Archive for November, 2008

New Moon in Sagittarius — November 27, 2008, 16:55 UT

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

This is a momentous New Moon, the first one occurring after Pluto’s ingress from Sagittarius to Capricorn, where he is going to stay for the next 15 years. The ingress takes place in the early hours of Nov. 27 (UT). Later on the same day the stationing Uranus in Pisces turns direct almost simultaneously with the New Moon in Sagittarius. A clearance from the past is close at hand now.

A significant stellium in the adventurous, enthusiastic and optimistic fire sign Sagittarius is steering us in the beginning of our journey in the new landscape. Besides the Sun and Moon, there are also Mercury and Mars in Sagittarius. Mercury is the planet of communication and all mental activity, and Mars represents initiative and drive. We are able to see the big picture and reach for our highest goals self-confident.

The Moon is at 5+ degrees of Sagittarius, and the Sabian Symbol for this is Sagittarius 6: A game of cricket. The keyword sportsmanship is emphasizing the importance of cooperation and fair play in our actions.

Two Centaur planets, Hylonome and Pholus, are in Sagittarius as well. Tightly in conjunction with the New Moon and Mercury is Hylonome, named after one of the few female Centaurs in mythology. She was a beautiful and civilized centauress in love with a young centaur named Cyllarus. He was wounded by a spear in battle and 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.

All myths are metaphors. A death of a Centaur means transformation. It is a powerful image of letting go of the past and entering a new level or new phase in life. Astrologically, Hylonome may signify feelings of grief and loss, and healing from grief. She is also said to signify an exceptional need for acceptance. Eric Francis has written that Hylonome is counseling against being a martyr. She may now be reminding us not to sacrifice ourselves or our principles in the name of being a team player or for the acceptance of others.

Mars is in close conjunction with Pholus. Pholus symbolizes the energy of sudden release, opening the container and letting something out. He addresses themes involving multi-generational patterns. Curiosity and spontaneity are also qualities of Pholus. Melanie Reinhart writes in Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs:

“I wonder whether a Pholus impulse might mean that we jump at an opportunity which turns out to be not just an illusion, but which leads to catastrophe. And sometimes it is a necessary catastrophe, like the felix culpa — the fortunate mistake. Given the prenatal and regressive connection here, we might be acting out deep prenatal or ancestral urges, which will be seeking resolution as part of our path, evoked alongside our destiny.”

In The Pisces Point (the annual for 2003) Eric wrote:

“Pholus is offering a measure of curiosity about why we’re in pain, and allowing rapid sequences of change once we act on that curiosity. Hylonome is offering support for our crisis of faith: we’ve been hurt so many times, how could we ever be happy? If we do the work of Pholus, that is, investigate and let what we learn change us, the work of Hylonome will be easier. We will learn that it’s possible not to be hurt in the sense of negligence or abuse. Some hurts are avoidable.?

Together with Pluto in the first degree of Capricorn, square the Aries Point is asteroid 55555 DNA, a Main-belt asteroid discovered in 2001. The Pholus theme of patterns involving several generations gets a magnification here. Deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, is the code that contains the genetic information of all living organisms. It is responsible for the transmission of hereditary characteristics. DNA chains are spiral shaped, consisting of two long chains of nucleotides twisted into a double helix joined by hydrogen bonds.

The binary Centaur Typhon has something in common with the energies discussed above. In the New Moon chart Typhon is tightly conjuncted by Saturn and opposed by Uranus.

Typhon is often referred as a Centaur planet. Actually, it is a scattered disc object with an orbit of 233 years. Typhon is a binary. The companion’s name is Echidna. The binary system seems to be more tightly bound than most other known binaries. Typhon crosses the orbits of Uranus and Neptune and thus has encountered the giant planets countless times in the past. The binary pair should have split apart because of the gravity, but for some reason the two stick together.

In Greek mythology Echidna was Typhon’s wife. Hesiod (a Greek poet who may have lived around 700 BCE or earlier) describes Echidna as “a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days.? Typhon and Echidna were both monsters.

Typhon was a son of Gaia and Tartaros. He was so huge that his head was said to brush the stars. He had two coiled vipers in place of legs, and in place of fingers were a hundred serpent heads, fifty per hand. He hurled red-hot rocks at the sky and storms of fire boiled from his mouth.

Mythical Typhon lives beneath mount Etna in Sicily. He is said to be the cause of volcanic eruptions and the father of hot dangerous storm winds. His name is considered to be a possible etymology for the word “typhoon.”

I have found Typhon quite interestingly situated in the charts of some mundane events of the recent years. In the case of the Tsunami in 2004, the landfall of Super Typhoon Durian in the Philippines in 2006, and California wildfires in 2007, the scale of devastation was as huge as the mythical Typhon was. A couple of weeks ago the transit of Uranus opposite Saturn-Typhon conjunction was more accurate than what it is now, and since then we’ve seen news informing us about wild fires in California again, and a tsunami warning in Indonesia following an earthquake.

Recently I saw a TV documentary about Etna. The pressure in the heart of the volcano increases until eventually the crust gives in, and hot lava bursts out. I was thinking about Typhon while I was watching, and how descriptive the ancient myth really is! The eruption was an unforgettable sight, the red fire and big rocks shooting hundreds of meters high on the sky. It was incredibly beautiful!

An erupting volcano can send out a spiral shaped ash plume, and hurricanes blow in spiral shape. Philip Sedgwick mentions kundalini in his keywords for Typhon. It is a yoga term meaning the life force, and the symbol for the kundalini energy is a spiral. This energy may be “awakened,” and it may bring psychological illumination, or higher consciousness.


The Sabian Symbols in Astrology by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones, Aurora Press, 1993
Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs, Melanie Reinhart, CPA Press, 2002
Mark A. Holmes’ Astrology Pages
The Pisces Point, Eric Francis, 2003
Read about Sedna, Pholus and Nessus, ASR, Eric Francis
The Theoi Project

Full Moon in Taurus – November 13, 2008, 06:17 UT

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
The security-oriented Taurus Moon wants to see that at least her basic daily needs are being met. She can be materialistic. The Moon is in conjunction with Sedna, a minor planet named after the goddess of the Arctic Ocean and the protective deity of the Inuit. Sedna reminds us that we are taken care of, as long as we don’t get too greedy in fulfilling our own needs on the expense of the nature, that humankind shouldn’t be exploiting the resources of Earth.

Sedna is an icy trans-Neptunian object on a highly elliptical orbit of 10,667 years. She reaches the (so-called) inner Oort cloud. The Oort cloud is a hypothetical spherical cloud of comets that extends to a distance of almost halfway to the nearest star. Sedna’s orbit is so long that she works almost as a fixed point in the chart. At the moment she is quite close to the Sun approaching her perihelion, so she is traveling “fast,” spending only about 100 years in one sign. When she is far from the Sun she can spend about 1,600 years in one sign. The last time she was this close to the Sun, Earth was just coming out of the last ice age.

Sedna is believed to be the fifth-largest known trans-Neptunian object after the official dwarf planets Eris, Pluto, Makemake and Haumea. She qualifies as a dwarf planet candidate. The discovery of Sedna was announced in 2004.

Some time ago the news was telling that the world’s oldest known living tree, a Norway spruce that first took root at the end of the last ice age, has been discovered in Sweden. The discovery of this 9,550 year-old conifer in 2004 coincides with Sedna emerging into our awareness. This persistent ancient tree has existed through about one Sedna cycle. The spruce’s stems can become about 600 years old at most. The tree has survived by pushing out another trunk as soon as the old one has died. It has an ability to clone itself, which is a kind of death and rebirth.

The image of the lonely Swedish spruce brings to mind Yggdrasil, the sacred World Tree in the Northern tradition. Yggdrasil is usually said to be an ash tree, but lately it has been suggested that it may originally have been a yew. The yew has a strong association with death and immortality; it is often found in church yards.

I see quite a few parallels in the symbolism of Sedna and Yggdrasil. Just as Yggdrasil is the cosmic axis joining all the worlds, including those of humans and gods, also Sedna is connecting different realms of the solar system with its exceedingly long orbit.

Yggdrasil is a vehicle for a shaman to travel into a different level of reality. Odin undergoes a shamanic initiation, a death and rebirth, by hanging from the World Tree for nine days and nine nights in order to gain the wisdom of the runes. Yggdrasil supports and sustains life. The cosmic tree survives Ragnarök, the end of the world, and also two humans get a shelter under its protective branches and survive. Yggdrasil is a symbol of eternity.

In Inuit mythology, Sedna was a young girl who, through a transformation, became the goddess of the icy waters. She lives at the bottom of the ocean with seals and whales. To ensure that she continues to feed the people, a shaman must descend down to her to comb her long, black and tangled hair. This calms Sedna down, and she releases her mammals and allows the people to eat from the bounty of the sea.

The Full Moon forms a grand trine in Earth with Saturn in Virgo and Jupiter in Capricorn. The Sun in Scorpio conjuncts House, the asteroid referring to the residence and to what is experienced “at home.” The Sun-House conjunction is sextile to Saturn and Jupiter and forms the apex of a kite pattern. In Scorpio the theme of death and rebirth is being repeated again. The conditions of Earth, our shared home, are in the spotlight.

The wellbeing of trees and forests is essential to our future. Recently I saw a news story reporting that we are depleting the Earth’s natural resources so quickly that we would need two planets to sustain our current lifestyle within a generation. The Luminaries of this Full Moon are on the Taurus-Scorpio axis. The rulers of these opposing signs are Venus and Pluto, respectively, and they are conjoined on the cusp of Capricorn, one of the cardinal signs. The first degrees of any of the cardinal signs are related to the Aries Point, the point where affairs of the world become personal.

“The next time Sedna comes back, the world might again be a completely different place,” has Mike Brown, the discoverer said. It is up to us all, what kind of place it’s going to be.


Johnston’s Archive
Mike Brown’s Sedna page
Sedna, Karen Hamaker-Zondag, Astro Logos Ltd
NASA’s Sedna page
National Geographic News
Nordic runes, Paul Rhys Mountfort, Destiny Books, 2003
Treehouse Mountain