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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.





December 2015




Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for the momentous and pivotal month of December, 2015. We are in the climactic phase of the revolutionary, transformative Uranus-Pluto squares that have dominated the Aquarian transition from June of 2012 until next month, when the seven exact and explosive 90° angles of alignment between these two implacable adversaries will be followed by the denouement of a near-square that is only 1° from being exact. If you are a regular reader of the UFC, then you know that these Uranus-Pluto bangups and knockdowns have triggered major cataclysms of change at intervals of roughly 60 years from the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution to the events of 1968, so that now the cracking of structures and the liberating of collective intention and creativity have come right on time again.


We also know by now that the crucial, unstoppable changes are not happening in the material world of "real" things, but in the field of consciousness that we share with cetacean and angelic beings. This is why the changes are not to be measured in currencies, the stability or shakiness of governments, national borders or any of the usual superficial indicators of what will remain and what will fizzle, flash and flame out. This is also why measures such as the wall that a Hitler impersonator in the US wants to build between his country and Mexico, and the chain link fences that have been built between what used to be the Schengen countries of Europe, are utterly pointless. Barbed wire, uniformed officials and dogs can hold the hordes of ragged, desperate refugees only for a time, as the controllers figure out a plausible way to deny them compassion, and spin the responsibility that Americans and Europeans, and their accomplicess in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, share for the anguish of the Middle East.


But nothing can stop the idea and the passion for liberty and dignity that races through our collective minds and hearts as the showdown battle between light and darkness, freedom and control,  comes to its climax in the aftermath of the horrific false flag attacks that spread murder -- and worse, panic -- through Paris and all the world in the middle of November. It is clear from the way these events were perpetrated, and more importantly, presented by corporatist media in a calculated, precisely fabricated narrative, that the game has changed completely, and has reached a whole new level of cynicism and lethality. Those who have staged this latest outrage, this latest murderous episode of domination, manipulation and control, had best be identified. We know who they are, and where they live, and the collective eye of humanity cannot be fogged and blinded much longer.


Why must this crisis and climax come now? Because we have come to the eve of 2016, when Saturn, who entered the sign of Sagittarius a year ago and then retreated back into Scorpio in mid-2015, has now re-entered "for good," until December 2017, the sign that rules governments, law, and all big institutions of power and money. For the basics about this, an excerpt from the UFC of December, 2014:


Saturn Teaches Political Science


"So what does Saturn in Sagittarius mean? For openers, for you personally, you can be sure that if you were born in this Sun sign or one of the other mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo or Gemini, or you have natal planets in those signs, then for several weeks or some months at a time over the next three years, Saturn's force will work with you, against you, or both, and how heavy or heady this is for each one depends on whether, like many human beings, we want to get the maximum benefit from the least effort, or -- we recognize that there's a certain connection between effort and outcome, and we are willing to go deep, below practical problems and outward symptoms in the physical body, to less obvious conditions in the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies, where holes and hooks, cords and torn spots that go unseen and unaddressed must manifest in time as dis-ease. In short, working with Saturn can and will involve going into the dark, where the secrets and shadows live, to probe the spiritual and karmic causes of what we cannot possibly imagine intending in our sacred contracts."


This willingness to face the shadow will bring us in a moment to the false flag attacks of Nov. 13, but it is useful to look first at what a Saturn-in-Sagittarius interval represents for us in the wider perspective of mundane astrology, which shows how planetary events affect us all. Sagittarius is the sign of institutions of power and money -- governments, corporations, courts of law, religious organizations, banks and other major financial institutions, hospitals, universities -- in short, the  establishment that is bent on control because it has the most to lose. Saturn, shown here amid the spokes on the wheel and the celestial stage machinery that identify him as the Lord of Time, is also the Grim Reaper who cuts away what can no longer stand, symbolized by the scythe strapped to his back. When Saturn moves through any sign, he raises the most basic issues and questions about whether we have been honorable, true and courageous in carrying  out our Sacred Contracts, and tends to bump the ante and tighten the screws on those who have done the most harm. Thus 2014  to 2017 already is a time when crimes by malefactors in high places will be exposed, and may bring retribution.


But wait a minute. Saturn has an orbit of 29 1/2 years, so for most of us he comes through Sagittarius three times in our lives. Can we really say that the possibility of exposing and redressing of crimes in high places happens that often, when well-heeled crooks and their police are literally getting away with murder all the time? Yes, in fact, we can say that the potential for insight and the dealing of justice is there. The previous Saturn-in-Sagittarius years of the late 1980's brought the Iran Contra scandal, but no consequences at all for Reagan and those who should have been his co-defendants. Saturn cannot make us act on what he shows us. He can only tear the curtain away. Whether anyone will see where his bony finger is pointing, and act accordingly, is a whole other question.


This is why the events in Paris of Nov. 13 merit a close look here, as we have certainly come to the point where the powerful are not only exercising arrogance and violence as usual. They are now throwing it in our faces, daring us to notice and do something about it, now that they have succeeded in dumbing down so many, and disempowering them through relentless fear propaganda that weakens and isolates us, and kills any capacity for action. The love that we could use, if we trusted it, can strengthen and unite us, and open us to the whole New Earth that we could co-create if we only saw our power and felt the divine presence in every other life. This is why the archons  work as tirelessly as they do to sow fear where love should be.


So important is it now to understand better what has just happened in Paris, now that arts of deception have reached a pitch of cohesion and skill that the controllers have never achieved before -- with the possible exception of Goebbels' propaganda cover for industrial genocide during the Holocaust -- that it is worth our while, for those interested in the astrology of this event, to explore what has happened here. If the astrology does not interest you, please scroll down to The Pirates are Smiling.


False Flags in Paris

Nov. 13, 2015 at 9:20pm: Paris France

48N52 / 2E20 -- Tropical, Placidus, True Node


The basics are evident here, and to explore them we need not get mired in excessive detail. It is often useful to look at a chart as it it were a painting rather than a design of symbols and  numbers, so that we notice where the painter -- in this case the artist of our collective consciousness -- is drawing our eye first, then next, until we've gained a grasp of the whole composition. This is the kind of very concentrated chart that we see in individuals who are highly evolved souls, or who have positioned themselves in their Sacred Contracts for high opportunity and achievement. We also often find charts like this one in important events that tend to focus our minds and ignite our passions toward a perception we need to get, a course of action we need to take, or, as in this case, a belief that others want us to buy. The same premise applies to Astrocartography maps, as we'll soon see.


Here our collective painter's eye draws us to the four planets in the 5th house of creativity, children, play and love affairs; the 9th house of institutions of authority; and the cluster of three planets and the horseshoe-shaped North Moon's Node flanking the Nadir, the bottom center point of the chart at 29° Virgo 57', representing  the material realm, the practical foundation of our life on the Earth plane, and also domestic security, as the Nadir is the cusp of the 4th house of the home.


The vertical center of the chart is packed and urgent, as the two Moon's Nodes align closely with the Nadir and its opposite point, the Midheaven (MC for Medium Coeli) at the top of the chart. Not only this, but impetuous and violent Mars, always in discomfort in the patient, cooperative sign of Libra, is within a degree of the Moon's Node axis, making it likely that some disharmony and quarreling will thrive in blood-red soil. Mars is also in a near-conjunction with Venus, so that hasty and potentially disastrous action is likely in our home environment  and relationships.


The most dynamic and combative house axis in the chart -- that is, a pair of opposing houses -- is the axis of communications, where the North Node and Jupiter in Virgo occupy the 3rd house of routine business and personal communications; while the South Node, Chiron and Neptune in Pisces are in the 9th house of authority and the "higher communications" of religion, philosophy and law. Jupiter's position is pivotal, as he is opposite to Chiron, thereby creating conditions for deep wounding of and by political and religious authorities, and the reptilian archons who own and control them. Jupiter is also in a 90° "square" with the Sagittarius Moon in the 5th house, so that we are likely to see, as Reinhold Ebertin put it, in the always instructive Combination of Stellar Influences, "inner conflicts with regard to one's outlook on life and the world in general and with regard to religious matters, rebellion or opposition."


Equally important to this event and its consequences is Neptune, whose role while he's in Pisces, the sign he rules, is even more subtle and indirect than it always is, and even more conducive to fantasy, addiction and dependency, and the dissolving of boundaries. Neptune's house position, whether in a birth chart or a mundane chart for an organization, nation or an event, marks the area of life in which we are going to deceive or be deceived. It is obvious which of these is more likely when Neptune is in the 9th house of governments, banks, lawyers and churches, for one does not have to be I. F. Stone to know that "governments lie," or to be Jonathan Swift to suppose that for most human beings, happiness is in "the perpetual possession of being well-deceived."


So governments are lying again. So what? How is it so unusual this time? One clue is in the 90°square between Neptune and Saturn, the new master aspect that will rule 2016, just as the recurring Uranus-Pluto square rules mid-2012 through January 2016. As Saturn and Neptune move forward and retrograde from now through October 2016, they will behave as two people who don't much like each other usually will when one is stiff (Saturn) and the other is crabby (Neptune). Difficult alignments between these two will usually manifest in symptoms of black-and-white dualities of opinion and bafflingly inconsistent action, stone walls and silent treatments, insecurity, complaining and victimhood, showdown battles between the higher and lower selves, and lies and propaganda created and disseminated with all the painstaking, methodical effort one expects of Saturn.


Before we leave the astrology for now, it may be intriguing to look for a moment at at the astrocartography of the Paris attacks -- that is, the configuration of planet lines flanking Paris at 9:20 pm on Nov. 13, the moment when the attacks occurred. Here the red line of Mars the Warrior and the gray communal line of the Moon's Node, both pointing down to the Nadir and the dimension of home and security, are very close to the city. They're in this position because, as we see in the chart above, Mars and the Node are on either side of the Nadir at the bottom center of the chart. As each planet line in a map like this is powerful for a range of 300 miles, the impact of this combination, so close to Paris, is very strong. Mars on the Nadir means accident, injury and a high potential for violence; the Node here means a tendency to differ sharply from the views and values of others, and to pursue  one's aims with no regard for the group or community who will be affected by them. It is likely that the event shown here will be horrific not only for the community of the people of France, but for people all over the world who are united in their grief for the ones who perished, and their compassion for their loved ones.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, where  decisions about this event were made and were being monitored on Nov. 13, anyone's loved ones are the last thing on the minds of those who designed this outrage. Curving very close to Washington, DC is a purple Uranus line pointing east to the Ascendant, signifying that here a surprising, shocking event is being projected out to the world through cutting-edge electronic media. To the east, well within range of the media center of New York, is a dark red Pluto line pointing up to the Midheaven, indicating that here, besides the general Plutonian themes of life-and-death struggle and upheaval, high-stakes hostility, alienation and desperate power games, we are looking at deeply-held beliefs in authority, or in an implacable resistance to tyranny. "In this location," Jim Lewis wrote, "you could become famous, murdered, notorious, a fugitive or a great leader." The upshot, then, is that a bloody and terrifying event serves as a trigger for those who want to exploit dread and chaos for their agendas of domination, manipulation and control.


How do we know that the United States was deeply involved, as it always is now as either the perpetrator or the resistor, or both? Because the Paris attacks fit the classic false flag template pioneered in the 9/11 scam. The Syrian passport conveniently dropped on a sidewalk. The usual unholy alliance among true believers, embittered youth and highly professional mercenaries, some of whom were not from the Middle East at all. The immediate and cohesive narrative, parroted in identical phrases and images over "news" broadcasts throughout the USA, about who did it and why, all presented endlessly and obsessively in ways  that underscore the essential theme: that we will have to have more war, against more enemies, with allies if we can but alone if we must. Why is the United States now compelled to do this? Because we have now come to the inevitable result of what began a century ago, when the capitalist backers of World War I realized, as the video JFK to 9/11: Everything is a Rich Man's Trick brilliantly tells it, that War is Good for Business, and so immense profits can be gained from creating more powerful and expensive armaments, and fomenting more and more wars that will require them, even when, as has been happening since World War II, the US is arming both sides in the conflict, even its enemies, as Prescott Bush, Henry Ford  and other capitalists did in supplying arms that Nazi Germany used against American troops.


The two graphs shown here tell the dark tale. In the three years from 2010 to 2013, the US percentage of total world arms exports rose from 35% to over 50%, so now it is literally true -- if the trend continues, as it likely does -- that the United States sells more arms each year than all the the rest of the world put together. This is not just a matter of almost breathtaking greed, and an imperialist lust for control. And not just that the US is a helpless captive of the military-industrial-congressional complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about. No. Now the US has no choice. It is in the same unsustainable fix as the Spanish empire, which became so dependent on the flow of silver from the fabulously rich mines in Potosi, Bolivia, that in the 17th and 18th centuries the dependable silver cushion in South America undercut all motivation to innovate and imagine. So the country that had created Toledo steel and refined Portuguese naval technology threw its wealth away in religious wars, was eclipsed by France, and lost its leadership for good to England during the Industrial Revolution. When the peoples of South America won their independence in the 1820's, the game was up. The Spanish, unlike the Americans, did not have the media of communication  that would enable them to hold their primacy a little longer by fooling everyone else, and keeping them paralyzed with endless fear.


To understand this better, it will help to take a brief look at what a false flag operation means.


The Pirates Are Smiling


As defined by Wikipedia, this term describes "covert military or paramilitary operations designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by perpetrators other than those who actually planned and executed them." The term was especially used in relation to naval warfare and sea robbery during he age of sail, when pirates and privateers like the ones shown here would hoist a flag friendly to their prey, and then, when they were in range and there was no escape, they'd show their true colors, run up the jolly roger and attack. Ruses de guerre like this have been used for thousands of years, ever since ancient armies dressed in the enemy's armor and approached under his standard. What's different now? Clearly, it's that such false moves are no longer pulled only off one island or on one battlefield, and known only to those who are in that place. They are now global, and far more impactful, thanks to the reach and immediacy of modern telecommunications.


We saw in last month's UFC how the long anticipated and dreaded Project Blue Beam has now been implemented by the Chinese, or someone else who is projecting images of cities in the clouds above  China and also Nigeria, where the images were accompanied by the noises of street traffic and other urban sounds, which the people below, predictably, identified as a miracle by  Allah. The game is already working, and it's only a matter of time before we see images like this one, courtesy of Waking Times. Recognize this famous, formidable face? You're right again. It's from God Creating the Sun and Moon, by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. This  one is especially potent because it shows how an image that  believers associate with a powerful Divine figure, saint, angel, or famous star can be enhanced by sounds and subliminal messages and vibrations to induce whatever emotional reaction the manipulator wants in the thrilled and willing throng on the ground.


Project Green Beam


What can we do about it? If you've read these UFC pages before, you already know the answers, and you're probably already doing it, so the main question is which Black Moon (Dec. 11) or Full Moon (Dec. 25, not just for Christmas this time!), or both, you're going to celebrate with family, friends and community. How you'll mark the Solstice on Dec. 22 as the moment of the Return of the Light in the northern hemisphere, and the Resurgence of the Heart here in the south. And if you're in a place that has a crystal singing bowl circle, you can join the Global Harmonization by Circle of Sound, in which I'll lead a Sacred Sound Circle here in Pisac. This hands me an idea.


What if, instead of being passive and reactive, waiting to see what the most vicious among us are going to pull next, and how they're going to carry out their agenda of wiping out 90% of humanity,  so that they own what's left of the Earth, and what's left of the rest of us will survive only as their servants? Is it not time that we got proactive about this? While we all wish to be kind and patient and non-judgmental, is it not time we started to beat these bastards at their own game? Really, enough is enough. It's time we acted, especially now that the new free energy technologies we'll look at next month give us tools and tactics of freedom that we've never had in our hands before?


I propose that we pool our skills and resources to create and broadcast Project Green Beam, which will put up in the sky some inspiring images and sounds that will galvanize our communities toward the goals of universal health, planetary prosperity and liberty that we all hold sacred. I'd be happy to deliver this:


"Hello, and welcome to Moment of Truth on FAN, the Free Aquarian Network, starring me, the Green Man, coming to you with Klau Kyrlian, the great Pisac painter who's here to help awaken the inner Botticelli and Frida Kahlo in all of us. This is the time to realize that Love will unite us, and Community empower us, and when we turn our collective Courage to the task of living in service and sharing our Passion for what is holy, healthy and good, there is nothing we cannot do."


There is always a bright side somewhere, though it may at times be hard to see. Prison Planet has just announced the The Corporation That Must Not Be Named has been  sued for crimes against humanity. "The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, along with dozens of global food, farming, and environmental justice groups announced at the United Nations conference held recently in Paris that an international court of lawyers and judges will assess Monsanto’s criminal liability for their atrocious acts." It is time that Voldemort Inc. had to face some music. There is much to look forward to in 2016.


Breathe. Look Up. Sing. Keep Holding That Frequency.



Daily Listings

December 2015


Dec. 1, Tuesday:

 In the ancient Greek solar calendar, 12/1 is the festival of Poseidon, god of the sea.


In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Rain, the eighth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (11 Imix, Tzolkin 141). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Eagle.


This day is sacred also to the Tibetan protectress Red Tara.


Dec. 2, Tuesday:

In the Hindu solar calendar, 12/2 is the Feast of Shiva, the Destroyer, one of the three most important male deities in the Hindu pantheon. The sound and rhythm of his drum are said to be the primordial tone of the cosmos, his dance the creative act that brings all life into being.

    Om Nama Shivaya.


Dec. 4, Thursday:

One of the festivals of Pallas Athena in the ancient Greek calendar, and the feast of St. Barbara in the traditional Christian calendar. This is yet another example of the methodical way in which the early Christian church replaced "pagan" holidays with days honoring new Christian saints. St. Barbara -- whose veneration the Vatican recently discontinued, when she and several other obviously mythical saints were quietly retired -- was said to protect her devotees from lightning, just as Athena mollified the wrath of her father, Zeus Cloudgatherer, Lord of the Lightning Bolt.


In the Yoruba calendar, this is the feast of Shango, protector against all evil.


According to a Dutch Christmastime legend, this is the day on which St. Nicholas (see 12/6) captured and chained Black Peter, that is, the Devil, and compelled him to drop candy and toys down the chimneys and into the shoes of good children waiting below.


Dec. 5 , Saturday:

Venus enters Scorpio.


Dec. 6, Sunday:

In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast of St. Nicholas, healer and miracle worker, patron saint of Russia. To this day his relics at the church in Bari, Italy are said to yield a "manna" that heals the sick and infirm. In northwest Europe and North America, he is more closely identified with Santa Claus, whose highly dualistic system of giving gifts -- toys for kids who obey, coal for those who don't -- encourages children to be good in December, during the mellowness of the harvest season, when yelling is least welcome and pleasant.


Dec. 6 eve – 14 eve (eight days):

In the Jewish calendar, these are the days of Hanukkah, the great feast of lights in the annual festival cycle. This feast celebrates the rites that followed the Maccabees' liberation of Jerusalem from the Syrians, and the miracle whereby a tiny amount of oil found in the temple, reckoned to be enough to give light for only one day, burned for the full eight days the priests needed to consecrate new oil.


Dec. 7, Monday:

Feast day of St. Catherine Of Alexandria, whose virgin martyr scenario has always been admired for, among other things, the element of slow-burn comedy that could make W. C. Fields an ideal casting choice for the emperor Maximinus. Catherine sought an audience with Caesar to ask his help in redressing a wrong, then proceeded to berate his augustness for cruelty toward Christians. Not wanting to slice up one so innocent and tender, Maximinus handed the girl over to his court priests and scholars, asking them to talk her out of her fantasies. Catherine proceeded to convert the teachers, then the emperor's mother. Maximinus ordered Catherine to be broken on a wheel, but the wheel shattered at her touch. He finally had her decapitated, so she is usually depicted with a spiked wheel and a sword. She is especially beloved in Russia, and she has been celebrated more poignantly since 1941 for the day when the Soviet Army stopped the Germans outside Moscow and forced them to retreat and cover for the winter. On this day, as the attack on Pearl Harbor was hours away, the future of Russia, and the world, hung by a thread. People in the Russian Orthodox churches are still grateful for St. Catherine's protection on Dec. 7, 1941.


Dec. 8, Tuesday:

In the Khemitian calendar, Feast of Neith, double-aspected netert of creation, symbolized in her role as patroness of weaving; and of war and hunting (Month of Tybi, day 23).


In the Roman Catholic calendar, Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.


In Japan this day is Rohatsu, which Mahayana Buddhists in China, Korea, Vietnam and other East Asian countries call Bodhi day. It marks the day on which the Buddha experienced enlightenment after renouncing extreme austerities and deciding to sit under a pipal tree until he understood the cause of suffering, and the way to liberate oneself from it. This is why Bodhi Day often involves an overnight meditation, or in Japan is the culmination of a sesshin lasting up to seven days.


Dec. 10, Thursday:

On this day Mercury is more than happy to exit Sagittarius, where he has been unhappily "in fall" since Nov. 20, and has been playing what could be called the Dilbert aspect of doing one's best to survive the ineptitude and indifference of a boss who likely did not invent people skills in an earlier life. In Mercury's annual journey, going into Capricorn is like a much-needed sabbatical in a library -- not the best place for the ruler of Gemini to talk as freely as he likes, but a welcome prelude to visiting Aquarius, from Jan. 2.


This is the date of the Roman festival of Lux Mundi ("light of the world"), still celebrated in Europe, especially in France, where this day commemorates Liberty, the goddess of light whose Statue was presented by France to the United States (though after the gift was declined by Egypt). Light of the World is among the first of the festivals of light traditionally held in the weeks before the northern winter solstice; and one of many goddess festivals of peace and freedom held in early December, before the more raucous events (see the Saturnalia at 12/18 below) that precede the December Solstice.


Dec. 11, Friday, 12:30am HT, 10:30am UT:

Black Moon conjunct Sun in Sagittarius. This lunation -- not the same as the New Moon, when the  thin crescent of the Moon reappears in the sky -- is traditionally considered one of the happiest and most harmonious Dark Moons of the year. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, lord of wealth and hearty pleasures, so the first half of December has been throughout the Northern hemisphere the time when enterprises of all kinds celebrate the profits and achievements of the year, and gather the clans for feasts of love and friendship.


This Black Moon is exceedingly complex and powerful, a fitting climax to a very eventful year. The Moon-Sun combination in Sagittarius is the middle leg of a T-cross with Jupiter in Virgo and Chiron in Pisces, and is also at a 120° trine to Uranus in Aries and a 60° sextile to Mars in Libra. This combination of advantageous opportunities and hard stresses makes this moment exceedingly volatile, even by the standards of mutable, fiery Sagittarius, so that this sign's famous tendency to speak too soon, then wonder what they've just done is really an improvement on silence, may be much in evidence now.


The famous Hopi and Zuni festival of Shalako is usually held at this Black Moon, when the pitch darkness that is needed for the opening of these rites will not be available. Shalako, like the Japanese On-Matsuri and many other early winter festivals, begins as sacred images -- here the kachinas -- are removed from their shrines under cover of deep darkness, to be cleaned and restored to their places in the kiva just before the next Full Moon on Dec. 17.


Dec. 12, Saturday:

The Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have first appeared on this day in 1531 at the temple of Tonantzin Coatlique, goddess of the Moon in the recently destroyed Aztec empire.


In the Baha'i calendar, this day honors the Deity as Masa'il, or Mystery.


Dec. 13, Sunday:

In Christian calendars, the Feast of St. Lucy, Santa Lucia, the great north European winter Festival of Lights. This day is also Little Yule in the Norse calendar, followed a week later by the Yuletide cycle. Interestingly, the old Swedish feast of Lucia and the similarly-named Roman feast of Juno Lucina-- honoring the matron goddess Juno as keeper of the home fires -- developed independently in very ancient times, and merged later into the Christian feast of St. Lucy.


Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight and tomorrow. This can be one of the year's better celestial shows, with bright (average magnitude 2.5) meteors appearing at a rate of some 50 - 80 per hour. Viewing will be compromised this year, as the Moon is waxing to Full (Dec. 16).


Dec. 14, Monday:

The celebrated prophet Nostradamus is honored on this day.


This is also the feast of St. John of the Cross, the mystic poet who was curiously canonized after his death by the same church that persecuted, imprisoned and tortured him, thus causing the suffering that apparently produced some of the greatest mystical poetry in the Christian tradition. St. John of the Cross shares this day with another great poet:


Dec, 14 - 17 (4 days)

In the festival calendars of Turkey and some other Islamic countries, the Mevlana Festival, honoring the Sufi poet Jelaluddin Rumi, is held within these days. This anniversary day of Rumi's death is called his Urs, which literally means marriage, because it is the day on which the saint left his physical body to enter into union with the Divine Beloved.

"Enter the thicket of lions unafraid of any wounds.

The shadows you fear are just a child's fantasy.

There is no wound, and nothing to be wounded.

All is mercy and love." (Version by Coleman Barks.)


Dec. 15, Tuesday:

In the ancient Greek calendar, beginning of the Halcyon Days, the two weeks just before and after the winter solstice. Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, god of the winds, and in placating her father, served as protector from storms (See 12/4).

Dec. 15 - 18 (4 days):

At Kasuga Shrine in Japan's ancient capital of Nara, the gods are treated to an amazing four-day performance of music, theatre and dance at the On-Matsuri (winter festival). This is one of the world's many December feasts in which sacred images are removed from their shrines, purified and reinstalled. The rare feature of the On-Matsuri is that the gods are placed in a temporary shrine fronted by a stage on which they, and humans who also like to come and watch, get to see for four days any and every kind of traditional performance Japan has. It all happens outdoors. Dress warm.


Dec. 16, Wednesday:

In Khemitian calendar, month of Mechir begins with a two-day festival honoring Ra, the neter of the Sun:

12/16: Ptah, neter of creation, lifts Ra up to heaven

12/17: The neteru of heaven receive Ra as lord of the sky


Dec. 16 is also the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770).


Dec. 16 - 24 (Nine days):

In the Roman Catholic calendar, the year's most efficacious novena --that is, nine-day prayer cycle--begins now on the ninth day before Christmas. This novena, also called Las Posadas in Hispanic countries, commemorates the journey of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph toward Jerusalem for the birth of Jesus.


Dec. 17, Thursday:

Among the Yoruba and Santeria peoples of Africa, and their descendants in Europe and the Americas, this is the feast of the Orisha Babalu Aye, whose medicine guards the people against the most terrible diseases, and who is also the special protector of the physically disabled.


The Roman festival of the Saturnalia begins. This week-long party, culminating in the Sun's entry into Capricorn and continuing until Dec. 25, is very old, from the time when Saturn was not yet ruler of Capricorn, and the bringer of limitation, old age, illness and death, but was actually god of the evergreens, an ancient Italian version of the ever-present Green Man. The Saturnalia is the year's great festival of thanksgiving, beginning with the giving of gifts and the forgiveness of debts, and leading a week later to the year's wildest revel when all classes mingle, servants get to make fun of their masters, donkeys and other beasts of burden are honored in mock processions, fool kings are crowned, and people of all orders throw the last grand blowout of the year, just before the onset of winter and the Rebirth of the Light.


Dec. 19, Saturday:

On this day the Sun crosses the Galactic Center point near 27° Sagittarius--or, more precisely, the Sun is now positioned at the exact midpoint of an imaginary line between the Galactic Center and Earth. The effect of this is to create a brief window of very high receptivity and clarity in transdimensional communication. For those willing to listen, the air shimmers with guidance and inspiration.


Dec. 20, Sunday:

In the Norse calendar, Mother Night, the first day of the Yuletide season, named for geola (the "yoke" that joins the old and new years), the day in the year when the Sun is above the horizon for the shortest time, following and preceding the two longest nights of the year. Mother Night, as the longest and darkest night of the year, is considered the womb of the New Year. It is customary on this night to pray for auspicious dreams, which are said to foretell the year to come.


Dec. 20 - 31 (12 days):

In the Asatru tradition of the Celtic and Norse peoples, Mother Night begins the 12-day Yule cycle, in which the fading of the old year is marked in rites of the Holly King. Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love, female fertility and creativity is honored with evergreens and fires, feasting and singing at the start of her festival, which later became the 12 days of Christmas.


The Winter Solstice: Dec. 21 – 25


Dec. 21, Monday:

Feast of St. Thomas, the famous doubting apostle who has been, ever since he asked to check the wounds of Jesus just to be sure, the patron saint and clown role of those who refuse to consider the premise that once we believe it, we can see it.


In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Light, the ninth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (5 Imix, Tzolkin 161). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Turkey, the energy principles those of Breakthrough and Budding.


One of the many male solar figures who are celebrated now, at the onset of the winter solstice, is the famous British warrior hero King Arthur, whose birthday is Dec. 21.


Dec. 21 - 25 (5 days):

Since ancient times in northern Europe and cultures descended from it, this is the annual Evergreen Festival, celebrated in the planting of new evergreens and the making of evergreen wreaths.


In the Khemitian calendar, the same five days are the feast of Aset (Isis), Queen of Heaven and Earth, wife and sister of Ausar (Osiris) on the month of Mechir, day 6. In Mediterranean countries , Aset was the most widely revered deity in the ancient Western world, worshiped in various forms for some 4,000 years until she was rivaled by her Christian counterpart, the Virgin Mary, and was ultimately suppressed by Islam. Now she rises again.


Dec. 21 - Jan. 9 (20 days):

The Hopi and Zuni peoples of the Southwestern USA celebrate Soyala, the New Year feast of purification and regeneration. This is yet another of the many December festivals in which homes and ritual spaces are cleaned and reconsecrated, fires extinguished and relit with the new fire of the Winter Solstice.


Dec. 21, Monday, 6:49pm HT;  Dec. 22, Tuesday, 4:49am UT:

The Winter Solstice is the last of the year's four Cardinal Festivals. Sun enters Capricorn and Winter begins as the Sun reaches the 270° point on the zodiac wheel, and begins his homeward swing toward the 0° point, at the Spring Equinox. As entries for the next few days will show, this Solstice is traditionally the most important festival of the year as it marks the birth of the Solar Child at the time of returning Winter light, and is thus the moment of affirming faith in the re-emergence of earthly life in the Spring, and also, symbolically, in the soul's survival beyond death. In the Tarot, this relationship is signified by the contrast between the Hermit, a Saturnian figure who wears a black robe and carries the lantern of esoteric wisdom (see end of this page); and the exuberant child of the Sun card.


Dec. 22, Tuesday:

In the Japanese Shinto calendar this day is Touji Taisai, sacred to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu-no-Mikuni, heroine of one of the world's great myths of the retreat and return of the Sun. When her brother, the raucous storm trickster Susanoo-no-Mikuni insulted and ridiculed her, she withdrew into a cave and caused the Earth to suffer in such cold and darkness that the other gods came to sing and dance outside her cave until the goddess relented and forgave, and allowed the others to charm her back out. Among the universal symbolisms of such stories is the principle that light avoids wild and violent action, and can tame it only by limiting it in patterns of order, symbolized by music and dance.


The Cherokee people of North America celebrate on this day a very similar festival in honor of the Sun, who has locked herself inside her house in mourning for her dead daughter, and can be induced to re-emerge and smile only by the music and dance of children.


The Chinese observe the festival of Wang Mu, the Empress Mother, lady of compassion. This peak day of the yin half of the year honors the Shen, or deities, of north, winter and the Earth element in prayers for the renewal of cosmic order.


In the Jewish lunar calendar, this is the 10th day of the month of Tevet. It commemorates Nebuchadnezzar's siege and capture of Jerusalem, the destruction of Solomon's temple and the Babylonian conquest of Judah.


Dec. 22 (Tuesday) eve - 23 (Wednesday) eve:

In the Islamic Sunni sacred year, Jan. 14 is the 12th day of the lunar month of Rabia Awal. It is one of the holiest days in the year: Mevlid-i Nebi, birthday of the prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him, in 570. The day of the "White Moon who rose over us" is one of the few holy days that Muslims celebrate in mid-month, before the Full Moon, as Islamic months and most holy days are keyed to the sighting of a New Moon. Shiites celebrate this feast five days later, at the Full Moon, while some traditional believers do not observe it at all, seeing it as an innovation of which the prophet himself would not have approved.


Dec. 23, Wednesday:

In the Khemitian calendar, Feast day of Het-Heru (Hathor), sky goddess, patroness of astrology (Mechir, day 8).


In some Celtic calendars, this intercalary day between the Winter Solstice and 12/25 is called the Secret of the Unhewn Stone, the only day in the year not ruled by a tree or ogham symbol. Like Mother Night (12/20), the Unhewn Stone was thus a symbol of the unshaped, emerging potential of all things.


In some Native American calendars, the Month of the Snow Goose begins on this day.


Dec. 24 - 27 (four days):

Among the Tewa people of the Pueblo tribes, the festival of the Turtle Dance, commemorating the seeding and conception of all life by Father Sky and Mother Earth, begins now on the day before the Full Moon closest to the Winter Solstice.


Dec. 25, Friday:

In the Northern hemisphere, the most important festival day of the year, marking the birth of the Solar Child, the Savior, Renewer of the Light. This day has been celebrated in the Northern world for more than 6,000 years as the birth or feast day of many solar deities, resurrected kings and queens, and saviors. When the mythic cycles of Sumeria, Egypt, India and China were forming and on their way to being vivid and complex, Dec. 25 was the accepted date of the winter solstice, before the ancient star priests were able to reckon it precisely on Dec. 21.


Countless deities and other noted figures are celebrated on this day. Among them:


In the Khemitian calendar, Dec. 25 is the shared father-and-son birthday of Ausar (Osiris), neter of male creativity and vegetation; and his son with Aset (Isis): Hor (Horus), the falcon-headed solar hero who is destined to battle Set, neter of destruction and chaos, for the survival of life on Earth. Hor is solar energy in active physical manifestation. Thus the living Pharaoh is considered his living human embodiment. The birthdays of Ausar and Hor fall on day 10 in the Month of Mechir.


Dec. 25 is the birthday of the Persian solar deity Mithras, whose ritual slaying of the Bull enacts the ascendancy of spirit over matter, and also the end of the Age of Taurus. Mithras' day first entered the Roman Calendar as the holiday sacred to Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun.


In the ancient Greek calendar, this day is celebrated as a birthday or major festival day of Apollo/Helios, who merges into the single figure of Apollo, god of the Sun, patron of intellect, rationality, the ideal beauty of classical form, and the mystery of prophecy.


On the same day, curiously, some of Apollo's opposite numbers are born and honored too: Dionysus and the Phrygian Attis, both associated with ecstatic revelry and passion, blood and wine. The incomparably beautiful and doomed Adonis, lover of Aphrodite, is reborn on this day each year and dies a few months later on what some other calendars usually call Easter.


Also the birthday of the ancient Babylonian god Baal.


In the Norse tradition, this is the birthday of Baldur, yet another beautiful young god who dies in the bloom of youth and returns to life on the first day of winter. His feast is associated with wreaths of greenery and holly. At his death each year his blood is said to fall on the white young holly berries, staining them bright red. These colors also symbolize Baldur as the joining of spiritual love (white) with erotic love (red).


In Christian calendars, this is Christmas, birthday of Jesus of Nazareth, considered by his devotees to be the Promised One, the Messiah, whom Christians revere as the fully realized embodiment of divinity, the Christ.

In the words of Isaiah: " . . . unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace."


Dec. 25 (Friday), 1:13am HT; 11:13pm UT:

Full Moon in Cancer, opposite the Sun in Capricorn. This lunation embodies the classic tensions between disciplined intellect and wealth of feeling; perseverance in pursuit of professional goals and the inner nurturing energy of domesticity; the mature male and the youthful female, symbolized by, among other things, Father Time and the New Year Baby. As the Moon rules Cancer, this time of year naturally emphasizes the nurturing powers of the feminine, family activities shared within the home, and a time of introspection following the feasting season of early winter.


This is a relatively mild Full Moon, and especially so in comparison to the tremendous Black Moon of Dec. 11, with Neptune in Pisces forming the only major planet aspect, a 120° trine to the Moon and a 60° sextile to the Sun.


In some Native American calendars, the Month of the Otter begins on this day.


Dec. 26, Saturday :

In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian calendars of Greece and Russia, birthday of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.


In the Zoroastrian calendar, this day marks the death of the saint and teacher Zarathusthra, or Zoroaster, in 551 BC, celebrated in rites that observe the universal myth pattern of the Double Holy Seven--in this case seven male and seven female emanations of the deity, whose efficacy in purifying the earth from evil is praised in sacred fire rites. Other examples: the fourteen body parts of Ausar (Osiris), the fourteen Stations of the Cross in Roman Catholic ritual, and, in symbols common to Egyptian mystery schools and the biblical Book of Revelations, the cycle of the Dove descending into the crown of the head and down through the seven chakras, then reascending the chakra column as the Eagle.


Dec. 26 - Jan. 1 (one week):

The festival of Kwanzaa, celebrated by African Americans and other descendants of the African peoples, and also widely respected by environmentally conscious people for its emphasis on communal values that support sustainable, Earth-friendly economies: teamwork, responsible stewardship, unity of faith and purpose, and the honoring of creativity and beauty.


In the calendar of the ancient Khemitians, aka “Egyptians,” a four-day festival of Djehuti ("Thoth"), the lunar neter of wisdom and learning, was held now. The rites began with a celebration of Djehuti's arrival in the physical realm; honored his gifts of mathematics, literature and music; and culminated in the ceremony of gratitude for the most profound of all Djehuti's secrets: the khu, or light body, which adepts in the mystery schools aspired to generate through spiritual practice.


Dec. 27, Sunday :

In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast day of St. John, the Beloved Disciple, said to be also the author of the Gospel of John, the Book of Revelations, and the apocryphal Secret Book of John, in which Jesus is quoted as having said, "If you get out what is within you, it will save you; if you do not get out what is within you, it will destroy you." John was apparently the only one of the apostles who did not seek martyrdom, but lived and wrote on the Greek isle of Patmos until he was a hundred years old.


In the six-season calendar of the aboriginal people of Australia, the monsoon season of Gudjewg begins about now. This season of just over three months is the year's longest, lasting until the end of March. After the initial weeks of the monsoon, Gudjewg has three main phases: Gularr Gaimiugu, "Fire Hot Spells" (February); Magumbu, "Heavy Rain" (end of February to about March 10) and Na-Maddjaworomi, "Last of the Monsoon" (through the end of March).


Dec. 28, Monday:

In Celtic and some other ancient European traditions, Dec. 28 is considered the unluckiest day of the year, when no work should be done, no new enterprises should be started, no new approaches made.


Dec. 29, Tuesday:

In the Roman Catholic calendar, this is the feast of St. Thomas á Becket, Chaucer's "hooly blisful martyr" of the Canterbury Tales, whose cathedral was and is the most visited Christian pilgrimage site in England. Becket's story of fatal defiance to the will of Henry the Lion is still one of the most oft-retold dramas of spiritual honor and sacrifice.


Dec. 29 - Jan.  4 (5 days):

In the Zoroastrian calendar, festival of the creator and protector of animal life, Vohu Manah, one of the seven male and seven female emanations of the Deity.


Dec. 30, Wednesday:

On this day Venus enters Sagittarius. Unlike Mars, who chafes at his father's authority when he is in this sign, Venus will feel regally at ease and at home, and, as Winston Churchill put it, easily satisfied with the very best, until she crosses into more serious territory in Capricorn on Dec. 10.


Dec. 31, Thursday:

In the Baha'i calendar, this day honors the Deity as Sharaf, Honor.


In the ancient Asatru tradition of the Celtic and Norse peoples, this day is the famous Twelfth Night, the last of the 12 days of Yule, which began on Dec. 20, Mother Night. There is one more night of celebration now before Yule decorations come down, and the Yule tree and other holiday greenery are removed from the home, on the next day. It's customary to burn the old greenery, to symbolize the end of the old year, though each household keeps a sprig of holly, ivy or mistletoe for good luck until the next Yule season.


The two-day Festival of Saturn, on the last day of the Old Year and the first day of the New, is among the most important points in the Roman ritual calendar, and the archetypal year connected with it. This first day of Saturn's annual festival is devoted to the double-themed figure of Father Time. He is often perceived (see Mythic Prelude) as the pale death bringer in a black robe, with a scythe: Saturn the Reaper, the Shiva and Set counterpart who clears away through age, sickness and death -- and separation in the heart -- the old, spent energies that are due to fade.


His other aspect is Saturn the Keeper of Prophecy and Teacher of Esoteric Spiritual Wisdom, who holds within his lantern the Light Hologram that organizes all Knowledge. Both aspects of Saturn are prominent in our consciousness now, as Pluto is in Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules, until 2023.


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.