Something Bigger; Perseus and the Perseids

Metaphorcast for 8/9-15, 2021

Listen to this episode here

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/

Venus in Capricorn- The World as a Whole

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.

Venus will move into Aquarius on February 1st.

As always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

The close relationship of the heart and mind (Sun and Mercury)

I have a simian crease on my dominant hand.  For those who don’t know, that is one line across the palm of the hand instead of two.  It’s a blending of the head and the heart line.  Every now and then I zone out on it and certain questions start to percolate.

3f4db354cdbdd8ae907e2f1ffb00a9d1
The simian line

Does my mind blend well with my heart?  Do my feelings always match my words?  It’s a lovely idea that the head and the heart should be so entwined.  I would guess that life would feel like a waltz that you knew all of the steps to.  In astrology the Sun rules the heart and Mercury rules the mind.  It’s interesting that Mercury is never 28 degrees farther away from the Sun.  Therefore many people have their Mercuries in the same sign as their Sun.  Is it easier for these people to find that happy balance between mind and heart?

images
Mercury, aka Hermes is the winged messenger in mythology. Does a healthy balance of mind and heart result in a genuine lightheartedness?

images-1
Babies don’t have their minds working enough yet to struggle with that imbalance so they are naturally light-hearted.

Unknown-2
The challenge is to get from being a light-hearted baby to here, after all that life throws at you.

My Sun is in Leo but my Mercury is in Virgo and I definitely feel the little tug of war between these energies within me.  I have an early memory that echoes through my soul where I was so eager to show off (Leo) that I knew the word that the teacher was writing on the board.  “I know what that says!  I know what that says!”  and the teacher said “Tess, don’t—” because she wanted the other kids to sound it out, but I didn’t heed her warning and blurted out “JILL!”.  The teacher let out a sigh of frustration and that’s when my Mercury in Virgo took over.  In my head I was mortified at my know-it-all behavior.  Where’s my humility??  My Virgo mind needed that I maintain humility but my Leo heart wanted to go for the gold!  This is a theme that has repeated itself many times over in my life.

images-3
These guys want peace not war!

Mercury also rules the lungs.  This ties mind into speech as well as connectivity with all living things.  The air we breath today is the same air that was breathed by Nostradamus and Shakespeare.  In the human body the lungs and the heart are VERY intimately connected just like the Sun and Mercury.  As I learned in my Medical Assistant training class,  the blood is blue when it enters the heart’s first chamber because it has no oxygen.  After it fills up the first two chambers of the heart it goes directly into the lungs where it becomes oxygenated and RED (!) then back into the heart’s last two chambers where it is sent through the aorta to deliver this oxygen to the rest of the body.  Pretty amazing…

dTrMkggbc
The veins bring the blue blood back into the heart, where the lung dance happens and the arteries deliver the red blood back through the body.

heart-anatomy
A closer look at the blue and red heart. The pulmonary arteries and veins connect the heart and lungs. Major organ intimacy!

Is your natal Mercury in the same sign as your natal Sun or in a different one?  If understanding these relationships better can help facilitate a lighter heart, I think that is reflection well spent. YakYucks