Moonday by Sphinx Yoga: June 12, 2017
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"Wandering Shadows" (July 22, 2012) by Greg Diesel Walck, from his Facebook album, Fine Art Photography

Summer Sun and Fun!
Summer arrives on Wednesday, June 21.  Read about the solstice, midsummer, and the first summer new moon from a skygazing and astrological perspective.  For those who want a quick weekly snapshot, as of last week, I publish Moon Memes for the moon phase and other celestial phenomena.  Check it out on
Sphinx Yoga section shares a few photos of classic standing balance poses under the sun, getting ready for salutations on the solstice.  In a few days, the Yoga Wellness Wonderful Moon column in Wise + Well provides information on solstice events in which you may want to participate.  I wrote about midsummer magic in the W+W Moon Wisdom post that published a few days ago.
The sun brings creative expression.  The June masthead image by
Greg Diesel Walck is of the subdued yet radiant summer sun setting over the NC coast.  His featured image is of the sun rising over Charleston, SC, from a few weeks ago.  Unearthed Comics
offers a cartoon of the summer sun with a dancing solar system.  Maybe the songs have June-moon lyrics – which are considered to be among the most clichéd.  Music clips offer a sharp contrast between Bing Crosby and The Smashing Pumpkins. Yet their songs were similarly inspired by sentimental June-moon rhymes.
Happy first day of summer and the year’s longest day!  Have fun with midsummer celebrations and travels!
"Charleston Charm" (May 20, 2017), by Greg Diesel Walck, from his FB album, 2017 Travels and Landscapes
Greg Diesel Walck: "Charleston Charm," (May 20, 2017), from his Facebook album, 2017 Travels and Landscapes.  Contact Diesel Walck for information on art-quality framed enlargements of his work.

Early in the morning, Diesel Walck caught the late spring sun, looking large on the horizon, rising over the bay, houses, and boats at Charleston, SC.
"Solar Grooves," Unearthed Comics by Sara Zimmerman (2014)
 "Solar Grooves" (2014), by Sara Zimmerman for Unearthed Comics.  Please support Zimmerman and Unearthed Comics at Patreon.

"I didn’t know that the sun also had musical 'flare.'”  The solar system family, including Marilyn Earth and her little lunar buddy, "rock out" with the sun for the solstice.  The dance of the spheres!
Wendy Sphinx in standing hand-to-big-toe pose
Wendy Sphinx in tree pose with raised arms and prayer hands
Wendy Sphinx in dancer pose
Getting in the spirit of summer yoga in nature, I practiced standing balances under the sun last weekend.  I hand wrote the name of the pose on each photo.

Top left, Standing Hand-to-Big-Toe pose (
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana).  Still working on raising my foot closer to my head in a straighter split!

Top right, Tree pose (
Vrksasana) with arms raised overhead and hands in namaste or salutation seal (Anjali Mudra).  Lifted arms connect heaven and earth, aligned feet to hands.

Left, Dancer pose (
Natarajasana).  The challenge for me is to raise my arm so that my hand grabs my foot from above, lifting the leg higher, and creating more openness with a deeper backbend for the full expression of King Dancer.  But with my not-so-flexible shoulders, it's an ongoing journey that I can currently approximate with a strap and a lot of patience.
Sphinx Yoga: Outdoor Yoga Time!

My next Yoga Wellness, Wonderful Moon, column on summer solstice and midsummer celebrations posts in a few days.  The summer solstice corresponds with the third annual International Day of Yoga and yoga events, such as annually held in Times Square in New York City.  Many studios offer 108 sun salutation malas, indoors and out, there are festivals such as the Greensboro Summer Solstice Festival, ethnic midsummer and street fairs, sidewalk art exhibitions, streaming yoga and meditation that connects people around the world, exotic retreats and other ways to mark the day on which the sun "stands still" and ushers in summer.

I wrote about the meaning of the magical summer solstice in the current
Moon Wisdom post:  "Solar blessings provide life-giving nourishment that lasts through the year. Sun showers bring rainbows and sometimes lingering yet fickle sunrises and sunsets. Soft morning mist is followed by sparkling sunshine with crisp shadows. The luminous Milky Way arches above through the warm summer nights, punctuated by shooting stars. These manifestations of natural magic have captured the imagination throughout human existence" (continued on Wise + Well).  After publication, the link for the Yoga Wellness solstice post will be shared on Sphinx Yoga.

I always celebrate the solstices and equinoxes with yoga malas, with the summer solstice being the most special of the cardinal points of the year, since yogis around the world participate.  This year my calendar is filled with events in which I hope to participate.  I've shared a few photos to get in the spirit of outdoor yoga for the solstice, and to feel the lovely almost-summer sun illuminate my practice.
First Moon Meme on Instagram: For full moon in Sagittarius last week
See my new weekly Moon Meme, published more or less weekly on Instagram for the moon phase.  A suggestion for yoga practice is coordinated with lunar movement.  Each Moon Meme provides a concise explanation of current sky observances and influences.

In addition to the moon phases, I'll post a meme for seasonal change, such as the coming summer solstice, retrograde Mercury cycles, and other events.  For the Sagittarian full moon last week, I suggested Bow Pose (
Dhanurasana), inspired by the sign of the archer.

It's the six month anniversary of
Wonderful Moon on Wise + Well.  Readership is growing, and we hope you're checking it out!

W+W on Facebook
Wonderful Moon on W+W
W+W on Instagram
Although I often sprinkle yoga and wellness throughout Moonday, if yoga is all that interests you, you can find the full version of each week's Sphinx Yoga post and related information on WordPress and Facebook.  I use the #SphinxYoga (see also #PeacefuMoon and #WonderfulMoon) hashtag and share regular yoga, fitness, and healthy living updates on the Facebook Sphinx Yoga.

I'm starting to develop a channel on
YouTube and a presence on InstagramWonderful Moon, on the moon and yoga, is published bimonthly in Wise + Well, separated into Moon Wisdom and Yoga Wellness  Go to Life on the drop-down menu to find WM.
Bing Crosby, "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," in Birth of the Blues (1941)

Big Crosby performs "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (Edwards, 1909) in the wartime entertainment, Birth of the Blues (1941).  The musical about the Original Dixieland Jass Band in New Orleans was nominated for an Academy Award for its score and was one of the year's most successful films.  This slideshow sequence evokes early motion pictures when sentimental Tin Pan Alley songs that featured the moon were popular.  The lyrics rhyme moon with June, spoon, croon, tune, honeymoon, and soon.
The just past first quarter moon on Friday afternoon, June 2
The nearly full moon at sunset on June 7
Homemade comic showing the full moon on Friday, June 9, with Saturn
Top left:  The just-past first quarter moon on the afternoon of June 2.

Top right: The nearly full moon at sunset on June 7.  For the "strawberry moon," I was fortunate to include some pink color.

Left:  Fooling around, I made a cartoon that shows a hopefully amusing version of skygazing that helps point out Saturn, which was conjunct the full moon on June 9.  Approaching annual opposition to the sun, Saturn currently is about as bright as it will get this year.

Photos taken with an iPhone camera.  Click to enlarge.
Eyes to the Skies: Skygazing for the Next Two Weeks

Did you see the full moon last weekend?  The moon was gorgeous and golden hued through most of the night.  It’s one of the lowest full moons of the year, which means that atmospheric haze affects the color.  One of the nicknames of the June full moon is the “honeymoon,” both because of its honey color and June weddings.
The moon’s
last quarter arrives on Saturday, June 17.  On clear mornings this week, the waning gibbous and near quarter moon can be seen in the west, heading toward moonset.  The new moon arrives on Friday, June 23, and begins the first lunar month of summer.
For a quick snapshot of the moon phase, I’ve started posting Moon Memes on
Instagram, and sharing them on Facebook.  Pretty much weekly, Moon Memes give heads-up on the coming lunar phase and phenomena such as seasonal change, retrograde Mercury cycles, and other celestial and current events.  See the first meme in the yoga section above; the next posts later this week.

The summer solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21.  Summer begins!  I wrote quite a bit about the solstice in last week’s “
Moon Wisdom: Sagittarian Full Moon and Summer Solstice Magic,” with lore and links in Wise + Well.  In the Yoga Wellness section of Wonderful Moon, a second post will be shared this week on midsummer celebrations, yoga malas, traditional rituals, and street festivals.

Check it out, if you’re looking for ways to share the
solstice energy.  Midsummer has been celebrated since prehistoric times (think Stonehenge).  Even if you're spending time alone, meditation links you, electronically and through consciousness, with the global community.
The year’s longest day falls on the summer solstice.  From our Earthly perspective, because of axial tilt, the sun travels
as far north as possible, to the Tropic of Cancer.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the latest sunsets follow the solstice.  At midsummer, the night doesn’t get that dark, not like the inky black night skies at midwinter (associated with the winter solstice) on the other side of the calendar.

Besides the lingering sunlight and the rising, glowing Milky Way that arches overhead (even if you can't see the band, the stars brighten the night sky) – along with light pollution in most locations, and often the haze of humidity – summer nights are short.  But the skygazing nevertheless often is good.  The extended twilight and atmospheric color make for lovely lunar observations, and the warmer nights make for more comfortable skygazing.

After its wonderful showing
beside the full moon last Friday, Saturn reaches its annual solar opposition in mid-June.  Look for Saturn to rise with dusk above the southern horizon, and earlier as summer continues.  Saturn won’t rise as high as much brighter Jupiter, which reaches its highest point in the sky at nightfall.  But the ringed planet is currently at its closest and brightest with respect to Earth.  Without the moon to point out Saturn, an astronomy app helps.

Next week, before dawn on the mornings before the summer solstice, the
waning crescent moon will be nicely positioned with Venus, the “morning star.”  The moon and Venus, the two brightest night sky objects, come into view early and must be seen early, since sunrise comes early.  Look low on the eastern horizon.
After the new moon on June 23, you may spot the
crescent moon with sunset color over the weekend.  The earliest observation might be on Sunday, June 25, with the thin, young moon low on the western horizon, timed with the latest sunsets of the year.  In this location, the skinny waxing crescent moon doesn't set until after 10 pm.

Happy skygazing!
The Smashing Pumpkins,"Bye June" (1991)
The Smashing Pumpkins sing "Bye June" from their EP, Lull (1991).  The sweet song actually was recorded in 1989 and released on the Moon demo, shortly after their debut album, Gish (1991).  The band continued to be inspired the moon.  Their fabulous, award-winning video for the song "Tonight, Tonight" (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, 1995) lovingly recreates the classic silent science-fiction film, A Trip to the Moon (1902), by Georges Méliès, complete with a man in the moon.  This video is a fan tribute for the song that rhymes moon with June, soon, and too.
Astrological Outlook: June 12-25

 Check out the new moon chart, set for Friday, June 23, 2017, at 10:30 pm EDT, in New York City.  The sun and moon are in Cancer at 2 degrees.
See Genevieve Vierling, the Blue Light Lady, on
Cancer.  She also has a nice recent post on the moon phases, and coping with lunar change, which she calls "basic astrology 101.  What could be easier than looking up into the night sky and seeing whether the moon is shining up there or not?"  I couldn't agree more.

Celebrities who were born with the sun and moon in Cancer include:  Giorgio Armani, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Harrison Ford, Arianna Huffington, Mindy Kaling, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Courtney Love, George Orwell, Jessica Simpson, Henry David Thoreau, Sofia Vergara, Prince William.

  Three things to know about the summer solstice and this moon phase:
1)  If you look at the
summer solstice chart and consider the importance of midsummer as a cardinal point on the wheel of the year, you can see that it’s significant for many reasons.  The summer solstice period is crucially important for human existence (see the current Wonderful Moon on midsummer magic).  Animal survival depends on the summer warmth and rain that enables agriculture.  In the Northern Hemisphere, we feel the life-giving radiance of the sun and new season; in the Southern Hemisphere, the reverse is felt for the winter solstice, when it’s time to hunker down.
The sun enters Cancer, the cardinal water sign.  Mercury is combust (tightly conjunct) the sun, and Mars is close in Cancer.  Mercury and Mars are slightly out of bounds, near the sun and each other in declination as well as zodiacal position.  The solstice occurs near the new moon and Saturn’s annual solar opposition.  The moon that rules Cancer is happy in Taurus, where it’s exalted, and conjunct Venus in its sign of Taurus.  The bonded moon and Venus make friendly angles to Neptune and Pluto, and stir deep feminine goddess energy.
The composite picture for some prognostication of the coming six months shows an emphasis on nurturing, home, and emotional stability that can feel urgent, since there is the slightly off kilter effect of the out-of-bounds planets.  With Mercury conjunct the sun, issues with mind and body, intellect and feelings will be close to consciousness.  Politically issues with national security take precedence with a strong conservative influence – closing borders, fear of outsiders, the opposite of multicultural openness.
Of course, how this affects you personally depends on your unique birth chart.  But for all, since the June solstice closes the first half of the solar year (solstice to solstice), and there is the strong oppositional pull of Saturn, be sure that you're on track with where you intended to be by mid-2017.  Take a long, hard look at what you planned to accomplish after the holidays last year.  Make corrections as necessary or congratulate yourself on your focus.  Then full speed ahead after a taking some quiet time, looking within during the new moon weekend.
2)  Beginning a few days after the solstice, the Cancer lunation shares many of the same influences.  See the
new moon chartThe main difference from the solstice chart is that the moon is super strong in its sign of Cancer.  The moon is the ruler of the sun, Mercury, and Mars, all of which are conjunct.  Venus and Neptune too are in signs they rule, receiving the energy of the other planets.  It's an emotionally warm, receptive, and sensitive to hypersensitive planetary combination.  The emphasis is on water and earth, which hasn’t been typical for fiery 2017.
Over this Cancer lunar month, spend time with your innerscape.  You may or may not be someone who is aware of your feelings or places value in them.  Maybe you brush off moods.  But this is a good time for such “indulgence.”  What’s more important than your soul and checking in with yourself?
For many people, midsummer is down time.  There might be a break in routine because of vacations and slower commerce.  If you can, take a break from routine that weekend (June 24 and 25).  Let your emotions wash over you – and maybe record your reflections.  Try to wrap your verbal to nonverbal mind around it, given the strong influence of Mercury.  Don’t edit or pass judgment.  Free associate words and images, noticing and getting it documented or expressed creatively.  Constructive ways to manifest include making a vision board, keeping a dream diary, writing poems, painting and clay modeling.  Let your mind wander and speak to you.
Move ahead after the crescent moon returns to the night sky on that last Sunday or Monday of this two-week period.  But that’s after you’ve taken time out to restore, renew, and to get in touch with your deep inner (and perhaps outer) mother.  You’ll have something to work with during the first lunation of summer and second half of the solar year.  And the oppositional Saturnine influence wants tangible proof of accomplishment for investment of time.
3)  In terms of aspects, the mid-month Saturn opposition was addressed in the comments above.  Neptune is stationary through June and turns retrograde mid-month.  A subtle influence, it’s one of the reasons that reflection and dreamwork are important in late June.  The strong lunar influence harmonizes with Neptune after the solstice and continues through the first week of July.
Most of this two-week period is spent before the solstice, when Mercury is super strong in its sign of Gemini and moving toward solar conjunction, which occurs on the solstice.  Finish up what you began for the Gemini lunar month, which the moon helps along with a Gemini transit on June 21-23.  Get the mental stuff done.  Then you’ll be ready for the sharp shift with the change of seasons and sorting through emotions.
Mars isn’t all that comfortable in Cancer, its sign of detriment.  But 2017 is so yang that it’s good to go yin with aggression for awhile.  And Venus in Taurus offers plenty of solace.  Come to mama . . . mama Earth!  Although many people take vacations at this time of year, the Cancer lunation is excellent stay-cay time.  Stay close to home geographically, complete household tasks, visit your childhood home.  Or find and return to your roots, what’s essential to you, if headed out of town.

Briefly, on the next two weeks:   
June 12-18:

Monday:  On this transitional, back-to-work day, with the moon passing through Capricorn and entering Aquarius before 8 pm, keep your head down.  Plow through work, emptying your in-box.  Tomorrow you’ll thank yourself for the hard work.
Tuesday:  Good moods abound with lots of air.  This evening, the moon in Aquarius, Mercury in Gemini, and Jupiter in Libra form a grand air trine.  You’ll have ants in your pants, wanting to flit around, chat, and have fun.  Aren’t you glad you concentrated yesterday?
Wednesday:  A disconnect arises between your rational and spiritual sides that will be revisited on Saturday.  Slow down and be patient with those who don’t get it.  Both Mercury and Neptune are strong in their signs and in deep disagreement.  Yoga and meditation, and long nature walks, would do your mind and body a world of good.
Thursday:  Once a year, the sun and Saturn are in opposition, and that day is today.  Be clear and realistic about your goals for 2017.  A parental figure may help resolve difficulties.  Entering Pisces this morning, the moon encourages accord between the genders.
Friday:  This is a dreamy day, perhaps in reaction to yesterday’s sobriety.  The moon conjuncts Neptune through lunchtime.  Can you take the day off?  It’s a great day to unwind and let your mind wander.  Don’t drink and drive.
Saturday (last quarter moon):  Today is betwixt and between.  Neptune turns retrograde, and there is a void moon until mid-afternoon, when the moon enters Aries.  The squared moon phase stirs up the midweek Gemini-Pisces, conscious-unconscious conflict.  Take a deep breath.  Relax.  Look within.  And get your ducks in a row to wind up what you began with the new moon several weeks ago.  Did you get distracted?
Sunday:  Mercury and Saturn still pop up as troublemakers, now in opposition.  It’s the weekend and a beautiful time of year.  Do something different and spontaneous.  Think outside the box and your narrow comfort zone.
June 19-25:
Monday:  This morning, the moon makes favorable aspects for progress.  Take advantage of the wind at your back.  After dinner, the moon enters Taurus to bring emotional stability.
Tuesday:  There is friendly energy between the moon and Mars, Mercury and Uranus, and Venus and Neptune.  A lovely balance of elements offers stability, intelligence, and personal warmth.  Make the most of it, although you might feel inclined toward indolence.
Wednesday (summer solstice):  It’s the first day of summer!  The sun enters Cancer after midnight, and Mercury enters Cancer before dawn.  After its aspects with Venus and Pluto overnight, the moon is void until entering Gemini around 7 pm.  Set aside time for solstice rituals and quietly make the most of the special day.  Is there a prayer or intention you wish to share with the universe?  See above on the solstice.
Thursday:  The solstice concluded the first half of the solar year.  Mindfully use the energy of Mercury combust the sun at this sensitive point on the wheel of the year.  You’re mentally fertile, yet in touch with your emotions since this takes place in Cancer.  Expect to feel thin-skinned.
Friday (new moon):  The moon phase perfects at 10:30 pm, and the moon enters Cancer, joining the sun, Mercury and Mars, at close to 6 pm.  That’s a lot of moon and a lot of water.  As you begin the first lunar month of summer, where do you nurture, and where do you want nurturing?  How do you resolve your self-reliant ego with your dependent, receptive child-self?
Saturday:  Passions are deeply felt with Venus trine Pluto in earth and the strong Cancerian lunar influence.  Do something sensual that isn't overly self-indulgent.  You might feel deep tactile rapport with someone close to you.
Sunday:  The soft yielding energy of the last few days tightens up and turns aggressive, particularly after the moon enters Leo around dinnertime.  As you begin to snap out of it, watch out for hypersensitivity and a sharp tongue.
Don't know your moon sign?  No problem.  Use Astrolabe's FREE chart calculator.

The three most important positions for understanding your natal horoscope are the degrees of the sun and moon signs and of the ascendant or rising sign.  For the latter, the time and location of your birth are required, as well as the date.  The more specific you can be, the better.

The June masthead image is "Wandering Shadows" (July 22, 2012), shot by Greg Diesel Walck​, and included in his Fine Art Photography album on Facebook.  The radiant image appears to be of the setting sun, about a month after the solstice.  The photograph probably was taken near the sound on the NC coast.

The original creative work included here was used with permission by Greg Diesel Walck and Unearthed Comics by Sara Zimmerman.  Thank you!

For Sphinx Yoga on
WordPress and Facebook, I'm usually shown with a lunar phase towel by Yoga ZealRachel Gonen has yoga mats, towels, and other accessories available, often with beautiful celestial graphics, for sale on Amazon and etsy.

Geek Out with Lunar and Solar Eclipse 2017 Reference Links

EarthSkyThe Moon in 2017 and Understanding Moon Phases
From EarthSky:  Dates the Sun Enters the Zodiac Constellations in 2017
From NASA SVSDial-a-Moon and Moon Phases for 2017
Moon Infographic and Moon Master quiz
U.S. Navy Astronomical ApplicationsWhat the Moon Looks Like Now
From Scientific AmericanWithout the Moon, Would There Be Life on Earth?
August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse Links:  Great American Eclipse, Eclipse 2017

From Fred Espenak, a scientist emeritus at Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA's "Mr. Eclipse": "The moon’s orbit stabilizes the axial tilt of Earth, preventing it from undergoing chaotic variations that would lead to catastrophic changes in climate. And the daily rise and fall of moon-induced tides has left an indelible imprint on Earth. Some scientists even argue whether life on Earth would be possible without the influence of the moon."
astra inclinant, sed non obligant: the stars incline us, they do not bind us

Copyright © 2017 Sphinx Yoga, All rights reserved.

Wow, can you believe there is so much to say about the moon?  Many thanks for making it all the way down, past the acknowledgements, links, Latin and legal stuff.  Helpful comments, corrections and suggestions on
Facebook are always appreciated.  Hope to see you in two weeks!

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