At one long ago Taurus New Moon, ever hopeful for increased prosperity and other cosmic bonbons, I decided to perform the Venus Santeria ritual that Dana recommended. It sounded so simple – a piece of bread, a smallish candle, a nickel, a body of running water – but it took me the better part of an afternoon to collect the right size candle, the right shape roll. Finally, I had everything I needed to perform the ritual on the Friday (Venus’ day) after the New Moon.
So just before lunchtime I wrote out my wish list, prepared my little roll, and lit the candle. As it burned down, I followed the ritual’s instructions to pursue pleasant Venusian pastimes. I had my favorite food for lunch, and then I replaced my decaying guitar strings, which seemed appropriately Venusy. Within a couple of hours the candle burned itself out, and I was ready to … well,roll, so to speak. The question was, where to release my Venusian offering into the wild? I had been thinking of tossing it into the ocean, but then I reread Dana’s article and realized salt water was out of the question.
Then my husband remembered a spot down in the valley where we might be able to get close enough to the bank of the San Diego River to surrender my cosmic muffin therein. We parked in a nearby lot, trundled down the street a piece, and found a likely spot. We picked our way cautiously a few feet down, where I perched on a rock and hurled the bun. At first, I was dismayed; the roll fell just at the edge of a kind of breakwater thing and just sat there for a minute. And then I noticed that the wind was blowing the water toward the breakwater, and despaired of my little offering to Venus getting very far at all.
Then, an intervention: a group of four ducks descended on the roll, pushed it into the river, and began eating it. “That’s… good, right?” I asked my husband. “I mean, nature participating in the ritual, and all.” “Well, think of it this way,” he pointed out. “That roll is going to get a lot further down the river in the stomach of that duck than it would have on its own.”
Magic is as magic does
I am weirdly (among my astrologer friends, anyway) skeptical about magic, which is perhaps why my forays into ritual so often go comically awry. And yet, they have occasionally yielded intriguing results, too. Many years ago, not long before I met my spouse, I performed a New Moon ritual that included writing a list of the qualities I desired in a mate and leaving it under a burning candle. A couple of years later as I was packing up to move to San Diego and get married, I ran across the long-forgotten list. It read like a resume of my husband-to-be.
Likewise, after I performed that Santeria ritual all those years ago, it seemed at first that nothing much was happening. But two weeks later, at the Scorpio Full Moon, I got something pretty great that I hadn’t even asked for – a contract to write my book Astrological Transits. Those intrepid waterfowl had gotten my message through to the universe after all.
It’s illuminating to contemplate that among the Gods of mythology, Pluto/Hades – ruler of Scorpio – was known as “The Rich One.” In astrology, Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th house have come to symbolize the world’s riches – “other people’s money,” inheritance and loans, mysterious windfalls, as well as our most intimate companions. It makes sense to consider that what we put forward from Venus, Taurus, and the second house must eventually find a response from Pluto, Scorpio, and the eighth house. That’s why this month’s Full Moon in Scorpio (April 26, 2021, 8:31 pm PDT) is a good time to perform wealth-related ritual.
And yet, it’s very hard for some of us to rely upon Scorpio’s cosmic trust fund, the enormous stockpile of goods, services, and enlightenment that sits waiting for us to draw checks against it. I grew up among farmers who worked extraordinarily hard for every dollar, and I definitely absorbed the ethos that hard work alone, not magic, would summon financial security (although none of the hard-working families around us seemed especially prosperous).
You must ask if you want to receive
So I’ve always worked hard and asked for little. And I think I’m beginning to understand that while preparation is key to receiving the world’s bounty, so is the ability to articulate what you want and the willingness to claim it. It’s important to use all your gifts to create a life that is a sincere offering to the gods, but prosperity is a dance you must do with the unseen forces of the collective. You can’t achieve prosperity in a vacuum, not unless you own a mint. Prosperity is not a closed system; the money you hope to attract has to come from other people. And the minute you demonstrate a willingness to accept help from the collective, the oppressive weight of trying to earn a living – or, in the case of the recent Aries New Moon, the loneliness of blazing new frontiers – is immediately cut in half. There’s no shame in letting others carry you part of the way along your journey.
It’s important to prepare the Cosmic Bun of Goodwill and Intention, to do the work of finding the stream, and to drive down to the water to send it on its way. But once you’ve done your part, maybe it’s perfectly all right to let your offering be carried along downstream in the wind, or stuck to the bottom of a boat, or even in the belly of a duck – propelled by collective forces that can carry your wishes far beyond the limited reach of your own, small imagination.