Without specifically planning it, and all at once, I found myself reading three different books relating to the Rose Cross meditation.
Our study group took up reading The Rose Cross Meditation by Rudolf Steiner. It is a meditation practiced by Rosicrucians which uses the symbols of the cross and a crown of seven roses. I first heard about this meditation during my Waldorf teacher training, and though it sounded interesting and mysterious, I didn’t go very deeply into at the time.
Not long before this, I had recently read Sacred Sounds, a book about the healing power of Music and Story. It related Music and Astrology in a way I had not seen before and I became very interested in learning more about the relationship between music and astrology. One of the sources recommended by Andrews was Max Heindel, a Rosicrucian writer. I was a little daunted to find that Heindel had many volumes of texts, most which averaged around 500 pages each. I found I was swept right into it nonetheless and could not stop reading. So, there I was, reading about the Rose Cross Meditation, from not one book, but TWO different books at the same time and the funniest part is, I had not really intended this topic in the first place.
To my surprise, I finished the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception in mere weeks and found Heindel’s book fascinating and enlightening. It covered many of the same foundational concepts from my Waldorf training but in my opinion, more directly and clearly explained.
A third text I just began as part of my membership with a different study group by mail called GEMS. The GEMS acronym stands for Geographically-Engaged Members of the Society and is organized out of Los Angeles. This group has undertaken a year-long study with the book, The Silent Stream, also dealing with Rosicrucianism. No doubt I will be learning more about the Rose Cross in this third book, though again this was not directly of my choosing. Perhaps when I complete the study I can elaborate something more specific. Until then I can only share some preliminary impressions.
My first take with all of this is the purity and holiness of the plant world. It made more clear to me the importance of a pure diet of plant foods. It is not only what, but also how we prepare the foods that we consume that is important if we wish to keep our bodily vehicle in the best possible condition.
I also find I am putting greater thought, time and interest into our garden, and in communing with the natural world as well as putting more thought and preparation into the food I eat.
As I write this during the month of May, outside the steps of my front porch, the plant and animal world is exploding with life. Roses and other flowers are verdantly blooming on the bushes, our cucumber plants are fat with fruits, and friends are bringing fresh picked berries to the first social gatherings we have been able to do in person since the start of Coronavirus quarantines back in March. Our squashes are really coming along now and even the lizards in our garden are busy communing. A friend and I watched a male lizard parading his beautiful throat, fanning it out as he scurried back and forth across our porch in the broad light of the summery day, advertising himself. He was quite amusing, flashy, dramatic, pausing with his flare. Later that afternoon, when my friend had gone, I spotted him on the fence post again. He had found himself a mate and was fully entwined with her, looking very self-satisfied, bobbing his head up and down, still fanning out his orange throat. I felt such joy for the abundance of nature in all these manifest forms and for these pictures of fertility. It was a fitting image for the readings I had just done.
Last winter, we started a small garden bed in our backyard, my husband and I. It is now bursting with life too. Though we would both like to take credit for being the gardener as the fruits of it are evident, the truth is we did it together.
It is mentioned in the Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception that we shall overcome the need for the separate sexes in a far distant future, but in the intervening time, we must work together on everything; whether as brothers and sisters, lovers, procreating mates, neighbors, fellow gardeners, or friends. The importance of transforming selfish energy, wishes, wants and desires into something worthy and higher probably can’t be overstated. Base desires could be simply the bodily comforts of a home, or the pleasure-seeking in the outer world. Each human being undergoes emotional surges of fear, jealousy, aggression, pride, or self-aggrandizement, especially in an age where we are prone to things like hoarding toilet paper, and now we are swept into tides of racial strife. In reality, though there is no “my,” or “mine,” only “ours.” There is no shortage of these lower desires, really. Our work is cut out for us here in this plane of existence, for each and every human being.
Ideas about the constitution of man’s physical and spiritual body, how the two sexes came to be, how humanity will continue to evolve, these are not usual, everyday things to think about, I realize. But this seems a transitional time in history and with this transition into summer it also gives us a space to reflect more on who and what we really are and where we are going.
TWINS is the Gemini symbol for this month of June. In Tarot, the symbol is the LOVERS, male and female. The symbol on the opposite end of Gemini is ARCHER/Sagittarius, or the Centaur who shoots his arrow far into the future. (Think of the Spacex rocket -a giant human arrow) With Sagittarius one part is the animal and one part is human. This represents the overcoming of a lower, animal nature to attain a higher more evolved state. This is the 3rd House/9th House axis in astrology. The Gemini-Sagittarius axis also relates to lower mind versus higher mind. Gemini is the structure of facts and words, Sagittarius is whole language system and deeper meaning it conveys.
Our thoughts produce fruit just as a plant’s sexual organs produce fruit in this most abundant season of summer. Thoughts and words create whole worlds. Thoughts produce both material and immaterial things. It is the other half of our generative function. One part is physical, the other part is manifest but not yet physical, and so thinking is yet another act of fertility.
In addition to raising our children with care, we can endeavor to do no harm to ourselves or others with our misdirected thoughts. All of our thoughts bear fruit and wisely directed arrows of thoughts bear nourishing and long lasting fruit for an infinite amount of time, just as children carry our seeds into the future infinitely.
Perhaps there has never been a time more important than right now in human history to take great care to weed the garden of our thoughts very carefully. Whatever we put out into the future whether a garden of vegetables or a garden of thoughts, whatever we put out into the world will have very long lasting consequences. As we see violence growing, as misinformation abounds, as our connectivity with technology grows exponentially, we have our own work to do to transform the gardens of our minds.
I may start by rewording many of my pronouns from “my” to “our” as often as I can and stay open to the wisdom from my fellow gardeners and continue to seek for the good because in truth there is little that can be said to be “mine.” Everything is “ours.”
Many people are getting the feeling that this quarantine has unique and potent curriculum for all of us. Aside from forcing us to learn to live with a great deal of uncertainty, I am hearing more people talk about taking up new forms of exercise or meditation, or those who are dusting off their former hobbies, or new ones they are now finally exploring or discovering. I am certainly in this category and I am a little embarrassed to admit that the teacher and introvert in me was sort of giddy at first.
A few months ago, after listening to some podcasts, I got curious to learn more about the Tarot. When I used to think of tarot I imagined the gypsy woman in a tent with crystal ball, laying out cards on a table and while dramatically telling people their futures to take their money. I never thought of the tarot as something helpful, or particularly enlightened, nor had I ever considered its extensive history. I could even say it reminded me of the old toy eight-ball fortuneteller I had as a kid. But I’ve known about the connection between Astrology and the Tarot for a while, I had simply never rolled up my sleeves and gotten down into it. I knew I was getting overdue for a primer.
Perhaps I was intuitively guided, because several weeks before this whole virus thing even got started I made a stop at Body, Mind, Soul Bookstore in Houston on my way home from an event on President’s Day in February. BMS is one of the better metaphysical bookstores in Houston with beautiful crystals in a nicely arranged, trendy shop. It is fun to explore and meander, so my daughter and I dropped in to do a little browsing. While I was there, I purchased a Rider-Waitte Tarot deck. When we were finished, we sat down to lunch at the taco joint next door, which by the way had amazing shrimp tacos, and I opened up the deck and unfolded the tiny instruction booklet. I was shocked to see how many cards the deck contained and really had no clue what to do with it. I realized, perhaps a little daunted, that this would be a bit of a research project. I put the cards back in the little, yellow metal box. I finished my shrimp taco and lemonade and drove home. My normal daily responsibilities and routines resumed. The deck of cards sat untouched on the shelf for a couple of weeks, though I knew one day I might be able to delve more into it. “Perhaps, in the summer,” I thought to myself. I didn’t worry about it. But then it just so happened my research project would not have to wait very long.
Fast forward two weeks into March. We discovered we would be at home from our schools and our jobs for quite an extended period of time for Coronavirus quarantine and the light bulb went off in me. “Well, now I have some extra time to read, study and learn the Tarot!”
I decided to approach this study by making myself a handmade reference book with my own hand-drawn images of the Major Arcana deck to incorporate another hobby that has sat neglected, drawing with colored pencil. It had been about two years since I had really used my colored pencils. I got excited as I sat down with a beautiful, turquoise journal book that I had been saving. The cover of it had a botanical imprint and it had a bamboo spine.
Someone who knows I love to write gave it to me as a gift. I really decided to relish this whole process as artistically as I could and steep myself in the symbols and the study.
It turns out that what intrigues me the most about the tarot is the symbols, and that is what I love about astrology also. I love astrology for all of its clean mathematical relationships, the wonders of astronomy, and precision of the planetary cycles. But the symbols themselves contain the essence of their wisdom in picture form. The tarot combines that same mathematical quality with the power of symbols and the archetypes of story. Now as I reflect on my research project of studying the tarot, it is rather like, “Where have you been all my life?”
So this is the start of something new, like taking French lessons or learning to cook Indian food and perhaps in my next segment about this I will give a little book report on the tarot. I hope that you are faring well in the quarantine, and perhaps if are reading this, you too have unearthed some special hobbies or lessons for yourself in the hidden curriculum of quarantine.
Reactions to our present times and circumstances need greater discipline, now more than ever. We certainly need level heads and calm leaders who act in the best interest of the whole. Looking at our current options for leaders, one can easily become discouraged, but perhaps that very cynicism in our thinking has gotten us where we are and doesn’t serve the whole.
The Capricorn energy teaches that we need to reckon all of our accounts and keep our books impeccably. This could apply on a very personal level as well as a global level. This comes back to honesty and truthfulness as well as total disclosure, good principles to live by. Capricorn is the “wise elder” tracking the past and keeping record. Planets currently lining up in Capricorn include: Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn, making for a very loaded Capricorn house, perhaps even promising a shocking reckoning. Have we reckoned all accounts? If not, Saturn will judge us.
By Dec. 21, 2020, Saturn, the planetary representative of Capricornian energy, will conjunct Jupiter, the representative of thought and future growth. What are we prepared for? How will humanity need to change in order to combat the challenges we face for our survival? These are all open for interpretation perhaps.
On a very personal level, discipline and maintaining balance have been strong, on-going themes for the past two years in my personal life, perhaps they have showed up for you too. I have been exploring the question, “Do I have the discipline to work hard so that what I seek to add to my domain adds benefit to others and life around me? Does it become something worthy to humanity of the life force and time I’ve devoted from my own life to acquire it? ” This is also about striking a balance. Our own life is not really ours alone. The sum total of our life also belongs to the whole of humanity. How well have we disciplined our desires against selfish gain to add to the picture of humanity? Our generation, and those that have come before us have not really squared all accounts in this regard. We have all lived very selfishly in terms of the planet and its resources. Future generations will condemn us for it. This must be reckoned.
I cannot simply sit back and acquire knowledge and resources for my own benefit alone. Another way this has manifested in my personal life, is the pursuit of higher education and at the cost of student loans. Why pursue higher education at all if not to serve something greater than oneself? I could sweep the streets and equally serve a needed function. If I seek higher education for my own glorification alone, then I miss the point.
I cannot do these things without developing and growing in my discipline and mastery. I’ve recently signed up to take a course on hand calculation of the charts through NCGR with the hopes that I can pass the Level 1 exam for NCGR certification. Why am I doing this? To acquire knowledge for myself alone? There needs to be a greater purpose, or why do it at all?
I have been coming to learn for a while now that it isn’t the knowledge of how to read the stars or read a birth chart that I need, or that anyone needs. It is the continued devoted application and principles of truth in daily life. Applying principles of truth, taking ever so incremental steps with patience and love towards ourselves and others we gain strength together. We are in life together, every single one of us, from the smallest child to the wisest elder. That is the spirit of brotherhood in the Aquarian theme, but we must act as if our life is not ours alone and come back in to reckon the accounts.
How do I develop balance and keep myself in balance – coming from a member of the Pluto in Libra generation, perhaps this is the very task in our age. For my generation now nearing our 50’s, how can we keep all systems in balance for everyone long enough until those that come after us can transition from the old modes, old institutions, old economies, into the new ones without causing death and destruction? The symbol for Libra is the Scales. I sit in awe as I watch the extremes to which we dangerously keep swinging the pendulum. This has to stop, we must control our reactions. We have to become responsible for our reactions which continually cause upheaval to all systems.
I can begin by looking at my own life and seeking for my own balance: striking equilibrium between my needs and the needs of others. This is a basic practice of conflict resolution, empathy and love. Balance and discipline. It is doing the homework on ourselves. That is not to say that we cannot act decisively or boldly when needed, but we must continually do our homework, keeping a regimen, keeping a practice, keeping alert to the circumstances and working in balance.
The airborne illness of Coronavirus may be a lesson in how to work together globally to solve our environmental issues. Our attention on the lungs and what we are breathing in and through our cells cannot be more real and impacts all systems through the lungs and blood circulation. This is no different that our thoughts effecting the future. We must become responsible for our thinking.
I took interest in and can recommend reading the link from New Paradigm Astrology, On the Characteristic of Lung Problems for further thoughts on the significance of this airborne illness.
Just some food for thought, ya’ll…….
On Dec. 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will be conjunct at 0 degrees Aquarius. (or Capricorn if you use the sidereal zodiac) This conjunction happens every 20 years and is called the Great Conjunction. This will be the first time in a long while that this conjunction has occurred in an air sign, because for the past 200 years it has been occurring in earth signs(by sidereal zodiac, it is still in an Earth sign.) The 200 years prior to that, in water signs.
The Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction is an event we can witness with the naked eye in the sky this coming winter. The Asheville Astronomy Club put together a nice graphic About the Great Conjunction.
Viewing the Great Conjunction in the Sky from Houston or adjust for any location.
For the past few months since Christmas I have been reading Willi Sucher’s Cosmology I. This I am only beginning to ingest, let alone to digest, but I will here summarize what I’m understanding so far about Great Conjunctions.
To provide some background, Jupiter has a 12 year cycle and Saturn an approximately 30 year cycle. These two planets make a triangle pattern in the sky, and the whole triangle rotates through the zodiac, moving a little further along with each 20-year period at the conjunction.
Jupiter has to do with thought, growth and the future. Saturn has to do with structure, limits, memory and the past. When these two planets meet in their cyclical triangle pattern, one could say that it represents a conversation between that which manifests in the physical world and that which the spiritual world ordains. It is a meeting or a conference of “divine thought” and the physically manifesting powers.
Sucher relates the Great Conjunctions to the time of the Christ. The first conjunction during the time of Chirst took place at 7BC, in the sign of Fishes and is related to the birth of Jesus. The second conjunction in 14 AD took place in Archer and is related to the 12-year old Jesus in the temple, and the third conjunction at 34 AD in Lion relates to the conversion of St. Paul and his experience with the risen Christ. The first is called the Shepherd stream, the second the King stream, and the third has to do with the Cosmic Christ. It is possible to follow through history, the events occurring in relation to the movements of these planets, and interpret the meaning of the themes of the Shepherd stream, the King Stream, and that of the Cosmic Christ.
From this, Sucher goes into a great deal more about the Christ and the planetary indications as history shows us which I hope I can summarize further. Suffice it to say, the years and events happening around Great Conjunctions correlate through time.
Perhaps as we inch closer to this great conjunction in 2020 we are laying new foundations for the yet young century and the yet young millenium. I suggest that with all of the heavy emphasis in Capricorn, that we take stock of our self-discipline in every realm and especially put discipline into our thinking. Thoughts are things and what we think matters greatly for the future of humanity and for the reality we eventually manifest.
For additional anthroposophically-based reading on this subject- try Astrosophy.Com Article – The Great Conjunction.