The Festival of the Ashram 2004Having
returned to Australia after his journey across America, Malvin Artley reveals the subtle meanings inherent in the Full Moon in Capricorn, the Festival of the Ashram. This is the Cancer Full Moon Festival (due to the fact that the Full Moon always falls in the sign opposite the sign in which the Sun is found). This Festival is of particular interest to us because it sets the tone for the remainder
of the solar year, in terms of how we build upon the subjective experiences of the preceding three months. It shows the prevailing undercurrents of thought that condition the mass of humanity as the year unfolds.
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Capricorn
Vacations are always the shortest days of the year. I had really enjoyed my trip to my old home and seeing family and friends. But, alas, all things come to their timely end. There weren’t many words spoken on the way to the airport. 5:00 AM comes much too early. As the car sped down the highway and I listened to the rhythmic bumping of the tires over the repaired pavement I tried to shut my eyes and grab a wink, more to hide my sadness at leaving than to gain extra sleep. I have never been very good at goodbyes. Then we arrived at the fateful parting and I suddenly realized that I was to go in to my plane alone. My folks had to leave me there at the curb after a tearful goodbye. I could tell they were hurting, as was I, wondering if they would see me again. Perhaps it was kinder to do it quickly, but I felt cheated of precious moments with them, wanting to say a “proper” farewell, if there is such a thing. But, life is always like that. We all come together for a short time, hopefully spend the needed time together, then we have to part. The only certainty with human relations is that they will never last forever. And, we realize with that how important it is that we live each moment to its fullest potential together and not waste time thinking on the thousand things that so easily distract a mind. But, we all had a good time, though some things could have been done better. Life is like that, too.
It has been said that once we leave home we can never go back and that an expatriate always feels like an alien in the country of his or her birth. My recent travels in the motherland have highlighted these points for me to a degree. Change moves ever onward and the longer we stay away from a place the more foreign it becomes to us because our systems become attuned to our new abode. Though the connection with loved ones will always remain, the body eventually becomes as one with the new place of residence, being imbued with its substance and aura and thus no longer tied to the land that brought it forth and nurtured it for all those years. We feel even repelled by some things that we once held dear and discover other things in the old place that feel completely different to us now and actually feel better than before. Cancerian moons are always good for that sort of thing.
Nine Solar Festivals
Having just completed the high spiritual point of the year, we now enter into the series of nine solar festivals which are especially linked with humanity and the evolution of human consciousness. These nine festivals are all associated with the signs Cancer through Pisces, moving forward through the Zodiac. The three festivals that we just had—Aries, Taurus and Gemini—all provide the subjective and thus more potent framework upon which the outer manifestation for the remainder of the year is to be built. The upcoming festival of Cancer is of particular interest to us because it sets the tone for the remainder of the solar year in terms of how we build upon the subjective experiences of the three months preceding this one, and it goes a long way toward showing the prevailing undercurrents of thought that condition the mass of humanity in any given year.
Cancer is a sign that is intimately connected with humanity, as we shall see, and the concepts of birth, home, the building of community and the groups of people with whom we are associated all spring from this, possibly the oldest, sign of the Zodiac. It will also be of great interest to us to note that the history of Earth humanity began in the sign of Cancer because we gained our very Souls in that far-distant eon of time and that Venus was directly a part of that process though, even esoterically considered, Venus is not associated astrologically with that sign at all.
Alignment of Souls
This full moon of Cancer occurs on the 2nd of July 2004 at 9:10 PM AEST. There are many interesting features in the chart for that event to which we will attend in due course, but probably the most notable are the fact that the Sun conjoins Saturn then--Cancer being the sign of Saturn’s detriment astrologically--and the fact that Venus has just gone direct and is still on the degree of its station. Venus is again tied intimately to this solar festival, but for different reasons than those of the Gemini festival.
The main reason that it is of such importance in this one is precisely because it does turn direct while the Sun is in this sign and it thus sets the objective course for the newly adjusted human relationships that have come about from the recent powerful Venus transit. The newly adjusted relationships to which I refer are largely subjective (being between Souls and people’s alignment with those Souls) and will work out on the material planes in due course. For some people there have already been radical changes in the ways and means in which we relate to others and to our inner life, but for the majority of people the Venus transit has passed unnoticed, aside from the media coverage of the event. People for whom Venus is a primary planet astrologically, like me, have likely felt much more of an effect than have other people. That has certainly been the case for me. So, before we launch into an investigation of the planetary dynamics of this Festival of the Ashram, as I call it, we should examine more deeply the significance of this most august of signs and see what secrets it holds for us—and there are a great many, as it turns out.
In its orthodox interpretation, Cancer is said to rule the home, history, women, childbirth, the alimentary canal, the chest and breasts, nurturing and nourishment, food, cities, domestic life, water, motherhood, fish and fishing, cancer (the disease), places near water, the masses, land and lands, ones inherited tendencies, gastric disturbances, asthma, emeralds, the self-protective instincts, sheep, white roses, Africa in general, Central Canada, nursing, stores and toilets, to name but a few things. We thus see that through this sign we get our sense of lineage and shared history, the primary groups with which we are associated, the ways in which we nurture ourselves and the sense of foundation and support that we develop within and amongst ourselves. The primary force behind these things is the feminine archetype and Cancer has long been associated as the main sign through which humanity is fostered and nurtured. It is the sign that breathed us forth as humans, hence its association with the lungs and chest and it is the sign wherein we give birth to new lines of manifestation as Souls. It is a sign associated with beginnings, but manifested ones in distinction to Aries, which gives the impulse to manifestation.
In part two of this article, Malvin looks more deeply at the role of the Sign Cancer, its relationship with Venus and explores more of tthe mysterious history of humanity and the development of souls.
Read part two of The Festival of the Ashram