This month marks the beginning of the seventh year since the Universal Festival Calendar first appeared in June, 1998 as an E-mail newsletter. The resemblances between June 2003 and this month are uncanny.
One that is of particular interest to the author is that on June 2, 2003, Jupiter in Leo and Neptune in Aquarius formed an exact opposition on the day the Federal Communications Commission of the US government announced new decisions (some later rescinded or modified) to deregulate media ownership, thereby "placing mass communications within even fewer hands than control them now, and accelerating the conformist agendas of corporate predators, death merchants, evangelists, fear artists and enough other dark forces to make Stalin gape in wonder."
A year later, on June 2, 2004, I will leave Hawaii after nine years here, pass through Rome for the day of the Venus Occultation on June 8, and arrive in Cairo on June 10, God and the Goddess be willing and praised, on the day Jupiter conjoins his position in my natal chart, to begin two years or more of learning and singing the ancient Pharaonic music. More on this below.
For some basic information on the extremely important Venus Passage of June 8, and links to other sources, please see last month's Mythic Prelude, The Mirror of Venus. As we now approach the week before the Venus Passage of 2004, one immediate and intuitive thing to say, now that the author is nearing 60 and will say more of what he directly wants, is that I sincerely admire and seek to emulate the patience and gentleness of astrologers far more renowned and accomplished than me, who are being deluged with fear storms from jittery clients, e-mail energy vampires and people in fear who ask if June 8 is the end of the world, the day of judgment, the rapture and the rumble when everything collapses and everybody is going to die. No. It isn't. Doom is not going to happen. Please: just take a deep breath. Hell and Armageddon are not what this planet and humanity are for. The only thing that is going to crash, burn and die on June 8 -- apart from the horrible violence and atrocities still being perpetrated in Iraq -- is the ignorance of those who will wake up at this time.
Much useful information is being written now about June 8. One thing that does not seem to have been broached yet is that the Sabian symbol for the 19th degree of Gemini, in which the Venus Passage will occur, is most apt in relation to this time when so much grief and bloodshed, so much impoverishment and confining ignorance, is being caused on the planet by believers in alleged holy books. In Marc Edmond Jones' words,
"GEMINI 19: A large archaic volume This is a symbol of the ultimate indestructibility of experience, so that any path once traversed may be taken again with a greater ease and a broader self-discovery. There is here the assurance of illimitable resources in wisdom, and the suggestion that this heritage may be made manifest at any time in an immediate and practical guidance. The past always provides an illumination of the present, and man achieves best as he cultures a real sense of obligation to his own roots. The keyword is BACKGROUND. When positive, the degree is a special capacity for the recovery of prior advantages or the effective disentanglement of present involvements, and when negative, a slavish worship of tradition and authority."
It is up to each one to decide which side of the coin will apply to them at a time when we are waxing our boats for launching into the love and friendship wave of Aquarius, yet at the same time, according to a Newsweek cover story on the fabulously successful apocalyptic novel-writing team of Tim La Haye and Jerry B. Jenkins, tens of millions of Americans, including a dangerously devout president and other peril divers and risk jockeys near him, believe fervently in the Christian Crackup scenario of Armageddon and Doom, and 93% of Americans believe in the existence of Satan. It is now startlingly, dizzily true that in the most scientifically brilliant and technically inventive society in history, the dark and fearful ignorance of the American people is to the Age of Aquarius what the Roman Catholic Church was to the Age of Galileo and Descartes, the barrier that must be passed -- or transformed or otherwise transcended, by those who'd like to dissolve the box, not just go outside it -- if the collective human mind is to evolve toward freedom. Believe it or not, how does one deal with it, 13 of 14 Americans believe in Satan. The collective soul of the country may as well still be in the Massachusetts colony in the 1630's, when Galileo and his students were conspiring to get copies of his work out to other scientific centers in Europe.
So many people with devils in their minds. And of the only one in fourteen Americans who do not have devil infestations, how many can work, and will be needed, to relieve others of the unwholesome, painful condition of UDM, Unconscious Devil Mind? The task of curing people from the suffering of UDM is Herculean, as there is so much fear in America now. Fear of Satan. Fear of poverty. Fear of Hell and boredom and not looking cool. Fear of not having pizza and beer, football and wrestling, SUV's and DVD's and the other toys that validate. Fear of terrorist murder, now almost just a detail. Fear of sexual inadequacy and of getting screwed without getting kissed, on which see April's Travelin' Crooks. Fear of what Kurt Vonnegut called plain old death.
The fear in the United States is palpable. It has a temperature you can feel. It is icy and stiff, and cannot breathe for fear of losing everything. It is not on the front burner of most people's minds, yet resonates somewhere in the American unconscious, that the hog feast America has enjoyed for over 40 years is unsustainable. It remains true, as it has since I was in college, that the United States has 5% of the world's population, yet uses and controls 40% of the world's resources, and on some energetic or karmic level, may be accountable for the fact that if 300 million Americans are taking eight times their share, then some other people are getting only one eighth of theirs. It is unsustainable. When asked who so many people in the world resent and dislike Americans -- at a time not long after John Foster Dulles remarked that "America does not have friends. America has interests" -- Lyndon Johnson replied, "They want what we've got, and we're not gonna give it to 'em." America is afraid of losing it all, and the fear is contagious to those who have not yet discovered the medicine of their own intention. We have more comfort and stroking work ahead of us, until more are able to see that really, please, it is time to give it up. In 2004, as the time of Transformation accelerates, it is time to get ready for God.
Living in Hawaii has helped the author with this process. While I will not presume to carve in koa wood any grandiose pronouncements about what I have learned in Hawaii and what I came to do, I will say that I would have started living happily here years earlier than I did if I had seen sooner that the point of coming to Hawaii is to open the heart -- and to learn the way of the true warrior who knows when to apply force, and when to give it up to love.
Instruction from the gentlemen pictured here has helped mightily with this. For almost a year, I have had a chance to learn from the kayak and hula team of Makua Lani in Makaha, Hawaii, and have been privileged to swim and paddle the waters of Makua ("parent" in Hawaiian), where dolphins and whales, sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals call the humans and teach some. These men have helped me know better when to put some muscle into the job, and when to lie down and let the wave do its work.
The idea is that when you head toward a wave that is big enough to flip your kayak, or you are coming in through white water that is churning you toward the beach, you paddle like hell until the critical moment when you lie back, put more weight on your keel and send your boat straight on or into the wave.
There is more to it than just knowing when to lie down, of course. A master kayaker can steer on his or her back. And while it has been fun to test and a pleasure to apply in places other than the ocean the premise that at the moment of maximum tension, you just lie down, I would not yet advocate "When in Doubt, Lie Down" as a universal philosophy of action. Dave Wyle of Honolulu advises, "Please don't lie down while you are driving." And other practical limits certainly apply. Yet there is something very appealing, and very true to the flows of energy that we will feel in the coming years, to know when to paddle hard and when to lie back, and how to switch from one to the other lightly, like a dancer or a player of comedy. And it is undeniably true that unlimited trouble and pain are being caused on the planet now by people who not only refuse to lie back themselves, but are determined to keep anyone else from getting any rest either. This posture of constant coiled fear, like the hog feast above, is unsustainable, and it is only a matter of time before the needless tension must be either willingly released, or unpleasantly relinquished.
Continuous tension is unbearable, and makes love impossible. It is incumbent on those who are awakened, or are at least behaving as though they are, to assist those in fear through the process of waking up, and to treat this process for what it is, like birth or death, as a time of passage when the soul is looking and the heart is vulnerable as it begins to awaken from Unconscious Devil Mind. It will not be long now on the planet until UDM specialists who assist others in awakening smoothly and easily practice and network on a scale we have not seen before. These UDM healer cells -- and they are many, and have been there all along -- are now beginning to see how numerous and already easily connected they are, for this is a Venus Passage time, when the lightning of sudden awareness "snaps out like a whip" in Rumi's words (through Coleman Barks), for one soul at a time and for soul clusters whose linkages we shall soon understand better.
Now I am going to Egypt, where the advice to lie back and let the water carry me seems to apply as well as it does in Hawaii. My colleague and mentor Leslie Zehr, coordinator of the Cairo Women's Group for Health and Wellbeing, and creator of the Egyptian Flower Remedies, suggests that as Egypt is the country of the Lady Isis, the smoothest way to live there is to surrender to the river. My aim is to try surrendering and singing at the same time.
My main goal in going to Cairo for an intended stay of 2 - 3 years is to work with the composer, musicologist and choral director Dr. Maged Samueel, whose pioneering research in ancient music has shown that the very ancient Pharaonic music was not lost, but has survived in the music of the Coptic churches in Cairo. Maged's premise is that when Greek Christians first brought their faith and their hymns into Egypt in the second century, the Egyptians rejected the harmonic system that sounded strange to them, and reset the Greek texts to the old tunes they knew well.
This is why the music the Coptic faithful sing on Easter morning, when it is discovered that the stone has been rolled away from the tomb of Jesus, and He is not there, He is risen, is the same music the priests of Ra used to chant at 5:00am to welcome the rising of the Sun. The Coptic Good Friday music includes the melodies sung at the funeral of the Pharaoh, and the reason the music is curiously in a major key is that for the ancient Egyptians, the passing of the king's mortal body was a joyous occasion when his spirit, no longer encumbered by the weight and mass of the physical body, flew into the realm of the Neters and became Osiris. The implications of this sound enormous enough to me, worth the next few years of study and singing. More about this work in ancient music will come in UFC preludes and other pieces, from next month.
If Maged's premise is correct, then the Egyptian ritual play music may be within reach, especially as some of the pieces he has reconstructed, notably the Sun Salutation chant, are clearly meant from their rhythm and tempo to be sung by people who are in motion. I get to go in motion now and learn more about this. Am I afraid of getting killed by an assassin in the Middle East? No. I am more afraid of getting harmed by accident in a country where 93% of the people suffer from Unconscious Devil Mind. It is essential now to live fearlessly, especially as I am in the Chinese Year of the Wood Monkey; as astrologer Joy Leo notes, "A Monkey Year is a time of power, courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes. "
For now, as Egypt is not notably a boffo comedy environment, this page will start floating more jokes at a time when we need them sorely, and need to learn how to balance the grim and astonishing jokes with funny ones, and thus have a better chance of using laughter to cure fear, rigidity and UDM. For example, here's a grim joke, followed by two funny ones.
First the Grim Joke: 24 Million Dollars a Day!
Since the end of World War II, the United States has in the 59 years from 1945 to 2004 spent a total of 18 Trillion Dollars -- that's $18,000,000,000,000 -- on military expenditures.
How to grasp this extreme number? Calculate the number of days that have passed since Jesus was born (2004 x 365.25) at 372,000 and divide this into $18,000,000,000,000 and you get over $24,300,000 spent on the American military for every day since Jesus was born.
Now the Funny Ones, starting with The Old Man and the Marine:
One sunny day in 2005 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Ave, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the US Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."
The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."
The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.
The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.
The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same US Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."
The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"
The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."
And here's another from Deborah Davis, maybe even featuring the same clever Marine:
Outside the White House in Washington, the President climbs out of his helicopter with a baby pig under each arm. His Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Nice pigs, sir."
The President replies, "These are not pigs, corporal, these are authentic Texan Razorback Hogs. I got one for Vice President Cheney, and I got one for Secretary Rumsfeld."
The Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and replies, "Nice trade, sir."
Nice trade indeed. Peace, good humor and joy, enlightenment and progressive freedom to all at the Venus Passage on June 8. Keep Holding That Frequency.