by Daniel Giamario
In the Shamanic Astrology paradigm, the synodic cycles of the visible planets are amongst the most powerful tools available. Its the understanding and experience of these cycles that are the very essence of “AS ABOVE-SO BELOW”. On June 13th, 2001, the day of the Mars opposition, Mars began a new 26 month journey of archetypal integration; a hero or warriors quest within the context of the emerging archetype of the universal animus (male principal for men and women) represented by the sign of Mars at opposition. Mars was at 23Sagittarius at opposition.
The intent of our inquiry is look into the nature of the Sagittarius quest. It is noteworthy that within the last 100 years, only twice before was Mars in Sagittarius at opposition: June 10th,1922 at 19Sag and May 31,1969 at 10Sag. That information may inspire imaginative research. An important element of shamanic astrological work involves ceremony, which usually means simply creating sacred space to honor, observe, and be present for the celestial alignments. This seeds the imaginative faculties and allows for co-creation with Great Mystery, herein described the framework of the ‘As above-So below’.
An important element of Shamanic Astrology work involves ceremony, which usually means simply creating sacred space to honor, observe, and be present for the celestial alignments. This seeds the imaginative faculties and allows for cocreation with Great Mystery, herein represented by the framework of “as above, so below”. And sometimes, from the ceremonial presence, will spring forth inspiration for theatrical creativity and the acting out of a new mythos. It happened that way around this past Summer Solstice. I was cofacillitating a Venus Rising Shamanic Breathwork healing retreat near Calistoga, California. The whole group was using the Shamanic Astrology paradigm as a context for healing and transformation.
Using a variety of techniques: breathwork, guided meditation, and night sky work, some amazing insights emerged which sourced the creation of healing theatrical ceremony. During a guided meditational journey, it came through that Mars in Sagittarius was King Arthur holding the Sword of Truth (Excalibur). Additionally, that Mercury was Merlin. Mercury had just begun a new synodic cycle June 16th in the sign of Gemini. Later, in sharing this with Starwolf, the other prime facilitator and the creator of the Shamanic Breathwork process, it became clear that the Solar Eclipse, with the Moon covering the Sun in the sign of Cancer in alignment with the galactic anti-center at 0Cancer was the Lady Of The Lake.
Over the course of three days from the night of Solstice until the first appearance of the visible new Moon, we performed ceremony around the theme of the quest for a new Camelot. As part of the ceremony, each member of the group, representing their job in their tribe from their lineage, brought forth to the Lady of the Lake, the wounds and poisons that had destroyed the previous Camelot. For me, I released the attachment to the Law as being higher than the Truth of Love, certainly one of Arthur’s issues. Each in turn released their burden to the Lady, who then, through the new Arthur holding the Sword of Truth, passed the poisons on to Lord Chiron, who then released them into galactic center (both Chiron and Mars were located very close to galactic center) to be transformed into a healing elixir for the benefit of the new Camelot.
The planetary alignments at Summer Solstice were truly awesome! On one side of the Earth stretching towards galactic anti-center (between the Bull and the Twins) and towards deep space outside our Milky Way Galaxy were the MOON-SUN-MERCURY-JUPITER. And looking the other direction towards Galactic Center (between the Archer and the Scorpion) were MARS-CHIRON, with Pluto also almost in line. I would love to hear of other persons experiences around the time of the Summer Solstice alignments. Remember that it is quite rare to have the Eclipse Season exactly straddle the Solstice Season; that is a Solar Eclipse happening almost exactly at the Summer Solstice which is 0Cancer. Extremely fitting symbolism fot the
TURNING OF THE AGES.
To recapitulate: The next 26 months (beginning June 13th,2001) will accent Mars in the sign/archetype of Sagittarius. We mythically portrayed him as King Arthur, holding the Sword of Truth, with the support of the Lady of the Lake, on a quest to create a new Camelot. This is very different, indeed, from the animus essence of the previous 26 month Mars cycle which had Scorpio as its overtone. That journey was of the feeling function masculine essence emphasizing passion, depth of feeling, sexuality, an altogether more kinesthetic approach. (As well as the well known shadow expressions of this version of the God!). In short, it was a quest for authentic passion and eros, in the body and emotions.
This current Mars quest is of the intuitive Fire function. Not about feelings, but a quest for THE TRUTH. And ‘The Truth Shall Set You Free!’. The highest expression of this is the LOVE OF TRUTH, and at that level are expressions of the same thing. However, the Shadow of Sagittarius is not to be ignored. That would be fundamentalism, the Jihad…forcing others to believe in what you believe in( as if to assuage your own fear that what you believe in might not be right). Or the deeper fear that prevents many to actually have the freedom to see for themselves what their truth actually is. It will be extremely interesting to see how these next 26 months play out.
Meanwhile, the Summer Solstice Solar Eclipse at the galactic anti-center symbolized the Lady of the Lake, she who holds the mysteries of Avalon-26,000 years of Avalon teachings now linked to a new transmission of teachings incoming through the Bull-Twins anti-center gate, relinked with Arthur who is now again holding the new Excalibur, the Sword of Truth. And what of Merlin? He was reborn during this synodic cycle (sign of Gemini) also very close to the 0Cancer area. And this particular synodic archetypal integration cycle for Mercury, one of 22 different expressions, is very likely the master cycle of all 22. So, once again, we have Merlin, Arthur, and the Lady working together.
A final note. Coincidentally??? Synchronistically???As Above-So Below!! The MISTS OF AVALON finally came out as a film on TV. Did you see it? I thought it was amazing. Really true to the book, miraculously so. (I didn’t know it was on as we do not have TV) Only after our ceremonials at the Solstice did I become aware that it was to be on. My mother video-taped it for me. The final confirmation of our insights.
Watch Mars in the sky now. During this summer, its the brightest in 13 years. Only the opposition in 2003 will be brighter. Watch him as he dances near Antares to his right, notice the snakes of Ophiuchus above him, and notice as he draws ever so closer to galactic center. Being brighter than Antares, it seems it feels as if he can enlist the aid of the Scorpion, also to enlist the aid of the healing snakes of Aesclepius as allies for building the New Round Table and Camelot. No longer will the snakes and scorpions be viewed as bad or evil, but rather as life force and healthy eros, as well as magical agents to assist in shamanic death and rebirth (themes associated with being ‘twice-born’ or even “thrice-born”. Mars, now the warrior of Sagittarius, could use our prayers. He has been in his ‘war-camp’ , preparing for the quest for Camelot with his sword of Truth since June 13th.
This camp, with the allies, and with the help and council of Merlin and the Lady, ends around August 23, 2001 when Mars again reaches 23 Sagittarius, the degree at opposition on June 13th. For the next year, Mars will be in the “labors of Mars’ part of the synodic cycle. His adventures will be easily seen and tracked on the evening night sky. We welcome comments and feedback on this unfolding mythic planetary drama.