Sometime around the winter solstice, the Moon is usually full or almost so, and positioned in the sky directly over the constellation Orion on the ecliptic. This occurs in the tropical zodiac at 21° Gemini 0′, and at my location in western Massachusetts, at about 8:44 pm (EST).
You should double-check your local listings to confirm.
In the Mansions of the Moon as I learned about them from Christopher Warnock, this Mansion is the Seventh. Called Al-Dhira (“the Forearm”), and associated with the Arabic letter qäf, it’s associated with the two stars Castor and Pollux, the heads of the Gemini twins. But what if we instead thought of this place as the Divine Throne? Not the place where the gemini twins sit, but the place where Orion, the king of the winter sky, sits with his psychic and feminine head, hearing petitions and receiving the requests of the world below, his twin children seated before the throne, all three heads acting as one in taking counsel and communicating as though of one mind? Here we find success in business and in trade, find abundance of wealth and plenty, and find achievement in all endeavors: simply learn to pray for positive results, and they will come to you.
And I note, too, that if one follows Sidereal astrology, then this is not the Seventh Mansion of Scheliel, but the Fifth Mansion, Al-Hakah (“the white spot”) where the three small stars of the head of Orion will be obscured on the night of the 21st. Here, according to Warnock, is found the energy of the Mind of the Universe, manifest in the intellect of each person, and the power of perfect intellect perfectly applied to all manner of dilemmas. Here, we receive good things from the king and his councilors, learn new arts and occupations, travel safely, and for favor between man and women. (My poems for the Mansions of the Moon are here)
When the Sun is in this place, in late May, it’s about to cross the line of the Summer Solstice… not for nothing does Austin Coppock’s Thirty-Six Faces associate this Decan (Gemini III) with the executioner’s sword: Orion is about to lose his head as the summer comes in! And here — for ONE! NIGHT! ONLY! — Orion wears the Moon like a crown (or perhaps it would be better to say that this one night, of all nights, the Moon will take on the form and image of the Winter Hunter, stalking prey across the night sky with one shining face turned to the west, her dark tresses turned away from the east and from the heavens, her thoughts wholly directed at mortal concerns. (My poems for the Decans are here.)
If Gordon is right, about Orion’s place in the songlines of Australia and Gobekli Tepe and Egypt, then this night is certainly a night for the Rite of the Headless One. Failing that, there’s some poetry I cooked up for the night each when Orion wears the full Moon…
For Orion in Winter
When the Moon is in Gemini above Orion
Hail to you, Moon, the Huntsman’s winter crown,
as you become Orion’s shining face!
When winter starts, your rays come streaming down
and twilight seems to bear a difference grace.
Our breath steams like incense cloud in the dark;
wood-smoke from chimneys cleaves sharp in the breeze
and barking dogs herald your procession.
The lilac stands bare; no leaves shield the lark —
who fled south some weeks back; no rest nor ease
for those who remain: death’s a harsh lesson.
Orion, hail — as you stride heaven’s ways,
crossing the sky from one night to the next
until you hid in the Sun’s golden rays.
You watch over all, both blessed and hexed,
and show good hunters the animal trails
to any that have eyes and choose to see!
Behold: secret rites of foxes and quails,
the hawk’s winter chants, and bear’s drowsy growl,
and you… looking down, tall as maple tree.
Hail, Headless One, headed into winter,
blessed with wiles like the feminine Moon!
You stand tall, though the Sun’s strength is fainter;
and to your face I ask your help, and boon —
that you stand between me and frigid Night,
that food be in my larder and my guts,
and the house be warm, and cheerful, and dry.
Thse are the presents in which we delight,
though other gifts a man quickly forgets —
your help wins our praise as snow starts to fly!
And so, I hope you find reason enough to celebrate the Winter Hunter striding across the night’s winter sky. You’re joining in a celebration that’s something like 40,000 years old, even if we’ve missed it every once in a while.