2011 Pisces/Aries Solar Festivals: part 1 | part 2 | Aquarius Fest | Year of White Rabbit | Capricorn Fest | Sagittarius Fest | Scorpio Fest | Libra Fest
Malvin is the author of Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System. He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalayan tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia, and has just announced that he now has his own website! Check out www.malvinartley.com/. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
Pisces & Aries Moons:
Pisces and Aries Solar Festivals
Restiveness & Restitution
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, presents the Pisces and Aries Solar Festivals, 2011, at the Full Moon in Virgo and the Full Moon in Libra. Malvin did not write a Pisces letter this year due to other commitments, so he has decided to include it in this one, the Aries letter, as Aries starts the high point of the spiritual year—the so-called three great spiritual festivals which coincide with the festivals of Aries, Taurus and Gemini. The Full Moon of Pisces (the Full Moon at Virgo 28º 48') takes place on the 19th of March 2011 at around 18:11 UT (GMT). It's a Super Moon! Then the Full Moon of Aries (Full Moon at Libra 27° 44') is due on April 18 at around 02:45 UT.
How many times have we gone into something, full of passion and expectations, only to find out after committing to a course of action that our plans did not or would not turn out as we had wished? Sometimes we get pleasant surprises, sometimes not. Sometimes our plans turn out even better than expected, but as is the case many times the results do not quite meet with expectations when we are intent upon something we desire, for good or ill. I have had many such experiences in my life. For instance, I had always expected when I was younger that I would probably marry and have a family and most likely live out my life somewhere in the US, probably close to the place of my birth. None of that happened. Whenever outer planets are prominent in a person's chart, as they are in mine, one can expect the fates to conspire toward something other than what we would want personally.
Though some of my expectations have not been realized, I have encountered many other wonderful experiences and people along the way, and have learned—sometimes through trial, certainly by error and often purely by what we like to call 'luck' (there is no such thing, you know)—that the best path to success is to apply oneself toward a goal with a positive mind while ensuring a balance in one's life. Most of all, though, if one acts with the needs of the greatest good in mind in pursuit of one's goals, then one can rest assured that a very favourable outcome will ensue, though it may not be what we expected. As for me, life is certainly not what I would have expected or desired half a life ago—and in that regard I would have to say that I would not change anything on the whole. I have been amazingly blessed—even in the hard times.
One of my teachers always used to say to me that hard times often bring undreamt opportunities, and that to see the good in a seeming personal or national tragedy is a gift indeed, and the mark of a positive mind. He would go on to say that once the opportunity is recognized it should be seized upon immediately though with no proscribed thought about outcome. The outer planets bring that sort of thing into our lives—unforeseen opportunities, seeming obstacles only to have them turn out later to be for the greater good, and sometimes some very strange twists of fate. Always expect the unexpected with the outer planets. And, as it turns out, the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) play a big part in the expressions of Aries and Pisces. I did not write a Pisces letter this year due to other commitments, so I have decided to include it in this one, the Aries letter, as Aries starts the high point of the spiritual year—the so-called three great spiritual festivals which coincide with the full moons of Aries, Taurus and Gemini.
I will be taking a different approach with this letter and will not go into the esoteric dynamics of the two signs, save for a couple of points. Instead, we need to have a look at what is going on around us to try and glean what is behind all the current amazing upheaval in the world.
Uranus at the Aries Point
There are two astrological events that take pride of place in our current considerations: the ingress of Uranus into Aries (12 Mar this year) and the ingress of Neptune into Pisces (4 Apr 2011). Starting with Uranus, Uranus on an Aries point is always a big deal. The last time it was at an Aries point was in the last part of 1988, which saw Benazir Bhutto sworn in as the first female leader of an Islamic state (Pakistan), the Bangladesh cyclone which killed thousands and left 5 million homeless, the Armenian Earthquake which killed 25,000 and left 400,000 homeless, the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing—and it will not be lost on most readers that Uranus has come back to bite Gaddafi, figuratively speaking—and the signing of the UN Convention on Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Those events all took place with Uranus at 0° Capricorn.
With Uranus at 0° Libra in '67-'68, we saw the first use of the term 'Black Hole' in astronomy, the collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River (47 dead) which was linked to the so-called 'Mothman mystery', the disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt (it was thought he drowned in the ocean, hence the meaning behind shop owners in Australia asking if you want a bit of 'Harold Holt' [salt] on your fish & chips), the Battle of Khe Sanh, a quake in Sicily which killed over 200, the debut of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Hawaii 5-0, and 60 Minutes, all television institutions, the rollout of the Boeing 747, the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico, the start of 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland, and the first live performance of Led Zeplin. When at 0° Cancer the effect was much the same (1948-9), with the creation of new states, the first jet-powered airliner (the de Havilland Comet), the 'Red Scare' in the US, the ending of racial segregation in the US, the establishment of the World Council of Churches, the Ashgabat Quake (Turkmenistan, 110,000 dead), and “Dewey Defeats Truman!”, the famous newspaper headline from the US election that year.
Hidden Opportunity Amidst Calamity
Now, the last time Uranus was at 0° Aries was in 1927-8. If we think what is going on is unusual, let's have a quick look at what took place then: Prohibition in the US, the first long-range television broadcast, the first Volvo, the start of the clash between the Nationalists and Communists in China which precipitated a civil war, the Great Mississippi Flood of '27, the start-up of Pan Am Airlines, the capsizing of the Italian ocean liner Principessa Mafalda (314 dead), the Pittsburgh Gasometer Explosion, the Vermont Floods of '27, Joseph Stalin installed as leader of the Soviet Union, and the Holland Tunnel is opened (US). The just-described events themselves may not seem like much in comparison to what has happened so far this year, but the results of those events would have far-reaching consequences in many cases. And we all know what happened in the following year—the Black Tuesday Crash of the NYSE with the ensuing Great Depression. I mention all these events to show two things: Firstly, that Uranus on Aries points brings major readjustments in the realm of human events and major shifting of the Earth on a planetary scale; and secondly, that Uranus brings the hidden opportunity in the apparent calamity and thus shows where better conditions needed to be instituted. In short, Uranus brings restitution of the spiritual on Earth and in human relations. The fact the energy can be misused is readily apparent, as in the case of Stalin for instance, but even he was used to good effect against the Axis powers.
Bringing us up to date, then, Uranus has just made its ingress to Aries, and it did so just a few hours before the Sendai Quake off the coast of Japan. Uranus brings the unexpected and sudden, as we know. This was the last transit and the finishing activation of the 22 Sep 06 eclipse, the one we have looked at so many times before, and it has gone out with the proverbial bang. That was at 0° Libra. We just had an eclipse at 0° Cancer on 21 Dec last year, and that fell across the Japanese horizon axis for their sovereignty chart. Uranus squared that eclipse axis at the time of the eclipse, even though that is not considered an activation by many astrologers, but suffice it to say that Uranus on the Aries point finishing off an older eclipse and then squaring the Japanese horizon was bound to bring some difficulty with it. Add to this the fact that the secondary progressed Japanese Moon was on its natal Pluto at the time of the quake, Uranus was activating the natal Mars of the country by solar arc, and the progressed Japanese Sun is on the 5th degree of Cancer (the 'train wreck' degree) then we can see that the country was bound to be facing some major changes or events. Mars joined Uranus at the square to the Japanese horizon on 3rd April, a very fiery conjunction, and that saw a crack in the reactor containment vessel and a subsequent massive leak of radiation into the waters of the coast at the reactors.
Three Major Quakes
There have been three major quakes with fatalities in the last weeks in the Asia-Pacific region—the Christchurch Quake, the Yunnan Quake in China and now the Sendai Quake, which has just occurred. Our hearts are with the people in Japan, as well as with the victims in Christchurch and indeed anywhere disaster strikes. The scale of the disaster in Japan was huge, with many thousands dead and lost, along with the massive loss of infrastructure, and with subsequent financial fallout the world over. The loss of life in New Zealand was nowhere near as large as in Japan, but bad enough nonetheless. Christchurch is wrecked. The Japanese will also have to have a hard look at some of their nuclear facilities—indeed, the world will as well—as the fate of the Fukushima reactors has been sealed now, with most of them slated for a long period of demolition. They were due to be decommissioned anyway. We saw in the Iron Rabbit letter that disasters of this magnitude can and do take place in Iron Rabbit years. Japan had another very major quake (the Mino-Owari Quake, sometimes known as the Gifu Quake of 1891) in the 1891 Iron Rabbit year, with the loss of 7000 lives. For those who are sensitive to earth energies, there is more major seismic activity in the offing as well. Where it will hit is anyone's guess, but it will be soon. The world is a very unsettled place at the moment.
So, with all that has happened it is understandably difficult to see how such events can bring restitution and opportunities. It makes it seem as though the world is harsh and cruel and that spirituality means only suffering and heartache a lot of the time. There is one thing to realize in all this, however: given human nature, it is the normal inclination of the average person to fall into regular habits of behaviour, not all of them good, and to tend to want to settle for comfort rather than progress. Progress means one has to work, to put in effort, often to step out of comfortable settings. Once a comfortable pattern is established people are loathe to change. Yet, everything changes moment to moment. Nothing ever stays the same. Time marches on, as the saying goes, and if we do not change with the times then we are faced with certain uncomfortable choices when we suddenly wake up to ourselves and realize we are out of step with things. It is not that the choices are forced upon us or that fate decides for us. Rather, it is very much the case that we have been unthinking or unaware of what has taken place around us as the natural march of evolution—even recalcitrant or stubborn in our choices—dragged along kicking and screaming at the perceived injustice of life and the world when change is inevitably eventually placed squarely in our faces.
Karma and Spiritual Will
'Restitution' in the case of Uranus refers to two things—karma and spiritual will. With regard to karma, people incarnate in groups and do so for myriads of reasons. In any natural or man-made disaster there is individual, group and national, even planetary karma to be considered where loss, injury and death occur. The causes which lead to the karmic outplay which is a natural 'disaster' cannot be known to us. The interplay between person to person, person to planetary lives and even person to planet are so complex and often so far removed from the present life that no pronouncement such as “Oh, it is their karma to have died that way” is sufficient. Really, most of the time it is downright insulting to one's intelligence to utter such a statement. Sometimes the reason a person gets caught up in a disaster has nothing to do with karma at all. Sometimes they are there to serve and to sacrifice, hence their opportunity, and we are seeing that even now with the people who risk their lives in the rescue efforts the world over and in the reactors at Fukushima, and in the past at Chernobyl, too. 'Opportunity' in relation to disasters and hard times can refer to both worldly and spiritual matters, but what we refer to more in this context is for opportunity to advance ourselves and others spiritually—in other words, to be more inclusive of and compassionate towards others and to be more forgetful of ourselves with respect to our own self-grasping, our own desires.
Uranus in terms of spiritual will is a more difficult concept to define and pin down. The type of will under consideration here has nothing whatsoever to do with personal life, desires or worldly outcomes, except as those outcomes are better for the greater good. To be truthful about it, spiritual will decimates desire, but it increases compassion and true love immeasurably. The average person has no real sense of spiritual will. Most of the time what people call 'a will of iron' is actually stubbornness or an intensely focused desire nature. Upon close examination, most of the time the quality people call 'will' has a strong element of self-interest in it. True will—spiritual will—on the other hand, has no hint of persona in it. It is always characterized and driven by divine love (compassion) and the urge to liberate all beings from suffering—what Buddhists call 'bodhichitta'. In fact, when Uranus is referred to as the planet which transmits the 'urge toward better conditions', that 'urge toward better conditions' is actually bodhichitta being manifested in lesser or greater measure. The ultimate ruler of Aries in our current models of astrology is Uranus, its hierarchical ruler. With this in mind, then, Aries can be seen as the purveyor of bodhichitta, or the mind of enlightenment, and 'Aries points' as they are called (0° of cardinal signs) are by extension points where such bodhichitta gets activated or accessed. How, then, can 'disasters' be seen in a positive light, and why do I qualify the term 'disaster'?
Karma: the Higher Perspective
Natural disasters are only seen as such by human consciousness, by our sense that some terrible event has occurred and that there has been loss as a result. Such is not the case from a higher perspective. What I am about to say here is in no way meant to denigrate the suffering of people or the loss of life and loved ones through major earth events. Instead, if we understand what has happened in such events both in terms of process and result, then perhaps we can begin to see the opportunities in them—opportunities for our growth. Events such as those that have been outlined in the preceding paragraphs are tremendous releases of energies. The Earth is constantly going through its own internal processes and the shifting of the crust happens roughly half a million times a year, resulting in earthquakes of various magnitudes, most of them small and the vast majority of the times going unnoticed. However, the big ones are used to good advantage in the release of karma, human and otherwise, for we are not the only evolution on this world that accumulates karma.
Nearly all of us have some fairly unseemly karma—to put it mildly—in the mists of our past lives, and that has to be resolved somehow. Natural disasters (the term is somehow inconsistent given our consideration here) are a major way that nature releases us from this heavy burden of karma. Anyone who undergoes one of these events and loses life or limb, or loved ones, is left freed in a major way in future lives. Seen from a higher perspective, natural 'disasters' are blessed events. They are events that bring release from restricting conditions (which is what karma really is) and thus give us better conditions in the future. For those left behind, our collective assessment of what could have been done better and what should be avoided in the future also brings better conditions in the world. For example, the entire world is now re-examining the entire nuclear energy scenario due to the Japan tsunami. Old reactors have to be refurbished or scrapped, safety systems upgraded, the types of fuels reassessed, public safety re-examined—and on and on. There are many who would love to see the nuclear power go altogether, but nuclear energy is here to stay. We just need to do it better. True, there are things that need to change about it, but we are still in the very early stages of its development. Eventually it will be clean, safe and indispensable. Eventually reactors will work like the Sun, which is—like it or not—an enormous nuclear reactor, but such Earth-based reactors are a bit in the future.
I know some of the preceding comments will not sit well with some readers, but there is indeed a true silver lining in all this: All of these events call upon and evoke our collective sense of compassion and aid to others. The outpouring of the world in the past decades to the victims of these events is nothing short of amazing in many cases. It is actually very heartening to see. Nature has a way of calling us back to the reality of what is really important and meaningful in life—our love and care for one another, the removal of separative thinking, a sense of equanimity in the face of major challenges and the urge to be of service. This is the legacy and promise of Uranus, especially on Aries points. Uranus releases us from our psychological conditioning, whether we want that or not. It is an unstoppable force in nature. It calls out our true will.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the symbolic implications of the Full Moons in Virgo and Libra, the Pisces/Aries Solar Festivals for 2011. After examining the influence of Neptune, he looks at the aspects and the degrees with a view to their political, personal and spiritual significance.
Read part two of The 2011 Pisces/Aries Solar Festivals.
Malvin Artley is an accredited member of the
American Federation of Astrologers. His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests in those fields are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism. Malvin has just announced that he now has his
own website! Check out www.malvinartley.com/
He sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. These letters are sent out as a gift and a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list please let me know. If you feel inspired to pass them on please do so, but do so without alteration or charge. They are sent to people of many persuasions, not just astrologers. Blessings. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.