06 May Alchemical Transformation ~ Full Moon in Scorpio – May 7th, 2020
…She is beautiful, and more than beautiful: she is overpowering.
The color black preponderates in her;
all that she inspires is nocturnal and profound.
Her eyes are two caverns where mystery vaguely stirs and gleams;
her glance illuminates like a ray of light;
it is an explosion in the darkness…
-excerpt from The Desire to Paint by Charles Baudelaire
On May 7th, 2020 there will be a Full Moon in the dark waters of Scorpio. The Moon is considered to be in its fall in Scorpio and so it represents a gaze into the darkness of personal and collective fears.
Full Moons occur when the waxing Moon finally reaches a perfect opposition with the Sun. This places a dynamic tension between the physical (Taurus) and psychic (Scorpio) senses, between paradise found and paradise lost. It is upon this axis of the zodiac that the drama of alchemical transformation is most potently expressed.
I would compare her to a black sun
if one could conceive of a dark star overthrowing light and happiness.
The Sun in Taurus represents the heart of spring, when life comes into bloom. This is the warm and worshipful time of the earth’s renewal, where fragrance, flowers and daydreams float softly through the air. To Taurus, happiness is a butterfly fluttering through a rose garden. And to Scorpio, happiness is the caterpillar liquifying in its cocoon.
The dim light of the Moon in Scorpio brings an alchemical message from the underworld, reminding you that the fate of all flowers is to wither into dust, forgotten and absorbed to the earth below.
not the white moon of the idylls,
who resembles a cold bride,
but the sinister and intoxicating moon suspended in the depths of a stormy night,
among the driven clouds;
The underworld energies of this Full Moon will be softened by the surreal swirl of Neptune in Pisces, whose enchantment brings the repose of a blissful trance. There may be visions in the clouds, images that stir your soul like the Moon being swallowed by inky blackness only to be reborn as an iridescent pearl. Dreams may be prophetic and waking life will remain open to mystery, following a thread all the way to the center of a labyrinth.
Lunar energy is at its heaviest and darkest within Scorpio, making the subconscious more powerful. Repressed feelings emerge with intensity. And as if compelled by an unseen force, you will feel driven to uncover secrets and lies.
not the discreet peaceful moon who visits the dreams of pure men,
but the moon torn from the sky, conquered and revolted,
that the witches of Thessaly hardly constrain to dance upon the terrified grass.
Just as the Full Moon reveals the deathly shadow of spring, so too does it reveal the deathly shadows of your most primal fears about survival. This Full Moon will expose many of the things that haunt you: addictions, obsessions, and worst of all your ennui.
…she makes one wish to die slowly beneath her steady gaze.
Ennui, which translates to numbness and apathy, is a total stasis of the spirit. Ennui is a hungry ghost, feeding nothing, believing in nothing and sacrificing nothing to the cycle of life and death.
Baudelaire, the great French poet of the mid-19th Century, was the first to identify ennui as a great plague upon humanity. Much like T.S. Eliot, Baudelaire was a poet born into a harsh and decaying environment. Paris of the 19th-century prevented his soul from writing sublime romantic idylls. Instead, his work is blackened by the grief of Paradise Lost and burned by the rage of Milton’s Satan.
In the introduction to his collection of poems, The Flowers of Evil, he imagines that the growth of the modern industrial world, its laws, technology, and entertainment, all stem from collective ennui. He personifies ennui as…
“He would willingly make of the earth a shambles
And, in a yawn, swallow the world;
He is Ennui! — His eye watery as though with tears,
He dreams of scaffolds as he smokes his hookah pipe.
You know him reader, that refined monster…”
Whatever flowers of evil were planted in Baudelaire’s time seem to have spread far and wide in the 21st Century. Many of the problems of the industrial era have only intensified. The world is run by the algorithms of machines instead of the cycles of nature and is motivated by profit rather than quality of life. Since poets are prophets, it should be no surprise that Baudelaire remains relevant to those living in a technocratic hell-scape.
Baudelaire’s poetry describes those who have been driven mad by the world, who have been cast into the existential void, those who live only through escapism in obsession, drugs, sex, and fantasy. His words are full of sympathy and disgust for those who have been cast adrift, who have lost their ideals and succumbed to the spiritual emptiness of ennui.
After two months of lock-down and economic crisis, there is no doubt that a collective ennui has become a serious blight. And it is spreading through apathy about other people’s suffering, through drug abuse and by believing what the news reports are issuing without question. Fortunately, this Full Moon in Scorpio can offer a much needed catharsis.
Like the ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail, the Full Moon in Scorpio is fueled by a ravenous hunger to consume the deadweight of the past.
The penetrating gaze of the Moon in Scorpio sees that underneath ennui lies many buried wells of terror, grief, and disappointment. And these are the dark and putrefied emotions that the Moon in Scorpio craves to consume. Instead of becoming buried by your broken dreams and unfulfilled desires, offer them to the Full Moon in Scorpio the way the caterpillar offers its body to the process of metamorphosis.
As you sacrifice your attachments to the past, to the way things used to be and the way things should have been, you’ll gain the strength you need to grow into your future.
The last lines of Baudelaire’s epilogue to the 1861 edition of Flowers of Evil demonstrate that he considered his poetry to be an alchemical art. By confronting the darkness and demons of his time with an unflinching eye, he discovered spiritual gold.
…like a perfect alchemist like a sainted soul.
From every thing I’ve extracted the quintessence,
you gave me your mud and I’ve turned it into gold…
In a world possessed by ennui, there will always be a litany of facts, theories, and ideas that proliferate existential agony and emptiness. And during this protracted time of the pandemic, it is easy to become paralyzed and discouraged. But the nobility of your soul is always asking to be remembered and rediscovered.
Embrace the alchemical power of this Full Moon in Scorpio, connecting to a cycle of nature that will help you turn some of this mud into gold. Sacrifice your numbness and apathy for any act of creation. Sacrifice dull coercion for any moment of truth.
Imagine that when the crisis is finally over, you will have the heart and imagination needed to help rebuild, restore, and improve the world around you.
…Those vows, those perfumes, those infinite kisses,
will they be reborn…
after they’ve passed through the deepest of drownings?
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It’s all about how I use alchemy….
Alchemy is not just a hashtag, or the practice of a medieval charlatan, or the primitive work of pre-scientific minds.
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