“And the Gods, pitying the toils which our race is born to undergo, have appointed holy festivals, wherein men alternate rest with labour; and have given them the Muses and Apollo, the leader of the Muses, and Dionysus, to be companions in their revels, that they may improve their education by taking part in the festivals of the Gods. . .”
-Plato, Laws (Book II)
In this quote, Plato argues that holy festivals are meant to honor both the Apollonian (order) and the Dionysian (chaos) elements of life and that these festivals are necessary for spiritual well-being and development.
Historically speaking, Great Dionysia, was an ancient Athenian festival in which tragedy, comedy, and satyric drama all originated.
Thus, all theatrical arts were born directly from magical rituals that sought to heal society by inviting balance between the influences of Apollo and Dionysus; order and chaos; rationality and frenzy.
In ancient Greece, these opposing principles were understood to be intrinsically connected in an intimate and dynamic relationship of mutual exchange.
Astrologically speaking, every lunation cycle is a dance between the Sun and the Moon that reveals how opposing principles (light/dark, male/female, conscious/subconscious) coexist in dynamic balance. From the union of opposites, new birth is made possible.
“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”
On August 2nd, 2016 there will be New Moon in Leo.
This is a New Moon that will be in love with the night, looking for any opportunity to experience life with fresh eyes!
New Moons begin when the Sun and Moon merge, blending the masculine and feminine, rational and irrational. This luminary coniunctio (union of opposites) will usher in a fresh cycle of fertile energy.
Thus, whatever creativity you begin to cultivate at the New Moon will find its culmination at the upcoming lunar eclipse in the middle of August. Let this New Moon in Leo help you to nurture the growth of your spirit.
“I know not by what power I am made bold”
Just as this Moon in Leo reaches its exact conjunction with the Sun at ten degrees, Mars makes a dramatic transition from the dark waters of Scorpio into the brave new world of fiery Sagittarius.
The shadows on you break out into the light. With the Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars all bathing in elemental fire, at this New Moon expect your passions to become inflamed.
“The will of man is by his reason sway’d;”
One of the greatest theatrical portrayals of the integration of opposites through the invocation of the Dionysian is Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Appropriately set in the the city of Athens, the play is a perverse comedy that tells the story of how four young lovers are driven mad in the wild woods one summer night.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream creates a comedic juxtaposition between Apollonian love, which is institutionalized and rationalized, and Dionysian love, which is unrestrained insanity.
By the end of the play, the revelry transforms into revelation. Propriety and lust find perfect harmony.
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact.”
On a New Moon night, the Dionysian should be embraced by releasing the illusion of control to the darkness.
Let passion burn with enthusiasm and erupt in torrents of melodrama. In the throes of passion, your heart aches with vulnerability, swelling with the urge to confess, to emote, and to express.
In these blazes of pleasure and pain, there is a quickening of the spirit. You should feel animated and alive whether you are cast in the role of lunatic, lover or poet.
In the light and shadow of human drama, your passions may evoke a more stylized performance than usual: one that is prone to hyperbole, gesticulation and exaggeration.
This New Moon will be trined to Saturn in Sagittarius, which is still squaring Neptune in Pisces.
The trine to Saturn brings some structure to the madness around you, offering you the power of the poet’s pen to shape your own destiny.
“as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name”
Thus, on this New Moon in Leo, you will feel like both the player and the playwright. Where do you draw the line is between comedy and tragedy in your life?
“Let me play the lion too:
I will roar that I will do any man’s heart good to hear me.”
The sign of Leo, with its natural penchant for performative flair, is often misunderstood as being blatantly egotistical.
Thus, many of the finest qualities of Leo are relegated exclusively to the stage, nightclubs, and gay neighborhoods.
Outside of these special societal categories, Leonic energies are too often dampened by cynicism.
In the modern world, the obsession with finding “what is real” has birthed a great prejudice against those that live life through an artfully cultivated persona.
To live life ritualistically, as though it were an artform, is anathema to society’s rigid separation between the practical and the spiritual.
This is a sign that the Apollonian desire for order and control has gotten out of hand. Humanity has almost perfected its ability to rationalize itself out of existence.
The authentic self that everybody feels morally bound to discover, to analyze, and to then perform is a Sisyphean obsession. In the labyrinth of that search for the Self, there are only phantoms.
“How shall we find the concord of this discord?”
This is the struggle of the Western individual, who tirelessly seeks to individuate and discover their own uniqueness.
This search for fundamental authenticity is the basis of all analytical distinctions and all rational thought. To reason and compare everything is an eternal process of distillation.
“One sees more devils than vast hell can hold”
Leo certainly has a flair for the tempestuous struggle to find its own unique mind and heart at the center of the universe.
But the real cathartic power of Leo lies in its primal reaction to the pretension that underlies the quest for the authentic self. The fires of Leo consume that self in ecstasy and in madness.
“Thus I die. . .
Now I am dead,
Now I am fled,
My soul is in the sky.
Tongue, lose thy light.
Moon take thy flight.”
Leo knows that while your character is animated by something earnest and dynamic, there is nothing authentic about it.
This is the Dionysian wisdom that ancient Greek drama was born from, for it is within drama that the individual is sacrificed to the drunkenness of divinity.
Without release into the Dionysian, your life will harden and crack like concrete.
“The best in this kind are but shadows;
and the worst are no worse,
if imagination amend them.”
Therefore, at this New Moon Leo, the only pretentious thing to do would be to take yourself seriously.
With awareness that your persona is fluid, consider the possibility that you are at liberty to re-interpret and re-invigorate your role anytime that you desire.
Much wisdom will be gained if you give up the ghost. This New Moon asks you to liberate yourself: break character, overreact and accentuate your tragic flaws.
From these wild vacillations of self-expression, rebirth will be made possible.
“The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be changed”
<3 Aeolian Heart <3
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