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A Black Moon And The Great Eclipse Saga of 2017
Astrology for the Summer of 2017
By Dikki-Jo Mullen
The anticipation has been building for avid astrology and astronomy fans for many years. One young planetarium director said on a television segment recently that waiting for this event has dominated his entire adult life. It is a story to be written in the sky and played out on Earth below. On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will sweep across the entire Continental United States. The 75 mile wide swath of total darkness at mid day will begin in Lincoln Beach, Oregon and end in Charleston, South Carolina. Memphis TN, Casper WY, Hopkinsville, KY and Columbia, SC are some of the large cities which will experience the totality of this, expected to be the most watched celestial event in human history. It is anticipated that 80 million people at least will have an experience which is expected to be a lifelong highlight. Yet, the entire event, from the time the shadow of the Moon blocks the light of the Sun bringing less than three minutes of total darkness, until the Moon glides on and the sky looks normal again, will take just a couple of hours. The entire United State will witness at least a partial coverage of the Sun, here in Central Florida it will be about 85%. 2:30 pm EDT is the time on the East Coast. It will be 11:30 AM PDT on the West Coast. Adjust if you are in the Mountain or Central time zones. Remember to consider Local Mean Time variations, the distance from your viewing area to the center of the time meridian, in your area. (The LMT for Orlando, for example, is minus -25 minutes and 32 seconds.)
Astronomers are hoping to learn more about the Sun, to be able, if the weather permits, to see stars and more. While astrologers are preparing for how this alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun will correlate with events on the planet and in our personal lives. 1918, 99 years ago, brought the last eclipse of this magnitude. It correlated with the escalation of World War 1 as well as the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Eclipses have been linked to the births and deaths of influential people as well as other history altering events for thousands of years. Notably Robert E. Lee and Karl Marx were born on or near eclipses. Princess Diana died one day before an eclipse. More recently Prince William and Princess Kate were both born on Eclipses. So was Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most influential people on the planet. The Facebook Founder was born exactly on a lunar eclipse on May 14, 1984.
Eclipses usually come in pairs and always at a New or Full Moon. Solar eclipses are at the New Moon while the lunar eclipses are at Full Moons. The summer of 2017 brings a partial lunar eclipse on August 7 at 2:11 pm EDT, but this won’t be visible except in Antarctica, Australia and a few other places in the Southern hemisphere. The Great American Eclipse which is generating all of the enthusiasm will be on August 21 at 2:30 pm EDT. The two week period between eclipses tends to bring significant events. This has The 18 months following an eclipses will bring the full significance to light. There is a ripple effect. Also before an eclipse there is a foreshadowing of what is ahead.
There are actually two New Moons in Leo in 2017. The Great eclipse of course, but the New Moon on July 23, 2017 at 5:46 am EDT is also in Leo. It is rare to have a lunation fall in the same sign more than once a year. With two consecutive New Moons in the same sign this is called a Black Moon, while a double Full Moon is the more well know Blue Moon. It’s a “Once in a Blue Moon”, that is a rare time of surprises and strange serendipity. The fey folk and other supernatural beings are thought to be especially active at the Black Moon.
The New Moon on July 23 at 0 Leo 44 minutes is conjunct Mars at 5:46 AM EDT. This ushers in an assertive and competitive mood. Spiritually it is the double Sun decanate of Leo. A fire festival! Ritual candles to enhance the atmosphere as well as a solar incense such as Frankincense would be apropos. Fire elementals may visit under this lunation. Amber would be a favorable crystal. Amber cools the heat and anger, amber was once thought to be the tears of the Sun.
The partial eclipse on August 7 is at 2:11 pm EDT at 15 degrees Aquarius 25 minutes in the Uranus-Mercury decanate. The Sabian Symbol for this degree reads “A big business man at his desk”. The lunation will trine Jupiter. Accomplishment, material security, efficient efforts are the keynotes. This is a South Node eclipse, near the fixed star Dorsum, a small star on the back of the Goat. Dorsum has a Saturnian-Jovian nature and brings a caution against venomous insect and animal bites. Respect and be careful of the creatures. Amethyst and lapis lazuli are favorable crystals to wear or carry.
At the First Quarter Moon will Mercury will go retrograde, a pattern which spans August 13 – September 4, 2017. Mercury will be retrograde in Virgo and Leo.
The Great American eclipse, the big cat, will be in Leo on August 21 at 28 degrees 53 minutes in the Sun-Mars decanate. It is near the fixed star Regulus, one of the four royal stars of Persian astrology. Regulus is at the heart of the Lion, a triple white and blue star. Regulus refers to the rise and fall of word leaders, Influence, honors and drama. This is a North Node eclipse. Peridot is the favorable crystal.
The Moon’s nodes are sensitive points in space that reveal when eclipses occur. The North Node eclipses are generally considered more favorable than the South Node.
There will be an eclipse in Leo on January 31, 2018 and another in Aquarius on February 15, 2018. These eclipses will mirror and elaborate upon the influences of the August, 2017 eclipse pattern.
How does this all affect you?
Well, look at placements in your birth chart within three degrees of 0 Leo, 15 Aquarius and 28 Leo. The house and celestial body involved will provide a clue, but do remain flexible. Eclipses tend to surprise us.
Here Are Some Guidelines – Sun, Moon and Planets in Conjunction with The Eclipses
Sun – health, status, opportunities
Moon – emotions, family life
Mercury – debate, opinions, intellect, travel
Venus – love and fine arts
Mars – assertiveness, sports, military, challenges
Jupiter – church, philosophy, growth, fortunes, travel
Saturn – limitations, health, survival skills
Uranus – technology, astrology, changing friendships
Neptune – psychic insights, imagination, dreams, illusions, veracity
Pluto – mass karma, hidden facts surface
Eclipses In The Twelve Houses
First – appearance, personality, wellness
Second – money, source of income, job skills
Third – transportation, neighbors, siblings, mental state
Fourth – residence, heritage
Fifth – pleasure, children , romance
Sixth – health, pets, daily schedule
Seventh – partnership, justice
Eight – spirit world, financial planning, taxes, insurance
Ninth – higher education, religion, distant travel
Tenth – fame and fortune
Eleventh – goals, friendships, politics
Twelfth – service, peace of mind, secrets
Well … at least the summer of 2017 will be interesting. Hold on for the ride, it’s all an adventure.
“To change is to grow, to change often is to grow much” is the mantra! Plan early if traveling to see the eclipse, 80 million+ others may be on the road with you. And be sure to wear special eclipse glasses or number 14 welders’ lenses or make a camera obscura to protect your eyes. Pointing your cell phone directly at it will result in the phone cracking, I’m told. To photograph it you will need special lens filters. Visit a good camera store. I like Colonial Photo and Hobby here in Orlando.
P.S. If you do happen to miss this eclipse, don’t despair. There will be another visible in the USA in 2024, no need to wait another century.

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By Dikki-Jo
Water color with black sumi ink. Shadows of evening gather observed by the fey ones. Eagerly they point to other dimensions, This mysterious landscape blends the past, present and future and the sun sets.

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Butterfly Awakenings
By Dikki-Jo Mullen
One Twilight Zone hot and sultry July in Florida day I attended a class about butterfly and hummingbird gardening. It was offered at the historic Nehrling Gardens in Gotha, Florida. Just West of Orlando, this small village is home to an incredible collection of rare plants, books and old time structures dating back over a century. Much as the butterfly bursts from its cocoon into another world and assumes another form, this memorable visit offered some new thoughts and perspectives. Astrologically butterflies are ruled by Mercury, Neptune and the sign of Gemini. The hummingbird, a symbol of happiness, as a small bird,  is also ruled by Mercury and Gemini. Alert, quick and in constant motion, these lovely creatures carry an aura of enchantment. The quest to glimpse their world has universal appeal, judging from the large crowd which attended the event.
Elusive and fragile, the butterfly seems to flutter between this world and the next. Since early times this powdery creature has been a symbol of rebirth and esoteric wisdom, emerging from being imprisoned in a dark chrysalis to fly forth in beauty and freedom. The Greek word “psyche” means both soul and butterfly. Primitive people believed that butterflies were human souls searching for reincarnation. In Irish-Celtic tradition colorful butterflies were seen as baby spirits seeking a mother, so swallowing a butterfly was once thought to ensure pregnancy. In Cornwall, Siberia and Mexico the white butterflies were viewed with awe. They signified the souls of the dead visiting. In China wedding grooms once sealed the wedding of two souls by presenting his beloved with a jade butterfly on the wedding eve.
Regrettably pesticides and ecological slovenliness are taking a toll on butterflies, some species are becoming endangered. They were more plentiful during my childhood in a lonely part of Northern Wisconsin. I would attract hordes of these otherworldly visitors by offering them a delicious snack. The recipe is: stale beer, mashed over ripe bananas, molasses and dark rum. Paint this mixture on old tree stumps, bushes or fences. Soak a sponge in some and hang it from a bird feeder or tree. Recently I tried this time honored technique again and delighted local children in Florida. It worked almost immediately to attract the winged visitors. Beyond this particular butterfly feast you can entice the little creatures into visiting frequently by planting a little area as a butterfly garden. The same plants which attract butterflies also appeal to humming birds. A bird bath filled with fresh water will be appreciated and some damp sand or soil will offer salt and other nutrients.
Begin with the right food plants for the larvae (caterpillars). Then add food as well as nectar sources for the mature creatures. The right choice of plants depends somewhat on your area. Observe butterflies where you live, the native plant species they like are your guidelines. One admirer of butterflies from Maine noticed during a visit to Texas that lantana was surrounded by a cloud of butterflies. The enthusiast returned home and purchased this plant, but the New England butterflies ignored it! Red clover, however, is a plant that is a sure-fire hit with butterflies everywhere.
Butterflies are remarkably sensitive to light and color. They perceive a wider spectrum than any other known creature, being able to perceive ultra violet waves sowing a variety of colors at a distance. Roses and tulips, two favorites of many gardeners, tend to leave butterflies cold. Their choices might not be on your list for an ornamental garden. The butterfly takes into account the shape of the plant, which must provide a comfortable perch while it sips. The lovely monarch butterfly, a favorite, has a larvae that eats only members of the milk weed family. Unfortunately milk weed is very hard to transplant, so if you have some take good care of it. The range of feeding is a potluck. It includes garden flowers, herbs, wildflowers, vegetables, bushes, berries, fruit and nut trees. All of the species of butterflies are gorgeous. It’s a visual and spiritual delight to keep them fluttering by to visit your home territory.
Planting the Butterfly Garden
Food Sources, enjoyed by many butterflies as nectar sources too are: Hawthorn, dill, carrot tops, parsley, wild parsnip, aspen, dogwood, oleander, phlox, foxglove, alfalfa, birch, walnut, New Jersey tea, Queen Anne’s lace, passionflower, cherry, plum, lantana, cauliflower, oak, bergamot, cabbage, blueberries, clover, broccoli, strawberries, common and swamp milkweed.
Nectar Sources: Daisy, poinsettia, zinnia, candytuft, sunflower, goldenrod, ragwort, dandelion, thistle, verbena, mint, buttercups, rosemary, bleeding hearts, geranium, black-eyed Susan, aster, Bermuda grass, marigold, bee balm, lavender, yarrow, honeysuckle, boneset, petunia, flowering tobacco, lilac, morning glory, bougainvillea, lilies, hibiscus, bellflower, arabis.

“Flutterby” was an old time nickname for “Butterfly”.

Please see the post above for a look at  some of my paintings of butterflies for meditation. Signed limited edition prints are available for sale, Please inquire if you would like to order one.


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Summer Solstice 2017
By Rev. Dr. Dikki-Jo Mullen
As each new season begins, an event chart can reveal the highlights of the times ahead. The summer of 2017 officially begins on June 21, 2017 at 12:24 AM, Eastern Daylight time. This chart has a mutable T-Square involving Saturn in Sagittarius, Chiron in Pisces and Mercury in Gemini. The mood is hectic and multi tasking can be the secret of success. Virgo is the open end of the T-Square. This emphasizes health, daily service and employment as well as connections to companion animals. This season shows the Sun applying to a conjunction with Mars in Cancer, the birth sign of the USA. Political tensions are likely to continue, there is much anger to process and try to resolve in a constructive way. Water sports, the quality of water, aquatic animals as well as rain, flooding and drought can all be highlighted and of concern.
Jupiter in Libra underscores legal issues and partnerships for many. The Moon in Taurus trines Pluto in Capricorn. This favorable Earth sign pattern accents the healing potentials in nature, including plants and crystals. Opportunities to find security on many levels can appear. This favorable aspect can bring pleasure through music and other aspects of sound healing.
These thoughts are some highlights revealed by the summer ingress chart which sets the pace until the autumnal equinox on September 22, 2017.
Here is a tiny tree growing taller under the sun’s rays just now, perhaps assisted by the wee folk. Can’t you glimpse a fey face peeking out from the greenery?

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Lemon Thyme Bread For A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream

The faerie world is especially active.  To bring some magic into your own life, here is a very easy and delicious recipe for LEMON THYME BREAD. Have some with a floral tea to celebrate “the bank where the wild thyme blows”, as Shakespeare wrote in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Compliments of Dikki-Jo Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg…

3/4 cup skim milk 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon balm 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

Instructions (yields 1 loaf) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. In a saucepan, combine milk, lemon balm, and lemon thyme. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let stand, covered, until cool. In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar gradually, beating constantly until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in lemon zest. Pour into a greased and floured 5×9-inch loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. If glaze is desired, pour half of the glaze over the top of the cake before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Finish with the rest of the glaze.

Lemon Glaze

Ingredients 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions Stir together sugar and lemon juice until mixture is smooth.

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  1. Reverie and Dream Under a Scorpio Moon
  2. Spring’s green, green hills, at woodlands greet.
    And lavish tiny blossoms hand
    to all the forests of the land ;
    And now sky gifts rain’s floods descending,
    until every hill and valley in clouds be blending ;
    Fruit orchards garden paths
    In full fruitfulness
    Across all the land of beauty fling
    Bright faint traces of sun’s wing !
    And above all radiant flowers,
    deepening leaves, bright bowers
    A mystic’s task is to glean
    Roses and flowers as they softly bloom
    True jewels amid the forest’s gloom
    And shamrocks wove in pavement green,
    With fortune to grace
    Of times long past the resting-place.
  3. By Dikki-Jo Mullen

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