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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.

PRELUDE  TO

THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR

June 2015

 

What the Water Said

 

Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for a month of high celebration in June, 2015.

We get our bearings in astral space to estimate the logistics of our hearts this month, and in the months ahead, as we can surely expect the snowballing of events that have recently happened, and will trigger more and wider of the same. A 62% popular vote in Ireland legalizes same-sex marriage and chooses to limit efforts at control by the Church of Rome. The Citizens of Jackson County, Oregon win a court victory over Voldemort Inc. by banning GMO seeds in their soil. The Corporation That Must Not Be Named is losing one case after another in many other places, and gets shockingly exposed, as it was last week when The Washington Post was revealed and proved to be what we'd intuitively known it all along to be:  a misinformation mill and flacktory  for the biotech sindustry, actually using as news and editorial material articles written for the Post by Voldemort Inc. itself.

 

It is only now beginning to get widely known that since 2003, the United States government has held a patent on the medical use of cannabis. Patent no. 6630507, "cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants" was awarded to the Dept. of Health and Human Services twelve years ago now, so that for the last 12 years, the United States has fought its rearguard action against legalizing the  "Great Plant," as the Chinese call it, largely because all along, the controllers of the USA intended all along to time the legalizing of cannabis for the moment when they when they could control it and profit from it. Their secret-until-now patent entitles them to sue for patent infringement anyone who sells marijuana and other cannabinoids for medical use. Some people are amazed by this revelation. But the duplicity -- literally the doubleness -- of US drug policy is not amazing at all.

 

We understand better now, in the clearer and faster consciousness we've gained during and since the Uranus - Pluto square, in the three years from June 2012 until now, what the theme and tension of these times must be, as controllers and archons everywhere know their power is slipping, their house of cards is about to flutter down, so they must fight to control the fewer and fewer people who still submit to their authority, while the surge of community and of unity consciousness means the hierarchies may not have to be swept aside. They could just dissolve at any minute. They get more and more fragile as their tricks get transparent to everyone. We have the archons' number. We know how they sow conflict, then support both sides, even backing both enemies in wars, generating immense profits for armaments merchants -- and, even worse, getting our less conscious humans to keep believing violence and war have to keep happening, that's how it is in the world. As more and more awaken, they will see that "sinfu;," "corrupt" human nature is an empty dogma; and that peace, prosperity and a healthy, grateful green Earth are attainable if human beings can stop buying into fake, fabricated conflicts, and accept their power and role now to co-create the world.

 

Have any doubts that the old world of solid things in friction is shifting now? Consider this, from Tom Goodwin for Havas Media, reported by Planet Proctor: "Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibab, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory and Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

 

Indeed. We can help mightily in June, 2015 to move along this new sense that, as Bill Hicks put it, "Matter is only energy slowed to a lower rate of vibration.". This month is a peach, really, an excellent time for consolidating our gains, at least between and after the two lunations. The Full Moon on June 2  is potentially thorny, with the Sagittarius Moon opposite Sun conjunct Mars, all of them aligned at 90° in a T-cross with Neptune in Pisces. So this is not a time for much clarity of vision and action, though it is excellent for chaotic visioning -- that is, the seeing of all creative possibilities as they come  in the shifts of order and structure that come more unpredictably now. Mystic Mamma has an excellent take -- thanks to Sanne Burger for the tip -- on this Full Moon. Countless  Ceremonies will be held now, including Singing Down the Moon, which Anna Heddes and I will guide in Landsmeer, in the Netherlands.

 

The Black Moon on June 16 -- Bloomsday! -- feels similar, with the T-cross dissolved and Moon opposite the persistent, less than patient and rational  Sun-Mars conjunction. Stepping the intensity down right now matches the flow of the month, because Mercury's slingshot from retrograde to direct (June 11) is very slow this time. From June 2 through the Solstice, Mercury will cover only a little over 3° of zodiac space, and this is likely to be felt by some as slowness to the point of inertia and lethargy. If you have planets in the band of 4 - 6° Gemini, or the same position in one of other mutable signs of Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, best not to force anything on or through until Cancer Month is here, from the 21st. After that, best be ready to see it all move like a shot.

 

What gives the month a sparkle and zest is the beautiful trine that Jupiter in Leo forms with Uranus in Aries, a friendly and happy interval after Uranus' three years of tension with Pluto. An energy shift begins here, toward optimism and abundance, confidence and enthusiasm, excitement and sheer good luck, because a Jupiter-Uranus comedy act will open June 2 and go exact on June 22, right in the slot of the Summer Solstice. The show continues into early July, and brings a time when all goes well, our efforts go to fruition with less effort than we'd expected, and we can enjoy surprising strokes of luck and opportunity. As many of our best chances will come from others, early-to-mid June is not the time to be in isolation.

 

It's a time to be in the game spiritually, socially, emotionally and in all other ways, alert to openings and invitations that can come from any direction at any time. If that does not describe the way people interact at a really good festival, what in the world does? That's what makes this coming June Solstice one of the most momentous to arrive since the explosion of our awareness that came with the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. That's why I'll guide a Sacred Sound Circle on June 21 in attunement with the Global Harmonization organized by Circle of Sound. It is time to celebrate the Cancer virtues of nurturance and protection, guidance and generosity, stability and matriarchy at its best in the honoring of the sacred element of Water. A very long journey through holy places, like one one I've been on since last year (310 days now) delivers again and again the same reminders: that water is not only sacred, but incomparably truthful, and this is why people have been looking for a very long time for the guidance they got from water in places like the last Greek temple site I saw and felt before coming here to Amsterdam.

 

Apollo Spoke Here

 

The first time you find it on the map, Didim is only one of those places in 6-point type that make you wonder how many people a town has to get before it gets to be a city. This aggregation of 60,000 people looks at first glance like nothing more than a zillion other farmer’s markets and truck stops. There would be no reason to stop here, along the route from Izmir down to the sea resort town of Marmaris, except for one thing.

 

Under its Greek name of Didyma, this place was famous in mythic lore, and home to one of the most impressive temples in the Mediterranean world. The temple of Apollo that was built here was not one the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, though some writers note it “almost” was. The Apollon was designed by the same architects who created the magnificent temple of Artemis/Diana to the north in Ephesus. This Apollon is remarkable for its sheer size, as the fourth largest temple in the ancient Greek world, and for the massiveness of its construction. The upper floor housed so many precious works of art, and so many donations from people who came to seek the god’s guidance, that some of its inner areas, with their thick walls and roof stones, look like a cross between a shrine and a bank. This magnificent inner staircase was used only on ceremonial occasions. It was not made to accommodate devotee traffic.

 

Nothing in the temple interior was. It held only a few people at a time when it was in active use because this is one of the great oracle temples in the world, second in prestige only to Delphi itself.

People did not enter this space by going up the outer stairs, and down the ones shown here. They entered and exited through the Egyptian-style passageways to right and left, which could be controlled at the outer end to admit only the suppliants who were next to approach the inner sanctum and ask their question of the oracle. It was understood by all who came here that this place was for communication  from Apollo himself, and serious, sacred business was underway. The snake-haired heads of Medusa that once adorned the frieze, like the cobras along the upper walls at Saqqara in Egypt, were by no means only meant to scare the loud and the larcenous. They were there to keep the precincts pure by warning all malevolent beings to beware, this place is holy, and entering it with a tainted heart may occasion a bump with mortality.

 

Didyma literally means “twins,” and while scholarly opinions differ about how this name fits, one explanation is obvious. This is where Zeus, in the form of a swan, loved Leda, who bore him two children, as shown here by the Hermetic master Leonardo da Vinci. Helios Apollo, lord of the Sun, of intellectual order – so he is constantly invoked as the inventor of the lyre and all art forms of classical measure and restraint – was adored and feared throughout this part of the world as the Far Shooter whose rays gave light to the world, and whose unerring golden bow could strike and kill those who failed to honor him.

 

His sister Artemis was an archer too, the lunar virgin huntress whose silver bow was deadliest in punishing men who violated women. As she evolved, and as Diana became a limitlessly nurturing Abundant Mother (alma mater), a Greek counterpart of Isis, she became less a deer slayer and more a protector of mothers and children. She and Apollo were never a brother and sister act. Sibling rivalry does not begin to convey the tension between these two, who could not get along because they were so much alike, both demanding high standards of intelligence and restraint in human actions, and shooting to kill when they did not get them.

 

If the number and size of temples of Apollo in the eastern Aegean are anything to go by, it’s entirely possible that before the Greek golden age, Apollo was the male deity in this part of the world, to be superseded by Zeus only when Greek civilization, and Athens in particular, rose to eclipse the ancient rites of Anatolia. It is not too far-fetched to suggest that the Trojan War was the inevitable struggle for supremacy between Apollo, lord of Troy, and Zeus, king of the Greek pantheon that did not so much include Apollo as adopt him. There was always scope for his power. He guided the shot from Paris’ bow that struck Achilles’ heel, and killed him. But the Greeks won the war.

 

Many bay laurel trees grew in Didyma in ancient times, and some still do. Thereby hangs another famous tale of how the nymph Daphne escaped Apollo’s relentless advances by begging her father Peneus for an enchantment that would help her either to sink into the Earth, or shift her shape. The result was one of the most famous metamorphoses in classical mythology, as Daphne transmuted into a laurel tree, shown here by Bernini. In Daphne’s honor, Apollo named the bay leaf the symbol of excellence and the prize of victory in contests among poets. While oak leaves were used, fittingly, to crown victorious athletes, poets who sought fame, like Dante, were often depicted with bay leaves.

 

The back stories to all this are most intriguing, and worth a look. Yet another archer was involved: the mischievous boy Eros, son of Aphrodite, whom Apollo scorned for presuming himself worthy of the same mighty weapon Apollo had used to kill giants and other beings far more formidable than the frail, fluttery hearts of lovers. Eros got his revenge at the moment Apollo and Daphne first saw each other. He hit Daphne with an arrow of lead that aroused total disgust, and Apollo with an arrow of gold that inspired in the god a pure love that this habitual rapist and bully never felt toward anyone else.

 

Apollo wasn’t the only one Daphne wanted to avoid. While her father longed to see her take a mate and give him grandchildren, Daphne wanted nothing more than to run through the forest and delight in woodland sports and games, including the chase and the hunt. So the one Apollo was pursuing, in fact, was . . . his sister Artemis! Apollo thus became perhaps the first hyper-intellectual, empathy-stunted   male personality to believe he deserves something simply because he wants it, even when it is the least appropriate choice he can possibly make. Many of the baffling choices lovers make – of the matches we can’t make because they mirror us all to well, may even be our twins – are encoded in this myth.

 

Everyone who came to Didyma knew these stories. But what caused a stream of people to build this temple, and come to it from far away, was not the bards or the boxers. Pilgrims and querents came to hear what the water said, for Didyma was the most celebrated oracle temple in the Greek world after Delphi itself. The difference between the two was well known in ancient times. At Delphi, a priestess called a pythoness would descend into a cavern below the temple and sit on a tripod placed over a rock fissure, so she would be enveloped by vapors arising from below. And she may have been shrouded in more than just mist, because archaeobotanists have supposed that the Delphi vapors may have had psychechedelic properties. This could help explain the peculiar quality of the oracle’s utterances, in both the vividness of its imagery, and its textures of fog and dream.

 

We know where the sacred spring was at Didyma, in this inner sanctum area of the temple courtyard, facing the interior stairs shown above. Just beyond the small square of the sacred well, left of center in the middle ground, is a rectangle where a small tetrastyle (four-columned) temple housed the cult statue of Apollo, and apparently, the area where suppliants could hear messages spoken by a priestess who was assisted by other women called Branchidae because their cult family were descended from Branchos, a youth loved by Apollo. We know that the priestess fasted for three days before an oracle ceremony, purifying herself with water from the sacred spring.

 

Otherwise we know nothing, and can only surmise. Did drinking the water enable the priestess to speak the god's rolling hexameters? Did she use other medicines, and if so, did she share them with the ones who came to hear Apollo? The design of this room, what's left of the god's small cult temple, suggests that several people could have been present here, and that the priestess, her attendants and the petitioner could have descended the steps to sit on the larger stones, to walk around the water and even immerse themselves in it. It is possible that the waters here, like the energetically-charged water of the Osireion in Abydos, Egypt, could have not only brought an answer to the petitioners' questions, but could have retuned their frequencies. What we do know for certain is that the ancient people knew things about energy medicine and the therapies of water that we are only beginning to rediscover now. As we continue our searches in the era of cymatics, Messages from Water and other insights into water as a holder of frequency, we must inevitably come, as we do now, to our present position in which half the world's people revere Water and are determined to protect and restore Her, while the other half see water only as a beverage and cleaning agent to be bought and sold.

 

The June Solstice is ruled in the Northern hemisphere by the energy of high summer -- while in the South, it's the Winter Solstice, the re-emergence of the light. The solstice begins  the month of Cancer, the water sign ruled by the Moon, when Moon devotes everywhere will guide rites like the one we'll so in Pisac. We'll ask the water, and sing to her. She does not lie.

 

Keep Holding That Frequency.

 

THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR

June 2015

 

June 1 - 30

June is named for the divine mother Juno (Greek Hera), wife of Zeus/Jupiter. Juno is the protector of the sanctity of marriage and the family. She is the Triple Goddess as Mother, and she is so committed to this duty that in her wisdom she forgives the constant, flamboyant infidelities of her husband --and the nerve of the cheeky satyr who blows his aulos right at her -- and knows when it is time to teach, and when it is time to get out of her children's way.

 

June 1,  Monday:

In the Islamic calendar, the eve of the coming Full Moon in the lunar month of Sha'ban (see next) begins Lailat Al-Bara'ah, also called Nisfu Sha'ban, the night of repentance, when the devout ask forgiveness for all wrongs done in the preceding year. Some Muslims now also observe Shab-e Br'aat, the expected birthday of the Imam Mahdi, the future Islamic Messiah.

 

June 2,  Tuesday, 6:20am HT; 4:20pm UT:

Full Moon in Sagittarius opposite Sun in Gemini. This Full Moon is usually favorable for domestic activities sacred to Juno, and for the setting up of a home -- another reason why marriages occur so often in the Gemini month of late May through June 20. This is one of the most complex and eventful Full Moons of the year, if not the most loaded of all in major planet relationships to the Moon - Sun pair, and to one another. Mercury and Mars conjoin the Gemini Sun and oppose the Moon, and all of these planets are in 1 T-cross with Neptune in Pisces, so we can expect a happy, talkative celebration of something, even if we can't seem to agree on what it is. Jupiter in Leo and Ceres in Aquarius both align positively with both the Moon and Sun, as do the Moon's Nodes on the Libra-Aries axis, so that underneath all the chatter and selfies there is a very strong possibility of insights that will shift communal momentum in directions that will help us to help each other in the months ahead.

 

In the Wiccan calendar, this is the Strong Sun Moon, when the days begin to grow longest and nature's vitality is at its peak.

 

Buddhists in Thailand and the Theravadin Buddhists of most other East Asian countries celebrate now a brilliant and festive counterpart to what many other Buddhists celebrate on the Full Moon of May 14 (see last month’s UFC) as Visakha Puja, or Buddha Day, commemorating the birth, life and teachings of the Awakened One.

 

In the Celtic tree calendar, this lunation is Oak Moon, said to be the halfway point of the lunar year that begins in December. On this day awakened and reverent human beings renew commitments to their gods, their guides and the path of their work.

 

June 3, Wednesday

In the ancient Greco-Roman solar calendar, this day is the purification festival of Ambarvalia, so-called because it was customary to circumambulate the fields and pray for the continued blessing of Demeter/Ceres on the growing plants.

 

June 4, Thursday

Birthday of Socrates (470 BCE). His habitual claim to ignorance (eironeia) is the source of irony, and its implication that the one who claims not to know is more awake than anyone else on the stage.

 

This day is also the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Nur, or Light.

 

In the Roman Catholic calendar, this day is the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, honoring the mystery of the Eucharist and, behind it, celebrated universally since very ancient times, the core myth of divinity immanent in the vitality of the grain. Corpus Christi comes 60 days after Easter.

 

June 5, Friday

On this day Venus enters Leo. For the next six weeks, and then again in August after she enters Virgo and then soon goes retrograde, Venus enjoys her stays at the 5-star hotel of her nephew Helios -- for Venus, as the daughter of Uranus and thus the sister of Saturn, is actually the aunt or great aunt of all the Olympian gods, of whom onlt Mars/Ares has the temerity to hit on her. Venus is favored in this placement, her style regal, elegant and gracious.

 

In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal Before Dawn, the twelfth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (13 Imix, Tzolkin 221). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Quetzal, the symbolic planet Venus as Morning Star, embodiment of the beauty of the new day.

 

June 7 - 15, (8 days)

Vesta Aperit, the day when the sanctuary doors of Vesta's temple are opened before the onset of summer, and the ancient Romans celebrate for eight days the rites of Vesta (Greek Hestia), the goddess protector of virginal womanhood. Vesta's devotees, the Vestal virgins, embody the unlimited creative power of the Triple Goddess at the moment of her first great rite of passage, from Virgin to Mother. The main events of the Vestalia:

 

6/7  - The Feast of Vesta.

6/8 - Festival of Mens, goddess of Mind. Intellectual attainments are still traditionally held on and near this day each spring, at the end of each academic year.

6/15 - The Ides of June, the climactic celebrations of the first fruits of the harvest. The doors of Vesta's temple are closed again.

 

June 10, Wednesday

In the six-season calendar of the aboriginal people of Australia, the second season of the dry half of the year, Wurggeng, begins about now. This cold weather time, lasting until mid-August, begins with a fire festival called Gunak Garriwurlge, "Start to Light Fires."

 

In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Maize, the seventh of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (4 Imix, Tzolkin 121). The principle that rules this Uinal is Proliferation. This uinal is advantageous for medicine, birthing and prophecy. Its symbol is the Butterfly.

 

June 11, Thursday

Mercury reverses his retrograde movement of the last 23 days and "goes direct." This does not means that we gain complete relief yet from the conditions that apply to all Mercury retrograde intervals: that is, delay, confusion, mechanical malfunction, blockage and general human bozosis in the Mercury-ruled areas of transportation, communications, commerce and thievery. Mercury is still within his retrograde shadow until July 16, when he will reach again the zodiac point where he first went backward.

 

In the Roman Catholic cycle of saints' days, June 11 is the annual feast of St. Barnabas, whose name was Joseph until he gave all his considerable wealth to the early Church and was called "the son of consolation", and ultimately became so eloquent and compelling an evangelist that he teamed with St. Paul. It was said in Athens that the distinguished Barnabas played Jupiter to Paul's Mercury.

 

June 12, Friday

In the ancient Khemitian calendar, Festival of Mut, the primal mother netert who, as wife of Amun the creator and mother of Khonsu the Moon, was the female figure in the great Theban triad. Mut was represented by a vulture, said to be the most fiercely protective of all mothers and the most nurturing, even shedding her own blood to feed her young. On this day food offerings from Mut were given to all the neters. (Month of Epipi, day 29).

 

In Brazil, this is Dia dos Namorados, the Day of the Lovers. While it may appear at first that this is one of the many festivals of love and marriage celebrated now in Gemini month, this doesn't apply in the southern hemisphere. The reason why couples give one another chocolate, cards and flowers -- even lingerie -- on this day is that it comes just before the feast of St. Anthony, the "marriage saint" to whom women in Christian countries have long offered prayers and rituals to attract a good husband, or these days, just a boyfriend.

 

June 13, Saturday

In the Greco-Roman world, this day is sacred to Athene-Minerva, whose double aspect of warrior and healer embodies the ideal combination of strength and wisdom.

 

In ancient Khemt, this day celebrates Hor ("Horus") the Beloved, that is, the heroic falcon-headed neter of light in his mildest aspect as divine child of Aset (Isis) and Ausar (Osiris). On this day stories of the birth and infancy of Hor, and how Aset, Djehuti (Thoth) and Amun protected him from his murderous uncle Set by enclosing the baby in a reed cradle and hiding him in a papyrus swamp, were told in poetry and music ceremonies. (Epipi, day 30).

 

In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast of St. Anthony of Padua, tireless guardian of the poor and oppressed, and patron saint of all advocates of social justice.

 

Birthday (1865) of the Irish poet and metaphysical explorer and visionary William Butler Yeats. With him, in the words of his poem Easter 1916, “a terrible beauty is born.”

 

June 13 - 16, four days

The Iroquois peoples of North America celebrate the Strawberry Ceremony, in thanksgiving for the strawberry harvest and all the abundant blessings of nature. Devotees of the sacred feminine also honor women's medicines at this Strawberry Moon festival. It is usually held in the days culminating at the Gemini New Moon, Thanks to Theresa of Blue Star Visions for clarifying the timing of this rite.

 

June 14, Sunday

In the ancient Khemitian calendar, the month of Mesore begins. Mesore is sacred to Heru-Khuiti, the Gemini-like composite neter who combines the solar qualities of Hor (Horus) and the lunar qualities of Djehuti (Thoth) into one figure who represents all dualities. Mesore begins the critically important time of calculation and preparation for the annual Nile flood, and each year a week of mystery rites is enacted, leading to the major time marker of the Summer Solstice. Among the main ceremonies:

 

6/15  - All the neters of sea, earth and sky gather in heaven to reaffirm their union with Ma'at, neter of Truth. (Mesore, day 2)

6/16 - Festival of Het-Hor/Aset (Hathor/Isis) as mystic way-shower, embodied in the star Sothis (Sirius). It is now 40 days, or 4 decans (10-day "weeks") until July 26, when the heliacal rising of Sirius in the east just before dawn heralds the coming of the flood. (Mesore 3)

6/18 - Day of Emergence of Min, the love neter, the most beloved emanation of Amun the Creator. Min's headdress of tall double plumes and large erect phallus proclaim his prowess as the principle of male generative energy. (Mesore 5).

6/20 - Amid all this season's festivals of male potency and female fertility, today's rite of the of Anup (Anubis) is most mysterious. On this day Anup, the Opener of the Way who conducts souls to the Duat, or land of the dead, goes to visit every necropolis in Khemt. His day in this cycle is one of the Khemitian calendar's most emphatic reminders of the presence of death even amid the late Spring surge of new life, and is in some ways a counterpart to the middle European Mother Night, on 12/20. (Mesore 7)

6/21 - Wadjet ceremony, honoring the protective cobra neter whose power as destroyer of evil makes her so important to the nation's life that she appears in the uraeus serpent on pharaoh's crown and other regalia. Her placement at this point in Mesore marks the 35 days of purification before the next flood season.

 

June 15, Monday

In Japan, this is the day of the Suijin Matsuri ("water person festival"), the annual Shinto ceremonies honoring the Kami, or divine principle, of Water.

 

On this day Saturn regresses from Sagittarius back into Scorpio, so that again his behavior will resemble the period of October 2012 to December 2014 more than the recent Saturn-in-Sagittarius interval of the last six months. Yet again, even by the standards of this silent, heavy, majestic, austere planet, his communications will be deep and subtle again until mid-September, when his ingress into Sagittarius "for good," until late 2017, will be among the key planetary conditions of the week that begins with the momentous September Harvest Moon.

 

In the Roman Catholic Calendar, this is Trinity Sunday, which is celebrated eight weeks after Easter. It often falls, as it does this year, near the Triple Goddess spring festival on May 31 - June 2: yet another fascinating example of the ways in which ancient "pagan" feasts transmuted, even if strangely, into Christian counterparts. In this case the festival of three divine women -- Maiden, Mother, Wise Woman -- became a Sunday in honor of an all-male trio of Father, Sun and Holy Spirit.

 

June 16, Tuesday, 4:07am HT; 2:07pm UT:

Dark Moon conjunct Sun in Gemini. This time favors teamwork, mental activity, fluid plans, brainstorming and improvisation. This is why so many marriages occur now, as the Gemini season (5/22 - 6/21), fosters cooperation and teamwork by couples. This Dark Moon and the New Moon that follows it are not quite a piece of wedding cake, with Chiron in Pisces square the Moon-Sun conjunction. At this time the utmost delicacy and tenderness are needed, as the possibility of wounding and being wounded is high.

 

On sighting the New Moon that follows this Dark Moon, the Maori of New Zealand celebrate Matariki, the New Year Festival. Matariki is always heralded in the last days of May by the rising of a faint but distinctive star cluster, and Matariki is celebrated at the next New Moon, usually in early June. The Matariki web page of the Maori Language Commission notes that "In ancient times Matariki arrived at the end of the harvest and was therefore a time of plenty for our ancestors. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. The migration of fish such as moki and korokoro also made Matariki a time of bountiful catches. Visitors were often showered with gifts of specially preserved eel, birds and other delicacies. Matariki was a time to share and present offerings to others."

 

In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, the New Moon following this Dark Moon is the seventh following the Winter Solstice. It begins Duir, or oak month, and favors visions, shamanic journeys and all communications between worlds.

 

This Full Moon falls on one of the heartiest of all literary anniversaries, for it was on June 16, 1904 that Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom went in search of each other, and of Molly Bloom, in James Joyce's Ulysses. The day has been called Bloomsday ever since the novel was published in 1922; and it celebrates, among other things, the love and general fidelity that bound James and Nora Joyce in a marriage lasting 37 years, until his death in 1941.

 

The Sikh community commemorates on this day the fifth of the Sikh gurus, and the first to be martyred: Guru Arjan Dev, who was executed at the order of the Grand Mughal Jahangir for preaching against corrupt institutions of power and wealth.

 

June 17, Wednesday

In the Islamic calendar, sunset on this day will probably begin the holy month of Ramadan, which should continue until July 17. Timing can only be estimated here because like most Muslim holy days, Ramadan becomes official only when the New Moon is sighted and verified. The timing is more precise here than for any other month in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan officially begins when this New Moon is sighted by two male witnesses in Mecca. The holy month is a time of purification through fasting during the daylight hours, alms giving and forgiveness, and the repair of broken heart cords. For more on Ramadan, see What’ll You Have?

 

June 18 - 21, four days

For the Iroquois of the American Northeast, the Cancer New Moon that probably appears on this day begins the Green Bean Ceremony, celebrated in dance, rituals of atonement and thanksgiving for the maize harvest.

 

Over these same four days, the Pueblo and Zuni peoples of the American Southwest celebrate the Corn Dance, when the fields are blessed with prayers for an abundant summer harvest.

 

June 19, Friday

In the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, this is the 4th day of the 6th lunar month, and is one of the four great sacred days of the Tibetan lunar year. This summer festival is called Chokhor Duchen, the Turning of the Wheel, marking the moment when the Buddha spoke of the dharma for the first time to his five core disciples. This moment, on whatever day it is celebrated in various countries, is of cardinal importance because it represents the beginning of the Buddhist faith and the first actual formation of a sangha, or community of believers.

 

June 20 - 23, four days

Among the Lakota and other Native Americans of the plains, the four days before, during and after the Summer Solstice are the annual time of the Sun Dance, a festival of fasting and healing ceremonies affirming the manifestation of Takuskanskan the Creator in all things.

 

June 21,Sunday: 6:39 am HT; 4:39 pm UT;

The Summer Solstice is one of the four major festivals of the solar year, when the Sun reaches the quarter point on the zodiac wheel, the cardinal "hinge" of 90°, as the Sun enters the sign of Cancer, the Crab.

 

This month the Crab's side-to-side moves are favored in all things. This is more a time to organize what has been gained, and plan what comes next, than it is either to start new enterprises or dissolve old ones that don't work. The Crab lives where it can jump sideways into an ocean wave when threats appear. Those who have the humility and aquatic skill to do this are favored now. The sideways motion of the Crab is also that of the Farmer, who works sideways in rows to preserve productive order.

 

While it is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere now, the southern hemisphere celebrates, Yule, the Winter Solstice.

 

Among the countless Summer Solstice celebrations and rites: The Sonnenwende ("Sun's turning") of the Norse calendar, so named because at this point in the year, the Sun reaches its farthest northern sunset point on the horizon, and must now begin moving south, and bringing with it the hotter, more rapid movement of Summer, and everything else that the South implies. The season of husbandry begins now in bonfires that mark this day as the one when the Sun's light stays longest in the Sky.

 

In northern Russia, especially in St. Petersburg, this day begins the White Nights, which last for the next ten days. In this and other fire festivals that can get more raucous than most, fireworks and all, many people love the days of the Long Light because this is the best time to burn the chaff and the worry of the year gone by, and get ready to work the field under the waxing Sun, and care for children.

 

In Pagan and Wiccan calendars, this day is called Litha, honoring the Water Goddess and the Green God. Many European peoples also honor the Green Man, leafy symbol of nature's resurgence, counterpart to the Egyptian Osiris. (Photo -- with the author as the Green Man -- courtesy Charles Priest of Da Kine Rags).

 

In some Native American calendars, this day begins the Month of the Flicker. Hunting is easier than it usually is.

 

In parts of Europe, June 21 has been known since the Middle Ages, and still is, as Cuckoo Warning Day. It's believed that if cuckoos sing today, a wet summer is on the way.

 

In many ancient calendars, this is one of the year's best times for honoring Wise Women.

 

In the Greco-Roman calendar, this is the Day of All Heras (Roman counterpart Juno, for whom this month is named), when we gather to listen to women who have achieved spiritual Union with the Great Goddess. In ancient Britain this was the Day of Cerridwen, celebrating all Wise Women.

 

Taoist festival honoring the Heavenly Emperor Shang-Ti and celebrating the active presence of the Tao in all things. This is the time when the masculine Yang force is at its peak, and initiates the season of fire, south and Summer.

 

In parts of Europe, June 21 has been known since the Middle Ages, and still is, as Cuckoo Warning Day. It's believed that if cuckoos sing today, a wet summer is on the way.

 

June 24, Wednesday

Midsummer Day. Feast of St. John the Baptist. In very ancient times, this day was as important in marking the year as its opposite, Christmas, on 12/25. Among the most ancient sky scientists, who made their calculations millennia before the oldest written records that we have found so far from Ur and India, this was the actual day of the Summer Solstice, and thus i is still celebrated throughout the world in fire festivals that symbolically purify the fields to make the crop healthy.

 

Thus June 24 is also the date of the Aztec Festival of the Sun and its Inca counterpart, Inti Raymi, celebrated at Sacsayhuaman in Cusco in an elaborate ritual dance procession that enacts the Sun's annual journey through the zodiac, and his rebirth in the waxing solar light of what is, below the equator, the Winter Solstice.

 

On this day Mars enters Cancer. Here he is said to be "in fall", so that the most fear-driven and destructive elements in his nature are prominent now. As the warrior must endure for some  six weeks (until Aug. 8) the intense discomfort of being cooped up in a feminine, domestic environment, this is decidedly a season of random male rage. Fortunately for women who prefer Mars personalities, Venus will be empowered in Leo until mid-July.

 

On this day the Baha'i honor the Deity as Rahmat, or Mercy.

 

June 25, Thursday

In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Duality, sacred to the creator couple Ometeotl and Omecinatl, the most exalted deities in the Aztec/Mayan cosmos. The period that now begins is the thirteenth and last of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (7 Imix, Tzolkin 241), and marks the point at which the cycle dissolves in a duality from which the next uinal will be born in Fire. The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Parrot, the principle that of Completion.

 

June 25 - July 1 (1 week)

Among the Cherokee and other Native peoples of the American Southwest, the four-day festival of the Green Corn Dance, honoring the maize goddess Selu and praying for an abundant harvest, begins today, a week before the Capricorn Full Moon on 7/1.

 

June 25 - July 2 (8 days)

Among Mahayana Buddhists, one of the year's great festivals of Tara/Kwan Yin/Kannon, honoring her qualities of compassion, mercy and healing. During these days, which culminate at the Full Moon of the 6th lunar month (on July 2), devotees focus on their commitment to live in service and carry the principles of Tara into practice. Om Tara Tu Tare Ture Soha.

 

June 26 - 30, (five days)

The ancient Lithuanian people, who once lived throughout central Europe, celebrate the Binding of the Wreaths in the days just before the first Full Moon following the Summer Solstice (7/1-2). In this rite, couples who are about to marry at the Full Moon dance within wreaths made out of greenery and flowers, and wear flower crowns symbolizing the fertility of the God and Goddess newly united in marriage.

 

June 28, Sunday

For the Iroquois of the American Northeast, the Cancer New Moon that probably appears on this day begins the Green Bean Ceremony, celebrated in dance, rituals of atonement and thanksgiving for the maize harvest.

 

Over these same four days, the Pueblo and Zuni peoples of the American Southwest celebrate the Corn Dance, when the fields are blessed with prayers for an abundant summer harvest.

 

June 29, Monday

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. As Peter was the "rock" on which Jesus was said to have founded his church, Roman Catholics have long considered this day auspicious for beginning the foundations of new buildings, and praying for safe and smooth construction throughout the Summer. Alternately, this was celebrated as the feast of St. Peter, the next day as St. Paul's day.

 

Among the Yoruba and Santeria communities of Africa and the Americas, this is the feast of the Orisha Eleggua, the intercessor and protector, who reveals the destiny of souls

 

June 29 - July 3, (5 days)

For Zoroastrians, these days are sacred to Haurvatat, creator and sustainer of the element of water.

 

June 30, Tuesday

Feast of St. Paul, the first and most successful evangelist in the history of Christianity, and, if 1 Corinthians 13 and his famous speech on the Areopagus to the skeptical citizens of Athens (Acts 17) are anything to go by, one of the most gifted poets of his time.

 

 

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.