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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.”
― Bob Marley
"Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
― Adrienne Rich
The chart of the Autumn Equinox will resonate until sometime around the Winter Solstice. The equinoxes are always points of balance, and this chart emphasizes that we are at a tipping point — globally, nationally, locally and personally. Change is in the air, and decisions we make now will have long-term repercussions. Fortunately, this chart offers much-needed inspiration, energy and opportunities to improve our connections with others. We are heading into a challenging Winter — but we will be given the opportunities and wherewithal to make a difference. Thoughtful, skilled use of the cosmic tides of energy and change will help us steer ourselves and our world toward a better future.
I expect that most of my readers do magic, meditate, pray, or have some spiritual practice they engage in regularly. There’s plenty of energy to light a fire under your practice in this chart, and I hope you will use it, because the world needs all the positive vibes we can send it right now. There are deeply destructive forces — patterns of thought and emotion — that have woven themselves tightly into the fabric of our culture, and it will require clear, focused work on the energetic/astral/magical levels by those who are capable of it to unravel and re-weave ourselves into a strong, sustainable, global society....
What dreams and great ideas do you have you hidden away in various corners of your mind — the ones you drag out occasionally like a child’s comfort blanket to sooth your soul? Then you fold them up in the morning and put them away, because you’re too afraid, or too busy, or too full of doubt to actually translate those dreams into accomplishments. You know the dreams I’m talking about — we all have them. This is a good month to pick one of them — one that feeds your soul — and make it happen.
The New Moon in Virgo this year occurs at 2:41 am on Sunday, September 13th (NOTE: All times are EDT. Find the chart here). This New Moon is an eclipse, which means this chart will continue to resonate in the zeitgeist for about 6 months. Let’s look at some of the big issues that will be brought to our attention over the next few months....
"I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world."
What a Wonderful World ~ Thiele and Weiss
The whole-hearted optimism and idealism of this wildly popular song that Louis Armstrong pretty much owned would probably cause it to fall flat on its face were it released today. Cynicism, deep pessimism and hypocrisy are rampant. Just reading the news is an exercise in developing emotional resilience — assuming you can manage to avoid getting depressed. But as we try to pull back from the edge of causing our own extinction, as we try to figure out how to deal with the obvious insanity of our culture (did you read the one about how they just restarted a nuclear reactor located two miles away from a highly active volcano that is close to erupting?), as we try to keep our own lives on track, it is important to remember that the simple joys, the sacred moments, the acts of blessing and being blessed are experiences inherent to our human consciousness, experiences that connect us with Spirit and bring healing. Nurturing those experiences is the work of the healers of the world -- and we are all healers, if we choose to be.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl (neurologist, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor)
It is only by changing our consciousness as individuals that we can change the world we live in. This month’s Full Moon reminds us that we are being called to a level of transformation that requires leaving cynicism, pessimism and hypocrisy behind as we become more and more aware of the effects of consciousness on physical reality. The ramifications of the choices we make every day about how we use our minds, thoughts and emotions reverberate through our lives in the same way a plucked string on a guitar sets the other strings vibrating, even though they are untouched.
Unless you are a complete materialist, and believe that there is no existence or awareness separate from what your brain generates, and that brain is no more than the result of a process that began with the entirely random knocking together of atoms in a primordial soup, then you know that consciousness extends not only within and throughout physical reality, but in a reality that exists beyond the borders of time and space. (I am not questioning the mechanisms of the evolutionary process here, BTW, just the “entirely random” part.)
We have considerable and accumulating evidence that consciousness does continue to exist after death, and between lives, and that consciousness — or perhaps I should refer to it as Consciousness — not only exists outside time and space, but is responsible for the creation of it. If you have experienced this reality — whether you believe in creator gods or a single God or simply the non-theistic existence of the Tao — then you realize that Consciousness is primary, the Source. From there, it is an easy step to conclude that your own consciousness must also be creative and influential, since it is part of the greater Consciousness that is the force behind all creation.
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ~ Thomas Merton
The August New Moon, in fun-loving, generous, heart- (and sometimes self-) centered Leo, forms a threesome with Venus, planet of relationships. This configuration tends to turn astrologer’s minds to hearts and flowers and “Love Is in the Air” . But a closer look at the chart reveals that you won’t be able to get away with a saccharine and shallow approach to relationships this month. (Though by all means, feel free to drag out the disco music. Someday I’ll do an astrological study of the disco scene in the 70s and will, I have no doubt, find a prominent Leo signature in the charts)....
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ~ Walt Whitman
Astrologers call the chart of the Summer Solstice the “Cancer ingress chart”, and it is one of four cardinal ingress charts we look at every year. These charts mark powerful times in the turning of the cosmic wheel — when Sun enters zero degrees of one of the four signs in the cardinal modality — and are considered predictive for anytime from 3 months to one year ahead, depending on technicalities I won’t bore you with. Personally, I see all these predictive charts as successive waves of influence, and so, for instance, the waves of the latest New Moon chart, of the last Lunar Eclipse, of the recent Solar Eclipse and Aries ingress chart, are all breaking on or close to shore right now, creating patterns in the shifting, tide-washed sands of our personal lives and our society.