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