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

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

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