THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Hail, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for November, 2015. This Scorpionic month of death and regeneration marks the annual passing of what must now wither, the turning of colors from the green of growth and the heart chakra to the yellow of courage and fear, the orange of desire and the deep venous red of blood and survival.
The Celts were among the ancient peoples who saw the days from Hallowe’en to the Day of the Dead on Nov. 2 as an annual hinge point that opens the door from dark to light, death and rebirth, doom and potential. This is why the Celtic New Year began, still does, with Samhain on Nov. 1 and runs through Nov. 5, which commemorates, fittingly enough, the incendiary event of Guy Fawkes Day.
Like all the great feasts that the Celts called days of beginning, when the energy of each new season is highest – though they later came to be called “mid-season” or “cross quarter” festivals between the solstices and equinoxes – Samhain is a fire festival. Imbolc (Feb. 1) is the fire of quickening toward new life in the Spring, Beltaine (May 1) is the fire of passion and sexual love, and Lughnasad/Lammas (August 1) is the alchemical fire that grows the wheat and bakes the new bread.
THE UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 (4 days):
One of the year’s four great “midseason” festivals, this one at the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. These days have been a critical weather marker from ancient times, as this is the week, called Hallowmas in Christian Europe, when the birds fly south, the animals migrate and hibernate for the winter, and the crops flame out in glory, yielding new food and the seeds to grow anew in the spring just before they die and decay into winter. As this moment in nature marks the onset of mortality, it has always been, in the imagination of human beings everywhere, a time of meeting between the living and the dead.
These red days of autumn pass like maple leaves in the stream, and are among the most passionate times of the year for people whose emotional bodies are engaged. Among the other festivals held all over the planet at this point in the year:
The Celtic New Year feast of Samhain, which actually begins Oct. 31, continues until Nov. 27. The time of increasing darkness from now until February is under the protection of Cailleach (the “veiled woman”). Note the resemblance to “Kali”: the Witch at her most severe, the dark side of the Wise Woman aspect of the Triple Goddess.
Greetings at the momentous Full Moon of June 2, 2015. This month’s Universal Festival Calendar is now online, with astral news about the superb energy currents and news this month brings. For those who like to explore the energy properties of still-living sacred sites, here’s an account of my visit to the great Temple of Apollo at Didyma.
The first time you find it on the map, Didim is only one of those places in 6-point type that make you wonder how many people a town has to get before it gets to be a city. This aggregation of 60,000 people looks at first glance like nothing more than a zillion other farmer’s markets and truck stops. There would be no reason to stop here, along the route from Izmir down to the sea resort town of Marmaris, except for one thing.
Under its Greek name of Didyma, this place was famous in mythic lore, and home to one of the most impressive temples in the Mediterranean world. The temple of Apollo that was built here was not one the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, though some writers note it “almost” was. The Apollon was designed by the same architects who created the magnificent temple of Artemis/Diana to the north in Ephesus. This Apollon is remarkable for its sheer size, as the fourth largest temple in the ancient Greek world, and for the massiveness of its construction. The upper floor housed so many precious works of art, and so many donations from people who came to seek the god’s guidance, that some of its inner areas, with their thick walls and roof stones, look like a cross between a shrine and a bank. This magnificent inner staircase was used only on ceremonial occasions. It was not made to accommodate devotee traffic.
Two days are not enough for exploring the island of Samos, which has to be taken slowly and savored at a tempo more languid than it had in ancient times, when it was one of the most important places in the Mediterranean world, if not the nexus of trade, technology and creativity at its zenith in the century before Athens’ golden age.
Samos is one of history’s earliest examples of the value of location, location, location. Though the island’s land area is only 180 square miles (480 sq. km), it is off the southwest coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey) near the juncture of Europe, Asia and Italy. All that was needed to lift it into great economic, political and economic power was a gifted and ambitious geopolitician, who arrived in the person of the tyrant Polykrates. He ruled in the late 6th century BC and attracted the finest naval engineers of the time, who built a new state-of-the-art 50-oared ship that was called a samaina after Samos itself.
Polykrates built Samos into the greatest naval power of the time, and crafted such a formidable alliance with Athens, Naxos and Egypt that his kingdom grew rich from Samos’ other advantages of fertile soil and the sunniest climate in the region, ideal for producing the region’s best wine. So abundant was the land here that the Samians naturally expressed their gratitude by building a famous temple to the mother goddess Hera, their crucial ally in keeping the home safe and the fields fertile. The Heraon was considered in ancient times one of the four most impressive sacred sites in the Greek world.
Hello, and blessings from the long road as I leave the hard work of the journey behind, and enter the zest and cream of the adventure. I head now from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Samos. It’s been 291 days since I left Pisac for Cusco on July 26. This longest voyage I’ve ever done has taken me through the west coast and sun belt of the United States; Krung Thep (“Bangkok”) and Chiang Mai, Thailand; Siem Reap, Cambodia, to explore the Angkor Wat and other temples that surround it; Kyoto, Japan, where I went to see some theatre but mainly to pay respect and thanks to my former wife’s mother, now 85; Honolulu, Hawaii, to see dolphins and other old friends, and Egypt, where I did astrology events and readings in Cairo, 6th October City and Dahab; and saw a recently-discovered small Isis temple in the area of Luxor near Hatshepsut’s temple. I also visited for the first time the tomb of Mevlana, aka Rumi, in Konya, Turkey
Now I get to spend three weeks at the great sacred sites in west Turkey and the Greek islands. Yesterday was both exhilarating and painful, as I saw in my memory and mind’s eye the famous city of Ephesus, sacred to Artemis of the silver bow and Diana the bountiful.
Hello, this is Captain Aquarius speaking. Dan has asked me to talk with you from the top of this message about the Universal Festival Calendar for March, 2015. The UFC format is going to change radically a month from now. For the first time since the first of 200 monthly issues appeared in July 1998, it is time for the UFC to get with the Silicon Era, now that we’re in the Aquarian Age, moving at dream speed. Please fasten your seat belts, make sure you have some champagne and your opinions are stored under the seat in front of you. Before we take off, we’ll ask you to direct your attention straight ahead, where two volunteer passengers are doing the safety demo that any of you could do by heart now, as you’ve seen it so many times.
First, A Little about Our New Flight Plan:
If you think you’ve seen some of this content before, it’s because you probably have. I’ve copied the entire Aquarian Airlines mailing list into MailChimp, which I’ll soon be using as my main medium for event announcements. So if you got last week a notice about my Egypt event plans for this month and early April, my apologies for the duplicate mail. I aim to consolidate into a single list by the end of March.
Who Really Hacked SONY? Truth . . . or Dare!
Welcome to the momentous, miraculous year of 2015, the grand catablastaplasm of the Aquarian transition of 2012 – 2016. As you know if you’ve read these pages in recent years, this time of profound, revolutionary change is brought to us by the power of our own intentions as we conceived them long ago for the purpose of coming here to play full our now the ultimate cosmic opera of our rise and opening to incandescent creativity and unlimited, joyous freedom.
The engine of the transformation is the ongoing 90° square alignment between Uranus the Innovator and Trickster in the fire sign of Aries, and Pluto, the Lord of Death and Regeneration in the earth sign of Capricorn. When these two are at any angle of affliction, as they’ve been since June 2012, and will be for seven exact, explosive clashes of then systems disintegrate. Towers fall and empires collapse. Certainties wobble and beliefs evaporate, because behind all the “outward” changes in the governments, currencies, technologies, societies, and the rest of the stage props in the illusory world of things, the unifying, unstoppable motor of it all is our coming to clarity and communality in our consciousness.
Round 6 of the seven-round combataclysm between fear, darkness and death (Pluto) and love, light and life (all of us), catalyzed by the shock and magic of Uranus, came to its crisis on Dec. 15, and reaches its climax on Jan. 20 as the effects triggered weeks ago will now inevitably unfold in our relationships.
Hello, and welcome to this latest update to Sacred Sounds Egypt 2015, the sonic journey through mythic space that Leslie Zehr and I will guide a few months from now, on Feb. 19 through March 7, 2015. We have two new items to pass along as our plans ripen.
One is good news for those who’d love to join us, and are bending every resource of creativity and will to do it. Vantage Travels in Cairo has agreed to extend our deposit payment due date to Dec. 15. Those who commit by mid-December will be assured of the tour rates listed on our Registration page. While we can still accommodate those who sign up after Dec. 15, our rates may go slightly higher by year’s end because domestic airfares in Egypt, like those everywhere, will go up as we get closer to our flight dates in February and March.
The other new piece is that Mark Wilcox and I have now recorded one of the actual ancient Egyptian chants that we’ll sing in the holy places that are sacred to Aset, the mother, healer and birth giver better known to us by her Greek name, Isis. Links to the Aset Werwer Ibrahim chant are now on our main Egypt portal page, in the page text and the orange Soundcloud logo at the left. The music is scored for authentic instruments — harp, flute and rattles — as well as voices, and honors Lady Isis as Master of the Ways of the Heart.
Hello and Masbut Illi Shuftak, as they say in Arabic when they feel It’s Good to See You Again.
This is a good day to let you know that the first of the travelers who’ll join Leslie Zehr and me for Sacred Sounds Egypt 2015 have begun to commit to our mythic journey in sonic space, and to make their plans. Today is a festival of farsighted vision and courage in the ancient Egyptian calendar. This day is sacred to one of the most august and majestic of all the Egyptian Neters – that is, the emanations in Nature of the One Divine presence. Today Horus becomes king, and with him the living person of the pharaoh is reaffirmed as ruler of his people.
Today Leslie and I move our plans into high gear as we are now two months from Dec. 15, the suggested deposit payment date for the Egypt adventure coming four months from now. The preparations get exciting. Today I recorded with Mark Wilcox one of the actual pieces of ancient Egyptian chant, in the ancient suf (aka “hieroglyphic”) language, that were sung in the rites of Aset, better known to us under her Greek name of Isis. It’s now on our main Egypt page. The Aset Werwer Ibrahim is one of the pieces we’ll sing next year in the holy places where they resounded so long ago.
Hello, beloveds. And welcome to this Sacred Sounds Egypt 2015 Update: 4th Dimensional Space.
I’m writing to bring plans up to date now that I’ve come through the computer crash and recovery that had me out of communication for most of September. We’re moving beautifully now toward the sonic journey through mythic space that Leslie Zehr and I will lead from Feb. 19 to March 7. The main points to cover for now are these:
The suggested deposit payment date for our journey is Dec. 15. For more on tour fees, timing and conditions, please see our Registration page, which has links to others about our itinerary, FAQ and practical matters.
The best news is that the first of our Egypt travelers for next year have committed to our journey, so we know it’s a go. Other things that favor us, and answer that all-important question of whether it’s safe to travel in Egypt now, are that spiritual tours in the main November to March slot are increasing along with the whole upward trend of tourism in the three years since 2011. For the first time since the Arab Spring, the Japanese government has now removed its advisory on travel to Egypt, and has declared Egypt a safe destination for their citizens. If travel to Egypt is safe and feasible for the Japanese, then it should work for anyone.