Sacred Earth (Part One)

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Overview: The Triumvirate of Earth
No one really thinks about it, but all of the elemental triumvirates follow the same pattern, no matter the element. There is initiation or inception, process or testing, and then building or result. In Fire, there is the inception of Aries followed by the process of Leo (fire learning to be/play with fire) followed by the wisdom fire of Sag. Sag builds intuition. In water, we have the inception/birth of individual consciousness in Cancer followed by the testing of it in Scorpio, and the release of it into Pisces, where it joins once again with its origins, contributing its experience. In air, we have the pure connecting principal of Gemini become an actual connecting principal via Libra (Libra is testing the Gemini principle) eventually building the certainty of the group in fixed Air/Aquarius.
In earth, we have the fertilization process of Taurus become the processing/sorting of reality via Virgo, creating the materials that Capricorn needs for creation. Whatever we own in the second house is tested via crisis in the sixth and eventually is used to build/manifest in the 10th. Our relationship to our own Earth houses and Earth signs/planets has a great deal to say about whether or not we find things easy to manifest in this world. If we end up perennially day dreaming and unable to move into the realm of reality (particularly as we get older, as this is the gift of age), we find ourselves trapped in a tar pit of our own making, like those sad dinosaurs in La Brea. We never experience the satisfaction of our own completed experience. Our soul never gets the chance to sigh a sigh of contented relief as we review what we have made. More and more, we live in a world of never-ending potential and possibility while all the while we are less and less able to utilize our actual power of change and initiation. The dream world grows and the imaginal world becomes a bigger and bigger monster we must conquer, rather than the challenge in good faith that it should be. Our potentials and possibilities are turned against us.
As any of you who have studied with me for more than a minute know, I blame Uranus and Aquarius. It allows the anonymity of group think without responsibility. But Saturn, too, once upon a time was Aquarius’ lord—think of Abraham Lincoln with his dour countenance, pondering the fate of America at her darkest hour. When Saturn ruled Aquarius, the visionary united with the builder and maker. Now that Uranus is in the picture, we have darted ahead without a plan to sustain our growth. The world is catch as catch can.
I am not proposing that we go backwards. Not possible, anyway, even if we wanted to. But I am proposing putting the break on Uranus by asking it the simple questions, “Is this right?” and “Is this useful?” Very Saturn.
The personal planets are the planets from Mercury to Saturn. Some of these share a rulership with an outer planet. Our personal planets are our tools, our means for growth in the world. We know how to use them, share them. They are a means to an ends. The responsible, Saturnine/Saturnian thing to do, then, would be to use both the personal planet and the outer planet to grasp what is needed.
Houses and planets ruled by Aquarius need the steadying factor of Saturn to make the best of them. If you want the real key to Pisces in your chart, you need to look at Jupiter—where do you go overboard, what are your excesses, where do you refuse to be reined in? This is especially important as Virgo is the opposite of Pisces, and you will never make sense of your Jupiter if you don’t make sense of Mercury—the two go together like salt and pepper, yin and yang, standing at the crossroads of the individual and the collective. We are forever looking at the unfathomable Pluto to make sense of the Scorpio section of our charts, whereas the desire, one-pointedness and heat/sexuality of Scorpio is better expressed through Mars. Have Scorpio on the cusp of the eighth and wonder why you cut off relationships so easily? Perhaps Mars is in Gemini or Aquarius, or conjunct Uranus.
In truth, in my experience, the inner planets provide practical advice and information about these signs/rulerships, and the outer planets provide the spiritual wisdom and guidance. Alas, we now make judgements about these things, and often jump to the spiritual before we can climb the practical. We fall, and we wonder why. We lack experience, and we blame everything and everyone but ourselves and our over-reaching.
Practicing using these inner planets as rulers should be first in a long series of exercises on self-examination regarding earth and manifestation. What is my attitude towards the material world in general? Does it starve me or does it sustain me? Do I expect to be cradled in the bosom of the world or do I expect to be abandoned? Often, I wish for one yet my true belief is anchored in another. And this way madness lies. I tell myself I deserve abundance and the small voice inside me says otherwise—and he is the one with the power, tied up with projections, absorbed belief systems and other things that are not true to the true experience of the ‘I.’
And so we begin with Taurus, Venus and our sense of worth.
I don’t know about you, but something about the bull makes me resist Taurus. I like the sign well enough, and the people born under it. But the symbolism always eluded me. We think of Ferdinand smelling the flowers in the children’s story. Maybe we think of the fatted calf and sacrifice. On the whole I think I just slipped by the imagery of Taurus and slid right into Venus, which I was much more comfortable with—‘Oh, yes, second house, Venus, worth, values, etc.’
But the truth is a lot more—um—raunchy than that. Far from the usual elegance of Venus (which is not Taurus Venus but Libran Venus), Taurean symbolism is a lusty affair. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. The second house often describes how we indulge ourselves, unless we are very much cut off from it by planet or sign (Uranus there is often a big problem.) It is the house of our own private Falstaff, were we are inclined to celebrate the things of Earth.
The bull is, in fact, an ancient sacred symbol of fertility. The bull is the husband to the Earth, the first Earth sign. As such, he is the inseminator. (The other archetype that may have taken over from the bull in our culture is the Green Man.) But the Bull, with his sweating hide, his snorting virility and inhuman strength, is unique.
As the first Earth sign, Taurus gets things going. In fact, all of the ‘first’ elemental signs have to do with the first thrust that breaks the innate inertia of the universe. First fire (Aries) births consciousness from the collective soup. First Earth (Taurus) is the life-giver. The number 2 is about duality, the singular of the ‘I’ first able to perceive itself in reflection. So the number 2 actually relates to material reality itself , which is forever associated with the feminine. The odd numbers are masculine and relate to the so-called ‘masculine’ signs—their impetus is beyond matter, in the spiritual realm. Even numbers are feminine and reflect matter, and spirit within matter. Even numbers reflect the impregnated whole.
Taurus is the thrust that fertilizes, populates and creates abundance in the world. But beyond that, there is a sense of worship, of caretaking. This is what makes Taurus unique, and stops it from being just another seeding ‘father’ image in the archetypal realm. It is uniquely vulnerable in its animal state. Animal archetypes within the zodiac stand for the animal within, the flesh and blood vulnerability of being placed on this Earth. It is instinctual, and sensitive with its five (possibly six) senses. It feels, and because it feels, it knows.
In essence, this is the gift of Earth—it partners with the feeling state. And this is where we need to go further.
The NASA space probe has discovered what may be the only place in our solar system where life as we know it might be found. It is on one of Jupiter’s Moons, Europa. There is an ocean there, albeit frozen, which may consist of water, not frozen gas. If so, the possibility of finding evidence of life there is very high. Now let’s go back to mythology. Europa was the goddess who was seduced by Zeus/Jupiter in the guise of (you guessed it) a bull. How appropriate. She was also known as ‘wide-faced’ or cow-faced, and may in Mesopotamian times have overseen the mating of the bulls as ritual.
The house in our charts that has Taurus on the cusp is where we can be endlessly fertile and self-renewing. Much like Saturn, Taurus demands participation of us. Interesting that a lot of times we are reluctant to show up in the houses that Earth rules. We need concrete results of these houses, whether we have planets there or not.
In the Taurus house and in our second house, we are to follow our instinctual selves [as opposed to our intellectual selves (air) or inspirational selves (fire) or even our feeling selves (water)]. Our instinctual selves will lead us to our (pro)creative endeavor. We all have a natural instinct to inseminate the planet. Much of this instinct gets thwarted as we grow older, and gets warped by negative hearsay. We learn to stay within our fixity (Taurus is fixed Earth) rather than use our instinct to get beyond our limitations. Taurus should be the first step that breaks the inertia of the world. Unfortunately, when Taurus goes wrong, it becomes the inertia. Then Taurus represents the stubborn, fixed, non-growth entity we all feared it would become. It stops us from joining our creative selves with others, and performing the needed transcendent transformation that is required of us in the opposite, Scorpio, house.
It has always surprised me that a lot of us are not attached to the energies of our second house. Astrologers are forever asked, “What are my talents?” “What am I about?” Our second houses should get the ball rolling for us. We should acknowledge our talents and resources and run with them to the fifth house to process them, and then to the eighth house to share them with intimate others. In this way the fixed modality works with the second house, and modalities are always more active than elements.
But if we are blocked, it is sometimes beyond the squares and oppositions we see coming from fixed houses. Rarely do we look at the triumvirate of Earth and its associated houses 2, 6 and 10. We know the 10th house from its association with status and the midheaven. We are familiar with the work ethic of Capricorn and the goat’s journey to the top of the mountain. However, it is less known that the 10th house is more easily associated with our status/place in the world than it is with work. In this current society, in 2015, our status is determined by the work that we do. The 10th house shows me what I want others to see of me. And it is also the method by which I will work to get there.
Real work, real vocation, is revealed by the play between the sixth and 12th houses. These are the Virgo/Pisces houses. In the triumvirate of Earth, I should be using my talents and abilities in terms of ‘right work.’ The polarity of six and twelve reveals how I work in the world.

It also surprises me how often we get confused about the sixth house. It being the house associated with Virgo, it should be about discrimination, sorting out, and balance. Dane Rudhyar calls it the ‘Crisis House,’ and I’m inclined to agree. Virgo brings things to a head. This is why it is crisis oriented. It will bring all the pimples of your psyche up to perfection, so that they burst and heal. The sixth house is associated with health, because if there is dis-ease this is where it will show up. If you have Aquarius on the cusp of an empty sixth house, and Uranus is conjunct the Moon in your natal chart, you can bet that any dis-ease will show up directly in your physical being (the Moon represents the body). One of the greatest reasons for dis-ease in this culture is the lack of or respect for ‘right work.’
We are not meant to do just anything in this world. We are not meant to exchange our life’s time for money, which is what we do when we are stuck in meaningless jobs. Okay, in hard times any work is honest work, but eventually a plan should emerge. If no plan emerges, it is necessary to look back to the Taurus house and see where we’ve been missing the boat. Our essential resources and talents have not revealed themselves yet.
Earth needs water to create life, which takes us back to NASA and the metaphor of water on Europa. This is why the polarities are so important—it takes one to fuel the other. If you’ve ever wondered why water goes along with Earth and fire with air, it’s because they share a yin/yang quality. Even numbers reflect material reality. They exist so that the universe can hold up a mirror to itself and reflect on its own being. They are feminine, the impregnated Earth. This fecund Earth is represented by Virgo, who is the maid not necessarily the Virgin. Her purity is of her intention. Both Earth and water share even numbers in the sequence of sacred number. (Fire and Air are masculine and of the spirit, and outside the realm of this article.) We are dealing with the real world as we know it, no mistake about it. Ever wonder why Virgo always wins the argument, whatever it is? Because she sticks to the facts. She points out reality in a frighteningly accurate way.
This particular Virgo talent is needed to crack the real function of Virgo—Virgo as Master, Virgo as Magician.
Most Virgos are born with a particular longing we never discuss. To be good, really good, exceptionally good, at something. Anything. The desire for mastery is an inborn Virgo trait. [Bet you didn’t know that (unless you’re a Virgo).] Sometimes it’s a lifetime of haunting. Sometimes it eats through the Virgo soul. But it is always there, and will not rest until there is some kind of accomplishment that satisfies the Virgo being in this lifetime. (This doesn’t happen until the Virgo gives up the notion of perfection, but that’s another story.)
Virgos have the instinct to mastery, but discovering the power of the magician is one of trial and error. The instinct to mastery usually makes us desperate, and there is a long line of Virgo casualties along the way. [Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson come to mind.] In spite of the longing, Virgo can be timid when it comes to the power it discovers, which is why the most successful Virgos are the ones which come to it over time. [This kind of power was, in fact, a promise of the Pluto/Uranus in Virgo generation, but not many have been able to come up to the plate—yet.] It takes time to create mastery. We need our respect for time and Capricorn/Saturn.
The innate Virgo ability is the ability to make things manifest in the material world. Through intense focus, analysis and cutting away of what does not work, Virgo creates a workable model. Whether the Virgo works from pure imagination in a Pisces way, or perfects and consolidates what has previously existed in another, failed form, Virgo has the ability to create something where there was nothing. The Virgo mastery is the mastery over matter.
Now, most Virgos are so busy fretting and worrying about not being perfect that they get distracted from the task. Most let their attention go where it will, being of service, rather than being the servant of the Earth it should be. But most Virgos, if they pay at least a little attention, come to the conclusion that they can create. Most Virgos are fully aware of their ability to create meaningful synchronicity as an affirmation of life. This synchronicity arises as a by-product of creation itself.
Where does this power come from? From the power of Mercury in Earth.
Mercury in Earth is, in essence, about vibration. Vibration is what shapes matter, what creates the universe. All the while we are sitting here, the Earth is vibrating at a very fine rate, and the cause of the vibration creates the shape of what is created. Quantum physics has proved that intention alone affects the universe. In a famous experiment, the observers of an experiment affected the outcome of an experiment, depending on their attitude and expectations. What they have affirmed is something very big, yet something Virgo has known all along. The universe is responsive to our thoughts and attitudes towards it. Expect negativity and you will receive negativity.  High vibration also purifies.  Ask anyone with a sonic toothbrush.
Now, I’m not saying that a Polyanna attitude will deliver you. Far from it. Pie in the sky hopes and wishes are just head-in-the-sand bypasses for real belief and real intention. We have to work at our goals. We have to put in time (there’s that word again). It takes time for vibration to form into reality. But what we can do is get our thinking out of the world of Newtonian cause-and-effect physics/material determinism and move ahead to the consideration that the universe is ready to respond to our needs. When Virgo unlocks the secret of Earth/Mercury, it liberates itself from the drudgery of the sign and elevates it to the ever-evolving, creative, fertile Earth.
Now…about that time…Part three of this article will tackle Capricorn and the Melusine.

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