Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moon Leaving Pluto in Capricorn

When I started the Our Sky fb group a few years ago I imagined it as a source of support for days like today.  My Capricorn friends were having their Pluto transits and I wanted them to have a place to talk about that.

Well, so far it has seemed like a waste of time.  I realized almost immediately how little my friends knew about astrology and got right down to business giving them a good education.  In the process I learned a lot that never was covered in all the astrology books i've studied over the years.  If I hadn't learned so much I really would consider all this effort to have been wasted.  None of my Capricorn friends have any idea how Pluto is associated with the loss of innocence they've experienced in the last few years.  So far I have failed as a community educator.

That may sound depressing, but these are the kind of thoughts that go with the end of a long Moon meets Pluto day.  And today was a doozy.  The only thing I had going for me was serious sobriety.  I never thought turning away from social interaction would be the most important step in finding what I wanted, but it worked like magic.

Today I thought of Frankenstein's monster.  I was trying to describe the feeling I get almost every time the Moon comes around to Pluto and Mary Shelly's character was the closest I could come.  More like a third or fourth generation.  I imagined instead of suicide he had found another monster, a female created by some other ambitious doctor of science, and they had made love and bred. 

When that exiled frame of mind associated with Pluto comes over me I wonder if anyone else feels it on these Moon and Pluto days.  I feel grateful for astrology and the knowledge of the planetary cycles.  I feel grateful for preceding generations that have cleared a path to the present.  I never occurs to me that I could curse them for my miserable monstrous existence.  I know in a matter of days, well right now more like a couple of weeks, the Moon will line up with Jupiter and my soul will come so close to leaving my body that it will feel like i'm gliding over Raleigh suspended from a high tech balloon.

Tonight, as I came up from the Plutonian depths of the day, my mind came back to the yoga sutras.  The one that surfaced in my mind is from the second or third "pada" which I think is kind of like chapter.  It's one of the sutras that gives some idea of what it will be like when the aspirant reaches liberation.  Kind of like symptoms, but in this case of freedom rather than pathology.  It says there will be no more desire to know anything.  There are a couple other desires that finally burn away, but that one about knowing things is a hard one to imagine.

That's right, another one is no desire to avoid things.....I  am NOT going to look it up. 

&   *   &   *   &   *   &   *   &

I joined the local astronomy club.  When I volunteered for an event I was paired with a guy who does chemistry for a living.  He showed me a spectro, the gizmo they put on telescopes to get those beautiful bars of color all broken down into hundreds of little lines.  I asked him questions about things I could not understand in science and wished I could stay an extra shift just to learn more from someone with good answers.  I really wanted to know.

An astrologer is supposed to know about heaven, which covers a lot of territory.  I usually tell myself it is ok to study because people will have the same questions I have and will be grateful and happy to pay for good answers.  But today the sense of despair, as the Moon moved into Pluto's first house, got pretty intense.  At one point, near the end of cleaning a house I thought I should just give up in making a living as an astrologer.  There are so many reasons not to engage in the practice and they are just as good as the ones for pursuing it.  As the thought to give up flashed through my mind the knowledge of the Moon's position followed.  I was in my car, I breathed a relaxed sigh in the warm sunlit front seat.  I started up the car.  I looked to see if anyone was coming and pulled out into the street.  I was on my way home, where I am now.

Yesterday, or maybe Sunday, I spent at least half an hour, at least, I love playing with the numbers, figuring out when Pluto would stand still and when Mercury would over take Earth on the inside lane.  Today Pluto moved less than two seconds along the ecliptic.  It is in the same degree and minute as yesterday and will remain there through the next few days.  Venus is still going extremely slow, its motion is like a plane that seems not to ne moving because of the angle of its path.  I love knowing these things, looking at the numbers that barely change before and after I struggle with these thoughts that seem to hang on to the walls of my mind like Frankenstein's monster listening to the people talking in the blind man's humble abode.

This need, this drive to bring the monster into the fold.  I really love knowing the Moon is passing Pluto when that feeling comes over me.  I'm no where near liberation but there's plenty of time.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Venus and the Moon

One of my customers died this past Nov and her husband is making his way through the process of adjusting to the loss.

I can't remember what name I used for her in older posts.  I don't think I have mentioned in the blog that she was one of the first people to let me do her chart when I began studying astrology 30 years ago.

Last month her husband included me in the list of family members when he sent an email about the spring flowers in bloom and how his wife would be tending them and delivering them to friends if she were still here.

My first thought was "She would also be picking up the dead blossoms littering the front walkway."  But as my thoughts wandered among the many years of memories I settled on her chart.  I wrote an email in response about how she was born right before dawn on a night of the old Moon lining up with Venus.

Venus is a morning star now, as it was when my customer was born, which means it is waxing, or growing in light as it circles away from Earth toward the far side of the Sun.  Yesterday I cleaned at her house, picked up the dead blossoms, and used her hand pruner to remove some of the seedlings that have been taking over the yard.  I picked up a bunch of sticks and swept the walkways.

I thought about the man who has been coming to blow the leaves for years; how the yard has changed and the detailed work my customer used to do has fallen to him.

Her husband remarked again yesterday that she had done so many things to take care of him, and I said yes I was thinking the same thing as I worked in the yard.

As I walked to the bus stop I thought about how the Moon will be old in 10 days and rising near Venus in the hour before dawn, almost like they were when his wife was born.

So much is written about what to expect when this or that happens in the sky.  To me the real value of astrology is the wisdom it brings down from heaven.

For years I had a hard time getting along with her husband.  At one point I walked away, gave 2 weeks notice and moved on.  We were all clear about why I was leaving.  When her husband called me 5 or so years later I came back for her.  She had profound memory loss.  He and I gradually built a new partnership based on her needs.

Now that she has died I can contemplate their relationship in new ways.  I can think about the love she had for him without being mystified.  What was once a puzzle to me with many pieces missing is now a whole story.  Things come out, after a person dies, that were in the recesses of minds while life was busy having its way.  Life steps aside and forgotten memories come forward.

My customer, widowed for the second time, relates things about his past, and I can understand the bond between them.

I can also see the wisdom of old souls united with waxing kindness.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Between Zeus and Apollo

Jupiter is going down and the Sun is rising.  We turn our backs on one to face the other like a full Moon.  Tonight we passed between Sun and Jupiter.

Here is a quote from Plutarch's essay The Oracles at Delphi:
"Really," said Sarapion, "do you not think so, and do you imagine that the Sun is different from Apollo?"
"Yes," said I, "as different as the moon from the sun; but the moon does not often conceal the sun, nor conceal it from the eyes of all, but the sun has caused all to be quite ignorant of Apollo by diverting the faculty of thought, through the faculty of perception, from what is to what appears to be."

Friday, April 7, 2017

Viewing Moon and Regulus Setting

Well I crashed at 9pm and got up at 3:32am.  There were patches of cloud on the western horizon, but Regulus was visible right near the Moon.

I did not get to perceive the motion during the hour of observation, but got some good practice in seeing how much bigger a degree pf separation looks in the sky compared to a drawing on paper.  That difference in perspective still amazes me.

The Lion's triangle tail and question mark head were not visible without binoculars, but Regulus was immediately present to searching eyes even through the western city haze.  And that Moon is so big and pretty especially when it gets down into the still naked tree tops.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Moon Slides Past Ruler

Our Moon will be near the brightest star in Leo tonight.  I said ruler in the title because the star's name in western catalogues is Regulus, kind of like regent or ruler.  This is a great observing event for people new to sky watching.

Here is a link to the wikipedia article showing Regulus just a tad above the ecliptic.  The head of the lion is like a backward question mark and Regulus is the point at the bottom.

By the time it gets good and dark tonight they will be visible in the eastern sky for northern hemisphere observers. 

If I could show an astrology chart for tonight's sky the Moon would be right near the squiggle symble for the north node, affectionately called Dragon's Head.  That tells us the Moon is in the part of its cycle where it crosses above the ecliptic.  It just so happens that the Moon's north node is right near the star Regulus during this spring. 

Moon won't actually reach the same longitude as Regulus until Atlantic Coast residents are just turning our planetary back to it.  Here in Raleigh we'll start saying "Goodnight Moon," around 3:45am.  

So while folks in the Central and Pacific time zones of U.S. will witness the actual line up, we will still have an excellent chance to gauge Moon's eastward crawl toward Regulus, as the bowl of sky turns westward.

I hope to be out tonight under fairly clear skies to see how the predicted passage looks in the real passing dark heaven.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lower than High

If you look up at the Moon tonight you will see it just below the feet of Gemini.  (During this millenium the constellation of the twins falls in the sign Cancer.)

The Moon is highest in the sky during the Cancer 12th of its monthly cycle.  The Crab mascot helps us remember that we see it high in the sky because we are crawling across the bottom of our daily tilted revolution.

During the current few years, while the dragon's head is backing through Libra and Virgo, the Moon is well below the ecliptic for the high part of its cycle, and just as high above it for the low part.  If it were on the same level as the main orbital highway we would see the Moon above the Twins' feet.  It is actually flying 4 and a half degrees below the ecliptic.

Still, for now, this is the height of its ride on the pythian squiggle.

The Dragon's Head is the poetic term for where the Moon's path crosses above the path of the ecliptic.  When the Moon and Sun are lined up near the Dragon's Head it looks like one of them is eating the other.  The Dragon's Head is associated with reincarnation of the psyche, a Greek term, which we nowadays refer to in English as soul.

The Moon and Sun are only lined up with Earth when the Moon is new, or full.  So eclipses only happen when new or full Moons occur near the head or tail of the dragon.

What fascinates me is this expanding and contracting of the Moon's wave over a 19 year cycle.  We have been in a contracted period and are only this year returning to the stage where the Moon will gradually reach the feet of the twins, climb to the knees and then approach the heads of the twins.

The increase will be in small increments over the next 8 or so years.  You can follow the Moon as it passes through the twins every month and see for yourself what the ancients meant by the term dragon.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Best

Well I am at Lake Raleigh.  I just saw Mercury slip below tree line, and Jupiter is rising in the east.  This was the best evening view I have ever gotten of Mercury.  Nice skies out here over the lake.  I think I will stay awhile and watch Mars set.