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.
Yes, the Stone Circle of Wurdi Youang may well mark the setting Sun from solstice to solstice, and I can sympathize with the satisfaction of the layers of the stones, but it seems a comfortable confirmation of what we already knew, that the Sun’s arc is shorter in winter than in summer, as though they were saying, people migrated out of the Tropics, problem solved. What problem?
The problem of the cardinal directions: I know where I am, right here, but how do I describe it? How do I relate it to you, my hunting team, when you can’t see me? In our almost instinctive knowledge that the Sun rises on our left and sets on our right, or vice versa, we short-circuit an astronomical heritage more ancient and fundamental than Wurdi Youang witnesses. To say, “the kangaroo is on your sunset side,” or “the crocodile is to my south,” we have to all know what the shadows mean, which way the stars are revolving, where the Sun rose, where noon is, in front or behind.
Relationships can be like this. If the Other knows exactly where they’re going, to the extent they know where you’re coming from, and you’re actually from a different hemisphere, just get out. Simple. If you have history and want to plough it into a brand new present, and they say, why? There you have the epitome of short-circuit. Your emptiness just got invaded by the Other’s presence, or rather their self-composed fullness. If reality is not there for you to invent, merely discover, you’re still in school, at least according to the teacher. Is it so stupid to only trust those who don’t know what they’re doing? Don’t answer that.
It is quite normal to trust the ones who know what they are doing, who are in a story with interconnected chapters, beginnings, middles and an end, way off in the distance. It is quite normal to find oneself integrated into a web of connections between things and events as they are in themselves, and to spend many years of childhood and adolescence discriminating among possible meanings to keep things real. It is quite normal to take unconscious advantage of those whose reality has fallen apart, rather than to confront the insecurity of the social construction of one’s things. It is quite normal to discover it is the self as creator who is responsible for unlovability, and to have recourse to psychological reassembly.
And although it may not be normal, who cannot forgive the one who learns how to protect the heart by making love permanent, by idolizing objects as expressions of perfect love, for denying the enduring hormonal reality of romance, rejecting in the very last chapter of one’s individualist narrative needy romance’s cauldron of transformation, life’s offer of transpiration to the skeletal things one must keep connected, the trees of one’s wood?
It is self-evident that the Earth is a thing which does not move, for example in a rotation on its axis, or at varying speeds around the Sun. One cannot see the Earth rolling towards the sunrise, but one can see the Sun as a thing rising above the flat Earth. Once in a generation perhaps, one human imagination has played with the idea of the Earth rolling and the Sun staying still. Try it. It is almost impossible. Leave everything you know out of the equation, the kettle, the toaster, the fridge, the smartphone, the TV, the radio, and imagine your world flying through space faster than anything you’ve ever seen, without a hair out of place. That one is a more recently recorded experience, early in the twentieth century, of the emptiness of things.
Imagine yourself without an imagination. Dream that you’ve never had a dream. Believe it or not, there really are men who have never imagined being a woman, and women who have never imagined being a man! Not to mention men and women, the very definition of Bogan, who have never imagined themselves to be men or women! So you see that this is how everything is connected, how Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere can be a lion, and in the Southern Hemisphere a water-carrier, not by the reversal of absurdly fixed seasons, but by not assuming anything, by playing with appearances, by imagining the impossible. A crab really might empathize with the kids playing in the wet sand above its castle: a King Crab, the Lion in Winter.
Yes, you who learnt yourself as real from your parents and teachers, and what fell into place with the television, the economy and social canon allowing only a few kosher [sic] alternatives, must heal. The fabric of reality is damaged because yours is wrong, in the sense that every object is wrong, until you create it yourself in relation, shorthand for, say, “Careful, a crocodile is in the westernmost waterhole!” Perhaps with Sun and Moon conjoined in Cancer, you will be in Tropical Aquarius, and perhaps you will be in Leo. All that parents and teachers are really saying is, this is where I am. That’s all I’m saying too, and all that I’m hearing, now that you’ve discovered you’re not normal, is where you are too.
The astrologer sat in the concourse of the shopping mall, feeling very strange. Hundreds of people were milling past him. They must have been talking and calling and laughing, he could see from their faces, but aside from the strains of some inane pop song thrumming intermittently inside the electronics store all he could hear was an inchoate groan, like what you hear when a recording is played backwards. No snatches of conversation, no click-clack of shoes on the tiles, nothing in the foreground. Every idea in his head was no more than background noise in a world which needed faith, not information, hope, not truth. Not one person needed to know that later that day the rising of Sirius at Giza would not align with Orion’s Belt and the pyramids, but indeed would in four days at Athens, where the myth of the Lion’s Gate evolved in the minds of astrologers who had probably never seen a heliacal rising, let alone at Giza.
The world is an operation of four dimensions: it falls, it speeds, it spins, and it changes. Being fabricates meaning, intention, suffering and perfection. Religion and ideology promise identity, reward, equanimity and love. Country is the emptiness of submission, narrative, relativity and survival: horizon engenders the fall, form the speed, energy the spin and utility the change. In other words, country turns the zenith into ground, the stars into seeds, the weather into shelter and decay into food. Country is the intersectionality of your identity, but essentially, the empty essence of your world. What urgent need has the shopper to be somewhere else?
The human habitat spins and speeds towards the east, and our desire for novelty, the possibility of fresh perspectives, and curiosity about what’s coming, incline us as individuals in that direction. In the North you have to swing left from your normal orientation towards the Sun; in the South we swing right. Your planets and circumpolar stars revolve anti-clockwise; ours clockwise. This may give us different inner workings: I don’t know.
In the opposite direction, our identity is constrained by logic, language and relationship. In a sense, we lean towards the west to balance our eastward spin. But the west is also the gravity which captures our momentum: the Shadow is not the unconscious, but its revelation in the reaction of others to the unconscious meaning of our behaviour. It is by expressing ourselves that our dreams take shape, in language constantly mediated by others.
All the while, we share with all being a trajectory and entropy of time and change, which in us leads to the mission to construct a consciousness which will give our frightening transience at least semi-permanent status. We have invented science, the humanities and religion to do this, to live ‘the way’, and to connect in us the past and future. The timetables of arrival and departure so fabricated make us unfortunately easy to control.
The north-south axis frames the meaning of all this. We are never either fully conscious or unconscious, rather there operates at all times a feedback loop between the two which dissolves any definition of a boundary. Ego straps us into our seat and emotions unsteady us, but the journey is mapped as we embark: reason and instinct are impressions of each other, like practice and confidence, skill and habit, law and ceremony, result and intention, challenge and dream. Left and right hands on the wheel, peripheral vision and feet ready for brake and gas guide our trajectory down slot-car alley.
Unlike every other being in the universe you may believe you lack a sense of direction. If you have been in both hemispheres, you wouldn’t believe that. However, perhaps if direction as a tool for understanding is my vanity, and the enterprise of caring for each other is based on the delusion that we can know what’s good for each other, then I am wasting my words. Why does anybody bother to speak?
Are all of these shoppers medieval fundamentalists, caring only to carry the harmony, or like worker insects, simply following a mental map?
Are concepts of humanity, altruism, equality, entitlement and human rights any different from other constructs of worship, based not in reality but in separation from it, in withdrawal to a fabrication called ideology where disbelief is subhuman? Is empathy real? There are oodles of interpretations of the partial eclipse superimposing themselves on its path, but who can understand someone else’s country, even when they’re standing in it? Can my southern mystification of time and direction give any more meaning to Kolkata experience? It takes an entire childhood to learn to read a map.
Perhaps belief inhabits two separate functions of mind: idolatry and miracle-worship which evolve out of woe and a narrative of oppression and exclusion into a conflation of separation, transcendence and identity; and iconoclasm and mystery-worship which evolve out of forgetting, not just suffering, but individuality as a fabrication of guilt and shame, and which conflate a cloud of emptiness, immanence and corruption.
The former might be referred to by the latter as Gratitude, which in turn might know the latter as Kindness. Equally, Kind people could scoff at Grateful people as unkind consumerists, and be mocked themselves as ungrateful addicts. Perhaps they are mutually abusive voices in an endpoint argument, or are each polyphonic embellishments of medieval chant?
Perhaps a drone is of a spiritual nature and cannot be heard in the physical world, but perhaps to hear it is the one spiritual experience available in the physical world, and reality’s way of suggesting that there is always more to existence than meets the eye, at the same time as a drone adds a pleasant undercurrent to the transient which makes it almost seem permanent. Is it the map or the territory which is the background groan?
Astrology is very old, and its habits are set. The astrologer is dependent on his habits, and because they deliver faith and hope, has no intention of changing them, let alone doing away with habit altogether. However, for as long as sentient beings have felt obliged to curb their emotions, the habits, wisdom, expertise and most tried and tested beliefs of others have been perceived as preventing them from realizing true potential–which only we can see. This we call charity.
The South looks at the North, where False Dreams are in Discrimination:
The North looks at the South, where the Covenant is in Relationship:
The covenant of the cross is not continuously visible in the North, nor are the elms at the entrance to hell in the South. Furthermore, of what value is a sky clock to a traveller with charge in her smartphone, especially one which turns backwards? How should I know? Just another thing I dreamed up, along with the map of hell and the madness of the hours, while I was respiring, photosynthesizing, drinking from the earth and resting birds here in country. Why don’t you go out one night, turn away from the Zodiac, and allow a covenant and a grove of false dreams to roam in the rooms of your disintegration? Or just absorb the energy bursting through the Lion’s Gate Portal and move on: does the astrologer pocketing his schedule of trains really care?