The Dance of Earth and Venus

The Cosmic Story: The Wheel of the Year: Lammas 2019

The Cosmic Story: Lammas 2019
The King's Sacrifice

John Barleycorn

          August is here, the long slow ending of summer. When life is good and easy, just waiting to be enjoyed. There's a fullness to August, a ripeness. As if the Sun's glow has sunk into the Earth herself, giving her the glow of life. There are hay rolls in the fields, tomatoes ripening on the vine; thunder clouds pile up in the sky, while the humidity builds until the heavens pour down.  There's hot sunlight in the day, but also a slowly expanding nighttime.

Venus, Moon and Jupiter
This is the time of year to go outside at night and live for awhile under the stars. What better way to contemplate our blessings than by looking at the majesty and mystery of the heavens. Harvest time is always a good time to try to see the big picture. And the night sky heavens certainly provide us with one. Interestingly, the only two planets visible in the night sky now are Jupiter and Saturn – the archetypal energies that shape societies and world issues, the energies that test us and shape us. 
At Lammas, we also tend to look at ourselves and wonder what we've done this year. It's time to look for some of the results of our year's focus and energy. What are you preparing and harvesting? What has your garden grown? We are harvesting our gardens now, seeing the abundance Mother Earth gives us if we give her our respect and care. Just as we have to be good stewards of the Earth we also have to be good stewards our ourselves and our communities. Perhaps our harvest will help with that.

The Wheel of the Year: Lammas – The First Harvest

In the Celtic Wheel of the Year, the cross-quarter holiday that stands between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox is Lammas, or Lughnasadh on August 1-8, celebrating the first grain harvest. Lammas is a celebration of life and the bread of life (before Monsanto poisoned it with Roundup). With bread in abundance, we tend to forget how important bread was in sustaining ancient people through the winter months. 

Lammas Mask
Lammas was also a festival to the Celtic god Lugh of the Long Hand, the god of many crafts, the king of his people, god of the Sun. It was a time of gathering, feasting and dancing, when marriages were contracted, goods sold and treaties made. But mostly, it faced and celebrated the fact that the Sun was beginning to wan as it moved South, with shorter days and less light and warmth. You'll notice that as we enter August, the daylight hours decline more swiftly. 

Harvesting the Grain
With the cutting of the grains, the god of growth offers up his life to feed and sustain the community. It was a symbolic sacrifice of the King, offering the best to the gods and to life. This is both harvest and seed for the new year, offering us the knowledge that all things come to an end. And that there is rebirth awaiting the turn of the Wheel.

What is our harvest this year? What have we grown and is it ready to be harvested? 

Last Harvest

With two other harvests yet to come, at Autumn Equinox for fruit and at Samhain/Halloween for nuts and seeds, there is still plenty of time to gather in our harvest. But it is time to look at what needs taking care of now. And we need to see what sacrifices must be offered to life.

There is a great need for our ideas and visions to manifest in 3-D reality. This is our moment. Since we are the change we've been waiting for. Even more than our outer political reality, it is our inner, soulful reality that will shift the balance. Think of it as a shifting of the balance between light and dark, yin and yang, male and female. We are coming to a new balance, a new harmony and equilibrium. When we bring the tension of opposites into balance, a new, transcendent path appears before us. Ask the goddess Hecate to guide you to your new path. She will meet you at the Crossroads.
Each of us has a gift and talent we can offer the world. What have you spent your life learning? Many of us have developed multiple talents, for we are Renaissance people. We are bringing in a new birth, a new vision for society and for the planet. What are you working on? How can you synthesize what you know? What is the best possible way for you to manifest your gifts? Are you practicing and experimenting? I hope you are!

Tiverton, RI:  Sunset

The spiritual practice of this time of year is that of the Royal Sacrifice. Our sacrifice is to make sacred all of Life. In his book, Original Blessings, Matthew Fox shows us what we are called upon to do now.

To speak of “Original Blessing” is to speak of times past when healthy air, water, soil, forests, animals, birds, insects and the rest could be taken for granted. When the goodness of our existence, even amidst struggle, nevertheless was always there. 
Today we cannot take Original Blessing for granted. We have to work to return nature and human nature back to a healthy state. That is the naked struggle today: Can we rediscover the sacredness of creation? If so, can the mystic in us come alive again, fall in love again, enough to carry on the struggle for the salvation of our Earth biosphere as we know it?

Do we have the energy, passion and willingness to see this struggle through in the next eleven years, and the generosity needed to change our ways, let go, reinvent our footprints on this planet?
Matthew Fox: Daily Meditations July 18, 2019 On Eros and Justice: Part 1

The Lion's Gate: 15* Leo

The Lion's Gate occurs during the end of July and beginning of August, harking back to ancient Egypt and the helical rising of the star Sirius before the Sun. We can say that the Sun is channeling information from the Sirian star system during this time. Sirius is considered by many native peoples one of the star systems that seeded our Earth and which continue to work with us on subtle energy levels. If you work more consciously with these energies, then this is the time to stock up!

Sirius: brightest star in the night sky

Astrologically, we reach the Leo power degree of 15* on August 7th, just hours after the first quarter Scorpio Moon of the Leo New Moon cycle. With both the Sun and Moon at fixed power gates (always 15* of the power signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), we are receiving information from both signs. We are challenged (the square) to face our shadows and karma (Scorpio) and bring the light of consciousness (Leo) to them. 
The Shadow comprises those parts of ourselves that hold stunted energy, energy that has stopped developing as originally intended. Jung believed that the Shadow develops to protect our young ego from parents and teacher's expectations. Because of these shadow energies, our ability to be ourselves and to act in accordance with our true nature is twisted. Jung says the Shadow needs to be recognized and worked with if we want a clear channel to our anima (our soulful being) and our animus (our virtuous doing). 

 We can touch on our Shadow when we judge others harshly, because we are projecting our Shadow onto them. A liar projects those lies onto others; a racist projects his fear and loathing of the unconscious parts of himselfonto strangers. When do we stop lying to ourselves? When do we stop being afraid of life!? In this moment, where Shadows are so evident in our chaotic world, we need to find and shine our light into the world's darkness. 
It is time to release ourselves from the bondage of our old stories. It's time to stop complaining about our lives and get on with them. It's time to face our human frailties and forgive ourselves. It's time to stop questioning what our purpose is and to see it there before us. Whatever we're dealing with is our purpose. Whatever virtues we believe in we need to embody. Whatever gifts we have we need to offer to the world.

In a new astrological system I'm studying called The Gene Keys, the energy of mid-Leo is attuned to guidance and virtuous living. Out of division comes the ability to guide others through the darkness. And the energy of the Scorpio quarter Moon is to move from entropy, where we've been in a static chaotic state, to one of creativity, freshness and fierce beauty. 
We are called to listen to our Heart's wisdom. As our souls awaken, we begin to live out of our Higher Self, the part of us which is connected to everything in the universe. We rediscover our place in Earth's biosphere and in the cosmic order. I have to tell you, it's a much more radiant and abundant place to stand in than in the chaos of a failing patriarchal social system. From this place of peace and harmony, we can act upon the world in the correct ways, because in the inner silence, we can tap into our higher wisdom – we can connect to Lady Wisdom, our Sophia.
Lady Wisdom

The Venus/Mars conjunction: A secret, sacred Marriage – August 24, 2019

The great gift the cosmos is bestowing on us during this Lammas season is the union of Venus and Mars, occurring on the royal star, Regulus, in the heart of the Lion. 

Whenever Venus and Mars get together, a new energy of relationship emerges – relationship to self and others and to Nature. To occur on this Royal Star, which has just recently moved into tropical Virgo, is auspicious. The royal energy now flows through the divine Feminine. And this is a Wise feminine energy being birthed this season.

This sacred marriage of the archetypal energies of love and desire (Venus & Mars/ Psyche & Eros) occurs at 5* Virgo. The core Shadow theme of this degree is our distrust of others, especially in relationships. It is all about dishonesty. We're afraid to show people who we really are, and so our Shadow comes into play. Be truthful with yourself and you can be truthful to others.
This conjunction takes place in the underworldbecause both planets cannot be seen – they are both too close to the Sun. Venus will conjunct the Sun on August 14th, just before the Aquarius Full Moon. She has just swung around behind the Sun and is on her way to becoming an Evening Star, visible again around September 20th. Mars is just approaching the Sun, and will conjunct it on September 2nd, and it will appear as a morning star around October 17th

Sacred Marriage in the Unconscious
So this meeting of Venus and Mars on August 24this hidden from our view and our consciousness. It will bring up those unconscious places within us where we need to be honest with ourselves. If we don't look at our Shadow, it will act upon us unconsciously, it will meet us in the outer world. If we dance with our Shadows, we'll integrate them. If we stay conscious, we will pick the energy up through the body. That is the place it will manifest first. So pay attention to your body wisdom. The Body Knows!

Astrologer Adam Gainsburg is a living sky astrologer, someone who actually looks at the heavens and tracks the planets in the night sky instead of on a computer. He's written a book on the phases of Venus called TheLight of Venuswhere he tracks the 13 phases of Venus journey through the sky. (He's also working on a book on Mars phases). As Venus disappears into the glare of the Sun, she also moves behind the Sun so we don't see her until she moves far enough away to appear as the Evening Star in late September. 
Adam calls this phase of Venus cycle the transmutation phaseof Venus, when She sheds the old garments, beliefs and qualities of her Morning Star phase and transmutes and alchemizes it into something new. As Adam says, “Such intense light – as love – forces us to meet our dark self or opposite, everything we're convinced that we aren't. An invisible Venus forces us to see our Otherinside ourselves.” (Light of Venus, page 119). Adam says transmutation is essentially feminine, with changes occurring within you at first so you concentrate on who you're becoming. It's future oriented.

We must learn to embrace our sovereignty, our wisdom of both Heaven and Earth. Our feminine wisdom, love and compassion must rule the day.

While Venus is heading away from the Sun on August 24th, Mars is heading into it, joining the Sun on September 2nd. This allows both energies to look at their shadows, for what else can we see in the bright glare of the Sun? Both archetypal energies are purified by our Star's fire. Our ego steps into the fiery furnace of life and hopefully emerges ready to stand up for truth, justice and life. The fact that these energies meet on the fixed star Regulus, which is the Lion's Heart, awakens our own lion-heartedness. We need to be fierce in our defense of our Earth, our people and all our relationships. 

Susan Seddon Boulet
This is an interesting season because three planets conjunct the Sun – besides Venus and Mars, Mercury also dives into the Sun's fiery furnace on September 3rd. Three very personal planets are being renewed in the Sun's fire. We have to make conscious our love and wisdom, our desires and goals, and our ability to communicate those needs honestly. 
Planetary shifts and Sabian Symbols

There are four shifts in planetary direction this season. When planets are retrograde, our energy is directed within to remember, review and restructure. When a planet stations and turns back to direct motion, the energy we've been working on within turns back into the world. Mercury turns direct on July 31st at 24* Cancer. Two directional shifts occur on August 11th: Jupiter at 15* Sagittarius turns direct and Uranus at 7* Taurus turns retrograde. And Saturn at 14* Capricorn goes direct on September 17-18th. Try to feel the energy shift in your body on these days. And also pay attention to your dreams, which show us what's going on in the unconscious.

The Sabian symbol for Mercury direct at 24* Cancer is: A woman and two men castaways on a small island in the South Seas. What aspects of our psyche have been 'cast away' or lost? What can the woman/soul do? The doubling of the men suggests that we are beginning to see a new way of 'doing' things. Jung always said that when an image is doubled, it means that part of that energy is becoming conscious, while the other part is still unconscious and needs to be worked on. What does your soul yearn for and what can you do to give it what it needs?

The Sabian symbol for Jupiter at 15* Sagittarius is: The ground hog looking for its shadow on Ground Hog's Day, February 2nd. This image suggests that we try to get a bigger perspective on events. Ground Hog's Days is Imbolc – the Celtic gateway to Spring, when we look to the future. Be aware of what happens on the 11th, taking it as a clue to future events. It's a great time to journey and meditate on what's ahead for you.

The Sabian symbol for Uranus at 7* Taurus is: The woman of Sumaria at the ancestral well. The story of Jesus meeting the Sumaritan woman at the well symbolizes a transition from the old tribal order to a new order based on Universal Love. Jesus revealed his divine nature to a woman who guards the wellsprings of life. The Water of Life. Our Christ consciousness greets our Wisdom/Sophia consciousness. We have to really believe we are spiritual beings, so we can access the wisdom we need to face our collective evolutionary crisis. A new quality of being arises that transcends the old ways of patriarchal being and doing. This is what we have to awaken within ourselves during this retrograde, which lasts until January 10, 2020, when Uranus turns direct on a Full Moon lunar eclipse. 
The Sabian symbol for the sacred marriage of Venus and Mars at 5* Virgo is: A person becoming aware of nature spirits and normally unseen spiritual agencies. What a great symbol! We are learning to go beyond what we see in 3-D reality and now can look deeply into the world around us. It is through the use of the creative imaginationthat we see so deeply. Isn't it time to learn how to exercise this important muscle? I've been working with it for over 30 years and it's the most important function we can learn work with now, since it has to do with manifestation. We need to own our own imaginations before we can transform the world. So get your head out of TV and the mass media and create your own reality! 
The Sabian symbol for Saturn turning direct at 14* Capricorn is: An ancient bas-relief carved in granite remains a witness to a long-forgotten culture. Saturn, along with Pluto in Capricorn, energizes a re-structuring of our society. We have seen how our democracy has been taken over by large, corporate entities such as big Pharma, the oil and gas industries, the military-industrial complex. The 1% do own the government and run our society. That's not what our founding fathers wanted for America. And so we need to restructure and renew our society along the lines of a true democracy. These are the ancient beliefs we need to remember and incorporate. And those 'founding fathers' learned from the Native American Grandmothers what was necessary to found a new country based on freedom for all. How ironic and ultimately evil that we killed the very people who guided our nation's founding! 
Well, that's all for now. I hope your harvest is fruitful and that you are blessed by its bounty.  I'm here if you need me.

Walk in the Light,

"John Barleycorn (Must Die)"
(Harvest folk song)

There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn must die
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
Threw clods upon his head
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead

They've let him lie for a very long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all
They've let him stand 'til Midsummer's Day 'til he looked both pale and wan
And little Sir John's grown a long long beard and so become a man
They've hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee
They've rolled him and tied him by the way, serving him most barbarously
They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks who've pricked him to the heart
And the loader he has served him worse than that
For he's bound him to the cart

They've wheeled him around and around a field 'til they came onto a pond
And there they made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn
They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone
And the miller he has served him worse than that
For he's ground him between two stones

And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass
And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox nor so loudly to blow his horn
And the tinker he can't mend kettle or pots without a little barleycorn