The Sun entered the IAC constellation of Pisces at 17:49 AEDT today, but from the top, not the side, and so it is already approaching the centre-line of the Circlet of Pisces in right ascension (and passing the gamma star in ecliptic longitude). I would say that the Sun is there, below the notorious hilltop clearing where romantic love is both regularly revisited, and ruefully healed with self-help analysis of limerence. However, the Sun will not enter the Breamlea constellation of Pisces for five days, and it technically won’t change signs until the equinox. The ambiguity of its position is confirmed by our continuing summer heat. What is the Moon—in the last sign of winter—reflecting, the last sign of summer or the first sign of autumn? It would seem to matter to how its light shines into our beleaguered hearts at this time of year. Seasonal variability is a huge challenge to the conventions of astrology.
Tonight, Capricornian Gemini straddles the meridian at nightfall and Sirius, the marker star of South-Eastern Australian early winter is crossing to the west. The Leo Moon precedes the Easter Moon, plagued by self-doubt and yearning. This Moon resonates with our belief, not only that we are all connected in suffering, but that we are most authentic in healing. How can this be preposterous, in this enfeebled age, when we accept any cross which justifies self-medication, and virtue-signals are the default frequency of social media? How better to cling to a formal, archaic personality than to define our deficiencies as indelible wounds?
Wounds are real, but as Raphael tried to say as the Moon occulted or grazed him (Regulus) on the other side of the world on Friday night, “Get over yourself.” Even if the past can never die, the present must remain the site of optimism, and appreciation of one’s life for what it is. Only truth, elusive, transactional, never ultimate, continuously transformative, can heal our wounds. Compassion for each other’s healing wound is our Grail, but in resentment, anger, aggression and violence, in confrontation with ignorance and self-hatred, up against the wall of enablement and codependency, can we do that? And if we can’t, what does ‘healing’ mean, if not ignorant perfectionism?
Connection—the (Piscean) southern sign of Leo—is a nebulous concept at the social level. Yes, we are all citizens and we have many similar experiences but only in a theoretical sense can we be described as sharing the same values and the same social capital. It doesn’t firm our bonds to cross bridges, nor build bridges to affirm our bonds. Moreover, at an ontological level, connection consists of overcoming timeless mistakes about the nature of reality, and discovering the emptiness of our differences. Only in a theoretical way can those differences be connected by causality. The form of one’s wounding is empty, but the emptiness of one’s wound has form, as does the effect of what we self-medicate with. In short, connection is not black and white, opposite perspicacity, perfectionism, refinement and compromise as it ambiguously is. Let’s face it, we never look at the Moon as a society.
Perhaps redemption only comes with wounding, and recognizing our wound in they who wounded us. Perhaps it has to do with country. Country ends at the horizon, but the horizon is empty: one pace forward, one hour in time, and it is different. But it is not empty: beyond it is someone else’s. In fact, the conventional ‘true self’ can be thought of as a place over that other’s horizon, if the horizon is regarded as constantly changing—moving towards the sky, rotating, shrinking, expanding, darkening, emerging, including, excluding. In this train of thought, the realization dawns that country is precisely where we are standing, under our zenith. Everything within our horizon is ordered and held together by our meanings, including our orientation within it. In a ceremony of selfhood, I stand below an empty universe above an empty me. This is empty sovereignty over compassion and forgiveness. Somewhere in the 200k-odd square kilometres between the 139th and 140th meridian east, at some time in the middle of the night, another grandfather is looking at the Moon in the direction which represents the law, consoling himself that, beneath the scars of initiation, offence and loss, when all is said and done, he has always been a woman.
Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.
So she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.
The doctor came with his bag and his hat
And he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.
He looked at the dolly and he shook his head
And he said “Miss Polly, put her straight to bed!”
He wrote on a paper for some pills, pills, pills
“I’ll be back in the morning with my bill, bill, bill.”
R.I.P. Bill Leak, the eternal spirit of Kirsty MacColl on an empty bench in Soho Square, and all the others who hung their heads out far enough from Desolation Row. Healing, the blessed waters of the Lethe which bathe trauma away, arises from ceremony, which arises from country. It is getting better and better. The healer, and the one healing, the parents, the daughter, the doctor, and the doll, are ‘I’.
Seeing things as they really are: Full Moon at 19:05 GMT 16 September 2016.
“Imagine that a child drops a plate in the presence of his parents. When he seeks forgiveness from his father, the child is rebuffed. He experiences a pang of emotion linked both to fear of impending punishment and to anger and resentment at his father for his harsh reaction. This, according to Kosawa, approximates Freud’s understanding of guilt in the religious context. But then the child asks the mother for forgiveness — and receives it. The mother takes the child’s fearful and rebellious guilt and alchemises it into a ‘reparative guilt’: an overwhelming response to total, unconditional forgiveness. This latter reaction was, for Kosawa, a truly ‘religious state of mind’ and he saw it as the core of his own Shin tradition.” Christopher Harding.
“Here I am. Look up into my face. Can you see my emptiness? Or merely narcissism (Kristin Dombek), an illuminated disc? Be assured: I am here. My presence is my emptiness.”
“Adorno’s central objection—that astrology fostered a risky passivity—was later echoed by liberal intellectuals who argued that New Age thinking (to which astrology belonged, despite its lineage going back to antiquity) did even worse damage by encouraging an inward turn at the expense of the civic sphere.
“…For what did injunctions to “live in the moment” and “be present” mean if not “forget the past”?
“…What critics of astrology have in common—whether they come from the anarchist left or the Christian right or anywhere in between—is a tendency to see astrology as a form of therapy. What bothers them most is not astrology’s irrationality, but its use as a substitute for something older or truer—monotheism, freedom, the demos, the political — that is both the salvation and end goal of progress. To them, astrology is an ideology of the depressed, a politics of resignation: a balm that, like therapy in general, treats the individual symptom of a larger social illness without acknowledging the disease. Look at someone reading a horoscope and you may see hope: someone looking toward the future in a way that suggests a desire for a future at all. What the critics see, however, is someone giving up.
“…On the other hand, astrology offers those who take it less seriously a nice opportunity to critique taxonomies of identity in general.”
Here it is that the Moon returns once a month to walk in the grounds with ‘retreaters’, and reassure them that there is nothing essentially wrong with being unequal or having thoughts in a subjective language other than global-transformation-speak.
The visitors book has been signed by such notables as Lucy Who Fell Out Of A Tree, Diogenes of Sinope, Jesus of Nazareth, Giordano Bruno, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sören Kierkegaard and Mark Chapman, reader of Catcher in the Rye.
In a quiet murmur barely discernible from the ghostly whispers which still haunt the monastery from a time during the rise of socialism when it was sequestered for the reinforcement of class division, the Moon talks about relativity and difference, nothingness and emptiness, identity-with and ipseity, and the essential strife of being.
“We are all creatures of habit,” he counsels. “Each and every day there comes a time when we hate ourselves for the negativity with which we react to our complete immersion in the daily tide of inauthentic borrowed ideas, and at such times, often just after lunch or at sunset, it is advisable to take a nap.”
The monastery prospectus advertises with quotes of the Moon, and of course most people who come on retreat are disappointed by his absence. Some describe their visit in negative terms, but the funding of the monastery suffers little since they always shortly afterwards return, usually with an ephemeris in their bag.
“Yes, life has a measure,” goes one of the Moon’s aphorisms, “but neither is it in your pocket nor your enemy’s.” He has, with loving-kindness to equal the source of all woe, enabled thousands to dissolve themselves back into communities of anathema with a simple message: pause at the gate. This monk is nothing if not a neuro-linguistic programmer.
“This world you were deposited in at birth is not a prison of others’ making. You must realize how much it has adapted to you, but when you change it you must also realize that you are now one of the architects of the world new life is being deposited into. Your responsibility is not to own the world, and it is not to own yourself. Your responsibility is to stand at the gate before you open it for yourself or another, and recognize its nature and purpose. The gate is the intelligibility of the world. It opens with permission.”
His springtime visits draw thousands, who spill out into a great city of tents beyond the monastery grounds, and not just because he always appears in all his finery, complete with wings–every 18 years or so he actually arrives on a donkey preceded by youths waving palm leaves–but because this is the quintessential season of initiative and communication in a common cause. It is a bad time to be unequal.