Socialism killed the Moon.
What is it like to be inside an exile, someone outed for refusal to abide by the law, or cultural or conventional norms? Two contemporary issues might help to unpack this question: the right of homophobic parents to impose coherent, religious values on pubescent students at Safe Schools and the plight of Julian Assange.
Who is bullying whom in these stories? Is it possible to create a politics of fundamentally opposed moralities? And if so, will we all be exiles?
This is the time of year when confidence and magnanimity should burgeon in our lives, whatever the impact of what they’re doing up North. If we are all different, then we can suspend judgment of transgressions of any particular morality. If we are all one, then those transgressions deepen our self-understanding, humanity and compassion.
However, it could be a rocky road for the Moon this month. The value of investments is falling through the floor. Putin and Assad are winning, and reassessment of the bona fides of their opposition looks easier than confrontation.
Can our self-belief survive its transparency as emptiness? It is high time we questioned the nature of authenticity. Is play the capacity to engage with instinct non-dualistically, or deluded will? Is the desire to come back to the fold an overcoming of narcissism or a clinging to conventional truth in face of the emptiness of ego?
As we embark with the Moon on a journey to connection dogged by confusion, and in passing from an apologetically cursory presentation of perhaps the most important issue of the time, this from Wikipedia on Relativism:
‘In an aphorism [Feyerabend] often repeated, “potentially every culture is all cultures”. This is intended to convey that world views are not hermetically closed, since their leading concepts have an “ambiguity” – better, an open-endedness – which enables people from other cultures to engage with them. […] It follows that relativism, understood as the doctrine that truth is relative to closed systems, can get no purchase. […] For Feyerabend, both hermetic relativism and its absolutist rival serve, in their different ways, to “devalue human existence”. The former encourages that unsavoury brand of political correctness which takes the refusal to criticise “other cultures” to the extreme of condoning murderous dictatorship and barbaric practices. The latter, especially in its favoured contemporary form of “scientific realism”, with the excessive prestige it affords to the abstractions of “the monster ‘science'”, is in bed with a politics which likewise disdains variety, richness and everyday individuality – a politics which likewise “hides” its norms behind allegedly neutral facts, “blunts choices and imposes laws”.’
Imagining a life spent hiding, from our sexuality, our aversion to somebody else’s, or as in the role-play of the Safe Schools program, the prominence of our teeth, what is confidence, these days?
R.I.P. Rene Alice Wolfe, my mother.
The star of expansion, Arcturus, is risen: it’s Christmas!
In every moment ‘I’ am a culture seething with sensations, visions and insights, habitual reactions, instincts and humours, wafts of conversation, snatches of song, smells of bowel. ‘I’ am saturated by others, including myself, and playing conscious and unconscious part in various social transformations, even sharing them, but this is all theoretical. The ground of my being is imaginal and aesthetic.
The Full Moon, back again, is drawn forward time and again to its immolation in sunlight. This is human artifice. Many hundreds of thousands of such renewals have played out in the psyche of imaginative Homo Sapiens, but only there. There are no phases on the Moon.
The human psyche is imaginal, and each human imagination is aesthetic. This fiction it creates, that the Moon exists in anguish: “This proto-feminine principle, the Sun, life itself to me, the source of all energy, light and time, all competition, necessity and utility, if she has a soul at all, does not nurture me in it. ‘We’ have a one-sided relationship. She bathes me in heat, but gratuitously. She barely feels my gravity. She tolerates me, exists without me, finds no essential beauty in me. Where lies the beauty of my reflection, in me? I don’t find it in her.”
This is not a campfire story. This is the confection of a solitary shepherd, a boy known to others, who presents himself to others, but with a self in orbit of the soul. The clock of the constellations chimes in the heart ravished by importance. And the Moon? Let him cleave to the human heart, for his orbit was the key our imagination used to unlock the neighbourhood of all stars in our ‘eternal’ emptiness of quantum nonlocality (or words to that effect–insert your own). The Sun of the seasons is a poor thing without him.
“…[Dream,] the most subjective and mystical of all mental phenomena, and a phenomenon more inclusive than the dreamer himself, because it allows him both to observe himself and to be at one with the universe.” Otto Rank, Psychology and the Soul.
In his arcane costume of skins and feathers he goes to sleep on a rock in a crag which offers some protection from predators. The stars are so bright they prick the skin. He dreams he is a great rock in space, hurtling around an unimaginably large ball inhabited by teeming millions of strange beings who worship him. He feels the caress of their eyes. Their hearts beat under his ribs. But a great power is vested in him by their perspective, the power not only of geometry, of phases and latitudes and azimuths, but as he soars up over their horizons he feels the power of calculus, the integrals and differentials of falling ever onwards, through ages of ice and ages of sand, now fast and close, now slow and far, in life and in death, but always falling, and always Now, forever.
A goat bleats in the dark, announcing the pulse of new life, and another Tomorrow.
This was the Astrologer’s dream—he who made the Sky—in Gemini one night, at Christmas, in the two thousand and sixteenth year of our Lord.
Personally, I reject a spiritual path that begins with the experience of suffering, or the compassion which arises from a perception of suffering as the ground of human existence. Cut to the chase, I reckon. If the path out of suffering leads through a direct realisation of emptiness, and that is immediately accessible as soon as you step outside your tent under a dark sky, as it was for the mystics who found the Everything and Nothing God of the religions of The Book, then that is where to begin, with the immensity of the universe in your tiny, virtual, infinite consciousness.
The expression, ‘Everything is connected to everything else’, is an analytical tool and a form of non-violent protest used to promote anything from vegetarianism and environmental sustainability to multiculturalism and the Middle Way.
Like everything it has three meanings. It means, ‘The material world of independent individuals is an illusion.’ It means, ‘Everything exists in a web of dependent origination, and every action and inaction, including thoughts, has an affect.’ And it means, ‘Everything is subject to fundamental laws which can be understood and used to transform things into more desirable things.’
“Believers in emptiness
A parting gift: hesitate before you dismiss southern hemisphere astrology in favour of what ‘works’ according to other people, lest you languish in the inherited, non-imaginal prison of confirmation bias.
Have a good one!
Francis of Breamlea Station.
The 5mB PDF formatted 2016 Melbourne Sky Calendar is available for free download or print at
Download it to a stick and get Officeworks to print it 4 pages to a sheet of A3 card for about $35 AUD, and give it to the person who has absolutely everything.
Happy Christmas from Southern Hemisphere Astrology!
As I have pointed out before, conventional astrological charts show east on the left because northern hemisphere natives are looking at the zodiac in the south. Their houses are numbered anticlockwise from there following the order of the signs—which rotate clockwise—despite the obvious error of placing the first house below the horizon.
The first planks upon which Southern Hemisphere Astrology is built are:
East is on the right and the sky rotates anticlockwise;
The houses number anticlockwise from the east;
Signs correspond to the season in which they are occupied by the Sun, and so Zodiac constellations carry the northern hemisphere’s opposite sign—ignoring the technical accuracy of placing the first 2.25° (currently) of each constellation in the previous sign, as demanded by a strict division of the year into four seasons, which we don’t have, full stop.
So next Sunday, a few days before the summer solstice, the Sun enters the SHA constellation of Sagittarius, which carries the northern hemisphere summer solstice sign of Cancer.
To give you a picture of the boundary, which transits at nightfall in September and daybreak in April:I think it’s pretty obvious that this is a sidereal chart showing coordinates expressed in right ascension, as is the chart below. The precise correlation–and the difference is minimal, since equatorial and ecliptic coordinates measure from the same origin–between angles expressed in right ascension and the needlessly confusing angles of the ecliptic system is tabulated in the SHA 2016 Calendar, coming.
As alluded to by the Moon himself in the previous post, Southern Hemisphere Astrology gives primary focus to the Tenth House and the Imum Coeli, and not the Fourth and the Medium Coeli. I continue to choose pregnant silence on this choice, and let the resonances of dream and will, soul and ego, hidden and visible, empty and structural, ferment to your liking. However, it is obvious that polarities link not only the hemispheres above and below the horizon, but the southern and northern geographical hemispheres as well.
For example, note that when Sagittarius is at the Imum Coeli, and the natives are charging their batteries, the sign overhead on the northern meridian is Capricorn. Also note that in the projection above, the sky is rotating clockwise, as it does in the northern hemisphere. The Earth only spins one way, but the direction of the sky’s apparent motion depends on an observer’s orientation.
Incidentally, here is a mnemonic to remember or teach the order of the Zodiac: Gurus Can Loathe Very Little Signs Of Spiritual Change And Preach A Totality. The ‘O’ represents Ophiuchus, and ‘A’ for Aries is appropriately the first letter of our alphabet.
Without further ado, here is the Southern Hemisphere Astrology Moon Chart for 2016.You can download it in PDF format at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5UrGeMeNFdtamFYbmFaa0ZvT2s/view?usp=sharing
Readers of SHA are given notice that we will henceforth cease the craven practice of using Northern symbols for the nodes of the lunar orbit. The upward half-loop indicates ‘above’, and symbolises in conventional northern hemisphere astrology the moment the Moon’s orbit carries it above the path of the Sun. At that moment in the south the Moon is heading downwards, so naturally the downward half-loop is fitting. An end to mystifying symbols! The symbols used in the Moon Chart show us immediately which way the Moon is heading in our view of things.
[I doubt that many people need more specific information than is shown in the chart, but comprehensive predictions of phase times and locations and much else will be available for free download in a few days, as an “emu up a gum-tree”, in the form of the 2016 Post-Humanist Melbourne Sky Calendar.]
“Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust,
Die eine will sich von der andern trennen;
Die eine hält, in derber Liebeslust,
Sich an die Welt mit klammernden Organen;
Die andre hebt gewaltsam sich vom Dust
Zu den Gefilden hoher Ahnen.
O gibt es Geister in der Luft,
Die zwischen Erd und Himmel herrschend weben
So steiget nieder aus dem goldnen Duft
Und führt mich weg zu neuem, buntem Leben!”
“Two souls alas! are dwelling in my breast;
And each is fain to leave its brother.
The one, fast clinging, to the world adheres
With clutching organs, in love’s sturdy lust;
The other strongly lifts itself from dust
To yonder high, ancestral spheres.
Oh, are there spirits hovering near,
That ruling weave, twixt earth and heaven are rife,
Descend! come from the golden atmosphere
And lead me hence to new and varied life!”
Goethe, Faust Part I, Scene II, 1112ff (trans. G.M. Priest).
“There is a presentation of angles in Southern Hemisphere Astrology with which I am decidedly comfortable, in which sleeping or restorative hours form the crown, laced to past and future horizons by some oriental snakes and ladders scheme of realisation like fingers of Mickey Mouse interlinking with the usual three-fingered hand of the visible sky, as though in some configuration of human elements it might still be possible to live a dream, for consciousness to remain a mysterious sacred manifestation of emptiness, of the divine unborn immortal, and for reality to be a tumult of sleepwalkers bumping into one another.
Tonight, people have been rushing in and out, if you can describe the lurching of a demented household of Norwegian grandees and dowagers, all related, as rushing, apparently with some sort of historical role in a register of navigation messages, certainly involving a lot of fuss in their correct filing, but when I try to help one curiously controlling and definitely imposing creature dressed for an eighteenth-century funeral, there is inordinate difficulty in finding which handbag the file has been stuffed in, and no time for actually reading the message, although I believe it is in English, or even Middle English, because later a message in Norwegian has to be handled differently, spiked on the other side of the room, and that is when quite a lot of attention becomes focussed on my study notes for tomorrow’s northern lunistice, on the orbital elements of emptiness, which are getting mixed up with messages, and according to the authority figure, a grand hag who seems to know everything going on, and not for the first time has her eyes on me, as in the moment I shifted my gaze from a waft of her elderly daughter’s skeletal décolletage in black crepe, the dreadful senility of her brother is to blame, but that doesn’t stop the indignation of her newly arrived youngest son and friend in their seventies, who try to restore some coherence to the process which indeed seems to have some importance, as do I, because a certain unpleasantness has developed between us and I seem to have made as if to strike or shove one of them, in defending myself against a retaliation to something from years ago, or simply the existence of my notes.
But a beguiling group I must say, and here we are on the right floor and the guest-room is 6e, and not only must I share with these two enemies, but smoking on the balcony affords a stupendous view of what all the fuss is about, no shipping visible but monstrous seas hurling themselves against the ramparts under a huge and ragged sky.
Around midday I awaken to a resurgence of irrepressible pain from the compression fracture in my spine and have to write this down, because there really is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and a fresh perspective might after all be helpful, but of course you miss having everything at your fingertips to make a coffee, and a weird thing is happening as I struggle with unfamiliar packaging on the 25g packet of tobacco, a fruitless search for whose 50g line normally stocked the community-spirited checkout girl had devoted so much effort, until with blurred vision I make out not Champion Gold but Winfield Cold, or some such.
Earthlings! Once again I have accommodated their insane mechanistic solution to the problem of the meaning of a purely material existence, and once again in every individual eye I have seen myself swimming on the surface of death.”
Sleepwalkers train themselves not to disturb others lest the disturbance awaken them. The real danger is the person who is awake, and therefore dead, with only a structural awareness of reality as something which contains everything or everything which contains nothing. This person knows what a dream looks like: sleep. If you are truly alive in an empty universe, if you can imagine something out of nothing, you are dreaming. If you cannot live in a multiverse of dreams, you are awake.
This is focus; this is avoidance: the subject of the notes in question, if they have not been lost.
A mandarin’s job is to give form to the ruler’s vision. His aura is charismatic, his skill intrigue, his accomplishment cohesion. A large group of them has assembled in Vienna, in the hope of negotiating a peace settlement in Syria. The precise opposition of this Moon will be above them, hammering the importance of independence and self-criticism, despite the self-justifiers thronging cabinets back home.
The impact of tomorrow’s Full Moon is to highlight the swing of opinion we are seeing in relation to radical Islam. Cooperation is being challenged as a value by those who see its tendency to relativism and its accommodation of victim mentality. I cannot remember a more tumultuous upheaval of thought. Is it just coincidence that the Moon’s Nodes are announcing a new challenge to us to focus, against a tendency to avoidance?
[The South Node is on the boundary between Aquarius and Pisces, and during the year to come the Moon’s Southern Lunistice, its highest position above the Ecliptic, will move gradually away from Gemini through Taurus, bringing the Moon very close to Aldebaran as it passes. The eye of the Bull is a stolid presence, and the interplay of the two bodies at conjunction will be interesting as the Moon’s hubris wanes and waxes in these turbulent times.]
How has it happened that a generation so committed to social engineering, and so engaged now with the eastern philosophy of mind, is so powerless to determine policy on climate change, involvement in the middle-east, and assimilation of ethnic and religious minorities, that they are reduced to shrill opposition? A slightly different question: how can a generation so demonstrably unsuccessful in enhancing its culture with a nutritious and marketable interpenetration of rights and obligations continue to believe that their opinions on world problems are of any value?
Where are the charismatic leaders? What are the pop idols saying? What is the image of celebrity? What are the words from the pulpit to confirm the soul of challenge to the resentful assertiveness of alien morality?
Is it simply that the parents in lotus-position are unlearning intolerance of the riot of the children? But if nothing is good, and nothing bad, how to understand the intimate coexistence of sanctimony and the idolatrous stature of difference?
At the very least, the relationship of order to freedom and peace seems to be an article of faith. Order does not bring peace, nor peace order. The analyst is enigmatic. Is the focus on solutions merely clinging to a denial of death?
The division between Spring and Summer is CRAZED. Regardless of the weather, a profound change is manifesting itself in creaturely behaviour: it is the evolution, out of the turbulence of Spring, of ATTITUDE, nothing less than a consciousness, like a shipwrecked immigrant’s clinging to a slippery rock in thunderous surf, that possibility has limits, and they are OUR limits as integrated selves.
How joyfully consequential is our participation as organisms in the tumultuous SPECIES renewal of Virgo and the existential angst of Libra! But now consequence begins to overwhelm. Now is the hour of our fruiting, our parenthood.
Summer is DESTINY, not consequence: the duty is upon us to BE consequence, mindfully though we try.
High Summer draws the line, not when the Sun enters Scorpio (and certainly not Capricorn—outdated northern tropical geometry). Summer comes simply, whatever the date, when Spring gets TOO MUCH!
[Imagine being of the first generations (as indeed you may be). Would you not be enlivened by the suspicion, if not the discovery, since you lack more than rudimentary method, that the Sun’s shortest shadow is always cast in the same direction? This is the mystical reality of North. Are you alive to it? No? North is one of the poles of Earth’s rotation, and that’s that? Perhaps you can at least feel a difference between morning and afternoon, some sense of alignment of the source of light with the enthusiasm, procrastination, culmination and disappointment of the day’s intention? Understand the division of the day at North by astrologers, and the implicit association of the afternoon with a depletion of energy and a recognition of social complexities which must console the frustration of egoic impulse. Recognise the Geometry embedded in your human soul. Look to the North at nightfall.]