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Often when something basic and fundamental is learned, it is forgotten and ignored. When the rudimentary scales of music are studied, any music student is eager to try her hand at the latest, most popular composition. When the central rules of grammar are learned in a foreign language, the pupil enthusiastically travels to the country that speaks the newly learned tongue. The same can be said of astrology: when the indispensable building blocks of the birth chart are gleaned, the novice moves on to different techniques, theories, and levels of interpretation. Obviously, the cornerstone of astrology is the Sun and Moon, the two symbols that are essential to natal chart interpretation. These gateway symbols pique the curiosity of the many souls who happen upon astrology, prompting them to go further into this esoteric art. However, the mistake most of us make when we assimilate the central characteristics of the Sun and Moon is to rashly forge into different areas of astrology. This hasty move suggests that, although most of us understand the core meanings of the Sun and Moon, we don't really “know” them, not in any experiential or in-depth manner.

With Between Past and Presence: A Spiritual View of the Moon and Sun, Eric Meyers revisits the territory of the Sun and Moon, and rather than trod on familiar territory, Meyers presents these symbols in an innovative and insightful manner. After reading Between Past and Presence, one gets the sense that Meyers “knows” these symbols, and, luckily, due to his clear and intelligent writing style, the reader will gain a much better appreciation and understanding of the Sun and Moon.

The key to Meyers' contribution in understanding the Sun and Moon is in his weaving of the symbols into a cohesive whole. From his perspective, the Sun and Moon are not disparate symbols that correspond to separate parts of our personality. Rather, the symbols suggest a possible storyline and the means to understanding the possibility of our development. Meyers presents the Sun and Moon as existing in a relationship that is responsible for creating our evolution over time. As Meyers suggests, this “celestial interplay” between the Sun and Moon is the dance that ultimately holds the blueprint to our major life struggles and selfhood.

The Moon, as Meyers puts it, is “what a soul feels like.” Instinctual, embodied, and needed for survival, the Moon symbolizes our deeply conditioned, deeply cellular, ways of responding to life and the world around us. Everything concerning the Moon, as Meyers elaborates, is rooted in the past, its vector and trajectory thoroughly reaches back in time, to our past history. As such, most of us are prone to react in the present based on past experience and through the accrual of impressions, memories, instincts, and embodied ways of knowing. Although the Moon connects us with life, most of us are susceptible to simply act on the past out of habit, and this strategy can retard our growth, forever tethering us with our past story.

From Meyers' eyes, the Sun is through and through the symbol in astrology that represents our creative, vital becoming. If the Moon symbolizes our earliest years (and before), then the Sun's radiance projects its luminescence into the future, symbolizing the potential blossoming of our personality. When repetitive patterns from the personal unconscious (the Moon) hold us from possibility and creativity, then the emotional, instinctive patterns of the Moon keep us stuck in a groove, squelching the growth patterns insinuated by the Sun and the entire birth chart. As Meyers writes:

Picture the Moon as a gemstone with soot on it. The Sun is like a laser that can blast this soot with its piercing light and heat. After issues are worked through and resolved, the Moon is better able to connect with others more openly. As we emerge from unconsciousness, we explore new frontiers and potential while also illuminating the hidden gifts of the heart. The Moon and Sun forge an alliance and complement each other—they are, in fact, partners.

With this initial dance in motion, Meyers uses the duo of the Sun and Moon to choreograph a full-scale cosmic ballet throughout the book, and all the familiar astrological players—signs, houses, and planetary aspects—are seen as contributing to the dynamic between the Sun and Moon. Meyers' treatment of the Nodes is most illuminating, as they are observed as thematic lessons that compliment the evolutionary trajectory of the Moon and Sun. If the Sun and the Moon correspond to the actual lived experience of the soul and personality through time, then the Nodes represent the focus, mission, or intent of a lifetime. The Sun and Moon are more akin to the players of biographical experience; the Nodes represent the look, feel, content, and objectives of any particular life journey. Meyers suggests the rich and nuanced developmental interplay between the Sun, Moon and the Nodes:

Every soul is steeped in drama (Nodal story) and has submerged whatever emotions are connected with that drama into the unconscious (Moon). Bringing greater awareness and vitality (Sun) into the unconscious (Moon) passes through the gateway of the Nodes—which are positioned at the intersection between past and present.

Beyond integrating all facets of astrology with the dynamic interplay between Sun and Moon, Meyers incorporates several real-world examples to deepen the readers' understanding of the evolutionary possibilities inherent in the birth chart. With the Sun-Moon partnership as central to the evolutionary trajectory in individuals' lives, Meyers weaves biographical details and other features of astrology to support his central assertion. What becomes clear in reading Meyers' description of famous individuals' charts is that the central themes and motivations of the Sun-Moon dynamic seem to be invitations rather than predetermined fates. As Meyers suggests the high and low, positive and dark, potentials inherent in all astrological symbols, he is particularly attuned to the nuanced possibilities and variations that can come through in a birth chart, and his interpretations of famous individuals' charts are sensitive to this.

The idea of the evolutionary trajectory between the Sun and Moon is front and central in Between Past and Presence. However, the concept of continuum is also advanced in another manner in the book. As the subtitle of the book implies, the work is a thoroughly spiritual view of the Sun and Moon. As psychology's integration with astrology has given the Sun and Moon a comprehensive, modern work over, supporting a developmental view of the birth chart, the addition of a spiritual perspective continues where psychology leaves off. From this spiritual, evolutionary perspective, the belief that the Moon and Sun are as much processes as they are static symbols is expanded. Meyers believes that the chart not only describes the evolutionary intent within a lifetime, but, in order for the fullness of birth chart (and the importance of the Sun-Moon dynamic) to be completely grasped, one must incorporate a perspective that takes reincarnation as fundamental. Meyers writes:

The spiritual view presented here releases the imprinting of the Moon from the confines of the womb and hereditary factors, and allows it to have a timeless reach. When does the Moon start? It's been in process of evolving indefinitely. The Moon absorbs and consolidates experience into the emotional unconscious. This reservoir of experience is brought to successive lifetimes as a foundation to build upon, but also to mend and resolve any leftover emotional work that needs attendance.

Meyers' writing style is engaging. He infuses insight and soulful analysis with clever, original language that makes for a book that is engrossing as it is pleasurable to read. Matching his lucid, intelligent writing is another major strength of the book: the ability to sustain a central premise without digressing into tangential terrain or loosing momentum and interest. This is made even more impressive by the sheer amount of information that Meyers manages to integrate and synthesize into his major arguments. A lesser writer would not have been able to tame the complexity and diversity of ideas, so it is no small accomplishment that Meyers domesticates original ideas that could have broken free from the reigns of its progenitor.

Writing a book on the astrological Sun and Moon can be a hard task. When approaching something fundamental to a discipline, it is often hard to suffuse the material with spark and creativity. However, Meyers' developmental perspective, along with his animated writing, makes the most basic of astrological symbols come alive again. Within time, Meyers' Between Past and Presence should be seen as a foundational text for the foundational symbols in astrology.

Order Between Past and Presence at Eric Meyers' website.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Streett is an astrologer who focuses on planetary archetypes as they manifest in the individual and culture. For more information about Bill and his services, visit www.astro-noetics.com

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Other StarIQ articles by Bill Streett:

  • Uranus: The Constant of Change   7/18/2005
  • Ben Stiller: Hollywood's Satirical Sagittarian   3/12/2004
  • Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Dark, Deep and Dazzling   4/2/2001
  • John Ashcroft: The Political Roller Coaster   2/25/2001

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