In making up your mind on whether to vote for or against the legalization of same-sex marriage, you will discover, if you don’t already know it, that you are either a free-radical in your social organism, and your identity and values are self-defined, or else you are an integrated part of a whole, a conservative who finds purpose in protecting and perpetuating a system you may barely understand. As a radical, you may never cease to wage all-out war on the misguided values of others, or as a conservative, you may forever be perplexed as to whether opponents are ‘lights on the hill’ or enemies, sustenance or poison. Can you love a society which marginalizes minorities? Conversely, can you accept the definition of your loving as merely another category of existence debatable in a pluralist, relativist political economy?
This chart–the Sun enters Breamlea sidereal Virgo 24 minutes before New Moon and 2.6 degrees before the Equinox–was conceived to illustrate my conception of how the signs apply in the tropics, and how the skies of North and South can reveal each other, but it also depicts a fictional context for the consideration of the interaction of love and society, one of the two extreme configurations of the intersection of the Zodiac with the Prime Vertical not witnessed in temperate climes. Only above a line connecting Sunshine Coast Airport and Meekatharra does the Vertex appear in the Ninth Meridian House, the House of Aspiration and the madness of Deprivation. In the fictional world of astrology, what differentiates the experience of people above and below this line?
I want to make this absolutely clear: I am an astrologer; I make things up. I have conjectured a connection between the way the configurations of the Milky Way change as latitude decreases in Australia and the variation of Indigenous languages, but there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Jayne and Johndro’s Electric Axis operates differently as a ‘portal to transcendence’ on either side of a line.
We live in different States of a Commonwealth, here in Australia. In geopolitical terms, as distinct from historical time-lines of self-determination, does anything distinguish the Queensland residents of Point Danger from those in New South Wales? Of course not. There is absolutely no reason to believe that a Point Danger resident, obedient to Queensland law, educated in a Queensland school, in the care of the Queensland medical system, and the daily reader of a Queensland newspaper would in any way be distinguishable from a New South Wales resident across the street.
They live in the same ‘community’, after all. But what, it is time to ask ourselves, is a community? Broader than a nuclear family, certainly, yet more localized than a religious affiliation, moiety, or extended family, how does it differ from a society, club or association? Because we do mean something special by ‘community’, don’t we? An association holds together by common interests, a club by adherence to common rules, and a society by respect for a common set of values, but a community transcends different faiths and values, and allows conflicting interests and interpretations of the law.
Can Muslims and Jews count on each other in times of need? The altruism of Emergency Service officers helping flood and bushfire victims is beyond doubt, but is it sufficient proof of community? If you found out that the man who saved your life had sent his little girl overseas for a surgical procedure on her genitals, would that affect his membership of your community? Do you belong to a community in which decisions to vaccinate children and genitally mutilate sons go either way? How does cross-dressing in kindergarten go down in your neighbourhood? Do my arbitrary and heretical definitions and interpretations disqualify me from an astrology community, or is such an entity impossible?
The Prodigal Moon is an exile from community, as we all are. However, he does belong in my cosmology to the association of minds who are troubled in the west, represented above by the oxytocin addicts of Lismore, as he crosses the Prime Vertical in precise horizontal conjunction with a semi-conscious lack of completion in mid-Acheron, the Hades River of Woe. Completion is the social end of the electric gate of transcendence which spans the Fifth and Eleventh Meridian Houses. At the other end is its affect, the disposition which both primes the sense of destiny at the Vertex and presents itself to the Other beyond control: what else but Fantasy! Community does not endorse idolatry, fantasy, delusion, convention, narcissism or cynicism, because the Other, whatever healing and restorative power fate links us to, has affect too. Yes, community knows mercy, and it knows doom. Its love is a pearl in the pigsty.
The Electric Axis is a revelation of ghosts in our closet, and of the interpretation by others of our disposition, on a sliding scale of identity with their ghosts. Its relevance to my consideration of the endorsement of same-sex marriage is my conviction that a sense of community is actually the ghost in the machine. What unites people in a community is their sense of it: it is a bottom-up entity. Love is a bottom-up entity, too. May lovers of any gender or ideology desiring to consecrate their relationship continue to be embraced in the bosom of an enhanced community oblivious to opinion and definition.
And so the month defined by the Moon proceeds into the season defined by Astronomy and the calendar month defined by Christianity. It is not midday but noon in the heart of the country when this snapshot by a prodigal tourist is taken. Have we missed our chance to form a community of Indigenous Australia and its invaders, or can recognition of the authenticity of a degree of Indigenous autonomy enable us all to transcend our society’s definition by the Constitution? We have yet to preserve heterosexuality, and where religious freedom fits with civil obedience may evolve mutual hostility that will go on forever! Will Cynicism usher us into Eternity?