Capricorn 17° (January 7)
This is the last so-called holiday week. I need put a great many things in motion. Typically we have our in-house meeting on Mondays but neither of us are up to speed enough on what’s what to really make any difference so that will be postponed. I’m not even going to pretend I have the energy to write today I’m just going to post this from years past:
The theme today, as magically happens, is recuperation, in part. The image for 18° Aries is An Empty Hammock Stretched Between Two Trees. The fact that it is empty means that this isn’t actually a time to rest. The would-be inhabitant (us) of the hammock is off doing what needs to be done. But we get the sense that s/he knows that repose is waiting; meanwhile, the image represents the relaxed state of mind in which the “off-camera” action is taking place.
Our dearest friends bought us a hammock as a house-warming present when we first moved to Cape Cod. And we did indeed stretch it between two trees. And, though bitter sweet to think of it now, that image is never truly far from my mind. I would put the hammock out in the morning and go about my busy day, knowing, at any point, I could stop and just stare up through the trees. It’s an image of savasana, the “dead body pose” where one gets most benefit from lying completely still, letting the body absorb the action performed in other active postures. We have to know when to let the body’s intelligence take over, and mindfully release all our tension, which can be an obstacle to natural recuperation. In Bikram, one does savasana pretty much after every set of every posture. There is a natural rhythm to it, where you exert effort and then receive the benefit of it. The hammock reminds us, in the midst of our busy life, that it is unnatural not to include repose in the process of our industry.
Sometimes you just have to detach in the face of circumstantial drama. One gets the sense of things beoming complicated, on many fronts all at once. Maybe things seemed all to be going right, and your attitude was sanguine and focused on all the positives you could affect moving forward; and then there is a sense of an unraveling. Problems with people, places and things begin to creep in—suddenly everything seems like a bit of a chore, or that nothing is working, and you capture that same rosy outlook for powering through. You just want to chuck it all. Welcome to 19° Aries and the Sabian Symbol of The “Magic Carpet” of Oriental Imagery. It just seems to scream “road trip” whether it be a real journey or a metaphoric one of transcendence, if not escape. We need to feel the magic of life today, so the slings, arrows and rotten tomatoes you might be ducking can be viewed as inspiration to take a flight of fancy. When we’re feeling down or persecuted we can overcompensate, in a good way, reaching heights we never would have achieved if all was going swimmingly. “No Manure No Magic” was the theme of that great film by that awful human being David O. Russell—and I say awful from first-hand experience. Being pushed to new heights by negative experience, even abuse, was the theme, too, of the recent film Whiplash, but sometimes abuse is just abuse, like Russell in the below clip with Lily Tomlin during the filming of Huckabees. You’ve probably seen this? He’s such an asshole.
But there are a lot of assholes out there. In fact, sometimes, you can see nothing but them. It’s always about money and status. That’s what’s usually driving the mean-spirited of the world. And living in a culture where social and financial competition are so prevalent can really wear on a kind person who isn’t designed to approach life as if it’s some kind of fight for fame or money. Not to say that success isn’t a goal for kind, compassionate people who might be more type B. It’s just that in a world filled with so many grabby sharks running rough shod over others, those who are quietly and selflessly getting their life are obscured by those who are more cut-throat Machiavellian in nature. But you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that those people rarely experience any magic at all. How can they? Their vision of life is too myopic, fixed on their own narrow need to succeed. And it’s a disease. Enough is rarely enough for people for whom life is a competition on every seeming level.
Up until recently I maintained a (one-sided) friendship with a fellow who had become fairly successful in business. We knew each other when we worked at restaurants in the late 1980s in Boston, when I was fresh out of college; and circumstance threw us together once again and it seemed that Fate had more in store for us to work out together. Well, what struck me about this person was his compulsive need to play games, actual ones, nearly incessantly, and his sinister need to win at them, which he would cheat to do at the drop of a hat. He approached life and human interaction the same way. If he differed with you on a matter of opinion, he would go to great lengths to try to discredit your position, subjective though the challenge may be, because he had to win every argument. He had to be right about everything. This tenacity in competition masked a serious lack of confidence, of course; and resulted, too, in overt social climbing and an increasingly superfical character. Gaining the reputation for being condescending and cruel, he systematically alienated friend after friend over the years, the only people remaining in his life being people in his actual employ or those who feel that somehow his worldly success will rub off on them; so they suffer his abuses for that sake. It is a losing battle.
There is a difference between those who may your enemy and those who are your nemesis. The goddess Nemesis, was that of divine retribution. And in life we may view others as nemesis when they represent the non-you; when we might silently whisper to ourselves “there but for the grace of god(s) go I.” People and circumstance that we deem negative, or blatantly negating, are our cue to go higher, despite the pleasing worldly trappings they represent, or indeed due to them. The “Magic Carpet” of Oriental Imagery, is that of our own mind’s ability to imaginatively transcend the world of appearances and its dualistic dynamics of illusory heirarchies and terrestrial competition. We give over to know that there is more to life than that, and we leave it to the unimaginative minds to fight for scraps on the ground as we go higher. The Oriental Imagery points to geometric patterning as figurative portrayals do not factor into Arabian art. And so we know that the carpet is woven with our own abstract designs for living, our thought forms making up the fabric on which we may soar. We’ve been dealing with a great deal of weaving metaphors these past several days and it all seems to add up to taking flight now on what we’ve fabricated for ourselves. We must detach (with love) from static situations and allow our dreams to manifest more fully in our waking life, letting those choosing to play on the ground amass and hoard all their earthly riches and rewards like dragons bound up by avarice and self-loathing, ever fearful that their treasures will be taken away. Those who live in constant fear of being cheated or taken advantage of are always those who cheat and take advantage of others.
But we have the ability to transcend notions of competition and contention; there is nothing holding us down but attachment itself. We don’t need anything. And once we feel we do we risk being incarcerated by that need. Today we are reminded that there is no strife if we don’t struggle. We can’t hang on to anything in the end, so why would one seek to do so in the process of life. We must let go loosely, all the time, not only to material things but to our limiting thoughts. King Solomon had a flying carpet with which he could transport his entire retinue; and yet, if he exhibited excess hubris, the carpet would give a shake and scores of his people would fall to their demise. Pride is forever threatening to bring about our falls. Dragons get slain, the greedy miser loses all he loves. The flight of the Magic Carpet is a selfless one. I liken this image to a lucid dream. When we awake into a dream, knowing we are dreaming, we are tempted to make something we want happen, but expressions of selfish want dissolve the dream. If we are aware we are lucidly dreaming, the way to keep the dream alive is to relinquish any need to impose our wants on it and to, simply, go along for the ride. This is challenging of course but worth the non-effort.
Life is truly but a dream so it’s more than mere metaphor to extend the notion into life. Magic is belief in the unfolding. How can we participate in life’s unfolding if we are viewing life as a competition we must manipulate and “win”—that is anti-life. So step off and hop on the magic carpet of your own soaring participation in life as a dream. Be swept away on the winds of your total faith and belief in the power of our own imagination and design as it is one and the same as that of the divine plan unfolding its patterns. Let go of your wants and so-called needs that keep you in static status quo. And by all means take a road trip of sorts if you can, even if it’s a short hop and a skip to stare at something scenic, or an inner voyage, closing your eyes, allowing your mind to wander, perhaps, through an inky landscape of twinkling stars, feeling yourself fly through outer space to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. Let yourself go.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree of the Sabian Symbol may be higher than the one listed here as the symbols cluminate in the next degree. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 days.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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