May 29, 2015

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Wielding Unity


Alexander Baker

Wielding Unity

“The wind drives things about, breaking apart what has previously been united.”

—Ira Progoff, from his journals on the I Ching

The Moon is in the third decan of Libra, moving past an opposition to Uranus in Aries.  Decan III of Libra, its 20-30° range, is called Truce and Theater in two astrological texts I hold in unique and varying regard.  Intense debates and conflicts, with quick swells and resolutions, may have found their way into your recent days.  Uranus in Aries lends incendiary bursts; the Moon’s venusian placement stares it down with an instinctual desire for harmony.  However, chance social encounters might also brings flares of delight without any such conflict.

I experienced such emergences strongly during the night hours early thursday morning, when the Moon sat in Peace and Perfectionism, the first decan of Libra (0-10°).  A lovely mix of friends continued to arrive at my place, reporting to me that a certain begrudging neighbor sat on our stoop with a machete leaning next to him.

He talked mild shit at a couple of the folks arriving to see me, yet the tone was boisterous and lighthearted enough to slide.  While walking in, a magician friend — and martial artist like the angry sword bearer — went reflexively to smack him in response, but turned it into a sort of playful pat on the back.  Two other neighbors I know were drinking beer, bearing witness to the swordsman’s familiar aggression and instability.

Allow me to further explain the archetypes and decanic images I am referring to, before unraveling this story as an unnecessarily dramatic and uncanny expression of them.

On that night as the Moon sat in Peace, it began to trine an ongoing conjunction of the Sun with Mercury and Mars in Gemini.  This stellium wraps across the end of Gemini’s first decan into the second.  In the Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, the first source quoted each instance above, Gemini decans I and II are called Interference and Cruelty.

Like much of his work, Crowley’s decan names are dark, elusive and arguably inaccessible enough to make them unfit for some ranges of divinatory use.  Yet they are undeniably insightful regarding the psyche’s daimons and their shadows.  Better to allow his body of work to inform your wisdom than to rely on it exclusively!

Gemini and Libra are air signs, referring to thought, language, utility, perception, novelty, communication, social values and humanitarian concern.  The seemingly negative names for some air decans in the Book of Thoth are a knowing nod to the shadows of language and thought.

Language and abstract thought are a major source of discrimination, if only in the sense of ‘telling the difference between things’ — just as they are part of their explicit ‘bringing together.’  “The wind drives things about, breaking apart what has previously been united.”

Yet air also unifies at will.  It is synonymous with the Swords tarot suit.  Words are that with which we communicatively cut, express — yet also risk to distance ourselves from the source of what we’re expressing.  Double-edged.  With words, we can bring together or tear apart.  We can find ourselves mired in definition rather than description, the violence of literalism.

The swords of Gemini are capable of both meddling and vitriolic criticism — ‘Interference’ and ‘Cruelty’ — as well their instinctual flipsides which I call Mediation and Aid — singing the synthesizing quality of this mutable sign.  The Sun, Mercury in retrograde and Mars are all focalizing lenses for the expression of these energies as of late.

And so upon hearing of my neighbor’s antagonism, I decided that I’d had enough and descended the stairs to confront him.  I had done something he was still upset about, a fact he never let me forget no matter my subsequent kindness.  Two years ago he destroyed part of the front door after locking himself out of our building, which made it impossible for me to use my key and enter.  I didn’t particularly want to climb in my window that night, so I yelled angrily for him while kicking the door loudly.  The words I used were not kind.  He was not happy to be awakened at 3am, needing to be up for work just an hour later.

I too would surely have been damaged in that moment, were I on the receiving end of my own wrath, as I often am… but not my written apology soon after the event, nor a gift, nor two years of genuine kindness ever prompted him to do anything but spray venom.  Even when he’d see me picking up litter throughout the neighborhood as I often do, he would ignore me haughtily, calling me a lowlife in other moments.  During our fight, he made clear his belief that I “have nothing better to do.”  To me, picking up trash is as spiritual activity an activity as meditating or sitting in a pew.

He wanted to fight!  And that’s what I gave him.  Thankfully the machete was not a part of it, but we went at it with words for a good twenty or thirty minutes.  It was no surprise that he tried to get physical with me early on, but I refused to fully engage him.  I told him of how it hurts me that he was hurt.  He spewed many misconceptions about me, while I maintained a witness-attested strength that was some rare balance of aggressive and diplomatic.

Somehow everything said was needed, everything that took place was perfect.  Even if the whole sleeping block heard way more about my life than I’d prefer, it all rang with a karmic justice.

This fellow and I squashed it, and spent more time bullshitting afterward than the significant amount we spent fighting.  All just hours after the Moon entered the Peace of Libra, making aspects to that stellium in the double-edged, truly many-edged manner of Gemini’s gleaming Interference and Mediation.

“To come to your senses, sometimes you have to go out of your mind.”

—Alan Watts

A solar system sanctuary.

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