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"Give unto Caesar"

By Malvin Artley
August 2006

Greetings My Friends!

It has been a most unusual winter here in Adelaide this year. Normally our wet season, it has been dry and not excessively cold, either. As is the norm these days, neither people nor even the weather can seem to decide how they want to be. The weather, however, simply reflects the prevailing trends of human consciousness. (What does that say for humanity at the moment, then?) Because of the lack of aforementioned rain, I have had many occasions to observe the night sky this winter, which has been a real treat for me. I recall one night in particular when I was out walking. The air was crisp and clear and there were only scattered clouds to punctuate the otherwise crystal clarity of the night sky. As is the usual case, nature gives in symbols what we ask to receive in response to our quests in life. This particular night was to be no exception. To say there has been a difficult energy in the world since the beginning of June would be understating things a bit. Everyone I have spoken with has felt it. Because of that, I had been asking-'putting things out to the universe', as we are fond of saying here-what my next steps in life were to be. As I walked down the now-quiet street at midnight and opened myself for an answer I happened to look up at my familiar friends in the heavens and paused. There, stretched out along the setting asterisms, was the constellation of Scorpius-magnificent, and not a little unsettling, given Scorpio's reputation for 'transformation' in life. At that instant a sudden moment of stillness and clarity dawned upon me, and I saw a very viable course clearly opened to me. How that would work out would become clear in the weeks to follow, but the answer to my query had been given. Nature and circumstances are good that way.

What place does Scorpio have in a Leo letter, you might ask? Not much per se, but with regard to what is happening in the world and the tone of the full moon figure this month, the symbolism for Scorpio figures quite prominently. It is also the sign that most often rules the minds of people born when the Sun is in Leo. Back in the Goodwill letter I stated that my friends and I all felt that something was about to happen in the world. A couple of major earthquakes and a little war later, we can see that there have indeed been 'things afoot' with planetary energies. Recent discussions with a mentor of mine who is very much in the know about earth-energies have verified for my friends and I that what we had been feeling has indeed been true. So, what has been happening, energy-wise? According to my sources there has been a greater than normal pull upon the Sun with a resultant increase in solar flare activity, physical and subtle. This, in turn, has affected the weather patterns and the movement of magma in the Earth's crust. The motion of the liquid portions of everything in the planet have been intensified and there is a generalized pressure that has pushed up a great amount of emotional energy in people. When we look at world events of late then we can perhaps see that what has just been described is true. The astrological corollary to this phenomenon is the Saturn/Neptune opposition that has been with us for some time, along with the now-defunct Saturn/Chiron opposition. We will speak more of the Saturn/Neptune opposition later in this letter, for it is a key element of the energies of this full moon.

Many people with whom I have spoken have related sensations of pain and pressure in their bodies over the past months. The most common sites for this are the base of the skull, the low back and the legs, along with swelling in the limbs. Sleep has been fitful for many and there has been a general sense of unease from June to now. The original forecast was for the increased solar forces to last only the month of June, but it shows no signs of easing. The 'flares' just mentioned are as much subtle as they are physical. It is the psychic component of the Sun's activity that concerns us, and not so much the physical aspects. The conflagration in the Middle East and the earthquakes of the past two months are but symbols in the universal for what is happening for each of us individually. Relationships of all types have been strained as well. It is simply difficult for people to live together these days unless the relationships were strong to begin with. We are all being purged. And what will be the result of this purging? Hopefully, the Light of the Soul will shine through more clearly and the 'air will be cleared'.

The sign of Leo transmits this Light of the Soul, which is a reflected point of the Light Divine. It is said that in Leo that Light is focused and it eventually reveals a point-a point which is the most intense sort of self-awareness. Leo also gives the 'Will-to-Illumine', which is the driving urge to self-knowledge through experiment. Leo is also one of the most materialistic of the signs and it is the battleground between the material forces and the Forces of Light. The chief thing that every Leo type needs is an enforced self-discipline in order to achieve their objectives in life and to cause the 'inner glory' to shine. From their struggles, the Leo native comes to know innately that they are king of him/herself. The aspect of inner struggle is to be found quite marked in the dynamics of this full moon figure.

A good friend of mine was talking with me about affairs of the heart once and about the painful choices we all have to make around love at times. Leo is all about the heart and about love affairs. He said "There are two great streams of energy in this world that have to go hand-in-hand if one is to properly follow one's destiny in life and fulfill it. Those two energies are Love and Truth." I must say I agree with him. In the heart of every Leo type beats the fiery passions of two worlds-the emotional and the spiritual. Therein lies the proving ground for the Leo. The emotional side craves after human love, possessions, power, prestige, etc. The spiritual side seeks to serve others. There is always a battle in Leo between the two sides until the truth of the life is learned. Every seeker after spiritual truth (for Leo also represents the Seeker, the human ego and its perfecting, and the human heart) must at some point discover two things-(1) the passion that drives them and which brings fulfillment and (2) the truth of one's life, as painful or as joyful as that may be. Once those things are known, then the path before the Seeker stands revealed. The Soul imprints us with the truth our lives prior to our birth. How often we seem to fail to see it! Once we know that truth, however, in its living in every moment we come to know the fullness of love. It is a painful and/or hollow life when we fail to live the Soul's design for us and honor the truth that gives our heart its rhythm and fills it with life. Soul-searching is the bread and butter of every Seeker and Leo brings on the crises that cause people to search for the soul of their being. In the end, Leo is the Disciple on the Path with all the trials, discipline, striving for one's highest truth and loving service to others that represents.

There is another side to Leo that is less than desirable, and which should be kept in mind as we look for the meaning in this full moon. It is said that Leo can be an extraordinarily negative sign. Sometimes the Leo type believes that all that is needed in order to affect change in life is simply to Be. There is then a refusal to take action or to change and the life can be unexpectedly futile as a result. In esoteric parlance, this scenario for the Leo type is known as 'The Lion in the Lair.' Leo is meant to lead, to rule and to unite, most especially. This cannot be done when the Lion is retired into the lair. The old Chinese saying 'By doing nothing, all things get done' is anathema to the Leo type. Leo is the most dynamic and vital of all the signs, being ruled by the Sun at all levels. It is a sign that inspires both self and others to action and leads by the very intensity of its Light. Such an energetic expression can hardly remain still or simply not act when great need arises. To retire into inaction is death for the Leo type. Service must be rendered. 'Taxes' must be paid. Inspiration must be found in life. The Soul must be roused into full expression. Such is the task before every Leo. One can be certain that any Leo who is treated with coldness, indifference and neglect by others is 'in the lair' and is being goaded by nature to stand up and be counted.

Life in this world necessitates the fulfilling of certain obligations (which we might call 'karma') and our work toward something higher than our personal lives. It is said that the force of Spirit is the strongest force in a person's life. All too often, though, we seem to be mired in the necessities of our karmic obligations more than we do the work of our spiritual selves. In the end, the two are actually one in the same, but we should perhaps be mindful of the old aphorism from the Bible to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's". These days we all seem to be in a cycle of 'paying Caesar' rather than aspiring to something higher, but in the payment of our 'taxes' we find that we have indeed fulfilled the design of our Soul in some way. The discipline of imposed circumstance draws out the Soul (if we can keep the right attitude) and invites us to love and to taste the sweetness of Life through the release of control when our little selves try to impose outcomes on people and events. The true Lion's heart is one that has learned to search for the soul of all events no matter what they are or how difficult they might seem, to seek self-awareness when everyone else seeks to impose their own 'truths' on one's sense of self and then to stand in the midst of the fray and state clearly and without fear or hesitation; "Let other forms exist. I rule because I am." and then, finally, to be able to say "I am That, and That I am." To know and to fully manifest the true Self-that is the task before any Leo type. And, in this full moon we see the story of Leo fully set out before us. With that, let us see what the full moon figure brings to us.

This full moon occurs at 9:10 PM AEST (11:10 AM GMT) on the 9th of August 2006. As is usual, the symbol for the degree of the Sun sets the tone for the period. It reads thus:

"A volunteer church choir singing religious hymns." 17 Leo

The Sun in any chart represents 'the present problem'-that which is immediately before us demanding attention and drawing our consciousness. In this symbol we see highlighted the need for us to stick together and to unite in common work. There should be a real sense of community that comes out of this full moon and a sense that we are all united in some higher purpose. There is a crying need at this time to let go of antagonisms and to realize a wider sense of belonging, for ourselves and others. The symbol for the degree of the Moon represents what is being reflected back to our psyches and the energies of the past that have brought us to this present point in time. It reads thus:

"A watch dog stands guard, protecting his master and his possessions." 17 Aquarius

There are forces at work in the world that seek to protect the status quo at all costs. That has lead to the present conflict in the Middle East. On the other side, there are protective Forces for the Light at work, too, that seek to mitigate the present conflict and to restore order and right relations between nations. Everyone is feeling a need for self-protection these days. Let's face it-times have been 'interesting', have they not? The self-protective urge must give way to a more daring and pro-active stance if we are to move beyond the present impasse in the world and in our own relations. This symbol also speaks of the need to invoke protective entities-guardian angels and the like, if you will, when things seem all a little too much. So, we see two opposing forces here-one isolationist (the Moon) and the other community oriented (the Sun). Those factors will play out through the planetary dynamics, and we have a rather interesting setup in that regard. We find the following aspects in evidence:

  • There is a Saturn/Neptune opposition across the full moon axis with Saturn conjunct the Sun and Neptune conjunct the Moon. In this aspect we see the playing out of karmic scenarios (Sun/Saturn) and the creative or over-use of the imagination or intuition (Moon/Neptune) either highlighting the karmic necessities or adding to the discomfort of them. This is a ‘spirit vs. matter’ aspect and it highlights the disparity between spiritual (Neptune) and material (Saturn) needs. There is a need here to ‘Give unto Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is God’s.’
  • Mars opposes Uranus, which exacerbates tensions in the world and causes people to jump or react without thinking and to take unnecessary risks with things. This is a dare-devil aspect. If rightly utilized, it can give just that bit of edge or daring needed to break through the obstacles represented by the Saturn/Neptune opposition. Wrongly handled, it is a reckless influence and will only add to tensions and bring things to a flash point with people.
  • Pluto squares the nodal axis, indicating the need to move beyond old instinctual and habitual patterns. This can be quite a painful setup when people do not wish to change. On the one hand there is a push to adopt new modes of behavior. On the other hand there can be a forcible removal of inhibiting, yet comfortable, patterns and situations in a person’s life.
  • Mercury is conjunct Venus, aiding in diplomacy, aesthetics, business sense and communications in general. This aspect should help in the Middle East negotiations. On the whole it is an aspect that favors all speaking occupations and it gives a more idealistic outlook about intellectual matters and affairs of the heart.
  • Jupiter trines Uranus, although by itself it does not add much to the figure. It gives a broad humanitarian outlook and aids in business when those affairs are engaged. A great aspect of beneficent organization, it gives broad sweep to the intellect and is a real boon to people of vision. It would do a lot to offset the normal death-knell to ambition that the Saturn/Neptune square gives. However, we find it coupled to a Mars/Jupiter sextile. This will do a lot to pull business out of the doldrums and would give a great push to get things done. This combination of Mars/Jupiter/Uranus is a success triangle and it is a counterbalance to the energy of the full moon axis.
  • Saturn trines Pluto, giving a very diligent work ethic and powerful organizing capabilities. This is further accentuated by the quincunx between Saturn and Uranus. Jupiter squares Saturn, giving a lack of imagination but a high work ethic as well. Saturn is the pivotal planet in this figure and it points to all parties acting responsibly in what they do and for setting new structures for right relations in place. The symbol for Saturn’s degree is revealing, and it speaks of the joy and power of new beginnings. In the final analysis, new beginnings and resolution of differences are what is indicated in this full moon figure, along with a need to stand up and be counted among our peers. These are the major energies present at this full moon.

There are times and circumstances that define who we are as people and which change the course of our lives, sometimes for a very long time. It seems to have been a year for that for many people I know. Crises are always engineered by Nature to evoke our Souls and to thus bring more Light into this world. In those times and circumstances the onus is always upon us to emerge from our self-constructed lairs and to rise to those occasions-and also to set an example for those who are still struggling in the dark. We are called to do these things not out of a sense of pride, ambition, a search for gain or begrudgingly. We are called to do so from the very fountain of Being within each of us. We lead because of who we are and we excel because the Soul is the master of all circumstance. Light is the greatest of attractors to those in need or for those who walk blindly. It warms us, illuminates the darkened corners of our psyche and adds to the richness of our lives. In these days we are all being called to set new benchmarks for ourselves and to enlighten ourselves as to our true place and purpose in the world around us. May your Light increase dramatically as a result of all that is happening in the world and within you. The Way is heavily populated by those who, like us, strive for self-mastery. We are all in good company. All we have to do is to recognize the Light that shines in others as ours shines out to them. May the blessings of this Leo festival give us recognition of ourselves as kings and queens of our own destiny.

Blessings to all.

 
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