The Two Zodiacs: Tropical (based on Seasons) and Sidereal (based on Constellations)

TROPICAL or SEASONAL ZODIAC

versus

SIDEREAL or STARS ZODIAC

THE PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES

Celestial Planisphere

Celestial Planisphere

A difficulty the beginner encounters (and a weapon in the hands of Astrology’s critics) is the fact that in Astrology not only we use the ancient Earth centered world view but, on top of that, we use a yearly Zodiac (the twelve Signs) that doesn’t much anymore the stars patters known by the same names.

So we say, for instance, that the Sign Aries heralds the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere and the Autumn Equinox in the southern hemisphere. We should know though (and we do!) that the Aries constellation (group of stars) is not anymore found with the Sun at the Spring/Autumn Equinox the 20th/21st of March every year.

Once upon a time (about 2000 years ago) the constellation of Aries did indeed rise and set with the Sun around the 21st of March every year. At present instead it is the constellation of Aquarius which rises and sets with the Sun at this time.

This discrepancy is due to the so called Precession of the Equinoxes (discovered by the Greek astronomer/astrologer Hipparchus of Nicea – 190/120 BC).

What Hipparchus discovered is that the constellations are not fixed, as the astronomers before him believed, but that they slowly shift in a backward motion (when compared with our own orbital motion) at the rate of one degree every 72 years. The slowness of this motion is the reason why it escaped the attention of numerous observers for many centuries.

The motion itself is now scientifically explained by modern astronomers as due to a wobble of our planet. The Earth isn’t a perfect sphere but it has rather the shape of a mandarin, flat at the top and bottom (polar regions) and bulgy at the Equator. The combined forces of Moon and Sun’s gravity make the Earth gyrate like a spinning top, so that, to keep its relative position in space, the Earth has to make a wobbling motion. This wobble causes the planet to regress 50 seconds of arc (less than a minute of arc) every year. Therefore, after completing its orbit around the Sun every year, the Earth doesn’t return to the same relative position in space, but 50 seconds of Celestial Longitude earlier. 50 seconds added up make a whole degree in about 72 years.

The total period of Precession (a complete round of 360 degrees) lasts 26.000 years. During this time the South and North Poles both describe a complete circle in space.

So, while now, for instance, we look upon the star Polaris (in the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear) as the northernmost star, the closest to the North Pole, in 3.000 BC the star Alpha Draconis (in the constellation of Draco, the Dragon) would have been the closest to the North Pole. In 7.500 AD the star Alpha Cephei (in the constellation of Cetus, the Whale) would be our choice; in 14.000 AD the star Vega (in the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer). Only in 28.000 AD the star Polaris will be our choice again.

So how modern astrologers justify their saying that the Signs Aries and Libra herald the Equinoxes, the Signs Cancer and Capricorn the Solstices, and the other Signs the seasonal changes which they used to forerun thousands of years ago but they do no longer?

The answer to this question is simple: what in western Astrology we call the Signs of the Zodiac are not ever to be confused with the Constellations which bear their same names. But why? The Signs of the Zodiac represent simply different portions of the seasonal year. They indicate the ever changing, yet ever the same, relationship formed by the Earth and the Sun, due to the Earth’s Orbital Revolution around the Sun in one year, every year.

The 12 Constellations, which bear the same names as the astrological Signs, are only some of the 48 the astronomer/astrologer Ptolemy classified in the second century of our Christian era, while more Constellations have been added to the traditional ones by modern scientists. The 12 Constellations, chosen to bear the same names as the Signs, are those that lie, more or less, in a sort of circular belt (spanning all together 47 degrees of the sky in width and 360 degrees in length), along the Ecliptic, the apparent yearly path of the Sun around the Earth.

Once upon a time these 12 Constellations were used, it’s true, as signposts for the different seasons and portions of seasons, but they had to be abandoned in this respect when it was discovered that they didn’t correspond anymore with the actual seasons.

The Signs didn’t take their names and meanings from the Constellations, but the other way around: the Constellations took their names from the names of the seasonal months of the year.

So, for instance, Aries, the Ram, is the name of the Sign (month) which begins the astrological/astronomical year (the Sign corresponding to the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere), simply because this creature was considered a fitting symbol for this period of the year, being the leader of the flock, always first. This particular name, as the names of all the other Signs, wasn’t chosen because the ancient people of Sumeria or Mesopotamia identified a group of stars (which seemed to look like a ram), rising and setting with the Sun at the time of the Spring Equinox! But they rather fitted the image of their ‘month of the ram’ with the particular groups of stars that was closer to the Sun at that time.

The Constellations have moved from ancient times and now no more correspond with the seasons (the signposts have been slowly shifted and so they cannot anymore perform their function), but the seasons and portions of seasons (months) are the same now as they were at the time of Christ or much earlier. The seasons, as we know them, haven’t in fact changed at all from the time we started recording history and probably from long before that. Only a powerful cosmic event, capable of shifting considerably the Earth’s axis, could change the cycle of the seasons. There is no proof that such a shift ever occurred during man’s life on this planet. And, if it did, it preceded the development of Astrology as we know it.

There are more reasons why the Constellations cannot be used in the same way we use the Signs.

Astrology is concerned with ‘real’, observable changes and ‘real’ cycles happening on Earth. When we talk Astrology we aren’t discussing the influence of far away stars which do not belong to our Solar System or even our Galaxy. We are rather interested in observable phenomena, such as seasons, day/night, Moon’s phases, planetary phases etc.

Those stars which the ancient grouped into Constellations are not even close to one another, but they only appear to be close because of our very distorted viewpoint (the greater the distance of an object, the greater the distortion). Furthermore the 12 Constellations which bear the Signs’ names and lie North and South of the Ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun in one year) are not all of the same length or width. Some Constellations, like Scorpio for instance, are huge, occupying a large portion of the night sky when visible, while other Constellations are so small and their stars so inconspicuous, like Cancer for instance, that one finds it very difficult to even find them in the night sky. Instead our Signs of the Zodiac are all of the same length, each spanning 30 degrees of Celestial Longitude along the Ecliptic.

A last reason which should convince us not to use the Constellations in reference to Natal Astrology is the fact that even the experts disagree on the choice of stars to begin and end each Constellation, some deciding that a certain star belongs to a certain Constellation, others that the same star belongs to another Constellation.

The Signs, as we employ them in western Astrology, form the so called Tropical Zodiac (from the Greek word ‘trope’: turning), while the Constellations are parts of the Sidereal Zodiac (from the Latin word Sidus: star). The two Zodiacs are different and are ‘used’ for different purposes.

Very few astrologers in the west use the Sidereal Zodiac in place of the Tropical Zodiac in reference to Natal Astrology (birth horoscopes). These astrologers are called Siderealists. Also the Sidereal Zodiac is used by most Indian astrologers who practice the ancient art of Vedic Astrology.

Western astrologers also use the Zodiac of the Constellations, but mainly to study stellar influences on the whole of humanity. For this reason we talk about the astrological Ages, the slow shift of the Poles bringing a new Constellation on the Horizon at the Spring/Autumn Equinox every 2.160 years. That’s why we call the present period the Age of Aquarius, because this Constellation is now heralding the Spring/Autumn Equinox. The fact that different people have different ideas about which star belong to which Constellation, or which star begins a particular Constellation, is the reason why even the Siderealists do not agree on a precise date for the beginning of the New Age.

Is Gordon Sondland Trump’s astrological Nemesis?

'Nemesis' by Alfred Rethel

‘Nemesis’ by Alfred Rethel. Nemesis is the ancient Greek Goddess who enacts retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the Gods). Another name for her is Adrasteia, meaning ‘the inescapable’.

After reading few reports on today Gordon Sondland’s deposition at Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, I became curious about this individual astrological connection to Trump. More than any other witnesses so far his deposition has in fact drawn a direct line between Trump and the unusual request of publicizing an investigation on Trump’s most feared political rival, Joe Biden, to up Trump’s chances to beat Biden at the 2020 presidential elections.

When I juxtaposed the two men Natal Charts I saw at a glance that indeed this guy could prove to be Trump’s nemesis. Below is, first, Gordon Sondland’s Birth Chart and, under it, the same Chart around Trump Birth Chart. Note that Sondland’s Chart, lacking a birth time, has been calculated for the local sunrise of his day of birth.

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Gordon Sondland Birth Chart

Gordon Sondland Birth Chart. Click to view larger image.

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Gordon Sondland Birth Chart on Donald Trump Birth Chart

Gordon Sondland Birth Chart on Donald Trump Birth Chart. Click to view larger image.

Apart from the significant hard aspects I’ll describe the two men also share a number of positive ones, in particular those involving Venus and Jupiter, signifying a relationship that could prove advantageous to both parties in the area of business and mentor-ship. Sondland’s Venus is in sextile (positive aspect) to Trump’ Uranus and Jupiter (which are in positive aspect to each other in Trump’s Birth Chart), while his Jupiter is in sextile to Trump’s Venus, so that Venus and Jupiter are connected twice in the two Charts. Sondland’s Sun is also in sextile to Trump’s Mid-Heaven, angle that has to do with career. So far so good, the relationship could have been a fortunate one, benefiting both parties. The rest of the mutual aspects though show another side of the picture, one that could easily sour the relationship.

In this respect the first thing that would jump at any astrologer’s attention is the close alignment of Sondland’s Pluto in late Leo to Trump Ascendant in late Leo. This aspect is very close, only one degree apart, and touches not just Trump’s Ascendant but also Regulus, the alpha star of Leo constellation which was rising at the time of the President’s birth. For an explanation of Regulus possible influence on Trump’s destiny, please navigate to my post on the subject HERE. Furthermore Sondland’s Pluto opposes exactly Trump’s Part of Fortune, a point in the Horoscope which has to do with the individual potential for well-being and happiness.

As students of Astrology must know Pluto’s mutual aspects can have an intensely negative effect on relationships, creating power struggles and enmity, often associated with karmic stuff, addressing of wrong doing and retribution.

Furthermore Sondland’s Mars (in Leo like Trump’s Mars) happens also to be widely aligned to Trump’s Pluto, a difficult combination to say the least, fostering fierce competitiveness and all sorts of extremes. There is even a possibility of danger with aggressive enactment (Mars) of long held but hidden resentments (Pluto) between the individuals involved; a possibly explosive combination. To add to the above Sondland’s Mercury and Uranus (conjunct in Leo in his Birth Chart) are also widely conjunct Trump’s Pluto, making the plutonian connection even stronger and more problematic.

To add to the Pluto’s possible pitfalls Sondland’s Sun degree in Cancer is the same as Trump’s Saturn and not far from his Venus’ degree. When two individuals share a Saturn-Sun-Venus connection (in this instance an extremely strong one) there is a life lesson to be learnt, restrictions and limitations to be endured. It is Sondland here that view and experience Trump as an authority figure, the one who makes the rules. And, apart from any positive or negative connotations, the alignment of Sun, Venus and Saturn makes the relationship more serious and important, one that will have enduring repercussions and hopefully also help to further the psychological maturity of both parties.

What I find of even greater interest here is the fact that the degree of the Sondland-Trump Sun-Saturn-Venus alignment in Cancer is very close to the degree of the long awaited Saturn-Pluto conjunction in the opposite Sign of Capricorn. This will become exact on January 12/13 2020. The same degrees were also highlighted by the Lunar Eclipse on July 16 this year, around the time Trump decided to freeze the military aid to Ukraine and not far from the now notorious Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian President, starting the whole impeachment conundrum. Knowing the lasting and far-reaching effects of Eclipses, when aligned to important points in the Birth Chart, it is not surprising to see the effects of that cosmic event spilling all over the news at this time. If interested in this topic, Trump and the recent eclipses, please navigate to my post HERE.

Before I publish this post I want to remark that, as the juxtaposed Charts clearly show, many of the alignments between Sondland and Trump’s planets happen in the latter Twelfth House, the area that has to do with unavoidable karma, as well as thoughts and actions that can undo the individual conscious will, veering his/her life toward the inevitable rather than one’s desires and wishes.

For more on Trump Astrology please navigate to my dedicated page HERE.

Tuesday, October 17: Sunrise Rainbow Horoscope

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Living Moon Astrology Everyday Sunrise Rainbow Horoscope & Data

Sunrise Sun’s Degree on October 17, 2017

LIBRA 23°36’37”

AIR/CARDINAL

  Third Decan of LIBRA (portion of ten degrees): LIBRA/GEMINI

 Tenth Dwad of LIBRA (portion of 2.5 degrees): LIBRA/CANCER

Libra glyphThe SUN will transit LIBRA from September 23, 6.01 am (Australia Eastern Standard Time = 10 hours East of Greenwich). The ingress of he Sun in LIBRA marks the SPRING EQUINOX in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Sun will move out of Libra into SCORPIO on October 23, 4.26 pm (Australia Daylight Saving Time = 11 hours East of Greenwich). Summer Time begins in NSW on Sunday, October 1, at 2 am.

(my Dwad Table)

The time for the following Sunrise Charts is Australian Summer Time (=11 hours East of Greenwich).
Click HERE to change it into your own Time Zone. Daylight Saving will begin again in NSW on October 1 at 2 am.
Sunrise Horoscope October 17 2017

click to view larger image

Sunrise Horoscope Data October 17 2017

click to view larger image

Lyrids Meteor Showers April 16-25, peaking on April 22/23

Lyrids Meteors Showers April 23 2017, around 3.40 am, looking North, Eastern Australia

Lyrids Meteors Showers April 23 2017, around 3.40 am, looking North, Eastern Australia

The sky is getting clearer while the nights are getting colder in our Southern latitudes. Great times to observe the stars and planets. The yearly meteor showers located near the Lyrid constellation reach their peak on April 22 and 23, from about 10 pm to the pre-dawn hours, the latter better than the earlier time, looking northward from Australia.

This time around it could be an interesting show even for us in the Southern Hemisphere, despite the Northern location of the Lyre constellation. Fifteen to twenty meteors per hour are expected. The bright star Vega could be used as a sign post for finding the showers’ location.

According to the Australian Geographic website: “The Lyrids have the longest recorded history of any meteor shower, with observations dating back to at least 687BC…. this shower… letting us see pieces of a comet (Comet C/1861 G1, Thatcher) that currently lies more than a hundred billion kilometers distant.”

Happy sky watching…

August 11, 6.30 pm, Eastern Australia, looking at the Moon to find Mars and Saturn

Here is a snapshot of the sky from the astronomical program Stellarium. The time is tonight around 6.30 pm, looking up. It shows the yet to form conjunction of the Waxing First Quarter Moon to Mars and Saturn, edging closer to each other. You can observe the Libra and Scorpion constellations behind them. In the Tropical Zodiac however the Moon is actually transiting through the end of Scorpio, while Mars and Saturn are transiting in early Sagittarius (they will becoming conjunct in Longitude on August 24). To better understand the difference between Sidereal (Constellations) and Tropical or Seasonal Zodiacs please navigate to this tutorial of mine.

Note also bright Spica, alpha star of Virgo, the ear of corn in the Maiden’s hand, lower, toward the western horizon. This star could be easily confused with Jupiter or even Venus which are also visible in the early evening, the latter still setting only shortly after the Sun.

More about the visible night Planets in the next few days….

Sky Constellations Planets August 11 2016 630 pm

Sky Constellations Planets August 11 2016 630 pm

First Week of November 2015: Latest Astrological News

MAYA blue purple lens flareHere are the highlights for the whole month

Signs’ Changes: Mercury will be transiting Scorpio, from November 2, and Sagittarius, from November 21 – Venus and Mars will move from Virgo to Libra, Venus on November 9 and Mars on November 13 – The Sun from Scorpio to Sagittarius, on November 23

Most important transits: The Opposition Jupiter-Chiron, on November 4 – The shift of the Lunar Nodes into the Mutable Signs of Virgo and Pisces, on November 12 – The square from Saturn in Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces, on November 26.

Note that both the Jupiter and Saturn’s transits are just the beginning of a planetary pattern that will shape events and trends up to, at least, October 2016.

Astronomical Events: Visible alignments of Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky, see my Stars over Wollumbin page for details

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In this post I’m discussing the significance of the major and not so major transits active during the first week of November 2015.  

November  2 = Mercury enters Scorpio. This transit will last until November 21.

A busy, perhaps mentally restless time for anyone with Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius highlighted in their Birth Chart. It could be ideal for business transactions, travel, learning, teaching and  communication, especially about profound, difficult or even taboo subjects.

For all of us this could be an opportunity to unravel hidden secrets and investigate mysteries, becoming more conscious of the deeper side of the mind. There could be a risk of becoming mentally hyper sensitive and in consequence suspicious of other people’s motives, sometimes imagining hidden agendas where there are none.

November  3 = Venus conjunct Mars in Virgo. This could be a short lived but important aspect for people with the last ten degrees of Virgo, Pisces, Gemini or Sagittarius highlighted in their Birth Charts. Feeling and passion are united here, a pleasant combination for some, manifesting as instant attractions and exciting encounters of the love at first sight variety, with a person, a project, an idea, depending on your time of life and what you need to attract and experience at this moment. Relationship-wise this could be the best thing for passionate encounters but it may not be very promising  for steady committed relationship, because the feelings aroused at this time may be of the fleeting, unreliable kind.

Apart from its effect on relationships this transit could be the ideal combination to tap into the Yin-Yang dynamics of our skills and creativity, Mars helping to curb procrastination and giving us the courage and instinct to act, and Venus inspiring our imagination through receptivity and a keener aesthetic sense. The conjunction happening in dutiful Virgo work and crafts could be enjoyable activities at this time. Making ourselves useful will bring its own reward.

November  4 = Jupiter in Virgo reaches the opposition to Chiron in Pisces. This is the first ‘ direct pass’ of three, the others becoming exact on February 24 and August 13 2016, in retro and direct motion respectively. This aspect would be significant even if it wasn’t to return in 2016. The fact that it does highlights even more the importance of its potential impact on the collective psyche.

At the personal level it could bring up health issues and/or the pain of negative past experience for people with the 16, 17 and 18 degrees of Virgo, Pisces, Gemini or Sagittarius highlighted in their Birth Charts. Exploring the primal causes of these effects could bring however the wisdom you need to change the negativity and pain into a permanent asset, making you a more compassionate and all rounded individual, ready to inspire others to thread a similar path to inner knowledge.

At the collective level (Mundane Astrology) this transit cannot begin to be understood however unless we put it within the context of the complex planetary pattern of which it is a part. This pattern involves not only Jupiter and Chiron but also Saturn, Neptune and the Moon’s Nodes. In fact, as Jupiter opposes, on and off, Chiron and, previously, Neptune and aligns with the North Node, Saturn squares all of them, while in opposition to Jupiter. With the exception of Jupiter opposition Neptune, all the above transits will remain active until well into 2016 and some until September/October 2016.

If interested here are some thoughts on the long term effects of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune-Chiron”s configuration, from a previous post: ‘…. 2015 and ‘16 are important years for the Jupiter-Saturn mutual relationship: they have reached a distance of 90 degrees from each other. This coming and going aspect will punctuate the next nine months, with the risk of a general economic downturn very present; recession continuing in some countries and food shortages worsening in less developed ones. This should be a lesson in humility and ‘make do’, getting used to live within our means in the developed countries, to restore some balance to our lop-sided world. …. We could embrace our reduced circumstances as real opportunities (Saturn) to find more lasting values in our daily life and work (Jupiter)….

…. The August 90° between Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio coincided (no coincidence here!) with the huge and yet unresolved China’s crisis, being a classic aspect of economic and social downturn. The world has not done with it though. It will in fact return in March and May 2016, between Virgo and Sagittarius.

Jupiter and Saturn are also in turn aligned to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, making their interaction more complex by introducing a spiritual element, the theme of the global environment, the dream of a united, at peace humanity, the gift of compassion and inclusion, and the poignant need for healing of rifts between cultures and ongoing damage to the global environment. (Germany opened its door to thousands of refugees in September, around the time Jupiter opposed Neptune, September 17). Pisces is the Sign of the great Ocean Mother to which everything and everyone return in the end. The issue of rising sea levels and more frequent destructive weather events, in Australia and around the world, will be big in the news during the active period of these planetary configurations.

The Jupiter opposition Neptune effect is now passing, but the square Saturn-Neptune has still to become active, in November 2015 and again in June and September 2016. This transit describes a powerful tension between our best humanitarian aspirations and the realistic limits of implementing them…. ‘

November  7 = Mercury in Scorpio trine (120 degrees distance from) Neptune in Pisces.This ephemeral transit could heighten sensitivity, universal sympathy and compassion, helping the collective mind to become more flexible and tolerant, but also less focused and grounded. It is a transit suitable for day dreaming, creativity and metaphysical experiences but we cannot expect many solid results from it.

At the individual level people with the 6, 7 and 8 degrees of Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius highlighted in their Birth Charts are more likely to feel the otherworldly, highly creative and inspired effect of this transit, mainly in a positive, uplifting way.

I will discuss in my next post the significance of the following Transits, active from the second week of November. Here they are:

November  9 = Venus enters Libra, transiting this Cardinal Air Sign, over which she traditionally ‘rules’, until December 5.

November 12 = The Nodes of the Moon are shifting Signs, in retro motion as usual, the North Node entering the end of Virgo, from Libra, and the South Node the end of Pisces, from Aries. These transits will last until early May 2017.

November 13 = today Mars enters Libra, Sign of his detriment (opposite to his own Sign of Aries) and is also conjunct the North Lunar Node.

November 18 = Mercury reaches Superior Conjunction to the Sun. After this phase Mercury will return to the morning sky, rising before the Sun, still hidden from view by the Sun’s glare until late December.

November 21 = Mercury enters Sagittarius. This transit will last until December 10.

November 21 = Venus in Libra reaches 90 degrees distance from Pluto in Capricorn, a difficult square aspect.

November 23 = the Sun enters Sagittarius today.

November 24 = Venus opposes Uranus in Aries.

November 25 = Mercury conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius and also square Neptune today.

November 26 = Saturn forms the first square to Neptune. This aspect will repeat on June 18, in retrogradation, and September 11 2016.

November 30 = today the Sagittarius Sun is conjunct Saturn and in also square Neptune in Pisces.

 Stay tuned.

November 2015: Stars over Wollumbin, our Southern Sky

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Van Gogh Starry Night pervinca***

November 2015 planetary highlights

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*It is too late this month to spot tiny MERCURY. Our neighbor is still rising before dawn but rapidly approaching the Sun, reaching Superior Conjunction on November 18. Afterwards it will make its first apparition in the evening sky in late December 2015.

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Jupiter GlyphJupiter no background***

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VENUS, MARS and JUPITER are still rising in the east before the Sun in the month of November.

Venus will rise two hours earlier than the Sun throughout November, offering an even better opportunity to observe our sister planet in her most beautiful morning glory.

Mars and Venus will closely align on November 3 and afterwards separate, with Mars rising earlier and earlier throughout the month, until he will be up a whole three hours before the Sun by the end of November.

Jupiter also will rise bit earlier every day, two hours before the Sun at the beginning of November and over three hours at the end.

The Waning Balsamic Moon will align with Jupiter on November 6, with Mars on November 7 and Venus on November 8. Here is a snapshot of the eastern sky on November 7, around 4.30 am (Eastern Australia Summer Time).

Waning Balsamic Moon aligned to Jupiter-Mars-Venus November 7 about 4.30 am

Waning Balsamic Moon aligned to Jupiter-Mars-Venus on November 7 about 4.30 am

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SATURN will be difficult to spot in November, getting closer and closer to the western horizon in the evenings. He will in fact align with the Sun at the end of November, to turn into a Morning Star in December.

The Waxing Crescent Moon will align with Saturn on November 13, a chance to spot faint Saturn before he disappears from view. Here is the Stellarium’s snapshot of this event, looking West at around 7.30 pm.

Waxing Crescent Moon aligned to Saturn November 13 about 7.30 pm

Waxing Crescent Moon aligned to Saturn on November 13 about 7.30 pm

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https://livingmoonastrology.files.wordpress.com/To view previous STARS OVER WOLLUMBIN’s and other sky-watching posts please navigate to the Archive HERE

All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:

Mudgee Observatory

Earth-Sky

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June, the month to observe six members of our Solar Family

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~ Jupiter at dawn in the eastern sky ~ Mercury, just emerged from darkness, low on the eastern horizon, below bright Jupiter ~ Venus in the western evening sky, for a couple of hours after sunset ~ Mars and Saturn in the North-West at dusk and through the night ~ With a pair of good binoculars we could even spot far away Uranus close to Jupiter in the eastern sky before sunrise ~

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MERCURY has re-appeared as a Morning Star, very faintly at first, at the end of May. It will remain visible until mid-June, but very low in the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky, below much brighter and more elevated Jupiter, reaching its Superior Conjunction with the Sun on June 28.

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VENUS will trace her bright course between the Twin Stars Castor and Pollux (alpha and beta of Gemini constellation) until mid-June, setting with the Beehive Cluster in constellation Cancer by June 19 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

Our Sister Planet will remain the beautiful Evening Star until October 2010. In June it will remain around magnitude -3.9 (its maximum being -4), and also spend more time in the night sky, setting at 8 pm, three hours after the winter Sun (in Southern Latitudes), by the end of June.

The Evening Star’s incarnation of Venus represents a collective opportunity to become more self-reflective, acknowledging our contribution to any relationship issues we may be experiencing. The Goddess of Love is looking deeper into our hearts and show us the way to a less self-centred and more aware kind of loving, (see also Venus in Cancer post).

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MARS‘ light keeps diminishing this month. You can spot Mars in the evening in the North-West, relatively low above the horizon, reddish in colour, rising in daylight and setting just before midnight in mid-June. It will be easily spotted on June 6/7 when it will conjunct Regulus, alpha Star of Leo, and, again, on June 16/17 when it will be close to the Waxing Crescent Moon (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

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JUPITER, after emerging from the glare of the Sun in March, is now a very bright star, rising at midnight and very conspicuous in the east until sunrise, with the backdrop of the Pisces constellation. By the end of June Jupiter will rise at midnight. Jupiter will become brighter and brighter as the year advances, reaching its greatest brilliance in its whole 11.8 years cycle just in time for the Libra Equinox 2010 (September 21). This is due to the fact the giant planet will reach its perihelion, closest position in relation to the Sun, in March 2011.

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There is a companion to Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky, though invisible, so you will need a good pair of binoculars to spot it, 0.4 degrees above Jupiter. It is giant Uranus, spinning at right angle to everyone else, a bluish/green star-like object. Jupiter is -2.4 magnitude and Uranus at 5.8, dim but still the brightest object in the vicinity of Jupiter.

Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct for the first time in nearly 14 years on June 9, and they are nearly as bright as they can be, their opposition from the Sun getting closer. It will be exact on September 22, just as the Sun prepares to enter Tropical Libra (Spring-Autumn Equinox), opposing them only five hours apart from each other. Jupiter and Uranus meet cyclically (synodic cycle) every 13.7 years. This time they are playing a prolonged duet, though, meeting twice in 2010 (June 9 and September 22) and a third time on January 2, 2011. This is a rarer opportunity for the energies of these planets to blend for a sustained period, so exerting a greater overall influence over the affairs of the whole year. The last time Jupiter and Uranus met three times was in 1983, 27 years ago.

Animation of the triple conjunction of Jupiter-Uranus in 2010/11, from Martin J.Powell astronomical site, can be found HERE.

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By the end of June Saturn will rise around midday and set around midnight. Saturn emanates a yellowish light, easily spotted between Regulus of constellation Leo and Spica of constellation Virgo, not far from Mars.Like Mars, Saturn also is becoming dimmer this month, around +1 magnitude, moving away from the Earth at an angle that will cause its rings to become thinner, reflecting less sunlight.

The Moon will be conjunct Saturn on June 18 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

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Full Moon in Capricorn, Lunar Eclipse, June26

A Partial Eclipse of the Full Moon is due on June 26. It will happen in the Tropical Sign of Capricorn, with the Sun in the opposite Sign of Cancer. I re-post here the article I wrote concerning this Eclipse in the 2010 Forecast post (June to September):

Click to enlarge

The Eclipses, once again, accompany the change of season, a significant fact that will make their influence more marked and also longer lasting.

The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse is Partial, visible after sunset from Australasia, and before sunrise in western South and North America.

The Moon, central to the whole interpretation, is transiting in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, separated from the position of this planet, as projected on the ecliptic, by a mere 0 degrees and 41 minutes of longitude. The Sun then is of course exactly 180 degrees away from the Moon and also Pluto. Even by itself this configuration would heighten the intensity of the ecliptic Moon, but there is much more. Mercury is in Cancer with the Sun on the day, while Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct in Aries, are 90 degrees away from both Sun and Moon; while Saturn in Virgo, opposite to them, is also in a wide 90 degrees angle to Sun and Moon. This configuration is known as a Grand Cross, usually connecting four celestial bodies, but, in this case, linking instead seven: Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn.

Grand Crosses are tough, tight knots, forcing planets to work together, especially problematic if difficult planets are involved, as here are Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, heavy weights of the Zodiac. This Eclipse seems to draw attention and energize the knotty transits coming into activity during this season, the squares and opposition of Saturn to Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus respectively; more about these specific transits later. Some intensely emotional events can be the result of such a configuration corresponding with the time of an eclipse, because the combined forces of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will create a fierce opposition to the might of Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, also challenging each other: a time of quickening, a protracted labour inducing the birth of the New (a forceps birth rather than a gentle water birth). Unavoidably astrologers would notice the similarity between this event and the last lunar eclipse of 2009 (or first eclipse of 2010, depending where you were at the time), the one that preceded the Haiti and Chile’s disasters. The Sun and Moon were then placed in the Sign each other occupies in the June eclipse, on opposite hemispheres. The Sun was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and both Sun and Moon were widely square Saturn in Libra. But there is a great difference too.

All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse; other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.

So, for instance, the Lunar Eclipse of June 26 2010 belongs to the Saros number 120. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one that took place on October 5, 982 AD, close to the beginning of the last Millennium. The Eclipse that began a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series to get a feel of what we are dealing with. This first eclipse of the series shows a highly charged Horoscope, but also one with many redeeming factors. The Saros number of the December eclipse instead began with an extremely difficult eclipse in 1000 AD, showing more clearly the potential destructive nature of all the following eclipses of the same number.

For an in-depth reading of the major transits of Saturn and others, for the present and near future, please visit 2010 Forecast page.

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JUNE CALENDAR OF OBSERVABLE EVENTS

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Information and pictures to make you better acquainted with your southern night sky

The different lighting of some of the pictures is due to the time the snapshots of the Planetarium were taken.

THANKS TO STELLARIUM

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JUNE 6: the Waning Moon, just past the Last Quarter Phase, will join Jupiter and invisible Uranus in the pre-dawn sky. The snapshot of this event was taken looking East, just before 6 am.

JUNE 6 and 7: Mars is today and tomorrow very close to the Star Regulus, the little King in the constellation Leo. This is a great colour contrast, with red Mars and white-blue Regulus.

The snapshot of this event was taken looking toward the North, at around 7 pm. In ancient times this conjunction would spell the violent or sudden death of a king or ruler.

Click to enlarge

JUNE 7: Venus is setting very close to Castor, one of the Gemini Twin Stars. While Mars is s still very close to Regulus, the Little King Star (alpha of Leo constellation). A great time to observe Gemini and Leo Stars.

Below is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the West around 6 pm.

JUNE 15: Venus has now moved higher than Castor and Pollux, the Twin Stars, but the tiny Crescent Moon is joyning her in a beautiful display. Here is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the North-West, just before 6 pm.


JUNE 17: the Moon will become conjunct Mars and Regulus tonight. This snapshot was taken looking toward the North-West, just before 7 pm.


JUNE 18-19: the Moon will be close to the conjunction with Saturn over these two days, against the backdrop of the Virgo constellation. This snapshot was taken on June 19 around 10 pm.


JUNE 20: Venus can be seen setting in the Beehive Nebula of constellation Cancer. Here is a snapshot of this event, taken looking toward the West, around 6 pm.


JUNE 20: the Moon is just 04 degrees far from Spica, the Ear of Corn Star in the hand of the Virgin constellation.

Here is a snapshot of the event, taken looking toward the West, around 7 pm.


JUNE 24: the Moon can be oberved very close to the alpha Star of Scorpio, Antares. The snapshot was taken, looking toward the North-West, just before 8 pm.


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All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:

http://stargazing.suite101.com/article.cfm/night-sky-observing-guide-for-june-2010

http://home.mira.net/~reynella/skywatch/ssky.htm#update

http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/

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JUNE 15: Venus has

October 2015, Stars over Wollumbin, our Southern skies

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Van Gogh Starry Night golden

October 2015 planetary highlights

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Jupiter GlyphJupiter no background

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VENUS, MARS and JUPITER are still the stars of the pre-dawn sky, remaining aligned throughout the month of October. Venus is of course still the brightest, rising one hour before the Sun early in the month and two hours at the end. Our sister planet will reach Maximum Elongation (furthest distance from the Sun disk, from earth viewpoint) on October 26.

Venus will be at her closest to giant Jupiter also on October 26 and to Mars on October 31.

A remarkable event in October will be the Occultation of Venus by the Waning Moon, on October 9. The Moon will glide between the Earth and Venus, hiding our Sister Planet from view from about 4,30 to 6 am, in Eastern Australia. Venus will disappear behind the Moon for nearly one and half hours, a spectacle not to be missed, a sort of Venus Eclipse!

Below is a Stellarium’s snapshot of the Eastern sky on October 9, around 5.25 am, Occultation time.

Click the sky scapes to see larger images

Ocotber 9 2015 Moon occultation Venus + Mars-Jupiter-Regulus

Snapshot of Eastern Sky on October 9 2015, around 5.25 am, Eastern Australia: Moon’s Occultation of Venus

MARS will rise earlier and earlier in the course of October.

MARS and JUPITER will appear at their closest on October 18 as shown in the picture below:

Ocotber 18 2015 Mars-Jupiter Conjunction

Mars conjunct Jupiter early morning of October 18 2015

VENUS and MARS will be perfectly aligned on October 31 instead, as in the image below:

Ocotber 31 2015 Venus-Mars Conjunction

Venus conjunct Mars on the early hours of October 31 2015

*MERCURY: if you didn’t spot little Mercury in September, while it was at its brightest setting after the Sun in the West, you have missed out for the time being. Mercury is in fact now a Morning Star, after reaching its Inferior Conjunction to the Sun on October 1. This Planet will be very hard to spot in October immersed as it is in the Sun rays before dawn. Mercury will return to the Western sky, setting after the Sun, only on November 18, day of its Superior Conjunction to the Sun.

 
Saturn remains visible throughout October in the North West, after sunset. An event that will make it easy to spot our ringed friend will be the alignment with the Waxing Moon, on October 16. Here is the Stellarium image of this conjunction:

Ocotber 16 2015 Moon-Saturn Conjunction

Waxing Moon aligned to Saturn on October 16 2015, around 8.30 pm, Eastern Australia

https://livingmoonastrology.files.wordpress.com/To view previous STARS OVER WOLLUMBIN’s and other sky-watching posts please navigate to the Archive HERE

All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:

Mudgee Observatory

Earth-Sky

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June, the month to observe six members of our Solar Family

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~ Jupiter at dawn in the eastern sky ~ Mercury, just emerged from darkness, low on the eastern horizon, below bright Jupiter ~ Venus in the western evening sky, for a couple of hours after sunset ~ Mars and Saturn in the North-West at dusk and through the night ~ With a pair of good binoculars we could even spot far away Uranus close to Jupiter in the eastern sky before sunrise ~

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MERCURY has re-appeared as a Morning Star, very faintly at first, at the end of May. It will remain visible until mid-June, but very low in the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky, below much brighter and more elevated Jupiter, reaching its Superior Conjunction with the Sun on June 28.

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VENUS will trace her bright course between the Twin Stars Castor and Pollux (alpha and beta of Gemini constellation) until mid-June, setting with the Beehive Cluster in constellation Cancer by June 19 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

Our Sister Planet will remain the beautiful Evening Star until October 2010. In June it will remain around magnitude -3.9 (its maximum being -4), and also spend more time in the night sky, setting at 8 pm, three hours after the winter Sun (in Southern Latitudes), by the end of June.

The Evening Star’s incarnation of Venus represents a collective opportunity to become more self-reflective, acknowledging our contribution to any relationship issues we may be experiencing. The Goddess of Love is looking deeper into our hearts and show us the way to a less self-centred and more aware kind of loving, (see also Venus in Cancer post).

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MARS‘ light keeps diminishing this month. You can spot Mars in the evening in the North-West, relatively low above the horizon, reddish in colour, rising in daylight and setting just before midnight in mid-June. It will be easily spotted on June 6/7 when it will conjunct Regulus, alpha Star of Leo, and, again, on June 16/17 when it will be close to the Waxing Crescent Moon (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

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JUPITER, after emerging from the glare of the Sun in March, is now a very bright star, rising at midnight and very conspicuous in the east until sunrise, with the backdrop of the Pisces constellation. By the end of June Jupiter will rise at midnight. Jupiter will become brighter and brighter as the year advances, reaching its greatest brilliance in its whole 11.8 years cycle just in time for the Libra Equinox 2010 (September 21). This is due to the fact the giant planet will reach its perihelion, closest position in relation to the Sun, in March 2011.

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There is a companion to Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky, though invisible, so you will need a good pair of binoculars to spot it, 0.4 degrees above Jupiter. It is giant Uranus, spinning at right angle to everyone else, a bluish/green star-like object. Jupiter is -2.4 magnitude and Uranus at 5.8, dim but still the brightest object in the vicinity of Jupiter.

Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct for the first time in nearly 14 years on June 9, and they are nearly as bright as they can be, their opposition from the Sun getting closer. It will be exact on September 22, just as the Sun prepares to enter Tropical Libra (Spring-Autumn Equinox), opposing them only five hours apart from each other. Jupiter and Uranus meet cyclically (synodic cycle) every 13.7 years. This time they are playing a prolonged duet, though, meeting twice in 2010 (June 9 and September 22) and a third time on January 2, 2011. This is a rarer opportunity for the energies of these planets to blend for a sustained period, so exerting a greater overall influence over the affairs of the whole year. The last time Jupiter and Uranus met three times was in 1983, 27 years ago.

Animation of the triple conjunction of Jupiter-Uranus in 2010/11, from Martin J.Powell astronomical site, can be found HERE.

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By the end of June Saturn will rise around midday and set around midnight. Saturn emanates a yellowish light, easily spotted between Regulus of constellation Leo and Spica of constellation Virgo, not far from Mars.Like Mars, Saturn also is becoming dimmer this month, around +1 magnitude, moving away from the Earth at an angle that will cause its rings to become thinner, reflecting less sunlight.

The Moon will be conjunct Saturn on June 18 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

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Full Moon in Capricorn, Lunar Eclipse, June26

A Partial Eclipse of the Full Moon is due on June 26. It will happen in the Tropical Sign of Capricorn, with the Sun in the opposite Sign of Cancer. I re-post here the article I wrote concerning this Eclipse in the 2010 Forecast post (June to September):

Click to enlarge

The Eclipses, once again, accompany the change of season, a significant fact that will make their influence more marked and also longer lasting.

The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse is Partial, visible after sunset from Australasia, and before sunrise in western South and North America.

The Moon, central to the whole interpretation, is transiting in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, separated from the position of this planet, as projected on the ecliptic, by a mere 0 degrees and 41 minutes of longitude. The Sun then is of course exactly 180 degrees away from the Moon and also Pluto. Even by itself this configuration would heighten the intensity of the ecliptic Moon, but there is much more. Mercury is in Cancer with the Sun on the day, while Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct in Aries, are 90 degrees away from both Sun and Moon; while Saturn in Virgo, opposite to them, is also in a wide 90 degrees angle to Sun and Moon. This configuration is known as a Grand Cross, usually connecting four celestial bodies, but, in this case, linking instead seven: Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn.

Grand Crosses are tough, tight knots, forcing planets to work together, especially problematic if difficult planets are involved, as here are Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, heavy weights of the Zodiac. This Eclipse seems to draw attention and energize the knotty transits coming into activity during this season, the squares and opposition of Saturn to Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus respectively; more about these specific transits later. Some intensely emotional events can be the result of such a configuration corresponding with the time of an eclipse, because the combined forces of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will create a fierce opposition to the might of Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, also challenging each other: a time of quickening, a protracted labour inducing the birth of the New (a forceps birth rather than a gentle water birth). Unavoidably astrologers would notice the similarity between this event and the last lunar eclipse of 2009 (or first eclipse of 2010, depending where you were at the time), the one that preceded the Haiti and Chile’s disasters. The Sun and Moon were then placed in the Sign each other occupies in the June eclipse, on opposite hemispheres. The Sun was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and both Sun and Moon were widely square Saturn in Libra. But there is a great difference too.

All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse; other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.

So, for instance, the Lunar Eclipse of June 26 2010 belongs to the Saros number 120. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one that took place on October 5, 982 AD, close to the beginning of the last Millennium. The Eclipse that began a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series to get a feel of what we are dealing with. This first eclipse of the series shows a highly charged Horoscope, but also one with many redeeming factors. The Saros number of the December eclipse instead began with an extremely difficult eclipse in 1000 AD, showing more clearly the potential destructive nature of all the following eclipses of the same number.

For an in-depth reading of the major transits of Saturn and others, for the present and near future, please visit 2010 Forecast page.

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JUNE CALENDAR OF OBSERVABLE EVENTS

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Information and pictures to make you better acquainted with your southern night sky

The different lighting of some of the pictures is due to the time the snapshots of the Planetarium were taken.

THANKS TO STELLARIUM

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JUNE 6: the Waning Moon, just past the Last Quarter Phase, will join Jupiter and invisible Uranus in the pre-dawn sky. The snapshot of this event was taken looking East, just before 6 am.

JUNE 6 and 7: Mars is today and tomorrow very close to the Star Regulus, the little King in the constellation Leo. This is a great colour contrast, with red Mars and white-blue Regulus.

The snapshot of this event was taken looking toward the North, at around 7 pm. In ancient times this conjunction would spell the violent or sudden death of a king or ruler.

Click to enlarge

JUNE 7: Venus is setting very close to Castor, one of the Gemini Twin Stars. While Mars is s still very close to Regulus, the Little King Star (alpha of Leo constellation). A great time to observe Gemini and Leo Stars.

Below is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the West around 6 pm.

JUNE 15: Venus has now moved higher than Castor and Pollux, the Twin Stars, but the tiny Crescent Moon is joyning her in a beautiful display. Here is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the North-West, just before 6 pm.


JUNE 17: the Moon will become conjunct Mars and Regulus tonight. This snapshot was taken looking toward the North-West, just before 7 pm.


JUNE 18-19: the Moon will be close to the conjunction with Saturn over these two days, against the backdrop of the Virgo constellation. This snapshot was taken on June 19 around 10 pm.


JUNE 20: Venus can be seen setting in the Beehive Nebula of constellation Cancer. Here is a snapshot of this event, taken looking toward the West, around 6 pm.


JUNE 20: the Moon is just 04 degrees far from Spica, the Ear of Corn Star in the hand of the Virgin constellation.

Here is a snapshot of the event, taken looking toward the West, around 7 pm.


JUNE 24: the Moon can be oberved very close to the alpha Star of Scorpio, Antares. The snapshot was taken, looking toward the North-West, just before 8 pm.


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All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:

http://stargazing.suite101.com/article.cfm/night-sky-observing-guide-for-june-2010

http://home.mira.net/~reynella/skywatch/ssky.htm#update

http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/

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JUNE 15: Venus has

Moon conjunct Antares of Scorpio, May 15 2014

The times given are for the Northern Rivers region of Eastern Australia, New South Wales

MAY 15 2014: tonight the Moon, just past her full phase, which happened early this morning (5.15 am), weather permitting, can be observed parallel to the Alpha Star of the constellation Scorpio, powerful Antares.

Despite the alignment to the constellation Scorpio the Moon will be in the Tropical Sign of Sagittarius that she will enter at 3.43 pm. To better understand this apparent contradiction  please visit the Two Zodiacs Page in the Tutorials, here.

Antares is a star of the character or nature of Mars and Jupiter together, so embodying the combative spirit of Mars combined to the wisdom and expansion of Jupiter.  This is an emotionally adventurous conjunction through which we may be able to sound the depths and explore the heights of  our feelings, especially if the conjunction degree is the same or close to an active point in your Birth Chart (Sun, Moon, Planet, Node or Angle).

May 15 2014 Moon Antares

click to view larger image

This Sky-scape was produced with Stellarium, free software.

Horoscope of the first New Moon of the year 2013

click to view larger image,

CAPRICORN NEW MOON 2013
click to view larger image

Balsamic Moon conjunct Jupiter, Venus, Aldebaran, the Pleiades

Here is an image produced with Stellarium of the eastern sky in the early hours of the morning (5 am) of July 16, 2012, when the little sickle of the last Moon will join Jupiter and Venus, against the backdrop of the constellations of Taurus, the stars cluster of the Pleiades, known as the ‘Seven Sisters’, and close to brilliant Orion. Aldebaran, alpha star of Taurus, appears still also close to Jupiter and Venus, as it has been for the past two weeks.

The Asteroid Ceres (Demeter) is also in the midst, conjunct Jupiter today, but she is not visible in this map.

click to view larger image

Watch out for the magnificent conjunction Venus-Jupiter, March 2012

This is the best rendezvous of Venus and Jupiter in years.  You’ll need clear westerly views. Due to their magnitude the two brightest Planets are already visible when the light of the Sun still lingers. They have been moving toward each others for a while now. The conjunction will be exact on March 15, but the two will remain visually close for the whole month of March. It would be worth your while to look them up every evening for the next week or so. It should be easy to recognize Venus because she is the brightest amongst the two (approx. magnitude -4.18 versus magnitude -1.96).

Astrologically this is considered a fortunate conjunction, Venus and Jupiter being known as the two most fortunate planets, one fostering cooperation, love and artistic creativity (Venus), the other optimism, expansion and improvement at all levels (Jupiter). This is a positive aspect for relationships, travel, business, artistic expression,  fun, financial gain and all sorts of opportunities. In direct line with this transit are Pisces born between the 12 and 16 of March, Taurus born between April 28 and May 2, and all those born with the Sun, Moon, any Planet, Lunar Node, or Angle between the 8th and 12th degrees of Taurus, Pisces, Virgo, Capricorn and Cancer. Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius are also aligned to this transit , but, being connected with it via opposition and squares respectively, they could experience some difficulties in enjoying its full benefits.

I have to apologize for an error in an earlier version of this post (now corrected), if you happen to have read it before this editing, where I stated that Jupiter was Retrograded at this time. He is not, while Mars and Mercury are. A Retro Mercury’s trick?

For more on this transit and others active in March 2012 please check my recent Venus in Taurus post, HERE.

Below is a sky-scape of this event, taken on March 15, around 7.40 pm, looking North-West, low on the horizon (in mid-latitude in the Southern Hemisphere). Note Aldebaran, alpha star of Taurus, and the Pleiades, Seven Sisters, above, and beautiful Capella, alpha star of Auriga, the Charioteer, parallel and north of the conjunction, and finally Hamal, alpha of Aries, the Ram, below the conjunction. Looking up you will also see the great sky Hunter, Orion, and west of it the two main stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux.

March is in fact a great month for naked eye observation of the planets, with Mars at his brightest after his opposition to the Sun, on March 5, and Saturn visible east of Mars, still close to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo.

click to view larger image ~ created with Stellarium, free and wonderful software

2012’s first shooting stars, the Quadrantis meteors shower

The Quadrantis is not as famous or long lasting meteors shower as the Geminids (in mid-December) or the Perseids (in mid-August), but, in the short space of a few hours (that’s all its peak lasts) Northern Hemisphere observers mainly, from North America, Europe and most of Asia, could be treated up to 90/100 shooting stars per hour!  This is one of the highest predicted rates of all meteors showers, that can in fact compete with those of more famous showers.

Few keen observers from Australia may be able to see at least some of the Quadrantis’ display, the radiant reaching its highest point in the pre-dawn North-Eastern sky. We would need a fairly clear northern view of the sky to spot them, looking low near the actual horizon, where Bootes lay. Not the best showers for us I’m afraid.

It is from the direction of the ‘modern’ constellation of Quadrans Muralis (Wall Quadrant, named in 1795) that the meteors appear to originate, between the anciently named constellations of Bootes (the Herdsman, mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey, the 3.000 years old Greek epic) and Draco (the Dragon), both circumpolar stars groups. While the name of the shower derives from the constellation the latter is no longer recognized by contemporary astronomers, who now consider Quadrans just a portion of Bootes, the faint stars between the Herdsman and the Great Bear’s tail.

The phenomenon itself is caused by the regular passage of the Earth amongst the debris of an asteroid (known since1825 as 2003 EH1), itself probably the remain of a long extinct comet.

Happy viewing.

Interesting sites discussing the Quadrantis can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

Stars over Wollumbin, December 13 to 15, the Geminid meteors shower

The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak on December 13,14 and 15, but some of its meteors could be glimpsed between December 6 and 19. Unfortunately the big Waning Moon (Disseminating Phase, after the Full Moon on December 10) may conceal many of its shooting stars (up to 80/120 per hour! One of the best meteors showers of the year). The spectacle will be worth the effort of rising early though, especially if you live away from city lights.

The constellation of Gemini, from which this shower radiates, rises before midnight in mid-latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, so there would be many hours of opportunity for observation. The shooting stars will appear to generate in the vicinity of Castor (with Pollux, one of the Twin stars of the constellation Gemini), situated just below the Moon for southern observers. These meteors actually originate from the Asteroid Phaeton, an unusual occurrence because most showers come instead from comets.

For more information about the Astronomy of Astrology please navigate from HERE to the Stars over Wollumbin December 2011 page.

Too good to miss: the Gemini Moon Total Eclipse, in the horns of the Bull of Heaven, on December 10/11, 2011

The Astrological Eclipse

Here is the Horoscope of the Lunar Eclipse, calculated for our local coordinates. The relative positions of the Sun, Moon, Nodes and Planets to each other remains the same even as their orientation to the horizon change from place to place.

Eclipses are strange beasts. They can affect some people in very profound ways, while passing unnoticed by many others. That’s why with Eclipses, even more than with other astrological factors, we have to be careful not to generalize too much about the quality and impact of their influence, unless we have the opportunity to see the dynamic interaction between the Eclipse and a Birth Chart cast for a specific individual or event. This unique response to Eclipses can be explained by the fact that, in order to have a tangible effect, an Eclipse has to fall pretty close to a sensitive degree in your Birth Chart, meaning one occupied by the Sun, the Moon, one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-heaven, Lower-Heaven), a Planet or Lunar Node. When I say close I mean within one or, at the most, two degrees distance from the actual degree of the Eclipse. Eclipses on Mid-points between planets can also be quite significant, especially if the planets involved are part of  a strong theme in the person’s Birth Horoscope.

The impact of an Eclipse can also differ greatly depending on the character of the celestial body it falls close to, and also the area of experience (denoted by the Horoscope’s Houses) where the Eclipse takes place.

With these premises in mind this particular Eclipse could have a marked impact on some Mutable Sign.  The birthdays directly aligned with the Eclipse’s degree will be: Gemini, born June 8 to 10; Sagittarius,born December 10 to 12; Virgo, born September 10 to 12; Pisces, born March 8 to 10. Or individual with Natal Moon, Angles, Planets or Nodes between the 17th and 19th degrees of the same Signs.

Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses alike are significant times for realizations and often are also climaxes of a sort, peak experiences, bringing the coronation, success or failure, to activities and relationships we have began or have cultivated during the Waxing fortnight of the Moon’s cycle (when we are talking about regular Full Moons) or in the previous three to six months or longer (when we are talking about Eclipsed Full Moons). Whatever the nature of the events brought to light by a Lunar Eclipse they will have an emotional impact, sometimes a very great emotional impact, as when they coincide with the birth of a child, a death, a promotion, a significant illness, the purchase of real estate, influential encounters, life-changing choices or events over which one has little or no control, profound insights and psychic quantum leaps, etc.  In fact there is often a sense of fate in the events or feelings that surge out of an Eclipse, like something that was meant to be and has come to change our life in meaningful and sometimes unexpected ways.

Another important consideration to bear in mind is that this Gemini Moon Eclipse is aligned to the South Lunar Node, the place of descent, relating to the past in all its many forms: this life’s past, childhood, youth, or a past life’s past, or even the past of aeons of planetary evolution. So we may feel inclined or be forced perhaps to revisit things and people from the past that, positively, may help us illumine the present, or, negatively, create distress, regrets, or a painful sense of nostalgia and unrequited longing.

Emotionally a Lunar Eclipse can be very revealing of the true state of your feelings. If your life is already in an emotional spin then the Eclipse may bring all the intensity up to the surface, for everybody to see, including yourself. It could be a joyous experience too, but one that is also deep and somewhat more private than the Sign Gemini suggests.

Before being an Eclipse this is the yearly Full Moon in Gemini, showing a time of heightened intellectual and verbal energy. So if you have found yourself talking and talking in the last few days, do not worry, you are not alone. Many of us are attempting to express ideas that seem to grow in our heads as fast as mushrooms on a mossy bed. Communication can be intense and fast, under this clever Moon, with many subjects covered, moving from one to the next at great speed. The Eclipse will make what we try to communicate more poignant and partaking of our inner life too, not just idle socializing and prattling.

This is great lunar energy for creative writing, story telling, poetry, performances, song writing, learning, teaching, abstracting, eureka moments, intellectual breakthroughs.

The Sun and Moon, in opposition to each other at Eclipse/Full Moon time, are both forming a right angle (90 degrees) with Mars in Virgo (T square). This aspect will further intensify the mental activity and the desire to express our minds, manifesting also as competitiveness, tendency to argue about even minute differences of opinion and become hot and over-critical before we can control it or stop it. There is a sense of restlessness here that we need to become aware of, trying to find a place of quiet and tranquility amongst the hubbub and intense mental stimulation, perhaps consciously reducing our social interactions and activities, leaving some time free for ourselves and for some badly needed mental rest. Too many irons in the fire are often the bane of the Mutable Signs. This tendency to scatter and waste energy could be highlighted by the aspects of Mars. The more conscious we become of what is involved the more we may be able to use Mars’ extra boost to put our ideas into effective use, or changing in meaningful ways our routine and habits, to become more efficient and practical.

Saturn in Libra is within two degree of a trine to Neptune in Aquarius, a positive aspect, stressing again the mental and social impact of the Gemini Eclipse, via the accent on Air Signs. The often inimical functions of Saturn and Neptune have an opportunity here to work together in harmony, the practical outlook and realism of Saturn embracing the idealism, faith and compassion of Neptune, helping to manifest in concrete form our social and spiritual ideals. This is one aspect that, being active during the Durban’s Climate Change Conference, could help us finding some concrete solutions to our global problems, to match the ideal those international summits have been created to uphold. I don’t yet know the outcome, but this particular connection gives me some hope.

Between lovers a certain dimension of feeling-communication, or communication with feeling, could be revealing a side of the other person that we suspected but never saw quite as clearly. Forget candle light dinners and all the romantic trappings, rather talk, just talk about what really matters to you. Describe your feelings, analyze them, and thus discover or rediscover a different sort of intimacy, one that doesn’t rely necessarily on sexuality, but can make you feel as close as twins in a pod.

Venus and Mars, both in Earth Sign, have reached a phase in their eternal dance during which they can work in harmony (trine or 120 degrees angle). Our ability to cooperate and share (Venus) is going hand in hand with our ability to assert our individuality (Mars), so that we can cooperate with others without losing sight of what we want for ourselves.

Apart from all the above (and more that I don’t have time to mention here, or I’ll be late to post this before the Eclipse) there is, of course, also the Retrogradation of Mercury in Sagittarius to consider, making all matters more complicated and, like the Eclipse, suggesting  a need to revisit the past, recent or remote, to understand and deal better with the present. Mercury will be Retrograde a few more days, turning Stationary Direct on December 14, next Wednesday. Navigate HERE to my recent post on the Retrogradation of Mercury in Sagittarius.

The Eclipse and the Collective Psyche

The sheer number of transits active at this time shows an eventful time ahead for the world, Eclipses extending their influence well beyond the time they occur. The most significant aspect formed by the Sun and Moon is their mutual square (90 degrees angle) to Mars in Virgo. Because the Sun and Moon are closely conjunct the Lunar Nodes (the reason why the Eclipse is a Total one) Mars is also in a difficult configuration with the Nodes, fact that is not at all promising for world peace and general cooperation amongst people and nations. We should not overlook the fact that Uranus has just turned Stationary and then Direct (on December 9) accelerating the pace of change and bringing to a head issues that have been slow to mature.

Uranus is sitting on the very first degree of Aries, the archetypal beginning point of the whole Zodiac, so significant that aspect formed by Sun , Moon and Planets to this degree are often measured, even when there are no planet on it. Occupying this very significant degree Uranus leads the flock, so to speak,  taking on the function of the Ram of Heaven which leads the Year, ushering unforeseen large scale events, revolutions, innovations; change, change, and more change, affecting just about everybody.

Navigate HERE to another recent post on the Sagittarius Partial Solar Eclipse of November 25, 2011.

The Visual Eclipse

It will be worth your while staying up to witness the Moon’s metamorphosis from silvery white to red ocher-orange, dark and rich hues.

In the Australian states that adopt Day Light Saving (NSW, ACT, NT, VIC) the Total phase will take place around 1.30 am on December 11, and completely end by 3.15 am. In Queensland the event will take place an hour earlier and in Western Australia a couple of hours earlier.

The event will be visible in its entirety all over Australia, New Zealand and most countries in Asia. No so lucky people in North America and Canada, where the Moon will be setting at Eclipse time, or Europe/Africa where the Moon will be rising instead. While South America will miss out on this event all together.

Click HERE for an informative sight where you’ll find the exact time of beginning, full phase and ending of this Eclipse from different locations in Australia and around the world.

The first image below shows where to look for Jupiter, toward the West, as the Moon begin to darken, around midnight local Summer Time. , in New South Wales Northern Rivers region (very similar view and time all along Australia’s East coast).

click to view larger image

Below are three Stellarium‘s skyscapes of three phases of this Lunar Eclipse: the beginning, full phase and end, as seen around respectively 0.15 am, 1.30 am and 2.45 am. The three snapshots represent the North-Easterly, at first, and then North-Westerly night sky.

In these images that also show the constellations note how the Moon seems neatly placed between the horns of the Celestial Bull, Taurus, close to Aldebaran, the alpha star, and also aligned to the Pleiades (Seven Sisters). Orion is dominating the sky above, and the most brilliant star in our firmament, Sirius, the Dog Star, walks at his heels. A whole mythical pageant is here to accompany the mystery of the Full Moon obscured by the Earth’s own shadow.  Our collective Shadow Self revealed in all its glory, made conscious and tangible, if only for a few moments.

December 11, 2011, 0.15 am - Click to view larger image

December 11, 2011, 1.30 am - Click to view larger image

December 11, 2011, 2.45 am - Click to view larger image