by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, May 6, 2011

Medusa's Entrance into Cancer: A Meteoric Collective Consciousness

The Death of Medusa by Edward Burne Jones (1888-1892)

When I say ‘Medusa,’ most everybody thinks of the Perseus Problem: how to cut the head off a gorgon if looking at said gorgon (with it’s hairy head of snakes)will turn you into stone?

Ultimately the answer to that question is you reflect on where to strike…Perseus does the needed deed of killing Medusa by looking at a reflection of that which is so deadly scary and using his INTELLECTUAL power to interpret that reflection and thus deduce where the problem (Medusa) stands…a process which then allows him to take aim at the problem and ‘kill it.’

Personally, I happen to think the Medusa myth is one of the most interesting in all mythology – which would be why I’ve written a full length article about it (LINK) and why I refer to Medusa so often.

In short however (should you not be into reading a whole other mythic saga at the moment…), Medusa got into trouble by being a.) simply mortal, b.) somewhat vain and c.) irresponsible. The technicals on this are that she was had sworn to serve in the temple (the wholly holy space) of Pallas Athena, goddess of dispassionate wisdom. 

That means there’s a big sign on the temple door: taking your shoes off is optional – leaving your emotionalism outside is required. 

Pallas Athena is just not an emotional entity. She’s all logic and deduction and cooler-than-the-cucumber intellectualism.

This matter of ‘taking an oath to serve’ is, as you might realize by yesterday’s blog on Kallisto, also a  Greek myth theme. In short, if you make the promise, the promise must be kept. There are various forms of this tale throughout Greek mythology, too. Some mortals – such as Kallisto – stick to their vows and go through all sorts of grief because they do that but in the end are recognized and honored for their loyalty. Sure, it’s not always perfect, but Greek immortals, unlike modern conceptions of immortality, are not so all-danged perfect.

And who’s got this right or wrong here…? That’s pretty much up for discussion. If you think the universe should be perfect (implying it isn’t already) that’s a point of view. It just isn’t the Greek one.

Anyway…so there’s the Kallisto version of the vow (you stick to it, no matter what), there are a couple of examples where the folks resign from temple duty so they can go off and have their earthly, earthy life (which sometimes is fine, sometimes not so fine) and then there’s Medusa’s choice, which is to not only not resign from her sacred vows before violating them, but to violate them right in front of Athena’s altar.

Obviously Athena was not so jazzed by this choice, which is how the hair went all snake-hissy (which made Medusa the first person to have a ‘hissy fit,’ perhaps?) and all Medusa’s goodness turned to grief.

However! In the end, Medusa’s head (once cut off, that is) gets installed on the front of Athena’s shield. And thus we are told that sometimes just facing the truth is scary. Or – given the whole ‘reflection’ inference – that in facing the achieving of real wisdom (getting beyond Athena’s shield to the reality and into the wisdom of Athena’s guidance, presence and protection)…that we have to reflect on what makes us so scared.

Wisdom itself isn’t scary, remember? We left our emotions at the door, so it can’t be scary…’scary’ is a feeling thing. So to come into the presence of wisdom we have to first deal and set aside whatever our fears are.

And why is this all so important on May 6, 2011? Because, oh grasshopper, this is the day when the Sun stands at 15 Taurus. In other words, this is the very day at which we move across what is known as the ‘cross-quarter’ point bisecting the zodiac’s first quadrant.

As we move across this mark, we are confronted with and asked to cope with the idea of how our choices and actions, our natural self assertion and justified interest in our own life…how all that affect will affects others.

This is a concept about beginning to lay groundwork for choice – for choosing everything from what to say or not say to choosing what we want to do with our life and lifetime…which is really what the second part of the first quarter (Taurus, part two plus Gemini) synthesis is about. What will get us where we want to go? What will earn the responses and opportunities we want, and by doing so, allow us to feel better rewarded, more satisfied and happier with our life?

That is the question poised by 15 Taurus. And as someone who has a friend whose Sun sits at 15 Taurus, that’s realistically what this degree is all about. Lore talks about 15 Taurus as a degree where people come to be ‘considered’ wise (in terms of whatever planet is positioned there) because they listen, learn from and respond others in their environs. My friend is a 15 Taurus Sun who very much likes to learn from compatriots and people encountered through daily life and work – definitely with one eye on the native ‘early-degree Taurus’ desires for security and ‘belonging.’

Whatever sign we belong to in terms of any planet, however far along the sign that planet is placed, we can always deduce that this is as much of that sign as the person has learned. For the Sun to be at 15 Taurus now as Medusa enters Cancer therefore brings the steady effort of Taurus’ first ten degrees and half of Taurus’ emotional quotient brought to the matter of home, hearth, homeland, and family.

For some, this will produce a sort of whirling dervish day: life (the Sun) ‘balanced’ at the emotional Taurean mid-point is a real ‘am I doing the right thing?’ moment. In transit, Medusa has the effect of getting us to at least stop and consider.

And for some, avoid.

Considering how Kallisto and Edisona both just moved into Gemini…(those would be the past two blogs)…a lot of people will suddenly have a case of Gulping Reconsideration. You know…the ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ or ‘why did I do that when I could have done this and it wall would have been so much better?

There’s definitely a lot of tall thinking going on now - and that may well be added to by the fact that today - May 6th, is the annual height of the yearly Eta Aquarids meteor shower.

The shower itself emanates from Aquarius - specifically near the star Eta Aquarids for which this shower is named.

Aquarius - as shown above, has its own cross-quarter point. These cross-quarter points are always sensitive times when the Sun (or any other object) pushes past them which is why people who are born around (or at) the time of year when the Sun is positioned at any cross-quarter point tend to be a little bit hesitant. The 'call' is to 'move ahead'...but there is a natural human instinct to also stay with that which you already know.

As time and planets prove however, we don't get to linger. Time marches on...our only choice is to keep up or fall behind, whether in the general sense or in the march of our own life's progression.

But wait - there's more! (Yes, I have watched too many'd you know?)...In passing Taurus' cross quarter point, we are currently not just getting the cross-quarter effect. No sirree! With fixed star Menkar currently positioned at 15 Taurus we are also presented with our own fears or concerns centering on our ability to be an individual...against wanting to be accepted by those around us and in our world. 

 Constellations Taurus (top) and Cetus (bottom). Shown both in part,
it's enough to see how fixed star Menkar lies along a longitude which
would be (currently) sitting astride Taurus' midpoint at 15 Taurus.
Remember: the zodiac is a 'circle' drawn through the heavens "level"
with Earth's orbit around the Sun...a path known astronomically (and
astrologically) as the 'ecliptic.' Only constellations which lie on or across
this line are included as zodiac signs - which is why when, a couple of months
ago the old 'rumor' about Ophiuchus arose (again!) all the astrologers
chorused 'NO!' in 12 part harmony.

One other note to the left you may see Bellatrix, a trying point in
Gemini, above which is the end of the name "Betelgeuse" which, also
in Gemini was simply cropped off as I took this screen shot of
Taurus and Cetus. Since we've talked so often about Bellatrix and
Betelgeuse, I thought you might like to see approximately where they
are in this discussion, so as time goes on you can become more and more
familiar with what's 'up there' when you go outside into the starry, starry night!

So to have this happening as Medusa moves into Cancer, a sign which (among other things) summons up everything from our childhood issues to our most childish instincts?

You could see why this would be a bit of a splutterful moment, right?

And when we double back to the idea that Kallisto in Gemini tend to give us twinges of 20/20 hindsight...and that Edisona in Gemini is a time when we are searching for ideas or being given to know how well we’re doing in our own mind (or not) this could be a trying, testing moment.

It actually could be testy too...but that's most likely where you (or someone else) hasn't deal with their own fear of knowing. You know, their own Medusa?

Yet…this is certainly not all bad news. No - not at all! One of the things to remember about Medusa is that she realized there was a cost for her transgressions. She broke her vows by having immortal relations with Neptune in Athena’s temple and for that was punished. But once she realized what she had become she didn’t go around taking her own grief out on others. And that’s where Medusa’s story parts with that of Godzilla munching Tokyo and other such tales. The person who says ‘they done me wrong and I’m going to take it out on everybody else!’ is not Medusa.

Medusa has a conscience. She moves far, far away so that her terribleness will not be inflicted on others. She doesn’t even fight much when Perseus turns up.

Medusa is not vengeful. As frightening as Medusa becomes, she is also merciful.

And that suggests that the passage of Medusa through Cancer will bring us all to recognize some of the scary things in and about life – and do what needs doing to deal with them. Maybe even while making sure others don’t know what we’re up to.

About the time July’s solar eclipse (in Cancer) rolls around, Medusa will be conjunct Mercury in the last couple of degrees of Cancer. Considering Mercury in Cancer is always emotional thinking and speech and how the end of any sign is how we react to life and events, this cold be a pretty emotional time. We may all be tempted to just tuck in and ‘not look.’

But remember…that’s not the plus of Medusa. That’s not what we’re supposed to learn. When Medusa dies, her children (with Neptune) spring forth to play their part in our world. One is Chrysaor – a savage guardian, initially of sheep (i.e., those among us who will not think for ourselves). The other is Pegasus, the winged horse which in symbolizing our flights of (thoughtful) fancy is destined to give good service to a mere mortal.

The Birth of Pegasus and Chrysaor
by Edward Burne Jones (1876-1885)

The mythical Pegasus, though every bit as beautiful as we like to think is not innately ‘thoughtful’ in himself. Captured by Bellerophon (grandson of grand sinner Sisyphus), Pegasus aids Bellerophon in killing the Chimera…which happens to be the offspring of Chrysaor.

Then again, from this line also come the centaurs – a whole race of beings whose challenge was to unify their great animalistic strength with human(e) intelligence and not simply to use their smarts to get what they wanted on an animalistic level.

These ideas are important because they help us understand the legacy of Medusa – and why she is just not a girl with truly scaly hair in search of a good conditioner. Medusa is more about the human condition in the sense that we each embody it. Do we work towards only our own pleasure – or for the good of all, from which comes our acceptance and ultimate security?

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