I came across this stunning shot of Saturn while researching astronomy sites. Its rings of course, give Saturn the reputation of being limiting, confining and binding in traditional astrological terms. However, new findings show that Saturn actually has “rays” that emanate through and run perpendicular to its rings, thus giving rise to a new idea that there are ways to skillfully traverse the boundaries we usually associate with this planet. These rays are transient and are thought to be formed from ice crystals and appear and dissipate at various times. Physically, these rays act like bridges between the rings; metaphorically, they give us the opportunity to contemplate movement from one “boundary” to another in our own lives with acquired skill. As we make our way from one horizon to another, there are, indeed, built-in mechanisms designed to assist us on our path.
These transient bridges through the rings of Saturn serve as vital lessons in the practice of the Tao. That is, it requires an ability to sense into the rhythms of nature in order to “see” and benefit from the opportunities and energies around us as they appear and disappear in their own time frames of manifestation. This “sensing into” ability forms the very heart of the philosophy of the I Ching. Just as the ice ladders form and dissipate through Saturn’s rings, so also do synchronicities and avenues open up to us within our individual experience, allowing us to explore the seasons of movement and stillness around us. Knowing when to move, as in the appearance of a ladder, and when to remain in stillness, when the way appears blocked, requires discernment.
Discernment is the highest form of spiritual practice in Taoism – a practice which would be very useful to cultivate in our present global situation. Forcing a path, no matter whether at the microcosmic level of mundane choice, or at the macrocosmic level of the policies and practices of nations, usually ends in confusion and violence. To yield with skill at the appropriate times and to move forward when obstacles disappear within their own intelligent design, defines the skill of the true sage. Equanimity and contentment are the rewards for those who acquire such skillful living practices.
As we move from one epoch to another, from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, from the conventional, linear time frame to the wave form time frame offered by the Mayan Calendar and eastern forms of thought, we have a fresh opportunity to re-define our planets, our reality and our languaging around our experiences. This is a very exciting transitional period and I will be writing more about newer and more applicable ways to discuss our cosmic universe.
For now, however, I was simply so struck by the beauty of this photo and its immediate implicit meaning that I wanted to share it.