Pluto: Divine indifference, non-spectral light, oversight, bending of natures, curvature, depth (a similar function on the solar system as the lunar draw of the earths waters - Eris, farther out and larger than Pluto with a similarly irregular path, is of strong importance, seemingly related to penetrating anger) the possibility of accumulating will, 'out of the ordinary', unbalance in power, riches, abundance yearning, aristocracy and the gutter.
Pluto with Sun (harmonic): Sharp penetrating potency, focus of the will, limitless confidence Pluto with Moon (harmonic): ever present sense of depth, profundity, honesty, the need to keep silent about many things, which produces a subtle and diplomatic nature with a raging will that releases depending on the rest of the chart.
Pluto with Sun (hard): Creating harsh conditions, confrontational, disruptive nature, can tap into massive forces if Jupiter is involved Pluto with Moon (hard): Suffering harsh conditions, dark mother aspects, larger-than-life fear.
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Neptune has as much in common with Moon as with Venus. Uranus has as much to do with Mars as with Mercury. No planet is another on a higher arc (fold, limiting contrast, baroque) but all planets represent logics, conditions, possibilities that are at odds with each other and thus combine in to a more or less harmonic 'tapestry of (the) soul'. Contradiction is the father of all things, to paraphrase, and the richness of this solar system is expressed fully in taking each planet as irreducible and thus either directly or through conflict adding to the others, within the paradigm of the Zodiac, which is the logic of contrast upon contrast until unity encompasses all possible contrasts.
Diversity, endless diversity that can and does make people blind and creates much very disruptive and misleading analysis, always tapping into truth but never seeing the whole picture; astrology must be approached poetically or not at all. It must be subjective, the astrologer has to take responsibility for his analysis.
At the same time, he must present it with the fitting severity of judging someones life. With innocence and cynicism, indicate divine virtues and titanic lacks, and the person will know himself as divine and titanic.
Gateway to the outer planets: the asteroid Chiron - Between Saturn and Uranus, this body represents a threshold, and wherever it shows up in a chart, energy comes leaking in or out, there is a fracture in the human structure and whatever is connected to that point in the chart is at once enhanced and 'left to the gods'. It is where the personality reaches out for the unknown and receives it.
Philosophy is essentially the art of identifying terms in their native context. Astrology has many terms of which the context has not yet been phrased to enable full rational understanding. Astrology is not a mystic art in that it is vague, it is just very complex, and it came into being way before language has detached itself from primitive superstition, and language is still caught in superstition. In a sense language, or the belief that through language we communicate truths about reality, is superstition. True knowledge is gained when the elements of language are understood in the context from which they emerge. Astrology, which pertains to an infinitely more coherent logic than verbal language does, can help us with that.
Okay here goes
Here is the traditional attribution to the signs:
♈ I am ♉ I have ♊ I communicate ♋ I feel ♌ I will ♍ I serve ♎ I -
And there it goes into the mist. You have all sorts of different definitions for the upper six signs. And with reason, as the zodiac contains in itself a gradually transforming perspective on the very concept of activity. With that idea as a guide, I figured out a way to make sense of this verb question. What is the common orientation for all the actions of the signs Libra through Pisces? They are transitive; they include both a subject and an "Other".
So I offer:
♈ I am ♉ I have ♊ I communicate ♋ I feel ♌ I will ♍ I serve ♎ There is Otherness ♏ Otherness has me ♐ Otherness thinks me ♑ Otherness feels me ♒ Otherness wills me ♓ Otherness serves me: ♈ I am.
So what you see is that with Sagittarius, the transfiguration of the duality between self and other is in full effect. Fittingly the duality itself was first manifested in Gemini after it was manifested on a broader level by the succession of Aries and Taurus. Gemini is therefore the most difficult of the first six signs to attribute a single verb to, both think and communicate are common and play is another relevant attribution. All pertain to duality. In Libra, after the duality that was conceived at the cusp of Taurus and born at the cusp of Gemini has taken on an even more matured dimension after the completion of the service in Virgo, the existence of the other. I figured this out whole meditating on the cardinality of air. I noticed how the full being is transported into the various forms around it. The Libra mind is the most agile, the most completely within the thought-field. It knows that the primal essence of this situation it is in, is the fact that there is a multi-faced situation of which it is an active part. So this otherness now begins to engulf the being. It reaches the terrifying might of the scorpio mind, which is possessed with the very fact of its interaction, it is the mightiest of signs because it is the most dangerous one. The duality, immediately after it had reached the fully matured arc from Mars' Aries to Venus' Libra, dives directly into Mars again! In psychological terms, the beauty of the realization of otherness, the surrender of the youthful ego for a maturing persona, transforms swiftly in the rather terrifying realization of the consequences of the self within an essential otherness. The self now can become anything. Once the annihilation of safety is complete, the adventure of Sagittarius can begin. This is the most extravagant sign - otherness thinks me - psychedelics surely fall under this sign, but more generally, the limitless ways in which energy can be formed into paths and how a self can be known to itself through its paths .
Otherness feels me in Capricorn. I stand, the way existence comes to me, it bounces back shaped in my image. I have the mystery of manifestation, of turning water into wine, because I stand at the right place. I am the seismic child who was born, the turn of the tide, the mystery. There is no language that can communicate the way of Capricorn, for it will only do what is there, immediately in the moment, to attain the power it already owned.
Aquarius otherness wills me. The humanitarian. Pisces, otherness serves me. The lazy *******. The king. The one to whom existence confesses that it is good, and that it wants to be born.
Aries - I am with the memory of Pisces. And with this in memory, it is so fitting that Arians are the still dreamy in their motives - they remember the reason for action from within. Virgos have maximally sobered up and only live the action, and so at the end of it, complete the task that was set in Pisces and give birth to the Other, who becomes the self at the cusp of Aries.
So holding to the transitive nature of the latter six verbs, they are: ♎ Otherness exists (the transition itself) ♏ Scorpio: I am being had/possessed ♐ Sagittarius: I am being thought (prophecy, stardom, living in the minds of the many) ♑ I am being felt ♒ I am being willed (Fate, XVII: The Star) ♓ I am being served
From which so naturally follows the transition back to action: I am being served, so there is nothing standing in the way for me to be fully active on my own accord, Aries.
♈ I am ♉ I have ♊ I communicate ♋ I feel ♌ I will ♍ I serve ♎ There is Otherness ♏ Otherness has me
That scorpio entry is not right.
"Which is to be master?" is always the defining question..., so I would enter that as, Otherness overwhelms me, and Taurus to "I resist" (the Taurus is stubborness and determination), to follow your scheme.
What do you assign the Black Sun to?
Fixed Cross wrote:
Neptune has as much in common with Moon as with Venus. Uranus has as much to do with Mars as with Mercury. No planet is another on a higher arc (fold, limiting contrast, baroque) but all planets represent logics, conditions, possibilities that are at odds with each other and thus combine in to a more or less harmonic 'tapestry of (the) soul'.
Neptune is Venus on a higher octave, Uranus - Mercury, and, Pluto - Mars.
I think of them as Avatars.
Also, speaking of avatars, consider, for example, the natural opposites house-wise - Taurus/Scorp. What is money as security and comfort in the former [venus ruled], turns to property as inner austerity, self-possessiveness [pluto ruled]. Even between conjoint houses, you see how the form Turns into a diff. avatar. Beautiful to watch.
Between Saturn and Uranus, this body represents a threshold, and wherever it shows up in a chart, energy comes leaking in or out, there is a fracture in the human structure and whatever is connected to that point in the chart is at once enhanced and 'left to the gods'. It is where the personality reaches out for the unknown and receives it.
Right. This is because Saturn is the karmic planet; here's where your actions become your womb. If you read the Goux book on Oedipus, on the need for a necessary trial and initiation to come-into your self, then Saturn represents the Senex archetype of the discipline and trial-testing father, without whom, as Oedipus, one only possesses a false sovereignty and goes to his ruin.
Life is dangerous, and to venture into it without your self as self-foundation, can prove fate-al, in the sense, Jung said,
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.",
"Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event."
Fate is the unconscious that Befalls us,,,Destiny is the conscious that we stake, that we Hazard. Fate is like the waves playing, alluring; Man finds his Destiny without succumbing to Fate, with Balance.
Uranus is structure re-setting, Neptune dissolves the interface, and Pluto alters dimensions [charcoal turns to diamond].
Uranus thrives on polar charges [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is an extremely ancient Pythagorean term which loosely translates as 'descent' (of the soul), ...is a deeply steeped and 'mysterious' term for the embodiment of Being.
Interestingly enough, the term Cathode was taken from this term, to refer to the (presumed) bipolarity of batteries (i.e. cathode) and that of electromagnetic phenomena.
However the term originally was meant to refer to the (pseudo) polarity of the Absolute, but is translated as "descent/embodiment"].
Neptune on dream charges [allows memory to seep in and out of it], and Pluto on pressure charges [till there is nothing left but the irreducible].
Saturn is the Fate-al threshold, Uranus [water-bearing capacity, becoming your own womb] onwards determines Destiny...
I cannot help remembering a remark of De Casseres. It was over the wine in Mouquin's. Said he: "The profoundest instinct in man is to war against the truth; that is, against the Real. He shuns facts from his infancy. His life is a perpetual evasion. Miracle, chimera and to-morrow keep him alive. He lives on fiction and myth. It is the Lie that makes him free. Animals alone are given the privilege of lifting the veil of Isis; men dare not. The animal, awake, has no fictional escape from the Real because he has no imagination. Man, awake, is compelled to seek a perpetual escape into Hope, Belief, Fable, Art, God, Socialism, Immortality, Alcohol, Love. From Medusa-Truth he makes an appeal to Maya-Lie."
— Jack London, The Mutiny of the Elsinore
Excellent quote. That was so valuable to something else I was working on.
So now do look up Klossowski on Nietzsche where he weaves in the trope of the Medusa with the Eternal Recurrence; a fascinating book: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
He wants to destroy the "Real", the "Truth" that is set for him, that he is "forced to see" [Medusa].
The "Hammer" and "The Twilight of the Idols".
The mirror is an extension or reflection of one's sub/un-conscious, and so the purity of oneself, his "innocence of becoming"... and so when he looks at Medusa using the mirror and severes her head, he re-fashions and creates the world in his own image.
The playful sheen of the mirror prevents petrifaction. The playful sheen in Greek was called a kind of Metis (cunning intelligence) that etymologically relates to Medusa and Maya - all from the same root.
"Odysseus is the hero who is polumetis as well as polutropos and polumechanos. He is an expert in tricks of all kinds (pantoious dolous), polumechanos in the sense that he is never at a loss, never without expedients (poroi) to get himself out of any kind of trouble (aporia). When taught by Athena and Hephaestus, the deities of mêtis the artist also possesses a techne pantoie, an art of many facets, knowledge of general application. The polumetis is also known by the name of poikilometis or aiolometis. The term poikilos is used to refer to the sheen of a material or the glittering of a weapon, the dappled hide of a fawn, or the shining back of a snake mottled with darker patches. This many-coloured sheen or complex of appearances produces an effect of irridescence, shimmering, an interplay of reflections which the Greeks perceived as the ceaseless vibrations of light. In this sense, what is poikilos, many-coloured, is close to what is aiolos, which refers to fast movement. Thus it is that the changing surface of liver which is sometimes propitious and sometimes the reverse is called poikilos just as are good fortune which is so inconstant and changing and also the deity which endlessly guides the destinies of men from one side to the other, first in one direction and then in the other. Plato associates what is poikilos with what is never the same as itself, oudepote tauton and, similarly, elsewhere opposes it to that which is simple, haplous." [Detienne-Vernant, Cunning Intelligence]
The playful design of the ER [the innocence of becoming] - the "Maya-lie", metis - is how one could look at the petrifying gravity of Life - the Medusa.
"Critics take the emergence of this model of vision to be deter- minative of the shift from medieval to modern. The eye that looked from the apex of this pyramid through the transparent “window” of the canvas was consid- ered to be single, lone, and immobile, set entirely apart from what it perceived to be a linear and mathematical world (Panofsky 1991, 27– 36). The lone eye was also considered to be singular, vehicle of the “clear and distinct” knowledge of Cartesian rational philosophy.
The story of the eye’s hegemony in modernity, “the sovereign nobility of vision, ostensibly redoubled by the Enlightenment,” is one of the dominating narratives of contemporary critical theory, Leigh Eric Schmidt, I think rightly, maintains (Schmidt 2000, 7). The grand narrative is not one I subscribe to in this book. Indeed, in this and subsequent chapters, I take issue with the assumption that modernity is centered solely on (a single model of) vision and that it involves “the eye’s clear eclipse of the ear” (15). At the same time, ocularcentrism is a narrative with which I must consistently contend, and for the reason that it makes modernity the story of a profound hearing loss. This withdrawal has the effect—the Medusa effect— of cutting off the philosopher’s, and therefore the institution’s, own ear and tongue.
What I see in the Caravaggio painting, as prefiguring my task in this book, is not a woman temporarily dumbfounded, but incapable of speech, altogether mute; a woman who, like Philomela, has had her tongue cut off. It’s this silent Medusa, this icon of speechlessness, that Lynn Enterline takes from the Metamorphoses, the Medusa who, throughout Ovid’s poem, utters not a single word. Thanks to Freud’s 1940 essay, we think of the Medusa effect “predominantly in terms of a visual trauma,” Enterline writes. “But in Ovid’s text it is not Medusa’s ‘head,’ or even her gaze, that petrifies. Rather, it is primarily her silenced ‘face’ or ‘mouth’ (os, oris)” (Enterline 2000, 16). Charles Segal notes that the name Gorgon comes from “the Indo-European root garj, denoting a fearful shriek, roar, or shout” (Segal 1994a, 18; qtd. in Enterline 2000, 17). Drawing on a long tradition that associ- ates the Gorgon with disturbing oral fantasies, Ovid singles out Medusa’s os as, Enterline says, in the first place, a disabled or mute mouth, a “face deprived of the capacity to speak” (Enterline 16). This silent os is, in turn, the instrument of petrification. “[B]ecause they confront Medusa’s terrifying mouth (os), numerous male victims stand forever petrified by the force of this monstrum”.
Western culture still holds on to the voice as the very essence of identity, the “vibrant principle” of life itself (Rée 1999, 3),3 and for this reason, although some distance removed from Ovid, modernity’s subject remains haunted by the fear of an os mutum, the fantasy of a mouth that cannot speak and of a voice that has been lost. In the theorizing of the medieval-to-modern tran- sition as the passage from orality to a resolutely perspectival regime, the fear of the os mutum would seem to be realized.4 And indeed, while some critics concede that different modes of looking developed in the modern era, few question the dominance of the detached spectatorial model, this model as what enabled a new technological science and an individualist social physics, as what turned vision into modernity’s master sense, and as what marked the historic defeat of a vocal and auditory culture, one attuned by its ear to the voice. So contends Jonathan Rée, citing Oswald Spengler:
The “thought of the eye,” as Spengler called it, gave birth to a proud, solitary and resolute subjectivity, cynically surveying the abstract light-world that surrounds it. The optical mind was the master of mechanical invention, but too fascinated by “static, optical details” to have any sense of the tragedy and mystery of “life.” Vision had cut us off from the ancient wisdom of ordi- nary pre-theoretical mutuality, annihilating vocality and, with it, the “inward kinship of I and Thou.” Now that modern civilization was confronting its ultimate crisis—a crisis of its own making, a crisis of technology—it was stumbling uncomprehendingly towards catastrophe: twentieth-century humanity, Spengler thought, having lost its voice and its sense of hearing, was destined to “go downhill seeing”. (Rée 1999, 4)
Modernity’s promotion of sight as what Descartes (in the Optics) called “the noblest and most comprehensive of the senses” (Descartes 1985, 152) is thus claimed to be the beginning of the end of the voice. It is important to note that in this account, loss of the voice is also a loss of hearing, an attenuation of the sense that is said to have surpassed all others in significance in the earlier oral and manu- script culture for which communication of knowledge depended on speech. In an oral culture, Donald Lowe explains, adopting the thesis of Walter Ong, communication is aural and “speech has to be heard proximately and instantly, since there is no telephone, phonograph, radio, or audiotape and disc to relay a spoken message across space or time. Speech is assimilated directly by the ear, without the mediation of the eye. And we are moved more by sound than by sight, since the former surrounds us, whereas the latter distances” (Lowe 1982, 7). With the transition from medieval oral and chirographic culture to modern typography, visuality overthrows aural immediacy, as Lowe tells the familiar story; communication now takes place by reading, “the silent assimilation of the message by the eye”. Their anxiety is fed by Heidegger’s “doleful ruminations” about the consequences, for Western culture, of its shift to an age where the world becomes “picture” (Rée 1999, 5).
In a tradition for which, as Rée suggests, even minor speech impediments such as stammering or lisping constitute “an appalling spiritual [and mental] calamity” (Rée 1999, 89), mutism is deemed equivalent to the death of the mind or animus. Even more catastrophic is prelingual deafness for the reason that, as I make the case in this book, it constitutes a more originary lack: in this tradition, one is considered dumb, in every sense of the word, because one is deaf—that is, not only lacking speech, but also the sound-concept identity that philosophers of modernity consider essential to self-presence.
Given that the voice in this tradition is, as seventeenth-century thinker Francis Mercury van Helmont contended, “an expression of male sexual strength” (qtd. in Rée 1999, 3), muteness, death of the animus, is a castration of the principle of sexual prowess. There can be no father/son filiation where the virile voice has been cut off. Nor can there even be successful femininity where the ear, as deaf, is blocked to reception of the male’s inseminating speech.
The terrifying, disabled, os that I see in Caravaggio’s Medusa is a monstrum that I want to translate in these dual terms, as evoking both oral and aural trauma, both a mute mouth and, even prior to that, a deaf ear the coming out of darkness to light is, Derrida says, the founding metaphor of Western philosophy as metaphysics (WD 27). The metaphor is at once spatial and temporal: as in Hegel, it gives the story of beginnings and of the ascending East- to-West journey of spirit through historical time, which is also an account of the sun’s, spirit’s, interiorizing return-to-itself. Western metaphysics is so bound up with the narrative of its coming to light out of darkness that the entire history of our philosophy could be considered a “photology,” Derrida suggests, “a history of, or treatise on, light”.
This photology posits an immediate relationship be- tween the voice and the light-sight (theoria, eidos, clarity, visibility, revelation, intelligibility, telos, etc.) of the mind—and precisely in so doing, as critics have not sufficiently noted, it joins speech and sight to the ear, all fully interiorized and ideal. Within the mind of the phonocentric imaginary, phonetic sound, a word, is heard “first,” and as “heard,” is what enables a metaphysical idea, a concept, to be made present, visible, to the self. “Phonè, in effect, is the signifying substance given to consciousness as that which is most intimately tied to the thought of the signified concept” (P 22). In metaphysics, Derrida maintains, this “original and essential link to the phonè has never been broken” (OG 11).
Since, as Oliver Sacks points out, the prelingually deaf “have no auditory image, no idea of what speech actually sounds like, no idea of a sound-meaning correspondence” (Sacks 1989, 26), and thus no phonetic inwardness to start with, they must represent a terrifying otherness for the phonocentric imaginary.
What is fascinating and frightening about muteness, then, is the interior lack that it supposedly reveals: the prelingually deaf cannot speak because they have no inner ear; they are without access to the interiority through which “I hear myself [je m’entendre] at the same time that I speak” (SP 77)."
"As esotericist, Brown aims to unify “the bewildering variety of roles” of the god Hermes in literature, iconography, and cult practice from pre-history to the classical period. Hermes is paradoxically the god of theft, but also the “giver of good things,’” the god of seduction, oath-making, the boundary-stone, the agora, craftsmen, merchants, pioneers, and unskilled laborers. In the 7th century Hymn, a late addition to his mythology, he is an infant with supernatural powers who steals Apollo’s cattle and then craftily conceals the evidence. As an infant, he also invents the tortoise-shell lyre, which he gives to Apollo as compensation for his theft. The depiction of Hermes as infant and as inventor of a particular musical instrument links the god to an emerging merchant class in the ancient world “making inroads to spheres formerly presided over by Apollo.” The strife between Hermes and Apollo reflects the strife between this rising economic class, with its new “acquisitive individualism,” and the elite.
In his search for Hermes’ earliest identity, the hidden common denominator in all of his roles, Brown surveys synchronically and diachronically Hermes’ most frequent epithets, dolios and klopē, trickster and thief, in Homeric, Archaic, and Classical texts. Moving forward, he looks at changes over time in the meanings of these words, and moving backwards he traces the history of concepts back to their Indo-European roots “so that modes of thought and behavior can be uncovered that are obsolete in Homer.” Brown finds that the characteristic that unites all of Hermes’ roles is “stealthy action.” Brown goes further though in that he shows how Hermes is, in his earliest pre-historic manifestation, a magician. Because in all of his extant myths “Trickery is never represented as a rational device but as a manifestation of magical power,” Hermes becomes a Trickster and a thief in later in his mythology.
Brown combines in Hermes the Thief a Marxist commitment to material history and the esotericist’s aim to make it new. He presents in Hermes the Thief (and he will develop throughout his career) a phenomenology of magic as the ability to make it new. Since Hermes represents the craftsperson, Brown sees magic in Hermes the Thief in material terms. Magic is the craftsman’s feat of transforming raw material into products:
"The relationship between primitive craftsmanship and magic, although difficult to define is admittedly close. Primitive magic is a technology of sorts; its aim is the manipulation of the external world. The primitive craftsman supplements his technique with magical practices and success at his craft is taken to indicate possession of magical powers."
As in his later works, Brown is distinctively anti-dualistic in Hermes the Thief. He collapses the distinction between secular and sacred. He shows how forms of kleptein, to deceive or to remove secretly, are also applied to magical acts, also associated with “the stealthy” in ancient Greek texts. In the Hymn, for example, Hermes “the stealthy-minded” (klepsiphronos) makes the cord Apollo uses to lead away his recovered cattle magically take root in the ground through action at a distance. Dolios, another of Hermes’ frequent epithets, which in the classical period means tricky, also carries implications of magic in its earlier forms. Forms of dolios are used to describe Circe and Calypso’s use of magical binding formulae, and to describe Proteus’ ability to shapeshift, both skills practiced by Hermes. Brown finds the link between magic and the evolution of ancient Greek commerce in another important word in the cult of Hermes. Hermes as kerōdos, giver of good things. In the classical period kerdos as noun means “economic gain” or “profit,” and as adjective, kerōdos means “good at securing profit.” Hermes agoraios, Hermes of the marketplace, in the classical period is the god of profit and the cunning intelligence it takes to get the best possible price for one’s handiwork. As the Greek economic system shifts from trade between villages at the Herm or boundary stone, to trade in a marketplace, the meaning of words related to kerd oscillates between “gain” “trickery” and “skill.” In its earliest, Indo-European form, kerdos is associated with magic:
"Its Sanskrit root is krtya, meaning “a doing,” especially a magical practice, and to the Irish cerd, meaning a craft, or craftsman, with special reference to the craft of the smith and the poet. In this root the combination of “trickery,” and “technical skill” is joined by a third notion, that of “gain” which results from “trickery” or skill."
Brown unites the variety of Hermes’ roles, and he also collapses the distinction between the sacred and secular in his account of the shift from trade on the boundaries between villages to trade in the agora between 1500-500 BC. By the classical period the Greeks had secularized their commerce; nevertheless, trade, the point of contact and exchange between oneself and a stranger, especially primitive trade on the boundary in the earliest period of Greek history is “deeply impregnated with magical notions.” “The city agora is a sacred area and inevitably contains temples” Brown observes, “in primitive trade on the other hand, the exchange is itself a ritual act.” During the pre-Homeric period, the stranger is a potentially hostile force. The boundary where strangers meet is a place of heightened significance and risk requiring magical safeguards. In the classical period, when the economic system has completely shifted from trade at the boundary to sale in the city agora, Hermes gains the epithet agoraios, and comes to represent the trickiness it takes to make a profit as well as skill in craft. Throughout his evolution, Hermes is affiliated with those who cross boundaries, for Brown, the emerging third estate of the pre- Homeric period, the craftsmen, merchants, and pioneers who cross the village line to obtain raw materials and goods for their crafts.
In the 1940’s, Brown is a classical scholar working in a Marxist framework, so in Hermes the Thief he ties all transformations in the god’s mythology over time to changes in the material economy. Even if Brown’s outcome is materialist, his philology in Hermes the Thief is esoteric, I would say, because he shows us that the old is really new. He begins his analysis by challenging a tendency to see the archaic period as primitive, and the hymn a reflection of a primitive cattle-raiding society. Instead, we should view the sixth century artifact as a sophisticated response to a complex, dynamically changing society. When Hermes, on the day of his birth steals the cattle of Apollo, with the aid of magic, we should view Hermes as a socio-psychological type. He represents a contemporary tension between an insurgent merchant class, represented by Hermes, and an entrenched and resistant aristocracy, represented by Apollo. For Brown, “The hymn projects into the mythical concept of the divine thief an idealized image of the Greek lower classes, the craftsmen and the merchants.” “The whole emphasis in the mythology of Hermes is on mental skill and cunning, stealthiness, as opposed to physical prowess.” Though his outcome is materialist, he investigates in the spirit of the esotericist; he finds unity in Hermes’ various roles, he emphasizes change, and he undermines assumptions that have governed his field of study." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]
Hermesian Poetics: Creativity in a Post-modern World
‘Deconstruction is inventive or it is nothing at all; it does not settle for methodical procedures, it opens up passageways, it marches ahead and marks a trail … Its process involves an affirmation, this latter being linked to the coming - the venire’- in event, advent, invention. But it can only make it by deconstructing a conceptual and institutional structure of invention that would neutralize by putting the stamp of reason on some aspect of invention, of inventive power …’
Much of Derrida’s discussion of the Phaedrus centres on ambivalences associated with the Greek term pharmakon, which at a critical point in the text is used by ‘Theuth’ (a version, most likely of Thoth) to describe to Ammon (King or the Gods or God of Gods) the socially positive uses associated with the new technology of ‘writing’. Derrida points out that the term ‘pharmakon’ had multiple meanings all of which were subliminally present to the ancient Greek mind and were closely associated with the concept of magic/sorcery (both black and white). More specifically he says that the term ‘pharmakon’ could be translated as meaning, simultaneously, ‘remedy/medicine’, ‘drug’ and ‘poison (he does not mention ‘scapegoat‘). Modern translations, steeped, according to Derrida, in the ‘either/or’ consciousness in part instituted by the Thoth inspired ‘writing revolution’ tend to translate the term as ‘remedy’, a mistake according to Derrida since such a translation obliterates important ambiguities present in the original choice of terminology. What occurs is a simplification, for the benefit of later Western philosophy, of the impact of writing on culture at a seminal moment in Western history. Near the end of his analysis Derrida, in an extraordinary passage concerning Thoth-Hermes, states of the god (and thus of the instabilities Derrida sees as latent in the then new technology of ‘writing’):
‘Sly, slippery, and masked, an intriguer and a card, like Hermes, he is neither king nor jack, but rather a sort of joker, a floating signifier, a wild card, one who puts play into play …’
Towards the end of the same passage he writes about the deity’s association with science and learning:
‘Thoth is never present. Nowhere does he appear in person. No being-there can properly be his own … […] Every act of his is marked by this unstable ambivalence. This God of calculation, arithmetic, and rational science also presides over the occult sciences, astrology and alchemy. He is the god of magic formulas that calm the sea, of secret accounts, of hidden texts: an archetype of Hermes, god of cryptography no less than of every other -graphy …’
Finally, Derrida states, “The god of writing, who knows how to put an end to life, can also heal the sick … The god of writing is thus also a god of medicine. Of ‘medicine’: both a science and an occult drug.” Here-in is a clue to Derrida’s own ’deconstructive’ goals. In a sense the technique of ‘deconstruction’ (of tracing multiple meanings within texts, i.e. the promotion of polyphonic, rather than monophonic, writing/reading encounters) might be viewed as a kind of cultural ‘medicine‘, a remedy, a pharmakon, if you like … but there is no ‘pharmakon’, according to Derrida, without acknowledgment of the ‘poison’ - in the authority of ‘King of Kings’? In the technology of writing presented to that very same ‘King/Father’?
Deconstruction’ is an eminently Hermesian/alchemical activity.
Derrida states of deconstruction that ‘its process involves an affirmation - the venire - in event, advent, invention.’ From hints dropped elsewhere in his work it seems likely that Derrida is here alluding to the so-called ‘second phase’ of deconstruction in which a conceptual duality composed of both a dominant and a despised element is, under pressure of deconstructive questioning, forged (becomes the subject of an inventive act) into something new and liberated. The ‘relational’ dimension to this process is thoroughly democratic, the despised ‘other’ is despised no more. Such an outcome does not exclude the possibility that new oppositions or dualities might emerge in the ‘process’ or ‘event’ of questioning/deconstructing … the new state, however, would presumably also be open to deconstruction (purification?) … and so it goes, procedure after procedure the sum of which resembles the ‘circulations‘ associated with spiritual alchemy except that it is ‘signs’ in all their cultural complexity that are being placed in the alembic.
My own hunch is that anti-oppressive, philosophically ‘materialist’ goals fuel all the delightful posturing and question dodging, all the marvelously Hermesian linguistic performances one encounters in his writings. Such a position, it is true, might seem quite distant from the clearly spiritual or healing oriented goals of most Medieval spiritual alchemists. Nevertheless, when in ‘Letter to a Japanese Friend‘, Derrida writes:
What deconstruction is not? everything of course.
What is deconstruction? nothing of course!
we might be forgiven for reading into such gnomic comments certain Hermesian characteristics of expression encountered continuously in the alchemical texts of the 15th and 16th centuries whenever the authors alluded to the true nature of the ‘work’ (in particular the true nature of the ‘stone’). The coincidence doesn’t end there, the above comment is actually structured in a way that highlights certain ‘dualities’ of thinking - we are asked to ponder ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ for example, and relate such concepts to deconstructionism. Specifically we are told that deconstruction is not everything and that it is nothing … a comment worthy of a Zen monk, it is true, but also of an alchemist intent, as Jung well-understood, on reconciling opposites under the sign of Hermes/Mercury.
The famous new media analyst Marshall McLuhan argued as long ago as the 1960s that the new media of his day (radio and television) were dissolving what he labelled ‘the linear mind’ associated not only with book culture but also Post-Enlightenment, scientific and reason based notions of subjectivity. Each media form, he argued, affects us differently - which lead to the now famous statement ‘the media is the message.’" [Ian Irvine, Alchemy and the Imagination]
The first step, the nigredo, the black stage, occurs when the alchemist boils the solid substance to a bubbling mass. This primary material is akin to “the dragon that creates and destroys itself,” to the “primordial matriarchal world.” The nigredo is also the ouroboros or caduceus of Mercurius, the alchemical symbol of transformation. Mercury is the world soul, both male and female, present at every stage of the alchemical process. His presence in the primal soup as the circular dragon or intertwined snakes suggests that even in chaos or death is the seed of organization and life. Though the nigredo is physical destruction or psy- chological pain, it is also the water of life, the womb. The psychological nigredo is a marker of melancholy, “confusion and lostness.”35 Often associated with the planet Saturn, this psychic state is far from the sun, a dark night of the soul. This mood is the inte- rior equivalent of the goring of Adonis and Dante’s trek into the wood. Like these redemptive declines, the melancholia of the nigredo is remedy as much as disease, marker of spiritual genius as much as symbol of material disorientation.
In this night arises a moon, the second stage, the albedo, the white, the transition from gloom and dawn. This stage appears when the solution is blanched, no color at all and the ground of all colors, transparent spirit and opaque body. On the one hand, it is the “good white snow”; on the other, it is Luna, heavenly queen. During this stage the swells of the matrix are “congealed”: Mercury as slivering snake is “frozen,” his quicksilver spirit transformed into a stable body. Mercury iced represents the world soul in a purified state. No longer boiling mat- ter (his ouroboric guise), he is matter and spirit at the same time. This new shape is innocence, the virgin waiting for marriage. Like the gloomy psychology of the nigredo, the moony one of the albedo is double. The whitened psyche, deep in dreams, forms a bridge between unconscious and conscious. On the one hand, fantasies pose dangers, for sleeping visions can easily turn one “lunatic.” On the other hand, the blanched mind enjoys glimpses of wisdom unavailable to the conscious ego. These oppositions are synthesized by the primary faculty of the albedo, the imagination, borderland between understanding and intuition, matter and spirit. From the underworld, Adonis imagines Venus; in the wood, Dante envisions Beatrice.
The lunar stage is the precursor to the sun, the rubedo. Achieved by melting and recrystallizing the white, the rubedo figures the process by which the Red King marries the White Queen to produce the philosopher’s stone. During this stage, the spiritual force of the red pen- etrates the purified body of the white, sublimating her from virgin to wife. The rubedo reveals Mercurius thriving as pure spirit, a fiery jewel capable of combining all oppositions into dynamic harmony—the philosopher’s stone. In synthesizing life and death as well as chaos and order, this rubedo jewel is not simply life, the eternal infant; it is also death, the dying king. Psychologically, the rubedo signals that the archetypes of the collective unconscious have been realized by the conscious ego. The unconscious becomes conscious: the man understands his feminine energies; the woman apprehends her masculine side. This is “integration.” Isis remembers Osiris, brings him back from the death, and with him engen- ders Horus; Dante, though weary from hell and purgatory, takes the hand of Beatrice, who leads him to the light. The imagination opens into the intuition. The microcosm within realizes its connection to the macrocosm, and both together become aware of their eternal relationship to the transcosmic, the pleroma.
The harmonies of the alchemical marriage and the psychological integration are not eternal but moments in a perpetual dialectic: the philosopher’s stone (the formed homunculus) is already the prima mate- ria (putrid death); Jungian individuation (the inner anthropos redeemed) arises from and must return to the darkness of the unconscious (the anthropos lost). This is the key point about the alchemical process: the alchemical work is endless conflict and resolution. Nigredo, albedo, and rubedo are all temporary instances in the ongoing processes of life, concordant discords between chaos and order, death and birth. Figuring these polarities is Mercury, who generates, sustains, and alters each stage in the work. This hermaphroditic presence is the origin, the primary material; the means, the world soul; and the end, the philosopher’s stone. Constant and changing, this “double” Mercury “consists of all conceiv- able opposites.” Hermes is the spirit of alchemy because he is a deity of complete being, revealing what many forget in their inhabitation of a half-world: chaos and ocean are the secret grounds of cosmos and city.
Mercury is the trickster, happiest when he is at play. Playing, he is able to achieve the double consciousness of the comic mode: the world is serious and not serious at the same time, a meaningful pattern of eternity and a filmy veil blocking the beyond. While immersed in the turbulence of the nigredo, Mercury can go with the flow and rise above the current. Resolving into the crystal of the albedo, Mercury stiffens into transparent geometry without forgetting the opaque flickers. He remains attuned throughout to the rubedo, the third term harmonizing matter and spirit. Embodying this tertium quid, Mercury never dissolves into fecund material, nor does he stiffen into spiritual rectitude. He enriches one pole with the other without becoming attached to either. This balancing act is closely akin to the great comic gnosis I detailed in my thoughts about the gently melancholy marriage between sorrow and joy." [ Eric Wilson, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]
"In the last three months, a period including changes of sign by both Uranus and Neptune, we have seen uprisings across the Arab World, yet another Western military intervention, this time in oil-rich Libya, marches and anti-government demonstrations in Europe and North America and then, literally within 24 hours of Uranus moving across the World Point into 0º Aries, a massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe in Japan. With respect to the dreadful events in Japan, the sudden viciousness and literally earth-shaking violence of the earthquake caused its own damage, but the inundation by water which followed seemed to be all the more destructive and frightening. This seemed to mirror the sudden violence and explosive force of Uranus entering Aries, followed by the vast oceanic dissolution of Neptune entering Pisces.
Neptune itself corresponds to gradual and seamless changes in reality that work so subtly and slowly and with such hypnotic force that we are frequently not even aware of their effects until they have long passed. We underestimate the magnitude of these changes at our peril, just as a tsunami may pass almost unnoticed in the open ocean, but somewhere where it clashes with unyielding structures, it unleashes its chaotic fury. Examples of physical phenomena that evince this quality of softness or blurriness, where distinct boundaries are impossible to find, include the gaseous and liquid phase states of matter, together known as fluids (especially large pools of fluid like the ocean or the atmosphere), electromagnetic radiation of whatever wavelength, and sound waves. Such physical phenomena are associated with a sense of immanence, like they totally surround the subject, an all-enveloping experience of immersion or subsumption. Arising from such boundlessness and lack of clarity is the psycho-perceptual experience of intoxication, the rendering into submission, hypnosis, sleep, trance, like enchantment in a spell, or being overcome by fumes, or inundated by powerful waves or currents. The cause, the source, may not be apparent, may be invisible, mysterious, inscrutable. But the effects, however ephemeral, penetrate to the core of one’s perceptual and emotional experience. The experience of the Neptunian realm of reality is often confusing because it challenges us to define reality at scales where definition and singular truth themselves start to lose meaning. Socially and politically, Neptune tends to correspond to ideologies that have a compelling sense of idealism or a narrative of deliverance from the imperfections of the world into a utopia of perfect order. It also says something about our sense of what it is that contextualizes or surrounds our reality frameworks, of what it is that is ‘out there’ that contains our every notion and hence implicitly conditions our beliefs about the world; this could be a philosophical position, a religious belief, a political ideology, a metaphysical argument, a cosmology or a delusion. But rather like the proverbial fish blind to the water in which it swims, we are often entirely unaware of the presence of these frameworks, and may even be unable to stay sane without them.
For the past 13 years (since 1998), Neptune has been in Aquarius, the sign of diversity, individuality, innovation, networking and groups. This has corresponded to a variety of social and political phenomena around the globe which have acted as crystallizations of the archetypal meaning of Neptune as filtered by the Aquarian perspective on life. The internet has been primary among these phenomena. Allowing free, liberated, easy access to multiple viewpoints, vast amounts of creativity and opinion, and the formation of networks of the like-minded, this technology has totally transformed human communications, as well as the media, the arts, commerce, education, science and technology and popular culture generally. Aquarius is about distributed nodes of creativity, it reifies the independence of the common individual to stand apart from the herd, and Neptune idealizes this into a virtual reality of multiple and changing identities, each catering to a different group or association. Notice how television programs featuring group dynamics have appeared over the past decade – Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, etc. We have become intoxicated by each other – our idiosyncrasies, our little peccadilloes, how despite our differences we can all accept each other for our common humanity. This is truly an Aquarian bromide, an early twenty-first century salve for our perpetual seeking for greater meaning to our suffering. Neptune’s sign placements and aspects to other planets describe the ‘cult’ of the times, that quintessential perspective on life, that underlying set of assumptions which frame our outlook on life, and which act as a seemingly more constant base-note to the changing harmonies of time. So, for example in the 1970’s when Neptune was in Sagittarius, fashion, popular culture and film seemed to resonate with themes of exploration, exotic culture, religious eclecticism, space travel and spiritual development – witness the Steven Spielberg blockbuster movies like Star Wars, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the bell-bottoms and kipper ties, the jarring and vivid colours as well as robes and exotic jewellery, and the terrible deadly religious cult of Jim Jones. All of these being very Sagittarian themes – expanding horizons, spiritual development and moralizing myths writ large as swashbuckling universal truths.
Of course the negative side of Neptune’s stay in Aquarius has also been evident in the characteristic way that we have been entranced, lulled into a dreamy reverie of self-delusion such that our grasp of what is really happening around us is weakened. In the sphere of politics we have seen the rise of the focus-group, the abandonment of any sense of deep principle in policy development and a curious sameness descend on the main players in the field. While in one sense the internet has raised the power of the individual within society, it has also caused people to disenfranchise themselves from political activity, as individualized patterns of consumption and a sense of improved recognition of our social differences and enhanced capacity for complex social affiliation and networking has perhaps resulted in us forgetting about the need for real leadership, which is what politics is all about. Because the reality is that there are many many problems affecting our environment and our species that require massive shifts in planetary consciousness, massive changes in the direction of what we owe to the world as opposed to what we can get out of the world. Traditional, conventional politics has been subverted in the last 10-15 years by an ideology of non-ideology, a sort of vacant empty space, where politicians’ views and ideas are just what they have been told to say by their market research gurus. And we all sense this, we know this is happening, yet we do nothing about it. This is the dark side of Neptune in Aquarius – the sense of political apathy, of comfort in the illusions of globalization, of neoliberal economics and ‘the end of history’ and the disinclination to awaken from the trance of individualism and the cult of everyman. For Neptune in Aquarius, dreams of utopia lie in images of an electronically networked intelligent global society, liberation from the stultifying strictures of social convention – but also from the practical, on-the-ground realities of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering and injustice that surround us in the real world, not the virtual reality of cyberspace.
After 13 years of this dream, the wheel now turns yet further. Moving into oceanic and subtle Pisces, we will start to see levels of deception and lies so gross that they border on delusion; whole movements of people believing things about the world, about the future, about humanity, beliefs that cannot be shaken, whether these notions are rational, irrational or just completely bizarre. There will be a contagion of hysteria, of hysterical fears about things that elude firm description, typically invisible or insensible things, perhaps radiation, pollution, chemicals, hormones or drugs, silently undermining and eroding our sense of what is real. An attitude of bewilderment with events will slowly develop, a sense of chaos or of being mired in intractable confusion. Disillusionment with those who peddle comforting illusions will be as pronounced as the headlong rush into escapist denial of our planetary problems, or perhaps more particularly, our human problems.
But equally there will be an idealization of ecological humility, of giving back, giving up, sacrificing that which must be let go. Perhaps also pervasive feelings of guilt and depressive negativity, although also the possibility of a more refined and realistic sense of spiritual brotherhood, and a deeper connection with the common needs that we share, with our common burden of suffering. A fashion for the monastic, for isolation or hermitage and for devotion to all that suffers in life. But as the Piscean pair of fish swim in opposite directions, forever tugging at each other, there will be extremes of escapism and hedonistic abandonment that will make the 1960s seem like a picnic. It is interesting to observe the events surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster to see an early example of the sense that Neptune in Pisces conveys. The leak of radiation as well as radioactive particles has been continuing since the earthquake and tsunami struck and the explosions that occurred at the plant in the succeeding days. Initially it was all over the news, experts were wheeled out to calm everyone down, and opposing experts hyped up the fear. There was a widespread feeling that the true extent of the disaster was being covered up, or at least played down. Radiation levels and radioactive particle concentrations were reported both in Japan and all around the northern hemisphere, but it is hard to know what these numbers mean – it all appears to confusing, deceptive, frightening, and yet the disaster itself seems to have largely dropped off the news programs. Even stranger, acceptable limits for radiation exposure are suddenly yanked up in the US, and President Obama confirms that more nuclear power plants will need to be built. The true extent of the deaths, illnesses and deformities which resulted from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is now emerging (probably just under 1 million deaths alone, according to Russian, Belorusian and Ukrainian medical researchers, compared to a few thousand according to the World Health Organisation), as well as the conflicts of interest that abound from the level of the International Atomic Energy Agency down through national nuclear regulatory bodies and nuclear plant operators themselves. Just as the invisible radiation itself can be inflicting damage to your body without you knowing about it until many years later, so the corruption and institutionalized secrecy and deception of the nuclear industry has been slowly undermining its claims and its credibility. We have only begun the first chapter of the awful story that is Fukushima, but the true extent of its significance to the world has not yet been appreciated perhaps. We have certainly seen denial, dissembling and distortion of the truth, just as we saw them in the Gulf of Mexico last year when Chiron entered Pisces. With Neptune now ensconced in this sign too, a pervasive sense of toxicity is arising."
Following her lead, they walked in silence. Corridor merged into corridor. Aside from the thud of their feet on the cold concrete floor, the only other sound that filled the air was the dull drum of an air conditioning system working hard to regulate the temperature in a windowless environment. All colour seemed to have been bled from this labyrinth, as grey wall blended into grey wall, whitened only by a series of industrial LED lights. They walked for what seemed like hours.
Having turned the corner into yet again another bland 1950’s Soviet-esque passageway, he could no longer take it and exclaimed to his companion “How do you know where we are going? Are we travelling in circles?”
“It sure seems like it looks all the same to you, doesn’t it”.
Registering the surprise written across his face by her unexpected answer she pressed on, “It is hard to navigate around here without projecting”
“I’m sorry. I don’t follow. Projecting? What do you mean?”
“Have you ever daydreamed or imagined that you were somewhere else?”
“Of course, I do have an active imagination.”
“Well I don’t have to imagine. I project. I chose to see my environment in any form I wish, whenever I wish. Moreover, I create that environment within my mind’s eye and with my heart, feel and embody it, so that my senses cannot differentiate between this world and my inner world. For instance, right now you see us standing in a passageway. However I see us walking barefoot along a sunny coastline. I feel the sand between my toes. I feel the kiss of the onshore wind on my face. I smell the salt in the air. I hear the swish of the waves as they break on the shore. I hear the tweets of the birds as they sore in the air and I feel the heat of the sun on my skin. Instead of staring at blanks walls, I choose to surround myself with visions of creation.”
“The imaginal life is central to the human story, and should be central to the writing and teaching of history. The world of imagination nourishes humans and leads them to action.”
- Jacques Le Goff, The Medieval Imagination
Take a moment, if you may, to envision a world without our imagination. No books or cinema; no music or theatre; no photography; no electricity or technology; no wheel or fire; subsequently no cars, aeroplanes or heated food!
I recall listening, in 2009, as Ireland descended deeply in the Recession, to a radio presenter of a very successful morning business talk show reacting to a study whose findings were that 70% of highly successful Irish business men and women were right brainers. Her comment, echoing sentiments common within the rational sciences, was “That explains why we are in the mess we are now”, inferring that the process of imagining, creativity, subjective, feeling states are secondary to the powers of cool, detached, rational and logical thought.
Imagination is vital to our story of being human, central to our evolution and creative endeavours in every field, especially the sciences. Virtually no scientific invention was conceived by pure analytical thought and reductionism. The history of science is replete with stories of daydreams, moments of inspiration, serendipity and gut feelings and ‘blink’ moments, as science fiction becomes science fact, as fantasy inspires reality.
Regardless of the bias of our social and educatory systems, imagination is the agency through which our realities have been shaped. It is THE active creative process, through which our dreams, our feelings, our other worldly realities manifest. Everything that you see around you, from the physical terrain you reside in, to the technology that enables you to read or listen to this article, has spread from the realm of the undifferentiated source of All (ether) as non-verbal, silent thought form, through the realm of Fire, where it is animated and impassioned as inspiration (Fire). From here it is filtered into the realm of mind, as it conceived and becomes a mental concept (Air). From this realm, the idea descends into life as emotion shapes the incarnating idea (Water), before it manifests within this realm of matter (Earth).
One way of conceiving this process is “to consider the creative process of an architect who is designing a large building complex. First he or she decides what kind of building will fit the purposes for which they are being constructed. Then he or she draws up the corresponding plans and considers how each building will serve its function in relationship to the other structures. Finally, he or she gives orders to his or her workers and the actual construction begins. “
In astrological thinking, the level of ether is represented by the formless initial desire of the architect to build before there is any particular plan in mind. The realm of Fire would be represented by the process of designing a plan for the building on the most abstract level. Once there is a blueprint, everything still remains at an abstract level and thought (Air) must be given to figure out how the plan will work or how it can actually be implemented. Up to this point, everything has taken place in the architects mind, but now the architect must go to the site and embody the plan, by appealing to those around him or her to join him or her on the project (Water). Once the actual construction has started, we are in the realm of Earth and the finished product is itself reflects a composite of all the previous elemental states.
In short, all that we have in our life stems from a moment of inspiration. Everything that you can imagine becomes real. Imagination is not delusional, but it is a vital source of fuel that permeates our unified collective field, brought into being by those who take the time to listen to the messages relayed through meditation, serendipity, during the “first sleep” or alcohol or drug induced slumbers!!
There is no one astrological indicator for being a “right brainer” (figure 4), since each planetary archetype reflects a multivalent, multi-tiered series of emanations extending from the purely subtle to the dense and obvious. The Moon, for example, can be an expression of the interior feeling state and dream state; whereas Jupiter can reflect the growth of awareness that stems from an inner expansion. However, since the rediscovery of Neptune on the 23rd September 1846, this planetary archetype has commonly become the dominion of a dimension of life that shows itself through an ability to transcend through matter into other states of consciousness. This ethereal realm of formlessness reflects a facet of your soul yearning to reunite with something beyond your conscious self; seeking to return to Source; or to desiring obliteration of your conscious ego. Therefore any activities in life that reflect an urge to “go beyond”, “To go through” or “escape” are represented by Neptune regardless of whether those activities are constructive or non-constructive. Lucid dreaming, meditating as a means to seek enlightenment (as opposed to mindfulness), going to the cinema, watching a sun rise and getting drunk could be seen as aspects of the Neptunian archetype.
Due to the accompanying feelings of dissolution, as your soul longs to pursue a quest for wholeness, to find answers in problems that are almost insolvable, the Neptunian spectrum relates to both madness and mysticism. Was Jeanne d’Arc mad or inspired? What about the myriad Biblical prophets, science inventors or stockbrokers? The line between what is mad or inspired is often hard to draw.
The Neptunian archetype could be perceived as one aspect of the Divine within you that is attempting to eternally experience your infinite consciousness. Keeping in mind that all planetary archetypes are both metonymic and polysemic in their expression, the way in which they manifest is in accordance to your conscious awareness and not solely due to various astrological techniques (aspect, association or house placement etc.). There are lower and higher vibrational states within each spectrum. Lower, however, does not mean ‘worse’ and higher does not mean ‘better’. Those are egoic value judgements applied to energetic states of being. Archetypal expressions are what they are. Each end of the spectrum has its own set of lessons and experiences and it is not the job of astrologer to judge which way is the pattern going to find the ‘best’ expression. It just is.
So Neptune can be readily reflected in the mystic absorbed in blissful inner dialogue with gOd as well as the self-absorbed drug/ alcohol/ television/ sugar addict or psychotic who can no longer accurately discern consensus reality; the stockbroker assessing the collective mood of the market and the footballer sensing the space into which he/ she needs to make the next pass. The very same impulse that gives rise to a desire to live life altruistically and compassionately can also result in an unhealthy denial of self, a sense of helpless weakness or passivity, an impulse to retreat from life and the challenges of being in the world, or a spirituality that seeks to deny the physical body and world.
The aptitude to tap into a ‘higher’, more subtle source for inspiration and knowledge is made readily available to you by the blending of the sense of the infinite with the ability to cognitively discern and communicate. In other words the merging of Neptune with Mercury! Whilst this skill is not the exclusive domain of that archetypal pairing, it is certainly one salient feature of how they communicate with each other – intuitively and silently.
Let me ask you, do you ever remember someone talking out loudly to you within your dream state? How do your furry-friends (your cat or dog) communicate with you? You inwardly know what they want or mean. They speak directly to within our own thoughts and emotions. So too Neptune with Mercury! Within the Cosmic Weave there are souls born with this specific range of possibilities imbued within their Being-consciousness. There are also personal periods during your life wherein your ability to dream-walk will be more pronounced.
But there are also times wherein our collective ability to witness this inspiration/ delusion state is more keenly experienced. One of those states is currently extant within our geocentric perspective of our solar system, as Mercury approaches the embrace of Neptune within Mutable Water where he stays, unmoving in early February, before retrograding back into Fixed Air and then eventually returning to Neptune on 22nd/ 23rd March (figure 5).
There are essentially two processes occurring during the first loop of time for Mercury in 2014. Firstly the Mind of the Cosmos is connecting with a deep source of inspiration. As previously mentioned, anyone can access this state consciously through any right brained process. Secondly, the Mind of the Cosmos is being imbued with both heart and soul, emotion and feeling, before it returns to a state of being wherein that inspiration settles as a root ideal anchoring and fixing within your soul.
To ensure that a moment of inspiration becomes more than a fleeting impulse or a purely intellectual ideal, the process of integration and the emergence of wisdom must “be more than merely the formation of mental concepts. While the mind and the mental being needs to be involved in the process, the heart and soul needs to be primarily involved. The heart, with its capacity to feel and the soul being with its capacity to perceive within the metaphysical dimensions through interior senses are crucial in an experiential approach. When it is experiential, we restore our own Soul connectedness and are transformed in the process.”
Like the lady in the introductory story, you have the ability to create a rich inner world, projecting it onto your reality and living in accordance to your own creation. The emerging conditions within the current cosmic weave supports that emanation, as Mercury stations in Pisces (the emotional fluid state of consciousness) before returning to Aquarius (strengthening of our own ideas and opinions). This dance beautifully highlights the process of anchoring inspiration within our being with depth and feeling thereby enabling you to gain access to a sustained and constant source of inspiration."
If you were to take some time during this Water/ Air retrogradation to be alone, or to sit in stillness, your ability to tune into this higher frequency, or to attempt to access the Akashic records through meditation or lucid dreaming, would be enhanced. If you were to listen more consciously to either your inner voices or “first sleep” dreams, you now have access to knowledge and ideals that will serve to inspire you and subsequently touch all those who your Field envelopes. You can explore what area of your life that will be the ground through which this imaginal process will touch by clicking on the following link: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Alternatively you can listen to your body’s intelligence, trusting in your gut and mind’s eye, which is the thesis of Mercury’s alignment with Neptune. I will leave you with a series of quotes about the power of the imagination:
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” All by Albert Einstein
“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” – Saul Bellow
“I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.” – J. G. Ballard
"The etymological root of the verb “admonish” is mindful observation and measured reflection.
The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word *men- refers to a “state of mind” and also means “to think” (Latin mens, Greek menos—literally the life-force, energy or power given to thought). It is the etymological root of the English mind (Sanskrit mana/s) and also the root of the Latin monere “to warn, admonish”. Importantly, monere also means “to advise, counsel, guide, teach, instruct” (cf. the English noun mentor “one who advises” and the Sanskrit mantr “one who thinks / advises / counsels;” a related English verb monitor means “to observe, check”).
I have postulated (via comparative philology) that the PIE *men as “state of mind” can also mean “to observe, reflect, measure, reckon” with a resulting knowledge that may be used to “guide, counsel, advise, teach, tutor, etc” (Latin monere); compare the Afro-Asiatic (AA) *m-n “to count, reckon, think, know.” Thus, from an anthropological perspective, PIE *men and AA *m-n would lead to e.g. knowledge, technical skills and expertise in the fields of e.g. craftsmanship, building, language, writing, etc (note the Spanish mana “skill/ability”), which mani-fested in works by “hand” (Latin manus, from the PIE *man- “hand”; the manuscript is the manus-script “written by hand”). Likely related is the Latin manus “good”, from the PIE *ma- “good”.
So there appears to be a link between the observing, reflecting, thinking, reckoning, knowledgeable mind (PIE *men, AA *m-n) and the giving of (good/measured) “advice, counsel, guidance, teaching, instruction” (Latin monere), which also mani-fests in skilled works accomplished by “hand” (PIE *man). Note also that the Old English mund means “hand, protection, guardianship” and is cognate to the Latin manus and root PIE *man—the latter referring to the human being (male or female).
So, at what stage did the thoughtful and skilled guidance, counseling, advice, teaching, instruction—linked to the “thinking”, “state of mind” *men- and transferred to the skilled hand *man/manus, which became the Latin monere (to advise, warn)—later descend into the ill-advised and unskilled hitting/punishing as “admonishment” by “hand/fist” (*man/manus)? In other words: “to warn and admonish”—etymological root *men—is derived from the meaning “to advise, counsel, guide, teach”, and primarily by way of either the thoughtful spoken word or through the skilled work of the hand (writing, craftsmanship, etc), but NOT a punishment by hitting, punching, striking, etc.
All of this is ironic, considering that one of the draconian methods of school punishment was striking the hands with the measuring ruler (an ill-directed mens and the misuse of ratio) and corporeal punishment in general."
There are many forms of astrology; the bottom two are what I'd call Quack astrology. They are basically neo-platonic and plotinian development of The One and other kabbalistic superstitions.
There is also a practical astrology that helps you see where you are bing debilitated and how to raise that Aspect of self, much like medicinal imbalance of humors under old Hippocratic systems. Wearing a pearl is suddenly not going to make someone with heavy choleric temperament calm down, because the body is made of sheaths - broadly, the physical, the astral, the causal. The more sheaths that are 'conscious', awakened, enlivened, one becomes more mindful and then experience change at the rational level. We have subconscious facets that are nurtured by minerals, temperature, color, etc.
There is also a more serious occult astrology that enables the Seer to understand his nativity, his past and therefore his future, and his scope in the world and his interaction with it.
The universe began as a burst of energy, a release of heavy gases, minerals, chemicals and gradually concentrating to matter, to metals. As far as the spread of constellations is stable or moves stably in the sky, a 'regularity', we can afford to formulate a stable basis for the very way in which the genes themselves are coded. Medicine and astrology were for this reason originally a unit. We carry within us the very history and the map of which planet influences the genetic evolution of which organ, and that's why in medical astrology, just by a birthdate, one is able to pronounce the possibility of what kind of disease is likely to appear or which organ has a chance of being affected. The discovery of new moons and new dwarf planets may tell us more of our human body we are yet indistinct.
My gene carries the astral influence of not just the environment outside in terms of the constellation influencing that particular moment, but also the astral influence of both my parents and my grand parents and ancestors and so forth. Two people under two astrological signs come together to procreate in a fashion that bears that unique imprint of how they interacted, shaped, formed, moulded, approached, nurtured each other, etc. in interation with their outer environment. A gene is a whole history of not just the chemical DNA but the epigenetic manner in which they behaved under that stellar influence and whatever was selected or given scope. *Because* certain traits were developed under certain planetary influences, one either found some species totally unfit within a given environment and the adaptive advantage in others. Where the adaptive potential manifests and the brain to discern this, yet again depends on strong and weak influences of whatever planets. Its *because* strength is variegated and distributed in different forms, psychic types I, N, E, S, T, J, P, etc. could be formulated as an observable science to personality forms. What combination produces what kind of personality and what kind of intelligence and where does its scope play out most is empirical. These determine ideals and ideals in turn determine what kind of intelligence or personality combination is objectively superior to the rest. Ranks.
Since the revolution of the outer planets take a century to revisit, it takes generations to accumulate, and study patterns, by which time other environmental influences have changed and need to be factored into other combinations. This is a mammoth task, but we still have succeeded in extracting some distinct patterns on whole cultures that behave like organisms too. Planets are composed of gases with distinct chemical properties that we have identified and that enable us to see the correspondnce in our own humours and temperament.
When they say a man can change his stars, this has nothing to do with free will. For e.g.., excess sugar in the blood under the influence of a strong Venus could be over-riden by sacrificing to Mars - boxing, exercising, aggression, bringing sugar levels down, giving away goats - abstaining from meat-carb. and so forth. This is pure science. There is a natural organic adjustment and healing that can be brought about, studying the relation of how things interact, much like any family members to keep a home harmonious.
I'm neither a believer of Intelligent Design or a hippie humanitarian Panpsychist like the author of this excerpt, but I acknowledge this particular quote; the Ego of some people are more "spread out", and their self-consciousness is more comprehensive, more discerning, more reality incorporating:
"The breathing, sensing body draws its sustenance and its very substance from the soils, plants, and elements that surround it; it continually contributes itself, in turn, to the air, to the composting earth, to the nourishment of insects and oak trees and squirrels, ceaselessly spreading out of itself as well as breathing the world into itself, so that it is very difficult to discern, at any moment, precisely where this living body begins and where it ends." [1996: 46–7]
To be inspired is to breathe into oneself more and more of the world…
"J.S. Morrison (1981: 91) points out that ‘The mantis [diviner] is listed in the Odyssey among the common craftsmen (demioergi) who were always welcome at a prince’s table. The others are: the carpenter, the singer, the doctor and the herald’. That changed long ago, but the astrologer was still welcome, as such, at some princes’ tables until at least the eighteenth century." [Roy Willis and Patrick Curry, Astrology, Science and Culture]
Anyways, back to some quack forms and the basis of their development:
Aristotelian and Ptolemaic Astrology
"Especially as formulated in Ptolemy’s highly influential Tetrabiblos (second century CE), this ‘school’ is related to the previous one and retains both the Platonic quest for universal truth and certain knowledge, and its rational systematicity, e.g. a hierarchy proceeding from cosmic perfection through to chthonic mutability. In a move with far-reaching consequences, however, that system is recast as a causal and material system; the planets are no longer considered semi-autonomous spiritual entities, but merely transmitting the will of God, who now affects without being affected. But He is also now confined to the ultimate sphere.
This development places correspondingly more emphasis on astrology as a kind of natural philosophy: not only systematic but fully rational and natural. Here the planets are treated not as signs but as universal and unidirectional causes – the dominant metaphor for which is ‘influence’ (see North 1986) – and only our imper- fect knowledge of them and their effects prevents us being able to comprehend and predict all phenomena in this imperfect sublunary world. Each individual is imprinted with a specific set of attributes determined at, and therefore assessible by, the moment of birth – the ‘seed moment’, in Ptolemy’s metaphor – and what happens subsequently is a function of that given and the subsequent ‘ambient’ on Earth – itself ultimately astrologically determined. Here indeed we have the cosmos as ‘the Machine of Destiny’ (Cornelius 2003: 169–72), with astrologers, at least potentially, its technician-priests. (Actually, there was another version, harder and tighter because less mediated, in Stoic determinism, which Ptolemy also incorporated into his model in order to undercut Aristotle’s inconveniently sharp distinction between the super- and sub-lunary worlds.)
A careful examination of Ptolemy’s rhetoric shows a series of promises that certain knowledge derived from universals can indeed be applied to even minute particulars, alternating with qualifications admitting the problems in doing so in practice. (This is a rhetorical strategy that will be duplicated by advocates of modern systematicity.) For example, after presenting the case for the powerful influence of the planets, Ptolemy is careful to admit other non-astrologiccal determinations: the country of birth, its customs, rearing of children, etc. In the next breath, however, he suggests that these too are ultimately functions of the surrounding cosmic conditions or ‘ambient’, which is itself astrologically deter- mined.
A later version devised by St Thomas Aquinas (1225–74) in the mid-thirteenth century provided the basic framework for astrology for the next four centuries. A synthesis of Aristotelian/Ptolemaic astrology and Christian theology, Thomism introduced considerations of angelology at every level of the system, as well as qualifying the unmoved Mover as the Christian God; but having thus ‘guaranteed’ its spirituality, Aquinas cemented its Aristotelian rationalism firmly into place, remarking that ‘Reason in the man is rather like God in the world’. (Opuscula 11, De Regno). He drew a sharp distinction between natural and judicial astrology, and confined astrological influence – and therefore legitimate astrological knowledge – to the material world, both human and natural (the weather, crops, epidemics, etc.), arguing that ‘nothing stops any man from resisting his passions by his free will’ (quoted in Tester 1987: 181), and even citing the astrological maxim that ‘The wise man rules his stars’. The specific individual prognostications of judicial astrology therefore offended both human free will and God’s omnicompetence. However, he admitted that without the inclination and ability to resist, such influences were commonly transmitted via the body to the soul; hence astrologers do often make true predictions.
In practice, astrologers frequently transgressed the terms of this compromise to make the kind of specific judgements they were always asked for – and were pilloried for doing so, when caught at it, by the Church. Note, however, that Aquinas’ concern is predicated on the assumption that judicial astrology necessarily involves prediction of a predetermined fate and not, as has been suggested, insight into or advice concerning the present; in the latter case, the so-called problem of free will does not arise.
On the one hand, the Thomist arrangement gave astrology a new lease on life without which it might conceivably have diminished into just another popular mantic practice. On the other hand, that extension was bought at the price of strict limits (if only intermittently enforced) on what was permitted; and even that was constrained by a determinism and quasi-materialism which is a far cry from divi- nation. In the Neo-Platonic Renaissance, as already described, there was a qualified return to the latter. But not long afterward, and more influentially in the longer run, the Protestant Reformation (and to some extent Catholic Counter-Reformation) largely stigmatized astrology en tout as a survival of pagan astral idolatry; and any successes, while still not denied as such, were attributed, after St Augustine, to the intervention of demons.
This ‘school’ grew out of the Theosophical astrology of Alan Leo at the beginning of the twentieth century; it was most influentially developed by Dane Rhudhyar, Liz Greene and Stephen Arroyo, among others (and more recently Hillman 1997). It is psychological not in the sense of the academic social science but rather in the popular apprehension of that term which, significantly, is closer to the original meaning of psyche as soul: an individuality partaking of, and mediating between, spirit and matter. The rise of psychological astrology was part of the ascendency of the ‘possessive individualism’ of modern capitalism (MacPherson 1962). In its most basic populist version – the ubiquitous sun-sign columns of tabloid newspapers and magazines, which date from the 1930s – even the self is arguably a kind of possession, whose nature is marked by one of the twelve solar signs.
This was a new development. Although even simpler than the older astrology of nonliterate rural people, it no longer depends on phenomena observed in daily life (lunar phases, eclipses, etc.) but on a mass-produced literary artefact, however often crude, which is a daily feature of modern urban life. And however paradoxic- ally, the way mass consumption has been accompanied by an atomized individualism is also reflected in astrology; the Sun, formerly one planet among others, has become elevated to unprecedented importance as a symbol of the self. Even among the small number of people who take the further step of consulting an astrologer, the sun-sign remains a common starting-point, on the part of both client and astrologer, that receives far more attention than it would have received 150 years ago, compared (say) to that of the Ascendant or the Moon.
Despite its extreme youth compared with all but the scientific school, psych- ological astrology should be mentioned for two reasons. One is that it is now the dominant kind of astrology among contemporary practitioners. The second is that in many ways, it is a development and renewal of neo-Platonic/Hermetic astrology, with its emphasis on self-knowledge and self-transformation, but unevenly and inconsistently secularized. The tensions and contradictions of this school are thus very close to those, already mentioned, of the neo-Platonic astrologers. (We should add, however, that psychological astrologers have borrowed from Ptolemy the metaphor of an originary ‘seed moment’ of birth.)
That characteristic can partly be attributed to the figure who exercised the strongest, albeit largely indirect, influence on its formation: C.G. Jung. Caught between the conflicting demands of a thirst for mainstream recognition requiring sober scientific probity, on the one hand, and his wild subject matter requiring very diffferent virtues (essentially metic) on the other, Jung never succeeded in resolving his ambivalence, both personal and theoretical, as to whether his subject matter was spiritual or psychological, objective or subjective, some combination of all four, or neither/both; hence, for example, the unconscious as ‘psychoid’. Perhaps, as Liz Greene (1984: 278) argues, the term is indeed apposite, because archetypes have ‘a unity which encompasses, and transcends the opposition of, psychic and physical, inner and outer, personal and collective, individual and world’. In any case, Jung’s ambiguity bought a significant breathing-space for spirituality among modern Western people at a time when scientific secularism was the dominant ideology.
There is a parallel here, both strategic and substantive, with the way both Ptolemy’s and Aquinas’s earlier ambiguous accommodation purchased a new lease of life for astrology in a fundamentally Aristotelian cosmos. To some extent, both share the price, namely acceptance of the basic (and fundamentally anti-divinatory) premise that the perceptible cosmos runs entirely on ‘natural’, material and even mechanistic principles with no direct spiritual input or dimension (and in the case of the fully scientific cosmos, none whatsoever). The result is an astrology, like a world, divided into those bits which can be naturalistically appropriated and a ‘supernatural’ remainder – at best inexplicable, but from a scientific-theoretical point of view, impossible, and therefore fraudulent.
Archetypal/humanistic/transpersonal astrologers often try to claim scientific support in woolly ways that are easily disposed of by their critics, in which case they fall back on an inexplicable supernaturalism, often of ‘New Age’ provenance. But they tend to shrink from recognizing and reclaiming what at their best, they actually practise: ‘concrete magic’. Ultimately, they fail to contest the modernist carve-up, merely claiming the so-called subjective or spiritual half of the equation as their own; and even that is first domesticated into secularist safety. The birth- chart is thus seen as a map of the psyche, now understood to be not so much the soul as the Self; the planets are no longer divinities but psychological functions (cognition, volition, affection, etc.), and the symbolic elements aligned, somewhat awkwardly, with Jung’s four-fold psychological typology (intuition, feeling, thinking, sensation). But the so-called outer world is largely either ignored or reduced to a reflection of the so-called inner, and the latter’s unconscious contents are ‘projected’ onto the former (see Hyde 1992: 85–6). Thus astrologer Howard Sasportas (1985: 20): ‘the philosophical premise upon which psychological astrology is based is that a person’s reality springs outward from his or her inner landscape of thoughts, feelings, expectations and beliefs’. And compared to a world without binding regulations about which aspect of it is prior, or real, or permissable, this is certainly a kind of impoverishment; half of enchantment, so to speak, is the world!
In this arrangement, not only is the Cartesian split accepted but there is still a unidirectional determinism at work, albeit a subjective/spiritual one. The need for participation is still recognized (unlike in scientific astrology), but only in a constrained way that does not really amount to negotiation: one’s fate is only ‘transformed’ by recognizing and accepting the pre-existent unconscious forces revealed by the birthchart. The primacy of the latter is another feature shared with psychological astrology’s materialist and objectivist Ptolemaic twin. In other words, the only way to get what you want is to accept what fate offers, and con- vince yourself that that is what you really want too.6 And since fate is what most psychological astrologers claim to be able to find in the birthchart, then by implic- ation, fate is ultimately determined with, if not by, the stars.7
However fluffy, then, this is still a Machine of Destiny. Consequently, psych- ological astrologers are forever having to ‘save’ the client’s ‘free will’ (and their own fallibility) with recourse to the tired old Ptolemaic-Aquinian formula, dressed up in Aquarian garb, that the wise man (now ‘person’) rules his stars. The latter version stems almost entirely from Alan Leo, who replaced ‘inevitable destiny’ with ‘character reading’, and ‘influence’ with ‘tendency’. His motto was ‘Character is destiny’ (see Curry 1992). But this doesn’t solve the problem, because its starting- point is still skewed; Leo’s move was simply a refinement, with character as an intervening variable between the stars as fates and one’s personal destiny that they have fixed. If, however, the stars cannot state immutable facts, let alone predict future facts – because there are none – but only ever advise courses of action in relation to a constantly shifting future, the entire dilemma, even in its soft ‘human- istic’ version, is unnecessary.
Another way to understand modern psychological astrology is suggested by one of the touchstones of divination, namely pluralism. Applying this test, we once again find ambiguity. On the one hand, polytheistic pluralism survives to the extent that the Sun is not allowed to swell into undue dominance. On the other, that is exactly the impetus given to psychological astrology by Jung and his heirs in their emphasis on the archetype of the Self (easily translated as the Sun) and what follows: a tacit valuing of monotheism over polytheism and integration/unity over diffusion/multiplicity. And the former values are, of course, those that disenchant.
In a fascinating new development within psychological astrology, James Hillman (1997; also 1981) has recently suggested applying the pluralism he has been developing within archetypal psychology since the 1980s. This involves a significant break with the monistic emphases of Jung as just noted, and a move toward a genuine (and uncomfortably agonistic) pluralism of the kind embraced by Weber, James and Berlin among others. In such an astrology, each planetary deity would receive its due without any attempt – virtually a reflex, among astrologers no less than anyone else – to arrive at an overarching meta-principle which would magically accommodate all differences and reconcile all conflicts; and the inevitable conflicts would just have to be borne with! (That was just what Weber, after Machiavelli, saw as developing character, and criticized Christianity for discouraging.)" [Roy Willis and Patrick Curry, Astrology, Science and Culture]
There is nothing super-natural or other-worldly about astrology. It is your very self, your body, your history, your nature, your past.
We are our past as much as we are consciousness forces of our inheritance.
We carry our past as much as the potentials of the past ever-unfolding are unfolding as we grow, interact with the world.
A sociologist explains human behaviour via the Social interactions of natural and man-made systems with an evolutionary basis to organizational dynamics. The focus is on external realities and terrestrial earth forces expunged into the world and society. A psychologist explains human behaviour via internal realities, and forces sustained and at play in the internal world, in the organizational form of memory, emotions, sensations, traumas, temperaments, dreams, cognition, subconscious and unconscious imprints. An astrologer explains human behavior via anatomical pressures that govern the very morphology of his being, his make-up, with an evolutionary basis focussed on universal forces at play in the world. The focus is not just forces of nature present on earth, but our universe and solar-system as a whole. This is not super-natural, but nature of Visible planets verified by empirical observations and explorations into outer-space.
In this sense, Astrology is like top dog that has in common a bit with both sociology and psychology. It connects external realities with internal realities via evolution explained not just at the terrestrial level, but the celestial level. What psychology means by unconsciousness archetypes that grow and crystallize into social structures, the emotional regions of the 'underneath' - Water/Intuition, and sociology - physical forces on the Earth/Instinct, is shed light on by occult realities of the 'above' - Aether/Impulse.
It is a logical consequence that the birth of philosophy in greece began with astrological study of stars, not just in the sky, but as the deeper reality within oneself cognized by supra-conscious facultites - the inner-eye and so forth. Philosophy - Fire/Intelligence.
While a sociologist and a psychologist focus on human Attitude to the outer-world and self/inner-world respectively, an astrologer focuses on human Aptitude within the outer and inner world. Disposition, Discipline, Capacity resp.
A criminal, for example, is explained by a sociologist in terms of human systems and institutional influences, cultural history or lack, genetic potentials, etc. A psychologist explains him in terms of internal anxieties, nurture theories, libidinal balance, in short via pain/pleasure, i.e. security/insecurity, trust/distrust. An astrologer explains him via planetary pressures that have shaped his very make-up, given his capacity and what he is Prone to do where and when.
Neotenic features on the whole maybe explained sociologically by evolutionary advantages, but it cannot explain why two siblings living in the same environment, in the same home, exposed to the same climate and opportunities do not attain to the exact same facial shape? How the gene codes for one individual and how it does for another owe to neuro-chemical interactions under planetary pressures. Skull-shape and the predominance of humours and the Mode in which, which genetic factors are inherited and to what extent, and what is passed on from how far of our atavistic history owe to planetary pressures. Astrology codes our deepest anatomy and the very Modality of our nutrition. That is to say, sociology explains behaviour and organizations via cost-benefits: evolutionary advantage/disadvantage, and consequently psychology in terms of our adaptive fitness/unfitness, coherence/incoherence. Astrology determines the very Mode of what one is Prone to considering an advantage or a disadvantage beyond pain/pleasure. In this manner, it charts our fortune/misfortune, our growth/debility, our experiencing something as a success or failure - what survives and what doesn't, what is able to adapt in what environment and what doesnt, where a given Capacity finds its favouribility to Emerge into a Disposition that sociology or psychology can explain owes to our Mode of interacting with and within a given world.
An optimistic person can be explained sociologically to this or that climate and genetic factor and social advantage, etc., and psychologically by the presence of chemical factors like seratonin and its smooth functioning owing to that climate or genetic history,,, and astrologically, by good placements of beneficent planets that pre-dispose this person to a certain shape and physique, a capacity that demand the predomination of seratonin production. A good philosophical scientist will see how they are all so interlinked.
The question, 'how can planets and things far away affect us?' is a false form. The tides of the earth occur precisely because of such a distance from the Moon. The tides of a woman's menstrual blood or human emotions in general is similarly affected by the cycle or periodicity of the Moon. The very shape of the eye-organ owes to the function of perceiving light from such a distant star and the pressures of multiple wavelengths and frequencies that interplayed to make us sensitive to a certain range. Visible stars and planets affect visibly; invisible stars and planets affect the subtler sheaths our body revealing both the enduring and dynamic aspects of our self.
Those who think Astrology is a pseudo-science either because it champions free-will, or because it champions pre-determinism, are both flawed. Just as genetic limits and gender limits do not translate to static absolute be-ings, the stamp of astrology, while tempering an individual with definite properties, characteristics, is only so, as an unfolding possibility, since the combination of planets and earth-environments are in constant change. And so how clearly and powerfully one interprets a chart itself falls to an aptitude for astrology. Just as not everyone is capable of Philosophy, even though the world is open to all, there is a disposition, a discipline and a capacity that makes some naturally skilled at it, and others not so. Astrology is likewise an elite science. Even if it is open to everyone, not everyone is capable of it.
While I have already excerpted the abuse of hermeneutists, its a fact that how we interpret the world is a direct expression of the Quality of our will-to-power. Some people are able to See more, apprehend and comprehend more than others. The Self is not an adaptive or self-adjusting conserving mechanism primarily, but a self-creating, self-asserting, will-to-excess at bottom. How we interpret the world, a word, a symbol, a chart, a person reveals our quantity, quality, foundation and motive of our WTP. Our standards.
Is it escapism that makes us denyingly creative?
Or is it our affirmative strength that makes us shape our world, our reality?
Not to just passively pass by and survive in this world, but to shape it, raise it with our 'brilliant' passion;
"Life is not the adaptation of inner circumstances to outer ones, but will to power, which, working from within, incorporates and subdues more and more of that which is "outside". [WTP, 681]
A self that disciplinedly sees itself as a continuity of the world is engaging in a philosophical activity. Such philosophy is a self-indulgence and that self-indulgence is not the same as solipsistic self-regarding. Self-indulgent subjectivism does not preclude Objectivity. Objectivity is self-indulgent Subjectivism to its maximum severity, maximum Presence.
A person with poor WTP cannot interpret beyond his limits and imposes his own limitations as a chart reading. Another more skilled is able to see aspects and advantages and what the meaning of events in one's life can signify. It enlarges options, frees scope for movement and self-determination.
And when some sociologists in the world discredit astrology, this is what they do not like. That astrology gives the power for self-formation away from the sheltering of human social influences. A self-knowledge that does not Reactively depend on the trends of society, but deep introspection and understanding patterns connected to larger-than-human-systems realities, is what they fear.
Fake gurus who give sooth-sayings and emotional upliftments for a fee are just as corrupt as religious figures, and some real gurus happen to go wrong owing to erroneous charts generated by poor software inputs, and their reports come out bad. But as N. pointed out, such false religions are still not in themselves bad. They serve the necessary function of keeping passive those weaklings, whose aggressive assertions and 'freedom' would only drag the world back down into barbaric stupidity. Naturally N. was hated for affirming the usefulness of keeping some creatures at some times dumbed down. Evolutionarily, the freedom of the slavish become a costly affair at the expense of the higher types. He thus affirmed the necessity of Xt. in special times to tame barbaric animals - like their offshoot Jihadists we see today.
The question then naturally as to who is higher and who is lower, and who decides that ushered in post-modernity, where anything can claim to be a standard and anything claiming to be a standard can be slandered.
This open contest while moving to chaos, also churns out those who separate by their quality. Subjectivists show the quality of their objectivity - their spirit-form, and Objectivists show the quality of their inner subjectivity - their soul-content.
Astrological consultancies are like a second opinion you ask of a guru as a check to your own results, much like getting a second opinion from different doctors. Astrological remedies have in fact helped many from becoming fools and wasting resources in hospitals and fake-doctors or psychologists scamming for money. A simple exclusion or inclusion of a herb may have been all someone needed. Before spending 10 therapy sessions just to get to the root of the complex, an astrological chart can instantly show where the block is at, or where the complex knots are. The ancient Finns, are said to have offered food to rivers and streams for signs before their journey - such omens must have had an ecological wisdom undocumented,, like the fish coming up to eat it may have been indication of good lands or fertile soil for trade/propserity ahead.
Fake is everywhere. There are fake sellers even in Vastu/Feng Shui architects, but this hardly makes the science itself as something false. The direction of sun and winds impact what activity we do in what room and all that has a scientific and practical wisdom to it.
Astrological divination on the other hand is pure self-initiation, exploration, and while open to all, not all are capable of the highest self-understanding or have the passion for it. Astrology leaks information even more than finger-prints.
Two last points.
A successful outcome is not criterion or guarantee that a hypotheis is objective. It only spells out objectivity within the parameters considered. If the latter are pleasure/pain based no matter the vast quantity of sample, this spells out objectivity only within that enclosed system. Likewise, a successful prediction or remedy is not guarantee the astrological guru has been very objective. Without considering the costs/loss in other aspects of the self, the overall consideration, immediate success is no qualifier to verify the objectivity of the chart interpretation. All charts are worked on by astroNomical observations and data inputs pooled from across the world. Accuracy of self-understanding or a prediction or interpretation is dependent on these 'scientific' tables of planetary positions - time, latitudes, longitudes, spin, direction of motion. This is an observational process like in any other scientific field that becomes more accurate with time.
And two. In modernity, it seems mythology is being transposed upon newly discovered asteroids, designating them with arbitrary names and then astrology readings are retranslated back into interpretations with mythological symbolisms. This is absurd and pure self-referential reloop. Modern science funded by political agendas throwing out disinformation with no quality control, no standard to check, and money and liberal happiness is all that matters,,, astrology in the future has a good chance of totally being debunked as nonsense. Its already getting there through quack astrologers excerpted in prv. post. Ancient designations as to how did one know what was called monday was really a Moon's day?, for eg., dont seem arbitrary as most of their superstitions were founded on natural phenomena - perhaps beginning with menstruation. Robert Briffault wrote something on this, that I haven't read yet. The calendrical division of months too, ascribing each month to a certain planet must have been based on seasonal indications, marks of eclipses, etc. and mythology and shapes of constellations corresponding to each other. Its not just because a constellation is shaped like a scorpion, one had scorpion attributes, but the flourishing or potency of certain species or temperaments in a certain month must have been the underlying basis to the correspondence. Everything is a metaphor referencing visible realities. Or so we study the ancients and the accuracy of history.
An individuals potentials, his expression of them as personality, shaped in circumstances as character, is not determined by the stars. It is determined by the genes, and the cosmos, during gestation, and after birth, are part of the factors we call nurturing, is that which determines how this inherited potential will develop, and how it will express itself. Two individuals born in the same city on the same date, of different ancestry, will have a passing resemblance mostly based on the socioeconomic memetic conditioning, and secondly due to the earthly environmental conditions affecting fetus, like weather, and then this background cosmic radiation/energy.
An individual's potential and their Mode of expression is Precisely and definitely shaped by the stars, and not only directly, but the astrological factors in the genes of his parents, who carry the genes of their parents, etc.
While on the one hand, no two people can share the exact same time/place of birth, they are good enough to encompass personality types that Jung categorized or astrological archetypes, for which Linda Goodman is well known even by a layman. There is nothing superficial about it. These are strong distinct patterns across the globe forming templates, and not lcds.
So not natural selection but star selection. Not traits selected because of environmental conditions, but the stars shining from above.
Not experiences passed on with genes but stars affecting personalty, despite genetics? Two children born in the same neighbourhood on the same date will be exactly alike...or nearly so?
Astrologically speaking I and my cousin born only one month apart, less than a month, he born in January and I in February should have very little in common, since we have different stars shinning down on us, despite sharing 1/4 the same genes. Yet the reading could apply to him....and if he were not told and given the exact same reading the Priest gave me on ILP, he would say....yeah I'm kind of like that.
According to you, the differences between I and my cousin are not due to the mother side inherited, but that month difference.
_________________ γνῶθι σεαυτόν μηδέν άγαν
Last edited by Satyr on Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
So, reading one's chart is a reading of the entire earthly circumstances, which will have to be placed within the memetic circumstances, determining the genetic inherited factors. A general hypothesis, when you know the time and place, as determined by the stars, and the socioeconomic conditions as determining by the reading's time and place, and then...genetics.
What percentages would you give each? I give 80% to genes....15% to memes, and the rest to those vague un-measurable and unknown factors like stars and cosmic energies and whatnot.
If the general archetype could be categorized across the world, on the corollary, there is also a uniqueness of time/space. In the case of twins delivered, there is a genetic distinction with different inclinations, owing to planetary influences that determine what and how each are coded. One ends up male/female depending on how the possibility of the planets of the parents interact and unfold through the carrying months. Likewise placements of planets indicate pre-dispositions to infertility, and proneness to health-risks, etc.
The composition of genes are themselves products of astral forces.
We carry our entire past.
Exactly...meaning every cosmic configuration, every genetic code of experiences was inherited. Not the 9 month period of gestation and birth overpowering it all.
Earth rotating around sun, sun rotating around the centre of the galaxy, the galaxy moving away from other galaxies...all in motion. nothing static. Earth's climate, the geography of the place of birth, the socioeconomic cultural effects, all affecting the inherited sum total of all that, as past/nature. A African born in the same house as a Caucasian to different parents, no the same date and time, is not going to share a personalty with the white boy.
No, all data if it is not directed by will to deceive, if not faked, pretended, is helpful. Not what one says, but what one does....how (s)he behaves when he feels safe, or when he is in the throws of erotic thymotic passion, or unaware someone is observing, or does not care.
Lead, a primary common metal, had to be broken up, changed, driven up the scale, towards silver or gold; it had to change its colour. So fire was invoked; and under its action the lead was reduced to a fluid state. The fluidity thus brought about was what constituted the primary level, in which new potentialities were actively present... Also the liquefaction of lead involved its blackening. So the blackness of the liquid condition above all expressed the attainment of a primary level, a state of chaos. . .
Somehow the Primary Black had to be transformed into White or Yellow, which expressed the nobler metals. This could be done, it was believed, if one could find a metal which had certain affinities with both the lower and higher substances, which sympathized with both of them and which exerted its attractive power in both directions (downwards and upwards).
By using the right kind of metal, in the right kind of proportions, one could swing the balance towards the upper levels and thus transform the material into the higher. . . The two materials, that of primary matter or liquid blackness and that of the alloying and transforming addition, must have something in common, some element of harmony...
But if that were all, a state of equilibrium was created and nothing happened; the first level was not transcended. So one nature must conquer the other. The conquering act was the moment of transformation, when the equilibrium was broken and a new relationship established. The new fused substance existed at a higher level and involved the creation of a new quality, which revealed itself in the colour-change. But that was not enough. The new state must be stabilized, so that it might provide the basis for yet another upward movement. (Lindsay, 1970, pp. 116–117; cited in Schwartz-Salant, 1995, pp. 8–9)
Jung, Carl wrote:
The division into two was necessary in order to bring the ‘one’ world out of the state of potential into reality. Reality consists of a multiplicity of things. But one is not a number, the first number is two, and with it multiplicity and reality begin. (Jung, 1955–1956, par. 659)…
The nigredoor blackness is the initial state, either present from the beginning as a quality of the prima materia, the chaos or massa confusa, or else produced by the separation (solutio, separatio, divisio, putrefactio) of the elements. If the separated condition is assumed at the start, as sometimes happens, then a union of opposites is performed under the likeness of a union of male and female (called the coniugium, matrimonium, coniunctio, coitus), followed by the death of the product of the union (mortificatio, calcinatio, putrfactio) and a corresponding nigredo. From this the washing (ablutio, baptisma) either leads direct to the whitening (albedo), or else the soul (anima) released at the ‘death’ is reunited with the dead body and brings about its resurrection, or again the ‘many colours’ (omnes colores), or ‘peacock’s tail’ (cauda pavonis), lead to the one white colour that contains all colours. At this point the first main goal of the process is reached, namely the albedo, tinctura, alba, lapis albus etc., highly prized by many alchemists as if it were the ultimate goal. It is the silver or moon condition. The albedois, so to speak, the daybreak, but not until the rubedois it sunrise . . . the rubedo then follows direct from the albedoas the result of raising the heat of the fire to its highest intensity. The red and the white are King and Queen, who may celebrate their ‘chymical wedding’ at this stage. (Jung, 1937a, par. 334)