Archive | December 2015

New Year for who?

New Year celebrations are going on around the globe, curiously in numerous countries both Christian, Hindu and Muslim, yet this day is a totally western construct, with no astronomical basis in any culture whatsoever. This shows just how globalised we are now, and particularly how westernised we have all become. Of course fireworks are originally a Chinese invention so that shows the intermingling of cultures that occurs in our lives.

Not everyone will be celebrating New Year with a bang though. Certain counties want nothing to do with the artificial imposition, while others are too terror struck to allow festivities in their cities, like Belgium for example. Others across the globe are gearing up for more muted celebrations, surrounded by tighter than usual police presence. So it is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to the old year and greet the new.

A quick look at the history of today’s New Year celebration reveals that it is based on a Roman calender with Julian and Gregorian roots. In other words it’s actually a fairly arbitrary construct with little, if any real relevance to us today, yet it is possibly one of the biggest global celebratory events of all. What does that say about the relevance or depth of our culture as a western institution? Not much. No planetary alignment of any sort sets this day out as something relevant, based as it is on the annual solar calender. Even the financial year begins somewhere closer to the Equinox, an arguably more appropriate date for New Year. Nothing of any relevance happens today. There is no “real ” reason to celebrate anything. Even the Chinese new year at least begins on the New Moon, thus making it fall on a slightly different day each year. Of course everyone wants to go out in style or with a bang, or perhaps more importantly wants to start with a bang, so maybe today is as good a day as any. Perhaps the mood has missed me somehow, or perhaps it’s the current slowing down of Mercury to an almost standstill and immanent retrograde starting on the 5th that has dampened the spark of my fireworks somewhat, but I’m not alone, for many countries will have relatively muted New Year celebrations today. I mean look at the state of the world. When you have to intensify your military presence with more troops than ever to safeguard your revelers in every capital city globally, because of those who are alienated by the very culture you are celebrating, it leaves a rather strange taste to the festive cheer.

Perhaps the position of the Moon in muted Virgo may be limiting the emotional vibrancy of this New Year. Fortunately one silver lining exists in the fact that the Moon conjuncts Jupiter in the zodiac now, if only for a few hours, expanding the mood of the moment in humble Virgo fashion. So if you don’t need any more meaningful reason to celebrate and are content with the randomness of today’s date; and if a potential terror attack is statistically unlikely to strike at a theatre near you, then perhaps a little festive cheer could well trickle into your evening. Perhaps enough to light a sparkler. After all, how many countless domestic pets will be traumatised by the fireworks explosions at midnight? The Moon aligned with Jupiter in Virgo at midnight does inspire a thought for our voiceless dependants in lesser species, those humble, dutiful servants of mankind. So spare a thought for their wellbeing if you intend to try out your Chinese crackers at Roman New Year wherever it may find you on the planet.

Mercury square Mars so keep a cool head

astrology, Mercury square MarsMercury is in a square (90 degree) alignment to Mars this week, suggesting that the actions of the mind and speech may be energised to the point of being potentially overactive and somewhat heated. An energised mind is great if you can find a healthy outlet, otherwise the tendency to argument and an opinionated stance may arise. If you need to defend your stance or fight for a cause, like a lawyer or some such campaigner you may be able to benefit from this alignment, but if you’re amongst friends and family then just be careful not to get into a needless heated debate about something unnecessary or insignificant. You don’t want to ruin the friendship just because someone moved your cheese. The problem is that you may come to a conclusion as to who moved your cheese based on inconclusive evidence or unwarranted suspicion, thus jumping down the throat of the wrong person to look for your cheese or finding crumbs where there are none. Under today’s circumstances our judgement may need further deliberation or hard evidence to avoid fallibility.

There are always the four defects in every deliberation that need to be avoided, namely the tendency to make mistakes, the tendency to have imperfect senses, the tendency to become bewildered by illusion, and the tendency to cheat. We are all familiar with making mistakes occasionally, whether in writing or speech, and it is obvious that we all have imperfect senses. For example to our senses the Sun seems rather small, but with knowledge we know that it is actually gigantic. Or when in the desert we may see water in the distance, but on arrival we realise that it’s actually a mirage. Or we may hear something incorrectly. In other words we cannot trust our senses or rely on our senses for perfect knowledge. And in the same way we can all fall under illusion as any sleight-of-hand magician will show you. The greatest illusion under which we all fall is of course the tendency to identify with the body and mind as the self. The truth is that we may be in a certain body, but the body is not the self, for the self can leave the body at the time of death and continue onward, and the self has existed before entering the current body. This is the great illusion of life on earth according to those who know, not according to we who speculate based on our imperfect senses. And there is no use denying it, but the truth is that everyone cheats. We all lie. A lot of the time. Psychologists will even agree so don’t think you are immune to this. When asked a question we will embellish the answer so that it puts us in a better light, or does not perturb the hearer too much. We do this every day in small ways and some occasionally do it in big ways, for example in business deals in order to make an extra profit or gain an advantage. The cheating propensity is all-pervading in society today and always has been, so a wise person realises that you can trust no-one, not even yourself, or should I say your mind.

Besides this there may be a susceptibility to nervous tension this week or some such disorders based on an overstimulated nervous system. This could manifest as headaches for example, so be sure to keep your cool, to keep a cool head as much as possible. Some of the best things in life may be free, but some of the most valuable things in life are not given but have to be cultivated and today two of them will greatly assist, namely patience and verbal restraint. These two gifts or virtues do not come naturally. The mind will more easily jump to a heated, reactionary mode than pause and wait. And a heated mind produces heated words just as quickly when uncontrolled. The mind is, after all, our best friend or our worst enemy. It is very much up to us to acquire the skills to operate the mind lest it carry us over the edge of reasoning into the crevasse of ignorance, which contrary to popular thought is by no means blissful.

Fortunately today there is a simultaneous sextile (60 degree) alignment between Mercury and Venus, which can provide the grace of speech required to balance to heating effect of Mars. This is a good influence for musicians and composers, who will find the inspiration and harmony they desire. This favourable aspect may only last a day or two, but the challenging Mars alignment may continue throughout the week as Mercury slows to the same pace as Mars now and eventually becomes stationary next week, which means next month or should I say next year, on 5 January. So although the harmonising Venus aspect may soften the challenging Mars influence today, just be sure to observe your mind or moods throughout the week and allow for a momentary pause before acting or reacting to any situation. Otherwise take advantage of the mental energy available this week to get the job done, to channel the potential mental energy in a conscious way so that it does not escape unconsciously into counter-productive arguments and the like. Also be extra careful on the roads while travelling now. It can be a busy season for travelling and therefore even more reason to curb any misplaced enthusiasm and avoid road rage which simply spoils the fun and helps no-one in the long run.

The birth and pastimes of Jesus

christmasDearly beloved, on this day the season of the birth of our good lord, let us remember that which was dismembered. Let us reunite the severed portions of our lord Osiris like ISIS did when she discovered them cleft into twelve or thirteen by the evil brother Seth. And let us remember our Lord God the Son of God, son of the Mother of God, who is both God and child of God, man and God; who originated from the Great Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHVH Yod He Vau He, the unspeakable name of Jehovah, and how he is the Yod He Shin Vau He, the mighty Jeheshuah, the only son Jesus, anointed one as the Christ; may his name be praised.

And may his works be praised. Let us remember and meditate on the great pastimes of our good lord, as we read in the good book, the gospel according to King James, who in his majesty felt it just to translate, edit and abridge according to his majestic whim, the gospel of our lord the saviour, following in the footsteps of our glorious pontiffs of old, the Great Emperor Constantine, who in his majesty sought to whimsically also edit and abridge the gospel at the Council of Nicea in the fourth century in the year of our lord. That gloriously good book, now completely edited of any reference to the teachings of our lord on metempsychosis, or transmigration of the soul (reincarnation), even when our lord himself mentions the reincarnation of the soul when asking the question “who do they say I am?” and getting the answer from his beloved disciples, “some say you are Isaiah come back from the dead.” Glory be to Constantine who out of political expediency and totalitarian tactfulness sought to adopt the faith and religion of our lord and make it the state religion, and glory too to the holy church who although expunging any reference to Mother Mary as a deity, still allow her to be idolised and adored and worshipped as was the goddess worship in days of old, just like the goddess Radharani who is worshipped without any reference whatsoever to her divinity in the sacred texts. Mary of the immaculate conception, echoing the pastime of Mother Devaki in Krishna’s pastimes, in which Krishna himself was conceived as the divine child, first in the mind and then being transferred to the womb of his mother.

Glory be to that one same original immaculately conceived God as he is seen in numerous religions over the ages, many guises of the one same worshipable avatar for over 5000 years. And let us remember his pastime of entering the temple and of seeing there the Jewish money lenders as they charged interest on their loans in usury, a sin by any other name. And let us remember his wrath as he chased the money lenders out of the temple and manifested his wrathful pastime, overturning their benches and tables, their “bankies” from where the term “bank” today originates. For verily the lord is more than displeased with the Jewish money lenders, the same criminals we see today brothers and sisters, the same corrupt, greedy, sociopathic, unscrupulous pawns of evil who run the world banks and crush the least fortunate of us under their criminal and sinful tactics of compound interest. May the lord smite them in the bottom line, as he did in his pastimes on earth 2000 years ago. For such sinners in the guise of bankers will corrupt the very temple, the house of worship and turn it into a house of money grabbing, of golden idol worship. And verily, whenever there is a decline in religious principles and a rise in irreligion, the lord shall again appear to annihilate those miscreants and protect the beliebers, while re-establishing the principles of religion. So behold the time is nigh for the return of the lord in all his smite, where with a smiteful glance the bankers of today shall once more be smitten, heed my writing on your wall oh beloveds. For even from the caste of labourers, carpenters and cow herders he shall appear, the avatar of the lord.

And woe unto those same bankers who have made this day of his birth into a capitalist consumer spending spree in order to enrich themselves by trapping the lesser of us in debt, to get rich on that which belongs to Caesar on this which should be a holy day of fasting and remembrance. Surely this is religion for profit. Oh we, like sheep do continue to be led and so be it due to our folly and refusal to heed the deed of the lord in his pastimes. Therefore let us meditate on the pastimes of the lord and be awakened to the error of our ways and forever more be uplifted into his shelter, Amen.

Christmas full moon

Christmas astrologyThe rare Christmas full moon may well have many of us returning to the home and hearth of our traditional families where possible. The emotional ties to loved ones will be more deeply felt, and emotional reminiscences may bring tears to the eyes of some. The nostalgic feeling of being back home in the safety of something reliable from the past or youth is particularly stabilizing and may benefit us now during this time. And there is sure to be an avid supply of culinary delights to be shared over this festive full moon too. The actual full moon moment peaks around lunch time in Africa and Europe, so gather around the plates and cups to share the home baked treats where you can, while taking plenty of snaps and selfies to capture the moment for posterity.

Those of non-Christian persuasion will probably also be with family anyway, sharing the moment. Some may find the family obligations a bit of a burden, or may find the family trying to dominate them in some way. Somehow the overly protective maternal instinct may want to nurture the brood to such a degree that some find it smothering. That’s quite understandable in this day and age. The family unit has fragmented somewhat over the generations, and the extended family is not what it once was either. Even having an uncle or aunt you see regularly is quite a luxury. In the west the family just does not count for what it once did. The demands of a career call the members of most modern families far and wide, and if you can get back together for the holiday time now, you are very lucky. Some substitute blood relatives with a like minded community or spiritual family, which is equally valuable nowadays, when cultures shift so rapidly. We are blessed in the west to have a system that facilitates annual family reunions. Many are struggling around the world now with trying circumstances that have thrown families into disarray, scattered them apart due to conflict and unrest. Whether in Europe, Africa, or Asia, we should appreciate the facility to continue our traditions in peace and goodwill. This past year has seen records broken for refugee numbers in countries and continents where parents and children are uncertain of their fate, their future, and in some cases if they will even be reunited at all. So we are the lucky ones. A prayer for mercy to flow in the direction of the displaced refugee masses would be of great help to them, even etherically, during our day of religious or communal reflection as a global family on the planet now.

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are all well aligned with each other for Christmas day too. This definitely favours speakers, academics, book sellers, writers and publishers. Particularly topics of philosophy and religion should be up for discussion over this religious holy day. Ease and confidence should be available to those required to give public speeches, and to any who plan to have a social time. Good moral and ethical decisions can be made now, as well as beneficial foreign policy decisions or relations with foreigners in general. Let’s hope this can facilitate the needs of the foreign refugees looking for shelter in the hearts, minds and homes of a strange land. You can tell a nation by how it treats its elderly, most vulnerable and its neighbours. Let’s hope we rise to the occasion.

All round the indicators are there for a happy social occasion filled with song and dance this Christmas, with good cheer, good taste and social grace to make any social event a success. The one concern of course may be the challenging square aspect from Mars to Mercury that could add an active mind frame that may incline some to become slightly heated in their speech and expression, so if yours is a family that can sometimes split into bipartisan sides over a topic, or if you have one odd uncle who always puts his foot in it, then just be forewarned and have a gag and a rope ready. We can’t afford anyone having a nervous breakdown now. Rather just remember to cultivate patience and tact, along with the ability to listen to the family tales as if for the first time. Christmas comes but once a year, and sometimes it’s the only time we get to see the extended family, so be sure to make the most of it and leave a good impression as it may be with you for life. Besides that, Jupiter’s conjunction with the North Node/Rahu should help us fit in with the mood of the day, and appreciate the time honoured traditions that occur now. Just remember today that there is concern in growing or expanding too fast. Don’t take too much for granted. And finally, remember when you give out gifts that those things which are attained too easily may not always be properly appreciated by the receiver.

Solstice and the soul of astrology

AstrologyAstrology should never be mistaken for a science. The planets, for example are named after the gods of the ancient Roman pantheon, and the meanings attributed to the planets astrologically are derived from the essential characters of these deities who exist, as Jung tells us, as powers of the psyche or personality. It is as if the ancients looked up at the stars in the night sky and labelled them according to imaginary figures that they saw, perhaps correlating with what was happening on the ground at the time of the year that they were overhead. The imaginary figures were of course great heroes and gods in the tradition of those observers, like Hercules and Andromeda, and it may have been more than just imagination which inspired them to label the constellations as they did, although that motive is lost in the mists of time.

Somehow the visible planets of the ancients, leading up to Saturn, were labelled according to their characteristics to some degree, and their perceived influence over the human affairs. Indeed, in time the apparent influence of the planets over the affairs of humanity was taken literally, as if the planet itself was the source or cause of the symptom experienced. Certainly there may be some literal gravitational influence from the planets upon the earth, as with the Moon for example, but Jung, the psychologist who most influenced 20th century thinking on the matter of the mind, describes the presumed influence of the planets as “projection”. He writes in 1947 in a letter to prof. B.V. Raman: “Astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call projected – this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations. This originally gave rise to the idea that these factors derive from the stars, whereas they are merely in a relation of synchronicity with them. I admit that this is a very curious fact which throws a peculiar light on the structure of the human mind.” Jung curiuosly became an avid student of astrology, which he felt aided in his psychoanalytic research. But as a scientist, he never took the influence of the planets on earth literally. Of course even the study of the psyche is a human science and not a pure science, and many may even question the validity of psychology itself, although psychiatry somehow has become accepted as scientific, perhaps based on observation and experimentation. Similarly astrologers both ancient and modern may have found their hypotheses confirmed based on observaton of paterns and cycles in time and in the lives of their fellow men and women.

Some degree of literal awareness was probably originally there in the astrolgers of old when for example they saw Mars to be reddish in colour and thus named it after the god of war, or observed Jupiter to be biggest and thus named him after the chief god of the pantheon. But as to how such a distant planet can have a certain influence when passing through one constellation of the zodiac as compared to another remains to me a mystery and only a speculation. But there it is, taken quite seriously by millions even today, many of whom pride themselves in being most ratonal and scientific in their perception of reality. The mind is surprisingly superstitious it seems, and is also willing to suspend disbelief in so many instances in our lives today, and astrology or religion are just two such cases. Religion depends on a foundation of faith, faith in certain mythical gods of old described in texts, and astrology also depends on faith in planets named after gods, with the traits of gods, as described in ancient texts going back millenia, and copied by Medieval and subsequently modern writers. Even more radical is the acceptance of the newly discovered planets, from Uranus to Pluto, which were only discovered in relatively recent times and also named after the Roman gods, quite randomly or instinctively by astronomers of the day, and which are now also accepted as distinct literal influencers or at least signposts of personality and events on the ground. Again we might remember the words of Jung when describing astrology for what it is: “The collective unconscious…appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms are organized through the projection of images. This explains the influence of the stars as asserted by astrologers. These influences are nothing but unconscious, introspective perceptions of the collective unconscious.” Jung is saying here that humanity has “projected” from our psyche, the myths of old onto the random stars above, and that the correlations or coincidences of events above to events below are “synchronicity”. Within the art of astrology there is a great deal of science, in the form of mathematical calculations, geometric patterns and angles, as well as finely timed cycles, but the interpretation thereof is ultimetely based on “projection” and “synchronicity”. Therefore astrology should never be seen as anything more than an oracle. What does that say about religion then? There too we find multiple gods, written about in texts that are thousands of years old, performing supernatural and cosmically monumental acts and yet still worshiped and accepted as equal as any scientifically observable reality we see today. Ultimetely it depends on faith, particularly in your source of reference. Besides that, even today we cannot rely solely on our five senses for confirmation of reality. Even scientists are discovering truths that defy our senses, and even defy their own prior laws of physics.

So I think it is safe to say that even scientists are still newly labeling reality as they are currently able to perceive it, and that there is far more to reality than meets the eye of the scientist, and that in time the messages of the gods of ancient and their pastimes may be more real than we think, and that science still has some way to go in labeling, analysing, deconstructing and explaining so-called reality as they think it is. We are already finding as time goees by in our modern world that the truth is still unfolding, and that it lies somewhere in the unchartered realm between science and religion, and that in time these two will meet halfway only to discover that they were like two men trying to describe the nature of the elephant in the room, but from alternative angles, and that they were both right all along.