Omicron, The Winged Sandals of Perseus, and Project Omega.

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Omicron, the new variant of covid-19 has jumped the queue; following the Greek letters of the alphabet, the new variant should have been called Nu however to -ahem- avoid global confusion the WHO (World Health Organisation) have decided to skip both “Nu” and” Xi” and go straight to Omicron, the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.

Between Delta and Omicron there were other variants such as Zeta, Eta, and Theta… though apparently not considered remarkable enough to elicit much interest. Omicron on the other hand, according to a top UK health official, is serious, and vaccines will “almost certainly” be less effective.

Here we are at the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet with nine more to go. Omicron has a numerical value of 70 and I couldn’t help wondering if this reflects the current plan to vaccinate 70% of the population… and my next thought was a chilling one as I considered Project Omega- the last letter of the Greek alphabet.

In Astronomy, Omicron is the designated fifteenth star in a constellation; stars groups include Omicron Andromedae, Omicron Ceti, and Omicron Persei.

In the spirit of myth weaving, and stories of the stars…and having recently been diving deeply into the Medusa myth- my interests is Omicron Persei.

In Greek mythology, Perseus is the young hero who slays the head of Medusa aided in his quest by magical tools given to him by the gods. Among these sacred objects is a pair of winged sandals (talaria) crafted by Hephaestus of imperishable gold and said to fly their rightful owner- Hermes- as swift as any bird. Adorned with the blessings of the gods and wresting the secret of the whereabouts of Medusa from the one eyed Graeae (the Gray sisters), Perseus set out to do what until then no man had been able to do, kill the petrifying serpent headed Gorgon by decapitation. His mission was successful.

The constellation Perseus is surrounded by several other constellations including Andromeda to the west, Cassiopeia to the north, and Aries and Taurus to the south. The brightest star in the constellation is Algol (β Persei), known as the demon star and is said to depict the severed head of Medusa.

Omicron Perseus is also known as Atik which means “shoulder,” and refers to shoulder of the Pleiades; it is located in the winged sandalled left foot of our hero slayer. Hermes (Mercury), Messenger of the Gods, who knows all routes to any destination and who is able to cross all boundaries is at work here.

Interestingly, today on the release of PM Boris Johnson’s briefing outlining further restrictions on account of Omicron, the Sun is conjunct Mercury at 6 degrees of Sagittarius.

A clever trickster sent to do the bidding of the gods Hermes also symbolizes the mercurial adaptability of the mind and its channels of communication. Mercury is symbolic of our mental energy transmitted through speaking, writing, and thought… it influences how we perceive the world.

Mercury is also associated with serpent energy which is symbolised by his staff, the caduceus, with two snakes crowned by wings or a winged helmet. The motif of the two snakes is also present in the myth of Medusa… the blood from her severed head is gifted to Asclepius, god of medicine by Athena; the right vial has the ability to heal and to bring back the dead while the left vial has the power to kill… just like the venom of a snake.

In alchemy the two serpents represent masculine and feminine energies, or solar and lunar energies which must be balanced for transmutation to occur- the alchemical marriage.

In the solar hero, snake or dragon slaying myths-myths that have created energetic blueprints in the human psyche-the question we must ask is, to what extent are the soli- lunar energies balanced.

Today I could not help noticing as Boris Johnson delivered his briefing from Westminster, that the podium he stood upon had an image of the Lion and the Unicorn on the front. The Lion represents the solar condition while the Unicorn represents the lunar; in that particular image the Unicorn, as is often the case, is chained.

Is it time for a new myth, has the solar hero story gone too far, blown itself up?

The symbolism of the pandemic is a rich multi layered tapestry that sets fire to the imagination… maybe one reason that Omicron was able to jump the queue is down to help from Mercury and his winged sandals. Just a thought.

Reclaiming Medusa’s Head… so she can speak.

Medusa

When the moon reached her fullness at 27° Taurus 14’, on 19th November, she made a conjunction to the fixed star Algol Beta Persei at 26° Taurus 10’ (Algol has a 2° orb). Located in the Medusa’s head of the Perseus constellation, Algol is thought to be one of the most unfortunate stars in the heavens and is widely associated with violence. William Lily, the 17th century Astrologer considered any planet within a 5° orb of Algol to be afflicted.

The Arabic name for Algol is Al Ghoul which means demon or evil spirit and is associated with decapitation which is connected to the myth of Medusa whose head is slain and severed by Perseus.

Algol also has the same root as alcohol… losing one’s head is a consequence of consuming too much alcohol.

Today asteroid Medusa is at 10° Scorpio 10’ in an opposition with Uranus at 12° 0’ Taurus. Dark Moon Lilith- the dark side of the Moon- is at 1 Gemini 39’, in an almost exact conjunction with the north node of the moon at 1° Gemini 30’.

The Dark Goddess speaks and guides us forward in our collective destiny.

Considered a female demon who was married to the devil, the Arabs believed Algol to be the most malefic star of all. The late medieval and early modern church accused women who were tried and tortured for witchcraft to be associates of the devil. Lilith, the first wife of Adam who refused to be submissive, was thought to cavort with wild demons on the shores of the Red Sea, herself becoming a wind demon who disempowered men with her evil seductions. In Talmudic Law, Algol is connected with Lilith

What begins to emerge through this cross-cultural thread is the story of patriarchal fear of feminine power.

Algol/Lilith/Medusa embodies everything that is feared in the feminine from causing the loss of reason in men, pacts with the devil, unbridled sexuality, refusal to comply with patriarchal control, seduction, rage, and the power to summon spirits. It is only Lilith who knows the ineffable name of God, and it is Lilith who returns to the garden as a serpent to initiate Eve in the knowledge of good and evil.

What emerges is that these female archetypes are demonised, feared and rejected because they are powerful. More powerful than any man-made laws designed to silence and control, more powerful than the gilded cage of patriarchy, and more powerful than reason and intellect. Powerful because they are connected to a primordial authority that is driven by Mother nature and the innate pulse of life that spirals in cycles of renewal including death, darkness, decay, and destruction – a different kind of power from the mind split from body (the so-called enlightened mind) which attempts to win mastery over nature.

Is that not what is happening now even more tenaciously than ever before, the attempted control of the wild, organic, and unpredictable elements of nature including human nature.

Feminine power has been subverted and demonised for hundreds if not thousands of years but don’t be fooled that this is a thing of the past or the dark ages, fear of the feminine is alive and kicking today so much so that the controllers have upped the ante to an alarming degree.

As I was writing this post, I did a quick internet search on the connection between Algol and Lilith, the first page of entries was almost entirely linked to an MLF porn star whose “stage name” is Lilith Algol. This is sadly typical of how the names of the goddess have been subverted and demonised in popular culture and even politics… I am thinking of Isis- the Islamic state military organization. Type “Medusa” into the search bar and you’ll be sure to find an array of manga type, cartoonish depictions of femme fatales, blood smeared or absurdly sexualised as  “Vagina Dentata” whores ready to emasculate and devour any helpless man who crosses her path.

There are a thousand ways to discredit the feminine: from disallowing the term “breast feeding” and changing it to “chest feeding” in order to include trans women; menstrual suppression; economic dependency; slut shaming; inciting fear of violence (real or imagined); ridicule, to name a few. On this point, I must say as a “Karen,” that the stereotyping of women who have the balls to speak out  as “difficult,” is just one of the many ways that the conditioned social order collude with this programming.

In reality the feared feminine is a fully embodied, spirit connected, intelligent mind with a soul guided purpose, refusing to be enslaved or broken by those who live in fear of losing their man-u-factured and illusionary control.

Was the full moon eclipse in Taurus a malefic moon? No, I don’t think it was. What may be closer to the truth is that the Dark Goddess is active and potent specifically at this time of year on account of  various cosmic factors, while on the collective level of humanity’s awakening the powerful feminine is rising in women and men who are waking up to the truth of covert manipulation eating away at our sacred core. That is the real “ghoul,” the  “Al-khul” which means “body eating spirit.”

No other myth shape shifts quite like the myth of Medusa; the popular interpretation often centres around the serpent headed gorgon, monstrous to be behold, petrifying men in her stony eyed stare. Victory from her wrath is won by the solar hero Perseus who aided by the gods finally decapitates Medusa delivering her head to Athena, the first fully formed daughter of patriarchy birthed from the head of Zeus.

Medusa is not entirely satisfied with this version of her story… there is more to it. She is calling to us now, from the dark dank cave on the Western fringes of the world somewhere between sleep and death. She comes to us in dreams, rises in the blood that boils when we are confronted with the injustices of the world, in the long slow gaze at patriarchy that sees through the veils of deception. Medusa’s eye is the unblinking, all-seeing eye, the eye that sees beyond the illusions of the material world and into the spirit of things, into things as they really are.

Medusa is leaving the cave and returning to the Temple.

One of Medusa’s sacred roles is as Protectress of the Serpent Mysteries, and the Golden Apples in the Garden of Hesperides.

Algol, located in the Medusa’s head and carried by Perseus has meaning beyond the monstrous gorgon and her ill fated ways, it represents feminine passion. Algol raises questions about how we express our feminine passion, do we ferment and rage in a state of victimhood played like puppets of the patriarchy responding with unhealed trauma to every ruse and manipulation designed to keep us in fear, or do we rise in power, reclaim our severed head, and reconnect our embodied nature guided wisdom and spirit led soul with a strong undivided and unconditioned mind.

 Do we fear the serpent or do we embrace her; the serpent has the power to heal and the power to destroy.

It’s time to reclaim Medusa’s head… so she can speak.

New Moon in Libra- October, 2021: Rebirth of the Divine Masculine.

The Emasculation of Pan

“The Emasculation of Pan” by Alan Macdonald

Today’s new moon at 13° Libra occurs at 12.05 pm BST. At the same degree as the Sun and the Moon (at just over 30 arc minutes) is The Red Planet- Mars. The seed moment of the new lunar cycle is highlighting the masculine principle and all that Mars represents such as action, assertiveness, desire, will power, courage, forcefulness, and aggression. Mars is also connected to sexuality, sex drive, primal energy, and libido. As the son of Jupiter and Juno, Mars was initially a fertility god in ancient Rome and later became associated with war.

Right now in our collective consciousness the masculine principle is under fire as never before. A generation or two ago we could scarcely have imagined the unease caused by recent abuse of power at the hands of masculine authority which we view as traditionally appointed to protect. As an institutionalised archetype, the protecting masculine identified with fatherly care, law & order, reason & justice, appears to have disappeared before our eyes. In the wake of the shattered image, there is panic and fear… how could this happen here?

I suggest we have reached a crucial point in the myth of masculinity.

On one hand negative traits of the shadow masculine loom large on our world screen;  whether real or imagined, underplayed, or fabricated, it cannot be denied that the fear engendered by a profound lack of trust of masculine power rips through our collective psyche burning any romantic ideal we may previously have held. On an individual level I expect deeply buried traumas at the hands of masculine abuse are also surfacing. People are incredulous as the pillars of society- the pillar of patriarchy- crumble; from out of the rubble we stumble, finally awakened to the devastation of the wasteland, and wondering where are the safe masculine containers.

On the other hand there appears to be a collective emasculation and as “Big Daddy” exerts ever more control the will to fight is either lost in a sense of hopelessness or else is activated in primal rage- either way the broken warrior and the trauma triggered fighter lashing out blindly are impaired in their ability to act from power.

Wrapped within the polarity of the Sun and Moon, there is the possibility of the re-balancing of Mars- purified by the Sun and transformed by the Moon… masculine and feminine energy. This is an opportunity to bring the masculine energies within and without into greater balance- especially as this alchemy takes place in the sign of Libra which is concerned with equilibrium.

In opposition to the stellium in Libra is Chiron highlighting the core wounds to our image and experience of the masculine. Chiron in relationship with Mars offers the potential to transmute “Warrior” into “Sacred warrior.”

Now is the time of the Divine Masculine.

The sabian symbol of Chiron’s degree in the new moon chart is “Ruler Of A Nation” and speaks to the power resulting from the collective desire for order. History has shown that in the midst of chaos and uncertainty people will tolerate and even seek more control. This symbol indicates a centralization of power at the level of rigidity which in many ways is how we have been increasingly living over the past two years.

My message this lunar cycle is-

Be very careful about what you are prepared to trade for the illusion of safety.

Instead of rigid centralized control we can turn to ourselves to provide fatherly holding- what action are we ready to take from a place of conscious awareness rather than acting out or trauma-based reaction.

Here are a few questions to consider:

How are we using our precious life force (libido); where is going?

Can we express righteous anger and in what way do we do that?

What are we here to do in this lifetime, what are the desires of our soul and how can we create the pathways for ourselves to express and achieve this?

How are we spending our sexual energy- is it entirely ours, do we own it, or is it being used in service of some other purpose based on lack or need, power and control?

Do we have any examples of the divine masculine being expressed in our lives- any role models of this?

With Mars in the cosmic alembic with the purifying fire of the Sun and the transformative powers of the Moon, Mars is being re-balanced… and just for a moment is taking up his original mantle of fertility god,  as well as warrior with the feminine principle tempering his over emphasised warrior.

Some of us are learning how to reparent ourselves, becoming both mother and father to our emerging Self- we are in the territory of the divine masculine and the divine feminine- we are remembering this as our sacred birth rite.

New Moon blessings everyone- in praise and gratitude of the beautiful masculine divine.

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.