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?

Drone Moon in Constellation Capricorn 2018 July 27-28

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Defined in the end by its disenchanted context, the human self too is inevitably disenchanted. Ultimately it becomes, like everything else, a mere object of material forces and efficient causes: a sociobiological pawn, a selfish gene, a meme machine, a biotechnological artifact, an unwitting tool of its own tools. For the cosmology of a civilization both reflects and influences all human activity, motivation, and self-understanding that take place within its parameters. It is the container for everything else.” Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche [Viking, 2006, p.33].

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle, like a satellite without responsibility for its own trajectory. The meanings we have given the Moon’s orbit derive not from its motion, which is straightforward, if subject to gravitational influences and historical violent collisions, but from our perspective. However, not only its elliptical orbit and the inclination of its orbit to Earth’s but their phenomena belong to the body of the world. The Moon’s angular distance from the ‘First Point of Aries’ and its deviation from the Ecliptic are real, and so is its apparent size and phase, though these are not its properties. The law which has always addressed and divided humans, punitive and often aggressive and cruel, is real in the same way. Its initiates are drones; it is inherent in country as a phenomenon, not a property. Country is the body of the world we are made of as we perceive it, or rather create it with our perception and account of ourselves.

To recognize the Constellation of Capricornus in the night sky is to be seduced into an expansion of its proportions. The smallest Zodiac Constellation is also exceedingly dim over cities, but to compensate, it can impose its shape beyond its boundaries, across the entire field of vision, because it is replicated by the stars surrounding it, as the personage inhabits the child who wears an item of its clothing.

Drone in Expansionary Capricornus Mauritius Jul28

The Fish-Goat was placed in the heavens by ancient reverence for duplicity as the birth-pangs of subjective consciousness: for the state of being one thing in the world of aggression and another in the inner space of difference. Capricorn is the symbol of deceit. The fish-goat was fatally flawed: it was ruled by the desire to under-stand the gods. It was obliged to climb out of the waters of oneness with the tides of spirituality to actualize the commands of its god. Sadly, by the time it clambered onto the historical shore, social relations were no longer a chorus of inner voices, but a mime of certainty obtained from the soundless reading of the written word, and the goat-fish could not read. He became a goat, his own body, and lost his mind to goat’s head soup.

To this day, Capricorn in the Breamlea Zodiac continues to resonate with the concern for authenticity which is the hallmark of the present age. As a late summer constellation, a mansion the Southern Sun occupies from January to February, it carries the fifth Sign of Leonine confidence, but as the winter mansion of the Southern Full Moon it also carries the eleventh Sign of Aquarian altruism. It symbolizes our struggle with deceit, life making do with the subordination of care and the subterfuge of being. Gone is the Aquarian impulse to found a harmonious commune—the New Age has morphed into a therapy for addiction and dissent—and gone is the respectability of an inner life immersed in canons of literature and music. The techniques developing today are to affirm identity from hostile country, to give voice which overcomes noise, to colonise public space, to stop hiding, to dream the life, to think the body.

Drone Vertex Lilith Port Louis Jul28

You have been brought here to the Port Louis Casino to observe how these techniques might be more successfully developed and employed on country. For tens of thousands of years the Moon has presented its metaphor for human existence, waxing and waning, emulating the path of the Sun optimistically in winter, soberly in summer, regularly and irresistibly receding and drawing near. Tonight, by remote control, we are synchronized with the Moon’s eclipse at apogee. What can we learn from the Moon’s survival of bombardment of our own experience of persecution by the world? Can we emerge from violence non-violently? Can we slough the fishtail of an eye for an eye, pause in the struggle for existence on the stony paths of goathood to enjoy ourselves, without creating enemies of mind and body, self and world, instinct and expertise? Can we create country in our own beautiful image? Can we both empty and own our body, its eccentricity, obliquity and remote-control eclipse?

Drone Nhill Sky

The good people of Nhill have set the standard for living on country. All you need to know is how to put yourself on the map, obliquely perhaps, but always with good grace. We’re all winging it, aren’t we?

‘Where is God?’ he cried; ‘I’ll tell you! We have killed him – you and I! We are all his murderers. But how did we do this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving to now? Where are we moving to? Away from all suns? Are we not continually falling? And backwards, sidewards, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an up and a down? Aren’t we straying as though through an infinite nothing? Isn’t empty space breathing at us? Hasn’t it got colder? Isn’t night and more night coming again and again? Don’t lanterns have to be lit in the morning? Do we still hear nothing of the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we still smell nothing of the divine decomposition?…’”
Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book 3, §125, “The madman” [Trans. Josefine Nauckhoff, Cambridge University Press, 2001].

Drone Nhill Underworld

“…It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, it’s something much, much worse.
It’s pity.
You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is.
So you have nothing.” Anthony Maslin.

“…To be different/ imperfect/ not normal is scary.
To be different/ imperfect/ not normal in a world where everyone projects ‘perfect’ is a fear

I tell my story here to confront that fear.
To show the world who I am.
I am Grief. This is me. Grief is me.
To look at me is to see your own fear reflected back at you.
To look at me is to also see strength.
The strength of us all.
All of those who stand behind me.
The strength of my fathers and grandmothers.
An ancient strength.
The strength of my land.
My land of burnt umber and dry sand.
The strength of laterite and million year old tears.
The strength of the broken who rebuilt.

What do you see when you look at the bully?” Rin Norris.

I see stars. I see someone controlled by the body. I see a drone.

New Moon in Constellation Gemini 2018: Own Your Own Shit

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“Anxiety is the first experience of our freedom, as a freedom from things and other people. It is a freedom to begin to become myself. Anxiety is perhaps the philosophical mood par excellence, it is the experience of detachment from things and from others where I can begin to think freely for myself. Yet, as Heidegger was very well aware, anxiety is also a mood that is powerfully analysed in the Christian tradition, from Augustine to Kierkegaard, where it describes the self’s effort to turn itself, to undergo a kind of conversion. Heidegger’s difference with Christianity is that the self’s conversion is not undergone with reference to God, but only in relation to death….” Simon Critchley.

Astrology’s conversion is undergone by gender and the mind/body duality with reference to the Antipodes, (complete with continents of obscuring cloud), where planets are in opposite signs and houses, but the houses carry the same signs.

Gemini New Bordertown Antipodes Jul13

Bordertown in South Australia is in fact some 17 km from the Victorian border as the crow flies, but it is perfectly named as a location demonstrating another border, between the adaptive attitudes and habits of consciousness and the reactive, instinctive moods of the body’s interpretation of its existence in the world, which together form identity, the emptiness of Country. At the stroke of New Moon, the Signs and angles of Bordertown’s Underworld are in perfect harmony with the hours across the border in the Northern Hemisphere, and Death speaks with its customary ambivalence.

Gemini New Transit Bordertown Jul13

It is in response to the awareness of finitude that we show ourselves who we are. There are many ways our body can seduce us into evasion of this awareness, by consoling us with belonging to something timeless, eternal salvation in religious and secular ways. Are we making the world a better place? Are we following the rules which screen entry to Heaven? Does anything really matter? Is not pleasure an end in itself? These are some of the voices which call us to forget the anxiety of the anticipation of annihilation. These are some of the roadmaps we overlay on country to separate ourselves from it, and to make it traversable.

Bordertown tells us, on the other hand, that whether we are emerging from the waters of Lethe into an interlude of imaginative indolence or determined withdrawal, instinct is locating the necessity to identify gratitude as the harmonious well of our calling. This world is not a thing, it is me! I made it; I am made of it. It is not a departure point to another one. The future is no different from the past: both have no existence other than right here, in me, in the only world there is, mine, lived with you.

Ah, relationship. “We are lovers, that is a fact” (Bowie). In a social reality dominated by discrimination, judgement and projection, relationship is in theory a connectedness which overcomes meaninglessness and loneliness, but in practice it reveals more than we want to know, engaging identity in constant trench-warfare against misunderstanding. Just who is the person your lovers and friends are in relationship with? Is your Shadow your shit or theirs, and whose, if theirs?

Gemini New Jerusalem Antipodes Jul13

Somewhere out of mind in the South Pacific, the invisible Underworld sky of the spiritual home of the Abrahamic religions affirms what most martyrs still breathing acquire, the spiritual materialism of immortality; but with a decided lean by nightfall, the idea of a covenant, like the heritage churches of rural Australia, which are struggling to stay standing, let alone provide financial compensation to victims of historical clerical sexual abuse, has passed its use-by date this year as a source of meaning, if we ever had the imagination to make it one in these secular postmodern times.

Gemini New Jerusalem Jul13

At dawn up at home, however, it is the vain queen Cassiopeia who is faded from the sky, her chair lodged in the branches of the elm at the entrance to Hades, like the morning-after evidence of a rowdy party. The Jerusalem Signs, identically mirrored in its autonomous underworld body, bode ill for the likelihood of a resolution of sectarian conflict coming from mutual understanding and respect. What really happened seems as elusive as what is really happening, in this cloakroom of multiple tickets for the same baggage.

Yes, it is relationship which tears our world apart. The British vote for their right to autonomy, but baulk at complete separation. The Americans bring the World Order crashing down around our ears, but our protests contain no inkling of faith in the World Order’s capability to develop solutions to the unemployment of children and grandchildren ejected from automated workplaces and failed states. The reallocation of Australian aid to Palestine through the United Nations provokes a reaction revealing political Islam’s belief in spitting on people. The endorsement of same-sex marriage in Australia precipitates debate about religious freedom, to which the Social Services Minister adds the insight, “We have not realised Martin Luther King’s dream of a society where you are judged by the content of your character, not the colour of your skin. Instead we have woken up to a nightmare where the value of your contribution to a debate depends on what you claim to be a victim of.”

But peppering the news on all these fronts of our alarm come daily reports of irresponsible masculinity: murder, rape, assault and adolescent aggression and criminality. Before we have agreed on the evolutionary value of anger and aggression, it might well be geneticists who solve the problem by doing away with masculinity altogether, but in the meantime, what is it we are initiating our men into, global or local, community or game, grievance or responsibility? Undoubtedly, we need to equip ourselves with an authentic grasp of our own emotions, as the custodians of the world body into which our children insert their consciousness, and if we have no idea how the heroism of the Tham Luang cave was formed, perhaps an historical cultural practice of the Australian First Nations can nudge us in the right direction.

Drone Warrior Sky Northcote Jul13

The Warrior Sky is the name I have given to the configuration of the Milky Way when it arcs in a straight line over our heads from southwest to northeast with its awesome centre, in the last degree of Breamlea Zodiac Scorpio (currently at tropical longitude 27Sgr6), near the zenith (Melbourne BZ longitude 23Sco11, tropical 20Sgr38). In this article, in Australian Archaeology, No. 77, Fuller, Hamacher and Norris (2013) present evidence of Aboriginal initiation sites being aligned with this configuration, as a result of its vertical presentation of the Emu. The opposite configuration which I have called the Wanderer Sky, extinguished by sunlight at this time of year, features the upright Emu rising vertically in the southeast, but its body is too close to the horizon in Australia to be seen. Is there a hidden message to non-Aboriginal initiates about gender and responsibility in the upside-down appearance of the Emu emblem in the southwest?

Perhaps, hidden in our bodily awareness, the physical impact of the world we interpret through the cultural lens imposed by generations of ancestors through our parents, there is an emptiness of meaning our sons can use to disarm anger, hostility and aggression. Perhaps the upside-downness of the Emu means nothing.

Emu Wurdi Youang Last Visibility Autumn 3150BCE

Vertical Emu, Wurdi Youang, 3150 BCE

Boys, can you find the temporal emptiness of your bodily imperatives, your aggressive reactions to disappointment and disability, your intimidatory expression of frustration and anger, your malignant resentment of your displacement from the pedestal of worship? The essence of responsibility is to own the shit of others. Look to the Underworld, the Other Side. You will soon have a lot of time to do so.

Drone Progress White Northcote

Local Sidereal Time 17:19:22

Girls of the Northern Hemisphere, observe your animus downunder, and girls everywhere, in the bodies of boys, own your own shit.

Zealot Moon in Sagittarius

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And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon, of the woods, on the marble mount… Crowley, Hymn to Pan

To give each emotion a personality, and a soul to every mood! The girls came around the bend in a large group. They sang as they walked, and the sound of their voices was happy. I don’t know who or what they might be. I listened to them for a time from afar, without a feeling of my own, but a feeling of sorrow for them impressed itself on my heart. For their future? For their unconsciousness? Not directly for them, and perhaps, after all, only for me.” Pessoa, The Book Of Disquiet.

Chorus: We are the voices trying to make sense. Interesting expression, isn’t it? No, the Zealot is not your enemy, but still a dangerous fool. While Sol completes her ritual cleansing in the history fade of the Lethe, Chaos rules, except in the heart of the Zealot, who crosses the Acheron in such emotional pain as to defy description. If we have welcomed you to our people with the rape and murder of your daughter, or your son it was who defiled our world in that act, you know the Zealot’s pain. It is shame: there will never be an end to the suffering of innocents while he continues to cause it, and he can do no other. He is driven by animosity to the identity we have moulded for him: his mind is unhinged from ours; his heart is in his brain, not our mind. The underworld is a dangerous place: the brain makes our body, and it is visible.

Zealot Machu Picchu South Jun27

Forget the tour leader and the bus driver, ignore the American tourists. How beautiful is this? Would you rather listen to the tour guide’s explanation of the way the Milky Way turns, be left alone to discover this intriguing synchronicity for yourself, or just go back to the hotel and get warm? For ages I was a man, then in a small pocket of the human imagination a woman. Recently, above an infinitesimally small outcrop of sedimentary rock in Terra Nullius, I have been restored to masculinity, but an emasculated masculinity, reflecting with counterfeit beauty the life-force of the feminine, trying forlornly to outshine her. And yet, looking at me high over your head, can you have lost all amazement that I do not fall on you? I am an ancient symbol of polarity and duality but I will overcome inequality. I will transcend gender. Men, together, we can restore our beauty.

Chorus: The Zealot is a voice inside you, another voice claiming with overwhelming justification to be yours, but calling you to be Other, with no other power than yours to be, Other, here. It is not a will to meaning per se, but a persistence of meaning through the consciously bewildering bombardment of the ego by meaningless objective relativity: the possibility of instinctive truth, but a truth resisted by complacent social identity unto death. The Zealot campaigns for the body against the sovereignty of the social. The Zealot is in the body of the world, your sky. It is none other than the will to live, the autonomy of the organism. Awareness of the Zealot has its equivalent in our consciousness of geography: it’s called the Antipodes, and its sky, reflecting ours, illustrating the duality of Signs, provides an opportunity for us to evade the trap of fixed identity, whether imposed by ourselves or others.

Zealot Wanderer Lomphat Jun28

If not in your gaze I am a rock with 0.120 albedo. You are required to notice that I am getting older, my teeth falling out, my waist thickened, my breasts and buttocks drooping, and to find that beautiful. It took the greatest minds of the modern age to understand my mechanics, but it only takes you to make me beautiful. I am a sports car hurtling through a deserted alley, and I am not to blame for nearly hitting you when you appear out of nowhere.

Chorus: It is the age we have arrived in, that Solstice Full Moons bring widespread confusion of the mind. We are apt to believe that opposites are reconciled within systems, transgression is a schism like the parting of the Red Sea, and dismantling narratives leaves us with something to be. We are not astounded by the approach of Venus to Regulus after another eight years, because that is just the way things are, in the Solar System. Woe to the Goddess of Love and Beauty, voided by mathematics! What has happened to our hearts since 2010, and will they be filled with the joy of intimacy by 2026? No, the condition of the heart does not depend on a system, of compatibilities or irreconcilable differences, but on whether or not the discovery of Beauty and constant reverence for it have transformed chemistry into astonishment and gratitude.

Zealot Palm Springs South Jun27

If you have ever talked to somebody so close it was really yourself you were conversing with, and if ever one night you have found nobody there, or she was asleep, then you may have been praying, or heard, in a social vacuum, your ancestors, giving voice to the body of the world. It’s a way the universal brain has of reassuring our mind that madness is normal, like the Chorus in Greek tragedy. You call it God.

Zealot Palm Springs Antipodes Jun27

Chorus: The universe is conscious, except not a mind but a body like ours, controlled by a brain we call the laws of physics. Only beauty can create universal mind, in its beholding. We are not here to be elsewhere. And yet elsewhere is here; unconsciously regulated by the brain. That bodily function is peculiar to you, not your identity, but merely a constant refining and adapting of your organism to your affect on the world and its affect on you, a correction of mistakes and a rearguard action on behalf of yesterday against who would swap healing for beauty. The more you trash beauty, the more habitual become both the impossibility of intimacy and the reinforcement of your doubt in yourself.

Zealot Warrior Rome Jun28

A woman once thanked me for giving her back her body. I now know that she was inadvertently giving me mine. In every moment that men shine, half of their wives are shining elsewhere, but incessantly active in a warrior’s sleeping body. Tomorrow in Rome, the warrior awakens at first light. Let him remember the ineffable beauty of his white thigh as it disappears down the rabbit-hole of hers. It is the country we came from.

Sporting bikini girls

Bikini Mosaic, Villa Romana del Casale, Photo by Bernard Muir

Chorus: We make only metaphorical claim that the arms of the Milky Way are rivers of Hades, and ever were so regarded, and that the orientation of the galaxy influences human behaviour, and that the crossing of the galactic plane by the Sun, Moon and planets, invisible in daylight, bright moonlight and light pollution, has an effect on us as social beings. Coincidences of position and configuration do have the potential to enthral. The current production is intended to entertain—is meaning anything else?—and why shouldn’t we entertain ourselves with synchronicities of human behaviour and perspective that can enthral? Self is country, which is embodied emptiness. We leave the stage now as the Covenant of the upright Cross begins its annual extinction in daylight.

Zealot Last Dark Kyrie Breamlea Jun28

You have twelve nights to give body to the embrace of the goddess of beauty and the venomous Little King, but half a year to make tangible what terrain may lie between the Lethe and the Acheron. Better get to it!

Are we down a rabbit hole? Are there emotional vampires here? Am I one? Are you strong enough to be my woman, werewolf?

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!” Rudyard Kipling, “If—“.

“Who cares for you?” said Alice (she had grown to her full size by this time). “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland.

Populism: New Moon in Taurus

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“…can you remember the last time life felt long or kind, or like it was yours and mine?” Maria Tumarkin, Axiomatic.

In the beginning was country, and then when gods learned language, the Word. In the end it may be Neurolinguistics. Most of us get our first glimpse of country when our child’s eyes begin to see who we are not, and we begin to embrace a role on their stage, sitting in the darkened audience. As I’ve said, I am in it when it is what will vanish with my death, but when I drive through the rent wilderness of suburbs under construction I recognize a future country in which I am absent, in which my sense of the beauty of these new emptinesses, these fraught playgrounds of a new generation, is absent too.

Taurus New Lismore Jun14

Like all New Moons which occur in the second fortnight of a tropical month, this one sets the psyche on a path to enlightenment which will resonate to rumblings in the underworld affecting its impetus and destination. Just as we experience the transformation of a project’s potential according to the attitude we bring to it, which changes from day to day, hour to hour, the Moon’s orbit and ours can never be pinned down. This month begins on the Gemini-Sagittarius tropical axis but in five days the Sun will enter sidereal Gemini (in the Breamlea Zodiac), at 87.45° ecliptic longitude (next year 87.46° etc.), or a smidgeon wider than a finger-width east of Alheka; in eight days, it will change its tropical stripes to Cancer-Capricorn. These are geometric conventions.

Of course, none of this is visible, and if the point has to made, nothing is. Not the Earth’s motion, or even the apparent diurnal motion of the Sun, though we notice it in different parts of the sky. At least we see the Sun, you might say, and of course that phrase, ‘we see the Sun’ has meaning; there is a seeing happening, it cannot be denied. But who is doing it is a linguistic convention, and so is what is being seen. All things, including the identity of the seer, are made facts by language. Beyond what we can say about ourselves and the entities of our existence, there is emptiness, nothing which can be put into words.

Taurus New Beirut Jun13

And put into words it is, -Isms of every stripe. Muhammad said: “No, carry on doing good deeds, for everyone will find it easy (to do) such deeds that will lead him towards that for which he has been created.” (Surah al-Lail 92:5-7.) There is a holiness about the Good, when the words of one’s inner voice are echoing in the soul of millions. The intersectionality of social forces invokes a call to arms, but first sociology has wrapped the warrior in its embrace of intelligent design, its Night of Power. The appeal of submission to ‘respair’ is seductive. Kierkegaard had a good crack at defining despair, as the failure to obey one’s calling, and what could be more crippling than to hear none, to inherit the silence of the Omniscient, to be busy, constrained, obedient and good, to be free, to have an identity, to shout anything in the emptiness of finitude, to be the Word of no god?

They say that populism, defined as an appeal to the spirit of a people to revolt against the rule of an elite, began to mushroom in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. I might equally say, for the sake of argument, that its first rumblings began in 1998, ten years earlier, and isn’t it the way of awareness, to take ten years from trendy epiphany to filter into the lowest social strata? Isn’t it the organism’s way of enhancing its existence, protecting itself and maintaining homeostasis, to notice a change, to instinctively react, and to modify its operation according to the responses it generates?

Forgetting Winter Solstice Clock Gladstone 1998

Be that as it may, the crossing of the rivers of Hades is another factor which complicates the passage of this Moon to Opposition. Of course it means nothing to the elite, just another superstition, like ‘the spirit of the people’, or the collective unconscious. ‘As above, so below,’ what a lot of ‘rubbish’, (not in the least ‘cheeky’). The common people can’t even see the stars these days, let alone the Milky Way. Wouldn’t that mean, ‘extinguished above, collectively unconscious below’? But it can surely be admitted to have passing mathematical interest, that the nodes where galactic equator and ecliptic intersect, while increasing in longitude by 180° in 13,000 odd years, haven’t noticeably changed in galactic perspective.

Miserere Jericho 10088 BCE

It’s really quite amazing that, although absolutely everybody through the ages has reacted angrily to trespass across their boundaries, which the shamans, astronomers and philosophers have always been trusted to arbitrate—even marginality has status—that the science of change is still without a myth in which we can live separately and respectfully in an enlightened Now connecting us to the vivid lives of our ten thousand generations of beauty and truth.

Kyrie Ruma 1300BCE

If I wrote that during the Late Bronze Age the shamans of Thrace drew power from the convergence of two phenomena, the summer to autumn procession overhead of the ancestors in a straight line joining due east and west, and their orderly winter to spring return to the underworld, and that during the Iron Age a great schism developed between those migrating northward to preserve the power of the former and the others migrating southward to preserve the power of the latter, according to the direction the roof of heaven was moving, you would interpret it as fantasy. If, on the other hand, I asserted that Neolithic awareness of celestial change was reassured by the faith that explanations were possessed by specialists who could thereby justify their status and upkeep, you might accept that as a confabulation of the birth of metallurgy and astrology, or of the emergence of propaganda in the service of political exploitation, in short, populism.

Miserere Ruma 1300BCE

Tropical astrology has largely succeeded in confounding the intellect to the extent that most associate their ‘birth-signs’, which the popular press has portrayed as fundamental to their personalities, with the asterisms of the same name, and the association of the Constellations with the seasons, which 2000 years ago was so real to Ptolemy, has been mystified, with the end result that even when we’re reading our horoscope on the train, we’re on the outside looking in.

NGP Transit Athens Year Dot

It took until quite recently to insert emotion into economic value. Zoe Williams has written about anger cycles and Kondratiev Waves: “Anger is remarkable not in and of itself, but when it becomes so widespread that it feels like the dominant cultural force.”
“The causes documented by Kondratiev waves, primarily include inequity, opportunity and social freedoms; although very often, much more discussion is made of the notable effects of these causes as well.  Effects are both good and bad and include, to name just a few, technological advance, birthrates, revolutions/populism—and revolution’s contributing causes which can include racism, religious or political intolerance, failed-freedoms and opportunity, incarceration rates, terrorism and similar.” {Wikipedia, Kondratiev Wave.) Are cycles of this kind self-regulating, or are the shamans still with us, filling us with righteous indignation at trespass of boundaries whose limits they continue to control with cultural indoctrination? Are we pawns in a war amongst shamans, or are we merely oblivious to how easy our instincts are to hack for a living? Perhaps the revolution has arrived, but I think not. Love is not in the air, so it’s much more likely that the anger boiling around us is simply paying shamans’ wages.

The ancestors are indeed alive and well in the bardo, as attested to by today’s sensitivity towards cultural appropriation, and perhaps it is out of reverence for such wisdom as, “It never rains at a Full Moon”, that a few of us pay astrology heed. On the other hand, the resilience of the ancestors may show in the inheritance of chirality, or the danceability of songs of woe and forgetting. And while you’re rummaging in the Underworld for the voice of Harpocrates, what a child means with a finger deserves a rethink.

 

Dilettante Moon in Scorpio

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The Journey

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. 
T.S.Eliot, Four Quartets.

It was just an offhand suggestion, and a trip I have made many times–just up the road, as my father would describe a ten-hour drive to Meekatharra–but I am prepared and packed, and the boys next door, who seemed to leap at the idea, are nowhere near ready and don’t seem at all perturbed. If we don’t leave soon, we’ll get there in the middle of the night!

Dilettante Moon Clock Cooktown May30

Just doing a last check, patting my wallet, as it were, I discover I don’t have my phone. Where is it? Not there, or there … when did I last have it? Something strange is beginning to happen to me: I can’t for the life of me remember when I last had it! Instead of running around in circles like a mad thing, just remember what you were doing when you had it last. I can’t. I’m like a little boy: I just can’t.

In England, visiting my dying stepfather, and realizing Mum’s unpreparedness was the real reason they had paid for the trip, I read her the funny letter in her magazine which proved she wasn’t the only one. When people get older, they spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. Going from one room to the other, they ask themselves, what am I here after? Boredom is the soul of relativity.

The boys arrive, and I’m distraught. This isn’t supposed to happen. Without my phone, I’ll be as helpless as they, who’ve never been before, will be. The woman steps in, and makes a call. Next minute I’m talking to Sue, from the insurance, who doesn’t think this is at all unusual, and will furnish me, right now, with a temporary replacement, run me through it, help me with police statements if necessary. She’s very calming, but deep down, I know chaos: I can’t remember anything! I’ve checked every pair of trousers I own, every jacket, outside and inside pockets, even though I wouldn’t have been wearing any of them: I was at work. Ah!

It’s all a bit of a dream. Will the charger for this phone work in my car? Is this my car? Is my charger in it? Which car are we taking? Why are we going down Rathdowne St? Sue is so nice. She doesn’t have a customer service manner, just seems to be intimate with everything I’m not. Did I check my taxi uniform? Should we go back? Sure enough, the taxi depot guy has a carton with my stuff in it, the contents of a shift, including my phone and charger and paperwork not done. The owner sits in the back. Not the end of the world, seems to be his attitude.

Did I get robbed, I ask. The cab’s fine. Was it a blow on the head? Getting my phone back doesn’t solve anything. The past is blank.

 

What would it be like to turn ritual inside out? If people didn’t begin to grow up until they were old enough for their children to look after them? If habit and expertise were an exoskeleton and experience and meaning a dream? If the law was a ceremony made of sign-posts? Does a priest have someone to upgrade his phone plan? How would priests like it if people spoke to each other as they do to priests? What if there were a woman to take charge for every Imam, she proceeding on his journey while he lived in another world, incompetent, asleep? What if reality were only a five percent swing away and twitterbots were hacking practice in kindergarten? What if I were a murnong in a sheep run and kangaroos ruled the world?

Dilettante Moonset Robe May30

What will happen about the replacement phone? It’s ok, the woman explains, you’ve made the minimum four calls, and that waives the formalities. It’s my cab we’re going to drop it off in. I recognize it, but the day-driver doesn’t seem as though he’s ever driven before. At the lights, he starts bashing that bit of unstuck moulding on the dash with a steel rod from my carton, wrecking the cab in front of the owner. The boys are laughing and talking with him in another language.

And now we’re in Brunswick Rd, at the construction, and he’s missed the detour that sticks out like dog’s balls and driven straight into the fenced yard. Blithely, he backs out into a wall of oncoming traffic. Look over your shoulder, I tell him, like a supervisor. He doesn’t. Miraculously, there is no impact, and we’re on our way to the airport. The owner and I exchange the sign of the finger across the throat.

Life is a journey: Carlton to Tullamarine with a cabbie who puts personality into his driving, because you know the way; Tullamareena’s journey as mainmet through hostile country after release for not understanding English; Chinese journeys from Cooktown to the Palmer River goldfield terminating in the fork of an ironbark hung by the pigtail for ‘Ron; Airlie Beach to Cooktown intersecting with 350,000 comfortable daily trajectories; A Day Out With Thomas ten days ago with two fledgling migrant train-driver apprentices from Melbourne. All a dream. A recharge of the phone.

I wonder what I’ll be when I grow up? A statue of Captain Cook, or the last Orange-Bellied Parrot. I want to be unique, doing something nobody’s heard of, and be really good at it. I want my own space, but where everybody is always happy. Perhaps I can discover that I’m an ugly duckling, a gorgeous swan to cuckold Tyndareus, or model bikinis with my tip-tilted breasts. Could I possibly continue in the direction my journey has led me thus far? I can’t seem to find it. Have my opportunities dried up like shingles at low-tide, or are there as many as there always were, but now they’re disconnected from forgotten dreams? Why is every upturned face so vacant? Over the hills and far away … I wish I had stored Sue’s number. With her I could keep going. She makes empty country benign. She’s the Centre. She’s an original.

Dilettante Moonrise Parkville May30

Only one member of the Burke and Wills Expedition, John King, made the return to Melbourne. The others died, but King was cared for by some Yandruwandha people. While searching for the missing expedition along the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1862, William Landsborough buried some supplies in the hope the missing explorers might find them, and carved the word, ‘Dig’ into the trunk of a eucalypt. The tree was Heritage listed, but destroyed by ‘vandals’ in 2002. By the time King died, inland Australia was crawling with whitefellas and their cattle.

The Beginning.