It’s a Mad-Mad-Mad-Mad Midsummer

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With the exact moment of summer solstice barely an hour gone, my inner eye is on the heavens. A grand time to post my best seasonal wishes . . . and a few celestial thoughts.

When times are desperate, astrologers often ring semi-alarmist alarm bells by alluding to the horrible histories that occurred the last time particular planets formed the particular aspects they are forming now.

Fair enough, the long-term transit of Saturn (planet of hard knocks, illness, restriction, order) conjunct (intertwined with) Pluto (planet of death, power, secrets, everything Goth) in Capricorn (Saturn’s sign, serious, authoritative) describes our current COVID-19 lockdowns/police oppression/socio-political revolution sitch perfectly.  But what do we gain by looking back 500 years to the last time Saturn was conjunct Pluto in Capricorn — to Martin Luther’s Reformation and Hernán Cortés’ destruction of the Aztec Empire?  Sure, those events also perfectly fill the astrological bill, but human history is so fraught with horrors, I defy you to find any year where parallel hell-in-a-handbasket disasters weren’t occurring somewhere on the planet.

Personally, I’m more concerned about the mad number of planets in retrograde at the moment.  (From our earthly p.o.v., a “retrograde” planet appears to be moving backwards in the night sky.)

Mercury went retrograde yesterday and will stay that way until July 11th.  “Mercury retrograde” is the one everyone knows, because it happens all the time.  Wonky communications for a couple weeks.  Missed packages.  Kids acting up.  C’est la vie.

Venus has been retrograde since May 13th and won’t go direct till June 25th.  Weird undercurrents in relationships and with money.  Jupiter (nothing if not enthusiastic) and Saturn (see above) are spending the entire summer retrograde, mid-May till mid-September.  Reckless excesses and out-of-the-blue dis-ease/disease.  Neptune is going retrograde on the 23rd and not letting up till nearly December.  Subconsciously-triggered depression and anxiety.  And Pluto is also in it for the long haul; retrograde since the end of April and till the beginning of October.  Emotions bubbling up from who knows where and exploding at random.

The thumbnails above are worst-case scenarios.  The main thing with retrogrades, to my mind, is they highlight stuff that’s going on, but for some reason we find hard to grasp, or discern where it’s coming from, or bring to the forefront of our consciousness.  Retrograde can muddy the waters, fog our vision, and leave us vulnerable. 

Today’s annular solar eclipse?  Yeah, it’s a big deal.  Kinda.

By the by and in case you’re wondering, the “annular” bit means the moon-disk isn’t on a par with the sun-disk, so at the peak of the eclipse, the sun appears as a super-bright ring — an annulus — around the black moon.

No denying, for a giant moon-wolf to devour the sun (even for a short time) on her brightest, longest day is not a good omen.  In days of yore, only those dwelling in the eclipse’s path would have cause to worry.  The rest of the Pagan world would be blissfully oblivious to, and presumably, therefore, blissfully unaffected by the dire consequences of the event.  Modern world-conscious, globally plugged-in neo-Pagans are highly aware.  Some of us may even muse upon the significance of the eclipse hitting parts of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, and China directly.

Good news is, an eclipse means the moon is new in Cancer, exact tonight at 22:41 Pacific Time.  New moon, full sun . . . a wonderful window of opportunity for thinking about our relationship to society, for blessing our homes if we’ve got them, and for sending bright blessings to those we love.

Wishing you all a joyous Midsummer.  May you have the sun’s fierceness and the oak tree’s strength to weather the months ahead.

How about a Cornish Midsummer Bonfire song to close?

The bonny month of June is crowned
With the sweet scarlet rose;
The groves and meadows all around
With lovely pleasure flows.

As I walked out to yonder green,
One evening so fair;
All where the fair maids may be seen,
Playing at the bonfire.

Hail! lovely nymphs, be not too coy,
But freely yield your charms;
Let love inspire with mirth and joy,
In Cupid’s lovely arms.

Bright Luna spreads its light around,
The gallants for to cheer;
As they lay sporting on the ground,
At the fair June bonfire.

All on the pleasant dewy mead,
They shared each other’s charms;
Till Phoebus’ beams began to spread,
And coming day alarms.

Whilst larks and linnets sing so sweet,
To cheer each lovely swain;
Let each prove true unto their love,
And so farewell the plain.

Castle an Dinas – midsummer bonfire, 2009

Risa Aratyr @ June 20, 2020