At 7:37 p.m. EDT tonight, Luna, glorious and full in Aries, dips into the shadow the Sun casts over the Earth. This penumbral lunar eclipse is the first of six eclipses that will occur in Aries and Libra over the next 18 months. Eclipses are the most dramatic ways the Universe brings about change in our lives, bringing old orders to a close and catapulting us into new ones with sudden, decisive finality. Between now and April 2015, these beginnings and endings will unfold through our relationships — with ourselves, with others, and ultimately, with the Universe and its animating energy of Divine Love.
Eclipse Truth: The Energy and Power of Love
The overriding reality of Love as the cosmic glue that holds the Universe together has been long known to the seers and mystics among us. It doesn’t take more than a quick glance around our world today to see that this overriding reality has receded into the shadows. As a collective organism, we’ve forgotten what holds things together and energizes everything with freshness and vitality. Around us — and within us — the great transforming power of Love has been overshadowed by the mesmerizing illusions of Fear. With this eclipse, the Cosmos is pushing us to see the empowering truth, waiting in the shadows for us to recognize it.
Ruled by Mars, the courageous and passionate Cosmic Warrior, Aries is the sign that brings forth the spring if we live in the northern hemisphere, and leads us into the greatest of life’s adventures in the southern hemisphere — the journey into the Underworld for the secret transformation that takes place during the outer world’s winter. Wherever tonight’s eclipse falls in our birth charts, an order of being will culminate and the decks will begin to clear for a new season. At the crux will be the Warrior’s need to break new ground, and the great daring that underlies the drive to live one’s unique and authentic identity.
In the sign of Virgo, Mars is in service to the Divine Feminine, restoring and repairing the broken fabric of life within us and around us. Across the sky from him at tonight’s eclipse is Neptune, the Cosmic Mystic, prodding him to act on his deepest inspiration. With both Mars and Neptune on the mysterious points in space that the ancients called the “antiscia,” these two are the secret keys to the new order that this eclipse ushers in.
Planets that are antiscia — as Mars and the Moon are today, and Neptune and the Sun — act as hidden allies. Both the Sun and the Moon occupy degrees of great potency, and it is Mars and Neptune who can help us unlock their promise. ”A man possessed of more gifts than he can hold” is the Sabian symbol for the Moon’s degree. In Virgo, Mars reminds us that it is by cherishing Life in its smallest and most humble details that our greatest gifts often unfold.
The Sun’s energy is symbolized by the equally powerful image of “an eagle changing into a dove,” reminding us of the great mystery of the sign of Libra — the transformative nature of our relationships. This is the timeless reality embodied for us since the deep time by the ancient goddesses Persephone and Psyche. Aside from the exact opposition of the Sun and the Moon, and the nearly exact opposition of Mars and Neptune, it is these two goddess asteroids who make the closest contact between two celestial bodies in tonight’s sky. In the early degrees of Sagittarius, they are separated by just over one degree.
Eclipse Power: The Transforming Feminine
Persephone is a later form of the Sumerian “queen of heaven and earth,” Inanna, whose descent to, and return from, the Underworld is the subject of the world’s first book, inscribed on an ancient clay tablet. As the daughter of the great Earth Mother, Demeter (later known as Ceres), the innocent maiden Persephone was abducted by the Underworld’s ruler Pluto. Beneath the surface, she became queen of the underworld, a regal feminine presence of power and beauty. As a being who moved back and forth between the Underworld and the Upper World, she broke new ground for human consciousness, showing us how to restore and regenerate our lives and our world.
Psyche was a mortal woman who became the bride of the divine Eros. The condition of their union was that she never look upon the face of her Divine Beloved. Her insecurity triggered by her sister’s jealousy, Psyche could not resist the temptation. But as she held a candle over Eros’ face, a drop of wax on his cheek awoke him. Because Love cannot stay where there is no trust, Eros vanished from Psyche’s life.
Heartbroken, she beseeched Aphrodite (who we know today as Venus) to restore her Love to her life. The great goddess of Love assigned the young woman a series of impossible tasks, which were only accomplished by the assistance of ants, eagles, and the wind. Finally, the heart of the Divine was opened by the young woman’s whole-hearted dedication, and she metamorphosed into a goddess herself and reunited with her Beloved.
Saturn in Scorpio: Beyond the Vision Quest
The first involved Saturn, known to the ancients as the Guardian at the Gates to the Great Mystery. For the final time in 39 years, the Guardian and Manifestor has returned to the precise location where he began his long, 5-month vision quest through 7 degrees of Scorpio. The distance between February 2013 and now cannot be measured by a calendar. There’s no way to calibrate the multi-dimensional space that’s been opened in our consciousness by almost an entire solar system crowded into the sign of Pisces, or the incandescence of a five-planet stellium in Aries, the long grand trine in water signs, the star tetrahedtrons, and another Uranus-Pluto square, sandwiched between two eclipses.
Saturn’s Quest for Your Power Medicine: February-July 2013
From here on out, we’re tapping new energy when we create the structures — of thought, action, and intention — in which our lives unfold. The next few days are the best of times to review the structures you’re creating, and to be grateful for the wisdom you take with you from this year, into the future you’re already entering.
Mars in Virgo: The Warrior in Service to the Goddess
The second cosmic shift of the day is the return of the Cosmic Warrior back to Virgo, the ancient sign of the Goddess. He’ll soon be receiving his starry benediction from Regulus, waiting in 0 degrees of Virgo to welcome each celestial guest with the stellar energy that has been associated with fame, wealth, glory and honor of every kind since the great astrologers of ancient Persia peered into the heavens and into its traces in human lives on earth.
The date of Mars’ last arrival in Virgo tells us how significant that visit was: 11/11/11. The Warrior stayed in this ancient sign of the most sacred feminine mysteries for an extraordinary eight months, a visit that included a retrograde vision quest, a solar eclipse aligned with the central star of the Pleiades, Venus’ passage across the face of our Star, and the first of Uranus & Pluto’s world-changing squares. This tour will be much briefer — just 7 weeks — but will take us through equally magical energetic territory: a lunar and a solar eclipse and the 4th of the Uranus-Pluto squares.
“I hope you will be a warrior and fierce for change”
Virgo is above all the energy of consecration of one’s life energy to the cosmic order, and the potential of the Warrior when his passion and courage are dedicated to the service of Shakti, the great female being of the Universe, is tremendous indeed. Close to a century ago, the writer Meridel Le Sueur articulated this potential with great eloquence in the short story “Annunciation.” Written to an unborn child in the heart of the Great Depression, the story is a paean to the power of the life force:
“Tonight the world into which you are coming is very strange and beautiful. . . I hope you will glisten with the glisten of ancient life, the same beauty that is in a leaf or a wild rabbit, wild sweet beauty of limb and eye. . . There is something wild about us too, something tender and wild about my having you as a child, about your crouching so secretly here. There is something very tender and wild about it. We, too, are at the mercy of many hunters. . . .
“ I hope you will come glistening with life power, with it shining upon you as upon the feathers of birds. I hope you will be a warrior and fierce for change, so all can live.”
Tonight we begin to tap new energy with which to structure our reality. And on behalf of every child on Planet Earth, born and unborn, we welcome the Warrior back to Virgo.
Tonight, ancient feminine energies — Venus and Persephone — meet in the last, critical degree of Scorpio. This is the sign of the Cosmic Transformer, the realm of the depths, where the mysteries of regeneration take place and the cycle of death and rebirth plays out in all its myriad forms. Tonight, the feminine powers of Love and transformation merge their energies in the Cosmos around you and in the Cosmos within you — wherever that final, potent degree of Scorpio falls in your inner sky.
Autumn is both Persephone’s season and one of two — along with the budding and blossoming of spring — that Venus rules, After the Autumn Equinox, we enter the territory of the deepest and most awe-drenched mysteries of our existence. In just a few weeks, the Sun will enter Scorpio. Then comes Samhain, the final “cross-quarter” day — a cosmic tipping point, when the Sun stands halfway between Autumn Equinox and the WInter Solstice. Celebrated across the globe as the Day of the Dead and All Soul’s Night, this cross-quarter moment of the year is a time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest.
The Nine Nights of the Goddess: Celebrating the Transformative Feminine
In India, the evening following the First New Moon after the Equinox launches Navaratri, the Nine Nights of the Goddess. With ritual worship in the mornings and feasting and dancing in the evenings, this festival celebrates three expressions of the Cosmic Feminine for three nights each. Each reveals a different side of the hidden wisdom that belongs to Scorpio:
- Durga and her fearsome aspect, the powerful agent of radical and revolutionary change, Kali, who destroy evil and illusion, is honored for the first three nights.
- Lakshmi, who brings wealth, prosperity, and good fortune, is the fous of the second three nights, when Venus and Persephone will be in Sagittarius, sign of the Cosmic Blessing Giver.
- Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and creativity, is venerated in the concluding nights of Navaratri.
The Feminine Nature of the Underworld
In the West, the connections between autumn and its feminine mysteries of transformation are far more powerful — and ancient — than Pluto’s rule of Scorpio. As Hellenistic astrologer Demetra George tells us in Finding Our Way Through the Dark: The Astrology of the Dark Goddesses, Pluto was the first ruler of the Underworld who was not a goddess.
Perhaps this tells us something fundamental about Pluto’s desire for Persephone, in the Deep Time story chronicling his abduction of the beautiful young daughter of the Great Mother. Perhaps there is something about the Underworld and its life-restoring, wealth-creating power that can only be unlocked by the Feminine. ”Many of the qualities of the dark feminine that some astrologers have correlated with Pluto,” writes George, “are actually aspects of Persephone and other dark goddesses who preceded her.” She continues:
In the archaic form of Demeter as a triple goddess, her full moon mother aspect was known by the name of Ploutos. [He even stole her name!] In the pre-Hellenic version of her myth, Persephone voluntarily went into the Underworld for part of each year to tend to the dead.
The story of her rape and abduction was a later adjunct to the myth first recorded by Homer in the 8th century BC which spoke to the patriarchal takeover by the God Pluto of the Great Mother’s rulership over death and rebirth.
(italics and boldface mine).
We stand again at an evolutionary gateway even more profound than the one that opened 5,000 years ago Then, as now, our consciousness was changing — around us, and within us too. Now, as then, our relationship to the Cosmic Feminine was at the center. The skies show us that we’re in a time of unprecedented upheaval in the relationship between the fundamental energies of life. We’re living in a time saturated with new possibility. Everything’s up for renegotiation now — within us and around us.
Persephone: Primal, Powerful, and Ever Transforming.”
Persephone crated an “unalterable shift” in the Cosmos, Arielle Gutman observes in Mythic Astrology. Becoming the Underworld Queen who moved back and forth between the Upper and Under worlds, Persephone connected the world of souls and the world of matter in a way that had never before happened. “Never forget,” cautions the astrology blogger Esoteric Embers in one of her many brilliant essays, that Persephone was feared and powerful” — the queen both of soul and spirit.
The Universe: Great Feminine Being
Now, 5,000 years later, Persephone and Venus meet for the first time in the Uranus-Pluto Era. Perhaps these ancient energies are enabling us to take our next, fateful leap. Perhaps we are learning to move back and forth between Underworld, upper World, and the vast reaches of the Cosmos itself. Perhaps we are discovering the Universe as the ancients across the world once knew it — a great feminine being. Much of what we are learning about its nature — the mysteries of black holes, wormholes, quasars, pulsars — is deeply resonant with the ancient feminine mysteries of Persephone, Inanna, Kali, and Durga.
Uranus, Pluto, and the Cosmic Feminine
Both Uranus and Pluto, the mighty world-changers, have power that is inextricably tied to the feminine. Venus, remember, was the daughter of Uranus the primordial Sky God, whose passion for Gaia created our world. When Uranus was overthrown, the son who castrated him — Saturn — tossed his father’s genitals into the ocean. From that fertile foam, born from primal Chaos, stepped Aphrodite. Tonight, she merges with Persephone, who ruled the Underworld with Pluto. The Nine Nights of the Goddess remind us this is a time for dancing and for praying — the holy nights of an evolving Cosmos, around us and within us.
In a season of potent energetic gateways, Friday’s New Moon in Libra is in a class by itself.
* Sol and Luna trigger the world-changing energies of the Uranus-Pluto square and infuse it with Libra’s dynamic energy of relatedness.
* Jupiter joins the action from Cancer, forming a potent and volatile Grand Square that brings the most dynamic expression of all four elements into the mix — and creates a universe all its own, a setting for alchemical magic.
* Venus, the ruler of the New Moon, creates radical new possibilities for feminine power, in a cosmic feminine power summit. Joining Venus in this conclave will be the asteroids Persephone — the ancient Queen of the Underworld — and the once-mighty Pallas Athene. The great star Algol — the ancient “demon star” of Medusa — will also be present. And the asteroid Medusa herself is closing in on an intimate encounter with Uranus, the Cosmic Liberator.
* This Moon opens the portal to a season of breakthrough, with three cosmic events further breaking open the ground of our reality over the next month. By November 4, we will have participated in a lunar eclipse in Aries, the fourth Uranus- Pluto square, and a solar eclipse in Scorpio
Venus, Persephone, Pallas Athene, & Algol: Shakti Power Summit
Astrologically, Venus is one of the two primary carriers of the feminine energy in the Universe, For the last several thousand years, this energy has been better known — and loved — in India than anywhere else in the world. It’s known as “Shakti,” which means “cosmic energy.” In the Hindu cosmology, Shakti is a psychopspirtual force that pervades the entire Universe. She’s the agent of creation and change, the dynamic and ever-changing love energy that stirs masculine energy and in so doing, gives rise to existence itself. Every Hindu god has his Shakti, for she is the power source.
Shakti is the energy in all that exists. Saturated with Her, the Universe is “a powerful, creative, active, transcendent female being” who not only creates the world, but is the world, enlivening it with her creative power, as David Kinsley notes in Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition. Yet, though she’s everywhere, in every moment, she’s also invisible to those of us in the West. Since the Deep Time, we’ve become increasingly Shakti-blind and thus, desperately Shakti-starved. When astrophysicists talk about the “dark matter and energy” that comprises 96% of the Universe, they’re talking about the inner, magical essence of Shakti.
Astrology reminds us that this divine and magical energy is not separate from us. She’s within us, as well as around us. Yet, we haven’t honored her. We’ve raped her, exploited her, enslaved her — not only around us, but within us. The world we see around us is the result. Friday’s New Moon in Libra brings us to a pivot point in our relationship with Shakti — and hers with us.
Venus, Persephone, and the Expansion of Feminine Power
At tomorrow’s New Moon, Venus will be within two degrees of an exact meeting with the asteroid Persephone (the exact conjunction will come a couple of days later). You could almost imagine this meeting as taking place between Hillary Clinton and one of the five Indigenous Grandmothers.
In the Deep Time — when the world as we know it was created by our changing consciousness– Persephone was renowned for her transformation from an innocent young goddess into the powerful Queen of the Underworld. This transformation was the focus of the most sacred rites in the world of ancient Greece — the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Like all the expressions of the Feminine except Luna and Venus, Persephone has long been cast out of our consciousness. Along with the great Ceres,her mother, and Pallas Athene, Juno, Vesta, Medusa, Hekate, and scores of others, the Queen of the Underworld now orbits the Sun in the great asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. These fragments of planetary energy are not, for the most part, integrated into our mainstream consciousness.
Venus, on the other hand, has had a very different life. As one of only two astrological carriers of Shakti power through 5,000 years of patriarchy, she’s become both powerful and co-opted in our consciousness. We all know how that goes. It’s how she — and we — have survived in a world where someone else holds the power.
What’s happening now, though, is unprecedented. As Uranus and Pluto break open the very ground of our reality, the cast-off goddess energy takes on a new charge. Take Venus’ and Persephone’ conjunction. It’s by no means the first. These two meet every couple of years. The last time, though, was almost two years ago — before the first of Uranus’ and Pluto’s seven squares.
We’re now within a month of the fourth square, and its potency is being dialed up by the Venus-ruled Libra New Moon. The energy in which Venus, Persephone, Pallas, and Algol confront each other is charged with revolutionary power. With each one of these world-shaping, life-changing squares, the ground of our reality is opened a little deeper and a little wider. Each one frees up more energy for us to use in re-imagining the consensus about how things are that we call “reality.” Each one gives the status quo a little less energy.
Venus & Pallas, Persephone & Algol: Good Girls Meet the “Bad” Ones
As we’ve acknowledged, surviving in patriarchy brought a certain price for Venus. The most magical qualities of the goddess of love, money, and bliss have been pushed into the shadows over the last five millennia. The same thing happened to Pallas Athene back in the Deep Time. The powerful wisdom goddess was re-imagined for a newly patriarchal world. She lost her mother and acquired a new “birth” story that told of her emergence straight from her father’s head — the ultimate “Daddy’s girl” for the ages.
The most troubling aspect of Pallas Athena’s new life was her often punishing attitude towards other expressions of the Divine Feminine. It was she who turned Medusa into a monster — and ordered that she be killed. The unspeakable tragedy here is that many accounts link Medusa and Athena as two aspects of the same North African goddess. In destroying Medusa, Athena was killing off a part of her own self — her sexual, healing side that was as at home with the mysteries of death as of life.
But at this New Moon, Medusa is in the arms of the Liberator. And Agol and Venus are re-negotiating their alliance.
Venus & Algol: Re-Visiting an Ancient Crime
Since ancient times, the great star Algol has been associated with Medusa. In the 2nd-century Tetrabiblos,or “Star Book,” Algol is called the “demon star.” Actually a binary star that eclipses itself every three days, Algol’s eclipsing “blink” was believed to be the long, slow wink of the eye in Medusa’s death-bringing, decapitated head.
It’s a cosmic conclave of Shakti power — and it’s happening in the most magical of all times. This is a portent of Shakti on the move.
Recreating Our Relationships with Shakti — Within Us & Around Us
Libra’s energy is that of relatedness and this New Moon is pushing us to recreate those that shape our lives — especially th relationships we have with ourselves and our own Shakti energy.
The most powerful feminine mysteries involve transforamtion — creation, birth, and death. These have long been known as “dark mysteries.” They take place in the invisible realms, far beneath the surface of life. In a culture that associates life’s outer surfaces with “light” and “good” and its inner realms, where life is created and regenerated, with “dark” and “bad,” this has created a great deal of fear. We could just as easily say the dark mysteries — the transformational energies of the dark moon, eclipes, retrograde transitss, and black holes and dark matter too — are the “inner mysteries” of creation.
Whatever we call them, thought, these are the mysteries of creation and transformation. These are the mysteries that can regenerate life in our embattled and besieged world. These are the mysteries that have always belonged to the Feminine. And these are these are the mysteries that are asking us to reclaim them, and with them, our lives and our world.
When Venus and Mars clash, sparks fly. And energy is generated — precisely the energy you need to take your next leap and play a bigger game. Here’s the drama playing out in the skies around you — and within you — over the next few days:
Venus is now just past the magnetic heart of Scorpio. She’s fully comfortable now in these deep waters. She’s intense, she’s focused, and she’s extremely confident. It’s a highly magnetic combination.
At first, you don’t realize that about her. She can seem reserved, even a little aloof. Sure, she’s secretive. Don’t be fooled, though. Her famous radar is reading the energy. Finding where the life force and its power is is blocked. A part of her will always be there, beneath the surface, staying in touch with the mystery. Her staying power is intense. Don’t try and tell her what to do. And don’t ever underestimate her.
She’s dialed up now with Jupiter sending her a flow of blessings. And she’s clashing with Mars. He’s in Leo, full of drama, flamboyance, and creativity. Rooms light up when he walks in. A little bossy? No doubt about it. Yet there’s no mistaking his warmth and generosity. Or his loyalty.
These two are lovers from the Deep Time. They’re one of the most dynamic combinations in the zodiac — once you get them to work together to expand the pie, instead of fighting over it.
When he’s in Leo, Mars’ generosity and sense of drama can liven up Venus’ secretive, stingy ways when she’s in Scorpio. She helps him tap the depths. He helps her loosen up. Together they’re more magnetic and empowered than alone. In fact, they’re as close to unstoppable as it gets. To get there, each of them will have to make 3 key moves. And so will you:
- Leave your ego at the door. Focus on what you really want more than being right.
- Stay focused in the heart. Go with love, not fear.
- Surrender to the greater will — the Universal Presence that you’re an integral part of — to release its greater power.
- Relish this moment. It’s where the power is.
At 11:36 p.m. tonight in the U.S. Eastern time zone, we enter the space between worlds. We’re exactly where the real cosmic magic happens, poised exactly between a powerful Full Moon in Pisces and a New Moon in Libra, that will be saturated in the primeval power the Hindu tradition knows as Kali.
We’re in the mysterious, potent zone of death and rebirth known as the Dark Moon. This is the space where we let go of the worn-out past, to make room for the future and its new life. Each month we’re enveloped by this mysterious and potent energy. It’s where we meet the Void, and shed the dry, worn-out husks of our lives, our patterns, and our dreams. It’s where we create the future.
We’re living in an era where a past that seems increasingly full of dead ends bumps up against a future that’s mostly veiled. It’s an era that shares its most fundamental qualities — and evolutionary challenges — with the energy of the Dark Moon. The ghosts of the past, full of the residues of power yet empty of life force, rise up at every turn to meet us. We all know those ghosts, for their job is to, seed fear within us, as deeply as they can. The pulse of the life force can seem faint and insubstantial beneath the roars of these dark ghosts of yesterday. We have to choose very carefully what we listen to and what we trust. For most of the Moon’s cycle — she is Moon is waxing, and immediately after she is Full — we act. The perceptual choices that shape those actions are made in the Dark Moon. That’s where we let old realities go, and create new ones.
Last Quarter Moon in Cancer: Infused with the Power of the Transforming Feminine
Tonight’s Last Quarter Moon, the portal into the Dark Moon phase, is particularly strong. Luna is in Cancer, her home sign. Jupiter, the Blessing Giver is there with her. He, too, is at maximum strength. Cancer, the sign of the ancient and generative Divine Mother, is the sign of Jupiter’s exaltation. And so is the deeply mysterious void point known as Black Moon Lilith. Now, with both the Moon and the lunar shadow, at home together and in the Dark, a wholeness of perception and awareness makes itself available to us. We access it through our dreams, our emotions, the knowledge carried in the cells of our bodies.
Intensifying the potency is the fact that this Last Quarter Moon in Cancer bridges lunations between the zodiac’s only two consecutive signs ruled by the Cosmic feminine. Virgo, ancient sign, sacred to Inanna, Persephone, Ishtar, Mary. Libra, one of the two signs ruled by Venus.
In this energy, we can experience in a uniquely profound way the energy we cal the Feminine (in speak of “the Feminine,” I mean it in the sense that Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author (with Elinor Dickson) of Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess and the Transformation of Consciousness, articulates:
When I say the feminine, I don’t mean gender. I mean the feminine principle that is living—or suppressed—in both men and women.
Clarifying, Woodman explains:
The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me?
The Transforming Feminine, Within Us and Around Us
Astrologically, a great deal of this Feminine energy is carried by the Moon and Venus. Of the 10 celestial bodies traditionally considered to be planets by astrologers, only these two are “feminine” (leaving aside for the moment the proper classification of newly discovered energies like Chiorn, Eris, and newly reclassified ones like Ceres and Pluto). That’s far from equal representation for an energy that represents at least half of reality (and probably much more, as my next post will explore).
“Goddess” is the word that has been used for millennia to describe this generative Feminine energy. A very great portion of its force and power -– shaping whole civilizations, spawning traditions of art and social organization and sacred practice — is no longer contained in our consciousness. Our very perception of hte solar system reflects that.
The outcast, exiled, rejected energy of the ancient goddesses is to a great degree contained in two great belts, one of them (known as the asteroid belt) between Mars and Jupiter, and the other (called the Kuiper belt) beyond Pluto’s orbit, at the far edge of our solar system.. More and more, I am coming to understand this energy as essential to the future of our world. When I think of it, which is often, the words “the Transforming Feminine” are what I use.
The asteroid and Kuiper belts are themselves transition zones. The asteroid belt divides the planets whose concerns are essentially self-focused – the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars — and those that are cornered with successively greater wholes – from Jupiter and Saturn’s “big picture” of earth reality to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto’s cosmic understanding. Within these belts are pieces of reality — asteroids, dwarf planets, comets — whose energy we don’t know how to integrate into the structure of our consciousness. Until we realize that our familiar structures don’t have the answers we need.
When we realize we must evolve beyond a worldview that’s essentially self-centered, our awareness moves beyond the orbit of Mars. That’s when we confront the Transforming Feminine.
This Last Quarter gateway into the Dark Moon is steeped in the energy of the ancient goddesses. The Moon is in Cancer, the part of the sky associated with the Divine Mother for millennia. Standing at the center of lunations in Virgo and Libra. We’re in the realm of Persephone, Demeter, Isis, Ishtar, and Mary — with five goddess asteroids throwing a bright energetic spotlight on one of the ancient mysteries of the Feminine – the descent of the Goddess. They are the background presences energizing our experiences over the last
Vesta and Ceres, the two of the first asteroids discovered in the first decade of the 19th century, over two centuries ago, are now in Virgo. The asteroids Proserpina, Persephone, and Psyche are in Scorpio. This is the sign of Pluto, agent of Persephone / Proserpina’s transformation in the Deep Time — and of ours today, as he squares Uranus, the father of Aphrodite, seven times in the 33 months between June 2012 and March 2015.
At the Virgo New Moon, the pattern of energy in the sky was overwhelmingly earthy. We experienced its energies in our bodies. It occurred in 13 degrees of Virgo, a number long sacred to the feminine, At the Pisces Full Moon two weeks later, earth and water shared energetic power. Emotional reality was on the rise.
Now, at Last Quarter, only Pluto remains in an earth sign (although Ceres and Vesta remain in Virgo, grounding the feminine). In the void, we’ve lost our grounding. We’re unmoored, so that great change can take place not at the concrete level — not yet — but at the energetic level that underlies it. With water and air now comprising the predominant elements, and we’re beginning to translate our cellular and emotional awareness into concepts that we can become conscious of and share.
The Long Dark Moon of the Patriarchy
In a brilliant work written almost 22 years ago, Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess, astrologer Demetra George speculates that the phases of the moon operate on a great scale, larger even than the 26,000 year precessional cycle of astrological ages. Perhaps, she writes, the crises of our civilization are the expression of the “most powerful dark moon phase in the history of humanity.”
George recalls the day when, walking along the Oregon coast, she began to wonder about this:
whether the disappearance of the Goddess during the last five thousand years of patriarchal rule might been due to her suppression and destruction by the patriarchy, but was in fact her natural withdrawal into the dark moon phase of her own cycle. . . And now she must be reemerging at the new moon phase of her cycle with the promise and hope that accompany the rebirth of the light. (Italics and boldface mine.)
George’s speculation uses the 5,000 years of the Goddess’ suppression and the rise of patriarchal culture as the parameters for this global-historical Dark Moon. Then multiplies the 5,000 years by 40,000 to arrive at a global-historical lunation cycle of 40,000, she then maps the eight phases onto historical periods. The creation and birthing of the waxing new and crescent moon phases correlate in George’s schema with the Lower Perigordian period, from 35,000 to 28,000 BCE. The full moon phase occurs during the Upper Perigordian era, from 21,000 to 18,000 BCE. The entire 5,000 years that we typically think of when we think of “civilization” and “human history” fall within the Dark Moon period of waning and then disappearing goddess power.
George hastens to point out that her thinking is purely speculative. However, entertained even as a leap of imagination into the unknown, this vision of Lunar Her/Story, as George calls it, is liberating. As she points out,it frees us from the groaning burden of identification as a victim and allows us to see ourselves very differently:
Women are not victim, and they do not have to make war to reclaim their power. Women have always had their power, and now it is once again fully available, recharged, and vitalized for them to express in the outer world.
In its fullest expression, however, this power has been invisible to us all. Now, as George admits, our task is to
cleanse and purify our distorted images of the Dark Goddess . . . Through patriarchal culture these erroneous images have affected our bodies, minds, and environrment, and have impaired our relationships with the other.”
Creating Our Future in the Dark Moon of Our Times
The pace of death of an old order and emergence of a new one is accelerating. The fourth of the seven squares of Pluto and uranus is little more than a month away. Two days later, a potent solar eclipse in Scorpio will follow. We will not be out of the energy field of this epochal energy until after the final square, in March 2015. Each month, the Moon modulates the energies of this square, and aits repeated triggering as our Star and his entourage travel through the first half of nearly every sign in the zodiac.
And with each New and Full Moon, we assimilate a little more of what is happening within us and around us — not in our left brain awareness, w which accounts for a small fraction of what we know, but in the deep recesses of our right brain. Each Dark Moon phase, we shed another layer of the residue that’s preventing the future from rising up within us,and unfolding through us into the world.
The sky at this moment reminds me that at every moment we’re in a Mystery play. In every moment, we’re not just witnessing the ever-shifting, multi-dimensional play of the Great Mystery — we’re taking part in it. It’s unfolding through us.
In the Eastern time zone on the East Coast of the U.S., dusk is falling. The long autumn light is sliding out of a soft pink sky. I can’t see the great stars who are aligning with half the planets in the solar system. Knowing that their energies are streaming over the Earth is enough, though. More than enough, in fact, to begin to sense the invisible potent presence of the Cosmos all around me and deep within me. Sometimes we see more clearly without the sight of our outer eyes to trick us.
Our Star is in the same degree as a black hole, far beyond our solar system in 1 degree of Libra. Though the Sun has sunk beneath the western horizon, it’s bathing our home planet nonetheless, with the most potent energy in the Universe streaming into its rays.
Luna is in 25 Taurus, a degree of the sky where the much-feared star Algol resides. Algol’s lore links it to Medusa, once the most beautiful woman on earth, seduced by Poseidon in the Acropolis. It was the famous temple to Athena, the most powerful goddess of classical Athens.
Medusa is one of the best examples of the dark and complex turn the Feminine took once she became subordinate. Athena turned her into a monster so fearsome that to look at her would turn a man to stone. Burning at the end of Taurus, one of the ancient Earth Goddess’ sacred signs, Algol reminds us of all the layers of false consciousness to be shed in order to claim the deep, authentic power of the Feminine once again. May we use the powerful energies of Now to release all that does not empower us.
Mercury the Cosmic Messenger, is at 22 Libra, making his way to Spica, the fabled star in the hand of the Virgin. Or, as Nick Anthony Fiorenza suggests in a wonderful essay, “The Astronomical Truth of the Virgin,” perhaps that’s not the Virgin’s hand after all that Spica is illuminating. Perhaps it’s her root chakra. We know that to the ancient mind — far more tuned to the energetic potency of the Cosmos than it’s possible to be in our electrified, wired, radio-waved world — the virginal state of Virgo did not necessarily imply sexual chastity. Fiorenza’s definition is far more spiritually resonant: ”a pure vessel, true to her soul intent.”
Fiorenza believes that the Cosmic Virgin herself has a lover — Constellation Bootes, the Cosmic Protector and “true soul compliment [sic]” to the Virgin. And Spica, he continues, represents the Virgin’s genitals, with which she and her twin flame mate eternally in the sky — above us, and within us.
Listen to Mercury tonight and see what secrets he may have to tell about the sky within us and around us. About our the pure intent of our own virginal souls and our true soul complements. About the energetic oppression of the Cosmic Feminine within us. About our ability to be radically transformed, into purer vessels of the Great Mystery, unfolding within us at every moment.
“The transforming Feminine” is a very real part of the energetic mix of our Now. But we’re not used to talking about her, not like that. So she can sound very conceptual and ethereal.
Enter comedian Louis C.K. — with a Virgo Sun closely conjunct Pluto, and a Capricorn Moon that’s catching the charge of the Uranus-Pluto squares. He may not use the words, “surrender tot he transforming Feminine energy within you.” But that’s what he means. Just listen: