Month: April 2016 (page 2 of 3)

Like It Was Yesteryear

portal-graphics-20_1156606aAries 19°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree:  click here)

On the subject of new beginnings I was thinking what I might have started already this year that constitutes a fresh experience. For one we began doing the Zodiac Club each month at Sid Gold’s in New York. I have begun taking weekly singing lessons—super fun and not easy. I began producing a new series at ART/Oberon in Cambridge, MA. Let’s see what else is new. We are launching our new Boston consultancy HQ. I will embark on a new course of study this year—more on that as it materializes. I’ve been reaching out to publishers as I want to get a new book deal. And I did enter Spring this year with an attitude of increased vigilance, I think, to stick to my guns and honor my Aries-ruled (Libran) Self.

Today is the wedding anniversary of the artists currently known as Starsky + Cox; and we are in the town near the scene of the…I mean the location of the wonderful celebration that occurred some (hand mumbling over mouth) years ago. Let’s ritualize this shite: We are going to trace our steps a bit through the Public Garden and Common but veer off in a new direction that will take us to Harvard Square to where our new favorite restaurant is found. I’m going to eat whatever I want; and likely something that would make John Bartlett upset. But it’s not his anniversary it’s mine. John’s an Aries and I learn a lot from him regarding single-mindedness. Aries are very good at that. He’s definitely on a quest with his animal rights work.

So our wedding was at the restaurant called Cornucopia which was a great spot and we had a soprano and a harpist and they performed a number of songs we requested like Roxy Music’s Avalon, the first line of which is: “now the party’s over, i’m so tired,” which probably was a bit “resigned” sounding for an embarkation into a new life as a married duo, before our names were linked by a plus sign and we spent our days mainly together. It would be a good twelve years before we worked together and we spent most of the 1990s traveling separately for work and such which was also a pretty fun period. So anniversaries are good opportunities to set some kind of new intention. And I’ve got some in mind for our ritual constitutional through the park in a little over an hour’s time.

It makes sense that our marriage is an Aries because the two of us together really do take on the personality of a single entity I think. And it sure has been fiery—does that surprise you? Ah, how little you know us. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

“I gained nothing at all for supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment”—Buddha.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

L’Image

Thurs/Aries 18°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Excerpting:

Show us a person suffering from low-status body language, and we’ll show you a person who isn’t in hot pursuit of her dreams. Show us a person who cultivates high-status body image and we’ll show you an individual with a better shot than most of reaching her goals. It all comes down to constitution, which elegantly carries the dual meaning of the body’s ability to remain healthy and withstand hardship and the formal creation or establishment of something new. Etymologically, we see that these seemingly disassociated notions of physical integrity and the putting forth, the statement, of a mission are intrinsically linked. One’s self-image, which a person might actually mask to varying degrees of success from others, can’t help but be affected by the ability to stick to whatever program one sets out for oneself. Again, it is crucial that we disconnect self-image from the fruits of our labor, instead allowing ourselves to draw power from the effort and determination itself. As the Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron prescribes, we should indeed “abandon all hope of fruition,” not strictly to save ourselves from disappointment but rather in the acknowledgment that fruition is an indefinable term. And, whether one is too lazy to get up and go after what they want in life or someone for whom enough is never enough, we realize that fruition is mostly an illusion. What we want to cultivate, energetically, first and foremost in our lives, in any case, is a continual lust for life via our most primal instincts and interests, as well as our enthusiasm for new ones. Though we may not be dealing with the individual on the soul level here, we are undoubtedly speaking to the spirit in all of us designed to solely cheer on one participant toward his or her personal Good.

            Let’s imagine again that you are the only person on the planet. The human experience is thus determined by you alone, which, for most people would be impetus enough to do things “right”; then again there’s nobody else to whom to do, or even wish, ill. There’s no lying or stealing or any other misdeeds the Judeo-Christian western world has received commandments against perpetrating. We wonder if Sartre had this particular thought in mind when he said, “hell is others.” Alone in the world, you are the protagonist, if only by default. So you get to wear the white hat because your personal good invites no comparison; but, let’s face it, left to your own devices, with a striking dearth of vices, you’d want to create as good a world as possible. It’s just for you after all, and don’t you deserve it? In the metaphysical landscape of “Genesis” where the first cosmic energy “lives”, there is nary a seven deadly sin, let alone an original one, in sight. Lust is no no-no, but rather a most natural drive, whether it be for life purpose or sexual fulfillment. In the latter incarnation, obviously, it behooves us to revisit the existence of others.

            In consideration of the 1st Cosmic Energy, we must understand that our libidinous drives aren’t separate from the other manifestations of lust in our lives. Ask any non-heterosexual person, even those who were aware of their orientation since the playpen, if the repression of ones sexuality is limited to that one aspect of their existence and they will surely tell you: No. It impacts the whole of ones being; and that coming out has a sweeping, freeing effect on their entire life. Forthrightness—a word that combines the notion of forward motion with the might of doing right—is thus more than just simple honesty or frankness about oneself. Rather it denotes the ability to further ones own personal good. Sexuality, which is at the core of our being, is the clearest example of that cardinal-fire spark within us, perpetually being ignited, that which most poignantly animates us. Sex is life, which cannot exist without it; and so our sexual energy, associated with the first “root” chakra, incidentally, should be our prime mover, not simply for the intention of pouncing on whomever strikes our fancy, but in our approach to what we must pinpoint as our purpose(s) on the planet, whether it be a vocation or series of avocations.

            When we casually say that this or that activity turns us on, few of us realize how literally such a statement is meant to be uttered. And the manifestations of desired enterprises, or lack thereof, can have reverse effects on us as well: It is a documented truth that people who don’t pursue their true callings, instead settling into some imitation of the life they ought to lead, often experience a dwindling of their sex drive. The libido (Latin for desire, synonymous with wish) is typically the first casualty in a life of compromise. We dare say, then, that it is as important to admit to yourself what it is you truly want to be in this world as it is to come clean about your sexual identity. Not doing so is tantamount to leading a closeted life of a different sort, if not a brand of suicide, bringing about a kind of spiritual death.

            What stops us from embracing our destiny callings are all the myriad “reasons” against pursuing them by which we are barraged. But these warnings and justifications are only ever a product of our so-called nurture, not our intrinsic nature. They are learned, from outside influences, whether they be discouraging parents or teachers or, more overreachingly, societal groups with handy statistics stacked up against the probability for our achieving success, just another word for illusive fruition. Those people or institutions that discourage us do so out of fear, presumably, for our future unhappiness. When, in truth, it is a fear projected from typically well-meaning but nonetheless toxic detractors who were themselves no doubt discouraged by others, and so on and so on, back through the annals of time. There is also an argument for believing that society has been purposely designed to derail our individual dreams and herd us into fearful collectives to suit the purposes of a select few puppet masters, but we needn’t delve the realm of conspiracy theory to get the crucial point across: It is called discouragement for a reason. For it takes away our courage, which is the very essence of our beloved warrior archetypes still ever-ready to rally their forces within us as embodiments of the 1st Cosmic Energy. To take it a step further, the word courage itself simply means the moving forward along a specific course. And what exact course that is only you know, but…have perhaps let slip your mind. Well, dear reader, we are in the business of putting that head for self-realization back on courageously squared shoulders.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Filler Is Fine

Aries 17°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

 

Excerpty Excerption

 Any acting teacher worth her salt will tell you that to recreate life on stage, in film, or any medium, the actor must have an objective firmly in mind; and then take action after action, physical, verbal or what have you, to realize that goal. Now, this key nugget of thespian wisdom rings so true because it is taken and deconstructed from life, all the world being a stage and we would-be players, even in the most modern vernacular sense of that word. We had a client who had difficulty approaching life thus objectively. Rather he viewed himself through the lens of what he thought, and often feared, others perceived about him. And so he got lost in playing others’ agendas and objectives, mainly, in order to be liked. He had also lost touch with his initial what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up intentions, even allowing himself to be led into relationships based on the importance of how said bonds looked on the outside, to those around him, rather than being driven by his intrinsic loving and lusting desires. Now, to varying degrees, many of us suffer from a similar separation from self, which, like in this case, threatens to weaken the foundation of our very being. But we can ill afford to let this happen, even in the smallest of ways. The 1st Cosmic Energy has nothing to do with how we are like others, and it couldn’t give an owl’s hoot about being liked, that favorite little birdie of Athena being an avatar of her wisdom. The myths of both Mars and Athena entail their continually going against the grain, the former personifying outright conflict, the latter more subtle controversy, while neither dynamic is something we can always shy away from. These archetypes embody the universal knowledge that life is, in so many ways, a matter of contest from which is wrought the spears we must all, at any point, take up.

            Circling back to the purely physical aspect of this 1st energy, we find that if one is engaged, body and soul, in their life’s objectives, taking action after action to achieve them, that life itself becomes practically enough of a work-out precluding the need to allocate set hours of gym time—provided, of course, ones main objectives aren’t of a strictly athletic nature or require the physical fitness as that of a cosmonaut. In a nod to the first astrological house’s association with early childhood, a time when play and exercise were one and the same, this premier cosmic force reignites the notion and the practice of expending this renewable energy, bodily, while in the process of playing the game of life as you divine it. For more of us than one might imagine this (life) is the only exercise required. You’ve heard the old saying, “the more you do, the more you can do,” but we find this only holds true if you are your objectives, the Aries motto “I am” elliptically waiting for you to fill in the blank. And like the knight who knows he can only do his small part, nonetheless keeping the larger goal of fighting the proverbial good fight in mind, it is only in galloping toward our goals, once achieved setting new ones, or even never quite fully realizing them, that we come to embrace the verb of living: the means not the end. This is the source of our greatest confidence, which cannot help but translate physically.

 

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Gotta Move

Aries 16°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Still excerpting from….wouldn’t you like to know.

All the cardinal forces, whether they be fire, water, air or earth, are concerned with initiative and pioneership, as we’ll also see, in the fourth, seventh and tenth chapters of this book. The warrior knight, or knightess (to coin a term), doesn’t give up the fight, something that, for this archetype, is never settled. And so, just as this premier energy applies to our own sparks of interest or inspiration, the unforgettable fires that burned within us, often from childhood, we must realize that had we the good fortune of actually flaming them the whole of our lives, never deviating from the singularity of their purpose, we would nonetheless still need to continually kindle them, vigilantly, to keep those sparks crackling. The first astrological house, home of the 1st Cosmic Energy, is often called that of new beginnings. If you think about it, this defines each dawning day, indeed every moment, spent pursuing our quests or attacking experience in general. Though some attributes of the astrological houses are quite literal, others are more cryptic than they appear on face value. Case in point: even though we can take new beginnings literally, encoded in it is also the notion that the present is paramount. Living in the now is a cornerstone of most spiritual practices—and what the zodiac tells us is that every instant is, thus, a fresh start. Indeed, we ourselves need to be new to our experience in order to further it. This sort of freshness never fades. It is the spirit of newness, the energy that cannot get old. Goals, once achieved, must be replaced by subsequent ones, even when set further along the same überpath toward achieving a larger objective, which some of us are fortunate enough to stick to for the best part of our lives. It comes down to forever setting your mind on forging that much more ahead. Your attitude, your outlook, is thus powered by this cosmic force, as it requires constant renewal to keep us moving forward. Pushing ourselves, even in intellectual pursuits, requires the summoning of physical stamina. Alternately, ever increasing our physical strength supports our ability to cope with emotional, mental or even spiritual challenges. Moving Mars-ruled blood around and building Mars-ruled muscle is great for the Aries-ruled head. As with most things which have been purported by metaphysicians, often dating back to antiquity, which science eventually proves true: Bodily fitness, we now know, not only staves off or helps to eradicate physical disease, but it also combats mental disorders such as anxiety and depression which, though taking root in the physical, often originate from what we might call the emotional body, or indeed the astral one. The physical self is a teacher. For as we attend to it’s fitness, building and maintaining real muscle, we always develop as much if not more figurative sinew.

The physical self, your very own personal hard drive, must be maintained and cared for in order to become the you you want to be. Not to say that everybody and their stepmother must sign up for spin classes. By the same token there are many athletes who aren’t (even naturally) in touch with the 1st energy, which no doubt makes their undertakings more difficult than they need to be. It is the spirit in which one approaches even the most strenuous physical activity that can truly make the difference, not only in the performance itself, but in the mind’s ability to both enjoy, excel at, and exceed expectations of it. Picture that vigilant knight/ess. Know doubt there is an element of asceticism in your vision of this figure. So too is there a Spartan ingredient to the 1st Cosmic Energy. Indeed, when it comes to our physical selves, less does tend to be more, specifically in regard to food and drink. Going without puts us in touch with want in a physical way, which attunes us to the 1st energy, a force of want on every level. Hemingway clued into this when he wrote, “hunger is good discipline.” Sparsity makes room for concentration cum meditation, whereby ones batteries recharge on a deeper level than a digestive one. It is an expression of 1st Cosmic Energy as the Will-to-be, sacrificing to the now so to amass power for achieving in the immediate future. Moreover, the knight/ess’s forgoing revelry for quiet vigil shows the kind of character, and literal integrity, that instead revels in ones own company. The realization that each of us are born alone and die alone, we might suspect, enters into the consciousness of such solo contemplation. In accordance with this archetype, we all possess the ability to stay, focused, on our path and to embrace the power of our aloneness as it propels us ever further upon it. A body in motion staying in motion, one is more likely to win the label of “active individual” if he or she is pursuing interests native to his or her very being. When not thus engaged, people tend to fill the so-called empty spaces in their psyche with, well, stuff, whether it be distracting situations or relationships or substances which ultimately snuff your spark-le.

 

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Man Of…Steel? La Mancha?

Aries 15°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Another excerpt (helping me catch up

As conduits of 1st Cosmic Energy, we personify enthusiasm and confidence because we become one with our wants. Your body, its health and fitness, are of optimum importance to properly manifesting this energy—it truly is a temple wherein you keep that divine spark lit. But it isn’t really about the degree of our physical fitness. Perception of our physical self is paramount. This is where the brawn of our brain comes in, something that the 1st energy exercises are designed to build. Acquiring a favorable body image can be a challenge for most people, and in working with this 1st energy, we become comfortable and powerful in our skin. Our body language morphs, increasingly comprised of magnificent movements. Channeling 1st energy brings these changes about, physically. The mind recognizes these changes are occurring and thus allows the body to be further and further fueled by it. Working with this one energy, or any of them, is something of a circular process in itself. Here we are dealing with the actual anatomy of self-appreciation in raw, physical terms. And, as the original adage goes, one that has been ever so slightly recently reinterpreted by a certain prime-time television drag superstar: Until you learn to love yourself, you can’t love anybody else.

 The aim of the 1st Cosmic Energy is multi-pronged but boils down to making you a healthy physical machine that is one and the same as his or her intentions. It aims to maintain the integrity between body and spirit, keeping them in perfect synch. When it comes to the 1st energy, selfishness is a virtue. By embracing our individual initiatives and independence you realize that, if you had to go it alone in life, not only could you, but you might very well prefer to do so. It’s an empowering place to be. Yet it isn’t the easiest state of mind to purely achieve. There are many people out there who seem to embody this spirit, yet, on closer look, we realize that a good percentage of them do so for the purpose of showing off to others in their life. And thus impressing or otherwise affecting even one significant other, not the maintenance of their strictest independence, becomes the main occupation. Remember, the first astrological house, associated with Aries, rules the ages of birth through seven years. And it is the aim of the 1st energy to help us retain or reclaim our primal childhood loner instincts, devoid of any notions of having to play nice with others. That comes later—both in childhood and in the zodiac’s sequencing of energy work.

            Possessing a me-first attitude is tantamount to being a doer —for yourself—a leader, a pioneer, and a most vigilant quester for so-called impossible dreams. Quixotic is a state of mind. After all, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, from whose name that term derives—an errant knight, one of innumerable literary manifestations of the warrior archetype of the 1st energy, a twist on which Quixote may be—was definitely on to something. Doubts in his ability to manifest his dreams originate in the minds of others. There is magic, if not a method, to his madness: Full commitment to his own individual, indeed selfish cause. This is best described as doing good, as does any shining knight who undertakes a quest, being a champion of virtue, personally embodying it, and universally generating it, all in the same go. This holds true for Ironman as well. Just as it does for Xena or Buffy for that matter. Although, when it comes to the female archetypes of the 1st Cosmic Energy, defending others in the process of championing one’s own autonomous needs tends to be part and parcel of it. Still, results shouldn’t be the focus when it comes to utilizing the 1st Cosmic Energy, which is all about the pursuit of goals, not the receipt of outcomes.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Some Action

Aries 14°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Another excerpt from something of ours…

The goal is to get those cardinal-fire sparks flying. The 1st Cosmic Energy is outward and directive. And as we’ll see in the third section of this chapter, it is possible to consciously focus this energy and move it around. Indeed, 1st energy is one which you can see manifest in a real way. Chi masters have long been able to direct (this) their energy, even igniting fires through shooting this force from their fingertips. Now, we are certainly not expecting our readers to put the Bic lighter company out of business—although one should never say never—but in the practice of consciously moving this 1st, very physical, energy around one is actually also developing the mental muscle it takes not only to connect with a deeper sense of purpose but to feel fearless in the face of the challenges necessary to bring desired circumstance about. Taken together the first house, Aries and Mars rule the head, the blood, the muscles and the adrenals that control fight or flight. The Ram obviously fights with his head. We are born headfirst. Metaphorically speaking, the 1st energy is about diving headlong into experience without second-guessing. Of course we can be too headstrong and brash and rash and not look before we leap. But the 1st energy cannot, by nature, be concerned with such cautions—other energies work with the 1st energy to keep it in check. For now we are only concerned with getting you to plunge into life, head first, as if there is nothing to stop you. Psst, hey, psst: There isn’t!

Mars also rules the active libido and the 1st Cosmic Energy fuels our lust of all kinds. An expression of the masculine principle, it powers our sex drive in contrast to our ability to attract, which is controlled by the 2nd Cosmic Energy, one of allure. When we are properly suffused with 1st energy, we come to pursue love and sexual bonds, or defend ourselves against them, from a primal place. We embody our most basic animal urges and our noblest romantic intentions. That means we don’t put our loves on untouchable pedestals, satisfying our so-called needs with those whom we don’t offer respect. A more prevalent problem that many might think. But the 1st Cosmic Energy cuts to the quick of divisive personal issues such as this. Just as it re-pairs all such dichotomies between what you truly want and what you have been led to believe you deserve. It also solves the morality problems associated with these dualities. That is to say many of us think that certain natural urges within us are disgusting, the proverbial devil’s work. And certainly not something to be expressed with, say, this perfect pristine mate that you have managed to land despite these natural proclivities. Well, there’s nothing like repression to make prurient mountains out of molehills. Meanwhile that perfect being sharing your life might like a little of that action you’re keeping under wraps. And so the story goes…

 

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Birthday Willy W.

Aries 13°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Another excerpt which name-checks William’s Wordsworth, who couldn’t have been more aptly named, and whose birthday it is today by synchronicity.

 In closer consideration of the cardinal-fire nature of the 1st Cosmic Energy: The element of fire is symbolic of spirit or life force while the cardinal quality is primary, essential, initiatory—the spark of our spirit. Yet the 1st energy is based firmly in the physical experience. (The first three signs/houses comprise the zodiac’s first Quadrant, that of the physical level of human experience—the ensuing three relating to the emotional, mental and so-called spiritual planes. Aries and the first house point to the blood, guts, muscle and sinew of the body and objective, aggressive, action. Taurus and the second house are associated with the senses and subjective responses. Dual Gemini and the third house relate to the nervous system, output and input, a combination of those two forces which precede it on the cosmic wheel.) Anyway, if you’ve been reading our meaning, thus far, you’ve already gleaned that, vis a vis Arien 1st energy, that emphasis on the body and the spirit isn’t a contradiction, but rather points to a singular truth about life: that the physical, tangible level of existence is inherently transcendent, spiritual and indeed miraculous, as we’ll see. It is from the 12th Cosmic Energy associated with the sign of Pisces, that of mutable-water, expressing the most misty mystic nature of existence, that this 1st Cosmic Energy is born. The zodiac is, despite our traditional two-dimensional way of viewing it, an infinitely dynamic spiral, not a flat and static circle. The twelfth house of the zodiac is that of non-material existence. Mutable water points to the literally dissolute state outside of time and space. The opposite-facing fish of Pisces portray yin and yang, the alpha and the omega, the womb-tomb from whence we come and to which we must return. Fishy, tadpole-y Pisces represents the real and metaphorical primordial soup or embryonic environment from which physical human life miraculously bursts forth in all its bloody, violent Arien splendor. But let us for a moment consider that there is but One essential Cosmic Energy, not many, which morphs into various manifestations that we can best discern as having twelve distinct forms. Out of the most immaterial, “spiritual” form evolves the most material, blood-and-guts one, such seemingly opposite energies being so organically able to emerge, one from another. So from the vaguest primeval bog of the 12th comes the 1st Cosmic Energy, one of sharpest individual self-distinction, “But trailing clouds of glory do we come.”[1]

What we are urged to do and to be should be characterized as an expression of that glory. Let’s revisit our mythical common ancestor for whom navel-gazing was an impossibility. What Adam wants is the same as what creation wants. And we, as creatures, all possess the potential to be that simply aligned. We just need to mete out which urges are actually those of all existence working through us. Certainly, if you have the impulse to drown kittens that’s not one we would consider your birthright to act upon. Most of us do find, if not bemoan the fact, however, that our first instincts are typically our best. The enormity of that truth cannot be overstated. For many people it is a use-it-or-lose-it situation. What strong instincts we have must be acted upon lest we squander our talents or resources. The good news is that, as George Eliot put it, “it is indeed never too late to become the you you might’ve been,” despite anxiety-producing cautions not to, say, Blink, (by Malcolm Gladwell, whose own first instinct, apparently, was to parrot Emerson’s Self Reliance.) In truth, after a lifetime of compromise, it can be a challenge to trigger in our minds exactly what that original yen was that once served as the seed of what was to become the overall theme of our life purpose. And this is what 1st Energy work is determined to do. In our private practice guiding individuals to reclaim their birthright(s) we have found that this is actually best achieved by re-activating a person’s physical life. Which, we find, nine times out of ten, is also in some state of atrophy. Either that that or the role that physical exercise plays in ones life isn’t all that healthful on closer examination.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[1] From William Wordworth’s poem Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, the title of which perfectly encapsulates the particular thrust of 1st Cosmic Energy.

Or Is It Redux?

Aries 12°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Another excerpt:

This chief Aries cardinal-fire power is our primal impetus to life, our purpose. Here we reclaim our freedom from outside influences, distractions or detractors. This energy of singularity urges us to approach life as if we were, each of us, the only person on the planet, thus entitled to take from existence what we want, on our own terms, without apology or second guessing. This premier cosmic energy is focused on our basic raison d’être, our initial aim, design and inalienable determination, with which we often lose touch on our path through life. So many of us ask ourselves, what is the point?, what the ef am I doing here? Well, accessing the 1st Cosmic Energy allows you to discover, indeed reclaim, those answers for yourself. Cardinal-fire denotes the flame of our own individuality, our unquenchable fire that nobody can snuff. Easy for Adam and Lilith, as sole terrestrial inhabitants, who refused to even live with one another—sexually, and otherwise, they each demanded the top position. But the rest of us live in a world of innumerable relationships, where we constantly come up against others’ opinions and agendas. Which explains why Adam and Lilith’s counterparts in classical mythological are the war gods, Mars and Athena. These armed deities are even more vivid personifications of the 1st energy. They embody the individual offensive (fight) and defensive (flight) manifestation of this energy in human form. Adam and Lilith, too, may well have evolved into war gods if they were likewise thrust into a pantheon of such divine egoists as the Greek and Roman gods. (These gods were originally worshipped locally, monotheistically, by clannish cults before being slammed all together.) So why are we delving into all this myth stuff anyway? Because: These figures embody archetypes that live within us all. They are the humanized forms of cosmic energy to which we can relate more personally, making our connection to this energy less abstract.

Our potent yet under-appreciated mandala, the Zodiac, symbolically rich and steeped in archetype, provides us easy, organic access to these prototypical personas upon which we may imprint in our efforts to channel each of the twelve cosmic energies. The primo sign of Aries, associated with the 1st Cosmic Energy, is indeed ruled by Mars, named for the aggressive and often bratty god of war whom the Greeks, no big surprise, called Ares. He was, also fittingly, the first-born male offspring of the Olympian gods just as his slightly older sister the war goddess, wise Athena, was the first female progeny, emerging from her father’s head, the body part governed by the sign of Aries. We all must suit up in their armor and grab hold of their spears to fearlessly stake out our individual fulfillment. Mars and Athena were likely hunter gods to begin with, taking on warrior status once their individual cults locked horns with neighboring clans. Hunting is an act of survival and of competition, both elements applying to the war field as well. The gender difference in these gods points to pure “masculine” aggression and prudent “feminine” defense and diplomacy. Both these aspects must in fact be channeled by all of us, despite our sex, although Athena’s archetypal nature is more valuable to females in general, just as Mars’ is more applicable to males. We see the Mars archetype echoing in popular culture from GI Joe to Gladiator, Superman to Ironman, just as Athena’s incarnations include Xena the Warrior Princess and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rehash

Aries 11°

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree: click here)

Some more excerpting:

The first astrological house, as an umbrella covering a number of related attributes, is still most often distinguished as the house of Self. This speaks volumes. So many enclaves of society, not to mention those organized religions, though they entertain the notion of selfhood, regard it as something that must obey and conform to the collective in its myriad manifestations. The pitfalls of selfishness are forever being pointed out, while missing the point entirely: That true selfishness is actually the most selfless of acts. The more independent we are the less we need rely on others, self-concern, even a surplus of it, staving off pesky imposition on our fellow earthlings. This is a good example, incidentally, of the brand of singularity-thinking that we all must get our brains around in courting the 1st Cosmic Energy—that is, that some thing or notion and its opposite are essentially the same, more than paradoxically, one. Let’s take this astrological first-house concept of selfhood a wee bit further.

Think of Adam and—we won’t say Eve, but rather Adam’s first wife—Lilith. (Yes, Eve was wifey mach two, as shall be revealed in her archetypal influence over the 2nd Cosmic Energy, detailed in the next chapter). Adam, as we know, had total carte blanche. White (blanche) symbolizes both a clean slate and essential goodness. Along with red, for blood, it is the color associated with the 1st energy and Aries. Its planet, Mars, rules the blood, which, of course, is made up of white and red cells. The name Adam (Adamah) actually means bloody clay. The stuff of which we creatures are made. The 1st Cosmic Energy is focused on what is, both literally and figuratively, in our blood. It is concerned with our essential, primal selves. It seeks to fully form and fortify us in the face of the infinite influences. Those that can cause us to forget who we are, unadulterated and unabridged, and what we truly want, without extraneous voices in our heads. And as we grow in life, this energy powers our ability to continually wipe the slate clean of all such externals, so that we can always know our own mind. The 1st Cosmic Energy sees who we are and what we want as one and the same.

Adam, our model-A man, imposed his will freely. He was empowered to name all he surveyed. Doing so is an act of creation, logos (not Grease) being “the word.” Life was what he made it, or, more accurately, how he called it, without any concern for conflicting ideas or derision. Adam, alone, comes up against no obstacles. Likewise Lilith. They cannot stay together because they each need that carte blanche. Essentially, so do we all. Genesis, the opening chapter of the proverbial good book in which Adam appears, is, like the first house of the zodiac, a mirroring of the first chapter of every individual’s life. And whether you are a closed book or an open one, this must remain the beginning of your story—intact, to revisit again and again. Or else, as many of us can sadly attest to doing, we all too easily lose the rest of the plot. The Arien first house is associated with the age-span of human life from birth to age seven. This a time when we are the subject of every sentence as yet unstrung together in our own minds. Everything else, including other people, are objects for our own use, pleasure, comfort and other innumerable purposes that fall under the heading of our own survival. Thriving is our singular aim. What we often fail to realize as we “grow” is that this should remain the case. It seems that, while we do need to negotiate other aspects of life, neatly catalogued by the ensuing eleven energies, we tend to lose our grasp on this premier one. Cosmically, you might say, so many of us all too easily throw our selves under the bus as a result of others’, and life’s, demands of us. The upshot being that none of the subsequent eleven cosmic energies can properly take hold in our life unless we maintain our connection with this primary force. Think of the 1st Cosmic Energy as the hard drive of our being upon which all the other energies, like so many software programs, run.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One Singular Sensation

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree:  click here)

An excerpt from something I wrote sort of recently

The 1st Cosmic Energy is that of our basic being. Here we focus on our originality, in every sense of the word. This energy is funneled through the first astrological house, and is associated with the sign of Aries and it’s ruling planet Mars. It is the Arien energy of cardinal-fire. Cardinal is initiating and fire represents spirit. So the 1st Cosmic Energy is our initial individual spark of life, just as it points to the universal notion of Genesis or the Big Bang, these levels of interpretation being non-mutually exclusive. We’ll get deeper into this later but: just as the 1st Cosmic Energy is that of individuality in human terms, so too is it one of singularity, in the abstract. Meaning that the notion of multiplicity or metaphysical “levels” is anathema to its particular power. For example, it doesn’t distinguish between physical and spiritual existence. Stick a pin in that. For now, suffice to say that cardinal-fire points to both our biological animation and to the ember of divinity within us, at the same time.

Indeed, Cosmic intelligence discerns no real difference between the two, despite what most western religions would have you believe. The idea that, from the moment we’re born, we are somehow separate from the divine experience, now just mere mortals, who will someday (at our death, no less—right, cheers, thanks a lot) reunite with our divine creator runs counter to what the zodiac tells us. This notion is particularly at odds with the 1st Cosmic Energy, which animates each of us as divine creatures who take the form we do. And bids us to continue to be thus animated, forever becoming our own best creation. Such that, to ye olde biblical line, “we are all made in god’s image”, we would hasten to add, “that we see for ourselves.” For, from where we sit, who we are, and what we want, is one and the same with the proverbial Divine Plan. Our particular spark, our basic purpose(s) must simply be remembered, a word that etymologically implies a need to reconnect something that’s been severed or, shall we say, absentmindedly left untied until it can become—anagrams!—united.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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