Do you bow your head when you pray or do you look up into that blue space?
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions—Mary Oliver.
June arrives, blue skies, mauve fields of lacy phacelia, an excess of light that shimmers, bright and strange.
Things are not all they seem at Midsummer when we’re drunk with heat and dazed by light. Some say that the veil between the worlds is thin as we approach the Midsummer Solstice. That faery folk make mischief in the shadows, especially when the world is awash with golden moonlight. Tonight, there is magic everywhere as the Moon nudges close to our earth, appearing bigger, brighter than usual.
In 1979, American astrologer, Richard Nolle, named this moon which glows in the slow sunset, Supermoon. We’ve borrowed the name “Strawberry Moon” from first nation people who gathered wild strawberries and other early fruit at this time of midsummer celebration and abundance.
This so-called Supermoon is moving through the sign of Sagittarius, a sign ruled by jovial Jupiter, hedonistic, entitled King of the gods in Roman mythology. In the language of astrology, Jupiter is often simplistically described as bringing “good luck”. Yet “good luck” is as ephemeral as happiness, as fleeting as our attention. We invoke the buoyancy and resilience of Jupiter when we keep the faith, when we dare to hope even when we’re standing in the lengthening shadows. Jupiter may be the silver lining in the dark clouds of circumstance.
Full Moons can accompany enchantments, or wreak havoc in the lives of foolish mortals. This Full Moon is veiled by a square to enigmatic Neptune in dreamy Pisces, signifying moonlight-infused magic, but also, as Shakespeare so beautifully described in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a siren song that brings confusion, misunderstanding and a dream-like quality to our ordinary lives. An over-heated Mars in Aries collides brutishly with Chiron (archetype of the Wounded Healer) on the day of the Full Moon, a complex symbol that speaks of wounded warriors, a Fisher King wounded in the groin. Chiron wounds can’t be cured or fixed. This lunation speaks to the ongoing carnage in war-torn Ukraine, the limitations of our leaders, those hollow, wounded men who wound others. Disruptive Uranus edges closer to the North Node in Taurus this month, highlighting the polarising square to Saturn (Saturn is moving Retrograde until October 23rd) as the old order clings tenaciously the vestiges of power-over. Boris Johnson, who attended Eton College and read Classics at Oxford, ought to know that the gods are fickle and never benign. Still arrogantly presiding over a fragmented kingdom, the British Prime Minister celebrates his birthday on June 19th, as Neptune draws every closer to square his loquacious Gemini Sun and Venus. The man who would be king of the world may yet recall that wrathful gods destroyed those mortals who transgressed their limits; that hubris was the greatest offence of all.
The Sun arrives in Cancer on June 21st, the day of the Midsummer Solstice as the fires and the joyous gatherings in places like Stonehenge mingle with formalised feasts in celebration of St John. Bonfires are kindled, vestiges of magical protection to ward off evil, herbs infused with healing faery charms are gathered from the hedgerows to enhance the flames. The eating and drinking and merry-making lasts as the light lingers.
When the first stars shimmer like sequins against the mauves and corals of the heavens and the flames burn low, some may sense an ancient dread that infuses this still point in the year. A primal helplessness against those things we cannot tame or control as the days grow shorter and winter comes again.
Venus begins a new cycle on June 23rd, joining Mercury in Gemini, accompanying us on our journey through days that may draw us away from rigid routine, offer tantalising possibilities to think, relate, differently. The tide turns on June 28th as Neptune goes direct again (25° Pisces) heightening our intuition, drawing us back to our spiritual centre.
This month of June, may we release our prayers from all directions, allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour the magic of Midsummer.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder—John O’Donohue.
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