December, 2009


Mythic Prelude:

Super Moons

Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for December, 2009. We jump right into medias res here, without the usual slow overture in dotted rhythms, as a new birth phase has just begun. We have entered the 9-month cycle that extends from now through the turbulent Crosses of Summer, 2010. The most useful thing the UFC can do now and in the months to come, especially as I'm now on a tour of book signings for Dance of the Moon, talks on Living by the Moon and ceremonies of intention at each Dark Moon, is to track what the Moon is doing -- and what is being done to her -- and what she is singing to us to do.
As seems usually to be the case with human beings, we are unwilling to see the transformative opportunity in our hands until we've had a few more flings with fire and flirts with ruin before we will act to redirect and heal ourselves and our planet. This is why the Moon has not just been singing lately, but keening too, at a time when it seems that humanity will not listen to her until we get to commit a few more outrages against the sacred feminine, the lunar element of water, and the body of the Moon herself. Much of the criminality is hidden from view in the Amazon basin, where urgent murmurs are stirring about "another Bagua." As Alicia Iida of Pachamama Ayni reports in her new article "Puerto Maldonado -- Madre de Dios," a new clash like last summer's bloodbath in Bagua is brewing between indigenous peoples and the corporatists who are determined to get all the oil, the gold, and everything else the jungle has, including any water they have not yet fouled from the Amazon and her tributaries.
These pictures, from my kayak trip down the Madre de Dios in October, show the residue of the barges that ply the river, suck its sediment up into a toxic mix starring mercury, then pass it through screens to extract the gold and excrete the piles of poison gravel that now line the river's banks, and proliferate in the middle of the river too.
Peru's minister of the environment has stated that the Madre de Dios is being "turned into a desert," yet no one seems able to slow the inexorable damage that is the perfect mythic symbol of our condition: the living body of the Mother of God herself dredged for gold, choked with new man-made islands, and the Moon's element of water polluted beyond all hope of recovery.
There is some encouraging news amid all this, as new alliances of environmental activists, most notably now in El Salvador and Uruguay, work across national borders to halt the corporatist predators and polluters. Yet there is no discounting the scope and weight of the emergency, as the waters of Lake Titicaca have
dropped to their lowest levels in years, and it has even happened recently, incredibly, that the government of the United States has dropped a bomb on the Moon, ostensibly for the purpose of finding out if there is water under the lunar surface. Have you ever wanted to have and use an instant litmus test of another person's level of consciousness? Bombing the Moon will serve, as so far there are only two basic responses to it.
One: They found the water, didn't they? So what if they blew up some rocks?
Two: They have shamelessly and thoughtlessly violated the body of Lady Luna herself.
The UFC, slyly faking an appearance of "objectivity," endorses neither of these views, but chooses instead to pose questions:
Why in the world are human beings looking for water on the Moon, when we seem unwilling and unable to allocate and preserve the water on our home planet?
How soon will we, each and every one of us, have to decide what water really is? Is it a lifeless commodity that a few seekers of "blue gold" are entitled to corner, exploit, package and sell? Or -- is it true that every cup of water we hold, every lake, river and ocean we swim in, every drop of rain that falls upon us, is part of a single sacred being whom it is our role and duty to honor and preserve? If this latter choice appeals to you, read on, because our intent from here on, in the UFC preludes of the next six months, is to explore ways in which we use our lunar faculties -- intuition, imagination, intention, receptivity, communality -- to listen to what the Moon herself is saying now, and to act together in service to her will. To do this, we'll have to understand her timing:
The Lunar Cycle: Dark Moon, New Moon, Full Moon
Ask a friend how many days there are in a lunar cycle, and almost everyone will say: 28 days. This magical, pleasant number is somehow the one we want, just as our ancestors in Sumeria and Babylonia devised every way they possibly could to show that the solar year is not 365.25 days, but a mystical, workable 360. If only it were so, then -- Ereshkigal be praised! -- we'd have had an ancient version of the unified field theory, showing how the 360 degrees of a circle and the 360 days of a year were parts of the same wondrous cosmic design.
28 has clear advantages. It's a multiple of the sacred numbers 4 and 7. That's why labyrinths like this one from Chartres cathedral have four quarters of seven turns each. But -- just as the flower-like center of the labyrinth fulfills the design in a stillness that comes at the point of arrival and realization, the Moon's cycle too is more than 28 days. Yes, the visible part of the Moon's cycle, from when the New Moon first appears to when the last sliver of the waning Moon vanishes, is indeed 28 days long. But it's the one or two days when the Moon is invisible, at the Dark Moon, that complete the Moon's full 29 1/2-day synodic cycle. That's why lunar cycles don't have two phases, but three.
The Dark Moon (1 - 2 days) is the point in the cycle when our psychic power and receptivity are greatest and our dreams and visions are apt to be most vivid. The climax of this phase, at which its energetic potential is most intense, is the moment when Moon and Sun align at the exact same point in the zodiac. The Dark Moon is not the time for launching new initiatives -- that comes next, at the New Moon -- but is the time when all possibilities can be visioned, and our new intentions, both personal and collective, can be explored, chosen and "set" with the emotional charge of our will.
The New Moon begins a waxing Moon phase. This is the ideal time to launch new initiatives that can ripen toward realization over the next two weeks.
As the Full Moon passes her point of brilliance and perfection, the waning Moon phase begins. The two weeks that follow now are the time for consolidating the gains, weighing the costs and integrating the lessons that came under the waxing Moon. The Full Moon is not just a wonder to behold, but is also likely to be a more powerfully charged moment when the Moon and Sun form more intense and complex alignments with the other planets. Why is this? Because at the Dark Moon, the Moon and Sun occupy together a single point in the zodiac. At the Full Moon, the two great lights are in opposition, so that the other planets can form angles of relationship with two points on the wheel.
At least this is usually the case. But now, as we saw also at the end of Present and Accountable in July, the celestial dynamics of the Moon and the other planets have been extremely unusual for the last eight months, and will continue to be so for another five, through April 2010. What is going on, and what may it mean?

The Dark Moons of April 2009 - April 2010

For the thirteen consecutive months from last April through next April, the Full Moons will be relatively uneventful, forming few -- and sometimes no -- aspects of relationship at all with the other planets. But the Dark Moons are obviously in the center ring of the astral circus, as they link with and against other planets in very intricate and energetic designs. We'll look at only one current example. This won't take long. Even if astrology is not your second language, and the roles and routes of all the planets are not foundation blocks in your spiritual vocabulary -- no matter. What counts here is not the details, but the weight of numbers. Consider this:
At today's Full Moon (on Dec. 2), no other planet forms an angle of relationship with the Moon or Sun. At the Full Moon of Dec. 31, Venus will be conjunct the Sun in Capricorn, but nothing else will link with the Moon or Sun. The Dark Moon of Dec. 16, though, has almost enough planets to form an opera chorus. The Moon, Sun and Venus will be in a triple conjunction, sextile (at 60°) from another triple conjunction, this year's insistent one of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius. The great lights and Venus also form a 90° square to Uranus in Pisces and a 120° trine to Mars in Leo. What tells the tale here is not just a combination of six planets with the Moon and Sun at this month's Dark Moon, vs. only one planet or none at December's two Full Moons.
The other significant piece is that at the Full Moons over the thirteen months from last spring to next, the only bodies that link with the Moon and Sun are the fast-moving "inner" planets (from Mercury to Mars) that relate mainly to our individual lives. But at the Dark Moons, all the planets that link to the Moon and Sun are slower-moving "outer" ones (from Jupiter to Neptune) who represent larger institutions, whole societies, mass movements and collective consciousness. Does this suggest that the Moon and Sun are now shifting their emphasis to the widest arenas of action, and are suggesting that we do the same? Perhaps. Is the Moon getting as emphatic now, over this winter, as she can be? Definitely.
The Super Moons of December 2009 - February 2010
The Dark Moons of this winter, from now to February, are all "Super Moons," so called because when these lunations come, almost always in sets of three, the Moon at perigee makes her closest approach to Earth, and thus influences us most strongly. Will these three Dark Moons be intervals of "lunatic" behavior? Certainly, in people who don't need the Moon to help unfasten them. But -- is it also possible that the Moon is telling us now that it's time to Use the Dark Moon to form our intentions and speak our goals, both personally and for the kind of planet we aim to create together?
Is it time now for master classes in the art of intention to be taught by Lady Luna herself? Is it even time to resonate ourselves and our planet by learning again how to Sing Down the Moon? The first new lesson may be coming on Dec. 16, with more to follow in 2010. For now, it is time to form those intentions in words, and melodies too. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
For Prelude (November, 2008) and Acts 1 and 2 (April - December, 2009), see UFC Index
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 2007 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.