Fire in the Mind

Comment

Fire in the Mind

January is named after the Roman god Janus whose two heads allowed him to simultaneously look backwards and forwards. Entryways and exits were sacred to him, and his position at the turn of the calendrical year is founded on this threshold power.

Here we are. Behind us are the end of year holidays that many spend with kith and kin, and these first few days of the New Year bring that feeling for a fresh start, with aspirations and plans for what is to come over the many months.  Past and future intermingle like Janus’ two faces espying what has been and what is to come.

In a passage by the great Jungian analyst and writer Marie-Louise von Franz[i] the importance of our attitude in these threshold times is brought to the fore. von Franz had gone to visit old relatives, experienced as “old horrors”, whom she made fun of in her mind on her way home. That night she had a “catastrophic dream”, wherein she knew the unconscious was saying to her, “this is really dangerous.” Recounting the visit and dream to Jung, she recalls him saying to her,

"Yes. If one does not constantly walk forward, the past sucks one back. The past is like an enormous sucking wind that sucks one back all the time.  If you don't walk forward, you regress. You have constantly to carry the torch of the new light forward, so to speak, historically and also in your own life. As soon as you begin to look backward sadly, or even scornfully, it has you again. The past is a tremendous power."[ii]

Astrologically, that which has us walk forward is symbolized by Mars. This is why Mars’ sign of Aries is the first sign of the zodiac because it is the quality of consciousness of beginnings whose instinctive need is movement.

Cosmic syncopation—the New Year began with Mars at 0 degrees Aries, firing up this consciousness of beginnings.

Aries is also the first fire sign of the zodiac, and fire starts with a spark. It is this spark that is needed to light the torch Jung describes. And this torch of light is a metaphor for the spark of consciousness. Mars is connected to the articulation of consciousness in many deep ways. His territory includes our will, how we defend what we value and the courage we have to move forward in life based on our principles.

Mars is that torch we must constantly carry into our life, which, though rooted in the past needs to illuminate what’s ahead. Let’s imagine this as a fire in the mind. For the Romans, Mars’ power manifested itself, “in fertility and in strength and fierceness and which was associated with an appearance of fire in the head.”[iii]  Hence the woodpecker picus Martius was believed to be sacred to Mars because of the scarlet streak of feathers on its otherwise black head.

With Mars currently in Aries the message is very clear, we must tap into the courage to move forward consciously and with an enthusiasm for what unfolds, all the while with due respect for the past.

With fire kindling care.

Picus Martius or black woodpecker   Image source: http://finnature.com/birds/bird-photography/woodpeckers/black-woodpecker/

Picus Martius or black woodpecker

Image source: http://finnature.com/birds/bird-photography/woodpeckers/black-woodpecker/


 

[i] Thank you to the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California whose New Year’s email (1/3/19) included this quotation for reflection.

[ii] Marie-Louise von Franz, The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption, 129

[iii] Onians, The Origins of European Thought, 471

Comment

Circe and her Venus in Scorpio Magic

Comment

Circe and her Venus in Scorpio Magic

We often imagine transformation in terms of magic. Transformation is how we try to talk about the changes in perspective, attitude and story that can utterly transform a life. Magic is the process by which thought becomes matter or effects matter, or form changes from one shape to another. Click on title to continue reading…

Comment

Autumn Playlist & Upcoming Webinar

Comment

Autumn Playlist & Upcoming Webinar

We are descending into the quiet heart of autumn. Herein a melodic salve for the beleaguered spirit, an acoustic contemplation on the deepening light.


Webinar on November 3rd

“Elemental Ruminations: Alchemical Fire, Earth, Air, Water”.

Join me for an archetypal psychological exploration of alchemical elements forming a micro-cosmology of the soul. Deep astrology and rich images. My webinar host is Astrology University, you can register here.

Comment

Contemplating the Ride

Comment

Contemplating the Ride

Mars symbolizes our instinct to move forward and the intelligence of action, so during a Mars retrograde, which is afoot now, those activities can feel turned upside down, suspended.

Comment

Waves Become Wings: Neptune, Betrayal and Ariadne

3 Comments

Waves Become Wings: Neptune, Betrayal and Ariadne

Waves Become Wings: Neptune, Betrayal and the Myth of Ariadne. Neptune transits often have us feeling lost at sea, but myth can shed light on the pain of Neptunian betrayal, the other face of trust, to a beautiful development of consciousness. This is the subject of an article I recently had published in The Mountain Astrologer that I want to share with you for contemplation.

3 Comments

Comment

Athena’s triumph over Aries

Today the Sun enters Aries, heralding the Spring Equinox in the western hemisphere. Meditating upon this turn of the symbolic wheel, I was drawn to an image I particularly adore called, 'the triumph of Minerva over Aries'. Read more...

Comment

Into the Mystic

Comment

Into the Mystic

This playlist is a prayer to Pisces. Whether instrumental or lyric laden, each piece gives expression to some kind of release. It is a supplication for grace. May we each find an opening into the mystic and be renewed therein.

Comment

Comment

Freshly pressed interview on Jung and astrology

My dear readers,

I know I have been quiet on the blog of recent months, but I promise I have been busy. Saturn transiting my 6th house keeps my workload full to brimming.

Last week I was interviewed by Chris Brennan of The Astrology Podcast about C.G. Jung and his ideas and influences on astrology. Drawing on my and Keiron Le Grice's latest book Jung on Astrology we talked in depth about the project as well as the core ideas of Jung’s that have become pivotal in modern psychological astrology.

We had a terrific time, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! The interview has just been released, and you can listen/download it here.

I have been incubating some ideas for the blog, so stay tuned.

Blue Moon shining,

Safron

Comment

Jupiter in Scorpio: Outing the Shadow

Comment

Jupiter in Scorpio: Outing the Shadow

When a planet enters a new sign it takes on the qualities and interests of that sign. It can be understood as a kind of archetypal renewal that gives rise to origin stories, carrying sparks of insight that unfold throughout the planet’s passage of the sign. These principles have been at work as October cradled Jupiter’s annual move into a new sign, Scorpio (October 10th).

Comment

Announcing my new book "Jung on Astrology"

4 Comments

Announcing my new book "Jung on Astrology"

I am so very pleased and excited to announce that my new book, Jung on Astrology, is now available!

This book gathers Jung’s thoughts on astrology in a single volume for the first time. My co-editor and colleague Keiron Le Grice and I selected the writings from Jung’s Collected Works, seminars, and letters, which contain numerous discussions of this ancient divinatory system.

Understood as a symbolic representation of the archetypes of the collective unconscious, Jung found in astrology a wealth of spiritual and psychological meaning, for it represents the “sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.”

4 Comments