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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.