January, 2009


  Mythic Prelude:

Santa Claus and the Three Egyptian Children
Yes, it's been that most wonderful time of the year again, in the winter solstice season that embraces Christmas. Our vision has always been naturally prophetic as this new month opens the last quarter of the zodiac year, especially now that the Sun in Capricorn has moved beyond Pluto by 10 degrees, so the two planets are effectively out of each other's range of influence. We've moved, then, beyond recent weeks of politicians on parade, playing for effect -- it happens a lot when Sun crosses Pluto -- to the traditional focus that this month once had when it was the Deep Winter Moon before Imbolc (Feb. 1). This time of the year has always been, and still is, both introspective and predictive. As the Full Moon in Cancer is for planning the New Year and setting intentions for it, so the January UFC anticipates what can be expected for the rest of the year, and proposes ways to navigate the fluid conditions of the year ahead.
They're fluid not just because until Jan. 20, when Barack Obama is inaugurated, we are still in the Quandary of the Night Journey by Water that we mapped last month. Until Capricorn month ends on Jan. 19 and the new president is sworn in under a magnificent stellium of five planets and other major chart points in Aquarius -- see the end of The U. S. Election page -- no real initiatives are undertaken toward establishing anything new, though the old business may compel quick steps and emergency measures. The dead duck of the current U. S. administration will not do much except rationalize its crimes, jockey for position and stay out of jail -- unless, that is, Cheney and the other main malefactors use their "Sea Smurf" troops to take over the country in a military coup. The best way to navigate the time just ahead, then, is to accept that amid the mental and sensory deprivation of the Night Journey without light or sound, without reliable numbers or facts, we must rely on feeling the emotional currents, especially as they resonate in children, who do not stop up their emotions as readily as adults do. Someone who has contact with a lot of children, like a person who plays Santa Claus, has a good chance to read the heart flows of the season, even the whole year and more, in watching how they're felt by children. If a canary in a mine can be used to detect danger, the hearts of children can be heard in the same way for a lot more messages in the three weeks that begin 2009.
I've just been Santa Claus in Cairo again at Diwan Books, for two weeks before and into Christmas Day. I've played with hundreds of children in the stores in Zamalek, Mohandiseen and Heliopolis, and have greeted dozens more children who didn't want to go anywhere near Santa Claus, even when their parents greeted him and hugged him said what a good friend he was. If we want to read the emotional terrain of the year ahead in children's hearts -- as valid an index and any and better than most as we see now how much trouble we get in from using only our adults' heads -- 2009 may indeed unfold in the manner of this month's story, Santa Claus and the Three Egyptian Children. All of the children are mythic types. Like many famous stories, this one too presents universal personalities and archetypes aligned in a Law of Three. Like Goldilocks, who finds three bowls of porridge -- one too hot, one too cold and one just right -- in the Three Bears' cottage, we're about to look at three children -- the Fast, the Fearful and the Far-Seeing -- who define the postures and actions of the coming year.
Some things have certainly changed from the first time I was Santa Claus in Cairo in 2006 to being Santa again this month. A lot fewer Europeans, North Americans and Australians came with their children at Christmas this year. So well over 90% of the children I got to play and get photographed with this year were Egyptian, and most of the rest were Middle Eastern. Does this mean that Santa's children in Cairo in 2008 were a much less varied lot than they'd been in 2006? Not at all. There was certainly a greater variety of characters this time, though many of them were yet again the almost generic Cairo Child of two years ago, who rarely has any idea what he or she wants at Christmas or at any other time, unlike some western children who want what they want right now, can be happy to help facilitate delivery with this list right here, and may even have some big green ideas for a distribution deal down the line.
This year, a lot more Egyptian kids knew exactly what they wanted, and their handling of books and other goods was more physical and possessive than it was two years ago. A lot of kids brought cards and drawings that they made to let Santa know what they wanted him to bring them. Some of these kids were much more assertive, even aggressive than the 2006 kids, especially the little four-year-old Ramses the Abrupt who marched into Santa's doorway, stood firm and yelled, I want a Wii!
Santa: Who Are You?
Yehia: I'm Yehia.
Santa: Hello, Yehia. If you want to get something from anybody, did you know, Yehia, there's one thing you have to say to them?
Yehia: No. What do I have to say?
Santa: You have to say Hello.
Yehia: Hello.
Santa: Have you been a good boy this year?
Yehia: Yes! Will you bring me a Wii?
Santa: (Looking at Yehia's mother, whose expression reads, Please, let's give him whatever he wants and get through this). Is this true?
Yehia: Yes!
Santa: I'm asking your mother.
Mother: Yes!
She said not another word, though the subtext of her eyes and body language was yelling Give Him Anything! So I said, yes, Santa's going to bring you a Wii, and Yehia ran off an once toward his next acquisition as his mother nearly slumped with relief. We may find ourselves in 2009 playing scenes like this from what Edward Dorn, in Gunslinger Book I called "the theatre of impatience." While we may be tempted when we're in the Gatekeeper role to seek some poetic justice by stretching the scene out and prolonging the discomfort of the demanding Invader, the main goal is to relieve the suffering of the Mother. You may before long be in the position I was in a week ago, agreeing to a deal with an unpleasant, pushy person faster than we want to, but coming to terms quickly anyway to relieve the stress of the others whom the Invader oppresses, comforting them and making their lives easier until new political, social and economic alignments can be achieved. There will not actually be a lot of actual Invader moves, though some self-dramatizing actors will certainly play the gorgeously-costumed, vain Miles Gloriosus -- the self-alleged "glorious soldier" and conquering hero. Attempted conquests will be psychological rather than physical and material, played through games of intimidation and deception. So expect plenty of claimer and taker behavior this year for the usual old reasons and some new ones, as Year of the Rat competition for food, water and energy resources increases among nations and people, as many of us will try to control our money as tightly as the man in the Four of Pentacles (more on Control next month), and millions of people who now must accept a lower social status and more modest lifestyle try to salve their pain through volume and swagger.
The Second one of the Egyptian children I saw in December has no name. I never found out who he or she was because this poor little frightened one didn't want to go anywhere near Santa Claus, and yelled and squirmed if Papa tried to bring him any closer. Most kids of 2 or 3 who are old enough to walk, but who've never seen Santa Claus, are about as adventurous with him as they are about trying new food, the way I was. Other kids are flat-out terrified, as can be expected in a mother-dominant country where a mother and aunt are still calling a very lively 2-year-old "Baby" instead of his name, Mohamed, and where another 3-year-old boy was carrying and drinking milk from a baby bottle as he met Santa. So if you're ever in the position of having to get a toddler more comfortable with Santa Claus, it's best not to just stand in the doorway and try to propel your child toward Santa. You may as well be telling little Shehab, "We're staying 3 meters away, back here! We're not going anywhere near that guy in the red suit, but we want you to run toward him right now, jump up into his lap and give him a kiss!" The kid screams and digs in. It's common sense. On the airplane they show us a video that says you put the oxygen mask on your own face before you try to put it on your child.
So want a child to meet Santa? Greet him. Shake his hand. Ask if he got Sabrine's letter about wanting a princess book. Think of a visit to Santa as a practicum in the art of intention, in which a mastermind of you, Santa and your child focus on the same intention that we want to bring into manifestation. The more we consciously practice intention, the more we live in love and perceive each person as a blessing. But the more we practice intention carelessly, or not at all, the more we will live at the effect of events, in fear, and the more we will perceive each person, even Santa Claus, as a threat. Are we going so see fearful behavior in 2009, as many people who have been resistant to change can only be reactive to it when it comes sooner and wider than they wanted, and, like the frightened Egyptian Child with No Name, will be so obsessed with what he doesn't want, and resigned to the worst, that he can't possibly create what he does want?
Have powerful people and institutions ever tried to control us through predictions of doom? Only for the last 6,000 years, ever since we lived through the Age of Gemini and began to use words and signs, written and spoken, to invite others, or threaten them. We have long known that scaring people can be extremely profitable, so the exciting new money scare that started circulating only a few days ago came from a man who claimed to have seen the new amero currency -- that is, the emergency money that will allegedly be issued for the USA, Canada and Mexico when the US dollar collapses.

Bills like the ones shown here, and the coins that have also been reportedly seen, are certainly possible. One wouldn't want to put them past the combinations of criminals who have engorged so much of the world and its money in 2008. Or the amero could be a hoax, as Snopes.com has written, and these slick-looking bills could have been drawn and printed out by a guy who's good at Photoshop. If the scare story around the amero is true, then when the switch to the new money comes, North Americans will be able to cash in their old money at only 10¢ on the dollar, so the banks will complete the plan that they set in motion almost a century ago, of stealing everyone's money and escaping to secure luxury warships on which they will spend the rest of their lives cruising around well away from everybody else. So your money could vanish, if the amero story's true. Scary stuff, if you're already worried about how to feed and protect your family. Or . . . the amero hoax -- a possible big winner at a time when a hoax seems to be the only thing America still does brilliantly -- could be coming to you in part through the efforts of the same people who warned us that Y2K would bring the world's computer systems to collapse, and those other or the same people who warned us a year ago that the United States would implement a digital ID card for all its citizens in May, 2008. Artists who make money from fear will flourish in 2009, especially from September 2009 through June 2010. There is plenty to be scared about, all right, for those who live in fear and have the expectation of trouble and disaster as an everyday, default thoughtform.
Such people, who feel like the deer-in-the-headlights shown on the 50-amero, are flocking to religious services of many kinds, as Christian evangelists report audiences that are huge, and, the ministers explain, always get bigger in times of Fear and Uncertainty. It's happening at the mosques too, as the green mats that are placed on Cairo sidewalks every Friday afternoon for this week's rant and chant now sprawl to cover more concrete, and even occupy part of the street.
For people who are excited about their religion, and even more thrilled by the idea of you embracing it too, 2009 will be a wondrous year. Its energy will be amped especially in the middle third of the year by the sparkling Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction. So appropriately enough on our very contrarian planet Earth, the nearest of the coming moments that favor the joining of spiritually liberating frequencies and intentions, in the middle of 2009, will also see gaudy, demonstrative attention-grabbing and power pigouts by people of high and nervous religiosity. Welcome to the Earth.
What a predicament. Or it could be, if the arrogant Invader and the helpless Wounded Child were the only roles available to us. What do these two archetypes have in common? Neither one has begun to see its own spiritual possibilities, much less to perceive itself, and all others, as energetic beings of light rarely than solely physical beings of flesh. Those who perceive the world in these terms will neither advance on the world to seize it, or recoil from it in fear, but will see it as a creative process aimed at bringing everything to perfection. The smallest of the Three Egyptian Children sees it that way.
Meet Lara. We did the What You Want part of the deal in no time. We talked a lot more about what we want for everybody in the world. I should have asked Lara to dictate the communique. It would read, in part: "We want the people to be kind and stop fighting. We want them to give to other people, and not try to just take things." Is Lara a Crystal Child? Possibly. The way of thinking communally rather than only of oneself is certainly there. Is this child an archetypal Visionary? Imagine being a parent who gets to converse with these two eyes, and see a world reflected in them, every day.
The actual world, that is, the world of light and unity that we can only see peeping out from shadows and particularities as long as we are limited by fears of losing, and never having again. The essence of the 2009 opportunity, especially in January, is to begin the transition from the materially-driven and scarcity-conscious Year of the Rat to the spiritually-driven and abundance-conscious Year of the Cow. We will get one opportunity and challenge after another now to begin looking for our light, and then to start using it in conscious service once we know it is there. Will this make the incandescence of 2009 hard on those who are certain that they're corrupt and vicious beings of deep, total darkness, utterly unworthy of "God" who is All Light? Yes, it will, and there is nothing to be done -- unless one is a habitual rescuer, of course, in which case it's best to eat well. Rescuers will need all the stamina they can get in the years that begin now.
For the rest of us, who work to create in ourselves the changes we wish to see in the world, reminders will keep multiplying that in essence we are really light, and we can behave like light if we wish to. We will draw one inspiration after another from those who can deliver our light essence in compelling new words like those of Thomas Pynchon, whose magnificent Against the Day (2006) is a late Piscean novel in its mass and depth, but truly an Aquarian novel of spiritual transformation if there ever was one.
"We are light, you see, all of light –" says the Cohen, the master of the London tarot circle in which each major arcanum is embodied by one or more exotic characters. "we are the light offered the batsmen at the end of the day, the shining eyes of the beloved, the flare of the safety match at the high city window, the stars and nebulae in full midnight glory, the rising moon through the tram wires, the naphtha lamp glimmering on the costermonger’s barrow. . . . When we lost our aethereal being and became embodied, we slowed, thickened, congealed to’ – grabbing each side of his face and wobbling it back and forth – ‘this. The soul itself is a memory we carry of having once moved at the speed and density of light. The first step in our Discipline here is learning how to reacquire that rarefaction, that condition of light, to become once more able to pass where we will . . . "
How to pass where we will in January 2009? By reading the extra-easy road map that the planets are drawing for us. The month that now begins has three parts:
Jan. 1 - 10: The Night Journey by Water continues. If we focus on finding and using our light, we can begin to bring the water passage to completion by illuminating the way just ahead, especially as the Moon waxes now.
Jan. 11 - 19: Two important celestial events occur that only seem coincidental, but are thematically related. The Moon is Full in Cancer, thereby affirming at this time the primacy of feeling as the main language of the time, and the need for practicing the Mother virtues of care, compassion, service and nurturance. On the same day, Mercury goes retrograde (see 1/11) in Aquarius. Does this mean there'll be confusion, delay, bozosis and brownout in all areas of our working lives, and some personal scenes too? Only for those who won't get with the program and rhythm of the time, and insist on pushing forward when the celestial engine is moving backward. Those who use the reverse motion of the time to wrap up old business, settle old accounts and heal old wounds will get through it fine.
Jan. 20 - 31: Barack Obama is inaugurated on what is always an auspicious day, when the Sun moves from the old-year, winter sign of Capricorn to the month of Aquarius and the Imbolc time of new life stirring in the womb and the roots. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the master of communal effort and social activism, and bringer of change that may be smooth and sparkly when accepted and brought in gladly, but upsetting and even revolutionary when it is resisted. Astrologers speculate about whether Franklin D. Roosevelt knew the celestial implications of moving inauguration day, as he recommended in 1932, from the old March 20 (the last day of the Sun in Pisces, just prior to March 21, the start of Aries and of "spring" by western reckoning) to Jan. 20, the first day of Aquarius. What this all means is that if one is committed to change, as FDR was and Obama claims to be, the start of Aquarius month is the perfect time for initiating ambitious moves to get the country, and the world, moving in a different new direction. As much as the emphasis of the moment is on moving forward and bringing long-overdue change, however, Mercury is sending an unmistakable counter-signal that it is essential now to address urgent old business and solve it before is dissolves us.
On Jan. 21, a few hours after the USA swears in a new president, Mercury moves backward from Aquarius into Capricorn, the Saturn-ruled sign that governs, among other things, methodical and exact work on practical matters, and systems of mathematics and economy. The sign also rules accounting, so with Mercury moving through it backwards, this will certainly be a time when the most stunning and embarrassing new numbers will be revealed about the huge dimensions of the economic cataclysm that has just come in 2008. When conditions get dire, the restraints begin to drop, so from now whistle blowers will hardly be needed because the whistle will practically blow itself. Inevitably, the people who could have seen what was going on and acted to correct it, but did not, will do a huge venting of anger and scorn toward the investment gamblers, wealth hobbyists and Chaos clowns whose deep pockets full of C-notes -- for covetousness, corruption, craft, coldness, callousness, carelessness, control, cluelessness and craziness -- have inflicted immense economic damage on our planet. We will all, as releasers and as facilitators, probably have to let a dump of this heavy emotion go before we can clear up and move with our light.
There is much more in the magnificent energy resource of late January, 2008. The Aquarius New Moon on Jan. 26 also begins the new Chinese Year of the Ox. Thus the aim of the year changes from the Rat, who is forever scrambling for food and ready to steal it, to the animal whose power at the plow tills the field and gets it ready to grow and give in abundance again. The steadiness and stamina of the Ox are one of the life objectives and work rules of 2009. The Sun in Aquarius has just crossed the position of Jupiter on Jan. 24, making this Saturday a time for celebration that can be impactful as well as happy. An entire weekend New Moon festival is very highly favored. As if this were not enough, the Sun crosses as the Month end, most of all on Jan. 29, the position of the North Moon's Node in Aquarius, making this a time for collective reforms and new moves, brainstorming, master mind work and joint intentionality. The last weekend of the month culminates in the great Imbolc celebration and feast of Bridhe on Feb. 1, the same day Mercury goes direct again.
January, 2009 is packed with promise and charge. It is not a month to be endured. It is a month to be used like a big full tank of purpose, and rejoiced in as we move in time to the planets and the year, toward the spring and the tremendous energy show of mid-2009. We are meant to sing as part of it rather than just watch silently, but there will be moments when we are speechless with awe. It starts this month, and the song will flow more easily in the intervals between the flashes of light. If you're one of those who say you're only a "choir singer," be careful this month, because as we find and release more of our light, our urge to sing gets irresistible. So make sure that when your voice is ready to be born -- you'll know it when your heart's water breaks and you call feel the sound rising to burst and sing out of you as inevitably as an orgasm -- you're in the best place. You sure don't want to be in a garage, a carwash or a line in a bank when your soundburst comes, and it would be terribly wasted in an office of any kind. Best to let it all out in a festival on one or both of the last two weekends of the highly memorable January, 2009. The sounds will be worth recording. Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
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 2008 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.