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Sun/Moon Conjunctio

Throughout the writings of Western alchemy and esoterism, the royal marriage of the two Great Lights (the Sun and Moon) has been bestowed with honors of greatest import.

My astrological studies have at times been intensely focused on gaining a deeper, fuller understanding of the Sun/Moon Conjunctio as it relates to astrology and the birth chart.

Whatever the reason for my interest - I'm not "there," yet… and I'll probably never get there... as there are marvelous mysteries meant to defy normal everyday consciousness and explanation. I'm still hip deep in working out and musing over many of the why's and how's...

I realize admitting this is not a typical behavior and/or a typical statement for an astrologer to make. We seldom admit we're still working out the why's and how's of anything. Heck, I'm already supposed to know everything there is to know! Right? (And no... no matter how clever and wise you might be... this is not your golden opportunity to write in and share your superior wisdom on the matter.)

Anyway... I'll share a small bit of what I do understand and briefly discuss three astrological points and/or axes that reflect the Sun/Moon Conjunctio in the astrological chart.

  • The axis of the Lunar Nodes (North and South)
  • The Part of Fortune
  • The axis of the Sun/Moon midpoints

Lunar Nodes
Recent studies and discoveries reveal our ancient Greek ancestors of Western Tropical Astrology knew all about Nodes - but somewhere along the line, through the passing of time, the Lunar Nodes got lost and forgotten in Tropical Astrology.
Not so long ago (when considering the "big picture" of centuries), we Western Tropical astrologers adopted back (swiped) this significant axis from Eastern Vedic astrologers in India (who'd never lost them in the first place).

For any beginners who might have snuck in here, the Lunar nodes are not planets. They are axis points that mark the intersection of the Moon's orbit with the illusory orbit of the Sun as it "appears" to revolve around the Earth (Sun and Moon). Unlike the planets, the Lunar nodes travel backwards through the Zodiacal signs at a rate of 3 minutes a day, taking approximately 18 1/2 years to cycle through all 12 signs of the Zodiac.

And what the Lunar Nodes "do" or "don't do" (according to Tropical Astrology) depends pretty much on which of a dozen or more astrology books on written on this subject you've chosen to read and "buy into." There are more speculative ideas on what the Lunar Nodes are and do than "Carter's has little pills."(Obscure referral to denote the concept of "endless.")

One of the more popular ideas currently in vogue (since the early 1900s) is that the Lunar Nodes are somehow tied up with our Karma Destiny and Path. If you're a reincarnationist (and a sucker for Karmic concepts), then you'll love this particular speculative take on the Lunar Nodes.

According to this view, the North Node is where we're headed in this lifetime. The South Node is where we've come from. The energy contained in the South Node is our path of least resistance (it's stuff we've already mastered in our past lives), and the energy in the North Node is the path we should be endeavoring to struggle toward.

Don't Go Into Shock
But suffice to say, among Tropical astrologers, there is very little true and real consensus on the Lunar Nodes. Try not to go into shock, but not every astrologer and/or person on the planet adheres to the metaphysical theory of reincarnation. It's not required. Even more importantly... if you happen to be a "dyed-in-the-wool" reincarnationist, then it's important to realize that it's downright unethical to shove your own personal metaphysical beliefs on other people. Face it! Neither you or I are the fount of all knowledge and wisdom. In the end... it's all pure speculation!

Anyway... Vedic astrologers aren't plagued with our seeming lack of consensus and/or uncertainty regarding the Nodes. Their mythology and ancient tradition knows the Lunar Nodal axis (the dragon) as a hostile enemy to the great love union of the Sun and Moon.

Core Meaning
Here's my suggestion for personalizing the meaning of the Nodes and clearing away a bit of the confusion...
Boiled all the way down to the core meaning  - the Lunar Nodes seem to act as "connections." We primarily have the Ebertin studies (Cosmobiology) to thank for this quite practical, very usable concept of the Lunar Nodes -  with Ebertin (The Combination of Stellar Influences) listing the main principle of the "Dragon's Head" (the North Node) as an "association or alliance."

In her wonderful Modern Textbook of Astrology, originally published in the 1950s (and a prime example of why one should never the words "Modern" or "New" in a book title), Margaret E. Hone remarks that one of the theories of the Lunar Nodes is:

"the line the North and South Lunar Nodes form across the chart may be thought of as receptive in the North and depleting in the South. It is as if the person could receive and benefit by the 'head,' in the terms of house and sign in question, but that he/she is called upon to give in terms of the situation of the 'tail.'"

Now, go back and add on this simple idea of "connections" to whichever particular metaphysical belief you happen to adhere to... but remember not to give into the temptation of forcing your beliefs on others...

Part of Fortune
Next is the Part of Fortune. The Part of Fortune is calculated by combining the archetypal energies of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant.
Controversy looms here, as well. Recent translations of the astrologer, Ptolemy (2nd Century AD) have revealed new light on the original method of calculation of the Part of Fortune. According to this ancient tradition - just where the Part of Fortune is located depends upon whether one is born during daylight hours or in the nighttime hours.

Astrologers are still mixed (up) on this... however, briefly, according to Dane Rudhyar (from his book "Lunation Cycles") the Part of Fortune denotes:

"the focal point for the expression of power generated by the soli-lunar relationship. This power manifests in various ways - as sex, as personal magnetism, as radiant health; in short, as any and all kinds of personal experience which pertain to the level of human activity where the dualism of 'life' reigns supreme. And because it is also at this level that we can discover the root of what men call 'happiness,' the connection between the Part of Fortune and the individual's capacity for happiness - and the special nature of his happiness - becomes explainable."

Sun/Moon Midpoint
The third axis is the Sun/Moon midpoint.
The concept of midpoints (see Halfway to Heaven) in astrology is a fairly new concept. Fact is, though, in mythology and alchemy - the Sun/Moon "midpoint" axis is quite old. Don't believe me?

From the alchemical writing "Theatrum Chemicum" (1613 AD)
Volume IV, XV Duodecim tractatus de lapide philosophorum, Anonymous
An excerpt as quoted by Carl Jung in his book Aion:

"the aqua rosis nostri (water of our dew), whose "mother is the midpoint of the heavenly and earthly Sun and Moon."

But so what in the heck does this mean?

In this tractatus (treatise) the anonymous alchemist has been discussing the properties of the "philosopher's stone." The philosopher's stone is the mysterious "magnet which draws all things to itself." (Keep in mind that in 1613 AD, we were still somewhat in awe of the "mysterious, magical" properties of magnets...)

The philosopher's stone was the initial substance that the alchemist was attempting to create through experimentation. With the philospher's stone, one could then transform the base metal of lead into valuable gold.

The author has further (in this passage) now equated the much sought after "philosopher's stone" with the "aqua rosis nostri" (water of our dew).

In Western alchemical writings, the royal marriage of the Sun (heavenly) and Moon (earthly) was the final transformation stage whereby the end product (i.e. gold) could be created. Out of the Sun/Moon conjunctio (the philosopher's stone), the alchemist's work of transforming base metals into gold can be finally be completed. The coming together of the Sun (heavenly) and Moon (earthly) is the mother which gives birth to the philosopher's stone.

If you managed to get lost in this boring explanation (and I can't blame you) - then here's the point:

The marriage (conjunctio) of the Sun and Moon - the coming together of heaven and earth - results in the philosopher's stone that in turn gives one the ability to transform spiritual lead and give birth to spiritual gold. Spiritual gold can potentially be created in our lives by the alchemical "coming together" of the combined energies (midpoint) of the Sun and the Moon.

To be sure, there are many, much older alchemy (ancient Greek) text referrals to the royal marriage of the Sun and Moon which I could have quoted here.... but this passage caught my fancy due to its usage of the word "midpoint." Obviously, the anonymous author is not referring to our modern zodiacal calculations of the Sun/Moon midpoint axis. Or then again maybe he/she is…

And of the three axes I've mentioned in this section - the Sun/Moon midpoint axis is the one which interests me the most. I sometimes wonder if a big part of my fascination is that nobody really "messes" with it much... no one seems to be particularly interested...

However, I shouldn't make a blanket statement that absolutely no one is interested in the Sun/Moon midpoint...

In the fascinating writings of Helen Adams Garrett, The Karmic Horoscope, she utilized the Sun/Moon midpoint in a big way! She used it as what she called the "Karmic Degree" and with it formed a totally new chart, placing the Sun/Moon midpoint where the Ascendant degree normally goes. It's part and parcel of a very fascinating (speculative) theory that I won't go into here. If interested, you should fork out some bucks and buy the book.

    "Oh Luna, folded in my sweet embrace;
    Be you as strong as I, as fair of face.

    O Sol, brightest of all lights known to men;
    And yet you need me, as the cock the hen."

    Rosarium philosophorum (1550)

(See the "Synchronicity" article on the Unus Mundus Menu for more information regarding the Sun/Moon conjunctio)

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