Thirty-Eight

(I just discovered that Jupiter in my natal chart is conjunct the fixed star Praesepe, in the star cluster “the Beehive” (NGC 2638). Traditional sources consider this cluster “malefic” and a bad omen. Chinese astrologers, however, call it “the spirit of ancestors”. I decided to ask the Siberian man about it.)

We met on the beach at dusk. The sea was almost invisible, melting into the darkening, violet haze.

“Tell me, why is the Beehive destructive?” I asked.
“Well, these traditional astrologers of yours, they were not exactly serving a goddess, were they?” he replied, staring at the sky, waiting for the stars to appear.
“What do you mean?”
“That most of them were serving the same god in whose name people hunted witches and pagans… so it was mostly the dark side of the goddess that they recognised…”

We sat there silently for a while, and as darkness was getting denser, the first stars became visible. I also spotted the Moon.

“And whom do You serve?”, I looked at him.
“I serve Life. Mindless merging with the goddess can indeed bring horrible destruction. But there is another way to connect with her. By bringing consciousness. So many of the ancient traditions believed that light and darkness are foes. It is not so. They crave each other. Without the other, both are dead and deadly. Look at the night sky. The stars. The Moon. The gentle glow around and within. Look around you in plain daylight. All the shades and shadows that give form and colour to everything. Light and darkness, they are not enemies. They are two lovers, making love.”

Thirty-Three

I was on a night sea, in a narrow boat with the Siberian man. I saw a star shining bright on the horizon. “Is that Jupiter rising?” – I asked, but he didn’t reply. “I wonder what I am supposed to do with myself. When I live in the outer world, I soon feel so empty I don’t even want to stay alive. When I try to balance the inner with the outer, it takes up so much of my energy that it’s difficult to do anything else, I hardly ever get to actually doing something meaningful…”. The Siberian man didn’t reply, he was just staring into the rising star.

Then part of me was somewhere else, and I saw a great fire, trees burning, and people in special equipment trying to extinguish it. I wanted to know where this was, so I rose from the ground and started to fly upwards. I saw trees, I saw rocks, and I saw snow.

“How can the snow be on fire?” – I thought to myself. There was something strange about this snow and this fire, but I couldn’t tell what it was. And then, suddenly, a thought passed through me, and I shivered “Did it look like this in Chernobyl?”.

Twenty-Three

I wanted to meet the Moon in my natal chart. The Siberian man was leading me upwards on a meandering mountain path. It was quite foggy but I knew we were already rather high up. Then we reached a plateau, I was not sure whether it was the top of the mountain or there was more above us. In any case, a far-eastern Buddhist monk came to meet us, smiling.

“Here you are”. he said.
“Are you my Moon?” – I asked.
“Are you really surprised?” – he asked back, smiling.

No, I wasn’t, not really. He was looking at me and the Siberian man with a gentle smile. The two men exchanged knowing glances.

“Welcome” – said the monk, holding our hands.

But we didn’t start off towards the monastery. Instead, he brought a horse well-prepared for a long journey, with blankets and saddlebags.

“Your horse is ready for your journey” – he said and nodded gently. The Siberian man thanked him in a similar manner.

The monk put his hands on my shoulders, and looked deeply into my eyes. I could feel he cared deeply about me, but we didn’t say a word.

I didn’t feel like going anywhere, but I knew I had to. I took the horse and we gently started off into the ever-thickening fog. I could feel the monk and the Siberian man staring after me.

Twenty-Two

It is the time of my solar return, and I wanted to meet the Sun in my birth chart. I went to the dark, underground forest where he  took me the first time. I saw him sitting on a chair, with golden hair reaching a bit beyond his shoulder. The Siberian man was gently combing his hair, and I was wondering whether the Sun was male or female, it was not obvious at all. He stood up and he started to turn and turn, and once he was a man and once she was a woman. Then he came to see me, a young man around 18 or less.

“Why are you so young?” – I asked him.
“Because you want to see me that way. When your daughter was born, you decided I was not up to the task of raising her and set me aside. You decided I was childish, that I cannot function well enough in the real world.”
“And can you? You are hardly aware of time, for example. How could you feed her, or how could you fetch her from school in time? How would you notice she’s grown out of her trousers and needs a new pair? and so much more. Mystical realms is one thing, but my daughter is the most important in the world, and she needs someone who takes care of her, whom she can rely on. I doubt that’s you.”
“That’s fine, but can’t we do something better than this? How long do you think this can go on?”
“I have no idea. As long as she needs me, I guess”
“Please. You really underestimate me. I am not a child. And I’m not so childish, either.”

He opened up like a flower, and there was a woman, smiling. Then she opened up and there was a very old man. And he opened up and there was a very old woman. And he opened up and there was the young Sun, again.

“Alright” – I said. “I am sorry”.

I took his hand and we started to walk out of the dark forest, through a tunnel. I could feel his hand change in mine, and when I looked back, he looked more like a woman. Then we got out of a cave, and she was the ever-changing, dark haired, almond-eyed woman from my other meditation.

The Siberian man ran to her and hugged her, then ran to me and hugged me, too. He was very happy.

Twenty

I was in a cavern by the sea, I could not see the water but I could hear its roar: there was a storm. Then the waves came into the cave, and a long figure lifted me up and threw me into the water. I couldn’t swim. He caught me, lifted me up, threw me in again. “learn to swim” he said, and did it again and again. I still couldn’t swim. It didn’t work. It was pointless.

Then the waves left the space and the man disappeared. I heard the sounds of footsteps, but couldn’t see anyone. The footsteps sometimes came from one direction, then from the other. It was quite dark, I could hardly see a thing.  I was anxious, and I could feel my anxiety burning in my belly.

Then I remembered the eye in my navel, and I decided to try and open it and look around. It felt strange, but it worked, I could see a dim figure, I wondered if it was an animal, it felt so alien. It was changing shape, taking form… at one moment, it looked like the head of a snail, then it resembled Yoda from Star Wars… whatever it was, it was something very different and strange.

“Who are you?” – I asked.

There was no reply. I tried to guess, but its energy felt so alien that I had no idea what this being could be. Was it one of the outer planets? Uranus? Pluto? Neptune? None of them aspect the Moon in my natal chart… Saturn? He wouldn’t be so fluid… why didn’t it say something? Whatever it was, it must have come in answer to my question about my mother – just before meditation, I wondered why our relationship was so complicated.

Then, it occurred to me that maybe it couldn’t talk. I showed him a natal chart, with the houses, but without planets in it. It was like a map drawn on a piece of cloth. “Show me where you are in my birth chart”. It put its finger onto the 8th house. I have no planets in the 8th house. I tried to visualize my natal chart to see what could be there.

In the meantime, the creature found something like a ladder against the wall of the cave, and started crawling upwards. He looked more like a lizard right now… or… I suddenly remembered what was in my 8th house. “You are the tail of the dragon, the South Node” I said, and he indeed looked like a dragon now.

He reached some kind of plateau, where he transformed into a lion, and kept walking forward. When he reached the end of the plateau, it looked down into the depth, it was vast and there was a dark lake at the bottom.

Suddenly, the huge head of a dragon rose out of the lake, it was threatening, the lion was scared. He transformed into a wolf, but the wolf was scared, too. Then it transformed into a little girl, resembling Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”, the Disney cartoon.

The dragon swallowed her. She traveled through the body of the dragon, down the abyss, into the lake, up the ladder, and popped out at the tail. Then the dragon swallowed her again. This was repeated quite a few times.

Then I heard a voice close to me: “Don’t follow the white rabbit.”. It was probably the Siberian man. I wondered whether he was amused…

Nineteen

I was at the seaside, breathing with the rhythm of the sea. Then I was in the town where we lived until last year, with gardens overlooking the river. I was lying in one of these gardens, and there was Venus, as a young woman, partly covered in feathers. My belly was filled with soil, like a flowerpot, and Venus was planting flowers in me.

I looked at her hands, one of them looked like the claw of a bird.

And I asked:
“What is it like, being a hybrid? Is it like being sick?”

“No” she replied, “when you get sick, you had a “healthy” self that got somehow distorted by sickness. But I was born like this, it’s not a distortion, it’s my being. When you are one type of being or another, you have a home in the land of this or that. When you are a hybrid, like me, you live at the crossroads, your only home is your skin, not even that, because even that might be forever changing”.

“Are you a shapeshifter, too?”

She just smiled.

“But doesn’t it make things difficult for you, to be so different? I mean, Venus is about relating to others, connections, self-worth and such…”

“All that bull*t about what I am and what I am about. You read too much”, she laughed. “Well, okay, relating, connecting… let’s see.

Your mother lives in an imaginary symbiosis with a duplicate of you, an image of her daughter who resembles a lot like you in some ways and not at all in others. She gets upset and feels betrayed when you “split” yourself from this image, and she refuses to accept that her fantasy-daughter and you are two different “people”. Relating and connecting, indeed.

And your father. He didn’t really get the difference between reality and imagination, inside and outside, child and adult. You were two kids playing together, or two grownups enveloped in darkness… you were his best friend, his comrade, the only soul who could “understand” him. He didn’t have close friends; the only sibling he was close to, his brother, lived in another city; his mother died; his marriage was a catastrophe… and he was mentally “fragile”. I know he meant the world to you, but you also meant the world to him. And that’s not okay. And it couldn’t work. No matter how hard you were trying. You were a child. Even an adult cannot be everything to another person.

Seventeen

I wanted to meet Jupiter, but I could not see him anywhere. I was on the rocky side of a mountain, very high up. There was hardly enough room for my feet. I looked up and saw a figure standing on the top, with the head of a bull.

“What the hell”, I thought to myself, and I remembered that I had Taurus intercepted in the tenth house. I started to wonder what it actually meant to be intercepted. I was hoping the Siberian man would turn up soon, but I couldn’t see him anywhere. I could smell snow, and I was visited by a memory from my childhood: my mother and I were walking in the town centre, it was already dark, and soon it would be Christmas. I needed a pair of boots, and my mother was dragging me by the hand, pulling me to go faster, faster. I was staring at the shopwindows as we hurried by, I knew my mother wanted me to hurry so that I wouldn’t see them, all the Christmas decoration, the toys, the lights… our Christmases were always disastrous, lots of tension, rows, and cold… it started to snow, and it looked so beautiful, snowflakes glittering in the lamplight… my mother was talking to me but I couldn’t get myself to listen, I just wanted to let go of her hand and stay there, staring at the sparkling snowflakes dancing between my fingers…

Suddenly, I was back on the rocks, again, very high up, and I remembered that I had always thought that’s how I would end up one day: jump from a very high place. On my way home from school, I had to cross a railway bridge, and each time I stopped in the middle, stared down and imagined what it would be like to jump. I wouldn’t have to go home, never again. And then took a deep breath and walked away, walked home.

Then I noticed the Siberian man, he arrived at last. I asked him: “What is Taurus doing there? he’s not even my actual midheaven, he’s intercepted. I wonder what interception is about anyway…”

The Siberian man started to laugh “why don’t you ask the Sun? He knows all about it”. I shrugged. “I don’t know, all that Scorpio stuff, I don’t feel like meeting the Sun, it would be like being a child again, I hated being a child. Do we have to see him?”. The Siberian man stepped closer, embraced my face with his hands and looked deeply into my eyes. Suddenly I could see myself through his eyes, as if we swapped bodies.

And behind me, I saw the Sun climbing the rocks. He was young, probably under 18, wearing a long, white shirt, like a dress. His hair was blond, and he had golden flames around his head, like a crown. “Oh, shit” I thought, and I was myself again, “what is he doing up here?”. But the Siberian man shrugged, smiling.

Then I felt movement above us, too, and I saw that Taurus was descending, he was coming to meet us. The Sun arrived, smiled at me, but I was not at ease. He offered his hand, and I took it. By that time, Taurus arrived, too, and he took my other hand. We were staring down into the depths, and I understood what we were going to do. I got frightened, looked back at the Siberian man behind us.

“Won’t you come with us? please come with us.” – (“Don’t leave me alone with them,” I thought, but didn’t dare to say it out loud, I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the Sun and Taurus).  The Siberian man nodded and hugged me from behind.

And we jumped.

We were falling, falling, falling into darkness. Sometimes I saw roots of plants, sometimes I smelled soil. When we landed, we were in a night forest.

“is it always dark here? do you live in darkness?” – I asked the Sun.

He smiled, holding a candle in his hand “I am kind of a midnight Sun, after all. But no, how could I live in darkness, I am the Sun, I take light with me wherever I go”.

Of course, I thought to myself, I was stupid.

I still had no clue what Taurus was doing there, but he was coming with us anyway.

At one point, I saw something like an owl on a tree branch, but it changed into something else, with strange eyes, and it was shifting fast, couldn’t even grasp how many things it was at the same time.

“What is that?” – I asked the Sun.

“Oh, it’s one of Venus‘ creatures”

“Is she some kind of a witch? did she bewitch that poor animal into some kind of a hybrid?”

The Sun started to laugh, and so did Taurus.

“No, Venus is not a witch. She doesn’t make these creatures, she gathers them”

“Gathers them what for?”

I suddenly saw something like a cross between an old woman and some kind of an animal, but again, changing shapes so fast I could not even register what was going on.

“Is she one of them?” I asked. “Is Venus some kind of a hybrid? or a monster?”

“Don’t say that, she’s hurt enough. She’s not a monster” the Sun replied.

Then I saw a young woman, who came to meet us. Her hair didn’t look like hair, more like feathers, and I noticed she had feathers on her arms, too. I couldn’t resist touching her, and I felt embarrassed, hoping I did not offend her.

Fourteen

I was in the dark, some reddish light was filtering through the walls, it was warm and soft, I was in my body, again. Then I saw the room around me in half-light, through eyes still closed.

Next, I was with the Siberian man, we were at sea, going very fast in his boat. At one point, there came a huge wave, but instead of pouring down on us, it stopped and stood still, I could feel some of the water as vapour on my skin.

And the man said
-“The most important thing now is to maintain your  flexibility of perspective and develop it even further. You’ve come a long way in that domain, you already have some muscles there. But you are afraid that your emotions will take it away from you, that they will blind and freeze you. But it is not water that is afraid of changing and flowing, it’s not your feelings that are holding you back. Look, water can take any shape it wants, fill in any form and it will still be water, and it knows it.”

And we got out of the way of the wave while it was still frozen, to a safe distance, and watched it melt and plunge into the sea.

– “But what is it in me that threatens this flexibility, what is afraid that I will lose myself, that I will cease to be who I am by coming  here?”
– “What is the element that can most easily mistake itself for the shape it takes, because it’s the most solid of all?”
– “Earth?” I asked.
He nodded.

And I thought of the Moon and Saturn in Virgo in my natal chart, and I wondered…

Twelve

I had the man without skin in my mind for quite a while, and I thought I would go back and visit him. At first, we were in something like a cave. He seemed to be made of fire. There was a cascade at the entry of the cave, and we were facing it. “How could I go through this water without extinguishing myself?”, he asked me. I didn’t know what to say.

Then we were on a small island, surrounded by sea. We could see another island nearby, and even some people at a distance, on boats or ships. “I have tried to build a boat, but it always catches my fire and it is destroyed and I am extinguished, and then I am reborn, but I cannot cross to the other side…”. “So what do you do?” – I asked him. “I wait for help” he shrugged, and we sat down onto the sand.

Out of a sudden, we heard a great noise and the ground was pulsating, like a thousand drums. And I saw a herd of wild horses rising out of the sea, and it reminded me of ancient depictions of Poseidon (Neptune) riding his chariot of hippocamps. “You will see” said the skinless man of fire.

I enjoyed watching the horses roaming about, they were beautiful, powerful and free. Then one of them slowed down and came towards us. We stood up. “Come” – said the skinless man, and we took the horse, and off we went, running with the rest of the herd, racing with the winds, on top of the oceans… it was thrilling, intoxicating.

At one point, we ourselves became horses, too. Then the skinless man  said “now maybe we could try and head towards those shores”. We became riders again, and our horse was hesitant, not sure what to do, part of it wanted to go on roaming with the others, and the other part wanted to help us, it was getting agitated… it was impossible to tell what was going to happen.

Suddenly, the horse was calm, joyful, even. I noticed someone on the beach, it was the Siberian man coming towards us, smiling. Our horse was still standing on top of the water, and it was starting to walk towards the man. He was in the water up to his chest when we met, they greeted each other gently with the horse, and then we all went to the shore. When we were there, the skinless man turned into a hawk and flied away. “Oh, but you are silly, what was all the fuss about if you can fly?”. The Siberian man turned to me “s/he can only do that when I am with him/her” “And why aren’t you with him all the time?” He started to laugh. “Well, s/he has to come to me.” “But how can he come and find you when he’s made of fire and there’s so much water all around? can’t you go and help him instead?”. The Siberian man laughed again, and he laughed and laughed. “What? what’s so funny? won’t you answer my question?” – “I already did” he said, smiling, shaking his head.


When I opened my eyes, my first thought was “but I’m so stupid!’. In my chart, Neptune (in the fifth house) is in Sagittarius, Neptune’s horses are Jupiter‘s horses, too, he rules Neptune! All the skinless man had to do was ask for help…

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