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"7th House, 6 of Swords & Storycraft Part II"
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Time Past by Maxine McArthur, Warner Aspect, May 2002
Plus, from Last Month
Astrology: A Cosmic Science by Isabel M. Hickey, Altieri Press, Bridgeport, CT 1970 and it's back in print.
Magick by Mary Taffs, Awe Struck E-Books, 2002
Warchild by Karin Lowachee, Warner Aspect SF, April 2002
Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand, Para Research, 1981
Smallville - TV episode.
Links to where to learn more about or buy these items.
So I was studying Capricorn Rising, which puts Cancer on the 7th Cusp. My granddaughter has a stellium in the 7th - the only 7th House stellium in the family.
Robert Hand wrote under the explanation of the 7th House, "That both marriage and open enemies are symbolized by the seventh is a clue to understanding this house. The seventh represents a certain kind of relationship common to both marriage and two persons locked in combat."
Oh, I do hope all our writing students are reading this column - "locked in combat" -- the adversarial relationship, the Military Science Fiction Action story, and to the extent that the essence of story is conflict - all storycraft looks to the 7th House for the basic material.
Hand goes on to explain that as usual when studying Houses, you have to contrast the House under study to its opposite - which in this case is the 1st (ascendant).
"Traditional literature gives the impression that the seventh house describes one's partner or opponent. But all houses that seem to describe other people are really describing the energies one tends to experience through them, not the objective reality of the people themselves. In fact, the planets in the seventh may describe the energies one puts into as well as receives from the intimate relationships. The difference between the seventh and the first is that the first-house energies are generally broadcast to the world at large as the individual encounters it, whereas the seventh-house energies are put out only into close relationships."
What does it mean "put out energies" -- "broadcast them to the world" -- what 'energies'? What is "energy?" - Where does it comes from? Point to it, define it.
The "energy" Hand is talking about, as I see it, has to be the same "energy" that is depicted in the Tarot by Swords (in the system I use where Atziluth is Wands, Briah is Cups, Yetzirah is Swords, and Assiah is Pentacles).
Wands represent your Ideas, philosophy, thinking style and imagination. Cups represents your emotions, gut instinct, psychological quirks such as repressions, suppressed angers, and love. Swords is what happens when your ideas and emotions focus into motivation. And Pentacles is the end result of what Swords does.
Swords are your actions, decisions, prayers, hopes, and ambitions,-- your habitual and/or unconscious actions. Swords are Divine Energy focused through the lens of your Wands and Cups (your Personality and personality), Energy held in your astral-body's hand, punching through the membrane around Reality to manifest as Pentacles.
Pentacles are the 'bed you have made" that you must "lie in" as you live your life.
The 6's are the Balance Point at the center of the Tree of Life - Love, Sacrifice, Joy -- the place you imagine as your goal when you're slogging through the cold mud of life is the Palace of Six. In Six of Wands, your ideas are vindicated and validated. In Six of Cups, your karma brings you people who validate your Identity with Love. In Six of Swords, your efforts are validated by movement and progress. In the Six of Pentacles, you have manifested so much abundance that you can share generously -- or be shared with -- and not feel pitied.
Your philosophy of life, your ideas of right and wrong, correct and incorrect behavior (i.e. your values) create your emotions, your subconscious motivations. That results in habitual responses (energy you put OUT) to other people, habitual interpretations of others' actions and motivations. Nowhere in life are those kinds of emotional-habits more evident than in marriage, partnerships, enemies, and all intimate relationships - even with your children and parents -- or with "the public" (as in the case of a writer addressing her reader through a story).
That's why the Rider Waite Tarot depicts a journey in a boat across water (emotions) choppy on one side, smooth on the other, a journey away from difficulties (i.e. progress, freedom from the results of your actions, freedom that validates those actions - "See, I was right!" But the image includes all 6 Swords in the boat with the refugee.
Those 6 Swords are habits. The refugee will go to a new place, and do the same thing that caused trouble before and end up in the same situation again. -- which is wonderful for a series writer, but not so great in real life.
If you're a messy housekeeper whose inner life is "messy", no matter how many times you 'clean up the place' - a few weeks later, things are scattered all over mixed with dead pizza and lost socks.
If you divorce a badly chosen spouse too soon, so you haven't learned what you did wrong and haven't changed that subconscious emotion/motivation/habit pattern -- you will move to another town, meet another dreamboat, marry and have the exact same disaster repeat itself.
And that is what Hand is talking about when he describes the 7th House as both marriage and open enemies "locked in combat."
You can be locked in true love, too. The "lock" is caused by the energy you output carving your environment into a reflection of the combat or love going on inside of you - underneath your own conscious level. A lot of that combat or love is you recreating or replaying unresolved issues from your pre-verbal childhood days. (writers need to know their characters' backstories).
The energy-pattern (Wands) inside your subconscious (Cups) will be OUTPUT (Swords) into your Intimate Relationships, 7th House and all it's interlaced energy channels into other Houses, by rulership, dispositor, occupant, solar-arc or secondary progression, and transit.
You will manifest (Pentacles) in your Life (Natal Chart) that pattern of energies (Wands) that is deep in your subconscious (Cups).
Art - Great Art - when manifested as storycraft, depicts this paradigm accurately, but in a guise which the conscious mind can absorb without rejecting Truth because it's too painful. In a good story, with a POV character who shares some version of your own subconscious conflicts, writer and reader can live through the resolution of angst just as during a Ceremonial Initiation.
Reading can be the Magical Act that releases your self-hatred (because you're too tall, short, fat, timid, bold, smart, dumb, loud-mouthed, etc. to be accepted) so that you are free to establish Self-Esteem and thus become able to handle Power safely.
Living vicariously through the battles with your mortal enemy - you can find and change your subconscious habit patterns so that when you travel the 6 of Swords, and come to a new "place" in life, with new Relationships, your baggage doesn't include the self-destructive habit.
Mary Taffs Magick and Karin Lowachee's Warchild may be just that sort of Art for those among us who have been rejected, have been victims, have lived through childhood helpless at the hands of abusers.
This week I also saw a rerun of an episode of Smallville (the TV version of Superboy) - where a young kid with telepathic ability is being used by nasty stepparents to steal. The kid reads comics about a Rescuer - sees Kent as his Rescuer - and (6 of Swords) in the end goes away with a long lost Aunt who takes him in.
Which brings us to Time Past by Maxine McArthur. This is the sequel to Time Future which I reviewed here October 2001. And a worthy sequel it is. It starts with the woman who commands the space station Jocasta trapped in Earth's past, just as Earth is about to be contacted by an interstellar civilization.
A number of the mysteries and loose ends from the first novel are now woven into a tight trap for our intrepid Hero, Commander Halley. She is making her life a mess, but she can't see how. She only sees that she's locked in combat with one of Earth's enemies masquerading as a friend. Her ex-husband was an alien, killed in the first novel, and he has left her sexually obsessed with him, bound to him so she can't enjoy a Relationship with anyone else.
She has not been assigned to "save Earth" from an enemy Earth doesn't even know it has -- but she's determined to do so anyway. As a result, time after time, she gets herself into Situations where she's ragged, dirty, starved, exhausted, and so badly wounded she can barely stand, nevermind think.
She keeps on with her dogged combat beyond all human limits - and wins through to a situation that can only be called Victory (6 of Wands).
Time Past is an excellent book - a great example of the best science fiction has to offer. The field needs many more just like it! Study it carefully.
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To send books for review in this column email Jacqueline Lichtenberg, email@example.com for snailing instructions or send an attached RTF file.
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