Thursday, June 25, 2009

Midsummer Moon Magic

Midsummer Moon Magic

Midsummer is always a special time. To the Druids the Midsummer
Solstice was the most important of the solar festivals in the year.
The only cosmic event considered more powerful than Summer Solstice is
a Total Eclipse of the Sun. Along with the solar year, the Druids and
the Celts observed closely the cycles of the Moon especially honoring
the Full Moon, the 1st Quarter and the Waxing Crescent that appears
the evening after the astronomical New Moon. This lunar crescent was
considered the New Moon proper
as it is when the new cycle becomes conscious and viable, it is when
the rituals are done 'to bring back the Sun.'

This Midsummer 2009 is particularly special due to the June 22 New
Moon that extends its influence through the lunar cycle concluding on
July 22 when the Total Eclipse of the Sun occurs in most parts of the
world. (This eclipse will be in the late evening of July 21 in the
Americas.) The June 22 New Moon is also Out of Bounds North with the
Moon several degrees above the zodiac's northern boundary as set by
the Sun at Summer Solstice. This means the entire lunar cycle carries
Midsummer influence along with the increased latitude and augmented
awareness of an Out of Bounds Moon. So begins a global leavening of
imagination and heightened consciousness that can result in the
framework for a new global paradigm. All is possible as we free
ourselves from the trappings of the past and shift focus toward a
brighter future. Magic is afoot and the real trick is stearing clear
of distractions and doubts to focus imagination toward a new creation.
Like the Fool in Tarot, we're asked to move forward never minding the
abyss apparently looming below us because the edge of creation grows
out before the feet of the Fool. Our guidance is to look upward, focus
on the ideal to make real, trust natural instinct, breathe freely and
channel the new light.

When we get right to it, Summer Solstice/Midsummer and Solar Eclipses
generally have to do with the breaking of old patterns,
the freeing of psychic energy and moving this energy into new forms
creating a better future. Making the most of this opportunity depends
on our understanding how to release the past and embrace the future.
The traditional knowledge of cycles tells us how:

The Year ebbs and flows like an ocean tide. The tide comes in at
Spring Equinox and rises to the Summer Solstice when vital energy is
most elevated in plants and trees, and within us all. Country people
believe this time is best for weeding gardens while vital energy is
most up and out of the roots. Likewise this is time for 'psychic
weeding' as energy is most up and out of our own subconcious roots.

Snakes shed their skins at Midsummer and so can we. Snakes shed their
physical skins, we have the opportunity to shed our psychic skins.
This is the time to clear away psychic shadows, banish misfortune and
better our luck. The old ways tell us how. Time and place and the four
elements are our magic keys. Full body water immersion, music making,
open air dancing and fire leaping are traditional ways for letting go
of the shadows of the past so we can fully open to the magic of
Midsummer. Let's remember this Midsummer
opportunity continues through the lunar cycle so all these elements
are active for the next four weeks.

Water purifies the emotions as fire clears the mind. Full body
immersion erases emotional memory clearing subconscious imprinting of
relationships past. Juno emerges from her sacred pool with her
youthfulness and her virginity restored. Spiritual conversion through
water immersion is common to many traditions including the Cherokee
who practice self-immersion at Sunrise the morning after the
appearance of each New Moon. The Cherokee also self-immerse at the
time of an eclipse as do Hindu and other indigenous peoples.

Solstice means 'still standing Sun.' Summer Solstice continues for
several days while the Sun rises at the same point on the horizon.
Summer Solstice concludes - and culminates - on June 24th when the Sun
begins to move southward again. This quickening of solar motion is
celebrated because it is when a new story begins to unfold. All that
will be in any cycle is present at its beginning. Each year is a
combination of yin and yang. New yang enters at Winter Solstice, the
new yin enters on Midsummer's Eve (June 23rd).

All creation comes alive on Midsummer's Eve when, according to Celtic
lore, 'Magic is most potent and fairies become visible.' As we set
ourselves free we see through into the more subtle realm. What is
envisioned and focused as an ideal now can be made real.

Midsummer June 24 is a time for fire leaping to dispel astral shadows
and free the soul. Fire leaping during the Solstice has been practiced
throughout the world for millennia. Before jumping a small fire (maybe
a candle), circle three times round clockwise to clear the space. Then
leap the fire 3 times with intention to release what needs to be let
go. Do this at a 'place of power' where you feel empowered, maybe a
hill top, a meadow in the forest or your own back yard. Visualize what
needs transforming going into the Solstice fire. This could be a small
outdoor ritual fire or a candle flame. Transformation is facilitated
by fire gazing, fire dancing and deep breathing. The breath is the
mechanism by which energy is translated from one form to another.
Whatever is true is empowered, what needs to be let go will be
transformed. Midsummer fires clear the psyche and power our dreams.

After fire leaping practice toning, chanting or free form singing to
tune the body centers. Start with an om then tone up and down scale
and 'make a joyful noise' to free the soul and bring joy to the world.
Sing peace on Earth, good will to all. You may also want to anoint
your head with oil as tradition suggests. Summer solstice keys to the
crown chakra and the soul star overhead. Anointing the head with oil
helps connect with the soul so the cup of life 'runneth over.'

Note: Time is fractal, each day is like a year. Sunrise links with
Spring Equinox, True Noon with Summer Solstice. This is far more than
similarity. Rituals practiced at Spring Equinox resonate with all
Sunrises in the year following. Every Noon hour is a good time to leap
fire and release what we need to let go from our lives. There are
eight ritual hours in the day that correspond to the equinoxes,
solstices and cross-quarter days in the year. The canonical hours of
the Catholics link with the witches sabbaths in the year. The year
divides into 24 fifteen day periods called 'horae' as the day divides
into 24 hours. The Midsummer Hora begins June 21st and ends on July
All traditions of Midsummer apply in this time.

Midsummer's Day June 24th is also called St John's Day. In Egypt the
fires of Midsummer were called the Lamps of Isis, later these fires
came to be known as the fires of St. John. In the Christian story St.
John the Baptist was the wild man of the wilderness born 6 months
before Jesus. A medieval painting, Piero de Cosimo's 'St John with
chalice and dragon', shows John blessing a dragon floating over a
chalice held in his left hand. This dragon symbolizes primal shadow
which - when raised and trained to purpose - can realize any dream.
Our psychic dragon is most easily raised and trained to purpose at
Midsummer as illustrated in 'St John with chalice and dragon'.

The Celtic and Druid Solstice rituals are more easily understood in
terms of Wilhelm Reich's bioenergetics. In the Reichian system, muscle
tension or 'body armor' is the source of all our anxiety and psychic
disturbances. Pagan rituals at the turn of the seasons were designed
for bioenergetic release. As body armor dissolves, tension melts and
windows of perception clear so we can see can more: 'fairies become
visible.' In the Theosophical view, fairies are elemental life forces
present within all living beings. At Midsummer these 'elementals' more
easily leave their parent bodies and become visible to us - as we
release tension and remove our psychic blinders in celebration.
"Through celebrations in their seasons are the deeper powers of human
nature realized" ~ Rudolph Steiner

The beginning of Summer is also the time of the Native American Vision
Quest when each person goes out into nature seeking signs that reveal
his/her true purpose in their tribe. The Vision Quest and the Sundance
originally were timed with the Full Moon next following the Summer
Solstice: July 7th in 2009. What is seeded at the New Moon becomes
realized at the Full.

The July 7 Full Moon is also a lunar eclipse preceding the July 21-22
Total Eclipse of the Sun widely considered the most significant of the
century. Astronomers affirm this based on the duration of the eclipse,
the longest total eclipse for well over a century looking ahead. The
astrological rule is that the length of a total eclipse in minutes
determines the number of years the eclipse has global effect. At over
6 and a half minutes, the July 22 eclipse will be the longest until
after the year 2130. So what does this solar eclipse mean for us?

The July 22nd Total

Eclipse of the Sun

We are the white
and blue-green planet
spinning to the East and
circling, circling
Our beloved, golden Star

The beautiful sister
twirling around and holding
Moon for a mirror
dancing the helix and
singing the Universe

~ Will Ashe Bason ~

The poet says in a few words what the philosopher astrologer Dane
Rudhyar describes in great detail in his many books. The Sun is our
source of life and light and spiritual consciousness. The Earth is a
living being which has over the millennia evolved many lifeforms and
intelligent beings capable of converting light and consciousness into
manifest forms. The Earth and Moon together receive and mediate the
light of the spiritual Sun. Each New Moon brings a new pulse of light
beginning a new cycle of creation. Every lunar cycle builds on the one
before it in an orderly progression – until a solar eclipse occurs.
Then we experience a dramatic shift as an old cycle of many moons ends
and a new cycle begins. A new eclipse cycle begins July 22, it
concludes with the total eclipse of the Sun on July 11 2010.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth
and Sun. A total eclipse of the Sun happens when the Moon is close
enough to the Earth for the lunar disk to fully cover the Sun. This is
the most powerful event that can happen in the heavens because it
resets the connection between the Earth and the Sun.

A solar eclipse is Mother Nature's editing tool. When an eclipse
occurs above, things are eclipsed here below. Whatever needs to be
eclipsed comes up in the days and weeks before the solar eclipse. An
eclipse is an opportunity to eliminate patterns of thought and
behavior troublling our world. This is an ideal time to clear away
what stands in the way of our dreams being realized. The more shadow
patterns are eliminated the more energy is freed for a new creation. A
solar eclipse becomes a wonderful thing as we learn to detach from
what is breaking down and shift attention to what is breaking through.
Energy bound in old forms is released to power dreams for the future.
The more shadow patterns are eliminated the more energy is freed for
new creations. So continues the cycle of death and rebirth,
destruction and recreation.

The world is ready for change and solar eclipses are all about change.
A total eclipse of the Sun is an opportunity to change whatever
we wish at the deepest level. All that's required is slowing down and
going within where everything is wired. Change can be conscious,
mostly it's unconscious. Every time a total eclipse of the Sun occurs
the whole world changes as the eclipse triggers a brief collective
shut down followed by a ‘reboot’ to a new operating system. We don't
want to be on the subway when this occurs.

An energy shift happens more or less with each New Moon, more
especially when it coincides with a seasonal gate as did the June 22
New Moon. The Dark of the Moon is always a potentially dangerous time
when the old emotional cycle is breaking down and human behavior
becomes more eratic, this is especially so for an eclipse. More
accidents happen. Nine climbers died on K2 at the last eclipse on Aug
1 2008, the Columbia space shuttle disaster happened in the hour of a
New Moon and the London underground bombings also occurred in the Dark
of the Moon. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are also more common
in these times. Shamans are taught to stay home and do inner work
while the door between worlds is open.

Everything shifts forward, life is charmed as the New Moon becomes
visible, all things start new - especially following a total solar
eclipse. How well we meet the opportunity of any lunar cycle depends
on our letting go of old ways at the end of the lunar cycle and our
clearly sounding our new note as the crescent appears. A total solar
eclipse breaks up old psychic patterns freeing energies for a new
creation. The energies released by the eclipse re-constellate around
any new purpose or initiative that we put forward during the waxing
lunar phase (two weeks) following the eclipse. The Druids built fires
and beat drums following a total eclipse of the Sun.
This wasn't done 'to bring back the Sun' (as some believe), but to
restore the natural order and power on a new mythic story.
"When old patterns are broken, new worlds emerge." ~ Tuli Kupferberg

The converging cycles in this transition include the beginning of the
Aquarian Age in the cycle of precession and coincidental Spring
Equinoxes on Saturn and Uranus, the two planetary rulers of Aquarius.
The last Saturn Spring Equinox (or 'Ring Plane Crossing') occurred in
1979 during the previous Iranian revolution. It was also the last time
we had a flu pandemic. Also significant now is the North Node transit
of Aquarius and its exact Pisces/Aquarius juncture at the time of the
July 22nd total eclipse of the Sun. Following
this eclipse a bold new world story will unfold.

Practically speaking, we could say that any new initiative under
consideration will be best delayed until sometime following the July
22 solar eclipse. Between now and then is good for finishing up old
work, after the eclipse is much better for starting new things. Any
new project begun before will likely have to be restarted. Following
the solar eclipse there will be plenty of creative energy flowing for
getting done whatever new we intend to do. This is a pivotal time in
the cycles of creation, may we all make the most of this opportunity
to remake our world!

Saros Cycle Key to Eclipses

Ptolemy, the renowned Greek astronomer / astrologer, emphasized the
importance of the first eclipse in a Saros series. This initial solar
eclipse sets the tone for all other eclipses of the series. The
eclipses of a Saros series are like beads on a necklace strung by a
common thread whose meaning is determined by the pattern in the
heavens at the time of the first eclipse. Saros cycle eclipses
generally occur in two pairs of solar and lunar eclipses that are of
the same Saros number.

All eclipses of 2011 are Saros cycle #11. The solar and lunar eclipses
on Jan 26 and Feb 9 were Saros Cycle 11 North series. The July 7 and
Aug 6 lunar eclipses and July 22 solar eclipses are all of the Saros
Cycle 11 South family.

The South Node symbolizes our psychic shadow so it shows what is to be
transformed. All shadow becomes high lighted as the Sun approaches the
South Node 'tail of the dragon.' When the Moon - our other luminary -
joins the Sun at the South Node a South series solar eclipse occurs,
shadow is illuminated and transformed or dispelled from the world.
Shadow transformed equals energy for new creation. Knowing this, the
Druids spent a tremendous amount of energy constructing stone rings to
predict eclipses and, importantly,
to focus energy toward a new creation. These stone rings (Stonehenge
and hundreds of others) are located at points of natural power where
their alignments and lore gather people at the times of power, the
turning points in time that are pivotal to every new creation.

The July 22 Solar Eclipse is the 36th solar eclipse in the Saros Cycle
11 South series that began with an initial eclipse on June 14, 1360 in
the old style calender. The new style date would be June 22, 1360. It
is important to note here that the initial eclipse of this Saros 11
South series began on the Summer Solstice (at 0 Cancer 48)! This means
every eclipse of the Saros 11 South series links energetically
with the Solstice, all have to do with raising concsciousness and
freeing ourselves from the trappings of the past.

Saros 11 South eclipses have occurred every 18 years + 11 days since
1360. Over the course of this time the eclipse date has slipped
forward through the zodiac back to Cancer, the sign where it began 649
years ago. Previous Saros 11 South eclipses occurred on 11 July 1991,
30 June 1973 and 20 June 1955. The next 11 South eclipse is 2 Aug
2027. Destruction on some level always precedes a
total solar eclipse, a balancing of accounts and a better order (more
or less) follow. The first Gulf War began in the early months of 1991.
In that Summer soon after the 11 July eclipse 'Communism died a
natural death as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics began to
dissolve.' - The People's Chronology, p 1123 The Watergate hearings
began in May 1973 and Nixon's White House tapes suddenly appeared in
mid July. On Sept 11, 6 weeks after the Saros 11 South eclipse,
Salvadore Allende's government was overthrown in a violent coup
supported by the United States. All things hidden are revealed in the
weeks that follow a total eclipse of the Sun.

In her predictive astrology text 'Eagle and the Lark', Bernadette
Brady notes the Mars/Pluto conjunction in the original eclipse and
gives an interpretation for the Saros 11 South solar series: "This
family of eclipses is concerned with the need to make sudden reforms.
Old ideas or methods will fail and new systems are required to deal
with the events brought out by the eclipse. As a consequence the
person [we] will need to think of new ways of handling the issues. Any
blocks could be violently or tragically removed."

Saros Cycles - Eclipses come in Familles
"Each seemingly isolated eclipse belongs to a larger pattern, each
eclipse is a member of a family with particular characteristics."

Eclipses and the Saros Cycle
"Babylonian astrologers found it was very important to study an
eclipse in the context of the Saros Family that contains it. The
entire cycle has a 'personality' all its own that colors each
individual chart. This Saros personality is based on the first eclipse
in the Saros Family (a birthchart for the entire cycle, so to


Solar Eclipses in History and Mythology
~ Wil Milan
"The ancient Chinese believed solar eclipses occur when a legendary
celestial dragon devours the Sun. In the Chinese language, the term
for eclipse was'chih' also means 'to eat'... It was a tradition in
ancient China to bang drums and pots and make loud noise during
eclipses to frighten the dragon away... One of the most important
historical solar eclipses is that of the annular solar eclipse of 27
January 632. It was visible in Medina during the lifetime of Prophet
Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH), and coincided with the death of
his son Ibrahim. The Prophet stated explicitly and definitely that the
eclipses of the Sun and the Moon are not bad omens, but are cosmic
spectacles that demonstrate the might and knowledge of Allah the
Great... Eclipses of the Sun are awe-inspiring phenomena, no wonder
that in many early cultures they were believed to be the end of the
world or omens. The word eclipse is of Greek origin meaning
'abandonment'... In China, India, southeastern Asia and in Peru there
were beliefs that dragons or demons attack the Sun during eclipses.
The ancient Egyptian myth of the snake Apep that attacks the boat of
the Sun god is believed now to refer to solar eclipses... The Chinese
and the Incas tried to frighten these monsters away but the Indians
made a different attempt by immersing themselves in water. They
performed this religious ritual to help the Sun struggle against the
dragon... Even today, in some countries, it is still traditional to
bang pots, chant or shoot into the air when an eclipse happens ['pot
banging' is especially effective for psychic shadow clearing before
and eclipse] ... Muslims pray five times daily, but during eclipses
they specially perform the 'eclipse prayer'. This is one of the
traditions of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The purpose of this prayer is
to remember the might and gifts of Allah the Creator."

Iran rooftop chorus swells in the night,0,1259143.story
It starts with two young female voices, quietly at first, almost
gently piercing the quiet of the night. "Allahu akbar!" they cry out a
few minutes after 10 p.m. "God is great!"

Interestingly, Hallelujah, our exclamation of joy and spiritual
exultation is believed to derive from the 'Allah' chanted in Moorish
Allah in turn derives from an Arabic word meaning 'great.' The chant
'Allahu' includes the syllable 'Hu' that is the Druid name for the Sun
god, the great creator. 'Hu' was chanted by the Druids at the Summer
Solstice just as Iranians are now chanting Allahu. These invocations
are both reverential and instrumental in channeling spiritual
influence and transcendent awareness. The turning of the season is
always an opportune time for chanting to allow spiritual consciousness
to exert more influence in the world. Words have great power.
Our common name 'human' derives from the god name Hu. So it may be
translated as 'god man'. But the word 'man' comes from the sanskrit
'manas' meaning mind so literally 'human' means 'the mind of Hu.' As
the solar logos, Hu is a great being of light, transcendent
consciousness and spiritual influence beyond our comprehension. The
Sun is the source of all life on Earth. All organic compounds
including the cells of our bodies are composed of carbon rings created
in plant photosynthesis and resonating with the light and fire of our
Sol. We are literally walking talking beings of light with physical
brains and bodies able to mediate light into form, we are the mind of
Hu. Allahu Hallelujah!

Gryphon Astrology Blog » Astrology of the Iran Election: Rigged or
Written in the Stars?
Astrological omens indicate that the action is not yet over, and
indeed, may just be beginning. The summer of 2009 will bring violence
and bloodshed in Iran, specifically violence involving the government
committed in the name of Islam. Women will be very important in these
events, particularly women from Iran’s ruling class. The rulers will
display their enemies’ injured bodies as public deterrents, perhaps
ensuring that images of death get out to the public and the
world...There will be great conflict among the clerics, and also
contention between the common people and the clerics. The horoscope
for the summer promises serious conflicts, with Mars aspecting Saturn
out of the Midheaven, indicating the weakness of the ruler. Mars is in
Taurus, the sign of its detriment, indicating violence and harm to the
rulers. The Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009 (which will be visible in
Iran) indicates possible changes in leadership in Iran ..

Neda Agha-Soltan was 'targeted by militia'
Neda was killed on Saturday, June 20. The Shia mourn 3 days, 7 days
and 40 days following the death of their martyrs. On Thursday July
30th (eight days after the July 22 eclipse) Iranians will convene en
masse to honor their dead and the real revolution begins.

"With any eclipse, what is hidden will come to light and your secret
desires may not be secret anymore. You may break away from a
relationship that no longer suits your needs, or you may be faced with
changes beyond your control. Remember: change is good! Change in
thought, manner, speech, dress, lifestyle, career, health, family,
expectations and goals are all part of the plan and the process of you
creating a more fulfilled life." ~ Toni Thomas

Record crowd for Solstice sunrise
A record crowd of about 36,500 revellers has welcomed the dawn of the
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. Druid ceremonies took place alongside
music and Morris dancing.. English Heritage, which manages the
ancient monument, said the car park was full with 6,500 cars two hours
before Sunrise. Summer Solstice Ritual on Glastonbury Tor
Rite of Passage -

Stonehenge an Eclipse Computer
"Why would eclipses have been so important to the ancient people of
Stonehenge? Perhaps they considered the darkening of the Sun or the
Moon a fearsome event -- a celestial omen of doom or disaster. But the
sophistication of the astronomy of Stonehenge suggests that the
builders had something different in mind. Their understanding of the
solar and lunar cycles must have led to a high regard for the cosmic
order. Eclipses may have been seen as affirmations of the regularity
of these cycles. Or perhaps the unseen lunar nodes formed an element
of their religion as invisible gods.. The idea that Stonehenge may
have been a center for some kind of worship has occurred to many. It
is not hard to imagine Stone Age people gathering at a 'sacred place'
at 'sacred times' (such as solstices, equinoxes, and eclipses) to
reaffirm their religious beliefs through ritual practices."

The Goddess Eye and the Total Eclipse of the Sun
Total Eclipse ot the Sun: The Sun Bird Phoenix, Eye of God and Flight
of the Feathered Serpent
The Total Solar Eclipse of July 22 2009
Callanish Photographs ~ Gerald Ponting

Cosmic Timing with Planetary Hours
‘Moon Magic’my monthly forecast
M. Kelley Hunter's Moon letters
This Week's Sky
National Council for Geocosmic Research
Esoteric Astrology by Liz Magnus
Anne Wright's Fixed Stars
Current Volcanic Activity
Space Weather forecast

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Wishing you all the best of this new era!

Steve Nelson
Mythic Astrologer

Astrology in Jungian tradition
for understanding personal myths
and realizing natural abilities.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Phone 704-375-3759