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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


b2ap3_thumbnail_sheriff-badge.jpgThis month’s New Moon chart has 4 planets in the “Mom and apple pie” sign of Cancer (and, yes, Cancer is the Sun sign of the USA). The questions we’ll be looking at closely this month include ones of hearth and home, family and tribe, our land resources, and how we feed ourselves. The challenges include major power struggles and a whole bunch of reality checks.
Cancer is ruled by Moon, so the Cancer New Moon is always a powerfully emotional and somewhat secretive one. This year, the New Moon (Sun-Moon conjunction) is  trine Saturn, the authority figure of the Zodiac, who is particularly taciturn right now in cloak-and-dagger Scorpio. This aspect immediately made me think of the highway signs that say, “If you see something, say something” with a phone number. While one would certainly hope that anyone who saw truly suspicious behavior —  like dropping a backpack on the street and walking away from it — would report it immediately, there are chilling comparisons that can be made to the propaganda and control techniques of the Third Reich. This kind of paranoid vigilance is much more likely to result in people being kicked off a plane for chanting prayers than it is to halt a terrorist attack, but it does a very good job of encouraging a climate of suspicion and fear.
A trine aspect makes for an easy flow of energy, but not necessarily a desirable outcome. You might want to look at the secrets you are keeping in your own life, and consider what the ultimate outcome of that secrecy might be. Some secrets need to be kept — others must be exposed, especially when authority runs amok.
Mars and Mercury are also in Cancer, dancing cheek to cheek, with Pluto doing its best to stop the music. There will be emotional power struggles, communications blowups, and probably more cyber-security problems in the air. In our own lives, we are likely to come face-to-face with our personal insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities, and we’ll feel the need to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Hopefully, we can protect without resorting to violence, either verbal or physical, but I gotta say — this is not a peaceful chart. Think before you speak or act in anger — and remember Humpty Dumpty
The productive manifestation of this aspect would include impassioned and inspiring speech, taking a strong, protective stand against abuses of authority, acknowledging the importance of emotional realities in the conducting of business and government, as well as in our own lives. It’s important that we make an effort to live from a heart-centered and emotionally honest perspective if we want to avoid attracting manipulative behavior and explosive, emotional drama.
Venus and Jupiter are still dancing together in the heart-centered sign of lovers and leaders, Leo. This optimistic, expansive, and sociable aspect overlit President Obama’s “best week ever” and presaged the SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage and health care. The aspect will continue in orb for a while — because Venus is turning retrograde soon (more on that in my next post), the two planets will conjunct again in August, go off on their own for a while, then come back together briefly in October. But in this chart, they are in a difficult square aspect to Saturn (and to the MC when the chart is cast for the USA). This suggests, among other things, restriction on artistic expression, “coming down to earth with a thud” (Noel Tyl), dogmatism, and underhanded tactics that undermine creative endeavors and chosen leaders.
Before I look at some ramifications of this chart that are specific to the USA in the upcoming month, here is a paragraph for astrology students. Find the chart here. In addition to the aspects mentioned above, note the sixth house emphasis, Aquarius rising (giving Saturn and Uranus rulership of the chart), Saturn right on the 29 degree Scorpio MC, and Uranus in a separating, but still close square to Sun and Moon, and approaching square with Mercury and Mars. Mercury and Mars are conjunct the USA Sun, and Pluto is in opposition to it. (This opposition will be in orb for the rest of the year. We’ll see some massive transformations happening in the country — and not all of them will be immediately obvious). For those of you who work with midpoints, especially note Uranus is at the midpoint of the two Cancer conjunctions.
I titled this post “Protect and Serve” because the area of the chart that rules service, including civil service, police, and the military is emphasized in this chart, and I expect that we’ll see events that lead to strongly emotional reactions around those areas of our society. Corruption and power grabs are major themes here, and so are patriotism, taking care of our own, and corporate control of government. There will be explosive, possibly quite violent events that reflect this theme of control and freedom, the citizenry and civil servants. We may well find the country in a heated discussion about which of our public servants actually serve, and which sought their jobs in order to fill their own pockets or satisfy their need for power. Sudden financial ups and downs are likely, and we’ll probably see some major, sudden, and probably extreme news in agricultural sectors.
How these aspects will affect you depend, to a great extent, on where they fall in your chart. If you’re interested in learning more about astrology so you can make more informed decisions and take advantage of opportunities and challenges by learning more about your own chart, I’ll be offering a class called Chart and Soul: Astrology for Yourself starting October 12th. Sign up for my mailing list and I’ll let you know as soon as I open registration.


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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, July 15

Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, where we celebrate themes of community and cooperation around the globe. Join us this week as we talk about the community role of soul food, news about the Pagan Spirit Gathering, and the fight for justice within the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
All Our Ancestral Allies

It is twilight in the woods, neither dark nor bright, but that liminal time where moment by moment, vision shifts.  I am once again at California Witchcamp in the Mendocino Woodlands, surrounded by Reclaiming Witches of all genders and generations.  It is the second night of camp and we gather in a clearing to begin our evening ritual work.  I have agreed to hold the role of Anchor at this ritual.  Being Anchor means I will not participate as an individual, but instead will stand at the edge of the circle in a meditative state and deeply witness the energy patterns and flow being created and worked by the group.  I will witness and notice and see, but not move or direct or channel the energy myself.  At times, like a tent peg, I may help keep the energetic wall in which the work is being done secure, but my role is to witness and help hold stable the container for the work.

As the ritual begins, I place a thin scarf over my face, denoting my role, and I ground myself deeply into this place, this piece of Earth.  I feel my energetic roots go deep and touch the energetic roots of the Redwoods ringing the clearing.  I let my roots entwine with theirs, they have been anchoring this space for centuries, witnessing the comings and goings of generations of animals like us.  I feel the deep ancient connection with Earth and Redwoods holding me as I hold the edge of this night’s Circle which is being cast by one of the priestesses with the help of the whole group.  Connecting to Earth time, to Redwood time, helps me see a wider band of human time and space.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Wendy J. Aucoin
    Wendy J. Aucoin says #
    As I was reading your post and I got to the part about accepting ancestors who you previously viewed as negative, I felt the stran
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Dear Wendy - thank you for taking the time to share some of your story. I am glad my experience and writing was helpful for you!
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    My dear Lizann - Thank you for holding this most important and often forgotten role of Anchor and Witness. And thank you for your
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Gwion! It was quite an experience!
  • Dora Ford
    Dora Ford says #
    THANK YOU. I too have experienced ancestor healing and I welcome that energy today

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

"Just as the acorn holds limitless oaks, the Self has limitless potential. Expanding, contracting, opening, closing, leaping, pausing, watching, knowing, asking questions…" --Womanrunes, The Rune of Self


To be a human being sitting on a rock, in the sun, feeling wind, breathing in and out, reaching. This very moment, this very experience, this very capacity to sit and see and wonder, is the soul of life.

Today is my grandma's birthday. She passed away two years ago after a short and brutal bout with aggressive pancreatic cancer. After she died, my mom and I spoke briefly about whether or not my grandma's spirit is still present with us. I’ve noticed I don’t really get the kinds of “messages” that other people seem to experience after the loss of someone important to them and my mom feels pretty certain that life is over when it is over.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely, thank you for your wise words.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thank you!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Way of the Crayfish

“To crawfish”: to work widdershins, you might say.

This is the well-known magical technique of inversion: raising power by doing backwards what is usually done forwards.

Walking backwards. Dancing back to back. Reciting prayers in reverse.

The American crawfish (a regionalism for “crayfish”): cambarus diogenes. A freshwater crustacean (I hear they're delicious) that looks something like a mini-lobster. Unlike most fish, it moves through the water back-first: what looks to us face-firsters like backwards. How witchy is that? Small wonder it's become a magical byword.

On my last morning at Summerland Spirit festival in Wisconsin, I was talking shop with another old warlock, a dear friend and colleague who's also a co-conspirator in the upcoming Midwest Grand Sabbat. We'd made our way up to the highest point in Turtle Lake County: they say you can see 5 counties from it.

Shortly after we started making our way back down, we came across a crawfish, scuttling across the path in front of us, looking for all the world like the lobster in the Moon card.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I read it in a book from the library. Unfortunately that book has been deleted from the library's collection, as have way too man
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the connection, Anthony: I'll see if I can track it down. I've had occasion recently to reflect on the strengths and we
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading that one of the Amerind tribes on the gulf coast takes the crayfish as a symbol of their tribe. It could be th
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, July 14

Welcome back to Fiery Tuesday, our weekly dive into politics-related news on behalf of the Witches&Pagans community. This week we're going to talk about the place of Pagans within the political world. What can Pagans do to advance the cause of transgender acceptance? Why is sacred violence or violence against the sacred so much more provocative than regular violence? And are modern polytheists "anti-choice?" All these questions and more will be addressed this weak for the Pagan News Beagle.

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The Last Ravenwood: attending a festival in the woods in a wheelchair

2015 was going to be the last Ravenwood. Prudence has been putting on Ravenwood since the early 90s, with her local group Freya's Folk, and at first under the umbrella of the national organization The Ring of Troth, and then the American Vinland Association, which was one of the two successor organizations to the old RoT, the other one being The Troth. Using a state park for heathen festivals had always been intended as temporary, and Prudence had bought land farther north years ago. She has been slowly improving the land at Folkvangr over the years and is almost ready to pass it on to someone who will start holding festivals on it. This campground in the redwood forest held a glow of nostalgia, but it was time for the last one. 

I was very invested in going to the last Ravenwood, both emotionally and literally. Emotionally invested, because Ravenwood had been my first experience of the heathen community. It was the place where I first met other Asatruars, after having only known Wiccan Pagans in high school and college. Ravenwood was a heathen festival held on Mt. Tamalpais in California, near where I used to live in Sonoma. I had not attended since I had moved to Nevada in 1995. Literally invested, because I intended to sell my books there, I had bought copies of my new book No Horns On These Helmets, and of my nonfiction books, to sign and sell at a vendor table at the festival.

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