Mythic Prelude for August, 2009:

Holy Water

Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for August, 2009. If you're in the Northern hemisphere, then you know the top of this month as the great summer festival of Lughnasad, also called Lammas (from "loaf mass"), because this is the time when the golden gifts of the early grain harvest are baked into new bread and brewed into new beer that are served in ceremonies of food, music and fire that run from Aug. 1 through the major weather marker of Aug. 15.
Where I live now in Peru, it's winter, and does resemble in some ways the northern Feb. 1 feast of Imbolc. But here too, Aug. 15 is one of the year's crucial rites of the grain, for on this day the people bless the fields with offerings, songs and prayers, and then plant the maize. This staple crop seems to grow here in hundreds of varieties, in every color except hot pink. It is so all-important that even in officially Catholic places like the San Agustin Monasteria de la Recoleta, the fountain in the center of the garden announces what is always most sacred to the local men who built this place. Yes, you can see a Castellan-looking San Cristobal on the wall at right, guiding the boy Jesus across a stream, but the fountain sculpture of the corn, like the Green Man grinning out from under his leaves in churches all over Europe, shows why we revere the Lord of Storms and the Lady of Water.
More of this soon in this and other UFC preludes, as we begin exploring the Inca genius for assisting Earth's abundance and, above all, for managing and directing water. Our first order of business, though, is to reset our bearings in time now, as several time frames, all overlaying one another like transparencies in a complex diagram, tell us much about what to expect in the year, the months and the weeks to come.
1.) The Year Ahead: As of this writing on July 29, 2009, we're now a year away from the most transformative astral event we will meet on the way to our grand opportunity for spiritual awakening and alignment in 2011 and 2012. In the Crosses of Summer 2010, seven planets will align in the "disharmonious tension" of 90° squares, and the "harmonious tension" of 180° oppositions in the areas of government, politics and law (Jupiter), organized religion (Saturn), armed forces (Mars), social activism, electronic technology and communications media (Uranus), mass movements, propaganda, espionage and computer technology (Pluto), money and love relationships (Venus) and the anchors of domestic and emotional life (the Moon). A year from now, and in a culminating trend from now until then, we shall not just see why the Chinese symbol for crisis combines the glyphs for danger and opportunity. We shall also see, in ways that have started to get clearer since the great solar eclipse of a week ago, why we're entering a kind of emotional triage in which almost everyone seems to fit into one of three groups.
At one end of the heartscape, the Wigout Ward will yell and jump with helplessly reactive people who are freaking out from too much change, too fast, in too many areas of their lives. In the huge middle band, most human beings will do what they always do, only with much greater urgency, as the impulses of compassion and service that are awakened in them, but active only within the narrow compass of family and friends, vacillate between their urge to circle the wagons and take care only of their own, and their hunch that it's time now to reach outward to wider alliances with community and their planet, and to see that we really are all in this together. At the opposite end from the Panic Pole, technicians of faith and keepers of frequency will keep doing what they can to model the holding of practical, patient intention and the calm alchemy of manifesting what is less believable to the outwiggers and wagoneers because it's still energy in motion, not yet fully formed and looking "real."
2.) The Next Three Months: Now we can zoom in. The Eventful Eleven Weeks from now to Oct. 14 will be the turning of the year from the desperate euphoria of the present moment to the realization that 2009 is meant to be more than the Year of Wishful Thinking. This is what the February UFC had to say about the time of transition that begins now: "The first eight months of the year, especially from April through July, could prove to be dangerous for the last reason we would ever expect. As so many things seem to get so much better a lot faster than we imagined they possibly could in spring and summer, it will seem that we don't really have to change or correct anything at all, in our public institutions and practices or in ourselves, so 2008 may even look like a false alarm, and the later months of this year could well prove to be a Backslide for Bozos." How accurately it is all playing out as the clowns whiz down the chute: investment bankers who've paid themselves huge bonuses from the bailout money they stole from their countrymen a year ago; Newsweek editors and flacks from Merrill Lynch who have laughably declared that The Recession is Over; and the hapless, homeless millions who long to believe anything that smiles.
Why the specific date of Oct. 14? Because this is when Mercury, who will move retrograde in Libra and Virgo Sept. 7 - 29, clears his retrograde "shadow" by crossing again the point he had reached when his backward motion began. It is worth remembering here, as we saw in Comfortable with Chaos last November, that Mercury was retrograde in Libra a year ago when the soon-to-prove-disastrous bank bailout legislation was passed. Now that the end of September is on the near horizon, and with it must come the hard financial figures that banks can no longer fudge, we can recognize the truth of what Richard Wolff has just warned in an interview on The Real News network. The alleged economic recovery is a sham. Of course profit margins will seem to get bigger when companies are cutting every possible expense, including the wages of laid-off workers. Of course the mortgage debt that banks must carry is dropping dramatically when 10,000 homes are getting foreclosed every day -- as in 300,000 homes a month, or nearly a million homes per quarter.
So unemployment keeps rising, millions of families lose their homes in a year, and squatters move into the apartments of other squatters who've gone down the block for a minute to buy a bag of Cheez Bombs. And this, on the utterly unfastened High Five Network of mainstream "news," means that Happy Days Are Here Again. Please. I could fill a brown paper bag with leaves and berries to eat, and move into a cave, and think that now I have a lot more money to spend. But the thought would pass. Very quickly. And I wouldn't dare to say in public, much less proclaim in print, that life is suddenly looking way up. By September, and more likely by the end of this month, many more of us are likely to see through the smoke and mirrors, and the mood will turn uglier than it is right now. In the week beginning Sept. 11, we'll be looking less at what allegedly happened eight years ago, and more at what's coming for sure in a few days, as Saturn in Virgo opposes Uranus in Pisces yet again on Sept. 15 -- that's why many financial astrologers expect this day to be momentous, and pivotal -- and on Sept. 17 Mercury retrograde in Libra will square Pluto in Capricorn. Five days after that he'll cross the Saturn-Uranus axis -- and Newsweek and other fantasists had best hope that some A-list celebrity marries a famous racehorse who can also sing, play poker and make killer Chinese food.
3.) The Lunations of August, 2009: Our next transparency first highlights the Aug. 20 Dark Moon, extraordinary even by the standards of the brilliant series of the 14 consecutive Dark Moons that run like a psychic necklace from April 2009 through May 2010. There is no need to repeat here what we covered in Present and Accountable last month about the increasingly insistent reminders and invitations that the Moon has been extending to us, delivering in new and different ways each month the main point that it is time for us to get responsible, brave and imaginative in visioning the world we intend to create. What makes this month's Dark Moon unique among all the others in this sequence is that this time the Sun-Moon pair in Leo opposes the Triple Conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius. After the implosion that this conjunction has brought for months, the moment of expansion and illumination comes now -- and the day after the Dark Moon, the Moon's Nodes shift from the Aquarius-Leo axis "back" to the Capricorn-Cancer axis. See 8/21 for more on why the year and a half that begins now will see the formation of many new combinations in the outer public and professional spheres of our lives -- and necessary changes and closures in our home lives.
4.) The Third Eclipse of August 6: If you follow the stream of e-mails about these things, then you already know what many people have been talking very avidly about. Eclipses normally come in pairs twice a year, at consecutive lunations (Dark and then Full Moon, or vice versa). A sequence of eclipses at three lunations in a row is said to be really rare. It really isn't. There were triple eclipses in the middle of 2000 and 2002, and more sets of three are on the way in 2011, 2013 and 2018. What has made this set of eclipses notably intense, crazy and frazzling for so many is the uncommonly powerful set of astral dynamics that have been in effect at the same time, especially the Triple Conjunction just noted, and the series of three Super Moons at the Dark Moons of June, July and this month. A Super Moon is so called because the Moon comes within 90% or more of perigee: that is, its closest approach to Earth, with all that that implies in fervid emotions, wild geese, lunacies of every stripe and temperature, hurt feelings, ruffled feathers, hair triggers and every other raw nerve that can be inflamed when skins are thin, tempers are hot and words are unsafe at any speed.
We've been through a lot of that in the week since the July 22 eclipse, which owed much of its disruptive, disorienting force, and its predictable impact on the shakiest of our love and work relationships, to its special timing as the second of two Dark Moon eclipses to come in Cancer, the most sensitive and vulnerable of all signs. Not only that -- but at this last Dark Moon, the Moon and Sun in the last degree of Cancer linked closely with the Moon's South Node, or "Dragon's Tail," in the first degree of Leo, opposite the North Node in Aquarius. What does this mean? That many linkages and liaisons that had been held together only by small and selfish interests, serving only the aims of two principals rather than resonating as well with the wider claims of community and the planet, have not been able to withstand the Aquarian pressure that asks of any relationship: What larger context do you serve? Do you think you will get to hold and heal only one heart for long when others around you are building community, and are finding their rhythm with the pulse of Mother Earth herself?
It is no wonder, then, that many love unions that have tried to remain isolated subplots, and will not find their part in the larger design of the drama, have broken apart in the week just past. And that those who've tried to play the Mosquito Coast scenario of getting away from all the complexity and noise have found one another's silent simplicity less than fully satisfying. As we pick up the pieces now and reset our bearings, we can see that Karen Bishop is right on the money again in writing that "A massive re-calibration is going into effect. Everything had to stop in order to be re-set once again. In this way, much of anything entering our spaces is comprised of things that are lost, disconnected, or simply flying around in confusion, and usually, vibrating fairly low or far below us."
Whether one agrees with her view that a new spiritual hierarchy has now formed, with those who vibrate at higher, finer frequencies now on the "top rung" at a greater distance from the other beings "below" -- or believes instead that hierarchy itself is a thing of the Piscean past as we now navigate the Aquarian transition -- the point remains the same: that this is a time to reconnect with what is quiet and sacred, and to find in it the visions and inspirations that an eclipse brings. As the eclipse of Aug. 5 is a lunar eclipse at which the Full Moon becomes as red as Mars because the time for new action has arrived, the days before the eclipse comes are best devoted to new meditations that clear the field for the explorations to come.
At places like this altar at Ollantaytambo, the great citadel and temple complex that guards the approach to Macchu Picchu. My program for the eclipse week of July 22 was to meditate at the ten impressive Inca sites that one can visit on one boleto turistico at Sacsayhuaman and other nearby temples north of Cusco, and here in the Sacred Valley at Pisac, Tipon, and the astonishing experimental farming station at Moray. There will be more about this in the UFC preludes coming soon about the brilliant achievements of the Quechua and Aymara in construction and engineering, astronomy and agriculture, and above all in the direction and storage of the precious and noble element of Water. Like Petra in Jordan, the subject of Asking the Water in May 2008, Peru created elaborate technologies aimed at capturing as much water as possible when the rains came, and distributing it for maximum abundance even in the dry season that runs from now through October.
When I come home and I import the day's pictures into my computer, it's easy to wonder if, long before the Spaniards came, before the word camera meant something besides "room," holy places like the one we see here looked like this to people who saw the stones and the air as sacred, who felt the water flowing down these dark vertical channels as the pure, clear gift of God, and never wondered if the circles and shafts of light they saw above the water altar were signs that sacred beings and divine messengers are present here. Of course they are. Everbody knows that.
We know how the conversation always goes now up north. Someone exclaims that these "globes," and patches and rainbow streaks of light are angels and spirits getting into the shot, and what a special blessing this is. A photographer may explain that these things are caused by dust motes on the lens, or that we get these rainbow effects when we shoot without a lens filter that keeps out glare. If a descendant of the Quechua were in the room, he or she might only smile silently, and think -- in a sacred place, in the presence of beings and forces as holy as water and light, what need is there to speak at all?
Soundlessly now, as not all vibrations need be heard – Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
For Prelude (November, 2008) and Act 1 (April, 2009), see UFC Index
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2009 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.