Astrological/Astronomical Insights

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The Long Way Around

An Epic Tale of Time

© Gregory Clare

In order to tell this story, I need first to secure you to the safety of your armchair. Swift in motion (or emotions) you may be too quick to judge my thoughts.

The many metaphors used throughout time to describe the archetype of the Moon are predominantly matriarchal. The feminine principle is celebrated, as it should be; I am not in disagreement with this. The sacredness of the Goddess and Her dignity is to be greatly cherished. However, my tale begins with the masculine philosophy of Hellenistic Theology from sometime around 600BC. Here, in this model of ‘Three’ as revealed by the sagesthroughout time is the Theology that encompasses the profected world.  (Thema Mundi)

The outermost sphere of this world is representative of Starry Night; (The Stars Shine Bright) the movement of this starry bliss is backwards toward the Monad where hence we have come. The next sphere in this world is seen as housing the planets uncorrupted and made in the image of God, perfect in the divine concept, as not touchable by Man.

The final sphere is the descent to the Earthly plane. Before we explore this last sphere, let us touch on the Aristotle model where all seven visual planets are seen to have their own surrounding spheres. These concentric spheres are where the souls start their descent to incarnate following what is described as the Chaldean Order (the order according to velocity and rate of movement).This order is Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and finally the Moon. The Hermetic principle abounds with the Sun sitting in the centre shining forth as the life giving light and heat.

This centre is the Heart of Man, the Seat of Reason, linked to the ninth house. The ninth house is the house of God and this is where the Sun finds its Joy. The Chaldean ruler Jupiter presides over this house and rulership follows the Chaldean order of the planets that begins with Saturn as ruler of the first house. See fig 1.below.

Seven Zones

The ninth house corresponds with the Law (Reason), the active masculine principle where Man made in the image of God gains philosophical knowledge. Diametrical opposing it is the third house where our reactive principles are played out. The third house is the Joy of the Moon, the reflective light. Presiding ruler of the house is Mars, our reactive desires. The Moon has no light of its own, reliant on the Sun for its light hence an empty, barren mirror and can be described as a collector or repository, always collecting and reflecting back, changeable to the wants, and needs of all. This collection of memories can also be reflective in as much as the habits we acquire and the desires we need to fill.

This final sphere of the Moon is where we are delivered upon the Earth and corresponds to our first years of life. We are thereafter a product of the descent carrying the influence of the planetary spheres, materialised into a world in which we are called upon to return to whence we have come. This journey of time is cyclic, as to return to the source from which we have descended, we will ascend through the reverse order beginning with the Moon and finishing with Saturn. Therefore, the Moon is the point of final descent and first ascent. A meeting place where all that is above is pure and all that is below is corruptible.
So the journey begins!

The imperatives of the Moon cannot be understated. It is the key to the gateway we seek. (The Alchemical or Elixir of life) Let us diverge for a moment and travel to the beginning of time here on Earth. The Sun is the giver of life, rising to shine its rays of light, which extend and penetrate our solar system to provide Solar energy to all that it touches. The Sun is stable, traversing the sky daily with a constant motion when seen from the Earth. The path it traces across our sky known as the Ecliptic is the corridor for the seven visual planets that orbit around it.

This journey of the Earth around the Sun takes 365.25 days to complete. Of all the celestial bodies Earth is the only one to sustain life, all the others being too hot or too cold for life to flourish. This sustenance of life is only possible with the aid of the Moon.

 The Moon was at one time very much closer to the Earth than it is now; some ten to twenty times closer. Over aeons of time, the Moon is slowly receding from the Earth and today is moving away at a rate of four centimetres per year. The Moon is the Earth’s brake, exerting gravitational force upon the Earth maintaining its constant rotation.

In the primordial stages of the Earth’s evolution, this rotation was much slower and the tides controlled by the Moon were extreme, as opposed to what we see now. The tides were hundreds of meters higher and lower covering the lands and then, in effect, dragging the essence of the Earth (dirt and minerals) back into the wild ocean soup. This action provided the moment for life to emerge.

 The Moon in effect is responsible for the fermenting of life here on Earth through its ability to blend the collection of its repository. This mixing and fermenting which is swift in motion begins at the New Moon phase. The orbit of the Moon around the Earth takes 27.321 days – referred to as a sidereal month. (Measurement against the Starry background)

However, owing to its constant movement, the Sun, during this time has moved 27 degrees (1° per mean day) further eastward along the ecliptic as seen from Earth. Thus in order for the Moon to meet the Sun and complete its phase (New Moon-to-New Moon, 29.5 days) it needs to move another 27.321 degrees or 2.321 days.

This cycle known as the Synodic month is the moment when the Sun and Moon come together and meet at the junction of this ecliptic road, the Sun gives life to the Moon - the seeding. At this seeding, the Moon partakes in the mixing of all bodies that traverse the ecliptic road, not just the seeding from the Sun. This is a unique moment for both the individual and the collective and as such is measured for its quality, quantity and location. The Moon is also chiefly responsible for our weather through this mixing of etheric substance and hence the propagating begins and in doing so, is being distributed throughout the world specific to the location identified with reference to any synchronicity that may exist.

This understanding of the sympathetic blending allows us to predict the nature of events. The Lunar phases of the Moon (waxing - New Moon, Crescent, First quarter, Gibbous;  waning - Full Moon, Disseminating,  Last Quarter, Balsamic  which includes the dark Moon) also give us a uniqueness of timing.
This knowledge is nowhere more evident than in the migratory patterns of marine and plant life. As a commercial fisherman for 30 years, I have witnessed these events first hand. My mother was a propagator of plants and I passed onto her the benefits of this experience. Marine life comes under the influence of the Sun/Moon cycle, as does all life. Fish and crustacean travels to the rhythms of the lunar cycle phases.

Fish migrate from the estuaries and rivers to the sea with the advent of the New Moon. For example, during the course of a year we have twelve New Moons, one in each of the twelve signs. The Sun makes its ingress or entry once a month into one of the twelve signs and into one of the cardinal signs every three months. So let us take the Sun’s passage into Aries, as it is the most fertile time when life begins, being Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. It is worth mentioning that it makes no difference to the migratory patterns of fish which equatorial season it is, only to which species choose which season for its migration. Therefore, in our example of a New Moon in Aries, six to seven days later depending on the degree in which the new Moon falls, the First Quarter will fall in the sign of Cancer.

  It is during the Crescent Phase, the day before the First Quarter that the schools of fish are most plentiful, subject to the element that is blending with the Moon.  

Cancer is a fertile water sign, so the result would be more fish and this is so with all the water signs. The results will vary according to the sign element. For example, the barren signs, Gemini, Leo and Virgo will, for the most part, yield less fish.

One other important consideration is to assess any other planets that may occupy the sign the Moon is in. As mentioned earlier the Moon blends and mixes all with which it associates. This is true also with the aspects made from the Moon.

Crustaceans vary their patterns according to the species. Prawns (Shrimp) travel from the estuaries to the ocean on the Full Moon and the days following. They will travel generally up until the Last Quarter with the 5th and 6th days after the Full Moon being the most plentiful. An example of this is show by the State Fisheries here in New South Wales, Australia, who conduct what is known as a Pocket Net ballot.

The Pocket Net ballot works like this:  Fisherpeople who are eligible to enter submit a form and are allotted a number, and on the day of the Full Moon a ballot is held and the first number drawn has the first pick of the area they wish to fish. There are many sites throughout the estuaries and it is the knowledge of the fisherperson that is at play. S/he must assess the conditions which is done mainly from personal experience or experience that has been handed down. Therefore, any additional information a fisherperson can access would be of great use as there are times when a great deal of money can be made from a correct decision.

Let me give you an example of how having all things going well can work. As in all applications of astrology, having good transits to the natal chart helps.  On 15th October 1989 at 06:32 AEST, Yamba, NSW, Australia, there was a full Moon. Subsequently on that day there was a prawn ballot conducted. The ballot took place in a town named Maclean, very near Yamba at 10:00am AEST.

I had the good fortune of my number coming out of the barrel first, which in turn gave me the opportunity to make the first selection from the sites available. Drawing on my previous experience, I selected the site. The Full Moon was in the sign of Aries (see chart 1) and so I proceeded to set up my site in all readiness for what I had calculated to be a great run (the term used to describe the action of the prawns migrating). A typical night followed the tides, so on the first night the time spent prawning would be one hour and this would increase with the rate of the Moon rising each night following. We would check the codend (the collecting end of the net in which the prawns are deposited) every 15 minutes. Therefore, by the fourth night we would be fishing from Sunset for four hours and lifting the codend several times.

On the following nights, 16th and 17th October, the Moon was in the sign of Taurus and we had mild success. This is a fertile sign, however, as mentioned earlier, the good days are the 5th and 6th  days following the Full Moon so to even have some results was encouraging. Things seemed to go badly for the next two nights and my mate began to get edgy to say the least. The Moon was in Gemini and he came to work with all the gossip (Gemini) and proceeded to lecture me because others were telling him that I had made the wrong decision. These were the nights of the 18th and 19th. But I stuck to the line, “You just wait and see!” A typical Gemini Moon dialog. On the night of the 19th at 21:00hrs the Moon changed signs to Cancer and the last two lifts of the codend produced an extremely good catch of 200lbs each. The following night of 20th October from Sunset until midnight, it was raining prawns. We had lifts of 300lbs to a maximum lift of 600lbs.

The Moon was not only  in Cancer but also conjunct Jupiter. Jupiter is exalted in this sign and its exaltation degree is 15 degrees. Jupiter was at 10 degrees of Cancer, so by Sunset, the Moon had already made the conjunction and at exactly 21:42, the Moon arrived at 14 degrees of Cancer, the start of Jupiter’s  exaltation degree. The Moon, carrying its collection of Jupiter’s beneficial qualities, exalted the moment and it produced 600lbs of prawns in one lift. By the night’s end (midnight) we had reached the limits of our carrying capacity and had amassed some 2,000lbs of prawns.

The next night, 21st October, we again had great success. Although not quite as good as the night before, we still amassed some 1,500lbs. The following morning 22nd October at 09:29 AEST, we were at the Co-operative weighing in our catch the size of which we had not mentioned to anyone. The transiting Moon was 3 degrees Leo, partile conjunct my natal Uranus in the 11th house of gains. Neptune was on the Ascendant of the transit chart conjunct Saturn and the MC of the transit chart was conjunct my natal Ascendant, opposing my natal Mars. Transiting Sun was conjunct my natal Neptune which was trine my natal Gemini MC (see chart). The following evenings proved to be barren and for the next four nights, we had very little success. The Moon had moved into the barren signs of Leo followed by Virgo and we had come to the end of our success, but had managed to make a considerable amount of profit from the big hauls from the previous nights so were able to rest on these.

The morning of our catch’s weigh-in the transiting Moon was in Leo; we were covered in praise for our efforts, although because of our success I had managed to attract a few secret enemies. When looking at my natal chart you will see that transiting Jupiter was in my natal 10th house making a trine aspect to my natal Lot of Fortune which greatly aided my success. These events lead me to investigate Astrology more deeply and I have continued to note the moment of the Stars every since. Throughout the rest of my fishing career, I closely watched the movement of the planets, particularly the Moon.

The association of the Moon with marine life is fascinating. Many other events throughout my career occurred with the same synchronicity. The Moon played a pivotal role in my pursuit of Astrology and the experience I gained working with marine life has aided me ever since. The event chart of 15th October 1989 is a wonderful example of synchronicity in my life. The MC of the chart is conjunct my natal Uranus and the event chart 11th house cusp of 29 degrees Leo, (house of gains) is conjunct the Royal Star Regulus. The event chart second house cusp ruled by Jupiter is trine my natal Sun with transiting Jupiter conjunct the 9th house. Was I destined to write this article?

Finally a word on Jupiter. Jupiter in traditional Astrology is associated with rain (water) and plenty of it, so its beneficial qualities are nowhere more apparent then when it is transiting the life giving sign of the Crab. Take Jupiter and place it with the Moon in Cancer and you have an abundance of life.
I would have liked to include more about the migration patterns of marine life but space does not allow it. I hope I have given you, the reader, a reminder of the important value of Moon on all our individual journeys through life as we all have our own stories to tell.

© Gregory Clare

Ffull Moon setting on the Clarenc River

School prawns

Full Moon prawns

prawn weighin