Between Worlds: Last Quarter Moon in Cancer in the Uranus-Pluto Era
At 11:36 p.m. tonight in the U.S. Eastern time zone, we enter the space between worlds. We’re exactly where the real cosmic magic happens, poised exactly between a powerful Full Moon in Pisces and a New Moon in Libra, that will be saturated in the primeval power the Hindu tradition knows as Kali.
We’re in the mysterious, potent zone of death and rebirth known as the Dark Moon. This is the space where we let go of the worn-out past, to make room for the future and its new life. Each month we’re enveloped by this mysterious and potent energy. It’s where we meet the Void, and shed the dry, worn-out husks of our lives, our patterns, and our dreams. It’s where we create the future.
We’re living in an era where a past that seems increasingly full of dead ends bumps up against a future that’s mostly veiled. It’s an era that shares its most fundamental qualities — and evolutionary challenges — with the energy of the Dark Moon. The ghosts of the past, full of the residues of power yet empty of life force, rise up at every turn to meet us. We all know those ghosts, for their job is to, seed fear within us, as deeply as they can. The pulse of the life force can seem faint and insubstantial beneath the roars of these dark ghosts of yesterday. We have to choose very carefully what we listen to and what we trust. For most of the Moon’s cycle — she is Moon is waxing, and immediately after she is Full — we act. The perceptual choices that shape those actions are made in the Dark Moon. That’s where we let old realities go, and create new ones.
Last Quarter Moon in Cancer: Infused with the Power of the Transforming Feminine
Tonight’s Last Quarter Moon, the portal into the Dark Moon phase, is particularly strong. Luna is in Cancer, her home sign. Jupiter, the Blessing Giver is there with her. He, too, is at maximum strength. Cancer, the sign of the ancient and generative Divine Mother, is the sign of Jupiter’s exaltation. And so is the deeply mysterious void point known as Black Moon Lilith. Now, with both the Moon and the lunar shadow, at home together and in the Dark, a wholeness of perception and awareness makes itself available to us. We access it through our dreams, our emotions, the knowledge carried in the cells of our bodies.
Intensifying the potency is the fact that this Last Quarter Moon in Cancer bridges lunations between the zodiac’s only two consecutive signs ruled by the Cosmic feminine. Virgo, ancient sign, sacred to Inanna, Persephone, Ishtar, Mary. Libra, one of the two signs ruled by Venus.
In this energy, we can experience in a uniquely profound way the energy we cal the Feminine (in speak of “the Feminine,” I mean it in the sense that Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author (with Elinor Dickson) of Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess and the Transformation of Consciousness, articulates:
When I say the feminine, I don’t mean gender. I mean the feminine principle that is living—or suppressed—in both men and women.
Clarifying, Woodman explains:
The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me?
The Transforming Feminine, Within Us and Around Us
Astrologically, a great deal of this Feminine energy is carried by the Moon and Venus. Of the 10 celestial bodies traditionally considered to be planets by astrologers, only these two are “feminine” (leaving aside for the moment the proper classification of newly discovered energies like Chiorn, Eris, and newly reclassified ones like Ceres and Pluto). That’s far from equal representation for an energy that represents at least half of reality (and probably much more, as my next post will explore).
“Goddess” is the word that has been used for millennia to describe this generative Feminine energy. A very great portion of its force and power -– shaping whole civilizations, spawning traditions of art and social organization and sacred practice — is no longer contained in our consciousness. Our very perception of hte solar system reflects that.
The outcast, exiled, rejected energy of the ancient goddesses is to a great degree contained in two great belts, one of them (known as the asteroid belt) between Mars and Jupiter, and the other (called the Kuiper belt) beyond Pluto’s orbit, at the far edge of our solar system.. More and more, I am coming to understand this energy as essential to the future of our world. When I think of it, which is often, the words “the Transforming Feminine” are what I use.
The asteroid and Kuiper belts are themselves transition zones. The asteroid belt divides the planets whose concerns are essentially self-focused — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars — and those that are cornered with successively greater wholes – from Jupiter and Saturn’s “big picture” of earth reality to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto’s cosmic understanding. Within these belts are pieces of reality — asteroids, dwarf planets, comets — whose energy we don’t know how to integrate into the structure of our consciousness. Until we realize that our familiar structures don’t have the answers we need.
When we realize we must evolve beyond a worldview that’s essentially self-centered, our awareness moves beyond the orbit of Mars. That’s when we confront the Transforming Feminine.
This Last Quarter gateway into the Dark Moon is steeped in the energy of the ancient goddesses. The Moon is in Cancer, the part of the sky associated with the Divine Mother for millennia. Standing at the center of lunations in Virgo and Libra. We’re in the realm of Persephone, Demeter, Isis, Ishtar, and Mary — with five goddess asteroids throwing a bright energetic spotlight on one of the ancient mysteries of the Feminine – the descent of the Goddess. They are the background presences energizing our experiences over the last
Vesta and Ceres, the two of the first asteroids discovered in the first decade of the 19th century, over two centuries ago, are now in Virgo. The asteroids Proserpina, Persephone, and Psyche are in Scorpio. This is the sign of Pluto, agent of Persephone / Proserpina’s transformation in the Deep Time — and of ours today, as he squares Uranus, the father of Aphrodite, seven times in the 33 months between June 2012 and March 2015.
At the Virgo New Moon, the pattern of energy in the sky was overwhelmingly earthy. We experienced its energies in our bodies. It occurred in 13 degrees of Virgo, a number long sacred to the feminine, At the Pisces Full Moon two weeks later, earth and water shared energetic power. Emotional reality was on the rise.
Now, at Last Quarter, only Pluto remains in an earth sign (although Ceres and Vesta remain in Virgo, grounding the feminine). In the void, we’ve lost our grounding. We’re unmoored, so that great change can take place not at the concrete level — not yet — but at the energetic level that underlies it. With water and air now comprising the predominant elements, and we’re beginning to translate our cellular and emotional awareness into concepts that we can become conscious of and share.
The Long Dark Moon of the Patriarchy
In a brilliant work written almost 22 years ago, Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess, astrologer Demetra George speculates that the phases of the moon operate on a great scale, larger even than the 26,000 year precessional cycle of astrological ages. Perhaps, she writes, the crises of our civilization are the expression of the “most powerful dark moon phase in the history of humanity.”
George recalls the day when, walking along the Oregon coast, she began to wonder about this:
whether the disappearance of the Goddess during the last five thousand years of patriarchal rule might been due to her suppression and destruction by the patriarchy, but was in fact her natural withdrawal into the dark moon phase of her own cycle. . . And now she must be reemerging at the new moon phase of her cycle with the promise and hope that accompany the rebirth of the light. (Italics and boldface mine.)
George’s speculation uses the 5,000 years of the Goddess’ suppression and the rise of patriarchal culture as the parameters for this global-historical Dark Moon. Then multiplies the 5,000 years by 40,000 to arrive at a global-historical lunation cycle of 40,000, she then maps the eight phases onto historical periods. The creation and birthing of the waxing new and crescent moon phases correlate in George’s schema with the Lower Perigordian period, from 35,000 to 28,000 BCE. The full moon phase occurs during the Upper Perigordian era, from 21,000 to 18,000 BCE. The entire 5,000 years that we typically think of when we think of “civilization” and “human history” fall within the Dark Moon period of waning and then disappearing goddess power.
George hastens to point out that her thinking is purely speculative. However, entertained even as a leap of imagination into the unknown, this vision of Lunar Her/Story, as George calls it, is liberating. As she points out,it frees us from the groaning burden of identification as a victim and allows us to see ourselves very differently:
Women are not victim, and they do not have to make war to reclaim their power. Women have always had their power, and now it is once again fully available, recharged, and vitalized for them to express in the outer world.
In its fullest expression, however, this power has been invisible to us all. Now, as George admits, our task is to
cleanse and purify our distorted images of the Dark Goddess . . . Through patriarchal culture these erroneous images have affected our bodies, minds, and environrment, and have impaired our relationships with the other.”
Creating Our Future in the Dark Moon of Our Times
The pace of death of an old order and emergence of a new one is accelerating. The fourth of the seven squares of Pluto and uranus is little more than a month away. Two days later, a potent solar eclipse in Scorpio will follow. We will not be out of the energy field of this epochal energy until after the final square, in March 2015. Each month, the Moon modulates the energies of this square, and aits repeated triggering as our Star and his entourage travel through the first half of nearly every sign in the zodiac.
And with each New and Full Moon, we assimilate a little more of what is happening within us and around us — not in our left brain awareness, w which accounts for a small fraction of what we know, but in the deep recesses of our right brain. Each Dark Moon phase, we shed another layer of the residue that’s preventing the future from rising up within us,and unfolding through us into the world.