|Season of Taurus: April 20 – May 20, 2019
Garden of the Hesperides
– 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, threats must be transformed into accord.
These are acts that transcend time and create the miraculous fruit of
harmony and celestial song – the reward of virtue.
Hathor, the Divine Cow
|Song of Hathor
In the Egyptian pantheon, Hathor embodies all faces in the
celestial theme of Taurus. For those on Earth, she is the flourishing
aspect of nature and the fecundity of the land, symbolized by the
heavenly cow who nurtures the royal calf. She is lady of song, music and
dance, the confidant of lovers and patroness of marriage. And in her
magical aspect, Hathor is the serpent power of the Royal House, guardian
of the anointed and protectoress of the divine estate.
I worship the Golden Goddess, I sing of her Presence,
I raise up the lady of heaven and give adoration to Hathor.
Praise was given to the Mistress of Dendera,
I reported to her and she heard my pleas.
She summoned a Mistress for me, who came into my presence.
What a great thing has happened!
– Papyrus Chester Beatty I
In her Chthonic role, Hathor engenders proliferation of the
life force, overseeing rebirth, renewal, and enduring vitality. She
serves as companion to the sojourner who enters the Afterlife from the
eastern region of the living to the western realm of the dead. Greeting
the soul from her celestial sycamore tree, she offers water to refresh
Hathor leads Nefertari into the Afterlife
– Tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens
The Sun enters Taurus on
April 20th at 4:55 am with Neptune on the horizon at the U.S. capitol.
This will encourage deceptions and promote a great deal of confusion and
contrariness. Jupiter in his natural Ninth House and Sign of
Sagittarius promises judicial integrity, but he is retrograde until
August 13th. By then, the proper course to address deceptive acts and
conditions will become evident. Venus and Mercury also rise, bringing
scrutiny to issues of youth and education, while Uranus in the Second
House imposes a shock to economic stability.
The New Moon takes place
on May 4th at 6:46 pm (14º Taurus 11’) with the Lunation positioned in
the Seventh House of Adversaries along with turbulent Uranus. A new
conflict arises that involves one U.S. ally but draws the attention and
resources of several international bodies. Expeditious action may quell
the dissention before serious harm unfolds.
Ramadan begins at Sunset.
The Full Moon takes
place on May 18th at 5:11 pm (27º Scorpio 39’), with the Sun-Moon
opposition straddling the Second and Eighth Houses of Finance and
Long-Term Investment. This brings attention to ongoing problems of
taxation and income inequalities that will lead to new initiatives.
However, adverse conditions affecting transportation will come to light
and demand more immediate resolution.
Pluto turns to retrograde motion
on April 24th (23º Capricorn 09’), launching an important period of
revision and renewal that peaks through October 3rd, when the power of
trasformation turns direct. With Pluto currently standing on the
ecliptic (path of the Sun and planets) for the first time since the
1930’s, we are at a crisis point to reverse the critical divisions
(race, religion, gender, cultural, class distinctions) that have been in
place since then. Pluto has more visibility now, and not
coincidentally, our unresolved differences come to the surface and now
call attention to the work that we as a collectivity must complete.
Saturn turns to retrograde motion
on April 29th (20º Capricorn 31’), allowing us to temporarily retreat
from confrontations or revisit formerly unresolved issues with clarity.
Now is the time to re-examine previous assumptions and look deeper into
motives. By the time Saturn turns to direct motion (September 18th), far
more will come to light that has been in darkness and rules of law,
decorum, and fairness will proceed with less resistance.
Season of Aries: March 20 – April 19, 2019
The Ludovisi Ares with Eros at his feet
– National Museum of the Terme, Rome
the season of Aries the sleep of winter is awakened by the fire of life.
At this time, the pulse of nature once more seeks form in the soil of
mortal existence. It is the time of the Vernal (Latin vernalis, “of the spring”) Equinox (equi nox,
“equal night”) 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.
The Sun now
begins to move northward on the horizon in concert with the alchemy of
fire and soil that is taking place. It is a restatement of the primeval
creation and a reminder of the creative powers endowed to all the living
who move toward the summit of their own enlightenment, personal and
Warriors and Heroes
lord of the season has always been embodied in Ares – warrior,
defender, master of combat and discord. It may be that these roles are
more widely celebrated because we exist in a culture that values the
conquerer over the conciliator, but the theme of Ares encompasses the
heroic and gallant champion, and in the mystery traditions, the slain
god who is redeemed by his sacrifice and reborn in the season of
deity is the Graeco-Syrian god of vegetation and renewal, Adonis. His
mysteries enacted the god’s death by a wild boar – a metaphor of the
untamed forces in nature – and his restoration through the planting of
his gardens by the mourning daughters of Aphrodite. In this tradition,
the fiery pulse of nature is channeled into the measured rhythms of
agriculture and cycles of renewal.
Goddess of Reconciliation
in the realm of Ares also possess the powers of mediation and
diplomacy, traits that emerge actively in Libra, the opposing season of
Aries in the Solar year. They represent the civilizing powers of the
creative force that strive for order, balance, and justice.
The Egyptian Neit serves as mediator
among the gods, resolving questions of sovereignty and intervening
during the ubiquitous episodes of hostility between Horus and Set. She
is judge, arbiter, and peacemaker between divinity and humanity, even
banishing discord from the bodies and souls of her supplicants in her
role as physician and healer.
The Greek Athena holds
sway over the arts of war – strategy, weaponry, and treaties. Sister to
Ares and a member of the twelve divine Olympians who govern the twelve
Solar seasons, she is patroness of Athens and inventor of the chariot
and plow, mechanical devices and protective armor. She embodies the
intellectual dimension of combat – tactical skill, defensive action,
negotiation. In the realm of Athena, all sides win and harmony is
Goddess of Strategy
The Sun enters Aries on March 20th at 5:59
pm. Hours later, the Equinox is followed by the first of two Libra Full
Moons in a lunar month. Spring will rush forward with this renewed
energy, tasks put off will now find the time and diligence to be
completed. Neptune setting in the West at the U.S. capitol discloses
buried deceptions that are now exposed to the light, while Mars in the
House of the Judiciary wages a battle supported by established rules and
the tenacity of tradition.
It’s Blue Moon Season...
On March 20th at 9:43 pm (0º Libra 09’) the first Libra Full Moon takes place this year, to be followed on April 19th by the second Libra Full Moon
(29º Libra 07’), also known as a “Blue Moon.” These two events in the
sign of Justice signal a period of intense international negotiations,
with rare compromises affecting global commerce and trade. Domestically,
forward action will dominate government investigations and some
long-awaited decisions will be forthcoming. New legal issues affecting
the executive branch will provoke dismay in the public sphere.
Mercury turns to direct motion on
March 28th at 9:59 am (16º Pisces 06’) in exact conjunction to Neptune.
Here, truth seeks exposure and may fraud come to the surface. Confusion
may reign for a day, but when reports are verified, acceptance and
resolution are found. Forgiveness and a spiritual approach is called for
at this time.
The New Moon takes place on April 5th at
4:50 am (15º Aries 17’) with Mercury finally departing from his
confusing conjunction with Neptune, clarity! Mars in the lower
hemisphere causes atmospheric incidents and additional concerns with air
travel. Aquarius rising invites idealistic talk on economic and
judicial issues, while prominent women gain public assent.
Uranus is the planet to watch this year.
On January 6th it turned to direct motion and ceased brushing back and
forth at the border between Aries and Taurus. Uranus now transits Taurus
until April 26, 2026 and in doing so, restrains the impulsive, reactive
influences that have dominated the last seven years in culture
and government. Economics and politics will strive for stability and
authenticity, matters of the environment will take precedence. At the
same time, science and medicine will progress at a rapid pace, with
breakthroughs in genetics and disease control.
Season of Pisces: February 18 – March 20, 2019
Poseidon, Lord of the Seas
Copenhagen Port by Hans Anderson
A Sea of Storm and Deep Tranquility
Poseidon (Roman: Neptune), brother of Hades in the
underworld and Demeter in the fertile soil, commands both water and
wind, flood and storm. His three-pronged trident represents his power
over the waters and the creatures within them – with it he calms the
stormy seas and brings forth hurricanes. When wielding his weapon, he
pierces the earth and causes springs to come forth, but he may also
strike the ground to compel earthquakes. Beneficence and anger,
tranquility and turmoil – the lord of waters shows us the powers and
dangers of our internal sea, the vast ocean of our unconscious impulses.
In the passage through Pisces, all past seasons
dissolve in the brine of Poseidon’s kingdom, awaiting renewal in a
new cycle when our aspirations and efforts emerge rejuvenated and
reanimated with the powers of the coming Spring. It is the phase of
awakening from the hibernation of Winter, a transition from the
incubation of dreams into the world of new life. In Pisces, the
tides of our internal sea move toward the shore of renewal.
The Piscean Journey
Ancient legend tells of the time of the demigods,
when Typhon, lord of chaos, sought to overturn the beneficent rule of
Zeus by capturing and holding hostage the Olympian deities, Aphrodite
and her son Eros. To escape discovery, the two hid in the waters of the
Nile and transformed into fish. Their feat was commemorated in the
heavens with the stellar image of the Ichthyes (twin fish), to keep the
influence of Typhon forever at bay. The northern fish swims upward,
toward the cosmic waters of forgetfulness; the southern fish swims
westward, toward the constellation Aquarius and the waterbearer’s waves
of enlightenment. At the same time the Ichthyes are tied together,
representing the eternal quest that draws the soul toward these dual
destinations and the dilemmas of spiritual desire.
| Goddess Times|
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.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, founded and organized by the
United Nations. The 2019 theme is "#BalanceforBetter," meaning
that we strive to build a gender-balanced world. Though not widely
observed in the United States but celebrated in most other nations, this
day reminds us to work for those in our lives – mothers, wives,
girlfriends, daughters, colleagues – to pursue their callings in an
unbiased environment, so they may enrich the communities that hold them
Appropriate rituals at this time include offering bowls of water at
the family shrine to quench your thirst for security and solidarity
among the shared blood. Daily ablutions are performed in anticipation
of the coming Spring, and sacred baths sprinkled with lotus and lily
will evoke dream and vision states.
Eros and Aphrodite as the Celestial Ichthyes
In the Constellation Pisces
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Pisces
on February 18th at 6:04 pm. As the Sun sets in the nation’s capitol,
Mercury conjoins Neptune, the Piscean lord of illusions. This portends a
cycle of new deceptions, though Mercury’s position on the horizon
reveals the source. Jupiter is his own domain signifies economic growth
on the domestic scene. Severe geological conditions are indicated for
the southwestern region of the country.
The Full Moon takes
place on February 19th at 10:54 am (0º Virgo 42’). This is the
second “Supermoon” of the year, as the Moon is perigee (closest to
Earth). The tidal peak will affect more than geologic and oceanic
disruptions – emotions run high as thought processes are subject to
extreme reactions. Now is a time to reflect before decision-making. This
Full Moon also features cuspal signatures – Sun and Moon at 0º of
Pisces-Virgo, rising Sign of 0º Gemini at the nation’s capitol. This
points to transitions and new beginnings for those in newly-acquired
roles of power.
The New Moon occurs
on March 6th at 11:48 am (15º Pisces 47’) with the Lunation at
the Midheaven and closely joined to deceptive Neptune. Conditions in the
executive branch of government will disclose serious conditions that
are known but too weighty and convoluted to find easy resolution. A
champion appears and some ideals are fulfilled.
Mercury turns to retrograde motion
on March 5th at 1:19 pm (29º Pisces 39’). The last degree of every Sign
signifies completion, but with Mercury turning back at this point, much
unfinished business will remain unresolved until the end of the month.
Mercury’s position at the Midheaven in Washington D.C. also heralds a
far-reaching influence of delays and the necessity to revisit past
decisions made in haste throughout the government.
Season of Aquarius: January 20 – February 19, 2019
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.
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 cup bearer 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
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 ritual power. 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)
The initial great goddess ceremony of the year in the Celtic tradition is Imbolc,
a name derived from the term for “sheep's milk.” Hence, it is a
festival welcoming the birth and first cleansing of newborn lambs. On
February 2nd it is celebrated as Candlemas or Brighid's Day, named for
the patroness of light. Imbolc is the first of four cross-quarter
(falling between a solstice and an equinox) festivals of the pagan year.
Though traditionally a time given to predicting if winter will linger
(a precursor to Groundhog Day), it is a spiritual doorway that promotes
divination. Purification of the hearth and lighting of candles are
rituals enacted at this time to hasten the return of light.
Also associated with this season are
virgin deities and child goddesses (Ireland: St. Kinnia and Nepal:
Kumari), and gods as young men (Greek: Ganymede, abducted by Zeus and
placed in the heavens as Aquarius). 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: Hygieia
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 (mending) to its practitioners and
Graeco-Roman Goddess Hygieia
Welcome Collection, London
The Nile Hapy
The Sun enters Aquarius on
on January 20th at 4:00 am, with Venus and Jupiter rising together at
the U.S. capitol. This bodes well for amicability and cooperation,
though the fire of Sagittarius conveys flare-ups before resolution. The
Aquarius season encourages mutual understanding, but the force of habit
imposed by Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto in tenacious Capricorn will
continue to hinder progress.
The Full Moon takes
place on January 21st at 12:16 am (0º Leo 52’), bringing a total Lunar
Eclipse (aka “Blood Moon” because of its red-hued appearance). It
features a duration of 1 hour, 02 minutes, equaling an influence of one
year, 12 days. This event is also a Supermoon (closest to Earth) that
could impose a period of emotional strife in certain quarters if
impulsive action is taken. Thoughtful analysis and planning will prevent
protracted setbacks. This is the Last total Lunar eclipse until May
The New Moon occurs on
February 4th at 4:04 pm (15º Aquarius 45’) with Mars and Uranus
culminating at the Midheaven in the U.S. capitol. This portends a period
of conflict and threats from several adversaries in the northern
hemisphere. Caution and restraint are called for, as volatility is
heightened. Women move to the forefront as mediators, and the concerns
of youth become the focus of attention.
| This New Moon launches the Oriental Year of the Brown Earth Boar
(Yin: internal, intuitive, nurturing). It denotes a year of economic
stabilization with some material growth, along with the increase of
dialogue and mutual understanding in collective endeavors. Family and
education issues are prominent this Lunar year.
The hexagram for the year is #7, Shih (Army). It guides us to the development of a strategic plan, the use of discipline and organization to reach goals.
The most successful leader is not the one
who triumphs on the battlefield, but the one able, through strength of
discipline and inner power, to achieve conciliation without spilling
blood. – Divination Foundation
Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Mithras Slaying the Bull of the Taurean Age
Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne
The Birth of Light
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.
Shrine of Sophia
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.
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 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
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.