April, 2011

 Mythic Prelude:

Hive Mind

Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for April, 2011. As so much is shaking and stirring now, we begin without any warmup or walking start, and go at once to what may be a date of critical importance in this time of economic tension, political upheaval and environmental peril. Astrologers are starting to write extensively now about April 4, 2011, because on this milestone date, the day after the Dark Moon anchors a powerful five-planet stellium in Aries, Neptune will enter Pisces, the sign he rules, for the first time since he was discovered in 1846. More soon on this 15-year astral event.
And a lot more is happening on April 4 -- or April 3, in places west of Japan by six hours or more. To understand more clearly the planetary dynamics of this moment, and the recent weeks that have introduced it, we look at a comment by Sedona astrologer Rick Riedel, one of the best at seeing the currents and connections that may elude other observers, including this one:
"Every planet 'rules' or is associated with a metal," Riedel writes. "The Sun rules gold, the Moon silver, etc. The planet Uranus rules uranium. The position of the planet Uranus and its spatial relationship to other planets gives insight into the recent disaster. The earthquake itself was at 2:46 PM JST on March 11. At the time, the planet Uranus was in the last minutes of Pisces, a water sign. Thus, the force of water via tsunamis was a large part of the trouble following the quake. At 9:50 PM on March 12, Uranus went into the fire sign Aries. Just two hours before this, heat buildup in the reactors began to become a concern, as the . . . cooling water usually present began to evaporate and the reactors began to overheat.
"It is not just the active reactor core itself that is overheating, but also the spent rods that are in a cooling pool where they have to sit for about 7 years before they have cooled enough to move to a different location. Although not hot enough to generate electricity in the reactor, the spent rods will still get very hot if left dry and they still emit radiation. If left to themselves, the reactor core itself will melt down and release large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. The spent rods in the cooling pool will do the same thing.
"In the astrological picture we have the planet Mars moving inexorably to a conjunction with Uranus; which means we will have their combined energies in the sign Aries. We would expect a lot of heat to be generated with Mars and Uranus together here. The actual conjunction is on April 4, 2011 at 5:52 AM JST. . . . This particular moment represents the peak of the crisis, at least physically."
Thus another clash of great elemental and mythic forces is underway, as the attractive electrical force of Uranus in the impetuous fire sign of Aries meets the dissolving, uniting force of Neptune in his home sign of Pisces and his native element of the all-embracing, all-taming Ocean. In the mythic realm, water embodies more than any other element the maternal power of love, the acceptance and forgiveness that dispel all illusions of separation, and the interdependent mystical consciousness that can unite us all, when we are finally ready, in the same communal mind and universal heart. The years ahead will offer many lessons and challenges that can help us grasp and get these things, and grow more skilled in their practice, as we evolve from a seething, squabbling cauldron of competing egos and desires into a sparkling stream of consciousness that flows toward union in the way the Sufis mean when they sing that The Ocean Refuses No River.
This is not only possible. It is already happening. It means that the Aquarian Revolution, which has already begun, has the potential to achieve sweeping, liberating changes of the kind that came in Egypt, though it is clear now that a fast, exciting Act 1 is over, and the slower, far more complicated Act 2 that has just begun will shape the festival, farce or tragedy of the decisive Act 3 that comes next year. Of one thing we can be sure. Much as older Egyptians want the turmoil and uncertainty to end, and things to get back to "normal" as soon as possible, early 2011 is only the beginning of what is likely to be a grand drama of dissolution and renewal running from now to 2025.
The seven years of Uranus in Aries, as we saw last month in Resilience, will be turbulent in the body politic and the body natural, as Thomas Jefferson called them in likening rebellions in human societies to storms on the Earth. The seven integrative years that follow, as Uranus moves ahead into Taurus from 2018, will be the time when the healing, unifying agenda of Neptune in Pisces can proceed more medicinally without being bumped, blasted and distracted by the impatient urgency of Uranus in Aries.
This means that the mythic themes and practical outcomes of the years ahead will be powerfully affected by two “outer” planets -- so called because they're farthest away from the Sun – which relate to collective action on the scale of mass political, social and spiritual movements. To see how Uranus's presto and Neptune's largo will somehow fit into the same rhythm for the next four months, and then again in February 2012, it will be useful to look at the only precedent we have: Neptune's previous transit through Pisces.
Neptune in Pisces: How Does 2011 Echo 1846?

Neptune was in the last degrees of Aquarius -- as he is now, in March 2011 -- when he was discovered in 1846. A few months later he moved into Pisces for a 14-year visit. Why did astronomers name this new planet for the lord of the sea, and why did they envision him as a symbol of spirituality and mystical consciousness, of deep empathy and of the fluid, intuitive mind rather than the more linear intellectual mind? Perhaps Europeans were optimistic, as it had now been some 30 years since the cataclysm of Napoleon, the world was at peace, and it seemed that the progress of science, a new cooperative spirit among nations, and an emerging global culture had finally liberated human societies from nationalism and even from the most violently divisive of all human miasms, religious dogma and polemic. It was appropriate, then, that at the time Neptune was discovered, the interfaith movement began with the birth of the Baha'i faith, whose devotees were violently suppressed for daring to voice the blasphemous premise that no religion is better or truer than any other, but all are valid if they affirm the core values of love, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and compassion.

Neptune in Pisces began so auspiciously in 1846. It wasn't long before some astrologers began writing that Venus is exalted in Pisces because this zodiac sign, and its newly-discovered ruling planet, represent the higher spiritual harmonic of physical, erotic love: the unconditional, enduring spiritual love that enables us to feel a common resonance with one another, and all beings on the body of Mother Earth. There were many things going on in the 1840's and 1850's that made this optimistic idea look plausible, as the American abolitionist movement, and other streams of thought, argued for universal human dignity independent of any color, class or creed. Such notions invariably generate resistance, so that, not surprisingly, the American Civil War began on the very day Neptune crossed from Pisces into Aries: April 12, 1861. 
Neptune has his very deep, dark underside. We've seen it in recent years in his long-running conjunction with Chiron, with whom he'll remain linked for some months more as they move together now into Pisces. Neptune rules the alteration of consciousness in everything from meditation, dreams, psychic travel, shamanic experience and religious ritual, to the artful illusions of theatre and dance, to medicinal journeys in every vehicle from ayahuasca, San Pedro and LSD to pot, cigarettes and wine that tastes and feels like it was made in an automotive shop. So it is hardly surprising that during Neptune's first known tour of Pisces, the British empire inflicted its second and decisive Opium War (1856 - 1860) on the Chinese. Baudelaire published his opium-laced Les Fleurs du Mal. Hashish grew into a popular if discreet pleasure for Western tourists to the Mideast. The drug metaphors that Coleridge had kept well-hidden in his poetry from fifty years before were now routinely out in the open, as when Flaubert wrote of Emma Bovary (1856) that "something stupefying like the fumes of opium seized her" -- along with other perilous pleasures she tastes as she flirts a little, then far too much, with the ultimate emotional drug of romantic fantasy.
Neptune's coral reef glows with every color the imagination has, including the lurid ones of self-delusion, and fraud and deception directed at others. If we feel that the torrent of lies in which our minds and consciences must swim now is growing deeper and wilder by the day, this would be a good time to go a few extra laps when we're in the pool. Not that we're in for fifteen years of mendacity even more toxic and shameless than what we see in a Big Pharma propaganda push or an American election campaign. The truth does break through, and more than just now and then, as we see in revelations that have gone viral ever since Wikileaks -- see Fire Thieves -- blew the lid off the whole box of lies last year.

As always, now that we come to realize how the world is shaken, shifted and soothed by our own intentions and emotional states, more of us come to see that the world is not a domain of things and events that are external to us, so our only choice is the best possible reaction from moment to moment. Once we see that every one of our thoughts is indeed the proverbial butterfly's wing that Rebecca Solnit has just written about so brilliantly in "The Butterfly and the Boiling Point," we'll see the world as our artist's medium and intentional field, an energetic realm in which individuals, teams and wise crowds -- James Surowiecki's potent phrase -- are daring and getting results that those who are stuck in negative, reactive mind refuse to see as possible.

We have no idea whether there are daily metaphysical discussions among the fire fighters in Madison, Wisconsin, who closed their accounts in banks that had supported the election of union-hostile Gov. Scott Walker. Or how many attorneys general in the US states who are working to create new state-owned banks have ever seen the Justice card in the tarot. Or if the state workers, the farmers and other people of communal good will who are fighting corrupt power throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East know what a warrior archetype is. Like the many thousands of Japanese whose simple, selfless acts of shared creativity are astounding even by the standards of the country that has always produced the world's best teamworkers, people all over the world are too engaged in spontaneous heroic action now to have any time to read about the hero's journey.
Swarm Intelligence for Synarchy
They are also walking their talk in unprecedented ways. The crucial events of Jan. 28, according to the accounts I've gathered during my recent weeks in Cairo, proved hugely effective in the days ahead because they were different in many ways from the active, assertive, often self-righteous protests that the people of my generation have done and seen since the 1960's. While Jan. 28 was not called the Day of Rage for nothing, and there was surely some malice aforethought among people in the crowd who had Molotov cocktails in their bags, the method of the march, as the protestors had agreed, would be soft, slow, and as cohesive as possible. The crowds moved across the bridge from the Opera House in Zamalek island to Tahrir Square, and on another bridge north of it, in a style that was quiet and patient. The movement's main slogan, Al Shaab Yurid Isqat al Nizam -- The People Want to Bring the System Down -- would be sounded later, once the people were in the Square. But while they were on the bridges, they held up the peace sign and moved in silence, with no leaders, no one barking over bullhorns, just a community of equals united in their determination.
At one point a stone flew out of the crowd and hit one of the soldiers, who were giving ground as the crowd advanced. The attacker was surrounded by those who persuaded him that violence is Mubarak's way, not ours. Another person lifted a banner to "The Revolution of Islam," then lowered it when others reminded him that our actions here are for the benefit of all Egypt, not just believers in any one religion. In the hours ahead the crowd's harmony wavered, and may have been compromised from the start by baltageya thugs and secret police provocateurs who had come to work mayhem, and did so. But the protestors kept their cohesion that night and in the days ahead, in the face of tear gas, lies and ruses of every kind, and snipers who were ordered, as it turned out, to fire first at arms and shoulders, then at throats, then at heads. The courage of the people held, and the ocean of their will proved unstoppable, because their effort was synarchic. They acted as one, in a state of high focus, linked in the intuitive swarm intelligence of a hive mind.
This is easy for bees, birds and fish to do. The whole flock or school turns at once, without presenting proposals, debating options, or having to stroke anyone's egoic sense that they are important and should be heard. When the communal objective is not just primary, but it is everything, then all need for recognition vanishes. This does not mean that the individual is no longer of any consequence, as is now the case in "developed" societies that reduce each one to an insignificant part of a trend or a market, another brick in the wall. Guru Rattana has, as always, captured well in "Aries: Serve Your Soul" the dynamic paradox of the Leo individual in relation to the Aquarian whole:
"In our Aquarian world, every sun (Leo) must shine. In the Piscean Age, individuals were lost in the crowd of a faceless collective run by a few (the patriarchy) who profit from and exploit everyone else -- the masses. The concept of 'masses' is a patriarchal phenomenon. In the Aquarian Age, the experience of a global community composed of empowered, contributory individuals replaces the 'mass' concept.

"In the Aquarian/Leo dynamic, individuals are NOT lost, exploited and downtrodden. Each individual is able to FIND him or herself in our global community. Each individual is empowered by his or her relationship with the bigger community, which supports everyone in making their unique contribution. The more we shine our light, the more we are able to identify our unique gifts and to make them available to the world."

The time to offer them is now, in the communal Aquarian manner that will present them best, and invite the best response. See you -- and, I hope, hear you too -- on Sunday at the Dark Moon. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2011:
Prelude (Nov. 2008) and Acts 1 - 5 (April 2009 - Nov. 2010): see UFC Index
2012: The End of . . . What?
© Copyright 2011 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved