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Starward Oct 2011

Greetings!

We finally have our newsletter up and running!  Sorry for not having one last month but with the computer and program updates I had to deal with, it just wasn’t feasible.

Finally, we’re starting our series on Ceres, as promised two months ago!  This first article concerns the mythology of Ceres from Wikipedia.  It’s really interesting and will help you understand this new dwarf planet.

Next month, I’ll have an article on the aspects of Ceres in houses and signs.  We’ll see how many pages it ends up to be because I may have to print it in two parts since we’re limited to how many pages this newsletter can be. 

Let me know if you prefer the articles on the Moons rather than the Hot Degrees  

I hope you enjoy.

Sandye Sievers

Ceres (mythology) − From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In ancient Roman religion, Ceres (/ˈsɪəriːz/) was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. She was originally the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres". Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales (Ceres' games). She was also honored in the May lustration of fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites.

Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.

Etymology and origins

Ceres' name may derive from the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European root ker, meaning "to grow", which is also a possible root for "create" and "increase". Roman etymologists thought "ceres" derived from the Latin verb gerere, "to bear, bring forth, produce", because the goddess was linked to pastoral, agricultural and human fertility. Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome's neighbors in the Regal period, including the ancient Latins, Oscans and Sabellians, less certainly among the Etruscans and Umbrians.  An archaic Faliscan inscription of c.600 BC asks her to provide far (spelt wheat), which was a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres' name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread.

CULTS AND CULT THEMES

Agricultural fertility

Ceres had the power to fertilize, multiply and fructify plant and animal seed. She was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat, the yoking of oxen and plowing, the sowing, protection and nourishing of the young seed, and the gift of agriculture to humankind; before this, it was said, man had subsisted on acorns, and wandered without settlement or laws. Ceres' laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres and Tellus were offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow at the movable Feriae Sementivae, which was almost certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the intestines (exta) presented in an earthenware pot.  In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a pig, offered before the sowing.

Ceres' main festival, Cerealia, was held from mid to late April. It was organized by her plebeian aediles and included circus games.  It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus, whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple; the turning post at the far end of the Circus was sacred to Consus, a god of grain-storage. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches, perhaps to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth.  From c.175 BC, Cerealia included theatrical religious events, held through April 12 to 18.

Before the harvest, Ceres was offered a proprietary grain sample  In the historical period, the praementium was offered at her temple.

Marriage, human fertility and nourishment

Ceres' torch was a mark of Roman weddings. The bridal procession (deductio ad domum) took place at night, and was headed by a young boy who carried a torch in honour of Ceres. No adult males could take part in the procession. Once she had allowed herself to be led thus to her husband's home, she was lawfully married and a matron, and was expected to constrain her sexuality within the boundaries of her marriage.[10] Pliny the Elder "notes that the most auspicious wood for wedding torches came from the spina alba, the may tree, which bore many fruits and hence symbolized fertility". This practice may represent the continuation of a much earlier identification or conflation of Ceres with Tellus (as Terra Mater), who was invoked in the auspices at Roman weddings and personified the fertile earth itself. Tellus was offered sacrifice by the bride; a sow is the most likely victim. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as "a worthy mark of weddings" because "our women, and especially nurses" call the female genitalia porcus (pig). Spaeth (1996) believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is closely identified with Tellus and "bears the laws" of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, confarreatio, the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type particularly associated with Ceres.

Laws

Several of Ceres' ancient Italic precursors are connected to human fertility and motherhood; the Pelignan goddess Angitia Cerealis has been identified with the Roman goddess Angerona (associated with childbirth).  From at least the mid-republican era, the cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres' connection with traditional Roman ideals of female virtue, motherhood and its attendant duties.  Promotion of her cult is associated with the development of a plebeian nobility, a fall in the patrician birthrate and a rise in the birthrate among plebeian commoners.  The late Republican Ceres Mater (Mother Ceres) is genetrix (progenitress) and alma (nourishing) and in the early Imperial era she receives joint cult with Ops Augusta, Ceres' own mother in Imperial guise and a bountiful genetrix in her own right

The mundus of Ceres

The mundus cerialis (literally "the world" of Ceres) was a pit or underground vault in Rome. Cato describes its shape as a reflection or inversion of the dome of the upper heavens. It was normally sealed by a stone lid known as the lapis manalis.  Its origins, uses and location are disputed, and it was opened on only three occasions in the religious year, August 24, October 5 and November 8. The circumstances of this ceremony remain obscure: the days when the mundus was open are identified in the oldest Roman calendar as C (omitiales) (days when the Comitia met) but by later authors as dies religiosus, when it would be irreligious to perform any official work: this apparent contradiction has led to the suggestion that the whole mundus ritual was not contemporary with Rome's early calendar or early Cerean cult, but was a later Greek import. Nevertheless, these three days are intimate to the official festivals of the agricultural cycle, being clustered within the harvest period: the mundus rite of August 24 follows Consualia (an agricultural festival) and precedes Opiconsivia (another such). With the mundus opened, and the fact announced by the declaration "mundus patet", offerings were made there to agricultural or underworld deities, including Ceres as goddess of the fruitful earth and guardian of its underworld portals. On these days, the spirits of the dead could lawfully emerge from below and roam among the living, in what Warde Fowler describes as ‘holidays, so to speak, for the ghosts’. When it was re-sealed, they returned to the realms of the dead.

Apart from the festivals of Parentalia and Lemuralia, these rites at the mundus cerialis on particular dies religiosi are the only known, regular official contacts with the spirits of the dead, or Di Manes. This may represent a secondary or late function of the mundus, attested no earlier than the Late Republican Era, by Varro.  Warde Fowler speculates its original function as a storehouse (penus) for the best of the harvest, to provide seed-grain for the next planting, becoming a largely symbolic penus of the Roman state. In Plutarch, the digging of such a pit to receive first-fruits and small quantities of native soil was an Etruscan colonial city-foundation rite.  The rites of the mundus suggest Ceres as guardian deity of seed-corn, an essential deity in the establishment and agricultural prosperity of cities, and a door-warden of the underworld's afterlife, in which her daughter Proserpina rules as queen-companion to Pluto or Dis.

Expiations

In Roman theology, prodigies were abnormal phenomena that manifested divine anger at human impiety. In Roman histories, prodigies are clustered around perceived or actual threats to the equilibrium of the Roman state, in particular, famine, war and social disorder, and are expiated as matters of urgency. The establishment of Ceres' Aventine cult has itself been interpreted as an extraordinary expiation after the failure of crops and consequent famine. In Livy's history, Ceres is among the deities placated after a remarkable series of prodigies that accompanied the disasters of the Second Punic War: during the same conflict, a lighting strike at her temple was expiated. A fast in her honor is recorded for 191 BC, to be repeated at 5-year intervals.  After 206, she was offered at least 11 further official expiations. Many of these were connected to famine and manifestations of plebeian unrest, rather than war. From the Middle Republic onwards, expiation was increasingly addressed to her as mother to Proserpina. The last known followed Rome's Great Fire of 64 AD. The cause or causes of the fire remained uncertain, but its disastrous extent was taken as a sign of offense against Juno, Vulcan, and Ceres-with-Proserpina, who were all were given expiatory cult. Champlin (2003) perceives the expiations to Vulcan and Ceres in particular as attempted populist appeals by the ruling emperor, Nero.

MYTHS AND THEOLOGY

Ceres with cereals

The complex and multi-layered origins of the Aventine Triad and Ceres herself allowed multiple interpretations of their relationships; Cicero asserts Ceres as mother to both Liber and Libera, consistent with her role as a mothering deity. Varro's more complex theology groups her functionally with Tellus, Terra, Venus (and thus Victoria) and with Libera as a female aspect of Liber   No native Roman myths of Ceres are known. According to interpretatio romana, which sought the equivalence of Roman to Greek deities, she was an equivalent to Demeter, one of the Twelve Olympians of Greek religion and mythology; this made Ceres one of Rome's twelve Di Consentes, daughter of Saturn and Ops, sister of Jupiter, mother of Proserpina by Jupiter and sister of Juno, Vesta, Neptune and Pluto. Ceres' known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter's:

"When Ceres sought through all the earth with lit torches for Proserpina, who had been seized by Dis Pater, she called her with shouts where three or four roads meet; from this it has endured in her rites that on certain days a lamentation is raised at the crossroads everywhere by the matronae."]

Ceres had strong mythological and cult connections with Sicily, especially at Henna (Enna), on whose "miraculous plain" flowers bloomed throughout the year. This was the place of Proserpina's rape and abduction to the underworld and the site of Ceres' most ancient Sanctuary. According to legend, she begged Jupiter that Sicily be placed in the heavens. The result, because the island is triangular in shape, was the constellation Triangulum, an early name of which was Sicilia.

Temples

Vitruvius (c.80 – 15 BC) describes the "Temple of Ceres near the Circus Maximus" (her Aventine Temple) as typically Araeostyle, having widely spaced supporting columns, with architraves of wood, rather than stone. This species of temple is "clumsy, heavy roofed, low and wide, [its] pediments ornamented with statues of clay or brass, gilt in the Tuscan fashion".  He recommends that temples to Ceres be sited in rural areas: "in a solitary spot out of the city, to which the public are not necessarily led but for the purpose of sacrificing to her. This spot is to be reverenced with religious awe and solemnity of demeanor, which the public are not necessarily led but for the purpose of sacrificing to her. This spot is to be reverenced with religious awe an solemnity of demeanor, by those whose affairs lead them to visit it." During the early Imperial era, soothsayers advised Pliny the Younger to restore an ancient, "old and narrow" temple to Ceres, at his rural property near Como. It contained an ancient wooden cult statue of the goddess, which he replaced. Though this was unofficial, private cult (sacra privata) its annual feast on the Ides of September, the same day as the Epulum Jovis, was attended by pilgrims from all over the region. Pliny considered this rebuilding a fulfillment of his civic and religious duty.

Priesthoods

Ceres was served by several public priesthoods. Some were male; her senior priest also served Tellus and was usually plebeian by ancestry or adoption.  Her public cult at the Ambarvalia, or "perambulation of fields" identified her with Dea Dia, and was led by "The Brothers of the Fields") rural versions of these rites were led as private cult by the heads of households. An inscription at Capua names a male − a priest dedicated to Ceres' rites of the mundus. The plebeian aediles had minor or occasional priestly functions at Ceres' Aventine Temple and were responsible for its management and financial affairs including collection of fines, the organization of ludi Cerealia and probably the Cerealia itself. Their cure (care and jurisdiction) included , or came to include, the grain supply and later the plebeian grain doles, the organization and management of public games in general, and the maintenance of Rome's streets and public buildings.

Otherwise, in Rome and throughout Italy, as at her ancient sanctuaries of Henna and Catena, Ceres' ritus graecia and her joint cult with Proserpina were invariably led by female sacerdotes, drawn from women of local and Roman elites: Cicero notes that once the new cult had been founded, its earliest priestesses "generally were either from Naples or Velia", cities allied or federated to Rome. Elsewhere, he describes Ceres' Sicilian priestesses as "older women respected for their noble birth and character". Celibacy may have been a condition of their office; sexual abstinence was, according to Ovid, required of those attending Ceres' major, nine-day festival.  Her public priesthood was reserved to respectable matrons, be they married, divorced or widowed. The process of their selection and their relationship to Ceres' older, entirely male priesthood is unknown; but they far outnumbered her few male priests, and would have been highly respected and influential figures in their own communities.

CULT DEVELOPMENT

Archaic and Regal eras

Roman tradition credited Ceres' eponymous festival, Cerealia, to Rome's second king, the semi-legendary Numa. Ceres' senior, male priesthood was a minor flaminate. This priesthood and its rites were supposedly also innovations of Numa. Her affinity and joint cult with Tellus, also known as Terra Mater (Mother Earth) may have developed at this time. Much later, during the early Imperial era, Ovid describes these goddesses as "partners in labor"; Ceres provides the "cause" for the growth of crops and Tellus provides them a place to grow.

REPUBLICAN ERA

Ceres and the Aventine Triad

In 496 BC, against a background of economic recession and famine in Rome, imminent war against the Latins and a threatened secession by Rome's citizen commoners, the dictator A. Postumius vowed a temple to Ceres, Liber and Libera on or near the Aventine Hill. The famine ended and Rome's plebeian citizen-soldiery co-operated in the conquest of the Latins.  Postumius' vow was fulfilled in 493 BC: Ceres became the central deity of the new Triad, housed in a new-built Aventine temple.[57] She was also – or became – the patron goddess of the plebs, whose enterprise as tenant farmers, estate managers, agricultural factors and importers was a mainstay of Roman agriculture.

Much of Rome's grain was imported from territories of Magna Graecia, particularly from Sicily, which later Roman mythographers describe as Ceres' "earthly home". Writers of the late Roman Republic and early Empire describe Ceres' Aventine temple and rites as conspicuously Greek. In modern scholarship, this is taken as further evidence of long-standing connections between the plebeians, Ceres and Magna Graecia. It also raises unanswered questions on the nature, history and character of these associations: the Triad itself may have been a self-consciously Roman cult formulation based on Greco-Italic precedents. To complicate matters further, when a new form of Cerean cult was officially imported from Magna Graecia, it was known as the ritus graecus (Greek rite) of Ceres, and was distinct from her older Roman rites.

The older forms of Aventine rites to Ceres remain uncertain. Most Roman cults were led by men, and the officiant's head was covered by a fold of his toga. In the Roman ritus graecus, a male celebrant wore Greek-style vestments, and remained bareheaded before the deity, or else wore a wreath. While Ceres' original Aventine cult was led by male priests, her "Greek rites" (ritus graecus Cereris) were exclusively female.

MIDDLE REPUBLIC

Ceres and Proserpina

The ritus graecus Cereris to Ceres and her daughter Proserpina was imported to Rome around 205 BC, soon before the end of the Second Punic War. It was brought from southern Italy, along with its Greek priestesses. The latter were given Roman citizenship, and thus owed responsibility and allegiance to the Roman state, so that they could pray to the gods "with a foreign and external knowledge, but with a domestic and civil intention". The cult was based on ancient, ethnically Greek cults to Demeter, most notably the Thesmophoria to Demeter and Persephone, whose cults and myths also provided a basis for the Eleusinian mysteries.

From the end of the 3rd century BC, Demeter's temple at Enna, in Sicily, was acknowledged as Ceres' oldest, most authoritative cult center, and Libera was recognized as Proserpina, Roman equivalent to Demeter's daughter Persephone. Their joint cult recalls Demeter's search for Persephone, after the latter's rape and abduction into the underworld by Hades. The new cult to "mother and maiden" took its place alongside the old, but made no reference to Liber. Thereafter, Ceres was offered two separate and distinctive forms of official cult at the Aventine. Both might have been supervised by the male flamen Cerialis but otherwise, their relationship is unclear. The older form of cult included both men and women, and probably remained a focus for plebeian political identity and discontent. The new identified its exclusively females initiates and priestesses as upholders of Rome's traditional, patrician-dominated social hierarchy and mores.

Ceres and Magna Mater

A year after the import of the ritus cereris, patrician senators imported cult to the Greek goddess Cybele and established her as Magna Mater (The Great Mother) within Rome's sacred boundary, facing the Aventine Hill. Cybele's cult image was brought by the Vestal Virgin Claudia Quinta, as an errand of State. Like Ceres, Cybele was a form of Graeco-Roman earth goddess. Unlike her, she had mythological ties to Troy, and thus to the Trojan prince Aeneas, mythological ancestor of Rome's founding father and first patrician Romulus. The establishment of official Roman cult to Magna Mater coincided with the start of a new saeculum (cycle of years). It was followed by Hannibal's defeat, the end of the Punic War and an exceptionally good harvest. Roman victory and recovery could therefore be credited to Magna Mater and patrician piety: so the patricians dined her and each other at her festival banquets. In similar fashion, the plebeian nobility underlined their claims to Ceres. Up to a point, the two cults reflected a social and political divide, but when certain prodigies were interpreted as evidence of Ceres' displeasure, the senate appeased her with a new festival, The Feast of Ceres.

In 133 BC, the plebeian noble Tiberius Gracchus bypassed the Senate and appealed directly to the popular assembly to pass his proposed land-reforms. Civil unrest spilled into violence; Gracchus and many of his supporters were murdered by their conservative opponents. At the behest of the Sibylline oracle, the senate sent the quindecimviri to Ceres' ancient cult center at Henna in Sicily, the goddess' supposed place of origin and earthly home. Some kind of religious consultation or propitiation was given, either to expiate Gracchus' murder – as later Roman sources would claim – or to justify it as the lawful killing of a would-be king or demagogue, a homo sacer who had offended Ceres' laws against tyranny.

Late Republic

The Eleusinian mysteries became increasingly popular during the late Republic. Early Roman initiates at Eleusis in Greece included Sulla and Cicero; thereafter many Emperors were initiated, including Hadrian, who founded an Eleusinian cult center in Rome itself.

In Late Republican politics, aristocratic traditionalists and populists used coinage to propagated their competing claims to Ceres' favor. A coin of Sulla shows Ceres on one side, on the other a ploughman with yoked oxen: the images, accompanied by the legend "conditor", claim his rule (a military dictatorship) as regenerative and divinely justified. Populists used her name and attributes to appeal their guardianship of plebeian interests, particularly the annona and frumentarium; and plebeian nobles and aediles used them to point out their ancestral connections with plebeian commoners.  In the decades of Civil War that ushered in the Empire, such images and dedications proliferate on Rome's coinage: Julius Caesar, his opponents, his assassins and his heirs alike claimed the favor and support of Ceres and her plebeian proteges, with coin issues that celebrate Ceres, Libertas (liberty) and Victoria (victory).

Imperial theology conscripted Rome's traditional cults as the divine upholders of Imperial Pax (peace) and prosperity, for the benefit of all. The emperor Augustus began the restoration of Ceres' Aventine Temple; his successor Tiberius completed it.  Of the several figures on the Augustan Ara Pacis, one doubles as a portrait of the Empress Livia, who wears Ceres' corona spicea. Another has been variously identified in modern scholarship as Tellus, Venus, Pax or Ceres, or in Spaeth's analysis, a deliberately broad composite of them all.

Rome's grain supply, as reformed by the emperor Claudius, was personified as an Imperial goddess, Annona, a junior partner to Ceres and the Imperial family. The traditional, Cerean virtues of provision and nourishment were symbolically extended to Imperial family members with coinage that showed Claudius' mother Antonia as Augusta with corona spicea.

The relationship between the reigning emperor, empress and Ceres was formalized as an Imperial title, Ceres Augusta. On coinage, various emperors and empresses wear her corona spicea; goddess, emperor and spouse are conjointly responsible for agricultural prosperity and the all-important provision of grain. A coin of Nerva (reigned AD 96–98) acknowledges Rome's dependence on the princeps' gift of frumentio (corn dole) to the masses. Under Nerva's later dynastic successor Antoninus Pius, Imperial theology represents the death and apotheosis of the Empress Faustina the Elder as Ceres' return to Olympus by Jupiter's command. Even then, "her care for mankind continues and the world can rejoice in the warmth of her daughter Proserpina: in Imperial flesh, Proserpina is (Faustina the Younger)", empress-wife of Pius' successor Marcus Aurelius.

In Britain, a soldier's inscription of the 2nd century AD attests to Ceres' role in the popular syncretism of the times. She is "the bearer of ears of corn", the "Syrian Goddess", identical with the universal heavenly Mother, the Magna Mater and Virgo, virgin mother of the gods. She is peace and virtue, and inventor of justice: she weighs "Life and Right" in her scale. During the Late Imperial era, Ceres gradually "slips into obscurity"; the last known official association of the Imperial family with her symbols is an issue of Septimius Severus (AD 193–211), showing his empress, Julia Domna, in the corona spicea. After the reign of Claudius Gothicus, no coinage shows Ceres' image. Even so, an initiate of her mysteries is attested in the 5th century AD, after the official abolition of all non-Christian cults.

Legacy

The word cereals derives from Ceres, commemorating her association with edible grains. Statues of Ceres top the domes of the Missouri State Capitol and the Vermont State House serving as a reminder of the importance of agriculture in the states' economies and histories. There is also a statue of her on top of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, which conducts trading in agricultural commodities.

The dwarf planet Ceres (discovered 1801), is named after this goddess. And in turn, the chemical element cerium (discovered 1803) was named after the dwarf planet. A poem about Ceres and humanity features in Dmitri's confession to his brother Alexei in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 3.

Ceres appears as a character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

An aria in praise of Ceres is sung in Act 4 of the opera The Trojans by Hector Berlioz.

The goddess Ceres is one of the three goddess offices held in the Grange [disambiguation needed] or Patrons of Husbandry. The other goddesses are Pomona, and Flora.

Ceres is depicted on the Seal of New Jersey as a symbol of prosperity.

Date

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10/2

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09Leo57

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17Sag36

10/6

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26Lib48

10Leo32

08Tau09

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02Ari09

28Aqu27

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17Sag33

10/7

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23Lib56

25Gem03

06Sco37

10Sco29

16Leo52

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01Ari44

28Aqu18

05Cap08

16Sag58

10/18

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07Can28

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10/19

25Lib55

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06Tau25

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01Ari38

28Aqu15

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10/21

27Lib54

16Leo47

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01Ari20

28Aqu11

05Cap21

16Sag20

10/30

06Sco53

29Sag38

25Sco48

26Sco39

24Leo01

05Tau04

22Lib13

01Ari18

28Aqu10

05Cap23

16Sag17

10/31

07Sco53

13Cap22

27Sco12

27Sco53

24Leo33

04Tau56

22Lib20

01Ari16

28Aqu10

05Cap24

16Sag13

 

ARIES FULL MOON ~ OCTOBER 11, 2011

BY;  Stephanie Austin

 

Everything is connected.  This Full Moon in Aries-Libra reminds us that we are always in relationship, that nothing and no one is truly separate.  On the surface, reality seems to be composed of discrete subjects and events.  When we probe beyond appearances, into the realms of mysticism and subatomic physics, we see that everything is in constant motion, communication, and connection.

It has never been easier to realize quantum and galactic truths.  The period of October 11-28 demarcates the final phase of the Mayan Calendar, according to Mayan scholar Carl Johan Calleman.  Mayan cosmology maps the evolution of consciousness over a period of 16.4 billion years, which coincides with modern scientific estimates of the age of our universe.  The Mayan sacred calendar describes 13 stages of Creation, called Heavens, divided into seven days and six nights.  Each of these encompasses nine levels, or Underworlds, which mark major evolutionary developments:  cellular, mammalian, familial, tribal, regional, national, planetary, galactic, and universal expressions of consciousness.  Each Underworld is 20 times shorter and faster than the preceding one.  Since March 9, 2011, we have been in the 9th and final Underworld, the Universal, representing the closing days of duality and the transition to unity consciousness.  Just as December 31 marks the end of one year, the end of the Mayan Calendar does not signify the end of the world, but rather the completion of one great cycle and the beginning of another ~ in this case, the full flowering of one round of Creation and a dimensional shift into universal consciousness.  For more on the Mayan Calendar, visit www.calleman.com, or watch Ian Lungold’s excellent lecture, “The Mayan Calendar Moves North,” on YouTube.

A Full Moon in Aries-Libra coinciding with the final phase of the Mayan Calendar emphasizes that the gateway to universal consciousness is the unification of all opposites and the recognition of our equality and interdependence with all life.  Aries is the first sign in the zodiac, symbolizing the energy of new beginnings and the development of initiative and autonomy; Libra represents the power of love and the development of authenticity, objectivity, and mutuality.  All Full Moons challenge us to integrate two seemingly polarized archetypes.  In order to do so, we must transcend either/or thinking by connecting our head with our heart.  Aries asks:  Who am I?  Libra asks:  Who are we?  The Sun in Libra highlights the importance of truth and beauty, partnership and peace.  The Moon in Aries illuminates where we need to be courageous and willing to break new ground.

In the final days of duality, we are settling our karmic debts at warp speed ~ hence the magnitude of inner and outer changes appearing in our lives and the world.  Saturn forms a close conjunction with the Sun in Libra (exact on October 13 at 20˚), bringing to the fore issues of integrity and accountability, fairness and boundaries.  As the mythic Reaper, Saturn symbolizes the principle of cause and effect, the biblical “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.”  Saturn especially demands the responsible use of our own power and authority.

We are cosmic pioneers, expanding the frontiers of Creation, “going where no human has gone before.”  The Sabian symbols for this Full Moon urge us to use our intuition and ingenuity to make real changes, rather than fall back into victim, rebel, or martyr roles.  For the Moon at 19˚ Aries: “The ‘Magic Carpet’ of oriental imagery; the use of creative imagination.”  And the Sun at 19˚ Libra:  “A gang of robbers in hiding; protest against disharmonic social privilege.”  This Full Moon, and this extraordinary time on Planet Earth, requires that we do less and be more ~ be more present, more in our hearts; more in love and gratitude than in fear and judgment.  Remember:  “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” (Mohandas Gandhi)

 

SCORPIO NEW MOON – OCTOBER 26, 2011

By:  Stephanie Austin

 

Before we bring in the new, we must offer up the old.  This New Moon occurs two days before the end date of the Mayan Calendar …, greatly magnifying its potency.  Scorpio calls us to release what we have outgrown ~ a job, a relationship, a way of life ~ whatever is no longer supporting our evolution.  Einstein observed that a problem cannot be solved at the level at which it was created.  Only a dimensional shift in consciousness can resolve the numerous crises we currently face.  And in order to progress from duality to unity, we must transmute whatever remains in our shadow.

Scorpio is the sign most concerned with the shadow and the power of the unconscious.  The shadow contains whatever we idolize or demonize, perpetuating unequal relationships and chronic struggles with authority figures.  Our shadow holds not only our less desirable qualities, but also anything that has been repressed our gifts, our truth, our light.  When we identify with one side of a polarity, we unconsciously project its opposite outward, imprisoning ourselves in separation and suffering.  When we bring our awareness to what has been disowned, healing happens.  As we release judgments and identification with either side, we move into a non-dual, compassionate view of life.  We shift from the third chakra, the power center, up to the fourth, the heart.  From that level, we feel our divine connection and naturally choose what is for the good of all.  For a beautiful, eye-opening video on the key to humanity’s evolution, watch “Revelations” at http://awakeningasone.com.

Jupiter’s opposition to the Sun, Moon, and asteroid Juno in Scorpio urges us to deeply question our assumptions and motivations.  What mindsets are limiting our options?  What are our true desires and needs?  Jupiter trines Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio (exact on October 28 at 5˚20’ Taurus-Capricorn), urging us to shift our priorities and reform dysfunctional institutions.  This is the second of three Jupiter-Pluto trines; the first was on July 7 at 5˚58’; the third forms on March 12, 2012 at 9˚21’.  In addition, Pluto, the mythic God of Death and Rebirth, sextiles the Sun and Moon and semi-squares Mercury and Venus in Scorpio, sesquiquadrates Mars in Leo, and squares Uranus in Aries.  All of this greatly amplifies the cosmic imperative to release old beliefs and transform structures to foster equality and collaboration rather than domination and competition.

Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio before Pluto’s discovery, quintiles (72˚) the New Moon, closely squares Mercury and Venus, and opposes Neptune, stimulating creativity and passion as well as potential misunderstandings.  Clearly state what you want, and make sure everyone is on the same page.  Emotional reactions are also heightened because this is the fifth of six Super Moons this year, where the Moon is both at perigee (its closest approach to the Earth) and at syzygy (in line with the Sun and Earth), intensifying gravitational pulls of tides, tectonic plates ~ and our psyches.

The Sabian symbol for this New Moon at 4˚ Scorpio illustrates the importance of fostering heart-centered, higher consciousness:  “A youth carries a lighted candle in a devotional ritual; the educative power of ceremonies which impress the great images of a culture upon its gathered participants.”  Gather with like-minded souls around this very significant New Moon; affirm your soul intentions.  “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future.  As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise.  To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life-forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.  We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.  Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.” (The Earth Charter, www.arewelistening.net).