Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. Her work has been translated into several languages. She teaches workshops on the sacred feminine, dreams, symbols and mythology. Each year she leads a tour to Egypt.
Read my interview with MysticMag.com by Miguel Amado. WE discussed a range of topics, including astrology and Tarot and my life long connection to Egypt. Miguel asked thoughtful questions and it was a great exchange.
The Universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Eden Phillpots
Death, and what awaits us when we depart physical existence, are among humanity’s greatest mysteries and most profound questions, perhaps second only to where we came from and why we are here. Most people believe that earthly life is not the end and that some aspect of our soul or spirit continues after death. Dreams are one of the ways we can move back and forth between the veil that separates the visible world from the unseen realm.
Sometimes dreamers encounter deceased loved ones in dreams. While this may be symbolic in terms of what the deceased person represents character-wise, often these are real meetings. Many people have also reported visits in dreams from relatives at the moment of death, as if they are stopping by to say goodbye. These powerful experiences often help with loss and grief.
On the last day of October, we celebrate Halloween, Samhain, All Hallows Eve, or All Souls Day, depending on the tradition. Samhain is pronounced “sowen,” and in the ancient Celtic language meant Hallow tide. This was the Celtic new year and was the time set aside to honor the dead and to pay attention to all the manifestations of the thinning veil.
The history of Halloween stems from the Celts, and we have to peer back in time nearly 6,000 years to trace the shadowy origins. Halloween and Thanksgiving have the same root origin, and their purpose is to celebrate the harvest before the cold and dark of winter. Millennia ago the year began on the date we now call October 31, after the third and final harvest, midway between autumn equinox and winter solstice.
In the modern world, winter’s dark and cold are illuminated by artificial light and warmed by generated heat, so the conscious passage of this season is less dramatic. Because we are insulated, we lose touch with the darkness and its part in the shifting rhythm of life. Prayers for the dead and activities to honor and communicate with ancestors are common activities at this time in cultures around the world. Leaving an ancestor’s plate on the table is the origin of the treat part of Halloween. The trick part came much later before World War II and was called Mischief Night. Therefore, modern celebrations of Halloween include ghosts, goblins, witches and costumes and well as “tricks and treats.” Carved pumpkins with scary faces and candles inside were meant to scare off evil spirits.
All of these symbols and activities are remnants of practices that have to do with engaging and interacting with the unseen realm. The same is true with dream work and making the most of our dream time can be enhanced at this time of year because of the thinning veil that separates the worlds. In truth it is more that our frequency is heightened, allowing us to perceive energy that we normally don’t sense.
What does all of this have to do with dreams you might ask? This time of year, when the annual turning of the wheel presents an opening to the spirit world, and the veil between the visible and unseen world thins, provides a more open portal to communicate with beings no longer in form. Likewise, the ability to receive messages through this opening is enhanced and dream messages may be more pronounced.
Setting time aside for dream work that has to do with those who have passed on can yield huge dividends in forgiveness, release, and surrender. Some dream fragments are actually memories of our own nighttime travels in the spirit domain and at this time of year dreams are often more intense. Dream symbolism may relate to unfinished business. Unspoken communication with deceased loved ones can work to resolve Karma that is still in operation and may be draining resources and growth in waking life.
Another benefit of working consciously with the parting of the veil near Halloween is a heightened ability to communicate with our own spirit guides. If we take advantage of the opening, our guides will speak to us through dreams. This is almost the opposite of the old axiom about making hay while the sun shines. Here we are doing deep work that can only be done in the “darkness” of our psyche while the soul is in charge rather than the less-evolved personality. Getting serious about your dream journal, and remembering to ask important questions before you sleep, offers opportunity for an abundant harvest of personal growth.
Light a candle, set an intention, and expect a powerful dream.
“These are times of great change that seem surreal on many levels. Amidst the cacophony of the shifting, we can choose to anchor deeply in the core of it all … and look up at the stars.” Candace Newman, author Your Inner River of Peace
When I read Candace’s quote in a recent email, I knew her words were powerful and significant, but until today I didn’t recognize that her message was also prophetic.
Last night (July 7, 2021, 8:47 PM PDT)) as I gazed spellbound at a dark sky in Northern California, awestruck by the spectacular Venus-Mars conjunction, a 5.7 earthquake rocked an area about 100 miles north. In that moment I was unaware of the quake. Today, a 6.0 earthquake shook an area near Tahoe (July 8, 2021, 3:50 PM PDT), a similar distance away but in a different direction.
This time we heard loud and continuous rumbling like thunder and felt the Earth move under our feet. Only a couple of objects fell, so we were unharmed with no damage, yet I was profoundly shaken. From our perspective in that moment, the quake came without warning—the sudden and shattering energy of Uranus. When we checked the USGS earthquake site, we learned more about the quakes. The 6.0 quake was big news in Calaveras County, California and became the headline story on the local website.
I was moved by what I felt physically in a way that is difficult to explain even though I have heard and read many reports of how people are affected by earthquakes. Of course, our experience was mild compared to stronger and more damaging quakes, but my emotional response was visceral and seemed out of proportion to my experience. Hours later I still felt my own aftershocks.
As I endeavor to process this first-in-a-lifetime experience, I still feel the sense of residual “shock” that nothing in the physical world is secure. I had been working on the astrology chart for the New Moon (July 9, 2021, 6:16 PM PDT) and was reflecting on certain powerful configurations, wondering what they indicated. The words for this blog and my bi-monthly newsletter wouldn’t come–I realize now that the earth had to move first to awaken a deeper awareness.
The astrology of the last few days has been potent: Saturn opposes the Venus/Mars conjunction, and Uranus squares all three, forming a fixed T-cross aspect. In hindsight that seems to be a perfect earthquake aspect for this area with Uranus at the bottom of the chart at the roots. Neptune also made a square to the conjunction between the Moon and Mercury in the chart of the first quake. In the second chart the next day, the Moon moved almost out of orb of the conjunction with Mercury to form a trine aspect with Neptune, while the difficult T-cross remains.
As I finish this blog on July 9, 2021, the Moon is moving to conjoin the Sun tonight—the New Moon in Cancer. The conjunction opposes Pluto, signaling the potential for transformation. As earthquakes shook northern California, tropical storm Elsa was growing into a potential hurricane on the east coast. The Sun/Moon makes a trine aspect to Neptune in Pisces, increasing emotional energy and perhaps bring the tropical storm to hurricane force. And the T-cross remains with Uranus connecting to most of the planets in the New Moon chart. The New Moon chart is characterized by the shattering energy of Uranus.
It’s a powerful time on the planet, and my brief but deeply unsettling experience of the ground moving beneath my feet, accompanied by a roar like thunder, was minor compared with the degree of shifting and changing that is happening in the wider world. It is a good time to take an inventory of our blessings and be thankful for what matters most.
As Candace Newman said in her quote at the beginning, we do have a choice. Even though the earth moves and shifts beneath us, and the world changes before our eyes, we can strengthen our footing through intention and symbolically cast our anchor into the deep heart of the Earth. Before the day ends, we can go out and gaze upward at the stars during the dark time of this New Moon. The sight of the brilliant conjunction of Venus and Mars reminds us that we are part of something vastly larger than ourselves. Security in the outer world is never guaranteed, but the everlasting Light and Love that is the Source of all can guide and protect us through challenges that test our courage.
Calaveras County, July 9, 2021 Venus/Mars conjunction: image credit Roen Kelly, Astronomy.com (Astronomy Magazine)
“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.” Rumi
A little over a year ago I woke on a snowy morning as the world imploded in the midst of a global pandemic. I had just been laid off from my part-time job because of COVID-19 and I was really worried about finances. On that March morning near spring equinox as we entered lock down, worst case scenarios were being examined and the situation was grim. I felt the world would never be the same. As I look back the world has changed dramatically, but so have I through the journey of this year.
On that snowy morning I woke from a vivid dream that felt like a “call.” I titled the dream Messenger Bag. In the dream I carried every bit of my work, wallet, worth, and identity in a saddle-colored Messenger Bag. Historically, these bags have been used by Roman legionnaires, army medics, electronics repair people, and college students. Messenger bags are still in widespread use by letter carriers, who rode horses in earlier times, then bicycles, and now trucks, faithfully carrying their messages.
The Messenger bag contained every bit of my life’s work past, present, and future. My first book was titled Messengers, so the symbol had layers of meaning. In the dream I kept putting the heavy bag down, and forgetting to take it with me, as I searched in the dream for a way to get fed. The simple interpretation was I had a great deal of work that needed attention and shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. In answer to what felt like a clarion call of guidance I turned eighty of my two decades of Atlantis Rising articles into a two-volume Sky Lore Anthology.
And then, I began a new book—Symbol & Synchronicity: Learning the Soul’s Language. The journey of this book began in earnest before I fully understood what the task would entail; but that is the way of a quest. If we knew when we set out what we would face after we cross the threshold we might lose courage. There are always dark times of doubt as well as powerful moments of guidance and miraculous inspiration. My journey through this book has been characterized by both, but I have experienced firsthand the potential for transformation the process contains. I am not the same person who set out on this journey a year ago.
The journey has taken me from theory to practice in a powerful way. As I finished the first draft and looked back, I knew with a deep sense of wonder that what I had written was indeed a journey that connected inner space with my outer world. Indeed, I feel that the larger purpose of this book, and the profound journey the writing has taken, have made clear to me the power of dreams as guides on our spiritual path. Once we know that we walk this Path with the humble heart of a true pilgrim, dreams become like beacons, milestones, markers along the way.
Over the course of writing this book I had roughly two dozen dreams that I recalled in the morning, recorded, and worked with—some more than others. There were other dream fragments, but they slipped away as I woke, and maybe only one symbol remained. As significant dreams occurred, at what would later be revealed as critical moments, I faced my core issues and did my best to apply what I was learning. Overcoming self-doubt, and gaining courage and confidence, were key to my progress. The journey of the book has been the metaphor for the lessons of my life and the dreams have chronicled the steps.
After a year’s journey, next month I will begin a crowd funding campaign to finance the publishing of the book. I find that prospect to be one more intense test of courage and confidence. But my faith and heart are stronger, and I feel ready to face the challenge. Stay tuned for the next stage of the journey, and thanks so much for your comradeship along the way.
“For the present is the point where time touches eternity.” C.S. Lewis
Earth wobbles as she spins and circles the Sun. This wobble is caused by the pull of gravity from the Sun and other objects in the Solar System, and the result causes our view of the sky to slowly change over thousands of years. In astronomy, this motion is known as axial precession, causing the sky to shift over time at the rate of one degree of arc every 72 years. In astrology this slow motion causes different stars to rise ahead of the Sun at spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, which marks the passage of the astrological ages.
Called the Great Year, and composed of twelve cosmic months that are the astrological ages, this cycle lasts roughly 26,000 years. The points of reference for this backward motion, called Precession of the Equinoxes, are the zodiac constellations that form the ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path. Each age is about 2,160 years and we are now passing from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. This cycle is called precession because the motion is in the opposite direction from the Sun’s apparent direction through the zodiac in a year.
Another result of the wobble, which creates another frame of reference, occurs at the poles. Like a spinning top Earth’s axis causes an imaginary circle to be traced in the sky by the poles. As the orientation of the north pole shifts relative to the circumpolar stars, a different North Star moves into position. 12,000 years ago, the star Thuban, brightest star in the constellation of Draco, the Dragon, was the pole star.
A great wheel also exists at the heart of the Hindu tradition in phases that are called yugas. The Greeks and Romans had ages that ranged from an idyllic Golden Age that descended over thousands of years into the Iron Age. The changing of ages has long cusps, or transitional periods, and there are no precise demarcations of the circle where one influence stops and a new one begins. The duration of an astrological age is characterized by the archetypal energies of the constellation whose stars rise before the Sun at spring equinox dawn. We can only look back in time to sense approximately which archetype held sway and what experience humanity drew from to unfold our emerging pattern. The Age of Pisces, the Fishes, began about 2,000 years ago and has been marked by symbols and icons of fish.
Each phase of the Great Year is like a month, possessing a distinct and overarching quality of experience. The ages can be seen as spokes of the cosmic wheel, presenting a phase shift of archetypal energy designed to provide an evolutionary school room for developing humanity. Since the great cycle of the ages is a repeating pattern, perhaps we can learn something about our present and future from a better understanding of the past. What follows are brief reflections on past ages and a short look ahead to the Age of Aquarius. Next month I will explore that topic in more detail.
(Note: The dates given below are approximations, and the decidedly arbitrary lengths of the ages are arrived at by dividing the Great Year by twelve. Many believe the Age of Aquarius has already begun).
Age of Leo – 10,600 BCE – 8440 BCE
The age of Leo may have been the mythical golden age referred to in many ancient legends. The date generally accepted as the final destruction of Atlantis correlates with the timeframe for the age of Leo. According to certain occult traditions Atlantean civilization reached its zenith during this age of kings and also failed whatever tests were presented. Symbolically, humanity’s task during this age was finding the light within, learning self-rule rather than being subject to external authority. All the legends of Atlantis point to the fact that this lesson was not fully learned or integrated. The astronomy work of researchers Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock convincingly argue that the Great Sphinx of Egypt was a lion that mirrored the sky and the constellation of Leo at this time.
Age of Cancer – 8440 BCE – 6280 BCE
Symbolically the oceans of Cancer swallowed up the external evidence of ancient cultures, but new discoveries in Turkey and India, dating to 11,000 years ago, are pushing back the generally accepted dates and ideas about the sophistication of civilizations that existed at this time. The evolutionary lesson for the age of Cancer related to new ideas about home and tribe. After the destruction of Atlantis humanity’s relationship with technology was stripped away and the simple values of the hearth and heart and growing food became the central focus.
Age of Gemini – 6280 BCE – 4120 BCE
Scholars believe this period was characterized by widespread migrations, which is a very Gemini theme. From a post-flood simplicity cultures expanded and spread out, perhaps in many cases as hunter gatherers. Mythically deities were twins, brothers and sisters, during this time. Shadowy origins of pre-dynastic Egypt puzzle researches as a brilliant and complex civilization seems to have sprung full blown from the sands of the desert. Historically the links have been missing, but ongoing discoveries are filling in the blanks. The lessons of the age of Gemini involved making new connections and reintroducing the curious rational mind into the repertoire of skills.
Age of Taurus – 4120 BCE – 1960 BCE
During the age of Taurus the Bull, Minotaurs, Apis bulls, and the Bull of Heaven dominated myth and iconography. Conventional wisdom declares this to be a time of primarily agricultural societies where the domestication of cattle and the mastery of the element of earth is displayed through an emphasis on fertility. Farming and centralized settlements reemerged. In what seems to be a stunning contradiction this period saw the Dynastic period in Egypt where monumental temples and tombs were built. The lessons of the age of Taurus involved humanity’s relationship with the physical world and possessions. Greed versus generosity were themes.
Age of Aries – 1960 BCE – 200 CE
Next the march of ages brought the ram-headed god Khnum of Egypt to the stellar throne. This period might be described as an age of heroes as the “lamb” was ritually slain and the mythic focus turned to conquest and a glorification of war. In this period sons became more important than daughters and inheritance through the male line replaced matrilineal succession. By 330 BCE Alexander’s conquests had established Greece as a major power and the force that seemed to provide the container for “modern” civilization. The lessons of the age of Aries included such positive characteristics as valor and such negative qualities as brutality and mindless exploitation and domination.
Age of Pisces – 200 CE – 2400 CE
The age of Pisces has seen the emergence of hierarchy in organized religion and the growth of monastic orders, following the pattern of the ill-named Holy Roman Empire. After the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE what became Christianity began to emerge. By 200 CE this thrust was well entrenched and we have seen increasing industrialization of parts of the world with the centralization of wealth. In the age the lamb of god became the fisher of men. The archetype of suffering has hopefully provided a schoolroom for humanity to become more compassionate.
If Aries is the first sign in the forward motion of the zodiac, then moving in the reverse direction of Precession Aries would complete a cycle. Therefore, the age of Pisces the twelfth sign, would have commenced a whole new cycle of precession. That we started counting time again two millennia ago might be seen as confirmation of this.
Age of Aquarius – 2400 CE – 4560 CE
From the disappearance of Atlantis nearly 13,000 years ago we have moved half way around the wheel of precession. This opposition of signs may well bring the ascension of sunken Atlantis, symbolically if not literally, in terms of reclaimed knowledge. Our understanding of how far back our story goes will be ascertained. As we approach the much-heralded age of Aquarius, the stars of the Water Bearer will replace those of the Fishes. At some point a new archetype for the Aquarian age will emerge and the diversity of this expression can already be witnessed in young people around the world. At the least we can expect a greater degree of scientific detachment. The already exponential growth of technology will continue, and early examples of this are electricity, space travel, and the Internet. The lessons of this age are similar to that of Atlantis; will the enlightened use of technology be used in service of the collective, or will unleashed forces destroy us again?If we learn us lessons in the new age we will travel to the stars and meet the other beings who live there.
Check in next month for a more detailed exploration of the Age of Aquarius.
Author & Speaker: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World