The Cosmic Story: Scorpio New Moon 2017
You have to Die to be Reborn Again.
When the Sun enters the sign of Scorpio, the light of the Sun in the northern hemispher e is growing dimmer and dimmer. The Dark continues rising until we arrive at Winter Solstice, the time of greatest darkness which gives birth to the new Light.
Scorpio is the time of year when we learn to accept the death of our ego choices as well as the death of the year. (Those of you in the southern hemisphere are celebrating Beltane and the return of Summer. May you find delight and joy this year!)
Death is a natural part of life's cycle, an d yet our patriarchal culture has a very hard time accepting death. Probably because some of our founding myths show us the fathers who refused to die and hand over their power to their children. Look at the Greek gods Chronos/Saturn and Zeus, sw a llowing their children to hold onto their power. Even the Judeo-Christian god won't give up his power to his 'only begotten son, Jesus' whom he lets die in his place. In many ways, this implies that the children must die so that the father continues to live. Sounds like patriarchy to me.
This weekend I saw two movies which speak to this idea of immortality vs. death. One was Thor Ragnarok (which was actually kind of fun) in which we find Odin about to retire after long ages of ruling Asgard and his first daughter Hela, the Goddess of Death, determined to take over and live forever. In the end, Odin turns over his power to Thor and allows himself to die so Thor can release ancient powers which do bring on Ragnarok, the end of the rule of the Gods. The other movie was Dr. Strange (another interesting story) where The Ancient One's immortality causes one of her disciples to turn to the Dark for his shot at immortality. I'm guessing the Ancient One was Scathach , the ancient Celtic Warrioress who trained up hero/warriors like Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster. She willingly dies when she finds her true successor in Dr. Strange. Somehow, being immortal leads to the death of worlds, cultures, people--and as we can see, instead of patriarchy letting itself die naturally, it is creating death all around us .
Why would anyone want to live forever? Is there something inherent in patriarchy that doesn't want to let go? I think patriarchy is afraid to face its' own death, beyond the need for power and domination, because it doesn't believe in the immortality of the Soul. It doesn't believe that we need to die to be reborn again . For patriarchy, rebirth isn't possible -- only endless suffering in the fires of Hell. Isn't that the promise of our three Religions of the Book -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam? That only the perfect ones among us get rewarded in Heaven, while everyone else suffers the torments of the fires of purgatory or hell?
These religions have lost touch with our Great Mother Goddess, Earth, who does assure us of rebirth, along with all life here on Earth. This is a promise to us that if we let go of our fear of death, a greater life is coming -- not in Heaven, but in another round here on Earth. And this also applies each year to our smaller ego-deaths. We need to release old emotional patterns that no longer serve us, such as guilt and shame, insecurity and fear. And w e can release our goals and hopes each year so they can come back to us in new and more creatively vital ways.
A winged figure of Death stands in front of a prostrate skel Wellcome V0025564
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org)) Permission Details DMCA
We human beings have to reclaim our place in the cycle of Life. And that will take the death of our patriarchally-shaped ego, the "I think therefore I am" philosophy which helped to separate us from our place in Mother Earth's interconnected ecology.
In Ursula Le Guin's wonderful Earthsea Trilogy , she imagines this fear of Death as a Shadow, a shadow that drains all the joy and color out of life. In The Farthest Shore , the Archmage Ged (Sparrowhawk) and the young king, Lebannen (Arren), go on a journey to try to restore the balance of life and death, which has been disrupted by a sorcerer who is so afraid of death that he has opened the gates between life and death and now cannot close them. The young King wonders why men are destroying the trees and the earth, and the Mage explains that they have no guidance, no king to show them how to live in the Balance.
In his youthful innocence, Lebannen wonders how this one fearful man could so easily destroy the Balance of the world as his fear spreads And he asks the Mage, "Where are the servants of this (man) Anti-King?"
In our minds, lad. In our minds. The traitor, the self, the self that cries I WANT TO LIVE, LET THE WORLD ROT SO LONG AS I CAN LIVE! The little traitor soul in us, in the dark, like the spider in the box. He talks to all of us. But only some understand him. The wizards, the singers, the makers. And the heroes, the ones who seek to be themselves. To be oneself is a rare thing, and a great one. To be oneself forever, is that not better still?
Arren looked straight at Sparrowhawk . 'You mean that it is not greater. But tell me why. . . . I have learned to believe in death. But I have not learned to rejoice over it, to welcome my death, or yours. If I love life, shall I not hate the end of it?
. . . 'Life without end,' the mage said. 'Life without death. Immortality. Every soul desires it, and its health is the strength of its desire. But be careful, Arren. You are one who might achieve your desire.'