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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 stage machinery, 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 2016

 

If He'd Known  Happiness Was Possible

 

The Grand Crosses of June, 2016

 

Hail, and Welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for June, 2016. This issue completes a span of 18 years since the UFC was first published in July, 1998. There little room here for celebration -- yet. These early days of June, 2016 are so important to us, as a moment of opportunity within a Crisis, whether we an see it yet or not, because at the Black Moon of June 4 or 5, depending on your location, the first and the far more forceful of the two Grand Crosses of June will form. This spectacular  astral design will link Moon and Sun, Venus and Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune and both Moon's Nodes in a moment that is hugely conflictive.

 

Why? Because every player in it is aligned against almost all of  the others in 90° and 180° angles that are usually considered "stressful," "difficult" and "afflictive," and not just because so many human beings are negative-minded, or don't want to hear anything unpleasant. The reality is that the planets are much like people. When things are going well, when health is good, material life is generally comfortable and our intimate unions and friendships go well, we are more happy and loving. But when things don't go as well, it's harder to keep the plus posture in our relationships, and easier to lapse into possessiveness and jealousy, fear and rancor, envy and rage, and every other thing we may feel when we sense that other people, and the world, are not treating us well. It's the same with the planets in the week ahead. At the Black Moon of June 4 - 5, there are a lot of offended, implacable planets who won't give an inch or a hand or a dollar or a damn.

 

We won't look at the details of the Grand Cross here. They're in two other posts:

 

"6516 Black Moon Grand Cross," 10-minute video on YouTube

 

"The Grand Crosses of June, 2016" on my Aquarian Airlines blog.

 

Finally, before we get to this month's main act, a word for those who'd like live or online astrology and astrocartography readings this month. I'll be in Mexico: San Miguel Allende June 4 - 6, Mexico City June 7  - 10, Cancun June 10 - 13, then to the Mayan sites at Chichen Itza, Palenque, Calakmul and others, then Tikal in Guatemala on my way back to Peru.

 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, our featured attraction this evening. Why is this a good month to look at the great American comedian Richard Pryor? It will become clearer as we go along how he is a useful model for the handling and mishandling of personal opportunity, which waits in the air all the time to be seen, and personal tragedy, much of which is self-inflicted. What follows here is one of the chapters of the book I aim to publish by August: Maps of Power: The Astrocartography of the Great, the Beautiful and the Terrible. It covers the maps of 28 extraordinary people -- political and military figures, spiritual teachers, writers and artists, athletes, saints and appalling criminals -- and shows how their astrocartography maps are an uncanny match for their experiences in the places that shaped their lives, and cooked their possibilities into being.

 

And now -- perhaps the greatest of all American comedy artists, the one Jerry Seinfeld called "the Picasso of our profession." Please welcome

 

Richard Pryor

 

If, as the Sagittarius poet William Blake wrote, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” then the immensely gifted Sagittarius comedian Richard Pryor must have hoisted aboard a pearl or two during a life loaded from the top with enough pain to drive anyone in the direction of escape by any possible means. Like the other great comedian in Maps of Power, Charlie Chaplin, Pryor too had a childhood of such agony that it was certain to propel him toward another life in another place. The difference between the two boyhood stories is illuminating.

 

Chaplin’s map of Northwestern Europe has lines of Saturn and the Moon, both on the Midheaven (MC) point at the top center of the chart, close to London. They show a boy so isolated by life’s hardship, and the fragility of an unstable mother, that he will seek her in a series of brief marriages and other liaisons. Richard Pryor’s boyhood was even more painful. Son of a father who was a boxer and a street hustler, and a prostitute mother who raised him in his grandmother’s brothel until she abandoned him when he was 10, the boy was sexually abused at 7, beaten often by his violent-tempered grandmother, expelled from school at 14, and at 17 a father, and in the US army in Germany. He was incarcerated for almost all of his two years in the military, having first landed in the brig for having been one of the black soldiers who beat and stabbed a white soldier who got too loudly racist for anyone’s good. Three years later, he was a standup comedian at the Hungry I, the Purple Onion and the other clubs in Greenwich Village, on the same bill as Woody Allen and Bob Dylan. He’d made the inevitable move that we see in his map of the eastern United States:

 

His birthplace in Peoria, Illinois is 140 miles from his pink Neptune on the Descendant line just east of Chicago. Neptune’s position in his birth chart is complex, likely to manifest in high attractiveness, a rich imagination for storytelling and a gift for physical comedy, as Neptune rules theatre and dance. Neptune also rules altered states of consciousness, from meditation and dreams to alcohol and harder drugs, fantasy, addiction, victimhood and careening curves of self-esteem that can rocket upward or crash through the floor at the dizzying speed we expect when the lightning tempo of Sagittarius is doubled by genius, and tripled by the longing to escape life’s pain. Pryor’s Neptune line points west to relationships, and nearly guarantees that his early life will be filled with drunks, drug addicts and pushers, card sharks, jive talkers and people who play the numbers every day, looking to hit their ticket up from hell.

 

His astrocartography line in New York could not be more fitting for one who had not known in his life the tenderness and the nourishment of the sacred feminine at her most loving, for the gray Moon on the MC line contains, besides the Mother Goddess at her most exalted, the search for the woman who holds the medicine for all sorrow. Singer Nina Simone told a story about one of Pryor’s first New York gigs, when he opened for her at the Village Gate: “He shook like he had malaria, he was so nervous. I couldn't bear to watch him shiver, so I put my arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down. The next night was the same, and the next, and I rocked him each time.” He would keep looking for the same comfort. He fathered seven children by six women, five of whom he married.

 

New York was his lab for perfecting his comedy chops, often as a middlebrow performer in the mold of Bill Cosby. His art would take a darker turn when he moved to Berkeley, California in 1968.

 

His map of California and Nevada fits him like a hot leather glove. His lines near the Bay Area are a dead ringer for the life he had there. His purple Uranus on the Nadir line off the coast, and well within range of San Francisco and all of north California, indicates a life that is revolutionary, highly mutable, often connected to media of electronic communications, and unstable in both physical and emotional terms, because the Bringer of Change is pointing down to the practical foundation of our life on Earth, so that here we may often change jobs, living spaces and domestic relationships. This theme of rapid and unaccountable changes in feeling – want to kill you today, caress you tomorrow -- was remarkable in Pryor’s health and his professional and personal life, even for a mutable Sagittarius, and would be reflected in his two relationship lines here. The dark red Pluto and green Chiron on the Descendant lines here signify not only a high likelihood of Plutionian death and transformation in our intimate unions, but also a strong chance that we will often be wounded in our relationships, and may form a pattern of pre-emptive wounding – that is, a habit of hurting the other before he or she can hurt us.

 

The 38 years Pryor was based in California, from the age of 27 to his death at 65, looks astoundingly prolific. He released a total of 19 comedy albums between 1968 and 1983, partly because his contract with the exploitative Laff Records of Los Angeles, his first record producer, enabled Laff to score profit on the sales spike after each of Pryor’s great successes: That Nigger’s Crazy (Partee/Stax in 1974, Reprise 1973, gold record), . . . Is It Something I Said? (Reprise 1975, Warner Archives 1991, platinum record), Bicentennial Nigger (Reprise 1976, gold record), Wanted: Live in Concert (1978, Warner Bros.) and Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982, Warner Brothers). He also appeared in over 50 movies, including videos of his albums, received an Emmy Award, five Grammy Awards for individual albums and a lifetime achievement Grammy, and was the first performer to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

 

A life so rich in accomplishment and rewards would bring some contentment to most of us, right? And maybe Richard Pryor would have been more mellow if he’s stayed under that nourishing Moon Line in New York. But on the West coast he was embattled, living out in his great albums from the mid-1970’s James Baldwin’s famous remark that “To be black and conscious in the America is to live in a continual state of rage.” The rage came out especially in 1976, a year for whites to celebrate nationhood, but for blacks to see the Founding Fathers as pious hypocrites who owned slaves and fathered children on them, but denied them the dignity of freedom.

 

The current of fury and hilarity in Pryor’s comedy in the middle and late 1970’s rode largely on the N Word, which was a badge of belonging to his black audience, and a barrier to everyone else. I know. I saw two of his shows at that time, and he must have used the N word more than 60 times in each 30-minute set. His fellow blacks sang and soared with laughter. But if a white man had stood up and used the same word even once, the blacks’ shared desire to murder him would have frozen every drink in the room.

 

Pryor’s long health crisis began in 1977, when his years of heavy smoking and drinking led to his first heart attack, and to the famous freebasing incident in 1980, during the filming of Bustin’ Loose, when he was reportedly freebasing enough cocaine to stun a rhinoceros. He somehow doused himself with 151-proof rum, set himself on fire and ran out on the street, suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns that could have proved fatal if he hadn’t been put in hospital at once. There was a cascade of guess and gossip about why he had done such a thing, and his answer in an on-camera interview should probably be accepted as definitive: “I was trying to commit suicide. Next question.” Can any of this be attributed to his location in Los Angeles, where he spent much of his later life? Is his spectacular self-loathing at all due to his being in a neutral location, so far away from any planet lines that none of them affects him, and if you or I live in a neutral location, will we want to run out of the house wearing nothing but fire?

 

No. Certainly not. We’re not going to pull such things even in our least favorable places unless we’re under a whole cluster of torturous planet aspects, as Pryor was in June 1980, we’re without loving relationship, as he was then, and we’re speeding along that road of excess so fast and blind that it’s only a matter of time before we hit the wall or go off the cliff. Neutral locations are often low-intensity areas of rest and recharge, where we may have to gain our best outcomes by building relationships with people who were born in, or are present now, in other places. Were Los Angeles and Las Vegas places where Pryor found the loneliness unbearable, even when thousands were cheering him? Perhaps. But we can’t assume this just because he had no planet lines in these places.

 

As we’ve already seen, his Moon on the Midheaven line in New York gave him the sense of nurturance and belonging that he never had in any of the other places where he lived. But there was one country he loved so much that he intended to move there. He might have lived longer in what he felt was his ancestral homeland if too many health challenges, especially multiple sclerosis, which afflicted him from from 1986, but which he kept carefully hidden, hadn’t torn his wings and braked his fire. We look now at his last map, of Kenya, which he visited in 1979. He said little before his journey about why he went to Nairobi and other places between the capital and Lake Victoria. But his reason for going there soon became clear enough.

 

“There are no ‘niggers’ in Africa,” he said in an Ebony interview soon after his return, “and there are no ‘niggers’ in America either. We black people are not ‘niggers,’ and I will forever refuse to be one. . . . [W]hen I went to Africa, to my Motherland, I realized that terms like ‘nigger’ and the word ‘bitch’ that so many Black men call our women are tricks, like genocide on the brain.” He was as good as his word, and while his act lost none of its ferocity, the self-wounding he felt in the N word, and the wounding of others, was gone.

 

Why is this part of east Africa so good for him? Nairobi and the area to the west is far enough away from the red Mars on the Nadir and Pluto on the Ascendant lines, and his yellow Saturn on the MC line, that these lines affected him little. It’s worth noting that his two Ascendant lines in this area, the Pluto line and the green Chiron line, are the “bookend” lines to his Descendant lines for these planets in the Bay area. So San Francisco and west Kenya had a harmonic relationship in his life, one that liberated himself from challenges in his relationships, and profoundly changed and freed his self-expression.

 

The other two lines that affected him strongly here are of course the two "happy, easy, lucky" blue lines, of Jupiter on the MC and Venus on the Nadir. The Jupiter line brings contact with national and religious traditions, and joyous, mind-expanding travel. The Venus line is considered by some the happiest line in the map, the place where life is so blest and easy that it would be joyous for most of us – but might have become all but unbearable after a while to a man inured to so much pain.

 

Yet it’s charming to wonder what might have been, if Richard Pryor were still living now at 75 in Kenya, a beloved, goofy elder puttering around the village in his Rascal scooter or carried in a palanquin by the local aspiring comics, and making the children squeal and spin with long stories about his early signature character, old Mudbone, told in Bantu Swahili. The Africans would have adored him. If only he’d known that happiness was possible.

 

If only he were with us now. His wild swoops along the border between tragedy and comedy might bring some insight into the conditions we've chosen for now, and the months ahead. Comedy of any kind, especially the compassionate kind that values all roles and embraces all players in a feastof friendship and joy, is what is much needed now. Sound medicine too, at the June Solstice, and every other festive way we have of affirming what unites us in creativity, community and healing. Sing those medicine songs.

 

Keep Holding That Frequency.

 

THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR

June 2016

 

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 G, 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 this 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 3, Friday:

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 3 - 6, 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. As with all rites keyed to the appearance of the New Moon, it's best to check dates in your area.

 

June 4, Saturday

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 4 (Saturday), 5:00 pm HT; June 5 (Sunday), 3:00 am 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 by no means a piece of wedding cake, as the Moon-Sun combination in Gemini is one of the four arms of a powerful Grand Cross of six planets, and both Moon's Nodes, in the mutable signs. Even by the standards of a Black Moon's power to crystallize intentions and drive them into new beginnings at the New Moon, this moment is terrifically charged for progressive movement, if we can find and tap its potential.

 

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, this sixth New Moon following the Winter Solstice begins Huath, or hawthorn month.

 

June 6, Monday:

In the Islamic calendar, sunset on this day will probably begin the holy month of Ramadan, which should continue until July 7. 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 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 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, Friday

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."

 

June 11, Saturday

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 11 eve – 13 eve: two days:

In the Jewish calendar, the feast of Shavuot. While celebrated in early Jewish history as a festival of the first fruits, observed with offerings of bread, Shavuot has since come to serve the more profound purpose of commemorating the revealing of the Torah, and the moment when Moses received the tablets of the Law on Mt. Sinai. Among some Jews, the revelation of the Torah is the most important event in the history of the Jewish people, and thereby gives Shavuot a dignity equal to that of the High Holy Days of the autumn.

 

June 12, Sunday

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.

 

Mercury is delighted to enter Gemini, clearly the more appropriate of the two signs he has traditionally been said to rule (the other being Virgo). Having spent more than two months, and a retrograde period, in the slower, more consistent and predictable Earth sign of Taurus, Mercury is up in his air element again The voluble currents of Mercury's repartee, trickery and charm may work wonders while he is in Gemini, provided that mercurial types on your team are given specific targets and deadlines to hit, so they'll be less likely to dissipate all the inspiration in mere talk. Until June 29.

 

June 13, Monday

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 14, Tuesday

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, Wednesday

In the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, this 10th day of the 6th lunar month is the birthday of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), the great teacher who founded the Old Sect (Nyingma-pa) lineage, revealed the Bardo Thodol,   or Tibetan Book of the Dead, and the "direct path" method of enlightenment by intuitive realization. On the timing of this and other Tibetan feasts, note that in 2016 the Tibetan lunar year began in February, in synchrony with the Chinese year, though the Tibetans prefer whenever possible to keep their sacred year out of synchrony with the Chinese year. It’s best to check the timing of this feast, and other Tibetan holy days, with your local Buddhist community, as celebration dates can vary widely among different Tibetan communities, and online information can be affected by Chinese disinformation.

 

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.

 

June 16, Thursday:

This day is 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, Friday:

Venus enters Cancer. This sign, ruler of the home and motherhood, is considered neutral territory for the love goddess, neither fizzily advantageous nor really uncomfortable. She may even enjoy burping the baby and wiping the formica, if only for novelty's sake -- but not likely for long. Imagine Marilyn Monroe trading satin and pearls for diapers and report cards, and you get the idea of Venus in Cancer. She does not lack the maternal touch. Like all love goddesses, she bears children, notably the mischievous Eros. But she does not become Venus the mother until she enters Libra; until then, she prefers to be Venus the lover until the last minute. She is in Cancer until July 12.

 

June 18, Saturday:

In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Love, the fifth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (3 Imix, Tzolkin 81). The principles that rule this Uinal are Anchoring and Sprouting. The symbolic bird is the Hawk.

 

June 19 - 22, 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 20, Saturday, 1:02 pm HT;  11:02 pm 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. Another Grand Cross -- like the one at the Black Moon of June 4 - 5 -- forms at this Full Moon, only with Mercury in Gemini now at the fourth arm of the Cross. While Jupiter is at a "difficult" -- really eventful -- 90° square to both Moon and Sun, his position here is hugely powerful, conjunct the North Moon's node and at a 120° trine to empowering Pluto. So amid all the verbal sound and heat in times of bitter political controversy and economic dislocation, there will be superb opportunities for the creating of ambitious and widely beneficial grand designs. If only we will see them.

 

June 20,Saturday: 12:34 pm HT; 10:34 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.

 

June 21, Tuesday

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, Friday

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

 

June 29, Wednesday

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.

 

Mercury enters Cancer. Astrologers consider this placement neutral -- but quick, restless Mercury is never completely comfortable in the watery, Moon-ruled sign of the home, though gossip does tend to spike while he's in the house. Until July 14.

 

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, Thursday

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.