Archive for December, 2008

New Moon in Capricorn — December 27, 2008, 12:22 UT

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

The New Moon is the time for new beginnings, and this New Moon is an important one. At the moment the sign of Capricorn is packed with planets and asteroids. Any planet in Capricorn tends to behave in a disciplined manner, and in the current setup this is favourable, because some of the planetary combinations can turn out unpredictable. The Capricornian traits like sense of responsibility and sense of order, patience, persistance, industriousness and practicality, should help us to concentrate at work after the holiday break.

Mars has just entered Capricorn and conjoined Pluto. These two planets can sometimes form an explosive combination. On the other hand, Mars can act very focused and courageous now. There is a lot of warrior energy in the chart. The Mars-Pluto conjunction squares the Aries Point, the point of public contact. All this may lead to some extraordinary work results.

Asteroid Bacchus is in conjunction with the Moon, indicating experiences with excesses, or fear of excess. Atlantis is in the stellium, too, referring to the use and abuse of technology.

Together with Mars and Pluto in early Capricorn are asteroids Pandora, Psyche and Photographica. This combination suggests heightened awareness to visual images, whether they well from our subconscious or some external source.

Asteroid Psyche has affinities to the Moon and Pluto. Pandora has an Uranian flavour and it can stir our curiosity and lead us to unexpected paths. She is an agent of change and opens up new possibilities. Demetra George has called asteroids Pandora and Icarus the Liberators. Also Icarus is now in Capricorn. Icarus represents the principle of risk taking, so maintaining your composure and avoiding any extremes is recommened.

The Sun and Moon are in a tight quincunx to asteroid Pallas in Gemini. In mythology Pallas Athene is a goddess of wisdom, the creative planner. According to Demetra George, Pallas Athene in Gemini is a warrior with words. In the air sign she is at home, but the irritating quincunx indicates a need for adjustment before we can put our feelings into words acceptable to others.

In the other Mercury ruled sign, Virgo, is asteroid Urania trining the Luminaries. In mythology Urania is one of the Nine Muses. She is associated with astrology, astronomy and mathematics. This heavenly thinker can inspire us to deep theorethical ponderings.

Mercury and Jupiter are in conjunction in the latter degrees of Capricorn. Mercury has already entered the echo phase, preparing to station retrograde in January. Now it is still approaching Jupiter, and the exact conjunction is going to take place on the last day of the year. Mercury, the planet of mentality and communication trines closely the trans-Neptunian planet Logos, described as “the soul of technology” by Eric.

For the counterbalance of all this heavy mental energy, the exact Venus-Neptune conjunction in the friendly and sociable sign Aquarius is providing us inspirational love and feelings of compassion to benefit our brothers and sisters.

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, is still in opposition to Uranus and conjunct Typhon. At the moment Saturn is doing something rare and beautiful. Just before Christmas the NASA Science News informed us about Saturn’s “startling metamorphosis.” According to the article, all year long, the rings of Saturn have been tilting toward Earth, and now they are almost perfectly edge-on. This happens once every 14 to 15 years. Because the rings are so thin, they can actually disappear from sight when viewed through a backyard telescope. The precise moment is not until Sept. 4, 2009, but then Saturn will be too close to the Sun for the observation. The best time to look is now!


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

Eric Francis, The Personal is Political

Martha Lang-Wescott, Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids, 1996, Treehouse Mountain

Demetra George & Douglas Bloch, Asteroid Goddesses, 2003, Ibis Press

Eric Francis, The Atlantis Factor

Saturn’s Crazy Christmas Tilt

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

Full Moon in Gemini — December 12, 2008, 16:37 UT

Friday, December 12th, 2008

The sky is vibrating like a Finnish kantele, the musical instrument masterly played by the magician Väinämöinen, one of the main characters in Finnish mythology.

The Full Moon at 21+ degrees of Gemini on Friday, Dec. 12, arrives with intense aspect patterns including a grand cross, a yod, and several main planets and important minor planets around 19-22 degrees of the signs they occupy, tightly aspecting the luminaries.

The dramatic grand cross falls in the mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. The Moon in Gemini opposes the Sagittarian Sun, and both the Sun and Moon are squaring Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo. The Sun is in conjunction with Mars.

Mercury, the ruler of Gemini and Virgo is sharing the first degree of Capricorn, one of the cardinal points, with Pluto. Together they sguare the Aries Point, a point which tends to connect us to the larger events and movements in society around us. It’s the point where we go beyond ourselves.

Oppositions are aspects of confrontation, and also they can bring awareness. Squares are producing action and growth. With a grand cross we can feel like we’re pulled in four different directions at once, especially now with the restlessness of the mutability prevailing. The Full Moon in general can be stressful, and this time the planets involved will, no doubt, add some extra tension. It is important to find a constructive means of action to unravel this tension.

In Sagittarius are asteroid Astraea, the trans-Neptunian Quaoar and the Centaur planet Crantor in conjunction with the Sun and Mars. In Virgo, Saturn is conjunct two trans-Neptunian binary planets: Typhon and Logos.

Two weeks ago at the Sagittarius New Moon I was writing about Typhon, so now I am just offering a link to that article from November. About Logos you can read for example in the article on the Virgo Solar Eclipse of Sept. 2007 conjunct Logos.

Other minor planets in tight aspect to the Sun, Moon, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — and also to each other — are Eris (the goddess of discord) and 1992 QB1 (the cosmic bridge) in Aries; Sedna (the goddess of the Arctic Ocean) and Thereus (the Centaur who catches angry bears) in Taurus; and Varuna (the great equalizer) in Cancer.

A yod pattern is composed of two planets in sextile to each other and both forming a quincunx (an aspect of 150 degrees) to a third planet. Quincunxes are irritating aspects that require adjustment. The orb allowed for a quincunx is very tight. The apex of a yod is always the place where the focus is turned.

In this Full Moon chart the sextile of the yod is formed by Sedna, the namesake of the Inuit goddess of the icy waters, and Varuna, named after the Hindu deity of the celestial ocean. Sedna is something very unusual in our solar system with her extremely long orbital period. Varuna can be thought of as an energy which is too large to comprehend, but which somehow touches us personally. The properties of these bodies suggest that the influence of the Full Moon is far-reaching.

The Sun and asteroid Astraea are in quincunx aspect to Varuna and Sedna, forming the apex of the yod. The yod is pointing to Sagittarius, the sign associated with education, exploration, religion and search for truth. This is the corner of the grand cross wherein to vent the accumulating pressure. The yod is like a Centaur’s arrow and the Full Moon is the trigger. The Moon moves into the midpoint of Sedna and Varuna opposing the Sun located near the core of our galaxy and sets the arrow off.

Astraea is a Main belt asteroid and the fifth asteroid discovered. After its discovery in 1845, thousands of other asteroids were found, and the four original ones (Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta), which were regarded as planets at the time, were demoted to the asteroid class.

In mythology Astraea was a personification of justice. She was the last of the immortals to live with humans during the Golden Age. As mankind became wicked, she was the last to stay on earth. Zeus then placed her amongst the stars as the constellation Virgo. The scales of justice she carried became the constellation of Libra.

Martha Lang-Wescott suggests that Astraea may have something to do with the difficulty of letting go of things, people or events. She writes:

“Astraea is that place where (and those circumstances under which) you ‘go down with the ship.’ You may know, at Astraea, that there’s an impending disaster, but you tend to see things through anyway; you wait past the embers to the ashes.” She continues: “…you can’t stop short of seeing the situation all the way through. In aspect, this kind of persistence is often rewarded, and, of itself, a virtue: you don’t quit just because the going (as described by planets or points in aspect) gets rough.”


The Kantele – Finland’s national instrument

Väinämöinen in Wikipedia

Eric Francis, Aries New Moon, and the Radha-Eris Conjunction

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

Eric Francis, Through the Spiral Door — and Into Capricorn

Eric Francis, Water Worlds

Martha Lang-Wescott, Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids, 1996, Treehouse Mountain