|A man entwined in the coils of DNA; scraperboard drawing by Bill Sanderson,|
1990. Wellcome Library, London.
Jan 20, 2015
5:14 AM Pacific
8:14 AM Eastern
In times such as these, it becomes increasingly pertinent to question reality, and above all, to question authority. Human beings have entered a new landscape precipitated by a paradigmatic shift unique to the current historical timeline. That shift came about rapidly when William Hershel realized that a tiny dot, that appeared to be moving, was not a star, but a planet, a new world beyond the temporal boundary of Saturn. And Earth was never quite the same.
When Uranus was finally acknowledged, an electrical surge permeated the planet and awakened humanity to a new realization: there is something beyond time and space and we can access it--we can harness it. No longer were the “higher realms” something that an elite faction of kings and priests had exclusive dominion over. It was available to all, but it came at a price.
The acquisition of higher knowledge requires hard work, commitment, an open-mind, and immense responsibility. When the mind widens to something that challenges its conditioned beliefs, it can be shocking and sometimes overwhelming to the psyche. It’s no wonder that the “tree of knowledge” was forbidden by God in the Garden of Eden, or that the fire was a heavily coveted treasure amongst the Olympian pantheon.
The modern, tropical sign of Aquarius, which holds space for this New Moon, derives its symbolism from the constellation of the Water Bearer. Tropical Aquarius and the Water Bearer are not the same things but are archetypically linked. The Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire to give to humanity, derived from an ancient Mesopotamian tale of Enki—who saved a few choice human beings and other specimens from a great deluge against the commands of other Gods.
Modern astrologers attach the Promethean mythos to Uranus and by extension Aquarius, because Uranus just doesn’t quite cover it. Sure, the sky god is an appropriate symbol for Uranus, but its innately rebellious and revolutionary streak can have no other origin, in an archetypal sense, then Enki and Prometheus. Thus, those born with a strong Uranian or Aquarian nature seek out the unusual and are rather acquainted with the notion that to acquire truth and understanding, one must transcend the consensus, one must challenge conditioned perceptions.
If it weren’t for this realization, we wouldn’t have the world we have today. We wouldn’t have this technologically-driven society, the scientific method or the template of democracy (however roughly adhered to). We are here now. We are moving towards the stars and there’s no going back. But just because something beyond Saturn was discovered, doesn’t mean that the consensus group-think doesn’t still exist. Saturn, while no longer the last step in our collective, evolutionary process, is still there and must be respected. We must respect our boundaries and limitations if we wish to survive, but Uranus and Aquarius remind us that the knowledge and potential, to transcend them, exists within each of us.
As the Sun and Moon join together at the entry of Aquarius, and Mercury comes to a standstill before its retrograde cycle, we’re invited to seek the unusual and challenge our perceptions in a way that allows for an expansion of reality. This New Moon suggests that to bring something new into our lives we must do things differently. We must think in some new and unusual way. Change is refreshing, but also terrifying. Defying our personal or collective beliefs is difficult work because it threatens who we think we are and what we have come to identify with.
If you want to achieve great things, if you want to transform stifling circumstances, you have to transcend your perceived limitations by taking that first step off the precipice of time. Mercury’s retrograde motion reminds us, however, that there’s no need to rush. We can take our time. In fact, Mercury’s retrograde through Aquarius (Jan. 21 through Feb. 11) is a time to gradually get comfortable with these emerging insights and realizations.
Saturn is the traditional or primary “ruler” of Aquarius. Saturn recently moved into Sagittarius (Dec. 24), though it will retrograde back into Scorpio (June 16) once more before fully committing to Sagittarius (Sept. 19, 2015). Saturn in Sagittarius will assist us in finding our place in the world and in solidifying our faith in the universe--on a collective and subtle individual level (unless it touches some point of personal significance).
As this New Moon commences, Mars and Neptune are separating from a conjunction in Pisces square Saturn in Sagittarius. This presents the challenge to persevere in the face of the unknown, in the face of fear. Aquarius needs to shake things up, and our hesitancy to do so now is completely justified. What if we upset things? What if we offend other people in the process?
In order to find our place in the world and the universe, we have to take some risks. It isn’t always easy, but the rewards are worth the challenges. To be true to ourselves sometimes requires that we make other people or even ourselves uncomfortable. There is no getting around that fact. We are creatures of comfort and we like predictable routines. But those routines so often cause stagnation and prevent us from moving forward.
The evolutionary process moves on with or without us. While ultimately non-linear, the universe, that we perceive, is ever changing and guided by some unfathomable intelligence. The Aquarian double current is the twofold pathway to wisdom and understanding. There is a way upward and downward, and both paths are essential for soul growth and maturation. Whatever we choose in life, we’ll learn from it and ultimately grow.
To the ego, there is a right way and a wrong way, or a more or less ideal way to go. But to the soul, all experiences provide us with lessons and all choices lead us eventually to wholeness. There is a very personal, paradigmatic shift approaching for each of us with this lunation. Can we defy our fears to see what’s behind the veil of our illusions? Can we trust the universe enough to provide us with the experiences most needed to further our evolutionary growth? Only time will tell, but the more receptive we are now, and the more willing we are to accept the unthinkable, the less painful or shocking it will be.
Mercury turns stationary retrograde the day after this New Moon. All the usual advice applies here. Don’t freak out and there’s no need to go lock yourself in a closet for the next three weeks. Life goes on when Mercury turns retrograde. We make decisions and choices just like any other time. But we may want to reconsider rushing too hastily forward at these times, especially because we’re in a process of revision and reassessment (basically anything with a re prefix works well at these times).
Mercury retrograde is a time to be particularly mindful and conscious of what you’re doing and to have an open-mind. As human beings, we’ll never have all the knowledge that exists. Our perceptual frameworks are constantly changing and being revised. It’s during these times that the universe invites us to see things differently and to expand our personal and collective points of view. That often happens quite unexpectedly during a retrograde, so be prepared for it.
During Mercury’s stations (in this case the days of and surrounding Jan. 21 and Feb. 11) things can get a little hectic and glitchy. This usually applies to electronics, machinery, and equipment. Because Aquarius is a sign we associate with technology, we can expect this to be exceptionally pronounced more so than usual (though Mercury retrograde is often hard to predict, so don’t hold that against me here). Just be extra mindful of your communications around these times and make sure that things are clear and well-explained.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications are another common Mercury retrograde hang-up and they can sometimes end up quite costly. But these are also rather exciting times. The mind is getting debugged and our timeline rearranged. And to quote author Lewis Hyde, “the agile mind is pleased to find what it was not looking for.” It’s the sudden and unexpected paths that are the most rewarding in life, and Mercury retrograde is notorious for throwing them our way.
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