Welcome to the Satya Center September Full Moon in Pisces, Virgo Solar Festival 2017 Cosmic Weather Forecast. Warm greetings from your co-editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.
This is the summer of Mega-Floods, from Houston to Hong Kong, and from Mumbai to Miami.
Millions of Americans celebrated the August Total Solar Eclipse, visible across much of the country. Then Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston. In the aftermath of that historic event, celebration has turned to mourning.
Here in South Florida, Jane and I have been offering Reiki to our friends in Houston, hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, the worst natural disaster in US history. If you'd like to help, scroll down to find a list of charities that have a good track record and local roots.
We also have begun to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, which is likely to impact South Florida and the Eastern Seaboard as early as Friday of this week.
Nerves are frazzled, and emotions run high as we approach the peak of a very busy hurricane season in America. While Southerners try to deal with multiple watery disasters, California, Oregon, Washington and Montana are suffering from unprecedented and widespread wildfires, including the largest wildfire ever recorded in Los Angeles.
During the last week of August, as Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, Typhoon Hato cruised into Hong Kong, killing at least a dozen people. That was just the latest in a series of monsoon related summer disasters in South Asia.
"According to the United Nations, at least 41 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have been directly affected by flooding and landslides resulting from the monsoon rains, which usually begin in June and last until September," as reported by The New York Times.
Full Moon in Pisces Cosmic Weather Forecast
On Wednesday September 6, at 3:04 AM Eastern time, the Full Moon at 13° 53' Pisces conjuncts Neptune in Pisces, opposing the Sun at 13° 53' Virgo. The water element predominates in the physical, astral and mental realms of being. Boundaries and structures are dissolving, in inner and outer worlds, and we are challenged by a turbo-charged emotional atmosphere in which even the most stolid experience trans-personal, empathic connections that call forth a heart-centered response to the suffering we see around us.
This Neptune in Pisces dynamic, in which water-related disasters elicit loving responses from multitudes of individuals, is now playing out on the streets of Houston and throughout coastal Texas. Local volunteers and rescue teams from all over the country are pouring in to Houston, Rockport and Corpus Christi to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort.
Hearts have opened to the millions suffering in the afflicted Texas Gulf Coast area, and you can help too! Scroll down to find a list of recommended charities that are proving effective in helping stricken Texans, stunned by the unexpected severity and rapid onset of the most devastating hurricane in US history.
Today, Monday September 4, Texas Governor Greg Abbott told The New York Times that he expects damages from Harvey to be worse than Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and estimates that Texas will need $180 billion in aid.Harvey destroyed an estimated 1,000,000 cars and flooded 28,000 square miles in the Houston area, leaving 32,000 people homeless and staying in temporary public shelters. Federal agencies expect at least 450,000 people to apply for disaster relief. Ten percent of the nation's oil drilling and refining capacity is estimated to have been damaged or destroyed in the Houston Ship Channel and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The entry of Neptune into Pisces on April 4, 2011 marked the beginning of the Era of Global Flooding on planet Earth. High-profile water related disasters have been impacting the entire world ever since.
In March of 2011, with Neptune at the Pisces cusp, a tsunami destroyed nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, creating an unprecedented radiological disaster which has impacted much of Japan and the entire Pacific Ocean. According to a report by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the initial tsunami and earthquake caused "the largest single contribution of radionuclides to the marine environment ever observed."
National Geographic reports that "In a 2012 study, Jota Kanda, an oceanographer at Toyko University of Marine Science and Technology, calculated that the plant is leaking 0.3 terabecquerels (trillion becquerels) of cesium-137 per month and a similar amount of cesium-134. While that number sounds mind-boggling, it’s actually thousands of times less than the level of radioactive contamination that the plant was spewing in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, estimated to be from 5,000 to 15,000 terabecquerels, according to Buesseler. For a comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima released 89 terabecquerels of cesium-137 when it exploded."
Japanese officials concede that at least 300 tons of radioactive water is being dumped into the Pacific Ocean every day. So this Neptune in Pisces disaster continues to impact the entire Pacific Basin from Japan to California, to this day.
In the months following Neptune's entry into Pisces, Bangkok was inundated, flooding more than 1,000 industrial plants making everything from cars to cameras and hard drives. Some facilities were under ten feet of water. The United Nations estimates that the Thai floods reduced global industrial production by 2.5%. Much of Thailand was flooded, and over 800 people lost their lives. The cost was somewhat less than Hurricane Katrina, but experts concluded that such flooding is more likely to occur again in Thailand in the future.
In 2013, SuperTyphoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines and devastated parts of Southeast Asia, killing 10,000 in one Philippine province alone.
There have been 9 US hurricanes so far this decade, fewer than the 17 recorded in the period from 2000 to 2009. The long term trend, from 1900 to the present, is a steady increase in damages from hurricanes over the years, according to a 2010 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Hurricane Irene made landfall in August 2011 in North Carolina, then slammed Virginia, New Jersey, Brooklyn and Vermont. In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy stunned New York City. Now we have Harvey.
The total estimated cost of Harvey and Sandy alone could top $225 billion. Although the Neptune in Pisces era, which continues through April 4, 2025, is only six years old, the damages in the US dwarf all previous six year periods of intense hurricane activity.
The Neptune in Pisces era has been especially harsh on Houston. Houston is experiencing its third 500 year flood since Neptune entered Pisces in 2011. Even if $180 billion is spent to restore the status quo ante in Houston, nothing will have been done to mitigate the possibility of further disasters.
Houston is a city with no zoning, where developers build their own levees around new subdivisions, funneling water into adjacent neighborhoods, where flooding increases as a result. Many of these private levees were overtopped during Harvey anyway.
Houston has paved over much of the area's wetlands with concrete and housing over the last couple of decades, reducing the ground's ability to absorb floodwaters.
"Largely unobstructed either by rules or by natural features such as mountains, the Houston area sprawled," reports the Quartz website. "Between 1992 and 2010 alone nearly 25,000 acres (about 10,000 hectares) of natural wetland infrastructure was wiped out. . . Most of the losses were in Harris County, where almost 30% of wetlands disappeared."
"Altogether, the region lost the ability to handle nearly four billion gallons (15 billion liters) of storm water. That’s equivalent to $600 million worth of flood water detention capacity."
"To be sure, that’s a drop in the bucket of what Harvey will eventually unleash. The estimate was already at nine trillion gallons a couple of days after the storm made landfall. But saving and restoring wetlands is nonetheless an important part of making Houston more storm resistant, says Mary Edwards, a wetlands specialist at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension."
Below is a graph of flooding in Houston's Buffalo Bayou during Harvey.
"Much of the destroyed wetlands were covered with pavement to accommodate the region’s explosive population growth. So these days, even a run-of-the-mill storm causes water to gush down the streets and can lead to flooding. 'We generated a lot of runoff and until now we haven’t been able to keep up,' she said."
As Houston grows, its flooding problems are magnified year by year, and Houston is the fastest growing big city in America.
The rush to cash in on new housing has resulted in some strange developments. New subdivisions have grown near the aging dams that nearly burst during Harvey. City officials released water from those dams in West Houston, flooding those new nearby neighborhoods and vastly increasing the flow of water through Buffalo Bayou, impacting a vast swath of the city including the downtown area. These dams will need to be upgraded to prevent future flooding, at a substantial cost. But who will reimburse the homeowners impacted by flooding from the dams?
Current estimates are that only one-third of Harvey's damages will be covered by insurance. How then will the1/3 of Houston impacted by flooding be reconstructed? Who will pay? Insurance companies may not want to do so.
Immediately after the storm, The UK Independent reported that "The embattled populations of southeastern Texas, may soon encounter a new obstacle in their quests to rebuild their lives after Harvey when a new state insurance law that makes it harder for consumers to receive full claims goes into effect Friday. The new law decreases the chances that an insurance company will be forced to pay claim delay penalties and plaintiff attorneys’ fees related to weather-involved claims — a protection that may discourage struggling households from pursuing legal action even if they think the insurance companies are offering less of a payout than they should. Under the new regulations, insurance companies will enjoy greater freedoms to push back on insurance claims, and the first wave of such claimants are likely to be coming from areas impacted by Harvey.
Residents reeling from Harvey now have until just Friday to assess the damages to their homes that may still be under water, and to notify their insurance company of nay damages if they want to avoid navigating that new law. After Friday, new legal restrictions will be in place that make things more difficult for consumers, and interest rates imposed on insurance companies to deter late payments will be cut nearly in half. 'Without this law, and as the law currently is until Friday, I think insurance companies would be more responsive to claims,' Kir Pittard, a Dallas attorney, wrote on Facebook of the new law. 'After Friday, there won’t be the incentive because the penalty for delays have been reduced.' To put it bluntly, a lot of residents in the impact area of Harvey may face a long battle ahead to replace the roofs torn off their homes from high winds, activists say.
“'Insurance companies already had a lot of power, and the bill gives them a lot more power. As we know, too often insurance companies wrongfully withhold payments, they delay payments, they deny claims,' Ware Wendell, the executive director of consumer watchdog group Texas Watch, told The Independent. 'So, we’re very concerned that people are going to have blue tarps on their homes instead of roofs.'”
Will the city begin to change its thinking about city planning, which has always been about as popular in Houston as the giant flying roaches called palmetto bugs that Houston is so famous for?
"Scientists say the Harris County Flood Control District, which manages thousands of miles of floodwater-evacuating bayous and helps enforce development rules, should focus more on preserving green space and managing growth," according to a 2016 article in The Texas Tribune. "The City of Houston, too. And they say everyone should plan for more torrential rainfall because of the changing climate. (A host of cities in the U.S. and around the world are doing so.)"
"But county and city officials responsible for addressing flooding largely reject these arguments. Houston’s two top flood control officials say their biggest challenge is not managing rapid growth but retrofitting outdated infrastructure. Current standards that govern how and where developers and residents can build are mostly sufficient, they say. And all the recent monster storms are freak occurrences — not harbingers of global warming or a sign of things to come."
"The longtime head of the flood control district flat-out disagrees with scientific evidence that shows development is making flooding worse. Engineering projects can reverse the effects of land development and are doing so, Mike Talbott said in an interview with The Texas Tribune and ProPublica in late August before his retirement after 18 years heading the powerful agency. (His successor shares his views.)"
"The claim that 'these magic sponges out in the prairie would have absorbed all that water is absurd,' Talbott said."
"He also said the flood control district has no plans to study climate change or its impacts on Harris County, the third-most-populous county in the United States."
"Of the astonishing frequency of huge floods the city has been getting, he said, 'I don't think it's the new normal.' He also criticized scientists and conservationists for being 'anti-development.'"
“'They have an agenda ... their agenda to protect the environment overrides common sense,' he said."
The question of the proper role for government regulation is one of many important questions that Neptune in Pisces raises for us as a species. How do we protect our coastal cities in an era of mega-storms and rising sea levels? Can they be protected over the long term? Will we engage in the kind of long-range planning required to reconfigure the world's major cities, which mainly sit on exposed coastlines, or will be forced to slowly abandon them? Who will do the planning? Will governments continue to subsidize coastal development with cheap flood insurance? Will insurance companies continue to offer home owner's insurance for wind and rain in exposed coastal cities? How often will cities like Houston be rebuilt before people abandon their homes and move inland? How can we afford many hundreds of billions of dollars per city for serial rebuilding of our major coastal cities? How can we afford not to rebuild them? Will we spend many trillions of dollars to relocate all our major coastal cities somewhere inland?
On a more basic level, what do we owe one another? We live in an era of hyper-individualism, when distrust of government is at an all time high. It is true that in times of crisis, people tend to voluntarily help one another, but that feeling of social solidarity quickly fades, as we discovered in the aftermath of 9/11, when a political chasm began to open up between different classes, different political parties, and different races across the nation.
There is literally no chance at all that Silicon Valley billionaires, green industry entrepreneurs and global celebrities can plan, manage, fund or organize an adequate response to these outsize issues. So how do we, the people, organize to address these questions? Our response will determine our children's future, and the future of many generations to come.
New York City is an example of a mega-rich town threatened by more frequent storms and rising sea levels in the Neptune in Pisces world. New York is in many ways the opposite of Houston when it comes to city planning. New York has strict zoning and building codes and even rent controls.
New York's response to Sandy has been somewhat schizophrenic.
"The city is now building a barrier around lower Manhattan, called the 'Big U'. Designed to be covered in grass and serve as public open space, the wall will run from 42nd on the east side, along the shore, and up to 57th street on the west side," according to an article in Jacobin magazine entitled If We Fail by Christian Parenti.
"At this rate and in this fashion, it is hard to imagine how the city’s entire 520-mile coastline could be secured," Parenti continues. "Worse yet, half preparations are, in some ways, as bad as no preparation. As the Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell said of New York City’s largely symbolic efforts thus far, 'Barriers, dikes and levees make people feel safe, even when they are not.'”
"Meanwhile, in a clear subsidy to unsustainable gentrification, the city is also planning to build a $2.5 billion tramline along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, where old industrial warehouses are giving way to luxury high-rises. Similar insanity is found in New Jersey, where several groups of coastal homeowners, many of whom have subsidized government-provided flood insurance, are suing to prevent construction of protective sand dunes," Parenti concludes.
The stakes have never been higher for our biggest cities, and for humanity as a whole. Yet so far we Americans cannot agree on the basic science, the scale of the problem, or what kind of solutions make sense and which are obviously going to make things worse. We have a lot of work to do as a society. Neptune in Pisces will focus our attention on our schizophrenia, symbolized by the two fishes moving in opposite directions. Hopefully we have time to make things right.
This is a world-historical emergency that dwarfs all that has come before. We are required by the laws of karma to devote ourselves to finding and implementing solutions that will be for the highest and best good of all people on the planet. If we fail in this task, we will condemn many generations to come to a hellish existence on Earth, and the karma for that unspeakable outcome will rest in part on each and every one of us.
It is vitally important for all of us to be extremely clear about the positive and negative aspects of the Neptune in Pisces phenomenon in this Era of Global Flooding. Neptune in Pisces has a pronounced effect on our mental abilities, our emotional make-up and our physical well-being. That effect can be helpful or detrimental. The good news is that there are numerous ways we can mitigate the negative effects of Neptune in Pisces, on an individual basis, and numerous ways we can enhance the positive effects of this powerful outer planet energy.
Read on for an overview of Neptune in Pisces from the viewpoint of Soul Astrology, and for some suggestions for optimizing your Neptune in Pisces experience.
Neptune in Pisces: Emotional, Mental and Physical Wellbeing in the Era of Global Flooding
Esoteric or Soul Astrologers say that Neptune is the planet governing Unity Consciousness and Loving Wisdom in its highest spiritual manifestation. Neptune erodes the boundaries of ego, enhancing access to Higher Mind and Universal Consciousness, while surfacing unconscious karmic patterns of behavior from the depths of individual and collective consciousness which we normally ignore.
The rational mind, attuned by default to the material reality which is the site of egoistical desires and karmic attachments, can be overwhelmed and confused as a result of Neptune's influence.
The rational mind is also challenged when the Universal Solvent, in the form of Neptunian energy, loosens our attachment to the categories, names and forms we associate with consensus reality. Neptune gives us the freedom to move beyond the consensus reality altogether, into a new, far more complex consciousness, which can encompass and reflect the entirety of the complex web of creation. How scary is that?
Neptune redirects the focus of our consciousness from the egoistic self to the transpersonal realms, to the relationships that define us. At the same time, Neptune invites us to turn our attention inward, and to discover the small still voice that exists in the Great Silence at the center of consciousness. That voice is steady and constant, unperturbed by the floods of input from higher realms and from deepest unconscious depths released by Neptune into our conscious awareness. That voice is the manifestation of our true nature, which is likewise steady, clear and constant, an eternal spiritual Flame which is a true spark of the Divine.
The egoistic self draws boundaries separating self and other, and identifies with blood ties forged by family, race and religion. The egoistic self is capable of unselfish love for families, our ancestors, even our nation, and for those who share an identity with us, carried for the most part, in the blood, visible in our genetic heritage.
Neptune blurs these boundaries between our tribe and those others, making it possible for us to extend the same type of unselfish love to people in another city, another country. People of another race or religion. People all over the world.
For these reasons, Neptune is the planet of Loving Wisdom and Christ Consciousness, when it manifests at its highest frequency.
Neptune is also the planet of dreams, of dreaminess, of illusion and delusion. When we are not fully and constantly connected to our inner voice, our Higher Mind, we can be swept away by astral glamours. Then we are subjected to a tsunami of karmic emotions and compulsions. We have no way to differentiate between spiritual guidance and wishful thinking. When we mistake the maya of forms and categories and names for the true reality, we simply react to events and emotions, we cannot consciously co-create our own reality. We become mere instruments of karma, our world defined by collective thought-forms and our actions motivated primarily by animal drives residing deep in the unconscious.
Only by connecting with the inner voice, with Higher Mind, can we confidently exercise the power of discernment, which will enable us to see the truth that lies behind and beyond the appearances of the material world, and the incomplete dataset provided by sense perception.
Neptune in Pisces amplifies Neptune's natural tendencies.
Pisces exhibits a natural sensitivity to subtle energies, a deep affinity with Higher Mind, and the ability to effortlessly connect emotionally to other people.
Pisces is the sign of the two fish, swimming in opposite directions. These two fish symbolize the egoistic personality and the Higher Self. Every human being experiences some degree of conflict between these two elements of human nature. Even Jesus the Christ had doubts and trouble accepting his karmic destiny. For most of us, the conflict between these two opposing tendencies is much more profound. Pisces is the sign of the Great Sacrifice, and of Christ Consciousness.
All Pisceans are engaged in the battle between the Egoistic Will and the Higher Self. Read our article on Self-Love: The War Between the Ego and the Higher Self for more on this topic.
In the undeveloped Pisces individual, the personality maintains its sense of supremacy despite an unusual sensitivity to the thoughts, feelings, and deep impulses of others. Dreams and other astral manifestations are readily accessible to the Piscean mind. For the undeveloped egotist, these impressions indicate a kind of spiritual awakening, when they are really just psychic sensitivity to undifferentiated experiences of subtle energies.
Lacking the power of discernment, and failing to connect consciously and constantly with the inner voice of Higher Mind, the undeveloped Piscean individual can seem rudderless and clueless, introverted yet at the mercy of events in the outer world.
In every human being there is a corresponding tendency to unify rational mind and Higher Mind, egoistic personality and Higher Self.
When we experience sexual union, we have a transpersonal experience that dissolves the ego to some extent, and allows a degree of empathetic union with another person that may be difficult to achieve in normal waking consciousness.
When we allow ourselves to listen to our own intuitive guidance, and when we follow that guidance without hesitation, we experience a form of unity between the personality and the Soul, or between the mind and the collective consciousness, if you prefer.
With Neptune in Pisces, all of humanity is experiencing the call to sacrifice personal interest in favor of transpersonal needs and goals. All of humanity is challenged to join together to forge a united response to our global emergency.
It is only through action by large groups that we can hope to address the rising Neptunian floods that threaten to engulf our largest cities worldwide.
The global refugee crisis is driven in large part by wars in the Middle East, which are in large part driven by climate change in the region, where desertification is spreading, famine is always a threat and water shortages are becoming acute. Many of these refugees travel the Neptunian route across oceans to seek asylum, and there are tens of millions of them already. Their numbers are set to soar during the next decade.
Only a collective effort by enlightened leaders in leading countries can hope to cope with this humanitarian disaster, which is unprecedented in human history. This is a climate driven refugee crisis on a par with the refugee crisis created by World War II and its aftermath, including the partition of India. Only loving wisdom applied diligently by all concerned can hope to address this slow-motion disaster unfolding across much of the globe.
On a personal level, Neptune in Pisces is a fairly low-energy planetary placement. We may feel challenged to rise to the occasion when presented with such overwhelming problems as climate change, sea level rise, and the increasing frequency of mega-storms.
When confronted with demanding situations, the undeveloped Piscean or Neptunian personality will often seek to escape into dreamy introspection through self-gratification, often involving drink, drugs or sex. This type of individual experiences exaggerated feelings in response to life challenges, and finds those feelings difficult to process. In addition, over-stimulation can lead to immune deficiency and even nervous exhaustion.
With Neptune in Pisces, the existential crisis posed by rising sea levels and more frequent mega-storms can cause us to want to tune out because our nerves are frayed, our energy is being depleted, and it's just too big for us to grasp.
When we get overloaded with stimulation that is an indication we are suffering from an overload of negative energies because of the increased sensitivity associated with the Neptune in Pisces cycle.
There are other antidotes more effective than just tuning out.
In the Neptune in Pisces era, there are big benefits from tuning into the positive energies of water.
You can make the water element your friend.
Go to the beach if you can, and walk in the sand with water up to your ankles. This will bathe your feet in salt water, and your feet are connected by subtle energy meridians and nerve endings to the solar plexus, and through the solar plexus, to all the major organs of the body. Or if you like plunge into the waves and detoxify fully,
Take a swim if you can. Jane and I swim for about a half hour several times a week. Whenever we feel stuck, or whenever we feel stuck energy building up within us, a swim will dissolve those stuck energies and as they dissolve we can move back into the flow.
Jane spends a lot of time in our garden, connecting with the plants, and the plants tell her when they're happy and when they're not. We're not always sure why they're not, though, and finding that out can require substantial investigation of soil chemistry and other environmental factors. Best of all, the garden is Jane's safe space, and working with the plants literally grounds her Cancerian personality in a positive, energizing manner.
If you feel ungrounded, you might try the Bach Flower Remedy Clematis, which is prescribed for helping keep you grounded and connected to your body. Or you might want to carry a garnet in your pocket or as a pendant, or wear a hematite bracelet. Choose a stone like black tourmaline, if you prefer, something that is connected to the root chakra.
Soul Astrology connects the water signs and the water element to the Occipital lobe of the brain, and to certain brain chemicals associated with that brain area. The Occipital lobe is located in the back of the head and is the area of the brain where we process perceptions into recognizable objects. The Occipital lobe is responsible for vision.
Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is thought by many researchers to be the human hormone most involved in maintaining mood balance. Serotonin can stimulate feelings of happiness and a serotonin deficit often accompanies feelings of depression or anxiety.
Anti-depression drugs such as Prozac or Zoloft are designed to increase the amount of serotonin in the body by preventing its reabsorption.
Soul Astrologer Lynne Koiner calls serotonin an Occipital hormone, one governing and governed by water. Serotonin occurs mainly in the digestive system and in the blood, so its association with water makes sense.
"When the Occipital hormones are deficient, the individual becomes self-absorbed with little or no interest in others," Koiner explains. "There is an absence of feelings for all but self."
"With an excess of Occipital hormones, the individual becomes overly-sensitive and there is an increase in nervous instability," Koiner continues. "The individual becomes hesitant, distracted, vulnerable to all manner of criticism, morbidly afraid of disapproval, painfully shy and feel inadequate. They desire social interaction but they are too afraid."
These of course are the primary energy signatures associated with negative manifestations of Piscean and Neptunian energies.
"When not functioning properly, there can be a deficiency in serotonin (made from 5-HTP and Tryptophan) which can cause sleep disorders due to out-of-sync brain waves and extreme sensitivity to the environment," Koiner continues. "The brain simply cannot recharge its self. The individual may experience headaches, sleep apnea and a deficiency in oxygen going to the brain. Deficiency cravings include simple carbohydrates such as pasta and rice, salty foods and alcohol."
Those suffering from Pisces in Neptune syndrome, or from serotonin deficiency, will find that Vitamin B and Vitamin C, the water soluble vitamins, can be improperly assimilated. During these stressful times, it is prudent to take these vitamins in whatever form you find easy to digest.
All spiritual practices, especially crystal work, Reiki, meditation and trance work, are enhanced by the Neptune in Pisces energy signature, so it is highly recommended that you perform your practices diligently during this time.
For crystal work on watery issues, we recommend the use of amethyst crystals of all kinds, Indigo Quartz, blue topaz, aquamarine, blue sapphire and other blue stones.
These practices will activate the positive Neptunian and Piscean energies of self-transformation, unity consciousness, going with the flow, and joy in life.
Jane and I ask that you each receive exactly what you need from the Universe to help you forward on your path of Spirit during this Hurricane Season, and to enable you to be of service to your loved ones, and to those most in need everywhere you may find them.
Helping Hands for Houston
The Houston Food Bank has and will continue to be a much needed resource for many people as recovery from Harvey gets underway. You can make a financial donation.
We move millions of hungry Texans toward food security through a statewide network of food banks; strengthen the collective response to hunger through collaboration and scaling success; and lead the public conversation needed to solve hunger in Texas.
Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that has independently rated over 8,000 charities, compiled a list of some of the best organizations to donate to in the wake of Harvey. Its team considers several factors when giving a charity a score out of 100. These include program expenses (e.g. how much of the donations go straight to victims) and transparency (e.g. audited financials prepared by an independent accountant).
We do not recommend donating to the Red Cross. Facebook made headlines recently when it decided to steer donations away from the Red Cross to a little-known charity called the Center for Disaster Philanthropy—again, instead of the Red Cross. ProPublica and NPR have launched an ongoing series of investigations into the American Red Cross. Check out one of their articles headlined How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes.
Meditation on Lust and the Drowned Man,
the Two Fishes Symbolizing Pisces
Pisces is the sign of the two fishes going in opposite directions, symbolizing the union of the egoistic personality and the Higher Self within each human being.
Pisces is the sign in which individuals confront the stark conflict between these two forces and make choices that can hopefully lead to successful integration of the two conflicting centers of consciousness.
The egoistical personality is motivated by Desire, while the Higher Self is activated by Sacrifice. The sacrifice of the egoistic personality leads to the flowering of the Christ Consciousness.
In the Age of Pisces the forceful sacrifice of the egoistical personality by Lord Jesus led to the birth of the Christ within the Earth's Auric Field, providing a bridge to Higher Worlds for all those who followed His path.
In the Age of Aquarius, each member of humanity is called upon to make a conscious effort to subordinate the egoistical personality to the imperatives of Spirit, as manifested in the still small voice within us that speaks for the Higher Self in that Silent Stillness that births the Stars.
In this way, humanity is birthing a new consciousness, grounded in the material world, but reaching always upward on the ascension path toward Unity, Wisdom and Love.
Let us take the opportunity this Super Watery Full Moon to meditate upon two Tarot cards. Simply sit on your mat, or in front of your altar, or wherever in nature you choose to meditate, and look at the two cards pictured below. Read the accompanying text, then prepare yourself to meditate and close your eyes.
The two cards are called Lust and The Hanged Man. The Hanged Man is also known as The Drowned Man.
The Eleven is called Strength or Lust, and the Twelve is the Hanged Man. Lust is associated with Leo and The Hanged Man with Pisces.
Lust is Desire, and desire will perpetuate itself until death, or until through spiritual aspiration, meditation, and withdrawal from egoistic mind and sensory enslavement, the aspirant can achieve total surrender to Higher Self, to the Unity of the Web of Life and to the direction provided by the Universal Source of Creation.
Lust is also the sexual energy which is the source and driving force within all that lives in this material Universe. This energy is the universal life force energy sustaining all creation, and is called Shakti in the Hindu system of the yogis. Lust cannot be denied, it cannot be repressed, or it will erupt in a volcano of negative manifestations.The life force energy within each of us can however be redirected toward spiritual goals, rather than being directed toward egoistic self-gratification at the expense of others.
The difficult process of re-orienting the life force from service to the egoistic personality to the service of Higher Self, The Unity of the Web of Life, and the Universal Source of Creation is pictured in
that most daunting Trump, the Hanged Man.
This re-orientation is the goal of all spiritual practices, both East and West. Seekers have used techniques such as meditation, fasting, prayer, ceremonial magic, vision quest, and even martyrdom to subordinate the ego, purge the Self of the mind’s illusion of separation, and attain the unity consciousness that is the fruit of this Great Sacrifice.
The Hanged Man also depicts the crucifixion of the body. This is the card of surrender, the card of death by water.
Those who were crucified normally died a long, slow death from suffocation brought about by the collapse of lungs filling with water, as they found themselves unable to maintain an erect posture, sinking down with fatigue, increasingly unable to breathe.
Symbolically, it was through being filled with the element of water, which represents the emotional power of compassion manifest as unconditional love, that the ego of Jesus died on Good Friday.
The death of the ego is long and slow, and our ability to remain constant during this process of suffering and ego-death is made possible only by a constant renewal of faith. Yet as Jesus the Christ experienced on his cross of wood, every aspirant reaches a point where he or she will cry “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
Each aspirant must rest assured that despite all feelings of despair and loss, the process is only purging us of the illusion of the separate self, the illusion that the egoistic personality is in control of our lives. Jesus the Christ remained Self-aware on the cross, in a spirit of total surrender.
In our spiritual practice, whatever it may be, we must also surrender to Universal forces far beyond the control of the egoistic mind, in a spirit of love, with a sincere desire that our sacrifice be offered for the salvation of the Whole, and thus we will achieve a great spiritual victory.
Meditate upon this, and upon the fact that Lust is fire and The Hanged Man is water, so initiation is the combination of fire and water. As you meditate envision fire above and water below.
Meditation Moment: The Waters of Love
"The birth of a civilisation is usually associated with the presence of water: with springs, streams, rivers, lakes and so on. Where water flows, flora and fauna appear, and human beings establish their dwellings. Think of all the cities and towns that have been established on the banks of a river. In some respects, rivers can be borders, but they are also a means of communication."
"Water can in fact be understood on various levels. On the psychic level, we can say it is love. When there is no love, there is desert. Regretfully, when human beings make plans or launch themselves into an enterprise, they rarely consider that love must have its say: they count first and foremost on organisation. Well, they are mistaken: when there is no love, which is the true driving force, there is no life. But as soon as love appears, even if the organisation is lacking, little by little everything falls into place and begins to work."
-- Omraam Mikhaël Aivanhov