It has been just over one year since I wrote a piece on Pluto (see The Love Parade) and this planet’s part in the epoch-defining Cardinal Cross, whose permutations will be with us for many years. In that piece, I reviewed the greek myth of Demeter, Goddess of grain, agriculture and all that lives and grows upon the land, and the kidnap of her daughter, Persephone, by Hades (Pluto). The themes introduced in that piece, as well as those of the configuration of The Cardinal Cross, remain with us. Because we have failed in large part to listen to those thematic warnings, we continue to spiral ever deeper into their as yet unlearned of metaphysical and psychological lessons. Because we have ignored the need to change the physical structures leading us all unto a premature death, we need to descend to a more subterranean level of understanding. We will go there, by fate or choice, but go there we will. So, we’re off on an archeological spelunking expedition to broaden the view of where we are now and, hopefully, alter the consequences of our past and the course of our future.
THE SACRED FROM THE PROFANE
We will get back to the story of Demeter, her daughter Persephone and their shared abuse at the hands of Hades, but we first need to lay some foundational groundwork from which to revisit this myth.
As we all know by now, Pluto in the 2nd house of the USA chart is all about possessions. Material goods. Stuff. More simply, the idols of the kings, MONEY. That is how modern humans define wealth – the accumulation of small pieces of paper, upon which they have stamped the word “God.” I am always stunned and amazed that, collectively, judeo-christians (particularly fundamentalists) are, everyday, participating directly in breaking the very first commandment of their Lord’s ten: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. I do believe it also would violate commandment number 2 and 3: 2. you shall not make an idol nor bow down before them or worship them; 3. you shall not make wrongful use of the name of God. Hhhmmm, the equating of wealth with virtue and talent and the fervent pursuit of accumulating paper trading cards embossed with the name of “God” on them seems seriously at odds with god’s apparent prime directives. For groups of people who proudly and vehemently (and often violently) proclaim their adherence to the strict and literal word of their Lord, it is striking how quickly and easily the hyper-religious are willing to serve and worship at the temples of the many small false paper Gods – banks and their financial clergymen. I don’t think these deacons of religious decency have ever quite grokked the story of why Jesus turned over the tables of the money lenders on the steps of the temple. Televangelists might want to contemplate the words commodify, faith and hypocrisy before their savior shows up again.
Unfortunately, many astrologers (and other metaphysicians) have taken up that very same, limited view of turning the rich dynamics of the 2nd house back into a zodiacal version of Flatland. Most astrologer’s refer to this house solely as “the house of money.” In doing so, they commit a serious error in communicating the very sacred meaning of this house.
In order to understand true wealth, as opposed to the possessing of material stuff, we need to return to the intellectual and spiritual philosophies prevalent in the pre-patriarchal, pre-capitalistic and pre-profaned cultures of advanced civilizations, which were found in abundance in the lands of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Crete and Northern Africa. Today they are known as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Greece and Egypt. This is the place where ancient and advanced cultures cultivated fertile lands, highly sophisticated scientific and social structures and deeply holistic spiritual practices under the guidance of relationally-oriented priestesses. Women were the spiritual leaders. (1) Here, they erected shrines to the divine wisdom, created art, studied astronomy and mathematics, built celestial observatories, danced to the rhythms of sacred female drummers, tilled the soil and were in no need or hurry to get anywhere other than where they were.
All of this changed with the onset of the bronze age, when men from the east swept down from the asian steppes and onto those vast, cultivated plains with weapons and ideas of power and conquest. What did they have that had not been seen before? Spears. bronze spears. And they took their part of the sacred union of the chalice and the blade and re-interpreted it as a killing instrument. Prior to that time, around 4,000 – 5,000 b.c., the pre-patriarchal civilizations did not know of, nor have, any weapons. (2) And some of those cultures originated 40,000 years ago. Our current habitation of our potentially inescapable abyss of psychopathic violence and confusion actually began about 7,000 years ago. It’s momentum took some time to gain speed, though it’s vigor and forward inertia was strengthened at the founding of the formal catholic church by Constantine in 313 AD, when more formal and severe restrictions on the expressions of the divine feminine were instituted. Over the centuries, those restrictions and accompanying punishments have become more and more concretized, ritualized and increasingly carried out through horrendous acts of violence (the Spanish Inquisition, in which 9 million people, primarily women and their children, but many goddess-worshiping men as well, were murdered at the hands of the Catholic Church, should be studied). The conquest of the feminine has been evolving over thousands of generations, accelerating as the days of our human calendar have lengthened.
The conflagration of violence in the Middle East today, home of those ancient and advanced cultures, is no accident and is not just about gaining power over the rich commodities of this region (oil, gas and the monies derived therefrom). It is, at a deeper level, a primordial struggle around the complete dominance of the sacred feminine by the masculine, profaned by its unbalanced desire for control and power over all at all costs. The reasons for the onset of this unhealthy state of affairs will likely never be known, enshrouded as it is in pre-written history. Perhaps those marauders from the east carried a spiritual disease, much like the physical small pox carried by explorers and colonists to distant shores that decimated entire indigenous populations, that has metastasized globally. It is, regardless of its origin, an infection that has insidiously infused itself into our very organs, our neurological pathways and emotional bonds. We are well within the cultural and spiritual equivalent of a stage 4 cancer environment or in systemic septic shock. Though its symptoms manifest at the external, superficial level of politics, economics and religion, its roots lie within the intangible, esoteric and metaphysical levels of the human psyche.
Now, before the gangs start yelling the usual “male bashing” mantra by anyone, particularly women, who questions and resists the idea of the hierarchical structure of male superiority, so blatantly supported by our current, conventional social and cultural institutions (any nation that resists an Equal Rights Amendment as vigorously as the US has done and still pays women much less than their male counterparts has serious issues with accepting women as equal to men); before the now-yawningly familiar epithets of “ball buster, bitch, nag, shrill, irrational, witch, dyke, etc.” are hurled my way, as they have been at women ad nauseam; before a whole new wave of cults like Promise Keepers is spawned to ensure women maintain their “rightful” place holding onto and supporting the “rod and the staff” of their guys, let me be clear: possession of a certain set of genitalia is not the issue (although in our adolescent society, which always seems bent on gravitating to the lowest common denominator, it gets played out at this level). Engagement in sacred, equal relationship is a genderless activity.
In taoist thought, the mature and wise warrior (true warriors can be either male of female) (3) is defined by the equal and harmonious balance between the yang and the yin. Equipoise and grace are their defining characteristics. Taoist philosophy maintains that the human being represents the vessel within which the powers of heaven and earth come together. The cultivation of those equal parts becomes the manifestation of the divine. This activity, consciously engaged in by the individual, is referred to as “congealing the elixers,” which gives birth to The Golden Pearl, or Golden Flower, resulting in a state of ultimate and perfect expression of the divine. To achieve this, the ego must be willingly abandoned in order to harmonize with the rhythms of the natural universe. There is much laughter, contentment and satisfaction to be found there.
The pure qualities of the yang and yin are of an energetic and non-physical nature and they are nurtured and maintained first and foremost within the individual. When they are in balance internally, health ensues and the external world (which is our creation) becomes a reflection of that harmonious balance. When out of balance internally, disease ensues and the external world will reflect that state of being as well. Disease can start by the over functioning of the yang and/or by the over functioning of the yin, though the former is more common as our culture is overly identified with yang activities. It can happen acutely in a sudden crisis, or chronically over time. If left without healing intervention, acute disease becomes chronic, as any intelligent health care practitioner can attest.
Now, remember the bronze spear holders from the east who suddenly swept into the valleys of the sacred lands of the middle east. That constituted the appearance of sudden, invading yang, spilling over its cup – and that cup has let the blood of tens of millions of others since then. Over time, the yin has been drained of her power and her once clear and spiritual waters have been spilled out of that vessel, becoming the equivalent of muddy swamp land. She has been forcibly removed from her rightful place as spiritual leader and protector of the divine element. She has been erased from the history books, rendered barefoot and pregnant in impoverished conditions, subjected to self-appointed and hierarchically-oriented gatekeepers and trampled beneath the boots of those bent on dominating by strength, manipulation and childish storytelling. To the detriment of us all.
Because most men are overly-identified with their genitalia and have developed a regressed, obsessive-compulsive fascination with the importance of its tumescence (and the infantile terror and shame they feel when it does not achieve that desired state), the divine yang has been distorted into a bizarre and childish idea that the supreme cosmic wisdom is no more than “a jealous and angry god” and that the minions of this said god are here to wipe out anything and anyone who doesn’t pledge allegiance to his flag of jealousy and anger and fear. Though it is currently the norm, it is certainly not normal. This is what I call spiritual Bonoboland. Men and women have devolved into a primate-level identification with male genitalia and both equally have given their obeisance to this unstable, unpredictable and mindless organ. They have, at the very core, blasphemed their own gods, turning the object they admire and desire into a deity. If women spent as much time contemplating the state of vascular engorgement of their vulvas as men do on their phalluses, humanity would have starved to death ages ago.
Do remember that there is not, nor has there ever been, any scientific data at all to support the fantasy that there is any gray matter in a penis. Unfortunately, most modern religious, political, military, medical and economic institutions behave as though they do. And a soulless place it is they have made of it with that belief, barren of meaning and devoid of humanness, just as the vast deserts of Mesopotamia have become lifeless now in their booted wake.
In a nutshell, men take Viagra and women take Prozac. Far fewer women would need Prozac if far fewer men took Viagra. And that is the simple form of understanding the diseased and imbalanced state of the relationship between yang and yin today. I know the well-medicated women will come to the defense of this current state of affairs, but we all know how all too true that famous fake orgasm scene was and is in the film,”When Harry Met Sally.” Yes, audiences nervously laughed it off, but it is a testament to how inauthentic and distant allegedly intimate human relationships have become. That must be excruciatingly painful. It is certainly a travesty of what we are meant to be together.
I am not aiming for your balls, guys, that’s your interpretation. I AM aiming for a good swift, gender-neutral kick in the buttocks for one and all.
The facts of these matters is that 99% of the psychopathic decision-makers are men. They have turned once sacred places, room by room, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood – into hells for so many. They smile and flash the victory sign as they step over the bodies of innocent civilians, dump depleted uranium in foreign children’s backyards and stone their own women to death. Pick up any newspaper, watch any infotainment outlet masquerading as news, examine any photograph of who’s sitting around the table signing the declarations and making the policies. Males. They are all in it together. And it is irrelevant whether one is talking about the pasty white boys of Washington, Wall Street or the Vatican, Israeli politicians or Islamic clergy. They pursue their own agenda of competition to see who can destroy the most the quickest. In the name of god or money or power – they have been twisted into the same thing.
“Boys will be boys,” is all fine and good, if you are, in fact, a 12-year-old. It has become, however a far too old and worn-out excuse for “Men behaving badly.” Boys belong on playgrounds, not in the seats of power that were originally the provence of adult men and women who had the foresight and wisdom to act for the benefit of humanity as a whole.
This violence is not about the “winning of hearts and minds to democracy” or securing pipelines, or rooting out muslim “terrorists.” The meaning here transcends all nations, all desires and all belief systems. This violence is simply about violence – the physical manifestation of disturbed minds, of yang careening out of control. It is quickly becoming the final death scene of the feminine element at the hands of the gang of boys. In this tragedy, however, if the course of things is allowed to progress to the conclusion we can all already see, these males’ (and their accompanying girl cheerleaders) homicidal acts will become our communal suicide.
Welcome to the depths of Pluto. Our trajectory into that dark abyss began long, long ago.
The difference now is the one of which the Maya and Hopi people, among others, have known for centuries (and which Einstein rediscovered and translated to the white western brain in the 20th century) – that time and space are relative and our temporal/spatial reality is speeding up, contracting and condensing, manifesting and concretizing that which has been festering beneath the surface for eons: the destruction of nature and spirit – of woman – herself. And, ultimately, all of us. This can easily become the history of these Cardinal Cross years and Pluto’s appearance front and center at this time and place. Time is of the essence if we wish a different ending.
RESURRECTION AFTER REFLECTION
Truth is a bit difficult to get one’s head around and I have run the reader around in my version of it. I find that it is most often hidden right in front of our faces, though slightly beyond our awareness, just as a well-known pagan labyrinth lies directly beneath the asphalt of St. Peter’s Square. The now-famous labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral was covered over with a rug and walked upon, unseen, for centuries before being re-discovered and restored to its central, unifying position in that church. It is time for us to pull back all of the carpets in search of her. The structures of the father are, indeed, built upon the spiritual foundations of our mother. It is our human choice whether we demean or revere her.
Always look for the obvious. Any evening spent watching TV through the lens of the anthropologist/sociologist/psychologist will demonstrate quite quickly where the collective psyche is fixated. It is an activity I engage in at scheduled intervals to measure the current psychological make up of americans. Quite frightening. Commercial content is by far the most direct route to the central issues of that psyche. The large proportion of them deal with pharmaceuticals featuring sexually dysfunctional men and wind-up dolly women apparently trying to maintain some functionality amidst heavy doses of fear, terror and anxiety. These evenings are always quite stressful field trips, as absorbing the confused and fragmented terrain into which the mainstream western human brain has devolved takes its toll on the observer.
The alternative western mind is no less distorted, preferring a more “happy happy joy joy” version of its reality – one most often found in pre-school classes. As long as the children are clapping and smiling, it’s going to be all right – right? And then, of course, there are the armed-to-the-teeth military/christian/fundamentalist/survivalists whose idea of a patriotic democracy is actually a blueprint for religioun-based fascism. All of these camps have entirely lost their capacity to respond to other people or the world at large with any kind of authentic compassion or effective reason.
In these times, I try to remember that brilliant, irreverent and deeply spiritual wild man, Albert Einstein. He said, “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or others crazy?”
There is, indeed, another choice and Part 2 of this piece: Demeter’s Love: Restoration, will be forthcoming shortly. I thought I would give the reader a chance to absorb this first part, however, before serving the next course.
1. Layne Redmond, When the Drummers Were Women, 1997, Three Rivers Press.
2. Maria Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess, 1989, Harper Collins.
3. Thomas Cleary, trans. Immortal Sisters: Secret Teachings of Taoist Women. 1996, North Atlantic Books.