Happy New Year!
Today, when the afternoon Sun is 18 degrees above the western horizon, the Milky Way commences its cycle of Underworld visibility. Thanks to the psychological effects of this pandemic, including disturbed sleep patterns, the Underworld is very close to the threshold of consciousness. If you take your mind off the evening news for a moment and listen carefully, you may hear the ceremonial tones of the ancestors as astronomical twilight begins in the Underworld.
If you miss it, you can listen tomorrow four minutes earlier and for four minutes longer.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis,1905.
On watch, with travelling sheep, my comrades all asleep,
Neither moon nor star illumed the summer sky:
My eyes I scarce had closed, tho’ I know I must
have dozed When a very strange procession passed me by.
First came a kangaroo, with a “swag” of blanket blue,
With a dingo, likewise loaded, for his mate ;
They saluted me and passed, saying they’d travelled rather fast.
And could not stay, as it was growing late.
An opossum and a crow sung a song,”The long ago,”
A frilled Jew lizard listened with a smile;
An emu, straying near, held his claw up to his ear.
Saying,”The prettiest song I’ve heard for quite a while”
… Just here there came a crash, as if creation had gone smash,
And leaping up I found I’d been asleep.
Twas the boss from ‘neath the cart, who woke me with a start,
Crying -“Charlie! where the blazes are the sheep ?”
From the original “Drover’s Dream”, Folkstream.com
“O Lieb auf grüner Erden.
Ich zieh’ in Krieg auf grüne Haid,
die grüne Haide, die ist so weit!
Allwo dort die schönen Trompeten blasen,
da ist mein Haus,
mein Haus von grünem Rasen!“
Woe to the Sagittarius Moon! At his highest in the Southern sky, yet can he find no human spirit to soar with him. No romantic poet remains to march us gloriously out of our past; in fact, unable or unwilling to identify with the poverty and sins of the past, regardless of where we migrated from, we have wandered aimlessly into a Google dreamtime, uninitiated. Community is a strange label for populism. Who lives in our old bark hut? Who owns our land? What are they going to do with it? We don’t know, do we? Do entrepreneurs and their propagandist administrators whose nest-feathering has betrayed our trust–sold us down the river, as it were–belong in our community?
Cheer up. Yes, Winter’s here, bringing its usual privations, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, to add to those the whole world is experiencing in lockdown, and Jupiter’s gone retrograde. But that’s no reason to be overwhelmed by self-criticism projected onto the casual judgments of those significant others sharing your retreat from the cold. You are not a waste of your birthright if you have been doing what you were supposed to do, and even if you haven’t, isn’t that what you were supposed to do? Who in the visa queue dares know the contribution to carbon emissions justified by the urgent need to conjure their birth country in an eternal present?
The conventional Sign lumped on Sagittarius is partly right. Natives can tend towards withdrawal and melancholy, but not because of single-minded ambition to surmount arduous conditions, rather because their imagination is enthralling. They might actually achieve very little for that reason. Well might you label them prodigal, and deplore their self-absorption and waste of talent. However, at this time of year we all appear to be in Sagittarius, which ought to inspire some circumspection.
Authenticity has people by the tail, provoking narcissistic condemnation of inertia. To whom does it matter whether the Centaur represents an archer with a bead on the Scorpion, or a brew of tea? Is it not just a bunch of invisible stars? What does an implied Pleistocene fascination with the Milky Way matter under a washed-out sky? The morbid anxiety exuded by a prodigal Underworld is dreadfully infectious! Come out! Be someone! Be remembered! Do something! Psst, whispers the Prodigal, shouldn’t you be wondering what you will meet this side of the Acheron? What irrelevant self do you leave back there? No wonder that the ferryman disdains your obol, this desecrated planet, your millions of unhallowed dead. Why do you keep returning here? Welcome to country, he says.
Aquarius New Moon, Artisan Moon, Cardinal Directions, Convention, Forgetting, Full Earth in Virgo, Gender, Identity, Lethe, Milky Way, Sexism, Sexual Misconduct, Southern Hemisphere Astrology, Toxic Masculinity., Wanderer
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust. Shakespeare, Fidele’s Dirge.
The Autumn horoscopes of Virgo personalities devoured by Southern Hemisphere commuters born in Spring are beyond rational understanding, but there is no stronger influence on human behaviour than confirmation bias, and I am not butting my head against it. So let it stand for the moment that this year the first Moon of Northern Hemisphere Spring, pivotal in the lives of Christian believers, is born in the Sign of Pisces and culminates immediately before Easter in the Sign of Libra. It has remained a convention among European invaders of the South for 500 years. The fact remains that the astrological romance of each Moon’s journey from inspiration to realization is complicated by the journey of the Sun: the first realization of the Full Moon as it dramatises its Opposition is that the Sun has moved on, and navigation is ambiguous in the shoals of memory, as any expatriate visiting ‘home’ will attest. Convention is not mere habit, but the fabrication of a new chapter in the same story, a contest of intuition and language, memory and awareness, success and defeat. One person’s affluence is another’s deprivation. One person’s ritual self-discovery is another’s defilement. Convention is a truce.
But can the truce hold? When the Moon elected to worship the Sun Goddess as a man, he neglected the resilience of convention, and must now admit some culpability for a worldwide resentment among women towards his mansplaining. He meant to portray himself as subordinate to the coordinating power of female creativity, but deep in the brainstem from whence he drew his interpretations of gender there did lurk an urge to power. The ambiguity of his reflected outshining was tainted by denial that he was underplaying a primeval contest, and that he might represent just another patriarch with 27 concubines. Was there not a caricature of triumph in the metaphor of dragging Goddesses by the hair out of their Underworld hill caves to worship his worship? Even if all experience is the crocodile speaking, relationship is a more serious issue than this.
One person’s instinct is another’s reason. As previously explored, the alignment of the ancestors in a straight line passing directly overhead has two configurations: one associated by indigenous custom with the mystery of male initiation, and the other labelled idiosyncratically as the Wanderer, a possible celebration of gender difference locked into the progressive possibilities of iconoclasm emerging from the Underworld River of Lethe. Perhaps this moment, visible in complete darkness in the first quarter of the year, might be the birth of a New Moon with a difference, deriving his trajectory not from Goddess worship, but from self-worship among the ambiguous roots of identity in the somatic soup of retrospection.
Thus might the Moon be relegated to the ranks of those who dangerously deal their own cards, resentment and victimization be revealed as premeditated, and interpretation of selfhood dare to contradict convention. Meanwhile, he seems in the South to have fallen right way up out of the frying-pan of Pisces into the fire of Virgo.
What it all boils down to is, in attempting to give personality to the Moon, I have landed him with the same problem we persons all have to deal with: how to get inside another’s mind, indeed how to get inside our own without an objective system of meanings such as astrology which infers that another can get in there.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan’s prescient lines, you were kidding me, you weren’t really from the farm, and I told you later as you tore out my eyes, that I never really meant to do you any harm. Perhaps we must leave it at that. Own your conventions and their ancestral languages, and let no Goddess need recourse to claims of being framed, or farmed. And yes, rejoice in any unconventional primal resurgence of the cardinal directions, especially their upsidedown-ness, and let us hope that our subscription to their metacortical experience does not inadvertently expire.
Altruism, Astral Attributes, Australia Day, Bardo, Cancer Moon, Forgetting, Healer Moon, Healing, Idealism, Indigenous Seasons, Invasion Day, Kyrie, Milky Way, Praesepe, Precession, Southern Cross, Southern Tropical Aquarius, Tropical Leo
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Capricorn Moon, Confidence, Country, Cynicism, Drone, Emptiness, Eternity, Gender-Fluidity, Hero, Iconoclast, Idolater, Mansions, Milky Way, Newman, Oxytocin, Romance, The Force, Tropic of Capricorn, Tropics Astrology, Vanity, Vertex, Warrior
“We navigate a passage through a jagged archipelago of partly submerged questions upon the raft of language.“ Kevin Brophy, “Shame-Job“, Meanjin, Winter, 2019.
“The power of incompetence may be one of the most inscrutable phenomena of the modern political age, but it certainly works.
Why else would a man like Boris Johnson feign it so carefully?” Annabel Crabb.
At first glance, the Drone seems to enjoy a privileged position: he is simply required to impregnate Women. They will take care of the rest, with the aid of the Hive. They will connect with other Women to form communities, within which they will raise the children, for whom Daddy will be a frightful imagination of Otherness. The Prodigal left; the Drone elects a life sentence. Diploid children are welcomed by the Sisterhood as relief for any of their three full-time jobs, food gathering, child raising and home maintenance, but haploids are a nuisance. Their demand of equality has always been a problem, but in recent times, when more and more haploids have been affecting to be diploid, that demand has become a real problem. Diploids are workers, not shirkers.
‘Meaning’ is all too often regarded as drawing a statistical line through difference. Actually, the term ‘meaning’ should be restricted to references to romance’s opportunity for a new basis for personality, a new mean of identity, a new origin, and a new incarnation of the Force. A Girl needs to learn what it means to have haploids and diploids in Her class, and how to deal with both. A Boy needs to learn to navigate in order to congregate, and must overcome the fear of losing his balance and turning himself inside out.
The Drone, or haploid Male, until stimulated by a sunset yearning which floods the west with Her oxytocin, dwells in the Underworld, asylum for the Hive’s superfluous ones, or so it feels when He is accustomed to sunset rising and other upside down signs of an opposite existence. Bathed in Her oxytocin, the Drone is frantic for a meaning–although on the wrong side of the history of that term–to the fusion of opposites at the Vertex whose power (in the Force) safeguards his redundancy. Of course, being haploid is a competitive thing. Once the Sun has gone to the Underworld She may be in the habit of craving humour rather than dependability, and a Drone’s repertoire is limited to one shot. Furthermore, the Force evolves. It really is the case that She seeks salvation of a different order as She gets older. What did you imagine those endless safaris into the Tropics were about?
Washing out the Emu of a Warrior sky, the Drone finds himself this time within a degree of Deneb Algedi, who, like a goat’s mouth (seen in the northern sky) isn’t fussy about what congregation She gets into. And so the Vertex and its opposite evolve towards death without God or Heaven, and Nirvana, like oxytocin, has no real existence in the eternal release from the wheel of rebirth and suffering which is ordained by the Force. The Drone joins the congregation in the Tropics, where Eternity always becomes Permanence because Cynicism always becomes Idolatry. This is serious stuff, where adults beyond transport grids seek to exchange transferable tickets to unlimited travel.
By what mechanism did the Drone find His way at the precise moment of His brightest shining to this place, which if it did not exist, would have to be invented, where the Zodiac, arcing directly overhead from due East to due West, and the Milky Way, arcing in a straight line from North-east to South-west, form a crossroad directly over an observer’s head. In little more than three minutes–how accurately the time of birth must be recorded on the Tropic of Capricorn around 18:00 Local Apparent Sidereal Time–the Anti-vertex has whipped from idolatry in the Tenth House through fantasy, delusion, convention, narcissism and finally cynicism high above in the House of the intellect. No wonder the Drone needs the heroism of His ultimate journeys constantly rehearsed. And no wonder it is! His deaths in the mansion of Deneb Algedi number in the millions and have required of His mystique absolutely everything.
Flight, heroic journey, mystery lover, significant other? Around and around we go, echoes of madness in the Bardo of a queen’s Spermatheca. The Zealot, you may notice, always narrows himself into the correct precedence, and bullies have always been the socialities most easily socialized: next year, mate, you can be the Drone’s survivor, as you always were.
The Force is other than country. On my country, the phases of ancestry are synchronous with the six moments of the Milky Way, the values of the stars are devices of the poetry of landscape, and the cycle of Full Moons is a music of heroic impotence. The Force, meanwhile, is where my country loses its emptiness, where there is no when to be absent from, and where I am nothing but inscrutable purpose in an instant of virtual forgetting, like the flight of a Drone.
“Forget all these pious denunciations of populism from progressive politicians. When figures like Khan use such grotesquely exaggerated moral categories to denounce Trump, they are promoting extremism more effectively than anyone else.” Greg Sheridan.
“And if everyone is anti-racist and anti-sexist, you have to really be strongly anti-racist and anti-sexist to get more points.” Jonathan Haidt.
For some strange reason, June is a time of dissatisfaction. Aligned according to preference as to whether it is poetry or pleasure that is not enough, everyone is declamatory. It is as though to the boor preening her preeminent progressivity the Moon could not make the timing of his fullness at the Galactic Centre more self-evident.
Whereas for most of us the Constellations are a backdrop to lunar motion, the zealot has a tendency to take things literally, project his borrowed and reified concepts onto a cosmology to which he expects unquestioned adherence by anyone with half a brain, and in eliding perspective, miss altogether the relative meaning which that other peculiar human being, the natural scientist, has given to the celestial spectacle since the Stone Age, namely the lapse of time.
The Gates of God and Man have absolutely nothing to do with the Signs or Seasons. They are the intersections of Ecliptic and Galactic Plane, and have occupied the Constellations of Sagittarius and Gemini since before their invention, some twelve thousand years ago, when axial precession was revealing its intention to turn the Seasons upside down. The Gate of God is called Woe, where the soul crosses the Acheron. It coincided with the Southern Summer Solstice in 1998. Jupiter at opposition, vacillating, obsesses with it every 83 years, last in 1960, next in 2043, although you could infer powerful dreaming from its retrograde hesitancy this year. Jupiter will cross on December 4. The Full Sun crosses at Southern Litha, in 2019 seven hours after Solstice on December 22.
The Gate of Man is called Forgetting, where the Ecliptic crosses the Lethe, which may or may not be the portal to reentry into the phenomenal world by the departed. It might simply be the spawning ground of socialist zealots. The New Sun crosses on June Solstice Day. As for Jupiter, the last time it was at opposition at the Gate of Man was December 1977, and the next will be December 2060. I am confident that by then, no Australian zealot will refuse to sing the words of this new and improved national anthem:
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are strong and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare
In herstory’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia, yair
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia, yair!
Certainly, born in 1948, Abliq won’t, hypochondria notwithstanding. In the meantime, I hope you catch the close conjunction of Mars and Mercury in evening twilight tomorrow, and with clear skies on June 30, both the last appearance of the Morning Star and the evening twilight end of the 2017-19 Mars apparition: so endeth the Southern Year, and beginneth another, yair!