NewMoon Notes April 18, 2015
Here is our NewMoon, finally coming around the bend at the end of Aries, late but not forgotten.
Right now, left brain and right brain (of the collective mind) are attempting to digest and summarize all the experiences we have gone through since Solstice, in preparation for the immanent move to the mid-spring sign of Taurus. At this cusp, the Sun has to leave behind the sign of his exaltation, while the Moon looks forward to entering hers. Additionally, current circumstances require that the NewMoon consolidate the effects of the t-square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, which is only just loosening up since Pluto began his retrograde yesterday, April 17th. We have been up to our eyeballs in these challenging energies the last few months, but now the momentum of events is set to sweep Uranus and his lightning-bolt, the “fickle finger of fate”, away from central focus and into the past. With any luck our personal energies will be relaxing too. The fight-flight-or-freeze adrenals, which are Mars’ natural cognate within the body, will be allowed to quiet down. This will help us get into a grounded and bucolic Earth-sign gear to enjoy the expansion of spring.
Mars and Mercury, both currently transiting Taurus, will be energized and enlightened by the entrance of Moon and Sun into Taurus. They need the help, because they are currently being squared by Jupiter in Leo, which seems like a distraction from the ego saying “look at me look at me look at me” a bit too much right now. Since Mars is the ruler of Aries, and he’s currently passing through his mate Venus’ sign, perhaps he can help to channel the energies that Uranus has set loose towards a specific and measurable goal, harnessing them to pull Venus’ plow. Of course I am talking about taming the aftereffects from Uranus’ past behavior here, since he won’t be leaving Aries for good until March of 2019! There will be plenty more special effects where that last bout came from, especially around Christmas of this coming year. But let me not get ahead of myself…
With Venus in Gemini and Mercury in Taurus, this is a circumstance called “mutual reception”, where two planets are simultaneously in each other’s natural homes. I don’t always mention it, but at this point it seems significant. This is happening across the Taurus/Gemini cusp, with Mars in Taurus in the middle of the conversation. Maybe Mars is listening in as the shape-shifty, androgynous and multivalent mind of Mercury is being schooled. Venus is the representative of our eternal and hallowed values, sponsor of the Good the True and the Beautiful. She is saying, “Don’t lay blame on others if momentary conditions aren’t right in your immediate environment”. Mercury in Taurus agrees, highlighting the fact that the material circumstance each of us finds ourselves in are the inevitable result of our repeated and habitual thoughts and beliefs. If you want to know where your fertile imagination is bearing fruit, look at your immediate issues and situations, the literal Taurus “facts on the ground”. Compare the reality of your tangible life with the rhetoric of your mind, your self-talk and fantasies of yourself (Gemini). If there is a gap between your ideal and your reality, between aspirational Venus in Gemini, and practical Mercury in Taurus, then you would be wise to devote these coming Taurus energies, this practical month, to closing it. Use the opportunity presented by the Sun moving through Taurus to take a realistic step forward in your mind and in your life. Do the work to redeem stuck energies out of their frozen forms, so the released potential can be devoted to solidifying your current achievements.
In this chart, there are with six celestial bodies sharing the 60º span between 9º of Aries and 9º of Gemini — that’s over half the Solar System within the span of a sextile. There is such a concentration of massed forces that it looks like a stacked slinky to me. And sure enough, within a week of this NewMoon, that slinky starts to “walk downstairs” in a beautiful symmetry of energies peeling out of this momentary knot. When the Moon enters Cancer on April 24th, there will be one or two planets per sign stretching from Uranus in Aries to Jupiter in Leo. The faster-moving bodies will have left the slower ones behind, spreading out the influences and creating a new set of interrelations. At that point, Jupiter becomes the engine of a metaphorical train, pulling 5 out of 6 of the visible planets behind him, welding them together to form his astral “tail”. This formation also will break apart and fade once the Moon leaves Cancer and outstrips Jupiter, all things must past. But for the regular observer of astrological patterns, these stages demonstrate the Solar System life that we expect to see mirrored in our local circumstances.
Modern psychological astrologers tend to liken the movements of Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus to individual mood swings and momentary private events, the subjective life of the private mind, This is contrasted to the slower moving social planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, which track the tides of the group, herd, or hive mentality. But Jacob Boehme in 1600 had a nobler understanding of the inner planets, seeing in Venus, Mercury and the Moon a set of therapeutic forces that possess a healing and harmonizing effect on the harsher, less sensitive stamp of collective demands. The message here is that the self-conscious individual can use these fast-moving transits as medicines to neutralize and mollify the fierce and implacable demands of acculturation. In particular, the degree of individuation one can achieve despite the pressure of outer influences truly depends upon our ability to leverage our mercurial curiosity, our lunar intuition and our venusian values into weapons that help us resist the crushing weight of the mass mind and its constant effort to revert us to the mean.
The practical application of this idea is we track the Moon to provide us with remedies for Saturn afflictions; we track Mercury to find remedies for Jupiter troubles; and we track Venus to learn the antidotes for Mars’ intensity. It seems like a simple enough formula, but of course the devil is in the details. Sometimes we have to wait on the planets to form a useful aspect that can open the channel between the two sides of a pair. We have to endure through the troubled times before we can ask the heavens to cut us some slack. Sometimes you can see a problem coming but you can’t do a darned thing to head it off. Other times you can see an opportunity coming but its entangled with challenging and ambivalent developments that are hitting simultaneously. It can be hard work to fend off our old habitual cliches and energetically invest in new ideas, new attitudes, new goals. But the heavens will help us if we are sincere and keep our eyes on the prize. Each one of us holds the pearl of great price in our hands, that is our birth chart and all the insights we can gain from using it as our own private “cosmic clock”.
This type of self-therapy via tracking the “astral weather” within the individual birth chart was common in the Renaissance and Reformation when Tarot was still young and gaining in profundity. The magi of the day knew the connections between the Trump Numbers and the Hebrew Alphabet, just as we do today. As the history of the esoteric lodges of Europe come out of the hidden repositories and becomes available to the scrutiny of trained historians, we will more easily bring into focus the esoteric appointments that organize our traditional, simple-seeming pack of cards.
Just to remind ourselves what this strip of Aries-to-Gemini planets would look like illustrated with a Continental Tarot pack, here is the sequence:
Uranus, Sun and Moon in Aries = Magus, Fool and Priestess in the realm of the Hierophant.
Mercury and Mars in Taurus = Star and Strength in the realm of the Lovers
Venus in Gemini = Empress in the realm of the Chariot
Farther around the circle of signs they would see
Jupiter in Leo = Emperor in the realm of the Hermit, and
Saturn in Sagittarius = Judgement in the realm of the Devil
Remember, in Tarot’s early days there was no knowledge of the Outer Planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. An astrologer of the Renaissance or Reformation looking at this chart would have seen the NewMoon squaring Jupiter, Saturn opposing Venus, and Mars conjunct Mercury in the first half of Taurus. The Magus, Death, and World cards would signify the three Mother Letters and their astral elements — the Magus as astral Air, Death as astral Water, and World as astral Fire. It strikes me as an amazing coincidence that these ancient values can be retro-fitted to our modern discovery of the invisibles. But I always want to make it clear, our ancestors were thinking alchemically in this regard, a point of view that we are only now learning to envision into our Tarot paradigm.
Just to give some hints about how to employ this arrangement from the alchemical angle of the Essential Dignities, notice what I said above regarding the Venus/Mars pair. I would think that this is a good time to let Venus lead while encouraging Mars to follow. The Mutual Reception between Venus and Mercury further empowers Venus to serve as muse and guide of her Taurus companions. Give Venus, who carries the Light of Nature, plenty of space to explore and inform the ego (the Sun) about her discoveries. Then Mars and Mercury can be her loyal camp-followers, backing her up in whatever way will best serve her needs.
Also I wouldn’t be concerned about the square between Jupiter and Mercury/Mars, because the square is the traditional teacher/student relationship that naturally obtains between the Mercury signs and the Jupiter signs in the Ladder of Lights. Furthermore, the square is the aspect that expresses the style of the planet Mars, suggesting that the presence of a challenge will heighten our awareness and force us to reach a little deeper into our willpower and drive. This can be an excellent time to seek traction for our long-term motivation, to make the blueprints for 5- and 10-year goals, and lay foundations for future prosperity.
The only real stressor in this chart would be the immediate aftermath, the week following this chart, when the Moon and then Sun are due to roll over into Taurus, each following their own timing. In doing so they both provoke an inconjunct or quincunx aspect with retrograde Saturn, who has begun heading back towards the cusp between Sagittarius and Scorpio. The quincunx aspect was considered ill-fated in European medical astrology, seen as unpredictable and stressful in a bad-luck sort of way. Nowadays we tend to read this as a paradox aspect which forces us to face our insolvable dilemmas and embrace the clash of irreconcilable opposites.
But if we look way back to the creation of the Ladder of Lights diagram in the very ancient Age of Leo, we will realize that the quincunx aspect, having the nature of the planet Saturn, calls us to our duties and obligations without concern for our preferences or wishes. We will also see that the two uprights of the Ladder of Lights are equivalent to parallel quincunxes, one summarizing what is called the Wet Way (stretching from Aquarius to Cancer), and the other summarizing the Dry Way (from Leo to Capricorn). Clearly there is more for us to learn about these subtle, internal relationship dynamics embedded in the Zodiac through the Doctrine of Essential Dignities.
In fact, the Lunar qunicunx with Saturn will be over and done within 24 hours after NewMoon. We can think of it as heightening the great sensitivity and porousness that comes over the psyche when the Moon crosses over the Sun and starts a new cycle. The Sun meanwhile, moving one degree a day, will take nearly a week to form the aspect with Saturn, though the energy will be dissipated by the end of the 25th. In the interim, it wouldn’t be amiss to be extra-conscious of our pledged responsibilities, keeping in mind that both known and unknown others depend upon us to keep our word and follow through.
The main point is to see to it that the three planets that push towards social conformity are balanced in their pairing with the three personal planets that mark our unique, individual response to life. Even if we never learn all the ins and outs of the Ladder of Lights and the Doctrine of Essential Dignities, this is still a valuable insight to apply to our lives. The Magus of Renaissance medical astrology was on a mission to balance all of these forces in their courses around the Sun, which shines from the center of the Solar System as the macrocosmic cognate for the individual heart. It is from this selfsame heart that we mobilize love and acceptance to mediate the inherent contradictions and mixed influences that we invariably encounter in this life. We moderns could benefit from embracing Boehme’s approach towards mutual integration in our lives as well. May these ideas spark a little light in the mind of the reader, opening a window on the self-healing philosophy of our esoteric ancestors.
Happy Taurus to all!
Stages of the Moon; Dates/Times for the American Northern Hemisphere
• The Present NewMoon is at 28+ Aries on Saturday, April 18th, at 2:58 PM (EDT) / 11:58 AM (PDT). From this moment, the Moon begins to wax, or increase.
• 2nd Quarter, Waxing Half Moon is at 5+ Leo on Saturday April 25, at 7:55 PM (EDT) /4:55 PM (PDT).
• FullMoon is at 13+ Scorpio on Sunday May 3rd, at 11:41 PM (EDT) / 8:41 PM (PDT). From this moment, the Moon begins to wane, or decrease.
• 4th Quarter, Waning Half Moon is at 20+ Aquarius on Monday, May 11th at 6:36 AM (EDT) / 3:36 AM (PDT) .
• The next NewMoon is at 26+Taurus across the date line of Monday May 18th, at 12:13 AM (EDT) / Sunday May 17th at 9:13 PM (PST). From this moment the Moon begins to wax, or increase.
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ArkLetter 120, April 18, 2015
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