Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Night of Crimson: Blood Moon and Mars

Lunar Eclipse 4-15-14
It is hard to convey the peaceful energy of a midnight lunar eclipse. The reddening of the moon's globe, Mars is just nearby--at once both spurring and becalming the soul. The ancient Stoics developed a cosmology in which everything in the universe is interconnected and unified through pneuma, "breath of life", if you will. So, Hellenistic astrology sought for correspondences between planetary and lunar attributes and the vicissitudes of the human soul. The moon was a ruler of a maternal embodiment and Mars, a master of impulsive drive. 
To me, gazing at the sky and resonating with heavenly characteristics is not an attempt to overcome fate through astrological micro-management, but a means for experiencing the interconnection of all things, my particular brand of pantheism. One prominent Neoplatonist, Plotinus, rejected Hellenistic astrology, believing that the human soul could rise to God or the One without intermediaries. But most Neoplatonists after him rejected the hubris of doing it alone and incorporated some form of ritual or slow cultivation of virtue to attain a relationship to the Divine. 
The Transcendentalist, Emerson, and some Unitarians of the 19th century tended to line up with Plotinus asserted the inherent goodness and reflective capabilities of human beings while the Universalists seem more akin to the Stoics believing that humans are nursed and nurtured by a good universe. Well tonight, around midnight, I feel nurtured by the crimson sky.

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