Goddess Of The Day for Jan. 3rd: Callisto

 

CALLISTO

 

Themes: Instinct; Protection; Flexibility

 

Symbols: A Bear; a Willow Branch; the Constellation Ursa Major

 

About Callisto:

Appearing sometimes as a she-bear guarding her cubs, the Greek goddess Callisto reinspires the natural instincts with which we have lost touch and illustrates the intensity of maternal love. Her other name is Helic, which means “to turn” or “willow branch”; she thus has the power to help with personal transformations. In mythology, Callisto became Ursa Major while pregnant with Zeus’s child. Artemis changed her into a bear, along with her son, who became Ursa Minor.

To Do Today:

In Korea, the festival of Chilsong-je begins at midnight with an offering of white rice and water to the seven stars (Ursa Major). This gift ensures Callisto’s assistance when needed throughout the coming months. If you can’t stay up till midnight, just leave the rice and water in a special spot before you go to bed.

From her celestial home, Callisto stands ready to protect us in the new year and provide us with adaptability as a coping mechanism. To encourage this, carry a silver or white stone bear, or a piece of dried willow wood. Bless this token, saying:

Callisto, release in me the power of flexibility.
Where’er I carry this little charm, keep me ever safe from harm.

If these tokens aren’t handy, you can substitute any white or silver item, or a hand-drawn picture of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper).

 

By Patricia Telesco

 

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 14th

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.

2011 November 14
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Waterfall, Moonbow, and Aurora from Iceland
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees

 

Explanation: The longer you look at this image, the more you see. Perhaps your eye is first drawn to the picturesque waterfall called Skogarfoss visible on the image right. Just as prevalent, however, in this Icelandic visual extravaganza, is the colorful arc of light on the left. This chromatic bow is not a rainbow, since the water drops did not originate in rainfall nor are they reflecting light from the Sun. Rather, the drops have drifted off from the waterfall and are now illuminated by the nearly full Moon. High above are the faint green streaks of aurora. The scene, captured one night last month, also shows a beautiful starscape far in the background, including the Big Dipper, part of the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major).

Astronomy Pic of the Day for Oct. 20th

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.

 

The Big Dipper
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo 

 

Explanation: The best known asterism in northern skies, The Big Dipper is easy to recognize, though some might see The Plough. Either way, the star names and the familiar outlines will appear in this thoughtfully composed 24 frame mosaic when you slide your cursor over the image. Dubhe, alpha star of the dipper’s parent constellation Ursa Major is at the upper right. Together with beta star Merak below, the two form a line pointing the way to Polaris and the North Celestial Pole off the top edge of the field. Notable too in skygazing lore Mizar, second star from the left in the dipper’s handle, forms a vision-testing visual double star with apparently close Alcor. Also identified in the famous star field are Messier catalog objects. Download the higher resolution image to hunt for exquisite views of some of Messier’s distant spiral galaxies and a more local owl.

Saucer Meditation (Blood/Harvest Moon)

Saucer Meditation

(Blood/Harvest Moon)

Before you go to sleep, turn on some soft meditative music. Lie back and begin breathing rhythmically by inhaling and counting to three and exhaling and counting to three. Each time you take a deep breath, imagine your lungs filling with the energizing white light of the stars and moon. As you exhale, sense all of the stress and tension in your body being cast out with your breath. A wave of tranquil bliss envelopes you being, sending it into a state of relaxed awareness. At the same time that you are becoming more relaxed, you are becoming more aware of your senses. Your mind is aware of all things at all times.

In your mind’s eye, imagine traveling on a saucer-shaped ship. Before you there is a giant portal and through it you view the many approaching stars. Sirius, Orion’s Belt, and the stars of Big Dipper fly across the portal as you watch with relaxed awareness. A large bluish-green planet comes into view. Its image grows lager on the screen as your flying saucer gets closer, and closer, and closer to it.

You watch as an alien world fills the screen with images that seem foreign but familiar. Alien beings with aqua-colored skin and right golden hair float lightly on emerald-green waves. They smile at you with smiles that send a warm glow through your entire being. You sense a Oneness with them that moves beyond physical barriers and mental limitations. They are your alien friends who you can visit anytime you want in meditation and dream. As you drift to sleep, imagine exploring the universe and all the magickal beings within it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for August 23

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.

2011 August 23

Aurora Over Greenland
Image Credit: Copyright: Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)

Explanation: This aurora arched from horizon to horizon. During the current Shelios expedition to observe and learn about the northern lights, the sky last weekend did not disappoint. After sunset and some careful photographic planning, the above image was taken from the expedition’s Qaleraliq campsite in southern Greenland. Visible straight through the center of the aurora, found with a careful eye, is the Big Dipper and the surrounding constellation of the Big Bear (Ursa Major). The brightest orb on the far right is the Moon, while Jupiter can be seen even further to the right. The Shelios expedition is scheduled to last until the end of August and include live broadcasts of ongoing auroras.