Doubt: New Moon in Scorpius

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“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
– Albert Einstein.

What makes you tick? Not what motivates you, but how do you put yourself together? What is your organizing principle? Not why you get up when you’ve been knocked down, but how? What do you call to mind? What comes? Is it a lie to foster a self affecting a truth? Why is it that accepting the inevitable seems like a self-defeating mechanism? When an imperative pops into your mind, an innate or habitual mechanism, do you recognize and give expression to the body of your world, implement it as the construction of your will, or fight it as the enemy of your integrity?

If we could imagine for a moment language inflected not only with sexist and racist attitudes to power, but also with ingrained certainties of the physical world, including which side of the human body belongs to us and which to society, the sacredness or profanity of the instinct, and the nature of freedom as submission or rebellion, then to the extent we are comfortable and decipherable using our language, we might be confident of a universal order which makes us all brothers and sisters. We could understand the ego as the instrument of our own control over the irrational and infantile.

On the other hand, should the ego seem more like an enemy than a friend, should meditation waft us away into the universal mind, leaving us with the body only of our breath, we might attempt to dissolve our infantile defences against separation, disappointment and death in the acceptance of change, but succeed in arresting the change the universe orchestrates by flowing through our bodies.

And what if the body of the world, our habits, language and culture, seems to us in itself a threat to our identity, an oppression of our egoic insistence on mastering the socially constructed self to become in a state of fluidity whomever we choose intellectually to be? If ‘identity’ has ceased to mean what is identical, but “A person’s conception and expression of individuality or group affiliation, self-concept and self-representation”, where are those brothers and sisters now? Compassion and loving-kindness limited to the emptiness of a meditative trance? Equality, democracy and equanimity are subsumed by ungovernability when ‘identity’ is forced to mean ‘ipseity’ and the universal mind devolves into tribalism.

Scorpio New Robe Country Dec07

Many hundreds of thousands of years ago, our ancestors began to make sense of the movement of the Moon. It became hardwired into our understanding of time. It made scientists of us. Actually, you could say that the Moon, by impressing on us the rhythms of the sky, was waiting for a first landing, and caused those enduring footprints itself. Perhaps the real cause was embedded not in American politics, or an intercontinental military-industrial complex, but the universe itself, the how, not the why.

Scorpio New Robe Underworld Dec07

At a certain distance from the Equator, currently 37°9’34” latitude north and south, decreasing at a rate of about half a kilometre a year, the points at which the Galactic Plane and the Ecliptic intersect are either due east or west at the precise moment the Milky Way intersects with the horizon north and south, arcing east or west. Does this mean anything? Do you doubt it? How can you betray your ancestors by doing so? In fact, it means to the body of the world that someone has noticed it, and nothing more. Climate change is a similar, not to say identical, phenomenon. That someone did not say that east and west and the planes of the solar system and the Milky Way exist only in the mind, that the azimuths of the Galactic Poles are a problem of elementary trigonometry, or that the language used to formulate astrometry needs to be decontaminated before its importance in human history can be debated, as though it were a matter of whose bodily processes in an interstellar spacecraft have precedence, officers or ratings, men or women, black, brown or white, means only that reality has made a new appearance, that someone noticed something happening, as though in the mirror, in his Underworld.

The Sun crosses the Galactic Plane slightly less than seven hours after Solstice this year. If you’re within cooee of the N.S.W. Central Coast on Solstice Day, a Saturday, why don’t you see what you’re made of? It’s a special moment, any time the Sun is due west, this one fitting for a special companion.

Astrologer Sun Vertex Woe Budgewoi Point Dec22

What do you find beneath your feet? Does Mother Earth recognize them? Do they mirror those of an observer of the Moon on the other side? Is fantasy or forgetting an element of how you deal with things, or both, and is (s)he the One? Remember, do not to leave your phone in the car.

Astrologer Moon Anti-Vertex Forgetting Budgewoi Point Underworld Dec22

One day, astrology may use what has been noticed to see something else. Then it will be understood, but first it must be seen. Its seeing is in turn the underlying understanding of doubt. Climate change may be the universe engineering the colonisation of other solar systems by whiteness. The wound may constitute the measure of breath, and the oppression of victims be the cinching of trousers around the neck of believers. Belief, when all said and done, is of the body, not the mind. And should you doubt December’s opportunity to doubt doubt, perhaps you have not known hope or grief. When you do, in your body, please know that I, your ancestors and the birds, along with a dog and cat or two, hope and grieve with you. We are the universe. But doubt, you can have that on your own, with the sky revolving north and south, unseen, for when doubt rounds on the Self, only Christmas can save us, hein? And the ancestors sing, Death, D-Death Death, where is thy sting?

In the first case it was necessary to renounce the consciousness of an unreal immobility in space and to recognize a motion we did not feel; in the present case it is similarly necessary to renounce a freedom that does not exist, and to recognize a dependence of which we are not conscious.” Tolstoy, War And Peace.

Full Moon in Sidereal Taurus: The Vagabond

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He doesn’t trust you. It’s not that your compassion is insincere, merely hollow, gratuitous. He doesn’t ask for it. He doesn’t need it. More than that, it’s no business of his what you think or feel about him, or, for that matter, what you believe would relieve human suffering, by eradicating inequality, poverty and disease or improving difficult relationships. That is not to say that his is not in any way a spiritual path. He may appear to have given up his calling, to be bent only on his next meal, fag-end and doss, but his experience in the body of mind no more disqualifies him from transformation and becoming than yours does.

Vagabond Moon Tela Country Nov22

The Vagabond as an archetype may look out of place, with his odiously soiled trousers in the Maccas queue, but his affinity with country is palpable. If you don’t look up, and it is very uncomfortable to do so, you are vividly aware of his luminescence bathing the sky down to the horizon in all directions, as though the cardinal directions have been extinguished, as in a painful separation, perhaps, and only one direction remains, the non-zenith. The body of the world radiates from the mind, or is it that mind is dissolved in its body?

Look Tela up on Google Maps. It is strikingly beautiful, and with the midnight moon in the zenith it seems lit for a photograph by a professional for a tourism brochure. The last thing you would be wondering if you were here is, ‘what’s over the horizon’. But although the Moon is giving any witness to its perfect syzygy a show worth the price of admission and more, it gives the impression it is gazing beyond the horizon, like an actor delivering lines beyond the footlights and the dark silhouettes of the audience. Who or what is this Vagabond? Is he an apparition from the Underworld, a dead man walking, wandering in our waking and sleeping unconscious like an alley-cat? Murakami’s untrademarked Commendatore, perhaps?

Vagabond World Mercator ProjectionOriginal File at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_map_indicating_tropics_and_subtropics.png

All the powerful figures in my life are women, which explains the genders I associate with Sun and Moon. It is a moot point whether selectively listening and mansplaining at New Moon is a less potent expression of masculinity than independent and vainglorious posturing at Full Moon. Also unclear is the extent to which the undeniable subjugation of women is voluntary, and such phenomena as the #MeToo ‘movement’ are less a force driving an emasculation of men than an overdue rejection of self-loathing.

The tropical Sign associated with Taurus is Gemini in the North, Sagittarius in the South. It is both, and neither. It carries its own myths, Mesopotamian, Greek and Indigenous. To be a ‘Taurus’ is to be struck by Taurus the Constellation, not Aries or Libra (in the South). Being stuck on someone or something was not long ago much easier to recognize than it is today. We all knew with vinyl technology what a speck of dust meant. At worst we could stop playing that album, which is what most people, especially women, mean by ‘let it go’ today, but a good anti-static cloth usually did the trick.

Vagabond Moon Tela Clock Nov22

Needless to say, the Signs of the Zodiac are seasonal Sun Signs, of which the Moon makes what he can. Regarded as female in traditional western folklore, the Moon contests the Sun’s influence on growth and decay, and the tidal behaviour of rivers, seas and the fertility of women. Regardless of how cultures have chosen to identify with it, the Moon has always hotly contested the Sun as principal guide in the measure of time.

If we could prevail upon the Vagabond to speak, he would no doubt have an abundance of calamity and disappointment to share, and we would expect much of that to be about love. Perhaps he tries to illuminate the karma of his relationships with his gaze upon and beyond our horizon of time and place, but he is more likely rejoicing in his release from the constriction of our subjugation by the hormonal mysteries of the hours, which rewards him with a realization of time’s emptiness.

In the charts above and below, two perspectives of the moment of Full Moon are presented in detail which could easily be deduced from the Mercator projection presented above them, if we only knew how to tell the time. Embedded in equatorial relationship to the Constellations of the Zodiac, the bright stars of the Vagabond’s eternal return to promise and loss, among them the denizens of the Lunar Mansions of a number of traditions, move continuously around the clock of human madness: as the time of day in this instant increases to the east, by 2 hours every 30° of geographic longitude, so the (Meridian) Houses occupied by these subjects and their corresponding Signs as viewed from any location become the next 30° to the east. Conversely, a star transiting at the cusp of the Fourth House at any location appears at the cusp of the Third 30° to the west.

Vagabond Moon Brisbane Clock Nov23

If the Moon is able to perceive the powerful female forces in his world not only at all hours of the day, waking to the daily activities from which he is displaced and keenly misses, or asleep in the underworld chambers of his heart, adored by others in this instant, giving him a glance at the horizon if at all, but also instantaneously in all the realms of the bardo engendered by the negative emotions, and if he does this in a dozen guises, waxing and waning throughout the year as the Sun cloaks her tender subjects in seasonal daylight and reveals them to us in the night sky, then we may have the answer to the question, who or what is the Vagabond: detached in time and place, practising the elimination of resentment and envy, absent from history, he embodies the emptiness of memory, the presence of non-existence, and country’s transcendence of identity. He doesn’t trust your ability to tell the time; he is idea, and so are you; he is looking for a smoke.

Incidentally, before we meet again, the Sun will commence its annual fording of Acheron, the River of Woe. The Vagabond anticipates a difficult rebirth there, but I trust you will notice nothing out of the ordinary.

New Moon in Sidereal Libra: Rectitude

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Recovery from wrong is quite straightforward: called rectitude, it is a process of separating mind and body, emptiness and meaning. Coastal tea tree leans away from the salt wind, though its petrified windward buds beg the question of perfection. Are we happy with the shape of our relationships, or triggered by the trauma of others into vicarious anger and hatred? The so-called victim mentality, resentment of our windward buds, the yellow belly of activism when it rolls over, is rectitude and inauthenticity writ large. It affects to lean into the wind. Sidereal Libra, on my shoreline, you need not let this be you! Alas, the great wheel of the year has no sooner brought to the human spirit a confirmation of its foundation in community than it reveals what perpetually undermines community, the propensity of the human spirit to cling to its rationale at any cost, cloaking its instinct and ploughing through its vacuity with silence, status and rectitude. Staring into the future on the ruined planet its body has bequeathed, we never find the time, audience or self-belief to justify exactly what it is we are only doing because of the children. Libra New Busselton Underworld Solar Midnight Nov08 The scales of justice, symbol of Autumn stocktake, refinement and compromise in the olden days, can be imagined in the ancient asterism of Libra, although it is now the constellation of the Maiden which carries that Northern Hemisphere Sign, and when the Sun is in the constellation of Libra Summer is rapidly supplanting Spring where I live in the South. The mythology of heaven has undergone a lot of climate change in its time. Breamlea Zodiac I have arbitrarily determined in some instants that Sign follows Hemisphere, and in others that if any sidereal division of the Ecliptic transits in the southern sky at a particular latitude, it carries a Northern Tropical Sign, and the opposite Sign if it transits in the Northern sky. This implies a change of sign for the Sun on the day its declination equals a tropical location’s latitude, and prompts the consideration of what the Signs have in common, rather than how they differ. Am I right or wrong? Should I be consistent? Why? Either way, can damages be specified? I would submit to the Court of Libra that rectitude in their judgement would amount to a clear case of karmic vision. Jupiter was in sidereal Libra since October 2017, retrograde from March to July this year, uneasily tolerant in the South, balefully imposing in the North. It gratefully entered sidereal Scorpio twelve days ago and quits tropical Scorpio today. Venus was also in Libra when it ‘turned’ retrograde on October 6, and after an ingenuous dance in Virgo—I thought the maiden aunt’s wig and gown looked ridiculous, to be honest—will reenter Libra on November 27, reclaiming her refinement in the first week of the new Victorian Parliament. I hesitate to suggest that the world, Australia in particular, owes its chaos to either of these bodies when Saturn has been wallowing in the turbulence of Acheron since 2016, but I do consider myself fortunate that I won’t see a repeat. LIbra 2019 Solar Midnight May04 The Breamlea Zodiac is a pretty good fit for an unevenly spaced Ecliptic, if I do say so myself. The big constellations like Pisces and Virgo get their wings clipped, that’s all. The tropical signs move left with precession but the Breamlea boundaries don’t. At the moment, the difference between a Breamlea Zodiac cusp and its next tropical sign is 2° 33′ and closing (an ayanamsa of 27.45). The tranquil Southern (Taurean) Sign with its undercurrent of insecurity belying justice and rectitude fits the civil wars of colonial histories well. The wolf getting speared above is a symbol of the kangaroos and sheep slaughtered by opposing sides. Scapegoating and rectitude are two sides of the same coin, perhaps a coin tossed to fall on country, my country, even today? Libra New Sky Breamlea Nov08 The signs of the hemispheres may be different, but notwithstanding differences in latitude, the stars are the same. When the Sun is in Libra, this is my witching hour sky, awaiting the Moon. Libra might be less aggressive and insecure if it could imagine its mirror image, but how do you imagine your left arm on your right? “Maybe someday I’ll be able to draw a portrait of nothingness. Just like another artist was able to complete a painting titled Killing Commendatore. But to do so I would need time to get to that point. I would have to have time on my side.Haruki Murakami. I am hoping against hope for the time to complete my portrait of emptiness called Killing Country, a challenging project to present the Galaxy in the eyes of the dead, my world when I’m gone, wrapped and hidden in the attic of your unexamined beliefs, your most vociferous litigious redundancies. This, the essence of a portrait, is the nub of the issue of Libra consciousness, that life is about nothing which can be shared, and life not shared is nothing. A few astrologers and one or two ex-schoolmates on the bench are poking their grizzled heads into the same project, and don’t I love them for it. Watch this space. What does it mean, and remember that meaning is tangential to both culture and subjectivity, that the world I try to make intelligible to you will never, ever form itself again? A bower bird, looking for materials to build a nest on the cusp of identity, flew into a hifi store. Laden with connectors, leads and chargers, it flew straight at the plate glass window and fell down stone dead. Couldn’t it see its reflection? Stupid bird! We are embedded in myths, customs and laws, and many of these are very, very old (and sad, of course!). If we tell them, practise them, obey them, is there a meaning to our lives which will outlive us? Ah yes, letting go, of everything but what terminal rectitude outsiders call presence, so that eternity ripples with the resonance of the adept’s loving-kindness. Truly, how does Libra keep its wig on, with head stuck up there? You can get paranoid about it, but essentially, life is a contest between empty heads and hearts, and the mistaken idea that the mind is something you have to graduate in disqualifies it as will and testament. The body of the world is a safer ticket, because everyone has one of those, and it shares its stuff, unlike the mind, which, not to put too fine a point on it, is secret nobody’s business. But what concept of the world-body can transcend change? Fertiliser? Well, that’s a few of my thoughts, derived largely from the Open Office spreadsheet which cannot conceal the body of my mind, and from an equanimity which has brought seven years’ bad luck every single time I have queried the authenticity of another’s heart. Do you imagine the dead attach themselves any differently from when they lived? Of course, obscure Saint Whatsaname, you’re right: my idolatry enables your involuntary permanence, but if your spiritual curtains are open in the Underworld, what do I imagine are the Lord’s chances for a foot massage? Dulcineas of this world, Aldonzas of the next, The Enchanter raises His mirror to you! And Your Honour? Thank you for the protracted hearing you have given my redundant litigiousness.

Full Moon in Sidereal Aries: The Peasant

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Is it possible to be on the outside of the outside of the outside? Or perhaps that is the seventh circle of hell.“ Rick Morton.

It’s nearly last curtain for the Moon: time, I can feel it in the stalls, to put his costumes back in Wardrobe, or the closet perhaps, and go back into the Underworld.

My father used to say I talked because I liked the sound of my own voice, but I think it was irrepressible for two reasons: it wasn’t mine, but a voice with which the woodwork might become human, the hills might converse across the creeks, and the stars might exchange their vacuum for a night sky; and it ignited the silence of ignorance, and complacency towards incarceration of the body by the mind, delighting in the play of power. I haven’t grown up much.

This blog began as a Facebook page, motivated by a rather naive impatience with people who were attracted to the meaning astrology seeks in the heavens but knew so little about the night sky that the Moon in Aries was effectively lost. As above, so below, people were saying who were as interested in making a living as in connecting real people to the real world. This motivation was of course also true of Facebook, who invented the monetary value of talking to the world, and silenced the hills.

Peasant Moon Bogor Oct24

It might profit us ordinary people to compare ourselves to peasants, for we resemble them in many ways, despite protesting too much, methinks. Alan Hollinghurst, in his introduction to Penelope Fitzgerald’s quite superb Offshore, quotes the author as being drawn to “people who seem to have been born defeated or even profoundly lost … They are ready to assume the conditions the world imposes on them, but they don’t manage to submit to them, despite their courage and their best efforts ….” I think of myself, I think of people in various places trying to survive the devastation visited on them by distant, imperious and collusive decisions of unfathomable interest, indigenous Australians, West Papuans, Palestinians (and indeed Israelis), and anybody whose traditions situate them on top of what someone else wants. I think of the courage of the equally unfortunate communities disintegrating in arduous habitats of no value to anyone else, seduced of their youth.

What the land needed was not a degree but sons and, in certain cases, daughters who were willing to stay behind and work it and breed. It was, and to an extent remains, a feudal system in its simplistic expectations.” Rick Morton, A Hundred Years Of Dirt.

The reason Southern Hemisphere Astrology Full Moon names are so archaic is because, like voice and vocation, they arise in the Underworld, where cosmos breeds mind, where the numinous dwells, where the memes of 85 million years belie their disappearance, and where we put the past, the poor and the dead. What better symbol of community than the peasant in Spring, what better model of self-acceptance, confidence in, and contribution to others, in the Adlerian terms Kishimi and Koga (The Courage To Be Disliked, Allen & Unwin, 2017) use to describe community. And if your season is not Spring, it really is in your Underworld. But the Moon, your moon, is not a symbol, is it? And you don’t think of yourself as a peasant?

Peasant Moon Socorro Underworld Oct24

What is there to learn from the mechanics of peasantry towards an optimization of harmony and control in the age of artificial intelligence? What will we do with the poor when climate change erodes their self-sufficiency and menial stop-gap occupations are filled by machines? How will we frame our global regulations so that the annihilation of the poor indicates to us their best interests? Will the economics of automation offset the economics of mental illness?

Jusqu’ici tout va bien, as the man who fell from a skyscraper said as he counted the floors. Control the Underworld, the presence of absence, and you own the country. But the question is, how to do that without getting stuck there, like the peasant? What typifies the peasant in our everyday usage of the term is a lack of the normal ambition to make the world a better place, an acceptance of the unacceptable, an unpalatable satisfaction with ignorance. The account the peasant gives of past and future is rooted in repetitions and cycles: such and such a season, a birth here, a death there. It seems shallow and constrictive, but in comparison with us, he seems free of incapacity, of a sinister legacy of the past, and of anxiety about the future. The Underworld, our unconscious and unknown, is palpable to him: the ground of his being is the earth upon which he works, this globe with its atmosphere and its climate which physically enfolds him and his ancestors. At least he is grounded. Perhaps it should inspire our confidence too, that if you feel unqualified to exchange ideas about how the world might be made a better place, you can at least enjoy finding yourself in the body of your own mind.

Peasant Moon Socorro Oct24

Enmeshed in his physical rather than emotional environment, he is no more attuned to human behaviour than the pigeons of suburbia, who keep telling everybody to “Cross the road” an hour too late after daylight saving kicks in. He is oblivious to the precession of the equinoxes and the ‘man box’. Neither happy nor unhappy, he seems satisfied simply to get done the job at hand. Self-development for him is a good meal for family and friends. You can safely predict such a person deprived of subsistence will instantly turn to crime. But what of that? He is of use to us, even as a criminal, so long as he accepts and contributes to our power. In fact, we even feel a sense of connection with him, since we too are embedded in a non-emotional physical environment, a machine of economic and social goods in which we in turn often feel a lack of meaning, almost as though we are marionettes.

Peasant Moon Bogor Underworld Oct24

However, should he revolt, we must annihilate him, for if anything should obstruct the power which flows through us, our culture will collapse like a deck of cards. It actually feels good that so far this has not been necessary. That we continue to enable him to be poor reflects well on our compassionate community and the system we enjoy. He has served us well in surveillance, but CCTV is making him redundant again. Opposite to the Artisan, the Sensualist and the Dabbler in the Order of Appearance, he would make the perfect counterfoil to architectural durability. We can make him a builder, or better still, a building inspector: more work for the insurance industry. The play’s the thing.

[Abliq to Community. You may have noticed I have omitted any reference to ‘country’ in the sense ‘Welcome to Country’ gives it. This is not because I consider myself less qualified to speak about reality than anyone else, whatever language is appropriated to do so, but because it is now so hard for most of us to hear country’s heartbeat empty, and that’s as much my Moon’s fault as anyone’s. Back with more good reading and listening leads next month, hopefully in good voice. Abliq out.]

Community: New Moon in Sidereal Virgo

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True singing is a different breath, about nothing. A gust inside the god. A wind.“ Rilke, Sonnets To Orpheus.

You need to listen to this. Do you think of community as a timeless thing, with age-old issues, or a problem of your time to which you personally must address yourself? Are you aware of your underworld, or do you identify it as an antipodes inhabited by others?

Country transcends the visible. Before it can become authentic existence, life in death, empty and real, it must include its ghosts. We all have ghosts, even if we ghost them: real people we have clothed in norepinephrine, epinephrine and cortisol in our hippocampus, unreal people we have idealized, our own selves as we wish we were or hide in shame, people we have lost or never had. The visible, material world ghosts them; Indigenous country shares them, dances them. Community is not possible without ceremony which keeps them in place, in the living, breathing underworld, our world’s body. Is it better to preen and screech like one’s cockatoo, and gossip like one, or try to wing it from a tree?

Virgo New Cessnock Underworld Oct09

Did I forget to mention that the only person who can really tell me Cessnock’s location is its representative? The episteme of the age of democracy, the belief in representation, is dissolving in instinctual dissatisfaction, and the normalizing mechanics of power, institutional propaganda addressing a shared morality which no longer exists, are only reinforcing the experience of powerlessness and a universal sense of loss of sovereignty. Country is under threat from the ghosts of its underworld (read emotions!). Passion overwhelms regularity and cause overshadows effect. Trauma relives its anniversaries.

Community, which has historically been an honourable battle against a common enemy, the forces of nature, seasonal deadlines, ignorance of the law, zombies and psychopaths, poverty, inequality etc., has in many places forgotten honour in action in order to heal, to demand dignity, to ghost its ghosts. Community means safety, and in a society terrorized by the rare disasters which dominate the news, and driving the kids to school so they don’t get abducted, at 40kph 500 metres either side of a pothole repair, it means confidence that nothing horrible is going to happen. The common enemy is now the unknown. Blessed be the ghost who walks, for the warrant on his head.

Sydney Cove Underworld 1788 Jan26

How can a person be there for you if you don’t know who they are? (Read: Indigenous Australians, do your Underworld homework,)

“Advance Australia Fair” is the epitome of anachronism as the national anthem of a modern state. What is the national character it celebrates? Who even knows the words, let alone how offensive they are? How does it promote the sense of community schools are trying to inculcate in Australian youth? Can any of us truly sing it, as a national community? What virtues do Australians distinctively and unanimously extol, which are not equally valued by every society on earth? What is the true nature of a community in which a hundred distinct cultures may coalesce? Silent respect? Empty breath? Or secret psychosis?

Is community akin to the synthetic co-existence of the agglomeration of cells and processes we call the body, the universal template which differentiates identity in terms of the incidental repercussions of time and place? Does it transcend or inhere in narrative? Can we own our different bodies without honouring universal body-consciousness? Must identity divorce personal perspective from the emptiness of country, defining the delusory as the particular?

Such are the questions which engage a consciousness which revolves in a sequence of emergent ideas, beginning afresh in the waters of Lethe to rediscover and explore in turn the corridors of responsibility, connection, disclosure and community. The geocentric conjunction of the Sun and Moon and position of the Full Moon are mathematical fictions. Can they really transcend differences in chirality and topocentric perspective of North and South and unite a community? I might laugh at any Southern astrology which divorces itself from the practice of observation which birthed it, but I seem to be the only one laughing.

The evolution of intelligence has always involved regulation in a feedback loop of consciousness and voice, law and instinct. In every utterance in the history of human thought you can hear the voice of some element of human yearning, for freedom, tolerance, immortality, victory etc., in a dialogue (we call sensibility) with accepted meanings of prior utterances in the cultural forms of the everyday. Community has never existed in law, but in the resonance of voice in the underworld.

Community will be one of the last redoubts of the unconscious to resist the inexorable march of the robotic mind. It disappears when you try to think it, turns into something else, culture, ideology, society, nationality, kinship, class, race and gender, any of which can be rationalized and is constantly redefined by the robotics of the sociological mind, but none of which comprises community or can exist without it.

We held our annual solar midnight fling in the first week of this month, lined up around the horizon, and detonated our usual tonne of fireworks. Nobody even noticed, although last night the waning Prodigal Moon made audible supplications, and we are bound by thousands of years of tradition to grant him what he wished for: community. After all, this week marks five years of the astrologer’s exile.

Virgo New Eve Solar Midnight Miserere Caboolture Underworld Oct08

Back in the good old days, we used to line up across the zenith from east to west, and what parties those were! We only do that up near the Arctic Circle these days, a kind of wildling banishment it seems.

Kyrie Stonehenge Underworld 130BCE Julian Calendar Sep10

Alack, poor Orpheus, we knew him well, we who have danced our blood and conjured ghosts. Yes, 2,148 years ago communities were no masters of their underworld either. And still it is our nature to wish the other’s imperious flesh to be made of dream.

Silence cannot be the foundation of community, because silence enables secrecy, secrecy enables corruption, and corruption usurps power, which evolves to manipulate trust and destroy community. Why is there no safe passage through the Sahara? What happened to hospitality? Why are hungry Rohingya babies crying in exile? Why can’t Uighurs, Syrians, Yemeni, Sudanese, Londoners and Bavarians breathe peacefully? Because silence and submission are one, and for millenia have provided a vocation for witch-doctors.

Many undesirable things come from the underworld: wounds, illicit desire and other unsavoury instincts, bad habits, attitude, habits of any kind, evil, anger, fear, and most dangerous obedience to voice, psychosis. Never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath, it upsets them. But that’s not the real reason. After they’ve killed you, or done to you whatever was done to them, they will do their homework, and correct the mistake by which you recognized them. You’ve made the world a more dangerous place by perfecting its mask.

So what to do? Nobody in the history of civilization has ever figured that out.
Do you have someone in your past who speaks to your anguish in the words of pop songs? Or are you someone’s ghost? Have you hurt a lot of people in the past, and even though you’re more in control of yourself now, do you find people looking sideways at you when you speak from the heart? Do you dig up graves? Do you own shares in BHP?

Virgo New Tembagapura Underworld Oct09

Do you hate people who couldn’t care less about the Great Barrier Reef, or the feminist implications of hijab, or what eighty-year-olds from other cultures get up to in the privacy of their pre-pubescent nephew’s or niece’s bedroom? Yes, you may be a psychopath, and yet belong to a community. Is community never telling anyone they’re a psychopath? Is being a psychopath any more than having a mind that’s made up? Can a community exclude? A mind can be, ought to be, aware of its thought patterns and the patterns of others as the workings of a machine which situates itself malignantly in it, but a sense of the beauty of life’s dance with the machine of the world blooms out of the change of mind. That sense is the machine personified, the world’s living, finite epitaph. Immortality is an exclamation-mark, the sarcophagus of the made up mind.

Nothing, never too little, ever too much: that is the community we enjoy here, in the underworld. When do you join us? Q was dancing at Caboolture! How satisfying it is, that the impossibility of community is embodied by its authentic existence among your dead and us ghosts-who-walk-upside-down!

Prodigal Moon in Constellation Pisces 2018

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Hidden deep within conventional astrology is an undisclosed intention, to help you make something of yourself. It is not just yiddishe mamas who define parental accomplishment as providing the world with more doctors and lawyers, and it is not just Western culture which judges a life by its social benefit. For 3000 years poets, storytellers, philosophers and priests have been teaching us the art of creating a self, and astrology has merely delivered a universal tool to the same end with its Sun Sign daily horoscopes. Astrology provides an aesthetic dimension to subjectivity’s game of chess with the world machine, but the aim of the game is to win.

Not necessarily fame and fortune, but something approaching those supremely admired achievements is still unquestioned as the purpose of life by those still desiring entry to heaven and those dutiful to heaven’s creation on earth, if only to convert the world, by force if necessary. Self-improvement is the madness of the House of Constriction in my astrology, but lack of motivation to better oneself and others verges on psychosis in the minds of most. What life discloses is a way forward, and if we don’t take it, some self-defeating mechanism must be involved.

The September Full Moon reflects both the impulse to leap into the traces and the grasshopper threat of not having enough laid by, and in keeping with the ostensible self-disclosure we admire in our delusion, the gambler mourns wasted opportunity. Does the father in the parable welcome the wastrel home because everyone deserves a second chance, or did his own youthful impatience reveal itself as it decayed into world-weariness? How many more eggs can we put into the basket of gender?

What image the prodigal doesn’t live up to, and where it resides, what initiation into the desirable path they receive, and who really desires it, are fraught questions. The imagery, not the morality, of cultural tropes would bear closer examination. The expectations of tiger mums may be deplorable, but would not self-awareness be more effective in discouraging her than stigma? The meditations of astrology on the subject of the vertex may serve better than a lifetime of therapy in the hands of professional imagery.

The image we harbour of the desirable other and the demeanour we develop, unconsciously and reactively, as a projection of our response, is as hidden as the ecliptic from which astrology derives its quantities. Even as avid a stargazer as I could not assert an observational basis for any significance in the altitude of the zodiac due west or east, and naturally I regard magnetic or electrical resonances with extreme suspicion. Previously explored here, the rapidity with which the Vertex can change Signs and houses in and near the Tropics, a huge chunk of Australia, may disqualify it as an element of personality formation. Nonetheless, as offering a spectrum across which to observe in ourselves the mysterious hormonal interaction of coincidentally waxing and waning images of the ideal, the Vertex is a fruitful concept.

As Alan Watts said, “It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.” The Vertex is quintessential astrology. It is as the music of our soul that it discloses itself, just as the chemistry of photosynthesis discloses itself as wood and height. As the intersection of the western Zodiac and the Prime Meridian it makes no sense, but as the focus of all the important people who come into our lives, and leave them, it discloses the hormonal shades of our interest in others, what it is in them which arrests and seduces our instinctive will to be.

The pleasure of observing sunrise and sunset is part of it, and the degree of comfort I feel in the presence of another. The primordial resonances of east and west are part of it, and the feedback loops of projection. I experience the character of my love-image, and the success or otherwise of its projection, in cyclical patterns. They morph into different forms as the Vertex inhabits different constellations, in other words at different altitudes above and below the horizon, and at different times of life, of the year and day. The higher the zodiac, the more intense and constellated is the effect of the Vertex in the west or the anti-Vertex in the east; the lower it is the more primal and potentially transgressive. But these are my moves. Now you have a dance!

Vertex Houses Capital Cities 2017

You be the judge. Do you find yourself varying the dosage of your self-medication at these times?

Vertex City Times 25Oct2018

Incidentally, it seems patently obvious to me that conjunctions of stars and planets with the Vertex should be measured horizontally, not along the Zodiac. Here is a particularly seductive alignment in Charleville’s narcissistic Prodigal underworld. Note the configuration of the Milky Way, giving the lie to the synchronous Covenant invisible on the Australian side.

Prodigal Kyrie Charleville Underworld Sep25

Here’s another one, possibly the hormonal undercurrents of a bleary elevator ride following another $50,000 of inheritance blown on the roulette wheel.

Prodigal Dohar Underworld Sep25

This graphic way of representing or imagining the underworld, as the hidden correlates of the conscious or visible, not only unites the hemispheres, but persistently alerts us to the existence of the Other in ourselves, a partner in the dance. No culture is alien to any other. No way of looking at things is entirely wrong. No perspective is unique, or entirely conscious. There are no opposites in gender. Projection is the very definition of imagery.

Prodigal Moon Bogota Sep24

What if the altitude of the Zodiac around the time of your birth, in the evening or early morning according to outhouse visitation preferences, had a big influence on what your parents decided, perhaps in a narcissistic epiphany at the pan, to impose on your meaning in their lives? Must such self-unawareness surely ordain your eventual repudiation? Is “What went wrong with you?” our universal doom? A global government must surely take this seriously, and coordinate biometric data on transnational emotional and imaginative responses to the Vertex, in order to remove parental bias from the resonance of upbringing in our careers and relationships!

Prodigal Jakarta Underworld Sep25

Let it be emphasized that the natural resonance of the Vertex is unifying, that across the threshold of consciousness, across the seasonal polarity of the hemispheres, its Signs are the same, and cardinal directions are interchangeable.

However, unity is a dangerous thing to wish for. Not only could astrology-savvy AI enable police reinforcements to be mobilized in anticipation of conjunctions of a full moon with disruptive angles (cue Charleville), but its design might impose extreme intolerance, of resistance to careers in medicine and the law for example. Our cultures are divided in their attitudes to gender fluidity: artificial reunification might as easily be designed to eradicate it, and prohibit homosexuality as a sacrilege and mental disorder, as be designed to destigmatize its hormonal fluctuations. One could ask, what went wrong with the hormones of Indonesian Islamists? ‘Eternity’, the Vertex in the Ninth House (Aspiration), in the Tropics? Or ‘Permanence’ in the Fourth (Reputation), eternity’s fetish?

Prodigal Regulus Jakarta Sep25

The words of the Prophet belong in the world which discloses itself to childhood. They are the lawns of suburban parks and backyards, evolved to minimize injuries and indelible stains through generations of debate about the Good. They exist in Reason, as binary gender does, but they are made of grass, which is the disclosure of Instinct. You could say that lawns help grass to make something of itself, but they are really weeds dancing with the machine.

Disclosure: New Moon in Constellation Leo 2018

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Anyone who has lived through the internet’s transformation of reality will have noticed a proliferation of certainty. Every debate is loud with it, and wisdom, dismayed, must consider unassailable facts on both sides. Whereas investigation was previously predicated on ‘I don’t know’, it has apparently degenerated into a search for facts which support ‘I know’. This is quite amazing to somebody educated in facts, with the purpose of disclosing the extent of ignorance, who has seen the transformation of critical theory into the syllabus of primary schools, with the purpose of exposing the ambiguity of knowledge.

The notorious family conflicts which arise when children reach puberty disclose the ideological opposition of ‘I know’ to ‘I don’t know’, and two stages of personal development, the investigation of experience as existence and the investigation of existence as experience. Such conflict can take generations to resolve. In an Australian multicultural context, these two stages manifest themselves in the perennial dynamic of integration. Immigrants are dismayed by their perception of a demand for acculturation, and antagonists to plural monoculturalism can find difficulty in locating their pragmatism in recovery from the grief of their own displaced ancestors.

What differentiates quality journalism from populism is the avoidance of bias confirmation. Both base investigation on the Five W’s, who, where, when, what, and why, but whereas quality journalism demonstrates the ambiguity of the answers, populism confirms their simplicity. Once upon a time, my own investigation of current affairs was led by The Guardian and the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and it has taken time to accept, to grieve, that quality journalism can no longer be confidently sought there.

In similar terms, quality astrology differentiates itself from the populist variety in its focus on ambiguity and recognition of confirmation bias. It presents a tool for asking the Five W’s, but it assumes readers to be seeking more questions, not answers, and to be intensifying existence, not pacifying it. The answer to the question, ‘Who am I?’, is indeterminate, and that is exciting. If you must know who you are, it is my sad duty to inform you that you are nobody.

Where and when you were born cannot be identified, because the where has disappeared, like your parent culture and the climate and geographic coordinates of your birth location, into nowhere, and the when cannot be retrieved except in the historical antecedents of various different arbitrary measures of time based on their obviously impossible separation. The increments of one against another may be small– the measure of sky movement, sidereal time, increases against solar time by 33 seconds every 8 years–but no-when will they ever coincide again. Specifics are out of the question, my dear Watson.

Where is this place?

Leo New Iconoclast Sky Cessnock Sep10

Cessnock is a real entity, proclaimed with defined boundaries in 1906, and is indexed on thousands of databases and maps. It welcomes the traveller with a real sign in the real ground beside the highway, and every property-owner knows they are in it because they pay council rates. That information may answer the questions who and what, but my question was, ‘where is it?’ Someone in Cessnock, perhaps you can tell me? Down the road from Newcastle, yes, but where is Newcastle, down the road from Cessnock? If I approached from the west, the bush of the Pokolbin Forest, following a road, or else Cessnock would repel me beyond an array of back fences, sooner or later a sign would tell me the road’s name, and someone would tell me I was in Cessnock, someone who wouldn’t understand that they weren’t answering my question, “Where am I?” If I were really lucky, a child might give me the right answer, “Here, in country!”

Leo New Cessnock Underworld W Wall Sep10

Here is another correct answer: Cessnock is, not a thou’ out, directly and exactly above its underworld! (A pubescent child always knows when an adult is using semantics to reach a common understanding, which explains the ubiquity of the expression, ‘Sarcasm is the wit of fools’.) Seriously, you have to ask yourself, couldn’t we have done away with 100 years of research into the unconscious if we had simply listened to the people who could find it on a map, right here?

The Miserere, Psalm 51, is the cry of the penitent who is left here, when the rivers of Hades, and their grazing thunder lizards, have disappeared beyond the boundary of the underworld, and penitents are not sure which shore they inhabit. Who are we? The ordinary souls sent to the Asphodel Meadows of our underworld’s underworld? Can Here be There, as the Proclamation has it? What do the aquifers of country disclose when your lover is on the line and your voice is in their head?

Leo New Steep Point Underworld Miserere Sep10

This is the moment the ancestors ring the edge of the world, above and below, in neither. Steep Point is the western tip of a continent, from which the then living ancestors watched Dirk Hartog sail past in 1616 CE, with no idea that country was about to be proclaimed out of existence, parcelled up as abutments. To be fair to those seafarers and the settlers who eventually followed them, they had no idea of the Universal Proclamation of Humanity gestating in the abutted minds of landowning philosophers, astrologists and activists. Like any migrant, they were simply creating right of way through abutting, overseas kinships they had no relationship to.

Now we come to the weird bit. Who are ‘they’? Who are we as they?

Leo New Osorezan Underworld Sep10

Osorezan is an active volcano in northern Honshu believed by many to be the threshold of the underworld. Half the world (and almost everyone in these parts) has always believed that ill fortune is not an outcome of karma, what goes around comes around, but the result of sorcery, the conjuring of injured, vengeful spirits from the underworld. I have not found reference to which way up they endure, or if their seasons, directions and chirality mirror the hemisphere of the living, but when they climb out of the fissures of the Earth their evil is authentically alien to ours. Shamans and sorcerers know how to channel them, and so, apparently, do the revilers of Captain Cook, and those still fighting the lost War Against the Proclamation of Country.

So you have no self which is not some other nobody’s nobody, no country which is not some other underworld, and no history which has not been repudiated by you, its child. How WOW is that? But you will be who you want to be, until we have built Jerusalem, and the holy temple of your devotion will be the body, of the visible world, indeterminate, ineffable, enfolding you tenderly in your confirmation bias until you have exhausted fact, country has thrown open its five aggregates of mind and the fleeting moment has disclosed its unbearable beauty. Country, world disclosure, is your will to be, your sap, your yeast, your music, and you are always welcome!

Monk Moon in Constellation Aquarius 2018

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Meditation develops mind, and permanently elevated levels of perception, problem solving and consciousness. Can we stop teaching children the building-blocks of reality, language, citizenship and morality if we teach them to meditate? Is this the way to create a world of loving-kindness in which building-blocks are known to be empty causes of confusion and division? By example, monks claim to enlighten the world by perfecting themselves and teaching that suffering arises from clinging to a fixed self in an objective reality imprisoned in time. Do they?

We are well aware of the danger of undervaluing a healthy ego. We don’t want students to succumb to melancholy, depression and suicide, and we don’t want them harming others on rampages of resentment and vengeance either. We want them to be centred, confident and successful, and only drawn to the ladder of spiritual practice with a natural desire for enlightenment. Is there anything worse than organized ignorance? Ask the Rohingya. Ask the Arakanese.

Meditation is natural. Not only mystics do it, but birds do it, crustaceans do it, and perhaps even the trees do it. Can you imagine any living thing not desiring to prolong bliss or the glimmer of self-consciousness? Is it not ultimately an instinct for transcendence that will overturn this bucket of crabs you find yourself in?

Way back at the dawn of civilization the ancestors imagined into being an aid to the task of clambering out of the bucket. Answers to the question, ‘How do I fit into the scheme of things?’ come from within the nascent consciousness formed by meditation, but how to get in there to control the answers, how to be sure we are not just sacrifices to time in an eternal crab-race?

Sephirot South

Angels (they say) don’t know whether it is the living they are moving among, or the dead. The eternal torrent whirls all ages along in it, through both realms forever, and their voices are drowned out in its thunderous roar.” (Rilke, The First Elegy, trans. Stephen Mitchell, The Duino Elegies & The Sonnets to Orpheus, Vintage International, 2009.)

Clamouring with the antediluvian authority of journalists on social media, the white cockatoos rearrange themselves on the tree of life. You never see them, unless you are evolved indeed! Their raucous flight takes place, and is impossible not to hear, in the underworld houses beneath the ground, where they endlessly challenge the Monk’s mind with ancestral bypass. Like the numerals on the back of football jerseys, and the nations of the Earth, their bodies are interchangeable.

Monk Managua Underworld Antares Aug26

Full Moon beneath Managua, Nicaragua

Antares, 11 million years old, is 550 light-years away, a supergiant 12 times the Sun’s mass, 680 times its diameter and nearly 100,000 times its luminosity. Its nightfall transit heralds the arrival of true Spring’s generic obligations in the South. It is one of the cardinal Royal Stars.

Uriel represents an ancient argument about the basis of stability, triangle or square. They are variously the angel of repentance, the pitiless, the south wind, patron of the arts and of confirmation, angel of the face and the earth, one of the four angels of the presence, ruler of Tartarus. They are in awe of what is occulted by Earth.

Monk Corner Brook Underworld Canopus Aug26

Full Moon beneath Corner Brook, Canada

Canopus is a bright giant 310 light-years distant, 8 times the Sun’s mass, 71 times its diameter, and 10,700 times its luminosity. Its right ascension places it in Breamlea Zodiac Gemini, and those in the North above latitude 35° who can never see it can reason its upper transit beneath the southern horizon on a line projected from Mirzam and Tejat, and its opposite lower transit below Kaus Australis.

Sandalphon’s head reaches to heaven, and like music, is firmly rooted in, yet soars beyond, the body of the world. As the immortalized Elijah, they are the protector of the unborn, and their almost human cry resonates with the pangs of your faltering attainment.

Monk Maceio Underworld Altair Aug26

Full Moon beneath Maceio, Brazil

Altair, 1.2 billion years old, is one of the closest stars visible to the naked eye, about 16.7 light-years. It has about 1.8 times the Sun’s mass and 11 times its luminosity. It spins so fast, once every 8.9 hours (compared to the Sun’s 25 days), that it is 20% flattened at the poles, and observably brighter at the poles than the equator. It is prominent in August and September nights.

Akathriel, an angel of the presence, and possibly God themself, is the angel to some of Kether (meaning ‘crown’), the topmost of the sefirot of the Tree of Life, and no wonder here in the Tropics, but in temperate latitudes they find themself outscreeched up there. Anything for a quiet life, says the circling Yesod eagle. They have 8,760 eyes, one for every hour of the year.

Monk Bologna Underworld Fomalhaut Aug26

Full Moon beneath Bologna, Italy

Fomalhaut is about 449 million years old, 25 light-years away. Nearly double the size of the Sun, it is 16 times more luminous. Its visible transit more or less overhead in Chile, Argentina, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific begins in June and disappears in November, heralding Summer. It is one of the four Royal Stars, the watcher of the south (at the Winter Solstice of 2,600 BCE–in 1,150 years it will be at the Northern Vernal Equinox).

Gabriel is God’s messenger, the plucker of new souls from the Tree of Life, the guardian angel of Israel and the bearer of revelation to prophets, such as Muhammad. Gabriel administers severity in the North, and may accordingly assist in death. In the South they squawk to the other side of the tree. They announce high summer, and affirm the victory of instinct.

Monk Tehran Underworld Achernar Aug26

Full Moon beneath Tehran, Iran

Achernar, 139 light-years away and 37 million years old, is the first magnitude star on its own opposite the Southern Cross on the South Celestial Pole clock. It spins so fast, rotating every two days, that its equator is 56% greater than its polar diameter. It blinks on at upper transit at the latitude of Melbourne, Florida, and is visibly circumpolar below Melbourne, Australia. Seven times the size of the Sun and 3,150 times more luminous, it lurks below the southern horizon at Tehran.

Belial is the archangel of cleansing and hostility to hell, but that is because they are reformed. Historically the angel of darkness and destruction, one of the fallen ones, they may have fathered Lucifer and been the avatar of Satan, but liar that they are, they seek to overcome their worthlessness by promoting self-sufficiency and personal accomplishment. They would have you address them as Independence, or Headwater, but their tight wheel brings a waterboarded Cassiopeia to mind.

Monk Schwebo Underworld Aldebaran Aug26

Full Moon beneath Shwebo, Myanmar

Aldebaran is an orange giant 44 times the diameter of the Sun and 425 times its luminosity, though only 1.7 times its mass. Aldebaran is 6.6 billion years old, nearly half the age of the universe, and around 65 light-years away. It is the eye of the Bull and the baleful follower of the Seven Sisters.

Michael is the highest in rank of the angels, leader of the armies of God against evil, the Prince of Israel and the archangel of mercy (it was they who substituted a ram for Isaac). They are in charge of the soul of justice, and roost in the west side of the tree, on your right facing south, or remember, on your left if you go behind the tree.

Monk Suva Underworld Regulus Aug26

Full Moon Sun beneath Suva, Fiji

Regulus, a star-system of two pairs of dwarves, is about a billion years old and 79 light-years distant. The main star rotates every 16 hours, has over 3 times the Sun’s mass and 360 times its luminosity. Its name, meaning ‘little king’, identifies it with the basilisk of mediaeval bestiaries. It is one of the Royal Stars marking the cardinal quarters, and is notable for its regular occultations by the Moon, and its encounter every 8 years with Venus.

Raphael is the healing archangel, bestowing submission to the severity of the wound with a healthy sarcasm, directed towards the tropical duality of meditative connection and theology’s engrossment in perfectionism, often misinterpreted by those unfamiliar with the spirits of the underworld, being focussed only on cognitive diagnosis.

What do stars and angels, higher consciousness and music, social media and stigma, gender and mental illness all have in common? They are in the bodyAh, Monk, you smooth talker! You have me in two minds.

You are certainly higher than I on the ladder leaning to heaven’s restoration of innate human divinity, and if Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics, the permanent improvements you have made to your consciousness, and pharmaceutical or psychedelic alternatives to our disembodied spirituality can all be combined, the pilgrim’s progress may prove to the benefit of all, but if gamma waves prove barely to rustle the leaves of the tree of life, suspended as it is above a lower realm of struggle and strife, and the most heightened consciousness cannot elude its underworld, might we not be wise to use meditation on the body which is the world the mind is embedded in, to connect us to history, and to forgive us our past and theirs rather than engineer a future unlike it?

Turn off the lights so that children can see the stars. Encourage the inexperienced to be alone, carry a tune, remember change, and blaspheme against the prophets’ words with their non-binary, non-perfectionist bowels. Let children discover the underworld of country in sidereal time and project the houses of the Vertex onto their social firmament before we teach them its emptiness and the existence or otherwise of angels.

New Moon in Constellation Cancer 2018: Connection

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But if the present is only a time because it is passing away, how can we say that it exists, since the reason for its existing as time is that it will soon not be, which means we can only say it exists because it is on its way to non-existence?” Augustine, Confessions, Book Eleven, III, 17 (Penguin Classics).

Guess what? Speech has just three basic components: waffle, prattle and wank.

Waffle is making something out of nothing. Prattle is making nothing out of everything. Wank is making everything out of something. Depending on which voice you heed, the evening appearance of the Warrior sky might mean something, everything or nothing. It might portend the end of an Indigenous initiation season; it might illustrate a fundamental observation of the nature of time, that any configuration of the sky first appears before dawn, finally appears after sunset, then disappears into the afternoon; or it might serve as an example of dependent arising, one delusory form among the many snares of human suffering. We say we ‘pay something no mind’ when we simply fail to register it among more pressing concerns, when it doesn’t enter our ‘space’.

Cancer New Wurdi Youang Sky Aug11

Did ancient Australians measure time by the motion of the Sun? When they erected their stone circle on the rise overlooking the river now known as Little River, and invested the West with the significance attested to by the three enigmatic boulders facing the extinct volcanoes of the Anakies in that direction, did they dance to the left, like the inner clockwork of Big Ben? Even primary school children know the loss of country suffered by Indigenous people under colonization, but who appreciates the cultural upheaval of learning to tell the time clockwise?

Cancer New Wurdi Youang Underworld Aug11

Like any map, the stereographic whole-horizon projection can be difficult to orientate. You need only keep in mind that the Earth rotates to the east–that is the very definition of East–then you will instantly see that the stars appear to revolve clockwise around the South Celestial Pole, and anti-clockwise around the North Celestial Pole, unless it’s not the sky’s face we’re looking at, but its body. Look up, and you see the face; look down, at a map of your sky, or through the ground at your Underworld, and you see the body. Furthermore, your face is at the bottom of the chart, and everything over the Prime Meridian is projected upside-down. Tilt your face back far enough from the daytime direction of the Sun and imagine what is going on behind you as the experience of a night sky on the other side. Don’t get it? Perhaps your gamma wave needs some work?

Or try this exercise revealing everything connected to everything else: raise your arms in opposite directions, rotate them in tight circles the same way, and notice that one hand is in clockwise motion and the other anti-clockwise, and that an observer beyond either arm would see the opposite motion to what you think it’s describing. Think about that the next time you query the meaning of retrograde motion, adopt identity or hear your habitual inner voice: perhaps, for example, something is being made out of a prattler’s nothing. And I assure you, on the face of it, any resonance in the influences of exactly opposite stars, the so-called stargates, must be pure wank, since I projected them seven years before the Breamlea Zodiac.

Cancer New Shanghai Aug11

Voices and their words, the concepts they communicate and the behaviours they influence are all embodied in culture, in turn embedded in history, and like the clockwork of Big Ben and the psychology of colonization (and gender for that matter), are coming at you from the opposite side of your face, out in the ageing body of the world into which you were born and cast your narrative. No matter how successful you are in wresting back the clock-face of your heartbeat and breath, the body of time has fossilized your life-span. When you try to share your life, you cannot free it from a narrative the Other creates.

Of course my conjectures are just more waffle, commemorating like a plaque a shared ‘space’ in time, for old and young, ‘right’ and ‘left’, male and female, native and exotic. The fact is, I would waffle you out of your wounds, contrived by the spatialization of time, of displacement and historical injustice, into this time-space I also call ‘Country’, an empty space made of now, pulsating with codependent, reified, numinous historical forms such as the body, the clock, real estate, difference, evil, the mere male and the warrior, the whore and the mother, the psyche, and even consciousness itself.

Behold the reconciliation of separate perspectives, of geographical hemispheres, of consciousness and sleep. The markings on the clocks indicate different ways of going, but the signs are in the same temporal houses. Thus does space wed time, body wed mind, self wed other. “Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve” (John Archibald Wheeler).

Cancer New Paysandu Underworld Aug11

The essence of human existence, which it shares with all animate and so-called inanimate entities, and which Buddhism knows as dependent arising, materialism knows as history, and we all know as culture, is within time, not space. Life is within death. Body is within change. Mind is within experience. Connection is within habit. Death is not a place. Its essence is permanence. Culture is not a structure. Its essence is freedom. Identity is not a thing. Its essence is relationship. The world is not a thing. Its essence is clockwork.

We are beguiled by the prospect of making the world a better place, but we are pinned like dead butterflies to a map, and the market of cultural interchange is located in a cul-de-sac. We embarked long ago on a project of what Fromm called ‘rootedness’ to make all of the categories of existence we could imagine into spaces within themselves. The psyche, once a transcendent identification of life and self, air and breath, became merely a compartment of being along with the body. Community became an assembly of individuals, heredity an arrangement of DNA. The world became a jigsaw-puzzle and death became part of eternal life. Consciousness forgot how to be unconscious. The horizon formed a space, seasons and phases were fixed on calendars, language banished the nameless, heaven was subsumed by distance and light extinguished the night.

This all happened in a period of not more than twenty thousand years. The next twenty thousand years is a mystery which defies compartmentalization, and yet we are already within it. Voyager 1, which was launched half a life-span ago, accompanied by two time capsules, will take twice as long as the spatialization of being to reach the vicinity of the nearest star in its path, but nonetheless is already nearly five times further from us than the outermost planet of our system. It is already beyond our within of light-minutes from Sol, the nearest star. Soon it will be beyond the within of light-hours, but even after forty thousand years, it will still be connected to any descendants still here, and to us now, though we be long dead, by the momentum originating here, in our neighbourhood of heaven.

Cancer New Voyager 1 Transit Parkville Aug11

The spatialization of the alienated self continues apace. “Keep ‘it’ buried in the not-me, and ‘I’ am what remains, blameless, shameless,” is prattle. No, comforting Jeremiah, putting definitions and boundaries in the right context, requires us to embrace time as the essence of self. Every ‘thing’ is indeed not connected to everything else, because ‘everything’ is an error, a closure, a linguistic confusion of ‘is’ and ‘is not’. The land and the inhabitant, the artefact and the commodity, the violater and the victim, each breathe history into the other, but the mantra, ‘always was and always will be’, is an absurdity. Country is not ‘timeless’. It obliges fearless familiarity with change. Whereas separation is emergent in space, connection is emergent in time: the meaning of a foreign language, the lifespan of a cemetery, the scar made out of flesh, the village’s love for the newborn, the faith in whom we have chosen which makes us the right choice, the barely perceptible dying breath of a machine in the silence between stars, and the knowledge of a warrior staring up at someone’s Underworld.

Think of time as waffle, prattle and wank. It is embedded like a signature on the treble clef of speech. The Moon and the stars chant its music, have you noticed, not on the horoscope page, but at the hour you sometimes remember to look out?