New Moon in Sagittarius — November 29, 2016, 12:18 UT

November 29th, 2016

The New Moon at 7+ degrees Sagittarius takes place on Nov. 29 in exact square to the lunar nodes, the invisible points in the sky, which form an axis in the astrological chart. “The nodes tell us about what we get to do here on the Earth, and they help us do it,” has Eric Francis expressed their meaning. The south node is associated with the past and the north node with the future. The point square to the nodes in halfway between them is a balancing point, and the Sun and the Moon are there now.

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius. Jupiter at the mid-degrees of Libra squared Pluto in Capricorn less than a week ago, on Nov. 24. This was the first square in the series of three. The other two will occur next year. The Uranus-Eris conjunction is retrograding in Aries, opposite Jupiter. The opposition is tightening.

The day after the Jupiter-Pluto square, on Nov. 25, the iconic revolutionary leader and former long-term prime minister and president of Cuba, Fidel Castro died. Castro represents the generation which was born during the previous Uranus-Eris conjunction in the 1920s.

The time for Fidel Castro’s birth is controversial, but the data I am using is August 13, 1926, 2:00 AM, Biran, Cuba (classified by the Astro-Databank as Dirty Data). Castro’s Uranus is in the late degrees of Pisces, but Eris is right at the Aries Point. There could not be more fitting place than this for the goddess of strife and discord in the chart of a revolutionary, who became the leader of his country. According to astrologer Robert Hand, the Aries Point “indicates one’s relationships with the larger world around one and is associated with fame and greater social significance.”

Eris is a polarizing force, and Fidel Castro was a controversial person. Many Cubans think about him as a beloved father figure, while others consider him as a dictator. Exclusion is one of the themes that can be associated with Eris, so the long-lasted economic and diplomatic isolation of Cuba can be linked with her symbolism.

Castro’s ascendant is in conjunction with asteroid Bacchus in the late degrees of Gemini. The ascendant signifies the impression we make on others. In Greco-Roman mythology the Roman Bacchus is equivalent to the Greek Dionysus, the god of winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and fertility. Bacchus traveled around and was followed by singing and dancing women. Castro was a womanizer who had many mistresses and several illegitimate children.

Bacchus was also known as Liber Pater, “the liberator”. A quote from Wikipedia: “In Roman culture, Liber, Bacchus and Dionysus became virtually interchangeable equivalents. Bacchus was euhemerised as a wandering hero, conqueror and founder of cities.” In my opinion, the image below, taken in 1957 when Castro was celebrating his victory in Havana, expresses perfectly Castro’s Bacchus at his ascendant.

h-01822378

Fidel Castro survived more than 600 assassination attempts. Perhaps centaur planet 346889 Rhiphonos has something to do with his extraordinary survival ability. In his natal chart, Castro’s Saturn is in conjunction to his Rhiphonos, to the degree. His Sun is in exact square to the conjunction. In mythology, Dionysus’s mother was a mortal woman, and his father was Zeus. When Dionysus was an infant, Zeus set twelve centaurs to guard him against Hera’s anger. These centaurs drew the chariot of baby Dionysus. One of the Dionysian Centaurs was Rhiphonos.

Fidel Castro’s last public appearance was on April 19, 2016. He delivered a farewell speech. “Soon I will be 90 years old,” he said. “Soon I will be like all the rest. Everybody’s turn comes.” We don’t know if anything specific concerning his health had occurred then, because his health was a national security matter and kept secret. From the astrological point of view something notable had happened recently.

On March 9, 2016 there was a Total Solar Eclipse at 18+ degrees of Pisces in conjunction with Chiron. The eclipse fell on Fidel Castro’s Midheaven in Pisces. Midheaven, or the cusp of the tenth house represents not only our career, but in larger sense also our life purpose.

The eclipse was of Saros series 18 South. Each eclipse is a member of a particular eclipse series, and each series has a distinct characteristics. Astrologer Bernadette Brady has delineated the Saros series 18 South like this: “This family of eclipses is concerned with endings or separations. Thus when it affects a chart, individuals will find themselves dealing with a parting. This parting can be anything from a friend traveling overseas and the saying of goodbyes to the ending of a relationship with a loved one, which could bring much anguish or grief. However, the pain of the separation is lessened by encountering new situations which lead to very positive outcomes.”

At the time Fidel Castro died (Nov. 25, 2016), he was experiencing a transit of Pluto. The transiting Pluto at 15+ degrees of Capricorn was tightly opposing his natal first house Pluto in Cancer. Castro’s Pluto is conjunct his north lunar node. In fact the current transiting Jupiter-Pluto square was affecting not just his natal Pluto (power), but also his nodal axis (the past and the future). A powerful transformation was inevitable.

Full Moon in Taurus — November 14, 2016, 13:52 UT

November 14th, 2016

The Full Moon in Taurus today is the brightest supermoon in nearly 70 years. The Moon is closer to Earth than it has been since January 1948. In the astrological chart, the Moon was in conjunction with one of the most distant objects in our solar system, Sedna.

Sedna was discovered on 14 November 2003, exactly thirteen years ago. It is a trans-Neptunian object which astrologically has a strong association with the climate change and other environmental issues. It reminds us that we should not be exploiting the resources of Earth.

Sedna has an exceptionally long and elongated orbit. The orbital period is around 11,400 years. At the moment it is about three times as far as Neptune, approaching the Sun, and coming to its perihelion in 2076. The last time Sedna was this close to the Sun, Earth was just coming out of the last ice age. The next time Sedna comes back, the world will be a completely different place again.

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.

Sedna wants to be known. She gives us subtle warnings, and if we don’t pay attention to her, we may have to deal with her strength.

Another distant object named after Inuit deities, Sila-Nunam, is squaring the luminaries from Leo. Sila-Nunam is a binary system, a double cubewano, consisting of two bodies tightly bound and with nearly equal sizes. The orbital period is almost 300 years.

Classical trans-Neptunian objects are given mythological names associated with creation. Sila or Silla is one of the oldest Inuit deities, even older than Sedna. Sila is the Inuit god of the sky, weather, and life force. The Inuit believed that Silla was the primary component of everything that exists. He had control over everything in one’s life. Nunam is the Earth goddess, Sila’s wife. Nunam created the land animals and, in some traditions, the Inuit people. Sila breathed life into the Inuit.

In 1997, the same year when Sila-Nunam was discovered, an international treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. The agreement set targets for industrialized countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

Year 2016 has been the hottest year on record. This has been especially pronounced in the Arctic, affecting the melting of the ice sheet and sea ice, and the thickness of the snow cover. The survival of the polar bear is seriously threatened. The warming is endangering the Svalbard seed vault, which was thought to be safely surrounded by arctic permafrost. Global biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. Almost two-thirds of the vertebrate species have disappeared in about 50 years because of human actions.

The Paris agreement on climate change went into effect on 4 November 2016, marking the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises. Now the world is worried about USA’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement. Is Donald Trump’s presidency going to be a disaster for our planet?

Full Moon in Aries — October 16, 2016, 04:23 UT

October 16th, 2016

This is the Full Moon when unexpected events can be expected. The Moon at 23+ degrees of Aries fell tightly on the Uranus-Eris conjunction. In the opposing sign, Libra, the Sun was in exact conjunction with Haumea, one of the dwarf planets.

Haumea and Eris are forming a long ongoing opposition between the years 2014 and 2018. Because of the phenomenon called retrogradation, these planets make the total of nine exact oppositions to another during these years. The middlemost of these aspects happened on Oct. 13th.

Eris is the most massive and second-largest dwarf planet known in the Solar System. It is a scattered-disk object. It was discovered in 2005 and first known as Xena (after the Warrior Princess in a television series), which was a nickname given by the discovery team. Eris caused Pluto’s astronomical demotion. Eris was officially named in 2006 after the Greek goddess of strife and discord.

The previous time that Uranus and Eris were forming a conjunction, was in 1927 and 1928. The conjunction took place at the Aries Point. Because both planets are moving slowly, the conjunction was valid longer than just two years. The Aries Point is a point which connects the individual with the larger world and is associated with fame. I have two examples of people born with that conjunction.

The Queen of Suspense, Mary Higgins Cark, was born on Christmas Eve 1927. Her Sun is at 1+ degrees of Capricorn, tightly squaring the Uranus-Eris conjunction at the Aries Point. Also Jupiter in late Pisces was conjunct Uranus and Eris. The time for Higgins Clark’s birth is not known, but there was a New Moon and a Partial Solar Eclipse at 1+ degrees of Capricorn on that same day. So her Moon can be included in the square configuration.

The Solar Eclipse on Dec. 24, 1927, belongs to the Saros Series 1 South. Bernadette Brady has delineated this Series as following: “This family of eclipses is concerned with ideas and their enthusiastic expression. If this eclipse affects your chart, you will be flooded with ideas or options. There may seem to be an element of haste, but if you can go with the new ideas, they will have positive outcomes.”

Mary Higgins Clark began writing at an early age. Despite of her advanced age, she continues writing. She has over 50 novels published, and all of her suspense novels have been best-sellers. She also has won many awards for her writing. In her birth chart Mercury (writing) is squaring Jupiter (expansion). Her Sun and Mercury are in a flowing trine to her Neptune in the last degree of Leo (inspiration, imagination), and Neptune is also aspecting the Uranus-Eris conjunction at the Aries Point.

Higgins Clark is said to have the ability to slowly draw out the tension while making the reader think everyone is guilty. Her novels feature strong, independent young women who find themselves in the midst of a problem that they must solve with their own courage and intelligence (Eris). Many of the books deal with crimes involving children or with telepathy. In my bookshelf I have several of her novels, which I have not finished reading – they are just too creepy for me.

Yayoi Kusama (born March 22, 1929, time unknown) is a Japanese artist and writer. Her exact Sun-Eris conjunction at the Aries Point, and the opposition of Mars and Saturn from Cancer to Capricorn, form a t-square. Uranus is in conjunction with Eris.

There have been tragic twists in Yayoi Kusama’s life, and although in her birth chart there are many other clues from which you are able to read the story, Eris plays an important role in her life and art.

Kusama started creating art at an early age. She became interested in the European and American avant-garde, and in 1957 she moved to the United States. The polka dots have become a trademark of her work. She covers surfaces with the polka dots, or “infinity nets,” as she calls them, taken directly from her hallucinations and obsessions. While living in the US, Kusama was hospitalized regularly from overwork (Eris as cast out from society). She returned to Japan in ill health, and in 1977 checked herself into a hospital for the mentally ill in Tokyo. She has been living at the hospital since, by her own choice. She has continued her work. She is one of the leading artists in the world today, and she has received numerous awards.

In Inviting Eris To The Party, Amy Shapiro writes: “Eris and the Sun are rather opposite in nature; the Sun gives light and life, while Eris is associated with darkness and death. The Sun is the core egoic self, striving to be recognized as self-determining. Eris is determined to supersede the ego…” Specifically about the Sun-Eris conjunction she says: “You are unique and special and must express who you are at heart in a way that empowers you to influence those who come within your orbit. No one else can tell you how to live your life; being free to be yourself is essential to you…”

The Saturn-Eris square is described by Shapiro like this: “Harsh circumstances may motivate you to excel despite obstacles. You are prepared to earn your freedom by working hard and long to prove your worth and rise to the top…”

Yayoi Kusama has been described as a conceptual artist, a minimalist, a surrealist, a pop artist and a feminist artist. Kusama’s art is not a bit gloomy, although she has fought against the darkness of her mind during her whole life. Its central themes are infinity, repetition and the desire to become one with the world. The viewer can become part of her imaginary world.

She has said: “A polka dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

136108 Haumea is a dwarf planet discovered in 2004 by Mike Brown and his team. In 2005 they discovered that Haumea has two moons, which were later named as Hi’iaka and Namaka. The names come from the Hawaiian mythology, where Haumea is the goddess of childbirth and fertility, and Hi’iaka and Namaka are two of her children. Haumea is the second Kuiper belt object after Pluto known to have more than one moon.

In mythology Haumea’s many children sprang from different parts of her body. She can take many different forms and has experienced many different rebirths. Hi’iaka was born from the mouth of Haumea. She danced the first Hula on the shores of Puna and is the patron goddess of the island of Hawaii and of hula dancers. Namaka is a water spirit, who was born from the body of Haumea. When Pele sends her burning lava into the sea, Namaka cools the lava to become new land.

136108 Haumea is one of the strangest objects in the Solar System. It is one of the largest trans-Neptunian objects discovered. In the very distant past another object probably slammed into Haumea at high speed, and this giant impact led to all of its odd properties. It is the fastest rotating body and also the most bizarrely shaped body of its size class. The rotation period is only about four hours. The shape of Haumea is therefore stretched out and resembles an American football. The rotation time is near the point where body of this size starts to break down.

Haumea is followed in its orbit around the Sun by a swarm of icy bodies that were originally ejected from the surface of Haumea during the giant impact. They are called the Haumea family. Perhaps in the future these bodies will be named after other mythical children of Haumea.

Before the official naming the discoverers of Haumea nicknamed it “Santa”, because they had discovered it on December 28, 2004, just after Christmas.

The Sabian Symbol for the discovery degree for 12+ Libra is beautiful and aptly speaks about children: “Children blowing soap bubbles.” Marc Edmund Jones writes: “This is a symbol of man’s reassurance through the presence of the beautiful and the good in every least promising form of human relationship. People are disposed kindly toward their fellows, but there is no growth in the mere rhythm of everyday routine, and human individuality knows it must be up and at the business of selfhood whether constructively or otherwise. Implicit in the symbolism is the challenge to rise above childish things while yet clinging to childlike ways. The keyword is enchantment. When positive, the degree is a consistent simplicity of character which enables anyone to maintain his touch with a transcendental magic of being, and when negative, a constant and idle daydreaming.”

Two original artists born with their Sun conjunct Haumea are the awarded singer Amy Winehouse and the high-wire artist Philippe Petit. Both have walked their own paths, regardless of the public opinion or the consequences.

Philippe Petit gained fame for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade in 1974. He performed for 45 minutes, making eight passes along the wire, during which he walked, danced, lay down on the wire, and saluted watchers from a kneeling position. Even the policemen cheered him on. All charges were dismissed in exchange for him doing a performance in Central Park for children.

New Moon in Libra — October 1, 2016, 00:11 UT

October 1st, 2016

Libra is the sign of relationships. The Moon in Libra is peace-loving and wants to get along with others. It does not like discord. The Libra Moon seeks social approval, and also has a sense of fairness.

In the opposing sign, Aries, Uranus and Eris are in a tight conjunction. The exact conjunction took place a week ago, and it was the second of the three conjunctions between Uranus and Eris in 2016 and 2017. Planets in Aries can act impulsively, and both Uranus and Eris are disruptive forces.

Rejection and feelings of isolation can be associated with Uranus. A transit of Uranus symbolizes a time, when we need to break out of routines, and let something new in our life.

Eris is the dwarf planet which was discovered in 2005, and which astronomically excluded Pluto from the main planets. Eris was named after the Greek goddess of discord.

In mythology, Eris was the goddess of strife and discord, who indirectly caused the Trojan War. Because of her tendency to cause trouble, she was the only goddess, which had not been invited to the wedding party of Peleus and Thetis. In a rage she threw a golden apple of discord addressed “To the fairest one” amongst the goddesses, provoking thus a quarrel over who the apple should be given to, which eventually led to the Trojan War.

How can these different types of energies in the opposite signs of the New Moon chart be combined constructively? According to the hermetic principle of polarity, “in everything there are two poles, or opposite aspects, and that ‘opposites’ are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them.”

Actually, Eris was seeking social approval. She wanted to get along with others, and I’m sure she felt that she was treated unjustly. It is easy to understand, why many people consider Eris as the ruler of Libra sign. According to Sue Kientz, “Eris at its best shows concern for equality, desire to improve the community, and an abiding interest in Others.”

It is time to invite Eris to the party!

***

The new discoveries are not always located far in the icy region of the Kuiper belt. I have included in the New Moon chart a newcomer, which is circulating our own Earth!

The announcement of 2016 HO3, a quasi-satellite of Earth, was made last summer, in mid-June. 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth’s companion for centuries to come. 2016 HO3 is an Apollo asteroid, which orbits the Sun, but at the same time loops around our planet. Look at its intriguing dance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMJc7gmychk

In the summer solstice chart, 2016 HO3 was in the first degree of Libra, in an exact square to the Sun. At the moment it is at 8+ degrees of Virgo, in a perfect semi-sextile aspect (30 degrees) to the New Moon.

Does this new object have any astrological meaning? Generally speaking, a new planet is said to expand our consciousness and open up new possibilities. 2016 HO3 is small and distant, and it is not a moon, but it is our companion, and will be for along time to come. It may be worthwhile to observe its dance.

Full Moon in Pisces / Penumbral Lunar Eclipse — September 16, 2016, 19:05 UT

September 17th, 2016

”The maiden whom the Valar chose from among the Maiar to guide the vessel of the Sun was named Arien, and he that steered the island of the Moon was Tilion. –

”…But Tilion was wayward and uncertain in speed, and held not to his appointed path; and he sought to come near to Arien, being drawn by her splendour, though the flame of Anar scorched him, and the island of the Moon was darkened.

“…Tilion went with uncertain pace, as yet he goes, and was still drawn towards Arien, as he shall ever be; so that often both may be seen above the Earth together, or at times it will chance that he comes so nigh that his shadow cuts off her brightness and there is a darkness amid the day.”

This is how J.R.R. Tolkien describes eclipses in The Silmarillion. The Silmarillion is a posthumous collection of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, providing the background to The Lord of the Rings.

Each year there are two eclipse seasons, and in every eclipse season there are commonly two eclipses, one Solar and one Lunar, and sometimes more. The New Moon two weeks ago was an Annular Solar Eclipse in Virgo. The second eclipse of this eclipse season is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Pisces.

The Full Moon in Pisces is conjunct Chiron. In the same degree with Chiron and conjunct the Moon is 385446 Manwë. In Sagittarius 174567 Varda is square to the Mercury retrograde in Virgo. Varda is also widely squaring Manwë. Manwë and Varda are two trans-Neptunian objects discovered in 2003 and named in 2014. The names come from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional mythology.

Manwë was the King of the Valar in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legend. Manwë was a kind, compassionate ruler. He sought peace. He was lord of air, wind, and clouds. Birds were his servants, especially eagles, which flew back and forth and brought to his knowledge everything that was going on in the world. Poetry was Manwë’s delight and the song of words was his music. He lived with Varda, the Star-Queen, on Mount Taniquetil by the sea.

Varda is the Queen of the Stars, and being associated with light she is central to the dualism of light and darkness in Tolkien’s cosmology. She made the stars and constellations, and she established the courses of the Moon and the Sun. Her face radiated light.

It is almost impossible to talk about Manwë without mentioning Varda. Manwë and Varda complemented each other. If Varda is beside Manwë, he “sees further than all other eyes, through mist, and through darkness, and over the leagues of the sea. And if Manwë is with her, Varda hears more clearly than all other ears the sound of voices that cry from east to west, from the hills and the valleys…”

385446 Manwë is a binary trans-Neptunian object. The secondary is named Thorondor after the Lord of Eagles, the “mightiest of all birds that have ever been”, in Tolkien’s writing. Manwë and Thorondor are predicted to be going through a period of mutual occultations and transits between 2014 and 2018, when one object crosses in front of the other as seen from Earth.

174567 Varda is highly likely to be a dwarf planet. Its moon is named Ilmarë after Varda’s handmaiden. Tolkien was inspired by many mythologies, and the name Ilmarë possibly comes from the magical Finnish blacksmith Ilmarinen in our national epic, the Kalevala.

The Full Moon in Pisces is conjunct Chiron. This composition suggests intense emotions, confusion, and perhaps feeling like being a bit out of control. The eclipse takes place on the South node of the Moon. The South node has to do with the past. The Moon is a warehouse for memories. Pisces is one of the Water signs, and water remembers.

This can also be a moment of intuitive understanding, which with the aid of Chiron, the Maverick, offers an opportunity to something extraordinary and radiant.

New Moon in Virgo / Annular Solar Eclipse — September 1, 2016, 09:03 UT

September 2nd, 2016

The New Moon in the sign of Virgo on Sept.1, 2016, was an Annular Solar Eclipse. Annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is at its furthest point from the Earth and appears smaller than the Sun. The Moon does not cover the whole disc of the Sun, so a bright ring around it can be seen.

There are several factors emphasizing the Virgo nature of this eclipse. Also Mercury and Jupiter are in Virgo. Mercury is the ruler of the sign, and it is in exact conjunction with the magnifying Jupiter, to the degree. Mercury has turned retrograde just two days before the eclipse.

However, as I tend to focus on the new planets in the Kuiper belt, I would like to draw your attention to 90482 Orcus, which is in conjunction with the Sun and the Moon. So far Orcus has been noted in astrology much less than it deserves.

Orcus was discovered in 2004. It is probably a dwarf planet. It is a binary plutino, locked in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune, as all plutinos are. Orcus’s orbit is similar to Pluto’s, but it is oriented differently. They have the same orbital period (247 and 248 years), and both have perihelia above the ecliptic. For a brief time during their revolution around the Sun, each of them comes closer to the Sun than does Neptune. But their elongated orbits point in nearly opposite directions. Orcus is at aphelion when Pluto is at perihelion and vice versa. Because of the same orbital period and their mutual resonance with Neptune, they will always stay in opposite phases of their orbits. Orcus will come to aphelion (farthest distance from the Sun) in 2019.

Orcus’s personality was quite apparent from the beginning to Mike Brown, the discoverer. He has called it the anti-Pluto. That is why the name Orcus was chosen. Orcus was the Etruscan god of the underworld and equivalent of the Roman Pluto, and later became an alternate name for Pluto. The name was also a private reference to the homonymous Orcas Island, where Brown’s wife Diane had lived in her youth and that they visit frequently.

Orcus has a large satellite named Vanth. Mike Brown suspects that like the Pluto–Charon system, Orcus and Vanth are tidally locked. In other words, Orcus and its satellite have their same faces locked towards each other constantly.

In 2009 Brown asked readers of his weekly column to suggest possible names for the satellite. The name Vanth, after the Etruscan goddess who guided the souls of the dead to the underworld, was chosen. Brown had seen a picture of a fresco at the tomb in Anina depicting Vanth with a tear in her eye. She was waiting for the dead, carrying a torch, and silently crying. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who weeps for the dead? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guide to light the way?” wrote Brown.

Vanth in a fresco in an Etruscan tomb, image: Wikipedia

Vanth in a fresco in an Etruscan tomb, image: Wikipedia

From the astrologer’s point of view, there is one more thing about the orbit that raises interest. Astrologer Raimo A. Nikula has noted that in the astrological chart, Orcus and Pluto never are in conjunction with each other, nor oppose each other. They never get closer to each other than 51 degrees, and they never get further away from each other than 150 degrees. In other words, the smallest possible aspect between them is a septile and the widest is a quincunx.

Raimo also reminded me about the long-term opposition between Neptune and Orcus, which still is valid. The opposition has been going on several years. It has slowly started to come apart, but is now intensified by the eclipse in the near vicinity.

Establishing the astrological meaning of Orcus is in progress. Environmental issues and themes of survival, among others, have been connected to Orcus. Because of the homonymous name, also orcas, the killer whales, are associated with Orcus.

Orcas have been the main attraction of SeaWorld theme parks. The parks’ marine mammals have been a subject of criticism for years, and finally the campaigns against the captivity of dolphins and orcas have borne fruit. In 2016, SeaWorld has announced that they would end their in-park breeding programs, and eventually phase out their killer whale shows altogether.

Särkänniemi Dolphinarium in Finland has been receiving similar criticism as SeaWorld. The dolphinarium was closed in 2015. The last performance of the bottlenose dolphins was on Sept. 6, 2015, when Neptune was opposing a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Orcus and the Sun. Dolphins are symbols of the sea god Neptune.

Last week the effects of the eclipse started to show in Finland, when the management of Särkänniemi tried to transport the four dolphins of Särkänniemi from Tampere to Attica Zoological Park in Greece. The operation was started in secrecy, in the dark of the night. The animal activists and the media got wind of the transfer though, and a huge media tumult burst out. It became the main news. The management refused to communicate. They lied that because of security concerns, the authorities had advised to keep the operation secret. The hullabaloo just kept swelling and it has not calmed down.

An estimated 200 people gathered in the parking lot near the dolphinarium to follow the proceedings Saturday night. Image: Kaisu Jansson / Yle

An estimated 200 people gathered in the parking lot near the dolphinarium to follow the proceedings Saturday night. Image: Kaisu Jansson / Yle

Many rumors have been floating about the welfare of the animals in Attica Park. Activists from the animal rights group say that it is not the best location for the dolphins. Many people wish that the four dolphins, which never should have captured in the first place, could have stayed at Särkänniemi until a better place for their retirement had been found.

The closing ceremony of the Särkänniemi summer season will be held on next Saturday. Several noted artists that were supposed to perform at the celebration, have cancelled their gigs due to the park’s operations. Rock singer Jonne Aaron is the only scheduled artist who will step on stage. He is a dependable and committed Virgo. The Solar Eclipse and Orcus fall conjunct his Sun.

Full Moon in MacArthur’s Park — August 18, 2016, 09:27 UT

August 18th, 2016

On Tuesday it was pouring rain the whole day. In the background of my mind Richard Harris was singing “MacArthur Park”, all day. I thought that this was due to the weather, until I cast the chart for the song. I noticed that at the time of the recording, on Dec. 21, 1967, the Sun was in conjunction with 346889 Rhiphonos, just as it is now. The Aquarius Full Moon today was opposing the Sun-Rhiphonos conjunction.

346889 Rhiphonos is a centaur planet discovered in 2009. The orbital period is around 35,8 years. It is one of the recently named Kuiper belt objects. The naming was announced on July 23, 2013, a day after the birth of Prince George of Cambridge. Because of the mythology behind the name Rhiphonos, this simultaneity caused some pondering among astrologers at the time.

Rhiphonos was one of the twelve Dionysian Centaurs, which were set by Zeus to guard the infant Dionysus against Hera’s anger. Dionysus’s mother was a mortal woman, and his father was Zeus. The Dionysian Centaurs were originally sprites, but Hera transformed them into ox-horned centaurs, and they drew the chariot of Dionysus.

Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology. He is equivalent to the Roman Bacchus. He was also known as Liber Pater, “the liberator”. Dionysus travelled around the world, and among his adventures was the conquest of India. Rhiphonos was one of the commanders of the centaurs who joined Dionysus in his campaign against India.

I cannot recall when I have heard “MacArthur Park” for the first time, but it must have been already in 1968, when the original version of the Irish actor Richard Harris peaked the charts. I was twelve years old. I have loved the song ever since. Many artists have made cover versions of the song, but I have never listened any of the later versions, as Harris’s is the one and only for me. His performance is touching, and you can hear the pain in his voice.

Some people have claimed, that Richard Harris cannot sing. In my opinion his voice is beautiful, and it is his performance, which makes the song so special. Opinions divide, as the song has also been voted as the worst song of all time.

“MacArthur Park” is written by Jimmy Webb, who was only 21 years old at the time. The lyrics are symbolic and tell a true story of the end of a love affair, which Webb had with Susie Horton. They used to meet in MacArthur Park.

The young man of the song, whose relationship has ended, understands, that no matter how hurt he may be at the moment, life goes on, and though this one was the love of his life, there will be other loves. It is a growth story. So he will take responsibility for his life, although his life will never be the same again:

“I will take my life into my hands and I will use it”

I believe that the line is telling something essential about Rhiphonos, too.

Growth means change. Taking responsibility for your life can be frightening, but it is also freeing.

“MacArthur Park” was Richard Harris’s debut as a singer. It was his growth story, too. In an interview for The Guardian in 2013, Jimmy Webb recalls, how at one point during the recordings Harris had said, that “the vocals are a little loud, we need more orchestra.” A few months later he was saying: “The damn orchestra’s too loud!” Harris had gone from wanting to hide his voice to wanting people to hear it.

In the same interview Webb says: “We were a bit afraid of what we’d done. I didn’t know I could write something like that.”

On July 21, 2014, an entire “Late Show With David Letterman” was devoted to the song and titled as “MacArthur Park Night”. At the time there was a quadruple conjunction of the Sun, Jupiter, Rhiphonos and Varuna.

***

Thank you Chad Townsend for helping me to understand the lyrics of the song.

The lyrics can be found here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/macarthur-park-lyrics-richard-harris.html

New Moon in Leo — August 2, 2016, 20:44 UT

August 3rd, 2016

The Leo New Moon lined up with two newly named trans-Neptunian objects, which I have not mentioned before in my blog. The Sun and the Moon at 10+ degrees of Leo squared 341520 Mors–Somnus in Taurus. In conjunction with the Sun and the Moon in Leo was 420356 Praamzius.

341520 Mors–Somnus is a small double plutino discovered in 2007. The orbital period is approximately 245 years, slightly shorter than that of Pluto. The two components have almost equal size and their colors are indistinguishable from each other, but either one of them presumably has an elongated shape.

All plutinos are given mythological names associated with the underworld, so Mors–Somnus was named in 2015 after the mythological Roman twin gods of the underworld. Mors is the personification of death and Somnus is the personification of sleep. The Greek equivalents are Thanatos and Hypnos. Other named plutinos are for example Huya, Ixion and Orcus.

In Leo conjunct the New Moon is 420356 Praamzius, a cubewano discovered in 2012 with possible precovery observations dating back to 2004. It was officially named in February 2016 after the Lithuanian god of the sky, peace, and friendship. The Lithuanian chief god was also ruler of time. Cubewanos are given mythological names associated with creation. The orbital period of Praamzius is about 281 years, and it is possibly a dwarf planet.

It is too early to give any astrological delineation for these new minor planets, but I believe that Praamzius conjunct this New Moon emphasizes the importance of peace work in the world today. Here are a few example charts:

Jim Morrison, the singer, songwriter, and poet, and Oliver Stone, a film director and producer, have their Moon in conjunction with Praamzius.

Edward Snowden, who leaked NSA documents in 2013, and Mathias Rust, a German aviator who during the Cold War years in 1987 flew from Helsinki to Moscow and illegally landed near Red Square and the Kremlin, have their Sun conjunct Praamzius. Mathias Rust has said that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides.

The actor, film director, and activist Marlon Bando has a New Moon – a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon — in his birth chart. Praamzius is in conjunction with his luminaries. He also has Mors-Somnus rising near his ascendant.

The Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud has Mors-Somnus conjunct his Mars. He wrote about dream theories and interpretations, and used hypnosis in his work. Praamzius is aspecting both his Sun (120 degrees) and his Moon (150 degrees).

Full Moon in Capricorn — July 19, 2016, 22:57 UT

July 22nd, 2016

At Full Moon, the Moon is exactly opposite the Sun. Tuesday’s Full Moon appeared in Capricorn, and in the opposing sign, Cancer, the Sun was in conjunction with 20000 Varuna, a large classical Kuiper belt object, which was discovered in 2000.

Varuna is highly likely a dwarf planet. At the time of its discovery, it was the largest cubewano found so far. The orbital period is around 283 years.

Varuna is named after one of the oldest of the Vedic deities, the maker and upholder of heaven and earth. As such he was king of gods and men and the universe, and he had unlimited knowledge. Originally Varuna was the chief god of the Vedic pantheon, but he was replaced by Indra, and became the god of the seas and the celestial ocean. In art Varuna has been depicted as a lunar deity, as a yellow man wearing golden armor and riding the sea creature Makara. In Hindu astrology, Makara is equivalent to the sign of Capricorn. Varuna’s presence in the Full Moon chart deepens the general themes of the Capricorn Moon.

Varuna was also the god of law, portrayed as omniscient, catching liars with his lasso. He deals with matters of truth, lies and keeping agreements. Varuna has been described as a vast energy behind everything, too large to comprehend.

Among the events which have taken place while the Sun has been conjunct Varuna, are the following:

April 25, 1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson published their description of the double helix structure of DNA in the scientific journal Nature.

May 6, 1960 – President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.

May 12, 1964 — Twelve young men in New York City publicly burn their draft cards to protest the Vietnam War; the first such act of war resistance.

May 26, 1972 — Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT I treaty in Moscow, as well as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and other agreements.
— The Watergate first break-in, the “Ameritas dinner”, fails.

June 5, 1981 — The first recognized cases of AIDS.

June 17, 1991 — The South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act, which had required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

July 1, 2002 — The International Criminal Court is established.

July 7, 2005 — A series of coordinated terrorist bombings strike London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour.

July 20, 2015 — Cuba and the United States reestablish full diplomatic relations.

Two main belt asteroids are standing out in the Capricorn Full Moon chart, and echoing some of the themes of Varuna.

Asteroid 12524 Conscience is in conjunction with the Moon. This asteroid is named after Hendrik Conscience, a Belgian writer, and the astrological meaning of asteroid Conscience has not been studied, but sometimes the names work astrologically very well, although chosen quite arbitrarily. We can assume that asteroid Conscience deals with one’s sense of right and wrong.

In exact square to the luminaries is 128 Nemesis, a large and dark asteroid, named after the goddess of retribution. According to Demetra George, who has studied a lot about the female shadow, Nemesis in the birth chart symbolizes our conscience and guides us toward taking right action. When we ignore her promptings, we suffer the consequences. The earlier nature of Nemesis was more as an abstract force of justice rather than that of retaliation. Nemesis ensured that humanity respected the natural laws that maintained the order of the universe.

The Full Moon chart subtly advices us to listen the voice of our conscience and follow its guidance, and not to be judgmental toward one another.

New Moon in Virgo / Partial Solar Eclipse — Sept 13, 2015, 06:41 UT

September 17th, 2015

The New Moon in Virgo on Sept. 13 was a partial solar eclipse. Eclipses are more powerful than ordinary New Moons. In astrology, even if the eclipse is not visible where you live, it has an impact nevertheless. Eclipses are the emissaries of change.

In the eclipse chart in Pisces opposite the luminaries was Chiron. Chiron has affinities with Virgo, some astrologers even consider it to be the ruler of the sign.

The symbol of the earth sign Virgo is a maiden. The natives born in this sign are often practical, dependable and strongly inclined to serve their human fellows. The sign is associated with the sixth house, where matters of health, service and daily work belong. Virgo represents nurses, cleaners, servants and laborers.

There are going to be a massive demonstration and strikes in Finland on Friday. We haven’t seen anything like it since the general strike in 1956. The demonstration will close harbors and cause cancellations of flights. Policemen, bus drivers, teachers, shop personnel, health care workers etc., everybody is protesting. The whole labor union movement is prepared to show its power.

The demonstration is aimed against the centre-right government’s cuts, which will affect mostly women in low paid branches and those working in the public sector. The cuts treat people unjustly. According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle calculations, midwives are losing most. Yes, that’s right, the midwives have to bear the heaviest burden and save Finland!

The government is also restricting the right to agree on terms of employment and wrecking the policy of consensus, a process of decision-making that seeks widespread agreement among group members. So far employers, trade unions and the government have been able to negotiate the terms themselves, rather than the terms being imposed by law.

In Pisces, opposite the solar eclipse and in conjunction with Chiron is Borasisi, a minor planet in the Kuiper belt region. The name comes from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle. In the novel, the fictional religion of Bokononism is based on lies. One who believes harmless untruths will have peace of mind and a happy life. Borasisi’s presence could refer to some people’s difficulty to accept the urgent need to make economical adjustments in Finland. People want to believe that everything is fine. On the other hand, it may refer to some people’s willingness to believe that the government’s acts will get us safe. There are many who don’t believe so, as Friday’s demonstration shows.

We are now past the Uranus-Pluto square, the long-term transit of our era, but we will be experiencing its effects still a long time. Saturn, which represents boundaries, limitations and fears, is changing signs. This solar eclipse belongs to a Saros series 18 North. According to Bernadette Brady’s delineation, “a high stress level accompanies the energy of this series and individuals will experience a taxing of their strength.”

Mercury in the mid-degrees of Libra has turned retrograde on Thursday. It aspects several planets in Finland’s birth chart: Saturn in Leo, the Moon-Mars conjunction in Virgo, Pallas in Scorpio, the Sun in Sagittarius, and Juno in Aquarius. It is commonly known, that Mercury retrograde can cause confusion and complicate communication. Signing contracts is not recommendable under this influence. This is not promising any easy negotiations or quick solutions here in Finland.


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