The Field Beyond the Moon, Weekly Horoscope for Tuesday September 20th, 2011 to Monday September 26th, 2011

The Hanged Man

Le Pendu, the Hanged Man

As we contemplate the verities of astrology, our first path of thought should take us to the beginning, the point where the planets assumed their power and roles. Regressing the mind within the scope of time back to this point will take some free-form thinking: abandoning contemporary misconceptions on the art, even perhaps drifting away from the uncharted centuries it has had to develop into its own form. The most lucid insights into these origins, perhaps, are reflected in the ancient texts of Vedic astrology, and in this week’s post we will be exploring more of the magnificent opus, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (BPHS):

Ch. 2, v. 3-4. The unborn Vishnu has many incarnations. He has incarnated, as the Navagrahas (nine planets) to bestow on the living beings the results due to their karma. He is Janardan, exciter of human beings. He assumed the auspicious form of planets to destroy the Asuras and sustain the Devas.

The creation story of Vedic astrology is revealed in the above excerpt. The unborn absolute, or an original state of consciousness prior to form and content, manifested itself in nine separate “spheres of power”, or planets, to facilitate the distribution of karma, or the results of action, to living beings. Moreover, the form of the planets “destroy the Asuras and sustain the Devas.” This directly attributes the quality of Vishnu, as the agent of maintaining order, to the planets – that the role of the planets is to keep the functional and anticipated processes of the cosmos, the world, society, and the individual in their natural step. Deviance to the natural order, or dharma, is the work of asuras – that class of beings throughout Vedic lore work to subvert and possess the power of the devas: Agni (Fire), Vayu (Wind), Apas (Water), Privithi (Earth), Indra (Storm/Lightning), Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Soma (Immortality), Rudra (Knowledge of the Forest), Savitri (Dawn). That all things follow a natural order is not the basis for a theological argument, but rather is used as an empirical and ontological assumption about reality, the field we find ourselves in.

To dig a bit deeper, and to shed a loftier light on this matter, our consideration turns towards a tricky excerpt from the BPHS:

Ch. 2, v. 8-13. The beings with more Jivatmāńś (identification with the limited, individual self) are mortal beings. The high degree of Paramatmāńś (identification with the infinite, universal self) from the planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu/Ketu – facilitated the incarnation of the Avatars. After completing their roles on Earth, Paramatmāńśas of the respective Avatars again merge in the respective planets. The Jivatma portions from the planets take births, as human beings and live their lives according to their karma, and again merge in the planets. And at the time of Mahapralaya (universal destruction) the planets also merge into Vishnu. The one who knows of all this is versed in the knowledge of the past, present and future. Without a knowledge of Jyotish these cannot be known…

Enjoyable and informative in itself, the language of this excerpt could fare well with some distillation. The “light” of Vedic astrology is the same light that illumines the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Agamas/Tantras. Although the approaches differ in all of the texts, the result is the same: knowledge of the soul. Identification of consciousness with the limited, mortal body is integral to the process of karma and the field of action that we engage with. We find ourselves “wrapped up” in the engagements of life from the moment of birth to the time of death, for better or worse, and there is seemingly no reprieve. The endless process of action is perpetuated by the planets, as agents of karma, and not only is individual destiny bound to their grasp, but the expression or faculty of individuality itself “emerges from” their respective spheres. Humans enjoy only a limited portion of the total power of the planets, however, and this power is variable to a great degree. Limited identification of consciousness restricts the individual from fully blossoming into this power, and no matter how true or full a human embodies a planet’s energy, they will always be short of its full potential. At death, we are left with nothing, or possibly a trace of what we once were – but the planets remain. And at the great universal end, the planets themselves are nothing, and what remains is the Unborn. That our origin is planetary is a point of further consideration, to be sure, with the assumption that in reality, our source is nothing more or less than the infinite.

To come back to the reality of this week’s post, let us consider this point: that there are traditions that speak of “going beyond” the planets and their grasp. Assume for a moment that the language we are using is made modern, empirical to contemporary standards, and conceptually fit for a rational mind: that the totality of society, family, friendship, class, gender, species, even self-identification can be left behind, to posit that our true identity, before and after, and even amidst, all time and space and knowledge, is nothing but unborn consciousness. Further still, this unborn consciousness will live on, continuing even without name or form, through a continual cycle of universal creation and destruction – through innumerable Big Bangs and universal entropies. And that brilliant universal fire attracts us like moths to our own annihilation – and still, only the replete remains. To self-identify with this process, just for a moment, can unravel the gnarliest of karmic knots. From the Avadhuta Gita, the “Song of the Supremely Free”:

40. The absolute void and its opposite, all am I everlastingly.

41. Atman (Self) is not male or female, nor is It neuter; neither is It happiness or suffering. How dare ye pervert It?

42. Atman is not purified by the six methods of Yoga. Absence of the mind makes It no clearer. The teachings of a Guru reveal It not. It is all purity, in Itself, by Itself.

43. I am neither bound nor free. I am not separate from Brahman (Universal Self).

To come to this realization, and then act on it within the world, brings real change. Otherwise it is only fingers pointing at fingers pointing at the Moon. Our task is to shed more light on our dire situation, to think outside the confines of what has been grievously given to us, to accept that “nothing is true, and all is permitted.” We can step out from the field of planetary control, and through this come back with a clearer vision of what control is in a more exacting way.

To this week’s horoscope, then. On both Tuesday September 20th and Wednesday September 21st we see the Moon transiting through Gemini, Mercury’s duplicitous and airy sign. Mercury will be stationed at the tail end of Leo, the sign of the Sun, and the Moon will thus be eleven signs from there. This indicates that through clear and genuine communication and interaction, and engaging in constructive or healing actions, one will enjoy both gain and pleasure. The Moon and Mercury working together in this way will reveal insights into relationships with siblings and close friends, as well. Engaging with this dynamic is a two way street, like always, and whatever you contribute to your friendships, networks, or family will be rewarded duly.

Moving into the heart of the week, Thursday September 22nd, Friday September 23rd, and Saturday September 24th will be a three day block of planetary confluence and upheaval. Again we see four planets transiting through a single sign – the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn all in the earth sign Virgo. Mercury, of course, is the lord of Virgo, and thus carries the most weight as he slips into the sign on Thursday, joining the other three planets. An incredibly lofty and brilliant mood, grounded in the strength of the world and the soul, will be manifest clearly on these three days. Coupled with the Moon transiting into its own sign, Cancer, and a fiery conjunction with Mars, these three days will certainly spell out intensity on all levels and spheres. Approach these days with a light and creative gait, and you will be rewarded. Emotions can definitely get the best of you if left unchecked, especially those that heat the blood.

To end this astrological week, we see the Moon coming into Leo, the sign of the Sun. All the other planets will be in their above mentioned signs. The Moon coming into Leo on Sunday September 26th is also imbued with the energy of the new Moon. This will be a night of processing, relaxation, and conversation. It will be a perfect night to set up for the next two weeks and one’s own projects, which will be strengthened and fueled by the four planets in Virgo. Set realistic goals and write them down on the new Moon night, and follow them with persistence and consistency. Anything is possible during these strange conjunctions, especially in effecting the “real world”. There is little to anticipate on the negative side of things, and only good can come from connecting with those that you care for and support you and your endeavors during this night. Tread lightly, still, as the sensitivity of the new Moon will be fully present.

Ultimately, of course, our true self lays just beyond the field of the Moon. But it is on these most curious of planetary and lunar nights that we can realize and embody this knowledge to its fullest degree.



Riding the Wave of Desire, Weekly Horoscope for Tuesday August 30th, 2011 through Monday September 5th, 2011

The Hermit Card, Marseille Tarot, L'hermite

The Hermit Card

While the heat of summer is waning, and the prospect of autumn glimmers on the horizon, we are all riding a steady and balanced wave of planetary energy forward, reaching our goals and realizing our visions. The planets are tumultuous, brash, and even unforgiving, but they are also tender and ready to bend to the desires of those who pursue their own course, those who map their own terrain and do not bow to the power of control. WS Burroughs posed the question, “If control’s control is absolute, why does control need to control?”

The planets do not control our instincts, our intuitions, our thoughts, or even our actions. But the sum of these processes of the body and mind and soul all occur within the space of time. And it is in this sense that our instinct and intuition and thought and action relate to the planets. The planets function to “seize, lay hold of, obtain” (from the Sanskrit, graha) the destinies of humans in the terrain of terrestrial time – and thus they are implicit in the function and operation of time, and time’s relationship to human experience. They are also “signs of recognition and perception.” Their continual and exacting and perpetual orbits around the central Sun, and their transit through the zodiac, both reveal their quality of control – regimented and regulated movement, predictability, anticipation and expectation of results based on these transits.

The response to the question posed by Burroughs is simply, “Control needs time,” which is countered by the next question, “Is control controlled by our need to control?” The planets are sign posts of time, marking the natural rhythm and cycles that are found on Earth – day and night, seasons, the maturation experienced in all stages of life, death, birth, the cyclical experience of the mind and mood and menstruation, celebration and the emergence of festal time. To pursue this rhythm, which also expresses itself in a variety of inexplicable natural phenomena, from the mating cycles of horses and other fauna, to great boiling cauldrons of gathering crustaceans in the oceans, to the flowering and eventual death of all living things, is to engage directly with time and partake in its splendor.

To know the planets and their transits is nothing more than to know the flow of time related to our engagement with it. Society is reflected in the planets only because society has geared itself around their markings and characteristics. This is a point that while being assumptive does not need much explication, for do we not follow a seven day week, each day ruled by a planet? Are our months not the result of solar and lunar observation? While engaging with the planets as they relate to time, society has rendered itself into civilization, which codifies control and determines the individual’s experience of time itself. And it is from this conclusion that I analyze the planets and their transits, not to bolster the belly of the beast of control, but to slice it open to reveal the potential of time outside of the space of death, the great nothingness devouring the land.

To get to the horoscope, then. On Tuesday August 30th we begin with certainty and balance in the skies. While Mercury will no longer be retrograde this week, Jupiter will begin its movement retrograde on Tuesday, in the sign of Aries. Last week I mentioned that engaging with Jupiter’s bounty would be a fruitful endeavor if done with the passion of Mars, and this week I will still say the same. However, Jupiter retrograde will put up a stifling, almost overabundant and excessive energy that must be cut down with the fire of Mars. Too many opportunities and paths, without focus, can result in empty action. Be aware of spreading your energies and concentration too thin. Instead, seize singular, manageable opportunities that will build your potential step by step, planting seeds for your new tomorrow.

The Moon will be conjunct Saturn in the sign of Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, on both Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a combination of intense and disparate planets. While the Moon rules the more subtle, internal dimension of the mind and emotion, Saturn governs the hard, real manifestation of the body and the world. When the Moon and Saturn are together, one’s own feelings and thoughts that are often harbored silently within, find expression and come out to shape your current environment. This can be difficult if one’s internal life is in dysfunction, as the internal is, in part, a reflection of our environment. Thus, issues that need addressing or clarification will be at the fore, especially on Wednesday. This day can also be perfect for solidifying plans and desires that have been developed in harmony with one’s environment and the people within it. Devote yourself both to the soft reflections of the Moon’s light, and also the reality and strength of Saturn, and there will be balance.

Seeking this sort of balance will be easy, especially when the Moon transits into Libra on Thursday and Friday. That potent mixture of the Sun and Venus, which was mentioned last week, will find their place in your thoughts and desires these two days, as the Moon passes through Venus’s sign. Letting go a little bit and enjoying the last leg of summer seems to be what the Moon wants most at the tail end of the week, and one will find happiness in social activity, love, and intoxication. Enjoy yourself as the Moon, and the strong creative energy emanating from the Sun and Venus in Leo, all create a space of well being, contentment, and joy.

On Sunday and going into Monday, the anticipated arrival of Mercury in Leo, which will then be conjunct both Venus and the Sun, will give fuller expression to the creative potencies and juices that are dwelling there. Mercury’s addition to the mix lends to discovering the best medium and tools for your pursuits and pleasures, as it carries the technical and mediated qualities that are needed to realize a strong creative ambition. Writing, conversation, and reading will all be simple and effective ways to process the potential of Venus and the Sun. Seek out new ideas and people, and there will be much to learn the next few weeks, as these three planets flourish in space of Leo.

And all the while the Moon waxes, ascending the arc of light, reflecting the Sun at every turn. As we ride the wave of desire across the duplicitous and tumultuous ocean of creation and destruction, we remain full and replete and content. Our consensus is found within as an individual, bearing the reflection of a whole array of planetary drives and directions. To abandon control and the regiment of time-as-death, we find that a beautiful and colorful spectrum of light is woven in the world around us. Let us pursue that fabric of reality, without reserve.

All’s Quiet Under a Still Night Sky, Weekly Horoscope for Sunday May 22nd, 2011 to Saturday May 28th, 2011


This week is marked, primarily, by the relative stillness of the planets in our solar system. Where we can always anticipate the transits of the Moon, like clockwork ticking through each sign and phase with haste and predictability, the other planets, of course, transit at a slower pace. Keep this in mind as we explore this week’s planetary rhythm – the glories, dreams, rises, and falls of the past week will be reflected, in a major way, in the events of this week.

Aries – The confluence of Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury continue their slow march through the fires of your sign. All things are coming to a head for you, and the fruits of many past desires and labors are being realized as this creative, expansive, and vigorous conjunction proves most beneficial to you. Mars, the most visceral of planets, lord of battle and of the will, and also lord of your sign, is at the head of this conjunction, commanding the direction and general flow of its manifestation. Whereas, on its own, a Venus and Mercury conjunction may only produce a simple creative urge, or with the addition of Jupiter an expansive creative desire, with Mars in the mix there is a full fledged negation of self in the work and detailing and art that you are throwing into your surroundings. Enjoy the conjunction while it lasts, as the other signs only know in part this power.

Taurus – All of the signs should, verily, pay a respectful homage to you this whole month, as everybody knows that when the Sun finally makes its appearance in your sign, the curiosities of the world increase, smiles spread across even tired faces, and an amorous and playful mood is enjoyed by all. You will embody this energy, and especially this week you will find that the world finds you most alluring, charming, and free. Invoke this tendency to its fullest extent, and allow for the pleasures of the world to naturally come your way – like so many spring flowers in bloom.

Gemini – The ever-changing and flitting charms that you carry will be in full strength this week, as the lord of your sign, Mercury, who always reflects the influences of its surroundings, stays in conjunction with Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. Your creative urges and desires should have a singularity of purpose that is often lacking in your sphere, and they should be aimed at lofty and expansive goals. Where Ketu, the shadowy south node, still remains stationed in your sign, it is only a matter of weeks before this changes. Thus, you are in a way at the end of a year and a half long spiral that has born the marks of a controlled chaos, blind realizations, shadowy and fleeting pleasures – and what better way to break the spell of Ketu’s transit than to fly, like an arrow, into the depths of the dark, and to land willfully in the light. 

Cancer – The Moon will intimate your fate this week, as we start out with a direct aspect of the Moon on your sign on Sunday, swelling your capacity to listen to the people and energy that surrounds you, flashing signs for you to follow, casting a bright and viscous glow on the soft paths that you will walk down. The Moon’s light will be waning, however, as we head away from the previous week’s blinding glow in the celestial sphere. Finding a calm inner space to wander will suit you best this week, as the enjoyable air of Spring settles lightly on the world. Sit with the elements: water, wind, earth, and enjoy them with the ones you love.

Leo – The bright shine of your face continues this week, as your sign benefits from the pleasurable track of the Sun through Taurus. But there is also a continued awareness of loss, as well, as the four planets that sit in Aries are stationed twelve signs away from your own, indicating a deep, almost subconscious penetration of death and dissolution. This doesn’t necessarily have to take the path of material loss or death, however, as oftentimes the most profound secrets and insights are gained through quick whispers bubbling from the internal spring of the mind. In reality, the strong, proud nature of your sign will dissolve into the unbound potential of the four planets in Aries, revealing the curious creations and expansions therein.

Virgo – To bear the burden of Saturn retrograde for yet another week will find you taxed, to be sure, but do not let this bring you down, burying your potentials and glories in the hard cold ground. Just like many other signs, you will participate fully in the conjunction in Aries, as Mercury, the lord of your sign, continues to flit about amongst the bright, expansive, and ruddy planets there. Move slowly, cautious and wise, about the world this week. As Saturn moves backwards in the sign, and specifically through Hasta, the lunar asterism that is symbolized by a hand studded by five stars in the night’s sky, your own potential will be realized through the work you do by your own hands.

Libra – Finding further balance this week will be done with ease, as no single planetary influence will tip your scales one way or the other. Whereas there will be a relative absence of aspect, conjunction, and transit in your sign this week, there will be a full bloom of energy that will influence your sign by way of Venus and its role as lord of your sign. With its by now well noted conjunction with Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars in Aries, the fiery depths found there will reveal themselves in a balanced harmony of dual forms in your experience – tempered pleasure, well thought out adventures, and just the right amount of hardship. Nothing will be too heavy or light, and thus will you wander the world with a healthy gait and light heart.

Scorpio – Your own hidden depths will be plumbed this week, as the impetus to inner exploration and outer revelation will be further encouraged by the strong planetary weather in Aries. Mars of course will be leading your way, as you find yourself amongst fresh and new surroundings, lit by the soft light of the Sun in Taurus, and paired with the creative duality of Venus and Mercury. Those seeds that you find in the depths will be brought to the surface, watered and tended to by the gentle hands of Jupiter. Do not turn your back on this expedition into the surreal, the quixotic, or even the uncomfortable and macabre terrains that dwell within you. The time is nigh for this journey, so make haste!

Sagittarius – The dark, brooding movements of your sign this week will be further inflated by the influence that the lord of your sign, Jupiter, will be projecting onto your sphere. Where the north node of the sky, Rahu, is still perched quietly in the first degree of Sagittarius, ready to exit within a few short weeks, the last remnants of this incredibly potent karmic period will be found basking in an eerie glow. The hidden potential of this week remains to be seen, and its fate is placed squarely in your hands – where the planets will determine the amount and quality of the energy that you can channel, the direction that it takes will be dictated by your will alone. And it is this will, aimed up into the skies, that the fiery archer of your soul will let loose as a flaming arrow in the night. Be prepared for a week of tumult, to be sure, but also of ephemeral beauty. 

Capricorn – The soft, palpable beat of the Moon will be felt deep within you this week, as we begin on Sunday and Monday with the lunar orb transiting through your sphere. The bright directive of desire, with its long arcing shadows cast on the ground far beneath, will only be half illuminated by the waning, decreasing light of the Moon. There may be sudden bursts of spontaneity, trips to unknown places, fresh vistas and unexpected revelations to keep your interest piqued. Your body will know the Moon in all its intimate ways, as it gladly narrates its secrets and poetry and fears to you. Take time to listen, to bask underneath the Moon’s beams, imbibing them with a supple mind and body, allowing its gestures to move you, to elevate you to its lofty sphere.  And conversely, take the time to feel the ground, to know its solid terrain with your feet, mapping your future path with its contours and shapes and mood. Your body is a temple, strong, earthy, serene, for sure, and this week will certainly show you its true power.

Aquarius – An emotional week indeed, as the Moon travels through your sign on Tuesday and Wednesday, and with it will be spreading the karmic seeds of retrograde Saturn. The month’s build up and eventual culmination of long suppressed impulses will be released this week. When it rains, it pours, to be sure, but keep in mind that this just clears the clouds so that the bright Sun will shine just as bright. It will not be all bad, either, as once the Moon exits your sphere, you will be left with a quivering, cathartic body and mind that is ready to take on any task. The atmosphere is ripe for creativity and expansion right now, and although the bulk of its planetary cause will not be directly influencing your sign, you can take advantage of this general mood once the Moon frees you of the dark within.

Pisces – There are few sensitivites, very few occult intimations, that you will miss or be unaware of this week. Of all the signs maybe you will be affected most by the potent confluence in Aries. Send a long forgotten loved one a letter, put your creative talents to work, use your body in a way that truly challenges it. Listen to your body, for of all the signs you feel most deeply the current planetary weather. When the Moon enters your sign on Thursday and Friday, the deep, brooding waters of your soul will be stirred, and its tide will wash onto the shores of reality, leaving its relics to dry on the stable land. Wander amongst these wonders, these curiosities, these obscure objects that you hide in your depths, and show them to the world in the light of this waning, dark Moon. There is never a limit to your potential, and this week there will be no impediment to its full expression.