Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day musings

St Patrick's Day astrologyArt by . Every now and then I do think about things that are not astrological in nature, and occasionally I like to indulge those wanderings in this blog.  So please forgive my digression as I delve today into the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.

I am a bit of a freak about Ireland (also West Africa, but that’s another story for another time).  I love the music, am thrilled by the legends and mysterious beauty of the country.  So you would think I would be a big celebrant when St. Patrick’s Day comes along.

Like many Christian myths, the origin of St. Patrick  is shrouded in mystery and the actual history is lost to time.  It appears likely that he was the son of a Roman chieftain living in Roman Britain who was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he was held captive.  There is an elaborate mythology around his eventual conquering of the local Druidic rulers that may or may not be true.

The simplified legend of St. Patrick that has come down to us today claims that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes in Ireland into the sea.  Historical records show that there were no snakes in Ireland during the period in which St. Patrick was said to live there, yet images of snakes abound in the ancient carvings and sculptures in Ireland.

Snakes and serpents are symbols of wisdom, and serpents were most particularly symbolic of the Druids and other Celtic peoples in Ireland.  The serpent continually sheds its skin, thereby representing eternal life and cosmic transformation as well.  So the legend of St. Patrick clearly describes Patrick’s heroism in driving the Druids from power in Ireland and replacing […]

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By |2011-03-17T07:50:50-04:00March 17th, 2011|Holidays|1 Comment

Musings on Yule, 2011

Yule, Winter SolsticeAnyone who has read this blog for more than five minutes will know that I am rather skeptical not only of Christianity but of any organized religion.  Religion is found in astrological symbolism in the planet Jupiter, which seeks to define a belief system which helps to give our life meaning.  When this individual theology is shared among others, religion is the result.  Neptune is the planet that bestows an actual experience of the divine – a direct connection to God that requires no intermediary.  Shared belief systems are important in order to connect with others.  My closest friends are the ones who share my belief systems and my view of the world.  But my view of the world is something that is my own, rather than something that has been indoctrinated.
Still, I love the Christmas season, with its pagan-derived trappings of pine trees decorated with colorful balls and lights, songs of celebration, and the sharing of food and sweets with family and friends.  After all, the week of the Winter Solstice has been celebrated as Yule.  And even if it’s only for a week, it’s lovely to hear people of all religions talk about peace on earth and goodwill to men.
Around this time people always ask about the astrological meaning of the Star of Bethlehem, and a recent MSNBC article presents a compelling case for the actual birthdate of Jesus based upon the astronomical Star of Bethlehem:
Historical records and modern-day computer simulations indicate that there was a rare series of planetary groupings, also known as conjunctions, during the years 3 B.C. and 2 B.C.
The show started on the morning of June 12 in 3 B.C., when Venus could […]

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By |2010-12-24T15:26:07-04:00December 24th, 2010|Holidays|2 Comments

Into the underworld, and Venus ascending

Halloween truly is a pagan practice, and most people now recognize that this so-called holiday is actually rooted in the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Although Halloween is commonly celebrated on October 31, the festival of Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday that occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice on November 7.

Astrologically, Samhain (along with the other cross-quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasad) is celebrated at the midpoint of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. Fixed signs are the signs of power – like the square, their stability and fixed nature leads to a buildup of energy that opens up a doorway to an explosion of raw power. In Scorpio, that power is directed within, fearlessly exploring the invisible dimensions of life and reaching across dimensions to discover what awaits there.

Samhain was celebrated as the New Year in pre-Christian Celtic lands, and it was thought that during this time the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication with the dead was widely practiced during Samhain rituals, not surprising because of the association with Scorpio and the underworld of darkness that it rules.

When Christianity attempted to subsume the pagan Celtic festivals into Christian holidays, All Saints or All Hallows Day was established on November 2 with the night before being the Eve of All Hallows which has come down to us as Halloween. Participants still celebrate the souls of the dead during Hallows Eve, but now the creatures from the other side were reviled as evil. Wise women became the evil witches; offerings of food and drink were left out for the dead souls to placate their evil spirits.

Sig Lonegren from Glastonbury writes about Samhain and […]

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By |2010-10-30T12:27:53-04:00October 30th, 2010|Holidays, Planetary cycles|1 Comment

Punkie night!

Punkie Night reminds us that tonight is “Punkie Night,” an ancient celebration from Somerset England which is celebrated by the carving of pumpkin-like mangolds.   Beth writes, “Throughout Somerset, locals use the term “spunky” to refer to Will-o-the-Wisps — a ball of light seen at night rising up from a marsh or bog.”  In Christianized England these “spunkies” were thought to be the souls of unbaptized children who wandered eternally through the night, but the pagans saw spunkies as being trickster sprites; the carved and lit pumpkins were meant to turn the tables and trick the spunkies.

I don’t know what it is about Somerset and adjacent Wiltshire: these magical places are the sites not only of Avebury and Stonehenge, but also of most of the world’s crop circles. In any case, modern day “spunkies,” called “orbs,” are frequently found in new crop circles and there is much speculation about the nature of these balls of light.  Are they UFOs?  Are they conscious beings?

I’ll be writing more about Samhain which is celebrated by contemporary pagans in lieu of Hallowe’en on October 31st; the actual astrological date of Samhain is when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio which this year will be on November 7th.

Watch the video below to see orbs at work.

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By |2018-06-11T12:54:13-04:00October 28th, 2010|Holidays|Comments Off on Punkie night!

The Autumn Equinox and the Harvest Moon

sadly I do not know to whom this artwork should be attributed!! The Autumn Equinox takes place on Wednesday when the Sun enters Libra, followed the next day by the Full Moon in Aries which is often called the Harvest Moon.  Thanks to for finding on the subject from the Wall Street Journal of all places.

Astrologer Nick Campion is quoted in the article as a “historian of cultural astronomy at the Universe of Wales.”  Astrology isn’t mentioned, even though Nick is really in charge of the department of cultural astronomy and astrology.  In any case, I found this comment particularly interesting:

while the Babylonians celebrated their “main new year” in the spring, their tradition of having a minor autumnal new year has carried over into both mainstream religion and secular practice. Nick Campion, a historian of cultural astronomy at the University of Wales, notes two echoes of ancient autumn observances today. “It’s a custom inherited by Jews—hence Rosh Hashanah,” he told me, “while the beginning of the academic year in autumn is a secular legacy.”

The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumn Equinox.  The fact that the Full Moon occurs within hours of the Equinox is significant because the energy of the Full Moon is embedded in the Equinox chart which will be used to forecast weather and other events of the next three months until the Winter Solstice.

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By |2010-09-21T17:56:32-04:00September 21st, 2010|Holidays, Moon|Comments Off on The Autumn Equinox and the Harvest Moon
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