Updated: Dec 23, 2020
When things are at their bleakest, darkest point, and we are perhaps without any hope at all, something shifts, the Wheel turns, and the Light returns! Life continues ... just in a new form. Welcome back Air!!
(Note: In this article I'll be looking at our collective experience of The Great Conjunctions we experience every twenty years, as well as the fairly rare Great Mutation that's happening in less than 24 hours, on 22 December, 2020.
Part II of this article, which will be published as soon as possible, will explore our personal experience of the Great Conjunctions, and how we are each called to respond.)
The Great Conjunction and The Great Mutation
Okay, before we dive in, let's look at the fundamental ideas we're working with in this article, so it'll make more sense.
Every 20 years, as regular as clockwork, our two societal planets - Jupiter and Saturn - meet in the skies above us. When they do, it's known as The Great Conjunction. These are known to signal major historical developments for the collective. (More on this in a moment.)
Now, these great planets meet in the signs of the same element over and over again for approximately 180 years, before then shifting into a new element. This movement of The Great Conjunctions into a different element is known as The Great Mutation, which signals an even greater historical shift for humanity. It signals the opportunity for us to make a monumental, collective leap forward in consciousness. It's a time when we're invited to re-dream the world we live in.
These greater, over-arching cycles set the tone for where we are collectively headed - socially, politically, culturally, scientifically, and philosophically. Typically, like fish who aren't aware of the water they swim in, we are fairly oblivious to the energy of these greater cycles. I mean, the Great Mutation lasts for seven or eight generations. We're just born into them and accept them as our 'reality'. But our baseline, so to speak, is about to change.
The Great Mutation is like Life saying that we've reached a point where something has to give ... As a collective, our perspective needs to change. Our relationship with the Earth, with each other, and with the Divine needs to evolve or transform. We're ready for this collective shift in consciousness.
Why? Because, as Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
It's pretty special that we all chose to be incarnate at the time of a Great Mutation; to personally live through - and contribute to (however consciously or unconsciously) - one of these great ephocal changes.
The Star of Bethlehem
Of course, this year's Great Conjunction (which will be at 5:30 am on 22 December (Sydney time) at 0° 29' of Aquarius) is generating a lot of attention. Even the mainstream media is covering it! Why? Because Jupiter & Saturn will be so close together they'll look like one, extraordinary, brilliant star. (It's suggested that such a conjunction may have been what is referred to as the Star of Bethlehem.)
Apparently, the last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close was in Galileo's time, back in 1623 (when the Great Conjunction was in Leo). Unfortunately, though, the Great Conjunction was so close to the bright Sun that year that it would've only been visible for a short moment after sunset, once the Sun had gone down.
According to Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer from Rice University in Texas,“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on 4 March, 1226 to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”
That's fascinating. Why? Because the previous Great Mutation into Air occurred in 1226, at 2° 57' of Aquarius! It's been nearly 800 years since we last had a Great Mutation into Air. It's extraordinary to realise that they will have both begun with a huge spectacle of glorious, brilliant light in our skies. Wow!
From Earth into Air
For the past 180 years, Jupiter and Saturn have been meeting in the Earth signs - ie: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. This great Earth cycle brought a distinct emphasis on our physical, material realm, and ushered in the Industrial Revolution, with great machines fueled by resources that came from the Earth. It also heralded the rise of capitalism.
The dominant paradigm or worldview during this cycle has been mechanistic materialism, which is the notion that for something to be real it has to be tangible. Collectively, we've been conditioned to believe only in what we can see, touch, measure, and observe, leading Nietzsche to famously declare that, "God is dead."
And now, we're about to collectively experience The Great Air Mutation. Supported by Uranus in Taurus, these past few years, we've been breaking our connection with the tangible Earth element, and beginning our transition to the invisible realm of Air. Once the Great Conjunction occurs in Aquarius tomorrow morning, Jupiter and Saturn will meet in the Air signs (ie: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) for the next 180 years, leading to the full blossoming of the Digital Revolution and far beyond!
What is Air?
Air is the Mental Principle. It's the realm of abstract thought. It's motivated by intellectual stimulation, and seeks to learn, share, and communicate new ideas to others. Air is where we find genius and science and technology. It also encourages equality, individuality, and separateness in relationships - without enough personal and emotional space, Air feels stifled and unable to breathe.
Let's look at how we've been transitioning from one element to the other.
Examples of how we're shifting from Earth to Air:
For example, in the 'old days' (like 25 years ago), if we wanted to send a letter to someone on the other side of the planet, we would have posted it via 'snail mail' that literally had to physically cross the surface of the Earth, perhaps taking months to reach its postal destination. Now, we can send our friends an email or a text message and they'll receive it in mere matter of seconds.
Ditto for currency ... it used to be 'real' gold or silver or copper. Then it was paper bills and coins. Now, it's often just a tap of a card on an EFTPOS machine, or a transfer of funds through the air to someone's PayPal account ... or even the use of cryptocurrency.
And if we wanted to go shopping, we were limited by the stock that our local store had on hand in their bricks and mortar shop. Now, we can go online and buy whatever we want from anywhere in the world, with a few clicks!
With Air's emphasis on equality, we've also seen the powerful 'Occupy Movement', 'Me, Too Movement', 'Marriage Equality Movement', and the 'Black Lives Matter Movement'. People have been rising up against entrenched inequality, in all its forms - whether on the basis of class, gender, sexuality, or race. Air seeks equality.
Scientifically, under Earth, we saw our government slashing funding to our scientific bodies, including recently cutting $110 million from the CSIRO's budget, with 1,400 scientists losing their jobs. We've seen entrenched denial of climate change, whether this has been based in the Earth element's greed for more money (ie: the fossil fuel industry and its control over our governmental policy) or through an arrogant dismissal of our academics and intellectuals.
As we've moved closer to Air, however, we've seen the academic community rise up and lend their gravitas and voice to the Climate Change Movement. Air rules the mental principle, remember? It rules ideas, science, and the intellect. For example, last year hundreds of our academics signed an Open Letter in support of the XR Movement (ie: 'Extinction Rebellion'). Here is portion of their Open Letter, published in September, 2019:
"The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species becoming extinct each day. This includes many species of insects, some of which are essential to our food systems. Many people around the world have already died or been displaced from the effects of a rapidly warming climate. July 2019 was the Earth’s hottest on record. Arctic peat is burning and ice is melting at rates far beyond even the most radical scientific predictions. The Amazon is burning at an alarming rate. All are creating devastating feedback loops, releasing more CO2 and reducing the Earth’s heat reflecting capacities.
Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or ignore the basic science with impunity."
Welcome back, Air!! We're sooooo glad you're back!!
Again, Air is the mental principle. So, during this transition period we've begun to see new ideas, inventions, and technology coming to the fore - eg: the advent of computers and the Internet; solar/wind power; smart homes; robots; biotechnology; MRI machines; artificial intelligence; virtual & augmented reality; holograms; and self-parking cars. The list goes on.
Our relationships - we've also seen a shift in our modern relationships. eg: Away from the traditional marriage vows of 'Until death do us part', and instead moving beyond divorce (considered scandalous even just a couple of decades ago), towards more open dynamics and polyamory. Independence. Separateness. No one owns anyone else. Welcome to Air!
During this transition period, we've also experienced the advent of social media, taking those first technological steps towards connecting all of us as One. One collective, social body.
And we haven't even begun yet ... this has just been the transition phase!
What did the previous Great Mutation into Air bring? And what might this suggest for us as we move forward?
For the history buffs among us, the previous Great Mutation into Air lasted from 1226 until 1425. This time period saw a flood of new ideas and information sweep across Europe, mainly from the Islamic world. As Nicholas Campion wrote about the 13th century:
"New ways of seeing the universe were encouraged, and this was all very exciting for the literate classes. With no need for supporting evidence, scholars were free to pursue logical lines of thought to their ultimate conclusion. The consequences sound more like an account of 20th century cosmology than 13th. Marcia Colish understood this perfectly. Her conclusion was that 'medieval logicians and theologians had made widely thinkable the concept of possible worlds, different from ours, and had made rigorous thinking about counterfactuals possible.' ...
There was one other practical consequence of this intellectual ferment: astrology. Philosophers understood that, in the new integrated cosmos preached by Aristotle, astrology offered a practical means of managing humanity's relationship with the eternal. People at all levels of society saw its benefits. In many cases it was the philosophers themselves, the scholars who translated the Arabic texts into Latin, who were the foremost practitioners of astrology."
Our previous Air cycle heralded the reintroduction of astrology into Western civilisation, despite the Church's former condemnation of it being satanic. (FFS.) Here's hoping for a similar resurgence in this new Air cycle, too!
May we find our minds opened by a similar flood of new ideas, inventions, information, and technology over the next 180 years! May we find new, innovative, pioneering, ingenious answers to the unresolved questions now facing humanity.
Other historical events during these two centuries include:
The Mongol Empire (under Genghis Khan) was established and became the largest contiguous land Empire in history, all through the 1200s & 1300s
Dominican theologian, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) - under the tutelage of Saint Albert the Great (c. 1206 - 1280) - became the most important evangelist for a revolutionary new worldview that included astrology. His opinions on astrology persuaded his more conservative colleagues that astrology was acceptable within a Christian context. Bless his cotton socks.
Medical astrology was indispensable throughout this time period. As David Lindberg said, "No reputable physician of the later Middle Ages would have imagined that medicine could be successfully practised without it." Agreed.
The Albigensian Crusade to eliminate the Cathars in France ends. Among the charges were heresy and witchcraft. (1229)
The Ghayat Al-Hakim (The Aim of the Wise) was translated from Arabic into Latin by the Castilian monarch Alfonso the Wise. It became known as the Picatrix, and was the key text of magical astrology until the 17th century. (1256)
The brilliant Franciscan friar and magician Roger Bacon publishes his Opus Majus at the request of Pope Clement IV, breaking new ground, promoting new scientific methods, and exploring different ways of seeing the cosmos, including writings on astrology. (1267)
The Ninth Crusade happens in the Holy Land (1272-1273)
Guido Bonatti, the most celebrated astrologer of the 13th century, published his Liber Astronomiae or 'Book of Astronomy'. This remained a classic astrology textbook for two centuries. (1277)
The Battle of Yamen leaves China under the rule of the Mongol Empire (1279)
The First War of Scottish Independence (1296-1328)
The Ottoman Empire (Islamic) is Founded. (It then lasted for 600 years.) (1299)
William Wallace is executed for treason (1305)
The Fall of the Knights Templar. Among the charges are heresy and witchcraft. (1307)
Dante publishes his Divine Comedy, in which he consigned astrologers to Hell. (1310)
The Hundred Years War (between England and France) begins (1337)
The French King Charles V (1338-1380), known as 'the Wise', was one of the most influential patrons of astrology in Europe. His personal astrologer and physician, Thomas de Pizan, was charged with the protection of both the monarch & the realm. His skills were credited with driving the English back to the coast during the Hundred Year War.
The Black Death pandemic begins, ultimately killing 50% of European population (1347)
University of Prague is founded (1347)
The Astrarium is invented! (an astronomical clock) (1364)
Break up of the Mongol Empire (1368)
The Papal Schism begins - the Catholic Church splits, with two Popes each excommunicating the other (1378-1417)
Peasants' Revolt in England (1381)
The Bible is translated into English by John Wycliffe (1381)
Battle of Nicopolis, the last Great Crusade fails (1396)
Chinese naval expeditions into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean begin (1405)
Beginning of the Portugese Empire (1415)
Short side note that could turn into 51 pages if I'm not careful 😜: Consider the Church's role during this previous Air cycle, and it's control over our minds, our intellects, and what we were even "allowed" to think and study (with the threat of heresy charges looming over our heads). Think of the Cathars and the Knights Templar! And the astrologers!! We can see that part of the purpose of the Great Earth Mutation we've just come through was to break up the power that the Church held over humanity. Nietzsche may have declared, "God is dead," but I believe this was a necessary step, to allow:
the human intellect to fully explore all ideas and potentials, and to pioneer new paths forward with new inventions, free of the Church's dominion and suppression;
a purified, clearer reconnection to the Divine itself (rather than the Church); and
a re-enchantment of our world and our cosmos.
Our Modern Apocalyptic Myth
Dark of the Moon each Month
Every astrological cycle can be divided into eight distinct phases, just like the eight High Holy Days on the Great Wheel of the Year; or the eight phases of the lunar cycle every single month.
One of these phases is the Dark Moon phase. It’s that short period of time between the Moon's final waning and when She is again illuminated by the Sun. It’s a time of darkness and letting go, as well as a time of faith, and preparation for the new beginnings that call us forward. It's a time of ritual, when we set our New Moon intentions for the coming month.
At the Dark of the Moon each month, we simultaneously hold space for the mysteries of death and of rebirth. We're asked to realise and honour just how intimately these processes are entwined. And we're asked to truly know that the Moon will always return, no matter how dark it becomes.
Now, a whole 180-year cycle, a whole era, is ending and another is about to begin. Like, literally. Tomorrow morning. Less than 24 hours away.
This means that we've been experiencing the Dark Moon phase on a much larger, far more exaggerated scale than we're typically used to. In fact, it began all the way back in 1997! And the closer we've come to its end, the 'darker' it has become.
I would encourage us all to remember the old lyrics, "The darkest hour is just before dawn."
Let's explore this a little more, as I think it's central to what we've been experiencing, as a collective, over the past few years.
Dark Moon Phase of a 180-year Cycle & our Apocalyptic Fears
The Dark Moon phase of any cycle (let alone one of this magnitude and societal importance) can be a time of danger and darkness. It's a time of endings and dissolution; and is notoriously unfocused, chaotic, and disruptive. Everything can seem bleak and futile, during this phase ... sometimes, even hopeless.
But here's the point. Things have to fall apart and dissolve back to Source energy so that a new beginning can take form. We can't build a new future on top of existing structures. Things have to crumble and come to an end first.
As at Yule (ie: the Dark Moon phase of our yearly cycle), this phase can give rise to a fear of death and extinction. This is especially true for those who are intuitively, empathically connected with our ancestors and with the Earth Herself. In our deep, ancestral memory, we remember a time when the Sun didn't return; when the new cycle failed to take root; when an ice age began and Life failed to flourish. So, the end of any cycle - particularly these larger, more dramatic cycles - can cause a great deal of distress and fear.
Our Modern World's Apocalyptic Myth
In our modern society, many of us fear that all of Life could soon be extinguished on our planet. Listening to our scientists, we reasonably fear the end for humankind and all the other species as well. As scientists have told us, we are living through the sixth mass extinction on this planet. Think of the Extinction Rebellion movement (XR) that has formed in the past couple of years. Think of the activists and the mass demonstrations we've had in recent years, trying to save the future of humanity on this planet. Think of the modern sustainability movement that has rapidly grown over the past couple of decades.
Now, more than ever, remembering and embracing the sacred wisdom and traditions of our ancestors is vital - the Dark Moon phase or Yule, in particular.
Because Yule, itself, means ‘Wheel’. It refers to the Great Wheel of Life that perpetually turns and returns, returns, returns. Yule reassures us of Life's ability to renew itself, even from the apparent brink of extinction.
We can trust Mother Nature's perpetual cycles of day & night; the monthly phases of the Moon; the ebb and flow of Her mighty tides; and our ever-changing seasons. They are as reliable & predictable as they are seemingly changeable.
As a culture, we've forgotten the cyclic nature of Life. We've forgotten that the out-breath or the contraction (Saturn) is as important as the in-breath or the expansion (Jupiter). We fear the dark of night and the cold stillness of Winter, instead of honouring them as a core part of the greater process. We resent their ability to interfere with our desire for bigger, greater, ever-growing productivity (Jupiter)!
Our modern way of Life seeks to flatten everything to the same, controllable pattern. We use electricity, lights, and technology to eliminate the differences between day and night, and between the seasons. We eat oranges and avocados all year round, by shipping them to our shores from far away. We use medication to prevent people from journeying into their own personal darkness. We wake at 6:00 am in the dead of Winter and scurry to work and school, thanks to electric lights, alarm clocks, and a misguided allegiance to the Day and Summer parts of consciousness.
We try to insist that all of Nature maintain this panicked, frenetic pace of Life. We seek to impose our shortsighted, masculine Day consciousness on a much greater Being, denying half of Her existence and disrespecting Her sacred balance.
Collectively, we have forgotten the eight-fold path.
And when Life itself seemingly threatens to stop, we panic. We're so unfamiliar with Her natural cycles. We've forgotten Her wisdom and Her ways. We no longer trust Her. We arrogantly thought we'd 'defeated' Her. In the Age of Enlightenment, science declared it had raised the Veil of Isis, and had conquered Nature's glory and wisdom. We childishly thought we knew better.
But we NEED to remember (and to trust) the cyclic nature of Life - ever-changing, ever-returning.
We are wise to reconnect to the cycles of Life by celebrating the New and Full Moons each month, and the eight High Holy days throughout the year. This restores and anchors our faith in Life’s resilience. It guides us away from despair and hopelessness, and brings us back into right relationship with an ensouled Universe.
Yule reminds us that when things are at their bleakest, darkest point, and when we are perhaps without any hope at all, something shifts, the Wheel turns, and the Light returns! Life continues ...
... just not in the same way.
That's the point of the Dark Moon phase of anything. Yes, Life continues. But we reach these moments when we're forced to take a leap forward in consciousness. Life holds a deep space open for us to understand that the old ways won't work any more; that it's time to dream a new dream, a new future.
So, what do we actually desire for our collective future? What are our hopes and intentions? Socially, politically, philosophically, culturally, technologically? These are the questions we've been collectively wrestling with during the Dark Moon phase of this great cycle.
And now the new cycle is about to birth.
Tonight, can we hold vigil for the new cycle?
Think of it as a New Moon or Yule on steroids! Burn away what we want to release from the collective. Write these notions on paper and burn them in a vigil flame. Allow them to die with the dying of the old cycle. And then write out what you want to be birthed into our collective ... ideas from the Air realm. Individuality. Equality. Clear thinking. Invention. Technology. Independence. Burn these, and allow your ideas and visions for our collective future to be lifted with the smoke to the cosmic mind.
In holding vigil in a time of darkness, we’re reminded that we have our part to play in the Great Turning of the Wheel; that we are in relationship with Life itself. We’re not supposed to just sit idly by in desperation. We are midwives to both the Light of the World, and to our own Light.
As Above, So Below.
As Below, So Above.
We are significant. We are empowered. We are necessary.
We are integral to the cosmic process.
And of all the generations, WE chose to be here in this moment to help midwife the new Great Mutation.
I hope this article has given an understanding of the Great Mutation that is upon us??
Keep an eye out for Part II of this article, which I'll try to publish later today, if at all possible. (It's already lunch time, gulp.) It's important to consider our more personal and immediate experience of the Great Conjunction, too. This is a highly significant time for each of us. We're being asked to consciously and strategically plan where we hope to be in 20 years ... what do we hope to accomplish, and how do we hope to contribute to society around us? Where is our own niche in the world? More on this in my next article.
Until then ... blessings, beautiful people!!
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