Full Moon in Sidereal Leo: the Migrant


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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.

Relativity: New Moon in Capricorn


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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.

The Healer: Full Moon in Cancer


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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.

New Moon in Sagittarius: Frivolity


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Have you ever been told to lighten up? Then you know the meaning of ‘frivolity’: letting go, moving on, getting over it, getting a life.

Frivolity is a question, not a statement, a New Year’s resolution you have no capacity to keep to, whether you know it or not. It’s the quality of the change to Australia’s national anthem from “We are young and free,” to “We are one and free,” when you’re broke and marooned outside your state by sudden and remorseless Coronavirus lockdowns.

Adherents to the settler narrative of Australian history and sympathisers with indigenous dispossession have been yelling “Get a life!” at each other for decades, and who knows which side is Morlocks and which side is Eloi? Finally, the issue has been resolved, along with the implications of absurdity our foretaste of Armageddon flings at our compulsive drive to be someone else.

The good burghers of a community in Queensland have invited the Moon down from the south to join with the elders Jupiter and Saturn, and the social media influencer Mercury, to help celebrate the day Sarina rejoins the Southern Hemisphere and brings Australia as one a day closer. All over town posters are advertising the upending of astrological meaning and the trivialisation of winter-sign intentions. Only those with permits will be allowed to enter from the north from midnight when police from Mackay and Rockhampton will glare at each other across a formidable barricade. But it’s not really an imposition on anyone’s freedom, just a harmless bit of fun: on Bramble Cay Day, February 25, every Australian will be south of the karma police blockade!

It is early in the morning of the year. We go abroad with faith alive in us, but let us not confuse the task of nurturing our faith with the insanity of perfection. If no amount of mindfulness can discourage you from striving to improve yourself, do try not to be motivated to be better than me. Keep faith not only with hope, but with anxiety, not only with imagination, but with dread. It is not wise to erect confidence on the entertainment of your judges, nor on the vanity of self-worth. The world of power and the subservient self are what they are, not what they ought to be.

Without in any way seeking to trivialise the sentiments of the previous paragraph, but also without further ado, let us sashay on into 2021 with those memorable words resounding in our aerodynamic Dumbo flaps: a day without a good belly-laugh is a day wasted!

The Veteran: Full Moon in Gemini


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“Superfluous lags the vet’ran on the stage…”, Samuel Johnson, l. 308, The Vanity of Human Wishes, 1749, derived from Juvenal, Satire X.

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. Deuteronomy 32:7, King James Bible.

It’s no use. The Veteran cannot hide from the truth. It’s not just that his triumph in Northern skies comes in the middle of a Coronavirus-infested winter, as humanity struggles to celebrate the turning of the year with breaking heart, or that in Southern skies his diminutive opposition to a searing Sun needs the compensation of the un-moonlit symmetry of the Eurocentric mythical Twins to impress, but having crossed the Lethe immediately before syzygy, he realizes in his curtain call only the magnitude of the reintegration which lies ahead for the audience (who are yet oblivious to the Acheron River which daytime has just crossed), and the possibility that he no longer has the will to help. Oh God, not more feelings!

On the other hand, the Veteran has died and been reborn so many times that the Bardo provides his second name: “The Hell You Say!” The Tenth Bardo House of Boredom is one he particularly enjoys, where the cleansing of the Lethe affords him the luxury of staring out of the window of the Northern Tropical Indolence bus on his way to Total Withdrawal, paying no attention to dark continents rolling him around their clocks. His fellow-passengers cannot wait to get off: being bored is akin to being boring; the emissions from the bus out-thrust its propulsion; grasping is mindfully consuming acceptance; and forests of wild viruses are being cleared for the graduation of sated ignorance. “We must alight at centre-stage,” they cry. Not the Veteran. He is indifferent to the footlights, and to his demotion from a starring role for the next twenty-four times he appears on this stage: you will not see a Full Moon in Gemini (the Constellation) until January 2023.

What tortuous labyrinths of despair might just squeeze a sleeper up to the surface? What convulsions of suppressed hatred, what intestinal convolutions of corruption and deliberate pain? What catacombs of memory, what collapsed and utterly expunged escape routes out of anxiety? What tectonic shifts of catatonic stress? And reversing direction, the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in the Australian Central Ranges is no country for old fish.

It is time and memory which stamp Veteran country, a duration of exile from the permanent present. Aligned with the course of the Moon’s progress across the faintly visible constellations between Sagittarius and Gemini, Woe and Forgetting, and irrevocably past Regulus and Spica and Antares to the Acheron again, an artesian underworld meanders beneath a landscape dotted with caves, one of which is yours, another mine.

New Moon in Scorpius: Doubt


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Doubt is the necessary condition for meaning, and the necessary condition for doubt is time, and specifically time’s experienced intervals. What measures your mindfulness and interrogates your ego? Habits? Addiction? Divorce and remarriage rate? Child milestones? Reunions? New Year’s Eve? For some of us it is Full Moons, and Saturn Returns. The longer the interval, the more abrupt and bittersweet our apprehension of the brevity of the time we have. Were we right?

By Johannes Kepler – De Stella Nova in pede Serpentarii (1606), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16622989

In a week from now, a Great Conjunction will divide our lives into twenty-year chunks. For a very long time, observers of the cosmos like Kepler have understood that successive conjunctions occur roughly 120 degrees apart, so that every third return occurs in the vicinity of its forerunner, but advancing through the Zodiac by 4-10 degrees every 60 years. The previous occurrence of this triad took place in sidereal Sagittarius in 1961. A Grand Return, a full circle, takes 1767-8 years, by my calculations. The last time it occurred in the vicinity of this one was in February 253 CE, and before that, ‘February’ 1455 BCE. How much time have we got?

I will leave it to the Sun and Moon to tell us how long it takes for a Great Conjunction in sidereal Capricorn to coincide with a New Moon. I am content to leave it in doubt. This Moon will be near First Quarter.

The last time the New Moon occurred on December 14-15 at the tail-end of the Scorpion was in 2001, and the next will be in 2031, when we may have another eleven years to look back on, and maybe not. At nightfall tonight Jupiter and Saturn are less than half an outstretched fingertip apart.

Salta Noon

I doubt if anybody here still holds to the view that seasons have a fixed starting date and duration. Perhaps there are Australians who regard scorching-hot weather before December 1 as an aberration, and purists who don their summer outfits at the Solstice. I know there are many who believe the Northern Hemisphere tropical signs apply down here with some sort of transcendental cosmological impact, and many of you up there incorporate Southern Signs into a meaningful polarity. Pity those migratory birds who arrive down here in a drought! But do notice how Ascendant and Descendant play out in the Antipodes.

Heyuan Underworld Solar Midnight

Along with the doubt which plagues us at this time of year that the brilliancy of our appropriate gifts will be under-appreciated, we have become accustomed to the devaluation of the Christian festival which draws nigh, just as the Christians devalued pagan antecedents. But as we prepare for the insufferable rectitude of pubescent nephews and nieces, can we admit the ambiguity and indefinability of the seasons?

After all, as our youngsters are fond of pointing out, it’s 2020, and it’s we who’ve changed the seasons, and perhaps invalidated all Tropical Signs, North and South. Have we really changed the seasons? Let’s have recourse to the timeless wisdom of indigenous peoples, or are they now wrong too?

There are no seasons on the Moon, only day and night, lasting 13 1/2 days each, which can be described as bloody hot and bloody cold. Perhaps the siderealists are right: Signs are no more than myth and appearance. If we abolish the seasons from the Moon’s view of us, what remains?

Moon view at 173 celsius below.

So back where we start from, we persevere in creating the antidote to doubt. What the Great Conjunction means depends on the Sign it occurs in, which I leave to the vested interests. All I know is how small it makes me. Country is time distilled. Will 2020, and the disadvantage its catastrophes have imposed at the margins, never end?

Full Moon in Taurus: The Vagabond


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Country is criss-crossed by trails, above and below ground. It’s easy to forget that, when you’re bathed in moonlight. You’re here now, and that’s enough. But give him a name, and then you and the Moon are tangled up in trails, because you have a name too, featured on an arbitrary array of signposts in the network of your country.

If the existence of a vagabond may be defined by work or lifestyle which precludes or undermines membership of a social group, most of us, as we ponder the upcoming Christmas/Summer holidays, the mechanisms of a multicultural defence against the coronavirus, and the economic and political dynamics of sustainable air-conditioning and climate change, call our social status into question too. It is not just identity politics which signposts us as vagabonds.

Be aware of what you want from him, because while the absence of machismo in the Vagabond may be pleasant to play with, the love will pour out of him if you so much as caress his foot. Dolls go through adolescence too. That his independence and unconcern for opinion are skin-deep confirms the kinship he craves. Better that you keep your tenderness for your own man.

Is the Sun in Woke and the Moon in Cancel, or the other way around?

What does it matter? Both are projections, esoteric and binary caricatures of place and time.

How individualized perspective subverts the existence of both the woke and the cancelled is demonstrated by the confusion wreaked upon the subjectivity and possible agency of Sun and Moon by Signs and Angles in astrology.

Is it unreasonable for the Moon to do his shadow work independently of a cacophony of competing psychological models?

Not only must the Vagabond accept rising and setting simultaneously, but the very possibility of a personal trajectory is undermined by local prejudice: he sets in a quadrant he did not aim for, and over his shoulder his journey’s embarkation has disappeared like the contents of a dream. It seems he is doomed to wander as a ghost among the contiguities of human horizons.

Lest it be forgotten in the contestation of identity that no place on Earth is the centre of the universe, bear in mind that the Vagabond is as entitled as anyone else to reclaim his perspective. The universal tendency to characterise the drifter fancifully as the bagman, the bogeyman or Black Pete, whether shadowed by superficiality or unruliness, should teach us to look to our own infamy!

New Moon in Libra: Rectitude


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The mechanism at the root of community is rectitude, confected as integrity and projected in hateful battle with any recalcitrant other which threatens its compensation. Rectitude stares at corruption and does not recognise its own reflection. Unable to find this mechanism in the self, rectitude finds itself starkly revealed in the face of the enemy. The Bardo of madness seethes with it.

Sun and Moon are conjunct in the Constellation of Libra, once the home of self-knowledge and -mastery, but consigned by the retrograde march of the seasons to the Sign of the Scorpion, whose assertiveness is better unopposed. In the South, its seasonal attributes are of the Bull. Not for nothing do we accuse each other of bullshit.

Of course, what the world of others tells you is not all lies, if you’re listening. I don’t wish to argue with you about Astrological Houses, you who make a living from imposing alien perspectives on Southern skies, but just look at the correspondence of the astro.com traditional chart of the birth of the Australian Commonwealth and compare it with a Stellarium view.

Turn the traditional numbering of the Houses back to front and upside down and they correspond. And what choice does astrology have? To show the Ascendant on the left to anyone orientated to the North looks like deliberate and self-defeating obfuscation!

The Southern way of going, if we imagine the first Spring Constellation in the First House, with the other Constellations arrayed anti-clockwise across the sky from East on the right to West on the left, introduces some strange yet resonant bedfellows to the self-defensive mind (Southern Signs in italics):-
I TEMPERAMENT Virgo Perfection Aries
II FORTUNE Leo Discrimination Pisces
III INTELLECT Cancer Paranoia Aquarius
IV REPUTATION Gemini Relativity Capricorn
V ATTACHMENT Taurus Fear Sagittarius
VI CONSTRAINT Aries Self-Development Scorpio
VII RELATIONSHIP Pisces Aggression Libra
VIII CHANGE Aquarius Relationship Virgo
IX ASPIRATION Capricorn Deprivation Leo
X REALIZATION Sagittarius Boredom Cancer
XI HOPE Scorpio Ignorance Gemini
XII MYSTERY Libra Seriousness Taurus

But, hey! Let’s not mess around with what works! Let’s not play with this confirmation bias thing lest tuning its relationship with what is really happening create identity issues, gender dysphoria or any number of other neurological implasticities. But ask yourself this question, ‘What is my intention in taking astrology seriously?’ And play with the answer, that regardless of the time of day, I may be stuck in the Twelfth House, and all you others may be holograms, projected from my Underworld memory without anyone’s consent.

Full Moon in Sidereal Aries: The Peasant


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“Take me for a walk in your country, so I can understand why you call me that name, Peasant.”

Community is a complex concept—which concept isn’t?—but if it exists as a thing, and not just as a term used for political or economic advantage, it must have boundaries: it is both inclusive and exclusive. That the world is complete is a common way of looking at things.

Out here, and in here, I use the term ‘country’, borrowed, without permission but with profound respect, from its usage by the warriors and wanderers (as I perceive them) of Australian Indigenous culture, to signify a reality without boundaries, impervious to political and economic definition.

Peasants are they who belong to a community by virtue of their acquiescence in a political and economic system, but who, by the nature of their work, their intimate knowledge of the seasons of hot and cold, the transient and anonymous life-cycles of their animals, and the motions of the sky, stand at the boundary of community, where ‘who are all in this together?’ is as idle and meaningless a question as ‘who owns this country?’ So a peasant does not ask questions.

Country is no more nor less than territory’s transcendence of its map. Who among us lives harmoniously without maps? We are all peasants, and particularly when we celebrate the dead at Halloween, when Spring is bursting into Summer, and we should be celebrating Beltane, garlanded with flowers. Does the Queensland election portend Summer or Winter? Trick or treat, indeed!

“So I am possibly at a time of enlightenment?”

Maybe. Unless our heads are in the sand, or we are called, or it rains. Or a stranger comes.

New Moon in Virgo: Community


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Who will mourn the Monk, on this day of rejoicing the birth of the Peasant?

Who will guide the Monk, and indeed the Peasant, when his time comes, safely through the Bardo to an auspicious rebirth?

Who guides you through the night to make sure you inhabit the same identity in the morning?

Who will promote the awe of the Earth as a guide through the long night of its soul?

You will.