CAYA Sprouts New Moon Stargazing Guide - July 2017

by Shell Selvans

Blessed New Moon! In the coming week or two, we welcome you to go outside with your family at 9:00PM or later, once it gets good and dark, and enjoy the summer stars!

To celebrate the height of summer stargazing, find the Summer Triangle, slightly east of overhead, or perhaps directly overhead if you are out late enough.

Vega is the brightest star you'll see overhead, and is the brightest of the three stars of the triangle. Only Arcturus is brighter in the current night sky, since Sirius is too close to the Sun to be visible. Vega is the top of a small harp constellation, Lyra, which is outlined by stars - you can imagine them with a set of strings inside, playing the music of the stars!

Deneb is a bright star northeast of Vega. In Arabic, 'Deneb' means tail, and this star is the tail of the great swan Cygnus, who flies along the path of the Milky Way. Her wings are spread east and west, and her long neck stretches out to the south, pointing toward the center of our galaxy (see the June stargazing guide for using Scorpius to find the exact location of the galactic center).

Altair is a bright star southeast of Vega. It is the head of Aquila, the eagle, who flies away from the galactic center along the Milky Way.

Saturn still hangs just above the center of our galaxy, and the tail of Scorpius, near the southern horizon. If you follow the flight paths of Cygnus and Aquila northward instead, you will see the bright 'W' of the constellation Casseopeia, an Ethiopian queen in Greek mythology. In lands along the Arctic Ocean where these five bright stars never set, they are known as an elk antler (by the Sami people, in Scandinavia) or five stag reindeer (by the Chukchi people, in Siberia).

The linked star chart can help you find the cosmic harp and surrounding animals.

Note that this is the star chart for June, which is accurate at ~9:00PM currently. At 9:30PM or later, the Summer Triangle will be more directly overhead. Make sure to line the direction printed on the edge of it up with the direction you're facing. Also, you might want to find your own chart if you are on our Mother Earth somewhere other than the contiguous 48 states of the U.S., or a similar latitude.

Blessed be your stargazing!

If you enjoyed this and would like to connect more deeply with the stars, our magical community and the children of the world, please join CAYA Sprouts in our monthly “Children of Promise” New Moon working!


Celebrate the Dark Moon in Leo with the Fathers of Change

Sunday, July 23, is the Dark Moon in Leo, a time to remind ourselves - and each other - of our own inner radiance, which is always shining even through the darkest times, and which will guide us truly even when our path is obscured by illusion and confusion.

During this week, I invite you to join or support the Fathers of Change in their 2017 Dark Moon working. This is the year of the fifth element, Spirit.

If you would like to share more of your experience with the Fathers of Change, you may join the Google+ community or Facebook group.

You Are The Center,

Molly Blue Dawn


East Bay Festival of Heart and Harvest 2017 - please note different time and location than usual!

Come As You Are to...

CAYA Coven’s Festival of Heart and Harvest
presented by the Order of the Black Madonna, a temple dedicated to Our Lady of Social Justice

Please note different time and location than usual!

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Gather at 5:00PM, circle is cast at 5:15PM

Live Oak Park
1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709

$10-$20 donation requested

How might we pour forth from our hearts a rain of goodness that yields an abundant harvest of love, harmony, and mutuality in our communities? What kinds of generosity are needed, inspired, or spring forth from within us as we journey together? What sacrifices are required of us to bring our goals to fruition?

IMPORTANT: What to bring?

This is a potluck feast, so if you are able, please bring a dish clearly labeled (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Carnivorous) with enough to share. If you have dietary restrictions, please bring a dish that you can enjoy.

This ritual is held outside in Berkeley. The temperature can change dramatically. Please wear layers and bring a coat to fend off the cold.

If you need a seat for your comfort during ritual, please consider bringing a camp chair.

Your Glorious self!

Image by G. Stoughton


Reminder: South Bay Circles and CAYA Pagan Congregation's Festival of Heart and Harvest

Come As You Are to...

South Bay Circles and CAYA Pagan Congregation's Festival of Heart and Harvest!

This is the time of year when we celebrate the work we have done and the bountiful harvest we have created. We reflect on the sacrifices we've made to ensure that our labors are rewarded, and share with each other the glorious results of those endeavors!

The most valuable crop we harvest, and that which makes our harvest possible, is our community! We share the best of ourselves, we support one another, and when challenged, we prevail through our strong and ever-renewing commitment which is at the heart of our community.

Join us at our joyous communal feast & ritual as we honor the Earth Goddess Anu, Goddess of fertility and prosperity and Dagda, The Good God, Master of magic and God of the Earth.

We will be sitting on the earth during this ritual, so if mobility is a concern, please bring a camp chair to sit upon within the circle. Blankets will be provided.

We will be sharing in a potluck feast after ritual, so if you are able, please bring a dish clearly labeled (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Carnivorous) with enough to share. If you have dietary restrictions, please bring a dish that you can enjoy.

$10-$20 sliding scale donation requested to cover the costs of renting the site. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Sunday, July 23, 2017
Gather at 4:00PM, Ritual will begin at 5:00PM

Ritual will be outdoors at a park in San Jose. For more information and exact location, please contact Bianca at 408-623-5048.


Thoughts (and Feelings) on this Fury Moon

by Karen Krebser

Fury is a tricky thing for me, and always has been. It’s an emotion I can tap into readily because no matter how much Pisces is in me (and there’s a lot of Pisces in this Queen of Cups), I’m still a child of fire. But while fury is also a child of fire, we’re not siblings. Fury is its own madness, its own whirl of hate and potential conflagration that defies DNA or any other attempt to codify it; it infects, drives, cleanses, howls, and is something that I’ve never been able to communicate with. There is no bargaining with fury, there is only following the flow of the emotion as it comes until it burns itself out in bellowing exhaustion.

When I was a kid, anger was unacceptable as an emotional reaction to things. Expressing anger in my family got a person labeled “hysterical” or “emotional,” a label that a woman couldn’t afford to bear either in my family unit or the outside world. So I learned to swallow my anger, my fire, literally. I have an eating disorder because of my inability to separate food and feelings. But something I never realized was that when anger is swallowed and left unprocessed, it becomes fury. It becomes something larger than itself, something explosive and wild - it’s like unprocessed anger taps directly into the Universal soul that is Fury, and when unleashed, can destroy everything it touches.

I learned this the hard way, of course.

But fury doesn’t have to be negative. It doesn’t have to be a terrible, yawning, gaping portal to a hell dimension. Fury can provide an impetus to useful action. Seeing hundreds and hundreds of innocent people of color murdered by racist authorities can trigger a larger episode of fury that motivates people to change their minds, to see others changing their minds, to finding a new definition of what it means to be human. Seeing others so upset, so driven by grief and madness but finding ways to express their fury within the boundaries of non-violent protest has immense potential for healing, a potential that cannot be accessed on such a scale through other means. Fury provides a pathway for purging that which is toxic and poisonous in the individual (who perhaps works out difficulties at the gym with a pair of gloves and a punching bag, clearing the physical body of the negative energies and thoughts) and the society both (giving groups of people a point of focus to call for change and the destruction of toxic laws and systems).

Fury is powerful, but natural. It’s how we call out to each other to change that which is damaged, broken, and in need of healing. It’s the systemic 911 we make to one another when no other words get through. Fury is our emergency alert system telling us when something is unacceptable. Fury is how we remind ourselves that we are a society of law and order, that each is equal to all others under the law, and that there are rules that cannot be broken without consequence. Fury brings walls down, but then leaves so that homes and businesses and farms and schools can be built from the ruins in peace, leaving society stronger, hopefully more compassionate, and ultimately, healed.