Tag Archives: occult

Astro Report: Gemini season

Sun into Gemini: May 20th at 1:31pm.
New Moon in Gemini: Thursday, May 25th at 12:44pm.
Mercury is Direct in Taurus.
Saturn – Uranus trine at 26 degrees (Sagittarius and Aries respectively) TODAY.
Venus Direct in Aries.  Mars Direct in Gemini.

Silence of the Night

Silence of the Night, Reiji Hiramatsu

I’d say the big thing is this trine with Saturn and Uranus today. This is a harmonious connection between two complete opposites:

Saturn is reality, time, responsibility, history, discipline, commitment, stability, and the establishment. It is slow, solid change.

Uranus is revolution, invention, science, rebelliousness, genius, Change, disruption, electricity and awakening. It is sudden change.

So these two are having a friendly conversation today, which is interesting.  If you have a duality in your life, you might find some common ground today. The main thing is that Saturn will INSIST on any changes you make being well thought out and solid. In my view, Saturn is heavier than Uranus and so those energies carry more weight, BUT they will have to find a compromise since Uranus will not be silenced.

A new physical reality comes into view.
A revolution with a solid foundation.
A path to making aspirations into realities.

This is a good day to set some goals ❤

 

This trine is also happening in the fire signs of Aries and Sagittarius, which brings guts, confidence, self esteem and passion. Creativity and adventure. Composers, artists, actors, musicians and performers are ignited by this energy today. Let your light shine.

April Rewinds: Astro Report

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Lots of retrogrades (and introspection) affecting us this month, giving us the chance to review our growth since the start of the year. We are slowing down, making sure we have solid foundations.

April 5th at 10:06pm (pacific): Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius.
April 9th at 4:14pm: Mercury Retrograde at 4° Taurus.
April 10th at 11:08pm: Full Moon at 21° Libra.
April 15th at 3:18am: Venus (currently R) goes Direct in Pisces – exalted!
…and Jupiter Retrograde in Libra until June 8th!

And TODAY, Sunday, retrograde Venus in Pisces is squaring retrograde Saturn in Sag at exactly 27°. Partnerships are being seriously reevaluated this week. Relationships regarding love and business are tested to see if they can withstand the pressures of long term commitment. Saturn doesn’t fool around. Are you willing to do the hard work necessary to keep your pledge to another person? If yes, the relationship has a strong center and will probably be a lasting one. But if they are castles built of sand, they will diminish.

This is an important time to take inventory of what’s working and what’s not working, and to gauge the commitment level of each person. This tension will be accented by the Full Moon in Libra tomorrow, and Venus’s’ stationing at the end of the week.

There are four planets retrograding together this week. That’s pretty amazing! I can’t remember the last time this happened 🙂 In general, all of us need to:

  1. Re-evaluate things you’re committed to.
  2. Re-examine your VALUES and adjust if necessary. What’s most important?
  3. Start with getting grounded; take each day as it comes.
  4. Don’t expand into future worries – but deal with what’s in front of you right now.
  5. Be in the present.

The great RE-VALUE is here.

 

From Empowering Astrology:

“The planet of love and relationships has been retrograde since March 4. During this time we’ve had to take a deeper look at value, money, power dynamics, and how we connect with others. Retrogrades are merely times to integrate and reflect. The tide pulls in and out. Retrogrades are a yin phase, a time to reflect on the shadow. Venus Retrograde has put us through our paces and as it stations in Pisces on April 15, conjunct Chiron and square Saturn, we will have to face old pain around relationships and value and endeavor to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

Lastly, tomorrow’s Libra Full Moon will hit home on a lot of these deeper Venus Retrograde themes we’ve been sorting through over the last four weeks. Use the full moon to face or confront something you’ve been needing to confront. Use Saturn to set a boundary. Use Uranus to break from an old pattern. Use Pluto to leave something behind for good. Use Jupiter to have the faith that there is something better out there.”

Neptunian Direct

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Neptune Direct in Pisces today at 8:38pm Pacific

Excellent day to float around your house in a creative dream world, do Magick, draw, paint, write and ESPECIALLY make MUSIC!

Neptune, planet of fantasy, dreams, spirituality, clairvoyance, movies, divine power, spiritual strength, and the occult is standing still over our heads this weekend. It has been moving backward for the last several months and will turn forward, or Direct this evening at 8:38pm. When a planet is standing still or “stationing” overhead, it’s energy is more concentrated than usual, and greatly impacts our personal lives and society at large.

The influence this weekend is powerful because of this stationing – AND the fact that it’s happening IN Pisces – Neptune’s natural home. It’s cold and raining where I am; the two qualities of elemental WATER, which inspire us towards imagination, music and creativity. We want to stay in and watch movies or daydream – both very Neptunian activities. Pay attention to any intuitive insights or flashes of inspiration you receive, because the air is crackling with divine communication. The only thing to watch out for is escapism – don’t overdo drugs or alcohol right now because it will backfire on your efforts. Tap into the deep, spiritual eddies flowing around you, and embrace the current of Love. Write out your dreams because they contain powerful keys of inspiration and self knowledge.

From Mystic Medusa: “Neptune peeps can be hideously alluring, charming and yet deceptive. Haute Neptune is great art, mystics and people such as Jesus Christ. Low Neptune is, well, out of it. Neptune energy infuses your perceptions when you’re drunk or otherwise escaping or enhancing reality.

Some peeps give their whole life over to Neptune, never a particularly good idea.

You need to master Saturn before you can ‘do’ Neptune satisfactorily.  Neptune always makes me think of the kind of beach that has a steep drop all of a sudden and you can go from bopping about in the shallows, shore in sight, to swimming with slippery, deceptive and potentially dangerous sea monsters.

Neptune can break your heart. Via drugs, alcohol, madly escapist tendencies or those strange, addictive romances some people get hooked up in where the feelings evoked are nothing short of religious…but it’s basically hopeless.

Sometimes i get people emailing me who are clearly in the grip of Neptune – not drunk (?) but wanting my idea on when someone they last saw eight years ago but still hold our hope for might return. Or the classic someone-married scenario. I always want to tip an urn of Saturn-chilled ice water over them but nothing works when Neptune has gotten a grip.

You can have Neptune strong in your chart – in which case you need to get some good Saturn habits strong to augment the good qualities of Neptune – or you can have a powerful Neptune transit going on that renders you temporarily Neptunian. When you’re Neptunian, you get easy access to other realms – ghosts, visions, angels, spirit guides….dark matter maybe. You will have a Muse. You will be exquisitely sensitive….like a Medium. Every night your R.E.M. mind is a like a blockbuster epic movie.

So how Neptunian are you?  Do you have the “easy” or “challenging” aspects of Neptune to other planets in your chart. Never mind the sextile to Pluto. We’ve basically all got that one. Think more of what Neptune is doing to Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Ascendant.

Or are you having a Neptune transit?  For the next two years, Neptune hangs out in the late degrees of Aqua/early Pisces…So that’s your key Neptune zone. Also, if you’ve got anything in a late Fixed sign (Leo, Taurus, Scorpio) or early (up to three degrees) of a Mutable (Virgo, Saggo, Gemini) consider that Neptune haunted as well.

Also, how many of you got nearly drowned by a Lower Neptunian? Or had Neptune break their heart? I think it happens to lots of peeps when they’re young.”

Reclaiming The Radical Legacy of The Witch

barneywitch

Article by 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about witches. Not just because top ten lists of hot tv witches and sexy Halloween selfies currently swamp my social media feeds, but because my tables and shelves are currently so laden with herbs, plants, berries, phials and bottles that if an inquisitor of old were to enter, I’d find myself quickly tied to the stake. And while this worry seems remote, it’s a plain fact that women in third world countries are still hunted down, tortured and set aflame for the crime of witchcraft.

Sure, the witch is emerging from the world of taboo and shadows onto the world stage. Sure, she’s being touted as a feminist icon  – a “powerful feminine model free from male influence or ownership”. But I’m not so sure. Because how can it be that the witch, once associated with everything transgressive and beyond the realm of normative society, is now so trendy and positively mainstream?  Is it really a feminist step forward that W magazine declared Fall 2016, the season of the witch, replete with pouting models in gothic dresses, chains and black lace underwear?

And while many believe the witch of the middle ages was a spectre created by the church, I believe she was real. Yes, many put to death were just ordinary women who practiced folk magic, herbalism and midwifery, but many were powerful spiritual leaders of the indigenous, animist faith traditions of the old world – and their magic was earned through a lifetime of spiritual discipline spent in communion with nature.

And I worry her make-over into nubile fashion siren not only obscures this history, but her true relevance as a role model to us today. One that if resurrected, would be just as subversive and dangerous to the powers that be. 

Today the witches tall black hat and burbling cauldron have become icons of Halloween kitsch, but they were once hallowed items of the holy women and priestesses, the healers and herbalists, the oracles and diviners of old Europe. Their conical hats and cauldrons date back to the 2nd Millennium BCE and were connected to the female shamans of the Indo-European peoples.

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Tarim Mummies, 1800 BCE

 

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Scythian Princess and her cauldron, 4th to 5th century BCE

 

Their cauldrons (as well as crystal balls and magical wands) were still being used thousands of years later by the “witte wieven” or wise women, the sibyls, seers, and female druids of Celtic, Anglo Saxon, and Norse traditions of the middle ages.

According to Max Dashu, author Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion,  these “dream-readers, sooth-sayers, and herb-chanters, fire-gazers in Switzerland, or water-gazers in France and Spain”, practiced “all the elements of shamanism: chants, prophecy, healing, weather-making powers, and shapeshifting”. Legends tell of their sacred cauldrons in which “they simmered mysterious herbs to produce a drink of immortality and resurrection.”

These women were the guardians of the earth, the protectors of the sacred groves, lakes and springs, from which they derived their magical power. And until the middle ages they were highly respected, sought out and consulted for healing and divination by common folk, nobility and clergy alike.

But according to Barbara G. Walker , it was during the 14th century that the Catholic Church, during its relentless expansion and appropriation of sacred land, began to distinguish between witchcraft, perpetrated by women, and sorcery, a legitimate pursuit of men.

witchwisewomen

While books on sorcery were condoned well into the enlightenment, female witches in contrast were said to “magically injure crops, domestic animals, and people, and in general “outrage the Divine Majesty”. And thus their religious practices (as described by Dashu) of “sitting-out” on the land “gazing, listening, gathering wisdom” were extinguished by a priesthood that sought to bring nature, magic, women (not to mention their land and property) under male control.

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These women did not go easily, or take usurpation of their holy sites and old ways lightly – it took the Church hundreds of years to hunt them down. And so it seems likely, at least to me,  that the stereotype of vengeful witch, casting curses and blighting crop, was real, at least for the church. She must have been the original eco-feminist, fighting the patriarchy with one of most powerful tools at her disposal, magic. And the Church took it pretty seriously indeed.”

Read More here: https://gathervictoria.com/2016/10/23/reclaiming-the-radical-legacy-of-the-witch/

David Bowie and the Occult

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David Bowie tracing the Tree of Life

I don’t know how deeply David Bowie was in to Magick, but it’s clear in the 70’s he was immersed in it. I’ve read he was having drug and alcohol issues at the time, but I find this period of his life in Los Angeles very interesting nonetheless.

Like many people, Bowie had an enormous impact on my life and he’s one of my favorite artists. I was born in 1964 and I grew up listening to him. He has always been there in my life. I can’t remember any point in my life where I wasn’t listening to his music.

As a teenager I studied movement and I wanted to be a ballerina. When “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” came out in the early 80’s I was there at the Lumiere theater off Polk Street, watching the movie 50 times over. In my late 20’s I studied theater, movement, and world religions in San Francisco. Inspired by Bowie’s example, I became a guitarist and singer for my own rock persona – Bettie Black. I wrote and released my own music – always inspired by him.  I find his exploration of magick personal and meaningful. I also study gnosticism and the Tree of Life from Jewish mystical traditions.

I’ve read many observations from various people, and I’ve come across some interesting insights! I thought I’d put them all here to share with interested folks.

http://www.arnemancy.com/articles/david-bowie-was-not-a-closet-occultist/

Source: David Bowie: Closet Occultist!

In 1976 Bowie stated:

“My overriding interest was in Kabbalah and Crowleyism. That whole dark and rather fearsome never-world of the wrong side of the brain.”

From “Bowie on Bowie” by Sean Egan

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from Secret Sun Blog: “Apparently David Bowie, despite being heavily interested in the Occult and even referencing Crowley lyrically in the 1971 song Quicksand, was actually of the mind that AC was a fraud (from a 1997 interview in NME):

Q: “So were you involved in actual devil worship?”
A: “Not devil worship, no, it was pure, straightforward, old-fashioned magic.”
Q: “The Aleister Crowley variety?”
A: “No, I always thought Crowley was a charlatan. But there was a guy called [Arthur] Edward Waite who was terribly important to me at the time. And another called Dion Fortune who wrote a book called ‘Psychic Self-Defense‘. You had to run around the room getting bits of string and old crayons and draw funny things on the wall, and I took it all most seriously, ha ha ha ! I drew gateways into different dimensions, and I’m quite sure that, for myself, I really walked into other worlds. I drew things on walls and just walked through them, and saw what was on the other side!”

 

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I really don’t know much about Waite, but in a bit of research (Wikipedia, so you know, take that as you may) came upon the info that Crowley apparently hated Waite and mocked him publically in his writing. Checked, and in Bowie’s list of favorite books, there are none by Crowley. The only Occult book listed is Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual by Elphias Levi.”

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/david-bowies-final-video-contains-7251101

Lazarus

David Bowie, Lazarus video, 2016

 


 

Excellent article by Priscilla Frank, Arts Writer, The Huffington Post:

Never Before Published Photos Reveal Clues Bowie Left Before His Death

How a 1974 image reappeared in Bowie’s final music video.

 

BOOK COVER

Imagine getting the opportunity to hold a private photo session with David Bowie at the height of his stardom. We’re talking post “Ziggy Stardust” and “Aladdin Sane,” with “Pin Ups” and “Diamond Dogs” still on the horizon. Imagine you had an entire evening to play dress up with the iconic shapeshifter and capture the manifold personas he embodied so swiftly yet completely.

And suppose, over 40 years later, after the iconic artist’s death, you return to those photos you took so long ago and notice what seems to be a message. A message that reappears throughout his later works, culminating with the “Lazarus” video off his final album “Blackstar,” that perhaps illuminates the artist’s feelings about death and immortality.

This is what happened to photographer Steve Schapiro, who spent one fateful night in 1974 photographing Bowie in his Los Angeles studio. “From the moment Bowie arrived, we seemed to hit it off. Incredibly intelligent, calm, and filled with ideas,” Schapiro recalled in a statement. “He talked a lot about Aleister Crowley, whose esoteric writings he was heavily into at the time. When David heard that I had photographed Buster Keaton, one of his greatest heroes, we instantly became friends.”

DAVID SEATED DRAWING CIRCLES ON THE BACKGROUND PAPER AND THEN THE KABBALAH TREE OF LIFE DIAGRAM ON THE FLOOR. LOS ANGELES, 1974.

The two collaborated on many striking images, each transforming Bowie into a distinct character, as unique and otherworldly as a mythical creature. Yet a particular ensemble, the one pictured above and featured on Bowie’s 1976 album “Station to Station,” holds special significance.

In the image, Bowie dons a navy blue striped body suit and, crouched on the floor, doodles diagrams of Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, a series of 10 spiritual emanations. Lyrics from the title track “Station to Station” echo the language of Kabbalist symbols and beliefs. “Here are we, one magical movement from Keter to Malkuth,” Bowie sings, with Keter (the Crown) and Malkuth (the Kingdom) being the first and last virtues on the Tree of Life.

In his last music video, “Lazarus,” from album “Blackstar” — regarded by many as a cryptic goodbye letter to his fans — Bowie whips out the exact jumpsuit worn in the 1974 image, visible around the two-minute mark. Just as Bowie doodled obsessively in the ‘70s photo shoot, in 2016 Bowie scribbles feverishly in a notebook, heightening in intensity until finally he appears to come to a conclusion, finishing his notes and talking away. (In Bowie style: backward.)

As Albin Wantier interprets in his introduction to Schapiro’s photography book: “He appears to have found the meaning he has been searching for. The connection between both images, 40 years apart, is stunning … He has resolved his enigma, and the curtain can fall at last.”

A close-up of the writing in Bowie’s notebook reveals a trail of symbols. Wantier analyzed these symbols in conjunction with some appearing on a vinyl edition of “Blackstar,” all of which resembled the doodles from the 1974 shoot. The “Blackstar” images, Wantier determined after checking with a friend, were part of a chemical formula depicting the various stages of the nuclear fusion, which leads to the formation of a sun. Or perhaps, a blackstar.

“In the ‘Lazarus’ video, Bowie resolves the enigma of life, which he had been endeavoring to do since 1976,” Wantier summarizes. “His life, which was indistinguishable from his work, led him to enact various characters of his own devising; his life was in itself a work of art. Now that he has finished, Bowie can close the book. However, the last chapter does not end with the artist’s passing — that would be too simple.”

FROM THE PHOTO SHOOT FOR PEOPLE MAGAZINE. WE TOOK PORTRAITS AGAINST A PUTRID GREEN BACKGROUND WHICH WE BOTH FELT WAS THE WORST POSSIBLE COLOR TO USE AS A BACKGROUND FOR A MAGAZINE COVER. LOS ANGELES, 1974

While Bowie’s physical body is no longer with us, his creative energy has catalyzed to create a cosmic eruption, felt around the world, that can never be undone. “David Bowie is not the kind to just disappear just like that from our world,” Wantier writes. “The chemical symbols that accompany the ‘Blackstar’ release point where he’s going: an artistic nuclear fusion of two elements that creates enough energy to make a sun.”

While many acknowledged the poetry in Bowie’s final album, his requiem, and its tremendous impact as his final work of art on this earth, few pieced together the fact that the roots of “Blackstar” trace back to 1974, when a photographer and the world’s biggest rock star became fast friends and spent a single evening creating, contorting and doodling away. As Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti put it: “His death was not different from his life — a work of Art.”

See the image that started it all, as well as the many other never before published images captured that night, in Bowie. A preview of the book is featured below, with all photographs by Steve Schapiro and published by powerHouse Books.

    • David out of character. One of my favorite photos of David. I particularly like his hands in this shot. Los Angeles 1975. Photographs by Steve Schapiro, from Bowie, published by powerHouse Books
    • David with cigarette on a break from filming MFE in New Mexico 1975. This became a Rolling Stone cover and a popular image.
    • David relaxed at his house in Los Angeles, 1975. I particularly liked his hands in this photo.
    • David with goggles and bike. Los Angeles, 1974
    • Bowie holding a Buster Keaton book near his face, in his dressing room trailer on “The Man Who Fell to Earth: set, New Mexico 1975. Buster Keaton was one of David Bowie’€™s heroes.
    • David took me by surprise when he came out in the red and white striped outfit during the 1974 photo shoot. It was different from what we expected he would be wearing, Los Angeles 1974.
    • David with Cher on TV show, Los Angeles, 1975.
  • In the makeup trailer for “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Bowie puts in his cat eyes for a scene, New Mexico 1975.