Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beltane Part Two: 15 Degrees Of Taurus

As mentioned previously, there are two dates for Beltane; one always begins the eve of May 1st, while the other is always when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. Now, as I live in a society that doesn’t place the same importance as I do on having a handbag sized ephemeris within arms reach, I can see May 1st is a sensible option, but my heart lies with the old style 15 degree festival.

A bit of background to skip for those familiar with the origins: Beltane is one of 8 festivals of the solar year, and marks the midpoint in the Sun’s journey between Spring Equinox (0 degrees Aries), and Summer Solstice (0 degrees Cancer).

0 degree’s of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, mark equinox and solstice points. Midway between those points lie this 15 degree spot, always in a fixed sign, so along with Taurus/Beltane, there’s Scorpio/Samhain or Halloween, Aquarius/Imbolc, and Leo/Lammas.

The festivals carry the qualities of the zodiac sign they fall under, which means you can get a feel for what they're about and what they connect us with in ourselves, by studying the sign associated with it. Sometimes it’s obvious: how about Scorpio and Halloween for starters. Others need a lot more contemplation, but it’s worth the effort to reach those satisfying lightbulb moments.

So what about Taurus and Beltane? Well, with Venus as ruling planet, Taurus is about value and relationship, and being an earth sign it’s specifically about acknowledging and appreciating the value of our connectedness to the physical world.
And this is something we have to take personal responsibility for, as no-one can tell us what makes us feel good being in this world but us, through our emotional experience with physical form.
It’s whatever floats your boat that gets your good times flowing, which hasn’t got much to do with morality but everything to do with accountability, so it's easy to see why Beltane wasn’t received well by a number of religions and belief systems in days of yore.

This year the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus on the May 5th, a Friday, the day sacred to Venus. As Venus has just begun a journey through Aries, she's in warrior Goddess mode. This is a fiery and feisty energy, and relationships work best with a direct approach and an open agenda.
And while Beltane is a celebration of quality rather than quantity, with Venus in Aries and Jupiter opposing the Sun, it might be more of a challenge to remember it's not just about who’s got the biggest Maypole.

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2 comments: said...

Thanks! You clarified the issue of the dates/degrees of the Cross-Quarter days for me -- something I had been puzzling over for a few days.

In preparing to work a chart for a friend's newborn, I began to review some astrology basics so I could explain them to my friend. Reached an impasse of puzzlement over which house system to use, couldn't understand their logic. Then found (in Michael R Meyer's _Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer_) a suggestion to bisect the chart's 4 quadrants -- an idea which had occurred to me a few days before finding it in his book. I'm just now experimenting with this, but (using my terminology here) this approach would seem to provide equivalent to the chart's Cross-Quarter days (assuming that Asc is equivalent to 0Aries).

Working on this led me to wonder what were the degrees for the Cross-Quarter days -- and you supplied the answer! Thanks!

Barbara Palliser said...

Wow, thanks for that! pleased to be of help!
Haven't read Michael Myer's book, but will look out for it now, as I agree with you about the labyrinth of issues surrounding different house systems.

Good luck with your experimental approach, I hope it works out - let me know!