Confessions of a Wandering Astrologer #4: What is speaking to you from the horizon?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Confessions of a wandering astrologer #4…
Waxing gibbous moon, with Moon in Aquarius trine the Sun in Libra, and Venus ingress into Scorpio today…

I have just completed a four day training in the Yew Mysteries, with the extraordinary Michael Dunning, journeying deeply into the Otherworld sentience of the Yew, the most long-lived and ancient tree on Earth. It has been profoundly insightful and I want to share a particularly striking insight here in relation to the horizon, as it pertains to astrology.

We worked a lot during the course with the mantles or membranes of sentience, remembered by these ancient yews, that recall an original, embryonic shape to our being, prior to sense perception. We connected with how, in embryonic form, our sentience is peripheral before there is any experience of a centre to focus our embodiment. Some indigenous tribes experience Great Spirit speaking to them from the horizon, and part of the practice on the course involved extending our awareness out to the horizon, where this world meets the Otherworld, and where the spirits of the Otherworld ‘touch’ us and penetrate our embodied experience. This might all sound a bit abstract, and really needs to be experienced within the context of the wider yew mysteries teaching and its practice, but it did produce for me this powerful insight…

The sign on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth, the ascendant, is what marks each incarnation with what is rising from the periphery of our being. It identifies that which is returning from the Otherworld / Underworld, just as the descendant marks what is setting, and therefore what is returning to the Underworld. As it touches the outer sheath of our embodied being, it impregnates it with a quality; a quality which permeates through the membranes of sentience to give a particular shape and direction to each incarnation.

The ascendant was called the ‘horoskopos’ in ancient astrology and it was considered to be the most important signature of a person’s birth map, distinguishing a quality of presence that shines through our being. It is where we are touched by an otherworldly light. It is the first light, the first impression of life that we have and the first impression that we make, it is the light in our eyes; our eyes that are the windows to the soul.

What is rising in our charts carries a wholly different type of origin signature to that of the moon, which carries an instinctive or somatic memory of our earthly embodiment, an impression which clings to our senses and feeds on what is familiar. And the ‘horoskopos’ is very different from (and traditionally more significant than) the Sun sign, which characterises the way that consciousness is ordered; how the solar light enters our awareness and centres it, giving us a coherent sense of identity.

Often I hear the rising sign being played down in its significance, usually within a psychological context, as being indicative of a mask that covers over the ‘true’ nature of who we are; our ‘true self’ supposedly having more to do with the Sun sign. I don’t go along with this. As someone who works a lot with mask, through my astrodrama work, I have never accepted this diminished rendering of the ascendant. For me, it underestimates the profound nature of the mask, (understood in early Greek theatre) as something that reveals an archetype, a sheath through which the gods may speak to us from the periphery, revealing the other-than-human origins of who we are as embodied beings.
Thanks for reading. I would highly recommend Michael Dunning’s Yew Mysteries training. And I welcome your comments on my latest ‘confession’!

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