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/

In Search of Certainty. Taurus Season Begins.

Philosopher Bertrand Russell said “What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.”  

Taurus is the sturdiest sign in the zodiac.  It is life’s way of building upon something certain.  As inventor, cosmologist Arthur M. Young says, “life can only start at the molecular level” because “molecules obey laws.”  

A new Season begins on Monday, April 19th, with the Sun and Mercury moving into sturdy Taurus.

Have you ever asked yourself, in a good grand sweep of a way, what it is that you are building?

Young sees purpose to be synonymous with light and absolute freedom.  The problem is, with absolute freedom it can’t fulfill any goals.  It must then descend into matter where it loses its freedoms in various stages until, at the molecular level it has none.  Having no freedoms it responds perfectly to natural laws, and therefore becomes something one can count on.  It becomes certain and definite in a universe built on uncertainty (freedom).  It becomes the means in which a goal can be carried out.

He talks about the particular point, when light’s involution becomes life’s evolution.  This happens at the molecular level right before plants learn to grow.  Rocks can’t grow.  The plants have managed to recapture a freedom.  Young calls this transition “the turn”, and says it is essentially a remembering of purpose.  

 Colin Wilson said, “We all instinctively turn towards meaning, towards situations that will stimulate us, as a flower turns to the sun.”

Just like these daydreaming sunflowers we must turn our heads towards the “sun” this Season, towards the stable nucleus of a sense of purpose.  If we can’t do this, we will be building something anyway, but our blueprints are vulnerable to the secret ownerships of others whose opinions we deem way too valuable.   

The Lyra meteor shower will also occur this week with its peak activity on the 22nd and 23rd.  The shooting stars will have to compete with some bright moonlight, and will emanate from the constellation Lyra, which represents Orpheus’ lyre of Greek mythology.  The most famous myth of Orpheus is his descent to the underworld to free his lover Eurydice.  After charming Hades and Persephone with his music, they allowed them to leave together, back up to the world of the living on one condition: that he not look back until they were in the full daylight.  Of course, moments before they reached the light he did look back, and she disappeared forever.  Orpheus, in his doubt, lost everything he had worked so hard for.  

Voltaire said “Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.”  Heisenberg eradicated certainty from the measurable world.  Yet, at some level, certainty is needed.  Just as life builds on the law-abiding molecules, people build upon the certainties of meaning.  

Do you know what you are building?

Happy building and happy astro pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Hindsight and Foresight, A Full Moon on a Cold Night!

Metaphorcast 12/28/20- 1/3/21

The Mohawk Native Americans would call this week’s Full Cancer Moon, the Full Cold Moon, falling in the cold month of December.  A New Year will find us before the weekend, allowing for the phrase Hindsight is 2020 to not only be a viral meme, but also a re-wakened dream.  If myth’s are indeed, as Joseph Campbell said, public dreams (as opposed to dreams being private myths) there is indeed a pertinent myth to reflect as the new twenties gain their stride.  That is the myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus.  Foresight and Hindsight.

It was both Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus who sculpted all living creatures with clay.  Epimetheus sculpted the various animals and beasts, with their horns, scales, wings, feathers, teeth and fur.  But it was Prometheus that sculpted the humans last.  He had no special gift to give them, as Epimetheus had already given these specialties to the animals, so Prometheus decided to make human beings walk upright like the Gods, and he gave them fire.

Epimetheus, in hindsight, can see the deep seated desire of the tiger, with his sharp teeth and powerful reflexes.  In hindsight he can see the spacial craving of the bird, with it’s delicate and aeordynamic wing.  He can see the swamp king’s alpha dream in the crocodiles scales teeth and giant jaw.  But what of the human?

Prometheus made the human, not in hindsight, but in foresight.  The human, with no horn, wing, or giant jaw, no beak or fur or retratctable claw, no antlers, scales or stinging tails, nothing special here to see, except that speical quality, of vision and fire, from eyes heart and mind, we can be in two different places at the same time.

The past and the future, who’s dividing line is so slight, it makes each tiny moment it’s own fire to ignite.

As Albert Camus said, “With rebellion, awareness is born.”

Tuesday night we will see the Cold Moon, December’s Full Moon, in Cancer during this Capricorn Season.  A Cancer Full Moon is the Moon at it’s Moonest.  Whatever the Moon does for you, it does it more on the Cold Moon, the Full Cancer Moon, in this start of the Winter Season.  

To have foresight is also to have hindsight. To grasp a future is to understand it’s roots.  In the Cold Moonlight of the Ocean of Memory, that forms an endless chain back to the place of myths themselves, can you feel your reality in it’s full mythic sense? Your own private myth of dreams, and your resonance to certain public dreams of myth? What would an Epimethean set of glasses tell you about yourself.  And when Prometheus hands you that burning fennel stalk, in which way would you point it?  What would you hope to illuminate?  

As the Cold Moon begins to wane, it will still be bright and beautiful, weather permitting for New Years Eve, in the sign of Leo, the quintessential party animal.  Though parties will be at a minimum this year, the Leo Moon lights any stage with a healthy dose of drama.  A realistic re-rendering of any setting, living room, hallway, sidewalk, kitchen, as the stage that dramatically swaps out an old year for a new one.  

The newfound Aquarian energy in the sky, with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, is a giant twinkly wink from Prometheus and his gift of foresight.

Foresight can make way for important paradigm shifts, like the one that happened in the 16th century, when the Ptolemic Earth-centered model of the universe was replace by the Copernican Sun-centered one.

There is a very interesting article written by astrophysicist Peter D Usher that sees Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a dramatization of this paradigm shift. Hamlet symbolizes the awakening to a new infinite and Sun-centered universe. He is ultimately responsible for the death of the old king, Claudius, who shares Ptolemy’s first name.

Portrait of an Astronomer (Nicolaus Copernicus?) Marco Basaiti
Date 1512 (funny that he also looks like Shakespeare!)

The sky during this time in history shared a key characteristic as it does now, as Jupiter and Saturn go into what’s known as a “grand mutation”, shifting from 200 years of Earth conjunctions to a new 200 years of Air conjunctions. These Jupiter Saturn conjunctions are known as trigons. The full trigon cycle is 800 years, as it passes through each of the four elements.

In Shakespeare’s time the shift was from Water to Fire, and the fire of the Sun indeed became the new center.

Now it is from Earth to Air, as the Aquarian Age truly begins.

Hindight may be 2020, but that’s old news.  Another year over and a new one just begun.  Will we see another paradigm shift in 2021?

Happy New Year all the same!  

And Happy Astro Pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Pluto: the hidden physics of power

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Minoan serpent goddess.

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the continual twist

Latest podcast is all about reclaiming lost power.  The planet pluto, the 8th house, or scorpio in the chart points to where we assess our relationship to our own sense of power.  The serpent wisdom is a healing, renewing and all-pervading one.  Join me in a jaunt to hell, to learn what we can from myth, a dash of science, cultural icons and of course, astrology.

PODCAST —  then scroll down to find “Pluto, the hidden physics of power”

 

Neptune podcast: the song and the memories of the sea

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Back! Back beguiling sirens!

The latest podcast is all about the seductive beguile of the planet Neptune.  Wherever Neptune is found in the birth chart is a place where the beauty and the spell of the sirens live within.

The collective unconscious is the ocean that lives within each one of us.  During dreamtime, Poseidon’s chariot is literally navigating us through an ancient world of memories, connecting to more memories.

Tune out and tune in!

PODCAST    –then scroll down to find the episode “Neptune, the song and the memories of the sea”.

Uranus: the primordial wave within

Are waves older than time?

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Ouranos (Uranus) was the original sky-god, associated with the primal creative urge.  Here is is son, Saturn (god of time) castrating him, and putting a stop to wild and unbounded creation.    Ouranos is the the wave of creation, Saturn is the law of time.  So, yes!  Waves are older than time! 

What is your own personal definition of freedom?

Uranus is the planet that confronts this question.  Sometimes it makes big waves to get us back to a comfortable vibration that truly resonates with our own sense of freedom.

Join me by the oceanside in this episode.  We ponder the BIG WAVE of Uranus, and it’s place in the psyche.

PODCAST  scroll down to find the episode: “Uranus, the primordial wave within”