Sunday, August 06, 2006

15 Degrees Of Leo And August Full Moon

As mentioned previously, when the sun reaches 15 degrees of any fixed sign in the zodiac (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius or Taurus), it's the midway point between a solstice and an equinox, known as a cross-quarter day. The quarter days of two equinoxes and two solstices take place when the sun reaches 0 degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, respectively.

Here in the northern hemisphere 15 degrees of Leo marks a seasonal shift in the wheel of the year towards autumn, and Lughnasadh and Lammas are important festivals, long associated with this harvest period in the agricultural year. Kathleen Jenks has a great collection of links to info on these festivals here, at her site Myth*ings Links, and what caught my eye in amongst the collection was by Kym nĂ­ Dhoireann, concerning Lughnasadh being wrongly thought of as the time when a grain god dies as a result of the harvesting of crops:

"There is, however, absolutely no evidence to indicate that the Irish Lugh was a Sun or Grain God ----in fact, there is no good evidence for any Sun God worship among the Celtic Irish. In most, if not all, Indo-European languages the word "Sun" is feminine and Goddesses and women associated with the Sun are found but no males. The universality of the Sun God and Moon Goddess seems a rather modern myth and has no bearing on ancient Irish practices". (full article here)

There's a female figure that appears on the Strength tarot card, a card which is associated with the sign of Leo (the sign ruled by the sun), so perhaps there's a connection expressing through the symbolism here. Leo is a sign associated with awareness of creative and personal power, and in this tarot card the power that is subduing the lion is clearly something other than brute force. Goddess power hasn't been a popular notion in centuries gone by; about as popular in general consciousness as the festival of Lughnasadh itself has been, so who knows...

This year there's a full moon building as the sun reaches 15 degrees of Leo. It links to the recent new moon (which I wrote about here), and takes place on the Saturn/Neptune opposition. A full moon is a turning point, just like the 15 degree cross-quarter spot. This full moon in Aquarius symbolises a deep need for freedom and liberation, within the context of the new moon in Leo themes, and Neptune adds spiritual vision, while Saturn demands commitment. There are some strong energies at work in the world just now, so this might also be a good time to meditate on that ancient Goddess power, who has it all so effortlessly in hand.

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