Mythic Prelude:


-- or --

Sacred Razzle Dazzle!


  That's right, folks. Once again the main metaphor for the month, and really for this year and the next nine, is from Showbiz. If we were at Places, Please last November, at the Harmonic Concordance, then it is about time for the orchestra to hit it and let's make sure none of us is standing on the curtain when it goes up.

   A Year of Reversal now begins. It will now seem that not only are the changes heralded by the Harmonic Concordance last Nov. 8 manifesting sooner and more suddenly than anyone expected, but the changes are not conforming to our planes of prediction; and it may even seem that roles and habits of action are changing course so unpredictably that they don't just move backward, they don't even slow down and make the usual 180° turn. They flip and transmute without warning. People will not just change behavior -- they will switch masks and moves, and become something else. One good illustration as of yesterday (1/20/04): Rush Limbaugh has humbly accepted, in his current legal crisis, the help of his target of incessant ridicule, the American Civil Liberties Union. More of this will come, and Shape Shifting for Dummies may be in the works by the end of 2004.

   So what kinds of reversals will we see? All kinds, including the sad ones in which, along with all the usual crooks getting exposed, some much-admired people once thought to be holy will show that they have the claws and teeth of the reptile too. As usual, the reversals we get will depend on our own visions and desires. Those who expect tragic reversals will get them, if only in their imaginations, and get them easily. Those who want comic reversals will find that they have to work a lot harder than the tragedy potatoes to get the laughs now, as comedy must be played with lightness, finesse and speed, and requires superb listening skills and ensemble play.

   In other words, comedy is an Aquarian art form -- or more precisely, one of the art forms that will flourish in the age of Aquarius. Now that we're ready to see how this is so -- Reverse! First the astral relief, before we get to the serious funny business. Here are the main astral events of the month (to resume the clown plot, scroll through the rubrics):

   1/6: Mercury "goes direct". For the general nuances of this, see December 2003 Mythic Prelude. While Mercury continues to be "in detriment" in Sagittarius until Jan. 14, he gets some overdue respect in Capricorn Jan. 14 - Feb. 6/7 (the date depends on your location) and enjoys the air in the voluble, very communicative sign of Aquarius Feb. 6 - 25, then plummets into the double whammy of Pisces (Feb. 25 - March 11/12), where Mercury is both "in detriment" and "in fall" as the only planet that suffers both these conditions at once. "Detriment" is debilitating, as the planet's energies are weak and obstructed; while "fall" is worse, with implications that the "fallen" Adam and Eve would have understood. The practical track: get the paperwork done by Feb. 6, the calls and verbal agreements by Feb. 25. After that, unless your boss, your vendors and your clients all enjoy meditating with you, it's best to spell it all out with extreme clarity until March 11/12, when Mercury surfaces from the Marianas Trench of Pisces into Aries, where Mercury may not particularly like the landlord, Mars, but at least gets to feed the fire again.

   1/7: Full Moon in Cancer, opposite Sun in Capricorn. The healer Chiron (see September 2003) conjoins the Sun at this Full Moon; and while Chiron thus opposes the Moon -- in the sign of her rulership in Cancer -- it is clear that this opposition is of the best kind, involving creative tension between two different people rather than disagreement and ego conflict between two people who are too much alike. Jupiter in Virgo is trine (120° from) the Sun and Chiron and sextile (60° from) the Moon in Cancer, while the Moon's North Node (Dragon's Head) in Taurus and the South Node (Dragon's Tail) are likewise related to the Sun-Chiron and Moon opposition by trines and sextiles. In fact, Sun-Chiron, Jupiter and Dragon's Head form a grand trine in Earth, making this a superb time for aligning the energies of holistic health practitioners (Chiron) acting in service to their patients (Jupiter in Virgo) for the higher goal of healing for the entire society (Dragon's Head).

   It is important now to perceive the disgraceful Medicare bill signed on 12/8/03 by the U. S. President for what it is: a desperate rear-guard delaying action by health service and insurance companies, and their employees in Congress and the administration, against the achievement of fairer, cheaper and more compassionate health care for Americans. The corruption and denial of the present moment are unsustainable, and will be exposed and attacked until forced toward correction. The Full Moon of Jan. 7, 2003 is the real deal, and shows where we are really going. To your health!

   1/14: Venus enters Pisces, where she is "exalted," her powers working effortlessly toward her best intentions. At this time, when she shines with especial radiance against the dark background of the approaching Great Cold in mid-winter, she is so beautiful that it's actually unfair, and we understand what the author's father meant when he said, "If the woman wears diamonds and a black velvet dress, the man doesn't stand a chance."

   1/21: The New Moon conjunct Sun in Aquarius comes very early, the day just after the Sun enters Aquarius, and is like a pair of lovers driving off to a country hotel, as no other planets at all form major relationship to the two great lights, which are off by themselves as Jupiter, Chiron and the Moon's North Node (Dragon's Head) remain in trine in the three earth signs. The energies of this trine will be stronger and freer now than they were at the Full Moon, as the three trined planets are no longer in opposition to anything. The sky dynamic is now less intricate, but more concentrated and powerful not only in its own right, but also because it is the Chinese -- and universal --  lunar New Year.

   And what about the Whole Year of 2004? It pivots around the Venus Passage of June 8, a moment of alignment and illumination equal in power to those that have been pulsing toward us since 1987, and the ignition of a phase that will culminate with another Venus Passage in 2012. More of this as the year unpacks. Philip Sedgwick is writing well about it. Others will soon.

  All right -- so what's so funny about Aquarius? Well, Aquarius is the 11th sign on the zodiac wheel, and naturally corresponds in the astrology chart to the 11th house of Friends, whose relationships are likely to be social, talkative, inclusive, festive, intuitive and spontaneous, full of jokes and stories and the give-and-take of a game among equals rather than the wait-and-worry of life, work and death in a hierarchy. Now tell me -- if that doesn't describe they way people are in a comedy troupe, what does?

   While it would be simplistic to claim that the fading Age of Pisces is tragic and Aquarius is going to be comic -- our words for both tragedy and comedy came from the Greeks in the Age of Aries (2308 - 148 BCE), and the Piscean Age gave us Shakespeare and Moliere and Gogol and Cervantes and countless other funny people, many of whom were, in fact, artists of the highest quality, goofy only by intent and design -- it remains true that the arts of Pisces have been subtle, secret, silent and profound as the sea, while the arts of Aquarius are airy: bright, quick, light, fun and other single syllables.

  Aquarius, as we enter it now, is an Age of the Trickster, and There's Comedy Tonight! The farce -- a technical term for comedy of increasing confusion leading to chaos -- is already underway, as the Figaro and Scaramouche scenes between the Keystone Kops on top and the Stealth Clowns in the streets seem to multiply daily. We see played out hourly the difference between tragedy and comedy:

  In the tragic universe, human beings suffer because we are wicked and corrupt -- and this is why stories of Saviors who come to rescue us from our own sin and E Word are the hardiest of all perennial myths, popular and marketable for millennia on end. The tragic universe is a vale of tears in which tragic believers routinely expect hardship on earth and hell after death, and are grimly convinced that it will never get better, because human nature is sinful and will never change. Whether this description applies to any of the religious movements born in the Piscean Age is up to the reader's judgment and imagination.

  In the comic universe, though, human beings do not suffer because we are vicious and utterly unworthy of God. No. We get it in the rear end again, not in the throat, because we're just plain dumb, and the eternal comic triangle of our lives is the Little Tramp and the Pretty Girl allied against the Keystone Kop, with Wit and Beauty charming and outwitting Force.

   We won't say anything about whether comedy with Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance vs. Eric Campbell is playing anywhere on the planet now. The UFC's discreet. We're not going to reveal which extremely heavily-armed English-speaking imperial rogue country is now in the role of the Keystone Kop, to his immense sorrow, pain and regret. And we won't spill the shock about how the Trickster is now, amazingly, a very tall religious fanatic who is built like Big Bird and is a genius at creating highly theatrical acts of mass murder. We have no idea who the Pretty Girl is, and no comment on the rumors that she's the Sheer Beauty of Islam, All the Oil in the Middle East or the waters of the Earth herself.

  The problem in this casting -- Reverse! -- is that the United States is a much better Trickster than it is a Kop. America's always been one of the world's slickest Trickster countries -- screen for Charlie Chaplin, W. C. Fields and Jack Nicholson, and home of Yankee traders, Br'er Fox, Huckleberry Finn, Jay Cooke, Jay Gould, the Marx Brothers, John Pierpont Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gatsby, Joseph P. Kennedy, Flem Snopes, Prescott Bush, Sammy Glick, Lt. Milo Minderbender, Sgt. Bilko, Richard Nixon, Redd Fox, Bart Simpson, John Malone, Michael Ovitz, Jeffrey "Not only do I have to win, the other guy has to die" Katzenberg, and a host of others who have made America strong and great by cheating and screwing everybody else. But now America's true role as the Fox, the hunted underdog everyone roots for, has been stolen, leaving a great natural Trickster country very sadly miscast as the most thickly armored Keystone Kop in history, while more and more people make up jokes and stories about the Trickster and the Fox, Osama bin Laden.

 And report seeing him. It is worse than Elvis sightings now. It is not true, for example, that while U. S. armed forces were attempting to bomb him to death in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, whose beard was now longer and whiter, was hiding out for a time as a member of ZZ Top. Not a chance. The lack of any beer gut whatsoever on bin Laden is a dead giveaway on this one. Nor is it true that he's working the oven at the best Indian restaurant in Kyoto, Japan, even though the author's own brother reports this one. Osama bin Laden would rather ask the Americans to drop a daisy cutter smack down his tandoor than work -- behind a glass partition where he can be seen, no less! -- at a place where women in colorful costumes not only eat with men, but drink beer and wine with them, and actually laugh with them.

 While it is of course appalling that untold millions of people, even Americans, now tell Osama bin Laden jokes and stories, and none of the illustrious American Tricksters listed above -- with the possible exception of Richard Nixon bombing Hanoi -- has committed the murder of thousands of people in a few hours -- at least not the murder of their physical bodies, only their dreams, and over many more years -- the rules of comedy will not be altered by force or caprice. When the Chase is on, the Dogs may be bigger and stronger, and may even ride to the hunt in a million-dollar metal box, but the Fox is clever, quick, and running for his life -- and that is why, unless our heads have a stake in the outcome, our hearts go with him. The poor Keystone Kop. He's compelled to fight in service to a scam. Let us pray for him. He will need it, as the hearts of so many are Running with the Fox.

  As all great comedies have the glory and sadness of the human condition waiting quietly to be noticed under all the jokes, it is time now to consider what will be one of the central facts about the coming years, and about How to Lift Us All Into Love Soon:

  We have got to Make It Fun!

  The more entertaining soul evolution is, the more we embrace and perfect the arts of soul entertainment, the faster and more happily the Awakening will come.  That is the scenario. So we may as well go all out, play it for love and laughs, and make a really great show of it. This spirit of Sacred Play, this longing and ache to play it funny and fast and fizzy and delightful, is one of the core showbiz energy surges of the Age of Aquarius. When the curtain comes up, and in its energy it's always minutes away, one thing that our opening run of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Aquarius will definitely bring is lots of laughs by lots of jokers who are walking the fine line between dogma and beauty.

  The Age of Aquarius gives us a new vantage point on how to balance the calm of reverence with that bouncy beat of celebration that's infectious. This year raises the questions of how much fun we get to have in church, how much laughter and pleasure our acts of worship and devotion can bear before they turn into something less sacred, and, ultimately, whether acts of union and synchrony with the divine should be solemn and still in order to be sacred,  as they so often have been in the Age of Pisces, or whether moments of union are ecstatic celebrations that may want to sing out, and this is why Sufi dancing spreads around the world.   

  The main deal here, as Aquarius month begins in 2004 and the Age of Aquarius dawns in the grand precessional cycle, is that if we want to play this like real Aquarian artists -- Mozart! -- we'd better have fun. How much fun is too much fun, too disrespectful to God? There's only one way to find out. Let's start with some clean fun and see what ensues. Ladies and gentlemen, whales and dolphins, and all other beings on earth who are in conscious evolution, start your engines. Let the games begin. It's Show Time. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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Copyright 2003 Dan Furst