Reality Check……

On 15th June the world saw a spectacular Lunar eclipse that left many breathless, not only for its beauty, something we could all share in, but, also its energetic impact, something felt, much more personal. Just 6 days later at the Solstice this interwoven dichotomy of experience was developed and given a more archetypal context, the dance of light and dark,  a cardinal seed moment whose influence will stay with us until the Equinox in September. And once again, we are hardly given breathing space before the final eclipse of the current triplet sees the Sun once more beshadowed by the Moon on July 1st in 9 degrees Cancer, and this time the emergent pattern will embed into the matrix with even more lasting effect – the cycles and patterns unfolding through this time are emphasising layers upon layers, the energetics of this time are challenging us to both focus and learn how to shift between focii, to develop and hold multiple points of view, balance in motion – this may feel like an overload at times,  like a softening up process, but, awareness and simplicity can be our allies here, help us to see how can we work with the dynamics as they play out, and prepare us for the upcoming months, both collectively and personally…….

The first eclipses have been activating the Gemini Sagittarius axis, and the emphasis here is all about resolving difference through taking the higher/deeper point of view, giving differentiation a higher and more holistic purpose…..in this post we will take a look at into some of the intrinsic qualities of this energetic imprint in the current eclipse cycle, and ask, what do eclipses hold for us. Lets get down to Earth…..

As a ‘mundane’ example of the Gemini influence let us suppose that we are focusing on and seeking solutions to problems of energy production, for instance. Events around the world continue to stimulate our innate knowing and we ‘know’ we must be careful not to get swept along together on the same old ‘band-wagon’ approach to energy production, but, there is an impetus here to become aware of when we are being propogandised, which, with Gemini, means not only developing our personal powers of discernment, but, lending each other our insights. We know that it is dangerous to ‘leave it to the government’ to sort things out, but, Gemini also stimulates us to differentiate what we personally can do with the technologies available. Mercury is ever the inventive left-field spark that lights us up. Under a new Moon we would do well to initiate these conscious drives for change, but, under the influence of an eclipse we may well be confronted with situations that force our hand if we do not.

The Gemini archetype with its emphasis on communication and intelligence can be seen playing out through the masses on a daily basis, as we are so strongly embedded within a culture of media and networking, and with regards energy production we are still seeing and hearing the same old official line, globally. The controlled franchised mass production of ‘alternative energy’ that international and governmental agendas ‘seem’ to be aiming for is still using the model of mass production and big business investment as the vehicle, and this lacks the kind of awareness that shifts us out of the ‘problem’. In the face of this the drive for action becomes ever more visceral on this issue and, so long as we keep on sending the same consumerist message back, the whole situation will continue to carry and manifest the same intrinsic dependancies – this comes at a price, one that is being payed for not least of all by ‘the tax payer’.

There is a far greater cost that is being payed as well, and, if we are not extremely careful, will continue to be payed at ever increasing cost by ‘the environment’, for exactly the same underlying reasons. Massive dams, for example, that obliterate the land and disrupt the natural powerhouses of the ‘eco-system’, such as the Belo Monte Dam project in the Amazon rainforest, destroy blindly in order to manifest power in totally unacceptable ways, ways that expose disregard for the rights of individuals, our natural and inherent relationship with the land, not to mention for Nature herself. The old paradigm clings on with its emphasis on usery and reveals its own unconscious patterning, which the Gemini influence casts a spotlight upon. We know that this political power game does not offer solutions of itself, especially without respect for the people,  public involvement and consultation – so, with Mercury emphasising our communications and connectivity as a counter balance we can utilise the moment and create a feedback loop that brings these issues to the surface, into the light of day.

Being awake is a Mercury attribute that is rising now, the Gemini eclipses also work through this, intensifying, and it is something we will be seeing emphasised of over the coming months, especially as Mercury opposes Capricorn from the last degrees of Cancer and swings into Leo. Things will hot up when he enters Leo. Petitioning, which is becoming a powerful corrective on-line lobbying force, does work and make a difference – through the collective voice our individual voices will be heard, it too is a form of uprising and it utilises Geminian energy in the best way. This can work with unexpected vigour around eclipses – with consciousness the force for change can be turned around and directed towards a goal. With Leo behind Mercury the rhetoric will incite to demonstration and display of public will.

The Fukushima meltdown continues to unfold its ugly inner truths, now that the meltdowns have been admitted, after the fact. But, then, for all the admissions, neither does re-enforcing safety guidelines and health security checks for the Nuclear industry provide a solution and these will be hot issues under the Cancer eclipse – as an increasing number of national governments are showing, ending nuclear power generation is the way forward. Right there is the Sagittarian higher purpose that has also been at work. This is about listening to Fukushima, not blurring the facts in an attempt to dumb-down the public through ignorance, as has been the case clearly demonstrated (even now) with Tepco, the official stance of the Japanese nuclear authorities and the international nuclear power community. Those with the prime investment, the political and economic muscle, are clearly seen to be blocking progress on this issue – this too will be brought out by the Cancer eclipse as mirrored in Capricorn. In this too we need to be careful about the solutions offered in replacement, that ensure our future well-being  – Cancerian concerns. Gemini encourages the use of discernment, Sagittarius asks us to be conscious of the longer term effects, the bigger picture, whatever we come up with. We can, and must, carry these forward now on the Cancerian impulse – its getting personal.

Mercury also brings us into becoming articulate with the detail. On the ground, reduction in usage, which may well be forced upon us anyway, is key in respect of our resources – we are inequivocably being shown that all of us need to become aware of how we consume and use power. The localised and individual creation of alternative energy sources, of energy networks (and that includes monetary) can provide a realistic solution, or at least the essential beginnings of one. It is also a solution that can be built upon, belong more to the people and can begin to free us from our dependancies upon the ‘big business’ generators of practical power and the economics infra-structure. In the 80’s Local Exchange Trading Systems, L.E.T.S., became very popular as a way of sidestepping the economic binds of currency, inflation and taxation….these can be created and networked any time, anywhere that there is the will and knowledge to do so, even amongst small groups of friends. Trading our skills, personal time and energy, home-made or produced goods, information and knowledge is at the heart of this idea and is the way forward. Infact it is happening everywhere, is natural……the only resistance, once again, comes from the old infra-structures. The Cancerian energies will help manifest these localised home grown initiatives as a break from the past through this coming eclipse and beyond.

Mercury is very electric, the spark in the synapse, his energy follows an interactive web. The internet does offer us another way in which we can utilise difference, diversity of skills and knowledge, in a mutual and more holistic way, but, the internet too is dependant upon the mass production systems that have led to the problems we are now facing. Getting with Nature, our own and this planet’s, as a part of our Earth’s consciousness and spirit, is also being emphasised through this time and is being reflected in the celestial bodies. Jupiter in Taurus trines Pluto and sextiles Neptune – this grounds a revolutionary vision of how our Earth could be and we can expect this to be sustained now, an expanding and inspiring energy for deep change, the pattern will hold through the second half of the year. When Neptune backtracks into Aquarius our inner connectivity within the matrix of nature will seek expression, a great opportunity to get out on the land and feel the Earth beneath our feet, let her speak to us. Communications in the mundane might well need this grounded balance and we could see a tricky time of mixed messages and subversive leaks that seek to bring an end to the rape of the planet’s resources, especially with the building square between Uranus and Pluto. They are coming close to an exact square late in July around the Leo New Moon – this will be one to watch as the NM is at the action point of a yod to Neptune and Pluto! By then Mercury will be entering Virgo – what do we want, virgin wilderness or wasteland?!

Intensity is without a doubt building, and we might think that eclipses engender this, everything seems to point in that direction. But, eclipses are enigmatic, can be both inspiring and provocative. They can challenge our connectivity into realism, but, in reality their effects are little understood and hard to predict. So, why are eclipses considered especially profound in astrology and divination? Utilising the Geminian energies this is a question I put to a number of forums on the web and the insights offered here draw on some of the answers, speculations and conversations this brought out.

Our inner connectivity brings us into the web more fully; we know that our connections as ‘seering’ beings cannot be pulled at the plug and, when we are ‘turned on’ in this way we ‘know’ and can be in the right place at the right time! But, there is a sense in which eclipses can be dis-connective. So, we need to look deeper. What is at work in eclipses and how will the eclipse in Cancer differ from the previous two in Gemini?

To give some shape to the second question first, where-as the last two eclipses in Gemini were working through the mutable energies of preperation and adaptability for change, the Solar eclipse on the 1st July will be in a cardinal sign – that signals initiation of a new energy pattern. The Moons physical body enshadows the Sun in Cancer, emphasising in visceral and emotive ways issues close to home, our personal and collective security, our inhereted relationships, indigenous traditions and the feeling senses through which we experience and share our psycho-somatic reality, incarnate experience as living spirit – it too is very people orientated in this. This eclipse stimulates the underlying energies of the cardinal cross as well as bringing the water signs and the element of water, with all its implications, to the fore – the Solstice, the Suns ingress into Cancer, heralded the point of shift, the eclipse embeds it with longer lasting and profound effect. But, this eclipse is also the first in a new Saros cycle, its shadow barely impinging on the Earth’s surface – perhaps we can expect it to be a more subtle seeding influence….

……the first eclipse, also a partial Solar, was perhaps more subtle for being at the end of a Saros cycle, less consciously determined. We highlighted a call to feel out a path to compromise, to facilitate this by taking notice of how the bigger picture speaks through us, even in personal ways – a question of getting with the river rather than trying to push it, of getting our egocentricity in perspective within the flow. If we doubted the reality of this at the time, the full Lunar eclipse that followed brought it home more fully, quite literally.

On a mundane level water, and the lack of, over abundance of it, is a huge issue through the time of these big Solar/Lunar events and with the third eclipse in a water sign we can expect this to become even more central and remain with us. Water brings our attention to the issues of availability, cleanliness, pollution, infact an endless list can be rolled out – almost every facet of life is both connected through and affected by our relationship with this life giving element. On a global scale, tsunami alerts are now firmly incorporated into reporting seismic events located near or in the oceans, massive rainfall is being experienced world-wide, swelling rivers and extreme weather are producing both landslides, devastation and inundation, the very ground we have been living and sleeping upon is shifting, becoming fluid, being swallowed up, and is also questioning our sense of certainty with archetypal power.

Globally, through these events, we are seeing the undeniable power of water influence how we see the world we have created for ourselves. And, it is typical of eclipses that in the periods surrounding them something of our accustomed everyday sense of security is swept aside and the challenging truth beneath revealed. On a cosmological scale, the collective dream is being swept away – as our attention is pulled back to the all too easily overlooked subtle collective power of Neptune still in early Pisces, eclipses are returning us to an awareness of Nature reasserting herself, the visionary’s master stroke, a global cleansing of consciousness through the matrix as nature expresses it. Its as if on waking up to the reality of our destructive and unconscious rush towards the future we are realising that the dream was an illusion, that we have neglected our relationships to our ancestors dreams, very 12th house, that the dream did not truly belong to us at all, was the inheretance and consequence of misguided short-sighted egocentric inner dynamics – Neptune dissolves the ego in this sense. There are far more fundamental issues at stake as we enter the unknown….

To get to and work with the dynamics involved we need to be prepared to go through the upcoming times – there is no room for avoidance tactics, deceptions (self or otherwise) or ungrounded faith in outside intervention, governmental or divine! If eclipses do anything they show just how real our lives are. This can be experienced in as many different ways as there are individual astrological charts, so, do look to your own and expect marked effects if the eclipse falls on an angle, natal planet or forms a strong aspect to your own Sun and/or Moon.

Eclipses strip back a layer of consciousness, either mental or somatic, and reveal what has been beneath the surface all along. The sudden presence of underlying dynamics of the psyche within consciousness, when brought to the surface, can be unsettling and challenging – they can also precipitate events that begin or end through those same emergent energies; the house in which they occur will give you the context, the sign its flavour.

It is as if they interrupt the flow of ‘normality’. A better way of imaging them may be to liken the effect to sweeping the surface of a pond of its accumulated detritus, in that brief eclipsing moment – naturally, what lies below then rises to the surface. They also offer us a brief but powerful glimpse beneath the surface. A solar eclipse will alter our thinking and subvert our habitual mentality, questioning our drives, which can bring strong realisations out that we usually ignore, or prefer to shield ourselves from – full Solar eclipses reveal our animal nature at work and give us access to our instinctive soul drives. They will reveal to us something of the direction our soul is taking, by default. Events will reflect this back to us. A Lunar eclipse will work psycho-somatically so that the body-mind becomes the locus for our awareness, an instance in which our spiritual nature speaks more through the body and our consciousness is brought down to earth. They will reveal something of the state of our soul. In both cases our intimacy with the world is hightened. In both cases the collective effects remain potent, especially when the eclipse point is transited, for many months, years even, some astrologers believe. The triple eclipse pattern compounds the effects – this has been a turbulent time!

On a personal note, I was surprised at how many people reported feeling drained, bruised and closed down following the full Lunar eclipse. ‘Stop trying so hard’, ‘first rest’ and ‘then, let the work flow through’. Many people reported finding renewed purpose in this. It is in the nature of eclipses that we witness the unstoppable forces at work in the cosmos and, if we have been working with an intent that is not in tune with those forces, the rug is well and truly being pulled now. Any subversive ego serving ambitions we may have attached to our purposefullness are being shorn away – but, this is not a case of divine punishment, that idea belongs to the outgoing paradigm…..rather, what we are seeing here is that, the more sensitive and empathic people were through this month, the more we felt it at this Moon. At our deeper levels we merge.

Unity, if it is being sought, is already there…..the strength and resilience of our souls and how in synch we are with our personal soul path are highlighted in this experience – this, in essense is the only work. Any outstanding business that we have put on the back-burner is likely to emerge, and we know that we must do something about it. As uncomfortable as it may be, rest assured, this offers a route to holistic self realisation. It is the first intimation of the ‘softening up process’ that is releasing us from the shackles of the past. It is going into the wound without fear and leads beyond survival to flourishing….

As the ‘Moons of Zuvuya’ implied we survive and thrive through Grace, and, particularly, we thrive through getting real about who we are. What the Lunar eclipse added to this was the imperative to remember why we came here and, as the Sun reached the cardinal crossing point and swung around the hitching post of the year, the question was deepened to asking whether we are fulfilling this original purpose….both an individual and collective question. As the Storyteller Moon reminded us we are all in the same boat and our individual paths are inextricably interwoven – everyone’s story counts when it comes to our future and our future is collectively interwoven within the great dreaming of life. There is a very visceral medicine path in this.

It is as if our ‘shields’ are momentarily down and this means having greater access to our core essence, our greater self. This can be hard work, at a soul level, and in such moments the sudden absence of our protective and habitual masks and modus operandi can leave us feeling vulnerable, especially if we are not prepared for the experience. When events are triggered in our personal lives that reflect this we can look to the nature of the events to find out something of great value about ourselves and this works in two ways.

Firstly, the event will be the perfect mirror of that part of our circle of shields , or masks of personality, which has become momentarily eclipsed – by its reflection we can get a sense of what we create in our own personal reality that we normally take foregranted. These can more often than not be seen as personality traits, masks we wear, as characters we adopt for our social functioning and survival, both inner and outer. Quite often we create these masks to protect undeveloped, unintegrated or wounded parts of ourselves – they can also be positivistic, compensatory, bring balance, are useful, have social functions that support our outer lives, but, they are also, invariably, secondary to our true nature. It is a part of this process that we become aware of and articulate with, rather than being articluted by those masks. This is where the second way in which eclispses aid our work comes through.

Have you ever been in a radical situation, an accident or unforeseen crisis suddenly happened, and something took over, pulled you into action in a way that you are not familiar with? The radical potential behind eclipses can manifest such initiatic events. When we are exposed, without preperation, to the larger dynamics of life something can happen that by-passes our ego-centricity – the energy released can be awesome! The power of the psyche, its raw spiritual essence, can take over and we will find ourselves responding by doing what otherwise we might consider beyond our capabilities – we might not even recognise ourselves. Or, we might recognise our deeper self more fully. In medicine work, the inner work prepares us for this, is itself akin to a softening up or tempering process. Essentially, in an adrenal rush, we become opened to tapping into the universal energy more directly, its influx from source being more direct, less filtered, great things can be achieved in the face of crisis. It is in the aftermath that we need to be careful with ourselves…..

Have you ever wondered how much of our dis-connection from nature is symptomatic of a collective post traumatic stress syndrome – when Barbara Hand Clow coined the phrase ‘catastrophobia’ (1) she highlighted the effects of global cataclysmic events on the collective human psyche. There is every reason to believe that beneath many of our collective disfunctional behaviours is a collective soul-loss, our feeling of seperation from Nature, and all its implications, being the symptomatic wound. It can also be that, when a crisis is so great that it overwhelms us, we go into shut-down. Behind humanity’s ‘fault-line’ may be  a ‘source’ event that we are seeing mirrored back in the world now. Collective soul loss may be the one greatest issue of our times, a natural reflex in which our spiritual center, or a part of it, is shifted out of the personal conscious into the universal unconscious. In healing this fragmentation, through ‘soul retrieval’, we can also experienced a revelation of our wholeness, the restoration of an aspect of our selves that we have lost touch with, but, feel and are aware of  through the loss……with the hightening effects of eclipses this may be a part of their dynamic, a cosmic intervention that aids us in bringing ourselves home. But, it requires sustained care and support for integration, compassion and willingness, on our part. With eclipses the involuntary element makes this and preperation, the inner work, all the more poigniant and can highlight areas we have been unconscious to in our practice. Collectively, if worked with consciously, eclipses can offer anopportunity to engender collective compassion, which can also often come unexpectedly, from an inner resource we may never have realised we have….here too is a part of the softening up process, and it is a sacred call to forgiveness. In some senses its as if a cosmic ‘tough love’ is at work, an opening of the heart. It might help us greatly now if we are able to see the current state of the world in this way…….

The key to working with eclipses is through treating them as time-out zones, making our lives simpler for the moment, paying more attention and care to ourselves and others….and engendering compassion, courage and forgiveness. We may find this visited upon us, but, we are never without choice, never beyond hope. If you are considering launching a new venture, reflect upon your motives. Undertaking any major change through an eclipse time will carry the imprint of the eclipse within our soul path – many astrologers advise against such. It is not impossible though to utilise this in a way that is beneficial in the long term – if the intent is to give ourselves more time to be genuine, more deeply rooted in our soul path, it can be profoundly awakening. The biggest element though is unpredictability – for as much as we are able to forecast eclipses, for all the inner dynamics, insights into their workings, their immediate and lasting effects are unpredictable……they challenge us to be ourselves in the now, no matter what. But, the mirror of the unforeseen is Grace, and healing may enter by her gateway.

The second half of the year will see our world traversing the end count of the Mayan calendar – this has been calculated and exquisitely extrapolated by the Mayan ancestors. Contemporary commentators such as Carl Calleman have brought our understandings to an inspired level of clarity, but, for all that we can fore-see, we cannot know what lies ahead of us. The energies are rising, intensifying, approaching unification within consciousness. We are entering the unknown……deep consciousness that is intrinsic to all life is emergent within us. This, perhaps more than anything else at this time, is what these eclipses are softening our selves up for, through every cell in our body, right down to the core of our being. Eclipses are sacred gateways. We must go through them as we have an appointment with destiny. We are on our way to meeting and being met by the Dark Goddess…..in her, all life is born…..Prima Materia Sapienta. But, more on Her next time….

Blessings one and all!!

(1) ‘Catastrophobia : the truth behind earth changes in the coming age of light’ – Barbara Hand Clow; Bear & Company, 2001

……far from being exhaustive the links below will provide some food for holistic and sustainable thought and action that can make the difference – self empowering, informative and ‘green’ in intent, if nothing else brouse the Wiki pages, follow the links and create your own search path – sharing your findings, creating co-operative support networks and groups, trying ideas out for yourself – if you know of sites, organisations, individuals or educational centers on this theme, now is the time to pass them on – the world is brimming with empowering alternatives to living in dependancy to ‘The System’, so, if we help each other, we can all live in full connection ‘off the grid’ – g’luck!

http://www.gdrc.org/icm/lets-faq.html – an extensive and useful FAQs site about l.e.t.s. systems as they have been concieved in Australia

http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/design/home.html – fully detailed manual for setting up l.e.t.s. schemes from Canada

http://www.letslinkuk.net/ – user friendly UK site showcasing articles and resources for all interested in l.e.t.s.

http://www.littlegreenguide.com/ – simple practical index of ideas inc. solar-voltaic and combined wind generators – Australia based

http://www.carbonneutralenergy.co.uk/hydro.html – resourceful UK based site with many links to water based technologies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microgeneration – great Wiki page on Microgeneration, its uses and forms – lots of worldwide links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_building – another great Wiki page on Green or Sustainable building techniques – lots of links into different technologies and applications

http://www.cat.org.uk/ – based in Wales UK this is the educational center for alternative technologies site – long established tried and tested, always worth a visit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture – the Permaculture page at Wiki is once again filled with great links and info – working with nature as a practical land based way of self-sufficiency

Diviner’s Moon – handling Neptune

The time around this Aries Full Moon is ripe for divination, a time for activating our carefully tended inner fires and illuminating the past, present and future. The New Moon’s calling for quiet and careful nurturing of our luminousity now matures and comes to fruition – a process that is being further aided by Neptune’s vision enhancing energies. And, while the outer dynamic of this Moon continues to push with primal force for radical change through direct Aries expression, the ‘inner’ becomes more pervasive and spiritualised – Neptune is omni-directional, the ‘field’ as opposed to the ‘force’. Since Neptune operates across the matrix our vision can be far-seeing. So, learning how to handle Neptunian energies is crucial at this time. What at first sight may seem disparate, diffuse and entropic can, paradoxically, be unifying and lead to great things – the crucial factor is to stay grounded and centered, essential for such an esoteric influence, especially while under increasing tension.

Under the auspices of Neptune in Pisces the everyday takes on the shape and dynamic of dreams; there is subtle tension within this, and yet, there is also a purposefulness behind it; anything can happen and events seem ever more significant – we are surely feeling this increasingly now.

The planets have a primal feel in Aries and are bringing primary experience as the seeding ground for change – this is purposeful energy, but , it requires a deeper wisdom to prevent it becoming an unconscious drive. And, at this Full Moon, Aries is packed! Occupied by Sun, Eris, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Lilith and Uranus, these planetary bodies are all emphasising and bringing their own nuances to the Fire element. And they are soon to be joined by Venus, but, we will come back to her as she has a surprise for us. Saturn, opposing in Libra, Venus, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, and Pluto in Capricorn anchor the signature of Air, Water and Earth. With a preponderance of Fire this is a balance within the medicine wheel of the sky that is dynamic, impels rather than resides…..

Containment and expansion continue to play out across the field between Saturn, retrograde in tropical Libra, and the accumulating influences within tropical Aries. In the highest expression, the emergent force can raise the vibration of the field while the ‘containing’ emphasises integrity. …we need strong roots and this influence can help us develop them; the deeper we go, the higher we can reach! And these are far from being abstract ideas….

Our rooting must also come in the form of truthfullness – and Neptune has also been associated with deception. Well, this is no time for deception, if employed it will backfire, big time! Of which Neptune is already highlighting as we see the slow admittance by ‘the authorities’ of just how serious our global situation is – the fact is, we are not being given the facts straight. The accounts of world events are being glossed over and filled with contradictory and differing figures and ‘facts’, and, on top of this, the governments can no longer balance the books – we will increasingly see default as the ‘default setting’ – typical low Neptune! So, for us, the call in the face of confusing information and economic devolution is to, once again, get centered and ‘see’. Remember the call brought out by the New Moon, to adopt the attitude of centered and unassuming presences within the world, protecting our inner light – the timing and the poigniancy of this is doubled now at the fulling of the Moon and on through its waning phase…..and we can now prepare to activate our inner fire and become active agents within the world, an en masse wave generator of inner sight and knowing. While the outer world devolves, the inner evolves. This too is why we must find our center. It is from within that unity will emerge. Great clouds gather promising rain….an electric field of potential is beginning to grow.

This cycle is also marked with a strong and unpredictable influx of ecstatic Dark Goddess energy from Uranus conjunct Lilith – this is further highlighted by Mars now opposing Saturn. When Mars and Saturn are thrown into having to relate and find a meaningfull relationship a powerful assertion of our boundaries becomes a key issue. True, we cannot afford to bottle up our rage at the unfolding injustices, as we risk our own health – a creative path must be sought. If left unresolved this influence can manifest subversive territorial conflicts, and with Uranus conjunct Lilith in Aries slowly squaring up to Pluto, their sudden eruption can bring catastrophic results if we do not overcome our puritanical ideals and dependencies on the old structures – this will further reveal the dark underbelly of the global politic.

If Mars and Saturn find a way to combine, their energies become a power that can give new shape to reality; it is creative power that is very real and, if applied in conflict resolution, demands that all the ‘players’ put their cards on the table. Neptune’s high side will assist in uncovering deceptions. However, the chances are that Earth will channel these energies and continue to amp up the agenda as this configuration is also akin to an earth-mover. Earth tremors are now being felt worldwide, daily, in increasing numbers – the long term predictions are for this trend to continue…..in this moment, we have a crucial window of opportunity to make the difference.

The difficult expansive influence of the Jupiter Saturn standoff was seeded shortly after the Equinox. We flagged this up in linking it to tectonic movements and this will continue through swarming energy while Mercury is retro/stationed over this point in the chart. And, prolonging and intensifying the Japanese nuclear crisis, we will see further quakes ringing daily around the Japanese archipelago and the Ring of Fire. We can now say with clarity that this nuclear disaster will increasingly spread its effect to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. And, in respect of this, Uranus with Lilith also brings the eery spectre of radiation by stealth. Another of their manifestations is revealed through the Northern and Southern Lights. Solar flares pinwheeling around the Sun with strong Solar winds are contributing to unusual patterning in the earth’s magneto-sphere, further influencing Earths EM field – while telecomms are threatened worldwide, the Auroras have been amazing this year, and both will continue to be! Challenging us to transcend fear, there is a raw beauty at work in the world as the Dark Goddess awakens within. She is present within our inner fire and is helping us to ground within her wisdom.

Being grounded means being in the world, and while current events are excerting an intensity that is testing our resolve to do so, the effect is actually helping us to see where we need to focus the Earth Medicines that are intrinsic to our global healing and transformation – it is our emotions and vulnerability to aquired conditioning that need careful management, so, we are taking this in stages, timing is everything, and this requires sustained focus and is essential to getting and staying ‘real’. It is fairly obvious that we can no longer sustain the level of blind and reckless disregard for the future of our planet and our species that the industrial scientific complex has been driving. How we deal with this now is crucial because we can seed the future with real potency at this time (as we will see!) and, while we do need to think ‘long term’, it all begins in the present with each one of us…..

The challenge is that things are moving fast and the ‘big turn-around’ we are seeking is slow. It comes down to us all at the individual level to embody the change that we want to see in the world, to paraphrase Gandhi. This is doubled up in the reading from the Oracle of Changes that accompanies this time. ‘Holding to our center, small things matter, as accumulation of the small leads to the great….staying with the inner work, nurturing the inner light, water particles accumulate and form clouds – light within clouds, promising rain………the ground awaits nourishment…..divination is favourable……’(1)

So, under increasing pressure, how we react in the current circumstances is a part of our grounding. If we do react that is, for, instinctive and conditioned mentalities can lead us to both ignore the dangers, to ‘act out’, bringing destabilising emotional upsurges, and can also provoke an accompanying escapist impulse, the desire or reflex to ‘get out’, a reaction of the soul that percieves danger. This latter is a natural mechanism, one the shaman is familiar and articulate with. The danger actually lies where the involuntary impulse overtakes us and when the inner boundaries are opening this makes us more receptive to the archetypal powers. As diviners we can, however, be articulate with these powers. It is essential that we do so from within sacred space, clearly defined and firmly established – medicine wheel work, found the world over in many different forms and a part of our collective human heritage, is ideal for this. More on this next time.

It is natural that in times of increasing challenge and danger we seek to protect ourselves, but, in the face of trauma, at a soul level this can mean fragmentation. Soul loss is both a karmic issue and an increasingly fundamental focus for our healing and prayers – if you work with spirit medicine you may be increasingly called to healing soul wounds in your world work. Neptunian influence can increase the efficacy of this work, but, it may also enhance the pull and potency of those fantasies that we may seek refuge in, so our divining can help us to see how to use our visions with intent, rather than being overwhelmed by them, avoiding possession by the archetypal powers. We are seeing the unfolding of karmic debt in the world, and much of this is owed to Nature! However, Nature does not judge as humans do, natural Law is allied with the divine, is sacred and will always favour healing – there is also a natural method at hand…..

Neptune can also bring us into closer relationship with the matrix of Life manifesting through Nature. Being with and within Nature aids the process. With so much destructive energy at work in the world, so much of it focused upon Nature, we can bring our healing to bear here too. There is profound mutual benefit in this. The best thing we can do for Nature on a personal level at this stage is learn from Her, listen to Her, make our peace with Her……this is the gateway to the wisdom of the mind and spirit of Nature, and, if we work from the heart, to Her heart as well. In this way we will remember that we to are a part of Her, that we were never seperate. The spirits within Nature are and always have been here to help us remember this and guide us in working in unity……..look to the animal guides, honour their guidance, the gifts they bring…… with so many species disappearing it is not too late for this, infact it is time! We should consider this carefully in the light of this Moon…….by being in community and inner communication with the myriad creatures we can turn the tide!

Divining, we are becoming luminous as we tend to the inner fire. Earthing within, crystalising the energised matrix through the Flower of Life – in divination we know, the symbol is alive! In the midst of dramatic change inner and outer are in accord – our natural state of balance. At the center stillness is dynamic, filled with energy. Divination is a path of development, knowledge and inspired action – it is available to us all, and in our next post we will take a special look at some of its forms and the ways in which we can further develop it as a skill. Saturn will aid us in this and show us the high side of the divinatory process, help us focus it into form. However, the best way to bring ourselves into alignment with this process and staying earthed is to make medicine in Nature, medicine wheel work, creating sacred space, sharing this with others and networking, sending out strengthening prayers for integrity to be restored – in this way Saturnian energy can help us in creating positive forms that support the healing by bringing us into right relationship with our planet. What is shaping those outer experiences, either way, will push on our boundaries as we do so, action and counter reaction, so, don’t be distracted, hold to the center – its where the greatest and most reliable source of energy and awareness is found……..just being in Nature is enough to put us in touch with this…….She will lead us….

There is something hidden amongst all this, a subtlety that we might otherwise overlook! We may get distracted by the outer world, but, the entire cycle of this Moon will point up the luminousity of the dark goddess connection all the way down to the roots of the World Tree….and it is here that we need to look…….an amazing pattern is being spun by the Sun, Moon, Moon’s nodes and three very significant asteroids, Urda, Erda and Skuld.

Urda, Verdandi and Skuld are the three Norns of Nordic tradition – the Norns spin the web within which the fate and destiny of our souls journey is woven, Urda being the ‘past’, Verdandi the ‘present’ and ‘Skuld’ the future, simply put. There is no asteroid yet named for Verdandi, however, Erda, being the old Germanic word for Earth, being the grounding, the present and connecting us with the Old North, we can bring her in here – the name Erda being contained within V-Erda-ndi this may seem contrived, but, this is far from being arbitrary as asteroid Erda is conjunct the Full Moon!!

I am indebted to Marina at Darkstar for bringing Urda’s presence at this Moon to our attention; you will find the link to her article is at the foot of the page (2) – through following this thread the connections began to emerge…..and when they did the magic began to light up the field with uncanny energies….first, here are the points at which this energetic configuration of the Wyrd is anchored, and can you guess what pattern they make?! :

With Sun and Moon at 27º44’ of Aries and Libra respectively we also find the Moon’s nodes at 25º01’ Sagittarius (NN) and Gemini (SN) and to complete the picture Urda at 22º21’ Aquarius, Skuld at 26º28’ Leo with Erda conjunct the Moon on 27º53’ Libra – in other words a pair of Grand Trines forming a ‘Star of David’.

 

The presence of the Norns tells us that this is a time for activating the inner light, through divination and inner contemplation of our purpose. Being in a combination of Air and Fire signs tells us that as we do so we will be bringing the primal energy of creation together with the energy of mind. Manifesting within the Star of David reflects the process emerging within the entire fractal scale, the balanced dynamic of the Flower of Life. Here again is our growing luminous nature, the emergent consciousness of the dark goddess, our own spiritual embryo filling us with light in complete confirmation from within the starry realms.

Involving the Moon and Sun in balance, the nodal pathway of the soul and the wise women of fate, incarnation and destiny this influence will be with us up to the beginning of the next Moon cycle – any changes we make in this time and their effects will last much longer – we can make good use of it, both individually and collectively, to alter the trajectory of our fate, activate the inner qualities they have funded us with within ourselves and bring them to an higher order and vibration of manifestation – when we do this our destiny changes. And then, theres Venus…..

Well, the beautiful one is poised to deliver, just waiting to pass over or aspect our personal planets in the last degrees of Pisces – check your charts! She is tied into the ‘Star of David’ by yod at this Fulling Moon – through quincunx to the sextile between the Moon+Erda and Skuld. She is saying that our collective ensoulment and manifestation of ancient Earth’s destiny can be expressed as the matured spiritual vision of Beauty that will auger in the new times of Goddess consciousness and energy, and Venus is ready to release this through your own inner light……make good use of this opportunity…..

………our fate is cardinal, initiatic in quality, our grounding fixed, in the eternal present, and the future, our destiny, mutable – choice, chance and the wisdom of the Goddess will be revealed through divination….use this time well!

(1) The hexagrams underlying this reading are :

9 ‘Small Accumulating’ : “Wind moving above Heaven. Small Accumulating. A Chün Tzu (diviner) uses highlighting the pattern to actualise the Tao”,

…with changing line 3 giving rise to :

61 ‘Centering, Connecting’ : “Centering and Connection to the Spirits, hogfish (Dolphins) auspicious. Advantageous to step into the Great River (to enter the stream of Life with purpose). Harvesting. Following Advantageous Trails (divination).”

Extracts from – ‘I Ching’, Stephen Karcher, Vega 2002.

(2) here is the link to Marina’s reading at Darkstar – ‘Full Moon April – Unchained Mind’, Darkstar Astrology.

Fire Returns to the Origin

This month sees the great changes in the world reaching down to root level – we are entering a phase of high resolution transformation in which the challenges of the physical will ask us to tap into our inner resources with pragmatic focus. The pull of the mundane is strong throughout this month so inner balance and adaptation of our medicines to the times will help us to remain centered within the heart, and we will need this as the the very fabric of the matrix is now beginning to shift with kaleidoscopic energy. Everything counts, so…..   

Now in the flow, the April New Moon is a way marker amidst the great changes and picks up on the March astral influences, carries them forward and stimulates us into taking up the roles we are each called to with renewed commitiment and dedication. Emergent energy, carrying the ‘I Am’ affirmation from Aries, almost seems to engulf this Moon. Within the quickfire and intense process that we are now seeing, the world has been shaken by recent events in the Mid-East and Japan – and what is the best way to respond? Perhaps we should ask the Powerbrokers who continue to wield the ugly sword of righteous murder, against the people and against Nature, in the name of democracy and profit – perhaps not, we are no longer pawns in their game; rather, ask the courageous workers of Japan who have staked their lives on saving the country from nuclear meltdown. And this while the Ring of Fire is reverberating with quakes on a daily basis, many in the 4.5 to 6.5 range, many around Honshu and the Asian Pacific faultline – Earth is not to be ignored in the face of political unrest and usury. She will have her say……

We begin this report with the mundane view because it is going to be key to how we bring our personal paths to bear within this Moon cycle….although the New Moon opens a new cycle it is the cycle itself, especially in its first two quarters, that will determine how we percieve our course for the month. Patience and compassion are called for, looking to the inner wisdom that is growing within; at the Full Moon we will return to review where we stand and take our work further forward…….as much apparent lunacy as there is in the world, it is going to highten our balanced sense of self, our purposefulness within the world. And, talking of lunacy…….

Uranus has been joined by Mars in the second degree of Aries – and, lo! the Koran burning Pastor is in denial of the consequences. When Mars conjuncts with Uranus we get an energy that must find some form of expression – it is most dangerous when it finds its lowest form, can manifest as shock tactic fundamental extremism and will do so with unpredictable consequences, apart from the fact that we know it will be provocative to say the least. If these two planets working together find the high side of expression Uranus and Mars can empower us with radical inventiveness and inspire new paths of manifestation for spontaneous acts of courage, a pragmatic counter to the aggressive and irrational unconscious drives of its low side. On 2º Aries Uranus conjunct Mars brings a cold edge to the Uranian energy, and challenges us to look without flinching at the effects that acts of aggression have in the world. The Sabian symbol for this degree is ‘Objective Consciousness’, hard core facts and seperation from feeling. While it is an energy instilled in every soldier and its intrinsic denial is behind every case of PTSD emerging from the war zone, it is also intrinsic to the symptoms of the deeper wound, and reading the symptoms is as much a part of our healing as working from the heart. We cannot ignore its effects, especially now……will governments take responsibility? Whether they do or not, it will be up to us to step up to our calling and, as individuals, work together to make the difference. Re-volution reaches far beyond our politics.

In the mundane, Saturn’s face-off with Jupiter continues to be triggered by the New Moon, as if to prolong the interrogation of our ethical and moral limitations. We know that governments cannot continue to act in the name of Democracy while blowing up the opposition, and this energy is also expressed in the lower vibration of Saturn and Jupiter. The forces of containment vieing with the forces of expansion with heavy effect. The higher vibration shows us that, in reality, the two are seeking a way of working together, however, with the New Moon activating the Jupiterian end of this pervasive stand-off, we may well see the transformative side of Jupiter coming through as pressure builds on the contollers and overlords from within. The people are inflammed with growing spiritualised desire to see change at the root, and this Moon will make sure that this is seeded – it is an expression of Venus in Pisces sextile Pluto, now vacillating in early Capricorn. It is at the heart of the courage being shown in Japan. It brings the radical edge of compassion into the world. When Masaru Emoto called the world to prayer, to ask for forgiveness from, express gratitude towards and to seek healing for the Waters, he was expressing the high side of Saturn and Jupiter, the water crystals manifesting the sacred geometry of the heart, toned by feeling and spirit. There is a great teaching in this – we do not need to wait for the call to work with the medicine in this way…….if we make such acts an integral part of our everyday life Life will be transformed……

The benific side of Saturn will fund us with support in this, especially if we are able to capitalise on the Mercury retrograde energies of inward focus and communing with the spirits. We know that the dangers from focusing through his low side are present as well – with behind the scenes strategising and covert agenda’s that seek to maintain control. However, we may be able to see this at work, to see through the deceptions, if we hold to the center and utilise our sacred point of view, our ‘seeing’. For example, we may observe a change in policy and shift of focus if the US government goes into shutdown on April 8th when interim budget cuts run out of time. Mercury retrograde will square US Mercury, challenging open communications, and the Moon on the US Descendant will signal the time for the people to claim their power in the face of the governments apparent inability to work on their behalf….but, I digress….and we must not forget that we are on the verge of a new spiritualisation of our reality.

Neptune is flowing into Pisces for a four months stay, and while he is there, ruling the mutable nature of our spirituality, we will get a taste of the great collective shift within that will truly begin to counterbalance all this tumult in the world – this will be our signal and the real work we have come into this time to engage with will take on new dimensions. The boundaries will open and if you have been diligent in holding to your heart center and witholding from reaction to or inculcating the influences of the mundane, you will discover that your own boundaries too have become radically changed – entering this zone of shifting boundaries and timelessness we will be able to take our innate spiritual powers to another level! Intent is everything in here, so too our center…..

The esoteric can be intoxicating, but, it can also be the gateway for fundamental healing. With Chiron already in Pisces we can expect Neptunes influence on Chiron to bring a pragmatic shamanic quality to the shift . Time dissolves as we enter the world of the shape-shifter – up pops the white rabbit and down the worm-hole we go …..

Nothing is quite as we expect it to be as we make that journey – the preparation began this Equinox when Uranus brought us to the gateway, shook its foundations and was followed by Jupiter pushing on the sacred portal that Saturn stands guarding – if we look at their opposition more from the esoteric we will see the doorway now opening. The polarising tension they have brought has sustained Uranus’ shockwaves – it is also like tightening a drumskin and raising its pitch, and this too now gives a clear mandate to bring our work in the world to a higher purpose – we can follow that beat.

So many of the above influences are calling us to stay with our feet firmly planted on our own ground, to work with our own innate wisdom; it is a personal response and we know that, individually, we will do so as one, fractals of the whole. While the planets fund us with cosmic energies for change our Earth is reminding us of the sacred nature of Nature. Neptunian influences are a foretaster. As Neptune enters Pisces ‘for good’, early next year, accessing the oceanic realms of the Dreamtime, our Earth will be showing us that our task is to fully realise our role as Keepers of the Sacred Garden and, as Rainbow Warriors of Peace, manifest the coming Fifth World from within. The prophecies have been preparing us for this – in the last decade our regard for them has changed, now we are collectively remembering – they were never just stories to be heard and wondered about; they are the deep source of our knowing, about our purpose and how to prepare – we will sadly miss José Argüilles’ visionary leadership and inspiration in helping us to wake up to them. There are many visionary leaders present with us in our times, but, right now it is up to us all to step into our own roles as leaders, each in the way most suited to us, and care for our personal medicines as we do so……the responsibility of the healer is also to maintain their own health, the more so now as Transformation emerges from within.

Our world is changing from within….the heavens are changing within – Change is our new Body – we are becoming transubstantial and, within ‘that which knows’, the elixir of our spiritual alchemy is reaching manifestation point. It is a crucial moment in the ongoing process of conscious global transformation – now the World Medicine we hold within must rest within the changing world without. Then we can entrain with the crystallising energies of Saturn while retaining the potential growth factor of Jupiter – timing is everything, so we do need to know when to wait and when to act.

We cannot anticipate how we will look to each other beyond this process, so the emphasis really is now in trusting our own personal transformation as the template for outer change, and there are energies in the heavens that will help us at this stage. In Pisces, Chiron conjunct Ceres, and Venus sextile Pluto in Capricorn, remind us that we are here to face the reality of our collective wounds and seperation from the natural cycles of Life, and that we can do this by being with Nature. Earth is funding the fundamental relationships we have with Nature with the transformative power of deep commitment and belonging. Once again, this is fundamental to our role as Keepers of the Garden of Earth. The cultural paradigms of the industrial world have taken us a long way from this deeper connection.

The higher vibrations of the planets also show us the way. Wisdom too can be the prerogative of Saturn and he can be very grounding with this – once we are able to overcome the stultifying effects of fear, his shadow is transformed into steadfast courage and dedication – he helps us earth. In Libra this becomes the power to form right relationship, and within our mandate, becomes the manifestation of unity with ‘all our relations’. But, we can find inspiration from the strength of the courageous workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the spirit of the Japanese people, their integrity and the outpouring of immense compassion that we are seeing emerge in response – Earth is speaking to us, it is real. It is clear, the Sacred Hoop must be restored. Jupiter expands the call and helps us raise the energy that will bring the medicine to bear. The New Moon seeds this energy within us and Mars brings Uranus the compelling fire of realisation that we are the Birds of Fire, the Warrior Guardians of our entry into the Fifth World. Neptune’s entry into Pisces signals the first wave of the spirit world merging with our own in consciousness, the timeless higher dimension that generates the sacred geometry of the Flower of Life within our true nature – sweet is the nectar that Hummingbird finds there, the Medicine of Joy – it knows no boundaries.

When time dissolves, the boundaries between things become maleable – all we know is at our center. This is the pathway of inner light – the emergent consciousness of the Goddess returning. Her intrinsic wisdom is manifest in all things and harmonises all within the one. We continue our daily lives through Her grace……she also carries an earthy knowing that will help us ground our mandate. For all the otherworldly nature of the shamanic shift it is the middle world we always return to……integration is our objective. Even at the heart of the storm the world assumes its customary dimensions, and we continue, infused with spirit. It is very much about being natural within the world. To close, some words from the Oracle will elucidate…..

Hexagram 36 of the Oracle of Changes contains this line in the commentary :
‘though one harmonizes with others, one is not influenced, and though one associates with others, one does not become clannish.’

What does it mean that ‘one does not become clannish’?

What is clannish reflects the varying patterns that exist within us and around us – we recognise our kinship with each other through this. And yet ‘though one harmonises with others, one is not influenced’ by the entrapment of energies within the mundane. Why build a world on difference when the nature of difference is change itself? It is like mistaking the burning wood for the fire…….wood, flame, ash and heat, it is all one.

This hexagram came up in response to a request for an overview for this Moon cycle. Its name is ‘Concealment of Illumination’ – it never ceases to amaze how this ancient oracle responds with timely and aposite advice – here it exactly mirrors the heavens and earth. The image contained within the hexagram is enlightenment hidden within difficulty. We move amongst the people without outward show of our inner illumination, yet following our seeing, we know each other. We know we cannot fight fire with fire, so we gently nurture the elixir we have generated, through concealment. In this way we can be broad in our perspective and adaptive in our responses, able to integrate within the masses. It means being discerning while being unobtrusive : ‘one is like the Sun, which is bright when it rises, but, also bright in secret when it has set.’ Fire returns to the Origin……

……the Black Sun of the Fifth World rises in the Raven’s eye, She blinks and the Wheel of Law becomes the Seeing Eye of Magic . At the heart of the storm all is still and the inner eye is filled with light…….as the seer wends the city streets, no outward show, ordinary to all, illumined in all…….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Oracle of Changes references : The Taoist I Ching, Thomas Cleary & Liu I-ming, Shambala Publications, 1986

hidden mirror moon

“What an exciting life we live”, thought Moomintroll. “Everything could be turned upside down in a moment – for no apparent reason whatsoever”……(1) Amongst the adventures that Tove Jansson’s lovable Moomins lived through were the Great Flood and the coming of a fiery Comet to Moomin Valley…..her stories are a wonderful mirror, and, who knows, she could well have been telling us something! Here are a few more provocative thoughts to consider….

Observations are showing us that our Solar system is now entering an area of space within the outer reaches of the galaxy that has physical and energetic quaities that no human has ever witnessed in our planetary system’s locality before. We are also percieving utterly immense new energy forms above the poles of the galactic hub that do not obey the laws of physics according to the gravitational/black hole model. The gravitational model upon which we base our most entrenched astro-physics paradigms is being radically challenged by the emergent ‘electric’ model. Highlighted by the nature of the increasing influence of solar and galactic energies upon our Earth, this is a model that speaks of simultaneity, interconnectedness and provides the basis for a new cosmology of consciousness. It is also providing explanations for the missing dark matter and energy that permeates our universe, throwing light on the continuous interdependant nature of life across time and space. The Sun’s prolonged dormancy has been broken by a spectacular display of plasma plumes, with increasing sun-spot , solar flare and Coronal Mass Ejection activity – and the solar maximum has not yet peaked; NASA is sending out warnings of complete disruption to communications and power systems on earth. The Earths magnetic poles are shifting with speed, the North faster than the South, and its electro-magnetic field is weakening, as is the Sun’s – we can see the same effect at work across the unified field of the solar system. A very large ‘planetary’ object has been observed within the Ort Cloud at the edge of our solar system; some believe it to be a Brown Dwarf, an unrealised star with not enough mass to ignite, now with a solid center – others hold that it is a super massive gas giant like Jupiter, only, at least twice the diameter – such an object will have a strong influence on the planetary field – we will feel the effects. Plasma bursts that have a degree of power normally associated with stellar phenomenon are being observed issuing from above thunderstorms. Spiral aurora, cloud patterns unlike any previously recorded are being observed globally. It gets more bizarre….sink holes, some immense within polar ice and others unusualy sheer sided within the earth’s surface, are appearing, apparently randomly. Luminous entities are being captured on film that reveal intelligent behaviour and internal organic structure, signs of ‘other-dimensional’ life co-existant with our earth plane. All these have been known of for some time – yet, their presence has been supressed for many years….until now.

We will soon see how the electric model, as it becomes more fully grounded for us to work consciously with, opens our eyes to the presence of intersecting dimensions of reality – dimensional entities that inhabit further dimensions beyond the 3D world, some of which affect and feed off of our emotional bodies, others which aid and abet our evolution, are entering our consciousness and will force us to review our habitual ideas of just what is ‘real’ – these are however facts long known to indigenous, healing and esoteric communities. Our insistance upon hard empirical evidence has kept this a reality at arms length…this too is now changing with increasing pace. We live in ‘interesting times’…..

So, lets see what the stars are saying to us at the onset of the March lunation in Pisces.

With our readings focusing primarily on the lunation cycles over the last seven months the role of the Moon’s nodes is seen to be of high importance – we have witnessed a season of eclipses, particularly framed within the characteristics of and with reference to a most significant transit, Pluto transiting the North Node of the Moon – see ‘Pluto Rides the Dragon’s Head’. This transit is epoch making in its scope and prefigures the current upheavals and struggles to birth ourselves anew.

As we have been exploring at ‘Owlmirror’, the ongoing process described within these lunations has given us a template for action to work with and, as we do, the outer events that we see unfolding show us clearly where the stress falls…our inner work is in direct relation to the qualities we perceive within our experiences. The current March lunation brings the emphasis back to the process in a more subtle way this time, but, later in the year we will see the outer stresses of this process step-up as Pluto and Uranus square up through a prolonged period, and this too will change our perspectives on all that we are experiencing now. But, more of this later…..

First lets look at the planetary alignments now in process. The March lunation will take us through the equinoxial Full Moon, the Equinox itself and beyond – for, while this Moon has a presence of its own, it is its unfoldment through the complete lunation that reveals its meanings more fully – within this time frame are a number of key astrological events, not least of all the transit of the ‘awakener’ Uranus into tropical Aries.

The planets are presently strung out across the three final signs of the tropical zodiac, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces – only Saturn and Jupiter hang in the balance outside of this ‘freight-train’ stellium in the culminating quarter of the zodiac. In mid Libra and early Aries respectively we find the gravitational form-giving influence of Saturn at work on the collective, and Jupiter stimulating our individual involvement with a counter expansive energy – there is an inner tension that is working both ways in this, igniting and expanding our passions and drive while our attention is being pulled towards how the processes of change are crystalising. This is pushing from within on old structures. And this is a global influence….

…..If we view the solar system from above, as in a heliocentric chart, we see that Saturn and Jupiter are currently on opposite sides of the Sun. Saturn and Jupiter’s opposition across the Solar field is a powerful trigger for tectonic upheaval – this is a well known phenomenon, and we can expect this influence to prevail at least until mid to late April – at that time they will also come into opposition fully in the tropical zodiac. This in turn will bring their tectonic effects into the human realms. Collectively we can expect increasingly intense focus upon our global ‘body-politic’. We will be compelled to re-evalute our over-reaching lifestyles and face the facts. Let alone the geo-physical challenges, we know that our profit motives are defunct and misplaced, and ultimately do nothing for us as individuals, but, ultimately, serve only those at the top of the pyramid of power. This will be a softening up process that will allow the truly radical effects of Uranus squaring Pluto to fully have impact – and this influence will bring a true test in the ongoing re-structuring of our outer reality.

We do also need this powerful influence, to become free of the old paradigm….but, it will not be easy and uncertainty will increasingly be the halmark. But, its not all ‘bad’ news. Once Uranus enters Aries it will be accompanied by astounding insights and innovations as well – the degree to which we are able to ground these will be further tested by our ability to aspire and create while in the midst of devolutionary structural processess – this will be Saturn and Jupiter’s challenge and we will look further into this below.

With Jupiter now back in tropical Aries, he has also been triggering key astrological points of sensitivity that marked the onset of this seven month series of Moon cycles. These were initiated in August 2010, through the Cardinal Grand Cross and Jupiter’s conjunction with Uranus in the initial degrees of Aries. Most recently, just prior to his transit into tropical Aries, Jupiter has reverberated with quickening energy the solstice eclipse point in the last degree of Sagittarius. We have seen the radical expansion of revolution in the Middle East through this time of Jupiter’s re-catalysing influence. Uranus, now on the verge of transit back into Aries, is also currently squaring the December solstice eclipse point – this too is a powerful stimulant and has primed the field for the Moon’s North Node transiting into Sagittarius, occuring as this article is posted. We could see flash-points in the Mid-East.

The 2010 solstice eclipse also gave us a window of opportunity to engage with the subtle realms, bring our alignment with the greater forces of the cosmos into the personal realms and to begin resonating together with their creative force – regardless of whether we have been working with this consciously or not, the influences at work have truly opened the gateway that we described in ‘Howling Moon’.

What are the nodes telling us now as they enter the Sagittarius/Gemini axis? Our philosophy for living and our inter-relatedness with the Earth and each other are coming to the fore – as a natural consequence of the current events in the world, as well as through the cosmic energising of our consciousness. This ‘mirroring’ within awareness will come up repeatedly within this lunation. This suggests major global idealogical shifts over the next year, and given Neptune’s upcoming transit into tropical Pisces, we should both feel and see a spiritual shift within our forward vision, as well as in the stress points that expose their unfolding. Much of the action that has been stimulating the North Node will now shift and our attention will be drawn towards the South Node as the inner planets transit this sensitive point. We will be asked to bring our innate abilities to bear while jetisoning all that no longer serves us. A karmic process.

Pluto’s influence continues to uproot all that stands in the way of this, especially within the political power field. He is slow moving in early Capricorn, and will leave no stone unturned. Power is being released as we sweep away the old structures and their blocking/containing effects and return to original form and forming. The form that we give to this power release will be determined to a large extent by the resistance to change thrown up by those in the human realms who seek to hold onto the old political forms that contain ‘power’; but, their grip on us is loosening! Ours is the challenge to manage the power we are naturally invested with wisely. We must learn new respect for Nature from this, quit our commodifying and reckless devouring of ‘natural resources’. Earth’s empowering gifts can no longer be seen as dead matter…we destroy ourselves if we continue with this mentality.

Pluto’s effects will accordingly continue to ‘raise the ground’ beneath the power brokers in the long run, continue to revolutionise ‘the people’s’ empowerment. For the ‘Elite‘ the use of Disaster Management will become an increasing imperative and question, and this itself is already putting communities and nations under great stress. Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter are at work in this together. Western leaders are striving to sound more and more grandiose, both idealistic and pragmatic as they respond, maneuvering for position – ever the political opportunists, they know that the bigger the hiatus, the more opportunity for control and profit, and we can be sure that they are planning behind the scenes, waiting to bring the forces and mechanisms of the old order to bear upon the newly emerging picture, unless we can persuade them otherwise. Historically, we can see that this kind of negative political reaction has become embedded as movement towards use of force as the counter to upheaval – at worst the military state is its natural end, Saturnine in the extreme. All eyes are on Libya. Yet, this too must now change – for, intervention through political martial force can no longer sustain or be sustained by the power base without further polarising it in relation to ‘the people’ – and, we know they will fail if they do so, for the strength of ‘the People’s’ awareness and passion can no longer be denied or contained – here is Jupiter at work. No matter which nation, no matter what the nation’s politic, ‘usury’ and ‘power-over’ is being exposed for what it is – Pluto will not be denied! The political and economic climate, like our weather patterns and Earth’s geo-physical activity, has, as the stars have been telling us, become ‘predictably unstable’ and growing in strength of influence as a result. Greater powers are at work that supercede political dominance and have the capacity to over-ride such control reflexes.

The natural consequence of all these highly stressed and seemingly chaotic qualities, and our experience of them, is that the emotional body of the planet is becoming filled out and charged up with our personal and collective emotional energetic responses. This is activating the 4th dimensional matrix, the emotive field that links us into the archetypal realms, and with this we will find reality taking on new dimensions, as we have indicated above. There are two esoteric functions at work in this; the one opens us to greater perception beyond the physical, the other opens us to greater influence from both the inhabitants of the 4th dimension as well as from the incoming energies from the 5th and beyond. Our inner work has been preparing us for this and our ‘seeing’ eyes will enable us to discern their influence the more effectively. Those who are paying attention to these aspects of the ongoing process, taking personal responsibility for working with it, will experience the outer events quite differently from those who have not – however, compassion will enable us to make the transition together…..the planets at this New Moon also remind us of where this will be most needed.

Compassion, the most pragmatic form of Love, can help us transmute the emotional field to a higher order and stabilise the process. It is an extention of the inner process outwards, bringing healing and reconciliation. This is not a superficial process, a mundane diagnostic curative – compassion must first be developed and have its roots within. We will find ourselves funded within this process from the Piscean realms both through this lunation and beyond, but, more on this in a moment.

Venus stands at the mid-point between Chiron and Pluto. And, Mars sextiles Pluto to add to the power of the corrective; so Venus holds the balance between revolution and healing, bringing the question of what we value most to the fore. We cannot buy our way out of our current dis-ease; and, the health of our relationship with wealth is in direct proportion to our power to carry the change through. Individual empowerment when united collectively creates an unstoppable force – but, we must be careful not to slip back into our old ways.

Venus amidst Chiron and Pluto also reminds us that we know that the world banking system is on the brink and have full awareness of the underhand ways in which we have been sucked dry by debt, false securities and egotistical manipulation at leadership level. Economies have been built upon this paradigm of subversive evaluation while we continue to suffer at large – it has produced widening seperation and inequality where there needs be none and is essentially competative and patriarchal in nature. The wounds of patriarchal dominance must now be healed. We need to bring ‘Soul’ back into exchange, and that means balance within giving and receiving – balance here means equality and, with Venus, equality also means a true appreciation of value. Men can no longer hold court to the exclusion of women. Venus in Aquarius disseminates this as a collective conscious potential for change.

Neptune sextiles the North node and, working independantly of Uranus, spiritualises our collective ‘soul’s purpose’ – an important function that will be given powerful assistance when Neptune enters tropical Pisces two days after the April New Moon…so, more on this at that time. For now, the Neptunian Piscean influence augers in an all or nothing revision of our materialistic paradigm. This will also help balance the ‘Eastern’ influence with the ‘Western’, and not only in the spiritual sense. It should be remembered that it is primarily the Western paradigm that is at the root of our problems – half a millenia of Western expansion and dominance within the world is now being undone.

Either side of the March New moon we find Mars and Mercury. Mars has already been mentioned in relation to the New Moon but the inner planets are swapping places through this complete lunation, with Mars very close to Mercury’s NM degree when the FM arrives. Mercury has largely been a behind the scenes player since the solstice eclipse – the inner eye that is both capable of seeing all from a clandestine vantage point, and which equally cannot be fooled through double dealing and turning the tables. Ever the diviner’s ally we should look to Mercury to spill the beans when he opposes Saturn on the Full Moon – then he will open the way for Jupiter to amplify and broadcast what he has found out. Jupiter and Mercury will resonate with the Nodal shift into Sagittarius and Gemini.

Mercury, however, brings us back within this ongoing process to Saturn in mid Libra. Now in a prolonged retrograde phase, the old patriarch is going to express inner tensions where rigidity prevails. Quincunx the March New Moon this will add a compulsive flavour to our desire to see the balance tip in our collective favour, new partnerships initiated – it makes a needs must energy of the subtle inner work we are now called to address with this New Moon.

We find the New Moon embedded within the influence of the ‘freight-train’ stellium, but, in widening 6 degree conjunct to both Mercury and Mars, exact on their mid-point, this lunation holds a balance of their energies. Mutable Piscean influence may be hightened by Mercury, may open routes of perception beyond the norm, spiritual manifestations and communications; Mars may pull our attention away, into the drama unfolding around us and, as such we will miss the inner meaning of the events, any psychic connections remaining in the unconscious. If combined within these energies will magnify our perceptive abilities – on a personal level we can expect vivid intentional dreaming, personal revelations and uncanny insights…..and this is where Mercury’s influence comes into focus through this New Moon. Mercury is also associated with Hermes and hermetic lore…..the initiate embodies this lore through disciplined inner work within developmental experience.

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing”

……this quote from ‘The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus’ has become familiar to us all in truncated form – ’as above, so below’, a talismanic maxim for astrologers and esotericists alike. The editing of the original is itself a subtle ruse, very pertinent to the new lunation now opening through March – through this editing the maxim itself has become a decoy, drawing our attention to the effects, hiding the inner process……our challenge, as it is for the initiate, is to remain with the inner process, it’s ‘purposefulness’ within our inter-connectedness, to embody the ‘One Thing’. Reading (‘seeing’) the outer will also reveal the inner. Hermes/Mercury will not let us be distracted any more…..

With the Moon’s South Node now entering Gemini Mercury will be key in initiating the retrieval of our indigenous, inherent and inherited esoteric knowledge and abilities and renewing them in the ‘now’. This is fully supported by this lunation. The symbol of the inner meaning here is an ancient mirror, a lens of perception, hidden, waiting to be unearthed from within the bedrock of our collective psyche. It represents awakened awareness, inner sight empowered through initiatic experience. It gives us access to unity within consciousness and offers awareness as the active agency of change – that which we percieve we change, as every quantum physicist and initiate knows. Intent becomes key, so, managing our emotions also. With clarity, however, we can now work with the knowledge that ‘energy flows where attention goes’, and this too will be key to our collective evolution, how we manifest our innate power. And, attention requires intent for this to become focused.

In the midst of such radical change the nodal shift becomes key here. The emergence of a ‘new paradigm’ has long been touted as a shamanic, spiritual shift. When Neptune and Ceres meet on the March Full Moon this will auger in the reality of this shift and, when Neptune enters tropical Pisces, following on Chirons heals, mid year, the shift will open collectively within. This Moon cycle asks us to hold our attention simultaneously with the unseen realms as the outer unfolds the effects of their increasing presence – here we come to the crux of the process, the emergence of the inner consciousness inherent within all Life. As archetypal as this may seem the full process, if we are to see it through, will call on us as a people, as a species, to accept and take responsibility for ensuring that every aspect and level of our presence on Earth be radically transformed. We know that we are here to fulfill something extra-ordinary…….

Yes, we can continue along our path of outer change, continue to hold to our old ways in the hope that something of their effectiveness will continue to serve us in the process and, if we confine ourselves to this alone, we will also find ourselves increasingly challenged as we do so. This need not be our path however – this lunation will help us find spirit within, at the heart. The renewal of our balanced way of living is totally necessary. When the Moon’s North Node aligns with the Galactic Center we will begin to fully understand why. Hermes has the message….we are all called to take heed.

In the long run our current state of change will seem more akin to a trail run! In the short term, our window of opportunity to prepare the ground on which the new can be solidly built runs from mid March through late October, coinciding with the last phase of the Mayan count that ends 28th October 2011. Beyond that, the period up until next year’s December solstice will be the window in which we have time to adjust our plans and begin laying the real foundations for our new world, this period coinciding with the Mayan count that ends 21st December 2012. After that we will truly have become the experiment – we will be in uncharted territory……

“What an exciting life we live…..everything could be turned upside down in a moment – for no apparent reason whatsoever”…..

(1) ‘Moomins: Moomintroll’s Book of Thoughts’ – Tove Jansson, Sami Malila;
Self Made Hero, Metro Media Ltd, 2010

The Fire of Renewal

Fire – the energy of radical change. What do you see when you gaze on the picture below? Is it a scene of destruction, of accident and loss, that suggests war and the eradication of security? Would this be a true mirror for our own inner state, our traumas and fears? Do we feel distraught and upset in the face of this power, its wanton use – or does it speak to us of a people in harmony with the elements, with life and her cycles? We associate it with destructive energy, passions and a volatile temperament, fuel for our machine age and the heat of the Sun. It is feared and revered, sought after as power, as well as the source of comfort within our homes. It is the element that changes food for our consumption, inculcates culture, is at the root and development of our industrial revolution and, through this, furthered the enslavement of the populace to production, commodity and profit. Those that control it have, in our eyes, power to both determine and destroy, as well as suppress. We burn in fever,  burn off the calories, burn our bridges…..in so many ways we have fallen out of balanced relationship with Fire and we have shaped our relationship with this essential elemental force in ways that would be unrecognisable to our ancestors. But, thanks to our ancestors we also know how to work creatively with fire, feel it burning in our hearts, feeding the revolutionary passion that brings freedom and release. Take a moment to ‘see’….perhaps there is here more to this scene than meets the eye……and then, lets take a journey to meet with the ancestors and find out!

It is the cusp between astrological Ages – the Age of Gemini is giving way to the Age of Taurus. We are journeying back some 6.5 thousand years, and arriving in the land to the south and east of the Carpathians, closer on the shores of the Black Sea. The scene is night time, under a rising full Harvest Moon, and a bristling mantle of stars is spreading over us from horizon to horizon as the daylight fades. Yet, the air is rippling with heat and great clouds of sparks fly heavenwards in swirling plumes of intense fiery energy…..a whole village stands ablaze atop the low hill before us! Powerful cracks of exploding clay, thatch timbers and supporting posts resound against the constant roar of the inferno – hold fast to the vision for a moment though, for gathered around us below the scene are hundreds of people, chanting, singing and drumming, feasting and sharing the fruits of the Earth. Some hold beautiful small clay figures in their hands, out-stretched towards the flames, others letting their babies and children play with clay animals and simple versions of the little sacred dolls.

For, this is no accident or act of agression…..beneath the hill the people have set up a hearth with a healthy fire burning in a mound of glowing embers, set on a bed of old charcoal gathered from previous fires. Arranged in a circle around this are more small clay figures, just like the ones the people are holding, images of the Earth Mother. Some of this little Mothers are seated on minature thrones, others with their pointed legs stuck in the hot Earth, each casting a dancing shadow around the fire, echoing the people’s movements. The pungent aroma of fresh herbs fills the air as the elders, those blessed with a deeper understanding and memory, feed the fire – it is a time of both celebration and preparation, before the onset of the cold seasons, and the energy is high….within the fire are new images, figurines moulded during the day from fine river clay, the Earth mother’s body, blessed with the living waters, and brought to life through the people and the sacred fire. (1)

The people have initaited the sacred fire around which they now stand, taken a burning splint and, having banked up hay bales and logs around and within their earth houses, each at their own threshold they set their homes alight. The elders have overseen the whole ritual; for we are witnessing a sacred rite, repeated every 70 years or so, at Moonrise and marking the passing of the old ones, the key elders, bringing a renewal and cleansing to the land upon which they have made their homes……from here, once the flames have subsided, they will be re-building their village on the foundations of the old, using the fire hardened clay, of which the floors and walls of their thatched homes are made, to provide solid materials that connect them with the past while freeing them to live a new cycle. Generations will follow this sacred rite and it will give the anthropologists and archaeologists something quite extra-ordinary to puzzle over when their villages are unearthed in millenia to come. We have come to call the area within which rite was enacted the Burning House Horizon. But, by the time we bring this objective label to bear its connection with the Earth Mother will be mere speculation……..

We have given these people identities that correspond to the particular hallmarks of their culture, the places in which we have unearthed them, but, amongst many similar peoples they are one people, spread out over a vast region, tribal afiliations united by a common flowering cultural impulse. They are also known to us as the Danilo, the Vinca, the Karanovo, the Hamangia, the Gumelnita, the Petresti, the Tisza, the Lengyel, and the Cucuteni……

The Cucuteni were a people finding new ways of bringing the old forward and blending it with the new – rooted within the land, holding to their ancient knowledge from the Mesolithic while embracing the new Neolithic farming ways. They now know, with the many other tribal peoples who inhabit this region, that the world is changing through human ingenuity. A revolution has been spreading far and wide, carried on their stories, encouraged through connections from afar, through journeying by land, river and sea – more will come with the arrival of visitors. The hunting and gathering ways are ‘pastoralising’, technology and culture summoning the widespread advent of ‘settlement’ as a way of living with the Earth in Old Europe. They are creating clearings in the great forests, they cultivate grains, keep pigs and cattle, herd sheep and goats, and are both ahead of their time in developing peaceful ‘conurbations’, as well as retaining the most practical knowledge of the land, the vestiges of their intimate relationship with the Earth.

There are many stages of this human revolution and transition from the old to the new happening simultaneously across the land to the north of the inland seas, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Infact it was a global revolution, spread across time and continents. Those who have adopted the new ways in Old Europe are renowned crafts people, using metalwork, weaving, pottery, construction blended with an appreciation of aesthetic beauty and spirituality. This is a culture that has its roots in the times following the retreat of the ice, and even further back to the interglacial times, when the imagination of Earth and people were one. The influences within this culture can also be traced back to peoples who migrated from the south and east and, being close to some of the major inland water routes, as well as the Black Sea, the Cucuteni and their contemporaries would have seen the influx of those influences coming in from the ‘Europian’, ‘Asian’ and ‘Mediterranean’ peoples as being a sign of the expanding growth of human learning in the ways of the world.

The halmarks of these evolving Neolithic communities that have been identified by archaeologists and anthropologists include non-heirarchical social structures, carried over from hunter-gatherer communities. They were experiencing the first flowerings of communal self-determination, harnessing the power of the natural world through their inventive technologies. As archaeologist Steven Mithen suggests in his brilliant book ‘After the Ice’ (2), these were a people of ‘choice’, able to adapt within a stablising process – they also had the ‘pioneer’ spirit of their ancestors in their blood. Through the gathering of animals and humans in rooted communities they would experience the growth of affluence and the challenge of disease – they were sowing the seeds of our own experiences within the world.

The heart of the Cucuteni culture would beat strong for a thousand years, but, they were not the last of their kind. The stone houses, sacred buriel chambers and megalithic circles that emerged out of this time kept the sacred covenant with the Earth alive. They knew a balance in life that would eventually be swept away. With the advent of nomadic warrior people from the east, the new ‘People of the Horse’ would change everything. In the end the riders would bring warring and overturn the old ways, replacing them with a fearsome blend of warrior heirarchies and spirituality and chieftain led forces that had different affiliations, fed off of the land where-ever they went. These new people were strong of will, free to impose the will of their gods and spirits upon all whom they met with as they travelled. This would in turn see the onset of ‘masculine’ force as an increasingly martial, spiritual and ‘political’ power, the birth of our politic. The Old European ways would over millenia be swept away and the images of the Earth Mother would divide, her dark side, split away, becoming subverted, a source of deep misunderstanding that marks us still – yet, She will live on, ever deeper within us. (3)

The scars of these old wounds, still present within our instinctive memory, are deeply overlayed within the cultural psyche of European and Mediterranean peoples, kept alive even as the Age of Taurus began to give way to Aries, and Aries to Pisces through our emergent myths and stories. They found inner form amongst the divided, fractured and anthropomorphised inhabitants of the spiritual realms. These wounds have become embedded and keep the dynamic alive, remaining sore and sensitive even now. Under this influence our tribalism has become nationalistic and religious. And, while no direct connection is drawn here between this and the fate of the Cucuteni and their neighbours, the foundations of their culture offer us a glimpse of something even deeper within. We sense our roots with the Earth Mother – through them Fire can be seen as a healing and creative power within the circle of life – the severence and recovery of the covenant speaks to us. But, suddenly a shout resounds and pulls us out of our historical revery and back to the now smouldering foundations of the ‘cremated’ village……

The people are busy clearing and re-storing their village – in this there is no grief or remorse; Life and Death are understood as cyclical, implicit and integral to the ways and teachings of the world. Earth turns with the seasons and the Moon holds her rhythm, counted within the sky realms, held within the waters and womb cycles of both Earth and women. We do not know their personal names, but can hear the echoes of their speech within our own, within our place names, and, we know that they were able to express a profound sense of place within the greater whole – their art and artfulness speaks of this, and this itself is of great value to us, enshrining earthy appreciation and a sense of aesthetic beauty, the budding spirit of the Neolithic Taurean Age. It also offers a mirror for reflection upon our times, how far we have come, and from where….

Our times will see great change, and we now have the opportunity to learn something of value from our links with the past while we are ourselves transitioning forward – we can burn off the old structures that harbour dis-ease and decay, the wounds and errors of our past, and clearing away the ash that clouds our vision, re-birth our connection with Earth into new forms……

This article combines documented archaeological research and theories with the results of divinations, dreaming and imagination upon these, and, while it is speculative and goes well beyond established ‘scientific fact’, it is also equally plausible and offers a view of our ancestry that will hopefully inspire further dreamings and exploration…….it opens a thread that will look at some of the ancient connections we have with the elements in future articles.
(1) The visionary archaeologist Maria Gimbutas contributed greatly to our understanding of the importance of ‘the Goddess’ in the late Mesolithic and Neolithic, her seminal books ‘The Language of the Goddess’, Thames and Hudson, 1990 and ‘Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe’, Thames and Hudson, 1974 being recommended to all interested in exploring these inspirational connections further.
(2) Steven Mithen, ‘After the Ice : A Global Human History, 20,000 – 5,000 BC’, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2003 – another superb example of imaginative archaeology; a balanced and well grounded view of our human journey beyond the late Palaeolithic exploring how we adapted to deep global climate change, with profound implications for our times.
(3)’Earth-home’ illustration © Rob Purday 2000

MOONFIRE pt 1 : the Pragmatist

A great deal of attention has been paid recently to the constellation of Ophiuchus as a possible candidate for the 13th zodiacal sign – the media, as usual, has hyped it up, and the astro community is humming over it! 13 signs in the zodiac? Who ever heard of such a thing….well, there was a time, long long ago when….you know the story by now, but, WHAT a surprise that this should suddenly put the Lunar cat amongst the Solar pigeons – time to wake up guys…!!!

We have the technology to thoroughly revise our place in the cosmos, but technology alone will not do it – as the astrologers will no doubt discover. The power to envision beyond the known is also needed. Over preceeding lunations we have been framing it as a cosmic dance – “as above, so below”, as the saying goes – the field of the stellar matrix funding the process with energy and opportunity. A wonderous thing to behold, it is so easy to become enchanted by its magix…..and to loose the plot in the process! Now, more than ever, there is no room for any New Age airy faerieness on this, the cusp of the ‘Age of Aquarius’. Paradigm shift, conscious evolution, realisation of the divinity within, of spirit within matter, or of ‘Sacred Marraige’ – no matter what you call it and no matter how far out or inwards our spirits reach, the process is hitting us here on the ground – and, as that other time honoured saying goes, “if it don’t grow corn”………

So, our attention now turns fully to the Earth as the matrix – we must ground the inner cosmos of spirit, nothing new in that. But the stars never repeat themselves and our individual soul paths both reflect and are reflected within this matrix – “as within, so ‘without’ ”….we are being asked to bring the fruits of our inner work to bear and take up the role of participants within this cosmic dance, funding it with the energy of active intent, the response, the follow through – and this current Full Moon pitches us onto the cusp of pragmatic realisation in this evolutionary process – either way, its up to us, now is the time, and its time to get real!

And, before we explore what this means, it should be said that, while there is a watershed moment embodied here, the process itself does not stop with this Lunation – we must look beyond; so, this post will be continued in part 2 in the coming days, after we have looked at the template for action, the focus that this Moon is describing. The zone of speculative preparation is closing, the Earth is moving, the going is getting tough – time to get down to work.

Many key planets stand on zodiacal cusps, in the last degrees of the signs, so transition is symbolically emphasised. With the Moon and the Sun opposed at 29.27 degrees of Cancer and Capricorn respectively they point to the transition, into Leo and Aquarius. The movement of both are further energised by Mars who, having just entered Aquarius, is burning a pathway for Sun to follow in his wake – and Moon will oppose Mars 5 hours after the full Moon which, along with the Moon’s nodal axis, will create a pattern that Marina at Darkstar Astrology describes as the ‘Rack’. It is a soul stretching configuration that here asks, ‘how far can we go with the fighting and extremism, how much pain can we be stretched to bear before we either snap or say “peace”‘, and come together – this is just one mundane aspect of the upcoming that this Moon will highlight….but, theres someone else in this particular mix who’s busy preparing us all for the big paradigm shift – Chiron, the shaman astrologer and initiator, bridge builder between the inner and outer planets.

Chiron, also heading for the borders, between Aquarius and Pisces, is taking the radical initiatives of Aquarian thinking and relating into a spiritualised zone of realisation. Chiron is always the maverick who can find the path that works, and he encourages to do it our way from the empowered position of initiate and healed healer – its a ‘never mind what the political agenda tells us, I own my own truth’ position – he is semi-sextile to Mars, and in a loose sextile with Pluto that will tighten in the coming months, just to push the point home.

Chiron’s role goes further – he is in a tight waning conjunct with Neptune and stands at the midpoint between the Sun and Jupiter, who also stands on the cusp, this time of Pisces and Aries. In this Chiron will fund us with new awareness that is expansive, emphasising the spiritual initiatives we can bring to bear on our worldy actions. Being infused with Neptunian vision he will help us to bring compassion home as an intrinsic necessity within the human sphere. We will return to Chiron shortly after checking in with the other players in the field….

Uranus, the unpredictable harbinger of ‘eureka’ moments, is in late Pisces in a waning conjunction with Jupiter. This thunder and lightning combination has been straffing the fixed star Scheat, the upside of which is creative genius with field changing potential – as many astrologers have speculated, the downside is climatic and politico/economic stress. Ever the pragmatic mother, Earth is literally flooding us with challenges that ask us to pull together, find our courage and compassion in our hearts – the ground is literally shifting beneath us. And, being square to the Moons nodal axis, the dynamic  is asking the question of whether we have the inner resources to meet the outer demands that our daily lives are placing upon us – can we access our potential energy and idealogical initiative, can we make it work? When Uranus and Pluto square up through this year this will come to a head and we will all want to know what all the money, food and energy resources that have been invested in the political/industrial complex and fed into the ‘war machine’ has gotten us…..Earth has the power to slap us down and force us to shed our arrogance and wise up – watch this space!

Mercury has his head down and is spying on the complex as he races towards mid Capricorn, the heart of the citadel of power. He has his own mission and we will be hearing from him again when he stimulates our awareness during the upcoming conjunction with Mars, Neptune, Sun and Chiron on the February Full Moon – you think this Full Moon is a hot one?!

This overtly masculine energy field is being tested and called to accounts – Jupiter cannot escape Juno’s opposition for starters. As well as this she will sextile the Moon, trine the Sun and together they create a matrix that frames all of the above within the question of partnership, unity of opposites within co-operation. We must find the inner balance and be prepared to embody it, a theme that Saturn in mid Libra continues to emphasise and now brings to the inner workings of the heart. Its a re-assessment of our ideals and values in all our relationships – Saturn soon turns retrograde and forms a tightening sextile with Venus who is in mid Sagittarius being closely shadowed (62 minutes of arc at the FM) by none other than Aesculapius, asteroid 4581. Aesculapius is the great mortal healer, medicine man and healer of mortal wounds who, taught by Chiron, is embroiled in the Ophiuchus myth!! Here is a link to a great article by Marina on this constellation. Ophiuchus/Aesculapius brandishes serpent power, the electric highway of kundalini and caduceus wand of the awakened healer…..we will explore this more in Moonfire part 2!

The themes of inner balance and outer re-volution are on hand – and there are two key aspects, unspoken of as yet, that reveal how they can, and will, be grounded….

There are two yods forming around this Full Moon that will ignite the Sun Moon opposition with an intensity that must manifest. Yods create a needs/must aspect when two luminaries in sextile have the midpoint of their energising interaction opposed by a third party, creating an arrow-head pattern – the third point, being at the sharp end of the aspect, acts as the energy point through which the combined energies of the sextiling planets is compelled to find expression. It usually takes the form of an event…..

Here, in the first yod, we find the Moon in sextile with Juno feeding into Chiron at the manifestation/action point. We will surely feel this, healing our partnership issues, feeling them deeply, demanding that all the idealisation of womanhood and its patriarchal usery, be healed. We can now take back our power, Juno exposing Jupiter’s infidelities through opposition and empowering our conscious drive for realism through trine to the sun in the process…..and Chiron has the payback, the trump card…..

He is in waxing sextile with the North Node, with the Moon at the manifestation/action point in the second yod! Becoming who we were always meant to be, embodying the healed emotional body and jetisoning all that does not serve the process we are ready to manifest our true collective inheritance – and we know we must. Our old affiliations, our traditions, our rightful claim to choose our own paths must now be cleared of the miasm of cultural indoctrination, political and economic manipulation, devisive dualism and suppression – we can claim back our potential and realise it!

Chiron knows…..without the spirits the shaman cannot shamanise; the old myths and stories, our very histories, tell us over and over again how our connection with the inner worlds and the creative power of our symbiotic relationship with the divine, within nature, with our Earth, has been usurped through both covert and overt control – the world is shot through with ‘power issues’ that highlight the need to reclaim and re-envision this relationship. We need to clean up our act…..Aesculapius had a daughter, Hygeia, herself a pythia, medicine woman of the snake – she maintains health through hygene and sanitation and helps us to remain in balance, clean. We will be needing her…..

We are not seperate, we have the power of choice, we can be discerning and we can bring this to bear…..the New Age paradigm has touted us as co-creators, spiritual warriors – ideas and idealogies; just what this means on the ground is now the question.

OWLWOMAN

owl goddess owlmirrorThis lady has been a great guide and talisman over the years – one of the very few pieces of antler work I have made for myself, she came through into the physical with real purpose, beyond the sheer joy of making and dreaming from which she emerged……

Fact is, ironically, Owlwoman has spent more time with other people than with myself, and, in the course of time I have come to see how that purpose of hers is working in the world.

Being a figure of only 18cm, she is intimate and tactile and is carved in Pere David deer antler, a material that is a good ivory substitute. Pere David is a-typically solid through to the center so this kind of antler can be carved in deep relief and in the round. Owlwoman also represents the kind of work that I am most commonly commissioned to undertake as a carver.

On reflection, Owlwoman’s role, her particular medicine, carries a call to find powerful centering and to get in touch with the inner stories, the ones that we have come here to tell, that only we can tell – I guess thats why she came to me as, after I had finally set aside the carving tools, I felt protected and ‘on track’…….she also helped me to understand, on a more personal level, that it is the story in the art that pushes it into manifestation. It needs to be told……

The whole idea that stories might need us so that they too may have their life helps to deepen the connection between medicine path and arts practice – within this is an honouring of the duende, the living spirit within the story being told through the art – the artists role is that of the carrier and courier, functioning as a gatekeeper.

With spending so much time out there in the world, Owlwoman has always brought back stories to accompany her return – people with whom she has spent time tell of re-finding their center, their power, and of renewal – she has brought courage and calmness in the face of adversity, the feeling that we are never so far from home as our challenges might have us to believe – others have said she has brought a wild wisdom, a spur to move forward with energy and dignity, trusting in their own vision, a powerful and steady wind in their sails.

Owlwoman does have a deeper level too – woven into her are symbols that have their own story, that connect to navigation and orientation on the earth plane – these tie-in to ancient methods of keeping track with natural cycles, angling to the directions and the stars in time and space – they also connect with the tracks of ancestral knowledge that reach back more than 10k years into Eurasian indigenous culture, with the seeds of dreaming that they have sown in our times.

She is enigmatic for all this – a gate keeper at the portal of death/re-birth and a magical envoy carrying a pilot light for the soul. She is still out there in the world…….

ELDERS

A few years back I began work on ‘bringing out’ images of Elders – they became an ongoing theme – here are just four from the series that emerged, along with a little background on their evolution and info on how the images are made….. 

GRANDMOTHER  ‘tender heart’: ELDER SERIES 1998

white and black inks on paper – 13 x 13 cm

…..this old grandmother was the first to show up, full of love and an ancient tenderness that just blew me away – she also reminded me very much of my maternal grandmother Florence, who was a healer and diviner – Florence introduced me to divining when I was just seven years old, so maybe there is something of her intitiatic energy in this Grandmother……..

it seems there is no accident in this work coming about – for a couple of years I had been engaged with ancestral healing within a communal setting – I was also working with some of my own ancestors – our links and communications became stronger as a natural consequence of this – amongst other things the healing process helped clear up unfinished business, which is always present as a potential blockage until resolved – subsequently, it seems, a renewed energy was released out of  which the Elders Series grew – and it really did feel as though there was new sap flowing up from the old roots of our family tree, an irrepressible force for new life…

…..thinking on this, it became clear that a potential creative route for healing was being opened up, one that could be shared – as a visceral process it promises to reach across time and could bring the present as well as the future into more harmonious relationship with the past  – after having studied creative work in contexts of ritual, ceremony and healing for some years, everything suggested that this development had to be good for us all, contemporising and further earthing collective healing…..

exploring this impulse the images that followed ‘tender heart’ became more visceral too and literally grew,  needing to be expressed on a scale that would hold their energy – but, Grandmother was the first in line and I found that the seed energy that she had brought with her needed to evolve on the physical plane – this led to more experimentation and exploration of different media – I had to wait nine years before her companion appeared and, when he did, he also initiated a new impulse……..

GRANDFATHER ‘tender heart’ 2007

compressed charcoal and natural chalk on canvas  –  67 x 67 cm

Grandfather marked a big transition point – he was the first of the Elders to be exhibited – making the transit from the healing (or ritual) space to the ‘public’ – there is a powerful aura around him that emanates not just from the physical size of his image, but, also from an intensity that he shares with the initial Grandmother, his partner  – he is clearly from the same spiritual root as Grandmother

by the time Grandfather arrived the techniques I was using had developed and changed – they had come from a specific approach to drawing that I learned shortly after Grandmother came along – it is a free-from technique that employs a mild trance state to allow the drawing to take shape and the image to emerge – it is akin to a shamanic state of consciousness, and yet, it is the physical nature of the drawing process that facilitates it – one thing that is particularly appealing about the process is that it can be used in virtually any therapeutic context, from the most agnostic to the most spiritual…….

……….the technique was shown to me by an indigenous healer who told me that all the faces (and images) that come through belong to people (and times) whom we have known in previous lifetimes 

 in the course of time, this process has developed and can be successfully passed on to others – it brings a creative beauty and tangibility to both ancestral and past life healing – we get to see what otherwise might remain hidden or latent, and, at the same time, get to keep artwork that can at times be astonishing and inspiring on both a personal and collective level 

in the years between the two Grandparents many other peoples showed up – the collective aspect of the work also began to come to the fore – I continued exploring the technique, applying it to illustration and other settings and applications, and out of this drawings with two or more people in them began to appear – ‘friends’ was one of the first………

FRIENDS : ELDER SERIES 2001

compressed charcoal and natural chalk on paper  105 x 88 cm

I have the sense that these two have known each other for many years – as well as the sharing that they appear to be engaged in there is an inner conversation going on as well – perhaps they are sharing memories or the common ground of experience – whatever it is, they seem to have completely dissolved their boundaries and have a unity of spirit that we find so often with old friends – I found this to be very healing as an emergent image

in this image you can see the bare bones of the process more clearly – the whole starts with a basic spherical structure around which everything hangs – the initial lines are produced in trance and appear rather random – and yet, after some minutes, there appear nexus of energy within the creative graphics – it is out of these that the features emerge – when two faces are emerging the energy of their interaction feeds into the image and this further brings out their individuality on a different level, one of relationship, of identity within relationships – this development brought a deepening and refinement to the solo images 

it has also, quite naturally, led to the exploration of specific qualities within people – again, between the times of the two Grandparents, I began to frame an intent to meet people through the drawings who had clearly specific roles within in their community – I was particularly interested to meet with artists, healers and diviners and invited them to come through at the beginning of the drawing process –  one of my favourite characters to come through as a result of this refinement is the Seer – she is also one of the largest of the drawings – she fills the space with a wild and effulgent energy and this is so strong that I keep her safely tucked away most of the time………

SEER : ELDER SERIES  2006

compressed charcoal and natural chalk on paper  –  105 x 124 cm 

I was walking across the Avebury Downs when I first got the Seer’s calling to come in – I was collecting the natural chalk that I use for these drawings at the time – it is a lovely dense, fine and slightly wet stone that seems so alive in the hand – at one point, my partner and I entered a spinney (small hilltop woodland) that surrounded an ancient mound just north of the ‘Sanctuary’ within the land surrounding the Avebury complex – as I sat next the mound and gazed out across the fields towards the great circle and Avebury village I felt a shift, a wave of energy – a presence, warm and yet enigmatic – later, as we left, I almost felt as though this presence was walking with us

I had been wanting to invite a diviner to come through the drawing,  and so on my return I invited someone with this energy and focus – as the image took shape I knew this was the same presence I had felt up on the Avebury Downs

 She/he, for this one is ambiguous in their sexuality, has both a fey and earthy quality – they are otherworldy and at the same time wiley – wise to the ways of the world – more than anything else though, there is a quality of feral  magic, a certain look in the eyes – the Seer has a wild joy that holds our attention – its as if they are tangibly infusing the physical dimensions 

some of these images are best only brought out from time to time – they have the potential to change the contours of space and time when in their physical company – they can bring healing to the maker and the family line – they can equally inspire creativity, and, as they do not rest on artistic ability for their effectiveness, are accessible to many – with some care and respect they will maintain their power, and have their voice – I hope you will enjoy meeting them………….

through finding form the Elders remain strong within our lives – their presence fills the void where their voices could be – for this reason I feel this work is worth every ounce of energy that we can give it – it is available to all and through it, in the course of time, the importance of the elders and ancestors will be born out, remembered and embodied – if you are interested to find out more please send me an e-mail or post a comment……….all blessings

respectfully, please feel free to copy these images for your own personal use and, if you wish to share them, please give them attribution to the author – many thanks

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Rob Purday wishes to be identified as the author and copyright holder of the ‘Elder Series’ images, as reproduced in The Elders’ article above, and,  in relation to this, reproduction of these images for commercial or promotional use, in any form, is strictly prohibited without permission and consent of the author.

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apologies for any automatically generated material appearing below………

A Message from the Valley

 

Who would you look to as perfect living examples of balance, generosity and healing? Who will offer you a pathway to the stars, to reach into the inner cosmos of Earth. Who can unfailingly give you the most fundamental requirements of shelter, warmth, food and medicines? Such beings are real, they do exist, right now, here in our midst……

They have inhabited this Earth for nearly 400 million years – they preceded dinosaurs by 140 million years – before them there were no reptiles or amphibians. They are expert natural energy bio-condensers who radically altered the climate, reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing temperatures to drop and preparing the terrestrial surface environment for the emergence and evolution of animals and insects – through their arrival the planet quickly began to assimilate living conditions very similar to the present-day.

Their children have carried forward their ability to transform, nurture and, literally, inspire Life into our times – and yet we massacre them daily – through this, we contribute to climatic degradation and our own demise – for a thorough over view see this link

we love them too, so why do we treat our dear friends so – they are the Standing People – the Trees, living symbols of Life. It is our greatest challenge as a species to respect Life AND to, as a species, act accordingly – we devolve into failure unless we do so – so,  if we could but take a few steps back from our madness and listen to them what would the Standing People tell us………..

…….if we lived by our hearts we would know them instantly – they would offer us a chance at rebirth as they are the midwives of terrestrial life, our relatives and elders, beloved and wise – they would fill us with wonder as they cradle the stars in their arms, as they pulse with the Sun and flow with the Moon – they would pick us up, raise our spirits,  as they dance with the wind and fill us with their songs – they would cleanse our bodies and heal our souls, as they give us the breath of Life and give back to us the sacred meeting place – they would inspire us to compassion, as they teach us of selfless giving, carry our prayers, heal our bodies – we would dance with them that we may come alive

“…….our DNA is made of the same DNA as the tree – the tree breathes what we exhale – when the tree exhales we need what the tree exhales – so, we have a common destiny with the tree…….” – Floyd Red Crow Westerman

Trees are powerful and highly evolved beings – the closer we become in our relationships with them, the more they stimulate our finer sensibilities, our deeper connections with Life and the Cosmos. They can transform our consciousness. As elder representatives of Nature they offer us a continual example of symbiotic relationship and environmental stewardship – they provide a wonderous variety of species with the essential habitat that fosters diversity and evolution. They too have evolved through this – Oaks, for example, have developed into around 450 species worldwide and, in the UK, the Oak provides a home for more co-habiting organisms than any other tree. Over 300 different kinds of Lichen alone have been found growing on Oaks in Europe and Lichen is a good indicator of air quality – infact the role of trees as indicators of balance within the health of ecosystems has given them a unique place within the consciousness and cultures of peoples worldwide.

No matter where we find trees they bring a sense of wellbeing and belonging, a reminder to those dwelling amongst the hard surfaces and sharp angles of the over-humanised environment of the flow and flux of Nature. For many living beneath the forest canopy the world is immediate, the horizon close by, the natural world a living matrix of vital energies. One western man who spent his life within the community of trees and was able to both discern and develop a profound understanding of these vital energies was the Austrian forester Victor Schauberger.

image : nevit dilmen

The son of a forester from a long lineage reaching back to the Germanic tribes Victor was born into the world of forest lore and the practical know-how of arboreal stewardship – he had a knack of perceiving the subtle and invisible energies at work in Nature. Through a mix of patient observation and inspired curiousity he made of his life a meditation on the living energies that manifest the mind of Nature through the trees and rivers, infused with the powers of Sun, Moon and Earth. Trees spoke to him, and he read their messages as energy. He came to realise that trees bridged the material and subtle realms, responding to the rhythms of Life, both sending and receiving waves of intelligent energy. Callum Coats book “Living Energies” is a itself a dedicated translation and thorough assimilation of the essense of Victor’s work.

The outer reaches of a tree’s canopy and roots transmute ever more subtle gradations of material energy units until they become pure information – the mind of the tree extends beyond its physical body, its intelligence reaching into the transpersonal, its whole being a synaptic complex of consciousness in communication. This is to describe a being that is fully awake, that is able to communicate with both inner and outer Cosmos – when trees enter the inward looking times of Autumn into Winter they focus their consciousness on the dreaming worlds, the dreamtime. Through this they teach us of the rhythm of the seasons as a reflection of our relationship with the pulsing heart of creation.

When we listen to that pulse and pick up the beat we are invited to dance – a circle of people dancing with this pulse, carried by the drum beat and sacred song, pulling the energy of the circle in towards the tree and slowly expanding out again, will awaken the tree – she will radiate a profound warmth and delicious energy, embracing us in her consciousness – to experience this is to know that this is real, beyond doubt, and it will truly bring healing. 

Around the world shamans journey with the drum to the otherworlds from the roots, branches and body of the great tree in search of knowledge and healing – the hoop of their drum is gifted from the trees, the skin often adorned with the axis mundi, the Tree of Life – for many indigenous cultures souls come in and leave Life through her nexus – the spirits congregate there – our prayers hung upon her boughs are heard and cared for – in the groves we find protection, sacred space.

Spirit medicine is only one way in which the balance of our natural relations with the Cosmos can be restored. There are other pathways that are accessible to us all and which are called into our consciousness on a daily basis, that our current planetary conditions tell us are increasingly pertinent.

fosswood dreaming : rob purday

The forests are dying on our Earth, because, through greed and dead matter thinking, we have given priority to satisying the needs of a voracious and uncaring culture, turned a deaf ear to our hearts, become disrespectful and overlooked the reality of our actions – and yet, for so many this is not a true reflection of how we would live. We have not forgotten how to listen, we can still hear their voices – and it is important that we do so for our children and our childrens children. We can reforest our home. And this is a first step – plants and trees planted with respect and in recognition of the sacredness of all Life, over generations of their family and through the seasonal cycles, will become our allies. They come to know us, form a sacred relationship with us and they will always be ready to answer when we ask them for help – this too is real, beyond doubt, and will help to heal the Sacred Hoop, the Circle of Life.

Our western thinking is a great stumbling block, and yet, it is also a great teacher – there is balance in all things. We often filter out that which we do not have tangible evidence for with our thinking – it is an affliction that is affecting our whole world and has caused great suffering within indigenous communities. Balance rather than dominance…….

Balance within communion carries a visceral potential – to restore the balance and make the encounter can be highly emotive and revolutionary, affecting of our view of the world and our understanding of our place within it, of ourselves. There is a wonderful account of such an encounter in “Of Water and the Spirit”, the autobiographical writings of Dagara elder and shaman Malidoma Some. During initiation into adulthood Malidoma describes how he met with a beautiful tree spirit, a tender yet awesome ‘Green Lady’ of immense heart and understanding.

For the ‘western’ mind this encounter is powerfully instructive as Malidoma has to struggle to free himself of the enculturalisation he suffered at the hands of Jesuit priests after they had kidnapped him from his village as a child – his return to the village created a dilema for the Elders who saw both a threat and a gift in his presence, in the cultural baggage that he was carrying. They decided that initiation was the only way forward, the make or break test of whether he could truly become the embodiment of his name, which means “be friends with the stranger/enemy”. It stands as a potent allegory for the relationship between the western mindset and the indigenous. 

Malidoma struggled over a long period under fierce conditions of extreme heat and dehydration, focusing on the tree that stood before him, to arrive at the moment when he was able to ‘let go’ and fall into the embrace of the spirit world. It was the attachment to both ‘trying to do’, contriving what he thought was expected of him, and the emotional attachment to the concrete nature of what his senses told him was real that created the barrier through which he eventually burst – he literally fell into the arms of the beloved spirit, and she spoke to him. Without this breakthrough his initiation would have failed. Even more crucially, this opened the pathway back to the original purpose that he had petitioned the ancestors to support him in before his birth, and allowed him to remember and embody his connection with the spirits in Nature, his name and soul purpose. To the Dagara trees are amongst the most evolved of beings on Earth.

For Malidoma this was the beginning of a journey into the wider world, sanctioned by his elders, his ancestors and spirit family. He carries with him the sacred medicines of his African roots, reconnecting ‘people of the diaspora’ with their roots and healing the spiritual heart of our Western cultural desert – thanks to the ‘Green Lady’. I had the benefit of several years profound and heart centered guidance and tuition with Malidoma – it brought many challenges and, like many others whom he has helped, brought a much needed appreciation of our universal nature, the ways in which we can find healing that are so deeply rooted in Nature, our relationship with the ancestors and the spirit worlds. He, with many others alive today, continues to work his magic for the benefit of us all in the world. All blessings be with the healers – human and arboreal.

The next time you enter a forest, lean against a tree or plant a sappling, please say thank-you – say it out loud, from the heart – it will bring healing into your world, our world. Such powerful healing as we find amongst the Standing people is always at hand, within the forests, amongst the watchful care of those great beings we know as the Trees. The New Moon beckons – happy dreaming!

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