Full Moon in Capricorn — July 9, 2017, 04:07 UT

The Full Moon in Capricorn early this morning had just passed over the most recently named trans-Neptunian object, Arawn, and was just one degree away from Pluto, approaching it. The Sun in Cancer is in conjunction with Mars.

15810 Arawn is a plutino, discovered already in 1994 by Michael Irwin and Anna Żytkow, and given name about six months ago, in January 2017. Michael Irwin is a British astronomer, so naturally the name came from the Celtic mythology.

15810 Arawn is now very close to Pluto. It has been observed at a much closer distance than most Kuiper belt objects, by the New Horizons spacecraft on its Pluto flyby. Arawn is moving in a very stable orbit, and it may have formed around the same time as Pluto itself. Arawn has been hypothesized to be in a quasi-satellite loop around Pluto. However, this is not agreed upon among astronomers.

In Welsh mythology, Arawn was the king of the otherworld realm of Annwfn. Annwfn was a pleasant place, where mortals stayed eternally young and beautiful. Arawn and Annwfn appear in the Mabinogion, a collection of 11 medieval Welsh folk tales. Honor is a highly valued characteristic throughout the Mabinogi.

Arawn was a psychopomp. He was able to travel between the worlds. In the Mabinogi, a man called Pwyll went hunting and mistakenly got into the realm of Annwfn. He found strange hounds feeding on a stag, chased them off, and fed his own pack on it. Then he met a rider, who turned out to be Arawn, the ruler of Annwfn. Arawn resented the discourtesy of Pwyll and asked Pwyll to trade places with him, and defeat Hafgan, Arawn’s rival. After that they would be friends. From Sioned Davies’s translation of the Mabinogion (Oxford University Press, 2007):

“I will make a firm alliance with you. What I shall do is to put you in my place in Annwfn, and give you the most beautiful woman you have ever seen to sleep with you every night, and give you my face and form so that no chamberlain nor officer nor any other person who has ever served me shall know that you are not me. All this, he said, from tomorrow until the end of the year, and then we shall meet again in this place.”

There were beautiful buildings in Arawn’s court, and the queen was the most beautiful and noble woman that anyone had seen. Nobody realized that Pwyll was not Arawn. Pwyll defeated Hafgan, but did not kill him. The kingdom united and came under Arawn’s authority. Meanwhile, Arawn ruled Pwyll’s land kindly and generously.

Arawn and Pwyll met again, and they switched their forms back to their own. Pwyll had slept chastely with Arawn’s wife during his stay in Annwfn. “I had a friend whose loyalty was steadfast and secure,” said Arawn to his wife. From that time on Pwyll and Arawn began to build up their friendship.

Van Morrison, the Celtic Soul (born August 31, 1945), has his Virgo Sun in close conjunction with Arawn. He has said that he is just a vehicle for the music to come through. Throughout his career he has been seeking spiritual transformation and enlightenment, though according to his own words, it has been about finding out about himself, about trying to find some peace of mind and some light. “What it is as a matter of fact, it’s called growth… The whole point is, dig yourself.”

Van Morrison has never compromised his artistic integrity. An artist either does what he thinks is right, and sticks with it, or goes along with current trends. In interviews he has talked about how most artists at some point “go through an identity crisis about who they really are, and when they finally realise that they’re not what they thought they were but have built up that part of their identity to the point where it’s overtaken everything else and gained momentum…”

Van Morrison says that any kind of art or music is a healing thing. “It comes back to this question: what’s your original face? Know what I mean? Who are you really? There’s so many different kinds of healing but, if you are in alignment with yourself, then that in itself is going to be healing. If you’re trying to be something other, like something superficial, trying to be someone you’re not, then that would take you away from your true centre.”

Two other uncompromising talents, who have their Sun in conjunction with Arawn, are Nick Cave (born Sept. 22, 1957) and PJ Harvey (born Oct. 9, 1969). They have recorded together in 1996, and they also dated each other around that time.

Nick Cave is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author and actor, whose songs often deal with love, death, and religion. He has a triple conjunction of the Sun, Mars and Arawn in late Virgo. He has been referred to as rock music’s “Prince of Darkness”. The biggest commercial success of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds has been Murder Ballads, the album consisting of new and traditional ballads about crimes of passion. One of the songs, “Henry Lee”, is a variant of “Young Hunting”, a traditional folk song, which has its origin in Scotland. The song features a duet between Nick Cave and the English musician PJ Harvey.

Polly Jean Harvey has a quadruple conjunction of the Sun, Jupiter, Bienor and Arawn in the mid-degrees of Libra. The Rolling Stone magazine has said in its review already before the release of the Murder Ballads, that “Harvey sings the blues like Nick Cave sings gospel: with more distortion, sex and murder than you remember.” PJ Harvey’s praised album Let England Shake was released in 2011. It is a dark album about war. On tour Harvey performed dressed like a Valkyrie, in a black dress and wearing a crown of black crow’s feathers.

This Full Moon in Capricorn in conjunction with Arawn, and opposing the Sun-Mars conjunction in Cancer, is encouraging us for a spiritual quest, to search our inner light, or our true face.

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