This past week Venus entered Capricorn, the sign of the real world. Capricorn is the mythical SeaGoat. We can find a goat in the world and we can find a fish in the world, but we can’t find a SeaGoat in the real world.
Or can we?
Perhaps what is necessary is to examine what is meant by a real world.
In his book, Leisure as the Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper says that a world is a “field of relations”. To have a world is to “be the center, the coordinator, of a field of relations”. He gives the example of a plant using its surroundings; absorbing the air, the sunshine, and drawing nourishment from the ground. `
If the world is defined by our relations, of our inner life to our outer life, then a human’s world would include all the many relations of the mind and heart. The world becomes deeper and wider.
Imagination, philosophy, dreaming, these are the things that extend the boundaries of our world into the reality of wholeness. This, as Pieper saw it, is the real world. The world as a whole. For us to be at peace with ourselves, we must not mistake our environment with the real world of wholeness.
"The really human thing is to see the stars above the roof, to preserve our apprehension of the universality of things in the midst of the habits of our daily life, and to see "the world" above and beyond our immediate environment." Joseph Pieper- Leisure The Basis of Culture
For the rest of this month, as Venus moves through the Capricorn, don’t forget to see those stars amidst your daily habits.
It’s the final full week of Virgo Season and a New Moon is approaching. The night sky at the beginning of the week will show the New Moon in the Old Moon’s arms- so to speak-as the dark New Moon sits in the welcoming light of the waning crescent. This is perceived thanks to the phenomenon of Earthlight; the diffuse reflection of sunlight from the earth’s surface and clouds. Also known as the Moon’s “ashen glow” Earthlight is quiet with potency, similar to a certain seasonal archetype we might know. Yes Virgo, the quiet maiden, an earth sign, who’s light is the thoughtful and wholesome one of contemplation. Absorbed in contemplation, she is undivided in wholeness and vibrant in the long-forgotten true spirit of leisure.
In his book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture, philosopher Josef Pieper points out that the ancient Greek word for leisure was schole, which produced the latin word scola, where we get our english word school. This was also their word for learning institutions. Schools were more settings of leisure, contemplation and celebration, then competitive deadlines and hurried eating. Their word for work was “aschola” meaning “not at leisure”. Nowadays leisure is looked at more as an unlikely indulgence if we are lucky enough to nab a few moments of free time- and even then- did we really immerse ourselves in that nice Virgo Earthlight of oneness-with-the-universe, by choice of delicious contemplation? Did we manage to sit by the dock of the bay, watching the clouds roll in?
After all it is these moments, as Pieper points out, that great discoveries are made, be it Galileo watching the pendulum swing in a cathedral or Archimides screaming eureka in the bathtub. Virgo connects to the widest reaches of the all, in her quite joys of leisure and contemplation.
Pieper explains that leisure is not the mere absence of activity. He says, “it is rather like the stillness in the conversation of lovers, which is fed by their oneness.”
Virgo’s peace comes from this very alive place, of total absorption and immersion into a moment. Delicious and golden. Electronegative as the earth, or a waterfall. Exquisite and simple. As children’s author Dodie Smith said, “contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.”
Mercury,the seasonal planet of perception sails through the open airs of calming Libra. Soft eyes towards the wider skies, as the serene trickster makes a dynamic square to Jupiter, the limitless wide open blue of optimism.
Venus the romantic sweetheart in Leo, the sign the Sun, who’s rays reach out to all of life with bountiful joy and affirmation. Josef Pieper said that “Leisure lives on affirmation”. and further that “the most sublime form of affirmation of the world as a whole is the fountainhead of leisure.”
Mars retrograde deep in Aries, the sign of the dawn. Here in the Eastern part of the US, the dawn makes for the best chances to catch a glimpse of the Moon’s Earthlight. The retrograde red hot will, in a rare moment of contemplation, where is the action best directed after all? And what’s that other gorgeous sparkling light in the morning sky? Why it’s Mars’ true love, Venus, winking back at him, reminding him of the cohesive powers of fire, that hold everything together from above. An eagerness transforms into a fiery trust of intuition.
Jupiter direct approaches Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn– a pragmatic optimism marches forth towards a summit of transformative self-reliance. As Pieper said of the contemplative person, “he needs himself alone; he lacks nothing.”
Uranus in Taurus– The restorative electronegativity of the earth
Neptune in Pisces- An ocean of emotion efficiently absorbed in moments of leisurely contemplation.
The Moon begins the week waning crescent in Leo, the sign of the child. A young and innocent sign in an old wise Moon. The wealth of knowledge that children can teach us about the true spirit of leisure. As Heraclitus said long long ago, “time is a game played beautifully by children.”
Tuesday and Wednesday host an ever slimming Virgo Moon. The New Moon in the old Moon’s arms. Can you see the ashen glow? And feel a love-inspired need to know?
By 7am Thursday morning the Moon is New in Virgo. Moon, Sun and Earth align with all of their gravitational forces joining together. The tides rise, pulling the waters of our dreams and feelings upward, all in the contemplative key of Virgo. With a supportive trine from Saturn, the planet of world. Virgo’s earth lit mind taking the world in as a whole. An orientation towards the whole of existence, from where you are now, in this very moment. Nothing else needed. Just an attentiveness, a loving attainment of awareness.
By 3pm she begins to wax the thinnest crescent in Libra, the sign of balance. In a day whose primary engine is in making a living, a balance must be struck to, in Pieper’s words “reclaim our human dignity”. His manifesto for leisure was published a mere year after the term “workaholic” was first coined in Canada. See what balance you can begin to cultivate, with eyes turned upward towards the wide open blue.
By Saturday afternoon she waxes crescent in Scorpio, the sign of power, and we have an Old Moon in the New Moon’s arms. New with a profound sense of power. Philosopher Colin Wilson says that all real power is spiritual power, or feeling-power, just as all experience is feeling-experience. Human dignity reclaimed and a crisp breeze through the trees, reoriented to wholeness, a mind finally sees, how its growing, in knowing and loving to know, in the Aquarian age, lets see where this goes!