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


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

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Season of Libra: September 22 – October 22, 2019
Pharaoh MenKauRa and Queen KaMeriNebty

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.

     Sacred Marriage

   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 our world.

   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.

Goddess Times

   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.


Goddess Offerings


   The many faces of Venus, who instills the  striving for beauty and harmony, are reflected in the Libran universe. Gardens at their fruition are governed by Libra, with flowering plants that include the Primrose, White Rose, and Heartsease.

   The Libran bounty includes the grape and olive, earliest cultivated foods and mainstays of refined cooking.

   Libran metals include Copper and Electrum, 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 Tuberose.

   A goddess shrine in your own space could emulate this timeless tradition and invite her blessings to your endeavors.
Greek flautist
    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 worldwide.

    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 scope.



Season of Virgo: August 23 – September 21, 2019

Eumolpos Initiation

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 others unselfishly.

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


    Sacred Calendar

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

    August 24th is the Cerealia (“cereal festival”), the Roman 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.

    Goddess Offerings


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

The Roman goddess Ceres
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610–1662)


Allegory of Summer

Allegory of Summer
Jerzy Siemiginowski-Eleuter
(1660 – 1711)

Cosmic Events

    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 domains.




Season of Leo: July 23 – August 23, 2019

Sothis at Philae

Isis-Sothis, Herald of the New Year
– Temple of Philae, Egypt

Goddess Appearing

    The hottest time of the year in the northern hemisphere coincides with a forty-day period when Sirius – the alpha star in the constellation Canis Major (the “greater dog”) – rises with the Sun. Hence, this time is known as the “Dog Days” (July 4 – August 11). But throughout the ages, Sirius (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).

    Sacred Calendar

    July 31st is Midsummer or Lammas Eve, with August 1st the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. It opens the period of 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.

Sirius from the Hubble Telescope

Sirius
From the Hubble Telescope


Cosmic Events

    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 jurisprudence.

    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 legislative scrutiny.




Season of Cancer: June 21 – July 22, 2019
Stonehenge at Solstice
Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice by Andrew Dunn

Solstice Season


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

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

   
  

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

   The day before the Solstice is Midsummer's Night's Eve, traditionally a time of magic and 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.


Midsummer Night's Dream

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.


Goddess Times


   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 season.

   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.

Cosmic Events

    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 uncertainty.

    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
Hermes

Hermes Ingenui
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.




Dionysos

Dionysus with the Herm
Roman, CE 200 - Louvre

The Vestal

The Vestal
Frederick Lord Leighton
(1830-1896)

Goddess Times

   In the 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 altars.

   Astrologically, the 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.
Vesta glyph

Vesta
Astrological Glyph

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 government policies.

    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 Herperides

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 of Dendera

Hathor, the Divine Cow
– Louvre

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 the traveler.
Tomb of Nefertari

Hathor leads Nefertari into the Afterlife
– Tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens

CCosmic Events

    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
Ares

The Ludovisi Ares with Eros at his feet
– National Museum of the Terme, Rome
Moving Northward

    In 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 collective.

    Warriors and Heroes

    The 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 renewal.

    Once such 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 Neit

Neit
Goddess of Reconciliation

    Conciliators

    Deities 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 achieved.

Pallas Athena

Pallas Athena
Goddess of Strategy

Cosmic Events

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

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 dear.

    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.
Pisces Constellation

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
Ganymede
Aquarian Acts of Service

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

    Ganymede, a Trojan prince,  was viewed by the Olympian gods as the most attractive among mortals. But with this admiration came notice from Zeus himself, who sought the young man to serve as 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 constellation Aquila.

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

    But the Aquarian motif also alludes to a cosmic secret – the gods seek our service as much we we seek their counsel. The exchange of powers – human and divine – becomes possible when each recognizes the needs of the other. It is the ancient art of theurgia that uncovers this secret, a sacred tradition that is unlocked with the words and gestures of 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)


    Sacred Times

    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 recipients.
Greek goddess Hygieia

Graeco-Roman Goddess Hygieia
Welcome Collection, London

Hapy of the Nile

The Nile Hapy

Cosmic Events

    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 2021.

    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.


Year of the Boar
    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

Hexagram Seven



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

Mithras Slaying the Bull of the Taurean Age
Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne
The Birth of Light

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

    The Winter Solstice the shortest day of the year, when the Sun is seen at its most southerly point in the sky (in the northern hemisphere). Cultures past and present have universally regarded this moment as a time of rest, peace with the powers of nature, and fellowship with society. It is the first day that marks the beginning of many winter festivals.

    In late antiquity, the solstice marked the birth of Mithras, god of light. His mysteries, borrowed from ancient Persia, were initially honored by Roman soldiers and extended into society with a graduated series of secret initiations performed in underground temples. The day of his virgin birth was known as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, “birthday of the unconquered Sun.” He is depicted slaying the bull of the Taurean Age to signify the inception of the Arian Age.



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

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

Sophia, goddess of Wisdom

Shrine of Sophia
Ephesus, Turkey

    Sacred Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opis, goddess of Plenty

Opis As Abundance
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640)

    Cosmic Events

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

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

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

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

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




 

Lunar eclipse

(*) U.S. Time Zones
Central Time        – 1 hour   
Pacific Time         – 3 hours
Mountain Time    – 2 hours
Hawai’i-Alaska    – 5 hours
Dsylight Time March 10th – November 3rd, 2019


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