Full Moon in Taurus / Partial Lunar Eclipse – Oct. 28, 2023, 20:24 UT

The Full Moon at 5+ degrees of Taurus is a partial lunar eclipse. Eclipses occur twice a year during the period that is called an eclipse season. There are usually two eclipses during the season, one solar and one lunar. A lunar eclipse occurs at the Full Moon when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and the shadow of Earth obscures the disc of the Moon either totally or partially. A solar eclipse in Libra two weeks ago is now followed by a lunar eclipse in Taurus. The Sabian symbol for the eclipse degree is A bridge being built across a gorge.

Full Moon / Partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

At the lunar eclipse we may be emotionally touchy. The eclipse is said to be a turning point that allows us to have a fresh start. Quoting Demetra George, ”During a lunar eclipse, it is the past, symbolized by the Moon, which is obscured and can be released. In the absence of the conditioning of the past, the possibility emerges of meeting experiences in a new manner.” (Demetra George, Finding our Way Through the Dark, 1994)

The Sun is in the emotional, intense and transformative sign of Scorpio. Besides the Moon, there are Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus. Uranus is in conjunction with a peculiar little body 39P/Oterma. In the past 39P/Oterma has went through a transformation, and in the future its orbit probably will be transformed again.

39P/Oterma is a Chiron-type comet currently on a centaur-like orbit contained between Jupiter and Saturn. This small family of comets is named after its largest member Chiron, officially designated as both a comet and a centaur, which blurs the line between minor planets and comets. 39P/Oterma’s diameter is around 4 – 5 km and the orbital period is nearly 20 years.

Comets are named after their discoverers. 39P/Oterma was discovered by the Finnish astronomer Liisi Oterma on April 8, 1943, in Turku, Finland. The letter P in the name stands for a periodic comet. It was discovered while it was an active comet. A close approach to Jupiter on April 12, 1963, put it on its current inactive centaur orbit. It came to perihelion in July 2023. According to Wikipedia, the orbit of 39P/Oterma keeps its overall characteristics at least until the beginning of the 24th century.

The comet was discovered in 1943 at 4º 50’53” Libra (the Sabian Symbol: ”A man teaching the true inner knowledge”). The close approach to Jupiter in 1963 that put it on its centaur orbit occurred at 1º 37’15” Aries in conjunction with Jupiter (the Sabian Symbol: ”A comedian entertaining a group”).

In astrology the planets can be divided into three groups: the personal planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars), the social planets (Jupiter and Saturn), and the transcendental planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). The social planets Jupiter and Saturn connect the individual with society and represent the interaction between the individual and the larger world. 39P/Oterma’s orbit between Jupiter and Saturn suggests that its influence is connected to a person’s participation in the world at large.

In the standard Finnish language there is currently no such word as ”oterma”. The name is possibly derived from an old Finnish word ”ota”, which means wild hay. It could also mean a thorn or a spear. There is Lake Oterma and Oterma village in the Northern Ostrobothnia. The area is old Sami residential area. Since there isn’t any mythology behind the name of the centaur 39P/Oterma, perhaps these subtle clues help the astrological delineation.

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