Festival of Salvation
subtle meanings of the Full Moon in Virgo 2005
Malvin Artley, our esoteric authority, outlines the subtle implications of the Full Moon in Virgo, the Piscean Moon for 2005. This Full Moon occurrs on the 24th of February. It is a most remarkable Lunation and will have ramifications for the year ahead.
There is nothing quite like early morning in the Appalachians. All the great mountain ranges have their special aura and angelic Presences, but I grew up close to the Appalachians, and my experiences there have shaped who I am. I particularly remember them from the spring and the autumn—transformative seasons in a deciduous mountain range. In the time before the Sun rises the dew has settled out of the mountain mist and the birds begin to stir and proclaim the day as the first rays of sunlight grace the skyline. The low clouds roll though and one feels enveloped in the moving fog, safe form the night's restless turnings and in that period just before the onslaught of day. There is a unique mood of reflection and of stirring then as the cool, misty wetness caresses the face, and one is given over to assimilating the previous night's reveries in the land of dreams and extended senses. Then the thoughts slowly turn to the day to come.
As I was out driving between jobs today the strains of Aaron Copeland's “Appalachian Spring” began wafting through my mind, and I was transported back to more carefree times—simpler times. I spent many mornings as a child and as a young man in those ancient mountains. They hold special memories for me, not the least of which are all the times I spent there with my first true love, lost in the flush and intoxication that often only the first love gives. Experiencing the rhododendrons in bloom with your loved one by your side is a treasured gift, but that is only one of countless blessings that love—and the Appalachians—can bring. Life moves onwards, though. For today, however, I indulged in reminiscences from those soul-stirring days—days full of dreams and hopes for the future.
The Enigma of Pisces
Although this article is late, the theme of Pisces will still carry on throughout the year, for Pisces is the sign that most embodies the words “World Savior”. This is the last of the more human full moon festivals in the yearly cycle, and it marks a finishing up of the year's business prior to the inauguration of the high spiritual point of the year, which is marked by the Aries, Taurus and Gemini full moons. Those three festivals are more universal in their impact, affecting the entirety of the globe, whereas the other nine have a peculiar relationship to human psychological unfolding.
Pisces is an enigma to many people, and modern astrology ascribes Neptune as its ruler, which planet is often seen as nebulous, confusing, ethereal, and so forth. It is of interest, though, that in esoteric astrology Neptune rules only one sign—Cancer—and only then from the vantage point of the esoteric and Hierarchical rulerships. We are going to explore a bit more about Neptune in relation to Pisces in this article, however, because it has a very close, though unrecognized, relationship with the planet that is the esoteric ruler of Pisces—Pluto.
I have been given to mulling over Pluto and Neptune in the past weeks because of a class of asteroids that are found in a band of planetary bodies in the outer reaches of the solar system known as the Kuiper Belt. As it turns out, a closer study of these particular asteroids reveals some surprising facts about our two friends in the outer reaches of our solar system. It also begins to peel away some of the veil of mystery which hides the true potency and power of Neptune.
Although Neptune is said to rule over all things nebulous and misunderstood, the fact of the matter is that we really have little understanding of its true nature ourselves. We can be forgiven, then, for associating vagueness, confusion and miasmas with Neptune and for projecting our own misconceptions upon it, even though Neptune is actually responsible for the very highest insight, clarity and vision once all is said and done. As I was saying, there is a particular class of asteroids in that part of the solar system that are all connected with Neptune gravitationally. The occultist knows all too well that gravitation between celestial bodies says a lot about centers of spiritual Being, and that the center of gravity in any heavenly system also indicates the center of its Being. Gravity defines the mundane parameters for the heavenly body representing the Lord of a celestial realm. As we will see, then, Neptune is the Regent of all those particular asteroids under consideration here, and that also includes Pluto, which is thought to be simply a large asteroid anyway in some quarters of scientific thought.
Asteroids and Orbital Resonance
Asteroids are a study all to themselves in astrological and astronomical lore. There are over 50 classes of asteroids in our solar system. The majority are in between Mars and Jupiter, though there are a large number in the Kuiper Belt as well. The asteroids connected with Neptune are of three main types. They are known as trojans, twotinos and plutinos (“small Pluto-like object”). This latter group is the one with which I have found the greatest fascination, but they all have their tales to tell.
The thing that connects these bodies with Neptune is a phenomenon called “orbital resonance”. Without going into technicalities, orbital resonance means that the planetary body involved has been trapped within the orbit of a larger body—usually a planet—and it has an orbit that coincides with the orbit of the “host” planet by a set ratio. In the case of plutinos, the main ratio is 3:2, meaning that for every 3 orbits of Neptune, Pluto or any plutino asteroid makes 2 orbits. In the case of twotinos the ratio is 2:1, and for trojans the ratio is 1:1. There are bodies that respond to various other resonances as well, but they are few and do not constitute well-defined groups as of yet. But, for all of these groups the fact remains—they are all trapped within the orbit and cycle of Neptune and are thus ruled by its gravitational pull.
Orcus and the Plutinos
The asteroid that most captured my attention and prompted my study is one that was just discovered and named. It has been named “Orcus”, and it is a plutino. Its astronomical nomenclature is 90482 Orcus, and it is currently found in the late degrees of Leo. All plutinos have orbits of roughly the period of Pluto (app. 248 years), and they are found on the inner portion of the Kuiper belt. It has been estimated that there are over 28,000 plutinos, but only a few of them have actually been named and described as to their astrological influence. They are all named after gods of the underworld after some type of mythology and in the tradition of Pluto. There are three others I know of that have been named, and they are Ixion, Huya and Rhadamanthus. Orcus is said to mete out retribution over broken oaths. Incidentally, the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings trilogy take their name from Orcus, and in the story line they were formed in the Underworld.
Ixion is said to unleash punishment for broken promises and for spurning the gifts God has given (I stray from the mythology a bit here to keep things simple and brief.). Huya is named after a rain god from the traditions of a South American aboriginal tribe. And, Rhadamanthus was one of three judges of the dead in Hades—the revealer of crimes thought to be impenetrably hidden—and he had a special rulership over Asian cultures. The latter was also known as a very fair and impartial, but also very stern, judge. I have not gone into the astrology of these to any depth. My fascination with them lies in their relation to Neptune and the role Neptune has in the scheme of things as a result.
Pluto and all of these plutinos cross Neptune's orbital path due to the eccentricity of their orbits and their inclination, but there is never any danger of them colliding with Neptune because of those factors, plus the fact that, due to the gravitational nodes (I won't go into that here), they all cross Neptune's orbit at 90 degrees from Neptune, either advancing or retarded. Hence, they are always square to Neptune when their orbital paths cross. This latter fact is of interest to astrologers, because it somewhat defines the relationship between Pluto, the plutinos and Neptune.
Crossings of Consequence
These crossings (squares) occur roughly every 248 years. Keeping the aspect orb to one degree, the last time this happened was between 19 Dec 1815 and 4 Sep 1820. It happens several times during those 5-6 year periods. The interesting part of it is that no real history-changing events took place at the time of the last one. The war of 1812 ended, Napoleon was exiled to the Island of St. Helena and Mt. Tambora in Indonesia exploded. These sorts of things happen all the time throughout history, though, and there is nothing there that could really be called a pattern that would fit the aspect.
However, if one looks at the people who were born then and when we examine the legacy they left to the world, a pattern does appear. Of those, we have the following people of note:
- Elizabeth Caddy-Stanton (women's rights reformer)
- Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto—a noble ideal, but practically impossible to make work in the world at large at the moment)
- Frederick Douglas (The Great Emancipator)
- John Ruskin (naturalist and critic)
- Queen Victoria (pride of British Empire)
- Allan Pinkerton (of detective agency fame)
- The Bab (whose followers eventually founded the Baha'i faith)
- William Tecumseh Sherman (founder of modern warfare—scorched earth policy)
- Susan B. Anthony (suffrage, temperance and equal rights activist)
- Florence Nightingale (founder of modern nursing)
- Horace Wells (dentist and pioneer of anesthesia)
- William Thomas Green Morton (same)
- Crawford Williamson Long (surgeon, anesthesia)
- Ignaz Sommelweis (pioneer in germ theory and post-natal health)
- Edwin Drake (inventor of the modern oil well)
- Otto von Bismarck (statesman, emperor of Germany, founder of social security)
- Sir Humphrey Davy (miner's caps and mine safety)
- Amelia Jenks Bloomers (activist—women have her to thank for “bloomers” and comfortable underwear—freedom “underneath”)
- Harriet Tubman (“underground railroad”—freedom from slavery).
- All of these people stood for freedom in some way
- most of them sought to relieve human suffering
- most of them were unifiers and/or pioneers after some fashion
- most of them brought light into dark places and brought forward social reform for the under classes or for the sick or oppressed
- some of them worked directly with the “underworld”, either literally or figuratively, and brought things either to light or to the surface
- They were all reformers and all of them eventually brought the release of human suffering in some way and ended the old social order in some way.
There is more that could be said, but this will suffice for now. A few of these will seem a bit of a stretch, given the criteria I have just outlined, but a little reflection should show the truth of the matter. Also, we may not like what they stood for, and the truth is that none of them were saints, but they all advanced the human condition in some way or at least gave us vision for the future. It is also of interest that Kepler was born during an earlier period of this square (pioneer of modern astronomy) and that Anton Mesmer (hypnotism) passed on in the 1815-1820 period. This square says a lot about the ending of illusions and awakening people to realities. One of these periods also marked the commencement of Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and All-Saint's Day as holidays, as an aside.
So, what does all this say about the relationship between Neptune and Pluto? Malvin continues his discussion in part two of this article.