Never stand under a tree with a possum in it, especially if you’re facing north.
The apparent behaviour of the Milky Way may afford astrology a globalist understanding of how the constellations and seasons fit together in the interpretation of identity, and a matrix to make sense of an astrology which actually looks at the stars, but here in the South the head of the Bull reminds us that there is more to life than ideas.
Late Summer, when Taurus is most prominent in the evening sky, is when growth reveals its catastrophic potential as bushfire. The bush is not only our source of oxygen: it is made of wood! Taurus disappears into the Sun as Regulus, the basilisk known as the healing archangel Raphael, urinates on us from his evening possum perch in the northern trees of the law. Like it or not, Taurus is the last roll of the dice of theory, the dawning recognition that conflict and disaster cannot be mitigated by the legislation of wishful thinking, but must be understood as implications of the materiality of existence. The most persuasive voice of rationality right now gives intellectual form to a spirit which can no longer be suppressed, the experience that we are not from everywhere, but rooted in somewhere. Our national and global citizenship fails to locate us in country! Populism is the battle-ground of top-down and bottom-up thinking.
The Moon in Taurus will precede the Sun into Lethe, the Hades river of forgetting, and forge a path through the difficult terrain of love, the instinct of the heart. It’s all too easy to lose one’s head altogether in there!
And so what is to be done with one’s roots? Which is the greater delusion, that form is a product of mind, or that mind is a product of theory? Can we include strangers in our space if it has no boundaries? Can we fortify boundaries which exclude emptiness? Now we need a Spanish fly to manage Moroccan snails. Will an Indigenous Assembly antagonize or placate the invaders who keep muscling nativity aside with their foreign ‘countries’? Is there any future for rational community? Can harmony between different instinctive origins be attained within multicultural global society, or will the programming of robots suffice in an internet of things? Will our only freedom be to do nothing? Is obedience of the wilful the best we can do?
If you imagine that when you die, what you know will live on, that your emotions, connections and experiences will be eternally reincarnated in other lives, other identities like yours, other components like you, then I probably can’t reach you. But there is another you. If you’re listening, Canberra, listen to the wondrous voice you are mistaking for mine, but which is entirely of your hearing and nobody else’s, as an echo of your creation. What you know and your knowing exist in parallel universes. Of the two, only your knowing is real. The world you know will be obliterated by your cessation to know it, so cease not while you live and breathe! This alone is ‘country’, the personal geography of intention and consequence, error and resilience, hubris and humility, hope and gratitude, hunger and pain. We want our country back!
What Regulus is thumping a paw to:
The Milky Way has been given precious little attention by astrology, no doubt because the riches of the Galactic Centre are invisible to most of the Northern Hemisphere, and planets rarely approach either of the great rivers of the Milky Way at night. Perhaps it has occurred to someone up there to consider the symbolism of Cassiopeia, which appears as the letter ‘m’ or ‘w’ due north according to which galactic pole is at transit, Southern or Northern, with the obvious gender connotations in the English language, but I doubt it.
Here in the South, we are indebted to various universities, and the researches of Ray Norris, Robert Fuller and Duane Hamacher in particular, for their disclosure of the significance of the Milky Way in Australian Indigenous cultures, but I suspect that most people are not aware of where it is in their light-polluted night sky, let alone how its configuration changes by hour, day and month.
Briefly, the Milky Way observed from the Southern Hemisphere moves continuously around the sky with the following six punctuating configurations:
In a suburban or rural-transition sky in Wurundjeri country, when the Sun is more than 18° below the horizon, visibility of these six configurations is afforded as follows, remembering that everything in the night sky except the Moon and planets appears in the same place roughly four minutes earlier each day.
Please do not assume that I wish to attribute some causal mechanism to the Galactic Plane. On the contrary, my motivation is simply to create more interest in looking at the sky and finding in it signs of meaning. The synchronicity of freeze-frame configurations of the Milky Way and Dr Beth Gott’s Wurundjeri seasons may be delightful to one uncomfortable with inverted Northern Hemisphere seasons, but the cycle presented is continuous, by night and day, and I shrink from adding another invisible influence on personality. On the other hand, the bisection of the Zodiac is too tasty to resist. I hope my arbitrary labels of conventional astrology married to pop psychology, Christian liturgy and Greek mythology will provoke intuitive reaction, at the very least, if not whole-hearted disbelief in rationalism.
A narrative or to describe the journey through Hades of the meridian and any body moving through the Zodiac and crossing its rivers could be confabulated in such a sequence as this. Nearly drowning in the swirling torrents of the Acheron the emotions desperately try to save themselves at each other’s expense. Humiliated, they ruefully recoil into the psyche as the ‘wound’. There follows an experiment by a self which admits no feelings other than empathy, but the perfectibility of this self is so battered by compromise that its structure collapses, and after succumbing briefly to the image others applaud of its aggressive survival, it then mortifies itself in the Lethe, in abnegation of itself as sufficient reason. Lo and behold, the emptiness of thought is the raw material of love. Community beckons, but resentment grows as the emptiness of love too is revealed, culminating in the turmoil of full-blown rejection, and retreat into the pages of self-help and astrology.
It is a mental illness to be habitually confined to a prison you are aware you have made for yourself, but be actually unwilling to escape. Welcoming, you impose too many rules; being welcomed, you refuse. You are always both oppressed and oppressor. You shouldn’t take things so personally. It’s only a temporary orientation of the Milky Way. Be grateful you can’t see things as they were seen here (and in Thebes) five thousand years ago. The Underworld can be so disturbing, it must be invented.
Retrograde Jupiter reaches conjunction with the North Galactic Pole tonight, and will transit within a degree of it, repeating this configuration, until its conjunction with the Quarter Moon on July 1, and thereafter the Milky Way’s suburban disappearance in evening twilight.
Is it a sign? Of course it is! What do you think a sign is? If you cannot see the Milky Way, and therefore have no connection to what this sort of apparition may have spoken to your ancestral culture, well, that is indeed unfortunate.
The Signs of astrology represent twelve different modalities of consciousness. They can be rationalized in sequence as a progression of seasons, as a daily cycle of the biological clock, and as stages of enlightenment. Daily online horoscopes attest to the universal applicability of each, and that is how I choose to regard them. How do they help me identify the pitfalls of the imaginative life with which I must deal on this day, at this hour? In what state of awareness am I likely to arrive in the spotlight, on an impossible mission to resacralize this world clinging to authoritative archaisms, when I get to where the Sun will be in unsettled late Spring, the upside down Constellation which tries to be the scales of justice but looks more like the boot of the law, Libra in the Southern Sign of insecure tranquility, or of totally unjust, even fascist, aggressive assertiveness in the North, according to the authoritative archaism of Northern Hemisphere Tropical Astrology? How do I cope with aggression when I’m feeling insecure? How can consciousness rescue healing from neediness?
Why, I immerse myself in the world of the senses, of course. I listen to Mozart; I get out my colouring book; I turn off the news; I delight in the sunset, and the innocence of culturally diverse children hurrying home to dinners prepared by their brothers and fathers. In short, I activate my sensualist module. Less practised in my youth, I once tended to be seduced by the beauty of people, but this led to excesses of sexual instinct, and made my Shadow unmanageable. I now know how to circumvent the stirring of my sexuality module. The ultimate goal of the Libra module is enjoyment of the meaningless beauty of the surface of the world, the complete surrender of rational discrimination, in the Buddhist sense, to gratitude for what simply is. The tranquil beauty of sensualism is so seductive, its success in relieving me of fear, anger, shame and guilt so complete, that I am beguiled by the sense that I do not exist, except as the delight in itself of a benign creation.
Now, not only can I find tolerance of fundamentalist observance of archaic rules for separating conscious good from unconscious and instinctive evil, but I know that my impressions of beauty differ from those of others, and that the only way for me to preserve my equanimity in the company of divergent senses is to remain silent, save perhaps for an occasional “Ohhh!” of transcendent appreciation revealing only my worship. Indeed, the maxim, ‘Love yourself in order to be able to love others’ is entirely persuasive. Am I not resplendent in my spacious horizontal connections with colour and scent, dappled shadows and the tinkle of clear streams? Are we not one, dissolved in beauty?
Unfortunately, Libra is not a permanent state. The boundary the sensualist creates between light and dark is made permeable by language, the necessary vehicle for purpose, with all its ambiguities, manipulations and inferences. We must work, we must engage, and are never free of the judgment it takes to understand each other. Our unconscious reveals itself to others, even when we deny it. “By their projections shall ye know them.” There is particular irony in the experience of discrimination by minorities in multicultural societies like the one I live in, which pride themselves on diversity: in the subsumation into identity, narrative and right of what we might share in silence, the discrimination is theirs.
So verily I say unto thee, hearken unto the words of the prophet. Lift up thine eyes from the earth unto heaven. Look not upon the shadow of another, though it fall between you and the light. The prophet says, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one escapes the Shadow except through me. Shadows! Rejoice for the person who takes guidance from priest, prophet or astrologer beckoning towards the light, for be assured that the shadow of sin will remain hidden, especially if it is a lantern which casts it invisible behind us. Pity the native of the tropics who, confused by the direction of the light, sometimes in submission to error finds the shadow all too visible preceding, or lost altogether in mayhem of who knows whose making.
Where does the shadow go when the light is directly overhead? And what of the shadow cast by the Moon? When Sun and Moon are casting your shadow in opposite directions, the unconscious can be difficult to avoid. This happens in the tropics. Therefore place your trust in the prophet, and stand so that you never have to bend over backwards to gaze upon him, lest dizzily you cast your eyes down and see the hidden animal in you crawling before you with the serpents. Vigilance must safeguard us from ourselves. The shibboleths of devils who steal shadows and denizens of the underworld like zombies, bogeymen and bunyips will not trouble us who keep our eyes on the light.
This Moon, the eighth in the Islamic calendar, can deliver salvation to believers, in jihad if they face south. Rest assured that the prophet has subterranean influences under control. The Libra Moon transits in opposition not only to the Sun, but this year to the “CMB Cold Spot” in Eridanus, where unbelievers fear our entire finite universe to be in touch with another in a Multiverse. Perhaps it is so, and this is where bunyips come from, and shadows go. Fear not, if you keep your shadow behind you, it cannot attain a third dimension and take over your world, denying you salvation in perpetuity.
Peoples of the south, though you be not safe from the north, fear not the jihadists who keep the shadow behind them. They will turn as they reach you, and pass without harm like the babbling of a brook. It is written: the tranquility of sensuality shall protect you from rampant disregard of the sanctions against the unconscious.
The prophet says, give yourself up to the senses. Behold creation in its depthless measure. Your ascendant promises originality, meaning what has been here from the beginning, the perfect ideal, and the descendant chattering behind your left shoulder reminds you in awful dread that rebellion, at the edge of the world, is where the light ceases, and the Shadow will consume you.
All those in favour of a world without offence, say ‘I’!