Season of Libra: September 22 – October 22, 2021
September and October are deeply spiritual months, the time of 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.
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.
Globular cluster in Libra
– Palomar Sky Survey
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 the her lamp of wisdom.
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
Sukkoth (“Feast of Tabernacles”) September 20–27,
2021 is a Judeo-Christian festival of pilgrimage to the temple and
a harvest feast, celebrated with a ritual of pouring water and waving
the four “sacred species” of palm, willow, myrtle, and citron.
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
October 14 is the celebration of Fontinalia, honoring
Fontus (aka 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 any moment we desire. Let us work
toward a change in this circumstance and call upon the Camenae for their
wisdom and assistance.
Isis of the Mysteries
John Augustus Knapp
– Secret Teachings of All Ages
Roman Girl at a Fountain
– Léon Bonnat (1832-1922)
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Libra on
September 22nd at 2:21 pm with a pending Sun-Mars conjunction in the
U.S. horoscope. It brings conflicts from foreign sources, requiring
rapid responses to disruptive events. Women’s interests dominate public
attention as a Venus-Uranus opposition occupies the angles at the U.S.
capital, but resolution will be accomplished unexpectedly. With three
major planets turning to direct motion this month (Jupiter, Saturn,
Pluto) obstacles to progress will diminish.
The New Moon takes place
on October 6th at 6:05 am (13º Libra 24’) with a Libra stellium rising
at the U.S. capital, providing great energy and resources to efforts
made on behalf of the electorate. Venus provides some economic relief in
the Second House of Assets, but her conjunction with the fixed star
Bungula (alpha Centaurus) brings disruptions in some financial markets
(medical, pharmaceutical). Pluto, followed by Saturn in the Fourth House
of Homeland, continues to bring extreme weather patterns and permanent
The Full Moon takes
place on October 20th at 9:57 am (27º Aries 26’), with Sun and Moon
separating from contentious Mars, providing some relief from
legislative conflict. With the Eleventh House of citizen representatives
highlighted, some issues will be abandoned by resolution. The Fifth
House of Progeny is also emphasized by this Lunation, pointing to a
conclusion of disagreements pertaining to children, family, and early
Mercury turns to retrograde motion
on September 27th at 1:10 am (25º Libra 28’), opening up continued
endeavors to restore some balance and equity in government affairs.
While Mercury sometimes indicates stasis or drawbacks to prevailing
conditions, this occurrence in Libra also allows a re-visitation of past
decisions and rectification of previous errors. Sun and Mars in Libra
draw together in the Third House of Infrastructure, indicating
compromise wrought by conflict on critical issues.
Pluto turns to direct motion
on October 6th at 2:29 pm (24º Capricorn 19’), rising at the U.S.
capitol to usher in deep change to institutions and the course of
leadership (with Scorpio at the Midheaven). Alone and unimpeded, Pluto
brings covert agendas out into the open and brings to the fore the
necessity for permanent alterations in the course of normal business.
The Libra Sun and Moon enclose bellicose Mars, restraining an atmosphere
of hostility and conflict.
Saturn turns to direct motion
on October 10th at 10:17 pm (6º Aquarius 52’), posited in the Eighth
House of Investment. The issue of national debt is raised but Pluto in
the Seventh House of Foreign Allies brings the interest and co-operation
of outside entities into amicable balance. The Moon in the Sixth House
of Public Health in square to Neptune at the Midheaven indicates the
introduction of a new crisis that draws international attention.
Jupiter turns to direct motion
on October 18th at 1:30 am (22º Aquarius 19’), reversing the economic
strain of previous months. His setting in the western horizon at the
U.S. capital indicates a settlement to the ongoing financial
uncertainty, instigated by conditions of public health.
Season of Virgo: August 22 – September 21, 2021
Roman Goddess Ceres
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
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
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.
Initiation of Eumolpos
by Demeter and Persephone
Nurturing and Cultivation
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
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 months of the year.
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.
Marble relief from the ancient city of Herculaneum
The masculine image of Virgo is reflected 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.
The Full Moon on August
22nd at 8:02 am (29º Aquarius 37’) a day that brings a rare event – an
astrological Blue Moon – two consecutive Full Moons in the Same Sign.
The previous Aquarius Full Moon took place July 23rd, and this brings to
full circle the drama of the last 30 days. Mars rising at the U.S.
capital denotes a military focus, followed by Mercury’s negotiations and
extended talks (and much revision) with the opposition: Neptune in the
7th House tells of religious zealots who occupy the world’s attention.
Yet the Sun and Moon in the very last degree of Leo-Aquarius denote the
ending of a phase and the start of a new paradigm. Perhaps global
leaders will recognize the order of the past is no longer. For
individuals, constructive plans for a new way of life may proceed.
The Sun enters Virgo on
August 22nd at 5:35 pm several hours after the Full Moon, with the dust
settling to allow renewed efforts in health and welfare legislation. A
loaded 2nd and 8th House of planets at this ingress speaks of upheavals
in government monetary practices that will affect investment worldwide.
With Pluto, followed by Saturn, rising at the U.S. capital, government
spending takes a different but long-term strategy that will change its
taxation and budget policies. Uranus in the 4th House of physical
territory invites unpredictable weather trends to continue, forcing
business and community relocations, bringing a reset in the property
The New Moon takes place
on September 6th at 8:52 pm (14º Virgo 38’) with the luminaries now in
the 6th House of Health and Public Welfare. Here, we have the promise
and potential to promote change and forward motion. Mars, Mercury, and
Venus follow the Lunation, indicating efforts coordinated by educators,
medical practitioners, and women in leadership. Neptune, opposing these
powers, loses his capacity to dominate their efforts and subvert the
public mind. For the individual, this Lunar cycle encourages progress
and a reduction in the obstacles that prevent growth.
The Full Moon takes
place on September 20th at 7:55 pm (28º Pisces 14’) with an emphasis on
6th House health matters and 12th House public institutions. Mars enters
Libra in this configuration, bringing critical conditions in these
spheres. Great effort will be expended following the Moon’s departure
from Neptune’s infectious influence in the coming two weeks. A woman’s
public appearance changes the course of diplomacy and international
negotiations. This is a Harvest Moon that brings to fruition the
promises and efforts of those in leadership positions.
Season of Leo: July 22 – August 21, 2021
Opener of the Sacred Year
The star Sirius
The hottest time of the year in the northern
hemisphere coincides with a forty-day period when Sirius – (alpha Canis Majoris, in
the constellation of the Great Dog) rises with
the Sun. Hence, this time is known as the “Dog Days” (July 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 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 ancient Egyptian history.
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).
As the season of Sothis now begins, we prepare for
the star’s emergence just before dawn in early August. At the end of
the forty days’ Solar conjunction, she appears on the horizon at dawn
before the Solar aura becomes visible (the heliacal rising). This was
viewed by the ancients as “the herald (appearance) of the Sun’s divine
companion.” This will mark the beginning of the sacred year and the
rejuvenation of the temple.
The goddess makes her appearance at different times,
depending on the latitude of the place. To greet her appearance in 2021,
look to these times:
Latitude Date Sirius Rise * Cities
MST Albuquerque NM
MST Boulder CO
MST Minneapolis MN
* Standard Times, add 1 hour for Daylight Saving
The lore associated with this event has been
passed down through the ages. The shade of the naturally blue-white star
is significant – if it appears bright and clear, the ancients foretold
an abundant harvest and a year without conflict. If it was dim or
reddish, a poor harvest would be expected with hostilities from foreign
Celtic God Lugh
The Sun enters Leo on
July 22nd at 10:26 am, moving through the 11th House of Legislative
Affairs. This will be a busy season without respite for the people’s
representatives, even though serious obstacles will not be evident.
Issues on housing and domestic security will dominate with the Moon in
the 4th House, and unfortunately, the Moon moves through dry Capricorn,
signifying drought and food shortages. Nefarious Neptune lies on the
horizon at the U.S. capital, bringing deception––including
espionage––from outside forces to the forefront.
The Full Moon takes
place on July 23rd at 10:37 pm (1º Aquarius 26’) with Sun in the 5th
House of Children’s Affairs and Moon in the 11th House of Government
Institutions. Herein lies the struggle of the moment, as the youth of
the nation faces great danger and calls for great attention. Neptune
rises on the horizon at the U.S. capital, escalating confusion and blind
adherence to mistruth and rumor. In two weeks Neptune moves to the
opposite side of the horizon at the New Moon, bringing to the country’s
attention the outside deceptive powers that seek the unraveling of law
and order. This is the first of two Astrological Blue Moons (two consecutive Full Moons in the same Sign), the second Blue Moon (29º Aquarius 27’) takes place on August 22nd at 8:02 am.
Midsummer or Lammas Eve
takes place on July 31st, with August 1st the midpoint between the
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.
The New Moon takes
place on August 8th at 9:50 am (16º Leo 14’) with the luminaries in the
11th House of the U.S. Congress, once more pointing to the action and
attention evoked by the unresolved issues of the day. The Lunation moves
away from an opposition to Saturn, lessening the obstructions that have
prevented progress. Venus and Mars move through Virgo, emphasizing the
health and well being of the populace, which unfortunately places them
in the 12th House of hospitals and institutions. This will be a season
to put aside personal ambitions and address the needs of the many.
Uranus turns to retrograde motion
on August 19th at 9:40 pm (14º Taurus 48’) through January of 2022,
indicating an economic slowdown brought by the continuing Covid-19
pandemic, adjustments in the credit and banking industries, and a flux
in employment numbers. Fortunately the realm of Taurus stabilizes even
the most dramatic and unpredictable conditions brought by Uranus, Lord
Season of Cancer: June 20 – July 22, 2021
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge by Andrew Dunn
| The Light of Midsummer
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.
Oberon and the Mermaid
- Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Eve-
Sir Joseph Noel Paton (1821–1901)
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. 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.
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.
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.
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Cancer
June 20th at 11:32 pm with the two planetary administrators, Jupiter and
Saturn, rising at the U.S. capital. Delays and authoritarian obstacles
will hinder progress this season, but agreements will inevitably follow.
The South Node of the Moon at the Midheaven does not bode well for
former government officials, who will lose any remaining influence in
the public sphere. The Summer Solstice stands alone in the 5th House of
youth, recreation, and mentorship, providing a positive turn to the season.
Jupiter turns to retrograde motion
on June 20th at 11:06 am (2º Pisces 11’), delaying benefits promised,
though they are forthcoming in trifling amounts. In official business,
benevolence will be in short supply while miserly policies abound, a
result of inflation fears. A return to caution in public health will be
The Full Moon takes
place on June 24th at 2:40 pm (3º Capricorn 28’) with the Lunation
bringing attention to issues of justice and the rule of law. Women
leaders will draw attention for resolving long-standing conflicts as
light is shed on the failures and hidden agendas of some current
officials. Jupiter in the 5th House with Mercury in the 8th point to
schools and small businesses that will benefit from financial and
legislative support. Pluto on the 4th House cusp will bring dire
conditions geographically, with weather patterns at their most severe.
Neptune turns to retrograde motion
on June 25th at 3:22 pm (23º Pisces 11’), domiciled in the 5th House of
recreation and leisure venues. Commerce from their locales and
operations will be unpredictable due to public health concerns until the
end of November.
The New Moon takes place
on July 9th at 9:17 pm (18º Cancer 01’) with Saturn rising at the U.S.
capital. Restraint and prudent planning will dominate the coming month, a
remedy to some of the financial inflation caused by energy and
pharmaceutical supply and demand. Venus and Mars in the 7th House of
allies brings co-operative agreements and long-sought visitations from
heads of state.
Mercury turns to direct motion on June 22nd at 6:00 pm (16º Gemini 08’), ending a period of the usual misunderstandings and failed promises. Starting over is in the works on
former accords with allies and a meeting of minds with female
leadership. A medical breakthrough is indicated with Uranus in the 6th
House of public health.
Season of Gemini: May 20 – June 20, 2021
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 motion
and change brought by the elemental power of 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
When 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 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.”
by Frederick Lord Leighton (1830-1896)
Roman, BCE 470
In Greece, Hestia also embodied the powers of the
hearth to bless those who were nourished by its fires. In this role the
goddess lives among mortals, to protect orphans and children and ensure
they always returned to the altar of sustenance. She is honored by the
charity we extend to others by sharing the food we prepare from our
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.
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 Sun enters Gemini
on May 20th at 3:37 pm as the Sun and Jupiter form a tight 90º that
promises conflicts and stubborn dissent on matters of money and
collective values. Jupiter enters his comfort zone of Pisces, resulting
in the search for new freedoms, especially in the Fifth House of travel
and recreation, though existing barriers continue to present themselves.
A new phase of openness vs. rule making ensues, with the gods of
wellness and hygiene taking priority. The Virgo Moon hidden in the
Twelfth House obscures health hazards that appear in episodes throughout
Saturn turns to retrograde motion
on May 23rd at 5:21 am (13º Aquarius 31’) with the Lord of Delay at the
midheaven in the U.S. capital. Progress on pressing issues will be at a
standstill until mid-October, when a rush to close important
negotiations will arise. The interval will provide ample time for
agreement and some surprising concessions from previously hostile
The Full Moon takes
place on May 26th at 7:14 am (5º Sagittarius 25’) bringing measures to
suppress information and vital facts from behind the scenes. But Jupiter
the lawgiver rises to the Midheaven in the U.S. capital and prevails
over clandestine activities. This Full Moon brings a Total Lunar Eclipse
of 15 minutes duration, translated in astrological time its influence
is 15 months. This precipitates a new approach to public information and
its access. Lunar eclipses can present rare opportunities for moving
forward where rules or hindrances have prevented progress. Visionary
individuals will open new doors.
Mercury turns to retrograde motion
on May 29th at 6:34 pm (24º Gemini 43’) with a Moon-Pluto conjunction
in the Third House of Statutes that invites drastic solutions to
long-held resentments. With Mars in the Ninth House of Legislation
trailing in opposition, Congress wrangles and leadership takes charge.
The retrograde period lasts a full month, after which time negotiation
and compromise will come to pass. Mercury’s retrograde cycle in Air and
Earth Signs does not bode well for simple solutions, caution in all
matters of communication and consent should wait for unanimity and
The New Moon
takes place on June 10th at 6:53 am (19º Gemini 47’), highlighting an
Annular Solar Eclipse of 3 minutes 51 sec. duration (a timetable of
influence nearly four years long). The separating Mars-Pluto
opposition represents a slow recovery from the chronic Mid East
conflicts that seek resolution, though they may be revisited at the next
2-year Mars cycle, when the tensions of the current Solar Eclipse also
begin to dissipate.
Other hostilities erupt in Europe and Asia as new
schisms appear, though they may have been simmering for a long time.
These will not be long lasting but a flurry of new diplomatic
initiatives will be exacted. Economic recovery slows down as Saturn’s
retrograde motion in the Eighth House of Assets puts a damper on growth.
Season of Taurus: April 19 – May 20, 2021
Goddess Hathor, Nurturer of Heaven
– Temple of Seti I, Abydos
The Womb of Nature
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 fertilization
(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
Innumerable past cultures
viewed the cow as a manifestation of the mother goddess, the nurturer of
heaven and provider on Earth. 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
(“she who brings increase”), 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.
In Egypt, 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. Following
this, the great Festival of the Valley ensured, with the barque of the
goddess traveling south from her seat at Dendera to the throne of her
consort Horus in Edfu. The festival was so revered in ancient times that
it endures in Egypt as a national holiday, Sham El Nessim
(“smelling the breeze”). It is celebrated by Egyptians of all religious
faiths on the Monday following Coptic Easter, this year on May 3rd.
May 1st marks the beginning of
Beltane (“feast of fire”), the traditional Gaelic festival that welcomes
the growing season. May 4th is (true) Beltane, when the Sun reaches 15º
Taurus, the second cross-quarter Solar transit of the year, it occurs
between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. 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
As a celebration of the sacred marriage between nature and
humankind, Beltane is a time for handfastings, engagements, weddings,
and renewal of vows. It is also a period that supports the creative
pulse within all of our lives that may be expressed throughout the year
in our daily endeavors.
Rameses II Driving the Calves to Amun-Ra Kaumutef
– Karnak Temple
The Sun enters Taurus on April 19th at 4:33 pm with Mars at the
Midheaven in the U.S. capital. At least two conflicts gain the attention
of the executive branch, one domestic and the other foreign; within the
week punitive measures will be taken. Neptune in the 7th House of open
enemies points to long-standing subversive deceits from outside entities
that come to light from allied sources. The Moon’s tight opposition to
Pluto brings public confrontations on issues relating to women,
reproduction, and health.
The Full Moon takes place on April 26th at 11:32 pm (7º Scorpio
06’) with a stellium in Taurus opposed by the Moon. The issues on family
and education reach a turning point with new measures proposed by House
representatives that will require long term planning and investment.
Mars in the 7th House of foreign relations signifies open conflicts that
will only be tempered by U.S. intercession. More surveillance of
official communications will be discovered, leading to punishing
The Taurus Full Moon is honored in the East as Wesak, the
traditional Buddhist festival that marks the birth, enlightenment, and
passing of the Buddha.
The New Moon takes place on May 11th at 3:00 pm (21º Taurus 17’)
with troublesome Mars once again prominent, though his power is
submerged in the quiet waters of Cancer. Neptune reappears in the 7th
House of open enemies, revisiting the obstinate interference of foreign
entities that has been ignored since Neptune entered Pisces in 2011.
Ramadan ends tomorrow morning.
Pluto turns to retrograde motion
on April 27th at 4:04 pm (26º
Capricorn 48’) and stays frozen in the cold grip of Capricorn through
October 6th. With a Scorpio Moon that opposes Venus and Mercury, an
intense day is ordained, one that propels martial fire through the
atmosphere. But Pluto’s close proximity to the ecliptic (Sun’s path)
since 2018, and his coming return to the U.S. natal position in 2022,
foretells dramatic reversals in the realms of economics, the
environment, and cultural values
that begin at this time.
Season of Aries: March 20 – April 19, 2021
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.
Daybreak by Maxfield Parrish (1922)
In ancient Egypt, Spring brought the return of the constellation Sah (Orion) to the night sky, a harbinger of the reborn Asar (Osiris) who takes the rejuvenated form of the divine son, Horus. One of the god’s appellations 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.
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 found in the opposite cycle of Libra – the 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 heliacally in early August.
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 ancients communed with the gods by interacting with the environment and its living gifts. 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 for 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 earthly oblations, the deity’s powers were endowed to the
living through a shared exchange of food and drink.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Byam Shaw (1872–1919)
The Sun enters Aries
on March 20th at 5:37 am with fortunate Jupiter rising at the U.S.
capital. While there will be much to celebrate, issues on youth, women,
and ethnic minorities are foremost and demand the attention of media and
lawmakers. Leadership breaks from restrictive opposition as Saturn
fades into the background of the 12th House. Mars in the 4th House of
terra firma brings dangerous weather conditions to the western states.
This will be a season of optimism despite lingering frictions and
The Full Moon
takes place on March 28th at 2:48 pm (8º Libra 18’) with the Solunar
axis occupied by beneficent Venus, though she wears a passionate face
while domiciled in Aries. Women take the leading role in matters
judicial during this Lunation, garnering considerable support from
leadership and the public. Some legislative victories will result from
this in coming months. While Saturn occupies the 6th House of Public
Health denoting slow-moving progress, developments are in the picture
for a universal antidote to the current pandemic.
The New Moon
takes place on April 11th at 10:31 pm (22º Aries 25’) with Sun and Moon
surrounded by compassionate Venus and knowledgeable Mercury, traveling
together through the bold spectrum of Aries. They promote forward
thinking and public progress, but are held back by the undercurrents of
Pluto, that seek a return to timeworn ground rules. Uranus in the 6th
House of Public Health offers enlightened approaches and progress, but
much is held back by bureaucratic rules and propaganda. Ramadan begins
the next day at Sunset.
Season of Pisces: February 18 – March 20, 2021
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.
Nut, Sky Goddess of Ancient Egypt
Naiad nymph of springs of the river Sperkheios
– Otto Theodore Gustav Lingner (1856-1917)
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
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.
March 1st is a day sacred to Juno Lucina “bringer of
light” (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, like the Egyptian Nut, 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.
| Cosmic Events
The Sun enters Pisces on
February 18th at 5:44 am with four planets rising in Aquarius at the
U.S. capital. Idealistic forces are forthcoming but all is restrained by
Pluto in Capricorn, lagging behind this Stellium. Hostile forces to
peace remain behind the scenes, though their intentions are uncovered as
the Sun progresses toward its ruling planet Neptune in the coming three
The Moon moves to a conjunction with Mars, usually indicating a
contentious period, but... with NASA’s rover “Persistence” landed
successfully on the planet today, science overcomes the resistance to
Mercury turns to direct motion
on February 20th at 7:52 pm (11º Aquarius 01’) positioned between the
20-year Jupiter-Saturn cyclic conjunction. Mercury’s stations
(retrograde and forward) bring resolution from past errors and
recalibration. Major decisions are revisited and reconstituted for going
forward. For the present, some errors from past, emotionally-charged
mandates will be dropped in favor of logical resolution.
The Full Moon takes
place on February 27th at 3:17 am (8º Virgo 57’) with matters of public
health and economic stability at the forefront. With the Virgo-Pisces
axis in the Second House of Financial Activity and the Eighth House of
Assets, attention to budgets and fiscal matters predominate. Jupiter and
Saturn in this picture point to necessary sacrifices to provide
benefits, Mercury and Venus indicate idealistic goals muted by the
immediate needs of the health sector.
The New Moon takes place
on March 13th at 5:21 am (23º Pisces 03’) with nearly every planet and
luminary in Earth’s view rising for attention at the U.S. capital.
Pluto’s trail diminishes, indicating the slow decline of the pandemic’s
power and the usurpers of order. Following this, Saturn continues his
dour restraint on progress, through some authoritarian, “old school”
thinkers. But Jupiter and Mercury move ahead, garnering public attention
with innovative plans for growth and social expansion that may come
through corporate innovation. Financial support for the public is
forthcoming, and the pleasant Venus-Neptune conjunction provide good
news in the development of treatment and alleviation of the prevailing
Season of Aquarius: January 19 – February 18, 2021
Coming of a New Era
The Sun entered Capricorn on December 21st,
2020, marking the beginning of a new season with the Winter
Solstice. The Capricorn ingress is regarded as the predictor of world
events for the coming year and on this occasion we had three significant
conjunctions that point to three major themes for 2021.
The pairs are: Sun-Mercury, Jupiter-Saturn, and
Moon-Neptune. These figures embody three scenarios that will influence
major events peaking with the seasonal change at the Spring Equinox
(March 20, 2021).
The Sun-Mercury conjunction is not unusual, it
indicates the beginning of a Solar cycle with new information, as occurs
with some Sign changes throughout the year prior to Mercury’s
retrograde cycle. It points to developments that gradually come to light
and will alter the course of events. This time, the pattern marks the
inception of different leadership with the dominance of information,
communication, and new paths to knowledge. Later this month, Mercury
when turns to retrograde motion, the time will provide additional
opportunity to review or revise past information that will provide
clarity and direction.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction promotes 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 next two decades. This conjunction occurs
every 20 years, bringing inevitable change, though it often presages
conflict, assassinations, and upheavals in the social order before
peaceful resolutions are accomplished. This time, the “grand
conjunction” (as it has been known to skywatchers from antiquity) falls
in the Air element Sign of Aquarius, pointing to revolution and sweeping
change from the past 20-year cycle. This may not be peasant or
peaceful, but the next 20-year cycle will alter the status quo and pave
the way for evolutionary developments.
The Moon-Neptune conjunction – a separating aspect –
clearly illustrates the global pandemic that remains encompassing yet
diminishing in power, though it now finds haven – and perhaps
final resolution – in the 4th House of U.S. terra firma.
2020 Capricorn Ingress
2021 Aquarius Ingress
The Brighid Cross is a talisman signifying the four Cross-Quarter festivals in the Celtic year.
| Sacred Calendar
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
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.
The Sun enters Aquarius
on January 19th at 3:40 pm with a Sun-Saturn conjunction that brings
winter’s gloom to the forefront, yet in the following days the Sun
conjoins optimistic Jupiter, setting the stage for an enthusiastic
approach to coming challenges. The Aries Moon moves fast to soften the
volatility of a Mars-Uranus conjunction that has fed the hostilities
toward leadership. Neptune on the hidden side of the Midheaven at the
U.S. capitol indicates undisclosed information that will come to light
during this season.
Hapi, Lord of the Nile
| The Full Moon
takes place on January 28th at 2:16 pm (9º Leo 05')
with a fortunate Sun-Jupiter conjunction, sweeping away the doldrums of
winter and strengthening economic conditions. A grand stellium of five
planets (Pluto, Venus, Saturn, Sun, Jupiter) fall in the U.S. Eighth
House of Finance, pointing to movement forward, new policies, and the
resolution of recent obstacles.
Mercury turns to retrograde motion
on January 30th at 7:54 pm (26º Aquarius 28’), with the Moon
rising at the capitol, emphasizing the public mood and needs. The usual
setbacks in contracts and communication can be expected, but the
messenger’s presence in the Sixth House of Health suggests delays and
irregularity. The focus falls in the Fifth House of Schools and the
Leisure industries (sports, entertainment, recreation, tourism), slowly
reemerging from their pandemic slumber.
The New Moon
takes place on February 11th at 2:06 pm (23º Aquarius 17')
with a grand Stellium of six planets in the Sign of the Waterbearer.
All previous indicators – the 20 year Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of
December 21st, Pluto’s descent below the ecliptic path in November 2018,
the passage of the interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua in 2017 – come to
fruition with this planetary convergence as former models of society are diminished and a process of rebuilding begins.
This New Moon inaugurates the Lunar New Year
of the White Metal Ox, an image that embodies the element Earth, the
queen mother, late Summer season, and the Southwest direction. According
to tradition, the I Ching hexagram for the year is #36 Ming Yi,
“The Darkening of the Light.” The Wilhelm translation speaks of
retreating to the inner light when darkness descends and its duration is
unknown. Thus, we learn the extent of our inner light that in its time,
illuminates our outer world. This is the liberation that awaits us.
Year of the White Metal Ox