Sunday, August 12, 2012
Understanding the Cosmic Story
Understanding the Cosmic Story
The ancients used the sky as a tool, to tell time, to mark the changing seasons, to give direction, and to look into the present and the future. It was a star (or perhaps the conjunction of three or more planets) that prefigured and then led the wise men to the Christ Child. At the moment of our birth, there is also a special configuration of stars in the sky that symbolizes who we potentially might become. This is the astrological blueprint of our birth charts, which shows the dynamic interplay of cosmic rhythms and energies that form the patterns of our lives. As we become more conscious of the pattern, we participate to a greater degree in the unfolding of our destiny. We can use these star charts, just as the ancients did, as one way of understanding the meaning of the divine pattern manifesting itself in us. By looking to the configuration of the planets in the birth chart, our experience can be seen as a process of becoming, a dynamic energy flow. Just as you can keep track of your dreams in connection with the moon's cycle, you can track the energies at play in our star system and how they relate to you specifically through your birth chart.
Since July 1997 when Look Magazine’s cover story was on Astrology as a Blueprint for the Soul, people are paying more attention to astrology and the sky. At that time, over 48% of Americans believed in the efficacy of astrology. Today, the younger generation use astrologers the way baby-boomers went to therapists. Astrology has a long and illustrious history. Most of the philosophers and scientists of western society were astrologers, believing that we are indeed connected, not only to each other, but to the cosmos and its natural laws.
For example Pluto symbolizes the evolutionary energy of life, like the transformation sought by alchemy. Pluto is the Roman name of the god Hades, the Lord of the Underworld and of hidden wealth. All the tremendous energy of the unconscious, with its potential for destruction, for transformation and for richness of life, is symbolically focused through this planet. When Pluto moves through an astrological sign, it brings up what is old and outworn, twisted and dead so that the old forms get released and new forms are energized. On both a personal and collective level, this energy feels dark and extremely powerful. That's because our ego and our society does not like change, although evolution and change are the universal laws of life. Whenever we experience a transit of Pluto, we are forced to face what is dead in our lives, whether a relationship, a job, a belief system or a way of life. If we fight it, we feel as if we literally might die. If we open ourselves to the changes, new life comes into our lives. A few years before I ended my marriage of seventeen years, I dreamed of a Plutonian figure to whom I had to submit. I had to freely choose to face him and go through the initiation of death which he offered. Although divorce is a sad and often traumatic process to go through for all involved, it appears that this was the only way for me to die to my old life and be reborn.
On a collective level, this power wants to change our societal, collective forms of government, religion, relationships, education and social structures. For the first time in 240 years, Pluto moved into the sign of Capricorn in 2008-2009. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was before the American Revolution. Capricorn rules government, corporations, our money system, our societal values. As you well know, this aspect of our collective life has significantly changed since 2008. We are seeing the beginning of the end of patriarchy. The old powers are fighting the changes, but in the end, we will have a different society. The hardships we are going through are really the necessity to evolve our cultural institutions. Once we have completed the process of change, we will have a society that values the feminine dimensions of life along with the masculine ones.
As we accept this dark energy of death and transformation and work with it, these energies will help us evolve our lives and our society. It helps immeasurably to understand that there are archetypal structures that will direct the energy flow for us. Once we stop projecting our shadow qualities upon people or countries that displease us, we will be able to let these forces work on us. If we become conscious partners in this rebirth, we'll see an easier transition in the collective culture. I sense that we linger on our fear of nuclear war and our war on terror because we have no images of a different world to take us beyond that point of destruction. Only our own psychological deaths and rebirths can give us the wisdom we need to create a healthy environment in which the whole world prospers.
Pluto is a symbolic representation of the archetypal patterns of death, rebirth and evolution. The planets represent the archetypal energies, the instinctual patterns of behavior, which are the very essence of what it means to be human. But the contents of the archetypes are not predetermined, and the ideal pattern includes the lowest as well as the highest consciousness available to our species. The old myths and stories show us the archetypal wisdom, but we have to remember that these myths can be transformed as we consciously live them out. Depending on the inherent potentials at birth, as well as the environment the soul is born into, each of us works out different patterns of being human and of being in relationship. This is how we manifest the "astrum" or star within. Every time we look up at the stars, we see that their ever-changing, yet basic, patterns shed light on our earthly existence, on each moment in ordinary time; yet the light that we see began its journey to earth millenniums ago. This light that we see is somehow eternal, for it deals with a different sense of time. The light and the wisdom of the stars are ancient, and knowing this helps us engage in life in an eternal context.
A 45 year-old woman, who was getting in touch with her feminine spirit, was becoming disenchanted with Christianity. Her religion was very important to her, and yet she began to realize that there was no longer any life and soul in the church for her. Her main worry in leaving the church was "Where do I go from here?" This dream showed her the emptiness she felt in church, and then gave her an experience of spirit when she left it.
I'm at my church for Easter service. There is no altar, just rows of seats. I wonder if I should stay to play the organ, but think, "God, I haven't played it for a year and a half." When I look for the music for "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" it is not there. They only have what I consider to be one-dimensional music there.
Later I'm outside with my mother, who is blind. I'm helping her up some wide steps. It is night, and the sky instantly lights up with all these stars. I'm just overcome by this - it's the biggest thing that's ever happened to me. Somehow, my mother can see all of this, too.
I'm looking at a constellation and far away I see stars exploding like fireworks. There are wonderful showers of green, red and yellow lights. I think, "This is a star bursting." The green sparks fall to earth and we're caught in the shower. As we move away I say, "We are blessed, we are blessed." I feel a real heightened consciousness.
This woman realized that for her the church no longer energized the appropriate feeling response about the rebirth of life, through the image of the Easter service without altar or music. The missing altar indicates a lack of sacred focus. The feeling connection, the passion of true spirituality, is represented by the beauty of the song she is looking for, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." She wants to feel rebirth. Even though she feels as if her musical ability (feeling life) is rusty, she is willing to take the chance. But there is only 'one-dimensional music' in that church. She only finds the experience of rebirth imaged for her outside, in the night sky. As the star bursts (dies) it showers her with such feeling that she can exclaim, "we are blessed!" She stands there in a heightened consciousness with her blind mother, who is not denied this vision either.