He doesn’t trust you. It’s not that your compassion is insincere, merely hollow, gratuitous. He doesn’t ask for it. He doesn’t need it. More than that, it’s no business of his what you think or feel about him, or, for that matter, what you believe would relieve human suffering, by eradicating inequality, poverty and disease or improving difficult relationships. That is not to say that his is not in any way a spiritual path. He may appear to have given up his calling, to be bent only on his next meal, fag-end and doss, but his experience in the body of mind no more disqualifies him from transformation and becoming than yours does.
The Vagabond as an archetype may look out of place, with his odiously soiled trousers in the Maccas queue, but his affinity with country is palpable. If you don’t look up, and it is very uncomfortable to do so, you are vividly aware of his luminescence bathing the sky down to the horizon in all directions, as though the cardinal directions have been extinguished, as in a painful separation, perhaps, and only one direction remains, the non-zenith. The body of the world radiates from the mind, or is it that mind is dissolved in its body?
Look Tela up on Google Maps. It is strikingly beautiful, and with the midnight moon in the zenith it seems lit for a photograph by a professional for a tourism brochure. The last thing you would be wondering if you were here is, ‘what’s over the horizon’. But although the Moon is giving any witness to its perfect syzygy a show worth the price of admission and more, it gives the impression it is gazing beyond the horizon, like an actor delivering lines beyond the footlights and the dark silhouettes of the audience. Who or what is this Vagabond? Is he an apparition from the Underworld, a dead man walking, wandering in our waking and sleeping unconscious like an alley-cat? Murakami’s untrademarked Commendatore, perhaps?
All the powerful figures in my life are women, which explains the genders I associate with Sun and Moon. It is a moot point whether selectively listening and mansplaining at New Moon is a less potent expression of masculinity than independent and vainglorious posturing at Full Moon. Also unclear is the extent to which the undeniable subjugation of women is voluntary, and such phenomena as the #MeToo ‘movement’ are less a force driving an emasculation of men than an overdue rejection of self-loathing.
The tropical Sign associated with Taurus is Gemini in the North, Sagittarius in the South. It is both, and neither. It carries its own myths, Mesopotamian, Greek and Indigenous. To be a ‘Taurus’ is to be struck by Taurus the Constellation, not Aries or Libra (in the South). Being stuck on someone or something was not long ago much easier to recognize than it is today. We all knew with vinyl technology what a speck of dust meant. At worst we could stop playing that album, which is what most people, especially women, mean by ‘let it go’ today, but a good anti-static cloth usually did the trick.
Needless to say, the Signs of the Zodiac are seasonal Sun Signs, of which the Moon makes what he can. Regarded as female in traditional western folklore, the Moon contests the Sun’s influence on growth and decay, and the tidal behaviour of rivers, seas and the fertility of women. Regardless of how cultures have chosen to identify with it, the Moon has always hotly contested the Sun as principal guide in the measure of time.
If we could prevail upon the Vagabond to speak, he would no doubt have an abundance of calamity and disappointment to share, and we would expect much of that to be about love. Perhaps he tries to illuminate the karma of his relationships with his gaze upon and beyond our horizon of time and place, but he is more likely rejoicing in his release from the constriction of our subjugation by the hormonal mysteries of the hours, which rewards him with a realization of time’s emptiness.
In the charts above and below, two perspectives of the moment of Full Moon are presented in detail which could easily be deduced from the Mercator projection presented above them, if we only knew how to tell the time. Embedded in equatorial relationship to the Constellations of the Zodiac, the bright stars of the Vagabond’s eternal return to promise and loss, among them the denizens of the Lunar Mansions of a number of traditions, move continuously around the clock of human madness: as the time of day in this instant increases to the east, by 2 hours every 30° of geographic longitude, so the (Meridian) Houses occupied by these subjects and their corresponding Signs as viewed from any location become the next 30° to the east. Conversely, a star transiting at the cusp of the Fourth House at any location appears at the cusp of the Third 30° to the west.
If the Moon is able to perceive the powerful female forces in his world not only at all hours of the day, waking to the daily activities from which he is displaced and keenly misses, or asleep in the underworld chambers of his heart, adored by others in this instant, giving him a glance at the horizon if at all, but also instantaneously in all the realms of the bardo engendered by the negative emotions, and if he does this in a dozen guises, waxing and waning throughout the year as the Sun cloaks her tender subjects in seasonal daylight and reveals them to us in the night sky, then we may have the answer to the question, who or what is the Vagabond: detached in time and place, practising the elimination of resentment and envy, absent from history, he embodies the emptiness of memory, the presence of non-existence, and country’s transcendence of identity. He doesn’t trust your ability to tell the time; he is idea, and so are you; he is looking for a smoke.
Incidentally, before we meet again, the Sun will commence its annual fording of Acheron, the River of Woe. The Vagabond anticipates a difficult rebirth there, but I trust you will notice nothing out of the ordinary.