Author Archives: Karen Smith

Meeting the Wild Gods: Return form the Underworld – New Moon 28th September, 7.26 PM GMT- Persephone & Dionysus

Brigid Marlin – Persephone Painting

The September new moon places asteroid Persephone at 8 degrees Capricorn conjunct the MC, and asteroid Bacchus, or Eleutherois (“the liberator”) conjunct the Sun at 6-degree Libra.

Today (23rd September) in ancient Greece marks the end of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, a death and resurrection initiation reenacting the story of Persephone’s descent into Hades. Before the initiates, or the mystai, could enter the sacred temple (Telesterion), they would recite, “I have fasted, I have drunk the kykeon, I have taken from the kiste (“box”) and after working it have put it back in the calathus (“open basket”).

After witnessing and embodying the mysteries, and sworn to secrecy, the initiates returned home to continue their daily lives. Having undergone profound transformation – a meeting with the chaotic and the divine – and facing, if not actual death, then certainly ego death, they are now liberated form fear and limited conditioning…they have met the gods.

Situations or people who may have suppressed, controlled or intimidated them previously are now cast aside as non-threatening pale comparisons of the true power and inner light that now possesses them.

As with many of the ancients gods who are often different expressions of the same energy, Hades and Dionysus may be viewed as one in the same according to Heraclitus.

1st image: Terracotta Relief of Persephone Seated on a Throne Receiving Dionysus 6th century B.C

Horned god figures such as Bacchus and Dionysus can lead us on a wild descent into the non-rational, chthonic and ecstatic states, for a confrontation with the divine in its most terrible aspects. The purpose of these experiences is to release trapped libido, to shirk off false conditioning and to find and own our true power.

It is not an easy journey and there is always the danger of no return. As with all initiation it is a confrontation, if not with death, then certainly the terrifying, the non-rational and the mad aspects of the unconscious. Many are lost by the wayside or fail to grasp the bitter gift of such dismantling experiences choosing to remain instead victimized and controlled.

The gods have become diseases says Carl Jung. If the gods are ignored or suppressed or we do not answer their call to initiation and renewal, we get sick. Liminal gods like Dionysus and Persephone who move between the underworld and the rational world offer the opportunity of death and rebirth.

The descent is annihilation but only of the old outmoded and limited parts of ourselves that the wild gods insist we sacrifice.

The next Canterbury Moon Lodge explores how as modern women we may be confronted by the terrible and wild power of the liminal gods in the repressed aspects of ourselves bursting through rational conditioning and initiating encounters in the world that while strip us to the bone, ultimately strengthens us and offers redemption.


September Full Moon in Pisces- Sacred Union

Soul mates by Ankur Rana

Full moon at 05.52 on Saturday 14th September.

With a strong 1st house, 7th house axis, this chart shines a light on relationships, inviting us to consider what good, healthy, respectful relationships look like, and whether are we cultivating those ideals in our lives.

With a stellium of planets in Virgo in the 1st house, including the sun at 21 degrees, feminine earthy Virgo is seeking a certain quality of relationship, discerning between the ones worth investing in and the ones that are unable to engage in respectful union at this time- and this does not only apply to lover relationships.

With Juno exactly on the ascendant, this rising energy is concerned with marriage, commitment, give-and-take, power and compromise, toward creating harmonious and satisfying relationships in which both parties are seen, met and valued.

Juno also suggests the empowerment we may experience while we are embedded in such relationships. When we feel valued, loved, safe, and respected we thrive and from that union we are brought closer to the truth of who we are.

If we are not inviting and sustaining nurturing relationships in our life, if instead we are finding discord, imbalance, disrespect and relationships driven by unowned shadow aspects, it may be tempting to project the blame outward, however Nessus on the descendent in the 7th house flags up a cautionary warning to examine how it may be ourselves and the not the other who is responsible for creating disharmony.

Nessus asks us to go even deeper to consider the ways in which we may in fact be harbouring the things which we resent and resist in others. This may be a very tough reckoning on the root causes of trauma and disconnection, asking us to review early relationship imprinting and conditioning.

According to astrologer Melanie Reinhart, Nessus offers the possibility of putting an end to outmoded and detrimental dynamics in our life- Nessus is the centaur who says, “the buck stops here”. What in your life, particularly regarding relationships are you simply not prepared to tolerate any longer? And is it really a feature of the other, or a hidden aspect in yourself that needs to be worked on to be released?

And what are your deepest longings for union with another, or others?

With strong Virgo energy it may be time to discern exactly who and what we want in our life. If we are attached and find it difficult to let go of toxic or unhealthy situations, it is time to get honest about what really holds us in positions of lack and disempowerment.

Meditating on moon and Neptune in Pisces in the 7th house, it may become clear that in the end, self is other and other is self, and all is one. This insight shows us that how we treat others and allow others to treat us reflects our relationship with our self.

To see the world and the people in it as a cosmic and sacred mirror through which we can see into the depths of our own soul may be the teaching of this moon.

This lunar cycle began with asteroid Magdalene on the north node, highlighting a potential collective shift toward qualities embodied by that archetype. The relationship between Mary Magdalene and Yeshua has been felt to be one of the most honouring, sacred, respectful and powerful ever witnessed or documented.

As the moon comes to fruition tomorrow, the full lunar illumination may also shine a light on our deepest desires for sacred union and what it takes to create that.

Friday 13th, The Moon, Mary Magdalene, and the Feminine Mysteries.

Mary Magdalene ca.1524 Andrea Solario and Bernardino Luini at The Walters Art Museum

Celebrate Friday 13th as a day to reclaim all that has been exiled about the divine feminine, the Goddess of love, the mysteries of death, resurrection, renewal, and the moon.

While the number 13 has been much maligned in our culture and is thought to be a harbinger of bad luck and evil, it is in fact an auspicious day connected to the Goddess, the sacred feminine,Venus and Mary Magdalene.

In ancient times there were 13 months in a year as there were 13 moons in a year and 13 menstrual cycles. The 13 month, 28-day, relationship to time was dominant on our planet for 6000 years before the turn from lunar to solar consciousness.

The Maya, Celts, Egyptians, Lakota, Essenes, Polynesians, and Cherokee all used a 13-month calendar. The Druid 13-month calendar was connected to their alphabet and tree calendar – each consonant of the Druid alphabet represented a moon cycle. In both Mayan and Druid cultures, the extra day was a ‘non-calendar day’ or a ‘day out of time’, traditionally a day of ritual and renewal in preparation for the coming year.

There is a technical term for fear of Friday 13th- ‘friggatriskaidekaphoboa’, the ‘Frigga’ prefix comes from the name of the Goddess from whom Friday was named. Frigg, or Freyja, like Venus or Aphrodite, is associated with love, fertility and erotic love.

Superstitious beliefs about Friday 13th can be traced back to the capture of the Knights Templar and according to Margaret Starbird, even further back to the Hebrew bible and the capture of the Jewish people.

On Friday 13th 1307, the French King Philip 1V ordered the mass arrest of 60 odd Knights Templar, including their grand master Jacques de Molay. The official reason given for this capture is that the Templars had become too wealthy and powerful, and that Philip the Fair was also a rather greedy King who wished to amass more wealth. Unofficially, the story becomes much more esoteric suggesting that the wealth possessed by the Knights was not of a material nature, but a mystical treasure linked to the Goddess, the Egyptian mysteries, and Mary Magdalene who some call the 13th disciple.

For Starbird, fear of Friday 13th goes back to the Hebrew Bible, the book of Esther, when Haman persuaded Esther’s husband, the King of Babylon, to arrest and execute her people, the Jews, en masse. She says that the faith of the Templars was based on ancient “Ebionite” or “Judaic-Christian” roots that included the full humanity of Jesus (including marriage and parenthood). This points the way to claims that attest to the union between Mary Magdalene and Jesus and the birthing of a holy blood line- whether physical or spiritual and probably both.

The number 13 is symbolic of feminine power, creative life force, and wisdom. Though Death is number 13 in the tarot deck, feminine wisdom teaches us that death also points to rebirth and renewal. On the inner planes ego death or death of the old self, heralds deep transformation necessary for conscious awakening- spirit incarnate.


The King and I: Soli luna Awakening on the Assumption of the Virgin.

The Plasma Queen and the Green Lion

Image: ‘Queen and Green Lyon’ by Elena Ray

What is your dangerous skill?

What is it that you need to reinstate in yourself to place yourself on your throne?

Today on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15th August), the cosmic line- up places a mighty divine feminine signature emblazoned across the top of the heavens.

While the full moon at 22 degrees Aquarius is opposing a Kingly Leo Sun, his consort is none other than the Goddess of love, sexuality, beauty and earthly pleasures, Venus. The feminine spirit embodied in union with the full power of an expressed and awakened solar consciousness can also be seen in the many depictions of the Great Mother goddess Cybele on her lion-drawn chariot, wildly banging her frame drum, triumphantly extolling the deep resonant sound of the sacred earth. Cybele is an earth goddess.

Dane Rudhyar’s sabian symbol for 23 Leo is uncannily appropriate for the opportunities available to make conscious intention towards expressing the divine feminine nature in the world, placing awakened feminine conscious firmly in the material world- bringing the Goddess out of the closet and reinstating her on her earthly throne.


KEYNOTE: The audacity and perseverance required to control and play with the powerful energies of the vital realm in human existence.

What is your dangerous skill? What is it that you need to reinstate in yourself to place yourself on your throne?


There are a cluster of asteroids on the extended outer asteroid belt known as ‘The Cybele asteroids’- they number approximately 2000, with seven main ones- Sylvia, Camilla, Hermione, Freia, Pretoria, and Steroeskopia. Four of these main Cybele asteroids are currently orbiting around the mid heaven of the full moon chart, alongside Venus 22 degrees Leo, and Juno 26 degrees Leo. The asteroid Hermione, a huge body discovered in 1872, is placed at 10 degrees Scorpio conjunct the ascendant at 12 degrees Scorpio.

In Greek mythology Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus of Sparta and Helen of Troy- the gist of her story is that there was a lot of confusion over the identity of her truly beloved and betrothed- was it Orestes who secured her hand before the Trojan war, or Achilles Neoptolemus who was promised Hermione as his bride during the conflict? After the war, unhappily married to Neoptolemeus, Hermione became paranoid and suspicious that Andromache, wife of Hector had placed a curse on her to prevent her from conceiving a child. Soon after, Hermione fled with her cousin Orestes as was originally planned and lived happily ever after.

With the great cosmic feminine line-up, the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven, Venus riding on the back of her alchemical Lion, and asteroid Hermione, one of the largest asteroids in the Cybele cluster rising, what is the symbolic essence of this power full moon gateway?

Here, I offer my intuitive perspective in the hope that it might speak to you on some level:

This archetype is a symbol of the feminine finding her true consort- not the consort out there projected in the world, but her inner masculine consort, her true animus. The story speaks of returning to the original plan…your personal Eden… before the war, before separation, before conflict and fragmentation. What was your original plan, what is the true face of your soul, and what do you need to in order to reinstate it? How do you find your inner beloved so that you can wed in holy sacred union and express your full lunar and solar power?

In the myth, Orestes is the cousin of Hermione, this speaks of the two of them being born from the same stock, not by flesh and blood but by energetic vibration and soul plan. He is her true love, but they lose each other in a bloody war in which there is much confusion and false promises. It is little wonder that Hermione grows unhappy and unsettled in a union with Neoptolemus, as she is not rightfully his and he has claimed her under a false pretext. This is the false animus and can be seen in the many ways women allow themselves to be controlled by an overly rigid patriarchal ideal. In such a contract she will never be able to express the fullness of her feminine soul. In turmoil and confusion, she suspects another woman of sabotaging her- the other woman is an unintegrated aspect of herself- the wife of the king. She herself is not the wife of her King and therefore pregnancy cannot happen in a diminished and unnatural context.

To conceive of and birth her true self she must first return to her true consort.

This reunion with the Self is expressed not only in the story of Hermione, but in many symbolic reflections of the ‘Gods’ today:

The Assumption of the Virgin (the whole unto herself feminine) into the kingdom of heaven (full awakened consciousness).

Venus, the fully embodied lover Goddess throned on her solar consort. Juno, daughter of Saturn and wife of Jupiter in close alliance, protectress of the sacred community and ensuring that the natural laws are adhered to.

The strong ‘Cybelene’ signature seen in the many Cybele asteroids, and particularly in the rising of Hermione in Scorpio.

Another point to note is that the Selene, the full moon, or White moon… the full lunar expression is currently sitting at 21 degrees of Capricorn exactly conjunct Pluto, lord of the underworld. Here she shines her full lunar illumination on the inner workings of the unconscious. What are the factors at play that hold you in positions of falsity? What is it that needs to be brought into conscious awareness so that it can be transformed and become an aid in facilitating your holy marriage?

In the Assumption of Mary, it is commonly held that it is Arch Angel Michael who aided Mary in her return to heaven. Call upon your inner warrior, not to slay your dragons but rather to get to know them, befriend them and then free the trapped energy to fuel your initiation.

The Assumption of Mary & the Awakening Feminine Consciousness.

The Assumption is a pivotal time to evoke a fully awakened feminine consciousness.

Mary In Lyon

Statue of Mary on top of the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon

For the past few days I have been walking to the top of the hill over looking the city of Lyon. There stands the Basilica of Notre dame de Fourviere dedicated to Mary, side-by-side with Roman remains of what was once the most important centre in Gaul. In 1704 a taurobolic alter was discovered on the hill; it was used for ritualistic and sacrificial offerings to the Great Mother, Cybele as far back as 160BC.


Roman remains next to the Notre dame Basilica in Lyon where the taurobolic alter was found in 1704.

Cybele and her Lion Chariot

Cybele- the Magna Mater on her lion drawn chariot.

In the crypt there must be at least a dozen statues and paintings of Mary from all over the world. There are a few Black Madonnas among which are the ‘Black Madonna of Loreto’, and ‘Notre Dame de Fourviere’.

Notre Dame de Fourviere

Black Madonna de Fourviere in the crypt at Lyon.

I have felt very moved to be here… for centuries this has been a hugely significant Mary cult site, and in spite of the apparent corruptions and distortions of the feminine within the Catholic church, there is something much deeper and abiding. There is something pure to be discovered.

15th August is a national holiday here in France for the Assumption of Mary, officially recognised by the papacy in 1950. Tomorrow’s full moon in Aquarius also joins the Leo Sun and Venus in an exact conjunction. It is the perfect expression of soli-lunar power and magic. It is the power of the awakened feminine joined in union with the Sun.


Assumption of the Virgin- Guido Reni

Lyon is on the Apollo/Athena line an extention of the Michael and Mary line which according to Hamish Miller in “The Dance of the Dragon” extends from Skellig St.Michael in Ireland to Armageddon in Turkey.


The Apollo/Athena Ley Line, and extention of the Michael/Mary line inHamish Miller’s  “The Dance of the Dragon”

Apollo/Athena- Michael/Mary- expressions of the ‘hieros gamos’ or marriage of the God and Goddess in the physical world reflecting a state of awakened consciousness.

It is said that it was Arch Angel Michael who aided Mary in her Assumption.


St. Michael La Polermo

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse- Portal to the Past

Past lives, karma, ancestral fields, soul contacts… these are topics I rarely write about but as we are in the midst of a powerful eclipse season, and the full moon on Tuesday happens to be a lunar eclipse conjunct the south node, all things past, and even the very far past, are on the radar both collectively and individually. Maybe I am feeling this slightly more acutely as my natal sun is 17 degrees Capricorn which is the point of the lunar eclipse south node, and as well as a recent Pluto/Sun conjunction -which means I have been immersed in some pretty hefty transpersonal energies for the past couple of years- I am feeling the effects of some strong shifts. And yes, it also means a current Saturn/Sun transit. It’s been a ride!

During this eclipse season on the Capricorn/Cancer axis, and particularly the full moon lunar eclipse on Tuesday we are presented with a portal to the past, to go beyond the usual time/space restrictions of the temporal world and to glimpse the bigger picture. If you want to know what soul issues are up for healing for you at this time, take a close look at the conditions of your life. What issues are really hot? What issues seem to be coming round-and-round-again-and-again? Maybe it is a relationship pattern. Maybe it is an old story you live out of such as broken woman, or poverty consciousness, sick man, or unlovable person… What are the issues that really need your attention right now so that you can move on with your soul’s unfolding toward becoming the person you are here to be?

On a collective level what is up for healing is the uncovering and exposing of shadow aspects of power, especially as it relates to resources, sexuality, and manipulation.

My relationship with the past is changing. I find myself these days recalling many incidents from my life, things I had not forgotten about exactly, but which I am now interpreting quite differently. Things once only vaguely understood and barely integrated are now taking shape within a much larger framework, and when I say larger, I mean beyond the scope of this current life identity.

I have no recollections, and only vague notions of what might, at a push, be considered fragments of past lives. Past lives are a tricky topic… people who have ‘memories’ are often treated with a large dose of new age salt, or else are met with the usual retort of “why was no one a lowly peasant or ordinary person, why were they all kings and queens?.” Fair point, I get it, but what if the images we receive in relation to past lives are both symbolic and literal- in other words, what if recollections of past lives are, along with other material existing in our unconscious, pictorial representations of the vibrations we carry? Another way of saying this is that these ‘visions’ may be the soul’s way of telling its story, given as a gift to help us become fully self-realised. To help us remember who we are, to show us what we are working with at this point in our journey, and to glimpse what needs to be cleared so that we can move onto the next rung of the spiral.

Jung says the archetype comes cloaked in many guises that can be best understood by the receiver in his or her individual and cultural circumstance. In shamanic journeys people often ask me, “how do I know it’s not just my mind making it all up?” Well it might be, but why that particular image out of all the millions of other images? And even if it is just wishful thinking, that is still telling us a lot.

Several years ago, while embroiled in a messy and destructive relationship, a well-meaning friend suggested I go and visit a past life regression therapist, so I did. It was the first time I had ventured into this territory. I set a clear intention… I wanted to see on a soul level the dynamic that was operating between me and the man in question. I experienced something very similar to a shamanic journey but with a slight difference- except for shamanic journeys that also have a past life quality to them. The experience was also different to dreaming, even dreams that I consider of the ‘big’ variety. This was something else, and I even experienced strong bodily sensations so much so that my speech became impaired.

During my session I was in a state of semi hypnosis. I had a sense that the answer to my question was being shown to me in a mythical context through images that formed a narrative. The story was archetypal and yet contained information that was personal to me. I can’t remember if I had this insight during or after the session but at some point I realised that the information was not just showing me the quality and conditions of my relationship with the man, but also a vibration that I carry that had manifested in countless ways both in my present life… and in past lives. The reason for it surfacing again so painfully in my current situation is that it had come into my field for healing. It was time to let it go and I needed to re-experience the memory so that I could bring it into conscious awareness, and finally heal it.

This is just one example of how over the years I have connected with the patterns that I carry in my life, although this was the first time that I had confronted it so directly as a past life experience. In other instances, I have accessed the ‘codes’ in other ways including shamanic journeying, rebirthing, sacred sites, relationships, working with archetypes, and finally evolutionary astrology. Which brings me full circle back to the point of writing this blog.

Take this opportunity to dive deep. Really look into what it is that wants to be addressed at this time in your life. You will know. And then use this gateway of the south node (where we have been), conjunct the moon (our unconscious), conjunct Pluto (transformation), and Saturn (karma) to shed a layer or two.

You may have been waiting lifetimes for this moment. It may be time to show yourself as who you truly are.

Finding Our Way Home: New Moon in Cancer & the Total Solar Eclipse

Denise Elizabeth Byron Cancer New Moon and Solar Eclipse

Image By Denise Elizabeth Byron

The new moon at 10 degrees Cancer is happening in conjunction with a full solar eclipse and opens a portal for us to connect with our heart, feelings, and emotional body. It offers an opening for a ‘homecoming’ by showing us, through our feeling and emotional body, a way back to our true emotional nature.

It is an opportunity to touch base with and define what our real emotional needs are, what makes us feel safe in the world, and who and what help us to create the right environment to thrive in our full feminine essence. Of course, this does not only apply to women, it is also an opportunity for men to connect with their feeling body and perhaps review the ways society has conditioned men away from this truth.

And that’s just the beginning!

Eclipse season starting with the new moon in Cancer on July 2nd amplifies the energies and initiates a new season of change. After the full moon conjunct Pluto on 16th July, there is a sense of no going back… a point of no return from what has come to consciousness relating to our innermost needs and the unfolding of our soul.

The new moon and solar eclipse happen at 10 degrees of Cancer: Cancer is the first water sign and is deeply personal, it represents our first unconscious urges and impulses. There is the potential at this time to facilitate a ‘deconditioning’ of early imprints that we received from our family of origin, communities, and cultures especially as it relates to the emotional body, learned behavior and the ways in which we may have learned to survive by suppressing or distorting our feelings to meet the expectations of others. With the north node of the moon also in the sign of Cancer, there is a need to create an authentic, feeling based life that is more in tune with our deepest selves.

Our feelings are guides and way-showers of who we are and what we need in order to express ourselves fully. They are not to be made wrong.

With north node in Cancer, we are also being directed to consider our own personal moon and its day-to-day needs. What is your essential emotional nature, and how have you judged that? How is your personal moon doing, is she able to express herself? What are you choosing for yourself, and are you honoring your Moon?

Following what feels right and not what we, or others, think is right is a good compass at this time. It is about trusting our intuition and instincts again. For many women and men this sacred ability has been lost or diminished.

Who or what is home for you- have you found that yet? This lunar cycle is about bravely owing who we are at the most primal feeling level, and then mothering our own needs.

People pleasing behavior and self- betrayal in an attempt to find love in dried up or unavailable places may be sorely challenged and exposed now.

With the mothering and nurturing energy of Cancer, this time is also about considering the needs of others however the desire now is for truly equal and heart-based relationships based on mutual giving and receiving with those who can meet us in our emotional body and give of themselves in an authentic way. Relationships that are unbalanced or unequal in terms of emotional nurturance and exchange may be challenged, and with the personal planets Mars and Mercury squaring Uranus, there may be a break down, or a break-through.

What no longer fits you? What have you outgrown? Uranus can change the situation with lighting speed if you are conscious of what you need and of the dynamics that need to shift. Be mindful though that the square may also encourage behavior influenced from our unconscious or old patterns if we do not bring the situation to light from our feeling body. This can feel very vulnerable for the ego which may have maintained negative patterns of survival for many years.

Mars and Mercury are also forming a trine to Chiron which may suggest a personal shift and a reclaiming of something that has been forgotten, overlooked, or abandoned.

The north node is all about progression, developing and growth, whereas the south node is about release and letting go. The south node at 17 Capricorn, conjunct Saturn and Pluto is releasing at a deep soul level and possibly preparing us for the grand event of 2020- the Saturn Pluto conjunction which happens on a collective level.

What needs to go, what needs to come in?

To recap: The new moon total Solar eclipse in Cancer, along with the north node is highlighting the need for change, it is not a change of the will or one concerned with societal expectations- or indeed any expectations- it is a deep unfolding of our essential feeling nature and a need to create environments and relationships that nurture us. In doing so we are birthed from the womb of the Mother into our feminine essence- this applies to men as much as women. As the feminine soul appears to be the missing link in our dissolving culture (Pluto conjunct Saturn), the possibility to birth a new way that incorporates the feeling self is initiated with the new moon and eclipse season.

A key word to consider based on Dane Rudhyar’s sabian symbols is ‘DECONDITIONING’.

It is important not to get lost in an attitude of resentment and anger at the mechanics that have been operative in our culture and in our personal environments that may have led to various distortions of our feelings and emotions as this may inhibit the full potential of this time. Better to release old patterns with grace and an understanding that for whatever reason, even although it may not feel like it, part of us was complicit in the program.

Taking full responsibility will lead to greater liberation. We may have colluded but now, with more insight and a deeper connection with our hearts and emotional nature, we can plant the seeds to create the environments and relationships that will nurture us.