Full Moon in Sagittarius – May 27, 2010, 23:07 UT

From the ocean rose a giant,
Mighty Tursas, tall and hardy

— Kalevala, translated by John Martin Crawford

The Full Moon in Sagittarius feels edgy and unpredictable. The Moon proceeded into the opposition aspect to the Sun just when Uranus was entering Aries for the first time in 84 years. The ruling planet of Sagittarius, Jupiter, will soon follow Uranus into a new sign, but at present it is processing the challenging last degrees of Pisces.

The Gemini Sun is in conjunction with Centaur Thereus. Quoting Eric Francis: “…the Centaurs all possess a Sagittarian quality of journey, quest, or adventure — though it’s often expressed on the inner level. …The Centaur metaphor is usually a man’s torso with a horse’s body, so there is that sense of transit, of movement, and the sound of a horse’s hoofs hitting the ground passionately. There is the contact with the ‘animal nature’ — the instinctual level of reality.?

The mythical Centaur Thereus used to capture mountain bears and bring them home, alive and snarling. The name Thereus means “beast-like.? It is obvious that Thereus was strong and fearless.

To the ancients, the bear was symbolizing resurrection. The hibernation is a kind of death, from which the animal awakens when springtime is approaching. A she-bear usually wakes up to a new season with newborn cubs.

In Greek mythology, the bear has a relation to the Moon goddess Artemis, also known as “The Mistress of Animals? (Potnia Theron). She often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. In ancient Greece, one of her most celebrated shrines was that of the bear-goddess of Brauron in Attika. Young women playing the bear used to celebrate a festival for Artemis, who was not only the goddess of wilderness, but also the protectress of girls and women.

Apropos of the theme, in the Full Moon chart, asteroid 105 Artemis can be found prominently in early Capricorn in conjunction with Ceres and Pluto, and in exact square to Uranus at the Aries Point.

In Norse mythology the bear is sacred to Thor, the son of the chief god Odin and the Earth goddess Jörd. Thor is a fertility god and a strong protector of the world. Invoking Thor could help in the struggle against the exploitation and pollution of the Earth.

As a thunder god, Thor is the equivalent of Roman Jupiter. Thor’s magical hammer has the power to throw lightning bolts, and it is also his main weapon when fighting giants. Giants represent unconscious forces and they act as harbingers of chaos and disorder.

Thor’s rune is Thurisaz, which stands for both Thor and the giants. In psychological terms, Thurisaz represents the shadow and repressed material in the unconscious. Once the shadow is acknowledged and integrated, it can become a great source of strength. Jung believed that the shadow is the seat of creativity.

Numerous Old Norse sources mention berserkers, Odin’s warriors who wore bear-pelts and rode into battle in a trance-like fury, or a holy rage. There are many theories about what caused berserker behaviour. An explicit connection between the berserker rage of soldiers and the hyperarousal of post-traumatic stress disorder has been made.

“The Crescent Moon Bear,? a Japanese folktale, which is retold by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, a Jungian psychoanalyst and a post-trauma specialist, deals with rage and forgiveness, and healing from rage.

In the story, a badly injured husband returns home from war and refuses to sleep in the house or eat the delicious dish that his young wife cooks for him. He rages continuously. The wife goes to see a healer, who advises her to climb the mountain, find a crescent moon bear, and bring back a hair from the throat of the bear. Then the healer would be able to help the woman. She climbs the mountain and with patience manages to get the hair.

Patience will help anger, and it is called for in order to heal the pain beneath our anger, so that we can move on. Our rage can become teacher. We can use it as a creative force, but it takes a conscious practice to contain and heal rage. Estés writes: “So rather than trying to ‘behave’ and not feel our rage or rather than using it to burn down every living thing in a hundred-mile radius, it is better to first ask rage to take a seat with us, have some tea, talk a while so we can find out what summoned this visitor.?

Thereus carrying the snarling bear into his home cave?

References:

Eric Francis, Sagittarius Secrets Revealed, act one

Metamorphoses, Book XII

Theoi Greek Mythology, Kentauroi Thessalioi

Wikipedia, Potnia Theron

Theoi Greek Mythology, Artemis Cult 1

Wikipedia, Berserker

Freya Aswynn, Northern Mysteries & Magick, Llewellyn Publications, 2006

Wikipedia, Thurisaz (rune)

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Ballantine Books, 1997

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