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ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
The Universal Festival Calendar first appeared in July, 1998 as an e-mail newsletter, and has also been published online since May, 2000. It incorporates data from astronomy and astrology, Moon cycles and the sacred days and festivals of many spiritual traditions, in order to identify monthly and annual power points, when human ascension efforts are well aligned with the celestial dynamics of our galactic stagemachinery, and the life cycles of Mother Earth. The UFC aims to assist the spiritual evolution of Earth and her people by providing information useful for planning global meditations, ceremonies and gatherings that support the aim of awakening enough human beings to bring about the lifting of human consciousness into higher frequencies of mercy, compassion, wisdom and love.
We welcome and are grateful for suggestions by readers whose ideas have improved the Calendar, and made it more accurate and comprehensive.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for September, 2013. This month the Sun enters one of the zodiac signs that are called cardinal (from Latin cardo, hinge) because they open the door into a new season, and mark one of the crucial events in the yearly cycle of Mother Earth, and also in the annual rhythm of the societies in the northern hemisphere who refined the system of Western astrology into what we use now.
This turning point in the cycle is called harvest from the old German haerfest (autumn festival), which evolved into harbitas and then into the modern Herbst. The English word and others related to it mean the communal action of cutting the ripe grain or gathering the other mature crops, and holding a feast of gratitude and celebration after Nature's bounty has been weighed, distributed and stored.
Thus the universal symbol of this season, even in Middle Eastern desert cultures whose annual Earth and river cycles are markedly different from Europe's, has always been Libra the Balance. It's easy to wonder whether the first person who gave this constellation its name thought that the stars between the Virgin and the Scorpion looked like a pair of scales, or believed that a pair of scales ought to be there because early autumn is the time for distributive justice not only in the allocating of wheat, but also in the reckoning of human accounts, both financial and ethical. Thus Libra, as shown here in Flamsteed’s Atlas Coelestis (1729), is also symbolized by the scales and the sword, as the proximity of the Scorpion here suggests that fair decisions and actions done with the pure-mindedness of the Virgin (just out of frame to the right) bring stability and the continuity of life, while injustice and corruption will invite the stroke of the blade and the sting of the black killer who makes Scorpio the sign of Death and Regeneration.
It makes sense, then, given this month's symbolic importance in the reckoning of our assets and actions, that the United States is not the only country that ends its fiscal year on Sept. 15, then issues its reports and recommendations in Libra month (Sept. 22 - Oct. 23). And that prophecies of dire reckonings about to arrive come this month in images of scales that are short in weight, even empty, or otherwise irreparably screwy.
“Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
said the prophet Daniel (5:27) when asked by Belshazzar to decipher the mysterious letters that had just appeared on the banquet room wall. And sure enough, the kingdom was soon overrun, and the king himself without crown or breath.
So -- are we at the brink of financial collapse, calamity and catastrophe, and the end of civilization and even celebrity as we think we know them? Yes, of course, for those who believe in this shivery, reactive paradigm, like the people we visited last month, who are hoarding as much as they can hold for their families alone, and getting ready to shut out and shoot everybody else. And no, of course not, for those who are communal, creative and proactive, and understand that the present "system" of overconcentrated debt costumed as wealth is so unsustainable, and causing so much human and planetary misery, that a complete change in our ways of creating and distributing money and resources is inevitable, and likely immanent.
"The day of fortune is like a harvest day, We must be busy when the corn is ripe."
wrote Torquato Tasso in Gerusalemme Liberata (1580). Now that the wheat of our productive purpose waves golden in the field of our intention and waits for our concerted action, the question about our financial "system" and everything tied closely to it is not whether a wholesale, radical change will come, but when and how we shall co-create it. The change will begin, as 12-year old Victoria Grant explains in her precise, dispassionate speech “Extreme Corruption the Cause of Extreme Poverty,” when we gain the collective insight and will to face the problem and solve it.
It will accelerate, as "A. Person" shows in his eloquent video "Feel of Poppies (You Get What You Pay For: A Vindication of Common Sense), when we see that most human beings are still slaves, all of them heroes just waiting to happen," in the process of understanding that we are engaged in "the most intricate, mass-scale human drama in the history of the Earth . . . the most thrilling, troubling, exhilarating, terrifying, evocative meta-story that’s ever been written." The changes that are about to arrive, then, are not in the white-knuckled hands of hierarchic controllers who can no longer hold their structures and work their will, but in the communal vision and love force of an awakening humanity who are too busy shaping a a new world to have any time for debates and blame, penalties and polemics, and all the rest of the toxic verbiage that passes for public discourse.
How do we know that something big is on the way, likely within months?
One sign is that we're now two months away from Round 4 of the seven Uranus-Pluto squares that define the time of transition from 2010 to 2015. For more on this series of revolutionary, transformational events, see "On the Ropes and in Venus' Net," about Round 3 of the series in May, 2013. For now, suffice it to say that as of Sept. 20, when Pluto goes direct, we shall be in the runup to Nov. 1, when the next Uranus-Pluto square is exact, right in the transformational month of Scorpio, right at the Celtic new year sabbat of Samhain, right at the waning Libra Moon just before the Scorpio Black Moon of Nov. 3. More about this in next month's UFC.
Another indicator that something indelicate is approaching the fan is that in the week leading to the Sept. 18 Full Moon, right in the days before and after the turning of the fiscal year, a whole furtive, fevered fistful of tough planetary aspects will be in effect. Venus enters Scorpio, where she is "in detriment" (see Sept. 11 below), and we may see overdue mergers, and other desperate financial moves disguised as prudent business. In the days after Sept. 11, Mercury squares Pluto, opposes Uranus and then, right at the Full Moon, squares Jupiter, thus afflicting planets of novelty, upheaval, power and money, and showing those who look closely why Mercury, the fleet-footed messenger of Jove, is also the patron of thieves as well as traders and talkers. If you host a business lunch, count your spoons before your guests depart. Truly, the scale and complexity of the covert financial chicanery coming in the middle of this month is not to be calculated, even imagined, without the aid of machines.
"'Tis a story of a cock and a bull,"
wrote Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy, though now a horse and a bull might be apter metaphors for the incredible tricks that the Powers-That-Will-Soon-No-Longer-Be are pulling to hide the disaster they've actively created, or have passively allowed to bloom and burst on their watch. We have known for a dozen years, ever since the scams of Sept. 11, 2001 and WMD in Iraq, that those who wish to hold onto power will stop at nothing to create the distractions they need to keep the mass of sleeping dogs crooning as they snooze. But the scheme they're uncorking, in its clumsiness as well as its arrogance, now trumps everything ever seen before. Talleyrand, who said "It is worse than a crime; it is a blunder" about similar events unfolding 200 years ago in Europe, might have been struck speechless by what is unfolding now.
Imagine. As of this writing on Aug. 30, the internet and blogosphere are crackling with rumors that the USA is about to bomb Syria -- with no intention of causing regime change, they claim with a straight face -- in order to prevent another poison gas attack like the one that recently killed 300 Syrians. Russia and China, whose antipathy toward one another is as ancient as the Silk Road, are now in common cause, threatening that American military action against Damascus will have the most dire consequences. What's really going on? Something extremely dicey and strange with the world's money, that's what, if those who are mismanaging it so ineptly have now cooked up a World War III scare, complete with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and music even worse than what we already have. What is going on? It is beyond all cock and bull stories now, beyond all bullshit. A critical milestone has now been passed.
The Decline of Bullshit
Harold MacMillan, who was prime minister of the UK 50 years ago, once remarked that the surest sign of a civilization in eclipse was a decline in manners. It is just as well that he did not have to see the mutant new forms that the "wicked hatred" he deplored have taken now, or witness as well the sad and fateful decline in the quality of public bullshit. This term, and horseshit, which appears at first to be more closely related than it really is, are precise in their meanings, and uncannily clear in what they signify about the official figures and institutions who used to employ the one, and now almost invariably resort to the other.
Bullshit is an art form practiced most skillfully by those who can make what is patently false or ridiculous appear plausible. At its best, bullshit is entertaining and even endearing, as you know if you've ever seen people shake their heads in wonder and laugh at the latest thing a bullshitter has said. Back when McMillan was PM, and I was a teenager, politicians, prelates and CEO's used to be purveyors of bullshit so exquisite that Shakespeare's Falstaff could have stolen some lines from them. No more. Now the official coin of the wordsphere is horseshit: that is, boldfaced, shameless lying that one throws right in the other's face, daring him to object.
Examples? There are enough for an entire Copropaedia, but we can look at only a couple in passing. One is that China, carrying through at last on a threat made repeatedly in recent years, has now banned reincarnation without government permission. Seriously. Another is that Heathrow airport security personnel are now creating countermeasures to the “Breast Implant Bombs” that Ibrahim al-Asiri, the master bomb maker of the alleged Al Qaeda, is said to be designing. Such bombs, it is claimed, will be harder to detect because they will be implanted within the bodies of female suicide bombers.
As if the world were not already unfair enough to women. Now more of them will have to be hired for the purpose of fondling female travelers who, for all we know, may be under orders or vows to detonate their IMD's the moment they are touched, and about to be found. At least we can all be thankful that so far, no one has yet tried to board an airliner with a stick of dynamite wedged up his or her fundament -- either that, or it's been tried, and word of it is being held for use as a Fear Trump at a later, crucial moment -- and no one has to dread that moment when someone at a party asks us what we do, and we have to find the least ungraceful way of revealing that uhhhh, I'm an NCP: a National Security Proctologist for the Transportation Security Administration. Let us count our blessings.
They are, in fact, far more numerous than we know, and are cumulating all the time. How do we know? It's easy. One plain and inescapable reason for today's cascading torrent of horseshit is that it helps those who are now in the Mighty Oz roles -- as projectors of terrifying imagery that hides their true identities as frightened little old men hiding behind curtains -- to distract us from the real and worthy news: that the efforts we have made together, to win health and freedom for ourselves and Mother Earth, are now paying off.
"What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action."
Consider these recent outcomes, which indicate that the Corporation That Must Not Be Named and other biotech criminals are finally bringing in a bitterer harvest than anything they've ever gathered, or intended. Merck has halted sales -- at least in the USA -- of the notorious cattle-fattening drug Zilmax, largely in response to Tyson Foods' decision not to buy Zilmax-raised cows. Chileans have stopped Voldemort Inc. from selling its genetically-modified seeds in their country -- and their protests have been part of a global effort that has proven more widespread and effective than anything ever attempted before. Voldemort's own spin team has found no way to avoid admitting that in late May, almost six months before the worldwide March Against [Voldemort] scheduled for Oct. 13, Voldemort's share price dropped below $100, and is not expected to recover in the face of "extreme negative sentiment" and unfavorable press that "continues to accelerate."
Is there more? Yes. In another crucial move to free its people from the grip of Big Pharma, the government of India has rejected a request from Roche Pharmaceuticals to patent its breast cancer drug Herceptin, and is apparently poised to adopt a policy of refusing all patent requests from major synthetic drug companies, thereby encouraging Indian medical researchers to develop remedies that will be not only safer, but far more affordable as well. Can we dare to dream now of Ayurveda to the Rescue, and a whole sale rejection of poisonous pharmaceuticals in favor of traditional, natural medicines? Perhaps. Another encouraging sign is that in Peru, where I live, a joint international effort effort to classify the ayahuasca vine as part of the cultural patrimony of the Andean peoples is gaining momentum. Do the impliations of this go far beyond the political and economic objective of affirming that ancient plant medicines will now be protected from the lethal agendas of interfering foreign empires? Certainly. What is in the works and in play here is the definition and dimensions of consciousness itself, and the right of each one to open the doors of perception and travel the frontiers of mind and heart with the aid of plants who are not just "drugs," but teachers. So -- as we say before we drink the cup: Kausay Pach. To Life!
In another recent event more closely related than it may appear to India's new actions in relation to unsafe pharmaceuticals, the Indian government has granted personhood to dolphins. Granted, this status is "non-human," but nevertheless of crucial importance in affirming "the unique intelligence and self-awareness of the cetacean order." India's Ministry of the Environment and Forests has also outlawed captive dolphin shows, thereby, wonderfully, according dolphins a dignity that could be envied by many bazaar and Bollywood artists. Does this mean that we are now at the brink of abandoning the old Biblical and Baconian view of humankind as uniquely intelligent, endowed with an alleged divine right to dominate and control the natural world? Are we about to understand our relationship with water itself in a whole new way? Possibly. Let's see.
Another thing that people as old as I am saw 50 years ago, besides Harold McMillan, was Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, obsessing about the deadly effect that fluoride in our drinking water was sure to have on our "precious bodily fluids." Never mind that some of what he had to say now sounds an awful lot like Kundalini 101. Back in 1963, few people took seriously anyone who claimed that flouride is a tool for mass mind control even before the Hitler and Stalin regimes recognized its potential, and released it into their public drinking water supply. Now the state of Israel has outlawed water fluoridation, mandating that the practice must end by 2014. This leaves only the USA, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia as nations that continue to fluoridate water in the face of mounting evidence that sodium fluoride is not only physically harmful, but a neurotoxin as well.
Whew! Glad I live in Peru, where all I need is a simple home water filter to purify the water that El Senor de Rayo, the Lord of the Lightning, pours every summer into the body of Pachamama. And another thing about this country wins the UFC and Cairo Center of Sacred Arts awards for the Best Use of a Billboard Ever. UTEC, the University of Engineering and Technology in Lima, decided that the best way to attract new students would be to install their reverse osmosis machines in a billboard that extracts Drinking Water out of Air. Now people living in the coastal plain near the capital, which gets only half an inch of rain a year but has 98% humidity, can get abundant potable water, and this simple but extremely useful technology could be transferred to other places too.
If this keeps up, and it surely will, we may have little choice but to understand why the cultures of Mesopotamia produced countless images like this one, of composite human and aquatic beings who descended from the sky in metal ships, created new ponds and oases in the sand by projecting sound waves from their foreheads, and when asked where they came from, pointed to the star we know now as Sirius. Have we forgotten that we were water beings all along? Did Tom Robbins touch a long-silent chord in our collective memory when he speculated, in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, on whether nature designed us as containers for moving water from one place to another? And might we discover, sooner than we imagined, that the whole point of the Aquarian Age is that we are not only water bearers, but water beings whose true energetic substance is, in fact, feeling?
How do we find out? By honoring water and attracting her. She loves to create and dwell in green places, so one good way to partner with her may be to be as green as Osiris (his festival begins this month), and the Green Man, and all those others who embody the unstoppable green drive of nature, that relentless force that busts through a concrete sidewalk to throw a green tendril up toward the Sun. This is me at last month's Mercadito Verde, with Klau Kyrlian of Pisac's Arts of Light Center, where we'll do an Equinox festival on Sept. 22.
"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
wrote William Blake, who understood better than even the other Romantic poets what wisdom there is in the rites and rhythms of nature, if we can but hold a silence respectful enough that we can hear what she is saying -- and singing. Our aim at the Equinox will be to celebrate in the usual ways: a crystal bowl circle aligned with the Global Harmonization by Circle of Sound, drumming and dancing, feasting and singing, and teaching, for this is one environment in which elders can play their true role of blessing their communities in whatever ways are most medicinal. Here, in this musically-blessed place, voices seem to rise like doves and wheel between the shadows of the apus and the rays of the Sun. It is hard not to sing here, and this is why so many people come here to re-enchant themselves, to recover and release their song.
We link now with your intention to do the same, as more and more of us find the vibrations that have been still for what feels like forever, and long to break free. Join us. The harmonies get more thrilling every minute. 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.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Death, the sixth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (10 Imix, Tzolkin 101). This Uinal is ruled by Mictantecuhtli, the Lord of darkness from which new life must proliferate in the next uinal. The Owl is the symbolic bird.
9/5 (Thu), 1:37am HT; 11:37am UT:
The Black Moon conjunct the Sun in Virgo brings harmonious and fruitful blendings of Earth energies. The night of the ensuing New Moon is ideal for teaching the physical and spiritual Education of the Virgin through the Map of Love in the late summer sky. This year's Virgo Dark Moon is opposed by Chiron in Pisces and trines Jupiter in Cancer, and is likely to bring opportunities for the clearing of power issues in both the personal and collective realms.
In the ancient Celtic and Druidic calendars, and also in the modern Wiccan calendar, this New Moon in the month of Virgo is called the Singing Moon.
In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, this ninth New Moon following the Winter Solstice begins Coll, or hazel month. This month favors the activities of resourceful ones: shapeshifters and adepts who journey by means of astral projection. It has long been customary at this time to make new wands of hazel, especially for protection from storms.
9/4 eve – 9/6 eve:
In the Jewish Calendar, the two days of Rosh Hashanah are one of 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 (9/14). Other holy days that follow in this sacred season are Sukkoth (9/19 - 25) and Simchat Torah/ Shemini Atzeret (9/26).
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.
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.
9/9 - 19 (11 days):
Ganesha Chaturthi, India's most joyous homage to the lord of learning.
This great annual festival honors one of the most beloved figures in the Hindu pantheon: Ganesha, elephant- headed god of letters and wisdom, son of Shiva and Parvati, mentor of gods and humans, including the famous warrior Arjuna in The Mahabharata. Over the 11 days of the festival, the devoted ones invoke and acknowledge Ganesha's help as a bringer of insight, provider of inspiration, and dissolver of problems and obstacles. The music and poetry culminate in ritual bathing of the god's image, and a feast of lights which honors Ganesha as an assisting force for studies in illumination and creative work.
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.
9/10 - 17 (eight days):
For devotees of the Jain faith, these are the days of Paryushana, one of the year's most important times of reflection and meditation on one's actions during the preceding year. This holy week is marked above all by striving for perfection in the ten cardinal virtues of forgiveness, charity, simplicity, contentment, truthfulness, self-restraint, fasting, detachment, humility and continence.
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.
Venus enters Scorpio. She is "in detriment" here, her powers frayed, even weakened to exhaustion in the perilous territory of Scorpio, her sexual energy more desperate and obsessive than playful and sensuous. Love has a certain relentless quality, sex is more force than fun and even death by orgasm appeals, until Oct. 7. The point is elegantly displayed on the zodiac wheel, where the white sexuality of the Virgin and the black sexuality of the Scorpion are positioned on either side of, what else, Libra the Scales, which marks the balance between the potential of life and the passion of love. As Pure Virgo remains untouched and bears no fruit, and Pure Scorpio likes to seek death by orgasm, neither by itself will contribute much to the birth of new life. But if elements of both are balanced in Libra -- the sign that rules marriages -- life can more easily go on.
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.
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.
In the Jewish Calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins at sunset on 9/14, and continues until sunset the next day. This is a time of fasting, of righting wrongs committed over the year just past, and of giving and receiving forgiveness.
9/16 eve - 17 eve:
Just prior to the Eleusinian Mysteries (see 9/17 - 23), 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.
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.
9/17 – 23 (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
9/19 (Thu), 1:14am HT, 11:14pm 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 appears at first to be relatively uneventful, with no other planet forming a major angle of relationship to the great lights. Yet it's work noting that Jupiter in Cancer forms a 72° quintile, the most dynamically creative of all planet aspects, to the Virgo Sun, so that prosperity-minded people and communities may have much to celebrate now.
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.
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.
On the day after the Pisces Full Moon (9/19), the Jewish festival of Sukkot, the "Feast of Tabernacles" begins a seven-day festival cycle culminating in Simchat Torah (9/26). Sukkoth is the annual Rite of Ingathering, honoring God for His protection of the Jewish people, and giving thanks for the grape harvest, celebrated in a dance ceremony and wine offering.
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 (Sun), 10:45am HT; 8:45pm 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.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Maize, the seventh of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (4 Imix, Tzolkin 121). The principle that rules this Uinal is Proliferation. This uinal is advantageous for medicine, birthing and prophecy. Its symbol is the Butterfly.
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.
In the Jewish calendar, this day that follows the week-long Sukkot festival cycle is Shemini Atzeret, that is, the Assembly of the Eighth Day. On this day, which has traditionally marked the beginning of the rainy season, a prayer for rain, called tefilat geshem, is offered as a petition for abundant crops.
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.
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.
He 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)
Mercury enters Scorpio, not one of his favorite places, as Mercury's communicativeness can't operate at its freest comfort amid the secrecy of the Scorpion, and his Gemini directness and ebullience in communication is muted and controlled within Scorpio's secretiveness and dread of being seen to have made a mistake. This is doubly true in this time of cautious, obedient media, and extreme security obsession among the powers that be, now that we are only a month away from the next Uranus-Pluto square that comes exact on Nov. 1.
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)
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.