June 2019: Goddess Bless

The month of June is named for the Queen of the Gods, Juno, who was known to the Greeks as Hera, the feminine form of hero, meaning “earth.” Accompanied by a peacock and frequently a rainbow, it is customary for LGBTQAI pride festivals to be held in June, which are also symbolized by rainbows and accompanied by many peacocks. Juno is depicted holding a pomegranate in her left hand, a reference to her earlier manifestation of Goddess of the Dead, and a cuckoo surmounted scepter in the right. She represents the divine power of creation, and was the protectress of childbirth. As the feminine principle of celestial light, she was believed to lead children into the light. Juno also presided over rites and arrangements of marriage, and the sixth month was sacred to her. The custom of marrying in June is connected to seeking blessings from Juno. The menstrual cycle symbolized the orderly passage of time, and as Goddess of the Calender she was worshiped as the Calends, the first day of each lunar month. The mythology of Juno contains much complexity, but she was widely revered for her loyalty and fidelity. Her aesthetic is a reminder not to let the patriarchy dull your shine. Juno is one manifestation of the Goddess of many faces and many forms, and June is a wonderful time to take up worship of this powerful Goddess.

The end of Spring is ruled by Mercury, our fair genderqueer God of Communication, who presides over Gemini Season. Gemini is a mutable air sign represented by the twins that rules the double parts of our bodies: lungs, arms, hands. Those born under this star have a natural gift for gab, and Gemini season is the perfect time to get out of your house and talk to your neighbor. Mercury entered Gemini on May 21, immediately made their superior conjunction to the Sun, and re-emerged as an evening star. We’re forging a new relationship with the themes from the Mercury retrograde in Pisces (March 4-28). We’ve had several months to work with the psychedelic debris and emotional messiness that surfaced during that time. Now we’ll refine our relationship to those topics as Mercury prepares to station retrograde again on July 7, in Leo.

The month opens with a trine from Venus in her home earth sign of Taurus to Pluto in Capricorn on June 2. Venus received an electric greeting from Uranus when she entered Taurus on May 15. Now she’s receiving an empowered salutation from Pluto on her way out. This is a day of deep passions, regenerating forces in relationships, and an intense interplay between what we want and what we need. Enjoy the primal power of this day, but if you notice your mind veering towards the obsessive or controlling, steer it in a different direction.

The Gemini New Moon on June 3, is co-present with Mercury, opposing retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius and squaring Neptune in Pisces. This Moon calls upon the relationship between intellect, imagination, and inspiration. The Sun is climbing towards the Summer Solstice and light is bright in the land, but that makes the contrast with the dark Moon even more apparent. Themes of duality are always present during Gemini season, and with Mercury in their home sign, there is an emphasis on connection through expression. Notice what parts of your self or body talk to each other fluidly, and which are more isolated. Are there some areas that are consistently ignored? This is a great time for integration work be that yoga, talk therapy, or guided visualizations. Let the softer parts speak and ask the loud parts to take a step back. The following day, June 4, Mercury enters Cancer, where they’ll stay until June 26. They’re moving quickly, which is a good thing, because this is a rough patch of sky that will influence the second half of Gemini season, especially the middle of the month.

Venus leaves her stable earthy abode of Taurus for the quick silver skies of Gemini on June 8 until July 3. While Venus is in the sign of the twins, she’ll desire a sibling-like familiarity with the world. Gemini is the eternal youth. You may feel restless in your relationships and a desire to reach out and touch new experiences that is not easily satiated. Gemini has a charm and wit all their own, and constantly seeks stimulation and connection through communication. Remember to have fun and play as much as possible, but also take time out to breathe. The Sun in Gemini moves into a t-square with Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Sagittarius on June 9, engaging our soul and will in the process of synthesizing the Mercury retrograde lessons. Venus will make these same moves on June 23 and 24, so the engagement with mysticism and faith is strong throughout the month.

If you can hide in the woods from June 12-19, that would be best. Just beware of bears because both Mars and Mercury are in Cancer, moving into oppositions with Ketu (lunar South Node), Saturn, and Pluto, and a conjunction with each other. This is going to be a challenging time. Full stop. Both our will and our mind will be confronted with what’s burning on the karmic funeral pyre of Capricorn. Our mental health will be affected. We’ll tend to focus on the negative, defenses will go up, but not in a helpful way. We’ll be irritable and unreasonable without knowing it, feeling both personally inadequate and blameful of others. If you’re stymied during this time then wait it out and try again. Nothing will be gained from raging against this machine. It’s rolling over us. No one is going to be having very much fun so try not to take it personal. This too shall pass. Take the high road by laying low.

The Sagittarius Full Moon on June 17, is a light in the darkness. Jupiter entered Sagittarius on November 8, 2018, and will be there until December 2, 2019. Having the great benefic in his home fire sign is a spiritual and material boon that’s helping us deal with the challenging Capricorn configuration. Sagittarius is about excellent adventures and spiritual quests. On the physical plane we may feel confined and trapped, but Jupiter is Sag reminds us that no matter the difficult circumstances our souls are always free. The good natured centaur encourages us to let our spirits soar. We’re halfway through Jupiter’s journey. He stationed retrograde on April 10, to take stock of his progress, and will not go direct until August 11. This lovely Full Moon, co-present with Jupiter, and across from the Sun and Venus in Gemini, is illuminating what growth he’s created in the Sag part of our lives thus far. One note of warning is that this Moon has an appetite for distraction. Enjoy yourself and indulge your senses, but hold off on any shopping sprees until the end of the month.

The Summer Solstice has an extra dash of splash as Neptune stations retrograde in Pisces just as the Sun enters Cancer on June 21. The Moon is in the Saturn ruled sign of Aquarius when the Sun joins Rahu (lunar North Node), Mars, and Mercury in her watery abode. Cancer represents home, family, and those we consider “our people.” Capricorn is the institutions and foundations that the heart dwells within. The city gates that surround our domicile. The eclipse points, Rahu and Ketu, moved into these signs last November, putting an extra emphasis on the Capricorn construction project. The first eclipse along this axis happened on January 5, at the Capricorn New Moon, and we’ll get the next round with the Cancer New Moon total Solar eclipse on July 2, and the Capricorn Full Moon partial lunar eclipse on July 16. Dynamic tension between home and career, family and work, want and support, love and duty will be especially heightened during this time. The encouragement is to grow towards what your heart needs, and to let go in the areas where you have traditionally held on too tight.

The pagan holiday of Litha, the Summer Solstice, marks the beginning of Summer and the day of the maximum light in the sky. We’re in the solar time of the year from the Spring to Fall Equinox. The light has been increasing a few minutes each day since the Winter Solstice on December 21, and is now at it’s highest point. On Litha, ancient peoples celebrated the zenith of the Sun, when the Earth is at a peak of fertility. This is a perfect time for magic of all kinds. You can ask the Sun to burn away that which you no longer want in your life and ask the Earth to grow what you do. If you’re not sure what that is, here is a tarot spread to connect with the divine forces at play in your life. 

LITHA TAROT SPREAD

This 7 card spread can be used to inspire your spell work or clarify intentions for the Season. Lay the cards in the shape of a circle with 1 card in the middle to represent the astrological glyph of the Sun.

  1. SEED: Where you are at this moment as the Summer Solstice, or whenever you want to use the spread during Cancer Season. This card goes in the middle.
  2. PURIFY/CHURN: What are you placing on the altar to be burned away by the power of the Sun? What rocks are you tossing out of your garden? This card goes directly above 1.
  3. MULCH: What nourishment do you need? What extra ingredients will make your garden grow best? This card goes to the left of the 2.
  4. PRAYER: What would you like you weave into your life this season? What sweet prayer is on your lips as your plant the seeds? This card goes directly below 3.  
  5. GROWTH: What grows in your life this season? This card goes directly below 1.
  6. WEED: What do you need to prune back to allow this new life to flourish? This card goes to the right of 5.
  7. SUMMER: The outcome of the Season. What you harvest in the Fall. This card goes above 6 and to the right of 2.


If you use this tarot spread please feel free to let me know and tag me in any photos/posts online. Solstice Blessings. 

Over June 23 and 24, Venus will oppose Jupiter and square Neptune, in the last of the three t-squares between Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces over the past month. Venus involves the heart, and this transit may bright a needed dose of optimism and faith that you’ll be able to withstand the current challenges and make it to the other side having grown in wisdom. This transit could bring a tendency to get carried away in the fantasy of love. Be sure to stay grounded in your perceptions of what people are offering and stay realistic about what they can deliver. These are days to watch out for excessive spending, especially on witchy items. Before buying that new crystal, consider whether a nice walk or a short meditation might produce similar effects for free. Gaia will thank you for it.

Much to everyone’s relief, Mercury enters Leo on June 26, and Mars follows a week later on July 1. While in the home of the Sun they’ll both make exciting and dynamic trines to Jupiter, and generally feel grateful for the warmth on their backs. Having fewer planets in Cancer is good for everyone, but the Sun is there till July 22, and Venus will arrive on July 3. The beginning of Summer is not the most carefree part of the season, but there’s something to be said for getting the hard stuff out of the way early. July is going to bring a series of powerful eclipses, exposing the cracks in our foundation, but that’s how the light gets in.

Hera: by Emily Balivet

May 2018: Major Movements & Unexpected Arrivals

beltane

Happy Beltane, Witches!
May Day is known around the world as a labor holiday, International Workers Day, when we honor those who fought and died for fair wages, safe conditions, time off, and ethical standards in the workplace. However, an even older tradition is the celebration of the rites of Spring, the pagan festival of Beltane on May 1.

The Wiccan Sabbats were considered holy by ancient peoples because they marked changes to the light in the sky and seasons on Earth. The Wheel of the Year turned on eight days of power: the Winter and Summer Solstice, Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, and mid-points in between. The mythology surrounding these moments illustrate the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth as told through divine figures, the Goddess and God. The particulars differ for every culture, and I encourage you to investigate the deities and stories of your own ancestors. Reconnecting with these lost traditions can help us feel more connected to the divine in our modern daily life.

The Sun is now in Taurus and we are midway through Spring. Passion and vitality are returning to Earth, and life bursts forth in color. At Beltane the Goddess and God join together in fertility rituals to bring life back to the land. Garlands were braided to signify their sacred union. People often rose at dawn to gather fresh flowers and green branches to decorate their homes and altars. May poles were erected in town squares and people danced around them ecstatically. Hopes and dreams were written on paper and thrown into cauldrons symbolizing the womb of the Goddess who becomes pregnant with life once more.

On May 1, take special time to notice the young flowers and budding trees. Thank the beautiful magnolia and cherry blossoms that fill our hearts with hope that Summer is on her way. Celebrate the life that is yours in whatever way makes you feel vivaciously vibrant.

May is a month of big changes and many important beginnings. Things might start out quiet, but there’s a big bang in the galaxy at the Taurus New Moon, on Tuesday, May 15, when Uranus, the planet of rebellion and revolution, enters Taurus for the first time since 1942. Unexpected and sudden shifts are Uranus’ specialty, and she will stay in this earth sign until 2026, giving a massive overhaul to our relationship with Gaia and how we collectively work with natural resources.

Later that evening, Mars ingresses into Aquarius for a five month stint during which he will square Uranus three times. These squares are going to shake up at least two major areas of our lives. Check out my weekly Instragram posts for more information, or better yet, book a chart reading to learn more because the shock waves will continue to reverberate for a long time.

After a wild ride through Aries, Mercury will finally enter Taurus on May 13,rolling out the welcome wagon for Uranus when she arrives. This conjunction is like the town crier having a politico upstart staying at their house. Uranus is going to announce what she intends to do in big bold letters that week for all the world to hear. The far-out outer planet’s influence is going to be FELT the week on May 14. Pay attention to what you learn and what starts to move (possibility in an erratic fashion). Venus glides into Cancer on May 19, but her reception will be a bit bumpy because of an immediate sextile from Uranus. You can’t protect yourself from these waves, but you can intend to be flexible.

The Sun enters Gemini on May 20, putting an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and greater understanding. Gemini is an air sign that rules the mind, and for the next four weeks there will be an emphasis on creative problem solving, which is a good thing since Uranus will be stirring so much up. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, joins the Sun here on May 29, giving a boost of alacrity to all communication projects. However, Gemini can be impulsive and enjoys quick movement. Be sure to think things through thoroughly and involve others before carrying out your brilliant plans.

The Sagittarius Full Moon, on May 29, reminds us that information without application is just mental machinations. It is not enough to collect the data, study the notes, and the test. We then have to practice the craft in order to master it. Praxis makes perfect, and without constant reflection and revision we become stale and stagnated. Let this full Moon imbue you with the confidence and enthusiasm to keep pushing past your growth edges. Be bold and share yourself with a wide audience. Let the universe carry you in whatever direction it desires. Make this beautiful line from beloved author, Toni Morrison’s novel, Song of Solomon, your mantra for this Moon: “If you surrender to the wind you can ride it.”

Beltane art by Catherine Pleased