Now although small and fleeting, this weekend’s conjunction of Mercury, the planet of communication with Venus, the planet of love in fiery, creative Leo signifies a few days of healthy heartfelt emotions which can be expressed in word, song, dance and art.
With the Sun and the lunar waxing fortnight still emphasizing the Cancer theme of family, ancestral roots and perhaps early home life, one may be able to wax lyrical about the green green grass of home, always looking greener and more legal on the other side of the border fence. Thoughts of belonging, finding or remembering a place to called home – spiritually or materially – may inspire us to connect with family or tribe once more.
These themes remind me of my childhood school anthem…
“On the sunny shores of Africa, beneath the lion bold
where rollers raced and raged and roared as they’ve done from days of old.
There stands a school not old in years or famed in verse or song,
But in sport and pluck on Flanders fields it holds tradition strong…”
This is of course a school in Cape Town, the Mother City, and ironically it mentions our theme of verse and song, associated with this weekend’s Mercury Venus conjunction, as well as the bold Leo archetype, and also curiously the world wars of the twentieth century, fought in Flanders, Europe. Similarly we may all be inclined to remember our roots, our motherland, and its Songs of Innocence or Experience (like artist and poet William Blake). But home is where the heart is, as they say, and this is just the time to look within our hearts to find our true sense of belonging.
And it is within the core of the heart, according to the ancient Vedanta texts, that we find our true self, the “Atma” along with the Supersoul or “Paramatma”. Soul and Supersoul, Self and Higher Self are to be found deep within. That is the true foundation or root or ground of being for us all. That is our true ancestral root, place of belonging and source of love and bliss hinted at by romantic poets, Sufis and Bhaktas. We may yearn to find a material land or nation to shelter us, we may even be under the influence of ancestral DNA coursing through our veins, calling us or compelling us toward some geographical homeland, some place of shelter in the material storm, now that the war clouds appear on the horizon. Flanders fields are still soaked red with the blood of soldiers slain protecting the homeland, and as we speak those same fields of Europe are being soaked by the blood of innocents in the new version of an old war being fought amongst those who are unable to find their roots, find any shelter or place to call home, who have forgotten that they already carry within themselves their original home, a land not of this earth, a church not made with stone.
Are we not all refugees from our original home? Strangers in a strange land? Indeed, ultimately we are all (as poet and singer David Bowie described) “the man who fell to earth”. In Bhagavad Gita chapter 15:1 it says “There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns.” At the end of the day, at the time of death, the time of endings (like origins, roots and foundation, also associated with the Cancer theme and fourth house of the horoscope) we are spirit, not of this world, and it is in the spiritual world that we find our eternal home, roots and belonging. “Aham brahmasmi” meaning “I am spirit” is a foundational Vedic aphorism, the ABC of consciousness and the real root of the matter when it comes to belonging, home and origins. Therefore one who has looked within, who has searched the heart, who has realized her true identity, who is self-realized, is at home anywhere. Even if the material world and body hangs heavy like a sodden coat, dragging us down in fear for our very survival, finds us scrambling for shelter or a crust of bread to keep body and soul together, ultimately the only separation from home and belonging is in the mind. We are already there, have always been and always will be. Also simultaneously no place in the material world is able to protect one from the misconceptions of the mind and senses, the misidentification with matter.
Of course not all are that self-realized, and many are sorely suffering the slings and arrows of fate or karma or destiny as it unfolds in this sometimes harsh and apparently dangerous material world. And we can never undermine or devalue their experience of the real or their struggle for shelter from those less merciful to their fellow earthlings. And it is in the poetry and verse of the Vedas and other ancient writings that we can find solace, be reminded of a higher love and an eternal sense of belonging at times like these. Give a man his daily bread and you feed him for a day; but give him the words of the eternal and you sustain him forever and wherever.
I intended this article to be on the Mercury Venus conjunction in heartfelt Leo this weekend and the opportunities for reconciliation, words of love to woo the beloved or fine art and song (and all of those are certainly available) but somehow that seemed secondary to the real issues, of getting to the root of the matter, of true love and true belonging, shelter and protection for the true self. Obviously the whole package is important, for we are currently both body and spirit, and a balance of heaven and earth can be found within the heart and hearth of one and all, if one cares to look within. Otherwise look to the poetry of the Vedas, described even by that great American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as a literature in which he daily bathed his intellect.