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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
OFF THE CROSS
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for October, 2013. Our aim here, as we navigate this month’s momentous transition from Libra to Scorpio will be to cast our focus ahead to the top of next month, because Nov. 1 will be the most powerful energetic crunch point to come between now and next spring. Why jump ahead, even when this month's Libra Black Moon (see Oct. 4 - 5 below) is very powerfully charged, and is a worthy, stirring overture to Hallowe'en and All Saints' Day? Because the Celtic New Year feast of Samhain, when the old year is burned away in a bonfire of forgiveness and release, comes just before the Scorpio Black Moon of Nov. 3, and, crucially, aligns with Round 4 of the seven Uranus-Pluto squares that began in June of 2012, will recur until March 2015, and will define the shape and pulse of the time of transformation that unfolds now and in the years ahead.
If you read the UFC regularly, you may be tired of hearing about this planet alignment, which has been covered by now in so many pages on the old Hermes3 site and now on this one that it is best to be as tender and compassionate as possible toward those who still crave novelty when the thrust and temper of the time require from us as much effort, anchoring and continuity as we can bring to the cohesive, communal roles we've come here to play together now.
For the moment, it is enough to know that when revolutionary Uranus is in impetuous, fiery Aries, then assertive and impatient characters can and will create rapid, often violent events. And when Pluto, the Lord of Death and Regeneration is in Capricorn, the sign ruled by Saturn the Reaper, then there is no telling what wobbling, fading archons and structures are about to be scythed and swept away. And when these two agents of profound change are at afflictive angles of 0°, 180° or, as they are this time, 90° -- as they were when Danton and Robespierre, Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and the Chicago Seven were at center stage -- then prisons will fall, dogmas wither and princes cross borders into exile, when they are fortunate enough to escape at all.
Now, as we come to the fourth of the seven Uranus-Pluto squares, we arrive at the likeliest turning point of the years from 2010 to 2015, the crux of the cosmic play, the moment when the blind prophet Tiresias accuses Oedipus the King, yet does not manage to pierce his pride and awaken him; when Hamlet springs his mousetrap and exposes the guilt of his uncle Claudius; when Luther defies Pope Leo and says "Here I stand. I can do no other"; when Jesus accepts the cup in the Garden of Gethsemane, and thereby invites the cosmic drama of sacrifice, redemption and love that must now ensue. All of these energies, all of the arrogance and implacable blindness, the ingenuity and treachery, the courage and denial, the acceptance and transcendence, will be in play at the same time from now through the end of the year, most heatedly as this month turns into November. This is why, for those who'd like to understand the full scrape and burn of this moment better, we look at a chart cast for Damascus, Syria on the moment in early morning when Uranus and Pluto hit an exact, to-the-minute 90° angle of disharmonious tension.
If you’d like to skip the charts and numbers, scroll down to Let's Count Our Blessings.
Uranus – Pluto Square, Round 4
Nov. 1, 2013, 6:54 am 2E
Damascus, Syria (33N30 / 36E13), Tropical, Placidus, True Node
As you can readily figure even if astrology isn't one of your languages, the choice of time and place on this chart is arbitrary. Both Uranus and Pluto move so slowly that they'll be at 90° for six hours before they move out of exact square. And many other places besides Damascus could be teeming, turbulent candidates for the leverage point of Nov. 1. But Syria obviously fits, as the focal point of enough threats, chills and neurotic spasms to scare Strindberg's ghost. And it's only 135 miles from Tel Megiddo in northern Israel, better known to us as . . . whee! Armageddon. So doom pimps will just love it, if love can be said to have any link with what they dread and do.
While the house positions of the planets can change so radically from one time and location to another during the hours when the Uranus-Pluto square is exact, the zodiac sign positions will generally stay the same, though the Moon will move ahead by some three degrees before the exact 90° angle begins to dissolve. One advantage of using this chart is that the Libra Moon opposes Uranus in Aries, thereby forming a T-cross with Pluto in Capricorn at the middle leg, and adding elements of impartiality at best and indecision at the other end to the volatile, varied mix of planet pulses that we'll feel on Nov. 1. Note that in this chart eight planets and both horseshoe-shaped Moon's Nodes are in the band of 7 to 13 degrees of their respective signs, so that terms like mixed bag and cross purposes do not begin to describe the hot crush and dizzying complexity of this moment, which is is enough to make the deadliest minuet at Versailles look sweet, serene and kind.
Much of the iciest music here is in all those oppositions. Besides Moon in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries, which lends a petulant, restless impatience to the proceedings, Mars in Virgo opposes Chiron in Pisces, so that half the people at the dance are determined, deliberate wounders, while the other half are energy vampires too depressed to flash or fly. The Dragon's Tail (aka South Moon's Node) in Taurus opposes that tremendous hand of four aces in Scorpio (Sun, Mercury, Saturn and Dragon's Head), so that those who are up to the serious business of service and salvation may expend more effort in covering their tracks than they do in marking a trail true enough to benefit anyone. One might get the impression, from looking at this amazing, exasperating design that we all have the honor of having collectively created, that we surely intend to force our own hands, pry open our hearts and eyes, and thereby drop all the exhausting private goals, games and agendas, and accept that we're all one, if only because it hurts so much less just to breathe, and murmur vowels of surrender and love.
Are there any "positive" features in this bouncing boneyard of shifts and endings? You bet. Chiron the Healer in Pisces is at a 120° trine to that powerful team of leaders, teachers, communicators and heart warriors in Scorpio. Mars in Virgo is at another trine to Pluto in Capricorn, offering those who are willing to make heroic efforts -- for Capricorn does represent the highest harmonic of service on the widest, most inclusive communal scale -- a chance to gain the most extraordinary results.
All right. We've had a look at the astrology. But beneath and beyond all the glyphs and numbers, what does this all really mean in the emotional dimension where most of us live? For the straight dirt from the gut and spurt from the heart, it's time to go where these things live, right downstage into the heat of the mythic apron. Just as Pope Francis emceed a megaweight bout last May between the Heavy from Hades and Kid Uranus, as we heard in On the Ropes and in Venus' Net, we're about to meet the moderator of this month's exhibit, President Vladimir Putin of Russia. (SFX: Gasps and hoots, scattered applause.) Please sit down and put those black balloons away. They didn't work with Khrushchev either. Yes, we know he's about as gay-friendly as Innocent III. So why Mr. Putin, when he's shorter than Peter the Great, less hunky than Nikolai Cherkasov as Alexander Nevsky, and seems dour enough to make Dostoyevsky look like a whole sled full of champagne?
Well, for one thing, he keeps the volume down. He has two daughters, and may want to keep them and Lyudmila, his wife of 30 years, alive and intact. He turns 60 this month on Oct. 7, a birthday he shares with Joe Hill, Desmond Tutu and Amiri Baraka, who, like other notable Libras (Gandhi, Eisenhower, Rumi, John Lennon), tend to have at least in principle, and sometimes in practice, a respect for justice and a reverence for restraint. He had the courage and clarity to address a plea for caution on Syria directly to the American people in the Sept. 12 New York Times. He deserves a chance to be heard.
LET'S COUNT OUR BLESSINGS
(Scene: the studio of Pravda TV. Three mahogany lecterns stand in front of a maroon curtain. Spotlight up on Vladimir Putin, dressed in a charcoal suit and gunmetal gray tie, as he enters amid polite applause and crosses to the center lectern.)
Putin: Thank you for the gracious introduction, Dan. And privyet and welcome, ladies and gentlemen. There is surely no need to tell you how important it is that we listen to each other as carefully and respectfully as we can. It is essential now, more important than talking, so we can get through this together. People ask me every day: is it really as bad as it looks? That's our topic this evening, which we'll ask our two guests to answer. One thing I can tell you, before we begin, is that it can always get worse. We still have clothes on our backs, and electricity, and blinis with jam, and at least you don't have to be president of a country where tens of millions of people wish they could bring Stalin back. So let's count our blessings.
Our program this evening is not a debate, thank God. The whole point of a debate is that it sets two adversaries against each other, and gives them no way to agree. Debates are like a drug for people addicted to ego conflict. Look at me! Listen to me! My turn!
Enough! Our two guests this evening happen to be aligned against each other by the celestial dynamics of the time, but at other times they're allies, and they even sing together, in ways that people with a discipline of silence can hear. Our guests are not going to attack each other much. They bring us medicine, not the usual public poison. They are simply going to tell us how this moment in our history looks to them, what they see passing away, what they see coming, and whether there is anything you or I can do about it.
So we begin. Our first guest is the lord of death and renewal, of waste and waning and winter, the man in the cosmic garbage truck that clears away whatever can no longer flourish, or stand. He's here from Scorpio, and an Underworld deeper and colder than Omsk. Please give a warm welcome to Pluto.
OFF THE CROSS
(Music: Chopin's Funeral March on a synthesizer. Pluto enters from stage right to the right lectern. He is pallid, dressed in heavy black wool and wraparound sunglasses, and moves like one who is not quite thawed out. He and Putin shake hands. Putin holds his right hand to his chest, rubs it with his left and flexes his fingers.)
Putin: Thank you for coming, Pluto.
Pluto: My duty, Mr. President. I can't say my pleasure. Nothing personal in this, ladies and gentlemen. Delight is not in my scenario. I live in the dark beneath the roots of all things.
Putin: Then let us go to this evening's question. Is it as bad as it looks?
Pluto: No, it isn't. It is worse. To me, it looks very much like this. (A screen descends , and displays El Senor de Agonia, the Lord of Agony.)
This is humanity now: pinned to a cross and unable to move, bloody and exhausted at the point of expiring, enveloped in a blackness deeper than my domain. This is how it can look to those who feel they're fixed to a cross, whether they're "Christian" or not. The cross was a universal element of the mythic realm long before Jesus was born -- though the Christian myth made it a lot more compelling.
Man in Audience: Wait a minute! Are you saying Jesus didn't exist? People just made him up?
Pluto: No. I'm not saying that. The Roman police had to prepare a description of a troublemaker their historians called Chrestus. Jesus was all too real to them. (To Putin:) Right?
Putin: Right. A myth is not just a fabricated story. It's not just Disney Wish.
Man: Then what is it?
Pluto: A myth is a story so universal and immediate that people everywhere can see that it's true, and it's relevant to them. The sacred being who dies on a cross is universal because he is caught where the horizon of matter meets the vertical thrust of spirit, so he wants to fly up and on, but wood and iron and the weight of the world hold him. Each one looks for his own way to get off the cross. Few of us find it -- and not just because we're afraid to die to what we once were, and become something new.
Putin: So why don't we get off the cross, as we long so much to get free?
Pluto: It's not that we're powerless. It's a matter of self-love and self-acceptance, of feeling we are unworthy of God, hopelessly separated from the Divine frequency of love. If we could see we're worthy of God, that we are God -- but here I am proposing a solution.
Putin: What's wrong with that?
Pluto: Not a thing, at the right time. But our other guest should get a chance to speak. It's time to get Mr. Shazzam out here, before he starts an electrical fire over there in the wings. It's time for a bubble break.
Putin: Then let's welcome your esteemed colleague. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the bringer of change, the revolutionary trickster and magician, the original live wire, the activist from Aquarius. Here's Uranus.
(Music: Kabalevsky's Comedians Gallop. Uranus somersaults onto the stage in a silver jump suit covered with blinking blue Aquarius symbols that match the electric blue frames of his mirror sunglasses. He lands behind his lectern and shakes Putin's hand. Putin stiffens and shakes, as though getting an electric shock.)
Uranus: Yow, sorry, Vlad. I forgot about the static jazz from the carpet. Hi, everybody. (To Putin:) You okay, Boss? Really, my apologies. (Putin smiles thinly.) Spasibo for the invitation. (To Pluto:) Howzit, Blackie?
Pluto: Loud. And bright. Got anything to say that's worth hearing? Or do we just watch some colored lights?
Uranus: Good to see you, Sunshine. He's always this way, folks. As sweet as a brick. So -- you want to know if it's really as bad as it looks? Sure it is -- but only for as long as all us, you people and us planets, put up with it. Come on! Why should we waste any of your time and my tricks on pros and cons? Who cares about judgments of bad and good anymore? Rumi outgrew all of that 800 years ago. Why don't we just agree that the Gloomster over here is right on it? Time to honor the Christ light, all you cheloviki and chelovettes, or whatever else we call you or it, who cares? Krishna consciousness, the Buddha Bulb, Allah's Fanoose, Moses' Mirror Ball, Lao Tzu's Lantern, as long as it lights us and lifts us up, let's do it. The light we want, and we deserve and demand, has nothing to do with this (Points to Agonia). We honor the magnificent Master Jesus for planting a new inner life in us, and a new insight about the holiness of love in each one. But his ordeal does not obligate anyone to buy a dogma or pay a priest. Enough of this endless wank and worry over who's suffered more than whom, who's wept enough to be worthy, how many tears earn your way home. It's time for Christianity that has nothing to do with the Christ, for this whole guilt and pain package to hit the dumpster and be done. It's time for this.
(El Greco's Opening of the Fifth Seal appears on screen. To audience:) What is this, friends?
Woman in Audience: El Greco. Profane Love.
Uranus: A for courage, tovaricha. That's what they used to call it. Now they say it's The Opening of the Fifth Seal. Where's that fifth seal, and what's behind it?
Putin: The souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony they held.
Uranus: Yes. So what does the opening of the fifth seal really mean? El Greco created this in the last years of his life, and maybe he wanted to paint with some purpose what he couldn't show before. Imagine this. If Revelations has seven seals for seven chakras, so that opening them all means opening all the energy centers in each one of us, then the opening of the fifth, the throat, means the lifting of all the lies, all the secrets, all the whispers and hidden agendas, all the fear to speak our truth. And look what the souls in the background are doing: dropping their robes of different colors, so they can put on the white robes that the angel above them is handing out. Even John, dressed in the blue of Truth to the left, will get one. So what does that imply about giving up egoic illusions about how different and special each one of us is, as Volodya mentioned, so we can dissolve into one resonance? Did the master from Crete know that white combines and reconciles all colors?
Man in Audience: Yeah, right. Sure is esoteric! So how do we get people to give up their differences?
Uranus: By solving first the differences we carry around inside us. Like the tension between what we want and what we don't want. Maybe my colleague would like to take a turn with this one.
Pluto: Thank you, Sparky. It's amazing sometimes how counterintuitive our true intuition can seem to us. I've been following Dan's friend Dillon Naber, the great permaculturist.
Putin: We have too. We need his help with Siberia.
LOVE IS MY RELIGION
Pluto: Dillon and his beloved knew a month or so ago it was time for them to move from New York back to Hawaii. So how did they manifest the means to make their move? With a prayer of gratitude. The first third of it goes like this:
"Holistic Divine of Many Names and No Name, that is I and that I AM, thank you that in the beginning I AM too. Thank you that in the Eternal Now we are so provided for. Thank you for such stunning clarity regarding going to Hawai’i. Thank you for calling us to go to Hawai’i. Thank you that our transition to Hawai’i is so seamless, smooth, easy and joyful. Thank you that we have all the resources we need to ensure a smooth arrival and getting settled into our home in Hawai’i. Thank you that we have so many friends in Hawai’i. Thank you that we love Hawai’i so much. Thank you that we are manifesting wonderful abundance in Hawai’i. Thank you that our right livelihoods suit us perfectly and meet our financial desires with unprecedented abundance!"
So easy! Before they get on the plane to Honolulu, they're overflowing with gratitude. Dillon and Christina already see themselves having the abundance, health and joy of being where they want to go. Are they on their way there by now? What do you think? He paints pictures of it too. Have you got that new one?
Uranus: Which one?
Pluto: Love Is My Religion.
Uranus: Coming right up. Over to me? (Pluto nods. The painting appears onscreen.) Here it is. No need to comment on the picture itself. It's worth asking, though -- What's the first thing that pops into your mind? How many of you think at once, I'm not that talented? I could never create anything that beautiful? If you do, then in what other ways do we negate ourselves? If we negate ourselves, then in what ways do we turn the mirror outward and negate others? Negate our planet? Negate life itself? How can it not be obvious that if we're going to be authentic now, and walk our own talk of spirit, then we have to live moment to moment in appreciation, gratitude and joy?
Putin: There is no other way.
Pluto: Amen. This too shall pass, if we send it forth in love and grace.
(Applause, as the three speakers join hands and bow, then exit waving to the audience as the Gayatri Mantra swells, the video screen retracts and a golden Om is projected onto the back curtain.)
So may it be. The next time we visit these two planets, maybe we can even get them to sing. In the meantime, let us carry that part as best we can. All blessings for All Saints' Day, which may as well now be All Singers' Day. They mean the same thing. All blessings. Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Oct. 1 (Tue):
In the ancient Greco-Roman calendar, Oct. 1 is the Dionysia, one of the two great annual festivals of Dionysus/Bacchus, god of ecstatic experiences, including wine. This date marks the time of the grape harvest and blessing of the new wine, and celebrates the phase of the god's youth, as Dionysus goes below the Earth to Elysium and for the next six months becomes Plouton/Pluto, ruler of the underworld, who will be reborn as Dionysus in the spring.
Birthday of Mohandas Kharamchand Gandhi (1869). As we move from the lobby into the opera house where the Aquarius Overture is underway, we get a program note from Gandhi's Non-Violence in Peace and War (1948): "A non-violent revolution is not a program of seizure of power. It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power." The transformation of relationships, including our own aims and expectations for them, is everything. It is the essence of the Aquarian opportunity.
In the Khemitian Calendar, Festival of Het-Hor, aka Hathor (month of Hethara, day 18).
In the six-season calendar of the aboriginal people of Australia, the pre-monsoon storm season of Gunumeleng begins about now. This season of nearly three months, one of the year's longest, runs until late December.
On this day devotees of the Yoruba and Santeria religions celebrate the festival of Orunmila, the Orisha of Wisdom and Protection from evil.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, this day is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Order of Friars Minor -- better known as the Franciscans -- and celebrated stigmatic, ascetic, ecologist and animal communicator.
His famous prayer: "Lord, give me the courage to change what I can change, the serenity to accept what I can't change, and the wisdom always to know the difference."
10/4 (Fri), 2:36pm HT; 10/5 (Sat), 12:36am UT:
Dark Moon conjunct Sun in Libra. The ensuing New Moon has often been considered one of the most harmonious and cooperative Moons in the calendar, coming as it does at a time when domestic teams must start to work on getting the harvest in and weighing it - the most obvious function of Libra, the Scales.
This Dark Moon is very powerfully charged. It will be an overture to the next Uranus-Pluto square coming on Nov. 1, because the Moon - Sun pair in Libra align opposite to Uranus in Aries and at a 90° "square" to Pluto in Capricorn, thus forming a T-cross of the kind that is often said to be "difficult" or "stressful," but is in fact a lever of necessary friction that induces changes that can no longer be avoided. Mars in Leo squares Venus in Scorpio, thereby amping the possibility of precipitate and costly actions. But there is a platinum living. Saturn and the North Moon's Node are conjunct in Scorpio, and at a 120° trine to Chiron in Pisces, thus offering some superb opportunities for the discovery of soul objectives not yet seen, and significant, productive effort devoted to our truest and most authentic goals.
In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, the tenth New Moon following the Winter Solstice begins Muir, or vine month. The ceremonies of this month are performed in thanksgiving not only for the grape harvest, but for all fruits of the field that grow on vines.
This day honors Bodhidharma, better known to the Japanese as Daruma, the beloved Zen philosopher who taught that Buddhahood is innate in every human being, and can be activated with consistent spiritual practice.
Also on this day, Mahayana Buddhists celebrate the beloved energy of compassion known as Kwan Yin, Kannon, Kwan Sen and Tara, and commemorate the moment at which she became a bodhisattva.
10/5 – 13 (nine days):
In India, the Navaratri festival gives thanks to the Divine Mother for the abundance of the Earth. The Navaratri is one of India's most important festivals, celebrated by all the country's main religious and ethnic groups. This ancient festival is held at the beginning of Autumn; each day a different aspect of the Goddess is invoked and worshiped. The rites are addressed to Haidakhaneshwari and Durga, among others, two of the most primeval Hindu devis, especially to Durga, whose feast of Durga Puja celebrates the Goddess in her martial aspect as queller of demons and protector against evil. The feast lasts for 9 days, the number of months in a human gestation period, and culminates in the feast of Dussehra on 10/13.
Venus enters Sagittarius. Unlike Mars, who chafes at his father's authority when he is in this sign, Venus feels regally at ease and at home here until Nov. 5, when she enters the less playful realm of Capricorn .
In the ancient Khemitian Calendar, Feast of Ma'at, neter of Truth (Hethara day 21). For pictures of Ma'at, whose feather headdress symbolizes the lightness of truth, see the entry portal to this website, and Ma'at the Merciful. On the same day, by one of the wonderful synchronicities that mark the resonances among ancient calendars, the ancient Athenians celebrate the festival of Pallas Athena, guardian of the city, source of inspiration and goddess of wisdom.
The Muslim month of Dhu al-Hijjah may begin. This depends, as always with Islamic holy days, on the actual sighting of the New Moon. The first 10 days of the month are most sacred as the time of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, commemorating the journey of the Prophet Mohammed, his family and supporters from Mecca to Medina, to establish a new faith based on the revealed word of the Qur'an. This rite of pilgrimage, which every Muslim must make once during his or her life, emphasizes the central Muslim tenets of submission to divine will, brotherhood and unity, and also commemorates the trials of the prophet Abraham and his family in making their arduous God-directed journey into Egypt.
One of the great Celtic and Wiccan festivals of the Triple Goddess, this one marking the mature woman's transition from Mother to Wise Woman, from the grower of new life to the source of wisdom.
10/9 - 14 (6 days), Hethara 23 – 28:
In the Khemitian Calendar, the concluding events of the great legend cycle of the Passion of Ausar ("Osiris") are enacted. At this time the dispute between Set, brother and murderer of Ausar, and Hor (Horus), the falcon-headed solar hero, son of Ausar and Aset (Isis), is submitted for judgment by Ra, Neter of the Sun, after a long and inconclusive combat that has scorched and damaged the body of the Earth. Hor's case is argued by Djehuti (Thoth), neter of letters and learning; while Set becomes the first personage in history to act as his own advocate, and have a fool for a client. Ra and the other Neters deliberate and announce their decision in three days. The other events:
10/12 Ra awards the fertile Black Land by the Nile to Hor, and the desert Red Land to Set, thereby establishing a dynamic balance between the forces of creation and destruction, light and darkness.
10/14 Festival of the coronation of Hor as Egypt's spiritual king, who from now on will manifest in the physical kingdom of Egypt in the person of the pharaoh.
The Draconid meteor shower peaks tonight. The Draconids, not the most celebrated meteor shower of the year in any case, will be slightly impaired this time, as the Moon is still waning toward the next Dark Moon, on 10/15.
10/12 – 16 (five days):
In the Zoroastrian tradition, these days celebrate one of the divine emanations of Ahura Mazda: Ameretat, the green force, creator and driver of vegetable energy.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Rain, the eighth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (11 Imix, Tzolkin 141). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Eagle.
For Roman Catholics, feast of St. Edward the Confessor, aka King Edward I of England (reigned 1042 - 1066). Edward was known especially for his religious zeal and his kindliness, which moved him to spend hours a day with lepers and beggars who crowded around him for a cure, and got it often enough that "the King's evil" became the term for the illnesses that the King's touch sent away. His reign was marked by honest government, protection and service to the oppressed and the poor, civil decency and courtesy. His successor was less interested in the love and good will of his people -- and his realm fell to William the Conqueror within months after King Edward's death.
The great nine-day Hindu goddess festival cycle of Navaratri (See 10/5 – 13 culminates today in the climactic feast of Dussehra.
For Muslims on Hajj, this 8th day of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah begins the climactic last three days of the pilgrimage. It is called Waqf al Arafa because pilgrims stand together on the plain of Arafa to pray for forgiveness and mercy.
Mars enters Virgo. Like Venus in Cancer, Mars is considered neither advantaged nor afflicted in Virgo, but this is not his most comfortable placement. In the sign of meticulous mentality, organization and detail, Mars is as happy as a jock in a library or a mafioso compelled to keep receipts. The upside is that driving, aggressive energy is available for projects that require brainwork. This can go well as long as Mars gets enough air, as he feels smothered by Virgo earth if overextended.
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, feast of the stigmata bearer and mystic St. Teresa of Avila. Her spectacular career of self-denial began when she was only seven, and ran away from her home hoping to be martyred by the Moors, who were no longer in Spain, having been forced either to convert or leave the country in 1492 by the same Ferdinand and Isabella who backed Columbus. In her early thirties, having become a Carmelite nun, she had a vision of the place she would occupy in hell if she did not overcome the weaknesses that held her back from complete and perfect devotion. She is portrayed in Bernini's famous sculpture, at the moment when her heart was pierced by a shaft of divine love.
Also on this day: Makahiki, the Hawaiian New Year Festival, commemorating the emergence from Po (Chaos) of Papa the Earth Mother and Wakea the Sky Father, whose union produced the Akua, the Gods and Goddesses of Hawaii.
10/15 – 18 (four days):
In the Islamic calendar, this day begins the great annual festival of Eid al-Adha, celebrated from the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah.
The solemn ceremonies culminate four days later at the Full Moon in what may be the most important of all Islamic holy days: Kurbani Bayrami, the Night of Power, honoring the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac without reservation or question in one of history's most famous acts of submission, the literal meaning of "Islam." This act established Abraham among the spiritual heroes most revered by devout Muslims.
This day is the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as 'Ilm, Knowledge.
10/16 - 18 (3 days):
In the ancient Greek lunar calendar, these days which culminate in the Full Moon in Aries -- and thus follow the Full Moon of the Eleusinian Mysteries (see 9/17 – 23) -- are the Thesmophoria, commemorating the moment at which Kore, Queen of the Living, deserts her mother Demeter, goddess of the grain, and becomes Persephone, Queen of the Dead, who rules the Underworld with Plouton, the dark form of Dionysus. This is one of the year's great Goddess festivals, sacred to the female life principle also known as Proserpina, and many other names. She descends into the underworld now to spend the dark half the year as consort of the King of the Dead, then re-emerges in spring to bring warmth and joy back to the Earth. In later antiquity, when the Julian solar calendar comes to supplant the old lunar calendar, this rite is celebrated at the end of the harvest season, in late November.
On this day the Khemitian month of Koiak, sacred to the Lion netert Sekhmet, begins with Sekhmet's own Feast, celebrating her aspect as protector of the land and people.
In Japan, this day is the Shukaku Matsuri, one of the year's most important Shinto festivals, offering the first fruits of the rice harvest to the Kami, the divine principles immanent in nature.
10/18 (Fri), 1:39pm HT; 11:39pm UT:
Full Moon in Aries, opposite Sun in Libra. There are currents of disharmony in this opposition, as it sets an impulsive female drive for self-assertion and power on a collision course with male resistance to movement or change. At the same time, the Sun-Moon tension and cohesion in the relationships of individual couples is, for the moment, sublimated in the spiritual act of awakening into deeper awareness within a larger community of friends, so all kinds of brainstorming and other co-creativity are greatly favored. The Sun remains "in fall" in Libra until 10/22. This Full Moon is not nearly as eventful as the Dark Moon of Oct. 4 - 5, and this is likely just as well. We will need an interval of rest and relative quiet before the terrific intensity of the next Uranus-Pluto square on Nov. 1.
At this Full Moon there is an annular eclipse of the Moon, visible in the Americas, Europe, Africa and most of Asia.
Among the Tewa and Pueblo peoples of the American southwest, this day begins the four-day Deer Dance ritual, enacting the cosmic balance of masculine and feminine energies.
The Navajo people of the American Southwest celebrate this Full Moon in a Sing Festival in praise of Estsanatlehi, the "Changing Woman" who brings the cycle of harvest, decay and rebirth.
Over the same four-day period beginning at what astrologers call the Aries Full Moon in Libra Month, the Iroquois Nations celebrate their annual Thanksgiving Festival for the squash harvest.
Among the Zuni, Pueblo and other Native peoples of the American southwest, the Corn Dance Festival honors Mother Earth and the Corn Maidens for an abundant maize harvest. Like the Iroquois Green Corn Ceremony that comes at the time of the Aquarius New Moon in Leo, this rite of the Full Moon in Aries is one of atonement to clear the fields of human fear and ill will, and of prayer and thanksgiving for the gift of grain.
For the Yoruba and Santeria peoples of Africa and the Americas, this is the feast of Obatala, the Orisha of justice, order and peace, whose festival is celebrated with drumming, trance dancing and spirit channeling.
In the Roman Catholic and some other Christian calendars, the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast -- if it can be called that -- of St. Peter of Alcantara (1599 - 1662), a Spanish monk and one of the outstanding athletes of voluntary suffering and privation in Earth history. Peter's cell is said to have been only 4 1/2 feet long, making it impossible for him to lie down, and he took only one meal every three days. The one indulgence he allowed himself was that in the dead of winter he would leave his door and window wide open, so he might have some slight sensation of warmth on closing them again.
In the Baha'i calendar, this day is celebrated as the birthday of the Bab, who would declare in 1844 that he was to prepare the way for Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i faith.
Mercury goes retrograde, prolonging his very long visit to Scorpio from Sept. 29 through Dec. 5. We can expect the usual delay, obstruction, confusion, off-the-wall human bozosis in every system and synapse there is, and it can get doubly maddening this time around because the last thing a Scorpio personality will want to do is be seen to have made a a mistake. This will make the cleaning up of consequences exasperatingly delicate all the way through the crunch point of the Uranus-Pluto square on Nov. 1 -- and well beyond. Mercury will go direct again on Nov. 10, but will be within the retrograde shadow until Nov. 27, when he returns to the point where his backward movement first began. The three weeks that begin now are a time to handle old rather than new business, and express ourselves as forthrightly as we can, if only to balance the secrecy of those whose communications have the all-shadow, no-share quality of a black hole.
The festival of El Cristo Negro, El Nazareno, also called the "Black Christ," is held on this day in Portobelo, Panama. The festival dates from about 1658, when the town was devastated by plague until the faithful prayed for a sign to show them how to invoke God's help. A large wooden crate mysteriously surfaced near a fishing boat. Inside was an 8-foot-high statue of Jesus, whom the people dressed in robes of purple, white and gold, and paraded through the streets. The plague lifted at once. Portobelo's people have never taken much interest in the question of whether the historical Jesus had a darker complexion than Jimmy Swaggart, or may have been descended from Ethiopian Jews. What matters is to venerate El Cristo Negro. The most devout, dressed in penitential purple, walk 53 miles from Panama City, and go the last mile on their knees. As Your Panama explains, the ship carrying the heavy statue to another destination "met a terrible storm that drove it back into the harbor. The ship attempted to leave five times, but every time a sudden and unexpected storm endangered the ship and everyone aboard. On the final attempt, the crew jettisoned the crated Black Christ to lessen the weight and save their lives."
10/22 (Tue), 8:11pm HT; 10/23 (Wed), 6:11am UT:
Sun enters Scorpio, symbolized in zodiac maps by the easily recognizable Scorpion, but also symbolized in the hermetic tradition by the Eagle, as in the quartet of Bull, Lion, Eagle and Angel (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) that represent the four beasts of Ezekiel, the Christian evangelists, and many others who represent the fixed and secure orientation of human beings in mythic space.
As the Scorpion and its next neighbor on the wheel, the Chiron-like archer Sagittarius, are both designed by nature to deliver their most accurate sting while retreating, the energy of the time favors the protection of the harvest and other efforts that are now nearing completion. The teams normally gather now to complete their work of bringing in the corn, rice and wheat.
In the ancient Babylonian calendar, the Day of Willows, a festival of the lovers sacred to the god Bel and the love goddess Astarte.
In the Mahayana Buddhist calendar, this festival commemorates the sacred moment at which the divine being variously known as Tara, Kwan Yin, Kannon and Kwanzen attained bodhisattvahood, and became the lady of mercy and compassion.
Om Tara, Tu Tare, Ture Soha.
In a wonderful synchronicity, the Roman Catholic calendar honors St. Raphael, the archangel of healing, on this day.
And in another, the Yoruba people of Africa and the Santeria communities of the Americas, celebrate this day in honor of Erinle, the Orisha who ministers to the sick and injured.
Feast of Ausar ("Osiris") at Abydos, principal temple of the Ausar rite. The neter of vegetation, who drives the plants upward through soil, stump, stone and anything else that is in the way of the Sun, is honored for his gifts of grain and herbs, all leafy life and fruits of the earth and the arts of wise rulership. Ausar waxes in his glory and power now, a few days before he will be eclipsed by his brother Set. See 10/31.
Lutherans and some other Protestant denominations celebrate this day as Reformation Sunday, commemorating Oct. 31, 1517, the day on which Martin Luther nailed to the door of Wittenberg cathedral the famous 95 theses that would launch the Protestant Reformation.
In the Celtic tree calendar, this day begins the Reed Month, said to be most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties.
This is a day of great importance in the mythology of established religion. On this day in 312, the Roman army of Constantinus won the battle of the Milvian bridge, thereby winning the throne of the Augusti for the man who would be called Constantine the Great. It was said that the battle turned in Constantine's favor when his troops saw in the clouds a fiery white banner with the symbol of the cross, and the words In Hoc Signo Vinces -- In this Sign you will Conquer. The rest is controversial, but passes for history. Whether the emperor's belief was Christian or in Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun), the religion popular with soldiers, the outcome was that by the end of Constantine's reign, Christianity had made the leap from a persecuted cult to the state religion of the empire.
10/29 - 31 (three days):
Here, a week after the Sun's entry into Scorpio, these days have long been celebrated throughout the Celtic zone of Europe as Women's Merrymaking Days, a time for festivity and rituals of female spirituality.
10/31 – 11/3 (four days):
In solar calendars throughout the Northern Hemisphere, this is the mid-autumn festival of the dead, directly opposite the new life rituals of greening, leafing out and renewal celebrated in Beltaine, May Day and other mid-spring festivals that are held now in the southern hemisphere. Among the many rites celebrated now:
Oct. 31 is Hallowe'en, of course. This is the last day of the Celtic year, on which it is said that the Sun actually enters the gates of Hell, creating an opening wide enough to allow malicious spirits to fly out and create mayhem on the Earth for the next 48 hours. The spirits of the dead are believed to return to their family homes on the night of 10/31, and the annual children's custom of dressing as ghosts and ghouls and going door to door for treats echoes the ancient practice of placing food and drink offerings near the door to placate wild and hungry spirits that are apt to roam and rumble on this night. The great Celtic rite of Samhain, on the following day, begins the New Year with the feast of the death goddess Cerridwen, whose power waxes now as the Holly King, symbol of the waning sun, grows decrepit with the approach of winter.
Norse festival of the Thin Veil, so named for the belief that on this night, the opaque barrier separating the worlds of the living and the dead became transparent, allowing the two realms to see and interact with each other. This time also marks the annual death of Baldur and his beloved Nanna, the goddess of flowers, both of whom will be born again in the spring.
In the Khemitian calendar, festivals of the sun neter Ra, the cat netert Bastet and the lion-headed netert Sekhmet are all celebrated on this day. The last of these, in her dire aspect as teacher of magic, Lady of Fire and punitive destroyer of evil, is protector of women against rape and all sexual violence, as embodied in Egyptian myth by Set, neter of chaos and destruction, who perpetrates the murder of king Ausar, aka Osiris, on this day (see above 10/27). This feast is the ancient basis of links among Hallowe'en, medicine women and their feline familiars.
This last day of October is also a Goddess festival honoring the art of weaving. "Originally [Hallowe'en] was a celebration honoring our creator goddess. That is why the spider is one of the symbols of Halloween. The Hopis called their creator, Spider Woman." [Mahala Gayle Flenniken]
Among the ancient Sumerian people, one of the world's first festivals of light descending into darkness is held now as Inanna, Goddess of Life, enters the underworld to spend the next six months with Ereshkigal, Lord of Death and Rebirth -- but on condition that she spend the other six in the green places with her summer lover Dumuzi.
Myths of this Scorpionic death and transformation cycle occur among the Canaanites, Greeks, Japanese and many others.
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.