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Days of Sunshine and Roses

By Malvin Artley
November 2006

Greetings everyone!

That which has been concealed shall be unmasked. I was only a young lad when I became interested in technology. I was twelve years old and we had an old record player (turntable) that had been staring at me for some months, beckoning. Music was always a big part of life in my family and we had several turntables in the house. No one would miss this one, I thought. There was just something about it. I simply had to know how the thing actually worked. What was locked away in that box that made the music come out of the speaker? So, one day-curiosity piqued-I took it apart. I have been taking things apart to get at their workings ever since. Inside was a little steel chassis with a couple of tubes sticking out of it ('valves' for the anglophiles in this readership). I thought to myself "How in the world is the sound produced from this little chunk of steel and glass?" As a result, being a boy, I did what any young lad would do-I took the chassis to bits without asking anyone's permission. My brothers were quick and gleeful to jump on the fact that I had destroyed a perfectly good record player without asking. My father's response was unexpected, however. Instead of the usual lecture on respect for other people's property, I was handed a beginner's book on electronics and his small electronics tool kit-along with a stern warning not to touch any other electronic appliance in the house without permission. So, I began reading and found out all about the wonderful world of electronics and about how the tubes and other components fit together to make the marvel of the little turntable-the one that allowed us to hear the wonderful music. It was silent from then, but the other turntables in the house lived on. Thus began my journey on the technician's path.

For several years I was consumed with a passion for electronics. I went to the university library and looked through every book on electronics they had. My father taught at that school, albeit in the music department and in less than a decade I would be back in that section of the library as a physics student. I must have been a curiosity to the college students there-this twelve-year-old kid with his nose buried in technical manuals. Most boys my age were out playing sport or getting into general mischief. That was in the days before video games. Life seemed to be more adventurous then. I had found my passion, however, and it would lead me into all kinds of avenues that most kids would never contemplate. Within a few years I was competent enough to be repairing amplifiers for a local music store and I was building all sorts of little projects for myself. It is a joy to conceive of a project, build it and see it work. It is an even bigger joy to encounter difficulties with the project, to have to solve them and then to have it finally work, sometimes better than expected. Those 'failures' meant more to me than the ones that worked and I learned a lot from them. They sharpened my skills and made me a good troubleshooter. More than anything, though, doing those sorts of things gave me a sense of accomplishment, the knowledge that persistence is what wins the day and faith in my own mind and process-things that would prepare me well for life in the world. That experience with the little turntable marked a turning point in my life. I am not blowing my own horn here. There is a point to this little story: Human beings are driven and evolve by curiosity, the overcoming of obstacles and-more than anything-the quest for truth. Thus, we find one of the main themes for the sign of Scorpio: There occur certain points of tension/crisis in a person's life that cause a reorientation in the personal sphere, and that reorientation is invariably invoked by a call to uncover a basic truth about one's inner life or to do some outer work in line with the Soul's task on this Earth.

Scorpio is one of those signs that produces tension and times of reorientation. It is a sign that definitely induces a call to the higher life. In other words, whenever one is born as a Scorpio type, the higher Self is sure to come calling at some point and disrupt the usual comfort of life in order that an evolutionary step forward in one's spiritual path can be taken. Scorpio brings initiatory experiences with it. All of the fixed signs do so, especially Scorpio and Taurus. The tests of Scorpio are always brought down into the physical (outer) life. In fact, all of the five major initiations for humanity take place in physical incarnation. With Scorpio, those tests involve and are solved by the use of the mind. There is a great sensitivity and expansion of knowledge as a result. Sex, physical comfort and money are the main issues at a physical level that come up for reckoning whenever a Scorpio experience is evoked by the higher self. It might be one of those or a combination of the three. Most people are well familiar with the association of sex with Scorpio. Scorpios are renowned for their sexuality. Most people are not so familiar with Scorpio's association with money, however, and even less so with its association with physical comfort. Scorpio is the ruler of the natural 8th house of the zodiac, and that house rules sexual partners, other people's money (or resources) and death and transformation in the main.

There has been a big emphasis upon money matters over the past months because of the triangulation of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune in fixed signs, for example. Monetary matters have been stuck in that period and people have found it difficult to move forward or make the best use of their own or other people's resources. Jupiter has been in Scorpio, too, for the past year, which should have produced a good financial outcome in many areas, but because it has been adversely aspected by Saturn and Neptune and retrograde until recently, the energy around such matters has been either stagnated or dissipated. Jupiter in Scorpio generally brings an increase in physical comforts, but because of the triangulation just mentioned, things have felt anything but comfortable in the past months. As it was recently pointed out to me, councilors, therapists, psychologists, healers, clairvoyants and psychics-and even the odd astrologer or two-have all been doing booming business (or have at least experienced an increase) in recent times. People seem to be at their wit's end in many cases. I know of many folks who will be more than happy to see the back side of 2006, the Year of the Sleeping Dog. There is a general feeling around that 'something has to give' and the Month of the Yellow Dog (since the last new moon) has highlighted this to a marked degree. Scorpio-the time of crisis and reorientation-you have to love it! Now we are seeing the culmination of what was described in that letter at this full moon and in the weeks to come.

Scorpio, then, rules the tests over sex, comfort and money. We are quite familiar with this side of Scorpio. There are emotional and mental tests that come up for Scorpio types as well. At an emotional level Scorpio rules the tests of fear, hatred and ambition. At the mental level we have the Scorpio tests around pride, separateness and cruelty. The end result of the realization and overcoming of all these faults is the establishment of better relations with one's higher Self and with one's immediate environment. The preceding statement is actually said to be the goal of all Scorpio experience. Now, we understand that sex, comfort and money, for instance, are not necessarily faults. They are divine rights when they are properly attended and used. The faults of which we are speaking occur when any of these are used to selfish ends and/or result in retarding one's development or the obstruction the path of someone else.

Anything that is engaged in 'past its used-by date' becomes a spiritual obstruction and sows the seeds of future restrictions and 'experiences'-contractive karma, in other words. (Don't you just love the New Age vernacular?) Scorpio is where one confronts one's 'Shadow", which is the sum-total of all instinctual tendencies, inherited glamours and wrong mental attitudes. The esotericist calls this the Dweller on the Threshold. With all Scorpio experience there is a sense that there is a door open to brighter possibilities, but there is a shadow presence we must confront, own and finally release before we can pass through, for that presence or shadow is only the unresolved aspects of our past, and those things always hold us back. Therefore, with Scorpio, one must always confront, deal with and move beyond some aspect of one's own past, whether from the present or a past life.

Scorpio brings 'The Light of Day', which is always ever the Light of the higher Self. If there is one word that would best describe the theme of Scorpio, it is the word Triumph. Scorpio is one of the signs that transmit the most intense spiritual aspiration. As with all signs, there are two distinct types of Scorpios, and we know and love them both-the more licentious, manipulative and lusty sort of Scorpio, and the opposite or ascetic type. The former leads to the latter. The former type is the classic libertine-a Lilith or Lothario-who spurns the rules, and it is this type of person that is normally associated with the sign. Ultimately, though, there is more to life than chasing after the things of one's fancy. The higher Self put us here to help redeem the lower lives that comprise us and to aspire to something higher. In other words, 'we must be about the work of our Father', or life loses its meaning-and especially its joy. True joy is not found in the fulfillment of desire. Joy comes from the fulfillment of aspiration-the attainment of something 'outside of ourselves'. Really, what that means is that joy is of the Soul, and although the Soul is an integral part of our being, it often seems to be something just beyond our grasp (outside of us) because we are identified more often than not with the objective world, which is the world of shadows.

What lurks in the shadows must always be brought into the light of day. What is hidden must be raised up into the light and seen for what it is. When we stand in the shadows and glimpse the Light of the Soul, then a true passion is aroused within us and the things of the world lose their allure. We want only the Light, for then nothing else satisfies. Satisfaction is the executioner of the Scorpio type. When spiritual passion is aroused in the Scorpio experience, the desires of the world and the flesh are replaced by the joy of the inner life and the latter type of Scorpio is thus brought out-the ascetic, the fiery aspirant and the true disciple. Although there is much more that could be said of Scorpio, what has been described in the preceding paragraphs is of the essence for the Scorpio interlude this year. The concept of the 'Light of Day' is pivotal in understanding the dynamics of this full moon. So, let us have a look at what is being presented to us this Scorpio solar festival.

This will be an initiatory and revelatory full moon. The full moon axis activates the South Node lunar eclipse of 4 May 2004, an eclipse that is associated with one needing to take responsibility and control over one's own destiny and of accepting any commitments that might come along. There is a distinct possibility of health problems with this full moon stemming from one's unwillingness to deal with the subconscious outflow which is bound to come out at this time of the year (this is the 'shadow stuff' of the Scorpio interval). In addition, there will be an opportunity-indeed, a compulsion-to resolve all sorts of double-bind situations. Above all, the energy of this full moon will press people to see beyond what has been held up to be real, but which is actually false or concealed. This will apply as much in one's own life as in the lives of those around us. In other words, people's curiosity will be aroused and all manner of inconsistencies in people's stories and lives will bubble to the surface. Don't be surprised at business scandals. People will be over-sensitive this full moon period and for the next week or two afterward. If you find yourself in a tense situation it is probably best to either 'lance the boil', and be done with it or to keep a low profile otherwise. Scorpio types will prefer the former method over the latter.

The full moon of Scorpio will take place on the 5th of November 2006 at 10:58 PM AEDT (12:58 PM UT). As is usual, the symbol of the degree of the Sun sets the general tone of the solar festival. It reads thus:

"An inventor performs a laboratory experiment." 13 Scorpio

An inventor is one who can connect seemingly unrelated pieces of information into something that is useable and unique at the same time. There is a Uranian 'feel' to this full moon. Essentially, people will begin to make connections with things in their own minds. Bits of information that would not ordinarily seem to go together will all of sudden begin to make sense. One should be careful, however, not to put facts together in ways that result in fallacious stories. Just because something seems like it should be a certain way does not necessarily make it so. On the other hand, if one's own life has seemed a bit out of kilter lately, there may perhaps be an opportunity with this full moon to find a missing link-something that could possibly give just that little something that makes everything come together. Life is a sort of laboratory and it is always an ever-evolving experiment. Nothing is ever for certain. We should be aware, too, that there have been more inventions that have failed than those that have worked. It took Edison a fabled 1000 attempts before he found an electric lamp that would work. Persistence is the key to success, as he always said.

The symbol for the degree of the Moon shows us what we are leaving behind and what is being reflected back to us (the shadow, in other words). It reads thus:

"A porter carrying heavy baggage." 13 Taurus

There is a strong ambition and compulsion for gain represented in this symbol. There is also an allusion to the emotional baggage that we have so willingly carried for ourselves and others and that now must be given up or handed over to its rightful owner(s). Emotional 'baggage' is of the heaviest sort, and it so often keeps us from our spiritual progress and birth right. How many times have we stood at the doorway of something new and wonderful, only to be dragged back by the last minute by someone else's needs or our own unresolved issues? It has happened to all of us at one time or another. We all carry a heavy weight with us and it always comes up for examination just when we want to take a step forward. Is it not always the way?-especially when we resolve to take a step forward into a greater expression of our Soul and to find a real chance for joy in our lives as a result. Be certain of one thing, though: If the load feels heavy at the time of decision, then the opportunity presented is very often great. The full moon axis is in an applying square to Neptune, and the symbol for that degree is important as a result, especially since Neptune has just turned direct from its long retrograde sojourn. It reads thus:

"A man's secret motives are being publicly unmasked." 18 Aquarius

Need we say more? The Sun will exactly square Neptune on the 10th of this month. Any time a planet is at the apex of a t-square with the full moon axis (as in this case), its energy is very important to the working out of the solar festival. Squares bring about dynamic tension and points of crisis-which always have the capacity to evoke one's Soul. I have noticed over the years that Sun square to Neptune natally can produce a steely hardness in people as the years roll on because those people have to come to terms with what often amounts to an exquisite sensitivity which can bring them a lot of discomfort. It is always an aspect that produces hypersensitivity, but it also brings with it lessons around deception, self-deception, confusion of purposes and unreliable people. It weakens the will initially until a person learns to stand up for themselves. After that, however, it can bring an amazing insight and instinct into human nature via the school of hard knocks. That is what this full moon will bring. It will initially evoke confusion, but soon the blinders will come off and there will be much that is revealed to people as a result. With the tone for the figure thus set, the following aspects are in evidence.

The Sun is still at the midpoint of the Sun/Venus/Mars stellium. The stellium is separating, though, and is beginning to lose its punch. Symbolically considered, people are beginning to drift apart. The unions represented by the stellium are starting to be seen in their true light. Venus is square to Neptune, bringing disillusionment in affairs of the heart. Mars is separating from a square with Chiron, which has brought its own share of frayed nerves and wounded feelings in the past week or two. Venus is at the midpoint of Mercury and Mars, giving a propensity to make snap decisions in love matters, but also a tendency to argue. This is not the happiest of configurations at the moment, but it will do brilliant work in getting people to take stock of themselves and their relationships with others.

This next configuration is of more than a little interest. The Sun is at the apex of a novile triangle involving Saturn and Chiron as well. Noviles are an aspect that bring about initiatory experiences, especially when they are found in regular patterns. In this figure we find two such triangles, both interlocked. This produces a powerful initiatory and transformative dynamic, especially since the Sun is in Scorpio. The first triangle with the Sun will be intense and potentially very painful because Saturn and Chiron are involved. I have found in my own researches that noviles often bring about health crises that accompany expansions in awareness or consciousness. The two often go together. The particular type of health issue this accentuates is nervous disorders, so be careful to get enough rest and stay away from stimulants and drugs of all sorts if you can in this period. The other novile triangle involves the Sun, Pluto and Chiron, with Pluto at the apex, also potentially quite painful, but very transformative, too. The saving grace of this is the trine between Saturn and Pluto. The best manifestation of this is in using depth psychology to get to the bottom of somatic disturbances before they develop too far.

The Moon forms an interesting triangle with Neptune and the South Node in an aspect series known as the undecile. An undecile is an aspect of 3244' (the circle divided by eleven) and its general indication is one of excess. It is said to indicate the tension produced by double-bind situations, which can be either external or internal. In the external situation people find themselves in circumstances where they are trapped by feelings of obligation and responsibility, but they cannot entirely please the people involved without causing difficulties. The internal double-bind is always a schism between skepticism and faith. The stresses involved in either case cause a person to act excessively in some fashion or another as they seek to extricate themselves form their imprisoning position. In this figure the points involved indicate that there is a powerful pull from the past (Moon and South Node) that is keeping one from realizing a higher truth or a more ideal way of life (Neptune). This will be especially true if one of these points falls upon sensitive points in one's own chart. The same applies to the novile triangles elucidated above. At the time of the full moon this undecile triangle will be at its most powerful. Its resolution will hopefully come about a week later when the Sun squares Neptune exactly.

Mercury is in a t-square with the Moon and Neptune (Neptune apex). This t-square can indicate a very active imagination and a rich dream life, which is brilliant for creative work. On the other hand, it can indicate deception, and especially deceit of women. Ladies, turn on your radars and pay attention to the hairs on your neck. Write that novel you have been thinking about writing, too. (The latter goes for the men as well.) Be very wary of a tendency to think the worst, however.

The solar stellium is trine to Uranus. This is a very bright feature of the figure. It brings scintillating flashes of intuition. It is the crowning aspect to the meaning of the symbol for the solar degree because it heralds the new and allows us to integrate new conditions easily. It is a great humanitarian and 'inventor's' aspect.

Mercury is at the midpoint of a Mercury/Venus/Jupiter stellium. This is also a bright and happy feature in the chart, and its indications are a love of entertainment, optimism and happiness in thought. The only problem with it is that Mercury and Jupiter are both square to Saturn, which pretty well cancels the optimistic tone. Mercury is retrograde now as well, so it is easy for there to be miscommunications between people. One the other hand, this little stellium serves to offset some of the heavier patterns in the chart. On the whole, if people can tap into this stellium, it gives the ability to rise above any negativity that might be felt through the period and it calls us to smell the roses every once in a while as we move through the remainder of the Scorpio interval.

Lastly, Ceres is conjunct Neptune. The two of these together form a powerful point of psychic projection. Ceres should have a kind of sub-rulership over Scorpio, in my opinion, as its action can be markedly like that of Pluto at times. Its degree symbol is of interest, and reads: "A big businessman at his desk" 16 Aquarius Herein lies the basis for the reference I made before to business scandals. There is still a marked fixed sign emphasis with Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, and with Ceres square to the full moon axis there is a good possibility that some hidden business dealings could come to light-or that some bad decisions could come about that might have some big repercussions down the road.

My Soul has called to me at various times in my life. Sometimes I have recognized it. In those times I have generally been quite joyful because those were times when I took up work in which I had found joy in the past. In other words, my soul-history made a profound impact upon me. That was what happened to me when I took apart my first machine and my passion for technology overtook me. It was old and familiar and I took to it like a duck to water. At other times it has called as well, but I have not recognized it as such. Those times have generally been, shall we say, uncomfortable. There were things I needed to clear away in those instances that were preventing my moving forward on my life path. Of course, in episodes such as those we do not see that what we are doing is hindering us in any way. We might think we are doing what we are with the best of intentions and in good faith. We do not want to change because we are comfortable in our lot and life is going well, or so we think. I have learned to beware of things when I feel satisfied with my life-content, by all means-satisfied, never! That is the creed.

I once got a saying from a fortune cookie that read "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." Wise people, those Chinese. Well, I have had my share of experiences in life. Then again, I may not have received everything in life I have wanted, but I have always received what I needed. That's the thing about Scorpio-it is a sign that always gives us exactly what we need. Whether it is easy or difficult is really immaterial. It is the measure of our Soul that we can bring forward into the experience that is important. It is the measure of joy that we can feel as the experience unfolds that tells us if we are 'getting it right' or not. At the end of the experience, if we can look back and feel we have lightened ourselves and made our lives better and more joyful as a result, then we must have done something right. The experience wasn't then just some failed experiment or screw-up. We might not be all sunshine and roses in the middle of it, and I don't know that I would want to be around anyone who was, but if we can be excited by the fact that we are making progress in the midst of things, then we always know the Soul is there with us. And, I'll tell you-I know very few Scorpios who are sour. Yeah, they have their moments, but I find them quite delightful on the whole. Their Souls always manage to peek through, even in the worst of situations. There is always a good story at the end of it, too.

In all, be up front with people in the weeks to come. Let us be true to ourselves and forward in our thinking. There is much good that can come from this full moon. Pay close attention to what people say and what they do, because there is a very distinct trend to incongruous behavior during this period. As a friend of mine once said (and I am fond of including my friends in these letters), "Listen to their words, but watch their feet. Their feet will do the talking." Actions will tell us the truth of things in most cases. Most of all, though, may we all uncover a passion that has lain undiscovered or dormant for some time-a passion that will expand us, take us in a new direction and bring us new-found joy in life. My passion for discovery has taken me far in life and around the world. Machines may not be the most glamorous things in the world, but the work has brought me into contact with a lot of good people. My 'other work' has done the same. I have learned to trust my inner voice when it has drawn my attention to things, as it did with the little turntable. A lot of good came from that and it transformed my life. Even the 'bad times' have done that and brought me many good things in the end as well. "Every dark cloud has a silver lining"-so the saying goes. Good things do come from difficulty, but the best things come when we finally learn to listen to our inner voice and then to act decisively on that. A little trust in ourselves and love for others and from others can take us a long way along our chosen path. Goodness knows we could all use that! Have a little faith in yourself in these trying times. You are worth it!

Enjoy the Melbourne Cup!