Hashtag No Filter:  The True Beauty of A Fall Sunset

Metaphorcast for 9/20-26, 2021

Listen to this episode here

The first day of Fall arrives this week on Wednesday the 22nd, as the Sun takes its symbolic fall in Libra, whose glyph shows a setting Sun.  Sunsets are known to become more vivid as the weather cools due to the air becoming drier.  Less water vapor means less haze, and the pure array of lilac, peach and scarlet hues reach the eye in all of their splendid purity.  

It is similar to the phenomena of dry humor.  The absence of  emotion in one’s expression allows the full dose of the humor to come charging forth.  Buster Keaton, a Libra himself, discovered this as a child on the Vaudeville stage.  He realized the audience responded better to his stony expression than if he smiled.  

The power lies in the contrast.  The lack of emotion contrasts with the absurdity.  With the cooler weather sunsets, the lack of haze contrasts with the intense beauty that finds us anyway.  It is nature’s version of a hashtag-no-filter.  Of course, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  A hazy sunset is more beautiful to some, but it isn’t more vivid.  Vivid images are strong and clear, in real life and also emerging from dreams, memory and imagination.

Speaking of dreams and imagination, an enchanting Harvest Moon will begin the week in the sign of Pisces.  Spin some records, light some candles, whatever comes to mind. In Pisces, this moonlight is of the softest variety.  See how you might soften your own mood to better embrace such a special glow.

Softness, dreams and imagination have a certain superpower to restore mystery to the mundane.  Reality becomes enlarged as false filters are lifted.  Here we have the inner life’s version of a hash-tag-no-filter.  The eye becomes vivified and vision is vitalized.  This is the reason why dreams and imagination have such potential to be vivid.  The challenge is to flex the muscle of the imagination and try to answer this question posed by Da Vinci:  “Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?”

Vivid images vivify.  Clear and sharp images are like crowing roosters, stirring up an inner dawn.  These images can be found anywhere, in life, dreams, memory, and imagination.  All that we need to do is relate to them.  

DH Lawrence wrote, “we must get back into relation, vivid and nourishing relation to the cosmos and the universe.”        

The vivid beauty of a fall sunset will find you despite your mood.  Sharp and brilliant, showing a beauty that exists beyond one’s preferences.  A very alive and vital beauty that exists beyond the “eye of the beholder.”  A nourishing wink from the cosmos.  An invitation to relate to it, and vivify your soul. 

This beauty is like a truth, that will also find you if your inner atmosphere is clear enough.  If the doubts, and false beliefs can evaporate, leaving you with nothing but the dry air of observation and a willingness to relate to what comes forth.  

The clearer the atmosphere, the farther you can see.  On the clearest day if you look out at the ocean, your eye will take you about 3 miles out as the Earth begins to curve.  On a clear day, city buildings can be seen from 50 miles away.  But think of this: the planet Saturn can also be seen on a clear night.  Saturn is 746 million miles away.  

A clear atmosphere, be it an autumnal sky or our consciousness freed from swampy moods, will allow for a greater distance of view.  With a greater distance of view comes a wider network of relations.  A wider network of relations opens up possibilities.  And possibilities that open up vivify the future.  A vivified future brightens the present, the place where life and love live, in all of their lively ways.  

Happy Fall and as always,

Happy astro pondering 

Venus as beauty and paradox

Venus has surprisingly been one of the hardest subjects for me to start writing about.  That is until I figured out WHY.  It could be very easy to begin with Venus being about harmony and relationships and all things pleasurable, but I wanted to go a little deeper than that.  Then, the other night I was staring at the images of the Cardinal Cross and I realized what I wanted to write about.  Venus is beauty most assuredly, but it is also NOT beauty because it is about opposites.  It is about paradox.  “Not beauty” can easily also be beauty.  It is the concept of AND as well as OR.

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An ancient alchemical drawing depicts four Suns dining on the Cardinal Cross. The ram (Aries), the Lobster (usually the crab for Cancer), the scales (Libra), and the Goat (Capricorn).

Since this is a post about Venus, let’s start with the scales.

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What thoughts come to mind when you see the scales? Perhaps concepts of balance?  Fairness?  Isn’t it interesting that the word “fair” implies both beauty and justice?  When I was looking at the scales the thought that came to me was symmetry.  It was a quick next thought to consider how things that are symmetrical are often beautiful.  Taurus, the sign of nature, is also ruled by Venus.  We find symmetry all over the place in nature.

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Libra brings balance and equality.  Harmony through symmetry.  Our eyes become relaxed as they would when viewing a sunset.  The sign of Libra looks like a setting Sun.  It also looks like the diaphragm when it is relaxed.  The diaphragm relaxes when we exhale.  This is the spirit of Libra. Now let’s look to the opposite sign, the Ram, for Aries, the spirit of independence and conflict!

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The Ram is similar to Libra because it still celebrates symmetrical beauty.  But we all know what the rams like to do…

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Rams will be rams!

They like to fight!  They need to engage in combat.  They need to prove themselves to be BETTER than their opponent.  It is hard wired into their natures.  Their balance is found in conflict.

Onward to the other branch of the Cardinal Cross.  Cancer is the Crab, who’s spirit is that of home and protection.  In the alchemical picture at the top of the page we see Cancer depicted as a LOBSTER instead of a crab and that’s when I realized another key component to that symbol.  The lobster and the crab are often ASYMMETRICAL.  Not only that they are some of the only examples of this in the animal kingdom.

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what is the lesson of asymmetry? And how is it related tot he concept of home and protection?

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The lobster also celebrates the concept of asymmetry.

To further tie this theme back to our original exploration of Venus, it’s hard not to notice how these proportions are still beautiful.

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In the fashion world, the asymmetrical look brings peace to the eyes just as well as the symmetrical look

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Asymmetrical hair says go bold or go home.

Perhaps it is a certain boldness in asymmetry that adds to it’s beauty.  It wakes us up a little from the slumber of too much balance.  Marketing agencies play with these tricks too.

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Volkswagen goes the symmetrical route. Is this to emphasize stability and predictability?

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Apple goes asymmetrical. Perhaps to emphasize innovation and improvement?

Okay, back to the rest of the Cardinal Cross.  The last sign to discuss is the sign of Capricorn, which is the Sea Goat.  The Sea Goat is an entirely fictitious creature.  It is half goat and half fish.  It represents mastery of the physical world.  I find it funny that the only sign of the zodiac that is an imaginary creature is the one that pertains to Saturn, the planet of concrete reality.

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Isn’t she beautiful? And she can do ANYTHING.

But wait, did we say half GOAT half FISH?  Sounds a bit like a MARRIAGE (Venus) between Aries the Ram and Cancer the Crab!  Libra is the only sign on this cross that is not an animal (all air signs are inanimate).  It seems that the action of Libra is to marry the previous signs-  Aries and Cancer.  And from that magical union comes our Sea Goat.  The master of the physical world.  And the final Venusian joke is that this creature doesn’t exist.  Reality (Saturn) is represented by unreality (the Sea Goat).  Venus as paradox.  Venus as beauty.  Where would we be without her?

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