Pearl Fishing in the Great River

We have entered the time of the Water Dragon and the world is alive with great change…..

The Water Dragon is like a powerful river – the spirit of the waters alive with vitality and strength, the Dragon returning to the deepest levels of Life …..when the Dragon returns and flows with the river’s power, throughout the land it enters Life with the force of a mighty watercourse in spate, fed by 10,000 mountain springs and myriad storms…..all in its path is swept up within its dynamic flow, everything changes, and the flow of change itself becomes charged with the rising divine energy of the Dragon…..

When Change becomes charged with divine energy, so that the power of spirit supercedes the limitations of the mundane, ordinary life takes on the appearance of continual transformation that is driven by powers beyond the control of human mentality – how do we work with this energy, how do we bring our personal and collective paths into accord with its direction? The wise-women and men of old left us instructions, the waymarkers, signs and symbols born of their experience and knowledge of such times, to assist us in this……

In keeping with the cultural origins of the Water Dragon, as a symbol and a power, within the body of the I Ching we find this as a beginning…….bring your awareness into the place of clarity and repose within, make good the inner and outer shrines, and make offerings according to the sincerety you find there……what is most sincere is uncorrupted and free of conditioning, is in accord with the times and the flow of change, so offerings made at this time, in this way, will establish the real and eliminate the false…..(1)

In the outer world, when the winds of change are picking up strength (the I Ching presents the image of the wind above the earth) we are called into a state of alert observation, being careful. Gradual progress is favoured, not advancing with impetuousity, but, with clarity of mind. This is the way of correcting degeneration…..in the beginning, if clarity of mind is to be the foundation of our actions, making use of actions that themselves encourage clarity itself and fostering alert observation, ‘making good the shrines’ is the symbol of finding the peaceful meeting place of mind, heart and spirit such that correcting degeneration may follow naturally from this. In our world, this is also ‘coming into accord with’ our current times……

But, the power of the Dragon is beyond human mentality – it is celestial in origin, cannot be contained, and is by nature both beneficial and transformative, the fundamental life-force that animates Life. It is the human mentality that is sincere and able to honour this power that can cultivate reality and flow with the changes at large in the world in such times. The Oracle of Changes continues……

…..when the real comes, the false naturally submits; this requires the gradual cultivation of the mundane through the influence of the divine. This is like honouring the deity, where the gradual process of cultivation rests upon sincerety. By the gradual effects of sincerety our communication with the spirit of the deity works to cultivate reality and, in this way, cultivating reality does not rest on the physical, but, on spiritual clarity; first you make the heart, mind and spirit sincere and truthful, then you practice it in the body. This is the meaning of ‘alert observation’. There is a great treasure contained here…..

Spiritual clarity works silently, swift without being hasty, entering by sincerity, functioning with flexibility, penetrating the barrier between the immanent and the manifest, producing light in the openess within. From alert observation generating illumination awareness expands, and, from observation of the spirit reaching observation of the great, a black pearl hangs in the great void, illuminating the whole world as if it were in your palm. What is this ‘black pearl’?

In the Taoist symbols we find the colour black representing a state of profound tranquility and detachment; we also find the symbol of the pearl representing clarified awareness. The great void is the primordial origins, the source of all things. Being sincere and bringing our clarified awareness into the meeting place of the spirit and the mundane and fostering alert observation, the illumination arising from source amidst tranquility – detached from aquired conditioning and human mentality, our spirit and the great spirit in harmony, and the great river in which we swim illumined with the inner light of the blackpearl, our actions become like the pearl fishers – diving deep into the element of Change.

And yet, the fast flowing powers of the great river in spate, the force of change at work within the world, have another meaning…….

The great river is also the symbol of difficulty, danger, adversity and obstacles, the trials and toils of life. Who would fish for pearls in such waters?

The image of the Water Dragon is also like the power of heaven at work within the Waters. Pitfalls above, strength and illumination below. Being sound and strong and able to manage within the midst of danger. Although not everyone is ready for such challenges, when the times carry the power of change and change is unavoidable, everywhere and affecting everything, the practice  and meaning of  making good the shrines, the clarity and sincerity we find within will reveal path of action – even those who are ready may be guided to wait. Restoring the primordial within the temporal, even when outer action is delayed, the wise nurture strength within – this is the path of strength and firmness that cultivates the primordial within the temporal and knows when to act. Being in alert observation, we are guided to know when to dive in to the fast flowing river, and,  being ready but holding firm is the path of power that nurtures the strength we need to do so. As the oracle says – we cannot presume upon our strength and set about the task impetuously – that would bring on danger.

When the Water Dragon is at large in the world timing is everything, even when it subsumes choice…..we cannot foresee every change or danger in such times, so, our inner wisdom and guidance becomes of the highest value. This itself rests upon making good the shrines. If, however, we assume upon our strength and act impetuously, it is like allowing the powerful under-currents of change to draw us downwards with the flow of the great river deeper in, deeper into the body of difficulty itself. Without clarity, strength and a sense of timing that comes from inner guidance our connection with the illuminating power that arises from source is quickly superceded…..

We live in a world in which, not only is great change at work, but, this change itself is revealing its origins – and, within this, we can see that the quality of change we are experiencing has itself arisen from impetuous actions that have lacked clarity and inner guidance – the mundane world is riven with the hollowness that arises when spirit is not met, in the very place where we could be illuminated with the wisdom of the spirit. The understanding of spirit is up to the individual person, but, when spirit is not met this understanding will either arise from mundane conditioning or not arise at all, which is the place of great danger. Even when change appears to be everywhere, when the river of change is in spate, it does not mean that danger is everywhere or that it cannot be overcome. In such circumstances, it is necessary to recognise danger before one can overcome it. This has increasingly profound meaning in a time such as ours…..

The oracle says that to recognise danger one must believe in danger – believing in danger here means being careful, discerning, refining oneself, gathering strength and waiting for the proper time. In this way one can cope with danger – there is great development in this. In this way, the path of power, of fostering sincerity and great development, offered to us in the time of the Water Dragon is one of gaining good fortune by being correct, even in times of adversity and great change.

The great river is most dangerous, but, offers the highest possibilities for those who know how to enter it. The black pearl is a great treasure that can be found within. But, it is not always necessary to enter the waters to find it – when the time is not yet ripe cultivate the pearl and nurture strength within; when the time comes, advance in strength. Advancing in strength and nourishing it at the proper times, in accord with spirit, is how one can be in danger and yet cope with it, and how one can get out of danger. Such strength is beneficial wherever it goes.

There is an inner path within this path of power – it carries the meaning of restoring the sacred to Life. This path is open to all. It begins with ‘making good the shrines’, cultivating clarity and coming to the meeting place of spirit and the mundane with sincerity to make offerings to spirit – what you give will depend on your own inner clarity and sincerity, however, making offerings now from such a place will not fail to bring illumination from source, even if this itself is the nature of the offering, the spirit with which it is made………great indeed are the gifts that may arise from within the Water Dragon’s path of power. May you be blessed with its power and illumination…..

(1) the I Ching was primarily consulted for this reading using the Thomas Cleary translation of ‘The Taoist I Ching’ : Shambala Publications, 1986. In the next Water Dragon article we will look further into the mysteries of the Dragon Paths as they are revealed through the tracks left by the ancestors.

Entering the Dragon Path

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace be with us all……..

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