Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Healing the Waters with Loving Prayers through Alchemical Mercury

Masaru Emoto has organized a global prayer event - a special Water Ceremony for the waters at the nuclear plants Japan. This Thursday, March 31,2011 at 12pm in each time zone. Please send your prayers of love and gratitude to water at the nuclear plants in Fukushima, Japan. Dr. Emoto suggests this prayer:

The water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, we are sorry to make you suffer. Please forgive us. We thank you, and we love you.

Please check out the full post on the amazing stellar line up supporting this event at Starsyncs. It is truly a special moment in time. Namaste!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Astroweather -- Mercury Retrograde

The 2011 Mercury retrograde cycle is about to begin on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 when the Winged Messenger slows down and appears to change course and focus. From our vantage point on Earth, Mercury, which is only visible just before sunrise or just after sunset, travels in a forward direction most of the time. But three or four times a year, it appears to stop and reverse making a small loop across the skies. Of course Mercury really isn't going backwards. It's an optical illusion based on the relative speeds and orbits of the Earth and Mercury around the Sun.
Astrologers love to analyze and discuss Mercury retrograde cycles. Perhaps because Mercury rules astrology, its effects are a popular topic in astrological blogs, magazines, and columns. The public's fascination with it may be due to its rulership over some of the most important aspects of modern life: communication, writing, education, technology, markets, commerce, movement, and travel. When Mercury goes retrograde, communication, travel, and computers seem to go awry. Binding agreements such as contracts and online transactions are subject to delays and overlooked details arise that will require time-consuming edits, corrections, and rewrites. Astrologers advise us to avoid beginning new projects or dealing with any form of technology when Mercury, the winged Messenger, Teacher, and Trickster, begins his retrograde dance. But is it really that bad?

As I discussed in a previous post, Mercury retrograde seems to trigger right brain activity that brings us back to the present moment, and sets aside the plotting and planning for the future that occurs in left brain activity.

During a Mercury retrograde period our experience of the external world temporarily shifts as we encounter obstacles in communication, travel, and expression. These snags are meant to slow us down and make us look at things from a different perspective. Many astrologers suggest this is a great time to complete old tasks, to pay attention to dreams and messages bubbling up from our subconscious, to turn our focus inward, and one might say to turn on the right brain. Our culture tends to be very left brain with its schedules and deadlines, and it doesn’t easily accommodate a cycle of introspective reflection and re-evaluation. But it is through our right brain that we distinguish the transient from the eternal, the truth from illusions. The left brain discriminates names and forms and can easily get caught in the illusion of the external, sensory world. Under the influence of Mercury retrograde it is easier to access the wisdom of the right brain which allows us to review our left brain attachments, identify mistakes, and eventually move forward with the truth. Mercury retrograde is a gift of balance, an opportunity to correct our course in alignment with the divine.

Mercury retrograde is part of a bigger Mercury cycle that takes 116 days to complete. As the innermost and smallest planet of our solar system, Mercury orbits the Sun at a swift pace of 88 days. From our perspective on Earth it does not make the 360 degree aspects like the outer planets. Instead it forms a single conjunction and single opposition with the Sun during each 116 day cycle. It does this three times over the course of a year forming what some mystics describe as a six-pointed star. Just as the Venus carves out a pentagram around the Earth during its 5 retrograde periods in 8 years, Mercury also inscribes a hexagram during its 3 retrograde periods in 1 year. Although its geometry is not as defined as the Venus pentagram, the Mercury hexagram is also a hidden symbol in alchemical traditions. The interlocking triangles symbolize the union of the two principles or forces, the active and passive, male and female, pervading the universe. (Might it also also be interpreted as the balance of right and left brain?)

Notice the six-pointed star on this Renaissance portrait of Mercury.

UPDATE: from Tracy R. Twyman: Of note here is an electrochemical effect called even by modern chemists the “Beating Heart of Mercury,” which is produced when an iron nail touches a glob of liquid mercury. This causes the glob to pulse, and at times form the shape of a hexagram, the “Seal of Hermes.” This effect would have been known to the alchemists of old.

During a retrograde period Mercury slows down and appears to pause, reverse direction, and disappear behind the Sun in combustion. Like the mythological Phoenix, it rises from the ashes and reappears in the morning sky as a transformed figure. Ancient Greeks had two names for Mercury: Apollo in the morning sky, and Hermes in the evening, sky -- just as they had two names for Venus: the morningstar was called Lucifer (the light bearer) and the evening star Hesperus (setting in the West). Retrograde cycles of the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) were viewed by ancient sky watchers as part of a vast shamanic process, and their meaning was captured in the sacred geometry of their orbits -- the Pentagram of Venus and the Hexagram of Mercury.

Mercury retrograde always begins with Mercury in the evening position. During the middle of its 20-24 day retrograde it makes an inferior conjunction with the Sun during where it undergoes a purification or alchemical process initiated by the great luminary. As it separates from the Sun, Mercury returns, or is reborn, to the morning sky. Anywhere between 9-15 days after this inferior conjunction it turns direct. About a week later it reaches its greatest distance from the Sun and begins to pick up speed as it heads for its superior conjunction when its speed matches the Sun as it returns to its evening position ready to start the process over and over again.

It is the quality of quickening that has given Mercury its speedy reputation, and has made it a namesake for the element of Mercury, i.e quicksilver, the key ingredient in alchemy. As the only metal that is a liquid state at room temperature, Mercury was readily used by alchemist because it easily fused with other metals. Similarly the planet Mercury is said to take on the quality and influence of other planets associated with it. The element Mercury was believed to transcend the liquid and solid states just as the planet Mercury was thought to transcend life/death and heaven/earth in its retrograde process.

In the alchemical tradition Mercury was considered a key ingredient of the philosopher's stone, the magical element that changed lead into gold. The transmutation of metals was a metaphor for an inner potential of the spirit and reason to evolve from a lower state of imperfection (lead) to a higher state of enlightenment and perfection (gold). In this view, spiritual elevation, the transmutation of metals, and the purification and rejuvenation of the body were seen to be manifestations of the same concept. Thus Mercury is the catalyst that can transmute the lead of ignorance into the gold of enlightenment.

Mercury is called Budha in Sanskrit, meaning intelligence or cognition that as westerners we might correlate with brain activity of the sensory and cognitive mind. Buddhi is the ability to discern the real from the unreal, and I would say includes the brain and heart, the body's seat of consciousness. The sacred geometry of the anahata, the heart chakra, which radiates the color green associated with Mercury, has hexagram at its center. In astrological traditions, the Sun rules the heart which is seen as the seat of the soul; whereas Mercury rules the brain, which is the primary organ of the senses and the cognitive mind. When the polarity of the brain finds balance, as symbolized by the hexagram, then the soul radiates a beautiful green light from the heart chakra and can travel up the Sushumna to connect with higher realms outside of sensory dimensions. Mercury's dance around the Sun reflects periods when its ability to discern the truth from sensory impressions is heightened, and symbolically aligns the cognitive mind, the buddhi, with the atma in the heart. Astrologically when Mercury makes its inferior and superior conjunctions with the Sun, it is considered combust, or burned up. It is rendered powerless to think and discern; but Mercury is mutable and can use the heat to surrender and transform its heavy materialistic thinking to understanding the higher reality of the Sun. Periods of retrograde and direct motion integrate right and left brain activity at these conjunction points.

2011 Mercury Retrograde Cycles
March 30, 2011 - April 23, 2011
August 2 - 26, 2011
November 24, 2011 - December 13, 2011

In 2011 two of the three retrograde periods will commence in gandanta degrees of fire signs and retrograde back into water signs, the third will occur solely in a water sign. Last year's Mercury retrograde cycle began and ended in the element of fire. In a previous post, it was unsettling to see how many cataclysmic events involving fires were ignited during each retrograde period in 2010. Only the last one fell in critical gandanta degrees of fire and water.

Gandanta is traditionally described as an inauspicious position causing misery to the area of influence of the planet. In this case Mercury, the ruler of communication, commerce, movement, and travel will be the pivotal player in an unfolding karmic drama. In Sanskrit gand means knot, or node, and anta means end. It refers to the juncture between water and fire, in particular last 3 degrees of a water sign, and first three degrees of a fire sign -- at the three distinct junctions: Pisces (Revati)- Aries (Aswini), Cancer (Ashlesha)- Leo (Magha), and Scorpio (Jyeshta)- Sagittarius (Mula).

When planets travel through gandanta positions, they take on a special power to unravel knots of karma and move on to the next level. If a planets falls in the last three degrees of water sign, it is completing an old cycle; if it falls in the first three degree of a fire sign is beginning a new cycle. When planets undergo retrograde patterns through gandanta degrees the opportunity to address these karmic knots is amplified as the planet grinds over these critical degrees three times. Moreover, as Mercury rules the nakshatras of the last three degrees of each water sign, it may have more significant power, or an ability to speed up the process of releasing the binds of the past than other planets passing through gandanta degrees. Ketu rules the nakshatras of the first degrees of each fire sign and its own strange illumination dissolves any illusion surrounding these knots. Bepin Behari writes that Ketu "brings the dawn of intuitive understanding of the essential nature of things." As the harbinger of this primordial creative force, Ketu's energy may trigger unexpected shifts that appear chaotic at the early gandantic degrees of fire signs, but are necessary steps to the next level.

Next week Mercury will station at 0 degrees Aries on March 30, 2011 and will retrograde to 18 degrees Pisces, before returning to the 0 degrees Aries mark on May 11, 2011 along with Venus and Jupiter also at 0 degrees Aries. As most of this retrograde will occur in a water sign, it seems likely that Mercury will have an opportunity to reassess and disentangle some old karmic knots in its area of astrological dominion before it can truly begin anew in Aries.

For the past three weeks Mercury has been transiting its sign of debilitation, Pisces. When Mercury transits a sign ruled by Jupiter, it becomes more connected to these higher realms, while its lower mundane functions suffer and lose focus. During Mercury's passage through Pisces the world has witnessed one of the worst catastrophe's of human history -- a destructive act of nature (water) that was exacerbated by our own hubris around nuclear energy (fire).

In this age of global communication, news of the earthquake and tsunami spread rapidly and was covered by the news media as well as by social media sites. However, accurate assessments of the resultant nuclear catastrophe were not as forthcoming, and in some cases held back by the corporations running the nuclear power plants. In spite of initial reports that minimized the radiation leaks, alarmists warnings were posted all over the internet. The uncertainty about the truth and seriousness of the situation heightened concern that was expressed as both reality-based fear and fear-mongering. It became crystal clear that nuclear power is not as safe as we were lead to believe and that no one seemed to know what to do about it. Mercury in Pisces allows us to see the big picture of our addiction to toxic energy, but the details of how we fix it are far from certain.

Last year the BP oil spill occurred during a Mercury retrograde period, and like this year's catastrophe, original assessments were minimized. It also sparked discussion of the need for clean energy and environmentally sound production. Deep sea oil drilling was briefly suspended, but to date nothing has really changed. The karmic residue of the BP oil spill has not been completely resolved. Mercury in Pisces has revealed that new leaks are being reported in the Gulf of Mexico, while deep sea drilling contracts are still being awarded -- to BP under the guise of Noble Energy. Did I mention Mercury rules thieves and liars. Under this upcoming retrograde we may see more headlines exposing lies and misinformation conjured up by big corporations and government officials.

Mercury will station and briefly pause 0 degrees Aries spending a day in the first fire gandanta and sign of the zodiac. The fiery quality of Aries imbues Mercury with quick wit, inventive and pioneering ideas, and fast mind. But fire can also burn out a sensitive nervous system making one nervous, hyper, and difficult to calm down. The next day it returns to the water gandantic degrees of Pisces in a nakshatra ruled by Mercury, Revati. As you can imagine rolling back and forth over the water-fire junction may bring things to a boil and release some built up steam. I would not be surprised if another water-fire event is triggered.

And as Mercury stations and reverses direction back into Pisces, its debilitation will be cancelled by its retrograde motion. In truth the debilitation is not fully cancelled, but rather the mutable water sign does not produce as many negative effects on Mercury. In Vedic astrology a retrograde planet is interpreted at being more powerful, especially on the days that it stations, so Mercury retrograde can also be viewed as a time of sharpened insight. How we experience a retrograde period is different depending on whether our natal charts have retrograde planets (if we are left-brain or right-brain oriented), or where the retrograde planet transits our natal charts. By knowing when the planets start to go retrograde, it is possible to be prepared to utilize the shifting energy effectively.

Perhaps the most fruitful use of Mercury retrograde is to make time for reflection. Slow down and review the past few months' mercurial activity. For example, it is an excellent time to complete unfinished projects, or correct things that were not done right the first time. If you are involved in the business world, it is wise to back up files and make copies as Mercury retrograde can interrupt the smooth flow of information. A retrograding Mercury also influences thinking, and allows us to focus inward. Dream work and meditation may be more profound, and bring up things we have forgotten, or unfinished business on a psycho-spiritual level. Vedic astrology uses remedial measures, called upayas, like mantra, gemstones and yantras to balance these energies and the karma they bring. Retrograde planets may also function to fulfill a karmic debt or promise, or to clear up things from the past. One must take a step backward in order to go forward later. It is a great time to clear away karmic clutter. And most of all it's a wonderful time to meditate, to bring the left and right brain into balance, and to leave the sensory world of the mind for the truth held in the sacred space of the heart.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Spring! And Holi!

Vernal Equinox, March 20, 2011 at 4:21 PDT.

This year the Vernal Equinox heralds the first day of spring on March 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm PDT. The term equinox originates from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because at the equinox the hours of daylight and night are equally long. As the Sun crosses the celestial equator on the Vernal Equinox, day and night are momentarily equal and balanced. The spring equinox is one of the four great solar turning points of the year: spring equinox, summer solstice, fall equinox, and winter solstice. The solstices mark the most and the least daylight in any given year, whereas the equinoxes mark momentary equilibrium of light and darkness, or Yin (dark) and Yang (light).

In Taoist philosophy the Winter Solstice is considered the most Yin day of the year, and the Summer Solstice is the most Yang. The Equinoxes are tipping points in that the light (yang) is increasing (spring) or decreasing (autumn). These four points are illustrated in the hexagrams of the I-Ching, the Book of Changes. Winter is associated with 2 K'un/The Receptive (six broken bars - most yin), Summer with 1 Ch'ien/The Creative (six solid bars -- most yang), Spring with 11 T'ai/Peace and Autumn with 12 P'I/Standstill. The hexagram T'ai denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth.

The trigram of heaven (yang) is placed beneath the trigram of the earth earth (yin), and their powers unite in deep harmony. Its meaning: Heaven exists on earth for those who maintain correct thoughts and actions. . . By maintaining your focus on moving upward toward light, clarity, and purity you can reach great heights. Like a seedling pushing through the soil, up and around obstacles, its shoots reaching upwards toward the light, we too may focus on new growth and goals for the new year. Use the equilibrium of the Spring equinox to bring T'ai/Peace to the heart so that clear intentions are projected in accordance with heaven. What is planted now will come to fruition at the Autumnal Equinox.

All across the world, the Spring Equinox marks the beginning of a new year, the return of life. It's the time of year when the planting begins, when people and animals come outside more enjoy the fresh air, and when we all reconnect with the earth again after the long, cold winter. Festivals celebrating the renewal of life include Ostara, Easter, Passover, and Holi.

This year the Hindu festival of Holi begins with the full moon on March 19, 2011. Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is a springtime celebration associated with abundance and renewal that welcomes spring. It is celebrated by playfully throwing colored powder and water on friends and family.

The colors of Holi represent the blooming flowers of love and nature, and mirror the joyfulness of the season. This celebration of the Colors of Unity & Brotherhood is an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun. It has traditionally been celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex. By sprinkling gulai, colored powder or colored water on each other, all barriers of discrimination are blurred and everyone looks the same. Universal brotherhood is reaffirmed.

Holi commemorates a legend involving an evil king named Hiranyakashipu who forbade his son Prahlad from worshiping Vishnu. When he realized that his son ignored his order, Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his wicked aunt the demon Holika who was believed to be immune to fire. Prahlad accepted the challenge and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived without a scar to show for it. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. According to some accounts, Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her demise, and he decreed that she would be remembered every year at Holi.

Bonfires are lit for Holi that symbolize the victory of good over evil and the triumph of light over darkness. The Sun has just slipped into the nakshatra Uttara Bhadrapada. As I mentioned in my previous post, this this lunar mansion is paired with Purva Bhadrapada and together they are known as the "scorching pair" and are depicted by a funeral pyre. It consists of two stars, Pegasi and Andromedae which form the two legs of the back part of a funeral bed. Uttara Bhadrapada signifies the release of bondage, the release of kundalini, the release of life through death, and ultimately resurrection to one's true self. I'm sure it is no coincidence that the colorful and fiery festival of Holi occurs under the full moon of these nakshatras.

This year many Holi celebrations are being toned down in honor of those suffering from the aftermath of last week's massive earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan. It is an interesting theme of surviving the fire through faith. Perhaps Holi should be celebrated as a demonstration of unity for our Japanese brothers and sisters. I can't help but think that this Holi may be more significant since we have begun the Universal Underworld of the Mayan Calendar, as interpreted by Carl Johan Calleman. It is time for us to see all the colors that connect us, and release and heal the shadows that divide us.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Ninth Wave and Earth Changes

After I heard that Japan's Meteorological Agency upgraded the magnitude of Friday's catastrophic earthquake from 8.8 to 9.0, I immediately thought of the interesting synchronicity of the number 9 with the 9th level of the Mayan Calendar, the Universal Underworld, that began on the 9th of March 2011. As I discussed in my last post, Carl Johan Calleman suggests a different end date to the Mayan calendar based on the Nine Underworlds and Thirteen Heavens model of the evolution of consciousness. According to Calleman:

The rhythm of the Universal Underworld is then a nine-day climb of increasing intensity starting on March 9, 2011 followed by a descending intensity for the next eighteen (9+9) days until a new descent begins of eighteen (9+9) days. We will then have to learn to ride this wave in order to ultimately climb to the top of the pyramid to be able to witness the appearance of Bolon Yokte Ku in “his” full regalia.

Since March 9th solar flares, earthquakes, tsunami's and threat of nuclear meltdown have dominated the news. Riding this wave has been an intense experience. And the wave may not have crested yet! (Update: Click here for Calleman's perspective on the 9th Wave and Japan earthquake.) One of the charts that I did not include in my last analysis was the event chart for the start date of the 9th Level, the Universal Underworld: March 9, 2011. This chart may hold some clues to the archetypal themes that we will be dealing with until the completion of the cycle on October 28, 2011.

As I discussed in my previous post, the difficulty about creating an event chart for Calleman's dates is that we do not have a specific time or astronomical alignment like a solstice to consider. According to the Vedas, the Sun is the Atma, the Self of all the Universe. As the Nine Underworlds represent the evolution of consciousness, it makes sense to use an event chart set at sunrise, the literal time when the Sun is awakening. A sunrise chart may represent the evolution of the Self of all the Universe. I have set the chart at the sacred Mayan city of Palenque.

At sunrise on March 9, 2011 the sign of Aquarius, called Kumbha in Sanskrit, was rising on the horizon imprinting its energy on the earth through the Sun and Mars. Kumbha means "pitcher" and Aquarius is represented by the archetype of the Water-Bearer who generously pours the divine waters of soma, the divine nectar of immortality, upon humanity. As Aquarius is an air sign, this water refers to the cosmic life force or prana, which like earthly water, can be used to purify and cleanse on an energetic and spiritual level. Mars is the karaka for energy, and issues about energy may be associated with the birth of the Universal Underworld. According to some astrologers like Gary Gomes, Mars can also be the driving force behind enlightenment. Saturn's rulership of this fixed air sign gives humbling lessons that break down the ego of the individual self. By releasing the self from its illusion of separation from the divine, the Aquarian impulse inspires selfless acts that benefit humanity and helps us to see our Oneness with the Universe -- not a bad ascendant for the dawn of the Universal Underworld!

The nakshatra associated with the Universal Underworld chart is Purva Bhadrapada. Purva means "earlier" and Uttara means "latter". There are three sets of nakshatras that are paired: Purva/Uttara Phalguni, Purva/Uttara Ashada, and Purva/Uttara Bhadrapada. All three of these nakshatras are represented with symbols of beds indicating areas of relaxation, healing, and sometimes death, as in the case of Purva Bhadrapada. Purva Bhadrapada and Uttara Bhadrapada make up the four legs of the funeral bed.

When combined with the next nakshatra, Uttara Bhadrapada, they form the "scorching" or "burning" pair, as in a funeral pyre. Moreover, Jupiter and Mercury were both in Uttara Bhadrapada in the sign of Pisces completing the end of the funeral bed. Thus the rising sign of the Ninth Underworld indicates themes of death and completion. These nakshatras are also known for their fiery energy that is used to inspire universal goals that uplift humanity. The deity associated with this nakshatra is Aja Ekapada, the one footed goat or unicorn which is related to Rudra, the god of storms. Its power is yajamana vdyamana shakti: the ability to give fire to raise a spiritual person up in life. The fire of these nakshatras burns away illusion which may be a fast, sudden and painful process on the way to enlightenment.

And the Universal Underworld certainly began with a fiery bang: a powerful solar flare. According to Spaceweather.com earth-orbiting satellites detected an X1.5-class explosion from sunspot 1166 around 23:23 UT. They denied that a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was released, but did report that "after four years without any X-flares, the sun has produced two of the powerful blasts in less than one month: Feb. 15th and March 9th. This continues the recent trend of increasing solar activity, and shows that Solar Cycle 24 is heating up." Well the next day on March 10, 2011 a CME did hit the Earth's magnetic field on March 10th around 0630 UT. Click here for more.

When the Sun emits a coronal mass ejection (CME) and it travel on solar winds towards the earth, most of the plasma bounces off the earth's magnetic field. But still a good amount of highly charged particles get caught and pulled into the field and release a huge amount of energy into the geomagnetic network. The ionosphere becomes charged and emits the northern lights of the aurora borealis at the poles. These light show the fluctuating magnetic meridians which may carry the Sun's particles to the center of the Earth recharging the core.

Although scientists may disagree, there is evidence of increased seismic activity during impacts of large CMEs. Thus this X-class solar flare may have also triggered shifts in the earth's crust and magma flows that lead to the 9.0 earthquake in Japan followed by increased volcanic activity. (Update: Check out the increased worldwide seismic activity on March 9, 2011 at Nunki.nl,9) The fire element of the Sun literally leaped towards the earth on solar winds and charged the magnetic fields which are connected to the earth's molten iron core. Our bodies also have magnetic fields, and they are susceptible to these high energy shifts too. How has your own inner core reacted this week. Did you have a melt down, or did you feel energized? Moreover, the displaced ocean water released from the shifting ocean floor became the massive tsunami that destroyed coastal cities, knocked out the power grid, and left nuclear reactors without energy to cool their cores. The influence of "scorching pair" indeed.

As Saturn rules the rising sign of Aquarius, its placement indicates the outcome of this event chart and Underworld cycle. In this chart Saturn is retrograde in the sign of Virgo, the nakshatra of Hasta, and placed in the 8th house of death and transformation. Virgo is a mutable earth sign which rules over practical and detailed thinking. The earth element brings stability to the mind, and skill to the hands. The constellation of Virgo, latin for virgin or maiden, is symbolized by a harvest goddess holding a sheath of wheat.

This wheat sheaf represents the fixed star Spica which she dropped to form the Milky Way, and symbolizes Virgo connection to natural cycles of growth. Wheat is subject to an unending cycle: the seed, fruit, and then the harvested kernels. Thereafter, it returns to the earth to grow again. Behari writes: The impulse flowing through this sign represents the feminine aspects of nature undisturbed by other influences. The impulse at this stage produces an electrified field which is neither active nor passive. This undisturbed and pure energy is the divine hidden deeply in matter, like the potential energy packed in a seed waiting its trigger to express its divinity at harvest time.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Virgo mark the direction toward the center of the Universe. There is also new evidence that in addition to a Galactic Center of our own galaxy, there is also a grand Universal axis called the Central Axis situated towards the stellar fields of Virgo. In their search to understand the origin of the universe, astrophysicists have been studying the afterglow of the big bang called Cosmic Background Radiation, or CBR.

Instead of an undiscernable, random pattern, Kate Land and Joao Magueijo at Imperial College London noticed an unexpected alignment of hot and cold spots in the CBR in 2005 that resembles the taiji, mystical union of yin and yang from which according to ancient taoists the universe was born.

Carl Johan Calleman believes that the Mayan Calendar tracks these evolutionary waves from this center or World tree of Virgo. We are bathed in transformative bursts of star waves from both our galactic and universal trees which may all sync up at the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Thus it seems significant to me that Virgo is also the constellation from where many recent comets are originating. Historically astrologers have described comets as evil omens, heralding cataclysmic events, sudden political upheaval, and even the death of kings. In Vedic astrology they are considered the children of Ketu, the south node. Ketu is the karaka for spiritual liberation and enlightenment, so these messengers from outside our solar system's cell wall may be bringing messages of awakening. In fact during the initiation of the final cycle of the 8th level, or Galactic Underworld on November 3, 2010, Comet C/2010 V1 Ikeya Murakami made a bright appearance as it passed by Saturn.

This comet was followed by the discovery of Comet Elenin on December 10, 2010 also passing Saturn in Virgo.

Because Comet Elenin's trajectory makes a very close pass by the Earth in late October 2011, there is speculation that this comet may be the event that triggers and ends the 5th World Age of the Mayan Calendar. For more on Elenin check out the videos below:

Saturn in Virgo is also aspected by the ruler of Virgo, Mercury, in its sign of debilitation, conjunct Uranus (the modern ruler for Aquarius and indicator of sudden and tumultuous change like earthquakes) and Jupiter in Pisces in the 2nd house. Mercury and Uranus were in exact conjunction on March 9, 2011. Saturn rules the earth and is transiting an earth sign known for humility, perfection, and sacrifice. Although a malefic is considered strong when placed in a difficult, or dustana, house like the eighth, in this case Saturn's power of transformation is amplified. The 8th house is not only the house of death, but also the house of power. It is naturally ruled by Mars, indicator of energy. I find it fascinating that most of the major world catastrophes over the past year have all been about energy revealing our glutinous consumption and reliance on toxic forms of it, such as oil, coal, and nuclear. Saturn retrograding in Virgo will critically assess our mistakes and bring a new perspective on how we might change, cleanse and purify, and put to end bad practices. Unfortunately, death may be part of that transformation.

Although the "scorching pair" is hemmed in by benefics, Venus and the Moon, the hand of grace -- perhaps represented by Saturn in Hasta, the hand -- may be limited. Venus is a great friend to Saturn, and its placement in Saturn's sign of Capricorn in the 12th house of liberation is hopeful from a spiritual perspective. Venus is in the nakshatra of Shravana that consists of three stars associated with the three footprints of Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. It is also connected with Saraswati, the goddess of learning who brings knowledge, music, and communication to the earth. The power of this nakshatra is samhanana shakti, providing connection. Shravana is symbolized by the ear reflecting its ability to hear the subtle etheric realms, and it is through the act of listening that we connect deeply to each other and to the universe in order to help transcend the material world.

However, Venus is also in the morning star position which was considered a powerful omen of catastrophe by the Mayans (click here and here for more on Venus morningstar). It is also connected to the return of the feather serpent Queztacoatl.

On the morning of March 9, 2011 an Aries Moon was located in the 3rd house in the nakshatra Bharani. The Moon represents the Divine Mother and is a karaka for sensitivity, emotions and reflected consciousness. Aries imbues the Moon with the fire of Mars and gives inspiration and courage. Bharani means "she who bears" which indicates the ability to endure hard work. Its power is to cleanse and remove impurities, apabharani shakti. Although its symbol is the yoni, or vagina, 'bearing' does not necessarily mean 'bearing' children, but rather the capacity to receive, hold, nurture, and destroy. The yoni also represents a doorway through which a soul enters the physical plane.

The deity connected to this nakshatra is Yama, one of the eight gate-keepers and god of death. Yama guides souls back to the astra plane where it realizes the results of its karma from the present life, and prepares for the next. Extremes, such as birth and death, may be experienced under the influence of Bharani. Mother Earth may be going through a purification and birth process that may leave many of her children in Yama's arms, traveling to the astral plane or another dimension.

The first cataclysmic event of the Universal Underworld is still unfolding. The 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan swallowed up cities and human lives. The loss of the power grid has brought nuclear power plants to near nuclear meltdown with certain radiation poisoning in Japan that is threatening all those who live around the Pacific Rim. However, when we look at the event chart for the earthquake, there is an uncanny planetary grace that underlies the surface.

At the time of the initial earthquake, Cancer was rising on the horizon in the nakshatra of Ashlesha. This nakshatra is called the "clinging star" and is symbolized by a coiled snake that embraces, or entangles its object of desire. The snake represent the kundalini or serpent fire that is located at the back of the spine and rises through the chakras during spiritual awakening. This process can bring mystical power, electrifying shakti, shaking, and ultimately spiritual enlightenment. Ashlesha's power is visasleshana shakti, the ability to inflict with poisonous venom. Venom may be a death inflicting toxin, or used in the right dose a healing medicine. Ashlesha's bite has released toxins, and has aroused the human race to reconsider its use of nuclear energy. Today Germany announced that it will take seven of its 17 reactors offline for three months while the country reconsiders plans to extend the life of its nuclear power plants (click here for link).

The sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which as I indicated above represents the Divine feminine and is a karaka for sensitivity, emotions and reflected consciousness. It is also an indicator of the collective consciousness which is on high alert. The media coverage and internet chatter connects us like never before, and can project news and information that increases fear. This earthquake has brought the world's collective attention like no other catastrophe. The BP oil spill was also catastrophic, but man-made. This tragedy was triggered by an act of Nature that is revealing how toxic our technology has become. Our collective consciousness is held together by shared emotions including grief, fear, but also hope. This event is yet another opportunity to put our spiritual philosophies into practice and come together. Under the Aquarian energy of the Ninth Underworld we must come together for the benefit of all mankind. This jolt to our collective conscious is the first step on this Universalizing path.

In addition the ruler of the earthquake chart, the Moon, was exalted the nakshatra Krittika whose power of burning away negativity to get to the truth, dahana shakti seems to have been activated for all the world to see and feel. This nakshatra is also associated with the Pleiades, a group of stars associated with wives of the great seers in Vedic myth, and with the fates in Western myth. Fate is definitely stirring the pot. It was placed in the 11th house which represents gains, or what brings us improvement. The 11th house is an upachaya or growing house, so things get better over time. Krittika is ruled by the Sun, which was conjoined Mars in the 8th house of death. Like the rising Sun in the dawn of the 9th Wave, the Sun was in Purva Bhadrapada. And the great benefic Jupiter was placed in the 9th house of good fortune and grace. Thus the outcome of this event chart may be more positive than our current perspective may understand.

Tomorrow the Moon will enter the sign of Ashlesha and will transit the ascendant of the event chart around 5 pm pdt. It may trigger another release of toxins bringing our collective consciousness together again. It is a time to embrace our fellow brothers and sisters in prayer. As Calleman states: "The rhythm of the Universal Underworld is then a nine-day climb of increasing intensity starting on March 9, 2011. We will then have to learn to ride this wave [together] in order to ultimately climb to the top of the pyramid" to be able to witness the promised awakening.

In La'Kesh

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Second Glance at the Mayan Calendar

In my last post, An Astrological Glance at the Mayan Calendar, I looked at the event chart for the end date of December 21, 2012 that coincides with the Winter Solstice which strikingly occurs at 11:11 am UT. Although many Mayan researchers have agreed that the Mayan Long Count Calendar ends on this date, Carl Johan Calleman presents a different date to consider: October 28, 2011. The debate between the two end dates comes from two very different perspectives on what the Mayan calendar tracks. Is it tracking the Great Year, astronomical cycles, and its related shifts in consciousness through the Long Count Calendar as proposed by John Major Jenkins; or is it tracking something beyond astronomical cycles through the subtly interconnected calendars of the Long Count, the Tzolkin, and 9 Underworlds and 13 Heavens -- the 16 billion year evolution of consciousness as suggested by Calleman? In his article Why the Creation Cycles Do Not End Calleman explains:

That the end date of the Long Count falls on December 21, 2012 is thus just a necessary logical consequence of the beginning date chosen by the Izapans and not something that the Maya had intentionally targeted. The creation cycles described by the Maya, including the Tzolkin, are fundamentally of a spiritual, non-astronomical, nature. Thus, any theory that implies that the Mayan Long Count would have been designed to reflect astronomical phenomena, be it the precession of the earth or a solar zenith, is a warning signal that its originator is off the mark. It should be obvious that if the Mayan calendar is a prophetic calendar describing cosmic energy cycles of a universal nature then the particular date at which the sun was in zenith in the particular location of Izapa is totally irrelevant for us who live today and must be considered as nothing but a result of a tradition too strong to be changed.

Another equally compelling reason why December 21, 2012 cannot be the true date of completion of creation is that this day is 4 Ahau in the Tzolkin count. Since the Long Count consists of exactly 7200 Tzolkin rounds then the true end of creation must fall on a day that is 13 Ahau in the Tzolkin count so that the Tzolkin rounds even out. If we want to find out what is the real date of ending of the creation cycles we must therefore look for a day around the year 2012, which is 13 Ahau in the Tzolkin count. The inscriptions in Palenque, written about a thousand years after the Long Count was devised in Izapa, seem to indicate that the date of relevance is October 28, 2011, which in fact is 13 Ahau in the Tzolkin count.

Thus Calleman believes that the creation cycles described by the Maya, including the Tzolkin, are fundamentally spiritual, and not astronomical. He points out that by focusing on an end date, some Mayan scholars are missing the mark and not understanding the spirit in which the calendars were created and intended. According to Calleman, the October 28, 2011 date is based on archaeological evidence that the Nine Underworlds and Thirteen Heavens do indeed describe and measure evolution -- the evolution of Cosmic consciousness. Moreover, while there is extensive evidence that the Maya based prophecy and prediction on shifts between baktuns, katuns, tuns, not a single ancient Mayan text mentions the 26,000 year precessional cycle. The only known ancient inscription that mentions the calendar's end is depicted on Monument 6 from Tortuguero (pictured below) whose glyphs are translated as “witness the display of Bolon Yokte Ku in his full costume and regalia.”

Calleman suggests that Bolon Yokte Ku is the Nine-Support, or Nine-Step, entity of “period endings.” He associates the Bolon Yokte Ku with the 9 Step Cosmic Pyramid that is pervasive throughout Mayan architecture. He writes: Through extensive factual verification this pyramid has been shown to symbolize the nine levels of evolution the universe undergoes on its climb to its highest state of consciousness. After years of research Calleman theorizes that the ancient Maya perceived the Cosmos as being composed of Nine Underworlds which were symbolically expressed in the architecture of many Mayan pyramids: the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent in Chichen-Itza, the Pyramid of the Jaguar in Tikal and the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, all of which were all built with Nine different stories.

Each of these stories represents a harmonic cycle of time with individual layers expressing an increased frequency that moves twenty times faster than the previous cycle. Within each layer there are 13 sub-cycles called tuns depicting a sequence of Thirteen Heavens, each alternating as "day" or "night" in frequency. For example, the longest of the tun-based time cycles was the hablatun of 460,800,000,000 days = 1.26 billion years. Thirteen such hablatuns makes up a creation cycle of a total duration of 13 x 1.26 = 16.4 billion years that created the lowest, the first Underworld. Strangely this time period of 16.4 billion years is very close to what scientists project the age of the universe: 15 billion years the time when matter first emerged from light (Big Bang).

Each level of evolution the cosmic pyramid, called Bolon Yokte Ku, is then developed through a series of thirteen time periods. These range from the hablatun (1.26 billion years) on the bottom level to the uaxaclahunkin of 18 days at the ninth level. This means a twenty times frequency increase and speed-up of time with every single step to a higher level.

The correlation of these levels with evolution is fascinating. The lower levels are still completing harmonic adjustments, as the upper levels are developed. The upper levels may not manifest until certain prerequisite energy and consciousness is established below. For example, the 6th level cycle began in 3115 BC which also marks the beginning of civilization and the development of nation states in the Nation cycle. During this time period the Long Count was established in Izapa, Mexico under the influence of a nationalistic impulse in Meso-America. The 7th level cycle began in 1755 AD which marks the beginning of consciousness looking out at the heavens under the impulse of the Planetary cycle influencing the Age of Enlightenment. And most recently the 8th level, or Galactic, began on January 4, 1999 which brought our attention further out to the Galaxy and brought new understanding about precession cycles and consciousness, not to mention increased technology at a record pace.

Today (March 9, 2011) marks the beginning of 9th and final level that introduces the Universal Underworld. We may infer from previous cycles that time will speed up twenty-fold as we come under the influence of a Universal impulse that awakens us to our place in the Universe. Then on October 28, 2011 the energies of all nine waves will manifest fully and simultaneously. Calleman believes that the so-called end date is actually the final manifestation of what the ancient inscription refer to as Bolon Yokte Ku appearing in his full regalia -- the full expression of Universal consciousness. He describes the purpose of this last wave is to cap the entire evolution of the universe that so far has been propelled by the eighth lower waves. . . The ninth wave of unity would then be calling for a complete shift in our way of being, to manifesting unity consciousness, which is the intended end result of the cosmic plan. If this is to happen, it may also call for extraordinary cosmic energies to fulfill the cosmic plan. In fact, maybe the ninth wave will be a Judgment Day that will save the world.

Wow! This change certainly sounds exciting. So even though the Mayan calendar may not be tracking an astrological or astronomical phenomenon, the energy shifts associated with these evolutionary waves might still be seen in the snapshot of an astrological event chart. An Event or Horary chart, called Prashna in Vedic Astrology, is used to shed light and meaning on certain moments in time by studying the rising sign and the ruler of the ascendant. Each is assessed to gain insight into influences surrounding the event and as well as to give an outlook for possible developments stemming from that event. Both Eastern and Western astrologers use a horary chart that is created for the date, time and place of a particular event. The difficulty about creating an event chart for Calleman's dates is that we do not have a specific time or astronomical alignment like a solstice to consider. Instead we may do a chart for sunrise or "day" (new beginnings) and sunset or "night" (endings) set in a sacred location for the Maya, Palenque. As each of the Thirteen Heavens ends in a "day" tun, the sunrise chart may take precedent over the sunset chart, which may show the outcome of the ending impulse.

In the day chart, there is an intriguing synchronicity of nakshatras with the 2012 chart: a Libra Sun is rising on the eastern horizon in the nakshatra Swati. The 2012 chart was also strongly under the influence of Swati as its chart ruler Saturn was placed there. As I mention in my discussion of the 2012 chart, Swati gives the power to "scatter like the wind," pradhvamsa shakti. The deity that rules Swati is Vayu, the god of wind, air, breath and prana -- the primordial energy of the universe that sustains life. This ascendant suggests the universe may exhale and blow the cosmic breath of life scattering seeds of consciousness to the wind.

Venus rules the sign of Libra and is also rising after the Sun and Mercury in the auspicious evening star position. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Dresden Codex is one of the few surviving books from the ancient Maya that is is filled with observations and equations denoting the movement of the planets, Sun, and stars. In particular it tracks the cycles of Venus with tremendous accuracy, and is the basis for the start date of the Long Count Calendar appropriately named the Birth of Venus. The Long Count completes at 13 Ahau, the end of the 13th baktun which is measured from the Birth of Venus. The basis of Calleman's argument for the October 28, 2011 date over the 2012 date is that the later date is out of sync ending at 4 Ahau, and his date does end on 13 Ahau. Ahau means "sun," "light," or "lord" and it seems fitting that astrologically the Sun is rising with Venus on Calleman's end date.

I find this glyph to be intriguing as it seems to represent the Sun emitting or being caught by a beam of light surrounded on either side with two dots, perhaps indicating planets. Could these planets represent Venus and Mercury which are one degree apart that day? Or could they represent two phases of Venus, morning star and evening star, that figure so prominently in Mayan lore. Ahau also is a day to ask for wisdom and to remember the ancestors. It is an intriguing theme connected to the alignment of all evolutionary, or ancestral, layers in a moment of completion.

In other Native American tradition, the evening star is seen as a marker for the end times. According to Greyeagle:

It was told to me that first the "Evening Star" would start to be seen at the dances and would make its appearance known to the people during the "night dance". This would tell the people that the end times are near. Then the "Evening Star" would physically appear in the Sky, which would be a sign of the end time change. In the Final days people will look up in the sky and witness the return of the two brothers who helped create Earth Mother in the birthing time. One brother is the guardian of our "North Pole" and his brother is the guardian of the "South pole". In the final days the "Evening Star" would come to be with his nephews and they will return Earth Mother to its natural rotation. . . The rotation of Earth Mother has been manipulated by not so benevolent "Star Beings" .... The brothers will be seen in our "North Western skies". They will come and visit to see who has still remembered the original teachings. They will bring many of their star family with them in the final days. The return of the "Evening Star", will be the sign that tells the people of the new day and new way of life, a new Earth Mother that is coming. This is where the changes will begin. They will start as fires that burn within people and they will burn up with desires and conflict if they do not remember the original teachings and return to the peaceful way of life.

Venus is the most prominent planet in the 2011 sunrise chart as it rules sign of the rising Sun, but it is placed in a different nakshatra, Vishakha. As we saw in my previous post, Vishakha is associated the celestial Tree of Life and represents the process of reaching and attaining one's goals.

It is also strongly connected to the triumphal arch that may indicate the opening of an energetic door or star gate.

In addition to being in this profoundly symbolic nakshatra, Venus will be in a critical anaretic degree at sunrise and will transition into the sign of Scorpio by the end of the day. In Vedic astrology this juncture between signs it is called sande. The 29th degree of any sign may bring fateful consequences as the planet is getting ready to make an elemental change. The energy of that sign may be all used up. This oscillating energy can bring hesitancy in decision making. Combined with a debilitated Sun in Libra, the morning hours may be a little confusing.

As the day winds down, Venus leaves the 29th degree and enters the sign of Scorpio, ruled by Mars. At the same time during sunset, the other sign ruled by Mars, Aries will be rising on the eastern horizon with Jupiter. This Aries ascendant is ruled by that debilitated Mars in Cancer from the fourth house of home and environment. Like Venus earlier in the day, Mars is in an anarectic degree, but this time this critical degree is in a water sign making it gandanta. When planets are placed in a gandanta positions, they take on a special power to unravel the knot of karma and move on to the next level. If a planets falls in the last three degrees of water sign, it is completing an old cycle; if it falls in the first three degree of a fire sign is beginning a new cycle. Thus in this case, the planet Mars, which rules energy, ambition, and drive, is at its weakest position in the water sign of Cancer. Here Mars is worn out by the emotional medium of a water sign. It can only heal and release the karma of the old cycle by releasing its tendency to fight and opening it its higher nature and surrender to healing.

By sunset Venus will join the Moon in Scorpio, its signs of debilitation that is canceled by its mutual exchange with the debilitated Mars that also gets canceled. This parivartana yoga strengthens both Mars and the Moon. The Moon softens the anger and sharp edges of Mars, while Mars gives courage, drive, and great devotion to the Moon, especially in the 17th nakshatra of Anuradha. Thus the Moon and Mars are able to reach beyond their individual weaknesses and unite as something greater.

The mutual exchange, or parivartana yoga between the Moon and Mars connects the 6th and 4th houses. Each house represents one of the four aims (dhama, artha, kama, moksha) in human life, and the fourth house is considered a moksha bhava. Moksha means "liberation or freedom" and relates to our need for spiritual growth and transcendence. The sixth house is an artha bhava. Although many associate artha with wealth, it actually means achievement of goals. Thus this mutual exchange between moksha and artha houses indicates that there may indeed be a moment of surrender to the coming night that brings success to higher goals.

In addition, the great benefic Jupiter will be rising on the eastern horizon in the sign of Aries under the influence of the nakshatra Ashwini. Jupiter gains directional strength in this placement and gives protection and understanding to those forces greater than ourselves. Jupiter in fiery Aries gives expansion to our spirit and is an auspicious force for the promised awakening.

As the first of 27 nakshtras, Ashwini initiates the development of the shakti impulses for the soul to experiences in its journey through each asterism. In particular Ashwini activates primordial forces and facilitates the awakening of consciousness. This nakshatra is aptly called the "star of transport" as it is associated with the twin horsemen. The deities associated with Ashwini are twin divine doctors who ride in a golden chariot and bring healing to the earthly plane through shidhra vyapani shakti, the power to heal and reach things. Could these twins be transporting humanity to higher consciousness, or to another dimension through a portal or star gate?

In ancient Mayan and Aztec cosmologies there is also myth that associates two twin brothers with fire and shifts in World cycles. Quetzalcoatl (called Kukulcan in Mayan languages) and Xolotl are associated with the morning and evening stars, respectively. The morning star Quetzalcoatl is the inventor of the calendar and bestowed mankind with the gift of maize/corn (the calendar and corn cycles are related as the time it takes to plant and harvest corn is 260 days, the length of the sacred Tzolkin calendar). The evening star Xolotl was also associated with fire as he assisted his brother Quetzacoatl in bringing fire from the underworld to humans. The ancient Aztecs believed that Xolotl guarded the Sun when it went through the underworld at night. Thus the morningstar Quetzacoatl gave the calendar and fire to humans at the beginning of the beginning of the Fifth World age which appears to come to a completion on Octobe 28, 2011 with the evening star Xolotl escorting the Sun to the underworld. Isn't it a fascinating astronomical coincidence that the Evening star is so prominent in both the sunrise and sunset charts of October 28, 2011. No wonder the Mayans tracked Venus cycles so closely.

At the end of the day Venus remains in the nakshatra of Vishakha, symbolized by the triumphal arch, but enters its Scorpio degrees. It approaches the waning Moon in the seventeenth nakshatra of Anuradha whose secondary symbol is also an archway. Anuradha's primary symbol is the lotus flower.

Just as the roots of a lotus are buried in the mud, they must grow and push the stem up through the water in the sunlight and release the delicately scented flower. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. Thus Anuradha promises to bring the flowering of consciousness out of the challenges of the murky material world. Sounds like the perfect nakshatra for ascension!

The stars of Anuradha are located in the body of the Scorpion. It contains the our closest stellar neighbor,Alpha Centauri, and as such is the focus of a lot of recent astronomical research for an earth-like planet. As the nearest star to earth, Alpha Centauri has captured the imagination of many science fiction stories and movies, including James Cameron's Avatar. The asterism of Anuradha is comprised of a group of stars that resembles a staff or row of offerings to the Gods. The symbolism of the staff dates all the way back to ancient times in which a staff was used by shepherds to guide their flock. It is a symbol of authority and in some cultures of travel. A row of offerings speaks to this nakshatra's ability to inspire deep devotion and worship, radhana shakti. Anuradha is called the "star of success" and grants success especially in foreign lands. This "star of success" has the ability to create and maintain friendships, and recognition can be attained through cooperation with others. Again there is this theme of unity -- that success depends on coming together.

The residing deity of Anuradha is Mitra, the god of contracts, friendship, and cooperation. He is one of the Adityas or 12 Solar deities and is thematically related to Mithra, Christ, the future Buddha, and the Maitreya. In the Vedic hymns, Mitra is often invoked together with Varuna, the lord of the cosmic rhythm of the celestial spheres who figures prominently in the 2012 chart. Mitra brings forth the light at dawn, and apparently may bring us to the dawn of a new World Age.

So now we have come full circle after studying the two end-dates for the Mayan Calendar. The predominant theme of passing through a triumphant gateway is clearly indicated in both. No matter which date is correct, we are clearing approaching, if not already in the middle of a profound shift in universal consciousness. How this will play out over the next 18 months may be debated until the actual moment of its completion, but what ever happens is sure to be under the protection of some powerful archetypal guides. Whether it be Varuna, Mitra, Quetzacoatl, or the Ashwins, the stars indicate that we will be protected by the light of these higher vibrations as we, like the lotus, reach up from the murky materialistic earth, through the waters of emotion, to the light of consciousness and become One with the great Celestial Tree of Life.