Month: August 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Here We Go Round In Circles

A Merry-Go-Round is the image at 6° Virgo, which is ruled by Pisces in a twelve-fold sequence. We are dealing with the cyclicity of life and it’s ups and downs. I will not bore you with some recent experience with this. Let us just say that when you pursue an annual project certain patterns will get repeated no matter how you try to avoid them. In the wake of a Pisces Full Moon today, one might feel that we have reached a certain culmination and are beginning a new cycle—the Moon, being the fastest moving “planet” in our astrology, is the most constant example of cyclcity. And, too, as we approach the end of August and unofficial end of Summer, focused on the rentrée, we may be wistful or feel that we did or didn’t extract enough, or perhaps, to much out of the season. On a merry-go-round we do aim to grab at some brass ring. But if it were easy everyone would do so and be given a free ride. For most of us, there is no such thing. At least, not often.





They symbolism of the merry-go-round and brass ring is such: With each turn of the wheel, with each recurring event or period of time in our lives, we have the opportunity to exhibit a sense of mastery or accomplishment. We mustn’t let the ups-and-downs, symbolized by the horse or other animal we’re riding keep us from reaching our goals. We must work on our timing, we must negotiate the movement of the world, as she turns, and we must strive to do things better than last time we found ourselves at this point on the wheel. What new skils and mastery can we put on display now; what have we acquired which we didn’t possess at this same time last year? We cannot control the life force which is cylical by nature but we can remember we have in some ways been here before and we must strive to do better as we journey along what should be an upward spiral.


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Another Aquarian-ruled oracle and another experience of communion with spirit: At Virgo 5°, the Sabian Symbol is A Man Becoming Aware Of Nature Spirits And Normally Unseen Spiritual Agencies speaks to opening our awareness to levels of consciousness. Yes please. It’s a shift in consciousness from the material to the energetic whereby we understand that all life forms, ourselves included, are externalizations of energetic forces. It’s not so much that we contain a spirit but that we are spirit who appear to one another on the earth plane in physical form. It’s a subtle but powerful distinction. And so this image isn’t necessarily about getting glimpses of hmm-hmms or receiving some divine message from saints or angels, it’s the understanding that all is energy and that form is just a fancy term for a more concentrated, consolidated emanation thereof.


On days when I’ve not felt quite energetically connected, not comfortable in my skin, due to a loss of sleep or eating the wrong foods or being overserved an adult beverage or garden-variety stress, I like to drop into a state of understanding myself as a collection of swirling atoms, all of which were wrought in the furnace of stars, because that, my friends, is actually a fact. And you can call it spirit if you want, but I prefer the term energy; and because I am a collection of units of energy that can be broken down into smaller and smaller units as history and scientific ability to perceive the infinite microcosmic I can understand that the pain in my leg, or the knot in my back, or the tension in my face is all a result of my essential energy being blocked from taking its proper form. It’s a very practical thing, folks. And I recommend doing this. Sure, you can say it’s meditation. I prefer to regard it as essentially being, getting out of energy’s way.

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Up A Tree

At Virgo 4° the symbol is Bland And White Children Play Together Happily, the keynote of which is “the overcoming of socio-cultural prejudices. Unfortunately this image, divined in the 1920s, isn’t dated. There was the recent story about black children at a pool party in Texas being terrorized by police, all of which was caught on video. And to be honest, living in a very white world in summer on Cape Cod, where I produce a performance festival, I know very few black people and we have never presented a black performing artist in festival, for no lack of trying. But even our supposedly diverse world of “downtown artists” is pretty pale for the most part; and it’s something I can feel self-conscious about. But surely I’m not going fill some sort of quota; the times I’ve offered shows to artists of color have simply not worked out in their ability to perform. Still, it’s pretty shocking. And I’d be a liar, as would be anyone in my expanded social circle, if I said I inhabited a diverse community, race-wise, because I do not.


So that’s the reality that this image brings to bear. On the metaphoric level this oracle, ruled by Capricorn in a twelve-fold sequence, is about spiritual brother/sister-hood or fellowship. Outward forms along with cultural biases or class have no bearing on what connects those of us who might consider themselves on a spiritual path. The notion of some universal fellowship underscores all great spiritual schools that envision a great family of man. How this relates to Capricorn is in that sign’s cardinal-earth assignation of the mountain of which the goat is its natural inhabitant. The mountain symbolizes the pinacle of spiritual growth en route to receiving revelation—and there is room enough for everyone at the top of that mountain, room enough for all of us in a pantheon of divine humans. I believe a tree to also be a symbol of Capricorn’s cardinal-earth status; and all we humans are all indeed, quite literally, family; this is a scientific reality which cannot be disputed. The tree has many branches but it is all rooted in the same experience. We might do ourselves a service in simply picking some path or some school of spiritual teachings in the knowledge that connects to all other spiritual traditions and religions. Organized religion has indeed separated people who become locked in the dogmatic vehicle for channeling what should be a pure spirituality. The word re-lig-ion actually means to re-link. So anyone who subscribes to a particular religion should be free to do so but there must be the underlying understanding that all religions are linked into the one true great religion just as all wo/man, regardless of race, creed or color, are related by blood.


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Angel Dost

Unsurprisingly, Virgo is providing some mystical images. At Virgo 3° the picture is, simply, Two Guardian Angels. It’s the very image of unseen help and protection. When we disceren and then sacrifice the detritus in our life, or it falls away, sometimes violently, making us feel rather crucified we must fear not. Because what emerges in its wake is the realization that there is no void but rather invisible forces that surround and sustain us. Some of us might understand that is the true and constant reality. For others it might take more and more crucifixion. Some never get it. I take heart in the fact that most people who seem to “succeed” in the material world are most divorced from this true reality; sadly, when all externals are stripped away, as they are, ultimately, for everyone, it is more difficult for said Trumps to cope, meanwhile they find themselves never having had even a glimpse of life’s true reality, as it is, suffused with spirit and guidance.


Occultists, among whom I count myself, discern heirarchies, even, in this spiritual realm. There are the hmm-hmms who spiritually entitize the vegetable realm and their are animal spirits and then there are those assigned to we supposed human wardens of the world. When we are stripped bear we may be forced to recognize this; or we might slowly and meditatively seek communion, or both. It’s curious that there are two guardian angels in this image. Let me ponder that a moment. Well I suppose the simple answer is that two angels are better than one; that if we imagine ourselves wounded or stumbling we might need an angel on either side, to lift and carry us. Also you and said angels do form a trinity of sorts. And, if we were to be assigned two angels, there would be some checks and balances. Why it’s fitting that this symbol would be ruled by Sagittarius in a twelve-fold sequence is because Sagittarius is the zodiac’s Seer. And it is the seers of this world, the clairvoyants, who understand that we are not alone. Ever. That when all is stripped away there is something else, not nothing. There is something on the other side of our personal crucifixions, that is the crux of all existence. Be happy when things are stripped away. Be happy when the noise of distractors, if not your detractors is silenced by their alienation. For in their wake is something that sustains you in this life and beyond. I think of Joan of Arc and her saints and angels. I think of the many seers with their knowing smiles. Happiness is the connection between our inner strength and our conscious mind.


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Gone With The Wind

I had a feeling these Virgo images were going to get a bit deep and heavy: A Large White Cross Dominates The Landscape is the symbol at Virgo 2° and it’s about the “wisdom and compassion which only the experience of suffering and isolation can bring”, perfect for a Scorpio-ruled oracle in the sign of Virgo. In the previous article we talked about discernment and I even ended with the Starsky + Cox adage on compassion. Today we go a step further, or rather deeper, getting beyond the subjectivity of the ego to really discriminate from an objective point of view. The cross image symbolizes our own crucifixion, that is have come to a crux, a crossroads in our emotional experience whereby part of ourselves has been sacrificed, and that part is all ego. It marks the spot on our spiritual path where we leave the people, places and things of the world of appearances behind and enter into better communion with more exalted beings (like ourselves?). In short, we’ve been put through it and it has deepened our sense of self, which is no longer subject to the erratically blowing winds of surface experience. And yes we may have found ourselves crucified by others in that process, something which was once painful but is now wholly liberating.


Just as, in the former image, we used that (Libra) analytical mind in pulling apart the situation at hand, now we have to sacrifice the tool of the mind which allowed us to perceive the diversity of our experience, all the angles, and feel the deeper emotional resonance. Scorpio is akin to the phoenix and we do rise from the ashes of our former experience but only if we let burn what no longer serves. Understanding arises from the death of the ego and, without looking ahead, I imagine the next oracle, ruled by Sagittarius (motto: I understand) will give form to this expression. But right now we are allowed to feel the death of said ego via this very picture of Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, the destroyer. We must accept the death of a former existence that no longer reflects the more holy individuals we’ve become.


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Vive La Difference

Virgo 1°, the Sabian Symbol, In A Portrait, The Significant Features Of A Man’s Head Are Artistically Emphasized. Discrimination is a Virgo word if there ever was one, and this is what today’s oracle is all about—distinguishing this from that, compare and contrast, digesting differences, so to mete out what’s what, ye olde wheat from chaff. Virgo, it’s Virgin holding that sheaf of grain, begins harvest time, and on the feminine side of the sign’s archetypal coin we are in the realm of the Earth Mother, Demeter (Roman: Ceres, from whom both the words cereal and ceremony derive), and her maiden daughter/self Kore, who will become Persephone the goddess of the abyss. Demeter is Pandora (all giver) but that little trouble maker Pandora (meaning all-given) is also part of the metaphysical mix here. She was a little plaything made of clay, made by the potter god Hephaests (Roman: Vulcan)—August 23 marks his festival of Vulcanalia—a collage of all the grand goddesses best features, the original sex doll, whose box (ahem), actually it was a vessel or a vase (lots of v-words associated with Virgo) that contained by virtue and vice (see what I mean?). Wheat from chaff, good from bad, our ability to discriminate.

As the Virgo virgin holds that sheaf of grain she two considers, discerning, what about that phallic seeded object is going to give nutrient and what might be detritus. Just as yesterday’s Leo image was ruled by the subsequent sign of Virgo, today’s first Virgo image is ruled by Libra, the Scales, which puts extra emphasis on the weighing. We must weigh and measure, mete out and consider, lift and separate, sift and discrimate, before we can reach some harmonious Libra balance. We don’t just make decisions, we take in all the information and we deliberate; without doing so, decisions can be one-sided, faulty and send us further out of balance and harmony. I’m always interested in how one sign leads, thematically, to the next in the zodiac. And there are myriad ways to slice and dice that, which is what the symbol today is al about. We want to slice and dice. We want to dissect the situation, to pull out pieces of the puzzle before we work them back together. Virgo is about function while Libra is about design. You can’t give short shrift to the former if you’re to achieve greatness, true integrity, with the latter.

Happy Festival of Vulcanalia (look it up—it's a thing)

Happy Festival of Vulcanalia
(look it up—it’s a thing)

And so we pull things apart, sometimes like taffy, exploring every nook and cranny of situations, to make sure that our decisions will serve a solid design for living. So the features of the man’s face in this image are the various features of any life situation which must be viewed as part of a whole. Nothing, especially not ourselves, exists in isolation. Like Mother Nature, all is an interdependent composition, the sum of us being larger than that of our various parts. So, painstaking as our instincts, in service of our analysis (and vice versa) might be, it’s in the knowing of all what we’re dealing with, exploring each feature of our life situation in turn, that will reveal a direction forward. We need entertain every vice and virtue even in the forms of plain ol’ pros and cons, to get to the bottom of Pandora’s box, a metaphor for any complex situation, or can of worms, to find the underlying meaning of not the hope therein. We must explore the most characteristic features of every situation to understand its true form. Otherwise we’re just punching our way out of a paper bag. So don’t hesitate to deliberate and don’t defer differentiation. Exaggerate every angle to see how different it is from other scenarios. En route to fuller understand—a perfect portrait—we must roll around in the extreme natures of all the essential elements. It’s like Starsky + Cox say: Diversity is the Mother of Compassion—all rights reserved.

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Full Disclosure

An Unsealed Letter is the symbol, today, final day of Leo, at 30°, ruled, in a twelve-fold sequence by the sign of Virgo. I think of the shift from Leo to Virgo as being akin to the sociological, historical, literate shift from the theme of Divine Right (of monarchs) to that of the Everyman. And, indeed, an unsealed letter symbolizes the fact that all divine messaging is open and to be read by all, not by a select elite. It’s doubly important given the fact that tomorrow begins the first day of Virgo and these themes, now ruminescent, will come to bear. It’s time to put the pure energy of creation into doing, and the opportunity to do so must be available to all.

I intended this Blague venture to be a combination of things. And I’ve become stuck in exploring the Sabian Symbols. I have made my piece with thinking that, next year, I will print (what will be) last year’s posts as side bars as I embark on more personally resonant exploration of the energies endemic in each degree of the zodiac. Meanwhile, I must admit, and I might make it a practice, that I could just stop exploring the Sabian Symbols at this point and start being more personally expressive. I mean, the thing is, I have a great deal of writing I must do for performance and otherwise, and this was meant to be something of a vehicle for that content. Then I got locked into some kind of self-imposed agenda where these symbols are concerned; although, again, I stress, I have learned quite a lot.

As this is the last day of Leo, I might (try to) make the transition starting tomorrow, to just state what the symbol is, offering a thought or two, and then get on with whatever is on my own mind. Let’s see how that goes. After all, today’s image is about our personal thoughts actually having universal appeal, which is why, I suppose, I got on this rant.

“What any man thinks and deeply realizes becomes the property of all men,” says the scholar of these symbols. I subscribe to this notion, because, as you may have encountered, if you don’t record or document your funny or deep or resonant ideas, within no time at all you’ll hear them come out of somebody else’s mind and mouth. That’s one of the biggest cosmic blagues of all. Enjoy your last hours of Leo for tomorrow it gets real with Virgo.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Marta Kristen as the Mermaid in "Beach Blanket Bingo."

Marta Kristen as the Mermaid in “Beach Blanket Bingo.”

A Mermaid Emerges From The Ocean Waves Ready For Rebirth In Human Form is the Sabian Symbol for Leo 29°. It symbolizes feeling and intuition rising from the realm of the unconscious bent on taking form (as life) in creative hought or art. I like to think of this image as the Muse taking form via human creativity. When we embark on creative venture, we hope for the elation and elusive emergence of said Muse. We hope it won’t fade back into the ocean of collective unconscious from which it poked it’s gorgeous head—we aim for its passionate realization, with a blend of angst and exhilaration.

Scholar on the Sabian Symbols, Dane Rudhyar says that this picture “suggests that the fire of desire for concrete and steady forms burns at the root of all techniques of self-expression.” I find this a fitting turn of phrae in light of Leo’s rule over this oracle, in a twelve-fold sequence, as Leo is the fixed-fire sign, governed by the Sun, both sign and planet connoting a creative center of the human heart(h) and core of the solar system. The a-musing mermaid is the living archetype reaching toward consciousness through us, as creators, or, rather, co-creators with god, the sphere of our existence ruled by Leo’s astrological fifth house. Rudhyar likens this to “cosmic Love [that] seeks tangible manifestation through hman lovers.” The main feature of any mermaid legend is that she seeks to become human through her love for a mortal.


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In Focus

At Leo 28° we consider Many Little Birds On The Limb Of A Big Tree, an oracle ruled by Cancer in a twelve-fold sequence. The main thrust is that of multiple potentialities, a nod to the sign of Cancer’s energy of promise and deliverance. Birds signify spiritual flight, and the multiplicity of them in this image points to their being a surplus of choices by which one might further their spiritual journey. Even when it comes to our own burgeoning illumination, we can feel out on a limb, needing to focus our soulful energy in a specific direction. In the end all spiritual paths lead to the same destination and we needn’t fret about this vehicle or that on route. But as our vision expands we must actually fight our expanding mind, open to possibilities, and put our faith all in one direction. We mustn’t get lost in the Cancerian flood of numerous spiritual potentiality lest we face the same dynamic of distraction as we do from the multifold minutae of dailing living. We actually benefit from limiting our vistas, which might sound ironic.

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All Aglow

The Luminescence Of Dawn In The Eastern Sky is the symbol for Leo 27°. In the previous image, we were shown the connection between our material, mortal (earth) and our divine (sky) selves through the image of the rainbow. It showed us our inherent worth and promise—and also the promise of our lower self in marriage to our higher, a link that we mustn’t break. Today we not only accept this link, we seek to blend it in ourselves, making this the crux of our divine-human duality. Fittingly, this oracle is ruled by Gemini, the sign of duality which isn’t essentially one of polarization of opposites but the realization that so-called opposites are the same. The alpha and the omega is the same point on a cyclical vision of existence. And so we are now aglow with this blended self of being divine humans as we embark on a new journey, as does the Sun, beginning with dawn in the eastern sky. It is thus we live as illuminated beings. Let’s give that a whirl, shall we.

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