Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Real Wisdom of 12-12-12

There is a LOT of interest around the numerical sequence contained in today's date. Just like the other sequential dates in the past decade such as 7-7-07 and 9-9-09, people seem to love these sequences and the energies contained in them. Many people choose to get married or plan significant events around them, and I wanted to write a post about some of those interesting things, both good and bad, that have swirled around this date today.

The Bad Stuff

First, let's address the bad stuff. World-ending, terrible, bad kinds of stuff. There are all kinds of apocalyptic predictions about the world ending, and 12-12-12 along with the date of the Solstice, December 21, 2012 have both been kicked around by various prophets and gurus as days to fear. Indeed, just this morning we had a bit of a close brush with an asteroid. However, there are literally thousands of asteroids that come close to the Earth on a regular basis, (NASA even has a program to monitor and catalog them) and if one of them hit, we would probably experience some kind of damage. Very rarely, one of them is big enough and scary enough that it could potentially do even more damage. However, we do a pretty good job of spotting them before they can get too close - and asteroid 4179 Toutatis is a good example of this. So I believe that if we were ever seriously threatened, we could come up with a way to deal with it before it happened.

Secondarily, people always have questions about things such as the "Mayan Calendar" ending. When I am asked about this, I always try to point out that the Mayan calendar in question is actually round, it doesn't really "end". It just keeps on turning. Even extremely large catastrophic events such as the Christmas Tsunami of 2004 or the 2011 earthquake in Japan don't do much to impact the entire world and the billions of people upon it. So yes, localized events are possible, but the world as a whole keeps on turning as well.

Another thing that has come up in discussion in recent weeks is the idea of the Galactic Center alignment. From a spiritual perspective, this sounds like a really neat thing, and I hate to be the one to burst any bubbles. However, from a purely physical standpoint, we have to look at the facts. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is a bulge of stars, gases, and dust which is approximately 100,000 light years across. Even if we really do manage to pinpoint the exact center of that place, it is much more likely that we have been "aligned" to that point for quite some time, and will be for years to come. Even a very small, minute fraction of a degree of that large of a distance would take hundreds of years for the Earth to cross. So while it is an interesting idea, it doesn't have a lot of grounding in physical reality. What does have a basis for physical reality is  that on the eve of the Solstice (and this happens every year) we seem to be lined up with a dark line within the body of the Milky Way. However, this does not have anything to do with any predictions of death or destruction, and is simply a product of the seasonal axial tilt of our planet.

The Good Stuff

12/12/12, 12:12:12The first good thing to note is that 12-12-12 is the last sequential date of this century, which is pretty cool. The world won't see sequential dates like this again until the next century, starting January 1, 2101. I saw posts from people around the world celebrating 12:12 on 12/12/12 as it happened in their time zone. The human brain is programmed to recognize and connect to patterns and symmetry, and this is true regardless of religion or culture.

The bigger picture here is that the meaning of the number 12 has been connected by thousands of years of mythology to specific types of ideas and energies. It is significant in mathematics as well as in astronomy, astrology and in many worldwide cultural mythos and experiences. The ancient astronomers in the Middle East used a system of dividing the sky into 12 equal segments, called the Zodiac, that is still used today. The idea of the number 12 as holding the energy of completion may come from this ancient system. That ancient system, known today as astrology, has influenced the world quite strongly for thousands of years.

The 12th sign of the Zodiac is the sign of Pisces, and when talked about in terms of human development, refers to the development of the intuition, and of the development of altruistic human emotions such as compassion and empathy. Thus the energies of the number 12 can be said to contain these lessons as well as those of completion.

Looking at some even newer mythologies, in the Tarot, the card bearing the number 12 is called "The Hanged Man", and this enigmatic picture can be a little bit difficult for people to decipher and relate to. A man hanging upside down by his foot, from a branch on a strangely angular tree (which is often described as an actual gallows) does not seem to offer much to our modern worldview.

The traditional meaning of this card is one of delay or sacrifice, but we have to go somewhat deeper to reveal its true nature. In the Rider/Waite deck, the picture of the Hanged Man is meant to be a depiction of the mythology of the Nordic God, Odin and his trial by which he received the knowledge and wisdom of the runes. It is said that he hung upside-down on the Yggdrasil, or the World Tree for nine days and nights and finally glimpsed the secret and sacred power of the runes, after which he died. However, the story goes that the knowledge of the runes was so powerful that he returned to life immediately, thus echoing other resurrection stories that are contained within the world's cultural spirit.

The Hanged Man really represents the ultimate sacrifice, that of dying to an old way of being in order to be reborn anew, and also speaks of the wisdom and self-knowledge that is required in order to undertake such a journey.  I find it fascinating that the day of 12-12-12 also falls on a Wednesday, which of course is sacred to Odin (Wednesday=Woden's Day)

Finally, I would like to touch on another 12 that is significant to most individuals, and that is the Jupiter cycle. Jupiter has an orbit around the Sun of approximately 11.86 years, or just shy of 12 years exactly. Within human development, we are well into the changes brought by puberty at the age of 12, and roughly every 12 years we experience Jupiter returning to the same place in the sky as it was when we were born. The ancient ones thought of Jupiter as a very powerful planet, and tracked it's movements to predict the rise and fall of kings and countries. Jupiter is the great Teacher, bringing about life lessons and new ways of being in the world.

12-12-12 Meditations 

So on the day of 12-12-12 and throughout the days to come, I would encourage individuals to look into their own lives and find the lessons of the energies of 12 that are with us at all times. When did you last bring something important to completion in your life? When have you exercised wisdom and self-knowledge? What have you sacrificed for, and what were the results? When have you shown another person compassion and empathy, or listened to your intuition?This would be a great time to do some self-examination about your own goals and life path. Write down some things you would like to bring to completion, and some steps you can take to get there. The keywords of completion, wisdom, compassion and the cycles of life are of greatest importance right now. Building for the future is a far better response than planning for the end.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Survive a Mercury Retrograde

How to survive a Mercury Retrograde

As I have written many times before, you don't necessarily have to dread the energy of Mercury Retrograde. People born under a Mercury Retrograde period usually have a much easier time of it than those without that aspect in their natal charts, but the next few weeks don't HAVE to spell disaster.

That being said, here are some areas to keep a close eye on: 

1. Computers and important data should be backed up frequently and protected with a strong firewall and antivirus set of programs. Hard drives do wear out, even external ones, so you may wish to review the ages of your hard drives, they only last between 3-5 years on average.

2. Get your car tuned up and your oil and filters checked. Check on your tires for wear and if you don't have one, get your AAA card in case of breakdowns. During this hot time, keep extra water, engine coolant and an umbrella in your car!

3. Double-and triple-check any and all travel plans, and make sure to bring a change of clothes and important medications in your carry-on in case of delays or changes in schedules when flying.

4. Delay signing legal contracts, buying a home or purchasing expensive electronics, at the very least until Mercury goes direct, and if possible, until after the shadow period has passed. If you MUST sign any contracts during this time, make certain to read all the fine print very closely, make sure you have copies of everything and be sure that you understand what you are signing. Be detailed in keeping records of who, what, when, where and why, and even go overboard a little on the finicky details. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something or signing something you don't fully understand. 

5. Keep a close eye on your financial transactions during this time. Review your bank or credit accounts often, even daily, and keep track of all of your receipts for purchases and bank deposits.

Finally, during the next few weeks, try to approach any snafus, delays or frustrations with patience and tranquility. Cultivate and practice a "go with the flow" attitude. It can't hurt you and it might even help get you through this cycle with your sanity intact! This would be a perfect time to get yourself a set of meditation beads and learn how to use them. Remember to breathe and if it gets too much, you can always throw your hands up, embrace the chaos and say "Hail Eris!".

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Pagan Olympics

Along with around 1/7 of the entire world's population, I watched the Opening Ceremonies of the thirtieth modern Summer Olympics with great interest. Thanks to a friend, I was able to watch the uncut BBC version of the ceremony, fortunately, free of NBC's cuts, commentary and commercial breaks. If you can find this version online, it is well worth the effort to view, and is a much more enjoyable experience.

The historical Olympics were of course a tradition that began in ancient Pagan Greece, and were held every four years for over a thousand years, until the reign of good old Emperor Theodosius who of course put a stop to anything with Pagan origins. Despite some popular misconceptions,the games actually began as a footrace for young women to become the priestess of the temple of Hera!

The resurgence of the Olympics in modern times have been marked by the preservation of some of the most ancient traditions from the original Olympics. The most visible and interesting of these traditions is the lighting of the Olympic flame, which has been followed in modern times since 1936. The lighting takes place IN the Temple of Hera, in Olympia, Greece, and is carried out by a circle of priestesses and priests, led by a High Priestess of Hera. The God Apollo was called upon, and the flame was lit using a mirror to generate the heat to light the torch. If you have time, you really should watch the ritual itself. It's an incredible example of a reconstruction of an ancient rite, undertaken with seriousness and power. Finally, from the time that the flame is lit at Olympia until it is delivered to the Olympic Stadium and then extinguished at the end of the Games, the flame is carefully guarded and is never allowed to go out, in the tradition of eternal flames from ancient Goddess temples worldwide. Blown out flames are relit from a "mother flame" that is kept close to the torch and was lit from the main flame at the lighting ceremony. Additionally, an olive branch is retrieved and carried by a young boy, and is then  ritually presented to the Olympic torchbearer.

Returning to the Olympic opening ceremonies themselves, I was literally astonished when the initial scenes showed us a pastoral countryside, complete with meadows, sheep, and... Glastonbury Tor. Glastonbury Tor?! My jaw dropped. The inclusion of the Tor was a great omen that these ceremonies were going to be memorably mystical indeed!

Additionally, although the Tor is currently topped by the remains of an medieval Christian church , the modern Olympic version was crowned instead with a representation of a magnificent old tree. Of what kind I could not tell, but being that a lot of the imagery was so very, very pagan, I'm going to go with the very druidic Oak (This article seems to confirm it was an Oak). So this beautiful, pregnant and magical Goddess belly of a mound of Earth, the Isle of Avalon, this place of intense spiritual significance was not only a highly visible part of the Olympics' opening ritual, but indeed, served as a platform for a significant portion of the ceremonies, including important speeches and the hosting of each country's flag. Most likely, the intersection of both Pagan and Christian belief and popular mythology at the Tor made it palatable for mainstream viewers, if they were aware of the Tor's significance at all. Just seeing the prominence of this homage to the Goddess in all of the footage made for a most enjoyable evening, and the contrast of the softly waving green turf (apparently, quite real!) to the later industrial and urban scenes was quite a striking reminder of the presence and resurgence of the worship of the Divine feminine even today. 

Then, quite soon after I had seen but not yet fully processed the impact of the inclusion of the Tor, I noticed something else that was quite shocking as well. Maypoles! And as I was later to find out, there was not just one or two Maypoles, but indeed, there were four of them. Creative Director Danny Boyle was quoted as saying that the four Maypoles represented the four countries of Great Britian, but I noticed something else that was just as interesting. Once I had time to do some research, I found some very very significant things that may have passed many others by at first glance. 

Firstly, I looked at a satellite photo of the Olympic stadium in London. The first thing that struck me is that the stadium itself is surrounded by water on all sides. You can clearly see here how the network of canals provide it an island effect. In many mythologies around the world, islands are often seen as places of mystical significance themselves, as in the mythology of Glastonbury Tor itself. 

Secondarily, I noticed that the stadium is oriented quite nicely to the directions, with the north-south axis being the longer. Zooming in, Google maps has provided a very recent picture of the inside of the stadium, showing the construction of the Olympic stages. Most noticeably, the largest blank area, where the Tor will be constructed later on, is directly in the North end of the arena, placed prominently in the position of fertile, strong and grounding Earth. 

After looking around a little bit, I discovered several photos of a mockup of the Opening Ceremonies' stage, and saw that the Maypoles are placed precisely in what modern earth-based folk would consider to be the Four Directions. 

Each Maypole was topped with four different flowers and colors, which this article informs us are the "national flowers of all four home nations – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the flax of Northern Ireland." Now, while they are not quite exactly the placement of the "traditional" colors and elemental correspondence, they are definitely close enough for me. In fact, I was so excited about this that I could not decide which picture I wanted to feature here, and so came up with this slideshow of collected photos of the Maypoles instead. 

Finally, although the "Industrial Revolution" segment that followed the pastoral scenes was intended to be a celebration of progress, there was also a palpable sense of grief that was portrayed at the destruction of the natural world, and very concretely symbolized how the progress and wealth came at the expense of the removal of green grass and clean air. I found it interesting that part of the destruction was done by workmen and women who actually emerged from beneath the druidic Oak tree at the apex of the Tor. Although it was a little unclear to me what this was intended to symbolize, after some reflection I came to the conclusion that perhaps it meant that even those of us with the best of intentions toward preserving the natural world can contribute to this type of destructive influence. Admittedly, this is pure, unbridled speculation on my part! 

All in all, it was very well done and although there were many other mystical and magical symbols present during the Opening Ceremonies, (pyramids which were lit on the Winter Solstice, sacred Geometry, white doves)  I wanted to specifically catalog the inclusion of two very prominent and important ones. I also found it intensely fitting that the Games at which women were finally represented from EVERY single country were the ones which contained symbols of the Great Goddess herself.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Newsletter

Lughnasadh Blessings!

The wheel turns past Summer Solstice once again, and we approach the Solar cross-quarter Celtic holiday of Lughnasadh, coming up next week. In the modern Irish language, the month of August is still called Lúnasa, after the name of the god Lugh and his feast in celebration of Tailltú. The customs surrounding the first of August are varied, but many of them involve food in one way or another. In the early Anglo-Saxon church, the loaf-mass was a blessing of the first bread of the season (and is also thought to be the root of the modern word "Lammas" ) and was celebrated as the feast of the first fruits. This celebration is all about the first harvests of the year, and in modern times is often signalled by the first mysterious arrival of zucchini or tomatoes upon the front porch. 

Folklorist Máire MacNeill has described Lughnasadh as "A solemn cutting of the first of the corn of which an offering would be made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it; a meal of the new food and of bilberries of which everyone must partake; a sacrifice of a sacred bull, a feast of its flesh, with some ceremony involving its hide, and its replacement by a young bull; a ritual dance-play perhaps telling of a struggle for a goddess and a ritual fight..." Source: Wikipedia 

Although we no longer depend on the amount of food that we alone can grow, modern people who celebrate earth-based spirituality often mark the day with a feast of foods gathered from their own gardens or grown within their local community. Even if we do not grow some portion of what we consume, we can give thanks for our sustenance, and mark the harvest of our labor in other ways. If you would like to mark the First Harvest on your own, a simple way is to prepare some food for yourself, and recite this prayer before you begin. As you eat, think about all that has gone into making your meal possible, from the seed to the harvest to your table. Include an intention of thanks for all of the people and energy involved in making your food ready for you. You can also consider what you have done in the past year that has now come to fruition. If you would like, you can read this page for some traditional Irish dishes to prepare. 

Prayer for Lughnasadh

Now is the time of the First Harvest,when the bounties of nature give of themselves so that we may survive.

O God of the ripening fields, Lord of the Grain, grant me the understanding of sacrifice as You prepare to deliver Yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and journey to the lands of eternal summer.

O Goddess of the Dark Moon, teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun loses its strength and the nights grow cold.
by Scott Cunningham

Mercury Retrograde in Leo

Are you feeling the effects of this Mercury Retrograde? The planet went into retrograde on the evening of July 14th, and we are about halfway through the main retrograde period, which ends on August 8th. The shadow period afterward will last until about Aug. 21st. But what does Mercury retrograde in Leo mean to you?

Firstly, if you are a native (Sun) fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) or have these signs strongly represented in your personal planets - you are probably feeling this one a bit more intensely than other people. All of the retrogrades in 2012 affect the fire sign natives, starting with Aries in April, Leo (July/August) and Sagittarius in November.  

In this hot summer retrograde, tempers are highly prone to flaring up intensely over real or imagined slights, and arguments can be sparked over seemingly minor issues. Since Leo is the sign of fatherhood in general, the relationship between fathers and their children (of any age!) can be highlighted by this phase. Since retrograde periods often affect buried feelings or emotions, you may get a chance to re-examine your relationship, whether good or bad with your father.  

All is not negative with this retrograde cycle though, and there are many positive qualities that may be present. For instance, Leo represents leadership and strength of will, so during this time, you may be able to uncover a hidden talent or latent strength. You may also rediscover passions that have been dormant or find a new interest in something you once enjoyed. 

Leo is also considered to be the ruler of the heart, and so some may experience the rekindling of old flames or begin a new passion with someone from the past. Whatever you experience during this time, try to be aware of the pitfalls of arrogance and self-centeredness, instead highlighting the higher realms of compassion and generosity that are hallmarks of the evolved Leo spirit. 

Regardless of what this retrograde brings you, you should always try to approach the sometimes distruptive influences of the retrograde with calm, patient humor, a go-with-the-flow attitude, and keep in mind this advice about things to do, along with some past advice about Mercury in Leo) in this post Of Lughnasadh and Leo from last year.

Sacred Circle News

We have just finished our Annual Meeting, that scintillating event where budgets are approved, Offices filled and any other official yearly business is handled.

We have been focusing a lot of energy on the beautification of our Temple, and our next  improvement coming up will be the building of a front porch area which will include space for benches and shoe storage. We will also be looking to rebuild or improve our access ramp for those who attend who may be unable to navigate stairs. 

In the realm of our Officers, we are very pleased to welcome back our friend Clove into the Office of Water. She has always brought a sense of calm and peace to our Board Meetings, and we thank her for returning to the circle! 

We would also like to thank Rev. Lady Avalon Starr for fulfilling a full three year term in the Office of Fire! She has done an amazing job as our Events coordinator and we extend our gratitude to her for all her hard work and organizational skills. Although Avalon will continue to serve the Church in an unofficial capacity in the interim, we are in need of a new Office of Fire. If you or someone you know is great at organizing events, throwing parties, arranging workshops or get-togethers, and is interested in filling this position, please contact or attend any of our upcoming Board meetings. The Offices are one-year terms, renewable for up to three years. 

Upcoming Events

Astrology Cafe - Friday, July 27th  - 7 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Teen Grove Rockhounding Trip, Sat. July 28th - 1 pm
Meet at The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

MoonCraft - Sunday, Aug. 5 - 3 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S. 

Charmed Goddess Campout - Aug. 10-12th
Contact for more info 

Astrology Cafe - Friday, Aug. 17th  - 7 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Open Circle - Sunday, Aug 19th - 3 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Special Announcement

Psychic Faire & Yard Sale - Oct. 13th

We are actively seeking readers, volunteers and vendors for our Fall Psychic Faire. We also need donations of gently used in items in good condition for our concurrent Yard Sale.

Contact Avalon at for more information. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spring News

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day greetings to all the mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, aunties and best friends out there, and most importantly, thanks to the Great Mother, our Earth for Her sustenance of our bodies and spirits! This Mother's Day, make sure to give thanks to the Great Goddess for her love and abundance, as well as thanking the women who have helped to nurture you in your life.

Psychic Faires

In April, we had two very successful and fun Psychic Psychic Faire BoothFaires! Our Spring Fling Psychic Faire was wonderful, despite the drizzly spring weather, and we had a great time at Earth Jam in our booth. The good news is that if you missed us in April, we will be in Liberty Park again this weekend, Saturday, May 12th to participate in the  UNITESLC festival! Look for our festival booth with the Psychic Fair banner! Even better, we are now set up with a Square account, so we can accept debit and credit cards for donations! We have been very impressed with our neat little Square and we hope you will be too!

Spell Kits

Love Spell Kit
Spell Kits are back! Each kit was created with a specially formulated set of organic herbal ingredients, chosen to resonate with the energies of love or prosperity. The kits were crafted entirely within the Temple and were made on the day of the full moon. The crafting was guided by our Priestesses and were created with magick and intention. These popular, magical and delicious smelling kits will be available at the Psychic Faire, at any Temple event and now you can order them online too!

Temple Improvements

If you haven't visited the Temple for a while, you're going to be wowed with all the changes that have come about this Spring! The Temple's 5th Anniversary was on this past April 1st, and in celebration we have been on a fixing-up spree like no other! From interior renovations to a brand new gravel path, you won't believ
e your eyes! Inside the Temple, we have added a  fabric covering to the roof and enhanced the decorations with draperies in the Elemental colors. Much gratitude and thanks go out to all the hard working, dedicated people who made this all possible!

The crown jewel of our recent renovations is a massive tawny
New Firepit Being Delivered sandstone boulder fire pit set in a gravel area surrounded with five large bench boulders. We look forward to sharing many years of laughter and stories around the light of this gorgeous piece of our Mother Earth. The firepit was formally dedicated during our MoonCraft full moon circle of May 5th. If you can't travel to see our Temple in person, you can take a look at our Facebook page and our Temple Improvements photo album.


Community Yard Sale Fundraiser - We will be having a multi-family Yard Sale on Saturday, May 19th. If you have items that you would like to donate for the Yard Sale, you may drop them by the Temple at any time prior to the Yard Sale. If you would like to help with the Yard Sale, our sale coordinator, Jen is accepting any and all help! You can email her at

Lending Library - We are also accepting donations of pagan, wiccan, magickal or occult themed books for our lending library.

Family Campout in July - If you would like to attend the campout with your family, please contact Heron at to RSVP for your space.

Upcoming Events

Mini Psychic Faire - Saturday, May 12th 11 am - 7 pm
Liberty Park, Salt Lake City

Teen Grove - Tuesday, May 15th - 7 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Community Yard Sale Fundraiser - Sat. May 19th  - 9am - 2 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Astrology Cafe - Friday, May 18th - 7 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Open Circle - Sunday, May 20th - 3 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

MoonCraft - Sunday, June 3 - 3 pm
The Sacred Circle Temple - 3464 W. 3800 S.

Did you know? An annular solar eclipse will pass right over Southern Utah on May 20!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thank you to President Obama for personally affirming the civil right of marriage for all Americans.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blessed Beltane Eve everyone! Remember to light your bonfires & greet the Ancestors with love tonight as the veil thins. beltane pagan

Sunday, January 8, 2012

8th Annual Year Spell is today!! Don't forget your photo, scissors & magazines!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Create your dreams, shape your year, empower your life! Our 8th Annual Year Spell is this Sunday @3!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sower of the years, Janus, beginning of the shining and most beautiful world, with You begins our prayers and public vows. Happy New Year!!