by Kate Hurbert
Can you imagine the Earth's equator, projected out into space like a cosmic hoola hoop, and the apparent path of the Sun around the Earth as a second hoola hoop? They have two points of intersection and two places at which they are furthest from each other. The points of intersection are the equinoxes (yielding equal day and night across the globe), and the places of greatest distance mark the solstices (yielding shortest day and shortest night). So these moments are astronomical phenomena arising from the relationship between our home planet and its local star. Upon this relationship all life depends.
These astronomical moments are marked by the Sun's entry into the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) and they inaugurate new phases of activity that we see unfolding over the following three months. It is worth engaging with the quality of the opportunity that is presented at these times out of time.
The gateway into the dark half (for us in the north) of the year is ruled by Venus, Libra's planetary ruler. Right now Venus is travelling with Mars (ruler of Aries and the Spring Equinox) through Virgo, sign of the harvest and service. Cosmic geometry is such that Venus and Mars will be conjunct exactly on 5th October, day of the Full Moon: Venus rules the Sun in Libra which will be opposite the Mars-ruled Moon in Aries. Very neat. The conjunction of these two personal planets speaks of an opportunity to resolve the relationship between self and other: the unilateralism, self-seeking and disregard for others that is Mars, is seeking balance with pacification, harmony-seeking and disregard for self that is Venus. Mature and wholesome expressions of Mars and Venus come about through right relationship and appropriate regard for the requirements of self and other.
The warrior readily becomes isolated and embattled. “ It's me against the world!” While the lover loses itself thinking it can find purpose and identity only in the approval and accommodation of others. “If only you loved me!” When they come together, as now, there is the possibility of sensing the potential that a fine balance between these two polarities may bring. Our energetic expressions of these principles come to the fore as we tilt back and forth on the fulcrum of self and other. A low-level expression of this conjunction could be bruising! An integrated expression could be the realisation of the interdependence of self and other (I and thou); a determined defence of what is gentle and relational; the mutual acceptance of the need for love and the need for self-actualisation.
So here and now stand the lover and the warrior together, and opposing them is Neptune, mighty god of inundation, tempest and earthquake, urging the pair to yield to a far greater context of meaning, beyond all personal concerns: profound interconnectedness, the unity of all things. See the Oneness that interfuses and surrounds all manifest life – and place your personal concerns within this context of significance. Neptune is always involved in the erosion and sacrifice of separative values and the personality perspective (our little selves). Neptune reveals to us that we are far greater than the personality assumes, for we are embodied spiritual beings and a vital part of the great unfolding of cosmic life.
Neptune, at a low register, functions as the attempt to numb out and fog up. It is overwhelmed by the world – a reaction we all know well. Our cultural world insists we engage with terror and tragedy persistently: we are exposed on a daily basis to horror and suffering. The human imagination is tranquilised by terror. We are made torpid by a cultural addiction to suffering. The gift of Neptune operating at a higher register is that it infuses the personality with a vision of the sacredness of all Being, and the personality thus inspired can re-enter the fray of mundane existence – as we must, determined to act in the world with compassion and alertness to the significance of collective experience, which is that it is not separate from us. Rather, the experience of the collective is an echo chamber of our own unresolved inner hell realms. The world is ours, it belongs to us; we are making it every day.
Mars as the grabbing aggression of the isolate self is an impulse we all know in ourselves; Venus as the pushover who cannot stand up and speak the truth is also uncomfortably familiar. It is for us to resolve the polarised dynamic between Venus and Mars within – so that we may empower the warrior who will defend what is of true value, and the lover who can create connection and relationship between things that have been put asunder. In this way, perhaps our worlds can manifest compassion. At this moment in the turning of the world, we feel the fulcrum of dynamic tension: there is a choice; we are creative; we are powerful.