Oppositions active in the Anima Mundi The Philosopher’s Stone.Oppositions essential to the functioning of thebrain cause conflict in society. Understandingthese natural oppositions will allow us to utilisethem positively and construct a moreenlightened world. Yippee!Astrologers familiar with ancient systems will recognise theopposing signs in this model are semi-sextile therefore ‘disjoint’on the Zodiac.
These are the Opposites on the ZODIACOn the Zodiac positive signsoppose positive signs, negative Mutable Wateropposes negative, cardinalopposes cardinal, and fixedopposes fixed. Cardinal Fire - +Airy Libra seeks justice sodiligently she provokes war (the +Goddess Athena was thegoddess of war as well as - Cardinal Airjustice). Meanwhile the fiery Mutable EarthAries warrior fights for peace.Earthy Virgo is anxiously awareof Pisces chaos whereas watery Pisces has a quite Virginal antipathy of anything crude.On the Zodiac Water opposes Earth, and Air opposes Fire. Since Wet Earth isfertile (sensual feeling), and Fire’s fuel is oxygen (intuitive thinking) you can see theopposing signs have qualities that work together.
Liz Greene introduced me to Jung’s book Aion in 2005. Prior to this I had no ideathat the model in her book Relating, within which the new model was discovered in1984, had such an exalted provenance. AION is a Greek word, it means AGE. How „THE SELF‟ is expressed in the experience of the individual? And: The psychological significance of the Christian Era.
Here are some quotes from Aion.‘The lapis (the philosopher’s stone)consists of the four elements or hasto be put together from them’.Morienus, from Tractatus Aureus, Aion,p 236-237.‘And as a man is made up of fourelements, so also is the stone, andso it is dug out of man, and thou areits ore’. Ibid, p. 168.‘It is what is called ultimo exquadra circulae, the square in the circle,or the circle in the square. It is an age-old symbol that goes rightback to the pre-history of man. It is all over the earth and it eitherexpresses the deity or the self;’Conversations with Carl Jung and Reactions from Ernest Jones. Richard I.Evans. Publisher: D. Van Nostrand Company. Princeton, NJ. 1964.
And here is Liz’s diagram from which I decided the positioning ofsigns on the Anima Mundi. On the brain model empiric-thinking, Air-Earth, is at the top.Greene, L, Relating; An Astrological Guide to Living with Others on a Small Planet,UK, Thorsons Publishers Ltd, 1977.
Just to remind you, this is how the astrological archetypes are arrangedwhen this model is applied to the brain. Earth Air Right Left Empiric-thinking Left Right Intuitive-feeling Water Fire
THE OPPOSITIONS Empiric-thinkingSensual-feeling Intuitive-thinking Intuitive-feeling
And here are the oppositions on the new model.Earth AirWater Fire
‘Mostly Harmless’The problem is that our egos have the run ofthis world of the inner psyche with no empiric-thinkingrestrictions imposed. Our awarenesswanders. We concentrate on certain areas atthe expense of others. Our culture activelyencourages absurdity as conceptual fashionsbias us in favour of one direction or another.Our birth charts predispose us to imbalance.Imbalance can of course be creative – thinkhammer - but not when it‘s a tool in thehands of an idiot.The present bias is towards empiric-thinking.It’s easy to ‘see’ why – business and scienceproduce wealth. intuitive-feeling‘Mostly harmless’ is the entry on planet Earthin the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?„Through the mixing of the four elements inequalities arose which caused uncertainty and so necessitated decisions or acts of choice‟. Paul Anton Lagarde, Clementina, from Aion, p. 56
I shall now apply a single word to each of thesigns of the Zodiac.Of course each sign carries a world ofmeanings but in this presentation, for the sakeof simplicity, I have chosen just one word.
The words I have chosen illustrate something about the foundation significance of the specific astrological archetype. Business Science Practical IntellectualPhysical beauty Theoretical beauty Death Birth Mother Father Mysticism Philosophy Negative Signs Positive signs
COMPLEMENTARY CONNECTIONS These words graphically display the complementary meaning held by paired signs.‘Complementary’ means ‘to make complete’. Father without Mother is incomplete, etc. Complements join the signs that share rulers on the old Ptolemaic Order. Business WEALTH Science Practical WORK Intellectual Physical Beauty Theoretical Beauty FORM Death TIME Birth Mother LIFE Father Mysticism SOURCE Philosophy
Between Birth and Death, a connection I identified as representing passing‘Time’, and Physical and Theoretical Beauty, which I have interpreted as ‘Form’,is a point at which the lower and upper sections meet. 10 11 6 3 2 FORM 7 8 TIME 1 4 5 12 9
Familiar with the Hermann Minkowski space-time diagram I named this central position ‘the present’. FUTURE ‘the present’.time PAST space
Back to the perspicacious ancients: ‘Reduce your stone to the fourelements, rectify and combine them into one, and you will have the wholemagistery. The one, to which the elements must be reduced, is the littlecircle in the centre of this squared figure. It is the mediator making peacebetween the elements’. Tractatus Aureus, Aion, p. 239 This is an IMPORTANT statement.
These ‘complementary connections’ also correlateextraordinarily successfully with the meaningscarried by the lines of Yijing (I Ching) inHexagrams I and 2.This is the subject of another presentation.
You can think of our conscious awareness as like the Sun shining on the Earth. Although Sydney and London exist at thesame time in space the Sun can only shine on one city at a time. When it is daytime in London it is night-time in Sydney. It is the same with these oppositions on the new model. Now we will view the oppositions one by one. The first opposition I have chosen to think about is concerned with our search for - TRUTH Always remember: „… the little circle in the centre of this squared figure. It is the mediator making peace between the elements’.
„Where “truth” or “true” is defined, itwill be to the effect of “that which is a Empiric Thinkingfact” or “that which is verifiable …‟William J. Shields, Wikipedia, Truth. TRUTH On Faith and Truth …my faith does not require another to believe it. My faith is rooted in what I believe is the best path for me, not for you. If we are all one as I believe, then there is no right or wrong, for how can one part of the whole be right and another Intuitive Feeling part be wrong? Curtis G Schmitt.
Subjective truth vs. objective truth. TRUTHThis is the religion/science divide. John Templeton has left a $1.6 million prize forany scientists prepared to ‘broker a partnership’ between this warring pair’. (NewScientist, 2 August, 2008, p. 52) Here the scientist opposes the mystic yet they are both onthe same quest: both have an imperative inner desire to resolve this conundrum.Scientists seek ‘truth’ through empiric-thinking, earth/air. They explore a world thatcan be seen, felt, and touched. They poke it and prod it, slice it, measure it andweigh it. With Saturn’s help (the earthy side of empiric-thinking) scientist’s achievespectacular results - quantitative methodology has won collective respect. It hasbrought rewards but it is clearly failing to answer our deepest needs.With Jupiter’s involvement (Jupiter is the fire side of intuitive-feeling) the mysticseeks answers through introspection. We are alive! This is an amazing fact.Something, a mystery to the empiric-thinking self but clearly part of a greater whole,is operating.This enigmatic source is full of yearning. Without respect for its opposite thisposition is responsible for a plethora of dangerous delusions.So science is the enemy of religion and religion is the enemy of science. Historysupplies us with endless well-documented examples. The Church vs. Galileo,Evolution vs. Creationism.Mysticism, when it unwisely attempts to commandeer the surety of empiric-thinking,results in megalomania. Conversely, arrogantly discounting the enigmatic sourceputs science on a course set to destroy our world.Only respect for both methods of gaining information will supply us with an accuratepicture.
Empiric Thinking TRUTH Inconsequentiality ‘… to see the world and The one, to which the grasp it as paradoxical, we elements must be must break with our familiar reduced, is the little acceptance of it … andcircle in the centre of this from the break we can learn squared figure. It is the nothing but the unmotivated mediator making peace upsurge of the world’. between the elements’. Merleau Ponty, TheTractatus Aureus, Aion, p. 239 Phenomenology of Perception, xv. „Philosophy is not the reflection Relativism of a pure existing truth, but, like art, the act of bringing, truth into being‟. Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, xxii Intuitive Feeling
‘Opposites always entail each other, and can only be separated abstractly andat the risk of upsetting the rhythm of life by treating them as really inseparable.Enforcing order produces disorder. Attempts at overt control on behalf of onehalf of the dyad at the expense the other half, whether such manipulations bepolitical or otherwise, simply makes things worse.’ Daodejing, Ames and Hall, p.168, 2003.So to sum up … Both the mystic and the scientist are seeking truth but while the mystic hasfaith in the idea that intuitive-feeling as ‘the way’ to find it, the scientist has concluded thatempiric-thinking - thinking with facts provided by the senses (which clearly requiresexperiments carried out on the ’real’ physical world) - is the only reliable method. Either waythey both miss out if they do not give credence to the opposing side.When Christian ideology ruled intuitive-feeling won, lately it has been the turn of science.That either should win is a disaster because in both cases they fail. ….Indeed it can beseen that the entailed opposite gains the upper hand. …What about the little circle at the centre? Between Time and Form, is the upsurging ‘reality’of the moment - the ‘absolutism’ of being here right now.In terms of entailment this axis illustrates the discontinuity between ‘awake’ (Uranus iscalled the awakener) and asleep (Neptune is the dreamer). You can’t be both at once.Descartes said ‘I think therefore I am’. That’s OK as far as it goes. But this model points outthat I also sense, intuit, and feel therefore I am. Should anyone of these modus operandi beexcluded the I am is never going to get a grip on the total situation. …….
STRUCTURE Here we are looking at the opposition between theCapricornian businessman and the Sagittarian philosopher. What use can thebusinessman see in the student, pack on back, off to see the world?Saturn, Capricorn’s ruling planet, stands for boundaries, for stones and bones, walls,teeth and skin. The danger in Saturn is crystallisation. Capricornian/Saturnianstructures are necessary but are by nature inflexible. Secular law is cold andunforgiving. It has literally ‘no give’. Yet Saturn ruled the Golden Age - civilizationdepends on society following the rules. Imagine a city where nobody drives on thecorrect side of the road and nobody stops for a red light.Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, optimistic king of the gods. Sagittarius is flexible. Thephilosopher seeks the structure in experience. The structure of moral law takesaccount of subtleties: ethics are forever reviewable. Sagittarius is intuitive‘knowledge’. The world is Sag’s oyster, a wonderful place promising adventure andrequiring exploration. The demands made by this position are grow, learn and expand.Life is regarded as an adventure. The weakness is over-optimism and irresponsibility.Juno/Hera, Jupiter’s consort, was not a happy wife.When corrupted by its opposite this position produces fundamentalism.The Government, the police, the Law Courts, these are Capricornian institutions. Thestructure of Sag is ninth house. Universities were set up by the priesthood.This is also the opposition between Fear (Saturn) and Greed (Jupiter). Perfectstructure, like truth, is in the middle.
ENDURANCE Sensual-feeling Taurus attempting to conservephysical values opposes pioneering, intuitive-thinking creative Aries. Taurus isconcerned with safety, security, and dependability. Its ruling planet is MotherEarth, its house the 2nd house of home. Aries is spring. It is vibrant. It stands for beginnings when all is young and freshand full of potential. At its best it is progress through change. Its house is the 1sthouse of birth.I learnt about this opposition through a news broadcast. It described a conflictbetween conservationists and the building of a new bypass.A Taurus image is the oak tree. Taurus endures through strength andpersistence.An Aries image is the warrior. Ruled by the planet Mars it is brimful of vitality,courage and heroism. Every year it brings a new spring. Mars is intuitive-thinking. It is made up of the elements Fire and Air: Fire feeds on oxygen.Martian desire is hot.Taurus, left to its own devises, in spite of its strength, could not endure. Its darkside is ‘materialism’. Aries, like a military tank, left to its own devises wouldcarelessly destroy everything in its path. Its dark side is vandalism.They are both necessary. Together they modify the expression of the other sothat life endures.
REGENERATION Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, king of the underworld, iscompulsive power. Scorpio is negative and therefore physical. This compulsivepower can be seen operating in the sexual act . It is carried out in secret.What is more physical and compulsive than orgasm. It is the power of thecontractions that give birth to the child – even if the birth kills. Libra, partnership,ruled by Venus, is romantic love.This is a powerful opposition – Pluto means power. The Greek myth of Pluto andPersephone, the Babylonian myth of Ereshkigal and Innana, they both deal withthis Scorpio Libra issue.Pluto wears a helmet of invisibility when he comes to the upper world – he is notpretty. Scorpio is that time of year when leaves fall. Pluto is shit and compostheaps and rotting fruit. His dark side is despair. Pluto breaks down old forms sothat they can be re-assimilated into the system. He is also the seed inside the fruitpersonified by Persephone and symbolised by the pomegranate she carries. He isone end of the regeneration process - Venus is the other. She is the beautifulflower that entices and attracts.Pluto is responsible for fossil fuels which result from the regeneration process. Sofar he has kept our world clean but he cannot regenerate Plutonium. This is amodern issue that is waiting to be addressed.Venus is attraction. She understands the other. She is beautiful and charming butalso manipulative. She knows exactly how to entice. Another name for intuitive-thinking is imagination. Venus uses imagination to conjure up images of romancein her famous mirror. Her dark side is romantic illusion.Each is indispensible to the other but they are very different.
ORGANISATION Leo, The King, the Father, the boss, organisesthe large scale: kingdoms, companies and families. The planets orbit the LeoSun.Virgo the secretary, the nurse, the servant, organises the details. Virgo ispracticality personified.Leo is vision. No sunlight and we would require no eyes. Leo sees. We ‘see’ withour hearts. ‘I see’ means ‘I understand.’Virgo looks. Seeing and looking are different and entailed.Conscious awareness (unless it is in the centre) is limited to only one area at atime just as - I explained previously - the Sun cannot shine at the same time onSydney and London.Looking requires concentrated effort. Most of the time we get along with justseeing. If you want to draw something accurately you are required to look.Virgo, ‘complementary’ partner to Gemini, rules libraries, where ideas are storedin a myriad words and pictures.Virgo can be involved with detail to the point of neurosis.Leo can be self-centred to the point of tyranny.
This is where we begin to see exactly howthese functions of perception act in the brain.Remember, opposites always entail eachother, and can only be separatedabstractly.
When I was in art school our teacher asked us if we knew what apost box looked like and we all chorused YEAH. So he asked usto draw one and we failed. We couldnt remember the details.He sent us out to look.Virgo LOOKS out into the world. It deals with a myriad details.Leo can see things with the MIND’S EYE. Cancer memory (waterretains heat) memorises Leo images so we can recognise whatwe see. We cannot look and see at the same time. If you arevisualising your front door you will not see what is in front of youreyes. Try it. Virgo Looking Complementary connection in operation O Leo Seeing
The final opposition is concernedwith SURVIVALThis opposition also explains afamiliar entailment but first I wantto introduce you to an even moreamazing piece of information.
These are the Complementary Connections as they line up in the I Ching, the positive signs on the right and the negative signs on the right. Check out the Ruling Lines. The Receptive The Creative Earth Heaven yang Mercury yang ruled yang Gemini yangMoon ruled yangCancer
These ruling lines tell us that these positions are of majorsignificance.And they ARE! ThinkingWe pat our hearts when we use the word me.‘Me‟ is the centre of the throbbing mass that is mybody (the Receptive Earth). ‘I‟ seems to hangout somewhere in my head. SURVIVAL We say: I AM ME Feeling
SURVIVAL Cancer is gut feeling. Gemini is the wits. They work forour survival. The guts will throw up if anything endangers the digestive system,this will embarrass the wits no end, on the other hand the guts would not survivewithout the wits to work out how to get us the next meal.Cancer is ruled by the instinctual Moon. This is the place of the physical heart.Straight square great without purpose’. The heart pumps the blood around thebody, its ‘complement’, Leo, supplies the energy, the beat.The dark side of Cancer is self-pity (this is not Neptunian martyrdom). Poor me.… The dark side of Gemini is superficiality.Gemini, ruled by Mercury, messenger of the gods, is a ‘flying dragon in theheavens’. It is pure thought.Gemini rules the journalist. Mercury is not particularly interested in facts - factscan get in the way of a good story . It is not intuitive either so here we see it asruling pure Air on the philosopher’s stone. It is invisible but it has a profoundreality and is so important we have given it a name. We call it „I‟.The Dao De Jing begins by defining this pair, ‘Desire nothing and you will knowthe nameless’. ‘I’ can only be directly experienced when the mind chatter is off.‘Desire and you will know the manifest.’ The physical body has needs that mustbe satisfied. ‘They are the same and yet different, a gateway of life’.Consciousness says ‘I am me‟. Our sense of ourselves is the product of entailed,opposite, cognitive functions, neither I nor me but the result of the interactionbetween the two.We are back at the middle again.
And here another ‘entailment.‘Hearing’ and ‘listening’.After years of thought I have finally decided with confidence which word fits whichposition. Listening suggests an innate understanding of the meaning held by asound. Grrrrrrrrrrr – the meaning in this is obvious. ? My husband was watching Wallander. It has subtitles – the words were written on the screen. ‘I need to turn up the sound’, he hearing said. Ah Ha! He needed the extra information given by the intonations. Much underlying meaning is carried by the intonations. The O Moon reacts instinctively to listening dangerous intonations. Mercury is concerned with understanding the actual words.To understand this entailment concentrate on the sounds in your environment.When you do this it is difficult to also understand exactly what people are saying.
And here is further entailment concerning these two.Cancer is Water – pure feeling. If you concentrate on howyour big toe feels or on listening to your heart beatyou will have to suspend thinking.Try it. Thinking SURVIVAL Feeling
Brain specialists equate the frontal part of the brain with MIND. The olderpart of the brain is at the back. This is the instinctive brain. We can think ofit as Heart.Nothing we have learnt from studying the archetypes on our model woulddisagree. MIND and HEART
Here is the Philosopher’s Stone. again I think that it is beautiful. I hope it helped you to understand the opposites.‘The mandala first comes into consciousness as an impressive point or dot’. TracticusAureus, Aion, p. 32.This point ‘being nothing and consisting of nothing, becomes a ‘certain magnitudeincomprehensible by thought’. Hyppolitus, Aion, p.199.