Full Moon in Aries: The Peasant, Eclipsed

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What you egg!

Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 2.

Love yourself, Menkar says. Work on your stuff. Don’t take it personally, she says, but people say negative things about you. You lack humility, she says. Every wife is a challenge.

The Peasant looks forward to jumping between the sheets with Alcyone, after the peculiarities of Hamal and Menkar, the daunting accomplices of his descent from the high places. Be mindful of your tendency to aggression, Peasant, and don’t inflate your expectations. There are puppeteers offstage, and this is a pantomime about freedom, not intimacy.

It is harder to be a peasant these days than when princes and priests ruled the land. Three levels of government with 16-20% of the workforce administering control exert a lot more energy than the muscles of yore, and yet you never know when the power or water will go off, because every politician and bureaucrat is a prince and a priest. For a guest of a mid-Autumn mansion in mid-Spring things are further complicated by a plethora of boundary ordinances.

A bureaucrat thinks nothing of drawing a boundary on paper, like the Local Government Areas which located restrictions of movement during Victoria’s infamous lockdown, but like the limits of nationalities and territorial waters, they usually involve conflict when marked on the ground. The horizon is a boundary, but you try pegging it. Where is the coastline? Where does a mangrove swamp end, or a eucalyptus forest? Celestial boundaries are no less nebulous, for all that they may be precisely defined, because they move, and so do the herds they enclose.

The Peasant has a motto: we’ll make it work. That does not satisfy the princes and priests whose province is value, despite never having to jostle for position on a fishing ground. It doesn’t satisfy the Sun either. Despite moving around the galactic centre at 230 km/sec, she has never accepted the momentum of her planets, and any notion of one of their satellites having a mind of its own is anathema. On this occasion when earthbound astronomers and astrologers are at loggerheads over divisions of the Ecliptic, and the Moon is intensely trying to make it work, she will put her own stamp on things.

This otherwise significant event for Moon and observers is only 5 1/2 minutes before the upstart’s most comprehensive diminishment.

“Peekaboo! Assertiveness is it? A fig for your hemispheric Signs, Earthlings! And while we’re at it, a pox on the enclosed absolute sanctimony of your social media! And I will be anthropomorphized if I feel like it! What does Earth’s moon know about seasons? He may have rhythm, but what of it? I’ve got gravitas.”

The motto of the Peasant takes another form: She’ll be right, mate! Though dictators demand heartlessness and investors in change rant about the apocalypse, and though Underworld insecurity undermine and render transparent the independence the Southern Moon is obliged in Taurus to revere, that motto will resound.

Peasant into shadow and Vagabond out, but she’ll be right! The lasciviousness of Alcyone is ambiguous enough! And so the shadow retreats and Earthlings reinhabit their narcissistic boundaries. In suburban Brisbane, the ancestors line the outer of the Underworld, supplicating the referee of a game the Sun simply does not understand, and all know that a fair referee only gets it right half the time.

Was it a dream in a cusp?

Is that not a dragon’s tail coming to sweep us back into the urgency of our predicament? Give it to me, she says. Make it right. And yes, she’ll be right!

Rectitude: New Moon in Sidereal Libra

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It may or may not be obedience to biological imperatives in the Southern Hemisphere as it climbs toward summer, when protected snakes are everywhere under the tractors cutting hay and firebreaks, but it seems to be universal as the year grows old for a compelling tendency of human beings to manifest itself, namely, having to be right. How fitting for the celebrated beneficiaries of slavery and colonialism to jet into Glasgow to offer the developing world milder climatic extremes in exchange for the same energy that made them stinking rich.

You can cry out for roadmaps, Covid-Normal, Nett Zero, as loudly as you like, but what good are they going to do if you don’t know where you are? And is there a roadmap for finding the businesses which have closed during lockdown? Is there a roadmap for negotiating your first conversation with a stranger in almost two years? Like an insect, you might have to do some fancy remembering, left, right, straight for two blocks and another left, in reverse, just to make it back home. It might take a while to get used to being whom others think you are, and behaving accordingly.

Would you agree that fundamentalism is just a fancy word for navigational disability? I mean, it’s not studies in comparative religion which promote harmony in multicultural communities, but the practised art of sidestepping difference, copping an act of rudeness which doesn’t mean the end of the world, and doesn’t come close to cancelling out the courteous responses our clumsy enquiries don’t deserve. Put another way, why would you go out of your way to cultivate even a fleeting relationship with a different perspective to that which you already possess at home? Or, when will you ever go to an intimately shared movie theatre again, now that you’re streaming? And again, why would you become a Taurus, or a Libra, when you’re accustomed to being a Scorpio?

It will come as no surprise to you, knowing how easily it can happen, that the Moon has rather lost his way. He seems to resent the task before him, and is too often obscured by cloud, as though deliberately. The Sun herself has expressed concern over the Moon’s performance as an eye. What is this fixation on the Circlet of Pisces, for example? Two Monk Moons indeed! Disciplinary correction at New Moon is called for. His cooperation with geocentricism is pandering to the unwillingness of human beings to navigate the Bardo!

It is your reticence as much as anything which has facilitated a transition to the heliocentric perspective, and an overdue erasure of tropical differences into the bargain. Why would your heaven trust you, keeper of secrets, who clings to a personal universe couched in sleepwalking terms like lavatory, refrigerator, service station, supermarket and plate? Your country calls you from its horizon! Weather, after all, is in all likelihood psychoconvected. The Sun is 16m 23s fast. Can you find a dark sky at midnight?

A Loitering Monk: Second Full Moon in Sidereal Pisces

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Fifteen million people in Australia’s south-east are emerging from lockdown, and a monk is on the ridge which overlooks the vast reaches of suburbia sloping down to the Lethe, peering into the heart of anyone emerging long enough from social media to return his gaze, and looking for stirrings of love and kind intentions, so long constrained.

Is it just a coincidence that the monk is back? Where is this Moon? Why is the Moon where it is? Is that even a sensible question?

The monk will not discourage any romantic impulse or narrowly focussed desire, because he too has had a lonely time of it. He is the archetypal lover, you see, the Libran Moon of the Southern Hemisphere, and while nothing might overcome his buddha-nature, he is occasionally disturbed by thoughts unbecoming in one sworn to celibacy, and by memories of not-quite innocent, and consequential, passions of the past.

Permanence, idolatry; completion, fantasy; idealisation, delusion; submission, convention; seduction, narcissism; eternity, cynicism: every angle the westerly zodiac makes with the horizon has its opposite. The anti-vertex is both the weakness which empowers the vertex wish, and the compensatory mechanism for the absolute unattainability of that wish.

The electric axis is, as the passport out of herein, a powerful tool for the self-congratulation of the spiritual bypass we have for so long indulged in lockdown. The weeds of narcissism are luxuriant.

And where is it to be found, this tool? In the cosmos, in the dreamtime or the moment? In the warp of imagination? In the pages of pseudo-science? In the gaze of a dead Moon? Does it only exist because we narcissists, or whomever we are wholly not, have invented it to cocoon our unreality?

Are we, on this dangerous axis, committing ourselves to the impossibility of being ourselves? For an entire generation, isolation might become the elephant in the room.

Everybody’s mad. Go out and give someone the hug you need from them. Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love. Embrace your muse. Cling if necessary. Enjoy any limerence which can survive helpless altruism!

Idealize a future and idolize its impossible permanence. Be seduced by the reflection of your agoraphobia. Submit your difference to self-help. Believe in your cynicism. Is totalitarian surveillance intimidating you? Check out the monk’s skimpy g-strings on the line!

Community: New Moon in Sidereal Virgo

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Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.

Greta Thunberg.

Would you rather be a Libra or an Aries? Have you of sidereal Virgo birth decided which season you were born in, or committed yourself, though energetically and impatiently, to a refined, compromising northern tribe? Somewhere in Web-Rot we have previously encountered the astrological migration southward of Indigenous Australians, and suggested that (a) our planet is divided into two astrological hemispheres by the declination of the Sun and whether noon shadows are falling north or south, and (b) that any meaning ascribed to the Vertex, where the Ecliptic intersects the Prime Vertical, must derive from the limits imposed by latitude, namely, the increasing angle of the Vertex with the zenith as distance from the Equator increases.

In other words, epiphany retreats south and north, according to hemisphere, into ever less mystical and more pusillanimous wish-fulfilment, until it exhausts itself in idealization and submission; or alternatively one could say, the limerent finally reaches a quarter-acre block and a triple-fronted brick-veneer. Mountebank, charlatan, you cry! How dare you draw a line between North and South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania and the mainland of Australia, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the United States and Canada? Please, no offence intended: the atrophy of limerence is a good thing, isn’t it?

Community is the elephant in the room. Can community exist through Destiny’s Gate? Of course not, by its very nature, despite the fact we all yearn for something. Perhaps Bass Strait celebrates the division of two different tribes yearning for dry land. There is an undercurrent of anarchism among the opponents of compulsory vaccination, mandatory restrictions such as mask-wearing, and lockdowns. Two tribes are facing off. Prisoners of society, each resents being told what to do by the other, but fundamental to their antagonism is belief in community. Community is the original top-down concept of a balance of paranoia and relativity.

Conversely, the acquiescence of the majority in the removal of their liberty speaks to the tenuous nature of tribal relationships and the extent to which their neighbours have been replaced as helpers by experts, professionals and institutions. Ironically, people in lockdown are rediscovering their neighbourhood, while confronting the tribal fracture of multicultural community: unanimity abides about the need for the freeways, hospitals, airports and police forces whose ownership they have handed up.

If Christianity and Islam could not meld tribes into a community, what chance does astrology have? The Vertex does determine hemisphere at least, as the noon Sun in the Tropics crosses the zenith to the south, but can you picture how difficult it is to ascertain the direction of zenith shadows? Would the transfiguration of cynicism into the yearning for permanence give the clue? What other compensation could a secessionist acquire for the blistering heat of being here now, especially being unable to breathe?

Full Moon in Sidereal Pisces: The Monk

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On 15 September 1788, at a little after 11pm in the penal colony at Sydney Cove, from which, incidentally, Friendship had already departed on its last voyage, the blaze of a Full Moon in the eyes of watchful observers, indigenous and transported alike, extinguished the stars around it in the Circlet of Pisces. This exceedingly rare extinguishment, comprehensive in most skies, is, in a nutshell, the Monk’s identity.

Whether it is some form of cosmic enthronement or Assumption he seeks, or the lost domain of a compulsive limerence of mystical import, he is exercised year after year by the Divine Hand which moves the lunar nodes and his ecliptic latitude, and every few hundred years when syzygy, latitude and Circlet coincide (in a cluster of a half-dozen or so September Full Moons nineteen years apart), he represents the eternal question, who and where am I absolutely?

Are we not in awe of the Monk? His intention is clear: to transcend country, where life projects its absence, but lived example might still swing the vote on whether the world is spirit or matter. How do you see yourself? Are you an intersection of connections, or a hierarchy of systems? And what do you think of the Vertex? Is it out there, or in here, a cyclic projection of separateness, or a theoretical synthesis of hormonal fictions? Undeniably, since it turns the Zodiac upside down, the Vertex is the star of the show in the Tropics!

The Monk’s grace appears to transcend anxiety and comfort, of day and night and birth and death, and so the gratitude of locals for spirit is his trade. On the other hand, who these days encounters monks at all, for that matter? Is it possible that feckless relativism might erase them altogether along with the escarpments of Pisces? Certainly, one must ask the question, when the Monk next attains his goal in 212 years (though he will come tantalisingly close several times, e.g. 2032), will there be anyone left to map his ghostly presence, if not see it?

As a patron of this installation, you might wonder if light pollution makes it less successful as a stimulus to self-discovery, or in fact more so. The stars which coincidentally comprise the crown, or ruins, or abyss, or whatever the shadows on the wall resemble, occupy a range of classifications and distances, but how has data like this ever cultivated meaning? The artist’s intention is clear: to other us. Look through the Circlet at a Monk who is not there, and after two years of not sharing the finite time of your grandchildren, you are gazing into the soul of your emptiness, an underworld universe inhabited by nobody who knows you.

Of course if you cannot see anything, that might be the creator’s point. Are you sure that you, regular user of that commuter platform or aimless passerby of that noisy, garishly lit alleyway, are not part of the installation? While anti-vaxxers and other oppressed minorities wrestle for centre-stage, and fires visibly burning throughout the Galaxy hundreds and thousands of years ago share no warmth, the Circlet might as well be the root of blame for human languishing, and the Monk its quarantined bureaucrat. What a way to fortify socialism!

Disclosure: New Moon in Sidereal Leo

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Those whom the gods would destroy find in their madness a subject for analysis.

He got into big trouble when it was discovered. It took many decades and generations of controllers fretting over the often irrational signals coming from the spacecraft before it was finally deduced that somehow limerence must have got on board. Only a virus like constant craving could explain so many perverse communications. Naturally, he was found to be the culprit, and was sentenced by the joint chiefs of staff of the supreme powers to pay retribution, which he will be obliged to pay, denied escape velocity, forever.

There were no doubt high-level sympathisers with the view, frequently expressed by common people, that elimination of limerence is unsustainable, and we must learn to live with it. However, to send limerence into the cosmos as representative of humanity was formally agreed to be unconscionable. It is ignoble, the communique emphasised, to wish for what one does not have. It is a betrayal of community to so devalue the expectations of others that one might excuse oneself from them and find in oneself a more alluring voice.

So long as the ‘Galactic Anticenter’ points to the ground, any but the most dispassionate astrological interpretations of the intersection of Prime Vertical and Ecliptic are to be suppressed, and the escape velocity in the Bardo from any variety of madness is to be defined as fifteen degrees per hour.

That is why First Crescent can be scientifically predicted, and no longer needs to be seen. That is why consciousness is measured by wakefulness. At least limerence, like the Golden Record the fingerprints of the ache of eternity, will be preserved as a human relic, as the tools of the first ancestors to venture out of Africa, in that first ineffable stir of limerence, have been preserved by the sands of the Nefud Desert.

Have you got it? Have you been tested? Have you been inoculated? Are you self-isolating? Do you really believe that love can save the world?

You only lose what you cling to. That’s it! Nothing eternal here but cynicism, nothing permanent but idolatry. The Earth is full in Aquarius, disclosing what? Impatient perfectionism? Farewell.

Zealot Moon in Sidereal Aquarius

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This month celebrates the triumph of what is most ignoble in the human spirit, the desire and capacity to shove an opinion down somebody’s throat. Special recognition is given to the puppeteers whose armies of billions of zealots are so ready to hand.

One glance at social media in these physically disconnected times suggests that there are zealots everywhere, more than you can defeat in battle or even point a stick at. What they all seem to have in common, these stalwarts of the perennial conflict with imperfection, is the knowledge that something true is threatened with extinction.

The allure of totalitarianism is not particularly the opportunity to perfect others, but the absolute imperative to perpetuate the conditions for an identity, as a white supremacist, a queer person, a person of colour, a nationalist humiliated by history, the list goes on, or simply anyone otherwise perfect on the verge of being ignored. “Freedom!” the anti-lockdown protesters spit. I suspect they mean freedom from you.

In the beginning was time. First they diseased the future, and then they erased the past. Live in the now, they said. To fuse future and past into a present is the finitive compulsion of the zealot, but what happens to a past with no future is a black hole which haunts him. Time itself is something true threatened with extinction, like a chook running around without its head. The roots of the Tree of Life are dangling in mid-air.

Trees grow from the top, where the chloroplasts are. Is the Galactic Centre the crown of our tree or its roots wrapped around a spiritual black hole, winter in the North, summer in the South? Centres are full of zealots, and so passe.

Poet, Saint and Fool are far behind, propped in the lowest sephirot of the Tree of Man, somewhere back there among the ragged hills of youth and romance, not visible from the artificial park whose laps we avatars continue to call a journey, though it have no beginning and no end. Zealots, the shriek of the cockatoos means only, you’re facing the wrong direction. There has ever been a ready antidote to ideology.

New Moon in Sidereal Cancer: Connection

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Everything is connected to everything else: the body is a self-regulating community of minute organisms with the same constitution and provenance in all vertebrates; ideas move around in language like the breeze, coming from somewhere, touching, lingering, and going somewhere else; unconsciousness and conscience weave a dance like featherweight boxers for the entertainment of wealth; the dead are always with us. Every action is a reaction, reverberating in eternity. The sky is connected to the ground, and the stars are connected to the sky. Once upon a time, when disconnection was more horrible than death, our ancestors believed in ghosts.

Within the next two days, two recreational yachts will be found adrift, one in the middle of the Tasman Sea, and the other halfway between the Azores and Portugal. No connection will be drawn, and why would it be? Who could possibly be daft enough to imagine that these two solitary sailors, now disappeared without trace, had been either doomed lovers in a past life, or were spirit partners in each other’s underworld, two shaman ghosts longing for the other’s domain, if not resolution, release and eternal rest? On the other hand, it seems too coincidental for two separate mariners to disappear at precisely opposite locations on the globe, almost as though they were placed by design.

If you are passing through Guildford on the Midland Highway in Victoria, latitude 37.1 degrees south, pull over about 70 metres north of the Loddon, wait until midnight (at this time of year), when the Teapot is in the west, and see if there are any ghosts hanging about. Along the 37th parallel of north latitude the time to look out for restless spirits, and perhaps be one yourself, is when Taurus and Gemini straddle the west, and the ancestors along the Lethe are visible between late November and mid-April. The influence on relationships of the Electric Axis of Jayne and Johndro, the so-called Destiny’s Gate, would be for most people yet another empty astrological superstition, but in a world in which everything is connected it might be wise to hedge our bets, and also reserve judgment on the possibility of lingering Stone Age conceptions of the Milky Way and the cardinal directions. What? You don’t have any?

Consciousness can definitely get lonely in the underworld. What does memory know about dream? What do objectivity and subjectivity have in common? Is the hieros gamos love’s doom? Are love and doom the hieros gamos?

Is it possible that ancient shamans knew how to stand on their heads to embrace the good witch, as you, facing south with east on your left, would need to do to end up with your beloved’s east on your right? All cardinals are transposed in the underworld, therefore the Sun rises at sunset in the west, and sets at dawn in the east, somewhat as one might see what destiny had for breakfast. What does gravity do to the hang of a shaman’s dress?

The Full Earth is in Capricorn, the progenitor of bleating rock-climbers, and the pretender to the inflated profile it projects with Aquila and Aquarius. Mark the focus on the Olympic Games featured in your local media. To this Earth, connection is no more numinous than the measured relativity of difference. Two mariners disappear? Hundreds of thousands die of Covid-19! There is an antidote to preoccupation with ghosts and the afterlife: the measurable finality of death!

After all these centuries of proliferating the lineaments of the human spirit, the tendency survives of connecting the organism as a thing to an environment of things. There is no such thing as the Arctic or Antarctic Circle (+/- 90-obliquity): everything in the sky, everything the sky is above, and everything standing on what the sky is above, right way up or upside down, are instantly ever-changing. The proper term for what connects all those things is ’emptiness’. An instant is over in an instant. A life is over in a life. The dead are ever with us. Destiny’s gate remains open.

Drone Moon in Sidereal Capricorn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Responsibility: New Moon in Sidereal Gemini

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

Sydney Carter, “The Crow On The Cradle”.

260.
And down from there he spies
this little spot of earth that with the sea
is embraced, and begins to despise
this wretched world, and hold it vanity
compared with the true felicity
that is in heaven above. And at the last
down where he was slain, his gaze he cast.

261.
And in himself he laughed at the woe
of those who wept for his death now past:
and damned all our work that follows so
on blind lust, which can never last,
when we should all our heart on heaven cast.
And forth he went, briefly to tell,
where Mercury appointed him to dwell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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