Thanksgiving: part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Festival of the Quickening | Festival of the Law| Grand Quintile
Thanksgiving at Aunt Mary's
subtle meanings of the Full Moon in Gemini
Thanksgiving is celebrated in the USA on the 4th Thursday of November, which in 2004 is November 25th. This popular celebration is fundamentally a harvest festival, and like such festivals the world over, gives thanks to the divine providence for the blessings of the harvest bounty and all the good things that come to us in life. In this article, Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, gives us some impressions of his Thanksgiving experiences, along with the subtle implications of the Full Moon in Gemini, the Sagittarius Moon for 2004. This Full Moon, the Festival of Aspiration, occurs the day after Thanksgiving, on November 26th. Malvin argues that there is a great healing task before us. The outgoing, venturesome nature of Sagittarius is always seeking over far horizons, so strong is the urge to move forward and achieve that which is out of reach.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!
Thanksgiving was always an epic affair with my family. We usually spent the holiday with one of my aunties in New Jersey, just across the river from New York. It was a long drive from North Carolina with 6 people in the station wagon, always with the endless questions: “Are we there yet?” “Can I have another sandwich, mom?” “How many more miles before we get there, dad?” And, as always, the same old answers—“Two miles less than the last time you asked me!” It is a parent's lot in life. Twelve hours in a car is an eternity for a kid, but we knew turkey and stuffing awaited the next day, along with a veritable cornucopia of Aunt Mary's cookies—the reward at the end of the arduous journey.
Though the drive was long, in many ways it was its own reward, too. We saw a lot of sights on that annual pilgrimage, especially on the beltline around Washington DC—the Washington monument, the capitol dome along with many other things. And, we always got regaled with stories from my dad, as fathers like to do. There were stories from his childhood, from army days, from time spent along the same routes and about our national heritage. We heard them all and would appreciate them later but, at the time, all we could think about was Aunt Mary's cookies and the fun and adventures we would have in New York and surrounding areas. I retraced those roads a few months back when I was last in the States, and the memories were just as palpable as if they had happened yesterday. Time seems to have less and less meaning as we get older, except that we never seem to have enough of it.
I wrote a lot about the US in my last article and there is a resonance with the US in this letter on the theme of Sagittarius. There will be a bit more on US themes in this one, as there were some key points I had to leave out of the last one due to time and space constraints. On the whole, though, we are back in full moon mode here. This full moon occurs on the 27 Nov 04 at 7:08 AEST (26 Nov 04 at 8:08 PM GMT). Sagittarians are known for their love of travel, of adventure, of wide-open spaces and of philosophy. But, more than that, they are known as very goal-oriented people, always with an end in sight and thus with a path always mapped out before them. This festival could be called “The Festival of Aspiration” and, indeed, all the lunar festivals could be named many things. But, for the Sagittarian there is always a sense of purpose and direction in life if there is any measure of Soul contact within them, and they are never still for very long, so strong is the urge to move forward and achieve that which is out of reach, but attainable in their eyes.
The large quintile patterns that were in evidence at the last two full moons are gone now, save for the base 10th harmonic yod consisting of the Uranus/Pluto quintile and the Saturn apex. I have gone into the meaning of that in previous articles, so I will not go back over it now. But, there is still a lot on offer at this full moon, as there always is. We will get to the dynamics of that in due course.
The Sign of the Centaur
In early days this sign had as its symbol the Centaur, symbolizing the development of the human Soul through the long ages of evolution along with all the selfishness of being human, still having the animal nature strongly a feature of human life and aspiration. Its symbol is now that of the archer on the horse, symbolizing that humanity has risen above the animal nature, but is still close to it.
The association with the Centaur is interesting with regard to this full moon, though, because Chiron is at the reflex opposition with Saturn in the 10th harmonic yod, and there is a definite task ahead of us this year in terms of clarification of our aspirations, of healing that which has prevented the full expression of the Soul's Light and of the karmic necessity of releasing the patterns of old racial and group wounding that has the world in its grips at this point in our history. Some astrologers closely associate Chiron with Sagittarius and, indeed, the entire class of Centaur asteroids could bear some deeper examination with regard to their association with the more ancient interpretations of this sign.
Sagittarius confers a “beam of focused, directed Light” which is aspiration, and which eventually becomes the Light of intuition itself. It is the sign wherein, after the tests of Scorpio, the disciple is granted a vision of the needed task ahead which thus instills the aspiration to achieve the desired goal of service and evolution. The beam of Light then becomes the shaft of the proverbial arrow, shot out toward the desired objective and returning as a flood of intuition after the objective is reached.
In the average person this sign is ruled by Jupiter, which opens many vistas for achievement and which gives the enormous expansive temperament of the Sagittarian native. In the one on the Path, though, Sagittarius is ruled by the Earth itself, thus signifying that the goal is attained only through walking the path of earthly service, of experiencing all the vagaries of human existence, of wandering through the wilderness and bewilderment of Earth life and achieving all in spite of all that. Through it all, the vision is never forgotten, though, and the journey through life becomes one with the goal for the Sagittarian. Thus, we have two main types of Sagittarians—the orthodox, or “Jupiter” Sagittarian and the esoteric, or “Earth” Sagittarian.
It might be asked how the Earth can be a ruler of this sign, since the Earth is not included among the planets in orthodox astrology. Esoteric astrologers do use the Earth as a point in the horoscope, and it is always immediately opposite the Sun in a chart. The lunar degree in the Sagittarius full moon figure is thus very important in a consideration of that full moon festival, because that point is also the degree of the Earth in that chart and it thus marks a point of unique emphasis for the Sagittarian type and for the general aspirations of humanity as a whole. People are well familiar with the Jupiterian Sagittarian and all the qualities of Jupiter that they manifest—joviality, expansive point of view, love of learning and philosophy, love of travel and adventure, an imperiousness at times, judgmentalism at times, etc. What of the Earth Sagittarian, though? To come to an understanding of that we first have to know how the Earth “behaves” in a chart.
A Sore Point?
To put it simply, the Earth is at first a sore point in any horoscope. I know a lot of people would dislike such a description, but a little explanation will indicate why I have stated the Earth's influence to be thus. From the standpoint of our solar systemic constitution, the Earth is one of three planets that go to form the persona of a great Planetary Being. This Being is one of the three major Beings within our solar system. There are said to be three planets that are the main “players” in our system, and they are Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These three are known as the synthesizing planetary schemes within the solar system, and through them all life is resolved before passing beyond our system altogether. This only happens at a very exalted stage of development. The Earth, as mentioned, is associated with one of the three, and the one with which it happens to be associated is Saturn. The other planet in this triple planetary Persona is Mars. Saturn encompasses the mind of this Being, Mars the astral nature, and Earth is the physical expression. As astrologers know, Saturn and Mars are the two main malefics in any chart and thus represent points that can indicate acute or chronic suffering. They can also represent dynamic points of growth, energy and stability in a chart, depending upon how the issues they represent are approached and handled. But, they are often both contentious and sore points when they are activated by transits and progressions, especially if they are stressfully aspected natally. It is the same for the Earth.
These three planets—Earth, Mars and Saturn—are the only planets in the solar system wherein suffering is known. Saturn is said to indicate mental anguish. Mars confers largely emotional suffering, and the Earth indicates physical suffering, to put it all very simply. Both the Earth and Mars are known as non-sacred planets, meaning that their respective planetary Regents have not yet passed those Initiations which would remove them from the need to incarnate and struggle. They have not attained the status of adeptship, in human analogy. Thus, upon those globes, there is great struggle and adversity at times. This is not to say all that is known of those three planets is suffering and negativity. Far from it. They can all express a profound beauty and strength as well. But, they can bring their share of strife because they are still bound by illusion to some degree, albeit on a cosmic scale. The other planets in the solar system are free from it and some, like Venus and Mercury, are very advanced along their own lines.
The Earth has been called “The School of Magnetic Response”. Other less glamorous names for its students are “The Graduates of Painful Endeavor” and the “Adjudicators Between the Opposites”. It is said that its graduates undergo examination upon the astral plane and, as occultists know, that is the plane whereon the forces of duality meet. The Earth is largely physical in its effects in a chart, and it affects primarily the subtle part of the physical plane-the ethers. It affects people primarily through the spleen center (chakra) and it does this through the planetary etheric emanations. It therefore affects the substance of the body that is not essentially associated with consciousness, but rather with the vehicle of physical response that we call the etheric body. In short, it defines the field of experience for the native-the path that must be walked in order to resolve certain things within the nature and that will enable one to work as a Soul on this physical world. It is, on the whole, a very sensitive point with regards to physical health and in demonstrating polarization and the resolution of it. This is one of the reasons why there can be so much physical stress at the time of the full moons.
I know what I have just said will mean little to most readers, so perhaps we can view this in a different way. As is always the case, the Earth is in opposition to the Sun in any natal chart. The Sun represents the present thrust of the life, the psyche, the general vitality, the personal ego, the basic personality type, and it is the primary integrating factor within any chart. It is the life-force. Now, we have to consider what it means to have a planet always in opposition by aspect to the Sun. Oppositions are stressful aspects. It is an aspect that produces an acute awareness, and it does this through polarizing one's consciousness and by forcing issues. It is a mirroring aspect, and it has been said to give a sort of “face-to-face” awareness of the issues indicated by the planets involved. It is an aspect that confers objectivity through a struggle to understand. So, any planet opposite the Sun is a direct wake-up call to the ego, so-to-speak, and with the Earth always there, we are always reminded of our place in life, of the path we have to follow, of the energies we bring to bear on any circumstance and of our greater group obligations. Since the Sun represents us as egos, the Earth represents all that is “not us”, in a manner of speaking. Also, when other planets are in opposition to the Sun, especially Mars, Saturn or both of them together, then the life can be very interesting indeed.
In part two of this article, Malvin explores the role of the Earth as esoteric ruler of Sagittarius. He argues that the Earth is also our window onto the larger world of Spirit. The aim of all struggle and conflict is eventual resolution and beauty in the end. He also has some thoughts on the new Bush Administration, which
will be inaugurated under a Saturn/Chiron opposition.
Read part two of Thanksgiving at Aunt Mary's