The Maidens of the Wells
In ancient times Logres was a rich country but it was turned into a Wasteland so that it was worth scarcely a couple of hazelnuts. For the kingdom lost the voices of the wells and the damsels that were in them. These damsels would offer food and drink to wayfarers. A traveler had only to wish for food and seek out one of the wells and a damsel would appear from out of the well with the food he liked best, a cup of gold in her hand. No wayfarers were excluded from this service.
But King Amangons broke this custom. Although it was his duty to guard the damsels and keep them within his peace, he raped one of them and took away her golden cup for his own service. After that time no damsel was seen issuing from the well and the only service which wayfarers received was done invisibly. The king's vassals followed their king's actions and raped the other damsels also, carrying off the golden cups. And so the service of the wells ceased. The land was laid waste: trees lost their leaves, meadows and plants withered and the waters were dried up so that no man might find the Court of the Rich Fisherman, he that once made the land bright with his treasures.
After this time, King Arthur instituted the Knights of the Round Table, who, when they heard this story, were determined to recover the wells and protect the damsels. They swore they would totally destroy the kindred of Amangons and his men. But though they made vows to God, they could never hear a voice from the wells nor could they find any damsel, for these had been pierced by the swords of Amangons' followers or else hanged.
The Round Table knights found damsels in the forest accompanied by well-armed knights. One of these was captured and brought back to Arthur's court where he told the following tale. "All of us are the children born of the damsels whom Amangons and his men raped. These great wrongs shall never be redeemed in worldly time. We are bound to travel in common, knights and damsels, through this land until God wills that the Court of Joy be found, for that will make the land bright again. Whoever seeks that Court shall find greater adventures than were ever in this land before."
The Round Table knights decided to seek for the Court of the Rich Fisherman, who was a shape-shifter. Although many knights sought it and few found it, none asked the right questions when the Hallows were processed about the hall of the Rich Fisherman who appeared in such splendour that none recognized the fisherman they had seen earlier that day. At that table the Grail appeared by itself and served all who sat there, providing food in great variety. . . .
On the day that the Court of the Rich Fisherman was found, and the correct answers received by the seeker, the waters flowed again, fountains which had been dried up ran into the meadows. Fields were green and fruitful and the forests clothed in green leaf on the day that the Court of Joy was found.1
Like all good stories, this story shows us both the wound and the possibility of its healing. Through Story, we become aware of our options, just as the full Moon stretches our awareness to the "other' so we can see the results of our actions. And perhaps chose a different result. This story asks each of us to go on the Grail quest and find the source of life again within ourselves, so we can be life-givers to our community.
Our nurturing waters are represented by the Cancer full Moon, for Cancer is the sign of the Mother who births us and nurtures us. Her waters, in the Gulf of Mexico as well as all around the world, are desecrated and dying. Birds mysteriously drop out of the sky to die en-mass; fish are going belly-up in rivers, oceans and streams. This full Moon urges us to become aware of our part in this desecration and change our ways, first personally and then collectively.
At times like this, do we stand by and let the king Amangons amongst our cultural leaders guide our actions or can we stand up for our values and demand that something be done? And we also have to do something to change things. So shop locally, support your local artists, make your own clothes, grow your own food to start with. And learn to be a maker -" learn a craft. We do not know when we might need it. And it will make you feel more grounded and secure to know you actually can create something you need.
This is the time to test yourself and your true values. The Cancer Moon is your emotional body -" what is going on in there? How is it reacting to our civic dialogues - in all countries around the world? How is it reacting to the very real news that our environment is on the edge of crashing and our way of life has to be transformed?
This is the fourth of five full Moons that occur in the last degree of its sign. This means we have to finish up Capricorn business. With Pluto transiting through Capricorn, turning up the deadwood and rot in our social and corporate structures, we have to look to ourselves and reclaim our own authority and with discipline and dedication, take responsibility for healing our world. When the North Node leaves Capricorn the first week of March, let's make sure we've learned its lessons of responsibility and emotional maturity.
The Sabian symbol for the Sun at 30* Capricorn is: A secret meeting of men responsible for executive decisions in world affairs. This symbol can refer to secret meetings of the power structures of the world or even the old idea of a White Lodge of benevolent souls which guides human destiny. But that's the old story. The new story might see this symbol as an opportunity for each of us to gather with like-minded individuals who hold one piece of the puzzle, which when put together, can help us see the bigger picture. Learn to work in groups -" this is the ideal of the Aquarian Age that we all seem to be waiting for. Work together for our future.
The Sabian symbol for the Moon at 30* Cancer is: A Daughter of the American Revolution. It seems to me that this image urges us to remember that freedom is more important than security. That if we want to create something new, we have to take a chance. The Great Mother doesn't offer to coddle us with infantile dreams of abundance and constant nurturance. Sometimes life calls us to step up and defend the values that make us who we are. Those old values might not be honored anymore. But if they are the true spirit of humankind, then it is up to each one of us to embrace it and live it.
Saturn goes retrograde on January 25-26th at 17*Libra. See where that degree falls in your chart. It will be where you have lessons to work on. The Sabian symbol for 17*Libra is: A retired sea captain watches ships entering and leaving the harbor. It symbolizes the "capacity to gain an objective and calm understanding of human experiences in which one was once deeply involved.'(Dane Rudhyar: An Astrological Mandala) Saturn's retrograde is a reminder to develop a calm mind that sees beyond struggles and victories.