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

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!

Meet the Parents: Papa Sun and Mama Moon

Many astrologers will equate the Sun with consciousness and the Moon with unconsciousness.  The waking hours of daylight (consciousness) bring us out of our dreamlike state (unconsciousness).  It is pretty impossible to argue that obvious symbolism, it speaks loudly and clearly. The thing that doesn’t sit right with me personally is when the Sun is therefore associated with the ego, i.e. the center of consciousness, and further more the Moon just cast out into her own sea of irrational emotions. There seems to be so much more going on here…

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Mr. Sun

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and Mrs. Moon

Let’s start with looking at the days of the week that these two represent.  Sunday for the Sun, and Monday for the Moon.  There certainly is a big difference between these two days for most of us.

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Some go to church while others may indulge in a mimosa. The principle is similar though, taking a break from busy life to honor yourself.

On a Sunday we generally are doing what we want to do and enjoying ourselves.  In latin, the word for Sun is sol, and in french soleil, thus we have a connection with the word soul, and the other “s” word spirit.  Spirit is associated with breath, as in respire. The Sun rules the heart in the body which is intimately connected with the lungs.  And in nature, fire (Sun) needs air to grow.  Sundays are the time for us to reconnect to spirit, to tune back into ourselves and let the world pass us by a bit.

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Quite a contrast from the general associations with Monday. Scrape yourself out of bed and get back to work, back to busy life.

Monday not by accident sounds similar to the word MUNDANE, defined by the dictionary as “of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.”  This derives from the latin word mundus, meaning “world”.  The french call the world “monde”.  The moon brings in an earthly element.  Monotonous mundane Mondays where we tend to earthly matters.  We go to work to make money, another Moon sounding word.  In fact, the words for ‘silver’ (the element associated with the Moon) and ‘money’ are the same in fourteen languages or more.

Silver is the metal associated with the Moon and gold is for the Sun.  Let’s look closer at the properties of these metals.

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All that glitters ain’t GOLD!

The elemental symbol for gold is Au, derived from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise”.  Gold is the most malleable and ductile metal of all.  Malleable as in it can be pounded out into the thinnest piece of paper, and ductile meaning it retains it’s strength.  Webster’s definition for ductile is “able to be deformed without losing toughness; pliable, not brittle.”  So with gold comes immense flexibility without sacrificing it’s strength.  Because of its resistance to heat and acid it’s also a symbol for immutability.  Sounds a lot like an allegory to the heart and it’s capacity to love again after hardship and inevitable changes.

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As the Neil Young song goes..

Gold is the only metal that is yellow or “golden”. Other metals may appear yellow, but it’s just because they have oxidized or reacted with other chemicals. Follow the yellow brick road, a.k.a follow your heart?

Silver’s elemental symbol is Ag, derived from the latin argentum which means “grey” or “shining one”.  Silver is the most reflective metal of them all.  What other metal could better represent Mother Moon who’s main function is to REFLECT the light of the Sun.  Carl Jung talks about how the ideal job of the ego is to reflect that nature of the Self (the radiant totality of our beings that dwells in the unconscious).  This is why I can’t get cozy with the idea of the Sun being the ego.  It seems to me that ego is more in the realm of the Moon.  We can reflect our own Selves, as well as the Selves of others.

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Who the heck is that Groucho??

Children seek reflection in the mothers (Moon) in order to learn certain rules of conduct to get along in the world (Moon).

Another interesting fact about silver is that it conducts electricity better than any other element.  There are some theories out there these days of us living in an electric universe, with the Sun being a giant force of electric energy.  What if the Moon not only reflects the Sun but also conducts it’s energy toward Earth?  I am no scientist– just a fun idea.

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There’s  nothing mundane about mysteries!

So if the Moon is all matter and the Sun is the “spark” of spirit, what would one look like without the other?

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Without Moon’s matter, the Sun’s spirituous light would have nothing to land on and illuminate.

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Without the Sun’s spark we have this

Aside from the Sun, we don’t see much fire in nature.  The spirit remains hidden.  We can’t look at the Sun too long without burning our eyes.  We can only look at it reflected in EVERYTHING around us.  Perhaps this is why things like fireworks are so mesmerizing.  They fill our hearts (Sun) with a joyous feeling (most of us!).

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ahh! LIFE! Bravo!

Warmth on our bodies and warmth in our hearts

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Light finds it’s way out of our bodies through our eyes. Think about how much more they shine when they are in love (the heart, i.e. the Sun)

So to bring this all back home, literally let’s go to mom and dad.  When reading a chart I find that an excellent beginning is to discuss the client’s parents with regards to the Sun as the father and the Moon as the mother.  Ultimately these perceptions are deeply infused into who we are, and getting at these routes can be enormously helpful.  If for example someone has a Sun that is squared with Uranus, we would be looking for what in the father has a challenging Uranian element.  Issues of emotional detachment or mental superiority perhaps.  Or strangeness, not fitting in somehow.. these are all shades of a challenged Uranus.  The first step is to have the client see it in the parents, the second step see how they’ve integrated that into themselves.  Or how about Moon conjunct Saturn.  How is the mother an authority somehow or how might she be restrained?  Or how is she the symbol of hard work and perseverance?  Have you set that bar too high for yourself?  It can really open up a well of dialogue.  We can’t escape our beginnings and we certainly can’t dwell in them, but they can teach us a ton.

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At their core, this is Mom and Dad. The spark and the world.

Happy astro practicing!