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Just Be in the Moment

Malvin Artley
July 2008


Greetings Everyone!
I was sitting at the kitchen table of a good friend of mine a few days ago reading the astrology column in the local paper (It's always good for a laugh.), thermos of tea at hand, getting ready to have a bit of conversation and a sizable slice of Turkish burek. I was in between jobs for the day and had stopped in to have a chat about some work that needed to be done for the center he runs. He was to have a birthday in a few days, and when he saw that I was reading the astrology section he asked me what the stars had in store for him on the day. I knew what was really going on with him because I have his chart, but it is fun to have a look at what the forecasts for the general public are as well and to see if, somehow, we fit in. So, his interest piqued, I duly read out his 'stars'. He sat in rapt fascination as his forecast unfolded, with the biggest smile on his face. "Having finally accepted that you must tackle certain complex misunderstandings, you're now struggling to find a way to put them to rest without upsetting others. (Cancerians don't like rocking the boat.) This simply isn't possible. Only when they realize you are ready to confront them head-on, if necessary, will they understand that you mean business and adopt a more reasonable attitude." There was a long pause after the reading and a knitted brow soon creased his otherwise usually happy countenance. After a few moments, he looked at me quizzically and said, "What does it mean?" (He has a bit of trouble sometimes with western vernacular.) I said, "Basically, certain people have no idea what you're on about and think they can just do what they want, given your good nature. It is time to stand up for yourself and say things have to be done in a certain way. They won't like it, but they will get the message and change the way they act." Another long pause……

"I don't know about all this astrology stuff." he said. "I thought things were pretty straight-forward" (He is in the midst of planning an event.) "Astrology-Why do people need it? People should be able to just get on with things without relying on what the stars say. It is all just a matter of letting go, trusting and doing one's practice every day." he said. I looked at him and smiled. "Yes, that is true to an extent." I said. "If you can see what is coming ahead on the road, though, is a little warning not helpful?" I added. "No!" he said. "I live in the moment and things usually work out OK. I have faith." I was happy he has his 'faith', but faith usually needs a bit of application to work out properly and a little fore-knowledge can be a big help. I wasn't going to belabor the point with him. I could see what was coming for him. In the end he thought the whole business about astrology was pretty hilarious. I would see how he felt in six months and then speak to him again about astrology.

His comments brought to mind another conversation I had with another friend a week before, however. "Just be in the moment." I thought. What a novel concept! The whole world should know about that one! (My other favorite is "Go with the flow!") "OK" I thought to myself. I wonder how many people are actually 'being in the moment' and 'going with the flow' when the 'flow' is going down the toilet. He would be alright with his project, but I did see some 'challenges' coming later in the year for him on other matters-not that he wanted to know about that. Our conversation was all in good fun. We enjoyed our respective repasts and a bit more conversation about the state of the world. The burek went down a treat, topped off with a good cup of tea. I wonder how many of the world's problems would be better solved at the kitchen table? Soon it was on to more important matters. I said to my friend, "Let's see what Calvin and Garfield are up to today." (The 'stars' are usually right there with the comics, if that is not an indication of what the media thinks of astrology!)

"Go with the flow.' "Be in the moment/Now." "Just offer it all up to the Universe." "Don't worry. Be happy." "It's all empty, anyway. No point in worrying about it." "Just let go (and let God, if you are Christian)" Had enough? You know, there is profound wisdom behind every one of the sayings just mentioned. The only problem is that the vast majority of people who use them have no idea what they are saying, aside from the fact that such platitudes annoy the crap out of someone who is stressed about life. Basically, people offer sayings such as these when they have nothing better to offer or want to skirt the issues at hand. I am not on a soap box here. Every one of these sayings could be a good Cancerian aphorism, if one knew the deeper aspects of the sign, and we will have a look at why in a moment. I look at the state of the world now and wonder what people are going to say and think since our sense of security is beginning to be eroded. We just had the solar festival in Cancer on the 18th and we are going to have a closer look at the deeper dynamics of the sign anon. Other than that, we are about to enter another eclipse cycle, with one to take place at the next new moon (total solar eclipse on the 1st) and another at the next full moon (lunar eclipse on the 17th of Aug). We will have a look at the former in this letter, leaving the latter eclipse for the next full moon letter. Both of those eclipses take place when the Sun is in Leo. For now, however, let's have a look at what has just happened with this Cancer solar festival and just 'be in the moment' with it.

The sign Cancer has a very deep and abiding connection with the human race. It is said to be the sign that was the doorway for the appearance of human beings on this globe* and it is the orthodox ruler of mass consciousness as a result. All Cancerian types have an affinity with 'the common man/woman' and they generally do very well when it comes to understanding people's basic needs and motivations. In orthodox astrology, Cancer rules the home, the mother, the birth family, childbirth, housing, the sea, women (in general), one's inherited tendencies, land, domestic life, cooks and kitchens, basic nurturing, gestation, protectiveness and places of rest. In its essence, it is a sign that should denote a state of great emotional and mental stillness and rest. It marks an interlude wherein a process of 'growth around seed' (or in response to seed) takes place. It rules the womb and, as such, should be a place or state of the most profound peace and quiet growth. The womb is the place where the seed idea (conception) of the coming human being is given its arena of development. Hence, the sign Cancer is the interlude that most greatly favors the introduction of new ideas into the human mass consciousness (more often subconscious, for the subconscious is the primary realm of operation for the sign). Cast into the great sea life, the idea that we are takes root and gradual form in the outer world. Cancer transmits the 'Light within the form'-the Light that will gradually and inexorably rouse us to activity, action and eventual birth as Souls, in the true sense of the word. 'Being in the moment/Now' is this very Cancerian state of consciousness, but there is much more to it than that.

Perhaps the more revealing aspects of the sign in question come from its association with the fourth House in astrology, Cancer's natural abode. The fourth House rules all things Cancerian mentioned previously, but in addition it also rules hidden things and treasures, one's private life, conception, heredity, one's spiritual security (the Ashram or Sangha) and the conclusion of undertakings (the means to the end of life). Thus, Cancer as a sign is a sort of Alpha and Omega in its own way-the potency of all that is to be and the means of its end as well. As is so true in occultism, the end is always inherent in the beginning. Above all, Cancer is the one sign that most masks hidden potential within people (as does the fourth House in astrology) and eventually gives it birth when properly activated. Anyone with strong Cancer or fourth House activations in a chart has the potential to discover the unrealized gifts within them-and this brings us to the meanings behind the solar festival just passed-the one I call 'The Festival of the Ashram'.

The full moon of Cancer took place on the 18th of July 2008 at 5:59 PM AEST (7:59 AM UT). The most spectacular thing about the figure is that there is nothing in it of particular note in terms of planetary dynamics. Aside from the separating conjunction between Mars and Saturn (which is rapidly losing potency), the only main aspects are the full moon opposition and the Mercury/Jupiter opposition. The main thing to be taken from this full moon figure is to be gleaned from the symbols for the Sun and the Moon. The symbol for the Sun is most revealing in this respect, and reads:

"A violent storm in a canyon filled with expensive homes." 27 Cancer

This symbol automatically brought the US to mind for me, and I had images of the desert southwest and California there, but it could apply anywhere in the world. We need to remember that these festivals are world events and are not applicable only to one sole country. One has only to think of the housing crisis in the US and the fires that have raged in California to see the potency of this symbol for the US, however, especially since the US is ruled by Cancer in its birth chart (July 4th). The symbol for the Moon has equal potency in certain ways. It reads:

"Pilgrims climbing the steep steps leading to a mountain shrine." 27 Capricorn.

We have the depths (canyon) and the heights (mountain) symbolized for us in this full moon. In the solar degree we have a catharsis indicated-a crisis in consciousness about our foundations and sense of what is of value to us-and in the lunar degree we have its outcome (hopefully), which is a spiritual up-reaching, probably induced by the catharsis. Basically, our notions of security are being tested and re-evaluated. The next two eclipses will bring such matters into focus and will bring precipitating events, along with activations of previous eclipses later in the year. Activations of the sign Cancer always have a way of stirring the depths of the subconscious and of leaving one ill-at-ease as a result many times. Something new is being interjected into the flow of human consciousness. I see a consistent theme, astrologically considered, of a deep questioning of what is deemed of importance in life. Do we stay in our expensive homes in the canyon and weather the violent storm, or do we climb the steep steps to the portal of the 'heavenly home' on the mountain?

We need to look at this idea of 'being in the Now or in the moment', because I think the next few years are going to highlight this very thing for a great many of us. What is there in a moment of time? What potential? What meaning? Let's take human birth as an example. In the process that leads to a human birth, there is one event-one moment-that starts the whole process, and that is the moment of conception. That is preceded by another moment-the moment of orgasm. Now, most of us love being in that particular type of moment, but how many of us really think about what is involved in that? We certainly do not usually lay there in passionate embrace with our partner and consider the philosophical import of human sexuality when we are in the most heated throes of that passion. In a given time and in the midst of passions we make decisions, and I mean any kind of passion in any given circumstance here, good or difficult. We actually make decisions in every moment, whether we realize it or not, and some of those decisions can have far-reaching implications indeed-such as the birth of a child, for instance. Do we carefully consider outcomes when we make such choices at a given time? Not often enough, really. Every decision sets up a string of most likely outcomes. We like to think those outcomes will work out in our favor, but life has a way of throwing us interesting little sidelines on the way to our destination-things we did not see when we made our choices. A child is a pretty big wild-card, wouldn't you say?

So, let's get back to this orgasm business. As we know from astrology, every moment (such as a birth, for instance) has an energetic imprint upon it-a set of potential outcomes based upon the combinations of the energies extant at any given time. It is what we do with those energies that is important, for that will determine the types of choices we make in the future, based upon the event at the time. Now, just as a human birth is accompanied by a map of potential which we call a birth chart, so is every event in time. As it turns out, certain events tend to be linked and the human orgasm, conception and subsequent gestation and birth are all so linked, for example. They are 'karmically charged' and based upon cause and effect, and that makes them important to one another. There is a theorem in prenatal astrology that states that the chart for the moment of orgasm determines when conception and birth will take place. Now, if one knows such a thing and could do all the math involved, one could forecast the type of life a child would have based solely upon the moment of orgasm. How many of us think of that when the grand moment comes!? It would be a rare person, I can tell you. There is something missing from this discussion, though, that speaks to the very heart of 'being in the moment', and it relates to two things-intensity and precipitous action.

For a moment to be of importance for a person, an event needs to be precipitated out of that moment and resulting decision. For that to happen there needs to be a certain point of intensity or focus in that moment. To the occultist or esotericist, we are talking about White Magic here and the processes of that. For the average person, though, it is enough to say that it is one's intensity of application that will determine if a given event in time will produce the desired results, if the energies around at the time are conducive to the desired outcome. There are so many variables that enter in this, but hopefully the point is clear enough. Looked at another way, the moments in life we remember are the ones that had the most intensity to them, for good or ill. We remember the moments that 'impress us'-and those moments speak to and of who we really are. Let us be clear: Unless we are truly 'in' a moment-that is to say, fully aware-it will pass us by unnoticed and we will make little, if any impression on those around us as a result. To be truly present in a moment is a state of the most profound meditative focus, if we are really truthful about it. 'Being' is a state of the clearest, most unclouded consciousness we can muster. So, the question before us is this: Who do we want to 'be' at any given moment in time? Next time someone tells you to just 'be in the moment' if you are simply being yourself and you are fully focused upon a situation at hand, just look at them and say, "I am." I wonder how many would get that one?

At conception and birth, we are 'in the moment'. We are 'going with the flow'. We are 'letting go and letting God.' It applies as well to any moment in life where we are called upon to be ourselves in truth and to call upon our true essence. This is the gift of the sign Cancer-that we give birth to ourselves repeatedly when 'the Soul (or God, if you will) moves upon the face of the waters' and we have to take a precipitous action at key points of turning in our lives. The results will depend upon our choices and whether we have lived in accordance with our inner truth. There is always the possibility that we will unlock hidden gifts in the process. There is also the possibility, conversely, that what we expected will get the proverbial 'flush', too. Our sense of security will certainly be challenged very often in any case, but ask any mother if the process of birth is worth the trouble and most of them will give you a resounding "Yes!"

There are certain places in the world where 'birth' on a national scale and in terms of the collective psyche of those places is taking place. Russia is one such place. The US is about to undergo such a birth. We could list many-wherever there is struggle with the status quo and a genuine urge toward the betterment of its citizens and relations with its neighbors. It may not always seem so on the surface, but a larger view over decades rather than a few years should give the truer indications of what is happening within countries and on a world scale. For this year, at least, the masses of humanity everywhere-and I am speaking of the average citizens of every land-will have a certain definitive choice to make with regards to the collective good: Do I stay in my 'expensive home in the canyon and ride out the storm' or do I rise above that and seek something which is closer to my true essence? In other words, do we seek material security and all the gloss that money can bring, being trapped in the veils with which materialism can blind us, or do we make a step toward something more permanent and which will bring us a sense of inner peace and security, whatever that may be? Just look around. What is really calling you? What do you truly value? Things come and go. Our Essence is eternal.

I will wrap up this letter with a brief look at the Aug 1st eclipse since it takes place just before the Beijing games. I will be sending another letter along very quickly as a result, because we need to have a look at certain countries and what is coming down the road in a few months, if not before. China and the US are two cases in point. The new moon takes place on 1 Aug 2008 at 8:21 PM AEST (10:21 AM UT). It is a South Node total solar eclipse, and it is of the 10 South Saros series. Mercury is the lord of the eclipse. Since it is a South Node eclipse we can look for endings of old situations here. The 10 South series basically reiterates that theme, and it relates to breaking out of very negative situations where there is no real possibility of positive options. Worries that have been besetting one will suddenly clear, or so it is said. This eclipse is not going to bode well for finances, since Mercury is the lord. Look for problems with shipping and commerce too, as well as with youth and youthful people. As always, the symbol for the degree of the new moon holds the key for the meaning of the eclipse. It reads:

"Early morning dew sparkles as sunlight floods the field." 10 Leo

This symbol speaks of transfiguration and 'light through tears', as Dane Rhudyar terms it. We have heard the term 'precipitous action' earlier in this letter, and dew is a symbol for that. The dark night (crisis of Soul) precipitates the moisture (emotions) on the field (earth or outer planes/ human experience). The Sun rises on a new day, though, and the tears, as dew, soon evaporate into the mists of the warming morn. This eclipse will bring renewal, as well as endings. Uranus will stimulate it all next year by sesquisquare, although this is not as strong as full activation. Still, look for many unusual events to come from this eclipse if you have planets at or near 10 degrees of Leo or Aquarius. We will leave it at this for now.

I have been given good cause in recent weeks to reflect upon what goes toward one's feelings of security and sense of belonging, both in terms of one's peers and family associations and with one's place on the larger scheme of things. I was recently thinking back on when I landed in the land of Vegemite and koalas and what it was that really brought me here. So much has changed in my life and in society since that fateful landing. It has been half a Saturn cycle, for the astrological readers. I never would have imagined at the time that I would be where I am now when I made the decision to leave the land of my birth some 15 years ago. You see, I came to Australia supposedly following my heart-a heart enflamed with love for an Aussie girl-only to find after my decision to stay here that there were other calls to be made to my heart that went much deeper than the human love that so often pulls us away from the beaten track. It's one of the funny things about love. Love will move a person to do things and go to places they would never otherwise consider and completely blind one to consequences, even though the 'consequences' can often be quite wonderful. There are all kinds of love, of course, and each kind can affect us powerfully. People often ask me if I would ever go back to live in the States, given all that has happened. My answer is simple-my life is here at the moment. There is something I need to live out here. Something keeps me here. It is a karmically charged place for me, and that not a bad thing. Who knows what even the next week will bring. 'Home' is who we are, not where we live. The next call to my heart could come from anywhere. In that, no matter where I landed, I would always be 'at home'.

I think I just figured out a big piece about security and belonging.
Love always,
Malvin.
20 July 2008

 
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