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

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


Planet Venus



Mars the Red


Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2020 – January 19, 2021

Alexander Helios

Alexander the Great as Helios
– Musei Capitolini, Rome

    The Darkness that Precedes the Light

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

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

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

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

     In ancient Egypt, the axis of the great Theban temple of Karnak was aligned to the Sun at the winter solstice. Its light at sunrise would penetrate the mystic darkness of the eastern sanctuary and then illuminate the westward chambers sequentially as the Solar orb sailed overhead.

          It is the hour of Ra, rising in the land of the horizon.
          The beautiful one rises, who came into being of himself.
          The temple of Shu [air] opens for you.

                                                                         – Hymn to the First Hour of the Day

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21st at 5:02 am, marking the beginning of a new season  with the Winter Solstice. The Capricorn ingress is regarded as the predictor of world events in the coming year, and here we have three significant conjunctions – Sun with Mercury, Jupiter with Saturn, and the Moon with Neptune. This inaugurates three scenarios that will influence major events peaking with the seasonal change at the Spring Equinox (March 20th, 2021). The Sun-Mercury conjunction embodies the beginning of an era, the inception of new leadership and the dominance of information, communication, and the reawakening of self knowledge. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction indicates the recalibration of socio-economic values and dramatic changes in religious (Jupiter) and political (Saturn) movements that will certainly impact science and scholarship in the coming decades. The Moon-Neptune conjunction, which is a separating aspect, clearly illustrates the global pandemic that remains encompassing but diminished in power, though it finds haven in the 4th House of U.S. terra firma.

    For the coming year, let us also be mindful of the historic narrative of Tecumseh's Curse, though since 1980 it has not fulfilled the threat of a U.S. president perishing while in office.

    The Full Moon takes place on December 29th at 10:28 pm (8º Cancer 53’) with the North Node of the Moon dominating the event at the U.S. capital. The people’s interests prevail at  this time, with surprise changes in the usual political agenda. With the 4th and 5th Houses of domicile and education emphasized, homelessness and youth welfare will be addressed in hasty decisions brought by Neptune’s infectious attack on the health and well being of the public.

    The New Moon takes place on January 13th at 12:01 am (23º Capricorn 13’) with a spectacular stellium of planets posited in the 4th House of the U.S. nation state. All revision, adjustment, and progress is now focused on those who dwell in the homeland, and the power of the people to make these changes is preeminent. Sun, Moon, and Pluto point to  a new paradigm following the ending of a phase that has brought suppressed forces to the surface of society. When Pluto crossed the Ecliptic from North to South, between October 14th – November 4th, 2018, it made Pluto brighter and more visible, literally and in our world view. The undercover fears and inequalities that have been buried since Pluto last crossed the Ecliptic (September 9th, 1930) surfaced, to confront the conscience of societies and force resolution.
At the same time, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury in Aquarius force a progressive trajectory that will bring restive forces to oppose (Mars and Uranus conjoined in conservative Taurus), but forward motion will prove to be irresistible for the coming month.

    Uranus turns to direct motion on January 14th at 3:36 am (6º Taurus 43’) with the Sun conjoined to Pluto. This will be a day of disruptions and surprises, with rapid resolutions to calm the waters. Anarchic forces in control since August 15th are put to rest.

Abu Simbel solstice

Illumination of the Sanctuary at Winter Solstice
– Abu Simbel, Egypt (Olaf Tausch)

Season of Sagittarius: November 21 – December 21, 2020
Neit of Sais

Goddess Neit of Sais
– Louvre

Keepers of the Sacred Flame

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

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

    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.

Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia of Alexandria
– Graeco-Roman fresco

    Sacred Calendar

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

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

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

    The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 21st at 3:40 pm with Uranus rising at the U.S. capitol, promising a chaotic atmosphere that obscures the real change that is occurring – the Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto conjunction at the Midheaven that will bring cyclic revision in economics, politics, and social organization. The head of state (signified by the 10th House of this event) personifies this shift. The 7th House of allies is occupied by the Sun and Mercury, bringing increased communication and renewed bonds to the endeavors of this season.

    The Full Moon takes place on November 30th at 4:30 am (8º Gemini 38’) with Uranus setting in the west and Venus rising in the east at the U.S. capitol. This signifies the decline of chaotic forces that oppose harmony and the rise of empathy in the public mood. This Full Moon is followed by a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse at 4:43 am, promising displays of emotional instability, though such conditions will be short term. Events this week should be understood without anxiety as the undercurrents are weak and illusory.

    The New Moon takes place on December 14th at 11:17 am (23º Sagittarius 08’), a day of volatility but a turning point in the expected course of events. A Total Solar Eclipse of 2 min. 20 sec. duration translates as a period of influence for two years and four months of change and high ambition. Economic conditions are expected to fluctuate during this period, at the same time a reversal in the environmental order will take place. The Sign of the man-horse emphasizes a balance between human and natural life, the aspiration of this state begins to take precedence.

    Neptune turns to direct motion on November 28th at 7:36 pm (18º Pisces 10’). The illusions and false narratives that Neptune disperses become transparent in the fiery season of the Centaur. And as the potent, 20-year conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn move toward their cyclic, time-altering meeting with transformative Pluto in tandem, deceptions fade in the light of cosmic renewal.

Season of Scorpio: October 22 – November 21, 2020
Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice
– Federico Cervelli (1625–1700)

Lifting the Veil

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

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

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

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

    Sacred Calendar

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

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

Aztec Goddess Mictlancihuatl

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

Triple Goddess Hekate
– National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Scorpio on October 22nd at 6:59 pm, with Uranus ascending on the horizon at the U.S. capitol, opposing the Sun and Mercury. This signals a rise in unpredictability for the present season, exacerbated by the prominent Capricorn stellium of the Moon with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. Confusion and misinformation appear, but judicial actions and the courts will temper the atmosphere. Neptune in continual square to the Moon’s Nodes conveys public insecurity arising from contagion until mid-January 2021.

    The Full Moon takes place on October 31st at 10:49 am (8º Taurus 38’) with the Moon in exact conjunction to Uranus (who opposes the Sun). It highlights the disruptions indicated by this Scorpio ingress, with tensions peaking in the next two days. As the Moon wanes in light in the following days, a gradual relief takes hold.

    This is a potent day as the full orb of the Moon on Samhain (Hallowe’en), allows us to penetrate the darkness of the season and renew bonds with unseen forces that protect the living.

Wheel of the Year
    Mercury turns to direct motion on November 3rd at 12:50 pm (25º Libra 55’) with the lord of communication in the House of the Judiciary. Null decisions are handed down that defer to lower courts.

    Mars turns to direct motion on November 13th at 7:36 pm (15º Aries 14’), eliminating some repressive forces while revealing covert influences that have been at work since September.

    The New Moon takes place on November 15th at 12:07 am (23º Scorpio 18’) with a clear path to progress taking shape. Mercury opposes Uranus, inciting threats without substance, but Mars in his own domicile of Aries has moved forward to provide order and lucidity.

Season of Libra: September 22 – October 22, 2020
Adonis and Aphrodite
Adonis and Aphrodite
Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Villa La Grange, Switzerland

Declining Light

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

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

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

    According to to the Roman historian Plutarch, the temple of Isis at Sais was inscribed thus, “I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; no mortal has ever raised my veil.”

    This is a mystery worthy of meditation, but we may understand it well if we enter “under the veil” by journeying with the goddess through the dark night of winter. Let us begin that pilgrimage with the knowledge that our way will be illuminated with her lamp of wisdom.

    Sacred Calendar

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

    In Christian practice, agriculture and husbandry are venerated with the Blessing of Animals, a timeless act of acknowledging our partnership with Nature. The first two Sundays in October honor St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals and environmentalists, whose feast day is October 4th. In the Celtic tradition the woodlands goddess Flidais is protector of wild animals and Bridgid is patroness of domestic animals.

     October 13th is the celebration of Fontus (or Fons), son of the Roman deities Juturna and Janus. He is the god of wells and springs and his day also honors the freshwater goddesses – the Camenae – who are the oracular water-nymphs. Have you ever performed a water oracle (Lecanomancy: “divination from a bowl”)? Fresh water from a moving source, said to embody optimum life force, is contained in a clay vessel and censed. Under lunar light, one then makes an offering to the water deities and scrys over the surface for messages. If you choose to do so, meditate on the miracle of water, its healing and nourishing powers.

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

Isis with Sistrum

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

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Libra September 22nd at 9:30 am with an approaching Mercury-Mars opposition  on the horizon – open quarrels, arguments, and conflicted decisions rule the season. With Uranus occupying the 7th House of Allies and Enemies, unexpected conditions prevail – adversaries become supporters while alliances withdraw. A Sagittarius Moon in the 2nd House of Finance provides public support just when it’s needed.

    Saturn turns to direct motion on September 29th at 1:11 am (25º Capricorn 20’) in the same 25th degree as the Cancer Ascendant at the nation’s capitol. Secrets and past agendas are brought to light as Mars at the Midheaven incites leadership wrath. Neptune retrograde in the 9th House of Judiciary indicates confusion and delay.

     The Full Moon takes place on October 1st at 5:05 pm  (9º Aries 08’) with the 2nd House of Assets packed with uncertainty. Mars and Uranus bring public financial issues to a head,. Venus on the horizon promises agreement from leaders. This will be a contentious Harvest Moon (first Full Moon following the Fall Equinox) but there will be respite and relief.

    Pluto turns to direct motion on October 4th at 9:32 am (22º Capricorn 29’) with the Moon and Uranus traveling together. Emotions run high as newsworthy events command public attention. A major reversal is announced.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on October 13th at 9:05 pm (11º Scorpio 40’), reversing course to oppose Uranus once more. This adds to the atmosphere of uncertainty in this inconstant season, bringing worry and ambivalence to the public mind. However, Mercury turns to direct motion on November 3rd, bringing to mind the last time a Mercury station occurred on a U.S. national election day: Nov. 7, 2000 (Bush v. Gore), though it was a retrograde station that took place and the last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was operative, changing America’s destiny. Here, a long sought resolution to past errors may come to pass.

    The New Moon takes place on October 16th at 3:30 pm (23º Libra 53’) with the lunation opposing contentious Mars and in tense square to the Capricorn stellium of major influences – Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto. This configuration fills the atmosphere with volatile emotions and an unpredictability throughout the next two-week phase. Mercury retrograde in the 9th House of Judiciary opposes unpredictable Uranus, signaling delay and retreat.

Girl at Fountain

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

Season of Virgo: August 22 – September 22, 2020

Initiation of Eumolpos

Initiation of Eumolpos
by Demeter and Persephone

Goddess Celestial and Terrestrial

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

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

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


Relief from Herculaneum

     Virgo Divinities

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

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

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

     The Sun enters Virgo on August 22nd at 11:44 am with Mercury traveling ahead of the Sun, an indicator for a season of verbosity moving ahead of veracity. This, along with the Libra Moon in the 12th House of Seclusion opposing volatile Mars in the 6th House of Health, presages obstacles for reducing the continuing threats of the ongoing pandemic. This configuration includes the Capricorn stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in the 3rd House of neighboring nations – a powerful engine of cyclic change and upheaval that is now peaking.  The Moon, representing the public at large, and Mars, signifying science and medicine, are at a temporary standstill, but within a week of this ingress, news of remedial approaches will come from international efforts.

     The Full Moon takes place on September 2nd at 1:22 am (10º Pisces 12’) with national disruptions following false alarms and misleading information. At the U.S. capitol, the Moon and Neptune culminate at the Midheaven signaling the public becoming restless and impatient. With Uranus retrograde, revolutionary sentiments arise from past injustices and attention is focused on legislative action.

     The New Moon takes place on September 17th at 7:00 am (25º Virgo 01’) with the Lunation in the 12th House of Seclusion, indicating that forces behind the scenes will organize future paths for the restoration of public health and security. Sun and Moon stay in harmonious aspect to the Capricorn stellium that is presaging so much social change and institutional restructuring. We can expect some proposals that will provide direction to these conditions over the long term.  Neptune in the 6th House of Government Agencies points to deceptive policies uncovered.

     Mars turns to retrograde motion on September 9th at 6:22 pm (28º Aries 09’) in the Second House of Assets. Stock trade activity becomes frenzied as disruptive market conditions prevail in the U.S. and abroad.

     Jupiter turns to direct motion on September 12th at 8:41 pm (17º Capricorn 24’), moving toward his third conjunction with Pluto – formerly April 4th, June 30th, and ending November 12th – coinciding with peaks in pandemic activity. Some resolutions to this contagion will be evident by the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on December 21st (0º Aquarius 29’) but it will not be eradicated until 2022, when the Pluto makes a full return to the U.S. horoscope inaugurated July 4th, 1776.

Season of Leo: July 21 – August 21, 2020
Star Goddess Sothis

Bringer of Cosmic Renewal

Goddess Appearing

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

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

    Standing alone in the heavens before daylight illumines the sky, Sirius is indeed a marvelous sight. This year you may greet the time-honored goddess when she rises at the ancient city of Heliopolis in Egypt (30 North latitude) on August 5th at 4:37 am local time (GMT+2).

Sacred Calendar

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

Sirius star

Hubble Telescope
Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Leo on July 22nd at 4:37 am following the second New Moon in Cancer on July 20th, traditionally known as a “Black Moon” (28º Cancer 27’). By itself, the Lunation falls in the 9th House of international matters at the U.S. capitol, and opposes the current Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium in Capricorn. Besides being catastrophic for U.S. standing on the global stage, it presages extensive legal and legislative turmoil, requiring a break from past approaches and potential for new advances by the time Jupiter and Saturn leave traditional Capricorn and enter the reforming Aquarius transit in December.

    The Full Moon takes place on August 3rd at 11:59 am (11º Aquarius 46’), with Sun and Moon in square to disruptive Uranus. Friction from governors and business leaders toward the executive branch will increase as domestic upheaval reaches a peak. A strong Mercury-Saturn opposition will demand dialogue with the powers that be, but resolutions will be delayed.  Matters of disease and medicine dominate as Mars moves through his powerful domicile of Aries, posited in the 6th House of Health.

    Uranus turns to retrograde motion on August 15th at 10:26 am (10º Taurus 42’) in the 8th House of Investment and Finance, signaling a period of devaluation lasting until January, 2021. Mortality will stabilize under this cycle, but new risks appear.

    The New Moon takes place on August 18th at 10:42 pm (26º Leo 35’) conjoined with Mercury, in the 5th House of Children and Early Education. Agreements concerning these matters will be met, but not without a guidance from judicial parties. Respite is forthcoming, along with new initiatives to stabilize the public food supply.

Season of Cancer: June 20 – July 21, 2020
Egyptian geese

Egyptian Geese
Tomb Inscription at Meidum
Celestial Mother and Father

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

    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. In Neopagan lore it is the feast of Litha, opposite the feast of Yule at the Winter Solstice in the sacred year.

    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.

Lakota medicine wheel

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

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

    The Native American Lakota spirit of all creation, Wakan Tonka ("great spirit”), is the giver of life, healer of all beings, and peacemaker in all accords. It is said  that at the moment of creation, Wakan Tonka gave an instruction that every tribe was to follow:

                  • Take care of Mother Earth and the other colors of man.
                  • Respect this Mother Earth and Creation.
              • Honor all life, and support that honor.
              • Be grateful from the heart for all life.
              • Thank the Creator at all times for all life.
              • Love, and express that love.
              • Be humble.
              • Be kind with one's self and with others.
              • Share thoughts and obligations.
              • Be honest with one's self and with others.
              • Be responsible for these sacred instructions and share them with other nations.

Oberon and the Mermaid

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

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

     June 22nd is Midsummer's Night's Eve, a night of magic and wonder. This is the Eve of St. John (the Baptist), which replaced the ancient celebrations of Summer Solstice. In medieval times, this marked the end of the planting season and a period of respite before the Fall harvests – certainly a time for vacation from work.

    Dreams and the visitation of fairies are attributed to this night, as Shakespeare so cleverly demonstrated in his timeless play of this event.

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

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

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

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Cancer on June 20th at 5:43 pm with the potent stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto continuing to transit together and for the rest if the year. They bring a tense atmosphere that will lead to gradual change. The long-standing conditions supporting authoritarian figures and laws are due for reversal through the last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (November 12, 2020) and Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (December 21, 2020). Jupiter, representing universal law––while Saturn stands for institutional law––brings this about.
During this ingress, the Mars-Neptune conjunction fades, though deceptive influences remain undercover and will eventually surface through public effort. Uranus remains in the 6th House of Public Health, continuing to present unpredictability.

    The New Moon takes place on June 21st at 2:41 am (0º Cancer 21’), leading with an Annular Solar eclipse of 38-seconds duration (translates to a six-month period of influence). Posited in the 2nd House of Assets at the U.S. capitol, efforts to restore financial stability will be forwarded, though the six-month period indicates economic stasis before results are felt. The stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto fall in the Tenth House of Leadership, as conflicts are stirred among the forces of egalitarianism (Jupiter), authoritarianism (Saturn), and metamorphosis (Pluto).

    The Full Moon takes place on July 5th at 12:44 am (13º Capricorn 38’). As Mars moves into his natural throne of Aries, the Sun and Moon are in square to him with challenge and resistance. The public rebels against arbitrary limitations and forces action with new leadership and the courts. This Full Moon brings a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, the third of four occurring this year. Emotions run high and the public is united by mutual beliefs.  The Sun now conjoins the star Sirius, the birth star of the United States of America (13º Cancer 19’), providing a renewal for those who adhere to its vision.

    Neptune turns to retrograde motion on June 23rd at 12:31 am (20º Pisces 58’) and remains in reverse movement until November 28th. Deceptions will be uncovered during this period, revealing myriad and complex tentacles of influence in government and business life.

    Venus turns to direct motion on June 25th at 2:48 am (5º Gemini 21’), encouraging new modes of communication and accord among diverse social groups. Following this, Mercury turns to direct motion on July 12th at 4:26 am (5º Cancer 31’), signaling significant recalibration of the travel and hospitality industries.

Season of Gemini: May 20 – June 20, 2020


by Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

From Earth to Air

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

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

Goddess Times

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

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

Goddess Hestia

Hestia Giustiniani
2nd Century CE Roman

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

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

Vesta glyph

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

 The Vestal

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

    The Sun enters Gemini on May 20th at 9:49 am with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto setting on the western horizon at the U.S. capitol. These powers clash with the public-minded Moon, who is conjoined with revolutionary Uranus. Here we have escalating conflicts among the citizenry with established law, elected powers, and nature’s powerful course. This will be a noisy, combative season with the masses receiving little perceptible direction. The theme of nurturing and feeding takes precedence, leading to changes in the provision of sustenance to both people and the land.

    The New Moon begins on May 22nd at 1:39 pm (2º Gemini 05’) with much attention directed toward foreign entities, both allied and adversarial. A new avenue of assistance and resolution to public concerns comes forward as several governments and enterprises join forces. With the Fifth House filled with antagonistic powers, concerns are focused on schools, the youth of the nation, and recreational locales that face hazardous conditions. Mars in the Sixth House of Health poses conflict and uncertainty in matters of public safety.

    The Full Moon takes place on June 5th at 3:12 pm (15º Sagittarius 34’), bringing an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty as a penumbral Lunar eclipse. The Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium in the Fourth House of Land and Environment forwards a dual brunt of flooding and drought. Borders are blurred and weather extremes are indicated. The Full Moon is squared by volatile Mars, prompting public unrest and conflict. This will be a memorable two weeks of volatility and change.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on June 18th at 12:59 am (14º Cancer 46’) with Mars and Neptune rising at the U.S. capitol. Dire conditions pertaining to health and contagion settle in this environment, with Moon and Uranus in the Second House of Finance posing doubt for economic stability. As Mercury travels back in time, influential forces attempt to retrain the uncertainty of the last month and some success in restitution is achieved by July 12.

Season of Taurus: April 19 – May 20, 2020
Seti honors Hathor
From Fire to Earth

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

    Innumerable ancient cultures viewed the cow as a manifestation of the mother goddess, the nurturer of heaven and provider on Earth. In Egypt, the goddess Hathor presided over the harvesting festivities celebrated in May, beginning with the pharaonic ritual of “driving the calves” across the threshing floor to banish the serpents of darkness – literally and figuratively.

   The union of man and goddess, the seeding of the soil and the fertilization of the land, was celebrated with the Festival of the Joyous Union, the annual mating of Hathor with her divine consort, Horus. In an elaborate holiday involving temples, citizens, and fleets of Nile boats, the image of the goddess sailed from her great house at Dendera upstream to the god’s domain at Edfu at the New Moon in Taurus (this year on April 22nd). Enclosed within the sanctuary for 14 days, the powers of the deities fused, to later disperse in a great ceremony at the Full Moon of Taurus (this year on May 8th-9th) marking the conception of their child, Ihy lord of harmony. In modern Egypt, the ancient festival is still commemorated in the public holiday of Sham el-Nessim (“breathing the air”), held on the Monday following Coptic Easter (this year on April 19th).

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

    Goddess Times

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

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

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

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

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

Earth Mother
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833–1898)
    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th at 10:45 am with the Sun moving toward a conjunction to Uranus in six days. This bodes poorly for those in executive roles though it provides unexpected pivots and revelations that will alter the course of this season’s events into new, albeit untried, directions. The Seventh House of international associations is occupied by dangerous opponents, trusted allies, and established but isolated partners, in that order.

    The New Moon takes place on April 22nd at 10:26 pm (3º Taurus 24’) a few days after the ingress,  with the Lunation approaching the conjunction to Uranus. This brings revelations to a head, an outcome of deceptions badly executed. They may still continue, fostering an atmosphere of distrust and fear, but a key to persevering through this period is the assurance that fraud and pretense are on the downslide as Uranus breaks through the fog of confusion. Sporadic insurgencies are to be expected, but they are signs of revived awareness that lack orientation. The Second House is occupied by the powerful stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, signaling a formidable but mixed group of actions at work in the U.S. economy that will result in both loss and redistribution.

    The Full Moon takes place on May 7th at 6:45 am (17º Scorpio 20’) with Mercury, Sun, and Moon involved in tense conflict with Mars. Public anger is directed to leadership while the involvement of women in forging partnerships will bring surprising resolutions. The stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto now move to the Ninth House of the Judiciary, pointing to significant decisions that affect diplomatic and legislative policies in the future.

    Upcoming Planets in Retrograde

    The months of April and May add to a tense atmosphere and delays in significant efforts to normalize essential segments of society. However, retrograde cycles provide periods of review, investigation, or recalibration as the needs arise. It is dependent on those who use these times to reflect on the past to recreate a new trajectory for constructive ends. The following fields can be targeted in this way:

    Pluto turns to retrograde motion on April 24th at 2:54 pm (23º Capricorn 09’), remaining until October 4th. Medicine and research undergo intense scrutiny.

    Uranus turns to retrograde motion on April 28th at 8:50 am (6º Taurus 43’) until August 15th.  Technology takes center stage as a remedy to unanticipated events and new approaches are developed.

    Saturn turns to retrograde motion on May 11th at 12:09 am (1º Aquarius 57’) until September 29th. Established government entities fall back in authority, former leaders reappear to bring respite. The world of finance opens up to new and stronger economic values.

    Venus turns to retrograde motion on May 13th at 2:45 am (21º Gemini 49’) until June 25th. New alliances are forged between diverse groups, social interaction accelerates through new approaches.

    Jupiter turns to retrograde motion on May 14th at 10:32 am (27º Capricorn 14’) until September 12th. Remedies to existing health care and education shortfalls are examined and implemented on experimental bases. By the end of the year, a new paradigm in medical treatment is inaugurated.
Gautama the Buddha

Gautama the Buddha

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

This can be a peaceful time that ushers in
some reassurance and stability.

Season of Aries: March 19 – April 19, 2020

Awakening by Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966)

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

    In ancient Egypt, Spring brought the return of the constellation Sah (Orion) to the night sky, a harbinger of the reborn Osiris who takes the form of the divine son, Horus. One of the god’s names is Wennefer (“who springs forth”), which expresses the power of this divinity to regenerate. The hieroglyph of his name is the desert hare, over the ages it morphed into the Easter bunny.

    Osiris, the archetypal slain god who cyclically returns, is half of a spiritual saga that formed the foundation of the ancient Mysteries. The rest of the story is the cycle of wanderings and magical acts of his consort Isis, who diligently sought justice for her son’s usurped throne and who mystically restored the broken body of her slain husband. She follows Orion in her celestial form of Sopdet (Sothis), the star that rises after Orion.

    Sacred Calendar

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

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

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

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

Venus Verticordia
– Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

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

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

    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Aries on March 19th at 11:50 pm, with the current stellium of Capricorn planets reaching its peak. This ingress first ushers in a powerful Mars-Jupiter conjunction (22º 49’ Capricorn) that promotes energetic motion, though it must be directed toward constructive ends or the trajectory will turn catastrophic. Mars then continues his transit to conjoin Pluto (March 23rd at 12:20 am) then Saturn (March 31st at 1:31 pm), indicating a period of intense conflict fed by fear and restriction.  As these aspects conclude in the Third House of neighbors, foreign relief will provide a respite of the peril that dominated February’s arrival of the formidable Capricorn stellium.

    The New Moon takes place on March 24th at 5:28 am (4º Aries 12’), with the Lunation positioned in the Second House of finance and public resources. This may inaugurate, if only temporarily, a new paradigm for social values and monetary principles to take hold. Saturn leaves his restrictive Capricorn throne and enters Aquarius until July, then suspended in retrograde motion until December, when the constraints of authority will be eliminated in favor of a promising liberty. In the meantime, revisions and adaptations will develop over the coming months toward that end.

    A perigee Full Moon (closest to Earth) takes place on April 7th at 10:35 pm (18º Libra 44’), with a form of universal justice realized. Sun and Moon form sharp angles to the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, forcing a resolution to abuses of power and misdirection of knowledge. Uranus in the Sixth House of Public Health points to innovations that lead to a restoration of well being.


Der Frubling (Spring)

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–1873)

Season of Pisces: February 18 – March 20, 2020
Nut Sky Goddess

Nut, Sky Goddess in Ancient Egypt
The Well of Memory
    When the Sun enters Pisces, we enter the cosmic sea of timelessness and rejuvenation, where we may encounter the spirits of water – divinities who have been both honored and feared from the beginning of time.

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

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

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

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

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

    Sacred Calendar

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

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

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

Water Nympth Lotis
    Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th at 11:56 pm with a great stellium of planets in Capricorn (Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto). This concentration of influence points to matters of finance, economics, and the stability of trade and commerce. Growth is initially foreseen, but it is short lived. Matters of government budgeting and expenditure will dominate the season with little resolution.

    The New Moon takes place on February 23rd at 10:32 am (4º Pisces 29’) with the U.S. judiciary focused on past and present issues that bring some revelations. A microscopic look at prominent leaders and their communications, travel, and associates is in store for the next month. Disclosures in the U.S. legislature bring consternation.

    The Full Moon takes place on March 9th at 1:48 pm (19º Virgo 37’). This will be a tense day, one of sorting priorities and discerning truths from falsehoods, as the Lunation is clouded by Neptune’s presence with the Sun and its opposition to the Moon. Later on this day, Mercury turns to direct motion at 11:48 pm (28º Aquarius 13’) but does not pass his previous retrograde station (12º Pisces 53’) until March 29th. During this 20-day period, new information from foreign sources leads to confusion. Mars in the Sixth House of health imposes drastic measures on public activities. With Venus in conjunction to Uranus, forward motion is attained by women in leadership roles.

,  daughter of Neptune and Naiad nymph of the Lotus flower
– Otto Theodore Gustav Lingner (1856-1917)

Season of Aquarius: January 20 – February 18, 2020

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

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

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

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

Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Brighid Cross

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

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

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

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

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

Cosmic Events

        The Sun enters Aquarius on January 20th at 9:54 a week following the momentous Saturn-Pluto conjunction (a 35-38 year cycle). This powerful aspect will shape government and economic policies for the next decade, as institutions adjust or become obsolete. The Moon and Mars conjoin in the 9th House of Legal Matters, where conflict and animosity dominate the month. Gradual transitions are ordained as benevolent powers ward off instability and inertia


Hapi, Lord of the Nile

    The New Moon takes place on January 24th at 4:42 pm (4º Aquarius 22’), with the two lights setting in the West along with Jupiter Saturn, and Pluto. A demise is indicated, the ending of one cycle and the beginning of one new. Female leadership dominates the news cycle, while disruptive actions emanating from the Executive branch of government garner public attention.

    This New Moon inaugurates the Lunar New Year of the White Metal Rat, the first animal in the wheel of the Chinese Zodiac. As such, the vibration of 2020 invites renewal, new beginnings, and a trajectory toward new goals. It also initiates a Yang (active) vibration for the year, dispelling the inertia of the previous cycle, with an emphasis on expansion and momentum.

    According to tradition, the I Ching hexagram for the year is Fu “the turning point.” It represents a process of renewal, the restoration of “the Way,” and the return to what is normal. Richard Wilhelm translates the judgment thus, “After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force.”

Hexagram Fu
Hexagram Fu
    The Full Moon takes place on February 9th at 2:33 am (20º Leo 00’) with Mars taking the lead. Hostilities increase as legal issues command public attention. Confused information is disseminated, but reasoned thinking uncovers mistruths. Attention is drawn to foreign adversaries who strike at vulnerable places. This is not a calm Full Moon, with the major powers focused in the 2nd House of assets and economic growth., shaking up the status quo.

    Mercury turns to retrograde motion on February 16th at 7:54 pm (12º Pisces 53’), with Mercury conjoined to Neptune and in Square to the Moon. The focus is on leadership and health issues, particularly the latter. Much concern comes from the transmission of illness, travel will be  curtailed through March 9th. The Winter weather pattern is severe in the North.
Year of the Rat

Year of the White Metal Rat

Season of Capricorn: December 21, 2019 – January 19, 2020

Stonehenge Winter Solstice 

Stonehenge at Winter Solstice

English Heritage Org

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 diminishes and darkness prevails over the season. We 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 reflection, when light hibernates in the womb of darkness as we await validation of its return in the coming months.

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

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

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

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

Sophia of Ephesus

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. Consort 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.

Cosmic Events

    The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21st at 11:20 pm. Astrologically, when the Sun passes over one of the four Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), the “world axis” is vitalized and a new rhythm is established. Thus, we look to the Cardinal ingresses for clues to the motif of the next three months. This solstice brings a stellium of planets in Capricorn: Sun, Jupiter, the Moon’s South Node, Saturn, and Pluto – bookended by scholarly Mercury in Sagittarius and idealistic Venus in Aquarius. There will be a focus on law, the reach of government, and an optimistic search for truth. However, the Scorpio Moon opposing disruptive Uranus does not portend a methodical, open process. There will be distractions and retaliations, though Neptune setting on the horizon of the U.S. capitol, indicates deceptions exposed and the diminishment of false power.

    The New Moon takes place on December 26th at 12:13 am (4º Capricorn 07’), with the planetary lineup duplicating much of the solstice pattern. Here, progress is indicated for legislative actions, though unsettled law brings questions and confusion. However, the Capricorn stellium – Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Moon’s South Node, Saturn, and Pluto – lend focus and determination to any efforts that stabilize goals. Mars in the Second House of Financial Resources endangers investments in some medical and insurance markets. This lunation also features an Annular Solar Eclipse of 3’39” duration, adversely affecting revenues from trade with repercussions into the next three years.

    The Full Moon takes place on January 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm (20º Cancer 00’), a penumbral Lunar eclipse that is the first of four in the year 2020. It features a powerful and certain Capricorn stellium that will set the stage for a new paradigm in leaderhip and collective goals. The Full Moon invites “realizations,” an opportunity to flesh out a plan and gather the resources to make it tangible. Physical assets are targeted, the financial picture is at a tipping point. The next fortnight may indicate crisis, but reorganization is the end result, critical though timely.
Uranus turns direct on this day, adding tension to the environment and high expectations to those seeking change. Forward momentum is indicated.


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 8th – November 1st, 2020

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