New Moon in Leo: Sex- where the darkness (and light) enter.

A blog in two parts.

Image of the author- "chiaroscuro"

Image of the author- “chiaroscuro”

New Moon- Thursday 28th July 2022, 6.55 pm BST

The title of this blog comes from a dream I had where I heard the words “sex is where the darkness gets in.” In my journey with my own sexuality, sexual wounding, and sexual healing I know this to be true. I also know that sex is where the light gets in. The need to understand this paradox is a crucial factor in our human evolution.

This new lunar cycle is inviting us deeper into the mystery of sex and reproduction.

Healing takes place in the heart centre where the forces from above blend with the forces from below uniting our animal and divine nature. In astrology Leo is the heart of the zodiac and the seat of the Sun- our consciousness. Leo is also where we rise in our regal or crowned expression and where we become sovereign of our own domain.

At the point of the new lunar cycle the Sun and Moon are at 5 °Leo.

The invitation is to come into our heart and consider our sexuality, masculine feminine intimate partnership relationships, archetypal masculine and feminine expressions in our culture.

These reflections are based on two points of the new moon chart which I will write about in two parts. One is a Venus, Lilith, Hades stellium in Moon ruled Cancer, and the other focuses on a Mars, North Node, Kaali, Uranus stellium in Venus ruled Taurus.

The data-

Venus 12’55 Cancer- Hades 11’49 Cancer- Lilith (true) 13’36 Cancer- Lilith (mean) 8’11 Cancer.

Mars 15’57 Taurus- NN 18’28 Taurus- Uranus 18’37 Taurus- Kaali 17’ 8 Taurus.

Venus, Lilith, and Hades in Cancer opens a portal that is neither easy nor desirable to look at. Hades is a hypothetical planet referred to as a trans-Neptunian point in Uranian astrology. To know Hades is to know death.

In Greek mythology Hades rules the underworld, he was also known as ‘Plouton’, the Romans pluralized it to Pluton/Pluto which means giver of wealth. In terms of our soul journey the wealth is an enrichment and freeing of the soul in bondage to the material world.

The symbol for Hades is a crescent moon with a cross inside it suggestive of the emotional wounds and weighty issues concerning the interface of the material and spiritual worlds, representing our cross to bear. Although depicted as male, in earlier mythology Hades was associated with the goddess and her transformative powers of death and renewal. The serpent or the dragon became a symbol of the transformative feminine energy of the Moon and harkens back to a time before the patriarchal takeover of the goddess. An example of this can be seen in the myth of the python under the temple at Delphi, placed by Gaia to protect the sacred oracle before Apollo co-opted the site.

Hades Symbol

Hades Symbol

The Moon is a symbol of transformation and is connected to our feeling and emotional bodies.

Unresolved trauma or unacknowledged experiences that have affected us and operate in our unconscious show up in our physical and energetic bodies as blockages and distortions often leading to disease. The Hades journey then is one where we make a descent in order to illuminate and ultimately free what is trapped there. 

In the new moon chart, Hades is with Venus and Lilith (mean and true); both Venus and Lilith are connected to female sexuality. Arising from the centre of the feminine blueprint or mandala is Venus Aphrodite, core essence of the feminine nature in her manifest form. According to Demetra George, Venus is the primary potential of fertilization and transformation symbolized as cyclical possibilities in the moon as an activated and vital force. Because she is the source of reproductive energy Empedocles calls her the giver of life. She is the first manifestation of lunar energy.

This new moon is an invitation to consider reproduction and fertility and reflect on our current attitudes to female (and male) sexuality; to consider how the waters of life in the birth canal are flowing -or not- in our individual and collective story.

Some of us feel that we- along with the whole of humanity- are undergoing a rebirth; it goes without saying that birth is a crucial time, a time to stay as present as possible and try to see the whole picture even while so much of the process happens internally.

Venus is also the magnetic force that activates sexual energy.

Our use of sexual energy and sexuality in our culture now and far back into the past has become distorted and vulnerable to manipulation… “sex is where the darkness enters.”

So often we are raised in environments where we are cut off from the root of our sexual essence thus becoming unconscious to its precious and subtle vibration, our sexual power, and correct use of sexual energy. Pornography, over sexualisation, rape culture, institutionalised abuse, alongside the commodification of sexuality, sexuality as a weapon, and no real education or awareness as to the true nature and energetic purpose of our sexuality has led to sexual distortion and corruption.

Enter Lilith, the other archetype in the new moon triune alongside Venus and Hades. In the myth of Lilith which I have written about previously, we see the unacceptable face of the feminine being banished, exiled, demonised and punished. A journey to Hades to see what lies beneath this entrenched fear of the feminine is an invitation of this lunar cycle.

Distortion of sexuality leading to emotional wounding for both men and women, create energetic blockages in the system in the human matrix. We have been living with the consequences of this for a very long time; we have skirted around the edges but somehow, we have become blindsided to the truth of our sexuality and how it has been used against us.

Beneath the veil of the silver screen and the Neptunian illusions of sexual freedom, allure, and desire, there are untold, unknown, stories hidden in the dankest corners of Hades replayed throughout time in the lives of semi or unconscious souls lost to societal conditioning and priming.

As I write this I think of the allegory of Plato’s cave where a population of sleeping citizens are held in an underworld not realising that anything lies beyond. Because they do not know they are trapped they do not feel the need for freedom or personal liberation.

The sabian symbol for the Sun/Moon point is-

PHASE 126 (LEO 6°): A CONSERVATIVE, OLD-FASHIONED LADY IS CONFRONTED BY A “HIPPIE” GIRL.

KEYNOTE: The need to transcend our subservience to fashion, in morals as well as in clothes.

We are dealing now with cultural values and the emotional impact they have upon our character formation… the sixth degree refers to a collective, cultural, and social crisis which challenges us to realize THE RELATIVITY OF SOCIAL VALUES.

The war on sexuality and reproduction, particularly female sexuality and reproduction continues on the societal, emotional, economic, and astral battlefields. From abortion rights; menstrual suppression; epidemic proportion of reproductive pathology; sexual violence & humiliation; a legal system that does not protect; and economic systems that entrap, it is clear we have a long way to go in the plight for true sexual and reproductive liberation or in other words to claim these things as our own.

Referring back to the sabian symbol: A CONSERVATIVE, OLD-FASHIONED LADY IS CONFRONTED BY A “HIPPIE” GIRL, is suggestive of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s where free love paved the way for widespread availability of the pill and made abortion legally available under the Abortion Act of 1967, coming into effect in April 1968.

Was it really freedom?

The desire to shake off the oppressive shackles of a conservative morality that seemed to hamper individual freedom of expression and choice likely came from an innocent place- the individual and collective soul seeking to evolve and experience more of life. In reality, as with many things that are presented in this way, what we see at face value is not always the full picture and hidden powers are apt to influence for reasons unknown.

I won’t engage in the current debate on abortion here, to my mind it is simply too complex and there are simply too many unseen or unacknowledged factors at work. Realising the cost of gynaecological medical procedures on not just a woman’s body but also her soul and connection beyond the material world needs to be explored from a holistic and much deeper perspective than it currently has been.

The illusion of freedom is far more available than the reality of freedom.

The new Moon sabian symbol challenges us to realize THE RELATIVITY OF SOCIAL VALUES.

Social values are relative because the consciousness which attempts to spearhead them are subject to change. They are also subject to corruption, ego led impulses, desire for power, and a lack of heart based or soul flowing influence.

Much of the work of Carl Jung is concerned with the individuation process which involves an individual breaking from the group or common consensuses in order to realise and express his or her true self. In his personal descent and confrontation with the unconscious Jung refers to two powerful and often conflicting energies which he called ‘the spirit of the depths’ and ‘the spirit of the times’. If only influenced by the spirit of the times, we factor our life energy to external agents who may or may not be concerned with our wellbeing. The spirit of the depths then -of which I would say Hades is a part -is where we must turn our attentions in the pursuit of soul making or freeing ourselves from the cave. Being able to negotiate both polarities is advisable.

And yet so many of us for so long have placed our trust and faith in the social values of our time even while they often prove to be stitched from ineffective or flawed materials that tear and rip leaving an insubstantial societal fabric.

Many of the social values we have dutifully lived by have not been friendly to women or the feminine. Some call this patriarchy, and it is also noted that this system has not necessarily been friendly to men either, but patriarchy was never about men and women.

Anything to do with female sexuality and female reproduction is not only a loaded topic but is one of the most loaded and controversial topics known to us at this time in our human story. We need to ask why that is.

If we are too easily swayed by what media and culture present as positive and freedom enhancing advances, or correct moral opinion in our cultural history we miss the nuances of the deeper strata- the spirit of the depths.

Dare we enter Hades?

Hades is bordered by five rivers – the Styx, Lethe, Acheron, Phlegethon and Cocytus; these rivers can also be perceived by the living and are passages between the living and the dead. The river Lethe is the river of forgetfulness named after the goddess of oblivion and forgetfulness, Lethe. On drinking the water from the river, one completely forgets their past life and is prepared for reincarnation.

Reincarnation in a psychological sense is the repeating of old patterns, beliefs and attitudes that keep is trapped in a loop of semi consciousness, or with the shades, only half alive.

In psychological terms we might use the topography of the underworld to reference our cultural miasma where we easily forget the sins of the past. Social values encourage us not to ask too many questions, a reality that has taken deeper root in recent times with the censoring of information that does not accord with the dominant cultural narrative. Lilith asks the questions.

Lilith who has consciously chosen to stay outwith the bounds of social values and morality continues to communicate to us through channels that have not been hi-jacked by the socially conditioned mind. We feel her in our bodies; she urges us to stay as natural and as life filled (organic) as possible so that we may know her.

I have written about the medication and bio medicalisation of women’s bodies and the inherent dangers of this not only on a biological level but also on a soul level, and a bio mystical level (a term borrowed from John Lash).

The medicalisation of women’s bodies, sexuality, and reproduction is a shady stream; the history of gynaecology, a few layers down, is a chilling testament to a darkly misogynist past where it could be argued the roots still flourish.

The feminine divine and her archetypes is concerned with the liberation of the personal and eternal soul. She comes to us as Sophia, Lilith, Kali, Magdalene, Inanna. She is rising and her voice is getting louder. She travels between the Pleroma, Earth, and Hades. She is everywhere ever present in every atom and cell. She will walk with us to Hades and back.

On waking from our forgetfulness, we free ourselves from the liminal space between the living and the dead and are renewed… but first we must learn how to die to the false self before we can rise. I do not mean to imply that this is easy, believe me when I say I am finding my way, sometimes lost, sometimes found, sometimes asleep, sometimes awake… like so many of us. We need to remind each other.

The Orphic mysteries introduce the existence of another river, the Mnemosyne which allows full remembrance of one’s life. Followers of Orphism were buried with gold-leaved tablets providing instructions on how to travel through death and obtain omniscience. Consciousness through the death process is also part of Tibetan, Celtic, and Native American cosmology.

This is chance to break the patterns and free ourselves from karmic cycles.

The invitation is to wake up and remember the true nature of our sexuality and feminine essence, and to protect it from forces that would assign it to the underworld.

In part two of this blog, I explore masculine sexuality in light of the new moon.

 

The Red Death: Menstruation as Symbol of Renewal- Part 8

Why is it that so many modern women are choosing to reject their menstruation which we have seen is a rich source of feminine power, magic, and healing? Previous blogs in this series show that rejection of the feminine and in particular female bodies and bodily functions can be traced back to Greek philosophy and early Christianity. We have seen how fear of the feminine and misogyny was particularly virulent in the early modern period manifesting in the genocide of countless women, and we have seen how modern gynaecology, according to Mary Daly continues to oppress women.

Greeks and gender

In Feminism and Ecology, Mary Mellor says that “Debates around the nature of sex/gender differences and the impact of women’s biology on their social position has been very much a feature of Western feminism”. Within the feminist dialectic the most enduring and contentious issue has without a doubt been the essentialist debate: Is there an inherent quality of female distinct from male that runs deeper than social conditioning? And if so, what does this mean? Many second wave feminists rejected any essential difference between men and women other than biology while refusing female biology as the bind that keeps women subordinate to men. For de Beauvoir and other cultural feminists of the 20th century there was no ontological difference between men and women other than on a physical level and anything men were capable of women were too. In this way, many women sought to prove they were just like men. Other feminist disagreed and feminism itself splintered into a shattered picture of womanhood.

Within feminism the debate raged: Are women on account of their biology connected with the natural world and the cycles of nature in a particular way? This question, more than any other in the feminist/gender debate has been prohibitive in a coherent meaning of womanhood and points to more than just a split in feminist thinking: it is a wound at the core of the female experience and is instrumental in a perpetual rejection of the feminine.

Gaia essentialist image

Gaia, Greek Goddess of the Earth by Marcia Snedecor

While the debate remains unresolved and while women are constantly splintering into more and more factions over their basic spiritual and cultural identity, ‘maldeveloped’ technologies such as menstrual suppression, artificial wombs, gender reversal operations and puberty blockers remain largely unchallenged to any significant degree while Misogynist tendencies beneath the surface of our culture remains unchallenged in any truly meaningful way. If these assumptions are not challenged, they cannot be healed… if they are not healed they will prevail. It is not possible to by-pass these issues by suddenly creating a gender neutral or unisex society.

As we approach greater levels of crisis in the natural world and planetary condition, it is not possible to address these issues without also addressing the issue of the feminine. While many eco-feminist are unashamedly making the link between the oppression of the feminine and the oppression of the natural world under dominion of patriarchy, still others, including ecologists would rather avoid the link. In avoiding the issue, especially within an ecological framework that concerns itself with the future of the natural world, is to by-pass a hugely important issue. Avoidance does not address the denial of the feminine, nor does it offer a possibility to truly differentiate masculine and feminine, a task, according to Ann Ulanov “we must wrestle with”.

earth

To take an anti-essentialist position as a safe guard toward biological determinism is to not only reject the female body and inherent feminine qualities that exist in and of themselves, but also diminishes the possibility of opposites – the creative tension which allows for renewal and regeneration. Denying the qualities of woman’s nature and the feminine principle is detrimental for women but ultimately affects all of us in our human connection to and embeddedness within nature.

Fear of biological determinism is rooted in the patriarchal assumption that women’s primary function is to produce children. Just because a woman can produce children does not mean she is obliged to. Before the witch trials, women would have held many positions in their community that did not entail mothering and were not under patriarchal control– herbalists, midwifes, healers, wisdom keepers. crones…

Within a cultural context, essentialism need not mean subordination by the patriarchy- this has been the main and enduring argument used against a gynocentric and female embodied positions. For pagan feminist Starhawk, a.k.a. Miriam Somos, rituals involving menstrual blood and other aspects of women’s bodies that are declared taboo or unclean in male religions are celebrated; she sees ritual as a way of generating energy for political action and the image of the goddess as a way of understanding the immanence – the aliveness of spirit and vitality that permeates the natural world.

Utero by Elisa Riemer

Utero by Elisa Riemer

We are all connected to nature, male and female, but how we are connected to nature and what those differences are must be addressed, if they are not, I suggest that the feminine will continue to be rejected under the guise of an ever encroaching ‘gender neutral’ society. Esther Harding, an early advocate of Jungian thought views the essence of feminine psychology in sharp contrast to masculine psychology. Harding says: “Without wresting with this task of differentiation, we fall into formlessness and cheap imitation of current personal roles…. we miss our chance to become unique persons”.

In transpersonal psychology we see that opposites are important in coming together to form what the ancient world referred to as hieros gamos. Jungian analysts Nancy Qualls Corbett says that the hieros gamos is “a mystical process in which the disconnected elements are joined together to form a whole” (Qualls-Corbett, 1988 p.70).  In her book The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspects of the Feminine, she says: “If we deny sexual difference, we deny the fact of otherness” (Qualls-Corbett, 1988, p.82). A condition of equality does not exclude, and perhaps even demands, difference. According to Nietzsche, “Opposites have an equal inherent value, so that one polar element cannot dominate and annihilate its counterpart”.

Le livre de la sainte trinité

Hieros Gamos Alchemical image from Le livre de la sainte trinité

The ongoing feminist critique, including some ecofeminist and ‘third wave’ feminism often holds the ‘master model’ of patriarchy responsible for the continued subordination of women and nature but I suggest this view is in danger of fostering a belief in the inherent weakness of the feminine. It is a view that challenges the system by fighting fire with fire and is filtered through logic, the rational mind and fear. Endless books have and continue to be written in ever decreasing spirals and hair-splitting semantics in an attempt to change the system from without when in truth the change comes from within. Expending energy on patriarchy, vying for an equal status in an unequal system and jumping through impossible hoops leads to nowhere.

I am not saying do not challenge the system or patriarchy, my point is to extract vital energy from an endless pit of distraction and illusion and put it to better use by forging a genuine and life enhancing connection with both the material world and spirit thereby becoming conduits of vitality, creativity, and life force. Being embodied helps us to connect but while we dual with the nameless faceless forces of control, resorting to separatist viewpoints we lose energy and are worn down. By constantly battling with this rather elusive entity we call patriarchy we hand our power and precious energy over to a devouring beast who always demands more.

When we finally see that the emperor is wearing no clothes, is he still the Emperor? And if he is, is it not because we continue to call him so?

The Emperor has no clothes on

Though it may be true that modern Western culture is patriarchal, I would argue that women will not find their power within that paradigm and therefore must reinstate a feminine power that does not depend on patriarchy. While some feminists could argue that this position is separatist and excludes women from culture, it is important that women (and men) embrace their own feminine in an empowered way. I am not arguing for a separatist situation where men and women exists in different cultures -that is not possible and more importantly patriarchy is not about men and women- that is one of the biggest illusions – what I am advocating is a feminine revival in which all the exiled and rejected parts of the feminine, for men and women, are brought back into the matrix of consciousness- including and perhaps beginning with the body and the natural world.