The Spell of Animism. Full Moon Eclipse in Taurus

Metaphorcast 11/15-21, 2021

If the season of the witch has yet to cast its spell on you, this week’s Full Moon Eclipse in earth-magic Taurus might just do the trick. The longest lasting partial eclipse of the century will captivate its audience in the predawn hours of Friday, November 19th. The earth’s shadow will slowly cast over the Moon for a duration of nearly 3 and half hours, with its peak coverage around 4am Eastern Time. The cast of this shadow will likely display a deep red hue and be visible across the Americas, much of Asia, parts of Europe and West Africa.

If you happen to sleep through this wondrous event, let’s hope that your dreams may connect with this widespread magic. There is another kind of sleep however, non-rejuvenating and devoid of dreams. This sleep is one to be wary of. It is the ‘sleep of the senses’ that the Earth spirit warns Faust about. It is a closing off to the expressiveness of the natural world.

In his book, “The Spell of the Sensuous”, David Abram describes the human experience of magic as “our ancestral animistic awareness of the world as alive and expressive.” He says that everything ‘speaks’, and it is only through our creation of the written word that ‘the stones fall silent.’ What once was some grooves on a rock expressing meaning to us has become a paragraph in the New York Times. The alphabet and the written word is entirely human-constructed, not even the spirit of breath shapes it, the way the spoken word does. Far from saying that the written word is ‘bad’ he simply emphasizes what the written word really is: magic. This is why one can ‘cast a spell’ and ‘spell a word’. He says, “As non-human animals, plants, and even ‘inanimate’ rivers once spoke to our oral ancestors, so the ostensibly ‘inert’ letters o n the page now speak to us! This is a form of animism that we take for granted, but it is animism nonetheless- as mysterious as a talking stone.”

Even if you sleep through the Full Moon eclipse, be sure to rouse your senses enough to realize something important; the world is magical and we have the capacity to be magicians!

As always, happy astro pondering!

For more on David Abram, here is a wonderful interview where he talks about animism, magic and the senses.

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9lbWVyZ2VuY2VtYWdhemluZS5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw/episode/OTA4NDk3MjQtY2QzZS0xMWVhLWIxOTEtMjMyZjFmOWE5ZTIz?ep=14

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 

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.

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

https://www.happyastropondering.com/