Full Moon
   Cosmic indicators do not promise utopian results. Like the ancients, each of us must heed the passage of time in the Solar, Lunar, and planetary rhythms, answer to their stipulations, and thereby cultivate their rewards. In this way one becomes the sower of one’s own destiny and the reaper of life’s promise.
– Rosemary Clark, Astro*Logic

All phenomena are cited for the Tropical (Western) Zodiac
Washington DC Eastern Time, adjusted for Daylight Time When Active (*)

The following program has been archived:

A Formidable American Eclipse

Sunday, August 13, 2017
Hieronimus & Co.




Planet Venus



Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2017 – January 19, 2018

The Darkness that Precedes the Light

    Once again, we approach the fourth turn of transitions in the Solar year, when light is diminished and darkness prevails over the season. We have celebrated the ascent of light in the Spring, its culmination in the Summer, and its senescence in the Fall. We now move into the time of inward enlightenment, when light hibernates in the womb of darkness and we await validation of its return in the coming months. In ancient Greece, Helios lord of the Sun, drove a golden chariot through the sky, driven by four steeds that represented the four transitions of the year – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.

    The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, when the Sun is seen at its most southerly point in the sky (in the northern hemisphere). Cultures past and present have universally regarded this moment as a time of rest, peace with the powers of nature, and fellowship with society. It is the first day that marks the beginning of many winter festivals. The twelve nights following the solstice symbolize the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, a cycle of completion for the end of the year. The twelfth night, on New Years Day, is the culmination of the winter festivals in the northern sphere, a time of satiety and rest.

    Soyalangwul, the Winter Solstice ceremony of the Hopi Indians, is honored with a dance performed to ceremonially bring the Sun back from its winter slumber. Kachina spirits return to the world at this time, and the Awehai Kachina (“fertile goddess”) is said to accompany the dancers through the night to Sunrise.

    For the Germanic peoples, the solstice was celebrated from the 4th Century, when it took place in the month of Fuma Jiuleis. Later in Anglo-Saxon England it was known as Giuli, corresponding to our December-January calendar and the season of Capricorn. For the Druids, it was Alban Arthuan (“Light of Arthur”) a festival when gifts were bestowed on the less fortunate. King Arthur was believed to have been born on the Winter Solstice in Castle Tintagel in Cornwall.

    Amaterasu, the Sun goddess of Japan, comes out of her cave at the Winter Solstice after a prolonged period of darkness in the world. Shut away in the heavenly realm due to her brother’s sacrilege of destroying her rice fields, she now emerges to remind the human race of the divine light that is diminished by irreverence and impiety.

Alexander Helios

Alexander the Great as Helios

– Musei Capitolini, Rome

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21st at 11:29 am, with duplicitous Neptune rising at the U.S. capitol. Truth is elusive and confusion abounds, rumor will rule the day. Next to this, the ingress Sun is moments away from a conjunction with Saturn – newly-domiciled in his natural Sign – which adds somber and profound meaning to the current season. Decisions made at this time will have far-reaching repercussions, one must tread lightly but resolutely on choices made.

    The Full Moon takes place on January 1st at 9:24 pm (11º Cancer 38’). The New Year begins with Sun-Moon in the middle of a Venus-Pluto engagement, a combination that will bring agreement with hostility and consensus with contention. The standoff of special interests continues through the month, intercepted only by some saber-rattling with aggressive Mars in Scorpio moving toward conjunction with an indulgent Jupiter. Talk, though cheap, will flow copiously and will have consequences.

    The New Moon takes place on January 16th at 9:17 pm (26º Capricorn 54’) with benevolent Venus urging compromise. Issues of jurisprudence and social mores dominate the political scene. Mercury departing from his Saturn conjunction points to severe weather and geological changes in the northern regions. Neptune continues to inhabit the horizon as it did at the Full Moon and Ingress, prolonging the confusion and deceits of authorities.

   Earth reaches perihelion (closest to the Sun) on January 3rd at 12:34 am. A day for celebrating life, vitality, and the true New Year. At this time we are closest to the heart of the Solar System and the pulse of creation itself.

Hail thou disc, you who are Lord of Rays:
Shine your beams of light upon my face!

– Hymn to the Sun, Book of Going Forth by Day

Christmas Tree cluster

The Christmas Tree Cluster
in the Monoceros constellation


Season of Sagittarius: November 21 – December 21, 2017

Goddess Neit

Goddess Neit
– Louvre

Keepers of the Sacred Flame

    In the season of Sagittarius, the fire of prewinter is renewed and tended to illuminate the darkness of the coming solstice. Associated in the Greek tradition with the centaur Chiron, teacher of the physician Asclepius, it represents the striving for knowledge and truth, and draws together the disciplines of healing, the military arts, and weaving – an eclectic combination at first glance but  reflecting the powerful motif of the Sacred Fire. It is this universal substance that sustains life, protects the community, and inspires creativity.

    In ancient Egypt, the  Sacred Fire was protected by the goddess Neit of Sais, who governed warfare and weaving. She wears a headdress of crossed arrows and alternately, the red crown of the Lower Kingdom or the shuttle loom of the weaver. In all of these roles, she preserves and protects life and guards the borders of divine territories. Similarly, the lioness Sekhmet, Lady of the Red Linen, embodies the scorching fires of combat and purification. She purges the body of afflictions and banishes the enemies of the Sun from sacred places. The priesthoods of both deities were healers and exorcists, tending the temple fires that purified the instruments of both warfare and surgery.


Hypatia of Alexandria
– Graeco-Roman fresco

Sacred Calendar

    Truth and its striving is celebrated November 25th with the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, patroness of philosophers and preachers. She is honored by both the Roman and Orthodox churches. In the latter tradition, her body was said to be conveyed by two angels from Alexandria, Egypt to Mount Sinai, where it was discovered in the Fifth Century by an anchorite from a nearby community. It was later transferred to the monastery erected by Emperor Justinian in CE 527 (now known as the Monastery of St. Catherine), where countless miracles are attributed to it.

    The unorthodox believe the legend of St. Catherine to be the transposed history of Hypatia (CE 370–415), known in the ancient world as the “Virgin Philosopher,” daughter of the mathematician Theon and a teacher in the Alexandrian Academy. As a Neoplatonist and pagan, Hypatia was demonized by Bishop Cyril for her academic achievements and influence, leading to her murder by a crowd of Christian fanatics.

    This is a time to remember all who have sacrificed for philosophical freedom and especially for those women who have cultivated their gifts in the face of severe prejudice, for as it is said, “We stand on their shoulders.”

    December 4th brings the festival of Athena Parthenos, Greek goddess of wisdom and culture and patroness of the Parthenon (Roman: Minerva). As companion of warriors, she also governs weaving, once more echoing the themes of fire, healing, and protection that so many ancient divinities embodied in one role.
Cosmic Events

    In the northern hemisphere, both the Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters) and the constellation Orion rise in the night sky of November, signaling the onset of the cold, stormy season. We may now call on the keepers of the Sacred Fire to protect and preserve us, to remain the custodians of their power.

    The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 21st at 10:05 pm, starting the holiday season with contention and cool emotion. Mars in Libra compels passive-aggressive talk from the nation’s capitol to constrained foreign entities. The Moon in isolating Capricorn prevents agreement in the halls of legislation though a few delayed issues are reluctantly moved forward. Mercury and Saturn moving together prompt legal scrutiny with explosive revelations.

    Neptune turns to direct motion on November 22nd at 9:21 am (11º Pisces 28’) shortly after the Sagittarian ingress, prompting disclosures that have been obscured since its retrograde station on June 16th.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on December 3rd at 2:34 am (29º Sagittarius 18’) hours before the Full Moon, adding to the increase of confusion and duplicity.

    The Full Moon takes place on December 3rd at 10:47 am (11º Gemini 40’), with nebulous Neptune obscuring truths that are coming to light. Obstruction and chicanery will be on the rise but will remain unchecked for the time being. Full Moon volatility runs high and perceived dangers will recede as disinformation is uncovered on December 22nd, when Mercury turns to direct motion. Pluto and the Moon’s Node in parallel escalates earthquake activity.

    The New Moon takes place on December 18th at 1:30 am (26º Sagittarius 31’) with harmony promised as the Libra stars rise in the U.S. capitol. Negotiations may restart with hostilities contained as Mars moves through his domicile of restrained Scorpio. This is strengthened as Saturn moves into his domicile of Capricorn the next day (December 19th at 11:48 pm) where he will remain until December 2020. Rule of law will be prioritized with an earnest return to tradition and historical standards.
Athena Parthenos

Athena Parthenos

Season of Scorpio: October 23 – November 21, 2017

Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice
– Federico Cervelli (1625–1700)

Lifting the Veil

    In Scorpio, life enters the cavern of hibernation, a place where the darkness insulates us in a cocoon of transformation. This is not a place of fear and avoidance, but an occasion for repose and renewal. In the season of Scorpio, we may lift the veil that separates light from dark and mortality from eternity.

    Witch, enchantress, and sorcerer are the images we honor in Scorpio. We may also give homage to Makaria (“blessed death”), daughter of Hades who leads souls to the legendary Islands of the Blest at the end of life. Praise may also be given to Cerridwen, shape shifter and lady of the cauldron of wisdom, the vessel that grants inspiration, poetry, and divine madness. And patroness of the season is Hecate, goddess of the dark Moon and guardian of crossroads.

    The theme of entering the realm of the dead for a season is enacted in the Orphic Mysteries, a Hellenistic tradition based on the descent and return of both Orpheus and Persephone from the underworld. Persephone, daughter of mother-goddess Demeter, is abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld. Though separated from nature, she becomes queen of all souls as her mother mourns and the Earth grows fallow. And in another legend, Orpheus enters the realm of the dead to retrieve his wife Eurydice, and is thus empowered as lord of oracles and “caster of spells.”

    We recapitulate these themes when the light of the growing season becomes dim and the night of winter begins. At this time the maiden transforms into the crone, the giver of life becomes the harbinger of death.

Sacred Calendar

    In ancient Mexico, the Aztecs honored the goddess Mictlancihuatl and her consort Miclanteuctli, deities of the dead who marked the end of the agricultural calendar. Today, it is still observed as El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), also on November 1st. The wonderful images of this season encourage us to fabricate an ancestral altar to honor the dead and remember the origin of things. Assemble photographs of your loved ones and surround them with dried flowers, branches, and the bones of birds (believed to represent the souls of the dead). Offer refreshment from your own sacred vessel and gratitude for their legacies.
Aztec Goddess

Aztec Goddess Mictlancihuatl

Triple Goddess

The Triple Goddess Hekate

– National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden NL

    November 1st is also the traditional Celtic observance for the beginning of their New Year, Samhain (sa-win). Because these days signal the old year coming to a close, it’s believed the veil between worlds – darkness and light, old and new – can be drawn. Using this “period of invisibility,” it is the time for scrying and foretelling, of seeing past and future. And in honor of those who have departed into the shadow worlds, we wear the garb of ancestors.

    This is also the time to light the sacred fire, whether it is a simple candle that penetrates the darkness of the dark Moon or a great bonfire that invites spirits into the fold. The season of Scorpio represents migration, the coming and going of nature and her children through the portals of life and death. At this time, the end is also the beginning. The “Night of Hekate” is traditionally celebrated on November 16th, when insights may be unleashed and many fortunes may be told. May your fires be bright and your visions bold.

Cosmic Events

    Jupiter entered Scorpio on October 10th at 9:20 am. The largest planet in our Solar System, its influence extends globally to economics, legislation, and education - to name a few. In the U.S. horoscope, it stands for our foreign relations and the physical environs of the country. It takes 12-13 months for Jupiter to transit a Zodiac Sign and 13 years to go through the entire Zodiac. This transition has profound implications for the current administration and Congress overall, with the atmosphere in Washington changing from indecisive Libra to single-minded Scorpio. Jupiter was transiting the Sign of Libra from September 9, 2016 , and it marked a great deal of equivocating and “alternative facts” as the Libran mentality can swing. It has also offset the balance of power, because Jupiter has been simultaneously opposing the planet Uranus in the opposite Sign of Aries throughout the year. This is the combination par excellence of surprise, disruption, and breakdown.

    The Sun enters Scorpio  on October 23rd at 1:27 am, moving within 48 hours to a conjunction with Jupiter. This changes the atmosphere of uncertainty and repetition to specifics and forward motion. Conflict and vindictiveness may draw attention as Mars enters contentious Libra. Exaggeration may also come from some quarters, but a process of development and progress will begin.

    The Full Moon  takes place on November 4th at 1:23 am (11º Taurus 59') with Venus opposing Uranus. Both exacerbate tensions between men and women, tradition and the law. Such matters will dominate the social environment and bring new guidelines in business, government, and the entertainment industries.

    The New Moon 
takes place on November 18th at 6:42 am (26º Scorpio 19') with Venus and Jupiter rising in the U.S. Capitol. Good news has already taken place and an armistice is achieved in some halls of power. Major reversals begin to shift in financial markets, despite some remedies. As Mars moves toward an opposition with Uranus, threats of international conflicts abound.

Season of Libra: September 22 – October 23, 2017
Declining Light

    September and October are deeply spiritual months, a time of the year when ancient observances evoked preparation for the barren season. Perhaps the most significant event is the Autumnal Equinox, which brings us into anticipation of the Sun’s protracted descent into the southern hemisphere of the sky and the decline of light.

    The Autumnal Equinox is marked in the Western Zodiac when the Sun enters Libra, sign of the Scales and the balance of day and night. In antiquity, this was the start of the Mystery cycle, when twilight begins to curtail the daylight hours and darkness overtakes the soul of Nature. The declining Sun is a metaphor of the dying god, as told in the legends of the gods Tammuz (Babylonia), Adonis (Syria), Dionysius (Greece), and Osiris (Egypt). At the same time his consort  – the mourning goddess – heralds the season and presides over the sacred rites that portray the winter vigil. Her Mysteries promise to restore and revive the dormant god in the succeeding cycle.

    The supreme goddess of the season is Isis, whose search for her husband Osiris, her magical restoration of his form, and her participation in the cosmic struggle for balance and justice embody the Libran theme. For thousands of years, the Isian legends, rites, and festivals repeated the timeless journey of the goddess, whose wanderings, lamentations, and resolutions are a metaphor of our own spiritual quest for completion and its realization. In this cycle we may balance our material and spiritual lives, since the Equinox (“equal night”) refers to the perfect balance of light and dark hours that occur at this time and symbolize the opposing powers that comprise our existence.

    According to to the Roman historian Plutarch, the temple of Isis at Sais was inscribed thus, “I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; no mortal has ever raised my veil.” This is a mystery worthy of meditation, but we may understand it well if we enter “under the veil” by journeying with the goddess through the dark night of winter. Let us begin that pilgrimage with the knowledge that our way will be illuminated with her lamp of wisdom.
Capitoline Isis

Roman Isis with Sistrum
Musei Capitolini, Rome
(117–138 CE)

Sacred Calendar

    Mabon is the Wiccan observance of the Autumnal Equinox, a festival of thanksgiving. It is a restatement of the agricultural harvest while honoring local nature spirits. Do you have a local nature deity, a fountain sprite or tree spirit? A simple offering to these beings invites harmony and promotes collaboration – such rituals reinforce our connection to nature and allows her to communicate to us.

    In Christian practice, agriculture and husbandry are venerated with the Blessing of Animals, a timeless act of acknowledging our partnership with Nature. The first two Sundays in October honor St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals and environmentalists, whose feast day is October 4th. In the Celtic tradition. the woodlands goddess Flidais is protector of wild animals and Bridgid is patroness of domestic animals.
     October 14 is also the celebration of Fontus (or Fons), son of the Roman deities Juturna and Janus. He is the god of wells and springs and his day also honors the freshwater goddesses – the Camenae – who are the oracular water-nymphs. Have you ever performed a water oracle (Lecanomancy: “divination from a bowl”)? Fresh water from a moving source, said to embody optimum life force, is contained in a clay vessel and censed. Under lunar light, one then makes an offering to the water deities and scrys over the surface for messages. If you choose to do so, meditate on the miracle of water, its healing and nourishing powers.

    Too many people in the world today do not have access to even a clear glass of water in their lifetime, let alone the abundance of fresh water that we have at any moment we desire. Let us work toward a change in this circumstance and call upon the Camenae for their wisdom and assistance.

Roman Girl at a Fountain
– Léon Bonnat (1832-1922)

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Libra on September 22nd at 4:02 pm with Mars and Neptune in tense opposition. Underhanded and unpredictable, conditions won’t settle until the end of the month, when Pluto turns to direct motion and pushes dissensions into open dialogue and honest assessment.

Roman girl at fountain
    The Full Moon takes place on October 5th at 2:40 pm (12º Aries 43’) in square with Pluto directly on the horizon at the U.S. capitol. This promises confrontation of the most immediate and dramatic kind, with enormous consequences to the nation, especially in the geological realm. For personal relations, Venus and Mars are in harmonious conjunction today at 12:53 pm EDT (19º Virgo 13’), promoting trust and accord, love and passion.

    The New Moon takes place on October 19th at 3:12 pm (26º Libra 35’) with swift action and enterprise indicated. Aquarius rises with ruling planet Uranus in the Second House of Finance – be prepared for a stock market roller coaster. Saturn in the Eleventh House of legislative affairs indicates some disappointments in representative activity and the loss of at least one key figure. But the fiery Grand Trine of these planets with the Moon’s Node inaugurates new initiatives that benefit the security of friends and allies.

    A major aspect bringing rebellion and disorder concludes its slow transit through Aries-Libra. The Jupiter-Uranus opposition has challenged the status quo since it moved into aspect on December 26, 2016 (20º Libra 24’), then brought confusion and upheaval with its second (retrograde) aspect on March 2nd (22º Libra 11’).

    We’ll see the ultimate denouement of this disrupter on September 27th (27º Libra 22’). Complicating the upset will be Jupiter’s sesquare (145º) to Neptune, adding distortion and deceit to the picture. It is sufficient to say that the revelations uncovered by this ongoing tension will come to a head with disclosure and truth taking the lead. For Librans born October 13 – 21 and Arians born April 11 – 17, long awaited critical decisions are forthcoming, and some favorable surprises will be received.

Season of Virgo: August 22 – September 23, 2017
Goddess Celestial and Terrestrial

    The season of the celestial virgin brings together past, present, and future through the images of heavenly maiden, protectoress of hearth and home, and mother of the harvest. In Virgo, a pantheon of goddesses from every world culture embodies these images at this time of year. It is the time of rest from the labors of agriculture, of harvesting Earth’s yield, and preparing for the hibernation of Winter. In Virgo we may experience the providence of past efforts, the ripeness of nature in the present, and the hope of what is to come through the roles of this season’s divinities.

    In places where the goddess is honored, much is given to nurturing and cultivating  knowledge in the next generation. Though we may acknowledge these acts as essential to communal progress, we often overlook their importance in everyday life or leave such tasks to others.

    Ancient Greece invoked Demeter, mother of grain and the seasons, who with her daughter Persephone initiated the youth Eumolpos into the sacred science of agriculture. He then became the legendary founder of the Eleusinian mysteries, whose descendants served as  high priests of a tradition that oversaw the annual sacred drama of the fruition, reaping, hibernation, and renewal of life in the harvest months of the year.

     Such dramas are metaphors of both the human life cycle and the soul’s entry into divine worlds. They remind us that coming generations must carry the seed of our knowledge and experience, a gift to the future that may yield a harvest of harmony and prosperity if we scatter the kernels of our maturity wisely and cultivate it in others unselfishly.

Eumolpos Initiation

Initiation of Eumolpos
by Demeter and Persephone
    The masculine image of Virgo is embodied in the god Vulcan (Greek: Hephaestos), who forges fire in the depths of the Earth to create perfect weapons for the Olympian deities. Banished from the company of the gods, he infuses the beauty he is denied into works of art and the functional tools of humanity. Here, the Virgo temperament finds its striving for perfection and acceptance.

    The Roman festival of Vulcanalia is observed on August 23rd, a fire celebration observed with the lighting of candles for those departed. The flames represent the souls of ancestors who remain our inspirations and guides through difficult times. It is a theme reminiscent of the Japanese Obon, a three-day celebration in mid-August that honors ancestors with the lighting of lanterns that are placed in rivers and streams to return their souls to heaven. It is followed by the Bon Odori, the dance of joy.

     August 24th is the Cerealia (“cereal festival”), the Roman festival honoring Ceres, goddess of the grain harvest. In this event we honor the accomplishments of those in our local communities, no matter how small, by sharing summer’s bounty. And in keeping with the ancient tradition of remembering those gone before us, we also nourish those who will carry our harvest into the future.


Marble relief from the ancient city of Herculaneum

Goddess Ceres

Roman Goddess Ceres

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610–1662)
Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Virgo on August 22nd at 6:21 pm, with the 0º cusp of Aquarius rising in the nation’s capitol. The ingress point of every Sign represents a critical transition, a period of adjustment. This was indicated on January 20th when the Sun at 0º Aquarius inaugurated a new cycle of governing and national policies. But here, a transitory change is denoted and it’s only in the planning stages, with a retrograde Mercury revisiting old promises and delaying new ones.

    The Full (Harvest) Moon takes place on September 6th at 3:03 am (13º Pisces 53’), as the Moon moves away from a conjunction with ambiguous Neptune. Specifics will be hard to come by and generalities will not resolve pressing problems. During the next two weeks, hard truths will be revealed as they come out of the shadows.

    Traditionally, the Harvest Moon (Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox) marks the end of Summer and brings an abundance of moonlight as the Sun sets. Hanging low on the horizon, the Moon gives off a golden glow that provides a mystical ambiance.

    Mercury turns to direct motion on September 5th at 7:30 am (28º Leo 25’) in the same degree as the August 21st Total Solar Eclipse. Vital information is revealed, plans pertaining to military action are scrutinized and reconsidered. Leadership is imperiled by the disclosure of investigative outcomes.

    The New Moon takes place on September 20th at 1:30 am (27º Virgo 27’) with the Lunation occurring late in the Sign and providing a two-week respite from the prevailing fear and confusion. The Moon dominates this period with public concerns in the forefront – health, environment, and the food supply. A spate of transportation mishaps is also indicated, and new remedies may be proposed but delayed.

Season of Leo: July 23 – August 22, 2017

Bringer of Cosmic Renewal
Goddess Appearing

    The hottest time of the year in the northern hemisphere coincides with a forty-day period when Sirius – the alpha star in the constellation Canis Major (the “greater dog”) – rises with the Sun. Hence, this time is known as the “Dog Days” (July 4 – August 11). But throughout the ages, Sirius (Greek for “scorcher”) also represented the appearance of a foremost goddess – Sothis of the Greeks, Sopdet of the Egyptians, Rudra (Shiva) of the Vedas.

    Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky that rises after the constellation Orion. The forty days of her rising with the Sun were regarded as most sacred in the ancient cultures of the Levant – from Egypt to Babylonia, including Greece, India, and as far East as China. Near the end of the forty day Solar conjunction, the star appears on the horizon at dawn before the solar aura becomes visible (the heliacal rising). This was viewed by the ancients as “the herald of the Sun’s divine companion.” This marks the beginning of the sacred year and the rejuvenation of the temple.

    Standing alone in the heavens before daylight illumines the sky, Sirius is indeed a marvelous sight. You may greet the time-honored goddess when she rises at the ancient city of Heliopolis in Egypt (30 North latitude) on August 5th at 4:38 am local time (GMT+2).

Sacred Calendar

    July 31st is Midsummer or Lammas Eve, with August 1st the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. It opens the period of First Harvest and the festivals of thanksgiving to follow. We celebrate by offering the first fruits of our summer’s labors – if they are not grain or the yield of the soil, we should offer our inspirations and prayers for the sustenance of all in our circle. In the Celtic/Old Irish tradition, this day is known as Lughnasadh, a feast of the goddess Tailtiu and her consort Lugh (deities of Life and Light). It is also the initiation of harvest time, and a period of truces and peace.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Leo on July 22nd at 11:16 am, with a dark-of-the-Moon phase and the Sun in a conjunction with Mars. This foretells a turbulent season, with ulterior motives slowly coming to light. Justice is invoked with Libra rising at the nation’s capitol and Venus as significator is domiciled in the Ninth House of Judicial matters. She is opposed by obstructive Saturn, but is soon joined by the  legislative powers to go forward. Crime and punishment dominates the news.

    Two New Moons take place in Leo this month, each an astrological “Blue Moon” (a Lunation followed by another in the same Sign).  The first takes place on July 23 at 5:46 am (0º Leo 44’), at the cusp of royalty and sovereignty. While we may look back at notable figures that have risen to divine grace in the past, we must firmly look at those who aspire in the present but fail to govern in benevolent ways. This New Moon, swiftly following the ingress of the Sun into Leo, is marked by a martial conjunction that rises in the east of America, closing an old cycle of leadership and looking to a new one that emerges. It comes with turmoil and conflict, but it empowers with new information and accords.

    The Full Moon takes place on August 7th at 2:11 pm (15º Leo 25’), bringing a partial Lunar eclipse, with a duration of 1 hour and 57 minutes (equivalent to almost two months of influence). Lunar eclipses bring uncertainty, emotional turmoil, and suspension of belief. The eclipse horoscope shows Sun and Moon moving away from Mars, which brings relief from suspense and disagreements. But leadership is imperiled by its own fictions, as Mercury, representing the executive, is opposed by duplicitous Neptune.

    The next New Moon takes place on August 21st at 2:30 pm (28º Leo 53’) that brings a Total Solar Eclipse. This event will be the first in more than half a century that is visible in the continental United States, cutting a swath of darkness across the middle of the country, from West to East coast. The astrological convention is that the duration of a Solar eclipse, especially one of totality, translates into years of influence. Here, the duration of 2 minutes and 40 seconds equals two years and eight months of unsettled conditions. The horoscope of this event shows a stellium of planets in the Ninth House of judicial matters, which will dominate the period of the eclipse influence. Courts will decide the fate of leadership, while Jupiter in the House of Legislature promotes inclusiveness and liberalism. Women work behind the scenes to resolve the uncertainties.

    Uranus turns to retrograde motion on August 3rd at 1:31 am (28º Aries 31’), signalling a return to examining unresolved questions and unfulfilled promises. Foreign threats may be subsumed for a period of time, but readiness is called for when dealing with known enemies.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on August 12th at 9:01 pm (11º Virgo 38’) with deceptive Neptune rising at the U.S. capitol and Saturn posited at the Washington, D.C. midheaven. These signatures do not bode well for an untroubled governing of the nation, as harsh truths are revealed and others are buried for later disclosure. Finance, debt, and taxes dominate the atmosphere.
723_New Moon
807_Full Moon 821_New Moon

Season of Cancer: June 21 – July 22, 2017
Celestial Mother and Father

       In the season of Cancer, the world mother is elevated, just as the Sun is elevated in the northern sky during this time. The qualities of compassion, generosity, fidelity, and protection are associated with this archetype, but they are by no means reserved for the female lifestream. We also honor our fathers in June, and may tend to associate an unyielding, authoritarian nature with the paternal role of modern societies, overlooking that at other places and times the prototype of father takes on the qualities we value in the world mother.

    The Native American Lakota spirit of all creation, Wakan Tonka ("great spirit”), is the giver of life, healer of all beings, and peacemaker in all accords. It is said  that at the moment of creation, Wakan Tonka gave an instruction that every tribe was to follow:
    • Take care of Mother Earth and the other colors of man.
    • Respect this Mother Earth and Creation.
    • Honor all life, and support that honor.
    • Be grateful from the heart for all life.
    • Thank the Creator at all times for all life.
    • Love, and express that love.
    • Be humble.
    • Be kind with one's self and with others.
    • Share thoughts and obligations.

    • Be honest with one's self and with others.
    • Be responsible for these sacred instructions and share them with other nations.

Lakota Medicine Wheel

Lakota Medicine Wheel

Ancient Egyptian Geese
    In ancient Egypt, the roles are reversed – Nut the sky is mother, Geb the Earth is father. They are separated by the god of air, Shu, and the solar boat of the Sun-god sails over their horizons in an eternal journey through light and darkness.

    Geb is often depicted as a gander and called “the great cackler.” Since geese are known to have but one mate in life and fiercely protective of their their young, Geb represented to the ancient people the divine father as watcher and provider, the ideal of family life. The landscape of terrestrial existence is his domain, where – in concert with the cosmic rhythms of his consort Nut – he engenders the cycles of vegetation to feed the living, the dead, and divine beings.

Egyptian Geese – Tomb Inscription at Meidum
Cosmic Events

The month of June brings a solstice, a “standing still” of the Sun as it appears at the zenith in the sky, it’s most northerly position on the horizon for the year. In Neopagan lore it is the feast of Litha, opposite the feast of Yule at the Winter Solstice in the sacred year.

    To honor the peak of the Sun’s passage through the sky, bonfires are lit throughout Europe, with each country interpreting the Sun’s ascent to the north in a distinctive way.  But a commonality is shared as well – all recognize the creative fire of the Solar gods, past and present, east and west.

    Native American Plains Indians hold the renewing Sun Dance at the Summer Solstice and Hindu tradition holds a number of celebrations throughout the month to the goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva and mother of Ganesha.

    The day before the Solstice is Midsummer's Night's Eve, traditionally a time of magic and cosmic power. Dreams and the visitation of fairies are attributed to this night, as Shakespeare so cleverly demonstrated in his timeless play of this event.

    Tradition also has it that medicinal plants and magical herbs gathered at midnight are said to be at their full potency of the year and may be dried or distilled for the coming months. Cancer-ruled plants harvested on this day include St. John’s wort (Hypericum), associated with John the Baptist, whose feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic church on June 24. The plant is said to banish depression and treat alcoholism. Others include Catmint, Lemon Balm, Poppy, Cardamom, Chamomile, and Licorice.

    The Sun enters Cancer on June 21st at 0:24 am (midnight), with deceptive Neptune rising in the nation’s capitol. Issues pertaining to the chief executive will be foremost, with Saturn in the Tenth House of Presidency. He is opposed by the workings of Mercury, lord of communications and the press. Matters of national security will continue this month, followed by setbacks brought by climate change. Major weather events, flooding, and firestorms will impact both coasts.


    The New Moon takes place on June 23rd at 10:31 pm (2º Cancer 47’) with loquacious Mercury taking the lead. Now is the best time to negotiate with the principals and skip those inside the chain of command. The days ahead could be volatile, laying the groundwork for productive plans should go forward while the mood is welcoming. Mars in the Sixth House of Health Care in the nation’s horoscope foretells disharmony and continuing trouble in reaching accord.

    The Full Moon takes place on July 9th at 00:07 am / midnight (17º Capricorn 09’) with the Moon in detriment and closing in on precarious Pluto while opposing combative Mars. This will create a dangerous atmosphere of hostility and rancor. Stay low, non-confrontational, and calm in your dealings with strangers. This two-week period initiates a troublesome undercurrent in the national spirit that will peak in mid to late August.

Oberon and the Mermaid

Oberon and the Mermaid
Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Eve
Sir Joseph Noel Paton (1821–1901)

Sacred Calendar

    June 18 commences the season of Ethiopian rains that bring the Nile floods. It was honored by the ancient Egyptians as Gerh-en-Matuiy (“Night of the Teardrop”), when the goddess Isis wept on learning the death of Osiris and commenced her journey down the Nile in search of his body. The Islamic and Coptic communities similarly celebrate it as Lailat al Nuktah.

     June 23rd is Midsummer's Night's Eve, a night of magic and wonder. This is the Eve of St. John (the Baptist), which replaced the ancient celebrations of Summer Solstice. In medieval times, this marked the end of the planting season and a period of respite before the Fall harvests – certainly a time for vacation from work.

    June 27 honors Aestas (“summer") the Roman patroness of the season, a corn goddess and consort of the Sun god Phoebus. She brings warmth and protection to all that grows in her season.

     July 3rd begins the “dog days,” so named for the star Sirius (alpha Canis Majoris, in the constellation of the Great Dog), which rises near dawn for the next month. This event brings the hottest days of the year, but also the most honored, as Sirius is the herald of Isis in her aspect as lifegiver, guide of initiation mysteries, and the herald of rebirth. The brightest star in the night sky, its rising at dawn marked Summer Solstice in the Pyramid Age and the seasonal rising of the Nile throughout ancient Egyptian history.

Season of Gemini: May 20 – June 20, 2017


by Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

From Earth to Air

    As the gentle climate of May hastens our gardens to bloom, the sanctified Earth welcomes the winds of change and motion brought by elemental Air. Gemini is one of four “double-bodied” Signs, representing influences that alternate between the practical and ideal, the earthly and the heavenly. Just as Mercury transmits information from the Olympian heights to the mundane world, we must divide our time and render to the powers that be our attention, yet not forgetting our obligations to ourselves. In Gemini, it is awakening to the inner wisdom and paying heed to the intuitive guidance that the lord Mercurius communicates to us.

    How often do we bypass our own insights, allowing instead our desire for acceptance or fear of criticism to subdue our better instincts? An understanding of what the Bringer of Knowledge truly provides – the inner sense of what is true around us – is what this season awakens. As the plants in our gardens sprout, let our natural gifts of knowing the ways of the spiritual wind unfold.

Goddess Times

    As the season transitions to Gemini, the mistress Hathor gives way to the matron Juno, Roman goddess who presides over marriage and the essential union of family and state. But while she oversees these affairs in one’s culture, she also opens the door to individual wisdom as the “bringer of light,” a power in the sky who gives vision to newborns and insight to her followers.

    In Greece, Hestia embodied the powers of the hearth to bless those who were nourished by its fires. In this role the goddess lives among mortals, to protect orphans and children and ensure they always returned to the altar of sustenance. She is honored by the charity we extend to others by sharing the food we prepare from our kitchens.

Goddess Hestia

Hestia Giustiniani
2nd Century CE Roman


    In the ancient world, some were dedicated for life to know and honor the ways of the inner life, fulfilling this duty to both gods and men. In Rome it was the Vestals, a celibate priestesshood of custodians who safeguarded legal and historical documents and the genealogies of the aristocracy. But in addition to these civic duties, their task was the keeping of the sacred fire from which all hearths in Rome were alighted. This, in reflecting the character of their patroness Vesta, “the living flame.”

    Between June 9–14 the Romans celebrated the Vestalia, both in public and private. The hearth flame was renewed from the sanctuary of the Vestals, and special cakes of salt and freshly ground grain were prepared and offered at the family altars. This is an ideal time to share the duties of cooking with a gathering of friends and family. On the 15th of June, homes are cleaned by ceremonial sweeping, the burning of incense, and baking of newly leavened bread. Vesta governs the transformation of plant life to food, the alchemy of cooking and the culinary art. Her glyph represents the flame rising from the hearth and the creative power of fire, the action that makes ordinary tasks sacred. We should recognize  this miracle in every meal we prepare and offer to others and ourselves.

    We also call on Vesta, as keeper of records, to help us locate our lost keys and wallets. She protects door bolts, storerooms, and warns of dangers to the safety of the domicile. Now is the time to scrutinize the integrity of your living space with an offering to Vesta and a thorough check on your house locks and keys.

 The Vestal

The Vestal
by Frederick Lord Leighton (1830-1896)
    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Gemini on May 20th at 4:31 pm, with the Sun posited in the Eighth House of Crisis and Investigations. Here, collective assets are housed – the taxes, properties, and benefits of the citizenry. While this area is highlighted for the coming month, the split interests brought by the Gemini season will not be reconciled in the short term. In turn, the Sixth House Pisces Moon  underscores the health of the nation that has already been imperiled by battles in the legislature (Mars in the Ninth House of Congress in hostile aspect). At the same time, Venus moves out of the Sixth House into the Seventh of Public recognition, aided by a friendly Jupiter aspect that resolves, at long last, future issues of wellness and healing.

    The New Moon begins on May 25th at 3:44 pm (4º Gemini 47’), occupying the same Eighth House of the Ingress. This signifies some recognition of clandestine issues with resolve to bring them to light, though the political divide (Gemini Sun and Moon) prevents clarity. Some six months of intense scrutiny will be required to unravel the mysteries presented to the public. Continuous surprise revelations are brought by the Venus-Uranus conjunction in the Seventh House of Public Affairs.

    On May 26th, Ramadan begins at sunset.

    The Full Moon takes place on June 9th at 9:10 am (18º Sagittarius 53’), with Uranus ruling the landscape in Washington, D.C. The executive branch is chaotic, while once-favored liaisons depart from the turmoil of the day. Depression and disappointment rule the atmosphere in the coming weeks, but a strong woman leads the way to decisive action.

Season of Taurus: April 19 – May 20, 2017

    In the ancient Mysteries, the return of Spring was understood as the descent of fiery spirit (Aries) into the world of life once more. It is followed by the cycle of implantation (Taurus), which brings about the sowing of spiritual vitality into the soil of terra firma. This is a time that prompts us to think practically and engage in acts that affirm our connection to nature and her abundance.

Goddess Times

    The ancients interacted with their surroundings through communion with the gods. In the Tellus Mater, a Roman festival celebrating the mother of Earth, the fruits of the last year’s harvest were offered to coax the goddess into replenishing the grain stores in the coming season. She was honored on April 15th with the feasts of Fordicidia and Hordicidia, an offering of cows and calves. Sacrifices were never wasted in those times; after partaking of the earthly oblation, the deity’s powers were endowed to the living through a shared exchange of food and drink.

     May is named for Maius on the ancient Roman calendar, honoring Maia Majesta, goddess of Spring. On the 1st of May, priests of Vulcan (god of fabrication) presided over her festival. At the same time, the goddess Pomona – a tree spirit who embodies the first bloom of orchards in the Spring – was honored along with Vertumnus, god of seasons. Together, they tend the gardens of the gods.

     The traditional Celtic-Welsh feast of Beltane (“feast of fire”) is celebrated on the 1st of May, commemorated by the pagan community as the pastoral commencement of summer and the union of the Lord and Lady of the season. The night before (April 30th) is the Teutonic Walpurgisnacht, reserved for rites to banish the last spirits of Winter and erect the May pole for the next day’s feasting.
Mother Earth
Earth Mother
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833–1898)

Driving of Calves Ritual
     Innumerable ancient cultures viewed the cow as a manifestation of the mother goddess, the nurturer of heaven and provider on Earth. In Egypt, Hathor presided over the harvesting festivities celebrated in May, beginning with the pharaonic ritual of “driving the calves” across the threshing floor to banish the serpents of darkness – literally and figuratively. Following this, the great Festival of the Valley ensured, with the barque of the goddess traveling south from her seat at Dendera to the throne of her consort Horus in Edfu.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th at 5:27 pm with Mercury retrograde within minutes of the Solar aura. Words matter now, though they will be inconsistent or irrelevant to critical matters at hand. Mars conjoins the Pleiades, promoting conflict but restrained by the Fates. The Aquarius Moon raises an important woman to seek peaceful resolutions but the effort eludes small minds.

    The New Moon takes place on April 26th at 8:16 am (6º Taurus 27’) heralds diplomatic initiatives that may not produce immediate results but will promote long-awaited changes.  Mercury passes through the turmoil brought by Uranus, signalling a relief from tense conditions but a warning to be on guard. In the U.S. horoscope, secrets and duplicity await disclosure that come to light in May-June.

    Mercury turns to direct motion on May 3rd at 12:33 pm (24º Aries 16’), still in the uncertain zone of Uranus, with  new threats of instability in the air. Until Mercury passes his initial retrograde station on May 20th, promises are unreliable and indecision affects deliberating bodies.

Ramesses II driving four calves into the presence of Amun-Re Kamutef at Karnak

    The Full Moon takes place on May 10th at 5:42 pm (20º Scorpio 24’) with financial and tax matters dominating the society’s interests. Mars and Neptune join in an unfriendly square that disrupts the health of the collective with few avenues for immediate relief. Mercury and Uranus still cause uncertainty, though relief from stress is near.

    The Taurus Full Moon is honored in the East as Wesak, the traditional Buddhist festival that marks the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha.

Gautama, the Buddha

Photo by Michael Hoefner


Season of Aries: March 20 – April 19, 2017
Daybreak by Maxfield Parrish

Awakening by Maxfield Parrish (


    The Vernal (vernalis, “spring”) Equinox has been honored since ancient times as the transition from the hibernation of one season to the awakening of another. In the northern hemisphere, this event heralds the planting cycle; for skywatchers it is the astronomical beginning of a new year. Visually, the Spring Equinox (equi, “equal” and nox, “night," referring to the balance of day and night) marks the time when the Sun crosses the celestial equator and moves north; it will visually appear high on the horizons until its southerly descent begins in the Fall.

    In ancient Egypt, Spring brought the return of the constellation Sah (Orion) to the night sky, a harbinger of the reborn Osiris who takes the form of the divine son, Horus. One of the god’s names is Wennefer (“who springs forth”), which expresses the power of this divinity to regenerate. The hieroglyph of his name is the desert hare, over the ages it morphed into the Easter bunny. But Osiris, the archetypal slain god who cyclically returns, is half of a spiritual saga that formed the foundation of the ancient Mysteries. The rest of the story is the cycle of wanderings and magical acts of his consort Isis, who diligently sought justice for her son’s usurped throne and who mystically restored the broken body of her slain husband. She follows Orion in her celestial form of Sopdet (Sothis), the star that rises after Orion.

Goddess Times

    The Neopagan festival of Ostara combines a number of ancient traditions for Spring observances. Among them, the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess Eostre (whose name is the origin of estrogen) is honored for the return of the growing season.

    The ancients interacted with their surroundings through communion with the gods. In the Tellus Mater, a Roman festival celebrating the mother of Earth, the fruits of the last year’s harvest were offered to coax the goddess into replenishing the grain stores in the coming season. She was honored on April 15th with the feasts of Fordicidia and Hordicidia, an offering of cows and calves. Sacrifices were never wasted in those times; after partaking of the earthly oblation, the deity’s powers were endowed to the living through a shared exchange of food and drink.

    The embodiment of Spring is the Greek Chloris, goddess of greenery and growth. Consort of Zephyrus, god of the West wind, she governs fields and gardens, which come to life in her season. She brought the Rose into being from a lifeless nymph, a metaphor of nature’s power to awaken our inner beauty. With her consort, she also gives life to the supreme goddess of devotion, Aphrodite.

    Cybele, the Phrygian mother of the gods and personification of Earth, chose Attis, an innocent shepherd youth, as her consort. Believed to have been born from a virgin birth, he was tricked into suicide by jealous gods and died on a Friday. Cybele resurrected him mystically after three days of mourning, and each year his return to life was reprised during the Spring Equinox. The festival, known as the Hilaria, is celebrated on March 25th with the raising of a Pine tree. This is the time to organize the coming plantings, start your seedlings, and visibly engage the mystic force of life in your environment.

    April 1st is the feast of Veneralia, dedicated to the Roman Venus Verticordia (“changer of hearts”), the goddess who restores purity and intent. As we are in the season of renewal, this deity gives attention to the ideals that have hibernated through a winter of isolation from our kindred spirits, those who share life with us on Earth. Let us “change our hearts” from personal concerns to share with others what the goddess has already provided in our lives.

   April also heralds the season of Fortuna Virilis, the goddess “who makes men virile.” She was invoked by Roman women to ensure happy marriages and strong sons. Regarded as Bona Dea, “the good goddess,” she brings abundance and assures a time of plenty. We would do well to invoke her for the sake of all who seek respite from the fears of the present.

Spring by Winterhalter

Der Frubling (Spring)
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–1873)

    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Aries on March 20th at 6:29 am with the Moon and Saturn conjoined in the 10th House of Leadership in the U.S. horoscope. This bodes negatively for the executive branch of the nation and sheds a pall of dismay and worry on the citizenry. Though Spring begins now in the western hemisphere, the planet of the season Mars (ruler of Aries) is buried deep in the quiet soil of Taurus. This may bring a delayed prosperity in six months, in the meantime economic activity remains static.

    The New Moon takes place on March 27th at 10:57 pm (7º Aries 37’) with little in the way of new enterprises gaining traction. Despite the vitality of springtime, hesitation rules the coming month, though plenty in the way of revelations are brought by Mercury’s conjunction with Uranus in the Sixth House of Health and Employment.

    Saturn turns to retrograde motion on April 6th at 1:06 am (27º Sagittarius 48’), delaying progress for international accords. Financial markets will remain slow, especially when Mercury adds to delays and turns to retrograde motion on April 9th at 7:15 pm (4º Taurus 51’). Banking news is not favorable and international travel is further curtailed by security concerns.

    The Full Moon takes place on April 11th at 2:08 am (21º Libra 33’) with dramatic news on the horizon. Pluto rising at the U.S. capitol portends the uncovering of secrets and a powerful effort to alter the status quo. The Moon departing from a conjunction to Jupiter in the Ninth House of judicial affairs brings satisfaction to the public. Mars in Taurus posited in the Fourth House of the nation’s landscape indicates increased earth disruptions, especially in the northwest.

    Venus turns to direct motion on April 15th at 6:17 am (26º Pisces 55’), offering some respite from the delays and worries brought by the Mercury and Saturn retrogrades. The social atmosphere brightens and idealism is forwarded by charismatic personas.

Season of Pisces: February 18 – March 20, 2017

The Well of Memory

    When the Sun enters Pisces, we enter the cosmic sea of timelessness and rejuvenation, where we may encounter the spirits of water – divinities who have been both honored and feared from the beginning of time.

    In Babylon there is Tiamat, the primordial being who lives in the waters of the abyss before time became manifest. Through her we are connected to the ancient sea on which our hopes and aspirations sail – the collective unconscious. And so we may use this time to tap into our spiritual reservoir and draw on the strengths we often forget.

    In ancient Egypt, the water goddess initially takes form as the frog-headed Heqet, dweller in the primordial swamp. She is the source of cosmic proliferation, the bringer of births in all dimensions of celestial life. Heqet brings life to the barren, and in this cycle we can depend on her for inspiration and the visions of what is possible.

    In the physical world, the Egyptian Nut is the mother of the starry heavens, the keeper of exalted spirits in the guise of celestial asterisms, mistress of enchantments in the incubation sleep of the temple. Through Nut we may remain connected to our ancestral heritage, both human and divine. She also takes us to the well of memory, past and future.

Nut the Sky Goddess

Nut, Sky Goddess of Ancient Egypt
Nymph Lotis

Naiad nymph of springs of the river Sperkheios
– Otto Theodore Gustav Lingner (1856-1917)
    The nature spirits of ancient Greece assume great number as water nymphs – the Nereides (goddesses of the Sea), Naiads (beings of fresh water, brooks and foundation stones), and Oceanids (powerful children of Oceanus and Tethys). Each is a mirror of wisdom, enchantment, or inspiration, and each is a gift we may access in the cycle of Piscean contemplation.

    Pisces, last sign in the annual cycle of the Zodiac, marks a period of completion and preparation for a new journey. The Ichthys (twin fish), who represent Aphrodite and Eros in disguise, swim in the waters of baptism, where we are not cleansed of any mortal stain invented by false prophets, but returned to the amniotic waters of renewal and made whole again.

Goddess Times

    March 1st is a day sacred to Juno Lucina (Greek: Hera), guardian of women in childbirth. It was celebrated in ancient times in the festival of Matronalia, when women would unbind their hair and remove all knotted clothing, to dispel any hinderings of a safe childbirth. For husbands, it was customary to bring offerings to the temples for the well being of their wives and children. The day was also honored by the Vestals, keepers of the royal genealogies and divinatory records of the temples.

    The realm of Hera is the open sky. Appropriate rituals at this time include offering bowls of water at the family shrine to quench our thirst for security and solidarity among the shared blood, daily ablutions performed to remind us of  the coming Spring, and sacred baths for evoking dream and vision states.

    March 8th is International Women’s Day. This is a time to honor all who bring life into the world and ensure that in some way we support safe and accessible childbearing resources. If you know a physician, midwife, or family counselor, show your acknowledgment and appreciation. Likewise for all organizations – local and global – dedicated to providing health care for the safe delivery of children in countries less fortunate than ours.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th  at 6:32 am with the Sun conjoined to the Moon’s South Node – an indication of poor vitality and in this instance, the Sun’s powers subsumed by the rush of strong ocean currents. This brings a preponderance of water – rain, flood, rising seas. The Piscean realm is now possessed by the immovable force of Neptune, whose influence remains stationary in his own Sign. The last time Neptune transited the Sign of Pisces (1847-1861), collective struggles for independence from tradition and servitude took place, while seemingly unified nations broke away from authoritarian rule. This is symbolized by the image of the southern and northern fishes in Pisces, joined by a cosmic cord yet moving apart, one southerly (moving toward Aquarius) and the other northerly (moving between Aries and Pegasus).

    The New Moon takes place on February 26th 9:58 am (8º Pisces 12’), with an annular Solar Eclipse of 44” duration (equivalent to 8 months, 3 weeks in influence). A stellium (“star”) pattern is formed with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Neptune in a grand conjunction that obfuscates and deflects, delaying vital issues resembling a Mercury retrograde period. A month where confusion may reign, but contemplation and careful scrutiny will prevail over inaction.

    On March 2nd at 8:19 pm, the second opposition from Jupiter to Uranus takes place (22º Libra 11’), inviting disruptions in the legal and legislative spheres. All may not go forward during this pass, though final resolutions are indicated in late September. The natures of these planets embody ideology (Jupiter) and liberalism (Uranus), though antithetical at first glance, they do find agreement when considering the whole rather than the parts, society rather than the individual.

    Venus turns to retrograde motion on March 4th at 4:08 am (13º Aries 09’) and for the next month we can expect more disharmony and misunderstanding than usual. While the kind and gentle Venus retreats to the background, civility is missed and steps to remedy the lack may be instituted. Relationships are scrutinized and vows may be repeated with deeper commitment and meaning.

    The Full Moon takes place on March 12th at 10:54 am (22º Virgo 13’), diminishing some misunderstandings of the last two weeks. But missteps can take place, as peaceful Venus moves through confrontational Aries and aggressive Mars takes a back seat in gentle Taurus. Roles are reversed, identities are confused, falsehoods may prove truthful. It is best to wait for the light of the Moon to fade, when illusions are banished to the shadows.

Season of Aquarius: January 19 – February 18, 2017

And godlike Ganymede,
Most beautiful of men;
The gods beheld and caught him up
To heaven, so beautiful was he, to pour
The wine to Jove, and ever dwell with them.
– Homer

    Ganymede, a Trojan prince,  was viewed by the Olympian gods as the most attractive among mortals. But with this admiration came notice from Zeus himself, who sought the young man to serve as cupbearer to the celestial powers. Taking the form of an eagle, Zeus swooped down from the heavens and abducted Ganymede, who became an immortal but also a servant to the gods. His image is embodied in the constellation Aquarius, and is accompanied by the eagle constellation Aquila.

    This ancient story tells of the obligation human beings have when they seek to become “godlike.” The individual ego is subsumed by divine will, and those powers hold greater sway over mortal destiny than the petty aspirations of the individual. A lesson to be well understood by those who strive for the ethereal heights!

    But the Aquarian motif also alludes to a cosmic secret – the gods seek our service as much we we seek their counsel. The exchange of powers – human and divine – becomes possible when each recognizes the needs of the other. It is the ancient art of theurgia that uncovers this secret, a sacred tradition that is unlocked with the words and gestures of magic. In this way, the server is given a true place in the heavens and is served by the powers s/he has honored.
Ganymede and Zeus

Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle

by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Cross of Brigid

The Brighid Cross is a talisman signifying the four Cross-Quarter festivals in the Celtic year.
Sacred Times

    The Celtic Midwinter festival of Imbolc is celebrated on February 2nd, the first of four cross-quarter festivals (falling between a solstice and an equinox) in the pagan year. Imbolc is derived from the term for “sheep's milk,” hence it is a festival welcoming the birth and first cleansing of newborn lambs.

    Though traditionally a time given to predicting if winter will linger (a precursor to Groundhog Day), it is a spiritual doorway that promotes divination. Originally associated with deities of fire, the purification of hearth and lighting of candles are rituals enacted to bring forth the powers of light.

    Associated with this season are virgin deity/saints (St. Brigid and St. Kinnia of Ireland), child goddesses (Kumari of Nepal), and gods as young men (Ganymede, abducted by Zeus and placed in the heavens as Aquarius).

    Appropriate goddess rituals for this season include the passing of fire from hearth to lamp (Roman: Vesta), invocations to the divinities of learning and record keeping (Egyptian: Ma’at and Seshat), healing rites that convey sustenance (Greek: Hygeia and Hindu: Parvati), and clothing sacred images (Greek: Athena and Egyptian: Taiyet). Offerings include candles, butter, cheese, and linen.

Year of the Rooster
Cosmic Events

    The  Sun enters Aquarius  on January 19th at 4:24 pm with the Moon void-of-course (leaving the sign of Libra without planetary contact). This presents a null state of affairs that will require extended time and revision before resolutions can be reached. In the U.S. horoscope, this falls in the Fourth (domestic) and Tenth (leadership) Houses.

    The  New Moon  takes place on January 27th at 7:07 pm (8º Aquarius 15’) and falls in the Sixth House of Administrative Affairs in the U.S. horoscope. Mercury conjoins Pluto to bring in dramatic confrontations and reversals, while the lunation in the Sixth House of Public Health emphasizes a new beginning that may never bear fruit. The year of the Red Fire Rooster now begins, heralding in a Yin vibration for the year (ends in a 7).

    The Full Moon  takes place on February 10th at 7:33 pm (22º Leo 28’) a penumbral Lunar eclipse that sets the stage for dramatic events that will take place six months from now.

    This Full Moon once again emphasizes the U.S. horoscope’s Sixth House of Public Health and Administrative Affairs. New approaches are introduced, but Neptune discloses deceptive motives. The presence of the Moon in the 12th House invites secret enemies and endangers the public’s security, but help comes from the loyalties and assets of foreign powers.

    The major aspects for the year include a Jupiter-Uranus opposition that began on December 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm (22º Libra 24’). A configuration of suspense and surprise, it falls in the Fourth (homeland) and Tenth (commander-in-chief) Houses of the U.S. horoscope. Promoting uncertainty and risk, the opposition continues through March 2nd (22º Libra 11’) and September 27th (27º Libra 22'), when Neptune adds to the picture by obscuring causes and effects.

Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2016 – January 19, 2017

Mithras Slaying the Bull
Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne

The Birth of Light
    We approach the fourth transition in the year, when light is diminished and darkness prevails over the season. We have welcomed the ascent of light in the Spring, celebrated its culmination in the Summer, and honored its senescence in the Fall. We now move toward the time of inward enlightenment, when light hibernates in the womb of darkness as we await validation of its return in the coming months.

    The Winter Solstice the shortest day of the year, when the Sun is seen at its most southerly point in the sky (in the northern hemisphere). Cultures past and present have universally regarded this moment as a time of rest, peace with the powers of nature, and fellowship with society. It is the first day that marks the beginning of many winter festivals.
    In late antiquity, the solstice marked the birth of Mithras, god of light. His mysteries, borrowed from ancient Persia, were initially honored by Roman soldiers and extended into society with a graduated series of secret initiations performed in underground temples. The day of his virgin birth was known as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, “birthday of the unconquered Sun.” He is depicted slaying the bull of the Taurean Age to signify the inception of the Arian Age.

    The Solstice is honored by the Hopi Indians with the Soyalangwul, a dance performed to ceremonially bring the Sun back from its winter slumber. Kachina spirits return to the world at this time, and the Awehai Kachina (“fertile goddess”) is said to accompany the dancers through the night to Sunrise.

    For the Germanic peoples, the solstice was celebrated from the 4th Century, when it took place in the month of Fuma Jiuleis. Later in Anglo-Saxon England it was known as Giuli, corresponding to our December-January calendar and the season of Capricorn. For the Druids, it was Alban Arthuan (“Light of Arthur”) a festival when gifts were bestowed on the less fortunate. King Arthur was believed to have been born on the Winter Solstice in Castle Tintagel in Cornwall.

    Sacred Times

    December 15th marks the beginning of the Halcyon (“happy, carefree”) Days, traditionally counted from seven days before and seven days after the Winter Solstice, beginning on December 14th and lasting until the end of the month. This period is named for Alcyone, one of the stars in the Pleiades and legendary wife of king Ceyx of Thessaly, who threw herself into the sea to join her drowned husband. The gods turned them into kingfisher birds who brood their eggs on a floating nest in the calm winter sea waters. Her festival honors the tranquility of the season that we must recognize and foster in our own lives.

     The Festival of Sophia (Greek: “wisdom,” Latin: Sapientia) is celebrated on December 16th, honoring the goddess of knowledge and learning, known to the Gnostics as “the soul of the world.” She is associated with the wise King Solomon of the Old Testament, and venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Christians. Her image has prevailed as a source of divine intelligence throughout the ages, and inspires us to support the scholarship and achievement of women everywhere.

    The Saturnalia, a Roman carnival of extravagance, was held on December 17th. Celebrants visited friends and gave gifts on Feriae Publicae (public holidays) to honor Saturn, god of sowing. But it also instituted the holiday custom of reversing roles, from master to servant and vice versa. Members of a familia (including slaves) would gamble for the appointment of Saturnalicius princeps, the “Lord of Misrule” for the day.

    The Opalia, Roman festival of Opis, was held on December 19th. Mother of Saturn and goddess of the plentiful Earth, she is patroness of sowers, bringing help to the harvester and abundance to the planter. May the powers of this deity soon bring us opulence!

    December 20th is the Norse Night of Helya (“the mother”), a time said to evoke prophetic dreams. At this feast children are placed under the protection of the goddess, who takes the form of ancestors or elder female relatives. This is also the celebration of Midwinter Eve, which brings the tradition of censing the home with Sage and Cedar, and the hanging of Holly boughs, Pine wreaths, and Mistletoe. A ritual herbal bath should be undertaken at this time, to clothe the body with scents of the season.

     December 21st is the Roman festival of Angeronalia, honoring Angerona, goddess of the Winter Solstice, “she who helps the Sun travel through the darkness of the season.” Her statue was found in the Sacellum Volupiae (shrine of Voluptas, goddess of pleasure), near one of the most ancient gates of Rome on Palatine Hill.
Sofia of Ephesus

Shrine of Sophia
Ephesus, Turkey

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21, 2016 at 5:45 am, highlighting dramatic shifts in financial markets despite deep pessimism on the immediate goals of a new administration. The Moon’s Nodes (international bonds) are bounded by conflict and deception as Mars and Neptune move toward the New Year’s conjunction in the murky depths of Pisces. This sets the stage for a year-long pursuit of truth and clarity, never fully realized.

    The New Moon takes place on  December 29th at 1:53 am (7º Capricorn 59') with Jupiter rising and Uranus setting on the horizon of the U.S. capitol. Hope and optimism are within reach, but declining in strength. Institutional power is consolidated, but promises made will lack the resources to fulfill.

    The Full Moon takes place on January 12th at 6:34 am (22º Cancer 27')
with the Sun departing from a climactic conjunction with Pluto. Authoritarian power is on the rise as the Moon (public) opposes its appearance. Compromise will come from unexpected parties as Jupiter in egalitarian Libra culminates.

    Mercury turns to direct motion  on January 8th
at 4:43 am (28º Sagittarius 51') bringing information back into the light. However, clarification to resolve deceptions and confusions will not be forthcoming until January 27th, when Mercury passes poststation (the retrograde position of December 19, 2016).
Opis of Abundance

Opis As Abundance
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1

Lunar eclipse

(*) U.S. Time Zones
Central Time        – 1 hour   
Pacific Time         – 3 hours
Mountain Time    – 2 hours
Hawai’i-Alaska    – 5 hours
Dsylight Time March 12th – November 5th, 2017

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