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June 2020: Venus Retrograde, The Lunar Eclipse and the Kneeling Man

A Month of Intensity, New Horizons and Listening to the Air

A riot is the language of the unheard.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Eclipse Illuminates The Kneeling Man

The Lunar Eclipse on the Sagittarian Full Moon June 5 is aligned with the fixed star Ras Algethi in the constellation of the Kneeling Man.

The image of the Kneeling Man is as old as humanity, evoking something primordial

The image is hard-wired into our psyches and DNA. The image of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in 2016 struck a collective cord as did a wholly different image of a police officer taking a knee atop George Floyd’s neck, to the cities where cops and protestors together took a knee in acknowledgement of injustice and pain of the systemic oppression of our fellow black citizens.

The living enactments of the kneeling man archetype has rocked our culture, has created an outcry that has all but drowned out the threat of a pandemic in the U.S and in cities around the world. It is worthwhile to contemplate the Celestial Kneeling Man and what his eternal presence in the night sky, seen by all people’s since the beginning of time, might offer us.

There have been different perspectives and stories told of the celestial Kneeling Man throughout the ages. In all stories he is a strong man. A Warrior. A Hero. A Fighter. With a club raised in his right hand, a story is told of him crouching to strike his prey. In another, he is weary from labor and comes to one knee, exhausted from the strain of his efforts. In our modern culture, the policeman and the football player are heroic figures, figures of strong men, of fighters. Their coming to one knee has demonstrated the two sides, the polarity that this archetype holds.

The Greeks adopted Engonasin, the Kneeling Man assigning one of their greatest heros to him: Herakles (Hercules in Latin). Herakles is best known for the completion of 12 labors, acts of great courage and strength. But he was not immortalized for this. No, he was given his place in the celestial sky for the moment when he was in great pain, the moment he knelt down and prayed to his father Zeus to grant him strength to triumph. Zeus chose to honor that moment of surrender and loyalty by immortalizing him in the sky with an image of him down on one knee.

The fixed star Ras Algethi is the head of the Kneeling Man. Its presence illumnated on the June 5 Eclipse points to the mindset that gives rise to right relationship. To have a planet in our natal chart, or to have the Full Moon aligned with this star, brings our awareness to Natural Order, to how things work and how they don’t. There is an awareness of the true relationship between humans, between human and divine, between human and the natural world.

There is a compelling desire to seek order and balance of life when Ras Algethi is present. We naturally are inclined to kneel in honor of something larger than ourselves, and to praise the divine that breathes life into all creation with the recognition that all that is alive is thus sacred. With Ras Algethi illuminated, we are called to help, heal and bring balance. There is a recognition that we are part of a web of life, and that our actions, our words impact the harmonious or inharmonious balance of the natural order and the way it was initially designed at the dawn of creation.

"The ultimate measure of a man

is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,

but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Coming back to the strong man, the warrior, the hero: The celestial Kneeling Man is associated with acts of great courage and humility but also with acts of treachery.

When [Ras Alegethi is] rising it can mean a wise and clever man, but can also indicate an individual trained in various tricks, a liar who deceives with different kinds of plots… the thug who terrorizes the heart of the city...[The Kneeler] will inspire him with enthusiasm for risky callings, with danger the price, for which he will sell his talents: daring narrow steps on a path without thickness, he will plant firm feet on a horizontal tightrope... [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century, AD, p.353.]

There is a dual nature to the Kneeling Man figure as we have witnessed in the intentions of the kneeling football player and the kneeling cop of recent times. Both heeded ‘a risky calling with danger the price.” As eclipses have greater influence and impact than a regular Full Moon, the Kneeling Man archetype will continue to fuel a movement within our society. We will witness examples of both types of Kneeling Man who will use their strength and heroic status to take a knee. Some will use their role as the strong man to dominate others as a way to strengthen their own status as a strong man. Others will use their role to empower others and serve something larger than themselves.

Herakles roughly translated from Greek is: Glory of Hera (Hera being the goddess and wife of Zeus). Looking at the etymology, the name Herakles is broken down as 'kleu' meaning ‘to hear’ or ‘to listen’ and Hera as ‘air’. As a sky goddess, Hera is associated with air and with weather.

So, Herakles means: one who listens to the air. This definition brings us to looking at the planetary dynamics of the current astrological landscape and the Lunar Eclipse.

June: Listening to What is in the Air

The intensity and tumult of what is happening for humanity here in the U.S. and around the globe is mirrored in the dramatic and multiple astrological dynamics that form the backdrop for the June 5 Lunar Eclipse. Before saying more about the eclipse, it is worthwhile to spend a moment to give context to the astrological landscape for the eclipse that is compelling us and to take time to listen to the air and what is in the air.

For the last many weeks, multiple planets have been in Gemini, an air sign that rules the pulmonary system, communication, exchange of information, and air flow. Saturn (restriction) moved into Aquarius (air) in March reflecting restrictions with air travel and the spread of a pandemic effecting our lungs. It is notable that as humanity shut itself inside, the earth and her creatures began to breathe more easily. More recently, people