Wild, Precious Life BELTANE: CROSS-QUARTER STATION OF THE SUN · MAY 4-5, 2021
Wild, Precious Life
BELTANE: CROSS-QUARTER STATION OF THE SUN May 4-5, 2021
Merry May Eve, Walpurgis Night, Beltane — the wheel of the year is turning. The Sun, our central star, nears a critical phase in its yearly passage: the midpoint between spring equinox and the coming summer solstice — here in the north that is. On May Day, north of the equator, we celebrate a fertile, waxing Sun swiftly climbing to its zenith, the height of its power. For those of you who like precision, the Sun actually strikes this exact "equinox-solstice" midpoint, a few days from now, this year arriving at 15° Taurus on the morning of the 5th (UT). For those of us here in Pacific time, it falls on the 4th, — and just barely — at two minutes before the witching hour of midnight.
Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature and associated with important events in their mythologies. The festival marked the time when cattle were released to distant, higher elevation pastures; therefore, Beltane rituals were performed not only to increase crops and protect people, but also to protect the cattle foraging at some distance from the village. As Ronald Hutton, English historian and professor of history at Bristol University, noted in his book, Stations of the Sun, special bonfires were lit at this time and their flames, smoke and ash were thought to possess protective powers. Cattle would be driven around a bonfire, or between two bonfires, people would walk around the fires as well and sometimes leap over flames or embers. All household fires would be put out and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire, transferring its protective power to each home.
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So Many Kinds of Yes THE ARIES EQUINOX · March 20, 2021
So Many Kinds of Yes
THE ARIES EQUINOX March 20, 2021
Spring is my favorite season of the year and the older I get the more I appreciate it, the more I need it — this return of life, of the Sun, which, higher in the sky each day, actually feels warm again. Although the nights are still cold, daffodils scattered around the yard and the cheerful orange and yellow calendulas are blooming proof that winter is over. At the forest's edge, trilliums and milkmaids are blooming among ferns, emerging from their winter's sleep, they spiral their emerald heads skyward dressed in their green fractal lace, a perfect symbol of spring.
In the small orchard below our house, the young peach and nectarine trees, planted four years ago, are starting to open in full bloom, while the Santa Rosa plum, earliest to wake, is already well past its peak. Pale, yellow-green leaves are unfurling, we'll soon see those telltale swellings on the spent flower stalks that fortell midsummer plums. The Gravenstein and Golden Delicious apple trees lag behind, but will soon open their clusters of light pink crepe paper, and the quince, just beginning to leaf out, will soon open its large white flowers. With the blossoms come the bees, and given their current crisis from human beings' sociopathic need for pesticides, it is a miracle any are left.
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Either a Rebel or Slave THE SATURN-PLUTO CONJUNCTION · Jan 12, 2020
Either a Rebel or Slave
THE SATURN-PLUTO CONJUNCTION Jan 12, 2020
Two of astrology's heaviest hitters, Saturn and Pluto, have come together in an exact conjunction: an end-of-an-era alignment that brings to a close a long, almost 40-year chapter that began back in 1982.
Several planetary cycles converge with this turning-point conjunction, breaking shore on the turbulent tide of a complex lunar eclipse, with not only the Sun and Moon, as every lunar eclipse, but Mercury, Ceres, Saturn, and Pluto — all in a tight huddle, less than three degrees apart.
Disruptive and destabilizing Uranus, catalyst for change is also involved, stationing direct on the very day of the eclipse; and Eris, Greek Goddess of War and Strife, sister to Ares, God of War, has thrown a monkey wrench of her own into the works: tightly squaring the whole conflagration from Mars-ruled Aries.
SOMETHING WILD AND NEW is crashing into awareness right now, shattering an old, tangled knot of limitation and stagnation, all the while Saturn forces keep trying to re-tie the same knot: keep the status quo/gravy train in place, forces that have long been mobilized, entrenched and powerful.
Yet Pluto disintegration, death and renewal has been unleashed and there is no going back. The knot has unraveled. We are in the death throes of an old, outdated system that does not, like anything, want to die, and will not give up without a fight. But destiny, if there is such a thing, has arrived: the seeds of a brand new cycle, one that will build over the next three decades, have been sown. The Age of Aquarius is dawning, born from the ashes of human-made division and devastation.
The beautiful Japanese woodblock print above, "Spring Evening at Inokashira Park (1931)," is the work of Japanese artist Kawase Hasui, a leading print designer of the shin-hanga period. Shin-hanga ("new prints") was an art movement in early 20th-century Japan with a return to a traditional ukiyo-e approach, where artists, woodcarvers and printers worked together, rather than one person doing everything. Shin-hanga flourished from around 1915 to 1942, resuming briefly, after the War, from 1946 through the 1950s.
© Elaine Kalantarian, all rights reserved