Banquet for the Moon
On the front of our May issue of Astro News was a cartoon of the Moon gobbling up a human figure. The caption was “The Moon eats people, G.Gurdjieff. Astrologers may like to know more about what this means.”
While Buryl Payne’s talk on the “Physics of Astrology” was most interesting, giving a scientific, astro-physics model for explaining how astrology works, I do not recall that he got around to discussing the Lunar appetite for homo sapiens. So, I set out to look up the answer in Maurice Nicoll’s Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.
For those unfamiliar with these teachings, this offers a very simplistic introduction, based upon my quite limited understanding of them. The WORK, as Gurdjieff called it, is concerned with “conscious labors and intentional sufferings.” This I interpret to mean striving to become “awake,” and fully conscious. As astrologers might say, “to actualize, or realize, the Sun energy-consciousness,” or to achieve “Self-Realization,” or as Gurdjieff would say, “Self-Remembering.” Intentional suffering, in astrologese probably refers to the Saturn function of patience and forbearance with circumstances and people as they are, and persistently working to improve oneself by becoming, through self-observation, conscious of who one really is, all he truly is.
Therefore, “if people do not serve the purposes of Great Nature by inner work, this energy [of “useless suffering”] will be extracted from them on a massive scale by means of wars and epidemics.” This extracted energy from mass sufferings is “food for the Moon.” The AIDS epidemic and the Kosovo affair must be tasty meals for Luna!
Gurdjieff teaches that the Moon and Earth are connected with something I picture as an ethic or astral, psychic umbilical chord which is attached to a “sensitive film surrounding the earth.” On the positive side, this “film,” like an etheric or psychic womb around Earth, nurtures the growth of all life here. Whenever we entertain, or “identify” ourselves with or as, negative thoughts and emotions, we are needlessly suffering, and thus providing “food for the Moon.” When we maintain an aware, conscious and positive mental and emotional attitude and outlook, the Moon supports and nurtures us, facilitating our further growth and development.
It seems whenever we surrender ourselves to anger, jealousy, vindictiveness, self-pity, etc., etc., we get “eaten by the Moon.” When we are self-observing we say, “Oh, I see anger coming up within me; isn’t that interesting!” Taking that attitude, we do not feed the Moon. But when we identify ourselves with the anger or as anger, we do feed Her. When we say, “I’m mad as hell!” or “I’m so lonely, nobody loves me, nobody cares about me; I’m going to go get drunk, or high or shoot up!” we are identifying ourselves as that thing: as anger/rage, as pathetic/unwanted . Through the process of identification with, attachment to, negative thoughts and emotions, we suffer needlessly, uselessly (needless and useless for us), and we, our energies, get gobbled up by the ever-hungry Moon!
Next time you get the urge to say, “I hate my boss!” or fight with your lover/spouse, think twice! Do you want to get eaten up, to become fodder for the Satellite? Better to think, “When my boss does or says . . . . . ., I observe the emotion of hate arising in the being; curious, isn’t it!” Or, “I notice the thought coming up in the mind regarding my lover, ‘he/she’s so stupid; it’s all his/her fault I’m feeling miserable!’ Oh, this is important for me to look at, for he/she is my mirror.”
Through self-observation and dis-identification with what is “not self” arising in our minds and emotions, we grow and expand in consciousness; we build the Moon within our own selves, within our being; we cease reacting to external situations and learn instead to respond to them appropriately. Gradually, we open to the influences from a higher level. We stop being “food for the Moon,” and instead have that extra energy to put toward the work of waking up.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.