“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” – Thornton Wilder
Now strong enough to continue on her path, she picks her way through the alien landscape, taking note of the unusual way markers, the strange sensations that are so new to her, and the quiet echoes of something more familiar from the past that surfaces now and then as if to remind her that the essence of her being remains the same.
New perspectives break into her psyche on a daily basis, often on matters she has battled with for years, revealing themselves with alarming clarity and no more effort than a gentle exhale of breath.
Continuing up the mountainside with the light of the late afternoon sun behind her, she muses on the nature of desire, not only the extremes that she can be prepared to go through in order to gain satiety but also the price that must be paid, whether through her pain or suffering or that of another’s.
The beloved, whether human, animal, vegetable or mineral, is an elusive thing, and she has hungered after them all. Still, the satisfaction gained has inevitably ended at some stage, leaving her questioning this cycle of appetites: the price and pleasure of the incarnate being, the pangs that are never defeated, only managed.
She understands that it is only through confronting the cycle, by embracing it as her own, that she will stand any chance of freeing herself from its dictates; once able to see the river and understand its motion, there will be an opportunity to navigate its course.
Reaching the brow of the hill, she looks down at the view beneath her, a chasm in the landscape torn so deep that it is difficult to see the surging river that scours its depths. The land beyond turns to a soft golden glow in the gentle evening light, where orchards and farms scatter across the low hills and small villages, and larger settlements gather in valleys filled with the setting sun. Looking at the impossible rift in the earth, she wonders how she is to get across the great divide and how to negotiate the yawning separation that prevents her from reaching the promised land ahead.
Considering the task, it is all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenge. What if she should fall, break her leg and die alone, starving in the bleak rocky canyon? She needs to cross the canyon, but how? She keeps going, walking further along the edge of the tall cliffs, surveying the landscape, searching for clues.
After some time, she spots a narrow path leading down, beckoning her with promises of a solution, and she follows the invitation into the shadows of the rocky gorge, going deeper and further, hoping she will find a crossing at the end of the path.
Reaching the very bottom of the gorge, not far above the surging rapids, she finds what she has been looking for: the way across. Not the grand triumphal affair she might have expected, but a narrow iron-bound wooden bridge that she must lower herself to travel to the other side, and not only that, she has the doorkeepers to contend with, two creatures who hunker down either side of the cantilever mechanism.
The one on the right is fierce and focused, with a face full of desires. It crouches, ill-tempered, in the shadows, holding a lancet in one hand and a shrunken human head in the other.
The other one appears to be more female, voluptuous of body and her head a wild mass of curling black hair; she is dressed in the colours of the setting sun and carries a mattock in one hand whilst in the other is a yardstick. Though she looks less formidable than her partner, her gaze is rebellious, wanton even, and there is a certain unreliability about her demeanour as if, at any moment, she could abandon her post for something more pleasurable. She asks the doorkeepers what needs to be done in order to access the bridge, and they tell her that they will help her, but in return, she must take them with her; she must carry their message across the canyon into the land beyond. They speak of humanity’s desire to pursue rewards in its yearning for an “easier” path but that it suffers the consequences of this with unflagging enthusiasm; this desire, always for conquest, always for more, is, in truth, an endless river. They tell her that this insight will not free humanity from such desire but will help them stand apart from it. The curly-headed creature emphasises the distractions brought about by the fear of the future, how through indulging in these fear fantasies, no progress is made, and inner peace remains tantalisingly out of reach, subjecting us only to our own self-indulgence in the pain-numbing medications of our choice.
She listens with difficulty to the harsh cryptic messages as the keepers lower the wooden bridge and step aside to let her pass. They send her on her way, reminding her that she will have to confront them again soon if she doesn’t hold on to their words, and she climbs the steep path that leads up and out of the canyon.
Finally, standing on the top, she looks back to the bridge, but it has disappeared in the gathering darkness, for the sun has now set, and the eclipsed Moon rises in the east. It speaks of difficulties in negotiations between chosen representatives of the people and that no matter how many words are spoken, they may fall on stony ground. Persistence will be critical, and she remembers the words of the keepers, their fierce but useful weapons, their harsh but wise words, their reminder to keep going, not to be seduced by the fear of what the future may bring, to have the courage to break new ground, to forgive the past and to sow seeds in trust of a better world and to nurture them into fruition.
We are in the midst of Eclipse Season, between the Solar Eclipse in Libra at the last New Moon, visible mainly over the Americas, and the upcoming Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, which will be visible across much of the world but will be very visible in the Middle East.
William Lilly writes that a Solar Eclipse in the 2nd decan of Libra “portends the Death of some eminent Prince or King, or Nobleman, and for breach of Customs, stirs up Seditions, and designs a Famine”. With a duration of about 3 to 4 hours over the US, by traditional rules, we would expect the impact of the current events to last for a duration of 4 to 5 years.
He also writes that a “An Eclipse of either of the Lights in the first ten degrees of Taurus, afflicts such as are Negotiators, Solicitors Agents, or are generally employed in mens affaires, or in the publick; it compells men to undertake unnecessary businesses, it brings to nought and confounds all factions undertaken by the former sort of men, and is sufficiently hurtful to Corn.” This upcoming Lunar Eclipse, which lasts for approximately 4-5 hours, may have an impact which we can expect to last for around 4 to 5 years.
It is interesting to see the play between the meanings of the two eclipses, as described by Lilly, when we consider the strong US involvement in the current crisis in Palestine and the flurry of negotiations that have taken and are taking place between world leaders, men of power, who sit in comfort in safe places to discuss the war-torn countries and displaced peoples that we see on the news.
The chart for the upcoming Lunar Eclipse is tense, to say the least. Like the Solar Eclipse in Libra, it is ruled by a fallen Venus and is combined with a tense Mars-Jupiter opposition.
The Sun in Scorpio, accompanied by his henchman Mars, super strong in Scorpio, is joined by their mediator, Mercury. With both Mars & Mercury in combustion due to their closeness to the Sun, we are likely to see the more underhand expression of Scorpio, where the Sun has the power to illuminate a dense complexity of problems but has little strength to effect a beneficial remedy. Many fine words are likely to be spoken but to little effect.
The Moon, strong in Taurus, the sign of her exaltation, applies to Jupiter, with whom she has a special relationship, as her sign of Cancer is where Jupiter finds his exaltation. There is a rather self-congratulatory feeling about this whole combination, which reminds me of that old English phrase: “fine words butter no parsnips”.
Corn, or crops, are mentioned in Lilly’s quotes about both eclipses this autumn, and it is worth noting the additional symbolism. The South Node is currently conjoined to the Fixed Star Spica, which, being in the ear of wheat that Virgo holds, is also very much associated with grains and, by default, food supplies in general, and Venus, the ruler of both eclipses this autumn, is in the zodiac sign of Virgo. This brings the need to get down to basics, to confront the root causes or underlying foundations of the present situation and to break ground so that new seeds can be sown. The old foundations are crumbling, and a new way must be found, but that way is not easy. Forgiveness of the past must be a part of it, and that brings its own challenges. It is not a time for pompous displays of showmanship, despite the inflated Jupitarian energy and the desire for the control of resources, but rather a time to humbly acknowledge the hurts of the past, and to move on from that place of pain, to work together to build a new world.
Dane Rudhyar says it best
“The person who has suffered deprivation and loneliness can give new substance to his or her emotional life by participating in a collective project. All great evolutionary challenges imply the overcoming of basic difficulties. A step ahead must be taken, yet an abyss confronts the evolving man. It is no longer a personal Void – an “open grave” – but a chasm that is an integral part of the “land” upon which man’s evolution must proceed. A link must be built through the power of the collective mind of the group or the community at large, based on the legacy of the past, to make a bridge over the canyon.”
Sources of inspiration:
Dane Rudhyar’s Sabian Symbols.
The 6th degree of Taurus: A CANTILEVER BRIDGE ACROSS A DEEP GORGE
The conquest of separateness through group cooperation.
Decan images from The Picatrix
The Sun in the first decan of Scorpio
The Moon in the First decan of Taurus
William Lilly on Eclipses
An easie and familiar method whereby to iudge the effects depending on eclipses, either of the sun or moon. By William Lilly student in astrologie. Lilly, William, 1602-1681