Bridging/Blending Above & Below: Joe Landwehr, Pema Chodron, and a crucial astrological note

In one of the regularly noticeable synchronicities that punctuates my magical life, this morning I read a very interesting article in the current issue of Mountain Astrologer, by Joe Landwehr, “Ceres, Climate Change and the Bardo State,” in which he likens this “Cerean” period of time to the Bardo State.

“Are we not in a kind of bardo state now? The old order built on fossil fuels, capitalism, war, and the myth of limitless expansion is dying. The future is uncertain. To be alive on the planet now is to be in a liminal space — between death and rebirth. Could it be that Ceres’ promotion to dwarf planet status at this juncture signals her availability as a guide through the bardo state into a more sustainable, more human civilization, more fully integrated into the whole web of life? . . .

“I believe that Ceres . . . serves as a bridge between the “beleagured ego” and our “ancient racial knowledge” of how to live in greater harmony with the rhythms of the Earth.”

More synchronicities: Joe Landwehr used to put out a monthly newsletter to which my husband Jeff subscribed, which is how I discovered Landwehr’s wonderful work. This is the first I’ve seen him surface since. And speaking of Jeff, another article in this same August/September issue of Mountain Astrologer was written by a woman who, judging by her chart, is a near time-twin of Jeff! Ann Whitaker wrote about he “vastness” of the hidden 12th house of the birthchart, something she is very familiar with, given her five planets in Leo in that house. That’s when I went on alert, since Jeff’s chart, including the 7° Virgo Ascendant, mirrors hers, except that his Moon was in Scorpio, so he was born almost exactly one week later. And, wouldn’t you know, I called my book about him, and our life together, This Vast Being. . . . I will contact her, send her the book.

Okay, so then this morning I opened my email to this, from Sylvia, a friend and former neighbor, now in England:


July 9, 2014


Recently, in a friend’s kitchen I saw on the wall a quotation from one of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s talks, which said: “Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.”

I was struck by it because when I read it I realized that I myself have some kind of preference for stillness. The notion of holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart rang true, but I realized I didn’t do that; at least, I had a definite preference for the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. My reference point was always to be awake and to live fully, to remember the Great Eastern Sun—the quality of being continually awake. But what about holding the sadness and pain of samsara in my heart at the same time?

The quotation really made an impression on me. It was completely true: if you can live with the sadness of human life (what Rinpoche often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.


Given that the symbology of Ceres, or Demeter, to the Romans, involves mothering, nurturance, the annual seasonal cycle, and yes, her wandering lost, through a wasteland until she found her power, I feel that Joe Landwehr is right, we are in a Cerean Age, and the more we can not just acknowledge it, but descend deeply into this bardo state, the more regenerative will be our possible resurrection.

Which brings me to a final comment: In the astrology that I noted for the next two weeks, I speak of a the combination of Saturn turning to go direct and Uranus turning to go retrograde as instigating a discordant whirling motion when, if we can just keep communicating (Mercury) we may see our way through to the other side. An image came to me later, that of throwing up our hands and letting it all go — all of it, including our “intentions” for the change to occur in one way or another. Instead, let us trust the power of Mother Earth — of Ceres — to regenerate, reorganize, reconstitute herself and ourself in ways that are way beyond our capacity, way way more fruitful and surprising than any of us can possibly imagine. That’s my dream: to let go, to fully enter the unknowing of the Cerean Bardo State, while trusting in the mysterious laws of Nature to revivify all of life — no matter whether or not I am still “alive” in this body.


This entry was posted in 2014, conscious dying, conscious grieving, visions of the future, waking up, zone zero zero. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Bridging/Blending Above & Below: Joe Landwehr, Pema Chodron, and a crucial astrological note

  1. bumpercrop says:

    This is profound wisdom. This essay addresses exactly what many of us are feeling these days. There comes a point, when we have done all that is within our realm of doing, that we must release the outcome and simply be. Truly, this is a most profound point of power. Once again, Ann, you help solidify what I am feeling and place it in beautiful words of realism.

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