Astrology

Jung’s Astrological Moon

Whilst discussing Jung’s Red Book (Liber Novus), Liz Greene reminds us that when interpreting the Moon in an astrological chart, we should keep in mind Jung’s vision of the Moon as a fluid, living principle, always in flux.

HecateTo assume the astrological Moon corresponds solely to Jung’s Anima is a mistake. Equally, it is a mistake to assume that she is solely the nurturing mother. Indeed, Jung saw the astrological Moon as both deeply complex and ambivalent – the archetypal core of which equates to the triple-bodied lunar goddess of antiquity, Hecate.

Consider four of the Red Book’s female personages:

  1. UnknownSalome – the daughter of Elijah, the wise old prophet who presides of the ‘temple of the sun’. Salome, with long black hair and dressed in red, is never pictured without her father. She is associated both with (1) the darkened skies of the ‘blood Moon’ (reportedly visible at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion) and (2) the blood-thirsty seductive temptress, the daughter of Herodias, who demanded the severed head of John the Baptist from her besotted lover. In this regard, Salome is associated with the tarot card, The Hanged Man, who although still possesses his head, is unable to use it (i.e. it is no longer above, but below) symbolising loss of the rational intellect when confronted with realm of the unconscious. Salome is associated with the dark moon. She is bloodthirsty and dangerous.
  2. Unknown-1Old Scholar’s Daughter – imprisoned by her father in an old stone castle in midst of a forest, this pale and ghostly girl is shown with the crescent moon. Like the Greek goddess, Persephone, she is prevented by her parent from developing into a fully-grown woman. Although Jung considers her to thus be unworldly, she informs him that she knows more about ‘real life’ than does he. At the end of their brief chat, Jung has fallen in love with her and she disappears into a shaft of moon light, leaving behind a bunch of red roses. The roses, Liz suggests, links her to Venus, the erotic goddess of the ancient Greeks, who interestingly does not otherwise figure in the Red Book. But unlike with the dangerous eroticism of Salome, Jung had little to fear from this pretty young girl; indeed, she offered him much to learn. Associated with the tarot card, The Moon, the Old Scholar’s Daughter offers a doorway to the unconscious, a scary place in which wisdom resides. It is tempting to equate her solely with the crescent moon, but she shares this ‘honour’ with the Anima.
  3. The Cook – along with the Old Scholar’s Daughter, the Cook is associated with the tarot card, The Moon, but the Cook takes this proverbial walk on the dark side to a completely new and different level. Large and fat and always pushing food, The Cook seems simple enough, the traditional house-frau. But in reality, she is unashamedly two-faced. After eating the food (nourishment) she provides, Jung falls asleep and wakes up in the underworld (‘the realm of mothers’). In this regard, The Cook is more dangerous than even Salome because what you see with her is never what you get. The Cook is associated with the full moon, also a gateway to the unconscious, but under no circumstances is she to be trusted.
  4. The Anima – although Jung never meets with the Anima, he does depict her dressed in blue and kneeling in prayer. She is at once the celestial mother, the chalice or Holy Grail (drink of her and attain immortality), the spiritual bride and mother, as well as the daughter of the stars. In his tarot deck, Waite shows her as The High Priestess, the guardian of hidden wisdom and spiritual mediator between the worlds, above and below. Notice that the High Priestess sits with the crescent moon at her feet.Unknown-2

In summary, astrologers ought not to consider the astrological Moon as either this or that, but instead as a fluidity that morphs over time. The imagery of the classical triple-bodied lunar goddess, Hecate, is in keeping  with Jung’s complicated (and often contradictory) lunar journeys. In the Red Book, the astrological Moon represents the entire spectrum of the lunar myth and cycle, from the dark of the new moon and back again. Unlike classical astrology that divides the planets into either malefic or benefic, Jung’s astrological Moon at once both and neither. She can be dangerous – even treacherous. Equally, however, she offers the opportunity to plumb the depths for the wisdom that resides in the unconscious- the wisdom each of us must someday tap if we are to further ourselves on that all important path to individuation.

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Greene, L. (2018). The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus; Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey. Abingdon: Routledge.

Greene, L. (2018). Jung’s Studies in Astrology: Prophecy, Magic and the Qualities of Time. Abingdon: Routledge.

Astrology

Today and Tomorrow are ‘serious play’ days. YEAH!

With the Sun in Pisces (oneness with life & nature) and the Moon in Gemini (student/child) today is a ‘serious play’ day.

th.jpegIn the Joie de Vivre tarot deck, we find Bliss and her mer-bunny friends, Charity and Innocence, swimming side by side. Oh, what fun! A lovely day spent with best friends playing in the sea.

Naturally Bliss and her friends are enjoying themselves. Why wouldn’t they? But I’m betting that they also have some method to their ‘madness’ and for want of a better term, I’ll call that ‘serious play’.

In a nutshell, this means play done for a specific reason and when we’re working with the Six of Cups, that reason has to do with recapturing memories.

In the world of narrative coaching, play is a construct that allows clients the freedom to be both curious and to experiment – let down their hair – try out how might feel to partake in their wildest dreams.

The idea is that play was how, as kids, we sussed out the world and learned to fit into society. Naturally, when we were born, we had certain traits and proclivities – which, as we advanced into toddler stage, we acted out with abandon. But after that, little by little, we were forced to suppress those  traits and proclivities that were branded anti-social by grown-ups and/or didn’t quite get us what we wanted.

Fast forward to adulthood –  when we discover that a genuine part of our selves has been ‘squashed’ (or otherwise laid aside) in favour of more responsible and socially adept behaviours.

In narrative coaching, we help clients recapture key parts of their lost selves – parts that (for a variety of reasons) would benefit them again in the now.

So on a ‘serious play’ day, you might try the same  – and invite yourself to revisit what probably ought not any longer to be a by-gone era.

Astrology

Today and Tomorrow are Queen of Sword’s Days

With the Sun in Virgo (discerning) and the Moon in Aries (daring & defiant), today and tomorrow are Queen of Swords days.

The Queen of Swords is not only tenacious, but also prone to being argumentative. Nothing escapes her all-encompassing gaze.

She possesses more than ample intellectual capabilities to process what she’s learned. Because she is by nature an independent woman, she is oft seen as secretive and aloof.

If truth be told, she likes it that way because, as the result, she owes her allegiance to none but herself.gtro_tarot_card__queen_of_swords_by_melsubayai-d60g082.png.jpeg Most of the time, this serves her well. After all, if she’s to accurately discern the motives of others, she can’t afford to be, herself, emotionally involved.

Yet her life isn’t always easy and it’s safe to say that sometimes she resents her reputation as being dangerous or even cruel. The truth of the matter is that she’s neither intolerant nor narrow minded as her detractors would have you believe.

The best way to use this energy, is to make keen observations about your environment. With help from this queen, it won’t be hard. Just ensure that you use any conclusions you might draw from such observations in an ethical way – else you may find yourself caught up in the nasty thorns of this queen’s beloved rose garden. Never forget that the suit of swords in the tarot deck stands both for justice as well as destruction.

Astrology

Apologies and T-Square…

Recently, a friend told me how she’d hurt her back after a difficult week. Not only had she been exasperated with her aging mother but she’d had a nasty argument with her partner. Playing the astrological angel, I relayed ‘important’ information about how transiting Neptune was setting off her natal T-Square – Saturn (backbone), Moon (mother), and Mars (anger).

  • “All very interesting”, was her response. “But what am I to actually make of it?”
  • Good question and one that I’d failed miserably to answer.
  • Apologies to my friend & let’s try again, shall we?

23e77a95ea2c4f562629a250b9c9f7b4.jpgA T-Square is an astrological configuration involving at least 3 natal planets locked in ‘conflict’ of some sort – the component parts of my friend’s T-Square break down as follows:

  • Mars/ Moon – a strong personal will intensified by emotions and an inclination to sincerely act on those emotions. This tends toward being involved in quarrels whether or not of her own making.
  • Moon/Saturn – self-control in regards to emotions – as well as a tendency toward being circumspect, considerate, and conscientious. This can, however, lead toward feeling inhibited and lonely.
  • Mars/Saturn – military endurance coupled great powers of resistance. Concentrated bursts of energy to meet specific challenges that overtime will drain overall vitality.

Put these all together and we find a recurrent theme of inhibition, repressed feelings, constant underlying state of dissatisfaction. This is overlaid by intermittent bursts of energy to overcome difficulties that deteriorate back into an overall lack of determination. Drained vitality manifests in illness or injury.

In this T-Square, Mars and Saturn are in opposition to each other and both are in square to the Moon. This leaves the Moon as the ‘release’ valve for the compressed energy generated by the aspect as a whole and given that the astrological Moon represents the body as well as the ‘mother’, it’s understandable how my friend sustained personal injury in conjunction with frustrations involving her mother. That Saturn rules the bony structure (i.e. backbone) only makes sense – my friend’s injury was in her back.

The remaining piece of this astrological puzzle –and perhaps the most important – is what transiting Neptune has to do with setting this all off. After all, couldn’t it equally have been a different planet involved by transit and/progression?

Astrological Neptune represents the urge to transcend our separate self and merge with something greater. This something ‘greater’ can be society at large, the cosmos in general, or one’s personal sense of the divine. The idea is that Neptune urges us to ‘lose’ ourselves, dissolve ego boundaries and return ‘home’ – in this sense, ‘home’ might taken literally as returning to the ‘womb’ (where we had no separate sense of self) or more metaphorically as the ‘Garden of Eden’.

th.jpegBy transit, Neptune blurs/dissolves the boundaries between ‘self’ and ‘other’ in order to show us another way of ‘being’ in the world. It does this through dreams, deceit, deception. I liken this to the tarot trump card, The Moon, which depicts a desolate landscape that is both dreamy and eerily scary. In the Marseilles Deck, the picture includes murky waters in a moat complete with two barking dogs guarding the gate to a castle and a crawfish (symbol of the subterranean depths) with outstretched claws.

Undoubtedly this is an irrational world where the rational boundaries between past, present and future fail to exist. One might choose to look at the journey through this world as either a spiritual adventure or a philosophical consideration of  meaning of Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave. I prefer to look at this psychologically – in the sense that there is something about the unconscious dynamic of her T-Square  friend cannot face or otherwise does not wish to see.

Transiting Neptune has delivered my friend some much needed breathing space to come to terms best she can with issues regarding ‘mother’, ‘mothering’, repressed feelings and/or anger. Doubtless any insight garnered during this time, will benefit her relationship with both her mother and her partner. I also hope that it will help prevent further illness and injury.

 

Astrology

Today and Tomorrow are 3 of Swords Days

With the Sun in Virgo (critical) and the Moon in Aquarius (wilful), today and tomorrow are Three of Swords days.

  • Three stands for past, present, and future,
  • Three is behind manifestation,
  • Things do come in threes.

With the Three of Swords, that which has been set in motion in the past has come to fruition in the present and, as is clear in this card, the result is not pleasant. This is the stuff of which curses are made – hurtful words hurled willy-nilly – come to roost later in unexpected and painful ways.

Your work does not succeed in filing our expectations. You are beset by family quarrels. Ill health and/or physical harm might loom large. This is a card of trial, trouble, and tears. Do you feel unloved, misunderstood, and/or deliberately targeted?ThreeSwords

 

The good news  is that the poison is out. This is as bad as it will get. The past may have impinged on the present but it’s up to you to decide about the future. You may feel resentful, but that doesn’t mean you need to act on it?

The following card, the Four of Swords, advises seclusion. Retreat to a safe place with a nice cup of tea. Think long and hard about how this came to happen. Avoid blame and fault. Contemplate. Meditate. Rebuild your strength and stamina. When the Moon moves in Pisces in a couple  days time, you’ll feel more like forgiving and forgetting. By the time the Moon moves into Aries, at the end of the week, you’ll feel like getting up and out – back on  the road to adventure.

Astrology

Today is a Prince of Wands Day – please, think before you take that leap…

With the Sun in Aries (action) and the Moon in Aquarius (progressive ideals/ideas), it’s going to be a Prince of Wands day.

The Prince of Wands is a fiery character; his youth and daring are readily apparent. Clearly, he is embarking on a journey of great importance. See how he radiates his passion? He’s a free & original thinker – inspired by his ideas of what might – someday – be.

But upon closer examination, something about this picture doesn’t look quite right – and I suspect that this because our prince is a bit too cocky, too quick on the draw. Undeniably, original thinking is a positive asset; it frees us from the status quo. On the other hand, if untampered by the practicalities of the situation, such thinking could well doom our plans to failure. Is this prince about to trip over his own feet in his race to the finish line? I fear that he might be…

On a Prince of Wands day, it is likely that we will learn an important lesson in regards to naïve assumptions of ‘good luck’ – just because we have a good idea doesn’t mean that we will – or even ought to try to – make it happen.

c588b6504745a6c0cc8e4bf470c60795Tomorrow the Moon shifts into Pisces – and the bright, shiny plans of today just might overnight melt into disillusioned dreams.

So, don’t be like Don Quixote in Cervantes’ famous tale and tilt at silly windmills.

Instead, stand back for a moment and take the perspective of the wiser, and more quietly self-confident Queen of Wands (Moon in Leo) – and ask yourself honestly if the proposed course of action will validate your true sense of self-expression. If it won’t, then don’t do it. Save your time and energy for those courses of action that will do.

Astrology

Lost at Sea

With the Sun in Pisces (dissipation) and the Moon in Cancer (emotional response), today and tomorrow are Eight of Hearts days.

The Eight of Hearts signifies sadness.

You’re lost in a sea of loss and disillusion.

The waters are deep, dark, stagnant;

Pools and fens,

lost_at_seaMud and miasmas.

Can you never break free?

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Lysander comforts Hermia, whose father has delivered an ultimatum that she must either marry the man of his choice, or ‘abjure forever the society of men’.

not nice

incredibly painful

plain, old unfair.

It’s near impossible to react calmly and sanely under the conditions of the Eight of Hearts.  Hermia chooses to run run away with her lover; too bad for her that life in the woods with the fairies wasn’t much better.

  • Unproductive job?
  • Emotionally draining relationship?
  • Abandoning a project into which you’ve infused too much of yourself?

Take time out. Retreat to a safe environment. Meditate. Procure good advice. Then, if the only way to move forward is to cut your losses, steel yourself, muster courage, and take the decision.

Astrology

Remembrance of Things Past Brings a Brighter Future

d7b0b3b7d5c0bffaf3a40032f173809eWith the Sun in Pisces (dissipation) and the Moon in Gemini (communication), today is a Five of Swords day.

The Five of Swords is a card of conflicting impulses. Feelings blind intelligence; intelligence is not in touch with its emotional basis.

An excerpt from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 explains all:

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:

Without active intervention, today’s energy is likely to manifest either as an inexplicable impasse or all all-out defeat because of your inability to capitalise on progress made to date. Although this unfortunate state of affairs could be due to simple pride or neglect, most likely it is because of a more complex need to escape:

thoughtless words

lost friends

bits and pieces of disconnected memory.

When yesterday seems more real than today, know that you are in real trouble.

According to the 18th century philosopher David Hume, the only thing of which we can ever be certain is that we perceive an unbroken stream of subjective ideas and images. Hence our notion of ‘self’ can never be more than a fiction; the mind’s way to join up disparate events together as a continuum. As the result, the thing that you know as ‘self’ is always subject to change. In her memoirs (Moments, 85), Virginia Woolf notes that it would be interesting to compare and contrast the ‘two people’ that you are (‘I now’ and ‘I then’).Hill02

Woolf’s suggestion is not just interesting but absolutely necessary if you are to put the past behind you in a way allowing for real movement forward. The Five of Swords is a violent, confrontational card; it carries the risk of  defeat owing to poor organisation.

So on a day like today, use the energy available to do yourself a huge favour – release that from your past which is resisting your future. Clear out the clutter of yesterday to make room for tomorrow.

____________________

McIntyre, Jane L. ‘Hume and the Problem of Personal Identity, (177-208). The Cambridge Companion to Hume, ed. Dave Fate Norton and Jacqueline Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 (online).

Woolf, Virginia. Moments of Being, Autobiographical Writings. ed. Jeanne Schulkind, London: Pimlico, 2002

Astrology

Prepare to receive riches

With the Sun in Pisces (dissipation) and the Moon in Taurus (acquisition), today and tomorrow are Ace of Coins days.

The Ace of Coins is an exceedingly favourable card; it is the harbinger of material prosperity and spiritual well-being. It represents triumph in the material world, perfect luck, and the realisation of ambitions.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Live rich and happy, Timon of Athens (4.3.532)

Timon-of-AthensShakespeare’s self-exiled Timon tells this to his steward, Flavius, as he gives him the gold that he’s found in the woods. After all, what does Timon need with it now that he’s a hermit living in a cave? Although he’d once had plenty of money (and false friends to help him spend it), this had not brought him lasting happiness. Maybe Flavius, the only true friend Timon has ever had, will make better use of the gold? Timon can only hope this will be the case.

The Ace of Coins is the ultimate harbinger of success – get ready to ready to reap the rewards of your hard work and ambition. But be careful what you do with your newfound bounty.

Although Venus (ruler of Taurus) bestows both friendship and riches, Neptune (ruler of Pisces) will ensure that it all slips, quietly, away.

Astrology

New Moon in Virgo – party’s over – time to clean up the mess

The HermitAfter the many ego excesses of Leo, it’s time to drop back and regroup and what better energy with which to do this, than with pure Virgo.

In the tarot, Virgo corresponds with the 9th card of the Major Arcana, The Hermit.

The Hermit is a venerable and mysterious figures of solitary intention. Leaning on his staff, he pauses to hold up his lamp (of intellect) and drive away the darkness (of ignorance).

Contrary to popular belief, the Hermit is not a lonely, sorry individual bereft of family and friends. Quite the opposite. He is the kind old wise man whom others eagerly seek out.

But in many respects he does stand alone in that he separates himself from the crowd so that he’s no longer controlled by their moods and desires.

To be like The Hermit does not mean you must renounce society.

But what it does mean is that you must stand aside from it long enough to turn on your own lamp ti discover who and what you really are.

What would you do, be, wear, or think if no one else were watching?

What would you spend all your time doing – not for money to be gained from it – but for the pure joy of doing it?

What would it feel like to forget all your troubles?

This is not to suggest your troubles have gone away – but only that if you can use the energy of the new moon in Virgo wisely, you and your troubles will no longer one and the same.

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