The Moon is like every other element in the world: it is trying to make you conscious of it. It seeks attributes and connection. It is more real for your realization of its regularity and witness to its phases. But what more can it mean? Can it be the portal to outer space? Can it furnish minerals? Can it clear the rain? Can it combine in conjunctions and occultations? Can it reflect not only sunlight but our thoughts and feelings? Can it synchronize menstruation? Before it can do any of these things, it must know what they are: it has to learn more about us.
It has had to learn that we begin at a crawl, that it takes 4 billion years for us to walk on two feet, and 7.5 million years more to move faster than it. It has to learn that a human lifetime is very short, and not long enough to overcome all the delusions out of which we construct our reality and concepts of time and space, causality and self.
It must learn to think as we do, to see itself through our eyes. It has to understand the experience of day and night, and perspective, and love. It has to learn how to freeze-frame individual conclusions before connecting them in theories and systems. It has to learn the power and humble beginnings of language. Ultimately, like us, it must try to make sense of this:
I have asked him (sic) to sit at the front of the class, so that I can give him special tuition. In his linguistics, astrophysics and chemical engineering classes, his presence may be considered superfluous, but in my humble tutorial, Who, Where and When Am I Right Now 2B, his participation matters.
His current assignment is to demonstrate a process by which a Drone might be transformed into a Monk. Until today, he has made no visible progress. The theme I have suggested he work to is ‘disclosure’, a philosophical term referring to transformation in its quintessence. He doesn’t understand it. He cannot grasp how a nascent being relinquishes naughtiness as the portal to power and then relinquishes power as the key to overcoming shame: he has never had a child or a pet.
However, tonight he has made a giant leap. For the first time this month, he transits at night, all over the world, against the background of visible stars, and not only does he recognize what I see, his direction and altitude, and the arbitrary names and personalities I have playfully assigned to particular bright stars, but his contribution is an exemplar of the disclosure process.
How? By asking the right questions. Here is his first essay.
“The human mind was destined to measure once it had discovered language, because language modulates difference: firstly by identifying things, and then by owning them, and finally, in sharing them, by distilling their subjective relativity.
Below me, as I pass through a gate of my teacher’s mind, a boy finishes mooring a boat and gazes up at me before turning towards home. I wonder if it is a scorpion or a fish-hook he sees below me over the ocean to the southwest.
If I could stay, I could learn much from this lad which my teacher will never know, because although one day they may speak the same language, and thus be enabled to share different meanings and frame time as a continuum of perspectives, this boy’s moment cannot be located by anyone, including himself, without becoming lost in translation.
What am I to make of the journey my teacher has imposed on me? What makes one drone’s utterance preferable to another’s? Will this boy’s hands become toughened like his father’s by brine and rope or softened like my teacher’s in dispensing applications beyond traditional wisdom?
And so the earthlings whirl insensibly through their hours and as their sky moves I pass through my teacher’s gate, and prepare to flip south and north for his examination.
What can I tell him of his Yabby, that it is slimy from tuna in the Coral Sea? No, it is the strident sentinel of his zodiac, steadfast anchor through the precession of seasons and life’s daily observance of the Acheron and the awful necessity to get across.
And Saiph, the synchronously invisible, the inevitable, the equally robust temptation to impious lust, what can I confirm of her as I move towards my teacher’s barren shore? Can I bear witness to her charisma and independence, and the determination and withdrawal signified by what her thighs straddle, the act of sacralizing the waters of forgetfulness?
For the sake of meaning can I embrace the human concept of a particular moment rippling daily across the perspectives of seven billion people? Can I so infinitesimally fragment and compartmentalize my freefall?
Of course I can, but do I desire it? Into what fables and myths must I acquiesce in my appropriation in order for these stick figures to convert me into immortal words? When may I graduate to the lectern myself, and dilute human consciousness into a roiling protoplasm, as empty of cosmic significance as the orientation of the rotational axis which furnishes my teacher’s vision?
Is, are, astrometry, astrology, human language, grammar and narrative, meaning and desire, and my own identity and physical form, any more than a time-consuming molecular fiction?”
Can he find himself in the coordinates and attributes of all three of the systems he itemises? Perhaps he can, but it makes me wonder how many systems have to penetrate each other before identity is conceded as meaningless. How many more generations of elders will condemn their grandchildren to violence by refusing to see orthodoxy as a masquerade of truth?
Sidereal astrology is, or should be, your invitation to emptiness, an experience of the limiting structures of narrative and identity. Nowhere on the planet tonight is the transiting Moon further than a handwidth from the gate, wherever it might be in relation to the zenith, and whether positive latitude means it is above or below the ecliptic. The gate, four minutes earlier each day, will linger in the north and disappear into twilight in the south as sunset gets earlier or later. We are all numerals on the one clock.
Karma and everything else about the real world, is cyclical, not linear. We are creatures of rotation and longitude, but let us not be prisoners of the hours, or the year. Being is essential strife (Heidegger), an incessantly emerging responsibility for blame, a continuous endorsement of doodle. Let us stop revering shape to the extent that we model ourselves on the last turd to dissolve.
Claiming no more legitimacy than any other mindfulness aid, astrology should focus not on putting something else into mind, but on the memes in there: the substratum of our dependency on the delusory self making this mistaken world. I give him an A.
“Art thus teaches us not to try to banish the darkness that surrounds the light of intelligibility, but to learn to see into that ubiquitous “noth-ing” so as to discern therein the enigmatic “earth” which nurtures all the genuine meanings that have yet to see the light of day. Insofar as we can learn from Van Gogh (or other similarly great artists) to see in this poetic way ourselves, Heidegger suggests, we will find ourselves dwelling in a postmodern world permeated by genuinely meaningful possibilities.” Iain Thomson, Heidegger’s Aesthetics, 2015.
Because of the inclination of the equatorial and ecliptic planes to the galactic plane, some part of the Milky Way is not visible to us. Rather, it is divided into two great rivers. The first is the great tumult of Scorpius, which is entirely contained in the Breamlea Zodiac Constellation Scorpio, and carries the Summer Sign of Gemini, because the Sun crosses in Summer. The Moon crosses this river once a month, bringing it to the stellar wasteland I have called Justfriendistan, and in that context I call it Acheron.
The second river features the visual delights of Orion and Canis Major, and flows between the Breamlea Zodiac Constellations of Taurus and Gemini, which carry the Winter signs respectively of Sagittarius and Capricorn. This is the River Lethe, which cleanses the memory of past astrologies and prepares the traveller, Sun, Moon or planets, for the social climb, where the Sun is now, back into the mentality of Scorpio.