Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 31st - Blue Moon

If the moon were actually made of green cheese, would it be made of blue cheese during a Blue Moon?  I happen to like blue cheese.  A lot of people don't, but then, a lot of people are sissies.

There are two definitions of a Blue Moon.  The first, and the one that we are most familiar with refers to a month with two full moons.  This is the simpler definition and some say, the least correct.  The second definition states that a Blue Moon occurs when there are four full moons in a given season (Spring, Summer, etc) instead of the normal three.  The third moon in a four moon seasonal cycle is referred to as a Blue Moon.  I vote for whichever definition throws the best party.  Not cosmically correct, but what the heck.  Let's take the first definition and run with it.  There can be two Blue Moons in a calendar year under definition number one.  However, the last time we experienced two Blue Moons in the same year was in 1999.  January and March both had Blue Moons that year, but February had no full moon at all.  We will see a similar situation in 2018.

The Blue Moon of August 31st occurs at 8 degrees Pisces with the star Skat in conjunction (at almost the same degree) with Chiron. Skat is the star representing the shinbone in the constellation of Aquarius, The Water Bearer and Chiron, an asteroid discovered in 1977, orbits between Saturn and Uranus.  It takes Chiron 50 years to complete an orbit of the Sun.  You have to admire that kind of dedication.  Chiron governs the unity between mind and spirit and also spans the gap between our past and future.  Chiron’s presence right now is particularly significant to us as you’ll read in a moment.

A Blue Moon has no astrological significance of its own.  What makes the full moon of August 31st exceptional is that is occurs in Pisces.  This is a moon of mystical connection.  Perceptions and intuition will be running higher than usual, creating excellent developmental opportunities.  Doors to other realms open more freely to us around the 31st and our creative impulses receive a tremendous surge with Lady Moon’s sextile (aspect of 60 degrees) to Pluto.  Mars entered Scorpio on the 23rd which means our ability to focus is razor sharp right now.  What we perceive, we can achieve.  Take advantage of this mega boost and power through your personal blocks and inhibitions.  

If the Mars-Scorpio power surge is leaving you a little frazzled, (And trust me, as a Scorpio myself, I know it can.) spend more time with your tarot cards and meditations.  Here’s why.  Chiron's influence, combined with the trine of the Moon and Mars sets the stage for deep and powerful mediations during the 31st.  The trine (an aspect of 120 degrees - see blog, A Void Is A Void...) enables us to more easily access our higher consciousness.  Chiron’s influence unifies the collective points of our existence; mind, body, past, present and future into a single axis.  And from this perspective we can heal, manifest, or simply celebrate our connection to Source. We understand the right questions to ask ourselves and find the answers more readily. 

On a cautionary note, be careful what vibrational level you allow into your day to day activities.  In other words, a weekend horror movie marathon is not the best idea right now.  Stick with cerebral comedies.  Laughter is always a good thing.  Steer clear of things that pull you away from living consciously.  This is a time for you to access the 
deepest places within yourself.  Do it and you’ll be surprised at the answers you receive.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Virgo - Analytical and Precise, or Fussbudget? # 9, The Hermit


#9, The Hermit who rules Virgo
withdraws gains wisdom through for solitude
and introspection RWCS, US Games Edition
If you're planning a major event like a wedding or a safari, Virgos are great to have around.  Not only are they by nature, organized and meticulous, they are also clever with their hands, intelligent and when they are centered, they are very charming.  Take a look at the people you know who belong to service groups like ELKS, or who sit on committees for charity organizations.  There's bound to be more than a few Virgos in the mix.  Members of the sixth sign of the Zodiac can't resist the chance to serve humanity anymore than they can resist the chance to organize.

Virgos compartmentalize their feelings better than most of us and
#1, The Magician governs Virgo's ruling planet,
Mercury.  The Magician is focused intention
and manifestation, "Wizard's Tarot" ©
by Corrine Kenner and John J. Blumen
because they can do so with such ease, they are often accused of being unfeeling.  Far from it.  Although they may be very sympathetic to someone's plight, they conceal their concern under a facade of detachment.  That's very handy in a crisis when it's better to let cooler heads prevail.  Virgos are articulate, have a good grasp of finite principles, but are less at home with abstract concepts and personal philosophies.  If you're going to theorize around a Virgo, make certain your ideas can be attributed to an established school of thought.  They like staying inside the lines.  However, if you are waging a campaign of any kind, a Virgo is a masterful tactician.

With all these excellent qualities, why are Virgos the Zodiac's poster child for OCD?  That would be because Virgos are perfectionists.  Luckily, Virgos are also fair-minded and rarely ask more from anyone else than they are willing to give of themselves.  They will also cut you a break.  Of course, that's where we come back to the whole issue of being centered and grounded, isn't it?  Ungrounded, Virgos can be nit-picking fussbudgets.

In tarot, Virgos are represented by #9 in the Major Arcana, The Hermit.  This is not surprising given Virgo's hidden depths.  The Hermit is a seeker of truth and often withdraws from life to sort out inner turmoil.  He learns his lessons well and when he emerges from his self-imposed exile, he is both stronger and more insightful for his time in solitude.  The Hermit, like a Virgo, will return to the world, holding up a lamp to light the way.  They are not a guru, nor are they interested in becoming one.  They simply light the path and it's up to you whether or not you choose to follow it.

Virgo is an earth sign and its members usually prefer the tones of terra firma around them - greens, browns, shades of yellow and orange, etc.  Their ruling planet is Mercury, which governs communication.  If you are in a relationship with a Virgo, honor their time and space while they are in exile.  Likewise, insist they respect your need to be less than perfect and maybe just a tad bit messy.

Up Date for August 26, 2013 - Mercury entered Virgo on August 23rd and remains until the wee hours of September 9th!

Mercury in Virgo combines intellect with an appreciation for finely tuned systems.  Expect a quicker than average grasp of patterns and rhythms, as well as an almost uncanny ability to refine and reduce the complex into the easily understood.  Mercury  is in its home sign and that means heightened communications all across the board.  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Belly Dance and the Three of Cups

( A re-post from 2012 to celebrate the dancer in all of us. Be Brilliant! )

There are several cards that represent celebration in tarot.  My favorite is the Three of Cups.  It is usually depicted with three women toasting life.  Sometimes, in certain decks, they are shown dancing and that’s my favorite depiction of all.

Yesterday there was a belly dance swap meet in the garden of the Empress and I was there.  Every year, my teacher, Wedad, who has been dancing since the 70’s, opens her backyard to the Portland belly dance community.  We bring food to share, as well as baubles and bangles to sell, or trade.  There’s more than two acres of yard - highly unusual in an urban setting.  There are apple and plum trees, logan and black berries, as well as a wonderful blend of native foliage that forms an amazing backdrop for the oriental carpets laid out on the ground.  We dance on the carpets, if so inclined.  Imagine.  Belly dancing on the earth in front of friends - just as the dance has been performed for more than 7,000 years.
In tarot the Empress carries an abundant, nurturing energy. 
My favorite 3 of Cups for obvious reasons
"OSHO Zen Tarot"© by Deva Pama
She gives peace and gentle guidance.  Sitting in her garden eases stress and fosters acts of creativity within you.  Yesterday, sitting and talking with some of my favorite women in the world nourished my soul.  We clapped in time to the dancers’ music, trilled our tongues in the traditional zaghareet of the middle east that shows our joy in, and approval of, the dancers movements.  Sunlight filtered through the trees, reflecting off brightly-colored baladi and khaleeji dresses.  If you didn’t bring a costume, no worries.  Women handed you scarves and skirts from the pile of things they’d brought with them to sell.  We were transported to distant places and times; to Bedouin campfires, to Ghawazee dancers performing in Egypt and the Ouled Nail coming down from the Moroccan hills to earn their dowries by dancing on street corners.   

The Empress, fertility, abundance
from RWCS by US Games®
At one time or another my teacher has taught all the women who assembled in her garden.  We frequently dance together in shows, or at workshops, but it’s in her garden where we ground and strengthen as women as well as dancers.  Yesterday we shared stories of our families, our childhoods, as well as our dance experiences.  We became the women in the Three of Cups, celebrating our lives through both words and the rhythms of our dances.   

In 7,000 years the form and content of belly dancing has changed, but its underlying root structure remains constant. The dance still connects dancers to the earth and to the energy of all the dancers who’ve come before them.  Belly dance, like the Three of Cups is a celebration of life. 


PS: The dancer taking the stage in the first photo is Lady Oracle herself at "Saqra's Showcase".

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"A Void Is A Void, of Course of Course" ( Apologies to "Mr. Ed") or "Slipping Into The Moon's, Void of Course"

Our moon completes one revolution around the Earth every
twenty-nine days, twelve hours, forty-three minutes and roughly 11 seconds.  During her monthly journey, our lady also travels through the twelve signs of the Zodiac and graciously presents herself to the planets she meets along the way.  When the moon and planets meet in the same sign, their angular interface is known in astrological terms as an 'aspect.'  The type of aspect they share, like any angle, is measured in degrees and seconds.  Once Lady Moon has met and passed all the planets within a given sign, we say that the moon is 'Void of Course' and that there will be no further influences from her until she enters another sign with new planets. When the moon is Void of Course, or, VoC, there is a brief pause in the breath of the Universe and you should, be all means, honor that pause.

It takes the moon approximately 2 1/2 days to enter and leave a sign in the Zodiac.  Consequentially, VoC periods occur about every 2 1/2 days.  These voids can last a few moments, several hours and occasionally, for the entire 2 1/2 day cycle.  That means we experience roughly twelve to thirteen VoC moons in a month.  We often sleep right through them as they can also occur in the middle of the night.  There is some debate amongst astrologers as to how many planets should be included in the calculation for lunar voids, as well as what particular aspects should be considered.  (See the basic aspect table below)  Some astrologers favour Ptolemy's ancient system, while others wish to include more newly discovered bodies like Pluto and Charron.  I'm not convinced that it really matters.

The truly remarkable thing about a lunar VoC is that the Universe, in its wisdom, has created time and space for inconsequential drifting.  You'll hear the usual warnings about starting new ventures, unexpected results, etc.  Wiccan's and magician's won't normally try spell work during a VoC.   Regardless of all of that, during a VoC you have the Universe's permission...no, assertion that it's right and proper to slow down and simply enjoy the state of being.  You might feel a little aimless, slightly ungrounded as if life has an unreal quality to it.  Not really a surprise.  Reality as we perceive it is, after all,  is merely an illusion.

It's suggested that we use the minutes, hours and days of VoC to connect to ourselves, to promote our spiritual growth.  A hike in the woods, good music, a deck of tarot cards - whatever it is that helps you connect to your higher self.  During  VoC periods meditations can be deeper, more profound.  We have the ability to more easily slip our earthly bonds and do spiritual work in the higher realms.

Western society moves at an abominably fast pace.  As
Deva Padma created the marvelous
"OSHO Zen Tarot"©, a deck designed
to lift simultaneously lift the spirit and ground
our emotions
society increases its expectation of our productivity and status, we frequently judge ourselves as falling short of arbitrary guidelines as to who we should be.  We become so caught up in achieving, often only for the act of achievement itself, that we lose sight of what we initially wanted to do with our lives.  During the next VoC ask yourself whose guidelines you've chosen to use - your own, or those manufactured for you on glossy, media pages.

On August 15th at 21 minutes past midnight PST, we will experience the Moon's next Void of Course.  It will last until 10:04 a.m.  Here's your opportunity to begin your quest to find your own guidelines about who you are, what you believe matters above all else and what you truly want to create as your spiritual framework.  Just you and your Creator doing some inconsequential drifting.  Turn off the morning rhetoric and instead, start your day with a mediation.  Take a moment before 10:00 a.m. to just sit quietly in this space in time, on this tiny planet and honor the peace of the void.



Term                       Degree or Relationship To Each Other              

Conjunction          approximately on the same degree

Semi Sextile           30 degrees

Sextile                    60 degrees

Square                   90 degrees

Trine                    120 degrees

Opposition           180 degrees

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Perseid Meteor Showers Peak August 11th to the 13th - Beware of Triffids!

The Eagle Nebula which has nothing to do with Perseus,
but you must admit, makes a delightful picture!
How many wishes can you make in an hour?  Fifty? Eighty?  A hundred? You may get your chance to find out this coming weekend.  During the nights of Saturday the 11th, through Monday 13th, the Heavens rain fire over planet Earth in an annual event call the Perseid Meteor Shower.

Whenever we experience a meteor shower, and especially one that's purported to be the greatest cosmic event of our lifetime, I get nervous.  You see, I think about the old 1962 film based on the book by John Wyndham, "The Day of the Triffids."   In the story, everybody on the planet goes out to watch this once in a lifetime meteor shower, cunningly
engineered by alien plant spores called Triffids.  The meteor shower causes wide-spread blindness, making the Earth's population easy prey for slow moving, carnivorous plants.  And you think ivy is a problem.  Now, we both know that alien plant life is not planning to invade us by way of a meteor shower.  Still, every time I watch one, part of me listens for that weird, low-pitched clicking sound the Triffids made.  My husband, merry prankster that he is, does a pretty good imitation.

Back to reality.  Why is it called the Perseid Meteor Showers?
Tarot's #17, The Star from
Steampunk Tarot© by
Barbara Moore and Aly Fell

 The radiant, or origin of the shower comes from the constellation named for, Perseus, the ancient Greek hero who battled Medusa.  You can locate Perseus in the northeastern sky and its most well-known star is called, Algol.  The name, Algol comes from Arabic (the ancient study of astronomy began in the Middle East) and roughly translates as, demon's eye.  The star actually represents Medusa's eye.  (Great. Now we have carnivorous plants and Gorgons. ) Algol is actually 105 lightyears away from us.  Think about the time and distance these meteors have traveled just to put on a show for us.

The Perseid display began around July 23rd this year and the meteors, refuse from comet, Swift-Tuttle, fell at a rate of 10 meteors per hour.  As we've moved deeper into the meteor stream, the fall rate has steadily increased.  Experts predict that during the shower's peak fifty to a hundred meteors will fall per hour.  The Perseid peak runs from August 11th through the 13th this year with meteors falling at a rate of thirty-seven miles per second.   

The meteor display will be easier to see this year because the moon is in a waxing crescent phase.  This will not be the case in 2014 however, so don't let this year's shower pass you by. The best time for viewing will be in the pre-dawn hours. 
You don't need eye protection, or smoked glass to watch the meteor shower.  Just try to get away from city lights if possible.  All that's required is a pillow for your head as you lie 
back in the grass.

Below is a table of the biggest annual meteor showers.  As you can see, we still have some great cosmic fireworks remaining for this year.  Enjoy!  Oh, and keep an eye on the plant life.  :)


Name                      Month  to View



Eta Aquarids





* All the meteors you see in the sky right now may not be from the Perseid Shower.  Here's a link to why!

Steampunk Tarot© is available for purchase 

through www.ladyoracle.net/tarot-mercantile/ 

Follow me on Twitter®!


Monday, August 6, 2012

August Astrology Watch - 2012

We've bid farewell to August's full moon in Aquarius, and though our Lady Moon wanes, we still have lots of energetic pizzaz from the other cosmic events this month.  Mercury leaves retrograde and turns direct on August 8th.  Keep in mind that you can still suffer a 'hangover' effect from retrograde such as a few missed communications and a more sluggish mental attitude for the three or four days prior to Mercury's turn, or for the three or four days afterward.  Generally, it's nothing a couple of quiet evenings with a good book and your favorite music can't fix.  As always, meditate to ground yourself.  Concentrate on tarot's Four of Wands.  Four is a firm foundation, numerically and the card denotes celebration and freedom - sort of joyously taking your show on the road.

As you will recall ( you will if you read my retrograde blogs) once Mercury turns direct, it's time to start implementing the changes and new ideas you've been pondering and revising since July.  July's Uranus and Pluto square gave us the opportunity for unparalleled growth, both in our personal lives and on a planetary scale.  During retrograde we had the space and time to revise, redesign and recommit to our new goals and ideas.  The energy from Jupiter's transit, coupled with Leo's love of self-expression, adds a massive boost to our confidence and ability to dream big right now.  You could easily find yourself believing that sorting wildcats is a valid career choice.  And it might be.  Just consider that any career opportunities or life changes you make still need careful thought and preparation.  They also need to be grounded in reality.  Again, and I can't say this enough, get your homework done before the 8th because we're looking at a great breakthrough opportunity after retrograde and your goals can take a tremendous leap forward.

On August 9th, Venus trines Neptune ( this means that their aspect is at 120 degrees - very favorable) and love is in the air.  Where love definitely feels a little magical, there are also some practical considerations going on.  Contemplate the tarot card the Two of Cups.  A man and a woman hold their loving cups, however the only thing they have to offer each other is the actual contents of their respective vessels.  Each person must decide for themselves if the contents of their partner's cup is really what they truly want from a relationship.

Mars flexes his muscles a little on August 11th as a precursor to his move into Scorpio on the 23rd.  Wives and mothers may find themselves battling 'Mama Bear' syndrome on the days leading up to the 23rd - their protective and territorial instincts coming to the forefront.  In the work place, ladies will take a more assertive, possibly even aggressive stance defending their ideas.  If it gets too intense and you're in danger of over-playing your hand, focus on Major Arcana's # 8, Strength.  Remember, power flows through natural channels. Never over-power by forcing energy where it shouldn't go.  Keep your vibration level high.  By the 23rd, however, Mars is firmly at home in Scorpio and all of us can take advantage of its particularly intense focusing energy to create dramatic effects in our lives.  Harness your passions, use Mar's fuel to focus your energy, take aim and achieve.

Other reminders for this month:  Don't forget to take the opportunity to enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower on August 12th.  I'll post more on that later this week.  There's nothing like watching cosmic fireworks to put life in perspective.  Last, and most excitingly, we have a Blue Moon coming to us on the 31st.

Have a terrific August!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The First of August's Full Moons - "The Sturgeon Moon"

This year August has two full moons.  The first full moon of the month, coincidentally on the first day of the month, is called the Sturgeon Moon.  Have you every seen a Sturgeon?  It looks like a leftover prop from a pre-historic sci-fi movie.  Sturgeon don't have scales.  They have a series of armor-like plates called scutes.  They live at the mouths of large rivers, in the muddy bottoms and are more plentiful during the month of August.  Makes you want to stay out of the water, doesn't it?

Sturgeon grow to unbelievable lengths.  The largest one ever caught came from the mouth of the Volga river in 1736.  The fish was twenty-eight feet in length and reportedly tipped the scales at 4,570 pounds.  Imagine the mountain of potatoes they peeled to make the french fries.  The buckets of tartar sauce alone stagger the mind.

Our full moon of August 1st is at ten degrees of Aquarius and in opposition to the Leo Sun.  This configuration effects Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius people most directly and people with an Aquarius Sun, Moon or mid-Aquarius rising, most of all.   Still, everyone will feel and benefit from this full moon surge.  Aquarius urges us to break from the status quo and remember playful, spontaneous Leo?  (See blog; "Ramping Up for Retrograde")  Leo laid the ground work this month for new thought patterns and modes of self-expression - artistic and otherwise.  You are an individual.  Celebrate the things that make you unique, even eccentric and let them work for you.

That fire you feel growing in your belly comes from your enthusiasm to get started with new projects.  Where you feared striking out with a new idea before, Leo's influence helps you hone latent leadership skills while transit Jupiter sparks optimism.  Think of the tarot card, Six of Wands.  As always, you must get out in front of this type of energy structure and give it the proper channels to fill.  Aquarius energy can demand you make an immediate change to free up that creative drive, but without a plan, you can be emotionally swept away.  The end results could be tantrums or open warfare.  Respond to your feelings, don't react.

Your current state of enthusiasm for new situations is born from a sense of inner peace, coupled with self-determination - both gifts of the Aquarius and Leo influence.  However, we must remember that we are still in the throws of a retrograde period.  Research, revamp, renew and redesign your projects and intentions so that you are absolutely ready when Mercury turns direct on August 8th.  Contemplate the many aspects of tarot's Eight of Pentacles.

August begins with swift energy currents.  Stay in the moment and stay in control.  You will reap the benefits of your practical approach.  We're gearing up for the Blue Moon at the end of the month and Blue Moons always give us wonderful messages about random chance.  Keep an eye open for being in the right place at the right time.

PS:  August 1st is also Lammas, or the 'Feast of First Fruits.'  Traditionally, bread baked from the first harvested grains of the season were taken to the church for blessing.  A loaf was given to the landlord as a preview of his portion and another might well have been used by the family for magic making.  Lammas fires are great places to reminisce and reflect on the things you’ve accomplish during the year and the things you meant to do, but never managed to bring to fruition.  Revisit. Review. Recommit for next year.  Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate August’s Aquarian full moon.