THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
A Lull in the Storm
The banner image here, courtesy of FreakingNews.com, shows that the art of the political allegory cartoon is by no means a thing of the past. This image says it all about the storm we are in, and how much of the world perceives it. At bottom left, a photographer shoots the scene, because as we all know by now, what matters is not the thing or the event itself, but how it is captured and presented to viewers to create a common perception. The photojournalist is not interested in the beleagured figure at the right, who looks distraught, as you or I would too, as he wonders how he is going to tell his archon bosses that the ship with all their money has just gone down to the bottom, and all I've been able to save is this wooden boat that looks, from its purple and gold leaf band at the gunwale, as though it may belong to a Rothschild or a Rockefeller.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, looking even fishier than usual, has just been saved by heroic Prince Vladimir. But wait a minute. Isn't he the one who's supposed to be getting ready to expose all of her emails, or has already done so? Or have her emails been dumped by somebody else who is blaming the Russians? Or is Putin, who may have the advantage of being patient at a time when nobody else is, biding his time? Is he trying to influence the US election, or is the US election trying to look a lot more important than it really is? Yet again, the perception is everything.
Hail, and Welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for August, 2016. We have now entered the climactic months of the years of recharge and regeneration from 2012 to 2016, when a revolutionary, transformational alignment between Uranus and Pluto has been followed more recently by a briefer but equally important design that links Saturn, Neptune and the two Moon's Nodes in a dynamic that pulls us and our relationships in opposite directions. Saturn, the cold, earthy force of limitation and of "reality" itself -- literally the world of solid things -- attempts to ground us at the same time that spiritual, watery Neptune aims as always to dissolve all boundaries and distinctions, and to seek escape, fantasy, self-delusion and deception by others, anything but the ordinary, boring realm of common sense.
And so, at a time before the coming weeks when our conflicts will tend to be mean and disputatious rather than actually hot and forceful -- more on the timing of this in a moment -- one of the two major American political parties has just nominated a self-inflating balloon who refuses to divulge his tax returns, and the other has nominated a furtive corporatist who refuses to disclose her speeches to Goldman Sachs, while the hidden archon power structure that owns and operates them both uses its obedient media to persuade what's left of a engaged populace that you have to vote, of course! You have to do your part in preserving our democracy! (Sound effects: jeers and boos, game show jingles, laughter, whistles, bozo horns).
It is not at all far fetched to suppose that the whole point of this travesty of participatory governance is to show us -- or give us the way to show ourselves -- that the Age of Aquarius really is here, and it is time for us to outgrow the old hierarchic Leaders and Followers scam, and learn the more difficult but far more empowering synarchic idea of Cohering in Community -- without archons, banksters and dumbdown media -- to create the societies and the healthy New Earth we want. Our current window of opportunity for this runs from now until the next Full Moon on Aug. 17 - 18. It will get hotter and harder after the Full Moon, as Mars overtakes Saturn in Sagittarius, moving into a conjunction that goes exact on Aug. 24, and stays powerfully in effect through the next Black Moon on Aug. 31 - Sept. 1.
We won't go into it much here. The details are better covered separately in blog posts coming soon, and videos beginning with "August2,2016BlackMoon," the new 10-minute video now posted on YouTube. The main theme here is that through this month and into next, there will be what we expect when the aggression and drive of Mars meet the resistance and conservatism of Saturn, so that those who are already adversaries will harden into increasingly implacable and passionate self-righteousness, and those who don't have enough enemies to hate will look for more of them. This brings us to our main subject for this month: a man hated and attacked by so many vicious people that the obvious question now presents itself:
Can Vladimir Putin Really Be That Bad?
If is is true that a man is known by the company he keeps, then may it also be true that he can be known by the enemies arrayed against him? Consider this rogues' gallery. The Federal Reserve and the banking cartel, and the US government and media they control, aim to destroy Putin because he's determined to shift the world's economic center of gravity to eastern Europe and Asia, and to free his currency and his country from the New World Order and its corrupt financial system. George Soros and the CIA ran their Panama Papers scam to smear him by association with others, but could pin no wrongdoing on him directly. And now Russia has just announced that it will ban genetically-modified components on all food production, thereby setting itself on a collision course with The Corporation That Must Not Be Named.
Our main topic in this July UFC is another chapter from Maps of Power: The Astrocartography of the Great, the Beautiful and the Terrible, the new book I aim to finish and publish on Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle by October. It covers the maps of 28 extraordinary people -- political and military figures, spiritual teachers, writers and artists, athletes, saints and appalling criminals -- and shows how their astrocartography maps are an uncanny match for their experiences in the places that shaped their lives, and brought their possibilities into being. We'll look now at the maps of one of the three Russian lives, along with Peter the Great and Stalin, whom the book covers. Is Putin really a figure of such importance that he belongs in a trio with these two? Yes. His maps give us some clues why.
Putin Gets on Everybody's Maps
In many astrocartography maps, some of our most energetic lines and line crossings don’t necessarily mark places where we actually want to live and work, but they can definitely be places where we may find important relationships: with employers, investors, markets, publishers, teachers, healers and love partners. In the realm of geopolitics, one question that naturally arises is whether a person’s maps can show where his true allies and adversaries are. Can astrocartography cut through all the posturing, propaganda and deception, and what Winston Churchill had in mind when he wrote that “in time of war, truth is escorted by a bodyguard of lies,” to help us see where our best and least likely partnerships are? And, in the case of a politician now in power or aspiring to gain it (such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), could this branch of locational astrology help a leader’s friends and enemies tell where his or her friends are real and strong, and where they’re as firm as bubbles; and where his opponents might be more formidable than they appear?
We’re about to test these questions in the maps of Vladimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister of the Russian Federation since 1999. It appears likely as of this writing, in mid-2016, that next year he will overtake Leonid Brezhnev (General Secretary of the Soviet Union 1964 – 1982) as the second longest-serving leader of post-Tsarist Russia after Stalin (1927 – 1953). Does he have the birth chart of a determined man of power? Absolutely.
Born Oct. 7, 1952 at 9:30 am UZ2
in Leningrad (now Sankt Petersburg), Russia
He’s Libra with Pluto in the leader sign of Leo on the MC at the top center of his chart, and he’s Scorpio rising with Venus in Scorpio as his rising planet, evident enough in both the shrewdly-guarded Scorpio secretiveness in keeping his cards close to his vest, and in his artfully crafted image as a hunky macho warrior. The three aces in the hole in his chart are Saturn, Neptune and Mercury in a triple conjunction in Libra in his 11th house of friends, community and social and political activism, where planet energies that may have wide-ranging effects in the world may wait until major planet transits, like the ones in effect from 2016 to 2018, can stimulate, irritate and motivate them. This trio is in a terrific angle of “stress”: a 90° “square” to Uranus, the Bringer of Change and the Revolutionary, in the 9th house of institutions of authority, including governments and banks.
What all this means is that Putin will likely be inventive (Uranus) in destabilizing and overthrowing an establishment (Saturn) in a manner that is deceptive and watery (Neptune) rather than confrontational, and much of his strength will come from his skill in creating such strong relationships, like the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) alliance, that his most audacious moves do not isolate him, but strengthen alliances that form patiently and are rooted deep. Like other notable Libras (Gandhi, Eisenhower), Putin owes much of his success to a patience that enables him to wait for his aims rather than to try to force them, and to fool and fake out his opponents instead of having to fight them, at least so far. Like Stalin, who also had many 90° squares in his chart, Putin knows where and when to apply the leverage that dislodges resistance.
High Stakes and Blue Chips in Russia:
Vladimir Putin’s Map of West Central Russia, the Baltic States and Belarus
Putin was born in Leningrad, between two lines that are a perfect fit for the beginning of his career in politics, and for much that has happened in his life since. Pluto lines, like the dark red Pluto on the MC line just east of what is now Sankt Petersburg again, appear often in the maps of people of ambition and power, as this planet of death and regeneration is necessarily connected with the high-stakes, even deadly gambles that must be played by those who gain their ends by undermining other people and structures, and who accept the risk that others will run the same game against them. As Pluto is the most secretive of all planets, and rules the areas of espionage and encryptation, a Pluto line belongs near Petrograd because Putin was a KGB officer here for his first 15 years in the Soviet system. The other vertical line here, a gray Moon’s Node on the Nadir line west of Sankt Petersburg, signifies that he’ll plan his moves by building the base of support that enabled him to switch smoothly from spook to politician in 1991, ride the transition from the crumbling Soviet state to the new Russian Federation, and get noticed by Boris Yeltsin.
His rise got even faster when he moved to Moscow in 1996 to join the Yeltsin government, was appointed acting president, and took office when Yeltsin resigned right at the stroke of the Millennium on Dec. 31, 1999. Putin was elected president in his own right in 2000, reelected in 2004 with 72% of the vote and became prime minister in 2008 because Russian election law barred him from a third term. After enacting a new law that extended a president’s term from 4 years to 6, he won the presidential election of 2012 amid widespread protests and allegations of fraud, though foreign election observers reported that he still would have won easily. He gained popularity, as we’d expect from his prosperous light blue Venus on the ASC line east of Moscow, when Russia enjoyed 8 straight years of economic growth during his first two terms as president, and the country kept booming until 2014. Under this Venus line he will look good at home and project a strong sex appeal – and his other blue line, the Jupiter on the DSC line farther east, in Russia’s main industrial zone, favors him for powerful and successful alliances rooted in the propaganda appeal of a strong and dynamic Russia.
Notice where the Jupiter line goes as it curves south toward Volgograd. A lifetime ago, this city was called Stalingrad, site of the turning point battle in the Great Patriotic War, as the Russians called it, against Nazi Germany. For Putin this city is a publicity gold mine, a place where he can posture and parade in every military uniform that fits, in every kind of plane and tank he can drive, as he plays the theme of endangered Russia to the hilt by evoking the heroes of Stalingrad. One safe bet is that as his current term culminates in 2018, the grandest propaganda event of his era will be the 75th anniversary of Victory at Stalingrad, in late 2017 and early 2018.
So Russia itself offers Putin immense advantages, though at the risky price of a potentially deadly Pluto line that runs south from St. Petersburg. His blest (Venus) and baleful (Pluto) lines converge as they go south, to areas that are difficult and dangerous, yet offer him chances to pull impossible tricks, like a conjuror who lifts a rabbit out of a burning hat – if he keeps his customary cool and patience under tough conditions.
Tougher Business in Nearby Places:
Putin’s Map of Ukraine, Turkey and Syria
His dark red Pluto on the MC line runs east of Kiev and between Odessa and the Crimea, all points of severe friction for Putin, even more so than Belarus, also under the Pluto line in his previous map. Along this vertical line his historic position, as the ruler who seeks to reclaim a recently disintegrated Russian empire, shows in the likelihood of opposition and conflict, both in overt military terms and in the disinformation and propaganda that have been directed against him since he moved to destabilize and recapture Ukraine, and he annexed Crimea outright in 2014. This move triggered American sanctions that have been in effect since, and have intensified an ongoing currency war between the ruble and the dollar. The Pluto line also lies west of Ankara, thus promoting tension with Turkey, Russia’s historic enemy since the time of Catherine the Great. The Pluto line is also well within range of Syria, and runs right down into the Nile Valley, so Putin may be involved in transforming all these areas, and they may somehow return the favor by making life less stable and easy for him.
Yet Putin has come out of all this, at least so far, smelling like a rose from Venus’ own bouquet. It’s easy to see why. His light blue Venus on the ASC line near Moscow continues just east of Crimea and crosses his gray Moon’s Node on the Nadir line near Istanbul. This linkage makes it likely that while Turkey’s insecure President Erdogan will protest and make some hot and active moves, he will generally stay put as Putin keeps outmaneuvering him, as he did in exposing Turkey’s purchases of oil from ISIS. Syria will likely be a brilliant arena for Putin, as the same royal blue Jupiter on the DSC line that he has near Volgograd goes through Syria. He is likely to do very well here, as he did in exposing US support of the very ISIS forces it vilifies, occupying Syria with air and ground forces to support Bashar al-Assad, and then – in mid-March 2016 -- pulling his forces out of Syria, thus forcing Assad’s hand and catching the US flatfooted yet again. Scant wonder that Putin is so often termed a genius, a dancer, an acrobat, a chess master who not only checkmates his opponents, but makes it look laughably easy.
Where Some Friends Are:
Putin’s Map of China, Korea and West Japan
How does he do it? Partly with iron nerve, uncanny killer instinct and the timing of a master actor, partly by exploiting the passivity of his opponents, and partly by strengthening alliances with his friends. Like the Chinese. While China has traditionally been more a competitor or cautious observer to Russia, and Red China and Soviet Russia were more rivals than friends, Putin has drawn China into not just a paper alliance against a common enemy, but an economic synergy that has been profitable and empowering to both. How? In this map of China and points east, there is another arrangement of the same lines we’ve tracked in Putin’s first two maps. The points of friction, complexity and potential trouble are in Japan, with whom Russia was twice at war in the last century, and Korea. Pyongyang, North Korea, is beyond the range of the red Pluto on the DSC line through Japan’s western island of Kyushu. The Koreas are crossed, or in proximity to, both gray lines: Moon’s Node on the ASC and Moon on the Nadir. Putin is clearly playing here a delicate balancing act with the Koreas, staying cordial to both while choosing no favorite under that friendly, communal Moon’s Node line, while tapping the domesticity and familiar comfort of the Moon line, which tends to keep sleeping dogs asnooze, and make restless dogs start to yawn.
China, on the other hand, gives Putin a box seat at the Beijing Opera. The light blue Venus on the MC line offers mild advantages between Chengdu and Chongqing, but the treasure house is the richest line in our maps, the royal blue Jupiter on the Nadir line, on the entire north-south urban axis of east-central China, from Beijing all the way south to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This line can bring abundant monetary wealth and tangible property, here most likely Chinese investment in projects to develop Russia’s immense natural resources, and also increasingly fruitful cooperation through the BRICS alliance and the immensely promising new "Belt and Road," that is, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a kind of super silk road by land and sea, designed to link China with Eurasia in ways that will be greatly beneficial to Russia -- and are certain to make North American and West European banksters nervous. Can they do much to stop him? No, as we see in his next map.
Where They Can't Do Much to Stop Him:
Putin’s Map of Washington DC, New York and Boston
Three of the same lines in the Putin maps we’ve covered before are also in the eastern United States. The dark red Pluto on the ASC line west of Boston is ominous, all right, and there’s conflict here, all tight, but it will mainly take the form of Harvard academics arguing whether Putin is Ivan the Great, or Ivan the Terrible, or Vlad the Impaler. The Pluto line is within range of New York, where there will also be more than the usual polemics in this capital of contention. But the Pluto line is out of range of Washington DC, showing an American government that will have neither the focus nor the force to offer any effective opposition.
Not only this – but the blue Venus on the Nadir and gray Moon’s Node on the DSC lines that cross very near New York, and also faintly affect Washington DC, suggest that many people here respect and admire Putin far more than their own government, see him as a decisive and necessary counterweight to a political and financial swamp too gridlocked and corrupt to do anything. The Venus line in particular is one of our best, but may also show a place where life is too easy because our extreme receptivity magnetizes everything. Here we can be so mired in our comfort zone, and our belief that we’re the center of gravity, that we lose all sense of striving toward creative and spiritual goals in a spirit of teamwork and service. There could hardly be a better symbol of the New York money elite, and the benefit that Putin gains from Wall Street’s tunnel-visioned luxury and greed, which can actually make him look better by contrast.
Where are Putin's most dangerous and determined adversaries? Some are in Texas, and while this map is in my book, we won't cover it here. But his other adversarial map, of Western Europe, can give us an excellent idea of where the people most determined to destroy Putin are likely to be.
Entrenched Money and Slippery Crooks:
Putin’s Map of Northwestern Europe
Relations with Germany, Italy and other nations in central Europe may be easier, as Berlin, Prague and Rome are all east of Putin’s communicative, and compelling, green Mercury on the ASC line. They are also farther away from the Neptune line. Paris and London, home base of the Rothschilds and other formidable players in the world banking cartel, are within or very near the corridor of yellow and pink lines that represent determined effort to gain a goal very difficult of attainment (Saturn), and the possibility that we are on a wild goose chase (Neptune) in pursuit of unrealizable aims. It is here, not in the military combat zones of Ukraine and the Middle East, that Putin is fighting his main battle: to free his country, and other countries allied with Russia, from the spider web of the banking elite, and their ruinous, parasitical scheme of enslaving the world and her people through perpetual debt.
If Putin fails, he will join an illustrious, notorious club of those who fought the good fight to a bitter end. If he succeeds – or, more accurately now in the Aquarian transition – if he and his allies succeed, they will be acclaimed in time, when the chains have been cut and the lies have gone silent. Putin is the kind of classic case that professional historians like to cite in teaching that greatness is morally neutral, and a great man and a good man aren’t necessarily the same thing. Putin is, after all, God help us, KGB. All of his subtle brilliance, his image as a dazzling geopolitical magician, will not bring back the thousands of people killed by Russian-backed paramilitary thugs in Ukraine, or the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who died in five years of fighting there, though the responsibility is by no means Putin’s alone.
With him, as with all great men, the price of his fame may be measured in the unlucky lives that got in the way, and so far, at least, he is a lot cheaper than Stalin. His map lines do not show the rightness of what he does, but only show how, as Stalin and Peter the Great both did, he has an uncanny sense of the places that favor him, and the relationships – friends in China, squabbling politicians and an ineffectual United Nations in the USA, bankers in England and France – who will make or break him. Or -- and this is why so much of the world is with him -- he may make or break them. He may also be, as we see in this picture, which accompanied the news that Russia will soon ban all GMO, the greatest master of his own public imagery to appear in the world since Napoleon Bonaparte. The little bird in this picture does not seem terrified of him. It may know, or at least the picture hopes to suggest it knows, something the banksters don't.
Putin will be worth watching this month and beyond, and weighing in the balance of what he actually says and does on one side, and what he is accused of doing on the other. It will be an excellent idea to maintain equanimity in the weeks ahead, no matter what comes.
Peace, Courage, Keep Holding That Frequency.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
August 1 - 31: The Month of Augustus
August is one of the Western calendar's two months which are named for persons of mundane political power -- unlike other months such as January, March, May and June, all named for persons of divine power.
The month of August, originally called October ("eighth month"), has borne the name of Augustus ever since the year 14, when the Roman Senate voted to honor the late princeps after a reign of 41 years as the first and, as later generations saw him, arguably the greatest of the Roman emperors. The seventh month of July was named in honor of his mentor and adoptive father, Julius Caesar.
August 1, Monday:
Universal Midsummer Festival, one of the northern hemisphere's four great Midseason Festivals in the solar year and the life cycle of Mother Earth. Early August is the time of countless festivals of love, abundance and magic, and communications with Nature, especially animals. This is the time of Lammas, the Norse Lughnassadh and the Celtic Teltane, the Festival of New Bread. It begins the early harvest season that runs for three months until Samhain (Oct. 31 - Nov. 3).
This is traditionally the phase of the year in which the power of the god wanes as the goddess waxes. This transition is symbolized in the zodiac by the fading solar energy of Leo yielding to the fertility of Virgo, bearer of grain, grapes and the harvest of the future. At this time the first fruits of the grain harvest are celebrated throughout the Northern hemisphere in the baking and offering of ritual bread and cakes.
In the southern hemisphere, this is the time of the great winter festival of Imbolc.
In Aztec time reckoning, this is the Festival of Xiuhtecuhtli, god of the calendar. Like the Maya and other Mesoamerican peoples, the Aztecs observed this rite with elaborate dances and pageants showing the Sun's path in relation to the stars, the planets, the Moon and the Earth.
August 1 is also the Baha'i feast honoring the Deity as Kamal, Perfection.
Aug. 1 or 2, depending on location:
Mars enters Sagittarius. Until Sept. 27, he is quite at home in the fire sign of Leo, provided he observes the rules of respect required by his host, Leo's ruler, the Sun. This will not be easy in late August, however, when Mars is at his most impatient, crossing the position of Saturn, wanting to move much faster than his grandfather wants him to go. Mars thereby greatly heats and exacerbates the continuing 90° “square” between Saturn and Neptune, especially on and around Aug. 24.
August 2, Tuesday: 10:45am HT; 8:45pm UT:
The Dark Moon conjunct Sun in Leo is one of the true power points of the year, when the electrical, masculine energy of the Sun, ruler of Leo, is complemented by the Moon's magnetic, feminine energy. This is not the most powerful Dark Moon of the year, yet with the Moon-Sun conjunction in Leo at a 120° trine to Saturn in Sagittarius, it does have a very useful grounding and resetting potential after the terrifically-charged Full Moon of July 19. The Black Moon of Aug. 31 – Sept. 1 will be far more eventful.
In the Chinese Taoist calendar, the great annual Festival of the Ancestors will soon be
celebrated, on the New Moon of the eighth lunar month.
In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, the New Moon following this Dark Moon is the eighth New Moon following the Winter Solstice. It begins Tinne, or holly month, considered auspicious for direct, mystical contact with Divinity, especially for the male warrior's vision quest of the sacred feminine.
August 2, Tuesday:
Birthday (1832) of Henry Steele Olcott, co-founder with Helena Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society.
August 2 eve - 3 eve:
The ancient Greeks celebrate the festival of Synokia, affirming the importance of peace and cooperation among city-states and their peoples.
August 4, Thursday:
On this day in 1693, the blind Benedictine and master herbalist Dom Perignon realized champagne. After a few quality assessment sips, he called to one of the other monks, "Look, brother, I have been drinking stars!"
Venus enters Virgo. She is said to be "in fall" in this sign, her placement here not so much oppressive for her as just dull. The owl-and-the-pussycat scenario of Venus in Virgo may intrigue the Goddess for a while, as Marilyn Monroe was drawn to Arthur Miller and Einstein -- but it is only a matter of time before she longs for Joe Dimaggio and JFK again. She may also be inclined to be perverse, misusing her sexuality and beauty in the pursuit of mere glamour and pleasure. The Venus principle should be seen here as applying to both men and women. People of both sexes will have the chance now to burn the copper of superficiality and vanity in the crucible of the heart, and begin turning it to gold.
August 5 eve to 6 eve:
On this day the Greeks and Romans honor Artemis/Diana as the fierce protector of women against rapists and other violent oppressors. This solemn day of admonition was specifically placed here, in the Dog Days of summer, at the moment when the passions of the least conscious men are apt to run hot and high. At this time the goddess is in her punitive mode, parallel to such divine figures as Sekhmet and Kali, in aiming her unerring arrows not only at men who transgress against women, but more generally against all unruly passions that roil the serene purity of the soul stream in women and men alike.
August 6, Saturday:
In the Khemitian Calendar, the Festival of Djehuti ("Thoth"), neter of literature and all mathematical arts, including astronomy, astrology and music. This festival, held on the 19th day of Thuthi, the month sacred to Djehuti, begins the crucial time following the annual Nile inundation, when writing, sacred geometry and other arts invented by Thoth are used to determine the new pattern of earthly order, as cords stretched over the land mark the re-establishment of divine design after the floodwaters recede. For more information on this neter (meaning a force or principle of divine energy acting in the Earth world of nature, which is why neter and nature are cognate), see More About Thoth.
In Roman Catholic and other Christian calendars, this is the feast of the Transfiguration, celebrating the occasion, as painted here by the icon master Theophanes, when Jesus revealed to his three closest disciples, on Mount Tabor, as much of the splendor of his light body as they could safely bear. Note that the timing of this feast can vary greatly among Christian denominations, with some even celebrating it in late winter, before the beginning of Lent.
Zen Buddhists observe this day as Mindfulness Day, and meditate now on the oneness and interdependence of all sentient beings.
Among the Celtic peoples of Europe, this is the day of the Tan Hill Festival, in honor of the sacred fire, called Teinne or Tan, from which the community lights bonfires for ceremonies of purification and sacrifice.
In the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, this is the 4th day of the 6th lunar month, and is one of the four great sacred days of the Tibetan lunar year. This summer festival is called Chokhor Duchen, the Turning of the Wheel, marking the moment when the Buddha spoke of the dharma for the first time to his five core disciples. This moment, on whatever day it is celebrated in various countries, is of cardinal importance because it represents the beginning of the Buddhist faith and the first actual formation of a sangha, or community of believers.
August 7, Sunday:
Gaia Consciousness Day, created in recent years to honor Mother Earth in ceremonies of healing and renewal.
August 8 - 18 (ten days):
The Buddhists of Sri Lanka celebrate at this Full Moon the culmination of their most important festival of the year, and one of the most spectacular of all the world's grand Buddhist rituals: the Perahera, or Tooth Festival, in which the Buddha's tooth, the sole surviving relic of his body, is removed from Dalada Maligawa, the famous Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, and paraded in a magnificent pageant. The musicians, and dancers who whirl fire pots at the end of their very long hair, are followed by the sight that people come from everywhere to see: the elephants, adorned with gold and brocade, colored lights and flowers -- and especially the honored elephant who gets to bear the tooth inside a jewel and pearl shrine atop his back.
August 9 eve - 15 eve (7 days):
The ancient Athenian festival of the Panathenaea ("all the Athenas"), honors the Goddess as the source of her people's wisdom and the giver of intellectual inspiration, and also women who, as priestesses and teachers, embody the gifts of Athena.
August 10, Wednesday,:
Among the Norse peoples, this day is sacred to Rowana, goddess of the Rowan tree and keeper of the sacred knowledge of the runes.
Feast of St. Laurence, one of the most admired early Christian martyrs, and patron saint of Florence, Italy. Commanded by the city prefect of Rome to hand over the fabulous wealth that the Roman Church of the mid-third century was said to possess, Laurence negotiated a three-day grace period to gather all the gold, then proceeded to deliver a host of the poor and infirm who, Laurence explained, were the true treasure of the kingdom of God. At his ensuing martyrdom (258), Laurence is said to have irritated the authorities by joking, as he was roasted on a griddle over a fire, at one point remarking, "I'm done, if you'd like to eat."
Birthday of Nicholas of Cusa (1400), the Christian mystic who taught the immanence of Divinity in all of Creation.
August 11, Thursday:
On this day the Sufis honor Haji Bektash (d. 1337), the master who initiated women into his order and advocated gender equality in Islam.
August 11 is also the Christian feast of St. Clare of Assisi, disciple and, as founder of the Poor Clares,counterpart of St. Francis of Assisi. Clare shared Francis' environmental awareness and is a guiding energy of those working to assist Mother Earth.
In the Irish Celtic Calendar, this is the day of Puck Fair, one of the world's great annual trickster festivals.
August 11 - 12 (Thursday - Friday):
The great Perseid meteor shower peaks early in the morning of August 12, UT. The Moon is waxing to Full on Aug. 17 - 18, so viewing will be impaired.
August 12 - 17 (6 days):
Major Khemitian festival cycle, enacting the climactic event in the legends of Aset ("Isis") and Ausar ("Osiris"): the final combat between Set, brother and murderer of Ausar; and Hor ("Horus"), son of Aset and Ausar, the young solar hero who would be embodied in every living pharaoh. The events of the cycle (Month of Thuthi ["Thoth"], days 25 - 30):
8/12 Feast of the Lights of Aset, one of the main mystical events of the Ausarian mysteries, celebrating the lamp of wisdom and service, and, perhaps, the growth of the light body. This day became the feast of the eponymous St. Claire ("clear, splendid") in Christian calendars.
8/13 Ritual battle between Hor and Set. While the actual combat was said to have lasted 80 years, with predictable strain on the environment of Egypt, this day enacts the main events: loss and restoration of Hor's eye and Set's testicle, and other harrowing episodes.
8/14 Day of reconciliation between Hor and Set, marking the decision of the neters in council that Hor and Set will have to live in peace, thus symbolically balancing order and chaos, life and death, light and darkness, earth and sky. This becomes one of the most influential duality paradigms of the ancient world.
8/17 Climactic rituals celebrating orderly balance among the male principles of the Sun (Ra), the Sky (Hor) and the Earth (Set).
August 13, Saturday:
In the Greco-Roman world, one of the great annual festivals of Hecate, this time in her benign aspect as protectress of life amid the ferocious heat of the dog days. Hecate is also honored on this day in her virginal aspect as Artemis-Diana. Hecate's feast superseded an Egyptian festival honoring the ferocious lion-headed netert Sekhmet, and celebrating in particular her successful self-defense against a sexual attack by Set, neter of chaos and destruction. Both festivals emphasized protection from rape and other crimes against women.
In the Aztec calendar, the Day of Destiny. Like other Native Americans, the Aztecs envisioned human beings as connected to the Sky by a thread, and believed that those who lived in harmony with nature preserved the delicate thread, while those who violated nature's laws broke the thread irreparably. The Aztecs also saw the human body as a pattern of meridians reflecting the meridians of the sky.
Aug 13 evening – 14 evening, Saturday – Sunday:
In the Jewish calendar, this sunset-to-sunset interval is Tishah B'Av, the Dark Time, one of the year's more somber days of ceremony and fasting, commemorating the suffering of the Jews from the time of the destruction of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem, and other calamities of ancient Jewish history.
August 15, Monday:
In the annual solar calendar this is a major weather marker because 8/15 is the end of the ferociously hot dog days of July and August, and it begins the time of cooling toward the harvest -- or, as we shall see below in the Southern hemisphere, this day begins the warming of the Earth at the start of the planting season. This day has thus been observed as a major festival in traditions all over the world. Among this day's feasts:
Japanese Buddhist Obon Festival in the solar calendar. People all over the country dance, sing and drink. They also light huge bonfires in the shapes of kanji (Chinese characters) and Buddhist symbols to help orientate and redirect the lost souls who are blowing about in the heavens, and point them toward Amida, the Pure Land, the Western Paradise. Obon is Japan's festival of family reunion and remembrance. Everyone eats the departed ones' favorite foods, and puts out plates for them, sings their favorite songs, tells the stories and jokes about them, and refreshes the family's memory. One may envision Japan as a place where on this day tens of millions of families celebrate by looking up at their ancestors, many millions of whom are using the kanji for the ship or the law to aim themselves again in the direction of Amida Buddha's Land. Gambarimasu. (They keep going.) They will never give up.
This day is also observed in the Japanese Shinto calendar as Kaze Matsuri, in honor of the Kami (divine principle) of Wind.
Among the ancient Greeks, this is a day of purification. It is the annual feast of the virgin huntress Artemis, protector of women against rapists and other violent men. In the Greek solar calendar 8/15 is also the second and climactic day of a three-day festival honoring the Erinyes, the Furies who purify the Earth of all murderers and oppressors. The Feast of the Furies was one of several annual cleansing rites done in preparation for the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries (see September UFC). This day's special identity as a feast of purity may be one reason why early Christians chose it to mark the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (see below).
August 15 is also the birthday of Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Krishna Consciousness movement, and of the beloved "Hugging Teacher," Amma-ji.
In the six-season calendar of the aboriginal people of Australia, the third season of the dry half of the year, Gurrung, begins about now. This "hot dry weather" is the shortest of seasons, lasting about a month and a half until early October.
Roman Catholics observe 8/15 as the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who never suffered physical death and corruption, but was taken directly into heaven. The Orthodox Christian community celebrates the same feast as the Dormition ("going to sleep") of the Theotokos -- that is, the God-bearer.
In the Southern hemisphere, while Mother Mary officially rules this day, Aug. 15 has been since ancient times sacred to Pachamama the Mother as the day when corn planting begins. So behind Mary in the festival parade is the angel Raphael the Healer, holding a parasol over the Divine Mother, and in his left hand a silver fish representing water and abundance.
August 16, Tuesday:
In many central European countries, this day is the Feast of the Minstrels, celebrated with poetry, music and dance competitions since ancient times. This festival is the prototype of song contests like the one in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
August 17, Wednesday:
In the Norse tradition, the beginning of the 9-day ordeal of Odin, who hangs on the world ash tree Yggdrasil until the moment when he falls screaming from the tree, having seen at last the secret of the runes. This discovery of universal knowledge is celebrated in a climactic festival on 8/25.
The image of the god hanging in suspension as he surrenders to the ordeal of wisdom is closely related to the figure of the Hanged Man in the Tarot, and to Native American Sun Dance rituals, in which young men hang from a giant wheel symbolizing the Sun. This excruciating rite, in which each warrior is suspended from the wheel by cords fastened to sharp wooden pegs pushed through his chest muscles, is also said to bring mystical knowledge to those who can endure it. This feast is also closely related to many ancient myths of the solar hero and savior who is killed in the prime of his vitality, and dies hanging from, or sealed within, a tree.
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Rain, the eighth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (11 Imix, Tzolkin 141). The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Eagle.
Aug. 17, Wednesday, 11:27 pm HT; Aug. 18, Thursday, 9:27 UT:
Full Moon in Aquarius, opposite Sun in Leo. Complementary fire and air relationships, especially favorable for creative teamwork with friends. This Full Moon is relatively uneventful, with the Moon and Sun forming no major angles of relationship to any other planets, though it does form an advantageously creative 72° quintile with Uranus in Aries. Otherwise this Full Moon is notable as the second half of the Blue Moon that formed on July 1 -2, and as a useful interval of rest before the powerful energies of the Sept. 28 eclipse begin to align.
August 18, Thursday:
In the festival calendar of India, this Full Moon is celebrated as Raksha Bandhan, honoring the sacred link of love between brother and sister. As Raksha means "protection" and Bandhan means "bond," the ritual of the day is to tie a sacred yellow thread around one's wrist -- right for men, left for women -- and to remove it three months later, at the festival of the Goddess Lakshmi, and tie it to the tail of a cow. It is believed that when death comes, the cow will kindly allow the wearer to cling to her tail, and cross the river Bhaitarna with her. It is also customary for brothers and sisters to exchange cards and small gifts at Raksha Bandhan.
Note that the timing Raksha Bandhan is variable. This year it falls in the month of what the west calls Leo. It is sometimes observe a month later, during the Virgo month of September.
In the Khemitian calendar, first day of Paopi, the second month of winter, sacred to Ptah, the creator neter who brought the world into being by speaking its name. Ptah is the patron of all artists.
Aug. 18 (Thursday) eve to Aug. 19 (Fri) eve:
In the Jewish calendar, this Full Moon on the 15th day of the month of Av is Hag Haahava, the festival of love. In ancient times, young women wearing white dresses performed ritual dances in vineyards, where the young men waited for the moment when they were allowed to approach and propose to their beloveds. In Israel today, and in Jewish communities worldwide, this day and the coming weekend will be a time to declare love, propose marriage and offer gifts.
August 19, Wednesday:
The ancient Greek and Roman festival of Vinalia, sacred to the lord of the vine, Dionysus-Bacchus, is held on this day. Rites are also held in honor of Aphrodite-Venus in her role as protector of orchards and vineyards. Offerings of new grapes are accompanied by prayers for the successful ripening of the grape harvest.
August 20, Saturday:
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order and one of the leading figures in the monastic movement. A fourth-dimensional thinker in the 12th century, Bernard had a profound understanding of cathedral architecture and sacred geometry. He wrote, "God is length, width, depth and volume." Bernard also put the Knights Templar on the map, extolling them in one crusade-igniting speech after another as models of Christian manhood, young men who combined the priestly vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the warrior virtues of courage, discipline and self-sacrifice. So effective was Bernard's image-building that he turned the Templars almost overnight from an obscure order of warrior monks quartered in the stable of Solomon's Temple into one of the heroic myths and grand creative forces of the age. The Templars soon burnished their legend with heroic deeds and brilliant skills in banking, scholarship, diplomacy and commerce -- but Bernard was the first one to envision the story.
Birth of the White Buffalo (1994), heralding the return of the White Buffalo Woman, emanation of the star goddess Wohpe, who gave the Lakota people the arts of the sacred pipe and the sweat lodge, and the teaching of the vision quest.
The Baha'i honor the Deity on this day as Asma, Sacred Names.
August 21, Sunday:
In the Zoroastrian calendar of ancient Persia, the days before the Sun exits Leo and enters Virgo are considered the climactic moment of Solar radiance and power, and is celebrated as the first day of the New Year.
August 22, Monday, 6:38am HT; 4:38pm UT:
Sun enters Virgo. The Month of Isis. The creative and healing power of the female. This is the season of the early harvest, and of the ripening of the main harvest, symbolized by the ear of wheat and the bunch of grapes -- alternately, an ear of wheat and a sickle -- that the Virgin holds. On this day the ancient Romans celebrate Vertumnalia, a festival in honor of Vertumnus, the god who manages the change of seasons and also holds the secret by which flowers transform into fruit. The Olympian god Vulcan-Hephaestus is also honored on this day of the Sun's entry into Virgo -- significantly, as some astrologers have long posited the existence of an undiscovered planet Vulcan, said to be the true ruler of Virgo. He is in the same queue of alternate Virgo rulers as Chiron and Demeter-Ceres.
If Cancer favors sideways movement and Leo always likes an advance, the Virgo season, until September 21 - 22 (depending on your location), is for the moves of Vulcan and the Virgin, of Chiron and the farmers working under Ceres' eye: painstaking, disciplined work until one gets it done; and the wise, deliberate walk of the woman who knows that when she possesses the greatest treasure of all, the continuity of life itself, she will best be judicious in deciding to whom she will open it. This is why the Virgo season, with the Virgin nearing the Western horizon, is best for teaching the Map of Love, for the Education of the Virgin, in the night sky.
One excellent symbol of the Virgin's power is the Strength card in the Tarot. The young woman is not prying apart the jaws of the Lion (Leo). Rather, the Lion gently holds her hands within his jaws to represent perfect balance (Libra) between physical strength and the spiritual strength of purity.
It was inevitable that a Christian feast honoring the Virgin Mary be placed at the time of the Sun's entry into the sign of the Virgin, and that's why the feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels -- the tutelary saint of, among other things, the city of Los Angeles -- is celebrated on August 22, the usual day of the Sun's ingress into Virgo.
The Order of the Rosy Cross was founded on this day in 1623.
In some Native American Calendars, this day is the beginning of the last month of summer, sacred to the Bear, finder of medicines.
August 23 - 25 (3 days):
One of the major festivals of the Greco-Roman calendar, marking the juncture and transition of family and time in ceremonies honoring the ancestors who achieved the past (see 8/15 above) and the virgins who will carry the future. The festivals were:
8/23 The Greek holiday of the Nemesea, honoring the goddess Nemesis, who was not yet in ancient times the vague figure of trouble and bad luck that she has become in the popular mind. Nemesis was specifically a protector who guarded the tombs and relics of departed ancestors from insult and harm. Thus the only persons who needed to fear Nemesis were those who desecrated a tomb. On the Nemesea the ancestral tombs were cleaned, and made ready for:
8/24 Roman festival of Mania, honoring the Manes, or deified spirits of the ancestors. This day, and its Christian replacement, St. Bartholomew's Day, were and are a critical weather marker on which fair and clear skies are said to herald an abundant harvest.
8/25 Before Ops became during the Roman Empire a god of wealth and extravagance, and the source of our word opulence, she was a goddess who regulated all aspects of sowing and reaping, and was naturally connected with the fertility of virgins. Her festival, the Opiconsivia, a mystery rite attended only by the Vestal Virgins, was held on this day.
August 25, Thursday:
Most devotees of Lord Krishna will celebrate his birthday, Sri Krishna Jayanti, also called Krishna Janmashtami, on this day. As celebration days can vary among countries and local communities, it is best to check the timing that applies in each area. _This feast of the most celebrated and beloved of all the avatars of Vishnu is observed with fasting until midnight and an all-day festival of chanting and music, culminating in a midnight punja followed by a joyous feast.
Feast day of St. Louis, also king Louis IX of France, celebrated as the ideal of Christian knighthood. His record has become more controversial in modern times, as he condoned, though he did not lead directly, the last unspeakable horrors of the "Albigensian Crusade" against the Cathars of Southern France; and the two crusades he led to the Holy Land not only failed to win either soil or souls, but galvanized the Saracens to unite against the last of the Christian occupiers and expel them in 1291. Yet Louis was known for such fairness and honesty that the other rulers of Europe, both ecclesiastical and secular, asked him to mediate their disputes.
August 26, Wednesday:
Birthday of Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910.
August 28 - Sept. 5 (eight days):
In the Black Rock desert of Nevada, some 50,000 artists, builders, celebrants and unidentified freaky objects gather for the famous Burning Man festival, a raucous spectacle of exuberant artistry, radical community and delight in evanescent beauty purely for its own sake. Always held about a month after the customary time of Lughnasad -- when the desert heat would be somewhere between unbearable and perilous -- the festival culminates in the burning of a 50-foot effigy who means what each celebrant imagines him to be. And then -- as though to affirm the lesson in responsibility that has been there all along -- the celebrants make sure to clean up and take away every nail and shred of the intentional city they've lived in for the last week, and to leave the desert exactly as it was before they came.
August 29, Monday:
In the Khemitian calendar, birthday of Het-Hor, aka Hathor (month of Paopi, 12).
Venus enters Libra, generally considered the sign of her rulership as mother (while Taurus is the sign she rules as goddess of love and beauty). While she is in this sign, her emphasis is on the productive sexuality of motherhood, and on her mature, efficient role as Lady of the House, manager of domestic economy and maintainer of traditional family customs and rituals.
In the Khemitian calendar, birthday of Het-Hor, aka Hathor (month of Paopi, 12).
August 29 – Sept. 5 (eight days):
Devotees of the Jain path celebrate Paryusana, one of the year’s major festivals. Like the more reflective holidays that come now in many traditions, just before and during the cooling of the year in harvest month, this one too is a time of contemplating the sacred texts, of fasting and self-examination, and of asking ourselves how we can live in greater simplicity and self-discipline.
August 30, Tuesday:
The ancient Roman festival of thanksgiving, the Charisteria, is held on this day.
Aug. 31, Wednesday, 11:04 pm HT; Sept. 1, Thursday, 9:04 am UT:
The Black Moon conjunct the Sun in Virgo normally brings harmonious and fruitful blendings of Earth energies. The night of the ensuing New Moon on Sept. 2 can be ideal for teaching the physical and spiritual Education of the Virgin through the Map of Love in the late summer sky. This year's Virgo Dark Moon at first looks uneventful, as the only major planet aspect to the Great lights is an opposition to Chiron in Pisces. Yet there are immense hidden resources in this combination, and in the momentous partial solar eclipse that comes now at the moment of the Shemitah in the Jewish calendar. There is much more about this, and possibilities of economic and political dislocation, and radical transformations of consciousness, in the UFC preludes for last month, and this month.
In the ancient Celtic and Druidic calendars, and also in the modern Wiccan calendar, the New Moon in the month of Virgo is called the Singing Moon.
In the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic tree calendar used by devotees of the faerie path, the ninth New Moon following the Winter Solstice begins Coll, or hazel month. This month favors the activities of resourceful ones: shapeshifters and adepts who journey by means of astral projection. It has long been customary at this time to make new wands of hazel, especially for protection from storms.
Want to know how any of these days affects you? An Astrocartography reading covers not only your unique, personal planet energy lines and crossings, but the conditions of timing that are in effect for you now, and in the months and years ahead.
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ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
The Universal Festival Calendar first appeared in July, 1998 as an e-mail newsletter, and has also been published online since May, 2000. It incorporates data from astronomy and astrology, Moon cycles and the sacred days and festivals of many spiritual traditions, in order to identify monthly and annual power points, when human ascension efforts are well aligned with the celestial dynamics of our galactic stage machinery, and the life cycles of Mother Earth. The UFC aims to assist the spiritual evolution of Earth and her people by providing information useful for planning global meditations, ceremonies and gatherings that support the aim of awakening enough human beings to bring about the lifting of human consciousness into higher frequencies of mercy, compassion, wisdom and love.
We welcome and are grateful for suggestions by readers whose ideas have improved the Calendar, and made it more accurate and comprehensive.