By Steve Nation
It has only been a month since the last full moon festival in Capricorn. And yet the world seems a very different place from what it was a month ago. When we sit down now to work with the opportunities of the energy flow of Aquarius, we do so in the wake of an earthquake that generated a wave of water which brought chaos and devastation to the lives of millions, and which also brought a wave of unprecedented intelligent global compassion and a profoundly recognised sense of human unity.
It is interesting that the earthquake and tsunami struck Bandeh Aceh and the sea-side communities around the Indian Ocean during the hours immediately preceding the Capricorn full moon. We may not fully understand the significance of this — yet what a startling and dramatic accompaniment to the initiatory energies of the sign of the mountain top and the goat. And what deep transformations have emerged out of the collective shock and grief of that event. In the aftermath of the tsunami wave it is as if we can observe Aquarius at work — waters of life flowing out of the space of emptiness that accompanies shock and grief; waters of life that have an unprecedented quality to them.
So, in preparation for this Aquarius festival, I want to reflect a little on the meaning of this sign of the Water Carrier, and the insights they offer to our understanding of events of the past month.
To begin, can we centre ourselves in the field of loving mind which includes all people who are consciously seeking to live their lives with a spirit of intelligent love? Within that broad field, identify with the group of all who are using the opportunities of the flow of energy from the sun at this time to meditate for world renewal.
May the Power of the one Life pour through the group of all true servers
May the Love of the one Soul characterise the lives of all who seek to aid the Great Ones
May I/we fulfil my/our part in the one Work through self-forgetfulness, harmlessness, and right speech.
This is an especially important sign because we are moving into the Aquarian Age. Our keynote for meditation: "Water of life am I poured forth for thirsty men." The image, the archetype, is of the server who balances a pot of water on his shoulder, and from this pot water flows to all. In many cultures the word for water is the same as the word for life and this gives us the clue to the meaning of Aquarius. The water of life refers not to the watery world of emotions, of the astral body, but to the `waters of space': to the life force of the cosmos.
We are moving into a new age when the life force will flow abundantly in and through all human initiatives motivated by the wish to create right relations. There will be a strengthening of group life and we will find more and more individuals and groups who find their life meaning in the will to serve the greater whole. Just think about this for a moment. Isn't this what is happening now, one of the keynotes of our present historical period. Groups are in process of forming, deepening their alignment with purpose, becoming more intuitive. Servers are constantly crossing the boundaries between groups and building a sense of inter-group, inter-network co-operation. This all helps to create the environment through which the waters of life can flow freely, finding its own channels, its own little pathways. In the process the sense of human unity is 'watered', 'comes alive', puts down its roots and begins to become a part of individual and group identity. This is very different from ideas or abstract principles.
Aquarius is an air sign — it is most active on the plane of mind — so we can visualise the waters of life flowing through the mind of humanity and fostering right thought.
A little piece from a talk which Jan Nation gave for an Aquarius Festival meeting at the Lucis Trust in London in 1997:
"Water of Life am I poured forth for thirsty men: When we hold in mind the image of the water carrier pouring the water of life to all who thirst we can visualise, too, that the capacity of humanity to better comprehend such a universal, healing, archetype reflects an awaking of the brain cells around the pineal gland. Only when this is happening "more or less" can the third eye (the "Eye of Shiva") function. In other words, in the light of the intuition, which is evoked by wise and sacrificial, joyful service, humanity glimpses the way in which the wasteland of today can be redeemed.
"Looking ahead from our present vantage point, with the world problems we have yet to resolve, we seem to be heading into a time of overwhelming complexity. We are going to know so much more. We will have information available at our finger tips on all areas of human knowledge. The veil between the inner and outer worlds is thinning; a growing telepathy will increasingly reveal our thoughts to each other.
Many of our more modern 'habits of misery', our anxious 'me first' concerns, our fears for security, are seeking to protect us from this onslaught. These habits assume that human consciousness of the future will remain as it is today. Yet, as we reflect on the possibilities of the future, we need to bear in mind that human consciousness is changing, and for the better. The future promises a far stronger flow of the higher energies we call intuitive perception. As the worlds-within-worlds of the future are revealed to us, it will be from a higher point of focus, where what really matters will stand out clearly. The complexities of the future will be encompassed by a new simplicity to give it shape and beauty.
"The future that we're working for is a future in which humanity will break the chains of materialism; a future in which humanity will relinquish 'habits of misery', a future in which simplicity, joy and happiness will increasingly condition the human experience; a future in which the waters of life will flow with abundance."
What might it mean in practice for the human race to become more intuitive in this deeper sense? I believe that it means that increasing numbers of people will have a direct knowledge and understanding of the fundamental realities of human unity, the interdependence of life, the principle of essential divinity and that there will be a profound sense of relation with the cosmos. This is very different from, though not contradictory to, knowledge about and understanding of these principles through analysis and rational processes. It is knowledge that comes from deep inside so that it conditions the way we think about the world and who we are. As this quality of intuitive insight grows visionary leaders will become more common in all areas of life. Their leadership will come from the altitude of their sensitivity to the wholeness of things. It will be Aquarian; will flow as waters of life through every aspect of their being. The historical process will then increasingly be centred on all the obstructions to that flow — obstructions that will not be able to hold — obstructions that will be broken through, with force and the violence of a tsunami if necessary. Ultimately you cannot hold back the persistence of the tides, or the organic path which rivers and streams, left to their natural devices, carve out of the landscape.
It is interesting to reflect on the aftermath of the tsunami and how this wave of water, generated by the force of the earthquake, has affected humanity's processes of becoming increasingly unified, whole and responsive to Aquarius. There are points of note that seem to stand out. The wave of compassion and transparent power of the heart to initiate a sense of group in ever widening circles of inclusion has been quite unprecedented. It can be seen in many ways: in the generosity of people's giving; in the momentum of inter-faith religious observances where emphasis is given to authentic spiritual experience; in the intelligence and compassion of so much of the media focus; in the fact that this happened at a time when most people around the world were relaxing, and more open to the sort of deep change that often accompanies trauma — and many were thinking of the Christ and unconsciously impressed with the Capricorn energies. There was an intuitive quality of much of the thinking about how to respond to the crisis — by which I mean less of the critical analysis (this government is not doing enough — why don't 'they' do this or that — the authorities acted badly) and more honest and transparent questions like: how can we really help? What can we do that will be most useful? I want to do something that will help. All this was, I think, quite inspiring, and a sign of the real changes that are taking place in this creature we call the human being.
In the aftermath we have some powerful issues where Aquarian energies are trying to flow with a renewed abundance. For example there are now strong forces saying this unprecedented flow of funds and support to tsunami affected communities must not be allowed to overshadow the wider flow of funds and energies into, particularly, development in Africa and the negotiations around the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Summit scheduled for September this year at the UN in New York. And, in this regard, we can especially think of the potential for the European Union to take the lead in pulling the world into a more visionary, dynamic, wilful, and enthusiastic response to the challenges of such Millennium Development Goals as reducing by half the numbers of people below the poverty line, or reducing by half the numbers without access to clean, safe drinking water and sanitation. We also need to think of Aquarian abundance flowing through the fluid situation in the Palestine/Israel relationship, watering all the potentialities for transformation which arise from the election of Mahmoud Abbas.
So, friends, to finish, a quotation from the Sarvodaya Shramadana plan for a national programme of re-awakening in response to the tsunami:
Although none of the Sarvodaya staff lost lives, many of Sarvodaya owned buildings including the Matara District Centre were destroyed due to the killer wave. Sarvodaya staff in the Southern and Eastern coast lost their homes and relatives while many Sarvodaya villages got completely washed away. Over 80 of SEEDS operated village development banks were destroyed completely and bodies of many members were found days after. As a result unrecoverable loans amount to over Rs. 75 million. …
It has been said that "Waves of destruction have been followed by Waves of Compassion". The latter has pervaded the whole nation, and in fact the whole world. The physical re-construction which is more tangible should be accompanied by the personal and social transformation of ALL leading to the "Awakening of the Nation". …
Active engagement of the entire community is envisaged to not only promote community development but also national integration and peace in line with Sarvodaya's Deshodaya (National Reawakening) concept. It will also be in keeping with Sarvodaya's vision of development, just peace building and good governance in terms of three interlocking spheres: consciousness, economics and power.
The engagement process involving the affected community is envisaged to significantly address stress, trauma and psycho social problems of the victims.
Through this comprehensive programme, Sarvodaya also hopes to embed a value change in the affected community, which will empower them towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and better prepare them for future disaster management."
You can review this plan online at: www.sarvodaya.org