Well, I finally did the deed. I became an Australian citizen on Friday. (That's pronounced or-STRAHL-yun for the uninitiated) Oi! I know this letter is a bit late but, like the last letter, I felt blocked from writing it. I figured out why on Friday. It was a beautiful summer day on the 21stnot too hot, about 80 degrees in the old measure, and clear skies with a gentle breezea perfect day by anyone's standards. I had wanted to get my ceremony done on Australia Day (the 26th), but all the ceremonies were already full. So, I had to have it done privately at the immigration center. Two of my good friends had happily agreed to come along and help me celebrate the event but, to my surprise, another of my good friends was there as well when I showed up. And, as it turns out, all three were women and all three were Aquarian. To top it all off, the Sun was in Aquarius that day andwe found out laterthe gal administering the ceremony had Aquarius rising. Now, the only reason I mention this is for the benefit of the non-astrologer readers, because destined events always have these amazing astrological synchronicities and interplays between signs and aspects. The chart of the ceremony had Taurus rising, the ceremony celebrant was a Taurean herself, I have Taurus rising in my relocated chart and I just gave a reading today to another Taurean with Aquarius rising. A few days before all this, I had another Aquarian ring up for a reading. So, the energy of Aquarius is impacting on me in a big way and I have finally found the muse to launch into this somewhat overdue letter.
It was a lovely little ceremony. We all took pictures. The ring-leader of the Aquarian crew tried to get me to do a little performance that would have been mildly embarrassing (She tried to convince meto no availthat it was a requirement of all new Australians going through this that we had to give some performance that showed off our talents.) and we all embarked on the time-honored Australian tradition after the ceremony and went down to a local pub for a spot of the bubbly. Then I had an obligatory beer to honor the event. We Aussie men have to do that, you know. The whole ceremony took about 2 minutes, but I was with friends and I was becoming a confirmed member of an ever-increasing group, it would seem. I have made a life for myself here on my island home, so the time had come to make it officialand what better way for a man to do so than to be with 3 fabulous Aquarian womenand one other with Aquarius risingand on an Aquarian day!
Aquarius is the natural 11th House of the Zodiac, and it is traditionally associated with friends, hopes and wishes. Aquarius is a sign that just naturally gravitates towards groups, and all the Aquarians I know (and that is more than a fewand the majority of them are women) have a wide circle of friends and a much wider circle of acquaintances. They always seem to be in the midst of some group endeavor and they all usually have something to do with the leadership of those groups. This goes for people with Aquarius rising as well. Aquarius conveys "The Light that shines on Earth, across the sea", and it is a Light that dispels the darkness from the world and brings all home to shore, safe form the storms and tumults of human desiring. It is a sign that brings healing and salvation, and it is for this reason that I have called the Aquarius full moon "The Festival of World Service", or "The Festival of Group Endeavor". I spoke of the Hierarchy of lives that especially come under the influence of this sign in last year's Aquarius missive, which are the elemental lives. But, this year we need to focus a bit on just what it is that makes an Aquarian such a unique personaand some "unique" ones there definitely areand to do this we need to look at the rulers of this sign, which are Uranus, Jupiter and the Moon.
It is the Moon that is associated with the Hierarchical expression of this sign. The Moon is always associated with the lunar bodies (the bodies that make up our personalower mind, desire and physical) and the class of lives that it rules deal with the sustenance and development of those bodies. They are the ones that take the vitality from the environment and incorporate it into the bodies at their respective levels. They are also the lives that construct the etheric matrix around which the dense body coagulates and adheres. They are the builders and sustainers of every dense form as we know those forms. Thus, Aquarius has a curious and important task to perform around the construction and vitalization of forms of all types, and all forms are but groups of lives of some description. This goes for the groups of tiny lives that from the bodies of everything we see to the largest national and planetary groups that we know as well. But, that is about all that is useful for the average person to know about that particular rulership of Aquarius.
The more potent and important of the rulers of Aquarius is Jupiter, the esoteric ruler, followed closely by Uranus, the best-known and the orthodox ruler. In esotericism, everything works "from the top down"from the universal to the specific. The Moon rules the highest level of this sign and the archetype that we know as Aquarius. But, the Moon rules such a broad spectrum of activity and influence with regard to Aquarius that it can scarcely be sensed in terms of the individual human. Jupiter is very important in one's understanding of this most potent sign because it is the planet that produces all the marvelous group interplay in the human realm and the abundance of healing energies that the sign can confer. Jupiter rules the true consciousness of the Aquarian type, and it is this marvelous Jovian energy through which we know and love all the higher Aquarian types. It is their true signature. Of all the signs, Aquarius can be the most giving and it is the energy of Jupiter that impels the Aquarius type to such a wide and diverse range of people and interests, although Uranus does its bit in this regard as well.
Jupiter is the planet that governs the law of supply in our solar system. It is the great philanthropist among the planetsa sort of secondary Sunconferring a high vitality and unity of effort for all who come under its influence. Jupiter is called "The School of Beneficent Magicians" and it is said that it is always involved in constructive magical work. It governs the supply of vitality throughout the solar system and it confers magic of a very high order. Both Uranus and Jupiter are said to be schools of magic within the solar system and they work very closely together. So, with Aquarius we find a most profound magical combination of forces. The Moon confers the prototype of a form, working from the highest level of the sign. Jupiter then infuses it with life and causes it to expand. It also incorporates varying elements within the environment and fuses them into a cohesive unit. Uranus then produces the manifestation of that form onto the outer planes and, in so doing, brings in a new order. Nothing is quite the same after it has been touched by an Aquarian type. There is thus a tremendous amount of force associated with this sign for those who can properly avail themselves of its influence.
The average Aquarian is primarily ruled by Uranus, and we are well familiar with that particular manifestation of this energy. Aquarians are renowned for being "different" somehow. Some of them are just downright odd. Aquarius rising often gives odd characteristics to one's appearance. Some Aquarians go out of their way to be different or eccentric. They are the non-conformists of the zodiac. But, behind it all, there is a dimly sensed consciousness that they are somehow here on this earth to bring about some kind of change and to aid in the processes of human and planetary evolution. They get this from the other two rulers, plus the fact that Uranus always represents the urge toward better conditions of living and greater freedom for the Souls of all people. They are thus known as one of the most humanistic of the signs for that reason. You can always count on the Uranian (orthodox) Aquarian to be "out there" somehow, whether they are doing so because they feel a need for change or because they genuinely believe what they have to offer is of benefit for those around them, whether what others think is true or not.
When the Aquarian has firmly and definitely set their feet upon the spiritual Path, though, then they come increasingly under the influence of Jovian energy and they then become powerful agents for change in the world around them. We are coming quickly into the Age of Aquarius, as we all know, due to the precession of the equinoxes and this is set to inaugurate what has long been touted as the New Age of peace, brotherhood and all that. The real impulse behind that is the incoming greater cycle of the 7th Ray, with which Aquarius is associated through Uranus. It is really this ray which is the harbinger of the new order to come in the world, although Aquarius as an Age will do its part and inaugurate the cycle. But, the New Age, as we call it, will extend far into the future beyond the Age of Aquarius. The cycle of the 7th Ray runs for 7000 years with lesser cycles running in divisions of 10 into the 7000. Each Age lasts for roughly 2500 years. The planet that will bring the true potency of the Aquarian Age to fruit is Jupiter, and it is this greater benefic which will oversee the unity of the human family and eventually usher in a greater era of peace and prosperity for our world. Magic will happen in the world, but we need to keep in mind that we are looking at cycles of the Soul in that regard, which run in much longer time frames than our temporal human consciousness. Our human problems will not pass away overnight, nor will they pass without a strugglebut fall away, they will.
As we can see from all the above, the Aquarian Age will bring about a time in human history where the focus will be upon united and communal effort along every line of human life and work. In that Age the Jovian Aquarian types will be the examples and set the tone for that type of work. There is already a gathering impulse for that type of experiment as the Piscean Age slips away and Aquarius grows in ascendancy. In the Age of Pisces the emphasis was always upon a Savior and upon self-sacrifice as a way toward salvation and redemption. In the coming Age the emphasis will be upon united effort and shared service as a means toward solution of the world's and personal problems. The emphasis will be shifted from people being spiritually saved through an agent of a greater body or Truth as it has been in Pisces, toward spiritual self-responsibility and what can be contributed as a result of that recognized divinity within for the greater good. United effort through a sound comprehension of factsall self-motivatedwill eventually be the way of all high-minded work during the Age of Aquarius.
Thus, with the Jovian Aquarian, we see the true humanistic impulse manifesting. We see the person who knows from deeply within the hidden need of the moment and who can bring together the people who can fill that need. Experience has taught them well of the ceaseless motion and change that life can bring, but also of the abundance that life promises at every turn of fate. Somewhere in the back of their mind, too, is the knowledge that difference for its own sake often only alienates and that it is far better to act together with people to affect change than it is to be but a lone, strange voice crying in the woods. The Jovian Aquarian always seems to know exactly what and how much of a thing is needed to fill the cup of the one or situation in need, and they know fully the power that comes from selfless giving. The power of Jupiter can seem well nigh inexhaustible when it is invoked in fullness, and it is with no misapprehension that it is called the greater benefic of the zodiac. With all this being said, then, let us look at what is in store for us at this Festival of World Service.
This Aquarius full moon occurs at 9:33 PM AEDT on the 25th of Jan 2005. Change is strongly marked in this figure by the abundance of squares, quincunxes and oppositions. Although the main opposition mapped by the Sun and Moon has few aspects to it, there is a quincunx to Uranus by the Moon, indicating a need for readjustment and change of established attitudes to world need. We have already been given a taste of this in the recent tsunami and there will be much more to indicate a need for new thinking in modes of service as the year rolls on. The degree of the Moon is of interest, and it reads thus:
"A conservative, old-fashioned lady is confronted by a 'hippie' girl." 6 Leo
Here we see the old being confronted by the inevitable onslaught of the new. The fact that we have conservative governments in power at the moment is of interest in this regard as well. Quincunxes can indicate a "nagging problem" that needs constant attention until the needs represented by the planets involved are properly assessed and utilized. The governments of the world have their share of nagging problems with which to deal, especially in the US and Australia. There will be interesting scenarios played out this year in the realm of world service between the old order and the force of the new which is coming in. The Moon always has inherent in it the care and nurturing of the masses and forms of all types as well as that which is brought over from the past into any given situation. The need for change and the process of forcing in that regard is further indicated and exacerbated by the sesquisquare between the Moon and a Mars/Pluto conjunction.
The sesquisquare is considered to be a minor aspect between planets. It is said to present quite a lot of agitation depending upon the planets involved. It is an aspect of discord and strife. With the sesquisquare coming from Mars and Pluto together, one cannot get much greater agitation than that. As an aspect, it indicates a distinct lack of composure and a tendency to fly off the handle and to behave in uncharacteristic ways when presented with difficult and challenging circumstances. It indicates a fair amount of emotional flux and a constant need to bring self-control to bear when things operate outside the norm, as they certainly will in the realm of service and group work for the period of the next 12 months. To cap this off, that Mars/Pluto conjunction is also quincunx to Saturnthat aspect itself another powerful indicator of change and of the probability of overturning the established order in many aspects of human affairs.
The degree of the Sun, as always, sets the tone for the chart and for the issue at hand, and it reads thus:
"A masked figure performs ritualistic acts in a mystery play." 6 Aquarius
There is no greater mystery play than life itself. I can hear the strains of the Beatle's "Magical Mystery Tour" going round in my head as I read this. Are we not but masked figures, going about our daily rituals at each turn of the Sun in the sky? At the commencement of every life the Soul puts on a new mask and moves upon the stage of our planetary drama, playing its role in the ever-unfolding play which we call life on Earth. But, there is potency in ritual. Ritual has in it the seeds of success through practice, persistence and ordered progress. We never gain mastery over ourselves except through the daily application of the ritual that is life on the physical plane. No great artist ever mastered an art except through a dogged practice of technique, usually over many years. But, once a technique is mastered, then it is automatic. The true genius of the Soul of the artist can then show through because it is thus untrammeled by the previous inadequacy of response of his/her own undisciplined persona. Great and lasting achievement is always marked by people who have mastered some aspect, if not all, of their lower nature and who are thus able to express the gifts of the Soul through a finely tuned instrument. The greatest and most powerful ritual we can do every day is to observe the steady and ordered communion with the higher Self. Through that alignment of our given energy fields, we are thus able to affect all situations and people around us in ways which we never even conceived as possible. Our reach is much farther and more profound than we think.
The Sun in is this figure is semi-square to the Mars/Pluto conjunction. This conjunction bears a bit of comment. I have spoken before of the relationship between Pluto and Mars, and that Mars is the alter-ego of Pluto. Some people think me mistaken for saying it thus, but we are assured in the Ancient Wisdom that it is so. Here we have the two major planets that mark the Destroyerthe great liberating Force in naturetogether. At the time of the tsunami they were both in the same sign. Now they are conjunct in Sagittarius, a fire sign, and they were in that aspect at the time of the recent deadly bush fires on the Eyre Peninsula. That conjunction in a fire sign is indicative of conflagrations, and we should be very mindful of our attitudes toward service and group work as the year proceeds. Many groups will be shaken to their foundations under the influence of this full moon. It is also useful to note that there was a great loss of life in those fires. We tend to think that, yes, there were less than a dozen people lost. So what? Well, there were tens of thousands of sheep that died horrible deaths in that fire. But again, people tend to think, so what? They were just sheep. That number and more die every day to fill the bellies of people around the world. So what? Indeedit bears some thought. Are we really so distant and different from animals, especially domesticated animals? Given the treatment of people around the world at the hands of fellow humans, we have to wonder about how far we have advanced sometimes.
The semi-square mentioned above is of interest, too. The semi-square has been called the "nuisance aspect", but I wonder if the powerful conjunction that is a part of this aspect will allow it to simply be a nuisance? Semi-squares are said to act as a sort of irritant, giving one little prods along the road of life that lead to self-correction. As a species, we need a bit of correction from time to time. It is said not to be as powerful as the sesquisquare, but its influence will be marked, nonetheless, especially since it involves the Sun.
There is a t-square in this chart, the base of which is an opposition between Saturn and a Mercury/Venus conjunction, with Jupiter as the apex. The opposition says a lot about the heightened need for deep thought before acting, for loyalty within alliances so long as the alliance is doing its needed work and for the need to keep to the highest of one's ideals in the face of the necessities of life, as indicated by Saturn. The mutual squaring to Jupiter can indicate that people will tend to go overboard with their thinking and affections at times and that the imagination can be distinctly lacking when it is most needed. Saturn is under a fair amount of stress from Mars and Pluto, though, and it is in its detriment in Cancer, along with being retrograde. It is a setup that suggests that it may just be possible to offset some of our karmic liabilities in the coming monthsif we can do so in an appropriate manner. There is much indicated in the way of newness and change in this chart and that the old structures as represented by Saturn in Cancer and much of the old insecurities that have dogged people since 9/11 can be set aside by people of vision if they know how to put their ideas across and in right timing. My reasons for saying this will be outlined in the Chinese New Year letter due out in a week or so.
The only trine between planets is our old familiar one between Jupiter and Neptune, which can bring an extraordinary intuition to bear in times of crisis and need. We saw this in action with the response of the Australian government to the tsunami crisis. Some would say that the Howard government's handling of the crisis was the single best foreign policy decision of his administration. It was certainly well thought out and appropriate and showed the character of Jupiter and Neptune both in its application and conception, not to mention the generosity of the Australian people. Interesting, too, that Jupiter and Neptune acting together can indicate a huge wave, as we saw with the tsunami. Whatever else is going on in the chart, this higher ruler of Aquarius in trine to Neptune gives a practical application to all intuition and hunches, the magnetism to pull people together in appropriate responses to situations, and a unique ability to match practical needs to the highest of spiritual insights. No matter which way we cut it, this is the single most powerful meditative station in the whole of the chart. All trines indicate meditative stations and spiritual grace within any horoscope. There are other points that could be made about this chart, but this will suffice for the moment.
It has been a long journey that started with my life as a Tarheel in North Carolina. I now find myself to be a citizen of two great countries. Do I feel any different? No. It has not changed who I am. If the chart for the ceremony is any indication, though, it should be a most creative and fruitful partnership. It is a signpost on my journey through life, however, and a warmly felt one. I would hope that I can bring the best of both countries together somehow and make one more small step for everyone along the way that will eventually lead to the place where national boundaries mean but little and that we all recognize that the world is really just one large community. Eventually we will all be world citizens. Do I prefer one place over the other? Again, no. There are things I love and that I dislike about both places. But, I have always known that I have some mighty fine friends. I have made great friends wherever I go. It is our families and our friends that make a place livable and that really give weight to the saying that "Home is where the heart is." Love knows no boundaries. What is important is how much love we can bring to the world around us, however.
I wish to give a special thanks to my quirky Aquarian friends for making my life here in Oz a great adventure and for being there when I made the great transition. If you expect me to begin talking like an Aussie, though, forget it. I am going to keep my southern accentthank you very muchand be a true Uranian Libran, pushing the limits (in a good way, of course) and giving out my occasional outbursts of irreverence as I have always doneas all good Yanks and Aussies do anyway. I'm jesting here, naturally. Then again………..
To the Aquarian initiate nothing is too hard and all things are possible, for they know the law of supply and they have intimate knowledge of the cycles that bring all things to pass. As we move into the coming months let us reflect deeply on the possibilities that our communities of living present to us. Whether a country or a neighborhood, all groups of people can accomplish amazing things if proper timing is followed and if the leadership is enough inspired. We don't have to be Aquarian to know how to do be effective leaders of a group or to even practice the ideals of this sign, but we do need to remember the power of ritual in our lives and the fact that we are all parts of a greater, more potent whole. Our hopes and wishes most often find their realization through our friends, at least to begin with. In the highest Aquarian tradition, all people are seen as one somehow and related as part of the one family of humanity. We should always remember who our friends are and stay in contact, no matter if differences or distance separates. These are but insignificant matters in the greater Life of the Soul. If need arises, call on your friends. We will need them all in the years to come. May you be blessed with many friends and may your companionship and shared serving last for many yearsindeed, for many a lifetime!
For those who still grieve, I offer the following from one of the greats of American poetryHenry Wadsworth Longfellow. It applies as much to this event as in the hundreds of thousands of deaths that occur daily upon our planet, mostly from natural causes.
The Reaper and the Flowers
There is a Reaper whose name is Death, and with his sickle keen,He reaps the bearded grain at a breath, and the flowers that grow between.
'Shall I have not that is fair?' saith he, 'Have naught but the bearded grain?Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me, I will give them all back again.'
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes. He kissed their drooping leaves.It was for the Lord of Paradise he bound them in his sheaves.
'My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,' the Reaper said and smiled:Dear tokens of the earth are they, where He was once a child.
'They shall all bloom in the fields of Light, transplanted by my care,And saints, upon their garments white, those sacred blossoms wear.'
And the Mother gave, in tears and pain, the flowers she most did love:She knew she should find them all again, in the fields of Light above.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath, the Reaper came that day:'Twas an angel visited the green Earth, and took the flowers away.
……Oh fear not in a world like this, and thou shalt know ere long,How sublime a thing it is, to suffer and be strong. (Ode to the Stars)