Daily Ritual as a Learning Tool

Ritual doesn’t have to be some big, scary, elaborate thing. Certainly there are rituals that require specific ceremony, and great attention to detail. But, if we settle in to the Immediate and Mundane, we can find that it is in Basic Self-Care that the most meaningful rituals can develop.

A ritual, of course, is a series of actions. That’s it, essentially. But, we use it in the sense of a series of actions observed with a sacred or religious intention.

We learn best by repetition. When we really have to learn something well, we can develop a habit, or even a practice. Some practices will become lifelong.

Entering ritual is a surrender to a lifestyle. It is not something that is done in isolation, an escape from a day otherwise not concerned with Sacred Attendance. The ritual serves to set an intention for my day, to structure the day, to focus my energy.

So, when I made Tea today, it was not just for flavor, but as medicine, and each Herb that I put in is a Spirit that I acknowledge: Chamomile, Rosemary, and Sage. The Sage was even dried from my Garden. I think to myself, “researching these herbs is a long term process” and I envision later when I can focus more on each of these plants, and the books I will open and read.

And when I put on my Jewelry, I acknowledge whatever metals and stones are present, and I watch educational videos on each of the stones, learning more about them every day.

These acts and other similar ones take me throughout the whole day. They are ritualistic because they remind me of the background of healing work that is my Life’s Work. This is an example of what it means to attend to the Body as self-care. It may take hours to drink and clean up this Tea because it is woven into my Day or Night, and every time I can partake of it, I’m reminded. Or, I may forget I am wearing a certain piece, and then remember, and these reminders re-play a resonance of the lessons I have given myself.

We would do better in Life if we paid more attention to these Basic Actions. I have been re-arranging to make the flow between my most important Basic Actions more and more fluid and easy, and finding immediately positive results.

Such is the subtle influence of Ritual on the potential of our Mind’s Evolution.

A New Approach to Moon Phases, Honoring Hekate

Just tonight I had a bit of an insight about moon timing, and the division of Her cycle, during which I realized that we are already in the “dark moon” so to speak. This just came to me tonight. It’s pretty revolutionary if you ask me. If anyone else has come up with it before I would really like to know. But it came to me in a flash, out of nowhere, tonight.

Simply: Instead of dividing the Moon’s cycle by 8, or 4, which is how it has always been taught, my intuitive mind instead discovered a rhythm dividing it by 3. How did I come to this conclusion?

I was sort of in trance during this, so, the order of events is a bit off in my memory, but, at some point while holding my Moonstone and walking my Dog, a message came to me, directing me that it was very important that I take note of where the Moon was at that time. Sometimes I will notice a “shift” in energy and then check the horary chart of that moment (my astrology program shows the chart in real time), to take note if there is anything significant that just happened. Sometimes I will notice that the Ascendent just changed sign, or whatever. Well, as far as the Moon goes, when I got that flash, the moon was in a Waning Trine, to the degree, and within a few arc-minutes. In other words, an exact Waning Trine.

Again, in Astrology, both Traditional and “Modern” or Contemporary Astrology, the Moon’s cycle is measured in quarters, or eighths if you’re fancy. We look up and see no moon, then a half, then a full, then another half, and so our logical mind sees 4 (or 8). We don’t divide by the trine. Of course a Moon-Sun trine is always notable, especially because that is an Elemental Aspect (joining signs of the same element), but, it doesn’t have its own special teaching. Rather, it’s taught that there are 4 quarters, and 8 phases.

There is no “dark moon” phase. The Dark Moon is a magical construct, not an astrological one. What magicians/witches call Dark Moon is actually the Waning Crescent phase, and what magicians/witches call the New Moon is actually the Waning Crescent phase, roughly. Each phase lasts 3.5 days, so, we get to see a sliver usually before the Waning Crescent phase astrologically/mathematically begins. This is real nitty gritty, though. The point is, it’s done by even division of the circle, rather than odd, but, perhaps we should take a more feminine, “acknowledging the unseen” approach to Moon cycles. We can apply this to Tides, too. Rather than seeing it as a dichotomy, or bi-polar, (high, low), we see it as tri-polar (level, high, level, low, level…which also reflects the number 5, or the pentacle… which in astrology is the shape made by Venus’s synodic cycle….the feminine being subtle…).

So, with this new system, the Dark Moon would be extended, into an entire third of the Cycle. It would begin when the Moon, following her Fullness, is able to flow rays back and forth with the Sun (a Trine represents a shared flow of light beams). Because a Trine means that they are the same Element, the Lunar and Solar “get along.” There is a sense of “ease” with a Trine, whereas Squares, and Semisquares (factors 4 and 8) are inherently “challenging.” Lunar energy is changeable, soft, feminine… we should be using Trines to divide her cycle, not Squares.

So, the Moon-Sun conjunction (the “Dark Moon” or “New Moon phase” would be the beginning of the first phase. Then, the first Exact Elemental Trine would mark the Second phase. The exact Full Moon would take place in the middle of that phase. And then, we have the third and final phase, before beginning again.

I am going to add this to my practice now, as a way of working with Hekate, honoring her as the Triple Goddess. These ideas have been conflated into Wicca, but, Hekate as she is represented in Ancient Greece actually does have 3 faces, which is a legitimate traditional claim to the use of 3.

There is a lot of misinformation around about who Hekate is:

As the the Solar Gods rose to power, Hekate became increasingly demonized, until the Middle Ages reduced her to a parody of an evil crone. The Christian Church, & those it serves, always feared Her, for She has power they cannot comprehend. Hekate is an ancient deities from a primordial time before the Olympians & the Solar gods of the patriarchs.

Today there are several views of Hekate. Most people who know the name think of a version of the ‘evil crone’ Hekate, possibly with a few extra details tagged on from Shakespeare’s famous representation of Her in Macbeth. Pagans usually adopt a revised view: Hekate is a dark and terrifying Goddess of death, but that’s OK. Those who get a buzz from this Gothic image of Hekate even think it’s ‘cool’. But the perception remains the same: Hekate hangs around in graveyards on dark nights with a pack of baying hounds looking for lost souls.

From “Who is Hekate?” published in Pagan Dawn Magazine

So, if you want to learn more about her, read the linked article, then continue from there! Hekate Covenant is a good place to start.

A Bit of Relief: After Exhausting Eclipse, Waning Moon Release

This eclipse hit me extremely hard. Being that one of the last articles that I wrote was on the 29th degree, spurred on by my own 29th Aries Moon, I have been living the lesson of “we teach what we most have to learn.” Well, just a couple of days after I wrote that, I walked straight into a glass door on the way into an NCGR meeting (no blood, no break, thank goodness). I still didn’t stop going hard. The Uranus station and eclipse energy had me going going going, even through exhaustion. Uranus stations or when otherwise prominent mundanely or in my charts usually puts me in a high-anxiety mode, or at least super high energy. The approaching Doozy Full Moon Eclipse on top of that created the perfect conditions for me to burn out, and I did. I just couldn’t sleep, and so kept staying up later and later, pushing myself harder and harder, and by the time morning would come, I was so wired that I had to lay down, and eventually crashed, not being able to wake again until the sun went down. My mind was going a zillion miles a minute, and my astral self doing so much work while my 3D self was doing so much work (mostly very intense study, and correspondence) that I barely could keep enough food in my stomach to prevent it from growling all the time. I was on full-throttle. Eventually I burned out totally, and that was this past day or so.

And, sometimes that happens. Aries does that. It’s just how we roll. It’s OK. But a time must come to rest.

Another witchy astrologer worth checking out, Dianna the AstroArtist, just wrote on her Instagram page yesterday, “transformation is supposed to be hard.” When I read that, I paused, and said to myself, “wow, that’s so right.” So much wisdom in that one sentence. We must recognize when we have to slow down and stop and let the process take over. Sometimes we resist transformation, and that resistance actually causes more effort. It’s OK to let go and admit that we don’t know. There are natural processes that are doing the work for us. Especially now, in Winter. This is time to conserve energy. If a battle must be fought, or we must exert, then, fine. But, turn off the full throttle. You don’t have to carry everything on your shoulders. Now is a time to listen to Bear Medicine.

I am historically no good at resting, instead, working hard even when in bed and sleep or sick clothes, through the winter, without giving myself enough pause (paws?). Anyone who knows me well has seen that I don’t quit until I get hit, and even then, I’ll keep going. That isn’t necessarily a good thing; sometimes it is, but, often, it’s to my detriment, because I’ll keep going through hits until I either get reamed, or, someone who is trustworthy, gentle, and deeply loving can calm and hold me down in Spirit. I confided these things, though much more detailed, to a good friend, a strong Taurus woman, who knows just how to stop me from spinning hard, and she sent me a most beautiful calming email that brought me to tears upon my waking today. As the tears came an overwhelming sense of peace and calm came over me. This happening while waking during the day for the first time in a while, and to a day so warm that I can open my windows and air out my space, well, I needed this.

I feel finally like I can recover from the “spiritual battle” I had been in for a week straight. I had been having so many “downloads” and nonstop Gnosis that I was bound to not be able to sustain it, but a soft net, a soft web if you will, made my fall, or my “Soul’s Descent into Body” as my friend jbuss puts it when he writes about Uranus in Taurus, felt like a warm cocoon. And of course, I my dream this morning was of just that:

I dreamed before waking today of being in my childhood bedroom, and waking up there. Above me was a dense spiderweb with 3 huge pale yellow spiders. But, they were cocooned, as though they were caterpillars, or they had caught themselves in their own web. They were hanging low and I was afraid of them. I rolled out of bed to avoid them, and they retreated much closer to the ceiling after I did that. I was a teen still in the dream, and woke up with that intense anxiety that hit me every day in that time, that I was going to be late for school. I decided that I did not care, and was not going to go. It was not until a bit later that I realized that it was hot, summertime, and there was no school. Yet, the anxiety had already changed my chemistry, and the heat of the summer was oppressive.

I accept that I am in an incubation. I accept “going under” in order to recover. I accept processing my deep subconscious web. I accept not knowing what I will be when it is time to crawl out of this cocoon.

My card reading yesterday told me that this is a temporary respite (4 of Swords, Truce) appeared, but, hell, I’ll take it. If I fight that hard, I deserve to rest that hard, too. Real recovery of the soul rest, because this coming Vernal Equinox is another Doozy. Accepting this respite, and the care of my Sister Friend, I quietly cried out some very old pain that needed to leave me, and then when I had the strength to leave my bed, made tea with Chamomile and Rosemary, and local honey with organic milk. Both herbs are gentle and cooling. Chamomile is good for the Soul and heals the inner Sun in a very soothing way. Often it is used as a “night time” herb to sleep, but, it is not a lunar herb. It is a Solar herb ruled by the Sun. Take note! It very gently restores lost energy in the Solar Plexus and the Soul itself. Perhaps that is why people use it to sleep: because it helps us restore.

And then, when I opened my shades, look what I found:

Rosemary Seedlings

These are Rosemary seedlings that I planted last June. Rosemary grows ridiculously slowly. And, only about a couple of weeks ago, these two were half the size they are now. They shot up basically overnight. That, to me, is such a reassuring sign of new growth, that when we wait, and let nature take its course, things grow at their own pace.

We must allow ourselves to rest when it is time to rest. We have been, and will continue to be, fighting many battles. Internal battles, astral battles, and for some of us, and more every day, battles in our 3D worlds. Things are changing in unprecedented ways. Look around. Not news! Those of us who are true warriors know this. This eclipse was very rough, yes, and it is over. We’ve gone through the Dragon and have come out the other side. Back to regularly scheduled programming now. Whew.

Saturn-Pluto Initiation, Jan 12 2020

In comparison to the eclipse, the new Saturn-Pluto cycle, a 35 year cycle that is being initiated as I write this doesn’t even feel so bad. In fact, it feels welcome. It’s a new beginning. I thought it was going to feel like a “white knuckle,” but over here it doesn’t feel like that at all. Rather, it feels like a seed that has just been planted. Well, that’s what a planetary initiation of a new synodic cycle is. And, I admit that I may not be feeling it as directly as some others are, because Capricorn is my 6th house, which makes it in a Quincunx to my Ascending house, and therefore my Sun because my Sun and Rising are the same. Quincunx in traditional astrology is an aspect that “can’t see” itself. It is also a “health/illness” aspect though, which explains a lot of my fatigue. In more contemporary terms we view it as a “curiosity” aspect, a “not knowing.” Of course, the Capricorn planets are affecting other parts of my chart, including Moon, but, that my Sun and Ascendent “can’t see” what is going on there, perhaps I am dodging a lot of the more nasty effects, as far as my immediate experience goes. It’s affecting me, but in a sort of way where I can’t really pin it down or identify it well.

If you’re in tune with this stuff, you’re feeling the transformation too.

I am taking this opportunity to “go inside” more, and focus even more on my self-care. I tend to be able to write at length very easily, but more simply comes very difficult to me. I don’t write for myself much, instead being performative in my writing (Mercury in Leo with a partile trine to MC). But, I have received repeated advice to do so, to make very simple notes, whether key words, or questions, or things I notice, to explore some of my personal Quincunx issues for example. Not looking for answers per se, just to acknowledge what is going on in my mind, without trying to analyze it. And this requires, guess what…. slowing down.

Especially with this waning moon. In the Old Ways, our work is mostly done for the month. Now, we rest and receive, or wind down. This is the ancient Lunar rhythm. In our “modern times” we have forgotten this, but we must remember. Our life depends on it. And, we will remember. Let’s remember together.

Venus enters Pisces in a couple of days. This will allow us to drift a little easier, but, will contribute to our “not knowing.” Instead, we’ll be Feeling. Pisces is the Hanged Man. Jan of Angelpaths (a fantastic website that specializes in Thoth Tarot, and from a Female perspective, which more uncommon, and extremely valuable, in the world around Crowley’s Thoth) writes the following mantra for Hanged Man: “I pause. And in pausing, I see differently.”

Hanged Man Thoth Tarot Artwork (linked from Angelpaths)

Venus is the Mirror: we see ourselves through our own desires, and our relationships with others. Myself, I have no notable Pisces in my natal chart. I do have Venus in Cancer, also a water sign, and in the 12th house on top of that…but Pisces itself, already a mystery, is even more mysterious to me, and is my 8th house besides. I project that I will be doing a lot of personal reflection and unconscious work during this time. Pisces is Mutable Water: we will be reflecting and relating (Venus) on our deepest feelings (Pisces) and through that we can move on to the next phase (mutable).

In this hall of mirrors it is a challenge to find our own face

But if we acknowledge what we see, and really embrace it,

it’s easier to be in our place.

May you find peace in this time, reader. Love yourself today.

the manifesto of apocalyptic witchcraft

I have never reblogged anything in the over 5 years that I have been keeping this blog…until today.

Hear us.

Pagan Devotionals

1. If the land is poisoned, the witchcraft must respond.

2. It is not our way if life, it is life itself which is under threat

3. Witchcraft is our intimate connection to the web of life.

4. We are the Witchcraft.

5. Our World has forever changed. The trodden paths no longer correspond. Witchcraft thrives in this liminal, lunar, trackless realm.

6. We are storm, fire and flood.

7. We will not be denied.

8. Witchcraft is the recourse of the dispossessed, the powerless, the hungry and the abused. It gives heart and tongue to stones and trees. It wears the rough skin of beasts. It turns on a civilization that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

9. If you have no price you cannot be bought. If you do not want you cannot be bribed. If you are not frightened you cannot be controlled.

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2020/01/10 Lunar Eclipse at 20° Cancer

I had originally spent a few hours on another piece going over the next few days, and had to trash it once I realized that in my haste and excitement over the Mercury Cazimi and “triple conjunction pileup” I had totally missed the most important thing of all: the eclipse. Talk about seeing the trees but not the forest, huh?

Let’s take a “just the facts ma’am” approach to this. Chart is cast in Aries=0 so that any time zone can view it. in EST it will be at 2:21PM. What’s with all of these 2s and 1s? Yeah, that doesn’t mean anything…

Astrological wheel chart for the Lunar Eclipse on Jan 10 2020

There is so much going on here: at least 4 factors that even by themselves are Notable, including the Eclipse itself. Oy vey. We’re going to go through Some Portal Indeed that day, I do declare.

So, we have the Full Moon, which is also a Lunar Eclipse. We had the associated Solar New Moon Eclipse two weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but, things have really been kind of crazy since then, huh? This one is going to knock everyone’s socks off. Sorry. There are just too many Really Important Alignments happening for it not to.

  1. Mercury Cazimi: This is a phenomenon that I am quite fond of and have written about before (see my category of the same name). Cazimi is “the heart of the sun.” It is when any planet is within 17′ (less than 1/3 of a degree) from the exact center point of the sun. This is very literally the “eye of the storm.” At all other times when a planet is close to the sun (within about 7°) it is considered Combust, or Burnt, which basically means that the Sun’s rays so totally overpower the rays of the Planet, that the Planet is effectively useless. During the Cazimi time, though, the planet is like an arrow being propelled by the Sun’s rays. Here, Mercury is Cazimi during the eclipse. There has been a LOT of talk lately but no one has been getting heard, really…that’s Mercury in Combust. Seems that Decisions, Declarations, Necessary Communications will happen during the Cazimi. The screaming that people will be doing will finally get through. However, whether this will be “good” or “bad,” well, we’ll have to find out. Eclipses are Remarkably Unpredictable. We are not supposed to cast magic on an eclipse, make any important decisions, etc. This all happening together makes for a Wild Card with a Capital Wild.
  2. Saturn conjunct to Pluto: Hard to believe it considering all of the difficult alignments that are coming up in the upcoming months, but this is only happening once. But, it’s happening now! All of the talk around the Great Conjunction focuses a lot on how Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are coming together this year. And, yeah, it’s going to be a doozy. However, when that happens, it will be Jupiter and Saturn making the Perfect conjunction, while Pluto, because he is so slow, will be still back there a bit. Saturn and Pluto making the conjunction now, on the eclipse before the Big Event (which I mark as the Vernal Equinox coming that preceeds the Great Conjunction, but, I can’t get into that now), is a “Harbinger” and is yet another domino-blow. How can we see this in the news? Well, for one, the Prime Minister of Australia still has not appealed to the other world leaders for help, and his people very literally have nowhere to go except into the water. What the fuck??? And over here on Turtle Island, Trump is waving his “wand” and making all sorts of threats and following through on some of them while it is easy to see that his “enemies” really fucking hate everything about the USA and have absolutely no qualms with having no mercy or hesitation whatsoever to destroy, even at their own expense. The Funeral for the Iranian General that was killed by US Government Order was the largest funeral ever. Like, ever. Just look at the videos and how dozens of attendees died there. Both are Classic Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn: those who are in “power” are clutching onto it with an iron fist, refusing to budge. This Hard Line Till We Die is coming to a head right now, and at this eclipse. It’s applying at the moment of the eclipse, and perfects the next day, but, it’s partile, and thus can be read as exact.
  3. Jupiter conjunct to South Node: This is exact 2 days before the eclipse, but it is still partile. Jeebus, what are the chances of all of this?? Anyway, here we have Jupiter, which expands whatever it touches, and anyway in its own right represents Beliefs and Justice. South Node represents our “muck,” what must be released, held emotions, etc. It is the Dragon’s Tail (or, better put, the Dragon’s Asshole). It is What No Longer Works and From Where We Are Coming. More optimistic types will say that there is a “gift” in the South Node. If you want to see it that way, then, perhaps the gift here is that we are being shown very clearly what happens when we let ourselves get stuck in this way. So, Jupiter is highlighting all of the “Shit” that we are collectively hold on to and must let go. But, with both the Saturn-Pluto team and South Node in Capricorn, well, there’s not much letting go. More like our awareness of what we should be letting go of is being made Glaringly Obvious. Stuff like Dependency on Fossil Fuels, Hierarchical Power Structures, and Bureaucracy instead of Care. I remember a while back when an ex-boyfriend was really into the whole Bohemian Grove conspiracy and he showed me a leaked video of one of their “secret meetings” where they were chanting “no care, no care….” Well, they don’t care. That is certainly obvious. Jupiter highlights that here, with an emphasis on What Is (Un)Fair and what no longer works.
  4. Mars Semisquare Sun with a 0°0 orb (see below)
  5. Uranus making zir Direct Station. I originally forgot to address this, and am editing it. My friend jbuss writes, ” We could easily argue that the Main Event here isn’t so much the dreaded 12 January 2020 Saturn-Pluto Merger (The Most Important Thing is our Transformation), but the 10 January Station of Uranus/Soul as it recruits the Power of Saturn-Pluto to support its Descent into Matter (Uranus in Taurus).  In other words, the Reanimation of the Planet and Nature, which is the Most Important Thing we can do to turn around the Neo-Atlantean Self-Destructiveness of Egoic Humans. …. The Eclipse, while it’s near the Degree of Saturn-Pluto, occurs on the day of the Uranus Station.  Which is also the day of the Eris Station, which Reveals That Which Has Been Denied.  Westerners interpret the Descent of Soul into Matter through their training as Christians, but Everything has Consciousness, and just about everything here except Hupers wear their Consciousness Responsibly.” I encourage you to read the article referenced here.

In Traditional Astrology, Mercury is changeable, which means that he/she/zir becomes either “benefic” or “malefic” depending on who it’s with. In this case, Mercury is in a malefic state, being in conjunction with Saturn. We can read all of these conjunctions separately, but, look at how close they are. That is actually a Sun-Mercury-Saturn-Pluto stellium, and Jupiter too if you give a wide orb (and in this case, why the hell not). Mercury being Cazimi, and all opposite the Moon, basically shows that the Power Structures have the Power of Word on their side, while all of our Feelings, which are especially situated around the Need for Security and Nurturing because the Moon is in Cancer, are up against all of the Clutching Fists. The cries for help will be getting louder. The Needs are not abating. The Governments don’t care. People feel abandoned, left alone. If you are not in a dire situation right now, which is probably the case if you are reading this, this will affect you in such a way where the only way to get what you need will be Self-Care. The collective thoughts and conversations in general will either be about maintaining the status quo, or tearing it down, but, we are going to want our Mommies, is what it comes down to. Let’s meditate and nurture ourselves, and create the feeling of Peace that we Need, even if we feel that we can’t. Even a 5th of a second Flash of Peace is enough to create a New Neuron. Repeat a few times, and we have a New Habit. Moon sharing space with North Node in Cancer means that we feel deep inside that we know that we have to move in the direction of Nurturing Ourselves and Caring for and Protecting our Mother (Earth). Will we be able to accomplish this? Well, that’s up to each individual. Are you willing to go inside your feelings and trust them, intrinsically, no matter what other people say, or what (apparent) limitations and power structures are against you? No matter whether it seems like our Past is Inescapable? It isn’t…we’re always moving forward. Trust, surrender. Cancer is about Isolation. This Eclipse would be a really good time to reduce your exposure to all of this Shit as much as you can. Take care of your Feelings. No one else is going to do it for you, not with this arrangement, unless they really fucking love you.

Uranus still squaring Capricorn from Taurus continues the trend of unpredictable and stressful changes having to do with Earth matters.

We have Venus and Mars in both flanking the Capricorn pileup by a semisextile (12th harmonic “pattern breaking” or “projection”) to one part of the pileup or another, but they have no aspect between them. Mars is actually in an exact (0°0) semisquare to the Sun. Wow. We can read that as representing “two sides” of the Great Battle that we are entering:

  1. Venus, representing the desire for relationship, in Aquarius, pursuing progress as far as Giving A Shit About Humanity. But because Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, and we see what Saturn is doing right now, Venus is probably not going to achieve what she really wants, which is Everyone Getting Along.
  2. Mars, representing Boldness and Fighting Spirit, in Sag, feeling Notably Zealous, putting extreme pressure on our Being (Sun). The Semisquare Demands Change by introducing Major Obstacles that Must Be Addressed. A square creates a challenge that you can’t really trip over because it’s broader and harder to miss as it approaches, but a Semisquare you won’t notice until it clocks you across the Face. That’s what Mars is doing to Sun here. And because it’s Mars, the Aggravation is more likely to be Nasty than it is Nice.

Yeah, the two sides aren’t going to be understanding each other anytime soon.

This Eclipse chart blossoms and resonates for the next 6 months.

The Vernal Equinox is a Major Major Date because that is when, in addition to what the Vernal already is (Sun’s ingress into Aries, marking the New Year), that’s when Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto come together, with Saturn at the Anaretic degree (see my last post) of Capricorn, before going into Aqu, then back into Cap again to prepare for the Great Conjunction in December.

When people are saying that these are the End Times, well, you decide. This is meant to be a straightforward forecast, where I stick to the astrology, so I may write more about this later, but, my Fellows have been having dreams and visions about how dire what is happening is. The Great Battle is underway and it is only beginning. We will all have to step up. Anyone who does not act in accordance with Divine Will, but instead chooses to “ostrich” and deny the Reality will almost certainly perish. These are times that require such immense fearlessness, such immense faith, that we will all have to find levels of strength that we did not know before. This does NOT mean running around screaming…

It actually means breathing more slowly, finding peace in the heart, and healing from the inside out, conserving energy, and dreaming as much love into the world as possible….and being as POSITIVE as possible: creating, singing, being Joyful. For a long time I had this website down because all of what has been happening was getting me so Down, and I didn’t feel like I had anything to share, but then I realized, wait…I have a LIFE to live here. This is exactly the right time to tap into what really makes you joyful. That is the only way that we are going to survive!!! We need all Warriors on deck, all Wizards taking up their wands, freak flags flying. This is the time to take it all Very Seriously, yes, but We must have a sense of humor too, and celebrate our Innocence, and Be the Change we Want to See! If we can’t do that, who is going to do it??? Now is the time to be Kind to your Loved Ones, say Thank You, and appreciate everything you have. Meditate if you can (there is a critical mass of the square root of 1% that is proven to cease fighting in a population: see the World Peace Project. WOW). The time is Now!!! Love is the answer. Trust your feelings. No more hiding. If you haven’t listened to your Inner Voice before, now is the time. Do what makes you happy, and don’t stop. Follow your excitement, chase your bliss, embrace your creativity because it is all you have!!! In Divine Timing and by Divine Will, truth and Unity will prevail. We will have our World back, when we get through this travail. Peace to you all.

On the Anaretic 29th "Master" Degree

There is much written on the anaretic, or 29th degree, that is easily searchable. In my own personal research I have read much of this material, and encourage you to do the same, but this article addresses points and perspectives that I have not found addressed beyond niche works that I have sought out specifically. I hope that it is of benefit to you, Seeker!

I have a particular interest in this degree because my Moon, which happens to also be my most elevated major body (by a very long shot), is at Aries at the 29th degree, in the 10th angular house and 9th whole sign house. As such, of course I am writing about this on my blog as an educational primer. Of course!

Anar-what???

A pomegranate cut in sections, but still attached at the bottom. The many juice-filled seeds are bright and look quite delicious.

The 29th degree (and also the 0th degree, but I will not be discussing that in this article) is referred to as “anaretic.” Because this is a word that does not exist in any non-astrological context that I have ever found (I don’t have access to the OED right now, but most likely, it isn’t in there either), I am inclined to interpret the word’s etymology myself.

Looking very quickly on my Mac’s “dictionary” app (quite the researcher, I know), the only reference that is not a Proper Name is the following: “Anar, the name for pomegranate in multiple languages.” A quick search and Wikipedia popping up shows that Persian is one of those languages. My knowledge of the origins of that language is basically nothing. I suspected that Persian would have been related to Arabic, which would have made me feel better, due to Astrology’s heavy influence by the Arabic tradition, but, according to this Quora thread with a graphic showing a language family tree, it is actually Indo-European, whereas Arabic is Afro-Asiatic. I won’t push this any further and instead chalk it up to synchronicity and interpret the symbol of the pomegranate: of course, this fruit is representative of Knowledge Itself, being the Fruit that Eve ate from in the Bible (it wasn’t an apple, guys!). Pomegranate represents life and death, the full seed bursting with juice, so fragile that to touch it gets its blood all over you! The membrane is thin “as f***” as people say these days. I know this much, that whenever I feel nutritionally depleted and am in the juice section, Pomegranate is what I run to. It’s my favorite “superfruit” for sure (yeah, I see you with your Chia, and Acai… good luck buddy, and a mocking cackle for the road!!!!!) It contains so much power, so much knowledge! So, we can call the anaretic degree the Pomegranate degree. This is very much in line with the traditional readings of it, as a body in the 29th is said to possess all of the knowledge of the sign. It is known to some as the Master degree, in the sense of, a native born under the anaretic degree will be challenged to Master what that planet means in that sign, before “dying” in that sign and being reborn in the next.

Exact Degree is Really Important in General!

Many practitioners in both the classical and contemporary worlds are very clear and adamant about each degree being very much its Own Thing, just as each Sign is its Own Thing. I wrote on the strictness of Signs considerably in my article “No, You’re Not “On the Cusp” of Two Zodiac Signs – & Why Not : a Text Lecture on the difference between Signs and Houses, Borders and Gradients, and finding your Sun on a Natal Chart Horoscope.” If that’s tl;dr for you right now, or you already know, simply put: because the Tropical signs are based off of the Aries Point, and thus our Solar Seasons (the Solstices and Equinoxes, not the constellations; Sidereal Astrology is based on the constellations/stars, thus the word “sidereal”), sign ingresses (moving into a new sign) is a Big Deal. That’s also why the Anaretic degree is such a Big Deal: because it is the final period before the ingress.

Contemporary practitioners tend to be more lax, but, in such systems such as the Sabian Symbols, exact degree actually is important. In traditional Astrology, though, it is much more of a big deal. For starters, just like every planet has two signs that it rules, and one that it is exalted within, there is one particular degree in the exaltation sign that the planet is even more exalted and that is called of course the “exaltation degree.” You can find more about this at the article “The Origin of the Planetary Exaltations: Signs and Degrees” by Andrew J. Bavan, QHP, DMS Astrol. I just found it right now while writing this! It explains exactly why each planet is exalted at its exaltation degree. Fascinating stuff and I highly recommend it.

But as far as the tradition goes, exact degree within the 360 system is extremely important.

There is a word known as partile that refers to “being in the same degree.” This can be used for a conjunction, or any aspect. For example, two points, one at 3°0’0″ and one at 3°59’59”, would be partile. If they were in, say, Aries and Cancer, that would be a “partile square.” I remember one time in one of the IAA classes that I took, I incorrectly used that word, thinking it meant “within 1° of each other,” and I was quickly corrected by my teacher. Even if, say, we had an aspect of two points at 2°59’29” and 3°0°00, that would still not be partile, despite being otherwise as close to exact as you can get. This is how important degree is in the Classical Tradition.

The 360° dial being divided in that way also lends itself to the sign divisions that we know as “decans” or “faces” (every 10°). There are also the “terms,” of which there are 5 in every sign, but not at exact divisions, and there are multiple “term” systems that have slightly different demarcations. I won’t get into that here because I don’t use them much, nor have I researched the different term systems enough to have an opinion on their selection (and also because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand), but it is worth mentioning.

To elaborate on how degree-specific the classical tradition is, a quotation from Helena Avelar & Luis Ribeiro’s “On the Heavenly Spheres” page 223:

“According to the tradition, the individual degrees of each sign also contain specific qualities that allow for greater detail in delineation. Degrees can be classified as feminine or masculine, fortunate, obscure, void, luminous, etc.”

So, it is pretty inarguable that according to tradition, each degree is actually really important, and can and does have many specific qualities. However, many critics of the tradition have said things like that these parameters are “splitting hairs.” Vic Dicara (who is Vedic, but uses the Tropical zodiac, which he argues very well is supported by the Vedas, and, who grew up just a few towns away from me, a decade and a half before my time! Hi Homeboy Vic!!!) wrote in a recent Facebook post that I am not taking the time to link, that these measures are useless anyway because observational astrology has a 2-3° margin of error in the first place (is that true? Don’t ask me). More “spiritually” as opposed to “mathematically” oriented astrologers (and I shudder to draw that dichotomy anyway, but, drawing a point here) often criticize to this tune. And, myself, having started to touch my toes into the Mayan 13:20 matrix, through the work of Jose Arguelles, and this great blog The 13:20 Frequency Shift by Stephanie South (one article I had in mind particularly, “Clear Seeing in a World Gone Mad,” discusses these issues, but the whole blog is worth reading), am questioning all of this anyway! From what I glean from the linked article, and my limited knowledge, the point is that the entirety of the 360° or 12:60 (divided by 2) system is considered the automation from which we are working to break free from in this time, instead moving forward into Freedom. I’m not doing any justice to me Mayan knowledge here: I’m still learning, and I don’t know nearly enough about 13:20 to profess it. But, I have been focusing a lot more on the Lunar energies lately, and would really like to see our existence break out of its perceptual cages. We have to, if we are going to make it through this time.

OK back on track. I forget sometimes that people are trying to follow me here. Sticking with the task at hand.

But does it have to be 29? My Planet is at 28 and I want to be a Master too!!!

This was a side note, but, of course, I have to get to the bottom of things, or at least do my best to examine this as holistically as I can.

In my research of what others had to say about this degree, I found a page by an Astrologer named Zarathu that addressed what may seem to be a minor question, as I haven’t read many other inquiries about it, but it is actually very important. I had read many references to Zarathu before, as apparently they had contributed in a HUGE way to the online discussion of advanced and professional astrology over the past many years, both on his own forum (apparently defunct) and the one on Astrology Weekly. Thus I very much respect Z, as a ceaseless giver of unique and experienced teachings in the field. When I found their page 22 Points on the 29th, I was pretty excited. I don’t want to go off the deep end here (OK I do, sorry guys), but the one point I am bringing this up for is Point 6:

“My wife who leaves everything to being changeable into the future has Saturn at the 28ARI44, which is 29th by any other name…”

How challenging, for me to address the question of whether a planet at 28°44 Aries is anaretic, considering that this all began because of my 29°42 Aries Moon! You gotta be kidding me!!!

Where is the line, on the same-sign side? I don’t know, mann, you gotta find your own stride.

Sorry, slipped into Bard Mode. Ok, Back now.

Because the Pomegranate Degree is considered so special because of its position marking the very end of a sign before a new one begins, and because the 0th degree is also considered anaretic (for the juxtaposing reason of that it is the “newborn” of that sign, then, I am less inclined to be harsh with the mathematics here. I also have worked with a person with an “anaretic by any other name”,” a Pisces Moon at 28°12′, and they are so much an anaretic Pisces Moon that I thought they were actually a 29th degree before I checked the chart again. I would say that allowing some leeway for an anaretic Moon or faster body is much more allowable than allowing for a 28° than a slower body. I mean, think about it: if you’re on a DMV line, let’s say, and each person ahead of you takes 10 minutes at the counter, you’re going to notice each 10 minutes a lot more than if it’s only a 30 second one-off. Of course, Zarathu thinks that even Saturn can be anaretic at the 28th and 44, but, that actually DOES round up to 29, whereas 28°12 rounds down. Hair splitting again! It gets even more complicated when we read what Bavan has to say about Venus and Mars’ exaltation degrees: we receive even more support for both the the “faster bodies have more anaretic leeway” and the “any body has a certain amount of anaretic leeway” stances:

Venus is exalted in 27 degrees Pisces because here she has yet two degrees ahead of her and has a solid grip at the end of the last sign. This symbolises completion, contention, peace and rest.

Mars is exalted in 28 degrees Capricorn because here he is in the height of the sign, which represents the achievement of ambitions. But he is also ready for redirection, because the degree of his exaltation touches the 29th degree and a planet in the last 3 degrees of a sign is already looking for the next (derived from Bonatus aph.30,p19 & Lilly, CA p122). This makes him restless and impatient, ready to move towards new aims.

Bavan references Bonati and Lilly (who are Foundational Parents of our tradition) in his claim that the anaretic area is not only the 29th, but the last 3 degrees. And you know, to be quite frank, despite the hair-splitting that is often done, and that I often do myself in many cases, in the case of the Final Anaretic (as opposed to the First Anaretic, the 0th, which again we are not talking about here, besides in passing), we can really have some leeway here. The 27th or 28th degree is not as anaretic, or ripe with juice, as the 29th, no. Obviously, the ante is upped as we go along until we cross over. In many cases, they most certainly could be considered within the same anaretic energetic function, though.

A quick expansion, then conclusion to move forward, just as 29° calls for us to do! How meta of me!!!!!

But, if we look at this all from a numerological point of view, we find that the hair-splitting is necessary more than ever, and that, in fact, no, the 29th degree is explicit. It is a PRIME number, after all. It stands alone. In fact, my true catalyst for writing this article in the first place was reading in my Brand Spanking New copy of Aleister Crowley’s 777 the following, under “THE MEANING OF THE PRIMES FROM 11 TO 97”:

29: The magick force itself, the masculine current.”

As I have begun my Thoth Tarot and Crowley studies again after putting them to the side for a very long time, I am starting to see things in the Numerological perspective more than I have in the past when I was focusing purely on Astrology “as it is.” Numerology is not explicitly addressed much in the Classical Astrology tradition, but, if we approach Astrology as one of many Divinitory/Psychomagical modalities in the Western tradition, alongside its Sisters, we can greatly expand our understanding of it, and therefore our potential as practitioners of Divinitory/Psychomagical Arts. Just like cross-training can help an Athlete to take their performance to previously unknown new heights, cross-training in the Sacred Arts is proving to help my own growth in these fields.

Have I mastered this? Certainly not, but, maybe one day.

Thanks for reading, Seeker! If I have been unclear, or if you would like elaboration, or to start a conversation, please, jump at the chance and comment. Otherwise, I hope that I have served you well in this writing. Be well.

Finding Forgiveness: Replacing Shame, and Self-Love Basics

This past week, things have been a mental and emotional rollercoaster for me. I am going through a barrage of extremely difficult transits and progressions, and besides, there’s the worldly situation that is so very challenging right now. Lots of old pain has been coming up. Old pain and old detrimental beliefs, old problems, teaching me that I must adapt and heal, adapt and heal. Of course, dealing with conditions like PTSD and dysthymia (chronic mild depression), I must take extra care of my soul, of my emotions, and my mental state. So, self-love has become a really important practice for me. What is self-love, I have asked out-loud recently? How do you define it, how do you do it? It doesn’t mean buying yourself stuff, or masturbating. Often I have seen tropes in articles about how “treating yourself well” can be done with “taking yourself to the spa” or whatever sort of fleeting, privileged-class activity someone thinks of. Well, it can mean that, sometimes, every now and then if you have the means, but that’s not the core of it, and it certainly is not going to be a solution long-term. You don’t need any money to love yourself. Instead, you just need to be willing to go inside your own heart. It comes down to this stuff we call “inner child work.” Yet another vague term that can frustrate those who are already really fragile. When we feel fragile, resorting to avoidance, or even mockery of the very processes that are necessary to help us, can arise. Well, if we were wounded as children, we aren’t going to consciously want to feel that pain again. But, if we are working on forgiveness, we have to be willing to go deep into that pain. I forgive myself for causing damage to myself. I forgive myself for causing damage to others. I forgive myself for being damaged by others and carrying that damage. All of this requires being willing to face it. I mean, we don’t want to stuff it down anymore, right? We want to let it go, and forgive, right? But, the ironic part is that, it hurts more to not forgive. We are at this point because we have carried this pain for so long that it must go. And, when we do forgive, that pain doesn’t hurt anymore. We may still feel the pain, but, it isn’t leading to suffering anymore. We forgive that we spent so long not forgiving ourselves. We are willing and able to walk in Love, not in Anger or Fear. Of course, anger and fear have a function, and a place in the world. We are not seeking to eliminate everything. But we are seeking to heal these wounds so we can have the life and love that we need, want, and deserve. This is all Forgiveness!

For me it comes down to this. It requires a little bit of imagination and being willing to be out of your comfort zone, because, well, emotional healing involves Feelings. What I do that really helps me, is, simply, imagining a Mother Figure. I choose a female spirit because I am female, but, you can choose another gender, or genderless, or switch it up, even. It doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter if your parent(s) are alive or dead, or what your relationship with them is like. This is all in your mind’s eye, and is more of an Archetype than a real person, but you can make them an image of a real person. Whatever your inner child wanted or wants. And you don’t even have to imagine a face, or a body. It’s just a feeling. I imagine some sort of feminine Goddess being giving me exactly what I need in that moment. It’s usually something like holding me, stroking my hair, saying kind and soothing words like “I love you” or “You are safe with me” or “Everything’s going to be alright” or “You are so amazing!” This can be really overwhelming, because, once you’re in a safe emotional space to allow yourself to receive that, tears can start flowing. And, old pain can come up to be healed. Self-love is really important here, because, no Nurturing Being would push a child past a point that they cannot handle. Being gentle and non-judgemental with yourself is the key to self-love.

A Nurturing Being also would work to cultivate forgiveness. Often, it is the hardest thing to forgive ourselves. Forgiving other people is one thing; forgiving oneself is even harder. I have found that a barrier that I have experienced on the road to self-forgiveness is Shame. Shame is when we feel as though we are essentially bad, that we don’t deserve to be forgiven. It is an extremely painful and toxic emotion, and also a thought process. Some old friends of mine have joked about “shame spirals,” because, well, Shame really can send a person down a spiral. Forgiveness is the way out. Forgiveness is the opposite of Shame. Why? Well, Shame says that we are Bad, and that we will Always be Bad. Forgiveness says that we are Good, and that we have Eternal Opportunity to Heal. Shame says that once something bad is done, we can never take it back, we are condemned forever. Forgiveness says that we can start over, that Now is Always The Time to Recover. Shame is Toxic Fear, and Forgiveness is Sacred Love.

I did something pretty shitty recently that involved getting rid of a gift that my mother spent a month making, and hundreds of dollars on materials. I had my reasons for eliminating it, and, I thought that it was the healthy choice for me at the time. But, after a while, I realized that I had acted out of Fear. I confessed to her, and she forgave me. Yet, for a while, I had trouble forgiving myself. I felt so horrible. I felt as though I had been so ungrateful and destructive that I deserved to be punished in a very severe way that did not match my “crime.” I even asked her to punish me! As a 34 year old woman! Obviously, I was feeling toxic shame. I felt as though I deserved at least to suffer terribly for an entire month, to make up for the loss of time that my mother spent thinking all sorts of thoughts of love and care about me, wanting me to have something beautiful. And I eliminated it, and then told her on top of that, which probably made her feel hurt, even if she didn’t show it. At least I was honest, and that was a great step because I was able to face the healing process, but, I felt so badly for being ungrateful and causing more pain for my mother. I felt so evil and bad. I was punishing myself! I was so angry at myself that I wanted to even destroy my own self! And actually, it probably hurt her more that I wanted to suffer, than because of what I actually did. It took me a few days after this confession to really get a handle on the emotional process I had begun, and begin to forgive myself.

Honestly, this healing work is not just emotional. It’s intellectual, too. We have to be able to “understand the mechanisms” or logically be able to understand what we are trying to do. Well, maybe some people don’t. But, indeed, the entire field of psychology is based on intellectually framing phenomenon that are emotional and mental: inherently illogical processes, being discussed in an intellectual way. Emotions have no words. But, words are logical. How confusing, especially when we are dealing with such spiritual and heart-felt things like Forgiveness.

Finding a point or phrase that is so logically foolproof and airtight that it Guarantees The Work is important. Otherwise, in the throes of emotions, we can flail about in insanity, even if we WANT to, say, practice forgiveness. But, when it just makes Perfect Sense, that insanity subsides. Taking a step back and seeing the big picture, beyond life and death, is really helpful.

I found this really great article tonight that, for me, makes a really crucial point: “Your Legacy After You Die: Will It Be Anger or Love?

I don’t usually link popular magazines, but, often, you can really find some gems there. Often it’s sort of “yeah I’ve read this before a million times,” but, sometimes, yeah, a real gem.

So, it’s like this:

It is so worth forgiving yourself. Being angry at yourself only begets more anger and leads to more suffering.

It is my duty to love myself and forgive myself for everything that I have ever done or said.

How else can I move on? There is no other way.

This is not easy. It involves allowing myself to be truly vulnerable, truly honest. It doesn’t mean I have to share my honesty with Everyone Everywhere, but it does mean that within my life, I have to practice this. I choose to write about this publicly because I’ve already been writing about these healing topics for some time, and I personally feel that I am at a point where I can cast out a helping hand to others. I have read so many helping articles over the years, from Psychology Today to random blogs. Who knows? Maybe my writing will be found by someone in the middle of the night when they are in complete emotional agony because they can’t get a grip on how to find Forgiveness, and maybe this writing will help them find it, even for a second. But I am also writing this for me, for my own healing process. I mean, why not?

My example of trashing a physical object is just one example. We can be forgiving ourself for anything, from lashing out at someone and saying terrible things, or, assaulting a loved one. I personally have no experience, myself or in council, of forgiving for seriously heinous crimes (involving loss of life or limb, for example), but, I do believe that the forgiveness process would be the same for those as anything else, and more importantly, that forgiveness is possible for all things. The reason for this is simple: forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself. Indeed, being forgiven by the person that you have wronged, is a HUGE step and a HUGE help, and, it helps to ask for it, if you feel like you need it, and can get it. But, true forgiveness comes from inside. If you are having trouble, ask someone else for forgiveness. In fact, this is what the Sacrament of Confession is all about: being reminded that we are forgiven by God. I personally am not a member of the Catholic religion, however, it is in my ancestry, and I have given confession to a Catholic Priest once in my life. There is a reason why the Confession Booth is legally protected: Forgiveness is that important. You owe it to yourself to embrace the process of forgiving yourself. On the other side of that process is the peace of heart that you have been searching for.

Thank you for reading, and, please stay safe.