Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dreaming in the Dark

I am beginning this post Sunday morn, March 8, but it will probably be more than a week before it is completed and ready for posting; which is fine, since i just posted a long essay on Friday and stuck it on my FB page.  My friends deserve a break from these long monologues about what's going on in my inner world.  Besides, this post will be even longer and more involved than the average lengthy essays i am in the habit of posting.  And there will be several links.  What the hey, let's start out with a link; Dreaming of Getting Nothing Done.  It goes to another long post, which only tells part of my little adventure to find a refugee from Pakistan whom I had met in my neighborhood WalMart.   I hope readers will invest the considerable time and attention it takes to immerse themselves in the dream referred to in the post.  Here, i am presenting an exploration of how i have come to see the way our dreaming mind, at least my dreaming mind, speaks in riddles, literally.  I am not a fan of puns, but the puns that i tease out of my dreams are as edifying as they are entertaining, and they are laced with such universal compassion that i am compelled to return again and again to the old myths to see if humble meditation will trip the locks on the reasonable aspects of these ancestral dream like misadventures. 

Don't fret about skipping over the link above.  If this essay captures your imagination you can go back and read it.  And the chart below is really just for people who are fascinated with the kinds of maps of heaven that people like Pythagoras and Plato would have been exposed to when they studied the system of time used by the Babylonians, Egyptians and other cultures that those eminent Greeks admired.  The current format is quite evolved from the one used 24 centuries ago, but the language is the same and still refers to the cycles of the same planets in the same galaxy.

So relax your mind.  Take a few conscious breaths.  The map below is for the moment i changed the clock on my stove for daylight savings time in Raleigh.  There's a lot of information there.  More than most people need, but plenty for someone who wants to formulate a very specific and accurate model in their mind of where Raleigh was in the ever unfolding cosmos.  Keep in mind that to Plato's contemporaries, the Greek word cosmos meant order or arrangement; so if one of Plato's first students at the Academy were transported to the 1950's and saw news reports on television about Russian cosmonauts in 'outer' space, they might very well imagine a futuristic boat exploring the order of the heavens. 

While this may be an annoying distraction, i encourage readers to at least make a note to meditate on Jason and the Argonauts, including a full study of the celestial mechanics of the northern constellation Hercules and the southern constellation Argo Navis.  The story, though much older, was recorded by Apollonius Rhodius just a few generations after Plato wrote Timeaus, in which he points out that the absurd myths associated with the constellations are actually referring to the angular relationships between heavenly spheres.  Though the chart below does not explicitly locate Hercules, any person thoroughly versed in the teachings of the Babylonian and Egyptian priesthood would have understood the 26 thousand year cycle between the northern constellation Hercules and the location of the spring equinox along the ecliptic.  Now-a-days we refer to it as the precession of the equinox.  Don't be fooled by tradition bound authoritative scholarship citing Hipparchos as the discoverer of this celestial phenomenon.  Neither Plato nor Hipparchos considered themselves discoverers; Plato stated as a matter of course that the philosophy, which meant technology of nature, he was writing about had come to the Greeks from the Babylonians and Egyptians.

Enough wandering through a small segment of ancient history in a very limited region of our globe, and back to this morning's chart.  Below you will see two pairs of planets circled.  Each pair is in an aspect called conjunction.  That means they are lined up with each other.  

Aspect is a word often used in astrology to describe the angular relationship between two points.  When the Moon is full it is 180 degrees in the chart circle from the Sun.  We call this  aspect an opposition.  When the Moon is new and visible a few days after conjunction it appears as a thin crescent for a mere hour or two after sunset; then, it is 30 degrees from the Sun in the chart and we call this aspect a semisextile.  A few days later the crescent is thicker and appears higher in the sky at sunset; in the chart the moon is then 60 degrees from the Sun and this aspect is called a sextile. Let's skip over the square (90 degrees) and the trine (120 degrees) and look at the quincunx which is the 150 degree aspect.  The Moon reached that stage in its relationship with the Sun yesterday morning.
 Aspects are a very popular shorthand  for considering the relationship between two points.  Many astrology sites distinguish between major and minor aspects, as though some relationships are more important than others.  While it is true that some relationships grab our attention more than others the nice thing about charts is that we can use them to equalize those relationships and simply see them as a series of steps in repeating cycles.  We do this by meditating on houses.  Each 30 degrees a point puts between itself and another one in a cycle represents a house.  When the Seventh house is reached the two points begin coming back together, with the last 6 houses marking the half of the cycle where the separation between the two points is gradually diminished.

Next is the same chart for this morning when I changed the clock, but this time i made a circle with 30 degree sections beginning at Venus/Uranus; so you can see how the Moon is near the end of Venus/Uranus' 4th house and about to enter their 5th.

The terminology can be very confusing.  For instance see the numbers around the very small circle in the center of the chart?  They go from 1 -12 counting from the AC, which means ascendant.  That's the eastern horizon where we see things come up as we turn on Earth's axis.  While the Moon is in the 5th house from the Ascendant, it is in the 4th house from Venus and Uranus and the 6th house from the Sun and Neptune.

Are you getting dizzy thinking about all these relationships?  The yoga sutras remind us to focus on just one.  You enter the mandala seeing the many points and lines connecting them - there are so many it is impossible to make sense of all of them - but you can ponder a few and as you proceed in meditation allow your mind to settle on one relationship considering only the two points involved and the signs they are in.  For instance, let's consider the relationship between the Moon and Venus/Uranus.  The Moon is in the very beginning of the sign Virgo which is the step in the zodiac associated with study, learning and apprenticeship.  The Moon, because it is so near to us, proceeds very quickly through the zodiac in less than 29 days.  Meanwhile, Venus is lining up with Uranus in Taurus.  Uranus is fairly distant and slow in its cycle, we will not see it pass into Gemini until summer 2025, while Venus will enter Gemini in less than four weeks (April 3).  So, since it involves the Moon and Venus, we know this relationship is changing very rapidly.  We are talking about psyche, that strange word in classic Greek literature that is invariably translated into English as soul.  Psyche is impossible to grasp, but infuses everything.  Psyche is most certainly associated with breath and the human ability or inability to control it.  A person with a disturbed psyche is unable to control their breath.  They are under control of emotional forces for better or worse.  Like an infant blessed with good health, well nurtured and fed on a regular schedule, the Moon in Virgo translates as the psyche in a very regulated step in the zodiac cycle.  It is only there for 2 and 1/2 days, but this morn marked the beginning of that short period.

An informative aside here - a very experienced astrologer would have in the bottom pool of their mind an awareness that Mercury is now stationary in Aquarius, its sign of exaltation.  They would not need to distract their mind to gain an understanding of how this placement of Mercury strengthens the refined energy of the Moon in Virgo.  Come along with me.  Let that pass as we return our focus to the one relationship under consideration.

The Moon in Virgo is at the end of Venus and Uranus' 4th house.  The 4th house is the most tender step in the process of one sphere separating from another sphere.  The 4th house is the house of children and dependents as opposed to the 10th house of parents and responsibility.  Any planet from 90 -120 degrees ahead of another planet is just beginning to stand on its own two feet independently of the planet in question.  In this case the studious Moon is finishing the tender segment of its evolving relationship with Uranus and Venus.  The previous 2 and 1/2 days while Moon was passing through bouncing Leo, in addition to all the other relationships it had with the various points in heaven, it was looking back at Uranus and Venus in Taurus steadily going through their respective paces like a couple of blinded horses driving a grindstone from the bars strapped to their halters.  Remember Venus is just passing through for a month of helping Uranus in its 7 year indentured servitude.  But what a wonderful partnership.  No planet is more disposed to accepting the weight of a heavy load than Venus.  Venus bears weight as though it were merely a puff of water vapor hesitant to evaporate and take leave of such kindness and equanimity.  So Moon in bouncing Leo looks back at Venus and Uranus driving their load as though they are stepping to some happy tune humming in their heads.  Venus near Uranus in Taurus brings kindness to this vulnerable period in the Moon's monthly cycle with Uranus.  Most other months, as the Moon circles from Uranus in Taurus to its 4th house (bouncing Leo is 4th house from Taurus) it looks back and sees only the powerful planet of revolution (Uranus) moving a heavy load like a solitary ox yoked to a plow.  The hard working beast may be humming a happy tune or hearing "Old Man River" repeating in its weary mind.  What must it feel like for the Moon to be at a sock hop learning the latest dance while Uranus seems stuck for almost ever yoked to the plow in the sunny field?

But this morning the Moon neared the end of that 4th house step with Sweet V and and Mighty Big U.  Now it is entering school.  While not driving a mill or pulling a plow, the Moon is doing its own work filling out forms or studying data.  It is in a calmer place after the party and by now, as i have spent most of the day composing this post, it is at 6Virgo21.  Can you see it in the chart below getting ready to rise?  Counting 30 degree sections starting at 4Taurus01 can you tell that is has crossed into Venus/Uranus' 5th house?

Can you tell that I am having fun composing a very involved post?  It is hard work.  I have worn blinders most of this day, determined to finish what  could seem like a very boring task.  And i have only just begun.  There is still a conversation with my husband about a dream he barely remembers.  That took place yesterday when the Moon was in the bouncy sign of Leo but at the same time in 4th house tender step of its cycle with Uranus.   Who knows when i will return to work on this page exploring the connection between astrology and how i see dreams as riddles, sometimes playful and nearly always baffling, tossed up from the pool of darkness.

This is the chart for ending this post, with fond hopes of returning soon to further this project about Dreaming in the Dark.

Friday, March 6, 2020

White Like Me

I have a new part time job working for Power Up NC, a non partisan environmental justice arm of NC League of Conservation Voters.  Kind of a surprise for me, but looky at Venus coming to meet with Uranus in the beginning of Taurus (circled in green just above eastern horizon).

I put a blue circle around Mercury at the top.  Below is a version of the same chart with more info included.

The chart below shows where it (Venus) was when I first started getting involved with Power Up.  And here's a link to a (long) post from that period in my life.  Tripping with a Leo
For the next several years Uranus is in Taurus, which is my Sun sign!  (born May 3) I didn't circle Venus in the above chart for July 23rd.  Can you find it in the upper left quadrant of the chart?  See Sun and Mercury just to the left?  They were all in Uranus' 3rd house.  

Now Venus is about to line up with Uranus, which is the end of Uranus' 12th house.  In July, Venus was in the early steps of its cycle with Uranus.  Now it is ending that cycle and getting ready to start a new one!  

I have learned a lot about the work of organizing people for environmental justice during this cycle of Venus and Uranus.  I did a chart a few days ago when i watched a funny video.  I was telling my old boyfriend about some of the racial justice discussions i had participated in.  He asked if i read Black Like Me.  Yes!  I remembered that book!  He said he was thinking of a sketch Eddy Murphy did on Saturday Night Live called White Like Me.  He smiled remembering it.  So i watched that and laughed a lot!  i left the title 'White Like Me' when i did the chart for today.

I am attending a lot of city government meetings, meetings to learn about nonprofit community advocacy groups.  I have to write a lot of reports in order to keep everything straight.  Sometimes i go to two meetings in a day and also clean a house.  It can be scary to make a record that someone else will read.  Am i including the best info for them to get the important stuff from a meeting they could not attend?  It takes some time to meditate on the meetings and decide how to record all the communication I've been engaged in.  That's what i was thinking about when i did the chart for this morn. Two nights ago i was scared I could not get it all down.  This morning, after spending time looking at websites of the organizations we met with, and the video of the Raleigh City Council meeting, i felt like i was gaining a wonderful familiarity with the workings of local government.  I look forward to knocking on doors and sharing my enthusiasm for the changes that are afoot in my town.  We can be involved!  It's not as hard as we think! It's fun to know what's actually going on!  

Mercury stationary at the end of Aquarius.  I've had a good teacher, sending me to various groups for leadership training, organizational meetings and such and then discussing with me what i've learned.  The last section (dodecatemoria) of Aquarius is Capricorn.  See how many days Mercury is backing through the last 2 degrees 30 minutes of Aquarius?  I was lost and scared while it was in Pisces.  How would I ever keep up with all this talking?  Now i finally have time to review and study.  I feel like i have a better handle on the flow of info.
 So this morning i am noticing Venus near the end of its cycle with Uranus and feeling that i am near the end of my first big adventure with community organizing.  And with Mercury retro, slowing down at the tail end of Aquarius i am going back through scary but cool opportunities to synthesize info from several sources and report my findings.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Daily Galactic Dive

Looking at this morn's chart I thought about how we are now more than half way up in our yearly cycle of orbiting above and then below the Sun.  What?!  above and below?!  Don't we go around the Sun?  Well we do, but if your frame of reference is the plane of the Milky Way galaxy, then we go above and below blazing Sol.  Lost?  wanna get found in just 5 minutes?  click on this link for a visual aid in picturing Earth's orientation to the plane of the Milky Way.

In the video i showed Earth turning on its axis, but i did not show Earth orbiting above and below the Sun.  Scroll down to the end of this post for an image i found several years ago on an astronomy site which might help picture that motion.

Did you scroll down and look at the Brian Fenerty graphic?  Pretty wild I'd say.   Pretty damn cosmic compared to what we grew up with.  Cosmic as in order.  Like that's not the system we see in all our exalted SCIENCE textbooks.  Scuse me for being facetious.  No, I did not march in defense of SCIENCE.  I was probably on the couch studying STUFF. 

Chill out MP.

As i was about to say before i got so rude and angry, don't feel stupid if you feel completely lost looking at these images.  It's ok to doubt my sanity, as long as you continue to ask questions and test your suspicions.  But feeling dumb is something that comes with new ideas, even if the ideas are more accurate and inclusive visualizations of our very old (4 billion plus years) solar system that we think we learned all about in elementary school. 

Here's the chart for this morn showing 18 hours and some minutes crossing the midheaven.

I circled sidereal time 18 hr 35 mins and MC 8 deg Capricorn.  Capricorn goes from 18 -20 hours. 

Here's a constellation we see due South or North depending on Northern or Southern Hemisphere when 18-20hrs are crossing the MC. 

I got that from Wikipedia. They have great constellation maps from Sky and Telescope.

Ok.  You may have noticed I said Capricorn was on the MC at 9:17am, and Capricorn goes from 18hrs-20hrs.  Why is this graphic showing the Tea Pot astrerism from Sagittarius on the MC and not the Goat constellation?  If you don't understand this already, you might want to save that question for another day; but if you happen to be really focused and brave today try Googling Precession of the Equinoxes.   And the MC page might help.

Next is a screenshot from Stellarium showing Raleigh facing the same area of heaven, with Sun's light filtered out.  Can you see the Tea Pot asterism?  See how close it is to the Galactic Equator?  That means Raleigh is facing the plane of the Milky Way looking into its center.

Next is a screenshot from Stellarium for a few hours later when Raleigh is almost facing into the Milky Way's bottom dome. 

Cetus the sea monster tells us we are facing down.  It goes from about 1hr to 3hrs.  In the current era Earth's celestial equator goes right through Cetus's neck.

Here's a shot showing higher in the Raleigh sky at 9:17am (Sun's light filtered out) so you can see Cygnus the Swan.  A boy dove into the river over and over looking for his drowned friend.  The gods turned him into a swan and put him in the sky.  I think Cygnus is Greek for swan.  So we're diving like swans to face the bottom of the galaxy when Cygnus is crossing the meridian also known as midheaven.

And last of all the image to picture how Earth circles above and below Sun once a year.

Amazing huh?  That's what I thought when i finally found it.  I think I got it from an astronomy site for a planetarium  in Calgary, Canada.  I can't find the page again so I can't be sure.  There is something in the image about an animated gif.  All I could find was the image.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Moon Enters Taurus

Tonight Eastern Standard Time, Moon passes from urgent Aries to keep plugging away Taurus.

That's Northern Hemisphere.  In Southern Hemisphere Moon currently appears on the descending stretch of the ecliptic, passing from Libra to Scorpio.

Remember not to confuse zodiac signs with constellations.  We will all, north and south, see Moon at end of constellation Pisces.  I put a blue mark in the screen shot of Pisces below to show approximate location of Moon and Uranus.  It's a blue bar crossing the ecliptic right after the 2 hour line.  The zodiac sign Aries goes from 0 hours to 2 hours.
Next is a screenshot from the ephemeris file (free!) showing Moon ingresses (sign changes).  I put a blue mark where it shows the GMT time for Moon entering Taurus.

Converting 00:28UT/GMT to East coast USA time we get 7:28pm Jan 31.

You can see Moon next to Uranus in upper right quadrant of the chart.  It is a little more than 2.5 degrees from Uranus. It will catch  up with the rolling planet about 5 hours later.

Can you see how the Moon and Uranus disappear under the horizon (horizontal line in chart) while Moon is overtaking big U?

Folks in Boise, ID with the right kind of telescope and clear skies might be able to see the lineup.

I go back and look at my posts after hitting the publish button and always find mistakes.  This morn I fixed 2 faulty links in yesterday's post.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Mars enters Neptune's House of Respect

The second thing I noticed looking at this morning’s chart was Mars in the very beginning of Neptune’s !0th house. In a very general sense, a planet in the 10th house of anything is near the midheaven when the ‘anything’ in question is appearing on the eastern horizon. (Click here for page about houses)  But first things second - the first thing I noticed was the Moon entering Aries. I should point out Moon's current ruler, because it took me years to incorporate this consideration in my astrological meditation, and when I finally did the fuzzy lines of connection and demarcation became more focused; when Moon is in Aries it is ruled by the planet that rules Aries – Mars.  (Link to page on Rulerships)   So, though I’m not comfortable with beginning this post (I should probably be resting before going to clean a house) I’m taking an Aries risk and doing it anyway. I’m driven by an urge stronger than the usual caution that holds me on the couch. Mars is ruling the Moon for the next 2 days while Moon passes through Aries.

So let’s get back to Mars, which is currently in Sagittarius.

The chart above is for yesterday when I was at the dentist. I had arrived 10 mins late for appointment and Nikki, the super cool hygienist was working on a tooth with bleeding gum. I’ve lost a few, and she remarked that this was my new problem tooth. She was not cracking as many jokes as she usually does, and I noticed when we were talking after she finished on my teeth that she was yawning a lot. I asked her if she had not gotten enough sleep the night before. On the way, late, to the office I was thinking how wonderful it is to have these people in the world who get up early every work day to be ready to help people like me, who spend so much time on the couch. She had not noticed the yawning and said she would get some caffeine as soon as I left.  Now that I think of it, I guess my customers appreciate the work I do for them, but yesterday i felt humbled by the discipline of the people in the dental office- always having to be on time, and polite to patients who arrive late with bleeding gums.

At that moment I was not thinking about Mars being 1/12 of a degree into Neptune’s 10th house. I think about these things when I’m on the couch. I fiddle with charts and numbers to get the exact time some event will happen, sometimes I even write it down, and then I forget about it. During recent sessions of playing with charts I have been thinking of Jupiter now in Capricorn. Mars has been in Sagittarius for almost all of Jan, and Jupiter would be ruling it, except that it went into Capricorn a month before Mars passed into its territory. Jupiter rules the gambling sign of Sagittarius. But it’s not there anymore. The year of the gambler is over and since Dec 2019 the high roller is in the austere land of Saturn. And Saturn is home. Saturn (its so called angels referred to as Thrones in old time esoteric theology, maybe because Saturn seems to sit while the other planets from Moon out to Mars race around the snake of the ecliptic) is ultimately ruling just about every planet right now.

It’s kind of a relief isn’t it? The rubber might burn a bit when it first hits the road, but soon enough the tire comes to a steady relationship with the pavement and propels the vehicle forward. The noise and smoke gives way to movement.

But I started out thinking of Mars entering the last quarter of its cycle with Neptune, which is even slower than Saturn, 5 times slower. Now that’s a heavy throne. I wondered when this cycle began, and in which sign.

Well, since Mars takes about 2 years to go around the zodiac, and we’re in the last quarter of it’s cycle with a nearly stationary planet, I figured a little more than a year, but less than two. 


Above is the page for Dec 2018 ephemeris from You can see that they met in early Dec 2018 in 13th degree of Pisces. I thought about how I had realized on returning from my short journey to Maine that aside from the expense of a crown for a broken tooth, I really needed to invest in repairs for my house that I had been ignoring for years. In fact, the day a repair person came I got a long and scary list of repairs that would cost more than $10,000. I was kind of freaked out, and realized this is the kind of situation where people get sucked into spending money they don’t have, in other words borrowing money. The repair person said the value of the house would increase and pay for the loan his company could set me up with. “This is how so many people wind up with houses in foreclosure!” is what came to my mind as I struggled with the panic. I knew I had to get that guy out of my house so I could think things through and find my own way of moving forward with a big problem.

Now, 13 months later it seems like it’s been at least two years since a very competent friend did about $3,000 worth of work and I have no more awful worries about my house crumbling or spewing water from a broken pipe. In the months between Mars meeting Neptune in Pisces I gained a more realistic understanding of what the risks were of letting certain things go, and I was blessed with a new friendship with a person highly skilled in home maintenance. I look back on the dental crown a year ago and another dying tooth that finally got pulled this summer, and think, “Yes I have a new problem tooth, but I know the worst of my dental problems are behind me.” Just like with my house, I put off going to a dentist for years, so the last 5 years have been expensive in that department too. Mars has circled all the way from panicky, what-is-going-to-happen-next Pisces to we-can-do-anything-with-next-to-nothing Sagittarius. Mars knows that’s just a figure of speech, because Jupiter is in sober Capricorn. Remember, Jupiter rules Sagittarius. Saturn rules Capricorn. And both Jupiter and Saturn are now in Capricorn.

Then I went back way further and thought about where Mars was in its cycle with Neptune when my son was born. It was in Neptune’s 8th house. That’s not as far as the 10th, but it’s a mature place with respect to Neptune. When Mars gets more than half way into its cycle with Neptune, it’s got Neptune’s number; the worrisome surprises are no longer surprises, they’re things that can be looked back on.

Here’s the chart for today, showing Mars ¾ of a degree into Neptune’s 10th house. You can also see Moon now in Aries. 


Yesterday I cleaned for a couple of former customers that have been in a retirement community for 4 years. I haven’t been for over two years. I’ve been too busy resting and they have been too busy dealing with health emergencies. We spent an hour just talking about their hospital/doctor adventures and my latest news. Then I moved all the furniture in their bedroom to get hidden dust that the community cleaning crew does not have time for. It was like old times from the years when I cleaned their house. I sent the husband to his reading chair when he expressed worry about me moving a dresser.  I said, “Does it feel like old times?”

He smiled and nodded “Yes”.

As I prepare to post this from the library parking lot (free internet!) I'm noticing that Moon was still near Venus and Neptune yesterday when I arrived late and felt terribly grateful for disciplined health care professionals.  This morning it was just entering Aries.  Yesterday morning it was at 19 Pisces.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hercules Awake

I got up a few minutes after 5:47 this morn. The chart for that moment showed the old crescent moon a couple degrees above the horizon, so I knew it would be visible soon. It was below freezing and I really didn’t want to go out, though I knew the sky was clear. Then I remembered that the moon in Capricorn rises a good 20 degrees south of east and I could probably see it from my south facing (not exactly south, about 30 east of south) front door window. There are 3 small panes of glass right around eye level for a 5ft8in adult. Well, I looked and looked. It seemed time for the old queen to enter stage left. Finally I went outside, crossed the street and there it was, on the other side of the giant canvass of dark foliage spreading like a thick fan above the trunk of a live oak, one of the few not yet turned into wood chips in the park my house faces.

7:20 break to check for sunrise.
Not showing yet, bout 15 more minutes. This morning I woke up thinking, among vague memories of a dream and other forgotten stuff, about a note I came across recently: Hercules wakes up in January. I’m guessing I came across it in studies of ancient philosophy. I wondered how much later in the year Hercules reappears in the morning sky now-a-days. Or if Hercules 'wakes up' a bit earlier.  Guessing the fourteenth hour would be near the MC I picked up my little phone and did a chart. You can see the MC for 5:47 this morn in Raleigh was at the end of Libra. Libra goes from about 12hours to 14 hours. Every sign extends about 2 hours along the equator, more or less. It’s that more or less that makes each sign special, unique, for reals as in real estate that surveyors measure and map, but this is heavenly real estate, which still belongs to all of us, since aren’t we all children of God and isn’t that where God lives? I might be using slippery logic there. 


7:37 the Sun is up
It is a degree above the naked trees. I was waiting to confirm, to get a good sense of the actual body, as opposed to the little white circle on Stellarium, or the symbol in the chart, that the Sun would come up a few degrees north compared to the old Capricorn Moon. A handwidth to the left (since I live in the northern hemisphere* and face south to view the planetary highway, aka ecliptic) of this morn’s Moonrise. I treasure, literally, the way Silas Marner counted the rolling coins when he was living in exile from the Christians that banished him from their community – I treasure the ability to guesstimate where a planet will appear on the eastern horizon. It doesn’t seem so important on a map, every thing is on the same page; all we have to do is scan the symbols to find what interests us, which is especially easy when we’re familiar with what those symbols (or the planets they represent) do. An electronic engineer, familiar with the language, can tell where the voltage increases or decreases in the map of a circuit; an accountant can review financial records and tell where a company is losing or gaining capital; an astrologer, knowing how fast each planet moves and the directions of various intersecting cycles can quickly locate her target on a chart.

But the actual sky is sooo much bigger! It is the difference between reading the little guidebook for the Appalachian Trail that describes where the next spring is; a hundred paces beyond the hairpin turn in the trail, take a right at the opening in the rail fence. Follow the blue blazes 500 yards. The spring is on the left. When the Nalgene bottles are all empty the faith in those directions is sorely tested. But testing those directions is what we do. And when we get confused and take a left where it said take a right, or somehow miss some little detail, and have to go back and check, and do it all over, and wonder, did the people writing this guide know what they were doing? And look! There it is! Cool water hopping over little rocks and pebbles! Something we would surely have passed over on the trail had we not put faith in that guidebook, had we not put it to the test.

It is sweet indeed, as water from a cool spring, when we are hot and thirsty, carrying food on our back and a bag to keep us warm when we lay down under the stars at night. It is sweet to have a guide to where we are in heaven as well as where we are on earth.

Thirty years ago I had know idea where or when to look for the Moon on any given night. Now I do. I don’t have to use or even my romantic old timey charts, they only confirm my estimate and provide easy access to extremely accurate pinpointing. The real logistics are now well germinated in my mind. My mental map of heaven is almost as comprehensive as the mental map of my body.

I know if the Sun is entering Aquarius, the old sliver of a crescent Moon will rise in Capricorn. The nature of Capricorn is that it always comes up right before Aquarius, that it always appears most southerly on the eastern horizon, and always makes the lowest ark across the sky. The secret, in the days of Pythagoras and Plato, was that we saw it low in Capricorn because we were in the highest part of our daily revolution on tilted Earth, or Gaia. Gamma eta. The word at the root of Genesis and generate. We see any planet low on the horizon in the sign of the goat, because we are as high as we can get with respect to the celestial equator.

We won’t see the sliver moon rising this low until next year. We can see the not quite so old, or skinny Capricorn Moon rise Feb 18, but we’ll have to get up 2 hours earlier (3:57am) to catch it. The charts and east coast astrologers will say it’s in Sagittarius. But here is where numbers help. In Raleigh the Moon will be at 29 Sagittarius when it rises, which is closer to the low tropic than 3 Capricorn where it rose this morn.

For Van in Memphis TN that translates to 3:35am. And check out who it will be near! Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. A nice parade of planets traveling through the lower tropic of the ecliptic! We all get to see that, not at once, we have to wait our turn on the giant carnival ride.

Well, I have a new job, not sure when I start. Canvasser for Power Up NC. Who knows how this will affect my vice of blogging.

I guess that’s why I started this post. Thinking about Hercules coming out of hibernation, seeing it rise in the early morning sky after months of being obscured by the Sun, and how the ancients called it ‘waking up.’ I didn’t actually look for Hercules, I saw the Big Dipper over Polaris, so I knew it was in the north east. I also knew since the 14th hour was crossing the meridian, the !6th-18th hours were rising in the east.

Hercules is a northern constellation stretching from the !6th to the 18th hour. But like I said I didn’t look for Hercules; instead I ran over to the parking lot looking for the show stealing Moon hidden behind that massive old live oak. I’ll spot Hercules tomorrow morn. I can probably see it without even leaving my front yard. I’ve been missing the night sky, falling asleep early, or reading under blankets instead of stepping outside. I’m getting a blog post and a few nighttime glimpses in before my work week gets busier.

10:04am Wed Jan 22, 2020

*I’m thinking about folks in southern hemisphere. After all it is part of the same planet. I usually imagine someone viewing the sky from Valdivia Chile, since that’s about the same longitude as Brooklyn NY. They would see the skinny old Moon rising way north of east (Cancer the Crab – from the southern hemisphere the same stretch of the ecliptic that we see low appears high in the sky!)  Also they are facing north instead of south to see the ecliptic, so they see the Moon rising on their right. That, to me, is like the midnight Sun in Alaska - hard to believe without actually seeing.  This link shows how I alter astrodienst charts to look more like the actual sky in the southern hemisphere

12:54pm at public library
Inserted the images, made a few changes and now going to post.  Gotta go clean a big old house for some big hearted customers.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Generation and Trust

As generation is to existence, so trust is to discovering what's been overlooked.
From The Timaeus by Plato

I tweaked the translation of Benjamin Jowett.  I sure hope he would not mind.  The phrase keeps repeating in my mind.

Here is how I recall the transliteration:
Otiper pros genesien ousia, touto pros pistin alethia.