|Spirituality and Psychology: A Lunar Perspective by Ingrid Naiman|
In the beginning, the Creator contained all possibilities. When God decided to actualize the Plan that had been gestating within, the two key components of Creation were extruded in such a way as to render them interdependent for the duration of Eternity. That which we call the masculine is radiatory, linear, and dynamic. It has life, vitality, and is the very Essence of existence. This part is "qualified" by Ideas which are expressed as purpose or destiny. The feminine is magnetic, spacious, and originally at the beginning of the incarnational odyssey devoid of content, empty. In my somewhat poetic imagination, I see a vast milky, opalescent Space, shimmering in her immaculate purity and Divine Innocence. Into this marvelous and beautiful Cosmic Womb, an intense Light entered and Space became filled with passionate ideas and holy love. Out of this exuberant union, Heaven was born. This is the First Cosmos and every soul came into existence at the time of the birth of Heaven. So, Heaven is our true place of birth and our original home. However, since our original birth, we have been traveling throughout Space, experiencing the many parts of Creation, retaining memories of our experiences, and expressing our uniqueness.
The soul of each of us is what I call "the true self." To know this true self, we have to align with the source of our beingness. When this occurs, we experience purpose as a brilliant light which we sense as inspiration and express as destiny. This is half of the nature of the soul. The other half remembers the harvests of its journeys. These memories are called wisdom, and wisdom can be very practical or very profound. This is the feminine half of the true self, and this part also has the power to attract guidance (from the masculine) and to build the forms that Intention, the Father, needs to fulfill Its purpose. The true self is thus qualified by purpose and composed of memories of experience as well as the substance necessary for building in the created worlds.
Everything in Creation is thus composed of a masculine and a feminine part which are forever united by the love that joined them at the time of the birth of Heaven. Whether one wishes to express this Creation drama as the uniting of opposites, the joining of the Divine Father and Holy Mother, or as an abstract scientific wedding of an electrical force and magnetic field is not so important as the ramifications that can be drawn about the nature of Creation and of the consciousness that arises out of the perpetual interaction of polarities.
By definition, both the destiny aspect of the soul and the memory component are unconscious. Typically, the destiny is described as "spiritual" or superconscious. It is also "causal" in a very meaningful way in that it projects the energies and plants the seeds that set in motion the ripples that are experienced in the world of action and later come to be felt as karmic patterns.
Space was originally innocent; moreover, She is incapable of originating action, for She is pure responsiveness and magnetism. She has choice: acceptance or rejection. She also has the power to produce out of what She contains, but this is a process of reflection, not origination. In other words, She is a mirror of what already is rather than a designer.
These Divine Mother qualities are usually described as subconscious or psychological as opposed to spiritual, but these terms tend to limit our understanding of this part of our Divine heritage. In any event, Her Knowing is accessed by reflection which proceeds most easily through a multiplicity of associations which trigger banks of memories. Discovering what is held in memory requires the willingness to dive into waters that are more or less inviting depending on ones sense of what the waters contain. For the sake of clarity, I would like to propose that we can swim in these waters for moments or half of Eternity itself without having any conscious recollection of where we have been or what we experienced where we were. This is like awakening with no memory of ones dreams.
Consciousness, as suggested, arises in the true self where the polarities are wedded and interactive. Yes, one may have a mystical experience and come to recognize ones truest purpose and "awaken" keen to fulfill this destiny. And, one may dive into the vaults of Space and return with a knowledge of all that has happened on ones journey since the beginning of Time, but who exactly is it that "returns" to consciousness with this knowing? It is the true self, the conscious self, the intermediary between Essence and Space, the Divine Soul.
I will go a step further in this discourse. An individual may, as a result of an extraordinary experience or intense meditation become aware of his or her Essence, feel himself or herself to be more guided, more spiritual, and more "brilliant." If such insights and inspirations do not produce more relationship to the here and now, more love for experience, and more appreciation for "life," the result is more ideation, more thought processes, more information, not more awareness of the fullness of the true self.
Likewise, a person who develops deep familiarity with the nuances of human experience may become more psychologically sensitive without having any genuine sense of purpose. In my experience, Western culture is today experiencing just this schism between what passes for spirituality and what poses as psychology, neither branch of knowing leading to wholeness.
My immediate concern is with correct understanding of consciousness, for it is all too seldom depicted impartially. I wish to emphasize the essential purity and tirelessness of the feminine. She draws to Herself the Light that will give meaning to Her Being, and She builds the realities we experience as incarnate souls. Each of us exists because we are enlivened or vitalized by the Divine Flame and because we have been able to anchor that Light in our souls in such a way as to hold a certain part of the Divine Idea in place. The place is the Mothers Space.
In the beginning, Space was "unconditioned"; it contained nothing but the innocence of the Mother. However, after union with the Father, Space was conditioned by Intent, a very potent force that impels Creation. Each attempt to express destiny in manifestation (or motion) results in experiences which are held in memory in the Mothers Space. Memory is retained by Space because Space draws to Her by virtue of Her magnetism. She then holds or contains experience, something the Father cannot do because of His radiatory nature.
Astrologically, it is my belief that the Moon in the chart symbolizes the souls incarnate experiences. The Moon is a miniature portrait of the major focus and emotional and karmic patterns that the soul has expressed and experienced as a result of being incarnate. As such, the Moon refers to responses that operate below the threshold of consciousness as instincts, attractions and aversions, biological wisdom, and feelings. Each pattern has an explanation in the annals of involutionary and evolutionary history. None are "irrational," but all are emotional. They are also largely personal though included in personal experience is the desire for understanding of the reason for ones existence, insight into ones uniqueness and purpose, and conflict over incidents, issues, and events.
In a sense that is simply overwhelming in its ramifications, every experience is judged. Experiences are judged by rudimentary survival standards as supportive of life or destructive to it. They are also colored by nuances such as tenderness, affection, risk, antipathy, reward, confrontation, challenge, etc. Experiences are judged as pleasing or displeasing to God, self, and others. My sense is that these judgments occur in the lunar nature but do not affect the essential compassion of the soul which with its wisdom, understanding, patience, and knowledge of the facts accepts itself for who it is and tries to project more of its essential truth and beingness into the personality. From the perspective of the Moon, nothing is this clear; for the lunar consciousness has to experience the entire process of unfolding potential in a realm which often as not does not support this process. It hence has opinions about the process, the absence of support, and the suffering that disharmonies have entailed. In a way, it is entirely fair to say that the "spiritual" part of us does not experience this suffering, for it cannot hold impressions of what happens. It is an energy which has thrust itself like a projectile in a certain direction and is aware of its Intent but not the reactions that occur all around it. It is, however, the First Action and is therefore Causal in a way that the feminine perceives all too clearly, so much so that She needs to feel that there is shared responsibility for the reactions that are termed karmic.
To understand the lunar self, one must first understand its vast magnetism. It is the Womb which gestates the Idea that is the source of the life of the true self. Without this Idea, it is both barren and motionless. However, since the birth of Heaven, it has felt the intensity of the First Cause as well as all the reverberations to that Action known as reaction. In its original nature, it was pure and innocent, but ever since the First Cause, it has been holding the Action as well as Reactions in memory.
I am taking a great deal of trouble to explain this because the current philosophical as well as scientific fashions are so unclear. Polarity is seen as a struggle between good and evil in which the masculine, Adam, was innocent, and the feminine was the original temptress, the masculine assuming no responsibility for the dramas which ensued. Or, we see Cosmos as orderly and Chaos as destructive and give the feminine reign over discord and the inevitable disease and death which follow. Or, masculine is light and feminine dark. Some time back, I reached my own limit in trying to sort out the ramifications of these theories and realized that the feminine is basically the result.
Returning for a moment to our poetic beginnings, I would like to suggest that the masculine is melody, notes spewed forth with incredible force into an instrument which is feminine. It is then the form builder who must calibrate the flow of the force, establish the rhythm which will sustain the Ideas and forms which the masculine bids her to build, and which occasionally buckles under the pressure of too much energy and too little Space. Ironically, in this Divine Process, both masculine and feminine feel themselves to be the givers. The masculine shoots forth energy, light, and ideas; the feminine endows them with substance and a capacity to function in greater or lesser harmony with the Original Cause. In this, the masculine is often impatient because it does not understand the process, and the feminine is burdened because She feels unappreciated and urged to achieve more than is immediately realistic.
We then experience another schism. The masculine is idealistic, and this, of course, is good; and the feminine is realistic, and that is somewhat flat-footed and dull, not interesting enough to sustain the attention of the First Cause upon whom all ultimately depends. I am taking a position in favor of perfect balance.
I see the masculine energies functioning in the higher chakras and the feminine in the first three chakras. Let us take a moment to consider the chakras just a few sentences because the issues are important and frequently misunderstood.
The first chakra is the place where Life is anchored in the Form. It is a place of union in which the terrestrial energies predominate because the will to be, to survive, and experience incarnation is the raison dêtre of this chakra. What it needs is support to become what is expected. The second chakra is another kind of life chakra, the place where forms are built (and repaired). It is a chakra which suffers acutely from its absolute and utter dependence on its contrasexual component, which to it feels estranged because of certain events in long lost history. The third chakra is the seat where memory and emotion are anchored and where psychological experience is most deeply registered. In a sense, the first chakra is instinctual, the second biological, and the third psychological. The development, rotation, and sensitivity of these chakras depends on the heritage from the Mother.
Now, let us work in the opposite direction. The crown chakra is where Spirit or Destiny is connected to the Form. It hence expresses a celestial energy which eventually must join with the terrestrial to achieve perfect human expression. The third eye is, like the sacral center, dual. However, it is also different in important ways. The sacral has actually lost half of its wholeness (for reasons that can be discussed in a future article). The third eye is, however, obscured, for it has lost most of its capacity to function due to various obscurations which affect the vision and understanding of the spiritual force as it is expressed in matter. Ironically, the obscuration is, at this juncture, lunar; and for most individuals, this chakra functions with severe handicaps even though it is less tortured than the sacral center. Nevertheless, it very seldom works as an adequate transmitter of Divine Idea so the Ideas are very seldom manifested correctly. Then, the throat chakra is the site for the anchoring of the mental energy in much the same way that the solar plexus is for the emotional.
Between the three psychological and the three spiritual chakras is the place of balance, harmony, and understanding, the heart. In my opinion, the heart is where the balance between spiritual destiny and personal experience is expressed. The understanding that the heart has for both intention and history, future and past, and idea and feeling results in dynamic wisdom, compassion and the will to bring forth the full potential. This is the place of union of masculine and feminine and the seat of the soul.
I am acutely aware that certain "spiritual" traditions present other interpretations of the chakras, but the experiences I facilitate for my clients and students suggest that what I have just stated is what works in actual fact. There are levels of information and insight that can be reached via the head chakras, but these are mainly ideational, not based in the harmony of the soul. Likewise, there is much to explore in the personal chakras, but they present only half of the picture.
My proposal is thus that the entire Creation and the ongoing processes that we observe and experience in Creation is a bipolar or dual effort involving Essence and Space. In terms of the individual, we might consider this as a process involving masculine and feminine, but I think it is clearer if we use words such as destiny and karma.
So, with this introduction, we come, at last, to the Moon and what it represents in the horoscope. For me, it is the ultimate symbol of the Mother energy, Space. The Moon shows our line of least resistance while incarnate, what interests us, how we wish to express ourselves, and how we have reacted to events in our personal incarnational history.
Each aspect to the Moon reveals a psychological pattern, and because of the magnetism of the feminine, there is a powerful tendency to repeat patterns. We might therefore say that our entire instinctual and emotional repertoire is circumscribed by the memories held in our personal Space. Anything new has to occur because of interaction with something outside our own Space or we will merely reproduce the familiar from our own reservoirs of experience.
In my estimation, Space does not contain historical accounts of our journeys. Rather, it contains the results of experiences and whatever modifications to experience that have occurred. I like to think of memory as a sort of computer file. To access a memory, you have to have an association which will trigger a recall. These associations generally have emotional content rather than "feeling.doc" as an access code. In other words, a specific feeling, rage, grief, abandonment, hopelessness, etc. is the key to a vault containing memories of a similar vibration, but the vibrations are filed in much the same way that we group files onto floppy disks or into folders. If a current experience follows the overall pattern of the previous experiences, the file remains essentially unchanged; however, if something new happens which is different, the file is overwritten and, in my view, permanently changed. For example, if a person is afraid of losing the affection of someone important, but the current most important person makes skillful efforts to "erase" the fear, the "loss" file will eventually be changed. Moreover, if, as a result of introspection or psychotherapy, one accesses information that helps to explain a pattern, the pattern will be modified. For example, if one discovers that part of the reason that people abandon each other is that they feel they do not deserve lasting relationships and that one has oneself left family and partners in the past (past lives), then one may conclude that more steadfastness within oneself may change the view that one does not deserve these qualities in another. The subconscious is not always governed by guilt, nor is it the rule that everything is tit for tat: "You left me, now Im leaving you. We are thus even and the karma is ended." I suspect, this does not end the karma at all, for it is not events but vibrations that are the key here.
I am simultaneously working on four separate books revolving around my understanding of the Moon so you must realize that whatever can be said in this article is just touching the surface of a big area of inquiry. This said, I feel that the Moon describes many basic instincts, most of which reside below the threshold of everyday awareness. The easiest way I can describe this is to say that if we had access to our instinctual memories, we would easily recognize old karmic foes and be able to differentiate them from friends. Animals have access to just such instincts and must find human behavior quite confused. Likewise, we would know our affinities and aversions, which foods, for instance, were likely to cause allergic reactions (and why); and we would not have to consult an allergy specialist about our diets. To see how ridiculous this is from the standpoint of ones instinctual nature, try to imagine a chimpanzee collecting samples of all the leaves in his jungle, carting them off to some fifteen story medical center, and asking someone in a white coat what he should and should not be eating. Most people have lost touch with this biological wisdom and do just this, often with inconclusive results; but I suspect that Aborigines and Bushmen find this human behavior dumbfounding.
If this sounds exaggerated and absurd, then take the extreme opposite perspective and think of some sincere spiritual seeker sitting year after year on the same rock in an effort to discover, through meditation and enlightenment, what every angel and star no doubt knows about itself. Now, do you see that we are incredibly "unconscious?"
In any event, we will continue to focus on the Moon. Next, we need to consider the Moon in terms of every psychological idiosyncrasy that individuals have. One person feels competent, another feels he or she will never measure up to what is expected. One is afraid to say what he or she thinks, another speaks up fearlessly. In todays world, many people spend years in therapy trying to understand why they are the way they are. Many have to begin at even more rudimentary levels by asking how they are before "why?" If we really were conscious, we would not need to ask another person how to understand ourselves or what we would become if we understood ourselves. Moreover, whatever issues we have about why we react or behave as we do is not a part of "destiny" but rather a part of personality, that which many are seeking to define and others to elude.
Pir Vilayat Khan told a wonderful story at a lecture I attended many years ago. It seems that he and a psychologist were counseling the same individual. The psychologist was urging his client to develop her ego and sense of self whereas the spiritual teacher was urging her to transcend the personality and to dissolve the ego. As I indicated at the beginning, this schism has become very strong, but it is not probably what divides East and West so much as what divides Essence and Space. Personally, I do not feel we will succeed in sustaining our parts in Creation until we balance the polarities represented by what are often felt to be irreconcilable dualities.
Yet, for the very reason that Creation Itself is a marriage of energies, we must find the place of balance, and when we do, we will discover that it is also a place of dynamic equilibrium, harmony, and inexpressible love . . . but I am jumping ahead a little.
Besides storing memory, Space, as suggested earlier, also provides the substance for building forms. For this reason, I use the Moon as the major determinant of constitutional type as well as physiological functioning. For those who have followed the logic thus far, they must then understand that besides there being such a thing as type, there is also a reason for every uniquely individual manner of bodily functioning. Fear, for instance, is cold and contracting whereas courage is warm and expansive. How the body works will depend on whether there is inhibition or overstimulation of the flow of energies through the psyche and the form built by that psyche. There is therefore always a connection between feelings and function, and therefore it is also unlikely that any condition can be cured by physical means alone. This is the basis of much of my work in medical astrology.
I recognize that each topic introduced in this article could be expanded much further, but suffice it for now to conclude by saying that the entire content of the feminine is the result of conclusions drawn about experiences remembered by the feminine . . . Who can never be causal since She is responsive, not initiatory. If She therefore sometimes appears dark and sometimes deep and wise, it is because of Her process and experiences, not because of Her basic Nature which is, as I have labored to point out innocent, divinely innocent.
However, because the Mother of Creation was originally innocent does not mean that Her children have not had experiences which have made them angry or sad. It is therefore neither wise nor proper to ignore feelings or their causes. Feelings which perturb the natural harmony require recognition and acknowledgment, healing and rebalancing. Moreover, healing does not imply surrender of grievances or forced alignment with the Original Cause. Healing entails understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, common sense, and even a measure of humor as well as a hefty dose of love, beginning with love of self and ending with appreciation for the process the self has endured and sometimes enjoyed.
In Space, all is in process and as yet far from the ultimate perfection that is inevitable. Perfection is inevitable because the First Cause is the strongest force in Creation, and everything will eventually be drawn into harmonious vibration with this Cause. In the meantime, we are all engaged in a process that is both demanding and fulfilling, inspiring and challenging, and it serves us to recognize this fact in our own lives as well as in the lives of those with whom we share our journeys. It will also speed our healing if we remember how sensitive the magnetic component of each of us is to any inference that it is expected to be perfect and is not yet so. Moreover, if the feminine is touchy about the pressure She feels to complete the Ideas which first impregnated Her, imagine how She feels about being blamed for everything that has not remained instantly responsive and harmonious with the First Idea? Both Her Nature and Her dilemma need to be understood entirely differently: She is innocent and therefore blameless; She is responsive and therefore not Causal; She is also obedient to pressure since it is Her only hope for survival as neither She nor Creation are viable without Loving Light.
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2000
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2007 and 2014