The International Priory of The Knights Hospitaller Templar News Letter
Greetings Sisters & Brothers happy news for OIO as Soror Rana has joined our ranks and become a Celestite and has made a start on the Great Work proper. Wonderful news. She has also been promoted to the rank Seneschal of Sweden. We also welcome Alastair James Chambers CHT to our Outer Order.
This month we celebrate St Joseph of Arimathea Day on the 17th March. We will be holding a Celtic Gnostic Mass dedicated to him. Also this month we hold a special ceremony within OIO for Vernal Spring Equinox on the 21st March.
This month we also remember Ben De Mond on the 10th March, which is a year since he was tragically taken from us all.
Vernal Spring Equinox is a date that most of us recognize as symbolic of changing seasons. As we welcome spring, people south of the equator are actually gearing up for the cooler temperatures of autumn. The Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox. Translated literally, equinox means "equal night." Because the Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes.
These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.
Modern astronomy aside, people have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also probably no coincidence that early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the vernal equinox.
The first day of spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebration lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zoroastrianism.
For ourselves this ceremony is one of the most important of the year. A special lengthy ceremony is preformed and we ask our group Egregore to give us information for the following 6 months.
We are now in Pisces and seeing as I am the Guardian of Pisces I will be talking a little about Pisces.
"Pisces" is the Latin word for "Fishes". It is one of the earliest zodiac signs on record, with the two fish appearing as far back as c. 2300 BCE on an Egyptian coffin lid. Although used to represent the Goddess much further back into herstory because of its association with the Vesica Piscis.
Here is an animation showing how the Pisces symbol converts into the Vesica Piscis.
According to ancient prophesies a new era will be brought forth when a female born under Pisces within the royal Serpent line, brings forth hope in every nation of the Earth at a time when the great truths are being revealed. She leads them forward towards Aquarius, and leaves behind the dying God of Pisces.
Many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fish. The figure Christ himself bears many of the temperaments and personality traits of a Pisces, and is thus considered an archetype of the Piscean. Moreover, the twelve apostles were called the "fishers of men," early Christians called themselves "little fishes," and a code word for Jesus was the Greek word for fish, "Ikhthues". With this, the start of the age, or the "Great Month of Pisces" is regarded as the beginning of the Christian religion. Saint Peter is recognized as the apostle of the Piscean sign.
Pisces has been called the "dying god," where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary. When Jesus was asked by his disciples where the next Passover would be, he replied to them:
Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a water bearer pouring out water from a pitcher... follow them into the house where they entereth in.
—Jesus, Luke 22:10
This coincides with the changing of the ages, into the Age of Aquarius, as the personification of the constellation of Aquarius is a water bearer pouring out water from a pitcher, the water representing enlightenment for the people in the new age.
One Greek myth, Pisces represents the fish into which Aphrodite (also considered Venus) and her son Eros (also considered Cupid) transformed in order to escape the monster Typhon. Typhon, the "father of all monsters" had been sent by Gaia to attack the gods, which led Pan to warn the others before himself changing into a goat-fish and jumping into the Euphrates. A similar myth, one which the fish "Pisces" carry Aphrodite and her son out of danger, is resounded in Manilius' five volume poetic work Astronomica: "Venus ow'd her safety to their Shape." Another myth is that an egg fell into the Euphrates river. It was then rolled to the shore by fishes. Doves sat on the egg until it hatched, out from which came Aphrodite (This is the origin of Easter eggs). As a sign of gratitude towards the fishes, Aphrodite put the fish into the night sky. Because of these myths, the Pisces constellation was also known as "Venus et Cupido," "Venus Syria cum Cupidine," Venus cum Adone," "Dione," and "Veneris Mater," the latter being the formal Latin term for mother.
The Greek myth on the origin of the sign of Pisces has been cited as an example of the fables that arose from the original astrological doctrine, and that the original intent of it was afterwards corrupted both by poets and priests.
While the astrological sign Pisces per definition runs from elliptical longitude 330° to 0°, this position is now mostly covered by the constellation of Aquarius, due to the precession from when the constellation and the sign coincided. Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox is in the Pisces constellation. There are no prominent stars in the constellation, with the brightest stars being of only fourth magnitude. One star in the constellation, Alpha Piscium, is also known as Alrescha which comes from the Arabic الرشآء al-rišā’, meaning "the well rope," or "the cord." Ptolemy described Alpha Piscium as the point where the cords joining the two fish are knotted together. The astrological symbol shows the two fishes captured by a string, typically by the tails. The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature. The Piscean is seen as the most balanced of all the star signs. Which is why the two fishes are often shown in a ying yang formation. The fish facing upwards away from the ecliptic is swimming towards the heavens, or is seeking spiritual illumination. The other fish swims along the ecliptic, concerning itself with material matters. Pisces is also sometimes represented as two dolphins or mermaids. The Pisces being the most watery of all water signs, the sea is their domain and at times a Piscean can feel they are not of the Earth, but we are not talking about another planet, just that they would feel much happier swimming or boating, than on dry land.
In esoteric astrology, Venus was considered the ruler of Pisces, and prior to the discovery of Neptune in 1846, Jupiter was said to rule Pisces. Neptune is mostly considered the ruling planet of Pisces today because of the association with the Roman god of water and the sea, Neptune. The detriment, or the sign "opposite" to that which is deemed the ruling planet, is Mercury. Venus is exalted in Pisces, and Mercury falls in Pisces.
The enchanting and mysterious Pisces is the sign of the psychic. In tune with the synchronicities of the Earth and universe and very intuitive, Pisces is also a natural healer. A pleasure to bestow as a friend or partner, yet difficult to understand, Pisces is sure to continually keep you guessing. They have a strong tendency to give more than they ask of their acquaintances, are intensely loyal and tend to connect with other like minded spirits.
Pisces, were born on this planet with that famous intuition that rarely lets them down. These traits which are abundant within a Pisces person come as no surprise - Pisces is the child of Neptune, the planet of altered states. Neptune is known for dissolving boundaries, and because Neptune is the "patron planet" of Pisces, that gift has been passed along to them.
Pisces are often found getting lost within a movie, a magical moment or fantasy, and often leave the harshness of reality behind whenever the need arises. This is truly a great gift to bestow.
Pisces is also the most in tune with emotions of the signs, hands down. Nobody can "feel" things the way a Pisces can - a Pisces seems to know what it feels like to break a leg, even if they've never broken one. They can walk into a room and instantly feel the vibe, and have no problem interpreting the negative or positive energies emitting from people and experiences. Their incredible intuition often leaves them the kind of insights that will make you assume they can read your mind, and they often can.
When a Pisces goes against their instincts, it's normally not a positive result. Pisces people need to remember their ability to see things for what they truly are, and to follow those instincts because they will rarely lead them astray.
Pisces Traits : The proverbial dreamers of the Zodiac, the Pisces or the Fish are lovely, mystical, compassionate beings. In the positive manifestation of their personalities, they can be the dream-lovers or partners. But, alas! Many a Fish is prone to keep swimming downstream, without even trying to face the current upstream, a trait that may get them labelled as lazy, laid-back, submissive, escapist or pessimistic. Owing to the same, the Fish may be given to excesses in life, and they run the risk of losing themselves either epicurean worlds or a wasted, deprived state. Also, unlike the common perception, the Pisces can be quite fixed or stubborn. On the whole, the Pisces individuals are sensitive, emotional, creative to the core, profound and intuitive. And, they carry a mystical allure that draws many a sceptic towards them!
Ruling Planets : Venus, Jupiter and Neptune.
Lucky Day : Thursday.
Lucky Numbers : 3, 7, 11
Lucky Colours : Mauve, Lilac, Purple, Violet, Sea green, Aqua.
Lucky Crystals : Aquamarine, Sapphire, Amethyst, Moonstone.
Animal Guides : Dolphin, Fishes, Otter.
Tree : Willow, Cherry Blossom.
Flower : Water lily, Lotus, Freesia.
Gods/Goddesses : Neptune, Venus, Hecate.
Chakra : 7th, crown chakra.
Mythical Creatures : Mermaids, Sirens, Sea Serpents, Sea Dragons.
Tarot Card : The Moon.
Pisces Appearance : Big dreamy mystical eyes, full sensuous lips, lovely feet, broad set.
Positive Qualities of Pisces : Emotion, Sensitivity, Delicate structure and behaviour, Compassion, Love and care for the world, Submission, Creativity, Intuitiveness.
Negative Qualities of Pisces : Prone to gloom and melancholy, Pessimism, Forgetful.
Possible health concerns : The Pisces natives must avoid or steer clear of addictions or overindulgences of all kinds. Some of the ailments, which may plague the Pisces are foot related such as bunions, bone spurs and heal bruising/pain. Pisces can find they have problems with liver and lymphatics, and its subjects can be threatened by anaemia, boils, ulcers and other skin diseases, especially inflammation of the eyelids, gout, inflammation, heavy periods and foot disorders and lameness. Forgetfulness can also be a bane of the Pisces, even to the point of resembling some forms of insanity. They often forget simple silly things, like to put on some socks or boil the kettle before pouring (often due to their constant daydream as they go about their normal everyday business), yet they can remember every detail of a conversation. Lack of sleep is most harmful to them, hence Pisces natives should always ensure that they take adequate sleep and rest.
Compatible signs : Taurus, Cancer, Capricorn and Pisces.
Famous Personalities : Nicolaus Copernicus, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Elizabeth Taylor, Jon Bon Jovi, Drew Barrymore, Rihanna, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Kurt Cobain, Sir Elton John, Michael Caine, Warren Beatty, Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rob Lowe, Alexander Graham Bell, Robert Downey Jr.
Choose a time when the Moon is in Pisces to perform magick related to any of the following:
Astral projection, dreaming, freedom, the release of prisoners, exploring genetic memory, and anything related to psychic awareness or psychic powers, also creative pursuits, especially music and dance.
That is all for this month.