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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.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for June, 2013.
We are still in the explosion radius and undertow of the hugely important astral event that has dominated many UFC pages since it formed for the first time last year. The ongoing Uranus-Pluto “square” – that is, a 90° angle of relationship between these two transiting planets – formed exactly for the third time on May 20, and will remain in effect, if more subtly, until Round 4 arrives this summer and climaxes, significantly, on Nov. 1. For more on the timing of this planet alignment, its themes and impact, see last month’s UFC.
The events that have just transpired and are about to come may not yet appear earth-shaking because we are in the spring sowing cycle of mythic time, when the seeds that have been planted in soil and wombs will grow to expression later in harvest and birth. This is why, where the rhythm of 2013 is concerned, the October-November sabbat of Hallowe’en and Samhain will be crucial. It will witness and help catalyze, in the Scorpio season of death and regeneration, the passing of many things that are being exposed now, and will be seen in all their vanity, horror and corruption in the months ahead.
The present, milder version of the Uranus-Pluto square has apparently played out true to form so far, as what looks to be the least “eventful” episode in this seven-part series. No new wars or epidemics have erupted. No governments have fallen, though demonstrators have occupied the streets of Istanbul. No economies, it seems, have just imploded. So what did happen in Round 3 of the Uranus-Pluto square?
GONE WITH THE WIND
Plenty, though most of it remains well-concealed by controlling forces intent on keeping their people compliant. Consider this: In early May, Edward Snowden offered the Washington Post his information on the NSA’s massive and routine collection of personal telecommunication data on US citizens. When did he tell the Post that if they wouldn’t publish his story, he’d offer it elsewhere, as he did to the Guardian? You guessed it. The week of May 20, right at the month's astral flashpoint of Uranus and Pluto at maximum tension with each other. Yet again, as with the Wikileaks bomb amid the Grand Crosses of Summer 2010, the spectacular transformative event is in the revealing of the truth, in a revolutionary action in the realm of consciousness.
One major signal of change in the mythic realm is the number of devastating tornadoes that swept through Texas and Oklahoma last month. High wind signifies profound, sweeping change that more of us could see more clearly if so much that matters were not being so methodically hidden, and the showdown between Disclosure (see especially the work of Steven Greer and David Wilcock and Unanimity (see Cloud Atlas) were not being waged more fiercely, if invisibly, than it’s ever been fought before.
Did you know, for example, that underneath all the ongoing controversies about what did or didn’t happen at the US embassy in Benghazi, or IRS audits targeting Tea Party officials, or attempts by the Justice Dept. to commandeer the phone records of AP journalists, a much more urgent story has been bumping and brewing? According to an article on What does it Mean, Russia has warned Voldemort Inc.’s most celebrated employee, better known as President Obama, that a “Bee Apocalypse” now threatens to compromise our biosphere so catastrophically that a “global war” may soon ensue unless the US takes some significant action in relation to the Corporation That Must Not be Named, Syngenta AG and other biotech firms who produce the nicotinoids that are destroying bee populations worldwide. Why doesn’t anyone hear anything about all this, or so many other crucial issues, on the evening news?
THE ALGORITHM METHOD
It’s easier to understand if we look at another Apocalypse – understood here in its true sense of revelation, of bringing what has been in the shadows out into the light – also reported on What Does It Mean on April 13, and only now coming out – about the practice of “algorithmically-constructed news.” In general terms, an algorithm is just a protocol for compiling data into whatever analytical format one needs. Nothing sinister in that. It makes life easy for scientists and engineers.
But now, also, unfortunately, for the archons who control the six corporations that own 90% of US media. They have been using algorithms since 2010, and perhaps earlier, to fix the content and emphasis in what passes for “news” by using filter protocols to promote the topics that may be mentioned (e.g., horrific murder, celebrity blow jobs and cats stuck in trees), screen out those that may not (Sept. 11, 2001, GMO foods, and doing business with Nazis), and program the language that may be used about specific people, political or social movements, religious groups, corporations or countries.
The effect of this, naturally, is to create such a predictable conformity of “facts” across the entire spectrum of “news” that the only area in which entertainment and drama can still occur is in the spewing of increasingly vitriolic opinions by word warriors who attack each other relentlessly across the apparent chasm of their differences, but who are in fact often merely actors in a theatre piece that creates an illusion of conflict among the opinionaries. The members of this elite class of talkers and writers – many of them now just key-punchers, thanks to those algorithms -- are invariably better-paid, better-known, better-fed, better-laid and better-everything-else than the poor mass of political junkies and scandal addicts who still believe that what they see and read is somewhere within a light year of the truth. The polemics serve their covert aim by keeping the least-awakened stuck in the lower emotional band of shame, fear, hate and rage, and thus easier to control. So how can we know what’s really going on?
TURN IT DOWN AND SIMPLIFY
Not by looking for more alleged information in more places. If anything, we will do much better now to simplify, simplify by relying on those whom we know to be like-minded and good-hearted to alert us to what matters most to them, and to us. Does this mean that we stop listening to the voice we know to be honest, or that we see no difference between Greg Palast’s eloquent eulogy to the late Hugo Chavez and all the algorithmically-canned attacks on this flawed, heroic figure? Of course not. It does mean that we do not let ourselves be caught in a blizzard of lies and distractions designed to make discrimination and insight impossible, and paralyze our will to action.
Do I live like Candide now, cluelessly cultivating his garden while the rest of the world teems and totters on the other side of the wall? No. But I do find that life is much kinder in every way now that I’ve cut out all the slime and static I used to hear before my old Hermes3 website became the archival site it is now, and the new site you’re reading now was launched in March. I used to get daily “reports” from the New York Times, Truthout, Reader Supported News, The Real News Network, MoveOn and other entities who may look progressive in contrast to the enemies they compulsively attack, but who are now, as often as not, hopelessly regressive in playing the old Piscean conflict and duality cards at a time when we need instead a solving of differences for the sake of the coalescence, community and compassion to which the Aquarian Intentional Field now invites us.
There are some points that need to be restated endlessly in new ways until the tumblers finally turn in the lock of our understanding, and more of us are able to get it. We have seen for the moment, and apparently grasped, the key premises that what we focus on increases, that our thoughts create our reality, that unless we have inner peace, there can be no world peace. Yet as a species we seem no closer now, and if anything farther away, from getting and applying the point in ways that can help to pacify, heal and unite us. What are we not seeing yet?
Perhaps one of the insights waiting in the lobby is that wherever we invest our strongest emotions, not just our thoughts, will get stronger. The point here is that the Intentional Field hears only affirmative verbs, and those who always talk about what they don’t want continue to get more of it until they redirect their focus to what they do want, and thereby begin to attract it. This is why it does not matter which side of an ideological divide one is on as long as the same old bitterness goes on about whatever is wrong and horrible and awful and E-Word, and how I continue to empower the one I judge and condemn.
This was the main theme of the ceremony that I got to do on May 24, right within the peak intensity of the Uranus-Pluto square, with my nephew Michael Weber.
GETTING IN TUNE
There he is, above, in one of the portals of the majestic Inca site of Pisac, where I live. We had the opportunity we’ve dreamed of, ever since I visited him in Asheville three years ago, to introduce him to Pachamama’s country at the critical integration time following his Saturn return, and to meet as soul mirrors at times when we face different but parallel issues as the wheel turns. On the day before his 30th birthday, we went to a ceremonial center near the Temple of the Moon atop Cusco to share his first experience, my ninth by now, of Huachuma, better known as the San Pedro cactus, who can lead us to the Gate of Heaven, with all that that implies.
We were privileged to be in a group of nine who would be guided this day by Lesley Myburgh , the South African-born shaman well-known as La Gringa for her 22 years of practice in Peru, and as the central figure in Ross Heaven’s book The Hummingbird’s Journey to God. We began by introducing ourselves and stating our intentions. Mine was to release and dissolve whatever remains in me that is small and mean, timid and tentative, so that I can carry my mission to sing to Pachamama with all the majesty, authority and beauty that she deserves. The themes of Lesley’s talk as we drank the medicine were simple: that San Pedro aids us in seeing the unity and interconnection of all things, in dissolving all illusions of separation from one another and from God, and in facing the core issues and decisions that must be made now, in this moment when we have no more time to defer the effort each one can and must make to the healing of our planet and her people.
The dissolving of all barriers to love and acceptance was central for me as we found our spots within the garden, and readied ourselves for the moments when the force of the medicine would arrive. I began with the ritual that I follow when I drink ayahuasca or San Pedro: of invoking one by one the people whom I still tend to judge or feel as dissonant, asking each to forgive me for anything I have done to them that was not love, and forgiving them for anything they have ever done toward me that was not love. As the medicine kicked in, its message was clear and immediate: How many years more, now that you’re 68, are you going to keep running the same tapes – we may as well call them that, because that’s how outmoded and overdue for change your soul technology is -- about what you say you hold sacred and intend to do, and when are you going to stop viewing others as separate from you, and less good, and open yourself to the practice, not just the preaching, of love?
Everyone knows, or claims to know, that anything I blame or dislike in another is only a quality that I choose not to recognize in myself, that if it were not present in me I wouldn’t even notice it in the other, and so, in every thought of condemning another, I am in fact harming myself. Just as I remembered my good friend Gizala's comment that any negating of another isn't just an act against them, or me, but against consciousness itself the music began. It started softly when I saw that the plant to the right at the top of the wall wasn’t just swaying in the breeze, but was actually moving its branches in a stately rhythm, like the conductor of an orchestra. As I began moving to his beat, a majestic wave of sound began to flow. I felt and heard that I was now one heart and voice within an immense ensemble of voices and instruments, and that here in the garden every blade of grass, every flower, every insect was playing and singing a chord that embraced this spot, this planet, this galaxy and everything else in a harmony so perfect and complete that it was beyond all melody, as though to ask: Do you really need to sing your own line of notes? Do you need to show us how beautiful your voice is? We already know that. All we really need is for you to find your tone, and hold it.
And this was how the next hours went, as very softly, so as not to disturb the journeys of others in the garden near me, I sang my tone within a chord as big as the cosmos. By late afternoon my gaze kept going all the way across the garden to what looked at a distance, amid all those cacti, like the head of an ancient pink tortoise who had something to convey about waiting, and remembering that this mythic animal did not get to be the universal symbol of wisdom by moving faster than he needs to where he wants to go. So I sat for a while in front of this rose quartz, then took my time before going to see Michael, asking “Permission to approach, maestro?” – life is much easier if I refer to more and more people by titles of mastery – and sat silently with him for an hour.
We have yet to talk, weeks after this experience by now, about what we felt and saw. We seem to have had a tacit agreement that we’ll allow this journey as much integration time as it needs before we check in with each other about where we are now in the psychic terrain and heartscape, and where we’re about to go. The main feeling for me is one of being privileged to witness Michael’s courage wash the windows of his soul to their true and native purity, and of gratitude at getting to be the old black ram watching the young black lamb leap in the spring toward the joyous new creative surge that is now likely to come.
DECLARING OUR LOVE
For now, and for the years to come, it will clearly be best to use the UFC as a platform for highlighting those people, products and projects who are working to stoke our awareness, increase our happiness and relieve our suffering, and above all to direct the unifying force of love to bring communities in all dimensions, from the local to the global, into the unified intentions that are the method and motor of the Aquarian time, the artists’ medium that we use now to create the New Earth. Anyone can find and flog all the toxic crap. This space is now for inspiration.
And so – I appreciate the magnificent heart warrior Kyle Brooks, who has compiled and regularly updates a brilliant Facebook photo album of hundreds of cartoons, graphs, posters like the one here and “Promote Love” above, and other graphics about how to spot and avoid what is harmful and find what is wholesome, how to use plants for remedies as well as food. Spend an hour in this gallery, and you’ll find much that you’ll want to send to the ones you love. This album ought to be spread and seen everywhere.
I honor the astonishing artistry of sculptress-performer Miyoko Shida, whose construction of a mobile from plant branches that get heavier and harder to hold and balance is one of the most impressive demonstrations you will ever see of pure focus, concentration, theatricality and What We Can Do. This will be a resource to remember in those times when we doubt our capacities, or anyone else’s.
All of the other blazons and beacons for this month are connected with the sacred element of water and the transformative power of sacred sound, as is fitting when we are about to enter the month of Cancer, the first of the water signs of the zodiac. This Moon-ruled sign and month have traditionally been the time when we sing down the Moon from heaven, inviting the Moon’s own gifts of intuition, compassion, imagination, empathy and acceptance to dissolve all illusions of separation and notes of discord into communal harmony and healing.
If the UFC awarded ingenuity prizes, two would go this month to the Landfill Harmonic orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay, which builds orchestral instruments out of garbage. And for relieving the pain of the billions of people worldwide who suffer from water-borne illnesses, the water purification device invented by Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway) can use the Sun’s heat to boil water, even urine, to steam, then condense it into pure distilled water. The implications of this simple and cheap technology, now being tested in Ghana, are staggering, not only for its potential in improving the health of human and animal species, but also for the impact it may have on our understanding of water, and our relationship with her.
One of my beloved teachers, the prolific sound healing pioneer Jonathan Goldman, has just posted a new video in conjunction with his daring work, in both book and CD form, on The Divine Name. Having chanted these sacred syllables here in Peru, in Egypt on the Sacred Sounds journey last March, and everywhere else I can, I can well understand why these powerful sounds were kept secret for so long.
As always on the solstices and equinoxes, Circle of Sound will unite hundreds of circles of crystal singing bowl players in more than 30 countries in a Global Harmonization ceremony on June 21. It aims to attune our planet and her people to the frequencies of love, harmony, acceptance, compassion and joy.
"THOUSANDS HAVE LIVED WITHOUT LOVE, NOT ONE WITHOUT WATER"...
W.H. AUDEN, "FIRST THINGS FIRST"
While there will be many Aquarian activist events this month, especially in Solstice week, perhaps the most ambitious and exciting is the second annual Global Water Dances. It will be a standing wave event that starts in the Pacific Ocean countries, then rolls westward through hundreds of cities, all of them presenting their own dance pieces about local water issues, as well as a global segment which dancers will perform at every site to affirm our connections to each other and our common intention to provide clean water for everyone.
This is how it must be now, if we aim to join with one another in cohesive ways that will lead to meaningful understandings and concrete results. The advantage of music and dance is that everyone has to be in the same beat, on the same page. While we will still have to bear for a time the stridency of those who’d rather lash out at what’s wrong than celebrate what is right, in the end the Aquarian route and rhythm will prevail. More on this next month, when we visit Love Songs for Pachamama. Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
June 1-30 (Wednesday - Friday)
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 knows when it is time to teach, and when it is time to get out of her children's way.
June 3, Monday
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.
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. 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.
June 4, Tuesday
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.
June 5, Wednesday
In the Islamic calendar, this day will probably be the 27th of the lunar month of Rajab. It's the holy day of Miraj Kandili, or Laylat al-Mi'raj, commemorating the prophet Muhammad's miraculous night journey to heaven on the winged horse Buraq. The actual date of this feast, like that of all Muslim holy days, is determined by the confirmed sighting of the New Moon that begins the month.
June 5 - 8, (Wednesday - Saturday)
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 6, Friday
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 7 - 15, (8 days, Friday - Saturday)
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 8, Saturday (5:57 am UT; 3:57 pm 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.
June 10, Monday
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, Tuesday
In the Roman Catholic cycle of saints' days, this day 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, Wednesday
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, Thursday
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, Friday
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, Saturday
In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Earth, the second of the 20-day uinals in the cycle (8 Imix, Tzolkin 21). This uinal, symbolized by the Green Hummingbird, marks the growth of new life after the purifying Uinal of Fire at the beginning of the Tzolkin cycle.
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, Sunday
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 - 23, (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 7/3.
June 20 - 23, (Thursday - Sunday)
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, Thursday, 7:05 pm HT; Friday, 5:05 am 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 21 - 25, (Friday - Tuesday)
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 (6/26). 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 22, Saturday
Ceres enters Leo. Until the end of next month, the presence of this feminine, nurturing planet in the fiery, regal sign of Leo lends weight and impact to initiatives on behalf of Mother Earth. This powerful trend continues into the autumn, as in the estimation of some astrologers, Ceres is the ruler of the sign of Virgo.
June 23, Sunday, 1:33 pm HT; 11:33 am UT;
Full Moon in Capricorn, moving opposite Sun in Cancer. Creative, dynamic, complementary opposition between female and male energies, more favorable for professional and service relationships than for marriages. Role reversals apply now, as masculine solar energy is most advantageous now in domestic work, and feminine lunar energy is in the domain of the spiritual master. Teaching activities by Wise Women are favored, in the season of the High Priestess.
Jupiter in late Gemini conjoins the Sun and opposes the Moon now, making this Full Moon uncommonly joyous and visionary, a time when the complementarities of all relationships of opposition can be tapped for exciting creative synergies.
In the Wiccan calendar, this is the Blessing Moon.
In the Islamic calendar, the evening of this Full Moon in the lunar month of Sha'ban 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 24, Monday
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 it is still celebrated throughout the world in fire festivals that symbolically purify the fields to make the crop healthy.
Thus June 24 is 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 26, Wednesday
An important planet ingress happens today, as Jupiter crosses from Gemini into Cancer, where he will remain until late July 2014. Expansive, optimistic Jupiter, the planet of money and power, now shifts from the Gemini realm of air, language and the variety and scattering of interests and energies to the emotional dimension of watery Cancer. We can expect that the preceding year of endless talk and little traction about political and financial matters will now become more communal and feminine-centered, as Jupiter is exalted in Cancer. His year ahead will be eventful, as he trines -- at 120° -- Neptune in Pisces (July), forms another trine with Chiron in Pisces while opposing Jupiter in Capricorn and forming a 90° square to Uranus in Aries (August). In this same month he’ll also trine the Moon’s North Node while in sextile, at 60°, to the South Node. More about this extremely important scenario of of trying to shore up structures that cannot stand, and fix a center that cannot hold, in the July UFC prelude.
Another notable planetary event occurs today, as Mercury goes retrograde. His backward movement, which continues until 7/20, either brings or somehow uncannily coincides with confusion, blockage, delay, and general weirdness and bozosis in the Mercury-ruled areas of transportation, communications and commerce. As Mercury is now in Cancer, we can expect cloudiness and sudden showers in the emotional realm, much of it caused by a hesitation to speak one’s truth with courage and clarity. Mercury will finally emerge from his retrograde shadow – that is, he will arrive again at the zodiac point where he came to stasis before going backward – on Aug. 4. Thus the whole period from late June through early August will likely be a time of addressing old wounds, grudges and feelings that will not be easy to bring to the surface, but those who can clear them will find these weeks very usefully medicinal.
June 27, Thursday
Venus enters Leo. While this placement is generally considered neutral, Venus likes it here in the five-star hotel of the Sun, and she enjoys the time before she has to be "in fall" in Virgo.
June 29, Saturday
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, Saturday
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.