Full Moon Over the Mountain
Cancer/Leo Solar Festivals [part two]
The Three Eclipses: July & August 2009
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, concludes his investigation of the subtle meanings of the eclipse cycle surrounding the Cancer and Leo Solar Festivals for 2009 with a discussion of the degrees, planetary aspects and the blessings or opportunities that they bring in the months ahead.
Eclipse points generally stay active for several years, thus they can be activated many times. An 'activation' results in the precipitation of an event. Eclipses bring about change and life-changing events, often in a way that ordinary planetary transits or progressions will not. Eclipses often indicate major turning points in one's life. An indication of what is to come can often be sensed at the time of the eclipse, but the actual events presaged by them are not realized until the activation by planetary transit occurs.
The first eclipse at 16 Capricorn will be activated by Mars at the two weeks at mid-September this year. The next Mars activation after that is not until the end of 2010. It had the following Sabian symbols associated with it:
- “A man studying a mandala in front of him, with the help of a very ancient book.” – Sun, 16° Cancer
- “School grounds filled with boys and girls in gym suits.” – Moon, 16° Capricorn
In terms of the solar festival, the degree of the Sun holds sway. However, for the effect of the eclipse, the degree of the Moon is the one of import. The meaning for the solar festival is clear. A mandala is not the easiest thing in the world to define. Without taking too much space to do so, a mandala is the representation of the Pure Land of a Buddha, or fully realized being. Some sources call mandalas a representation of the cosmos or universe, but that is not wholly true. A mandala is the environment of a deity (Yidam) with all the features and beings being found therein. What this symbol actually refers to, I would venture to say, is a Vajrayana practitioner in the early stages (generation stage) of practice learning to visualize what will eventually become his or her eventual spiritual 'home' or Pure Land, which he or she will create over many years, perhaps centuries, of time. In the end, the mandala of one's practice ceases to be an ideation. It literally becomes one's abode and environment after one achieves full enlightenment. The 'man studying' could be said to be the disciple in training in the ashram, the mandala his or her eventual 'mountain top' of realized consciousness, and the ancient book is the 'user's manual', if you will – the scriptural instructions for attainment. Visualize the mountain top, then act 'as if'.
A Gambler's Aspect
The degree for the eclipse holds the key to the method of attaining the solar degree, metaphorically speaking. 'School grounds filled with boys and girls in gym suits' can be seen as a simile of disciples involved in common spiritual practice. We would normally see such a united sort of practice in a monastic setting, but it does not necessarily have to be so. The emphasis here is on organized play, physical training and exertion and common goals. Without the effort, there is no attainment. Without group effort, progress is much slower and we lack the training that 'social interaction' can bring. There is no gender bias in the symbol, either. All are equal under the Sun. One symbol emphasizes study, whereas the other emphasizes application and play. The two must go hand-in-hand for any sort of real or lasting attainment in life.
In the eclipse/full moon figure we find the full moon axis as an 'easy opposition' with Saturn trine the Moon. This will be a good eclipse for bringing things into being and establishing new relationships. Venus was still conjunct Mars, though departing, which adds to the relationship emphasis, although Mars was square to the Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron conjunction, giving an air of caution about getting too excited about the possibilities presented. The square by Mars also warns against jumping the gun and not considering consequences before acting. It is a 'gambler's aspect' and carries a high enthusiasm with it, but that can work for good or ill. It is simply a signal that in anything new one should proceed with caution and consider all aspects before committing to anything that arises with the eclipse activation in September or the ones thereafter over the next few years.
The One to Watch!
The second eclipse (the solar eclipse on the 22nd) was felt quite strongly at the time and in the days that followed. This is the one to watch in terms of world events, and it will receive its first activation by Mars in mid-October this year, so we do not have long to wait. I was in China at the time of the eclipse and was very fortunate to have been able to see it. The days that followed confirmed my suspicions of things to come. I was able to see the effects. It was a destabilizing eclipse and brought about some sudden events. We had a bus crash (minor – no one was hurt) and a thwarted would-be thief (a local, not one of ours) later on that day. We were witness to arguments and the like and the general mood was quite tense at times. The new moon had the following Sabian symbol associated with it (since the Sun and Moon were conjunct):
“A daughter of the American revolution.” – 30° Cancer
In this distinctly American symbol we see a glorification of the past, which is also quite a Cancerian trait. Dane Rudhyar put his interpretation of the symbol quite fittingly: “Here we have.....the ancestor who was perhaps a violent revolutionist or rabble-rouser – or even a fugitive of justice – acquiring a halo of respectability. The tradition that was once born of revolution now extols 'law and order'.” This eclipse will bring those original tendencies to the surface and perhaps (even hopefully) end the glorification of certain aspects of our past. Patriotic sentiment can be a dangerous thing and this is one eclipse that will tend to bring an end to or challenge misguided sentiment or falsehood of any sort.
In the eclipse figure the Sun and Moon were linked to Pluto by quincunx (making it very powerful and obsessive) and trine Uranus, marking it as one very transformative eclipse. The four entities just mentioned formed a mystic triangle (in itself a very transformative configuration), with Uranus square to Pluto. In addition, Venus was in a very tight square to Saturn, indicating strained emotions, feelings of a lack of care, miscommunications, money woes and strained relations between men and women. If this eclipse fell on planets or angles in your chart, mid-October is the time to watch, as the first activation of it will take place at that time by Mars. Being a South Node eclipse, it will tend to bring schisms and endings, depending upon the nature of the planet or angle involved.
The July 22nd eclipse will affect a few countries directly – the US (Pluto), Afghanistan (Mercury), Cuba (Saturn – they may lose a leader), North Korea (Venus – there is likely to be little love lost on them if they continue to carry on), Palestine (Moon – I would watch them and the US in particular) and Britain (Jupiter – probable legal matters). Eclipses to Pluto can be particularly troublesome in a national chart because there is usually something lying under the surface waiting to come out. In a country's chart activation of an eclipse on Pluto can indicate subterfuge and plots, as well as financial instability. October is a month particularly loathed in the US financial sector due to dips and crashes in the market in the past. Saturn will activate the Sept 06 eclipse at 29 Virgo at the same time, which brought a lot of violence with it in its own right. It will affect the North Node of the NYSE and Iran's Mercury. The Mars activation of that eclipse in Aug 08 brought a fair amount of calamity with it (a week on either side of 21 Aug 08), although the opposition of Mars to that point in Apr 09 was of little note. We'll see what October this year brings, but I can tell you now it will likely be an unsettling month.
Point of Focus
Now, before moving on to the third eclipse, we need to have a brief look at Leo for this year and see what stands out. In the scheme of the zodiac one could say that what Cancer binds together, Leo brings to a point of focus and utilizes. Leo, as most people who know anything about astrology are aware, marks the apex of development for the human ego. One needs a healthy sense of ego to be able to do any sort of real work in the world, as well as a developed sense of self-discipline, which is also one of the hallmarks of the sign. A Leo type true to their own nature is always one with a clearly defined sense of purpose and their own self-worth and with a determination to make their imprint on the world or environment around them. Leo is said to be the most vital of all the signs and its nature thus is movement. The Leo type must move or make progress in some direction. For the Leo to do otherwise is to cut off themselves off from their very essence. Leo thus moves outward into manifestation and produces great works (there is nothing small about Leo) and all who come within their influence will tend to be caught up in the wave of enthusiasm that is so naturally Leonine.
I had a chance to observe this first-hand while I was away. Leo rules the higher nature of Italy and half of our tour group was Italian. (Leo also rules the higher nature of Rumania, too, as well as the personas of France and Russia). The Italians in our group were always the first up the hills, the first into the sites, the most expressive of what was great about their culture (and it is a great culture) and they had the best equipment. I say all this with a big smile and a sense of humor, but it was interesting to watch. They were lovely people, as was everyone in our group (and we Yanks and Australians weren't any too shabby, either. Had to throw that in, you know?), but the urge to move outward, the urge to make an impression, to get things done and to do things very well were all there in our Italian friends as a cultural sort of emphasis. It is Leo in the Soul of the Italian race that has given the world their great art, larger-than-life civilization (Roman Empire), their giving nature and their huge diaspora throughout the world. The Leo type is a natural disciple and ruler. Leo must somehow manifest its gift. With that, let us have a look at the Thursday eclipse.
The third eclipse has the following Sabian symbols associated with it:
- “A human soul seeking opportunities for outward manifestation.” – Sun, 14° Leo
- “A train entering a tunnel.” – Moon, 14° Aquarius
In the solar symbol we see exactly the themes of Leo just outlined. This eclipse, being of the North Node, will tend toward opportunities for manifestation. Its first activation will occur in mid-November this year by Mars. It will be active in the charts of the NYSE (Uranus), China (Mars and Pluto), Cuba (Jupiter), Egypt (Neptune), France (Pluto), Iran (Asc), Iraq (Asc), Israel (Saturn), North Korea (Pluto), Russia (Asc), Britain (Venus) and The Vatican (Mars). In all, the period between now and the end of the year will be an active time in world affairs.
Opportunities are Real
The eclipse figure shows Jupiter as lord of the eclipse, marking it as being expansive and beneficial. It is in a wide conjunction with the Moon in Aquarius. The full moon axis is in an easy opposition with Mars, adding to the sense of enthusiasm and energy. Mars is in an applying square to Saturn though, which will tend to frustrate things, so we have a sort of push-pull effect in this figure –ß¥ enthusiastic on the one hand and frustrating on the other. It is a classic sort of 'two steps forward, one step back' sort of scenario. Much good can come from the opportunities presented, but we have to be willing to accept that there will be certain obstacles to overcome in the process. Those obstacles are indicated in the lunar symbol of the train entering the tunnel. We need to keep in mind that the tunnel leads through the obstacle, and though it may be dark in the tunnel, we will eventually come through on the other side. Again, what we are being shown here is to exercise caution in what comes up for us, but the opportunities are there and real and worth pursuing.
Travel has a way of changing a person. I certainly feel differently about things since I have been back. I feel like an alien in a strange world, as one of my tour companions put it – in the world but not so much of it any more. That will change as the demands of life assert themselves once again, but the memories of the trip will stay with me. Besides, I have many hundreds of pictures which will stir memories, imaginations and spark insights – and with which I can endlessly 'entertain' my friends! You will see some of those pictures in my books and on my (eventual) web page. I'll have to get that done one of these days. Eventually, though, something needs to manifest from within me around this trip. I can feel it brewing in there somewhere. We'll see what the eclipse activations bring. I'll see what life brings me and calls me to do in the months to come. For now, though, it is back to work, to my friends and to life here in Oz.
May the eclipses and the energies of these two solar festivals bring blessings and opportunities to you. We live in a very potent time, spiritually considered. If you feel like life is like climbing a mountain in high altitude, maybe smaller steps are the order of the day. Perhaps a kindly porter will be sent with a horse. Maybe – just maybe – some mad American will drop by with a helicopter (I'll have to try that some day.).
I am not making light of things here, actually. We don't know what is going to happen, but I do know that we will not likely have conditions for inner growth like these next few years again for some time to come and we need to make the most of them. Yes, the world makes demands and we have to fulfill our obligations, but after that, what has real meaning to us? That is what we have to answer for ourselves. What will we achieve? What will be our legacy? What will we be remembered for as the ancestors to our future generations? That is what is before us if we could but see it. The tunnel on our path in life may seem dark, or it may not, but the important thing to know is that we will come out on the other side, still on track. The journey is ever-present and unfolds around us. The destination is always assured. Our attitude about the trip is what is important, not the little bumps along the way. I always liked journeys by train.
Safe travels, my friends. May all blessings go before you.
3 Aug 2009
This is the end of the article.
Return to the start of The Cancer/Leo Solar Festivals.