The Celestial Union of Wisdom and Compassion
by Laura Boomer-Trent
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the Sun, the Moon, and the Truth." - Buddha
For many people the words 'Spirit' and 'Soul' are interchangeable, used to infer or describe a powerful, sublime energy that magically vibrates with a universal wisdom, which is mindful and perceptive, compassionate and kind. And although similar in Divinity, with a deeply mystical influence and seemingly ethereal source, Spirit and Soul, in life, death, or rebirth, are actually not transposable.
This is important to note for astrologers, because Spirit and Soul, like the Sun and Moon, are fundamentally different. Though Spirit and Soul can unite and connect; through the subtle body's chakras, channels, and nadis, a perceptive heart-mind in spiritual Oneness can move beyond the ordinary, gross senses to create a holy trinity of Sun and Moon with the human psycho-anatomical- body, to generate blissful heaven on earth. This triple union of heart-mind, matter and bliss affirms the interconnectedness of life, and is possible and more easily achieved at certain astrological times of the month and year, such as new and full moons and eclipses, as well as by relating harmoniously with natural phenomena, plus the power of prayer and the practice of pranic breathing and meditation.
Associating with the Sun, Spirit's ethereal vitality expresses everlasting life and infinite strength, through which the natural cosmic intelligence of unconditional love-light is recognised. Buddhists might call the inherent light we are all born with 'Buddha nature', within which is an infinitely reincarnating 'mind-stream', a universal consciousness that flows from life to life; while Soul aligns with the Moon and more personal emotion, worldly thought, and earthly lives - needs and desires, past, present and future.
In this currently spiritually accented 14-year phase of Neptune at home in Pisces, which is seeing a burgeoning of spiritual astrology, the phrase 'he or she is spiritually evolved' or 'highly spirited' is quite common, meaning the subject is able to harness their vital cosmic force that emanates Spirit's clearer, lighter vibration - just as our Sun does, without question, for the entire solar system. And as humans, we 'soul search' and can even recognise 'an old soul' (usually in reference to a wise child with eyes open, as a window to the soul). In the New Age version of Tantra, some seek a 'soul mate', or 'twin flame', the latter more reminiscent of fiery Spirits flowing and glowing together, and in relationship of some sort, from one life to the next. It also seems that 'a dark night of the soul' is a required part of the life-changing human experience, traversing the depths of one's psyche so that a sacred warrior can emerge wiser and, even if a little scarred, able to transform suffering in joy, which could only happened through having such a cathartic initiation into Souls' karmic consequences. Rarely do we hear it the other way around, in as much as in having a dark night of Spirit, or an evolved soul seeks an old spirit mate. For it seems even through the evolution of language, there are hints at how Spirit and Soul operate and are understood within this Earthly realm.
In religious iconography, often featuring a radiating haloed Sun aura surrounding head and heart, many of the world's religions teachings associate both, Spirit and Soul, with an almighty God/Creator that influences our personality, our destiny, and even past and future karmic conditions and connections. Though in the Tao an individual has the formless, ethereal 'Hun', and 'Po' is more concerned with the corporeal, in Buddhist teachings there is no God, per se; in the Tibetan system there is the 'La', which is akin to a 'soul', and many 'Sadak', spirits that connect a person to their environment and the reflected purity within. Whichever spiritual tradition we resonate with, it would seem Spirit and Soul are universal, having a major influence upon this mortal coils' physical life Divine.
This notion of duality, Spirit and Soul in search of spiritual Oneness is not new. Indeed, passages from the Bible suggest we are distinctly three parts: body, Spirit and Soul. Thessalonians 5:23 says, "And the God of peace Himself sanctifies you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete..." As mentioned, the convergence and co-emergence of Spirit and Soul happens naturally at certain moments and the non-separation and natural inclination towards Oneness is also a recognition how all of creation is interconnected, and that nothing can exist from its own side. Of course, that we are all One is Ultimate Truth; yet, from a relative level, with an awareness of the nature and mechanics of Spirit and Soul, Sun and Moon, we may more easily enter into the 'oneness'.
For Bible readers it is important to separate body and Soul from Spirit (perhaps so one can unite in the light of Spirits' innate bliss) an action which may indeed also be a clue into the workings of Soul's connection to Earth (as indicated by the Moon's exaltation in earthy Taurus); in Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow...". Could this be an ancient patriarchal way of recognising Spirit as infinite? Call the intangible Spirit what you will: God, Allah, Buddha, emptiness, Jesus, Goddess, the void we come from - and return to - is the realm of Spirit. And it appears we also have a Soul, which we leave behind with the physical body at death. As such, we are spiritual beings, complete with an inherited soul (from previous lives, as well as the ghostly DNA of our ancestors) with all the karmic imprints and aggregates that course through a human body.
The oft quoted Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (19/20th century French philosopher who conceived the term 'noosphere' (which is the field of collective resonance surrounding the planet containing ideas and memes, emotions and thoughts)) said "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience". In order to have that spiritual experience, however, we need to be conscious of Spirit Sun's 'Love-Light' and the innate glowing heart of goodness, allowing the individual Soul to experience the love with which we are seeded at the moment of our conception.
The word Spirit comes from Latin, to 'inspire', which means 'to breath'. As such, breath is a means for the mind to reach Spirit (which is why breathing meditation is so important when connecting to centre). Without the light and warmth of Spirit Sun there would be no life to breath. Spirit IS light. According to esoteric astrology, at the start of the zodiac, when the Sun reaches spring equinox to be exalted in Aries, we are even aligned with 'The Light of Life Itself'. There are even those who see the very Sun as gOd, in Oneness, as a conscious and illuminating living being.
The glyph for the Sun in the horoscope is the circle with a dot in it. This geometric shape introduces 'all and nothing'. The boundary marks a cosmic wheel, with no beginning and no end; it is the wisdom of emptiness, and the shape used to symbolise Zen Buddhism. Within the circle of beginningless time, where all of life is contained, are different realms. In Buddhism we call these realms 'Samsara', which is 'the great ocean of suffering' where the mind-stream endless reincarnates, locked into cycle of birth, old age, sickness and death and rebirth until enlightenment - and even then, depending upon which spiritual path one follows, one can choose to come back in order to be of benefit to others. As the cosmic wheel turns, the dot we are forever circling is the omniscient light of consciousness. This point is known in the Kabbalah as 'God's essence', while in Tantra and mediational yoga the dot called is the 'Bindu'. Likened to a pearl or seed planted at the heart, the Bindu represents the place from where all energy springs, and where life also collapses into when returning to source. The Bindu holds the most subtle drop, where mind transcends time and space, and is a portal to ultimate reality. This point, right in the middle of the horoscope, is the perceptive core-self, where the light of the Sun incarnates and re-incarnates as enlightened consciousness. Getting to the central heart within the circle, and remaining within that focused point (of unity) is a constant process and takes practice - unless, of course, one is highly realised enough to radiate pure clear light to see that all is as it should be at any given moment. For the individual, Spirit is like the Sun, constantly radiating from the Solar Plexus; the Manipura chakra is the 'city of jewels' from where we circulate our spiritual gifts in the dynamic process of moving forward and becoming whole, being our authentic true selves, accomplishing purpose with passion, developing personality, and shedding light upon our Soul's shadow and sanskaras, the subconscious imprints from previous lives that can hold sway in this life.
From the astrological perspective, the sign and house placement the Sun occupies in the horoscope denotes Spirit's experiential unfolding, en route to self-realisation. Sun not only encompasses Spirit's 'Divine Spark', but also ego identity, children and creativity. Sun rules Leo and the 5th house. It can also be the leading authority associated with father and monarch.
Recognising the Moon's Soul connection also has roots in the etymology of the word 'soul'. According to etymology dictionary, and coming from old English, 'sawol' means the "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence; life, living being,"; it can also mean the "spirit of a deceased person" and, most interestingly from the astrological point of view, when we consider that the Moon rules water sign Cancer, one of Soul's originally meanings is "coming from, or belonging to, the sea".
Water resonates deeply with Soul. As you may already know, water has a memory (befitting Moon ruling Cancer, with crab claws to hold onto the past); and it is not the composition of water, H2O that is important, but the continually changing structure of the molecules and its' purity. Clean water feeds mind and body, spirit and soul, whereas contaminated polluted water obscures our innate light and generates negative thoughts and emotions which are the often at the root of disease. It is no coincidence First Nation shamans see the magnificent water borne Whale as the record keeper of the world.
At a recent talk I gave to the Astrological Lodge of London's Healing Seminar, entitled 'Moon Medicine for the Soul', I proposed that just as Sun and planets represent a spiralling cosmic DNA (as put forward by A.T. Mann), when sliced at any given moment, provides a two-dimensional horoscope, it is the Moon which rules our personal DNA, because of the astrological Moon's connection to history, memories and the past. It would thus make sense that with each lunar cycle emotions and feelings are inscribed within our body's water, which the physical body contains 70-90% at any given time - this is why it is so important to maintain a positive outlook, and be kind to oneself and others, as the negative can be so tricky to cleanse and release back into the void.
The glyph for the sensitive, feminine Moon essentially reveals how memories, real and dreamt, thought and emoted, are held within a 'crescent bowl'. This bowl contains the sacred soul contract which we bring into each life, to work with, to finish or create, appease or agitate, as indicated by Moon's sign, position and aspects, as well those of the Moon's nodes. Exalted in Taurus, esoterically ruling Virgo, and with the hierarchical ruling Aquarius, Luna works in many dimensions, urging the Soul to be open, caring and healing the unpredictability of Moon cycles, with all lunar peaks and troughs of emotion and feelings that soul, or the La, navigates. Perhaps the La (which is a mirror-image subtle body that is born, grows and dies in accordance with the individual's life and death) has an ability to tap into the previous lives emotions contained by the soul's ancestral, genetic, and karmic DNA. This may also be possible. Tibetans say that as long as a body has not fully disintegrated, the La remains on the earth. To my mind, this makes sense of Soul's connection to the dead, in as much as relics hold an essence of enlightened beings, and may even make sense as to why Alice A. Bailey calls the Moon 'a dead planet'.
Over the course of Soul research for my book 'Dharma Stars ~ Astrology & Spirituality' it is increasingly apparent to me how the triple fold Goddess influence of the Moon, as maiden, mother, crones, also holds sway over three of the body's main chakras: base chakra represents the new moon maiden, the Throat chakra aligns with the Mother, while the wise crone perceives with the third eye.
Unifying Spirit Sun and Moon Soul to experience the kind of joy and bliss that eradicates negative karma and encourages spiritual flow can take lifetimes of strength, care and consciousness, as well as focus, discipline and dedication. With the highest vibration of the Spiritual Sun as wisdom realising emptiness, the Moon in Tibetan symbolism is also connected to raising Bodhitcitta, which is the wish to generate the altruistic intention (as well as actuate the intention, resonating with Aquarius as the hierarchical ruler of the Moon) and, for the spiritual warrior to do what is best for all beings to be happy and reach enlightenment. There is also the added benefit of transcending duality, as one can then also taste the nectar of Spirit's immortality.
Writer, lecturer, artist and astrologer, Laura Boomer-Trent has an arts background, with an earlier career in film and television. Laura has been involved in the astrological world for thirty years; and since studying at His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's 'Tibetan Medical and Astro Science Institute' in India, in 1996-97, she now integrates ancient Eastern healing arts, yogic and astrological - Tibetan, Indian and Chinese - with the practical purpose of western astrology and modern metaphysics. Past media credits include radio, magazines and newspaper astrology, as well as co-authoring two books and innovating Britain's only national television show dedicated solely to astrology, C4's 'Astrology Show'; for three years Laura was the BBC astrologer; and she featured in the only tarot commercial to have run on Sky and Star TV