Archive for the ‘Solstices’ Category

Total Lunar Eclipse and Winter Solstice

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Lunar Eclipse / Full Moon in Gemini – December 21, 2010, 08:13 UT
Winter Solstice – December 22, 2010, 23:38 UT

This special Full Moon in the last degree of Gemini was a total lunar eclipse at the South node of the Moon. The eclipse took place on the Winter Solstice.

The Sun-Moon opposition was squared by the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Pisces. A pile of minor planets and asteroids including Logos, Juno, Makemake and Typhon on the cusp of Virgo and Libra, completed a mutable grand cross. The Sun in the last degree of Sagittarius was accompanied by a large diversity of planets and asteroids including Mercury retrograde, Pallas, Crantor, and Pluto. The Moon conjoined the Centaur planet Cyllarus in early Cancer. The rich symbolism contained in the prominent heavenly bodies parallels the news and events unfolding in the world.

In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year. After the Solstice the days get gradually longer and the light starts to increase. In the current charts asteroid Balder, named after the shining god of the Vikings, is squaring asteroid Hoder, the namesake of the twin brother of Balder. Asteroid Saga is in conjunction with Balder. Balder gets additional sparks from Vesta. This is the time to be reminded of the story of Balder.

Balder was the most beautiful and beloved of the old Norse gods. Because of Loki’s trickery, the blind brother Hoder threw a mistletoe at Balder and thus caused Balder’s death. The gods were weeping for him. He was ceremonially burnt upon his own ship at Summer Solstice, symbolized by the Midsummer’s bonfires. Balder is said to return to life after Ragnarök. The Earth will appear again from the sea, it will be fertile, green, and cleansed of all its sufferings.

The myth clearly has its origins in the change of seasons. The joy of people is present in the sunlight, in the presence of the radiant god Balder. The gloom of the winter months is symbolized by the death of Balder, carried out by the twin brother. The god of light is reborn at the Winter Solstice and greeted with the burning of the yule log and also with the lights in contemporary Christmas trees.

Happy Winter Solstice!

The Cardinal Grand Cross of June 2010

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Summer Solstice – June 21, 2010, 11:28 UT

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and marks the beginning of the summer. Last Monday the Sun reached the first point of Cancer and added the fourth cusp to the cosmic cross in the sky. An impressive grand cross was formed.

In a grand cross pattern at least four planets in two oppositions are at square angles to each other, forming a cross shaped pattern. In the current cross Saturn in the late degrees of Virgo is opposing the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the Aries Point; the Cancer Sun is opposing Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn and Ceres in late Sagittarius. Ceres was right at the Galactic Core on the solstice day.

In pre-Christian times in Scandinavia the time of Midsummer was sacred to the Norse sun god Balder. Midsummer was known to be the anniversary of his death. His body was burned on a funeral pyre, and bonfires are still lit in Northern Europe for Midsummer eve celebrations. After the solstice the days soon begin to shorten and darkness will reign for a period of time. Balder descends into the underworld, but he will be reborn.

Balder was the son of Odin and Frigg. He was the most beautiful and beloved of the gods. He was radiantly handsome, wise and fair, and all praised him. His home in the heaven was a hall called Breidablick — the wide-shining — possibly a reference to the Milky Way. Balder had a twin brother called Hoder, a blind god of darkness (representing the winter months.)

Balder and his mother Frigg had ominous dreams of Balder’s death. Frigg made all things on earth vow never to harm her son. All objects made this vow except one little plant, the mistletoe, since Frigg had thought it too young to threaten Balder, she allowed the exception. After this the gods amused themselves by flinging darts and hurling objects at Balder, knowing that that they could not hurt him. But the trickster Loki had found out that the mistletoe had not taken the oath. Loki gave a twig of mistletoe to Hoder and persuaded him to throw it at Balder, secretly guiding Hoder’s hand. Balder fell dead to the ground, pierced by the twig.

The gods were weeping for Balder. He was ceremonially burnt upon his own ship. His horse was also burned on the pyre. Balder’s wife Nanna was heartbroken and threw herself on the funeral fire. Then the burning ship was set to sea.

Balder is said to return to life after Ragnarök. The Earth will appear again from the sea, it will be fertile, green, and cleansed of all its sufferings.

The Norse myth of Baldur’s death reminds me of Greek Centaur Cyllarus. Even though the Centaurs were not gods but a bunch of troublemakers — except Chiron and Pholus, the two civilized centaurs — these two stories from two different cultures share some mutual characteristics.

In Metamorphoses Ovid describes Cyllarus as a young, handsome Centaur with a golden mane. He was loved by many, but Cyllarus loved only Hylonome. They were inseparable in life and they died together, too. They were present at a wedding party, where fighting broke out and Cyllarus was hit by a javelin. Cyllarus died in the arms of his beloved. In her despair Hylonome killed herself by throwing herself onto the same spear that had pierced her partner.

At the solstice, the Centaur planet Cyllarus was conjunct the Sun. Commitment, self-sacrifice, or feeling of falling the victim of someone or something are themes that may suddenly arise. Things may seem to happen to us for no reason. We need to be conscious of the decisions we make, because our actions always have consequences, not just for ourselves but for the people close to us. They may also affect on a larger scale the world around us. At present Chiron and Neptune are in trine to the Sun, and can offer us awareness, healing and compassion on the personal and collective level.

Full Moon in Capricorn / Partial Lunar Eclipse — June 26, 2010, 11:30

The Full Moon takes place on Saturday. The Moon aligns opposite the Sun and takes part in the spectacular cardinal grand cross. We get to experience a partial lunar eclipse in conjunction with Pluto. We enter a transitional zone, where a shift from an old state to a new one takes place.

By the time of the lunar eclipse, the Sun has passed Centaur planet Cyllarus. Mercury has just ingressed Cancer and now conjoins Cyllarus. We may feel the pressure, but please remember that the light will be eclipsed only for a brief moment. We are part of eternal cycle of the planets. There is always a new dawn after the dark hours.

I want to wish you all a happy Midsummer Full Moon!


H. R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books, 1990

Eric Francis, Small World Stories, Cyllarus

Summer Solstice – June 21, 2009, 05:46 UT

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

The Sun reaches its most northern position around June 21 each year. This is the day of the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year, and the shortest in the Southern hemisphere. The Sun enters Cancer.

The first degree of Cancer is one of the Cardinal Points. They are sensitive points in the chart, which tend to connect us to big events of the world. Solstice charts can give astrologers clues for the cosmic climate of the next few months. Solstices are also natural turning points in our personal lives.

A solstice occurs twice each year, when the Sun reaches its northernmost or southernmost extreme. At these points the Sun appears to stand still.

Astrology originated from astronomical observation. Our ancestors had a conscious relationship with solar and lunar cycles. They built enduring stone monuments related to astronomical alignments. Stonehenge in England is probably the most famous of the prehistoric monuments in the world.

Stonehenge is said to be planned and deliberately oriented so that the summer solstice Sun rose directly over the so-called Heel Stone and the first rays shone into the center of the monument. However, there is evidence indicating that ancestors did not visit the site at all in the summer, but rather during the winter solstice. Current theories suggest that Stonehenge was simultaneously used for astronomical observation and for ritual function.

The Finnish Stonehenge

Last month the Internet publication of Ursa Astronomical Association, Tähdet ja Avaruus, was reporting of the greatest archaeastronomical finding in Finland; the so-called Giant’s Churches were used for observing the Sun.

The Giant’s Churches are Neolithic stone structures, unique to Ostrobothnia in the western Finland. A recent study by astronomer Marianna Ridderstad from University of Helsinki and archaeologist Jari Okkonen from University of Oulu shows that many of these mysterious constructions are found to have orientations to the risings and settings of the Sun on the main solar dates of the year.

The Giant’s Churches were built 2500 – 2000 BCE, and there are about 40 of them. They were originally built on the seashore or on islands, but are now situated as far as 30 kilometers inland because of the post-glacial rebound. Their shape varies from oval to rectangular. The largest of them are 50 – 60 meters long. The walls are relatively low and they are usually constructed from rather small stones. Most of the structures have from two to four gates.

It is not quite clear why the Giant’s Churches were built. Their function has been a matter of debate more than a hundred years. There are no signs of permanent inhabitation inside the structures. Probably they were used as ritual sites, and they may have had other functions, too. The study which was carried out in 2008 – 2009 and published in May, 2009, shows that their orientations may be significant in relation to important solar dates.

The solar events considered in this study were the solstices, the equinoxes and the so-called Mid-Quarter Days. In Finland, the most important festivals coinciding with these events have traditionally been Vappu (St. Valborg’s Day) in May and Kekri, which was the ancient festival of the dead predating historical times, celebrated in November.

The purpose of the Giant’s Churches is still partly unknown and further research on the sites will be carried out.

* * *

To the readers around the world, I want to wish you a happy Solstice!


Wikipedia, Solstice

Wikipedia, Archaeoastronomy and Stonehenge

Tähdet ja avaruus, 14.05.2009, Suomen suurin arkeoastronominen löytö: Muinaisista jätinkirkoista havaittiin Aurinkoa

Marianna Ridderstad and Jari Okkonen, Orientations of the Giant’s Churches in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Capricorn Solstice — December 21, 2008, 12:04 UT

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

At the powerful Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, 2008, the Sun enters Capricorn and conjoins Pluto in the first degree of the sign. In the Northern Hemisphere we have the shortest day of the year. After the Solstice the days get gradually longer and the light starts to increase.

The conjunction of the Sun and Pluto marks a potent time of transformation and rebirth. In mythology Pluto was the god of the underworld. He is the great renewer, bringing hidden truths from depths to the surface and into the light.

The Solstices are times when the Sun, in its apparent annual motion along the Ecliptic, reaches its most northern and southern points. At the Winter Solstice, the Sun is at its southern extreme. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The Winter Solstice takes place around Dec. 22 each year.

In the honor of Pluto I am linking Charles Tait’s Maeshowe Winter Solstice page, on which the last rays of the setting midwinter Sun are streamed live on the internet from a Neolithic tomb in Orkney, Scotland.

Maeshowe was built about 5000 years ago in the Neolithic period. It was constructed with great care and aligned so that at the Winter Solstice a beam of light shines through the entrance and along the corridor, illuminating the back wall of the chamber for a few minutes.

The Vikings stopped by during the 12th century and sheltered in Maeshowe. They carved a series of runic inscriptions on the stone walls of the chamber. They left here the largest collection of runes anywhere in the world.

The original usage of Maeshowe remains uncertain. The place gives an idea of a temple. The cycles of nature played important role for the pagans, so it is possible that people used to gather in the tomb for midwinter ceremonies.

The average age of a human at the time was extremely low, and the connection to the dead was cherished to gain continuity. Tombs established a passage to the underworld. Archeologists have suggested that people possibly believed that in Maeshowe their ancestors were aiding to restore the light and break the back of the winter.

To the readers around the world, I want to wish you a happy Solstice!


Maeshowe Winter Solstice Sunset

Cancer Solstice — June 20, 2008, 23:59 UT

Friday, June 20th, 2008

By Kirsti Melto

The Sun reaches its most northern point around June 21 each year. This is when it is crossing the first degree of Cancer, one of the cardinal points. The word solstice means to stand still, but a lot is going on in the sky at the moment.

Only a couple of days ago we had a magnificent Full Moon in the late degrees of Sagittarius. The Moon was conjunct Pluto and the Galactic Core. The next day, Mercury made its direct station in Gemini. Mercury will be in the echo phase over the next couple of weeks, traveling through the mid degrees of Gemini for the third time. The Sun makes an opposition to Pluto about four hours before ingressing into Cancer.

The Sun, Venus, Ceres and Cyllarus have remained in conjunction around the first degree of Cancer and opposite Pluto. Venus sextiles Saturn. The Moon is now in Capricorn in wide conjunction with Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius. The Moon squares Vesta in Aries. Mars in Leo opposes Chiron and Neptune on the North Node of the Moon.

Uranus is very tightly opposite cubewano 2005 FY9 in Virgo. 2005 FY9 is a big Kuiper belt object, one of the three bright objects whose existence was announced in July 2005. The two other bodies were Eris and 2003 EL61. The discoverer Mike Brown and his team have nicknamed 2005 FY9 as “Easter bunny.”

2005 FY9 is a classical Kuiper belt object. Its size is about three-quarters the size of Pluto. It is the third larges Kuiper belt object after Eris and Pluto, and the second brightest Kuiper belt object after Pluto. The orbital period is 308 years, so it is orbiting the Sun a little farther than Pluto. Like Pluto’s, its orbit is somewhat eccentric and highly inclined. It is sometimes referred as “a Pluto twin”, because it is very similar to Pluto, having its surface covered in frozen methane, and possibly also having a thin atmosphere, like Pluto.

Uranus and 2005 FY9 are both occupying 22+ degrees of the signs that they are residing at the moment, Pisces and Virgo, respectively. They have been traveling in conjunction within one-degree orb since May. Uranus is going to station retrograde at the end of June, while 2005 FY9 goes on in direct motion, so they don’t quite reach the exact opposition aspect this time. The exact opposition is going to take place in April 2009.

2005 FY9 is not yet named by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), but we can expect to hear about the naming any day now. This is due to the IAU’s decision last week to name bright, Pluto-like dwarf planets as plutoids. There are two plutoids named at the moment: Pluto and Eris. The two other objects fitting in the category are 2005 FY9 and 2003 EL61. According to the current naming rules of the IAU, 2005 FY9 will receive a permanent name after a creation deity.

One of the attributes of Uranus is suddenness. People have been waiting for the naming of this new, quite big and bright object 2005 FY9, and nothing has happened. Now there is this very accurate aspect between Uranus and 2005 FY9 in the skies. Also the IAU announced the naming of a new category as plutoids, which came as a surprise even to researchers and discoverers of these new objects. The IAU’s decision now also enables the naming of 2005 FY9.

The fact that astronomers found a planet bigger than Pluto, which led to the demotion of Pluto, and the naming of Eris about two years ago, has left 2005 FY9 for less attention. 2005 FY9 is a notable member of the new solar system, and now it is a high time to give it some heed it deserves.

Capricorn Solstice and Cancer Full Moon

Friday, December 21st, 2007

By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis

Capricorn solstice — December 22, 2007, 06:08 UT

SOLSTICES ARE TIMES when the Sun in its apparent annual motion along the ecliptic reaches its northern and southern extremes. Astrology at the time of a solstice or equinox (the midpoints between the solstices) are often used as predictive tools by astrologers.

The Sun reaches its most southern point around Dec. 22 each year. This is when the Sun “stands still” at the first degree of Capricorn, hence the term sol (Sun) stice (still, as in stasis). The Sun is crossing one of the cardinal points (also known as the four directions, which are the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). The cardinal points are highly sensitive, all directly related to one another. They tend to arrive with the message that the personal is political. Planetary events near these points tend to connect us to the larger events and movements in society around us.

The current solstice chart looks noteworthy, accented by many points collecting around the first degree of Capricorn. There is not just the Sun there, but also Jupiter in the same degree, and Mercury and Pluto very close by, too. Pluto is still near the Galactic Core and the Sun and Mercury passed the point only some days earlier. Jupiter entered Capricorn Wed. night, Dec. 18. Mercury entered Capricorn on Dec. 20, and the exact Sun-Pluto conjunction occurs on Fri., Dec. 21. The quadruple conjunction of these planets suggests that something we will all notice is about to happen, a total rebirth or transformation.

True, this is happening all the time, but some times we notice more than others. The involvement of so many planets in a cardinal sign suggests that some pioneering work is going to arise, something that we all are going to notice; the involvement of Capricorn points to government or a large corporation, and the movement in Pluto into Capricorn talks about a restructuring of some kind in any event. When Chiron reached this point in late 2001, we saw massive corporate restructuring and many scandals were revealed.

Sun-Mercury-Jupiter conjunction also squares the Centaur planet Bienor, “the Strong One,” currently in the late degrees of Pisces. Bienor will be arriving in Aries soon enough and will be in a square aspect to Pluto through 2008.

Retrograding Mars in Cancer is also in the aspect structure. It will soon make exact oppositions to Mercury and Jupiter, and then the Sun and finally Pluto. Mars is acting both as a counter-balance in this equation and as a kind of protagonist. But Mars is retrograde in a receptive, emotional sign: it’s not likely making its presence known unless provoked, which would not be that difficult.

The Moon in early Gemini squares Saturn, which stationed retrograde in Virgo on Dec. 19. The Moon opposes asteroid Juno, the queen of the gods who was known for her jealousy, and the Centaur planet Hylonome, which has associations with grief, healing of unnecessary grief, and mass appeal.

Mercury, the planet of all communication, forms a very close novile (40 degrees, division of the circle by 9) to Chiron, who in mythology was a great teacher. The novile series of aspects are related to trines and sextiles, and they are said to be related to the Nine Muses, who offer their inspiration in the arts and sciences.

Venus in Scorpio squares Neptune and opposes Sedna, the goddess of the frozen waters. In this T-square we have two watery planets, Neptune and Sedna, and two goddesses of abundance, Venus and Sedna, aspecting each other. Venus is reminding us to keep our hearts open and to be compassionate, and in Scorpio on any theme associated with Venus: love, eroticism, or materialism. Square Neptune, we have the potential for unrealistic feelings and wishy-washy values slipping in. Those would be the presence of values we don’t really hold, or some form of self-deception.

The theme of universal love is repeated in the conjunction of asteroid Amor and Uranus in Pisces. The North Node of the Moon has recently entered Aquarius, the sign of universal brotherhood. Venus is also trining Varuna, “the great equalizer,” another water god.

In one of the cardinal points in the early degrees of Libra we have asteroid Photographica, which deals with all things photographic and photogenic, often manifesting in a literal way.

In Aries asteroid Hephaistos is in tight conjunction with Eris and 1992 QB1. In Greek mythology Hephaistos was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and fire. His Roman equivalent was Vulcan, husband of Venus.

What exactly this chart is heralding remains to be seen.

Full Moon in Cancer — December 24, 2007, 01:16 UT

The Full Moon in Cancer occurs in the early hours of Christmas Eve. Now also the Moon is occupying one of the cardinal points. The chart is having a strong Aries Point flavor.

The Moon has entered Cancer a couple of hours before midnight (UT) and is conjunct Mars. Not much else has changed in the two days since the solstice. In Virgo two binary Kuiper belt objects have stationed retrograde meanwhile, Typhon and Logos.

Cancer Solstice – June 21, 2007, 18:06 UT

Friday, June 15th, 2007

The solstices are the times when the Sun in its apparent annual motion along the ecliptic reaches its most northern and southern points. The Sun reaches its most northern point around June 21st each year. This is when the Sun stands at the first point of Cancer.

The Sun opposes Pluto in Sagittarius and asteroid 1181 Lilith in the first degree of Capricorn. Eric Francis says that Lilith is extremely helpful because it tells you about the original woman inside the woman: “It is her deeper idea of herself and, in the chart of a man, his deeper idea of what a woman is, and how he relates to her. Lilith can also represent the crisis that ‘being the real me’ brings into the lives of both women and men.”

The Sun forms a sesquisquare aspect to Chiron in Aquarius, a sextile to Asbolus in Aries, a septile to Saturn, a semisquare to Venus, and a novile to Sedna in Taurus. The Sun squares asteroid 1221 Amor, which is approaching the Aries Point in the late degrees of Pisces. Amor is the asteroid related to unconditional love.

The Moon in Virgo and Mercury in Cancer are in mutual reception. The Moon is in conjunction with cubewano 2005 FY9 at 21+ degrees Virgo. 2005 FY9 is currently holding the apex position in a Yod formation (150-150-60 degrees) which is formed by Eris and 1992 QB1 in Aries, 2005 FY9 in Virgo and Neptune in Aquarius. This Yod took shape already in April and will hold till late July. Now the Moon is occupying the same degree as 2005 FY9, triggering the pattern, and offering the energies a release.

2005 FY9, not yet named, is one of the three bright objects whose existence was announced in July 2005. The two other bodies are Eris and 2003 EL61.

1992 QB1 was the first object which was discovered beyond Pluto. Its discovery position was the first degree of Aries, the Aries Point. 1992 QB1 has not yet been named either. Eric Francis has proposed Radharani, after the consort of Lord Krishna. He writes: “Radharani in conjunction with Eris would seem to represent a factor that restores our sense of sanity in clearly insane times; that bridges us with the cosmos in a time when we have no tangible model of the cosmos.”

The Moon opposes the Uranus-Pallas conjunction, trines Sedna, semisextiles Saturn and conjuncts Logos. The Moon forms also some very accurate minor aspects: a biquintile to Chiron, biseptile to Chaos, quintile to Pholus and semisextile to Echeclus.

Mercury forms a quintile to Mars-Asbolus conjunction in Aries and to 2005 FY9 in Virgo. Pholus quintiles 2005 FY9. Mercury = Moon/Mars = Mars/2005 FY9. 2005 FY9 = Mercury/Pholus. I quote Eric: “A midpoint is a kind of aspect that has no specific number of degrees attached to it; rather, it is a point located halfway between two planets. Sometimes there are planets we find at the midpoint; sometimes there is just ’empty space’ that sits there waiting for a transit or progression to come along and call our attention to it.”

Venus opposes Chiron. Venus is trining Jupiter, Ixion and Quaoar in Sagittarius. Venus sextiles Juno in Libra and septiles Cyllarus in Gemini. Juno = Venus/Jupiter.

Mars is applying to a conjunction to Asbolus. Mars is forming a Grand Fire Trine with Pluto and Orcus. Mars quintiles Chiron, noviles Chaos and biquintiles 2005 FY9.

Jupiter sesquisquares Asbolus, sextiles Juno in Libra, and sextiles also Nessus and Chiron in Aquarius.

Saturn opposes Neptune and trines the conjunction of Eris and 1992 QB1. Saturn and Neptune square Sedna. Saturn sextiles Cyllarus and Echeclus, and septiles Juno. Neptune sextiles Eris. Echeclus opposes Eris.

Pallas-Uranus conjunction is trine Varuna, square Quaoar and sextile Sedna.

Chaos in Gemini squares the lunar nodes. According to Eric, “if a planet is square the nodes, then one will not be able to deal with the nodes until they first address the concerns, issues or themes of that planet.”

Eris = 21 Aries 30
2005 FY9 = 21 Virgo 44