Adventures with the Lama
By Malvin Artley
I had a rather interesting experience recently. The blue moon of Cancer was still weaving its effects in my mind and retrograde Mercury added its share of unexpected surprises to the mix. The recent days have been full-on and all I wanted was a little relaxation and a chance to clear my head. In fact, the past two months have been some of the strangest months in recent memory. I didn't know why I thought things would suddenly change, even though a little more "normalcy" in life would be nice, so my recent experience was not to be totally out of left field. My story goes something like this: I was approached by a fellow the other day and was asked if I would like to do something markedly different to my normal routine. In short, he asked me if I would fancy bungee jumping off the Empire State Building. "Yeah, right!" I thought. Just my cup of tea. He proceeded to outline all the details. There was a special rig for the jump set up on the top of the building. He had pictures of the thing and I was getting more and more excited by the minute as I thought about it-but not in a good sort of way. My system was going nuts! Sure…. I could see myself sailing off the top of this American icon into the wild blue yonder and the aromatic, hazy air of the New York skyline. You may as well know that my astrological makeup is not really indicative of a love of extreme sports. My idea of an exciting time is watching other people do this sort of thing on the screens of the movie theaters. I'll leave the actual doing to the Aries types and Sagittarians, thank you.
I had all but dismissed this wonderful notion until I saw one particular picture. I'll have to tell you that it really set my nerves on edge, for in this frame-at the top of the Empire State Building-with the bungee cord tightly secured around his ankles and with the happiest smile on his face that you ever saw, was none other than His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. He was going for it! Happy as Larry, he was! And he motioned for me to join him. Great! I knew at that point I was about to undertake something memorable, to say the least. I started to have second thoughts then and actually started to consider this hair-brained scheme. I thought, "Well, if this man can do such a thing and have absolute faith then-by golly gosh-why can't I?!" New underwear would be in order afterwards, but what's a few extra dollars in return for the time of one's life? OK….I guess you have figured out by now that my "experience" was a dream, but it occurred when the Moon was transiting over my Neptune, along with other auspicious aspects by transit. I very rarely-if ever-dream of holy men either, so I had to spend some time with what the meaning for this one was to me. I'll talk a bit more about all that later.
The period since the first full moon of Cancer has brought many changes with it. It has been a hard time on people's hearts with the Saturn/Chiron opposition. Folks have felt pulled in many directions. Many have fallen ill with the bird flu that is going around. Pretty much the whole of Australia has been sick with that. We just had the recent air disaster in Greece, especially with the loss of so many children in that crash. Thankfully, that opposition is starting to move on now. But, we get it back starting around April of next year-all through the main spiritual festivals of 2006, so we are being given a taste of things to come for that period right now. It started to come into effect this year at the first part of July, hence the entire Cancer period with both of its full moons being difficult for many people. The fact that the opposition did occur throughout Cancer points to why it felt so poignant and why people felt so emotionally uprooted. Leo is giving us a respite from that, though. Let's have a look at Leo then, because there has been a definite sense of a sort of "brave new world" mentality following upon the major emotional surgery many have had. The air is cleared somewhat and it is time for brighter days.
Leo has always been associated with the heart and all the things thereof-courage, daring, love, vibrancy, unity, connectedness with other people and leadership. Did I mention love? But the primary thing for which all Leos are known is achievement, and of all the signs, Leos exhibit this in spades. Any Leo type will be a natural achiever, and they will be more magnetic than most types as a result of their accomplishments. People are drawn to the successful, after all. In fact, the primary goal of the Leo type in any life is precisely to attain to the highest personal goals possible, hopefully to be used in service to humanity. A Leo is a natural leader because they have done the work, have excelled and can thus show others the way they have trodden. There is usually great pride in what they have gained, and we find this sort of thing in all Leo types, no matter what their orientation. It is the chief failing of the sign, too, but we can perhaps forgive a little pride if the goal attained shows merit.
Leo is the only sign to have its ruler (the Sun) the same at every category-orthodox, esoteric and hierarchical. It is the fieriest of the signs, and it has two qualities which eventually lead Leos to the heights of their success. The first is the "will-to-illumine" and the second is the best-known-the "will-to-rule". The former quality is what contributes to the unique sensitivity of the Leo type, for it is one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac. In the early stages of development that sensitivity creates an acute self-interest as everything is examined in relation to how the personal life can be furthered and how the world can be molded to fit the desires of the native. In that vein, Leo is very closely connected with science because the Leo type loves to see how things work and how those things can thus be improved for their benefit. The latter quality is that for which Leos are best known, however, and it is why they can be so difficult to get along with at times. With the Leo type it is often "my way or the highway", and this applies just as much to the person with Leo rising as it does to the Sun in Leo person. Because everything is seen in relation to self-interest, especially in the early stages, of course the Leo would think that the world should revolve around them! This behavior can be found in even the highest of Leo types and any Leo will always be found at the forefront of some type of group activity.
Leadership is hard work, though, and it takes certain acts of daring to make it to the top of the heap. What those acts are differ according to individuals and circumstance, but if we want to excel as individuals then we have take risks. It is only when we realize that everything we do in life entails a risk of some sort that our fear of success begins to fade and we then progress forward with more ease along whatever line we choose in life. Life as a Leo type teaches one that-to be bold, to be willing to take a chance on things (Leo is also associated with gambling and love affairs-which can also entail a great deal of risk), to push one's limits and the limits of the group of which one is a part-to perform great acts of boldness and daring, as one of the great Masters has implored us all to do. And, if we look at recent times in that regard, what do we have to lose if we have gone through heart-wrenching events? Broken relationships often give a person just the impetus needed to push forward, to live more ardently and to be more than they were before. That has certainly been the case in my life.
I have known many Leo types throughout my life and nearly all of them have had very difficult times with at least one of their intimate relationships. Their stories read like a litany of shattered dreams and broken hearts which have eventually lead them to investigate new avenues of life, to seek to live their own lives more fully and to break out of those conditions that lead to their difficulties in the first place. We could say that such a thing is true for all humanity, and it is. But such experiences with Leo have a potency that is only found in the other fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus). Those signs are known as "discipleship signs". As an aside, Leo is one of the signs to which I seem to have a magnetic resonance, thus Leos and I seem to be drawn together, along with Aquarians. The reason I mention this personal example is that we are all attracted to 4 main signs that way-the 4 being determined by certain formulae. A good friend of mine is getting ready to publish her findings on just this thing, so I throw this in as a bit of a teaser for her work (I will notify you when it comes out.) The point of this is that I have seen a lot about the struggles of Leos through my associations and the vast majority of them are very fine at what they do along their chosen line, precisely as a result of their struggles and resultant investigations. No pain, no gain, as the saying goes. One of my main mentors-also a Leo-told me once that we should be thankful for our pain. I can see his point now, although I was not especially appreciative of it when he first said it. Spoken like a true Leo, though.
All this being said, then, what acts of daring will we be called upon to do in this Leo period? True, it is almost finished. Looking back, though, have any of you been challenged to raise the bar for yourselves a notch in the past three weeks? Have we seen our pride come out and get in the way or has it been broken a little, thus showing us a more humble path? Above all else, Leo teaches faith in one's self and one's God-given abilities. Evolution-physical or spiritual-never occurs without taking risks and pushing the boundaries of existing conditions. The status quo always takes a hiding under the influence of Leo types and the energies of the Leo solar period. Advancement along any line always entails a leap of faith. So, there should always be an intensification of the sense of something greater in life and a renewed sense of faith in spirit and self in the Leo period. With that, let's have a look at the Leo full moon of 2005.
This full moon occurs at 5:52 PM GMT on the 19th of August. The symbol for the degree of the Sun is evocative, and it reads thus:
"The luminescence of dawn in the eastern sky." 27 Leo
In addition to the qualities outlined previously, Leo also carries the torch of illumination, be it through science or through self-discovery. Dawn always represents the start of a new cycle, however, and that sort of energy is strongly with us at this time. People feel ready for something new. Folks are also growing increasingly dissatisfied with things as they are. The war in Iraq grinds on. The governments of Australia and the US aren't exactly winning hearts these days. There is a major battle about to be launched in Oz over the government's planned overhaul of labor relations. There are grumblings about Iran by the world powers. The recent London bombings are making us all a little more attentive and mindful. Gas (petrol) prices are soaring. We hear about the new day (Age) that is coming, but when will it arrive? None too soon, we hope. Yet, we have to deal with things as they are and with the equipment we have in the here and now and not give ourselves over to wishful thinking. Leo is also an intensely practical sign, knowing all too well what works and what doesn't through the fires of hard experience. Still, we sense the coming Light. In a chart, the Solar Angel (higher possibilities indicated for a chart) always appears on the eastern horizon and illuminates our psyche as we draw the highest essence from all our experiences. The rising Sun wipes away the darkness and fears from the night and brings us renewed vigor and a head full of plans for the coming day. So, the indications are that new things and renewal will come of this full moon.
This is given further credence through the septile triangle formed between the Mars, Jupiter and Chiron. Mars always gives the ability to overcome obstacles while Jupiter gives the ability to expand into greater service and realities. As Chiron is the midpoint of the triangle, the central theme of the septile configuration is healing through self-sacrifice and moving into more intimate rapport with the higher Self. Septile patterns always give the capacity to set new benchmarks in one's chosen line of work because the inner pattern stands revealed to a person. We have discussed these patterns before, but the upshot of this one might best be described as "the insight born of daring", or the "intimate understanding of what it means to live a calculated risk". This is an experience-inducing triangle. Whenever Mars and Jupiter are aspected adversely (septiles are not generally seen as favorable aspects) there is always the chance that people will go overboard and throw caution to the wind, sometimes with "less than favorable" outcomes. That dynamic gives a sort of "diamond-in-the-rough" mentality, and when Chiron is connected with those two the stage is set for a fair amount of emotional turmoil due to inattention to risks and excessive behavior.
But, the triangle just described can be revelatory just the same because it will cause people to break through boundaries, to shake up the comfortable patterns that keep us locked into static modes of thought and to rejuvenate relations that have otherwise been stuck. Things behind the scenes are always revealed through these septile patterns. Upheavals are further indicated with Mercury being square to Mars, giving arguments, short tempers and errors in judgment due to people losing their heads (This will be interesting for Adelaide because the ascendant for the full moon figure here is in the 21st Chinese lunar mansion-decapitations, untimely deaths, accidents, etc.). The scandal mill is working overtime in our fair city at the moment, and there are similar things going on in other parts of the world, too, especially in the US. Revelation is indicated still further because Jupiter is also part of a quintile yod with a Jupiter/South Node conjunction and Saturn in the base quintile and Uranus at the apex. Jupiter will be the release point for both of the aforementioned aspect patterns. The quintile yod has been with us for almost a month, coming into orb just after the last full moon. This particular pattern really gives a unique opportunity to bring forth a creative manifestation of rare beauty because of the planets involved.
So, the stage is set, and we have not even considered the orthodox planetary patterns yet. We have before us a window wherein a work of real daring, boldness and profound beauty can be introduced. No one does boldness better than a Leo, and we should avail ourselves of the energies coming to us at this full moon. Not only should we rise like the Sun in our full glory at this time, but we should try as much as possible to go that extra distance that brings something new-and of beauty-to the world stage. The aspect of beauty is further elucidated through the symbol for the moon in this figure. It reads thus:
"An ancient pottery bowl filled with fresh violets." 27 Aquarius
Violet is the color associated with the Ray of creative manifestation and the etheric bodies of all physical things-thus with the emerging potency of all things new. It is a uniquely alchemical color. As with this symbol, however, the beauty of the old should always be used whenever possible as a backdrop to the new. It is not advisable to discard the old if it is still of use, especially if beauty still finds display in it. In this symbol we have an effective link with the Cancer full moons just passed. Cancer is all about heritage, and the blessings of the past serve as the backdrop for the energies of the future brought forward in this full moon period. Beauty is revealed in the beating of the heart and the daring of its expression. Leo roars its song to us now and invites the fire in the heart to come forth, like violets touched by the morning Sun.
"They will ask, 'Who gave you the right to dare?' Say, 'We dare by the right of evolution………….inscribed in flame in our hearts……'
Daring! Should one understand it as an unheard-of achievement? Shall not daring be the daily repast and the garment of every thought? Will not the prison walls become transparent? And will not the seal of the sacred scroll melt for the one who dares?
In counseling daring, We offer the simplest way. The heart knows the truth of this way. At present one cannot point out any other.
Agni Yoga 49
The two main standard aspect patterns of this chart, along with the others mentioned previously, echo the sentiments just quoted. First, there is what is known as a "hard rectangle" formed by the Sun/Moon axis in semisquare to the nodal axis. Past and future must merge and produce a work that will add positively to the human condition. The nodes represent the past and the future points of one's fate, and these add to the symbols for the Sun and the Moon. But, there will be struggle to attain this, as indicated by the semisquares and sesquisquares in the hard rectangle. Hard rectangles can give the impetus to break through into new light, but old patterns need to be released in the process. Along with this, though, there needs to be expansion on the useful aspects of the old and their union with the higher possibilities as indicated by the Sun and the North Node, along with the ascendant point at one's locale. It is the Jupiter conjunction with the South Node that gives the need and impetus for expansion on the old.
The other main aspect pattern is the t-square formed by a Mercury/Neptune opposition with Mars square to both planets at the apex. There will be pronouncements made by people in power that will seem to be of great authority, but we should be mindful of deception from such quarters. All things need to be gauged squarely against the measure of the heart in the days to come, for the truth is known in the still silence there. Lastly, the Sun is trine to Pluto is this figure, and people in power will feel emboldened by this full moon. However, there is a stinger in that for those leaders who would foolishly think theirs is the only correct way or that they can manipulate the masses to their ends because Pluto is retrograde at this full moon and the currents of the mass subconscious are running counter to the norm. Leaders are apt to misread the pulse of the populace with Pluto retrograde. What would ordinarily indicate ease in handling large groups of people will go against those who seek to abuse their power and the t-square, along with the other aspects patterns, will work to derail any plans at material gain at the expense of the freedom of others. In all, the effects born of this full moon will be most fascinating to watch.
Leo always points to a life wherein personal best is the order of the day. Although I am not a Leo myself, we all have our "Leo moments" along the lines of personal achievement, and these should eventually find their way into the general service of humanity. It has been said that it is unnatural for a Sun person to live in separateness. The life-force in Leo must be free, like the rays of the Sun shining out in every direction into the black void of the universe. As the Sun gives freely, so the heart of the sattvic Leo warms and encourages the growth of all whom they encounter. The nature of Leo is movement and it causes movement (as growth) in all it touches. So, with all this in mind, what does it mean for us? Where do we see our future growth and sense of "divine discontent"?
Have you ever known a Leo who didn't have a dream in life? I haven't. In my dream I was offered an opportunity-but to seize that I had to take a leap of faith-and I had to follow the lead of His Holiness. Now, I make no claims at being special here. I was offered the opportunity by someone I had never met. I have always enjoyed heights-just not jumping from them. The fact that His Holiness was there spoke something to me, though. His Holiness could easily have been someone else. But, a person in a dream is a symbol granting grace to the one dreaming, no matter who the person in the dream is or their status. And even though neither His Holiness nor I are Leos, the dream occurred in the Leo period, so in the days since then I have been searching my heart-and watching-like a Lion on the hunt. I have always had a deep and abiding connection with the East and I know that a big part of my esoteric work this life is bringing through my long Soul history of pertinent lives that I have spent in the East into this one. His Holiness took a leap of faith earlier in His life. In so doing He has made Buddhism much more accessible to the West. I have made certain leaps of faith in my own life, too, although nowhere near the magnitude of the one made by the Dalai-Lama. Maybe His Holiness is a symbol for a specific avenue of work along Eastern lines for me. We'll see. The jury is still out on my dream. I may say more about it later.
Love will make a person do strange things. Some people leave their pasts completely behind. Some people move halfway across the world. I did. Some people begin to behave in all sorts of bizarre ways. Things are awakened in people who are opened to new love that nothing else would touch. Old capacities from past lives are sometimes awakened. New courses are set. But, with all new love-if it is true love-there is always an expansion of relationships, a unification of purposes and a freshness to life that only an open heart confers. Leo has the capacity to do this for people. It is connected with romance, new love, children and creative projects, after all. I hope in the days to come all of you are either energized toward something new or that your purposes gain renewal.
What is the worst that can happen when we do our best to live a worthy dream? Failure? There is no such thing if an honest effort is made. A broken heart? That fact that we loved someone at all means that Heaven smiles on us and that love will surely and eventually fill our hearts once again. Loss? What is loss but a debt repaid if done in the noblest of causes? No, we lose if we stay to the safe course when opportunity knocks. But, know well the risks you take. Only the foolish jump into the unknown without checking their resources and without consulting their advisors first. Don't expect to see me on the news sailing off the edge of the Empire State Building or standing beside His Holiness-especially with a big grin on my face. But know this: When opportunity comes, I will make due effort. I am at least known for that. I hope the same for you as well.