Sunday, December 2, 2007
December begins with an interesting mutual exchange between Mercury in Scorpio and a retrograding Mars in Gemini. As these planets are not of the same camp, the energy is somewhat uncomfortable. Mars in Gemini tends to activate our desires on a mental level, and when retrograde it manifests more internally. Perhaps we are dwelling on things that aren't working quite the way we want them to, but the retrograde action might make us less likely to act -- at least until it goes stationary direct on January 30, 2008. Mercury in Scorpio likes to go deep, especially on a psychological level. It may bring up repressed issues, especially in the realms that Scorpio influences, such as the underworld, sex, death, war, and ultimately spiritual transformation; or it could bring up solutions from the deep by means of quick insight, intuitive strategy, or revolutionary research. Mercury is a fast moving planet and changes signs by December 17, 2007 when it joins Jupiter in Sagittarius at the galactic center in opposition to the retrograding Mars. At this time the insights gained during its sojourn through Scorpio might be questioned, but its position with the philosophical giant Jupiter grants the bigger picture.
New Moon December 9, 2007
The new Moon in its sign of debilitation, Scorpio, falls in the nakshatra of Jyestra. There is a nice synchronicity of themes between the Mars-Mercury exchange and this new moon in Jyestra, as Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Jyestra is ruled by Mercury. When a theme is repeated in various combinations, it is like a big arrow or exclamation point signifying an important message.
Jyestra means the "eldest" or "most senior." Some scholars suggest that originally there were only 18 nakshtras and Jyestra was the last. I believe it may also have a deeper astronomical reference, like the oldest part of our galaxy. It precedes Mula, which means "root" and the home of the galactic center. It is the last step before we come back to a rebirth at the root, or Vishnuabi, Vishnu's belly button, the center from which our entire galaxy grew (see previous posts for more on Vishnuabi).
Jyestra consists of three stars, including the bright red star Antares, which means "rival of Mars" because it was sometimes confused with the red planet. Its connection to the god of war may be in part to the energy, or shakti, conferred by this asterism: arahana shakti, the power to rise, conquer, and give courage in battle. The deity associated with Jyestra is Indra, the god of war and weather whose weapons are the thunderbolt, bow, net and hook. His most notable battle was with the asura Vritra, a terrible dragon, who stole all the water of the world for himself. After a mighty battle, Indra sliced open the asura releasing all the hoarded water, and thus he became known as a dragon slayer. The theme of snakes and dragons is also represented in Jyestra's symbol, an earring or circular talisman. Both of these objects are reminiscent of the ouroboros, a coiled snake consuming its tail, representing ideas of circularity, unity, and infinity. Another alternate symbol for this nakshatra is an umbrella, and suggests it gives shelter from the elements of rain, wind and sun -- natural forces under the command of Indra.
Astronomically Jyestra also aligns with a mass of dark dust clouds that mark the early borders of the galactic center. This Dark Rift or Serpent's mouth is part of the constellation Ophiucus, the serpent holder. Historically Ophiucus was also known as the 13th Astrological Sign. Interesting that it is also seen as the "eldest" sign in Western as well as Vedic traditions. Johannes Kepler depicted an allegorical and astronomical Ophiucus in the drawing posted above. Ophiucus is also know as the location of the last visible supernova witnessed and documented by astronomers like Kepler in 1604, at the end of the 12 baktun, and beginning of the last and 13th baktun of the Mayan Calendar that ends in 2012.
Many ancient traditions associate this area of the night sky as a significant portal to change. In the drawing from a Pictish sculpture (ancient north Britain), a snake may represent the Milky Way, with its axis marked by two phallic poles. Notice how one points down, and one points up. Could this be alluding to the ascent and descent of consciousness as defined by the Great Year?
The reference to serpent bearers, or torch bearers is also seen in the Mithraic tradition, a Roman mystery cult of warriors. Mithras was a warrior god also connected to Ophiucus. Images depict him slaying a cosmic bull surrounded by astrological symbols that reveal his power over time and the heavens. Notice the two torch bearers in the Roman fresco of Mithras slaying the cosmic bull. Their torches have replaced the phallic poles, but they mark the same place in space as the Pictish symbols.
Ancient Vedic seers recognized this place in space as a marker for shifts in consciousness. Like the solstice cycles, it marks a galactic cycle pointing to a time of darkness before the return of the light, perhaps as some 2012 enthusiasts suggest a time of shifting from Kali Yuga to Satya Yuga. See what comes up with this new moon, and release any shadow issues in preparation for a full moon that will be aligned with the galactic center and 4 other planets.
Full Moon December 23, 2007
During the Full Moon on December 23rd, the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, and Pluto with be aligned along the Milky Way axis with the full Moon and Mars in Gemini. There is a polarization of "spiritual" planets (Sun, Jupiter, Mercury) versus "willful" or emotional planets (Moon, Mars, Pluto). Where do you fall between the two? Or are you in the process of integrating these aspects of self? This full moon may reveal how our desire and will are aligned -- or not aligned-- with galactic consciousness.
The emotional energy of the Full Moon in Gemini in the nakshatra Ardra is heightened due to its conjunction with desire-driven Mars. Ardra's symbol is the human head and represents the emphasis on the mind and thinking. Its primary motivation is kama, desire, and its power is yatna shakti, or effort. Ardra is connected with intense activity, passionate thinking, enthusiasm and an urge for expansion. The combination of this Ardra Full Moon with a retrograding Mars indicates there will be a lot of thinking about what we want. And as Ardra is ruled by the planet of obsession, Rahu, we may want more than is realistically possible. A recently retrograding Saturn in Leo could bring in some disappointment if we are not aligned with "right" understanding, ie. universal energies.
Ardra consists of several of the stars of Orion, including Betelgeuse and the fixed star Sirius, which some scholars believe is a companion star to our own sun in a binary system. In a lovely rendering of channeled initiations, Virginia Essene and Irving Feurst reveal the energetic blessings of seven major stars. As conscious beings and/or spiritual masters, each star transmits wisdom and knowledge to the Earth. They describe Betelgeuse as offering the blessing of Expanded Soul Awareness and Sirius the blessings of amplified and glorified Christ Consciousness (for those of you who like me bristle at using "Christ" Consciousness, they also use Universal Love). As this full moon occurs in between the winter solstice and Christmas eve, perhaps we will glimpse the true meaning and importance of this time of year, when the Milky Way rises aligning the galactic center with our Sun.