This post is from our good friend, wizard and Mythological Astrologer, Steve Nelson. Steve is an astrologer who follows a Jungian mythological tradition. He was raised by a part Cherokee shaman Aunt Maude who learned much of her lore from Molly Runningwolf, the mother of Amanita Sequoyah, the last Cherokee medicine man officially recognized by the Eastern Tribe. Steve’s Indian name is Steven Red Wolf, his lineage is of the wolf clan, one of the 7 tribal groups of the Cherokee. Steve follows many of the Cherokee traditions especially as these relate to celebrations, the use of ritual fire and star lore. For more information about Steve Nelson see www.GaiaAstrology.com
Great information for shifting at Mid-Summer as well as throughout the summer!!!
Mythic Times: Mid-Summer Moon Vision Quest
On June 24 the Sun begins to move southward again, this is when snakes shed their skin and so can we. The key ritual traditions of this time (the time frame between Midsummer Full Moon and Midsummer Day) are full body water immersion, fire leaping and free-form dance: Immerse 3 times to clear the emotional body, circle clockwise 3 times a small fire (a candle will do) before jumping over 3 times to clear the mind, then dance free-form to release body armor, dispel astral shadow and shed psychic skin. This opens the way for new vision and new energies flowing in.
In Celtic lore, June 24 was the traditional day observed for Midsummer Day (although we observe it now June 21), is the time when “magic is most potent and fairies become visible.” As we dance to release our body armor and so set ourselves free we may see into the more subtle realms and glimpse the devas, the nature spirits called fairies by the Celts. We might also gain access to the subtle world from where creation comes. What is envisioned and focused here as an ideal can be made real.
The Year ebbs and flows like an ocean tide rising upward from Spring Equinox and cresting during Summer Solstice June 19-24. This is when vital energy is most elevated in plants, in trees, and in all of us. Country people know this is the best time for weeding gardens when energy is most up out of the roots. Likewise, this is the best time for “psychic weeding” when energy is most up and out of our subconscious roots.
When Solstice occurs in a waxing Moon, the energy wave continues to grow until the Full Moon cresting then and running high for the next 3 days. This year (2011) the full moon occurs before the solstice on June 15th – so this ritual could be performed while the light of the moon is full. The Mid-Summer Full Moon is a vision quest time in Native American tradition. All the Celtic traditions of Midsummer extend through this time period.
In addition to the lunar cycle expanding the Summer Solstice/Midsummer influence period, there is the Hora system to consider. The zodiacal year divides into 24 Horae and each Hora is 15 degrees or about (a wee bit over) 15 days. Each Hora or zodiacal half sign is unique. The first half of each yin sign (e.g. Cancer) has an especially powerful yin quality while the second half of the sign is relatively yang. The new consciousness coming through Summer Solstice / Midsummer is nurtured and made ready for expression curing the first half of Cancer June 21- July 5. This is the Summer Solstice Hora. At the close of this time period the new consciousness is ready to express its independence.
In this current cycle, a new global consciousness is emerging that will come to active expression. In the interim focus is on clearing our channels for new insight and understanding. In the course of this time June 21- July 5 we are each due to receive a vision of our purpose in the world. In Native American tradition this is the time of the Vision Quest to discover our unique role in the tribe. Vision quest usually means time in nature (perhaps trekking up a mountain) looking for animal signs and other clues to our future role. Insights also come through dreams and chance encounters, We are living in an extraordinary time now when the nature and focus of western civilization is being transformed and it is important to find our place in the new creation. We are nearing a planetary initiation, an awakening of global consciousness of which we are part. This is the most important happening of our time.
Snakes shed their skins at Midsummer and so can we. Snakes shed their physical skins, we shed our psychic skins. This is a time when karma can be cleared and our dharma can be realized. The old ways tell how. Time and place and the four elements are keys.
This Mid-Summer Full Moon (June 15-17 in 2011) is a time to realize who we are and what we came here for. This is the time of the Native American Vision Quest, this is the time of the sacred Sun Dance, this is when Spirit shows us the way. As we free ourselves from the patterns of old ways, we come to see and live our true life story.
“Through celebrations in their seasons are the deeper powers of human nature realized” ~ Rudolph Steiner
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
Flashback to The Total Eclipse of the Sun July 11 2010
The July 11, 2010 Total Eclipse of the Sun was the most important event of 2010. A solar eclipse is Mother Nature’s most effective editing tool. As an eclipse occurs above, things get eclipsed/eliminated here below. Whatever needs eclipsing comes up in weeks and months before. A total solar eclipse is an opportunity to eliminate patterns of thought and behavior that are troubling our world. This is the time to clear away what stands in the way of a new creation. A solar eclipse is positively transformative as we learn to detach from what is breaking down and shift attention to what is breaking through. Energy bound in old forms is released powering dreams to be realized. The more shadow patterns are transformed, the more energy is freed for the new creation. So continues the cycle of death and rebirth, destruction and re-creation. The world is ready for change. A total eclipse of the Sun is an opportunity to change whatever we wish at the deepest level. All that’s needed is to be still, slow down and go within to the creative source of transformation in this special time (July 10-12).
At the July 11, 2010 solar eclipse the Sun and Moon were in the 20th degree of Cancer conjunct Adhara, “the maiden” star identified with the High Priestess in Tarot. Every 11 day resonates with Tarot Key 11 Justice and Key 2 the High Priestess. The Sun/Moon squares Eris/Persephone at 22 Aries 15 and Eris closely semi-sextiles the dwarf planet Sedna at 22 Taurus 15. This is significant because Sedna exactly conjuncts the location of the gulf oil spill and has since it began. Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the ocean depths, she rules the fishes of the sea. Sedna is a large dwarf planet with a very long slow extended orbit, she comes near our solar system only every 10.000 years and just happens to be around in our lifetime for this important global shift. (In Greek mythology, Sedna is equivalent to Hekate the companion of Persephone.) Significantly, Sedna and the oil spill are located in the same degree as Chicago in the zodiac projected on Earth. According to A.A. Bailey’s Destiny of the Nations, Chicago is the solar plexus chakra of the nation. The solar plexus center is a fire chakra that focuses energy for transformation. In order to understand how all this all fits together for our time we will have to take a look at the Greek myth of the god Chiron, the wise king of the centaurs.
The Chiron Myth: A Legend for Our Time
Chiron lives at a time (like now) when there is an ugly war going on between the new gods and goddesses of Olympus and old world giants called the Titans. Whatever the new gods try to create the old Titans destroy. Coming down from his mountain retreat, Chiron sees all this and realizes the gods and goddesses are losing the battle because they are not united: each has their own shrine and following and they just aren’t co-operating enough to win the war. So Chiron gathers all the gods and goddesses around a common fiery altar high on a mountain where he unites them to defeat the Titans. For this unifying ritual to work, Chiron has to sacrifice a wolf called Lupus on the fiery altar. Through this ritual sacrifice the gods and goddesses are joined together, the Titans are defeated, and a New Age begins.
Chiron appears in the heavens as constellation Centaurus holding the wolf Lupus, over the fiery altar Ara. These 3 constellations are part of the original set of 48 constellations used by the ancients to describe all that occurs in the world. Each “decan constellation” corresponds to one of the 36 decanates or decans (10 degree parts) of the zodiac. Chiron/Centaurus is 2nd decan Leo and this aptly so as this is the Sagittarius subsign. People born in this decan play a Chironic role in the world. Lupus the Wolf is the 3rd decan of Libra. Libra is ruled by Venus the goddess of love and beauty and higher truth. Venus represents the power to restore natural law and order. And Venus embodies the soul’s capacity to alchemically fuse the four elements of personality into soul (more about Venus follows).
The ‘burning up of the wolf’ is a key phase of psychic alchemy (see Liz Greene’s Dynamics of the Unconscious), referring to the transformation or ‘psychizing’ of primal energy. Lupus symbolizes the shadow aspect of the psyche and represents all that is renegade to our soul’s purpose. This wolf has to be transformed before the diverse elements of personality (the gods and goddesses) can be unified. The global shadow wolf must be transformed before we can enter the new age. In Norse mythology we’re in the time of Ragnarok the last war at the end of the age when the Fenris wolf is set loose on the world. In the zodiac projected on Earth 3rd decan Libra, Lupus the Wolf, brackets Afghanistan and covers much of Pakistan. So how is the shadow wolf transformed? The instructions are in Tarot Key 58, the 4 of Swords: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Swords04.jpg <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Swords04.jpg>
The Four of Swords Meditation, Transforming the Shadow Wolf
The Rider-Waite Tarot card Four of Swords represents the 3rd decan of Libra and Lupus the Wolf decan constellation. In this card we see the reclining figure of a man lying on an altar-like platform in what looks to be a chapel. In the upper left of the frame there is a stained glass window with a woman standing and a man kneeling before her. This could be Mother Mary and a worshiper though he looks to have a musical instrument so perhaps he is a troubadour serenading his beloved. This scene represents reverence for the divine feminine and spiritual nature. The way to the higher world is through the divine feminine. The transformation of the shadow wolf opens the way within. The man lying has his hands in prayer pose directly over the solar plexus. The solar plexus is a fire chakra, it is the fiery altar to which Chiron brings the shadow wolf. Beside the stained glass window there is a curtain rod pointing downward to the sexual chakra of the reclining figure and at the bottom of this rod is the small head of a wolf. The instructions in this card are clear: Lie down on your back (preferably head north) elbows at your side and bring your hands together finger tips touching over the solar plexus. Take several deep breaths while the energy from the palm chakras activates the solar plexus. Then whatever needs to be transformed will move through the palms onto the altar fire. Prolonged deep breathing in this position will transform anything you bring to mind.
Venus with the King star Regulus July 9 at the Balsamic Moon invokes transformation of the King (the global order) through the July 11 Solar Eclipse and lunar cycle following (7/11-8/9). Saturn in Libra soon after on July 22 (until Oct 2012) empowers the creation of new organizations and social structures in harmony with the emerging Aquarian consciousness.
The Dark of the Moon (July 10-12) is a 3-day period beginning the day before the New Moon and ending at Sunset the day after when the crescent is visible. While unfavorable for most outer activities, this time is ideal for inner work and for energy clearing. The New Moon Solar Eclipse (July 11 at 3:40 pm edt/ 7:30 pm gmt) is a cosmic spring that flows freely bringing blessings as we slow down and go within. This eclipse brings tremendous changes through the 7/11-8/9 lunar cycle and for many months to come. A total solar eclipse sets global focus for the time until the next total solar eclipse occurs on 13 Nov 2012.
The Crescent New Moon July 12-15 energizes whatever it touches; this is a time to bring forward what we wish to be realized. Farmers plant seeds after the crescent New Moon appears (July 12/13) when seeds are most fertile on every level. Seeds sown now will flourish in this lunar cycle and in months to come. The Moon magic is strongest from Sunset to Moonset when the Moon shines through the 7th House. Venus with the Crescent Moon is a boon for lovers and empowers us to help restore natural law and order in the world.
Evening Star Venus: Venus Hesperus/Cerridwen/Xolotl/Arwen
“Without doubt the most important star shining on Middle Earth is Earendil, the star to which the Elves sing praise as Elbereth Gilthoniel – the radiant star-queen who was born of a Silmaril jewel. Earendil, who is also alive as a beautiful Elf-woman Arwen Evenstar, is our Venus.” – Paul F. Newman, Mountain Astrologer article titled “One Ring to Rule Them All”
Evening Star Venus leads the way within. Look for Venus shining brightly in the western sky just after Sunset. This phase of Venus is called “Venus Hesperus” after the western isle of the Hesperides where the golden apple tree of Venus/Aphrodite/Hera grows. The Hesperides or ‘Apple Isle,’ is the original Isle of Avalon. Evening Star Venus is also called ‘Venus Cerridwen’ in honor of the first Queen of Avalon. Cerridwen is keeper of the Cauldron of Inspiration, of death, rebirth and healing. As the Evening Star Venus, Cerridwen presides over the death and rebirth of the King, the death and rebirth of the order of things.
The early Mayans saw Evening Star Venus as a fiery cauldron containing the magic Sun dog Xolotl. The Mayans believed this dog a creature of the Sun and would say that Evening Star Venus “pushes the Sun into healing darkness.” At this time Xolotl is dismembered and cooked in the cosmic caldron in order to be resurrected in the next phase of the cycle. Long held secrets are revealed, wounded heroes and kings are healed, leaders are transformed or removed from the scene when Venus Xolotl is seen.
Evening Star Venus also appears as the elf queen Arwen (Arwen Evenstar) in the Lord of the Rings. Arwen’s presence is needed to exorcise the King of Rohan, the horse kingdom of the west (America). More than a single leader, the King represents the collective consciousness of our western culture. In esoteric tradition (A.A. Bailey) it is said that Venus is to the Earth as the soul is to personality. Venus represents the anima mundi, the soul of Gaia. Venus/Arwen leads the way of transformation and healing.
All this mythology is especially relevant this past year because the 2010 zodiacal year (3/21/2010 – 3/21/2011) was a Year of Venus. The keynotes of Venus we know best are love, grace and beauty. In addition Venus rules the higher mind, the realm of pure archetypes that become beauty in manifestation. The divine grace of Venus comes through as we release muscle tension and body armor in our practices especially through spiritual dance (see following). Divine grace is a power for healing and for restoring natural law and order. Sheriffs of the old west wore the five-pointed star of Venus made of copper, the metal of Venus. This practice was instituted based on medieval magical tradition. Venus brings power to restore the natural order and this power works through us as we attune to Venus and do our dance.
Attuning to Venus now opens hearts and clears shadows, we focus on the light of the Evening Star and breathe deeply to release all that makes the heart heavy and open it to receive the blessings of Venus. Evening Star Venus offers opportunity to clear whatever may obscure our way so we can realize the deepest desire of the heart, our soul’s destiny.
“Venus is occasionally referred to as Guener. This may be a simple translation into Welsh of the name Venus, but I like to associate it with Queen Guinevere – she who was often abducted and returned unharmed, just as Venus disappears as evening star to reappear at dawn. Gwen (or Guen) as a prefix also means ‘white’ or ‘light’ and Venus is often called ‘the shining one.'” ~ Sarah Fuhro, in anarticle entitled The Four Fire Festivals: subtitled A Druid’s Star Lore in Mountain Astrologer
Celtic Dance: A Key to Transformation
Throughout the Celtic world there are many images of a circle cross that is key to connecting heaven and earth, spirit and the natural world. These images illustrate the way of the Circle Cross Dance practiced by the Celts. To do this dance you simply spin in each direction on a circle in which you will be doing your dance. First you go to the east point of your dance circle and do 3 turns clockwise, repeating this in the south, west and north and then going back to the east to complete the circle before you enter the center to open the way between worlds. The Native American Medicine Wheel Dance is done just in this way. The sequence is the same beginning in the east, turning clockwise at each direction and moving clockwise around the circle back to the east. Then you go to center and “the Medicine Wheel begins to turn”. Clockwise turns are done at the center until the channel between soul and personality becomes clear, then hands are brought together as in prayer, palms connecting over the heart/throat centers. There is a brief pause and then, as the palms part, you surrender to soul/spirit to dance your body free of tension or body armor that holds old outmoded patterns of belief and behavior. This dance is best done at the turning times of the Year (equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarters), the turning times of the Moon (new, full and quarters) and Day (the canonical hours). All hours are good during this special time in the Midsummer Full Moon and Midsummer Day time period.
Clockwise movement is key to generating an energy vortex for healing and transformation. Whirling dervishes use clockwise movement 3 times round to set the circle before counterclockwise whirling to conduct spiritual forces into the world. First we clear the channel through clockwise movement, then we bring through the high energy contacted thereby. The Essene “Circle Dance of Jesus” is also done clockwise with turns at each of the cardinal points to open the way for the angels to stand at the four corners of the circle. These are the 4 angels at the corners of the world. This dance was the inspiration for the song Lord of the Dance. Clockwise whirling is also common in Contra, an English and French “country” dance that is rooted in Celtic/Druid magical tradition. I believe Jesus learned the dance from his Druid tutors in Britain.
Through clockwise circle dance the ethers are stirred to send prayers to heaven and open vortices of healing energy. The caduceus for healing has twin serpents coiling upward. Energy flows upward as the body turns clockwise, turning counterclockwise (widershins) brings energy down from from above.
Clockwise whirling before meditation and prayer clears the way to center. Children spin without instruction, adults often need to know why. Whirling melts away worldly connections and opens an energy channel between heaven and Earth. As the physical body turns, the auric field picks up the spin and a spiral movement is generated in the surrounding ethers. A vortex then forms extending high in the air and deep into the Earth. This vortex is like water whirling down a bathtub drain. Whatever needs to be released from the emotional body and the auric field goes down the drain. Then whatever needs to come through from Spirit can come through. This simple act of whirling clockwise (Sunwise) helps clear a channel through the veil of illusion that is the lower astral world. By this means we can help build the antakarana, the “rainbow bridge” connecting Heaven and Earth.
The World Card and the Dance of the World Mother
Dance can be effective for psychic transformation. The Hindu Mother Kali dances on the Fiery Wheel at the hub of the universe.
(The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 149 by Barbara Walker). Tarot Key 21, the World, shows the dance of World Mother: A woman clad in a spiraling purple sash dances within a circle of greenery. At the four corners are images representing the 4 creatures of Ezekiel’s vision and the 4 zodiacal fixed signs: a Lion (Leo), a Bull (Taurus), an Eagle (Scorpio), and an Angel (Aquarius). The cross ties on the wreath of greenery are the Solstices on the seasonal wheel of life and true noon and midnight in the day. Tarot Key 21 The World is the Key to the 21st Century. The 20th Century was the Last Judgment, we did that, now it’s time to dance our way into world consciousness.
The World card also symbolizes the Navaho and Hopi “Whirling Rainbow Woman” who teaches how to claim sacred space and activate the “song lines.” Sacred space is consecrated through the dance. This may be preceded by smudging with sage and/or cedar. The dance always includes first circling the chosen space clockwise (or Sunwise) at least 3 times. Whirling clockwise at center then helps clear mundane worldly connections and open the way between the way between worlds.
Whirling clockwise breaks the “aka threads” (Huna tradition) that hold personal connections with others, other peoples expectations and judgments. Whether these are positive or negative they will be limiting as regards the capabilities of our soul. Whirling temporarily breaks these connections (and clears them) while strengthening the connections that go up to high heaven and down to the heart of the Earth. This is the secret of the whirling dervishes, it is a way to support the union of Heaven and Earth.
After whirling, empathically connect with a person who needs healing or with an issue of concern. Move clockwise round the center of the room while feeling this need, Let feelings be expressed through sound and movement. Dance until you surrender to the dance and spirit dances the body. Then the soul will move the body and all that stands in the way of divine grace and power to heal. The clearer the physical channel, the more the body moves with grace and channels the healing power of vital chi, “the holy spirit.” As need is felt for healing and for transforming, spirit will move through the form to bring the power to meet the need. Kathi Kali temple dancers of India were paid for this purpose, to heal, to take on the suffering and release the karma of another through dance.
Drum circles have been forming all over America over the past many years. The general format is a circle of drummers creates space for dancers in the center. Dancing is key to psychic transformation, the drum circle is a lens for transformation. Discordant psychic energies are transformed into harmony and feed their power to the circle. The drum circle feeds on discord and turns it into harmony! The archetypal tribal village has a dance ground east of center. The Cherokee call this “the Square Ground.” Many cities and smaller towns (including most state capitols in the US) have such a space often simply called The Square. Mary Bethune Park located east of the Capitol in Washington is configured to serve this role for DC.
This is our time, we are the world, we are awakening. Ah ho!
Happy Mid-Summer Full Moon!
Steve Nelson & The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.)
For more about lunar cycles and celebrations read Steve Nelson’s ‘Moon Magic’ in
Natural Awakenings http://awakeningcharlotte.com/content/?s=moon+magic
also follow his updates on facebook http://www.facebook.com/StevenLonnieNelson
Check out Steve’s webpage at www.GaiaAstrology.com