Drone Moon in Sidereal Capricorn


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Perceived from an angular distance of 180 degrees, the Sun’s awakening to responsibility a fortnight ago seems incongruous, to say the least. She is more humble in Cancer, more attuned to the farcical Bardo of madness wound by the Earth’s solitary rotation which represents on stage for your delectation the irrepressible corruption of its inhabitants. Welcome to the cast, aromantics; so pleasing to see any identity emerge from the wings of limerence! Welcome, demisexuals, please line up with the aromantics towards stage-right where we can all see you in Self-Development. Clinging, quite naturally, should be neither sanctioned nor sanctioned, but expect the audience in the cheap seats to be primed to laugh. An influencer will be with you shortly.

Before influencers there were astrologers, who possibly inherited the wisdom of shamans. Where are we? Everyone wanted to know, but any answer was required to confirm and reinforce power. Has anything changed? Incidentally, the tryst of Venus and Regulus which divides life into eight-year orbits occurred on Thursday. It was invisible in south-eastern Australia, but we know it happened, don’t we? Did you see it? What influence did it have on you eight years ago? Sixteen years ago? Go on, drone, be your own influencer!

Here, it was evident to the shaman, but that question remains, oblique and disconnected in ways foreign to one intimate with the underworld. And isn’t that all of us? Do we not dream? Do we not do hourly battle with our emotions? Do we not have loved ones on the other side of the world? And yet we remain transfixed by the power of the tangible, grooming our diet, appearance and performance for a flight into history which someone else will probably make. Where others are is circumstantial, but here in the south-east of New Holland, where country is the answer to the question, we are amongst the first blooms of early Spring, if you hadn’t noticed. What? The seasons are changing? Get out of town!

In the beginning was the Emu, and among other coincidences, the right angles of Aquarius and Enif, and of Adhara, Wezen and Aludra, the diamond facet of Denebola, Spica and Arcturus, and the relationship of stellar visibility to the seasons. The beginning came before meaning, and yet it ordained meaning. You were ordained, how about that? No, not your sexuality, which was always fluid, and yours to play with as the influencers saw fit. But you know what? The way you felt when you got up this morning was ordained! The workers fed you in your wintry underworld, or they did not. Stand by, an influencer will be with you shortly.

At the risk of throttling another fish with its ordained plastic balloon, the obvious must be stated:

Check out the Signs and Houses. Yes, it would appear that it was ordained in the beginning that we would all be in this together, and that influencers would be needed to spell out our differences. Drones are such ‘warrior‘ wannabes, don’t you think? What do your influencers think? Careful! Try to avoid being struck by an emu when the Milky Way is in the Warrior configuration.

Is that not the very picture of us? Did you fear a shameful image of biomass annihilation? Totalitarianism? Corruption saturation? Don’t be perverse. Hearken to your influencer.

So that’s where we are! Confused? Wait please, good inhabitants of Sichuan with genealogies going back thousands of years, your influencer will be with you presently, whether or not you want your country and underworld validated. No doubt about it, he’s done well for himself.

Responsibility: New Moon in Sidereal Gemini


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Bring me my gun, and I`ll shoot that bird dead
That`s what your mammy and pappy once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I`ll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle.

Sydney Carter, “The Crow On The Cradle”.

And down from there he spies
this little spot of earth that with the sea
is embraced, and begins to despise
this wretched world, and hold it vanity
compared with the true felicity
that is in heaven above. And at the last
down where he was slain, his gaze he cast.

And in himself he laughed at the woe
of those who wept for his death now past:
and damned all our work that follows so
on blind lust, which can never last,
when we should all our heart on heaven cast.
And forth he went, briefly to tell,
where Mercury appointed him to dwell.

Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Book V, trans. A.S. Kline.

Responsibility dries on the skin like nakedness as the first thing we remember on the lee shore of the Lethe. The silent voice which asks who we are belonged once to the god, and then for many centuries we recognized it as our own. Enslaved to inattention, we are vaguely aware of the crisis of irresponsibility which engulfs us now. We listen in vain for our calling. The earth we tread is sealed. The heavens are curtained by our artificial light. We must wake up, consult a map or an instruction manual, dispel the suspicion we are sleepwalking. Can it be that the tear in the fabric of our journey-commemorative teatowel is irreparable?

How did we never notice before, with the Gemini Sun on our skin, that the tumult of the Acheron was beneath us?

Can we bear the thought that the oasis of difference is a mirage?

This is the beginning of what might be called Southern Hemisphere Miserere Season, from July to November, roughly 4 minutes earlier each day, when the Milky Way is visible in a dark sky between astronomical twilights as a ring around the horizon. (The Northern Hemisphere season is between January and May.) This configuration, exact at the latitude of the declination of the Galactic South Pole, gives the Emu a chance to have a lie down, which is something awesome to see at a location further south such as Apollo Bay on Victoria’s Surf Coast. However, at the latitude of the angle between the planes of the Galaxy and the Solar System, namely approximately 63°, the Emu is a busy bird.

The Emu’s job there is to point East. Country inherited its cardinal directions from the Emu, finding their nocturnal lyricism preferable to the glare of equinoxes over its eternal landmarks.

There is not a moment to lose, if the power of the Emu is to be invoked to get us out of the mess we’re in: the last Kyrie is upon us! Heaven be praised: our dire predicament cannot efface Galactic synchronicities: so let this Emu Moon begin!

The Siberian child staring at the strange figure lying full-length face-down on the sodden turf sees him move, and asks her parents what he is doing. They do not notice any movement. “Come along, quickly,” they urge the child.

Prodigal Moon in Sidereal Sagittarius


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Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis,1905.

On watch, with travelling sheep, my comrades all asleep,
Neither moon nor star illumed the summer sky:
My eyes I scarce had closed, tho’ I know I must
have dozed When a very strange procession passed me by.

First came a kangaroo, with a “swag” of blanket blue,
With a dingo, likewise loaded, for his mate ;
They saluted me and passed, saying they’d travelled rather fast.
And could not stay, as it was growing late.

An opossum and a crow sung a song,”The long ago,”
A frilled Jew lizard listened with a smile;
An emu, straying near, held his claw up to his ear.
Saying,”The prettiest song I’ve heard for quite a while”

Just here there came a crash, as if creation had gone smash,
And leaping up I found I’d been asleep.
Twas the boss from ‘neath the cart, who woke me with a start,
Crying -“Charlie! where the blazes are the sheep ?”

From the original “Drover’s Dream”, Folkstream.com

O Lieb auf grüner Erden.
Ich zieh’ in Krieg auf grüne Haid,
die grüne Haide, die ist so weit!
Allwo dort die schönen Trompeten blasen,
da ist mein Haus,
mein Haus von grünem Rasen!

From “Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen“, Gustav Mahler, Des Knaben Wunderhorn. See translation at Hampsong Foundation.

Woe to the Sagittarius Moon! At his highest in the Southern sky, yet can he find no human spirit to soar with him. No romantic poet remains to march us gloriously out of our past; in fact, unable or unwilling to identify with the poverty and sins of the past, regardless of where we migrated from, we have wandered aimlessly into a Google dreamtime, uninitiated. Community is a strange label for populism. Who lives in our old bark hut? Who owns our land? What are they going to do with it? We don’t know, do we? Do entrepreneurs and their propagandist administrators whose nest-feathering has betrayed our trust–sold us down the river, as it were–belong in our community?

Cheer up. Yes, Winter’s here, bringing its usual privations, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, to add to those the whole world is experiencing in lockdown, and Jupiter’s gone retrograde. But that’s no reason to be overwhelmed by self-criticism projected onto the casual judgments of those significant others sharing your retreat from the cold. You are not a waste of your birthright if you have been doing what you were supposed to do, and even if you haven’t, isn’t that what you were supposed to do? Who in the visa queue dares know the contribution to carbon emissions justified by the urgent need to conjure their birth country in an eternal present?

The conventional Sign lumped on Sagittarius is partly right. Natives can tend towards withdrawal and melancholy, but not because of single-minded ambition to surmount arduous conditions, rather because their imagination is enthralling. They might actually achieve very little for that reason. Well might you label them prodigal, and deplore their self-absorption and waste of talent. However, at this time of year we all appear to be in Sagittarius, which ought to inspire some circumspection.

Authenticity has people by the tail, provoking narcissistic condemnation of inertia. To whom does it matter whether the Centaur represents an archer with a bead on the Scorpion, or a brew of tea? Is it not just a bunch of invisible stars? What does an implied Pleistocene fascination with the Milky Way matter under a washed-out sky? The morbid anxiety exuded by a prodigal Underworld is dreadfully infectious! Come out! Be someone! Be remembered! Do something! Psst, whispers the Prodigal, shouldn’t you be wondering what you will meet this side of the Acheron? What irrelevant self do you leave back there? No wonder that the ferryman disdains your obol, this desecrated planet, your millions of unhallowed dead. Why do you keep returning here? Welcome to country, he says.

New Moon in Sidereal Taurus: Populism


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Populism has completely disappeared, because it is now absolutely everywhere. Everyone is an activist Sagittarian wannabe, and a world which places supreme value in presence is a very dangerous place.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Sorry to be Abliq … you have to be careful what you say, because in the shadows of your meaning lurk innumerable barrow-pushers looking for clickbait.

You couldn’t make this stuff up!

The world is intersectionally sick, and no top-down therapy is going to heal it.

Denizens of the Northern Hemisphere need not feel deprived of the splendours visible down here.

You were looking in the wrong place. Leave your -isms under your bed, and be at peace with your underworld. The antidote to populism is not neutrality, or equanimity, but sorrow.

Rogue Moon in Sidereal Scorpio


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This is the intellectual Moon, in the Southern Sign of Gemini, elevated to the zenith while the Sun struggles towards the Winter Solstice. Like a rogue adolescent, whose book-learning enables him to theorize away the conservative values of older generations, and who does not yet know the meaning of hubris, the Rogue needs to be reminded of a few things, such as myth and kin. A rogue might see an opportunity, and call it his, but it was created by others. A total eclipse should remind him whose light he shines.

But it is only we nearing the end of a life on Earth who learn his lesson, while the young celebrate their interventionist vainglory, unconscious of the gravity of their privilege. Never chased by an emu! Who cares where dogs go when they leave the dog park? Who cares who replenishes the poo bags? Kyrie eleison.

Studying the Moon’s progress during the past week as it rose later each day behind the cranes disfiguring my landscape, I discovered a strange thing. He started in Cancer in the second House. Nothing surprising there: fervent altruism in the Bardo of fearful discrimination. Likewise his Leonine sensitivity the next day when he appeared in the Bardo of perfection. By the time his perspicacious sincerity in Virgo presented itself at 4 pm on the fourth day, I was ready to stick my fingers down my throat, and I was no more sympathetic to his sensuality in Libra or his current anxiety in Scorpio. What is wrong with me? Am I losing my rogue? This Moon and I should not be antagonists.

Yet I am discovering that it is he who belongs and I who do not. Over his shoulder, as it were, he sniffs his millennial disinterest in the Bardo’s cosmic emotional cycle, for Earth hours are of no significance to him. The rebellious system of this site is finally just one more zombie measuring up his coffin, though going rogue seemed like healing at the time. He is a healer too, he claims, although 4 billion years seems a long time to be healing, and it is I who pick up the cans and coffee cups he drops over the front fence.

Who can understand why he is so contemptuous? After all, the Earth passes through the Moon’s own astral gates, differently polarized by his axis of rotation. We might be kin, if I weren’t on the wrong side of history, and my garden, with the bloom of my wounds and their astral petals, so much detritus in his path.

Once he was creator of the world, and until just now has been happy to collude with any soothsayer whose system accorded him agency to intrigue the superstitious, but the collective madness of opposition seems to me now to be all he has left. He does not own his history, you see, and so he cannot identify with the white supremacy of gravity. He does not own his gender either, and so millennia of menstrual synchronicity cannot persuade him to call chests breasts. Nevertheless, identity seems a big issue: is the butt of his jokes a clue?

Am I sad that history has caught up with me and passed me by? Of course I get lost, but no, I saw it coming, for history is not rogue. It is as the Gate of Antares, where consequence emanates from presence, and deprivation is paranoia’s fool.

I remember the sixties as opposing love to fear, but they too also went rogue on racism, sexism and homophobia. The search for love? I think I still understand that, although the turbines privilege me with a little difficulty of hearing. Perhaps it is ethical to interrogate the credentials of love, but an old man begs you, Rogue, do not topple its statue. Kyrie eleison. If you will excuse me, I have to get back to the dishes.

New Moon in Aries: Opportunism


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Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

It is happy for man that he does not know what the morrow is to bring forth; but, unaware of this great blessing, he has, in all ages of the world, presumptuously endeavoured to trace the events of unborn centuries, and anticipate the march of time. He has reduced this presumption into a study. He has divided it into sciences and systems without number, employing his whole life in the vain pursuit. Upon no subject has it been so easy to deceive the world as upon this.”

Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Gutenberg.

You pull over on a hilltop to take in the view. You are familiar with the geography, but the panorama fills your awareness with so much that you don’t know: values, intentions and functions imposed on the landscape by people you will never meet, living and dead. There is no clarity in country. Hidden in plain sight are privacy, family, opportunity and duty. Hidden in plain sight on the side of the road where overtaking motorists exercise caution in oncoming traffic are you and your astrology, the local, global and celestial contexts you impose on the patterns you see, the labours and refuges you theorize, and your interrupted journey itself.

In a way, your journey is just like the Earth’s, from the Moon’s perspective (and the Moon’s from Earth). Not to say that you go around in circles, but that your progress, though it be powered by gravity, internal combustion or the calories from breakfast, and mapped by waypoints called a and b, is measured by changes in the background, whether in space or time. So regular are these changes that from time immemorial popular belief has been seduced by the notion that they were created for your edification and control. Is astrology guilty? Do you really belong in a herd? Do the planets?

You might be angry if you weren’t so disgusted by fear of the anguish which, enthralled as you have been by the seductive growth of mystical connections, has so surprised you. You might direct that anger at a world which questions the rectitude of your state of mind and shows no inclination to conform to your dreams, or you might work with the anguish of a full-stop in search of a backspace and apostrophe to exclaim itself grammatically. In you, and around you, a conflict is raging, and the opposing sides have not identified themselves. Are these astral gates then battle lines between polarized forces? Are these bardo emotions personal or generic? On the bright side, they may be opportunistically confirmed because you can identify with them all.

Where do names and attributes come from, brainstem or frontal cortex? You may be sure, acculturated consensus notwithstanding, that when Indigenous Australians noticed the existence of variable stars, there were some who gave them names and told stories about them, but for most people there would have been nothing remarkable about changes in the sky, since nothing in country was, or is, permanent. Country is change. Over thousands of years, the “Southern Cross” at transit climbed higher and higher in the northern sky, until about 4000 years ago above where the 300-500 years old Corroboree Tree survives in Queens Way, Melbourne, it reached the zenith, and gradually it became more comfortable to see it in the south. Do you think it turned upside down? Did it shake any power structures?

How many identities do you have? How many more must you add to the intersection you call your Self before you feel your alienation, before your intellect collapses under its own weight, the weight of change, and you know the profound emptiness of being suspended in the arbitrary web of your own absence. Unless your feet know the emptiness of the dirt between you and the stars, get back in the car. You feel only your weight in your shoes, and so you will be safer on your backside. At least the underworld of your contribution to global warming may resound with the nostalgic hits of yesteryear as you proceed to point b, taking your conscious horizon with you.

The Southern Sign of the Constellation Aries, the domicile of the Ram and the Peasant Moon, is Scorpio, not Taurus. Mass circulation of Sun Sign horoscopes has captured the global population in Northern Spring, but just how important is your need to escape? Your reading of the quoted text by Mackay, so contemptuous of the peasants, has conflated opportunism and populism. Aggression might win an advantage in the manger where Autumn is trying to snuggle among the absent newborn while Ferdinand dreams of flowers, but hibernation is an equally attractive proposition. Populists may properly be regarded as opportunistic manipulators of ignorance and cynical exploiters of fear and resentment, but populism per se is misunderstood as ignorant and smug. Populism is empowered by a desire verging on the noble, to take an opportunity to integrate, not obey, a coming to attention with regard for a peasant Self without pretension to permanence, but which might withstand the desacralizing news cycle of doom, which, as we all know, trigger by trigger, activates our incoherent and piecemeal emotional response and threatens our very existence. Ah well, that’s Autumn Country for you.

Sensualist Moon in Sidereal Libra


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For heathen heart that puts her trust

In reeking tube and iron shard,

All valiant dust that builds on dust,

And, guarding, calls not thee to guard,

For frantic boast and foolish word–

Thy mercy on thy people, Lord!

Rudyard Kipling, Recessional.

You remember Ferdinand, the bull whose predilection beyond the ring was to lie in a meadow and saturate his existence with the scent of flowers? What presence he had, according to popular usage of the term ‘sensualism’! You have to wonder, who has more presence, a bull with his head in clouds of perfume, or an infuriated bull triggered by a toreador? It cannot be denied that presence is not generally ascribed to someone who is all there—how would we know?—but to a being we can see, a performative being. We can enjoy Ferdinand’s kind of sensuality any time the world ignores us, but to be full-time sensualists, we must emulate the myriad performers of unrestricted sensual presence to be found on the web. So there is something not quite right about Ferdinand’s presence, and that which is experienced by meditation adepts and obsessive compulsives who can filter their senses and ignore the world. What is more absurd than the lotus position when the kids need breakfast before school? You see? Astrologers know nothing about sensuality.

Nonetheless, a Full Moon in the Constellation of Libra, once associated with the scales of justice, is much more likely in the Southern Hemisphere to share a meadow with Ferdinand than to contest anachronistically systematised seasons of Earth. However, there is no absence of anxiety when you put Libra’s jackboot at the back of your head (looking south) to contemplate the skewering on an Indigenous spear of the merino known as Lupus, with the legacy of the retaliation of colonial law staining Left and Right forever.

As any neophyte can affirm, the senses impose themselves from the bottom up. Does that mean sensualists are bottom feeders? Is solitary sensuality always transgressive? Country, the Australian Indigenous term I use to signify presence in absence, is sensual if it is alive. Perhaps it all comes down to one question, how do you share country? How do you perform it? After all, the shape of your body, what you’re wearing, and what you ate for breakfast, are of no interest to authentic beings. How to perform absence? In what sense is that a meaningful question? What is the proper term for projected sensuality? Pornography? Limerence? Love? Dream? Death?

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalm 51:17

The Moon does it. Always has, tidally, but also in the contamination he brings to any wife and mansion from all the others. His presence brings absence and a whiff of betrayal. In a few Earth days he will cross the Acheron, and what will preserve him in its turbulence is not any forgiveness from Earth for primordial transgressions, but knowing that the last thing the crescent Earth will forget as she plunges into the Lethe is the impious hauteur of Saiph, the Moon’s naked Melanesian queen, twerking at the riverbank where she wrings eternity from her seaweed.

Crossing the rivers of Hades does it. The Vertex does it. Country does it. The forty-nine days do it. Remembrance, the Silent Minute and the Two Minute Silence do it. Can the Earth perform her presence in absence, or is she too engrossed in her comic?

Civility: New Moon in Sidereal Pisces


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If we’re trying to be civil, it helps to understand each other. “What do you mean?” What an enigmatic question! Are you saying that I am not making myself clear, or asking me to rephrase in terms you can get your head around? Depending on your tone, there might be a hint of rebuff, a suggestion that my meaning need not be understood unless it conforms in some way with yours. Furthermore, there might be some basis for a paranoid interpretation of the question, and the subliminal arising of questions about my value to you, yours to me, and mine to myself.

And so you ask the question, “What does it mean that there is a New Moon in the constellation of Pisces?” What do you mean, New Moon?

Now the arguments begin, between tropicalists, of Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and siderealists, and no matter how erudite and convincing the expert, the question really means, “What does the New Moon mean to me?” There are billions of ‘me’s, and not one asks what it means to the Moon.

It’s difficult to be a moon, a satellite of someone else, but each of us is just that, seeing others as only we can, yes, but struggling to inhabit the context they provide us, which seems like a global chaos of sanctimony and savagery, victimhood and self-importance. There is nothing for it but to judge each other in order to jostle for control of the path to justice. We seem to have defined civility in that way, that any identity has the right to impose its narrative on others, and difference is their problem. Rather than adapt to order, we deconstruct it, but still don’t hesitate to call the police. We ‘believe’ in order, because we are one organism, are we not? And this organism we call the universe, part of which is a night sky and the microscopic individual standing under it, is the embodiment of emotional life, ever projected in organic behaviours bubbling up from energetic structures emerging from the exhaust of stellar engine-rooms.

Imagine a future expedition wrapping a silicone membrane around the Moon which could sense and transmit across the strait his Threnody On The Impertinence of Earth. What a shot in the arm for robotics to find a sentient artificial intelligence! Games addicts could show themselves in public again. The sky is a screen; the earth is an avatar!

The Moon is no more bit-player than, dare we say it, the Sun Goddess. He is as awe-struck by the Milky Way and its configurations as we were when we were poets. Centre stage, waiting for his cue, with the galaxy due East and West on his horizon, he is not only a jester, but an author and director. So long as he entertains us when the play gets going, who would begrudge him our bit-parts and a theatrical foible or two? Anyone offended by where their Sign ends up is welcome to join the protesters outside.

Another Way of Putting It

Wherever his arbitrary concoction came from, his perspective at least gives us an opportunity to examine our emotions before we plaster them all over social media. May we all pay attention to the activity of our brainstem at lunar zenith as the Constellations drift behind us through the monthly cycle of the Moon’s bardo. An overview of our position is overdue. Emotional intelligence has gone out the window. Try the Moon’s chart as an alternative unifying principle to rampant priapism, aggressive nationalism or resentful greed. We are opposite the Moon, out there, just as we are out there when we have another in our crosshairs.

The Artisan: Full Moon in Sidereal Virgo


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Earth’s self upholds this monument
To conquerors who won her when
Wooing was dangerous, and now
Are gathered unto her again.
Brian Fitzpatrick.

Now there’s a dog on the v’randa, for his master he waits
But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear
It’s no place for a dog ’round a pub with no beer.
Gordon Parsons.

The Artisan, schooled in a time-honoured tradition, has practised his craft so often that design and method have become innate. Ornament is often idiosyncratic but his guiding star is utility, and the artefact he produces is ever used in the same way. We don’t need an instruction manual to place and sit on a chair, or hold a cup the right way to drink out of it. Conventions needs no description. To be inside them is enough, until they no longer work. The patriarchy no longer works, and we have laboriously deconstructed it, or in places begun at least to recognize its negative influence in traditional societies evolving connection beyond the village. However, the belief that a convention has lost its utility becomes another convention, which no instruction manual can market. Inclusion takes time and immense care to avoid violence and hurt as a new authority attempts to confront an old one.

Fortunately, the convention of map reading has not reached that position, or even revealed its existence to more than a handful. (See McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World.) Southern stargazers take it for granted that North is at the bottom and that we are looking at traditionally represented asterisms upside down, but the cartographical convention that North is up cannot be ignored when the Moon’s perspective attempts to align with ours, or to put it another way, when the Artisan attempts to make something we can use. How can we in the South possibly get inside a Moon in our Zodiac who is looking at the Earth upside down?

We will get to an explanation presently, but first consider the Constellation, Cetus. What is the basis of the attributes I have given it? Had Babylonian, Greek or mediaeval European taxonomers seen Cetus our way up, they would possibly have called it Vespa, the Wasp, because that’s what it resembles in the South, with a stinger to the west and a proboscis to the east, in celestial context which only came to make sense when Southerners began to ride horses, and the Fishes revealed themselves as a presumptuous rider on Pegasus whose moomba in jodphurs was worth investigating. Diphda is antagonistic and Menkar is intrusive, but the industry of the Potter Wasp, an artisan if there ever was one, is both beguiling and inspiring. It is difficult to assess the impression we make on others, though convention has it that there are those who ‘get’ us and those who don’t. The passage of the Earth through Vespa (Cetus) depends on where the Moon’s nodes are. This orbit we Earthlings are giving the impression of both positive and negative characteristics of waspishness, whichever way up we ought to be viewed, between 15:28 on the 28th and 08:25 on the 29th UTC, and after a day and two hours in Pisces, 10:45 and 15:14 on the 30th UTC. Know your time differences? Then mind how you go!

Your selfie over Nepal is a Northern tour de force, Artisan! You have created an image in the tradition of ancient maps of the world showing it surrounded by ocean, while giving your position the authentic offset from the Zenith which proves you’re not a robot. Most helpfully, your projection of the sky, first mapped onto paleolithic cave walls, demonstrates the root of the conventional orientation of north and south on a map. But you know, the Packers Prize goes to another.

The sky can be dragged down to the vertical from any direction. To see the Zodiac the Southern way up, drag it down from the North, but then North will be at the bottom, the opposite of our maps, in which the South is always behind us. Let’s view the Honourable Mention.

To see the Emu right way up, drag the sky down from the South-East. The Emu at Zenith is always above a North-up Earth. How’s that for a Treaty? And every artisan leaves a signature: today the upper transit of the Southern Cross was at Solar Midnight. Only happens once a year, on this day. Nice one.

Convention: New Moon in Sidereal Aquarius


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The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Shakespeare, Fidele’s Dirge.

The Autumn horoscopes of Virgo personalities devoured by Southern Hemisphere commuters born in Spring are beyond rational understanding, but there is no stronger influence on human behaviour than confirmation bias, and I am not butting my head against it. So let it stand for the moment that this year the first Moon of Northern Hemisphere Spring, pivotal in the lives of Christian believers, is born in the Sign of Pisces and culminates immediately before Easter in the Sign of Libra. It has remained a convention among European invaders of the South for 500 years. The fact remains that the astrological romance of each Moon’s journey from inspiration to realization is complicated by the journey of the Sun: the first realization of the Full Moon as it dramatises its Opposition is that the Sun has moved on, and navigation is ambiguous in the shoals of memory, as any expatriate visiting ‘home’ will attest. Convention is not mere habit, but the fabrication of a new chapter in the same story, a contest of intuition and language, memory and awareness, success and defeat. One person’s affluence is another’s deprivation. One person’s ritual self-discovery is another’s defilement. Convention is a truce.

But can the truce hold? When the Moon elected to worship the Sun Goddess as a man, he neglected the resilience of convention, and must now admit some culpability for a worldwide resentment among women towards his mansplaining. He meant to portray himself as subordinate to the coordinating power of female creativity, but deep in the brainstem from whence he drew his interpretations of gender there did lurk an urge to power. The ambiguity of his reflected outshining was tainted by denial that he was underplaying a primeval contest, and that he might represent just another patriarch with 27 concubines. Was there not a caricature of triumph in the metaphor of dragging Goddesses by the hair out of their Underworld hill caves to worship his worship? Even if all experience is the crocodile speaking, relationship is a more serious issue than this.

One person’s instinct is another’s reason. As previously explored, the alignment of the ancestors in a straight line passing directly overhead has two configurations: one associated by indigenous custom with the mystery of male initiation, and the other labelled idiosyncratically as the Wanderer, a possible celebration of gender difference locked into the progressive possibilities of iconoclasm emerging from the Underworld River of Lethe. Perhaps this moment, visible in complete darkness in the first quarter of the year, might be the birth of a New Moon with a difference, deriving his trajectory not from Goddess worship, but from self-worship among the ambiguous roots of identity in the somatic soup of retrospection.

Thus might the Moon be relegated to the ranks of those who dangerously deal their own cards, resentment and victimization be revealed as premeditated, and interpretation of selfhood dare to contradict convention. Meanwhile, he seems in the South to have fallen right way up out of the frying-pan of Pisces into the fire of Virgo.

What it all boils down to is, in attempting to give personality to the Moon, I have landed him with the same problem we persons all have to deal with: how to get inside another’s mind, indeed how to get inside our own without an objective system of meanings such as astrology which infers that another can get in there.

To paraphrase Bob Dylan’s prescient lines, you were kidding me, you weren’t really from the farm, and I told you later as you tore out my eyes, that I never really meant to do you any harm. Perhaps we must leave it at that. Own your conventions and their ancestral languages, and let no Goddess need recourse to claims of being framed, or farmed. And yes, rejoice in any unconventional primal resurgence of the cardinal directions, especially their upsidedown-ness, and let us hope that our subscription to their metacortical experience does not inadvertently expire.