Migrant Moon of Early Southern Autumn


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He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good And Evil, trans. Helen Zimmern.

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Carl Sagan, Cosmos, Random House, 1980, p. 218.

Sagan highlighted our connection to the cosmos, but so what? All of us must make that apple pie for ourselves, or it is merely words to say that we are star-stuff. The name of our construction is like the name of God, beyond words, but I create mine myself as a panorama of language and emotion and finitude on the three-dimensional backdrop my senses give me, begging for more at the depth of a finger, and I call it Country. I create mine with every effort to resist the centrifugal force of forgetting and boredom, but it is not that resistance I will mourn as I die—how undignified a deathbed recantation of nihilism!—but the mountains, deserts and streams of my youth, the ache of love, the subject and source of beauty and humour and honour, the music of Dostoyevsky, Hardy and Faulkner, of Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler which my youthful heart immortalised as Humanity, and my own most familiar beauty which immortalized them. No, if there is nobody to hear it, there is no sound. And so, children of your own time, place your hands under my thigh when your time comes, and swear to leave your country, not somebody else’s, not your teacher’s say, or your doctor’s; and by that effort you will perpetuate mine.

What is your country, Migrant? Are you bringing it with you, or leaving it behind? Your resilience is not in question, but your instinct is. North and South are not hard to find, if you don’t confuse East and West with left and right. Just ignore your shadow if East must be where it was, left or right. It may be in front of you, screaming noon, but nobody need know you’re lost in their instinct. We all know the resentment of being peripheral, and relevant only to alien perspective, and that is not cause for anger. It remains that who you are is up to you to desire. Go ahead, create a new centre at the periphery. Whose? Those whose self-centredness stayed behind, or those whose reflections of you are your haunting, your country. The task is in front of you. Without stealing my country, without appropriating any earthly culture, with no reference to climate change or corona viruses or global panic and economic recession, I challenge you to reject me from your instinct: no seasons; no hours; no houses.

Farewell, old companion. So long, old country.

Convention: New Moon in Sidereal Aquarius


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“Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.” from “Defeat“, by Kahlil Gibran.

One of the first conventions we learn as infants is that the difference between zero and one is the same as the difference between nine and ten. Who knows how many tens of millennia we took to dismantle the convention that the difference between zero and one is infinite? What is ‘country’, as I use the term, if not an attempt to restore the sacred awe implicit in that ancient convention? Of course, conventions have ever been challenged by the truth. If, after half a millenium, our horoscopes are still governed by Northern Hemisphere seasons, and we still have trouble recognizing the Zodiac because its Constellations are upside down, don’t blame me.

Aquarius New Brazil Near Brasilia Feb23

However, it is not truth, but convention, not righteousness, but compassion, which hold communities together, especially when they originate from all over the world. A lot of healing is in progress: it has been a summer out of hell across Australia, grief never far beneath the surface. Community resilience is not in question, or the courage and kindness of good neighbours from all over the country and the world, but in the debate worldwide about how to prevent a repeat, it is difficult not to hear the same divided bickering that characterizes our efforts to deal with the racist, sexist and colonialist conventions we were all made of.

Aquarius New Brazil Near Brasilia Underworld Feb23

Has not the extant population of Earth, like a forest held together by subterranean fungus, arrived at an optimism, a raison d’être, a motivation for getting out of bed, deriving from a sense of powerlessness normally associated with depression, which is invisible, and ultimately unbelievable? Are we not, like a wind turbine in a coal-driven economy, or an ego in a yoga routine, going through the motions? Does not the survival of humanity beyond the next generation lurk in the legacies of the beneficiaries of our last wills and testaments, framed and interpreted by nobody who ever understood or respected the pain we old ones put the world through?

Aquarius New Philippine Sea Feb24

Pessimism looks like another secret to keep from our grandkids. How much easier that would be if they just had partners who preferred refined white bread because they ate it as children, revered secrets because their mothers were narcissists, and also cannot wait to get the kids out of the house for the sake of some me-time. Pessimism looks like a race to see who grows up first, the coffin we need to lose a huge amount of weight to fit into, in the grey area between one and zero. Hey kids, the song of the magpie out there means another perfect day! Off you go now.

Aquarius New Full Earth in Leo

One day, we might agree that hope and heartache both start with the same letter as hallelujah and hell, but apparently not yet. In the meantime, it’s in country I need to recover some equanimity, lest I go conventionally mad somewhere between nine and ten.


Full Moon in Sidereal Cancer: the Healer


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Let me in.” Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape.

“We have bodies
Bodies require space
Inside of this fact
There seems to lie
A quiet
Sam Wallman, So Below.

“The world is my idea.” Arthur Schopenhauer.

Country is the body of my idea, the underworld of my zenith. Country is the bush, the planet, the sound of one hand clapping, the whirr of insects, the roar of surf and wind, bird calls, traffic, someone singing, silence, the underworld sky. It has been mortally wounded, not only by drought and fire, and fear of climate change, but by an enormous sadness which seems to weigh on everyone, no longer possible to ignore, making even hope heavy. But healing is in the nature of things. You could say that adaptation and evolution are healing processes. The present is the past healing, you could say, the idea of time’s body, perhaps. However, never complete or permanent, healing is definitely not the same as salvation. Is that what makes it so sad? Doctors, of flesh and spirit, heal their compassion by trying to alleviate human suffering, knowing that neither suffering nor compassion can ever be cured. And if anyone is to blame, everyone is to blame. Does the sad doctrine of original sin mean other than everyone is wronged and everyone is wrong?

Healer Moon Singapore Underworld Feb09

Australia needs a doctor! We grieve the deaths of millions of animals who trusted the bush. We grieve the passing of a world in which the conflagration of bush-change was as inconceivable as the inundation of sea-change. Actually, there is a profusion of shingles advertising pyres for deniers of climate change, but proselytizers always abound in the projection of shame. The Healer makes no claim to timeless wisdom, but engages in what must change: understanding, tradition, discrimination, self.

Scene: The Healer’s waiting-room. Whimpers and groans issue from an assortment of shapes around the room, and all that is visible of most lowered faces is distorting disgust and anger, while they rehearse their soliloquies.

“Human languages have evolved away from their original capacity to communicate with inanimate objects, and have limited things within a vocabulary of peculiarity, e.g. sick man, old man, dead man, holy man, which negates their subjectivity, and masks who else it is doing the dependent co-arising. Making universal gods of the vital elements of human experience, the inner voices of paleolithic biochemistry, should have led to something other than abstraction, objectification, copyright and forgetfulness. It should be the birthright of every human child to grow up in a world of interwoven spatial and temporal languages: mathematical, chemical, linguistic, gravitational, ecological.”

“What would happen to terrestrial tides and nights if there were no Moon? What would existence be like if there were no Earth? What might the gods be discussing with you if you weren’t demanding they inhabit the detritus of your attention-span? What community might we belong in if we could overcome our recently acquired faith in an immortal society?”

Healer Moon Sky Feb09

“What being actually feels like is uphill and downhill, like a subway elevator on our way to and from work in periods of growth, learning and self-actualization, utility, creativity and self-assertion, or harmony, withdrawal and reconstitution. For reasons best explained by storytellers, elevators get no mention in the sequence of these periods which may form a lifetime, a year, a day or an hour, but suffice to say, nobody likes to think of themselves as going around in circles, regardless of how many others are employed by our need to do so: ‘Shut up, or I’ll nail your other foot to the floor!'”

“Linear narrative has come to bestow on its proponents many seductive advantages, such as property and common law, historical grievance and the justification of war and terrorist reprisal, but above all, narrative has sacralized the hippocampus as the altar of knowledge and expertise. Narrative is primarily responsible for the curse of our age, identity, and our horror of the mental illness we define as dementia, its collapse.”

Healer Moon Zenith Transit Feb09

“Time tries to heal too. The moment is oppressed by memory. The future cannot come into being until versions of the past are forgotten. Snippets of music from the past, golden oldies, are private property anchoring their celebrant in the past, to the extent of encouraging regret for the passing of the moment. Ultimately, not only must private property be abolished, but also the wellsprings of avarice and envy, the human spirit. Any amount of educational experiment is welcome in place of the abolition of flesh and blood. Since rationality is the invasion of the moment by the past, children must be taught to cease any effort to understand.”

Healer View of Earth Feb09

“Think about this, think about that. What belief are you pushing, Healer? What is wrong with you anyway? It’s your job to fix things, but you never! Your altruism consists of dog whistling the fools who think people like you are somebody. Actually, your compassion is pitiless. Hello? Wake up to yourself! There’s no time left for you to understand the darkness in which we feel less alone, to let the stars in, and acknowledge the Moon as the poor healer who killed himself in your waiting room!”

She has licence for hyperbole, dear soul, after what she’s been through. And the Moon does seem to be seeking a different way to heal. The heat has quite gone out of his competition with the Sun. Indeed, the deities of each are withered on dead placentas, their genders archived where salvation doesn’t shine. Humanity is its own body within a body now. Long live the Earth in the Zodiac of Moon Country! We don’t know enough of our planet’s companionship! Earth’s terrors are reduced at Moon distance to a human fingerwidth at arm’s length, and the disjunct of Sign and Constellation is healed in the absence of seasons. The geographical location of the overhead Moon is the centre of the planet’s disc at lunar zenith, during lunar daylight and terrestrial night between First and Third Quarters, lunar night and terrestrial daylight between Third and First, and equal in geographical latitude and sidereal time to the Moon’s declination and right ascension. Precise calculation of Earth’s position is one of the most difficult problems facing lunar mathematicians, but ‘among those stars right above us’ will do for now, until a fully-fledged astrology evolves.

Healer Progress Feb09-10

“Let me in,” cries a voice in the stone-age bicameral mind, in the Pacific Ocean 460 kilometres off Colima in Mexico. Didn’t a mysterious stranger get hauled out of this sea once? In fact, there is nobody in the Healer’s consulting room but someone closer to the head of the queue, an old man aimlessly brushing sand from the hieroglyphs he occasionally unearths under the plaque of his wandering. With bewildered effort he can remain vertical, this encrusted column sinking into the sea in line with the others where once there may have been a causeway.

Relativity: New Moon in Sidereal Capricorn


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“I’m looking at the river, but I’m thinking of the sea.” Randy Newman, “In Germany Before The War”, Little Criminals, 1977.

Today is an important day in Townsville, Australia. Locations south of Toolakea witness their noonday shadows to their south for the first time since the Sun’s declination moved south of Townsville’s latitude on 19 November. In astrological terms, the noon Vertex moves from the 9th House to the 4th, or in simple geometrical terms, the overhead intersection of the Ecliptic with the Prime Vertical crosses from the east to the west, transformed from anti-Vertex to Vertex. Another way to relate to this phenomenon is to imagine the complete reorientation of your sense of direction when the Sun goes from rising on your left to rising on your right, how mindful of your shadow you would need to be in terrain with no landmarks, and how familiar with landmarks you would need to be in the tropics. You would expect our ancestors in the tropics to travel a lot at night and know the stars like the back of their hands, wouldn’t you?

Capricorn New Cynicism Townsville Jan24

The longing for the divine partner underfoot in eternity is transformed by material greed or secular cynicism into the archaeology of imperial trophies, and, by what Greta Thunberg called “fairytales of eternal economic growth”, into the replacement of religious obedience by scientific enthralment. Is that what happens? Can the Earth’s obliquity really single out the residents of Townsville for such an influence during their lunch break today? And can we really know the exact day the Sun’s declination equals the latitude of anywhere before the noon shadows of the locals announce it? [The sine of the Sun’s declination equals the sine of Earth’s obliquity multiplied by the sine of the Sun’s ecliptic longitude. The Vertex ‘flip’ occurs at the longitude after the Summer Solstice Point (either one) whose sine equals the sine of the latitude divided by the sine of the obliquity, and before that Solstice Point by the same degree. Since sine 0 = 0, those longitudes at the Equator are 0 and 180, the Equinox Points.]

And finally, is there a more logical basis for the application of Sun Signs to places without four seasons than which horizontal hemisphere the noon Sun is in, North or South? As the Sun retreats towards the Northern Hemisphere in our late Summer, we welcome back more of the Tropics to our shared perspective; or the more of us there are, the further away the Sun. [It takes two months for Australia to get all of its Tropics back from the Northern Hemisphere, but the South gains Singapore at noon on March 24, Monrovia on April 5, Bangkok on April 27, Mexico City on May 17, the Kaaba on May 28, Hong Kong on June 3, Havana on June 11 and ultimately Mazatlán on June 13.]

Capricorn New Permanence Townsville Jan25

Whatever the flipping of this mysterious recently invented influence on the heart from sidereal Cancer in the House of Aspiration to sidereal Capricorn in the House of Reputation signifies, you can imagine it has a huge bearing on the price of fish, up and down Australia’s tropical east coast. Even with GPS, the unwary visitor who cannot smell the sea will begin westward when trying to find the fishing co-op! No aid will be forthcoming from the locals, either, who will be down on hands and knees with plumb-bobs and rulers, trying to calibrate the turbulent hormones which cascade during a four-hour period in Townsville at different times of day. Perhaps the visitor is of a mind not to ‘lose it’, but simply to go without fish today. Such a person might well be absent in their own country, and not lost at all. What kind of country might that be? Not a culture of power relations and commodities, oppression and exploitation, perhaps, but unfortunately a world of innerness without outward form or utility to anyone else.

Miraculous though its panorama certainly is, the tenancy of country with a small ‘c’ becomes null and void, any freehold extinguished, at death. Whatever ancestors or previous inhabitants might have put into place, for however long the grandfather clock might have ticked, or the eels teemed into the traps, country did not exist until its tenant came along and made it. Has the tenant lived an impoverished existence, up to their ears in debt, even enslaved, banished, children gone in war and marital strife and migration? Very likely! But you know how beautiful their country is? How awesome to be its only inheritance? You probably don’t because, embedded in history, social theory and economics, identity and law, or perhaps the search in therapy for love and validation in your existential victimhood and educated blame, it is too soon for you to stand here on the banks of the Lethe, dissolved in awe of karma created by hope, error, sorrow and submission, defeat, addiction, intoxication and joy, which for all eternity has been the haunt of our ghosts. When the time comes, welcome to cosmic individuality, the practice of awe, where even scientists and high priests acknowledge the relativity of their faith in platitudes about life’s journey.

Let’s whizz to the moment in time, several hours before Townsville noon, customarily identified by the Academy of Scientific Astrology and the Uniting Church of Oncology, Climatology, Astrometry and Extragalactic Dynamics as New Moon. So here we are, ready to argue about signs and influences, but suddenly aware that the only thing we know for certain is that we know nothing. It may or may not be the case that this is not a dream, that the underworld is the outside looking in, or that the many mansions of my Father’s house are the wards of a detention centre’s psychiatric hospital, the hours which mark the various ways the autonomous spirit of everything gasps for survival under the putrefaction of my corpse, or the seams of my resistance to the emptiness of consciousness, time and illness. The following relativities of geography, Milky Way mythology and rotational orientation may or may not be helpful in sustaining the dialogue you might have with the Moon this year. [They are all plotted using Stellarium 0.19.2 and paint.net 4.2.7.]

Capricorn New Perfection Melbourne Jan25

Capricorn New Discrimination Wellington Jan25

Capricorn New Paranoia Kiribati Jan25

Capricorn New Relativity San Francisco Jan24

Capricorn New Fear Mexico City Jan24

Capricorn New Self-Development Washington Jan24

Capricorn New Aggression Recife Jan24

Capricorn New Relationship London Jan24

Capricorn New Deprivation Istanbul Jan25

Capricorn New Boredom Tehran Jan25

Capricorn New Ignorance Islamabad Jan25

Capricorn New Seriousness Beijing Jan25

Every one of these snapshots could begin a dialogue between insiders and outsiders typified by a line in the sand separating absolutist and relativist: do not assert your truth over mine, because I am right and you are wrong. Presented together, they offer the elusive prospect of a system which ties them all together, which should remind us that our most conspicuous lack is not respect for difference, but a spirit of solidarity, an ethics of presence, a sharing of silence. In fact, it is relatively easy to discover systems on the outside, but it is not easy to share from the inside one’s creation, of love and obedience, integrity and awe. The oaths sworn by the gods in honour of the goddess Styx, the elm tree at the entrance to the ancient underworld to which false dreams cling under every leaf, the varieties of madness in the no-man’s-land of the bardo, and the experience of life in death I call ‘country’, are concepts borrowed from other times and cultures, and elements like the oils on a canvas, with no intrinsic meaning or independent agency, of an astrology of empty identity, time and place.

January Moon in Gemini: The Veteran


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‘”…Jorge feared the second book of Aristotle because it perhaps really did teach how to distort the face of every truth, so that we would not become slaves of our ghosts. Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laughbecause the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.”

“…The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless…”‘ Umberto Eco, The Name Of The Rose, Picador, 1984.

The veteran finds he can remember the name of everyone in his high school class, but cannot remember taking his blood-pressure pill today. As he reads the news of the world going to hell in a handbasket, who is manipulating whose doubt in democracy’s inclusivity, and who is crowdfunding what ego trip, he admires the new methods of driving forward what feels like it must be done, but he cannot remember much about what that was in his own youth. He imagines a reunion of his high school class dividing into contact groups asked to explore one question, ‘What happened?’ How did you lose all your money? How did you rise to those dizzy heights over there? How did you raise five children and foster nine more, alone? How did you interpret the platitudes of the sixties and seventies to make yourself that best self you committed yourself to find after school? In straggling formation like cockatoos, squawking eternity across the timeless vault, they would possibly share an inexpressible need to absent themselves from their children’s resentment, but would be unable to articulate what in the moment they would need to adapt … in these terms, my darling grandchildren, you achieved greatness merely by getting here!

Veteran Moon Haifa Jan10

Upon what glistening trackside web in the light of dawn shall time, the flight of its captives, zigs or zags, be transfixed? The zigs and zags of the veteran similarly flutter no more. He remembers the past as the foundation of its future, but karma in each instant depends on karma in the next. The future is indeterminate; the present is a polynomial guess, whether the climate emergency means you, or you mean it. The distinction may already be between a zig and a zag.

As humanity begins to fall apart, the Veteran Moon wonders at the meaning of his velocity, his phases, his background and his gravity. Humans have created history, society, science and religion out of cultures of meaning, which is a great achievement on the face of it, since the meaning of all phenomena, the Moon and your heart, for example, only phenomenologically exist. Rights and duties, and genders, for that matter, circle each other like pugilists, as the planets circle the Earth, and the Sun.

Veteran Anniversary Haifa Sky 11101BCE

Perhaps you don’t believe in Gaia, but what of the sea and the sky? You may not believe in God, but what of awe, and your vocation and your muse? How do you define your family? How do they define you? Meaning is the situation you create for yourself, your country, in that existential terrain which sustains your interest. Poof! One day it will be gone. How can it have been so important? How will the next generation of veterans define an ingenue? Does your judgment of your elders mean anything? What does it mean to be on the verge of extinction?

Religions abound which offer authoritative measures of the meaning of life, and have ever done so. And as surely, the doctors of the spirit have never shirked from the issues of suffering, fear and despair. Salvation is at hand, cry the wellness spruikers of today, on a million social websites, in the form of answers to questions like, ‘who am I?’ and ‘what shall be my legacy?’, or ‘how may I cling eternally to something which will survive me?’ On the other hand if, unlike Southern Hemisphere Astrology, you believe the rock of permanence is best left unturned for the red-back spider it will disclose, there’s a tour for that, and it heads out well after dawn.

Veteran Moon Zomba Jan10

As for the Full Moon near the ‘June Solstice’, the Elder or Veteran in Gemini, it resonates with the overarching values of human community, forgiveness and compassion, because on the other side of the world from the Sun’s woe, it’s the Moon’s job to say, “Keep going, it’s all downhill from there.” Trouble is, 866 crossings of the Lethe to the Sun’s 70 doesn’t make the Moon an authority, it just makes him mathematically correct, one who has done it all, including compassion, without remembering how.

What is the nature of the reality in which an Earthling’s local perspective can find meaning in geometrical intersections of galactic and orbital planes which are no more visible than the Stone Age in an urban streetscape, or a name for someone’s awe? What cannot be disproven by algorithms such as I use, whose formulae are based on polynomial expressions of previous observations, is the good fortune of Earthlings in 1998 CE that the Sun’s crossing of the Lethe did not exactly coincide with the June Solstice (difference 6 minutes), the New Moon (difference 3 days) or the North Node (difference 2 constellations), because the coincidence of all four would have wiped out all memory, tipped the magnetic poles and caused 10m tides, catastrophic floods and bushfires, and hundreds of thousands of fatalities in collisions of aircraft with each other and with migrating birds.

Dasein 2020

For me, there can be no more satisfactory explanation of contemporary utopian, even soteriological, notions of secular safety, mental and physical health, and identity and personal improvement, than that Earthlings are learning less and less about more and more, and more and more about less and less, resulting in widespread distribution of ingenues who know nothing about everything and veterans who know everything about nothing.

“Dear Lord, may this stone, a symbol of my efforts on the pilgrimage that I lay at the feet of the cross of the Savior, weigh the balance in favor of my good deeds that day, when the deeds of all my life are judged. Let it be so. Amen.” Emilio Estevez, The Way, Elixir Films, 2010.

New Moon in Sagittarius: Frivolity!


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You can’t get there from here. Urban Dictionary.

Myths identify contradictions that are not easily reconciled and relationships where social balance is tenuous. Dorothy Counts, Snakes, adulterers, and the loss of paradise in Kaliai, 1993.

Did you know that 90% of the dust in the world is made up of dead human skin? How do you feel about that? You think you’re dusting your house? You’re not you’re just moving your grandmother around. Dave Allen. (Read the one about the Demon Drink!)

Sagittarius New Iconoclast Azores Dec26

As someone who has nestled in gender dysphoria and the lethargy of opprobrium for three score years and ten, and possibly developed borderline personality disorder as a result, who has no doubt been judged as an evasive scoundrel for promulgating the belief, on the political spectrum right of Genghis Khan, that we should value country above territory, resilience above compensation, self-reliance above compliance and perseverance above healing, I have been trying to bend my indolent imagination, being born a Cancer in the Southern Hemisphere on Christmas Day, to some understanding of the psychological landscape of Christmas, in the wet concrete of Mental Health repeatedly added in 2019 to the renovation of Our Global Temple of Everlasting Safety, and the possible significance for the traditional Christmas celebrations of the celestial background beyond its daylight, consisting of a host of invisible stars towards the centre of a galaxy plotted on an unconscious history of hell.

Sagittarius New Idolater Azores Underworld Dec26

New Moons are metaphors for those brief moments when the genders coalesce, when the cultural rules make perfect sense and animosity makes none, and for good or ill, we just know we’re all in this constant change thing together. You will uphold and believe in the result, although your vote has gone to the loser, right? The Moon is a man? Yeah, right! Equilibrium is not equanimity. Can we at least agree that the world we all live in was not spawned by dreams, asterisms, gods and myths, which were designed to leave us courageously where we were, at home, in intergenerational struggle and competition for honour and eventually truth, but by the mathematics of eclipse and the scientific investigation of superstition, the coalescence of resentment and responsibility par excellence, and the farewell of ignorance thwarted by knowledge never cherished?

Sagittarius New Devonport Underworld Dec26

At the end of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (the Summer Solstice in both hemispheres is midyear), the Sun has crossed the Acheron in December since the days of Charlemagne, and within a week either ‘side’ of the Solstice since 1500 CE and until the end of the 26th Century. But what is a calendar, if not a mechanism for making time stand still? Thirty generations takes us back to the late 14th Century; in another 30 generations, the Sun will cross the Acheron after the beeps of New Year. What changes will Homo Sapiens Sapiens have managed by then? Will they be celebrating Christmas in a solar calendar of a different star system, or perhaps be gone altogether?

The Moon, obliged to pay the highest price to climb onto the Emu with the remorseless blind boatman Antares, crossed the Acheron unnoticed while your gifts were being wrapped and unwrapped. Now that it’s New, it is about to emerge once again on the right side of its monthly initiation into the timeless mythology of resilience, on the downward slope of conscious and righteous history, to briefly illuminate the sunset of you and me and our momentarily reunited families as we enjoy the break which commences our annual journey to global nowhere.

Sagittarius New Dublin Dec26

But what of the wrong side of history? Is there a ‘before’? Is there a ‘now’? Or is ‘now’ merely the right and wrong on either side? The body, the ego, the family, the culture: it’s pretty hard to be here now, without, in the immortal phrase attributed to H.L. Mencken, sitting on the fence with both ears to the ground. So many tragedies have unfolded—not only my fault, or yours, my judges—during my three score years and ten, and it does not necessarily indicate mental illness to spend hours each day in inconsolable grief. The lugubrious wailing of indigenous peoples is a healthy way for sadness to conquer equanimity confronted by the awful truth, the horizon of country. If you want proof that space is made out of time, return to somewhere you’ve been. Imagine, the next time you weep, you had a shoulder to cry on. Wouldn’t that make ‘why’ redundant?

Dublin Christmas 988CE

December, the month of the Vagabond, was the month of Grandpa. Father Christmas (Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas) is your indulgent grandfather: have you never understood the child in your parents? What follows is the month of the parent in the child, the equanimity of the rider of the emu: the astrologer and the philosopher arm themselves with woe when they confront the future, because they have countless times been on the wild emu chase of grief and joy. The Veteran on the other hand, Full Moon in Gemini, is the sorcerer who observes the Gate of God in its Underworld, when the black hill to the north splits Taurus and Gemini at midnight. It was the water clock which enabled hundreds of sorcerers across the world to discover equinoctial precession at the same time, by calibrating midnight Gates with midday shadows. Now any witch can tell you, when Betelgeuse transits at December Solstice, it’s witching hour.

Melbourne Christmas 2187

You might search the heavens in vain for the Knecht Ruprecht and the Krampus, but your grandparents are up there, right next to your parents’ grandparents, in various symbolic mazes of floor, forest, chapel, shed, cage and dusty kitchen, the talismans against deprivation of capital, status and kin. I shall join them soon enough, but you will never see me at Christmas, even if you’ve been good, because my haunt is the Gate of God. Idolaters, tip your hats to the barmaid who serves at the Gate of Man. To quantify the Woe opposite Forgetting is the mission of the narcissist and the fool. What the boatman takes all across is yours to remember, so let us toast the spirits of Christmasses past, present and emerging, they who intone, “Welcome to Country”!

December Moon in Taurus: the Vagabond


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“The function of memory is not only to preserve, but also to throw away. If you remembered everything from your entire life, you would be sick.” Umberto Eco.

“The bull of the herd had stepped into the white foaming brook, and went forward slowly, now striving against, now giving way to his tempestuous course; thus, no doubt, he took his sort of fierce pleasure. Two dark brown beings, of Bergamasque origin, tended the herd, the girl dressed almost like a boy.” Nietzsche, Human All Too Human, Second Sequel, The Wanderer And His Shadow, Aphorism §295, ed. Darryl Marks, trans. H. Zimmern, P. Cohn, Everlasting Flames, 2010.

The naming of Moons of course connects them to what we’re doing down here. Inverting European and North American names or leaving names behind completely in the Northern Hemisphere might do for some, and continuing such traditions as Yule and Easter in their opposite seasons doesn’t seem to have disturbed capitalism or hurt anybody, but the entertaining possibility exists that seasons and customs merely refine what we’re doing and feeling, and we’re actually all doing more or less the same thing. It might at least be said that we are all subject to universal influences on our mental health, which fall into cyclical patterns we all engage with in similar ways, if at different times. Two distinctive things we all have in common with the Vagabond are the balancing of the desire to forget and the inability to remember, and the experience of being utterly alone.

The best moments of your life are the hardest to remember, because your language did not impose you on them, but rather from the bottom up, your spirit was dissolving into a belonging in something beyond, something almost magical, a connectedness which drew its miraculous energy from you, which could only last an instant and might never emerge again from the objective definition of your existence, but which in a flash of awareness revealed the reality of being alive instead of dead. Ceremony is of course your best method of putting your memory back in that transcendent self you own abstractly as yours. But what of the wooden hands of the cellist, the traffic vibrations and the halitosis of the singer behind you, and your own, for that matter? Is solitary meditation the only way to engage in a ceremony of connection? Must we wash our hands of others lest we forget who we are? Would such uncleanliness truly be the opposite of authenticity? Is there an important lesson in equanimity to be gained from the Vagabond’s stoical existence?

Vagabond Moon Detroit Dec12

The danger we sense is real: the most vividly lived moments of our past are most challenging to relive, because they include the best, which we can seldom recall in all their complexity, and the worst, which can traumatically reconstruct themselves viscerally in the most unwelcome way. We even judge the good in the context of the meaning of the bad, and we think to free our good selves from shame by working on our shadow, but the judgment our insight passes on the self-as-other is so vivid in its remorseless negativity that compulsively as we might train ourselves to disbelieve, we are built to forget, and it is easier to disbelieve what is forgotten. The shadow of the Vagabond in sidereal Taurus falls across the June Solstice and the river of Hades he approaches in the Bardo, the River of Forgetting.

Vagabond Moon Rio de Janeiro Dec12

If you have the good fortune to withdraw from the everyday, just for one night at the right time of the year, and in your nearest dark sky, you can realize the connection of above and below, as it was known by the prehistoric people who lived under the Milky Way, as it was once known under rural skies by the swagman, and as it has now been forgotten in urban lanes by everyone: when the Milky Way arcs overhead from horizon to horizon in either of the two configurations which are so formed, its bearings link all Warriors or Wanderers camped on their river, Acheron or Lethe. My Acheron crosses Eastern Australia to Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, but my Lethe arcs over Central Australia to the Kimberley and beyond through Timor Leste and Western China to Siberian Omsk. I am proud when I am on the Lethe to project over the horizon the kin of my spiritual sisters of Wurdi Youang. Detroit’s Lethe arcs over the Caribbean to Brazil, and a shout-out wells up in my heart to all countrywomen, and tonight, fellow Vagabonds!

Vagabond Moon Atacama Dec12

Not everyone is summoned by a divine voice to sacrifice his son, as was the Patriarch of all of the religions of The Book, and of socialism and humanism, in all their woeful, forgetting folly. If the nearest you can now approach to such grief, mysterious atavistic Vagabond of our cosmic loneliness, as you stare over the Atacama Desert, is not quite being able to erase the memory of rejection, the clinical name healers give the extinction of a divine voice and the reduction to dust of every monolithic monument to human immortality since the dawn of civilization, you are as blessed as you seem to believe yourself, blessed to have heard the voice, blessed to have been spared its demand. Charismatic though our inner voices may be, the gods are bent on the narcissistic autonomy they enjoy in our submission to their resentful, perfectionist control.

Vagabond Moon Luxor Underworld Dec12

The Vagabond is the avatar of all who throughout history and before it have gratefully accepted country as more real than landscape and real estate: the ancestral, the migratory, the rejected, the enslaved, the dispossessed of everything but kinship and the meaning of ceremony and song. He and they enact the memory we share eternally of what remains of creation to be forgotten. What more could there ever possibly be, than broken, throbbing hearts crying, “Please don’t climb my rock,” and protected by them in a world of liars, charlatans, scammers, hostage-takers, people-smugglers, bullies, creeps and bogeymen, the laughter and tears of children?

New Moon in Scorpius: Doubt!


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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?

Scorpio New Perth Underworld Nov26

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.

Scorpio New Perth Nov26

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.

Vagabond First Crescent St Kilda Nov28

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.

Scorpio New Breamlea Country 3038BCE

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.

Scorpio New Hattusa Underworld Country 2500BCE

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?

Demented Moon in Sidereal Aries


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I would like to say I remember every face which has ever presented itself to me, but I can’t. I very much fear that there is no longer a man in the Moon, and sometimes I wonder if there ever was. I know that I am, and where I am—I know your retina like the back of my hand—but I no longer seem to remember when I was here last or what I was feeling. I am in less of a rush to watch Lethe’s ablutions, and less susceptible to Aldebaran’s eye, as though I have forever already passed through the Gate of Man, or the waters of Lethe permanently cling to me now, in a Labyrinth of Forgetting haunted by the Minotaur of who I once was.

Vagabond Moon Xiamen Nov12

I know I once flaunted myself over the trenches of Flanders, and confusing what is deep in the heart with what is in the sky is as old as time, but whereas I have hosted human technology and confidence you could achieve anything, more than half the world has lost faith in everything, including that, and the rest are sampling a delectation of priceless baubles, even while they decry the manufacture of their satisfaction beyond the event horizon of the seventies, when developed countries allayed their panic about pollution by creating mountains of waste someone else could get filthy and sick transforming. ‘Progress’ had a different meaning in those days. Now it means a race by the poor for world domination, or giving up the technology of climate creation and planetary mining to lie down in a submissive but guilt-relieved ditch of abnegation.

Vagabond Moon Xiamen Underworld Nov12

How long ago was it that your ancestors could hold you accountable by disappearing over the horizon and leaving you to your ’emotional intelligence’, your faithless disobedience? In the oldest continuous culture on Earth, among Australia’s first immigrants, it looked like this.

Vagabond Moon Meekatharra Nov12

But in the politics of resistance to patriarchal aggression the ancestors always reappeared in the East to applaud the resilience of women, and dare I say, non-binary men? Women who rise from their beds early in the Spring and retire late in Summer are confirmed in worshipping nothing but their own sensibility: it is all going to be just fine.

Vagabond Moon Tamworth Nov13

In the Northern Hemisphere it has always been a different story, and what other explanation do you need for the despoliation of the planet and the exploitation by miners and slavers of Southern Hemisphere equanimity? When they align themselves across the eastern sky, arcing like ancient wisdom between the cardinal directions of South and North, it is as gods within that the ancestors first return in Northern skies. It is at the Gate of God, when the nebulosity at the centre of the galaxy in the southwest leaves its spoor directly overhead, that boys cross into manhood in the hungry dawns of Spring and the proud evenings of Summer’s disappearance. The matriarchy of Southern latitudes is a mythical lost paradise. Seventeen hours or eight months later, the ancestors retire under the blankets above post-industrial Western welfare-states, where the masculinity-challenged may dream of healing, presence, collective rights and a day of reckoning.

Vagabond Moon Portland Nov12

Yes, the burqa and niqab are written in the stars, but now that nobody who looks can see, I am lost. I cannot read your heart any more. Your thought seems more like borderline personality disorder than soul, and that begins to seem as though we are no longer looking at each other with the same capacity to share that a bird on a wire has regarding the cars on the freeway, if only the drivers would stop, and let the children get out, to walk under the wire.

Is it time to be a Peasant or a Vagabond? Aggressive or insecure? Independent or withdrawn? I don’t know, and it is rather urgent we put our heads together, because next May, the Northern Ascending Node (Southern Descending Node) precesses to the Lethe. If I don’t find myself, neither will you, but unlike yours, my forgetting might be eternal. “What am I here[-]after?” we may well ask. The answer is just around the corner I turned yesterday, as you would realize, not having turned it.

Rectitude: New Moon in Libra


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“No one can say why those seven billion billion billion atoms have such an urgent desire to be you. They are mindless particles, after all, without a single thought or notion between them. Yet somehow for the length of your existence, they will build and maintain all the countless systems and structures necessary to keep you humming, to make you you, to give you form and shape and let you enjoy the rare and supremely agreeable condition known as life.” Bill Bryson.

Every transaction is a mutual transformation. There can never be a transactional relationship which does not involve payback. Tranquility is always insecure; assertiveness is always aggressive. The hardest thing in life is to demand someone else’s respect, if that is indeed harder than losing something you no longer deserve. Do give your best, but never hope for the day it will be enough, and never rate competitors in terms of their compromises.

Libra New Kunming Underworld Oct28

Oh yes, peasantry has taught the Moon a thing or two! He is in the frame of mind in October-November to wonder what the Judge has hauled him before the Court for this time. Why does he have to be wrong to prove her right? And besides the scrutiny of her decisions, is she accountable, like the hoi polloi, for who she is? Actually, she’s a hard bitch, isn’t she? She will even admit it, on your deathbed, but even there it will be your neediness which justifies it. She never apologizes, but does express regret. You would think it a game, if it were not so serious, or perhaps you would believe it to be serious, if it weren’t so transparently a game.

Libra New London Underworld Oct28

Human life is lived on the bank of the one river flowing through every village. Piss in it, and someone downstream will be mystified by your poison. Stealing water will get you murdered. Water levels measure identity and constrain growth. Nobody, not parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme, is blessed in marriage on dead grass. Little sister, don’t you do what your big sister done. Though scientists persevere with histories and models, and politicians perfect their manufactures of our fear, the river rises in birth and in death distils an ocean somewhere beyond our experience.

Libra New Washington Underworld Oct27

We who know these things in our water are riders on the storm, and like the cackle of the wicked witch on her broomstick, the body of this knowledge has a sound: rectitude. The relationship between life and light during the billions of years before the evolution of sight lacked righteousness, but it was right. The slaughter of indigenous people and the theft of their country was not righteous, but in the fight for survival of the banished there is no righteousness, only rectitude.

Libra New Ceduna Oct28

And so way down there through time and space you go about your business, taking every opportunity to promote equality, diversity and inclusiveness, and the only doubt you harbour about your righteousness is, are you right? Are you empathic? Are you real? Are you authentic? And evenly distributed among you are riders on the storm, the emptied of righteousness, the guilty of every blasphemy, the old, who could perhaps reassure you, but they don’t speak any more. What is there to speak about? Your hope? Your dream?

Libra New Ceduna Underworld Oct28

So while I might writhe under the justice meted out by the Sun in Libra, and while I certainly resent the righteous ignorance of the jury, there is no getting away from it, the offence against me is rectitude, mine.