Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Solstice: The Union of Opposites


          Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, and stands opposite the Winter Solstice in the Wheel of the Year.  It is the time when the new life and light that was born at the Winter Solstice is manifest in our lives and in the world.  Summer Solstice has been celebrated in practically every culture on Earth, and is a time of joy and celebration of the powers of life.  The Sun is at its fullest power, and the darkness of winter is a fading memory.  But just at this moment of greatest light, we begin to face death, for now the days begin to shorten and the darkness grows.  Solstice literally means "sun stand still", for at the solstices the sun seems to stop on its course before it reverses itself.
          Many traditions have grown up around the Summer Solstice.  The Native Peoples of America had many ceremonies celebrating the Sun, especially the Sun Dance which ritually commemorated the life-giving powers of the sun.  The Sun Dance of the Great Plains peoples was a dedication to the divine spirit, held during summer solstice when all of nature was rejoicing and the sage plant was succulent.
          Summer Solstice was the most important and widespread festival in Europe.  In Celtic countries, it was celebrated on Midsummer's Eve and was a vegetation-fire-water ritual, when all the elements of life were celebrated and honored.  It is a time of magic, both good and bad; a time when the faerie folk once again come out to dance.  Fires are lit to help the Sun in its course, the waters bring blessings, and dreams are potent. 
          But most of all, Midsummer is a time for lovers, for it is the moment of the marriage of Heaven and Earth.  The Sun fertilizes the Earth with His heat, and She becomes pregnant with Life.  But there is a cost to all of this, for the Summer King must fight the Winter King for his Flower Bride, and although he overcomes the darkness, yet will the darkness overcome him as well.  For after this weekend, the days will get shorter and nights longer.    
          But for now, all is happiness.  The Sun goes into Cancer and the Moon will be in Pisces - very sweet energy for this day.  It is the Marriage Feast, the Hieros-Gamos, love and desire, flesh and spirit.

The Bride:

You open me wide
To the Mystery of Love
And I penetrate
The darkness to the depths.

My Beloved encircles me
In the strength of his arms.
With his encircling Love
He guards my sweet softness.

My Bridegroom waits upon me
He watches my comings
He watches my flow
My Beloved waits upon me.

Is there anyone like my Beloved?
His is the swiftness of the Stag,
The far sight of the Eagle
The strength of the Bear.

My Bridegroom comes like the Sun
His warmth is radiant.
His beauty shines out
He is my Light.

I look for my Beloved in the daylight
And I see his face in every green leaf.
I wait upon my Lover in the night
And I find him in the depths of a forest

Oh, my Bridegroom!
Come to me in my marriage bower.
Come and enter into me
And let me bring you delight!

For my love is sweeter than honey
My love more intoxicating than wine.
For I will open myself to you
And let you penetrate my depths.

The Bride welcomes her Beloved
With the fire of her desire.
With the Love of a free heart
I call the Bridegroom home.

The Bridegroom:

In the first days, I was reborn
In the very first days, life was renewed.
In the first nights, I learned sweet delight
In the very first nights, I surrendered
          to Love.

In the freshness of the first morning
My Beloved lay in our bed of living green,
In the first light of morning
We awake to wonder and delight.

The whiteness of her shoulders
Blinds me with desire,
The softness of her white flesh
Excites the hardness of my own.

Her neck offers itself to me,
Her neck extends itself to my kisses,
And when I lose myself in its strength,
It kindles the sweetness of my desire.

With burning lips
I fire the white slopes of her shoulders.
Glowing rosy now from the heat,
They lead me to the fountains of life.

As a man dying from the dryness
From the force of the fire,
My lips find a haven
In the fountains, in the deep wells.

The twin cups are offered to me
Their golden nectar offered to me.
Twin nipples dark as earth
Waiting for the pull of life.

I will suck the sweetness of life,
I will drink of the waters.
My softness hardens her cup,
My delight intoxicates her.

And now the waters flow freely
And I drink from every stream

I drink from every deep pool.
Ah, the sweetness of the Waters.

My Beloved gives herself to me
She shares her sweetness
She softly gathers me in
To her dark mystery.

My Bride calls to me
She calls me to the depths.
My Beloved opens me to Love
And I awaken to its Mystery.

And now I discover the deep red rose,
I discover the blood-red bower.
And the living greenness encloses us
As I come home to her hidden garden.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Neptune in Pisces: Renewing the Archetypal Patterns of Life

Neptune with his mystical vision, creative imagination and longing to dissolve back into unity with the Divine has arrived back home at last. 

Early this morning, Neptune, ancient King of the Sea and servant of the Great Oceanic Mother, dove into his watery Piscean realm from the heavenly heights of Aquarius.  Behind him, his golden nets swept up all the bright ideals and humanitarian impulses that his stay in Aquarius has inspired in us and carried them into the watery womb of the Collective Unconscious. 

There is something new in the collective mindset (Aquarius) , something that our telecommunications and the Internet make possible.   We know we are not alone!  We know that many people in the world want freedom, equality, peace, cooperation, and community - while their governments choose war and economic competition.   We know that many people want to stop ravaging the Earth.  We know that we need to get back in touch with the cycles of the Earth and of our human nature, so we’ll know how to meet the challenges ahead of us.  We know that we have to stop blaming ‘the Other’ and start looking at our own Shadow.  As a group, we know that we must inhabit our spiritual nature if we are ever going to be mature enough to meet these truly transformative times.   While these are not new ideas they are now collectively desired ideals.  

There is a new Spirit being born, the Spirit of Enlightened Humanity. 

So Neptune has gathered the light of all these aspirations in his golden nets and cast them into the Ocean, the womb of Life here on Earth, as well as the womb of the Collective Unconscious.  Here in Pisces, the world is water.  And Neptune shapes the waters for good or ill.

Neptune will not be happy when he sees what we humans have done to his home since his last stay in the 1860s.  Instead of honoring the oceans as the mysterious realm of possibilities that it is, humanity has polluted its waters and endangered most of the life within it.  Neptune will find that oil in the Gulf of Mexico and radiation off the coast of Japan and a floating garbage dump of plastic are not the only trouble spots in his homeland. 

That is where we come in.  All those shining aspirations and ideas that Neptune netted will attract the archetypal energies that enliven the world soul, our collective unconscious record of Life here on planet Earth.  We need t get in touch with the Source and let our ideals merge with these primal energies and engender new breakthroughs and new stories.  The next 14 years while Neptune is in Pisces will change our view of ‘Reality’ and the possible.   We will become a new humanity. 
My teacher Jean Houston calls this new Being   ‘the possible human’. This is our task when Neptune returns to Pisces.

New relationships with other dimensions of Life could open for us.  If we do the work!  

Neptune’s work is to engage the Creative Imagination and work with the Archetypes that shape Life in the Universe.  We have to let our old expectations, our old stories dissolve back into the Void and allow Neptune to work his enchantment and create new forms for the archetypal energies.  The old archetypes need renewal.  People are more conscious than ever before, and these energies that make us human want to evolve in us and make new myths and new patterns.  

Just before Neptune went into Pisces, I saw the Disney movie "Tangled" and was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and symbolism they employed in their re-telling of the old Grimm's fairy tale, Rapunzel.   It is a story that resonates with both Uranus going into Aries and Neptune going into Pisces.  Our collective fears of getting old and dying (Neptune in Pisces)  imprison the potential (Uranus in Aries) we each have in us for healing and renewal.  Rapunzel longs for the Light that celebrates her birth and intuits that she is somehow connected with the lights she sees every year floating up into the sky to commemorate the lost princess.  Her longing to be part of that celebration of Light makes her willing to risk everything to find the source of that Light - and of course, the answer to who she is.  She awakens to the courage of Aries, sometimes foolish but always fearless.  She is willing to trust her Pisces imagination to bring her to a new life.  (Neptune in Pisces also rules fantasy - I recommend this movie.) 

Go down to the waters and be refreshed.  Go down to the waters and greet the great Lord of the Oceans and welcome him home.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Re: Venus and Netune in Aquarius - A New Kind of Love

Most of us are familiar with Botticelli's painting, The Birth of Venus.  It depicts Aphrodite/Venus arriving onshore after her sea-birth from the foam surrounding the severed Phallus of Uranus, the god of the starry Heavens.  

This Greek myth speaks to the birth of love and beauty as well as the gift of our human sexuality.  It says that when the Spirit of the heavens came to Earth and mixed its potency with the collective unconscious of humanity - or with the Anima Mundi or World Soul - Love was born.  The myth says that Earth is cut off from Heaven, and yet Heaven's potency is still available to us.  Heaven's power is now lodged in Love's power.

This holy Love is Spirit Incarnate and manifests through all things beautiful, true, compassionate and peaceful (remember, the dove of peace belongs to Aphrodite).  No matter that the patriarchy has tried to use this goddess for its own pleasure and power, Aphrodite outwits them all.  Because Love cannot be ruled by another.  It is too independent, too truthful, too beautiful to ignore.

With Uranus, the Heavenly 'father' of Aphrodite/Venus now in the sign of Aries - of new beginnings and new identities - it is a happy synchronicity that the Sabian symbol for Uranus at 1* Aries is: A woman risen from the sea.  A seal is embracing her.  Seals symbolize a longing of the soul, and it is not just happenstance that this image of the soul's longing is speaking to us with Uranus' entry into the beginning of the zodiac.

We are longing to manifest Love in our lives.  We are longing for a new identity that manifests our love in the world. 

Neptune, the Greek god of the oceans, symbolizes the active (male) power of the collective unconscious - its movement and growth, its changeability and dangers.  This watery realm is the place of the Imagination and it is from this magical realm - the Creative Imagination - that Aphrodite comes to birth.

Venus joins Neptune in the sky Saturday evening, March 26th, before she dives into the watery realm of Pisces (ruled by Neptune)later that night.   

When these two planets join up in the sky, the Cosmic Story says, "Dive into your unconscious - into your imagination, your body, your feelings - and listen to what they are telling you.  Listen to where Love leads you.  Isn't it time to believe in what you love, instead of believing in a corporate story of materialistic needs that only feed the corporate coffers but never our souls?

Yes, when Venus and Neptune come together in the Cosmic Story, it makes for a nice romantic evening, or can open us to unconditional love and boundless compassion.  (On the dark side, it can lead to lies and self-deception.) 

However, there's so much more you can do with these energies.  Today and tomorrow are days to play with and in the Creative Imagination.  Sink down into your heart and soul and let your Spirit free!  Dance, drum, create art, sing, make love!  Do things that make you happy and then find out what you really, really LOVE!
When Aquarius is added to the picture, think mental telepathy, the future, the group mind.  Venus and Neptune in Aquarius give us an opportunity to use this power of the imagination to help us send out our intentions for what we love.  Tonight and tomorrow, leading up to the conjunction of these two planets,  are great times to send out love to those of your family and friends you don't see everyday.  It's a great time to meditate on those things that you love and want to manifest.  It's a great time to write poetry, read poetry, make love, be loving.  It's a great time to 'send your love into the future' as Sting sings it, and imagine a better future.  The more details you add the better!

So have a wonderful weekend and bring in the power of Springtime!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Re: Uranus in Aries: Mythic Stories to Guide your Life

I'm going to post my own private response to Uranus going into Aries tomorrow.

Meet me at The Bard's Grove!

We'll be gathering at The Bard's Grove this Friday night at BlogtalkRadio on the Internet.  All you have to do is grab your computer and settle down for an hour of good, old-fashion adult storytelling (and I don't mean naughty stories!).  Join us there Friday night at 7pm Pacific/8pm Mountain/9pm Central/10pm Eastern time. 

There is so much going on in our world right now - who can doubt that some form of change is coming.  Everyone seems to be saying it -  Something's Coming.  Do you feel it?  Well, stories are just what we need when our world begins to change around us.  Stories give form to chaos, they channel archetypal energy and they can lead us to new life.  So, while we don't know what the 'something coming' is, stories help us remember that we have the capacity to meet it and get through it.  We are living in a time that wants us to be creative, free, committed, courageous and unique. It is a Call to Adventure!  

The Cosmic Story is asking us to go on The Hero's Journey and bring back our unique gift to our community.  With Uranus moving into Aries on Friday, the hero's journey is about to become our template for change for the next 7 years.  Uranus will move north of the equator for the first time since 1969, when it moved into Libra and the Southern hemisphere.  We all know (or remember:) how creative and disruptive those times were.  But also times alive with possibilities.  In Aries, Uranus coming North calls us to the home of the Ancestors.  The Archetypal Wisdom that the Aquarian Water-Carrier pours out onto humanity is already calling us.  We are the first.  We will be the Ancestors one day.       

 "There are times when people need stories more than they need nourishment, because the stories feed something deeper than the needs of the body."  Charles DeLint,  The Onion Girl
Stories can feed us even when we can't afford that 3rd pint of Ben&Jerry's. There are many variations of the Hero's Journey, but they all concern discovering A BIGGER IDENTITY.  This is the archetype our soul resonates with - the Law Giver, the Peacemaker, the Lover, the Mother, the Artist, the Priestess, the Brother.   The mythic stories of our many cultures can help us understand and deal with the cultural quirks and personal intricacies of this Journey.  All you have to do is discover which stories speak to your heart and then learn how to understand and speak their symbolic language.

So when you join us at The Bard's Grove, you get to listen to ancient story wisdom.  Who knows what treasure you'll go away with, what vision will spark your interest; the story-feeling in your heart speaks to your own story so it can become story food for you.

This week at The Bard's Grove, Cat will finish her story of Sheherazade and her tale of The Water Stair - a story of sacrifice and love.  The Age of Pisces was an age of martyrs and victims, of uniting the collective heart despite religious sectarianism.  And all too often, women carried the burden of 'sacrifice'.   But let's not reject the idea of sacrifice out of hand, for the word sacrifice means 'to make sacred'.  Sheherazade's Water Stair story to the women in the Harem is a story of turning a sacrifice into a sacred contract. 

Lantern is going to surprise us tonight, so stayed tuned.  Who knows what delights he has in store for us!

So remember:  Meet us at The Bard's Grove Friday night at BlogtalkRadio: 7pm Pacific - 10pm Eastern

Merry Meet!
Cat and Lantern

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturn in Libra: The Neptune in Libra Generation (1942-1957), Part 2


The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are associated with what C.G. Jung called ‘the collective unconscious’ and bring people into contact with energies that move whole groups of people.  These three planets exemplify energies that bring about collective evolution and change.  Since the 1940s, these three planets all passed through the sign of Libra, bringing about profound changes in our ideas about relationship, marriage, equality, peace and fairness.

The ideal marriage under the patriarchy gave all the overt power to the man, who dominated both his wife and his children.  Women were sometimes regarded as property and often treated as children.  Real partnerships were rare, because women were not seen as being equal to men in any way. 

But all that started changing in the 1940s when men went to war and women went to work.  When these men came home from war to women who knew they were equally important, they married with different expectations.  The world was changing.

Their children became the Neptune in Libra generation, the ‘flower children’ of the late sixties and early seventies.  “Make Love Not War” and “All You Need Is Love” exemplify their attitude to relationship and to life.  Neptune in Libra bestowed upon a whole generation a more idealistic, romantic and spiritual vision of partnership than their parents had. 

Most baby-boomers were tested on those ideals in their marriages, and only after lots of ‘failure’ did some of them get it right.  But that’s what Neptune does – it dissolves old forms so new ones can arise.   What this generation did do was to open up new possibilities in the realm of partnership and marriage for future generations.  Just look at how far we’ve come!

Searching For Our Soul-Mates

“Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in Love with you.
Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes,
Some things were meant to be.”

Elvis really tapped into the baby boomers’ psyche when he sang these words.  Neptune in the realm of relationships gave us a longing for a Love that was meant to be.

The Neptune in Libra generation went looking for their soul mates.  They believed in love and all its possibilities, taking the ideals of romantic love to heart, and when the disillusionment (a Neptune trait) set in, decided they were not going to stay stuck in a loveless marriage like many of their parents. 

Searching for their soul-mates, they married and divorced at staggering rates, looking for that perfect partner, the One who would shares souls.  That is the cross the Neptune in Libra generations bears – that there is one special person out there meant only for them.  When they didn’t find him or her, they suffered (another Neptunian trait).

Like Isis looking for Osiris, they searched for the scattered parts of their beloved, finding love in all the wrong places.  When they saw inequality in their partnerships, they either suffered through the frustration or chose freedom and the pain of separation.  Out of those choices came consciousness and self-awareness.  Through their disillusionment, they came to discover how to love themselves.

Neptune set up a longing in this generation – a longing for true partnership and balance between the sexes.  While the feminists marched for equal rights between men and women, the women of this generation often made the mistake of thinking like men about sex, life and relationships.  Both the longing and the disillusionment created distrust between men and women and ultimately pushed these people into a search for their authentic Self. 

Since the sign of Libra is about ‘the Other’ it is prone to projection.  What we see in our partners isn’t necessarily what we get.  We often see things in our significant Other that are really unlived parts of our own psyche and personality.  And once the Neptune in Libra generation got disillusioned enough, they began searching for themselves.  So what began as a search for a soul mate became a quest for the Divine Beloved in oneself.

Now that Saturn will be going over this generation’s Neptune by transit in the next two years, what are some of the issues they might face?

Neptune is associated with our collective feelings and often gives rise to empathy and compassion.  Who do we have compassion for?  Instead of looking for one perfect love, now is the time to look at everyone with Love.  There might not be one perfect soul mate for each of us.  There might only be people who have agreed to teach each other lessons about love and partnership before moving on.

Neptune wants a mystical merging of feelings.  Like the ocean, Neptune’s energies are deep, constantly in motion, a mystery like life itself.  Neptune inspires us to self-sacrifice and when we do this in partnerships we have to sacrifice our ego desires for the sake of others.  How can we do this without going back to the old dominator model of relationships?  Practicing forgiveness and understanding when we deal with each other is what true partners learn to do.  By not letting our buttons be pushed, we can transcend (still another Neptunian trait) our reactions and chose to stand up for our ideals about partnership.

Neptune also symbolizes the Creative Imagination and Libra rules the Arts.  With Saturn going over this generation’s Neptune, I wonder what different forms of art, music, dance and storytelling will come out of this time.  Now that the Baby-Boomers are retiring, perhaps they will explore their creativity again.

This generation’s music was the most creative in recent history.  From John Lennon to Sting, from Joan Baez to Bob Dylan, these musicians have explored the realms of relationship and social justice in all its changing forms.  In these next few years, perhaps we’ll see a resurgence of music and art that really speaks to our times and our issues.  It is time once again for the Neptune in Libra artists to share their vision of the world and of partnerships.

Neptune in Libra’s idealism also gave rise to the civil rights movement.  As Saturn’s focus and discipline work on Neptune’s ideals, perhaps we’ll see a real return to the ideals of fairness for everyone, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

These are just a few of the issues that might arise while Saturn transits this generation’s Neptune in Libra.  It will be interesting to see what this generation does.  After all, they are the ones who once believed “All you need is Love!”