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


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

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Season of Libra: September 22 – October 22, 2021
Declining Light

    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.

    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.
Globular cluster NGC 5897

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.

    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.

    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 domestic animals.

    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.
Saitic Isis

Isis of the Mysteries
John Augustus Knapp
– Secret Teachings of All Ages


Girl at Fountain

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 geographic alterations.

    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 education.

    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

Goddess Ceres

Roman Goddess Ceres
Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
(1610–1662)

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.


     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

Initiation of Eumolpos
by Demeter and Persephone




    Nurturing and Cultivation


    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 months 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.
Vulkanus

Vulcan
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.


Cosmic Events

    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 valuation cycle.


    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.

Virgo constellation

Constellation Virgo




Season of Leo: July 22 – August 21, 2021
Sothis, Opener of the Sacred Year

Sothis
Opener of the Sacred Year


Star Sirius

The star Sirius
Goddess Appearing

    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.

Sacred Calendar

    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

    30ºN           8/05       4:38 EET           Heliopolis, Egypt
    34ºN           8/08       4:25 PST           Los Angeles CA
    35ºN           8/09       4:37 MST         Albuquerque NM
    37ºN           8/12       4:34 EST           Richmond VA
    40ºN           8/14       4:22 MST          Boulder CO
    45ºN           8/19       4:27 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 lands.

  Celtic god Lugh

Celtic God Lugh
Cosmic Events

    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 of Change.




Season of Cancer: June 20 – July 22, 2021
Sunrise_Stonehenge
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_Mermaid

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

   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 mandated.

    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 G
emini 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
Mercurius

Mercury
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 unfold.

    Goddess Times

   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.”

The Vestal

The Vestal
by Frederick Lord Leighton (1830-1896)
Roman Hestia

Hestia Giustiniani
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 kitchens.

    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.



Cosmic Events

    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 the season.

    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 parties.

    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 clarity.

    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
Hathor of Rhythm

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 abundance.

     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 day’s feasting.

     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.

Driving Calves Ritual

Rameses II Driving the Calves to Amun-Ra Kaumutef
– Karnak Temple


Cosmic Events

     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 sanctions.
    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

Parrish - Daybreak
    Awakening


    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.

    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 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.




    Goddess Times

    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.



Asar Wennefer

Asar Wennefer

664–332 B.C.E.
Metropolitan Museum of Art


Rising Spring

Rising Spring

Byam Shaw (1872–1919)

Cosmic Events

    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 anxieties.

    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, Egyptian Sky Goddess


Nut, Sky Goddess of Ancient Egypt

Nymph Lotis
Lotis

Naiad nymph of springs of the river Sperkheios
– Otto Theodore Gustav Lingner (1856-1917)
    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.

Goddess Times

    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 weeks.
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 progress.

    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 health crisis.




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
2020 Capricorn Ingress                                                                                                2021 Aquarius Ingress


Brighid Cross

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 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 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

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 White Metal Ox
Year of the White Metal Ox

Hexagram 36

Hexagram 
36




 
Lunar eclipse

(*) U.S. Time Zones
Central Time        – 1 hour   
Pacific Time         – 3 hours
Mountain Time    – 2 hours
Hawai’i-Alaska    – 5 hours
Daylight Time March 14th – November 7th, 2021


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