The Labors of Hercules
Labor 9 – The Sign of Sagittarius
Source Book: The Labours of Hercules by Alice A. Bailey.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Our HERO has passed through Labours 1 through 8 and approaches Labour 9 of the 12 Labours of Hercules, which is “Killing The Stymphalian Birds”, representing the Sign of Sagittarius.
“Within the place of peace the Teacher stood, and spoke to Hercules. “O son of God who art also a son of man,” the Teacher said, “the time has come to tread another way. At Gate the ninth you stand. Pass through and find the marsh of Stymphalus where dwell the birds that havoc wreak. Discover, then, the way to flush them from their long secure abode.”
He paused a moment. “The flame that gleams beyond the mind reveals direction sure.” he added. “The task awaits. Through Gate the ninth you now must go.”
Forward then, went Hercules, the son of man who was also the son of God.
For long he searched until he came to Stymphalus. Before him lay the fetid marsh. A multitude of birds cawed raucously, a chorus menacing and dissonant, as he approached.
At nearer view he saw the birds. Large and fierce and hideous they were. Each had an iron beak that was sharpened like a sword. The feathers, too seemed like steel shafts and, falling could cleave in twain the pates of weary travelers. Their talons matched their beaks in sharpness and in strength.
Three birds, perceiving Hercules, swooped down upon him. He stood his ground, and warded off attacks with the heavy club he bore. One bird he struck resoundingly upon the back; two feathers plummeted to earth and quivered as they plunged in yielding ground. At length the birds withdrew.
Before the marsh stood Hercules, and pondered how he might achieve the task assigned, how rid the place of these predacious birds.
By many means he sought to find a way. At first he tried to kill them with a quiverful of arrows. The few he slew were but a fraction of the many that remained. They rose in clouds so thick they hid the sun.
Hercules paused. The words he then recalled of counsel given. “The flame that gleams beyond the mind reveals direction sure.” Reflecting long, a method came to mind.
Two cymbals had he, large and brazen, that gave forth an unearthly screeching sound; a sound so piercing and so harsh it could affright the dead. To Hercules himself the sound was so intolerable, he covered both his ears with pads.
At twilight when the marsh was dense with countless birds, Hercules returned. The cymbals then he sharply clashed, again and yet again. A clangour and a din so strident then ensued that he himself could scarce endure the sound. Such ear-assaulting dissonance had not been heard in Stymphalus before.
Bewildered and disturbed by such a monstrous noise, the predatory birds arose in the air with wildly flapping brazen wings, and screeching in hoarse dismay. Utterly confused, the vast cloud of birds fled in frantic haste, never to return. Silence spread across the marsh. The horrid birds had disappeared. The soft gleam of a westering sun was seen as it flickered on the darkening landscape.
When Hercules returned, the Teacher greeted him: “The birds of slaughter have been driven off. The labour is achieved.”
….the birds and their chattering swarm slowly around the Moon. Cymbals and singing bowls resonate the Ethers
The Labors of Hercules are a wonderful way of decoding the energies of the 12 Archetypes through Myth. Being that the Sun is moving through Sagittarius currently and will be illuminating the Gemini Moon moving into the Total Lunar Eclipse on the 10th of December, I felt it appropriate to attempt decoding the essence of this part of Hercules’ Labor’s–the Labor of Sagittarius. In Astrology, it is the Sun who represents the luminescence of pure Universal Consciousness and it is the Moon which reflects it, in the form of emotions, thoughts, patterns, and habituations. In India, they call this aspect of “Mind” Manas. The profound dance between the two of them is what allows life to evolve and understand itself. During Eclipses, there seems to be a momentary break in this dynamic. Eclipses are caused by the Nodes of the Moon (or Rahu/Ketu) opening up what I like to call “the Dragon hole.” Eclipses give us a profound chance to see deeply into the nature of our problems, so that we can better release our stagnant baggage and better invite new and hopefully, more evolved energies in. What can we expect from this upcoming Lunar Eclipse? What is the theme? And…how is it perfect?
The Lunar Eclipse will happen at 18 degrees Gemini at 10:36 am EST. It will be visible from all of Asia and Australia, seen as rising over eastern Europe, then glimpsed at moon set in the northwest of North America. This is the second Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 (the other was on June 15th). If you aren’t in a location where you are blessed to view this upcoming Eclipse, not to worry, you will still feel it. Eclipses tend to make ‘things’ happen. They quake and shake us, making us stumble into the perfect spot for our evolution to proceed naturally.
I found the Sabian Symbol’s interesting for this Eclipse. For the Sun at 19 Sagittarius (remember we round up the minutes to get the Sabian Symbol), it is: Pelicans Menaced By The Behavior And Refuse Of Men Seeking Safer Areas For Bringing Up Their Young. Quite an interesting parallel to the Labor of Hercules. Then, the symbol for the Moon is: A Large Archaic Volume Reveals A Traditional Wisdom. Now, I look to Sabian Symbols for both support and great insight into important events happening in the sky and sometimes they are helpful, sometimes not, yet, these two make me smile. The Pelicans are searching for a home because of the interference of man and this can only be remedied by the “volume” which reveals the “traditional wisdom”–the Moon. I have two thoughts on this: 1. The more obvious one: Birds leaving their homes because of the sloppy progress of man. It can only be remedied through the ancient wisdom from past ages. What have we forgotten? How can we heal the Earth? 2. This is the interpretation I think I favor and it relates to Pelicans–like the Stymphalian birds–representing thought forms. Noisy, busy birds eclipsing the Moon. Perhaps, a moment of truth where we can figure out how to shut them up? Cymbals? Gongs? Syllables. Mantras? Then maybe the silence…the meditation!
I mentioned Manas previously and how it relates to the Moon. Defined: Manas (Sanskrit: ????, “mind”) from the root man, “to think” or “mind” — is the recording faculty, receiving impressions gathered by the senses from the outside world. It is bound to the senses and yields vijnana (information) rather than jnana (wisdom) or vidya (understanding). That faculty which coordinates sensory impressions before they are presented to the consciousness. When the Moon (Manas) is cluttered up with noise, data, and sensory impressions, the light of the Sun (Consciousness) cannot shine freely. It’s like a cloudy day, without much clarity. But when the Moon (Manas) is free and clear of chattering birds, swinging monkeys, and images of the past and future, the clarity is more easily invited in. We can simply watch. This process of watching is the essence of meditation.
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”
Becoming present is the point of meditation. In our modern world, it’s rare to find someone who is fully here. Most of us are dreaming of the future or being pulled down by the past. If we aren’t daydreaming forward or backward, it’s our smart lil’ gadgets that take us swiftly away from the present. It’s sad really. The present is such a present. Within it, we can find everything. And the greatest thing about meditation is it can happen anywhere. You don’t need to be in some temple or ashram to do it. It’s all the time and anywhere. Ideally though, you are in a quite place, alone, sitting, watching your breath, and seeing…all those birds flying around you. Birds like thought forms, float away when the right sound starts to resonate. The Breathe? Om? Hrim? With this Eclipse, being in Gemini, the greatest challenge will be downloading a new linguistic program into our Moon (Subconscious/Manas), and letting an old one go. If our thoughts really do create our realities, then eject the disc of self defeating thought forms and insert the new one relating to ancient linguistic technologies designed to clear the space of Mind. Eject, then insert!
Not to sound too tangential, but the Sun illuminating this Eclipse is also in Ophiuchus. Remember him? The man–much like Asclepius–who holds the snake. “The 13th sign?” Well I find this poignant mainly because it not only represents healing, but it also relates to cosmic energy emanating from the Galactic Center of the Milky way. The serpent can be likened to the Kundalini serpent coiled at the bottom of your spine. When we align to the Galactic Center, we also align to the source of energy in the Solar system. Is it possible that the amount of Electromagnetic energy coming from this anomaly can also trigger awakenings of the serpent within, inducing profound healing and awareness in the individual? This Full moon–this Eclipse–is again, a “Dragon hole” which gives us the opportunity to take a quantum leap in consciousness. Depending on where the Eclipse falls in your chart will depend on where this may be happening! Identify it, sit with it, and toss your prayer in.
Currently, we are sandwiched between two Eclipses, in the homestretch of one of the hardest years of many of our lives. Maybe it was because of all the Eclipses in Sag/Gemini? Maybe it was because of Uranus moving into Aries, or forming his world-changing square to Pluto? Whatever it is–or was–it was perfect. Embrace this final Eclipse of 2011 in full lotus in front of your candle. Find your way of dispersing the Stymphalian birds of your imagination just like Hercules and find a renewed piece of mind. In these strange times, where “Dragon Holes” exist side by side with economic and ecological collapse, it’s up to us, equipped with a peaceful mind to do our best, and not FREEEEAAAAK OUT!!!!
**** If you are interested in how this Eclipse or others in the past or future have affected your life, please don’t be shy, and contact me for a reading. My email is KOSMOGNOSIS@GMAIL.COM
How to make Love stay!
…transiting thoughts on Venus & Pluto
“When two people meet and fall in love, there’s a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it’s usually too late, we’ve used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It’s hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay.”
Love is misunderstood. We all think we have love or we are in love or that we are not loved, but I’m afraid love is both stranger and simpler than we can imagine. In Astrology, Venus relates to love. She is the Archetype of beauty and the heart; our means of connecting to love. But what is love and how can we make it stay? And what makes love run away? Astrologically speaking, I would vote for Pluto above Mars as being the culprit for scaring away the sweet nectar of love. And lucky for us, Pluto and Mars are both having an intense palaver with love (Venus) right now. Venus is transiting towards the Dark Lord Pluto forming a conjunction and Mars is weaving gently into the mix through a trine. With Mercury still being Retrograde in Sagittarius and being sandwiched between two Eclipses, we are being stretched like gumby between two worlds–one filled with the past; the other empty, with vaporous ideas of the future. In this curious gestalt, how will we learn to make love stay.
Every year Venus makes her way to the part of the sky where Pluto currently resides. Being that Pluto relates to the Underworld and Venus to Love and Beauty, the mind could naturally gravitate to the Persephone myth, and start to make associations about what this Transit is all about. For me though, its not the most accurate description of what is occurring with this transit. The Persephone Myth seems to better apply to the transition Venus goes through every 260 days, when she slowly phases from a Morning star into an Evening star and disappears from the sky. This transit is more like a pop quiz. It happens swiftly and it is acutely challenging. It will be exact at 9:50 am EST on Thursday, the first of December. Venus and Pluto greet us as we enter December, showing us what exactly we need to destroy and change before seeing our families again for the holidays!
Now, its important to note, that this Venus/Pluto conjunction is happening in early Capricorn (6 degrees). Pluto has been in early Capricorn since Fall of 08’ slowly spinning its violent arms like an angry hurricane, destroying everything in its path lacking a sturdy foundation. This includes governments, rulers, business, and money; it also includes secrets, lies, obsessions, addictions, and manipulations. As above, so below. Pluto in Capricorn is no joke. It will be in this sign till the 20’s, so don’t worry. It’s all perfect! And when any planet makes an aspect to this behemoth, we get the blackened stare of its shadow, and are faced with a challenge: Do I change, or do I go–and by “go” I mean die (both real and metaphorically speaking). Pluto is death, but it is also transformation. So, we either change, or we go. When the planet is Venus, who is aspecting Pluto, it is our Love and our Money that is tossed to our Demon’s–our inner Rancor–creating a potential nightmare we shouldn’t run from. We need to face the shadow of Venus. It can be a chilling experience no doubt, but we have to go through it. So what to expect? What to do? How to do it? We open the gates of the Heart!!!
I feel there are two main gates to the Heart. One involving another person, the other involving only us. Both gates are methods of experiencing love, but they can easily become unbalanced, even unhealthy if left unchecked. When a person is constantly on the search for love outside of themselves, they may find it, but it doesn’t last. It’s because life is impermanent. No lover, no possession, no buzz will ever sustain the feeling of love forever. It’s a problem. All things are in flux, they are changing. Now, the other method is strictly internal. We find love in ourselves. We discover what has been there all along, unchanging. And we experience this love through our senses: the constant channels of sensory information input technology. By controlling our settings–our input–and knowing what we love, we find love within ourselves naturally. We become complete. When the music is right, we can dance all night. And with the heart open and light, your perfect lover will come when the time is right. But you can’t look out there, you can only search in here. Only then will they appear!
….he isn’t the One, nor is she. You are the One. Just believe it, and see it come true!
These contrasting gates I just described are the signs Taurus and Libra respectively. Taurus being the Inner gate to Love, Libra the outer, relating to other beings. Naturally, their relationship in the zodiac is a challenging one. It is called an Inconjunct (150 degrees of separation). It’s an aspect desperately in need of adjustment. What needs to be adjusted? The amount of energy and time we haphazardly put into another person, while ignoring our own needs. Obsessing and controlling every part, every set and setting in our life, hoping to ensure love will not be lost. Hoping love will stay. It stays alright, but only when you know where to find it when alone.
This Venus/Pluto conjunction has everything to do with the dynamics described above. It is a deep investigation into the nature of how we go about getting love, and really, just feeling good about ourselves. Now, you’ve probably noticed many relationships ending lately–or at least, seriously being tested. This transit isn’t the one and only culprit, but it has lots to do with it. Venus became an Evening star back in September, ushering in a new phase of her gorgeous cycle which began when she went retrograde in Scorpio back in the Fall of 10’. It’s a fruition of all the trauma we experienced last fall. It is closure. Do you see a connection? Just take a moment to think about it? What happened to you last Fall, and how has that lesson matured since then? Venus. Love. Pain. Loss. Transformation. Unchanging.
There are also two beneficial aspects lending a helping hand to this “bad trip” for love. Mars and Jupiter are trining the conjunction; meaning they are both in Earth signs (Jupiter in Taurus, Mars in Virgo), forming a Grand Trine. The essence of a Grand Trine is balance and harmony. It forms a perfect triangle. Mars is lending the courage to ignite the transformation to occur; Jupiter is lending an opportunity to expand our hearts through some kind of magical experience. For example, if your doubting the relationship you are in right now, if something just feels off, Mars–like the good hero he is–will put the spear in your hand just as a golden door opens in front of you. Walking through the door you discover your lover. Instead of killing them, you use the spear like a talking stick, and speak your truth’s. Honesty is integrity. Without it, love is doomed. Love only flows through honest wires. Through this type of process, the two of you will discover exactly what needs to happen. You will learn to trust the subtle movements of the Soul (Pluto).
This Grand trine also relates to Money, our resources, and what we owe. it’s not just about love and relationship. Applying the same logic as above, an example could be: You are in debt big time and are constantly worried about it. Mars will put the spear in your hand so that you can toss it straight through the credit card; Jupiter will give you the opportunity to download a mental program which gives you more faith and optimism that the Economy will finally collapse! You will no longer be so stressed and worried. Your relationship will have transformed with money and debt!
….hey, why not?
In the end, we discover again, that we are alone–yet, never alone. Love is a lot like energy. it cannot be created or destroyed. To think for a second you have lost love or that your heart is broken, is the same second you seperate from it. It’s here. Always. And so Pluto whispers from the darkness, “How do you make love stay?” Venus, Mars, and Jupiter reply in grand trining harmony, “Love never went away!” Lesson learned, Transit solved!
and Tom asks:
“Who knows how to make love stay?
1. Tell love you are going to Junior’s Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if loves stays, it can have half. It will stay.
2. Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a moustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.
3. Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning.”
****If you are having relationship problems, synastry (or couples readings) are my speciality. You can contact me at KOSMOGNOSIS@GMAIL.COM or visit my Facebook (Adam Sommer) to set up a reading. Hope to hear fro you soon. Good luck.
Featured art by Luke Brown
Join Adam and I for a strange and unique interdisciplinary approach to the stars. We talk about current transits–like Mercury Rx and the Eclipse–Intergalactic councils of beings, energy, planet earth, and much more. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
LINK TO SHOW:
art: Adam Apollo
Adam’s site: www.AdamApollo.info
namaste, sOma www.Holestoheavens.com Kosmognosis@gmail.com