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On Butterflies' Wings

By Malvin Artley
July 2005

Greetings folks!

Revelation often comes from foreign quarters and in strange guises. It was a cold and rainy day in Adelaide the other day and I was on my way to the first job of the morning-as we do on the weekdays. I had just recently bought a new ute* and I was happy to once again have my tunes as I traveled between jobs (My old car didn't have a proper sound system.). I was listening to a song that I had heard literally a hundred times before-you know how we all have our old favorites-and there was one section of that song that I particularly liked. But, the meanings in the lyrics were to have a very different effect upon me that day. As I listened to the familiar words, all of a sudden I was overtaken by a strange feeling in my gut and the next thing I knew every hair on my body was standing on end. There were electric currents coursing through me, and I knew that something had been resolved within me. Perhaps it was the particular combination of the sounds of the music with the ute, or the angle of the Sun, or the weather, or the fact that a certain type of butterfly had just flapped its wings in the Amazon basin-maybe I had just run over a downed power line……..Hmmm. Who cares? I realized that I had just received the answer to a puzzle that had plagued me throughout my life. That was enough for me. The rest would be made manifestly clear as time marched onward. A sudden sense of peace pervaded my system, along with a profound excitement and happiness. The next job called, though, but I went there knowing that the pattern of my life would be different somehow from that point onward. Funny how a moment can change a life.

It has been said that the way of the Western disciple is that of the householder. When the sign Cancer rolls around each year we are reminded of the importance of the first group with whom we are ever associated-our immediate family. For those who have raised or are raising their own families there is thus a double reminder that takes place at this time of year. In family life we learn the first and most enduring lessons of love, beginning with our parents and our siblings and then our extended family. Sometimes we learn the lessons of misplaced or thwarted love, or the coldness that a lack of love and nurturing can bring. Not all families are loving groups. But, for most of us the love is there, along with all the anxieties and conflicts, triumphs and failures, neediness and sacrifices-all of the riches and traps that an intimate personal life can bring. There isn't much that is more intimate than family life. Then we get the opportunity to pass those lessons along to the family of our choosing-our family by marriage. We get to see the other side of the coin, as it were, and learn what our parents went through, though in different guises. We learn how smart and wise our parents can become as we grow up and begin to experience the same things they did. We always knew they had it in them. Still, there is a much wider extended family with whom we incarnate at every new life, and it is that family that really puts us en rapport with the world at large, more so than our birth family. I refer here to the astral family and also to the subjective, spiritual family, or the ashram.

For those readers who are more familiar with the occult lore around the birth of humanity what I have just described will make perfect sense. I have spoken of the threads of karma in previous letters and of how we have to come back in the same groups time after time because it is those people with whom we have to resolve the karma we have accrued. We did, after all, make the karma for ourselves with those same people. The largest family with whom we are associated is the "family of man", political correctness aside, and from the occult lore we know that Cancer is the sign that is connected with the birth of the humanity of this planet. There are other portions of humanity who come from other planetary systems, but the bulk of humanity was born right here in those ages long past and we have all evolved together, regardless of the place of our origin. Cancer governs mass life, and it is the sign most associated with the masses-the general public, you and me. So, when the Sun enters Cancer every year or the Moon enters therein every month, we are given pause to consider our wider associations, our most intimate relationships and our roots, so-to-speak. Cancer always carries a deep sense of belonging and connection, but it also reminds us of all our misdeeds with each other as well. As in all relationships, we have to learn to take the uncomfortable with the joy. We need to examine a bit about our early experience as an infant humanity if we are to truly understand this great, but most mysterious sign, though.

Humanity was born in the early days of Lemuria, some 18 million years ago. There was very little that separated humans from animals in those days. "Consciousness", as we understand the term, was virtually unknown then. The "Lemurian consciousness" was a sort of dream-like state, and humanity was said to have "lived unthinkingly, life unrolling like a panorama before their eyes, identifying themselves with the episodes depicted and knowing no difference between themselves and that which they seemed to be in the unfolding picture. They simply looked on, played their little part, ate, reproduced, reacted to pleasure and to pain, and seldom, if ever, thought or reflected"-to adapt the quotation **. In the deepest recesses of our subconscious memory we carry this sort of consciousness. Indeed, we remember it through our feelings. We call that sort of thing our most basic instincts. People are apt to glamorize the ancient civilizations of the Earth's past, but in Lemurian days humans were nothing like what we know now. That dream-like consciousness is what prods at us in the Cancerian periods and it gives us streams of consciousness into our origins as individuals and as a species. The Moon and Neptune both have rulership over that type of consciousness, and that is one reason why Cancer is known for its psychic sensitivity. But, there is another reason for that sensitivity as well.

In the last letter I spoke of the early years of life as being the closest we come to our angelic presence. It was the same in early Lemuria, too, except we had no recognition of the fact. We were wide open psychically as a species then, but we had barely any mind and little emotion to interpret what we were seeing. It is much the same with animals, although it could well be said that there are many types of animals alive today that display a remarkable ability to interact with and even effect their environment. Animals are psychically open, and if you want some sort of insight into the type of consciousness we displayed in those distant days, then sit and watch animals for a while. At times you will observe them watching things quite intently, although there is nothing visible there to our eyes. Cats are especially prone to this type of behavior and they do spend an inordinate amount of time on the astral plane, even during their waking hours.

It has been said that Lemurian consciousness was largely physical, meaning etheric. The Lemurians displayed an amazing (to us) ability to feel everything within their immediate physical environment. There was no sense of separation from the environment or between humans in those days. What happened to one person or in the environment was felt by everyone within the locale. If you want to see this in action, as an example, watch a flock of birds flying around obstacles at close quarters. Their sense of each member of the flock is seamless and effortless. Babies have this to a degree. When it is said that an infant's mind is like a sponge, it is not far from the truth. People in Lemuria existed in a huge sea of sensation, and the registering of physicality was the most important part of their development. This is the primary effort before an infant as it seeks to come to terms with its new world. It has to get used to being in a body again, even while it still retains the consciousness of the angelic realms it inhabited just before birth. For this reason, infants need quiet time and peaceful surroundings in order to get used to being incarnate again and loud noise, along with discordant emotions, upsets the equilibrium of their systems. Those sorts of things impact very strongly upon them.

What is usually talked about with Lemurian consciousness is their attention to their physical plane existence. But, there is another side to the Lemurian consciousness that is generally not considered, and that is the fact that humanity has never been so close to the angelic realms as it was in Lemuria. So, there is a bit of a dichotomy when we consider the humanity of Lemuria. A great dream was commenced in those days-a dream that would eventually see the advanced animal lives that existed eventually evolve through the human kingdom and emerge at some point far into the future into the 5th Kingdom-the Kingdom of Souls-the Kingdom wherein the Initiates and Angels are one. We are talking here about a "dream" that would take many millions of years to unfold. Side by side with the ignorant, struggling mass of barely human beings coexisted another kingdom of Lives infusing us with their life and spurring us onward, first to self-consciousness, and then to the eventual goal of spiritual consciousness (an existence and awareness of self where there is no sense of separateness from any other form of life). Hence there was a great sacrifice that was made in early Lemuria. The Souls (solar angels) that had drawn close to the early humanity and had instilled the sense of self (individuality) to humanity made a commitment that they would stay with us until we had evolved to their level. They left the seeds of their consciousness with us then and those seeds even now are as the leavening that causes us to rise in awareness, in strength and in spirit.

Cancer rules over childbirth and infancy. Every infant has the enormous potential and legacy of the experience gained through many hundreds, if not thousands, of lives stored away in the recesses of their subconscious. The stages of a single human life correspond to the life of the human kingdom as it evolves through the millions of years of its evolution. We begin as infants and have to get used to the body life after life. This stage corresponds to early Lemuria. Life is like a dream to us in infancy and we are inseparable from our parents and those closest to us. Indeed, we are totally dependent upon our parents in infancy. The remainder of the first seven years of life corresponds to the second half of Lemuria. Early childhood is an amoral time of life-a time wherein conscience is instilled in us, where our basic, formative consciousness is established and where we gain a high degree of control over the physical form. In the New Age vernacular the fist seven years are the "wonder years"-the time of the "inner child". It is a very mystical time of life, full of fantasy and play, where all things are possible and where we are still able to "play with the angels". Just as our parents sacrificed for us in order that we would have a good start in life and that our needs are provided for, so the Souls in those early days provided for the infant humanity. We were given our "soul body" (causal body) then, that will stay with us always until we outgrow the need to incarnate any longer, and it is that body wherein the legacy of all our past lives is stored. In a real sense, it is our "guardian angel". It is that body that also puts us en rapport with all other human beings because the Soul knows no separation from others.

So, we begin to get a sense of why Cancer is associated with the masses and with communal life. Humanity began its life en masse under the influence of Cancer. Esoterically, the Moon is associated with Cancer because in the beginning of human existence the lunar bodies (physical, astral and lower mental) were tied to the Soul via the causal body under Cancerian influence. The Moon rules the lunar bodies. The first part of life is concerned with the coordination of those bodies and the rendering of them into fit instruments of service to the life of the Soul, whether we are talking about a single human life or the entirety of human evolution. Cancer rules the early home, the Mother (especially as that relates to the lunar bodies) and early development. Early Lemuria was our "birth home", as it were, and the tone was thus set for our long evolution here on Earth. The Moon governs the form side of Cancer and thus our appearance as human beings, both in terms of physicality and in terms of process. The Moon is the orthodox ruler of Cancer and it is this association of Cancer with early Lemuria that gave rise to that rulership. But, there is also an esoteric ruler for Cancer-the ruler of the true psyche of the sign-and that planet is Neptune.

Since the esoteric rulers of the signs shape the consciousness that evolves through them once a person has some measure of higher awareness, we find that Neptune really guides the consciousness of the Cancerian type, whether by Sun-sign or ascendant. We need to digress for a moment, though. It is of interest to note that evolution proceeds in a sort of arc, like the swing of a pendulum. As we have said, human existence began in Cancer and in early Lemuria. As the pendulum of evolution swung, we reached the lowest point of the arc in mid-Atlantis-the most material point of our existence. That was also the darkest point of human history and also almost spelled the end of the human race. But, we survived it and moved on. We are now "on the upswing", little as it may seem at the moment, and we are thus recapitulating what was going on in the earlier part of Atlantis-a time when we were given wondrous gifts of technology by the beings who were guiding us. At that period we had no mental grasp of what we were given or how the things worked, but we did use them, largely to our own peril. As we have come back to that part of the arc, though, this time around we are again being given (or perhaps remembering) the same types of fabulous technology that we were given in early Atlantis. This time, though, we are doing it for ourselves and in full understanding of what it does, how it works and where it is taking us. The point I am making here is that we will continue on this swing of the evolutionary arc until we once again attain to the point of the early Lemurian stages of consciousness, this time with full self-consciousness, with full cooperation with the types of angelic lives that gave us birth and with all the added legacy of our experience as fully developed human beings. The reason I have stated the preceding will become clear momentarily.

In orthodox astrology, Neptune is very much associated with dream-like states, nebulous thinking, confusion, deception, water, addictions, delusions, out-of-body experiences, inspiration, empathy, other-worldliness and sensitivity. These are states that were quite characteristic of early Lemurian consciousness. Neptune gives the highest sensitivity and greatest vision of all the planets. As the Magi Society of astrologers is finding, Neptune also grants longevity, so it is a planet associated with duration, and the duration of the evolutionary path of humanity was set and established in those ancient Lemurian times. Our humanity was given birth as the result of the desire of a great being-the Lord of our world. The particular group of Lives (Creative Hierarchy) with which Cancer is associated has passed beyond the realms of the cosmic physical plane and they are focused upon the lowest level of the cosmic astral plane. The lowest sub-level of any plane that we can contact has associated with it a particular systemic law called The Law of Sacrifice and Death. Although that particular law may not apply at the level of this particular Creative Hierarchy, it gives some insight into what that group of Lives is about, for there is always a correspondence between the lower and the higher. We should be aware that the name of the law under consideration has none of the negative connotations associated with it that we would normal suppose.

The Death referred to in this law is the bondage of a Soul in a body. But, it is also this same law that releases the Soul from the body when its work is done. This law governs the sacrifice of all forms to the evolving life that inhabits them. It is closely linked with physicality and with the densest forms upon any plane or density of matter (or spirit, for that matter). There is a very close link, then, with the Cancerian Hierarchy and the entirety of the cosmic physical plane. From their exalted place the love of God is given form and it is from that place that "the waters of life break and flow forth, thus giving birth to the countless forms of the knowable universe"-knowable to humanity, that is. In other words, desire precedes physical creation and guides it. Cancer thus has a very close link with the gestation and birth of all things physical, not just humanity. We should note in this regard, too, that the role of Neptune takes on a very different coloring in relation to Cancer and the entire process of manifestation than is normally supposed in orthodox astrology.

If we remember a previous letter wherein the relation of Neptune to Pluto was discussed, Pluto governs the "breaking of the waters" (Neptune controls to orbit of Pluto) so that the vision Neptune carries can be clearly seen and fully realized-in other words, so the vision of Neptune can be birthed. We have also discussed in a past letter that Neptune is the gatekeeper to the realms beyond our solar system. It is the planet that holds the vision of the work to be done while in manifestation and the vision of the life to be had after "death" (the death of the body). There are three planets in our solar system to which all life is eventually resolved (Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and, of the three, Neptune is the one that conditions and gauges the psyche (subjective quality) of all lives in our solar system. It is an enormously important planet in the life of anyone on the spiritual path. So, far from being a planet that exudes confusion and delusion, it is the primary one that grants us the highest of insights. All great seers have Neptune strongly placed in their charts, for without its influence it is highly difficult to sense the quality of any vision. This is also why Neptune in aspect to the Sun or Moon in a natal chart gives exquisite sensitivity to all sensations.

In a curious way, both Neptune and the Moon are associated with legacy, but it is the legacy of one's psyche that is referred to here, and not so much about material concerns. When the pendulum of human evolution reaches the apex of its swing in the final days of our evolution we will have once again attained to the state of our origins. We will then exist in the sort of consciousness that we had in early Lemuria, only this time in full self-consciousness and with the highest aspects of Neptune. Neptune would thus exhibit clarity of consciousness, precision of perception, compassion, the highest spiritual inspiration, empathy (still) and continuity of consciousness. Those aspects of Neptune are available to us even now, and always have been. All we have to do is to attain the requisite level of consciousness to be able to access them. In that future time our consciousness will then encompass all that we can know as humans and will be more or less complete at all levels. We will have intimate rapport at all those levels.

If we look back to the adapted quote about Lemurian consciousness and how it was then, at the highest point of the pendulum swing we can perhaps re-adapt it to that time in our distant future. When we once again attain to that early state, but in full development then, the quote would read thus (reading it as if one was looking back at the full development of humanity as a past historical event):

"They lived in full consciousness, constantly co-creating in the unfolding planetary panorama through the agency of the eye [re: third eye], knowing their part in the episodes thus created and knowing themselves to be integral to the picture they were unfolding. They looked on from their high place, playing their little part, yet they were detached and beyond all pleasure and pain, the need to reproduce, and from worldly concerns. They knew thought and were thought itself for, to them, they were one with all thought. They were the Lords of Sacrifice."

From the preceding paragraphs we can perhaps see why the 4th house of any horoscope (of which Cancer is the natural ruler) governs conditions in the early home and also at the end of life. As the pendulum of evolution swings, all things are experienced first as new and then recapitulated later with fuller understanding. What began as mass life in Cancer will eventually become fully conscious group life in a future era. Whether or not Cancer will have any part to play in the end days remains to be seen, but we hopefully have the idea in mind of what it all means.

The Cancerian native thus can be a curious sort-extremely sensitive, yet brooding and reclusive; desirous of the things of the past, yet clued in to the future; possessed of vision, yet loathe to give it flight (for fear that their comfortable past will come undone), savvy of human failing and the psyche of people, yet closed to having anyone intrude upon their own psyche; anxious to give birth the new, yet unwilling to let go of the patterns of the past. Heredity is important to any Cancerian type, but to remain attached to that past is anathema to their development. The most nurturing of the signs, they can also be the most smothering due to the pull of the past and the sheer weight of the subconscious. Vibrant and scintillating at times in their visions, they can also be the murkiest with their interpretations because of the colorings the subconscious throws into their perceptions (that is ever the challenge before any seer). It is said that a person born with both Cancer and Pisces prominent in their chart makes for the most exquisite psychic sensitivity. It is Neptune that rules that sensitivity, and it also rules both signs. The battle for any Cancerian is the fight between the lunar nature, self-protection and the pull of the past (as represented by the Moon) and the revelations of the future, present need and the need for inclusiveness as represented by Neptune. With that, let us move on to the planetary dynamics of this blue Cancer festival.

The degree of the Sun reads thus:

"A Greek muse weighing new-born twins in golden scales" 29 Cancer

There has been quite a bit presented to us about alternatives over the weeks since the first Cancer moon of 2005. Choices have had to be made, and primarily about one's past. The past referred to here is the legacy of one's subconscious patterning, though. People have been quite reactive. There has been an upsurge of violence. Some of the deadliest attacks in the Iraq War have been perpetrated by the insurgents there. We bore witness to the London bombings. People have had nasty bouts of flu. Nerves have been on edge. What are our alternatives in all this? Do we react in the old molds, or do we find a new response? The Soul ever weighs the responses and reactions of its charge (the persona) in times of crisis. And, these have been times of crisis. Have we measured up to the opportunities presented? Have we furthered the aims of our various "families" (actual, astral and ashramic)? Have we risen above pettiness and fear? Are we more resolute than before, or have we fallen back into the old patterns? This is always the test before the Cancerian type.

This full moon occurred on 21 Jul 2005 at 11:01 GMT. In this figure we find the following:

The same t-square with Mars at the apex that we had in the last letter is there in this one as well, but with a few important differences:

* This one includes a tight opposition between Saturn and Chiron across the full moon axis
*Mars is in an applying square to that opposition
*The Sun conjoins Saturn, while the Moon conjoins Chiron
*The Sun/Saturn conjunction is at one leg of a quintile triangle with Jupiter and Pluto
*Uranus is at the mid-point (semisquare to) the Moon/Mars square
*The apex Mars is also part of a fire Grand Trine involving Venus and Pluto

That t-square pulls in virtually every element of the chart. This is not a happy configuration. It did one of two things with people. Firstly, because the Saturn/Chiron opposition was so close and because it is an integral part of this full moon figure itself, people were edgy and it was-and still is-easy to inadvertently (or openly) hurt people emotionally. This is a cleaving aspect pattern. The Chinese have a star in their Tzu Wei system that describes the action of this pattern quite well. It is called "Hua Chi" [Transforming Jealousy] (Cloud, Annoyance). It is of further interest to note that Hua Chi was posited in the Destiny Palace (the primary palace) of the Tzu Wei (Chinese) chart for this full moon.

This star has the general character of Mars square Saturn (which we have in this western chart). It confers easily missed opportunities (bad judgment), sacrifices, rifts with partners, no attachment to money, physical weakness, untimely death, work for low wages, rebelliousness, great losses, fluctuating fortunes, loss of property and hard-work with no enjoyment. That pretty much sums up the auspices of the t-square. People either focused on that, or......the Grand Trine as it was released through the t-square (which really is the preferable scenario). The Grand Trine shows the depths of love and positive passions (Venus/Mars/Pluto) and a very high level of inspiration because of the fire element. That is it in a nutshell.

So, take your pick. We can either bemoan lost love (t-square) or realize love on a grander scale than we previously thought possible. Such a thing was do-able with this full moon. The t-square simply removed the obstacles to that greater love - and it did so through crises brought on by the baser passions and through pettiness (Mars). I will have to leave a lot out of the meanings at this point, but you hopefully get the idea. The depths or the heights--which did we choose? Both were possible with this full moon. There was also a novile yod with Mercury apex and a Chiron/Uranus novile at the base. Relationships of all sorts would have been revelatory at this time, and felt very intimately.

I hope you enjoyed the ride, my friends. It was a good one! It was absolutely brilliant for all types of ashramic and group work, whether it worked out that way or not. The air is still clearing from the fallout of this full moon. It will take some time yet. Many aspects of life still feel a bit surreal since then, but a great many insights have come to people over this time as well. Painful? Yes, at times. But, I hope you all made it through OK.

There is, perhaps, one thing with which we should always connect at the time of the Cancer full moon, and that is the very early (first seven) years of our lives. The memories with which we should connect are those abilities, interests, joys, circumstances and types of people who shaped our destiny in the most positive directions. In those early years we were wide open to life and to the inner helps that guided us. We were never so naturally connected with our inner essence as we were at that time and our imaginations were actively impelling us to all sorts of activities-many of which we would never indulge in now for fear of all sorts of repercussions. We should also acknowledge any major fears that surfaced as a result of those activities and come to know that those fears hold us back from the joy of discovery that we evidenced in early childhood. In moving through them we open ourselves into greater service and vitality of life. Through the imagination we become conscious creators in life.

As I drove to my next job that day after my experience with the music, I realized that something from very early in my life had been cleared. But, I also knew that the issue actually went back much further than this life, into the murky corridors of my karmic records. I can hear you asking what it was that had affected me so strongly, so here's the deal, as we say in my country of birth: The life of one on the Path is full of others on a similar journey, and there is no requirement that says we have to walk it alone. That's it. There was nothing else to it, and it seems so elementary-even foolish that I would have felt otherwise. Yet, it had been there nagging at me subtly all those years and affecting all of my close relationships. All of my life I have been surrounded by people-good people, and people with whom I have shared much. Yet, so many times I had felt completely alone, or that any time I chose to live to my highest ethic I would either be shunned because of that or the people for whom I cared would be taken from me. Having one's Moon in Cancer has its down side, as does the Moon in any sign.

As was stated before, the way of the western disciple is that of the householder. How can such a person live in isolation? Indeed, why should they be required to? Yet, that feeling of loneliness (and feeling is the operative term here) had always been with me. I had always wondered why, and never had an answer, until that day. The answer to my puzzle was that I had always managed somehow to separate myself from people by the way I chose to live the spiritual side of my life. So, my worst fears often came upon me. Our spirituality is the most intimate relationship we ever have, the relationship with our own most beloved one-the higher Self, the one who called us into being in the first place. And, if that Self knows only unity and the greatest love for all beings, how foolish are we to feel separated in any way from others?

I felt my true extended family that day. The extended family of my physical heredity is only a small part of that family, though, yet they are an important part of it. Life is to be shared, and it starts at home. If we can't handle the dynamics of those early relationships once we have attained our adult life, how can we be expected to handle any other relationship in a truly magnanimous manner? The way we treat our loved ones says a lot about our connection and relationship with the higher Self, and we are shown those relationships during the Cancerian solar period. To blame our family for our ill feelings and our dysfunctional behavior is to dishonor our process, our evolutionary challenges and opportunities, our family members as flawed, yet worthy human beings and to deny the very love that we are here to live and share. We don't have to like people personally, but if we are to live a truly spiritual life, we do have to love them. The expression of that sort of unconditional love is the true work of any family, whether hereditary, astral or ashramic. I hope you were all able to share a deeper connection with your families in this "most interesting" time. We have all been given ample opportunities to look past our own pettiness and gripey behavior over the past month. My own disposition is certainly sunnier since my ride in the ute that rainy day. I hope, too, that your experiences of the past month have helped you come to feel the love of your own extended families as well.

Many blessings to you all!

*ute (for non-Aussies) def: abbreviation of "utility vehicle". A light truck on which the rear sides fold down to form a flat tray on the back.

** Adapted from Esoteric Psychology II pg. 557, by Alice A. Bailey

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