Wascally Wetwogwade! Mercury Retrograde

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Metaphorcast 9/27- 10/3, 2021

Kierkegaard famously said, “Life can only be understood backwards: but it must be lived forwards.”  

Understanding things is the mind’s job, represented in the zodiac by Mercury, the quick-silvered Messenger of the Gods.  It moves forward very quickly, faster than any other planet in our solar system.  But 3 times a year, it gives the illusion of moving backwards and we find ourselves in the spell of Mercury retrograde for about 3 weeks.  Good thing Mercury is the planet of mind, which is good at understanding life in a backwards fashion.  Mercury goes retrograde at the beginning of this week on Monday, September 27th and will continue its moonwalk until October 17th.  As we continue to live forward, let’s also see how well we can employ our minds to look backwards, and better understand the lives we lead.

Looking back is synonymous with reflection.  When you look in a mirror, there you are as a reflection looking back at yourself.  As Bob Dylan sang, 

When you wake up in the morning, baby, look inside your mirror

You know I won’t be next to you, you know I won’t be near.

I’d just be curious to know if you could see yourself as clear

As someone who has had you on his mind.  

In this romantic instance, a lover’s reflection, far away from her, wagered to be stronger than the actual reflection looking back at her from a mirror right in front of her.  

Distance is of little importance when it comes to the power of mind.  The Extended Mind Thesis, created by philosophers David Chalmers and Andy Clarke states that the mind extends into the world by use of tools and other minds.  The idea is that just like a prosthetic limb can become part of a body, technology such as computers or even notebooks become part of our minds.  You say you know the time and then look at your watch, or that you know where something is then consult your smartphone.  Your mind extends into your environment.

And then there’s the matter of other minds!  Other people’s ideas allow us to think of thoughts that we never otherwise would have.  Just think how limited our minds would be if ideas were never shared!  Ideas are like oxygen, the air we share. 

Thinking and looking back has a wide network of assistance.  It isn’t just you alone in your head indulging in some “me time”.  It is your mind, out in the world, entangled with the ideas that have inspired you, shaped by the people who you love and admire, made more efficient by the tools you use. 

When you reflect, when you look back, certain things can happen that simply can’t happen while looking forward.  Threads show up and some declare themselves as common.  Dots appear that beg to be connected.  Patterns emerge.  Connections converge.  Before you know it, you are sitting in the middle of a movie that has a definite plot.  It is this kind of 4th wall shattering that credits Mercury as a bonafide trickster.  “Down in front” yells Bugs from the back of the theater.

That’s right, it’s a wascally wetwogwade, with you in the center of it.  

This year has been a year of air sign retrogrades for Mercury.  After retrograding in Aquarius through most of February, and Gemini through most of June, we are now looking into most of October with a Libra retrograde.  Above all, Libra is an otherness.  

No matter how much your reflection in the  mirror looks like you, it is still fundamentally not you.  The otherness of who looks back at you in the mirror is similar to the otherness of your mind as it extends into the world.  Silver provides the best reflection, and remember, Mercury is liquid silver.  It is fast moving silver, reflecting with a silly symphony of extensions from notebooks to neighbors.  It is you and not you.  The more not you it is the more you you may become. That is to say, the more you embrace the tools and inspiring ideas that surround you, the more you may come to understand the life you live, and feel a fuller sense of who you are.  

Maybe that is why we can see the rabbit in a Full Moon. 

That’s All Folks!

Until next time,

Happy astro pondering!

Hashtag No Filter:  The True Beauty of A Fall Sunset

Metaphorcast for 9/20-26, 2021

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The first day of Fall arrives this week on Wednesday the 22nd, as the Sun takes its symbolic fall in Libra, whose glyph shows a setting Sun.  Sunsets are known to become more vivid as the weather cools due to the air becoming drier.  Less water vapor means less haze, and the pure array of lilac, peach and scarlet hues reach the eye in all of their splendid purity.  

It is similar to the phenomena of dry humor.  The absence of  emotion in one’s expression allows the full dose of the humor to come charging forth.  Buster Keaton, a Libra himself, discovered this as a child on the Vaudeville stage.  He realized the audience responded better to his stony expression than if he smiled.  

The power lies in the contrast.  The lack of emotion contrasts with the absurdity.  With the cooler weather sunsets, the lack of haze contrasts with the intense beauty that finds us anyway.  It is nature’s version of a hashtag-no-filter.  Of course, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  A hazy sunset is more beautiful to some, but it isn’t more vivid.  Vivid images are strong and clear, in real life and also emerging from dreams, memory and imagination.

Speaking of dreams and imagination, an enchanting Harvest Moon will begin the week in the sign of Pisces.  Spin some records, light some candles, whatever comes to mind. In Pisces, this moonlight is of the softest variety.  See how you might soften your own mood to better embrace such a special glow.

Softness, dreams and imagination have a certain superpower to restore mystery to the mundane.  Reality becomes enlarged as false filters are lifted.  Here we have the inner life’s version of a hash-tag-no-filter.  The eye becomes vivified and vision is vitalized.  This is the reason why dreams and imagination have such potential to be vivid.  The challenge is to flex the muscle of the imagination and try to answer this question posed by Da Vinci:  “Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?”

Vivid images vivify.  Clear and sharp images are like crowing roosters, stirring up an inner dawn.  These images can be found anywhere, in life, dreams, memory, and imagination.  All that we need to do is relate to them.  

DH Lawrence wrote, “we must get back into relation, vivid and nourishing relation to the cosmos and the universe.”        

The vivid beauty of a fall sunset will find you despite your mood.  Sharp and brilliant, showing a beauty that exists beyond one’s preferences.  A very alive and vital beauty that exists beyond the “eye of the beholder.”  A nourishing wink from the cosmos.  An invitation to relate to it, and vivify your soul. 

This beauty is like a truth, that will also find you if your inner atmosphere is clear enough.  If the doubts, and false beliefs can evaporate, leaving you with nothing but the dry air of observation and a willingness to relate to what comes forth.  

The clearer the atmosphere, the farther you can see.  On the clearest day if you look out at the ocean, your eye will take you about 3 miles out as the Earth begins to curve.  On a clear day, city buildings can be seen from 50 miles away.  But think of this: the planet Saturn can also be seen on a clear night.  Saturn is 746 million miles away.  

A clear atmosphere, be it an autumnal sky or our consciousness freed from swampy moods, will allow for a greater distance of view.  With a greater distance of view comes a wider network of relations.  A wider network of relations opens up possibilities.  And possibilities that open up vivify the future.  A vivified future brightens the present, the place where life and love live, in all of their lively ways.  

Happy Fall and as always,

Happy astro pondering 

Worthy Illusions; Neptune’s Never-Ending Dance

Metaphorcast 9/13-19, 2021

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It is said that all rivers flow to the sea, but what about those rivers of thought that run through each person’s mind.  Do they also flow to the sea?  Some place that one would rather be?  A world that is ideal, a place of dreams?

When was the last time you said the words “there is no place I’d rather be?”.  What beautiful illusion surrounded you then?

This week Neptune, the planet of dreams and illusion will not only be the closest to earth this year, the Blue Giant will also be fully illuminated by the Sun.  Though it will be but a small blue dot in all but the most powerful of telescopes the fact remains, bright and beautiful illusions are within reach.

Now don’t go thinking I’m talking of flat trickery.  The Mona Lisa is an illusion, its fake would be a delusion.  Illusions are the arts, the beauty in life that points towards the divine, the places where creativity is breathed back into existence.  Cast aside those delusions, those fakes, those things that cheapen the reality of true illusion.  

True illusion expands hope and creates a kind of inner buoyancy.  True illusion finds you on a sunny day in a garden as a kind of veil seems to be lifted to reveal a new layer of crisp beauty.  Delusion on the other hand throws up more veils and narrows the view.  Somewhere beyond the sea, the real me spots a liar.  

Mark Twain said “Don’t part with your illusions.  When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

Einstein himself called reality a very persistent illusion.  

The question becomes, which illusions are worth your time?  Which illusions do you bond to as tightly as sodium might bond to chlorine?  Which places or ideas in your mind stir an electricity that sparks action at the most intimate and quantum level?  There is nothing delusionary about a sequence so sacred as this.  

Mars, the planet of action, moves into artistic Libra on Tuesday, the same day that the fully illuminated Neptune will reach its closest proximity to earth.  Art in action at the height of illusion!  Bob Dylan said that “art is a never-ending dance of illusions”.  The stage is set for an epic performance!

It is art, with its never-ending dance of illusions which ultimately gives order to the chaos of existence, just as science does to the natural world.  

Never delude yourself into ignoring your most worthy illusions.  

Beautiful dreamers, 

Happy astro pondering

Timing is Everything; Virgo’s Magic

Metaphorcast for 9/6-12, 2021

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Labor Day comes this year on a New Moon in Virgo, a sign that like no other, knows the magic of timing.

If it weren’t for timing, no one would have ever figured out how to grow things from the ground.  Plant seeds at the wrong time and nothing will happen, harvest at the wrong time and the bounty is lost.  Through her diligent observation of nature’s timing, Virgo flourishes alongside her craft.  

Some say that timing is everything.  Miles Davis famously said, “Timing isn’t the main thing.  It’s the only thing.”  Some credit their success to being in the right place at the right time.  

One thing is for sure: nature has certain right times and right places.  What is also true is that human nature has the right times and places as well.

Rightness is embedded in our very anatomy, as feelings inform our moral reasoning.  It has been said that Pythagoras believed the entire cosmos to be constructed of right triangles.  

Time is cumulative, like character, like meaning.  It builds upon itself, like good music.  Just as a crowd can’t help but join in on the chorus, sometimes a time becomes so ripe that one can’t help but join in on its promptings, sing along, jump into a strong moving current, do that thing that your nature is screaming at you to do.  

Everyone longs for those right moments, when the stars align and things go right.  As a matter of fact, on Labor Day 6 planets will be in trine aspect, an aspect that favors easiness, smoothness, even luck!

Virgo has another key to the puzzle, however. In her natural humility she does what is so often forgotten to be done.  She listens.  Just like the original farmers listening to the land, she listens to what her surroundings are relaying to her own nature.  The right angles of the cosmos are the right angles of her body’s feedback.  The sphere of her surroundings include the cosmos.  The growing circle of her timing, which may also be called a spiral, includes what Emerson called “the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation.”

It’s not so much that she prays for luck, or right timing, but rather she enjoys a certain interplay; between the motions of her surroundings and how they speak to the motions of her inner life.  Her dance partner is the arena of life.  Her own control comes with her dominions over time.  She makes a humble pledge to cultivate timing, and thus cultivate her life, her character.

Timing is alive in the present which is beyond description. 

Timing is at your disposal at any moment.  Pause even a word in a sentence and you can  change a whole meaning, as any actor or comedian knows.  

There is power in timing, but it won’t come without listening.  True power is relational not dominating.  True power comes with listening as much as acting.

By Friday Venus will move into Scorpio where she will travel until October 7th.  Venus relates and in Scorpio she relates with power.  Use the gifts of this Virgo New Moon, and remember the power of timing.  A power that comes with listening- to the promptings of your surroundings as much as the promptings of your mysterious nature.  

If timing is everything then you must be timing too!  

From one timing to another,

Happy astro pondering