Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ophiuchus the Phantom Healer

 I managed to get up at 4 this morning and take advantage of the moonless, cloudless predawn veiwing opportunity.  I'm trying to locate the stars in Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer.  They appear along the same 2 sidereal hours as Herculis (16-18) but Ophiuchus is around the level of the equator and Herculis is further north.  Both constellations are pretty faint.

I think i did spot eta, zeta and delta Ophiuchus in a line hovering above the current trio of Saturn,  Antares and Mars; but the rest of the constellation is as hard to spot as a shy ghost.

This is no problem-Ophiuchus will be rising earlier every night throughout spring and summer so there will be plenty of opportunities to map it out as it crosses the sky right after low lying Antares in the constellation Scorpio.

Once I get Opiuchus figured out i will have surveyed the complete, yearly parade of northern constellations with an understanding of how they fit in the ancient Greek scheme of naming.  The constellations along the ecliptic are zoological specimens.  the rest refer one way or another to a location above or below the glactic plane.

Ophiuchus is the hero at the gate to the underworld; we see it when we are facing the heart of the Milky Way and turning down to the bottom.  Orion stands where we face out of the galaxy and are turning toward the upper dome.  The myths are a lot more fun to me now that i see them as a system and can appreciate the wicked sense of humor behind the names and stories.

so if you notice Orion in the western sky at sunset during the next few weeks, maybe you will think about how we are turning to face the upper dome of the Milky Way, and maybe you will think about faint Ophiuchus high in the sky just before dawn's light peeks from east, and remember that we are heading back down to the galactic under world.

I got my first surprising event for my transit of Uranus conjunct my natal Mercury.  It came yesterday at about 12:50pm.  One of my customers, well i guess two since they are a husband and wife....they are moving to a retirement community.  At about 1:20pm i inherited a looonngg wall hanging called Mitternachtssonne by Emil Schulthess.  it is a series of 24 photos of the Sun rising and setting from the Island of Hekkingen, Norway about 70 degrees North latitude (within the arctic circle).

The lineup won't hit closest peak till April so there should be more surprises to come.  I am really enjoying my new wall hanging.  as i study it i remember back to the first time i cleaned their house many years ago.  they had a lot of interesting pieces of art that made me think i would enjoy working for them.  Some of the pieces were just fascinating and others were beautiful, and i have enjoyed being around them all throughout the years.  They won't be far away, but this is still a parting in the road for us.  it is wonderful to part company with people i have enjoyed coming to know over the last 20 or more years.  hopes are high for all of us as we look forward to our new paths.  well, the husband might be nervous but he's definitely signed up for this big move......hip hip huzzah for Uranus.   (at least for now)

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