2015 CALENDAR LINKS
2014 CALENDAR LINKS
2013 CALENDAR LINKS
PLEASE SUPPORT THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
We've been going strong for 15 years now, since July 1998, thanks in part to the help of sponsors and friends who've kindly contributed to the UFC, Sacred Sounds, Dan Furst's books and other Hermes3 projects. We live in abundance when we practice gratitude and generosity.
Click the Paypal icon below to make a donation.
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
Mightier than the Sun
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for September, 2014. In the ancient Egyptian calendar, we would now be in the middle of the month of Ptah, which spans what is mid-August to mid-September in our modern reckoning. Ptah was one of the primordial creator Neters whose thought and word brought the world into being. His blue skull cap shows that he is a sky being whose will brings ideas down from Heaven and into realization on Earth, and this is the very ancient meaning of the phrase "out of the blue," which we still use for a spontaneous, intuitive insight that seems to come to us from the sky, and bring the answer to a problem that the mallet of the intellect has not yet been able to crack with its usual direct, linear force. We invoke his blessing now, and not because this month brings a greater weight and pressure of the dirt, dread and danger than is routine now in this time of ongoing struggle between the shadow forces of domination, manipulation and control that feed on fear, and insatiably want to create more of it, and the light force that seeks always to unite and liberate us through love. This month brings, in fact, as we'll soon see, a superb window of creative opportunity that offers each and all of us a chance to envision and manifest the best that we can dream and intend. More on this in a moment.
The main point of linking each month's UFC prelude to the ancient, sacred year of the Nile and her people in the months ahead is that Leslie Zehr and I are in the advance stages of preparing and team building for Sacred Sounds Egypt 2015 -- at this link and also at the bottom center of this site's home page -- which will take us on a sonic journey through mythic space, from the pyramids of Giza and Saqqara to the mystery sites of Dendera, Abydos, Luxor and Aswan and up to the summit of Mt. Sinai, from Feb. 19 through March 7.
While I won't devote so much space to Egypt-related material in each UFC prelude from now through March, it's important to do it here because now, even more uncannily than is always true, Egypt mirrors the world, and as Egypt goes, so goes everything else. And, in practical terms, Sept. 1 is a useful milestone date for us because it's two months from our suggested deposit and registration date on Nov. 1. So a little about information resources for out Egypt journey:
Those who'd like the news about this more often than just once a month can now get regular updates from my Aquarian Airlines blog, which carries biweekly posts about Egyptian sacred days and festivals, and each month's enactments of the grand ritual theatre of love and betrayal, murder and revenge, sacrifice and redemption as enacted all over the country in the story of Isis, Osiris and their son Hor, better known to us as "Horus," the falcon-headed solar hero who fights for the light, and incarnates in the person of each living pharaoh. The whole story is at When It Rained in Egypt, which shows how 21st-century technology of light and sound can be used to create the omnisensory experience that the Egyptians knew, as a way to get frequencies of love, courage and joy into the cells of the body, cleanse the fear, guilt and pain from cellular memory, and lift us into lightness and freedom.
Those who visit Aquarian Airlines and subscribe, in the panel at top right of the blog's portal page, will get more detailed biweekly posts, complete with beautiful Egyptian art images, and will also get free my first astrocartography ebook, Finding Your Best Places, which I'm completing now. We've also created a new Egypt Sacred Sounds 2015 page on Facebook-- please Like it! -- and a Sacred Sounds Egypt group that you're welcome to join. The group may be the easiest and most fun way to track the progress of our journey, as it has pieces like the Egyptian Museum's brilliant Egypt Magic video, perhaps the finest short (3 minute) composite of visual art, sound and story ever created on Egypt's enduring magic, wisdom and beauty.
Stretching the Cord
Now for the segue into what secrets used to mean, what they mean now, how to tell them apart and navigate toward the right ones. When we lived on the Nile millennia ago, September would have been the time when the Nile flood waters had receded enough that the land could now be measured anew, and prepared for planting. Farmers did this with cords that had 13 knots and were divided into 12 equal sections. For a very long time before Pythagoras srudied for 20 years in Egypt, the "Pythagorean theorem" that has been misattributed to him was in use. Everyone knew that Lord Thoth and Lady Seshat had taught us how to draw right triangles in the ratio of 3 - 4 - 5. She is shown here at right in the famous ceremony of stretching the cord, which the pharaoh performed each year at this time. The "king" and Seshat stretch a symbolic loop between the two vertical rods that they tap into the ground, thereby re-establishing order and proportion in both physical and spiritual space. The immense importance of this rite is shown in the three glyphs enclosed by the tops of the rods -- the owl as symbol of secret wisdom, the vertical rectangle that means "house" and the ax-like sign for neter, that is, divinity. The shape atop Seshat's head resembles the seven-petaled flower of the papyrus plant and also an eight-pointed star that may symbolize the octave, and thus represent her role as the divine chironomid: that is, the keeper or conductor of correct time in the music of human instruments and voices, the cycle of the year and the orderly flow of planetary and cosmic time.
What is happening in this ceremony is no mere marking of boundaries between farm plots, or even the august rite of aligning the corner of a new per-ba, or temple. This moment is in fact a transference of secret knowledge from the divine being whose name means "secrets, mysteries, arcane things" to the human actor whose responsibilities as the Shepherd of his People included the understanding and remembering of the principles of order in the realm of human justice. His reign was thus a process of learning in a state of high discipline, and to the fullness of his capacities, the precise spiritual significance and impact of thought, of physical gesture, of sound as carrier of emotional frequencies and of written language as a sacred art to be practiced by men of intelligence, precision and devotion. Like the Jewish scribe who throws a parchment away, no matter how much good work he has done on it, if he makes a mistake in writing even one of the 600,000 letters of the Torah. And like the Egyptian scribe shown here, whose distinctive feminine wig symbolized the intuitive dimension of his craft, and his gift for being able to see beyond the limits of the intellectual mind, and capture the essences and energies within the literal shapes of his glyphs.
The high civilization of Egypt represents, then, a standard of truth and order to be maintained through a careful, continual alignment of the divine and human realms through habits of daily living, consistency in ritual, and observance of the Seven Hermetic Principles. The most famous of them, "As Above, So Below," applies in everything from personal abstemiousness to the scales of seven in the visible planets and the human chakra system, to the correspondences -- see especially The Orion Mystery by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in -- between the Milky Way and its great stars and constellations, and the sacred sites and cities of the Nile.
Will such an orientation tend to make a people conservative in all the best and truest ways? Clearly. So we can easily understand why, even though the Egyptians enjoyed their food and wine, finery and music as much as anyone, and had a healthy love of laughter too, as we see in the Late Kingdom cartoon in the banner image above, we do not find until the end the kinds of riotous, sybaritic stories, common in other east Medietrranean courts, of corpulent, bleary rulers and nobles clattering their cups and falling off their couches. The Greeks called the Egyptians the happiest, healthiest and holiest people on Earth. They adapted in the numbers of Pythagoras, and Plato's choices, in The Republic, of the musical modes that inspire courage and reverence, the premise that Truth and Order are really the same thing. These are the two themes embodied by Lady Ma'at, shown here with her single feather that conveys the lightness and purity of truth itself. In the ancient Suf words the chant reconstructed by Jim Berenholtz and sung by Ani Williams,
Tu a Ra, Ma'at -- The only thing as mighty as the Sun is Truth.
We need not stop here to note the extreme contrasts between this ancient view of humanity and the world, and its practice of keeping Hermetic wisdom secret until one is ready to receive it, and today's use of language as a medium for propaganda and entertainment, and the obsessive secrecy that motivates controlling individuals and forces to mine all the possible data and dirt that can possibly apply to everybody. We saw two months ago, in "Star of the Sea," how toxic and unsustainable the culture of secrecy is, and how it is one of the Late Piscean crimes against humanity that must now yield to the new Aquarian transparency, which will itself be an inevitable step toward the telepathy that will in time enable us to jump like deer between our individual and collective minds, linking intuitively with the groups we help to guide and serve.
How the Fabric Unfolds
Just when does this happen? We can't say, because it doesn't just happen. We create it, largely in response to the powerful planetary impulses that push us inexorably in the direction of joining in a united, empowered consciousness that helps each us us to lift and liberate ourselves, and each other. We are now, as we approach the next round of the ongoing Uranus-Pluto squares that are tearing the bag of secrets and lies wide open, in a crucially important month that culminates in the week of Sept. 21 - 28. The energetic runup to mid-December, when Uranus-Pluto Round 6 goes exact, begins later this month with three powerful and closely interrelated events that come at the September Equinox (9/22 - 23, depending on your location), the Black Moon in Libra (9/23 or 24) and a magnificently auspicious 120° trine (9/12 to 10/7, exact on 9/25) between Uranus and Jupiter in their respective fire signs of Aries and Leo.
In each lunar cycle, the Black or Dark Moon is the moment during the Moon's three-day window of invisibility when she conjoins the Sun exactly, and creates an implosion in which her creative energies are concentrated toward release at the New Moon -- the moment when the first thin crescent of the Moon reappears --and then culmination at the next Full Moon. A Black Moon is always a time when our psychic receptivity is highest, our powers of intuition, imagination and dreaming are strongest, and we are most favored for forming personal and collective intentions, and driving them with powerful currents of emotion. This time, as the Moon is in Libra, our focus naturally goes to our individual relationships, and also to partnerships of all kinds, with the understanding that the connections highlighted here, whether intimate or social or professional or official, are strengthened by trust, duration and a common commitment to our worthiest goals.
What makes this doubly exciting is that the Jupiter-to-Uranus trine, however fleeting over only a few weeks, is in the high-creativity zones of two fire signs, and is the classic "happy, lucky" aspect that is often associated with financial gains and successful outcomes in general. A favorable Jupiter-Uranus alignment can also show us there are no mistakes, only missed opportunities. During this kind of trine, strongest this time during and after the Black Moon, and at the New Moon two days later, opportunities will come from unexpected directions, often in costumes and moves that make them look impossible at first, so that it is essential to watch our patterns of resistance to what this moment is trying to deliver to us. If our negative self-talk causes us to push a chance away, how many others are also making the same limiting choice? But . . . if we see the opportunity as just good enough to be true, and this helps others in turn to make the same brave choices, then how could this amplify the signal of collective strength that we send through the entire intentional field?
A superb opportunity to test the premise comes within the Jupiter-Uranus window, at the Equinoxon Sept. 22 in the Americas (Mon. the 23rd in Europe). On Sunday the 22nd, the worldwide Global People's Climate March will precede and likely stoke big time the United Nations Climate Summit that begins the next day. The UN, it turns out, has more than just politely invited the heads of state of all the nations on Earth to commit themselves to the goal of Clean Energy, with all that this implies in the changes that must come in existing political and economic rules and structures. AVAAZ is calling for a commitment to 100% Clean Energy. Even an attempt like this is immense in its importance, and could perhaps be seen in time, and not much time, as a gesture equal to the bravest statements of the European Enlightenment that a social contract does exist, that rulers derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed, who have every right to use their collective will, voice and hands to bring about the freedom, equality and dignity that all human beings deserve. Where the specific timing of this month's main environmental events is concerned, it's worth noting that in the wheel of the eight Sabbats shown here -- it resembles Seshat's star, shown above -- the September feast of Mabon, the fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, is at left in the Ascendant or Rising position that represents our pursuit of creative objectives, our posture and pitch in telling the planet who we are, and what we intend.
Singing the New World into Being
The stakes this time, though, are much higher than they've been in the preceding century of shouts and signs in the street. Our aims now reach far beyond the interests of any merely human commonwealth to affirm the right to live and grow of all beings linked in an interdependent web of nature and consciousness. They also deliver a truth that now becomes inescapable, as we see more clearly than we ever have before that there are two kinds of people on our planet. There are those who believe the world and human nature are as they are, and nothing can ever be done to better them. And there are those who know that the world and human behavior are conditions that can be changed when enough active, confident players agree to address the same goals, ideally ambitious ones that are worth the force and the heat. You get one guess which group gets bigger every day, why time is on our side, and why people all over the world will fuse our aims to get Clean Energy with the celebration of Earth's abundance right on the Equinox, at the moment when the Sun enters Libra, and heralds the next Harvest Moon in the sign sacred to the mature Mother in her role as Lady of the House.
Whose house? The one we all share. It is time to tune up the chants of communal love in action, of purpose and daring, of the kind that I got to sing with 420 others last week at Singing Alive in Cascadia, Oregon. The themes are unstoppable. Peace is Now. There is No Escaping Love. We Breathe, and the World is Born. Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Feast of Ausar (aka Osiris) in the Khemitian Calendar (Paopi, month of Ptah, Day 16).
Celtic tree month of Muin begins. The month is ruled by Lugh, deity of light, prophecy and spiritual enlightenment, and is especially favorable for adepts who aspire to increased prophetic powers, and to the mastery of bardic poetry. The sacred tree of Muin is the Vine, and this month often aligns with Wine Moon, and also celebrates the bounty of the harvest.
Mercury enters Libra. This is one of this planet's best placements, favoring teamwork, clear communications and negotiations in which each side can see the other's interests. The weeks from now to 9/29 are an ideal time for mediation, arbitration and conflict resolution.
Venus enters Virgo. While she is said to be "in fall" in this sign, her placement here is not so much oppressive as just dull. The owl-and-the-pussycat scenario of Venus in Virgo may intrigue the Goddess for a while, as Marilyn Monroe was drawn to Arthur Miller and Einstein -- but it is only a matter of time before she longs for Joe Dimaggio and JFK again. When in fall Venus is not so much weakened as inclined to be perverse, misusing her sexuality and beauty in the pursuit of mere glamour and pleasure. A halo effect occurs as well, whereby Venus gives women in general a bad name until Sept. 29, when she enters Libra, sign of her rulership, the arena of her wiser action as mother and teacher. The Venus principle should be seen here as applying to both men and women. People of both sexes will have the chance now to burn the copper of superficiality and vanity in the crucible of the heart, and begin turning it to gold.
9/6 eve - 7 eve:
Just prior to the Eleusinian Mysteries (see next), ancient Athens holds the festival of Demokratia, celebrating the blessings of democratic government, constitutional law and freedom of speech. During the rites, images of Zeus Agoraios and Athene Agoraias ("Zeus and Athene of the low place") are paraded and decorated in the agora, the lower city area below the Acropolis, or "high city". For the Athenians, and other Greeks, this emphasis on broad-based democratic worship of gods who treated the great and the humble with equal kindness and severity was profoundly different from the hierarchic religious practices of Asia and Africa, where gods were said to speak only to kings and high priests. The Demokratia also honors Themis ("Order"), mother (by Hermes) of King Evander, to whom she taught prophecy and letters.
9/7 – 13 (seven days):
The grand ceremonies of the Eleusinian Mysteries are performed in ancient Athens, at intervals of five years. This most solemn and secret initiation rite in the Greek tradition is celebrated in the middle of Boedromion, the sixth month in the old lunar calendar that predates the Olympian solar calendar. As the Greek lunar calendar reckons from March as the beginning of the year, the Eleusinian Mysteries are always held while the Sun is in Virgo, symbolized by grain, grapes and other emblems of Earth's eternal abundance. The plan of the rites (with day numbers in the month of Boedromion):
Day 13: Young men carry the Hiera, the sacred ritual treasures, in procession from Eleusis to Athens
Day 14: Priests and priestesses receive the Hiera outside the city, and carry them to the temple
Day 15: (Full Moon): secret Hiera rite at the temple
Day 16: Initiates take purificatory sea-bath
Day 17: Initiates' preparation and meditation rites
Day 18: The rite of initiation
Day 19: New initiates carry the Hiera back to Eleusis
Among the Yoruba and Santeria peoples of Africa, this day is sacred to O shun, the Orisha (divine principle) of love, compassion and healthy birth.
In many Christian calendars, nativity of the Virgin Mary. This holiday superseded an earlier weather marker day of which it was said that this day's weather heralded the weather of the next four weeks.
9/8, Mon., 3:39pm HT; 9/9, Tue, 1:39 am UT:
Full Moon in Pisces, opposite Sun in Virgo. Earth and water are in complementary balance. Nourishment. The time after the Dog Days is for the flourishing of the Crops, ceremonies to renew the body of Mother Earth, and the mental and emotional Education of the Virgin. This Full Moon, if not exactly powerful or fully loaded, does pack a charge, and a positive one, as Chiron the Healer in Pisces conjoins the Moon while Saturn in Scorpio is at a 120° "trine" to this Moon's position, making this a time when medicinal lessons and new creative directions can be perceived and act upon with a minimum of resistance.
In the ancient Celtic and Druidic calendars, and also in the modern Wiccan calendar, this Full Moon in mid-September may be observed in some areas as Harvest Moon and Singing Moon, though the next Full Moon, in Libra month, is the traditional time for gathering the harvest before the onset of autumn cold in Scorpio month.
In the Chinese calendar, at this Full Moon of the 8th month, the Festival of the Ancestors, also called the Milky Way Festival and the Moon Festival, begins the month-long Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. It reaffirms the sacred links between Heaven and Earth, and is one of the year's most auspicious family reunion holidays. For the ensuing month food offerings are left for the ghosts, and prayer ceremonies are held for protection against dark forces. The people bake and offer Moon Cakes in homage to the Moon's water-bringing power and her beauty. The Chinese and other east Asian peoples consider this Full Moon the most beautiful of the year.
Throughout ancient Europe, the day of the Horned One, of the Britannic god Cernunnos. Two weeks before the Autumn Equinox, shamanic dancers wear reindeer horns to honor and pray for an abundance of deer and other wild horned beasts whose meat, hides, horn and bones are vital to the tribe's survival during the coming winter.
This is New Year's Day in Ethiopia, and is also observed among Rastafarians, who honor Ethiopia as their spiritual homeland, to which they will eventually return. The day is commemorated with celebrations of Ethiopian history, Bible readings and prayer.
9/12 - 16 (5 days):
In the Zoroastrian calendar, days of the annual Earth Festival honoring Spenta Armaiti, who created Earth in harmony with Ahura Mazda, the supreme deity who manifests in seven male and seven female emanations (yet another instance of the number 14, equal to half the days in a lunar cycle). As in all Zoroastrian festivals, the Divine Fire is honored in all its aspects, from the illumination of sacred wisdom to the cleansing and purifying fire that destroys illusion and the residues of unkind action.
Mars enters Sagittarius, not one of his favorite places. Though he is in a fire sign complimentary to his own element, he is the guest of his father Jupiter, ruler of this sign, with whom he does not get along. The mutual animosity is intense. In The Iliad, Jupiter condemns Ares as a "lover of quarrels and beginner of bloodshed," and says that "if you were not my own son, I would have killed you long ago."
9/13 - 14 (2 days):
The ancient Khemitians (aka Egyptians) celebrate the annual Festivals of Lights:
9/13: Festival of lighting the fires of Neith, the primordial mother, oldest of the Egyptian Neterw. Neter, plural neterw (pronounced neteroo), the indigenous word from the Khemitian suf language, is often mistranslated as "god" by egyptologists, but is understood by the ancient Nile people and keepers of their lore as an elemental force of Nature in which the One manifests. This is why the words Neter and Nature are cognate. (Paopi, month of Ptah, day 27).
9/14: Feast of Lights, during which neter images and tombs were brilliantly illuminated all through the night.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, this is Holy Cross Day, observed in commemoration of the day in the year 335 when the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was consecrated in Jerusalem on the site where St. Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, was said to have found the true cross, at the exact spot on the hill of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified, and also to have found the tomb where he was buried.
This is the birthday of one of the world's authentic geniuses: the abbess, poet, playwright, painter and composer Hildegard von Bingen (1098? - 1179), one of the very few great triple-threat artists in history.
Hildegard excelled in the media of literature, music and vidual art, producing brilliant mystical paintings, and was also the only abbess, with the possible exception of St. Agnes of Bohemia, ever to fight successfully all efforts by the medieval Roman church to control her order and limit her influence, and she thereby kept her community free of political and commercial pressures.
If the artistry of women were valued on Earth, Hildegard would be mentioned in the company of such spiritual masters as Dante, Rumi and Vyasa.
9/17 - 21 (5 days):
In the Khemitian Calendar, the Main Festival of Het-Hor, aka "Hathor," begins Hethara, the month named in her honor. During this month the Nile crests after its annual inundation, and begins to recede until it is dry enough for sowing in November. Het-Hor, aka Hathor, the netert who embodies the sacred feminine in her maternal, nurturing aspect, is naturally connected with the life-renewing cycle of the river, and with the climactic last days of the Virgo season.
In Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal Before Dawn, the twelfth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (13 Imix, Tzolkin 221). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Quetzal, the symbolic planet Venus as Morning Star, embodiment of the beauty of the new day.
For Roman Catholics, Sept. 19 is the feast of St. Januarius, Bishop of Beneventum and a celebrated martyr who went the hard way during the persecutions of Diocletian. Januarius was one of those who performed a miracle in the circus of Campania when the ravenous lions and tigers who should normally have devoured the Christians chose instead to lie down around them. Januarius and his fellow saints were then beheaded, only to steal the show in the end in one of history's most remarkable ongoing miracles. Two vials of Januarius' blood, preserved in their congealed state in the cathedral of Naples, sometimes liquefy when they are brought near the saint's head in his annual festival. This last happened in 2000. St. Januarius is better known as San Gennaro, patron of the great Italian autumn festival, a raucous celebration of sausage and merriment.
One of the year's great festivals of Djehuti, aka Thoth, in the Khemitian Calendar (Month of Hethara, day 3). A day-long fast is observed, broken at night with ritual foods.
In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast of St. Matthew, perhaps the most controversial of the Christian evangelists, as his gospel is the source of Christian beliefs about the tribulations of the "end times" in which God is expected to inflict natural disasters, plagues and other vindictiveness on the unrighteous, and their home on Earth.
9/22, Monday, 4:30 pm HT; 9/23, Tuesday, 2:30 am UT:
Autumn Equinox, one of the four "cardinal festivals" of the Earth year, so called because on this day the year was thought to turn like a door on a hinge (Latin cardo) as the Sun now reaches the 180° point on the zodiac wheel at 0° Libra, exactly opposite the 0° Aries point of the Spring Equinox. Autumn now begins as Sun enters Libra (the Scales), symbolizing the balance of light and darkness at the moment when the Solar energy of the year begins to wane, and Earth energy waxes toward harvest and abundance.
Like the Cancer month of early summer, the Libra season is a time when balanced, sideways movement is favored. This is more a season of weighing advantages and exploring options, and especially for bringing in and securing the harvest, than it is for launching new enterprises. Among the many festivals held throughout the planet, starting from this day:
The Wiccan feast of Mabon, the year's second harvest, celebrated in the weighing of the grain and fruit, and festivals of plenty, is held now in the Northern hemisphere.
Ancient Greek festival of Demeter, symbolized by the cornucopia, and Roman festival of Ops, the day of thanksgiving to Mother Earth for the opulence of the harvest and nature's abundance. Other autumn festivals celebrated now:
Taoist festival honoring the Shen, or divine principles, of Wind, West, and Autumn. Rituals held at this time celebrate the virtue of living in harmony with the rhythms of Earth and Sky.
Coyna Rayni, the Incan festival of rain, devoted to the purgation by water of illness and evil.
In some Native American Calendars, the month of the Raven begins on this day.
In the Japanese Buddhist Calendar, this day is Aki no Higan, when believers meditate on hakanai, the impermanence of all things in the realm of material illusion.
In the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East, Mihrigan, the festival of the solar god Mithras, is held today. This holy day survives today as Mihr, the month of the Autumn Equinox in the Iranian calendar.
Below the equator, this is the Spring Equinox that heralds the end of the dry season and the coming of the rain. Pagans in the southern hemisphere celebrate the spring feast of Ostara.
9/23, Tuesday, 8:15 pm HT; 9/24, Wednesday, 6:15 am 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.
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.
Now or at Full Moon? One of the world's most spectacular festivals is held now in Phuket, Thailand for nine days in the ninth lunar month of the East Asian calendar, in honor of the Chinese Nine Emperor Gods. During this "Vegetarian Festival," abstinence from animal food is the least challenging of the rites of mortification and purification that celebrants perform in trance as the Gods are said to ride them in dances and walking through hot coals, and piercing their bodies with metal skewers and gold adornments that hang from their eyebrows and ears. The priests must keep themselves physically strong, so they'll b able to hold greatly excited bodies, and bring them safely back out of trance.
9/24 eve – 26 eve:
In the Jewish Calendar, the two days of Rosh Hashanah are one of the two solemn yanim noraim, literally Days of Awe, often called the "High Holy Days," that begin the second great cycle of Jewish festivals after Pesach, or Passover.
Rosh Hashanah, the day of reconsecration and renewal, opens a ten-day atonement cycle culminating in Yom Kippur (10/3 - 4). Other holy days that follow in this sacred season are Sukkoth (10/8 - 15) and Simchat Torah/ Shemini Atzeret (10/16).
In the Roman Catholic and some other Christian calendars, this day is the feast of the Seraphim, said to be the most exalted of the nine choirs of angels, and the agents for the imparting of Divine wisdom.
9/25 – 10/3 (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 (right), 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 10/3.
In the ancient Sumerian Calendar, 9/27 is the Day of Willows, festival of celebration and prayer for prosperity and abundance.
This day is also the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Mashiyyat -- Divine Will.
The evening of 9/27 is sacred to the ancient Celts and other central European peoples as one of the year's most important Goddess festivals, marking the transition of the Triple Goddess from Mother to Wise Woman. While most ancient communities held this ceremony now, within a week after the fall equinox, some peoples celebrated it as late as 10/9.
9/27 - 10/8 (twelve 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 9/7 - 13 above) -- 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.
In the Khemitian Calendar, this is the day Ausar (aka Osiris) goes forth to His main temple at Abydos. This is also the feast day of the Nile Neter Hapi, on whose day the river crests each year; and the feast of the Purification of the Hearts of the Neters. Month of Hethara sacred to Het-Hor, aka Hathor, day 12.
In the modern Chinese solar Calendar, birthday of Confucius, creator of one of the world's most profound and enduring ethical systems, based on relationships of love and respect in families, communities and the realm as a whole, and on the rare, enlightened principle of answering wrongs with kindness and forgiveness.
Confucius understood the principles of the Aquarian Age that is now beginning.
"The Master said, Moral force never dwells in solitude; it will always bring neighbours."
(Analects IV.25, tr. Arthur Waley)
Venus enters Libra, the sign of her rulership as mother (as Taurus is the sign she rules as goddess of love and beauty). While she is in this sign, her emphasis is on the productive sexuality of motherhood -- though her famously mischievous son Eros/Cupid has her most playful qualities.
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, feast of the Archangels, sacred to Sts. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.
Also traditionally called Michaelmas in honor of Michael, the Warrior Angel, the Christian counterpart of Egyptian, Celtic, Greco-Roman, Norse and other warrior deities worshipped on this day since ancient times, and of the universal archetype of the winged warrior whose victory over the reptilian dragon symbolizes the ascendancy of skyborn intelligence over earthbound matter. The name of the Archangel Michael comes from "Mi Ka El" (Who is equal to God?"), the words Michael is said to have spoken just before he smote Lucifer and sent the rebel angel smoking toward the Earth.
Among the Yoruba and Santeria peoples, this day is the feast of Shango, the Orisha of male sexual vitality and the passion of love. Like other great Santeria festivals, this one aligns with a Christian feast, in this case St. Michael's Day.
Birthday of the Sufi poet Jelal ad-Din Rumi (1207), who practiced ecstasy through chanting the names of the Deity in poetry, song and the famous turning movement of the dervishes.
"Very little grows on jagged / rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up / where you are. You've been / stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender."
(Version by Coleman Barks from The Soul of Rumi)
Please see An Evening with Rumi, Dan Furst's theatre piece of stories and poems by Rumi in translations by Coleman Barks and Jonathan Star. See also the videos of recent performances in Pisac, now on Vimeo.
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.