Waking the Word. Mars enters Gemini 3/3

After a 2 month journey dedicated to finding better stability, the red planet now embarks into the quizzical domain of Gemini. Nothing is straight forward when it comes to the Twins. They represent objective thought, yet they are tricksters. They are two, yet they lie. They are perception, as well as perceptions’ tricks.

Giggling all the way, the Twins welcome Mars on Wednesday, 3/3. Wednesday and 3 both belong to the trickster, with Gemini being the 3rd sign and Wednesday attributed to Mercury (Gemini’s ruling planet). The willful hero is about to go through the looking glass in search of the Twin’s treasures.

Gemini looks at the world objectively. In philosophy, objectivity is the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity. For example, the tree that you climbed on in childhood is just a tree and not the loving supporting wooden arms that supported you in your triumph of independence.

And here is where the Twins start to giggle. They know that it isn’t truly possible to separate the tree in such a way from the onlooker whose experience has helped constitute for them that special tree.

Just like identical twins, Gemini was once one, not two.

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The two used to be one!

Writer, philosopher Owen Barfield discovered that by studying words (Gemini delight!) one can see how consciousness is evolving. He says that all words have deeper meanings that fade over time, and that their deeper meanings reflect a time when life was very differently experienced.

As Barfield sees it, early humans existed in what he calls “original participation”, living “inside the world’s unity.” At some point, however we became free from the world’s unity. Free to think, and perceive things for ourselves, from our own centers of subjectivity.

We became free, but now we don’t see the full reality.

In original participation, thinking and perceiving were one. The games of the Twins had not yet begun.

Barfield sees subjectivity as not just something that comes out of nothing, but rather a form of consciousness that has contracted from reality’s peripheries into individual centers. The inner meanings of things is the inward truth of nature, and of ourselves.

By ignoring inner meanings, and being content with only the outer meanings, Barfield warns that we have produced a “world of outsides with no insides to them”.

Mars commits to moving forward into Gemini’s gifts. What is Gemini’s purpose? If we have split from the world’s unity in the name of freedom, what are we becoming free for?

Barfield sees this question answered by means of a new phase of consciousness. He refers to this phase as final participation, and sees it to be based around our creative use of the imagination, to actively restore for ourselves the world’s unity. With imagination’s ability to enlarge a meaning, by the power of its full expression, we can begin to taste that original sense of wholeness, while also maintaining our full subjective freedoms.

“Mere perception — perception without imagination — is the sword thrust between spirit and matter.”

Owen Barfield, The Rediscovery of Meaning and Other Essays

No better time to embrace such a concept as now, is the midst of Pisces Season.

Rev up those engines of curiosity! Mars will be in Gemini until April 23rd, giving you plenty of time to tackle the twin’s illusions and transcend their tricks, enlivening what you see to a fuller reality deemed true by the inwardness of nature, and yourself!

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

Back to the Future; Mercury goes Retrograde in Aquarius

Philosopher William James first coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” to describe the full range of thoughts that we can be aware of at any given time. He called it a stream, observing that thoughts tended to flow from one to another and another.

Here we are at the end of the first month of 2021, and Mercury, the god of thought, is decidedly reversing the stream’s current, in Aquarius, the sign of awareness, foresight and future.

Are we going back to the future?

In a sense, maybe.

As we go about our days we are immersed in many droplets of rich subjective life. Moments when something speaks to us, moments when we feel good or bad, moments that we share, moments that we rush, moments that we savor.

With winged-sandals, Mercury, God of thought swiftly weaves facts out of these moments. Facts that may be recalled in the future about what happened in the past. The facts are what survives, the feelings are fleeting, and disappear like the Moon. Facts weave and connect into the mysterious network of memory. Awaiting a reason to resurface, and be reflected on. Once reflected on, feelings may arise again, and feel like those original feelings, but they are still new, and based on these facts.

As Mercury moves retrograde, the stream of consciousness goes back on itself. It’s like using one of those now obsolete microfiche machines in libraries, where newspapers can be flashed through in search of that pertinent piece of information. Thought goes back on itself, in search of something.

Mercury has been in Aquarius since the beginning of the year leaving many Aquarian-esque facts weaved into our neural networks. Aquarian-esque; existential, pertaining to future, off the beaten path and in question of some basic assumptions.

You found something in these weavings, what was it?

Maybe you will find a fact worthy of reflection. By reflecting on these resurfaced facts, perhaps you will better shape your future! Time flows just like the trickster. Maybe you can manage to go back to the future!

Mercury will be retrograde for the rest of Aquarius Season. The Trickster God will go direct on February 20th, two days after the start of Pisces Season, and remain in Aquarius until March 15th.

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand.

The Convivial in the Trivial: Treasures of Gemini.

Happy Gemini Season to all.  I hope it is a nice bouncy time of curiosity and conversation.  In this post I plan to share some of the glimmering shimmering secrets of the Trickster, in hopes that this Spring Season can be extra intriguing.

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Yes, where to begin…

This is the sign most associated with the intellect, words, straightforward logic etc.  Often the archetype of Gemini summons up a smartness, incredible word-craft abilities, cleverness…

Opposite Gemini is the Archer, Sagittarius, the sign that breathes the fire of meaning into things.

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Behold the flame of meaning!

But it is Gemini that not only puts this meaning into words, thoughts and expressions, it is also Gemini whose air fans the flames of meaning!

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Who.. little old me?

Yes Bugs!  Through thought, speculation, musings, and curiosity- lots of meaning gets stirred up and fortified.  These two signs are on opposite sides of a very interesting spectrum.

The MYTHIC MEANING of Sagittarius and the MENTAL TRIVIALITY of Gemini.

But wait- it sounds as though I am insulting the sign of the Twins!

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Who are you calling Trivial??

But it’s true!  The intellect alone will only get a person so far.  Without meaning, thoughts can turn in on themselves and stifle.

The wisdom lies in knowing this to be true:  hence the Trickster is born!

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Little old ME!!

Geminis are at heart, Tricksters.  Beings who delight in thought and words, yet with a knowing of the paradoxical limits of thought and words.

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The most brilliant of the Geminis have a zen tongue-in-cheek vibe to what they say and do.

And these are the souls that breath air into MEANING itself!  The  two things- triviality and meaning co-creating.  No hierarchy, just discovery.

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Perhaps this is some of the meaning behind the Fool Card.

If every where you looked MEANING was staring you in the face you would likely get burned out- fast.

There would be no AIR of LIGHTNESS.  No reprieve.  No jokes, no riddles, no lighthearted smiling or giggling.

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Why is it that the characters most devoid of meaning are the ones that make us laugh the hardest?

It’s an interesting paradox, that intelligence and delightful stupidity are tied up in the same archetype.  But that’s Gemini- if it weren’t interesting and paradoxical, it would cease to be- the Trickster.

So, this Season, share in the delight of the enigma of levity, thought, intelligence and triviality.

The convivial trivial!  Long live it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wisdom of Bugs Bunny. Mercury as Trickster.

The subject of Mercury keeps you guessing the more you look into it.  It is the archetypal Trickster as well as our own minds.  It is our words and thoughts as well as all of the information that we take in from our surroundings.

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Our own minds as well as the Trickster? Try counting the black dots to get a sense of this.

He is Hermes (Greek) and Thoth (Egypt).  Both of these Gods are connected with communication, perception, writing, learning and zipping around as messengers to the other Gods.  Hermes wears a winged helmet, whereas Thoth’s head is that of an ibis, a bird.

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Hermes is swift with winged feet as well as a winged helmet. He carries a caduceus, a staff with two serpents and yet another pair of wings at the top.

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Thoth’s notion of flight is implied as well with his head being that of a bird. And what is he carrying here? An ankh. The ankh in ancient Egypt is the hieroglyph for “life”. It is also known as the “breath of life”.

Why the concept of flight associated with the head?  Does it point towards looking into the speed of thought?  Could it point to the feeling of flight as being free and light, as in soaring in the clouds?  The mind, speed, flight, freedom… what is the sacredness that is being preserved in these archetypal images?

Let’s take a look at some other familiar Tricksters.  We already have this concept of flight associated with the mind in Hermes and Thoth.  What do we see in the others?

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Isn’t he cute? The Jackal was the Trickster that the ancient Dogon’s believed brought disorder to the world. You can find him in many African and Asian and Middle Eastern myths.

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The Native Americans knew the Trickster as the Coyote. In some stories he has the power of all creation, in others he is a buffoon, and in others he is outsmarting everyone around him.

Pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

What trick? The rabbit has long been associated with trickery and illusion.

One common similarity here is that each of these animals have pointy ears.  Looks a bit like a winged helmet doesn’t it? If we search onward it becomes evident that pointy ears are found on many a Trickster.

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The joker’s hat is always pointy. Joker also sounds a bit like “Jackal” does it not?

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Here is Pan, another Greek Trickster. He is also deeply associated with the mysteries of nature and sexuality.

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Peter Pan is a Trickster who never grows old. Mercury is also associated with youth. The feather in his hat and the fact that he can fly keeps our winged-god of perception alive and well in the hearts of children.

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Another green trickster (perhaps preserving our connection with nature?) the leprechaun has pointy ears and looks like a hybrid of Pan and Peter Pan.

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We can’t talk green and pointy ears if we don’t bring in Yoda! A modern day Trickster who rearranges his words, and teaches us to see with our hearts (the force).

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I saved my favorite for the last example- Bugs Bunny! He can outwit anything and ADAPT to any circumstance. Life is nothing but a hoot for him.

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Here he is in the winged helmet itself! One of my favorite cartoons entitled “What’s Opera Doc?”

What’s amazing about Mercury is how one association continues to lead to another and quickly.  For instance, the fact that Bug’s says “what’s up doc?”  is curious because of the caduceus association with medicine.  Go into any doctor’s office today and you are likely to find this symbol hanging on a wall or on the cover of a pamphlet.  Let’s look at the symbol again.

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Many believe that the serpents represent the natural kundalini energy in our bodies that travel up the spine and are capable of healing. Maybe before medicine became multi-billion dollar businesses (note the hidden dollar symbol here) it may have an attempt to restore a person’s natural balance of their own subtle energies.

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The ankh (wielded by Thoth) is really quite a similar symbol. The loop on top looks like it could be the same two serpents touching heads.

I wrote another post a while back entitled “The close relationship between the heart and mind (Sun and Mercury)” in which I talked about the way the lungs and the heart (Mercury and Sun) are so closely connected in the body.  Mercury is never far off from the Sun.  These are themes that I find very significant when further exploring the true role of Mercury in our psyches.  We know that is always close to the heart and we know that it is by nature a trickster.  It often gives us the “switcheroo” just look at what happens with our eyes!  The perception of the eyes are ruled by Mercury.

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Why does it have to flip it upside down?? What’s with this nonsense?

So if the nature of Mercury is to flip things upside down AND it is always associated with the Sun (life, love, the heart) we might hypothesize that we should strive to “think with our hearts and love with our minds” as Alice O. Howell says.  For anyone who doesn’t know, Alice O. Howell is my favorite astrologer and I encourage everyone to buy her books!  Think with our hearts.. very Yoda!

How do we do that?  I don’t know!  But I do know that something feels good about this notion, at least to me.  So often our minds are slaves to things we DON’T love.  We put our attention to things that feel bad and get stressed and upset.  So often our hearts are screaming at us and we don’t listen.  We just keep doing what we’ve always done and rationalize it with our minds!  A little balance is in order here.  And a little humor (Mercury!)

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When we laugh I would wager to bet that those invisible energy currents of the caduceus are in deep healing mode. What is humor if it is not loving with our minds and thinking with our hearts?

Just a little thought to keep in your heart, or a little feeling to keep in your mind.  Until next time!