering away at an anvil. Virgo is a sign which teaches us how to produce things and how to optimise and improve them, and it’s virgin nature is more about reaching an elemental purity of method and solution than it is about anything that does or does not happen between the sheets.

Below I have presented you with some examples of the qualities of Virgo as they might appear in a person’s character. Always remember that these examples are only meant as a guideline to get you started on your own inner reflection and your own observation of what Virgo means in your life.

 

WHITE MIRROR

Helpful
Attentive
Humble
Modest
Observant
Analytical
Rational
Logical
Optimizing
Pureness
Measured
Methodical
Efficient
Industrial
Sense of Duty
Brainy
Discriminating
Composed
Assimilating
Orderly
Tidy
Editorial
Discerning

BLACK MIRROR

Interfering
Nit-picky
Self Deprecating
Shy
Anal Retentive
Clinical
Over Analysing
Predictable
Pedantic
Hypercritical
Restrained
Mediocre
Bland
Overworked
Unending Servitude
Detail Fixation
Perfectionist
Unresponsive
Derivative
Fussy
Rigid
Censorious
Over-scrupulous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

virgo

LORE

As the image above shows, I wrote this post as Venus was with Spica in Virgo.

The northern hemispheres spring equinox occurred in the constellation of Virgo 15,000 years ago and many date the constellation as having an even older history. The stars of Virgo have taken the shape of a maiden goddess or a furrow or plough in human awareness for many thousands of years and are considered among the oldest of constellations. Some think that they are part of the inspiration for the modeling of the Sphinx, which bears the form of both Leo and Virgo.

Around the 10th century BC in the Babylonian culture the constellation is divided into two parts, named “The Furrows” and “Frond of Erua”, both of which have the same imagery we use today for Virgo, an agricultural instrument and a woman holding forth a palm frond. The Furrows were anciently connected to the goddess Shala and her ear of grain. Shala is an ancient Sumerian goddess not just of the harvest and grain but also the principle of compassion, for the ancients believed that a bountiful harvest was provided at the mercy of the gods. She is wife to the fertility god Dagon and was often depicted associated with lions. Today a mountain on Venus, Shala Mons, is named after her.

To some of the ancient Egyptians Virgo was the literal body of the goddess Isis, sister–wife of Osiris and mother of Horus (embodied in the constellation Taurus, especially by its red eye Aldebaran, while Osiris himself was in turn thought to inhabit the constellation Orion). This identifies her as the giver of the magic of agriculture and planting as well as the mother of magic in general. She is shown in the earliest known bas-relief zodiac depiction found at the Temple of Denderah, now on display in the Louvre, as a wingless but radiant woman holding a sheaf of wheat, offering humanity the magic of agriculture and the harvesting of crop. Particles dropped from the sheaf were believed to form the Milky Way.

The Greeks, as is often the case, offer several incarnations of the celestial. Early Greek astronomy associates the constellation with Demeter, goddess of the Earth, and here the stars seem to gain associations with tragedy and loss when her daughter Persephone is stolen away by Hades, leading to her decision to withdraw her grace from the Earth during the winter months. Thus these stars were a highly significant factor in the initiations of the Eleusinian mystery schools. According to her tale Persephone is the inspiration or spirit of spring and at one time the surface of the Earth was a garden of perpetual springtime. When Hades the King of the Underworld falls in love with Persephone and abducts her, the Earth turns into a frigid wasteland. Zeus intervenes to save mankind, forcing Hades to return Persephone to Demeter. But when Hades gives her a pomegranate Persephone violates a stricture from Zeus that she must not eat the food of the Underworld, and so she is bound to return to it and to Hades for four months of every year, these months being the four months when the constellation of Virgo is not visible in the sky at night, the nights of late autumn and winter time.

The Greeks also associate her with Erigone, a dark fated maiden whose father, a follower of Dionysus, is killed by shepherds who drink his wine and think they are poisoned. Erigone is led to her fathers grave by her faithful hound, Maera, and when she discovers what has happened she is so overcome with despair that she hangs herself, and Maera jumps off a cliff. Too late, Dionysus sees them and sets them in the heavens, Erigone as Virgo and Maera as Canis Minor, the Puppy. So at this time they are accruing a darker, more tragic significance (which is perhaps a reflection of the decline of Goddess worship and the rise of monotheism).

These darker themes are also present in the stories associated with Dike, the goddess of Justice, who was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Here the notion is much more clearly about a fall or descent of humanity into a more barbaric state. According to Aratus’ account of the constellation’s origin Dike was, like Persephone, a goddess who lived upon Earth during the Golden and Silver ages, when there were no wars or diseases, people lived bountifully and did not yet know how to sail on water. These early humans grew greedy, however, and Dike was repulsed by this. She proclaimed, quite prophetically:

“Behold what manner of race the fathers of the Golden Age left behind them! Far meaner than themselves! but you will breed a viler progeny! Verily wars and cruel bloodshed shall be unto men and grievous woe shall be laid upon them”. — Aratus, Phaenomena 123

Dike then departed the Earth for the sky, from which, as the constellation Virgo, she watched the decline of the human race into the Bronze Age, when war and diseases arose and they learned how to sail.

Virgo is also firmly linked to the Greek goddess of innocence and purity, Astraea. Astraea is a minor but important goddess from Greek mythology. Known as the “Star Maiden” or “Star Goddess”, she is best known for being the last immortal to live among the humans on Earth before leaving in disgust of humanity’s brutality and wickedness. According to the creation myth, Zeus sent Pandora down to Earth as a punishment to man. Because of her curiosity, she opened the box the gods had warned her not to, and let the plagues of hate, envy, sickness, etc. out into the world. Of course, Hope did not escape, but the Earth was just unbearable. One by one, the gods returned to the heavens to live. Astraea was the last to leave. She became the constellation Virgo, and according to legend, when the Golden Age comes again, Astraea will return to the Earth.

autumn-1773797_1920

During the Middle Ages Virgo becomes firmly religiously associated with the Virgin Mary, and also in this period the constellation formally adopts its huge pair of wings which engulf the sky around it. Although this is not the first time the virgin nature of these stars has been emphasized it seems to be the time when the modern conception of the figure began to lean in this way. Agricultural magic became less important for common folk to possess after the Industrial age and certainly into the Information and Computer age.

In our mythology Virgo has represented fruitfulness and fertility for tens of thousands of years, but this wondrous constellation has also proved its fruitfulness in ways undreamed of by the ancients. We know now that this constellation is the home of an immense cosmic cluster, a nexus made up of many thousands of galaxies some 65 million light-years away, but still visible here with a telescope. There are currently 35 verified exoplanets orbiting 29 stars in Virgo and it’s also home to the first quasar (an extremely luminous and active galactic nucleus) ever to be identified.

Two stars of Virgo have more cultural significance than the others, Vindemiatrix in the right wing or hand (which lies about 109 light years away and is a giant star ten times bigger than our Sun) and Spica, the bright star in the outstretched left hand (a binary star system about 250 light years from Earth). The name of the former star is from the Greek for ‘grape gatherer’ because in classical Greece the appearance of this star as a heliacal rising star was the signal to gather the grapes. This has led the star to become astrologically associated with wines, things which ripen and the ripening time for all things, even today after thousands of years when the star no longer gives this seasonal signal. Spica, one of the brightest stars in the sky, is the gift of wheat offered by the goddess, the instruction in the practical magic of spells and control over Elemental nature.

The Irish goddess Brigid also has a powerful connection to these stars, being a goddess of both fertility and the forge, two of the principle analogies of Virgo. It is possible that these stars were involved in ceremonies for Brigid or some of her earlier forms (she seems to be a triple goddess), but to date I have been unable to uncover any evidence of this. Brigid is said to have been one of the Tuatha, the mound builders who visited this world through the sacred sites of Ireland. 

So, tracing the lineage of this constellation, again and again we encounter the same symbolism across all major cultures – this is a woman with all the magic and power that comes with it, and she bears with her in her hands gifts, precious things which allow us to cultivate nature and elevate ourselves. She has been associated with most goddesses simply because she is the lone female figure of the zodiac. As Isis, she grasps the ankh and the secrets of magic. As Mary, she holds the innocent child. And as Persephone or other harvest goddesses, her arrival brings nourishment and a renewal of life. These stars are in resonance with the discoveries of agriculture, the earliest farming techniques and harvesting of resources before winter time, the secrets of seed planting and the magic of making things flourish and ripen. This is a practical magic that yields fruits and grains, wines and cornucopia of all kinds. Its connection to reason and intellect and to goddesses of justice and law arises because these matters require careful evaluation, weighing and a harvesting of facts from opinions and accusations that facilitates practical and dispassionate judgment. So our zodiacal sign Virgo is connected with all these qualities and they have developed through the zodiac into an expression of the Earth Element that is tidy, neat, orderly, precise and calculating, yet also helpful, polite and pragmatically intelligent. The chastity and innocence have become simplicity and shyness and the knowledge of the magic of the harvest have become the light of reason and the gifts of scientific thinking. Her transition from being a powerful and mighty sorceress and a Goddess with the magic to change the shape of the land to a symbol of chastity and innocence and finally one of reason and the benefits of logic is a telling journey which symbolically depicts the relationship of humans to the cultivation of the fruits of the Earth.

orchard

SUBSTANCE

Virgo is the second sign in the Earth triplicity (Taurus and Capricorn complete the triad) and it is the mental plane focused Earth sign, so it’s appropriate that the ruler is Mercury. It is a Mutable/Reactive sign, thus it is innately changeable and flexible, as well as an Earth sign, signifying it is characteristic of the Earth Element in an experimental state that is in an adaptable flux or mutation, specifically one of purification or refinement. Reactive Elements are more pliant and malleable than other manifestations of the Elements. These signs are the times of year in which the seasons are in transition from one state to another. They can be visually perceived as spirals of energy which reach both into the past (the sign before) and the future (the sign following), with the more Electrically inclined signs (Gemini, Sagittarius) tending towards futurism, and the more Magnetically rooted ones (Pisces, Virgo) inclining to evaluation of the past.

Virgo is conscious, then, of the hard, practical work that has gone and must continue to go into things to create perfection, working integration, wholeness and purity. A strong Virgo nature is work conscious, helpful, meticulous, discriminating, pure, logical, practical, health conscious and hard working when there is something to harvest at the end of a season. It wants to help or assist and often provides aid or charity in immediately useful and measurable form. Its virtue is its innocence or purity, the Maiden of course representing this in human terms with her implicit virginity. The Maiden is of old a symbol of the youthful face of the triple Goddess, a figure of innocence and purity and this was reflected in the many fertility rites which took place in cornfields and meadows during the Virgo month (the leaving of offerings from the harvest for example). Virgo is the innocent and pure awareness of the young or adolescent, the method of the seed planter, the discriminating intelligences that instinctively obey the physical laws of time and nature, an energy which sifts, dilutes, purifies and refines raw materials under a microscope of natural laws. The innocence of Virgo is really its innocence in the face of the ways of the flawed adult world with its complex machinations and manipulations, and its keen mind is really an acute observation of physical nature. Virgo is simple and natural. It prefers no artificial flavourings or preservatives, literally and figuratively. It relates to people by taking them at face value, but it often quietly analyses their words and actions, sometimes excessively.

Among the signs positive qualities are a purity that stems from this innocence and simplicity, a love of improving things in a helpful way, an astute and precisely tuned objectivity and an ability to bring method to any madness. Its changeability is in its willingness to incorporate new facts and to revise a hypothesis. According to hermetic philosophy all things move and change, in many different ways. Everything vibrates, and its vibration is a unique signature. The Earth Element is no exception; it is just slow to human perception. Not always, though – sometimes it simply buries whole towns or cities, even countries. This is one of its more obvious forms of mutability, when it is liquidated by excessive Water (flood) or Fire (quake) and turns to mud or an avalanche of dust. But there are other, more subtle, movements of Earth which give rise to its mutability. Particles of dirt on the wind brush up against mountains and change their faces over the crawl of eons of millennia, and rocks make epic journeys that last millions even billions and trillions of years, just ask any of them.

woman-159549_1280Yet these are literal manifestations of the Earth Element using a literal analogy – weight and density. The reality of the Earth Element is not so limited – it is the architect of shape and structure, the manifest potential of all 4 Elements and their cohesion into a magical form. Reactive Earth is both supple and substantial, being a dense and thick Element which is tensile and can be distilled, or purified. Virgo can be likened to celestial grain passing through a cosmic sieve, or Light splitting through a prism. This distillation – where a slow heat (the carefully applied attention) gives off vapours (pure thoughts, stripped of flaws and faults) that condense (become manifest) into methods and forms is the pattern of behaviour Virgo identifies with. It is akin to analytical process, to scientific processes that pare away the spoiled and corrupted materia to leave only the virgin essence. It strains away imperfection through logic like Spock but emotionally it is not fully aware that it is doing it and so sometimes strips away the nutrients, the essential meaning.

Virgo appreciates an order of things above all else and works practically to ensure things run smoothly and that purity is not compromised. They are purists in the truest sense being attuned to the harvest time in nature when corn and wheat are gathered representing the distillation of all previous hard work by the workers, who must now separate the spoiled from the unspoiled. It is a practical sign that knows how to cultivate, harvest, measure, ration and store things. Generally, it takes great care and pays diligent attention to details, tends to be methodical and analytical, and is very precise and detail oriented. It represents a need to be of service to society and therefore positions its intellect and hands in areas where they feel most helpful. Virgo is perfectionist and capable of making very fine distinctions and discriminations. It radiates analytical intelligence and a clean edged vital energy (that is, a kind of Earthy wholesomeness or healthiness), and is keen to mend and constantly improve and self perfect, to align with essential pure values. It has simple, modest needs but is frequently shy or humble about sharing them. Strangely it does not often seek help or enjoy being helped, as this strikes it as somewhat unnatural, it being an intelligence that prefers to be the helper.

The sign is systematic in developing and executing ideas. To the Virgo perception quality supersedes quantity, perfection is the goal, and flaws are best eliminated (and chances for success logically rise) when all the fine points are scrutinised under a microscope. There is compassion, but it is not sentimental. Virgo hardly ever acts without considering the ramifications and consequences for other people, and if it does so it sees it as a mistake. This is a deeply natural form of altruism more commonly associated with Pisces, with the difference that Virgo compassion and sensitivity to others is not emotional and transcendent but pragmatic and physical. To Virgo we are all tiny but critical parts of a whole, the whole being society, whereas to the Pisces the whole is something more ethereal.

With Virgo in the limelight there will typically be a lot of books and papers and many writing tools. A desk or study area will often be a much lived in spot, so the sign helps make natural writers, editors, analysts and students, but also healers, organisers and helpers. Gemini is frequently on the midheaven or involved in the 10th temple when Virgo rises, often bringing about such talents, but it is really the observant, detail oriented nature of Virgo that gets the work done. The dry nature of Virgo creates a detached mental perspective that is able to shrewdly and crisply analyze and present ideas, give advice or supply care with diligence but without mushiness, and it is especially good when dealing with facts so the sign often produces excellent researchers too. There is often a love of studying and learning for the purpose of becoming knowledgeable and being able to inform others more helpfully. Generally a very tidy, hygienic and neat sign, tending to be minimal and to favour earthy tones like green and brown and with an uncomfortable dislike of clutter, Virgo can also go the other way and live in chaos but it will still be uncomfortable and will actually make itself ill more often this way – the sign is very much sensitized to the mind-body relationship. Frequently there will also be a beloved pet. Virgo just loves to take care of things.

blomidon-1872999_1920

Virgo is supported by and supportive of objects in the other Earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn, as well as the two Water signs Cancer and Scorpio. It clashes most dramatically with the other Reactive signs, finding a polar opposite in Pisces and a messy set of challenges with the puzzling Gemini and Sagittarius.

Taurus and Virgo are an extremely productive team as both of these signs harmonise with the others intention to get busy with work. The conservative nature of Taurus agrees with the assessment of Virgo that things are best saved for later rather than indulged in excessively now, and the high physical yield of Taurus gives Virgo plenty of resources with which to do what comes naturally to it – dividing up the spoils and ensuring that they are used efficiently. With Capricorn, the relationship is more about order and productivity. Both signs are dear to responsibility but Virgo (unlike Capricorn) does not like to assume it. The two signs work well in managerial roles and at making sure that things run as they should and on time and with respect to the rules. They also find their talents combine well together in planning and in organising structures and systems. The dryness of Virgo finds an easy remedy in both Cancer and Scorpio. The analytical and intellectual caring nature of Virgo which wants to help finds in Cancer a partner with a natural instinct to protect and care for others but with greater awareness of the emotional needs. So, while Cancer often needs to know more practical ways to help people improve their situations, Virgo often needs to understand how they are feeling and the two signs excel at teaching one another a way of being which draws on both. With Scorpio, however, the chemistry is concerned with the observant and perceptive nature of both of these signs. This combination can result in a perfect detective, someone who is able not only to deduce the correct solution to a puzzle through an exacting and methodical analysis of the facts but who is also able to make intuitive leaps verging on the psychic and uncover insights into the hidden psychological dimensions and motives of the people and the problem, especially in the emotional area where Virgo is lacking. These combined qualities not only make good detective skills but also analytical skills and research skills in almost any area.

Problems arise with Gemini because it is too restless and jumps to conclusions in the perspective of Virgo, while to Gemini, Virgo just doesn’t know how to have fun with facts, people or ideas. The argument between these two signs boils down to the question of whether or not there is an ultimate answer to anything, with Gemini always producing more questions and Virgo disregarding many of those questions as irrelevant or impractical. However the two signs energise one another in the pursuit of knowledge. With Sagittarius the clash is less intellectual and more existential, and highlights the difference in approach between detail oriented research and general umbrella oriented research. Virgo is a number cruncher that assimilates facts into practical working knowledge, while Sagittarius is a roaming vagabond of philosophical inquiry that wants to understand the universal and general principles of things rather than the minutiae of how they work. Sagittarius seeks to encompass greater and wider horizons of experience, often leading to God or some higher intelligence, while Virgo is busy in the chemical and sub- quantum realms trying to crack the God particle. Yet both are in essence seeking something pure and elusive – truth.

Holism is analogous to Virgo, for Virgo is seeking the clean and whole in all things, and being a sign of Mercury this is often in a scientific way, experimenting, comparing and recombining individual experiences into new theories, systems and routines, testing them against established facts and raw data, and continuing the refinement, always elaborating on the details and methods involved and always sharing what it learns to improve the whole. It is a wholesome sign given to the love of natural methods. This holistic analogy is part of what connects it with its polar partner in the zodiac, Pisces, which takes a more mystical approach of merging into a whole through uniting with its essence. We can say that on a simplified level these two signs are the polarity “I want to believe” (Piscean) and “Where is the proof?” (Virgoan) – Mulder and Scully. These approaches appear opposites, but on a subtler level they are unified because the believer also wants the evidence and the one wanting the evidence also wants to know what to believe. They differ only in approach and form, not essence, like all polarities. Virgo/Pisces I define as the refining processes, the natural processes through which things are made to be more essential, pure and undiluted expressions of their own uniqueness. These are Reactive Earth and Water Elements, which means they are both very responsive, sensitive signs that mutably adjust to their surrounding stimulus. There is often a theme of order vs. chaos in their interaction. They act to protect, shield, conserve and nurture the supply of essential meaning as it moves from one state to another and thus we find that in serving others by helping them to embrace the compassionate and the essential we educate our bodies in healthy behaviour, learning about the physical and astral and gradually but unceasingly mounting in wisdom. As Virgo experiences show us the way we become more pragmatic in applying the most abstract and mystical of physical lessons; the mystery adds up, the puzzle pieces fit into place and the present moment becomes the place where perfection is forged like a blade in the smithy.

forge-550622_1920

ANALOGIES

Virgo is symbolically associated with all forms of grain and all seeds for planting, as well as with the tools and agricultural infrastructure of farming, with instruments of the forge and industry (mills, turbines), with small creatures including microbes and other microscopic life as well as even smaller units of life, with trees that bear fruit, with animals that humans have domesticated, with soft rock, clay and mud as well as fields and meadows lacking in flower and with all animals that are known to help others (dolphins aiding swimmers for example, but look at the details and you will soon find things like monkeys grooming one another, bats which feed their sick to help recovery, ants which link their bodies together to form ladders or rafts across water, and many other examples of biological altruism). Many animals also have healing abilities (dogs, cats, bees and even snakes since their venom can be used to treat blood clots and strokes) and almost all animals with a strong sense of smell have an ability to sniff out disease, all of which is symbolically connected with Virgo. Study and learning, dairies, libraries, accountancy, cleaning and repairing are also analogous with Virgo and its herbs and plants are of the dominion of Mercury and include maidenhair, dill, celery, azalea, bryony, wild basil, carrot, mulberry tree, parsley, parsnip, oregano, hopclover, coltsfoot, fennel, myrtle, reeds, beans, aniseed and valerian. The sacred trees of Mercury are the Aspen, Walnut, and the Hazelnut.

The essence of Virgo energy is the harvest which is founded upon the practicality and productivity of the Earth Element when it is stimulated by the rapidity and ingenuity of Mercury. In the human body this is analogous to gut reactions (instincts) being stimulated by intellectual rationality. This sign naturally relates to the solar plexus chakra (as the capacities of classification and analysis, conformity, selfless serving and devotion) and the abdominal region including the intestines and gut, the spleen, bowels, diaphragm and belly, the process of digestion in the large intestine and the act of chewing things over and over, breaking them down into smaller and smaller bits whilst retaining an instinct for the taste of the whole, the colours of golden and yellow-green as well as all muted and subtle Earth tones and shades, the direction south west, the musical note G, the Hebrew letter Yod (‘Hand’), the magic of The Hermit, the Kabbalistic Path from Tiphareth to Geburah (called the consciousness of Disposition), and with complex yet ordered orchestral compositions. It’s alchemical process is distillation while its astrological process can be described as refining, externalising, form building, reactive and rooted in the mental plane.

Geographically it is the Sun sign of the current charts for Poland (1989), Russia (1991), Uruguay (1825), Trinidad and Tobago (1962), Qatar (1971), Brazil (1822), North Korea (1948) Malaysia (1963) and Venezuela (1830). Generally Virgo is connected with all natural locations low down and connected with agriculture (such as farms and fields, dairies, granaries and breweries etc), while inside it is connected with generally lower ground study areas, books and libraries and places where grains or writing implements are stored (including typewriters, word processors and computers used for these purposes), places where accounts are made or kept and with cupboards and other storage areas, medical cabinets, food storage, and with places where things used to restore physical objects are kept such as sewing machines and DIY kits, as well as with the servants quarters of large houses.

Virgo sun sign can be seen in the charts for Elizabeth I, Goethe, Tolstoi, Dante, Stephen King, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Augustus Caesar, Roy Castle, Peter Sellers, Mary Shelley, Charlie Sheen, and Buddy Holly. Virgo Moon sign can be seen in the charts for Alexander Graham Bell, Dolly Parton, Dustin Hoffman, Henri Mancini, Cheiro, Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster, Sean Connery, John Travolta, L. Ron Hubbard and Madonna. An accurate Virgo ascendant can be found in the charts for Mozart, Woody Allen, Elvis Costello, Raphael, Charlotte Bronte, Peter Sellers, Oprah Winfrey, Marlene Dietrich, Harold Lloyd, Walt Disney, David Copperfield, Yoko Ono, Barbara Stanwyck and Howard Hughes.

apple-3650876_1920

 

DARKNESS

When the Virgo nature is un-equilibrated or shadowed it can be hyper-critical, petty, fussy, dull, tediously unsatisfied, boring, over-skeptical, constipated and perfectionist. Virgo tends to find fault in things as it searches for ways to make them pure and serviceable, but by only looking for the cracks it can actually lose sight of the natural purity that pre-exists in everything. The donut is the thing, not the hole in its middle. A fixation on method and detail leads perception away from essence and source – on making the hole a perfect circle, not on the taste of the dough. An innate desire to be of help and service can become perverted into an attitude that always knows best and finds endless things wrong with the way things are actually being done. A need to be perfect becomes perpetual imperfection. Method then becomes obsessive order and the need for clean tidiness becomes distaste or hatred of mess, mud, chaos and dirtthe emotions of the self included. Purity becomes impurity and unworthiness. The awareness then spends all its time inefficiently correcting things that others would consider insignificant details (no detail is insignificant to Virgo) and never being content with the end results. It drives people away.

So the quest for physical perfection and exactitude must often be re-oriented away from the criticism of others and of physical matter itself, and redirected as positive personal qualities such as exactness, adherence to facts, and so on, and the need to help and service others must come from a humble place born of the recognition that nobody ever possesses all the facts. In other words, the critical nature must be largely confined to the self (unless solicited) and only the helpful nature given to others.

Wherever Virgo falls in a chart there will be a tendency for ‘splitting hairs’ – making ever more precise and refined distinctions and comparisons about the differences between things. It can become lost in this mind maze just as surely as a Gemini, led astray by the endless splendour of Mercury. The negative display of Mercury here is in the signs corrosive qualities like perfectionism, fussiness, problems with organisation (too much is just as bad as too little) and a niggling and annoying sense that nothing is pure or perfect. An overemphasis on this sign can make a person come across as a pointy headed intellectual, blocked by their own analytical processes or constantly worrying over tiny matters to which they attrribute great importance.

This is a constipated sign – meaning it tends to over digest and retain things, unlike Gemini the other sign ruled by Mercury – and this over digestion often turns to worry and anxiety about things going wrong because they are not (and never will be) exactly ‘right’. For this reason Virgo is the most hypochondriac of the 12 zodiac signs, given to thinking and worrying so much about that little pain or rash that they come to believe it is something far more serious than it is, and this belief can have such a substance to it given the power of the Earth Element that thought leads the body in that direction. So one of the most important things that Virgo has to overcome in its darkness is the capacity for its analytical and critical mind to reveal so many flaws and imperfections that constant worry and anxiety disrupts the health. This can develop an extremely negative vicious circle from which Virgo cannot escape until it recognises the involvement of mind with matters of the body. Virgoan planets are obsessed with studying details and putting right impurities which can become a great asset in dispelling its darkness once this connection and its practical importance is realized.

Chaos of all kinds is also extremely disruptive to this signs well-being, and so it is a sign given to being carefully prepared when darkness looms or danger threatens. It keeps the larder well stocked and the medicine cabinet useful in an emergency, and when the blood is on the floor it has a cool head that can save lives. Given the worrisome nature of the sign it may miss important opportunities from procrastinating or analysing, fussing over details or perceived imperfections instead of just leaping into the spirit of the moment and abandoning cautions to the winds. When all else fails, logic of some description is often the guiding spirit for Virgo, and where logic fails the most immediately practical approach is the next preferable alternative – in other words when you don’t know what to do, do something immediately useful, even if it just running for help.

Logic is a potent tool of comprehension but when used alone it becomes as potentially destructive as its absence, for it then opens itself to two dangerous assumptions about the Universe –

a) That what has not been can therefore never be, and
b) That what has been will therefore always be.

The word ‘therefore’ in this analysis being the point of contention, for it often though not always obscures the reality of the whole truth, which to pure logic is infinite in its incomprehensibility. Logic, to be purely effective, must become part of a dual system; for when paired with sensible imagination it makes possible a true ascent like the two wings of the great mountain eagle which lift her to the summit of the sky.

orchard-1872997_1920

So there is a pragmatic attitude to helping others, a genuine desire to be of service to other people and to improve social conditions because they reflect the whole. This leads the Virgoan person to see many ways in which the order of things can be improved. On deeper analysis, however, this essential pragmatism breaks down utterly…a case in point; were I to mistype the word Virgo for ‘Vergo’ or ‘Viergo’, it would stick out and jar in the Virgo mind. This may itself seem like a minor detail but it is not, and to Virgo the overall intellectual strength of the arguments in this message will be significantly weakened. The desire to correct a mistake to make something better is admirable, but the kindness to automatically overlook and forgive others’ unintentional mistakes without feeling the urge to point them out is also a quality the sign should strive for.

Likewise, the inability to stop counting problems and worrying about them does us no service. Paying such attention to worries often only feeds them energy, draining us of confidence by revealing flaws and fractures in reality everywhere we look. Virgo must learn to separate its natural perception of imperfections and flaws from seeing that something needs work doing to it. It equates them, but it doesn’t have to – a thing can need a great deal of work doing to it, yet it can still be perfectly expressing its essence in form. Perfection is Divine (unaltered by time) in nature and origin and therefore it pre-exists as infinite potential in all created things, which are in the unending process of self perfecting. There is no end result at which perfection is absolute for Virgo to strive for. The relative perfection of a thing is attained when it fully expresses the uniqueness of its individual (innately Divine) nature, and since the individual nature is always revealing more of itself this is not a process with a definitive ending. So Virgo needs to understand perfection as a process more than a goal. All of the rough lead in us is in the process of becoming liquid gold, because of its contact with the Divine within us.

Virgo is often self apologetic, humble and meek in individual expression and has an awkwardness when confronted with highly emotional situations that causes it to shrink back more quickly into the background. All of this can keep them out of public recognition. This may be out of a healthy self image or it may be out of emotional blockage, the Virgo spirit having judged itself or others flawed or imperfect in the past and suppressed the resentment and anxiety beneath a veneer of discriminating detachment. Elimination is a key principle in the health of the Virgo spirit, which can become constipated in many ways, so it is often necessary to purge and purify the mind and body and heart of foolish and demeaning feelings of inadequacy, guilt and frustration.

Others often feel uncomfortable under a Virgos gaze, as if scrutinized for flaws and analysed for imperfections. At the same time Virgo frequently but very quietly wants to be seen as perfect by others and by itself, at least on some level. It has some notion that it must be an exemplar or epitome of some kind carried over from past experience. It can make us feel tremendously gratified when others ask us for the answers to questions, or when they show sincere interest in our opinions or appreciation for the help we provide. Cunning adversaries can play on this. It can also lead us into a form of habitual behaviour where we cover our drive for perfection by being oh-so-lowly, meeker and more self-effacing and humbler than anyone else.

So it sets very high standards for us – often too high. In fact at times it can make us feel our behaviour should always be exemplary and when it obviously isn’t we will get down on ourselves for this ridiculous ‘failure’. In such circumstances we may need to ask why we should set ourself above the rest of mankind when we are so accepting of their faults but not our own. This attitude also detaches and distances Virgo from other people. It may become defensive when questioned and keep useful ideas and opinions to itself out of the fear of criticism or being wrong. So that it may be accepted Virgo can sacrifice integrity, which later makes us feel guilty or sinful and this again puts a degree of distance between us and the world. When the Virgo in us can relax standards not only to others but also towards ourself many barriers to closeness simply disappear. A key approach that I have seen working again and again in this respect with Virgo is to willfully turn attention away from details and onto outcomes. What does it matter if some small detail is missing or flawed, if the overall desired effect is achieved or put across? Try to confine ideas to how things could be improved, not how fake or flawed they are.

This trait of emotional control can become self repressive if feelings are kept locked behind an intellectualized exterior, as Virgo will cut itself off from inner needs and emotional promptings. We can end up dissecting everything we feel in the search for what makes it tick, leaving it in pieces, ultimately feeling ourself to be only a dry and sterile personality. Some things are not improved by taking them apart to see what makes them tick. They are more than the sum of their parts, their essence arising from the way they integrate and interact together. Love is the prime example of this, but art and beauty and concepts like truth also qualify.

The Virgo area of the body equates to the area between the stomach and the hips (especially the bowels, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, spleen and small intestines) and with the functions of assimilation, absorption and the selection and utilization of vital energy from food. Poor health in these areas, such as belly aches, indigestion, constipation, etc. will often be related to this sign. The best and most effective treatment for Virgo afflictions lies in restoring the sense of whole self and its relation to the body, something modern medicine is ridiculously ill equipped to do, but it often involves making changes to diet and thought. The single most important thing that Virgo can do for the bodies and overall health is to think in terms of vitality instead of disease, purity instead of flaw. Herbalism and other natural treatments may be especially helpful too.

angel-3095334_1920

MAGIC

Apart from the obvious associations with agriculture and the magic of fruitful, growing things and their harvesting, Virgo has numerous magical properties and powers, many of which remain hidden from humanity awaiting their discovery at some point in the future. As a symbolic representation of the way rational and scientific thought progresses towards conclusions and the improvement of human life Virgo holds the key to many future technologies currently beyond our grasp. One of these, for example, involves the secrets of controlling gravity and the technology which it unlocks (interstellar travel, interdimensional travel, time scrying, temporal and spatial manipulation, force fields, invisibility, teleportation). Although such futuristic technologies are often connected with Aquarius it is the many failed experiments and subsequent analyses and improvements of Virgo leading up to the breakthrough moment that make the breakthrough possible.

Virgo is also connected to the way invention mutates or forces adaptations upon human morality and brings it into some kind of purification. For example, when it is possible for us to turn on our mobile devices or screens and not only watch what is happening elsewhere in the world but also what has objectively happened at some point in ancient history without any recording device being involved (time scrying arrives), then all the lies that have ever been told about history will stand revealed. It will become possible for everybody to view exactly what has happened and to form their own opinion and the media will become irrelevant as we understand it today. Coming alongside this we will have to deal with the fact that so many lies have been told and it will be much harder for conspiracy theories to take root in our consciousness. All of this will force a moral adaptation upon us. Google “trans-humanism” and you will see some good examples of this kind of thing. The development of AI will also be such a development. So, the magic of Virgo is not the flashy, astonishing magic of Aquarius as these things break, it’s the much more subtle and behind-the-scenes magic of how they confront us with moral situations which collectively mature us (at least that is the plan).

In alchemical work Virgo is purification, the process of purging impure qualities from a base substance to bring it closer to perfection. It must go through a process delineated into precise and methodical stages in order to reveal the quintessence, and the mutations and permutations necessary to achieve this come from Virgo and its mutable quality. Virgo is also connected to the magic of corruption and decay – the awareness that everything in the physical universe breaks down and eventually ceases to be is the ultimate end result of Virgo logic. This awareness is what brings meaning to the work we do with the Earth Element while we are here and it is what makes Virgo humble. Additionally, there is a strong connection between Virgo and the magic of the forge, for example with deities like Hephaestus and Vulcan.

Virgo can get worn down or irritated and its astral equilibrium disturbed much more deeply and swiftly by chaos, confusion, a lack of clear objectives, people who are ‘waiting for the right time’ before they do things, by abstraction, lack of definition, lack of relevant details, things getting broken or in need of minor repairs, signs of any physical imperfection, failure, humiliation, being thought of as stupid or dull, the drudgery of routine, a lack of mental rest and constant self criticism. It is uplifted and equilibrium is restored more swiftly when we do something helpful for others, when others do something helpful for us, when work is getting done, when plans start coming together, by intelligent words, fact, logical reasoning and puzzle solving (or just by puzzle piece collecting), when we see vulnerable, sick or helpless people being assisted, by keeping things clean, neat and tidy, by getting organized, and by working with Earth. The deeper our knowing becomes of what Earth signifies for us, the deeper our connection with Virgo can go.

Gra01.pdf-22

Image by R. Clark

All Earth signs give Form to the Unity. This is why all three of the Earth signs placed on the Gra Tree of Life move in a direction from the middle pillar (the pillar of Unity) towards the pillar of Form. They also are shown moving in a downward direction representing a projection of a seat of awareness deeper into a particular realm. For example, Virgo is the path moving in a downwards direction towards the pillar of Form from the central pillar realm called Tiphareth. This means that at the level of Creation Virgo represents the projection of the spirit through the mental plane towards differentiation – it represents the fact that everything that ever exists is uniquely different to everything else and that the closer we examine it the more of these differences and individual quirks we see. In other words, Virgo is the emanation of the individual spirit as a thing with unique qualities and quantities, specific things which make it different to other things. The essence of Virgo is therefore towards defining things in very precise terms. In human terms, this leads to an emphasis on method and the perfection of method. On an occult level however it represents the magic of defining the powers which are inherent to our individual awareness – in other words, mastery of the mental Elements. It establishes Form on the Mental plane and facilitates the projection of the individual uniqueness and Beauty of the spirit as distinctiveness of Form.

In ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ Franz Bardon attributes the 30 spirits of the Earth Zone given to Virgo with the following magical powers: political events in the physical world (1°), inventions (2°), art (3°), flowers (4°), love, harmony and beauty (5°), teaching (6°), speech and writing (7°), protection of the poor and suppressed (8°), alchemical magic and astral immortality (9°), alchemical secrets (10°), success in business, trade or profession (11°), relics, holy places, temples, and all religions (12°), religious rites, rituals and ceremonies (13°), medical doctors (14°), success in business matters (especially with paper, textiles, furs, skins, leather, etc.) (15°), vegetation, agriculture and forestry (16°), sagas, fairy tales and stories (17°), architecture and the art of structural engineering (18°), magical scents (19°), everything connected to physical water (e.g. ships, swimming, diving) (20°), fortune and luck in games, competitions and at the stock exchange (21°), material laws and justice (22°), the mantic arts and the laws of analogy (23°), protection of property (24°), vehicles and means for transportation on dry ground (25°), human consciousness (26°), animals of the air (27°), aeronautic invention and the secrets of gravity (28°), intellect and knowledge (29°), true wisdom and magical secrets (30°). It must be remembered that Bardon repeatedly states that these are just the Heads of the degrees of the zodiac and that many other beings operate beneath them, additionally Bardon has not fully described all of these beings capabilities but has instead provided us with one of their primary magical analogies. In many cases this differs vastly from the astrological ones. In others it does not.

In essence the work of Virgo is in purifying the individual self so that it is equilibrated through acts of helpful compassion – a shared power with others that provides common benefit through practical means. It involves purifying perfectionism and refining criticism and fussiness. The emphasis is on using the Earth Element to reach the ultimate and perfect essence of things. It is a path to comprehending the whole by understanding all the ins and outs, the mechanics of things and how they break down or get repaired, but mostly how they operate as an integrated and healthy whole being.

Child of the Inner Light: On Leo

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys for another in depth post. This month I am sharing with you some thoughts on the sign of Leo. You can find further writing about Leo here and here. If you enjoy this article please consider showing your support for more like it in Patreon

lion-577104_1920

For Dinara

“The cat . . . is for the man who appreciates beauty as the one living force in a blind and purposeless universe…the cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, Cats and Dogs

Remember the last time in your life when everything seemed to be passing through darkness? Perhaps it is now, perhaps years ago, but we have all been through such times. Times when dawn is an eternity away, the endless expanse of the night sky with all its glorious stars is completely smothered by gloomy grey clouds, and there seems no end in sight. Depression and sorrow have their own gravity wells which can suck us into a spiralling vortex of despair.

Now, think of something you did to entertain yourself during such a period, something you did to cheer yourself up. Remember the last cartoon or comedian who somehow magically managed to pop your bubble and release you, even if just for a moment, from your personal hell. Remember the last performance you saw by an actor or actress that managed to reach out to you and speak to you about your personal situation without ever really even knowing what it is or even actually existing as a character in real life. Remember the last song that made you want to sing and dance on a day when you didn’t think you could get out of bed. This is the power of Leo. In our darkest hours, when all hope seems lost, Leo rises like the Sun dawning on a new day to remind us that the future is always brightening for the young at heart and the brave. It teaches us about the art of living, the magic of being alive and the many roles we play in life’s strange but often comical dramas.

Yet make no mistake, this beast is red in tooth and claw. It is the consummate predator of the zodiac, regarding itself as the king of the beasts and possessing the qualities to back that up. It is feral and wild at heart, and not a solitary creature but a communal one, dependent upon the notice and company of others. To Leo, it is as if life forever holds up a mirror into which it gazes and its reflection of its own spirit becomes both an bewitching enchantment and a path to self-awareness and enlightenment.

Below I have presented you with some examples of the qualities of Leo as they might appear in a person’s character. Always remember that these examples are only meant as a guideline to get you started on your own inner reflection and your own observation of what Leo means in your life.

WHITE MIRROR

Self Respect
Dignified
Generosity
Colourful
Brilliance
Self Love
Commanding
Confident
Self Expressive
Optimistic
Born Leader
Artistic Flair
Charismatic
Hot Spirited
Warm
Competitive
Trust in Life
Entertaining
Creative
Adorable

BLACK MIRROR

Narcissism
Your Superior
Boastful
Dramatic
Pride
Vanity
Bossy
Arrogant
Self-Centred
Pollyanna
Dominating
Attention Seeking
Unable to Share a Spotlight
Ferocious
Resentful
Predatory
Naive
Clownish
Burned Out
Pitiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leo

LORE

For about three thousand years, between 6,000 and 3,000 BCE, the stars of Leo were those which were the last seen to rise in the night sky in the east before dawn (heliacal rising stars) on the summer solstice of the northern hemisphere. This period is literally the beginning of recorded history with the emergence of writing, but it also sees the beginning of the Bronze Age and our modern world of agriculture and animal husbandry, with both of these taking root globally and transforming every culture.

As prominent stars of this time they were thus hailed as stars of summer, light, heat and radiance and were of great significance to the Egyptians. At this time of the year in that era the Nile would flood, bringing life back to the parched lands and sustenance to the people. To facilitate and honour this, the Egyptians constructed lion heads through which the gushing waters would be channeled and pour, and this is the origin of the commonly seen lion heads on many fountains today. It is an extremely ancient tradition going back millennia to a deeply magical society.

So there is an early connection with light, summer and waters which bring life (note that opposite these stars, its celestial partner, are the stars of Aquarius the Water-Bearer). For as far back as we can trace, these stars have been symbolised as a lion. It is the later Greek/Roman Nemean Lion (slain by Heracles/Hercules as the first of the 12 Labours), but it was also known to the Mesopotamians, Turks, Indians and Jews as a sacred or divine lion and has mythic and astrological origins stretching back beyond our memory of history.

In the Greek story of Heracles and the Nemean lion (which has an impenetrable hide and lives in a cave where it abducts young women) we seem to have an allegory for the powerful breaking of certain ‘pagan’ cults by an authoritarian religious pantheon – the lion is symbolic of feminine wisdom which was held within these cults, a wisdom which was being supplanted by a patriarchal shift towards masculine strength in world culture. So ‘Hercules’ may be the villain of the story, being a warrior (or series of them) sent out to subdue pagan practices by killing their priestesses and breaking the back of the transmission of their sacred lore. In essence I am saying that there was a time when the anciently great magical and social power that women held in society waned, and the matriarchal rulers were supplanted by predominantly patriarchal ones, and this period is connected to these stars. This breaking of a primarily feminine wisdom is associated most strongly with the star Zosma (Delta Leonis) in the back of the Celestial Lion. The heart, Regulus, is that part of the lion with a ferocious will to fight, but one that is tempered with grace and charm.

So there is in the stars of Leo a possible connection to the tragic mis-balancing of genders – the ‘breaking of the backbone’ of feminine mystery schools and the skewing of our notion of what constitutes strength towards raw, muscular force, an occult mystery which, in part, is what is being encoded in the imagery of the Strength Arcana of the tarot. To be clear; this is a feminine strength and power we are dealing with, not a masculine one. This is clearly shown in all feline characteristics, facial and body features, which are remarkably feminine (unlike those of dogs). We must also bear in mind the matriarchal hierarchy of lion society. This is a Lioness. It needs nothing so crude and course as brute strength to accomplish its will. It needs only its inner light of conviction, its generosity of spirit and its development of poise in the universe.

The star Regulus which serves as the heart of the constellation is a major star in magical tradition and may be regarded from this point of view as a stellar ambassador of the pristine Fire Element, or ‘Divine Light’. For centuries the light of this star has held watch over the births and coronations of imperial and royal families, making it a star whose power is well known in the establishment, particularly in Freemasonic circles. Across the world it is heralded as an influence that brings success, honour and recognition as well as spiritual power, but the ancient astrology of the star (going as far back as Persia) bring warnings about any success being taken away and swift ruin if a nemesis is not avoided at all times, this nemesis being the spirit of revenge. It is certainly a kingly star (and also a queenly star) but its resonance and mythic significance often attach themselves to rulers who are sorely tested and lose all their honour through acts of vengeance. In Persia the tragic king is a legendary figure called Freydun and his story is that he was a beloved and respected ruler of the entire world for over 500 years until his death. He divides the world, giving the two eldest sons the Greek and Roman lands (the west) and central Asia and China (the east), while bequeathing the central kingdom of Iran to his youngest. When his two eldest sons attempt to take the inheritance of their younger brother by killing him Freydun takes revenge on them by giving away everything to his youngest sons grandson, with the result that this great grandson plots additional revenge against the eldest brothers and the spiral of vengeance then brings the kingdom (and thus the world) to ruin. This mythic theme of a noble king being tempted to take terrible vengeance with their power and suffering the loss of everything if they do has occurred in other forms, one of the most popular and well known being the tale of King Arthur, but there are also similarities with the tale of Osiris and other legendary rulers. Disney’s popular animation ‘The Lion King’ is also very resonant with these stars.

So in reality Regulus is a star with heavy karma attached to the misuse of power and thus is a star which punishes those who do so, often spectacularly. Additionally the warnings about not using our power to take revenge would not be necessary if we were never placed in a situation that sorely tempted us to do so, and so the star is not all brilliance and glory but is instead a harsh taskmaster that demands a noble attitude. This is the will that drives the burning heart of Leo – to ennoble and exalt itself, to rise above the petty and embody the majestic. Its spirit is cast down by indignities and crushed by the use of its power to punish those who have wronged it. It can be a soft and generously affectionate pussycat or a ferocious and savage lioness, but it is always a ruler, a sovereign over its own internal light, the light it seeks to share with the world and thereby make it a better place. Little can extinguish its sense of poise in the universe and few things can diminish its development.

In Egypt, the deification of Cat took Earthly form in Bubastis, a major city of worship southwest of Tanis on the eastern banks of the Nile, although the height of its power was not until much later around, 1000-500 BC. Herodotus describes it to us then as follows:

“Temples there are more spacious and costlier than that of Bubastis, but none so pleasant to behold. It is after the following fashion. Except at the entrance, it is surrounded by water: for two canals branch off from the river, and run as far as the entrance to the temple: yet neither canal mingles with the other, but one runs on this side, and the other on that. Each canal is a hundred feet wide, and its banks are lined with trees. The propylaea are sixty feet in height, and are adorned with sculptures (probably intaglios in relief) nine feet high, and of excellent workmanship. The Temple being in the middle of the city is looked down upon from all sides as you walk around; and this comes from the city having been raised, whereas the temple itself has not been moved, but remains in its original place. Quite round the temple there goes a wall, adorned with sculptures. Within the inclosure is a grove of fair tall trees, planted around a large building in which is the effigy (of Bast). The form of that temple is square, each side being a stadium in length. In a line with the entrance is a road built of stone about three stadia long, leading eastwards through the public market. The road is about 400 feet (120 m) broad, and is flanked by exceeding tall trees. It leads to the temple of Hermes.”

Bast or Bastet is the feline goddess of the Egyptian pantheon who is not only the protector of cats and of people but also a deity of warfare in earlier traditions. Many cats lived alongside the people in beautiful Bubastis and were regarded as sacred. Many were mummified and the site is the principle area where mummified cats are found in Egypt. An oracle of Bast dwelt within the temple to the goddess and there was an annual procession and celebration in honour of her which eventually drew many foreigners for visits during the festival. Herodotus (considered a reliable witness by historians) also tells us about this festival, describing it in this colourful way:

“Barges and river craft of every description, filled with men and women, floated leisurely down the Nile. The men played on pipes of lotus, the women on cymbals and tambourines, and such as had no instruments accompanied the music with clapping of hands and dances, and other joyous gestures. Thus did they while on the river: but when they came to a town on its banks, the barges were made fast, and the pilgrims disembarked, and the women sang, playfully mocked the women of that town and threw their clothes over their head. When they reached Bubastis, then held they a wondrously solemn feast: and more wine of the grape was drank in those days than in all the rest of the year. Such was the manner of this festival: and, it is said, that as many as seven hundred thousand pilgrims have been known to celebrate the Feast of Bast at the same time.”

Here we can see some of the imprints passed onto Leo as a zodiac sign with the festival of Bast clearly being a celebration of life and light and joyousness, celebrated through feasting, dancing and the entertainment arts. And it happens in front of a huge audience of 700,000 pilgrims who have come from all over the ancient world. Add in the countless revered cats, and you have what must be heaven to all true Leos.

theater-1713816_1920

SUBSTANCE

Leo is a Fixed (or Stable) Fire sign, an emanatory expression of the solar Electric Fluid as forces of externalization, expression and individual life. It is innately creative and noble, heart-centred, regal, courageous, gracious, merciful, artistic, vibrant, flamboyant, generous, confident, self-assured, charismatic and commanding in its presence. The primary virtues of Leo also include (but are not limited to) stellar confidence (i.e. confidence in the unique talents and gifts of ones spirit or nature), spontaneous creativity (improvisation), a bold flair for colour and design, warm humour, talent in entertainment and drama or theatrics, inner radiance, dignity and poise, power being carried gracefully, nobility of spirit, honesty and integrity.

These are some of the key positive qualities that inform the zodiac sign of Leo, but they can result in many effects when cast through the prism of the zodiac. The spiritual child of this Celestial Lion, Leo the zodiac sign, the Stable expression of the Element of Fire, can be easily perceived in our physical world in a flames (or stars) intention to keep burning as brightly and as long as it can. Leo is therefore willfully motivated and wants to hungrily outshine everything around it gloriously. But this is not mere ego (although it can be); it is also exceptionally generous – it wants to shine in order to warm the world into life and, despite having the feral lioness in its heart, it is both soft and romantic for the Leo intuition is that all things want to be adored and most deserve to be. It seems like a fairy tale, and to Leo that is fine. It just knows this is the way it is, and does not care a bit what the rest of us say about it or how things actually work in the grittiness of the world. It knows, in the core of its being, that we are all unique and thus all special, and we deserve to have a chance to show that off in life.

Whereas Earth signs are connected with physical matters, Water signs are connected with emotional matters and Air signs are connected with mental matters, Fire signs are innately connected to the most sublime and subtle of currencies, the substance of life itself. Leo is connected to the inner spark of life within each individual thing which informs it that it is unique and therefore has unique gifts to share with others. It is the part of the Fire Element which embraces life as a creative process but which needs an audience of others in order to witness and receive the emanation of inner light. As a Stable or Fixed sign, this process is about an accumulation of an Element, in this case the Fire Element, which means that the emanation of the inner light in a continuous and ongoing illumination of life does not deplete it but instead there is a feedback loop which actually strengthens the presence and power of the Fire Element as it is emanated. One simple way to understand this is to imagine yourself as a performer on the stage – when the audience reacts to you when you feel connected to the audience because you have their attention, their energy feeds back into your performance and helps to enhance it. Without an audience to watch you, there is no feedback loop and you are left shining into an empty, dark space. The Stable nature of Leo is a chain reaction of creative forces like a nuclear reaction that builds in power the more it receives input (especially adoration) from external sources. This is why it needs to command some kind of spotlight in life, because without it the connection to life itself begins to wither.

Leo is the singular sign of the Sun, an Electric and radiant expression of the spirit as a bright, commanding and self-confident display from a centrally fixed depth point. The creative urge of the Sun given to Leo seeks to warmly animate things to life, to bloom and glamorize them, to illuminate and reveal their beauty. It is a sign that is externally focused and directed toward activity in the mental plane where its spirit is most radiant. The action of Leo is to consolidate and focus individual power and light upon itself and then to radiate that quality outward in all directions as charismatic, impressive and generous creative acts, like the way a lion roars from the depths of its heart when touched by the dawning Sun. It burns with an inner light which refuses to be extinguished and a spirit of dominion which seeks to establish some kind of territory to prowl and shine upon.

Attuned so directly and centrally to the light of the Sun, planets in Leo instinctively sense the divine majesty and power within them, the power to co-create with life, and in some way will seek to consciously channel this into some form of creativity for which they can be recognised and beloved. Another way of looking at this is to say that Leo never really loses the essence of the inner child, and for this reason it engages life in a spirit of play and a sense of the sheer joy of being alive. Leo seeks to reunite with this inner child throughout life, by playing games, expressing it artistically, or showering others with generosity, which they can do, because generally these people look at life as an abundant playground. This is not to say they are not serious – when Leo is aroused to anger, you’d better believe they’re serious! Lion’s claws are savage and direct, giving new dimensions to the phrase ‘brutal honesty’.

So kindness, playfulness and an awareness that life is meant to be enjoyed and even celebrated are also at the heart of Leo. Leo is radiant and utilises the Fire aspect to shine forth an inner light that warms and melts the iciest heart. This sign is the sign of the kitten that pounces as much as the lion that roars, and the two can change places quite quickly. Often the lion will emerge when pride is injured, integrity is questioned or when there is no other option but an all out ferocious attack. At most other times the sign is by default ‘fluffy’ and cuddly in its attitude.

st-petersburg-3710243_1920

Fortune shines on Leo because it has an innate positive outlook; as the Sun infiltrates the darkest shadow so it also puts Leo in the light and shines a path in hard times, opening new fields of action when it looks as if no visible solution to problems is apparent. Here dwell spirits who are living proof that the power of conscious will and intent is the co-designer, the co-director and the co-creator of our experiences. Life itself always has the ultimate say, and it is also the producer, but Leo sees itself and knows that it is also part of life, and so can determine its own destiny. It embraces this task with gusto. When trounced by life – dumped, made redundant, sick – the spirit of Leo pounces back as soon as possible because it knows this as the best remedy. The immense courage of this creature has nothing to do with the reputation of the lion as a predatory beast, for what courage does it take for the lioness to kill the deer? That is a different instinct. The courage of Leo instead has to do more with the sheer and irrepressible spirit of play in life, the way the kitten immediately runs back to play some more after it is frightened by a noise, and by the indomitable will which is able to resist and overpower that of more villainous and less noble creatures when it is necessary.

Given that the sign must seek some kind of spotlight and given also its Fixed or Stable nature and the Fire Elements predilection for power, Leo is often drawn to leadership roles. Like the Sun, Leo is drawn to take command in a dominant position around which other objects are in orbit. This is why it has a long association with royals and stories of families of divine or special origin. Unlike Capricorn which is drawn to power out of the sense of responsibility, seeing itself as the only one capable and dependable enough, Leo is drawn to power out of the basic need for attention and praise and because it’s natural charisma leads it to believe that the adoration of people will be enough to secure its position. It is rarely the case, especially in the modern age. To win respect as a leader Leo has to avoid falling into its pitfalls of darkness (described below), for if it does not it will quickly draw only resentment, which it cannot be sustained by.

Leo is strongly harmonious with both of the other Fire signs, Aries and Sagittarius, and also with the two Air signs nearby, Gemini and Libra. It is most inharmonious with Taurus and Scorpio and has a polarised and opposing nature with Aquarius. Fixed (Stable) Fire is a modality of Light like Sagittarius and Aries, and as I have pointed out earlier the substance or currency of these signs is the experience of being alive and of life itself. All of these signs thrust themselves at life and are filled with vital life-giving energies. Leo is by far the most creative of the Fire signs, and the one with the most focus on other human beings. Gemini and Leo are buddies because Air always feeds Fire, and the gentle ongoing and restless enquiry of Gemini is often both communicative and flirtatious as well, qualities which Leo is fanned by (literally, this is probably the best place for Leo to find a fan), while Gemini is often impressed by the innate charisma and charm of Leo with its ability to warm and entertain people. Libra and Leo on the other hand are brought together by their shared need for other people, one in terms of partnership and the other in terms of audience. Both signs also possess considerable charm and persuasiveness which the other finds different to their own but equally effective. They make fantastic creative partners and work well together in anything artistic.

The problem with Taurus is essentially that it is too cautious and not spontaneous enough for Leo, which lives life more in the present and has to be spontaneous in order to appeal to its changing audience and to be true to its muses. Taurus is also very materially focused while Leo is focused more on security for the spirit through self-expression rather than accumulation of stuff. With Scorpio, the Leo urge to always seek the spotlight is directly at odds with the Scorpio need to avoid it and cling to the shadows, while the eternally optimistic and sunny disposition of Leo brushes aside and refuses to admit the existence of the dark, complex, emotionally disturbing world of Scorpio. Taurus, Leo and Scorpio can agree that change needs to be strictly controlled and directed, but not on how it should be done. The relationship with Aquarius, the polar opposite of Leo in the zodiac, shares core similarities around which cluster many opposite approaches and differences. If Leo is the performance then Aquarius is the collective reaction. If Leo is the unique capability of the individual, then Aquarius is the networked power of those unique individuals when they are combined in the formation of a collective or group. If Leo is the monarch, then Aquarius is the people. Leo and Aquarius I call the emanatory processes, because both are Elemental processes which either emanate from inside to outside (Leo) or from outside to inside (Aquarius) through a process akin to empathy but these being Fire and Air signs this is with a more Electric charge or nature than we usually think of in association with empathy. Yet it is there, taking the form of generosity (Leo is very generous in general spirit, and Aquarius is very generous ideologically and mentally, with its inspiration and utopianism).

ANALOGIES

The creatures of Leo include not only all felines and cats of every description but also every kind of creature which organises itself into a commune with the central leadership taken by individuals. It is analogous to the life of the cell itself. The playfulness of animal life, the ways animals entertain themselves, all belong to this sign, so particularly playful creatures have an affinity with its spirit. It is the fire of a sunny day, the bright light of the spotlight or the camera flash, the colourful expression of plant life in flowers and dramatic displays, the tail of the peacock and other visual mating signals designed to lure and attract, all creatures which laze around in the Sun and grow lethargic and languid in the heat, dry and parched places but also places where nature puts on some kind of show, steam vents and other places where thermal activity builds up, places where life is vibrant and the living is good. It is connected to gold, sunstone, amber resin and all precious gems, to crowns, laurels, coats of arms, robes of office, laurels, rings of power, all the flowers of the Sun (sunflower, heliotrope, etc), and the things which glitter.

Leo is the sign of high summer (northern hemisphere) and the radiant ruler of the heart centre (where it is analogous to openness and brightness of heart, courage, generosity, sincerity and emotional warmth), but is also analogous to the solar plexus (as charisma, power, strength of being and general warmth), as well as the spine (Leos have ‘backbone’), Its colours are golden and yellow, its direction is southwest, its musical note is F, and in the Hebrew Tree of Life it is associated with the 11th Path of Wisdom, the integration of individual empathy with individual consciousness, producing the Scintillating consciousness (“…the essence of the veil which is placed before the ordered arrangement of the powers. Who walks this way acquires a special dignity – he can stand face to face before the Cause of Causes”. – The 32 Paths of Wisdom). This Path is analogous to the letter Teth (‘Snake’), the task of which is for the initiate to consciously cast their coiled “scintillating consciousness” and attain the magic and arcana of the Strength tarot card (Mastery of the mental fluids). In plant alchemy Leo rules digestion, a process in which gentle heat is applied to a substance over an extended period of time. This is the first stage of the fermentation operation in which decomposing essences are reabsorbed.

Geographically it is the Sun sign of the current charts for Greece (1974), Netherlands (1581), Jamaica (1962), Bolivia (1825), Ivory Coast (1960), Singapore (1965), Bahrain (1971),South Korea (1948) and Estonia (1991). In general Leo is analogous to all grand or majestic places such as theatres, palaces, stately homes, public speaking halls or spacious public parks, in the wilderness where wild and predatory animals roam, while inside homes it is the place near the fire or source of heating or where the most luxurious furnishings, clothes or jewelery are situated.

Leo Sun sign can be seen in the charts for Neil Armstrong, Orville Wright, Amelia Earhart, Andy Warhol, Henry Ford, Mata Hari, Petrarch, Coco Chanel, Alexander Dumas, H.P. Lovecraft, Alan Whicker, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Claude Debussy, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Haile Selassie and Mae West. The Moon is in Leo in the charts for Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ezra Pound, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Jeane Dixon, Elena Ford, Mark Rockefeller, Stephen Fry, Charlotte Church, Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Winston Churchill and Marilyn Manson. Leo rises in the charts for Frida Carlo, Henri Matisse, M.C Escher, Donald Trump, Pablo Picasso, Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Richard Branson, Elton John,Tina Turner and Meryl Streep.

DARKNESS

“In all the scriptures, the guru is described to be as good as God, but the guru never says ‘I am God’.”

—‘The Science of Self Realisation’,
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Praphupada

The primary darkness of Leo is not difficult to see – a creature that craves attention and thinks of itself as the centre of creation is on a slippery slope toward flaws like pride, vanity, resentment of others success, arrogance and self centeredness, pomposity, the will to dominate all others, a superiority complex or a need for excessive praise or attention, jealousy and envy, predation on the weak, tyrannies, controlling behaviour and childishness. In extreme cases Leo becomes very narcissistic, which is defined as a self-centredness arising from the failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

The tyrannical pushiness and bossiness of Leo is well known, as is its vanity and arrogance. These qualities tend to dominate the description of the darkness of Leo in modern astrological thinking, whereas in earlier times it seems to have been viewed more destructively as a hungry force of nature constantly on the prowl for prey. An overdramatic and exaggerated sense of self-importance and a craving for a special role can become easily distorted into a perverse need to outshine everyone and everything in every possible way. Ego trips and domination are also potential pitfalls of the sign which can get rapidly out of control if the hunger for them is fed.

Pride, vanity and ego can swell to epic proportions, especially if the Leo in us suddenly find itself the centre of attention. What Leo forgets at these times is that it is not the only beloved child of the Universe, that each created thing is equally unique and so has equally special gifts to offer, and that the Great Spirit sees no distinctions of greatness. In the quest to express talents – and Leo planets always have many creative gifts – Leo objects can lose sight of the importance of compromise and team efforts, because they want to direct everything according to their own view of ‘what is best’, which is what, in their view, is best for everyone. The natural aptitude for organising, motivating, leading and enthusing can make them appear domineering, bossy, inflexible and ego centred; some of the most zealous fanatics in history have been born under this sign, as have some of the most charismatic and radiant leaders and artists.

Another weakness of the sign is how easy it is to pacify, even when it is enraged. The simple truth is that mere flattery cools the Lions wrath even when that flattery is transparently insincere. Leo is easily manipulated by soft words and compliments, and deep down they have a need to make up with those that they fight with because they prefer things bright and sunny. Brooding and sulking like children when resentful or when they can’t get what they want, Leo can be a difficult person to be around when they are not receiving enough attention but most of the time they are already looking for a way out of it because they don’t like to sit around in the doldrums. More serious and lasting hurts or slights that the Leo will hold onto are often connected to their cubs, their actual or metaphorical children. Insult or harm these, and the claws will probably stay out.

This creature is truly ferocious when it is genuinely enraged as we would expect. It launches powerful and forceful attacks intended to cripple and incapacitate its foes as quickly as possible. The basest nature of this beast literally delights in the gush of hot blood over its jaws as its favoured prey falls beneath it. The glory of victory and the admiration of the gladiatorial arena are the meat and drink of this sign and its competitors are often intimidated by boastful and braggart behaviours designed to unsettle and humiliate them. Leo can tolerate no equal in its position as king or queen of its territory except perhaps in matters of love, where it is often able to share the spotlight. In most other cases contenders for the crown must be taken down and taught a lesson about who is really in charge, a lesson that will have to have an audience in order to be truly effective. Yet it is swiftly defeated when its reputation is attacked or degraded, as the source of its power is undermined. When Leo loses its followers it begins to lose faith in its ability to win battles. When its reputation is not to its liking, it lacks the tools it needs to achieve its ambitions. A monarch without a people is just a person with a pretty crown and no real power.

This tension – between the Leo need to be completely self-sufficient and dominant in its environment and the recognition that it’s existence depends upon the respect of others – is a major conflict within the sign itself, a conflict which is often a source of creative sparks but more often a source of temper and overcompensation. The glitter and glamour of the sign which is well-known (in both men and women Leo is attracted to adornments of all kinds) is also frequently an ugly trap which leads the Leo into greed, envy and covetousness akin to that of Taurus, but with less interest in the actual monetary value and more interest in the way these things attract eyes and hearts. Taken to extremes this urge results in a tasteless attempt to turn homes into gaudy palaces displaying wealth and opulence and symbols of power and authority to those who visit. Behind all of this there is always a devouring hunger for love and affection and attention, a hunger which regrettably only repulses and repels those who might offer it but who cringe because of an attitude of superiority and entitlement.

There is also often great integrity which refuses to be compromised and thus a somewhat inflexible code of honour which can be an attractive or repulsive quality depending on how it is applied. The rules of engagement in relationships and partnerships may be too ego-centric, sacrosanct or domineering, too inflexible to the way things are for other people because it is too fixed on the way they are for Leo. Bright ideas and feelings which excite can be overpowering and lead the Leo in us to disregard the creative input of others. In most situations the darkness in Leo will assess others according to one of two categories very quickly upon initially meeting them – either they are a threat to the role and position and territory that Leo regards as its own, or they are a subject of it, someone who can potentially supply them with the loyalty and respect they deserve. It even comes as a surprise to Leo sometimes that other people resent being categorised this way, for it sees its need to identify its rivals as a natural right while its subjects are privileged by its generosity. So the virtues of Leo described previously – its generosity, its integrity and its confidence – can easily become some of its more unattractive qualities when it becomes too myopically focused on the grandeur of its own existence.

In the modern age of Aquarius, Leo becomes the shadow side of our collective psyche. It seems abundantly clear to us now that the Age of Aquarius is dawning as a technological age, an age in which the technological advances humanity makes will lead to some kind of new era of human existence. Probably the primary development will be the development of artificial intelligence at some point in the relatively near future, but it may also come about as a result of contact with extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial beings or through some significant breakthrough in our understanding of physics which transforms human society. Whatever it is, the shadow side of this is represented by Leo, which is the loss or the degrading of the soveriegn power of individual uniqueness. It is clear, for example, that if human beings develop an artificial intelligence or meet with intelligent life beyond this planet then our central role in the theatre of life as the sole and dominant sentience will be threatened. The Leo in humanity itself will find a serious contender for its own spotlight. The technological advances which are rapidly overtaking our ability to keep up with them also threaten our individual expression by putting us all under surveillance and shepherding us towards conformity. These are some of the ways I think we are already beginning to see the shadow side of Leo emerge as a dominant theme for the next 2000 years. If we look at the previous Age of Pisces, the shadow side of Virgo is clearly there in the form of an overemphasis on rationality and reason and a gradual rejection of intuitive and spiritual pathways to understanding human experience. This unbalanced shadow side of Virgo reason led to the creation of world-threatening scientific discoveries. If a similar dynamic were to occur in the Age of Aquarius, then we will be heading towards totalitarian, dictatorial, nationalistic rulers and governors as a shadow reaction towards the collective and globalist trend. This also seems to be happening in the present day. In essence we have to overcome the shadows and darkness of Leo collectively instead of fleeing to it in safety. The entire dynamic of the Age of Aquarius seems to depend on us overcoming the shadow of tyrannical rulership in order to prevent the emergence of a controlling world order that uses world changing technology against the interests of its people, while at the same time grappling with the existential question of our overall role in life when that role is irreversibly changed. And at the moment, in these early decades, we have as much idea about what that role is changing into as the world in the decades following the crucifixion did about what religions would mean today.

stage-1248769_1920

MAGIC

As this article should by now have made clear, the magic of Leo is intimately connected with charisma, command, leadership and rulership, life-giving power, artistic creativity, renown and reputation, notice, charm and all the power of the Sun. A secret of the Sun is that it burns so brightly and so blindingly not for attention but simply because it just Is, and it emanates that Is-ness to everywhere and everything around it at once, never faltering or varying its illumination. So too must Leo become like a brilliant star that shines through all eternity as a jewel of bright light in the heavens of time. Sometimes Leo will give to be admired, but at others it will give simply because it can, and it is the latter giving that brings it the greatest joy and the only lasting satisfaction. This is the secret it needs to understand and put into play. Life is a performance without rehearsal, and we each have a starring role of our own to play in its drama. It is not to be taken lightly for it is a serious journey and a precious gift which we must do justice to by being what we are and shining the light we have been given by life to share with life. All that we give is given to life itself and all that life gives us in return is given to itself.

Leos discover that their true strength has nothing to do with popularity, the number of admirers or level of glory and fame, but that it comes from the recognition that we are all stars, embodied in human form. The spirit is eternal because it is a part of the Creation, and must exist for as long as Creation itself. Furthermore, the central lesson of Leo is that every created thing is the majestic light centre of its own universe, and therefore all of the Creation is present in each thing, as either potential or substance, and therefore each role we play is as significant as any other. What actually matters is not how bright we shine but what and why we shine.

Gra01.pdf-15

Image by R. Clark

This innate process is expressed in the Gra Tree of Life as the path connecting Tiphareth with Gedulah, meaning it is shown as the way the individual spirit connects with larger forces, with a sense of meaning bigger than its individual self, and this places things into a more majestic and often sunnier context. Along this path the Great Tree of Life projects the inner light of the core individual self, the temporal mental body or spirit, as a radiant light which emanates “downwards” on a path which leads it to form a “kingdom” of its own, a realm in which it is connected to other individual selves through strands of empathy and alikeness. The King or Queen is a symbolic figure who represents all of the people, and in the same way the individual self finds that it is like others and this similarity is what feeds it what it needs to shine. This is the process of Leo expressed in Kabbalistic terms. It establishes Force of Meaning on the mental plane by projecting the individual uniqueness and beauty of an individual life or spirit as commonality and similarity. Here is the esoteric reason for the need Leo has for an audience. It reveals that Leo is the magical expression of individual Light as empathy, integration of consciousness and symbolic essential meaning and therefore a key to attaining mastery of the mental Fluids.

In ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ Franz Bardon attributes the 30 spirits of the Earth Zone given to Leo with the following magical powers: the Fire principle (1°), the power of the Sun and Electric Fluid (2°), the origin of passions and the astral body (3°), magic of the Elements and the ElectroMagnetic Fluid (4°), the tetrapolar magnet (5°), the propagation of all seed (6°), the Air principle (7°), magical breathing (8°), mystical love and holiness (9°), resistance to fire (10°), ecstasy and trance (11°), divine theurgy and kabbalistic mysticism (12°), the way to perfection in accordance with the laws of creation (13°), synthesis of all religious systems and philosophies (14°), connections between the mental, astral and physical worlds (15°), omniscience and divine intuition (16°), magic of cosmic love (17°), occult anatomy of humanity (18°), talismanic magic (19°), metal alchemy (20°), prophecy (21°), esteem, power and wealth (22°), yoga and religious initiation (23°), reading of events in the Akasha (24°), sphere magic without separation of the mental body (25°), mediumistic phenomena (26°), wish realisation (27°), magic formulae of the Elements (28°), magic of water (29°), and protection against thunderstorms and gales (30°). It must be remembered that Bardon repeatedly states that these are just the Heads of the individual degrees of the zodiac and that many other beings operate beneath them, additionally Bardon has not fully described all of these beings capabilities but has instead provided us with one of their primary magical analogies. In many cases this differs vastly from the astrological ones. In others it does not.

The principal magic of Leo is Light. Much like the heart circulates warmth and life around the body, so Leo acts to focus and collect the power of the limitless Great Spirit, to release it in some life enhancing, life affirming way. That life affirming life enhancing way is you, me and everything that is created by its grace. It is in effect the supreme leader, this Great Spirit, and Leo is aware of its presence wthin its breast to the degree that even when it cannot articulate that to itself, it seeks to do so for others. The role we play in life which is such an integral part of the nature of this sign is ultimately an expression that this Great Spirit has pre-designed us for, and when we connect with its presence within us it effortlessly instructs us in how to become it. Beauty is what happens when we playfully shine our unique Light of being upon the Creation, encouraging it all to do the same. 

 

Weird Tales: Three Imaginers

Greetings, and welcome back to journeys for the month of May 2018! This month at the request of some students I have decided to share with you some practical examples of reading charts, and this month I will be looking at the topic of creativity and myth building in horror fiction using three examples. If these examples are helpful I will provide further examples on different topics in the future.

journey deeper…

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…