Tuesday, November 29, 2016

October 2, 2016: The Peacock's Tail

One alchemic symbol for the Yellow Phase state is the peacock’s tail.  The peacock’s tail was chosen because of the many iridescent colors that shimmer within the long, graceful feathers, and because of the brilliant blue, green, gold and red “eyes” on those feathers, eyes that see past the distraction of the shimmering colors in order to perceive that which is hidden.  The "eyes" on the peacock's tail are also thought to represent all universes and the iridescence of its colors the entire spectrum of light that reflects the infinite dimensions of consciousness.

My job now is to begin the process of becoming aware of the many facets or colors of my soul, and then integrating them permanently into my conscious self.  I’ve read that sometimes this stage is not entirely pleasant at first; I need to persevere through the discomfort in order to perceive the full display of the marvelous colors of the peacock's tail.

The Dreams of Gaia Ten of Earth has returned yet again. The image on the Ten of Earth has quiet feel, a pause perhaps to accept that I have fulfilled the promise of the Earth cards.  This is not vanity, but rather an acknowledgement that my hard work is paying off and I am integrating what I have learned into my day-to-day life. The keywords for this card, synthesis, harmony, reward, inner peace, grace, highest good, and authenticity, validate that.  There is another important message to be found here, hinted at within the image.  The woman, who is so immersed in the many beings and varied experiences of the physical world that her skin is turning green in places, holds a mask in her hands.  That mask almost looks animal in nature.  She is telling me two things: be myself and celebrate who I am, and know that my work is allowing me to “become” another being in order to experience empathy and to know first-hand that we are all connected.

Perhaps this time the Ten of Earth is telling me to continue hanging in there through the discomfort, because soon enough it will all come together.


Monday, November 28, 2016

October 1, 2016: Yellow Phase and manifestation

October 1, 2016: 

The King of Water!  Finally, a non-Earth card, but another repeat. The keywords for the King of Water are calm, contemplative, insightful, fluid, balanced, protective, and nurturing, as well as jealousy and possessiveness.  This King is sensitive and thoughtful, but not weak or soft.  He is strong, and confident enough to be both mother and father to those he loves.  Because he can unite critical thinking with emotional logic, he is also good at looking within his own self, with compassion and without judgment.  He can make a sound decision based on logic, but also taking into account the emotions and feelings surrounding an issue.  He also understands that emotions and gender are two entirely separate issues.

The King of Water also tells of a time of calm and peace, and a place where I can just be me and exist on my own timetable.  I don’t get to do that very often, so I will gladly create this kind of pause for myself.  Since I am alone this weekend, I should be able to make this happen.

I read a bit more about the Citrinitas (Yellow) Phase.  We can consider the Black Phase as ignorance, the White Phase as reflection (the thought process, not the mirror image) and idealization; the Yellow Phase is the process of manifesting those ideals, and the approaching Red Phase represents those moments of fulfillment when those ideals shine through the dark cloak of the material world.  Glimpses of the Machinery of the Universe?  Perhaps; I’m hoping.  But first I must get past Putrefaction. 

"Putrefaction is so effective that it destroys the old nature and form of the rotting bodies; it transmutes them into a new state of being to give them a totally new fruit. Everything that has life, dies; everything that is dead putrefies and finds a new life." (Pernety, 1758)


Friday, November 25, 2016

September 30, 2016: Fermentation

My Dreams of Gaia card is another Earth card, the Two of Earth reversed.  I threw this one in an upright position about ten days ago. The keywords for this card are equilibrium, flexibility, adaptability, balance, harmony, compromise, confidence, procrastination and freedom.  This card reminds us of the importance of balancing our personal responsibilities regarding work, home, family, and pleasure, while remaining flexible so we can adapt to the circumstances of the day and meet our responsibilities.  I am being told by my reversed Two of Earth that I may need to prioritize my responsibilities before I am overwhelmed.  If I don’t decide what to focus on, things may fall through the cracks, and that won’t make me happy.  I might end up creating discomforts for others, too, which also won’t make me happy. 

From now on, I will pull a Major Arcana card from this deck for Full and New Moons, and for Sabbats.  My New Black Moon card is The Crone; how appropriate is that?  This card is full of symbolism that is relevant to me.  There is a raven sitting in the gnarled, old tree behind the Crone, and indeed the Crone’s dark robes studded with glistening stars (guidance, look to a higher source for direction) appears to be a part of that tree.  There is a serpent (renewal, rebirth, shedding of the old) wrapped around the Crone’s arm and the spear-like wand she carries, and there is a beautiful, glowing crystal at the tip of the wand.  There are mushrooms (male energy, eccentricity, immortality) growing out from between the roots of the tree, and there appears to be a gateway behind the tree; visible in the gateway is a dark, starry sky and a waning crescent moon (cycles, time, moving from one phase to another).  That is a lot of symbolism for one card!

The Crone is the number VI of the Major Arcana.  The keywords for this card are feminine power, fearlessness, authenticity, individuality, independence, new purpose, freedom and shadow self.  As hinted at by the keywords, The Crone represents a proud and independent woman who is no longer influenced by the need to reproduce or the responsibilities of parenting.  The Crone is not afraid to walk her Path alone, she is not afraid to look to her own needs in whatever manner feels right to her.  She is comfortable in her own skin, she is honest (sometimes brutally), wise, and unafraid to deliver tough love if she feels it is needed.  She is telling me to reject stereotypes or expectations, be brave and determined, and take the direct approach when making choices.  Finally, she is reminding me that I am who I believe I am.  Powerful message!

These two cards together offer an important reading.  I need to continue to strive for balance, but I also need to remember that evolution not only requires the acceptance of change, but it also requires the release of what no longer serves me.  I need to be happy with who I am right now, and understand that as long as I make choices through both the mind and the heart, I should not judge myself harshly if things don’t turn out the way I intended.  By shedding the old and being flexible, I can make use of the power that is right there in my hands.  I am, after all, grasping that power right now.

For the first time in many months, I performed my own new moon Esbat.  It was wonderful to return to my own ritual; re-experiencing those familiar words has had an energizing effect.  I do feel as if I have reached the tipping point in all my work since I began this round of the Great Work back in the end of June.  Going forward from here, I expect to be tested.  After all, there is no better way to determine if I have done good work than to be tested by Deity.  I’m just hoping the test won’t be too painful. 

According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy, there is a mini-step between Conjunction and Fermentation called “Putrefaction.”  Putrefaction is the final cleansing of impurities or remnants of ego, and it is a necessary step that prepares for a rebirth into a more perfect level of existence.  This step is often named Citrinitas; if Nigredo represents the darkness of the unconscious, home to the negative and fearful aspects of the self, and Albedo is the first white light of the awakening soul, shining into the darkness like the moon illuminates the night, then Citrinitas is that moment when the first rays of the sun (still below the horizon) begin to bring golden light that chases away the darkness. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

September 29, 2016: Black Moon and Conjunction

I took a quick glance to remind myself about the Conjunction process because for the last few days I have felt kind of heavy in my mind.  This is not so much a fog as it is flirting with depression.  I have a feeling I know what is going on. 

First of all, tomorrow is a Black Moon.  A Black Moon is similar to a Blue Moon, except it deals with the new moon rather than the full moon.  The new (or dark) moon can represent a time of rest, or a time to plant new seeds (after clearing the ground during the waning moon).  Having a second new moon in a month can double the fertility available.  This time, the moon is in the astrological sign of Libra. 

Libra is about balance, partnerships created and maintained through cooperation, and about a focus on other people rather than just on the self.  Relationships are maintained through the use of the intellect and through communications focused on forming partnerships and maintaining harmony.  Libra corresponds with the planet Venus and with the element of Air. Libra is a Cardinal Sign, ready to forge ahead with plans and attract effective supporters, engaging the world in a dynamic way.  Because Libra is Cardinal Air, this sign initiates through new ideas, and by being a balancing force among people.

The second contribution to my lack of serenity and optimism is that I am shifting from the Conjunction process to the Fermentation process.  In the Great Work, successfully passing through the phase of Conjunction is a prerequisite for moving forward.  Perhaps we can see Conjunction as being on the edge of something similar to the Abyss, for Conjunction is the final segment representing the work of Below, which focuses on physical matter, habits and thoughts.  On the other side of that Abyss is the beginning of the work of Above, and that means moving forward needs to be a conscious decision on my part.  This is a dangerous time within the Great Work, for the new attitudes or the increased confidence or optimism created by the efforts so far need to be able to survive in my every-day life and all its responsibilities, stresses and distractions.

If this shift is successful, I not only will find myself moving into Fermentation, but I will also be moving away from the White Phase (the birth of the new personality and the washing away of the ashes of the Black Phase) and toward the Red Phase, where the new personality is assimilated into conscious awareness.  If I have done a good job so far and truly released the impurities revealed to me, new “ingredients” will be introduced.

My Dreams of Gaia card for today, the Seven of Air reversed, is offering more clarification.  The image of this card is mostly black and white, symbolizing its main focus: belief and dogma.  The key words for this card are spirituality, religion, politics, personal dogma, atheism, fundamentalism, indoctrination and kindness.  In an upright position, the Seven of Air represents the realms of spiritual belief, religious practices, and personal dogma, and the way these things manifest in our lives and influence our thoughts, words and actions.  Our beliefs can have a huge impact on our lives; they can bring about confidence, serenity, good health and a sense of well-being, or they can create conflict, place us at odds with those in our life, and create wars, both in our own sphere of existence and throughout the world.  We manifest what we believe, and my Seven of Air is letting me know that there is some imbalance present today within my belief system and the way it manifests.  My personal belief system could very well be closing my mind today rather than opening it, and I do need to be very aware of this as I interact today.