Celestial Ménage à Trois

You may remember last June I ‘forewarned’ our intrepid readers about the re-conjunction in Aries of the Goddess of Chaos, Eris (a.k.a., “Discordia”), and Uranus, the Sky God of fiery rebellion associated with unpredictable disruptions. This conjunction lines up exact three times, due to a Uranus retrograde, in the latter degrees of Aries. The last time we experienced it – at the beginning of Aries in 1927-1928, this fiery union ushered in economic collapse and the rise of fascism. The first exact transit this time around coincided with Brexit, the second with the first U.S. Presidential debate, and the final one is right around the corner, on St. Patrick’s Day, as it turns out. In between, they remain close enough to be considered in prolonged embrace.

Richard Tarnas shows in his epic book Cosmos & Psyche how axial alignments of these outer, transcendental planets seem to trigger their archetypal energies collectively, as history, though human agency is always the wild card in determining how these energies play out. Given the startling developments we are seeing this time around with Eris & Uranus, echoing a disturbing past from the last time they hooked up, we would be well advised to take a harder look at this historic transit. After all, the 1930s is not a decade anyone of sound mind wishes to replicate.

When Uranus was discovered at the end of the 18th Century, it revolutionized our understanding of the solar system – not only because we’d always assumed Saturn to be the outer planet, but also because Uranus was seen to spin on its side, unlike all the other planets. It was named after the Saturn’s father, just as Saturn had been named after Jupiter’s father, the most remote planet from us being characterized as the ‘elder.’ Searching backwards in time, Tarnas points out that Uranus’ influence has actually been more Promethean when interacting with the other outer planets. Prometheus, of course, defied the gods and brought fire down to humans, allowing for civilization itself to develop to the point of bringing the fire of the sun down in the form of nuclear energy. Uranus’ carries an explosive charge, associated with both startling breakthroughs in science and technology as well as popular rebellions that defy our chosen “gods,” or rulers. A recent example is the Arab Spring, triggered by an axial arrangement between Uranus and Pluto, which coincided with the “year of the smartphone” and the discovery of the Higgs boson, or “god particle.”

When Eris was discovered in 2005, she also shook up our understanding of the solar system, causing the demotion of Pluto from his lofty, planetary status. Her 600 year orbit appears in the shape of a cosmic egg that contains the entire solar system, with the sun as the yolk.

In naming these planets, it’s not so much that we intentionally impart some archetypal energy to them ourselves, which would be a form of magical thinking. Rather, it is that in the ordered, sychnronized cosmos we inhabit, there are no coincidences – we’re actually just intuiting the archetypal energies associated with those ancient mythical gods and goddesses we name these celestial bodies after.

So the planets do not themselves cause any events when they align in certain ways. Instead, these alignments represent celestial frequencies caused by archetypal interference patterns in the “music of the spheres,” if you will. It is up to us, as agents with free will, to either live our myth, by acknowledging the cosmological patterns of history, or to be lived by our myth, as Joseph Campbell put it. It is safe to say that the last time Eris and Uranus conjoined, we were lived by the myth of their union, as we had yet to discover Eris’ existence at the outermost edge of our solar system. The constellation Aries, where Uranus has now returned after a full orbit through the zodiac to rejoin Eris, is variously associated with Ares, the chaotic God of War, and Aries, the ram with the golden fleece.

Eris is the goddess of chaos, the troublemaker who throws the golden apple into the midst of the celestial wedding reception she was not invited to, with the injunction for she who is fairest of all the goddesses to accept it as a gift. According to Greek legend, this was the start of the Trojan War. Aphrodite famously won the contest as fairest of all, when she offered Paris of Troy, designated by Zeus as judge, not Power, as Hera had offered, or Wisdom, as Athena offered, but rather, the love of Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful woman on earth who, inconveniently, was married to King Menelaus. When Paris raided Sparta to steal the love promised him, he started the war that would lead to the destruction of Troy.

What I failed to mention at the beginning of this triple conjunction between Uranus and Eris, when I issued the warning in June, is that there is a third heavenly body involved this time around – Ceres. She is the earthy goddess most closely associated with agriculture, or fertility – from the Latin verb gerere, “to bear, bring forth, produce.” She represents the rise of civilization, beginning with the planting of crops 11,000 years ago. Scientists refer to it as the Holocene Age, and now tell us it effectively ended when, Prometheus-like, we brought fire down from the heavens in 1945 in the “Trinity” test.

We are obviously dealing with some very heavy archetypal energies here!

This new geologic era – the Anthropocene – is now being viewed through the lens of abrupt anthropocentric climate change. This is Eris’ realm we’ve entered. Aries is a sign of emergence, the first sign in the Zodiac, and Ceres, too, brings forth new life. We are reshaping life on the planet according to our own misguided, increasingly chaotic desires. Perhaps because of widespread suppression of this existential spiritual crisis, we find ourselves acting out a chaotic climate right now on the global political stage, exhibiting a kind of collective dissociative behavior. With this destabilizing planetary alignment acting on Psyche – our collective consciousness (or soul) – we seem to have elevated Mammon to the highest office in a farcical display of who is “fairest” amongst our most unpopular politicians!

We should not be surprised to see this chaos play out next, after the triple conjunction is complete, in the sphere of our global economy, since that is how it manifested at the end of the roaring 20’s. If we continue to be lived by this myth, it is easy to foresee how economic collapse might ensue, foreshadowing the seemingly inevitable prospect of ecologic collapse, and also presenting us with a clear choice between a path of world war and a path of global reformation. While war (Eris) seems to be the path of least resistance in the face of economic dislocation, a reformation could be triggered through rebelling (Uranus) against the powers that be, along with breakthroughs in the field of agro-ecology (Ceres), which holds the potential to reverse climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon in restored soils.

We mustn’t fool ourselves here. This is a complex archetypal dynamic that could go many ways. Eris embodies the chaos and strife that often precipitates regeneration, much like the Hindu creator/destroyer archetype Shiva. Uranus was both the son and husband of Gaia, who like Ceres and her Roman counterpart, Demeter, can be viewed as Mother Earth. One way of viewing this ménage à trois is that Eris has brought discord to the union of sky and earth. Ceres was with Uranus at the start of this triple conjunction, but had already moved on by the time of the second conjunction, and is now moving into earthy Taurus.

From a “big picture” perspective, the kind of long-view that Eris inspires in us, could the dalliance of Eris and Uranus be disruptive in the short term, causing Earth and Sky to part, but ultimately have the effect of re-fertilizing Ceres, the generative archetype? After all, this is the culmination of a 90-year dalliance! Could Uranus become father as well as son and husband of Ceres, completing a very different kind of trinity?

These archetypal energies all coming together in cosmic embrace suggest many different possibilities – all of them rather startling. Eris issues the adversarial challenge, Uranus embodies the potential for revolutionary breakthroughs, and Ceres holds the key for bringing new life up from underground. Let these celestial bodies sport with play in your own imagination, and see what might emerge from the realm of possibility.

According to Prigogine’s theory of dissipative structures, it is necessary for any system to reach a state of maximum disorder before it can suddenly, quite unexpectedly, transform into a quantum level higher state of order. We need to pay special attention to the way generativity is often masked by chaos and conflict in our own lives, and how destruction in the world at large can often clear the way for construction of something new. After all, the new world order that we live in today emerged from the Apocalyptic ruins of WWII. It is no longer so orderly, is it?

With accelerating anthropogenic climate chaos, we are definitely bringing the entire world system into a heightened state of maximum disorder. The difference between 1927 and 2017 is that we can see Eris now – we have awareness and insights in relation to the chaotic profusion that was lacking last time. What kind of catalyst might be called forth to transform this chaos and strife from a discordant state of spiritual emergency into a higher state of spiritual emergence?

Stay tuned to the mythically charged cosmos to find out…

Zhiwa Woodbury is a tireless advocate for Mother Earth. He’s an eco-activist, ecopsychologist, eco-lawyer, eco-Buddhist, and Program Manager for WildLands Defense living in the City of Trees (a.k.a. Boise, ID). He is the author of the These Mythic Times column for Immanence Journal. More of his writing can be found at www.Planetary-Hospice.com.

 

1 reply
  1. zhiwa
    zhiwa says:

    P.S. The Supreme Court just set a conference call for March 17 to decide whether or not to allow a case to proceed, Blumenthal v. U.S., that seeks to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election, removing Trump and all his appointees, based on the a clause in the Constitution that arguably guarantees elections will be free from foreign interference.

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