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 (*)



Planet Venus



2018 – Year that Inaugurates Transformations

Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory on January 23, 1930 at 12:30 am. Months after its discovery, Pluto then crossed the Ecliptic, the circular path inscribed by the Sun’s annual passage in the sky. It transitioned from South to North on September 9, 1930 – a critical and historical interval that set the stage for WWII.

     Once again, Pluto will become brighter and more visible in our view because he will again cross the Ecliptic, this time from North to South, between October 14 – November 4, 2018 (completing a half cycle). Astronomers call this phenomenon “light scattering.”

    Pluto's new trajectory may promote the gradual dissipation of the political, social, and racial divisions that have risen since the 1930s, because he is lord of transitions and evolution.

    Also this year, Pluto turns retrograde on April 22nd at 11:23 am (21º Capricorn 17’) and turns direct on September 30th, shortly before he returns to the Ecliptic since the 1930 passage. The regeneration of institutions is a process that is expected, as they have much influence over the financial system, religious authority, and human mortality. This is not to be a sudden or revolutionary transition; instead, a gradual unfolding takes place with  episodic struggles and  adjustments.

     The next time Pluto crosses the Ecliptic (from South to North), will be December 11, 2178, completing one orbital cycle that began  September 09, 1930 for 248.25 years.

Pluto from Hubble telescope

Composite image of Pluto from Hubble Telescope

Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Mithras Slaying the Taurean Bull

Mithras Slaying the Bull of the Taurean Age
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 and Zuni native Americans 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.

Sophia, goddess of Wisdom

Shrine of Sophia
Ephesus, Turkey

    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.

Opis, goddess of Plenty

Opis As Abundance
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)

    Cosmic Events

    The  Sun enters Capricorn on December 21st at 5:23 pm with Mars at the Midheaven in the U.S. capitol, an ominous indicator that conflict will dominate the season. The Solstice Moon is sequestered in the 12th House of captivity, allowing few avenues for demonstrating the hopes and dreams of the season. Saturn and Pluto in the 7th House of alliances emphasize a  gridlock of wills and open danger from autocratic forces. Despite these warnings, the conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter promise fruitful discussions that eventually will provide  better than expected outcomes.

    The Full Moon takes place on December 22nd at 12:49 pm (0º Cancer 49’) with Saturn at the Midheaven, following a contentious ingress that initially denied harmony. Now, Venus enters the 7th House of alliances to soothe strained circumstances, indicating that diplomatic women will best conduct the business of the day. The Sun in the 9th House points to beneficial leadership arising from the judicial realm.

    The New Moon takes place on January 5th at 8:28 pm (15º Capricorn 25’), a partial Solar eclipse that draws together Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto with the Lunation. This powerful Stellium signals a new process that will unfold in the coming months, but not without conflict and resistance as Mars forms a contentious square to the planetary group. Unwelcome surprises are indicated from the judicial sphere to those who have not served 6th House institutional and 7th House public interests.

    The Sun reaches perihelion on January 3rd at 12:34 am, an annual event that brings our planet closest to our local star and the center of our conscious being. It is a time to revere the source of life as each of us perceives it, and remember that whatever the season, the power of our Sun’s light unites us with the source of creation.

    Uranus turns to direct motion on Jan 06, 2019 at 3:26 pm (28º Aries 36’), allowing a more objective view and less obfuscation of collective issues. Innovation in science and technology will proceed with less restriction as new laws and material support are forthcoming. For individuals, decisions to lessen personal restrictions can go forward with less resistance.

Season of Sagittarius: November 22nd – December 21st, 2018
Goddess Neit
Keepers of the Sacred Fire

    In the season of Sagittarius, the fire of pre-winter is renewed and tended to illuminate the darkness of the coming solstice. Associated in Greek legend with the centaur Chiron, teacher of the physician Asclepius, it 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 goddess Neit assumed this role. She governed warfare and weaving, wearing a headdress of crossed arrows and alternately, the red crown of the Lower Kingdom or the shuttle loom of weaving. In all of these images, she preserves and protects life and guards the borders of divine territories.

     Both the Pleiades and the constellation Orion set in November, signaling the onset of the cold, stormy season. As they hibernate, we call on the keepers of the Sacred Fire to protect and preserve us, so that we may remain custodians of their power.

Neit, Lady of Sais
Luxor Temple, Egypt
Sekhmet of Ombos
    The Lioness Sekhmet, Lady of the Red Linen, embodies the scorching fires of combat and purification that burn before the altar of sacrifice in this season. She purges the body of afflictions and banishes the enemies of the Sun from sacred places. Her  priesthoods were healers and exorcists, tending the temple fires that purified instruments of both warfare and surgery.

    Gifts to the keepers of the Sacred Flame include instruments of Tin and Brass that banish lethargy and hopelessness with the sounds of inspiration and bravery. Altars of their temples are made of enduring Diorite and Basalt, the stones of Sekhmet’s images and sanctuaries. In the healing sanatoria, balsam incenses and Copal are burned, while the gems of Sapphire and Fire Opal reflect the oracular light of the future. Wear purples and blues in this season, with Sandalwood and Oakmoss scents. The healing herbs of Sagittarius include essences of Cajeput, Ti Tree, and Solomon’s Seal – remedies for burns and the ills of winter.

Sekhmet, Lady of Ombos
Kom Ombo, Egypt

    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 22nd at 4:02 am with Venus rising in Libra at the U.S. capitol. As pleasant as it sounds, an opposition to Uranus in the last degree of Aries dispels the harmony Venus brings and presents unexpected antagonisms from so-called allies. A break in long-standing relationships is ordained, though they may be temporary and have to wait out a tense period of re-negotiation. The Sun with Jupiter in his own domicile stabilizes economic growth, but information technology takes a step back.

    The Full Moon takes place on November 23rd at 12:39 am (0º Gemini 52’). The season of Sagittarius takes off with a volatile Full Moon that spills over into judicial affairs. Impatience combined with hesitation will create a strained atmosphere of crossed purposes and conflict. Agreements will be reached when Mercury turns to direct motion on December 6th at 4:22 pm (27º Scorpio 16’). Starting over will be productive this time around.

    Neptune turns to direct motion on November 24th at 8:09 pm (13º Pisces 42’) and falls in the 9th House of the Judiciary. Some deceptions will be uncovered and new rules of conduct will have to be incorporated into standard practice. Contagious diseases will be on the rise as new infectious sources are identified.

    The New Moon takes place on December 7th at 2:20 am (15º Sagittarius 07’) with a difficult Mars-Neptune conjunction dominating the next month. New international conflicts  draw attention, as former agreements and borders are breached. In the U.S., major protests in the south and west are mobilized for change. Surprise electoral changes will garner attention as Mercury has just turned to direct motion.

Season of Scorpio: October 23 – November 21, 2018

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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.

    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 Orpheus and Persephone from the underworld back to the realm of the living. 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 undergoes a fallow season. 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. These images are distinguished in many cultures – on October 30th with the South American celebration of El Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), on October 31st with the Wiccan cross-quarter of Samhain (“sa-win”), and November 1st with the Celtic Hallowmas.

    As the veil that separates the mortal from the immortal worlds is lifted, augury and divination allow us to reinforce the bonds we forge with the spirit realms.  In antiquity, the oracular art was practiced by sibyls and priestesses, dedicated in subterranean temples to deities who spoke through visions and dreams. The Pythia of Delphi, inspired by the hallucinogenic fumes of a chasm upon which she presided, embodied this centuries-old tradition in ancient Greece.

    Goddess Times

    Witch, enchantress, and sorcerer are elevated in Scorpio. We may honor Makaria (“blessed death”), daughter of Hades who leads souls to the legendary Islands of the Blest at the end of life. Praise may 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 Mysteries of Orpheus celebrated the soul’s transmigration and eternal nature. One of its pre-winter observances was the offering to Melinoe, another daughter of Hades. She is goddess of ghosts and funerary offerings with black and white limbs, an image similar to the Hindu Kali, goddess of change and transition. In her name and all those who have passed through the veil, we may erect an Altar of the Dead with bones, stones, and fallen leaves.

Celtic cauldron

Irish Cauldron
Late Bronze Age (BCE 700)

    Goddess Offerings

    Offerings to the dark goddess include pomegranate and wreaths of palm, with incenses of Patchouli, Cypress, and Opopanax (sweet myrrh). Her priestesses  are veiled in maroon and black, and don ornaments of bloodstone and serpentine.

    The scents of Scorpio include Musk and Civet – one legend relates that the Narcissus flower lured Persephone away from her companions so that Hades was able to abduct her. Scorpio medicinals include Mace, Hops, and Juniper.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Scorpio on October 23rd at 7:33 am, featuring a dramatic configuration. The Sun rises exactly at dawn in the U.S. capitol with Uranus also on the horizon, within hours the two engage in a disruptive opposition and square to the Moon’s Nodes. Inclement weather poses a threat to the southern part of the country, while foreign relations take an antagonized turn. Ninth House matters draw public attention, particularly those of the Justice Department.

    The Full Moon takes place on October 24th at 12:45 pm (1º Taurus 13’) with Saturn rising at the U.S. Capitol.  Pessimism and regret cloud the coming fortnight, though deep relief will follow. The Sun-Moon opposition is accompanied with a pattern involving Venus-Uranus-Moon’s Nodes. This picture highlights news of women upsetting the status quo and in close competition with existing leadership.

    The New Moon takes place on November 7th at 11:02 am (15º Scorpio 11’) with Saturn once again rising in Washington D.C. Concern fills the atmosphere as leadership inaugurates new directions. Despite the foreboding, plans move forward and renewal is the anthem of the day. Venus in near-stationary motion at the Midheaven indicates a great and growing influence of women in leadership and judicial roles.

    Jupiter then enters his home Sign of Sagittarius on November 8th at 7:38 am, heralding an optimistic period that can enhance economic expansion and international trade until December 2nd, 2019. However, previous transits of Jupiter through Sagittarius have shown that risk taking and uncertainty during this period can pull the plug on stable growth. Planning for the long term is the better approach.

    Pluto, lord of the Scorpio underworld, makes a station on the ecliptic (Sun’s Path), moving  from North to South for the period October 14th – November 4th. This last took place on September 9th 1930, as Pluto crossed the same path, but moving from South to North. Thus, after 88 years we are in closest contact with Plutonian influences and will experience a dramatic reversal of the status quo – not in a sudden, apocalyptic way, but in a gradual period of renewal after old authoritarian forces recede. What has been hidden from scrutiny and locked in darkness will come to the light and illumination. We must have the courage to relinquish the anachronisms of the past and reinvigorate our ideals for the future.

    Venus turns to direct motion on November 16th at 5:50 am (25º Libra 14’) reinforcing her power as mediator and diplomat. Foreign relations will improve with the agreement and consolidation of goals among international figures, presaging a new coalition for trade and mutual security.

    On the same day, Mercury turns to retrograde motion at at 8:33 pm (13º Sagittarius 29’), dampening the enthusiasm brought by Venus. Small confusions appear, while issues of public health and safety dominate the news. Revelations of deception are mired by conflicting sources and truth is on hiatus until December 6th.

Priestess of Delphi

Priestess of Delphi
by John Collier (1850-1934)

Season of Libra: September 22 – October 21, 2018
Mirror of Hathor
Balance and Identity

    As we enter the season of Libra, we cross the threshold from individual ego to collective participation. The first six Signs of the Zodiac signify the development of Will (Aries), Values (Taurus), Self Expression (Gemini), Relationships (Cancer), Ego (Leo), and Socialization (Virgo). In Libra, one enters the world of communal interests and engagement. Throughout this season, we are prompted to relinquish the things that serve only ourselves to find a genuine, constructive place in the collectivity.

    In ancient cultures, the Sign of Libra was sometimes represented by the mirror, signifying the processes of reflection and identity. Through relationships, personal and collective, we gain an understanding of the wholeness that arrives from being a part of a greater scheme. In Libra we learn the lessons of negotiation, compromise, understanding, and harmony. From these experiences, our values are shaped and continuously adapted to the changing world around us. And so as we transition into the Sign of the Scales, it is important to weigh our values against the transitory conditions of the hour and be reminded that the balance in our lives can prevail against the disharmonies of the outside world.

Mirror of the Goddess Hathor
Egyptian Museum, Cairo

     Sacred Marriage

    In Libra, the ideal of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) inspires our relationships to seek divine consonance. This goal was enacted in ancient ritual with purification of the couple, community acknowledgment of the union, and symbolic consummation, intended to enrich society as well as the individual participants. But the hieros gamos alludes to other significant unions of opposites – the conscious Ego and the unconscious Self, the Ida and Pingala forces that penetrate the body’s Chakra system, the Sun and Moon in celestial life. In this time of equal day and equi nox  (“equal night”), we come to know that even in seasonal terms the visible world achieves balance and equilibrium.

     Goddess Offerings

    The many faces of Venus, who instills the  striving for beauty and harmony, are reflected in the Libran universe. Gardens at their fruition are governed by Libra, with flowering plants that include the Primrose, White Rose, and Heartsease. The Libran bounty includes the grape and olive, earliest cultivated foods and mainstays of refined cooking.

    Libran metals include Copper and Electrum, the precious materials used for casting images of the divine consort in the ancient temples. These were placed on altars of Rose Granite with floors of Pink Alabaster from the quarries of the goddess. Before these images, incenses of Cyprinum (Henna) and Myhrr were offered, along with wreaths of Jasmine and Tuberose. A goddess shrine in your own space could sustain this timeless tradition and invite her blessings on your unions – past, present, and future.
Pharaoh MenKauRa & Queen KaMeri Nebty
Egypt, 4h Dynasty
Pharaoh MenKauRa & Queen KaMeri Nebty

     Cosmic Events

     The Sun enters Libra on September 22nd at 9:55 pm. At the U.S. capitol, the Equinox Sun and Mercury approach a square to cold, bitter Saturn, delaying any progress for the season. A simultaneous trine to Mars in the Ninth House of the Judiciary points to the eventual completion of tasks after considerable negotiation has taken place. The Piscean Moon in the 10th House of the Executive branch moves in a conjunction with hazy Neptune, adding more confusion and disinformation to the public mind.

     In ancient times the Fall Equinox marked the observance of sacred dramas that enacted the diminishment of daylight in the following months. The Full Moon of Libra that followed (this year on September 27th) commenced the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries, which honored the archetypal journeys of the mother goddess Demeter and her daughter (Kore), Persephone. The descent of the daughter into the realm of her abductor Hades was reprised by initiates; four days later they emerged from caves beneath the mother temple endowed with oracular powers.

     The Full Moon takes place on September 24th at 10:52 pm (2º Aries 00’) with a Cardinal T-Cross involving Moon opposite Sun-Mercury, in square to Saturn. This compelling figure forces issues and demands resolution, as the Libra mandate places all in balance, whether it is sought or not. The Harvest Moon (closest to the Equinox) evokes warmth and devotion, but it is diminished in the coming days by polarization and scorn.
Greek Flautist

     Plouton – lord of underworld and darkness – slowed to retrograde motion in April and held sway in the collective unconscious with unreasoned fear and inertia. As he turns to direct motion on September 30th at 10:01 pm (18º Capricorn 45’). we awaken like Persephone in the darkness before winter descends and discover the unrealized wealth of our own personal power. It is this that may transform the world around us, the reason why Pluto’s ancient name was Dives Pater, “father of riches.”

The New Moon takes place on October 8th at 11:47 pm (15º Libra 48’) with the Lunation (Sun-Moon) in a conjunction with the U.S. natal Saturn. Authoritarianism will rear its head, but only for the duration of this lunar month. At the same time, it is impeded by collective resistance (Mars in Aquarius) and a powerful event that presages transformative change. Pluto falls on the horizon of this New Moon, and with its current transit to the plane of our Sun’s path inaugurates the transference of power from the personal to the collective for the rest of this century.
The last time Pluto was on this path was September 9th, 1930 – a time of immense societal metamorphosis.

     Venus turns to retrograde motion on October 5th at 3:05 pm (10º Scorpio 50’) for a six-week hiatus that backtracks the steward of mediation into the Libran sphere of diplomacy. Whatever may be left undone in the judicial and legislative branches of government is certain to reappear for attention. And while these things appear to be gridlocked, some forward movement will be attained, with fairness ruling the outcome. Venus concludes her retrogression on November 16th at 5:50 am (25º Libra 14’).

Season of Virgo: August 23 – September 22, 2018

Demeter and Persephone consecrate Eumolpos into the Eleusinian Mysteries
Nurturing and Cultivation

    The season of the celestial virgin brings together past, present, and future through the images of heavenly maiden, guardian 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 brings a period 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 with 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 spirit is honored, much is said of nurturing and cultivating  knowledge for 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.

    In ancient Greece it was 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 month 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.

     Whether you are a parent of experience or a child of learning, this is a time to consider the breadth of what you have acquired and how it may best serve the future. We tend to forget or trivialize the hard-won lessons we have known and the wisdom that arises from them. In the Virgo season, we may assess this reservoir of knowledge and begin to scatter that seed for the future.

Sacred Calendar

    The Volcanalia is observed on August 23rd, a fire festival best celebrated with the lighting of candles for those departed. The flames represent the souls of ancestors who remain our inspirations and guides through difficult times. This is the theme 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 event 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.

Goddess Offerings

    Plants governed by Virgo come from the families of digestive aids, antiseptics and diuretics. These include Parsley, Fennel, Rosemary, Melissa (Lemon Balm), Spearmint, and Peppermint. Scents are sweet, flowering greenery, including Gardenia, Magnolia, and bulb flowers such as Hyacinth and Tulip. Perfumes are Storax (Liquidamber) Lily of the Valley, and Honeysuckle.

    Most grains of the ancient world were governed by the harvest goddess, thus the Virgo New Moon is traditionally known as the Barley Moon. It is the most auspicious time to prepare the Octoberfest beer from the first threshing of barley. To native Americans, the Virgo New Moon is  known as the Corn Moon, to stargazers it is the Red Moon because the lunar body is low on the horizon at this time of year and is colored reddish-yellow by refraction from the Earth.

Goddess Ceres

Roman goddess Ceres
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610–1662)

Constellation Virgo
Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Virgo on August 23rd at 12:09 am, with the Moon closing in on a retrograde Mars. While this may generate a strained atmosphere, past covert intentions and actions will ultimately come to the surface. Mercury opposes the Midheaven in the nation’s capitol, imposing silence on those who should speak, while communication overall is stifled and confused.

    The Full Moon takes place on August 26th at 7:56 am (3º Pisces 12’) the same day that Mars returns to direct motion at 10:05 am (28º Capricorn 37’). This will bring some tense and eventful moments, many which will have long term repercussions if rash actions are taken. An operative Grand Trine in the Earth Signs for the next two days will bring to a head matters of economic concern, compelling new courses of action.

    The New Moon takes place on September 9th at 2:01 pm (17º Virgo 00’). The Lunation (Sun-Moon conjunction) moves away from a Neptune opposition, providing a fortnight of clarity and serious attention. Disruptions in leadership will prevail though prominent women will move to the forefront within institutions, government, and culture. In the nation’s capitol, economic uncertainty grows as Mars leaves the Second House of Security and his powerful place in Capricorn for the next two years.

Constellation Virgo

Season of Leo: July 22 – August 22, 2018
Goddess Appearing

    The hottest time of the year in the northern hemisphere coincides with a forty-day period when Sirius (alpha Canis Majoris in the constellation of the Great Dog) rises with the Sun. Hence, this time is known as the “Dog Days” (July 3 – August 11). This event brings the hottest days of the year, but it is also the most honored as it highlights 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. The Egyptians revered the star as Sopdet, the cosmic form of Isis as bringer of rejuvenation and birth mother of ascended souls. Sirius (Latin for “scorcher”) has been  represented in countless historical periods and cultures, as Sothis of the Greeks, the Arabian Ashshira, and Rudra (Shiva) of the Vedas.

    As the season of Sothis now begins, we prepare for the star’s emergence just before dawn in early August. At the end of the forty days’ Solar conjunction, she 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 will mark the beginning of the sacred year and the rejuvenation of the temple.

    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.

    The lore associated with this event has been passed down through the ages. The shade of the naturally blue-white star is significant – if it appears bright and clear, the ancients foretold an abundant harvest and a year without conflict. If it was dim or reddish, a poor harvest would be expected with hostilities from foreign lands.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Leo on July 22nd at 5:10 pm, with an applying opposition to Mars and a square to Uranus. This T-Cross configuration brings contention and obstruction, a period of power plays and antagonisms that will heighten throughout the month. Calm is required and a strategic plan for future resolutions rather than knee-jerk reactions. The inclusion of the Moon’s Nodes in this pattern draws the public’s interests into disputes over money and security. Pessimism may pervade for a time, but courageous forces gather behind the scene.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on July 26th at 1:03 am (23º Leo 27’) and returns to direct motion on August 19th at 12:25 am (11º Leo 32’). During this brief period, discord draws people apart and some confrontations will come to a head. The Moon’s conjunction to Pluto in law-and-order Capricorn point to final resolutions in favor of long-aggrieved parties.

    The Full Moon takes place on July 27th at 4:20 pm (4º Aquarius 45’), with the planetary focus packed in the nation’s Second House of Economic and Material Assets. Repercussions from trade conflicts are exacerbated, as this event brings a historically long  Total Lunar Eclipse of one hour and 43 minutes duration, translating to an influence of 18 months’ economic stagnation. This two-week period cautions against careless spending and encourages planning for future projects.

    The New Moon takes place on August 11th at 5:58 am (18º Leo 42’) with a semblance of calm and a clear trajectory to resolving long-standing problems in the public health and welfare sectors of government. However, this event also brings a Partial Solar Eclipse, delaying for months the beneficial effects of legislative efforts. For individuals, a time for relief and celebration is possible, with an awareness that the harvest of good works is yet to be realized.

Sirius, Hubble image

Sirius from the Hubble telescope

Season of Cancer: June 21 – July 22, 2018

Solstice Dancer

– Lauren Raine
 Cherry Hill Seminary SC

Midyear Stillness

    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 24th. The plant is said to banish depression and treat alcoholism. Others include Catmint, Lemon Balm, Poppy, Cardamom, Chamomile, and Licorice.

Goddess Times

    June 18th 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 27th 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.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Cancer  shortly after sunrise on June 21st at 6:07 am. Though the Summer Solstice  usually heralds the ascendancy of light and nature’s proliferation, today’s Sun opposition to cold Saturn subdues the joy and optimism of the season. Confronting the status quo is called for despite the apparent resistance of authority. With a Libra Moon, litigation and the rule of law dominates, but by exercising patience and understanding, this new season may uncover concealed benefits.

    The Full Moon takes place on June 28th at 12:53 am (6º Capricorn 28’) bringing unhappy events to a head with bitter Saturn obstructing the Luminaries (Moon conjoined to Saturn with Sun in opposition). Tragedies confront those in authority, presenting a test of fortitude and honor to observers. This month could be a turning point in social awareness and responsibility.

    The New Moon occurs on July 12th at 10:48 pm (20º Cancer 41’) under dramatic conditions. This Lunation is a Partial Solar eclipse, creating a volatile atmosphere with the Luminaries in conflict with the Lord of Transitions - at 6:01 am the Sun opposes Pluto, followed by the Moon’s opposition to Pluto at 9:43 pm. Deceptions will be uncovered and a serious reckoning is undertaken. However, the Grand Trine of Saturn, Uranus, and Venus in Earth Signs points to eventual agreement and resolution.

    Mars turns to retrograde motion on June 26th at 5:05 pm (9º Aquarius 13’) for most of the summer, lessening contention and instability. The Sun opposes Saturn, curtailing the authority of the chief executive. Efforts to revise or reform military programs can be expected, this may bring some relief from long-standing tensions. Over the years, Mars retrograde periods consistently show an increase in U.F.O. observations.

    Jupiter turns to direct motion on July 10th at 1:04 am (13º Scorpio 21’), revealing the true status of the nation’s economic health. Prices rise in agriculture, metals, and health care. Increased military spending proceeds under a new budget but little benefit is felt.
Oberon & Tatiana

Oberon and Titania
Scene from Shakespeare’s  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
– Sir Joseph Noel Paton (1821–1901)

Season of  Gemini: May 20 – June 20, 2018
Juno Ludovisi

Juno Ludovisi
National Roman Museum
1st Century C.E.
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. The season of Taurus now transitions to Gemini, while 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.

   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 Goddess 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 direction of the spiritual wind unfold.

Goddess Times

   In the ancient world, some were dedicated for life to know the ways of the inner powers, 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.”

   In Greece, Hestia also 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.

The Vestal

The Vestal
Frederick Lord Leighton

    Sacred Calendar

   Between June 9–14 the Romans celebrated the Vestalia, when the storehouses of Vesta’s temple were opened annually. Only women were allowed in the temple, which was cleaned during this time and the refuse thrown in the Tiber.
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. The festival also marked the beginning of a six-week period considered propitious for marrying, the origin of June bridal traditions.

   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.


Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Gemini on May 20th at 10:15 pm, just as other planets depart Signs and enter new areas of influence. Venus has just entered sentimental Cancer, bringing good will and feelings of connectedness to all. Temperamental Mars moves into rational Aquarius, restraining conflict but inviting argument. Together they encourage some harmony, but a suspicious atmosphere remains. Disruptive Uranus also enters the picture, moving into Taurus though not for the long term until March, 2019. In the meantime, uncertainty reigns and the monetary realm experiences substantial turmoil.

    The Full Moon takes place on May 29th at 10:19 am (8º Sagittarius 10’) with Uranus culminating at the Midheaven of the U.S. capitol. With the instability of fire and air in the atmosphere, Uranus agitates in the House of the Executive Branch. Obstruction, delay, and interruption of business as usual is the order of the day, or at least for the week.

    The New Moon takes place on June 13th at 3:43 pm (22º Gemini 44’) with hidden objectives coming to light. Uranus once again is angular (setting) in the U.S. capitol, bringing new and unexpected peril from known adversaries. Judicial issues take the lead and enter into a new phase. New geographic dangers appear in the U.S. as Mars ignites volatility.

    Neptune turns to retrograde motion on June 18th (16º Pisces 30’) until November 24th (13º Pisces 42’). Undisclosed information slowly trickles out during this period, though it remains “the tip of the iceberg.”

Season of Taurus: April 19 - May 20, 2018
Garden of the Hesperides

Garden of the Hesperides
by Frederick, Lord Leighton (1830-1896)
    A Divine Garden

    At the edge of the world, where Earth and sky meet, the Olympian gods created a garden with orchards of miraculous fruit trees. Guarded by maidens known as the Hesperides (“Daughters of Evening”), the garden is a passage to a celestial realm where beauty and song gladden heroic sojourners. Likewise, the season of Taurus celebrates the victory of life emerging from winter’s quiescence following the Spring Equinox, and sets the stage for nature’s proliferation in the coming months.

    In the garden of the Hesperides, the golden apples of immortality were given to those who ventured as far west as the setting Sun, an allusion to the rewards awaiting the virtuous at the gates of the afterlife. It is the endowment of the soul that ventures past the comforts of mundane existence and seeks the fruit of a mythical tree in that garden – the one that offers knowledge of good and evil. And here another obstacle exists – the tree of golden apples is also the abode of the dragon Ladon, who must be slain or transformed by the hero/ine before immortality can be obtained.

    The tree, its fruit, and the dragon represent the both the lure and the dangers of mortal life. In the season of Taurus, we may become complacent with the return of Spring and the warmth of nature that revitalizes the living, but heroic acts await us each and every day. Problems must be resolved, disharmony must be transformed into accord. These are acts that transcend time and create the miraculous fruit of peac and celestial song – the reward of virtue.

    Sacred Calendar

    Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, a time to reflect on our bond with the planet we inhabit and the great spirit that enlivens it. Even if some do not relate to Deity as mother, it is evident that all existence is dependent upon one’s cooperative relationship with nature, and what she provides us to grow and mature throughout her rhythms and seasons as that bond deepens.

   The ancients seemed to understand this intrinsically and consistently. The Romans honored the goddess Flora, patroness of Spring, from April 28–May 2nd. Her Floralia was both a festival and an evocation of the dormant powers of life in the soil to awaken. Though reported to be an event of indulgence and licentiousness, it is one of many ancient festivals acknowledging the bond between mortals and nature, the mating of humankind with the Earth. It marks the onset of the agricultural calendar, the first sowing of the seed.

The Goddess Flora
by Luca Giordano (1634–1705)

Goddess Flora
Goddess Blodeuwedd
    The eve of April 30th is Walpurgisnacht, marking the commencement of the annual mid-Spring European festival of Walpurgis through May 5th. Bonfires fueled by outworn winter goods are lit at night, followed by the May 1st ritual of dancing around the Maypole, symbol of the fertilization of the Earth and the flowering of vegetation to come. The roots of “spring cleaning” arise from this celebration, this year you may  make it a labor of rejuvenation by recycling and regifting generously.

    This time is honored in the Celtic/Welsh feast of Beltaine, honoring Blodeuwedd, Goddess of Flowers, and Llew, the Oak king and lord of the waxing Sun in the northern sky. Mystical union is the theme of this season, as the seeds of life take root in the womb of nature. Bring these powers into your own environment with seedlings at your windows and ribbons bound on budding branches at your door.

by Christopher Williams (1873–1934)

Hathor & Seti

The Goddess Hathor embraces Pharaoh Seti, embodiment of her consort Horus
– Tomb of Seti I, Valley of the Kings

Marriage of Earth and Sky

    The union of man and goddess, the seeding of the soil and the fertilization of the land, was celebrated in ancient Egypt with the Festival of the Joyous Union, the annual mating of the goddess Hathor with her consort, Horus. In an elaborate holiday involving temples, citizens, and fleets of Nile boats, the image of the goddess sailed from her great house at Dendera upstream to the god’s domain at Edfu at the New Moon in Taurus (this year on May 15th).

   Sheltered within the sanctuary for 14 days, the powers of the deities fused, to later disperse in a great ceremony at the following Full Moon. It would mark the conception of their child, Ihy lord of harmony. In modern Egypt, the ancient festival is still commemorated in the public holiday of Sham el-Nessim (“breathing the air”), held on the Monday following Coptic Easter (this year celebrated on April 8th).

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th at 11:13 pm with the Sun just passed over volatile Uranus. Issues concerning education and the youth of the nation are prominent, with attention and concessions given to the aggrieved – both students and teachers.  In another area, the Moon in double-dealing Gemini and influentially posited in the Seventh House of open enemy nations demands attention and requires some backtracking on past promises. This also brings some necessary renegotiations with those countries bound to the U.S. by trade and defense agreements. Outcomes may appear agreeable but will have little substance. Three of the so-called malefics (Mars, Saturn, and Pluto) in the Second House of Assets at the U.S. capitol do not bode well for economic growth and job creation.

    The Full Moon takes place on April 29th at 8:58 pm (9º Scorpio 39’) with Jupiter on the horizon, an indication of public optimism. Saturn still resides in the Second House of Finance, depressing the economy for the next month. Dangerous transportation incidents will be in the news and conflicts within foreign governments are on the rise. Issues pertaining to water availability and safety will be prominent in the southern U.S. states.

    The next New Moon occurs May 15th at 7:48 am (24º Taurus 36’) with Venus rising at the U.S. capitol. Womens’ issues and involvement in commerce and government reach prominence. Saturn in the Seventh House brings a previous agreement with a troublesome foreign nation to a close. And Neptune in the Tenth House of the U.S. executive discloses new deceptions (involving money) that are made public. Ramadan Begins at Sunset.

Season of Aries: March 20 – April 19, 2018
The Return of Persephone

Return of Persephone
– Lord Frederick Leighton (1830–1896)

Let There be Light

    The seasonal change that takes place between Winter to Spring has been universally regarded as a time of renewal and regeneration. In celestial terms, it is the Sun’s passage from the watery torrents of Pisces to the fiery warmth of Aries, a restatement of creation when the spark of life arose from the depths of the cosmic ocean in timeless time.

    The Vernal (from Latin vernalis, “of the spring”) Equinox (equi nox, “equal night”) is the first of two events in the Earth’s annual circuit around the Sun when the terrestrial axis is upright, when night and day hours are of equal length. Likewise, we may be raised up from the incline of winter and the preoccupations of physical existence, to reach for the sky’s intangibles once more.

    In ancient Greece, the renewing forces of Spring were embedded in the great mythos of Persephone, daughter of the Earth goddess Demeter. Abducted by Hades and forced underground for part of the year, her return to the ream of the living was commemorated in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which celebrated the reunion of mother and daughter at the Vernal Equinox. Persephone’s return from the underworld signifies the return of nature’s fecundity and our return to nurturing and growing.

    Another ancient motif of renewal is portrayed in the legends of Cybele, the Phrygian mother of the gods and personification of Earth. She 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. For us, it is a time to exercise our own renewal and organize the coming plantings. Start your seedlings and visibly engage the mystic force of life in your environment.

oddess Times

    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.

    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.

Nymph Chloris

Nymph Chloris
– Detail from Botticelli’s Primavera

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Aries on March 20th at 12:16 pm with Mercury and Venus in close conjunction (“Hermaphroditos”). Productive dialogue is supported and arbitration satisfies standing disagreements. Innovations in art and design appear, new fashion trends are launched. Unfortunately, Saturn and Mars set in the U.S. capitol, denoting alienation from allies and hostile repercussions from actions taken against known enemies. Some man-made environmental threats appear with blame difficult to assign.

    The Full Moon occurs on March 31st at 8:37 am (10º Libra 45’) with  aggressive Mars and authoritarian Saturn moving to the judicial sphere of events. This area – the Ninth House – is also occupied by Pluto, where a leadership denouement is forthcoming. The Sun shines on Twelfth House matters – secrets brought to light by minor players.

   The New Moon takes place on  April 15th at 9:57 pm (26º Aries 02’) where the youth of the nation take center stage. Here, Jupiter on the rise at the nation’s capitol provides optimism while Venus sets in agreement and support. This marks a constructive beginning and the inception of new initiatives with long-term ramifications.

    Mercury turns retrograde on March 22nd at 8:19 pm (16º Aries 54’), bringing out surpressed animosities that are better placed on the table than ignored. Misunderstandings approach clarity when  Mercury turns direct on April 15th at 5:21 am (4 Aries 47’), but the air is not completely cleared until he passes his retrograde station (16º Aries 54’) on May 3rd at 4:51 pm.

    Saturn turns retrograde on April 17th at 9:47 pm (9º Capricorn 09’), placing the forward motion of law and order on the shelf for a time. But this is also a time for deeper thought, analysis and strategic thinking. Placing ideas into tangible form is productive and agreements made during this period (until September 6th) could benefit from scrutiny and confirmation.

Season of Pisces: February 18 – March 19, 2018

Pisces, last sign in the annual cycle of the Sun through the houses of the Zodiac,  brings a period of completion and preparation for a new cosmic journey.
Pisces Constellation

   In Greek legend we are told of the monster serpent Typhon, who sought to overthrow Zeus and the Olympian gods. As he battled the divine patriarch, the gods sought refuge in Syria and Egypt. Among them, Aphrodite and her son Eros plunged into the river Nile to escape the predations of Typhon, and took the form of fishes. Their images were placed in the heavens as the Ichthyes (“fish”), forming the constellation Pisces. They 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 rejuvenation and made whole again.

Eros and Aphrodite as the celestial Ichthyes

Goddess Times

   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 fertilizing the imagination of what is possible.

   And in the realm of nature, Nut is seen as the celestial mother, incubating within her body the spirits of past and future. As keeper of these exalted spirits in the guise of celestial asterisms, she becomes 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.

The goddess Nut as the arc of the sky    – Papyrus Greenfield, British Museum
Greenfield Papyrus
Greek Nereid

    Similarly, Tiamat, the Babylonian sea goddess and primordial being lived in the waters of the abyss before time became manifest. Through her we are connected to the ancient sea on which our strivings and visions sail – the collective unconscious.  We may use this time to tap into our spiritual reservoir and draw on the strengths we often forget.

    The great number of nature spirits in ancient Greece assumed form 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.

Nereid on a sea-bull at the wedding of Poseidon and Amphitrite

– Glyptothek Museum, Munich

   March 1st is a day sacred to the the Roman Juno Lucina (Greek: Hera), guardian of women in childbirth. It was celebrated in ancient times as 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.

   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 12:18 pm with a conjunction to Mercury, culminating at the Midheaven in the U.S. capitol. Great significance is thus given to the head of state, with an emphasis on the proliferation of news, facts, and details. With Gemini rising in the same degree as the U.S. president’s Sun Sign, the information is certain to disclose matters pertaining to his circumstances. The Moon in combative Aries makes an unfavorable aspect to Saturn, indicating that resistance from former allies and hostilities from known adversaries will dominate this Piscean cycle.

The Full Moon takes place on March 1st at 7:51 pm (11º Virgo 23’) with Sun and Moon on the axis of Neptune, a configuration that falls in the horoscope Houses of health and healing institutions. The nation’s wellness is diminished in the week of this Full Moon, and resolutions to address it will not soon be implemented. Sun, Moon, and Neptune also point to deceptions that come to light during this period. Mercury and Venus in conjunction travel through idealistic Pisces, but find few companions in harmony.

The New Moon takes place on March 17th at 9:12 am EDT (26º Pisces 53’) with Pluto culminating at the Midheaven in the U.S. capitol, an indication of sweeping change launched by the judicial branch of government. This Lunation marks the beginning of an institutional renewal, a promise brought by Pluto’s slow progress through conservative Capricorn. Venus and Mercury continue to travel together, though now in  quarrelsome Aries, portending hostilities that reach the surface in formerly cooperative groups.

Season of Aquarius: January 20 – February 19, 2018
Aquarian Acts of Service

           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.

Abduction of Ganymede
by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)

Brigid Cross
Goddess Times

     The Celtic Midwinter festival of Imbolc is celebrated on February 2nd, the first of four cross-quarter (falling between a solstice and an equinox) festivals of 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.

     It is also celebrated as Candlemas, Bride's Day, and Brighid's Day and is associated with the Full Moon of Aquarius, which takes place this year on January 31st. Though traditionally a time given to predicting if winter will linger (a precursor to Groundhog Day), it is a spiritual doorway that promotes divination. In keeping with the original festival of the fire goddess Brighid, the purification of hearth and lighting of candles are rituals enacted to bring forth the patroness of light.

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

Muse Ourania

The Muse Ourania

    Also associated with this season are virgin deities and child goddesses. In Ireland: St. Kinnia, in Nepal: Kumari, and in Greece: Ourania, the muse of astronomy. Appropriate 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.

    On February 8th the Hari No Kuyo is celebrated in Japan, a women’s day of rest and recreation.  This Shinto festival, also known as the Festival of Broken Needles, puts to rest the worn and broken tools of the homemaker and honors the oft-overlooked daily work of the seamstress and tailor. For despite the sorrows and sacrifices of these laborers, weaving and sewing convey the tremendous power of healing to its practitioners and recipients.

Egyptian Nile God Hapy

The Nile god Hapy
Lord of Aquarius
– Dendera Zodiac, Egypt
Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th at 10:10 pm, as he makes fortunate contact with Venus. This will dispel much of the discomfort brought by the recent Mars-Jupiter conjunction that has fanned the flames of suspicion and intrigue. Nevertheless, much remains unseen and unknown as the Moon traverses the silent waters of Pisces. Neptune in the Sixth House of Health Issues at the nation’s capitol points to an extended course of influenza in the north and west, coming to a close in late March.

    The Full Moon takes place on January 31st at 8:27 am (11º Leo 37’). This Moon features a Total Lunar Eclipse of 1:16 hour duration, sparking rumors, overreactions, and misinformation that will require extensive clarification. Adding to this is Neptune on the horizon in Washington D.C., indicating confusion and a deceptive atmosphere. Many ask how long this “bad energy” will continue to suffuse throughout the country, and according to the rules of eclipse durations, it will last for more than six years (76 minutes/12 months) before the air is cleared and a sense of peace and normalcy is restored. Uranus in the Second House creates some disruptions and lowered expectations in the Stock Exchange for next few weeks.

    The New Moon takes place on February 15th at 4:05 pm (27º Aquarius 08’). This event signals a partial Solar eclipse, bringing a temporary spate of excitement with little permanent influence overall. The nature of this New Moon is the start of new international relationships with some solid agreements forming that appeared unachievable in the past. Some surprises come from the courts while women’s involvement in the public sphere achieves considerable momentum.

    The Year of the Earth Dog begins (Yang). There will be far more attention and effort given to the well being of groups, in keeping with the canine pack mentality. Policies will shift to the benefits of many rather than the desires of the few. One concern will be excessive adherence to group think, but the Earth element that dominates the year assures practicality over ideology. The Trigram is Gen, the mountain.

Year of the Dog

2018 –  Year of the Earth Dog

Trigram Gen

Trigram: Gen
The Mountain

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.
Alexander Helios

Alexander the Great as Helios
– Musei Capitolini, Rome

    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.
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.
Christmas Tree cluster

The Christmas Tree Cluster
in the Monoceros constellation


    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


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 11th – November 4th, 2018

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