Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.
These are the words of the Ancient Mariner from part V of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem of the same name, and I like them this week for the way they set up the mood of the Moon, which is waxing toward full phase all week, October 23rd through 28th, 2023.
This week the Moon will move from Capricorn to Aquarius, where it passes by the planet Saturn on Tuesday; then it catches up with Neptune in Pisces on Wednesday; to arrive at Full Phase on Saturday, near the bright planet Jupiter among the stars of Aries.
Here’s what all this means to me: It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere, and all of outer nature is falling to sleep, but in the words of Rudolf Steiner, now is the season when the inmost soul of the human being must stay awake.
Into this seasonal mood comes the Moon, joining Neptune in the region of Pisces stars, a province of dreams if ever there was one, offering a lullaby mid-week as though it would put us all to sleep with the season.
But note, the moment in Coleridge’s poem that I started with, when the Mariner is celebrating sleep, only comes after he has achieved an inner, spiritual peace, so he’s able to pray again. From here, he’s then able to achieve a refreshing sleep.
So the first part of the week is about finding a similar inner peace, and of allowing what dreams there are to come midweek, and then to wake with the trumpet blast of Jupiter in the stars of Aries on Saturday, when the Moon achieves full phase and stands into the shadow of eclipse, testing our inner strength, even though the eclipse isn’t visible in most of North America.
I particularly like the Big Read of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner!
This episode airs on Interlochen Public Radio Monday, October 23rd, and can also be heard on podcasts wherever you listen. The image above is from Gustav Doré’s rendering of Coleriegde’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, from 1877; the poem was written in 1797-98. For this week’s waxing Moon in Pisces, near Neptune on Wednesday, October 25, and in anticipation of Full Phase partial eclipse on Saturday, the 28th.