Samhain and the Stars of Secret Knowledge

Image by Annelie Solis

October is a time when the veils between the worlds are thinnest, gifting us an opportunity to merge the world of matter and spirit, life and death. At the threshold of Samhain, we may transition more easily beyond the usual restrictions of duality.

For the ancient Celts, Samhain marked the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year, holding for a moment the past and present in one eternal continuum.

It is traditionally a time to honour our ancestors, the ones who walked before us, and all our relations in the cycle of life. As embodied expressions of our lineage, we walk with, and sow the seeds of their consciousness.

This year, the October new moon happens on 28th, 3 days before Samhain. This adds double availability in accessing liminal states as dark of the moon is also a time when the veils are thin… a time when the workings of the goddess are being woven within the mystery of Her darkness. At the balsamic moon, in the void of creation, the old is being released, returned to the womb of creation while the new, not yet known, is being dreamed, or birthed, into being.

At this time we also have an opportunity to release that which has served its purpose and dream ourselves into being.

At the end of October, we stand before the threshold of the old and the new not just as a spiritual ideal but also as a natural phenomenon. All around nature is retreating into herself, into her centre, deep within the earth, releasing the harvest of the old year, composting the energy in order to fertilize the seeds of the new… seeds that are not yet realised on the physical level for they are transiting from the world of spirit to the world of matter.

And this is the secret of Samhain.

What is it that we need to compost from our past to fertilise our future? As a sacred substance compost cannot just be disregarded, forgotten or disposed of in a vacuum, for it contains the essence and power of all that has gone before. This is our lessons learned, our wisdom gained, and our evolving consciousness.

We cannot forget our ancestors; they have learned much and have much to teach us. They have a seed intention and in spite of the wounds that may have afflicted them, the essence of that intention wants to be realised.

The process of transformation is not only witnessed in the world of matter it is also reflected in the dance of the cosmos in the stars… ‘As above so below’.

On October 27th, just before Samhain the fixed star Symra joins the Sun at 4 degrees of Scorpio, one day before the sun/moon conjunction of the new moon on the 28th. Three days later, and one day before Samhain, fixed star Khambalia joins the Sun.

Both stars are within the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin, whose esoteric knowledge has to do with the mysterious secrets of life-death, and renewal, and spirit in matter.

The configuration of Symra and Khambalia conjunct the sun and moon just before the threshold of Samhain reflects the occult workings that take place behind the scenes- ‘beneath the skirts of the virgin’, or the mysterious processes of nature that the alchemists have long attempted to know and master.

Symra, which means the ‘train of the skirt of the goddess’ relates to the 3rd tarot, the Empress who is the gateway to source, and keeper of a secret knowledge, available to us if we know how to access it.

Other archetypes that hold the key to this wisdom are the Virgin Mary, Inanna, Ishtar, Demeter, Persephone, Kali/Shakti and Gaia.

While Symra is located at the left shine of the Virgo constellation, Khambalia is located on the left foot and is an old Coptic word meaning ‘crooked claw’.

Khambalia has connections with the swastika, which far from the corrupted meaning imposed upon it by the Third Reich, is in truth an ancient symbol of life, power and the sun. It is a visual depiction of the harmony and equilibrium of the changing seasons and the innate wisdom of nature.

The word ‘Shambala’ has a similar root to Khambalia, as has the pentagram and the Arabic word for five, ‘Khamsa’. For the ancient Arabs these were the most auspicious of stars.

The pentagram has associations with Venus and again points to the mysteries of merging spirit and matter. It is no coincidence that ‘crossing into the dark’ time of year is presided over by the goddess, the crone and her feminine mysteries of renewal.

This myth is an analogy of the cycle of Venus in the sky from Morning Star to Evening Star.

The solar gods having expressed their energy and brought forth the harvest, like Dumuzi, now descent into the underworld for 6 months of the year where he will be transformed ready to take up his sovereignty again with the return of the light.

While the Empress wears a starry crown her throne is placed firmly in the material world- in a field of corn. Traditionally associated with matter, the Empress has dominion over all growing things. Manifesting spirit in the material world is the deep mystery known to the Empress, Virgo, the Virgin Mary, and many of the feminine archetypes who operate in the occult knowledge of renewal.

The birth of Christ, birthing Christ consciousness is the processes that happen in the mystery of the goddess. It is She who births solar consciousness by an occult process that is beyond the bounds of rationality. It is magic.

Women have the capacity to experience something of this wisdom every lunar cycle in the process of menstruation.

As women we can connect to this wisdom through our womb, the alembic from which we create our lives, and affect the lives of those around us, and in the world. The womb is the living chalice that when cleared and opened has the potential to connect us with the  divine and empower us to be creators and leaders of our world.

If we are cut off from our womb – the seat of our power- the portal, or doorway, to source is blocked and our ability to create and manifest is lost or weakened.

Samhain, the teachings of the dark moon, the secret wisdom of the goddess, the bio-mystical experience of menstruation and birthing, and the womb as cosmic portal between spirit and matter are the teaching that are open us- as men and women- as we enter into the dark of the year.

The teachings are below our feet in the earth and above our heads in the stars, and we, conduits of spirit and matter are creators far beyond what many of us have been led to believe.

We are part of the same cycle of renewal and in this process we have potential to grow and evolve, carrying the most sacred seed of our ancestors forward so that it flowers and blooms in us.

Samhain teaches us that while everything changes, everything is circulated in the great cosmic womb, returned to the earth as primordial matter and recycled as energy to rebirth the new. By honouring and accepting the past, and by understanding that it is all part of one eternal continuum, we too free ourselves to be renewed in the cycle of life.

October Full Moon: The Mother’s Body

 

Sacred-Relationship Inner Ecology

As the moon reaches her fullness at 20° Aries, somewhere in the region of 30 000 people are actively protesting what many feel is our extinction crisis.

Extinction rebellion, or XR as it is known is a socio-political movement actively engaged in civil disobedience, and non- violent disruption to confront the potential, if not likely, social and ecological collapse.

An article in last Thursday’s Guardian revealed the 20 firms behind a third of all global carbon emissions. Not surprisingly they were oil, petroleum, gas, energy and other mining companies. Some were listed as ‘state owned’, while most are shareholder owned with CEOs reaping yearly salaries in the region of $20 million plus.

Mining deep into the earth’s body the mantra of corporate growth is “more” and, not content with trawling the depths of her flesh we have created ever more sophisticated technologies to suck the marrow from her bones.

And what is it for? A breakdown of world spending reveals total military expenditure by all 29 NATO members was $963 billion in 2018, accounting for 53 percent of world spending, while the global market for pharmaceuticals reached $1.2 trillion in 2018. These figures were taken from a quick google search and may not be entirely accurate, however it is clear that many of the earth resources are fueling these giants.

In the full moon chart, the sun- what is conscious- is at 20° Libra. The sabian symbol for this degree is:

“A revivifying contact with the Mother-force of nature and of social togetherness”

It continues:

“It is very good and healthful to become revitalized by collective experiences and deep feelings of undifferentiated unity as they merge in the vast refreshment of the planetary “Mother” where “she” is most dynamic, unlimited and unconfined by boundaries.”

This is the deep longing of the soul, to merge with the Mother, and yet, in the age of shareholder led corporatocracy, military-pharma-culture, and the unlimited harvesting of the earth’s resources where do we witness the “Mother” in her unlimited and unconfined boundaries?

It seems that every part of her body is cut up, fenced off, mined, or built upon.

As the hermetic principle states: “As within, so without; as without, so within”. We might ask ourselves where can we witness the Mother in ourselves? Where can we merge with the vast refreshment of our inner planet? And are not the two inextricably linked so as to be one in the same?

With asteroid Bacchus exactly conjunct the Sun, we may find illuminated pathways to the wild places within ourselves.

A T-square with Pluto at 20° Capricorn, moon at 20° Aries, and sun at 20° Libra- points to the great transformation underway reflected in the Saturn/Pluto conjunction culminating in January 2020.

Pluto, the great revealer has left his calling card, Saturn lord of karma, time and structure is ready to do his books- the collective checks and balances, and an appraisal of how on or off track we are for the next step of our evolution.

It might be said that the Pluto Saturn conjunction is a collective Saturn return.

Pluto associated with the resources and riches of the earth, squaring the sun and moon reveals a truth about both our conscious reality- the story we tell ourselves- and the unseen workings of the situation.

Asteroid Gaea in a trine with expansive Jupiter and the full moon illuminates the bigger picture coming into focus, binging us a step closer to genuine insight beyond the polarisation and splintering of surface level distraction, inward to the divine cells of our body and the wise guidance of the heart.

Dionysus and the Undivided Self

 

The Maenad by John Collier

How do we contact the parts of ourselves that have become split off, exiled, or buried beneath layers of social control- either our own or imposed by others?

What lurks beneath the masks that we wear and how do we find ways to connect with and release those hidden parts of ourselves? Would we even want to?

Dionysus as ‘The Undivided’ god (or archetype) can lead us to the wilder, untamed parts of ourselves so that they may be reclaimed. His method of doing this is not necessarily talking things over in a rational way, he is more likely to lead us through the portals of ecstasy, dance, spiritual intoxication, passion, sensuality, sexuality, and the pulsating blood and flesh of our own body.

Dionysus is all about bringing spirit into the material world. He is after all one who can descend into the pit of Hades, come back to tell the tale, and then take his place in the abode of the gods. He is the quintessential walker of the worlds, or Shaman.

The ecstatic methods of Dionysus differ from what we have come to recognise as mainstream western analysis, or ‘talking therapies’ practiced in many a treatment room. Traditional psychotherapy tends to engage the ego- mind in a bid to reason with our scattered fragments and have them return home. This is the main aim of therapy and in psychological parlance is known as integration. Therapy like this works when feelings attached to suppressed material are finally acknowledged and felt. There may be tears, screams, anger… a whole host of strong expressions in the releasing of bottled-up emotions.

But what if we can’t coax our exiled parts back home? What if the structures of the ego are simply too hard? Or too clever?  What if despite our best efforts to heal we are in fact a tough nut to crack, or we have too much conditioning for words alone to dismantle?

 And what if we just sense that to reclaim all of ourselves in the most authentic and liberated way… to allow our bigness… we need more than western-style analysis… more than to be fixed so that we can operate in society even while we have an uneasy feeling that we have not brought all of ourselves to the party?

Outside the parameters of mainstream psychotherapy shamanism – which is itself a largely Dionysian practice – describes the process of becoming whole in terms of ‘soul retrieval’. Dionysus and shamanic practice are less about analysis and more about a direct route into the trapped or lost parts of ourselves. Amnesia, illness, mental disease, psychological complexes, physical illness, neurosis are all ways of describing what for the shaman is loss of soul. Dionysus can deal with collective soul loss.

In his book, ‘The Myth of Analysis: Three Essays in Archetypal Psychology, James Hillman exposes the limitations of analytical psychology when he says: “The analytical viewpoint tends towards divisions: consciousness from unconsciousness, cure form neurosis, individuation from collectively, even eros from psyche. The main aim may be a synthesis, but the means and methods are division. Dionysian consciousness proceeds otherwise. One of the names for Dionysus was The Undivided.”

Over and beyond analysis there are other ways to unblock psychic energy, reclaim libido and connect with the ‘Prima Materia’. There are other ways to release the ‘demons’ so that they might, in the end, become as William Blake suspects, ‘our greatest gods’. For Blake, who it could be argued was himself a Dionysian character, sexual energy is not an inherent evil, but the repression of that energy is. He says, “The preachers of morality fail to understand that God is in all things, including the sexual nature of men and women.”

But Dionysus is not only about the expression of sexual energy he is ultimately concerned with liberation of the soul… liberation from the tyranny of the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ that weigh down the human heart. And freedom from the safe-playing- small-self that would rather reject unpalatable feelings and emotions than face them. This is the same small self who, terrified to reveal his or her true nature, judges in others what it cannot tolerate in itself.

The ego fears rejection and separation from our culture and kin but with Dionysus who leads us to the group, and to the like- minded, we are not alone.

And here is the power of Dionysus- he is ultimately involved with group processes and the collective. Collective enthusiasm – some may say madness or hysteria – initiates a phenomenon much larger than the sum of its parts- you only have to watch a big football match, or the aftermath of a sports or political victory to witness this. I am thinking of the collective energy released in Paris last year after France won the world cup. I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of the celebrating, verging on frenzied crowds that I needed three days to recover (see blog post Paris, Mars, Football and Intrigue).

In ancient Greece, many indigenous cultures, and in cultures where initiation and ritual were a part of life, people bonded together in a purpose larger than themselves through the sharing of divine experience. Transformation induced in the initiates was witnessed, acknowledged and sanctioned by the wider community for the benefit of all. There was a ritualistic container to hold and transmute the strong spiritual energies that were being evoked and passed through the people, and in this way, change was affected.

When Dionysian energy is not contained within a ritualistic context there is propensity toward chaos. Examples of Dionysian energy in our modern world can be seen in the casualties of the rock world… sex, drugs and rock & roll; the acid and other casualties of the tune-in -drop-out of the 60’s; in the burgeoning pornography industry; the sex and sex trafficking industry; and in the young women who are swallowed up by unrealistic ideals of glamour and feminine allure. It can be witnessed in protests and political movements that degenerate into violence with the unspecific venting of primal rage.

Sometimes movements that start out with good intentions can quickly descend into mob mentality and stupidity… or are co-opted to do so.

The rave scene of the late 80’s and early 90’s was Dionysian in its expression, though again there was no ritual context in which to meet and hold the gods , and like many openings in human consciousness it was quickly exploited by the cold hand of capitalist economics, misuse of power, and personal interest.

Dionysian energy as wild as it is also needs containment- it is a bringing of the so called sacred and profane together – which is just a Christian way of saying heaven and earth, or body and spirit.

Today in the UK sees the beginning of this year’s Extinction Rebellion protests, to ‘shut down the heart of the government’ for the next 14 days unless demands are met. Here is an upsurge of collective energy that challenges the social order, not with remote ideas and manifestos but with active participation, group solidarity, music, celebration, and at times human bodies… I am thinking of the people who last year glued their hands to the trains in London’s financial district, Canary Wharf.

Dionysian collective uprising is often feared and maligned as mob rule – a remnant from some of the darker aspects of Europe’s past – it can instill fear into the rational order of Apollonic consciousness and therefore be subjected to further control and suppression. But the Dionysian outburst whether it be moral, or ecstatic is essentially ritualistic in its enthusiasm, it is ultimately for the higher purpose of breaking down stagnation and outmoded attitudes either in the individual or in the collective psyche.

This ‘ritualistic enthusiasm’ is a healthy expression of the human being and is not to be pathologized by an overly rigid, overly rational society imposed by those with a vested interest in maintaining a passive and docile populace.

While Dionysus may be an archetype of bottom up power, he is also a champion of the feminine… it is no coincidence that his followers were women who existed outside societal bounds of patriarchal control- women in Greece at that time were largely oppressed and controlled. The followers of Dionysus, the ‘maenads’ enjoyed rites that included wild dancing, music and ecstasy in the remote mountains, and unashamed divine intoxication … barefoot with untied hair, and wearing animal skins the women were free to unleash pent up emotions, trapped libido, psychic and sexual energy, and connect their bodies with the spirit without imposition.

It could be said that Dionysus is a bit like Lilith, the exiled shadow feminine who, repulsed with the oppressive laws of society, willingly banishes herself to the wild places to cavort with demons. But while Lilith is very much alone in her exile, the strength of Dionysus comes from the collective.  It is one thing to assert and release our untamed selves in the privacy of our own fantasies and it is quite another to reveal those selves to others.

How do we meet the wild gods? How do we invite Dionysus into our lives and our collective experience in a sacred way untainted by the corruption of our post capitalist world, a world that has long separated body from spirit, and that deems mad, bad or dangerous, anything beyond the rational mind?

 

September New Moon- Bacchus Conjunct the Sun: The Wild Gods.

70b1b2955b8acfa66a2ff4cbe5fe87a9

Two- Satyrs- Pieter Pauwel Rubens- 1618- 1619- Munich

September’s new moon on Saturday 28th at 7.26 GMT places the Sun & Moon at 5 degrees of Libra. The Sabian Symbol for this degree according to Dane Rudhyar is:
.
A MAN WATCHES HIS IDEALS TAKING A CONCRETE FORM BEFORE HIS INNER VISION.
KEYNOTE: The need to visualize clearly one’s dreams or ideals in order to make them truly effectual.
.
Given that the luminaries along with a stellium of other planets fall in the 6th house where spirit finds it full incarnation in the material world- this new moon opens a gateway to explore how we bring our dreams into vision. Not the dreams that we have constructed to fit a socially acceptable, safe and rational society, but dreams fueled by the passions and fires of our creative truth and primal energy.
.
This is about raw spirit incarnating on the material plain.
.
Also in 6th house Libra are Venus (17 degrees), Mercury 23 degrees), and Bacchus conjunct the Sun at 6 degrees. Dionysus is at 16 Libra.
.
In working with the energies of the ‘Wild Gods’, we (moon lodge participants) have been exploring how as modern women we may meet this energy in the outer projection of another who appears to possess Dionysian or Pan-like qualities as a force who sweeps us off our feet, turns our world inside-out, and takes us to the brink of madness. Dionysus is also known as the ‘Great Liberator’- the one who dismantles and dismembers the inner psyche, or the cultural order when it becomes too stultified, too rigid, patriarchal, controlling, or tight.
.
Dionysus is a god of the goddess and may well be a cultural icon for the reinstation of the sacred feminine.
.
In the myth of Dionysus, the stifling energy of patriarchal control is embodied by the King of Thebes, Pentheus who does not believe that Dionysus is a God. Unfortunately for him he meets a Dionysian- like shamanic death when he is torn limb from limb by the women of Thebes who under the frenzied spell of the God of ecstasy have retreated to the wild mountains to enjoy the rites of Bacchus. To make matters worse, Pentheus meets his gruesome death at the hands of his own mother who in her abandoned state has failed to recognize her own son.
.
In psychological terms this speaks of the dismantling of the old structures of the psyche that must be dissolved, sometimes chaotically and wildly so that the new, more authentic and natural expression can manifest.
.
Dionysus, like the great Hindu goddess Kali, takes no prisoners.
.
In the psyche, Pentheus and Dionysus are placed on a diametric axis representing the battle between the wild, ecstatic, and irrational aspects of ourselves pitted against the mortification of too much control and empty civility. In an embodied sense Dionysus may be the life force, prana, chi, or libido that seeks to find expression and be released from the body armoring that we have attempted to protect and control ourselves with.
.
On a collective level the systems we have created that does not allow life to flow freely is the cultural body armoring where the heart of the matter has been lost.
.
How do we meet the instinctual and irrational in ourselves? What access do we have to release this energy? If we do not find ways to honor this god, he will surely have his way with us by appointing an actor or an event onto the stage of our life to initiate this release for us. As Jung says, the unmet gods have become our diseases. When we don’t allow expression of our natural energy, we may fall sick. Or we meet it in another.
.
How many women have crawled from the dance with a Dionysian man, broken, stripped bare and on her knees… but stronger and more aware of her own wild power?
.
As we discovered in our moon lodge, Dionysus does not always manifest in the form of a wild god and many Dionysian women have also led one on a merry dance to their disintegration.
.
But we rise, and maybe now we can find a way to own that energy in ourselves so that we do not need someone to enact it for us. What does it mean in your life to own that wild power, and use the energy to bring your creative dreams to manifestation? How do you tap into your instinctual nature and your spirit’s calling?
.
This new moon is a portal into exploring what it is we are doing with our sacred energy. How we are using it to manifest and create in the world while honoring both the rational and irrational, male and female, and solar- lunar energy?
.
Saturn and Pluto up on the midheaven of this chart are preparing for their great meeting in January 2020 when this mighty merging will be expressed in the collective. Pluto is sometimes equated with Dionysus in the ancient world and when met with Saturn, the father of structure, rules and tradition, the showdown between the irrational and the rational will be under sway.
.
Here is the dance of Dionysus and Pentheus in the collective sphere.
.
What has become outmoded in the collective that needs a good Plutonian or Dionysian shake-up?
.
I recently watched the film Citizen 4 about Edward Snowdon, a whistleblower who leaked classified information from the NSA (National Security Agency) that implicated the U.S government in the unlawful spying on its citizens. I was intrigued by the force of conviction held by Snowden and his willingness to put himself in grave danger for the liberation of the American people. Snowden who was born on the summer solstice has a tight Pluto Saturn conjunction- Pluto at 26 Libra, Saturn at 27 Libra.
.
Here is an example of the person who will go to extreme lengths in defense of liberation which for him, is freedom to remain private from the spying eyes of the government.
.
Dionysus and the Maenads -the wild women who followed him- did not perform their rites in the Market Square for the amusement of all, they performed them in remote wild places ensuring total freedom and abandonment without danger of being co-opted or appropriated as so many ‘movements’ are. Watch out green ecology movement.
.
Untimely, Dionysus and Bacchus point to the need for the feminine in all her sacred and terrible aspects to be released from the bondage of a patriarchal sensibility that through fear has attempted to restrain the creative well spring of death and rebirth.
.
The laws of the Goddess- renewal and transformation- will always find expression both individually and collectively for it is the law of life and cannot be stopped anymore than summer turning to autumn.
.
If the great gods Pan, Dionysus or Bacchus, asks you to dance, I suggest you take your shoes off and head to the mountains.
.

From the Heath Where Witches are Kept Alive

Circe offering the cup to odysseus by John William Waterhouse

Now women return from afar, from always; from ‘without’, from the heath where witches are kept alive; from below, from beyond ‘culture’.

– Helen Cixous

In Scotland there are plans to erect a light house on the Firth of Forth in memory of the thousands of women who were murdered because they were accused of witchcraft. An article in the Scottish newspaper says.

“In 1563, the passing of the Scottish Witchcraft Act made witchcraft – or consulting with witches – capital crimes in Scotland, after which thousands of women were publicly accused between the 16th and 18 centuries.”

The photo below is from a recently published interactive map. It tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century.

Scotland was only one country where women were burned at the stake or endured humiliating trials at the hands of the church fathers and the courts. All over Europe the story was repeated.

Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches) is a treatise authorized in 1484 by Pope Innocent VIII – Malleus outlines and sanctions inquisitorial practices to exterminate witches. It ascertained that all witchcraft stemmed from “carnal lust” (quoted in Shuttle and Redgrove, 1978, p.54). In a chapter entitled ‘Nine Million Menstrual Murders’ Shuttle and Redgrove propose that being a woman was enough to be targeted in the campaign:

“In the middle-ages, it scarcely mattered whether you were an organized dissident or not. You were a dissident by being a woman. One aspect of women’s dissidence, so far as men are concerned, is that they magically menstruate, and produce magical blood” (Shuttle and Redgrove 1978, p.204).

The interactive witches map of Scotland is part of a growing trend to resurrect the story of the witch trials, a campaign that is taking root in many places as people come to terms with the ‘gendercide’, that occurred in this dark chapter of human history. From a deep instinctual place people are realizing that although the crimes happened centuries ago, the legacy lives on… sometimes all too painfully in the body memory of women who were the scapegoat of these dark projections and who continue to bear the emotional scarring.

It is time this wound is healed.

Articles like the one in the Scottish newspaper, the interactive map, the light house, the awareness raising of places like Crossbones graveyard in London are all involved in bringing the emaciated and rotting skeleton of crimes against the feminine out of the cultural closet and the shadow of the collective psyche.

And that has got to be a god thing, and yet…

I am ambivalent – on one hand of course it is good that a mass tragedy inflicted on the feminine by the patriarchy is finally being brought to light. On the other hand, there is a danger of bypassing the root of this wound by not addressing and challenging the consciousness that festered in the minds of the church fathers and other upholders of extreme anti- feminine attitudes. Attitudes that one may feasibly question if still exist today.

Is this misogynist consciousness truly healed? Is it true to say that the toxicity that led to this terrible blight has disappeared? Deep beneath the surface of everyday civility and politeness have we truly cleaned out this this wound? Are we now a woman loving culture?

On Canterbury’s river Stour just, a short distance from my house and from the towering Cathedral, a wooden seat is raised a few feet above the water. It is a replica of a torture device affectionately known as the ‘ducking seat’. Its purpose at the time of the witch trials was to plunge women who were suspected witches into the water to determine their innocence or culpability. If the woman drowned, she was not a witch, it she did not drown it proved that she was a witch and she was murdered anyway.

Historically a device of torture now a tourist attraction, symbols like the ducking seat are disturbing reminders of a dark misogynist past that find their way unchallenged into our contemporary landscapes. Will the lighthouse be the same? Will it be a tourist attraction? A photo opportunity? Or will it open the possibility of a gateway into understanding the collective psyche in relation to the feminine?

For me the true healing comes when women clear this vibration from their body-mind-spirit and reclaim their power.

 

Meeting the Wild Gods: Return form the Underworld – New Moon 28th September, 7.26 PM GMT- Persephone & Dionysus

Brigid Marlin – Persephone Painting

The September new moon places asteroid Persephone at 8 degrees Capricorn conjunct the MC, and asteroid Bacchus, or Eleutherois (“the liberator”) conjunct the Sun at 6-degree Libra.

Today (23rd September) in ancient Greece marks the end of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, a death and resurrection initiation reenacting the story of Persephone’s descent into Hades. Before the initiates, or the mystai, could enter the sacred temple (Telesterion), they would recite, “I have fasted, I have drunk the kykeon, I have taken from the kiste (“box”) and after working it have put it back in the calathus (“open basket”).

After witnessing and embodying the mysteries, and sworn to secrecy, the initiates returned home to continue their daily lives. Having undergone profound transformation – a meeting with the chaotic and the divine – and facing, if not actual death, then certainly ego death, they are now liberated from fear and limited conditioning…they have met the gods.

Situations or people who may have suppressed, controlled or intimidated them previously are now cast aside as non-threatening pale comparisons of the true power and inner light that now possesses them.

As with many of the ancients gods who are often different expressions of the same energy, Hades and Dionysus may be viewed as one in the same according to Heraclitus.

1st image: Terracotta Relief of Persephone Seated on a Throne Receiving Dionysus 6th century B.C

Horned god figures such as Bacchus and Dionysus can lead us on a wild descent into the non-rational, chthonic and ecstatic states, for a confrontation with the divine in its most terrible aspects. The purpose of these experiences is to release trapped libido, to shirk off false conditioning and to find and own our true power.

It is not an easy journey and there is always the danger of no return. As with all initiation it is a confrontation, if not with death, then certainly the terrifying, the non-rational and the mad aspects of the unconscious. Many are lost by the wayside or fail to grasp the bitter gift of such dismantling experiences choosing to remain instead victimized and controlled.

The gods have become diseases says Carl Jung. If the gods are ignored or suppressed or we do not answer their call to initiation and renewal, we get sick. Liminal gods like Dionysus and Persephone who move between the underworld and the rational world offer the opportunity of death and rebirth.

The descent is annihilation but only of the old outmoded and limited parts of ourselves that the wild gods insist we sacrifice.

The next Canterbury Moon Lodge explores how as modern women we may be confronted by the terrible and wild power of the liminal gods in the repressed aspects of ourselves bursting through rational conditioning and initiating encounters in the world that while strip us to the bone, ultimately strengthens us and offers redemption.

September Full Moon in Pisces- Sacred Union

Soul mates by Ankur Rana

Full moon at 05.52 on Saturday 14th September.

With a strong 1st house, 7th house axis, this chart shines a light on relationships, inviting us to consider what good, healthy, respectful relationships look like, and whether are we cultivating those ideals in our lives.

With a stellium of planets in Virgo in the 1st house, including the sun at 21 degrees, feminine earthy Virgo is seeking a certain quality of relationship, discerning between the ones worth investing in and the ones that are unable to engage in respectful union at this time- and this does not only apply to lover relationships.

With Juno exactly on the ascendant, this rising energy is concerned with marriage, commitment, give-and-take, power and compromise, toward creating harmonious and satisfying relationships in which both parties are seen, met and valued.

Juno also suggests the empowerment we may experience while we are embedded in such relationships. When we feel valued, loved, safe, and respected we thrive and from that union we are brought closer to the truth of who we are.

If we are not inviting and sustaining nurturing relationships in our life, if instead we are finding discord, imbalance, disrespect and relationships driven by unowned shadow aspects, it may be tempting to project the blame outward, however Nessus on the descendent in the 7th house flags up a cautionary warning to examine how it may be ourselves and the not the other who is responsible for creating disharmony.

Nessus asks us to go even deeper to consider the ways in which we may in fact be harbouring the things which we resent and resist in others. This may be a very tough reckoning on the root causes of trauma and disconnection, asking us to review early relationship imprinting and conditioning.

According to astrologer Melanie Reinhart, Nessus offers the possibility of putting an end to outmoded and detrimental dynamics in our life- Nessus is the centaur who says, “the buck stops here”. What in your life, particularly regarding relationships are you simply not prepared to tolerate any longer? And is it really a feature of the other, or a hidden aspect in yourself that needs to be worked on to be released?

And what are your deepest longings for union with another, or others?

With strong Virgo energy it may be time to discern exactly who and what we want in our life. If we are attached and find it difficult to let go of toxic or unhealthy situations, it is time to get honest about what really holds us in positions of lack and disempowerment.

Meditating on moon and Neptune in Pisces in the 7th house, it may become clear that in the end, self is other and other is self, and all is one. This insight shows us that how we treat others and allow others to treat us reflects our relationship with our self.

To see the world and the people in it as a cosmic and sacred mirror through which we can see into the depths of our own soul may be the teaching of this moon.

This lunar cycle began with asteroid Magdalene on the north node, highlighting a potential collective shift toward qualities embodied by that archetype. The relationship between Mary Magdalene and Yeshua has been felt to be one of the most honouring, sacred, respectful and powerful ever witnessed or documented.

As the moon comes to fruition tomorrow, the full lunar illumination may also shine a light on our deepest desires for sacred union and what it takes to create that.

Friday 13th, The Moon, Mary Magdalene, and the Feminine Mysteries.

Mary Magdalene ca.1524 Andrea Solario and Bernardino Luini at The Walters Art Museum

Celebrate Friday 13th as a day to reclaim all that has been exiled about the divine feminine, the Goddess of love, the mysteries of death, resurrection, renewal, and the moon.

While the number 13 has been much maligned in our culture and is thought to be a harbinger of bad luck and evil, it is in fact an auspicious day connected to the Goddess, the sacred feminine,Venus and Mary Magdalene.

In ancient times there were 13 months in a year as there were 13 moons in a year and 13 menstrual cycles. The 13 month, 28-day, relationship to time was dominant on our planet for 6000 years before the turn from lunar to solar consciousness.

The Maya, Celts, Egyptians, Lakota, Essenes, Polynesians, and Cherokee all used a 13-month calendar. The Druid 13-month calendar was connected to their alphabet and tree calendar – each consonant of the Druid alphabet represented a moon cycle. In both Mayan and Druid cultures, the extra day was a ‘non-calendar day’ or a ‘day out of time’, traditionally a day of ritual and renewal in preparation for the coming year.

There is a technical term for fear of Friday 13th- ‘friggatriskaidekaphoboa’, the ‘Frigga’ prefix comes from the name of the Goddess from whom Friday was named. Frigg, or Freyja, like Venus or Aphrodite, is associated with love, fertility and erotic love.

Superstitious beliefs about Friday 13th can be traced back to the capture of the Knights Templar and according to Margaret Starbird, even further back to the Hebrew bible and the capture of the Jewish people.

On Friday 13th 1307, the French King Philip 1V ordered the mass arrest of 60 odd Knights Templar, including their grand master Jacques de Molay. The official reason given for this capture is that the Templars had become too wealthy and powerful, and that Philip the Fair was also a rather greedy King who wished to amass more wealth. Unofficially, the story becomes much more esoteric suggesting that the wealth possessed by the Knights was not of a material nature, but a mystical treasure linked to the Goddess, the Egyptian mysteries, and Mary Magdalene who some call the 13th disciple.

For Starbird, fear of Friday 13th goes back to the Hebrew Bible, the book of Esther, when Haman persuaded Esther’s husband, the King of Babylon, to arrest and execute her people, the Jews, en masse. She says that the faith of the Templars was based on ancient “Ebionite” or “Judaic-Christian” roots that included the full humanity of Jesus (including marriage and parenthood). This points the way to claims that attest to the union between Mary Magdalene and Jesus and the birthing of a holy blood line- whether physical or spiritual and probably both.

The number 13 is symbolic of feminine power, creative life force, and wisdom. Though Death is number 13 in the tarot deck, feminine wisdom teaches us that death also points to rebirth and renewal. On the inner planes ego death or death of the old self, heralds deep transformation necessary for conscious awakening- spirit incarnate.

 

The King and I: Soli luna Awakening on the Assumption of the Virgin.

The Plasma Queen and the Green Lion

Image: ‘Queen and Green Lyon’ by Elena Ray

What is your dangerous skill?

What is it that you need to reinstate in yourself to place yourself on your throne?

Today on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15th August), the cosmic line- up places a mighty divine feminine signature emblazoned across the top of the heavens.

While the full moon at 22 degrees Aquarius is opposing a Kingly Leo Sun, his consort is none other than the Goddess of love, sexuality, beauty and earthly pleasures, Venus. The feminine spirit embodied in union with the full power of an expressed and awakened solar consciousness can also be seen in the many depictions of the Great Mother goddess Cybele on her lion-drawn chariot, wildly banging her frame drum, triumphantly extolling the deep resonant sound of the sacred earth. Cybele is an earth goddess.

Dane Rudhyar’s sabian symbol for 23 Leo is uncannily appropriate for the opportunities available to make conscious intention towards expressing the divine feminine nature in the world, placing awakened feminine conscious firmly in the material world- bringing the Goddess out of the closet and reinstating her on her earthly throne.

PHASE 143 (LEO 23°): IN A CIRCUS THE BAREBACK RIDER DISPLAYS HER DANGEROUS SKILL.

KEYNOTE: The audacity and perseverance required to control and play with the powerful energies of the vital realm in human existence.

What is your dangerous skill? What is it that you need to reinstate in yourself to place yourself on your throne?

Mythology-

There are a cluster of asteroids on the extended outer asteroid belt known as ‘The Cybele asteroids’- they number approximately 2000, with seven main ones- Sylvia, Camilla, Hermione, Freia, Pretoria, and Steroeskopia. Four of these main Cybele asteroids are currently orbiting around the mid heaven of the full moon chart, alongside Venus 22 degrees Leo, and Juno 26 degrees Leo. The asteroid Hermione, a huge body discovered in 1872, is placed at 10 degrees Scorpio conjunct the ascendant at 12 degrees Scorpio.

In Greek mythology Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus of Sparta and Helen of Troy- the gist of her story is that there was a lot of confusion over the identity of her truly beloved and betrothed- was it Orestes who secured her hand before the Trojan war, or Achilles Neoptolemus who was promised Hermione as his bride during the conflict? After the war, unhappily married to Neoptolemeus, Hermione became paranoid and suspicious that Andromache, wife of Hector had placed a curse on her to prevent her from conceiving a child. Soon after, Hermione fled with her cousin Orestes as was originally planned and lived happily ever after.

With the great cosmic feminine line-up, the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven, Venus riding on the back of her alchemical Lion, and asteroid Hermione, one of the largest asteroids in the Cybele cluster rising, what is the symbolic essence of this power full moon gateway?

Here, I offer my intuitive perspective in the hope that it might speak to you on some level:

This archetype is a symbol of the feminine finding her true consort- not the consort out there projected in the world, but her inner masculine consort, her true animus. The story speaks of returning to the original plan…your personal Eden… before the war, before separation, before conflict and fragmentation. What was your original plan, what is the true face of your soul, and what do you need to in order to reinstate it? How do you find your inner beloved so that you can wed in holy sacred union and express your full lunar and solar power?

In the myth, Orestes is the cousin of Hermione, this speaks of the two of them being born from the same stock, not by flesh and blood but by energetic vibration and soul plan. He is her true love, but they lose each other in a bloody war in which there is much confusion and false promises. It is little wonder that Hermione grows unhappy and unsettled in a union with Neoptolemus, as she is not rightfully his and he has claimed her under a false pretext. This is the false animus and can be seen in the many ways women allow themselves to be controlled by an overly rigid patriarchal ideal. In such a contract she will never be able to express the fullness of her feminine soul. In turmoil and confusion, she suspects another woman of sabotaging her- the other woman is an unintegrated aspect of herself- the wife of the king. She herself is not the wife of her King and therefore pregnancy cannot happen in a diminished and unnatural context.

To conceive of and birth her true self she must first return to her true consort.

This reunion with the Self is expressed not only in the story of Hermione, but in many symbolic reflections of the ‘Gods’ today:

The Assumption of the Virgin (the whole unto herself feminine) into the kingdom of heaven (full awakened consciousness).

Venus, the fully embodied lover Goddess throned on her solar consort. Juno, daughter of Saturn and wife of Jupiter in close alliance, protectress of the sacred community and ensuring that the natural laws are adhered to.

The strong ‘Cybelene’ signature seen in the many Cybele asteroids, and particularly in the rising of Hermione in Scorpio.

Another point to note is that the Selene, the full moon, or White moon… the full lunar expression is currently sitting at 21 degrees of Capricorn exactly conjunct Pluto, lord of the underworld. Here she shines her full lunar illumination on the inner workings of the unconscious. What are the factors at play that hold you in positions of falsity? What is it that needs to be brought into conscious awareness so that it can be transformed and become an aid in facilitating your holy marriage?

In the Assumption of Mary, it is commonly held that it is Arch Angel Michael who aided Mary in her return to heaven. Call upon your inner warrior, not to slay your dragons but rather to get to know them, befriend them and then free the trapped energy to fuel your initiation.

The Assumption of Mary & the Awakening Feminine Consciousness.

The Assumption is a pivotal time to evoke a fully awakened feminine consciousness.

Mary In Lyon

Statue of Mary on top of the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon

For the past few days I have been walking to the top of the hill over looking the city of Lyon. There stands the Basilica of Notre dame de Fourviere dedicated to Mary, side-by-side with Roman remains of what was once the most important centre in Gaul. In 1704 a taurobolic alter was discovered on the hill; it was used for ritualistic and sacrificial offerings to the Great Mother, Cybele as far back as 160BC.

Roman_theatre_in_Lyon

Roman remains next to the Notre dame Basilica in Lyon where the taurobolic alter was found in 1704.

Cybele and her Lion Chariot

Cybele- the Magna Mater on her lion drawn chariot.

In the crypt there must be at least a dozen statues and paintings of Mary from all over the world. There are a few Black Madonnas among which are the ‘Black Madonna of Loreto’, and ‘Notre Dame de Fourviere’.

Notre Dame de Fourviere

Black Madonna de Fourviere in the crypt at Lyon.

I have felt very moved to be here… for centuries this has been a hugely significant Mary cult site, and in spite of the apparent corruptions and distortions of the feminine within the Catholic church, there is something much deeper and abiding. There is something pure to be discovered.

15th August is a national holiday here in France for the Assumption of Mary, officially recognised by the papacy in 1950. Tomorrow’s full moon in Aquarius also joins the Leo Sun and Venus in an exact conjunction. It is the perfect expression of soli-lunar power and magic. It is the power of the awakened feminine joined in union with the Sun.

388px-Asumption_of_the_Virgin-Guido_Reni-MBA_Lyon_A123-IMG_0329

Assumption of the Virgin- Guido Reni

Lyon is on the Apollo/Athena line an extention of the Michael and Mary line which according to Hamish Miller in “The Dance of the Dragon” extends from Skellig St.Michael in Ireland to Armageddon in Turkey.

ApolloAthenaLine

The Apollo/Athena Ley Line, and extention of the Michael/Mary line inHamish Miller’s  “The Dance of the Dragon”

Apollo/Athena- Michael/Mary- expressions of the ‘hieros gamos’ or marriage of the God and Goddess in the physical world reflecting a state of awakened consciousness.

It is said that it was Arch Angel Michael who aided Mary in her Assumption.

St_Michael_La_Martorana_Palermo_2008-08-27.jpg

St. Michael La Polermo