It’s easy to feel pummelled by superlatives when reading about the astrology of the Galactic Centre, so I thought I’d begin my latest G.C. blog by comparing it to an onion. The G.C. is a black hole, an incredibly massive body about which we can access no information. It is a singularity, but out of singularities unfold galaxies and universes, which eventually collapse back into singularities: the journey of matter-consciousness over billions of years.
Which is a bit like an onion, the essence of which, the bulb, lives out of sight underground. But every year it unfolds into a plant – the universe – and eventually the plant/universe dies back into the bulb. But the bulb is enriched by its experience of unfoldment, it grows as a result. And who knows what sort of enrichment matter-consciousness goes through in its long journey from singularity to universe and back again. All we know is that some sort of enrichment, some sort of learning DOES go on. We know this because we have the experience of learning in our individual lives.
I don’t think that matter and consciousness can be separated. If we arrange matter in a certain way, then what we recognise as life is also present. If we synthesise some DNA, and put the right sort of gloop around it, there will be observable life or consciousness there. We KNOW this, it is not speculative or a belief. Logically, therefore, we have to say that consciousness is an inherent quality of matter, all matter, and that consciousness becomes more sophisticated and can even start to come to know itself as its material counterpart, the ‘body’, develops.
Evolution seems to show us that there is some sort of urge to unfold in matter-consciousness. I don’t think that the fact of evolution can be argued with. There is too much evidence for it. The mechanism for evolution is another matter. That does not seem to be well understood, and personally I think there is much more to it than natural selection combined with random mutations. I think, for example, that the urge to unfold and know itself that is inherent in matter-consciousness, and which is probably not scientifically measurable, also plays a large part.
Certain things are outside the remit of science. If you have an emotion, say anger, this can be described in terms of chemical pathways in the brain, electrical impulses and behaviour. But what it actually FEELS like to experience anger can never be described by the scientific method. Science can describe very well the objective, measurable correlative to a subjective experience, but it can never get near that subjectivity. It can never, in other words, get near the most important thing of all, which is the experience of being conscious, of having a body and emotions and feeling alive. Describing that needs to be left to the poets.
And I think that the urge to unfold belongs to this subjective but essential realm, which is present even in apparently inanimate stardust.
So to return to the onion metaphor, the Galactic Centre is the bulb beneath our feet, and we are the plant. It is our origin and source, and as such we will have a natural feeling for it, remote maybe, for it is perhaps billions of years since we were last in that form. It is like a distant bell sounding, or a sense of something that we only distantly recognise but which nevertheless sustains us.
In this sense the Galactic Centre has an affinity with the planet Neptune, the ‘womb’ of consciousness from which we arose and to which one day we will return. The G.C. also naturally provokes wider questions of purpose and meaning, and as such also has an affinity with Jupiter. Being an immense but hidden source of power – its existence can only be deduced – the Galactic Centre is also connected to Pluto.
The Galactic Centre introduces a new level of unknowability into astrology. The inner planets such as Mercury and Mars can, to some extent, be known as part of our conscious endowment. The outer planets – Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto – can be known to some extent, but they are more like gods we have to honour and collaborate with, and whose purposes we can only know in a limited way. At the same time, there are plenty of myths and stories around these gods, so we can know them as characters. The Galactic Centre, however, cannot be known at all. It is not a god with its own legends. Being a singularity, anything we try to say directly about it is not true. We can say what it is not – it is beyond time and space etc – but apart from that we can say nothing. It is the ‘Great Mystery’ at the heart of things, of which to some extent the outer planets also partake.
The Galactic Centre also points to the beginning and end of astrology itself. Before the G.C. we had the Sun, Moon and planets performing endless cycles around the earth (motion is relative, so it is just as true to say, albeit more complicated, that the Sun goes round the earth as to say the earth goes round the Sun: importantly, it is closer to our actual experience.) The G.C. puts astrology itself in the context of a larger cycle, the great inbreaths and outbreaths of singularities, in which galaxies are born and die. This makes our astrology relative and temporal, expressive of eternal truths yes, but in a particular form that will one day be swallowed up, allowing new gods to be born.