Get your Venus blessings!

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“The invisible world wants to help us,” declares visionary activist and astrologer Caroline Casey, “but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask.”  I especially like asking Venus for a little extra juju, using the Santeria ritual for Oshun (described by Casey in her Making the Gods Work for You).  As the Yoruba goddess of fresh waters, Oshun oversees the same delights that Venus does, so I call “Venus” with Oshun’s ritual and neither goddess seems to mind.

I make sure to perform this ritual every year during the Taurus cycle, which coincides this year with an auspicious moment in the Venus cycle:  She is soon emerging as the Evening Star!  Keep watching the western sky at sunset. The first night you see Venus twinkling in the sky is your moment to make a wish (what date this occurs depends on the horizon line at your location.) Pay Venus homage and ask for her blessings!  How? Just speak sincerely, from your heart. You might surprise yourself too. And, do use the Oshun ritual before or after you sight Venus, to help anchor your connection to her.

Over the years, this magic ritual has brought me many gifts–including the home of my dreams and a man to share it with.  Try it and see what miracles it can work for you!

  1. It’s best to perform this ritual on a Friday—which is Venus’ day.  You’ll need a round piece of bread, like a dinner roll.  Make a hole in it and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus).
  2. On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desires.  Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel.  Then pour a little honey on top of that (as Casey always says, “for obvious symbolic reasons!”).
  3. Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper).  Casey suggests a yellow candle, though I’ve found different colors fun to play with.
  4. Light the candle.  As it is burning, honor Venus:   take a luxurious bath, go shopping, make love.  Do something that makes you feel juicy, beautiful, pampered, prosperous, and happy.  Like attracts like—a delightful like-minded mood attracts Venus like nothing else!
  5. When the candle is completely burned down, so that only melted wax is on the bread, take it to sweet flowing water—a stream or a river, but nothing salty like the ocean.  Toss this now ritually potent (and fully bio-degradable) roll into the water, reciting an invocation, poem, or prayer of your choice.
  6. The goddess will respond to your desires in the coming weeks. She might fulfill your dreams in miraculous ways. Or she might play the trickster—revealing a blind spot that still stands in the way of your desires.

 

Your Aries New Moon Focus

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Take advantage of this month’s fresh-start energy! Which activities will be most energizing for your psyche? Your chart holds clues. The house where 20.41 degrees of Aries falls represents where you can most reliably turn this month to supercharge your own renewal and rebirth.

If Aries is in your 1st house, for example, you may experience renewal through re-connecting with your instinctive personality. Do it your way! Support that expression with a commitment to those practices that ensure your vitality. In the 2nd  you may want to initiate a new financial plan, or touch base with your core talents and values. In the 3rd , Aries may feel re-energized through putting your thoughts into writing or speech. In the 4th , Aries is reborn through spring cleaning, redecorating, or even moving.  Aries receives inspiration in the 5th house through creative expression, or through rediscovery of one’s inner child.  In the 6th house, Aries gets a fresh start by taking up a new health regimen, or reorganizing the office. In the 7th, relationships are the medium of rebirth, as Aries faces “the other,” while in the 8th house Aries mines new energy from the depths of the unconscious—or the seat of one’s lust.  In the 9th house, Aries is reinvigorated by a book of spiritual teachings, or a philosophical truth that puts life into perspective. In the 10th house, Aries leaps headfirst into tackling new career objectives. In the 11th house, it is through commitment to a social cause that promises renewal. And,  finally, in the 12th house, Aries is reborn through dissolution into universal consciousness, diving deep into the ocean of bliss, then emerging reborn.

A Little Pisces Foot Magic

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Place your bare feet on the altar of this Pisces New Moon. Traditionally, this sign rules the feet. Some ancient wise one must have seen how the soles are a doorway to the soul as it circulates through your body. Your feet are vital centers for energy flow. When you energetically plug your toes into the earth, notice what happens: you will receive a bright updraft of earth’s prana or chi. Your steadiness and delight will grow. When you massage your feet, you vitalize all organs and energetic pathways in your body. When you do this before sleep, your dreams are clearer and more peaceful. When you take care of your feet, you nurture the whole of you.

What if you could capture the blessings of this New Moon and treat your feet to Pisces’ magic all month long? You can. Leave a small bottle of quality natural oil (like olive or sesame) where it will catch the Sun’s rays between sunrise and noon on the morning of or after the New Moon. If you’d like to enhance the oil’s effects, mix it with a little lavender essence or drape the bottle with a purple or ocean-colored scarf. Then nightly use the oil to create a lovely ritual of honoring your feet. After a month, you will come closer to your Soul. Your feet will walk more artfully toward your dreams. If you sleep with a partner, exchanging nightly foot massages can feed the flow of compassion and romance between you.

Inspiration from Astraea

I’m still recovering from my WONDERFUL trip to Oxford!  Given jet lag and the mountain of work that was waiting for me,  I’m happy to have guest blogger Portia step in for me with this post.  Portia is an unusually gifted poet who saw light beings as a child and now, at 26, collaborates with various goddesses when she writes.  Her poem for the Virgo New Moon is “The Promise” and the goddess who helped her compose it is Astraea, the Star Maiden, daughter of Zeus and Themis.  Before reading Portia’s and Astraea’s poem, you might enjoy hearing more about Portia’s process, in her own words: 

“My way of reaching various goddesses is to first speak to my personal goddess, who resides within.  She is the one who reaches out and serves as a channel when I am communicating with the other goddesses. In other words, I must be willing to become a goddess myself or else their essence and messages cannot come through me.  Before beginning a poem, I ask the relevant goddess to come forward.  If I do not recognize her energetic signature, I go online and search among random lists of goddess names. She guides me to the right name. I then look at her information and she will point out to me keywords. From these words, I get an idea of the poem’s tone and setting. I spend some time holding these words in my mind and contemplating them. As I do this, the atmosphere builds up and my connection to the goddess increases until, finally, I am ready to write. She dictates to me her message and then I refine it into a poem that satisfies us both. That is how we write it together. ” (more…)

Thar she blows!

This could be an especially hot New Moon–with Mars squaring Pluto and opposing Uranus.  It doesn’t help that Mercury is retrograde.  I remember the last time these planets tangoed. I’d been wound tight for days; then, over nothing, I erupted like Mount Vesuvius. I rattled the walls, I frightened the children, I poured red-hot lava over my mate. And you know what?  It felt soooooo good.  Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are an explosive combination. And sometimes the fuse they ignite just needs to burn. Emotions aren’t always pretty, but when released from the body, they can break up tension, clear the air, and give the psyche a fresh start. If at this Cancer New Moon you find yourself in the vicinity of a human Mount Vesuvius, the kindest response just might be to stand back and let the lava flow.

“Acceptance” is a Divine Feminine art. This is not to be confused with allowing people to abuse you. Nor is it something you can do well if you’ve been neglecting your own feelings. Pay attention this cycle to any sentence—uttered by you or a loved one—that begins with the words “I feel…”  All feelings—anger, shame, fear, joy, love—have an energetic truth that needs to be honored.  Anger suggests your boundaries have been breached.  Shame is a signal to restore your integrity. Anxiety is a sign of intuition gone haywire. It’s about the past not the future and is calling your attention to a memory that needs healing. Emotions are signals. They are an important communication. Listening to your own and others’ feelings–without resistance–may bring new breakthroughs during this challenging cycle of planetary tensions!  

Mars meets Uranus and Pluto July 17/18. Mercury is retrograde from July 14 through August 7.

I already know what I’ll be feeling during these weeks: I’ll be alternating between joy and sheer panic as I prepare for my talks for the FAS Summer School in Oxford August 19-25.  Wish me luck!  It looks like a great group of teachers and I hope to see many of you there.

Serving and Savoring Taurus

I often think of my friend Anna Raphael during the Taurus season.  A former MoonCircles contributor, Anna died from cancer a few years ago.  Her Taurus Moon had a deep appreciation for the delights of living in a body on earth. Savoring a cup of tea with her was transformative. I am pleased to share one of her Taurus teachings below.

We in the West we have a wound in Taurus.  We suffer from a deep unconscious power complex that cuts off our connection to earth and body. This cripples our capacity to cultivate chi (which is abundant during the Taurus cycle). Adrian Harris speaks of our collective wound in a paper on Sacred Ecology:

What we in the West have inherited from the great philosophers & theologians of the past, Plato, Aristotle, Saint Paul, is a split in our reality that alienates us from ourselves. Our languages, our culture, & our ‘common sense’ all conspire to convince us that we are self contained entities, divided from the rest of the universe. Each of us occupies a little box, & most of us remain shut up inside our heads for our entire lives. … But this analytical & divisive way of knowing the world is not the only one possible, as anyone who has been part of a powerful ritual or experienced good sex, can tell you.  …  At such times we come to the wisdom of the body; knowing that all things are ultimately one.*

Having a healthy relationship with Taurus means that we know this oneness. We live with this innate, fully natural (nature-based), body knowledge. Taurus is an earth sign, and represents relating not to the body but instinctively from the body. During the season of Taurus we should treasure our physicality and oneness with the beauty of nature as springtime flourishes and chi abounds. Take it in!  Walk in the sunlight on dewy grass!  Absorb prana (chi) through your breath and skin!  Never forget: it is here for you!

*from ‘Paganism Today‘ (1994). (Ed.Harvey and Hardman). HarperCollins.

Spring New Moon

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It’s Spring!  When the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano–except these birds no longer visit the Capistrano Mission on the first day of Spring.  Urban development around the Mission has driven out the tasty insects that swallows love, so the birds have gone elsewhere. Tourists now flock to the town instead; they party without the swallows.  One of California’s most celebrated rites of Spring has lost its authentic connection to wild nature.  I take this as a cautionary tale for Moon work as well, especially in the blogosphere, where the Moon doesn’t literally shine.

At MoonCircles we honor the fabled Moon just as the Capistrano Mission still honors its swallows.  We hope we inspire a good celebration each month.  And we hope that, just as the Capistrano tourists may be inspired to head out for the wild lands and locate real swallows after the party, our readers will likewise be moved touch the unfolding, living textures of each Moon cycle.  This real-time real-life connection is the most important part of Moon work and the hardest part to share.  Whatever I might think or write about a particular New Moon, the actual experience of it will always include something new.  It’s this continual surprise that makes me feel most connected to the Moon and her abiding lessons of change.

So of all the Moon practices I keep, this is the most important one:  to continue seeking real nourishment from the Moon, instead of just resting in what I already know.  If at the New Moon I forget to light a candle or weave a meditation of relevant imagery, I’m still alert to the living texture of this Moon time.  I look forward to that moment two weeks from now, when the Full Moon comes, and I’ll reach a simple, unexpected revelation.  My Full Moon enlightenments are often as subtle as moonlight itself, and easy to miss if my senses weren’t tuned.  When the cycle begins again at the next New Moon, I will wonder again at what mystery is unfolding.   This is the tasty meal that is still being served by the Moon.

Spring New Moon

It’s Spring!  When the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano–except these birds no longer visit the Capistrano Mission on the first day of Spring.  Urban development around the Mission has driven out the tasty insects that swallows love, so the birds have gone elsewhere. Tourists now flock to the town instead; they party without the swallows.  One of California’s most celebrated rites of Spring has lost its authentic connection to wild nature.  I take this as a cautionary tale for Moon work as well, especially in the blogosphere, where the Moon doesn’t literally shine. 

At MoonCircles we honor the fabled Moon just as the Capistrano Mission still honors its swallows.  We hope we inspire a good celebration each month.  And we hope that, just as the Capistrano tourists may be inspired to head out for the wild lands and locate real swallows after the party, our readers will likewise be moved touch the unfolding, living textures of each Moon cycle.  This real-time real-life connection is the most important part of Moon work and the hardest part to share.  Whatever I might think or write about a particular New Moon, the actual experience of it will always include something new.  It’s this continual surprise that makes me feel most connected to the Moon and her abiding lessons of change.

So of all the Moon practices I keep, this is the most important one:  to continue seeking real nourishment from the Moon, instead of just resting in what I already know.  If at the New Moon I forget to light a candle or weave a meditation of relevant imagery, I’m still alert to the living texture of this Moon time.  I look forward to that moment two weeks from now, when the Full Moon comes, and I’ll reach a simple, unexpected revelation.  My Full Moon enlightenments are often as subtle as moonlight itself, and easy to miss if my senses weren’t tuned.  When the cycle begins again at the next New Moon, I will wonder again at what mystery is unfolding.   This is the tasty meal that is still being served by the Moon.

Something to believe in

Eclipses signal moments of transition, and often disorientation, when things are revealed to be other than what they had seemed. This week’s Solar Eclipse falls in Sagittarius, the sign of higher education, sports, and beliefs.  In the past two weeks, two scandals involving universities have sent shock waves through the media.

First, a former defensive coordinator for Pennsylvania State University’s football team was accused of engaging in sexual abuse of children, and his behavior appears to have been covered up by his supervisors. The story has stunned the nation, but has had a particular disorienting effect on the Penn State community, where university football and coach Joe Paterno have long served as a unifying social and even moral nexus. Reporter Michael Winereb, who hails from State College, Pennsylvania (home of Penn State), summed up the stunned reactions of the town in a piece for Grantland (italics mine):

When I saw those televised shots of [coach Joe Paterno's] house on McKee Street, something caught in my throat, a conditioned response to a man I’ve been raised to believe was the moral arbiter of our community. All I can say by way of explanation is that there are people here who will cling to iconography because this is what they’ve always done. That’s what I think is happening here: It’s not that we are condoning child rape, and it’s not that we don’t recognize our obligation to the victims above all else. It’s that we are condemning all that Jerry Sandusky is accused of and trying to make it right while also dealing with this involuntary response to the death throes of a way of life.

Second, videotape emerged of campus police using pepper spray on peaceful Occupy demonstrators at the University of California Davis. The videotape (and waggish collages, like the one above, that insert pepper-spraying cops into works of art) went viral over the weekend, and UC Davis’ Chancellor has met with angry shouts from students and protests, demanding her resignation. The shocking footage of the incident has made UC Davis the latest focal point of the Occupy movement. As an employee of UC San Diego remarked to me yesterday, “I thought campus police were supposed to protect the students, not pepper spray them.”

You may not be involved with a university, a sports team, or the Occupy movement – but with this week’s eclipse in Sagittarius, you’re asked to examine your core beliefs. When people and institutions that we trust are revealed to have feet of clay, what is left for us to believe in? Fortunately, Sagittarius the optimist offers this:  We can always trust what we know to be true and ethical in ourselves.

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Guest blogger April Elliott Kent is the author of The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology and Star Guide to Weddings. Visit her website to learn more about her eclipse report, Followed by a Moonshadow. April is a regular contributor to MoonCircles.

 

Leo New Moon Practice

If your Inner Lion is snoozing, wake him up with this infectious mantra of delight and pride from Leo Guru Jessica.