Friday, June 19, 2009
Astro Weather Summer Solstice June 21st
The longest day of the year has arrived. Summer begins on the Sun's day this year, marked by the summer solstice which occurs when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost point. The Sun appears to stand still at the top of the analemma before reversing direction in its endless figure-eight path.
In Seattle, where we obsess about the fickle Sun, The Fremont Fair and Summer Solstice Parade herald the beginning of summer. This year's symbolically appropriate theme is "Phoenix Rising" that includes a grand float featuring a firebird rising out of ashes to the tune of Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra (opening score in the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey).
The artistic neighborhood of Fremont does consider itself to be the Center of the Known Universe, and no doubt organizers would be thrilled to see the synchronystic appearance of a Phoenix in a recent crop circle in England.
Fremont is also the home to Masonic Lodge no 92 (the building behind the Lenin statue), and the Phoenix is a symbol used by Freemasons to represent resurrection, in particular a new world rising from the ashes of Atlantis and Egypt. Some historians suggest that the Eagle replaced the Phoenix in 1841 as the national bird. Originally, the Phoenix was adopted by the Founding Fathers (Freemasons) for use on the reverse of the first official seal of the United States after a design proposed by Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress.
The mythical Phoenix is a universal symbol of the Sun, mystical rebirth, resurrection and immortality and appropriate symbol for the summer solstice. This sacred firebird has literary origins in ancient Greek mythology, and counter parts in Phoenician, Egyptian, Arabic, Mayan and Native American legends (and modern mythic tales like Fawkes in Harry Potter).
This fantastic bird boasts a multicolored plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet. According to the legends, this immortal creature lives for 500 to 1,000 years, and then near the end of its life, it builds a nest of myrrh twigs and ignites itself. Both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young Phoenix arises, reborn anew to live again. The Phoenix was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being immortal and invincible — it is also said that it can heal a person with a tear from its eyes and make them temporarily immune to death.
In Vedic astrology, the summer solstice Sun always falls in the nakshatra Ardra, which is depicted as -- a teardrop. Like the tears of the Phoenix, it is a healing nakshatra and is associated with the clarity that arises after a calamity, or the the clearing after a spring thunderstorm. Ardra is located in the sign of Gemini in the constellation of Orion. It is considered the bright star Betelgeuse, and is also associated with Sirius. Yes, the summer solstice sun aligns with Masonic favorite symbol, the star Sirius. If we could see the sun against a night sky it would look like the image below:
As the Sun stands still in its northern most declination and the Earth aligns to soak in the transmitted starlight from Sirius, countless solstice participants will participate consciously or unconsciously in a global ritual. Perhaps as seen in this classic Masonic Tracing Board, angelic beings, or messages, may descend to Earth from Sirius.
We are literally basking in sunshine that is charged with energetic messages, or shakti, that Sirius may be sending. Ardra gives yadna shakti, the power to make gains in life though greater effort, and like the Phoenix we may feel renewed and rejuvenated by the initiation of summer.
Other astronomical line ups:
New Moon Monday, June 22, 2009 12:35 pdt, also in the nakshatra Ardra aligning both spiritually (Sun) and emotionally (Moon) with yadna shakti.
Jupiter Retrograde June 15 - October 13, 2009
UPDATE: Solstice Crop Circle, Yin Yang Formation at West Kennett
Near Avebury, Wiltshire,
This Double Yin/Yang, or Taiji, symbol looks a bit like the analemma that marks the sun's figure-eight path in the sky. Tai = Ultimate ji = pole, so it is an obvious comment on the solstice, but a single taiji would be enough. . . why two? Could we also be at the "ultimate poles" of the grand analemma with an unknown binary mate to our sun, often suggested to be a brown dwarf, or even Sirius? If we do have a companion star, perhaps we are at a tipping point? Ancient Vedic seers certainly wrote about our companion star and how our proximity to it marked the four yugas, or world ages, or stages of consciousness. The nakshatra Ardra is exactly opposite the galactic center -- so could this summer solstice mark a point in space where we start to leave the sleep of Kali Yuga (dark age) towards the promise of the Satya Yuga (golden age)? Very intriguing image.