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The Triumph of the Soul Through Scorpio

By Malvin Artley

October 2004

Life sure offers up its share of twists and turns in the path of one's destiny. Since the inception of the Uranus/Pluto quintile at the first part of September there has been no end of surprises, pleasant or otherwise. In a world where people seek certainty, constancy and security, the only thing of which we can be certain is that our certainty will be shaken or shattered from time to time, leaving us to frequently rethink our world and our lives. I went to a movie with a Ukrainian Scorpio friend of mine the other day-"Monsieur Ibrahim". Go see it if you have the opportunity. It's a lovely film, but take plenty of tissues for the ending. After the film we went for a walk along the side streets around the theater. It was after dark and the old neighborhood was in full spring bloom. The jasmine spilling out over the fences and the flowering wattle trees added their fragrance to the freshness of the night air and the old trees spreading out over the well-kept gardens felt comforting in their presence, like kind older counselors offering solace to troubled souls. I could sense the lives of the night watching us as we strolled through and I felt myself moving to a place of reflection over recent events in my life and in the world as we walked and chatted. Our conversation moved from the film to more personal stories as the path we walked took shape before us.

"Why does life have to be so sad?" she asked, finally. I found myself at a loss for words as I remembered the recent tragedy of Beslan, which had touched a place so deep within her heart. I could have launched into all the technical reasons for why humanity seems to have to suffer so in order just to get through life, but it would have been no comfort or help to her. Philosophy in such moments is often more annoying than helpful. So many people have endured tremendous pain in recent history, and Eastern Europe has had more than its fair share. About that time, a young woman walked by briskly with her dog, barely acknowledging our presence on the footpath. "I don't have a ready answer for you, but life does seem to be that way for us humans at times." I said, knowing it was a bit of a lame answer and that there was nothing I could say at that moment that would have helped much. It was enough for both of us that we were sharing each other's company. That is often all that is needed. And we walked on, the conversation meandering like the curves and turns in the streets onto other subjects. I didn't really have to answer her. Scorpios most often know the answers to questions such as those before they even ask them. We'd had the conversation at other times anyway. Soon sadness was forgotten, though, and there were cheerier topics as the mood from the film and "life" soon faded into memory. In all, it was a good night out.

I have heard from many people about great changes taking place in their lives at this time. Some stories have been extraordinary. Some have been unusual. Some people have had major problems with health, but for all, the changes in people's lives will have repercussions far into their futures. It is no different with me. Though my health is unaffected, I have felt an urgency and potency around the Libra full moon and the first Grand Quintile that has been most unusual. I know, though, that the changes put in place over the next few months will have the mark of the higher Self upon them for everyone. Who knows where it will take us? I had said in a previous letter that the first Grand Quintile was a preparatory one and would set the scene for the second one, and that the second one is to be the major transmission and releasing agent for the decisions made around the first one. But, that is always the way of things in the yearly cycle. The decisions made in Libra are tested as to their worthiness in Scorpio. This Scorpio full moon will be a major spiritual opportunity for all who can avail themselves of it, firstly because it is also an eclipse, and especially since the second Grand Quintile coincides with it within a matter of a few hours. It is another quintile-laced full moon figure. So, I am sending this letter out early in order that we can all make due preparations-if such a thing is possible with a Uranus/Pluto quintile-and so I can begin to give a bit more of an indication as to what we can expect over the next few years of our planetary history. But that is another letter, too.

Before we get into the dynamics of the full moon and the second Grand Quintile we need to fill out a bit more information on Scorpio so we can see where and why its energies will take us. If people on the Path dread the Wesak Moon for the hammering and spiritual impulse it brings, then they probably look forward to the Scorpio full moon with as much anticipation as a dental appointment or a trip to the tax assessor. Scorpio is known for two main things in popular astrology-sex and difficult relations between people. Taurus and Scorpio are the two signs of the zodiac most associated with sexuality, with Libra running a close third. Taurus is the polar opposite of Scorpio and, if you will remember, the Wesak Moon this past May was a doozy (to be technical about it) in terms of spiritual impulse-and also a major eclipse that has brought an escalation of many things on the world stage, not least of which has been the insurgency in Iraq and the many revelations about the truth of that conflict. Taurus is said to be the bearer of "The penetrating Light of the Path", and that full moon has certainly illuminated the paths of many. But, Scorpio is the beacon that shines out "The Light of Day" in spiritual terms, although many people equate the sign and its natives with darkness, brooding moodiness and "the sting in the tail" when it comes to human relations. This eclipse and associated Grand Quintile will do very much to shine the Light of Day onto many problems for humanity and, coming as it does just before the US elections, should bring along its fair share of "illuminating moments", for those with a sense of irony.

I spoke in the Libra letter of the two main rulers of any sign-the orthodox and the esoteric. The esoteric ruler of a sign becomes more apparent as one begins to consciously walk the spiritual Path and is the conditioning planet for the person in the long run. Most signs have two different planets for those rulers, not counting the Hierarchical rulers. But, there are three signs whose esoteric ruler is the same as the orthodox one, and those signs are Leo, Capricorn and Scorpio. All three of those signs are known for the difficulty in life they can produce and all three are great signs of initiatory impulse and experience. Leo brings difficulty because of self-centeredness and initiation through self-forgetfulness and spiritual leadership. Capricorn brings difficulty through worldly and material ambition and initiation by transfiguration of the little self through sacrifice, self-responsibility and giving. Scorpio brings difficulty through desiring for self at the expense of others and initiation through striving for others through an intense spiritual passion. The desires of the little self are thus forgotten in the process.

In all three of the aforementioned signs there is a direct resonance between Soul purpose and personal force. That is both the guarantee of ultimate success and the greatest impediment if the Soul's purposes are used toward selfish ends in those signs because the Soul force in such a case has a direct pathway to the persona. This dual emphasis on one planet creates an intensity of personal and Soul expression not found in the other signs. These are all signs that can exhibit tremendous potency in the outer life if the persona acts at least somewhat in concert with the Soul's purpose. But, if the person is largely selfish then the situation for the soul in that life can be difficult to say the least. In extreme cases such a strong selfish emphasis upon one planet in the makeup can produce an absolute despot (Leo), a "Montgomery Burns" (Capricorn), or a fiend (Scorpio). Happily, such cases are rare, and the Soul is usually at least able to live out its allotted task through the persona in any given life. But, these are all special signs of the zodiac and their achievements for humanity have been legion, most of which go unnoticed by the public at large.

In the case of Scorpio we have a double emphasis upon Mars, from the esoteric perspective. Modern Western astrology attributes the orthodox rulership of Scorpio to Pluto. To the esotericist, though, Pluto is the lower expression (the "lower octave") of Mars and on the Path it is Mars that comes to the fore in the life of the Scorpio. Pluto is then only a preparatory planet or phase in the life of the Scorpio type and governs what is known as the lesser burning ground, wherein all that proves to be a hindrance to the Soul's true work for that life is burned away through the fires of purification, largely relating to the desire nature and the lesser mind. After that, Mars takes up the call and the battle for supremacy between the Soul and the persona is on. This is an important consideration in the life of the Scorpio type, for Mars rules the entire human persona-physical, emotional and mental, and if that persona is to be a fit instrument for the service of the Soul and thus to humanity, then it must be tested and tried in the furnace of the forces we call human experience. Thus, to the casual observer, the life of a Scorpio is one of trial and tribulation, although it is seldom realized that the story of Scorpio is the story of each of us to greater or lesser degree, for we are all tested throughout life.

Mars brings about those conflicts in life wherein the persona is tested as to its worthiness, archetypally speaking. Mars is the planet which most fully expresses both devotion and fanaticism-devotion to a cause and the fanatical pursuit of its ends. Whether the cause is the simple desire of the common person or the high-minded desire of the humanist or spiritual seeker/server, Mars brings through the force in the persona that sees that the goal is met-that the desire is satisfied. Mars is the planet that most forcefully expresses desire, and for most people desire is either along material or sexual lines because that is where and how they identify themselves. As was stated earlier, Scorpio is most often equated with overt sexuality and sensuality, but that is really only the low end of the scale of desires. This is not to say that sex in and of itself is a base desire. It is actually the second-strongest force in the human being, the strongest being the urge toward connection with the divine, or the religious impulse as we might call it. But, as we know, there is sex as an expression and natural outgrowth of the love between a couple and then there is sex based upon the gratification of an often overheated glandular system and an unhealthy imaginative life. It is this latter with which Scorpio is often associated, although wrongfully so.

But the truth of the matter is that Scorpio is not actually ultimately about sexuality at all. It is about the resolution of dualistic thinking in its expression at the highest levels. I may have mentioned it before, but the sacral center or chakra in the human energy system is the seat of the sexual force in humanity. But it is also the seat of the mental elemental-the source of the lower, reasoning mind and of one's self-image. The whole mechanics and reasoning around this topic would take too long to go into here, but we should recognize that sexuality and polarized thinking go hand in hand until a late stage upon the spiritual Path. Sex eventually assumes its rightful place in a spiritual life as a natural expression of love and of union instead of sensual gratification. The mind eventually merges with the Soul as well and the sacral center is ultimately the outpost for union in the lower nature rather than the troublesome center most people tend to see it as.

Scorpio rules all these expressions of both the lower mind and of sexuality, but it is really this idea of union and of the end to polarized thinking that is the true goal of the Scorpio native. It is the lower mind that separates us. We see ourselves as separate entities in this world and the difference between the sexes is the first way in which we tend to see that. But at the level of the Soul there is no sense of separation. Scorpio is the sign wherein one gradually becomes aware of the "sin of separateness" and makes the true shift from the material world toward the spiritual realms. It is the sign through which orientation is trialed and where one's identification is gradually shifted "upwards". It is the one sign that has more than a single identifying symbol. At its lowest level it is the scorpion bound to the earth and bearing the poison sting of unresolved psyche. At its highest expression it is the phoenix rising from the ashes of the fearsome conflict between Soul and persona and ascending to the heights of spirituality.

Mars is the warrior Spirit, and it will be of great interest to see what comes of the warring factions in Iraq as the years pass by, for the two great religions represented there-Islam and Christianity-are both ruled by Mars and both have a bloody history. Now, I know better than to say that one religion represents the Soul and the other the personality of humanity, since we are talking about a dual emphasis on Mars in Scorpio. Such is not the case. All true religious belief is divine. But what is of main interest with regard to that conflict is the clash of ideologies, the insistence that both have God on their side, the desires on both sides seeking to work out, the strong compulsive and unreasoning behavior of certain factions on both sides, the hidden agendas working out, the secretive nature of the governments involved and the view by many on both sides that the other side are a bunch of terrorists. We could go on and on with this, but hopefully the point has been made clearly enough. This Scorpio moon will do a lot to highlight these sorts of things in human affairs and will facilitate the necessary clearing process that will bring clearer heads to bear on the solution of the problem. Either that, or it will further polarize the factions involved and thus force what would then be an almost inevitable final conflict. The same or very similar things could be said of the Israeli/Palestinian problem and any of a number of other conflicts going on in the world.

There is another side of Mars in all this too, though. Mars rules empirical science to a great degree along with the fanatical adherence to scientific method, but this will eventually lead to the liberation of humanity from the slavery of mundane labor and the tyranny of restriction by the very nature of our physical form. The second Grand Quintile occurring at the time of the Scorpio moon is likely to be the impetus needed for certain discoveries and technological developments to come forth which will greatly serve to liberate humanity so that the pursuit of a spiritual life removed from the worry of the day-to-day battle for survival will be a much greater possibility for millions more upon our globe than is now the case. There is a rather interesting group of people whose main aim is to advance that very type of technology.

There is a class of Souls who are here from another planet within our solar system (and who have been with us for a very long time) who will receive a heightened stimulation under the auspices of this Grand Quintile. To esotericists they are known as "The Primary Lotuses", and they are recognizable as the purely intellectually selfish scientific type. The reason they are with us here is two-fold: 1) to "round out" their own development by awakening the love fiat within them, and 2) for the introduction of certain types of machinery and advanced mechanical science for the needs of humanity. In this we see both their need and their service. They are said to be quite advanced in human terms. It is said that their work is deleterious at the moment due to their "lack of heart", but that once the heart is opened within them "the wonders then to be achieved by them in loving service along their own particular line will be one of the factors which will regenerate the 4th kingdom [humanity]." They work largely with the energy of the mineral kingdom. In fact, every time a Uranus/Pluto quintile has come along since the inception of the industrial revolution in the 1700s these Souls have given us some of those wondrous machines and they have incarnated in great numbers over the past few hundred years.

We have seen a small indication of their work in recent days. I had stated in the Grand Quintile letter that every time a Uranus/Pluto quintile has come along since the industrial revolution there have been discoveries made that have enabled great strides to be made in public transport, among many other things. We have seen the beginnings of such a step forward with the successful test flight of the sub-space craft SpaceShipOne over the Mohave Desert last week. It may not seem like much of an achievement at the moment, but neither did the first flight of the Wright brothers 100 years ago. The flight last week has opened the frontier of commercial space flight and has thus broken another barrier for humanity, both literally and figuratively-the limitation of the common man to our own planetary sphere. The implications of this will be very far-reaching indeed-again, both literally and figuratively. There are several things of interest about this flight that really stand out, though, and which apply directly to the discussion of Scorpio and of Mars in general.

Firstly, this flight was funded entirely by private investors. There was no bureaucracy involved and that, in fact, was a snub of organizations such as NASA. Secondly, whenever private enterprise gets behind something then things move much more quickly that they would otherwise. Thirdly, the main investor involved mostly got his money from his own development of technology in service to humanity. The stated goal of the competition organizers is to make space travel accessible to everybody. The inventor of the craft-Burt Rutan-is an outspoken critic of the major aeronautical companies and NASA and loved nothing better than to be able to thumb his nose at such organizations. Known as an eccentric inventor, he said the craft was "100 times safer than anything ever flown into space", and that safety was a major concern to him. Lastly-though much more could be said-anything Richard Branson has his hands in seems to turn out to be wildly successful, and he is a man of unique vision and purpose in the business world. The next decade will tell the tale. Of course, this would be a dream come true for me-all of my boyhood Spaceman Spiff-type fantasies coming alive!

Mars contributes much to what is called the "rugged individualist"-a person who is self-made, freedom-loving, a maverick free-thinker, self-reliant and highly individualistic-pioneers and leaders, astronauts and presidents, etc.-an American archetype to be sure, but one that ably fits so many people in the world, men and women alike. I have written and we have heard much about Mars this year. When the esoteric rulership of Mars takes over in the life of a Scorpio type, then the Scorpio tends to exhibit those traits of rugged individualism more and more. They stand out from the crowd and they lead by the sheer force of their example. We see this in the Aries type, too, but its expression through the Scorpio type is geared toward the betterment of the human condition, whereas in the Aries type it is more often selfish, Mercury being the esoteric ruler of the Aries type. In fact, the two signs are closely related through their rulers and they display traits in common, but the Mars double-rulership over Scorpio tends to be extreme in its effects on the person's life.

This brings us to the crux of what this full moon/Grand Quintile experience will be about. The base quintile of Uranus/Pluto calls upon all of our resources to be used in the cause of human upliftment in some manner. The fact that it occurs most potently through the Scorpio Grand Quintile points to this idea of rugged individualism being used as a force for change in world affairs. In every country we see people wanting greater security, wanting to take less and less responsibility for their actions and for what happens to them, wanting a more risk-free life and desiring material comfort and, in fact, demanding it as their right in many cases, all for a minimum of self-effort and as if they were owed what they desire. Anyone who expects that to come from this period in world history is in for a rude shock, and Scorpio is just the sign to provide that sort of dynamic shock to the system. People are also apt to think of quintiles as wonderful aspects that bring rare beauty into the world. Well, ultimately they are and do. But the process of getting to that point is a far cry from that. Union with the Soul and the beauty and gifts born of that is a rocky road for humans and the Scorpio experience perhaps describes it better than any other sign. Eventually union and beauty does come through Scorpio, but it comes at a cost and with a lot of struggle.

All true disciples of the One Life exemplify this idea of rugged individualism in their lives. They do think for themselves. They do dare to speak out in the name of Truth. They do take full responsibility for their actions. They expect nothing for their actions, yet they receive all graciously. They love freedom and, above all, freedom for all people. And, they pioneer in the name of Spirit and the greater Good. Look for many true individuals to come from this period, for the true disciple bears the mark of one who has the boldness to do what has to be done in the face of adversity, against the dictates of convention and bureaucracy; who shows the genius of the Soul unashamedly and who does all this with the need of the greatest good of the largest number of people in mind. The mark of Mars in its spiritual side is upon them-the warriors for the common good and the Highest. They neither rest nor back down when the need is great. The Forces of liberation drive them toward the goal, regardless of personal risk and careless of consequence to self. And in this description, one will immediately recognize all of the great Scorpio Souls who have lived upon this earth, though it can apply to all who truly live the life of Spirit. To the victor goes the spoils, and the spoils for victory over the baser parts of one's nature are the glory of all the Soul has to offer, which is infinite. With that, let us move on to a discussion of the full moon.

This Scorpio full moon will occur on the 28th of October 2004 at 1:08 PM AEST (3:08 AM GMT). The second Grand Quintile begins the following morning at 2:30 AM AEST (28 Oct, 4:30 PM GMT) and reaches its peak roughly 2 hours later, ending at 8:00 AM AEST (10:00 PM GMT). Like the Libra full moon just passed, this full moon figure is characterized by a bowl pattern formed by quintiles between Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus, going in order through the zodiac. In addition, there are biquintiles between Jupiter and Uranus and between Saturn and Pluto. Thus, there are two quintile (or tenth-harmonic) yods in this figure, with Uranus at the apex of the Jupiter/Saturn quintile and Saturn at the apex of the base Uranus/Pluto quintile. At the time of the full moon, the Moon is biquintile to Venus. As with the last Grand Quintile, Saturn opposes Chiron. But Mars also squares Chiron in this figure and almost squares Saturn as well. The Moon sextiles Uranus and Mars is sextile Pluto. The Sun, of course, opposes the Moon since this is a full moon figure. Jupiter is trine to Neptune. So, what does all this mean?

The key thing to remember about this full moon is that it is quintile-based, apart from being the Scorpio full moon. The Grand Quintile that follows is essentially the same, so the discussion of the full moon figure will be for the Grand Quintile as well. The creative use of personal conflict and inner tension will be the releasing agents for the artistry contained in the quintile pattern. Jupiter's involvement in the bowl marks this as a pattern that will supply much in terms of creative energy. It also provides a counterpoint of expansiveness of view in distinction to the stalwart combination of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. But, that same trio just mentioned can bring about literal explosions of creative potential if pressure is allowed to build without release, and Jupiter's involvement only exacerbates that explosive potential. There will be powerful compulsions to express oneself in a highly individualistic manner given the makeup of the bowl pattern. The yod with the Uranus apex will give many new ideas and impulses around the distribution of material goods, as a Jupiter/Saturn quintile indicates creative use of resources and unique views on morality and social intercourse and structure. The only release point for this bowl pattern is the opposition by Saturn of Chiron, although the Sun is trine to Uranus.

The two biggest tensions in the figure are the opposition which is the full moon and the almost-T-square between Saturn and Chiron with the Mars square to Chiron. Suffice it to say that intimate relationships will come under the hammer with this full moon. Anything that needs to be addressed within the framework of those relations will come up for examination and anything that festers underneath will receive the gentle lancing of the Scorpio Sun. Scorpio, working under the aegis of Pluto, is a great healing influence, is it not? I sense some disbelief of these last words, somehow. This will not be a good time to marry, nor will it be really great for starting long-term intimacies. But, if you want to see yourself clearly and be done with a fair bit of illusion and self-delusion then, by all means, pour yourself whole-heartedly into intimacy. Seriously though, the crucible of intimate relations will see a great purging of people under this influence and, indeed, one of the keys for self-transformation this year will be in the arena of close relationships. This does not mean they will end or even be difficult. A good relationship will weather such storms. But, the shakier ones will be rattled to their foundations, and if it is better that it ended, then let it go as gracefully as possible. This full moon is more about universals and fulfillment of group obligations and need than it is about personalities.

The trine between the Sun and Uranus deserves a big mention here, because it adds tremendously to the promise of unique inventions, personalities, soul expressions and expression of genius. Of this aspect, it is said to produce a progressive mental outlook strongly tinged with originality. It enables one to see things in the large and gives a very wide mental scope and comprehension. It gives a practical approach to any original thinking, and it gives a dash and comprehension of total results that ensure success if other indicators are amenable. It also tends toward large, independent ventures. And, on top of that, it is an aspect of longevity, so it gives one the ability to see things through and for the long haul. This aspect also adds beautifully to the concept of rugged individualism mentioned before. So, if there is a large or long-term project that you want to launch or add some panache and originality to, this is the time to do so, but partnerships in the endeavor are likely to feel strain, especially if there are many strongly individual people involved.

The trine between Jupiter and Neptune adds brilliantly to spiritual insight and increases any intuitive faculties already in existence. It can also help to awaken any latent abilities along those lines. There will be a very high spiritual energy around this full moon-moreso than usual, and the Souls of many stand to be invoked into greater service and usefulness. Venus is sextile to Saturn in the figure indicating that, so long as people can keep a cool head in the personal arena, relationships formed now can be long-lasting if they make it past the stage of testing and loyalties will be strengthened. Mars is sextile Pluto, which gives a very penetrating insight. This will be a fabulous time for any sort of psychological work and investigation and the insights to be had about oneself and about others through this period will be invaluable. Lastly, Mercury is sextile to Chiron, which is the one saving grace of the Chiron aspects, and this adds to what was just mentioned about penetrating insight into self and relations. A real and true understanding can be had between people from this full moon and subsequent Grand Quintile if people are courageous enough to enter into dialogue and to face the issues within themselves and others with openness, integrity and a spirit of conciliation and mutual gain.

All of the preceding planetary dynamics lead finally to a consideration of the eclipse involved and to the symbolism of the full moon itself. This eclipse is one of a series of eclipses that has been said to be about being forceful and about taking power. It is said to contribute to large efforts in group enterprises, with an almost manic fervor in the pursuit of goals, and it is said to bring about sudden events, especially in the relationship arena, especially sudden fits of passion and sexual encounters. When we add this to the planetary dynamics, then the picture emerges of an eclipse that is almost certain to produce dramatic results in the world stage and in people's lives. There are no half-measures or luke-warm responses allowed with this one. It is vibrant, earnest, zealous in its execution, full of fire and passion and pregnant with purpose. The degree of the Sun in this figure pretty well sums up the situation, and it reads thus:
"The Gold Rush tears men away from their native soil." 6 Scorpio

The lure of riches has driven humanity from the dawn of time. The urge for a better life, for leisure time, for fulfillment of one's dreams and even for the sheer adventure of it are all powerful urges within humans, and they are all divine impulses at certain stages of evolution. What is being sought after with this figure are the riches of Spirit, and in the pursuit of that we will likely be taken off the beaten track and torn away from much that is comfortable and known. The challenge is on for us to pioneer new ways of living and to look at things in ways that are more suitable to the needs of the larger world. We will be brought together with people with whom we are unfamiliar in the realizing of our goals, but we need to be clear that the people we encounter on the way are all after the same things as we and that we all share common, though not identical, goals. There is an embarrassment of riches to be had for all who make the needed effort. And, when we work together, those riches come to us so much more easily than when we separate ourselves off from one another. This last statement brings us to the degree of the Moon in this figure, which reads thus:
"Cantilever bridge across a deep gorge" 6 Taurus

There appears to be a deep chasm in understanding between various factions in the world. It also feels as though there is an impassable barrier between each of us personally and our higher Selves many times. But, humanity has always been known for its ability to conquer almost any obstacle. The biggest obstacle we ever have to face is our own belief systems-and then the belief systems of others. Once we overcome that one obstacle, then all things become possible to us. Truly has it been said "All things are possible under the Sun." How many times in life have we thought something too hard and relegated it to the realm of the impossible, only to find out later that all we needed for success was a slight change of viewpoint? How many projects have failed to even start because people looked at the chasm instead of the goal? How many wars have been fought because people simply refuse to want to see another point of view? All that is needed for a change of beliefs in most cases is a change of circumstance to challenge the mind. That is ever the work of the spiritual Masters-to challenge the minds of humanity. My father had a little rhyme he used to say to us when we came up on difficulty, and I have always remembered it, as much as I have tried to get it out of my head many times. It goes: "As you ramble on through life brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." Now, try as you might to forget it, may it be a reminder to you as well.

This symbol for the lunar degree is perhaps a good point to end our consideration of the full moon and Grand Quintile figures. I have stated before that quintiles bear the mark of Venus, and Venus is but the symbol to us of the union between the little self and the higher Self. Venus is the "bridge across the chasm", and it unites us in so many ways with so many factors in life. And, quintiles are the symbolic representation to us of a subjective energy bridge that allows the Soul to express itself in a unique way and to endow us with its particular brand of individuality and genius.

In the glorious season of Union
the heart rises from the ashes
sparkling with Light.
From the laughter of thunder and lightning
the clouds cry tears
that fill the garden with joy.

- Rumi

As I was driving home one day last week I came upon the crest of a hill. There before my awestruck eyes the Sun hung in the sky like a pendant above the ocean horizon, huge from the angle of refraction, speaking to me in waves of electric sensations that the sight sent coursing through my body. The city was stretched out along the panorama, and it was a magnificent scene. I had thought often of my conversation with my friend after the movie and of what I might have said differently. Nothing, actually, for every moment bears the potency and promise of a conscious choice. But I would say this to all of you now. It has taken me a while to fully know it, but life is only sad because we cannot find the Soul in the moment and in circumstances. The Soul draws near and speaks to us through every little thing, were we but to listen in the right way. Each experience, each vista each and every one of countless things has the capacity to transport us to greater union with and thus the blissful Light and Life of the Soul. All we have to do is to change our minds and happiness is ours. So simple a saying, and yet so difficult of attainment-or is it? The Soul is a genius at the way it works through nature to give us absolutely every opportunity to creatively respond to and use its profound gifts. And when we become synchronized with that interplay then we appear as geniuses and as inspiringly unique people to all who are around us. Yet, all we are doing then is truly and simply being ourselves. And, in being that Self, we can move mountains given enough time, or even just simply abide with the Soul of another. Beauty has its own rhythm and agenda.

In the days and months that follow may we all see the remarkable in the mundane, the possibilities in the seemingly difficult, the solutions in the puzzles, the prizes in the disappointments, the possibilities for another person's joy in their pained expressions, the buoyancy of the promise of love in our own heavy hearts, the beginnings in each ending and the transformative power of change when that which has been familiar is suddenly no more. The call of all Souls is strong now. Awake! Bestow your gifts upon all who would receive-and we all have much to give. The Master Artisan within us creates anew, and the world is our tapestry. May your genius shine brightly for all!

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