Full Moon in Leo / Total Lunar Eclipse — January 31, 2018, 13:27 UT

February 1st, 2018

“Earth’s increase, foison plenty,
Barns and garners never empty;
Vines with clustering bunches growing;
Plants with goodly burden bowing,
Spring come to you at the farthest
In the very end of harvest!
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.”
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The Full Moon in Leo was a total lunar eclipse and a SuperMoon. If the Moon had risen above the horizon in your location at the time of the eclipse, you were able to see a big red Moon. The media was advertising a Blue Moon. The term has no astrological significance and refers only to the fact that this was the second Full Moon in January.

This was a super powerful Moon. A lunar eclipse is considered more powerful than an ordinary Full Moon and so is a SuperMoon. The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, and when the Moon at the time of a Full Moon or a New Moon happens to be at perigee (the point of least distance) it is called a SuperMoon. Even the astronomers are using this term nowadays, but originally the term was launched by astrologer Richard Nolle in the 70’s.

The Full Moon in Leo was in exact conjunction with asteroid 1 Ceres, the very first asteroid to be discovered. Ceres was originally classified as a planet, and later downgraded to an asteroid. Now it is one of the dwarf planets and the only one in that category orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt. Ceres was discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. Recent studies suggest that Ceres possibly has a layer of liquid water in its interior, and also water in the form of ice everywhere on its surface. There is a strong possibility that life on Earth originated from Ceres. Piazzi didn’t know about these hypotheses when, in the early years of the 19th century, he proposed the name after the Roman goddess Ceres, Mother Earth.

In Roman mythology Ceres had a daughter, Proserpina, whom she loved dearly. One day Pluto abducted young Proserpina and made her the queen of the Underworld. Ceres desperately searched her daughter everywhere, but she couldn’t find her. In her grief and anger Ceres stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables. Jupiter sent Mercury to free Proserpina. Pluto made Proserpina eat six pomegranate seeds, because those who ate food of the dead could not return to the world of the living. Therefore every year Proserpina has to spend six months with Pluto. This is wintertime on Earth. The other six months she is allowed to live with her mother Ceres. When Proserpina returns, Ceres allows plants grow and flowers bloom again. The myth describes the change of the seasons, and nature’s eternal cycle of renewal.

February 2 is Candlemas, one of the Christian holidays. The name refers to candles that are blessed on this day for use throughout the year. Originally in the ancient Rome this festival was feasted in honor of Pluto and Ceres. The Romans walked through the city with lighted candles, because Ceres sought her daughter Proserpina in the night with the light of a candle. Also the Celtic pagan festival Imbolc is feasted around this time, halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

In the Leo Full Moon chart we have a tight conjunction of two astrological symbols representing mother, the Moon and Ceres. Unconditional love, grief, nurturing and taking care of others, food-related issues and sharing are among the themes of Ceres.

In “Asteroid Goddesses” Demetra George ponders Ceres’ rulership in signs, and introduces Ceres as the ruler of Cancer, Virgo and the Taurus-Scorpio polarity. She mentions that Ceres, in her Virgoan expression, symbolizes workers, labor unions and strikes, among other things. On February 2 a massive political demonstration takes place in Helsinki. Finland’s largest labor organization, the SAK, is protesting the so-called “active model”, the government’s program to reduce the benefits of the unemployed. Thousands of workers will gather to show their solidarity with the unemployed. For instance, the bus and metro workers, and many branches of the public sector will be striking. The delivery of meals to daycare centers may be disturbed, and parents have been advised to pack some food along with their children on Friday. Several themes of Ceres can be recognized concerning Friday’s events.

New Moon in Capricorn — January 17, 2018, 2:17 UT

January 17th, 2018

Capricorn was packed with planets at the New Moon in the early hours of the morning. Besides the Sun and the Moon, there were Saturn (the ruler of the sign), Mercury, Pluto and Venus. The New Moon occurred in conjunction with Venus.

The New Moon was square to the dwarf planet Haumea in Libra and also square to the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries. The Uranus-Eris conjunction is still affecting us, although it has started to unravel now. The peak of the conjunction was in 2016 – 2017. The whole time Haumea in Libra has been opposing the conjunction. Haumea and Eris have been forming a long ongoing opposition — a total of nine exact oppositions — between the years 2014 and 2018. The last of those exact aspects takes place in August 2018.

Uranus with its orbital period of 84 years, moves relatively fast compared to Eris. It conjoins Eris once every century. By contrast the recent opposition of Haumea and Eris is the first one in the modern era. It takes about 285 years from Haumea to orbit the Sun, and almost 560 years from Eris. Our experience of the current planetary energies is quite unique.

Haumea is one of the weirdest objects of our solar system. In addition to its many interesting astronomical features known to us already, it revealed yet another oddity last year. Haumea has a ring! Objects with rings are not rare in our solar system in general. All four giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – have them. Centaur Chariklo has two rings, and Chiron – also a centaur – may have a similar pair of rings. Haumea is the first trans-Neptunian object found to have a ring though.

Haumea is one of the largest trans-Neptunian objects discovered. A recent study reveals that it is even bigger than what was thought before. The shape of Haumea resembles an American football, and the largest dimension is about 2300 km, approximately the same as the diameter of Pluto.

Haumea is the most bizarrely shaped and the fastest rotating body of its size class. The rotation period is only about four hours. It is almost entirely composed of rock, whereas most objects in the Kuiper Belt are about equal portions of rock and ice. Haumea has two moons, and it is followed in its orbit around the Sun by a swarm of small icy bodies that were ejected from the surface of Haumea, when another object slammed into it in the distant past. Scientists call them the Haumea family.

In Hawaiian mythology Haumea is the goddess of childbirth and fertility, and Hi’iaka and Namaka – after which the two moons were named – are her children. Haumea can take many different forms and has experienced many different rebirths. Her children sprang from different parts of her body. The myth obviously describes how the hot lava burst out from many surprising spots of the ground and starts to squirm towards the sea, forming new land, reshaping the landscape, and finally turning into fertile soil.

Every New Moon is a good time for new beginnings. Capricorn is an efficient and goal-oriented sign. With the presence of the loving Venus, the inventive Uranus, and the shape-shifting Haumea, projects and tasks that are started now have good prospects.

Full Moon in Cancer — January 2, 2018, 2:24 UT

January 2nd, 2018

The year begins with a Full Moon in Cancer, the home sign of the Moon. The Sun in the opposite sign Capricorn is in conjunction with Venus and a little centaur planet Amycus. Also Saturn is in Capricorn. Saturn arrived in its own sign about two weeks ago. Neptune in Pisces is in tight trine to the Moon and sextile to the Sun-Amycus conjunction.

In Cancer the focus is on the home, the family and the motherland. We may want to withdraw from contact with others and turn within. This tendency can be increased by Saturn’s inclination to set boundaries and build defenses. Centaur Amycus wants to remind us, that we are connected to other people and what we do – whether good or bad — affects everybody. We can’t be truly human in isolation.

55576 Amycus is a rather small centaur with a relatively long orbital period of over 125 years. It was discovered in April 2002 by the NEAT (the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking program). It was named after a male centaur, which had an important role in the Centauromachy, a famous battle between the Lapith people and the centaurs in Greek mythology.

The battle took place during the wedding of the king of the Lapiths, Pirithous, and his bride Hippodameia. Amycus was responsible for the first death of one of the Lapiths. The wild centaurs were invited to the wedding, but they became drunk and lost control. One of the centaurs, Eurytus, tried to rape the bride. The other centaurs followed his example and tried to attack and violate the Lapith women. King Pirithous’s friend Theseus killed Eurytus. In anger Amycus then smashed the head of innocent Lapith Celadon. Amycus was killed with a leg from a maple table and sent to the underworld Tartarus. The Lapiths defeated the centaurs, which were forced to flee from Thessaly.

In Greek mythology there is also another Amycus, the son of Poseidon (the Greek equivalent of Neptune) and nymph Melia. He was a boxer and the king of the Bebryces. During the expedition of the Argonauts, Polydeuces (Pollux) killed him in a boxing match.

During the Full Moon the presence of loving Venus and idealistic Neptune support 55576 Amycus, and help us to be truly human in a good way and to spread the good. My little example is from Suomussalmi, Finland, from the past week. Because of heavy snowing, thousands of people were without electricity in the Kainuu region since Christmas. On New Year’s Eve the municipality of Suomussalmi opened the doors of the local spa for all those who suffered from the power failure. They could use the spa and recharge their cell phones for free.

Winter Solstice – December 21, 2017, 16:28 UT

December 21st, 2017

New Moon in Sagittarius — December 18, 2017, 6:30 UT

The New Moon at 26+ degrees of Sagittarius on Dec. 18, 2017, was at the Galactic Centre and in conjunction with Saturn, centaur planet Pholus and trans-Neptunian object Quaoar. At Winter Solstice the Sun, Saturn and Quaoar are in exact conjunction in the first degree of Capricorn, one of the Cardinal Points, which tend to connect us to the larger world around us.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, and Saturn entered its own sign yesterday. The Sun followed there today. Quaoar is a trans-Neptunian object with an orbital period of 284.5 years. Quaoar ingressed Capricorn two weeks ago.

Quaoar is a quite large cubewano, possibly a dwarf planet, discovered in 2002 by Mike Brown and Chad Trujillo. At the time of its discovery it was the largest object found in our Solar System since the discovery of Pluto. Its orbit is nearly circular and moderately inclined. Quaoar has a moon, Weywot, discovered in 2007 by Mike Brown. Both names come from the mythology of the Native American Tongva tribe in Southern California, where the discovery of Quaoar was made.

Quaoar was the creation god of the Tongva. Quaoar has no form or gender. He danced and sang the sky god Weywot into existence. Together they created everything else into existence: other gods, people, animals and plants.

According to Eric Francis, “Quaoar’s placement in a natal chart gives an intimate portrait of the dance of the family’s emotional process and its impact on us. Quaoar speaks to the rhythms and choreography into which we were born, as these manifest within the family pattern going back generations.”

Saturn once represented the edge of our Solar System. Then the development of astronomical equipment allowed us to see Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. After the discovery of 1992 QB1, thousands of distant minor planets have been found. The Solar System as well as our understanding of it has broadened.

Quaoar has a special meaning for me. In 2002 when the discovery of Quaoar was announced, Quaoar was transiting my natal Moon and my lunar North node. It was the first trans-Neptunian object besides Pluto that I noticed, and which lead me to become aware of the centaurs and all the other intriguing worlds beyond Neptune. Quaoar danced the other small worlds and gods into my awareness.

Full Moon in Gemini — December 03, 2017, 15:47 UT

December 3rd, 2017

Today you may have an exceptionally easy access to your subconscious mind. Pay attention to your dreams. The Full Moon at 11+ degrees of Gemini is a SuperMoon. The Moon is in conjunction with the trans-Neptunian object Altjira. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini, and Mercury is stationary at the Galactic Centre in Sagittarius.

The Moon symbolizes our instincts and reactions, and it is a container for our experiences. The Gemini sign is one of the three air signs. Quoting Stephen Arroyo, “The Air realm is the world of archetypal ideas beyond the veil of the physical world; in the air element, the cosmic energy is actualized into specific patterns of thought.” Gemini is the sign of gathering and sharing information. Connections and communicating belong to Gemini.

Every Full Moon is an opposition of the Sun and the Moon. The Sun is at 11+ degrees of Sagittarius. Mercury, the ruler of the Gemini, is about to turn retrograde in the last degree of Sagittarius. Mercury is stationary at the moment. Stationary planets are powerful. Mercury is in conjunction with Saturn and the Galactic Centre. Melanie Reinhart describes planets at the center of our home galaxy in her article published by The Astrological Journal:

“When the last five degrees of Sagittarius are stimulated by transiting planets, a process of awakening is initiated. The arrow of the centaur points ‘beyond what we know’, and at the same time refer us symbolically to ‘what we have always known’ in our inner depths.”

The Roman god Mercury is equivalent to Greek Hermes, the messenger of the gods. Hermes was a god of transitions and boundaries. He was a guide to the underworld. He was able to move freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine. He was the bringer of sleep and the conductor of dreams, and thus we can also consider him as a messenger between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind.

The Full Moon in Gemini is in exact conjunction with 148780 Altjira, a binary trans-Neptunian object discovered in 2001. The secondary was discovered in 2007. It is large compared to the primary and for some reason it has not been named yet. The orbital period is 294 years.

148780 Altjira was named after the sky god of the aboriginal people of Australia. Altjira was the central god of the Dreamtime, a sacred era which existed before the life of the individual began, and continues to exist when the life of the individual ends. In the beginning Altjira created the Earth and gave the humans everything they needed for survival. Then he retired to the sky. The Aboriginals believe that the Dreamtime is a return to the real existence, and that life in this time is a passing phase. They also believe that during sleep a person leaves their body and temporarily enters the Dreamtime.

In recent years sleeping disorders have become a growing health problem around the world. Perhaps Altjira’s current journey in the mutable air sign Gemini has something to do with this. Altjira entered Gemini in 2007-2008. The energy in this sign can be nervous and make the planets in the sign more scattered.

The ruler of Sagittarius is Jupiter, which magnifies everything it touches. Jupiter at 11+ degrees of Scorpio is forming exact aspects to the luminaries. Neptune rules the oceans, and the ocean is a symbol for unconscious. Dreams belong to Neptune’s dominion. Neptune at 11+ degrees of Pisces squares the Sun and the Moon.

A SuperMoon is a term launched by astrologer Richard Nolle. It happens when the Full Moon coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit. If you have a clear sky, you can see the Moon shining brighter and larger than usual.

New Moon in Scorpio — November 18, 2017, 11:42 UT

November 19th, 2017

The New Moon at 26+ degrees of Scorpio on Nov. 18, 2017, was opposite Sedna at 26+ degrees of Taurus. Currently Sedna is also receiving the following aspects: a quincunx (150 degrees) from Saturn at 26+ Sagittarius, a sextile (60 degrees) from Chiron at 24+ Pisces and a semi-sextile (30 degrees) from Uranus at 25+ Aries.

Sedna has an exceptionally long and elongated orbit. The orbital period is around 11,400 years. At the moment Sedna is about three times as far as Neptune, approaching the Sun, and coming to its perihelion in 2076.

Sedna is named in honor of the Inuit goddess of sea and marine animals. She is thought to live at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean. There are several variants of the myth, but all of them agree that Sedna was a beautiful young girl, who became the goddess of the icy waters. According to Grey Eagle, a Native American ceremonial storyteller, “all the broken taboos and sins against the nature of the people fall through the water, to collect on Sedna’s body. When the accumulation is too great, Sedna sobs in pain.” The sea creatures gather by her door to comfort her, and in the above world there is hunger and sickness. Then a shaman must visit her in the deep waters and clean her body and comb her hair. When Sedna is happy again, she releases her mammals and allows the humans to eat from the bounty of the sea.

Astrologically Sedna has a strong association with climate change and other environmental issues. She reminds us that we should not be exploiting the resources of Earth. Sedna must be treated with respect.

Last week more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries published a letter as a warning to humankind: “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

The Arctic region is a unique area among Earth’s ecosystems. So far it has remained comparatively clean. The Arctic holds 1/5 of Earth’s water supply. Endangering this pristine area is inexcusable. Arctic oil drilling is dangerous, because in freezing conditions oil is known to behave very differently than in lower latitudes. An oil spill would have a catastrophic impact. There is no way to clean up oil underneath the thick ice.

Environmental organizations have filed a historical lawsuit against Norway. On April 22, 2016, Norway signed the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 Cº. The subject of the lawsuit is the government’s decision to grant new oil drilling licenses in highly sensitive areas of the Norwegian Arctic. The first hearing will take place on Nov. 21, 2017, at Oslo District Court.

In one of the variants of the Sedna myth she is described as a hungry and greedy girl. She was so huge and hungry that she ate everything in her parents’ home, and even gnawed off one of her father’s arms as he slept. Humankind cannot afford to be greedy anymore. We have to face the facts and work together in order to save our planet.

The Fire Woman Returns

November 17th, 2017

In October 2017, a trans-Neptunian object (47171) 1999 TC36 was named as Lempo. Lempo was originally the goddess of love and fertility in Finnish mythology. According to the myth, a glowing fireball shot from the sky and hit the ground. It was the sacred Fire Woman with a flaming hair. The myth is describing a meteor hitting the ground very long ago.

On Nov. 4, 2017, the New Moon in Taurus was in conjunction with 47171 Lempo. On Nov. 13, 2017, Venus and Jupiter made a conjunction in Scorpio, right opposite 47171 Lempo in Taurus. Only a few days after the spectacular conjunction, Lempo manifested herself.

A very bright fireball exploded over the Finnish Lapland on Nov. 16, 2017, at 16:40 UTC. The dark evening sky was lit up, there was a loud noise, blue light, trembling houses and barking dogs. Tens of kilograms of meteor rocks fell on the ground somewhere in the vicinity of Lake Inari.

A video by Aurora Service Tours

Full Moon in Taurus — November 4, 2017, 5:23 UT

November 5th, 2017

In Finland All Saints’ Day was celebrated on Nov. 4 this year. I made the traditional visit to the local cemetery with my sister and my brother-in-law, where we lit candles at the graves of our loved ones.

The Moon was full on Nov. 4, 2017, in Taurus, in conjunction with 341520 Mors-Somnus, named from Roman mythology after twin gods of the underworld.

341520 Mors–Somnus is a small double plutino discovered in 2007 and named in 2015. The two components have almost equal size. The orbital period is approximately 244 years.

All plutinos are given mythological names associated with the underworld. Mors was the Roman personification of death, and Somnus was the personification of sleep. The Greek equivalents are Thanatos and Hypnos. According to the Theoi Project, a site exploring Greek mythology and gods, Thanatos was the god of non-violent death, and his touch was gentle, likened to that of his twin brother Hypnos. Hypnos was said to be a calm and gentle god, who helped humans in need. A poppy was his symbol.

47171 Lempo, a triple plutino which was named a month ago from Finnish mythology, was also in conjunction with the Full Moon. The timing of the naming of this celestial body was excellent, because Finland is celebrating its hundred years of independence this year. In mythology Lempo was a sacred Fire Woman, who gave bread, iron and love to humankind, and also escorted the deceased to the Otherworld.

New Moon in Libra — October 19, 2017, 19:12 UT

October 20th, 2017

The New Moon at 26+ degrees of Libra was in exact opposition to Uranus in Aries. This could be a time for something new and brilliant to emerge. A change is about to happen.

The symbol of the Libra sign is the scales of justice. The New Moon in Libra in less than two degrees’ conjunction with 38083 Rhadamanthus, a trans-Neptunian minor planet discovered in 1999, is emphasizing the theme of fairness and justness. Another important theme of Libra is seeking balance.

38083 Rhadamanthus is a quite small body with the orbital period of circa 245 years. It is named after a wise king of Crete, and the son of Zeus and Europa, Rhadamanthus, who later became one of the judges of the dead. He was also said to be a tutor to Heracles.

Rhadamanthus was driven away from Crete by his brother Minos, who was jealous of his popularity. According to legends, on account of his inflexible integrity, Rhadamanthus was made one of the judges of the dead in the lower world. Homer (the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey) represents him as dwelling in the Elysian Fields, the paradise for the immortal sons of Zeus.

The Sabian Symbol for Libra 27 is “An airplane hovering overhead”. Dr. Marc Edmund Jones’s description for the degree speaks about how to cope at the moment of crisis in life, and also describes some good attributes for a just person: “This is a symbol of the psychological maturity of man on the ideal side of life, and of the imaginative resourcefulness of character which makes him an immortal being. Here is emphasis on experience as a means for achieving an over-all view of the world at large, and on the self-satisfaction which follows from seeing things in terms of their consequences and relationships. The individual finds himself the momentary epitome of every human potential. The keyword is reflection. When positive, the degree is high effectiveness in self-adjustment or real skill in meeting the crises of life, and when negative, complete inability to get down into immediate realities.”

Lempo – The Fire Woman

October 14th, 2017

On Oct. 5, 2017, a triple trans-Neptunian object (47171) 1999 TC36 was named for deities from Finnish mythology. The primary was named Lempo and the two smaller components as Hiisi and Paha.

47171 Lempo is classified as a plutino. It is probably a dwarf planet. The primary was discovered in 1999 at Kitt Peak in Arizona by Eric Rubenstein and Louis-Gregory Strolger. The orbital period is about 245.5 years. Lempo was at its perihelion in July 2015. Perihelion is the point in the orbit of a body where it is nearest to the Sun.

The central primary of 47171 Lempo is a binary. The moon, now called Paha, is circulating the central pair. It was discovered on Dec. 8, 2001, by Chad Trujillo and Mike Brown using the Hubble Space Telescope observations, and announced on Jan. 10, 2002. In 2009, analysis of Hubble images revealed that the primary is composed of two nearly similar-sized components, now named Lempo and Hiisi. In this respect Lempo resembles the Pluto system, where four moons are orbiting the central binary of Pluto and Charon.

Lempo was originally the god of love and fertility in Finnish mythology. She was the sacred Fire Woman. 47171 Lempo is thus the first plutino named after a female deity.

The Taivaannaula website, which is dedicated to preserving and fostering the native Finnish religion and culture, tells the story about Lempo, who gave bread, iron and love to humankind. Once upon a time the fire came from beyond the visible world. A glowing fireball shot from the sky and hit the ground. It was the Fire Woman with flaming hair. People were terrified at first, but after they discovered all the advantages which she gave to them, they became the people of fire. Lempo burned the soil fertile, she gave them weapons and tools, and she lit the flame of love. Even the deceased she escorted to the Otherworld.

Then Christianity came to Finland, and Lempo became identified with the devil. The word “lempi” is one of the Finnish words which mean “love”. Lempi could sometimes turn to Lempo, which lead to destruction. Lempo’s name became a swear word. Even her gender became blurred. This mixture of the gender comes wonderfully out of the astrological aspects of the time of the naming of 1999 TC36. On Oct. 5, 2017, there was a Full Moon in Aries. At the moment of any Full Moon, the Sun and the Moon, a pair of masculine and feminine, are opposite each other. On this Full moon they were in signs which are ruled by another pair of masculine and feminine symbols, Venus and Mars; the Sun was in Libra, ruled by Venus, and the Moon was in Aries, ruled by Mars. Venus and Mars made a conjunction in Virgo on that same day. The Sun in Libra was in conjunction with Mercury, the androgynous messenger of the gods.

In mythology Hiisi and Paha were Lempo’s demon cohorts. “Paha” means “bad” in Finnish.