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!

We Were All Born Poets. Pisces Season Begins.

Philosopher Gaston Bachelard said, “we are all born poets, whether we like it or not.” Pisces is the sign of poetry, the rhyme of time, the wish of the fish, the gleam of the dream. The Sun will go into Pisces Thursday, February 18th. Are you feeling open to a poetic awakening within? Are you wondering where to start?

For Bachelard, the poetic image is “the flare-up of being in the imagination”. He says “One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears.” If we can perceive the poetic image in this way we can experience the “ecstasy of the newness” and a “sudden salience on the surface of the psyche.”

The antithesis to this kind of poetic consciousness is the robotic consciousness that tells us “there is nothing new under the sun”. Robotic consciousness de-values a moment, where as poetic consciousness not only restores its full value but stands in awe of the power of an instant, a moment of emergence, where time is disrupted and there is an element of surprise.

“This world of Imagination is the World of Eternity.” -William Blake

There is still quite a lot of Aquarian activity in the sky, including a potent square between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is time and Uranus is a shaking. There is a strong existential quaking happening, and anxiety is likely to be felt. Anxiety, by Kierkegaard’s definition is the “dizziness of freedom”, the effect of confronting the boundlessness of ones possibilities.

But if we can keep a few key ideas in place, we are likely to get more out of this disrupted sense of time, and the quaking of a boundless existential angst. As the Sun goes into Pisces, so too do our hearts illumine in this softer light. This is a soft poetic light, a “flicker of the soul” when we perceive the specific reality of something in its moment of its emergence. We are reminded that, as Bachelard says, “being is already a value”, and a certain bounded internal mystery soothes an over-thinking mind.

If we can trust, even for an instant, that this poetic sense is our origin, then we may be able to connect to an oceanic power within, and all its gifts of psychic renewal. As Owen Barfield said, “the poet, while creating something anew, is likely to be in a sense, restoring something old.”

If we can look forward to that “sudden salience on the surface of the psyche”, we can shift from robot to poet, restoring something old by creating something new.

Pisces, the fish are natural-born swimmers, and the poem, in an instant, finds its strength in the shimmer.

Happy astro pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Metaphorcast 10/26-11/1, 2020

It’s the week of Halloween in the Spooky Season of things unseen.  By Halloween night, we have a rare sight!  A Full Moon for the whole world to view.  An event that’s not happened since World War 2!   

A Halloween Full Moon is always blue, for the month of October would need to have 2!  Blue green might better describe the glow of exoskeletal Scorpio.  Whether you’ll be working late in the lab, or pricking your thumbs, a Full Halloween Moon this-way comes!

Scorpio Season celebrates intensity, and the supercharge of subjectivity that it rebirths.  As the hairs come alive on the arched back of a cat, so too do those “finer fibers” that Tesla talks about, that enable us to perceive truths.  Kierkegaard said “Truth is subjectivity”.  What is this growing sense of knowing as the Moon increases it’s glowing?

It is the exoskeleton of the Scorpion that glows.  We do not possess such a coat of armor, the closest thing would be our skin. The poet Pablo Neruda affectionally said, “The Moon lives in the lining of your skin”. Is the Werewolf that seeks escape from its human cage the Moon itself, unable to stay behind those boundaries when Full.  As philosopher John Searle said, “Where conscious subjectivity is concerned, there is no distinction between the observation and the thing observed.”  Scorpio succeeds, in its urge to merge two worlds.

With intensity, a certain “secret life” is strengthened, as consciousness pushes past its mechanical tendencies.  Fresh awareness is born to an infinitely interesting and complex existence.  Re-enchanted instead of taking things for granted, as a certain spiritual appetite grows.  An appetite for more response, more subjectivity, to feel so much that your skin starts to glow!  “We loved with a love that was more than love” quoth Poe.

Mercury, the planet of perception is inching away from those deep Scorpio waters, moving back into Libra by Tuesday.  If such intensity of atmosphere is brewing, a balanced head the trickster’s pursuing.  I’ll keep my distance says perception, to maintain control over my reception.  And anyway, the times of late have certain social rules to adhere to! 

As if under some secret pact, Venus also will go into Libra on Tuesday, moving forward from Virgo.  Its as if the mind and the senses agreed to go into this week as detached and balanced as possible, to offset such a surge of Scorpion power.  Of course, Libra’s art ultimately aspires to such power.  As John Keats said “The excellence of every Art is its intensity.”

Mars still retrograde in the trailblazing sign of Aries- the power of the Will seemingly going back on itself.  Coiling up on itself, like a snake as the tensions of internal freedoms begin to rise.  Does anyone feel a howl coming on?

Jupiter Saturn and Pluto still near each other in Capricorn, the sign of boundaries.  Knowledge, reality and secrets of boundaries.  Beyond the more than whats skin deep.  The secret Moon within our skin.  The on-going growing of whats within?

Uranus, the planet of experience in bodily Taurus will conjunct that full Moon.  Nearly two-billion miles away, the planet Uranus we still might say, is within the skin, just like the Moon, as internal freedoms arise in you! 

Neptune in Pisces, a re-enchantment with your neighborhood street.

The Moon

The Moon, on its way to electric destiny, will begin the week waxing gibbous in Pisces, the sign of yin and what’s within.  Use metaphor to open new doors, of understanding, beyond which lies “the known” expanding.

Wednesday at dawn greets an Aries Moon, a growing willful warrior.  Catch up to its fast-running currents.  Use your “finer fibers” to tune into the true names of your obstacles, so the warrior can do his job! 

By Friday evening she is big in Taurus on her way to the following night’s spooky stage.  And then here we go.  It’s Halloween night with a globe of full Moonlight!  The werewolf Moon that lives in the skin, wants out, wants more, wants all, wants in!  Electrified appetite roams the Earth, hungry for subjectivity’s rebirth.  As exoskeletons harden and glow, a strengthened experience also grows.  A place beyond complacency, the creative act of how to see!  An attunement to the undertones, a drop box for the questioning soul.  As Mary Shelley wrote in Frankenstein, “There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.”  

Cauldrons may bubble and troubles may toil, but the secret life prefers to coil.  

By the glowing of your skin, something tells me- your alive!! 

As always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/