Greetings, My Friends!
There are periods in everyone’s lives that have the capacity to redefine us, both as individuals and in what we do. When I came to Australia close to 15 years ago, I had a dream and a vision for my life.
I moved to Australia from the US because I wanted a change, because I was in love, because of the lure of foreign lands and because I just simply felt a strong inner pull to be here. I stepped off the edge and out of my comfort zone, as the popular culture puts it, and I followed a dream—the dream of a new and exciting life abroad.
Little did I know just how exciting that would be—with all the connotations that the word “exciting” carries! What I also did not know at the time was that I would be completely transformed as a person through my experiences in this wide, brown land. I thought I knew a thing or two then about living, about what it meant to be of service, about spirituality and about loving. In some ways I knew squat about a lot of that, as it turned out, but I also found out just how much I did know and that I really had done pretty well with my life along certain lines.
Just prior to 9/11, I had a dream and a vision, and all that came crashing down on me at that time. I found myself in a strange land with few friends and no home. I could have gone back to the States and to the familiar life and full circle of friends I had before, but what would it have done for me, aside from giving me comfort and solace?—which I could have used at the time—but which would have really made me feel as though I had failed in some way in having to go back.
I had to sit myself down, look squarely at my life and find another way of living and loving, because certain things I had done until that time were simply not working. I decided that, rather than fall in a heap and feel sorry for myself, I had to pull myself up, widen my circle of contacts (find myself a ‘community’ of friends and like-minded people) and embrace life to my fullest. I also found out I had some ability within myself I had not recognized.
No, I decided to rebuild my life and start all over again, and you have all been the beneficiaries of what came out of that period. You see, these letters came out of the upheaval of that time and the soul-searching it engendered. Since then life has offered up other valuable experiences to me, but in all, I would have to say that presently “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”*
So, why tell my little story? I have been giving a lot of thought about service, what it means and how I might do things better in my own life in that regard.
Aquarius is all about service, being the sign of “The World Server”. With the start of the Lunar New Year always commencing at the new moon of Aquarius, service is a subject that has been near and dear over the past couple of weeks, and on the minds of many of my friends. There seems to be a lot of thought by many people I know being given to life direction now—to what one’s ‘life path’ is.
For some it is about relationships, for others it is work and for others still it is about one’s higher purpose in life. For all who question thus, however, there seems to be a sort of urgency and an intense inner pressure about it all at times. With Pluto near the galactic center in the zodiac now, the gloves are off, so-to-speak, and we are all being pushed and cajoled to get on with whatever it is we are to do in life, to rediscover our path in life if we do not already know and to leave the things of the past that have stood in the way of that behind—or at least our misapprehensions about what those factors are. Pluto is a stern task-master and nothing is left untouched under its influence. For anyone who has key points in their horoscope with that degree or in aspect to it, you can bet there is something that is pushing that person for change, and from the inside-out, little as it might seem so on the surface.
It is said that one of the qualities of Aquarius is fluidity in action. There is a very strong humanitarian streak for anyone who has Aquarius prominent in their chart, and the thing that marks a developed Aquarian type and one who is in full service mode is their ability to bend and adapt to every need and circumstance. Uranus, the orthodox ruler, certainly demands an ability to adapt with change and Jupiter, the esoteric ruler, demands that one be able to give to the fullest in each and every situation and to every person. Most of the Aquarians I know are up to the task. Those two planets also have a lot to say in a person’s chart about how one serves in the world and about their ability to adapt and to give in both times of stress and of ease. They are also two of the main planets most closely involved with the process of magic—real magic—in life and of manifesting the most beneficial changes in life for all involved.
There is no real ability to hold back from life or people with the true Aquarian type. Life simply impels them, and they have to respond. They also tend to pull others around them along, often kicking and screaming. With those two most powerful of planets so active in their makeup, there really seems to be no choice in the matter at times. The unconscious urges for change are very powerful in the Aquarian type, as marked by Uranus, and the position of Uranus in anyone’s chart marks an area of life wherein the unconscious urge to better conditions always impels one forward. This dynamic also often causes a person to act irrationally at times, depending upon what is activated by Uranus and upon how strongly one responds to Uranian energies.
“Service” itself, as a concept, is an urge to better conditions. It impels us to seek to make life better in some way for people. The thing that tends to get in the way of true service, though, is that people often think of service as having to do something, wherein often the best possible service one can render is often simply just to be there for someone—to be one’s self in any given situation.
What we do not realize is that it is the higher Self that actually does the serving, not the persona. The persona serves by doing. The Soul serves through enlightening. But the true service comes from the Highest—the higher Self—and that is through Being. So, what is the highest possible service we can render? It is simply to be. All we have to do as people to serve effectively is to keep ourselves aligned with the highest aspect of ourselves we can imagine at all times and all else comes clear, all action is decided in an instant—”in the moment”—and all else falls into place. It is all energetic, really. It also sounds too trite and too easy to be true, but it can be a difficult thing to learn because our minds tend to get in the way of it all the time. Keep the energy fields aligned, and the higher Self will do the needed work. There is naught else to be done. As the old Chinese saying goes, “By doing nothing, all things are done.” That is one thing I have learned in large measure since my experience of a few years ago, and I have always found it to be true (when I remember to do it), and especially in difficult times.
There is a lot of talk these days about ‘living in the moment’ and the preceding paragraph holds the keys to what that actually means, in a technical sense. Uranus demands that we live in the moment. Jupiter demands that we give in the moment. To live and give in the moment—is that not service? Really, is that not just simply being loving and caring of others above one’s own desires? All of the Aquarian types I know have that within their nature, but it is not simply an Aquarian trait. It belongs to all who truly love and serve. Let us all be mindful of this in our service to others this year, and always.
The full moon of Aquarius (full moon in Leo) takes place on the 13th of February 2006 at 3:44 AEDT (11:44 GMT). The theme for service this year is outlined by this figure. This year in service will be a period marked by heightened tensions in the world, but also by the capacity for great insights to come out of that tension. It will be a period wherein strong leadership abilities will emerge, where gains can be had by confidently moving ahead with plans (but with careful thinking beforehand), where gains can be made through bridge-building and through a desire to live life to the fullest. Folks should be careful not to tread on each other’s toes, to carefully practice harmlessness, but also straight and honest speaking, and through paying especially close attention to one’s instincts, which have the capacity to bring through some very positive changes in the structure of people’s lives. Above all, it is a period where special effort should be made to spend quiet time reflecting on chosen paths and upon bringing people together.
The Sun is on the 25th degree of Aquarius, the Sabian symbol for which reads:
"A butterfly with the right wing more perfectly formed.”
This symbol is an admonition not to be too ‘heady’ about things. Many factors in the world are in mutation at the moment. There are plans within plans throughout many sectors and there is much going on behind the scenes. The warning here is to be balanced in one’s point of view and in living, to not let one faculty or aspect of life dominate and to always try to compensate for the imbalances in one’s life and actions. On the other hand, there is also the implication that certain plans are not developed enough to enable full implementation and that further effort is needed on ‘the left wing’ (re: the symbol)—intuition and lateral thinking. Although things might seem beautiful on the surface, are they actually feasible and usable? There is a further symbolism associated with this degree. There is great advancement to be had in the practice of silence and in ‘expanding inward’. Be careful that the well-furnished life becomes not a prison.
The Sun conjoins Neptune in the figure, pointing both to the unclarity of the past two weeks as well as the insight that has come from them. There is a new vision emerging for the immediate future, and that will become much clarified in the weeks to follow. The Sun and Moon both square Mars, which is the apex of a t-square, indicating the tensions in the world and the need for proper rest and repose along with action. Planned physical activity is needed to work out tensions, too. This indicates the practice of the ‘Sleeping Dog’—taking rest when needed. Mars is also quincunx Pluto, indicating the need for prioritizing time, for not pushing things too hard or fast, and points to deep and powerful changes to come in the social fabric. In all, this is a time of great restlessness and impatience.
The symbol of the Moon is potent, too, and represents what is being reflected back to us, as well as the energy and impulse of the masses. It reads thus:
“A large camel is seen crossing a vast and forbidding desert.” 25 Leo
The implication here is for utter self-reliance and total acceptance of whatever faces us. If life seems a desert now, then we must call on the inner resources of our Being and exhibit the power that comes from being able to persist in the face of what presents itself and move through it to its rightful conclusion. The times to come will teach a lot about self-reliance. More especially, these times will teach us about faith—but faith in ourselves first, not a faith that puts power into the hands of some ‘principle’ or something outside of us. The power that called us into being is with us at all times, because it is us. It is just a part of ourselves that we do not recognize. That part of us is ‘the large camel in the desert’, in a manner of speaking, and it is that which carries us to our destination on the path of life.
The Saturn/Chiron opposition is back with us through to July. This was the ‘heartbreak aspect’ that was in effect at the time of the Sumatra Tsunami, hence the admonition to be particularly mindful of harmlessness in all relations. Saturn and Chiron are both trine the nodal axis, indicating that the instinctual nature will play a large role in the working out of the opposition just described, but that things will also work quite well if one’s instincts are followed. One’s ‘gut’ should hold sway for the next month with regard to one’s basic direction in life and relationships, but care should be taken as well.
Venus is sextile to Jupiter, indicating good business prospects, although it gives little drive in that regard. This adds a nice balance to the Mars t-square with the Sun and Moon, adding a harmonious note and giving good prospects for resolution of difficulties between people. Beware, though, because things are not always what they seem with this aspect, because Jupiter also squares Neptune, indicating that the gains to be had and visions for the future might rest on shaky foundations. There is a good deal of gullibility and unrealistic thinking that comes from that square. In all, the Venus/Jupiter is a helpful influence, but it does little to offset the tension and power found in the rest of the chart.
Finally, there is a conjunction between Mercury and Uranus, pointing to the straight talk alluded to before. People will be inclined not to pull their punches under this figure. There is a good deal of genius associated with that aspect, however, especially in the trades, the arts and with the media. Be careful with travel, though, since Mercury is found in quincunx to Saturn and especially since Mercury conjoins Uranus.
As I said at the beginning of this letter, I found that I had a hidden ability in the midst of my soul-searching in times past. It came because people drew that out of me. They wanted to hear what I had to say, and I responded. It was a real lesson to me in service, because I never really realized people saw my abilities in that way, but it has since grown into a joy. I never gave any thought to it at the time. Abilities do not always have to come in that fashion, though. Indeed, they most often come of their own accord. I have been accorded many opportunities since that time to expand on what I have been presented with in life. Some things have been difficult. Other things have been wonderful.
Through all that, though, the biggest and most valuable lesson I have learned is simply to be myself at any moment and to give of who I am naturally. People often do not care so much what we can do in times of need. They simply want us to be there—to be ourselves. It is really the greatest gift we can give to another—whether they like who we are or not. Throughout this year and always, let us not dwell so much on what is to be done. That will come of its own accord and of necessity. Perhaps it might be best just to be there for one another. That is especially true in these “Dog Days”, referring to the year. I hope we can all en-joy the company we keep this year. We all deserve it. I hope it brings joy to all of you as well.
12 Feb 2006.
*Song lyric from the band Timbuk 3: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”
Malvin Artley, Author & Esoteric Astrologer
Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for the past 10 years and is an accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. He is the author of "Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System". He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalaya tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others. His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism. He now lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
Check out Malvin's Archive at Satya Center for more articles. Or contact us if you want to inquire about having a reading with Malvin.
(all photos used in this article are from clip art, with the exception of Malvin's portrait)