Grand Water Trine of July 2013:
Trinity in the Neptune-Jupiter cycle
Angelic grace or imaginal joviality may be evoked by the conjunction of Neptune and Jupiter, but their cycle has a deeper relationship with the evolution of consciousness. In July 2013 we are now in the first quarter trine phase of this most recent cycle, and this current trine between Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces has demanded a great deal of attention as it has been part of a grand water trine with Saturn in Scorpio (Saturn in Scorpio is in a disseminating trine to both Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces). I recently came across a copy of Dane Rudhyar’s 1958 article about The Jupiter and Neptune Cycle, originally published in Horoscope magazine, and have been thinking about it in relation to the current phase involving Jupiter and Neptune.
Rudhyar believed the Neptune and Jupiter cycle is one of the most important planetary cycles to contemplate because it is the only one with a consistent pattern of successive conjunctions between the planets occurring in successive signs of the zodiac. As a result, Rudhyar placed it with the Jupiter-Saturn cycle and the eclipse cycles to be one of the most important cycles to ponder in relation to historical analysis. Rudhyar also highlighted the lunar phase quality of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle because it occurs in relation to the number 13, with the entire cycle lasting for 166 years (adds up to 13) and each successive conjunction happening every thirteen years. The fact that Neptune functions as the Sun in this analogy, and Jupiter as the Moon, is interesting in light of Rudhyar’s analysis because he viewed Jupiter as corresponding to societal beliefs and attitudes we may conform to for security purposes, and Neptune as corresponding to more of an evolutionary Soul path forward for us to follow, albeit a more disorienting one that can be difficult for many human beings to integrate in a grounded manner.
In his article Rudhyar stressed the fact that Jupiter and Saturn as planetary archetypes both connect to the concept that human beings interact in groups and form societies and cultures, producing communities within these that have shared values, ideals, needs, and memories. As a result there also ends up being a shared language, laws, religions, institutions, and cultures. Rudhyar further reasoned that while Saturn correlates with the boundaries a person embodies in their participation through the role, function, and place they act from, Jupiter gives each individual person the feeling that they belong or are connected in a community through shared knowledge and belief. Rudhyar explained that Jupiter does this because it “deals particularly with social-cultural-religious feelings and the expansion that comes to the individual who operates warmly in terms of these feelings, reiciprocated (usually) by others, either emotionally (happiness) or in terms of concrete values (wealth)” (Rudhyar, The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle, paragraph 18).
In connection to the Neptune cycle, and how we tend to think of Neptune as corresponding to our connection to Goddess/God/Spirit, we can thus infer that Jupiter and Saturn deal with the shared societal aspects of organized religion, and the ways in which one should behave in society as a follower of the particular organized religion one follows. In case one is not religious, Jupiter and Saturn would thus connect with the shared societal aspects of how one “should” or “should not” act if one would like to be viewed as “successful” by the consensus culture with which one belongs. Yet as we know from experience, sometimes what the consensus culture defines as normal, such as ignoring a homeless person on the street or keeping a secret about a wound from person in authority over us so as not to damage the associated institution, may not feel inside us like it is how we truly want to act in the moment. As a result, Rudhyar made the astute observation that although Jupiter is usually described as the “great benefic” among astrologers, in reality it often can correlate with conformity and resisting the call of an evolution in consciousness:
Astrologers are haunted with the idea that Jupiter is “the greater fortune” and a symbol of all that is “good.” But good and fortunate for what- for the easy way of complacent and nearly automatic repetition of the past! Jupiter gives good fortune to those who conform, who follow the rules of the social game, the political game, the religious ritual, the way of the “classical” great masters in the arts. Truly, there is nothing wrong in conforming; and there are vast practical benefits in doing so. But conforming is not taking the new evolutionary step. This step- this new transformation or “mutation”- requires, like the taking of any walking step, an initial loss of balance, a “fall,” immediately followed by a “recovery.” To walk is constantly to lose one’s balance, then recover it as the foot again touches the ground a yard or so ahead.
The Jupiter-Neptune cycle is very much like a walking process. Every 13 years- and, even more, every 166 years- mankind should take a step forward, even if only a tiny one. It should be a step ahead of our past traditional, social, cultural, and religious sense of human relationship. Unfortunately, such a step tends to lead at first to confusion, disarray, dismay, perhaps temporary blindess and panicky escape “back to the womb” of what may be thought to be a secure and familiar institution or religious organization. However, progress is only through the confusion and the glowing mist over the hills, yonder. There is no way ever of going ahead, except through!
–Dane Rudhyar, The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle, paragraphs 23 and 24
The connection between Jupiter and Saturn with what can fall within the boundaries of consensus thought links to the fact that for a long time Jupiter and Saturn were the outermost known planets of our solar system. With each successive planetary discovery, first Uranus, then Neptune, then Pluto, and now we know that there is a vast array of celestial objects even beyond this, with each new discovery a new collective evolution in consciousness occurred, such as Uranus being discovered during revolutionary times in the United States and France, and Neptune being discovered during a time of spiritual movements in the 19th Century. In his article on the Jupiter and Neptune cycle, Rudhyar described that along these lines Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are galactic ambassadors for us connecting us to another level of reality, a “stage of transition between the solar system unit and the vaster cosmic whole, the galaxy; more precisely, they refer to certain basic modes of activity by which this galactic whole constantly impresses its powers upon our tiny solar system, ‘feeds’ (in a sense) this solar system and works toward its closer integration into the galactic field” (Rudhyar, paragraph 19).
However, these outer planets prove difficult for us to integrate and more often than not impact us in a manner that reveals how we are not wholly integrated with our true soul path and work in the world. While Uranus can be an awakener that unexpectedly shocks us and shakes us free from the Saturn role or Jupiter belief we have identified our ego and personality with in society, Rudhyar illuminated that it is Neptune that then dissolves the shattered remnants of this formerly crystallized identity, exposing our consciousness wide open with the potential to feel vulnerable and disoriented. When we respond to this heightened sensitivity and openness by clinging to escapist pursuits in order to grasp at a sense of security or familiarity, we bring in the side of Neptune described as being illusionary, foggy, glamorous, or unfocused. Yet Neptune is a universal archetype of unity and unconditional love, and as Rudhyar described “an agent of the vast galactic field of cosmic existence . . . an emissary of the greater to the lesser” that “dissolves the obsolete narrowness of the Saturnine focus” because of the deep compassionate nature of its archetype (Rudhyar, paragraph 21). This is how Neptune represents the future in relation to Jupiter.
Rudhyar concluded that the Neptune and Jupiter cycle therefore symbolizes the steps we can take as an individual in transforming our established social beliefs, and the manner in which as a society of people we are moving forward in our collective evolution. Rudhyar emphasized that the Jupiter-Neptune cycle by itself does not necessarily correlate with startling events, but instead emerges more as a change in feeling regarding what our human interactions mean. The following chart image is taken from the Rudhyar Archival Project’s republication of his article that was originally published in September 1958 in Horoscope Magazine: you can see that the conjunction happened in a successive sign of the zodiac every cycle except for the cycles of 1984 and 1997 that each happened in Capricorn, and the cycles of 1779 and 1792 that each happened in Libra.
In his article Rudhyar analyzed how you can compare the previous cycle of Jupiter and Neptune conjunct in a zodiac sign in order to help understand the meaning of the new cycle. For example, when he wrote this article in 1958 Jupiter and Neptune were having their conjunction in Scorpio, which connected to the previous Scorpio conjunction in 1804. Rudhyar noted that 1804 found Napolean Bonaparte an Emperor of France following the previous conjunction in Libra in 1792 that found the monarchy abolished and France declared a republic. And just think of what occurred alone in the United States of America between the Scorpio conjunction of Neptune and Jupiter in 1958 and their next conjunction in Sagitarius in 1971! Thus, from this viewpoint while the tumultuous events of the 1960s are often associated with the conjunction between Pluto and Uranus that occurred in Virgo, we can also connect them with the theme of Scorpio that was introduced in 1958 through the Jupiter-Neptune cycle.
Similarly, while we associate the intensity of events occurring today with the square occuring between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, we can also interpret them through the Jupiter-Neptune archetypal theme of Aquarius that was introduced in 2009. Looking back to the last Aquarius conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in 1843 could possibly give us some guidance (for example, in the realm of philosophy I noticed that Kierkegaard’s Either/Or and other writing was published in this year and that Friedrich Nietzsche was born a year later- two of the “fathers” of Existential philosophy which objectified and analyzed in an Aquarian manner the individual’s role in society and religion), but events of today are obviously very different from events in 1843. When we consider our current cycle between Jupiter and Neptune that began on May 27, 2009 in Aquarius, one major news event happening in the United States was the first phase of newly elected President Barack Obama’s administration attempting to successfully establish itself following the infamous “first hundred days” period. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the USA was an Aquarian event that liberated the U.S. presidency from past patterns, as he was the first African-American to be elected, as well as the son of a single mother who had a compelling story that resonated with many of the U.S. people. One of his administration’s first intentions was the Aquarian ideal of reforming the U.S. Health Care system through opening up health care to citizens with pre-existing health issues, among other reforms. This action had a parallel to a previous Jupiter-Neptune cycle initiated during the first term of a presidency- the 1932 cycle in Virgo that saw Franklin Roosevelt (born a half year later than the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction of 1881) elected, and then his “New Deal” passed a year later. Similarly, after a process of excessive political gamesmanship between political enemies and competing interests which connected more with the conforming aspect of Jupiter that Rudhyar referenced in his article, the Obama administration was able to pass an imperfect compromise. In connection to the recent first quarter trine, it is nonetheless interesting that in the same week as the exact trine happened, President Obama finally made a new public stance and push in order to promote the Affordable Health Care for America Act, or what has now been commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”
Of course, much more has been going on in this time period than attempts at health care reform, as we have been in an intense Aquarian storm in the sense of dramatic events and crises that have evoked a collective emphatic response from humanity. One of the most obvious connections to the Aquarian themed archetype of this phase of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle has been issues and ethical questions surrounding the world-wide web, the Internet, and social media. For example, we have had the Wikileaks scandals, the Bradley Manning leaks, and now the “Snow Man” leaks in which we have learned the U.S. government can access all of our social media and Internet communication anytime it wants. There have been a lot of attempts from activists and others seeking to liberate (Aquarius) information to the public, with a sharp backlash from power players/institutions (Leo) wanting to keep control. For example, academic institutions have prosecuted people, at extremely high monetary value, they have labeled as being hackers for attempting to open public access for free to academic journals one would have had to pay a fee for in the past. This has been in contrast to the “open source” movement that has been popular among many at the forefront of technology in which they have intentionally made all of their information public and free in order to receive “outside the box” criticism and feedback from members of the public who would normally not have the access. With regards to the current NSA control of cell phone and Internet records, to the wide array of issues that have come up through the instantaneous manner in which the global community is now connected through social media, we have been in a Neptunian fog so to speak with how exactly to work out these issues. However, the potential power of these forms of communication have become very clear, as one of the greatest Aquarian uses of social media in this time period has been through the use of it in organizing revolutions such as the Arab Spring. Looking back upon the last year of intense events that are far too many to even begin to document here, it is also important to remember that with regards to Jupiter and Neptune, we also experienced a first quarter square between Gemini Jupiter and Pisces Neptune that first occurred in June through July of 2012, and then in a wider aspect again in January through March of 2013 after a retrograde phase of Jupiter in Gemini.
Aquarius 2009 Cycle
The above image of Trayvon Martin and his father was made by the artist Rudy Shepherd, an old college friend of mine who attended a private and religiously-affiliated university with me in the Southeast of the United States of America. Being from the South in the USA (I grew up outside New Orleans, Louisiana and then Atlanta, Georgia) I am very familiar with the racial dynamics that recently exploded here surrounding the verdict on George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin. The Grand Water Trine involving the Neptune-Jupiter trine coincided with a cathartic emotional release and rage from the African-American community and other people of color who have lived under the constant threat of racial profiling from the American criminal justice system. In addition, there has also been a lot of bickering between people who consider themselves to be “White allies” and people who appear to be either ignorant or nonreflective of the “White privilege” they intrinsically possess as being a member of society in the USA. Whether you agree with the verdict or not, the indisputable facts are that George Zimmerman believed (Jupiter) he had the community-sanctioned authority of being in a “Neighborhood Watch” role (Saturn), and chose to focus on Trayvon Martin, an African American youth wearing a hoodie and buying skittles, he did not recognize as being suspicious and a potential criminal threat. A response from someone with a different set of beliefs may have been to walk up to Trayvon and have a brief friendly conversation, but instead Zimmerman chose to follow him with a gun, call the police, and continue to stalk Martin despite being told not to by the police. There is in fact no way to separate out the racial profiling aspect of this situation, and whatever altercation between these two individuals that followed does not change the fact that the entire situation was rooted in racial profiling. Racial profiling is a serious and well-documented aspect of American culture, and this particular event drew a collective emotional connection through Aquarian aspects of social media technology and group mind connection. The quick manner in which a story like this can circulate throughout social media, and the strong emotional response it can manifest that then can quickly turn into a massive emotional reaction (perhaps in this case having a stronger than normal correlation to the grand water trines between Jupiter-Neptune-Saturn and Mercury-Chiron-North Node of the Moon) is to me a perfect example of this being an Aquarius phase of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle.
The opportunity presented by the grand trine between Cancer Jupiter, Pisces Neptune, and Scorpio Saturn that happened at this time inside of the larger Aquarius phase of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle, is for a new dialogue concerning issues of race to occur in the United States of America with the hope to throw off and liberate consensus thought from some of it’s past limitations of mainstream belief concerning racism. There is also the opportunity now for people outraged by racial profiling and other aspects of racism in America to re-organize themselves into more productive groups and organizations to do something pro-active about this situation in an Aquarian manner. In the community college classes I have taught to many members of the Neptune-Uranus generation born in the 1990s, many students of this generation do not believe that “race” even exists and can be initially reluctant to examine dynamics between oppression and race in the USA. In class I would respond that while I agree with them that “race” does not necessarily exist besides the idea of a “human race” (Neptune), the fact that there is a strong cultural belief in “race” and “racism” (Jupiter) means that it is an issue in need of examination. Despite some talk from some people of us existing now in a “post-racial” society because we have an African-American President for the first time, the Trayvon Martin killing now stands as a historical landmark clearly revealing to everyone the extent of racism that still exists in this country. If we hope to move forward as a people and a collective and survive on this planet in the looming Age of Aquarius, it is imperative for us to initiate new conversations and work at healing the gaping wounds individuals and groups carry with regards to racism and a lack of equity and inclusiveness. This is not easy work, and during a time of incredibly destructive religious wars occurring across the planet, it may seem impossible. However, the 2009 celestial partnering of Neptune and Jupiter in Aquarius indicates that working on our group dynamics as a people is one of our tasks in our collective evolution.
With regards to our current President Obama, a leader who has a Pisces Chiron currently conjunct transiting Neptune and in trine to transiting Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio, the Trayvon Martin story finally either pushed him or gave him the inner strength to publicly talk openly to the American people about the racism and judgment he has experienced as an African-American male in this country. While some think this was a politically motivated talk or want to demean it on account of various transgressions enacted by his administration, the fact that a President of the United States openly talked to the press about hearing car doors locked as he walked down the street and being followed by clerks in stores when he has been shopping is a huge monumental event in the history of the United States. With regards to President Obama on a personal level, the grand water trine coincided with an opportunity for the issues of his Pisces Chiron in his first house, issues that in part relate to his identity as a mixed race son of a single white mother, to be released- watching video of his “speech,” you can visibly see how energetically confining his public role has been for him and the incredible amount of restraint he has carried in completely avoiding talking about his identity as an African-American male to the American people. With regards to the effect of this speech, it gave an opportunity for many African-Americans and people of color for the first time to hear the ultimate public authority in the United States speak from direct experience of experiencing racism in the USA. Maybe it is my own Aquarian ideals speaking here, but I strongly feel it is important to not discount this moment and the potential opening that could result. However, for productive growth to occur it will important to focus on how to most effectively utilize the Aquarian concepts of collectivity, technology, communication, inventiveness, protest, and liberating thought in order to most effectively create new change.
Keeping in mind that the grand water trine of Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn is occurring within a first quarter square between Uranus and Pluto, we can directly connect these events to the mid-1960s when Pluto and Uranus first came into range of the conjunction in Virgo they are now in a square to each other from in the signs of Aries and Capricorn. Fittingly, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Bernice King, gave a public statement on social media following the verdict in the Geogre Zimmerman case that connected these events with the civil rights movement her father helped lead in the 1960s. Again, remember events in the 1960s can be connected to the Scorpio cycle of Neptune and Jupiter that was initiated in 1958, so it is also interesting that Saturn is in Scorpio today:
It’s ’63 again. NOT GUILTY. Just like those who got off for the bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham back in ’63. I’m stunned and disappointed. It’s a sad day in the history of American jurisprudence that our justice system continues to fall short of the truth, especially when a person can be going about their daily business and ultimately be killed because of a false assumption. In the words of a friend, “any law that justifies the actions of Zimmerman is an unjust law.” In the words of my father “We’ve got some difficult days ahead.” Let us seek God for his guidance during this time. God is a God of Justice, mercy and grace. All protests against the verdict must demonstrate an irrevocable commitment to Nonviolence, to honor the dignity of Trayvon Martin’s life and not add further tragedy to what his family and the people of Sanford have already experienced. Now is the time to create a culture of Nonviolence.
–Dr. Bernice King, facebook post on July 13, 2013
Dr. King’s call for a nonviolent protest again connects these events with the Aquarius phase of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle we are currently in. Her reference of God is also interesting as an example of the interplay between Jupiter and Neptune as archetypes. During the Zimmerman trial, the prosecution played a video tape of George Zimmerman also invoking God in relation to his actions. In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, in response to being asked if he could go back in time if he would have done anything differently that day, Zimmerman replied not only that he would not do anything differently, but that in fact it was God’s plan that he did what he did. These contrasting uses of God in relation to this situation is a good example of how human beings can get themselves to believe anything, or another way of saying that is we can create and believe any illusion that we want to.
Although in his article Rudhyar pointed out the “lower” side of Jupiter that can be not only conforming but also fanatical about consensus beliefs that may not truly reflect the evolutionary trajectory of the moment, when we examine the glyph for Jupiter, a half circle sitting on top of a cross, we can see how the half circle representing higher mind or Soul being above the cross of matter corresponds to the potential of Jupiter to help transmute human consciousness above attachment to matter. Therefore, Jupiter as an archetype is receptive to a close connection with awareness from the Neptune archetype, but the trick is in the discernment and spiritual or esoteric discrimination one employs in navigating these energies. Again, just because Jupiter can correspond to what one “should” or “should not do” is not intrinsically an issue- however, it can become an enormous issue of our psyche if we have refrained from acting in accordance with how our true heart would call us to act for fear of breaking or going against a Jupiterian belief or taboo associated with consensus thought, religion, society . . . In this way we cut ourselves off from our true perception, communication, interaction, and Self. Alan Oken has taught about how one can employ esoteric discrimination through intuitively aligning with certain energies or vibrations without the need to label them as “good” or “bad,” because if our hearts are open, we do not need someone to tell us that we want to nurture a baby instead of harming a baby.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Jeffrey Wolf Green taught that Jupiter corresponds to beliefs and is a key factor in helping us align with Natural Law to a greater extent. Green taught that the Jupiter archetype corresponds to how human beings form beliefs, and that there also can be a difference between what one believes and what the ultimate Truth of the situation is. Green also defined the knowledge we can gain with Jupiter as not being a result of our beliefs, but instead is a result of our direct experience with the actual truth of anything. In comparison, Green taught that Neptune as an archetype correlates with the ultimate meaning of anything, including the meaning of the nature of our ultimate Source of Creation. As a result, Green taught that through the combination of Jupiter and Neptune humans can create any illusion, delusion, or belief that they want, including a connection to the ultimate meaning of God/Spirit/Source. Furthermore, Green taught that because there is a natural square between the archetypes of Sagitarius and Pisces, zodiac signs commonly associated with Jupiter and Neptune, a crisis of consciousness can result when we discover that our beliefs do not align with the actual truth of a situation we realize through direct experience. As a result, Green taught that the evolutionary purpose of experiencing disillusionment is so that we can ultimately align ourselves to a greater extent with the actual truth of anything, including the ultimate meaning of anything.
Perhaps it can be helpful for any of us experiencing profound disillusionment at this time to consider this evolutionary purpose of disillusionment described by Jeff Green. This concept of a crisis in consciousness also hearkens back to who I believe is the originator of the term “crisis in cosciousness” in astrology, Dane Rudhyar, and his analysis that experiences connected with the cycle of Neptune and Jupiter will most likely involve a “fall” that is full of “disorientation” and “confusion.” But instead of running “back to the womb” of our comfort zone and habitual comforts, we can draw up the strength to recover and step forward on our evolutionary journey. In connection with the potential for profound collective soul work that could come from this Aquarius phase of the Neptune-Jupiter cycle, it is also important to remember that it sometimes takes intense crises to liberate the hearts and minds of people into a united focus upon a cause.
Jupiter first quarter trine to Neptune at Birth
As a way to come at an additional understanding of how the Jupiter-Neptune cycle can play out in birth charts, I thought it would be interesting to give a historical example. When considering a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in the birth chart, the individual could in many ways be instinctively tapped into the wave of the future, without perhaps being as consciously aware of the new vision as someone with a different aspect between the planets. One example of this would be the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, born during the Libra conjunction of Neptune and Jupiter in 1792. While Shelly did achieve a level of fame in his meteoric lifetime, he was also criticized as a dilettante and crazy political radical by contemporaries living from the consensus Jupiter-Saturn thought patterns of the time. However, in connection with the future-oriented meaning of this cycle in Libra, in the successive generations following the death of Shelley he became a major inspiration in not only the field of poetry, but also in activism through his written proclamations concerning non-violent resistance in political protest and a vegetarian lifestyle.
In Evolutionary Astrology a first quarter trine aspect between Pluto and a planet is connected with the individual being “full” of their evolutionary purpose, and I feel in a similar fashion an individual with a first quarter trine aspect between Neptune and Jupiter could also be full of a new vision to manifest, including a conscious awareness of how to actualize a personal reality aligned with the vision. A profound example of a birth chart containing a first quarter trine between Neptune and Jupiter is Owen Barfield, who was born on November 9, 1898 in London, UK. The previous conjunction between Neptune and Jupiter would have been at 14 degrees Gemini, and is the place where Barfield has his Pluto. So being born five years after the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction here, Barfield also has his Gemini Pluto conjunct his Gemini Neptune. He also had a Mercury conjunct Chiron conjunct Uranus on the Scorpio/Sagitarius cusp, among many other fascinating natal chart aspects. However, for our purposes here of examining a first quarter trine aspect between Jupiter and Neptune, the life and work of Owen Barfield is a beautiful example. The following video is summarizes many of the innovations in thought provided by Barfield:
The fact Barfield has been held up as one of the most innovative thinkers, writers, and teachers of the 20th Century aligns completely with him being born with a trine between Neptune and Jupiter following their conjunction in Gemini in 1894. With a Jupiter in Libra he formed relationships with and inspired two of the most influential novelists of the 20th Century, Tolkien and Lewis, the authors of The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia stories, and he was able to create channels through which to express his Neptunian-informed thought. We can see the influence of Neptune on his thinking in his ability to discover aspects of the evolution of consciousness through his Gemini exploration of the history of the English language. He perceived how metaphors reveal a significance beyond a materialistic outlook, and how the fact that metaphors can only be understood by the imagination but not by logical reasoning does not mean they are not real. As the video above quoted, he saw how a butterfly and a flower are a “material manifestation of an immaterial unity from which both the butterfly and the flower sprung, an invisible common ancestor if you like.” His writing and thoughts on “thinking about thinking,” the “evolution of consciousness,” “collective representations,” and “original participation versus final participation” are all lovely examples of a human chanelling Neptunian thought through Jupiterian expression.
It may be of interest that I recently discovered Owen Barfield during this time of the Jupiter-Neptune trine through a social media (Aquarius) post by the Seattle astrologer Kate Petty and so for me coming across Barfield’s writing has been a great synthesis of many aspects of my recent thinking. In particular I am drawn to his concept of participation and how humans became cut off from nature with a feeling of being isolated and enclosed in their physical bodies, but by developing our imagination we can return to an awareness of our participation with Nature without losing our independent self-consciousness. He further described our consciousness as being more enclosed within the world as a whole than within the confines of our skin and skull. He invited us to release our attachment to viewing our minds as having evolved from a material and unconscious universe, to seeing that in the history of our world that matter has emerged from mind, and not mind from matter. The following poem is quoted among others at the end of the video:
Light in the world-
World in the mind-
Mind in the heart-
Heart in the night-
Pain in the day-
Strength in the pain-
Light in the strength-
World in the light.
–Owen Barfield, from Orpheus: A Verse Drama
It is also interesting examining the life of Barfield, in connection with the Neptune-Jupiter cycle, that he chose to take on a more consensus Jupiter-Saturn role at one point in order to help out with his family business. However, he eventually returned to his true Soul work of communicating liberating thought through a prolific period of writing and publishing books that took up the rest of his lifetime. As the video quoted at the end, Barfield’s work served the Jupiterian and Neptunian purpose of revealing that there is a meaning of meaning, that the world has deep meaning, and that if we learn to properly listen we will hear its meaning. May we likewise have the courage to continue forward on our own evolutionary journey of consciousness.
Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.