Capricorn Solar Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Cancer 2009
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator is catching up now with the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Cancer for 2009. This is Capricorn's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The Moon is at perigee, so will appear amazingly big and bright, especially at moonrise, when the Moon Illusion, a stunning phenomenon that has long puzzled observers, is in full flight. The Full Moon of Capricorn (the Full Moon at Cancer 21º02') takes place on the 11th of January at 03:28 UT (GMT), which is 10:28 PM EST in the US on Saturday 10th. The peak of the Full Moon in Sydney will be 2:48 PM, so not so impressive (as it's daytime!).
Happy New Year Everyone!
When I was a kid my family always made the day-long trek around the end of November from North Carolina to spend the Thanksgiving holiday season with my Dad's sister and her family in northern New Jersey. I always knew when we were approaching New Jersey, not because I could see the road signs, but because there was particular sensibility that would wash over me. That part of the US – the corridor from Delaware to Boston – has a particular 'feel' to it that is difficult to put into words. Perhaps that feeling I got (and still experience when there to this day) might best be described by a type of pugnaciousness that has a uniquely American quality to it, particularly with regard to systems or paradigms of thought. It is an irreverence toward established authority and anything that limits free expression or freedom of thought, combined with a dogged persistence to overcome in the face of said obstacles. It can be seen in all walks of society through that area of the country – from organized crime all the way to the heights of artistic and technological expression. It has produced and still produces a profound inventiveness – what my Dad always liked to call 'Yankee ingenuity'.
My Dad's brother-in-law – my Uncle Tom – was a perfect example of the type of attitude I have just described. He was one of the most irreverent men I knew. He never took anything on face value. He always challenged the conventional wisdom of things. When he was in the Army he was always just on the edge of the rules. He was one of those people who lived by his own rules. Yet, he was a superb tradesman and craftsman. He studied his trade and craft thoroughly and knew it inside-out. He worked in industry all his life and was always at the top of his game. He loved to nut things out on his own and was pretty generally always successful – and he didn't mind letting you know it. Many people would have called him a braggart, but he could always back up what he said – “No brag, just fact”, to quote the famous line from the TV show. The man had a lot of common sense and lived by his wits, but he always looked after his own. He was a good man and worked hard. He produced a lot in his life and held to a high standard. He gave to the community, too, especially through the Scouts. He is missed, even though his stories used to send us all around the bend sometimes. This isn't a testimony to my uncle so much as it is an illustration of the type of attitude and mind that produced type of inventiveness that helped make America the world power that it is. There is also something of Capricorn in it, the subject of this letter.
The Wizard of Menlo Park
There can be no better example of said Yankee ingenuity, perhaps, than Thomas Alva Edison who was based over in Menlo Park, just a stone's throw from my Aunt's place. I have always been a big fan of 'The Wizard of Menlo Park'. He was a great businessman as well as being recognized as one of the greatest inventors of all time. He was also an initiate of high standing. Just look at his legacy to the world.
However, I always admired the man for his ability to build on past successes and failures alike and to eventually manifest inventions that were eminently practical and commercially successful. His inventions always, in his mind, had to be of use to the general public. As he once said, his inventions were based upon what the world needed, not on what he wanted. He never marked success in monetary terms. To him, success meant that an invention had utility.
On the other side of that, though, he knew full well that volume of sales was proof of a thing's utility. He founded General Electric, one of the largest corporations in the world, on those principles. He was born at a period of human history that saw the rise of the generation that gave birth to the foundations of the modern age as we know it with all its technology. I always heard about Edison and studied his inventions with great interest over the years. Yet, for all that, we never made it over to the museum there at Menlo Park when we visited my Aunt Mary. There was always too much to do in a short space of time – all the 'holiday stuff'. Next time I visit my relatives there I am going to make a pilgrimage to Edison's 'shed', though. Talk about blokes and their sheds – that man had the dream life!
A Quick Look at Capricorn
There are two things to be addressed in this letter: The Capricorn Solar Festival and the inaugural chart for the Obama administration. This is basically two letters in one. We will begin with a few statements about Capricorn, followed by the full moon figure, since that sets the stage for the inaugural chart, finishes off the Year of the Granary Rat and tells us about what we can expect in terms of our personal development and ambitions throughout the coming year. With that, we will begin the body of this letter with a quick look at Capricorn, so we know what we are dealing with here.
We saw in the last letter that Sagittarius is uniquely powerful with regard to humanity because it tells us a lot about our goals and focus in life. Capricorn, on the other hand is uniquely human, in and of itself. Although its symbol is the mountain goat in modern times, it rules at the highest level the class of lives that is called the Human Personality. It (the sign) confers the Will to Manifest and it rules from the higher levels of the mental plane. This class of lives called the Human Personality is actually not the human persona itself, but the cause of it – the guiding force of ego, if you will. It is the human Soul – the Soul incarnate – the final part of our human nature to be transcended before we can achieve liberation. It is the storehouse of all our actions throughout our long series of human incarnations. It is the person as they are, not as outer appearances dictate. If one is able to see the actual human Soul, one knows at a glance the state of evolution of the person, whether the current life is going according to plan or not, the inbuilt qualities achieved over many lifetimes and all the faults as well – that which is yet to be developed.
The actual symbol for the sign Capricorn has been misinterpreted. In the ancient literature, Capricorn referred to the Hindu zodiacal Makara – a non-descript sea monster or leviathan. This Makara ruled over the face of the waters – an obvious referral to the fact that the human personality (Soul incarnate) has dominion over the Lunar Lords (the waters) and subsumes them once the first human rebirth has been achieved. Thus, Capricorn confers the Light of Initiation, which leads the way to the mountain top and confers the Transfiguration. It is only through the action of the Makaras (Kumaras) that the Lunar Lords are subjugated, receive their evolutionary stimulus and eventually are liberated from their own bondage. Capricorn thus, in a way, completes the person and endows a person with their higher qualities. It is this higher intelligence and our ability to blend it with the lives that make up our lower nature that make us uniquely human. If that higher intelligence is used to good ends it leads us to the heights of achievement. If otherwise, it can lead us to the depths of depravity and beastly behavior.
Hence, Capricorn is said to manifest all that is best and worst within humanity. In its lower expression, Capricorn's mantra is “Let ambition rule and the door stand wide.” In its higher, the mantra is “Lost am I in Light supernal, yet on that Light I turn my back.” – a Bodhisattva/Mahayana statement if ever there was one.
The Story of Scrooge
The story of Scrooge is a fairly good recounting of the Capricorn story in modern times. Most, if not all of us, know the story. Scrooge displayed all the worst aspects of a human being-ambitious in the worldly sense, miserly, cold, mean-hearted, self-absorbed – in his younger years. He was ruled then by the leviathan of human ambition and self-grasping and caused suffering to his charges. He was a usurer. The ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future represent the actions of conscience upon the man – the recognition of his higher principles and what he was meant to be in his life. His karma ripened upon him (the Ghost of Christmas Past appeared), showing him how he came to be in this present state. That having been achieved, he was shown how his past actions affected those around him and himself in the present (Ghost of Christmas Present). His conscience then in full swing, he was shown what would happen if he continued on his present course. He was given a precognition (Ghost of Christmas Future) of his most likely future if things remained unchanged. Having experienced these visions, he stood transfigured and began to give to those around him – to serve instead of use, in other words.
Of course, that story had a happy ending (Hey, it was a Christmas story.), as we will all ultimately have. Worldly ambition and self-interest will give way to real generosity, either by choice or through 'visitation'. Just remember that at the time of year we start singing the tune “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” the Beings who are ever-watchful for those of us ready to make a greater contribution to the world – those who are ready to taste the Light Supernal in some way – are looking at the human Souls of the world. If we are ready we are moved by our own sense of compassion for others or we receive a visitation from the 'Christmas Ghosts' and 'follow them up the mountain' if we are not already doing so. Hopefully I have not mangled too many traditions here with my little description. That will suffice for Capricorn. What about the full moon?
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric meanings of the Full Moon in Cancer and the cosmic influences at the beginning of 2009.
Read part two of The Capricorn Solar Festival