by Daniel Giamario
IS it possible to integrate the Lunar and Solar cycles? This question has been a concern and interest of global humanity for a very very long time, occupying the attention of virtually every culture. The fact that the two primary visual symbols of time (among other things) have cycles that don’t integrate easily with each other has resulted in many calendric attempts to create a useful political or philosophical solution.
The numbers twelve and thirteen figure greatly into this issue. The 27.3 day lunar sidereal cycle divides into the solar year with the closest whole number of 13. The 29.5 day lunar synodic cycle (New Moon to New Moon or Full Moon to Full Moon) divides into the year with the closest whole number of 12. Our monthly (‘moonthly’) secular calendar reflects the cycle of 12. It is important to note that BOTH the number twelve and thirteen are sacred numbers of the Moon as it relates to annual cycle of the Sun. Plus, it is also interesting to note that both lunar cycles (sidereal and synodic) are nowhere close to coming out even with the Solar cycle.
There have been uncountable possible solutions to this situation, from the mythical and not physically real number 28 for the Moon cycle, to systems of adding and subtracting days, months, and years over periods of time. Some cultures just gave up and ran parallel lunar and solar calendars with no attempt to harmonize them.
In our neck of the woods (desert), that is, the Southwest USA, cultures such as the Pueblo and Zuni (descendants of the Anasazi) were most interested in the times of closest proximity of a Full Moon with one the solar gateways (also known as equinoxes and solstices). These times maximized the power and intensity of the Sun and Moon together. When this happened there was a larger sense of a “New Year’ or a greater cycle than the usual seasonal junction point. When a Lunar Eclipse was added to this combination it became super-potent.
Cayelin Castell co-founder of SAMS has deeply researched the phenomena known as the “Blue Moon’. See her article on Understanding the Blue Moon for more about this phenomenon.
Contrary to popular belief, the original meaning of a Blue Moon was Four Full Moons in one season. This required that a Full Moon occur close to an equinox or solstice boundary. In addition to the larger context of the current cosmological events, including the solar system in alignment with the galactic plane, the galactic alignment and the Turning of the Ages from the observer of the sky on Earth, and the location of so many of the outer planets and nodal axis on the ‘cross’ of the global horoscope; just the most basic experience of the Sun and Moon, the most foundationally evident symbols of perception, reveal something very special and powerful for this time in 2010 from the Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice.
There was a Full Moon near this past Autumnal Equinox, within about 6 hours, at 0 Aries 15. And, there will be a Full Moon near the Winter Solstice, about 15 hours prior at 29 Gemini 21. What sets this apart from other seasons with four Full Moons is a rare Winter Solstice Full Moon total Lunar Eclipse occurring around midnight and early morning of December 21st with the Sun near galactic center and the Moon near the galactic edge.
According to ancient reckoning, we are currently in a time of maximum synchronization of the Solar and Lunar cycles. This is another powerful indicator of the remarkable nature of the current time. Using the insights of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm, this is when the maximum accumulation of lineage knowledge from the past (in particular the Mystery School of Aries and the spring equinox teachings, and the mystery school of Cancer and the summer solstice teachings via these Full Moons) are further invigorating and illuminating the Solar gates of the fall equinox and the winter solstice. The intent as I see it is inspiring a powerful renewal of global humanity and the planet herself, in this very season.
One last thing, you are invited to join the SAMS event here in Southern Arizona, for a mini-event December 2011 celebrating the birthday of SAMS as well as ceremonially holding space for the Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse.