New Moon in Aries / Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024, 18:21 UT

April 8th, 2024

The New Moon in Aries is a total solar eclipse visible across North America. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, completely obscuring the light of the Sun momentarily. All three bodies are in line. In the astrological chart, the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction, as always at the time of the New Moon. Even if the eclipse is not visible where you live, its astrological significance is not reduced because of it. In addition, the eclipse degree can remain as a sensitive point for years to come.

The eclipse occurs exactly in conjunction with the centaur planet Chiron, in the same degree and down to arc minutes. The trans-Neptunian Eris is also prominent in the chart. It is in the same degree with Mercury retrograde. Mercury turned retrograde on April 1, 2024.

Total Solar Eclipse in Aries

We associate both the New Moon and Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, strongly with new beginnings. The eclipse intensifies the power of the moment. The eclipse is like a transition point that gives a chance to adjust the direction that we are taking. In Aries there is pioneering spirit, self-motivation and action.

Each solar eclipse is a member of a specific Saros series. Each series starts as a tiny partial eclipse at either the North or South Pole, produces an eclipse every 18 years, and finishes at the opposite Pole. Each eclipse family has the characteristics of its own. Today’s eclipse belongs to the Saros series 8 North, which started in 1501 at the North Pole. We can cast the chart for the initial eclipse and use it to help interpreting the current eclipse chart. The initial eclipse was in Gemini (ruled by Mercury), and astrologer Bernadette Brady has delineated it like this: ”Inventiveness and flashes of genius are the hallmark of this Saros Series. The individual will have intuitive leaps, insights, good ideas, visions or vivid dreams. This new-found inspiration will pull the person away from his or her social life or relationship, thereby causing strain in the private life. This is a time when the person needs to be free, if only for a few weeks.” (Bernadette Brady, Predictive Astrology, 1992)

Centaur planet Chiron was discovered in 1977. It orbits the Sun on an elliptical orbit that is merging the realms of Saturn and Uranus. The orbital period is about 50 years. Observations in 1989 showed that Chiron had developed a cometary coma. A tail was detected in 1993. Today it is classified as both a minor planet and a comet. Chiron has three rings (yes, three rings!) and their structure is constantly evolving. The evidence of the rings was provided by several observations of occultations, the latest of which was in 2022. What a maverick!

Sue Tompkins and Melanie Reinhart have written: ”…In this sense Chiron bridges the realms of Uranus (radical change, revolution and the overturning of old collective structures) and Saturn (lord of manifestation and preserver of existing forms). By weaving both impulses into a higher synthesis, more uniquely personal than either planet, Chiron’s process may help us to individuate beyond the various pressures of the collective to which we are all subject. Commitment to the healing of ourselves, others and our environment is the price this minor planet seems to be asking us to pay.” (Sue Tompkins, The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook, 2006)

According to Barbara Hand Clow, ”Chiron is a knife-like tool you can use to dissect levels of awareness.” (Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron Transforming Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, 2004)

Mercury is now retrograding in Aries. Retrograding planets work a bit differently than planets in direct motion. Their energy is said to be more introspective. Martin Schulman has said: ”…through one’s Retrogrades, it is possible to ultimately become one’s own Guru through the enormous self awareness that emerges the minute the ‘not me’ identity is no longer a strong vibratory force in the person’s life.” By the ”not me” identity Schulman means the part of us that society, tradition, and our parents have taught us.

Although Schulman writes about ”Retrograde Mercury Personality”, the following can be adapted to transits as well: ”Once the communication barrier is passed, there is a tremendous amount of insight that comes out of the Retrograde Mercury. To make this easier, the Retrograde individual should not try to make the form of his life fit into the ideas and opinions of others around him. Instead he can find more comfort in being grateful for his rather unique way of seeing things.” (Martin Schulman, Retrogrades and Reincarnation, 1977)

Now Mercury and Eris are in a tight conjunction in Aries. Eris is is the most massive and second-largest known minor planet in the Solar System. It was discovered in 2005 and the next year named after the Greco–Roman goddess of strife and discord. It is a TNO in the scattered disk with the orbital period of almost 560 years.

Amy Shapiro writes about Eris-Mercury aspects: ”Mercury, like the chemical element, in its purest state is a tool of reflection, as a mirroring surface for what is near it. Eris polarizes all that she encounters.” (Amy Shapiro, Inviting Eris To The Party, 2014)

The last quote is from Henry Seltzer, and he too is talking about natal aspects between Mercury and Eris, but we can apply this again to the current transits as the stepping stone on our path to find our true ”me” identity: ”All the intellectual roads that you traverse have the power to bring you into closer connection with yourself. It is a life-long study to discover who you really are, on the inside, and once you do, you find that you are in a far better position to express your unique attitudes to the world around you.” (Henry Seltzer, The Tenth Planet, 2015)

Full Moon in Libra / Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – March 25, 2024, 07:00 UT

March 25th, 2024

Vernal Equinox – March 20, 2024, 03:06 UT

The new astrological year has begun with the tinge of lies and self-delusion. The Sun entered Aries on March 20 in triple conjunction with Neptune and 66652 Borasisi. The trans-Neptunian Borasisi followed the Sun into Aries on March 24. Borasisi is in the middle of its sign change; this was its second ingress, and the last one takes place in January 2025. The Full Moon in Libra on March 25 is a lunar eclipse. The Sun is still only five degrees apart from Borasisi. Pluto in Aquarius is sextile to Borasisi.

Borasisi is a binary object, a pair of bodies orbiting around their common center of mass, the barycenter. It belongs to cubewanos, which are given mythological names associated with creation. The companion’s name is Pabu. The names come from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle. The novel is satirizing issues of science, technology, the arms race, and the purpose of religion. Borasisi and Pabu are the personifications of the sun and moon in the cosmogony of Bokononism, the fictional religion, which is based on living by the untruths that make one happy. Astrologically Borasisi represents these themes and how we choose what comes to truth and lies.

If you have been following the news recently, you can’t but help notice the echoes of the themes of Vonnegut’s novel. The lunar eclipse draws our attention to these issues.

Putin won the presidential election in Russia. Actually nobody believes that the vote was free or fair.

It is now more than two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and for the first time Kremlin has used the word ”war” instead of a ”special military operation”.

The leaders of European countries had a meeting in Brussels. Among other topics, they discussed the need to strengthen the defence industry due to the changed security situation in Europe.

The award-winning Finnish journalist Matti Kuusela caused a scandal by revealing that he has written self-invented material in several articles during his career. According to him, readers should understand that not all articles are completelty true. In the name of journalistic credibility the publisher removed hundreds of articles from the web.

Finland was ranked the happiest country in the world for the seventh year in a row. The young people whose quality of life is weakened by both the poor economic situation and increased mental health problems hardly agree. Nor do those people whose social benefits have just been cut. More than half a million social welfare recipients will receive less support starting April 1. While the government says it aims at halving the number of those who receive income support, Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland) estimates that the number of people receiving income support will actually increase.

The reading skills of Finnish youth have weakened, especially in reading that requires critical thinking. Every third high school student has difficulty distinguishing a lie from the truth when reading online texts. We are all exposed to propaganda, conspiracy theories, and the products of artificial intelligence on a daily basis. Using the internet a lot does not make one a good critical reader. Thinking skills have to be learned separately. Young people need support in this.

In natal charts a prominent Borasisi can represent creativity and for example, a talented fictional writer. The famous detective writer Agatha Christie (Sept. 15, 1890 – Jan. 12, 1976) had her Sun conjunct Borasisi in Virgo. William Faulkner (Sept. 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Sept. 24, 1896 – Dec. 21, 1940) had their Sun conjunct Borasisi too. The first three Matrix films were written and directed by the Wachowskis. We can recognize the themes of Borasisi in the film series. Lilly Wachowski (born Dec. 29, 1967) has both her Sun and Mercury in conjuction with Borasisi in Capricorn. Lana Wachowski’s (born June 21, 1965) Borasisi in Capricorn is opposed by the Sun and Mercury in Cancer.

New Moon in Pisces – March 10, 2024, 09:00 UT

March 10th, 2024

The New Moon in Pisces occurs in the same degree with the trans-Neptunian binary system Teharonhiawako-Sawiskera.

The two components of the Teharonhiawako-Sawiskera binary system are named from the Iroquois creation myth, which tells about the fight between good and evil. The components of the object orbit each other. You can imagine them circling in space and in turn eclipsing each other. Their interaction symbolically reflects the alternation of light and darkness, and tells about the human struggle between good and evil.

The Iroquois creation story tells how Sky Woman fell to the Earth through a hole. She gave birth to two sons. Teharonhiawako was the good brother and Sawiskera his evil twin brother. According to one version of the myth, after the death of Sky Woman, Teharonhiawako shaped the Sun, the Moon and the stars from his mother’s body. Teharonhiawako created maize, fruits, and many good things, while his jealous brother caused ruin. Eventually the brothers confronted each other, and the good brother won.

There are both good and bad qualities in everyone of us humans, but this could be a perfect time for trying to act for good.

New Moon in Pisces

Full Moon in Virgo – Feb. 24, 2024, 12:30 UT

February 26th, 2024

The Full Moon in Virgo on February 24 was squared by asteroid Pallas in Sagittarius. Pallas Athene was the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft. She was an excellent strategist. Demetra George says that in Sagittarius she is a defender of truth and righteousness. Pluto in early Aquarius is in conjunction with two centaurs, Amycus and Orius. Amycus’s ingress into Aquarius was in December 2023. Orius entered Aquarius in the beginning of January 2024. Pluto’s second ingress into the sign was on January 21, 2024.

Full Moon in Virgo

55576 Amycus is named from Greek mythology after one of the wild centaurs that fought against the Lapiths at the wedding of king Pirithous. The centaurs were invited to the wedding, but they became drunk and lost their control. One of them tried to rape the bride. In the battle that broke out, Amycus was responsible for the first death of one of the Lapiths. Amycus was then killed in turn.

As human beings we can choose our actions. We are connected to other people, and what we do affects everybody. Society gives humans their humanity. Amycus can help us to be truly human and spread the good.

The following persons were born with their Sun conjunct Amycus: Miep Gies (Feb. 15, 1909 – Jan. 11, 2010), one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II; Michael Moore (born April 23, 1954), an American filmmaker, author, and activist; Alexei Navalny (June 4, 1976 – Feb. 16, 2024), a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist; Edward Snowden (born June 21, 1983), an American former computer intelligence consultant and whistleblower, whose motive was ”to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

Desmond Tutu (Oct. 7, 1931 – Dec. 26, 2021), a South African Anglican bishop, anti-apartheid and human rights activist, had Amycus at the Aries point, which joins individuals with the collective. The African Ubuntu philosophy, loosely translated as “I am what I am because of who we all are”, became best known through the writings of Desmond Tutu.

330836 Orius was discovered in 2009 at the Baldone Observatory, Latvia. In Greek mythology centaur Orius lived in the mountains and was killed at centaur Pholus’s cave by Heracles when he tried to steal the wine, which was common property of the centaur tribe. Orius may represent people who are somehow rebellious, live outside the mainstream, defend humanity, or act against those in power.

These are people who were born with their Sun conjunct Orius: James Dean (Feb. 8, 1931 – Sept. 30, 1955), an American actor in roles of a young rebel; Garry Kasparov (born April 13, 1963), a Russian chess grandmaster, political activist, and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin; Shahla Sherkat (born March 30, 1956), a feminist journalist, one of the pioneers of Women’s rights movement in Iran; Aki Kaurismäki (born April 4, 1957), a Finnish film director and screenwriter, who has boycotted the Oscar awards, and whose film characters are usually people living outside the mainstream.

WikiLeaks website was launched on Oct. 4, 2006, while the Sun was conjunct Orius in Libra. The goal of WikiLeaks is to bring information, provided by anonymous sources, to the public. The founder of Wikileaks, the Australian publisher and activist Julian Assange (born July 3, 1971), has an exact opposition of the Moon and Orius.

At the Full Moon it was two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The counteroffensive of Ukraine was not a success, but the war is not going to end anytime soon. Now Ukraine suffers from an acute ammunition shortage. The leaders have to think over their strategies. As the defender of the whole Europe, Ukraine deserves our support. The outcome of the war will affect all of us.

The opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in prison on Feb. 16, 2024, when Mars was tightly in conjunction with Amycus and Orius in early Aquarius. In the natal chart of Alexei Navalny, who was referred as the symbol of brighter future for Russia, the Sun is in exact conjunction with Amycus and Jupiter is in conjunction with Orius. Navalny was a political prisoner. He was falsely accused and sentenced in prison, and the Western leaders widely hold Putin responsible for Navalny’s death, whether it was an actual murder or a result of the conditions of his inprisonment.

Julian Assange has been kept five years in the British Belmarsh prison awaiting extradition to the United States. The court decision is expected soon. The extradition of Assange would set globally a threat to press freedom. His health has worsened and his wife recently stated that he would not survive in US prison. It would be hypocritical to condemn those who are responsible of Navalny’s death if the extradition of Assange will be accepted.

New Moon in Aquarius – Feb. 09, 2024, 22:59 UT

February 10th, 2024

The New Moon in Aquarius is square to Uranus and Lempo in Taurus. The square aspect means tension. Uranus is the planet of unpredictability. Also Pluto and Mercury are in Aquarius, the sign ruled by Uranus. Pluto entered the sign on Jan. 21 and Mercury on Feb. 5.

New Moon in Aquarius

Uranus can be linked with surprises, disruption, rebellion, reform, and breakup of structures. Many astrologers think that it had been appropriate to name the planet Uranus rather after the god of fire, the Titan Prometheus, than after the sky god Ouranos. In Greek mythology Prometheus rebelled against the gods, stole fire from them, and gave it to humans. Prometheus’s fire can be seen symbolizing the creativeness and technological inventiveness associated with the planet Uranus.

The trans-Neptunian Lempo that is now in conjunction with Uranus, was named after the fiend in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. However, Lempo too was originally a god of fire. According to the myth, a glowing fireball shot from the sky and hit the ground. Fire helped people get fertile soil, tools and weapons.

Finland declared its independence from Russia on Dec. 6, 1917. Uranus was at 20+ degrees of Aquarius. The current New Moon at 20+ Aquarius is in the same degree with Finland’s Uranus, which receives the square transit from Uranus in Taurus too.

Chart of Finland

A lot is going on in Finland.

On Sunday the Finns will vote in the second round of the presidential election. The president of Finland is elected by a direct popular vote. This presidential election is the first since we joined NATO. The first round took place two weeks ago. The second round is a tough competition between Alexander Stubb of the National Coalition Party and Pekka Haavisto of the Green League, who is running as an independent candidate. Stubb is leading but according to the latest polls, Haavisto is catching him up. In the past most often the candidate that has won the first round also has won the second. Could Uranus break the pattern this time? At least it is going to be an exciting result evening tomorrow.

Currently we are facing some unusual events. Next week tens of thousands of workers across many sectors will be taking part in nationwide political strikes. The labour unions are protesting against goverment’s plans to reform labour market laws and its unjust cuts in some social security benefits. The government has not shown any willingness in negotiations.

Earlier this week the government decided that the land border between Finland and Russia will remain closed until Apr. 14, 2024. It will also not be possible to submit applications for international protection at any border crossing points on the eastern land border. Since November 2023 Russia has deliberately been using refugees as weapons and pushing the migrants to our border in a hybrid attack. Hopefully we have sent Putin a clear message that Russia has to change its behaviour. Uranus can show its upsetting tendencies later in the spring, but preparations are being made to deal with the possible worsening of the situation once the snows melt.

Are there more Uranian surprises ahead?

Full Moon in Leo – Jan. 25, 2024, 17:54 UT

January 25th, 2024

The Full Moon in Leo is in tight conjunction with centaur Cyllarus and opposes the Sun-Pluto conjunction in Aquarius. Pluto entered Aquarius a couple of days earlier, on Jan. 21. This is Pluto’s second ingress to the sign, and it will once again retrograde back to Capricorn in early September before its third and final ingress to Aquarius in November 2024. Pluto is in less than five degrees apart from centaur Hylonome in late Capricorn. Jupiter in Taurus squares the luminaries tightly and adds weight to the themes of this Full Moon.

Full Moon in Leo

52975 Cyllarus was discovered in 1998. Its orbital period is 133.4 years. Its orbit crosses those of Uranus and Neptune. Cyllarus came to perihelion (the nearest point of its orbit around the Sun) in September 1989. The body was named after the handsome centaur Cyllarus from Greek mythology. Cyllarus was brave and dearly loved by many, but centaur Hylonome had gained his heart. Their love was equal and they fought side by side in the battle against the Lapiths. Cyllarus was fatally wounded by a spear and died in the arms of Hylonome, who then took her own life to join him. This is a sad story, but we must keep in mind that it is a symbolic story; all myths are metaphors.

In the myth the lives of these two centaurs are bound together, and in the astrological charts the bodies seem to have a certain relationship too, because a great many people living today have the Hylonome-Cyllarus opposition in their chart. There was a long ongoing opposition between Cyllarus and Hylonome from 1931 to 1983, although between 1949 and 1974 there were no exact oppositions, and at times the opposition went out of orb.

Last summer I was studying Hylonome and Cyllarus in the charts of John Reed (Oct. 23, 1887 – Oct. 17, 1920) and Louise Bryant (Dec. 5, 1885 – Jan. 6, 1936), two American journalists and political activists, who witnessed the 1917 Russian revolution. Louise Bryant had the Sun-Hylonome conjunction. John Reed’s Cyllarus was square his Sun and opposite his Moon. You can read the entry here New Moon in Cancer – July 17, 2023, 18:32 UT .

According to astrologer Zane B. Stein, Hylonome represents ”the need to tell the truth no matter the consequences,” while Cyllarus desires to ”recreate the world in some way” (The Mountain Astrologer magazine, issue 172 / 2014). His ideas fit in with the astpirations of Reed and Bryant and with the following examples too.

President John F. Kennedy’s (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963) natal Sun in Gemini was square Hylonome in Pisces and his Moon in Virgo was conjunct Cyllarus. President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, when the Sun was transiting in conjunction with Cyllarus in the last degrees of Scorpio and the Moon was in the same degree with Damocles in Aquarius. ”The sword of Damocles” is a symbol for an over-hanging threat, faced especially by those in positions of power. The transiting Hylonome in Gemini was conjunct Kennedy’s natal Sun. The transiting Pluto in Virgo was conjunct his Cyllarus.

Martin Luther King’s (Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) Uranus is opposite his Cyllarus, and his Hylonome is sextile to the Sun and in wide conjunction with the Moon.

The present-day Hylonome and Cyllarus can be found either in prison or exiled in order to prevent them telling their truth. For example Julian Assange (born July 3, 1971), the founder of Wikileaks, has been kept in Belmarsh prison since April 2019 waiting extradition to the US. Assange’s Hylonome is conjunct his Venus (his values) in Gemini.

The Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (born Sept. 11, 1982) is forced into exile in Lithuania. After her husband’s arrest she was standing as a candidate in the 2020 presidential election against the dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Tsikhanouskaya has established an oppositional government in exile. She was tried in absence by the Belarusian government in 2023 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has a precise Grand square in the fixed signes formed by the Hylonome-Cyllarus opposition and Jupiter-Sedna opposition (betrayed and isolated).

New Moon in Capricorn – Jan. 11, 2024, 11:57 UT

January 11th, 2024

The New Moon in Capricorn is in conjunction with Arrokoth, the trans-Neptunian object that five years ago became the farthest and most primitive object in the Solar System visited by a spacecraft. The New Horizons space probe first made a flyby of Pluto in 2015, which later was followed by a flyby of Arrokoth. The closest approach to Arrokoth took place on Jan. 1, 2019. At the time of the New Horizons launch, Pluto was still a planet and Arrokoth was not even discovered.

New Moon in Capricorn

New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever launched, took off on Jan. 19, 2006. Its primary mission was to perform a flyby of the Pluto system, and the secondary mission was to study one or more of the other Kuiper belt objects in the decade to follow. In the launch chart the Sun in the last degree of Capricorn was in conjunction with asteroid Photographica in early Aquarius. Astrologer Martha Lang-Wescott’s keywords for this asteroid are ”While useful for showing the importance of photography and visual images, Photographica also relates to the brain’s ability to retain and interpret visual imagery.” And what stunning images of Pluto the probe sent us! Pluto in the launch chart at 25+ Sagittarius was novile Photographica in Aquarius and in conjunction with Arrokoth in the first degree of Capricorn.

New Horizons Launch Chart

Planetary scientist Alan Stern (born Nov. 22, 1957) is the team leader of the New Horizons mission. His natal Sun in the first degree of Sagittarius is squaring his Pluto in early Virgo and semisextile Arrokoth in early Scorpio. His Mercury in the mid-Sagittarius is semisquare Arrokoth and biseptile Pluto. His solar arc directed Pluto, progressed to the launch date, is in Libra conjunct his natal Jupiter.

Arrokoth was discovered on June 26, 2014, by astronomer Marc Buie (born Sept. 17, 1958) using the Hubble Space Telescope in order to find a target for New Horizons’s extended mission. Marc Buie’s natal Sun in Virgo is in conjunction with asteroid Photographica. His Jupiter in early Sciorpio is in tight conjunction with Arrokoth and sextile Pluto in Virgo. When New Horizons made its closest approach to Arrokoth on Jan. 1, 2019, the Sun, Photographica and Arrokoth were in conjunction in Capricorn. The probe delivered us astonishing images again.

The instruments of New Horizons still continue to be operational. According to team leader Alan Stern, there is potential for a third flyby in the 2020s at the outer edges of the Kuiper belt. This depends on a suitable Kuiper belt object being found.

The name Arrokoth means “sky” in the Powhatan / Algonquian language of native people from the Tidewater region of Virginia and Maryland. Alan Stern has said: “The name ‘Arrokoth’ reflects the inspiration of looking to the skies, and wondering about the stars and worlds beyond our own.” According to Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, Arrokoth’s name “signifies the strength and endurance of the indigenous Algonquian people of the Chesapeake region. Their heritage continues to be a guiding light for all who search for meaning and understanding of the origins of the universe and the celestial connection of humanity.”

Arrokoth is a bilobate contact binary, composed of two lobes, that are named as Wenu and Weeyo. Both names mean “sky”. “Wenu” is the word for the sky in the Mapuche language spoken in Chile and Argentina, and “weeyo” in the Pulaar language of western Africa.

Once astronomy and astrology were linked together, and both functions were practiced by the same person. Nowadays there is a distinction between the two disciplines, but Arrokoth is the guiding light for both practitioners and keeps inspiring us. Astronomer Mike Brown, the discoverer of the largest members of the Kuiper belt, has said:

Astrology is not just figurative literature about humanity. Astrology cares about the sky. The astrologers who occasionally correspond with me love to hear about new solar system discoveries, figure out orbital relationships and patterns, and speculate about what else might be out there and how everything fits together. I do all of these things, too. I then take these thoughts and move on to think literally their scientific implications. The astrologers take these thoughts and move on to think figuratively about what these mean for humans. But we, astronomers and astrologers, start in the same spot, with an intense interest in the sky. To me, that matters. Astronomy and astrology are brothers. Brothers don’t always do the same things or make the same choices. But when they maintain their initial ties to where they came from, their connection cannot help but stay strong.”

New Moon in Scorpio – Nov. 13, 2023, 09:27 UT

November 11th, 2023

Mars in Scorpio is aligned in opposition to Uranus in Taurus. The New Moon in Scorpio is in conjunction with Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio. Uranus in Taurus is in conjunction with plutino 47171 Lempo, a trinary system from the Kuiper belt.

New Moon in Scorpio

Lempo is one of the three known trans-Neptunian multiple systems with more than two components; the other two are the dwarf planets Pluto and Haumea. Two small satellites orbit Haumea. In the Pluto system four small moons are orbiting the central binary of Pluto and Charon. The central bodies orbit each other around a point in space, the barycenter (the center of mass of the two bodies). Lempo is a fascinating trinary system which resembles the Pluto system. Lempo and Hiisi, two almost similarly-sized components, form the central primary, which is a binary. The smaller outer component Paha orbits around them.

The largest component Lempo was discovered by American astronomers Eric Rubenstein and Louis-Gregory Strolger in October 1999. The other two components, Paha and Hiisi, were discovered in 2001 and 2007, respectively. All three bodies were named from Finnish mythology in October 2017.

According to the naming rules of the International Astronomical Union, plutinos are named after mythological creatures associated with the underworld. In the Finnish folklore and mythology Lempo is a sort of fiend, who brought down Väinämöinen, the wise old seer and the central character in the Kalevala, the national epic of the Finns. Lempo got help from his two demon cohorts Hiisi and Paha. The Kalevala was compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. The first version of the Kalevala was published in 1835. Scholars still argue about how much of it is genuine folk poetry and how much is Lönnrot’s own work.

Originally, before the Christianization, Lempo was worshiped as the goddess of love and fertility. According to the myth, a glowing fireball shot from the sky and hit the ground. The Fire Woman with flaming hair came from beyond the visible world. The gender of the enigmatic Lempo is a bit unclear, but she is often described as a woman. In folk poetry the “lempo” related words can be associated with fire and iron. Lempo gave people fertile soil, tools and weapons, she lit the flame of love, and she escorted the dead to the Otherworld.

Lempo is mythological fire. Lempo is the creative fire burning inside every one of us. Now that the New Moon is in the passionate sign of Scorpio and the liberating Uranus is with Lempo in Taurus, perhaps we are free to express our originality and let our inner fire create something good and meaningful.

Full Moon in Taurus / Partial Lunar Eclipse – Oct. 28, 2023, 20:24 UT

October 28th, 2023

The Full Moon at 5+ degrees of Taurus is a partial lunar eclipse. Eclipses occur twice a year during the period that is called an eclipse season. There are usually two eclipses during the season, one solar and one lunar. A lunar eclipse occurs at the Full Moon when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and the shadow of Earth obscures the disc of the Moon either totally or partially. A solar eclipse in Libra two weeks ago is now followed by a lunar eclipse in Taurus. The Sabian symbol for the eclipse degree is A bridge being built across a gorge.

Full Moon / Partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

At the lunar eclipse we may be emotionally touchy. The eclipse is said to be a turning point that allows us to have a fresh start. Quoting Demetra George, ”During a lunar eclipse, it is the past, symbolized by the Moon, which is obscured and can be released. In the absence of the conditioning of the past, the possibility emerges of meeting experiences in a new manner.” (Demetra George, Finding our Way Through the Dark, 1994)

The Sun is in the emotional, intense and transformative sign of Scorpio. Besides the Moon, there are Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus. Uranus is in conjunction with a peculiar little body 39P/Oterma. In the past 39P/Oterma has went through a transformation, and in the future its orbit probably will be transformed again.

39P/Oterma is a Chiron-type comet currently on a centaur-like orbit contained between Jupiter and Saturn. This small family of comets is named after its largest member Chiron, officially designated as both a comet and a centaur, which blurs the line between minor planets and comets. 39P/Oterma’s diameter is around 4 – 5 km and the orbital period is nearly 20 years.

Comets are named after their discoverers. 39P/Oterma was discovered by the Finnish astronomer Liisi Oterma on April 8, 1943, in Turku, Finland. The letter P in the name stands for a periodic comet. It was discovered while it was an active comet. A close approach to Jupiter on April 12, 1963, put it on its current inactive centaur orbit. It came to perihelion in July 2023. According to Wikipedia, the orbit of 39P/Oterma keeps its overall characteristics at least until the beginning of the 24th century.

The comet was discovered in 1943 at 4º 50’53” Libra (the Sabian Symbol: ”A man teaching the true inner knowledge”). The close approach to Jupiter in 1963 that put it on its centaur orbit occurred at 1º 37’15” Aries in conjunction with Jupiter (the Sabian Symbol: ”A comedian entertaining a group”).

In astrology the planets can be divided into three groups: the personal planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars), the social planets (Jupiter and Saturn), and the transcendental planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). The social planets Jupiter and Saturn connect the individual with society and represent the interaction between the individual and the larger world. 39P/Oterma’s orbit between Jupiter and Saturn suggests that its influence is connected to a person’s participation in the world at large.

In the standard Finnish language there is currently no such word as ”oterma”. The name is possibly derived from an old Finnish word ”ota”, which means wild hay. It could also mean a thorn or a spear. There is Lake Oterma and Oterma village in the Northern Ostrobothnia. The area is old Sami residential area. Since there isn’t any mythology behind the name of the centaur 39P/Oterma, perhaps these subtle clues help the astrological delineation.

Full Moon in Aries – Sept. 29, 2023, 12:58 UT

September 29th, 2023

The Sun entered Libra, the Scales, on Sept. 23, 2023. The Full Moon in Aries on Sept. 29, 2023, occured at 6+ Aries opposite the triple conjunction of the Sun, asteroid 2 Pallas, and centaur 346889 Rhiphonos in Libra. Uranus in Taurus is square Venus in Leo and trine Mercury in Virgo. We now desire balance and justice, and there are some favourable elements present for creating it.

Full Moon in Aries

Asteroid Pallas is the second asteroid to have been discovered and the third-largest asteroid of the Main belt (after Ceres and Vesta). Pallas’s orbit is unusually highly inclined to the plane of the asteroid belt, and its orbital eccentricity (the amount by which its orbit around the Sun deviates from a perfect circle) is nearly as large as that of Pluto. When Pallas was discovered in 1802, it was just ingressing the sign of Libra.

In Greek mythology, Pallas Athene was believed to have been born fully armed from the forehead of her father Zeus. She was the goddess of wisdom and justice, and the protectress of the city of Athens. Astrologically she represents foresight, planning and creative intelligence. According to Demetra George, “Pallas Athene in Libra mirrors a perception that seeks to reconcile opposites.”

The orbit of 346889 Rhiphonos is between Jupiter and Uranus. In Greek mythology Rhiphonos was one of the Lamian centaurs. Originally they were twelve water spirits of the Lamos River, in mortal body, sent by Zeus to guard the infant Dionysus and to protect him from Hera’s anger. In her rage Hera transformed the spirits into ox-horned centaurs with a horse’s tail. Later Rhiphonos accompanied the adult Dionysus on his travels. Rhiphonos offers associations to protection, loyalty and growth processes.