Archive for March, 2009

Spring Equinox and Calendar Dates

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

The next major pagan festival is the spring equinox on March 20th. It is popularly known as Ostara and in the tradition of Wicca I studied it is called Lady Day, after the maiden goddess image that is associated with the spring equinox and fertility of this time of the year.

Recent calendar events and dates (I actually was hoping to list these as upcoming calendar dates, but as I mentioned in my last blog entry, life just got in the way of me doing any writing at all):

February 9 – full moon at 9:49 a.m. EST and lunar eclipse at 9:38 a.m. EST; Snow Moon (folk name for the full moon)
February 11 – Strong Winds month in the Lakota calendar
February 17 – Ash month in Graves’ calendar
February 18 – Wind month in Kondratiev’s calendar; Rain Water segment in the Chinese calendar (occurs when the Sun enters Pisces)
February 24 – new moon at 8:35 p.m. EST
February 25 – start of the 2nd lunar month in the Chinese calendar, known as the Rabbit month in Chinese astrology
March 5 – 2nd solar month in the Chinese calendar, Excited Insects segment

Today, March 10 – full moon at 10:38 p.m. EDT; Quickening Moon (folk name for the full moon)

Upcoming calendar events and dates:

March 11 – Fast Waterflow month in the Lakota calendar
March 17 – Alder month in Graves’ calendar
March 18 – Sun-Tear month in Kondratiev’s calendar
March 20 – spring equinox aka Lady Day aka Ostara (occurs when the Sun enters Aries); also noted as a solar segment in the Chinese calendar
March 26 – new moon at 12:06 p.m. EDT
March 27 – start of the 3rd lunar month in the Chinese calendar, known as the Dragon month in Chinese astrology
April 4 – 3rd solar month in the Chinese calendar, Clear and Bright segment
April 9 – full moon at 10:56 a.m. EDT; Seed Moon (folk name for the full moon)
April 11 – Planting month in the Lakota calendar
April 14 – Willow month in Graves’ calendar
April 15 – Hawk month in Kondratiev’s calendar
April 20 – Grain Rains segment in the Chinese calendar (occurs when the Sun enters Taurus, which according to EDT occurs April 19 at 6:44 p.m.; the Chinese calendar is set for Chinese time, 13 hours ahead of ET)
April 24 – new moon at 11:22 p.m. EDT
April 25 – start of the 4th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, known as the Snake month in Chinese astrology

The next pagan festival after the spring equinox is Beltane on May 1st (if you are traditional) or on May 5th (if you want to observe the astronomical significance of the festival; I am of the opinion that anciently it was celebrated when the Sun was in 15 degrees Taurus).

In the next few months, perhaps you may want to celebrate one of the upcoming calendar dates mentioned. Try to determine a significance of that day for you. Pagans commonly celebrate the full moon and the sabbats (solar festival dates). Perhaps one of the calendar dates will provide an interesting meaning for you. As the weather gets warmer, I plan on being more active outdoors. I hope you enjoy the next few months ahead as well!

~~~C

Book Nook

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

It has been just over two months since I last wrote. Sometimes life just gets in the way. It’s hard to write when other issues suddenly become more important and distract you from having any creative thought. Astrologically, it’s called transiting Uranus opposite my Venus in the 4th house. Yikes! Not fun at all. My life was in chaos from January 29th until this week and the only thing I have been able to maintain is training in and helping teach taekwondo. Aside from a few comics, the books I’ve read were mostly read around the end of December and in the month of January.

I read the following books:
Fur Magic by Andre Norton (part of The Magic Books collection)
Witch World by Andre Norton
A Game of Thrones (book one of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin

and comics:
Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron Volume 2
Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron Volume 3
Fallen Angel (volume 1, DC comics)
Fallen Angel – Down to Earth (volume 2, DC comics)
Fallen Angel – To Serve in Heaven (volume 1, IDW comics)
7 Brothers by John Woo
Y: The Last Man – Cycles (volume 2)
The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 6
Spike vs. Dracula

This list is a list of books that I’ve started reading (though I’ve put a few of them aside for now, and might come back to them later predominantly because other stories seem more interesting to me):
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Fall of Atlantis by Marion Zimmer Bradley
A Clash of Kings (book two of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin
Winter’s Heart (book nine of The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
Star Wars – Heir to the Empire (book one of the Thrawn Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn
Gormenghast (the sequel to Titus Groan) by Mervyn Peake
Dawnthief (book one of Chronicles of the Raven) by James Barclay
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Always Coming Home by Ursula K. LeGuin
Running with the Demon (book one of The Word and the Void) by Terry Brooks
The Sum of All Men (book one of Runelords) by David Farland

Aside from fiction there is some reading I need to catch up on that was set aside over a year ago (I think I last mentioned these on my previous blog in January 2007):
The World’s Religions
China: Its History and Culture
The Meaning of Witchcraft

I also have to finish reading A Brief History of Time. I’ve been reading this off and on over the years – mostly because I kept getting distracted from the book, and partly that for each chapter I read I need to let my poor brain mull over it for a long while… 😉 I generally get the gist of what Hawking is talking about, and I am determined to finish this book sometime.

I recommend A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a very mature fantasy series and extremely well written. I think the writing is better than Robert Jordan’s actually, although I like both series very much. I plan on returning to either of those series after I finish reading War and Peace and The Fall of Atlantis. Witch World was pretty interesting. I can see the similarities between Witch World and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover novels. I plan on reading more Witch World novels (it’s a series of novels set in Witch World) and returning to the Darkover ones when I finish reading The Fall of Atlantis. In case I didn’t mention, The Fall of Atlantis was actually written before The Mists of Avalon, but published after. You might be able to pick up similarities between the characters in the Atlantis story and the Avalon story, and in fact, Ancestors of Avalon is written to bridge the Avalon story with the Atlantis one. Very intriguing the way the mind of Bradley worked.

~~~C