the part of the plant we can’t see, but that puts the sap into the tree’s veins.
The other world feeds this tangible world—
the world that can feel pain, that can eat and drink, that can fail;
the world that goes around in cycles; the world where we die.
The other world is what makes this world work.
And the way we help the other world continue
is by feeding it with our beauty.
Martin Prechtel, Saving the Indigenous Soul
We owe our ancestors a debt. Every one of us breathing and living on this beautiful earth is here because our ancestors brought us here. The debt is not about guilt or shame. It is not about being incapable of repaying them for the gift of life. No, this debt is actually about joy—a prayer of gratitude that heals guilt and shame and renews our rightful place in this amazing dance of life. I love what Martin Prechtel is saying above, “the way we help the other world continue is by feeding it with our beauty.” To be in obligation to the unseen world of our ancestors is to be obligated to create and give away beauty. Drink in that thought. Do you have a reaction? What are you noticing? Do you have the opinion that you don’t create beauty, or that others do a much better job? Shame creeps in around the corners when we try to compare ourselves to others, when we denigrate our capacity to create beauty. We give away our rightful relationship to the unseen world when we convince ourselves that we cannot create beauty or that our beauty is somehow less than others’. Perhaps self-doubt is a cop out. Perhaps the ancestors are waiting for us to step up and move past paralyzing shame. What if this debt really was an invitation to experience life more deeply, more joyfully, more ecstatically? What if we really can feed the other world with the beauty we create?
The energies of this next moon cycle invite such intentions. The New Moon of October 7 is an invitation to experience the depth of the ancestral world and to renew a commitment to beauty. At this time Venus is standing stationary in the sunset sky as the Evening Star. Venus turns retrograde on October 8, moving quickly from view on October 20 and then appears as the Morning Star before sunrise on November 7. The retrograde cycle lasts till November 18. Venus remains the Morning Star until June 21, 2011. This Venus cycle of alternating between the morning and evening sky and of disappearing from the sky for a period of time in between relates to the myth of the Sumerian goddess, Inanna. To the Sumerians, the planet Venus was their goddess. Stories about Inanna are reflected in Venus’ own patterns in the sky. The disappearance of Venus relates to Inanna’s story of visiting her sister Erishkegal in the underworld.
Not only is Venus/Inanna poised to repeat this journey at this time but Venus is also in the sign of Scorpio and conjunct Mars. Scorpio, the sign of death, money, sex and power invites us to the depths. Mars, the co-ruler of Scorpio, perhaps fills the role of Inanna’s lover, Dumuzi, the green god of the blooming desert. The relationship between these two dieties speaks about the fertile power of sex. Astrologically, Mars conjunct Venus creates potency for this moment. Something vital is being created during all the Mars transits this month.
In the myth, we aren’t told why Inanna chooses to take the journey into the underworld. However, one of the gifts of this place is regeneration. Perhaps, she was depleted, soul weary, as many of us are right now as we are faced with more stress and uncertainty than usual. As Venus stations, I, along with her, am poised to take a journey into the unknown that may also offer new strength and regeneration for soul and body. When I consider that the underworld is the home of my ancestors and allies who feed the living world, I am encouraged to ask for healing for the burdens that weigh on me.
Asking is not enough. There is a debt that we owe our ancestors and they ask for gifts of beauty. The New Moon is in Libra. The symbol of the Scales stands for harmony, balance, and justice. The beauty that Libra invokes is the beauty of responsibility—of engagement with others to find the diplomatic point of balance where we coexist in harmony and recognize our need for each other. The give and take of relationship, just like our relationship with the hidden world, restores balance. What does balance feel like to you? What do you need to do, whether it is related to spiritual practice, physical health, or living in integrity, to create more balance in your life? Since Saturn is also in Libra for the next two years, we have the opportunity to hone our skills of balance and relationship. I believe doing this work is the beauty that our ancestors require of us.
The chart for the New Moon shows an interesting pattern. Every planet is paired with another planet, and in the case of Pluto, paired with an important point, the North Node of the Moon. The Sun and Moon are conjunct as they always are at a new moon. Saturn is paired with Mercury, Mars with Venus, Neptune with Chiron, and Jupiter with Uranus. How fascinating that the New Moon in the sign of relationship shows us six distinct pairings! Are you drawn to any particular group? Are any of these pairs transiting your chart at this time? These relationships are: Jupiter/Uranus – the relationship of revolution, Neptune/Chiron – the relationship of mysticism, Pluto/Node – the relationship of destiny, Mars/Venus – the relationship of creativity, Sun/Moon – the relationship of relationships, Saturn/Mercury – the relationship of intellect.
The Full Moon occurs in the last degree of Libra. This is the second Full Moon in Libra this year, a somewhat unusual occurrence. The theme of relationship, balance, and beauty continues. At this time Chiron, the wounded shaman/healer, is stationing direct square to Mars. Venus is gone from the sky. We may be feeling the challenge of the journey to the underworld. When Inanna journeyed there, she had to give up every piece of status and identity in order to reach the core of her being. Chiron transits can feel like such shamanic initiations where we are dismantled in order to be put back together with a new connection to a healing source. Perhaps we all need to become healers at this time in our world. When I am feeling particularly challenged, the best source of strength for me is the thought that the experience helps me to be more connected with others who are also suffering. That connection, like the debt we owe our ancestors, creates beauty and healing.
Dates important to our stories: *
October 8 Venus stations retrograde 13° Scorpio
October 8 Mercury conjunct Saturn 8° Libra
October 20 Mercury enters Scorpio
October 20 Mars 24° Scorpio trines Jupiter 24° Pisces
October 22 Mars 25° Scorpio squares Neptune 25° Aquarius
October 22 Mars 26° Scorpio squares Chiron 26° Aquarius
October 22 Full Moon 29° Aries/Libra
October 23 Sun enters Scorpio
October 24 Mars 27° Scorpio trines Uranus 27° Pisces
October 25 Mercury conjunct Venus (retrograde) 7° Scorpio
October 28 Sun conjunct Venus (retrograde) 5° Scorpio
November 1 Venus (retrograde) 3° Scorpio sextiles Pluto 3° Capricorn
November 5 Chiron stations direct 26° Aquarius
*These dates are not a complete list of transits for the month, but rather are times when the themes of these stories are stronger. Each aspect between planets carries its own energy of harmony or conflict. These are:
Conjunction – merging
Sextile – encouraging
Square – challenging
Trine – harmonizing
Opposition – confronting
Quincunx – perplexing