THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
WHICH GREEN MAN?
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for May, 2015. It comes in the month of the pearl gray sky. Anyone who's been in the central American Midwest in May or June, especially in the tornado corridor of Kansas, knows what this metaphor portends. Those who grow up there, as I did, learn early that when the sky turns a soft pearl gray, the wind stops and the birds go silent, the high wind is coming soon and we look to the southwest because that's where we'll see the next huge black cone that looks and sounds like the wrath and vengeance of the Lord. See one, and we know at once why people here speak of the fear of God.
As many people will in the months to come, as this crucial moment in our mythic history comes to its full pitch and turning in the middle months of 2015. Why at this time? Because we have come through the seven Uranus-Pluto squares that were the defining astral dynamics of June 2012 to March 2015, climaxing in the cataclysmic Equinox Eclipse of March 20. As we've seen in many UFC pages before, so we need not cover details now, the point of the last three years has not been to effect the transition in the obvious changes than anyone can see: the fall of governments, dynasties and currencies, the birth of torrential mass movements and the igniting of human will across frontiers of nationality, religion and culture.
Rather, as many of us have come to see by now, the critical changes have been in the dimension of consciousness, considered in both positive and negative terms: as the revelations of shocking malfeasance, corruption and murderous intent on the part of reptilian archons and controllers in many corporations, countries and religious organizations, and as a new awareness of our own best creative possibilities as we awaken to our individual capacities and sacred contracts, and to the collective mission that we have come to carry out now, in the interval between May 2015 and January 2016, when the last echo of the Uranus-Pluto opportunity comes in one more near-square at an orb of 1°. We shall see whether we're yet ready to decide which Green Man we prefer to believe, and to be: some version of the gorn, the scary-goofy Star Trek lizard, with his gravel voice and wire mesh eyes, all brute strength and implacable will to power -- or the beloved Green Man as we see him below at the top of this month's Daily Listings, the symbol of Nature's eternal greening and unlimited abundance. The choice is simple, really: whether we see the Earth as a place of scarcity, where reptilian minds see conflict as inevitable and hegemony as the only real solution; or the environment of unlimited greenness and possibility that Buckminster Fuller had in mind when he said, "There is no shortage of anything. There is only an abundance of ignorance."
Reptilian images and myths must abound now, as those who feed on fear stoke it relentlessly in order to keep the clueless herd of humanity in the lower band of their emotional frequencies -- from shame to rage, but mainly in fear -- where they are easiest to control. And thereby hang some tales. It's been 23 years now since Bringers of the Dawn appeared, with Barbara Marciniak's stories of the Lizzies -- that is, reptilian beings wearing human exteriors to conceal their true appearance and their intent of devouring humanity in every possible way. And 32 years since the TV miniseries V (for The Visitors) told essentially the same story, and inspired images like this one that we see today, of reptiles whose lifelike human exteriors and voice alteration technology prevents the great majority of their human prey from having the faintest idea who the most powerful rulers of human organizations really are. And next year it will be 40 years since The 12th Planet, the first of Zechariah Sitchin's books about the planet Nibiru, and the starseed race to came to Earth to find gold, and had to create human beings to mine it.
The Ones Who Came from Heaven to Earth
One thing that differentiated Sitchin (1920 - 2010) from other proponents of the "ancient astronaut" theory was that this was clearly no hack journalist or scamster out for a quick score, but a language polymath of amazing breadth and depth, who knew Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform and the Egyptian suf ("hieroglyphic") language as thoroughly as he knew Hebrew, Greek, Latin and his native Russian. In a series of jaw-dropping, ground-breaking books, he presented a far more comprehensive view of the Sumerian civilization than anyone had yet achieved, and used a deep and accurate understanding of the symbols in official cylinder seals, as well as the written texts, to demonstrate how the Sumerians knew, more than four thousand years ago, details about our solar system -- such as the rings of Saturn -- that we did not begin to suspect until Galileo gave us a clearer idea of what was there, and how it looked. Consider, for example, the cosmic diagram near the upper left corner of the seal shown here. It shows a system not of eight planets, that is, Earth, Sun, Moon and the five "inner" planets from Mercury to Saturn, but of eleven, including the three "outer" planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto that would not be discovered until much later.
In other images besides this one, the planets are correctly differentiated by size and, within the limits of artistic license, their relative distance from the Sun. Clearly these people, like the Dogon of Mali, whose astonishing knowledge of the Sirius star system Robert L. K. Temple described in The Sirius Mystery, the Sumerians had knowledge that no Earthbound people could possibly acquire. They could have learned these things only from beings who were able to comprehend the grand design by exploring the solar system in detail over centuries, or entering it from outside, from the planets of one or more star systems in our own galaxy, or another very far away.
Plausible enough, given the persuasive evidence from many sources that our planet has been visited by extraterrestrial beings, often humanoid in form, whose technologies have naturally inspired myths of merkabas, jagarnaths, and chariots of fire. Yet what makes Sitchin's take on these stories unique is another detail in the seal we've just seen. Visible between the two central figures is another planet, distant from the others, possibly at a very distant orbit from the others, or perhaps on its way toward or away from the main system. This is the famous, mysterious planet Nibiru, whose very unusual orbit brings it into the central solar system only every 3,600 years. This planet is the home of the Biblical Nephilim, known to the Sumerans as the Annunaki, the ones who "from heaven to earth came."
Creating the Adam
Why did they have to come here? Because, according to Sitchin's reckoning, their planet was losing its atmosphere, and the solution they relied on to anchor it in place was to diffuse atomized gold that would hold the lighter atmospheric gases in place. The planet where their scouts found gold in abundance was ours, notably in what we now call Mesopotamia, Egypt, east and south Africa, Andean South America and Mesoamerica. The problem was how to get the gold out, as the Annunaki miners who were first assigned this dark, dirty, stifling and dangerous job soon mutinied, and likely used some version of a line that Dr. Leonard McCoy would make famous, to the effect that "I'm a genetic engineer, not a tunnel digger." Someone else would have to do the job.
The solution the Annunaki hit upon was to use their skill in genetic engineering to create a worker animal that would be a composite of an existing primate species, not notably brilliant but at least trainable, and themselves. Thus, in a way that would make perfect sense to today's Corporation That Must Not Be Named, other biotech firms and the president of Nestle -- who recently opined that water is a commodity that should be managed for profit -- the worker embryos were seeded into the wombs of Annunaki females like this one, who, after much trial and disappointment, exclaims "I have created it!" after she has finally birthed a healthy, seemingly intelligent Adam (Sumerian for worker). He will be perfect for the purpose -- strong, hardy, durable if well taught and maintained, trainable to obedience. He is engineered for control and compliance because only nine of his twelve chromosomes, symbolized by the nine buds on the tree behind the goddess -- see also the DNA symbol in the banner image above -- have been activated.
Why not all twelve? Ah, there's the art of it, which Voldemort Inc. would understand perfectly. Two of the not-yet-activated chromosomes were the ones that hold the reproductive codes, and would enable the newly-created slave race to mate and multiply outside the controllers' program, instead of being limited to the numbers created by the Annunaki themselves. The one who gave the slave worker race the secret, and forced the authorities on planet Earth for the first time to decide the difference between a traitor and a rebel, was, appropriately, Enki the Trickster, a Moon deity more closely linked with the lunar, feminine dimension of intuition, imagination and the celebration of mystical oneness and cyclical harmony with nature than with the more masculine choices of intellect and rationality, analysis and linear reckoning in both space and time. His pose in this image is significant too, as he steps upward from the domain of land and water animals, and toward the air element of the bird who rests on his hand, and perhaps guides him, just as he has opened the way for the evolution of humankind.
Hereby hang a host of still more tales -- of Prometheus, Loki and other fire thieves, of Kokopelli, Coyote and other bringers of creative chaos, and above all of Lucifer, the Son of the Morning in his role as the Tempter in the garden who tells Adam and Eve, "you shall be as gods." Despite the evidence of famous Sumerian images like this one, it hasn't happened until recently that anyone has been determined to equate the Annunaki with reptilians. Sitchin's books contain many images -- which may show the results of ancient genetic engineering experiments -- of beings that are half humanoid and half bull, or lion, or fish. But they could be Mesopotamian versions of Egyptian neter images, that is, human forms surmounted by the heads of animals or birds, and they could also be therianthropes, that is, human-animal composite beings seen in the journeys of ancient shamans, and depicted in very early cave art. These linkages can take us further and further afield, and away from what may be the central mythic question now: how did the Serpent, who in Genesis is the symbol of resistance to authority, and in the Greek Asclepia and other medical traditions is associated with regeneration, and in alchemy represents physical and spiritual transformation, become the controlling archon itself?
Perhaps this fake new non-meaning of the serpent archetype is inevitable, given the parallels that are inescapable by now between the snake's forked tongue and indirect, winding movement, and the deviousness of those who will now tell any lie, no matter how palpable and outrageous, in order to fool the easily foolable a little longer, and distract for a moment more those who keep uncovering all the time more of the sordid truth of what the corporatist elite are doing. It does not greatly help matters that the otherwise admirable David Icke has apparently now become obsessed with the belief that the world financial elite are a race of 12-foot lizards.
This can't go on forever, or even for another year, as it's obvious to more and more of us that the point is not whether anyone is literally a reptilian being. It is, rather, that the terrified elites -- the arms merchants pushing perpetual war, the bankers pushing perpetual debt, the pharmaceutical giants pushing perpetual illness -- are unable to evolve beyond reptilian consciousness, and are determined to induce the same consciousness in others by keeping everyone else in in fear of loss, fear of change, fear of everything else. And so successful and pervasive has their dumbdown scenario proved to be that more and more human beings are incapable of recognizing a metaphor when they see one. Are the controllers literally reptiles? Not likely. It would play hell with their fashion sensibilities. But they are clearly actuated by the reptilian brain: possessive, relentless, and devoid of all compassion, capable of astounding horrors that can be accepted once they're explained to the mind as plausible, and practiced to the point of routine.
Our only way out of this is to live out of the mammalian brain, and envision what lies beyond it. We are, in fact, at a moment that is indescribably exciting because we are now capable of evolving into another higher brain for which we do not yet have a term. Suprahuman? Angelic? Galactic? The term will come in time, as we bring the new resonance into being, and sound it across the shared intentional space that connects us all. We sing it now, in the rites of Beltaine. And next month, at the Solstice. And every time we choose the largeness of love. Keep holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
May 1 - 3, Friday - Sunday
Beltaine, the great Mid-Spring Festival. It comes midway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, and is therefore observed throughout the northern hemisphere as one of the eight great festivals of the year. The word "Beltaine" itself consists of the name of the god known as Bel (Mesopotamian), Baldur (Norse) and other cognate names. The phallic implications of the maypole surmounted with streamers (see next) are obvious in this month that celebrates the burgeoning of fresh green leaves. At this time plants reach maximum growth; thus the end of April to the top of May on the year wheel is directly opposite the festivals of the dead on Hallowe'en and November 1. In Sweden this festival is celebrated as the annual victory of summer over winter.
In the southern hemisphere, the great Autumn Festival of Samhain is celebrated now. See last November’s UFC.
May 1 (Friday)
Happy May Day. This may be the year's best example of a joyous and extremely sexy holiday that has been watered down over the centuries by religion, commerce, ideology and other flavor killers into a wraith of what it used to be. In Egypt, it's Neighbors' Day, though no one seems to know why. Ask Americans and West Europeans what May Day is, and they usually associate it with Stalin and other Russians in bad hats watching the Red Army parade through Red Square. The Soviets co-opted -- many people came to believe they'd even created -- what had started millennia ago as a very sensual rite of spring, but in Europe shrank by the 19th century into an annual secular holiday honoring the hard work and dignity of farm and industrial workers.
The powers that be in the United States would have nothing to do with a labor holiday at which people waved red flags, sang the Internationale and compared Morgan, Rockefeller and the rest of the robber barons to wolves and other fanged beings. That's why the US government placed Labor Day on the first Monday in September, where it has no mythic charge at all, but it does obediently lead off the back-to-work, back-to-school week that follows the end of summer. What to do with May 1 in America? Dwight D. Eisenhower declared it Law Day in 1955. But law, as Mae West might have laughed from the bottom of her very deep throat, once had nothing to do with it.
For people all over the northern hemisphere, especially in Europe, the original May Day was the year's most thrilling festival. On this day, people would go into the meadows and forests and make love in the wild thyme and red clover. It was understood that unless you were hand-in-hand with your beloved, or otherwise clearly taken for the night, you had to say yes to anyone who asked you. This is why so many little Aquarii were born on and around the following Feb. 1. Some of the mid-winter mothers who bore these children had been so caught up in the joys of May Night that they had no idea who the fathers of their babies were, so the little ones were said to be the children of the fun-loving wood sprite Robin Goodfellow, better known to us as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Robin was always happily busy on May Night, and that is why we still have today so many people named Robinson.
In Hawaii, May 1 is Lei Day -- as though every day in the islands were not already a festival of flowers.
In the annual Roman Catholic calendar of saints' days, May 1 is the feast of Sts. Philip and James "the Less," Apostles. One index of the immense importance that the peoples of the Northern hemisphere have always assigned to May Day is the decision by the Roman Catholic Church to change the traditional meaning of the day by designating it as the feast day of not one, but two of the 12 disciples chosen by Jesus himself. While Philip was noted for his faith and his ability to stir the faith of others, the choice of St. James is especially intriguing because the purity of this lifelong virgin, who prized chastity above all other virtues, is directly opposite to the ancient meaning of this day in celebrating the sexual vitality of nature. James, also called James the Just, was the first Christian bishop of Jerusalem, so treasured for his sanctity that the devout would stop to touch the hem of his robe, and show other signs of reverence that were rarely, if ever, accorded to other apostles.
May 1 is the birthday of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881), author of The Phenomenon of Man, whose seminal ideas on the unity of natural and human consciousness have influenced nearly every Gaian and holographic thinker of the last half-century. Teilhard said, "Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of divinity."
On this day Mercury enters Gemini, clearly the more appropriate of the two signs he has traditionally been said to rule (the other being Virgo). 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. The first week of the month, when Mercury moves opposite Saturn in Sagittarius, is likely to be the most uncomfortable, disputatious phase of his visit. Mercury will be here in Gemini for a long tour of over two months, as he'll go retrograde on May 19.
May 2- 3, Saturday - Sunday
The ancient Roman festival of Floralia, celebrated in ancient times and still observed in Europe with displays of flowers.
May 3, Sunday
In Japan, May 3 is the day of Ta Ue, the Shinto rice-planting festival, marking the resurgent vitality of nature and the beginning of the "Month of Fresh Green Leaves."
May 3, Sunday: 5;43pm HT; 3:43am UT:
Full Moon in Scorpio, opposite Sun in Taurus. The "lusty month of May" that begins now owes some of its sensuousness to the Moon in the sign that rules sexuality, at the same time that the Sun is in the sign ruled by Venus. Alchemically and esoterically, the Scorpionic power of rebirth and transformation, beginning at the Full Moon, combines with the earthy tenacity and drive of Taurus and the sheer beauty of Venus to lend this season its uncommon juice and stamina. This Full Moon is powerfully charged, as Jupiter in Leo forms the middle leg of a T-cross between the two great lights, while Pluto in Capricorn is trine the Sun, sextile the Moon, offering vigorous possibilities of leverage toward large, ambitious goals.
In the world's Buddhist communities, this Full Moon is the day of Wesak, the birthday of the Buddha. It is usually celebrated at the "Full Moon in Taurus," during the lunar month when the Sun is in what the West calls the Sign of the Bull, but is equally plausible in Asian terms as the Sign of the Cow, playing and embodying the generous abundance, nurturance and gentleness that have made the Cow a spiritual symbol not only for Buddhists and Taoists, but also for Hindus like Gandhi, who called the cow "a poem of pity." It is said that the baby Siddhartha Gautama began to walk soon after birth, and that lotus flowers sprouted at once in his footsteps.
Some Buddhists celebrate this day as Visakha Puja, or Buddha Day, commemorating the birth, life and teachings of the Awakened One.
May 3 - 4, Sunday - Monday
In the Roman tradition, the festival of the Good Goddess, Bona Dea, begins on the evening of May 3 and is celebrated through the next day. It was customary -- still is in places where women's mysteries are practiced -- to decorate hawthorn trees, which flower at this time, particularly those located at sacred places.
The timing of this Roman festival is closely related to the sacred calendar of Rome's ancient Celtic rivals. In the Celtic tree calendar, Hawthorn Month begins now. This month is especially favorable for contract with fairies and other nature spirits.
May 3 - 6, Saturday - Tuesday
The annual Dolphin Convocation in Indonesia. Every year on these days, huge numbers of dolphins, totaling perhaps in the millions, are said to gather in the treacherous, eddying waters between Bali and Lombok islands, and to swim for a few days in a gigantic wheel or spiral pattern. The reason for this gathering, and its timing, remain a matter of speculation. As yet there have been no human diplomatic expeditions to the area between Bali and Lombok at Dolphin Convocation time. It is only a matter of time before one or more boats of humans and other animals sail to the periphery of the conference and ask the dolphins' permission to participate as observers. This convocation is especially auspicious, coming as it does at the Full Moon.
May 4, Monday
Among adherents of the Sufi tradition, this day is sacred to the memory of Rabi'a al-'Adawiya (d. 801), one of the earliest of the great Sufi mystics, who preached realization through the triple path of love, wisdom and action.
May 4 - 5, Monday - Tuesday
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on the night of May 4 and morning of the following day. This meteor storm, with a faint average magnitude of 2.9 and a frequency of only some 20 per hour, is best observed in the southern hemisphere. Viewing is poor this time, as the Moon if Full.
May 5, Tuesday
In the ancient calendar of Khemit, the "Black Land" that the ancient people of the Nile called their country, this is the Day of the Children of Nut, honoring the direct and indirect offspring of the primordial mother netert (not "goddess"). As Nut was the most ancient of all feminine deities - her name, cognate with neter itself, means "the divine feminine" and the mother of the Sun (Ra), the Moon, called Djehuti (Thoth) and the five "epagomenal" neters Ausar (Osiris), Aset (Isis), Set, Hor (Horus) and Nebt-het (Nephthys), Nut embodies universal feminine fertility, the eternal limitless abundance of the womb (Month of Payni, day 21).
May 7, Thursday
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 June 5.
May 7 - 8, Thursday - Friday
In the Jewish calendar, this is the festive holiday of Lag B'Omer. It celebrates the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar -- the core teaching of the Kabbalah -- and the day when a plague afflicting the disciples of the sage Rabbi Akiva ended.
May 7 -9, Thursday - Saturday
The comune of Assisi, Italy stages one of the world's great May festivals, called the Calendimaggio, because kalends were the first days of each month in the ancient Roman calendar. On one level, the Calendimaggio is a gorgeous parade by Assisi residents in 14th and 15th century costumes.
On another, it's a commemoration of the annual spring peacemaking rite in which the Guelf and Ghibelline factions staged a mock battle which, it was hoped, would drain away some of the desire to fight for real in the hot months to come. And, as shown here in this image by Connie Bennett, the Calendimaggio also honors the great god Pan in all his horned, hairy majesty.
May 8, Friday
Theosophists celebrate May 8 as White Lotus Day, commemorating the "promotion" (at 59, during her second Saturn return) of the brilliantly energetic, ferocious and controversial maga, occult medium, traveler and author Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 - 1891). With Henry Steele Olcott and William Quan Judge, she co-founded the Theosophical Society (1875), and her books Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine were the first to introduce esoteric knowledge from the Hermetic, Vedantic and other traditions to a wide new readership. Thanks to Meg Langford for the tip on this.
May 9 - 13, Saturday - Wednesday
On May 9, 11 and 13 the ancient Romans celebrate the Lemuria, the annual festival honoring their departed ancestors, the lemures, whose spirits were said to visit the family home on these days.
May 10, Sunday
This second Sunday in May is observed in the United States as Mothers' Day, one of countless May celebrations of the fecundity of the Mother Goddess. The first Mothers' Day in the USA was created by Julia Ward Howe, whose career was a notable example of how the actual experience of suffering, including the ravages of war, may stir compassion from those people in whom it is, as Buckminster Fuller put it, arousable.
In the middle of 1861, as naive armies marched in romantic color into the American civil war, Howe wrote the poem that would become the famous Union martial anthem The Battle Hymn of the Republic. A few years after the war, disgusted with the misery that self-righteous men can inflict on their peoples, she organized Mothers' Day as a global peace demonstration designed to unite mothers everywhere in affirming the maternal values that nurture and enrich civilization. Mothers' Day has since faded into a commercial holiday, but it has never lost its true activist identity, and has been a focus of women's peace efforts in recent times. In 1982, women were arrested at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, one of the USA's top nuclear weapons research sites, for blocking the gates to the facility and daring to proclaim that life is more precious than profit or power.
May 12, Tuesday
In the ancient Khemitian (aka "Egyptian") calendar (see 5/5 above), Day of the Purification of all Things (Month of Payni, day 28).
Mars enters Gemini. This is one of the "neutral" placements in which he is not totally comfortable, as he is mostly action and Gemini is mostly talk -- but for Mars it beats being in the Moon-ruled water sign of Cancer (4/14), where he is said to be "in fall," and feels like a jock who has to learn macrame until the cast on his leg comes off. Best way to play Mars in Gemini, the playful speaking of one's truth, the selection from many options the crucial one to address. Until June 24.
This day is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820).
May 12, Tuesday - 14 Thursday: 3 days
In the Roman Catholic calendar, the Rogation ("Petition") Days fall on the three days culminating on the feast of the Ascension. Prayers are offered for bountiful crops and the health and peace of the natural world. Like the Ambarvalia, the ancient Roman feast it supplanted (see May 24), this purification rite is based on the premise that love, atonement and forgiveness among human beings will be reflected in the abundance and quality of the harvest.
May 14, Thursday
In the ancient Khemitian calendar (see 5/5), this was observed as the day on which Shu, neter of the air, persuaded his twin sister, the solar netert Tefnut, to return from the land south of Khemit to the country of the Nile. The legend relates that Tefnut was so incensed at the arrogance of Ra, the male principle of the Sun, that she withdrew from her customary role until Shu gained help from the eloquence of Djehuti (Thoth), who induced Tefnut to return. This story is thus the Khemitian version of the universal solar regeneration myth in which the female principle of fire withdraws her light and warmth from the Earth until she is treated with the respect she deserves (Payni, day 30).
For Roman Catholics and some other Christians, this day is the feast of the Ascension, always reckoned as 40 days after Easter Sunday. On this day Jesus is said to have ascended in glory to Heaven, as shown here by Pietro Perugino. The cherubs are arranged around Jesus in the shape of the vesica piscis, symbolizing the union of spirit and matter in the divine and human natures of the Christ. This year the Ascension rites will be transferred to Sunday June 1.
May 15, Friday
In the ancient Roman calendar, this is the Ides of May. This day is sacred to Maia, the Goddess for whom May is named, and also to Vesta, goddess of the hearth and all sacred fires. On this day, Vesta's devotees, the Vestal Virgins, offer prayers in the Goddess's temple to ask the blessing of an abundant supply of water for the coming summer months. The festival of Maia is always observed a week before the entry of the Sun into Gemini, ruled by Maia's son Mercury (Hermes).
Among the Yoruba and Santeria peoples of Africa, 5/15 is the feast of Ochossi, the Orisha of animals, one of the emanations of the one divinity Olodumare.
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.
May 15 - 21, one week
In the ancient Khemitian calendar, the month of Epipi, sacred to the protective cobra netert Wadjet, begins with festivals of Het-Heru (Hathor) and Bastet. In contrast to the preceding month of Payni, Epipi is a markedly feminine-centered month which celebrates above all the female forces of latent vitality and continuity in nature; and the critical importance of Truth, embodied by Ma'at, in all universal order. Some of the May events in the dramatic month-long festival cycle that now begins:
5/16 - Feminine neters honored in their temples throughout Khemit (Epipi, day 2). It is now 70 days until the annual Nile flood, usually on July 26.
5/19 - Het-Heru (Hathor) returns to her home in Punt, south and east of Khemit (perhaps present-day Somalia). The Neters mourn her absence. (Epipi, day 5).
5/21 - The Neters sail after Het-Heru (Epipi, day 7). The festival cycle culminates on June 16 with the transcendence of Het-Heru as the star Sothis (Sirius).
May 16, Friday
In the Celtic tree calendar, Hawthorn Month begins. This month is favorable for contact with fairies and other nature spirits.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Rebirth, the eleventh of the 20-day uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (6 Imix, Tzolkin 201). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Scarlet Macaw, the energy principle that of flowering.
May 17, Saturday
This day is the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as 'Azamat, or Grandeur.
Also the Roman festival of Dea Dia, honoring the goddess in her role as cosmic mother.
May 17 - 18, Sunday, 6:14pm HT; May 1, Monday, 4:14am
Black Moon conjunct Sun in Taurus. The New Moon that immediately follows this Dark Moon normally favors the prosperity of joint enterprises pursued with tenacity and determination, though this may be overdone with heavy Taurus one-pointedness in pursuit of the primary goal without regard to the finer nuances. This Black Moon is without any major aspects of relationship to other planets, which may be just as well, as Mercury goes retrograde on May 19 after a time of intense planetary grinding. The month ahead can now be used as an interval of rest and recovery -- and the practice of patience, as even Mercury retrograde, when it's in Gemini, can seem to go forward a lot faster than any action involving Taurus. Best be cool for now -- but watch Jupiter in Leo, closing fast on the rail toward a trine with Uranus just after the June Solstice.
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.
May 18, Monday
In the Greco-Roman calendar, this day is sacred to Apollo, god of the Sun, of divination, poetry, music and all intellectual activities. Curiously, the Greeks and Romans honor Apollo's opposite at this time too, as 5/18 is also the first day of a week-long feast of Faunus, or Pan, the primeval, riotous God of male sexuality and vitality. The emphasis during this festival is on healthy masculine relationships of brotherhood, parenthood and mentorship.
May 19, Tuesday
Celtic and Irish festival of the Sacred Spring, on which wells and springs are adorned with flowers and greenery in honor of the goddess Brigid, who embodies the feminine principle of the latency of new life.
On this day Mercury goes retrograde in Gemini, and will remain in this sign until July 8. While this 23-day interval will bring mechanical weirdness, system brownouts, misunderstandings, memory blips, blockages, delays, and every imaginable kind of human bozosis in the Mercury-ruled areas of transportation, communication, commerce and thievery, it will now have the special Gemini qualities of instant and constant switches of topic and focus, and last-minute decisions that have the effect of keeping all options in play too long, until they begin to collide and fall. There will be times when we want to kiss another person just to stop her or him from talking. Best choose here and there associates who have hoisted aboard the concept of a discipline of silence.
May 20, Wednesday, 10:46pm HT; May 21, Thursday, 8:46am UT)
Sun enters Gemini, sign of the Twins. The next 30 days, under the influence of Mercury, ruler of Gemini, are especially favorable for learning and studies of all kinds; this is why for many centuries spring final exams have been held in late May and early June in Western countries. This time favors plans and organizations, communications, and all enterprises that are opportunistic and flexible in nature. It also favors partnerships based on equality, which is why so many marriages are made now, most auspiciously on or near the Gemini New Moon, on June 16. See next month’s UFC.
May 23 (Sat) eve – 25 (Mon) 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.
Among the Baha'i community, this is one of the year's holiest days, marking the Declaration of the Bab: the day in 1844 when Ali Muhammed announced that he is the anticipated "Coming One" of all religions. Work is suspended; focus and concentration go within for clearing, forgiveness and atonement.
This day is celebrated throughout the ancient Mediterranean world as the feast of Hermes Trismegistos ("thrice-great"), derived from the Egyptian neter Djehuti (aka Thoth), and honored as the patron of letters, wisdom, magic, alchemy and other occult sciences. The famous saying "As Above, So Below" is but one of the Hermetic principles attributed to Hermes Trismegistos. 5/24 is perfectly appropriate as his feast because it comes just after the Sun enters Gemini. The communication-related properties of this sign were evident even in very ancient times.
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.
In most Christian calendars this is Pentecost Sunday, commemorating one of the first recorded trance channeling events in history: the miracle by which the Holy Spirit inspired disciples of Jesus to "speak in tongues," thereby communicating in languages not consciously known to them, to a multitude of listeners from many nations.
Among Christians Pentecost replaced Whitsunday, which was sacred to the Norse goddess Frigg, wife to Odin and honored among ancient Germanic peoples as Queen of Heaven. It was customary on this day to celebrate the power of feminine love by decorating love nests and mazes.
In the southern hemisphere, Pentecost is a late autumn or early winter feast, and has a different quality from the northern festival. As shown here in Urubamba, Peru at the fiesta of Senor de Torrechayoc -- the Lord of the town is Jesus now, but used to be the creator Wiracocha -- is actually a classic example of how the southern hemisphere does in late May and June the rites that northern peoples do in December.
Like the Japanese On Matsuri -- see Dec. 15 - 18 -- Peruvians stage a ceremony of purification and renewal in which they escort the sacred image from its home to a temporary shrine from which it will return en el octavo, eight days later, in a procession that is anything but solemn. Imagine thousands of masked dancers and clowns costumed as cops, bishops, lawyers and almost everything else that is ripe for a lampoon, and hundreds of devils with suggestive noses, and you get the general idea of Pentecost in South America.
May 25, Monday
.Birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803), the American pantheistic philosopher who taught the immanence of divinity in humanity and nature.
May 26, Monday
Feast of St. Philip Neri (1516 - 1595), one of the most beloved of all Roman Catholic saints. Philip was said to live in continuous elation and ecstasy, to have performed countless miracles of healing by touch, and to have been able to read the inmost thoughts and destinies of others. One person who encountered him in the street reported that Philip would "leave me so full of joy that I could not tell which way I was going."
The United States observes its Memorial Day holiday, honoring the country's war dead and commemorating the sacrifices and the horrors of war, on this day.
May 28, Saturday, 8:41 am HT; 6:41 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."
May 29, Friday
For the Baha'i community, this day commemorates the Ascension of the Baha'ullah, founder of the Baha'i faith, who passed over on this day in 1844.
May 30, Saturday
In the ancient Khemitian calendar, a 16-day festival cycle in honor of Ma'at, neter of Truth, begins on this day. The image of Ma'at is carried in procession to the temple of Ra in Heliopolis, symbolizing the power of Truth as equal even to the majesty of the Sun (Epipi, day 16). Ceremonies of purification are held now, and prayers are offered to Ma'at and her consort, Lord Djehuti (Thoth), for knowledge and wisdom, in what has been for thousands of years the academic season of completion and graduation.
May 31, Sunday
Tibetan Buddhists celebrate their great feast of Saga Dawa Duchen, the spring festival commemorating the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of the Buddha. This day is the 15th day of the month of Saga Dawa. Tibetans observe the seventh day of this month (May 23 this year) as the date of the Buddha’s birth, while his birth, enlightenment and passing into parinirvana are all celebrated at the next Full Moon, one of the year’s most auspicious times for pilgrimages.
May 31 - June 2, Sunday - Tuesday
One of the year's three great festivals in honor of the Triple Goddess, marking her transition from virgin to mother. The rites of love that are celebrated now are invocations of abundance and fertility for mothers, and good health for all. (The two other main Triple Goddess rites mark the transition from Mother to Wise Woman around Sept. 31, while the Sun is in Libra, the sign of marriage; and the transition from Wise Woman to Virgin again around Jan. 31, at Imbolc, the great Mid-Winter Festival.)
Want to know how any of these days affects you? An Astrocartography reading covers not only your unique, personal planet energy lines and crossings, but the conditions of timing that are in effect for you now, and in the months and years ahead.
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ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
The Universal Festival Calendar first appeared in July, 1998 as an e-mail newsletter, and has also been published online since May, 2000. It incorporates data from astronomy and astrology, Moon cycles and the sacred days and festivals of many spiritual traditions, in order to identify monthly and annual power points, when human ascension efforts are well aligned with the celestial dynamics of our galactic stagemachinery, and the life cycles of Mother Earth. The UFC aims to assist the spiritual evolution of Earth and her people by providing information useful for planning global meditations, ceremonies and gatherings that support the aim of awakening enough human beings to bring about the lifting of human consciousness into higher frequencies of mercy, compassion, wisdom and love.
We welcome and are grateful for suggestions by readers whose ideas have improved the Calendar, and made it more accurate and comprehensive.