Salvaging Possibility

Spring Equinox   20th March 2019   22:00

Give them the fields and the woods and the

possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit.”

(Mary Oliver)

The profit motive – a supreme cultural and moral wound, and while it rules the roost one wonders what possibilities for the world can be wrested from its dark lords.   2019 is a big year for waking up to our wounds, as the Centaur, Chiron, emerged above the celestial horizon in February, entering Aries and the first degree of the zodiac: re-entering collective consciousness after a long journey in the darkness beneath the horizon. It will travel through Aries for eight years. Chiron is a key figure at the cardinal gateways (solstices and equinoxes) this year. It is weaving itself into our awareness, bringing its theme of wounding and healing, of wisdom and compassion into our consciousness of ourselves and the world. The Sun entering the first degree of Aries – the dawn moment of the year – crests the horizon, in conjunction with the Wounded Healer, Chiron, on 20th March. The renewal of spring is marked by our need to bear witness to the incurable wound. This is the time of hope and youthful vigour, of lambs and bunnies and the planting of seeds! And yet, we are called to feel the pain and powerlessness that sits heavily in our spirits. Chiron is seeding this awareness, insisting that we cannot ignore the ways in which we are personally, collectively, socially, culturally, ecologically wounded. As Rumi – soberly – has it,

Don’t turn away your head. Keep looking

at the bandaged place. That’s where

the light enters you.

 And don't believe for a moment

that you're healing yourself.

The first international Youth Strike 4 Climate, protesting political inertia in the face of climate change, occurred four days before Chiron entered Aries, and was a brilliant expression of the archetype of Chiron in Aries. Young citizens flexing political muscle on the streets of our towns and cities because politicians, teachers, parents and elders – i.e. we are failing to meet the crucial challenge of our age. And no, it really is not Brexit. Our political leaders and their commentators seem lost in a whirling eddy of asininity and mendacity, as they jockey for power and privilege in a system that is breaking apart before our eyes (revealed by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that is now in force). Meanwhile a new cycle of possibility, a new world, is trying to be born from the detritus of the old. Aries gives planets a sword and shield on entry – and the will to fight. We may feel powerless and despairing, and yet the warrior energy of Aries mitigates against inertia. There is a will to become effective and authentic, to do what only you can do, active and awake.

As Aries is the sign of youthful energy, Chiron is bringing our attention to the wounded experience of youth in our world right now. Knife crime is in the news; the sexual abuse of children by priests and politicians is also in the press again, as the Establishment takes a cursory peep at its unsavoury side. The Catholics have just held a conference on the matter, and put the Devil in the firing line, like that’s going to help; the public inquiry in the UK has turned its attention to the abuse of children organised from within Westminster, mother of parliaments, indeed: “Put your vileness up to a mirror and weep.” We also begin to glimpse the cost of our love affair with technology for our youth, with alarmingly increased levels of self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, amongst a panoply of other mental health disorders, which seem positively encouraged by the virtual world. Why would anyone have FOMO about this smorgasbord of pathos and despair? And yet many young people declare that life is not worth living without online. This belief is propagated by the tech giants – and it is propaganda, algorithmically designed to be addictive and disappointing, mesmerising and nauseating: to get its teeth into the emotional body and from there to dominate behaviours. What has got its teeth into yours?

There is a real world we need to live in. Physical reality is the only place to be. Any other direction leads to loss of vitality, disease and death. And yet an offer is being made whereby we can appear to retreat from or bypass the austere and essentially unequal, often impoverished physical reality many people live in, as virtual experience extends its reach – and its market – into every area of our lives. Our imaginations, our attention and our privacy are now the raw materials of consumerised surveillance capitalism for companies that pay nothing for these materials.

Here’s a question: If a solar farm harvests solar energy and a wind farm harvests wind energy, what should we call an operation that harvests human energy?

5G

The seductions of technology are persuasive when so many experience poverty at other levels of their lives: poverty of education, imagination and opportunity, time poverty, cash poverty, housing poverty, energy poverty, food poverty. We are being rendered contingent to, and utterly dependent on, systems that are designed to syphon cash out of our bank accounts and to leave us so overwhelmed by the t’s & c’s and the need to keep switching providers and creating new passwords, that we want to submit to whatever it takes just to get the groceries in on time. Our energy is snared and snagged in technological and bureaucratic forms when meanwhile there is a world outside the window with mud, blood, fire and starlight calling us to come out and to wonder at the sheer aliveness of life! And that world requires human presence: it is a crucial part of the economy of energy transformation between Above and Below, Cosmos and Gaia, Star and Stone.

https___rachelburchphotography.files.wordpress.com_2013_05_proper-beech-river

©Rachel Burch Photography, used with kind permission

The principle of life on this planet is physical manifestation. Yet the culture is currently engaged in an attempt to shear human presence from the body, peel it away from the physical realm. When we invest time and energy in realms divorced from the physical we are separating ourselves from the source of our vitality, which is found in the body and in physical life. The physical level of our existence has to be nourished – with food, energy, imagination, mind and heart; it requires clean water and air, healthy food, creativity, beauty, meaning and purpose: love. On all the levels: love.

Marko Pogačnik has written about the contradiction between planetary life and the experience of human consciousness in Turned Upside Down:

The completely divided polarities of our modern consciousness are fighting doggedly against each other to obtain control of a world that is not there anymore. … Postmodern humans remain encapsulated in projections of space/time which evolution has already dismissed from its purview. … It makes no sense at all to be overly frightened of those forces that continue to promote the old world model, or to get involved in fighting them. Or, to put it a different way, these opposing forces can only maintain their presence here because the majority of humans believe in their existence and either revere or fight against the symbols of power.

Other than the awakening to Chiron in Aries, what cargo does the Equinox moment bring, that will be unpacked over the weeks until the Summer Solstice? A drastic situation of thoroughgoing change and intense emotion is indicated – perhaps the ruling elite flexing authoritarian muscle (Grand Trine in Earth between Moon, Mars and Saturn/Pluto; Moon opposes Equinox Sun/Chiron). There is a mood of pugnacious hostility and it will be the people (Moon) who take the hits of the histrionics in public life. At a more personal level this dearth of charm can be used to take an objective look at our own hurts, to focus our attention on the cracks within ourselves and to bring light into those places.

We may well see the sacrifice of Theresa May, brought down by Tory grandees trying to save the Party, as the taint of her woundedness spreads to the whole administration (indeed, to the very idea of parliamentary process, which is creaking under the strain of Saturn and Pluto’s meeting in Capricorn, sign of governance). The astrology certainly suggests an ugly attack on a woman and yah-boo sucks to the idea of a peaceful resolution in the Brexit fiasco (Venus square Mars – Mars empowered by a trine from Saturn/Pluto). The period between the Equinox and the Brexit date are marked by retrograde Mercury stationing in conjunction with Neptune: obfuscations, delusion, sacrifice, fraud and job losses. The real confusion of the moment presents a great opportunity to the unscrupulous for some stealth politicking –  something to which we should be alert. What is happening in the wings of the main-stage breakdown of parliamentary process? The roll-out of 5G is quietly being prepared; the D. K. Foundation’s Suzanne Rough has commented that humanity has never before known “death by air”. This is worth thinking about.

Less than four hours after the Equinox the Moon will be Full on the degree of the Autumn Equinox – Sun and Moon poised at either end of the celestial horizon, the Moon reflecting the light of a Sun infused with the depth awareness of Chiron. While we are undoubtedly in a difficult process, it does serve to wake us up and it begs the questions: How do we really want to use our energy and the limited opportunities of our lives? And moreover, how can we serve?

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

awenastro@gmail.com

I offer consultations, Soulmapping and monthly Soulwork workshops. Feel free to share this with friends, as long as it’s attributed. Thank you!

Advertisements

Stars to Steer By

Winter Solstice 2018

21st December 22:24 GMT

The kingdom turned to loss, the land was dead and desert in suchwise that it was scarce worth a couple of hazelnuts. For they lost the voices of the wells and the damsels that were therein.

Chrétien de Troyes

This quote is from the King Arthur stories, about the kingdom of the maimed Fisher King, who is the keeper of the Grail, source of miraculous healing. The kingdom is laid waste because the maidens of the wells – the feminine energy that safeguarded the purity of the water, the basis of ecological health – have been violated. The Grail, symbol of the sacred feminine, is therefore confined to the court of the Fisher King, its healing powers unavailable to the land or even to the King himself. The Fisher King (Pelles, as in this image by Will Worthington) is the astrological archetype of Chiron, the wounded healer, and it is Chiron that stands at the gateway of the Winter Solstice this year.

Pelles

The great gateways of the year (the solstices and equinoxes) are portals that take us from one variety of experience to another. The gateway is an opportunity: what does it bring to us, and we to it? Our tendency is to want to squeeze ourselves through our lives as painlessly as possible, without calamity, embarrassment or distress. What is that part of us that wants to move through the cycles of our lives unchanged and unchallenged? Chiron reminds us that we are always wounded, in some sense sullied by experience. He was the leader of the centaurs and mentor to the solar heroes. Accidentally wounded by Hercules’ poisoned arrow, immortal Chiron cannot die and neither can he be healed. Chiron, in our own experience, marks for each of us the pain that cannot be fixed, that we have no choice but to learn to live with. The deal in this Earth realm is ‘strength through struggle’: it’s a matter of bearing what is sullied and painful, and saying yes to difficulty. This way wisdom is won.

And now we reach the depth and extent of the dark. The Winter Solstice is the seeding moment. The sun-seed of the year of growth ahead is implanting in the womb of winter. This is a time for stillness and holding the mystery. When we think about the future we can feel powerless, as if we ‘just have to wait and see’. And yet, the future is only ever the outgrowth of how and what we are, here and now. And this most contracted point in time signals the need for holding: holding potentiality, holding the not-born, holding hope. Inner discipline is required to be able to be with what we are experiencing without spilling our energy out in emotional reactions. You don’t keep digging a seed up to see how it’s doing. It is for us to gather creative power now as the Sun’s energy is internalised and transforms itself in us through the process we call Winter. External fallowness is met by inward fullness as future time dreams itself in all beings. As Rilke has it, ‘the future enters into us … in order to transform itself in us long before it happens’.

Meanwhile our little island is in a flap. At the national level, we are thinking, discussing and taking action in the political realm in terms that are obsolete. Truly, we are fiddling while Rome burns. The madness of this is hard to bear. It’s not with national sovereignty and trade deals that we should concern ourselves as we slip beneath the rising waters of climate change. Instead our concern should be for how we can take power to act in the service of our planet. Many, many people are doing this, just as many others are obsessing about status, income and the bottom line. We’re all united by a common concern for security, just looking through different lenses and at different levels of awareness.

So we find ourselves in a desert kingdom with a maimed sovereign. Pluto’s relentless passage through Capricorn (sign of authority and governance and the solstice) has been exposing the limitation of all our ‘systems’. It brings purification through purging what is toxic and corrupt, and we have had had a bellyful of that and there’s plenty more to come. But what positively is coming to light is the radical necessity to take responsibility for our human sacred trust, our non-negotiable responsibility for planetary well-being, and to reinstate regard for the sacred feminine.

Pluto was, by the Greeks and Romans, cast as Lord of the Underworld. But underneath his patriarchal robe, Pluto is the expression of an older, female archetype: Kali with blood around her mouth and her vulva, the devouring and birthgiving mother. The great goddess is a powerful aspect of the Pluto archetype that is seeking integration in our understanding and experience. The #me too movement is a terribly faint but discernible echo of the goddess insurgency that is reshaping the world of the collective right now.

Kali

At the Solstice moment Pluto occupies 20 Capricorn, the Sabian symbol of which is given as, ‘The ray of hope through all difficulty.’ Despair is corrosive to our communities and to our own souls; it is a spiritual and social necessity to foster, and act on the basis of, our highest hope. As Kate Tempest beautifully expresses it, ‘Your hope is as old as the language of smoke, the language of blood.’ Hope has archetypal power; it is fundamental to maintaining our humanity. There is food, drink and shelter in our very capacity to hope.

In April 2018 Chiron, the wounded healer, entered Aries, place of sunrise, breaching the horizon after a long nocturnal sojourn. It has re-entered collective consciousness, bringing our awareness both to our deepest wounds and to our greatest capacity for compassion and wisdom. He is making the scales fall from our eyes as we see the wasteland in which we are living. In September Chiron sank back beneath the horizon as it retrograded into the sign of Pisces . It will emerge finally on 19th February 2019. The portal of the Solstice this year is marked by Chiron in a square to the Solstice Sun. It will square both Sun and Moon on 22nd December, when the Full Moon poetically occupies the degree of the Summer Solstice. Wounds that cannot be fixed and cannot be ignored are the source of our creativity and bless us with compassion and wisdom. The jungian, James Hollis, puts it simply: ‘Wounds quicken consciousness.’ They break us out of the prisons of our habit, somnolence and addiction that incarcerate and enfeeble us.

Without our wounds and our hope we might be brilliant machines, capable of a great deal; with our wounds and our hope we are human, capable of conscience, consciousness, insight, nuance, humour, development, love and wisdom. Chiron is a walker between the worlds. His emergence above the horizon and his marking of the Solstice portal indicates a time when the worlds can be seen once more in connection with each other:

world of thought with world of feeling with world of action;

world of past with world of present with world of future;

world of animal with world of plant with world of mineral;

world of soul with world of body;

world of time with world of timelessness;

manifest world with archetypal world;

world of self with cosmic world.

To do this work of reconnection means to bear with what has been spoiled – our wounds – personally, socially, politically, spiritually, environmentally. This will require us to withdraw from blame. We blame because we are in thrall to the idea that our pain has been inflicted by something external to us. In blaming we neurotically fling out the possibility of inner truth and insight that are our gifts and our guidance (and which potentially redeem, at least mitigate, suffering).

This Solstice and 2019 will focus our attention powerfully on what has been spoiled and soured. We choose how best to respond. We can say, ‘To hell with it, let’s go down in style;’ or we can despair, freighting our souls with an insupportable cargo of hopelessness, guilt and blame. Or we can be alert to the tensions and dynamics of our difficult situations and determine to hold them in our awareness, in our experience. We need to find inner discipline and independence of thought and feeling – not to be part of the broiling sea of collective reaction that surrounds us. Can we find the strength to hold our ship steady? Having a context of significance, a set of principles, through which to understand what is happening is like having stars to steer by. When the storm is raging, can we find the still point, the eye of the storm?

We stand to gain a great deal…

Kate Hubert

I offer astrological consultations to individuals, monthly Soulwork experiential astrology workshops and occasional workshops on astrological themes. Coming up on 17th February 2019, there’s a chance to explore the archetype of Chiron or the Fisher King, the wounded healer. I work in Ashburton, South Dartmoor.

The Astrological Resonance of the Armistice

I’m writing on 10th November 2018, and have been looking into the astrological resonances of the World War One Armistice, which was signed at 5am in the Forest of Compiègne, north of Paris, on 11th November 1918 and became effective later that day, at 11am. Armistice signed 11.11.1918

The chart of the signing of the Armistice, Forest of Compiegne, 11th Nov. 1918, 5am

The sabian symbol for the ascending degree when the Armistice was signed (26° Libra) is startling:

An eagle and a white dove change swiftly into each other.

Six hours later, when the Armistice became effective, the ascending degree was 6° Capricorn with Pluto (death, fate, necessity) exactly on the descendant, signalling that the destructive forces of Pluto were disowned and projected on to the ‘Other’ side, and loading the moment with depth and intensity. The Sun (national identities) is conjunct Venus (the peacemaker) ascending towards the midheaven, shining down over the whole chart.

The Moon (the people) is just hours away from a conjunction with Uranus (liberation) – an exuberant time of release and freedom. Of course, the Moon had been conjuncting Uranus once a month for the entirety of the war, but that it is stamped into this historic moment is worthy of remark. This mood of popular liberation is echoed in the 1801 UK chart which has a quintile from the Moon to Uranus: the UK populace carries the Uranus theme of eccentricity, innovation and of upsetting expectations (even to the point of perversity).

Mars (the warrior), at the signing of the Armistice, is at 29° Sagittarius in an exact square with retrograde Chiron (the wounded healer) at 29° Pisces. Chiron today, 100 years later, stands at 28° Pisces, also retrograde, lending a fraught and painful resonance to the centenary. By 11am, when the Armistice became effective, Mars had moved to 0° Capricorn, the lowest point in the zodiac and the degree of the midwinter solstice, trining Saturn: aggression is in lockdown, stilled and held by authority. Hostility is positively contained.

In the UK chart Mars trines the Sun – self-assertion/aggression (Mars) flows very naturally as a part of the national identity (the Sun). Both the Sun and Mars are in earth signs and belligerence might be seen as a national attribute. Mars squares harmonious Venus (Stiff upper lip, don’t be a softie, lad!) and opposes Neptune. Now this is interesting. Neptune signifies idealism, sacrifice and delusion, suggesting a British tendency towards idealising conflict, having an inflated sense of our own force and an appetite for martyrishness. The Brits tend towards autonomy, but the tendency is not readily seen or owned (Mars and Uranus are both hidden in watery houses, the 8th and the 12th respectively). So often it has happened in our dealings with Europe that we suppose we are being slighted and taken for a ride and feel bullish in response. It is our own perverse tendency to doing it and having it our own way that makes us poor collaborators across national boundaries.

UK 1801

The 1801 chart of the UK

The Sun-Venus conjunction in the Armistice chart opposes the UK’s Mars and conjuncts the UK’s Neptune, bringing a conscious awareness of the mood of surrender and release that is the resonance of Neptune. As we mark the Armistice each year the Sun is passing through the degree held by the national Neptune – we fall under the trance-like spell of that planet and tend to idealise our losses and focus on sacrifice and the grandiosity of heroism in a sadly sentimental way. It would be good to mark this centenary without falling into nationalistic emotion, to recognise that the wiping out of a great part of a generation of young men across the continent of Europe is a blight, a shame and a trauma from which we are still recovering.

Our UK Mars-Neptune opposition means that feelings of loss, self-sacrifice and idealism are hopelessly muddled with conflict and aggression. People in this country still talk jauntily of “the Blitz spirit”, and get sentimentally teary about our war dead. Without demeaning them in any way, those that died in WW1 were not heroes any more than you or I. They had no choice, but to be shot for desertion or abused and imprisoned as ‘conchies’ (conscientious objectors, for the younger reader). Our war dead were sacrificed by the State. The victims of war are calling out for our help still, arriving in Kent in refrigerated lorries, drowning in the Med (near coastlines where we like to holiday) and living in degrading conditions in refugee camps. These people are our people, let us not feel separate from them. If an eagle can swiftly turn into a white dove, a white dove can as swiftly turn back into an eagle. At the going down of the Sun, we shall remember them. And so we should. It might pay also to remember the atrocities that citizens are obliged to participate in on the orders of the State. This is not a time for emotionalism.

My local town hall is currently festooned with Union Jack bunting (it’s like doing pilates on the set of Dads’ Army) and the hallway is lined with letters addressed to the Unknown Soldier by our local school children, thanking him for his service and sacrifice. I’ve seen grown men and women dressed up in WW1 uniforms on the street. It’s an uncomfortable mixture of homage, nostalgia and costume party that feels to me inappropriate and confused.

Transiting Saturn is now squaring the UK ascendant/descendant axis and approaching a conjunction with the Sun. Our identity as a nation is feeling gridlocked and restricted, and in authoritarian mood. At the same time Pluto is, and will be, over the coming months, moving away from its long transit by opposition of our introspective Cancer Moon. The UK people’s sense of belonging, our crustacean-like need for firm borders and security has been radically overhauled by this Pluto transit. This has allowed us to witness a smash and grab of power-mongering in the body politic, and much that is poisonous and abhorrent in the national psyche and in national institutions has been brought into the light of consciousness. This is no bad thing, but it is surely time to cultivate the mind of compassion. This requires some emotional maturity which will become available in the new year when transiting Pluto will have moved off the Moon and transiting Saturn will have taken its place; Saturn will bring maturity, gravity and realism into the reckoning of Brexit. As ever, under the influence of Saturn, it will be time to bend or break.

We are at an historic moment: commemorating the centenary of the end of WW1 hostilities and engaged in fundamentally altering our historically fraught relationship with continental Europe. The post-war European project may be far from ideal but it has also been far better than the perpetual scrapping and warring that preceded it. It would be helpful now for us to divorce our honouring of the dead from nationalistic sentiment. To combine these two makes us highly vulnerable to political manipulation. Best to try and see and think clearly at this moment. Certainly we should honour our dead, all our dead, whatever their country of origin. And let us honour not just the dead, but those living with the effects of war: the wounded, the traumatised and the exiled.

white poppy

Kate Hubert

fb Awen Astrology, Soulwork

Sighting the Fisher King

AUTUMN EQUINOX  23rd September 2018, 01:55 gmtAuroraTakasaka

(image: http://www.bowlofwheaties.blogspot.com)

The autumn equinox, marked by the Sun’s entry into the sign of Libra teaches us about the experience of balance. It is a time of poise and pause before we tilt towards the dark part of the year. Balance, as the wheel of the year shows us, comes and goes; it is not a place you can pitch your tent. We move in and out of it and we can’t hang on to it, but simply have to taste it when it’s present. The equinoxes, joints in time where the forces of day and night are, for the whole globe in balance, are governed by Aries and Libra: the forces of self-actualisation and the call to relationship.

If Aries were to operate autonomously the wilful impulse towards self-actualisation would be crudely aggressive. The unmoderated will of the isolate self can be brutal. Autonomous and unmoderated Libra would yield sycophantic appeasement of others and the need for agreement at all costs, with no regard for self or truth. Mars/Aries and Venus/Libra need to be held in a fruitful and dynamic tension, they do after all belong to each other, extremes of a continuum of energy. Aries enacts the will of the self while Libra calls for regard for other and the path of harmony and balance that must be found between contesting forces. Aries, the warrior, can be seen as wielding the sword of light, Excalibur; while Libra, the lover, the bringer of peace, carries the Grail into the court of the Fisher King. The sword represents what we might call the masculine principle: its role is to defend and champion the feminine principle and to direct the light. It is truthful. The Grail is the feminine principle, the chalice or cauldron: the womb. It holds sacred substance – spiritual forces, bringing them into manifestation, holding, healing and inspiring the masculine. It receives the light.

The Arthurian legend of the Fisher King presents us with a character that belongs to the Chiron archetype (the wounded healer). The shock of being burnt by a mouthful of hot salmon (the Salmon of Wisdom, one of the totemic animals of Britain, the “honeyed isle”) made a prince stumble into a fire where an ember wounds him in the groin. The injury is such that he cannot be healed and yet he cannot die. It causes him such weakness that he retreats to his court. His pain is only relieved when he is in a skiff with a fishing line in the water, so he is sometimes seen alone on lakes of his increasingly devastated lands. As the land is laid waste he, in parallel, becomes less and less substantial, his lifeforce retreating to the more subtle realms of the etheric, to the extent that his castle seems no longer to be on the ground and sometimes simply cannot be found. To travellers who sight him and ask for hospitality, the Fisher King will direct them to his home where, to their amazement, they will see a nightly procession at the head of which a fair woman bears the wondrous radiant Grail into the hall. All who drink from the Grail are healed and restored; the Fisher King is too weak, too energetically refined, to lift the cup to his mouth. And yet, he is the Grail’s custodian.

The Fisher King, trapped between worlds, reluctantly rules over a wasteland. Meanwhile the brotherhood of Knights of the Round Table have disbanded, each going his separate way, riding into dense and pathless forest in a quest to find the Grail and restore harmony to the land. Lacking the Grail, they are just a bunch of desperate sword-wielding men, seeking it, but unable to protect and champion the sacred feminine. The Quest for the Grail is the call from the soul to the personality to restore and honour the feminine principle, the Goddess; to inspire the personality (the knight) into action on behalf of the soul that, bodiless, cannot act; and to unite the inner and the outer worlds, bringing healing (wholeness) to both.

The Grail is trapped between worlds with the Fisher King; Excalibur has been thrown back into the hand and waters of the Lady of the Lake. Things that belong together have been put apart and the quest of the soul is to reunite them. The knight of personality is the vehicle that has to undertake this task. The personality first must hear the call of the soul and then heed it, ride into that pathless forest with the sheer desire to recover and bring together the chalice and the blade.

This quest is for all of us and it is urgent. We know this. The land is laid waste; we have to find the faith and courage to act: to reunite head and heart, inner and outer worlds, the divine feminine and masculine, the soul and the personality, spirit and matter…

We stand at the gateway to the dark half of the year and the winter journey will be marked by the energy of this time. It promises us a sighting of the Fisher King, who can, if approached, direct us to his court. This is because the equinox Sun on 0° Libra is exactly opposite Chiron (wounded healer, Fisher King) on 0° Aries. We are likely to touch into the shame and pain of our deepest wounds. How to feel those places without massive reaction; how to feel them and know that they are the key to our deepest gifts of wisdom and compassion? These cosmic powers (Sun and Chiron) are occupying both equinox positions where the solar plane intersects with the celestial equator, calling out for a balance of forces between the warrior and the lover, making us painfully aware of the woundedness that results from their separation. The rulers of the spring and autumn equinoxes, Mars and Venus, meanwhile are in a fixed t-square with Uranus, planet of rude awakenings and ambassador of the soul. The challenges we are facing are soulful interventions, rattling our cages and requiring us to find new and very different ways of being and doing.

Embrace the difficulty, cleave to it, as the poet Rilke advises dear Mr Kappus in his Letters to a Young Poet:

And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. … [Y]ou know that you are in the midst of transitions and wished for nothing so much as to change.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

A New Indigeneity: going off grid

fractal

There are many resources our access to which is governed by adherence to the idea of a Grid. There are grids for energy, for lighting your home and cooking your food and powering your transport; there is a grid of water providing clean water for you to drink and bathe in; care grids exist for your sick and elderly and an education grid for your young. Grids provide all manner of foodstuffs and there are even transportation, information and communication grids. You could even say there are grids of thought and attention.  Grids take natural resources and monopolise them, turn them into commodities and then sell them to consumers. Grids also take human energy and resources, monopolise them, turn them into commodities and sell them back to humans. This is very easy and very convenient. We find we are fed, clothed, housed, educated, nursed and entertained in exchange for money. Money, however, we need.

We get money through giving our labour. We exchange the hours and days of our lives for money so that we can exchange that money for all the things we need that we are unable to provide for ourselves. This can work quite well, so long as the labour of your days pays you enough for all the things you need. Some folks like the idea of living off grid, wild and free. Like skiers going off piste, those who venture off grid have to be inventive and resilient, finding ways to supply their own needs; they’ll need to use the financial grid to buy perhaps some solar panels and woodburners. They’ll run up against planning laws, for sure, and soon discover that the culture is hostile to the spirit of independence.

Grid culture is powered by dependency and passivity. It needs us to need: to be in need. It needs us to want and want and want. It takes hold best in a de-skilled and unimaginative population. For example one where human energy is so engaged in making enough money to pay the bills – and a bit freaked out about the future – to question the basic assumptions of why it should be the way it is. Why should it be that very few people own enough land to grow food for their families? Why do we not generate household energy in little local schemes rather than rely on ‘the big six’? Why don’t we even try? Dependency has been taken to such extremes in our culture that we are now in a condition so parlous we no longer know how to feed or clothe ourselves. We can eat (oh can we eat!) and we can get dressed. But we cannot hunt, gather and grow our own food or create clothing. Nor do most of us have the resources to do so should we wish to try, because they are enclosed and monopolised by corporations. This situation, absurdly, has had the western world defecating in its own water supply in the name of hygiene for the last 150 years. Funny old world.  Still it all makes work for the working man to do.

In her book, Wild, Jay Griffiths quotes an amazonian tribal person commenting on contact with missionaries:

We learned things, though: we learned money and Spanish and work. We learned that we had to work for money for needs that we didn’t have before: matches, salt and sugar. Why were we civilised? For what were we civilised? To be taught that we needed sugar and oil and money and clothes from the markets, more and more.

We, in Britain today, want a lot more than sugar and oil, do we not? Griffiths comments that when populations do that thing that is so difficult for the civilised and live ‘for free’, off grid, as all indigenous populations do and always have done, they perceive themselves as having other fundamental freedoms too. But ‘once they are made dependent on money, their other, more conceptual, freedoms can be taken away: freedom of will, freedom of time and freedom of thought.’ 

Here is an interesting thought experiment.  Do we retain and exercise freedoms such as these? Is your will free – are you self-determining and self-authorising, responsible for and to yourself? Do you know what you want to do; do you know your will? Do we even know what it might mean to have freedom of time? What would that look like? And what is freedom of thought, and what could be its preconditions?

From this perspective it seems we are giving a whole lot more than money for our basic needs, even given that money represents the labour of our bodies and minds and increasing amounts of the time of our lives. It seems to me we are in a state of collective hallucination and addiction: a kind of cultural psychosis. Our own indigenous ancestry is long distant. I don’t even have a notion of first-nation britons. But undoubtedly they were here on this island, speaking a lost (?) language (one I increasingly long to hear) that related to this landscape, feeding and clothing themselves, relating strongly, of necessity, to the genius loci; autonomous, resourceful and responsive to their own here and now. Our indigeneity is distant in time, but the elements, I feel sure, are long memoried – and they do live in us after all; we weave our lives out of them all the time, mundanely and beautifully.   Here and now belong to us and are always essentially wild and free.

new growth

It feels like time for us to come out of our demented collective amnesia and recall that we are natural beings that depend utterly upon our land, this earth and its resources. ‘Freedom,’ Griffiths says, ‘is the absolute demand of the human spirit.’ It is necessary that we see the grids that monetise and commoditise resources and services for what they are: instruments of domination. In essence we are still wild and free, a feature of the natural world: the green fuse of the wild fizzes through us. Whatever our schemes and contingency plans, whatever the claims of our civilised materialistic culture, nature remains wild and free, and all of life participates in that wild freedom and all of culture is subject to it. Our bodies and the earth beneath our feet are speaking all the time of the crazy and fantastical meeting of nature and culture. If we seek meaning for our lives and times, we don’t need to pick greedily over the remnants of the more recently devastated first-nation cultures of elsewhere to heed the call of the wild within and without. We need to connect and relate to the spirits of this place and this time: to find autonomous, resourceful, authentic responses to our own here and now; to find a new and urgent indigeneity. Show up, listen up and, as they say, join the conversation.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk

Re-imagining Physical Realities

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” 

A1JenDelythCelticArtLogo

I’m persuaded of the truthfulness of this statement. So, I’m offering a day of exploration and recalibration in Ashburton, South Devon on Sunday 16th September, 11am – 4.30pm:

“Creating Good Soil: Re-imagining Physical Realities”
(or Uranus in Taurus and all it may bring!)

The springboard for the day will be the transit of Uranus through Taurus – but the workshop is not about acquiring information or astrological technique. It is about enquiring into the nature of this time and the possibilities that are opening up for recalibrating our own energy fields and seeing physical reality through new eyes (as Uranus liberates radically new perceptions in us).

Rediscovering indigeneity
Tuning in to the wisdom of the body and the Earth
New perceptions and new possibilities
Inspired mind, inspired voice

Using imagination and intuitional intelligence, our tools will be sound/song, meditation, discussion and elements of ritual. We’ll explore our perceptions of embodiment and connection to land/Earth/Gaia with the purpose of creating good ‘soil’ within ourselves for the seeds of the future to begin to transform and ripen towards their highest expression.

If this calls to you, please book a place (spaces are limited) and come and do the work.
Cost £20 (or more if you wish, less if you need).

Beloved

Between Star and Stone

Summer Solstice, 21st June 2018, 10:0

(Verse: Rabindranath Tagore.  Image: http://www.cycledessaisons.wordpress.com)

The beloved Sun, source of all life, source of all consciousness, stands at the peak of its power, its northernmost point, bathing us in its vitalising rays. We are livingly aware of the dance between Earth and Sun of which we are a crucial part. We channel the Sun’s etheric force into the body of the Earth and the Earth’s etheric force out into the cosmos. Human beings are a significant means of interchange in this cosmic dance of star and stone, of Sun and planet. This interchange is necessary, not optional. We are capable of conscious participation in this process – we can assist and co-operate in it. Our assistance is richly rewarded with increased vitality and deep understanding, arising both inwardly and outwardly. Power and purpose pour from the Sun into our human lives. Go outside and breathe it in!

Stand barefoot on the Earth, under the Sun. Breathe deeply in the golden cosmic light of our star, all the way through your body. Your hands can help you direct this flow of energy. Then gently exhale the vibrant light of the Earth out towards the Sun. Feel the interchange of Sun and Earth in your body.

Through the light and warmth of the life-giving Sun we are changing and we are changed. The Sun makes available power beyond our imagining. It is wild and free and exceeds all the petty oppressions of the mean shadow of power that forms the basis of the ‘systems’ that seek to govern us. The Sun offers us life and power in abundance, it gives to us unfailingly – all we need to do is stand upright on the Earth.

Perhaps we can make a meaningful distinction between the Earth and the World, where the Earth is Gaia, a being made up of physical and refined substance, and the world is all that human culture lays over Gaia, good and bad. Our World stands in sore need of real, meaningful connection to the source of all vitality, the Sun. At the time of solstice we are under the eye of the Sun, and it is a time of reckoning. When the light is strong so are the shadows.

The solstice Sun shows the reckoning to be painful (Sun square Chiron) – we see that the force that is used to get things done in the world can be cruel. How can the human heart tolerate the abuses we are witnessing? How can the human heart deal out such abuses? Through the expedience of needing to manage situations, achieve outcomes, comply with procedure, safeguard profits, keep my job, feed my children… We harden our hearts and close our eyes. The world’s not perfect after all. And we can’t be open to all the suffering we are part of twenty-four hours a day; can we? How to be with this?

The Sun’s principle is consciousness. The power and purpose it bestows come through its primary gift of consciousness. Can we say we want to live lives of power and purpose while remaining unconscious of the manner of our participation in the world? The Sun wants us to wake up; Gaia absolutely requires it. But the world encourages a weary, anaesthetised, broken-hearted kind of somnambulism that allows our vitality, power, energy and attention to be syphoned off for private profit. We yield readily. We are such obedient servants.

Pluto through Capricorn is revealing the dark underside of the culture we call the world or public life. The revelations of corruption and toxicity have been oozing out thickly since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008. The latest scandal is the final coming to light after many years of patients being killed in their hundreds in an NHS hospital: managed to death. There is more of this to come, have no doubt. This is what happens when the expedience of status and bureaucracy are interposed between human beings and considered a higher value. When an algorithmic bureaucratic system governs the place where human relating should live and breathe there is already an abuse of power. Be aware: these spaces are broadening and becoming ubiquitous in our lives. Learn to spot them. Where we confront such abuses – and we all do – we have to call them out. We have to come into relationship with each other, to talk and share, to gather our forces to resist the bureaucratic paradigm. We cannot at this point, racing towards the meeting of Saturn and Pluto in 2020, afford to stand down. Bureaucracy and technology in combination have totalitarian instincts to which human energy is simply fodder (income).

Certain organisational grids overlay earthly resources. Its a feature of modernity: management, distribution and, of course, commodification and monetisation of resources is effected through creating grids. And we are all authoritatively pressured to be dependent on these grids. Think of water, sanitation, gas, electricity – we are dependent on grids of service and supply, and profits are made out of our dependency. There are other resource grids too that it is hard to opt out of: transportation, health and education services, internet, money and financial services, media. These grids govern flows of power back and forth between individuals and the public culture. They are modelled on the fundamental grid of energy which runs through all things (which we might call prana or qi, lifeforce, tao or the way it is) and represent attempts to tap into, warp and profit out of this ineluctably wild and free fundamental grid, to which we all are connected all the time, totally free of charge. The fundamental grid is created from the interchange of Sun and Gaia. We need to be aligned with the fundamental grid for its power to flow optimally into our beings. We Our standing between heaven and earth is what energises this grid: we complete the relationship between star and stone (Sun and Earth). The birth chart describes the unique alignments for which we are designed.

Uranus in Taurus sextiles the solstice Sun; Taurus rules resources and thus refers to this matter of grids. Uranus here is bringing a radically new perception to the matter of physical resources and their modes of organisation. Your ultimate resource is your body. It is the vehicle of your thought, feeling, consciousness, soul and spirit. It is plugged into Gaia’s fundamental grid, and fed by the light of the Sun. Corporations are seeking to plug it into grids of their own making. The energy and attention we give to the fundamental grid increases our vitality and power. There is no alternative source of vitality for earthly beings. The time between now and the equinox offers a particular opportunity to work with Uranus in Taurus – to enter into exploration of a new indigeneity, a natural belonging to the Earth, one that truly belongs to you and the land you walk.

Don’t let your path be perplexed by the idle dust of days!

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk