Oh Mensch! Gieb Acht!
Was spricht die tiefe Mitternacht?
„Ich schlief, ich schlief—,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht:—
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh—,
Lust—tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit
will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!“
O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
“I was asleep—
From a deep dream I woke and swear:—
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe—
Joy—deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Go!
But all joy wants eternity—
Wants deep, wants deep eternity.” Zarathustra’s Roundelay, Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra.
This, believe it or not, is no laughing matter. Homo sapiens sapiens has assumed responsibility for the weather. It had to happen. At least 50 kya they anticipated night sky configurations of the Milky Way Galaxy conducive to initiatory ceremonies—or did they?—and buried their dead in the Underworld. At least 5 kya their familiarity with the seasons was able to relate Sun position, seasons and phases of the Moon. At least 500 ya they were able to time their affairs independently of the weather or Sun and Moon position; in fact Sun and Moon were forced to obey their mathematical formulae. Now anyone who doubts the power of Homo sapiens sapiens to bend inevitable change to static comfort parameters is called ‘denialist’ and ostracized. Is it any wonder that the birds on the wire cock one eye at Homo sapiens sapiens as it hurtles past on its ‘freeways’ towards its occupation of creating eternal life for its celebrated traders of inequality and elite rapists of country and planet?
However, doubt is not on the calendar because of climate change and the questionable benefits of capitalism and its derivative, consumerism. No, doubt enters the equation at this time of the Homo sapiens sapiens year because the Sun has already entered the great River of Woe, the Acheron, and nobody, least of all the celebrants of whichever solstice it might be, or the children who must learn real gratitude for whatever disappointment a guy in a red suit and false beard leaves them before he disappears into whatever parents do during the day, has ever been confident, notwithstanding the living testament of 2,500 generations of ancestral stars, that beyond its other bank is not death, species death, heat death, or a merely temporary annuity paid by the actuaries of finitude. The opposite of woe is not happiness, but forgetting, because woe is not unhappiness, but the rational apprehension of finitude in eternity, or in time itself and nothingness, which come and go in quantum micro- and macro-transparencies, the experience of which is the very definition of country, and for that matter, Homo sapiens sapiens itself.
Sidereal zodiacs are personal things. Various of those divided into twelve equal parts place their boundaries where they coincided with the seasons at some time in the past, or originating at Spica, or at intervals placing important stars in the middle of their Constellations. My zodiac, the so-called Breamlea Zodiac, conforms to three basic rules: boundaries wherever possible must accord with observation; boundaries must to all intents and purposes be defined in a static frame of reference; and boundaries must follow lines of Right Ascension, so that alignments of constellations and stars beyond the zodiac fan out from the Celestial Equator anchored by observation’s left and right, square to the meridian. Accordingly, Iota 1 Scorpii is the hinge of my zodiac—it moves 0.00026° south along its hour circle every 100 years, in galactic coordinates about 13 arcseconds in longitude and 7 arcseconds in latitude in 2000 years—at 0° Sgr, and “Yabby” is the easternmost bright star of one of the sky’s most dramatic and familiar asterisms.
Everything in the sky moves, hourly, daily and yearly, Sun and planets, stars and galaxies. Unlike equinoxes, solstices and ayanamsas, and the inclination of Earth’s Equator to the plane of the Milky Way, the intersections of Ecliptic and Galactic Equator have barely moved in the celestial background of the Zodiac throughout recorded time, so the Milky Way naturally presents another static frame of reference. Woe, the Gate of God, and Forgetting, the Gate of Man, are powerful pivots of sidereal astrology, where Moon and planets cross the great river of stars which still, in dark skies, wheels overhead as awesomely as it has done for as long as there have been eyes to see it, and independently of comparatively rapid seasonal and climatic change. Seasons and their Signs move across the heavens; constellations and other asterisms mill around in situ.
I live just down the road from Wurdi Youang. I discovered country 5000 years ago, when the angle between galactic poles and me was 90°, and I marvelled at the ‘me’ my ancestors were showing me as they assembled in a straight line over my head, inviting me to stretch one arm to one end and the the other to the opposite end, and not only was the Emu standing in my skin and language speaking where it always has on my west side, but straight in front of me where I clapped was the noon hour, the law, everything, including me, as it just is and always was across the laval plain east of the Anakies and south of The Divide, and I knew that directly behind me was a circlet of thousands of years of clockwise-cycling song and dance and ceremony, casting upon the law a shadow of eternal joy.
Something about you tells me we knew each other! You don’t remember either? Well, isn’t that just the way it goes? Perhaps we were lovers, and walked together, or shared a fire, a creation story or a common ancestor. Perhaps, on different sides of a world, we caused the same calamity, or escaped it. Regardless, I believe I admired you, and I bear you and your ignorance of my grave no ill will, as I have no intention to tend yours. Is that true, or is it just another leaf of the Elm I have forgotten?