You talked about a carefree irresponsibility regarding free-minded spirits. Can you expand on that?
Thank you for that explanation of ARIES 10, I got it!
We can meaningfully view life as the interplay of two fundamental forces. One tends towards predictable rhythms, orderliness and stability. Mothers can feel that this approach to life is most soothing for young children. It is mirrored in Nature by the certainties that day follows night and winter follows summer.
Another, anarchistic, force affirms freedom at all costs and refuses to comply, rather choosing its own unique way at every turn. It is what makes each snowflake different and no two days or persons exactly alike.
Capricorn 26, A WATER SPRITE, describes a person who is more strongly influenced by the second force.
ARIES 10 Recap
A MAN TEACHING NEW FORMS FOR OLD SYMBOLS
Life is not easily understood at first glance, especially if we are applying old fashioned and inadequate explanations. Many of our understandings are based on teachings that came from a prejudiced or over-simplified belief systems, such as one that includes Santa Claus and perhaps certain religious teachings. As we mature and develop spiritually we find the courage and clarity to make up our own minds about the meaning of life, and the various metaphorical explanations that we were given. Typically we share these insights with others and teach that old wisdoms may need to be updated and reworked. As we take forward the old ideals into new modes of expression, so our knowledge grows and keeps up to date and fresh.
I'm wondering how a planet in retrograde might affect the interpretation of a Sabian symbol?
If your planet is retrograde then generally its action is more inwards and contemplative and has the appetite to 'go over things again just to be sure'.
The Sabian Symbols are multi-layered, having various modes of expression. They can express quite literally - for example my Ascendant is Capricorn 11 A LARGE GROUP OF PHEASANTS and I actually have a family of wild pheasants in my garden most days. Or they can be subtle metaphors and take time and serious thought to uncover.
A retrograde planet is likelier to support repeated enquiry, delving and checking, in order to winkle out secrets and hidden wisdom. Although this can limit the unfettered, spontaneous outer expression of an energy, it has the bonus of making possible a close alignment with the deepest wisdom that can be revealed.
What protections are there for sensitive people?
The mind is easily swayed and some people take advantage of this to claim power over you. The more obvious methods include lies, propaganda, sales techniques and charm. Less obvious and potentially more damaging are techniques of ‘psychic attack’. These are mostly hidden and intentionally harmful, in the sense that someone disregards our own needs in order to fulfil their own, even to the point of wishing us ill.
To defend against such disrespect, two methods are particularly useful – and there are others.
When someone is engaging us in conversation and holding eye contact, we are especially vulnerable to their influence. Some people thrust their ideas upon us by speaking at us with intensity in the eyes and a forceful manner. We may feel bullied and irritable. Others attempt to demand sympathy by drawing our own psychic energy into themselves through the eyes, which leaves us feeling drained and somewhat depressed.
One technique that protects us from these intrusions is the Sufi Glance. Rather than looking directly into the eyes of the other, we focus attention on a point located some 2 cm in front of the bridge of their nose. The person cannot tell that we have made our glance diffuse. Simultaneously, we stop concentration upon their words and simply drift into our own space. We may need to practice the method a few times for it to be smoothly effective.
If the attacker is at a distance, another method can be applied. It is hardly ever needed when we are awake and there are better methods anyway. However when we are asleep we are vulnerable to intrusion from someone who intends to hurt or seduce us. The practice is a simple visualisation for 10 – 30 seconds as we lay down to sleep. Imagine yourself surrounded so that you are contained within a pyramid. See each on the sides of the pyramid become light, and let the light shine and radiate outwards. Do this each night you feel at risk.
Would you be so kind as to explain what Zikr is, the meaning of the word as well as the process of the practice?
In Sufism, Zikr is the central spiritual practice. The word itself is Arabic (sometimes spelled dhikr) and is most often translated as ‘remembrance’.
In doing this practice we are restating our intention to remember God.
There are many versions of Zikr, employing different sacred phrases and mudras (a mudra is a static or dynamic body posture).
One of the most frequently used, often called ‘Classic Zikr’, uses the words: ‘ La illaha illa ‘Llah’ which is rendered as ‘There is no God but God’.
It is best to learn the practice from a teacher because the posture, the pronunciation and the meaning all have nuances of interpretations. Yet the key factor, more important that any aspect of form, is intention. The will to return to God – consciousness is more than anything else in life.
Zikr can be seen as a power-tool to accelerate the journey home. We come from God and are certain to return to God; the journey home is our life experience. Many people, most people, live their lives as though it were a treadmill of repetitive obstacles and inescapable suffering. This strange behaviour indicates a lack of understanding and a lack of faith.
Zikr works within the practitioner to develop magnetism so that life events are attracted that move them on. Life speeds up and, at first, a lot of emotional clearing occurs, until the mind has become free of its confusion an doubts. This is not a practice for the faint-hearted, casual student. It requires dedication and discipline; one hour each day is not at all uncommon and, on retreat, even 18 hours a day is normal. Yet, equally, to repeat the sacred words 3 times every day is also potentially transformative as long as intention is clear and strong.
When the student has become deeply familiar with Zikr it can be used to help focus the will, to attract specific outcomes and as a protection against intrusive forces. These are related. When we lack certainty of will then our unconscious aspect attracts darker elements that disturb our sense of well-being. These elements can range from minor inconveniences to full-blown murderous attacks. The best response, whatever the problem, is to focus the will more clearly and passionately upon our love of God. This is what Zikr does.
I see that the symbols description have two parts to the explanations, do these include both Jones's and Rudhyar's interpretations?
When considering two planets that are conjunct with the same Sabian symbol, should the energies of these two planets be separated into each planet expression of that symbol or really just considered together as one energy magnified?
I really am in a state of awe and wonder, so even knowing how to form questions that you could answer is a challenge.
Each Sabian Symbol page has used as its title Jones's official name for the symbol, and below also shows Rudhyar's name for it. The other text is mine. To write the first paragraph of text I studied Rudhyar's book called An Astrological Mandala, The Cycle of Transformations and its 360 Symbolic Phases. To write the lower section of 7 paragraphs I used Jones's Sabian Symbols in Astrology, and applied the 7 Words System to represent the ideas as having 7 different layers of meaning.
When two planets are conjunction in the same Sabian Degree, I would certainly consider them as one composite energy.
If we manage to live in a state of awe and wonder and understand that the only real challenge we have is to ask the right question, then we are close to the threshold of realisation. Shaping our questions and presenting them clearly and passionately to the world is all we can ever do as seekers.