Tag Archives: retrogrades

Medussa’s Answer

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In answering the question What Price Planet Earth we must turn the tables on an many things, not least of all the degrading supression of women and it is in the myth associated with the degree of the May new Moon that we find one of the most virulent examples of the mysogynist’s dirty work, the myth of Medussa. The balance of power must be reconfigured.

Astrologicaly, the May through June lunation carries a broad and unboundaried field quality, so its influence is globalising. The lunation opening at the midpoint between Jupiter and Neptune brings an archetypal balance of masculine and feminine values into the global arena that expands upon the dynamic balance of male and female energy which was a feature of the last Moon. There we saw the feminine aspect taking the most dynamic role, redressing the balance through a self confident and athletic Venus. Now we see this energy collectivised, unfolding throughout this lunation, emergent particularly at each quarter of the Moon’s phases.

In the skies the Sun and Moon began this lunation where Venus began the last, at the flanks of the Bull, and will complete it just as they pass beyond the tip of Taurus horns on 16 June. Venus, by then will be passing through the stars that form the ancient gateway at the heart of the constellation of Cancer. She is giving us the heads up, as she slows down towards her own turning point, to look ahead and take a status check ~ be prepared, have a plan, be ready to change direction.

As this lunation opened Venus was passing through the midst of the Geminian stars, giving us a strong hint, not only of the left/right brain balance that her dynamic can help restore, but, of the necessity of listening, communication and keeping your antennae up, especially those that feed your gut feelings. She suggests that it pays now to bring the intuitive side of physical consciousness to bear on mental processes, those ‘knowings’ we experience at a gut level. This highlights the point and value of peace within adaptation. As the primary practical grounding for all our actions this is an essential part of our survival kit ~ it is also the very grounded foundation upon which the spiritual aspect of this lunation is built.

At the personal level opening to intuitive intelligence is essential as it has the capacity to guide us independantly of the powerful emotive influences of dramas unfolding around us ~ often it is heard and felt more as the quiet but clear voice that appears to contradict the concensus, the voice of the herd mentality. It allows us to avoid becoming distracted from sensing what is real. As an art, encouraging the wisdom of our gut feeling also increases integration with that aspect of our selves which is outside of conditioning, aids our deconditioning. It deepens the connection with our ‘higher self’, which is integral to the ‘pleroma’ rather than the individual energy cluster which we recognise as ‘our-selves’. In this sense it unites ‘above’ with ‘below’ and allows us to make better choices and adjust our lives accordingly.

Here, the ‘peaceful adaptation’ of the Sabian symbol for 27 Taurus may find meaning, but, how does this interface with the ‘collective’? The intuitive nature of Uranus is now building through a trine to Jupiter and works with Mercury, turned retrograde just hours after the new Moon, to receive more intuitively. Mercury’s retrograde pulls the immediate past into the present. Changes and experiences that have been brought into our personal and world field over the last few weeks are now being integrated, so,  the first days of this lunation provide a good time to take stock and reflect on what has transpired most recently.

But, the new Moon also saw Mars opposite Saturn and Venus opposite Pluto; this may not only be a period of hard choices that we are now entering, radical by nature and effect, but, of decisions that are tough to impliment. While patience might be necessary it is much easier to find when peace is present. ‘Easier said than done’, we might hear ourselves saying…..but, we do have the means to do it; the astrology of this Moon is first and foremost a tool for accessing and identifying those means appropriately. In fact there is a prophetic quality about this Moon, one connected with Medussa, a great seer who has become totally distorted into a terrifying gorgon…..the fear factor she has been foisted with is our biggest challenge. It too must be cut through unflinchingly, seen for the deception that it is.

Many traditions of seership emphasise the importance of being able to hold a high degree of clarity and focus in the midst of distraction and have built excercises into the training that help develop this faculty. It is almost as if we are now entering that training.

Not only do those two oppositions stamp their signature on the lunation at the beginning, at first quarter the Sun opposes Saturn, and the aftermath of the Uranus Pluto square is once again stressed as Venus squares Uranus. At full Moon Mars applies the heat to Pluto at the apex of the yod from Mercury and Jupiter. The complexity of this matrix is matched by its volatility. That yod definitely gives the game away ~ at the outset an ebulliant, demonstrative Jupiter in Leo sextiles self regarding Mercury retrograde and their combined energy emerges through the Pluto point, backfiring where self obsession, mindgames and narcissism are at work fueling a thirst for power, and discharging through Venus in Cancer. You will know it when you feel it, as if we are not already! The Uranus square exaccerbates and Mars amplifies this effect vociferously while the Sun gives penetrative intent to the collective voice. Many world leaders need look out and wise up! The seer’s eye is opening…..and, I hate to say it, but, heads will roll.

Pluto is now also retrograde so we can truly expect the radical games of the power-elite to be seen for what they are – a massive scam to keep our attention and energies fixated, managed and farmed.

But, the reality of the threats we may percieve are not limited to the human sphere. Geocentric oppositions involving the inner planets, such as those between Mars, the Sun and Saturn, are extremely sensitive times for tectonic movement and upticks and, as geomantic stress events, these also affect how we are feeling as well as how we react. Hard aspects, especially oppositions, between Earth, Sun and the outer planets bring this sensitivity deeper into the collective realms, Venus opposite Pluto not withstanding. Venus begins this lunation squaring the lunar nodes and it is the feminine power that holds the keys to our future as well as to unlocking the past.

Then there is the matter of the superstition surrounding the degree on which this lunation opened. With the new Moon falling on the same longitude as the fixed star Caput Algol we might well find ourselves facing long held fears and come to the sudden realisation that these must now finally be overcome, a kind of ‘now or never’ moment. In so many senses the primary quality of this lunation is a startling immediacy and compelling intensity about the nature of experience itself ~ we must not allow their intensity and our fears to petrify us into inaction, in fact, we simply cannot afford it, quite literally.

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With the Sabian symbol for the 27th degree of Taurus indicating ‘individual adaptation to collective needs’ and Venus transitting Cancer those fears and our sensitivity to them are almost certainly going to be ancestral and inherited in nature and relate to values closest to home. There is deep and long term programming at work here. You may get a sense of karmic payback at work in the world. On a personal level, if you do experience this ‘feeling tone’ arising in ‘events’, take it as a sign that something has come up in order to be changed, this time around. Collectively, Algol has given us the ‘heads up’ (pun intended).

Algol, as said, is associated with the much misunderstood figure of Medussa, the priestess raped by Poseidon/Neptune in Minerva’s temple, and yet held responsible by Athena – for her ‘crime’ she was given her serpent hair and deadly reputation, all in return for a violation of the sacred precincts in which she was not the perpetrator, but, its victim. Sound familiar?! In fact Medussa was an initiatrix in the spiritual path of the cthonic earth Goddess, a divine mortal possessed of extreme Beauty, Power and Grace……Venus has been preparing us for this encounter.

We must take up her cause now and use seers eyes, as well as listen to our gut wisdom. Looking further ahead, globally we are now entering ‘salvage’ mode, this being the point at which the need to find the route to survival becomes manifestly real and the decisive action we might once have taken to avert danger is redirected into adapting to circumstances. It all begins to come together. The need for prioritising values, deciding what is essential, and focusing on preservation and damage limitation come to the fore. The demands of the past and future are becoming more immediate in the present.

Conversely, the Sabian symbol also talks of our indigenous nature and cultural heritage giving us the peaceful means to integrate a healthy flow of energy into our social setting, our community ~ the artifacts we offer out of our heritage carry the patterns of enduring wisdom and embody a certain deep joy that can be experienced directly in them. We are meant to pay the ancestral gift they represent forward. There is a strong nod here towards the reparative effects of the ‘gift culture’, to creating a genuine flow of energy that both feeds and honours, in which reciprocation and recognition are the currency and carry the true value, rather than exchange and possession of the thing itself. Wealth is meant to be shared, in fact it can only flourish if it is. In such flourishing we all receive nourishment. A highly pertinent fact waiting to be re-embodied within our world.

Without a doubt the strongest fears we have collectively suffered around this issue are connected with the idea of ‘scarcity’. This has been the psychological crowbar that has been deployed to force open the collective psyche and allow our most vulnerable instinctive fears to surface into the world. While our rightful heritage is destroyed and life blood syphoned off We are mercilessly manipulated through its use. The inner dynamic of this is so clearly demonstrated in the imbalance between the wealth of the ‘top one percent’ and the struggle to survive being visited upon the vast majority of the rest of us, a ‘reality’ which we clearly see being aggresively ‘deployed’ globally. It is symbolised through the money laundering schemes of government that feed the military-industrial complex and the bank owning elite who profit from it, rather than the people. This too is one of the inner dynamics of the Jupiter and Neptune mid-point, its emergent shadow side, now in full view.

The highly developed material aesthetic of the final degrees of Taurus carry a heavy burden if not shared. But, if anything, this Moon highlights this imbalance at its most potent level and, through the planetary positions, shows that we must apply strong energy to the task of rectifying it.

The last decan of Taurus is ruled by Saturn emphasising the life and death nature of this level of engagement, a radicalising game in which choices are made to appear very extreme, polarised, dualistically antagonistic. But, Saturn’s door, while it is seemingly one way, signed ‘exit’, is not ‘the end’……

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……the Sabian symbol gives us an image of an indigenous woman bringing the traditional crafts and artifacts of her culture into the marketplace of the contemporary world. There are several layers to this symbol, beyond her finding a means to survive in the modern world. The idea of ‘paying it forward’ is central to the work we all face now and the feminine apsect of our times is emergent within this role. Through her journey over the current lunations Venus is highlighting the immense beauty of an empowered woman, not in competition with the men, or the Bull, but, in full flow, expressing her accomplished abilities.

The snake maned priestess decapitated by Perseus has been demonised to the point of dissociation from her roots. In our time this is the political purpose served by the myth, a suitable repository for the ‘unacceptable’ face of initiated and empowered woman, a mirror. The curse of petrification she carries is rather a testament to the immense power her eyes radiate. She has incredibly potent vision, yes, but, it is the snakes that signify her source of power. It is the very power of creation that flows within the earth realms, the lightingbolt that condenses light into plasma, that illuminates the neural pathways of the unconditioned pleroma. Snakes are its living symbol and medicine animal. Petrification is the opposite of its effect rather than its corrollary. In the human frame this power can be sourced at the deeper centres, but, its voice is most clearly heard through our intuitive insight and its wisdom equally accessed through gut feeling. Some call this primal, but, while it is certainly intense, it could just as easily be called sublime, transcendant even.

In slaying the Medussa Perseus was obeying the rational dictates of his goddess Athena, the myth overlaying symbolism onto the historical transference of primary feminine power and wisdom to the more secular and masculinised figure of the goddess born fully armed from Zeus forehead. Athena kept Medussa’s head as the protective boss of her shield, ironically signifying that her sacred law was to be regarded as beyond question; however, the antidote to this weapon of fear can be found exactly facing the constellation of Perseus in the constellation of Ophiuchus, rising in the eastern night sky as Venus sets in the west.

Ophiuchus the serpent bearer holds the snake in both hands and applies its primary healing powers to the mortal world. Indeed, it is said Ophiuchus, or Asclepius as he is also identified, was the greatest of healers, so much so that he angered the gods with his ability to restore life to the dead and, ultimately, paid for his abilities with exile to the star realms. Ironically, in the end it was Athena who made the crucial difference here as she bestowed two phials of the Medussa’s blood into Asclepius possession, one from Medussa’s left side which gave the power to mete out death, the other from her right side which gave the power of to overcome death. The healer chose to use the latter and in so doing tipped the balance.

But, it is in this balance across the opposing sides of the ecliptic that we find the goddess and the primal creative wisdom represented in our times. Indicative of healing the Geminian division between the right and left brain it is Venus message to us that our encounter with the Medussa can allow this balance to be restored. Medussa’s head is the embodied consiousness of that primal wisdom which has been initiated into a deep understanding of all that creates, heals and destroys within the natural flow of life, the Earth Goddess wisdom – we must restore it to the body of our world and, trusting her guidance, follow the pathways it opens to us. Both these constellations point to the balance of extremes, not in duality, but as a living power to be grasped in both hands.

the Chauvet goddess and bulls headThe Medussa’s head and its primary state of fully awakened unconditioned consciousness is not to be feared, but, re-united with our own creative energy – in doing so the restorative healing it can unleash in our world is unlimited.

While our question might well be ‘What Price, Planet Earth’, undoubtedly, Medussa now challenges Us to find the answer. Only fear and conditioning stand in the way of doing so.


Top Image : Underwater Sculpture, Jason DeCaire ~ modified image

Second Image : Mola textile, Kuna

Third Image : Gundestrap Cauldron

Bottom Image : Goddess and BullMan, Chauvet Cave

Third Quarter 2014

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Here is a brief forward looking glance at a soul centered astrological theme for the quarter between June Solstice and September Equinox 2014. I have chosen to look only at the sign/element placement of planets with particular reference to the predominance of those in retrograde phase at the beginning of this period. This was purely intuitive, following a similar approach to lunar station astrology. This delivered an unexpected perspective on the initiating energetics at work within the planetary matrix for the three months to equinox…..
          There is a sense of ‘back to the future’ about the coming times, a desire to advance beyond current limitations through forward projection of our soul’s path, this belonging very much to the Moon’s north node. Before such a journey can be undertaken however, it pays to remember the determining factors behind our motivations and resources, this belonging to the Moon’s south node. With this in mind, the quarter up to September Equinox opens with a call to slow down, pay attention to inner balance and reflect particularly upon how our inner and outer worlds, past and future, this world and the next, mirror each other. Where are the discrepancies, and how do we adjust them, what adjustments do they call for in us? The answer is suggested in the fact that the June Solstice sees five major planetary retrogrades in motion simultaneously. This too is just the pre-amble and preparation for what promises to be an exciting and highly active three months!
          Powerful compassion based soul work can be undertaken under this retrograde influence. Neptune and Pluto break down boundaries, while Chiron and Saturn both strengthen them, give us structure and meaning to work with. Mercury helps us to metabolise the process and maintain awareness of our inner processes. Their collective field flows inwards and aids the spirit in adjusting to the demands that the physical world makes upon it. This integrative energy is valuable in tough times. But, its true gift is in the ability to renew and evolve inwardly.
        We can usually tell, from looking at the natal and progressed moon’s nodes in our chart, what area of our lives the ‘experience producing’ challenges that our souls require for growth will be emergent within. This is where we have ‘yet to experience’, the unmapped territory, and in tough times we are all challenged to enter there, fully conscious. The field view, which provides a potential that can affect collective as well as individual soul paths, is particularly highlighted as Jupiter squares the moons nodes at the offset and, later in the quarter, Mars crosses the nodal axis at the north node. There is a strong interface between our collective and personal paths in this time, where we are all heading, but, there is more that those retrogrades can tell us about this.
          On a hunch I took a look at the Sabian symbols for each of the degrees of the retrograde planets. The Sabians tell us that Mercury in Gemini, Saturn in Scorpio, Pluto in Capricorn, and both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, without exception, point towards the importance of actualising new beginnings, with Chiron calling us to bring this new reality into the public arena. There is an astonishing coherence between the individual Sabian symbols at work here, and this gives a sense of confidence. This suggests acting with commitment, once we have done our checks and balances. We can act upon what we feel most strongly drawn towards that fits with our deepest knowings, regardless the discomfort we may see ahead. This is not about taking the easy path, but, rather about trusting our path, and trusting ourselves to navigate it. To create it, even, because we ‘know’ it is the right one. Learnt from experience, as Chiron teaches, our ‘knowing’ is what will carry us forward now, even, and especially in the face of the unexpected. We must embody the Elder wisdom within. There is no doubt about how important this is on the global scale, but, it all begins under our own feet…….
          Elementally, this potential is initiated through water, air  and earth. The fire is provided by that Mars transit which re-enters opposition to Uranus in Aries and square to Pluto before reaching the north node. This indicates that we should bring the most important and radical lessons we have learned from the last three months in particular and act upon them to transform our way of living, finally releasing ourselves from the outlived patterns and ties of the past with a real commitment. The emphasis will very much be on ‘the viable future’ and living that future as a reality, starting now. With a predominance of water in the planetary elemental matrix that reality is carrying healing and nourishing energy as we live it.
          One week before Lughnasadh Mars will begin travelling through Scorpio, conjuncting Saturn on the way, and, by Equinox will have reached the early degrees of Sagittarius – live that reality with a passion and deep self belief that we can ‘make it so’.
        The midpoint of the quarter is also preceded by a new Moon in early Leo, this time conjunct Jupiter. Jupiter’s entry into Leo on July 16th also marks the end of the Mercury retrograde period, so this will really flag up the second half of the quarter as a time to not only embody our soul’s path fully, but, to shine through our unique individuality and genius, and to join others in doing so. This is a time to ‘see’ and be seen, as an example of how you would like the world to be, acted out in human form. There needs to be an element of acting here, of taking on the role, acting ‘as if’, as a means to realising the goal. The renewal of our human reality will become ‘earthed’. It is a powerful and, arguably, realistic basis for entraining the ‘peaceful revolution’ that is being increasingly talked of now, perhaps the most realistic, if we are to break the mould of the past and avoid our demise. The indigenous traditions tell us of multiple past ‘extinction level’ events…..we have to pay heed this time. It is not enough to rage against those who would use and oppress us – even if we succeed in removing them from the picture we must be strong enough, inspired enough and ‘knowing’ enough to embody that future we most desire.
            As the Sabian symbol for the visionary, mystical planet Neptune says of its degree in Pisces at Solstice, “tomorrow lives through today” – whatever means or roles you find your deepest and most natural passion and wisdoms realised through, we can all now be all those things with confidence………
An edited version of this article can also be found in issue 84 of Sacred Hoop magazine.…..