Our guest blogger Steve Nelson is an astrologer who follows a Jungian mythological tradition. Steve 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 see www.GaiaAstrology.com The Shift Doctors are thrilled to have our friend and favorite wizard post on this topic while Tracy Latz MD & Marion Ross PhD are on their pilgrimage along the St. Michael ley line as Steve suggests on these auspicious dates! 🙂
Gaia Awakening, Mid-Leo Power Gate, Chiron Moon
Gaia is the name the ancients gave to our planet Earth. As far back as Plato the Earth was seen as a sentient being reflecting on a larger scale the nature of the individual. Man was believed to be made in the image of the whole and it was shown how the Earth, like the human body, is divided into twelve zodiacal bands. Plato once famously said, “The Earth viewed from heaven is like a ball with twelve stripes, each of a different color.”
As different parts of the body relate to zodiacal signs – Aries head to Pisces feet – so different areas of the Earth correspond to the zodiacal signs. The nature of each sign is reflected in the mythologies, religions, and cultural traditions of the related zodiacal section of the Earth. An even more striking relationship can be seen between the “extra zodiacal constellations” or “star signs” of the decans (10 degree parts of the zodiac) and the related sections of the Earth. Some of these are quite graphic. Decan 1 Virgo is Bootes, the boot of Italy, and decan 2 Libra / Draco the Dragon includes the sinuous, open-mouthed “dragon” of the Ural mountains” coming down from the pole.” One of the most interesting of these decans is 2nd decan Leo / Centaurus Chiron which the Sun transits August 1through 10. The Chiron story is activated each year as the Sun crosses mid-Leo. These and other decan star signs play key roles in this time of transition to the new era. Global consciousness is quickened through awareness of the integrated mythological fabric of the world.
Lughnasa/Lammas is the mid-Leo cross-quarter. It occurs when the Sun crosses 15 Leo = 05 W Longitude, the degree of Belfast (literally, the stronghold of the Sun god Bel) and Michael’s Mount in southwest England. (Loch More in Scotland, Carnac in France, and El Eglab in Africa also lie at midpoint Leo in the Earth Zodiac.) Alan Leo’s symbol for 15 Leo is ‘An angel of the Sun [Michael], striking the Earth with the point of a dazzling sword.’ St. Michael’s ley, one of England’s most powerful ley lines, conducts the fire of mid-Leo across England from Michael’s Mount at the tip of Cornwall through Glastonbury Tor to Bury St. Edmunds and the eastern shore. (See Twelve Tribe Nations and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape by John Michell and Christine Rhone). Michael is the angel of fire and the angel of the Sun. The Druids annually lit bonfires along St Michael’s Ley beginning at Michael’s Mount and continuing through Glastonbury Tor and Avebury. Fire carries spirit power in this time and place as Ganges water channels spiritual power through mid-Scorpio. Also note: The fires lit on mountain tops in Tolkien’s book The Return of the King are more than “signal fires,” these fires are lit in their time (equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarters) to awaken the Earth Spirit.
The August 9 New Moon occurs at 18 Leo = Glastonbury, England. Here the mysteries of the Holy Grail were revealed and later hidden within the earth to seed an awakening in a later time. This is the time. Now in this 8/9 – 9/8 Moon Cycle a bridge is created between the old world and the new and a channel is opened for knowledge of the past to flow through and combine with the new spirit of the time to meld the consciousness of a new world.
The most significant points in the zodiac are the four seasonal ingress degrees (equinoxes and solstices) and the cross-quarter degrees (midpoints of the fixed signs). Likewise the most significant points in the Earth Zodiac are the longitudinal degrees that correspond to these 8 key points in the zodiac. “The year is a circle around the world” as Black Elk once wisely said.
These 8 turning times in the year cycle mark the key festivals of the Celts and the Druids. The Druids were masters of celebration and they developed a sophisticated system of natural energy engineering by living in harmony with natural rhythms. From their tradition comes much of our understanding of solar eclipses. A total eclipse of the Sun is the most important event that can happen in the heavens because it signals a renewing of the Earth’s relationship to the Sun, one of the Druids two primary celestial deities. The other was the Moon in relation to the Earth. The Earth/Moon Spirit the Druids called Cerridwen and the Sun they named Hu or Lugh. Ock, the alternate name for the Sun deity signified the sacred Oak and the eight (Ock) solar gates each year when oak is burned to open the way between worlds. The solar power gate next following a solar eclipse (Aug 6-8 this year) was believed to be especially important for the activation of the new consciousness the solar eclipse represents. This is a time to fire on a new mythic story, a time for global awakening, a time to open a new chapter of creation. So what is this new chapter to be?
The story can be found in the cosmic pattern of the July 11 solar eclipse. Before we go into it though, it’s important to keep in mind that this total eclipse of the Sun sets the course of what will be unfolding until the next total solar eclipse on 13 Nov 2012. The reason this is true is because when the Sun – Moon – Earth perfectly align there is first a brief break in the energetic connection between Earth and Sun followed by a resetting of our relationship with the Solar Logos at a higher turn of the creation spiral. This brings us into a new chapter in the ever unfolding story of our planetary life. Now for the story:
The July 11 solar eclipse occurred in the 20th degree of Cancer conjunct Adhara, “the maiden” star identified with Tarot Key 2, the High Priestess. This means that this archetype that includes Persephone and Mary Magdalene will be emerging powerfully in the world over these next two years. Looking at the chart as a whole we see that “terrible T-square” formed by the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction opposing Saturn with all square Pluto in early cardinal signs. These aspects together signify challenges and tensions leading to a complete change of state, the total transformation (Pluto and Uranus) of the king (Jupiter) and the order of things in the world (Saturn). The other important pattern to note is a large M-pattern similar to the one on the Ace of Cups in Tarot. This symbol and this card represent St. Mary Magdalene the bearer of the sacred vessel of feminine nature that spans all the planes of creation. This vessel is a channel for the light continuum. The M-pattern includes Venus trine Pluto (the transforming power of love) and Mercury trine Jupiter/Uranus (being the hierophant and telling how to transform the king and the old order of the world. Quincunxes from Mercury and Venus invoke magic. In this chart, the M-pattern resolves the tensions represented by the T-square.
Additionally in this chart we see many indicators of the coming “shift of the poles” as this pertains to sexual roles. The sword of truth is given into the hands of woman now because she can be trusted to restore the balance. Then woman set free and self-realized mediates the birth of the new masculine consciousness that will in its own way and time bring new light to the world. An ancient parallel is found in Persephone giving birth to Dionysus, there’s another apocryphal story!
Also in this chart, the eclipsing Sun and Moon squares Eris/Persephone at 22 Aries 15. This square challenges and stimulates awakening of this newly emerging feminine archetype. And note that this 7/11/2010 solar eclipse cycle (ending 11/13/2012) carries the resonances of Tarot Key 11 Justice and Key 2 the High Priestess along with every month day 11. Justice is the Tarot card of Libra, one of the two zodiacal signs ruled by Venus. The High Priestess is identified with Persephone, the co-ruler of Libra (The curtain with pomegranates behind the High Priestess signifies Persephone).
Libra is ruled by Venus the goddess of love and beauty and higher truth. Venus rules the higher mind from which come the pure ideals that become beauty in form. Venus also brings 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. “Venus is to the earth as the soul is to the personality” according to Esoteric Astrology. The inner ruler of Libra is Persephone and she is said to be a deeper vibration of Venus. More of the mysteries of Libra will be revealed as we approach this sign in September. For now let’s consider how this all relates to the zodiac on Earth and what will likely be unfolding in the coming months.
The stellium of planets (Saturn, Venus and Mars) coming together in early Libra during this solar eclipse Moon cycle (7/11-8/9-2010) invokes a shift in consciousness from the extremes to a yin / yang balance. The beginning of Libra is like the beginning of night, the first hour following Sunset when day and night, yang and yin are harmonically balance. This is the best time to meditate to bring peace to the world, our world within and the greater world without. The ancient astrologers located the river Styx in the early degrees of Libra about where Baghdad is the zodiac on Earth. No wonder the Tower of Babel was built here where inner and outer worlds connect. The 1st decan of Libra constellation is Serpens the serpent who teaches Aesclepius the art of medicine. It should come as no surprise that here where our mythic history locates the Garden of Eden is where we find the serpent. The Serpens decan Tarot card is the 2 of Swords: a woman blindfolded sitting with her back to a calm body of water and arms crossing her heart and hands on opposite shoulders. This is a mudra for shifting to day to night mode of being in the Sunset hour, it is something to do before meditation. This pattern of two hands holding crossed swords also appears on the gate to Badhdad. And Saddam Hussein was discovered in what was then referred to as a snake hole! This is all very interesting, but to get to the crux of what’s really going on now we have to look at the next two decans:
2nd decan Libra is Draco, the dragon that Aphrodite (or Hera in other accounts) sets to guard her golden apple tree. 3rd decan Libra is Lupus, the wolf that Chiron (constellation Centaurus) brings to the fiery altar. It’s important to remember that each of these decans has a high side and a shadow side, a positive expression and a misapplication. There is a good wolf and an evil wolf in the Native American myth and the one that lives is the one we feed. Now at the end of the age the Dragon and the Wolf appear as powerful elements of the collective shadow bent on destruction. These sectors of the world (Draco = 50-60 degrees east and Lupus = 60-70 east) include some of the most violent parts of the world and the areas of the world (along with equatorial Africa) where women suffer the most oppression. This is more than coincidental, there is a direct relationship between the repression of feminine nature and violence in the world. Why in this region particularly? Because it is here in the 3rd decan Virgo (40-50 east) and in Venus/Persephone ruled Libra where the new feminine spirit is emerging that will ultimately break free from the tyranny of the old global order. When there is peace in the Mid-east there will be peace everywhere, when women are free here, women will be free everywhere. Between now and the 11/13/’12 solar eclipse the shadow wolf and shadow dragon (named Ladon in Greek myth) will be vanquished and woman will be set free.
Mid-Leo Lammas Power Gate Aug 6-8
Lammas is the season, so the wise folk say, When love can grow as much by night, As love can grow by day. ~ anonymous
August 6-8 is one of the four fixed sign ‘cross quarter day’ power gates and one of the 8 fire festivals or solar power gates in the annual cycle of celebration. The Druids revered the Sun as the most powerful manifestation of universal spirit and believed this spiritual power most present at the 8 seasonal turning points. The central way of connecting with spirit at these times was simply circling fire “Sunwise” / clockwise in celebration. Every circle becomes an eight-spoked wheel like the Wheel of Fortune of Tarot. This is more especially so when we dance the circle on one of the eight spokes of the year!
The Sun crosses mid-Leo on August 7th (exact 10:51 am edt / 3:51 pm gmt). Each cross-quarter is the midpoint of one of the fixed signs of the zodiac. These signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius ‘fix’ the power of the elements focusing their energies through the fixed sign midpoints, the elemental ‘power gates’. Mid-Leo is the Power Gate of Fire and, as Leo rules the heart, it is the Power Gate of Love. Mid-Leo transmutes and focuses the fire of the heart.
In Celtic lore, Lughnasa is when the power of the Sun god Lugh is felt most strongly. Whatever is seeded now unfolds its influence through the August 7-22 hora, what is brought forth now shapes the harvest.
“Lugh, the ‘Shining One,” was an ancient Irish hero and Sun god. Known also as the ‘Wonderworker,’ he was a magician, poet, warrior, storyteller, craftsman and ruler… Lugh was credited with the invention of horsemanship and horse races were featured in his festival. On this day too, horses and cattle were ridden through rivers because the Tiatha de Danaan believed strongly in the health-giving and purifying powers of water. Offerings of wildflowers and grain were made to ensure a good harvest and were placed on hilltops, at sacred wells and at standing stones… Lammas is the time for wishes; wishing the crops to thrive and the harvest to be bountiful. It is also the time to harvest our own wishes and dreams. Lugh, the Wonderworker, is a reminder that anything is possible and the possibilities are unlimited. In the spirit of the Tiatha de Danaan, an ancient tradition of this time is to wade into the nearest body of water, to be cleansed and healed. In the spirit of the harvest festival, we may now reap the benefits of all that we have sown.” -Victoria Williams, Of Ritual Fire and Feasting: Celebrations of Nature’s Power
The old world Druids and nature magicians celebrated 8 fire festivals in the year when magic is most potent. These are the solstices, the equinoxes and the 4 “cross-quarter days” including Lammas, the midpoint of the Summer season. Ritual fires at tne cross-quarter brings into focus, clears and seeds possibilities (and good luck) for the following season. When we don’t create these clearing fires, Mother Nature creates her own. Lightning strikes cause many fires especially at these times (and more especially in this year). Small ritual fires at places of natural power can offset Nature’s need for larger fires. Lammas, the cross-quarter day of the summer season, is a time most favored for mountain top ceremonial fire (a candle may do) and communal picnics.
The August 6-8 World Peace Festival commemorates the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This great tragedy and the US Embassy Bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 7th 1998 remind us of the shadow aspect of this Power Gate of Fire. The more people honor this time with spiritual awareness the less will be its negative effects. The most energetically charged locations and times may have effect for good or ill according to how these energies are channeled. The more energy is uplifted and directed positively the less will be expressed otherwise. Mountain tops condition all that is below. Whatever comes to be in the mountain heights will influence the realm. True noon is an ideal time to be on a mountain aligning with spirit. (The path to the north pole spiritual center clears when the Aurora Cam arrow points to our place on Earth: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/aurora_cam.html)
The primary reason for going to the mountain is that solar prana is more present at higher elevations where magnetic inversions occur and pranic energy or plasma from the Sun flows down the magnetic lines of force. Jesus often went to the mountain to pray because there he could better be heard by “the father who art in heaven.”
At this time followers of the old tradition would go to a sacred mountain or hill to share a feast that included bread of the first harvest, hence the name Lammas or ‘loaf mass’. Bread made now or brought to the mountain and blessed there is believed to be imbued with a transcendent spirit like the Hobbits Lammas bread in Lord of the Rings. This hill top ceremony may also be done at any time during the August 7-22 Hora. Note: Each day has 24 hours including 8 canonical hours, a year has 24 hora (half signs) and 8 of these are canonical hora including Aug 7-22. Each of these horae carry the power of its inception, the equinox or solstice or cross-quarter when it begins.
The classical Mayan way of ritual celebration is to take food and flowers to a mountain top power spot and lay these out in a mandala-like pattern. The food is then blessed, presented as a offering to the gods and finally consumed in feasting so vital energy focused on the mountain is taken into the body and the spiritual ideal is made flesh. “Apukuna are the divine lords of the sacred mountains. They have been worshipped since pre-Incan times and are considered to be the most powerful of all traditional deities. The Quechua show the utmost respect toward the apukuna and acknowledge their importance in ritual and ceremony.” – Pachamama’s Children, Carol Cumes & Romulo Valencia
“Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we.” I Kings 20:22; “Get thee up into the high mountain.” Is. 40:9; “Wisdom standeth in the top of high places.” Pr. 8:1,2; “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” Ps. 121:1; “The mountains and high hills shall break forth into singing.” Is. 55:12; “The mountains shall bring peace to the people.” Ps. 72:3 ; “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill.” Ps. 65:12
Celebration Note: If you can’t go to the mountain, high hill or little hill, seek some other place of natural power for the mid-Leo power gate August 6th – 8th. This may be a city center as most cities have grown up around a place of natural power. Think sacred sites nearby and feel your way to the right place to be. Or put yourself there in imagination so your light body will be there.
The solar power gates and solar eclipses were key to Druid natural science. Stonehenge was built to predict eclipses. Following a total solar eclipse (11 July 2010) the next solar power gate (August 6-8) would be especially significant for celebration. At this time the Druids would stoke up their fires and beat drums to power on a new creation.
Lughnasa, the mid-Leo “power gate of fire,” is a time for transforming, re-imaging, realizing dreams, actualizing ambitions, renewing cultural ideals, uniting worlds. Mid-Leo August 6-8 is a special time for illuminated vision. Dreams and portents now tell us what will be.
🙂 For more about Steve, lunar cycles and celebrations read Steve Nelson’s ‘Moon Magic’ in
Natural Awakenings http://awakeningcharlotte.com/content/?s=moon+magic
and his new interview at http://awakeningcharlotte.com/content/2010/05/31/hes-a-magic-man/
also follow his updates on facebook http://www.facebook.com/StevenLonnieNelson
Check out Steve’s webpage at www.GaiaAstrology.com
Create your in life powerfully with your awareness and your choices!! 🙂
Steve Nelson & The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz & Marion Ross)