We are in a brief moment with the transiting Sun and Moon in Taurus, the Balsamic phase, i.e., dark of the Moon, lasting until Tuesday morning (4:47 a.m. PDT) when the luminaries come back together again for the New Moon at 24°36’.
On Saturday, while contemplating a subject for this blog, I wanted to take a break from the obvious (and fascinating and troubling) national and global power plays, the shifting alliances, and the surplus of agitated situations and grandiose public figures apparent in life now. (1) I was also very aware of the dark of the Moon; after weeks of struggle with a particularly demanding Saturn issue that required perseverance and persistence, I longed to rest my mind.
A temporary quandary — how to meet a deadline and rest my mind — resolved itself as soon as I decided to try and capture a bit of the peaceful, yielding, accepting qualities inherent in the Taurus season. I knew that time in nature on Sunday would be restorative, and the beauty of this particular spring in Oregon made it easy for me to heed the call.
Here in southern Oregon, we are having a spectacular spring! One of many images of the vibrant natural world are the rolling hills covered now with almost–peak-season purple vetch, which creates a bluish lavender haze across the rich green of the hills, with the mountains just a bit farther away. We had late snow here, too, so the mountains have only recently surrendered their white helmets to the warmer days.
The dark of the Moon (the Balsamic Moon) is the quietest time in the monthly cycle. The Queen of the Night Sky has carried this cycle’s message, received at the last New Moon, all around the wheel: from her tender first appearance, to the Crescent phase, to the stimulations and activity of her First Quarter, to the ripeness and revelations of her Full phase, and to the waning Last Quarter, whereupon she soon disappeared from view. She has temporarily retreated — not needing our admiration or attention — into the invisible world.
Sunday and today are the last days, i.e., the darkest days, of this lunation cycle and are carrying the images of Taurus, the sign of fixed earth. Throughout time, countless myths have developed about the Earth; in early traditions, the Earth is considered the mother of all. “Earth Mother, in ancient and modern nonliterate religions, an eternally fruitful source of everything … She is simply the mother; there is nothing separate from her. All things come from her, return to her, and are her.” (2)
In the 1980s, I had the great good fortune to attend teachings with Vajrayana master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He was an imposing man — he was physically large and moved slowly. When I sat in front of him, I felt the depth and strength and presence of a massive and still mountain.
Years later, another Lama recounted a story to me about Khyentse Rinpoche: A student asked him, “Rinpoche, if you were to choose your next incarnation, how would you like to come back?” Khyentse Rinpoche did not hesitate: “I would come back as the Earth so that I could uphold everything.” I never forgot Khyentse Rinpoche’s great presence, and I remember his words now on this temporary, glorious, abundantly beautiful spring day.
I hope that we all have a chance today to find the simple, elegant, and sustaining support that resides in all of us, all of the time.
(1) Recent and ongoing transits include Pluto stationing retrograde on April 22; transiting Mars then conjoined stationary Pluto at 21° Capricorn on April 26, fueling the Red Planet for its entry into Aquarius on May 15 and its square to Uranus, newly in Taurus, a few hours later, just after midnight on May 16. In addition, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto are now parallel in declination: Mars at 22 S 09, Saturn at 22 S 16, and Pluto at 21 S 30.
One startling and unfolding story is on the Big Island in Hawaii, where the Kilauea volcano erupted on May 3, and lava ribbons are bursting out of the earth in apparently impossible-to-predict waves of red fury. CNN: Kilauea Volcano
(2) Earth Mother