“It is necessary for the archer to become, in spite of himself, an unmoved center. Then comes the supreme and ultimate miracle: art becomes “artless”,...the end a beginning, and the beginning perfection.” (Zen and the Art of Archery)
This month’s Dark Moon on 7th December 2018 at 07:20 GMT occurs in the 20th Lunar Mansion, whose Tropical boundaries range from 04 Sagittarius 17 to 17 Sagittarius 08. According to Christopher Warnock, in his book “The Mansions of the Moon”, this lunar mansion goes by the Arabic name Al-Na'am; “The Beam” and was originally located in the foreleg of the constellation Sagittarius, the centaur/archer; hence the association of this mansion with the concepts of hunting a quarry, aiming for a target and embarking on a quest. Making alliances, and all actions taken to contain and restrict the malevolence of chaotic and aggressive forces also fall under the remit of this Lunar Mansion. The common theme is mastery of the self, concentrated and focused effort directed at a much-desired goal.
The Dark Moon when located here counsels us to turn our gaze away from the target and reflect instead on mastery of the self, the better to improve our concentration and focus: “Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself and may even succeed in hitting himself.” (from Zen and the Art of Archery)
The exact degree of December’s Dark Moon (when the Moon is exactly conjunct the Sun) is 15 Sagittarius 07. This occurs in the second decan of Sagittarius which is ruled by the Moon and corresponds (in the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) to the tarot card the Nine of Wands. When designing this card for the famous Rider Waite tarot deck, the talented and visionary Pamela ‘Pixie’ Colman Smith chose to depict a battle-weary warrior steadfastly defending a barricade or blockade.
Although the boundaries of the 20th Lunar Mansion overlap but do not exactly match the limits of the decan the tarot image from the Rider Waite deck is very much in keeping with its attributions: The soldier is the embodiment of self-contained strength, the barrier he guards keeps the forces of chaos at bay. The changeable influence of the Moon, ruler of this decan can also be observed; our warrior knows that the situation is in a permanent state of flux (as Aleister Crowley observes in relation to this card; “Change is Stability”): The peace may be shattered at any moment and he must be constantly on the alert against hostile forces, whether they attack from without or undermine from within.
Just prior to this month’s Dark Moon (when the Moon conjuncts the Sun at 15 Sagittarius 07), the Moon separates from a tense and emotional square aspect with Mars and Neptune in Pisces (at 13 Pisces 33 and 13 Pisces 44 respectively) and following the conjunction with the Sun moves on to apply to a trine with retrograde Uranus in Aries (28 Aries 59): Conflict and confusion are left behind, and following the reflective period of the Dark Moon there lies the possibility of a sudden, potentially positive breakthrough. If we, like the warrior or the archer, counsel ourselves to remain in a state of disciplined focus and alertness, we will be better placed to make the best of the coming revelations and opportunities, whether they manifest on a worldwide or individual level.
By Louise of Arabia (website https://www.luckypenguinfortune.com/)
Chart calculated with Astrogold for Mobile
Woodcut Print: Nakumura Shikan as a Samurai Archer by Utagawa Toyokuni c 1820 (Library of Congress)
Image of the 9 of Wands Tarot Card from the Rider Waite deck (artist: Pamela Colman Smith)
"The Mansions of the Moon" by Christopher Warnock
"36 Faces – the History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans" by Austin Coppock
"The Book of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot)" by The Master Therion (Aleister Crowley)