Archive for December, 2020

Full Moon in Cancer — December 30, 2020, 03:28 UT

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

The incredible year 2020 started in January with the Full Moon in Cancer. Now when the year is coming to its end, the Full Moon occurs in Cancer again. The Sun in Capricorn is in conjunction with Mercury and trine to Uranus. The Sun and Mercury are in conjunction with asteroid 31 Euphrosyne.

You don’t often bump into asteroid Euphrosyne in astrological writing. This is actually surprising, as astronomically it is quite a special asteroid, and astrologically its message is pleasing.

A quick google search brought me only a link to The Astrology Book: The Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences by James R. Lewis (2003, by Visible Ink Press): “Euphrosyne, whose appellation means cheerfulness or joy, was named after one of the three Graces (the other two are Thalia and Aglaja). Euphrosyne was a daughter of Zeus and Eurynome. Like its mythological namesake, the asteroid confers the ‘grace’ of joy to natives in whose chart it is prominent.”

Euphrosyne was a goddess of good cheer, joy, mirth and merriment. The three Graces were often represented as the companions of other gods, such as Hera, Hermes, Eros, Dionysus, Aphrodite and Apollo. They gave their grace and beauty to everything that delighted and elevated gods and men.

31 Euphrosyne is a Main belt asteroid discovered in 1854 by James Ferguson at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. It is one of the earliest asteroid discoveries, the 31st, and the first one found from North America. 1 Ceres in 1801 was the first, and currently the number is more than a million. Asteroids range in size from 940 km down to small rocks, less than 1 km in diameter. Euphrosyne is one of the biggest objects in the Main belt; it is the 9th- or 10th-largest with its approximately 270 km diameter. It is even larger than Chariklo, the largest known centaur planet.

Euphrosyne is the third-roundest known asteroid (after 1 Ceres and 10 Hygiea). It is not in hydrostatic equilibrium though (like the dwarf planet Ceres). The round shape is thought to have formed because of a collision and the re-accumulation process that followed. Euphrosyne has a high orbital inclination and eccentricity. It orbits the Sun near the asteroid belt’s outer edge. The orbital period is little over 5.5 years.

Euphrosyne is the namesake of an asteroid family of two thousand asteroids that formed in the collision mentioned before. They share similar spectral properties and orbital elements as Euphrosyne. Euphrosyne has a moon, likely resulting from the same collisional event that created the family. The small satellite was discovered in 2019.

The turn of the year is the time to reflect the past. This has been a year of hardships for most of us. The year may have brought achievements to some people though, and some may have discovered joy in helping others. Some have lost their friend or a relative, while others may have a new baby in the family, making their life more meaningful and sweeter than before. Now it is also the time to look forward. In the beginning of a new year the hopes are high. Whatever the year 2021 may bring, Euphrosyne is reminding us that eventually there will be merrier times ahead, for all of us.

New Moon in Sagittarius / Total Solar Eclipse — December 14, 2020, 16:16 UT

Monday, December 14th, 2020

Winter Solstice – December 21, 2020, 10:02 UT

This has been an unforgettable year. At the end of the year notable astrological events are taking place and giving us hope. The New Moon in Sagittarius on Dec.14 was a total solar eclipse near our Galactic Center, the center of the Milky Way. The eclipse occurred in exact conjunction with the trans-Neptunian 174567 Varda. The eclipse took place opposite Asbolus, which has survivor quality to it. In addition there is a visible Christmas star in the sky, the shining conjunction of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn.

A total solar eclipse happens when the Sun is completely covered by the Moon. The Moon is passing between the Earth and the Sun. The eclipse is visible only from specific areas on Earth, and this time only from Chile and Argentina. This doesn’t reduce its astrological significance.

In Silmarillion, the posthumous collection of J. R. R. Tolkien’s works which provides the background to The Lord of the Rings, it is Varda, the queen of the Valar, who set the vessels of the Sun and Moon upon their courses. Tolkien describes the solar eclipse like this:

”The maiden whom the Valar chose from among the Maiar to guide the vessel of the Sun was named Arien, and he that steered the island of the Moon was Tilion.

“But Tilion went with uncertain pace, as yet he goes, and was still drawn towards Arien, as he shall ever be; so that often both may be seen above the Earth together, or at times it will chance that he comes so nigh that his shadow cuts off her brightness and there is a darkness amid the day.”

174567 Varda is a binary cubewano. The primary is named after Varda, the creator of the stars in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional mythology. She was so beautiful that it was impossible to describe it in words. Her face was radiating light. Although the Sun’s light was blocked today, Varda was still sharing her love and beauty.

174567 Varda’s satellite is named Ilmarë after Varda’s handmaiden. Tolkien was inspired by many mythologies, and the name Ilmarë possibly comes from the magical Finnish blacksmith Ilmarinen in our national epic, the Kalevala.

The star queen Varda reigned beside Manwë, a Jupiter-like deity. When they were together, Manwë saw further than all other eyes, and Varda heard more clearly than all other ears. 385446 Manwë is another trans-Neptunian minor planet, and it is now in Pisces in sextile aspect to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn and square to the Galactic Center in Sagittarius. Also Venus in Scorpio is sextile to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction.

The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has already begun. The previous time that these planets were so close each other in the sky was 400 years ago. This rare Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn is not yet exact. Saturn’s ingress to Aquarius happens on Dec. 17, and Jupiter changes signs on Dec. 19. The Sun enters Capricorn on Dec. 21, which is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Later on that same day the exact conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius happens.

The Finnish meteorologist Pekka Pouta said today that Finland is now the core of the darkness in the whole world, because we don’t have snow at all halfway across the country. It helps to know that Varda’s light is available for us all.

The examples of Varda:

Galilei Galileo (Feb. 16, 1564) – Jupiter and Saturn conjunct Varda in Cancer.

George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732) – The Moon conjunct Varda in Capricorn.

Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820), — The Sun and the Moon conjunct Varda in Taurus (chart rating DD).

John Cage (Sept. 5, 1912) was an American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. He has described music as “an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living”. – The Sun conjunct Asbolus and Varda in Virgo.

Nicanor Parra (Sept 5, 1914) was a Chilean poet and physicist, brother of Violeta Parra. He is considered one of the most influential poets in the Spanish language of the 20th century, often compared with Pablo Neruda. – The Sun conjunct Cyllarus and Varda in Virgo.

Leonard Cohen (Sept. 21, 1934) – The triple conjunction of the Sun, Ixion and Varda at the ascendant. The Sun is in late Virgo, Ixion and Varda in early Libra (chart rating AA).

Günter Wallraff (Oct. 1, 1942) is a German writer and undercover journalist. — The Sun conjunct Mars, Varda and Ixion in Libra, opposite Eris in Aries.

Cat Stevens (July 21, 1948) – Neptune and Varda at the ascendant in Libra (chart rating A).

Kamala Harris (Oct. 20, 1964) – The Sun conjunct Varda in Libra, opposite the Moon in Aries.

Edward Snowden (June 21, 1983) – The Moon conjunct Varda in Scorpio.