The ABC’s of Paganism
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2016 June 19
Explanation: What’s older than these ancient trees? Nobody you know — but almost everything in the background of this picture. The trees are impressively old — each part of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest located in eastern California,USA. There, many of the oldest trees known are located, some dating as far back as about 5,000 years. Seemingly attached to tree branches, but actually much farther in the distance, are the bright orbs of Saturn (left) and Mars. These planetsformed along with the Earth and the early Solar System much earlier — about 4.5 billion years ago. Swooping down diagonally from the upper left is the oldest structure pictured: the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy — dating back around 9 billion years. The featured image was built from several exposures all taken from the same location — but only a few weeks ago.
Solstice eve moon still near Saturn
Tonight – June 19, 2016 – it’s solstice eve and the moon you’ll see shining near Saturn and the star Antares may look full. The 2016 June full moon and solstice fall on the same date, June 20. But, for the Americas, the June 19 moon is closer to the crest of the moon’s full phase than the moon June 20. Although the full moon and solstice happen at the same instant all around the world, the clock reading differs by time zone. At U.S. time zones, the moon turns precisely full on June 20 at 7:02 a.m. EDT, 6:02 a.m. CDT, 5:02 a.m. MDT and 4:02 a.m. PDT.
So, if you’re in the Americas, as we are, the moon you’ll see during the night tonight is closer to full than tomorrow night’s solstice full moon.
The June solstice comes on June 20, 2016 at 6:34 p.m. EDT, 5:34 p.m. CDT, 4:34 p.m. MDT and 3:34 p.m. PDT. Read more about it here.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon or Flower Moon.
In the Southern Hemisphere, we could perhaps call the June full moon the Long Night Moon since it’s winter there, and the nights are long, and the moon rides high in the sky.
For the entire world, this year’s June full moon is somewhat unusual in that it’s the fourth of four full moons in one season. Normally, there are only three full moons in a season. But when a season harbors four full moons, the third of these four full moons is often called a Blue Moon.
The first full moon came soon enough after the March 2016 equinox to allow for a fourth full moon before the June 2016 solstice:
Equinox: March 20, 2016
Full moon: Mar 23, 2016
Full moon: Apr 22, 2016
Full Moon: May 21, 2016 (Blue Moon)
Full moon: Jun 20, 2016 (11:02 Universal Time)
Solstice: June 20, 2016 (22:34 Universal Time)
In cycles of 19 years, the phases of the moon recur on, or near, the same calendar dates. Sure enough, 19 years ago and 19 years from now, in the years 1997 and 2035, four full moons take place in between the March equinox and June solstice, and the May full moon counts as a Blue Moon – third of four full moons in one season.
It’s said that the moon rides high in winter and low in summer, but that’s only true of the full moon. Remember, the full moon is opposite the sun. Around the June solstice, the sun is rising farthest north (left) of due east and setting farthest north (right) of due west. It’s highest in the sky (summer) for the Northern Hemisphere and lowest in the sky (winter) for the Southern Hemisphere.
The full moon is opposite the sun. This June solstice full moon will mimic the path of the December solstice sun, rising south of due east and setting south of due west. It’ll follow the low path of the winter sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and, south of the equator, assume the lofty path of the summer sun.
Bottom line: The June 19, 2016 moon, near Saturn on solstice eve, looks full. The June 20 full moon falls on the solstice.
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.
Article published on EarthSky
The Wisdom of Buddha
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Meaning: The Romance rune is also a symbol of connection, just like the Rings rune. But differently from the latter, the former implies a deeper sort of connection. While in the Rings we have two (or more) people joining to reach a similar goal, here we have two people joining for reasons they can’t quite explain.
Hence this rune is related to love, passion, emotional bonds, sexual chemistry and sudden attraction. Any strong bond can be symbolized by this rune, including the unconditional parental love or a very strong friendship. And it’s not limited to the emotions that sparkle between individuals – the love can be also directed to an object, a subject or even a work.
It’s important to not limit this rune to the emotional field. It can be quite physical, representing sexual relations, arousal and irresistible magnetism. This rune is powerful, and often gives an extra impulse to any rune that is close it. Charismatic and seductive people are represented by the Romance rune as well.
Outside from the field of romance and sex, this rune is concerned with any act of creation. If you have any ongoing projects, you can be sure an extra impulse will come and spur you on. The Romance rune can also represent the reconciliation of opposite forces or tendencies, and the resolution of conflicts. Obsessive thoughts, stubbornness in pursuing a person or a goal and lack of objectivity are the downfalls of this rune.
Additional information about Today’s Witches Rune, Romance, courtesy of Your Spiritual Journey Australia
Your Ogham Reading for Today
Beith, or Beth, corresponds to the letter B in the alphabet, and is associated with the Birch tree. When this symbol is used, it is representative of new beginnings, change, release, and rebirth. In some traditions, it also has connections with purification.
Birch trees are hardy. They’ll grow just about anywhere, including on bare soil. Because they tend to grow in clusters, what may be just one or two seedlings now can be practically an entire forest in a few decades.
In addition to being a sturdy sort of tree, the Birch is useful. In days gone by, it was used for infants’ cradles, and is still harvested today to make cabinets and furniture.
From a magical perspective, there are a number of uses for Birch. The branches are traditionally incorporated into the construction of a besom, and are used for the bristles. Use the white outer bark in ritual in place of paper or parchment — just be sure you only harvest the bark from a fallen Birch tree, not a living one. Ancient herbalists discovered that various parts of this tree can be used for medicinal purposes. Bark was once brewed into a tea to fight fevers, and the leaves were used alternately as a laxative and a diuretic, depending on how they were prepared.
Mundane Aspects: When this symbol appears, it means it’s time to get rid of all those negative influences you’ve been carrying around with you. Figure out what things are bad in your life, which relationships are toxic, and find a way to leave them behind.
Instead of being dragged down by the negative, focus on the positive things you have in your life, the blessings and abundance. Use these things as a focus, rather than the harmful or damaging ones.
Magical Aspects: Consider the property of renewal and rebirth, as demonstrated by the Birch. Use this as a tool for spiritual and emotional regrowth, and developing your own ability to regenerate where there has been emptiness or devastation.
Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today
The Emperor is blessed with the skills to successfully lead others. He can turn chaos into order and provide structure to that which is unbound. He is quick of mind and confident in his power and right to rule, and does so in a just manner. Although stern by nature, he truly is the ultimate father figure. He will provide as needed, teach those with unanswered questions, protect the vulnerable, set and maintain boundaries. His perfect world runs on schedule and is free of any disturbances. What the Emperor must be wary of is setting boundaries and rules where none are needed. If he isn’t careful not to over use his powers he may well become a tyrant.
Your Thor Reading for the Upcoming Week
Elhaz represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals. Enjoy.
Dagaz represents the fresh light of a new day. You are close to making a breakthrough. You have the will to change whatever you deem necessary. You may see the world with absolute clarity at this time.
Gebo represents the coming of gifts and favors. While each are usually positive events, they often carry obligations with them. Gebo often represents strong bonds such as deep friendships and marriage.
What’s coming soon
Hagalaz is the hail Rune. It denotes chaos, destruction and disruption on a primal level. You may experience delays in moving toward your goals.
The Long Term Results
Ansuz reversed denotes failed communications and missed opportunities to become more in harmony with the universe. Your path may be unclear at this time. False advice and malicious rumors may be afoot.