January, 2012


Mythic Prelude:

Water Dragon
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for January, 2012. It's finally here: the long awaited and occasionally well-understood year of signs and wonders, dread and beauty, and enough opinions to fill the Grand Canyon at least twice.
First the personal logistics, especially for the benefit of those who may want a Star Map or astrology reading at the top of the New Year. A week from this writing, my Living Aquarian tour of talks about the inspirational themes of my new book Surfing Aquarius will resume on Tuesday Jan. 6 at the Well Red Coyote in Sedona, Arizona. The full tour schedule of 18 more cities is also on Facebook, and will be posted in individual event notices. If you'd like to get them, and help spread the word, please Friend me. From March 12 I'll be on retreat for a month. The content of weeks from April 10 through the end of the month, when I return to Peru, is forming somehow in the flux of the Field and the caress of the Moon. Almost all the readings I do in the months ahead will be for people at the tour stops between Sedona and New York. But additional long-distance reading room can always be made for those who intend it.
Now to the main question as the New Year begins. What can we expect in 2012? To cut through the static and shiver and find a useful starting point, we can put behind us at once what is obvious to us all by now. 2012 comes in two costumes: the basic black of inescapable doom and the rainbow of hope, ranging from the airy pastels of a wish that angels, ET's or other flying personages will come and save us, to Earth tones worn by those who perceive one of the paradoxes of 2012 and the Aquarian Age: we are on the brink of unimaginable breakthroughs into peace, enlightenment and freedom, but there is a price. These incandescent opportunities will not be served to us on a plate. We shall have to co-create them.
There is no ducking this inescapable crux of the matter. It comes to us from every direction now. To cite only two: Guru Rattana, concise and to the point as always in her article "Capricorn & 2012," notes that "Our serious participation is required to wake up and stay awake. . . . Taking sides in polarized speculation and debates, right and wrong accusations and the need for scientific proof are all forms of denial, problem avoidance and favor the status quo. Polarization in all its forms is both the challenge and the opportunity of the times." Amen. It is essential that we see the year ahead as anything but conveniently simple, and accept our responsibility for making of it what we will. As novelist Boris Akunin put it at a recent antigovernment rally in Moscow, "We will have a difficult year. But it will be an interesting year. It will be our year."
How, then, to play the year ahead, and choose the most useful words and images in the rising tide of change, the ego displays of a zillion people clamoring for attention, and the smear storm of what could be the most mendacious American election year ever? One set of clues comes from the key planet transits of 2012. If astrology is of no interest to you, please scroll down to Saying Goodbye to AS IS.
The Celestial Dynamics of 2012
What can we expect the planets to show us in this momentous year, as the Age of Aquarius and the end of the Mayan Long Count cycle seem to converge? We should, for openers, get clear about how astrology and other Middle Eastern and European systems of divination and prediction do or do not relate to the "Mayan calendar," which is in reality an elaborate and ingenious system of 22 (!) calendars, of which five are still held secret by the Mayan day keepers. Why should we view someone who talks glibly about "Mayan astrology" as a person who may as well be wearing a buzzing, booping Scam Alert! sign strapped to his or her forehead? Because there is no such thing as Mayan astrology, as comparable to European and Vedic astrology. Why is this?
Because astrology, western or eastern, is sidereal, tracking the positions of planets in relation to the stars, especially the zodiac constellations through which the Sun, Moon, and other planets appear, from our vantage point, to be circling our position on Earth. The Mayan cosmology is galactic, and its method of predictive reckoning -- as articulated especially by John Major Jenkins and others who constitute the "2012 mainstream" -- tracks the Sun's alignment with two points, in heaven and on Earth, at the precise moment of the Winter Solstice sunrise on Dec. 21, 2012. The Sun will align simultaneously with xibalba, the "dark rift" in the center of the Milky Way, and with the caldera at the summit of Mt. Tacana in Izapa, Mexico. The Sun's emergence at the exact same time from the galactic womb of xibalba, and the Earth womb of the sacred mountain, was predicted more than 2,000 years ago by the Izapan calendar priests, who somehow calculated before Jesus was born a momentous celestial event that modern archaeo-astronomers have been able to plot on their computers only within our lifetime.
Try as we might to make Dec. 21, 2012 look like a major astrological event, it simply is not, though we can anticipate that contortionist astrologers supple enough to star in Cirque de Soleil will make claims to this effect as the year goes along. It's just not there. Yes, the planets at this coming December Solstice do form a few mild, pleasant 120° trines, but are too scattered to form the kind of geometry that spells auspicious and powerful interaction. Does this mean, then, that the celestial dynamics of 2012 are bland to the point of insignificance? Hardly. The planets provide, as always, and in a rhythm of events timed about four months apart, the star pictures that suggest what will unfold, and how best to play it. Here are the big ones that we'll watch in the months and years ahead.
Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn now overlaps the fading Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of 2008 - 2012, and replaces it as the master aspect of the time from now to early 2016. The definitive source on the alignments of these two planets is Richard Tarnas' magnificent Cosmos and Psyche, which demonstrates how the friction of 0° conjunctions, 90° squares and 180° oppositions between revolutionary Uranus and compulsive, transformational Pluto has been present in all of the cataclysmic and sweepingly influential events that have rubbed and rocked our political, economic and cultural structures for centuries now. Uranus and Pluto, the grandmasters of bump and crumble on the grandest of scales, formed near 90° alignments with each other in the summer of 2010, when the Wikileaks Bomb blew, and again in July 2011. They'll form no fewer than seven exact 90° alignments, amazingly enough, between this coming June and March, 2015 (June and September, 2012; May and November, 2013; April and December, 2014 and March, 2015), and will have one more near meeting in December 2015 before the Seven Hot Years we are in now finally come to an end. If you want to know where the main stress points of the coming years will be, Uranus and Pluto will write them as big and bold as they can get.
Feb. 3: Neptune enters Pisces, the sign he rules, for only the second time since he was discovered in 1846. Thus both the planets in the Chiron-Neptune conjunction will have moved from the activist, revolutionary sign of Aquarius into the mystical sign that rules imagination and the unconscious, and along with them every kind of story from sacred ritual and medicine theatre to wishes, fantasies, tall and deep tales, lies and deceptions and frauds of every kind that fools can swallow and knaves can knit. One interesting test case for this is the city of Merida in the Yucatan. It has already become, to the alarm of its padrones, a kind of Neptunian flimflamboratory for the lambs who want to be in Mayan country when they think "the world ends," and the wolves who can smell the profit potential of folly from a time zone away. More about this in next month's UFC, and the Astral Notes for December, 2011 to February, 2012.
A very eventful June begins June 4, at a powerfully aspected Full Moon and lunar eclipse, followed on June 6 with a Venus Passage, the second and completing event in this set after the first Venus passage of June 8, 2004. Five days later Jupiter enters Gemini on June 11, for a year's visit, until June, 2013. Then on June 24, Midsummer Day in June Solstice week, the first of the exact Uranus-to-Pluto squares noted above reaches its peak intensity, though the entire summer and early autumn, all the way until early October, are dominated and charged by this hugely impactful alignment. We can note in passing, until the time comes to speak more of this, that Jupiter is "in detriment" in Gemini, so that this celestial actor who plays the banker and politician better than anyone, and relates to all institutions of authority, is likely in 2012 to be more scattered and superficial in his focus, more prone to pointless, petty conflicts, than he was in his preceding, and much more solidly grounded, year in the Earth sign of Taurus. We shall be reminded several months from now why summer is often called the Silly Season.
It gets more serious all of a sudden when Saturn enters Scorpio on October 5, weeks after another exact Jupiter-to-Uranus square on Sept. 19 -- and a month before Guy Fawkes Day, on Nov. 5, arrives again on the day before the next American election, if there is one, and if the results of this increasingly vapid theatre piece, staged and brought to us by Powers that Be Inc., are relevant to anyone not living in the zone where mass media meets celebrity gossip. The mid-autumn of this year, if we are willing to claim our power, could be the last shudder for doom pimps and for the people who crave the frisson of hearing and reading them. We could even realize, as souls linked in a new collective consciousness, that fear, while a necessary survival reflex, and box office magnet, is toxic when held as a habit of mind.
Saying Goodbye to AS IS
One thing that my tour makes clear is this: It is incumbent on us now to find and try the crystalline words and pictures we need to assist the awakening. And it is useful to remember that only a dozen people gathered in a bookstore or a yoga center for an hour to talk and hear how it is, and how we change it, even a group smaller than that, still constitutes an intentional community more potentially impactful than it knows, because what it discovers may ripple out now at Aquarian speed to light and inspire countless other minds and hearts. It is amazing how simple truly powerful ideas can be when one dares to do the thing he has feared to do, as Icelanders found when they backed their brave head of state by refusing to pay an international bank debt -- and found that the sky did not fall, and their world did not end.
Here's another simple idea, expressed as an acronym: It could not be more evident now that whether we call them the masters of the universe, the 1%, the power elite, the Illuminati or whatever else, the corporatists who have concentrated into their control our money and our medicines, our educational institutions and our food supply, our popular "cultures" and our communications, have devised a cunningly clever system for keeping as many of us as they can AS IS. The letters stand for Angry, Sick, Ignorant and Scared. The controllers use chemtrails and HAARP frequencies, addictive poisons and pharmaceuticals, dumbdown media programming, and above all the relentless pushing and pounding of all our fear buttons, to trap and hold us in the lower emotional band between rage and shame, to keep us demoralized, divided, easy to fool and control, and ready to harvest as what Gurdjieff called "food for the Moon."
To free ourselves and each other from this slavery, and it will be easier than we think once we see that the whole house of cards is a collective belief that we can change one mind at a time, we'll have to push the love buttons instead, and to do this we don't have to be stars who speak or sing compellingly in front of multitudes. Simple little gifts will do the trick. Is someone you love stuck in scarcity? Give him a citrine crystal and tell him how it works for you. Is someone you don't know, but whose ear you have right now, poisoning herself with Splenda? Give her a bottle of Stevia, and talk about how true, wholesome sweetness attracts its likeness. Mere advice about what we ought to do is worth what we pay for it, but small, loving actions may prise open the door of perception that the other person is looking for -- and we may be surprised this year to see how often we and the other arrive at the same door at the same time. 2012 is, after all, despite all appearances and limiting opinions, a year for dissolving differences in the water of amity, understanding and compassion. How do we know? Because a Year of the Water Dragon begins this month.
Enter the Water Dragon
The Dragon is considered the mightiest and most auspicious of all the 12 animals in the Chinese year sequence. As five is the luckiest of the sacred numbers in Chinese cosmology and symbolism, it fits that the Dragon is the fifth animal in the series, as it is now in the new sexagesimal (60-year) cycle that began in 2008. Dragon years, and the people born in them, are said to be creative, expansive, strong and lucky, so that babies born in a dragon year are believed to be the most favored, likely to enjoy long life, prosperity, good health, smooth birth and happy offspring, friendship, honor -- all the blessings of a life lived well in concord with the will of heaven and the respect of men. It is fitting, then, that as the emperor was responsible for maintaining all these happy conditions within his realm, the Dragon symbol was reserved for him, especially the five-clawed dragon like the one here, and most of all the Fire Dragon, whose colors were a brilliant match for imperial yellow silk and gold. The Dragon is the closest thing the Chinese have to the idea that all things are possible, as in the phrase still spoken often to the parents of a new boy: "May he be a dragon." In these times, the same thing could be said about girl babies, especially as 2012 is the year of a Water Dragon.
The Dragon has an enormous repertoire of supernatural powers and roles. It is a shape-shifter, ranging in size from a silkworm to a being as big as the sky. It is limitlessly mobile and swift. It can camouflage itself, hide itself in clouds, lakes and rivers, and can turn into water. In short, a Dragon, no matter what element it may call home, has the fluidity, mutability and all-embracing inclusiveness of water, the most feminine of the elements. The Water Dragon, called Panlong, comes as close to yin as a Dragon can -- as all Dragons are yang -- and is second in prestige only to a Fire Dragon. The Water Dragon is admired for its gentleness, modesty, and its desire to share power rather than take and hoard it.

A Water Dragon year begins on Jan. 23. A few days later, after the Chinese New Year comes as always at the New Moon in Aquarius, Neptune the ocean king enters the water sign of Pisces. One would almost get the idea that 2012 is somehow a water year connected with the beginning of the Age of Aquarius -- and that if it isn't, we may wonder how many synchronicities must stack up before we can move beyond proof, opinion and debate, and listen to unifying mythic themes and symbols as we once did, before we formed the separatist habits of duality, divide-and-conquer, analysis, specialization and every other illusion that each of us is different, unique, something other than One, and that our species is somehow exalted. The antidote to this egoic thinking is a kind of holistic modesty, an ability to see unity within diversity in a spirit of gratitude and love. This perception of our true place in the design infuses the essential messages that must be heard now. One is the hour-long video Amor, Realidad, y el Tiempo de Transición (Love, Reality and the Time of Transition). Another is the beautiful prayer "All Revolutions Start with a Vision," by Dillon Cruz, my friend the master permaculturist living in Hawaii. An excerpt:

"Thank you for the Eternal Now. Thank you for Universal Love pervading the hearts of all humanity. Thank you for Universal Peace all over the Earth. Thank you for abundance for all living beings. Thank you that within each human being there is a unique genius ready to step out into the world. Thank you for a planet rich in natural beauty. Thank you for oceans teeming with life. Thank you for clean water for all humanity and all living beings. Thank you for blue skies and clean air to breathe. Thank you for healthy rain forests. Thank you for clean rivers, streams, lakes, and underground aquifers. Thank you for stunning bio-diversity. Thank you for healthful foods to eat for all humanity. Thank you for deep, rich top soil. Thank you for free energy for all humanity. Thank you for artists, musicians, actors, dancers, and performers of all kinds for sharing beauty, joy, creativity, and love with others. Thank you that art in its various forms is valued, treasured, and nurtured. Thank you for children who have so much wisdom to give. Thank you for elders who have so much wisdom to share. Thank you for the diversity of cultures that provides such a richness to the tapestry of human existence."

Circus Graximus

As we evolve beyond limiting concepts of division, separation and order, we shall be better able to live less timidly and predictably in more fluid Aquarian terms. One hint about how this will go, is already going, comes from Michael Meade's recent "Occupy Your Soul" speech, about how the nihilistic vacuum of the old order is now bring filled and vitalized by a new energy that resembles a forest in its spontaneity and profusion. "I grew up in the sixties," Meade says, "so I know that once you get a straightforward message, they will co-opt it and shut you down. If you're diverse like a forest, they can't catch up with you or figure you out, and by the time they figure out what you're really doing, you're too strong, and you've got too many roots and too many shoots, and the whole thing is moving on."
In short, some of us are now starting to behave more like trees in a forest than people divided from one another, even isolated, by our different beliefs and goals. Gracious! Who knows where this might lead? We might even start moving as one, turning on a dime the way schools of fish and flocks of birds do, flying and working like bees as we confront challenges that we cannot hope to face or solve individually, and can only address with the new communal intelligence that evolves now. We've arrived at Grax Time.

"'Grax'," Caroline Casey writes in 'Believe nothing -- Entertain Possibilities,' "is a biological term that, according to Rupert Sheldrake, describes the action of individual bacteria, or slime mold or anything coming together as an intelligent community to address a challenge that cannot be resolved alone. Myriad expressions from Arab Spring, American Autumn, to Occupy Everywhere announce, 'We are in a period of Global Graxing!'"

No doubt of it. 2012 raises another of the paradoxes that Aquarius brings if we're to gain the great goal we seek together. It's not so much that we'll have to work harder, with greater focus, discipline, teamwork and other mental effort. No, it's much more challenging than that. What is really needed is the emotional effort of summoning the courage and humility to surrender. When we get it, the physical effects that come at once will be startling. Our breath will get bigger and our armor will drop, so we'll be ready to sing. We may even like doing it the way birds and bees do. Get ready to buzz and chirp in 2012. Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude (2008) and Acts 1 - 5 (April, 2009 - Nov., 2010), see UFC Index
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2011 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.