Welcome to the June 2021 edition of our Cosmic Weather Forecast from your editors Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry. The wheel of yearly transformation has come round to the Cancer interval. The first week of the new summer season has brought America a tropical storm, flooding in the Southeast, and intense Western droughts and heatwaves.
Here in Winston Salem, Jane and I are enjoying the first fruits of our new garden, while we battle Japanese and sundry beetles, lack of rain, cutworms, crabgrass, and bean munching deer day by day. As summer cranks up the heat, Jane is sharing her recipe for a cool Salad Plate with Fava Bean and Snap Pea Purees. It's simple, yummy and simply gorgeous.
Jane's Salad Plate with Fava Bean and Snap Pea Purees, photo by Jane Sherry
In the Northern Hemisphere, the recent Summer Solstice Festival heralds the arrival of the seasonal interval when human communities celebrate mating rituals, plants dance toward the sun, and all of nature is energized by Mother Earth’s outpouring of Universal Life Force energy.
The Full Capricorn Super Moon sextiles Jupiter in Pisces, while the Cancer Sun trines Jupiter, creating an atmosphere of geniality, sensitivity to subtle energies, expansive goodwill and optimism fueled by uprising will forces supporting a concerted effort to forge co-operative solutions to intransigent problems in our lives. We will need all the Cosmic help we can get during the next 30 days, which is characterized by aspects associated with intransigent conflict, unyielding oppositions, and melodramatic, possibly unpleasant surprises.
This outpouring energy is directed by the Archangel of Summer, Uriel, who presides over the activities of the angels, devas, nature spirits and elementals in the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms during the summer interval of the yearly seasonal cycle.
These beings of Light preside over the morphogenetic fields that ensoul, inform, structure and sustain the bodies of all beings on Earth.
These morphogenetic fields are energetic templates that encourage minerals, vegetation, animals and humans to grow and develop so as to manifest the physical characteristics most closely corresponding to each individual Life Form's optimal development in accordance with karma, environmental conditions, weather patterns, Nature's blueprint and many other variables.
For more information on the spiritual significance of the summer season see our article entitled Summer Solstice, Archangel Uriel and St. John's Day 2021.
Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, Ma Lin,
Poem by Wang Wei: "I walk unto where waters end. And sit down to watch when clouds arise."
The world is harsh these days, most days, most ways. Lately my best time is either working our plots in the Bethabara community garden, meditating in mountain meadows or doing Reiki and spiritual practices here in our home of many altars.
The advent of summer, traditionally a time of increased outer world activity, also is the time of year when I most enjoy lying on the grass, staring at the sky, or sitting on our balcony, watching trees sway in the breezes. As the Chinese poet Wang Wei said in a poem to accompany the beautiful artwork entitled Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, shown above, "I walk unto where waters end. And sit down to watch when clouds arise."
I am working on retuning my consciousness so I am less self-centered, more aware of the messages in bird calls and avian flight paths, more receptive to the prana carried on the wind and rising up from the earth. I chant sacred names as I weed and water the garden. It has been a community garden since 1753, founded by Moravian Christians, very devout people. I send Reiki energy at night to heal the garden ecosystem and the people who nurture green shoots. I visualize this sacred ground.
All is well. The soul has songs to sing, stories to tell, new dramas to enact. I will not get in the way.
Capricorn Full Super Moon, Cancer Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast
We celebrate the Capricorn full moon on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 2:40 pm Eastern time, four days after the Summer Solstice and the entry of the Sun into the sign of Cancer. This Full Moon is a Super Moon. Earth and Moon are close to one another, and a perceptibly larger than normal lunar orb lights up the sky just after sunset in North America.
Full Moon over Winston Salem, photo by Jane Sherry
The Full Capricorn Super Moon sextiles Jupiter in Pisces, while the Cancer Sun trines Jupiter, creating an atmosphere of geniality, sensitivity to subtle energies, expansive goodwill and optimism fueled by uprising will forces supporting a concerted effort to forge co-operative solutions to intransigent problems in our lives.
Mercury is no longer retrograde and the time has come to reboot our computers, rethink our relationship issues, and revolutionize our outmoded habits and recurring dysfunctional patterns of behavior.
The way forward during late June and July could be tense and confrontational in some ways, so it's best if we can ease our way into new ways of seeing and being in the world. This may not be easy, since fiery planetary aspects could incite precipitate action that would have unexpected, unpleasant long term consequences.
Seven of Wands, Valor, Thoth Tarot Deck, depicts Mars in Leo
Mars is in fiery Leo at the time of the Full Moon, opposing Saturn in Aquarius through July 9th. Mars in Leo creates pressure to advance our agendas at any cost, and to overcome opposition through any means necessary. This fiery, individualistic impulse is opposed by Saturn's emphasis on collective norms, social standards and moral obligations while transiting Aquarius. We may find our individual desires conflict sharply with social obligations and restrictions. Political polarization could increase in this period, and political confrontations sharpen in intensity.
As Mars in Leo opposes Saturn, the warrior planet also squares Uranus in Taurus, creating a dramatic T-square in fixed signs. The irresistible force is opposed by the immovable object while unexpected, electrifying events come out of left field to modify the opposed forces in unpredictable ways that will upend our expectations. Financial markets will continue to be extremely volatile. Political flashpoints will trigger unexpected outcomes. Our personal agendas may be upended in ways we least expect.
Venus joins Mars in Leo on June 26th, for a several week stay. Our Leonine desire nature will be inflamed, enhancing our willingness to confront all Saturnine obstacles and limitations in our lives forcefully and dramatically.
From July 4-9, Venus in Leo opposes Saturn in Aquarius and squares Uranus in Taurus. Fixed T-squares like these emphasize the conflicting values and essence of fixed signs, which tend to focus on maintaining stability at all costs. When three planets in fixed signs enter stressful aspects together, the friction will be intense, and the demands we place on ourselves and others can become overbearing. Harmonizing the rights of the individual with our obligations to our community can be crucial in manifesting positive outcomes wherever stress arises.
Fixed signs tend to focus on external events and persons as sources of tension or conflict, and are extremely reluctant to focus on the emotions, collective thought forms, karmic history, and defective mental maps of the world that can lead to conflicts of all kinds. This leads to a blame game, to scapegoating, and often to outright conflict with those perceived to be the source of our problems.
Fireworks Finale, Thomas Hawk from San Francisco, USA,
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
There could be spectacular displays of inner and outer fireworks this next few weeks, especially at the Fourth of July. Mars and Venus in Leo will restore our confidence and support us in exercising our will in every area of life. The Cosmic Lovers, Mars and Venus, will conjoin in early July creating an intensely supportive atmosphere for love, romance, artistic endeavors and spiritual practice.
During this period of enhanced Leo energies, we can rise to the occasion and engineer breakthroughs that remove obstacles and resolve longstanding burdensome restrictions in our lives. On the other hand, these forceful energies could fuel hotheaded confrontations that result in unexpected, hurtful consequences for ourselves and those around us.
Let strength be our keyword this month. Strength informed by goodwill will be essential for us to optimize our consciousness in this volatile cosmic weather pattern during the next few weeks. This is a time for heart-centered heroism, not unbridled egotism. Let us all concentrate on manifesting the positive aspects of the Leonine personality as we begin the summer season.
Let us celebrate our lion-hearted courage and strength as individuals this Full Moon week while also balancing our own desires with the well being of our community and the great web of life in which we live.
Cancer is the sign of home, hearth and intimate communal relations. During the Cancer interval of the year, the first month of summer, we celebrate the fecundity of Mother Earth, the source of nourishment, beauty and energy for all living beings. We offer thanks to the Great Mother for her gifts of water, air, earth and fire. We offer thanks to the plants that nourish us and exhale oxygen so we can breathe. We offer thanks to our animal brothers and sisters that are our companions on this life journey. We thank the insect kingdom, especially pollinators who are essential to maintaining the web of life on Earth, and without whom we could not grow food. We offer thanks to the invisible networks of tiny beings, from microbes to fungi, who exist below ground, providing the foundation for life above and below.
The Birthing Room by Jane Sherry, gouache on paper, digital image by Jane Sherry
We contemplate the continued degradation of our ecosphere and we meditate upon the ways in which human beings can begin to create anew a dynamic balance between humanity and the great web of life surrounding and cradling us during our life journey.
This month in America, billions of Brood X cicadas emerge from hibernation for the first time in seventeen years. These cicadas last appeared in 2004, 32 years after the publication of The Limits to Growth by scientists in the Club of Rome. The message of this book was simple: "The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology."
As leaked documents have revealed, scientists working for Exxon knew of the dangers posed by runaway climate change in 1977. "A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation," according to an article about the scandal in The Scientific American. "The company’s knowledge of climate change dates back to July 1977, when its senior scientist James Black delivered a sobering message on the topic. “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels," Black told Exxon’s management committee. A year later he warned Exxon that doubling CO2 gases in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by two or three degrees—a number that is consistent with the scientific consensus today." Exxon's response by 1988 was to create organizations devoted to attacking the science proving climate change was a real, present, existential danger to humanity, and indeed, to all life on Earth.
George W. Bush was president of the United States in 2004. The Iraq war raged on as graphic pictures of American military personnel torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib surfaced in the world news media. Long before Donald Trump took climate denial mainstream, Bush had pulled America out of the Kyoto environmental treaty, casting doubt on the scientific validity of studies detailing rapid climate change as a result of fossil fuel emissions. The Bush family were embedded in the commanding heights of America's oil industry, and the likelihood they were unaware of Exxon's findings is virtually zero. In fact, Bush simply followed the Exxon playbook throughout his Presidency, continuing to sow confusion about the stark reality of climate change.
"Certainly the most destructive part of the Bush environmental legacy is not only his failure to act on global climate change, but his administration's covert attempt to silence the science alerting us to the urgency of the problem," said Jonathan Dorn of the Earth Policy Institute (EPA) in Washington, as reported in a 2009 article in The Guardian.
"The campaign to keep the public unaware of the evidence on climate change came to light in October 2004 when the Nasa scientist, James Hansen, accused the Bush administration of trying to block data showing an acceleration in global warming," The Guardian reported. This revelation elevated James Hansen into a global celebrity and an icon of the environmental movement.
Since 2004, when the Brood X cicadas emerged and George W. Bush manufactured a series of big lies about the Iraq war and about climate change, about a third of all carbon emissions produced on planet Earth have been pumped into our atmosphere.
As the above chart clearly shows, over the last seventeen years the rate of consumption of fossil fuels around the world has dramatically increased. Global environmental accords, electric cars, and a proliferation of renewable energy companies and sources have done absolutely nothing to slow down this runaway acceleration of fossil fuel use.
If present trends continue the world will certainly not meet the Paris accord's goal of 1.5 degrees of global warming, or even the 2 degree goal, which has long been considered the redline beyond which humanity dare not go. The two-degree threshold has been characterized as catastrophic by climate scientists, genocide by representatives of island nations, and death to our continent by African diplomats.
What is to be done? At this point it is clear that by the next emergence of Brood X cicadas the fate of our world will be sealed. Politicians and billionaire entrepreneurs will not save our planet from eco-catastrophe unless and until the vast majority of Earthlings demand that emergency measures be taken immediately.
Perhaps, on a spiritual level, as we ponder humanity's evolutionary path, the climate emergency will be a turning point, a catalytic moment when men of women of goodwill around the world experience a fundamental shift in consciousness.
Dolphin Psalm, Magic Lantern Drawing by Jane Sherry
As individuals, that might mean a shift from an egocentric, individualistic, family first focus, to a deep experience of interconnection with the web of life, and to a more collective consciousness that puts the survival of all of Earth's sentient beings above exclusively human interests, individual desires, family loyalty or tribal cohesion.
As a species that might mean a shift from Western civilization's anthropocentric, dualistic frame of mind that sees human beings as the crown of creation, and other living beings on the planet as mere tools to serve human beings, mere food machines at best.
Perhaps humanity will accept that in our essence we are animals, and that consciousness, emotions, a sense of self, and an ability to use tools, are traits we share with many other sentient beings on the planet. When human beings see ourselves as one among many forms of sentient beings, different but equal, we will realize we are one vast nation, of many tribes, all shaped and birthed and nourished by Mother Earth.
This will be a new consciousness, a necessary next step in humanity's spiritual evolution. When we all realize that the Earth, the elements, and our fellow sentient beings are all sacred, essential, conscious members of one family we will achieve conscious awareness of the spark of Divine Source present within every manifestation of this Universal Manifold.
Recently published new scientific research is changing the way we view human nature, human evolution, and humanity's place in the great web of life.
For the last fifty years, over simplified, politicized views of Darwin's theory of evolution have emphasized the idea of survival of the fittest. Life is seen as life and death competition between predators and prey, and human evolution is thought to have been shaped by an unrelenting war of all against all for survival and for the survival of one's genetic heritage passed along through offspring.
This theory validates the neoliberal capitalist model of human nature, exemplified in Ayn Rand's hugely popular, poorly written diatribes about the fundamental superiority of the rich, who best exemplify the predatory traits necessary to survive in a violent winner-take-all evolutionary war.
Recent scientific research reveals that humanity's evolution prior to the advent of agriculture and civilization, during the long Pleistocene era, some 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, was driven by brutal climate changes that drove human beings toward increased innovation and increased co-operation manifested especially as social learning passed from one generation to the next. In fact, the response of human beings to the Ice Age were what eventually precipitated fundamental changes in human consciousness and social life that eventually differentiated humans from other animals.
Yes, that's right. We now know that human beings are basically just animals who learned to co-operate and that has made all the difference. During the last million years, evolution has not been driven by genetic changes that resulted in major physical differentiation of the human species. We have not grown new limbs, bigger brains, stronger body organs, or new sensory organs to better adapt to life on Earth. Instead evolution has been driven by climate change, such as the catastrophic climate change in the ancient past that ushered in the Ice Age during the Pleistocene era.
Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas,
near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Mariano, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Since Darwin, a long series of unbridgeable gaps have been proposed between humans and other animals," explains a recent article entitled Modern theories of human evolution foreshadowed by Darwin’s Descent of Man, in Science magazine. "They focused on tool-making, cultural learning and imitation, empathy, prosociality and cooperation, planning and foresight, episodic memory, metacognition, and theory of mind. However, new insights from neurobiology, genetics, primatology, and behavioral biology only reinforce Darwin’s view that most differences between humans and higher animals are 'of degree and not of kind.' What makes us different is that our ancestors evolved greatly enhanced abilities for (and reliance on) cooperation, social learning, and cumulative culture—traits emphasized already by Darwin. Cooperation allowed for environmental risk buffering, cost reduction, and the access to new resources and benefits through the 'economy of scale.' Learning and cumulative culture allowed for the accumulation and rapid spread of beneficial innovations between individuals and groups. The enhanced abilities to learn from and cooperate with others became a universal tool, removing the need to evolve specific biological organs for specific environmental challenges. These human traits likely evolved as a response to increasing high-frequency climate changes on the millennial and submillennial scales during the Pleistocene.”
My Body Has the Wisdom to Heal Itself, by Jane Sherry, image by Jane Sherry
We can only hope and pray that the pressures of this century's climate change catastrophe will once again accelerate humanity's evolutionary journey, triggering a new awareness characterized by increased collective consciousness and active compassionate kinship with the living landscape of Mother Earth.
We know now through scientific research, that our consciousness, shaped and birthed by Mother Earth, is not qualitatively different from that of other sentient beings on the planet. All sentient beings are equally sacred and until we treat them as such the planet will continue to suffer.
This Full Moon as we meditate upon the tension between individualism and collective responsibility, exemplified by Leo and Aquarius, respectively, let us pursue practices designed to integrate our consciousness more fully into the great web of life, and to promote co-operation and good will among all sentient beings.
Summer Solstice Rose Ceremony Honoring Great Mother
Rose in Hand, Digital Image by Jane Sherry
In the Northern Hemisphere June is the moment when the Great Mother's Roses begin to bloom and offer up her perfume. Of all the expressions of the Great Out Breath that takes place at this sacred moment of solar ascendancy, the Rose has always been the symbol for fertility, an expression of the Mother, of Love and Union.
The Cancer Solar Festival is a propitious time to perform a Rose ceremony. Plant a rosebush, or if you are already blessed with roses, then after asking permission, cut yourself a rose, thank it, and make a wish upon it as you breath out your deepest desires. Then place the rose in a stream or pond or other nearby body of water. Watch it travel to the Mother carrying your wishes, buoyed by the strenthening, protective and cleansing waters of the earth. Or simply place a cut rose in fresh water on your altar. Ask the Mother to grant you your dearest heart's desire.
Then, go out into your yard, a garden spot or a wooded area and observe the forms of nature. Let the flowers, the trees and the herbs around you speak to you. Meditate quietly among the plants and allow the energy in the air to fill your being as you breathe deeply in and out. Reflect upon the transformations you have seen in the landscape since the Winter Solstice. Picture the cold of a winter day, in Northern Latitudes the winter snow, then the spring thaw, the seeds planted in early spring, the first shoots and the growing stalks, the buds, the flowers and the fruits as they appear over time. Imagine your rosebud and reflect upon every stage of its life cycle, picturing the plant's growth and development through the year. In this way you can attune your soul to this season's transformations, to the constant turning of the Cosmic Wheel.
Each of the annual solar festivals help us tune in to the various energies of the ever changing Cosmic Wheel of the year. As we tune into the seasonal changes we move closer and closer to the Source that sustains the movement of the Wheel. Celebrating the eternal Source of Universal Life Force Energy that manifests in the continuous renewal of life we experience through the changing seasons strengthens our faith in the abiity of Life and human spiritual evolution to overcome all obstacles over time.
In the face of global climate change, mass suffering, war, poverty and hunger, we often experience feelings of personal powerlessness. These seasonal ceremonies help us to approach the ever-changing seasons of our lives with equanimity. Celebrating the turnings of the year, we can learn to gracefully accept both obstacles and joys in life. The Gift of Life is an ever shifting dance of light and dark, of breathing out and breathing in, of abundance, scarcity and renewal.
Attuning our own consciousness to this Dance of Life we can gratefully offer ourselves and our love and gifts to the world, knowing that our efforts to create a better world spring from that same inexhaustible Source that sustains the Cosmic Wheel. Establishing a conscious connection to that Source, we can be certain that our efforts in working for peace, social justice and sustainable communities will result in a new cultural flowering.
May you connect with the Divine Source during this seasonal celebration and may you and your loved ones receive the grace and guidance you require to attain your loftiest spiritual goals. May you all be happy and healthy and free from fear. May you each experience great love in your lives.
Winston Salem Sunset photo by Jane Sherry
Sunset has arrived. Jane and I reflect upon the poem by Wang Wei -- "I walk unto where waters end. And sit down to watch when clouds arise." Jane and I send you love and light from Winston Salem where sunsets are Wagnerian events.
Meditation Moment: Do Not Worry if the Harp Breaks
Do not worry if our harp breaks, thousands more will appear.
We have fallen in the arms of love where all is music.
If all the harps in the world were burned down,
still inside the heart there will be hidden music playing.
Do not worry if all the candles in the world flicker and die
we have the spark that starts the fire.
The songs we sing are like foam on the surface of th