This post is about the underworld journey of the Mesopotamian goddess Ninlil.
The vocalist on this album is from Australia, where it’s Midwinter, not Midsummer, but the track feels like a dreamy summer solstice.
I have a lot on my mind right now, but the astrologers say this is not the best time for sharing, with a super lunar eclipse in progress and so many planets retrograde.
Until next week, Hearth.
The Greeks believed the sun travels under the ocean at night. This makes sense when you consider that the sun seems to drop into the water when you are standing on the seashore facing west. The god of the sea, Poseidon (Roman name Neptune), owns a set of horses that pull the sun through the water, the counterparts of the horses who pull the sun through the sky. These horses can be spotted near the shore occasionally, their manes twirling in white-cap waves, their feet running onto the sand.
Poseidon the water-horse god has a persistent, sometimes violent rivalry with the goddess Athena, whose sacred olive tree grows in country bordering the sea. The waves constantly batter and erode the shoreline as Poseidon seeks to expand his territory.
Poseidon the horse god was a late-comer to the Aegean who “married” a sea goddess called Amphitrite in a patriarchal takeover of an older cult. Amphitrite, who does have a querulous side like Poseidon, is the personification of the sea and a mother goddess of animals.
A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.
The moon has recently turned to its waxing phase. Both the full and the new moon exert a strong gravitation pull on the earth’s waters, but the energies are different. I find that things seem to slow down at the new moon, so that progress being made is difficult to discern. We tend to be detail oriented and to research things at this time, rather than expressing ourselves spontaneously. Next month, at the solar eclipse, this energy will be even more pronounced.
Mastering Moon Energies, a class to help you design rituals and spells based on the position of the moon, begins on Monday. Registration will end on Sunday.
Moon void-of-course is a time when plans and expectations tend to go awry. Purchases made during this time may be for articles that are never used, meetings that occur during this time are often unproductive, and spells that are cast during this time manifest in unexpected ways.
To understand moon void-of-course, we need to first be clear about two things: zodiac signs and moon aspects. In Western astrology, the sky from our perspective on earth is divided into twelve equal portions. These are the twelve signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. An aspect is a relationship between two planets, again from our perspective here on earth. The full moon, when (from our perspective) the moon is opposite the sun, is an aspect. The new moon, when from our perspective the sun and moon are aligned, is another aspect. When from our earth perspective the moon overshadows the sun, this is an aspect we call a solar eclipse. What we call the major aspects are conjunctions, oppositions, squares, trines, and sextiles. Conjunctions are lined up (0°), oppositions are 180°, squares are 90° angles between planets (again, looking at the sky from Earth), trines are 120°, and sextiles are 60°. Moon aspects don’t just involve the sun, but can involve other planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, etc.).
Void-of-course starts when the moon makes its last major aspect in a particular sign and lasts until the moon enters the next sign. To give an example, if the moon while in the sign of Pisces makes aspects that are opposite the sun, then square Venus, and finally sextile Mars – and then the moon makes no other major aspect until it moves into the sign of Aries – the moon is void-of-course during the time between the sextile with Mars and the moon’s entry into Aries. This period of time could be two minutes or two days, depending on how the planets are aligned.
So now that I’ve explained it, there’s a good chance you don’t believe it. When the concept of moon void-of-course was first introduced in the seventeenth century, astrologers chuckled and put the concept away, and it had very few adherents until the mid-twentieth century, when an astrologer named Al Morrison began campaigning doggedly for others to take the phenomenon seriously. And it turns out that moon void-of-course times do have an effect on human affairs. Yes, it’s screwy and it makes no sense. Ignore it at your peril.
My upcoming class Mastering Moon Energies will discuss the impact of void-of-course moon on spellcasting.
I’m excited to announce that I will be leading another webinar in October.
MASTERING MOON ENERGY
How the Moon Effects Your Magic
A Webinar with Hearth Moon Rising
How does moon energy enhance (or inhibit) the effectiveness of your spells? What rituals work best for various moon phases? How do moon phases and sun positions interact magically? This class will help you use moon and sun energies more effectively in your practice.
The five week class will cover:
1) Dynamics of the moon’s path. Why does the moon effect life on earth so profoundly?
2) How do moon phases and signs influence a ceremony, spell, or activity?
3) How to handle void-of-course and eclipse energies.
The webinar is open to women and men and is appropriate for all levels of experience. Witches, druids, heathens, ceremonial magicians, and shamans will find this class helpful.
The webinar will meet Mondays October 9 to November 6 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. Meetings will be recorded and registrants will be able to access the lecture portion of the recording whether or not they attend.
Cost is $80.
More information here.
“Everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight
Everybody’s feelin’ warm and right
It’s such a fine and natural sight…”
This week was my first opportunity, believe it or not, to view a total lunar eclipse. Times when I might have theoretically been able to witness the event, the sky has been overcast. I watched the eclipse from the parking area in back of my house, a rather unromantic spot to commemorate a great occurence but one that afforded clear unimpeded observation. I had to stay up rather late to be visually present, but I was still very alert, and I can corroborate that the moon at first seemed to disappear bite by bite, and then to be present in a greatly diminished state. At first I was incredulous, despite intellectually understanding and accepting the event, as the immediate impact was surreal.
Of course I have been present for every partial and total eclipse in my lifetime, whatever the time of day or atmospheric condition. Without access to a spaceship there is no other choice. I think this eclipse has been unusually impactful, and I mean that in an uncomfortable karma-as-teacher kind of way. A lot of unbalanced accusations flying, with less self-aware people reacting to internal conflicts in a projected manner. I don’t know whether this heightened eclipse syndrome is related to this being a supermoon (moon at its closest orbit to earth), the eclipse occurring so close to the equinox, or Mercury retrograde adding communication problems to an already difficult aspect. Usually I do not do any magic around the time of an eclipse. I find the spell dampened or ineffective and prefer to wait for a more productive time. Beginning a day or two before the solar eclipse and continuing until the lunar, I try to affect my will magically as little as possible. Sometimes other events make this policy impractical, such as the Fall Equinox/Harvest holiday occurring smack in the middle of the two events. Even in this situation, however, I tend to keep the focus on worship rather than tangible goals. I have been taking a vacation even from larger writing projects and spending more time in the woods. I had to come out of retreat temporarily last week nonetheless to use magic to aid someone in a crisis that needed immediate intervention.
For me the eclipse seemed to be winding down even as it began, since I am an Aries and we tend to experience transits before they happen. I think this has to do with the Aries attraction to novelty manifesting as recognition of new vibrations in their prodromal phase, giving way to boredom with them as they develop. In fact, I’m surprised I’m even interested in debriefing this recent astrological event. It was, however, an exceedingly powerful one.