“To understand is to stand under
which is to look up to
which is a good way to understand.”
We tend to be earth bound in our gaze. Tied to detail and the tread mill of the mind constantly attending to our thoughts. Planning, solving, anticipating, deep in thought we proceed with our often sheltered perspective of the world. Be that as it may be, it is part of our experience here which serves a purpose perhaps, until one decides that being bogged down by minutiae is not the only way to live.
We can open up and breathe in the stars and realize that the breath is a common denominator, as is the star or the sky or a tree or that moment of darkness that inevitably drives us inward that we might reach outward to ultimately go deeper within. It all begins when we put down our distractions and look.
“Look upward, and there is the sky of the clear light timeless purity, the spontaneous, unproduced illumination brighter than the sun and clearer than the moon, beyond this, there is no view, no meditation, no deeds to be done, young man, your mind is freed in the vast expanse of the blue sky above.”
~from the Memoirs of Jigme Lingpa, as quoted in Dreams and Truths from the Ocean of Mind by Sogan Rinpoche Tulku
The most interesting experiences are available to us when we look, just look. The up suggests that the looking occurs without judgment; that we free ourselves of the ordinary way of seeing and sorting to really open up to the view. Allow ourselves space to breathe and expand into the unseen. Glide between the known and the unknown. Love the feeling of not knowing. Embrace the potential.
“Climb up a ladder to reach the sky.
Try ladders of different heights.
See if the sky looks any closer
from a higher ladder."
~Yoko Ono, Sky Piece VII
The last new moon of the year during which we may feel exuberance, enthusiasm, dynamic euphoria and profound trust. The way of things to come? These feelings relate to the sign of the Archer, Sagittarius ruled by the planet Jupiter, of vision,expansion, growth, wisdom and seeking, stretching, traveling into new territory if it affords a glimpse of the indefinable Truth.
The Archer with his arrow pointed skyward shows the way as the journey continues into a new year. This new moon is at 23 degrees. Just 3-4 degrees away from exact conjunction with the Galactic Center. This article written by astrologer Melanie Reinhart (“Chiron and the Healing Journey and Incarnation: The Four Angles and the Moon’s Nodes”) for Astrodienst puts it all quite succinctly:
When the last five degrees of Sagittarius are stimulated by transiting planets, a process of awakening is initiated. The arrow of the centaur points ‘beyond what we know’, and at the same time refer us symbolically to ‘what we have always known’ in our inner depths.
These intimations have a strong ‘felt sense’ but are not easily verbalised or quantified. A time of accelerated spiritual development occurs, with its attendant life challenges which may include rapid change, separations, crisis, illness and stress as outmoded ideas are released. Phil Sedgwick likens this to a ‘defragging’ process of our mental ‘hard drives’!
Expect a major ‘life-review’ of a very particular kind. Density, opaqueness and blockages within the mind the soul are being spun off, as in a centrifuge. This is a perhaps useful image for the Galactic Centre - a centrifuge - where everything is spun away from the dark centre, revealing an empty space.
This ‘empty space’ is where we are receptive to Grace, and like the black holes said to reside at the core of the galaxy, it generates the substance which will birth the new, individually and collectively.
These moments leading us one to the next feel like exiting the forest for the wide open spaces of rolling meadows where eventually, with little to distract us, we run free. The thoughts, that like a drum beat command us, have become a distant, barely audible tapping.
At this new moon we might also consider the environment in which Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius finds itself in the chart. In conjunction to Saturn all of Jupiter’s good graces are focused toward responsible and discerning, practical application.
Jupiter is expansion. Saturn offers the wisdom to grow and expand minus ego gratification. Both planets move into Aquarius from Capricorn within days of each other. (Saturn December 18 and Jupiter December 20) This bodes well for the development of what is to come. as we will continue to look up toward Truth that serves humanity.
Rules may be broken in favor of the vision that we, as a collective, hold for the continuation of the unfolding. Aquarius,with ruler Uranus, regularly acts to illuminate the darkness leaving no stone un-turned. The Waterbearer shares his treasure with all, equally.
Jupiter and Saturn are closer together than they have been in 800 years and will appear to almost merge as we view them in the night sky. This occurs most precisely on the 21st, Winter Solstice, the day when we can turn our attention inward and reflect upon deeper connections, deeper meaning, deeper awareness. The heart, the deepest aspect of our physical form is the target for our deepest desire.
Another outstanding feature of this chart is an exact (to the minute) inconjunct/quincunx to the Sun/Moon from Black Moon Lilith. We might look at this point (BML is a point in space where the Moon’s shadow cast toward the Earth ends) as similar to that black hole lying at the center of the galactic center. Therein is our emptiness, our knowing that we know not—the undefinable. BML at 150 degrees from Sun/Moon suggests that it is through freedom from attachment, from being immersed in the illusion that we find the liberation that the Archer seeks.
Sagittarius is a centaur, a mythical creature that is half man, half horse—wild and free at heart. These are qualities associated with this sign. Very quick, capable and sociable. Blended are the intuitive nature of the horse to protect the herd and the thinking capacity of the human to extend. It is a fine combination that we have an opportunity to access during the increased dark hours in these few days leading up Solstice.
We can approach it as a hero’s journey combining individual insight with what will ultimately be of greatest service to the collective. The Fool in the Tarot looks skyward as he takes his leap of faith, trusting without any further information to guide him. He finds his ‘security’ in having divested himself of all worldly possessions. He no longer has anything to focus on below his lifted gaze. He is indeed a hero leading us from a microcosmic view to a macrocosmic perspective.
One last aspect of this new moon chart is the exact trine of Mars in Aries to Mercury in Sagittarius. Bold and deliberate, passionate expression to guide us further toward Truth. Are we free to experience all that is available to us or are we limited by the structures that surround and define us? The mind breaks through constraints, revels in vast open space.
“Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up."
~Leonardo da Vinci
May we soar into this New Year unfettered, Self-aware and with ease and grace.
Happy holidays and a peace-full new year!
**Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice.
In 1968 she left the order and moved to Boston. After 1970, her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions. Click here to discover her inspirational artworks