JUNE/JULY 2012 – LUNAR CYCLE
NEW MOON – JUNE 19, 2012 (11:03 AM EDT)
FULL MOON – JULY 3, 2012 (2:52 PM EDT)
SEEING WITH NEW EYES
By Heather Ensworth
This lunar cycle arrives on June 19, 2012 (11:03 AM EDT) a day before the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Venus has now returned from the underworld as a morning star, rising before the Sun.
As I write about this month’s lunar cycle at the time of the dark of the Moon, I am reminded of the Native American moon lodges where women gathered at the time of the Dark Moon to seek visions and guidance for the community. How powerful it would be if individually and collectively we used these days when the Moon disappears from view to meditate and seek guidance about the energies of the lunar cycle to come! This ancient practice was based on the understanding that when we open to the energies of the Universe, wisdom and guidance is readily available to us. We are not separate; we are not alone. This wisdom is very present and available to us today if we open to our insight and to new ways of seeing.
Our New Moon this month lies in the sky next to the Sun at the outstretched right arm of Orion near the feet of Gemini, the Twins. Even those of us who are not familiar with the stars know this ancient constellation. We often orient ourselves to the sky seeking the three stars of the belt of Orion. Many of us know that the ancient pyramids in Egypt and in Mexico were patterned after the configuration of these stars.
What does this constellation of Orion mean to us? Different cultures have seen these stars in various ways that reflect the dominant themes of their perceptions and historical and cultural context. Because of its location close to the celestial equator, Orion is visible all across our planet. In Greek mythology, Orion was seen as a hunter, boasting about how many animals he could kill. For the Sumerians, Orion was the hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven. This myth coming at the shift from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries reflects the cultural conflict between the ways of the Sacred Feminine (symbolized by the Bull) and the new patriarchal paradigm.
In a more ancient myth of Orion, in ancient Egypt, these stars were seen as representing the god Osiris who ruled the land in a peaceful way with his consort and partner, Isis. We see in Osiris and Isis the balance of the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine as the two respect and complement each other and teach the people to live in balance and in harmony.
Interestingly, in Hindu legend, this constellation is seen as Prajapati, a creator god. The Mayans also associated Orion with their creator. For them, the belt of Orion was the back of a celestial turtle from which their creator god emerged and brought forth the people of the world. They saw the center star in Orion’s belt as the flame of creation. Visually, there is a more foggy appearance to this center star. Perhaps these ancient cultures were more used to tuning in to the Universe through other ways of seeing and knowing than we are. It is profound that modern astronomers now know this is the location of the famous Orion Nebula. This nebula is a stellar nursery and is an active site in which new stars are being birthed. Much of our modern knowledge about star formation comes from astronomers’ study of this nebula.
Amazingly enough, the oldest image of a star pattern is an image of Orion found on an ivory tusk that is 32,500 years old discovered in 2003 by Dr. Michael Rappenglueck. It shows a human figure with arms and legs outstretched in the same pose as the stars of Orion. The carving on the ivory tablet also has 86 notches carved on its sides and back, which may be a pregnancy calendar to mark the days before birth. 86 is the number of days if subtracted from a year equals the number of days of human gestation. Also, this is the number of days that the bright star Betelguese (in the right shoulder) of Orion is visible.
So, how do we see these stars? As hunter seeking power and conquest, as a symbol of the balance of the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine or as a source of creation and a symbol of our own birth/rebirth? How we see these stars reflects how we see the world and our lives. As humans, we project our stories, our perceptions and our ways of being on the world around us and the sky above us. These projections reflect our inner reality and how we live our lives. If we are bonded to the stories of hunters and warriors, of struggle and of conquest, then we are identified with the current cultural themes of competition, power struggle and polarization.
If instead, we see these stars as a creatrix, a birth place for stars and a guide to new ways of being for ourselves, we can hold this vision in our hearts. We can be guided by Osiris and Isis to seek mutuality and equality with others and to live in wisdom and in peace. This new Moon time is a powerful time to look at the visions that guide our lives and our ways of seeing and what we project on to the world around us. What is it that we see? What is it that guides us? What is the way of being that informs us and is what we emanate to those around us?
This new Moon lead us into the powerful time of June 24th when the transformative energies of Uranus and Pluto come into their first exact square with each other. We have been feeling their interaction and energies for a few years now, but this encounter in which they come into alignment in an exact way is a powerful time when their transformative energies will be felt in an even more intense way.
On July 3rd (2:52 pm EDT), we move into the time of the Full Moon when the Sun and Moon come into connection with this powerful Pluto/Uranus sqare. The Full Moon lies in the sky right next to Pluto in the stars of Sagittarius, near the head of the Archer. Our new Moon was in the stars of Orion, often seen as a hunter/warrior, and now our Full Moon is in the stars of the Archer, seen in many cultures as a powerful warrior. Both the New Moon and Full Moon lie in constellations often perceived as warriors. However, more ancient, peaceful cultures were aware that this constellation Sagittarius lies near the galactic center. The arrow of the Archer points directly to the center of our galaxy. In ancient Peruvian culture, these stars were associated with the sacred lama and were seen as a lama mother and baby.
At the time of the Full Moon, the Moon lies next to Pluto and squares Uranus, embodying the intense energies of these transformational planets. This is a time of intensification and transformation. This lunar cycle is asking us to look at ourselves and at how we perceive the world around us and the stars above us — what is the lens through which we see our lives and what is the energy that we carry and emanate to the world around us? Do we see ourselves and others as warriors, all vying for power and control? Is life about competition, strife and power struggles with winners and losers? If so, the energy of this Full Moon may manifest in increased power struggles, conflict, violence and turmoil.
On the other hand, if we look more deeply into the nature of these constellations featured in our lunar cycle this month and realize that the New Moon is in Orion, birthplace of stars, and the Full Moon is in Sagittarius, pointing us toward the galactic center, then the energy of this lunar cycle can be about connecting to Source and about being in tune with the energies of creation. This can be a profound time of transformation of letting go of old ways of being and harmful perceptions and opening to new ways of being and seeing. This can be a time of rebirthing ourselves and seeing the world with new eyes.
It is significant that at the time of the Full Moon, the Sun now lies in the middle of the constellation Gemini, between the Twins who symbolize the energy of light and dark, of mortality and immortality. When we allow ourselves to see with new eyes, we can move out of polarization and see the unity of all things — of light and dark, of life and death, of the Earth and sky. We can become part of the healing so needed in these times of polarization and divisiveness.
This lunar cycle is calling us to choose how we perceive ourselves and the world around us and what energies we wish to manifest in this profound time of transformation. The stars are reminding us that we are made of stardust and can emanate the energy of life and light in a world that is too often wrought with conflict and strife.
Brady, Bernadette. Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1998.
BBC News – Science/Nature – Oldest star chart found. news.bbc.co.uk/2hi/2679675.stm
Heckert, Paul A. Nebulla in the Constellation Orion: Ancient Creation Mythology, Modern
Astrophysics and Star Formation. www.suite101.com