Always You; Virgo and Cyclic Time

Metaphorcast for 8/23-29

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It is the first week of the new Season, as we shift from the bright and definite world of Leo light to the chiaroscuro of earth-magic Virgo.  The original “green thumb” of the zodiac, Virgo plays with earth and sky.  She blends the depth of deep earthly substances with the instant expanse of light, revealing the miracle of growth and the beginning of evolution. 

She holds bushels of wheat and corn, plants that reach straight up to the day of sun.  With her gift of contemplation she strives to be plant-like, always reaching for the light of new meanings, bringing them back to the deep dark roots of past experiences.  The Virgin birth is the shimmering texture of the present, cultivated by this union of light and dark. 

Virgo has a special relationship to memory.  With special pieces of texture, like that dress she wore, or the way the sun was setting, or that cold snap in the air, meanings sprout up like crops from the deep earth of the past.  Her garden extends from past to future but it only exists in the illuminated texture of the present.  

For Virgo, time moves in cycles.  It folds in on itself producing a Virgin birth of meaning.  Like a fibonacci pattern, this kind of time makes meaning grow in spiral form.  Extending outward from seemingly infinitesimal roots of self-similar experiences.  It was always you there, in those different places, at those different moments, always you.

Experiences shape who you are in order for you to shape future experience, in order for you to find a frequency worth cultivating.  

What texture does your present have now?  Can you hear its signature frequency?  Would you like to change it?  

You may have to roll up your sleeves and take it to the field, so to speak; a place where the deep substance of soul can meet the broad expanse of light.  A place where memories work unconsciously to mold ideas out of the mysteries of inspiration. 

This place might be an actual place.  Your “field” might be your backyard, your stairwell, your kitchen at dusk.  For who knows what reason,  this place puts you in an optimum balance of blending deep substance with the broad expanse.  Inspiration becomes real and reality becomes inspiring.  

Your “field” might also be an activity, like yoga, reading, playing music or sports.  The field may take many shapes.  Most importantly It  is and always has been yours.  Visiting it and cultivating it seems to bring back magic to your fingertips.  

As Voltaire famously said “you must cultivate your own garden.”

Happy cultivating and as always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Special Things; Blessed Be a Blue Moon

Metaphorcast for 8/16-22

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Many of us likely remember last year’s Halloween Full Moon.  It was a Blue Moon, the second of the month, and Mars was right nearby blazing its red fire.  

Maybe you remember where you were, and even who you were when your eyes met these wondrous sky events.  Were you a werewolf taking a breather on a back porch?  A unicorn handing out chocolates from your doorstep?  Reaching back into this memory it becomes clear how this unique event (a special moon on a special night) became a part of you.

It is the last week of Leo Season and there is another Blue Moon headed our way, on Sunday August 22, the same day that the Season will shift into Virgo.  This Blue Moon is of a different kind than last year’s; it is a Seasonal Blue Moon, the third full moon in a Season of 4 full moons.  A Season (from equinox to solstice) usually has 3 full moons.  But just like clovers, sometimes there is a 4th, making it special, unusual, set apart from the norm.

Think back again, do you have any memories of finding a four leaf clover?  Or seeing a shooting star?  A ball of lightning?  A double rainbow?  You likely, once again remember where you were, and also, in a sense, who you were.  Maybe not as clear cut a memory as a werewolf taking a breather on a back porch, but something is most likely still preserved of your surroundings and your inner life at that moment.  

This is how humans are all natural artists.  Special things and events that are set apart from the norm, somehow trigger us to become a part of them.  

A special day is set apart from the calendar year, so we can choose to be a part of it by cooking a big feast and hanging mistletoes.

In stories a special thing is searched for, be it a grail, a blue flower or a ring with magic powers.  That special thing, set apart from the norm, becomes a part of the hero the minute he embarks on the quest. 

At the beginning of this week Venus will go into Libra, the artist, the one who seeks to be a part of those special things that are set apart from the norm.

Picasso was born when Venus was travelling through Libra.  He famously said “Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Children have no trouble spotting those special things set apart from the norm.  Most things are special in fact, and the norm is but a vague abstraction.  For children, most things are special enough to want to be a part of, most things are interesting enough to join in on the fun; a stick, a pile of leaves, a bouncing ball, a sign post.  

As adults it becomes harder to get enthusiastic about these things and for good reason.  Our sense of significance, just like our bodies, has grown.  It reaches and reaches and continues to reach.  A satisfying feeling of meaning now needs more space- more width- a wider field to establish more and more relations.  We only encounter problems when we forget to reach.

Lucky for us both seasonal and calendar blue moons find us every 2 or 3 years, not to mention holidays, regular full moons, birthdays and rainbows.  Blessed be these special things, set apart from the norm, triggering the artist that lives deep inside all of human nature, to join in on the fun and be a part of it.

As always, happy astro pondering!   

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Something Bigger; Perseus and the Perseids

Metaphorcast for 8/9-15, 2021

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Leave it to the Leo new moon that came Sunday to set this week’s stage for optimal drama.  As the sky darkens, just like lights in a theater, the curtains lift to reveal a wondrous sight.  The annual Perseid Meteor shower, with its peak activity on Thursday and Friday, August 12th and 13th.

Perhaps the most well-known meteor shower of the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseids will radiate out of the constellation of Perseus, the Greek hero, best known for his slaying of Medusa.  

If you get the chance to see these radiant lights one of these nights (and after midnight is best with the widest amount of sky), keep in mind that what you are seeing is but a trail of something much much bigger.

Once deemed “the single most dangerous object known to humanity”, the comet Swift-Tuttle is what is known as the parent body of the Perseid meteor shower.  This comet has an orbit of 133 years around the sun, and it makes repeated close approaches to our Earth-Moon system.  Comet Swift-Tuttle made an appearance in our night sky in 1992, and is slated to make another in 2126.  The beautiful golden shower that we witness each year in these dog days of summer is but this comet’s debris.  As we ‘eat it’s dust’, so to speak, we also have the dignified pleasure of observing something radiant.  Something that for a moment, reminds us in so many ways of something bigger.

Joseph Campbell’s definition of a hero is “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

The stars above are reminders of a vast world of light, one that endures beyond the day of sun and the night of moon.  To behold a meteor shower against a dark summer night sky is to go beyond the world of day and night, beyond the mind and its tendency to break things into smaller pieces.  

Perseus is a hero who seeks to go beyond the mind’s limits, in search of something bigger.  

In his book, The Reflexive Universe, cosmologist Arthur M Young points out that Perseus’ slaying of Medusa exemplifies the trap of mind.  Medusa’s hair of snakes shows the powers of mind.  Her effect on turning people to stone is the effect of the mind as it objectifies things and makes them inert.  To deal with this problem, Perseus meets her gaze in a mirror, which is another symbol of mind as it is one step removed from the immediacy of experience.  With this ‘distance’ he is able to slay her.  In doing this he proves that “mind is the slayer of the real” and “only the mind can slay the slayer” as the Zen teachings put it.  

Mind slays the real by turning it into stone, objectifying non-objectifiable things like magnitude, beauty and truth.  The universe may be measurable, but the magnitude that it points to is beyond measure.  It is only our Medusa-within that could render such a space into stone.  But if we, like Perseus, can use our own minds to slay such a deadening tendency, we may be lucky enough to witness and experience something bigger.  

Happy star-gazing, remember to give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the light.  The best hours of viewing will be from midnight to dawn.

As always, happy astro pondering.

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

The Only Certainty That Exists; Erich Fromm

Metaphorcast 8/2-8, 2021

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Have you ever thought about to what extent your doubts color your attitude towards life?  Or for that matter your faith?  

In his book Man For Himself, psychologist Erich Fromm makes a distinction between different kinds of doubt and faith: the rational kind and the irrational kind.

Irrational doubt iis tied to an uneasy feeling that “nothing is certain.”  For some it is an attitude of indifference, for others it is more compulsive.  Rational doubt on the other hand is how children learn to think for themselves, and how adults go on to further develop their personality.

Rational doubt is essential to modern thought, and all the discoveries that have contributed to what we know now.

Irrational faith, he says, is “rooted in the submission to a power”.  This type of faith has made a muck of many things, from witch hunts to the Inquisition.  It is easy to see why this is not a good idea.

Perhaps less easy, however, is to see the value of embracing a “rational faith”; a faith that is rooted in one’s own experience and in “the confidence of one’s own power of thought, judgement and observation.”    

Whereas irrational doubt gives a vague sense of nothing being certain, and irrational faith strips one’s power away, rational faith restores power by providing the only certainty that exists. 

Any guesses for what you think Fromm’s definition of “the only certainty that exists” is?

Remember this certainty is based on the powers that come from within, and a dedication to rationality.

Ok so here it is:  the only certainty that exists is the certainty growing from productive activity.

For Fromm, the basis of rational faith is productiveness, and to live by faith is to live productively.  In this way, we connect to our true powers and find certainty.

These are real powers; powers of reason, love, strength and potential.  In embracing meaningful and productive activity you can count on the certainty of your own growth, the certainty of your own powers.  There’s no denying them just as there is no denying the productive activity of an apple tree making apples.  

Henry Miller said that “the goal of life is not to possess power but to radiate it.”

Happy radiant Leo Season and remember: when in doubt, stay productive to revive your faith and keep in touch with the certainty of your own powers.

As always, 

Happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/