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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
IN THE CAULDRON
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival for November 2013, the most momentous, intense and transformational month we are likely to see until next spring. Before we get to the main weave of the month, a few items that will affect my communications until mid-November, especially with those who may want astrocartography readings.
I will be in Chile Oct. 28 - Nov. 11, and my focus will go almost entirely to events and readings there. So I will not be available for new work from the beginning of Mercury retrograde on Oct. 21 until he goes direct again three weeks later. I will curtail readings this month and in December, in order to concentrate on finishing the first of three e-books I'm writing on astrocartography.
The simulcast on "Astrocartography and How to Find Your Personal Planetary Lines" that Leslie Zehr did with me on Oct. 9, on her Contemplating the Universe series, is now up on YouTube. Much gratitude and love to Leslie, who has been a beloved friend, mentor and inspiration since I first arrived in Cairo ten years ago.
The UFC will continue as always. To begin a free subscription, you can enroll at Aquarian Airlines. Now to the chill and charge of November.
Under a Black Moon
If you’ve visited the UFC lately, then you know that right at the top of this month, in the days from Samhain/All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 through the Scorpio Black Moon of Nov. 3, the master aspect of 2012 – 2015 forms again as Uranus in Aries now comes into a 90° “square” alignment for the fourth of seven times. To see a horoscope and commentary on Nov. 1, you can see last month’s prelude, Off the Cross.
We won't review the details of the main planet alignment on Nov. 1, but we'll concentrate instead on the Black Moon that in many ways is the Scorpionic seed, shadow, black box theatre and witches’ medicine that will cook in the cauldron on Nov. 3, then be served when the New Moon appears, fittingly enough, right on Nov. 5: Guy Fawkes’ Day, sacred to insurrectionists, incendiaries and all others ready to get onstage at once in what the poet Edward Dorn (in Gunslinger) called the theater of impatience.
If you’d like to skip the celestial dynamics, please skip to The Pardoner’s Tale below. We’re about to look at a Scorpio Black Moon chart that is cast for New York, NY because it’s the brain of the world banking cartel, it will be the epicenter of a global wealthslide that is now only a matter of time -- and it will be the focus of furtive, deceptive schemes by players too subtle to telegraph their moves, too scared to play this slippery moment with high strategic skill.
Black Moon in Scorpio
Nov. 3, 2013 at 7:50 am EST
New York, NY USA: 40N43 / 74W100
Tropical, Placidus, True Node
The dominant feature in this chart is the tremendous cluster of Sun and Moon in close conjunction with Saturn (below the Moon), and in a less immediate but still energetic link with Mercury and the horseshoe-shaped North Moon’s Node, which are only 20 minutes apart and thus very actively connected. While this terrific quintet of major chart points is technically not an actual five-planet stellium -- because the Moon’s Node is not a planet, but a lunar crossing point on the Sun’s orbit – it may as well be, especially in the New York chart, which also has the Ascendant (Asc) at 26° Scorpio. It is thus a “triple Scorpio” chart, with Sun, Moon and Asc all in this sign.
The Scorpio Black Moon always offers an opportunity to see what is exhausted and dying in our personal energetic fields, and to commit to a Scorpionic purge and purification that can bring us out the other side so energetically scrubbed and pounded that if our souls had legs, they would feel as though they’re made of yogurt, not yet ready to hold up and carry us where we intend to go next. The price of poker is even heavier than usual this time, with Saturn demanding what can feel like an effort beyond anything we’ve made before, especially when it comes to communications not only with the ones we already know, but, more importantly, with new circles in every domain of our lives: familial, social, professional, financial, communal and spiritual.
Not only that, but the emotional challenge of it all could hardly be more severe, because all those densely-squeezed points are in Scorpio, the most secretive of all signs, the one of whom it can truly be said that the thing it fears most is being seen to have made a costly, even catastrophic mistake. Thus it will happen now, as possible solutions get less flexible – the effect of Saturn conjunct Moon and Sun – that the customary cohesion of capitalists who are usually thick as thieves will begin to unravel, and will try to cloak itself behind every possible fake catchphrase. We can see this on the vertical axis of the chart. Mars is under restraint in Virgo, at the Midheaven point that represents professional achievement and prestige. Chiron, who can be both Healer and Wounder, opposes Mars, and shares the third house of communications with dreamy, delusional Neptune, who is doing his best to submerge in Pisces, and avoid any and all attempts at articulating transparent, responsible public policy, for fear of triggering panic at the prospect of “financial collapse.”
It would be more realistic to confess that the collapse has already occurred. The “system” is broken. The planet and her people are in agony. The plutocrats, and the politicians they own, cannot fix it without abandoning the very structure of control that has enriched and empowered them. All they can do, until enough of us are awake enough to take concerted action, is to secure their own assets while they employ their media to maintain a façade of “order” and “stability.” We’ll look in a moment at how this is unfolding, and accelerating.
For now, we look at the countervailing forces and advantages in this Scorpio Black Moon chart. Chiron is in a 120° trine to that powerful energy cluster in Scorpio, offering the possibility that Draconian measures, however astringent, can now be taken in ways that are prudent and proactive rather than desperate. Mars is in another trine to Pluto in Capricorn, so extraordinary efforts can yield heroic, far-reaching results. The question, and it applies to this entire four-year period of the Uranus-Pluto square, is how many of us will see, and when will we see, that we have the power to manifest what we aim to create together across the intentional field of our collective will. The world does not just happen. We make it what it is and will be.
This actuality shows in the Black Moon chart too, as Chiron is in a medicinal 60° sextile to Pluto, and a 72° quintile to Venus, who underneath all the gems, gowns and glamour is the peerless maestra of attraction. It is no accident that Chiron, who forces us to come to terms with our wound and offers us a way to heal it, is the pivotal player in this chart, forming angles of relationship to all but two planets and both Moon’s Nodes, as well as the vertical axis of the chart.
Which way will it go? It will go our way, the way of the ignited mind and the determined heart. How do we know? Because those who seek to block our cohesion and freedom are now playing the end game of one of the great cautionary tales.
The Pardoner’s Tale
If we were to choose from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales the one that best fits this nervous, implosive moment in our history, it might be the story told by the corrupt, hypocritical Pardoner – that is, a seller of “indulgences” that can remit the buyer’s sins and save him from Hell.
The Pardoner's Radix malorum est cupiditas (greed is the root of all evil) scenario is the kind that is usually told by skilled purveyors of Horseshit who fleece others by preying on their fear. Three young drunks who are busy gambling and roaring at a tavern hear a funeral bell tolling for a friend who has just been killed by a "privee theef" named Death, and set out to get revenge by killing him. An old man tells them they will find Death at a certain oak tree. They find instead a bag of gold coins at the foot of the tree, decide to spend the night there and take the treasure away the next morning, and draw straws to see who will go to get food and wine. You know what comes next.
The two men who are waiting at the oak plot to kill the third man, who has decided to knock them off by lacing their wine with rat poison. By twilight there are three new guests of Death lying at the foot of the tree. How is this archetypal tale of the poisoned treasure, which has countless parallels in everything from ancient Buddhist, Islamic and African stories to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, playing out now? Well, consider that as of Nov. 17, J. P. Morgan Chase Bank will discontinue international bank transfers and will limit cash withdrawals by its depositors. And other banks in the Federal Reserve system are blocking and looting customer accounts in order to protect themselves against the moment when the FDIC will be unable to cover $1.4 quadrillion in derivative debt -- more than 16 times the value of all the world's assets -- when the bills come due.
The result is what Thomas Berry predicted 14 years ago in The Great Work: "[The] identification of the welfare of the corporation with the welfare of the people and of the government as the guardian of the people leads to absolute insistence that all benefits of society be given first to the corporations." The banks' plundering of customer accounts -- and much more of it will soon be exposed -- naturally comes costumed in the language of prudent asset management and depositor security, as used by the wool-bedecked wolf of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And in the legal euphemisms of polluters like Chevron, which is suing the Amazonian peoples whose rivers and forests it has destroyed.
The money melee, the capitalist cockfight, is about to begin. How can we tell? More than 1,000 US banks participated in the Quantum Dawn 2 cyberattack drill on Oct. 16 - 17, and as of this writing on Oct. 20, will run another drill a few days from now. They are no doubt preparing excuses that hackers, not the bankers themselves, have caused their customers' money to disappear. Wait for it, now that Switzerland, where the original bankster gnomes have been guarding the gold of every imaginable criminal for centuries, is clearly worried about more than just a virtual raid on their wealth. The Swiss Army has been conducting a series of war games to simulate economic collapse and invasion by refugees and marauders.
Yow! What to do? Keep fighting the good fight, as the city council of Kaua'i, Hawaii has just done in banning GMO foods and pesticides produced by the Corporation That Must Not Be Named -- thereby contributing mightily to the activist groundswell that has just led the US Congress to pass a new funding bill that repeals the laughably named Farmer Assurance Provision, better and more accurately known as the [Voldemort] Protection Act. If this can happen even in a notoriously timid and corrupt legislative body, then there is no telling what may now ensue as newly-empowered and confident constituents and communities go on the attack in the best and most literal sense of the term: taking action, going assertively toward what we want and touching it.
The other essential action, as always, is to see and use the energies of the mythic realm that have always guided us through the Wheel of the Year, and are doing that powerfully now. It is no accident that the fourth of the Uranus-Pluto squares, the central and pivotal one, is coming right at the great sacred hinge point of Samhain, the first and most important of the four Celtic festivals that continue through the annual cycle with Imbolc (Feb. 1), Beltaine (May 1) and Lughnasad (Aug. 1). The rite of the Samhain bonfire -- from which all the families in the community rekindled their hearth fires -- was for burning away all the old grudges, regret and pain of the old year, and to purify all hearts in a common purpose of forgiveness and shared possibility. But the other fire that matters to us now is not for burning anything off and away. It is for down and in what we need to receive. It belongs to Lady Cerridwen.
The Celts, especially those who lived westward in Wales, revered her as the one who stirs in her cauldron the brew of insight and truth. While we perceive her again now as her devotees always did, she has long been for authoritarians one of the classic models of the formidable Black Goddess who mixes and serves ingredients that are disgusting even to those who realize, as anyone who's ever drunk ayahuasca knows, that the deepest and most effective medicines will probably not taste like mai tais. The classic witches' brew recipe from Macbeth — Eye of newt and toe of frog/Wool of bat and tongue of dog, etc. — consists in fact, fascinatingly, of code phrases for medicinal herbs that witches chose to conceal from their persecutors. There is more on this in my book, Dance of the Moon.
For now, rather than cite more about Cerridwen, it will be more honest and fun to invite her to speak directly. Look. She is is even more radiantly beautiful than she appears in this image from Goddess Gallery. Welcome, Beloved.
Cerridwen: Thank you, Dan. It is an honor now to address on Samhain night those who can see this blackness as the cauldron and womb of all our creative possibilities, and the feast of connection for all who see the world, all feathers and fins, hooves and horns and hair, in all their richness and interconnection. We live without fear of loss or scarcity, because we know that our true wealth is not in the things we hold, but in the friends who hold us.
Here is what I offer you from the garden of love. Mixing these herbs for your health and the soaring of your soul in a time of fear is easy. If even a German-American Virgo male like Dan can make a Rocka de Chakra tea that stokes all seven chakras, then imagine what the wise women in your circle can make. Here is the recipe I recommend for now, as many of these green jewels as you can gather and prepare:
Red Clover for steadiness. Amaranth for solidity of purpose, Comfrey for breaking walls and Buckthorn for steel in the will. Cayenne for rapid choice and brave action. Thyme to build resolve. Rue for attentiveness. Echinacea for taking our power, and Elecampane for using it selflessly. Tamarind for patience, and grace under pressure. Master Garlic to cleanse the heart, Peppermint for rapid receptivity, Schizandra for empathy and Red raspberry leaf to free playfulness. Black currant for self-acceptance. Cohosh for opening to love, and Blackberry for the sweetness of the heart reward that awaits those who practice love in patience and active waiting. Eyebright for graceful growth. Jasmine for the scent of spirit. Kidney beans for speaking our truth. Lavender for ecstasy. Licorice and mullein for the breath of courage and joy. Wintergreen for ceremony that gathers and tunes all the hearts in the circle. Bird's tongue and Dill for clear sight in the third eye and clear voicing in the throat of the song of freedom. Hyssop to dissolve separation, and Holy Basil for opening the crown to the light of what is true.
How to combine them? In what proportions? Your intuition will tell you. You will know the mix is powerful and true when your pot glows blue, like mine, or green, the hue of the heart. Be sure to sing the blessing before you drink. The words and the tune will come to you too. Intone them together in the beauty that comes in the sharing of courage. Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Oct. 31 - Nov. 3 (4 days):
One of the year's four great "midseason" festivals, this one at the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. These days have been a critical weather marker from ancient times, as this is the week, called Hallowmas in Christian Europe, when the birds fly south, the animals migrate and hibernate for the winter, and the crops flame out in glory, yielding new food and the seeds to grow anew in the spring just before they die and decay into winter. As this moment in nature marks the onset of mortality, it has always been, in the imagination of human beings everywhere, a time of meeting between the living and the dead.
These red days of autumn pass like maple leaves in the stream, and are among the most passionate times of the year for people whose emotional bodies are engaged. Among the other festivals held all over the planet at this point in the year:
The Celtic New Year feast of Samhain, which actually begins Oct. 31, continues until Nov. 27. The time of increasing darkness from now until February is under the protection of Cailleach (the "veiled woman"). Note the resemblance to "Kali": the Witch at her most severe, the dark side of the Wise Woman aspect of the Triple Goddess.
In the Khemitian calendar, these three days are the Isia, the Feast of Aset (Isis), which commemorates the dismemberment of Ausar (Osiris) by his brother and murderer Set, and the healing and love skills of Aset in collecting and reintegrating the King's body, bringing Ausar back to life a second time -- after having already revived him once after Set first killed Ausar by apparently suffocating him inside a wooden box. The love union of Aset and Ausar after this second resurrection produces the solar hero Hor (Horus), who will seek to kill his father's murderer -- the Hamlet plot first appears on Earth -- and to restore balance in the Realm between order and chaos, life and death.
In the Norse calendar, these days are sacred to Baldur, the handsome young Adonis/Attis counterpart in Teutonic myth, as his annual moment for death and disappearance into the Earth approaches.
In the southern hemisphere, the first days of November are the spring festival of Beltaine. As Robin Mutoid writes from Australia, from early October "I clearly see the whites and pinks of plum and cherry blossom petals scattering and shining in the bright Spring light and as the birdsong, raucous with new growth and energy, caresses the Air." The year may be entering the season of death and decay up north, but Down Under, and all over the southern hemisphere, life is surging now.
In the Wiccan calendar, sunset on this day begins Hecate Night, celebrating the most formidable aspect of the Triple Goddess.
In Haiti, Nov. 1 is the Feast of Ghede, Loa of the Dead. Days of the Dead and ancestor festivals are held in many other Native American traditions on this day.
11/1 - 2 (Fri - Sat):
In Roman Catholic and some other Christian calendars, All Saints' Day on Nov. 1 is followed by All Souls' Day, a time of prayer for departed souls who have not yet achieved sainthood.
In an annual ritual play at the temple of Ra at Heliopolis, the crew of the boat that carries the Sun through the heavens speak on the principles of cosmic and earthly order, thereby reaffirming divine law in a speech contest judged by gods and men. As a teaching piece, this is one of the most important ritual plays in the year.
On the same day at the temple of Hetheru (Hathor) in Dendera, devotees of the netert of love and beauty celebrate one of her great annual festivals (month of Koiak, day 17).
Rastafarians observe the Coronation of Ras Tafari as Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Ethiopia in 1930. The priests mark the advent of the messiah with Biblical reading and hymns.
In Mexico, where Nov. 2 is the old Aztec Day of the Dead, this is the Dia de los Muertos, celebrated with raucous festivities honoring the dead. Millions of people wear skull hats and skeleton suits, and gather to sing, dance and play the Comedy of the Dead.
In the Hindu calendar, the pitch darkness just before the Black Moon (see 11/3) is Kali Puja, honoring the Maha Devi in her severe, purifying form as the energy of death, even violent transformation, and renewal. Her four arms hold a trident, a bloody sword, a severed head and a bowl symbolizing the blessings she grants to those who her devotees. Her name means "Time," and marks the great cycles of the cosmic wheel, including the current Kali Yuga, or Dark Time, which now comes to its climax before a new cycle begins. While Kali's feast does not always come in the appropriate slot of the Scorpio Dark Moon, it does so this year and coincides with Diwali, so that the mysterious bond of deep darkness and light is celebrated on the same day.
As if all this were not enough, by a wonderful synchronicity as the night of Kali Puja yields to the feast of lights on Diwali, the Uinal of Light comes in the Mayan calendar systems, This is ninth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (5 Imix, Tzolkin 161). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Turkey, the energy principles those of Breakthrough and Budding.
11/2 - 3 (Sat - Sun):
Southern Taurid meteor shower peaks in the evening of 11/2 Hawaii Time, in the morning of 11/3 UT. The Moon is dark now, so viewing will be optimal.
11/3 (Sun), 2:51am HT, 12:51pm UT:
Dark Moon conjunct Sun in Scorpio. Nowhere in the zodiac does the Moon go through such a reversal of energy and power as she does while the Sun is in Scorpio. At the Full Moon of Scorpio month (11/17), the Moon is advantageously placed in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus, but at the Dark Moon she is in Scorpio, where she is "in fall", her powers weakened. This is one reason why our emphasis shifts off the emotional plane now to the simple practical business of storing the fuel, getting the harvest in, getting repairs made before the snows come.
This Dark Moon is extremely powerful and transformative, as Saturn, Mercury and the North Moon’s Node join both the great lights in a spectacular stellium in the band of 7 to 11° of Scorpio, so any planet positions you have there, or in this band of the other fixed signs of Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, will be very deeply impacted at this Black Moon, For more on its main features, see the Mythic Prelude above.
At this Dark Moon there is a rare hybrid eclipse of the Sun, also called an annular-total (AT) eclipse, meaning that the eclipse appears total in some areas, partial in others. Totality will be visible in the north Atlantic east of Florida, and east to central Africa, with landfall in Gabon.
One of the world's most spectacular and joyous festivals begins today, and climaxes four days from now. Called Diwali in northern India, Deepawali in the south, this lunar New Year is a Feast of Lights so beloved that it is celebrated not only by Hindus, but by Jains, Sikhs and almost everyone else in India. The days are sacred to Vishnu the Preserver and Lakshmi, beneficent goddess of health and increase.
In the Celtic/Druidic and Wiccan calendars, the November New Moon that follows this Dark Moon is called Dead Moon, as it falls in the Scorpio month of death and renewal, and is often close to the festivals of the dead in late October and early November. This New Moon is also called the Falling Leaf Moon.
In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, this eleventh New Moon following the Winter Solstice begins Gort, or ivy month. Ivy is emblematic of the feminine power of inner resilience.
For the Pueblo, Hopi and Zuni peoples, this New Moon is the Ancestors Festival. Food offerings are placed in lakes, streams and rivers, with prayers of thanksgiving and petition to the waters that bring life and bear away the souls of the departed.
In the Celtic calendar, Nov. 3 is said to be an especially favorable day for new journeys and enterprises. Hunters often utilized it.
The Irish celebrate this day as the feast of the great prophet and visionary St. Malachy, the "Irish Nostradamus".
On this day Ceres enters Libra, where she will remain for the next three months, until Feb. 3. This makes the cross-quarter time from Samhain to Imbolc especially advantageous for all activities aimed at the care of Mother Earth, and the securing of pure, natural food for her people.
In the USA, daylight saving time ends at 2:00am on this first Sunday in November. Set clocks back one hour.
This day is the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Qudrat -- Divine Power.
Remember, remember the fifth of November / Gunpowder, treason and plot. / We know no reason why gunpowder treason / Should ever be forgot.
Nov. 5 is best known in English-speaking countries as Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates the arrest and execution of the man who in 1605 led the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British Parliament. This event, marked with fireworks and the burning of "the old Guy" in effigy, superseded an earlier Celtic Samhain rite in which images of the sufferings and evil spirits of the old year were burned to purify the new year. While officially seen as a mentally unfastened incendiary, Fawkes has always been beloved by those who favor increased freedom at almost any cost. Best new retelling of his story: the Wachowski brothers' film V for Vendetta.
Venus enters Capricorn, where she'll stay until March 5, when she finally crosses into Aquarius after 4 months of moving forward, then going retrograde – more on this next month, when it begins -- then direct again at the end of January. While Capricorn is a neutral placement for Venus, her passage here will be anything but dull this time, as she’ll conjoin Pluto in mid-month, making for much compulsive weirdness and intensity in matters of love through this potentially serious, heavy sign. She will conjoin Pluto in mid-month, making for as much erotic wildness as she will get in the studious sign of the karmic teacher. The severe demeanor of this sign can be leavened when Venus is ingenious, as Capricorn's ruling planet, Saturn, is curiously enough the patron of comedy.
11/5 (Tue) eve -- if the New Moon is sighted:
In the Islamic calendar, this day is Al Hijra, first day of the month of Muharram and the lunar New Year, which is celebrated for the next 10 days. Muslims have named this annual feast of renewal for the Hijra or Hegira, the pivotal moment in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad, his family and supporters rode from Mecca to Medina to establish a new faith based on the revealed word of the Qu'ran. Medina has ever since been second in dignity only to Mecca itself.
This New Moon also honors Khadijah, Mother of Islam, who was both wife of the Prophet Mohamed and his amanuensis in writing down the words of the Qur'an.
An important day in modern spiritual history, as it was on this day in 1993 that the Re-Imagining Conference emphasized the importance of the feminine principles of Holy Wisdom (Sophia) and the sacredness of female spirituality within the mainstream Christian tradition.
In the Celtic tradition, this is the day each year when Gwynn ap Nudd, god of light born of darkness and king of the fairies, opens the door to his kingdom. This day is observed especially at the psychic portal of Glastonbury Tor, one of Britain's most important sacred sites.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, this is the feast of St. Theodore Tyro, hero of one of the most celebrated martyrdom stories from the persecutions of Diocletian in the early 4th century. Theodore, a Christian officer in the Roman army decades before it was healthy to be one, used the leniency of his commander -- who gave Theodore several chances to renounce his faith -- as the vehicle for glowing speeches that inspired new martyrs in the decades before Constantine the Great made Christianity the state religion of the empire (336). It was reported that when Theodore was finally burned, his soul shot up into the sky in a flash of white light.
In the sacred solar calendar of the ancient Khemitians (aka Egyptians), Nov. 9 is a day of fearful, sad remembrance, as are many days in the depth of the dying season in the month of Scorpio. According to the ancient legends, it is on the 17th day of Hethara month, sacred to Het-Hor, aka Hathor, that Set pulls the murderous box trick on Ausar (Osiris), sealing and apparently suffocating the king in a gorgeously decorated casket presented as the prize in a party game. Set and his henchmen throw the box in the Nile, who carries it to the sea. Queen Aset (Isis) must now go in search of it, and her journey begins on this day with the canticle of Lamentations of Aset and Nebt-het (aka Nepththys) for Ausar. The whole story is at Hermes3 in When It Rained in Egypt.
Manly P. Hall writes in The Secret Teachings of All Ages that the day Osiris got into the box and began a journey by water – in the water month of Scorpio – was the same day that Noah and his family boarded the ark as the rain began to fall.
Birthday of Martin Luther (1483), whose action of dispute against the Church of Rome in 1517 launched the Protestant Reformation. He was a typical Scorpio character in many respects, from his generic black Scorpio garb to the avid, eager sexuality and the decisiveness to the point of finality. The last of these is naturally associated with the 8th house of the astral wheel, home of Pluto, lord of Scorpio. This is the house of death and transformation, most comfortable for those who aim to sweep away the old and bring the new.
Born on the same day, in 1463, was another authentic genius of the 16th century. Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (born Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) was physician, alchemist, and tireless champion of a new medicine that would be based on practical experiment, not blind acceptance of traditional authorities. His name means "beyond Celsus," the ancient Roman physician. Paracelsus' public burning of Galen's works in Basel was as revolutionary as, and likely much more theatrical than, Luther's posting of his 95 theses at Wittenberg.
Also on this day, Mercury “goes direct,” reversing his backward movement, and some of the confusion, mechanical trouble, delays, and general human bozosis that have been going on since Oct. 21 in the Mercury-ruled areas of communications, transportation and commerce. It has been uncommonly aggravating this time around because Mercury has been in Scorpio, so that he has taken on this sign’s quality of furtiveness and secrecy. Why do we obtain only partial relief from all the weirdness now? Because until Nov. 27, when he returns to the zodiac point where he went retrograde, Mercury will still be in his “retrograde shadow,” so we can’t expect any real clearing of communications until the end of this month.
In the Norse calendar, 11/11 is Einherjar, commemorating fallen heroes and honoring the 432,000 spirit warriors who guard Valhalla. This was the date chosen as Armistice Day at the end of World War I, and is celebrated annually as Veterans' Day in the United States.
Birthday (1922) of the admired American novelist, satirist and wry teacher of compassion Kurt Vonnegut, whose often dark, stinging view of humanity is typical in some ways of other artists (notably Voltaire, born Nov. 21) who arrived on the planet in Scorpio month.
Also born on this day (1821): Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, whose stories of the dark night of the soul and deep, turbulent psychic states carry the Scorpionic themes of death and regeneration.
11/11 - 17 (one week):
This Scorpionic day of the dead coincides with another Teutonic rite of remembrance. On this day Hod, the lord of darkness, was said to have tossed a holly wand -- out of playful carelessness, not malice -- that pierced and killed Baldur, the beautiful young god of beauty and light. He is mourned now by his beloved Nanna, goddess of flowers, with whom he will be reunited in spring after he is born again, along with many other deities of light, on Dec. 25.
Birthday (1817) of Mirza Husayn Ali Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i faith, the first world religion to recognize officially the equality of all genders and peoples.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the festivals of Zeus and Jupiter are celebrated on this day.
11/12 - 14 (3 days):
In the Khemitian calendar, re-enactment of one of the most poignant parts of the story of Aset and Ausar (Isis and Osiris), as Aset seeks the body of the murdered Ausar, only to find that he and the box he's in are both inside a massive tree trunk that is holding up the royal palace of Byblos. How Aset grieves for her husband, finally gets him back, and begins the process of healing and reviving him, is the ritual play for this climactic festival of the month of Koiak (days 27 - 29).
In the Islamic calendar, this 10th day of the month of Muharram is Ashura (literally "ten"), a day that commemorates the martyrdom of Hoseyn, son of the Prophet's daughter Fatima, along with 72 of his family members and followers, including his sister Zeinab. This, as Azin Izadifar has kindly explained it, is one of those Muslim holy days that can differ widely in meaning and practice, depending on whether one is on the Sunni or Shia side of the faith. For Sunnis, whose ancestors carried out the bloody deed, this is an auspicious day on which believers fast and do other rites of purification. But for the Shiites, who are Hoseyn's spiritual descendents, this is a day of mourning on which fasting is strictly forbidden, and some believers bruise and bloody themselves in wild rituals of self-flagellation.
11/12 – 15 (four days):
Among the Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest, the annual Tewa Buffalo Dances give thanks for the abundance of the harvest and pray for correct alignment of the people with the four directions and elemental energies. This rite normally comes each year in the days before the Full Moon in Scorpio (see 11/17), though the timing of the Buffalo Dances can vary among the native communities.
In the Khemitian calendar, first day of Peret, the spring sowing season and the month of Tybi, sacred to Min, neter of love. On the same day, festival of Bastet, the cat netert, the watcher and protector.
11/17 (Sun), 5:17am HT, 3:17pm UT:
Full Moon in Taurus opposite Sun in Scorpio. In this alignment the feminine is strengthened, as the Moon is "exalted" in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus. This Full Moon is a welcome interval of rest and relief of tension between the Black Moons of Nov. 3 and Dec. 3, when the great lights are in angles of relationship with the great Uranus-Pluto square that is still very much in effect now.
In Tanta, between Cairo and Alexandria, and for Sufis who come from all over the Middle East and Europe, this Full Moon is the climactic night of one of the year's great moulids, or folk festivals. The heady chant Essayed elimen shibak madidu / Gabel yser men bilad u Rom bahadidu sings the spectacular miracle by which the 18th-century saint Sayed Badawen is said to have used his power of intention like a very long arm to pluck his friend through the ceiling of a prison in Rome and bring him back through the air to Egypt.
In the Celtic/Druidic calendar, this Full Moon in Scorpio month is called Mourning Moon, as befits the fading vitality of the year. Also Dark Moon, Fog Moon and Mad Moon, as many come unhinged now in this season of the witch.
Among the Hopi and Zuni peoples, this Full Moon is Ancestors' Day, when families place food offerings in lakes and streams in honor of their departed ones.
In the Persian Calendar, this day marks the feast of Ardvi Sura.
This day is Nanak Jayanti, celebrating the birthday (1469) of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib, founder of the Sikh religion. He articulated the key doctrine that divinity is to be found within oneself, and that the devotee may merge the human soul with the Divine Spirit by invoking Akal Purakh, one of the sacred names of God. While the feast of Guru Nanak is movable within the Sikh lunisolar calendar, it almost always falls in the month of Kartik (October-November).
11/17 - 18 (Sun - Mon):
The Leonid meteor shower peaks today. The Leonids are the most highly variable of all the notable meteor showers, ranging from spectacular displays to little or no action from one year to another. This year's will be impaired, coming as it does right at the Full Moon.
In the Jain calendar, the day after the Taurus Full Moon is Jnana (or Gyan) Panchami, also called Laabh Paacham. This festival honors learning, especially the spiritual knowledge contained in sacred books. The emphasis here is on the Jnana, transcendent wisdom, that is the fruit of pure spiritual study.
This day is sacred to the memory, and now marks the widening influence, of the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart (1260 - 1327), whose spiritual exercises emphasized the soul's responsibility for self-perfecting through a fourfold process of Creation, Affirmation, Negation and Transformation. He bears a stalk of lilies not only as an emblem of purity, but because he was a notable exception to the usual truth that "it is not in the nature of the intellect to display kindness" (Omraam Mikhael Aivhanov). He was, it is reported, a rare combination of gentleness and formidable intelligence.
In the Khemitian calendar, 11/20 is the ceremony of Sekhmet and the purifying flame, starting a four-day cycle honoring the lioness netert in her aspect as the purifying fire (Month of Tybi, day 5).
11/21 - 22 (Thu - Fri):
The Sun enters Sagittarius, and the month of the Archer begins. Now that the harvest is gathered and secured, the time of looking farther ahead commences in the drawing of strategic plans. As Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, matters of mundane government and law, and also higher laws of metaphysics are emphasized now.
The identity and role of Sagittarius hinge on the question of what he has on the point of the arrow he's aiming at the Scorpion's heart. If it's a poison, then the Archer threatens to kill the Scorpion. But as the Archer is actually the celebrated healer Chiron, placed in the sky by Zeus to honor his wisdom and compassion, the Archer is in fact firing a medicine arrow that can deliver the Scorpion from the sting of its own self-biting energy of excess, sexual flameout, death and transformation.
This day is important as a weather marker, as it comes a month before the Winter Solstice, and also gives the farmers one more warning to get the crop in at once. This is why many harvest festivals are celebrated now.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Darkness, the tenth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (12 Imix, Tzolkin 181). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Horned Owl, the energy principle that of Destruction in preparation for the Uinal of Rebirth that comes next.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast of St. Cecilia, mythic patron saint of music, an imaginary saint whose fabricated story was this: For the Christians of Rome in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161 - 180), the beautiful and brilliant Cecilia was an inestimable prize. Daughter of the Caecilii, one of Rome's wealthy and prestigious patrician clans, Cecilia was among the first, if not the first, Christian convert to come from the ancient nobility. Her connection with music is unclear, though it is known that, with a sure sense of drama and evangelical nerve, Cecilia chose the moment of the prothalamium -- the solemn hymn at the beginning of her wedding ceremony -- to announce to her would-be husband Valerian and a stunned crowd of gowns and togas that she was consecrating her virginity to "a spouse you know not of." She was beheaded after a hot air bath that was heated to seven times its normal temperature failed to cook so much as a light sweat out of her miraculously cool body.
In some Native American calendars, the Month of the Elk begins.
11/22 - 24 (3 days):
These harvest days of November are celebrated as well as a time when hunting is good. 11/22 - 24 are sacred in the Greek and Roman calendar to the goddess Artemis-Diana in her aspect as divine huntress and destroyer.
In the Khemitian calendar, 9th day of the month of Tybi. Day of offerings to Sekhmet, and also of a feast of lights honoring Aset and Asar (Isis and Osiris).
This day is also the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Quwl, Sacred Speech.
In the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, this eighth day after the Taurus Full Moon is Lha Bab Duchen, the autumn festival that celebrates Buddha Shakyamuni's descent from the Tushita Heaven, where he had gone for three months, in a gesture of gratitude to his mother, to teach her, and other gods and goddesses, the secrets of release from samsara, the seemingly endless round of birth and death. This festival climaxes on the 22nd day of the 9th lunar month, when the Buddha finally descended from Heaven, after having first agreed -- in response to entreaties for his return to Earth -- to descend on the 15th day. As this feast honors the Buddha's mother, it has the status of Mother's Day in the Tibetan tradition.
Among the Yoruba and Santeria peoples, this day is one of the year's holiest and most solemn festivals, honoring Oya, Orisha of death and rebirth.
11/27 – 12/5 (eight days):
In the Jewish calendar, these are the days of Hanukkah, the great feast of lights in the annual festival cycle. This feast celebrates the rites that followed the Maccabees' liberation of Jerusalem from the Syrians, and the miracle whereby a tiny amount of oil found in the temple, reckoned to be enough to give light for only one day, burned for the full eight days the priests needed to consecrate new oil.
In the Khemitian calendar, Nov. 28 is one of the year's major days for festivals of the netert (fem. of neter, the "divine" forces that manifest in nature, a word that comes from neter). On this day the feasts of Het-heru (Hathor) and Sekhmet are held, along with ceremonies to preserve the purity of truth, embodied as Ma'at, the netert of Truth (Tybi day 13).
In the ancient Greco-Roman calendar, this day is sacred to Astraea, the "star goddess", daughter of Zeus and Themis, who lived on earth during the Golden Age, then went to live in the heavens when life among humankind turned coarser. Like the day of Persephone (Nov. 25), this day represents the retreat of light and warmth from the Earth at the onset of winter.
This day is also the birthday (1757) of the English mystical artist and poet William Blake. His is one of the significant Sagittarian dates that mark a change in emphasis from Scorpio month, with its artists of transformation (Luther, Paracelsus) dark psychological states (Dostoyevsky) and satire (Voltaire, Vonnegut) to the broad optimistic, sweeping vision of Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, as reflected in Blake’s all-encompassing view of Heaven, Hell and Earth.
In the Baha’i calendar, this day marks the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha, son of the founder of the faith, in 1921. This day, following the Day of the Covenant on Nov. 26, is the second of the two holy days that complete the annual sacred year of the Baha’i.
This fourth Thursday in November is American Thanksgiving Day.
In the Christian cycle of saints' days, this day is celebrated as the feast of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece. The saint's name is a variant on the Greek Andros, "the man," an aspect of Dionysus who personified male virility.
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.