Aquarius Solar Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Leo 2009
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator is catching up now with the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Leo for 2009. This is Aquarius's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. The Full Moon of Aquarius (the Full Moon at Leo 21º00') takes place on the 9th of February 2009 at around 14:00 UT (GMT), which is 11:00 AM EST in the US, so not visible, being in daylight hours. The peak of the Full Moon in Sydney will be visible after midnight.
I was walking through one of the leafier suburbs here in Adelaide over the weekend, my feet shuffling through all the fallen leaves. My thoughts were taken back to days of autumn in North Carolina and the huge piles of leaves in the neatly-raked yards of the neighborhood homes – fertile playgrounds for kids intent on ruining an hour's work by another family member. I used to really enjoy playing in those piles of leaves. There is a very distinct smell to them and I have good memories of all those carefree days of youth. My, how we forget to play as adults! As I kicked my feet through the leaves this past weekend, though, my thoughts were not so much on play. There was a big problem with all these leaves. You see, it is not autumn in Adelaide. The leaves do not normally fall here for another few months. As it turns out, southern Australia has just gone through the worst heat wave in a century and all these lovely leaves at my feet were sacrificial victims as the trees tried to save themselves from the glaring sun and heat stress by shedding these dead and damaged leaves. (A word for people who love their gardens from a friend of mine with experience in these matters – do not put water on leaves of plants on hot days. It will kill the leaves.)
One of the things I forecast in the Chinese New Year letter this year was extremes of weather conditions. I was hoping to be proven wrong on that one in some ways, but it has come true with a vengeance in many parts of the world. Aside from the heat wave here, the top end of this country has seen huge floods. At the other end of the Earth, there have been frigid colds snaps and huge dumps of snow. My sister was saying it was 3º (that's 3º F) in Tennessee the other day, with black ice on the roads. It is usually not nearly that cold this time of year. I asked her to send some of it down here. Europe has had big falls of snow, and we have only just started the most extreme month of the year during this period. On top of all this, Australia has just experienced its worst natural disaster on record – what will come to be known as the 'Black Saturday” fires of Victoria and southern New South Wales. At last count there were 166 dead, over 750 homes razed in the inferno and over 5,000 left homeless as a result. The fire front at one time stretched for over 100 km. We had fears of a repeat of 'Ash Wednesday' here in Adelaide, but we were fortunately spared. I am afraid this is not going to be a very happy letter. On the other hand, though, this being the Aquarius letter, the theme is service and service is sorely needed in times such as these.
The Baskets of Nourishment
We need to have a brief look at certain aspects of Aquarius to give us a backdrop on what is happening in terms of one's service work this year and then we need to have a look at the eclipse, which is the 'partner' to the one we just had at the commencement of Chinese New Year. Aquarius rules over a class of lives known as 'The Baskets of Nourishment', which are also known as the 'elemental lives'. This class of lives comprises the type of life that makes up all the forms of any type that we experience in life. They are form aside from consciousness, if such a distinction makes sense. They are the 'building blocks' of forms, if you like. They function largely unconsciously and as a result they are called 'the blinded lives', since they have no evolved sense of 'self' and thus no self-volition in the sense that we understand the term.
Aquarius thus has a curious connection with the elements – fire, earth, wind, water and ether – and it is the forms that these elements, and thus elementals, constitute that comprise the sacrificial base through which all activities take place in a worldly sense. As we saw in a past Aquarius letter (the exact one escapes me at the moment), the united functioning of the elements and elementals – and they are actually one and the same – form what we know as our bodies, or aggregates, to use the Buddhist terminology. Our bodies exist solely for the service of our consciousness and they are molded by that same consciousness. It is the same with all forms in nature. All forms are the result of the coming together of the elemental forces in response to the impress of an 'ensouling' consciousness. Hence, form is inseparable from consciousness. Without consciousness, form disintegrates and the elements are returned to their natural states. It is said that the elements form the support for the activities of consciousness. Therefore, it is not such a huge leap to realize that, since a form (or any phenomenon, for that matter) is manifested in response to some call for work or need for corporeal existence, the elements are united in service when thus 'en-formed'.
Aquarius has the idea of unity in service inherent within its nature, given what we have just seen. The idea of groups is so engrained in the Aquarian consciousness that, for an Aquarian to think about 'going it solo' in some area of life is almost an anathema. Yet, the bond that intimacy engenders is one of an Aquarian's great fears. It is the sign's great contradiction, in my view (and every sign has its own contradictory pattern). “I would do anything with you, but I have to be free in order to do so” – in other words, not bound to a person or circumstance in any way. Such is the catch-cry of Aquarian experience. Yet, it is the very intimate relationship to the form and the work to be done that is the primary testing and burning ground of the Aquarian. The 'way out', or the door to fullness of life for any Aquarian type is to throw themselves whole-heartedly into some act of service to something greater than themselves and to give their all to it – by choice. Aquarius is said to be the sign that exemplifies the 'world server'. It carries the “Light that shines on Earth, across the sea.” To put it differently, Aquarius casts its light out over the vast and oft turbulent sea of human emotion and feeds the souls of those hungry to be free from the bondage of form or circumstance.
We have another dichotomy in Aquarius too: the battle between the desire to possess form and structure and the need to give all thus obtained in service to others. Aquarians can be quite possessive in their own way, as can all the fixed signs. The key phrase for the sign at a worldly level is “Let desire in form be ruler.” Aquarians can do well in business and politics because they have a good sense of form and the value connected with it. Being the sign opposite Leo, they like to rule in their own way, too, but with Aquarians rulership is more about social or group concerns than it is about personal power, as one would see in the worldly Leo type. The key phrase for the sign when the higher purpose is more awakened, however, is “Water of life am I, poured forth for thirsty humanity.” When thus polarized, the Aquarian has learned the lessons of non-attachment and generosity and then gives his or her love of form as a service to others. It is one of the signs where the lessons concerning compassion and the uniquely Buddhist term 'bodhichitta' (the mind of enlightened service) are most potently learned. It is precisely through having to give up or by being deprived of what is desired that the Aquarian learns that form or phenomenon, in and of itself, is an empty construct and therefore of no lasting or true value. All that really matters, then, is life and love towards one's fellows. All Aquarian types know this at some level, even if in most cases it simply manifests as the famous Aquarius aloofness, non-committal attitude or rebellion against any sense of structure or regimentation, as evidenced in the worldly type of Aquarian.
Joy and Pain
All this being said – and I say these things with all love and fondness to my friends who are Aquarian types (and you are many) – nothing will stir a good Aquarian type to action more quickly or profoundly than someone or some suffering being in need. The suffering of others stirs the Aquarian soul to an extent not often found in the other signs. It is their rallying cry, precisely because they have experienced it. It is said that the gods yearn for a human birth because it is only in this human form that the experiences of joy and pain, love and loss, passion and bereavement – indeed, extremes of many types – are experienced to the extent that we, as humans, can. Nowhere else, it is said, can compassion and the mind toward enlightenment be developed to the extent that human beings can manifest. And, the thing about it is, once one realizes that the pain we experience is no different to that of others and often not as great, then one realizes that – “Well, hey! I'm just here on this Earth with all my friends.” A good Aquarian will never turn away a sincere request for help if they can do anything about it. To many Aquarians, there is nothing better in life than a good friend – and lots of them – and they know all of the friend's friends, too.
We have had a very sad few days here in Oz and there are many people in Victoria and southern New South Wales who can now use a good helping of Aquarian spirit. True to form, the response from people throughout the country has been overwhelming. The relief centers have been inundated and help has had to be turned away because there were simply too many people showing up with aid. There was a cartoon in the paper today that pretty well summed up the spirit of things. It showed the two Australian icons (Kangaroo and Emu) holding up a burned-out crest and looking rather charred themselves, with one saying, “We've lost everything” and the other replying, “We still have each other.” Life reflects consciousness. I get the strong sense that the Aquarian ethic will be called upon a lot this year, and the world over. And people will respond. Crisis and hard times bring out the soul in people – the best in people. We need to keep that in mind throughout the times to come, and in the next month to be certain. Aquarius is about community, whether it is the combined mass of cells in one's body or a national or regional group, but more than that, it is about that community coming together in response to a sensed need – in a call to give of self. With that, let us have a look at the full moon and eclipse.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric meanings of the Full Moon in Leo and the cosmic influences under this massively potent Moon. He examines the symbols for the degrees and the meanings of the aspects that affect us.
Read part two of The Aquarius Solar Festival