Today, in preparation for the New Moon on the 23rd, I experimented with a couple of different spreads for a monthly forecast to share here. I follow the lunar calendar, so for me the new month begins with the New Moon.
The waning time is ideal for rest, meditation, introspection, healing and the releasing of unwanted habits or energies, and the New Moon itself is perfect for banishing or binding that which is hurting or not serving you and for sowing the seeds of intention and manifestation.
The day before the New Moon, the Sun enters Leo…that fiery, high noon of the year. The moon will also be in Leo (of course, being New this means it occupies the same sign as the Sun) and that makes this a particularly ideal time for motivation, action and manifestation.
Throughout the internet there is ample astrological data on this and every lunation which can give you a very clear picture of the potential month ahead. (Mystic Mamma being one of my favorites…read the Astral Insights on this new moon) But using other methods of divination and spiritual exploration can give you much more personal insight and, furthermore, can help clarify or expound upon what the spheres tell us.
For this, the Oracle of Water’s first official New Moon Oracle (which from now on will hopefully be a monthly feature), I used the Oracle of the Mermaidsdeck and chose to narrow it down to one card rather than use a whole spread. This was for the simple reasons that A) less is more, and B) only one card repeated itself throughout multiple spreads regarding this New Moon, so naturally I felt prompted to focus on that one.
The Mermaids’ message for this Leo New Moon is to look into….
“The Mermaids Sing: Water is a great mirror, and the darker it is, the clearer the reflections of the world around it will be. And so it is with life. The clear mirror…will show us who we appear to be…but the dark water, metaphorically, is when life, or the sea, or our feelings become darker, more complex, sad, thoughtful, deep and, at times, very painful. But it is at these times that we can see who we truly are – for under duress, our true character can be observed…”
“Divination: It is time to gently, yet firmly see the truth about who you are, and to understand that who you are is not ugly, or lacking, but a truthful, beautiful, wonder-laden voyage into the soul…it is time to be shown what the eye cannot always see, but what the spirit has sensed…”
This is a very appropriate card for any Leo moon, as Leo is likely the sign that is most concerned with the Self; with literally looking in mirrors and making sure their appearance is just right, and it usually is. After all, most Leos have much to be proud of (particularly when it comes to looks and charisma) and, like all fire signs, they’re aware of the fact!
But this card is about a different kind of awareness, as Leo is about more than being attractive and proud of it…knowing your true self is the first step in manifesting your heart’s desire, and this is also Leo’s energy; strength, willpower, self-esteem, motivation and manifestation. The heart is even the body part over which Leo rules. Ever heard the expression, “Heart of a lion”? No actualization is possible, though, if you don’t know who you really are or what you really want. If you don’t know what you want or why, how can you manifest it? Who knows what might be manifested in its stead?
Speaking of Leo and mirrors, a great example of this is can be found in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. Harry is a Leo (birthday is July 31st, remember? If not, don’t feel bad, I’ve only read the whole series four or five times) and so it is especially unsurprising that he should end up in the courageous, leonine House of Gryffindor.
If you’ve read the book (or seen the movie) you should be able to guess where I’m going with this. Yes, the Mirror of Erised: the enchanted mirror that shows your heart’s truest, deepest desire and, therefore, who you really are. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, and if you haven’t caught it, “Erised” is “Desire” spelled backwards, as in a reflection.
That mirror is what we all need right now. Everyone needs to look into themselves and try to honestly know themselves and their place in this world, a world that is being more and more abused all the time, as are we all.
This card is fitting not only for a Leo moon, but in particular during a restless summer in which many huge shifts are occurring within society and nature. In fact, most of the changes in nature are the direct result of the careless choices and actions of Man, and the Trump administration should be considered public enemy #1 due to the incredible disregard for nature and conservation that they have already displayed.
It is no secret that this is, by far, the most corrupt and twisted presidential administration this misguided country has ever seen, and therefore it is more important than ever that the people know and face themselves and demand transparency from our “leaders” as well. In order to understand and heal this world, we need to know and heal ourselves. You can’t do that with your eyes closed or pretending to be someone you’re not.
So this month, have the heart of a lion and the courage to know yourself. Invoke the spirit of Leo, of Harry Potter, a gallant knight, Wonder Woman, anyone or anything that inspires you to be brave, true to yourself, and manifest your highest purpose.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
July 14th is National Shark Awareness Day and it is now more important than ever that these sophisticated, endangered predators are respected rather than feared, and protected rather than tortured into extinction.
It’s not news that sharks have been greatly feared and even demonized; from the infamous Jersey Shore attacks of 1916 to the sensational novel and subsequent 1975 film “Jaws” (not to mention the uncontrollable spawn of sequels and other even less realistic movies), sharks have long been regarded as villains, as if anything in nature could truly be a “bad guy”. Unfortunately, the frightening appearance of many species combined with accounts of attacks and the resulting panic means that sharks have probably had the worse PR of almost any animal. However, knowledge is power and it is also extensive ignorance that has led to these creatures being so feared and misunderstood. What they need, and what we need is to recognize sharks as the vital part of nature and the food chain that they are.
Other cultures already have and still do understand, respect, and even worship the shark. Dakuwaqa is a Fijian shark god and shape-shifter, believed to guard the reefs and protect the island’s fishermen from danger at sea. This perspective might seem counter-intuitive to Westerners who have been programmed to not only be disconnected from almost all aspects of nature and the finer points of its functions, but specifically to fear and hate sharks as inherently aggressive “man-eaters”.
Fijians today still revere sharks and their shark god Dakuwaqa, and the high chiefs of the province of Cakaudrove are believed to be the direct descendants of sharks.
“This relation between man and shark, in the chiefly province of Cakaudrove, is very important. The Turaga Na Tui Cakau stressed the importance of this tie. It is said when twins were born from the yavusa of Ai Sokula, it was decided that they be put into the sea. The one that would turn into a fish would become their god, who is now known as Dakuwaqa. The one that would be human would be from where the bloodline of the Ai Sokula would come from.” – Ratu Manoa Rasigatale
Below is a clip from the BBC Earth miniseries, “South Pacific” (available on Netflix as of publication), in which Fijian shark feeders demonstrate their close connection with sharks.
Sadly, the majority of the world does not share Fiji’s shark sentiments; in fact, it is quite the opposite. It is bad enough that widespread panic, sensationalism and ignorance led to massive hunts that continue to this day, but sharks have been under far heavier threats due to the spread of something else…a taste for shark fin soup. It is currently estimated that 70-100 million sharks are mutilated and left to die every year for their fins, a staggering climb from how many were killed as recently as the 1980s. A bowl of shark fin soup can go for at least $100 and, unfortunately for sharks, about three times as many Chinese citizens can now afford to dine on shark fins as in the 80s.
One of the worst and most common arguments in favor of shark fin soup is that it is part of Chinese culture. Much like the claim that the barbaric dolphin hunts in Taiji are part of Japan’s culture (even though these hunts have only been going on since the 1960s), this argument is completely unfounded; while shark fin soup does indeed date back to China’s Ming Dynasty, it was only a very exclusive, very wealthy few who ate it. It was a status symbol and it still is…but again, unfortunately, it is a status that millions of Chinese have now reached.
Hiding behind one’s culture (especially “culture” that developed only within the past several decades) in order to justify doing something heinous that affects other people, nations, resources and habitats is despicable and weak. It is important for people to know that there should be no real “controversy” over this unhealthy, unneeded food item because there is not a single true benefit to or reason for consuming it, and the cruelty and excess of the practice are the final nails in the coffin.
Even if shark fins weren’t riddled with mercury and were actually good for you, even if it truly was an important and valuable aspect of any culture (again, to be clear, it is not), it is the extremely inhumane ways and obscene rates at which they are slaughtered with no regard for sustainability that effectively prove that shark finning has no place in a responsible world. Every year, millions of sharks are captured, often beaten and then stripped of all their fins and thrown back into the water, often while still alive, but not for long.
Chef Gordon Ramsay, in his revealing and infuriating documentary “Shark Bait” (2011), investigates the illegal and monstrous shark fin trade and very fittingly describes it as “…without doubt, the worst act of animal cruelty I have ever seen.” Six years after the release of this documentary and the atrocities continue. This will never stop being relevant or threatening as long as this evil trade exists.
Below is a clip from “Shark Bait”, which reveals the unforgivable reality of this revolting practice.
Please visit the links below to learn more about sharks and how you can easily help defend them, as well as everything you need to know about shark finning and the pointless, selfish pain and destruction it causes. Sharks, like all apex predators, are as vital to the balance of nature and the food chain (and therefore our existence) as the lowliest prey, and it is our responsibility to maintain and even fight for that balance.
The Sun is currently in the watery sign of Cancer, the Crab (along with Mars and Mercury), and it’s no coincidence that the seas are literally churning with the current events and climate of our world that grows ever-threatening against the deep realms. In the past couple of weeks, shortly before and shortly after the Sun entered Cancer and the New Moon in Cancer, odd things have been happening in oceans across the Western hemisphere.
Last Tuesday, a brand-new, mile-long island appeared off of North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore almost overnight. It was spotted by local beachgoers and was given the name “Shelly Island” as it is apparently a great place to find seashells. Strangely enough, my husband and I were just camping at the Hatteras seashore last month, where we looked for shells and where I did a brief ocean blessing ritual with spring water and moonstone pebbles. “You summoned it from the sea!” my husband joked when I told him about the new island which appeared very near to where we were. I almost wonder…
Earlier in June, on the other side of the country, staggering blooms of pyrosomes (nicknamed sea pickles due to their shape) began invading shores from California to Alaska. So immense were the swarms that fisherman couldn’t even fish for the hordes of pyrosomes that were filling and even breaking their nets.
“Pyrosomes are common in the tropics, where they can reach a length of 30 feet and often glow in the dark. That likely explains their name, which in Greek translates to “fire body.” According to Fisher, they do show up in the ocean off the Northwest from time to time – but never in these numbers.
“Why they’re here now is unknown at this point,” Fisher said. “We’ve had warm ocean conditions over the past couple years, and something has brought them here. They’re just flourishing. It’s just very unusual to find them so close to shore, so evenly distributed, and so abundant.” – from “Massive Bloom Of Pickle-Shaped Sea Creatures Fills The Pacific“, kuow.org
Mars is ruled by the element of fire, and represents aggression and action. I find it very interesting, to say the least, that it is while Mars is in the sign of Cancer (water, the ocean) that these little creatures called “fire bodies” are invading waters that are technically alien to them and even preventing fishing. Is the ocean trying to tell us something, perhaps? And the heavens, too?
Mercury, concerned with communication and learning, is also in Cancer, and in addition to the research being done on the infesting pyrosomes, paleontologists have recently discovered and classified a massive marine extinction that occurred around 2.6 million years ago.
“Particularly impacted were warm-blooded animals, suggesting that large, homeothermic species could be more vulnerable to extinction when major changes occur in their environments.” – Jen Viega (read the full article from seeker.com here)
Mankind is responsible for massive changes in climate and habitats across the globe, and is only threatening to make matters worse with the proposed seismic airgun blasting that will surely injure and kill over 100,000 marine mammals and other creatures and environments. It is very likely that this will herald the beginning of the next mass extinction, and yet only more extinctions caused directly by human atrocity.
See last post, “The Doom of the Dolphin”, for information on the horrible practice of seismic blasting and how to add your opposing voice while there is still time. (Public opinions are being collected only until July 6!)
Hopefully Mercury’s enlightening and educating influence will continue in regards to the oceans and what we need to learn and do to save them and to restore our symbiotic relationship with our source. It is the only way we will save ourselves.
I believe that more and more such strange events, appearances and discoveries will occur, particularly if we continue to abuse nature and the oceans as we have been. Keep an eye on the heavens and the seas, for As Above, So Below.
Just happened to find this song/video, recommended for me on Youtube, right after publishing this piece…strangely appropriate and well-timed, don’t you think? Had to share here, reflect on the dwindling beauty of the sea, the magic of synchronicity and bask in Estas Tonne’s ethereal guitar music….
Since I published the post in honor of World Dolphin Day, The Dream of the Dolphin, I have been researching and working on a new piece about dolphins as power animals and their roles in spirituality and mythology. However, right now I am compelled to first discuss dolphins and other cetaceans in a much more physical and pressing sense – that is, the very dire situation in which they and many other marine creatures and the sea itself are now facing because of the Trump administration and the corrupt efforts to begin destructive blasting and drilling in the Atlantic and, eventually, all oceans.
It is not only marine life that will suffer. We, the human race, are technically under the exact same threats as our precious oceans. What happens to the ocean happens to us. It is the womb of the earth, and the cleanser, the nourisher, the balancer, the restorer…and we have treated it like an unkempt toilet and worse. Already, at least one cetacean (it is believed) has gone extinct in our lifetime – the Baiji or Yangtze river dolphin. The tiny rare vaquita porpoise of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez is likely to be the next to die out, with fewer than thirty remaining and the rampant totoaba fish poaching that is responsible for their endangerment.
Many other creatures, both on land and in the sea, have gone extinct in just the past several decades, and all thanks to mankind’s insistent, mindless raping of our mother, Earth. (I say “mankind” most intentionally, as it has literally been the wills of the corrupt men who have been controlling most of the world for so long that we find ourselves in these deplorable conditions.)
If this ridiculous seismic airgun blasting is allowed to happen, not only will over 138,000 marine mammals be injured (by the government’s own calculations!) or worse, but countless other creatures, habitats, coastlines and coastal communities, fisheries, resources, businesses and tourist attractions will be severely damaged as well. None of the guaranteed repercussions are remotely worth the teeny bit of foul, unneeded oil that all this destruction and death will yield.
Please follow the links below to find out what you need to know about the horrific and unacceptable plans that our so-called government has to destroy what we so desperately need for survival – a clean and healthy ocean.
Please also follow the link below to the Federal Register to officially add your voice while there is still time to do so before the final decision to grant powers of obliteration to seismic survey companies is made.
June 12 is Red Rose Day, an annual observance which is likely an import to the US from Australia, where the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation holds a Red Rose Day and Week on different dates every year.
Roses are now in full bloom, making warm, buzzing June an ideal time to celebrate the beauty and majesty of the world’s most legendary flower. The rose is often called the Queen of the Flowers, and with endless good reasons. A red rose in particular is a powerful symbol and none other in the world more quickly or thoroughly summons up the energies of love, romance, passion, and enchantment.
Roses are believed to have come from Persia (most species are native to central Asia) though their true origin is still a mystery. Rose fossils some 40 million years old have been discovered, though they are currently estimated to have first appeared as much as 70 million years ago. Many early civilizations cherished and made many uses of the rose, and cultivation dates back around 5,000 years.
The Persian word for rose is gul and is very similar to ghul, which means “spirit”. This reinforces the rose’s long association with spirituality, which concept is not exclusive of those of love and passion. In fact, the energies and influences of the rose perfectly encapsulate (and repeatedly reflect through myths and fairy tales) the highest ideals and experiences of true love of all kinds, of romance and perfect union, transcendence, connection to the divine, transformation, beauty, magic and ultimate reality.
The Magic of Roses
It is not only in fairy tales that roses are objects of magic and enchantment; their energies and properties are well known and documented throughout history and lore. As in “The Romance of the Rose” (see below – The Rose in Literature), just looking at a rose can be an enthralling experience.
Rose oil is both the quintessential love oil and is also a great all-purpose oil that can be substituted for any carrier. As Scott Cunningham suggests…
“Take a handful of rosebuds and place them in a silver goblet. Pour one dram rose oil over them. Let them soak for a week….on a Friday night, burn them over the charcoal to infuse your house with loving vibrations. This is an excellent “peace” incense and can be done regularly to ensure domestic tranquility.” (Magical Herbalism, Llewellyn Publications 1997, Chapter Ten – Scented Oils and Perfumes)
Rose water is one of my favorite magical substances and is such an easy, pleasant way to experience rose’s loving, peaceful, enchanting energies. My favorite (and simply the best and highest-quality I have encountered so far) is from Alteya Organics and can be found here. Cunningham also recommends rinsing your hands with rose water before preparing any love mixtures, and of course doing so before any magical working – especially focused on love – is a great way to cleanse, ground, and create the appropriate vibes.
I use rose water to create sacred space (just spray it around the room), for emotional healing and to connect with mermaid energy, to which I have found roses and rose water to be very conducive; mermaids are beautiful, feminine, watery, enchanting, psychic and very much concerned with all matters of love…just like the rose.
Here is a folk charm that has been somewhat modernized and was reprinted in a vintage rose-themed calendar…
“While thinking constantly about the desired person, make a small bag from material that he or she has worn or slept on (a thoughtful witch will pick an old inconspicuous garment rather than a new sheet but make sure whatever you use has not been washed since it was worn). Into the bag put three rosebuds you have carried next to your heart for a day, a lock of your hair and one of your lover’s, then tie the bag shut by wrapping it seven times with a red ribbon consecrated to Aphrodite. Clean the house, prepare the dinner, and follow your own beauty rituals still thinking of your lover. When the object of all this attention crosses the threshold, bury the bag under the doorsill. He or she will never want to leave you.”
Love charm disclaimer: For educational & special interest purposes only! Any charm or spell designed to control another, especially as in this kind of “love spell”, is unethical and inadvisable. Such spells rarely even work (at least as intended) and, in any case, still carry the potential risk of rebounding with the worst consequences. What goes around really does come around. However in true “love spells”, the goal is simply to draw a worthy love to you or to even better love yourself, not to try to turn a specific person into your thrall. Carrying rosebuds (with the right intention of course) is indeed an effective way to attract love into your life.
Health and Healing with Roses
Not only are roses filled with magical energies, they carry a great many health benefits. Rose water is one of my standard magical tools, but also one of the very few beauty products I use and truly a health product I can’t live without. It is wonderful for the skin as a cleanser and toner, and is delicious in teas and other food applications, where it’s healing and beautifying power can be absorbed even more. Rose hips are especially potent, and drinking a decoction (not an infusion: hardier ingredients like root, bark and berry are better boiled for a period to really extract the material) of rose hips is probably the best way to enjoy the myriad benefits listed by Victoria Zak in 20,000 Secrets of Tea…
From “The Romance of the Rose”, a 13th-century poetic allegory of courtly love by Guillaume de Lorris (first half, second half completed by Jean de Meun)…
Chapter II: The Spring of Narcissus
“I perceived in the mirror, among a thousand other things, rose-bushes laden with roses in a secluded place completely enclosed by a hedge…Possessed by this madness, as many others have been, I at once approached the rose-bushes, and I assure you that when I drew near, the sweet scent of the roses penetrated my very entrails and I was all but filled with their fragrance…There were roses in profusion, the most beautiful in all the world. There were buds, some tiny and closed up and others slightly larger, and some much larger ones which were coming into flower and were on the point of bursting. These buds are attractive, for wide-open roses have completely faded after a day, whereas buds stay fresh for at least two or three days…From among these buds I chose one so beautiful that when I had observed it carefully, all the others seemed worthless in comparison. It shone with colour, the purest vermilion that Nature could provide, and Nature’s masterly hand had arranged its four pairs of leaves, one after the other…The area around it was filled with its perfume, and the sweet scent that rose from it pervaded the whole place. When I became aware of this scent, I had no wish to depart, but drew nearer and would have plucked it had I dared stretch out my hands. But sharp, pointed thistles forced me to draw back, while barbed, keen-edged thorns and prickly nettles and brambles prevented me from advancing, for I was afraid of hurting myself.”
This passage vividly portrays the paradox of the allure and the inevitable pain of love through the imagery of the enthralling yet sharp, prickly rose. Such dichotomies and allegories are also illustrated in the original French fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast” by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Beauty’s father prepares to leave for a business trip and offers to bring gifts home for his children…
“And what shall I bring for you, Beauty?”
“The only thing I wish for is to see you come home safely,” she answered. But this only vexed her sisters, who fancied she was blaming them for having asked for such costly things. Her father, however, was pleased, but as he thought that at her age she certainly ought to like pretty presents, he told her to choose something.
“Well, dear father,” she said, “as you insist upon it, I beg that you will bring me a rose. I have not seen one since we came here, and I love them so much.”
Ironically, Beauty’s modest request turns out to be the most expensive of all the gifts as it is his attempt to claim the fateful rose from a certain enchanted castle that results in her imprisonment there.
“In spite of being so cold and weary when he reached the castle, he had taken his horse to the stable and fed it. Now he thought he would saddle it for his homeward journey, and he turned down the path which led to the stable. This path had a hedge of roses on each side of it, and the merchant thought he had never seen or smelt such exquisite flowers. They reminded him of his promise to Beauty, and he stopped and had just gathered one to take to her when he was startled by a strange noise behind him. Turning around, he saw a frightful Beast which seemed to be very angry….”
From “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Harcourt, Brace & World 1943)
“…one day, from a seed blown from no one knew where, a new flower had come up; and the little prince had watched very closely over this small sprout which was not like any other small sprouts on his planet…but the shrub soon stopped growing, and began to get ready to produce a flower. The little prince, who was present at the first appearance of a huge bud, felt at once that some sort of miraculous apparition must emerge from it. But the flower was not satisfied to complete the preparations for her beauty in the shelter of her green chamber. She chose her colors with the greatest care. She dressed herself slowly. She adjusted her petals one by one. She did not wish to go out into the world all rumpled, like the field poppies. It was only in the full radiance of her beauty that she wished to appear. Oh, yes! She was a coquettish creature! And her mysterious adornment lasted for days and days.”
The little prince later learns, just as the young man in the Garden of Pleasure in “The Romance of the Rose” that loving another comes with a price, that beauty and love often bring pain, and are never permanent. It is not until long after he has left his flower that he realizes what she meant to him…
“The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her…I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…”
The Lover tells of the Rose in his Heart, from The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)
by William Butler Yeats
All things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old, The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart, The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould, Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.
The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told; I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart, With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like a casket of gold For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart