THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
STEP RIGHT UP
Yes, we are almost there, at the marginally astonishing month of September, 2015, when so many bizarre anomalies and synchronicities are expected to unfold, especially from mid-September to early October, that it seems every spiritual and prophetic tradition, living and dead, every ingenious accident a calendar can hold, are all jostling for space and attention in what is clearly the tensest and most explosive nexus of events we could possibly imagine. It is all right on time, as we've been observing in these UFC pages since last March.
The four-year cosmic grand opera of revolutionary, shocking and transformational events that we've expected and witnessed in the ongoing 90° "square" alignment between Uranus in fiery Aries, and subtle, secretive Pluto in the Saturn-ruled sign of Capricorn, now approaches fever pitch for those who live in what Edward Dorn called the theatre of impatience, and new flashes of sudden insight for those who see correctly that the most important changes we now create are in the shared intentional field of our consciousness, rather than in the limited and reactive world of material things. Between mid-March 2015, when the last of seven exact Uranus-Pluto squares formed; and mid-January 2016, when a near-square (within 1°) will form before the faster-moving Uranus moves on and the whole planet dynamic begins slowly to dissolve; we will navigate in the northern hemisphere a summer and early autumn that are literally terrific -- that is, causing great waves of fear among the most panic-prone. The whole scenario is designed that way, as we shall soon see.
For the moment, and for several weeks ahead, many of us will be like the city dwellers of a lifetime ago, milling in front of the newsstand, drawn by the voices of the newsboys shouting Extra! because some sudden news bomb has just dropped, and it's important enough that the paper has just rushed out a special edition. People who obsess about internet rumors will get shellbacked, teary-eyed and constipated from spending whole days slumped in front of their computer screens. Or they'll go for days at a time without eating, so their pants will begin to fall down even before the Rapture comes. More on this in a little while. Or they'll get shocked and burned as their smart phones pop, hiss and frazzle from far too much use. Or they'll step right up for a shot of blear and oblivion at whatever bar they like or imagine, or will queue for a chance to flip and fling their money at what isn't really a game of chance at all, folks, but you can still test your skill at Dunk the Clown, Bust the Bottles, Win a Kiss, Get Rich Faster than Quick, and Take a Whirl in the Dark on our amazing, exhilarating Conspiratizzium.
Is is all true? You bet! As we saw years five ago in Conspiration Theory, conspiracies are usually fact rather than fantasy, and the guilty get away endlessly with deriding as a conspracy "nut" or "buff" whoever has their number this time. If you're reading this page, you know how it is. Thousands of years before the conspiracy to murder JFK, the inside job of 9/11, the bank bailout plot of 2008, the Iran-Contra scam, Codex Alimentarius, Big Pharma collusion and the countless fixes of The Corporation that Must Not Be Named, conspiracies were already ancient historical fact when Brutus, Cassius and others conspired to murder Julius Caesar, and the Roman procurator of Judea and the Jewish priesthood of Jerusalem agreed on how they were going to hit Jesus. And fifty generations and more before that, Asbalom recruited other army officers to help him overthrow his father, King David, and the Egyptian army and the Amun priesthood conspired to knock off Akhnaton. If the Federal Reserve bank consortium and the almost thrillingly misnamed Citizens United -- you remember them, the ones who got the US Supreme Court to reaffirm that corporations are legal persons -- do not qualify as conspiracies, then what in the world better fits the premise that conspiracies are as common as dust mites because powerful and ambitious men must and will find their ways to gain secretly what they would not dare to attempt in the light of day and the letter of the law?
All of this may be reasonable by way of prelude to the parade of secrets, scrapes and serendipities that will break the bag when we get to September. While some people are working diligently now on distinguishing the "real" events from the frauds, fantasies and flirtations with doom, it may be reasonable now, whatever that still means, to imagine that all the stories are true, if only to get a sense of how wildly inventive human beings can get when many of us see ourselves as utterly unable to create safety, much less success, or any hope that our efforts will ever help to make anything freer and better. One sign of the apparent bleakness of our prospects, our inability to break the iron grip of domination, manipulation and control, is that so many desperate hunches and perennial pipe dreams are mixed with the "real" events coming next month.
One of the core teachings of the "dean of American astrologers," Dr. Marc Edmond Jones (1888 - 1980), was that in both our natal charts and the more mutable nuances of timing as measured in planet transits, we see two basic sets of conditions. One is rest, order and stability, and has a quality of "ease" to it because not much change is happening. The other is relative unrest, disorder and instability that compel us to be inventive because we are in the kind of unpredictable, even chaotic flux of events that the Chinese expressed, maybe still do, in their famous curse, "May you live in interesting times." This theme recurs constantly in our history, recently in the McKenna brothers' model of the Eschaton, which tracked trends of "habit" and "novelty" leading to the predicted climax of Time Wave Zero on Dec. 21, 2012.
One way to apply these themes to our present moment is to imagine that this month of August is relatively placid, while in September all heaven, purgatory and hell break loose and bump and blow about through the end of the year and into 2016. Not that August 2015 is dull. The week of Aug. 11 - 17 is notable because it begins with the most important planet transit of the year, as Jupiter crosses from Leo into Virgo (see Aug. 11 below in Daily Listings). Then comes a strong and positively -charged Black Moon in Leo on Aug. 14 (q.v.), and then -- we hit the first of the possible true events and/or scare scenarios that will blast, boom and shiver through the weeks from mid-August to early October.
Aug. 17 is one of the two dates, along with Sept. 22, that are now getting much anime and noise on the web as the date when the mysterious planet Nibiru will enter our solar system and then snap back out in a rapid slingshot arc that may collide with one or more planets, including our own. There is more about Nibiru and its inhabitants, the Annunaki ("the Ones Who Came from Heaven to Earth"), in the May, 2015 UFC prelude, "Which Green Man?". This topic is a sure-fire eye-catcher, as you know, backed by the fascinating research of the late polymath linguist Zechariah Sitchin, whose books on Sumerian myth told of how Nibiru approaches Earth only very seldom in its extremely eccentric orbit of 3600 years. This number appears impossible -- how could a planet with such an immense orbit not break free of the Sun's gravitational pull? -- unless our solar system may in fact be binary, with our brilliant old yellow friend Sol balanced and held by a yet-to-be-found black companion star. This binary model, in the view of such authorities as Sri Yukteswar and Walter Cruttenden (Lost Star of Myth and Time), explains the precession of the equinoxes more simply and satisfyingly than the Platonic Year paradigm based on an alleged "wobble" in Earth's polar axis of rotation.
The Washing Away
Whew! Check your beliefs and sombreros at the galactic revolving door. We haven't even left August yet! This is why, for now, until we can cover these things more next month, we're only going to glance at the dramatic build of some key September dates that will climax in the week of Sept. 22 - 28. The essential information source here at the outset is Jeff Berwick's 27-minute video, "Shemitah Exposed: Financial Crisis Planned for September, 2015." The choice of words in the title is exact, and significant, because Mr. Berwick's premise is that the financial crises that come at every 7-year Shemitah cycle are by no means mere random or accidental events, but are planned: carefully and expertly calculated to produce profit for the wealthy few, and panic for the clueless many.
Considered briefly now, until we come back to it next month, a Shemitah comes every seven years in the ancient Jewish agricultural calendar, and is a time of "washing away," when debts may be forgiven and obligations released or adjusted in the interest of greater harmony and prosperity for the years ahead. A Grand Shemitah, coming at intervals of 49 years (7x7), is a Jubilee Year, when all debts are forgiven and huge new possibilities may be opened, as in the magnificent Jubilee Synagogue in Prague, in the banner image above.
In ancient Jewish history, Shemitah and Jubilee years were times for the adjusting of money arrangements and the generous, equitable spreading of wealth. In more recent times, however, as Mr. Berwick shows, Shemitah dates -- often coinciding with eclipses -- have become times when the world financial elite have engineered currency and market disasters, as have occurred recently in October, 1987; September, 2001; October, 2008; and, right on time at the next total eclipse, on Sept. 13, 2015. The dates that follow here for the months ahead are from Mr. Berwick's video, and material that Michael Morris and I have taught in our astrology classes over the last few weeks in Pisac, Peru:
Sept. 13: Black Moon in Virgo, partial solar eclipse, Shemitah cycle ends, and world economic crisis may be triggered by corporatist financial interests.
Sept. 15: New Moon in Virgo appears. End of the controversial Jade Helm military exercise that began in the US on July 15.
Sept. 15 - 28: (i.e., New Moon to next Full Moon): A comet 2.5 miles wide is expected to pass within 40,000 to 80,000 miles of Earth, causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, and scattering asteroids in many directions as it passes through the asteroid belt, triggering possible disruptive planetary events for some years to come.
Sept. 17: Mercury goes retrograde from this day (q.v. in Daily Listings below) until Oct. 9, thus tending to increase miscommunication, confusion and mental slippage for the crucial next three weeks. Significantly, the US Federal Reserve Board is scheduled to meet on Sept. 16 and 17, and to consider, among other things, new interest rate hikes. Whatever decisions the Fed makes will thus be announced at the beginning of Mercury retrograde, a time ideally suited to misunderstanding and extreme emotional bozosis.
Sept. 22: Return of Nibiru and the Annunaki, as noted above, potentially causing massive dislocation and damage in our solar system.
Up in the Air
Sept. 23: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins a Grand Jubilee Year anticipated by some as even the "final" jubilee year. Such years are said to carry the common theme of a return to the Jewish people of something that has been lost or usurped. The previous Grand Jubilee years were 1918, when the Balfour Declaration acknowledged the alleged right of the Jews to be primary possessors of Palestine; and 1967, when the Jubilee fell on the day the Israelis occupied Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. Now, naturally, speculation grows about what Israel-related event will fall on the Sept. 23 Jubilee this year.
Also the date when some commentators expect "Newton's Riddle" to be fulfilled. This conundrum, an evergreen favorite of ingenious, mentally hyperactive people, concerns the prophet Daniel's cryptic statement that "I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." (Daniel 9.2). While 70 years proved an accurate estimate for the actual 66 years of the Babylonian Captivity (605 - 539 BC), Sir Isaac Newton and hosts of others have speculated for centuries about what the other numbers encoded in Daniel really mean, and how a "year" is to be interpreted -- as a week, a day, or something else. For some netizens who are especially eager and prolific, but whose method is all but impenetrable -- I don't claim to understand it yet, and will be grateful to anyone who can enlighten me -- the day that allegedly solves and completes Newton's Riddle will be Sept. 23, 2015.
Also the date when the world's largest machine, the Large Hadron Collider built by CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) will be reactivated, thereby opening the possibility of a new understanding of the universe, and the certainty that the CERN scientists will be accused of playing God.
Also the date when the Pope of Rome pays an unprecedented and much anticipated visit to the President of the United States at the White House, to be followed in the days ahead by addresses to the US Congress (Sept. 24) and the United Nations General Assembly (Sept. 25), just before the UN's 70th anniversary year -- there's that number 70 again -- and the official opening of the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This plan too is curious, implying as it does that 2015 will be a watershed year that differentiates the consciousness of an earlier era from a different consciousness that will form now. It has even been suggested that the news bomb Francis and Obama intend to drop is a disclosure about extraterrestrial contact.
Also, as if all this were not enough, Sept. 23 is also expected by some Christians to be the day of the Rapture itself! You've certainly heard of this one, and you may even know the chapter-and-verse if it, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." That is all the verse says, and there is not much more to be found in parallel passages in 2 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, Matthew and Revelations. Yet an elaborate mythic story has evolved over two millennia now, to the effect that the righteous now living, and those already departed, to the number of 144,000, will rise into the air above the Earth to meet Jesus and begin an eternity of bliss with Him. In some versions of the story the elect shed their clothing, rising nude but unashamed in the face of the Lord and one another, and except for the lightning in this picture, there is no implication of anything violent or cataclysmic, no suggestion that anyone still on the ground is experiencing anything more than surprise, wonderment, and the entertainment value of all those downward-floating clothes.
The American Bible Belt version of the tale is different, though, as shown here in Down at the Rapture with George, courtesy of Only in America (July, 2007). This shows the complete picture according to fundamentalists, for whom the fun of the Rapture will not be complete unless they know, and can see from the mountains and up in the air, that the time of tribulation and desolation, of smoke and fire, ruin and noise, mean dogs and rabid cops, bad plumbing and hopelessly slow WiFi, will beset all of those people down there who must surely deserve it. Many of the saved, though, to be charitable, will direct their eyes and ears, as shown here, to Blow, Gabriel, Blow played by that angelic brass choir.
Sept. 28: Full Moon in Aries opposite Sun in Libra, with a total lunar eclipse that will be the last of a rare series of four total eclipses in 2014 and 2015. As we'll see next month, this eclipse will carry an energy that may be strongly disruptive in group and communal relationships, as though the stresses of the time may fray and break superficial bonds of love and loyalty that can't withstand what has by now become the relentless pulse and pressure of fear. More on this in a moment. For now, it is enough to note that at this eclipse the Moon may be a red-orange color, or may be a deeper red that is called a Blood Moon, with all that that implies.
This Full Moon and eclipse are being called the date of "Global Mass Ascension" or Wave X. The science of this, whatever that means at a time when so much "science" is only white lab coats for hire by the highest corporate bidder, is that our solar system is now moving into a region of our galaxy where our Sun and planets, and everything on them, will be subjected to cosmic energy waves that can alter the molecular structure of matter, including, most important for our purposes, the configuration of human DNA. Whether Wave X will bring a collective leap of consciousness for those who will welcome it and actively lend their energies to it, or is instead only an important step in our conscious evolution, will remain to be seen.
Wave X is potentially different from the Christian Rapture in the sense that it is not necessarily limited to middle-class southern Americans, but can in theory include anyone who believes it is time for us to take together a collective leap into mystical consciousness. In this sense Michael Morris may be correct in terming Wave X "the cool people's Rapture": not a separatist event in which a few are saved while the rest are incinerated, but a unitary event in which people shed their differences and opinions and affirm their common humanity and their shared space in the sacred holistic design of all life, and all Being. More on this, and the exciting opportunities it may bring, in next month's UFC.
The Fear Diet
Finally for now, the week of Oct. 1 - 7 is noteworthy because Martin Armstrong, featured in the new movie The Forecaster, is but one of the notable economists who are anticipating a market collapse at this time. Armstrong's story is especially intriguing. Creator of a market trend prediction program based on pi that enabled him to nail to the day the Black Monday market drop in October 1987, among other events, he has, predictably, been hailed as a genius and dismissed as a madman. One important authority that did not consider him insane was the US government, which attempted to force him to disclose his methods, and imprisoned him for 11 years -- including a laughable 7-year contempt of court citation -- when he would not comply.
Why were the Feds really so determined to hang him upside down and shake all his secrets out? Because the bankers, Big Pharma poisoners, armaments makers and others who control the US and other governments would completely lose the element of surprise if anyone were able to predict exactly when the next fake, calculated crisis is going to be engineered by those who profit one way or the other, whether the market soars or tanks. What has probably kept Mr. Armstrong alive all these years is that those who could have iced him don't want to miss their chance to scoop the gravy while it's hot when the next crisis comes.
If surprise is lost, then it's much harder to maintain an atmosphere of dread, which is after all the point of the whole reptilian capitalist system. Whether the beings who manipulate it are literally reptiles, or are only stuck in the fear band of the reptilian mind -- see the May UFC for more on this -- one way or the other, believe it or not, the money doesn't matter to them. The controllers are not after everyone's money. What they do want is to stoke the fear of not having money in as many people as possible. Why? Because in ways that those who believe in the reality of things can't begin to understand, fear is the controllers' nourishment. Gurdjieff knew it. So did Barbara Marciniak, in channeling Bringers of the Dawn. The reptilians live on fear in the way you and I live on food, drink, beauty, friendship and love. They're out to create a harvest of fear that will keep them cold and mighty from here to Orion and beyond.
How not to get scythed and swept into the Fear Feast? You already know. Sept. 23 is also -- and this can get lost in all the frisson and flurry by those who get knocked off center -- the day of the Fall Equinox in the northern hemisphere, the Juno-ruled feast of the fields and the family, the matriarch and the measure, and all things that hold families and communities together when they remember that their true wealth is in one another's hearts. This is why they'll make a point of vibrating one another in sound and song and celebration, and they'll use holy fire to burn away whatever is not love. Earth and Water, Wind and Fire. These move, and grow, and remain.
Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
August 1 - 31: The Month of Augustus
August is one of the Western calendar's two months which are named for persons of mundane political power -- unlike other months such as January, March, May and June, all named for persons of divine power.
The month of August, originally called October ("eighth month"), has borne the name of Augustus ever since the year 14, when the Roman Senate voted to honor the late princeps after a reign of 41 years as the first and, as later generations saw him, arguably the greatest of the Roman emperors. The seventh month of July was named in honor of his mentor and adoptive father, Julius Caesar.
August 1, Saturday:
Universal Midsummer Festival, one of the northern hemisphere's four great Midseason Festivals in the solar year and the life cycle of Mother Earth. Early August is the time of countless festivals of love, abundance and magic, and communications with Nature, especially animals. This is the time of Lammas, the Norse Lughnassadh and the Celtic Teltane, the Festival of New Bread. It begins the early harvest season that runs for three months until Samhain (Oct. 31 - Nov. 3).
This is traditionally the phase of the year in which the power of the god wanes as the goddess waxes. This transition is symbolized in the zodiac by the fading solar energy of Leo yielding to the fertility of Virgo, bearer of grain, grapes and the harvest of the future. At this time the first fruits of the grain harvest are celebrated throughout the Northern hemisphere in the baking and offering of ritual bread and cakes.
In the southern hemisphere, this is the time of the great winter festival of Imbolc.
In Aztec time reckoning, this is the Festival of Xiuhtecuhtli, god of the calendar. Like the Maya and other Mesoamerican peoples, the Aztecs observed this rite with elaborate dances and pageants showing the Sun's path in relation to the stars, the planets, the Moon and the Earth.
8/1 is also the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Kamal, Perfection.
August 2, Sunday:
Birthday (1832) of Henry Steele Olcott, co-founder with Helena Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society.
August 2 eve - 3 eve:
The ancient Greeks celebrate the festival of Synokia, affirming the importance of peace and cooperation among city-states and their peoples.
August 4, Tuesday:
In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Earth, the second of the 20-day uinals in the cycle (8 Imix, Tzolkin 21). This uinal, symbolized by the Green Hummingbird, marks the growth of new life after the purifying Uinal of Fire at the beginning of the Tzolkin cycle.
On this day in 1693, the blind Benedictine and master herbalist Dom Perignon realized champagne. After a few quality assessment sips, he called to one of the other monks, "Look, brother, I have been drinking stars!"
August 5 eve to 6 eve:
On this day the Greeks and Romans honor Artemis/Diana as the fierce protector of women against rapists and other violent oppressors. This solemn day of admonition was specifically placed here, in the Dog Days of summer, at the moment when the passions of the least conscious men are apt to run hot and high. At this time the goddess is in her punitive mode, parallel to such divine figures as Sekhmet and Kali, in aiming her unerring arrows not only at men who transgress against women, but more generally against all unruly passions that roil the serene purity of the soul stream in women and men alike.
August 6, Thursday:
In the Khemitian Calendar, the Festival of Djehuti ("Thoth"), neter of literature and all mathematical arts, including astronomy, astrology and music. This festival, held on the 19th day of Thuthi, the month sacred to Djehuti, begins the crucial time following the annual Nile inundation, when writing, sacred geometry and other arts invented by Thoth are used to determine the new pattern of earthly order, as cords stretched over the land mark the re-establishment of divine design after the floodwaters recede. For more information on this neter (meaning a force or principle of divine energy acting in the Earth world of nature, which is why neter and nature are cognate), see More About Thoth.
Zen Buddhists observe this day as Mindfulness Day, and meditate now on the oneness and interdependence of all sentient beings.
In Roman Catholic and other Christian calendars, this is the feast of the Transfiguration, celebrating the occasion when Jesus revealed to his three closest disciples, on Mount Tabor, as much of the splendor of his light body as they could safely bear.
Among the Celtic peoples of Europe, this is the day of the Tan Hill Festival, in honor of the sacred fire, called Teinne or Tan, from which the community lights bonfires for ceremonies of purification and sacrifice.
August 7, Friday:
Gaia Consciousness Day, created in recent years to honor Mother Earth in ceremonies of healing and renewal.
On this day Mercury is delighted to exit Leo, where he tends to feel like a yoga instructor out of place in a cigar bar full of type A beef boomers. He now enters Virgo, one of the two signs, along with Gemini, that astrologers have traditionally considered the signs he rules. In more recent times it has been argued that the true ruler of Virgo is Chiron the Healer or even Ceres the Nurturer, but the link between Mercury and this time of transition from summer to fall makes sense. It is no accident that the Mercury-in-Virgo weeks (8/7 - 27 this year) fall on or just precede the back-to-school season in Western countries, the time when the mental effort of autumn ensues upon the emotional effort of spring and the physical effort of summer.
August 8, Saturday:
Mars enters Leo. He is quite at home in this fire sign, and will come into conjunction with Venus in Leo by month's end, then into a highly favorable 120° trine with Uranus in Aries in early September. Less exciting is his afflictive 90° square with Saturn in Scorpio in mid-September. More on this n next month's UFC
August 9 eve - 15 eve (7 days):
The ancient Athenian festival of the Panathenaea ("all the Athenas"), honors the Goddess as the source of her people's wisdom and the giver of intellectual inspiration, and also women who, as priestesses and teachers, embody the gifts of Athena.
August 10, Monday,:
Among the Norse peoples, this day is sacred to Rowana, goddess of the Rowan tree and keeper of the sacred knowledge of the runes.
Feast of St. Laurence, one of the most admired early Christian martyrs, and patron saint of Florence, Italy. Commanded by the city prefect of Rome to hand over the fabulous wealth that the Roman Church of the mid-third century was said to possess, Laurence negotiated a three-day grace period to gather all the gold, then proceeded to deliver a host of the poor and infirm who, Laurence explained, were the true treasure of the kingdom of God. At his ensuing martyrdom (258), Laurence is said to have irritated the authorities by joking, as he was roasted on a griddle over a fire, at one point remarking, "I'm done, if you'd like to eat."
Birthday of Nicholas of Cusa (1400), the Christian mystic who taught the immanence of Divinity in all of Creation.
August 11, Tuesday:
The most important planet ingress of the year comes today, as Jupiter enters Virgo. From now until Sept. 9, 2016, the lord of the lighting and the sky, of government, law and big money, and the higher communications of philosophy and religion, will be in a sign that is traditionally considered detrimental for him, as his fiery expansiveness and ebullience feels constrained by the earthy, precise, detail-bound sign that is one of his least happy placements on the wheel. This is likely to be a time when established institutions of wealth and power are more likely to practice Virgonian caution
than to throw all restraint to the winds while preserving the appearance of the ruler, as Jupiter will tend to do. He may be veracity-challenged in the weeks ahead, especially when he opposes Neptune in Pisces in mid-September, then Chiron in Pisces in early November. Some chickens will come home to roost now, if they're able to find their way there amid the deception of the Neptunian fog machine.
On this day the Sufis honor Haji Bektash (d. 1337), the master who initiated women into his order and advocated gender equality in Islam.
Aug. 11 is also the Christian feast of St. Clare of Assisi, disciple and, as founder of the Poor Clares,counterpart of St. Francis of Assisi. Clare shared Francis' environmental awareness and is a guiding energy of those working to assist Mother Earth.
In the Irish Celtic Calendar, this is the day of Puck Fair, one of the world's great annual trickster festivals.
August 11 - 12 (Tue - Wed):
The great Perseid meteor shower peaks early in the morning of 8/12, UT. The Moon is waning to Black on Aug. 14, so viewing will be excellent.
August 12 - 17 (6 days):
Major Khemitian festival cycle, enacting the climactic event in the legends of Aset ("Isis") and Ausar ("Osiris"): the final combat between Set, brother and murderer of Ausar; and Hor ("Horus"), son of Aset and Ausar, the young solar hero who would be embodied in every living pharaoh. The events of the cycle (Month of Thuthi ["Thoth"], days 25 - 30):
8/12 Feast of the Lights of Aset, one of the main mystical events of the Ausarian mysteries, celebrating the lamp of wisdom and service, and, perhaps, the growth of the light body. This day became the feast of the eponymous St. Claire ("clear, splendid") in Christian calendars.
8/13 Ritual battle between Hor and Set. While the actual combat was said to have lasted 80 years, with predictable strain on the environment of Egypt, this day enacts the main events: loss and restoration of Hor's eye and Set's testicle, and other harrowing episodes.
8/14 Day of reconciliation between Hor and Set, marking the decision of the neters in council that Hor and Set will have to live in peace, thus symbolically balancing order and chaos, life and death, light and darkness, earth and sky. This becomes one of the most influential duality paradigms of the ancient world.
8/17 Climactic rituals celebrating orderly balance among the male principles of the Sun (Ra), the Sky (Hor) and the Earth (Set).
August 13, Thursday:
In the Greco-Roman world, one of the great annual festivals of Hecate, this time in her benign aspect as protectress of life amid the ferocious heat of the dog days. Hecate is also honored on this day in her virginal aspect as Artemis-Diana. Hecate's feast superseded an Egyptian festival honoring the ferocious lion-headed netert Sekhmet, and celebrating in particular her successful self-defense against a sexual attack by Set, neter of chaos and destruction. Both festivals emphasized protection from rape and other crimes against women.
In the Aztec calendar, the Day of Destiny. Like other Native Americans, the Aztecs envisioned human beings as connected to the Sky by a thread, and believed that those who lived in harmony with nature preserved the delicate thread, while those who violated nature's laws broke the thread irreparably. The Aztecs also saw the human body as a pattern of meridians reflecting the meridians of the sky.
August 14, Friday: 4:55am HT; 2:55pm UT:
The Dark Moon conjunct Sun in Leo is one of the true power points of the year, when the electrical, masculine energy of the Sun, ruler of Leo, is complemented by the Moon's magnetic, feminine energy. This Dark Moon is a powerful force for creative effort and innovation, as Venus in Leo forms a triple conjunction with the Moon and Sun, and Uranus in Aries is in a 120° trine to all three. Personal and communal intentions can move rapidly toward large, optimistic results, while the Venus-assisted power of attraction among all for of these planets is high.
In the Chinese Taoist calendar, the great annual Festival of the Ancestors will soon be celebrated, on the New Moon of the eighth lunar month.
August 14 eve – 15 eve:
The Jewish month of Elul begins. As this month is devoted to peace, reflection and self-renewal, it is the prelude to the High Holy Days that follow after the end of Elul in September.
August 15, Saturday:
In the annual solar calendar this is a major weather marker because 8/15 is the end of the ferociously hot dog days of July and August, and it begins the time of cooling toward the harvest -- or, as we shall see below in the Southern hemisphere, this day begins the warming of the Earth at the start of the planting season. This day has thus been observed as a major festival in traditions all over the world. Among this day's feasts:
Japanese Obon Festival in the solar calendar. People all over the country dance, sing and drink. They also light huge bonfires in the shapes of kanji (Chinese characters) and Buddhist symbols to help orientate and redirect the lost souls who are blowing about in the heavens, and point them toward Amida, the Pure Land, the Western Paradise. Obon is Japan's festival of family reunion and remembrance. Everyone eats the departed ones' favorite foods, and puts out plates for them, sings their favorite songs, tells the stories and jokes about them, and refreshes the family's memory. One may envision Japan as a place where on this day tens of millions of families celebrate by looking up at their ancestors, many millions of whom are using the kanji for the ship or the law to aim themselves again in the direction of Amida Buddha's Land. Gambarimasu. (They keep going.) They will never give up.
Among the ancient Greeks, this is a day of purification. It is the annual feast of the virgin huntress Artemis, protector of women against rapists and other violent men. In the Greek solar calendar 8/15 is also the second and climactic day of a three-day festival honoring the Erinyes, the Furies who purify the Earth of all murderers and oppressors. The Feast of the Furies was one of several annual cleansing rites done in preparation for the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries (see September UFC). This day's special identity as a feast of purity may be one reason why early Christians chose it to mark the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (see below).
August 15 is also the birthday of Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Krishna Consciousness movement, and of the beloved "Hugging Teacher," Amma-ji.
In the six-season calendar of the aboriginal people of Australia, the third season of the dry half of the year, Gurrung, begins about now. This "hot dry weather" is the shortest of seasons, lasting about a month and a half until early October.
In the Japanese Shinto calendar, this day is Kaze Matsuri, in honor of the Kami (divine principle) of Wind.
Roman Catholics observe 8/15 as the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who never suffered physical death and corruption, but was taken directly into heaven. The Orthodox Christian community celebrates the same feast as the Dormition ("going to sleep") of the Theotokos -- that is, the God-bearer.
In the Southern hemisphere, while Mary officially rules this day, Aug. 15 has been since ancient times sacred to Pachamama the Mother as the day when corn planting begins. So behind Mary in the festival parade is the angel Raphael the Healer, holding a parasol over the Divine Mother, and in his left hand a silver fish representing water and abundance.
August 16, Sunday:
In many central European countries, this day is the Feast of the Minstrels, celebrated with poetry, music and dance competitions since ancient times. This festival is the prototype of song contests like the one in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
In the Chinese Taoist calendar, the great annual Festival of the Ancestors will soon be celebrated, on the New Moon of the eighth lunar month.
August 17, Monday:
In the Norse tradition, the beginning of the 9-day ordeal of Odin, who hangs on the world ash tree Yggdrasil until the moment when he falls screaming from the tree, having seen at last the secret of the runes. This discovery of universal knowledge is celebrated in a climactic festival on 8/25.
The image of the god hanging in suspension as he surrenders to the ordeal of wisdom is closely related to the figure of the Hanged Man in the Tarot, and to Native American Sun Dance rituals, in which young men hang from a giant wheel symbolizing the Sun. This excruciating rite, in which each warrior is suspended from the wheel by cords fastened to sharp wooden pegs pushed through his chest muscles, is also said to bring mystical knowledge to those who can endure it. This feast is also closely related to many ancient myths of the solar hero and savior who is killed in the prime of his vitality, and dies hanging from, or sealed within, a tree.
August 18, Tuesday:
In the Khemitian calendar, first day of Paopi, the second month of winter, sacred to Ptah, the creator neter who brought the world into being by speaking its name. Ptah is the patron of all artists.
August 19, Wednesday:
The ancient Greek and Roman festival of Vinalia, sacred to the lord of the vine, Dionysus-Bacchus, is held on this day. Rites are also held in honor of Aphrodite-Venus in her role as protector of orchards and vineyards. Offerings of new grapes are accompanied by prayers for the successful ripening of the grape harvest.
August 20, Thursday:
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order and one of the leading figures in the monastic movement. A fourth-dimensional thinker in the 12th century, Bernard had a profound understanding of cathedral architecture and sacred geometry. He wrote, "God is length, width, depth and volume." Bernard also put the Knights Templar on the map, extolling them in one crusade-igniting speech after another as models of Christian manhood, young men who combined the priestly vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the warrior virtues of courage, discipline and self-sacrifice. So effective was Bernard's image-building that he turned the Templars almost overnight from an obscure order of warrior monks quartered in the stable of Solomon's Temple into one of the heroic myths and grand creative forces of the age. The Templars soon burnished their legend with heroic deeds and brilliant skills in banking, scholarship, diplomacy and commerce -- but Bernard was the first one to envision the story.
Birth of the White Buffalo (1994), heralding the return of the White Buffalo Woman, emanation of the star goddess Wohpe, who gave the Lakota people the arts of the sacred pipe and the sweat lodge, and the teaching of the vision quest.
The Baha'i honor the Deity on this day as Asma, Sacred Names.
August 20 - 30 (ten days):
The Buddhists of Sri Lanka celebrate at this Full Moon the culmination of their most important festival of the year, and one of the most spectacular of all the world's grand Buddhist rituals: the Perahera, or Tooth Festival, in which the Buddha's tooth, the sole surviving relic of his body, is removed from Dalada Maligawa, the famous Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, and paraded in a magnificent pageant. The musicians, and dancers who whirl fire pots at the end of their very long hair, are followed by the sight that people come from everywhere to see: the elephants, adorned with gold and brocade, colored lights and flowers -- and especially the honored elephant who gets to bear the tooth inside a jewel and pearl shrine atop his back.
August 21, Friday:
In the Zoroastrian calendar of ancient Persia, the days before the Sun exits Leo and enters Virgo are considered the climactic moment of Solar radiance and power, and is celebrated as the first day of the New Year.
August 23, Sunday, 00:38am HT; 10:38am UT:
Sun enters Virgo. The Month of Isis. The creative and healing power of the female. This is the season of the early harvest, and of the ripening of the main harvest, symbolized by the ear of wheat and the bunch of grapes -- alternately, an ear of wheat and a sickle -- that the Virgin holds. On this day the ancient Romans celebrate Vertumnalia, a festival in honor of Vertumnus, the god who manages the change of seasons and also holds the secret by which flowers transform into fruit. The Olympian god Vulcan-Hephaestus is also honored on this day of the Sun's entry into Virgo -- significantly, as some astrologers have long posited the existence of an undiscovered planet Vulcan, said to be the true ruler of Virgo. He is in the same queue of alternate Virgo rulers as Chiron and Demeter-Ceres.
If Cancer favors sideways movement and Leo always likes an advance, the Virgo season, until 9/23, is for the moves of Vulcan and the Virgin, of Chiron and the farmers working under Ceres' eye: painstaking, disciplined work until one gets it done; and the wise, deliberate walk of the woman who knows that when she possesses the greatest treasure of all, the continuity of life itself, she will best be judicious in deciding to whom she will open it. This is why the Virgo season, with the Virgin nearing the Western horizon, is best for teaching the Map of Love, for the Education of the Virgin, in the night sky.
One excellent symbol of the Virgin's power is the Strength card in the Tarot. The young woman is not prying apart the jaws of the Lion (Leo). Rather, the Lion gently holds her hands within his jaws to represent perfect balance (Libra) between physical strength and the spiritual strength of purity.
It was inevitable that a Christian feast honoring the Virgin Mary be placed at the time of the Sun's entry into the sign of the Virgin, and that's why the feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels -- the tutelary saint of, among other things, the city of Los Angeles -- is celebrated on August 22, the usual day of the Sun's ingress into Virgo.
The Order of the Rosy Cross was founded on this day in 1623.
In some Native American Calendars, this day is the beginning of the last month of summer, sacred to the Bear, finder of medicines.
August 23 - 25 (3 days):
One of the major festivals of the Greco-Roman calendar, marking the juncture and transition of family and time in ceremonies honoring the ancestors who achieved the past (see 8/15 above) and the virgins who will carry the future. The festivals were:
8/23 The Greek holiday of the Nemesea, honoring the goddess Nemesis, who was not yet in ancient times the vague figure of trouble and bad luck that she has become in the popular mind. Nemesis was specifically a protector who guarded the tombs and relics of departed ancestors from insult and harm. Thus the only persons who needed to fear Nemesis were those who desecrated a tomb. On the Nemesea the ancestral tombs were cleaned, and made ready for:
8/24 Roman festival of Mania, honoring the Manes, or deified spirits of the ancestors. This day, and its Christian replacement, St. Bartholomew's Day, were and are a critical weather marker on which fair and clear skies are said to herald an abundant harvest.
8/25 Before Ops became during the Roman Empire a god of wealth and extravagance, and the source of our word opulence, she was a goddess who regulated all aspects of sowing and reaping, and was naturally connected with the fertility of virgins. Her festival, the Opiconsivia, a mystery rite attended only by the Vestal Virgins, was held on this day.
August 24, Monday:
In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Watering, the third of the 20-day uinals in the cycle (2 Imix, Tzolkin 41). This uinal, symbolized by the Falcon, marks the growth of new life after the Uinals of Fire and the Earth at the beginning of the Tzolkin cycle.
August 25, Tuesday:
Feast day of St. Louis, also king Louis IX of France, celebrated as the ideal of Christian knighthood. His record has become more controversial in modern times, as he condoned, though he did not lead directly, the last unspeakable horrors of the "Albigensian Crusade" against the Cathars of Southern France; and the two crusades he led to the Holy Land not only failed to win either soil or souls, but galvanized the Saracens to unite against the last of the Christian occupiers and expel them in 1291. Yet Louis was known for such fairness and honesty that the other rulers of Europe, both ecclesiastical and secular, asked him to mediate their disputes.
August 26, Wednesday:
Birthday of Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910.
August 26 eve - 27 eve:
Just prior to the Eleusinian Mysteries (see next), ancient Athens holds every five years the festival of Demokratia, celebrating the blessings of democratic government, constitutional law and freedom of speech. During the rites, images of Zeus Agoraios and Athene Agoraias ("Zeus and Athene of the low place") are paraded and decorated in the agora, the lower city area below the Acropolis, or "high city". For the Athenians, and other Greeks, this emphasis on broad-based democratic worship of gods who treated the great and the humble with equal kindness and severity was profoundly different from the hierarchic religious practices of Asia and Africa, where gods were said to speak only to kings and high priests. The Demokratia also honors Themis ("Order"), mother (by Hermes) of King Evander, to whom she taught prophecy and letters.
August 27 – September 2 (seven days):
The grand ceremonies of the Eleusinian Mysteries are performed in ancient Athens, at intervals of five years. This most solemn and secret initiation rite in the Greek tradition is celebrated in the middle of Boedromion, the sixth month in the old lunar calendar that predates the Olympian solar calendar. As the Greek lunar calendar reckons from March as the beginning of the year, the Eleusinian Mysteries are always held while the Sun is in Virgo, symbolized by grain, grapes and other emblems of Earth's eternal abundance. The plan of the rites (with day numbers in the month of Boedromion):
Day 13: Young men carry the Hiera, the sacred ritual treasures, in procession from Eleusis to Athens
Day 14: Priests and priestesses receive the Hiera outside the city, and carry them to the temple
Day 15: (Full Moon): secret Hiera rite at the temple
Day 16: Initiates take purificatory sea-bath
Day 17: Initiates' preparation and meditation rites
Day 18: The rite of initiation
Day 19: New initiates carry the Hiera back to Eleusis
August 29, Saturday., 8:36am HT; 9/9, Tue, 6:36 pm UT:
Full Moon in Pisces, opposite Sun in Virgo. Earth and water are in complementary balance. Nourishment. The time after the Dog Days is for the flourishing of the Crops, ceremonies to renew the body of Mother Earth, and the mental and emotional Education of the Virgin. This Full Moon, if not exactly powerful or fully loaded, does pack a charge, and a positive one, as Neptune in Pisces conjoins the Moon while Jupiter in Virgo conjoins the Sun, making this a time when great goals can be misted over and hard to envision, and issues of self-esteem and worthiness may impede our ability to go all out toward the grand objective.
In the ancient Celtic and Druidic calendars, and also in the modern Wiccan calendar, this Full Moon in mid-September may be observed in some areas as Harvest Moon and Singing Moon, though the next Full Moon, in Libra month, is the traditional time for gathering the harvest before the onset of autumn cold in Scorpio month.
In the Chinese calendar, at this Full Moon of the 8th month, the Festival of the Ancestors, also called the Milky Way Festival and the Moon Festival, begins the month-long Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. It reaffirms the sacred links between Heaven and Earth, and is one of the year's most auspicious family reunion holidays. For the ensuing month food offerings are left for the ghosts, and prayer ceremonies are held for protection against dark forces. The people bake and offer Moon Cakes in homage to the Moon's water-bringing power and her beauty. The Chinese and other east Asian peoples consider this Full Moon the most beautiful of the year.
August 29, Saturday:
In the festival calendar of India, this Full Moon is celebrated as Raksha Bandhan, honoring the sacred link of love between brother and sister. As Raksha means "protection" and Bandhan means "bond," the ritual of the day is to tie a sacred yellow thread around one's wrist -- right for men, left for women -- and to remove it three months later, at the festival of the Goddess Lakshmi, and tie it to the tail of a cow. It is believed that when death comes, the cow will kindly allow the wearer to cling to her tail, and cross the river Bhaitarna with her. It is also customary for brothers and sisters to exchange cards and small gifts at Raksha Bandhan.
Note that the timing Raksha Bandhan is variable. It was observed early last year, on the Aquarius Full Moon in Leo month.
In the Khemitian calendar, birthday of Het-Hor, aka Hathor (month of Paopi, 12).
August 30, Sunday:
The ancient Roman festival of thanksgiving, the Charisteria, is held on this day.
August 30 - Sept. 7 (eight days):
In the Black Rock desert of Nevada, some 50,000 artists, builders, celebrants and unidentified freaky objects gather for the famous Burning Man festival, a raucous spectacle of exuberant artistry, radical community and delight in evanescent beauty purely for its own sake. Always held about a month after the customary time of Lughnasad -- when the desert heat would be somewhere between unbearable and perilous -- the festival culminates in the burning of a 50-foot effigy who means what each celebrant imagines him to be. And then -- as though to affirm the lesson in responsibility that has been there all along -- the celebrants make sure to clean up and take away every nail and shred of the intentional city they've lived in for the last week, and to leave the desert exactly as it was before they came.
Want to know how any of these days affects you? An Astrocartography reading covers not only your unique, personal planet energy lines and crossings, but the conditions of timing that are in effect for you now, and in the months and years ahead.
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ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
The Universal Festival Calendar first appeared in July, 1998 as an e-mail newsletter, and has also been published online since May, 2000. It incorporates data from astronomy and astrology, Moon cycles and the sacred days and festivals of many spiritual traditions, in order to identify monthly and annual power points, when human ascension efforts are well aligned with the celestial dynamics of our galactic stagemachinery, and the life cycles of Mother Earth. The UFC aims to assist the spiritual evolution of Earth and her people by providing information useful for planning global meditations, ceremonies and gatherings that support the aim of awakening enough human beings to bring about the lifting of human consciousness into higher frequencies of mercy, compassion, wisdom and love.
We welcome and are grateful for suggestions by readers whose ideas have improved the Calendar, and made it more accurate and comprehensive.