Archive for June, 2009

New Moon in Cancer — June 22, 2009, 19:35 UT

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

The New Moon in Cancer followed close to the solstice, falling opposite Pluto and squaring the Aries Point in the chart. No doubt, this is one of the most important lunations of the year.

The Aries Point is one of the cardinal points which are the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They are sensitive points in the chart.

The heavens are said to rest on four corners which are universal in ancient mythologies and symbolize the elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. In the Norse creation myth Odin with his brothers placed four dwarves (Nordri, Sudri, Austri and Vestri) to hold up giant Ymir’s skull and create the heavens. Then using sparks from Muspelheim, the realm of fire, the gods created the Sun, Moon and stars.

“These elements were all later personified as Gods, Genii, and Winds, progeny of the Great Mother, the ‘Bearer of the Waters,’ or the enceinte mother. She was the primordial ark, and long before boats were built was called the Ship of Life or the Ship of the North. And this primitive ark or ship contained within herself the causation of all the Fours, which still cling to the cardinal points and the corss,” writes E. Valentia Straiton.

The New Moon occured in exact conjunction with Vesta and in very close conjunction with Cyllarus.

Vesta is the asteroid of burning fire, the eternal flame of creativity. Vesta is comfortable in Cancer, the home sign of the Moon. Vesta represents focus and integrity. This is great time for dedication and commitment. In ancient Greece, a warm hearth dedicated to Hestia, the Greek equivalent for Vesta, was central to every home.

Commitment can be applied also to Cyllarus, one of the Centaurs. Eric Francis writes about him:

“Cyllarus reminds us to be conscious of the choices we are making in our lives — particularly the choice to fight, or walk away from one. Cyllarus says that the decisions we make directly affect our relationships, and we need to be conscious of our choices in this context. We are connected by the threads of our lives to every person in our lives.”

In Greek mythology Cyllarus was a young and beautiful Centaur, and though the Centaurs were not gods but a group of troublemakers, the story of Cyllarus has many points of contact with the Norse myth of Balder, the most beautiful and beloved of the gods.

Balder was a solar god who was pierced by a mistletoe and whose body was burned on a funeral pyre at the summer solstice. After Ragnarök Balder returns to life (symbolized by the lights of the Christmas tree at the winter solstice). The bonfires are still lit in Scandinavia on Midsummer Eve.

A feeling of magical moment is intensified by three minor bodies conjoined in early Libra, at one of the cardinal points: Asteroid Freia is named after the Norse goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Okyrhoe is a Centaur, the daughter of Chiron and Chariklo. Her name means “swift-flowing.” and she was a prophetess. She was transformed into a mare by Zeus for revealing the secrets of the gods. Asteroid Karma was discovered by a Finnish astronomer Liisi Oterma. The name refers to concept of the cycle of cause and effect.

So perish the old Gods!
But out of the sea of Time
Rises a new land of song,
Fairer than the old.
Over its meadows green
Walk the young bards and sing.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


E. Valentia Straiton, Celestial Ship of the North, Kessinger Publishing, 1992 (published originally in 1927)

Wikipedia, Creation myth

Eric Francis, Small World Stories, Cyllarus

Holy Nation of Odin, Balder

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tegner’s Drapa (on the death of Balder the Beautiful)

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

Full Moon in Sagittarius — June 07, 2009, 18:12 UT

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Polarity is a quintessential principle in astrology. It is one of the keystones of Hermetic philosophy. This principle embodies the idea that everything is dual; there are two sides to everything. Good and evil, for example, are the two extremes of the same thing, and there are many varying degrees between them.

Another Hermetic principle is that of gender. Everything in the cosmos has its masculine and feminine principles. All things rise and fall; sometimes the masculine aspect is manifesting itself more clearly, and at other times the feminine.

In astrology these principles are at work in the opposite signs of the zodiac, in the house polarity, and also on the plane of the planet symbolism.

In the Sagittarius Full Moon chart, the Sun and the Moon, a pair of masculine and feminine symbols are opposite each other, as they are at the moment of any Full Moon. Another pair of planets representing the principle of gender are Venus and Mars, this time conjoined in the early degrees of Taurus. They are trining Pluto in Capricorn.

Isabel M. Hickey was emphasizing the dual nature of Pluto in her pamphlet Pluto or Minerva: The Choice is Yours in 1973. She proposed that there was what we normally think of as the Plutonian aspect of Pluto, and then the wisdom aspect, which she described as Minerva. Quoting Hickey: “Every energy that challenges us has two poles that act as attracting forces. As individuals we are pulled by both of them until we find the balancing force in the third force which is the center between the two opposing pulls.”

It turned out later that Pluto is a binary planet. In 1978 Pluto’s companion Charon was discovered. A binary planet is a pair of worlds that are usually roughly similar in mass. They orbit around their common center of mass, called the barycenter. The barycenter is the point between two objects where they balance each other.

Typhon is another binary planet. In Greek mythology Typhon was a son of Gaia and Tartaros, a monster who was the source of destructive storm winds and volcanic eruptions. He lived beneath Mount Etna in Sicily. Typhon was so huge that his head was said to brush the stars.

The Full Moon of June is square to the Saturn-Typhon conjunction in Virgo. The Sun squared Typhon the day before the Full Moon. It is intriguing that the Sabian symbol for the degree that Typhon is currently occupying is Virgo 17, A volcano in eruption. Marc Edmund Jones writes: “This is a symbol of that constant expansion of self and nature which constitutes reality in its most fundamental terms, emphasized here on the side of physical force and the blind urge of life to continue to be.”

There is a tendency in astrology to assume that new planets have a negative meaning. They are typically seen in their shadow expression first. There are always two sides to the story though. This is crucial to remember, especially when a binary is involved.

I have written about Typhon and told the grim Greek myth many times before. I have mentioned some major natural disasters in the connection of this destructive monsterous force. I’ve been aware that this can’t be the whole truth about the astrological symbolism of Typhon.

I was thrilled last week when I came across Internet sources referring to ancient Egyptian mythologies which include in their pantheon of gods a female deity called Typhon, the Great Mother.

From the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary I found out that Typhon was associated with the crocodile. The ancient Egyptians did not regard Typhon as the enemy, the destroyer. Typhon was one of the most powerful and venerated of the divinities, giving blessings, life, and inspiration to the people, and in especial perhaps to rulers of Egypt.

Quoting The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky: “The Crocodile is the Egyptian dragon. It was the dual symbol of Heaven and Earth, of Sun and Moon, and was made sacred, in consequence of its amphibious nature, to Osiris and Isis.”

According to Gerald Massey, an English poet and self-taught Egyptologist: “The Old Dragon of Chaos and the Abyss is the same whether called Tiamat, Tavthe, or Typhon. By Typhon I mean the beast that imaged the first Great Mother, hippopotamus in front and crocodile behind, who therefore is the Dragon of Egypt. Her name of Tep, Teb, or Tept is the original of Typhon. Tiamat = Tavthe represents that abyss of the beginning which is the Egyptian Tepht. This Tepht is the abyss, the source, the void, the hole of the snake, the habitat of the dragon, the outrance or uterus of birth as place which preceded personification.”

Then I found an interesting e-book called Celestial Ship of the North, by E. Valentia Straiton, published originally in 1927. She writes:

“The Abyss, in Egypt is a name of the North, and the original mother of this Abyss, which was Space, was called Typhon, the Mother of Beginnings, the Mother of the Fields of Heaven, the Mother of Revolutions (time cycles), as well as the Mother of Gods and Men… We read that from one Mother the Universe was born. This was the Mother Typhon, a primordial figure of Power. A very ancient form of Typhon was the Water Horse, the “Bearer of the Waters” which was the Hippopotamus. This animal has four toes on each of its four feet, and therefore was considered a type of the four corners of the earth.”

The minor planet Typhon is a binary. Now we have both sides of the coin represented in the mythology: the huge and destructive Greek Typhon, and the powerful Egyptian Mother of Beginnings.

In the Egyptian mythology Typhon in the form of the crocodile is connected to Osiris, the god of the afterlife. In the Full Moon chart asteroid Osiris is sharing the same degree with the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction at 26+ Aquarius and drawing our attention to the feminine principle of Typhon. We need to start searching this balancing force of the Great Mother now.


The Kybalion

Kirsti Melto, Kuiper Belt Binaries, Small World Stories, 2008

Isabel M. Hickey, Astrology, A Cosmic Science, CRCS Publications, 1992

Dr. Marc Edmund Jones, The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, Aurora Press, 1993

Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary, Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Gerald Massey, In Reply to Professor A. H. Sayce, Originally published in a private edition c. 1900

E. Valentia Straiton, Celestial Ship of the North, 1927

Wikipedia, Osiris