21 Oct Into the Blood ~ October 23rd-29th, 2017
“When awake (and often when asleep), some kind of consciousness is always going on. There is a stream, a succession of states…of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc…”
-William James, The Stream of Consciousness
The culmination of Libra season was meant to bring you into harmony, balancing the oncoming of outer darkness with an incoming of inner light. Throughout Libra season, you may have attracted many beautiful companions to escort you to the threshold of the underworld, but in Scorpio season, you must enter through its gates alone.
On Monday,October 23rd, the Sun moves into Scorpio, ushering in the darkness of the season of death. In this dimming light, collaborations come to an end, ideas drift into muddled stasis and relationships long since dead will begin to rot.
But the season of death is also the season of resistance to death. Death may come for aspects of your life that you are not yet willing to relinquish. Thus, this season will require that you use your vital life force to resist death, mustering your energies to defend what is still growing.
Watched you cry, Watched you fly, Watched you die
The zodiacal sign of Scorpio symbolizes the death of the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, where astrology originates from, Scorpio season is the time of year when the Sun’s vitalizing presence begins fade away leaving only the ghost of summer warmth behind. The Sun in Scorpio is more like a dim lantern, shining just enough light to navigate your way through the underworld.
Don’t worry. In the absence of light, other senses come alive.
To soundtrack the Sun’s journey into the underworld, I suggest selecting something from the oeuvre of the British electronic duo, Underworld. Immersive and haunting, their signature blend of techno and stream of consciousness lyrics render Underworld albums lush, conceptual, and danceable.
I’m the spoonman, Talks to god
Like Orpheus, who travelled between worlds with his lyre, Underworld’s music teleports you between levels of consciousness. In-between the glitches and crossed-wires, rapid flashes of transcendent beauty emerge.
Underworld lyrics are all very strange. Listening to their music can be an oracular experience because like a Rorschach test, in the stirring of random unstrung words, symbols and meaning are suddenly found. As the lyrics are empowered by emerging visions, Underworld songs have a way of becoming deeply etched in your heart.
What Underworld exemplifies about Scorpio is the way that structured thought forms break down, melting back into the primordial muck of the unconscious mind. In this darkness, where time becomes a loop, where time…where time becomes a loop, hunger emerges…the head of a snake eating its own tail.
Scorpio is the sign that points to the existence of invisible rays, only sensed in darkness. Animism, mysticism and magic all evolve in these waters.
But modern astrology also attributes the study of psychology to Scorpio. The origin of the science began as an exploration of the the murky layers of awareness that emerge in the absence of the Sun’s rational light.
One of the greatest explorers of human consciousness through the method of science was the American philosopher, William James, who at the turn of the 20th Century helped to found the department of psychology at Harvard.William James was from an illustrious family of mystics and artists, the most famous being his brother, Henry James. At Harvard, William James built his career upon as vast and prolific study of mystical revelation, altered states, and descriptions of the unconscious mind.
Just as it is now, in the late 19th Century, most academics were largely bound by Enlightenment era philosophies confined to rational thinking and mechanistic systems of logic. But William James forsook the rigidity of these ideologies and broke through to the other side. The main thrust in his work centered upon his endeavor to scientifically describe human consciousness as being much more than waking awareness.
On Tuesday, a window of opportunity to access layers of consciousness that lie beyond waking awareness will open wide. Mercury in Scorpio will make a harmonious trine to Neptune in Pisces, merging the bass note of the primal subconscious with the high note of transcendent visions.
Under a flowing aspect between Mercury and Neptune, your emotional capacity and imagination will bloom, creating an inner world of aching beauty and soft enchantments. Shimmering in this reverie, aquatic thoughtforms will emerge, pulsing with hunger and renewed lust for life.
Slipping into this rippling awareness may create some disorientation. You may lose the hyper-focus on identity in favor of feeling interconnected with the hearts and minds of others, both living and dead. The loss of one sense always open others, making you highly attuned to the symbolic world of dreams, divination and art.
Outside of the empirical light of rational being, human experience is largely animated by this murky realm that James termed the unconscious. Symbols are the primal imagistic language that translates information between conscious states and unconscious states.
Talks to god….Talks to god
As a psychologist, William James believed that human personality was an emanation of a plurality of states, a whole symphony of sound rather than just a solo instrumental. This perspective is in sympathy with the astrological perspective, which acknowledges personality to be comprised of ten (or more) channels of consciousness planetary symbolized by the planets.
So, just as a description of waking consciousness fails to describe your dreams, intuitions and passions, Sun sign astrology alone always fails to grasp the full scope of personality. From William James’ perspective, waking consciousness was only one state to be considered.
Inspired by Darwin’s theories of evolution, James hypothesized that waking consciousness was significant to the survival of the biological organism in the physical world. But as mystics and magicians have always known, James determined that many levels of consciousness existed simultaneously with waking consciousness, flooding one’s subtler perceptions with many ways of knowing.
To describe the phenomenon of this multi-level awareness known through body, mind, and spirit, James coined the now famous term the stream of consciousness.
“The existence of this stream is the primal fact, the nature and origin of it form the essential problem, of our science.”
To better understand the stream of consciousness, think of dreams, memories, physical sensations and intellectual exertions as being like different channels of awareness. And just as you can change the channel on TV or click to a new website, human awareness has many levels to alternate between.
Sometimes the transition between layers of consciousness is smooth, like slowly awakening from a dream on Sunday morning. And sometimes the transition feels like a glitch, a momentary paralysis following a sudden interruption.
Fortunately, the middle of the week offers a graceful energy to support smooth transitions between layers of awareness. You may have vivid dreams that stay with you throughout the day or you may find that your body easily communicates its needs. In some cases, sensorial experiences may have synesthetic quality, where tastes have colors and colors have sounds.
On Thursday, the Sun in Scorpio will conjunct Jupiter. This union will open your heart, with love leaping into flames. A hunger for spiritual growth will erupt, rekindling an interest in some studies and practices that you wish to explore again.
The feeling of internal warmth will bring many blessings and opportunities. You may enjoy some increased influence or fame. You will likely observe an expansion of good cheer and optimism and generous offers may arrive in the form of financial rewards and essential knowledge.
Very much in the spirit of the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio, William James was fortunate enough to find an influential position at Harvard. The Enlightenment saw aspects of primal consciousness, like religion and magic, as a ghoulish photo negative. But William James was able to develop that ghoulish image into a beautiful landscape.
“Every definite image in the mind is steeped and dyed in the free water that flows round it.”
Through his wide influence, he inspired a philosophical return to ancient wisdom, one that ennobled dreams, feelings, and the myriad of connections that these experiences have to waking life. His theories also inspired the art of stream of consciousness writing.
Brilliant green substance unknown with a face like a peeled onion
As demonstrated in Underworld’s lyrics, stream of consciousness discards conventional form, opening up to letting words spill out freely without too much construction. Jumping from observation…to sensation…to reflection…to memory, the lightness of being in the flow finds many hidden rivulets within.
Talks to god
On Friday, Pluto, will be aspected by a sextile from Mercury in Scorpio and a square from Venus in Libra. You may feel hungry for an epiphany, for a sign. Possessed by the desire to learn, you will concentrate your focus, seeing through to the end of a long dark tunnel, where passion, intellect, and prophecy blend.
The square between Venus and Pluto may bring Libra’s poised grace into an unfortunate confrontation with a feeling of disempowerment and fear. This can offer vital knowledge about where your self-negating thoughts and bad habits hide.
With their little bone diggers and
dark stuff comes oozing out the apple core tonight
But this Venus/Pluto square also asks you to use death to your advantage. You can use this time to sacrifice any patterns of abuse, trauma, or false perceptions to the waters of death. Sincere efforts, no matter how small, will light up your heart and guide you to keep going towards the light of healing.
Guided by the Sun’s dim light, in the dark waters of Scorpio, allow the process of death, letting your faded ego identity, your torn up plans for the future and your self-destructive habits become subsumed.
Like a beggars dog tasting the wind
Into the blood
All photos from Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy.