The Moon approaches the South Node today (square Saturn), the Tail of the Dragon. The place of purging and cleansing, being withdrawn into spiritual service and away from worldly affairs and ambitions. A moment to review the November 2021 eclipse that started this cycle, and the upcoming eclipses on April 30, 2022 and May 16, 2022.
Martin Shaw speaks of two dragons, the two ingredients of (Welsh Goddess) Cerridwen’s cauldron potion, being separated in the emergence of modern life, which is often how I see people inaccurately conceive of the Nodes, as if one is better than the other:
“The ecstatic essence of awen–the moment of druidic inspiration–and the logos principle, which is the ability to decipher, separate, and cherish both clarity and rationality. In initiation myths and practice, these two great energies are always attempting to get themselves back into a dance with one another. The repetition of Village life longs for the strange epiphanies of the Forest… We already see, back in the sixth century, the Welsh belief that both great strands originated from the same cauldron and were, in fact, part of the same mix, inseparable. The Bard and the Scientist and the Philosopher are caught in the froth: Descartes, Blake, and Darwin are ultimately squabbling brothers from this heated vessel… We do well to remember this earlier, mythic illustration of an integrated mixture.”-Martin Shaw
The first eclipse occurred on the ecliptic degree of Algol, the primordial creatrix and fierce balancing protectress who does not care for arbitrary modern conventions and niceties, especially as they draw us away from the full strength (and responsibility) of our creative power. Or, as Martin Shaw would put it, our Disciplined Wildness (which is largely hidden from us in our modern lives, and we desperately search for in various unhealthy ways).
Most think of fertility Goddesses as sweet and cuddly. But if we were particles floating in space during the fertile moment of the Big Bang, we’d think otherwise. Step into the chaos of a beautiful dying star that becomes a nebula that is then reborn again. It’s a clashing of powers, matter, light, and sound. It’s war and it’s sex; it’s death laying the fertile ground for new life. One cannot exist without the other.
Creation is messy. It’s both life giving and life taking. It embodies the scientific principle that matter can neither be created or destroyed, it is simply recycled in ever more creative new forms. That form must undergo the transformation of the potter’s wheel or the forging of the blacksmith’s fire and hammer or the painful dissolution of a caterpillar into a chrysalis before awakening as the butterfly.
Fallen flowers become compost for worms become nutrients for new seeds who have to push through the soil to emerge into the sunlight after months of flooding that make the earth darker and heavier and more compact.
Creativity is born from wildness, given the spark of life from imaginative hope. And hope, as Brené Brown found in her research, includes considerable value on persistence and hard work. It’s not an emotion so much as a way of thinking.
Creativity requires us to be strong enough to embrace reality’s mess (especially the beautiful mess that is our self) and see divinity in chaos, potential in painful challenges, beauty in the crack where the light streams in.
“…The [Creative] Way that is right there before you, hidden in plain sight, covered in the weeds of shame, the need for approval, the fear of failure, the desire to be perfect or to keep yourself safe… The Creative Way necessarily incorporates failure as well as success. The richness of the creative path is that we must each make it in our own image for it to nourish our souls. It must be this or it is nothing.”-Lucy Pearce
Nature does not label things as successful or failed, and nature is the greatest example of prolific sustained creativity. Nature simply embraces and enacts the process of creation that necessitates both destruction and life. No matter the outcome, Nature gets up and does it again. And again. And again. Nature sees creation as a process, not an end product.
Success and failure is a human judgement created from the split of the dragon into two, rather than one cohesive continuum. It takes us from the process that can only occur with our presence and projects us into the past or future. It robs us of delight and self worth.
“Effort is more important than so-called success because effort is a real thing. What we call ‘success’ is just the manifestation of our mind’s ability to categorize things. This is ‘success.’ That is ‘failure.’ Who says? You says. That’s all. Reality is what it is, beyond all concepts of success and failure.”Brad Warner
This is why Lucy Pearce speaks of embracing both ‘success’ and ‘failure’ – we must make peace with our human tendency to label and judge our own efforts, in order to fall into the cathartic trance of a creative life.
“Whether it is your intention or not, creativity makes all of us who engage with it a life worth living. A life more challenging and rewarding than one without it. A life where we are more fully engaged.”-Lucy Pearce
We need spiritual withdrawal (the South Node) to come to terms with our fears and shortcomings, build genuine strength, and then return into our worldly affairs (the North Node). We must make fertile compost (South Node) from our concerted attempts in life (North Node) that did not pan out the way we had envisioned. In that compost we can plant new hopeful and imaginal seeds, tending them with our newfound wisdom so that they may blossom.
The Nodes are both part of a vital process of life, representing the push and pull of the tides that occurs between the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth. The very movement of gravity, water, the earth’s crust, and air currents is the paradox of life. Inhale and exhale. We need it as a whole.
When we move past the need to judge our creative process, we enter a place of play that makes quick work of tall challenges. We begin to dance with the beautiful chaos of universal life force. We embody nature itself, our birth right to rejoin the ecosystem of this wonderful planet.
The ouroboros that is life and death, disciplined wildness, becomes a companion we join, rather than resist. Initiation and severance also includes the deeply necessary (but missing from modern life) return and integration. Then again. And again still. We become part of the tide, the breath, the ouroboros itself.
When we give up fear and embrace our wild inner creatrix, we transcend the broken cycle of modernity and find the wholeness that’s been inside of us this entire time, since the beginning of time. We come home.