Dancing in the Dark

“They used to say in days of old, the Magpie was a sacred bird,

beloved of the goddess, heeded by all travellers-oh…..

one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy……

…..five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told

the Sun was jealous of her love, and stole Her children from Her nest,

She searches for them to this day, the seeds of star-light from her heart

one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy….

five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told

and, to all but those who honour Her, who wear her colours and and follow her call,

her mysteries will hidden be…………Magpie, keeper of the Magic-Fire.

one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy……

…..five for silver, six for gold…..seven for a secret never to be told

The old woman had turned up unexpectedly, out of the blue, as if she had materialised from the boundaries of day and night itself, and had walked across the edge of dusk unseen to sit at our fire…….she was travel weary, you could tell, but, there was a certain vigour about her, an energy with a strong quiet presence – little did we suspect its source or the gifts she was carrying as she was offered a place and settled herself, gathering her long cape and robes about her…….we all looked to her expectantly, and she, as if gathering us in slowly round the circle, her face a map of weathered journeys, and stories waiting to unfold……

Her eyes – I will not forget those eyes, mysterious pools of tender wisdom, fathomless worlds, thresholds of sky and ocean, and the strange sensation that, as she beheld us we were each being touched by an invisible force, a mystery enfolding itself around us.

“Let me rest here a while and in return I will tell you a story…….”, she had said, brushing the dust of the road from her robes and folding them about her. There was a promise in this, and a balm that eased our surprise at her appearance in our midst, and, instantly you knew – here was the voice of experience, of an elder. She knew how to play this situation, was an old hand with this opening gambit. We are all hungry for the warmth and companionship provided by the sweet medicine of the fire, but, it is also ever the way with humans that we are reluctant to invite the unknown into our midst. So, an exchange of gifts is often the sweetener that encourages us to drop our boundaries, when the fire is ours to give and the unknown comes knocking….but, stories, they are things of power.

If we had known the nature of the story about to be given would we still have opened our circle to its medicines? As the old woman went on to say of the gift she had to offer, once she had found her spot and began unfolding the story-tellers bundle in her lap, “……..it will bring flavour to some and be as salt to the wounds of others, for, on this night will open a portal, a rift in time, a threshold into deeper wisdom, the Ocean Mother’s wisdom….”

…and here she paused, pulling us further in…..the portentious scent of fate and destiny twisting about her as she whispered to the night….

“…….yes, womb-wisdom, crone wisdom; listen, then…..listen with your bones…..from here, within the temple of your heart,” she said, placing the flats of her hands upon her chest and spreading them outwards in a wide all-embracing gesture.

That night, as the calendar makers and star watchers had foretold, the Moon fell into darkening, and, as Her light bled into the night, the ocean hushed as the story-teller invoked the spirit of  the moment….beneath the canopy of stars above the southern ocean…….

“Listen to an old woman’s news – it comes from far distant lands, but, heed this message well, for its edge is close at hand………when earthen shadow falls, and the lunar mother removes her mask……we remember her true face once more; her face, so sanguine, as if lit by embers from within….yes, we remember – we remember…….when the moon-light becomes the womb-light…..how  it was, before we put up our masks, after our masks fall,”

….her words spun strange and familiar worlds behind our eyes, and her face, like the night, steeped in thought, radiated with the light of another world…..

“It comes around and goes around, this merry dance. It beats its slow steady heart beat to a rhythm ancient with memory, opening the shell of time, the second wound, the wound that receives the golden seed, bleeding fire into the night. Herstory is the history of wounds – She pulses, enchants with luminous dust, and pulls, and pulls, and pulls…She feels, and She heals.” She stooped to scoop a handfull of sand and we watched the grains fall slowly through her fingers, leaving a small shell, a spiral wonder of sacred energy nestling in her palm.

The elders and day-keepers had caught her meaning and sent the whisper around the circle – she was a Moon Mother, an Aluna, holy woman of the Moon, midwife of the mysteries – she had come to give warning of the eclipse, we should listen carefully to her teaching, there may be an initiation afoot, something unforeseen in the darkening of the Moon…….

The Moon Mother let the hum of words that were rippling round the circle settle and, holding the shell between thumb and fore-finger, raised it towards the center of the circle. “There is one present here who carries the mark of this day…..”. She paused and cast her shining eyes around the circle……no-one stirred. “All in good time, all in good time…..you will know who you are before the nights out, and, then……” she offered the shell in outstretched hand…..”this mystery, and all contained within it, shall be yours to hold for this village……this night, She will come amongst us”. A murmur, touched with nervousness, excitement and fore-boding, swept through the circle.

“But, do not be in any hurry to fix meaning to my words…….I give them to you by way of protection, of which I pray you shall need none, but, there is more than one shadow loosed in the world this night…..may the power of the Great Mother be with us……” – her voice dropped off as she delivered the warning, a loud crack and stream of sparks exploding from the fire as she slowly got to her feet.

The old woman stepped into the firelight, her voice returning stronger now…..”Remember her and remember her well. She who wears the three-fold masks, the fertile-scented Flower of Dawn, the swollen-bellied Fruit of Night, the wise-horned Eye of Dusk, shedding and renewing, as skins and veils, as spiralling patterns in the serpentine dance…..She moves, and She moves us.” At that moment, as if summoned, the wind blows the shell from her hand, and a far distant bird calls, cackling laughter carried on the billowing air……..she raised her chin to the horizon and sniffed at the wind as it swirled away, carrying the smells and textures of the forest. We all smelt it, that fresh breath of life and its undertone, the rich hummus of life-giving death, the balance giver. “Pine and Birch,” she said, “the grandmothers and maiden warriors of the deep lands of memory – those forests remember you, you know……..and they have their own memories, ancestors of your own, waiting for you to return, to meet with you once more in your journeys and dreams…..earthen shadows, spectral lights, liminal flames, dancing in the dark, tricky, and…..” her voice now filled with a ripple of dark humour…..”ripe for the picking……”

I notice a few nervous glances passing around the circle – what is this, does anyone understand the meaning of her words? She bows down as if looking directly into the earth and half whispers….

“Remember, She moves us, not onwards, but, inwards and……with every turning, reveals the gateways, thresholds of wonders, guarding the grove of mysteries,  woven into concealment……you will meet her first within the serpentine folds of Wysteria, the flower of the ‘womens’ mysteries’….glancing up and casting her gaze around the circle of fire-lit faces, her gaze comes to rest on a young boy, himself at the threshold of adulthood……”of this, men’s knowing shall know nothing……..save his own luminous shadow, dancing in search of himself, his beloved.” A murmur of wry laughter runs amongst the elders present and sets heads wagging and nodding. She has us in the palm of her hand…….

“…how many of you know,” she continues, her gaze still circling on the gathering, “what lies across the threshold of her inner sanctuary……”. It is a direct challenge, no doubt, but, the wiley old crone knows that for those who do know this is and can only be a rhetorical question – this wise old bird is fishing for a different kind of response……”She initiates all who would be re-united within themselves…….from within Her hidden recess, holiest of holies, with every darkening Moon she beats Her signal and calls – ‘have you the mettle’, she asks…….

I had not suspected this night would bring to my own life such a question, such a calling, yet there it was…..and the bone-wise  midwife in our midst caught my eye as she said……”wearing her true face, She opens Her oracular eye and sees into the deepest realms of our hearts…..”. She winks at me and then, closing her eyes spreads wide her arms, holding a white skinned frame drum before her, beating a steady heartbeat…..

Suddenly the night feels chill with expectation and a loud crack explodes from the fire – “How would we know her, but, to join the dance…..come to her and remember…….remember, at her bidding, why we came here……and dance…..who we were before we came…..” – the drumbeat has an enticing quality, her voice riding its beats, becoming a chant…..

“…….She is the chanting storyteller of our lives before we lived them…..she rides the Spirit Horse of our Earth’s dreaming back to the beginning……..spiralling around itself upon the axis of the stars…….rising on the swollen tide we journey with Her through the crack in time.” Her chants create waves upon waves…..cross-patterns out of which our very soul stuff rises at the beats. “She weaves the pulse into this world as we are born forgetful of her song……She weaves her song into our soul that we may remember why we came here…….until…….” and she whorls around, sending the tassels from her long cloak and skirts flying in a wave around her…….it is as a signal, and now we are all on our feet….

“…Her call is heeded…..spirit walkers, kith and kindred, Sons and Daughters of Silver and Gold, red-white-black words, songs of memory and possibility, threading soul paths through these worlds…..follow her, follow her…” and now our feet have become infected with her rhythm, our backs twitching and hips swaying, hands rising in gestures on her delicious beat….

“….in another time, another time……once upon a time that is no-time…..time before time….” something is happening, the light of the fire is growing, its flames are expanding and I see figures in their midst, wearing robes of flashing feathers, blue and black and white and green, iridescent with night’s magic…….”She comes, She of many faces, with Her dark green cackling laughter and flashing wings….falling and rising above the churning ocean.” At this point I do not remember if she spoke these words or if it was the voice of the one she had called into our midst, who spoke of the time before time, the beginning, of memory and possibility, who spoke of Aluna…..

…….how long we danced I cannot say, only to say that we found ourselves close in on the fire, or the fire seemed to have grown…..we had entered another space and time and, in that place, the voice pulled me further in…..

“…..She weaves her pathway across the southern seas this night – her flashing wings, her iridescent tail, her coat of tricks….hear this and remember”…..the flames part and the old woman steps into the embers, gesturing me to follow…….as I step upon the radiant bed of dancing liquid light the sparks fly up around me and suddenly I am spinning amongst stars…….her voice leads me on……

I remember one other thing from that journey – I returned momentarily to hear a great roar of thunder issue from her drum, and tailing slowly away, bringing the circle back, ecstatic and breathing hard, slowly to a standstill…….and as the drum wound down I heard her say these words……”know this,” she  whispered between her teeth, hoarse and urgent, “Silent Thunder is coming but Her heart beats yet and with the one who follows me will reverberate still…..look for her coming, from beyond the clashing rocks…….when Sun rises and she returns in those stars the world will see its fruit on solstice eve…..on solstice eve, another world will remember this one…..but, in this one she has her gaurdians still, who sing her praises still……” – little did I know that night, that I would be the one to return……

I awoke amongst spiralling branches bedecked with lilac coloured blossoms, the old woman tending a small fire in a stone hearth nearby – a star specked sky was visible through the bower and a feint streak of luminous green and turquoise light was bleeding into the horizon beyond the medicine woman. Long whisps of her hair  hung loose from its braids and, without turning, she spoke to me…….

“All the eclipses in the world would not unravel the knots we have become entangled in, knots in time, that breed forgetting……….were it not for the persistance of Her memories…….even when we recognise them not for what they are, even when they hide the truth in plain sight…..but, welcome my daughter, for we have them still, right now, where you are……” and she turned to greet me with a smile of total love that put a feeling in me as if the Sun had just arisen and kissed the full Moon in my heart……that was the beginning of my apprenticeship with Aluna, Magpie Woman as she told me she was known, medicine woman of the Earth and Stars, keeper of the sacred flame of Sweet Medicine………

When I returned and as people asked me what happened on that night, “where did you go, what happened on your journey, did the old woman take you,” and countless other questions, I tell them this – on that night, when we came together around our village fire to listen to the ocean breathing, to soak ourselves in the starlight and let the beauty and wonder of it all wash us clean, I had a dream…..I heard Her voice, Her cackling laughter, singing on the wind, carrying the scent of Pine and Birch, rich earth and mossy leaf-mold, and felt the presence of……magic……once more……

……lest you wish upon Her return, lest you meet her with a kiss

lest you pass through her tenfold gates, her secrets she will show you

…….eights a wish, nines a kiss, ten is the bird you must not miss

sacred keeper of star-lore on Earth,

Sweet Medicine Fire of Wisdom….

one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy,

five for silver six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told….

…eights a wish and nines a kiss, ten is the bird you cannot miss

she dances in the dark and lights the way,

Sweet Medicine Fire of Wisdom

This Foolish Moon……a Cosmic Joke, with bells on

“When priests are more in word than matter;
When brewers mar their malt with water;
When nobles are their tailors’ tutors,
No heretics burn’d, but wenches’ suitors;
When every case in law is right,
No squire in debt nor no poor knight;
When slanders do not live in tongues,
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
When usurers tell their gold i’ th’ field,
And bawds and whores do churches build:
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.
Then comes the time, who lives to see’t,
That going shall be us’d with feet.
This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.”

….and with this line King Lear’s Fool makes of himself Merlin’s prophet, one foot in and one outside of Time, as he and Lear cower amidst the storm battered heath. A curious thing to begin with here perhaps, but, a fools wisdom were ever the more curious for its anomolous madness……..

This Taurus Moon just before Samhain is a curious one, no mistaking – and yet, this full moon dynamic, the madness thing…well, there is something here we are all familiar with, no matter our mental state, predilictions or upbringing. It is a dynamic that draws deeply on inherited memories and on a folkloric quality associated with a kind of infectious madness and heightened sensitivity, an energy that pushes our buttons and drives us towards extreme behaviour and emotional outbursts.

Folklore it may have become, but, experience bears out the truth of this – full moons are well documented as the time at which more people check in at A&E than any other, policing is on alert as crime is at an hightened level, particularly that involving ‘disturbance of the peace’ and intoxication – such is the manifestation of this energy at an unconscious level, even, and perhaps especially, within an ostensibly a-spiritual culture.

Yet, even now there are people, in circles and small off-grid communities, arranging regular celebrations and gatherings on the full moon simply to throw off the shackles of everyday concerns, to let their hair down and let loose. Here, if allowed to follow its natural course without hindrance or cencorship, embracing the full moon can inculcate the ecstatic almost orgiastic quality of its energy, an energy with a transformational edge that speaks of an ancient power of anarchic and tribal origins. I came across such a gathering on the cycladic island of Naxos where one of its crescents of sand was home and host to celebrations under the full moon of its bamboo hut dwelling inhabitants – Naxos itself is largely mountainous and much of its interior and eastern coast accessible only by foot and donkey, or all terrain vehicles, where the earthen rough tracks allow. The island retains a memory, the hidden aura of Dionysus, secluded in vestiges of sylvan valleys and groves, and in a root of ‘knowing’ amongst people…..

…..the Moons power has never sat easily with the clergy or the Church, for obvious reasons, but, the ‘religion’ of Dionysus has been compared to that of Jesus, most often through the ‘wine’ connection – if spiritual ecstacy has become castrated within the western tradition of organised religion, religion itself nevertheless is not immune to its Dionysian shadow……there are traditions yet alive capable of holding the energies of this antagonistic  meeting in balance…..

……these too are archaic and ancestral in their origins, carrying a pagan charge of meaningfulness and benefiting an artistic expression drawn on a long continuous thread through time. One of the most memorable of these that I have witnessed was a community ritualistic parade through the streets of a mountain village in the Basque in northern Spain. It was a celebration of Easter that brought the whole village out and coincided with the Full Moon; the night was torchlit, the air shimmering with cold  and the smell of woodsmoke, the people conspiring with tradition to weave together a wry and virile mix of pagan and christian symbolism. The Moon’s spirit was represented by the Maiden, enthroned in an open egg, carried in a boat mounted on a cart, the boat being the vessel of the Moon herself – she was birthed on this night, initiated into womanhood and the fulling power of the womens mysteries, her essence infusing the whole community and raising a spirit of earthy independance and archaic anarchy. The clergy were lambasted, their role played by villagers dressed in the black robes of the priest whose poius pomposity became the target of virulant egg, rotten fruit and cake throwing, and, meanwhile, little angels, cherubim, devils and magical folk intermingled with the people, goading them on, sanctioning and inviting them to cross the usual boundaries of propriety and break with the religious dictates of the social mores. These rooted traditions hold, balance and awaken the moon’s power within an informed cultural structure of ritual, both healing, celebratory of lifes fecundity, enabling the integration of the lunar energy. The Moons energy becomes liberating, transformative, giving the festivities a numinous quality that connects the people with their deep roots. In these rites the pregnant moon lives through the essence of living memory, alive with a powerful bonding agent of creativity, and this energy carries an intensity that has truly magical qualities.

And the birth death cycle of the moon is in so deep a harmonic with the cycles of ovulation, of fertility and blood wisdom, of Maiden, Mother, Crone, it is no surprise that the dogmatic Church patriarchy appears so fearful, making of the mother lode of tradition the object of its own shadow projections. With this lunation and the Full Moon’s proximity to Samhain that shadow is, equal with its luminousity, deeply manifest and, equally, open to redressing – perhaps we should take the opportunity…..we might not be able to resist….

I’ve written before at Owlmirror about the Moon Mother, the ancient spirit who cares for and mentors incoming souls, whose vessel is the pre-time antichamber to incarnation – this was in relation to eclipses, of which two will be coming up within the next lunation. The soul Moon connection has a special significance at such times, but, this is not the time to go into the nodal aspects of the Moon, this post being more in train with the spirit of the fulling moon than an analysis of its chart through the ecliptic. We will revisit this at next new moon with an exploration of its own story, the tone it is setting for the upcoming times.

For the astrologer working the craft as a medicine path and practice within the spirit traditions, the full moon can reveal a spirit of its own, the energy mixed and manifest within a dionysian cauldron of psycho-active planetary elixir that has the power to bring great healing and re-membering, bringing back together. There is a dynamic at play that affects the magnetic fields of our emotional spectrum, a swelling energy within the ocean of archetypes, a tidal force that arcs between the poles of the Moon/Sun opposition with numinous luminousity – one feels connected with the cosmos through the symbolic valencies of its energetic matrix at full moon perhaps more than at any other time. It is no accident that astrological readings of the Moon’s phases are so prevelant and popular. While pagan and magical traditions have found a rich vein via this marraige of paths and practices, through this revival we have also begun to tangibly re-integrate our knowledge of the extent to which we are naturally endowed with an innate sense of these energies and their values. At root everyone is pagan, of the Earth.

This sense has a resonance in which the full moon’s effects are a medicine, a power that opens gateways to spirit. To the esoterically minded, this is also where the Full Moon’s etheric catalyst induces shape-shifting metamorphosis. Equally a stimulous to the skin walker’s and shape-shifter’s medicine, that can drive us beyond the bounds of conscious volition and containment and also liberate us from the yoke of logic and rationality, if we trace the folkloric root from this perspective we come to familiar territory……..the wilde forest and moon bleached moor. The full moon is no less the druid’s than the witches celestial heartbeat and field generator in magical workings.

These are also the environs of the ancient traditions of hunting which are deeply connected into the fulling moon, as are the poachers wiley pathways, both of which have their roots in the same magical realms. And, in the fairy realms the fulling Moon is also the nocturnal celebrants steed and the lunar light a talismanic key that opens doorways to other worlds, into enchantment, across the thinly veiled boundaries of other times and orders of time, truly magical…..and, with a Taurean Moon, luminous with earth magic, perhaps this is how it should be, the perfect expression of the energies of Samhain…….

……which brings us back to the moment and its astrological values and qualities, for, as with all Full Moons, its lunar light has its source and complimentary aspect rooted in its opposite sign, also known as the shadow sign – to the Taurus moon this sign is Scorpio. Every sign has its shadow, but, if ever there was a sign worthy of association with the ‘shadow’…….

….when the sign occupied by the Sun at Full Moon is Scorpio it is possible that we can become tossed about on some very stormy waters and feel the need for having our feet on solid ground with more intensity – there is a felt need here to stop the motion of the ocean of our emotions, to yearn the solid ground and safe harbour, to be still, be supported, cared for and embraced by love. And, Love, as we know, has many faces, and wears a tragi-comic mask that symbolises the polarity of this drama very well.

Scorpio is enigmatic in this……..a point of opposition in which the light source is submerged within a symbolic field which itself carries deep valencies of numinousity. We might think that a Taurus Full Moon was very earth oriented, but, this year its gifts are in the seed carried by its shadow. It is always so when the Sun is in Scorpio, that the qualities of the sign are given an injection of virile life force, but, this time the source of light has been given a gravitas and depth charge from the presence in Scorpio of Saturn, close to the Sun and still reverberating with the Saturn/Sun conjunction of the 25th. With this conjunction Scorpio became the deep well whose waters are rich with truth and memory. With this alignment at work, in this sector, whatever emerges from within its submersive environs speaks in the tongue of the Grandmother lode, becomes cut and crafted with primal symbolism into a mirror of our innermost soul secrets – as a precursor to Samhain, Saturn’s meeting with the Sun has called forth ‘presence’ and germinated the Scorpionic shadow, congealing it in seed form, a living germ of penetrating intensity carried within the womb of the Moon’s belly as it journeys towards full-ness. We can expect a powerful presence of the otherworlds this coming All Hallows.

That journey sees the Moon transit Uranus, thunderbolts at the ready, before reaching fullness. We should be careful with our own fire and not let it inflame our hearts into lightning strikes of rage – Mars also opposes Jupiter, just as Venus is coming into opposition with Uranus – the T square with Pluto looming. This heady cocktail of incendiary luminaries conjures a hair-trigger sensitivity in a matrix already loaded with tensions.

I stepped outside on the night of the 25th to taste the air and see if I could find an answer on the wind to working with this energy. I heard drums on the turbulent air, very deep and pulsed with subterranean power, and voices in the rising wind. I asked how to proceed….’with awareness’ was all the answer that I heard, or rather felt, somewhere in the solar plexus and at the back of the skull. This may well be the only answer…..why would we expect otherwise on such a full moon. There may be an astrological answer to this too…..

…..as with all magical workings, astrology carries the potential to change our perceptions, and, consequently, our drives and the course we plot for them. I am of the opinion that every astrologer has a responsibility to consider around this. Words carry power. And, when these words are sourced in the archetypal, that power has the numinous edge that allows them, or a the transformative potential they embody, to slip beneath the rational radar and past the eye of discernment. Astrology too can cast an enchantment upon us. Perhaps this is why there is a preponderance of certificating and authorising facilities, training establishments and professional bodies within the craft. Orthodoxy can serve to contain the magic – the Church has given example enough of this. But, it does not kill it off….it never will, which makes of that imperative to respond wisely to the council of the planets and the stars a necessity. Here, the diviners ability to respond becomes a point of regular appraisal and discernement. There is an uncanny echo in this of the Saturn Sun conjunction in Scorpio –  and with the zodiac primed to deliver its potential energy through a network of hard aspects at Full Moon, if I were to relay any council of value in relation to this it too would be to ‘be aware’…..the rest is largely down to the individual.

If the shadow is emergent, the same phonemes might re-organise themselves to become ‘beware’, which also means ‘get real’, and which could well be the positive upside of the same potential energies. Taurus assists us in getting real, lending its natural appreciation for beauty and value to us in the measure of reality, its weighing in the balance; the Moon at its height of luminousity pulls this into the human perspective, the shadow side becomes a guide to where the emotive power behind our experiences is most in need of integration and the Suns presence in Scorpio tells us that we have the quality of deeply penetrative awareness at our service to sharpen our senses and flex our discerning muscles. We need the Basque example to bring out Venusian creativity and healing of relationships, to raise the spirits and cleanse us of the stigmas that hold us back from recieving Uranus unconventionality – we need to break the social mores and allow the subversive humour of the moment to carry the charge, and trust – trust in the ancestral inherited wealth of our deeper selves and in the irrepressible creativity innate to human nature. And Chiron is the bridge-maker between Saturn and Uranus’ realms.

Chiron trines the Sun from Pisces this full Moon.  Extending that trust into the trauma of seperation from spirit itself, funding the Moon in sextile with the energy of the mentor who says ‘this is why you came here’, and this is very healing. As a mentor once said of healing, ‘the juice is in the tragedy’…..all healing that is lasting comes from getting real, from being prepared to enter the arena, as well as the drama, knowing the part we are playing. We have to get to the truth of it. Uranus forms a quincunx with the Sun on full Moon – the truth may out at any moment, liberation is at hand, never more than an eye blink away, ‘be aware’….but, also be ready to play the fool – its all a game of comedy and tragedy….

….and then theres Mercury, ready to play the fool as he stands in the wings of Sagittarius stage, sextiling Venus, squaring Neptune and closing to trine Uranus – if ever that gave the lad a cloak of mysterious beauty speckled with spectral light, looking  for all the world the weird-master of the lunatic fringe – his absurd wand in hand, made of human funny bone crowned with an inflated pigs bladder, bells and owl feathers, ready to sneak up on us and do Uranus bidding with a healthy bash over the head…….

‘lunacy, lunacy, the worlds on fire, dance and dance for all your worth,

the kings a fool, the fools a king, the priest is drunk and the people laugh,

the Moon is full and the buns in the oven, lunacy, lunacy, come to the coven,

‘break a leg’ and throw of the yolk, for we are all stars in this Cosmic Joke’…..

10 Billion Beats 2012

The 10 Billion Beats global drumming event of 2012 is this year taking place plumb on the September Equinox – as we move deeper into this time of great transition there could not be a more opportune moment for bringing a powerful wave of peace and goodwill to our home planet. As 2012 comes to completion through the last quarter of the year the calling is in ‘bringing the highest and finest qualities of these momentous times into manifestation’, and this years 10 Billion Beats is an energetic gateway to the harmonious and timely realisation of this call.

We should be under no illusions about the potential of this global drumming event. For a start the timing of this year’s event ties it into the solar cycle aligning the wave with the annular creative cycle of Earth. This gives our drumming an extended reach and potential in time that will accompany us all the way through to the much anticipated 2012 December solstice, and beyond. How far beyond depends on how we work with the energy raised, the quality of consciousness brought to it now, and this includes any intent we bring to the drumming. The timing also brings out 10 Billion Beats syncretic qualities, unifying our diversity and placing the event within the ‘bigger picture’, connecting our drumming with the archetypal qualities of our times…….as the drums call around our Earth, Sun culminates in Virgo and enters Libra, and we celebrate the ripened harvest in the north and the flowering earth in the south. The energies of this time are rich in possibilities.

The Virgo/Libra cusp perfectly expresses a significant station in the human life cycle as well – the transition made by the individual ripened through experience into the sharing of the fruits of wisdom within community. There is a correspondence here between the energies within the earth cycle and the calling that is being asked of us collectively to manifest. This is very much about our transit into maturity as a species and it is in essence perfectly in keeping with the ‘elder’ time, the time of year in which our connections with the cosmos deepen. Within the bigger picture ‘community’ here means both those collectives formed through harmonic resonance and the larger community that extends across time, space and dimensions.

Through alignment with the solar cycle 10 Billion Beats 2012 gives us an opportunity to collectively entrain our inner vibrations with those of the planet, the solar system and the Sun in harmony with the greater cosmic processes at work now. This is about working with energy that generates momentum…….

And, talking of momentum…..last years event attracted approaching a quarter of a million participants and, with numbers increasing year on year, in 10 Billion Beats we could well be seeing the beginnings of an important global healing practice emerging. It has been said that it takes only 8,000 people working together energetically with a shared intent of this nature to manifest the most significant change in the world, change that affects the entire planet, that can have lasting effect for the greater good – last years event saw 25 times that number taking part, with over 200,000 people drumming globally. We should expect this number to increase again this year, and, with this the unity and continuity of the wave increases as well.  It may well be too early to say, however, what is emerging in a new form is already a part of a tradition with roots as deep as humanity. We are seeing the emergence, in Martin Prechtel’s words, of ‘new sap in the old tree’. And here, intent is everything…..

IMHO I feel that Carlisle Bergquist and the organisers of 10BB have pitched it just right; there is a global invitation to drum made in the spirit of ‘peace and goodwill’ and the invitation is left open – we bring to it what we each choose……take some time to think on this and the message in the poster. The event offers an opportunity to go far beyond this……

When a group of drummers get together the pulse they create carries a dialogue that speaks the language of the soul. In drumming together we recall an innate gift, as old as humanity, that allows our souls to speak freely with each other within the energetic matrix of Life. Drumming is, in this sense, re-membering. Music motivates at this level, but, when allied with ‘sacred intent’ or when held within the spacial contours of ceremony rhythm and pulse also provides an energetic drive that activates meaning and carries us beyond the physical boundaries we normally experience – when we remember in this context our connectivity carries a restorative as well as a generative ‘soul-making’ dynamic. This itself is a dynamic intrinsic to the Virgo/Libra cusp. At its highest level it is an energy point, like the descendant in the natal chart, of activation within communion.

In the transit from Virgo into Libra we find the culmination of the inner path of individuation transiting into the outer, the initiates path entering into the adepts and our highest levels of achievement becoming shared. These can become naturally nucleated within the collective and this finds symbolic representation in the ‘harvest’. One of the keys to understanding this transition is provided by the Sabian symbols for the degrees that form the cusp, the thirtieth degree of Virgo and the first degree of Libra.

The Sabian for 30 Virgo speaks of the quality of complete focus and it is this that brings about this ‘culmination’, which is akin to the decisive step taken by the initiate at the entrance to the holy ground. Decision of this kind, once made, becomes the backbone of intent. We face these moments of decision at all the major crossroads of our lives, but, if we are to live consciously and with intent, as does the adept, these moments fill our lives. Humanity is at that crucial point and we are being called upon to make the decisive step into adept-hood and maturity. Can we once more recognise our home planet as holy ground……

The Sabian for 1 Libra speaks of the quality of ‘making’ sacred – when living with intent the divine is not simply a given, it is a collaboration and partnership, or better, an affiliation and friendship. How would it be if we rcognised our ‘beloved’ in Nature….perhaps a rhetorical question for this event? The heart is the natural center within our physical frame that regulates the manifestation of this dynamic of connectivity. And, every heart beat echoes this dynamic, literally embodies it – the mutual symbolism of drum and heart beat is a potent reminder to us. Even more so through the evolved part of our beings that we express – there is a richness in the rhythmic cadence of our stride as we ‘walk our talk’ and in the steps of our personal ‘dance of power’ as we mature and let go into the greater rhythms of Life. It is a dance and dialogue built upon experience that can be perfected through pure mindfullness and love, and its realisation is every individual souls gift back to life. If the coming solstice marks a point of transformation it will be realised through our ability to give of this gift, personally within the collective – but, it is also crucial to us building a community capable of transcending and evolving beyond our own limitations.

The planetary affiliations of sign and ruling planet are revealing here too. We normally associate Venus with earth and Mercury with air, yet Mercury is the traditional ruler of Virgo and Venus ruler of Libra – the mutual receptivity of their rulership within the elements mirrors and is expressive of this energy of affiliation and is unique to this particular cusp.

……..as we approach the solstice, following the Sun’s journey from Virgo through Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, the energy raised now follows a path of awareness, piercing the veil of the physical, deepening as it creates new connections –  permeating the intelligence of the emotional body awareness becomes a power, bringing the opportunity to mature beyond the physical, before entering the spiritual realms of pure intellect and re-birthing from ‘the heart of the world’, the center of all manifestation, into the generative physical realms of Capricorn. The next 13 weeks give us the opportunity to align fully with this process and through the drums affirm an intent that will help us to do so. But, there are yet deeper levels available to work with here.

With the opening of the drumming we find the Moon, corresponding to ‘the People’, conjunct the Great Attractor in mid-Sagittarius. The GA’s influence gives us the view beyond the horizon, the future we dream of in our innermost selves. The seed dreams embedded in the energy of every participant are connected down the line over the 24 hours of the drumming. At close of drumming the Moon conjuncts the Galactic Center and grounds this influx of dreaming through the energies of the cosmic womb. This may be very subtle and esoteric by nature and appeal only to a few, but, even a small percentage of all those drumming can make the difference and it is the power of the essence carried within the dreaming, its qualities rather than quantity that matter most.

Before drumming this year, since it is ‘this’ year, take some time to consider an intent that arises naturally from the cornucopia of your own innate gifts, that arises most strongly in your heart, and that you can give through your drumming, as a gift to the world…..and give it your all…..

here is the link to the 10BB website

see you there!

In Peace, R

Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon of 2012 casts a clear blue light into the inner sanctuary of our thoughts and dreams. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the areas of our lives where the dreams we have for our future are at odds with the patterns and habits we have developed from the experiences of the past. All the outer planets are retrograde so the channels that connect us with the larger cosmos are open within and we can ask for guidance from the higher planes as we bathe in the light of this moon. The power we have to undertake changes as a result of our reflections is amplified and where our minds may wander in the process the visceral reality of the actions necessary to bring those changes about will become increasingly grounded and manifest as the lunation unfolds towards New Moon – so, this time of inner communication should be capitalised upon as there is much creative potential at work here too.

This will be a great Moon for creative work…..get artistic and let the inner processing have its way through art, music and, if you are so inclined, making celebration befitting the harvest. For those more inclined to working things out in the mind this may be a challenge, but, it is a challenge worth taking as the matrix of energies here also provide a powerful river of inspiration.

This is a very good moon for allowing the energies of Life to flow through us, for letting spirit speak – the qualites of togetherness and fruitful kindness will prevail if allowed and the means are here to remove obstacles to this happening. It is an important time and one that can bring great rewards! Blockages and old mental habits can be released if the river is allowed to flow – logical thinking may take on a left field quality and the parameters of our limitations become permeable enough to change our minds. An open minded attitude will work well for people so long as the energies that surround are positive and the company good.

Behind all this the struggle to break free of our collective restrictions, our birthing of a new way of living on our home planet is working underground and will continue to be present with us in the world. This movement and process will be focused, if that is the appropriate word, on the inner workings of power in collective bodies and organisations – we could see the sleeze behind the rot and the depth of deceptions that the powers that be continue to spin further exposed, and with two yods tieing into to both Sun and Moon, there could be some shocks and scandals – the media will have a field day, but, we expect this now, so don’t be distracted. The place to be is where your intuition tells you to be – follow the energies that excite you and if possible get out in the land; Nature will heal and inspire in equal measure. And this is perhaps the core message of this Harvest Moon – our Earth gives us beauty and good health beyond measure if we approach her with a good heart and an open mind. All we need is right here and our creativity, fueled by her inspiration, can take us well beyond the horizons of our knowing.

In closing this brief reflection on the Harvest Moon let us remember that exactly one year ago the world was seeing massive movements of the people, a collective voice ringing out the call for truth and an end to usury. Wall St. and Occupy took flight, riding upon this emergent energy for change and, a year on, this has become more widely, and perhaps more deeply, disseminated within our thinking. This moon brings the perfect opportunity to re-assess where this energy and the year has taken us – if the energy of that time were to express itself through us now, what powerful changes would it bring into manifestation……what powerful and wonderous things could we achieve……

Meetings at the Thresholds – the Spiralling Light

The cross-quarter fire festival of Lughnasadh coincides with the midpoint of the traditional Chinese year whose energies this year are symbolised in the Water Dragon. In previous posts I’ve alluded to the connection between the year of the Water Dragon and the Dragon Paths and, in honouring of this, here is a tale spun from the dragon pathways of Albion at this special time of year, a tale in which these energies are subtly woven together.

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The following is a true story. It is drawn from experiences and journal notes made some years ago – all the events and dialogues are faithfull to the reality experienced, and, while one or two of the names have been changed, everything else is related exactly as it happened – the images here were taken on the journey and are un-retouched colour prints, taken on film using a battered old Canon SLR that has now gone into retirement – I do have digital fully restored copies of these, but, somehow, here it seemed more fitting to show them in their original state! While the main part of the story centers around Lughnasadh time, its seeds were sown one summer solstice two years before and it is here that the tale begins……

It’d been an opportunity that seemed to arrive with perfect timing. My day job was wearing me thin and I really needed a break – but, the chance came and, one summers morning a few days before solstice, I packed my faithfull green Austin Maxi and set off for California Beach. For all I knew I was heading for a two week retreat, the opportunity to go barefoot, rest from the city madness and to breath again, to keep time once more with earth and stars.

Carol had lent me the use of her ocean-side wooden cabin, nestled in the dunes on the Norfolk coast at the eastern end of the Michael and Mary Ley Line, a place out-of-time where dreaming came naturally….I was familiar with this ley having lived close by Avebury in earlier times and Avebury lies on the exact mid-point of the Michael and Mary line. While living there I’d spent much time working with the land and its energies, exploring its seen and unseen realities, so, I was looking forward to connecting with the dragon paths again, but, I could not have anticipated how the dreamings that came out of this would manifest in time and space…….

Nature heals and the cabin gave safe sanctuary and plenty of time for reflection, and it wasn’t long before the realisation came that I needed change and a new direction. On solstice eve I lit a fire and offered prayers, asking for guidance, a path to follow…….and sometimes dreams slip their clothes and dance amongst us, like wind blown birds and rainbow bespattered spin-drift, spinning sparks rising from red hot embers into the star-struck night……and some reside in the timeless memories of stones…….this night the offerings cast to the winds and consumated in the flames of the solstice fire came back in the clothes of a dream.

‘Be patient and allow the course of things to unfold – ask for a sabbatical – regroup and renew your creative energies – and seek out your guides, they  have a plan……’

It took time well beyond the times of this tale before the plan fully came to fruition, but, by the time the seeds had begun germinating, the guides petitioned and their council given, the journey was already underway. The sabbatical marked the threshold and a revolving door swung open upon another world…..

Amongst the guidance received was a map for a journey to be undertaken on the land following an ancient track. This had its beginning at Carn Les Boel, exactly where the other end of the Michael and Mary Line emerged in the land at the very tip of Cornwall in south-west Britain. The journey would unite the seed point of the dreaming at the eastern end of the Michael and Mary ley in Norfolk with the western end of the ley and culminate in Avebury at its balance point.

So it was that, one sparkling morning on Lughnasadh eve, I found myself resting my back against the gatekeeper stone at Carn Les Boel. This stone is, without a doubt, powerful within itself, manifesting a sense of immovable and knowing rootedness that fully conceals the fact that it has been purposefully ‘planted’ at this precise spot to hold a resonant key in place. It is a key that serves the whole of these lands, for, not only does it mark the entry point of the Michael and Mary Line as they emerge from the Atl-antian oceans that surround this ancient shore, but, the stone indicates the initial crossing point of these twin rivers of energy and from there together they weave their dragon path, the ley that draws the path of the Beltane sunlight across old Albion.

At this initial crossing point is a vortex that is, at times, especially potent and complex. The vortex is itself a part of a living energy network, the nature and qualities of which are not fixed but which adjust and change in time – on this journey its energies made itself appear as a living void otherwise filled with an immense broiling ocean of swirling undercurrents, subtle to the physical frame, galvanising to the energy body….!

Within this is a resonant patterning of the different frequency bands within the Michael and Mary lines themselves, these too alter and change the geometric configurations that emerge out of divining the crossing point – and, being living energies, there is intelligence present, one which I found to be benevolent and which does communicate……

As I was walking away from the stone, somewhat bemused by the torque experienced between the physical and non-physical at the vortex, I heard a bird’s piercing call and turned towards its cry…..looking back towards the stone, in the direction of the call, a single flash of light burst from the center top of the gatekeeper stone and sent out a penetrating pinpoint laser-beam of brilliant star-light.

That night another dream came visiting……

I was camped out next to a beautiful old Alder up near Lamorna. Beneath the Alder a large flat stone gave a view through the hedge towards one of the Pipers, these being two 3 meter high granite pillars that are outliers that point directly towards the Merry Maidens stone circle. They are said to have accompanied the maidens in their circle dance and to have been turned to stone for their troubles, but, don’t be fooled – these Pipers, like the circle of sacred women who danced there with the earth and stars, are very much alive.

In the dream someone came and, casting a handfull of pollen in a pillar of light, asked ‘what do you see?’ – I awoke before answering……it was like an invitation, and, pulling the I Ching from my rucksack, I opened a page at random.

Hexagram 35, Prospering…Fire above Earth – “Emerge into the light; advance, be noticed; give and receive gifts……..You will be received by the higher powers three times in a single day”

In the body of this hexagram is the notion of a royal personage, symbolising the higher powers, bestowing gifts in the form many horses following the giving of a divination – auspicious indeed, and horses in the symbolic traditions of the I Ching, as well as the indigenous traditions of Albion, are a symbol of spirited strength in the natural world and are the counterpart of the dragon…..but, the royal visitation was most intriguing.

It was Lugh’s day and, through following an intuitive thread it came to mind to visit a very special ancestral site high on the Atlantic coast known as Chun Quoit. Contemplating the quoits location on the map I noticed that it was next to an iron-age settlement, a walled village known as Chun Castle. The connection between the quoit and the castle is speculative as the quoit is neolithic and predates the iron-age settlement by millenia, but, somehow the I Ching’s message seemed to resonate here…..

Chun Quoit’s reputation went before it – reports of lights and sounds heard within its inner space spoke of a living ancestral energy residing there. In approaching Chun the long moorland slope seemed to vibrate with every gust of wind that bright day and as the quoit came into view I could see beyond it the tumble of stones that marked the walls of the castle. Pulled towards the castle entrance way, marked by two upright stones, the village seemed to be held in a silence, listening, waiting….after paying respects to its keepers Chun Quoit called from down the slope. Standing between the gateway stones I heard voices carried upon the wind from below, but, turning to look all around, I could see no-one on the slope of the moors.

The quoit is crowned with a large capstone and gives the impression of an oversized lid to the chamber beneath providing great protection, and, even though the wind this day sang about the cracks between the stones, it was as if held at bay from entering its inner sanctum – this was filled with a sparky atmosphere that fairly crackled with the energy of the crystalline matrix in its granite walls and roof.  The earth within seemed hard baked and gritty – and not a place to be approached without invitation, especially if its matrix were to be explored. I decided to go sit a few yards from the quoit and see what transpired. As I was settling down on the grass near to the stones  I caught sight of them – a tall man dressed in an army great-coat that flapped in the wind with three children buzzing around him was slowly striding up the long slope of the hill.

Paul told me he was a painter of the lands here-abouts and, after I’d told him I was a carver we quickly fell into a conversation about how we worked and began to discover a common ground. We both had an interest in the ancestral indigenous energies of this land and how these found expression, working through our creativity. While the two youngest of his kids scurried off to explore the ancient secrets of the place amongst the stones he and his eldest produced large sketchbooks from their backpacks and began to gather flowers…..’these are our paints while we’re out and about’ he explained. Using carefully selected flowers for different colours and rubbing them directly onto the paper he showed me how their delicate smears of colour brought an earthy vibrancy alive on the page…it was a method I’d never seen before, some of the colours coming from leaf and petal, others from the pollen the flowers carried. Paul went on to say that these would provide the spectrum of colour from which he would build his studio paintings – it was magical to behold…..

We didn’t mention the quoit, it somehow wasn’t necessary, but, contemplated the colours within the land and the shape-shifting forms of flowing cloud shadows as they swept up the slope towards us in a sea of hazy sunlight. Looking beyond them I could see the ocean and the silhouette of a rugged tor some miles away….’thats Kenidjack, a powerful place on a day like today’ Paul said following my gaze and, gathering up their paintings, he and his kids made ready to move on – we bade our farewells and as they were leaving Paul said ‘you should go see the stone circles down below the tor – yeh, and the view from the tor is quite special too’……

It seemed like I good idea and, as I scanned the land it felt that the tor had a certain pull to it – just then a whisper of sound drifted by on the wind. I couldn’t identify it, but, it seemed to have come from very far away. And there it was again, a scintilation on the edge of hearing, shrill and melodic. This time I felt sure it was nearer, but, what it was I couldn’t quite place. After a few moments it sounded again – it was a tintinabulation of sustained rising pitches, very high, like tiny silver trumpets blowing on the wind, only this time there was no doubt about it – it was coming from the quoit!

The wind sighed around the stones as I stood up and made my way over – and just as I approached, within six feet of the quoit, I heard it again and saw two small specks rising from the edge of the capstone, spiralling around each other and weaving a column of energy. The silver trumpets accompanied their ascent until they burst apart and disappeared. Well, that was odd! I could have sworn they were living sparks of dense quick moving energy – I moved closer. There on the top lip of the capstone were two large wild bees – they were facing each other and, moving as close as I dare without wanting to disturb them, I could see that they were vibrating producing a low humming tone. Slowly they pivoted about a central point, and what was remarkable was that although they rotated first sunwise, then changed direction to moon-wise and back, they always kept their heads pointing towards each other across the diametre of their dance circle and made their moves in complete synchrony.

I’d witnessed the bee’s waggle dance before but never in the wilds and never a shared dance mirrored perfectly between two bees. These two were behaving quite differently from the bees I’d seen in the hives – they were very connected in their energy, clearly communicating at a hightened level……

Suddenly they both rose simultaneously in a vertical spiral from their circle, and there was the sound of the silver trumpets….it was a truly wonderous thing to behold…..and they danced this way in the air until an unseen signal sent them careening off at tangents and seconds later there they were together on a different part of the capstone. Their low humming circle dance unfolded briefly again before they both arose, but, this time they flew off in different directions leaving me breathless and elated, holding onto the quoit as if the wind might pick me up any moment and carry me off into the blustering brilliance of Lugh’s day.

It felt as if a dream of ancient rites was come alive in nature this Lughnasadh….but, the tor beckoned and the wind said ‘move on’…..

I failed to find the stone circles below Kenidjack Tor – sometimes the land conceals such things, as if another calling must first be payed attention to. Climbing the granite outcrop the comfortable looking bowl of a high seat revealed itself near the craggy pinnacle. Settling down to take in the view south and west out over the brimming ocean out beyond the land I caught site of distant islands emerging from just beyond the horizon – it was the Scilly Isles. The sea was alive with white horses and the day was filled with exhilirating dreamlike beauty…..the Scillys are also known as Lyonesse, the name of a rich and fertile land now beneath the sea that once joined the islands to the mainland, and it is said that the islands are the all that remains of a city built upon seven hills by the same name……

‘Beautiful up here isn’t it…’, the voice woke me from my revery, but, I had thought I was alone! Leaning forward I was greeted with the smiling faces of an elderly couple seated in a perfect two seater rocky armchair just below. ‘We didn’t want to disturb you, but, its such a beautiful day to be shared’ the kindly looking woman said…

‘Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you were there or I’d have said hello’ I apologised in turn…they invited me to join them in a cup of tea from their flask and, as we introduced ourselves I mentioned that I’d just come down from Chun Quoit, explaining that I was visiting on the advice of ‘some friends’.

They too were recent arrivals, having retired to Kernow some 5 years ago and had soon discovered this place, one of many favourites in this magical land. It was a shared dream that she a midwife and he a keen gardener had held since the early days of their marraige, to live out their golden years in this special place, and, even though it meant giving up certain things that were dear to them, they had no doubts that it had been the right thing to do – one of those things was bee-keeping.

‘Richard here used to be a avid bee-keeper’ Joan explained…..and, with this, I excitedly told them what I’d witnessed at Chun Quoit and asked Richard if he knew what the wild bees I’d seen were doing.

Richard’s face lit up…’well, it sounds like they were two queens telling each other where the boundaries of their hives had been, quite a rare thing to see, infact, in 40 years of keeping bees I’ve never witnessed it myself……they call the sound they were making ‘Piping’….’

There was no doubting from Richard’s wistful tone what a privilage it was to have been at the queen bees dance, but, he assured me that amongst ‘kept’ bees such things rarely happened, if at all, as the hives were fairly settled in their partnership with humans. Wild hives, however, often disband before winter and regroup to form a new hive – the circle dance was a serious exchange of essential information such that the two hives that the individual queens had and would belong to would not impinge upon each other in the future. It was an honouring of sacred law, kept amongst the bee tribes, the royal prerogative to know and keep to on behalf of their hives, in this way keeping the health of the land alive and secure within the honouring of this sacred natural law.

I had much to chew over as I headed back towards the Merry Maidens and Lamorna….

The circle and the Pipers had come alive in these encounters, reflecting in very real and magical ways the deeply woven mysteries of land and enchantment. The day was beginning to wind down and I wanted to pay my respects and give thanks before settling back to camp.

After parking up at the tent I wandered back over the fields. There was a strange light noticable around them in passing the Pipers and it felt right to not dally but to make a bee-line to the circle. I arrived just as the sun began to set.

Making a circuit of the stones I found a waist high outlying stone to rest against. The intense beauty of the sun as it sank to the horizon cast radial arms of light within the circle and I noticed that on this day from the vantage point of this stone the sun set directly behind the tower of a church that peaked out from a valley a few miles away, directly in line with the center of the circle. The image of the queens describing their circle around its centre flashed into my mind. There was a pull from the center of the Maidens and, as I slowly trod the path of a sunbeam towards their center I saw that a man with several dogs had entered the field and was walking towards them too. We met at the exact midpoint of the Maidens, just  as the last rays disappeared and the sky revealed a deeper luminesence.

There was something in the way in which it happened, the time and place, at the sunset of such a day, that gave an appointed feel to our meeting, as if it had unfolded in perfect expectancy. Everything was following a hidden thread through time and space upon which were hung the very qualities and energies necessary to fulfill this meeting at the Merry Maidens.

It was a mystery full of magic, but, it was several days later after travelling the Michael and Mary ley to Glastonbury that the depth of this mystery really began to reveal itself……

The man, who introduced himself as Will, was a stout and earthy character who had, he told me, bred horses in Dorset in the past, but, from what he said he seemed to have deeper roots in the land around old Kernow. He was accompanied by six greyhounds, some dappled, some dark, some light, and five of them were inquisitively exploring the stones and playing around the boundaries of the circle as we spoke – the sixth followed sedately behind and joined us in the center. She was extra-ordinary…..

Will saw me eyeing the dog as she entered the circle….’she’s ‘Queenie” he said, ‘looks after all the others, but, feigns to run around like the young’uns’. Queenie stood with us as we talked and she was unlike any dog I had seen before – not only did she have a dignity and detachment befitting her name that was intense and tangible in some strangely undoglike sense, but, she had red eyes and ears – she exuded an otherworldly aura. ‘Yep, she looks after us all….’ Will said, as if to make sure she knew she was honoured in this.

He asked after my own work and I mentioned how the land here was such a powerful inspiration, bringing a strong feeling of connection with the oldways….Will looked to where the sun was glowing beyond the horizon. ‘Yes, some of the old folk as used to be crafting with the land here’bouts would go along with that. Used to be a fella, fine woodsman and crafter lived down beyond the valley there – give him a piece of timber cut from the local trees and he could tell you which tree, the exact tree mind, that it come from….he were in his eighties as I remember him, when I were a lad.’ Will paused and looked around. ‘Its all changed now tho’, not many folks know the land like they used….the lands changed too, at least as it appears’. There was a sense of knowing in Will’s voice that betrayed a deeper understanding.

Then Will said something that, at first, I could’nt quite take in…..

He cast his hand around the circle of stones and said, ‘I remember the land before these hedges went up and the Maidens used to stand in open moorland. But, that was a long time back, eh Queenie….?’ and, at that Queenie gave a loud snort and slowly set off again. ‘Well, nights coming on and I must get these dogs their walk….goodluck on your journey’, and with that Will set off and followed Queenie, calling the pack to heal as they disappeared beyond the hedges in the falling dusk.

My Journey, as it unravelled, took me further up the Michael and Mary line, stopping off at ancient sites through which the ley’s energy converged and sang, until, some days later I broke off on another pathway and headed for the mountains across the Severn River before returning to the ley at Avebury. The last stop on this leg of the journey tho’ was in Glastonbury, a chance to mull over the events that had unfolded so far – and by chance that day I happened to wander into a bookshop on the highstreet and randomly picked out a book to see what it had to say about it all……it was a history of the folk traditions of the British Isles. I opened the book….

The passage my eyes fell upon sent a shiver through my entire being…….the King of the Underworld, it said, is accompanied by a pack of hounds, and tradition has it that they are greyhounds, but, no ordinary hounds by most accounts as these have red eyes and ears….

It seemed the guides had been spinning their thread in a magical pattern through every event and meeting of this journey and soon I discovered more spinning doorways high up in the mountains in the shapes of menhirs, and amongst caves and hidden valleys that gave way to other pathways connecting this world with the unseen ones. But, there-in lie many other tales….

In truth, everything is deeply intertwined and woven upon these magical skenes, and, in truth, within the meandering rivers of energy of the dragon paths a true and straight track is hidden in plain sight……if we but find the thread and follow…..

Bright Blessings this Lughnasadh!

Wise Choices

There is a skene that binds past and future and, stretched ever more taught in the present, its pitch is rising……in the right hands great beauty can be plucked from its vibrating heart.

The 2012 mid year solstice is ushered in on the rising energy of a New Moon in the last degree of Gemini. This lunation lends it qualities to the solstice and asks us to bring matters we have been working through since the previous New Moon, which was also in Gemini at zero degrees, to a state of maturity. The challenge is that over the coming weeks focus shifts into a deepening ‘let it all go and think again’ mode. Solstice takes this to a more meaningful and long term level, setting the tone for the coming quarter and beyond.

As demanding as it sounds there may be some wisdom in this, however, it is a part of the challenge facing us now to find and attune ourselves to the wisdom we all carry. The patterns we create now have a lasting influence; as if testing out our assumptions for the future – amongst which, for example, include all notions of ‘co-creativity’ – the universe is lining up a lesson in making wise choices for the inhabitants of this magical blue orb we know as our home.

There is planetary corroboration here as well. With Jupiter now also in Gemini, the weight of this challenge comes through a powerful influx of idealism and youthfull envisioning pitted against the lessons of the past. Jupiter is transiting the south node, so the torsion between claims of grounded realism and ground breaking innovation will be building – in the process the generational divide between old style philosophical approaches towards life and the inspired vision of a ‘brave new world’ will become more noticable – the debate about ‘our future and how we are going to get there without repeating the errors of the past’ is amping up and the tensions and pressures to walk the talk are now coming to center stage.

On the solstice itself Gemini’s ruler Mercury is joined in Cancer by the Moon and squares Saturn in Libra while also sextiling Mars in Virgo, so both sides are raising the  stakes and the depth of seperation between prevelant ideologies, which is already visible in the world, is going to become more of an issue upon which our most important decisions rest. This is going to throw fuel on the fire that burns where seperation between the will of the People and the will of the State is being expressed. Tensions here will be running high, and we can expect the supporters of the status quo to come out fighting once Saturn goes direct on the 25th, especially as this will also coincide precisely with the square between Uranus and Pluto becoming exact.

Jupiter feeds into the square through a building sextile to Uranus and quincunx to Pluto. As if we have not seen the rumblings already over the last year or more, the present generations are heading for potential collision with incumbent past generations in an attempt to wrest power from them and change our collective course. Last summer saw rioting, increasing disparity between ordinary citizens and State bodies, and Occupy picked up the baton – now the field is wide open and the action more organic, expressing diversity and resting on ‘intelligence’ – ground will be gained through surprise tactics and clawed back through clamp downs. Sound familiar….?

The heads and bodies of the beaurocratic power structures of the State are under pressure to meet the rising tide of discontent without recourse to the ‘old methodology’, for, to do so is to admit defeat, which they might be prepared to do if it wins them the battle! But, this will only further reveal just how rotten to the core they have become and, ultimately, further their inevitable demise and lose them the war, so to speak – people are sick of war and its all a matter of time now, a question of ‘how’ we make the transition out of the old death oriented paradigm into new Life.

With Jupiter also squaring Neptune through this time and heading for a trine with Mars at the end of the lunation, the religious orthodoxy will be looking increasingly out of touch and the Militia (and their covert allies) will be trying their best to keep their true alliegences hidden in the midst of it all, especially where the allience between these two archaic bastions of the old paradigm has created deep wounding of the collective soul – and this is a wound that has a global history stretching back over 5k years, and more.

In some sense humanity is being offered the opportunity to enter collective soul retrieval, something being voiced more and more in healing circles – one of the problems is that the wound also seperates so much of humanity from Nature, and Nature is the essential ‘where and how’ in restoring our condition to balance. We need the shamans within ourselves to come forward now and, working alongside the Peace Chiefs, turn the War Chiefs back around to protecting and honouring Life, the People, hearth and home. At the center of the circle is the Children’s Fire watched over by the Elders…..if you have it in you to work with the spirits, let them guide you in this work, let the light of your work with them illuminate your qualities of eldership and your path in the world now, expect it to take you well beyond your own familiar boundaries, and be prepared for whats coming as this will be a steep learning curve……we will quickly discover there is no room here for New Age bullshit.

Meanwhile, with Venus also sextiling Uranus, squaring Chiron and quincunxing Pluto the pressure will be building on those in power to come clean, admit liabilities and finally begin walking their talk (yes, that is a sardonic smile you can see behind this statement), especially regards their ‘concerns’ over the state of the Earth, ecological issues and the power relationships between these and global finance……and the tensions are such that this carries an ‘or else’ quality behind it! The alternative is to shut up, ship out and make way for the new generation of thinkers, movers and shakers. They themselves, if they do prevail now, will have an almighty mess to clear up before we can truly begin to establish the new paradigm that will ground the vision the youthfull idealists are so busy talking about.

Infact, it would be naive in the extreme to expect the ‘establishment’ to simply step aside – more likely they will be turning the screw, restricting freedoms and trying to outwit and compromise the ‘opposition’, even more than usual. And besides, the ‘new generation’ will more likely be working outside of the power structures of the past and building a ‘new world’ regardless. Watch out, be discerning, as this will suit to draw fire and aid the underhandedness of any subversive, on either side and including the agents of the NWO, down to the ground. Tricky, very tricky – who’s to believe?!

This process is now becoming increasingly familiar, but, has been going on for generations – so, neither should we be so naive as to think that this is happening without the ‘establishment’ attempting to use any ‘organic mass movement’ of the People to their advantage. We need the voice of experience here to help us be discerning and navigate these tricky times. Who amongst us, we may well be asking, are our ‘real’ Elders and where are they when we really need them……..the answer in these peer led times  is that ‘if the cap fits, the time has truly come, to step up to the plate, and wear it’…..are you being called?! Trust your inner wisdom…..

By the time this lunation comes to an end the matrix will be at flash-point sensitivity for radical change to manifest though direct action that releases the pressures and tensions that have built up over this month. The T between Mars in Libra opposite Uranus, both exactly square Pluto at 8 Capricorn at the July New Moon, is a hot potato and a taste of things to come. It could be a moment where the mechanisms tumble into place that release an ongoing runaway heightened dynamic and chain reaction into the course of global events (the Gemini Pisces square between Jupiter and Neptune has all the flavours of a chemical process gone crazy), but, however the energies pan out, the moment itself, marked by the July New Moon, will bring a much longer-term pulse into play that is connected more with the Solar than the Lunar cycles. So, the ‘turning point’ characteristics normally associated with the Solstice are being amped up significantly with the lunation beginning June 19th through July……

Theres more to support this notion. Something of note is happening with the harmonics surrounding the quarter and cross-quarter fire festivals, and this speaks of Earth changes. We need to touch on the science of this, and will do so in the next post, but, it will make better sense now if we consider the timeline first. From this time on, and over an extended period, we will find in the chart for each one of the fire festivals at least one noticably hard, tension filled or ‘flash-point’ aspect and the trend continues right into 2014 when we will see one of the most powerful cardinal grand crosses for many a year straddling the 2014 March Equinox and Beltane. That CGC will involve Uranus, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto, all in the mid decan of the cardinal signs, and they are all involved in the action here, almost as if in dress rehearsal for that time. The Norns themselves couldn’t have construed a busier agenda for themselves, or, perhaps they have. Whatever the channels through which they are working, the current lunation sets the tone. The dance between Fate & Destiny can manifest equally the struggle for survival and the ascent of the soul, and the two are inextricably linked……if there is an underlying theme to these momentous times, surely this is it.

During this intensely active and complex lunation we will see the planetary matrix go into a kind of overdrive that is akin to the flash of an entire life before the eyes of one about to either crash or return to spirit, and its all happening within the curiously slowed down sensation that we get as time speeds up that accompanies such experiences. Not everyone is going to be affected in the same way, but, at the very least, this will be a time of shifting focus as many planets are either stationing, and changing direction within the chart, or are changing signs, forming sharp aspects and opening vortices and arcs of energy between the inner and outer spheres. The next post will look at the nuts and bolts of these energetics from a cosmobiological perspective. For now, here are some of the main astrological steps taking us along this path through the current period :

19-06-2012 New Moon at 29 degrees Gemini

21-06-2012 Solstice – Sun enters Cancer

24/5-06-2012 Saturn direct, Uranus square Pluto exact

26-06-2012 Mercury enters Leo

27-06-2012 Venus direct

29-06-2012 Sun/Pluto/Uranus T square; Sun/Moon/Chiron grand trine

3/4-07-2012 Full Moon at 12 degrees Capricorn; Mars enters Libra; Moon conjunct Pluto; Venus/Mercury yod to Pluto/Moon

19-07-2012 New Moon in Cancer; Mars/Uranus/Pluto T Square; Jupiter sextile Uranus becoming exact……..

I had intended to leave it at that for now, but, on reflection, there is something else…….that matter of Elders and eldership.

There is no doubt that, whatever your personal take on the significance of the year 2012, we are creating more and more communication and feedback as it happens on the events and movements of our times. This is very much enhanced with the current Gemini influence, but, information alone is not enough to live meaningful lives and, as the Sun enters Cancer we get the drive to find meaningfulness in Life – this requires conscious self awareness and the ability to be led by more than meets the eye, or ear. Knowing of another order comes with eldership and it is the rhythms and pulses of the Earth and the solar system as a whole that reflect the kind of outlook and perspective that we might expect from the Elders of our Earth tribe that will serve us in the long run. Times like solstice help us to key into these rhythms and pulses, as the elders who live on within the ancestral realms know all too well. We would do well to ask of their council at this time.

Eldership cannot be fabricated – it can be recognised, but, it requires a community that is capable of doing so. Community elders have an aura of ‘time’ about them that can only be gained through experience so, outwardly, this comes through celebration of a life lived and honoured, the recognition that an individual’s life experiences are of great value to the community and serve to provide a deeper, wider and longer perspective on Life. Solstices also offer a time to honour and celebrate these qualities……every star is an ancestral fire.

Inwardly, for one entering eldership, the recognition is a self-reflective knowledge that the events of ones life have all been meaningful – even when we are not sure exactly what that meaningfulness mounts up to there is a feeling of trust in life that Life ‘knows’ and will make use of our experience and bring out those true values that arise naturally from it when the time is right. An Elder who has embodied the natural processes of maturity will also have developed their connections with the cosmos, that bring this wider knowing. This brings solidity mixed with a certain otherworldliness to a true Elder, and we can often sense this in such people. And, just for clarity, the word Elder is capitalised here to distinguish the role and state from that of being ‘elderly’……..somehow we have to re-unite these two notions of age and maturity, and in this we are all Elders in the making. Go well, and peace be in your heart…..

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Apologies for the lackof pics with publication of this article – look out for these in updates!

Diviner’s Tales

Divination is at root a communal activity and, in our times, bringing its practice into a circle of shared space can also mean an opportunity for re-discovering just what ‘community’ means, and feels like…

…..it was perhaps one of the most unlikely places to find a scene such as this, but, on this occasion the circle of people, old and young, gathered around the African diviner’s cloth in a small Austrian house on the edge of the mountains, were enacting a communal event that could have been found in traditional villages the world over in a timeless span stretching back to the very roots of humanity. Three people had already been called to sit with the diviner and the readings had been good – everyone was enjoying each other’s company within this communal ritual space, the sharing of news from both this world and the ancestor’s, as well as the knowledge that those particular problems that had been besetting the divinees were infact an important part of a larger plan or perhaps the calling card of a spirit, but, whatever the purpose, were at the very least already known about by the denizens of the unseen worlds, and the diviner’s allies….help is always at hand, if you know where and how to look for  it.

……the diviner’s cloth was spread in the center of the room and was oriented so that its water quadrant, the place of the spirits of healing, was in the north, where the diviner sat – the divinee would sit opposite, nearest the fire quadrant, the place of the ancestors. Atop the cloth were many objects associated with the quadrants and the diviner’s personal medicine and the cloth itself had a medicine wheel, a cosmic elemental map, painted onto it with representations of the five main elements, the diviners own hands and feet, and various other miscellaneous markings whose meaning contained many mysteries…..at the center of the cloth, covering the earth quadrant, was a pile of cowrey shells with small stones, bones and assorted objects mixed in amongst them. These would spell out the picture, in relation to the elements, that the diviner would read once the divinee had churned them around within the circular medicine wheel at the center of the cloth…..but, there was yet more to this comprehensive healing kit….

….close by and on the cloth the diviner had placed the additional tools and equipment from his medicine bag that wanted to be present. He might not use any of them within this session, as they did not belong directly to the cloth and shell divination practice, but, they were a part of his extended repertoir for seeing into the other worlds and conversing with its inhabitants. Amongst them were a stout natural wooden stick, which could be used in spirit led ‘stick divination’, a small woven basket that looked like a minature beehive and was both the home, shrine and meeting place for two of his main allies, and various organic and man-made objects, shells, roots, coins and bits of bone and hide, amongst other less identifiable material……these could all be called upon, often at the prompting of the spirits, to help the diviner to fine tune and look deeper into the nuances of the reading as things came up, or to see aspects of the situation that the shell divination might not extend to.

Almost everything visible came from the world around, had been aquired by the diviner over the course of time and training and fit comfortably into the diviner’s hide bag, which he could carry with ease slung over his shoulder. This was a practical healing outfit suitable for travel within a global community that, when brought out into our midst, provided a focus of otherworldly and multi-dimensional proportions. Every diviner is a gatekeeper, and those things that did not come from the world around, although they might not ‘look’ particularly out of the ordinary, had infact been gifted or brought back from the otherside of the gateway……

“So…..who’s wanting to come up next” the diviner asked softly, gathering up the shells  into a small compact mound at the center of the cloth. He did not look up until there was a movement as my friend made her way to sit in the center of the circle with the ancestors….”I guess I am….” she said, a little self-consciously….

The diviner gestured towards the cloth…..” you know how it goes – using your dominant hand you move the shells within the circle – the women move the shells moon-wise. If I say ‘stop’ you stop, or you stop when you feel to stop……ok, if you are, we’re ready……”.

There was a pause and the circle settled back quietly, expectant at the events about to unfold……the flame of a candle on the house keeper’s altar flickered momentarily as my friend rested her hand on the pile of shells at the center of the cloth. She closed her eyes briefly and then, on the command of some inner impulse, opened them and started moving her hand counter-clockwise in a circle. Shells, stones and bones began to spread outwards and one or two slipped right to the edge of the circular design – this was usually a sign of either something heading for the spirit worlds or something about to arrive from them. Only, my friend’s hand kept on turning and, as it did, shells began to cross the circle’s boundary….a subtle ripple of energy swept through the room.

I knew enough about my friend, her situation and what had brought her here (and I myself had over two decades of experience in the practice of divination at that time) to know that, although the patterns appearing on the cloth might well extend into the spirit realms, here there was something awry about the spread she had produced and the people gathered around were also picking it up. I was watching the diviner carefully – he showed no sign of speaking but his eyes were riveted on the cloth……eventually my friend stopped churning the shells.

There was an audible outbreath from the village circle and a few quiet whistles and exclamations – the diviner scratched his head and raised his eyebrows. Only now was he showing a reaction, and it was as of one slightly befuddled, astounded even, by the complexity and import of what he was seeing….

“Well…….” he paused, as if looking for the right words…..”what….has been going down with you…..!” It was obvious from the distribution of the shells that this person was undergoing some major challenges and it was not the purpose of the reading to find out what they were, at least not on the outside, that would come from her – no, the purpose here was to disclose what was at their root and find ways of responding.

The aim was to help restore balance and ‘optimise’, no matter how difficult or challenging the situation, but, first we all needed to hear it from the horses mouth, so to speak – this was just as important to the communal aspect of the healing as the practical solutions that would come later.

From the way the shells and objects were spread over the center of the cloth, some spilling well beyond the boundaries of the medicine wheel, it was obvious that this person, my friend, was not all here, that parts of her energy had become dislodged and found their way into the spirit realms, which meant that her integrity, inner balance and perhaps, more than likely infact, the fundamental health of her world situation, was seriously out of kilter – her answer would confirm this…..she was suffering breast cancer, it was impinging on her lymph system and, to make matters more difficult, she was looking after her mother, who was in the more advanced stages of the same disease herself. Without going any further into the details surrounding this situation here, like the divinee’s situation itself the level of healing required in this instance was, in the words of the diviner, going to be ‘radical’!

What I found especially interesting about this reading at this point was two aspects of ‘knowledge’ that the divinee and the ‘village’ circle embodied simultaneously…..on the one hand, the village contained some people who were already well versed in the cowrey shell practice of divination they were taking part in, but, they had not been a party to the divinees situation. There were no visible signs of her suffering. However, the tangibility of the reading, its energetic imprint and effect upon the village circle gathered around the cloth was powerfully visceral, even and most notably, before my friend spoke about her plight……the second, and equally important to the veracity of the reading, was that neither she nor I had witnessed this particular kind of cowrey shell reading before – she had no idea that her actions with the shells would send out such a strong signal to the village, nor how clearly their configuration revealed the extent of her problems, let alone their exact nature and the reality of what lay behind them. The reading taking place here was genuine and true.

It was only when the diviner began to open the dialogue between himself, the shells, his spirit allies and the divinee that the way forward began to emerge, but, in this particular instance, it was a tough and demanding process – so much of this person’s energies were becoming scattered beyond the physical worlds. First steps required a cleansing of the ‘wound’, which was as much if not more spiritual than physical, although the physical was pulling the anomoly into manifestation – this required an otherworldly dressing and application of preventative medicines that reached right into the spirit worlds. The radical nature of the healing would, infact, last over a period of 5 years, require many more readings, strong practical remedies (which, for the sake of privacy, integrity and brevity, I will not go into the exact nature of here in detail), but, would eventually lead to complete remission from the disease. Complete and sustained, largely thanks to two things…..

The first was my friends willingness to undergo the full journey, to stay the course, and that rested on the second thing. Besides ‘radical’ responses there were those that provided ‘maintainence’, that kept things in balance and good health. While the former, the ‘radical’ actions this healing required, could only be overseen and facilitated by an experienced and initiated healer, the maintainence work could be undertaken by the patient themselves.

The second thing was that, in the course of undertaking and keeping up this work, my friend discovered that she herself was a healer within this tradition, that she was naturally endowed with connections to the spirit worlds that this diviner’s tradition recognised, facilitated and supported, and she eventually became a fully initiated healer herself in the tradition of Kontombli medicine and divination. I’ll say a bit more about this kind of medicine in due course, over the coming months, but, this was an immensely important part of her journey through illness, a major part of its inner significance, and it was only through the divination itself and her willingness to follow it through that this itself became revealed. How much of what we ‘suffer’ in this world actually represents an opportunity, a signpost or significant shove in the ‘right’ direction, is an important question in our times – most often, we need the assistance of the otherworld, its insights, and the work of diviners and our own divination practices to help us discover this. Its not so much about ‘self-help’ and evolution, as reclaiming the power inherent in our own path and using it in the most appropriate and advantageous ways, for both ours and the community’s ‘greater good’ – the latter two are synonymous.

I wanted to introduce something of this traditional practice firstly through personal anecdote, as I will be writing up readings working with this method of divination here at Owlmirror, using this as a way of exploring some of the fundamentals and principles, the pragmatic as well as esoteric aspects of the diviner’s art, as well as for looking into the current processes and state of things in the world, in much the same way as we do with astrology – this form of cowrey shell based divination works surprisingly well alongside astrology and complements many other paths and practices, from diverse traditions. Secondly, this particular event also marked the beginning of my own practice as a cowrey shell diviner.

The year was 1998…..after practicing astrology, rune-casting, tasseomancy, the I Ching and reading the signs in nature for many years my practice had begun to feel incomplete and slightly out of focus – I came later to realise that, despite all the previous years experience, I had not yet found my own personal center of gravity as a diviner. The pull of that center had begun to become conscious in the early 70’s through encounters out in the land with the ancestral spirits and spirits of nature, particularly in the Atlantic coastal area of North Devon and in Wiltshire in the UK where I had been living. It took a decade of following the twists and turns of the path before I met my first formal teachers and mentors, at which point those encounters became much more interactive and articulated, and I found myself pursuing a training in ‘spirit medicine’.

It felt like a calling, although I was at pains to make something practical of it in the world, and there still remained the feeling that at the back of it all, like a powerful magnetic core was the real center, that I was slowly spiralling in towards, the place that felt like’ home’. Through the next decade I was pulled further into this ‘medicine’ world and I found my old divining practices becoming more like technical variations on this larger theme – the ‘medicine’ work had become ‘life-work’. It wasn’t until finally I arrived in that room in Austria and laid eyes on the divining kit spread at its center that everything changed, came into focus, and the dots all suddenly and, quite ecstatically, joined up – it was an instant recognition, an ancient and familiar feeling, uncanny and so deeply known, beyond any doubt, just as one might recognise loved ones and places one has known in former lives……

……..that moment of recognition was followed by six years of training with the diviner, Malidoma Some, a Dagara elder and shaman from Burkina Faso in West Africa, and through this all the strands of previous training and activity, in medicine traditions, creative work, divination and different modalities of healing, both contemporary western and ancient indigenous, came together and made sense. In that moment was one of the most liberating feelings I had had in my life to that time…..but, as is in the nature of the trials of life by which we truly learn, even this affirmative centering was eventually to become challenged and questioned.

My friend did recover fully into complete remission and I was fortunate to accompany her on the entirety of her journey – I witnessed the immense liberation and burst of life-force that she too experienced in arriving at that moment, when the doctors confirmed what the spirits had already previously revealed to us – the cancer was completely gone……the moment marked a turning point for both of us. A whole series of events was set in motion that would change both our lives, even more radically than this part of the journey had, much more infact, but, thats something that will have to be spoken of another time…….suffice it to say, she pursued her calling within the Dagara tradition and I, largely through the fated intervention of the Kontombli spirits, eventually came to totally rebuild my own life and practice, from the absolute zero point. Hard as it is to convey just what this means, it required most of all that my own work in the world comprise only that which I could truly say ‘belongs’ to me, to this particular ‘spirit having a human experience’.

Divination is a constant resource in helping us to undertake such work on a personal level – I have seen lives changed in profound ways by its intervention, the intervention and advice of the spirits. The stories that people bring back as a result of having taken up and followed through upon that advice are the real reward for such service as the diviner provides – I hope to relate some of these here, but, from this point in I will be including readings working with the shells, as the occasion arises. Unlike astrology, which is a useful vehicle for divination practice, but, which has a utilitarian availability that allows it to be made use of at will, the cowrey shell practice is of itself much more spirit led and comes up almost unfailingly with a ‘certain purpose’ behind each reading. The fact is, as a diviner, the practice can be developed to such an extent that this particular way of working becomes the basis for all divination work, if the path is followed with a full commitment. At its most integrated levels the practice seemingly disappears and becomes the life lived once more, rather than something one does within one’s life…..the implications of this are worth exploring as its effects profound, liberating and ultimately, I would say, bring us home to ourselves.

We will go into the components of the practice, as described and introduced in the above story, in more detail – and the correspondences with other divination practices are many, so, there will also be opportunity to compare and feedback from your own practices as well. The images here show my own working kit, as it was when I was training with Malidoma, and I will be talking about this kit in some depth as well. Over the intervening years it has changed, become more integrated and personal, while retaining the essense of the original. That process of recapitulation, distillation and refinement is key and the kit has become idiosyncratic to my own practice. Within this is the fundamental point – that we can all discover, put together and work with a divination kit (and practice) that is unique to each of us and that this can and does allow us to fully integrate the ways and means of the diviner seamlessly and invisibly into life, such that we can live our purpose in fullness, balance and total integration – such empowerment is, in my humble opinion, more valuable than anything else, both to ourselves and our communities, and supercedes any notion of evolution, collectively or individually.

Within the indigenous community from which this form of cowrey shell divination has arisen the purpose of a person’s life is primary to their identity, health and ability to function within the community – it is the gift that we have come here not only to remember and own, but, to deliver into the community. A divination such as the one in which my friend found her healing also gave her the crucial footing upon the most profound aspects of her own path and, through this, the community was changed, forever – such is the way of the diviner, no matter in which way or at which level we engage with it. It was also the shared knowledge  of her predicament amongst all those present at her reading that enabled them to provide the support she needed to make that journey, and, in the course of time that support rippled outwards into larger fields and communities. This came about not least of all as a direct conscequence of her having reclaimed her power and life-force in the process of entering into the wider community of life at the call of spirit. Everything is connected in this way, and we all are both affected by and can benefit from such interventions, especially when they are consciously sourced from the spirit worlds. The transformative and fundamental nature of divination rests on this basis – it is innate within us.

The Wild Garden

Once again the eclipses are with us and we are being called to turn our eyes to the skies for even greater things – Venus’ transit of the Sun on June 5/6th is already being hailed as an astronomical ‘event of a lifetime’, a statement of fact as it will not occur again as an event observable from earth until 2117. Significantly, it is preceded by a partial lunar eclipse on June 4th – and, while eclipses, even partial ones, always draw attention and media coverage this one appears almost as a curtain caller, which itself is a measure of the importance being given to the Venus event – the 2012 Venus transit will be the most observed, measured, recorded and pondered over we have ever seen on this planet.

Coincident with recent astro-events, amongst which the solar eclipse, the Venus/Jupiter conjunction and the multiple alignment with the Pleiades constellation stand out as seed moments, a process is emerging, that asks us to recover our true nature and claim a level of maturity as a species that can bring us into harmonious and peaceful co-existance, with our planet and each other. The eclipse and Venus transit bring this feeling and potential energy to the fore once again, their symbolic resonance offering us a useful symbolic mirror and practical way into engaging with this process yet more deeply.

The Venus transit itself has been hailed as the re-birth of the Solar Feminine, a beautifully provocative symbol that appears to resonate with the promise of restoring balance to the genderised notions we have about the Sun, spirit and consciousness, as well as Venus’ own inner light of meaning. However, there is another side to these symbols and we do well now to be vigilant and discerning over the use of solar symbolism, especially to describe Venus’ transit of the Sun. There is in it an innocuous and covert assumption that is the product of millenia of suppressive historical re-writing, spiritual and political propoganda  and anti-goddess (one could say anti ‘pagan’) dogma. And we should not forget the millions that have died as a result. In our times that assumption expresses a blind-spot and a bias that supports the perpetuation of solar supremacy. Infact, with the Venus’ transit in particular, there is a magnetic pull towards the re-emergence of the divine feminine, not so much defined by the solar masculine component as taking her rightful place back from the masculine as the ’embodiment’ of wisdom and, in the process, seeding the solar paradigm with her transformative power. If the events and their symbolic import here count for anything, it is indicative of the transformative power and fertility of darkness, especially in its relationship with the light, and particularly in the context of the divine feminine. Symbolically, it is the Black Goddess we are seeing re-emergent within the celestial processes at work through this eclipse and transit, in her simultaneous role as both mother of and midwife to the new paradigm.

This is not head stuff – the call here is emotive, powerfully so, and its energy is directed towards manifestation, making things ‘real’. But, what is real? A major factor in this paradigm shift is looking to our personal experience for answers to this fundamental question – it is part and parcel of taking back our personal power, a process that supporters of the old paradigm are at odds with. For them perpetuating the blind-spot does nothing but suit their conservative purposes and keeps the masses down, exactly where we most effectively serve any purpose but our own. So, how do we find a synthesis and integrate this apparent dichotomy.

With these celestial events taking place in tropical Gemini and on the Gem/Sag. axis the whole issue of awareness and communication, of head stuff and the need for open and co-operative thinking is not only pushed out into the open, but is pushed open, like the shoots of a new plant busting through a seed pod or an acupuncture needle stimulating energy channels to open and flow with new energies – we are given here a golden opportunity to break the mould of our habitual thinking, particularly in relation to stereo-typically masculine mental habits and regimes, and open our minds. There is here the irrepressible energy of organic thinking, the mind of nature taking shape, which means we do not have to have it all figured a-priori, that we can trust in the body of wisdom that we are. It also means that the old rules have been broken and there are no repacements – this is the artist’s reality and it belongs to Venus.

Venus is here delivering the acupuncture needle, the veritable bee sting of burning experience, that stimulates those old energy channels and opens up new ones with creatively ripe and powerful goddess energies. This is the turning point, the Yin seed awake and activated within the Yang…..

With Venus connection to Taurus the earthy nature of her powers, the goddess energies she connects us with and the rhythmic beauty of her dance in relation to our planet all come to the fore. She is tied in space and time, through spacial geometry and periodicity, with Earth. Together, Earth and Venus bring their own balance to the inner cosmos of both our bodies and the solar system and imbue all life with the divine potential inherent within their sacred geometry – they conjure the ‘Golden Mean’ to an 8/13 rhythm, their combined annual orbital pulse (musicians should try playing and dancers should try dancing this rhythm – a swirling organic polyrhythmic awakener). Their dance winds and re-winds the coiled spring and vector of potential life-force that drives manifestation within the physical realms. Together in their dance around the Sun they embody Movement and Measure in balanced and dynamic harmony, but, a harmony that insists upon constant change and achieves balance through the momentum of change itself – the fundaments upon which the medicine wheels of Life themselves are built. The symbol of this dance is the Rose, a sacred goddess flower embodying beauty and power, both radiant and fierce, the flower of ‘sensual experience’ in all its natural uncensored glory.

We are too easily swayed by the indoctrinated masculine mindset itself into taking ‘thinking’ as a substitute for experiencing, of reasoning as the path to knowledge. A direct corrollary to this is our relationship with the internet, and there is no doubt about the impact that this relationship has had upon our mentality and how we interact with the world. The evolutionary process for us now is something that cannot be reasoned into existance and, as if to push this point home, in combination, the eclipse and transit bring the full impact of nature’s innate power, both cyclical and fecund, into that light and earth it, at least on a symbolic level. Without the Earth perspective, both literally and metaphorically, this will not happen. But, this is far from being a ‘conservative’ process…..it needs the edge and gritty realism, the tension of creativity and the commitment of seeing the process through that a true birth demands. We are in that place, and the planetary matrix reflects this as well.

Mars will be square both the eclipse and Venus transit from mid Virgo. There is always a creative tension inherent in the ‘square’ aspect, and never the more-so than in this instance – the creative impulse here however is ‘explosive’, very high octane, its highest octave being transfigurative. To reach this level of realisation requires ‘purification’ and this is where the tension is expressed most sharply. Can we in actuality shake ourselves free of the limiting (and formerly, at least psychologically, protective) husk of the past and the body of the old paradigm. The evidence ‘out there’ right now suggests that the answer is not clear, as yet, but, that we are beginning to treat the process as a birth, that the movements that signal the onset of ‘labour’ are happening, that the energy is building and, crucially, that at some very important point we will without a doubt need to ‘PUSH’! But, the metaphor of birth itself describes only the active temporal aspect of the process – what is being birthed can only be answered by going through (with) it.

The eclipsed Moon in the 15th degree of Sagittarius asks us to look for the physical evidence and bring it out of the darkness, evidence that exposes the core beliefs and philosophies we collectively ‘know’ are necessary for our future – the challenge is in sharing the realisations and experiences this brings. Adopting feminine approaches over masculine is key, before we can regain balance, or transcend this particular duality. We need to be both expressive and receptive, to voice our truth in all its power and both hear each other and acknowledge what we hear – only then will the underlieing collective power we are being motivated by become a power we can resource for conscious change. Without this level of collective engagement this power remains dangerously unconscious and, as such, volatile, potentially destructive –  what is the binding and resolving ingredient in this natural alchemy?

Mars direct motion signals outward expression while Venus retrograde motion signals inward manifestation – mutually re-inforced mental patterns and unresolved business here need fully conscious physical grounding and, if unattended to and consciously ignored, can lead to emotive eruption of those complexes that lie below the surface, especially those that collectively hold the tension between spirit and matter, male and female, thinking and feeling – once we start to ponder this it becomes obvious that, in our times, this is a very big deal and is very much tied up with the prevelant zeitgeist, and how we embody our desire for truly significant change.

On an individual level the placement of any planet mid-sign, especially in the mutable signs, will show the personal context within which we are likely to experience this tension and the degree to which we will have access to its energies…..meditation on this will go some way to revealing how it can be consciously integrated and handled within our own lives but the symbolism of the transit in particular helps us plumb its deeper meanings and tap into its potential energy.

Appropriately to Gemini the danger is in acting out while we do so, of allowing the unconscious to sneak below the radar of our awareness – but, acting out can have two meanings and we are looking to bring out the sacred dance of these energies here, as a way of owning them rather than projecting them unconsciously. It is better to act as if than to not act at all.

The power of expression here is passionately motivated, its highest manifestation is grounded on a matured understanding of dynamic balance and mutual interdependance and this is embodied through ‘letting go’. Such grounding has a dynamic like that between the energy moving through the dancer and the discipline and physical form that their body lends to the dance. The balance is emphasised here at a fundamental level between the active and the receptive, the co-existent and mutually interdependent dance between Yin and Yang.

We are at a turning point where the Yin seed is activated within the Yang.

Culturally and spiritualy this signals a return of the goddess energies through the leadership of powerful women who are supported rather than opposed by men – the onus is upon the men to realise their role as consort to the goddess and protector of her sacred power, rites and rights – they act similarly and pay respects towards their own in doing so. Remember, this is the energy expressed in the square, the question being asked of us, and it is initiated by the eclipse…..the transit sees it followed through and the symbolism of Venus re-birth develops how this can happen…..

There is, however, the other connection between the eclipse and the transit, the Pluto/Uranus square, and it is the Moon that manifests this connection most strongly. The eclipsed Moon in mid Sagittarius carries the seed energy forward to conjunct exactly with Pluto at 8 Capricorn at the time of the Venus transit, which means that it is the People who will embody the alchemy of this transfigurative movement for rebalancing and feel its power surging from the roots – for those who have a mind and heart to receive it this is the re-birthing goddess’ inner light and it will mark the beginning of the seven square cycle between Pluto and Uranus. Culturally and sociologically this says it could begin to manifest the ‘push’ now as a molten tectonic impulsing to drive change through. We always knew, deepest in our guts, that the Great Mother would have her say and it seems it will be through her children that she brings her wrath to bear at the injustices and crimes that have been committed against her, at least at the outset. The eclipse is partial – we are literally caught on the horns of our dilemas…….this is a moment of choice.

As seen from Earth the pathway that planet Venus is taking will see her loop exactly between the horns of the bull in the constellation of Taurus, and the Sun is on a path that is coming to meet with her directly from the bull’s heart. This brings to mind the ancient bull leaping acrobatics of the Minoans, a sacred rite itself dating back to the Taurean age. The symbolism of Venus path alone is deep enough for a book of its own. Astrologically speaking, however, the conjunction will take place in the 16th degree of tropical Gemini……

As an aside, it is interesting that in the run up to this eclipse and transit that, just as Venus was conjuncting Mercury, the arch Geminid trickster and artful dodger, elbow powered propogator of anarchic left-fieldism, that it comes to light that Cafe Nero is blocking wifi connections within its coffee shops to any website that is supporting or propogating ‘alternative’, esoteric and non-mainstream views, especially those with a non-conformist line in spirituality. Mercury calls time, time to occupy said establishments en-masse with flasks in hand, and make art, hold mass journeys using headphones and make art, hold tarot readings, practice astrology, divinations, all with a flask, and make art……buy a biscuit and they can’t stop you! How alternative, how deviant is a human being being human………

“….the ‘alternative is now mainstream. The paranormal is normal and the people who have supernatural experiences are, as Rodney Stark put it, no longer ‘kooks….deviants (and) social misfits’, but, may actually ‘be more emotionally healthy than those who do not have such experiences'”(1) These reflections give us something of the flavour of how this emergent energy is going to show its face and will both expose the old paradigm at work and alert us to those areas of our own everyday life in which the blind-spot mentality is at work, even the most mundane areas, and release new energy into our midst.

And what of the high side of this process – is it in how we bring our expanding awareness and developing understanding of the issues, any issues demanding a new line of action, to bear on and in the physical world? There is a 3rd/9th house dynamic involved as well that is very much about capitalising on the true value of our personal gifts, releasing them from censorship or suppression and bringing more and more of them into the shared space of community, and then using them, as well as the shared dialogue that naturally arises, once we claim our free voice, to propel us forward on a meaningful path out in the world and the future. Infusing consciousness with improv powered drives, totally personal, unique – its finest highest promise showering richess beyond belief, that have never been seen before, such that we become ‘fountains of blessings’ within our communities…..here ideals and materialisation interpenetrate at the heart center and create the nectar of the rose.

Like the events unfolding in the world around us now, that reflect the struggle that accompanies the birth stages of this process back to us, these celestial events are visceral, their power manifests in phenomenon and goes beyond the mental and spiritual solar plane. So much of our human world is becoming removed from this power, but, it need not be so, says Venus, so says the astrologer. Astrology itself is all too often nowadays conducted in the virtual world, calculated, described, prescribed and experienced via computer, has an instantaneous quality to it that has superceded contemplation and physical experience, particularly of the stars and planets themselves, as well as the cosmos within which we share those experiences. As Nick Campion says in his history of astrology :

“That we are in the middle of the electronic revolution, with its new narratives of cyber-communities, creates an appearance of profound change. The Hubble space telescope has provided visual evidence of galaxies billions of light years away, but, to all intents and purposes, the experiential world has shrunk.”(2)

That miniscule dot in front of the Sun is a planet. And yet we suffer an impoverished sense of what the enormity of the cosmos in the face of this experience really means or, sadly, feels like. So innured from the emotional, psychic and mystery swollen wonder of the experience itself have we become, not least of all through our obsession with pixilated information, or the pollution of light itself in our skies and homes, and fundamentalist beliefs. That feeling, that Venus resides symbolically within a mantle of, is accessed through direct experience and actualisation, rather than conceptualisation or vision. We need, so desperately, to fall in love with the cosmos again, and to loose our heads in the process, as lovers do……

Earth is also our lover, if we let her be. What is life like, we have to ask, without indoctrinated Oedipal projections of taboo laden fear stiffling our joy at coming home to the embrace of her lush fecundity. Earth’s role within these events is crucial, as is the role of darkness and shadow. As it is for the seed in the soil and the egg in the womb, that, responds with its own inner impulse and releases the power of its own internal light, its life-force ‘multiplies’ in response to the fertile warmth of inner-body sensuality. Earth is the place to which we come to embody this integration of impulse and manifestation…..and experience it!

The inner luminousity, the very power of the Black Goddess present within the ‘body of experience’, is carried forward from the eclipse by the Moon, and the Moon conjuncts with Pluto in Capricorn at the exact time of the Venus transit. We have to dive down into our own inner cosmos, as the eclipsed Moon suggests, just as Venus dives down across the face of the Sun, showing us her deepest darkest shadow side, and, scooping up a handfull of the clay of our inner being, let it be moulded by the molten alchemy of Pluto’s root realms. There can be no ascent without this alchemy becoming rooted through Life experienced in the body.

The ‘earthing’ of spirit, the role of ‘soma’ and the conscious utilisation of psycho-somatic energy is also key here. It is the expression of raw life force seeds consciousness with transformative powers. Experience transforms knowledge into wisdom, the visceral ‘lived-in’ wisdom that belongs to Her. This moves beyond the symbiotic partnership of masculine and feminine and produces the third archetype that is the progeny of their synthesis, which expresses the psychic force of the emergent new paradigm. The Sunchild, if it is its symbol, is not of the Sun alone…..and births its own inner sun.

It is important to remember here that the function of the new paradigm is not to destroy the old one, but, to integrate it – the dark-mother archetype, whose representative is the Black Goddess, is the overseer of this process. Here’s Marion Woodman :

“The most difficult transformation, as we move into this new paradigm, is the realisation of an interiorised spirituality. Polytheism and monotheism as we have known them involve a projection ‘out there’ onto Mother (Nature) or Father (Sun) or their surrogates. The Divine has relied, and continues to rely, on the evolution of human consciousness for continuing revelation. The most important step in the evolution of our consciousness is the pulling back of the projections so that we can begin the process of looking for the Divine within……

….Today, we are collectively moving to a higher plane as we are ushered into the new paradigm and the new millenium. We are being impelled to find our ‘Interior Castle’ (as Saint Teressa of Avila described the realm of inner spirituality). The dislocations of the outer sphere of public policies, attitudes, and behavior are making it imperative for us to turn inward to locate ourselves in the ‘ground of being’. Within the center of every living thing dwells the soul of the world, the ‘anima mundi’.”(3)

It is precisely this re-ensoulment that the eclipse and Venus transit signify. Astrology is well placed to assist in this process and actually, if taken beyond the screen, chart and keyboard, provides a perfectly pragmatic counterbalance to the feelingless analysis of science and virtual reality, that is to say ‘verging-on-reality’, of our technical world. If we were to only tear ourselves away from the screen and wander outside we might just discover a beautiful wild garden has grown, through and in spite of our neglect, and that we have the mirror of this garden within us. And, at the center of this garden is the most beautiful fountain, of clear vital refreshing waters, the fountain of Life……should we choose to go find it.

(1) & (2) A History of Western Astrology; volume II : Nick Campion, Continuum, 2009

(3) Dancing in the Flames : Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson, Shambala Publications, 1996

Times out of Time

…….flying north over the Tassili n’Ajjer plateau in saharan Algeria at the beginning of the year you would have been forgiven for thinking that the plane had been diverted via Sweden, assuming you were in a plane…..at the exact start of the Chinese New Year Algeria saw heavy snowfall along with several other areas of the Sahara and the Middle East – in fact, at that particular time, or so a little bird told me, Algeria saw more snow than had fallen in Sweden up to that point in the year…..not so unusual in the long run of things, what made this especially note worthy is the fact that the last time Algeria saw snowfall of this kind was at the start of the Chinese New Year…..in 1952, exactly sixty years ago – and, as now, ’52 was also a Water Dragon year! mmmmmm……..

Hi Folks – its been two months since a post appeared at Owlmirror and thats too long – so, I want to say straight from the heart, a big thank-you to all of you who have been visiting and dipping into the archives over this time; thanks for your patience – and, more importantly, to all of you, deep apologies for keeping y’all in the dark. Guess I should say whats been going on behind the scenes!

Simple truth is a whole host events and challenges ranging from building websites and tending to readings and requests, to helping my family relocate, which alone has been all-consuming on many levels……fact is, Life took the reins and I have had to follow!…….and in this particular instance that has led to the good ship Owlmirror going into dry-dock for a refit and stock-up on vittles ahead of our setting sail once again for the vast unknown.

So, with a fair wind picking up, carrying the smell of the open sea and horizons new, and  having a small window this evening to pick up the beat, I felt it only right and good timing to break out the charts and say something about the course were setting and where we are heading over the next few months once we weigh anchor….

…….however, in the time honoured tradition of this particular vessel, there is actually a little more to it than all that…….it began back at Samhain.

Did you notice something change back then, a subtlety perhaps about the shape of things – we noted here in the astro readings the lingering thinning of the veils, a deepening call to clear out unwanted baggage and cleanse our relationships, especially with the ancestors, in preparation for whats coming. And, beneath it all, underpinning our sense of the future was an influx of something new, a call to draw breath before shifting gear and to take the opportunity to re-orientate our goals; seems like a lifetime ago that the Moon’s North Node was conjuncting the ‘Great Attractor’, but, with eclipses and solstices swinging open the doorways of opportunity, I truly believe we saw a novelty, a ‘kink in our timeline’ so to speak, kicking in…..be interesting to know how its been for you too! Right now we are in the end zone of that November eclipse’ sphere of influence, before the next one arrives very soon in May, so, its time to tie up all the loose ends from this last six months of change….as ever, the planets have been encouraging us in this.

When we finally saw Mars station in late Virgo (exact on this astrologer’s natal 10th house Jupiter and close by my MC!) and start swinging back over the section of the sky he’d been sweeping during much of this time an implosion of detailed scrutiny began to take hold and, as if in answer to the Saharan snows, the weather just about everywhere has been pretty crazy…..along with the earth’s magnetosphere (Virgo = mutable earth), telluric and tectonic pathways became energised setting off a building cluster of EQs, and Venus received a direct hit from an as yet unidentified interplanetary traveller, as well as a scorching plasma wave, and, yes, the Sun started dancing, showing new forms in its coronal holes and manifesting a series of spikey sunspots and solar tornados – we’re still seeing the rippling out of the uptick that began as the Sun opposed Saturn….as above etc, and all in a galactic days work?

The big underlying theme then as now has been increasing novelty, and inward pressure for change – and, without a doubt the catalyst has been a major reality check and re-assessment of goals. The very laws of nature seem to be up for re-configuration. But, only seem mind; thats the tricky place we’re in. Infact, it seems that lawsuits are popping uplike spring daisies at the moment, eh Monsanto?! Did you catch the ‘trillion dollar lawsuit’, and can you be sure you know what you are seeing there, eh Mssrs Wilcox, Fulford, Wood et al?!……seems, many devisive rip-tides are trawling the depths at the moment in the politico-economic realms, not to mention the media, eh Mr Murdoch et al?! So, while the mundane world re-organises itself with trailers to a false flag global movie, what we may well be seeing are mock manuevers in anticipation of the upcoming seven episode ‘Uranus Square Pluto Show’…..and that is no joke at this time, eh Mssrs Ahmadinejad, Assad, Obama and Netanyahu et al?!

In plain speak, with solar and earth events hitting the ‘all-change’ button, ‘the world’ we are being presented with through the media appears to be slowly going crazy…..and, in the immortal words of Rupert’s Sun newspaper, ‘We Love It’……except, for the fact that the vast majority don’t – in reality its the usual crass, heartless entertainment to your average hack, but, it is carrying an increasingly high tariff to dodge the ‘Truth’ in this time, especially when the bullets are flying in your direction and there ain’t enough food to go ’round. And it might well be worse than that – the dematerialisation of virtually every sacred cow under the Sun is the calling card for Uranus and Pluto’s upcoming re-write of his-story…….perhaps not surprisingly the scientists are revolting and a noticable split is opening up between the orthodoxy and the avant-garde – theres some  divine jesting at work here too as, amongst the really juicy advances now being made in science, there are some real jokers telling us this is not where the real action is……look up said beautiful truth loving Venus – ‘Yeh! Do that…’ came the echo from, er….NASA?!

Life, as we know it, within the solar system is changing rapidly and our complicity with and awareness of these changes is increasing with it, quite literally – cosmological news and daily updates on the prevailing spaceweather are seeing an upsurge across the internet, many independant observers now utilising our enhanced access to solar and planetary science and its technologies via the http://www.  We find regular reports on the state of the Sun, planetary weather-forecasts and the health of our planet’s inner and outer bodies (most of which can be found posted on youtube and at various ‘scientific’ sites on the web (1)). So, it came as a point of some amusement when NASA announced that following the ‘spaceweather’ is going to play an increasingly important role in this, our terrestrial life from now on – as innocuous a statement of the obvious as we might expect from the scientific orthodoxy, but, noteworthy for it having been flagged up nevertheless, it pays to read between the lines with these guys, regardless the fact that their erstwhile identity as a branch of cosmic estate agents dealing in celestial real estate and out-sourcing is barely hidden these days.

The speculative grapevine that surrounds the idea of ‘earth-changes’ is directly feeding this info into the metaphysical and cosmological discussion and the memes are flying. Its everyday now we’re seeing a whelter of new alerts (predominantly via youtube vids) to ‘evidence’ of our immanent arrival at a new state of being, ‘proofs’ of our ascent towards a higher level of consciousness and notions of our ‘return’ to the cosmological community. While there is some serious and ground-breaking science emerging and fueling the debates now,  Entertainment Value within these networks is at an all-time premium…..but, is it true?! Stepping back……

We might well ask as, meanwhile back on earth, the vicarious gravy-train of ‘official’ media and ‘alternative’ news fueled versions of Reality seem to be in confluence and the flood is in full flow. Yes, as we are now fed 24/7, everyone now utilising the very same media of mass comms, endless updates on mounting defections, arrests and ‘trillion dollar’ lawsuits and political wrangling within the financial sector, global upticks in EQ activity, flooding and crazy weather, wars, political scandals, revolutionary struggles and ecological disasters and a marked increase in the visibility of the ‘transhuman agenda’ notwithstanding, the irrelevant and random juxtaposition of this cornucopia of the usual ‘news’, meta-science and conspiratorial knee-jerking with the race for the Whitehouse, obsessively voyeuristic ‘intimate’ details scooped from the lives of celebrities and the latest sports results are conspiring to create an exotic and yet anodine cultural chaos. Even if there is an overriding reality that we cannot ignore at this crucial moment in time, this itself is becoming drowned out by the maelstrom of high and low frequency noise we as a species are creating for ourselves as the soundtrack to our journey through 2012. Its also noteworthy that it has been in the latter stages of the Piscean age, in the overlap zone where  Aquarian influence has been impinging on Piscean ideals, that we have seen the rise of high tech and the internet – and Neptune’s transit through Aquarius has seen its greatest period of innovation and expansion. We are now revisiting the idealogical basis of this upsurge in creativity with Neptune firmly ensconced in the Piscean side of the overlap zone – could this be at the root of the game of charades now being played…..it has become obvious that each of us must look to our own reality for the answers.

So, how are you doing in the midst of all this craziness…..here at Owlmirror the point came where this became the over-riding question…….and the answers?!

We left off last time with a straight piece of counsel that in some very real ways was a direct response to this question…..’making good the shrines’……and, taking up this advice, Time was called and before you could say ‘hyper-space anomolies’ we were pulling focus and had been summoned to the inner sanctum of everyday life closer to home. Sometimes you have to simply call a halt to the madness…….

How unsuspecting are we of the consequences? It is true that Owlmirror has also been flagging up the increase in ‘novelty’ and unpredictability factors at work in our local arm of the planetary matrix for some time, but, that is the easy part – about which, it always intrigues me how little hindsight is paid by astrologers to their forecasting, checking the facts against prognostications, and this itself became an open question that quickly snowballed, Algerian style .

It had not been the crew of this ship’s intent (at least not mine – ed.) to batten down the hatches and unplug the public address system here, but, a diviner’s life, if it is to be lived with fidelity to its ‘sponsors’, is never entirely their own…..and, while our home reality is the only place that really matters, responding to guidance is the whole point. For all the increasing interest in divination, astrology and the unseen that is currently at large in the world, media influence or not, and, while there is always a place for the jester’s wit and wisdom in the midst of our courtly madness, we are at least to some extent sovereign in our own lives. We do well to play our cards carefully now, and trivialise such matters at our own risk……we can also miss opportunities and great beauty. If trivialisation of Life is to be the joker’s card that leads to the denuement of humankind, and if all this noise is actually a reflection of Neptunian fog descending over the Piscean oceans of collective mass media generated archetypel infection, then ‘making good the shrines’ is, without a doubt, a trumping maneuver and major antidote.

It may be a truism, but, in reality, Life is not divided into compartmentalised sectors. It serves us well to be reminded that Life is holy and sacred, even in the midst of the clamour and pressures of the everyday and, if it is your calling to work with the unseen, the shrines may also be that place where the noise of the world drops away, and a connectedness prevails that, while it may have higher energy levels in some ways, is imbued with a sense of timelessness and rich fruitful quietude –  sanctuaries of sanity. In that place we can hear the world and sense its great turnings much more clearly. When the shrines are ‘made good’, our Hara lines strengthened as Ishtar put it in her comment to ‘Pearl Fishing’ (much appreciated), the energy rises and we can hear the big wheel turning as we re-align and balance…..and, sometimes it calls us to go stand beneath the stars and wonder.

Around the time of the our last posting here a thing of great beauty was unfolding in the heavens – Venus was joining in close conjunction with Jupiter close by the Pleiades star cluster. Venus has increased her luminousity in recent times and, while undergoing great changes, like all the planets in our neck of the galactic woods (notably, it has also been recently observed that her axial rotation is slowing and her day has lengthened by a significant degree in current time), her presence has become powerfully magnetic, her luminescence scintillatingly electric. Combined with Jupiter’s brilliance they brought a gift of benevolent beauty from the night skies, further deepened into a rounded sense of time and place and symbolic resonance once the crescent Moon joined with these irridescent beings beneath the stars.  Awakening qualities that could be truly felt if we gazed upon their vibrant luminousity their gift became manifest through bringing many, perhaps for the first time, to turn their gaze skywards not merely to ‘look’, but, to partake in celestial contemplation.

There is a magic of the highest order at work in the celestial realms and if we take our bodies to meet with them it becomes possible to expand and deepen our lives, to begin once more to sense our place within the cosmos and get a sense of perspective – it may also provide us a glimpse of the greater presence of the worlds beyond this world. Such is the nature of star gazing – one of our innate ancestral impulses, ancient beyond our imaginings, it is also where astrology and astronomy reveal their common root, our common roots, within the star nations of the eternal dreamtime……I like to think that the astrological interpretation of such an event is superceded by its direct experience, not least of all for the fact that this is exactly how the very stories belonging to the star nations and celestial family of our solar system came to be with us. Those stories colour our use of the craft with all the mesmerising influence of the archetypes they seem to portray – but, as Sistertongue, another of our esteemed commentors here, has pointed out Neptunes story, for example, doesn’t hold the same kind of water as it used to……

For all the analytical musings and mythopoetic interpretations that accompany the current practice of astrology, the ground of experience is paramount. Checking back upon the fruits of our insights gives us the psychological and intellectual grounding – but, no description can match the direct experience of the planetary and stellar matrix for unifying and integrating the energies of the celestial plane and its inhabitants within our being. There are gateways here for that grounding to manifest, not only as a source of nourishment, but, through which the deepest memories of our source, our true nature and home within the cosmos may became activated. This sense of perspective is intrinsic to astrology and has been since the beginning. Just as our ancestors embraced this the larger reality of the cosmological life we too, first, by virtue of our physical senses, when we quieten enough to allow it of ourselves, can experience our intimate connections with the greater Life as a star-born unfolding moment bringing heightened energies and expanded awareness into our physical being – this is palpable if given enough attention, and if we are prepared to take the further step, towards the second level of attention, and allow these generative energies to work their magic within, we can still discover beyond those gateways, hidden in plain sight, the unseen vibrant lands beyond the physical planes. These are the origins of the Dragon Paths. They are also the source of the very stuff of Life.

Present with and around us in the terrestrial as much as the celestial, Nature is abundant with these gateways. Our souls are resilient by virtue of their eternal presence and the, once regained, familiar eminations of celestial energy, the stars and planets, that have never left us within the soul realms, are as old as Time itself……even now, if the calling is heeded, there is the opportunity to go test this out. Perhaps you will hear the Earth spirit awakening with this knowing and resonating with the expanding frequencies of awareness that are flowing within the cosmos. As esoteric as all this might sound it is good health to do so.

Within the earth realms their energies manifest at frequencies discernable within the physical frame of our bodies, both giving access to the celestial spectra and dimensions, and reminding us of the reality of our physical being. We know that the sacred sites are both sacred and sited upon this foundational interdimensional web – within our realm, our density, their expression finds profound resonance in sacred geometry and gives us the harmonic template for co-operative manifestation of their potential. This is divine potential in its origin, its energy and geometry is at the heart of astrological practice – the stars are here brought to earth; we never left them.

As an astrologer working with these energies is essential – the practice is simply indigenous, however much in contemporary clothing it might be figured and shaped. But, star-gazing is its foundation – the technologies of spirit are its natural expression and extension.

As an astrologer bringing this home makes the practice ‘soul-work’, beyond psychology and archetypal metaphor, and, in my view, is nothing less than the mind of Nature finding its voice within us. We need the quietude and fruitful darkness of our inner sanctum to hear it…..and, once the shrines have been made good once more it indubitably will call us to embark on that greatest journey of all and navigate by the stars a way home to ourselves.

Which brings us back to Owlmirror. The next phase of this journey is deeply tied up with this experiental reality as well as those Dragon Paths – their currents lead us into uncharted territory; remember seeing those places where uncertainty and the unknown reside being marked on the charts and maps of the ancient mariners with that most evocative of sayings – ‘here be Dragons’?!

They will be guiding us to look into the use of astrology as a mutli-valant navigational aid – the journey around the Wheel of Life is writ large in the zodiac, its correspondences with the physiology of our human frame, the knowledge of the medicine people of old and the connections between the perrenial knowledge, the transcendant potential we literally embody and the energies of the Dragon Paths themselves, all will be a part of the course we take. The journey is going to take us out beyond the divination practices openly employed here so far at Owlmirror as well – indigenous divination has many forms and, as well as discussing how the ancestors brought the stars to earth and worked directly with the energy of the Dragon Paths on the earth plane, we’ll be bringing in one of the main forms of ancestral divination that I have been trained in and work with in unison with astrology – it originated in north Africa, not so far from where the snows fell at the opening of the Chinese new year, but, more on this later……

I thought long and hard during this time-out about how I could best develop and realise the potential that Owlmirror’s journey has opened up over the past couple of years.  It became obvious that alongside the expansion of the divining ‘toolkit’ here there is also an opportunity for a deeper discussion of the art itself.  In the coming months I will be offering readings, both on a personal and topical basis, that bring the focus to particular astrological events in real time – this will provide a platform for investigation of the reality of the practice. There will also be articles where methods can be explored, an opportunity go much deeper into the art and craft of astrology amongst the many other practices of divination. We will be looking at the charts of individuals who have had a profound influence in our world and on the craft, starting with the Elizabethan mage and astrologer John Dee. Opportunities to learn and develop our divination practices will be coming as the year progresses as well, and this will be taking place both off and on-line. Altogether the aim is to follow the calling, work with the opening Dragon Paths and bring a more developed and personal flavour to Owlmirror, one that brings home the beauty and purposefulness of the diviner’s world, how it touches our individual lives, as well as the extra-ordinary times we are alive within. We are all in this together…..

The craft is changing and our art needs to change with it.  And, speaking of arts and crafts, I have a new site that is nearing ready for launch that features the artwork itself, much of which will be work not yet presented here alongside new work as it arises. As an online portfolio/blog it will have its own tab in the header crossbar here. I will be introducing this next time with an article on a commission that came up shortly after Samhain and which came to fruition over the solstice time through the work of my dear friend Rowan Jacqueline. She is an inspirational artist and medicine dancer who has developed a body of work of great beauty weaving the dynamics and presence of the earth, our bodies and indigenous wisdom into an approach to self exploration and realisation that is much needed in our times – Rowan was called to bring her work to (you guessed it) Sweden at the turning of the Sun and commissioned a special carving that was at the center of the solstice ceremony there……this saw the birth of the ‘Sunchild’, the subject of our next post. Theres much to look forward to as the great wheel turns….

……just one more thing; if you were wondering about Venus’ enhanced brilliance just now, she has a long cycle of increasing luminousity that invariably culminates when she journeys through Gemini – she’s traversing Gemini now and will soon be crossing the face of the Sun – this is a rare event as only seven such transits have occured since the invention of the telescope. Nevertheless, this was well known to our ancestors, infact, without her presence and their stargazing observation of Venus much of our calendrics would not have come into being – if ever there was a measure of time……and what better reason to go star-gazing at sunset……..

(1) Although many of the online vids and sites appear to escape critical assessment, peer review and validation, many being based on personal views and interpretations, amongst them are some which resonate with a real sense of veracity – it is up to all of us to be the judge of this, especially as so much of what passes for ‘information and fact’ is recycled from other sources, given a new spin and lustre. But, having said that, the sheer scope and breadth of information and groundbreaking thought alone that they represent is a sure indication that we are undergoing a major transformation at a collective level of consciousness that may well have some grounding in our own experience. And, while in respect of this discernment is very much the name of the game, it always pays to keep some judgement in reserve……experience will tell.

Entering the Dragon Path

Chuang Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly, but, on awakening he could not tell if he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he is a man……

The coming year of the Water Dragon sees a wise power building within the waters of spirit at work behind the world – we have this time up until the end of January when the Chinese New Year arrives to take a pause in anticipation and to gather our personal power. This is a valuable moment to stop and listen. Roughly up until the end of the current lunation, the celestial weather directly supports our inner and world work in this way – a subtle amplification within the dialogue between ourselves and the Earth. In the coming months the dynamics of this dialogue will change so it is also a valuable time of preparation. The consolidating, developmental and altruistic work we do now lays essential sacred ground for entering the Dragon Path. So, lets take a look at the celestial influences arising now that support this dialogue…..

After traversing Scorpio and Sagittarius, through weeks of depth work and internal re-alignment with our inner Sun, the spiral path we weave around our home star has brought our focus once more to Earth with Sun now in Capricorn. Scorpio’s deep healing waters offered us access into the heart of our selves, connecting with the soul core, our spiritual center, and helped us clear the blockages and accretions that have been preventing a clear and vital flow of energy, feeling and awareness to and from our roots. Sagittarius’ cosmological illumination of our inner realms brought the potential to activate the dreaming body, birthing the Sunchild, bringing meaning and direction to the flow of energies within and helping us see how we can focus these along paths of manifestation with purpose in the times ahead. We now have the opportunity of capitalising on our clear and activated dreaming and are ready to step into grounding our creativity in new forms with the support of the mutable earth energies of Capricorn.

From this time of the year, our dreaming can become married with purpose in order to birth new forms that change our reality. This is a spiritual practice that stems from the heart as the generative creative center within the womb of creation. From the perspective of astrological cosmology an alchemy of manifestation is at work, for both hemispheres of our Earth. In aligning our personal energetics with Earths’s we can strengthen the flow of information within our dreaming between all of us. This flows in naturally from the Sagittarian influence, as Jupiter in Taurus is amplifying the earth energies through this time, and begins to become activated in the physical – when we work with these energies cardinal earth will help initiate transforming our aspirations into realities that are in alignment with our home planet.

This Solstice template, however, is carrying an increased potency this time around that has brought an enhanced element of indeterminacy into our forward looking. There is speculation within the cosmological community that this is partly down to the ongoing effects of the close alignment of Earth and Sun within the galactic plane with the center of our galaxy, and partly down to the unusual energetic qualities of the space/time matrix that our solar system is now entering, bringing transformation to the planets and our Sun, physically and energetically – all of which are now pushing the boundaries of reality to change. There are, however, other perhaps more esoteric factors at work as well – we can expect a potent release of energy in the time ahead that is a consequence of the breakdown of integrity within the earth plane, a shaking loose of boundaries, an experience that is beyond the scope of determinacy, and this is essentialy where the enhanced element of indeterminacy is arising from.

At present and over the next few weeks we are under the subtle but increasing influence of a bow wave of energy that precedes this reality shift, so to speak. If you have been gifted with the abilities and developed the skills to sense well beyond the physical you may notice this undercurrent in energetic form – that is to say complex vibratory patterning arising from vortices of catalystic change that appear and disappear without warning. These may appear as random events that challenge us or impulses to act in ways we are not accustomed to. Energetically it is advisable to do no more than observe at this point. Awareness needs to remain anchored in the heart center, our major center of intelligence and feeling where we interface with the source field. So, keeping focused on personal work, but, staying awake to the world. Earth will show us how this shift is integrating, even as it happens at a subtle level, but we have strong assistance now from Venus in Aquarius in working with the unexpected……

Have you noticed how the Earth field is also developing a ‘present’ time focus ripe with potentials that reach far beyond the known – human consciousness is not only becoming freed up to conjoin with instantaneous effect within the earth plane, our access to the source field is opening up bigtime. This is reflected in the growing resurgence of working with ‘free-energy’, a powerful and inspiring leitmotiv for our coming times.

Although readers here will almost certainly be well aware of the spiritual health of humanity in relation to our home planet, amongst the wider populace we are also seeing increasing openess about our role in life as guardians and preservers of Life. Spirit helps us connect and expand dimensionally. But, this means that our work in this role will now feed directly into this change. This is key. And, we are not the first to arrive at this point. The cycles of time have seen our ancestors approach and cross these thresholds of diffusion and multi-dimensionality before. Its worth considering that what has failed the ancestors in the past, when they have failed, will fail us now if we go forward without heeding their messages from the past, so it serves us well to honour and pay strong attention to our ancestral connections – it is not a given that we will avoid error; they have much to teach us that will help us avoid repeating the same mistakes. In fact, this is a hugely important time for ancestral healing  and, in effect, our world work has become a vehicle for this.

There is assistance at hand – the world around us is waking up with almost daily revelations about the hidden past of our ancestors; their voices are becoming stronger in ways we may resonate strongly with now as re-awakening memories of former lives within very different communities. It is surely no coincidence now that our human heritage is rising from the Earth. They too are asking us to question and change how we have organised our lives, through the predominant culture, as well as how we have used our power. And we know that there is much more to come….

It is beyond doubt that the ‘status quo’ is a human fabrication that serves to organise. It may be that this ‘fixation’ has arisen as a response to our dissociation with Nature – we have been predominantly seeing it exponentially manifest control and subjugation of nature (and that includes human nature) within our current time-line over a 12.6k year period. But, this too is changing now. With virtually every archeological revelation our timeline is changing. And this is a great gift to us from the ancestors. The shift needs a radical ‘opening out’ of reality, as this will naturally change our values. So many false notions of power have become projected into money in our culture, but, we now can see clearly that this is nothing but a con.

Revelations of the extent of financial corruption and deception are escalating, showing that this process is already accelerating. But, these too are a part of the process of adjustment that is freeing us up from the narrow confines of a single time-line. At this time we can most clearly see this in polarisation between the roles of ‘destroyers’ and ‘preservers’. But, this will develop a multi-dimensionality of its own as diffusion spreads in the coming year and frees up the energies within the matrix. The Solstice template and lunation this year shows us being strongly assisted now in embodying, some would say reclaiming, our multi-dimensionality.

The Solstice influence is with us over the coming three months and we can begin reading into its astrological matrix by looking to Venus, whose entry into Aquarius is helping our archetypal heart energies to grow wings, the wings of Aquarian freedom. Venus is central in this reading. We know that breaking free of the gravitational field of ‘fear’ is happening when we feel light within and work with the empowerment that our courage gives us and Venus is in the Uranian influence as a field of electrifying creativity that ignites a fire within our hearts. In the Solstice template Venus stands at the midpoint of a T square formed with Jupiter and Saturn in opposition – her role is pivotal as her heart focus becomes the point of resolution through which their energies manifest. So, what are Jupiter and Saturn telling us of those energies?

Being the only planet retrograde at Solstice, Jupiter anchors our sense of the bigger picture inwardly, aiding us in giving it body and meaning on the earth plane, amplifying our senses and sensuality and helping us to listen to our earth – when worked with positively this will bring a feeling of inner enrichment and well-being in the world. As Teilhard de Chardin said, “there is an almost sensual longing for communication with others who have a larger vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe”….feeling that connection expanding and finding form is one of Jupiter Saturn and Venus’ main gifts now.

Shortly after the New Moon in Capricorn Jupiter stations and turns direct, so activating all the degrees of Taurus over the coming six months. This offers us a sustained time for feeling and sharing this inspiration, the sensual experience of meaningfulness. In the first degree of Taurus at solstice Jupiter speaks of re-establishing the dharma path, as expressed through the roles we embody. Saturn in late Libra gives the form and balance to this self focus with a fullness of purpose that lifts it out of the realms of selfishness – the impetus to give form to our higher selves in reality, here and now. With this aim Jupiter and Saturn are connecting us with the essential form of the greater whole, the extended community of spirit – if we hold the two energies in balance they work in perfect harmony, but, the key is in allowing this to center in the heart and being receptive.

This is fundamental to bringing mind, body and spirit together, and, through this we are strongly assisted in working the multi-dimensional nature of our earth experience in a positive way. And, not only is articulate ensoulment present within this, when we open to our multi-dimensional nature the living thread of the dreaming that connects us with our ancestors vibrates and re-sounds within our own dreamings. This is given extra torque by Jupiter’s angle to the Moon’s nodes. Within hours of Jupiter going direct the Moon passes over Venus’ solstice degree and grounds the T square, helping us further ground its potency and energy values within the influences of the Capricorm lunation. This means we can become free to ground our ancestral connections within our dreamings and share them in communion with the wider spiritual community here on the earth plane – a great opportunity for some deeply connected spirit-world work free of time line restrictions.

When the mutliple strands of our dreamings become interwoven and resonant across time we can also confidently take full responsibility for our role as ‘the ancestors of the future’. This is absolutely fundamental to our collective work. There is also much speculation around the multi-stranded nature of our DNA that is becoming a fascination for many now. Some are now seeing this as a cosmological development of our genetic coding, an awakening of our dormant potentials through reclamation of its multi-strand nature. The speculation seems to be that with this natural embodiment of our inter-dimensional nature we can realise our total connectedness across all time and space, all dimensions, all universes…..

Multi-strand DNA gives us the building blocks, the organising constructive memory and hardware to facilitate this shift in connectivity – it will happen of its own accord as the matrix frees its energies. However we envisage it, the heart is the locus and anchor point for this process. We would do well to allow nature to take its course here, but, remaining balanced is essential as reality will shift in ways we cannot imagine as this happens. In this is an emergent creative potential that aids us in meeting with the unknown in equilibrium. In other words, our multi-dimensional potential cannot be realised until we have learned how to be in balance within our selves, which is the pre-requisite for generating compassion as an active agency within Life, and it is Compassion as a power that will give us the keys that set us free. This, hopefully, puts Saturn, Venus and Jupiter’s great gifts in unity, into perspective…..the spiritual alchemy of the solstice….

Being in the Aquarian stream of consciousness Venus is also sextile to Uranus in the solstice imprint. Uranus is now direct in the first degree of Aries – this raises the truly transformative potential that can now unfold in firing new forms of consciousness within the earth matrix. Venus Sabian symbol of ‘the unexpected thunderstorm’ gives us the flavour……we must learn how to navigate this energetic terrain and work with the inner essense that animates us when ‘creating the path is the path’.

Mercury, the spirit of articulate self knowledge, also stands at a mid-point in the Solstice template, between Mars and Neptune. Unaspected directly, Mercury’s sensitivity to the connective flow of intelligence present within ‘the field’ subtly and adroitly gives us access to Mars and Neptunes influences. Mars in mid Virgo at solstice calls us to energise our connectivity, through the guidance of the divine feminine in the fixed earth of Virgo.

Neptune in the last degrees of Aquarius has the Sabian symbol of ‘the Butterfly emerging from the chrysalis’ – the cells within the transforming pupa within the chrysalis that bring forth this new elevated (winged) form are themselves called ‘imaginals’! Mars motivating powers activate the imaginal energies – Neptune breaks down the barriers for their emergence. We can, with Mercury’s assistance, expect the subtle nature of our emergent processes on earth to feed our dreams through this solstice imprint. The more consciousness we give to them, the more they will activate our growth. And we can expect accurate and effective divination to help us listen in now as well. So, consult the Oracle as we need to be wise about how we travel the course we are setting out on! Time has taken on a different quality now and, like our weather, the dynamics of change are filled with unpredictability…….

Once again Venus increases her central role and stands at further mid-points, between the Sun and Chiron, as well as between Pluto and Neptune within the solstice imprint! Her wings are taking on deeper implications for riding  the winds of change……

The Sun entering Capricorn at solstice brings the emphasis back to ‘responsibility’ in our use of power. We have all been hurt at heart by the entropic destructive and delusional forces present within our world – however, Chiron supports us in healing the suffering behind these wounds. Wounds and scars, especially in the non-physical, make us highly sensitive, and can help to raise our consciousness.

With Sun closing on Pluto the plutocrats position at the peak of the pyramids of power can no longer be hidden, and the abuse we have suffered we will no longer allow to wound us – with such raised consciousness this is no longer possible. The key to handling this enhanced sensitivity is again in working with the heart center. Compassion also brings release from the restricting influence of fear and ‘en-courages’ self-empowerment. Time to claim our self-authority and, as Robert Bly poigniantly said, to “walk our limp” with pride. Clarissa Pinkola Estes has done some amazing work with women in helping them literally create a coat of power from the wounds that they as individuals have suffered. This is Chirons wisdom and Pluto makes it revolutionary. A collective wave of self-empowered individuals working with the higher self is an irresistable force.

Venus lifts us and Pluto reveals the extent of the next step. His influence is unflinching and indiscriminate, exposing the realities of power that connects us all, through taking us to deep and fundamental, revolutionary and soul-full levels of awareness…..this is epoch making energy at work within ‘the field’ that will become increasingly visible in the world through the year ahead, especially as Uranus and Pluto begin their exact squares mid-year. This will occur just as Jupiter passes into Gemini, so, now is the time to dream deeply, in communion with the divine in Nature, the ancestors and our spirit allies and let the expansive energies of our dreaming too be the channel for transformative power of liberation, healing and the birthing of our dreams within the world. Solstice has ever been thus, but never the more so now! We can all embody the return of the Sunchild……

We should pay head to the Moon in late Scorpio within the Solstice template, which here indicates that we can expect the feelings we have about our lives to run deep, but, must also keep our whits about us and not let the passion we feel rising after millenia of subjugation to blind us to the balance needed now.

The Moons nodes remind us that we are heading for ‘Aeonic consciousness’ (North Node on the Great Attractor) and highlight how mental balance and clear and unpolluted levels of health are intimately connected (South Node) – this latter aspect will be boosted during the first exact Uranus Pluto square in mid-year when Jupiter conjuncts the South Node in Gemini. The energies will be extremely high and widespread, working at fundamental levels of change at that time, so our work now is crucial. With continuing open and honest revelation of our true history, we will surely feel enraged at the extent to which we have been denied our natural heritage, but, this too can aid us as we can clear our minds of shared and self-replicating wounds, of memories, habits and lies of seperation that have kept us from realising our birth rights and human potential.

Lastly, the adjusting refinements of the current Capricorn lunation……

The New moon at 3º Capricorn sees the Solstice template subtly yet powerfully adjusted, acting like a lense focusing the archetypal inner light into present time, becoming more penetrative and intense. Being close in on Pluto at New Moon, the light of the returning Sun can ignite depth-charges of seismic force, shattering and collapsing darker uses of power and exposing them at the surface, but, this too will first and foremost catalyse a pull towards greater unity within the emerging body politic of our times. There are however indications that it is the ‘quieter’ aspect of the solstice imprint that will prevail over the coming month. The salve that helps us find balance in the world is brought by Jupiter. The great planet carries us through every degree of Venus home sign over the coming months, bringing a bountiful knowing and expansion of heart centered optimism to our individual and collective paths. Retracking over the degrees of the retrograde period through this lunation and the entirety of the solstice period, the expansive influence of Jupiter will re-open and amplify many of the revelations that have come out since the end of August, the onset of Jupiter’s retro period. This could up the anti in the world of finance, politics and international power struggles, but, our run up to the return of the Water Dragon will enable us to gather our personal power in balance to this. Watch out for new and astonishing revelations from the past!

We can now enjoy a lunation of expanding connection and sharing of true wealth – we can give this great depth through pausing now in receptivity – this is valuable fuel for the lunations preceding equinox, especially once Mars goes retrograde in Virgo at the end of January and Neptune re-enters Pisces in early February. Then we are into a zone of inner change and dynamic experiences in which reality will take on very unusual qualities…..the Dragon Paths of Earth are awakening….

…….in following the Dragon Path it is the Way that is walking…….

Peace be with us all……..

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