Astrology

Saturn in Libra – Watch the Fur Fly!

Nearly 18 years of years of serious societal dysfunction will have reached its peak during the period 2010-2012.  Losses of homes, jobs, and high personal debt will have brought many relationships to their breaking point.

On 30 October 2009, Saturn (the ‘get real’ factor) entered Libra (relationships) where it will remain (except during a dip back into Virgo from April – July this year) until early October 2012.   The impact on society, families, personal relationships, and marriages will be devastating.

Get ready to watch the fur fly.

Since 2007, the divorce rate has fallen dramatically because of the economic crisis. “It is very hard to refinance right now and many people are being forced to just stay put,” says one divorce lawyer.

Expect this to continue until mid July this year when Saturn begins its 2 1/2 year transit through Libra in earnest, during which time separations, annulments and divorces will rise significantly (especially during Mars’ transit through Libra from 30 July – 14 September 2010) generating substantial economic and psychological debris.

With Saturn, the “fear” factor always plays a significant role: fear of aging, fear of change, fear of the future – all of which are bugbears of huge chunks of Western society now faced with having to “let go” of those material things in life to which they’ve given much more importance than they deserved.

Personal happiness is the foundation of happy relationships and Saturn in Libra means to teach us that rather being an entitlement, happiness is hard work.

The most important thing you can do now is to focus on those relationships in your life that feature good old common sense and a return to the core values that make human relationships enjoyable.

We all need to take positive steps to counter the negative impact of a decade of the culture of “fear”.  The best way to do this is through “downtime” for BOTH children and adults in order to re-discover personal values for yourself and your family.  In other words, take time out of life to smell the roses.

Another way to make the best of Saturn’s transit through Libra is to reduce the amount of clutter and distraction in your life.  Take time off the Internet.  Watch less television and stop being distracted by pocketfuls of electronic gadgets.  With time and space to contemplate your life experience, you’ll gain wisdom, by which I mean the knowledge, insight, and good judgment required to live a full and satisfying life.  Saturn’s lessons are those of perseverance, commitment, and delayed gratification.

Learning these lessons are key to your ability to survive in the coming years as the effects of the economic crisis continues to have maximum impact on millions seeking to recover from the economic, social, professional, and personal damage that resulted from the internal fears of the collective that being projected negatively into the material world.

Times are changing.  There’s no turning back.  Transiting Uranus opposition to Saturn (April 2011- October 2012) assures that the “new” will win out over the “old’.

Good luck in the challenging times ahead and don’t forget we’re all in this together.

Art

Today and Tomorrow are Seven of Cups Days

With the sun still in Gemini (ideas) and the moon moving to Taurus (desire), the tarot card for today and tomorrow is the Seven of Cups.

On a divinatory level, the Seven of Cups represents an emotionally charged situation where we’re overwhelmed with possibilities–faced not only with the challenge of choosing but also with acting realistically and responsibly in regards to our choice.

Unlike yesterday where the Moon was in Aries and our wildest dreams were possible, today and tomorrow we’ll discover that they weren’t and quite possibly, never will be.

For the Kabbalist, today’s energy is the equivalent of the seventh sephira, Netzach.

The world of Netzach is one of instincts and emotions – of images existing only in the mind of man – projected there by his most urgent desires.

The world of Netzach rightly belongs to the artist.  It’s in Netzach that our minds conceive of images, which are best realized through art.  This is because art is a purpose-built construction to contain – and to make sacred – the chaotic inner workings of our minds.

But we all aren’t artists.  Thus on a Seven of Cups day , rather than making sacred our innermost yearnings, we’re more likely to behave like kids in the candy shop with our eyes much bigger than our stomachs.

The best advice for a Seven of Cups day is to hold steady.  Take a good look at what it is you really want most and then think again.

The best choices are made when our hearts and heads are in balance – and this just isn’t one of those days.

Astrology

Today is an Ace of Wands Day

With the sun in Gemini (ideas) and the moon in Aries (action), the tarot card for today, 7 June 2010, is the Ace of Wands.

On a divinatory level, the Ace of Wands heralds a rush of creative energy not yet formulated into a specific goal or plan.  Instead, we feel a restlessness and dissatisfaction with present circumstances combined with the strong intuition that anything and everything is possible.

That’s exactly the problem.

For the Kabbalist, today’s energy is the equivalent of Kether (also known as Keter), where God’s self-creating aspect first enters the Tree of Life.  At this point,  by it’s very nature the creative force has no form.

It’s only with the next stage and the next and the next after that, that anything will ever come of that which inspires us today.

Yet with the energy so strong, there’s a temptation to rush out, willy nilly, to conquer the world leaving the ‘details’ to fall into place.

This is the danger of today.

One of the most important lessons the Kabbalah teaches us is that the world in which we live is a closed system; energy created can be transformed but it never goes away.

Therefore, we can either (1) take active, positive steps to the channel the energy of an Ace of Wands day into worldly success (be it a new project at our job or at home in the garden or maybe even the kitchen) or (2) let it turn sour and sit heavy in the pit of our psyche in the form of regret or failure.

Either way, today’s energy stays with us forever.

Philosophy

Making the Most of Meaningful Coincidence

JUNG & SYNCHRONICITY – Making the Most of Meaningful Coincidence

© 2007

by Debra Moolenaar

The more Barbara reflected on a 12th century saint’s words – ‘being a feather on the breath of God’ – the more real feathers she’d find.  One day while walking a labyrinth and grappling with whether to take her vows in a religious order, Barbara found a special feather, – a dark curved one with wispy white fronds.  When she picked it up, a small voice inside told her to ‘be a feather’.   Barbara left the order and moved to New Mexico, where her connection between feathers and spiritual inspiration grew ever stronger.

Although there’s no apparent cause and effect link between Barbara’s finding feathers and receiving spiritual guidance, we sense it’s more than an inconsequential coincidence.  Caught up in the meaningful collision of apparently unconnected events, we feel something otherworldly at work – the God-like hand of fate.  So what are we to make of it?

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung believed that certain coincidences carry meaning.  He coined the term Synchronicity to refer to a series of thoughts and external experiences that, although isolated in time and space, appear to be connected in a ‘meaningful way’.  Not all coincidences are synchronistic.  Some – like the book you need jumping off the shelf and landing at your feet – are just fun to relate.  But real synchronistic experiences hold your attention much longer.  Their significance can take years to play out.

Jung believed synchronistic experiences mirror deep psychological processes that further ‘individuation’ – the process by which we gain understanding of our place in the world.  In Jungian thought, society’s mass-mindedness creates a ‘collective’ repository of emotionally loaded wish-fantasies that are hard to resist.  Consider the steadily growing number of worldwide reports of Mary (‘Mother Mary’ or ‘Blessed Virgin Mary’) apparitions.  Jung wouldn’t be surprised.   Increasingly complex technological advances threaten to annihilate our spiritual heritage.   Yet according to Jung, our spirituality is the very thing that makes us individuals.

Statistically, synchronicity shouldn’t happen.  Although modern society encourages us to be ‘normal’ or ‘average’, we can use our synchronistic experiences to assert our individuality.  Jung believed real life to be made of individuals – not averages.  He also said that it’s by thinking outside the box that we’ll find our personal worth.

Like dreams, synchronistic experiences naturally occur when our unconscious is trying to tell us something.  Archetypes – the building blocks of the unconscious – are the key to understanding the message.  Jung described archetypes as concentrations of psychic energy that manifest as particular themes and motifs – like the spiral found in seashells.  Such motifs appear widely across history and cultures.   The unconscious connects us with the archetypes, and the archetypes trigger synchronistic experiences.

Synchronistic experiences always involve an archetype.  Consider the case of the golden beetle.  While Jung’s client was relating a dream in which she’d received a gift of a golden scarab (a large dung beetle held sacred in ancient Egypt), Jung heard a gentle tapping on the window.  He opened it and caught a beetle whose gold-green color was the same as that of the golden scarab his client had described.   When Jung related that the scarab was a classic rebirth symbol depicting the archetype of self-transformation – exactly the issue with which she’d been struggling, the client was shocked enough to break down her resistance to therapy.

Archetypes often depict universal life events such as birth, puberty, marriage, parenthood, and death.  They also depict the classic character types associated with those events.  Confronting archetypes through synchronistic experience alerts us to personal issues of which we might not otherwise have been aware.

Archetypes have been with us forever.  They speak to our hearts, and we intuitively understand.  As the result, archetypal themes underlie most myth, literature, and cinema classics like the box-office hit ‘Star Wars’, which was based on the archetype of the Hero’s journey.  Myth is a great starting point when looking for the meaning behind a synchronistic experience.

We can also extract meaning from synchronistic experiences through Jung’s technique of ‘amplification’.  For example, with Barbara’s experience, we’d  examine the associations others have had with feathers.  Throughout history, feathers have been used by shamans and priests.  They’ve long symbolized the sacred power of the archetype of the healer.  Feathers are also believed to be mystical signs,  carrying messages and opportunities.  As scraps of synchronicity in the flow of universal meaning, feathers have comforted us and renew our hope for the future.

The more in touch we are with our unconscious, the more likely that we’ll notice synchronistic events and be spiritually and psychologically transformed by them.  This certainly seems to have been Barbara’s experience.

On a bright summer’s morning a year ago, Barbara crossed the border into New Mexico and pulled into the first rest stop.   She was exhausted.  When upon opening the car door she found a raven’s feather, at last she was certain she’d made the right decision.


Uncategorized

Date with Fate – Uranus/Jupiter Conjunction in Aries

It hasn’t happened yet – but it will do –  next week.

Jupiter and Uranus come together in Aries – for the first time in over 80 years  – in perfect formation on Tuesday, 8 June 2010, at high noon.

Is this important you ask?

Yes it is.  Jupiter attunes us to the bigger picture (I mean the globally bigger picture) while Uranus ensures that picture will be no less than revolutionary.

The last time these two planets came together was in 1997 (in Aquarius the sign of technological revolution) and the Internet was born.[1] Dramatic stuff, yes?  With Jupiter and Uranus you’d expect nothing less.  At the very least  there will be a serious expansion of global consciousness – the next big evolutionary leap.  BTW, I should add that historically, when Jupiter and Uranus come together there have been sudden global catastrophes such as typhoons and earthquakes – and we can’t rule out a globalised (perhaps religiously inspired) war –  but we don’t want to go there – do we?

Don’t expect everything to happen at once.  After all, the Internet didn’t happen in just one day or even one week.  But on Tuesday next, the seed is planted and after that the way forward becomes more and more clear.

What might we expect to see?  Well, the last time these two formed a conjunction in Aries was in the late spring of 1927, when Charles Lindbergh won world fame by flying his plane non-stop/solo from NY to Paris.  This kicked off a new world of international travel, the costs and benefits of which we still enjoy today.

Aries is the sign of pioneering heroes.  Jupiter in Aries demands adventure of almost religious intensity.  Uranus in Aries is adamant that the old ‘way’ of doing things is finished; the new is ready to begin and whatever  form it takes, it will be as individualistic and startling as your wildest dreams.

What does this mean for you?

At last it’s time for you to commence doing ‘your own thing.’

______________

[1] The next time they come together (except for their brief respite into Pisces from during the autumn of this year), will be in 2024 (in Taurus).    Likely, there will not be another conjunction of these two in Aries in your life time.

Astrology

Pluto in Capricorn /when we will realise we can’t eat money

Threat, compulsion, humiliation, survival, necessity, and loss…..

When Pluto comes calling, everything past its ‘sell by date’ is swept away …. and if we fail to let go gracefully, we’re in for one hell of a nasty ride.

With Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024), we’re forced to shed outdated ‘structures’ and replace them with something sustainable and new.

While at the collective level we may see nation-states, economic systems, and multinational corporations (perhaps capitalism itself) collapse under their own weight, to see what will go on at the personal level, we look at Saturn in our charts.

My natal Saturn is in Libra conjunct with Neptune and Mercury in my 4th house.  Shortly, Pluto will square my natal sun while Saturn conjuncts it.

As the result, I expect pressure to take a more serious look at my role in my partnerships.  Libra does have a tendency to blame ‘the other’ when things go wrong.   Libra also likes ‘peace at all costs’ and such compliancy invites others to become overly aggressive to compensate.   Yikes!

This current onslaught also marks the final throes of a Saturn/Pluto cycle that commenced with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Libra in 1982 (when I started law school).  That cycle, which ends in 2017, is a lesson about ideals, justice, and fairness.  It may put a rather abrupt end to my naive ideals that men act rationally and with honor.

One only has to do is to look at the news….

Capricorn is about morals and morals are about how we deal with each other.  So with Pluto in Capricorn….how long can the inconsiderate, antisocial, and overly selfish behavior we experience from others every day continue?

Enter Uranus in Aries at the end of May 2010 (YIKES – it’s HERE now)!  Now the proverbial ‘shit’ really will hit the fan – Stay tuned as the face of power as you’ve known it changes big time.  The last time time Pluto was in Capricorn was between 1760-1776 and the last time Pluto was in square with Uranus (as it is right now), Adolf Hitler came to power.  And don’t forget that before that, Karl Marx was born with a Pluto/Uranus square.

Astrology

Body & Soul – Harnessing the Renaissance Magic of Marsilio Ficino

BODY & SOUL – Harnessing the Renaissance Magic of Marsilio Ficino

by Debra Moolenaar

© 2006

Open your life to soul.  Take control of your thoughts and emotions.  Align them with the heavens, and you could you literally realign the energies surrounding you here on earth.  By changing your frame of mind, you’ll make different choices.   You can beat those empty feelings that fuel compulsions like excessive eating, drinking, or shopping.

If you’re seeking happiness, Renaissance astrologer and magician Marsilio Ficino believed that happiness comes with the good things in life – health, wealth, position, and power – to name a few.  But having them isn’t enough. They must be desired, acquired, and used with wisdom.

Do this, he says, through natural magic.  Because soul works through symbols and images, you absorb planetary rays through food, music, talismans, and medicines that correspond to, or vibrate in sympathy with, the planetary energies you need. Imagine two violins.  Sympathetic vibration occurs when two strings are tuned to the same pitch.  When one is plucked, the other will sing out in ‘in sympathy’.  Take care of soul and it will take care of you. In this regard, soul is a quality rather than a quantity. It’s an intensity of experience. It’s best to speak of ‘soul’, rather than of ‘a soul’.  Other words for soul might include daemon or muse.

Ficino (1433-1499) was the consummate Renaissance man. He was a physician, musician, priest, astrologer, mystic, and vegetarian.  As the protégée of Cosimo de Medici, one of the most powerful men in Renaissance Europe, Ficino’s work had a profound effect on the direction of the Italian Renaissance and on European thought in general.

But Ficino was more than a scholar and philosopher.  He was also an accomplished magician. He didn’t just contemplate the good life, but made it happen with help from soul.  Because Ficino believed that the good life lies in a ‘well-tempered’ life – lived in harmony with the heavens, by following his lead, your goal is to become ‘as celestial as possible’ through soul.

Cultivating soul is like getting a liberal arts education.  It isn’t about making money, but about developing personal values.  When you move through life from this deeper place with insight into your personal nature, all else falls in line.

Your good life starts with the idea that the universe moves in ordered cosmic harmony according to a divine plan.  If, as Ficino believed, soul, with help from the planets and all things celestial, sows the seeds of this divine plan into the material world through archetypal energies resembling rays, then wisdom, your key to happiness, comes from absorbing as many different rays as possible.

It’s the quality of objects – the shapes, sounds, colours that speak to soul.  There’s a psychological element too.  For example, if you want to cultivate solar energies, you use sun-related paintings, sculpture, jewellery, household furnishings, clothes, or even houseplants to keep solar attributes in the forefront of your mind.

In Ficino’s solar system, there were only seven planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto had yet to be discovered).  To thrive, soul needs exposure to each.  You shouldn’t ignore the more challenging ones like Mars and Saturn and concentrate solely on the easy ones like Venus and Jupiter.  Remember the goal is to lead a balanced well-tempered life.  One way to accomplish this might be to focus on the planetary energies associated with each day of the week.  The connection between the planets’ names and the days of the week is ancient. It appears in many languages.  For example, Sunday is the Sun’s day, Monday the Moon’s day, Tuesday is Mar’s day, Wednesday is Mercury’s day, Thursday is Jupiter’s day, Friday is Venus’ day, and Saturday belongs to Saturn.

The Sun symbolizes the qualities – insight and imagination – that are uniquely human. Thus solar energy is associated with consciousness, rational thought, and the pursuit of truth and honour.  The Sun’s healing powers are unrivalled.  To cultivate solar energies, avoid all things sad and dusky.  Instead, take care to warm your heart with cordial and joyful things.  Overexposure to the sun can dry you out, so use it with caution.

Cultivate solar energies through solemn music, all things gold coloured, nutmeg, heliotrope, myrrh, honey, crocus, corn, cinnamon, aloes, lions, swans, beetles, and chickens. Visualize a king on a throne in a yellow garment, along with a raven and the form of the sun.

Light is prized above all else.  ‘Nothing recalls the nature of goodness more than light.’ Plato compared the Sun to God himself, and Ficino agreed, teaching that man could best know the virtue and divinity of God through the light of the Sun.

You can learn to make informed choices about which specific energies you want. For example, if you were tired or disappointed, you’d call upon Jupiter and the Sun to give you a lift. If you were annoyed, you’d ask Venus to tame your anger.  You could also invoke particular planetary powers to assist with current astrological transits.

Some planets work well together while others do not. For example, the bright beneficial power of the Sun and Jupiter mix easily to good effect.  But Saturn and Jupiter are natural enemies and counterbalance each other.  Everything in moderation! All the planets have both positive and negative effects.  It’s important to avoid too much of a good thing.

The Moon’s endless monthly cycles of death and rebirth are clearly visible to the naked eye. In earlier times, farmers would plant when she was waxing and harvest when she was waning. Along with Venus, the Moon signifies the procreative force and is associated with the human body and all natural processes.  Observe the lunar cycle. It’s an important guide to auspicious rhythms – especially when performing magic and healing.  Because of her associations with birth, the Moon is the key to making ideas and fantasies become real. Knowing ‘when’ to do something is as important as knowing ‘what’ to do.

The lunar cycle reminds you to hounour your downtime.  Just as there’s a time to sow and reap, there’s a time to lay fallow.  How can anything survive running at top speed twenty-four hours a day – seven days a week?  Instead, live in sync with the Moon’s cycles, beginning projects with the new moon, harvesting them with the full moon, and winding down with the waning moon.  You’re ready to start again!  Cultivate lunar energies through things that are white, moist, green, silver, as well as through crystal, pearls, and silver marcasite.  Visualize a beautiful girl seated on a dragon or a bull.  She has horns on her head, and serpents above her head and under her feet.

Mars is the God of War. He signifies anger, violence, bitterness, and all types of aggression.  But he also signifies courage and, according to Ficino, he fortifies the soul.  Cultivate Mars through materials that are fiery or red, red brass, sulphurous things, iron, and bloodstone.  Visualize a man armed and crowned.

Mercury is a natural-born interpreter and, in ancient myth, he was the god of communication. He knows there are multiple meanings behind even the simplest of objects, and his job is to connect you with them.  Mercury’s quick and bright, so if you need insight, turn to him. But he’s also duplicitous.  Functioning as the trickster, he forces you to see things differently.  For example with dreams, images of one thing prompt understanding of something completely different.  Mercury stimulates your curiosity – but doesn’t deliver answers.  He leaves that to you.  Cultivate mercurial energies through tin, silver (especially quicksilver), silver marcasite, agate, glass (especially yellow mixed with green-emerald), clever animals such as monkeys and dogs, and people who are eloquent, sharp, and versatile.  Visualize a winged man wearing a crested cap and multi-colour robe.  He has eagle’s feet and is seated on a throne holding a reed in his right hand, a cock in his left.

Jupiter is the mind and spirit of the universe supporting all civilized aspects of humanity including culture, religion, philosophy, and law.  Ficino called Jupiter the ‘helping father’ because he transforms our imaginative visions into the realities of collective living.  Jupiter brings joie de vivre and carefree enjoyment of life, strengthening and moderating all things with which he associates.  He’s always beneficial and brings luck in all matters. Jupiter can make Venus more sweet, and Saturn less sour.  Ficino often spoke of using Jupiter in conjunction with other planets to counteract, temper, or magnify them.  Cultivate Jupiter’s power with jacinth, crystal, wine, sugar, white honey, peppermint, peacocks, and the colours of sapphire, rich purple, gold mixed with silver, and green.  Visualize a man crowned, sitting on an eagle or dragon, and wearing a gold robe.

Venus is the Goddess of Love, and Ficino suggested there are two kinds of love, human and divine; Venus expresses both.  Like Plato, Ficino believed that the sight of sensuous bodily beauty arouses an appreciation of divine beauty.  Thus Venus is not just to be admired, but to be used for spiritual growth as well.  Along with the Moon, Venus signifies the natural and procreative force.  She presides over the lush green fertility of spring.  She confers a prosperous life making you fruitful and happy.  But Venus has a dark side as well. So many myths caution against the dangers of staying wrapped in her seductive pleasures for too long, that you should take these warnings to heart.  Cultivate Venus through corneolus (a flesh-like stone thought to stop the flow of blood), coral, turtles, turtledoves, pigeons, and through all things gay, festive, and pleasurable.  Modesty forbade Ficino from revealing a full list of correspondences.  Visualize a young woman dressed in yellow and white, holding apples and flowers in her hand.

Saturn is associated with death and misfortune and, because he constrains movement, you’ll naturally meet him when ill or depressed.  Dark moods and melancholy aren’t usually welcome, yet Ficino believed they were vital to provide time and space for contemplation.  In Ficino’s world, Saturn marked the boundaries of the solar system thus reminding you that all things on earth must come to an end. As the highest and most exalted of the planets, Saturn encourages you to move beyond the material world to higher ground – to the heavens and the true home of soul.  Because Saturn is rooted in tradition and he’s a natural builder, you can call upon him when facing hard work or serious study.  As the ruler of stability and perseverance, he can give you the strength to achieve your goals.  Cultivate Saturnian energies through all things earthy, dusky, and leaden, as well as through smoky jasper, lodestone, cameo, solemn music, sapphire, and gold.  Visualize an old man dressed in a dusky robe, sitting on a high throne or dragon.  His head is covered with a dark linen cloth and he’s raising his hands above his head, holding a sickle or some fish.

What happens once you’ve become ‘as celestial as possible’?  How do you use your gifts and achievements wisely?  You could start by envisioning yourself, as did Ficino and his contemporaries, as an integral part of a comprehensive totality, and focusing your efforts not just for yourself, but for the greater good of all and the glory of God.

Regarding the way to happiness, Ficino wrote In a letter to Cosimo de Medici, “…for thus our soul becomes most like to God, who is wisdom itself.  According to Plato, in this likeness consists the highest state of happiness.”


Philosophy

The Many Faces of God

“God” is a dicey word.

Not only is it downright dangerous to use the word “God” at the wrong time or in the wrong place, but even when you do get it right there’s no guarantee the person with whom you’re speaking entertains the same ideas about what you mean by “God”  as do you.

Having been brought up as an open-minded Christian, I was still very surprised to learn there were so many possible definitions or images of God.

The following are just several broad images of what has over time been meant by “God” (with many variations on the main themes).  As you’d expect each has its strong points and each has its weaknesses too.  Which do you choose and more importantly, why?

  1. Deism – God created the world and then bowed out to leave us to it.  The problem with this definition is that it leaves us no one to pray to when the going gets rough – or rather if we do pray there’s no one there to hear it.
  2. Pantheism – God is transcendent and immanent – God is me and I am God (more or less).   The problem with this definition is that if God is me and I am bad, then God is bad and that can’t be right can it?
  3. Animism – God is ‘soul’ and ‘soul’ is in every rock, tree and especially in me.   The problem with this is that many are unwilling to believe that animals have ‘souls’ and if they do then aren’t they on the same level as humans?  When we throw chicken breasts on the BBQ are we really prepared to eat someone’s soul?
  4. Theism – God made the world and he’s right here by our sides taking care of it (and by implication – us).  Despite a few inconsistencies this concept works fairly well.  This could be why it’s been adopted by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
  5. Dualism (Ditheism) – God is good and he has a twin God who is bad and the battle rages on through eternity.  This has in part been embraced by Christianity in the form of Satan.  The problem with this definition is that if God is good (and omnipotent) and good is the only way, then why can’t the good God ever win?  Is it because he is impotent (i.e. not omnipotent) or is it because he doesn’t want to win (in which case he’s bad).  Either way is a dilemma.
  6. Polytheism – God takes many forms – usually like the Greek or Roman pantheon where there’s a top dog god who presides over his cabinet.  In some cases, this manifests in a coalition government rather like the one we now have it Britain.
  7. Panentheism – God = nature.  The problem with this is that when nature goes (i.e. an atomic bomb or the collision of earth with an asteroid) where does that leave God?
  8. Process Theology – God made the world and he’s obliged to stick around and manage the process.  This is an attempt to integrate evolution with God.   The problem with this is that if God is perfect, then why isn’t His creation perfect?  (which it clearly isn’t if He has to micromanage it).
Astrology

Whom does the Grail Serve? An Interpretation of the Prologue of the Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”[i]

And so we begin at the ‘beginning’ when ‘the Word was with God’ and indeed ‘the Word was God.’

This intriguing combination of time and speech suggests a storehouse of immense cosmic energy awaiting release.  I’m reminded of zimzum, the Jewish mystical concept used by the Kabbalists to signify the self emptying aspect of the creator.

God (know as Ain Soph) withdraws his Light in order to create a vacuum allowing a single thread of his Light to traverse the darkness in a series of ten concentric circles called Sephiroth – collectively know as The Tree of Life.  Each Sephira acts as a vessel containing some of his Light; each represents an aspect of God.

For the Kabbalist, the ‘Tree’ is not only a diagram of God’s unfolding creative impulse, but also a path for spiritual union with the Divine.  Legend has it that after the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, angels brought the Kabbalah down from Heaven to teach Adam how to recover his primal bliss.

It’s important to remember that The Gospel of John was originally written in Greek and what is translated simply as ‘Word’ was originally Logos, one of the most complex concepts of the Hellenistic world meaning nothing less than the natural order of things –  the very rhyme and reason of creation.

Rather than decanting the majesty of Logos into a single human being, a man called Jesus of Nazareth (as is often done), I suggest that John meant to focus our attention more broadly – perhaps on Adam Kadmon, the eternal image of man and God, which historically has been equated with Logos.

In John’s time, the Pharisee mystics expounded the idea of the Son of Man as an archetypal ‘Heavenly Man – the image of God.  Adam Kadmon, the archetypal figure, is the cosmic blueprint for all mankind.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he create him.’ (Genesis 1:27)

But Adam Kadmon is not only the archetypal image of God, but of all men.   If Adam Kadmon is the equivalent of Logos – the “Word of God” – then the awesome truth is that not only did God send his only Son to dwell among us (as the usual translations go), but also in us, as it literally says in the original Greek.

Even more awesome is the implication that it’s our job to do more than simply receive Jesus, the man from Nazareth, as our Messiah, but we must actually ‘receive’ Logos, God’s big-picture plan,  into our hearts and lives.  So how might that be accomplished?  I suggest through Tiphareth.

Tiphareth, the sixth Sephira of the Tree of Life, is also referred to as Adam Kadom – the Son of Man.  Because Tiphareth lies at the very heart centre of the Tree, it forms the balance point where the component forces of manifestation stabilise. allowing God to dwell among us.  Tiphareth, the place of our humanity, represents God incarnate in the form of the Messiah – the sacrificed God.

In the Kabbalistic world, symbols and ideas find association through correspondence.[ii] As well as its associations with ‘the Son’, Tiphareth has correspondence with both the heart chakra and the astrological sun, ruler of the zodiac sign Leo.

Many equate the astrological sun with the quest for Self, or in the words of Joseph Campbell, ‘The Hero’s Journey”, which not surprisingly is a journey of the heart.

This journey is well illustrated by the story of Perceval, who is closely associated with astrological Leo.  Although raised in isolation in the forest by his mother, as the true son of a nobleman, Perceval finds his way into the chivalrous world of knights and kings.

As a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, with his head held high he sets off to heal the injured Grail King and redeem the failing land.  But sorely lacking in compassion and understanding of the ways of the world, he fails miserably in his task.   As the result with his head held low, he sets out on the long, painful path of self-discovery.

When finally he puts aside his personal agenda and prays to God to shown the way,  Perceval is at long last able to ask the right question, ‘Whom does the Grail serve?”.  It is with this that the Grail king is redeemed and with him, the land and its people.  It is then also, that the Grail king reveals that not only is he Perceval’s grandfather, but that Perceval is to become the new Grail king.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

So whom does the Grail serve?

Perceval never got an answer.  Perhaps it’s enough to know there’s a question that needs asking.

But I like to think that which the Grail serves is Logos – The Word of God – the natural order – the harmony of all things with all things.[iii]

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[i] “Prologue to the Gospel According to John,” The Revised Standard Version of the New Testament. New York: Thomas Nelson & Son, 1946.

[ii] Imagine two violins that vibrate in sympathy with each other when their strings are tuned to the same pitch.

[iii] Perhaps the strangest aspect of the Grail mystery (and the secret societies dedicated to its service, is that its symbolism seems to have no apparent connection to Christianity.  This has led some to speculate that the Grail tradition has something do with a secret teaching of Christ or perhaps an even more ancient gnosis.

Astrology

In the Age of Aquarius What Happens to God?

Today, many believe that the Christian God of our forefathers – a god distinct from and superior to man – is dead.  Astrology concurs with this conclusion.  For a preview of what might come next, read on.

For the last 2000 years, we’ve been living in the Age of Pisces – the symbol of which is two fishes swimming in opposite directions.  If you look carefully, you’ll see that one fish is moving upwards toward heaven while the other is moving parallel with the earth plane.  The underlying assumption is that the material and spiritual worlds are separate and distinct.

At the beginning of the Piscean Age, it was Plato who first formatted this distinction; the earth plane symbolising the world of the senses and the heavens symbolising the eternal world of ideas.   Early Christian theologians renamed  Plato’s eternal world ‘Heaven’ and dubbed its architect as ‘God’.   The Christians further borrowed from Aristotle the notion of God as both the ‘Prime Mover’ of the cosmos and the ‘First Cause’ of everything that exists.

Over time, philosophers have challenged these notions.  When scientific discoveries made Descartes wonder ‘what can I know for certain’, he comes to the famous conclusion ‘I think, therefore I am’.  But his matrix keeps God as the ‘First Cause’ of – and the only link between – a divided universe where subjectivity ‘(“I think”), remains isolated from objectivity (the world which ‘I perceive’).

Next comes Hume claiming that the only thing of which we can be certain is that we perceive an unbroken stream of subjective images and ideas.  Under his ‘radical skepticism’, we can’t even be certain there’s something called the mind to contain these ideas because the mind may be itself, just another idea.

Then comes Kant who suggests we can only ‘know’ the sensory world and just ‘believe’ in any world beyond that.

Finally Nietzsche announces that “God is Dead” and worse – that it is we ourselves who have killed him by scientifically collapsing the metaphysical assumptions upon which He was based.  With this comes the dawning of the Age of Aquarius where it’s no longer possible to legitimately argue that anything of substance lies beyond our earth plane.

The symbol for Aquarius is the “Water-Bearer” and if you look closely you’ll find he’s not ‘bearing’ but ‘pouring’ something to earth from the sky.  Because of the link between Aquarius and immorality giving waters like the flooding Nile, there’s reason to believe he’s not pouring ordinary water.  Some suggest that instead, he’s pouring a stream of universal consciousness – that because it’s distributed (like the internet) to everyone regardless of race, colour, or creed, will promote a deeper understanding of our humanity.  Aquarius is very democratic in thought, word, and deed.

Nietzsche suggested that man was something that must be overcome to order to allow the God who had long been projected to the beyond, to be reborn within the human soul.

Likewise, in the Age of Aquarius, man will reposition himself  vis à vis God.  The mythological symbolism of Aquarius gives clues how this might work.  Take for example, Prometheus who is associated with Aquarius because he overstepped the divine bounds by stealing fire from the gods to give to mankind.  Some suggest that the Promethean urge to transcend our humanity – i.e. to  play God –  must bring disaster.  Just look at Icarus, Frankenstein, the Tower of Babel.

Instead, I believe  that in Aquarius man will reach to the stars not by playing God – but instead by creating his reality through his ideas.

Like Nietzsche, I believe that man’s striving toward the future will result in the birth a new being who will incarnate the meaning of the universe. Look carefully at the symbol for Aquarius – two parallel lines.  Might this not represent our new status with God?

As noted above, in Descartes’ matrix, which still underlies most of our thinking, the problem of the separation of mind and body is due to a difference in kind.  In theory the non-spatial mind and the mechanistic body shouldn’t interact but in fact they do so in the human body.  Through scientific research, Descartes’ problem is being reworked so that the distinction between subject and object is collapsed.  Even now some scientists consider the mind to be no more than a material function of the body.

With such advances, humans will become both the creator and the created and – as such – will finally be free to put to rest their distinct and superior, creator God.

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