Beltane: Monday’s New Moon on the Cross Quarter
Dear Friend and Reader:
There are actually eight seasons in the year. Each of the traditional four seasons is divided in half, for a total of eight, six-week mini-seasons. We reach the turning point within one of the official seasons when the Sun’s apparent position is halfway between an equinox and a solstice; that is, when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of any one of the fixed signs, which happens Monday. The fixed signs or the signs of the fixed cross of the heavens are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Memorize them! They are the core of the zodiac.
What’s interesting about Monday’s New Moon is that it occurs with the Sun exactly on the cross-quarter. As the Earth orbits the Sun, it moves through the seasons in an extremely predictable cycle. The Moon’s cycle is slightly off that kilter: there are 12 signs of the zodiac per year and approximately 13 lunar cycles per year. So the lunation cycle is always gaining a little time on the solar cycle. (This is why the Jewish holidays and Easter slide around the calendar — they are planned based on the lunar months.)
Monday’s New Moon is exactly at the midpoint of Taurus — precisely between the spring equinox and summer solstice. This rarely happens; I have not had a chance to ask one of my more technically competent friends to figure out how often this happens, but it’s rare enough. The obvious question is the significance of this astrologically, and it’s in two parts. One part is that we get the “symbolism” (lacking a better term) of the precision. Though there are many ways to time Beltane and it is traditionally May Day (the 1st), I recall from many past lives as a devoted astrologer to the High Priestesses that you time the rituals by the positions of both the Sun and the Moon.
Beltane is the holiday about balancing the male and the female, and it’s a beautiful metaphor to have them exactly together on the cross quarter. There is a deep seeding moment here, and as I (and my colleagues Rachel and Jude, who have written tomorrow’s lead essay in Planet Waves) have suggested, you can use it to your benefit and that of your community. If you don’t think that there is a connection between celebrating Beltane and cultivating prosperity, I suggest you give it a try. This is not magical thinking, which I shun at every turn. Rather, this is about as practical as planting seeds in the spring and harvesting them in the autumn.
The second half of the equation is a bit more technical. If you’ve been reading Planet Waves for more than 10 minutes, you’ve probably heard me talk about the Aries Point. This is the first degree of Aries and by extension the first degree of Cancer, Libra and Capricorn — that is, the cardinal points, collectively. As shorthand, all four are called the Aries Point, though I’m developing separate delineations for all four of the points. They are, however, closely related. They are all associated with big events that link the public and private orders of reality. Glance at this piece called The Personal is Political for some additional insight.
To make a long story a bit longer, the Sun and Moon form a conjunction exactly 45 degrees from the Aries Point on Monday. Astrology is based on math. Beneath all the signs, symbols, aspects, cycles, archetypes and the whole freakin’ cosmic flea circus is a lot of math (ask anyone who programs an ephemeris). In the maths of it all, anything related to the 90-degree aspect is (for some odd reason) supreme to our plane of reality. That means half of 90 degrees (45 degrees), it means double 90 degrees (180 degrees) and it means 135 degrees (90 + 45 = 135). Don’t glaze over from the numbers, this is as easy as playing with Legos. Be thankful you don’t have to figure out what time Eris is conjunct 1992 QB1.
So when we get a big alignment on the Aries Point or one of its derivatives (Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) or when you get an alignment at one of the cross quarter points (15 degrees of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius), you get some potent energy moving.
What do you do about it? As your astrologer, I recommend that you get the energy going. Do it however you can. For example, drum, dance, go outside, have sex, masturbate, make art, make fire, get your friends together, have a party, clean your fish tank, plant the garden, forgive the debts of people who owe you money, give gifts, say yes in general, call your therapist and see if you can get an appointment for Monday and clean out a psychic closet, forgive someone who has given you a hard time in the past, cast divination, take the day off…you get the picture.
Remember that this is the day of balancing the male and female energies, the basic polarity we contain, express and (as it works out) struggle with in the physical world. Part of this game can involve shifting the energy of a monogamous relationship specifically by opening it up in some way. You will not keel over and croak, I promise you. The chances are your relationship will get more intimate, not less so. You can confront your jealousy and make a tangible commitment to letting go of your attachment that you demonstrate in action and not merely in words. This will help get the energy moving, flowing and growing. This, in turn, helps you manifest, create and develop prosperity, which in turn you share in some way and keep the exchange going.
You can help the process by sending loving energy toward lovers (i.e., people in couples); wishing hot sex for people besides yourself (shock them pleasantly and SAY the words); keep your own energy fresh and sexy and smile back when people send you a lusty glance; encourage your partner to share his or her fantasies and cheer them on; and say yes in general. If you are single, you have a few choices here. One is to fire up some unusually hot selfloving. Dare yourself to go places you don’t usually go. Get with a mirror or two. Write your fantasies out and let someone see them. Submit a contribution to Solotouch.com, the hottest website on the Internet because it’s written by real people. Get out your digital camera and make some racy photos of yourself and dare yourself to share them. Call up someone who has been propositioning you and feel the energy out — this would be a great time to say yes. If you don’t want to marry the person, explain your offer, that this is a one-time gig in honor of the Goddess. Yes, practice “safer sex” but get wet! Sex is all about water.
Notice if you feel guilty or “impure” for any of this. Notice whose voice it is in there giving you that message. This is called shadow material, and it will often arise where sex and love are present. Resentment, anger, guilt, fear and/or fear of diseases are all part of the same negative thought complex that blocks energy, vitality, intimacy and prosperity. If you are struggling with any of this, remember that you are part of nature. You have a right to exist. Go beyond the struggle for self-esteem and jump right to self-awareness. If someone judges you or if you fear they will, stand strong in your life force.
You are alive, just like a tree, a bird or a skunk, and you not only have a right to exist: you actually do exist. This is not a debatable point: it is a cosmic, scientific, spiritual and practical fact.
All hail the Beltane New Moon!
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 2, 2008, #712 – By ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You’re starting to make tangible progress clearing up the strife and struggle of yesterday and even yesteryear. They have done their damage, but you have the gift of healing. Healing is almost always born of awareness. Suddenly it seems that you can actually think about your situation in terms that remind you there really are solutions to anything you may face. However, please be aware how much of the struggle I’m describing has everything to do with your long history of insecurity. You will probably feel a lot more confident when Mars reaches fire sign Leo after many months of stirring up your worst fears. But never forget that those fears have a source. It would be wise to look directly at it, rather than away.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Taurus is supposedly the sign best suited to the acquisition of wealth, and the one that never has to worry about money. But I have seen plenty ofexamples where this is simply not true. We are currently in the season of Beltane, which is the ancient Pagan holiday that equates the flow of resources with erotic celebration and surrender. That would be a fine place to start. But the next two months will give you an opportunity for an extended review about your extremely mixed emotions and divided values where money is concerned. In many respects you feel two entirely different ways about the most important financial issues in your life. If you see these conflicts for what they are, you will be able to resolve them. They are, by the way, comprised mostly of intellectual garbage. The truth is much deeper.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury has returned to your sign, and due to a retrograde that takes place later in the month, it remains there through July 10. This is an extended opportunity for review of your journey on this Earth. There are questions about yourself that you’ve avoided; there are others you’re not aware of yet. Mercury retrograde is some of the most beautiful astrology in support of the quest for the truth, and this is made deeply personal when this planet is in one’s own sign. One thing you must resolve to do is recognize a revelation when you see and feel it. The sky does not always crack open; rather, it may arrive with the subtle feeling of a paradox being resolved, or two parts of yourself that were long unfriendly to one another finally making up and deciding it makes more sense to work together than at cross-purposes.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your sign is more influenced by your previous sign, Gemini, than you might imagine. You can take a look at that entry for some useful information about what the late spring and early summer have in store for you, though there are a few added dimensions. Mercury in Gemini is about seeing your own inner contradictions for what they are. There is a deep space in our inner world where absolutely nothing adds up to a logical outcome. There are inner contradictions that you simply don’t understand and can barely even admit the existence of. Yet these can provide an enormous source of energy and strength. As Mercury takes up residence in the deepest, most sensitive angle of your chart for more than two months, I can offer you a very simple equation for life: awareness equals power.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
For about five months give or take, Mars has been worming around your 12th solar house. Mars in the 12th can stir up a lot of fears, particularly on the emotional level, but I gather that you’ve gone a lot further toward resolving your worst anxieties than you have toward becoming a victim of them. For Leo, the shadow side of the equation is the fear that you will need to take care of everyone else, but nobody will be there to take care of you. This may not be a conscious thought, but deep beneath your most sublime doubts, it’s lurking around. As you know, people do take care of you; they love you even when you act like a dork; they forgive your high opinion of yourself because it’s sincere and they need to feel better about themselves. But fear is not logical. If only it were, there would be a lot less of the stuff.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You need two careers. Those two careers need to have a direct relationship, preferably harmonious. If they conflict, you will waste your strength. It’s a lot healthier if they work together, and inform one another. I would venture a guess that you’ve done pretty well at developing your dual path, perhaps without even knowing it. Over the next couple of months you are set up to experience a reconciliation process between them. Your mind, that is, you, are the thing that they both have in common. You cannot, in truth, step out of the continuity of your own life, so they already bear the signature of your existence. Most of what you will be doing on this journey of mending together seemingly different parts of yourself involves raising your awareness, seeing the common threads and making certain adjustments that create a more convenient life.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Circumstances beyond your control may feel like they are dragging you into a partnership or financial situation that you have every reason to doubt. These doubts stem from the sense that in order to get what you want, you must somehow submit to the values of another person. This may seem like admitting to a debility of some kind. But you are not as far from an agreement as things may seem at the moment. There is considerable common ground, though you’re going to be the one who finds it, and who guides the conversation in that direction. Don’t be fooled if anyone seems to be set in their ways, stubborn or unwilling to listen. The whole situation is howling for the creation of something new: a new idea, a new solution, some new value on how to approach life.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Life may be drawing you in the direction of your intimate involvements, but you need to invest a significant amount of your time doing a kind of personal inventory; an inner audit. This will likely involve money and it will surely involve your feelings. You’ve probably received some sign or message the past few days queuing you into this necessity. You have enough time to find out what you need to learn, and I can all but promise you that you’ll come upon some significant surprises in aspects of your life where you thought you knew all there was to know. Some of this will involve what your partners feel and think; more of it will involve what you feel and think. At the end of the process, you will know more, feel better and be in a greatly improved position to insist on fairness, and to offer it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
People around you will dance to the beat of their own drummer. Make room for them; clear the floor and roll away the carpets. Encourage them to turn up the volume or trade their _doumbek_ for a _djembe_. The world has long ago got used to the fact that you fly your very own airplane and land in your very own airport. Now you get to make space for others going through their complex gyrations, feel what it’s like to make agreements, get out of them and maybe make them all over again. You get the fabulous job of saying yes, being a cheerleader and maybe even writing the occasional larger-than-expected check. You can afford all of it; you are bigger than all of it; it’s time to compose several new stanzas in the old ballad that goes “live and let live.”
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You may feel you need to cut back, reduce and, in general, shrink down. That can be good preparation for expansion and growth: remove what is not necessary, eliminate waste, and focus on efficiency, then the added strength enables you to develop more rapidly. Remember that and nothing else is the theme of your need to do less or spend less — not, for example, a reason like preparing for lean times. This is the best of all seasons to focus on creating abundance — and I would put the emphasis on the word creating. Abundance is not something that just comes to you; you establish it by your relationships, your willingness and, in particular, your willingness to take a chance you would not have considered yesterday. Many may perceive you as a cautious person, but that is an exterior quality that thinly veils your high-integrity brand of opportunism.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
For years, you have been struggling to define who you are. To some extent this has involved assessing where you are but, if you ask me, not nearly enough. Where are you now? The stars in their courses are reminding you that this is the time to put down roots, with the certainty of trust that can only come from deep and abiding faith. Every human being has a need to feel safe on this Earth, but few ever come close. You are more than close: you are standing at the threshold of authentic confidence and security that is the product of many generations of preparation. The key is noticing where you are and the conditions of that place. What I am hinting here is that some of the best information in your environment may be the most obvious, and therefore, subject to being overlooked.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Is money here to serve you, or are you here to serve it? This is the question to ask at this moment of your life. The answer may help clear up years of debate over the worth of money, whether it’s good or evil and what purpose it offers. As with technology, sex and food, we can easily forget who is the boss. The thing to remember about money is that it’s a form of energy: a tangible form of power. Yet it has no moral value of its own. It’s only worth what we say it’s worth. Problems arise when we make it the end and not the means; when we give value that it never had, and will never actually have. If you untangle this seemingly minor point, you may find yourself with more of the stuff on your hands — and interesting ways to put it to work.