The Head Of The Ghoul
The invisible and etherial lunar thread, elusively slips through the eye of the night and like a seed that grows a fountain, nestles its potential into the sky. We, below and within the bosom of earth are for a moment, a long dark night, adrift in the vacuum with only stars as our map, their stories reminders of where we’ve always been and where we are always headed. In caesura rather than a stop we curve with the cadence of the verse, and in this stanza Luna comes to court with the king of day in the tail end of Aries, the Sun’s exaltation. The pair sidle up to Uranus, and by the light of Prometheus’ torch they pass a silent moment, heads reflecting to the future rather than the past, and the hairs on all our necks raise as a volatile and frenetic tangent roots itself in the centrality of nowness, the long river beginning here with the crack from which a thin trickle of water may emerge into some kind of deluge later.
The New Moon is in a Mars ruled sign, and the Full Moon it shall waxeth to is in Mars’ other domicile. Mars is in exaltation in Capricorn, and Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler is with him. The Sun is in exaltation in Aries, assisting Mercury now turned direct. Venus is in rulership in Taurus, and the Moon will shortly join her. Jupiter is watched over by an exalted Mars, and is coming face to face with a dignified Venus by opposition. The time is ripe for picking stellar fruit, as the heavens are heavy with gifts. If you do not approach an orchard, its apples fall and compost where they land. There are things that are not delivered automatically, but which must be harvested.
Mercury strides forward once more, Hermes in a slow yet steady chariot, slowly picking up speed. The revisions to the logic and language of our identities may now engage, the update is complete, we have installed the 2018 version. Time to take our self-expression and action organization out for a spin. See what new things our identities can do, how and what we now think, and what kind of stuff we can say. This is an interesting Mars period that proceeds Mars’ grueling retrograde later in the Summer. For the moment we have a lot of initiation going on; a time to move our first pawns out and see how the world reacts to our openings. We are not charging out with swords, but building ourselves out of a box, assembling our ramps and bridges across as we go, setting up our strategies as we take our initial steps. We’ve thought things out as far as we can in our present situation, we must take our first shot and see what kind of circumstances arise, see what kind of trouble we might get ourselves in, or what kind of hungers we can stimulate to salivate, which appetites we wet and who steps forward to engage in play and counter our maneuver.
Mars comes from Vega as all this transpires, and Vega is a prominent star of Orpheus’ Lyre. So, fittingly to the pile up of dignified planets, and the abundance of ripe fruit swaying on the branches, there is a suggestion of enchanting actions, getting things done not necessarily by plowing through them, but for the moment anyway, by playing evocative melodies, singing the right tune and laying the right lyrics. As is the case with magic in general, the work you put in on the mundane side continues to be mandatory, but you might be handed a pass behind the astral curtain, so consider your activities for the start of this week wisely, as keys will be distributed in the shadows of Monday and Tuesday.
Sunday April 15th
The conjunction of Moon and Sun occurs at about 10pm(EST) under blankets of stars; perfect for those who wish to wander to where the roads fork and pray in reverence as well as for favors. The conjunction is tight against Uranus, lacing the cocktail with sulphur, gunpowder or mystery substance; a certain experimental performance to begin the next sequence of events. Try something new, you might make an important discovery; your missile might far out fly its target, or just blow up in your face, but as long as you follow good laboratory procedure all may end in eureka. Keep a notebook handy over the waxing phase and see how well your hypothesis fits the results.
This Lunation occurs in the 3rd Mansion, Al-Thurayya, traditionally aligned for works of abundance, creativity, and success, who’s greatest warning is indulging in too much of a good thing, and being overly invested in material pursuits, a disclaimer echoed in much of the current configurations. Saturn’s presence in Capricorn is likely to keep this all in check, and keep our eyes from being bigger than our proverbial stomachs, maybe something typically symptomatic of the successful magician. The Picatrix also mentions this as being a good Mansion for alchemy and all works done by fire, as well as beneficial in hunting in the country, so keep your stalking outside of urban areas.
The third decan of Aries is often a face focused on performance, and the passion that can kindle the hearts of an audience and draw their spirits into the heat of the fray. Its interesting that the New Moon lunation might be the planting of performative seeds that culminate in April 29th’s Full Moon of primal hunger in Scorpio’s first decan. A certain ramping up effect is likely, especially with Uranus’ involvement, so don’t be surprised if the flower you pot goes Little Shop of Horrors, hopefully in a good way
Monday April 16th
The Moons ingress into her exaltation in Taurus at 5am sets off the period of auspicious elections, as it is traditionally required to have the Moon in good condition for all serious petitions and talismanic operations. The Moon is the closest planet to us, so we reside in the sublunar sphere, the world of physical manifestation, and as we watch the Moon herself grow into manifestation each month, it is she that brings our works into being, and allows them to manifest in our life. In Taurus her focus is on organic rhythm and abundant natural resources, providing all the support we need to accomplish the work smoothly.
Venus progresses into Taurus’s third decan by 9am where the luxuries she’s come accustomed to are realized to be not permanent, merely transient nectars. The precarious perch upon which blossoming abundance rests in agrarian metaphors, or even in hunter gatherer modes is partly what makes luxury luxurious. That all can be and will be ultimately lost only increases the savor of the flavor and the experience of the sensual, material and tactile pleasures all the more deep and urgent. Enjoy it while it lasts. This is not the mindset which leads to rationing but rather making sure you thoroughly enjoy delicacies to their fullest while they are ripe and don’t let fruit spoil in neglect. Use em’ up.
Tuesday April 17
At 1am Chiron completes his first crossing into Aries, ending a zodiacal cycle, by contemporary conception and initiating a new revolution. Now core wound and over arching healing theme, more or less the main trip people will be struggling with, switches to the pain of being an individuality, to be assertive, follow impulses, take personal action, and be able to make the first move; to act as an individual rather than part of an inert or ambient whole. This makes sense as the primacy of group thought and social identity safety has obviously emerged as one of the most sensitive debates in media and culture. The itch, rash and reaction this will chafe into existence is likely to rear its head, and mostly be expressed in the next generation to be born with Chiron in Aries. This has also typically been thought of in the past as insecurity surrounding leadership, which raises more red flags in our society. The sage among us will spend Chiron’s time in Aries attempting to heal these issues for and in ourselves, and once well can turn to the world with cures.
Chiron’s activity is likely to be subtle for most of us, where as Venus and Jupiter’s opposition is more apt to make some noise. This is not to say that it is disturbing in the least, in the contrary, it is so pleasurable though that drinking, feasting and general hedonism is likely to ensue, and perhaps in a big way. In her domicile Taurus Venus is perhaps the most concerned with material and sensual pleasure she can be, and in full sight of Jupiter, who returns her glance from a place fabled for its activity of chasing satiation after satiation, there is likely to be more over-indulgence than even a typical Venus-Jupiter aspect. The greater Benefic attempts to find opportunities that gain wisdom from intense loops of satiation and the unearthing of hidden psycho/spiritual intensity. We may as well welcome Indulgent excess in a positive way, but be careful of blowing our bank accounts or otherwise overdoing it. The benefics seesawing to balance is normally very pleasant, perhaps too much food and wine, and the epicurean philosophies that accompany cultured gluttony. Even when teetering out of balance we get orgiastic feasts whose excesses are ultimately therapeutic, even if they send us slumbering like bears.
For those of you that want to engage Mars and Saturn here, this is begins the most benefic stretch for magical berry picking. Between the Venus Jupiter opposition and the Moon-Venus conjunction later than evening at 6pm you’ll have more than enough time to bless your beds, brew your beers, etch your emeralds and open your larders for the influx of fortune. We only rarely receive all the planets in such fortunate positions, especially on an initiatory newly waxing Moon. You may feel too relaxed to motivate into action, but luckily it will be Mars’ day, and the motor will be steadily running if you need a ride.
Saturn turns retrograde on Tuesday evening at 8pm, which might serve us as to stay out of the sauce after we’ve had our fill, and remain disciplined throughout our operations if filling your celestial basket is what you choose. Either way, we should be able to lean against something solid in all this juicy fruit. Saturn retrograde is more of a tidal change and is not disruptive to his significations as it is for the inner planets. For Saturn it simply focuses slightly more of his influence on the discipline aspect of his nature rather than restriction. It becomes about our fortitude, our ability to keep it together and remain tough in times of turmoil, tumult or even distraction.
Wednesday April 18
The Sun conjoins Uranus at 10 am on Wednesday, and we may get a suprisingly early reaction from what we set in motion only a few days earlier. Suddenly, we might break from identity routines, receive revolutionary and inspired visions, experience epiphanies, lightening flashes of gnosis. When so much truth explodes into our life at once it is sure to get turbulent, but as long as we arm ourselves with the flexibility of an experimental outlook we can tread upon the lightening path, suddenly changing course as we progress, or even shapeshifting entirely, from one identity to another in rapid self discovery. Don’t be surprised if some mirrors shatter, and be prepared for technological updates to reveal themselves, as many will be whipping out new inventions on the bleeding edge just after their first few sips of coffee.
Thursday April 19th
We very quickly move from the fast to the slow as the Sun ingresses Taurus and our focus settles on planning and preparing for general fecundity, we lumber across the field with heavy yokes and saddles to heap on oxen, bulls and mules that help us harness grounding energy, as the time has come again to plow and fertilize the soil, build up beds and move materials. This is indeed slow labor, but not necessarily grueling, just moving steadily one step at a time. Outlooks and projects switch pace after the frenetic surprises, like an exceptionally warm day that ushers in spring weather over night, and before you know it you’re wielding a hoe and wheelbarrowing compost. In a sort of sleepy daze, money, food, and stuff become vital. Stores have been exhausted over the long winter and its time to begin building back up our stockpiles. For those in the cold north it’ll be nice to get our gardens going, and for those in more balmy climes, the hotter weather moderates the pace.
Saturday April 21
Most of what transpires over Saturday involves the Moon, so it doesn’t portend any extended period but certainly gives the day a particular flavor. Most of which is presented by Venus’ application to the fixed star Caput Algol, known in other times as The Head Of The Ghoul, or the Gorgon’s Head, the head of Medusa. Originally, the Gorgon was only a head, a terrifying, bodiless entity from more primordial times; and Medusa’s voluptuous physique a later invention nearing the assimilation of God’s into Togas by the Olympian period of the polis, the myth of her decapitation by Perseus concocted to explain to more rational city dwellers why she was simply an infernal screaming head. The Chinese referred to this star as Tseih She which means “Piled-Up Corpses”. Other’s saw her as Lilith, the first wife of Adam that fled paradise and became a demon. Earlier, tribal cultures accepted more readily this dark current of the feminine divine, the unfiltered and dangerous source of female kundalini energy, that which both creates and destroys, as nature itself which provides sustenance and shelter but is also infested with serpents and is stalked by predators. There is passion here, the poisonous passion of datura and mandrake, which arouse but easily catch you in a coma if you take too much. The active ingredients in both plants are tropane alkaloids whose effects are dissociative, and it is Algol’s intention to return you to a more primordial era of existence, to the Snake Cults that preceded the Indo-Europeans, to a divine feminine powerful and beyond morality, dangerous, awe inspiring and total.
Venus is aesthetic and beauty and so it is this nature which we might find most attractive and alluring on Saturday, as this is still Taurus and a place she rues, so it is part of her nature even if it is on a far end of the spectrum. The Moon is our moods and our emotions and our stream of conscious thoughts, so where she finds herself on this day suggests what we might feel like doing.
At 2am Luna opposes Saturn, needs, emotions, nurturing, rest and moods are forced to find an equilibrium with discipline and clearly visible foundational responsibilities. Broths and balms that obviously oppose austerities and obligations, must be balanced out. By 9am Venus conjoins Algol, and it is Kali and the Morrigu which become beautiful. This is reasonable enough on the surface, and its best to just embrace it, but also it is capable of causing turbulence in relationships and personal lives for those more unfamiliar with this energy, as the more sensitive can succumb to the wiles of the nightmare and Succubus, released from the dream. Later than night around 7pm the Moon opposes Mars, and our R&R must compromise with decisive maneuvers and stratagem action. Then, finally by 10:30pm she opposes Pluto, this time placing fears, the depths of mystery, the crossing of thresholds and that which is beyond the beyond in the sights of restorative requirements.
An interesting combination and a very provocative one for those on the poison path, or in pact with hot spirits or devoted to dark female deities. I would be a hypocrite if I insisted you go easy, but whatever is on the list for the 21st, have plenty of cooling substances on hand and stay hydrated.
Moon of Hyldemoer Herbal Notes for Liminal Light
April 15-21, 2018
These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences of this week. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body? Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.
Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are multitudinous manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal body or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have, are our Elders & have great wisdom to offer.
Sunday, April 15
The conjoining of the Moon & Sun, our two luminaries, at 10 pm EST, forming a New Moon in Aries offers a wonderful time for initiation of ideas, goals, dreams, self, etc. The 3rd Lunar Mansion, Al-Thurayya, in which this Lunation occurs, which can lead to possible overindulgence & combined with the proximity to Uranus, expect the unexpected, new unusual ideas, guides, & notions to surface. While sipping on Aries ruled Nettle (Urtica dioica)/ Sun ruled Ginger (Zingiber officinale) plus Uranus/Mercury ruled Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) tea or Aries ruled Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) brew or absinthe around the inspirational & offering fire, have a leaf of Saturnine Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) or Plantain (Plantago major/lanceolata) in ones shoe to promote Saturnine constraint & while making ones offerings at the crossroads in the dark moon time.
Monday, April 16
Today is the celebration of all things Venus & Moon in Taurus. Offer some cut Daffodils, baskets of delicious fruit & berries, & Artichoke hearts to Venus, dressed in your finest & then offer yourself these same Venusian pleasures of Earth, becoming a mirror for Venus in your life.
Tuesday, April 17
A daily cup of Nettle tea will assist one to face the Chiron in Aries issues of self determination & action. As well this vitamin-rich & stamina enhancing ally will offer us the fortitude as we work with Saturn in Retrograde. Add Oatstraw (Avena sativa) & Hawthorn (Crataegus ssp.) for extra stability & heart support. As well as carry around a tincture of Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) possibly with Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) added (I call this duo ‘Confidence of the Lioness’.) & take 3-5 drops of this tincture whenever moments of overwhelm ensure, Motherwort/Lemon Balm, two strong nervines will help us rise above this wave.
Wednesday, April 18
As the Sun conjoins Uranus 10 am EST, wear some Uranian Neroli (Citrus aurantium subsp. amara or Bigaradia) oil to accentuate the epiphanies of Uranus, as well as call upon your favorite Sun visionary herbs to help the Sun join forces with Uranus. A few of mine are Angelica (Angelica arechangelica), Bay (Laurus nobilis), Juniper (Juniperus ssp.), & Rue (Ruta graveolens). The fumigation of each of these offers visionary clarity & dreaming.
Thursday, April 19
As the Sun moves into slow & steady Taurus, call upon our Venus ruled herbs that promote patient plodding & steady workings. Linden (Tillia cordata) & Sage (Salvia officinalis) tea will keep us focused as we toil, a few drops of Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) flower essence offers confidence in our continued steps, as well as Burdock (Arctium lappa) & Violet (Viola odorata) taken over long periods of time will moisten our whole beings, dissolve that which does not serve, support a strong digestive system & promote healthy skin as well as support our in the daily steps towards our life goals. A bath of Birch (Betula ssp.) leaves & twigs will stimulate & soothe after a long day in the garden. Make a strong infusion of Birch leaves & twigs in a quart mason jar & then add this to the bathwater for a stimulating & relaxing bath (yes the two can go hand in hand at times & are wonderful after hard physical labor.)
Saturday, April 21
Hail to the depths of the Feminine Divine Darkness! This wonderful day of the Moon opposing first Saturn (2 am EST), then Mars (7 pm EST) & finally Pluto (10:30 pm EST), all of course in Capricorn, blended with Venus’ application to the fixed star Caput Agol (Medusa’s head) allows us to go deep into the caverns of our Dark Feminine psyche. Call upon your poison path allies if you wish, with “cooling substances on hand” as is stated in the forecast. Some cooling herbal allies could include Chickweed (Stellaria media), Cleavers (Gallium aparine) (in some parts of the world, these two green allies are now rising above the chthonic & can be grazed upon), Violet & Burdock as mentioned earlier, as well as cooling, sour mint family Lemon Balm. Offerings to Dark Feminine entities are recommended & encouraged.
Culpepper, Nicolas Culpepper’s Color Herbal Sterling Publishing Co., 1983.
Hopman, Ellen Evert A Druid’s Herbal Destiny Books, 1995.
McIntyre, Anne. Flower Power Henry Holt and Company, 1996.
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants North Atlantic Books, 2008.
Moon of Hyldemoer, Suzanne Stone, Community Herbalist.
This information is not a substitute for a health care practitioner. Not to be reproduced without