This is the intellectual Moon, in the Southern Sign of Gemini, elevated to the zenith while the Sun struggles towards the Winter Solstice. Like a rogue adolescent, whose book-learning enables him to theorize away the conservative values of older generations, and who does not yet know the meaning of hubris, the Rogue needs to be reminded of a few things, such as myth and kin. A rogue might see an opportunity, and call it his, but it was created by others. A total eclipse should remind him whose light he shines.
But it is only we nearing the end of a life on Earth who learn his lesson, while the young celebrate their interventionist vainglory, unconscious of the gravity of their privilege. Never chased by an emu! Who cares where dogs go when they leave the dog park? Who cares who replenishes the poo bags? Kyrie eleison.
Studying the Moon’s progress during the past week as it rose later each day behind the cranes disfiguring my landscape, I discovered a strange thing. He started in Cancer in the second House. Nothing surprising there: fervent altruism in the Bardo of fearful discrimination. Likewise his Leonine sensitivity the next day when he appeared in the Bardo of perfection. By the time his perspicacious sincerity in Virgo presented itself at 4 pm on the fourth day, I was ready to stick my fingers down my throat, and I was no more sympathetic to his sensuality in Libra or his current anxiety in Scorpio. What is wrong with me? Am I losing my rogue? This Moon and I should not be antagonists.
Yet I am discovering that it is he who belongs and I who do not. Over his shoulder, as it were, he sniffs his millennial disinterest in the Bardo’s cosmic emotional cycle, for Earth hours are of no significance to him. The rebellious system of this site is finally just one more zombie measuring up his coffin, though going rogue seemed like healing at the time. He is a healer too, he claims, although 4 billion years seems a long time to be healing, and it is I who pick up the cans and coffee cups he drops over the front fence.
Who can understand why he is so contemptuous? After all, the Earth passes through the Moon’s own astral gates, differently polarized by his axis of rotation. We might be kin, if I weren’t on the wrong side of history, and my garden, with the bloom of my wounds and their astral petals, so much detritus in his path.
Once he was creator of the world, and until just now has been happy to collude with any soothsayer whose system accorded him agency to intrigue the superstitious, but the collective madness of opposition seems to me now to be all he has left. He does not own his history, you see, and so he cannot identify with the white supremacy of gravity. He does not own his gender either, and so millennia of menstrual synchronicity cannot persuade him to call chests breasts. Nevertheless, identity seems a big issue: is the butt of his jokes a clue?
Am I sad that history has caught up with me and passed me by? Of course I get lost, but no, I saw it coming, for history is not rogue. It is as the Gate of Antares, where consequence emanates from presence, and deprivation is paranoia’s fool.
I remember the sixties as opposing love to fear, but they too also went rogue on racism, sexism and homophobia. The search for love? I think I still understand that, although the turbines privilege me with a little difficulty of hearing. Perhaps it is ethical to interrogate the credentials of love, but an old man begs you, Rogue, do not topple its statue. Kyrie eleison. If you will excuse me, I have to get back to the dishes.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.…
It is happy for man that he does not know what the morrow is to bring forth; but, unaware of this great blessing, he has, in all ages of the world, presumptuously endeavoured to trace the events of unborn centuries, and anticipate the march of time. He has reduced this presumption into a study. He has divided it into sciences and systems without number, employing his whole life in the vain pursuit. Upon no subject has it been so easy to deceive the world as upon this.”
Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Gutenberg.
You pull over on a hilltop to take in the view. You are familiar with the geography, but the panorama fills your awareness with so much that you don’t know: values, intentions and functions imposed on the landscape by people you will never meet, living and dead. There is no clarity in country. Hidden in plain sight are privacy, family, opportunity and duty. Hidden in plain sight on the side of the road where overtaking motorists exercise caution in oncoming traffic are you and your astrology, the local, global and celestial contexts you impose on the patterns you see, the labours and refuges you theorize, and your interrupted journey itself.
In a way, your journey is just like the Earth’s, from the Moon’s perspective (and the Moon’s from Earth). Not to say that you go around in circles, but that your progress, though it be powered by gravity, internal combustion or the calories from breakfast, and mapped by waypoints called a and b, is measured by changes in the background, whether in space or time. So regular are these changes that from time immemorial popular belief has been seduced by the notion that they were created for your edification and control. Is astrology guilty? Do you really belong in a herd? Do the planets?
You might be angry if you weren’t so disgusted by fear of the anguish which, enthralled as you have been by the seductive growth of mystical connections, has so surprised you. You might direct that anger at a world which questions the rectitude of your state of mind and shows no inclination to conform to your dreams, or you might work with the anguish of a full-stop in search of a backspace and apostrophe to exclaim itself grammatically. In you, and around you, a conflict is raging, and the opposing sides have not identified themselves. Are these astral gates then battle lines between polarized forces? Are these bardo emotions personal or generic? On the bright side, they may be opportunistically confirmed because you can identify with them all.
Where do names and attributes come from, brainstem or frontal cortex? You may be sure, acculturated consensus notwithstanding, that when Indigenous Australians noticed the existence of variable stars, there were some who gave them names and told stories about them, but for most people there would have been nothing remarkable about changes in the sky, since nothing in country was, or is, permanent. Country is change. Over thousands of years, the “Southern Cross” at transit climbed higher and higher in the northern sky, until about 4000 years ago above where the 300-500 years old Corroboree Tree survives in Queens Way, Melbourne, it reached the zenith, and gradually it became more comfortable to see it in the south. Do you think it turned upside down? Did it shake any power structures?
How many identities do you have? How many more must you add to the intersection you call your Self before you feel your alienation, before your intellect collapses under its own weight, the weight of change, and you know the profound emptiness of being suspended in the arbitrary web of your own absence. Unless your feet know the emptiness of the dirt between you and the stars, get back in the car. You feel only your weight in your shoes, and so you will be safer on your backside. At least the underworld of your contribution to global warming may resound with the nostalgic hits of yesteryear as you proceed to point b, taking your conscious horizon with you.
The Southern Sign of the Constellation Aries, the domicile of the Ram and the Peasant Moon, is Scorpio, not Taurus. Mass circulation of Sun Sign horoscopes has captured the global population in Northern Spring, but just how important is your need to escape? Your reading of the quoted text by Mackay, so contemptuous of the peasants, has conflated opportunism and populism. Aggression might win an advantage in the manger where Autumn is trying to snuggle among the absent newborn while Ferdinand dreams of flowers, but hibernation is an equally attractive proposition. Populists may properly be regarded as opportunistic manipulators of ignorance and cynical exploiters of fear and resentment, but populism per se is misunderstood as ignorant and smug. Populism is empowered by a desire verging on the noble, to take an opportunity to integrate, not obey, a coming to attention with regard for a peasant Self without pretension to permanence, but which might withstand the desacralizing news cycle of doom, which, as we all know, trigger by trigger, activates our incoherent and piecemeal emotional response and threatens our very existence. Ah well, that’s Autumn Country for you.
You remember Ferdinand, the bull whose predilection beyond the ring was to lie in a meadow and saturate his existence with the scent of flowers? What presence he had, according to popular usage of the term ‘sensualism’! You have to wonder, who has more presence, a bull with his head in clouds of perfume, or an infuriated bull triggered by a toreador? It cannot be denied that presence is not generally ascribed to someone who is all there—how would we know?—but to a being we can see, a performative being. We can enjoy Ferdinand’s kind of sensuality any time the world ignores us, but to be full-time sensualists, we must emulate the myriad performers of unrestricted sensual presence to be found on the web. So there is something not quite right about Ferdinand’s presence, and that which is experienced by meditation adepts and obsessive compulsives who can filter their senses and ignore the world. What is more absurd than the lotus position when the kids need breakfast before school? You see? Astrologers know nothing about sensuality.
Nonetheless, a Full Moon in the Constellation of Libra, once associated with the scales of justice, is much more likely in the Southern Hemisphere to share a meadow with Ferdinand than to contest anachronistically systematised seasons of Earth. However, there is no absence of anxiety when you put Libra’s jackboot at the back of your head (looking south) to contemplate the skewering on an Indigenous spear of the merino known as Lupus, with the legacy of the retaliation of colonial law staining Left and Right forever.
As any neophyte can affirm, the senses impose themselves from the bottom up. Does that mean sensualists are bottom feeders? Is solitary sensuality always transgressive? Country, the Australian Indigenous term I use to signify presence in absence, is sensual if it is alive. Perhaps it all comes down to one question, how do you share country? How do you perform it? After all, the shape of your body, what you’re wearing, and what you ate for breakfast, are of no interest to authentic beings. How to perform absence? In what sense is that a meaningful question? What is the proper term for projected sensuality? Pornography? Limerence? Love? Dream? Death?
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The Moon does it. Always has, tidally, but also in the contamination he brings to any wife and mansion from all the others. His presence brings absence and a whiff of betrayal. In a few Earth days he will cross the Acheron, and what will preserve him in its turbulence is not any forgiveness from Earth for primordial transgressions, but knowing that the last thing the crescent Earth will forget as she plunges into the Lethe is the impious hauteur of Saiph, the Moon’s naked Melanesian queen, twerking at the riverbank where she wrings eternity from her seaweed.
Crossing the rivers of Hades does it. The Vertex does it. Country does it. The forty-nine days do it. Remembrance, the Silent Minute and the Two Minute Silence do it. Can the Earth perform her presence in absence, or is she too engrossed in her comic?
If we’re trying to be civil, it helps to understand each other. “What do you mean?” What an enigmatic question! Are you saying that I am not making myself clear, or asking me to rephrase in terms you can get your head around? Depending on your tone, there might be a hint of rebuff, a suggestion that my meaning need not be understood unless it conforms in some way with yours. Furthermore, there might be some basis for a paranoid interpretation of the question, and the subliminal arising of questions about my value to you, yours to me, and mine to myself.
And so you ask the question, “What does it mean that there is a New Moon in the constellation of Pisces?” What do you mean, New Moon?
Now the arguments begin, between tropicalists, of Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and siderealists, and no matter how erudite and convincing the expert, the question really means, “What does the New Moon mean to me?” There are billions of ‘me’s, and not one asks what it means to the Moon.
It’s difficult to be a moon, a satellite of someone else, but each of us is just that, seeing others as only we can, yes, but struggling to inhabit the context they provide us, which seems like a global chaos of sanctimony and savagery, victimhood and self-importance. There is nothing for it but to judge each other in order to jostle for control of the path to justice. We seem to have defined civility in that way, that any identity has the right to impose its narrative on others, and difference is their problem. Rather than adapt to order, we deconstruct it, but still don’t hesitate to call the police. We ‘believe’ in order, because we are one organism, are we not? And this organism we call the universe, part of which is a night sky and the microscopic individual standing under it, is the embodiment of emotional life, ever projected in organic behaviours bubbling up from energetic structures emerging from the exhaust of stellar engine-rooms.
Imagine a future expedition wrapping a silicone membrane around the Moon which could sense and transmit across the strait his Threnody On The Impertinence of Earth. What a shot in the arm for robotics to find a sentient artificial intelligence! Games addicts could show themselves in public again. The sky is a screen; the earth is an avatar!
The Moon is no more bit-player than, dare we say it, the Sun Goddess. He is as awe-struck by the Milky Way and its configurations as we were when we were poets. Centre stage, waiting for his cue, with the galaxy due East and West on his horizon, he is not only a jester, but an author and director. So long as he entertains us when the play gets going, who would begrudge him our bit-parts and a theatrical foible or two? Anyone offended by where their Sign ends up is welcome to join the protesters outside.
Wherever his arbitrary concoction came from, his perspective at least gives us an opportunity to examine our emotions before we plaster them all over social media. May we all pay attention to the activity of our brainstem at lunar zenith as the Constellations drift behind us through the monthly cycle of the Moon’s bardo. An overview of our position is overdue. Emotional intelligence has gone out the window. Try the Moon’s chart as an alternative unifying principle to rampant priapism, aggressive nationalism or resentful greed. We are opposite the Moon, out there, just as we are out there when we have another in our crosshairs.
Earth’s self upholds this monument To conquerors who won her when Wooing was dangerous, and now Are gathered unto her again.Brian Fitzpatrick.
Now there’s a dog on the v’randa, for his master he waits But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear It’s no place for a dog ’round a pub with no beer.Gordon Parsons.
The Artisan, schooled in a time-honoured tradition, has practised his craft so often that design and method have become innate. Ornament is often idiosyncratic but his guiding star is utility, and the artefact he produces is ever used in the same way. We don’t need an instruction manual to place and sit on a chair, or hold a cup the right way to drink out of it. Conventions needs no description. To be inside them is enough, until they no longer work. The patriarchy no longer works, and we have laboriously deconstructed it, or in places begun at least to recognize its negative influence in traditional societies evolving connection beyond the village. However, the belief that a convention has lost its utility becomes another convention, which no instruction manual can market. Inclusion takes time and immense care to avoid violence and hurt as a new authority attempts to confront an old one.
Fortunately, the convention of map reading has not reached that position, or even revealed its existence to more than a handful. (See McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World.) Southern stargazers take it for granted that North is at the bottom and that we are looking at traditionally represented asterisms upside down, but the cartographical convention that North is up cannot be ignored when the Moon’s perspective attempts to align with ours, or to put it another way, when the Artisan attempts to make something we can use. How can we in the South possibly get inside a Moon in our Zodiac who is looking at the Earth upside down?
We will get to an explanation presently, but first consider the Constellation, Cetus. What is the basis of the attributes I have given it? Had Babylonian, Greek or mediaeval European taxonomers seen Cetus our way up, they would possibly have called it Vespa, the Wasp, because that’s what it resembles in the South, with a stinger to the west and a proboscis to the east, in celestial context which only came to make sense when Southerners began to ride horses, and the Fishes revealed themselves as a presumptuous rider on Pegasus whose moomba in jodphurs was worth investigating. Diphda is antagonistic and Menkar is intrusive, but the industry of the Potter Wasp, an artisan if there ever was one, is both beguiling and inspiring. It is difficult to assess the impression we make on others, though convention has it that there are those who ‘get’ us and those who don’t. The passage of the Earth through Vespa (Cetus) depends on where the Moon’s nodes are. This orbit we Earthlings are giving the impression of both positive and negative characteristics of waspishness, whichever way up we ought to be viewed, between 15:28 on the 28th and 08:25 on the 29th UTC, and after a day and two hours in Pisces, 10:45 and 15:14 on the 30th UTC. Know your time differences? Then mind how you go!
Your selfie over Nepal is a Northern tour de force, Artisan! You have created an image in the tradition of ancient maps of the world showing it surrounded by ocean, while giving your position the authentic offset from the Zenith which proves you’re not a robot. Most helpfully, your projection of the sky, first mapped onto paleolithic cave walls, demonstrates the root of the conventional orientation of north and south on a map. But you know, the Packers Prize goes to another.
The sky can be dragged down to the vertical from any direction. To see the Zodiac the Southern way up, drag it down from the North, but then North will be at the bottom, the opposite of our maps, in which the South is always behind us. Let’s view the Honourable Mention.
To see the Emu right way up, drag the sky down from the South-East. The Emu at Zenith is always above a North-up Earth. How’s that for a Treaty? And every artisan leaves a signature: today the upper transit of the Southern Cross was at Solar Midnight. Only happens once a year, on this day. Nice one.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must All follow this, and come to dust. Shakespeare, Fidele’s Dirge.
The Autumn horoscopes of Virgo personalities devoured by Southern Hemisphere commuters born in Spring are beyond rational understanding, but there is no stronger influence on human behaviour than confirmation bias, and I am not butting my head against it. So let it stand for the moment that this year the first Moon of Northern Hemisphere Spring, pivotal in the lives of Christian believers, is born in the Sign of Pisces and culminates immediately before Easter in the Sign of Libra. It has remained a convention among European invaders of the South for 500 years. The fact remains that the astrological romance of each Moon’s journey from inspiration to realization is complicated by the journey of the Sun: the first realization of the Full Moon as it dramatises its Opposition is that the Sun has moved on, and navigation is ambiguous in the shoals of memory, as any expatriate visiting ‘home’ will attest. Convention is not mere habit, but the fabrication of a new chapter in the same story, a contest of intuition and language, memory and awareness, success and defeat. One person’s affluence is another’s deprivation. One person’s ritual self-discovery is another’s defilement. Convention is a truce.
But can the truce hold? When the Moon elected to worship the Sun Goddess as a man, he neglected the resilience of convention, and must now admit some culpability for a worldwide resentment among women towards his mansplaining. He meant to portray himself as subordinate to the coordinating power of female creativity, but deep in the brainstem from whence he drew his interpretations of gender there did lurk an urge to power. The ambiguity of his reflected outshining was tainted by denial that he was underplaying a primeval contest, and that he might represent just another patriarch with 27 concubines. Was there not a caricature of triumph in the metaphor of dragging Goddesses by the hair out of their Underworld hill caves to worship his worship? Even if all experience is the crocodile speaking, relationship is a more serious issue than this.
One person’s instinct is another’s reason. As previously explored, the alignment of the ancestors in a straight line passing directly overhead has two configurations: one associated by indigenous custom with the mystery of male initiation, and the other labelled idiosyncratically as the Wanderer, a possible celebration of gender difference locked into the progressive possibilities of iconoclasm emerging from the Underworld River of Lethe. Perhaps this moment, visible in complete darkness in the first quarter of the year, might be the birth of a New Moon with a difference, deriving his trajectory not from Goddess worship, but from self-worship among the ambiguous roots of identity in the somatic soup of retrospection.
Thus might the Moon be relegated to the ranks of those who dangerously deal their own cards, resentment and victimization be revealed as premeditated, and interpretation of selfhood dare to contradict convention. Meanwhile, he seems in the South to have fallen right way up out of the frying-pan of Pisces into the fire of Virgo.
What it all boils down to is, in attempting to give personality to the Moon, I have landed him with the same problem we persons all have to deal with: how to get inside another’s mind, indeed how to get inside our own without an objective system of meanings such as astrology which infers that another can get in there.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan’s prescient lines, you were kidding me, you weren’t really from the farm, and I told you later as you tore out my eyes, that I never really meant to do you any harm. Perhaps we must leave it at that. Own your conventions and their ancestral languages, and let no Goddess need recourse to claims of being framed, or farmed. And yes, rejoice in any unconventional primal resurgence of the cardinal directions, especially their upsidedown-ness, and let us hope that our subscription to their metacortical experience does not inadvertently expire.
The first Full Moon of the Chinese New Year is occasionally the Healer, but usually the Migrant, which makes sense because, of the readily available salves for Solstice extremes, emergency freezes, bushfires, pandemics and reluctant returns to school and work, namely submission, adaptation, and escape, it is the latter which preserves our delusions of autonomy and the authority of the cultural covenant in which our egos might remain secure. While the Healer, preoccupied by affliction, resentful of relationship difficulties and fearful of the inexorability of seasonal and existential insecurity, turns his mind to neurological, social and economic reforms, or mindfully monetized jogging on the spot, the Migrant is an invader, obsessively impatient to transplant his attributes into more nutrient soil.
Imagine an existence wrapped in the coils of physical laws, whose narrative, bickered over by others, conceals not purpose and subjectivity, but the aesthetic avoidance of an eternal fate. Imagine that we are all locked in orbit by meaning with a fiction of straight lines our furtive hope. Imagine the horror of discovering that one’s relationships and roles are someone else’s attempt at narrative. So might things have appeared to the Migrant, until a great hero entered his existence, an Influencer with charisma sufficient to move the Sun, and whose journey, unconstrained by measurement, seems to go on and on.
Perhaps the chart above is as confusing as it is revelatory, and certainly the intersecting patterns which Jupiter and the Chinese year reward weird Earthlings with are beyond the Migrant, or else he would choose to stay home to study. The twelve-year cycle of the Chinese Year seems like placatory wallpaper on the wall of the Migrant’s prison cell, whereas the original inspiration for the numbered menagerie, Jupiter, gets to ride the twelve-year zodiac cycle in irresistible increments of change. It takes Jupiter 11.862 years to orbit the Sun, so that in twelve years it progresses about 5° through the Zodiac. It takes about 866 years, or around 72 12-year cycles for its Opposition to complete a revolution and return to roughly the same Right Ascension, but for a return to a particular background in the same year in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar?
The Moon, like you, goes around and around in circles, and just like you, needs the story of change and progress we call our ‘journey’. Can we heal this need? How far into the future do we have to search for a Year of the Ox which is Yin and Earth, and in which Jupiter’s Opposition is near Deneb Algedi in Capricornus, closing a cycle? Eternity? This is no trivial question, because the damage to your existence would be calamitous if the Moon migrated to Jupiter to say, ‘Goodbye tight orbit, hello infinite linearity!’ Is Jupiter’s ‘journey’ linear or cyclical?
Alas, Migrant, it is cyclical. Jupiter’s ‘journey’ takes nearly, but not quite, forever. The least common multiple of 866, 12 and 60 is 5160. In the life of the Solar System, Jupiter has completed this cycle at least 775,000 times! You won’t find linearity out there, Migrant. Endless journeys are delusional. But a host of others have gone before you. In the Great Influencer’s retinue you will have to find a place among at least seventy-nine others, most of them migrants too. Your origin, your journey and your historical attributes will be as irrelevant as theirs! Your journey with Jupiter will only be decipherable in the culture you will leave behind, where you will be invisible. Of course you realize Jupiter is not a psychiatrist, or even a guru, and cannot help you with your ‘stuff’, but if you really have made your mind up, we won’t be stopping you. And our tides will commemorate your absence, and our astrologers will extol your virtues at Jupiter’s return, those of us lunatics left healing under the watchful eye of the years.
People of the Book have been fighting over wells since the dawn of technology, and such disputes continue, in the sense that as we retreat from inequality we are bulldozing the repositories of wisdom controlled by dead white men. How meekly did so many submit to the truism, ‘Control the water, control the community’, as though mindfulness of their descent from victors at the well might absolve them of any further enquiry into the principles of excavation, water-tables and climate change, if only they could include themselves among the historically controlled. Xeromorphism as a drive towards relative independence from water allocation is just one more example of how relativity, and dependent arising, and shame, file their claims to reified identity.
We are accustomed, are we not, to imagine the night as a well, or welling, of the personality, and the horizon retains the same power over the unconscious it enjoyed hundreds of thousands of years ago. As attractive as we may find it to put our post-colonial selves in another’s shoes, can we still look between our own shoes at the ground of our being beneath the horizon? Ah, would that we could gaze into our own well, and from that well we could draw our place, our country, our belonging, our bucket of creation!
Instead, the place we occupy is becoming transparent as we multiply its perspectives. Is it distance from the immediacy of remembering which clouds the well? Are old people doomed to relativism by the acceptance of loss? Or is the Other the joyous birthright of the ageing bereaved? The inhabitants of the Moon can see all but a fingerwidth of what lies beneath our horizon. ‘We’re the Hekawi!’ we might joke to our loved ones up there, but they’ll be trying not to get splinters in their fingers, as they absolve themselves of our ancient history.
I am going to migrate to country which is sacred, in which relativity’s deconstruction of absolutes such as subjects and objects releases me from good form, bad form or any kind of form, to laugh at my reflection in the well, here in the cross-hairs of bullseye.
You know exactly where you are if you know where the Sun is. That is one benefit of the bottomless relativity which constantly unravels Fourth House negotiations: reputation is where your critics are coming from. We are located at the bottom of the Sun’s well, a dot against the background about 4 thousandths of a degree wide, or one five-hundredth of the width of an outstretched human finger.
It feels good to be on the road, finding my way to the shortest shadows with Stellarium in my pocket. You, my fellow-travellers through the Constellations defined by the IAU, black, white or brindle, rich or poor, man, woman or child, Fourth House or Tenth, will be with me today in Leo. But top of the yin metal beef Southern Late Summer morning to you.
Well! The Moon is right in its element above our divided world this phase! Somewhere in the wilderness of tropical timekeeping, Cancer, as an angular distance from the Spring Equinox, may today attach itself to Gemini or Sagittarius, but as a Constellation, though it adopt the Sign of Leo or Aquarius, it remains a crab, the home of Praesepe, the Beehive Cluster, the Manger, the Crib. And the principle function of the Moon is to nurture, isn’t it? And what, may we ask, as we awaken to our utter helplessness as humanoids, needs nurture more than ‘Healing’?
Healing, like Praesepe, when your sky is dark enough to see it, is an island. Cancer is a homestead in the desert, aerially disclosing the feint tracks of its organism; it is the digestive system of a spider on a web, waiting. Can it be found in the Strait of Hormuz, or the South China Sea? No, the Island of Healing lies in an ocean vaster than the Milky Way, beyond the cosmic shards of objectivity, totality and truth and other attributes of wholeness which progressive education, in the name of critical theory, moral relativism and Buddhism 101, has shattered. Should you desire to go there without drugs, you will join an interminable queue, for the bureaucrats in the ticket office demand evidence that mental illness has been officially processed. Leaving the world a better place wasn’t meant to be easy. Wholeness without allness? Oh well, sleepwalking in country might have to suffice for authenticity.
What preceded the Big Bang? When was time created? How important was the cataclysm which resulted in the Moon’s momentum? How smug was the ecological niche vacated by the dinosaurs? The dynamism of Earthly gravity and Lunar momentum embodies an encouragement to the timeless legion healing physical or emotional discomfort, the evolution of habitat, and the loneliness of gender duality: Cancer is the partner of Capricorn, and to imagine perfect harmony with the Other as Self is not neediness, but humanity. Is it stretching it too far to suggest momentum to be the healing of gravity, and gravity to be the healing of momentum?
Welcome to Late-Summer island country, girls and boys. Aldebaran, the star of presence, is crossing the Meridian in south-east mainland Australia at nightfall this week. The Emu is rising. “We’ll all be healed,” said Hanrahan. The Covenant is serious business, and by dawn, beyond paranoia: the Southern Cross is scarecrowing into the Bardo of Relativity.
It is the third day after Invasion Day here, or Australia Day as it was once known. We invaders have the unenviable task of healing the legacy of our ancestors, those primitives who believed that the culture of the people who were living here when they arrived was even more primitive than theirs, and whose dogged effort to transform country into a country bequeathed us everything we own. ‘Sorry for buying stolen goods’ doesn’t cut it. We must heal our dependence on authority, integrity and trust, on our comfort, our recreation, our individual identity. How else can ‘all’ and ‘permanent’ not exist? And indigenous Australians must heal too, not only from dispossession, but from their inheritance of child abuse and family violence. We must ‘all’ heal the primitive societies which spawned us whole, when absolutes like ‘permanence’ and ‘wholeness’ still existed.
Is there a way to heal being born? Should we, can we, disown our birth trees? Indigenous cultures remember what individualism forgot: that property is only a right if it is also a duty. Insularity may well market itself as wholeness, but it merely transforms any temptation to identify property and value into a mortgage. Having submitted to ownership of the village by outsiders, we orbit duty to shareholders and our momentum is the right to take a second and third job. The Moon’s orbit embodies a more benign healing: of gravity versus momentum. If only our healing were eternal like his. If only we were rocks. Yes, there he is, our guru, above his birth tree, in his own world, trading shamelessly in reflected light futures.