|Season of Sagittarius: November 22 – December 22, 2019
Keepers of the Sacred Fire
In the season of
Sagittarius, the fire of pre-winter is renewed and tended for
illuminating the darkness of the coming solstice. Associated in the
Greek tradition with the centaur Chiron, teacher of the physician
Asclepius, this solar phase represents the striving for knowledge and
truth, and draws together the disciplines of healing, the military arts,
and weaving – an eclectic combination at first glance but each
reflecting the powerful motif of the Sacred Fire. It is this universal
substance that sustains life, protects the community, and inspires
Hypatia of Alexandria
and its striving is celebrated November 25th with the Feast of St.
Catherine of Alexandria, patroness of philosophers and preachers. She is
honored by both the Roman and Orthodox churches. In the latter
tradition, her body was said to be conveyed by two angels from
Alexandria, Egypt to Mount Sinai, where it was discovered in the Fifth
Century by an anchorite from a nearby community. It was later
transferred to the monastery erected by Emperor Justinian in CE 527 (now
known as the Monastery of St. Catherine), where countless miracles are
attributed to it.
The unorthodox believe the legend of St. Catherine to be a
revisioned history of Hypatia (CE 370–415), known in the ancient world
as the “Virgin Philosopher,” daughter of the mathematician Theon and a
teacher in the Alexandrian Academy. As a Neoplatonist and pagan, Hypatia
was demonized by Bishop Cyril for her academic achievements and
influence, leading to her murder by a crowd of Christian fanatics.
This is a time to remember all who have sacrificed for
philosophical freedom and especially for those women who have cultivated
their gifts in the face of severe prejudice, for as it is said, “We
stand on their shoulders.”
December 4th brings the festival of Athena Parthenos, Greek
goddess of wisdom and culture, and patroness of the Parthenon (Roman:
Minerva). As companion of warriors, she also governs weaving, once more
echoing the themes of fire, healing, and protection that so many ancient
divinities embodied in one role.
In ancient Egypt, the Sacred Fire was embodied
by the goddess Neit of Sais, who governed warfare and weaving. She wears
a headdress of crossed arrows and alternately, the red crown of the
Lower Kingdom or the shuttle loom of weaving. In all of these images,
she preserves and protects life and guards the borders of divine
Similarly, the lioness Sekhmet, Lady of the Red Linen, embodies the
scorching fires of combat and purification. She purges the body of
afflictions and banishes the enemies of the Sun from sacred places. The
priesthoods of both deities were healers and exorcists, tending the
temple fires that purified instruments of both warfare and surgery.
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.
The Sun enters Sagittarius
on November 22nd at 10:00 am with contention reigning over matters of
international significance. Mars in Scorpio at the Midheaven in
opposition to disruptive Uranus, dominates the scene at the U.S.
capitol. He exposes those who work behind the scenes with vindictiveness
and ill intent. But Venus closing in to a conjunction with Jupiter
allows women in power to reach accord and effect some resolutions. In
the meantime, a Libra Moon in the 9th House garners public attention
with judicial, trade and commerce issues.
The New Moon takes place
on November 26th at 10:06 am (4º Sagittarius 03’) with the generational
cycle of Saturn-Pluto rising. These two planetary influences continue
transiting through conservative Capricorn into 2020, subtly working
toward the dismantling of powers that have dominated the last 40 years.
Affected will be government institutions undergoing revolutionary
change, though gradual and mindful of new challenges. Previous
Saturn-Pluto conjunctions occurred in the years 1947 (in Leo) and 1982
(in Libra). These were signal periods of simultaneous decline (Saturn)
in the world order and renewal (Pluto), that inaugurated new nation
states worldwide along with original social and economic policies.
The Full Moon takes
place on December 12th at 00:12 am (19ª Gemini 52’) The Moon at the
Midheaven draws public attention to legal issues and international
events and as the Moon is perigee (closest to Earth), she brings an
intense emotional atmosphere and geographic volatility in the northern
hemisphere. A grand Stellium (conjunction) involving Jupiter, Saturn,
Venus, and Pluto presages the social and economic reordering coming into
phase in the next two years.
Neptune turns to direct motion
on November 27th at 7:33 am (15º Pisces 56’) unveiling some of the
deceptions and chicanery endemic to corporate and government practices.
Relief to public entities will follow though it may diminish the value
of the perpetrators.
Sekhmet Gives Life to Ptolemy VI, Philometor
Kom Ombo Temple, Egypt
Season of Scorpio: October 23 – November 21, 2019
Christopher Williams (1910)
Body and Soul
The end of October and the beginning
of November heralds a universal recognition of death and its mysteries.
Many goddess figures appear at this time, with images that can evoke
fear and trepidation, as well as respect and mystic reveries.
Hecate is the personification of
this period, goddess of the underworld and deity of the dark Moon. She
represents the critical phases of the Lunar cycle with her three faces
of maiden, mother, and crone. This triune nature gives her rulership
over crossroads and all things with three corners. Kin to wild animals
and the raw energy of nature in storms, her companions are the owl and
dog, watchers of the necropolis. Hecate is associated with the dark
phase of the Lunar cycle, the last seven days before the New Moon. This
period of darkness, the “witching hour” of legend, is the time when
initiates may see in the dark and commune with spirits no longer in the
In the Celtic realm realm we find
the goddess Ceridwen of Welsh medieval legend, a magician and mother of
Taliesin (king of bards) and Morfran (the dark lord). Ceridwen had a
magical cauldron that she used to make the potion for “granting wisdom.”
Three drops – another hint of the triune nature of the Divine Feminine –
could bestow knowledge of past, present, and future. Ceridwen bestows
intuition and poetic inspiration.
China brings us Meng-Po Niang Niang,
the goddess who lives at the threshold of life and death. When those
reincarnating depart from her realm, she administers a sacred potion to
each person, causing them to forget previous lives. She governs rites of
transition and far memory.
And in India, it is Kali the
Destroyer who represents this season, goddess of change and transition.
She is depicted as a black figure, consuming the bodies of slain
warriors. Yet she revered as the ultimate mother goddess and the highest
reality in the Tantric universe. To Kali we present our sorrows and
errors, for purification in the divine fire she emanates as she performs
her cosmic dance.
In ancient Egypt, we encounter
Nepthys, keeper of the mysteries, nurse and caretaker of the dead. She
is sister of Isis, the goddess who comes before her (September)
and her faithful companion is the dog Anubis, lord of the embalming
chamber and watcher over the necropolis. Like Hecate and Ceridwen,
Nepthys possesses a vessel of the sacred libation that restores life to
the fallen and refreshment to the afflicted. Her crown is the offering
bowl that brings this libation to the world of the living, a promise of
eternal life through the gateway of the dead.
(sa-win) on November 1st is the traditional Celtic observance for
the beginning of their New Year. Because it signals the old year coming
to a close, they believed the veil between worlds – darkness and light,
old and new – could be drawn. Using this “period of invisibility,” it
is the day for scrying and foretelling, of seeing past and future. And
in honor of those who have departed into the shadow worlds, we wear the
garb of ancestors.
The conquest of Britannia brought the fusion of the Roman Feralia
(feast of the dead) with the Celtic New Year. The goddess Pomona,
guardian of orchards, was also honored at this time, bringing the apple
and cider harvests into the mix of these ancient Fall celebrations.
Christianity changed these observances in the 9th century to Alholowmesse (All Saints' Day), which we know as All Hallows’ Day and the evening before as All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en).
Mexico, the Aztecs honored the goddess Mictlancihuatl and her consort
Miclanteuctli, deities of the dead who marked the end of the
agricultural calendar. Today, it is still observed as El Dia de los Muertos
(The Day of the Dead), also on November 1st. The wonderful images of
this season encourage us to fabricate an ancestral altar to honor the
dead and remember the origin of things. Assemble photographs of your
loved ones and surround them with dried flowers, branches, and the bones
of birds (believed to represent the souls of the dead). Offer
refreshment from your own sacred vessel and gratitude for their
November 13th celebrates the Feronia,
a feast of the ancient Etruscan goddess of fire, fertility and
woodlands. Most importantly, she was patroness of liberty and refuge of
the enslaved. At her shrines located in tree groves, slaves were
emancipated and received a pileus on their shaved heads, a
cone-shaped hat that symbolized release from bondage. This is a day to
reflect on the freedoms we possess rather than the restrictions,
and the possibilities offered us by the liberties hard won by those gone
also the time to light the sacred fire, whether it is a simple candle
that penetrates the darkness of the dark Moon or a great bonfire that
invites spirits into the fold. The season of Scorpio represents
migration, the coming and going of nature and her children through the
portals of life and death. At this time, the end is also the beginning.
The “Night of Hecate” is traditionally celebrated on November 16th, when
insights may be unleashed and all fortunes may be told. May your fires
be bright and your visions bold.
Hekate – The Triple Goddess
Decorated Skull for Celebrating Dia de los Muertos
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Scorpio
on October 23rd at 1:20 pm with the imminent Saturn-Pluto conjunction
rising at the U.S. capitol. This 35-year cycle has a lasting effect on
economics, politics, and social order. Culminating in January 2020, the
trajectory of history will change, for the better or worse depending on
public participation and the leadership that is chosen as a result. The
Sun at the Midheaven in opposition to Uranus points to significant
disruptions in the Executive Branch within five days, followed by
international conflicts that will impact future legislation.
The New Moon
takes place on October 27th at 11:38 pm (4º Scorpio 25’) with the
Solunar conjunction in opposition to volatile Uranus. This will be a
rocky month of veering extremes, especially as new mandates from
leadership will prove uncertain or subject to change. Sun and Moon
domiciled in the 4th House of physical territory brings similar extremes
in weather patterns and seismic activity.
The Full Moon
takes place on November 12th at 8:34 am (19º Taurus 52’) with Venus and
Jupiter rising at the U.S. capitol, providing some respite from the
turmoils of government and economic concerns. A sense of relief and
freedom prevails, though deceptive Neptune brings some distortion into
For this entire Lunation, Mercury is in retrograde motion
beginning October 31st at 11:42 am (27º Scorpio 38’) and ending
November 20th at 2:12 pm (11º Scorpio 35’). But this period will not
feature the typical course of retrograde conditions – disruption, delay,
That's because in mid-cycle, Mercury transits the face of the Sun on November 11th at 10:22 am (18º Taurus 55’), a conjunction of the two bodies designated in medieval astrology as Cazimi
(“in the heart of the Sun”). In this instance, the realm of
communication melds with the power of governance to rupture the status
quo with volatile, revolutionary knowledge. New directions in technology
and medicine may also be launched in this Lunar cycle.
The Mercury transit will be
visible for 5.5 hours in the eastern United States, and entirely in
Central and South America. Those areas will be affected by profound
political and economic disclosures that portend vast changes in business
and government affairs.
There are 13 Mercury transits of the Sun each century, the last was May 9th, 2016.
Season of Libra: September 22 – October 22, 2019
Pharaoh MenKauRa and Queen KaMeriNebty
Egypt, 4h Dynasty
Balance and Justice
As we enter the season of Libra, we cross the threshold from personal
endeavor 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 and find a genuine place
in the collectivity.
In some cultures, the Sign of Libra is 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 the whole. In Libra we learn
the lessons and skills 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 to the
Sign of the Scales, it is important to weigh our values against the
transitory conditions of the hour and be reminded that balance in our
lives will prevail against the disharmonies of the outside world.
In Libra, the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) inspires us in our
relationships to seek divine consonance. This ideal 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 of the Chakra body, 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.
The supreme goddess of this season is Isis, whose
search for her husband Osiris, her magical restoration of his form, and
her participation in the cosmic struggle for balance and justice embody
the Libran theme of the season. For thousands of years, the Isian
legends, rites, and festivals repeated the timeless journey of Isis,
whose wanderings, lamentations, and resolutions are a metaphor of our
own spiritual quest and its realization. In this cycle we may balance
our material and spiritual lives, since the Equinox also refers to the
perfect balance of day and night hours that occurs at this
time and symbolizes light and dark forces that we seek to balance in
According to to the Roman historian Plutarch, the temple of
Isis at Sais was inscribed thus, “I am all that hath been, and is, and
shall be; no mortal has ever raised my veil.” This is a mystery worthy
of contemplation, but we may well understand it if we enter “under the
veil” by journeying with the goddess through the dark night of winter.
Let us begin that pilgrimage with the knowledge that light will return
in a new season.
The Autumnal Equinox that takes place on September
23rd inaugurates the Sun's seasonal journey toward the southern
hemisphere of the sky. Now begins the cosmic mystery of light’s descent
into the field of hibernation and the onset of Winter’s darkness, the
ageless narrative of death and the triumph of rebirth.
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 October
13th) 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 modern neopagan festival of Mabon, which opens the
harvest season with communal feasts, reprises the traditions of all
ancient societies that honored the Earth as provider and source of
renewal. Celebrated at the Equinox, it likewise observes the close of
the growing season and preparation for winter’s needs and the vigil for
the Sun’s return in the Spring.
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, precious
materials used for casting images of the divine consort in the ancient
temples, placed on altars of Rose Granite or 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
A goddess shrine in your own space could emulate
this timeless tradition and invite her blessings to your endeavors.
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Libra
on September 23rd at 3:51 am with Saturn and Pluto prominently
conjoined and opposed by the Moon, an indicator of popular unrest. These
two planetary influences continue transiting through conservative
Capricorn into 2020, subtly dismantling the powers that have dominated
the last 40 years. Previous Saturn-Pluto conjunctions in the
recent past occurred in the years 1947 (in Leo) and 1982 (in Libra).
These are signal periods of simultaneous decline (Saturn) and renewal
(Pluto), inciting the desire for new social and economic paradigms
The New Moon takes
place on September 28th at 2:26 pm (5º Libra 20’) with a stellium
of Libran planets in the Ninth House of the Judiciary in the Washington
D.C. chart. An endeavor in legal and constitutional inquiry is
inaugurated, drawing international attention. The Saturn-Pluto
conjunction rises in the capitol, bringing disruptive influences into
the local environment. Uranus in the Fourth House of physical territory
also portends heightened seismic activity.
Pluto turns to direct motion on
October 3rd at 2:37 am (20º Capricorn 38’). After a long retrograde
period that began April 24th, Pluto returns to his prestation place from
January 1st to finally move forward and for us Earthlings, return to a
semblance of progress in the political and environmental spheres.
Pluto’s influence is most keenly felt now, as his presence on the
ecliptic was last observed in 1930.
The Full Moon takes
place on October 13th at 5:08 pm (20º Aries 14’) with nebulous Neptune
rising in the nation’s capitol. Clandestine acts can no longer stay
hidden as they are widely revealed. With generous Jupiter also directly
at the Midheaven, a plethora of information, entertainment, and
political activity draws new public attention, much of it positive in
Season of Virgo: August 23 – September 21, 2019
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 time of rest from the labors of
agriculture, of harvesting Earth’s yield, and preparing for the
hibernation of Winter. In Virgo we may experience the providence of past
efforts 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 in the next
generation. Though we may acknowledge these acts as essential to
communal progress, we often overlook their importance in everyday life
or leave such tasks to others.
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
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
August 24th is the Cerealia (“cereal festival”), the Roman
festival honoring Ceres, goddess of the grain harvest. In this event we
honor the accomplishments of those in our local communities, no matter
how small, by sharing summer’s bounty. And in keeping with the ancient
tradition of remembering those gone before us, we also nourish those who
will carry our harvest into the future.
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.
The Roman goddess Ceres
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610–1662)
Allegory of Summer
(1660 – 1711)
The Sun enters Virgo on
August 23rd at 6:02 am, just before sunrise in Washington, DC. Hope
springs eternal as the ingress includes a fruitful Venus-Mars
conjunction in chaste Virgo, promoting the good will and hard work of
the citizenry. Reversals are indicated in the judicial sphere, with
practical matters gaining the upper hand. The warm Taurus Moon at the
Midheaven bodes well for women’s issues and security. Neptune in the
Seventh House of Open Enemies warns of deceptive trade pacts and
negotiations that may quickly dissolve.
The New Moon takes place
on August 30th at 6:37 am (6º Virgo 47’) provides a perfect trine
aspect to Uranus as it moves quickly through ponderous Taurus. Matters
of civil importance could get the legislative boost they need, but
Saturn tends to relegate significant change to the back burner. Venus
and Mars continue to travel in unison, signifying slow but certain
progress in health and scientific endeavors.
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. While it is
generally a time of plenty, it is also a season for circumspection and
planning for future security.
The Full Moon takes
place on September 14th at 00:33 am (21º Pisces 05’), with the Moon
having just passed over a conjunction to deceptive Neptune. Some
revelations of public concern take place, secrets are uncovered. New
enemies are revealed, some old and some new, arising out of long-hidden
institutions. In consideration of this season’s “harvesting” theme,
we’ll see the results of long-neglected issues that bring serious
consequences in the spheres of health, religion, and community safety.
The Harvest Moon,
closest to the Autumnal Equinox, provides a lengthy period of moonlight
for several evenings. This is a boom to farmers for harvesting their
summer crops, and the traditional time for enjoying Mooncakes, the
favored mid-Autumn treat from China to Germany.
Saturn turns to direct motion
on September 18th at 4:47 am (13º Capricorn 55’), ending some of the
delays and anxieties centered on public safety and security. With the
Moon conjoined to Uranus in the Ninth House of the Judiciary, a
modification of the status quo is ordained. A grand Earth trine
dominates this event, establishing new precedents in several public
Season of Leo: July 23 – August 23, 2019
Isis-Sothis, Herald of the New Year
– Temple of Philae, Egypt
The hottest time of the year in the northern
hemisphere coincides with a forty-day period when Sirius – the alpha
star in the constellation Canis Major (the “greater dog”) – rises with
the Sun. Hence, this time is known as the “Dog Days” (July 4 – August
11). But throughout the ages, Sirius (Latin for “scorcher”) has been
regarded as the abode of Isis, the soul of the divine mother. She is
represented in countless historical periods and cultures, as Sothis of
the Greeks, Sopdet of the Egyptians, the Arabian Ashshira, and Rudra (a
form of Shiva) in the Vedas.
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky that
rises after the constellation Orion. The forty days of her rising with
the Sun were regarded as most sacred in the ancient cultures of the
Levant – from Egypt to Babylonia, including Greece, India, and as far
East as China. Near the end of the forty day Solar conjunction, the star
appears on the horizon at dawn before the solar aura becomes visible
(the heliacal rising). This was viewed by the ancients as “the herald of
the Sun’s divine companion” and the renewal of the sacred calendar.
With this event, the temple is rejuvenated and its servants renewed.
The lore associated with this event has been passed
down through the ages. A 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.
Standing alone in the heavens before daylight illumines the sky, Sirius
is indeed a marvelous sight. You may greet the time-honored goddess when
she rises at the ancient city of Heliopolis in Egypt (30º North
latitude) on August 5th, 2019 at 4:39 am local time (GMT+2).
July 31st is Midsummer or Lammas Eve, with August 1st
the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. It opens the
period of harvesting and the festivals of thanksgiving to follow. We
celebrate by offering the first fruits of our summer’s labors – if they
are not grain or the yield of the soil, we should offer our inspirations
and prayers for the sustenance of all in our circle. In the Celtic/Old
Irish tradition, this day is known as Lughnasadh, a feast of the
goddess Tailtiu and her consort Lugh (deities of Life and Light). It is
also the initiation of harvest harmony – a period for establishing
truces and peace.
From the Hubble Telescope
The Sun enters Leo on
July 22nd at 10:51 pm with Neptune rising in his own domain of Pisces
and Twelfth House at the U.S. capitol. While it brings a “sea of calm”
to the environment, deceptions may also abound in an atmosphere of
distraction and apathy. But an aggressive Aries Moon soon rises,
bringing tension and spontaneous confrontations that could lead to
resolution. All eyes are on the judicial branch of government as Jupiter
is elevated in his natural realm of Sagittarius and Ninth House of
The New Moon takes place
on July 31st at 11:12 pm (8º Leo 37’) with Saturn and Pluto at the
Midheaven. This is the classic signature for the “downfall of the
leader.” Mercury in stationary direct opposition to these powers signals
multiple actions to reverse the course, but this Lunation points to the
diminishing of executive power in both political and corporate realms.
The Full Moon takes
place on August 15th at 8:29 am (22º Aquarius 24’), with Neptune in
command of the western horizon. He brings confusion and contrary actions
on the part of allies that will take time to sort out. Creative
inspirations are encouraged, but illusory images could give false
impressions and cause confusion.
Mercury turns to direct motion
on July 31st at 11:58 pm (23º Cancer 57’), minutes after the Leo New
Moon. This is always a dangerous time of year for leaders who delay or
demean the integrity of their offices, and this day signals an encounter
with a major fork in the road toward equity and balance. Movements
around the world to confront those who hold power by the powerless
dominate the trajectory of future progress.
Jupiter turns to direct motion
on August 11th at 9:38 am (14º Sagittarius 30’) now going forward in
his domain to shed light on long-held secrets and perhaps to bring
justice to the oppressed. On the same day, Uranus turns retrograde
at 10:26 pm (6º Taurus 37’) which will create some tensions between
established friends but also a reversal of seemingly impossible
obstacles. Financial and economic issues will be the forefront of
Season of Cancer: June 21 – July 22, 2019
Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice by Andrew Dunn
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.
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
The day before the Solstice is Midsummer's Night's Eve,
traditionally a time of magic and power. Dreams and the visitation of
fairies are attributed to this night, as Shakespeare so cleverly
demonstrated in his timeless play of this event.
Midsummer Night’s Eve also marks the Egyptian festival of Lailat al Saratjan (“Night of the Crab”). Charms are fashioned and hung on walls to drive away the insects of summer.
Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton (1821–1901)
Scene from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Tradition also has it that medicinal plants and magical herbs gathered
at Solstice midnight are said to be at their full potency of the year
and may be dried or distilled for the coming months. Cancer-ruled plants
harvested on this day include St. John’s wort (Hypericum), associated
with John the Baptist, whose feast day is celebrated in the Roman
Catholic church on June 24. The plant is said to banish depression and
treat alcoholism. Others include Catmint, Lemon Balm, Poppy, Cardamom,
Chamomile, and Licorice.
June 18 commences the season of Ethiopian
rains that bring the Nile floods. It was honored by the ancient
Egyptians as Gerh-en-Matuiy (“Night of the Teardrop”), when the
goddess Isis wept on learning the death of Osiris and commenced her
journey down the Nile in search of his body. The Islamic and Coptic
communities similarly celebrate it as Lailat al Nuktah.
June 27 honors Aestas (“summer”)
the Roman patroness of the season, a corn goddess and consort of the Sun
god Phoebus. She brings warmth and protection to all that grows in her
July 3 begins the “dog days,” so named for the star Sirius (alpha Canis Majoris,
in the constellation of the Great Dog), which rises near dawn for the
next month. This event brings the hottest days of the year, but also the
most honored as Sirius is the ancient guide through the underworld, the
brightest star in the night sky. Its rising at dawn marked Summer
Solstice in the Pyramid Age and the seasonal rising of the Nile
throughout Egyptian history.
The Sun enters Cancer on
June 21st at 11:54 am with Venus domiciled in Gemini at the Midheaven,
opposing fiery Jupiter in Sagittarius stationed in the Fourth House. In
weather terms, a dangerous increase in wind-driven patterns affect the
southern part of the nation, while an increase in climate exacerbates
firestorms in the coastal states. Neptune turns retrograde on this day
at 10:36 am (18º Pisces 44’) while setting on the horizon at the Sun’s
ingress. Deception from both allies and open enemies drops a cloud of
confusion on the nation’s leaders, while international reports will be
contrary and unreliable. Mars and Mercury travel together,
emphasizing a month of important messaging coupled with opposing
disinformation. Now is a time to drop back into routine and the
relaxation of the season while leadership finds its way through the
The New Moon takes place
on July 2nd at 3:16 pm (10º Cancer 38’), bringing a total Solar Eclipse
of 4 min and 33 sec duration that overshadows the next four and
one-half years. The luminaries, Mars, and Mercury are stationed in the
Ninth House of the Judiciary, drawing together a significant amount of
resources to address matters of law and order. Several issues now take
center stage on the national front – leadership, constitutional law, and
the re-examination of legal precedents.
The Full Moon takes
place on July 16th at 5:38 pm (24º Capricorn 04’), bringing a partial
Lunar eclipse of 2 hrs and 58 min duration (converts to a three-month
cycle). With the Sun-Moon opposition straddling the Eighth House (taxes
and investments) and the Second House (liquid assets), the economic
picture looks volatile. Venus and Saturn, also occupying these domains
and opposing each other, slow growth and bring a downturn in trade.
Mercury turns to retrograde motion
on July 7th at 7:15 pm (4º Leo 28’), returning to a conjunction with
Mars on July 8th (first pass took place June 18th) and once again by
direct motion on September 3rd. This well points to the turmoil and
disinformation aggravated by long-standing international conflicts, they
wait for resolution in the coming months.
Season of Gemini: May 21 – June 20, 2019
Roman, CE 300 - Vatican Museum
Above and Below
In the Hellenic universe, Hermes the divine messenger
traverses both mortal and divine spheres, communicating between gods
and human beings. He is at once divine herald, guide to the underworld
for mortals, keeper of sacred books and guardian of archives. In his
season, Hermes draws faith and reason together, symbolized by the
double-bodied kerykeion (caduceus) he carries. During intervals between day and night, he descends to the Hermai – pillared altars placed at crossroads – in order to receive the first fruits of Spring.
Because he may dwell in both the heavens and
earth, Hermes transcends the limits of time and space, and thus
becomes lord of epiphanies and revelations, those events that rejoin the
divine and human worlds. He dons the spotted skins of leopards to show
his affinity with the starry sky, and embodies an androgynous form to
show his powers to fuse shadow and sunlight, masculine and feminine, in
the material and ethereal realms.
Twice Born, of Two Natures
Another deity of the Herm is Dionysus (Roman:
Bacchus), born of the mortal Semele and the celestial Zeus, who also
inspires divine insight and communication between the living and the
dead. Also assuming male-female form, he engenders sacred ecstasy
through music, dance, wine, and theater. Dionysus represents the fruit
of the season that matures through fermentation to become the wine of
divine inspiration. His Mysteries, celebrated throughout the
Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity, regarded him as the “twice born,”
because he was given life by both human and celestial powers.
In the season of Gemini, we may contemplate and begin
the resolution of our own dual natures – light and dark, male and
female, mortal and immortal.
Dionysus with the Herm
Roman, CE 200 - Louvre
Frederick Lord Leighton
ancient world, some were dedicated for life to know the ways of the
inner world, fulfilling this duty to both gods and men. In Rome it was
the Vestals, a celibate priestesshood of custodians who safeguarded
legal and historical documents and the genealogies of the aristocracy.
But in addition to these civic duties, their task was the keeping of the
sacred fire from which all hearths in Rome were alighted. This, in
reflecting the character of their patroness Vesta, “the living flame.”
Between June 9–14 the
Romans celebrated the Vestalia, both in public and private. The hearth
flame was renewed from the sanctuary of the Vestals, and special cakes
of salt and freshly-ground grain were prepared and offered at the family
asteroid Vesta governs the transformation of plant life to food, the
alchemy of cooking and the culinary art. Her glyph represents the flame
rising from the hearth and the creative power of fire, the action that
makes ordinary tasks sacred. We should recognize this miracle in every
meal we prepare and offer to others and ourselves.
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.
Remember to call on
Vesta, keeper of records, to help locate lost keys and wallets. She
protects door bolts, storerooms, and warns of dangers to the safety of
the domicile. Now is the time to scrutinize the integrity of your living
space with an offering to Vesta and a thorough check on your house
locks and keys.
Representing the Fire of the Hearth
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Gemini on
May 21st at 3:59 am with a Venus-Uranus conjunction rising at the U.S.
capitol. This presages unexpected measures taken by women in authority
as matters of female autonomy dominate the issues of the day. With a
Moon-Mars opposition domiciled in the axis of regional and
national judiciaries (Third & Ninth Houses), there is certain to be
aggressive undertakings on several fronts to resolve the conflict.
Retrograde Saturn and Pluto at the Midheaven curtail the authority of
the Executive branch and usher in an extended period of renewal in
The New Moon takes place
on June 3rd at 6:02 am (12º Gemini 34’), with the Lunation rising at
dawn at the U.S. capitol and Jupiter setting in his own Sign of
Sagittarius. Efforts toward comity among equals is introduced, but
delayed for a time with Jupiter in retrograde motion. An intercepted
Neptune at the Midheaven continues to deceive from the Executive branch,
though secrets will be uncovered in unlikely places. Austerity is
advocated in spending while investment slows.
The Full Moon takes
place on June 17th at 4:31 am (25º Sagittarius 53’) with the Moon and
Jupiter in the Seventh House of Open Enemies. While diplomatic efforts
move forward, delays and distrust place former pacts on hold. Prominent
Neptune discloses ulterior motives on the part of the ruling body. This
may be a busy time for negotiation and agreement, but issues of money
and natural resources will prevail over human rights and fair trade.
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 dissension 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
transformation 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.