Tonight is the Taurus New Moon (April 21). To those who follow the stars, this one is when the Sun enters Taurus. That is a time to bring us back to our senses and an invitation to celebrate our body and the natural world.

Fittingly, it move us into Earth Day tomorrow.

This is the lunar phase when the Moon lies between Earth and the Sun, and is therefore in conjunction with the Sun as seen from Earth.  The dark side of the moon (cue up the music here) faces almost directly toward Earth, so that the Moon is not visible to the naked eye.

Right now, the earth in Paradelle is rather dry after a warm winter and mild spring, but rain is moving in. This week I can see that the ground will be moist, fertile, and fragrant. The  with the rich scent of lily of the valley has started blooming and and lilacs are ready to send out their perfume.

The Sun and Moon are conjunct (fused) with Ceres in Taurus. In mythology Ceres (the Greek Demeter) was the mother of Persephone and goddess of agriculture and the harvest. She gave humanity two gifts: grain and the Eleusinian Rites. She was worshiped as the all-nourishing mother. In 2006 the asteroid Ceres was elevated to a dwarf planet.

If you are into astrology, her presence in the chart of the New Moon reminds us to honor Mother Earth and do whatever we can to live in harmony with nature.

Jupiter is also currently in Taurus, and that makes four planets in the sign of the bull. Plus, Mars is in Virgo and Pluto is in Capricorn. Six planets in that night sky to observe. I will grab my iPad with its Star Walk app tonight and, even if the sky is cloudy, I will gaze up at all of them.

The New Moon is also known as the Dark Moon. Amongst the Druids and other ancients, the ight of the New Moon is a solemn occasion, calling for vigils and meditation. (Unlike the Full Moon nights which are a time of rejoicing.)  To the Druids, the new moon is feminine energy at its peak in the absence of masculine energy. The feminine is the receptor of the seed and the womb of the newborn. An excellent time to “plant a seed” whether it be in the soil, or more figuratively in a spiritual beginning.

In the Hindu calendar, people generally wait for new moon to start new works. And the new moon is the beginning of the month in the Chinese calendar. Some Buddhist Chinese keep a vegetarian diet on the new moon and full moon each month.