Sacred Earth (Part Two)






Of Time and the Melusine


Words of the day:

Atrabilious:  Gloomy, morose, melancholy, morbid, irritable, bad tempered, splenetic

Entelechy:  A realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality.  A vital agent or force directing growth and life.

Argonaut:  Person in quest of something dangerous but rewarding.

Recently, as I was thinking about the much maligned sign of Capricorn and its ignored magical side, sent me these three words of the day.  I thought they were particularly appropriate to this article on ‘the goat’.

On the whole, Capricorn is, at best, thought of as atrabilious.  This is one of my new favorite words, wrapping up the whole of negative Capricorn.  Of all the signs that are misunderstood, (and I believe the Earth signs suffer in particular), Capricorn takes the hit for the great sins—selfishness, coldness, greed, excessive ambition without accountability, distortion of the truth.  Of course, very little of this is true, or at least, not in this degree.  How many Capricorns do you know who are a mixture of Ebenezer Scrooge, Silas Marner and Donald Trump (Trump is not a Capricorn, by the way)?  Mostly, they are quiet souls trying to get along in the world, just like the rest of us.

I’m afraid this is another case where we have to blame the bad press of Saturn.  The more I think about it, the more it baffles me the way, as a culture, we’ve demonized this planet. What is it about Saturn that puts us off so?  In the end, Saturn is about mastery.  It’s about actualization.  It’s about bringing our dreams to reality. How can this be bad?  How can we negate and void something so positive?

Much of it has to do with the fact that, as a culture, we like to live in Jupiter-ville.  In Jupiter-ville, ruled by Sag, we live in a world of endless expansion and endless potential.  We can live forever, as long as we find the right methods.  We can always be anything we want, if we want it enough.  Want to be a DJ at 80?  Sure.  A mother at 60?  Absolutely.  A ballet dancer at 100?  Well, even the most optimistic, blowsiest Sag has to acknowledge some physical limitations.  And what causes these limitations?  Time.  We are caught up in time and space.  That is the definition of life as we know it.  There may be part of us that is immortal, but there is another part that, as W.B. Yeats so eloquently put it, is “Tied to a dying animal.”

I have often said that I think one of the reasons secondary progressions have come to be ignored by astrologers, in spite of their proven power, is because they put a limitation on life.  They are powerful BECAUSE they are limited.  Life can cover this span, and no more.  If you measure a day for a year, how many days/years can you live?  Ninety?  A hundred and twenty?  That only covers four months in the ephemeris, the limit that life can expand—four signs.  Four signs for the Progressed Ascendant, four signs for the Sun.  Ever wonder why Sun signs are so effective/descriptive?  It’s not only because of the sign, but because a Virgo, for example, will only ever go through Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and possibly some Sag in the course of a lifetime.  It’s a pattern.  A pattern that all signs share.

Time is particularly significant to Capricorn.  Those of you who are computer babies don’t realize it, but a chart is first constructed [and yes, I come from the days when we had to do this by hand (just)] by finding the midheaven.  The Capricorn point.  The highest point above our heads, our own personal noon point.  The rest of the chart is formed around this, even the Ascendant.  There is a reason for this.  It’s called manifestation.  We move from the eternal, formless world of soul (represented by the circle) and hang it on the cross of matter—what we call the angles.  The angles of a chart represent the place we ourselves are made manifest.  The soul becomes anchored in Time and Space.  We move out of a world of possibilities into the harsh world of probabilities.

No wonder Capricorn is depicted as such a serious sign.  How can it not be?  It’s taken all of the responsibility for the manifest world on its shoulders.  It’s responsible for matter.  Okay, well, along with Cancer, which gives birth to what is manifest.  Capricorn is the Earth father, the caretaker, as opposed to the playful, divine father otherwise known as the Sun.  The Sun plays, and Capricorn gets the bills.  In the Earth trilogy, from Taurus through Virgo to Cap, the buck stops here.  I’ve taken my resources in the second house, processed them through the crucible/test of the sixth, and now take what I’ve made to build something in the tenth.

I am convinced that, in order to find true happiness in life, we have to seek contentment.  Happiness is temporary and elusive.  The peace of contentment can be continual, possibly eternal.  In order to be content, we need to be satisfied with what we’ve done, with the choices we’ve made.  Otherwise we will be eternally haunted with possibilities.  In order to be at this kind of peace, we have to win the war of possibilities, by seeking out the truth of our possibilities.  Only Virgo knows the difference between a true possibility or potentiality, and a daydream.  That’s its job. Not all dreams are made to be manifest.  One of the roles of Virgo and the sixth house, as partner to the twelfth, is to sort out the real possibilities from the pipe dreams.  The twelfth house contains everything in the universe; the sixth house determines what of that endless universe is really ours in this world.  What can we really use?  Once determined, Virgo hands the goods over to Capricorn.

Capricorn has two jobs.  One is to carry on the journey of Earth and bring it to fruition.  The other is to partner with Cancer and the fourth house in order to make the consciousness inherent in the fourth house to be made manifest in some way in the tenth.  This is no easy task.  The IC, and the fourth house in general, is where our chthonic roots are, the seat of the soul is the IC.  It’s where our eternal conscious selves are joined to the earth, like a metaphysical umbilical cord that is never cut, but continues to feed off of universal forces and at the same time individuate those forces.  We are never more alone, like it or not, than in the fourth house.  Cancer is so self-preserving and reluctant because it knows itself to be truly alone (as a conscious being) for the first time.  It knows it is vulnerable. But as that fourth house develops, it becomes the seat of our strength, our own fortress of solitude (not only Superman has one—this is where we are all Superman).  This is ultimately where we learn what can never be taken away from us.

When we have this inner strength, it cannot stay in stasis.  It, by nature, needs somewhere to go.  It is a carry on from the raw material we gather in the second house.  It’s where that material is developed and processed before being sorted out in the sixth and tested in the eighth.  But the fourth is a kind of pressure cooker for inner processes.  This energy has to release.  Its natural release is through the tenth house.

When our deepest ‘inner being’ is acknowledged and functioning through the tenth house, it is called contentment.  When our inner world matches our outer world, we feel at peace.  We contribute to the world around us.  We feel validated, appreciated, needed and useful.  Our lives matter.  How many of us feel that way in this culture?  Precious few.  And part of that is due to our denial of Saturn and the role of Capricorn.

As long as we avoid Saturn, we avoid the responsibility of making something of ourselves.  Note that this is not mere success.  If it were, it would be easy.  We would all stream up the corporate ladder, or become doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs. No, the flow between the fourth and tenth houses has to do with taking the magic of our individual consciousness and giving it true expression in the world.  This doesn’t mean becoming a rap star or a movie star and bringing in the bucks.  It means knowing who you really are and having the confidence to put that on display, damn the consequences.  Your entire life needs to reflect that fourth house, and, if you do it right, you don’t care, because you can’t be hurt by this kind of truth.  The more true you are to the fourth house, the more liberated your life becomes.

So Saturn/Cap, far from being the slave drivers of repute, are in essence the molders of our essential being.  I have long said that Saturn is about what we must do in the world in a physical sense.  Saturn is never satisfied with thinking about things.  Try and think your way through a Saturn transit, without actually changing something or manifesting something.  Good luck with that.  Saturn demands dealing with the concrete world, and that’s often why we find him so difficult during our Saturn returns.  We tend to live in a world of our own potential until then, and then we hit thirty and the limitations of our lives begin to hit.  We learn we can’t dream our way through the world.  (Maybe we can, if we have a lot of Neptune and never wake up, mistaking dream for reality).  We have to wake up and pay the bills.  Just like Saturn/dad taught us.

But when Saturn works, there is something magical in it.  The waters of consciousness are allowed to flow through and shape the manifest world.  Earth comes alive.  Far from being ‘dead’ (i.e. unresponsive) matter, matter shows itself to be a living, breathing, aware presence, just waiting for us to meet it halfway.  This is the way the nascent consciousness of the fourth house becomes reflected through the Saturn/Capricorn lens.  Saturn is primed to take the raw materials of our lives and make something of them.

The ancient symbol for Saturn is not the goat, but the melusine.  If you look closely at the glyph for Saturn, it looks like a mermaid sitting on a rock. The melusine is a water-spirit who can also walk the land as a ‘normal’ human.  Sometimes she is depicted as a freshwater mermaid, sometimes as half woman, half serpent.  In most of the tales, in her ‘normal’ guise, she marries the King or Prince of the land, but only if he promises her the privacy of bathing on her own.  While he maintains the sacred agreement of the union, she gives him untold riches and uses her magical forces for his good.  Until one day, of course, he has to peek in on her bath time, sees her serpent side, whereby she is immediately either swallowed up by the earth or at the very least is lost forever to him.  Sometimes she leaves him with a magical gift.  Sometimes not.

The meaning here is not as complicated as it might seem.  Saturn, the King or ruler, must abide by the sacred agreement.  It must honor the magical qualities of its better half, in this case represented by water and the feeling nature.  When it goes too far, when it must violate its own sacred promise with excessive curiosity and lack of respect, it must sacrifice all the magic.  The earth becomes a dull, dead thing again.  The magical partner is gone.  As in the dream state, Capricorn/Saturn is all of the players, the King and the Melusine as well.  The Melusine is the catalyst, the link between the world of consciousness and the world of form.  It’s interesting that she is a freshwater sprite.  Deep unconscious, or subconscious, is represented by the ocean, by salt water.  Fresh water stands for conscious work that is near the surface, that makes us aware.  A useable consciousness, ripe for union and transformation, transcendence.  (Interesting, too, that in most fables and fairy tales, talking fish are lake fish or freshwater fish.)

The lesson here is that all of the Earth signs have a secret side that must be honored.  This is true, of course, for Fire/Air as well, but Fire/Air is about intellect and inspiration, whereas Earth/Water is about form and the thing that gives form life.  Remember that Fire/Air is masculine and Earth/Water is feminine—the spark and the container/receiver of that spark.  But when we speak of Earth/Water we are talking about life itself—what it means to take form, to grow, to die.  To infuse Earth with the awareness of consciousness.  This is not a concept.  This is what we live. This is the point of our lives.

Saturn as the Earthly Father (as opposed to the divine father, the Sun) is partner to the Moon/Cancer. Earth becomes the partner/husband of water.  Water will provide as long as it is honored.  Interesting, isn’t it, that we are headed straight on for a global water shortage the likes of which this planet has never seen?

The union of the fourth and tenth houses is part of a deep mystery—this is where we transcend ‘ordinary’ reality.  This is where we escape our prisons and our shackles.  This is where our inner worlds and outer worlds become one.  This is where it is magical to be alive.  Meditate on your fourth and tenth houses –break the bonds of the ordinary, of family, culture and tradition, and move beyond them into the place of no boundary. You will be surprised at what you unveil.










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