Archive for the ‘Equinoxes’ Category

Aries Equinox – March 20, 2009, 11:44 UT

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Equinoxes and solstices begin the seasons. The word equinox means equal night. On the two days of the equinoxes each year, the lengths of night and day are equal everywhere on Earth. The vernal equinox marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the equinox occurs at the same time, but signifies the beginning of autumn.

At the vernal equinox the Sun enters Aries. It crosses one of the Cardinal Points, which are the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They are very sensitive points in the chart, and the Aries Point particularly tends to connect us to big events of the world.

The story of the abduction of Proserpina illustrates the creation of the seasons. Proserpina was the daughter of Ceres, the goddess of the Earth, of growing plants and of motherly love. Ceres is the Earth Mother.

Ceres and her daughter were inseparable. Then Pluto abducted Proserpina in order to marry her and make her the Queen of the Underworld. In her grief and anger, Ceres stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables, and nothing could be harvested. People were starving.

Jupiter sent Mercury to order Pluto to free Proserpina. She was freed, but during her captivity she had eaten pomegranate seeds, the food of the Underworld, and was therefore forced to spend a part of each year in the Underworld with her husband. For the other part, she is able to return to live with her mother on Earth. When Ceres receives her daughter back, nature starts blossoming again; it’s the springtime.

The chart aspects are reflecting the story. Pluto in early Capricorn is in a dynamic square to the Sun at the Aries Point, the point of spring. Mars, the ruler of Aries, is opposing Ceres and calling for cooperation. Mars is also in conjunction with asteroid 1108 Demeter, named after the Greek counterpart of Roman Ceres, and emphasizing the moment for reunion of the mother and the daughter.

Asteroid 26 Proserpina in Sagittarius is forming tense aspects both to Ceres and Pluto, as if she was not quite sure at the moment with whom she should go; the time for blossoming flowers is not yet quite at hand. Proserpina is square to Ceres and in semi-sextile to Pluto.

Asteroid 399 Persephone, named after the Greek equivalent of Roman Proserpina, is in the mid-degrees of Aquarius in conjunction with Jupiter and asteroid 69230 Hermes. Maybe the daughter is negotiating with them for her release.


Recently I read an article divulging a theory that life on Earth could have originated on the asteroid Ceres. Astronomical studies suggest that Ceres could contain a lot of fresh water. It still could have a water ocean where life could have originated early in the history of our solar system.

It’s been proposed that life on Earth might have originated at hydrothermal vents, which lie at the bottom of oceans and spew hot chemicals. Many icy bodies in the solar system have rocky cores, so they may have had or still have hydrothermal vents.

Early in the history of the solar system was a period known as Late Heavy Bombardment, a turbulent time when radical asteroid impacts were very common. If there was life on Earth before that era, it most likely perished then and had to begin again after the circumstances here had became more favorable. The evidence points to Ceres having remained relatively unscathed during the Late Heavy Bombardment. If it had been bombarded, it would have completely lost its water mantle, as its gravitational force is too weak to recapture it.

Is it possible that rock fragments have chipped out off Ceres and then crashed into Earth, reseeding our planet with life? Are we humans descendants of Ceres, too?

The orbital paths of different solar system bodies which either had or currently have oceans were calculated, to see which were in the best positions to have pieces successfully reach the Earth. Ceres showed potential in these calculations.

The thoughts introduced in the article are more science fiction than science until evidence can be provided. The theory certainly gives a new perspective for calling Ceres the Earth Mother.



Eric Francis, The Personal is Political – ASR article

Lee Pullen, Could Life on Earth Have Come From Ceres? – Astrobiology Magazine article

Libra Equinox – September 22, 2008, 15:44 UT

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Libra Equinox – September 22, 2008, 15:44 UT
Mercury Stations Retrograde – September 24, 2008, 07:17 UT

On the two days of the Equinoxes each year, the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. The word Equinox means “equal night”. This year the Autumnal Equinox, or the Libra Equinox, occurs on September 22. Then days are getting shorter towards the winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Sun enters Libra in the midst of the so-called Mercury storm. Mercury goes retrograde three times each year. Mercury makes its current retrograde station on September 24, two days after the Equinox. The echo phase started on September 4. Echo phase means the phase when Mercury is moving in direct motion through the degrees where it’s about to be retrograde, or was just retrograde. During the few days that surround each exact station, Mercury is moving very slowly, less than one degree per day. This slow period is called the Mercury storm.

In spite of the slow motion of Mercury during the storm phase, it is a period when you need to be particularly aware and careful, as a very rapid shift of energy is taking place. Usually the retrogradation is described as a time when technical devices stop working, communication fails, traveling gets delayed etc.

It is also a time when we tend to be more introspective than usual. Eric Francis has noted that Mercury retrograde works a little like Chiron, revealing the weaknesses in a system in a way that helps us fix them. It can put stress on relationships, and this is especially true now that Mercury is in Libra, the sign of relationships.

In the Equinox chart the Sun squares Pluto. All the so-called personal planets except the Moon, i.e. the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, are in Libra. This is beneficial, as planets in Libra tend to operate tactfully, in balanced and harmonious way, and several factors in the chart are indicating an emotionally unstable period.

Mercury in its storm phase is in an accurate conjunction with Mars. It can be difficult for Mars in Libra to act initiatively or express anger. Yet the Mercury-Mars conjunction is tightly opposite Eris, named after the goddess of discord, the planet that led to the demotion of Pluto and caused disagreement among astronomers. An opposition is the aspect of confrontation.

In the chart there are several quincunx aspects (an aspect of 150 degrees) related to Centaur planets and trans-Neptunian planets. Quincunxes are irritating aspects that require adjustment. Astrologer Sue Tompkins has described them like “finding, as you are running, that you have a stone in your shoe.?

A Yod pattern is formed when there are two planets sextile to each other, and each of them is forming a quincunx to a third planet. There are two interesting Yods in the chart.

The Mercury-Mars conjunction, showing possibly impatient and sharp communication, is the apex of the first Yod, forming quincunxes to Uranus in Pisces and Sedna in Taurus. Uranus is sextile to Sedna.

The other Yod is formed by Apollo-Okyrhoe-Logos conjunction in Virgo, Neptune in Aquarius and Eris in Aries. The triple conjunction is the focal point of this Yod. Neptune is the planet associated with deception and denial. Cubewano Logos is associated with logic, science and technology. According to Eric, Logos represents the “higher octave? of Mercury. Mercury is the planet of communication, and nowadays a big part of our communication takes place via technical device.

Martha Lang-Wescott proposes that asteroid Apollo may symbolize provocation or going against the odds. It can be very useful allowing one to tackle situations where the odds of success are small.

Centaur planet Okyrhoe is named after the nymph daughter of Chiron and Chariklo. She was a prophetess who was transformed into a mare for revealing the secrets of the gods. From the Theoi Project site I learned that in mythology actually there were four other nymphs named as Okyrhoe. One of them was loved by the god Hermes. Two other Okyrhoes appear in connection with either the sun god Apollo, or with Helios, who later became identified with Apollo.

The Moon of the Equinox chart is in Cancer, the sign that the Moon rules. The Cancer Moon is protective and nurturing, but can sometimes be over-sensitive and emotionally fluctuate. Also Venus in Libra is in its own sign, strong and sociable. Jupiter and Saturn are still in solid trine to each other.

By the time of the Mercury station on September 24, Venus has changed signs into Scorpio and the Moon in the late degrees of Cancer in quincunx to Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio.


The Astrologer’s Textbook Of Astronomy by Mary Dowton and Steve Cahill

Eric Francis, Mercury is Always Retrograde, ASR

Eric Francis, Mixed Signals, Bright Ideas: Mercury Retrograde in Gemini, PWAN

Planet Wiki, Eris

Sue Tompkins, The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook, 2006, Flare Publications

Planet Waves Daily Astrology & Adventure, Scorpio Full Moon, UAC Update

Treehouse Mountain

Theoi Project

Full Moon in Libra – March 21, 2008, 18:39:54 UT

Friday, March 21st, 2008

by Eric Francis

Today’s Full Moon forms an exact square to Pluto, which arrived in Capricorn in late January. Till now it has managed to stay out of the spotlight; it is now very much in the glow. Today the Moon opposes the Sun (also called the Full Moon), and both the Sun and Moon are square Pluto. All three points meet one another at opposing or right angles. In addition Mars in Cancer is still opposite Pluto, so the Sun and Moon will square Mars as well. This is dramatic, and it can be shocking. Full Moons tend to precipitate events; square aspects tend to do the same thing. There is nothing like a Full Moon to set off a knock effect and make the positions of other planets reveal their full strength and implicit themes, and this is what we are seeing.

Sign changes of Pluto always throw society into a new gear, and since we’re all on the bus, we all come along. However, exceedingly few people feel like their lives are part of something larger. We tend to take everything directly, personally, and forget that there is a greater scheme out there; that personal and global events are inseparably joined.

Pluto does not change signs often: in the current era, it occurs about every 12 to 15 years. When Pluto makes a move, we typically find ourselves in one of those “everything is changing at once” moments. This is what’s happening right now. But this is having some very specific expressions, all of them relating to Pluto and Capricorn joining forces — the rearrangement of structure.

The setup involves something called the Aries Point. Simply, this is the first degree of Aries — where the Sun arrived Thursday as it entered Aries. This first degree of Aries is always active. Any time a planet arrives in that degree, or makes a square or opposition to that degree, we can notice the effect. After watching the point for years, I gave it the key phrase “the personal is political.” (This phrase was coined in the Sixties by the radical feminist group Red Stockings; I have adapted it to astrology.)

When astrologers say that a planet or event is “on the Aries Point,” they typically mean that it’s in the first few degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn — one of the four cardinal signs or cardinal points, also called the four directions. And because Pluto is sitting right in the beginning of Capricorn, it qualifies, and in reality so does Mars in early Cancer. The combined effect of Sun + Moon + Pluto + Mars + Aries Point is what we are witnessing now. Other factors that have been lurking in the background are making themselves known as well.

Pluto is the tiny anti-planet that so many people love to hate. Despite the recent discovery and naming of Eris, Pluto remains the final arbiter in the current scheme of the cosmic psyche, the bottom line relating to sex, death, money and power. When we break through this rather congested, tumultuous dimension of reality, we can can come out somewhere known as The Self.

Eris points us to how confused we are about that little detail. She is the patron saint of the postmodern identity crisis; when we feel clueless about our sense of self, sense of mission or inner orientation, this is Eris speaking. When we take advantage of this chaos and turn it to the fertile void, this is a journey we can allow Eris to guide us through.

Eris liberates us into a sense of life. The problem is, we choose death again and again; that is, we choose the dark side of Pluto.

Pluto is the cleanup man, or maybe the wrecking ball; he has the solution, or maybe the dissolution; he represents the inevitable; he has the power to drop the World Trade Center like a couple of marionettes (that was a particularly potent Pluto + Aries Point event).

Capricorn is the sign that represents the structure of society; it represents history and tradition and old institutions; it represents our relationship to the material world. Pluto entering this sign is promising deep, sweeping changes to the fragile material world that we have known for most of our lives, a world we have long wondered whether it could continue for much more time

During the Pluto in Sagittarius era, we witnessed nearly nonstop expansion, globalism and a prevailing philosophy of optimism, despite another prevailing philosophy of terrorism. (Sagittarius is the sign of “isms.”) Now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we are seeing contraction, pessimism, restructuring and a serious wake-up call to the more grounded realities of an earth sign.

Libra Equinox – Sept. 23, 2007, 09:51 UT

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

By Eric Francis and Kirsti Melto

EQUINOXES and solstices begin the seasons and take us to a new phase of our lives. They are the times when the Sun turns a corner and makes a 90-degree angle to either the equator or one of the tropics (Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn). In the case of an equinox, the Sun’s rays are at 90 degrees to the equator, and the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. The word equinox means “equal night.”

When the Sun enters Libra, it is crossing one of the Cardinal Points (which are the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). The cardinal points are highly sensitive points, bringing the message “personal is political? with events that tend to connect us to the larger events and movements in society around us. They are also natural turning point sin our lives. In the Northern tradition the cardinal points are represented by guardian dwarves called Nordri, Ostri, Sudri and Vestri, who held up the four “corners” of the cosmos.

Libra in particular is a point of rebalancing. Its image is of the scales of justice; its tarot card is Justice or Adjustment. Libra reminds us that one of the highest personal virtues we can attain, or at least strive for consciously, is fairness. A little fairness goes a long way. As with any cardinal sign, Libra is one that needs to take initiative. Aries is a potent sign of getting things going, but it tends to lack confidence. Half of the astrological cycle has passed by now, and Libra is the place where we find our confidence and the ability to make decisions.

The ascendant of the Libra equinox chart above, cast for The Hague, Netherlands (per Planet Waves tradition of casting global charts for that city), is in Scorpio, a sign ruled by Mars and Pluto. Mars and Pluto happen to be in an aspect at the time of the equinox — an opposition, which happens for a few days once every two years. Here, we have the two aspects of Scorpio — desire and the evolutionary impulse — facing off. We tend to think of them as being different. We tend to think of desire as being the thing that rules our lives, or that is the root of all suffering; of evolution as good and desire as something we need to get under control. Could it be that these two aspects of Scorpio contain one another? We can give desire the job of leading us to freedom as well as to anything else.

The Sun is squaring Pluto in this chart (it was exact earlier in the week, so this is called a separating square), which for its part is conjunct the Galactic Core. The Sun, Mars and Pluto form a T square. What is interesting and not revealed in conventional charts is that currently, on the Gemini side of this aspect, Mars is conjunct a centaur (Chiron-like planet) called Cyllarus. This has a panicky feeling, as if that sharp arrow depicted by Mars could come flying at random out of anywhere.

But this is taking place in Gemini. There is another side to the story that we might be missing entirely: “fate,” as we call it, does not always strike us down; just as often it lifts us up or redirects our path. It’s just that we tend to miss this second kind of cosmic move and get more caught up in the first. The arrow of Mars could be that of desire, it could be that of being chosen for a purpose, and it could be a sign that it’s time for a significant transformation of your life.

If you “trans-form,” make sure you remember to “trans-substance” too: form is not enough. A change in form needs to reveal something on the inside, something that may have been hidden by the old form. That something is the content of who you are, your ideas, your feelings, your sense of reality. Most of us walk around with a split personality; we are one person to the world, and someone else to ourselves.

The Moon in Aquarius makes a sesqisquare (135-degree) aspect to the Sun, and a semisquare to the Aries Point — both of which could be considered trigger aspects. The Aquarius Moon is genuinely friendly but prone to spending too much time in its own head. The humanitarian ideals of this Moon need to be expressed tangibly and in ways that are both idealistic and able to be documented.

The Moon is in conjunction with Neptune and Chiron, standing nearly exactly between the two. The Moon, positioned like that, suggests we are trying to decide whether we want to wake up or go back to sleep. The ongoing development of the Neptune-Chiron conjunction in Aquarius represents a slow coming to terms with the fog that has enveloped the Western world: the fog of war, of technology, of mood-altering drugs, of the distorted collective values we hold. Chiron acts like a focusing lens when put into aspect with Neptune, and though this conjunction will not be exact until Feb. 17, 2010, we are seeing the beginnings of it now.

The Moon closely sextiles Jupiter. This is what I would call a healthy relationship to luck, to potential, and to the need to expand. The sextile says, expand incrementally rather than wildly. Use leverage rather than effort.

The Sun in Libra and Venus in Leo are in mutual reception. (Note, there is an old rule that says that they can’t be in mutual reception unless they are in an exact aspect, which they are not, but we still take this as a mutual reception, in spirit if not in form.) When two planets are occupying one another’s signs, the planets in question can in a way switch places or roles; they are bound with a kind of shared role or obligation. Venus opposes Neptune tightly. In any situation where love seems fogged over by idealism or an unrealistic perspective, there is a second perspective offered, and that begins with focusing on oneself and then oneself in relation to others.

Venus opposite Neptune, for its part, calls for either surrendering to what may seem like an improbable possibility, or striving for clarity and awareness at every turn of events. The two do not have to contradict. Of note, Sedna is forming a T square to Venus and Neptune, suggesting that we remember to keep our hearts open even when we are in love.

Jupiter in Sagittarius is closely conjunct the Great Attractor, a point in the sky that brings out polarities, heightens awareness and gets us to look at our real opinions. Both Jupiter and the Great Attractor tend to have a magnifying effect on things they touch. Note that in Sagittarius we are also in the warm-up of several major events, including Jupiter square Uranus and Jupiter conjunct Pluto. Jupiter contacting outer planets can bring great leaps forward in wisdom and technology, though these days you would have to open your eyes to see it.

This is a strong chart and there is one more factor emphasizing the strength of it. The Sun opposes the Centaur planet Bienor at the Aries Point. Bienor completes the T square formed by the Sun, Mars and Pluto as a Grand Cross. Bienor is a small Uranus-crosser discovered in 2000. There is not much told about Centaur Bienor in mythology. The name Bienor means “Strong One” and from Ovid’s Metamorphoses we also know that Bienor was tall. Bienor attended the Lapith king Pirithous’ wedding with other Centaurs. Centaurs and the Lapiths started to fight and Ovid describes how Pirithous’ friend Theseus leaps upon the back of Bienor, and how Bienor gets killed by Theseus.

The death of a Centaur symbolizes transformation and healing and offers us a possibility to move to another level of awareness. In this case, we have a fitting metaphor for the idea of transforming that human quality known as strength. In short, do we put our strength to work for us, or against us? Always a good question to ask.

Mercury Retrograde Warm-up

Mercury’s pre-retrograde echo phase begins on Sept. 21 at 23+ degrees Libra. Mercury makes its retrograde station on Oct. 12 at 9+ degrees Scorpio and starts going backwards until it reaches 23+ degrees Libra again on Nov. 1, then stations direct.

This retrograde takes us from a water sign to an air sign. Mercury is not often retrograde in water signs, though it has been recently. Most people I’ve heard from have found them to be particularly challenging, but I think many of the challenges involve learning to be clear about what we feel, and connecting that clarity to words. In truth, how often do you say what you feel? And how much trouble and disappointment does it cause you that you don’t? Mercury in Libra sextiles Pluto and trines Mars. This says that you can speak and you won’t drop dead or cause the economy to collapse if you do.

Under a Mercury echo or retrograde, make your commitments consciously and carefully. Be mindful of who you are and how you bring yourself into your interactions. Ask questions, but listen to the questions that other people ask — this will often give you more information than interviewing someone.

Aries Full Moon

Full Moon in Aries – Sept. 26, 2007, 19:45 UT

The Libra equinox is followed within a couple of days’ time by a Full Moon in Aries. The Moon at 3+ degrees Aries is conjunct the Aries Point and the Centaur planet Bienor. The outer planets are pretty much occupying the same placements as they were at the time of the equinox. The Grand Cross formed by the Sun, Mars, Bienor and Pluto is still valid. The Moon makes an exact trine to the Centaur planet Pholus at 3+ degrees Sagittarius. Mercury sextiles Pluto and Venus trines Eris, the exact aspects taking place during the two days between the equinox and the Full Moon.

In the Full Moon chart, Mercury and Mars have both proceeded into the demanding last degree of a sign. Mercury is in Libra about to enter Scorpio, which takes place on the day following the Full Moon. Mars enters Cancer on Sept. 28, only a couple of minutes before the midnight UT.

This could bring big news, as activity in the cardinal signs often offers, though the revelation is that the most important strength we can possess is emotional strength.

Aries Equinox – March 21, 2007, 00:07 UT

Friday, March 16th, 2007

THE SUN is conjunct dwarf planet Ceres and centaur planet Bienor. Ceres is in the first degree of Aries together with the Sun, Bienor still in the late degrees of Pisces. The Sun squares Pluto and the Galactic Core.

The Moon is in conjunction with centaur planet Asbolus, dwarf planet Eris (both in Aries), and Venus (in Taurus). The Moon and Venus both are trineing Pluto. The Moon opposes asteroid Juno and centaur planet Echeclus. The opposition between the Moon and comet-like Echeclus is tight.

Mars is in conjunction with Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius and opposite retrograding Saturn. Mars sextiles Jupiter and cubewano Quaoar in Sagittarius and Asbolus in Aries. Jupiter and asteroid Toro are trineing Asbolus and Eris. Neptune septiles Pluto. Chiron is semisquare to the Sun and to the Aries Point and also to Pluto.

Asbolus is approaching Eris and the exact conjunction is going to happen at 20+ degrees Aries on the 30th of March, the day before Pluto stations retrograde. Actually there is a meeting of three planets: Asbolus, Eris, and 1992 QB1.

1992 QB1 was the first object which was discovered beyond Pluto. The discoverers, David Jewitt and Jane Luu, spent several years on top of Mauna Kea searching the sky without any certainty that they would actually find anything from the region. Then finally, in August 1992, they found a faint object, 1992 QB1. The discovery position was the first degree of Aries, the point at which we are having the Sun on the 21st of March — the Aries Point.

The discovery of 1992 QB1 proved that the Kuiper Belt existed. In the 1950s, astronomer Gerard Kuiper had suggested that the belt was the source of short period comets, but the belt had remained theoretical. The belt was named after Kuiper after the discovery of 1992 QB1, and QB1 has given its name to a whole class of objects since — cubewanos (also called classical Kuiper Belt Objects).

Asbolus, Eris, and 1992 QB1 almost met already in the summer of 2006 within one degree orb but they did not quite make it then. All three went into retrograde motion and Asbolus, which is the fastest of these three bodies, began to draw away from the other two again. Since January 2007 they have all been moving direct again. The next couple of weeks following the Aries Equinox, these three planets will be travelling together in a conjunction within one degree.

Quaoar = 17 Sagittarius 42 r
Asbolus = 19 Aries 45
1992 QB1 = 20 Aries 05
Eris = 20 Aries 39
Toro = 20 Sagittarius 47
Echeclus = 26 Libra 13 r
Bienor = 28 Pisces 27