February 2010


Mythic Prelude:

The Tiger's Tail: Intention 102
Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for February, 2010. This is one month that shows the whole point of the UFC in layering holy days, festivals, planet transits, global meditations and other attunements of consciousness into a single design that highlights intervals of extraordinary power, when celestial dynamics and human will align in opportunities for coalescing and lifting our collective spirit toward the coming transformation from now through 2012, and beyond. The middle days of this month, from Feb. 13 through 17, offer us must-use opportunities to refine, charge and resonate our intentions, both personally and communally, for the benefit of ourselves and our planet.
Count 'em. The last and most powerful of the three consecutive Super Moons that began last December comes at the Black Moon of Feb. 13 - 14. A few hours later, World Sound Healing Day, held once again on St. Valentine's Day, will unite millions of people all over the world in the chanting of an Ahhh for the peace and healing of the universal heart. As the New Moon appears the next day, the new Year of the Iron Tiger begins in the Chinese calendar, and other calendars aligned with it. And then, a day or two later, depending on your location, the great Conjunction of Chiron and Neptune, which we have been tracking in these pages for these last two years, finally comes into precise, perfect alignment.
All of these events are interconnected, as we see in the chart below for the Black Moon in Quito, Ecuador. Why Ecuador? Because this rarity of a nation is so committed to biodiversity, and so enlightened in recognizing the sacredness and interdependence of all living beings, that it has incorporated into its national constitution an amendment affirming the right of all life forms to exist. Ecuador's enactment into law of the synarchy of life itself is one of the truly seminal actions of the early Aquarian Age, or the time of transition to it. No wonder the chart's fifth house -- of children and creativity, play and sexuality -- is packed. While astrology charts appear very rarely now in UFC preludes, this one's a spectacular exception, worth a look and a minute of your time even if astrology is not your second language. Once again, as was the case in 2008 and last year, a chart cast for the midwinter Black Moon and the Chinese New Year that follows it offers some useful clues about what the year ahead will bring.
The Black Moon of February, 2010
Feb. 13, 2010, 9:51pm in Quito, Ecuador (0S13, 78W30)
It's not all sparkles. Important stressors signal the advent of change. Saturn and Pluto, in a 90° square in the third and twelfth houses, have arrived at the positions they'll occupy in the momentous cardinal Crosses of Summer 2010. Mars, still in his long, hot retrograde chafe through Leo, opposes Mercury in Aquarius, with all that this implies in everything from harmonious tension to mental power struggles, power games and petty disputes over the merest slivers of ego terrain. And the Moon's Nodes, closely aligned with the vertical Nadir-Midheaven axis -- and in square to the Libra Ascendant -- indicate that some major shifting in relationships is in the already shaky cards. This shuffling of the deck will require, at least for those who intend to act in service and strengthen their friendships, that we (1) find simple, workable ways to cooperate on the Earth plane (North Node on the Capricorn Nadir); (2) get ready to release as gently as we can those who'd rather be right than happy (South Node on the Cancer MC); and (3) align in a spirit of balance and partnership (Libra Ascendant) with those who are willing to surrender at least some of their individual aims and needs to the common good.
The tremendous astral kicker that makes these goals feasible is that superb 5th house, which is brilliantly lit at this auspicious moment as the Moon and Sun join Chiron and Neptune in a magnificent quadruple alliance that also, along with Mercury, forms a five-planet stellium in Aquarius. And radiant Venus, exalted in Pisces, conjoins Jupiter in another linkage that favors all plans and purposes related to love and money, and the power of attraction. Charts like this one are enough to suggest that in the times to come, we'll look back at this and other astral signs of what we were meant to do as artists of consciousness awakening to opportunity. There have been so many displays like this in recent years, and more are coming, a whole glittering parade of them. All we've needed to do, all we need to do now, is to notice them, and summon the courage and love to act on the invitations that Earth and Sky keep extending. Especially now, as the Tiger comes again, insatiable in his hunger, determined now to devour the whole forest.
The Iron Tiger and the Moon:
The Chinese Tiger often appears as we see him in this painting by Le Feng, with his tail wrapped around the Full Moon. Why is this? No one seems to know, unless the symmetry-loving Chinese may like to pair this most yang of animals with the yin symbol of the Moon. While Chinese see in the Tiger the same qualities of loyalty, generosity, courage and magnanimity that Western astrology sees in Leo the Lion, all bets are off when the Iron Tiger arrives. He combines this predator's pitiless force with the densest, least pliable of the five elements, as though to announce that in the year ahead the mighty will pursue their aims with implacable resolve, as they did in the cycle before this one, when the Chinese launched a war in Korea in 1950. The Iron Tiger is said to be motivated by an intense, aggressive self-interest. This may be why Tiger years are volatile, with disputes taken to extremes, and this may be why, as Karyn Easton puts it, the Iron Tiger brings "a year for massive change but this can also bring out the best."
This is how it is likely to play in 2010. The trend began last month, when Citizens United won its Supreme Court case vs. the Federal Election Commission, thereby removing all restrictions on corporate spending in US political campaigns just in time to "streamline mechanisms for corporate control" ahead of this year's election, as Chris Hedges wrote in his TruthDig article "Democracy in America is a Useful Fiction". This astonishing event, which "exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power," is perhaps the inexorable climax to the long corporatist coup that began in the late 19th century when corporations were granted legal status as persons, with the rights and limits to liability that individual citizens enjoy. Now that corporations are free to pour their huge resources into political advertising, the question is not whether American democracy still exists, but how long the fiction of it can be maintained.
What to do? We are certainly not going to fight the tiger on his own ferocious terms. We will have to know how to use his strength against him, in the way that Morihei Uyeshiba had in mind when he wrote that "In Aikido we control the opponent's mind before we face him. . . . When he attacks, he will injure himself with his own intention." Is there a time in the months ahead that will favor us in doing this? Yes, in the summer, when the money elite and its allies in government and established religion will be hardened in their hubris, and as determined as any Greek tragic hero to defy the counsel of gods and men, and to find out the hard way what ensues when we push against others instead of aligning peaceably with them.
How to prepare? By refining our skills in the practice of individual intentions with resources like Barbel Mohr's The Cosmic Ordering Service, and by using astrally-charged moments like the Black Moon weekend of Feb. 13 - 14 to join with others in ceremonies of intention for our communities and our planet. This brings us to Part 2 of this year's UFC series on Intentional Practice:
Intention 102: How to Do a Simple Intention Ceremony
Intention ceremonies are easy to do in small groups. The idea is to center and clear ourselves, then to declare and refine personal attentions that the whole group can reflect and amplify, then to form and project intentions that can spiral out beyond our immediate location to our communities, our regions and countries and continents for the benefit of Mother Earth and all her life forms. Each group chooses its own setup through the use of sounds, crystals, herbs and smudges, breath and movement, calling the directions and acknowledging -- rather than invoking -- the divine, angelic and devic beings who are already present.
Then individual intentions are stated, after it is agreed that members of the group may suggest ways to restate them for greater strength and clarity. For example, phrases like "I've never done this before, but . . ." and "I'm not sure if this is right, but . . ." need to be pruned away. Effective intentions are but-less, delivered with confidence and certainty. They are also empowering, acknowledging the person's capacity to create with right effort any outcome that promotes his or her highest good, and the good of all. A statement like, "It's my intention that I be allowed to succeed as a performer of music" has to be tweaked to remove the idea that anyone other than the intender has the power to allow or disallow what one wants to manifest. One intention per customer is a good idea, and people who say "There are so many" or "It's hard to decide" can be encouraged to choose, so they will have the focus to go after their own intentions, and support the intentions of others.
After each intention is stated, and refined if necessary, the group holds the intention for a few minutes, and may help strengthen it in whatever ways they prefer. Sound is very effective, and that's why it's used regularly by Circle of Sound, whose Global Harmonizations at the solstices and equinoxes anchor the intentions of peace, acceptance, unity, harmony and joy for the benefit of all beings by synchronizing the sounds of crystal singing bowls played by hundreds of circles in a widening network of dozens of countries. More of this next month, when Intention 103 will explore the theme of Singing Down the Moon as an important element in intentional practice, indispensable to Living by the Moon.
Some sounds are better than others for anchoring intentions, whether they're personal or planetary. Crystal bowls, bells and flutes work well, as does vocal sound, provided it's toning or sustained syllables like Om or Ahh, since sung or melodic sound shifts focus from the intention to music and words. Drums are useful if their rhythm is soft, regular and non-intrusive. Didjeridoos are best used as a prelude before the ceremony or in the middle, preceding the intentions for the planet as a whole, as didjes induce altered brain states that are wonderful for meditation, but less desirable for holding and reinforcing intentions.
Whatever sounds or other reflectors of intention you choose, the other crucial point is timing, ideally at the powerful Black Moons coming in the next three months. As my Living by the Moon tour continues, I'll do ceremony in Grants Pass, OR, Minneapolis and Washington DC in synchrony with intentional circles that grow in number each month. Please join us. Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude (Nov. 2008) and Acts 1 - 3 (April 2009 - Feb. 2010): see UFC Index
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2010 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.