19 Nov The Divine Child of Earth and Starry Heaven~ November 20th-26th, 2017
This week begins with the Sun’s last lingering moment in the sign of Scorpio. On Tuesday, the journey through the dark tunnels of the underworld will finally come to an end when the Sun moves into the mutable fire sign of Sagittarius! The crushing fear of death-being-the-end is finally conquered. Following the period of decay, the spirit resurrected by an eternal flame, leaping upward into the open sky.
Through being a Mortal, You have become God.
—Orphic Gold Tablet from Lucania
If Scorpio offers an illumination of death, then Sagittarius season offers an illumination of the afterlife. Having emerged from the dark night of the sol, Sagittarius becomes the herald for the resurrection and the light.
In the 21st Century, the spirit of Sagittarius remains in hot pursuit of the light in the darkness, trampling over rationale and academic rhetoric whenever necessary. The Renaissance philosopher and astrologer, Marsilio Ficino, supposed that the human soul was the force that held the Intellect and the Body together, binding them in painful and glorious evolution.
This is a lovely meditation on the Soul, as well as a beautiful description of the symbol of Sagittarius itself. In Sagittarius, a galloping stride is found between body and mind, that runs straight into visions of eternity, reaching out into the beyond. Upon this path, faith, truth and wisdom are nurtured by the belief in the soul’s divinity and immortality.
…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
The signs and signatures of the Sagittarian spirit can be found in any cosmology, philosophy or religion that envisions death as being the preamble to resurrection. Though Western history has been most influenced by Christianity over the last 2,000 years, the religious themes of resurrection and eternity have been the crux of mystery religions as far back as ancient Egypt.
In ancient Greece, a culture heavily influenced by Egypt, the mystery of death and resurrection was illuminated through the stories of Orpheus, the ancient poet who traveled into the underworld.
The mystery cult of Orpheus has a sketchy origin and lineage, but poetry containing distinctly Orphic beliefs has been traced back to approximately the 6th century BC. In agreement with many Eastern philosophies, the Orphics believed in an eternal soul that was caught in a cycle of reincarnation.
In the 6th Century BC, Pythagoras taught that after death, the soul went to Hades, where it rested before eventual reincarnation into an earthly body. Like the Hindu wheel of karma, this cycle was believed to continue until the soul was purified enough to transcend.
Classical sources, including Plato, refer to Orphic rites, all oriented towards preparing for death and reincarnation, otherwise known as the transmigration of the soul.
From the 6th Century BC all the way up until the first four centuries AD, an undercurrent of Orphism flowed, hiding beneath status quo ideologies, brimming with remembrances of primordial wisdom and ancient Dionysian rites to create a remarkable vision of the after-life. Thus, initiates of the Orphic mysteries lived to prepare for death. The ultimate goal was to become free from the ceaseless cycle of reincarnation.
In the late 19th Century, a large number of Orphic Gold Tablets were discovered in tombs all over the Mediterranean. These tablets were are actually Orphic hymns, inscribed upon delicate sheets gold tablets, that offer instructions for the deceased to navigate their way through the underworld.
One of the most beautiful examples comes from a gold tablet found in Hipponion, Italy dating to approximately 400 BC. It describes the soul’s initiation into the underworld as being plagued by a burning thirst. In this desperate state, you will come upon a spring.
You will find in the halls of Hades a spring on the left,
and standing by it, a glowing white cypress tree;
Do not approach this spring at all.
It recommends great caution, for the first temptation in the underworld is to drink from the waters of forgetfulness, obliviating your desire to transcend the wheel of death. According to the Orphic mysteries, this oblivion becomes the fate of most souls until they find initiation. According to the tablets, you must resist the pain of thirst and move forward until you come to the lake of Memory. (Mnemosyne)
You will find the other, from the lake of Memory,
refreshing water flowing forth. But guardians are nearby.
These are the waters of remembrance that will invite your soul into eternity, but they are heavily guarded. You will not be granted access unless you know the right thing to say. Luckily, the Orphic hymn offers this secret phrase.
Say “I am the Divine Child of Earth and Starry Heaven!…”
And then they will give you to drink from the divine spring,
And then you will celebrate the rites with the heroes…
Once you had declared your divinity and drunk from the lake of memory (Mnemosyne), the Orphics believed that your soul was free to walk with the mystai and bakkhoi into a heavenly eternity. In this ancient cosmology, the realization of one’s eternal soul was dependent upon acknowledging intimate kinship with the divine. And it was only the ignorance of this fact that prevented the soul’s from liberation and transcendence.
Therefore, let this Sagittarian season be a time for remembrance of your soul’s divinity. The spirit of Sagittarius reminds you that whenever you are compromised by darkness and overwhelmed by severity, you may respond:
“I am the Divine Child of Earth and Starry Heaven!”
Monday/Tuesday: Holiday Spirit
Monday begins the week in the darkness of the last day of Scorpio. Let this day be as quiet and deeply contemplative as you require. This is the last day of something important, a day to put something to rest. As Jim Morrison once sang…
“When the music’s over. When the music’s over, turn out the lights…”
On Tuesday, the Sun enters into Sagittarius. The music begins again as a great orchestral movement of triumph, bearing the torch of the soul’s eternal flame! You will recognize this inner glow as the holiday spirit, which begins to flow through so many open hearts and willing hands at this time of year.
This sudden blaze of warmth and light occurs concurrently with a sextile between Venus in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. Thus, intimate relationships and the need for close companionship will rise. This great welling up of love and devotion will ask that you find people to share with. However, this is a also a transit that influences secret affections to remain secret and unspoken passions to remain unspoken.
Whether you are most focused upon business, friendship, or love, remain optimistic, but patient. Letting things blossom in their own time is the secret to this transit’s success.
Wednesday/Thursday: Divine Child of Earth and Starry Heaven
On Wednesday, Neptune will station direct, ending the retrograde that began back in mid-June. The narcosis of Neptune’s retrograde will suddenly begin to lift, allowing the deepest inner visions and impressions to finally make their way back into the world. Images will begin to come through more fluidly. Dreams will begin to surface in the waking world, reminding you once again that external perceptions are a reflection of internal reflections. This stations of Neptune are oh-so-subtle, but like light that slowly dawns into illumination, you may find a renewed clarity of spiritual purpose and insight.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Seeing the Light
Over the weekend, Mercury in Sagittarius will be inching closer towards a conjunction with Saturn, summoning an increasing seriousness of mind. But on Saturday, Mercury leadened by Saturn will make an exact trine with Uranus in Aries.
This combination of influences makes for poetic and prophetic insights restrained by prudence and caution. Your interests and activities may become oriented towards bridging the gap between old world forms and new inventions. You may find yourself experiencing the elegant harmony between the ancient world and the modern world, where the sympathy and flow between the ages remains unbroken by the unity of the human spirit.
Your mind will feel very receptive to philosophy and religion, but will retain enough strength and integrity to remain critical. With curiosity vivified, but impulsive tendencies curtailed, this would be a very positive time to begin reading sacred scriptures, to begin a course in philosophy, or to begin any other kind of search for deeper meaning.
All paintings by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, late 16th Century Italian painter