The Move Beyond Ourselves

Today’s full moon and the coming superior conjunction are so potent I thought it worth doing an additional post to look at the Sabian Symbols. These are very telling and to me very clear about the significance of these major transits, tying up very clearly the message of the past retrograde series.

For a start we have the Sun, the planet of ego, self expression, and illumination at 7 Aries:


KEYNOTE: The first realization of the dual nature of man and of the possibilities it implies.

This symbol represents the antithesis of the thesis pictured in the previous phase, yet in such a five-fold sequence what we see is contrast rather than opposition. The primordial one-sidedness of emotional and cultural manifestation actually calls for the compensatory ability to operate at two levels. Thus the primary dualism of Sky and Earth, of the divine and the human, of spirit and matter. The vision and the emotions are focused within sharply defined boundaries, but within these boundaries they express themselves at two levels. This is the foundation of religion as well as of magic.

A situation which has become characterized by this symbol can be successfully faced if its spiritual and material implications are understood and actualized.

At this second stage of the second five-fold sequence of symbols we see at work man’s capacity for LIVING TWO SEPARATE LIVES – and finding fulfillment and happiness in both. On this capacity are founded many of the complexities of human nature.


This seems clear enough, we can easily understand the nature of duality, we see it around us all the time – light and dark, day and night, up and down, sky and earth, land and sea. It shows us what seems to be a self-evident truth, one which spiritually has been termed yin and yang or shiva and shakti – and in many traditions that are familiar to us as good and evil. However there is a clue that this is not the whole story and that there is more to learn about the nature of contrast rather than opposition, but this is the first step, to understand that there is difference in the world and that we are capable not only of seeing it but of encountering it.

"All actual life is an encounter" - Martin Buber

“All actual life is an encounter” – Martin Buber

At the time of the superior conjunction the Sun and Venus are together, two degrees further on:


KEYNOTE: The development of an inner realization of organic wholeness.

The crystal sphere symbolizes wholeness. Within the sphere images take form. These images may reveal future events, but more significantly they picture “the situation as a whole” – the situation which the clairvoyant is meant to interpret. The nascent mental faculties operating through still dominant emotions (or collective cultural incentives) act as a centralizing and whole-making power. What the intelligence perceives in its concentration is the function of every inner impulse and outer events in the open field of a “personality” still unclouded by egoism.

At this fourth stage of the five-fold sequence the new technique required for the development of individualized consciousness is revealed: CONCENTRATED ATTENTION.


Here the emphasis has changed from a focus on distinction, or opposition, to one of unity – but it is a unity in which there are separate parts. Things are distinguishable from one another but they are no longer set up in opposition to one another, rather they are seen as invaluable parts of a larger whole. It is in togetherness and relatedness that we make sense of things and can move towards a desired future. This is the fruition of the Venus retrograde cycle and at its best demonstrates an ability to be both authentically ourselves and to enter into relationships with others where we can be authentically ‘we’ or ‘us’. Further than that, it shows a strength and focus of spirit that understands both itself and its relationship to and dependence upon the whole and what, as an individual and unique part of that whole, can be done to nurture it.

“Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said "In the coming world, they will not ask me: 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask me: 'Why were you not Zusya?”  - Martin Buber

“Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?” – Martin Buber


In between these two degrees a missed degree speaks of the protection needed by someone going through a rapid development of spiritual consciousness. However, this degree is missed so I will not repeat it here – instead I look to the position of the Moon at the full moon and note that this is where protection comes from:


KEYNOTE: The need to face the antagonism of “powers of darkness” as one attempts to feed the mind of as yet helpless and frightened apprentices.

The most basic “Law” of our universe is that every release of new potentialities (or modes of energy) brings about a polarization of effects — that is, the new potentiality will be used both for construction and destruction. It will arouse individuals (or groups and nations) to take a series of steps which will lead some to greater success, others to deeper failure. Whoever makes possible this new release has to accept the karma of both the success and the failure. When Jesus showered his immense love upon lukewarm, self-centered individuals, it inevitably came to be turned into violent hatred when these soul-minds were unable to cope with its frightening intensity. Jesus had to accept spiritual responsibility for those who crucified him.

At this second stage we witness the contrast between the ideal situation envisioned clearly by the creative consciousness (first stage) and what it will be in actual operation; thus the forever-present struggle involved in making it possible for the future-oriented actualizers of an ideal to survive the attacks of tradition-worshiping minds that can only follow the lines of automatic response. The keynote is GUARDIANSHIP.


The message is clear, the Moon is in the relationship sign of Libra, the sign concerned with others. The Moon is opposite the Sun and Venus, again signifying relationships, the importance of others. The spiritual move indicated by the full moon and then the superior conjunction is one of understanding both our uniqueness and our connectedness – in order to do this we must become vulnerable, open to others. And in so doing we find protection comes from others, from the relationships we have. Which is not to say that all or any relationships will provide protection, but that at this time, if we are to make the most of it, then we need to look outside ourselves, move beyond ourselves.

There is, too, a deeper message here – the ‘powers of darkness’, referred to are in inverted commas indicating that they are only perceived as dark, not that they actually are. The point is, if we can allow ourselves to have authentic relationships with others it is they who demonstrate to us our own wholeness, truth and integrity – they get rid of our ignorance. It’s a mutual thing, and we are neither free nor secure, nor able to fulfill our potential without it.

making music together

“Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other…. Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.”
Martin Buber, ‘I and Thou’

So there we have it – it has been the message of the retrogrades in general, and I have written much about it – can we live life authentically, recognising the authenticity of others and our connectedness to one another and the world around us? Or do we stay, afraid, scared by our own power, contemplating only ourselves? I have written before, and will write again; contrary to much new age thinking we do not have a relationship with ourselves, not if we ARE ourselves. The message of these transits, the fulfillment of the retrogrades is clear to me – we need to live authentically as ourselves and have relationships (messy though they might be) with others.

I and Thou

“We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.” Martin Buber

Now it’s time to go and do it!



Back in the summer 2012 we had another time of interlocking yods and at that time I wrote about the nature of projection and self-reference they can indicate and how they can also indicate a way out of such projections. Now I’ve been moved to write a little more on the same subject – it’s non-astrological but definitely influenced by current energy patterns:


One thought on “The Move Beyond Ourselves

  1. Pingback: Spiritual consumerism and the illusion of a divided self | Coromell

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