The Magic of the Summer Solstice

The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, marks the end of the ascendancy of daylight and the beginning of the return to darkness. The astronomical solstice occurs when the Sun enters Cancer, one of the four cardinal points (the others being Aries, at the Spring Equinox; Libra, at the Autumnal Equinox; and Capricorn, at the Winter Solstice).

For ancient pagan cultures, and for those of us that attempt to attune to nature today, the cardinal points of the year are energetic turning points. Like the cardinal signs, they initiate action and are a force for change. In Cancer, the emotional nature is stimulated and is a major facet of the individual identity.

The astrological chart for the solstice includes not only the conjunction of Pluto to the Galactic Center discussed yesterday and the nearly exact opposition from Saturn to Neptune, but also three very tight trines:

  • An exact trine from Mars in Aries to Pluto in Sagittarius
  • An exact trine from Mercury retrograde in Cancer to the North Node in Pisces
  • A nearly exact trine from Venus in Leo to Jupiter in Sagittarius

Trines create ease and harmony but can also suggest laziness and complacency, but combined with the more stressful aspects such as the Saturn/Neptune opposition they can facilitate the developmental process required by those stressful aspects. The trine of Mars to Pluto creates energy for action and change. Venus in trine to Jupiter opens doorways to relationships and aids confidence. And Mercury trine the North Node demonstrates a new ability to see a little farther into the future as we gain a new perspective on our life.

The Summer Solstice is a time for celebration, and for experiencing the beauty in the natural world.

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By |2007-06-21T10:25:00-04:00June 21st, 2007|Holidays|Comments Off on The Magic of the Summer Solstice

Memorial Day musings

I was a student during the Vietnam war, and in demonstrations and marches against the war we decried the philosophy of our government that killing for peace made sense. On September 11 we were attacked by Osama bin Laden, and 2,646 Americans were killed.

Since then, 3,813 Americans have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 398 private contractors of various nationalities have been killed. Nearly 7,000 Iraqi forces have been killed, and anywhere from 60,000 to over 600,000 civilians and over 100 journalists.

I am not a pacifist, but I believe in healing. Where there is dysfunction, there is a need for healing that dysfunction. If Americans are hated, perhaps we should find out why. We had a beautiful opportunity in Afghanistan after the attacks of September 11 to go into that country and rebuild it; to drive out the Taliban and capture bin Laden and win the hearts and mind of the people. Instead we took every resource of the US military into a country that did not attack us and that we couldn’t maintain.

Perhaps we could take some of the billions of dollars being spent by military contractors to rebuild Iraq over and over again, and invest in programs in the middle east that would help the people in these countries. This is what Hazbollah has successfully done for years in Lebanon. This is what AlQaeda is trying to do; provide funds and a sense of pride.

Killing for peace has never been a goal that makes sense. In the ’60s, we used to say “Killing for peace is like f*#cking for chastity.” To kill innocent civilians for peace didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. On this Memorial Day, let’s remember those that have fallen in the name of […]

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By |2007-05-28T15:21:00-04:00May 28th, 2007|Holidays, Politics|Comments Off on Memorial Day musings

Beltane and Wesak – a Taurus Fiesta

Wesak(A portion of this article is reprinted from an earlier post)

In ancient Celtic times, the wheel of the year was honored as the turning of the seasons. In the northern hemispheres, the winter solstice was the shortest day of the year and represented the return of the light, and the summer solstice, being the longest day of the year, was the Celtic fire festival. The equinoxes represented the points of balance when day and night were of equal length: the vernal equinox represented planting and fertility, and the autumnal equinox was the time of harvest. (Southern hemisphere civilizations had their own traditions of marking the seasons which obviously were very different than in the north.)

Halfway between these solar events are the “cross-quarter” days, the times of magic. Still celebrated today for their imaginal power, these were the periods when the Sun was at the midpoint of the fixed signs: Taurus, Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius. In the astrological wheel, the cardinal signs of initiation are followed by the fixed signs of stability, which are followed in turn by the mutable signs of adaptation. So we have cardinal Aries at the Vernal equinox (in tropical astrology), followed by fixed Taurus at the cross-quarter, which precedes mutable Gemini. Cancer begins the summer solstice, followed by Leo at the cross-quarter, which precedes Virgo, and so it goes around the wheel.

Each of these “triplicities” as they are called has a different energy. The cardinal signs demonstrate leadership, they initiate action, each in its own way according to its element (fire, water, earth and air). The fixed signs are stable, rooted, grounded. In many ways they are the most powerful because they don’t blow off steam like the cardinal signs, […]

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By |2007-05-06T11:46:00-04:00May 6th, 2007|Holidays|Comments Off on Beltane and Wesak – a Taurus Fiesta

The Esoteric Easter

“Easter Morning” by James B. Janknegt

While you’re all nibbling on chocolate bunnies and hunting for easter eggs, I thought you might enjoy another take on this multidimensional holiday from a 1931 lecture by G. de Purucker, Gnostic scholar:

Easter is a beautiful season of the year. It is not merely a day, it is rather a spiritual idea; indeed, it is an ideal — as it were a breath of the soul of antiquity, which has come down to us, albeit distorted, from far past ages, this soul-breathing of antiquity arising in the inner spiritual life of man. By these words I mean that Easter represents an actual event which occurs annually in the spiritual life of man, because the events of man’s spiritual life faithfully reflect the events that take place in the spiritual life of the world.It is a fact, Brothers, that every great mystical event of the ancient religions and philosophies of the world was commemorated in a feast, in the ancient sense of this word — in a festival such as Easter in Occidental lands now is, and such as was the European original and forerunner of the present-day Easter festival: the Ostara or Eastre, as it was called by different families of the early Germanic inhabitants of the northern European countries. In those lands it took the form of a celebration of the vital forces working in the springtime, when new life is surging through the earth and affecting all earth’s children, when the trees begin to burgeon and the flowers begin to blow, and when a new hope is singing in men’s hearts, representing in men, because derived from the spiritual realms, exactly what appears in the beauteous flowers that in those northern lands Nature then begins to […]

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By |2018-11-19T21:24:34-04:00April 8th, 2007|Holidays|Comments Off on The Esoteric Easter

Easter and the Equinox

easter-bunnieaMany people now know that Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter are tied to pagan celebrations of cosmological events such as the solstices and equinoxes. Easter, a holiday that commemorates the time that Jesus supposedly rose from the tomb, was originally connected to both the Equinox and the full moon since it originally occurred on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon following the Vernal Equinox.

This was likely calculated from observation of the full moon at first, but because the date derived from the actual full moon coincided with the Jewish celebration of Passover. For centuries the early Church leaders squabbled over a method to determine the date for Easter and ultimately created a table of “ecclesiastical” full moons for which to calculate a date for Easter in an unbelievably complex method.

I personally believe that the practice of dating Christian “feast days” to coincide with pagan magical points such as the solstices and equinoxes and moons goes beyond a simple desire to convert the pagans; it is quite likely that the early church fathers were aware of the power of these planetary events that connect us to a greater sense of cosmological wonder and utilized them to their advantage. At the Vernal Equinox we celebrate the resurrection of Spring, and for centuries preChristian peoples celebrated the resurrection of their dying gods at the Equinox. Dionysos, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis were all gods whose rebirth was celebrated as the Spring brought the return of fertility to the land. It is this fertility connection to Easter that brings us the Easter bunny, whose capacity to become impregnated with a second litter while bearing the first makes it a perfect symbol for fertility.

And the name Easter? This name […]

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By |2007-03-21T10:41:00-04:00March 21st, 2007|Holidays|Comments Off on Easter and the Equinox
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