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A Pisces Letter

Malvin Artley
February 2008

Greetings friends!
The morning sky before dawn has been stunning over the past month, at least when there has been no rain. I was out early the other morning to have a look at things and to get bit of a feel for the energies about the place. Looking toward the East, Jupiter and Venus graced the Eastern horizon-the benefics greeting the rising Sun. What an auspicious symbol, I thought to myself. I was feeling happy that morning, and seeing those two celestial heralds sitting there gleaming like pearls in the sky only added to my sense of well-being. The prime minister was preparing his landmark speech to the nation, I had just had a wonderful celebration of the lunar New Year with a bunch of my friends, I had received some good news from work and life seemed to be ticking along pretty well, all told. The one thing that really stood out to me on that morning, however, was a feeling of an absolute clarity of mind, which was only augmented by the view before me. Pluto was up there, too, just to the left of Jupiter. I could feel him. I knew he was there-the old task master! (I can think of names I would rather use, but modesty prevents me.) Pluto had been prominent in my mind in recent weeks, but it had done its work for and on me and I was feeling a lot freer for the efforts. So, my curiosity being satisfied, I said thanks to my old friends and went back inside to prepare for the working day. Mercury was retrograde and my work load was up as a result, true to form. So many broken machines-life is good.

As we saw in the last letter, Pluto will be playing on and with all of us for the remainder of the year. And, with the Sun about to enter Pisces, Pluto's influence over the next month is particularly highlighted since it is the esoteric ruler of Pisces. There is a lot going on in the undercurrents of world thought and feelings these days. A host of old hurts are coming up to be redressed. Actually, Pisces speaks quite a bit of old wounds and unresolved issues-the little annoying, yet persistent voices that seem to whisper in our ears just below the level of hearing when they are ready to be released. I had been aware of a lot of that for myself of late. I was glad to have a clear head space again. The next few months, especially, are going to be a time wherein many facets of our emotional life will be addressed. We will see the reasons for that in due course. However, perhaps the biggest thing that stands out to me about the month before us and the greater period to come is that fact that there will be a decided note of restitution in the emotional sphere, with the consequent restoration of a more balanced and common-sense approach to life. The air is about to be cleared, emotionally speaking, and in a big way. Since I have sent out so much information to you in the past weeks, I will keep this letter short. With that, let's get into the dynamics of this full moon, which is also an eclipse, and the dynamics of the Pisces solar festival and period for 2008.

This full moon follows on the tail of a Moon Wobble, the height of which occurred on the 17th of this month. Moon Wobbles generally indicate emotional strains and stresses and can last for about a week on either side of the date of exactitude. There will be three more to come this year, with the others to fall on the following dates: 14 May, 11 Aug and 6 Nov. The August 11th Moon Wobble falls in the middle of the August eclipses of this year. Many of you may already feel the energies of the coming full moon and eclipse building. The scene has already been set by the precursor of the Moon Wobble and there is a sort of feeling around the place, so-to-speak, that something is about to happen. The thing about lunar eclipses, which is what this eclipse will be, is that we feel them more than we do solar eclipses. The Moon represents the feeling/emotional nature and one's basic needs in life, so we may note that our needs are highlighted by the coming of a lunar eclipse. This one is a South Node eclipse, so it represents some kind of emotional culmination, completion or closure depending upon the planets or angles involved or the house in which it occurs with regard to one's natal horoscope. Relationship matters are almost always highlighted by lunar eclipses. This particular one is unusual in many regards, however, and we need to have a closer look at it before we get into the dynamics of the full moon period itself. Along with the preceding points, we should realize that we are about to enter into the high spiritual point of the year with the Aries, Taurus and Gemini solar festivals to come-energy is building, and it is coming from a 'high place', i.e., the higher Self.

With regard to the eclipse of 21 Feb 2008, something has to give, does it not? Is that not what many of us are feeling? This eclipse is of the same family of eclipses (10 North) as the one we just had on the 7th of this month, so I refer you to Part 2 of the New Year letter for that information, if you need it. There are two themes at work on top of what has been given about the 10 North eclipse series, and those themes are indicated by the symbols for the degrees of the Sun and the Moon in the full moon figure. The symbol for the Sun, bearing the main theme for the solar festival period reads:
"A squirrel hiding from hunters." 2 Pisces

The basic energy before us with this solar period is one of self-protection, which in many ways flies in the face of the higher purposes of Pisces, which is about salvation of others, not self-protection. We will have more on Piscean themes in a bit. However, sometimes the wisest path to salvation is through self-protection from time to time. It would be foolish to put ourselves in harm's way unnecessarily or if there is no useful purpose in it. On the other hand, if we are overly self-protective when we should really be 'down in the thick of it', then we miss many opportunities and we may not have the resolution of circumstances or healing we might desire. From what might we be protecting ourselves, then? That is indicated by the symbol for the degree of the Moon, which reads:
"A large white cross dominates the landscape." 2 Virgo.

The symbol for this degree actually speaks of the activation of many of the higher aspects of Pisces-compassion, wisdom won through hard experience, salvation from suffering and liberation from the wheel of life and death (samsara). This degree will be particularly poignantly highlighted for us by what I would call the lord of the eclipse, which is Saturn. Some astrologers might consider that the orb for the Moon/Saturn conjunction is too wide to justify Saturn as the lord, but given the theme of the lunar degree and the fact that it is a South Node eclipse, I have to take exception with the general rule of thumb on the matter of eclipse lords. The 10 North series is about communications, however, which is Mercurial, and Mercury rules Virgo, making it the natural lord of the eclipse. So, this eclipse has overriding themes of both planets-Mercury and Saturn. Mercury has just moved off its station from its retrograde phase, so communications should be starting to clarify from the time of the full moon onwards.

Now, it was mentioned that there were several unusual features to this eclipse, and those features revolve mainly around Saturn. It is not the usual course of things that Saturn 'closes' an eclipse, because Saturn moves so slowly. With this one, however, Saturn is retrograde at the time of the eclipse, and it will 'close' the eclipse within a few short months. There will be many lessons around ego with this eclipse, and many decisions made as a result. The Sun and Saturn in combination, especially in tense aspect (conjunction, square or opposition, as in this case) are known for a propensity to produce struggle and tensions in one's life. Saturn highlights ego structures, restrictions and sensitivities (fears), whereas the Sun is one's vital force and natural ebullience-quite at odds with the structuring, restrictive force of Saturn. Money and worldly matters are always a concern when Sun/Saturn combinations are found in a chart, especially if Saturn is retrograde, as it is here. The Sun/Saturn opposition here can bring feelings of entrapment, anger, despair or frustration-perhaps all of those feelings. The thing about this eclipse, though, is that we will somehow be called or impelled toward liberation from such feelings. Hence, the theme of the symbol for the lunar degree becomes quite important in this regard and points to, as Dane Rudhyar has described it, some sort of liberating ordeal, with the result being that we would have gained a lot of wisdom and compassion for having gone through the experience.

In the eclipse/full moon figure, the Moon is at the midpoint of the South Node and Saturn, all conjunct by translation of light. This combination is not considered to be a particularly happy one, especially since the South Node and Saturn are involved. The overall key words for the combination are feelings of inhibition, loneliness, a person standing alone in life and depression. On the other side of the coin, this combination can also bring with it a profound sense of wisdom and maturity and a heightened sense of responsibility, which can all be very good so long as there is no sense of guilt involved with that sense of responsibility. Saturn makes two 'hits' of the eclipse point by transit -the first on the 20th of April (retrograde) and the second on the 16th of May (direct). However, the activation of the eclipse point by Saturn will cover the time span of roughly mid-March through the first week of June. Cheers, folks! The last 'hit' will bring a final event or decision regarding whatever situation in which one is involved at the time of the eclipse dynamic. This eclipse is all about emotional realities and freeing ourselves from emotionally restricting circumstances. There is also a strong sense of finality and fate around this eclipse, as is indicated by Saturn.

The main time to watch for the major events to be brought about by the Feb 21st eclipse is the 21st of May, as a median date. On that date there is a double activation of the eclipse point by the Sun and Saturn. The other Sun activation takes place on Aug 24th and the only Mars activation this year is on July 4th. Get out the fireworks and celebrate! Whether the eclipse will have anything left in it in terms of outer events after July will remain to be seen. With two Saturn activations, it is doubtful that much more would follow in the wake of this eclipse after July of this year. At this point, then, I will leave the subject of eclipses for a while (until August). It is time to have a look at the dynamics of the full moon figure and see what is in store for the month of this solar festival.

We have already had a look at the Sun/Moon axis and considered the effects of the eclipse. What has not been mentioned is that the Moon is trine Pluto in this figure, making an 'easy opposition' of the Sun/Moon axis. What this means is that any resolutions to be had from the eclipse will be made easier and will contribute toward a strengthening of our sense of well-being. Saturn trines Pluto as well, contributing a sense of diligence and hard work, but in a positive sense. There will be a real feeling of inner drive with this full moon-a sense that we need to get on with things and that we have a great capacity of endurance and fortitude to see things through. Pluto in positive aspect to a full moon, as we have here, can be revelatory in terms of self-knowledge. There is also a sense of fearlessness with such a combination. We know what needs to happen and we simply get on with what has to be done.

There is a very interesting geometric pattern involving the undecile series of aspects, the eleventh-harmonic aspect. The planets involved are the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Chiron, with an additional triangle formed with Uranus thrown in for good measure and a bit of interest. The undecile aspect series is thought to impart sudden or drastic change, sudden flashes of insight, unusual events or outcomes and, most importantly, resolution of difficult circumstances-seeing the dualities in one's self and circumstance and finding unique ways of dealing with them. This last point often happens unconsciously in the case of undeciles.

In addition to the subtle geometry of the undecile series, we also have what is known as a Mystic Rectangle, involving a Mars/Pluto opposition, the Sun/Moon axis and with Mars also completing an 'easy opposition' with the Sun/Moon axis. Positively expressed, this configuration brings strong intuition and insight into what might ordinarily be unbearably stalemated situations. The Mars/Pluto opposition will provide the necessary catalysts for change-perhaps explosively, hopefully not-whereas the full moon axis provides the insight the solar festival is meant to bring with it. We should keep in mind that any full moon period is the high point of the month, spiritually considered. The full moon periods are when the spiritual forces of the planet are in their deepest phases of concentration each month. Hence, we are able to access energies and insights not normally available to us at other times. All that additional subjective energy is also why we see a marked increase in hospital admissions at those times. Some people simply find the extra forces too difficult to handle. Release has to come in some way.

Finally, the only other major planetary configuration in the full moon figure comes from the Sun/North Node/Neptune conjunction, to end things on a happier note. The Sun and Neptune are in the two signs most associated with humanity, service and the work of salvation-Aquarius and Pisces. The North Node tends to bring in new circumstances and the meeting of new people. This is a highly spiritual and psychic combination and indicates care for the needy and the sick. We should note, too, that Neptune is at the midpoint of Chiron and the North Node and in wide conjunctions to both of them, also indicating the healing arts and the resolution of emotional pains. In all, my sense is that the period from now-really until mid-June-is going to be a period wherein some old hurts are going to come forward for resolution, but there is plenty here to indicate some especially favorable outcomes can arise from what will be presented to us, as indicated by the stellium of the Sun, North Node, Neptune and Chiron. And, just so we keep a level head about it all, the idealistic pairing of Mercury and Venus by conjunction is in quincunx to Saturn-a 'Saturn clash' by Magi astrology rules. Although the eclipse itself is classed as a minor one in terms of magnitude, its effects upon personal, and maybe international, relations may be more telling than we might think at first glance. Look at what is happening around us. In Australia, for instance, the government-at long last-has said "Sorry" to the 'stolen generation' of aboriginals. Healing is happening all around us. (I put 'stolen generation' in quotes to indicate the term, not to cast aspersions on the meaning of it. If you live outside Australia and do not know what it means, do a search on the term. It is well-worth a look.)

"I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life." (John 8:12) Pisces distributes this "Light of the World"-the energy of the Christ Light. The preceding quote was made at the inception of the Age of Pisces. All true faiths show the way to that Light. It is not a Light that is bound to religion, however, nor is it the sole demonstration of any single personage. It is that Light which reveals the Light of Life itself, as that quote from one of Jesus' sermons states. It is a Light which each one of us carries-and will some day fully demonstrate-as our true Essence. It ends forever the darkness of material existence and reveals the glories of the heaven realms-the realms of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas (Christs), devas, angels, dakas and dakinis, and hosts of deities of all description-including ourselves. It is these realms to which Piscean experience leads us, and for which it prepares us, for there is our true salvation. We lead others to those realms, too, by our own self-salvation in the crucible of material life and in having to 'live in the world, but be not of it'. Does it feel as though a large white cross is somehow dominating your landscape? What will be presented to us? What will our response be in the time of need? How will respond when our own needs have to be addressed and the needs of others as well?

For the longest time I have had a postcard on the bulletin board in my study at which I have smiled many times over the past few years. On it is a picture of John Howard in stately pose, light rays radiating out from his head, and with the members of his front bench arrayed below him. At the bottom of the card is a caption which reads "Love means never having to say you're sorry." It is, of course, a protest and satire on the refusal of past governments, and especially the Howard government, to say 'that word' to the aboriginal community in Australia. The point to be made from this is not about politics or people, however. We most often find ourselves in painful situations because of our own poor choices, misguided thinking or deliberate wrongful actions, and often from events that happened long ages ago in the past. Nature always balances itself, even in the human world. Nothing ever goes uncorrected, and in simple human terms that process of 'correction' is often most elegantly started by the utterance of a simple word-"Sorry". Who knows what has happened to us or because of us in the remote reaches of the Earth's history? Few are those who really know. The important thing is that we deal with what is in front of us right now and make certain that whatever wrongs have been committed do not happen again. Actually, love does mean having to say one is sorry at times. May whatever happens for you over the next few months, and especially this one, eventually bring you the inner peace and happiness that we all very rightly deserve, for the natural state of the human being is joy itself-if we could only realize it. The day of the eclipse is also the Buddhist celebration of the Day of Miracles. May all blessings and happiness be yours and may your merit be multiplied a hundred-million times!

Much love,
19 Feb 2008