Monday, December 19, 2016

SOLSTICE SERMON

Yesterday, I was watching one astrologer's video about the Saturn Neptune square, which he says has been the hardest transit of 2016, that he has never seen so much depression and melancholy and  disillusionment among his clientele.

Jules Cyrille Cavé, Martyr in the Catacombs, 1886

Dis-illusionment, that's the main one, with Saturn/Neptune. Awakening to reality can feel depressing, until one realizes, "life is never just a walk through a field" (Russian proverb, there). Who ever told us there would be no sickness, no death, no ugliness or suffering ? Why should we expect that ? What a recipe for total disappointment. Saturn would never have promised this, though Neptune might have. Then there are those who equate life itself with suffering, but maybe life is simply work. At a certain point, when we begin to master our work, another kind of comfort kicks in and the thought of things being too soft becomes unappealing. Capricorns have an innate sense of this - they know there is no free lunch and that lunch might be a feast one day, tree bark, the next. Tragedy means 'goat song.'

credit: Ali Scarpulla

In the first world, the population has, say statistics, become wealthier, healthier, but lonelier and more depressed. Perhaps in part because so many other beings in the world are suffering, and we are not as separate from them as we imagine/have been led to believe. (The Pluto in Leo/boomer generation maybe gave us the impression we too had it coming, and individuality was king, but that kind of ended with them). Scandinavian countries are supposed to be near perfect, but yet there is often a lot of alcoholism, depression and suicide. But though people in developing countries face very real, very hard struggles, they often (not always) seem to take it in way better stride and are generally more grateful than folks who have a lot. Sounds cliché, but it's true. Not saying I'd want to trade places, but we could all benefit from adopting such an attitude.

Maybe we should look at the possible purpose of this collective depression, perhaps it is to reconnect us with soul, open our hearts, but also to learn to see/experience our struggles differently ? Pluto in Capricorn is giving us all something to sing about, and it ain't campfire tunes.


On another Saturn thread, a woman lamented that she had yet to find any positive, learning experience in all the 'bad luck' Saturn transits had brought her. She was particularly annoyed that her boss had committed suicide without paying her, first, which she perceived as her misfortune. I don't even know where to begin on that one, except, considering the possible implications of suicide, her own luck is, comparatively, damn good. The thread went on, people relating their Saturn  hardships and lessons and how  it changed them for the better, but she never got it. She maintained her Saturn lessons were simply random misfortune with no redemptive potential. Hard road, ahead.

There are many fairy tales about this. One sibling is humble, grateful, open-hearted, in spite of (or because of) being mistreated, the other feels the world owes her something. The first is rewarded with jewels coming out of her mouth when she speaks, while her mean, ungrateful sister gets toads coming out of hers. Cinderella is another one. Or sometimes it's 3 brothers, the youngest who gives his bread away to the less fortunate, the others who don't. Guess who gets the princess in the end ? That's a whole other blogpost, but it's all symbolic, of course.

Head of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Ganhdara, 1st c - 320

Buddha was once a wealthy prince named Siddartha, who's father, the king, was determined to  protect him from any knowledge of suffering. Apparently there was a prophecy that if the prince ever  became aware of how the real world was, he'd leave the palace and become a monk. Well, eventually he he did exit the walls of the palace and saw the reality of sickness and death and pain all around...and the prophecy came true. Off he went, with his begging bowl, leaving wife, child, kingdom and wealth behind, to find some answers. He looked into various spiritual practices, eventually becoming an ascetic. But denial of the body didn't quite do the trick for him. Long story short - he realized that all suffering was caused by karma and attachment. (Karma being simply cause and effect, not 'payback' or punishment). 'As ye sow, so shall ye reap', it's just the way the cycle works. Attachment to outcome, emotions, expectations - these cause suffering, because everything changes, everything dies. That too is a cyclic thing. Attachment leads to karma, which leads to rebirth, and 'round again it goes.

The Moon, Broeder Gheraerts Naturkunde, Utrecht, 15h c

There are several parallels between the lives of Buddha and Jesus. It's interesting that the image of Buddha we are familiar with is actually based on the Sun God, Apollo, due to Alexander the Great importing his Gods to India. (Prior to that, Buddha was depicted more in abstract, as a tree or feet). Both Buddha and Jesus are associated with the Sun, rebirth and enlightenment. Both were teachers who taught others to find their solar self, within, which is kind of the purpose of astrology, as well.

This is my Saturn-Solstice wish for you, too, as I get ready to go into annual retreat:
That in both life and death, you are able to be fully present with whatever state you are in knowing that it will eventually change, that's life. Saturn, ruling planet of the Winter Solstice, is the Karma Lord. He works together with Jupiter, who bestows the rewards, or if you like, 'brings toys for good little girls and boys.'


Merry Solstice, best of the season to all,
and to all, a good, longest night.

May the Sun be reborn,
as within, so without, as above, so below.

******



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