Archive | December 2015

Venus in Scorpio as The Force Awakens

Venus in ScorpioWith Venus in Scorpio all of this month we may well experience first hand what it means when “The Force Awakens”. I know this is the latest Star Wars movie title, and apt that it should be, for the Force, is also the Kundalini shakti, the female divinity and counterpart to the masculine deity in the pantheons of old. The Force has numerous faces and depending on our state of consciousness she will awaken within us for better or worse this month. Although Venus (the goddess by her Roman name) is in a position of “detriment” while in the sign of Scorpio in December, she is in one of her most potent manifestations. “Detriment” merely describes the sign opposite to the traditional ruling sign or home of the planet, which with Venus is the opposite sign of Scorpio, namely Taurus.

The force of Venus is now at her most intense, and thus the allure of this Maya shakti can bewilder the most discerning aspirant on the path of enlightenment. It is a time when women can use their sensuality to turn the heads of men, and men can find the urge simply irresistible. The fact is that this illusory force has every one of us under her spell in the material world, regardless of gender. It is mostly euphemistic to label the villain as a female, something which resulted in the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, and which results in the denigration of women still today by Saudi Arabia and other Sharia Islamic states. This is an unfortunate state of affairs, because it is not women that are the personification of evil, but rather the bewitched and bewildered state of consciousness within the eye of every beholder which needs to be addressed.

Venus here intensifies the desire nature, the mode of passion, or lust, which expresses itself in some as the longing for romance and procreation. But the reality is that we don’t actually fall in love with the other person, but rather we fall in love with ourselves through the other person. This is the real unconscious mechanism at play in the mind and ego of us all. We fall in love with ourselves through others; because we are seeking to develop in a relationship that which is incomplete in ourselves. In psychology the term used to describe this is “projection”. We are all so bewildered by the force of the Illusory potency, thrown like a covering over us by the goddess Maya Devi, that we can only really see the world subjectively through our own foggy subjective dream picture. We are the central character in our story, and whoever even vaguely fits the profile can immediately become a secondary character in our movie, for our pleasure. We see ourselves as the controller and all else is ours to control. The problem is that for a start we can’t even see ourselves properly, so we also fail to see others for who they really are. So when someone comes along that looks as if they could potentially play out our unexpressed or unconscious side of ourself, we bring them onto our stage and expect them to perform to our script or projection. At first we see only our projection, and thus become totally enamoured. We fall in love with them. Of course it is only because we see our projected self, part of our ego in them, and because they satisfy our desires, that we love them so. But in time, we notice that they are not quite playing the part exactly as we want. They are after all themselves, and have their own qualities, which may differ from our projection slightly. It is at this time that the illusion begins to slip a bit and we find our love dwindling. Eventually in those who are less conscious it leads to the one you loved becoming the one you hate, and separation results. This is not a new realization, yet despite knowing the theory it trips us up time and again.

This month should be a time for women to feel empowered as the Force awakens, a time for them to access their power of attraction, but also a time when they need to take responsibility for using it wisely, and in the best interests of all. Women have been oppressed for too long and scapegoated by ignorant men who are unconscious of their true natures or overwhelmed by their instinctive natures. In my country, with the highest rape statistics in the world, the annual “16 days of activism against abuse of women” has just ended, where campaigns were held to educate society about proper behaviour. In Pakistan, where the Taliban militantly denounce the education of any female child, they even went so far as to shoot in the head a teenage girl who was campaigning for the right to go to school. Her name is Malala Yusefzai, and after surviving the bullet to the head, she went on to address the UN general assembly on her 16th birthday, and then became the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history at the age of 17. Time Magazine went on to list her, for 3 years in a row (2013-15) in their top 100 most influential women in the world, and she appeared on the cover of Time as a result. That is the kind of power a woman can achieve, even on a mundane, humanitarian platform, what to speak of spiritual consciousness awakening. There is a serious debate in some spiritual organizations as to whether women can become bishops or swamis or gurus, or even manage a temple, and of course in India it is seen as totally taboo. But I ask you, who is the current leader of the entire continent of Europe? Well, the answer is Germany. And the leader of Germany is a woman, Angela Merkel. So if a women can lead Europe…? By saying a woman can’t qualify to lead because of her gender, is to exclude in one swoop half of your candidates to the post, some of whom may be your own better half. Even India herself has been lead in the past by a woman president in the form of Mrs Gandhi. The mother is the first guru. It is the mother that lays the foundation of consciousness in every future male.

So this month, as Venus saunters through Scorpio, allow women to find their power, while at the same time remembering the power they have over easily bewildered men. And let’s all respect the Force as it awakens, for it is the force of life and death within us all for better or worse, in sickness and in health. It is the feminine potency of the divinity, it is the goddess in all her guises. It is the original worshipable deity of nations throughout history, since time before Christ, and it is here to stay. May the Force be with you.

Mercury conjunct Pluto as secrets are revealed

Mercury conjunct PlutoMercury, the closest planet to the Sun will be exactly conjunct or aligned with Pluto, the furthest planet from the Sun this weekend, visible as the evening star following the Sun on the western horizon just after sunset. In astrological symbolism this is a powerful time, where Mercury – the winged messenger and archetype of communication and clear thinking, aligns with Pluto – lord of the underworld and all that is hidden, secret or taboo. In other words this is the time for in depth research, and more particularly for the investigative mind to discover hidden secrets or to get to the bottom of the issue. The resourceful mind, combined with intensified willpower, should enable any detective or truth seeker to penetrate the mysteries and discover what is really going on around here. For truth is more important than comfort at this time, and so illusions can be dispelled for a change this weekend. Great for those who want to understand reality as it is, perhaps disconcerting for those who are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses for their own selfish interests, or those who derive power over others by keeping them in ignorance and illusion. This is the aspect of the master of the occult (meaning “hidden”) – the sage who knows the underlying shakti that powers the universe and how to harness it, particularly via words and mantras.

For example one secret that needs to be revealed now, since it is the season of Christmas, is the fact that many of the religious myths and legends that make up the stories and pastimes of our various cultures are actually hidden astronomical references hiding in plain sight so as to be communicable through countless millennia to those with eyes to see, while at the same time not being lost during times of less consciousness or understanding. The pastime of Jesus, the Son of God, being born on December 25th alludes to the actual Sun and reveals that fact that Christianity is nothing more than a modernised covered version of the ancient “pagan” Sun worship. In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice of December 21st marks the day when the Sun is at its most extreme position in the sky due to the tilt of the planet, to bring about the shortest day, the longest night, and consequently the coldest, darkest time of mid-winter. From the 21st to the 24th, for three days, the Sun remains in that position in the sky, providing the least amount of sunlight to the north. Then on the 25th it slowly begins its ascent towards longer daylight, by a few minutes each day. Thus the day actually marks in astronomical terms the turning point where the Sun begins to increase again, a point designated by priests via religious allegory as the “Birth of the Son”. It’s as simple as that. And in a snow swept northern winter climate, the return of the Sun is a lifesaver and a Godsend, and the date is most significant. In this way, by investigative research we discover the secret truth that we are all – and have always been – Sun worshippers. Such revelations may bewilder some, may shake their faith, test the foundations of their myth – the illusion they call their reality, but there it is. Even in the Vedic culture we worship the Sun. Part of the secret mantras given to the newly initiated brahmana by the guru include those worshipping Surya, the Sun, although that is a secret mantra so don’t tell anyone. And it is recited three times a day, at sunrise, noon and sunset. Catholic Priests of old in the Middle Ages were the only ones allowed to study Latin, the hidden language, and thus the rest of the plebs were kept in the dark about the actual words of their own sacred texts. Similarly in ancient Vedic culture, there were times when the brahmanas would be the only ones able to access the Sanskrit texts, and they too abused their position of power over the other castes, a legacy that lingers to this day, where brahmanas in certain parts of India openly practice racism against their own people in the form of caste segregation and abuse, a symptom of the severely ignorant mindset of one who has not comprehended the actual purport of their own scripture, Bhagavad Gita, which says that it is by “guna” and “karma” – qualities and actions – not by birth, that one recognises a true brahmana.

So the truth is not always as it initially seems, and when the window of opportunity arises this weekend we should use it to enlighten ourselves to the underlying message behind the myth. Another astronomical reference hiding in allegory is that of the Vedic astrologer’s reference to two planets called Rahu and Ketu. Even in the Bhagavat Purana the pastime of the demon Rahu and Ketu appears, where he sneaks in amongst the demigods to also get a sip of the nectar of immortality, but as he takes a sip, he is recognised and immediately his head is decapitated. However because he had already sipped the nectar of immortality, his head remained alive, although the body perished. So in Jyotish or Vedic astrology Rahu and Ketu are described to be either planets, or even the head of the demon that still swallows the Sun or Moon during the regular eclipses we experience annually. Now the truth is that there is no head in the sky eating the Sun only to have it reappear out of his severed neck. Nor is there actually a planet in the sky called Rahu or Ketu, for in fact those two positions, called the north and south nodes, are the exact measurable points on the plane of the ecliptic, or planetary rotational path, where the shadows of the Sun, Moon and earth intersect to cause what we know as an eclipse. In other words, even Bhagavat Purana is using allegory and myth to present astronomical truths so that they can be preserved in the mind of the less educated over thousands of years without being lost to the actual discerning reader. These are the types of secrets that can be discovered now to any who wishes to know what is really going on. Some need to take their parables literally, and so be it. Call me a blasphemer if you like, but show me where my evidence is wrong and I will be open to correction. And be ready for further bombshells to rock your world this weekend.

Mercury in Capricorn under the whip

Mercury in CapricornWith Mercury in earthy Capricorn for the rest of the month, it’s a good opportunity to organise, plan and schedule our lives, as the mind is more able to add structure, use time-planning and basically run a smooth, results-driven programme, much like a business executive or office planner. The traditional ideas appeal more now and anything tried and tested will resonate more. New experimental ideas may have to wait under this conservative influence. Thoughts may be slower and more carefully thought out, so spontaneous bright light bulbs may be missing, and some may find it a bit boring, but the ability for longer hours of structured thought do have their value in grinding out results, particularly ones that work and that are profitable, and even enhance the reputation in this status-driven sign. Ambitions will drive us to burn the midnight oil, regardless of the fact that it may be holiday season. Long and hard planning can also go into the big festive gathering, for example, where all are invited and the schedule includes a detailed itinerary to be followed with utmost punctuality.

New ideas may not be grasped or taken on board now, but old ones will be remembered in detail, and less may be said in this understated atmosphere. The mind may leave us feeling overly serious if we’re not careful, where duties, obligations and the like – even self-imposed – demand our attention. This is the managerial mind rearing its head during the vacation time, so it’s a contradictory mood overall. Nevertheless, the cautious approach may pay off, especially if the budget is tighter than ever under the current economic trends globally. The normally overextended holiday season budget may be kept in check for a change under the cautious conservatism of Mercury in Capricorn. A stick in the mud is better than a sink hole of debt, which only leaves us with a financial hangover for which there is little remedy other than the same austerity measure we should have imposed in the first place. I know it doesn’t sound festive, but then let’s be realistic, short term thinking is infantile anyway. The business executive who is driven to succeed, to achieve results or reputation, may seldom have time for a holiday, when time is money, time is short and getting shorter, and hay needs to be made, especially here in the sunny south, though ultimately applicable everywhere in today’s internationally connected web of industry called the globalised market place.

Working two jobs or more is the new norm – for both spouses in the family, compared to a time back in the good old days, before I was born, when a single earner per household was adequate. Times have changed and as the middle class gets squeezed out of existence, you either claw your way up by the sweat of your brow, or you sink into poverty with the increasing multitudes. That is how the top 1% are squeezing us 99% into the new slavery to the dollar, while they toy with their stocks and investments and with our pension funds as if we are just numbers in an equation. The masses can only take so much before they revolt. Unless of course you are in China, Japan or Korea for example, where parents drive their kids like sweat shop labourers to achieve, to produce results, to work after school hours at extra caricular studies, all day, every day, lest they fall into the pit of clamouring jobless, bringing their families into shame, and failing to provide for the paternal task masters themselves. The result is invariably a higher rate of mental illness, depression and suicide. But that is how the big squeeze weeds out the weaker genes. These are all Mercury in Capricorn themes and as you can imagine, in a more delicate mindset, attuned more to spiritual pursuits, or skills and talents other than IQ, like EQ (emotional quotient) etc, the strain of excessive pressure, crushing student debt and globalised corporate consumerism, will result in the world losing some of its beauty, its joy and its humanness.

So be very careful of the capitalist machine as it grows ever more powerful in our modern age, for all other values may be ground under foot, as the real mission in life gets swallowed up by a hungry monster of the corrupt capitalist aristocracy, the real mission, which is not about results, but about presence, about consciousness and more about being than doing. We are already deep into the jaws of the monster, and it is only if we see those before us go sliding down the throat of that monster never to be seen again, that those with foresight can grab its tongue and rip it out at the root. The Swiss will know what I’m talking about, for in their capital city is a public sculpture of the thousand year old mythical monster that eats little children. And that capital city is ironically the city of capital, where some of the biggest banks in the world are housed, where all capital goes to hide to avoid taxation or investigation. So take a moment to reflect now on where you stand, and how balanced your stance is in light of the artificial pressures imposed by an unseen force and how real you are compared to the true interpretation of what it means to be human.

New Moon in Sagittarius, what happened to my Guru?

New moon in sagittariusToday’s New Moon occurs as the Moon aligns with the Sun in the fire sign of Sagittarius. The ruling planet of Sagittarius, Jupiter, is known in Jyotish or Vedic astrology as Guru, and Jupiter is currently making a square or 90 degree alignment to the New Moon luminaries today. In other words philosophical debates, particularly around the subject of religion, God and guru make take prominence in the minds of those so inclined. Internet publications – also inspired by this new Moon in Sagittarius – from across the global village, focus on the role or God or guru in today’s world. With the challenging square aspect from Jupiter – Planet Guru – questions and challenges arise as to the validity, authenticity and pertinence of these Godmen and their Gods, so adored by some and vilified by others.

With Chiron, the recently incorporated asteroid of the zodiac, making an opposition to Jupiter, and thus completing a square aspect to the New Moon, in a mutable T-square, it seems the guru of today has been wounded, is suffering from quite some level of disrepute and in need of healing. Of course, even Nigella Lawson, the famous chef, is the guru of chocolate cake and all other such sweet treats, but even she is been critiqued for her stance against modern eating trends like “gluten-free” and “lactose-free”, saying that these overly particular diets are taking the subject too far. But then a cake guru would say something like that. Everyone has a guru of some sort in whatever field they engage; the term has simply been adopted into mainstream jargon to describe an expert in any field who may be worth emulating. Certainly you can’t have your cake and eat it. Or you can’t please everyone. Different cakes involve different stakes, and some have their health at stake.

Some gurus will turn out to be fake, especially the Godman type, who proclaim themselves to be an avatar of God, a Pope or Messiah meant to be the transcendental via-medium to the Source, if not the Source itself. And at this New Moon we may be obliged to reflect on our philosophical stance to life, our judgement call on what is right and true. And that stance is often one that we learn from the guru in that very field, someone who has propounded the way, and who seems to ring true to us in their version of reality. So be prepared to inspect your sacred cows at this time and check them for discrepancies, for sometimes the herd needs purifying, particularly if bugs infiltrate and poison the lot. It only takes one bent Bishop, one sacrilegious Swami, to ruin the entire reputation of the system involved, and indeed there have been numerous of those already. Some of us may then throw the entire lot out, dump the very cause that was once the foundation of our philosophical outlook on life, the universe and everything, perhaps leaving a vacuum that goes unnoticed, but somehow leaves us the weaker for it structurally.

This is where times like these can become moments of inspiration too though. For when the disciple is ready, the guru will appear. When the cup has been emptied, the space awaits a new fulfilment. Use this New Moon opportunity to look within as well as without and test those who preach the way by looking at the symptoms of their actions and words. Spend the next lunar cycle cultivating a critical eye (Jupiter now in Virgo) as to the right guide in the important fields of your life, whether health and healing, or the science of consciousness, and heal the jaded edges left by previous amputations, thus planting new seeds of inspirational role models to blossom in the heart’s core, or mind’s eye. One good soul can launch a thousand web pages of insight for those with the ears to hear.

Venus trines Neptune but is it love?

Astrology sacred loveWith Venus, the planet of love, trine transpersonal Neptune over the next few days, we can expect diverse expressions of love to fill the air. Love may be in the air, and beauty in the subjective eye of the beholder, but whether it is real or not will be wide open to interpretation.

The more mundane expressions of the current archetype under discussion are likely to present themselves to the unsuspecting majority as the all-too-easily misunderstood, yet equally bewildering allures of Maya, the illusory energy, or Shakti expansion of Vishnu deputed to keep us under her foggy influence. In other words, falling in love or falling under that spell weaved by the mystique of “the other” as she seduces us with her allure, may be hard to resist now. Some simply fall in love with the concept of love, wishing to feel its intoxicating chemicals of dopamine or oxytocin throb through their veins. Here we find ourselves lifted up on clouds of fancy at even a hint thereof in the media around us, vicariously even wallowing in the affairs of others, particularly celebrities, or in Hollywood screenplays – the modern day fairy tales that enchant the multitudes. In actuality such dreamers are more than not so caught up in ego identification that they actually become enamoured by themselves, and thus by their reflections, whether in the mirror as in the myth of Narcissus, or in their own anima projections onto some apparently significant other. The age of the “selfie” has truly empowered every wannabe to find their 15 minutes of fame. These are all themes symbolised by Venus linked with Neptune.

Ask any adult who it is that symbolises the top movie sex symbol of the twentieth century and they will more than likely say Marilyn Monroe. Curiously she was born with this very Venus trine Neptune aspect in her horoscope, and it is she who personifies this type of attraction and mystique, so easily expanded by the big screen. The mundane or lower octave expression of Venus trine Neptune that we feel this week, is that of something alluring that is larger than life, yet also unattainable in reality. Monroe, like any Hollywood starlet, was so glamourised and made up that every woman wanted to be like her, while every man wanted her, while in reality off screen she was nothing like the hyped illusion created by the big screen and the advertising. Such is the illusory power of Maya. Ultimately she died a premature and tragic death, for she was never able to live up to the overinflated persona demanded of her by the producers or by the public. In other words, on the lower level of expression, we become bewildered by our own preoccupation with our external façade – the body – or we long to be something illusory, puffed up by the ego’s desire for name and fame. Take a selfie and upload it; there you are, on the cyber screen, up in lights before the entire world, even if only to yourself. Still the illusion and the attraction to that illusion is irresistible. Certainly, there are gains available under this planetary influence, for it favours modelling, photography, cinema, fashion, other visual arts, as well as music, so anyone involved in those spheres may benefit in their artistic expression. Still the imaginary value of much of it may be intangible, even while the imagination is being greatly inspired. Despite the inspiration though, practical follow through is not always as readily available, and visions may never leave the subtle realm of mind unless there is willpower and active work to ground the flights of fancy now.

Besides the usual sentimental romantic expression of this planetary trend, a higher manifestation will incline some to become more selfless in their love or care for the other, to a point where the love can become a sense of compassion for those suffering in any way, where the urge to assist the world at large arises, or at least the ability to empathise with those other than our selves or our immediate circle. Such compassion is truly a higher expression of love for it sees all life as worthy of love and compassion and even concern, particularly if it is being exploited in some unjust way. Taken still further up the ladder of love, this theme may express itself as a divine love, a love of God spoken of by mystics of all ages and all religious cultures. Again we are entering an ethereal realm, where intangible states of consciousness may be glimpsed, perhaps only in the psyche of the aspirant. This is another expression of the Neptune archetype in western astrology, though it has been alluded to not only by Catholic or Sufi mystics but even further back in history by mystics of India in the Vedas, where divine love is a science. Obviously a divine love extends to become a love for all life – life being a symptom of the divine spark present within every creature.

So whether you express your love in the allure of glamour-filled fashion magazines with their seductive models, or on the silver screen, or in the arts, or ultimately in the divine, now is the time to tap in to the more subtle expressions of that which makes the world go round. Depending on your level of realization, you will hear the call and become entranced as you hear every word as a song and feel every step as a dance, or you will find that the woman in the red dress is merely the prison warden of your own imagined dream world. The beauty is undoubtedly there and the beholder is invariably you.