Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than a decade. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
Malvin is the author of Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System. He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalayan tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His
special interests are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
Malvin Artley outlines the subtle implications of the Full Moon in Aries, the Libran Moon for 2004. Himself a Libran, Malvin argues that the time of the equinoxes are times of equipoise and interlude, where new projects are implemented and questions about direction in life are pondered. The whole idea of choice becomes very strongly activated, for it is our choices that determine our course in life and that course is what leads us to our encounters with others, thus inaugurating and sustaining all of our relationships.
Spring is in full bloom here in the Land of Red Earth. The weather is starting to turn resplendent, the sap has risen in the plants and in things otherwise and a young man's fancies turn to thoughts of ... well ... things other than work. I was busy this morning in a small backyard shop repairing a milling machine for a man of Sri Lankan birth. The blossoms in his orange tree had pervaded the yard with their intoxicating and sweet perfume. The chooks were softly chatting to eachother as they scratched for their meal in the pen. The young lad in the shop was engrossed wholly in his task at hand, and I could smell the scent of curry as it wafted in from the man's kitchen.
It is amazing what one can find in people's back yards. Driving down the road past the rows of nondescript houses, one would never guess that there would be fully equipped engineering shops behind them steadily churning out parts for all and sundry types machinery that make our lives so much easier. I enjoy these little jobs, as much for the people I meet as for the break in the routine of the large manufactories. But still, here I was, and spring was doing its work on me as I worked on the man's mill. I thought to myself, “What am I doing here on such a glorious day when I could be out in a tinnie* with a mate or sitting on a hill looking out over creation, with nature speaking its magic to me?” Ah well, the man needs his machine, and duty calls. Still, all day I pondered on the choices I had made in life that had brought me to that moment in time and I wondered, too, where the results of choices future would take me in even a few year's time.
Equipoise and Interlude
The time of the equinoxes are times of equipoise and interlude, where new projects are implemented and questions about direction in life are pondered. In this Libran period the whole idea of choice becomes very strongly activated, for it is our choices that determine our course in life and that course is what leads us to our encounters with others, thus inaugurating and sustaining all of our relationships. The period of the Libran full moon this year will be a particularly loaded one in terms of the issue of choice for reasons that we shall see, and it will set the tone for the first of the Grand Quintiles as outlined in my last article. Libra is a uniquely human festival, too, because the human kingdom is the only one in Nature that has to deal in any large manner with the factor of choice. None of the lower kingdoms have the lower (reasoning) mind so developed or even existent and, for the kingdoms above ours, the lower mind is simply not a factor in evolution at all since it has been transcended by them and is only used as a repository of information. But, for humanity, we have to live with the legacy of our choices and, by choosing, we initially develop our minds and eventually learn to supersede them through the awakening of the intuition. One could say that it is our ability to choose that is both our greatest gift and our profoundest curse. The mind can be both the gateway to and the slayer of the Real (the spiritual realms) and, though we may not realize it, it is through the mind that we become the agents for the working out of God's love on our little globe. The mind eventually brings us to the feet of true love.
I will need to flesh out a little more information on the Grand Quintiles in this article, but we need to look at some of the workings of Libra before we get to that. Most people who know a little about astrology know that Venus rules Libra (Perhaps a better way of saying “rules” is “transmits the energy of”. Such a phrase would be more technically correct, anyway.) and that Venus is all about partnerships and balance. That is the more mundane side of Libra, though. As has been pointed out in my other articles, there are at least 3 rulers for any sign. The other two rulers of Libra are Uranus (esoterically) and Saturn (hierarchically). It is through an understanding of the interaction of these three planets that we come to understand the truth of Libra and what it represents and where the actual original impulses for what we understand of mundane Libra have arisen. In the final analysis, Libra is about how we come to arrive at poised, conscious choice (which has nothing whatsoever to do with reason). As such, it is about how we manifest the love of God in every given moment as sensed by the great organ of pure “reason”-the heart--and about how we thus relate ourselves as outposts to the Will of God to eachother and the rest of the world. This may seem a bit abstruse now. Hopefully the meaning will become clear as the discussion proceeds.
The Light of Libra
It has been said that the most spectacular thing about Libra is its lack of any spectacular point of emphasis. This is due to the fact that Libra is supposed to represent a point of balance prior to further action. It is a distinct meditative point within the zodiac. All students of occult meditation know the value of the interlude points in the meditative cycle, as these are when the insights from the higher Self can be most readily accessed. In previous articles Venus has been said to unite the three types of mind, and it is in these meditative interludes when the three minds are most in alignment. There is an at-one-ment between the Soul and persona in those instants and the Light of the higher worlds is allowed to penetrate through into the lower. The Light of Libra is called “The Light that moves to rest.”, and it may well be that people who are born with Sun or ascendant in Libra at some point in their evolution learn the techniques of fusion of the three minds through occult meditative techniques. But, this would only come in the later stages of the spiritual Path, wherein the stage of individualized training between the student and Teacher is instituted. Let's face it, watching someone meditate is not what most people would call “spectacular emphasis”, although to one who is able to see the movements of energy in the one meditating, the Light show might be fantastic indeed!
To the casual observer, most Librans seem to go about their lives fairly non-plussed about anything. Some have called them “the picture of grace and good taste”, though for people familiar with Librans, they often know better. The best result for the Libran type is said to be “a life where not a strident note is heard” and where the middle path is trodden. But, this belies a more interesting facet of evolution under Libra. As stated, Venus is the orthodox ruler of the sign. This is the ruler of the outer circumstances in the Libran type-the ruler of the outer expression and planes. This yields up the classic Libran type: affectionate, beautiful, companionable, diplomatic, fond of relationships-especially romantic ones, a love of fashion and fine arts, a disdain for clashes and arguments, a high aesthetic sense, and a desire for symmetry in all things. But, Libra—like all the signs—has its darker side, for it also rules litigation and warfare—what we get when all the preceding things don't work according to plan, as anyone who has gone through an acrimonious divorce can tell you. It is this darker side that leads to “a reversal of the wheel” for the Libran type in most cases, for the spur that leads one to a spiritual life usually comes about as a result of some type of struggle and, for the Libran, relationships are the primary battleground. Once one steps consciously upon the spiritual Path everything changes, and there is no going back. All the old rules-and rulerships-are out the window and a new rhythm comes into play in the person's life.
Almost every sign in the zodiac has this sort of dichotomy of rulership with respect to the inner and outer life under each sign. We could thus say that there are two types of every sign—one exemplified by the orthodox ruler and the other by the esoteric ruler. I identify these duplicities by their rulers. There are Mars Aries types and there are Mercury Aries types, for instance. The Mars Aries type is the traditional selfish, headstrong and pioneering type, whereas the Mercury type is focused in the mind, is highly intellectual and is more group-focused rather than self-focused. So, for Libra, we have Venus Librans and Uranian Librans. The difference between the two will be readily apparent for those who know their planets, but the affect upon the person can be quite dramatic as well. In the traditional Venus Libran all the above correspondences apply, but the Uranian Libran is a different kettle of fish altogether, so-to-speak.
Libra operating through Uranus gives anything but rest and an easy life. The Libran type born under the influence of Uranus is hardly settled inside, is constantly tested as to orientation in life, is forever having to change their attitudes to things, constantly has choice forced upon them-and often in an extreme manner, and must always adjust themselves to universals rather than personal comforts. Crises are part and parcel of such a Libran's life and the test is to find the point of stillness and equipoise in the midst of the storms. Uranian Libran children are usually extreme in some way until they find their calling, are prone to accidents, are full of the most amazing surprises, have an interest in all sorts of mental-especially scientific-pursuits and can be anything but orthodox in the way they do things. There is always the spark of the unusual in such a child's eye and they are often quite inventive. They can also be decidedly willful when their mind is made up—but in the nicest sort of way. They are great at passive resistance, unless Uranus squares or opposes the Sun or ascendant. Electricity can hold a great fascination for them, too, as well as all things aeronautic. Yet, the Venus ruler still exerts itself in the outer expression, especially in childhood and early adulthood. What we have in the combination of the two rulers is the truest expression of how Libra has sometimes been described: “The iron fist in the velvet glove.” I will let my birth family decide for themselves which type I am.
Uranus does several things to the psyche of any Libran type. Some of these things were stated in the previous paragraph, but reiteration will help to cement the concepts firmly in mind. Uranus is the planet that gives the urge to better conditions. Thus, it is called “the planet of the new”. It always imposes a new order and rhythm in whatever area of life it is found to be operating. To have one's entire inner psyche dominated by Uranus can be distinctly unsettling, to say the least. Gone are the days when all goes according to plan, when constancy can be counted upon and when comfort is the guiding force in the life when Uranus rules. Instead, new rhythms and order require new choices to be made. But often, such choices cannot be made solely with the voice of reason. Such choices often have to be made “on the hop”, without any time for reflection at the time of occurrence. Reflection and the settling in of the new order can only come later after the dust has settled. Such types of decision-making demand something extra of the Uranus Libran-the quality of conscious choice, which happens in an instant and without any reason, play on words intended.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley explores the meaning of conscious choice, which arises in times of crisis. He also goes more deeply into the threefold meaning of the Venus-Saturn-Uranus rulership of Libra under the current lunation leading into the Grand Quintiles of October 2004.
Read part two of The Festival of the Law
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes