November, 2006

Mythic Prelude:

The Dove and the Thunderbolt

Happy Thanksgiving. Among the things we can be grateful for now, at the Taurus Full Moon on Nov. 5 -- Remember, Remember! -- is that the reckless gambles forecast two months ago in The Price of Poker have not yet wiped out any of the players. Not that they haven't been trying, as the leaders of Iran, Venezuela and the United States have relished their round of five card stud -- I'll see your Hitler and raise you a Devil -- North Korea seems determined to draw to an inside straight, and it's jokers wild all over the Middle East. For the high roller who will be sentenced today as a verdict comes down in the trial of Saddam Hussein -- it will bring a burning lake of trouble as the price of a grandstand play timed to bear on America's election two days from now -- the house odds are unbeatable, though the house won't stand long.
The American Thanksgiving holiday is always worth mentioning in the November daily listings as the kind of harvest festival that comes in the Northern hemisphere as the Sun moves into the hearty sign of Sagittarius, when the time of early winter feasting comes. But it has not had before in these pages anything close to the universal reach and mythic charge that we feel in the Solstices and Equinoxes, and the other most ancient and potent rites on the solar wheel. But this year Nov. 23 and 24, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, are loaded for something much tougher than turkey. On these days the most powerful and meaningful synchronicity of the year -- we shall not see anything to compare with it until February, 2007 -- arrives in thunder as Jupiter enters Sagittarius on or just before the Fifth Day dawns in the Galactic Creation Cycle.
Readers of this page may recall this last phrase as the title of a grand prophetic design by Carl Johan Calleman, who envisions the period that began on Jan. 5, 1999 as a series of 13 tuns, each 360 days long, culminating in "Attainment of the Highest Level of Consciousness" on Oct. 28, 2011, as the collective mind of humanity achieves -- or can achieve -- alignment with the divine plan for humankind and the cosmos. The ideas of Calleman have stirred some controversy, not least from those who accept the view of John Major Jenkins, the late Terence McKenna and others who have anticipated that the moment of transformation will come on Dec. 21, 2012. And Calleman's view that human beings will not be co-creators of an Awakening into Spirit, but can only use or miss a chance that God offers them, does not sit easily with this writer and others who see the divine energy not as an entity separate from ourselves, but as a Universal Soul that unites us in our highest possibilities, and gives us the years ahead as the ultimate sacred music that we don't just get to hear, but are meant to sing.
Still, there is no disputing that Calleman has often been prescient, and this is why his work gains a growing audience. So his take on the Fifth Day of Nov. 24, 2006 to Nov. 19, 2007 -- one of seven "days" that alternate with six "nights" in the 13-tun cycle -- is worth a good look, especially as world events and money do seem to be flowing as he predicts. The theme of his design is that we gradually approach greater spiritual consciousness during the day tuns, then go through darker night phases that are not necessarily negative or violent, but allow us to integrate the infusion of light from the previous day, and prepare for more light (perhaps more than we're ready to absorb) in the day to come. And just as the nights in the Galactic Creation Cycle are not all doom and dread, the days may well culminate in soul-searing events -- as they did in 2001, 2003 and 2005 -- as though the point of the plan were to infuse us with more light, then test us with tougher trials of love and compassion like the World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina and today's new ordeals in Iraq and Sudan.
So can we expect equally harrowing events in the Fifth Night that begins on Nov. 24? While it is the UFC's policy not to stoke fear with prophecies of doom, and to emphasize that what we get is not something that happens to us, but what we create, one thing is getting obvious. The rosy expectations that many optimists, including the author, have been making for years are getting harder to sustain in others, and in ourselves, even though we know full well that without the concerted efforts of light workers and peace players throughout our planet, the agonies of the recent past and present would likely have been worse. How do we maintain, when the evidence of human cruelty and indifference to suffering seems to rise in front of us like a wall that gets higher every day, our faith in the premise that a growing critical mass of awakening people really does have the collective will and power to align in loving intention and lift all of our brothers and sisters into frequencies of serenity, freedom and joy? Is the coming moment of transformation just harder to sell now, or is the premise itself flawed? We know that our role now is to keep faith when we can, and at least to keep a stiff upper throat chakra when we can't. It's a good thing many of us have had theatre training.
So -- to rewind to the hanging question, what conditions will the Fifth Night bring? A good place to start is Calleman's article "On Israel and Islam." His main theme, stated in books and other articles, is that in the Fifth Day, the ongoing eastward shift of economic power -- from today's dominant US-Western Europe axis to a new center of gravity in Russia-East Asia -- will accelerate with predictable effect on the Western currency system. Does this mean you should unload US dollars or buy gold? Calleman doesn't say -- but sure, why not? Those who believe their wealth and security are in currency and metal will probably not be reading this page, so for them the question is moot. Those who believe that their true wealth is in friends and community already know that what we'll need to get through the Fifth Night is not to be locked in a box, but shared in the air -- and we are already at our weaving.
Of two things we can be sure: we shall have something to be resourceful about in 2007; and, as always, there are planetary and other spiritual energies waiting to assist us, if we can but see them and tap them. The timing of this could not be more noticeable now, as Jupiter enters Sagittarius precisely as the Fifth Day begins, and remains powerful here until December 2007. Thus the Fifth Day, and Jupiter's travels through the sign of his rulership, are nearly synchronous. It will be useful to look for a moment at who Jupiter is, and what he brings to the feast -- the mere fact that he's in the hall means there's food, wine and laughter to be found here somewhere -- in the year ahead.
Here he is, in all his ebullient, strapping majesty, as an Athenian artist saw him. This time the daimon, no mere devil, is in the details. Perched on the king's forward hand is the dove of the peace he loves, as it's so much easier to play our pleasures when we get along with each other. His back arm holds the terrific force of lightning, which he wields when it's time to demonstrate to vain, unruly men that their domain has aims much higher than their pride and their money. He is far too regal to crease his brow, purse his lip or show in any other way how annoying slight human ambitions can be. We will never know, we can only guess, if there are times when he feels that all of this, all of the lives of gods and mortals, beasts and olive trees, could be so much easier, and more just and fair, if we all looked at the world as a cloudgatherer does, and all of us simply loved life.
We need not recap here the material about Jupiter that we've already covered early in the September and October UFC preludes. Our emphasis gets more specific now on what we can expect as Jupiter moves from Scorpio, through which he has been moving since October 2005, into his home sign of Sagittarius. Where Jupiter in Scorpio is concerned, we can get no better succinct comment than this one from Reinhold Ebertin, worth quoting for its uncanny accuracy in summing up what we have seen and done over the last year: "An optimistic attitude to life. Ruthless striving for possessions and pleasures, a materialistic outlook on life. - The tendency to overrate oneself, overly pronounced sexual life, the craving for pleasure." It's up to you to decide how and to whom this applies, but apply it does.
Another feature of Jupiter in Scorpio is that the planet of powerful authorities -- courts of law, governments, established religions, banks and other big financial institutions -- is in the secrecy-obsessed home of Pluto, lord of the underworld, who rules everything that pertains to espionage and encryptation, including computer codes. So when Jupiter is in his dark father's sign, people of power hide, conceal and evade, thereby creating a vacuum of information so unstable, even intolerable, that those who want to expose scandal and crime need not slice the bag of lies with a knife. If they only poke it with a pin, it can burst and blow, sending dirty laundry and smelly secrets off the clothesline, over the fence and all over the neighborhood. That's why the shocking stories of the last few weeks have all come out right when they have, and we'll hear more of them before Scorpio month is out.
Jupiter is less furtive and more transparent when he's in Sagittarius, as we'll see in the year that begins on Nov. 23. His highest motives and possibilities manifest in a passionate urge to see that true justice is served: not revenge, punishment or charity, but an honest balance between the effort one makes and the response one gets. Much of Jupiter's interest shifts now from matters of mundane law and governance to spiritual and philosophical matters, and the sweep of his vision is grandest now, expressing itself in long-distance travel and a sincere, selfless interest in other countries and cultures. Ambitious, strategic plans are favored, if they are well-drawn and grounded, especially if they require cooperation from the government and money from backers with deep pockets and high dreams.
Alleluia! Jove to the rescue! We couldn't possibly need some generous juice from Zeus at a better time, right? So can we expect that in the year to come, Jupiter's influence in all his just magnanimity will save us? From another American election that will be stolen, or has already been rigged and will just be fenced, on Nov. 7? From the astounding but barely noticed crime and catastrophe in which the hallowed principle of habeas corpus has been badly damaged in the United States, we know not yet how severely? From American economic troubles with global impact, all rooted in deep injustice, which cannot be expected to queue up politely to be solved one at a time, but will probably come instead "not single spies, but in battallions," as it was put by Claudius -- a shrewd king, if a vicious one -- in Shakespeare's Hamlet?
No. Never. We keep searching for the right and illuminating way to say that no planet, no matter how "lucky" or "beneficent," will ever do anything for us, but can only complement the bravest energies that we devote to what we are determined to do. And that no other planet, no matter how baleful or "malefic," ever makes anything impossible for us, but only raises the bar in order to help us find out if we know what we're made of. No planet has ever slammed a gate on us, or killed our dream. We are the only ones who can do this, by failing to give our aims the air of intention they need to keep breathing, and the food of faith that heats their way. Jupiter is not going to fix the flaws in anyone's system of justice. It is up to us to do that. All that Jupiter can do is to pitch some lightning and laughter into places where crooks and hypocrites hide -- it's already started, and will intensify -- and keep reminding us that there is something to be said for vision that goes to the farthest reach of what we can do and be.
A truly comprehensive look at the Jupiter-in-Sagittarius year just ahead requires that we see Jupiter from both sides, and remember that Sagittarius is called a mutable sign because it may be the place in which changes, whether they come in us as individuals or in the larger spheres we inhabit, may be catalyzed in unpredictable ways that we can't time or control. So the best a Virgo author can do -- as Virgos create two things, maps and opinions -- is to suggest where the good maps are. One valuable guide to the terrain we will traverse in the next two years is Gabor Steingart's article, "America and the Dollar Illusion," excerpted in Der Spiegel from his book World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity. "The dependence of foreign central banks on the dollar will defer its crash," he writes, "but it won't prevent it. Today's snowdrift will become tomorrow's avalanche. The masses of snow are already accumulating at breathtaking speed. The avalanche could happen tomorrow, in a few months or years from now. Much of what people today think is immortal will be buried by the global currency crisis - perhaps even the leadership role of the United States." Even more important than Steingart's analysis, for those who see economic forecasts within the far more urgent context of environmental health, is "Economics of Climate Change" by Sir Nicholas Stern.
Does the material just cited constitute the stoking of fear? No. The fear is not in the events themselves, and our predictions and views about them, but in our emotional responses to the changes that must come. While we accept that what we focus on grows, the point here is that we do not focus on fearsome events, but on how, as responsible actors in the drama we co-create, we keep the happy ending in mind, and refuse to accept tragedy, which is only the black fruit that ripens when we fail to cultivate in love and vision the trees that nourish us.
The problem of having Jupiter in Sagittarius is that while many of his best qualities are in power, they may not work with the wisdom that adversity brings. As we're about to see in the predicament of an embattled religious leader whose name means "well spoken" -- poor Benedict will clearly have to grow into the name he has chosen -- Jupiter without tempering or opposition is not all hilarity and ambrosia. The Sagittarius character, among all the personalities on the wheel, is the one most apt to speak impulsively and then regret the ripples that can spread wider than anyone dreamed from one careless moment. Jupiter lives large, often expanding into such exuberant excess that the Sagittarius nature is equally well represented by Beethoven at one extreme, Britney Spears at the other, and Winston Churchill and Berlioz somewhere in between. Jupiter does not like restraint any more than Churchill liked school or limits. The king tends to overdo it, whether in the boardroom or the bedroom, the dining table or the gaming table, with results that can be harder on his subjects than they are for him.
He is invariably optimistic. This is why, in terms of the nine-month transformational phase we have covered in the UFC over the last three months, the turning point of the play when it comes next month -- December being the fifth month of the period from last August to next April -- may look much easier and rosier than we could have imagined. Economic signs may well improve. Speculation will be amazingly lucky for some, and may fuel a fantasy that in spite of the shadowy sails that are heaving onto the horizon, somehow, magically, impossibly, we won't have to change a thing, and we can continue to live beyond our means, somewhere south of common sense, sure that "red sky at morning, sailors take warning" is only poetry.
So for those who'd rather keep some ballast and not throw all the prose overboard, it's time now to look at a chart for the moment when Jupiter enters Sagittarius. It's cast for Rome, Italy. Why Rome? Because it revered Jupiter and he's always owned it, even though some less jovial institutions have claimed and even enforced squatter's rights for centuries now. As the city and cultural paradigm that birthed three of the hierarchies that have dominated the Piscean Age -- the imperial nation-state founded on practical engineering and administration, the army bound by chains of command that transcend family and tribal loyalties, and the church so calcified by dogmas and traditions that it must now change or die -- Rome is one of the amphitheatres where the Aquarian moment will play most stirringly in the next six years. And so -- Astrology Alert! If you want to skip this part, please scroll to the next rubric below.
Jupiter Enters Sagittarius
Nov. 24, 2006, 5:44am CET
Rome, Italy: 41N54 / 12E29
Tropical
Placidus
True Node

Just as an extraordinary cluster of eight squares dominated last month's Jupiter Square Saturn chart, five 120° trines seem at first glance to be the main feature of this one. Saturn in Leo sits on the Midheaven point at the top of this new chart, and both are within one degree of a trine with Pluto in Sagittarius; this lends two special new emphases to the Saturn-Pluto trine's basic theme of tenacity, determination and the outstanding achievements that can be brought about now by the joint efforts of large numbers of people. Saturn conjunct the Midheaven brings a deep and often solitary focus on the inner changes that each one must navigate now, while Pluto trine to the Midheaven offers to those who will make the effort the opportunity for creative and spiritual breakthroughs that may prove profoundly illuminating for the individual, may manifest as well in greater success and freedom in one's life circumstances, and may also be complemented by joint accomplishments shared with a few others, even with many.
In short, this Saturn/Midheaven-Pluto trine is truly transformational, and is enhanced by the two other trines. Mars in Scorpio trine the Moon's North Node in Pisces combines the directness and drive of Mars with the Node's sphere of communal harmony, thereby amping this moment's possibilities for fruitful and happy collaboration. Mercury in Scorpio trine Uranus in Pisces means that our inventiveness is keen, flexible and very quick; and, as both the planets in the trine are in water signs, our channels of inspiration and intuition are open to superb new insights and practical ideas that seem to come all of themselves, with little or no effort on our part. At the same time, Uranus is trine the Ascendant, and is likely to open up new contacts that freshen the work of teams into new productivity, some of it probably to come from changes in the living spaces and job situations of the most active players.
There are, as always, obstacles and challenges. This chart resembles in many ways the first experience of meeting a new spiritual community, and having that heady thrill of finding one's spiritual brothers and sisters. Then, in this chart as in life, comes the rather less joyous realization that we have also met our spiritual in-laws. Mars in Scorpio at a 90° square to both Saturn and the Midheaven makes it likely that the happy and collaborative teams will have to work around some ruthless, fighting teams that are bent on gaining their aims by any means, no matter how forceful, and no matter how high the price of their recklessness. Add to this the wide squares that Neptune in Aquarius forms with Mercury and the Ascendant, and it's probable that while many people will align with the responsible new sustainability paradigms that the progressive teams create, many others will still be misled easily by soul quacks and death merchants, as Neptune is in the third house of communications.
This chart is highly concentrated, with all planets except Saturn in a relatively narrow band of only five houses, from the 12th through the 4th. If we accept the premise of many spiritual astrologers, that a concentrated individual chart indicates the soul's choice to work on a few issues rather than many, and we imagine that the same idea can apply to a collective chart cast for all of us, then we may have chosen the moment of Nov. 24 to focus largely on first house issues of how we define our personalities, including our challenges of worthiness and deserving, and our ways of projecting ourselves into the world -- and getting from the world the responses that we feel are fair and appropriate. The four planets we have chosen as our first-house tool kit give us some prime advantages. Mars is rising -- meaning he is the first-house planet closest to the ascendant line: that is, the "cusp" or borderline between the twelfth and first houses. We will clearly have no trouble asking for and driving toward what we want, as long as we anticipate, from Saturn square to Mars, that we will meet some resistance from entrenched institutions who are not yet ready to get with the program we want. But Sun conjunct Jupiter in the first house means that we're better able to stay confident and enthusiastic. Venus is there too, and her charm is high in Sagittarius.
Where the second house of money goes, we can expect that Rome's dominant institution, the Roman Catholic Church, will play the passions of the moment very close to the black vest of a cautious, reserved Capricorn Moon. Pluto in the second house brings preoccupation with linkages between money and the power of mass movements, especially at a time when the Church's finances are shrinking along with its base of believers. The good news here, for those who are aligned with the Church, or respect its stabilizing power in the flow and fury of world events, is that Saturn's position trine Pluto is likely to bring actions wiser and more politic than the Pope's stunningly inept and needlessly provocative speech of a month ago, followed by his left-handed regret for having offended Muslims, rather than for having said something highly offensive. Astrology Alert Over!
While Benedict appears to be learning fast, and doing his best to mend the cracks with something thicker than plaster, some karmic themes are starting to get clear. At a time when the Church needed a heart worker like John XXIII, what it got is an abstruse theologian who is almost all logic and little leeway, who has spent his entire life in a hierarchic domain of obedience and certainty, and has never had to navigate the tide of passions and nuances that makes work, friendship, parenthood and the crucible of marriage so delicate and demanding for the rest of us, who have learned as we sail to watch the wind as we see it building in the skin tones and body language of others. The Peter Principle has never been so intricate as it is now. And it is no accident that at this moment when so many changes will soon come, the world's most powerful religious figure and its most powerful political leader are both so out of their depth that we shall all have to get more creative and resourceful than our leaders.
One sign after another points to the inescapable fact: we shall have to get more creative, and form new creative linkages with one another, and deliver what we make and agree on with empathy and compassion. We will have to remember what those who rise to positions of power seem soon to forget, that most of us are heart beings, not head beings. This means we are to be galvanized with feeling, not distracted and insulted with foolish "botched jokes" or a government website that posts a recipe for making a nuclear bomb, or other new scandals, excuses and lies. We may as well start accepting now what we shall have to contemplate anyway soon: that the reason why we do not "throw up great leaders" anymore, as human beings have always done in challenging times, is that Aquarius is here, and we are the leaders now. We can not keep waiting for anyone else to tell us what to do. We will meet now to read the maps and draw the plans. This new responsibility of creative teamwork will not be as difficult as it may at first appear, as we have, with a few notable exceptions, always been clearer-headed and more inventive than those who claim to lead us. It is just that we have not seen this until now.
How to begin? In the unexpected way, by making sure we are aligned in the breath and the heart before we align in the head. It is time to begin meetings with conspiration and toning, so that discussion, when it comes, begins in concord. We may even trust each other enough to stand in a circle, touching each other as we begin. Good luck to us all. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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Copyright 2006 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.